Global Affairs

Seeding a green revolution

by Michelle Chen on April 22 2009, 2:21PM

On this Earth Day, those of us living in a world of carbon offsets and tempeh may want to step back and contemplate the most environmentally burdened communities, at home and abroad, for whom sustainability isn’t a matter of…

Topics: Environment, Global Affairs

From Trinidad & Tobago: Change or More of the Same?

by Guest Columnist on April 20 2009, 8:13PM

By Carlos Jimenez The V Summit of the Americas, and the counter IV Peoples’ Summit, has brought a wide representation of peoples and communities of all colors and histories to the small island of Trinidad. While both gatherings have similar…

Topics: Global Affairs

The racial divide across the Atlantic

by Michelle Chen on April 17 2009, 2:58PM

In the global context, America’s problems with racism, diversity and segregation are unique in some ways, typical in others. The Center for American Progress has published an analysis comparing different challenges of racial and ethnic integration on both sides…

Topics: Global Affairs, Immigration

At the Summit of the Americas, Obama Must Break The Stalemate with Cuba

by Tammy Johnson on April 16 2009, 4:11PM

In September 2005, not long after Hurricane Katrina, I attended Jubilee South’s second global assembly, held in Havana, Cuba. I was able to wander Havana streets and take in a small piece of people’s daily lives. I grooved in…

Topics: Global Affairs

Standing before history

by Michelle Chen on April 9 2009, 4:26PM

A multinational oil giant may be headed for its day of reckoning in a New York City courtroom next month. The lawsuit, Wiwa v. Shell, centers on charges of rampant human rights abuses by Royal Dutch Shell against the…

Topics: Global Affairs

Time to play fair

by Michelle Chen on March 31 2009, 9:13PM

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke uttered some bold words when he announced that the Obama administration would be focusing on promoting “fair trade.” In a Wall Street Journal interview, he argued for “minimum standards that other countries should abide by…

Topics: Economy, Global Affairs

No refuge

by Michelle Chen on March 27 2009, 8:17PM

Thousands flock to America’s doorstep each year to flee torture, political persecution and other abuses. But many of the world’s huddled masses don’t get to breathe free after they land within U.S. borders. Thanks to draconian immigration laws, more…

Topics: Global Affairs, Immigration

Ugly diplomacy from Geneva to Johannesburg

by Michelle Chen on March 25 2009, 2:49PM

In the lofty universe of international diplomacy, concepts such as “peace is good” and “racism is bad” might seem like no-brainers. But two summits that were supposed to celebrate these principles—an upcoming United Nations conference on racism and a…

Topics: Global Affairs

Crisis on the other side

by Michelle Chen on March 23 2009, 2:42PM

Lately, politicians have made some bold pronouncements about violence along the US-Mexico border. Yet the economic downturn is posing a different, though related threat in Mexico, fueled by the volatile ebbs and flows of “free trade.” Dan LaBotz at…

Topics: Global Affairs, Immigration

Up against the wall

by Michelle Chen on March 20 2009, 5:27AM

Just days after huddling with Latino members of Congress on immigration issues, President Obama has zeroed in on the issue of border security, and the air of change is starting to smell a bit more like leftovers from the…

Topics: Global Affairs, Immigration

Double-vision on Mexico’s “drug war”

by Michelle Chen on March 11 2009, 4:21PM

On the U.S.-Mexico border, drug-related violence rivals immigration as a media fixation, projecting images of a so-called “failed state” and a “wave” of killings. The New York Times cites a National Drug Intelligence Center report calling Mexican cartels “the…

Topics: Global Affairs, Immigration, Politics

Sudan in black and white?

by Michelle Chen on March 5 2009, 3:26PM

The arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is stoking debate on how the international community should define and address conflict (particularly the United States, which has not formally recognized the ICC)….

Topics: Global Affairs

More on the U.N. racism conference, post-racial edition

by Michelle Chen on March 2 2009, 4:25PM

As Roberto Lovato notes in his column, Washington’s potential/probable boycott of the upcoming United Nations summit on racism suggests the U.S. continues to stonewall international action on race issues (namely centering on Israel’s aggression and human rights abuses, the link…

Topics: Global Affairs

Colombia’s struggle

by Michelle Chen on February 26 2009, 2:04PM

Human rights defenders in Colombia are on the front lines of civil war and government oppression, as well as United States policies that facilitate violence. Human Rights First reports that baseless prosecutions of activists are emboldening a corrupt legal…

Topics: Global Affairs

Chipping away at the embargo

by Michelle Chen on February 25 2009, 5:11PM

Tucked snugly into a massive House budget bill is a quiet tweak that could reconfigure US-Cuba relations. The provision, which passed along with the House bill today, was shepherded by Rep. José E. Serrano of the Bronx, chair of the…

Topics: Global Affairs

Hampshire College first U.S. university to divest from Israeli occupation

by Guest Columnist on February 13 2009, 9:58AM

by Joyce Choi Won Li A professor told me once that power never likes to admit that it’s been forced to change. The grassroots efforts of organizing and activist groups have always had to take a proactive, defensive role in…

Topics: Global Affairs

Haiti on the horizon

by Michelle Chen on January 30 2009, 1:42PM

Rocked by disaster and social upheaval, Haiti stands at the center of several political storms. Currently, thousands of Haitian immigrants are hoping the government will grant temporary protection from deportation so they can avoid returning to the ravages of the…

Topics: Global Affairs, Immigration

Rights without borders

by Michelle Chen on January 22 2009, 3:20PM

Behind the inaugural celebration was a backdrop of global turmoil that will push the project of“remaking America” far beyond US borders. The question of America’s role in the world casts another light on the civil rights struggles stretching from King’s…

Topics: Global Affairs

Blacks Condemn Israeli Attacks in Gaza

by Terry Keleher on January 13 2009, 7:26AM

Thousands of demonstrators marched to the South African Parliament to protest against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. Photo: Jonathan Carter Cross-racial solidarity efforts are afoot, both locally and internationally, to condemn Israel’s continuing military attacks on the people…

Topics: Global Affairs

Why Gaza Matters To Us

by Adrienne Maree Brown on January 2 2009, 9:18AM

On December 30, I attended a rally/memorial for Gaza in Dearborn, Michigan. Dearborn is home to the largest community of Arab and Arab-American people within US borders. I went with two young women who have focused on Palestinian human rights,…

Topics: Global Affairs