Or how I’m getting to know my neighborhood from the ground up and share it with the world.
Decay + DC (a Tumblr photoblog http://unrestmag.tumblr.com) began as an attempt to understand my new neighborhood. After two years of the suburban sterility of Arlington, Virginia I relished the opportunity to move back to a city, particularly one as diverse and rich in history as Washington, DC. One might be tempted to dismiss the significance in a move of only seven miles; one would be mistaken.
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The continued persistence of the Occupy movement is likely both heartening and challenging for readers of Unrest. Heartening because many of us, I presume, are sympathetic to the general goals of the movement and the nonviolent tactics generally used, but also challenging for scholars and practitioners in conflict resolution because it is not immediately clear what role practitioners could or should play in the conflict that the movement is addressing. Not every social or political interaction is a conflict and not all conflicts require the attention of a “conflict worker,” to borrow Johan Galtung’s term (1996, 266). In order to justify a conflict analysis and resolution response, we should be able to identify a unique and helpful contribution to be made. It is my contention here that conflict resolution, as currently thought and practiced, is ill-prepared for this kind of contribution.
Last summer while on assignment in Mozambique, I had the opportunity to visit the UNHCR Refugee camp in Nampula Province. The camp was set up in the mid-1990s to receive refugees from the conflicts in the Great Lakes Region. The majority of the camp’s 5,000 refugees hail from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda; yet, in the past year camp coordinators have seen a surge of arrivals of refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia fleeing the famine brought on by one the worst droughts the region has seen in 60 years. Drought and the resulting famine in the Horn of Africa is not a new occurrence. As a child, I recall seeing images of malnourished children and arid lands on television as organizations pleaded for donations, celebrities hosted events like Live Aid and Live8 to raise awareness, and in addition to calls of solidarity and financial support for those starving in Africa. Twenty plus years later, the images, the message, and the conditions all remain the same.
“To protect my position, my corner, my lair,
while we out here, say the hustler’s prayer.
If the game shakes me or break me
I hope it makes me a better man,
take a better stand.
Put money in my mom’s hand,
get my daughter this college plan
so she don’t need no man.
Stay far from timid.
Only make movies when ya heart’s in it,
and live the phrase ‘sky’s the limit.’”
- Christopher George Latore Wallace (1997) 
In our constantly reinterpreted and adapted anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist and anti-Statist critique of the modern world, we the so-called “radical Left,” scorn bankers, romanticize poverty, and vandalize the machines that convert our hourly labors into paper bills. We have a de facto antagonism toward those who earn above the average, and with good cause, as much of this is due directly to the hierarchy of the boss-worker relationship. We hate “the rich” and the “one percent.”
Though this essay does not seek to apologize for the management and owning class, it does attempt to pose a more challenging question about our relationship to work and survival: What about those of us who make our way through capitalism by exploiting not our neighbors or coworkers, but the outside margins of ‘less than fully regulated’ economies? What about those who seek to work less, yet earn more because they choose to operate in a sphere of employment that exists in between legal and illegal, regulated and unregulated, socially accepted and stigmatized?
How to defang a dictator, end repression, recall a corrupt politician, and/Or repeal an unjust law
The need for education
Building on the values and methods of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., non-violent activists are making major waves around the world. Some of them have been trained at the annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia or have been trained by people who came through SPI. With the rise of the Arab spring and U.S. “occupy” movements, the power of nonviolent social movements has again come to the fore. These movements have given a new generation hope that it is possible to overcome corruption, wrestle power from oppressive leaders, and gain control of the direction of the societies in which we live.
Erdoğan is, perhaps, one of the most controversial topics in Turkey, Europe, and some parts of the Middle East. For those who are unfamiliar, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the current Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic and soon he will be celebrating his unrivaled 10th year in power. He has a host of accomplishments and here is a brief list: He won 3 consecutive elections in Turkey, all with record breaking voter support. He also has a lot of international support. He has been quite influential in the region and his quasi-zealous religious background, anti-Israel rhetoric, as well as, pro-Hamas stance provide him with a fan club among much of the Muslim population in the Middle East. He does not hesitate to answer any European leaders arrogant talk, usually in the same tone—providing him with great support among the populous who feel a certain sense of pride in their leaders talking back to the West. He revitalized the Turkish economy and made it one of the fastest growing economies in 2011.