Posts

Showing posts from July, 2014

The War on Jews vs. The War On Coal

I have about ten minutes to write this, so it’s going to be unpolished. But these things need to be said and I want them to be written now, while my memory is still fresh. 
Yesterday, I attended a rally in Baltimore that had been organized in solidarity with the people of Gaza. We weren’t alone: buses of “pro-Israel” supporters had come in from the county to protest us. Apart from a few nasty words, there weren’t any altercations that I know of other than people shouting at one another.

I’m no stranger to counter-protesters. Having been a part of the movement to stop mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia, I’ve noticed a lot of similarities in the narratives I’ve encountered in both issues that I wish to share with you. I will add the caveat that I'm an outsider to both Appalachia and Israel/Palestine, and this should be worth less consideration than the words of the movement leaders that I have stood in solidarity with.
Rhetoric over figures and facts
Dirty tree huggers w…

Observations on the #NoGasExports rally on Sunday and subsequent arrests outside of FERC on Monday morning

Image
I don’t expect everybody in the climate movement to agree with what I have to say, nor do I want them to. Some of what I write and say about the climate movement in the Chesapeake bioregion is deliberately provocative in order to encourage people to think more critically about what we are doing in order to effect change , and about whose interests we are fighting for. A desire for justice isn’t enough: effective strategy is essential, and a multifaceted and inclusive movement is essential to effective strategy. Every social movement needs a few party poopers.

I don’t expect or want the climate movement to be only composed of people who think like myself. A spectrum of diverse interests, backgrounds, and strategies is essential for a successful movement. I may disagree with the way that some large organizations approach issues that I care about, but so long as they don’t attempt to overpower other voices with their own in the event of a disagreement (criticism from friends is totally OK…

Displacement and Resistance: The World Cup's Everlasting Legacy of Violence

Image
[image: Reuters]
As another World Cup tournament nears its climax, I’m wondering already what the legacy of these games will be. I’m not talking about the legacy of a bunch of sweaty, oversexed men kicking a ball around. What I’m concerned about is the human rights legacy: the long term repercussions of hosting the Olympics on Brazil, the predicted “death count” (another term for murder) of up to 4,000 workers in Qatar (1,200 so far), and whether this time, this tournament, with all the images we’ve seen of protests and violence, soccer fans will do something to end the shock doctrine shitshow that has accompanied it for decades.
I don’t write too often, but I’m putting this together because I feel that a history lesson is in order. All the focus on Sep Blatter’s corrupt leadership that I’ve seen in the media (including John Oliver’s oft-linked diatribe on HBO) makes it seem like if we get rid of the man, everything will be OK. But it’s more complicated than that: both the World Cup an…