Historian Lilian Calles Barger explores the legacy of liberation theology - as a critique of Christianity under capitalism, a challenge to the conditions of inequality and oppression faced by poor and working class people, and as a resurgent movement with the power to propel social movements today and tomorrow.
Lilian is author of The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology from Oxford University Press.
In 1843 – (174 years ago) — a land dispute led to a violent clash between British settlers and indigenous Maori people on the South Island of New Zealand. Officials of the British New Zealand Company, claiming to have made a land purchase deal with the Maori, had sent surveyors into the Wairau Valley to mark out parcels. But the Maori, angry at not having been paid for the land, had chased the surveyors away and destroyed their equipment. When a party of armed British men returned to the valley, they were met by some ninety Maori warriors accompanied by women and children. Twenty-two British were killed, along with four Maori, including the wives of two chiefs. White settlers elsewhere in New Zealand were outraged. But an inquiry led by governor Robert FitzRoy later ruled that the settlers had been at fault for trying to settle on land they had no legal right to possess.
In 1953 – (64 years ago) — Soviet tanks rolled into East Berlin to crush a day-old uprising and general strike against the Soviet-backed East German goverment, which had raised work quotas and threatened wage cuts. Sensing the government’s insecurity in the wake of Joseph Stalin’s recent death, workers had taken to the streets, calling for democracy and German reunification, and bringing the country to a standstill. The Soviet Union responded by sending in sixteen army divisions to assist eight thousand East German military police in quashing the revolt. Hundreds of East Germans either died in the ensuing violence or were executed afterward. Several thousand more were injured or arrested, and a dozen or more Soviet soldiers were executed for refusing to shoot protesters. The violence across East Germany continued for more than a week — a dark precursor to the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian revolt of 1956 and the crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968.
In 1987 – (30 years ago) — an elderly sparrow was found dead in his food dish, inside a protected enclosure at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida. He was the last dusky seaside sparrow, and the last survivor of a failed attempt at breeding enough of the sparrows to repopulate their original habitat along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, in the swamps around Merritt Island just south of Cape Canaveral, and along the upper St. John’s River. In the early 1960s, when Merritt Island was chosen as... read more
Nancy is author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America from Viking Press.
Tasos is a member of the anarchist collective Void Network.
Nazia wrote the article Against a Muslim Misleadership Class for Jacobin.
Peter is author of the new book How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood from PublicAffairs.
Josh is co-author of the paper "Collateral Damage: How Capital’s War on Labor Killed Detroit" for the journal Catalyst.
You can't go full-cocked on the radio in our timeslot. Sorry.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
The reason I can't have nice things is that I will waste all my time watching TV on one of those nice things. This was proven to me once again while I was house/cat-sitting for some friends. Through exertion of will-power, expected neither by me nor anyone else, I actually did accomplish a great many things besides consuming motion picture entertainment. I did it by mostly watching particular movies one at a time, movies that I had a reason to watch, more specific than merely to have colors and sounds dancing for me in the room. I was selective, for the most part. And I avoided binging any series. I almost binged one, but an accident of fate spared me.
Trying to find something worth watching, I remembered someone mentioning they enjoyed an aspect of "Big Little Lies," the HBO limited series about a half-dozen women living in luxury but having all kinds of problems. And there was a murder, but the police couldn't seem to get to the bottom of it. It was a seven-episode series. I watched what I thought were the first three episodes and found it well-acted and somewhat intriguing. These women, though they were living in Malibu or Santa Monica or Santa Barbara or the Palisades, had problems just like the rest of us, serious and sad problems, problems that drove wedges between them or created bonds of confidence. Friendships, even.
The third episode was a relief because we found out which little boy had been assaulting Laura Dern's little girl, and it thankfully it wasn't the little boy we liked, whose mother was really too poor to live in the school district but wanted her kid to have the same chance as these over-privileged but really beautiful and winning Stepford children. Also, the sick wife-beating thread came to a head. The wife left her spouse, a separation it seemed was going to be a difficult thing to accomplish, and I was looking forward to all the tactics she would have to employ to keep her needy, violent husband at bay.
At least, until very near the ending. Then I realized I had watched the seventh episode instead of the third. But to be honest, it hardly mattered, except that it saved me four hours. Of what? Character and plot development? Those actresses were so good, I didn't really need anymore character work, and whatever fleshing-out the plot could've received was clearly unnecessary. The writers could... read more
Andrea wrote the report Justice Doesn’t Trickle Down: How Racialized and Gender Rules are Holding Women Back for the Roosevelt Institute.
Nicole wrote the Guardian op-ed Whole Foods represents the failures of 'conscious capitalism.'
Maureen and Candice are co-authors of the Truthout / Earth Island Journal report America's Toxic Prisons: The Environmental Injustices of Mass Incarceration.
Jeff wasn't super clear about this one.
In 1962 – (55 years ago) – in Centralia, Pennsylvania, a fire set deliberately to clear trash out of an underground landfill ignited an ancient coal seam in a nearby abandoned mine. The coal fire gradually spread underneath the town and became a threat to public health and safety. It created dangerous sinkholes, spewed sulfur smoke and carbon monoxide from openings in the ground, and defied all attempts to put it out. By 1984 a mass exodus from the town began, and in 1992, all real estate properties were officially condemned. Centralia, Pennsylvania, once home to a thousand people, is now a ghost town. Nothing remains there but a few derelict buildings and a crumbling network of empty streets covered with graffiti by curious visitors. In some places the ground is still hot to the touch, and cracks in the earth belch poisonous smoke from an underground fire that, experts say, could continue burning for another two hundred years.
In 1971 – (46 years ago) – in the district of Pabna in East Pakistan, units of Pakistan army troops and paramilitaries massacred more than two hundred unarmed members of the local Hindu minority. The killings were a part of Operation Searchlight, a military campaign meant to suppress a Bengali nationalist movement in what was then East Pakistan. Ever since the partition of India after independence in 1947, the new and predominantly Muslim nation of Pakistan had consisted of two sections or “wings” more than a thousand miles apart, with the massive territory of India in between. The two parts of the country had their religious, cultural, and political differences, and as an independence movement grew in East Pakistan, the national government in the West launched a systematic campaign of genocide that led to all-out war, in which India joined on the side of the separatist East. After nine months of air strikes, mass murder, rape, and other atrocities, the war ended with East Pakistan proclaiming itself the newly independent nation of Bangladesh. Body counts vary, but most researchers believe that the war killed about half a million people, and created some thirty million refugees.
Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi
Michael wrote the June cover story Security Breach: Trump’s tussle with the bureaucratic state for Harper's.
Brian wrote the article Brasilia 24/5: A View from the Ground for Brasilwire.
Andy wrote the article The LGBTQ Movement is an Intersectional Fail for Counterpunch.
Andrew wrote the book The End of Development: A Global History of Poverty and Prosperity for Zed Books.