Featured Image: Mountains of Kauai
Saturday, 30 March 2019, San Francisco, CA – From kingdom, to republic, to territory, to state, the history of Hawaii is complex, and often fraught with outright stupidity that, in a perfect world, should not have even happened in the first place. We often think of that stupidity as being the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. A historical event described as awkward at best and genocide at worst, most of us think of Hawaii’s annexation as something that, under ideal circumstances, should not have even happened at all. But this post is not just about the annexation. The suffering of the Native Hawaiians from the 19th century onwards was not just caused by the United States. It was also, in part, a self inflicted wound.
Continue reading “How Hawaii became American”
Featured Image: Australia Day is supposed to represent all Australians, but controversy still lingers over its symbolisation of the struggle of the country’s Aboriginal peoples.
Saturday, 26 January 2019, Sydney, Australia – Today is Australia Day, Australia’s equivalent of America’s Fourth of July. On this day the Australian Government’s official celebrations include citizenship ceremonies, awards and knighthoods, and a controversial re-enactment of the arrival of the First Fleet. Indeed, Australia Day commemorates the anniversary of the arrival of British ships in Australia on 26 January 1788, to claim British sovereignty over the country’s eastern coast. And this simple fact has generated enormous controversy surrounding the discrimination, subjugation, and near-extermination of Australia’s indigenous peoples.
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Featured Image: More than 16,000 civilians have been killed in Yemen’s civil war, with most deaths caused by airstrikes (Washington Post)
13 January 2019, Cairo, Egypt – On 9 August 2018, a fighter jet, belonging to a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and consisting of other regional allies, dropped a bomb on a busy marketplace in a small village in Yemen. The bomb ended up falling on a school bus and killed 40 children inside. The Saudi coalition has conducted thousands of these airstrikes in Yemen, and they have intentionally targeted civilians a third of the time. The United Nations has denounced the attacks on civilians as possible war crimes. And it was later found that the bomb that killed the children on the school bus was made by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. This bomb was made right here in the U.S. and it’s being used to target civilians in Yemen.
Continue reading “Saudi Arabia and Arms”
Featured Image: The Troubles, a guerrilla war in Northern Ireland that lasted from the late 1960’s to 1998, resulted in the deaths of 3,600 people and injuries to thousands more.
3 September 2018, London, United Kingdom – On 23 June 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union, and in March 2017, PM Theresa May (who the BBC called “a dead woman walking”) began the process to leave the European Union, and the UK will be kicked out in March 2019. According to Brexiters, the purpose of the vote was to allow the UK to regain control of its economy and its borders. But today, we will be focusing on the latter, and how the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union could create a crisis at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
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Featured Image: To commemorate Nelson Mandela’s death, the South African flag flew half-mast outside Drakenstein Correctional Centre, where Mandela was imprisoned from 1988 to 1990.
Friday, 22 July 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa – 100 years and 4 days ago, Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Mvezo, a small village in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Disillusioned by the unrelenting racism of his country’s government, he stood up not only for himself, but for the entire black majority of South Africa, fighting against the white minority government for a democratic, egalitarian future. The government attempted to suppress him, famously sentencing Mandela to a life prison sentence for treason and sabotage.
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Featured Image: The Handover ceremony on 1 July 1997 marked the end of British Rule and the return of Hong Kong to China. From 2003 onwards, there have been pro-democracy protests every year on the anniversary of the handover.
1 July 2018, San Francisco, CA – This is the first time we’ve actually been on time for an anniversary. Beginning in the evening on 30 June and ending on 1 July 1997, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, British and Chinese authorities gathered for a handover ceremony. Many things happened at the convention centre that night, but the key event was the lowering of the Union Jack and Hong Kong Ensign to “God Save the Queen”, followed by the raising of the Chinese flag and new Hong Kong flag to “March of the Volunteers”, the Chinese National Anthem. The lowering of the Union Jack and Hong Kong ensign symbolically marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong, and by extension, the end of the British Empire. But why was Hong Kong even a part of Britain in the first place?
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Featured Image: Kim Jong Un of North Korea and Moon Jae In of South Korea meet during one of several impromptu summits between the two countries.
Monday, 28 May 2018, Shanghai, China – Relations between the United States and North Korea have never been very warm. The Korean War has not ended since it began in the 1950’s, the United States has placed major economic sanctions against North Korea, and there aren’t even any diplomatic relations between the two countries. But against all the odds, a summit between the two countries has been planned for June 2018, which is anticipated not only to ease tensions, but could even pave the way for an end to the Korean War and unification of the Korean Peninsula. All of this sounds incredibly exciting, but before we can understand how important Korean peace is, we must understand how it even got this way in the first place.
Continue reading “Peace in the Korean Peninsula”