This book is based on a struggle in a small section of a small country—El Salvador—beginning in 2002, when a group of “white men in suits” entered the province of Cabañas and tried to convince poor farmers that gold mining would be good for them.
Now that my Toward Freedom guest editorship has come to an end, I am reflecting back on the stories we ran for the past 6+ months and the writers who wrote them.
The scenes coming out of Modi’s India and its pandemic nightmare have been particularly horrific, causing me to inquire about the health of Toward Freedom contributor Sanket Jain. Sanket is a freelance journalist based in western India. TF ran two of his stories in December and February about how India’s poorest citizens were barely coping with Covid. He emailed me back: “Fortunately, I am safe. For the past few weeks, I have been on the field documenting the disaster that’s unfolding in remote villages of India. Last week, I was shooting photos at the crematorium to see how many people have died of COVID because the Government is hiding official numbers. It’s a nightmare to see a human disaster unfolding at such a massive scale. From lack of oxygen, improper vaccination policy, COVID patients facing ostracism in the village, to frontline healthcare workers facing verbal abuse and even physical assault, India is witnessing a humanitarian crisis. I hope we come out of this disaster soon.”
Members of the Burlington (VT)-Puerto Cabezas Sister City Program (established in 1984 by then-Mayor Bernie Sanders and the Burlington City Council) are putting out an urgent call for help. Dan Higgins, a professional photographer who has documented the lives and livelihoods of the people of “Port” over two decades, is heading up the campaign., “A lot of communities lost their roofs," he told Toward Freedom. "Houses are wrecked. It's a major disaster." Roughly 2,000 homes were destroyed..
Robert Fisk’s death on October 30th came as a profound shock to journalists around the world, especially those who knew him. And, in a deeply personal way, it was devastating to me as well, though I never met him. I will try to explain what his truth-seeking meant to me, as a former reporter in Beirut and as someone who has shared his anguish over the horrific death and destruction that has engulfed the Middle East.
Major wins for democracy in the Americas have occurred in the past two months: in Bolivia and Chile in October, extending into the November 3 U.S. elections. Toward Freedom salutes the citizens of all three countries for their determination to defeat authoritarianism. We hope the following images will serve as inspiration to progressive forces around the world.
In Bolivia: a near-landslide victory occurred for the left-wing Movimiento al socialismo (MAS) and its presidential candidate, Luis Arce, in the country’s national elections in mid-October.
A deeply held belief in the U.S. is that no one, not even the president, is above the law. But what happens when government officials at all levels boldly evade the rule of law without consequence?