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By Roqayah Chamseddine - In Homage to the Struggle
Bahraini protesters carry rocks in a clash with riot police during a demonstration against the ongoing parliamentary elections in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama on November 22, 2014. AFP/Mohammed al-Shaikh
Wed, 2014-12-31 19:17
This year was a powerful amalgamation of torment, dissent, and small victories – a mixture of struggles, oftentimes intersecting, which will shape the new year.
In “Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology,” feminist scholar and socialist Barbara Smith speaks of a “simultaneity of oppression,” a concept that describes the concurrent oppressions faced by people of color. This approach to systematic oppression, she writes, has allowed for the connecting of struggles, creating a "particularly conducive atmosphere for coalition-building."
On February 11, Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha, three Muslim students living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, were summarily executed by 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks, who reportedly “turned himself in to the Chatham County Sheriff's Office in Pittsboro following the shooting.” All three victims were shot in the head. After searching through public records and Hicks’ facebook page, it was quickly recognizable that he is feverishly anti-religious, racist, as well as militantly nationalistic.
Most of the discourse about the occupation of Palestine is conducted without Palestinians — instead, it is largely discussed via external parties, contrived negotiations, and elaborate but empty peacemaking efforts. Over time, approaches to exploring the Palestinian question have changed. Recently, they have grown more insidious and less inclusive.
"Black Lives Matter" is drawn on the ground in chalk as protesters demonstrate against racism in the "Reclaim MLK" march January 19, 2015
the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri. AFP/Michael B. Thomas
Thu, 2015-01-22 19:24
William C. Sullivan, former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation intelligence operations, once called Martin Luther King Jr “the most dangerous Negro in the future [of the United States of America]” in a memo to J. Edgar Hoover titled “Communist Party, USA, Negro Question.” In the years since Dr. King’s death, the official riff on his legacy has undergone a marked shift; and, accordingly, the reverend’s message has been simplified and stripped of its radical elements. Revolutionary components of his philosophy have been wiped away or tamed, his subversive declarations ignored. Now, for the national holiday that bears his name, activists around the United States responded to this white-washing with a campaign to reclaim the legacy of the civil rights leader (#ReclaimMLK).
The 6th edition of the World Social Forum on Migration (WSFM), the very first on the African continent, took place earlier this month in Johannesburg, South Africa and featured a number of seminars which centered around this year’s theme – Migration in the Heart of our Humanity: Defending our freedom and re-thinking mobility, development and globalization. The use of the word “our” is telling as it reinforces the unified motif that follows South Africa’s historic designation as the ‘Rainbow Nation,’ “at peace with itself, and the world,” as Nelson Mandela would proclaim during his 1994 inauguration speech.
The concentrated assault on Palestine solidarity activists in the United States is an extension of Israel’s war on Palestinian activism – it is a criminalization of resistance that is carried out by way of FBI raids, the targeting of charity organizations like the Holy Land Fund, and spying operations executed by local law enforcement.
The Mediterranean Sea has become a graveyard for asylum seekers who travel by boat towards what they hope will be even a fragment of salvation; they are left with Hobson’s choice – without any legal recourse and oftentimes with little time at their disposal it is either they board a crowded skiff, anticipating the possibility of survival, or they remain enveloped by terrifying and unbearable prospects for themselves and their families.