Football: Opiate of the masses or source of popular power?

Football is a psychological outlet. Many socialists claim it to be ”opiate of the masses”, as Marx did the Church. You should be shouting against injustice or oppression, but you end up shouting against the opposition football team. This is to some extent true.

But football is, or could be, much more than this, in no small part because of its worldwide appeal. Football’s appeal is in part down to its simplicity and the fact that it can be played without any cost. Throughout the world’s poorer countries, football is played with t-shirts as goalposts and with tied-together rags or anything else resembling a football as a ball. Football also has a capacity to transcend cultural and ethnic boundaries due to its universal and non-lingual character. Read more of this post

Danish Foreign Minister to pressurize Morocco on Western Sahara

Cheikh Banga has been on a hunger strike since mid-September. His life is therefore in danger. But he is willing to risk his life for the cause he is fighting for – independence for the population of Africa’s last colony, Western Sahara that has been illegally occupied by Morocco for over 36 years. Banga is also fighting to end Moroccan discrimination against the indigenous population of Western Sahara, the Saharawis, as well as to ensure that he gets a fair trial.

Banga, and twenty-three other hunger striking human rights activists, are detained in the infamous Sale Prison outside the Moroccan capital, Rabat, and are awaiting trial in a military court. They were all arrested in October last year during the demolition of the peaceful Gdeim Izik protest camp in occupied Western Sahara by Moroccan security forces. The European Parliament, amongst many others, strongly condemned the raid.   Read more of this post

Sultestrejker imod marokkansk kolonimagt, Søvndal vil presse Marokko

Cheikh Banga har sultestrejket siden 15. september for at få en retfærdig rettergang. Hans liv er derfor i fare. Men han er parat til at risikere sit liv for den sag han kæmper for – uafhængighed for befolkningen i Afrikas sidste koloni, Vestsahara, som har været ulovligt besat af Marokko i nu 36 år. Samt at de grove menneskerettighedsbrud og den grove diskrimination  som Marokko udsætter Vestsaharas oprindelige befolkning, Saharawierne, for i Vestsahara stopper.

Banga, og treogtyve andre sultestrejkende menneskerettighedsaktivister, sidder i øjeblikket i det berygtede Sale-fængsel uden for Marokkos hovedstad, Rabat, og venter på at blive stillet for en militær domstol. De blev alle arresteret i oktober sidste år, i forbindelse med rydningen af den fredelige protestlejr, Gdeim Izik, som marokkanske sikkerhedsstyrker med vold og magt raserede – en handling som blandt andet Europaparlamentet tog stærkt afstand fra. Read more of this post

Demonstranter vil have flere pædagogiske medarbejdere som lovet

Mange pædagoger, pædagogstuderende, forældre og børn var i dag mødt op til en happening og demonstration på Christiansborg Slotsplads under parolen ”3000 pædagogiske medarbejdere tilbage til børnene – er det en and? Hold S-R-SF-regeringen fast på deres løfte”.

De demonstrerende og demonstrationens arrangører – Fagforbundene FOA og BUPL, Pædagogstuderendes Landsforening, Landsforeningen for Socialpædagoger, og Københavns Forældreorganisation – kræver 3000 flere pædagoger og medhjælpere i vuggestuer, børnehaver og fritidsordninger allerede fra næste år. Read more of this post

Swazi student leader nominated for student peace prize

Maxwell Dlamini, President of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS), has been nominated for the 2013 Student Peace Prize, an award given every other year on behalf of Norwegian students to fellow students around the world who have “done important work to promote peace, democracy or human rights.”

The Student Peace Prize attempts to shed light on and increase recognition of the work of the students who are given the award. “Where other peace prizes that go to established personalities light up a lit room,” the website of the Student Peace Prize states,  “the Student Peace Prize puts a spotlight on young persons that still work in the dark.”

Maxwell Dlamini has been nominated by Danish solidarity organisation Africa Contact Read more of this post

Maxwell Dlamini: don’t mourn over me

“It is very unfortunate that a brave young comrade like Maxwell Dlamini [President of the Swaziland National Union of Students] can be made to stay in prison while we need him outside to pursue the struggle of the Swazi people,” Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, President of the Students Representative Council at the University of Swaziland, tells Africa Contact. “But we remain motivated by his words: do not mourn and whine over me just pursue the course of democracy in Swaziland.”

Maxwell Dlamini was detained, and allegedly tortured, prior to the so-called April 12-Uprising in Swaziland earlier in the year. He was forced to sign a statement admitting possession of explosives and has been denied bail on several occasions. Read more of this post