Carlos Maaz, a Q'eqchi' fisherman shot and killed during a police crackdown on May 27, 2017 in El Estor. Hundreds of residents took part in his funeral procession across town the following day. Photo: Sandra Cuffe

Maya Q’eqchi’ Fishermen and Journalists Fight Back Against Criminalization and Mining in Guatemala

Maya Q’eqchi’ fishermen faced deadly state repression last year for their opposition to transnational nickel mining and lake pollution in El Estor, Guatemala. Now they are confronting criminal charges for their protest. The court case highlights the ongoing environmental and human rights crisis in a country where corporate power regularly meets indigenous resistance. “Just for defending our rights as Maya Q’eqchi’, we’ve been criminalized,” fishers' union leader Cristóbal Pop told Toward Freedom.

Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement. Photo by Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado

Occupy, Resist, Produce: The Strategy and Political Vision of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement

Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) is one of Latin America’s largest social movements. For decades the MST has operated under their slogan "Occupy, Resist, Produce” to settle landless farmers on unused land in Brazil, where roughly 3% of the population owns over 2/3 of arable land. “In whatever society, and even more so in Brazil, social change doesn’t depend on the government but on the organization and the mobilization of society," said MST leader João Pedro Stédile. "It is the people that make the change.”

Yemeni women walk through the debris of a housing block allegedly destroyed by previous Saudi-led airstrikes in Sana'a, Yemen on Sept. 29. 2017. Photo credit: Yahya Arhab / EPA-EFE

US Bombs and Sanctions Deepen Humanitarian Disaster in Yemen

Three years of U.S.-supported blockades and bombardments have plunged the Yemen into immiseration and chaos. “Civilians, including children, were killed and maimed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said João Martins, Doctors Without Borders head of mission in Yemen. "We are seeing civilian victims of airstrikes fighting for their lives in hospitals.” Lacking access to food, clean water, medicine and fuel, over 400,000 Yemeni children are at imminent risk of starvation.

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The Collective Power of #MeToo

Source: Dissent

Now we know the issue that unites women across workplaces is abuse by more powerful men, how do we come up with demands that move beyond naming and shaming?

You never can tell where a social movement is going to come from. They’re built of a million injustices that pile up and up, and then, suddenly, spill over. I’ve spent years covering movements, trying to explain how one incident becomes the spark that catches, turning all those individual injustices into an inferno.

When the New York Times ran a story about Harvey Weinstein’s repulsive—and long—history of sexual harassment and assault in October last year, no one knew what it would start. But soon a wave of people, most of them, though not all of them, women, began to wield their stories like weapons in a battle that, for once, they seemed to be winning. Well, if not winning, then at least drawing some blood. When #MeToo began to circulate on Facebook I was beyond cynical; I was actually angry that the men around me might be shocked to learn that yes, it had happened to me, it had happened to almost every woman I know. Yet #MeToo defeated my cynicism and became something else: a watershed moment in contemporary feminism, one that has made sexual violence into big news. read more

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The US Military is a Staggeringly Well-Funded Blowback Machine

America’s never-ending twenty-first-century conflicts were triggered by the decision of George W. Bush and his top officials to instantly define their response to attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center by a tiny group of jihadis as a “war”; then to proclaim it nothing short of a “Global War on Terror”; and finally to invade and occupy first Afghanistan and then Iraq, with dreams of dominating the Greater Middle East — and ultimately the planet — as no other imperial power had ever done.