Category Archives: Activism & Advocacy

Prodemocracy Activists & the Global System

I have visited this theme before, and I will probably do it again, because the hypocrisy and/or ignorance involved here is simply unforgiveable, and because I need to stake out my position more clearly on the matter.

Prodemocracy activists in Hong Kong marking the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre, June 1, 2014. (Photo: Jessica Hromas, Getty Images)
Prodemocracy activists in Hong Kong marking the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre, June 1, 2014. (Photo: Jessica Hromas, Getty Images)

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More photos from the August 27 premier and book-launch

The August 27 dual event consisting of the premier of the 40-minute documentary “Syria: A Fire Within” and the official book launch of Ammar Abdulhamid’s “The Irreverent Activist” was so well-received that plans for repeat performances are already underway, and will be announced shortly. Meanwhile, we publish more photos from the event provided to us courtesy of Ross Stansfield, the gentle soul responsible for lighting in “A Fire Within.”

The Irreverent Activist now available on Amazon.
The Irreverent Activist now available on Amazon.

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Syria: A Fire Within

Amid the flurry of really wonderful documentaries about Syria and the Syrian revolution that are emerging these days, this one might represent a more modest effort in this regard, and might seems a bit dated now since it was mostly filmed in the summer of 2012. Still, since the focus here is to trace the roots of the Syrian revolution and its transformation into an armed struggle, and to showcase the betrayal of the nonviolent liberal prodemocracy activists that led the early protests throughout the country by the leaders of the free world, the subject matter maintains certain relevance and seems to distinguish this effort from other works.

A scene from "Syria: A Fire Within."
A scene from “Syria: A Fire Within.”

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The reality of targeted lies vs. the illusion of targeted strikes

NO. HAMAS FATHERS DON’T FIGHT WITH THEIR CHILDREN IN THEIR LAPS, AND PROLIFERATING AIR STRIKES IN PROLONGED CONFLICTS ARE RARELY “TARGETED.”

Writing for Tablet Magazine, Lee Smith makes some valid points. Indeed, photographers operating in Gaza do not seem to have enough freedom of movement to allow them to present a more accurate picture of what is happening on the ground during these tragic times. In fact, international photographers and journalists working in Gaza have as much freedom to move as their colleagues working in those parts of Syria still under Assad control. The see what their appointed “guides” and “fixers” want them to see. And they cannot report everything they see, if they still want to retain “access.” This is a perennial dilemma that confronts all journalists and photographers working in war zones.

Scene from the havoc in Gaza.
Scene from the havoc in Gaza.

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Radical Movements and the Logic of Conflation

New Statesman | Times of Israel pulls “permissible genocide” blog.

If there is anything that pontiffs, policy analysts and decision-makers need to do it is this: We need to stop conflating radical populist movements whose ideologies call for the destruction of others, and the larger civilian populations that may support and sympathize with these movements for reasons of identity, economy and psychology; reasons that cannot and should not be callously dismissed as illegitimate. 

Smoke rises from buildings following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike, as Palestinians search for victims under the rubble of a house which police said was destroyed in another Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 11, 2014. Israel pressed on for a fourth day with its Gaza offensive on Friday, striking the Hamas-dominated enclave from air and sea, as Palestinian militants kept up rocket attacks deep into the Jewish state. At least 79 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the offensive, which Israel says it launched to end persistent rocket attacks on its civilian population, some of which have reached Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
Smoke rises from buildings following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike, as Palestinians search for victims under the rubble of a house which police said was destroyed in another Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 11, 2014. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

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