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    Living by the Clock of the World: Grace Lee Boggs’ Call for Visionary Organizing Matthew Birkhold April 17, 2012

    In response to a question regarding advice for young activists, 96 year old movement veteran Grace Lee Boggs recently told Hyphen Magazine that activists should turn our backs on protest organizing because it “leads you more and more to defensive operations” and “Do visionary organizing” because it “gives you the opportunity to encourage the creative capacity in people and it’s very fulfilling.” This quote made its way around facebook, twitter, and tumblr, as fans of Grace reposted it like it was common sense while others thought the quote bordered on conservatism.

    To better understand Grace’s call, we need to understand the historical perspective in which it’s rooted.  We also need to understand how visionary organizing differs from protest organizing, how Grace understands revolution, and that the way history develops means that ideas that were progressive or even revolutionary in one era, can become mental roadblocks to progress in another era.

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    The US, Israel, and the War on Iran: Don’t Let Them Fool Us Again! Rami El-Amine February 10, 2012

    The end of 2011 saw the beginnings of a shift to a more overt and aggressive policy by the US and its allies towards Iran. This shift was not the result of any new threat being posed by Iran but by the need for the US to maintain a sizeable military presence in the oil rich region after withdrawing from Iraq. The Arab revolutions are also a major factor in this shift, particularly for the US’s Gulf Arab allies and Israel. Saber rattling around Iran heightens sectarian tensions in the region and, therefore, weakens the revolutionary wave which threatens the Gulf Arab monarchies. Israel, on the other hand, is leading the push for an attack because it deflects attention away from its continued denial of land and rights to Palestinians at a time when it is coming under increased international criticism.

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    Dangerous Uncertainty in Pakistan Junaid S. Ahmad January 28, 2012

    With relations between Pakistan’s civilian government and military incredibly tense, speculation is ripe in the local and international media that the threat of a military takeover looms large. The military is allegedly buoyed by the support of the Supreme Court and the country’s business and political elite. It seems that the days of Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government are numbered.

    The tensions reached their tipping point on January 11th when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani alleged that the Pakistan Army and its intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), were unlawfully interfering in a controversial court case involving the government. This essentially amounted to accusing the heads of the army of defying the constitution and the democratically elected government. The military was quick to retort that there would be “very serious ramifications” and “grievous consequences” if the government continued its confrontational posturing.

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    The End of a War for Who? Sarah Lazare January 2, 2012

    Eric Ruin ( Ruin ( the day I heard that President Obama had officially declared the Iraq war over, I was at the Danville Veterans’ Administration hospital (VA) with my partner S, an Iraq War veteran. S is six months into a disability application, a request for benefits and compensation for disabilities sustained during military service, which will likely take another year to process.

    We found ourselves navigating through a maze of yellowed walkways and drab interiors, shuttled from admissions offices to mental health clinics. While we were not the only ones moving through that system, we were perhaps moving faster than the others. Many veterans of previous wars—the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, World War II—lined the route, being pushed in wheelchairs, walking on canes, some perhaps visiting for the day with their families, some completely alone. S was one of the only young people I saw in this wing of the VA, and based on the way people looked at us, they clearly knew that he was a “hero” of the war that President Obama had just declared “completed.”

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    From the Arab Revolutions to the Occupy Uprisings, the Winter of Our Discontent Hena Ashraf December 21, 2011

    A few weeks ago on the train my mind drifted to Mohammed Bouazizi and a great sorrow descended over me. I thought of how his tremendous sacrifice on the 17th of December 2010 was the literal spark that set the fire for uprisings around the world. I thought of how an ordinary Tunisian street vendor profoundly affected the lives of millions of people everywhere with his tragic protest.

    His self-immolation captured the immense anger and frustration that millions experience on a daily basis. By setting himself on fire in front of the local governor's office, Bouazizi showed the world that he could no longer endure the harassment and humiliation he suffered at the hands of corrupt local authorities. His example shows how revolutions start from the ground up, from ordinary people who are fed up of being pushed around. His actions set off revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, uprisings in Bahrain, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and throughout the Arab world, as well as in Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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    Occupy Opportunities for Collective Liberation - Catalyst Project’s Anti-Racist Organizing Strategy Chris Crass December 14, 2011

    Melanie Cervantes - http://dignidadrebelde.comMelanie Cervantes - http://dignidadrebelde.comCatalyst Project, a center for political education and movement building, has compiled a list of resources for anti-racist/collective liberation work to build up the Occupy movement.  The following is an essay from the resource list, sharing key insights from Catalyst's anti-racist organizing strategy and how it relates to the Occupy movement.  The resource list will be sent out widely soon.

    The Occupy movement is one of the most profound organizing opportunities in decades, because of its mass invitation for the 99% to step forward and challenge systemic economic inequality. For white anti-racists, this is a moment when we can engage with, support, and organize hundreds of thousands of white people to deeply connect economic justice to racial and gender justice. 

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    “America, your 9/ our 24/7”*, Ten Years of Fighting State Violence Arab Resource and Organizing Center September 9, 2011

    Imagine one day, you oversleep your alarm clock by a few hours. You wake up, and the world is a different place. You leave your house and your neighbors look at you with suspicion. You walk down the street and racial slurs are shouted in your direction. Your sister is harassed at her workplace. Your brother, a lawful resident, is forced to give his fingerprints to immigration. Your cousins are made refugees in their homeland (again). Confused, you turn on the news and see two planes have hit the World Trade Center. Your world has changed forever.  

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    The State of the Struggle: Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Arab World Lamis Andoni and Nora Barrows-Friedman June 20, 2011

    Since the spark of popular revolt electrified Tunisia in January of this year, uprisings continue to spread across the Middle East and North Africa as civil society wages pitched battles against repressive dictatorships and monarchist regimes. Largely unarmed masses from Syria to Yemen have faced down lethal attacks from state forces as they demand basic freedoms, workers’ rights, and an end to Western influence. Leaders have been driven out in Egypt and Tunisia and have left neighboring politicians shaking in their boots.

    Left Turn contributing editor Nora Barrows-Friedman interviewed analyst and Middle East commentator Lamis Andoni for a perspective on how Middle Eastern and North African civil society movements have initiated, expanded, and given peoples across the region the motivation to rise up to join this “Arab Spring.”

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    Bin Laden Assassination Emboldens Empire Junaid Ahmad May 23, 2011

    Even though weeks have passed since the US raid which killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, details surrounding his death remain murky. The most curious question remains how was he able to “hide” in Abbottabad, a militarized garrison town, eluding Pakistani and US intelligence for so long.

    Apparently, the raid entailed US forces entering bin Laden’s compound, half a mile from the Pakistan Military Academy, and shooting him in the head and chest. The fact that the US altered its initial claim that bin Laden was killed in a fierce firefight to admitting that the Al Qaeda leader was unarmed tends to challenge the jingoistic superman narrative used to describe the assassination.

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    End of an Era: The Arab Intifada of 2011 and the Decline of Empire Bilal El-Amine March 11, 2011

    Photo by Hossam el-HamalawyPhoto by Hossam el-Hamalawy

    The sun is quickly setting on the rule of tyrants in the Arab world. Revolution is on the agenda from Morocco to Bahrain. After decades of passivity in the face of dictatorship, the Arabs are rising up like a waking giant to demand their freedom.

    Tunisia was billed as a citadel of stability and an economic miracle. Just a few months ago, the most anyone hoped for was that its ailing president-for-life, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, would not bequeath the country to his wife or son-in-law. No one even dreamed that the Tunisians would become the vanguard of the Arab revolution.

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