Congo’s Quest for Liberation Continues

Foreign Policy in Focus
By Bahati Ntama Jacques and Beth Tuckey
Congo has long been the focus of resource exploitation. The first era of colonization in Africa, beginning in the mid-1880s, was most pronounced in this central African country. Belgium’s King Leopold brutalized the population in his quest for rubber and riches, leaving a legacy of natural resource exploitation by white Europeans in the heart of Africa. Continue reading Congo’s Quest for Liberation Continues

Remarks at the Floribert Chebeya Bahzire Memorial Service

Michael H. Posner
Assistant Secretary, – Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Washington, DC
June 23, 2010
I first met Floribert Chebeya in 1992 when he received the Reebok Human Rights Award. Initiated in 1988, the Reebok awards were given to young human rights activists. For the 20 years that these awards were presented, I was privileged to serve, from my perch with Human Rights First, as one of about a dozen advisors who chose each year’s recipients. Each year we recognized a group of three or four courageous, talented human rights advocates, all 30 years old or younger. The class of 1992 was especially impressive. In addition to Floribert we selected a dynamic human rights advocate from Northern Ireland named Martin O’Brien, an embattled activist from East Timor named Fernando de Araujo, and a passionate women rights advocate from the U.S. named Stacy Kabat. I remember the energy and passion surrounding the ceremony in Boston the year they won the award. The four recipients, each in their own way, embodied personal courage and commitment, and each was already making a profound difference in their own societies. Continue reading Remarks at the Floribert Chebeya Bahzire Memorial Service

US Supreme Court rejects Pfizer Nigeria lawsuit appeal


Pfizer has paid $75m to the Nigerian authorities to settle related claims

The US Supreme Court has given Nigerian families the green light to sue the drug company Pfizer over the use of a new antibiotic on their children.

It rejected the firm’s appeal against a ruling allowing lawsuits to proceed.

The families say Pfizer did not get their proper consent to test the antibiotic Trovan on 200 sick children during a meningitis outbreak in 1996. Continue reading US Supreme Court rejects Pfizer Nigeria lawsuit appeal

UN Calls for Climate Friendly Diet

YES Magazine

Photo by Kaitlin Bailey.

Frances Moore Lappé welcomes the recent report, and reminds us that global food problems are about justice, not scarcity. We also need to rescue our food system from corporate control.
by Frances Moore Lappé
In 1969, as I tried to grasp the root causes of hunger, I struggled to absorb the shocking picture my simple research was uncovering: While world food experts cried “scarcity,” in truth we bright humans were—and still are—creating hunger out of plenty. We’d turned our food system into a scarcity-creating machine, and were undermining the Earth’s food-producing potential, too. Continue reading UN Calls for Climate Friendly Diet

Pentagon hunts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in bid to gag website

The Guardian

Soldier Bradley Manning said to have leaked diplomatic cables to whistleblower, plus video of US troops killing Iraqis

The Wikileaks footage of an Apache helicopter attack that killed civilians in Iraq

American officials are searching for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks in an attempt to pressure him not to publish thousands of confidential and potentially hugely embarrassing diplomatic cables that offer unfiltered assessments of Middle East governments and leaders.

The Daily Beast, a US news reporting and opinion website, reported that Pentagon investigators are trying to track down Julian Assange – an Australian citizen who moves frequently between countries – after the arrest of a US soldier last week who is alleged to have given the whistleblower website a classified video of American troops killing civilians in Baghdad. Continue reading Pentagon hunts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in bid to gag website

Thousands protest against World Cup spending

Mail and Guardian


Security guards leave Soccer City in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Stadium stewards went on strike for better wages. The strikes were part of a wider dispute between security staff at the World Cup stadiums and a private contractor. (Guillermo Arias, AP)

Thousands of South Africans staged a march on Wednesday to protest against lavish spending on the tournament and the sacking of security staff, inflicting a new embarrassment on organisers.

As the country marked the 34th anniversary of the Soweto uprising against apartheid rule, about 3 000 people marched in Durban to denounce Fifa and the government for their spending priorities when millions live in poverty.

“Get out Fifa mafia!” chanted the crowds in a Durban park, their ranks swelled by stewards who were involved in clashes with riot police on Monday after protests over their wages.

Monday’s protests triggered walkouts by other stewards, which have led South Africa’s police to take control at the World Cup stadiums in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Durban. Continue reading Thousands protest against World Cup spending

South Africa: Film – Have you heard from Johannesburg?

Africa Files

African Charter Article# 17: Every individual shall have the right to education, cultural life, and the promotion and protection of values.

Summary & Comment: The fourth part of the eight and a half hour historical documentary, Have you heard from Johannesburg?, is entitled Fair Play. It shows how sports boycotts around the world contributed to the collapse of apartheid. It is a powerful account of racism in athletics over the past four decades. Continue reading South Africa: Film – Have you heard from Johannesburg?