Pop Culture and the Third World

Jul 23


PNG sidenote…

Super-interesting sidenote: A PNG judge (Cannings J) has initiated his own inquiry into human rights violations in Manus detention. The PNG govt brought about legal action straight away to quash the inquiry, arguing Cannings is ‘biased’. They were successful, but Cannings just started up another inquiry (with a slightly different focus) immediately! Whether that inquiry can go ahead, I believe, is still being decided. But Cannings is not backing down! He’s the dude that got access and allowed Aussie journos to join him in inspecting Manus in March, much to the annoyance of our and PNG’s govt.

Manus detention could be illegal under PNG law

Manus Island detention could be illegal under PNG’s constitution. This is a big deal! It could be the best chance we’ve got of seeing Manus detention closed! But not many people know about the case currently in PNG’s Supreme Court. Here are the facts:

Jul 22

Tony Abbott on Israel

“In so many ways, [Israel is] a country so much like Australia, a liberal, pluralist democracy. A beacon of freedom and hope in a part of the world which has so little freedom and hope. … It is so easy for us in Australia to get moral qualms, if you like, when we read about Israeli actions in – on the West Bank for instance – or Israeli involvement in Lebanon. And yet, we are not threatened in the way Israel was and is, and if we were threatened in the way Israel was and is, I am sure that we would take actions just as strong in our own defence. When Israel is fighting for its very life, well, as far as I’m concerned, Australians are Israelis. We are all Israelis in those circumstances.”

-Tony Abbott (2012)

Who killed Reza Berati? According to two asylum seekers, they were beaten and tortured by Australian officials to retract their evidence because a number of staff were involved in Berati’s death.

Jul 21

everyone slept on this so I’m reblogging.

everyone slept on this so I’m reblogging.

(Source: popthirdworld)


Palestinian Oscar Nominee Detained at LA Airport


This is Emad Burnat, the Palestinian filmmaker nominated for an Oscar for his doco 5 Broken Cameras, and his family. They made it to Oscar night, but not before being detained at Los Angeles International Airport, because Immigration Officers found it hard to believe a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee (even after Burnat presented them with the official Oscars invitation). Michael Moore came to his help, and Burnat told him: ‘It’s nothing I’m not already used to. When you live under occupation, with no rights, this is a daily occurrence.’ Check out Moore’s series of tweets about this. 

(Source: popthirdworld)

Musicians and the BDS movement

'Macy Grey scheduled a concert in Tel Aviv for February 2011 (after already playing Israel in 2000, 2008, and 2009). When an online attack calling her to boycott Israel began, Grey posted the following question on her Facebook page: “I’m getting a lot of letters from activists urging and begging me to boycott by not performing in protest of apartheid against the Palestinians. What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting, but I want to go. I have a lot of fans there that I don’t want to cancel on, and I don’t know how my not going changes anything. What do you think? Stay or go?” Over 1,000 users took the bait, bombarding Grey with boycott slogans. Grey eventually concluded the discussion by remarking, “See, I’m willing to listen – really listen – but some of you so-called boycotters are just assholes.”'
- Adam Shay
I think this is a source biased against the BDS movement. But it’s the most in-depth look at famous musicians and the BDS movement I could find.
Also, while being ‘nice’ is often a crappy and counter-productive thing to expect of activists, I think that when it comes to trying to get other celebs and big figures to support the BDS movement, it takes measured patient engaging dialogue, not attacks (assuming this Macy Grey story, and others similar, are accurate).