Thoughts on mobilising

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I really enjoyed Leah and Scones (2007) as it made me see mobilisation in a new light. It is such a diverse time and encompasses a variety of groups,collectives and peoples .

I think it’s important to take note of some important movements happening in the world right now. Such as the Dakota pipeline protests also known as (and hashtagged) the NoDAPL movement . This is a movement that has attracted huge amounts of support (not enough from mainstream media) and has been tagged and shared worldwide. I think this is a great example of how movements are able to grow and flourish in the digital age. Even if they are not shown or even represented in any forms by some major news stations, they can still receive tremendous amounts of backing.

It reminds me of the Arab spring in 2011. These were a series of protest that spread throughout the Middle-East mostly aimed at the ageing Arab dictatorships amongst a variety of other social issues . These countries did not  decide to protest together at the same time but rather it was an incendiary effect due to their homogeneous ideals. Some deemed these protest a failure, this is due to the fact that they did not overthrow the numerous authoritarian regimes that governed them .

Rather I believe they were a catalyst for change in a different sense. It is difficult to over throw decades of corrupt rule. They have slowly paved the way for more elected officials and more transparent governing powers however. The Arab spring also inspired other movements such as the Occupy movement. This movement started in 2011 also,starting to challenge mainly the inequalities faced by the majority of Americans. They have taken the trademark “We are the 99%” , this is to reflect the fact that they represent the economic inequality faced by 99% of the American people.Since then it has taken hold and spread to every continent of the world .Not unlike the French revolution in the 18th century, where similarly there was economic inequality as the “top” tier of society paid no taxes at all. It ended with the 99% creating their own constitution.

Taken from http://occupywallstreet.net/learn

What are your goals and demands?

We do not have one or two simple demands, though many demand them of us. Why? Because we believe that making demands of a corrupt system makes our success contingent on the will of others. It legitimizes the corrupted, it disempowers us.

Our actions are our demands.

What is your demand? What are you doing about it?

 

Who are your leaders?
A
Occupy Wall Street is structured on anarchist organizing principles. This means there are no formal leaders and no formal hierarchy. Rather, the movement is full of people who lead by example. We are leader-full, and this makes us strong.

 

French revolution http://www.history.com/topics/french-revolution

Nice occupy movement documentory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-p3zt8hP-g

Occupy movement http://www.occupy.com/

Marriage in Thailand

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Hello, hope everyone is well.As I am currently living and working in Thailand, I thought that I would write a little bit about marriage here and how it has changed. I will give you an example through a friend or two of mine.

The institution of marriage has changed a lot in Thailand, mostly to the relaxation of traditions regarding the Buddhist components of the weddings.To begin with, the husband must approach the family of the person that he wishes to marry. They then decide on a price for the dowry or the สินสอด (sin sodt). This changes entirely depending on the looks, education and personal background of their child. Personally, I have known friends pay around 150,00 baht to the family for permission to ask to be engaged to marry, then over a million baht as part of a dowry to actually marry them.

The actual ceremony has changed a lot as well. Before it was seen as a bad omen to see a monk at a wedding as they were related to death and funerals. They would, however, consult a monk before the wedding for astrological advice on a matter such as when to set the wedding ceremony, etc.The actual ceremony itself was not at the temple at all as that was strictly forbidden. Now couples often go to the temple on the wedding day and sometimes are even married on temple grounds.Quite often monks are invited to make a blessing and share a meal at a marriage ceremony.

This is how the Buddhist component of a modern wedding ceremony typically  takes place:

“During the Buddhist component of the wedding service, the couple first bow before the image of the Buddha. They then recite certain basic Buddhist prayers or chants (typically including taking the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts), and light incense and candles before the image. The parents of the couple may then be called upon to “connect” them, by placing upon the heads of the bride and groom twin loops of string or thread that link the couple together. The couple may then make offerings of food, flowers, and medicine to the monks present. Cash gifts (usually placed in an envelope) may also be given to the temple at this time.

The monks may then unwind a small length of thread that is held between the hands of the assembled monks. They begin a series of recitations of Pali scriptures intended to bring merit and blessings to the new couple. The string terminates with the lead monk, who may connect it to a container of water that will be “sanctified” for the ceremony. Merit is said to travel through the string and be conveyed to the water. A similar arrangement is used to transfer merit to the dead at a funeral, further evidence of the weakening of the taboo on mixing funerary imagery and trappings with marriage ceremonies. Blessed water may be mixed with wax drippings from a candle lit before the Buddha image and other unguents and herbs to create a paste that is then applied to the foreheads of the bride and groom to create a small dot, similar to the marking made with red ochre on Hindu devotees. The bride’s mark is formed with the butt end of the candle rather than the monk’s thumb, in keeping with the Vinaya prohibition against touching women.

The highest-ranking monk present may elect to say a few words to the couple, offering advice or encouragement. The couple may then make offerings of food to the monks, at which point the Buddhist portion of the ceremony is concluded.”

Gay marriage is not currently licensed or recognised.

Globalization

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As others have pointed out, globalisation can not be clearly described as purely negative and neither can it be described as entirely positive.It is, however, something that is happening now and I believe will continue to occur.A point could be made that the more countries and cultures intermingle that there could be less chance of strife and conflict. Or does this simply give political powers more ammunition for conflict? Nationalism, for example, is it a good thing?.Does it mean that you are saying you and your “people” are better than other cultures and other”people”? What does it mean wanting to keep your culture, is it bringing us further apart or bringing us closer together?

Pros

-Access to International aid and support

-Contributes to world peace(maybe), reduces risk of invasion, more checks to big powers and limits are put on nationalism

-Smaller countries can work together and gain more influence internationally, for example, ASEAN

-International organisations are often committed to spread values like freedom and to fight abuses within countries

Cons

-Loss of sovereignty

-Increased power of TNC’s

-Unstable financial system

-Erosion of tradition

-Simplified class antagonisms

-Reduce people to wage labourers

-Excess: too much commerce and industry becomes a hindrance to society, not a benefit

-Work has no individual character

-Specialised machines take peoples jobs

Globalization is something that is here now, it is not going to stop, and it will not go away. We can, however, adapt to how globalisation develops and how we can better work together globally.

Inequality

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I find the three different categories of inequality to be very interesting,particularly the fact that the word inequality is used and never the word poor. Poor in my mind is just a word we use to describe people who may be have less or in a more degrading situation than their peers. Most people use the word poor when they mean inequality .Economic deprivation is the most common example of inequality, this includes but not limited to:income poverty,insecure livelihoods and asset deficits.Some well known cases of  economic deprivation are the substance farmers currently in Ghana,unemployed youth in Egypt,numerous indigenous groups in Mexico,Bolivia and the Philippines, homeless families in India,landless people in Uganda,trafficked children in Ghana, as well as all disaster -affected people.

Another form of inequality is discrimination.There are many and varying forms of discrimination . Two major groups of discrimination are people who are marginalised in society because of their identity or are lower down in the social hierarchy. Some peoples who are majorly affected by discrimination are: the indigenous groups in Mexico, Bolivia and the Philippines, the Dalit (untouchables in India),racial minorities Brazil and Nigeria,people with disabilities in Bangladesh,sexual minority groups in the Balkans,sex workers,LGBTQA, HIV-aids as well as people marginalised by conflict like the Palestinians.

Finally there is spatial inequality.This kind of inequality is active in regions of the world where people live in adverse conditions.These regions serve to disadvantage those who live and work in them.These people simply cannot escape poverty.Some examples of people who suffer from spatial inequality are people who live in mountainous terrain,remote areas, underserved urban slums or areas vulnerable to climate change.

People need to feel empowered that they themselves can make a change.

“Peoples relationships within their families and wider communities can enable or undermine their feelings of empowerment,self-recognition, belonging and aspirations for change-critical factors that enable agency.”

What  they have against them however is not one state of inequality but rather a multitude of problems that force people into think they are not capable of making any social change. People feel this way perhaps because of their family and other around them.Inequalities continue through lifetimes and generations and people are left feeling hopeless.

Development programmes and policies often do not help as they are very linear in their approach and look at a very simple understanding of change.Inequality however is sustained through a myriad of complex and interconnected social issues.

“It is impossible for someone to buy soap when he has no food. I cannot pay money for a latrine without food. I cannot buy a jerry can of water when I have no food. So we end up in dirty environment, poor hygiene and sanitation. This is where diseases come from. We drink unboiled water, survive on one cup of porridge, this can also make one sick. We end up suffering from cholera,kwashiorkor,dysentery, malaria and HIV and generally carrying a poor health situation. All the time you’re sick and you spend more, and then you cannot spend anymore. In most cases the poor die because we lack money to treat us and we die.”
(Slum-dweller, HEPS-Uganda 2013)

If people feel like they have power however ,they can and do make lasting change.They need to have a sense of belonging and feel like a citizen in their own country. Support networks of any kind are crucial as a transforming source of personal power.

Why the Chipko Movement is more important than ever.

The Chipko movement is a forest conservation movement that began in India, 1973. It pioneered many environmental changes that we have today. The Chipko movement arose in a time when there were few or no major environmental groups in India. At the start of the Chipko movement, it practised the Gandhian methods of Satyagraha. Since then it has become more of an eco-feminist orientated campaign. Eco-feminism tries to heal the divide between culture and denture that has become exceedingly apparent over the last few decades; this will be done through the feminine instinct for nurture and nature.

We need more movements like the Chipko movement now more than ever. A time when it is estimated within the next one hundred years, there will be no rainforests left whatsoever when 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon forest alone. Although forests still cover roughly thirty percent of the earth, we lose an area roughly equivalent to the size of Panama in forested land every year, not only this but over two hundred million people actually live in forest land, and another one and a half billion people depend on forest directly for survival.

Many movements now get much more attention now thanks to the progression of social media. Getting a share or a like on Facebook certainly, brings environmental issues to people’s attention but does not change the issues at its core. As St Augustine said, “there is a difference between knowing the good and loving the good”. The Chipko movement arose at a time when there were no other movements or social media, they instead arose and have inspired so many movements since then. Not only in India but around the world. Their stances of feminism were far ahead of their time, and feminism now, more than ever, truly is for everyone.

Edugeen, available online at-http://edugreen.teri.res.in/explore/forestry/chipko.htm [Accessed7/12/16]

Greenpeace why deforestation still matters, available online at – http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/6-reasons-stopping-deforestation-still-matters/  [Accessed7/12/16]

Women in world history, available online at – http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/contemporary-04.html [Accessed7/12/16]chipko-movement-1-638

Feminism-More important than ever in a post-Trump America

Feminism, that truly terrifying eight letter word. So many people hear it and fear it,  if someone says that they are a feminist, they are thought to be a radical and that you support women’s rights over man.This is totally untrue, at least in conjunction with the beliefs of the feminists that I know. According to Belle hooks and the title of her guide to feminism, “Feminism is for everybody “.  Feminism has changed a lot from first, second and now third wave feminism. From early pioneers who introduced such as Jeremy Bentham when feminism was such a new ideal and differed greatly from protofeminism, the closest movement to feminism in the fourteenth century. Of course, progress has been made since then and the days when suffragettes would throw themselves under wagons in order to gain votes for women . Progress has been made, but now with the election of Donald Trump, feminism will be pivotal in the post-trump era. Even before his election, he had a very “boys will be boys attitude ” towards female victims of sexual abuse.

He posted

26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?

This was 2013, and not much has changed since then, he has an anti-abortion attitude towards planned towards planned parenting and has vowed to cut their funding if they don’t stop providing abortions.  He has continuously glorified the mistreatment of women, here are a few gems of his.

In a 1991 Esquire magazine interview, he said: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a  young and beautiful piece of ass”.

In 1992 he said in an interview with New York magazine “You have to treat them like shit”.

In April this yea he Trump retweeted user @mplefty67’s comment, “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”

These are just a few examples of his patriarchal beliefs, now that he will, in fact, be president, however, he will have the power, in particular, most vulnerable: immigrant women, women of colour, lesbian women, transgender women, women seeking abortions, women seeking asylum, women seeking protection from men.  The American people need feminism now more than ever to combat this chauvinistic, presidency ..Modern feminism is an inclusive movement focused on making people’s lives better – regardless of what you look like.

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Let’s not forget the 2005  “Grab her by the pussy tape https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8U0IaMsRf4

Bell hooks (2001)- Femenism is for Everybody

The Washington post, what does president trump mean for feminists(online) available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/11/09/what-does-president-trump-mean-for-feminists/?utm_term=.dac5a206b750%5BAccesses 09/12/16]

Bell hooks: Ending Domination — The Struggle Continues- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMuEJhlWSvA