On Saturday June 21, an Egyptian judge confirmed 183 death sentences for what are called, in the BBC story, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of them are, no doubt, Brotherhood supporters - until last year's military coup, the Brotherhood was a legal political party and, indeed, the governing party. Since the coup, the Brotherhood has become illegal, its leaders imprisoned.
An interesting couple of weeks. A friend of mine told me about the Ear to the Ground Project, which is a kind of state of the left in the US. Another friend set me to read Myles Horton and Paolo Freire's "We Make the Road By Walking", which includes many interesting things about the Highlander Center's kind of education and also of Freire's methods of education.
Before that I was reading a lot of Alfie Kohn, including his new book The Myth of the Spoiled Child, and thinking about the constructivist theory of learning.
The invisible assumptions of charity driven development: reading Bill and Melinda Gates's 2014 letter
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released their annual letter for 2014 a few months ago. It was devoted to dispelling three common myths, which they argue, block progress for the poor.
1. Poor countries are doomed to stay poor.
2. Foreign aid is a waste.
3. Saving lives leads to overpopulation.
A little while after my Ossington Circle interview with author Paul Moloney, I was sent (by Paul) the Midlands Psychology Group Manifesto for a Social-Materialist Psychology of Distress. It's an unadorned, long, well-written text that is full of important insights.
I met Ali Mustafa a long time ago, when he was one of the younger activists in Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA). I was not so old as I am now but Ali's energy and anger made me feel my age then.
Ali was no single-issue activist. He spent a summer working (as an intern I think) with the Movimento Sem Terra (MST) in Brazil, a movement of landless peasants. That was how he did things. He wanted to go, be in it.
He was no hotel journalist. When he went to Palestine and Egypt and to Syria, he lived with the people, shared their risks, faced whatever they faced.
Podur, J. (2014). A Short Course on Development in “Post-conflict” Congo. Radical Teacher, 98, 52-57. doi:10.5195/rt.2014.70
This article, published in the journal Radical Teacher, is about higher education in the eastern DR Congo, based on my experience teaching a course at the Universite Evangelique en Afrique (UEA) in Bukavu in 2011.
With an attempted coup underway in Venezuela, those of us who studied the 2004 Haiti coup are looking back at Haiti 10 years ago and being reminded of the parallels. Actually, I wrote about the Venezuela coup of 2002, which followed a similar playbook to the coup attempt currently underway.
The Ossington Circle is an internet talk show hosted by Justin Podur in Toronto. In this episode, I talk to Eva Bartlett, who has spent a good portion of the past few years in Gaza. She talks about the tunnels, agriculture, fishery, all of the impacts of Israel's comprehensive siege against the Palestinian population of 1.7 million people. See her on speaking tour in February and March of 2014.
Egypt was ruled by the Mubarak dictatorship for 30 years before the people managed to overthrow him in 2011.
My latest article is Jan/Feb 2014 cover story in Briarpatch Magazine. In it I analyze science and politics, talking about three different things that are called science: Science A (authority), Science B (business), and Science C (curiosity). Hope you enjoy.