BEIJING - As I sat in my apartment, my lungs had this horrible feeling, and for maybe the first time living in Beijing I had a feeling of not wanting to go outside, not wanting to expose myself to any more of the air pollution. As I sat on the couch contemplating going to refill my water jugs, a 100 yard walk away I saw that the air pollution was reading over 700 for the US Embassy and was even off the charts for the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. A reading of 300 or more would be a state of emergency in the United States.
In this video, an example of Working Group reports, which are delivered at the General Assembly meetings of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City, is delivered. Each working group of OWS reports on their corresponding committee meetings and actions. This video was taken on October 13, 2011. (To see how a GA meeting operates, click here).
On October 8, I interviewed Chris, an Occupy Wall Street supporter. In this video, Chris breaks down some of the most serious issues the so-called 99% face in an advanced capitalist economy, and some of the possible (painful) solutions to these problems. The subject matter is big, but the Movement's imagination is bigger.
BEIJING - Last Saturday I spent a moment staring at a picture of a naked man pulling a cart of coal in an underground mine. Throughout the 3 Shadows Gallery, designed by the Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, you could see the juxtaposition of coal + ice (煤＋冰), a show produced by Asia Society’s Orville Schell.
On this Sunday afternoon on a crowded street of Mong Kok, one of Hong Kong’s most bustling districts, following a whistle, dozens of people jumped on a blue sheet, lying face down with card-board fins strapped to their backs, protesting in silence the practice of shark finning and expressing their will for Hong Kong to ban the sale of shark fins.
“I feel strongly about this cause,” says Theo Moodley, a 16-year-old South African who participated in the event. “I think people here will eventually get to realize the cruelty of shark finning and stop eating shark fins.”
On September 20, I attended a lecture by former UK Prime Minster Gordon Brown at The New School University. As he paced the stage, Brown outlined the themes of his new book, Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalization.
Quite a title! I am sure we could come up with a globalization crisis that precedes the contemporary one he speaks of, but that's not the point of this post.
BEIJING - In 2007 during the US Presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton voiced support for funding a Woodstock museum. John McCain quipped in opposition, that he wasn’t there, he was all tied up. When I try to explain to myself why it is that American environmental groups are in China trying to make Chinese greener and not the other way around, I often use the same excuse – during the 1960s China was all tied up. While McCain was a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War (1964-1975), China was tied up in the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) where intellectual rigor was stymied.
DEVECSER, Hungary – It was just past noon, last Oct. 4, when Karoly Horvath returned home from fishing a local lake, here in provincial western Hungary. His wife and 12-year-old daughter were home to greet him, too – just as the waves of red sludge crashed through the door and windows.
Within seconds, the toxic mud was above their waist, burning the skin. Unable to move, Karoly could only watch mother and child screaming in agony.