Jesus Christ Must Have Had Mud on His Shoes

Despite my views on religion, I found this incredibly moving. It’s a message from members of the Abahlali baseMjondolo shackdwellers movement in South Africa, appealing to friends in the Church to support the shackdwellers in their upcoming trial – and you can find out more about that, and how to pitch in to the legal fund for that trial here. If you missed S’bu Zikode’s US tour, in which he explained the broader shackdweller’s struggle, you can watch him here and here. But the letter below doesn’t really need an introduction. Continue reading

FYI – The value of open space

In Philadelphia, a report finds that open space

  • Increases homeowners’ property values by an average of $10,000;
  • Supports nearly 7,000 jobs and generates $271 million in annual salaries and $30 million in state and local tax revenue;
  • Generates more than $566 million in annual spending;
  • Saves businesses $500 million in workers’ compensation and costs related to lost productivity;
  • Spares local governments and utilities more than $132 million a year in costs associated with environmental services such as flood control and drinking-water filtration, and,
  • Helps open-space users avoid $795 million in medical expenses and businesses avoid $485 million in lost-productivity costs.

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Things for Africanists to do in the San Francisco Bay Area

The African Studies Association is having its meetings in San Francisco at the moment, but is holding them in the Westin St Francis, a union boycotted hotel. All’s not lost though. There’s a fine-looking meeting on African and Global Food, with some excellent panelists, at the San Francisco Public Library on Nov 17th, and S’bu Zikode of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Shackdwellers Movement will be in town giving talks in Oakland and San Francisco. Full details on these events below the fold. Continue reading