12 August 2011 — PAMBAZUKA NEWS 544: STEALING THE COMMONS AND LOOTING THE STREETS
The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa
Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839
1. Features, 2. Announcements, 3. Comment & analysis, 4.
Advocacy & campaigns, 5. Books & arts, 6. Highlights French edition,
STEALING THE COMMONS AND LOOTING THE STREETS
This week the international news has been dominated by two distinct
yet not unrelated events ? the international financial crisis and the
eruption of young people onto the streets of Britain. Two features of
these events are worth pointing out, observes Firoze Manji.
THE CHICKENS ARE COMING HOME TO ROOST
US credit downgrade
The ‘downgrade of the US credit rating is part of the forward planning
by the top capitalists to guarantee the political and military
hegemony of the richest one per cent of the US population,? writes
STOPPING THE UK’S LOOTERS
With all the current talk in the media about the riots on the streets
of the UK, Alex Free argues that the focus should be on the real
looters in the country and global economy at large.
THE BRITISH URBAN UPRISING OF 2011
Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
?Britain has an enduring problem of racial and class inequality and
exclusion, out of which riots occasionally explode,? observes Paul
Tiyambe Zeleza, following four days and nights of unrest across the UK
that have ?left this declining post-imperial country deeply shaken and
searching for answers, for redress, for culprits.?
THE STRUGGLE TO CONVERT NATIONALISM TO PAN-AFRICANISM
Taking stock of 50 years of African independence
Africa?s ?tale of treasures at one end and tragedies at the other
cannot be understood? without ?locating it in the trajectory of
worldwide capitalist accumulation,? argues Issa Shivji.
CAPE VERDE?S ELECTIONS: MOST COMPETITIVE EVER
Cape Verdeans are going to the polls this month to decide who will
replace Pedro Pires as he approaches the end of his second and final
term. As Cl?udio Furtado writes, regardless of who ultimately
triumphs, two things make this particular election stand out: the fact
that four candidates ? three with a genuine chance of winning ? are in
the running and the wider implications for the PAICV (Partido Africano
de Independ?ncia de Cabo Verde) party and the country?s government.
LIBYA, AFRICA AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER: AN OPEN LETTER
To the peoples of Africa and the world from concerned Africans
We, the undersigned, are ordinary citizens of Africa who are immensely
pained and angered that fellow Africans are and have been subjected to
the fury of war by foreign powers which have clearly repudiated the
noble and very relevant vision enshrined in the Charter of the United
REFLECTIONS ON THE NORWEGIAN TRAGEDY
Yash Tandon takes a deeper look at the mass killings in Norway on 22
July. The event, he writes, ‘gives us a moment to comprehend the
deeper meaning of human existence’.
WIKILEAKS HAITI: THE ARISTIDE FILES
Kim Ives and Ansel Herz
‘US officials led a far-reaching international campaign aimed at
keeping former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide exiled in
South Africa, rendering him a virtual prisoner there for the last
seven years, according to secret US State Department cables,’ write
Kim Ives and Ansel Herz.
DEFINING ZIMBABWE’S NATIONAL HEROES
Letter to the people of Zimbabwe
2011 is a year for all Zimbabweans to begin to challenge those that
lead the country and those that insist on imprisoning national
consciousness in their versions of heroism and history, says the
Committee of the Peoples Charter.
PAMBAZUKA PRESS BOOKS AT BARGAIN PRICES
Pambazuka Press titles are now available at bargain prices ? get your
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Food Rebellions! ( http://fahamubooks.org/book/?GCOI=90638100405800 )
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Ending Aid Dependence (
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Speaking Truth to Power (
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Reclaiming African History (
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My Dream is to be Bold (
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Where is Uhuru? ( http://fahamubooks.org/book/?GCOI=90638100052770 )
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SMS Uprising ( http://fahamubooks.org/book/?GCOI=90638100577370 ) $13
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African Voices ( http://fahamubooks.org/book/?GCOI=90638100741880 ) $6
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Experiments with Peace (
http://fahamubooks.org/book/?GCOI=90638100065280 ) $19 (RRP $32.95) /
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* As our website uses sterling as its primary currency, prices in
dollars are approximations.
3 Comment & analysis
THE CRISIS OF SUDAN
Explo N. Nani-Kofi
Competition between rival interests is behind the violence in Sudan,
writes Explo N. Nani-Kofi. As a result, voices for empowering popular
forces for justice and resistance are not being heard.
RWANDAN PAPER CALLS PRESIDENT A ‘SOCIOPATH’, APOLOGISES
Ishema in Rwanda has published an entire issue as an apology to
President Paul Kagame, writes Tom Rhodes.
PARASITES OF THE POOR?
International NGOs and aid agencies in Zimbabwe
?The perception amongst workers who are trying to make a difference at
the grassroots in Zimbabwe is that big aid agencies such as UNICEF and
DfID don?t engage with communities to find out what they need; they
deliver to them,? writes Diane Jeater.
WHERE HAVE LIBYA’S CHILDREN GONE?
Of ?growing public and government concern in Western Libya is the
whereabouts of 53 female and 52 male children?, who were ?part of a
government-run home for orphans and abused children that until
February was operating in Misrata, now under rebel control,? writes
4 Advocacy & campaigns
SYMPHONY WAY PAVEMENT DWELLERS TO SPEAK IN GRAHAMSTOWN
Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign
Four of the authors of ?No Land! No House! No Vote! Voices from
Symphony Way? ( http://fahamubooks.org/book/?GCOI=90638100888310 )
will be speaking at Rhodes University on Thursday 11 August and at an
event at Duna Library in Joza Township with the Unemployed People?s
Movement on Friday 12 August. Don?t miss the chance to hear them speak
STOP THE LAND GRAB IN MADAGASCAR
Sign TANY’s petition calling on the Madagascan government to stop the
eviction of families from their land to make way for land grabs.
ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY SHOOTS 16-YEAR-OLD BOY IN KENNEDY ROAD
This morning the eThekwini Municipality launched another armed raid on
the Kennedy Road shack settlement to try and disconnect the people
from electricity. As usual there was resistance, unarmed resistance,
to this attack from the Municipality. The Municipality’s security
guards responded by firing live ammunition at the protesters.
TELL MALAWI PRESIDENT TO RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS
Nineteen people died in Malawi’s recent protests. Public service union
UNISON are asking for your support for a petition to President Bingu
5 Books & arts
THE FUTURE OF AFRICAN WRITING
Mildred K Barya
Fellowships and residences play a crucial role in nurturing the talent
of budding writers. But although Africa is full of creative and highly
innovative individuals, it lacks avenues to support them. The ?plain
truth?, says Mildred K. Barya, ?is that we need them so we have to
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS UPSIDE-DOWN
Stressing the need to turn the publishing sector and the concept of
freedom of speech on their head, Jared Sacks discusses the ideas
behind ?No Land! No House! No Vote!?, a book produced by the Symphony
Way Pavement Dwellers in South Africa. With the group seeking support
to bring their story and struggle to the wider world, readers are
invited to make donations at:
JAMAICAN VIBRATIONS: ROCKING STEADY TO REGGAE
On the occasion of the 49th anniversary of Jamaica?s independence,
Caribbean Political Economy as reproduced Bert Tucker?s lyrical
account of Jamaica?s political climate and cultural ferment in the
late 1960s and early 1970s. Mr. Tucker, now Ambassador for Foreign
Trade and Head of International Cooperation in the Government of
Belize, was a student on the Mona Campus of the UWI at the time. As
Caribbean Political Economy notes, the reflection was written on the
occasion of Jamaica’s 38th Anniversary of Independence on 6 August
2000, but has the same freshness and resonance now as it did then.
THE DIVERSITY OF DIASPORIC LIVES
Paul Tiyambe Zeleza?s ?In Search of African Diasporas: Testimonies and
Carolina Academic Press
An ?ambitious and brilliant book by one of Africa?s leading diaspora
intellectuals?, Paul Tiyambe Zeleza?s ?In Search of African Diasporas?
is ?filled with analytical insights, captivating stories, and
intriguing observations on the complex histories and experiences of
African diasporas, their triumphs and tragedies, perils and
possibilities, and their enduring struggles for belonging, for their
6 Highlights French edition
PAMBAZUKA NEWS 201: WAR IN LIBYA, AL-QAEDA IN THE MAGHREB AND THE
FRENCH MILITARY PRESENCE IN CHAD
WHO WOULD DARE BELIEVE IN THE WITHDRAWAL OF FRENCH COLONIAL TROOPS FROM CHAD?
When Idriss D?by was being installed for a fourth term of five as
president, France’s vague attempts to put an end to its military
presence in Chad sounded like a mere bluff. The context of regional
geopolitical issues do not favour such an eventuality, not for Paris
or the Chadian president. In this regard, Ley-Ngardigal Djimadoum
underlines that the requirements of francophone Africa as well as the
?culture of colonial serfdom? are still perennial occurrences on both
JUSTICE FOR SANKARA: HOMAGE AND TRIBUTE
On 10 June 2011, some 21 French parliamentarians lodged an inquiry
into the assassination of Thomas Sankara. Twenty-four years after the
assassination of the former president of Burkina Faso, this move in
search of truth fosters a long-lived symbol in the minds of resistance
fighters in Africa and in the world. On 1 July, a dinner with the
theme ?Justice for Sankara, Justice for Africa? was organised in
Paris. Pambazuka brings to you a few short speeches that were made on
the occasion of this ceremony which brought together more than a
hundred personalities, celebrities, trade unionists, intellectuals and
DEFEAT OF THE WEST IN LIBYA AND IDEOLOGICAL DECLINE
Lessons from recent history have not helped the West. Given the
experiences of Afghanis and Iraqis, just like the contents of United
Nations 1973 resolution which prohibits foreign occupation and attacks
on Libya, have turned out to be fruitless solutions. But when Europe
lost its elite and now only relies on plagiarist intellectuals and
philosophers, these kind of atrocities no longer shock anyone, states
SENEGAL: THE ORIGINS OF IRRENDENTISM IN CASAMANCE
Amady Aly Dieng
Here is a book which immerses the reader into the heart of the
Casamance drama. In this publication, which is a result of several
years of investigations and research, Oumar Diatta, a specialist
educationalist and journalist, tackles the Casamance question on the
triple plan ? political, institutional and administrative ? since the
colonial era and in the light of the conflict borne of the freedom
fighter demands of the Movement of Democratic Forces in Casamance
FRANCE AND ITS WAR VETERANS: A NEW PENSION SWINDLE
Cheikh Faty Faye
It took 66 years after the Second World War to see France decide to
align the pensions of the ?Senegalese riflemen? with those of French
war veterans. For several reasons, Sheik Faty Faye finds this move
ridiculous. Worse still, the most complicated procedures have been put
in place to discourage any applicant.
SEEING SOCIAL MEDIA PROCESSES AS A MEDIUM FOR COMMUNICATION
This contribution relates to the connection between the alternatives,
media citizens and the process of social forums which have developed
during the last ten last years all over the planet. Pierre Georges
presents the worldwide social forum as a ?potentially powerful medium?
and presents the articulations which can help make it a ?collective
AL SHABAAB AND THE BOMB-DROPPING INFIDELS…
Only it’s not bombs they are dropping!
KAGAME WELCOMES MUSEVENI
A sign of cordial relations between Rwanda and Uganda?
NATO AND GADDAFI
NATO is agreed that Gaddafi must go, but…
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End of Pambazuka-news Digest, Vol 188, Issue 1