Global South

1 December 2012Review

Zed, 2012; 224pp; £12.99

The dominant view of Somalia today is of a failed state riven by war, terrorism, piracy, poverty and hunger.

Mary Harper, a BBC journalist who has been reporting from Somalia since 1991, argues these images and labels act as a barrier to a more nuanced and deeper understanding of the country.

Citing numerous Somali voices, Harper maintains that continual conflict and crisis have forced Somalis to invent surprisingly workable and resilient alternative political and economic…

17 October 2012News in Brief

Over 700 boats laid 'siege' to the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, India on 8 October, in the latest demonstration by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE; for background, see PN 2550).

PMANE is demanding the withdrawal of police from local villages (police killed one protester in September), the…

26 September 2012Review

Maia Ramnath, Decolonizing Anarchism: An Anti-authoritarian History of India’s Liberation Struggle, AK Press, 2011; 180pp; £12.Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt (eds), Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940: The Praxis of National Liberation, Internationalism, and Social Revolution, Brill Academic Publishers, 2010; 432pp; €109

In recent years, English-language histories of anarchism have been paying more attention to anarchist thinkers and activists outside the West. These two books are part of that trend.

I don't really think many PN readers are going to fork out for Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940; it's a very expensive academic hardback, but it is a valuable contribution.

The authors document influential anarchist movements in Argentina…

25 September 2012News

Mining company's operations spark protests.

On 28 August, protests marked the AGM of mining corporation Vedanta Resources, including in central London, where the AGM was held. Thousands took part in a parallel demonstration in Goa, India, (pictured) demanding an end to operations at Sesa Goa’s Amona pig iron plant. Dongria Kond tribals whose sacred mountain is threatened by Vedanta’s mining ambitions (see PN 2520, 2528) joined protests in Odisha, India. In Zambia, activists marked the AGM by publishing a report on the contamination of…

25 September 2012News

Two local fishermen have died protesting against the activation of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, India.

On 10 September, local fisherman Anthony John, 44, was shot dead by Indian police while taking part in a blockade protesting against the completion of a nuclear power plant in Kudankulam in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Two 1GW reactors have been built on the site and were being loaded with uranium fuel as PN went to press: the authorities plan to build a further four 1GW reactors on the site.

The protests were organised by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear…

28 August 2012News

Zapatistas call for international solidarity

Human rights organisations have warned that the population of nearly 200 Zapatista supporters in the Chiapas highland indigenous community of San Marcos Aviles, in Mexico, are at serious risk of violent assault and displacement. The threats made against them have increased sharply since the Mexican elections in July.

The aggressors are government supporters organised in paramilitary-style groups, heavily armed with shotguns, rifles and pistols. They are specifically threatening the…

28 August 2012News

Privy council rules against FG Hemisphere

PHOTO: Jubilee Debt Campaign

Jubilee Debt Campaign mark a surprise decision by the UK privy council, on 18 July, ruling against vulture fund FG Hemisphere, which had tried to sue the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining company in a Jersey court for $100 million. (FG Hemisphere bought the debt for just $3 million.) Vuture funds profit by buying cheaply  and then pursuing the debts of impoverished countries.

2 July 2012Feature

Why is the US arming and supporting a violent military regime against its own people?

Central America is currently the most violent region on the planet. Some of that is attributable to the drugs trade, which itself feeds on the atomisation and insecurity produced by global neoliberalism. Some of it stems from the region’s brutal and traumatic past, when state forces could commit atrocities with total impunity. But much of it is due to the attitude of the United States, which continues to look for military solutions to social issues.

As a result, the Obama…

1 October 2011Feature

Taesun Kwon, the executive editor of South Korea’s non-corporate national daily newspaper, talks to Peace News

Taesun Kwon co-founded South Korea’s radical national daily newspaper, the Hankyoreh, born of South Korea’s democracy movement in 1988. She is now executive editor of the paper, which has a circulation of over 500,000.

PN : How is the Hankyoreh different from other South Korean newspapers?

TK: There are many differences between the Hankyoreh and other newspapers in South Korea. The first difference is the birth of the Hankyoreh. The Hankyoreh was established with the help of…

18 September 2011Blog entry

<p>Milan Rai interviews a key speaker at the 2011 Rebellious Media Conference.</p>

Taesun Kwon was a co-founder of South Korea’s only non-corporate national daily newspaper, the Hankyoreh, born of South Korea’s democracy movement in 1988. She is now executive editor of the paper, which has a circulation of 300,000 (South Korea has a population of 49 million). Taesun Kwon will be speaking at the Rebellious Media Conference organised by Peace News, Ceasefire, the National Union of…

13 August 2011Feature

An examination of women's participation in formal and informal peace-building activities shows that in most cases women are excluded from formal peace negotiations. Anu Pillay argues that women's participation in designing strategies is essential in adding value to the process of negotiating peace, and reconstructing society after conflict.

At a recent seminar on peace building in Africa, the question of why gender and not women was raised. What is the difference? Although I was surprised that this question came up at all, it made me realise that one makes the assumption that this question has been sufficiently dealt with and that everyone is moving on from there.

Yet, this question helped me to understand why we often remain stuck in our attempts to transform gender relations in our society. The politics of gender…

13 August 2011Feature

Across the world, campaign groups and indigenous communities are struggling against the corporate destruction of the world's forests. Andrew Frisicano reports on recent developments.

A Greenpeace-commissioned satellite map of the world released on 13 April has shown that only 10% of the world is covered by intact forest, at the same time the most valuable of these forests are being threatened by logging and farm expansion.

In Papua New Guinea (PNG), activist groups are working with local organisations to stop the destruction of the largest remaining forest in the Asia Pacific region. On 11 April activists from the Rainbow Warrior demonstrated in front of a ship…

13 August 2011Feature

After spending almost one year in amilitary prison, Turkish conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan has been released, but the repression and persecution of objectors continues. Andreas Speck reports.

Good news for a change from Turkey: on 9 March, gay Turkish conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan was unexpectedly released from the military prison in Sivas, following an order by the Military Court of Appeal in Ankara. The reasons for his release remain unclear, but one possibility is that, even if finally sentenced, Mehmet Tarhan would be unlikely to serve more time in prison than he already has (he was arrested on 6 April 2005, and has spent almost a year in prison).

Mehmet Tarhan…

13 August 2011Feature

While the focus of western military deployments remains firmly on Iraq and Afghanistan, the EU is busy developing its military identity and capabilities through so-called "peacekeeping" adventures in Africa. Andreas Speck suggests some lessbenevolent motivations for these operations.

Disguised as a “humanitarian intervention” and giving “support to building democracy”, the second major EU military intervention in Congo began this June. As Peace News goes to press, 2,000 EU troops from 20 EU countries (plus Turkey) are being deployed in Congo, to safeguard the elections in the DRC. Officially, the EU mission (named EUFOR RD Congo) aims to support the 19,000 UN “peace keepers” already in the country.

The UN force (MONUC) became famous recently for…

13 August 2011Feature

During the last week of January, Venezuela played host to the World Social Forum. In parallel to the state-sponsored event, anarchist, indigenous and antimilitarist groups and networks organised and participated in the Alternative Social Forum, also held in Caracas. Andreas Speck attended - and facilitated workshops at - both: here he gives his impressions on his trip to the left-feted "socialist" state.

From 23 to 29 January the “policentric” World Social Forum (WSF) was held in Caracas in Venezuela, the country of president Hugo Chavez's “Bolivarian Revolution”. No surprise then that the WSF received organisational and financial support from Venezuelan state institutions -- almost all ministries and the Metropolitan police, plus the nationalised state oil company PDVSA -- and that Chavez addressed the forum, and used it for one of his usual anti-imperialist speeches.

However, not…