Once more with feeling

In the same place where the Peoples’ Power Revolution ousted Ferdinand Marcos twenty years ago today, there’s turmoil again. Meanne writes:

A state of National Emergency or Proclamation 1017 has been declared by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The emergency rule gives the military and the police the power to arrest and use force against whosoever they perceive as ‘enemies’. There are now threats of more political repression and curtailment of peoples’ rights. And the situation is bound to get worse. Opposition Senator Aquilino Pimentel has called for an emergency session of the Senate to look into the latest actions of Malacanang.

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Cheney’s Got A Gun

Good new things on the Ashwin Desai Struggle sub-site, including a recent spat in the pages of the Mail and Guardian here in South Africa, in which Makgoba opines that New Media is the ” ‘opiate’of the weak and disgruntled forces globally” and Desai responds by comparing the Vice-Chancellor to his aunty Ivy. Plenty worth reading here (scroll to the newest newspaper articles).

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Bread & Roses, Batons

A story for another time involves my only trip to Bulawayo, where several men desperately wanted me to be Jewish. In the meantime, more serious things are afoot in Bulawayo. Over 400 women from WOZA – Women of Zimbabwe Arise – were protesting for “Bread And Roses” this Valentine’s. The roses, incidentally, symbolising dignity, and bread symbolising bread. And for this, they have been arrested. Read more here.

True or Horseshit?

“for centuries England has relied on protection, has carried it to extremes and has obtained satisfactory results from it. There is no doubt that it is to this system that it owes its present strength. After two centuries, England has found it convenient to adopt free trade because it thinks that protection can no longer offer it anything. Very well then, Gentlemen, my knowledge of our country leads me to believe that within 200 years, when America has gotten out of protection all that it can offer, it too will adopt free trade.”

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Trajectories of technology

Props to Brainy. She works with maths and science students of color in the Bay Area, and she has been teaching them how to podcast. BusinessWeek just blogged the project, and it’s well worth having a look-see, at Smashcast. It’s tremendously heartening to hear the trajectory of the podcasts, from an initial ‘hey, shit, we’re podcasting‘, to product reviews for media players, to the racial politics of the Kentucky school system.

Strike struck dumb

We’re on strike at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The university is offering a 4% salary increase for staff – not a penny more- but management is taking 12%. Negotiations have deadlocked, and we’re taking it to the streets, or as near to them as the restrictive industrial action legislation will allow us to get. We were on strike almost the same time last year – but for the 2006 round, the four unions that represent staff on campus have assured their members that they’re not going to sell us out. In 2005, we were on strike for barely a day, after which the ANC instructed NEHAWU and NTESU to settle, which they did. This didn’t go down too well with the rank-and-file.. Promises have been made, this time, to bring all decisions to a mass meeting. I’ll believe it when I see it.

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These are wonderfully delicate photographs. Trying to understand how it is that they look like pictures of model towns (they’re not), the focus, and slight over-exposure certainly help. Mainly, though, I don’t think I’d ever thought it possible to see cities at a distance through air this clear. [Via Li. ]

Ashwin Desai Struggle update (for Monthly review readers)

A warm Class Worrier welcome to those who’ve arrived here via this month’s Monthly Review editorial. A timely missive it is too. It has prompted me to deliver on the promise of making a new Ashwin Desai Archive section in the sidebar up there (and also prompted a bit of housekeeping in the list of recommended reading: guess I never got around to adding “Monthly Review” above “New Left Review”).

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