Tag Archives: authoritarianism

Journalist killings, arrests and assaults climb worldwide as authoritarianism spreads

Reuters reporters Wa Lone, left, and Kyaw Soe Oo after being freed from prison, in Yangon, Myanmar, May 7, 2019. Ann Wang/Pool Photo via AP

Randy Covington, University of South Carolina

Myanmar, nudged by the conscience of the world, recently released two Reuters journalists imprisoned for more than 500 days – good news in what otherwise has been a dismal period for media freedom.

The 2019 Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders shows how hatred of journalists has degenerated into violence and created “an intense climate of fear” worldwide. Continue reading

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“It’s What Happens in a Totalitarian Regime”: Capitol Police Slammed for “Disturbing” Physical Attacks on Reporters

“It was insane, people were getting shoved into walls. It was unsustainable. It was violent.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-16-2019

Capitol Police became physically aggressive toward journalists who were trying to speak with senators at the Russell Senate Office Building on Thursday afternoon, according to a Roll Call report. (Photo: @pkcapitol/Twitter)

Press freedom advocates and journalists described a Friday report of Capitol Police manhandling and shoving reporters in the Russell Senate Office Building as “bizarre” and “disturbing,” with some calling the altercation an incident far more likely to take place in a totalitarian regime than in a democracy.

As Roll Call reported Friday, Capitol Police pushed and “slammed into” reporters on Thursday afternoon around the time that senators were voting on the spending bill. The police attempted to prevent reporters from speaking to lawmakers—a practice that is common in the Senate Capitol basement, where the incident took place. Continue reading

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The Manchurian President

A classic Hollywood political thriller may tell us more about what’s happening in America than any history book.

By Neal Gabler. Published 2-22-2017 by BillMoyers.com

Opening scene from The Manchurian Candidate. Photo: YouTube

As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters.

But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has noted the relevance of the movie The Manchurian Candidate. But the relevance is more than skin or celluloid deep. It goes to the very heart of this bizarre and frightening political moment. Continue reading

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Why resistance is the shortest way to global justice

In a context of growing injustice, reclaiming the importance and the meaning of the word resistance is more urgent than ever.

By Alaa Tartir. Published 11-16-2016 by openDemocracy

Beautiful resistance – found in a Bethlehem refugee camp. Photo: HFOY

Beautiful resistance – found in a Bethlehem refugee camp. Photo: HFOY

The world dis-(order) continues to expand and take different shapes and forms, and so does injustice. The democratic norms are in crisis and the political representation gap continues to widen.

New conflicts keep erupting in this highly securitised world, and new technologies of oppression and aggression are deployed. Global citizens feel less empowered, and far from the core of their political systems. The answer to all of this is resistance.  Continue reading

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