From the Editors

published in MER117

”We oppose the militarization of internal conflicts, often abetted and even encouraged by massive US arms exports, in areas of the world such as the Middle East and Central America, while their basic human problems are neglected.” Most people, we believe, would readily support such a straightforward declaration—one sentence from the official “call” for the August 27 march in Washington for “Jobs, Peace and Freedom.” It identifies, with commendable simplicity, a US policy responsible for unspeakable suffering for people unfortunate enough to dwell in these lands so prized by the captains of industry and stewards of state.

Not Running on Empty: Democratic Activism Against Israeli Gas in Jordan

by Curtis Ryan | published April 16, 2015 - 9:24am

A grassroots movement has been growing in Jordan, aimed at putting a stop to a major gas deal between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom. In the wake of the Israeli elections, which returned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power, this movement can be expected to get larger still.

Israel's Invasion and the Disarmament Movement

by Noam Chomsky
published in MER108

On June 12, 1982, over half a million people demonstrated in New York, calling for a halt to the nuclear arms race. The demonstration was unusual in its size, and even more so in the favorable media coverage it received. About the same time, a few thousand people in scattered cities throughout the country actively protested the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the barely disguised US government support for it. A strong case can be made that the latter actions constituted the more direct and appropriate response to the very real danger of nuclear war.

The Israeli Opposition

by Zachary Lockman
published in MER108

As the Israeli invasion of Lebanon enters its third month, the polarization of the Israeli public continues. People there have become increasingly aware of the terrible destruction being wrought on the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples by their military machine. More important for most citizens, concern has spread over the heavy casualties that are certain if the Israeli army seeks to conquer West Beirut.

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The Battle of Egyptian Football Fans Against Dullness

by Dalia Abd El-Hameed | published December 3, 2014 - 3:56pm

Ultras, or organized groups of football fans, represented an influential faction of the Egyptian revolutionary multitude in 2011. The ultras’ long experience of street fights with police at stadiums aided the revolutionaries in achieving many victories over riot cops in the early days of the January 25 uprising and subsequently. And the ultras’ combat prowess was not their only contribution to the uprising. More important was the carnivalesque character of their resistance, which transformed the protest scene into something more colorful, vital, choreographed and performative.

Ferguson to Palestine

by Steve Tamari | published December 1, 2014 - 10:34am

The world’s attention again shines on Ferguson, MO, where Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American 18-year old was shot by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. This time, the occasion is the grand jury’s failure to indict the officer. There will be no trial. There will be no opportunity for Brown’s family to defend their son’s reputation and see justice served.

Women's Rights Activists Between State Violence and Intervention

by Parastou Hassouri | published November 25, 2014 - 5:34pm

The November 15 attack on an armored car transporting Shukria Barakzai, a women’s rights activist and parliamentarian in Afghanistan, shook me to the core. The attack, which Barakzai survived but three passersby did not, took place shortly after my return from a women’s rights meeting in Turkey. Several Afghan activists were in attendance, and they face similar risks each day. As I read the news, I thought, “It could have been any one of them.”

Taking Back the Village

Rural Youth in a Moral Revolution

by Lila Abu-Lughod
published in MER272

On January 25, 2011, like most of the rest of the world I watched the uprisings in Egypt on television. I was struck by the consistent vantage point: a reporter speaking from a balcony or rooftop overlooking the masses in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. There was an occasional interview with a member of the crowd. Sporadic reports appeared from the streets of other cities -- Alexandria, Suez or Port Said -- where people were demonstrating.

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Strangers in the Crowd

by Vivienne Matthies-Boon | published September 5, 2014 - 6:34pm

“The system of fear is back,” whispers an Egyptian political activist. “It is showing its teeth, saying ‘I’m baaack.’” The protest veteran speaks sotto voce even though he is sitting in his living room. And that, he points out, is the biggest change since the heady days of 2011, after the fall of Husni Mubarak, and even since the more somber times of 2012 and 2013.

Sifting the Berkeley Left

by Jock Taft
published in MER129

On June 5, 1984, voters in Berkeley, California, by a margin of almost 64 percent to 36 percent, defeated a ballot measure calling for the United States to reduce its aid to Israel by the amount Israel spends on its settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights. What’s going on here? Since the 1960s, Berkeley has had a reputation as the most politically progressive urban community in the country. Civil rights activism on the University of California campus spawned the Free Speech Movement, which in turn set the stage for the early protests and organizing against the US war in Vietnam. When Ronald Reagan was elected governor in 1966, one of his main campaign targets was UC campus radicalism.

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