Saif al-Islam to be tried with other Gaddafi-era officials despite ICC saying he is unlikely to get fair trial.
Noun and verb in the social networking sense added to dictionary, along with "live blog" and "flash mob".
div class=field field-summary div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pThe death of Savita Halappanavar lifted the lid on the church, the state, and women's reproductive rights in the Republic of Ireland, and has been the catalyst for the new legislation on the rights of pregnant women proposed last week./p /div /div /div pAfter a torturous debate in Dail Eireann (the Irish parliament), beginning in November 2012, the a href=https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=static.rasset.ie%2Fdocuments%2Fnews%2Fprotection-life-pregnancy.pdf+++amp;ie=utf-8amp;oe=utf-8amp;aq=tamp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:officialamp;client=firefox-aDraft Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill /anbsp;was published at midnight on 12 June 2013. The Bill now has to make its way through the parliamentary process and is expected to be passed before the summer recess. Following decades of government inaction and the a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A,_B_and_C_v_Irelandcensure/a of the European Court of Human Rights, it looks as if the coalition government of Fine Gael and the Labour Party, together with support from Sinn Fein, will have sufficient voting strength to get the Bill through.nbsp; /p pThe Bill restates the general prohibition on abortion in the Republic of Ireland under the a href=http://www.legislation.gov.ukpga/Vict/24-25/100/contents1861 Act/a imposed under British rule. However, for the first time in the history of the state since it was founded in 1921, an assessment process is set out now to establish the circumstances in which there is a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of a woman where the only treatment that will avert that risk is the termination of pregnancy. The assessment process will require that an obstetrician/gynaecologist and a second relevant specialist must jointly agree and certify that the termination of pregnancy is the only measure which will save the woman’s life. In the case of the risk of loss of life from suicide, the assessment process will involve three specialists; one obstetrician/gynaecologist and two psychiatrists must jointly and unanimously agree and certify that the termination of pregnancy is the only measure that will save the woman’s life.nbsp; Whilst the Bill is welcomed by many pro-choice people as small step in the right direction, the multiple examinations women will be required to go through means that most will opt to take the abortion trail to England, as has been the case since the enactment of the a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_Act_1967British 1967 Abortion Act./a /p pThe new Bill does not allow for termination in cases of rape or fatal foetal abnormalities, despite considerable public support for their inclusion in the legislation. It does, however, state that it will be an offence to intentionally destroy unborn human life, with guilty parties liable to a fine or imprisonment for fourteen years. However draconian this sounds, it is an improvement on the penalty of life imprisonment with hard labour meted out under the 1861 Act.nbsp; /p pThe catalyst for the new legislation can be traced to the case of a 17-week pregnant woman with severe back pain admitted to a hospital in the west of Ireland. After examination, she was told that her cervix was fully dilated and her amniotic fluid leaking. Given its immaturity, it was made clear that her foetus would not survive. She was told that once she miscarried her ordeal will be over and she could return home. But it wasn't over. A spontaneous abortion failed to occur in the four or five hours predicted by the consultant gynaecologist. In spite of her repeated requests for an abortion, the woman was informed that since this is a Catholic country no intervention was legally possible while the foetal heartbeat was present. Three days later the foetal heartbeat stopped. Seven days after admission to hospital on 29 October 2012 the woman died of septicaemia. She was just one of an indeterminate number left to die in Irish hospitals when an abortion could have saved their lives. /p pAs the world knows by now, the woman in question was a href=http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/report-identifies-multiple-failures-in-treatment-of-savita-halappanavar-1.1427332Savita Halappanavar/a from the state of Karnataka in south-west India. She was a practising dentist living in Galway city with her husband, Parveen. This was to be their first child. As soon as the case became public knowledge people poured onto the streets to join vigils, rallies and demonstrations. In Galway, Savita's adopted home, those taking part in candlelit vigils carried her portrait bearing the captions: Never again, and, poignantly, She had a heartbeat too. For once, the strident voices of the anti-choice multitude were silent. But not for long. As soon as the Taoiseach (prime minister) announced the government's decision to propose legislation allowing abortion when a woman's life is in danger, the proverbial Pandora's Box was flung open, raising the spectre of other women with a crisis pregnancy being subjected to a repetition of Savita's ordeal. /p pPoliticians, men of the cloth, lawyers and journalists, have pitched headlong into a war of words over how to define abortion in the business of issuing guidelines for medical intervention, as well as life and health in the context of a pregnant woman contemplating or threatening suicide when, say, she is pregnant as a result of rape. Plastic foetuses, religious medals and blood soaked letters containing accusations of mass murder have been directed at the Taoiseach and his colleagues from anti-choice elements. Their fear is that any legal concession would, in the long run, end up introducing a UK-style abortion regime through the back door. /p pThe issue of suicide as grounds for a legal abortion stretches back to 1992 when a 14-year old rape victim was permitted to travel to Britain because of her threat to take her life.nbsp; a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_v._XX/a, as she is known, was prevented by a High Court injunction from leaving Irish jurisdiction to obtain an abortion in Britain, despite displaying strong suicidal tendencies. As with Savita, people poured onto the streets and public disquiet was such that terms like 'civil war' were being invoked, seeing that the population was split right down the middle on the issue.nbsp; Ultimately, the case went to the Supreme Court where the injunction was overturned. The Supreme Court went much further in the final judgement in the X case, ruling that abortion was lawful in the Republic in the event of there being a real and substantial risk, physical or mental, to the life of the mother.nbsp; /p pThe fallout from the abortion ban in the Republic of Ireland (Northern Ireland, although part of the UK, also has a ban in place under the 1861 Act) is that a recorded a href=http://www.womensgrid.org.uk/?p=155underground abortion trail/a between Ireland and Britain has been in existence since the British 1967 Abortion Act came into being. Like “ships in the night” abortion seekers come and go in secret fearful of being found out by family, friends, work colleagues and the wider society. Figures for 2011 a href=en.wikipedia.org/wikiAbortion_in_the_Republic_of_Irelandshow/a that 4,149 abortion seekers from the Irish Republic (with a total population of 4.65 million) and 1,007 from Northern Ireland (with a total population of 1.78 million) travelled to British clinics at a cost of up to £2,000 each.nbsp;Anecdotal evidence suggests that considerable numbers give false British addresses which result in their being included in the abortion statistics for England and Wales. /p pUnder the heavy hand of the Catholic Church, the mainstream Irish community ignores abortion seekers arriving each day in Britain's largest cities. However, help has been on offer from organisations like the Irish a href=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ireland’s-Hidden-Diaspora-London-Irish-Underground/dp/095617Women's Abortion Support Group/a (IWASG), part of the 'alternative' Irish community in London.nbsp; An entirely non-funded voluntary Irish feminist group, in existence for twenty years between 1980 and 2000, IWASG provided information, accommodation, finance, and above all, a sympathetic ear.nbsp; Currently, this work is being undertaken by the a href=http://www.abortionsupport.org.uk/Abortion Support Network/a (ASN) whose reach stretches beyond London. /p pWhy is Ireland such an anomaly? /p pMany people ask how Ireland as a Western European state could have come to this pass. There is no simple answer, but undoubtedly,nbsp;the disastrous condition of the Southern Irish State (the Republic) in the aftermath of the War of Independence from Britain (1919-21), the partitioning of the island (1920) and the Civil War (1922-23), have had a major bearing on the matter.nbsp; In a new state weakened by war and by partition, economic collapse, and massive levels of emigration, it is hardly surprising that a powerful institution like the Catholic Church moved in to fill the breach.nbsp; In no other European state, with the exception of Poland, was such a close relationship established between the Catholic Church and national identity.nbsp;Persecuted for centuries, especially under the Penal Laws established by British colonial rulers in the late seventeenth century, the Church finally regained its place in Irish society.nbsp;It remained a highly powerful, and highly popular institution, its clergy regarded as folk heroes - until now.nbsp; In recent years, the seemingly endless clerical sexual abuse of boys and girls, as well as revelations of maltreatment of unmarried mothers and wayward women incarcerated in punitive institutions, have finally become public knowledge. In a state that has never had an anti-clerical movement, it is difficult to know whether such knowledge will ultimately destroy clerical power and influence. /p pIn the immediate years after independence the Republic was faced with a choice of pathways in relation to social legislation and social welfare.nbsp;In theory, the new Ireland could have committed itself to building upon the existing British social and welfare infrastructure, much of it provided by the state (under the Poor Law, for example), by the religious orders, especially by nuns and brothers, and by philanthropic individuals.nbsp;However, there was considerable opposition from the powerful Catholic Social Movement in the 1920s and 30s to the idea of state involvement in social policy. In the Vatican world view the state had the function of maintaining public order but should refrain from intervening in social affairs. The result was that although financed from the public purse, the provision and management of the education and health services, the delivery of welfare service, including the distribution of charity to the poor, was led by the Catholic Church. /p pCatholic social teaching stressed the centrality of the family, and this had considerable implications for women who were allocated a 'special place' by both church and state. Taking its cue from the Vatican, the a href=http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/attached-files/htmlfiles/ConstitutionofIreland(Eng)Nov20041937 Constitution of the Republic/a legally established that women's primary role was that of mother and carer sequestered in the home and economically dependent on her husband, the head of household. Marriage bars were introduced in many areas of work, the civil service and nursing being examples, and prohibitions were imposed on women's employment in industrial work.nbsp; Women were denied access to legal aid and they were not allowed to serve on juries. No welfare was available as of right to unmarried mothers, deserted wives or prisoners' wives. A battered wife could not exclude her violent husband from the home. If a wife left home, her husband had the right to claim damages from anyone who enticed her away, or who harboured her, or who committed adultery with her. Furthermore, her husband could legally disinherit her. The Irish Constitution banned divorce and prohibited the importation or sale of contraceptives. Although not explicitly prohibited in the Constitution, abortion remained outlawed under the a href=http://www.legislation.gov.ukpga/Vict/24-25/100/contents1861 Offences Against the Person Act/astrong br //strong/p pIn the 1970s and '80s there were significant changes in the position of women in Irish society.nbsp; A feminist movement emerged which began to a href=http://www.theliffeypress.com/Mondays-at-gaj-s-the-story-of-the-Irish-womenchallenge/a the discriminatory treatment of Irish women. There was also pressure from the European Community, of which Ireland is a member, for the state to conform to Community norms. As a consequence, a series of wide-ranging reforms were implemented.nbsp; Battle royals were a href=http://www.amazon.com/Women-Ireland-Century-Myrtle-Hill/dp/0856407402fought/a to introduce contraception and divorce. Unsurprisingly, powerful conservative Catholic organisations complained vociferously about such radical changes and set about copper fastening the law in one area where they felt confident of success, i.e. abortion. To this end, they proposed an amendment to the constitution to equate the life of the foetus with that of the pregnant woman.nbsp; After a bitterly divisive campaign, the Irish people voted in a a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Irelandreferendum/a in 1983 to place the life of the unborn from the moment of conception on a par with that of the born. The consequences are still being played out as we have seen in the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar, whose death lifted the lid on church, state and the lack of women's reproductive rights for women living in the Republic of Ireland. Whilst the new Bill represents progress, we still have along way to go before the Irish republic affords women the same rights as those living in other Western European countries /pfieldset class=fieldgroup group-sideboxslegendSideboxes/legenddiv class=field field-related-stories div class=field-labelRelated stories:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd a href=/5050/liz-cooper/abortion-rights-in-spain-back-to-pastAbortion rights in Spain: back to the past/a /div div class=field-item even a href=/agnieszka-mrozik/polands-politics-of-abortionPoland#039;s politics of abortion/a /div div class=field-item odd a href=/5050/heather-mcrobie/abortion-access-in-us-military-%E2%80%93-time-for-march-actAbortion access in the US military – time for the MARCH Act/a /div div class=field-item even a href=/article/the_right_to_abortion_briefing_from_brazilThe right to abortion: briefing from Brazil /a /div div class=field-item odd a href=/5050/nana-darkoa-sekyiamah/kermit-gosnell-vs-joshua-drah-abortion-stigma-and-conservatismKermit Gosnell vs. Joshua Drah: abortion, stigma and conservatism /a /div div class=field-item even a href=/5050/serta%C3%A7-sehliko%C4%9Flu/vaginal-obsessions-in-turkey-islamic-perspectiveVaginal obsessions in Turkey: an Islamic perspective /a /div div class=field-item odd a href=/ali-gokpinar/erdogan-vs-women-abortion-debateErdogan vs women: the abortion debate/a /div div class=field-item even a href=/ourkingdom/ourkingdom/open-letter-of-support-for-doctors-who-provide-abortion-servicesOpen letter of support for doctors who provide abortion services/a /div /div /div /fieldset div class=field field-country div class=field-label Country or region:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd Ireland /div /div /div
div class=field field-summary div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pThis is drawn from the remarks of Dr Dan Plesch at a meeting in the House of Lords chaired by Lord Phillips of Sudbury on Shareholder Accountability and a Fair Society./p /div /div /div pI want to discuss the question of equality before the law and the right to own property freely. These are the basis of a free society and for some conservatives argue that with these provisions in place there is no need for community or state activity outside the realm of security./p pThus - If you get in a car, drive recklessly and kill a group of school children, you will quite rightly be breaking the law. But if you imagine the car a limited liability company where the owners place bets on the fastest, put a driver in the front seat, paid more the faster they go, then if the accident happens you as owner of the car have no liability in law and are not required to take out 3rdnbsp;party insurance. All you have to do is go out and buy a new car and repeat the process. The best those you have damaged can hope for is part of the scrap value of the car that damaged them./p pThus under Limited Liability owners are above the law and the injured have no right to have restoration of their property from you. Nevertheless, this ‘externalisation of risk’ is reputed to be the secret ingredient that makes our economy work.nbsp;For some. It was Adam Smith who first sounded the alarm against the dangers of limited liability, warning in the emWealth of Nations/em that it was not reasonable to protect one group of society from the general laws simply because they could profit from it. So let’s debate this point with the Adam Smith Institute, who strangely have not given much emphasis to this rule of their sage.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;/p pThe Adam Smith Institute as with so many of the self-styled ‘Free Marketeers’ present Limited Liability as a natural good, as obviously essential as money itself some might say.nbsp;And yet it was not generally adopted until after 1900, well into the industrial revolution. It was sufficiently controversial to be the topic of the Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta, “Utopia Limited”.nbsp; Perhaps we could ask Stephen Fry,nbsp; producer and star of the film ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’, to reprise his role with a new production of Utopia – though you can find one on YouTube./p pAlthough today’s Economist magazine is a standard bearer for limited liability (LL) and two of its editors wrote a hagiographic work called emThe Company/em, they overlook the fact this elite journal itself opposed LL because of its violation of the property rights of creditors until the 1920s./p pOne may ask, why has LL become an unchallenged and unchallengeable good? After 1945, in the West, Limited Liability was acceptable as part of a broadly social democratic mixed economy with a balance of rights and interests and broad social-state ownership. Since the Reagan-Thatcher era, accelerated by the apparent end of competition from Socialism, the demand has grown ever stronger for total corporatisation of society, prisons, public spaces, the civil service, nationalised industries, and indeed all forms of regulation are seen as obstacles to the market./p pOutside the West, the period of a balance of rights in the social contract barely if ever occurred. Instead, limited liability and especially Transfer Pricing and subsidiary company structures became the means of continuing to extract wealth from territories transformed all too often from political colonies into economic ones./p pThe environment is a key area where the externalisation of risk – especially where it is hard for a polar bear to go to court – produces a legalised recklessness that only strong state action can counter balance/p pNow the continuing financial crisis has begun to make a new debate possible. Wealthy interests, however, are using the present situation to destroy what remains of the post-WW2 social contract and produce a new tyranny of the totalitarian capitalism – dubbed the ‘total market’. it is a literally totalitarian project in that other forms of economic organisation – through the state in particular - are not to be permitted and more and more forms of social life become a corporate feeding ground./p pNow let us be clear, raising the issue of LL is not to be anti-business – but it is to insist on equal rights, not emspecial/em rights for business./p pToday, faced with the crisis and the further assault on society, the response has been faltering. One tremendous advance is the pressure for tax justice, for ‘Accountable Accounting’, led in part by Prof. Sikka at University of Essex./p pAnd yet, one of the key features of the crisis has remained largely unexplored. When the ‘Too big to fail’ banks crashed, limited liability was cast aside, and we all as citizens were forced to take on the liabilities of the banks. But this is ignored./p pInstead we see continued calls for the abolition of state regulation of the market.nbsp;I notice one small indicator - that the British government will no longer regulate what companies will call themselves British, Benevolent or University.nbsp; /p pBut of course not all forms of government regulation are being removed. For limited liability is by far the greatest government regulated distortion of the market in the interest of one special interest – that of shareholders and their managers. Managers have successfully reduced the actual power of shareholders in controlling the company so that they can exist in a uniquely powerful legal no man’s land – under no practical control by shareholders and protected by LL. /p pIf we find a proposal for deregulation of corporate controls of any sort, the first response should be – if deregulation is the agenda, then let us remove the regulation of limited liability. I think we will find that rather like waving garlic at a vampire, corporations would rather shut up about calling for de-regulation if every time they do so they are asked to deregulated their liabilities./p pAs an historian studying this topic it gave me far greater insight into how people in other eras meekly accepted that the aristocracy could literally ride across their fields and property as they chose. It seemed natural at the time, but at least Lords and Ladies were in some way accountable to the Monarch.nbsp;Today we assume we have all sorts of rights and yet are unaware and accepting of the rights of the modern merchant class that go beyond what even the medieval aristocracy enjoyed./p pThe issue of business and human rights is another area of debate that would benefit from introducing LL. So far this approach is tackling the worst excesses of business, predominantly in the third world.nbsp;We need now to engage these communities in debate and ask whether they think that limited liability is consistent with Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that,nbsp;“All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law”. And Article 17 –nbsp;‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property’strong.nbsp;/strong/p pThe Farepak scandal is a perfect example of the arbitrary removal of people’s investments in Christmas simply in order to benefit the holding company enabled by Limited Liability./p pReasserting the human right of equality before the law need not mean abolishing LL. What it does mean is starting a new debate about values./p pWealth is increased by the privilege of LL. The rich and the corporations should pay more tax and be regulated to balance that privilege. Otherwise it is simply a tyranny of the wealthy. /p pCorporations enjoy the benefits according to a person under law, they therefore need to be responsible persons; if they will not act like grown ups, but like spoilt teenagers, then we will have to ground them./p pFortunately we have a series of voluntary CSR provisions – at the OECD and in the UN Global Compact. We need these to have the force of law. We need to work globally so that reform proposals begin to be introduced simultaneously in the major legal centres including the EU, the US and China. Thus CSR can become not an optional PR extra but a legal duty to balance LL rights they enjoy./p pIn a fair society where we are all in it together, then we need to be equal before the law. Without checks and balances LL has removed our fundamental rights. /pdiv class=field field-topics div class=field-labelTopics:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd Economics /div /div /div
div class=field field-summary div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pIt is activists, not states who will make a difference in future. But western-led rights organizations may have seen their day. emTranslations: ema href=http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/stephen-hopgood/derechos-humanos-pasados-de-modaEemspañol/em/a.nbsp;/em/em/p /div /div /div pimg src=http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Flags.png alt=flags width=460 /br /ema href=http://www.shutterstock.com/Shutterstock/Artistic Photo/a. All rights reserved./em/p pWe live in an era not of triumph, but of the a href=http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100538130amp;fa=authoramp;person_id=3087endtimes for universal human rights/a. In our multipolar world of dispersed state and social power, the inherent limitations of the global human rights model championed by organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch is becoming painfully apparent. Both are trying to adjust, Amnesty by relocating to the global south, and Human Rights Watch by turning itself into a genuinely global brand. But if the concept of global human rights is to endure, a new and more political, transnational, agile and adaptable kind of movement must emerge, replacing today’s top-down, western-led model of activism. /p pTo begin with, there is no reason at all to think states in the global South will behave any differently from states in the global North. States are states. The BRICS are not a new beginning, but rather aspirants to global status as members of the a href=http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6744.htmlorganized hypocrisy/a of sovereign states. The question is, can western human rights organizations challenge this by successfully allying with civil society groups in the south? Until now, western NGOs have failed to connect with southern publics beyond the elite level. Can this be changed? After all, many local, southern organizations and movements cherish beliefs that are not prominent in western human rights thinking. These include beliefs about religion, justice, ethnic solidarity, labour rights and the importance of the family. These remain vital aspects of their identity, even as these southern groups are persecuted by their own elites and states. How will universal human rights ideas fare in creating a solidarity movement with this diverse and often conflicting set of actors, many of whom see human rights as either compatible with non-liberal norms, or who are committed to social, economic and cultural rights of the sort a href=http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/Defending_Economic_Social_and_Cultural_Rights.pdfHuman Rights Watch/aspan judges inappropriate as a basis for effective campaigning?/spanspannbsp;/span/p h2strongWho defines the concept of human rights? /strong /h2 pspanGlobalization means diversity, but until now, “universal” human rights have been a fairly monotheistic form of secular religion./spanspannbsp;/span/p pMany in the west assume there really is a singular a href=http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9681.htmlglobal human rights movement/a, and that its momentum is unstoppable. But this idea disguises the reality of deep internal inequalities of resources, objectives, priorities and influence. Why, for example, is it criminal justice, rather than social justice, that marks the vanguard of human rights globally? Because Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Commission of Jurists say so./p pThere is a deep divergence between the concept of human rights shared by elites, largely until now located in the west (what we might call Human Rights), and what those rights mean for the vast majority of the world’s population (what we might call human rights). Human Rights are a New York-Geneva-London-centered ideology focused on international law, criminal justice, and institutions of global governance. Human Rights are a product of the 1%./p pThe rest of the world, the 99%, sees human rights activism as one among many mechanisms to bring about meaningful social change. By their nature, lower-case human rights are malleable, adaptable, pragmatic and diverse – they are bottom-up democratic norms, rather than top-down authoritative rules./p pThe zenith for Human Rights came in the years 1977 to 2008, years of growing American unipolarity as the Soviet Union crumbled. Along the way Human Rights achieved the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, but also blunted the radical potential of movements for a href=http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674048720national self-determination/a. From the fall of the Berlin Wall for nearly two decades, Human Rights was triumphant: in a href=http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/Vienna.aspx1993’s Vienna Declaration/a, a href=http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/75401994’s Cairo Conference/a, in the ad-hoc tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court (ICC), the intervention in Kosovo, and the evolution of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The latter is heralded as the successor to humanitarian intervention and was, its supporters argue, fully vindicated in a href=http://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/archive/view/186279NATO’s action in Libya/a. But these successes disguise the reality that one country and its domestic activists – the US – were calling the global shots. Even during this time, the United States, a href=http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Lawless_World.html?id=RtekoClpu64Ca fair weather friend of human rights/a, has been more culpable than any other state in its refusal to permanently embed multilateral human rights norms when it possessed the power to do so./p h2strongCan western organizations become truly global?/strong/h2 pHow are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other big rights NGOs dealing with the changing world order? They have different strategies. Amnesty is devolving its investigation operations to southern cities. It hopes to ally with local human rights defenders, and increase the small, southern proportion of its global membership. Amnesty terms this a href=http://www.uu.nl/faculty/leg/NL/organisatie/departementen/departementrechtsgeleerdheid/organisatie/onderdelen/studieeninformatiecentrummensenrechten/publicaties/simspecials/Documents/simspecial36.pdf‘moving closer to the ground.’/a Human Rights Watch, with no members to worry about, is creating a global network of research, advocacy and fund raising offices, aided in part by $100 million from a href=http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/09/07/global-challengeGeorge Soros/a. Both strategies contrast with that of the a href=http://www.fordfoundation.org/newsroom/news-from-ford/651Ford Foundation/a, which is giving its money directly to seven human rights organizations in the global South./p pWhy will these strategies not work in the post-western, post-secular, multipolar world? One answer is the relative decline in power of the states, particularly in Europe, who have made human rights norms a foreign policy goal. The United States is unlikely to pick up the slack. Whether its turn to Asia is a a href=http://contextchina.com/2013/03/from-pivot-to-rebalance-the-weight-of-words-in-u-s-asia-policy/‘rebalancing’ or a ‘pivot,’/a human rights are not high on the agenda. And the United States has significant a href=http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/what-obamas-speech-means-for-guantanamo-20130523human rights problems/a of its own. This shift will weaken the global authority of human rights norms. It is not that the BRICS are anti-human rights, just that they will seek to renegotiate the assumptions and substance of what those rights mean in practice and how, and if, they impinge on state sovereignty. Human Rights Watch’s strategy relies on its ability to ‘name and shame’ these governments, hoping that local offices will increase its credibility and effectiveness (and income and brand profile) in doing so. As of yet, there is no persuasive evidence that this will be successful. Time will tell whether this strategy pays off./p pAmnesty International relies on both research and membership pressure. It is taking a huge gamble by assuming that local activists – under pressure from their own governments and networks – can report abuses without consequences. It also hopes that southern-based research work will be taken seriously by lawyers and policy-makers in Geneva and New York. If it works, the result will be millions of new members standing stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with Amnesty in India, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Hong Kong, Senegal and Thailand. Yet despite a href=http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100173990spending hundreds of millions of dollars/a since 1961, Amnesty has yet to build a mass southern membership. And this was during decades when there was no other human rights organization to join. Now there are tens, hundreds, even thousands of human rights NGOs in southern countries. What is Amnesty’s value-added for them? Why would they join an organization synonymous with postwar, Cold War Europe?/p h2strongIs it time for a new kind of activism?/strong/h2 pThe best hope for human rights may lie in the growing professional middle class in the BRICS and other key states like Indonesia. Maybe they will join Amnesty and fund Human Rights Watch? a href=http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Social_Origins_of_Dictatorship_and_Democ.html?id=Ip9W0yWtVO0Camp;redir_esc=yScholars have argued before/a that democracy requires a progressively more active middle-class to underpin it. Human rights might be the same, correlating with wealth, a lifestyle luxury like Louis Vuitton luggage. These are not, of course, ‘the people.’ And even this may be a tough sell in powerful countries like China and Russia. There is no reason why, a href=http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100541080in China for example/a, we might not get capitalism without democracy and human rights. After all, most middle class citizens in western societies neither contribute to, nor protest about, human rights./p pWhat is certain is that in a multipolar world, arriving with Human Rights as a pre-packaged set of laws, norms and advocacy strategies will alienate supporters. Compromise on goals and strategy will be essential, and I am skeptical that Human Rights organizations can do it./p pA whole new kind of activism might be the answer – from a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/30/bangladesh-workers-need-more-than-boycottsconsumer boycotts/a to a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/08/anonymous-hacker-attack-israeli-websiteshacking/a to the a href=http://middleeast.about.com/od/humanrightsdemocracy/tp/The-Reasons-For-The-Arab-Spring.htmArab Spring/a – bringing with it more profound political and social change than Human Rights ever will./ppnbsp;/p pa href=http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrightsimg src=http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/EPlogo-ogr.png alt= width=300 //a/ppnbsp;/pfieldset class=fieldgroup group-sideboxslegendSideboxes/legenddiv class=field field-read-on div class=field-label 'Read On' Sidebox:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pa href=http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrightsimg src=http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/openGlobalRights2.jpg alt= width=140 //a/p /div /div /div div class=field field-related-stories div class=field-labelRelated stories:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd a href=/openglobalrights/stephen-hopgood/derechos-humanos-pasados-de-modaDerechos humanos: pasados de moda /a /div /div /div /fieldset div class=field field-topics div class=field-labelTopics:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd Civil society /div div class=field-item even Democracy and government /div /div /div
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid stars to go on trial for paying for sex in 2008 and 2009 with prostitute, then a minor.
Deputy PM says army could be called in to restore order as two unions observe strike in protest at police crackdown.
Administration calls 46 men too dangerous to release as State Department names special envoy to close military prison.
Sources tell Al Jazeera that Afghan armed group will open political office in Doha on Tuesday.
div class="story-teaser story-teaser-blog" div class="body" pemPlease support our coverage of democratic movements andnbsp;a href="https://secure.rabble.ca/membership/signupNEW.php"become a supporting member ofnbsp;/a/ema href="https://secure.rabble.ca/membership/signupNEW.php"rabble.ca/a./p pIn the election of 2011 the Conservatives did terribly in the 22 ridings of Montreal and Laval./p pIn the predominantly francophone east and north of Montreal, and in Laval, they generally finished in fourth place, behind the NDP, Liberals and Bloc./p pIn the central and western Montreal ridings, where there is a large population of non-francophones, Harper's Conservatives did a bit better./p pThey managed mostly third place finishes, ahead of the Bloc Québecois./p div class="read-more"/div /div /div pa href="http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2013/06/harper-loses-his-best-hope-conservative-mp-montreal" target="_blank"read more/a/pdiv class="feedflare" a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=u68b420KktQ:Hw_6PXf8xBA:yIl2AUoC8zA"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=u68b420KktQ:Hw_6PXf8xBA:qj6IDK7rITs"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=u68b420KktQ:Hw_6PXf8xBA:dnMXMwOfBR0"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=u68b420KktQ:Hw_6PXf8xBA:F7zBnMyn0Lo"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?i=u68b420KktQ:Hw_6PXf8xBA:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=u68b420KktQ:Hw_6PXf8xBA:V_sGLiPBpWU"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?i=u68b420KktQ:Hw_6PXf8xBA:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"/img/a /divimg src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/rabble-news/~4/u68b420KktQ" height="1" width="1"/
div class="story-teaser story-teaser-blog" div class="body" pemPlease support our coverage of democratic movements andnbsp;a href="https://secure.rabble.ca/membership/signupNEW.php"become a supporting member ofnbsp;/a/ema href="https://secure.rabble.ca/membership/signupNEW.php"rabble.ca/a./p pA year later, health-care professionals still can’t fathom the senseless cuts the Conservative government made to refugee health-care./p p“I had a patient whose HIV I could treat even though it was stable,” said Dr. Hasan Sheikh, a family medicine resident at the University of Toronto.nbsp;/p p“But I could do nothing to address the post-traumatic stress disorder that was having a much bigger impact on her ability to be healthy and contribute to society.”/p div class="read-more"/div /div /div pa href="http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/johnbon/2013/06/cuts-to-refugee-health-care-continue-to-endanger-lives" target="_blank"read more/a/pdiv class="feedflare" a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=-srgVyruKoc:1BOSVhh3TLE:yIl2AUoC8zA"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=-srgVyruKoc:1BOSVhh3TLE:qj6IDK7rITs"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=-srgVyruKoc:1BOSVhh3TLE:dnMXMwOfBR0"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=-srgVyruKoc:1BOSVhh3TLE:F7zBnMyn0Lo"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?i=-srgVyruKoc:1BOSVhh3TLE:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=-srgVyruKoc:1BOSVhh3TLE:V_sGLiPBpWU"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?i=-srgVyruKoc:1BOSVhh3TLE:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"/img/a /divimg src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/rabble-news/~4/-srgVyruKoc" height="1" width="1"/
div class="field field-type-image field-field-image-for-node" div class="field-items" div class="field-item"img src="http://rabble.ca/sites/rabble/files/imagecache/380x275-front-multimedia/node-images/1004724_10151708084696271_72529046_n.jpg"/div /div /div div class="field field-type-text field-field-summary" div class="field-items" div class="field-item"A photo from behind the barricades in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: Ben Powless) /div /div /div div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-connected-story" div class="field-items" div class="field-item"a href="/news/2013/06/taksim-everywhere-resistance-everywhere"Taksim everywhere, resistance everywhere /a/div /div /divdiv class="feedflare" a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=PnF6e9wtI2w:VOoty_ASliI:yIl2AUoC8zA"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=PnF6e9wtI2w:VOoty_ASliI:qj6IDK7rITs"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=PnF6e9wtI2w:VOoty_ASliI:dnMXMwOfBR0"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=PnF6e9wtI2w:VOoty_ASliI:F7zBnMyn0Lo"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?i=PnF6e9wtI2w:VOoty_ASliI:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"/img/a a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?a=PnF6e9wtI2w:VOoty_ASliI:V_sGLiPBpWU"img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/rabble-news?i=PnF6e9wtI2w:VOoty_ASliI:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"/img/a /divimg src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/rabble-news/~4/PnF6e9wtI2w" height="1" width="1"/
Meeting on G8 summit's sidelines in Northern Ireland, US and Russian leaders acknowledge their "different perspectives".
African champions dominate with 6-1 win but minnows Tahiti claim moral victory with debut goal in a major tournament.
Court "temporarily" cancels government's decision to close state broadcaster ERT that triggered mass protests last week.
Former US security contractor says government's 'litany of lies' prompted him to leak about US surveillance programme.
Correspondent Yvonne Ndege and crew released after being held in country's southern city of Zinder for three days.
div class=field field-summary div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pHilary Wainwright reports from Thessaloniki on what happened when the state ordered Greece’s state broadcaster to shut down/p /div /div /div pAt 11.30 on the evening of 12 June, the TV screens in the Thessaloniki office of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) went blank. Black. For a few moments there was the silence of shock and disbelief. /p pA few hours earlier, when prime minister Samaras had announced his unilateral decision, taken at 6pm the same day, he’d said midnight would be the cut off moment. But this lost half-hour was not the main reason for the glum, bewildered look on people’s faces in the newsrooms and studios of the ERT in the capital of Northern Greece. Staring at the black screens where normally there would be regional news programmes, and lively educational and cultural programmes, triggered bad memories: ‘The last time public television was switched off by direct intervention by the government was in 1973 under the dictatorship of the military junta,’ said Panos Karresis, an editor in chief at the Thessaloniki office. ‘When people see the black screens, the crowds outside will grow.’/p h2This is about democracy/h2 pAlready 800 had gathered outside as news broke of the sudden closure of Greece’s only public TV station and with it the immediate loss of 3,000 jobs. Crowds of tens of thousands were gathering outside the ERT offices in Athens. And despite the pouring rain in Thessaloniki, people kept arriving. This combination of protest and solidarity with a determination to take control and thwart the prime minister’s decision is clearly about more than jobs: ‘The presence of the crowds empowers us to find other ways of broadcasting, they are encouraging us,’ said Yannis Angelis, an ERT journalist. The staff and supporters alike are clear: the fight against Samaras is about democracy. /p pSwelling the crowd were 200 or so from an assembly held earlier in the evening of ‘SOSte Nero’, an alliance of unions, co-operatives, municipalities against the privatisation of the regional water company. For them too the struggle was for democracy and for fundamental social rights. ‘We know there is corruption in ERT; what we are concerned to save is public broadcasting,’ insisted George Archontopoulos, president of the water workers union, who had been chairing the earlier assembly against water privatisation. ‘Three channels, local radio across the country, film archives back to the 30s. This is about democracy – all essential for democracy.’/p pBy midnight, Panos, Yannis and their journalist and technical colleagues were back on air. The programme consisted of a panel of well-known cultural figures condemning and discussing the implications of the government’s action, with a stream of contributions from citizens coming in from the protest outside to say what they thought. Again and again the memory of the Junta was evoked in condemnation of the closure. I brought solidarity from Europe: ‘Your struggle for democracy in Greece is a struggle that concerns the whole of Europe. A threat to the freedom of expression is a threat to democracy. We will help you in whatever way we can,’ I said on air. It and all the other expressions of support were received with enthusiasm. (There are links at the end of this article to ways to help.)/p pNews was coming in of opposition to the closure from Bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church – not a usual critic of the government. Elsewhere on the political spectrum, the KKE (the Greek Communist Party) came out in support of the protests, in an unusual show of unity. Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, made a strong speech soon after Samaras’ announcement, calling on Pasok and Dimar (a split from Pasok) to leave the coalition in protest. The leaders of these rump parties spluttered their objections but without any clear threat to leave the coalition. Opinion polls now put support for Pasok down from 13 per cent at the last elections to 7 per cent, Dimar from 7 to as low as 5 per cent compared to Syriza at 29 per cent, New Democracy at 26 per cent and the fascist Golden Dawn at 14 per cent./p h2Clientelism and collapse/h2 pJust a quick aside on Pasok’s decline: talking to the workers inside the ERT office in Thessaloniki, I gained a sense of the collapse of Pasok and New Democracy’s system of patronage as a system of power. ERT had been an example of clientelism at its most extreme. The metaphor which the journalists used to explain how it worked was of electric plugs, ‘visma’ in Greek. Politicians ‘plugged in’ their clients, expecting them to be their voice and do their bidding, at the risk of being ‘unplugged’. The circuits of clientelism sustained the system. Under the pressures of cuts and austerity measures this has been visibly collapsing except at what had been the top – indeed Samaras had reinforced the top with 40 extra ‘plug ins’ at a cost, it is said, of over 1 million euros. /p pThe staff I spoke to had contempt for their plugged-in managers. ‘My supervisor knew nothing; he couldn’t even speak English,’ said Natasha, a news reporter. I asked where they were now. ‘They are here, somewhere in the building, but I can’t see them’, she replied. ‘They are the silent ones’ joked George Archontopoulos, who had come into the office to give solidarity. ‘You see, he knows,’ commented Natasha. /p pYou could see, in these exchanges, the evaporation of fear and the creation of common bonds which were already becoming the basis of workers taking control, knowing that their fellow citizens (often themselves facing similar predicaments) are with them, ‘empowering’ them in Panos’ words./p pThe old clientelist system reproduced itself through fear, obligation and also separation and isolation; each little empire was a world of its own. Only the holders of the plugs knew how the circuit worked. But as the old circuits have crashed under the pressure of the financial crisis and austerity, so new connections are rapidly being improvised outside the clientelist system. These are between the people who actually know how things actually work, whether it be in the media, or water management, health, agriculture or manufacturing. /p h2Broadcasting in defiance/h2 pIt’s an uncertain process and time is short, but as the crowds remained outside the ERT offices into the early morning of 13 June, willing the journalists to remain on air, it was clear that the ability of journalists and technicians to continue to broadcast in spite of the Samaras attempt to pull the plug on public broadcasting was more than symbolic. Indeed it is not only the ERT workers who were strategically vital here but also those who actually handle the real plugs and circuits of electricity. The electrical workers union is one of the most militant (and least corrupt) of the Greek unions. Samaras could have simply ordered the cutting off of electricity to ERT offices. The electricians made that impossible./p pAs I write, events are moving fast. First, Samaras is meeting leaders of Pasok and Dimar. These politicians are finally threatening to leave the government, but the prime minister knows they don’t want elections. He is in an aggressive mood. He went on private television over the weekend to defend the closure of ERT. ‘He spoke not like a politician of 2013 but of the 1960, that is like the military, you know,’ says George from the movement against water privatisation. A sign of his aggression is that he successfully asked the Israeli government, which controls one satellite that ERT journalists are using to continue to broadcast, to cut off the service./p h2A high-risk strategy/h2 pPasok and Dimar are demanding that broadcasting be resumed. Samaras’ compromise – totally unacceptable to the unions and to the majority of Greek people, as opinion polls over the weekend showed, is to re-open on a skeleton staff while proposals are drawn up for a new downsized and, no doubt, part-private broadcasting company to open in the autumn. Second, the Constitutional Court is gathering this evening to consider the legality of the government’s decision to close. A judgement is expected at midnight or tomorrow (Tuesday). /p pMeanwhile the streets will not be empty. The KKE is planning a demonstration outside the ERT offices on Wednesday. Syriza is calling for a massive demonstration in the centre of Athens the following day./p pSamaras’ strategy is high risk. Many believe it is shock tactics, to show the Troika that the government is prepared to be tough (and this makes its attempt to distance itself from the closure farcical). Others suggest wider political goals: ‘Samaras could be just testing what he can get away with,’ says Alex Benos, a professor at the university of Thessalinki university – or, he says, ‘another option is that he is preparing for elections, to get rid of Pasok and Dimar, even to do deals with Golden Dawn.’/p pMuch will be depending on events in the next few days. What is already clear is that the stakes are very high not just for Greece but for the whole of Europe. All those who believe in democracy must do everything they can to protest at the anti-democratic actions of the Greek government. We must mobilise all possible sources of support for the refusal of the majority of Greek people to be led one more step towards a return of dictatorship in a new guise. /ppFurther resources for support:/p pa href=http://www.ifj.org/en/splashhttp://www.ifj.org/en/a/ppa href=http://www.nuj.org.ukwww.nuj.org.uk/a/p pa href=http://www.enetenglish.grhttp://www.enetenglish.gr//a/ppemThis piece was originally published in Red Pepper on June 17/em/pdiv class=field field-country div class=field-label Country or region:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd Greece /div /div /div div class=field field-topics div class=field-labelTopics:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd Civil society /div div class=field-item even Culture /div div class=field-item odd Democracy and government /div div class=field-item even Ideas /div div class=field-item odd International politics /div /div /div
Elite unit sets up roadblocks between rival villages, a day after four Shia men were killed in an ambush.
div class=field field-summary div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pTurkey's urban citizens are standing up emagainst /emauthoritarian governance, and emfor/em their right to the city, their right to difference, and their right to resist the top-down imposition of moral and spatial orders./p /div /div /div pemHuzur isyandabr /(One finds peace in revolt)/embr /nbsp;br /- Graffiti in Istanbul /ppDemocracy is a fraudulent contract, José Saramago once remarked; from the moment you cast your vote, you have abandoned power until the next election. This may be the way democratic elections work, but it is not how democracies should. Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan, however, seems all too content with this fraudulent contract. Once an election is over, he will rule over the country, doing whatever he thinks is right, without the slightest opposition, not even criticism—which he, notoriously, cannot stand. He will tell you how many children you should have, that you should not smoke and not eat white bread, and that you should drink the non-alcoholic emayran/emrather than getting drunk with emrakı/em or any other alcoholic beverage (also trying, unsuccessfully, to criminalise adultery and abortion, and toying with the idea of imposing visa restrictions for Turkish citizens to move to Istanbul). Ever the social engineer, the prime minister has an idea on how everything should be, ranging from the private lives of citizens to the planning of cities, all of which he has been trying to regulate the past ten years./p pThe problem is that he has the power to regulate many things. After all, he has won three elections since 2002. His power is legitimate, although it certainly should not extend to some of the areas he has shown a keen interest in. Furthermore, he has to understand that although his power is legitimate, it is not absolute. What is absolute is the legitimacy of revolt, and if Turkey is to become ‘fully democratic’ one day (this is the stated aim of the government’s project for a new constitution), going well beyond a democratic-election regime, then he and his followers will have to come to terms with this. Brutalization, demonization and incarceration of those who disagree and resist will lead elsewhere. We have been there before, and I don’t think anyone remembers it fondly./p pPolitically the most promising aspect of the revolts in Turkey’s cities is that they show people can still revolt against democratically elected governments even in times when economic conditions are not dire—revolt for political ideals, dignity, and aspirations. And revolt with courage, too, despite bones broken, eyes lost, lives terminated. The revolts are the spatialisation of the resentment that has been growing over the years because of authoritarian governance, repression, and erosion of civil liberties, but also a spatial manifestation of these ideals and aspirations, and of the dignity and courage of political subjects constituted in the here and now, demonstrating their political capacity in the city. By standing up against a democratically elected government, the protestors remind us that politics is the business of anyone and no-one in particular, with no privileged subject, specific time or pre-determined space./p pThe triggering event for the revolts was the extreme violence exercised by the police on protestors in a dispute over the redevelopment of Gezi Park in Taksim Square, Istanbul, into a commercial complex.nbsp;Taksim Square is a symbolic place for the secular Republic as well as for Left politics. At the centre of the European section of the city, it is the place for official ceremonies celebrating the Republic (with a monument to its founders) as well as for May Day celebrations (though this is only occasionally allowed). When the first Islamist prime minister of Turkey, Necmettin Erbakan, came to power 1996, he promised to construct a mosque in Taksim Square. He was ousted the following year./p pOn 28 May, the police attacked the peaceful protestors of Taksim Gezi Park with tear gas. Just before dawn on 31 May, a brutal attack was waged by the riot police against protestors who were staging a peaceful sit-in in the park. Then all hell broke loose, police violence continued—as one female protestor put it, “it was as if they [the police] were trying to kill”—in an attempt to disperse thousands of citizens in Istanbul, as well as in other cities, notably Ankara, which did not fail to follow suit (with solidarity protests organised in several cities in the world ranging from Los Angeles to Athens). Many protestors have already died, thousands have been wounded (some seriously) and arrested. Excessive use of tear gas not only made thousands of protestors, including children, sick, but also killed the birds and dogs in Taksim—and we do not yet know the long term effects on humans of tear gas that expired two years ago (but was nevertheless used by the police). The protesters were labelled by Erdoğan variably as “marauders,” “vandals,” “marginals,” and, of course, “terrorists,” denying them all political legitimacy and capacity (they were following, so went his reasoning, orders from “foreign powers”). In the meantime, the prime minister did not fail to emphasise that the government would carry on with the controversial urban redevelopment project, which was at the origin of the revolts. Constructing a third bridge over the Bosporus (to be named after an Ottoman Sultan who had ordered the massacre of thousands of Alevis, who today represent more than 10 percent of Turkey’s population) and a canal to join Marmara and Black seas are also on the agenda.a name=_ednref1/aa href=#_edn1/a/p pBut it would be a mistake to focus merely on Erdoğan’s personality and the Gezi Park controversy. The resentment has been simmering for years over the erosion of civil rights and liberties, suppression of dissent, and authoritarian urban neoliberalism. This is a revolt against state-led neoliberalism, state-led Islamisation, and ever-increasing repression./p pSince coming to power in 2002, Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party—the AKP—has implemented a revanchist politics against the military, journalists and intellectuals, and against what Erdoğan named the “White Turks” (the urban secular elite as distinguished from the “Black Turks,” poor and poorly educated classes and his voting base). Through reforms and practices that established networks of reciprocity or dependence—largely facilitated by religious connections and a clientelistic political culture—or, when those did not suffice, through the mobilisation of the state’s coercive powers, the AKP has tightened its grip on the media as well as on business. As AKP’s power consolidated over years, dissent was suppressed and civil rights and freedoms started to erode. Thousands of activists (mainly Kurdish) are jailed through the use of loosely formulated anti-terror laws that make the flimsiest charges possible. There is ample anecdotal evidence of how the social pressure arising from this revanchist politics is felt at the workplace and universities by secular classes that do not subscribe to AKP’s worldview. Critical journalists are jailed (Turkey is now ahead of China for the number of jailed journalists) or fired, at best—those who are not are intimidated to the point of self-censorship.a name=_ednref2/aa href=#_edn2/a The silence of the Turkish media during the first days of the protests was staggering, which is best exemplified by the difference between CNN-International and the local channel CNN-Turk: while the former was airing live coverage of the revolts, the latter was treating its viewers to a documentary on penguins—which turned these lovely creatures into a symbol of resistance.a name=_ednref3/aa href=#_edn3/a/p pThe judiciary is filled with AKP nominees, army generals are jailed (not that anyone wants another military coup), and the opposition has been so incapable over the years that referring to them as “opposition” seems overly generous. Erdoğan must have felt he could forever exercise his legitimately acquired power with no checks. What he did not see coming was a new generation of urban citizens and new forms of solidarity cutting across social, religious, gender, political divides, and opening up spaces of politics and contestation, willing to risk losing their freedom and lives, rather than further submitting to the closure of all political space for dissent./p pIt is no surprise that these new solidarities and political subjectivities are constituted in and through urban spaces. We must remember that the AKP and its mayors have been zealous city builders, and not just in Istanbul (the citizens of Ankara remember well the provocative urban projects of Melih Gökçek, conceived and implemented undemocratically).a name=_ednref4/aa href=#_edn4/anbsp;This city building, ranging from large-scale urban redevelopment projects to changing street names, not only suited their economic ideology, but also played a symbolic role by leaving its mark on cities. This re-ordering of urban space was supplemented by interventions that were more explicit in their religious motivations, such as rendering public spaces and municipality-owned facilities “family friendly” by establishing separate sections for single men and families, and banning alcohol./p pPrivatisation and selling of public land to developers have been integral parts of AKP’s economic strategy since the early 2000s, and the contracts went to friends and followers (including a company whose CEO is Erdoğan’s son-in-law).a name=_ednref1/aa href=#_edn5/a The AKP has effectively used the state’s legal, financial and coercive powers—as well as its land—to consolidate an economic strategy focused on the development of urban property markets regardless of concerns over its social and environmental consequences. Resistance to top-down urban projects were met by repression; protestors in Turkey’s cities are not unfamiliar with the excessive use of tear gas, water canons, and violence by the police.a name=_ednref6/aa href=#_edn6/a/p pThe AKP has been quite successful in articulating neoliberalism and Islamism, consolidating a regime of governance characterised by market-oriented property development and mediated by Islamic codes of conduct, which became more mainstream.a name=_ednref7/aa href=#_edn7/a While Erdoğan and his followers hoped the people of Turkey would find peace in Islam, thousands now believe they will find it innbsp;emisyan/em—in revolt—as the graffiti that opens this piece suggests (“emHuzur isyanda/em”), which is aemdetournement/emnbsp;of the popular Islamist slogan “emHuzur Islamda/em” that means “one finds peace in Islam.”a name=_ednref8/aa href=#_edn8/a/p pThis is a revolt against state-led property development by those who are enraged by the rebuilding of cities for profit maximization with little or no democratic possibility of contestation, and definitely no consultation.a name=_ednref9/aa href=#_edn9/a This is a revolt against state-led Islamisation by those who are enraged by the increasing social pressure that seeks to impose certain moral codes on what they do, how they dress, how they behave, what they drink. This is a revolt of urban citizens who want to be considered as legitimate partners in the production of their urban spaces and maintain a way of life that is not regulated and restrained by moral codes imposed upon them by an Islamist government. Gezi Park was the last drop in growing resentment and urban resistance, as was the recent passing of a law aimed at restricting alcohol consumption; one clever graffiti in Istanbul suggested that the ban on alcohol had resulted in the sobering up of the people (the Turkish word for sobering up also means “waking up to something”). This is a revolt of citizens with political dignity, ideals, and aspirations. What unites them is their desire to affirm their political capacity, forming solidarities in urban space rather then falling back into tired divides of old. There are women in headscarves, “anti-capitalist Muslims,”a name=_ednref10/aa href=#_edn10/a gays, lesbians, transsexuals, union members, football club fans, Alevis, Sunnis, Jews, Christians, atheists, Armenians, Kurds, as well as Turks. The revolts are not organised or structured around established social, cultural, gender, ethnic, religious, or political identities or affiliations. What brings the protestors together, what brings them to emstasis/em, is their political capacity as equals and political desire to resist repression and authoritarian governance./p pThis is an urban emstasis/em.a name=_ednref11/aa href=#_edn11/a This Greek word rich in meaning seems to me to characterise best the situation in Turkey’s cities.emStasis/em does not merely mean inertia in a negative sense. Even if it suggests stillness, it is a disruptive stillness.emStasis/em means “standing up against” (which might bring something to a stop, hence the more commonly known meaning of emstasis/em; as inertia), “standing for,” and, following perhaps unsurprisingly from these two meanings, “uprising.”a name=_ednref12/aa href=#_edn12/aThe protestors at Gezi Park stood up against what was yet another commercially driven project imposed on their urban spaces for private profit maximization without the slightest procedure of consultation, let alone contestation. The protestors in Turkey’s cities now stand for political ideals that reject social engineering imposing moral and religious orders, authoritarian forms of governance, and repression. The urban citizens of Turkey have stood up against authoritarian governance, standing for their right to the city and right to difference, not understood in a folkloric, exotic, or nostalgic way, but as a right to resist top-down imposition of moral and spatial orders. The urban uprising has begun, we have come to aemstasis/em. But this is not the end, just the beginning./p pstrongAcknowledgements:/strong/p pI am grateful to Bahar Sakızlıoğlu, Ozan Karaman, Walter Nicholls, and the editors ofnbsp;emSociety and Space/emnbsp;for their comments on an earlier version. Many thanks to Peter Gratton for inviting me to contribute to this forum./p hr /pemThis article was originally published on a href=http://societyandspace.com/2013/06/14/commentary-by-mustafa-dikec-fraudulent-democracy-and-urban-stasis-in-turkey/Society and Space - Environment and Planning D/a/ema href=http://societyandspace.com/2013/06/14/commentary-by-mustafa-dikec-fraudulent-democracy-and-urban-stasis-in-turkey/ /aemon the 14th June 2013. Thanks go to the author and publisher for allowing us to republish here/em./phr /pstrongNotes/strong/pp a name=_edn1/aa href=#_ednref1/anbsp;Alevis practice a more liberal form of Islam, which has led to their exclusion by those committed to Sunni Islam, who consider them unbelievers. The AKP is firmly committed to Sunni Islamic principles. /ppa name=_edn2/aa href=#_ednref2/anbsp;According to Reporters Without Borders’s Press Freedom Index 2013, Turkey (‘the world’s biggest prison for journalists’) is ranked 154th among 179 countries./p pa name=_edn3/aa href=#_ednref3/a Some of the most tweeted photos can be seen herea href=http://onedio.com/haber/direnisin-sembolu-penguenler-119343http://onedio.com/haber/direnisin-sembolu-penguenler-119343/a/p pa name=_edn4/aa href=#_ednref4/anbsp;Since 1994 the majority of Turkish cities have been governed by mayors coming from the Islamist movement that eventually led to the creation of the AKP in 2001 by Erdoğan, who was the mayor of Istanbul between 1994-1998./p pa name=_edn5/aa href=#_ednref5/anbsp;See, for example, H Gürek (2008)nbsp;emAKP’nin Müteahhitleri/emnbsp;[emAKP’s Builders/em] (Istanbul: Güncel Yayıncılık)/p pa name=_edn6/aa href=#_ednref6/anbsp;For examples of resistance from Istanbul, see Kuyucu, T. and Ünsal, Ö. (2010) ‘”Urban transformation” as state-led property transfer: an analysis of two cases of urban renewal in Istanbul’nbsp;emUrban Studies/emnbsp;47(7): 1479-1499; also Sakızlıoğlu, B., van Weesep, J, Rittersberger-Tilic, H (2012) ‘Resisting state-led gentrification: the case of Tarlabaşı, Istanbul’, paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers 2012, New York./p pa name=_edn7/aa href=#_ednref7/anbsp;The articulation of neoliberalism and Islamism is convincingly argued and empirically demonstrated in Karaman, O (2013) ‘Urban neoliberalism with Islamic characteristics’nbsp;emUrban Studies/emnbsp;(published online). For state-led property development and its consequences for the urban poor, see Lovering, J and Türkmen, H (2011) ‘Bulldozer neo-liberalism in Istanbul: the state-led construction of property markets, and the displacement of the urban poor’nbsp;emInternational Planning Studies/emnbsp;16(1): 73-96. This article is part of a special issue on ‘Urban development and planning in Istanbul’, edited by J Lovering and Y Evren./p pa name=_edn8/aa href=#_ednref8/anbsp;A literal translation of “emHuzur Islamda/em” would be “peace is in Islam,” but what this phrase suggests is that one finds peace in Islam. Same also with “emHuzur isyanda/em“: a literal translation would be ‘peace is in revolt’, but what is suggested is that one finds it in revolt (or in revolting)./p pa name=_edn9/aa href=#_ednref9/anbsp;A common practice is to inform the concerned citizens, if they are informed at all, after the decisions have already been made. In the two case studies examined by Kuyucu and Ünsal, the concerned citizens found out about the news only by chance, by which point the allowed time for legal objection had already expired. Here Prime Ministernbsp;Erdoğan’s statement made on 29 May, a day after the first police attack on the protestors, exemplifies well the AKP government’s general approach to democratic consultation and contestation procedures: ‘Taksim Gezi Park is like this, like that, they will go there and protest, whatever. You [the protestors] can do whatever you want. We have made a decision, and that is what we will put to work.”/p pa name=_edn10/aa href=#_ednref10/anbsp;‘Anti-capitalist Muslims’ (emAntikapitalist Müslümanlar/em) is a movement by devoted Muslims who are particularly outraged by the government’s manipulation of Islam for its capitalist agenda./p pa name=_edn11/aa href=#_ednref11/anbsp;This reading of the revolts asnbsp;emstasis/emnbsp;owes greatly to a discussion at a workshop on “commons,” organised by the “Inside/Outside Europe” Research Network, 7-8 June 2013, Winchester University. For their comments and suggestions I am grateful tonbsp;Marissia Fragkou, Philip Hager,nbsp;Evangelos Konstantelos,nbsp;Lizetta Makka, Grant Tyler Peterson, Myrto Tsilimpounidi, Ally Walsh and Marilena Zaroulia.nbsp;emEfharisto/em!/p pa name=_edn12/aa href=#_ednref12/anbsp;For those familiar with Turkish,nbsp;emstasis/emnbsp;brings together “emkarşınbsp;durma/em” and “emayaklanma/em.”/pfieldset class=fieldgroup group-sideboxslegendSideboxes/legenddiv class=field field-read-on div class=field-label 'Read On' Sidebox:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pFor more see Space and Society's a href=http://societyandspace.com/2013/06/05/the-events-in-turkey-a-virtual-theme-issue-for-background/Virtual Theme issue /aon Turkey./p /div /div /div div class=field field-related-stories div class=field-labelRelated stories:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd a href=/opensecurity/gezi-radyo/we-take-back-whats-oursWe take back what#039;s ours!/a /div div class=field-item even a href=/opensecurity/john-mcsweeney/turkish-hopes-for-new-beginningTurkish hopes for a new beginning/a /div div class=field-item odd a href=/opensecurity/jon-wiltshire/istanbul-in-lockdownIstanbul in lockdown/a /div /div /div /fieldset div class=field field-country div class=field-label Country or region:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd Turkey /div /div /div div class=field field-city div class=field-labelCity:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd Istanbul /div /div /div div class=field field-topics div class=field-labelTopics:nbsp;/div div class=field-items div class=field-item odd Conflict /div div class=field-item even Democracy and government /div /div /div