Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out nearly everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week and use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
Laura Bolt focuses on human rights and revolution.
“A New Chapter of People Power,” by Srdja Popovic. The European, March 5, 2012.
Srdja Popovic is a non-violent organizer who works with revolutionary groups all over the world. In this interview with The European, Popvic reflects on the revolutionary efforts of the past year (as he says, “a bad year for bad guys”), democratic uprisings, and the importance of “indigenous strategy” in training movements.
Zoë Carpenter focuses on the intersection of economics, health and the environment.
“FACT CHECK: More U.S. Drilling Didn’t Drop Gas Prices,” by Jack Gillum and Seth Borenstein. Associated Press, March 21, 2012
With the GOP hopefuls upping their rhetoric on gas prices and energy policy, Obama pushing a weak “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” and journalists crowing about impending energy independence in America, claims about the impact of increased domestic drilling warrant some scrutiny. The truth is that we’re drilling as much as we were in 2003, when gas was just over $2 a gallon. But oil is a global commodity, so aggressive posturing towards Iran and demand from developing countries plays a greater role. It’s worth noting that gas prices are really very low considering the external costs of our energy policies—particularly climate change, which President Obama appears to have forgotten about.
Umar Farooq focuses on the world-wide movement for democracy.
“Campesinos Refusing To Disappear: Guatemala’s Polochic Valley One Year After the Evictions,” by Tristan Call, Upsidedownworld.org, March 26, 2012.
The situation faced by campesinos in the Polochic Valley of Guatemala is certainly not unique, and serves as a great example of what globalization means for many of the world’s poorest. A year ago, a combination of private security guards and Guatemalan security forces evicted three thousand farmers from the valley, destroying 14 villages, to make way for an international sugar company. The campesinos, used to raising livestock and growing corn, were left to starve. Today they live next to sprawling sugar cane plantations, but cannot afford to buy any sugar. International bodies like the Interamerican Court of Human Rights have called on the Guatemalan government to provide food and shelter for the displaced, but no aid has arrived.