stirtoaction

Articles

Winter 2011

Making Music a Racket
Mat Callahan

The criminalization of file sharing spearheaded by groups such as the Recording Industry Association of America has been underway for more than a decade. While this strategy has failed to halt the decline in the sales of recorded music or the increase in the sharing of music via the internet it has nonetheless sown a great deal of confusion.

The Assault on Universities: A Review
Nina Power

What will higher education in the UK look like in a few years’ time? What can we do right now to save it? If the coalition government’s vision in the Browne Report and subsequent White Paper is to be implemented in full we can imagine several things, all highly undesirable.

An Education System: But What For? And When Will We Answer the Question?
Michael Newman

We are trapped in an ever-repeated education debate, whose very simplicity and facile nature allows everyone to contribute equally; meanwhile, our children are taught that learning is about exams, their futures, and what jobs they are to do. What kind of society do we want? How can our schools support this aim?

Common Ground: Securing a future for all who share our planet’s resources
Dr Mark Everard

We live in a fragmented landscape.  This would matter a lot less if human populations were sparse and ecosystems across the globe were in a healthy state.  However, the exact converse is the case today.

Occupy Blog
Marrianne Maeckelbergh

The 15 May Movement that captured the global imaginary just six months ago and encouraged people all across the world to occupy public space and hold massive democratic assemblies is no longer limited to the central square. Now, they are everywhere.

The Aviation Justice Tour
Abby McFlynn and Jonny Gordon-Farleigh

Communities all across North America wanted to hear about the victory of the ‘No Third Runway’ campaign at Heathrow Airport, and decided to invite John and Plane Stupid activist Dan Glass to visit their communities that are being affected by the expansion of the aviation industry.

Grassroots Football: Values, Examples, Potentials
Gabriel Kuhn

Modern football is often criticized for bringing the history of football as the “people’s game” to an end. With respect to professional soccer and its ever increasing commercialization, such views are hardly surprising. However, the professional game is only the surface of a global football culture that, on the grassroots level, remains as much a people’s game as it has always been.

A Competitive Cooperative

Katherine Selby

Now in its 40th year, the Essential food cooperative presents itself as a viable alternative to the unjust food system, and its worker-owner management model is a inspiring example to anyone who wants to change their social and economic relationship to people and food.

Bring It to the Table: Creating Justice Through Food
Guppi Bola & Bethan Graham

What do we understand by the term food justice? Is it the search for accessible, affordable and healthy food for all? Or is there a role for food in tackling today’s larger-than-self problems?

Summer 2011

Sod It! Radical Gardening?
George McKay

‘Certain gardens are described as retreats when they are really attacks’. But how can a garden be an attack, a flower a critique, a trowel an agent of social change?

Food Justice — Changing ‘there’ by changing here
Matthew Steele

I remember as an undergrad reading Ivan Illich’s 1968 speech to American students working in Mexico and having the once-clear vision of my life’s path confused. Illich’s rather simple, passionate, and poignant criticism has stayed in the back of my consciousness ever since.

Don’t Defend the University, Transform It!
Amy Clancy

The future of the university hangs in the balance and the instinct to defend it against a wholesale attack seems to be an obvious response. But what is it that so many rush to defend?

The Prejudice Against Prometheus

Alberto Toscano

As the last echoes of a bullish neoliberalism fade, and we are asked to accustom ourselves, indefinitely, to austerity’s hair-shirts, it’s worth reflecting on whether the attitudes learnt over the past few decades retain within them the resources for effective opposition.

Grow a Grocery!
Debbie Clarke

Back in the early 90s, Unicorn Grocery’s founders felt frustrated at their lack of shopping options, and aimed to create the kind of place where they wanted to shop themselves—where their needs were met and their ethics not sold out. And so Unicorn was born.

Mobilisation vs Pacification in Brazil’s Favelas
John Gledhill

Brazilians really are crazy about football, and poor Brazilians are as pleased as everyone else that Brazil is hosting the 2014 World Cup (and 2016 Olympics). Yet families who built their own homes on land to which they did not have secure title also worry about being forcibly relocated because of urban redevelopment in preparation for 2014.

Bound by Law? Tales from the Public Domain

Rashmi Rangnathi

Can a tree and its properties be copyrighted, and those who customarily use it be criminalised? Can the girl scouts be sued for singing copyrighted songs such as “Puff the Magic Dragon” around the campfire? Recently, a corporation trademarked the phrase ‘Radical Media’. With the increasing privatisation of our cultural assets, can we change the system that allows corportations to own our intellectual products?

Spring 2011

Can the Commons Move from the Margins to the Mainstream

David Bollier

Why is it that the commons is so often excluded from official policy discussions about how to manage resources and improve people’s lives?

The Practice of Unknowing
Marianne Maeckelbergh

The popular educator Paolo Friere said ‘You make the path by walking it’.  This saying is one of the guiding principles of the alterglobalization movement and it is this approach that radically differs from the dogmatic and overdetermined politics of the past.

Mastering Masterlessness
Nina Power
If we can be simultaneously both student and teacher, can skill sharing work to reject specialisation and the deference it encourages?

Local Acts of Resistance Counter Global Systems of Domination



Haleh Zandi of Planting Justice

With many facing environmental racism, cheap calorie and nutritionally bankrupt foods, Planting Justice are working to empower low income communities to meet their own food needs.


A Community Bill of Rights
Ben Price

Having experienced endless litigations and relentless resubmission of permits by corporations, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund decided they would be more successful if they created their own community-led ordinances that could be ratified in the US Constitution.

What do we want? And Who Decides?
Kai Huschke

In the fall of 2007 seven people – active on neighborhood, social justice, and environmental fronts – gathered in a small living room in one of Spokane, Washington’s poorest neighborhoods to talk about their community.

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