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Ireland, Suicide and the Virtual Reality of a Political Elite

It has been apparent to many people in Ireland, across Europe and much further afield that the professional political class are living in a sort of virtual reality. [In Ireland] we have a political system that has been described as corrupt in all areas of public life in the Mahon report [a report on corruption…

Critical Legal Scholarship and Education: Its Past and Future, Birkbeck, University of London, 24 Jan 2013

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Starts: 24 January 2013 06:00 PM Finishes: 24 January 2013 08:00 PM Venue: The Swedenborg Hall, 20–21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH Booking details: Free entry; registration required: register here On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Birkbeck Law School, academics who have influenced legal scholarship reflect on the history and prospects of critical education,…

Chastity, Virginity, Marriageability, and Rape Sentencing

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The horrific gang rape incident in Delhi has led to demands for amending the law to provide for more stringent punishment for rape, including introducing the death penalty. Over the last few days, there have been various debates about the advisability of making such changes to the law. An issue that has not been highlighted…

Palestinians in Solidarity with “Idle No More”: Sign On

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Palestinians in Solidarity with Idle No More Indigenous people have risen up across Canada in the Idle No More movement, a mass call for Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination and rights, against colonization, racism, injustice, and oppression. As Palestinians, who struggle against settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid in our homeland and for the right of Palestinian refugees…

The ‘Politics’ in Ethiopia’s Political Trials

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The Ethiopian regime is using the legal system to eliminate dissident voices and drag protesters to court under terrorism charges. Far from guaranteeing equality and justice, the country’s courts serve as an instrument in the Government’s hands to legitimize persecution of political adversaries while justifying its practices to the west. The deployment of laws and…

Gregynog Ideas Lab II: Summer School in PostInternational Politics, Gregynog, Wales 15 – 20 July 2013

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We are delighted to announce that bookings are open for the second Gregynog Ideas Lab to be held from 15 – 20 July 2013. This Summer School in PostInternational Politics ran for the first time last year and was a resounding success. Participants found it “a great thinking space,” “intellectually rewarding and stimulating,” with “a…

Event: Angry Writing – The Art and Politics of Literary Protest, 4 December 2012, University of Warwick

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As part of the Writing Wrongs Project, Ed Vulliamy and Ian Cobain (award winning investigative journalists from the Guardian) and Andrew Williams (Warwick Centre for Human Rights in Practice) will be discussing the topic of ‘Angry Writing’. The discussion will be chaired by Maureen Freely from the Writing Programme. There will be readings from recent ‘angry’ works to…

CFP: The Power of Rights and/or the Rights of Power in Global Politics, 5 – 8 June 2013, Tartu, Estonia

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Call for Proposals: 1st European Workshops for International Studies (EWIS) 5 – 8 June 2013, Tartu, Estonia http://www.sgir.eu/upcoming.php Workshop 12: The Power of Rights and/or the Rights of Power in Global Politics Convenors: Louiza Odysseos and Anna Selmeczi While detractors of human rights have long argued that they form the moral and intellectual keystone of…

The Children of Gaza Have Names

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I wake up in the middle of the night to go check on my child. She breathes, she makes little sleep-noises. I leave the room. Again, half-an hour later I go back to check if she is alright. If she still breathes. I go back again and again through the night because instead of sleeping…

#14N Protests unite European Peoples

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In the UK there is a current blockade of the Crossrail works at Tottenham Court Rd by Occupy London, while solidarity protests are planned in Smith Sq.,London at 5pm, and outside St.Giles Cathedral on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile at 6pm. In Germany while unions have not called official strikes, their representative body the DGB has called…

Philosophies of Law & Laws of Philosophy Seminar, Birkbeck, University of London, 12 November 2012

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Dr Riccardo Baldissone, Honorary Fellow, Birkbeck College & Adjunct Researcher, Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin University, Australia. Title: Humans’ rights: a genealogical sketch A genealogical excursus from the emergence of Greek nomos, through the most relevant Western theories of rights, until contemporary human rights, with the aim of opening towards the acknowledgement of…

Occupy Policing: The Eviction of Occupy Melbourne

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Inspired by the global call for action by the Indignados movement in Spain, the protests and revolutions across the Arab World and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, activists organised to launch Occupy Melbourne in City Square on 15 October 2011. Occupy Melbourne sought to transform City Square into a ‘common’ space…

After Sandy, The Politics of Public Things

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In response to the contemporary neoliberal impulse to privatize everything and the difficulty, in such a context, of preserving public things and of articulating the importance of public things to democratic life, it is important to think about public things. A few weeks ago, Sesame Street’s Big Bird became a symbol of this struggle though it…

Crime Fiction & The Law, Symposium 8 Dec 2012, Birkbeck, University of London

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The purpose of this one day Symposium on Crime Fiction and the Law is to develop an interdisciplinary and public-facing research and teaching focus on the relationship between crime fiction and the law.  This focus is broad-based and includes issues such as: the relationship between crime fiction, legal reasoning and critique; psycho-analytical perspectives on crime-fiction;…

#14N: European General Strike

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Soulevons-nous! Erheben wir uns! Solleviamoci! Last month, Portugal’s largest trade union CGTP called a general strike for November 14 against the “exploitation and impoverishment” of the Portuguese population. The union stressed the need to change government policies “for the sake of a better future” and urged all to join in the protest against the government and…

End the Criminalisation of Protest: The Case of Trenton Oldfield

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On the 7th of April 2012, Trenton Oldfield undertook a direct-action protest at the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. The aim of his protest was to focus attention on the long-standing and entirely unjust inequalities in British society that are being severely exacerbated by government cuts and reductions in civil liberties. Trenton chose the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race because it is a symbol of class, privilege and elitism in Britain.

An astonishing 70% of the cabinet in the current government are Oxford or Cambridge graduates. This government is protecting the privileges of the wealthy while cutting the essential necessities of the majority and the poor and reducing people’s rights and freedoms. In the three days before Trenton’s protest, the coalition government (1) received royal assent for its bill to privatise the NHS, (2) introduced the Communications Data Bill to legalise surveillance of all digital communications of UK subjects, and (3) called on people to ‘shop their neighbours’ if they suspected they might protest at the 2012 Olympic Games. Trenton’s protest aimed at drawing attention to these injustices. He swam into the course of the boat race. The race was halted and restarted 25 minutes later. The action was seen by an international audience but it affected just 18 rowers and a handful of event organisers on a closed river, on a long weekend. The direct-action protest was wholly consistent with Trenton’s decade+ work in London on addressing this city’s unnecessary poverty and inequalities. The audience for the free event experienced a minor delay of 25 minutes. The BBC coverage ended at its pre-scheduled time-slot. Not a single complaint was received from the public by either the Metropolitan police or the BBC.

Deorientalizing Citizenship? Second Symposium, Goodenough College, UK-London, 12 November 2012

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The Oecumene project team is delighted to announce that our Second Symposium: Deorientalizing citizenship? will take place on 12-13 November 2012 at the Goodenough College in London. The symposium is organised by the Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism research project. Thinking about ‘citizenship after orientalism’ involves addressing two theoretical issues. Firstly, what do we understand by…