Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country…
In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt. The IMF immediately froze its loan. But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.
But Icelanders didn’t stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money.
To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet.
Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign.
This is rad.
Oh, this is brilliant. Go read the whole thing.
WIDER MIDDLE-EAST SITUATION UPDATE:
Jordan’s powerful Islamic party said on Monday they have started a dialogue with the state, saying that unlike the situation in Egypt, the opposition in the kingdom does not seek regime change.
Yemen’s opposition turned its focus to the country’s rural areas Monday, organizing demonstrations in southern and central provinces that drew thousands—unusually large gatherings for these mountainous, hard-to-reach areas.
Sudan, Omdurman, just across the Nile from Khartoum, around 1,000 demonstrators shouted slogans against Omar al-Bashir, the president, and hurled rocks at riot police, who retaliated with tear gas and batons. A student is confirmed to have died of his wounds.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who inherited a regime that has held power for four decades, said he will push for more political reforms in his country, in a sign of how Egypt’s violent revolt is forcing leaders across the region to rethink their approaches
Tunisia, European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to freeze the assets of Tunisia’s former President Zine-al Abidine Ben Ali and his wife, an EU official said.
Algerian Interior Minister Dahou Ould Kablia reminded that no march will be permitted by the authorities in Algiers, in an interview Sunday with the French-language daily Liberté. Meanwhile a third Algerian has died from self-immolation on Sunday.
self immolation means setting ones self on fire. :/
|—||Baha’u’llah (Baha’i Writings)|
Glen Avon - west side, between Avondale & Blockhouse bay, a little suburb forgotten so easily by its immediately adjacent neighbors.
I live up in Blockhouse Bay, 10 minutes walk from the water front. At the water front, you’ve got the million dollar houses, then… the decile drops as you make your way inland, and then a 20 minute walk down the hill will bring you to Glen Avon. The hill gradient is an incredibly blatant metaphor for the drop in wealth, and the rise in poverty as you make your way down: a rise in tagging, gang presence, Maori/PI population etc.
Blockhouse Bay, is generally, a very white neighborhood. Just down the hill, almost not a white face to be seen. Crazy crazy crazy.
I moved out to Blockhouse Bay (almost an hour bus from downtown) to be close to Glen Avon. There were Baha’i children’s classes being run by some kinda local Baha’is in the area, and a empowerment programme for junior youth (11-14s) :).
Being involved in both the childrens classes and junior youth group over the past year, I’ve to realize the ineffectiveness of such initiatives if they aren’t involving the wider community. The children’s classes, the junior youth group - they have very little effect if they start with the classes and end in the classes - they have to reinforced or relevant to all other parts of their lives.
Which is why “home visits” are so critical and vital - i.e. visiting the home of the children involved, to talk with the parents on a regular basis regarding what you are doing: to build bonds of friendship, trust and fellowship with the parents. To involve people in the neighborhood - the parents etc., in organizing such activities for their kids - so that out of the children’s classes, junior youth groups etc., the changes in the children will be reinforced manifold times, and transformation of the community can take place.
Thinking of Glen Avon as a deprived neighborhood, there are soooo many initiatives there - charities that come and give money to the school, Adidas (I think) jumpers for all the kids as sponsored by the All Blacks, City Council youth leaders that run games afternoons etc for the kids emphasizing virtues etc. There’s so many activities - and this I am really impressed by.
However, the aid is so external. :(
A community to take ownership of its own material and spiritual progress is really what needs to take place - and this empowerment needs to happen in an integrated manner, involving the parents, the children as much as possible in the initiatives etc. All the activities, should “seek to raise capacity within a population to take charge of it own spiritual, social and intellectual development”.
In the Ridvan Message (a letter to the International Baha’i Community), it says that “the activities that drive this process… - meetings that strengthen the devotional character of the community; classes that nurture the tender hearts and minds of children; groups that channel the surging energies of junior youth; circles of study, open to all, that enable people of varied backgrounds to advance on equal footing [study on social & spiritual principles that revolves around discussion and sharing of ideas] to explore the applications of the [Baha’i] teachings to their individual and collective lives”. But what I really get out of this, is that the approach has to be integrated - that all facets of community life have to be addressed.
What’s more is that the capacity for impact on the community is severely restricted if the impetus is external. And while relying on external resources to instigate and organize such activities, may be necessary in the short term, it should be expected that multiplication such activities should sustained by human resources indigenous to the neighbourhood/village itself - by men and women eager to improve the material and spiritual conditions of their surroundings.
Woah. Food for thought.
So that’s what I’m trying to be involved with in Glen Avon (my ‘hood) - power to the people. Ha totally radical ground roots revolution stuff - and by revolution I mean TURN communities around - away from passivity bred in society, away from the poverty, alcoholism, gangs and teen pregnancy that might be expected of these amazing, beautiful children.
Let no one fail to appreciate the possibilities there for action :)
This was part of my good friend Shahriar’s art project (see his stuff at World Art Collective) where he explored religious persecution, while focusing on the persecution of Baha’is in Iran.
Shahriar features in this photo, and it’s his father talking, telling the stories of what he experienced - or what he knows of the revolution from personal exposure.
Shahriar, being part Persian, and part Filipino partook of this project with his father, to be effectively passed down his heritage - of what it means to be either Persian or Baha’i.
I grew up with stories of persecution, of martyrs etc. They’re such powerful stories, that I will feel so much closeless to. But - it’s all about knowing where you come from.
One of my all time favourite movies :) Unfortunately, the political situation still isn’t stable, but it’s almost to be expected with such a tumultuous history of violence and abuse.
"Algeria is our nation, Arabic is our language, Islam is our religion.”
Colonization, decolonization was definitely one of the topics that held my greatest interest in high school. :) x
|—||Thomas Sankara, often called the “Che Guevara of Africa.” Marxist revolutionary, Pan-Africanist, Guerilla and the first president of Burkina Faso. (via deafmuslimpunk)|
"My brother, I suffered, I led for my people. Thought, I fought, I bled for my people. Weep, I grieve, I mourn for my people. Until we are free, I’m at war for my people. Soldiers don’t hide, I ride for my people. Anything to restore the pride for my people. Screaming to the sky, I cry for my people - knowing one day I may die for my people."
Speaking about Iran, it also speaks about an attitude towards every day life. Where we arise to fight for the rights of our people - the brothers and sisters around us, oppressed and shackled by greed and apathy. To fight for our society that is beriddled by the diseases of abuse, drugs, alcohol, prejudice and discrimination. Anything to restore the pride for my people.