On October 28, 2013, Justin Podur gave a lecture for the Toronto Public Library's "Thought Exchange" series titled "Afghanistan: Perils and Possibilities". The lecture was based on his trip to Kabul in March 2013 and his chapter in the 2013 University of Toronto Press book, "Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan". Before the lecture, Podur screened his short documentary, "Waiting for 2014 in Afghanistan", which he refers to at the beginning of the lecture.
Jean Dreze is an economist and activist who teaches at Allahabad University's Department of Economics. He has written on famines with Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics for work on the issue. I met him in India earlier this year and interviewed him over email.
Justin Podur (JP): I think perhaps you are best known for your work with Amartya Sen on famines and hunger. Can you talk a bit about that, how that work came about, and your findings?
On July 25, 2013, at Hart House, at the University of Toronto, Justin Podur presented some background notes and observations on the indigenous (adivasi) struggle in Central India and the Kashmir conflict.
by Justin Podur and Dan Freeman-Maloy
Note: this is a rather long article. If you prefer a PDF version, it is linked here.
As the emergency contact for Tarek and John, I was happy to field media calls and requests. Now the emergency is over, and media are being handled by the most excellent and wonderful Touchwood PR. If you wish to schedule an interview with Tarek and John, pleaes contact Touchwood at email@example.com.
When Tarek and John were arrested on August 16, we were taken by surprise. We used whatever tools we had to hand to get the message out. As their emergency contact, I used my own blog and my own twitter handle, and became one of their official spokespeople. In the intervening 50 days, we set up a change.org petition, and a dedicated website, tarekandjohn.com. The plan was always to make the transfer so that tarekandjohn.com was the only place to go for news about them, but events kept moving quickly and we did not have a moment to pause to make the transition.
Tarek and John are out of jail.
Thank you to everyone who followed, supported, wrote letters, helped, worked, and kept going when this thing ended up going so much longer than we thought it would.
Oct 2/13, 8pm
We learned today that Tarek and John have ended their hunger strike. They have resumed eating solid food under medical supervision. They saw a doctor, as well as staff from the Canadian Embassy, today.
Tarek and John commenced their hunger strike on September 16, a month after their arrest, to call attention to their unjust and arbitrary detention leading up to their scheduled hearing on day 45 (September 30). Their secondary demands were the improvement of the conditions of their imprisonment and increased exercise time. These were won.
Oct 1/13, 10pm
Time to close the loophole