• In Chicago, a Socialist Teacher Takes on the Entrenched Political Machine

    Die Probleme der kleinen Leute sind überall die gleichen: Besser Schulen, bezahlbare Wohnungen, funktionierende öffentliche Einrichtungen und Transportmittel und die Beseitigung von Gewalt und Verbrechen. Der Süden von Chicago ist wie eine viel härtere Ausgabe der härtesten Ecken von Berlin Neukölln.

    In der Southside ist die Wahlkampagne einer Sozialistin Teil der Bewegung für einen gemeinsamen Kapf der Einwohner um eine Stadtverwaltung ohne die traditionelle Korruption und Vetternwirtschaft. Bis heute wird die Stadt wie der Erbhof einer Bügermeisterdynastie verwaltet. Damit soll jetzt Schluß sein.

    24.2.2023 by Caleb Horton - An interview with Ambria Taylor

    Chicago’s 11th Ward is the heart of the old “Chicago machine,” one of the largest, longest-running, and most powerful political forces in US history. For most of the twentieth century, the Chicago machine organized the political, economic, and social order of America’s second city. Patronage rewards like plum city jobs were awarded to lieutenants who could best turn out the vote for the Democratic Party, which in turn provided funds, connections, and gifts to the ruling Daley family and their inner circle.

    Mayor Richard J. Daley, often called “the last big city boss,” ruled Chicago from 1955 until his death in 1976. Daley spearheaded infrastructure and urban renewal projects that physically segregated white and black parts of the city with expressways and housing blocks and drove black displacement from desirable areas. He tangled with Martin Luther King Jr over school and housing desegregation, sicced the cops on antiwar protestors at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and gave “shoot to kill” orders during the uprisings following King’s assassination.

    The Chicago machine’s glory days are past, but the legacy of the Daleys lives on. Relatives and friends of Mayor Daley still hold office throughout Chicago, and his nephew, Patrick Daley-Thompson, had a strong hold over City Council as the 11th Ward alderman until July 2022, when he was convicted of tax fraud and lying to federal bank regulators and forced to resign.

    Although the Daley family has lost direct control over the 11th Ward, their presence is still felt in the neighborhood of Bridgeport. While racial segregation is not explicitly enforced, the neighborhood still has a reputation among many older black residents as a “no-go zone,” and throughout the 2020 protests over the murder of George Floyd, white gangs roamed the streets with weapons questioning anyone who looked “out of place” — a callback to the racist mob violence perpetrated by the Hamburg Athletic Club, of which a teenage Daley was a member a whole century prior.

    So what is Ambria Taylor, a socialist public school teacher, doing running for office in the backyard of this entrenched political fiefdom? Jacobin contributor Caleb Horton sat down with Taylor to discuss why she chose to run at this time and in this place, and how she is building a movement that can overturn the power of one of the nation’s most notorious political dynasties.

    Taylor launched her campaign in October 2021, when Daley-Thompson was still in office. After a few months of campaigning, the 11th Ward began to undergo major changes. First Daley-Thompson was arrested and then convicted of fraud, and then the ten-year ward remap took place, removing parts of the old 11th Ward and adding parts of Chinatown and McKinley Park.

    In just a few short months, Taylor was facing a newly-appointed incumbent, a new map, and six other candidates for alderman. Taylor is the only progressive in the race.

    Caleb Horton

    Why did you decide to run for office?

    Ambria Taylor

    Growing up, I experienced poverty and homelessness in rural Illinois. I moved to Chicago when I was seventeen to escape that. I slept on my brother’s floor, shared an air mattress with my mom.

    Chicago saved my life in a lot of ways. Urban areas have public transportation, they have dense development where you can walk to get what you need, where you can get to a job without a car. Public goods help people survive.

    Experiencing all that defined me. It’s why I’m so committed to protecting public goods like affordable public transportation and affordable housing. It’s why I’m a socialist. It’s why I got my master’s degree and became a teacher.

    I had a chance to grow up and live a decent life thanks to the strong public goods and services available in Chicago, but unfortunately that’s all been under attack due to neoliberalism, the hollowing out of the public sphere, and the assaults on unions.

    That’s why I’m running. We deserve a city that works for everyone like it worked for me. We deserve a city that, in the richest country in the history of the world, provides for the people who live here and make it run. And here in Chicago we have been building the movement for the city we deserve through making the ward office a space for people who are marginalized to build power.

    Caleb Horton

    What do you want to do when you’re in office?

    Ambria Taylor

    In Chicago the local ward office has a lot of local power. The alderman is kind of like a mini-mayor of their district. They have power to make proposals for spending taxpayer money, and they each get a budget of discretionary funds of about $1.5 million annually for ward projects.

    Aldermen have influence in the committee that oversees Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts. On TIFs, we gave $5 million in taxpayer money to Pepsi and $1.5 million to Vienna Beef.

    We shouldn’t be taking money away from our schools to fund giveaways to megacorporations, period. But if we’re going to have TIFs, residents should have democratic input into how those funds are spent. We have dozens of empty storefronts in what should be our commercial hubs — why not fund small businesses providing needed services and quality of life to residents?

    My dream is to, for one thing, involve the public in development decisions. But most of all, I want to ensure that money goes to things that benefit residents. Things they can see and experience, like cleaning alleys or tree trimming or sidewalk maintenance. In this ward, there’s a history of “the deal is made, and then they have a public meeting about it.” I want things to be the other way around.

    I’m excited for the potential of what we could do here if there’s a ward office that’s open and collaborative and is genuinely trying to do things that benefit the most vulnerable.

    Caleb Horton

    Could you talk a little bit about the ward’s political history, and why it has been such an “insiders’ club” of decision makers?

    Ambria Taylor

    We are on the Near South Side of Chicago. This ward now includes Bridgeport, Chinatown, and parts of a few neighborhoods called Canaryville, Armor Square, and McKinley Park.

    The Daley family is from this area. The home that’s been in the family for generations is here. The family has been powerful here for a really long time. They were also involved in various clubs and associations, like the Hamburg Athletic Club that took part in the racist white riots in 1919.

    The 11th Ward is well known for being an enclave of extremely aggressive anti-black racism. In the 1990s there was a young black boy who dared cross over here from Bronzeville to put air in his bicycle tires from a place that had free air, and he was put into a coma by teenage boys.

    One of those boys was well connected to the Mafia here. Potential witnesses for the trial who knew this boy and were present when it happened weren’t willing to come forward. This happened in the 1990s. Think about how old the fourteen-, fifteen-, sixteen-year-old boys would be now. Many people who are influential now were alive during that time and were wrapped up in that culture. This was considered a sundown town, and to some people still is.

    Things are changing rapidly. People move to the suburbs, new people move in, things change over time. There still is a vocal conservative contingent here, but this is also a place where Bernie Sanders won the Democratic primary two times. Because of where we stand at this moment amid all those contradictions, we have the chance to make monumental change.

    There’s always been dissatisfaction with the machine, but we’ve started to cohere that dissatisfaction and the latent progressive energy into an organized base. We’ve brought together a base of people around progressive issues that many have said couldn’t exist here. We’re proving them wrong and proving the narrative about this part of the city wrong.

    As socialists, narratives are often used against us. It’s that narrative of what’s possible. The “Oh, we love Bernie, but he could never win. . . .” We say that a better world is possible. And what we’re seeing on the doors is that people are very excited to see a democratic socialist on the ballot. As far as I know, I’m the only person in the city running for office who has “socialist” on their literature. That’s big whether or not we win.

    Caleb Horton

    In what ways is this a movement campaign?

    Ambria Taylor

    We launched this campaign very early. We launched in October 2021 with an election at the end of February 2023. We did this because we needed time to organize.

    We started by holding community meetings for months. We brought communities together to articulate their desires for the city — like for streets and sanitation, public safety, the environment — and made those our platform planks.

    We engaged people with what they want to see happen in the ward: “How do you want an alderman to be working toward making those things happen? Let’s talk about how the city council works. Let’s talk about how the ward office operates and what budget it has.”

    Our residents have an appetite to get into the nitty-gritty about what an alderman can actually do to make progress on the things they want to see in this community and for Chicago. They want to take ownership over their own affairs.

    This is what political education can look like in the context of an aldermanic race. The people ask questions, articulate their needs, and we try to put that through the lens of what we can do as an aldermanic office and as organized communities.

    One thing we’ve found impactful is coming together for creative events. For instance, we had a huge block party with the owner and staff of a business called Haus of Melanin. This is a black-owned beauty bar that was vandalized twice in the months after they started up. A hair salon for black people? You can see why that might piss racists off.

    So we stepped in and built a relationship with them. We threw this huge block party, bringing a bunch of people together to say, “We’re going to celebrate that there are going to be black people in this neighborhood. There are going to be black-owned businesses that cater to black people.” And a lot of people came out in this neighborhood to say, “We support this business, we love that it’s here, and nobody is going to scare our neighbors away.”

    The business owner had talked about leaving. She had stylists leave because of the vandalism that happened. Haus of Melanin might have been chased out if the community didn’t turn out to say that these racists don’t represent us and we’re not going to take it. All of that is what a movement campaign looks like.

    Caleb Horton

    This is the city’s first Asian-majority ward, and the current alderperson is the city’s first Chinese American alderperson. Some people have said that this is an office that should go to an Asian American or a Chinese American person — that you as a white person shouldn’t be running for this office. How do you respond to that?

    Ambria Taylor

    We do remaps based on the census every ten years or so, and there was a big push to remap the 11th Ward to include Chinatown. Before the remap, the 11th Ward was 40 percent Asian, mostly Chinese. I think the biggest thing this remap did is unite a center politically that is already mapped culturally.

    The incumbent I’m running against was appointed by an unpopular mayor and is backed by the Daley family. Her father worked for Mayor Richard M. Daley. Richard M. Daley and John Daley sent out a letter backing our current alderman.

    It’s really exciting for this Asian-majority ward to have the opportunity to elect a representative they trust will fight for their interests.

    My team has worked hard to do everything on the campaign the way we plan to run our ward office. We have made the campaign a space to build power for people who are marginalized. We have a huge campaign team that includes canvassers who speak Mandarin, Cantonese, and Taishanese. Just today we used all three languages while we were at the doors.

    We make sure that people who are multilingual are present at our community meetings. Also every single piece of lit we’ve printed has been translated into three languages: English, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.

    This election is not just about the candidate as a representative, but about electing someone who is going to focus on issues that matter to the people of this ward. This is bigger than one person, and we have been able to build a lot of meaningful connections.

    For example, we’ve made deep connections with Chinese-language newspapers, and that relationship is going to go a long way. We’ve had Chinese-language newspapers commenting on union rallies I was going to, my Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) endorsement, and so on, and we want to continue to nurture that relationship.

    Caleb Horton

    How has your experience as a Chicago Public Schools teacher influenced your politics?

    Ambria Taylor

    Teaching in Chicago Public Schools was really hard. I kind of expected that, but you have to live it for it to truly sink in.

    After a year of student teaching, I started my first lead teaching position in the 2019–2020 year. A month and a half later, we went on strike for almost two weeks. We came back to the classroom, and just as I was trying to get back into the swing of things, COVID hit.

    I became a remote teacher of middle schoolers, and things were really difficult. We had to eventually juggle hybrid learning and lack of staff. I became the union delegate for our school and experienced horrible retaliation from my principal. But through that, I learned to organize people in my building around workplace issues even if they had different politics than me.

    I saw how the workplace can unite us — it gives you something to convene around, and it’s hard to have anything interfere with that because your reality is informing it all. Public education is in a lot of trouble, and I firsthand experienced these schools unraveling at the seams.

    The city allocates money to bullshit while lead paint flakes off the walls and our buildings fall apart. As teachers, we face the struggle of trying to get through the day while kids are being put in the auditorium a few classes at a time because there is not enough staff to supervise them.

    That influenced me because a huge part of my campaign as a socialist is to fight against neoliberalism, austerity, and private interests’ attempt to narrow what the public sector does by choking these various public services and then saying, “It doesn’t work!”

    What is happening with Chicago Public Schools is happening everywhere — at the Chicago Public Library, in our transit system. My dream is being part of a movement that will help save our public sector.

    Caleb Horton

    The Chicago political machine faced an unsuccessful challenger in the 11th Ward four years ago. What makes your campaign different?

    Ambria Taylor

    There have been other challengers to the machine politicians in the 11th Ward. Usually it’s a person who has a few volunteers, and they raise less than $5,000. We’ve been able to raise over $90,000, and we have had over a hundred people volunteer for us. That’s something that challengers haven’t been able to muster up, and understandably so — it’s not an easy thing to do.

    The people of the ward want to support this kind of effort, and despite their modest fundraising, we’ve seen previous small campaigns still give the machine a run for its money. We had a guy take Patrick Daley to a runoff election, and he raised less than $5,000. What that shows is that a strong campaign stands a chance, and we’ve made a strong effort here.

    Caleb Horton

    What are the biggest issues facing the 11th Ward?

    Ambria Taylor

    Environmental issues are huge here. Our air quality is eight to nine times worse than northern parts of the city. Our city is very segregated. The further north you get the whiter it gets, and you will notice that the South Side has way worse air quality and way more heavy — or “dirty” — industry that pollutes our air and our soil.

    We used to have a Department of Environment that ticketed polluters that were breaking the rules and causing toxic contamination. That department is gone now, and the ticketing has gone down. When ticketing does happen, it happens on the North Side.

    So there is a lot we can do here, like reestablishing the Department of Environment and working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to make sure that the polluters in this area are being held to the standards they should be held to; also, when it comes to developments, saying, “No, I will not support new dirty industry coming to this region which is already severely overburdened.”

    Caleb Horton

    Public safety has come up a lot this election. What do you believe the 11th Ward could be doing about this?

    Ambria Taylor

    Public safety has become a major talking point this year. That’s not to say that everything is safe and everything is fine: we have carjackings, shootings, and assaults. People experiencing violence is unacceptable.

    However, a lot of people have given in to saying, “I’m the alderman and I love the police.” What that does is absolve our leadership of any responsibility. We’ve had police officers responding to forty thousand mental health calls a year. There’s been a big movement in Chicago to shift things like mental health and domestic violence calls to other city workers instead of the police.

    What we’ve seen is poverty and austerity are on the rise, and when you have high poverty, you have high crime. We need resources for young people, better social services, housing, and mental health care. A lot of people who we’ve canvassed agree that police are not enough and we need to address violence holistically.

    Caleb Horton

    What about affordable housing? Where do you stand on that?

    Ambria Taylor

    Here in the 11th Ward, there has been a push for affordable housing, but it’s really hit or miss as far as enforcement goes. Also, when it comes to affordability, we need to be stricter on how we define it. Right now, developments can say there are affordable units in a building even if they are not truly affordable and are just a little cheaper than other units in the building.

    We want affordable housing, and we want to hold developers’ feet to the fire as far as prices go. Having a resident-led ward gives us the opportunity to ask developers, “What do you plan to charge for the units?” and get them to commit to something truly affordable for people to live in.

    We must also expand public housing. Chicago has lots of money for it, yet we’re selling land that belongs to the housing authority off to private interests. That needs to stop. I’m interested in partnering with residents who live in public housing to make sure it improves and expands.

    I also support just cause for evictions and lifting the ban on rent control in Illinois. We have a ban on passing rent control — we can’t even introduce a bill on it. I very much support the effort to overturn that.

    Caleb Horton

    What are your plans for this progressive base that you’re building?

    Ambria Taylor

    From here on out, if I’m the next alderman, we will continue to organize through the ward office and institute participatory budgeting and resident-led zoning and development boards. We will make serious changes to how the ward office is engaging with the people who live here.

    And if we don’t win, we have movement institutions: we have the 11th Ward Independent Political Organization, we have DSA. We need to make sure we’re actually organizing people into groups where we can continue to grow what we’re doing. I’m really interested in where we are going to take this.
    Filed Under
    #United_States #Politics #Cities #racism #democratic_socialists_of_america #Chicago_City_Council

    A Live Chat with Ambria Taylor, 11th Ward Alderperson Candidate!

    6 Candidates Are Challenging Ald. Nicole Lee In 11th Ward Race

    Two teachers, a veteran police officer, a firefighter and an attorney are among the challengers looking to unseat Lee, who was appointed to the City Council seat in 2022.

    Ambria Taylor | Chicago News | WTTW

    Chicago DSA Endorses Ambria Taylor and Warren Williams

    #USA #Chicago #southside #Rassismus #Armut #Gewalt #Korruption #Sicherheit #Politik #Organizing

  • Jonathan Lis - “Open secrets: A culture of suppressing scandals festers at the heart of public life”

    The minute an open secret becomes open knowledge, it becomes democratised but also de-fanged: the damage it threatened has come to pass and the people who held its explosive contents have now relinquished them. In this way, open secrets encourage the holders both to keep them and let them go.

    #secrecy #uk #politics #partygate #journalism

  • Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 on Twitter: "The notion we must blindly accept & fo...

    Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 on Twitter: “The notion we must blindly accept & follow as truth, that which the government or those in power tell us is true, goes against the very essence of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Watch the full speech here: https://t.co/vpfh9BvkgZ https://t.co/am3OxakXCW” / Twitter

    #politics #Tulsi2024


  • This is the news you don’t see. Patrick Lancaster, a Russian-speaki...

    This is the news you don’t see. Patrick Lancaster, a Russian-speaking independent American journalist reports from inside #Mariupol, #Ukraine. The civilians here are eye witnesses to a war that, for them, began eight years ago.

    #Russia #UkraineWar #Politics #Documentary https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rLZ2ZzoD-W0

  • US is reestablishing a new Inquisition using Russia-Ukraine crisis ...

    US is reestablishing a new Inquisition using Russia-Ukraine crisis as excuse: Global Times editorial

    #US is #reestablishing a #new #Inquisition using #Russia #Ukraine #crisis as #excuse #China #politics


    "It is not up to Washington to decide who stands “on the wrong side of history.” The US cannot forcibly pin the label that belongs to itself to someone else. As a netizen commented under the AP’s tweet, “Us drinking panadol for your own headache is not something we’ll be doing.” The US is the one that triggered the conflict and is the biggest hidden hand behind the curtain, who has made the Russia-Ukraine crisis where it is today. To shirk its responsibility and seek its own interests, Washington concocted a new charge for those who haven’t condemned Russia to set up a new moral (...)

  • Russian propaganda or the ugly side if a war we don’t want to see?

    Russian propaganda or the ugly side if a war we don’t want to see?

    #Ukraine #Russia #AzovBattalion #Mariupol #Politics #Propaganda

    Testimony by evacuated Mariupol residents and warnings of a false flag attack undermine the Ukrainian government’s claims about a Russian bombing of a local theater sheltering civilians.

    A closer look reveals that local residents in Mariupol had warned three days before the March 16 incident that the theater would be the site of a false flag attack launched by the openly neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which controlled the building and the territory around it.

    Civilians that escaped the city through humanitarian corridors have testified that they were held by Azov as human shields in area, and that Azov fighters detonated parts of the theater as they retreated. (...)

    • The world we live in is changing, and the Russian intervention in Ukraine will not be confined to Ukraine, or even to Europe. The U.S. is learning that the world is slipping from its hands. It won’t tolerate it.

      It will resort to force in its attempt to maintain its grip over humanity. Violent conflicts are very likely to now dominate our world.

    • C’est la lutte entre les tenants de la théorie de l’Empire qui refuse de lâcher l’affaire, et les autres, de gauche, mais non-occidentaux, qui te disent que bon, les US ne sont pas le centre du monde, et que Poutine et Xi sont les deux faces d’un même enfer sur terre, coupables de crimes de guerre, de crimes contre l’humanité, et de génocides.

      On sent qu’on est à un moment de bascule, celui où les nécrologies ne peuvent plus faire de référence à l’histoire sans que certains ne se sentent l’obligation d’édulcorer, pour éviter ce qu’ils croient être des amalgames déplacés.

    • Je vois plus l’opposition entre l’anti-impérialisme, basé sur l’idée que les événements géopolitiques sont essentiellement motivés par des chocs des impérialismes (européens au XIXe, américains et russes pendant la guerre froide, essentiellement américain évidemment à l’effondrement de l’URSS, puis montée plus récente de la Chine et la Russie), et des « analyses » qui prétendent à chaque fois que cette fois c’est pas du tout pareil et ça n’a rien à voir et tu n’as rien compris et tu es juste un idiot utile des génocidaires si tu ne veux pas bombarder mon pays.

    • Euh non, des analyses qui te rappellent que les USA ne sont pas le SEUL impérialisme et que oui la Russie actuelle et la Chine le sont aussi et ont des velléités d’impérialisme tout aussi fortes et auto-suffisantes, sans que ce soit obligatoirement une réaction face aux US. Et que donc l’impérialisme US seul ne permet pas de comprendre le monde (truisme s’il en est mais qu’il faut apparemment rappeler).

    • Je persiste à penser que ces textes ne dépassent que rarement le stade du sophisme de l’homme de paille : l’anti-impérialisme est bien au courant qu’il n’y a pas qu’un seul impérialisme. Tous ces textes qui font comme si les analyses anti-impérialistes étaient monoexplicatives, pfff.

      Sinon, il y a une difficulté aussi à évoquer des « velléités d’impérialisme » pour dire qu’elles sont « aussi fortes ». Ou alors on oublie l’invasion de l’Irak. On ne regarde pas les bases militaires installées dans des pays étrangers. Et on ne compare surtout pas les montants des budgets militaires (en 2019, le budget militaire US est de 732 milliards de dollars ; le budget russe de 65 milliards, le budget de l’Arabie saoudite de 61 milliards…). Le terme « vélléités » masque les différences d’échelle des moyens des impérialismes : Poutine a sans aucune doute des velléités énormes, mais il a des moyens de nain.

      Quand à l’« auto-suffisance » des impérialismes, je n’y crois pas. Même dans le cas de l’impérialisme US. Sinon ce n’est plus de la géopolitique.

    • Alors puisque Chomsky est une cible usuelle de cette littérature qui prétend que la gauche occidentale anti-impérialiste réduit tout au seul impérialisme US, je note que sa récente interview à propos de l’Ukraine commence comme ceci :

      Rappelons d’abord quelques faits incontestables. Le premier, c’est que l’invasion russe de l’Ukraine est un crime de guerre de la plus haute gravité, comparable à l’invasion américaine de l’Irak et à l’invasion de la Pologne par Hitler et Staline en septembre 1939, pour ne citer que ces deux exemples marquants. Il est toujours bon de chercher des explications, mais il convient de ne rien justifier ni minimiser.

      Et en version originale : Noam Chomsky : US Military Escalation Against Russia Would Have No Victors

      Noam Chomsky: Before turning to the question, we should settle a few facts that are uncontestable. The most crucial one is that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a major war crime, ranking alongside the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the Hitler-Stalin invasion of Poland in September 1939, to take only two salient examples. It always makes sense to seek explanations, but there is no justification, no extenuation.

  • Finland Had a Patent-Free COVID-19 Vaccine Nine Months Ago — But St...

    Finland Had a Patent-Free COVID-19 Vaccine Nine Months Ago — But Still Went With Big Pharma

    #politics #health #capitalism

    A team of leading Finnish researchers had a patent-free COVID-19 vaccine ready last May, which could have allowed countries all over the world to inoculate their populations without paying top dollar. Yet rather than help the initiative, Finland’s government sided with Big Pharma — showing how a patent-based funding model puts profit over public health.


  • The War on Privacy - TK News by Matt Taibbi

    The War on Privacy - TK News by Matt Taibbi

    #politics #media #propaganda #disinformation

    My colleague Glenn Greenwald hit the nail on the head this weekend when he wrote about “tattletale journalism,” in which media reporters for the largest companies spend their time attacking speech, instead of defending it.


  • Does sustainable development have an elephant in the room ?

    The inherently unequal relationship between the developed and developing world is hindering sustainable development.

    This week, the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has begun deliberating on its resolutions. Sustainable development is high on the agenda. This year UNGA has had a record number of high-level meetings - most of them either on or related to the topic.

    At the centre of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are the many disparities between the developed and developing world, including the unequal consumption and use of natural resources; the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation; economic sovereignty and opportunities; and the unequal power in international organisations and decision-making.

    Still, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ recent progress report on the Sustainable Development Goals, disparities between the developed and developing world continue to grow.

    CO2 emissions are on a trajectory towards disastrous tipping points and global material consumption is projected to more than double by 2060. In the last 20 years, climate-related disasters have led to a 150 percent increase in economic losses and claimed an estimated 1.3 million lives, the great majority of them in the developing world. Climate change-driven conflicts and migration are on the rise, too.

    The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is clear that moving towards sustainability requires the broadest possible international cooperation, an ethic of global citizenship and shared responsibility. Crucially, this includes decreasing international disparities between developed and developing countries, such as in international decision-making, control and use of natural resources and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production.

    However, there is an elephant in the room of sustainable development. Namely, the very relationship between the developed and developing world of domination and subordination and its historical roots in colonialism.

    Today’s unsustainability is shaped by a history that includes the control and use of natural resources and cheap labour for the benefit and consumption of European and European colonial-settler states. It is a history where a bottom line of maximising profit and economic growth included colonisation of foreign lands and peoples, a transformation of landscapes and societies across the world, enslavement, genocides, wars and systemic racial discrimination.

    Over centuries, an international order was established dominated by European colonial and colonial-settler states populated by a majority of European descendants. That is to say, largely today’s developed world.

    Although the inherently unequal relationship between the developed and developing world and its colonial history is not addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals - it is no secret to the UN.

    For example, according to the most comprehensive universal human rights instrument against racial discrimination - the declaration and programme of action of the 2001 Third World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa - the effects and persistence of colonial structures and practices are among the factors contributing to lasting social and economic inequalities in many parts of the world today.

    During the early 1970s, developing nations - many of them recently independent - passed resolutions in the UNGA to establish a new international economic order. They demanded self determination over their economy and natural resources as well as equity in determining the laws, rules and regulations of the global economy.

    The explicit objective was to address international inequities in the wake of European colonialism. Developed countries with the power to actualise such a new international economic order were not interested and nothing much became of it.

    Nonetheless, the call for a new international economic order resonated in the 1986 UN Declaration on the Right to Development. Among other things, it calls on states to eliminate the massive violations of human rights resulting from colonialism, neo-colonialism, all forms of racism and racial discrimination.

    In recent years, there has again been a growing call by developing countries in the UNGA for a new equitable and democratic international economic order. But this time too, developing countries with the power to make that call a reality have opposed it.

    Last year a resolution was passed in the UNGA towards a new international economic order. It emphasises that development within countries needs to be supported by a favourable international economic order. Among other things, it calls for increased coordination of international economic policy in order to avoid it having a particularly negative impact on developing countries.

    An overwhelming majority of 133 of the 193 UN member states voted for the resolution. All developed countries voted against it.

    Another resolution that was passed in the UNGA last year promoted a democratic and equitable international order. It, too, calls for an international economic order based on equal participation in the decision-making process, interdependence and solidarity, in addition to transparent, democratic and accountable international institutions with full and equal participation.

    One-hundred-and-thirty-one of the 193 members of the UNGA voted for the resolution. All developed countries voted against it.

    It is well known by the UN that much of the racial discrimination in European countries and European settler colonies such as the US, Colombia and South Africa reflect colonial history. Across the Americas, the most racially discriminated against are people of colour and among them especially indigenous people and people of African descent. In the European Union too, people of colour are especially discriminated against, not least people of African descent.

    Since little more than a decade ago, there is a UN Permanent Forum, Declaration and Expert Mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples. As a result of the ongoing UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, last year the General Assembly passed a resolution to establish a UN Permanent Forum and Declaration for people of African descent.

    One-hundred-and-twenty member states voted in favour of the resolution. Only 11 states voted against it. Among them were the US, the UK and France. All developed countries either voted against or abstained from voting on the resolution.

    This year the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, Tendayi Achiume, has submitted a report to the General Assembly on the human rights obligations of member states in relation to reparations for racial discrimination rooted in enslavement and colonialism. It is the first UN report on the topic. According to it, reparations for enslavement and colonialism include not only justice and accountability for historic wrongs, but also the eradication of persisting structures of racial inequality, subordination and discrimination that were built during enslavement and colonialism.

    It is a view of reparations that includes the pursuit of a just and equitable international order.

    This year the UNGA will also deliberate on a resolution for how to organise the new permanent Forum for People of African Descent.

    When will the developed world recognise and address the elephant in the room? Maybe when there is a real shift towards sustainable development.

    #développement_durable #colonialisme #subordination #domination #inégalités #SDGs #développement #ressources_naturelles #extractivisme #Nord-Sud #2030_Agenda_for_Sustainable_Development
    #politics_of_development #responsabiité #éthique #coopération_internationale #production #consommation #mondialisation #globalisation #géographie_politique #colonisation #accaparement_des_terres #terres #discrimination_raciale #génocide #esclavage_moderne #continuum_colonial #colonialisme_européen #ordre_économique #droits_humains #racisme #néo-colonialisme #économie #participation #solidarité #interdépendance

    ping @mobileborders @reka @cede @karine4

    ping @reka

  • Insultes sexuelles et politique du genre dans le mouvement protestataire au #Liban

    Je rassemble ici divers éléments de discours et matériaux repérés sur les réseaux sociaux sur cette thématique, qui est exploité pour créer des divisions à l’égard du mouvement de protestation contre le gouvernement

    D’abord, un thread très éclairant de Maya Mikdashi, prof. de Gender Studies, éditrice-fondatrice de la revue en ligne Jadaliyya (@mayamikdashi sur twitter ) commentant le discours de Nasrallah avec un cadrage #genre et montrant comment les insultes sexuelles proférées contre les membres de gouvernement (insultant leur mère, leur femme, leur fille, ou les traitant de maquereau (comme je l’ai vu tagué dans le centre-ville de Beyrouth à propos du président) appellent en retour une justification des attaques contre les manifestants occupant les places centrales ou barrant des routes sur le registre de l’honneur viril bafoué.

    1/thread on #Nasrallah speech: Head of #Hezbollah Sayyed Nasrallah gave highly anticipated speech today, the latter half was dedicated to situation on the ground in 🇱🇧due to #LebanonProtests. He used trope of “honor” 2 explain violence against protests (more below)

    2/he addressed government, corruption, foreign intervention & protests. Stated his disagreement with resignation Saad #Hariri, which he said effectively means that demanded economic reforms-as well as cabinet’s promises of reform-will not happen for a long time due to paralysis

    3/He addressed corruption, saying it was funny that all admit to endemic corruption & simultaneously proclaims personal innocence(subtle dig at #Aoun/ not subtle dig at everyone else). Supports professional govt & stressed #USA interference in government & economy & 🇱🇧politics

    4/while insisting that no foreign country interferes in any aspect of Hizballah’s (ie Iran) decision making (even he smiled while saying this). He supported demands of the protestors when it came 2 corruption & reform, but said that the protests quickly focused on “one side” &

    5/ that numbers of protestors were in the 100s of thousands (not millions) & that strategy of closing roads was negatively impacting civilian & economic life, stressing the closing of roads to the South. Insisted on Hizb’s ability to defend 🇱🇧 at any time from attacks by 🇮🇱

    6/ What he DID NOT DO was condemn violence against protestors by supporters of Amal & (lesser extent) Hezbollah in #Beirut and South. In fact, Nasrallah tried to explain them through gendered “honor” discourse. He stressed repeatedly that protestors had crossed⛔️lines in politics

    7/by swearing at the mothers, sisters & wives of politicians & said that any supporter would moved to defend the “honor” of the person being insulted. Nasrallah linked violence against protests to wounded masculinity & defense of honor, which is always embodied by women.

    8/ This gendered discourse seeks 2 explain violence & excuse it. #Feminists have ALSO tried 2 change chants bc they insult men through degrading women closest to them, like mothers. Feminists have attacked the gendered & sexist honor discourse that animates the chants. Nasrallah

    9/ uses same #gendered #sexist honor discourse encoded in chants 2 explain violence “in response” 2 wounded male honor & masculinity + to evade substance of protests & focus on rhetorical offenses. Disappointing but not surprising from Nasrallah, who has used honor discourse b4

    10/ This speech is important reminder that #gender politics ARE #POLITICS & should not be left out of political analysis in 🇱🇧 or elsewhere. Masculinity & its wounding was central to his explanation of their stance on protests, as was the “protection” of (men’s) honor (women)

    11/ This speech will not stop the #Lebanonprotests & is more of the same stalling strategy seen from other political factions. They all hope⏳will wear the uprising down, but protestors know this & have already called 4 more mobilization. [PS i agree with Nasrallah

    12/ that the "all but not me"corruption talk is 😅.
    In other news #Nasrallah continues to have the most immaculate beard ever seen 👀 &
    short takeover of bank assoc. by small group protesting against regime & logic of the banking system was much more interesting 2day #لبنان_ينتفض

    FYI #GENDER POLITICS IS #POLITICS is not a topical approach (ie women in the revolution, or the"inclusion" of women &/or LGBTQ). Instead it is an ANALYTIC frame that helps us understand #politicaleconomy, discourse, practice
    & theory + law, #ideology, and much more. #Lebanon

    La question de l’insulte

    Thread de Sylvain Perdigon sur Twitter (professeur d’anthropologie à l’Université américaine de Beyrouth) :

    But also we end up with a rather long televised spoken treatise by a prominent political-religious leader on the appropriate use of language, namely, on cursing 5/n
    It’s easy to make fun of that and to find it comical (I know I do) but if I’m honest I must add that in my case it was preceded by conversations with people on the other side of the dispute, one week ago, also about the use of language and specifically cursing 6/n
    People speaking in the register of ’this is a revolution in language and this is good’ and even I’d say (the gloss is mine) ’we almost corporeally need the possibility to curse in this way’ 7/n
    and then of course we can observe that the remarks I just made can easily develop into yet another meta-mode of talking in the register of ’but how does cursing work anyway?’, ’can I push for my right to curse to be recognized and why exactly would I want to do that?’ ... 8/n
    ’can I ask for a right to curse as a matter vital to me, and also ask you to understand that my cursing you does not have to imply a refusal to share the world with you?’ 9/n
    This is what I’m trying to say when I say that so much of the current juncture seems to revolve entirely around the question of: what was, is, and should be our relation to language? and around a very poignant open-ended exploration of that. 10/n

    A titre d’illustration, un tweet signalant une vidéo d’un cadre du parti aouniste (Charbel Khalil) stigmatisant les manifestants du centre ville en raison de l’homosexualité affichée de certains d’entre ou des groupes qui les représentent.
    et la vidéo twittée : https://twitter.com/dankar/status/1188891588329639936