WW4 Report

Podcast: China Unbound with Joanna Chiu

In Episode 102 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg interviews Joanna Chiu, author of China Unbound: A New World Disorder, on the precipitous rise of the People's Republic as a world power, and the dilemmas this poses for human rights and democracy around the planet. How can we reconcile the imperatives to resist the globalization of China's police state and to oppose the ugly Sinophobia which is rising in the West, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? Some Chinese dissidents living in exile in the US have even been co-opted by Trumpism. Chiu argues that stigmatization and misinterpretation of Chinese, whether in the People's Republic or the diaspora, plays into the hands of Beijing's propaganda. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

Denmark: ex-minister gets prison for family separation

The Danish Court of Impeachment, or Rigsretten, on Dec. 13 sentenced former immigration minister Inger Støjberg to 60 days in prison. The decision follows a rare impeachment trial in February, in which she was found to have ordered the illegal separation of married asylum-seeking partners while in office. The Rigsretten found Støjberg to be guilty of violating Section 5 (1) of the Ministerial Accountability Act, which holds that a minister will be punished if she or he, intentionally or through gross negligence, "neglects the duties incumbent on him under the constitution or legislation, in general, or according to the nature of his position."

Water scarcity sparks clashes in Cameroon's North

The UN Refugee Agency reports that "intercommunal clashes" in Cameroon's Far North region have displaced thousands inside the country and forced more than 30,000 people to flee to neighboring Chad. Since the violence erupted on Dec. 5, at least 22 people have been killed and 30 others seriously injured. The fighting began in the border village of Ouloumsa following a dispute between herders, fishermen and farmers over dwindling water resources. Violence then spread to neighboring villages. Ten villages in total have been burned to the ground. On Dec. 8, the violence reached Kousseri, Cameroon's northern commercial hub, where the cattle market was destroyed. At least 10,000 people have fled Kousseri to Chad's capital N'djamena, across the Chari and Logone Rivers, which mark the border.

Podcast: R2P in the 21st Century

In Episode 101 of the CounterVortex podcast, we present the audio from a panel at the Ninth Biennial International Conference of the Herbert Marcuse Society, held in October at Arizona State University in Tempe. The panel, "The Responsibility to Protect in the Twenty-First Century," features two presentations. Javier Sethness speaks on "Realism, Egalitarianism, and Internationalism," providing a theoretical and historical framework for the question, including a discussion of Herbert Marcuse's work with US intelligence in World War II. Bill Weinberg, speaking via Zoom from New York, follows with "For Solidarity; Against Dictators and Campism," discussing contemporary examples, including Syria, Libya, Burma and Taiwan. A third presentation was to have been offered by Anner G. in Ethiopia, on "The Responsibility to Protect in Tigray," but she was unable to join. The work of her group, Horn Anarchists, is briefly discussed in Weinberg's presentation. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

Burma: resistance escalates as Suu Kyi sentenced

Ousted Burmese state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, was found guilty Dec. 6 of "incitement" and breaking COVID restrictions—but the first of a series of 11 charges that could see her imprisoned for life, with potential combined terms of up to 100 years. For these initial two charges, she was given a four-year sentence; junta chief Min Aung Hlaing ordered it reduced it to two years. Deposed president Win Myint, 69, convicted on the same charges, also had his sentence commuted from four years to two. They will each be able to serve the two years at their undisclosed "current place of detention," where they have been held since the February coup d'etat. (BBC News, Myanmar Now, The Irrawady)

Afghanistan: Taliban kill, 'disappear' ex-officials

Taliban forces in Afghanistan have summarily executed or forcibly disappeared more than 100 former police and intelligence officers in just four provinces since taking over the country in August, despite a proclaimed amnesty, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Nov. 30. The report, 'No Forgiveness for People Like You'—Executions and Enforced Disappearances in Afghanistan under the Taliban, documents the killing or disappearance of 47 former members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)—military personnel, police, intelligence service members, and militia—who had surrendered or were apprehended by Taliban forces between Aug. 15 and Oct. 31. HRW gathered credible information on more than 100 killings from Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, and Kunduz provinces alone.

Podcast: the countervortex of global resistance II

In Episode 100 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg discusses recent uprisings in two disparate parts of the world—the South Pacific archipelago nation of the Solomon Islands and two of the states that have emerged from the former Yugoslavia. In both cases, people who were pissed off for damn good reason took to the streets to oppose foreign capital, and corrupt authoritarian leaders who do its bidding. But in the Solomon Islands, popular rage was deflected into campism and ethnic scapegoating, while in Serbia and Kosova the people on the ground actually overcame entrenched and bitter ethnic divisions to make common cause against common oppressors. The contrast holds lessons for global protest movements from Hong Kong to New York City. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

India: Northeast marks 2021 without journo-murder

If nothing sad happens in the next weeks, India's restive Northeastern region will complete another year without any incident of journo-murder, maintaining the trend for the last four years. The region, comprising eight states with a population of over 60 million, witnessed the slaying of journalists for the last time in 2017. However, the country as a whole continues to lose scribes to targeted killings. To date, the nation in 2021 has witnessed the murder of five journalists, while acclaimed Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed in Afghanistan. India lost 15 scribes to assailants in 2020, one of the worst records on Earth.

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