Feb. 10th, 2011

the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
The US and everyone else had the idea that Mubarak was resigning. He didn't.

Al Jazeera Live Blog

Guardian Live Blog

[livejournal.com profile] ontd_political Egypt Live Post part 10

The protesters were already planning a big march for tomorrow. In light of this latest provocation, chances are this is going to be massive. Sulieman got extra powers from Mubarak. Protesters headed out for state media but military forming human chain around it for now.

If you are following stuff, link in the comments?
bcholmes: (haiti)
[personal profile] bcholmes

Catherine Porter of The Toronto Star has had some good coverage of Haiti for a while. This article talks about some of the pitfalls of voluntourism.

If you want to help Haiti, take a vacation there. Send money to a charity you trust working on the ground. Even better, set up a micro-credit loan for a single mother so she can rebuild her shattered market stall and send her kids to school.

Just don’t go down there to volunteer for two weeks.

I know, you want to help personally. That’s noble. But your good intentions might have the opposite effect: you would be paying to do a job a Haitian is literally starving for, and the normally neglected child you are holding for a few days in a run-down orphanage might be damaged from your affection.

Those are big statements. Let me uncrate them.

Voluntourism is the new ecotourism. One 2008 survey revealed that one in five travellers had volunteered on their vacation — most of them working on small construction sites, but some helping in orphanages, teaching English, protecting egg-laying turtles in Costa Rica, cleaning up garbage at the base of Mount Everest . . . The pricey trips are marketed as “meaningful travel.” Promotional websites usually feature a white adult smiling with a black child.

I’ve been to Haiti eight times in the past year, and every flight — save the first one, which was an aid shipment — has been packed with young people in matching T-shirts on a mission. Most were with church groups planning to rebuild a school or orphanage. Some were hosting “crusades,” which are healing church services, they told me. Others planned to play with babies in orphanages, teach English in schools or help out in tent camps around the city.

Think of it this way: a $600 round-trip ticket to Haiti is just $130 short of the annual income of the average Haitian. You shouldn’t pay to do that job. A Haitian should be paid to do it.

— Catherine Porter, "Don’t go to Haiti to volunteer", The Toronto Star

the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
My revolution betrayed

From snowy Kiev, I have watched the revolutions in Cairo and Tunis with joy and admiration. Egyptians and Tunisians are right to be proud of their desire to peacefully overthrow despotic governments. But, as someone who led a peaceful revolution, I hope that their pride is tempered by pragmatism - because a change of regime is only the first step in establishing a democracy backed by the rule of law. Indeed, as my country, Ukraine, is now demonstrating, after revolutionary euphoria fades and normality returns, democratic revolutions can be betrayed and reversed.

The first of Ukraine’s lessons for Egyptian and Tunisian democrats is that elections do not a democracy make. After all, what if the enemies of freedom use elections to entrench their anti-democratic agendas? What if elements of the old regime, or the cadres of militant minorities, only pretend to embrace democratic norms in order to hijack the new democracy?

In Ukraine today, these are not abstract questions. Six years after our Orange Revolution, not only is my country’s democracy under threat - but the rule of law is being systematically perverted and our national independence bartered away. Indeed, the hybrid presidential/parliamentary system that Ukraine established as part of the settlement which brought a peaceful end to our revolution is being hollowed out in order to concentrate all political power in the hands of a supposedly democratically elected president.MORE


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