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AIDS in Africa
T hirteen million AIDS deaths already in the worst affected countries. Without care and treatment, there will be 68 million more between now and 2020.” The global figures on AIDS are terrifying, but the first reaction of a number of world experts (of other diseases) to the above announcement at the International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, July 2002, was indignation. They protested that Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, must be stealing some of his figures from “their diseases.” Such is politics in the international health community.
Politics on a grander scale has prevented a rational and effective response to the AIDS pandemic, which is killing up to a quarter of many southern African countries’ populations. The real scandal is not the unseemly scrambling after donor funds, but the imperceptible impact of international and national responses to AIDS over two decades of intense and costly activity. In its sobering 2002 report, UNAIDS states that prevalence is climbing higher than ever previously believed possible. It is spreading rapidly into new populations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe.
One third of Zimbabwe’s population is infected and the epidemic continues to expand even in countries that already had extremely high HIV prevalence. In Botswana for example, the country with the highest HIV infection rates in the world, almost 39 percent of all adults are now living with HIV, up from less than 36 percent 2 years ago.
Are we doing something wrong? Is the approach ill founded or even fatally flawed? Neither UNAIDS nor any of its partners are even asking the question let alone revising their strategies.
A Neo-liberal Approach
F or over 20 years now, the international AIDS community has persisted in a reductionist obsession with individual behavior and an implicit acceptance of a deeply flawed and essentially racist theory.
In line with neo-liberal doctrine, it has explained the spread of AIDS—and the extremely high prevalences in sub-Saharan Africa—in terms of individual sexual behavior. It has exaggerated the extent to which people control their lives and circumstances and ignored larger macroeconomic and political factors and poverty-induced population vulnerability in terms of seriously weakened immune systems. The insistence on analyzing this colossal public health catastrophe in terms of individual behavior has correspondingly restricted the response to action at the individual level, usually promotion of safer sex, condom use, and education for prevention.
Predictably, the impact of these peripheral efforts has been insignificant, although tired old success stories are still regularly wheeled out for display. As long as the root causes of AIDS continue to be neglected, such efforts will remain cosmetic, unsustainable, and exceptions. Average HIV prevalences in the adult population of most sub-Saharan African countries are 25 percent. The figures for Europe and most of the industrialized world are still under 0.1 percent and, in many cases, under 0.01 percent. Individual behavior cannot possibly account for this enormous difference, which would imply that people in some African countries have at least 250 and even 2,500 times more unprotected/unsafe sex than people in Europe, the U.S., or Australia.
An epidemic of gigantic proportions is taking hold in Southeast Asia, home to an even larger number of powerless and poverty stricken people. It will be interesting to see if any notion of structural violence is at last invoked to advance our understanding of the dynamics of the pandemic or if we will discover that previously quite “well-behaved” Asians are as “promi- scuous” as Africans.
The fundamental public health lessons of the past 150 years are known even to lay people. It is well understood that the overall health status of populations and their capacity to fight off infection is related primarily to food, water, sanitation, and housing. According to an article by E. Stillwaggon, “HIV/AIDS in Africa: Fertile Terrain,” published in the Journal of Development Studies (August 2002): “A century of clinical practice demonstrates that people with nutritional deficiencies, parasitic diseases, generally poor health and little access to health services or who are otherwise economically disadvantaged have greater susceptibility to infectious diseases whether they are transmitted sexually, by food, water, air or other means.”
Curiously, in the case of HIV/AIDS, seriously deficient immune systems have been ignored as a factor of vulnerability and determinant of the high levels of infection in desperately poor populations.
Pasteur’s dictum, “the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything,” is still the best summary of century-old public health wisdom. The focus on individual behavior is almost as absurd in the response to AIDS as it would be if it were applied to the response to tuberculosis. A sound public health approach to TB does not exhort people in high prevalence areas not to breathe too much on each other—not understanding that they are breathing more or less like every other human being on earth. It addresses the sanitary, nutritional, and housing arrangements, which determine their high vulnerability.
Breathing and having sex—though not quite in the same category—can both reasonably be seen as everyday human behaviors. The peculiar focus on the exotic, the unusual, the immoral, and the illegal has obscured the simple fact that AIDS is overwhelmingly transmitted through heterosexual, penetrative, vaginal sex. Few people know that when AIDS hit the headlines as a “gay plague” in California it was already a well established heterosexual epidemic in Africa. The unimportance, in the eyes of the world, of African people in general, and of African women in particular, may partly explain this neglect. The common sense interpretation of the facts is that high risk physical and economic environments, coupled with dangerously weakened immune systems, leave people highly susceptible to all kinds of infections including HIV.
A Racist Theory?
T he fight against AIDS in Africa has been dominated by long-standing Western prejudices against African sexuality and cultural practices. A striking example was in the early 1980s, when speculation about the Haitian origin of AIDS and the role of bizarre voodoo practices led to a wave of anti-Haitian discrimination. As with Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad, it turned out that tourists (mainly U.S. homosexuals) were the most likely source of virus transmission. It has been pointed out that in the absence of penicillin, the war-ravaged Europe of the late 1940s would have been devastated by epidemics of syphilis and gonorrhea.
The international AIDS community has pursued a singularly unsuccessful strategy with religious conviction, rather than with good science or even common sense. Evidence, in the rather odious academic area known euphemistically as “sexual networking,” is flimsy. Rates of sexual activity do not appear to vary much between populations (though of course there are always groups within populations who either take more risks or have more risks imposed on them). What seems to emerge from the literature with consistency is that multiple, mostly serial, casual, and unprotected sex is common in Africa, Europe, the U.S., and parts of Asia, with most men everywhere having more partners than most women (WHO 1995).
Furthermore, rates/types of sexual activity do not appear to have a clear relation with prevalence of HIV infection. A major multi-site study undertaken by UNAIDS in four sub-Saharan African cities showed that most parameters of risky sexual behavior were not consistently more common in the high HIV prevalence sites than in the relatively low prevalence sites.
T he implicit assumption that African people have more or less “brought it on themselves” through their “promiscuity” has evolved through a superficial, neo-liberal gender analysis into a much more explicit accusation of African men. If such an apolitical gender debate has resulted in shifting the blame from all African people to all African men, it has failed. No one disputes that women, particularly in developing countries, are not only biologically more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections including HIV, but they are also acutely vulnerable socially, culturally and economically. Women have to exchange sex for material favors for their own and their children’s survival in many poor countries. For as long as they do not control when, where, with whom, with or without protection, they have sex—they will be at risk.
However, women in Europe are clearly at far less risk than men in Africa. If we take as a rough indicator of risk, the average prevalences of less than 0.1 percent and 25 percent for Europe and Africa respectively, it becomes clear that neither individual behavior nor gender inequality accounts for the spread and pattern of the pandemic. Sound feminist analysis, rooted in social justice, recognizes oppression of women in poor countries within the context of the oppression of entire communities of men, women, and children, none of whom have any meaningful control over their lives.
Women in sub-Saharan Africa carry a risk of contracting HIV infection at a rate 500-1,000-fold compared to women in the rest of the world. This is quite a large difference to explain in terms of African and European male sexual behavior.
A Disease Of Poverty
I n common with all sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV/AIDS has a particular relationship to poverty. The poor are more vulnerable to HIV infection than the rich—notwithstanding transient vulnerabilities of richer men who can afford to use prostitutes—of which much has been made. The fact remains that 95 percent of infections are in developing countries; and more than 70 percent are in sub-Saharan Africa where over 80 percent of the deaths have occurred. Women are more vulnerable than men; young women are far more vulnerable (4 to 5 times) than young men. Oppressed and marginalized “minorities”—blacks and Hispanics in the U.S., refugees and street children everywhere—are more vulnerable than dominant majorities.
There are plausible explanations, in terms of biological vulnerability, for the very high rates of HIV transmission among poor populations. The major biological factors of interest are malnutrition and chronic co-infection with other diseases of poverty, notably, parasitic infection, tuberculosis, malaria, and other tropical diseases. These factors are known to seriously impair and interfere with immune function, and to be responsible for the bulk of infectious disease—whether bacterial, viral, or parasitic.
The thesis that is proposed for the huge variation in prevalence between countries is that HIV-negative people whose immune systems are weakened by poor nutrition and constantly challenged by co-infections are more vulnerable to HIV infection; and that HIV-positive people, in the same condition, are more infectious to others. The result is high population transmission rates.
There is no shortage of evidence on the adverse, even devastating effects of malnutrition, under-nutrition, and specific nutritional deficiencies on immune function, susceptibility to infection and capacity to cope, once infected.
The term nutritionally acquired immune deficiency syndrome (NAIDS) is applied to immunological dysfunction associated with malnutrition in infants and small children. Is it unreasonable to suppose that a similar mechanism may operate in adolescents and adults and may be worth investigating and even—as a precautionary principle—acting on? The average African household is caught in a poverty cycle of low food production, low income, poor health, malnutrition, poor environmental sanitation, and infectious disease. Food security, as primary prevention, should be a priority strategy in the fight against AIDS in Africa. With water and sanitation, it has the huge advantage of simultaneously reducing population vulnerability to all the other diseases of poverty.
This brings us to the second major factor, chronic co-infections, most of which are also related to the failure to meet basic needs. There is ample evidence that co-infections not only interfere with immune function, but they also increase viremia—the level of HIV circulating in the body. High viremia, unsurprisingly, is associated with increased risk of transmission.
Parasitic infections, which affect over a quarter of the world’s population, overwhelmingly in developing countries, may play a particularly important role in high population transmission rates of HIV and TB. Some researchers have suggested that in order to control both these epidemics, parasitic infections must be controlled first. The only co-infection that has received due attention is sexually transmitted infection (syphilis, gonorrhea, chancroid etc), which is known to substantially increase vulnerability to HIV infection. Prevention and control of STI has been recognized as a key strategy in the fight against AIDS.
Interestingly, the fact that the modes of transmission are the same for STIs as for HIV—both are blood borne diseases, which can be transmitted sexually—has meant that the focus on individual behavior and individual agency can go unchallenged. This would not be the case if the co-infection to be prevented or controlled as a factor of susceptibility to HIV infection were intestinal worms or enteritis.
With the exception of some brave and outspoken NGOs, the mainstream international AIDS community steadfastly refuses to address poverty, powerlessness, and inequality. It is not that the AIDS community does not talk about poverty. On the contrary, it is the most fashionable subject at the moment. Poverty reduction (rather than eradication) is on everyone’s lips in the alliance of WB/IMF/WTO/G8, the UN agencies dealing with AIDS, government aid agencies, and “charitable” foundations, such as Ford, Rockefeller, and Bill and Melinda Gates.
In sanctimonious tones, they lament the persistence of poverty, but in a perverse reversal of logic, they advocate for massive attacks on a few killer diseases (malaria, TB, and AIDS) in order to “create prosperity.” No amount of health delivered to Haitians or Tanzanians today is going to provide them with prosperity tomorrow or the next day. It will allow them to survive where others die in rather precarious conditions, perhaps until the next bout of illness.
Many will protest that the connections with poverty have been recognized from the start. This is true, but it has invariably been in terms of the economic impact of AIDS on communities, in particular on their productivity rather than poverty as the root cause of extreme susceptibility to all infections including HIV.
Even when social and economic factors, such as labor migration, exchange of sex for survival, gender power imbalances and population movements, have been identified as contributing to vulnerability, the solutions proposed are still focused on the residual action possible at the level of individual behavior.
The most striking example of this is the provision of condoms at the pithead of mines in South Africa to tens of thousands of migrant laborers slaving to bring up gold for white-owned transnational corporations and to thousands of migrant women selling sex to feed and clothe their children. Migrant labor and sex slavery are unhealthy—even life threatening—socially constructed phenomena, which can therefore be socially deconstructed. Examination of poverty and powerlessness as root causes of AIDS would threaten these kinds of production arrangements. They would also imply a fundamental shift in the international economic order, massive redistribution of the earth’s resources, and an end to the fantastically exploitative rela- tions between North and South.
The overwhelming power of vested interests confines both the research agenda and the strategies of the international AIDS community to the sphere of the individual in order that structural, economic, and political inequalities neither be brought to light nor questioned.
The Declaration of Alma Ata (International Conference on Primary Health Care) in 1978 explicitly recognized structural inequalities and macroeconomic factors as determinants of poverty and therefore of population health status. As this approach threatened the status quo, it was politically sanitized and reduced to a few technological interventions. By the early 1980s, neoliberal dogma was already being imposed in international fora and primary health care had more or less been abandoned.
However, the only progress possible in public health today, and in the fight against AIDS, is a return to the wisdom of Alma Ata—armed at the turn of the century with 20 years’ more evidence of the negative health effects of savage, free market neoliberalism. The “triumph” of capitalism in the Russian Federation, for example, has been accompanied by the collapse of health services and spectacular increases in rates of illness and death.
Trillions Rather Than Millions?
T he sums made available through international aid are pitiful compared to the sums that would be released through debt cancellation, fair trade, and measures to end the continued pillage of developing country resources. These amount to trillions rather than millions. It is not hard to understand the preference for international aid. First, it brings about one and half times more back to the donor country than is received by the recipient country. Second, it is immediately used to service the debt to Northern banks—far larger sums than are available to the health and education sectors of debtor countries. Third, even though it may increase the size of the crumbs from the rich person’s table, it does not threaten the international economic order. On the contrary, it deepens the dependency that is so profitable to the developed countries and so devastating to developing countries.
It is the responsibility of international health authorities to identify the determinants of health (and disease) and to advocate for policy and action, which will contribute most effectively to the goal of health for all, even if this lies outside the health sector. If food, water, sanitation, basic health care, and housing are the quickest, cheapest, most effective ways of achieving health for all, then the international health community should be advocating this.
If these basic needs can only be met when countries’ national capacities are freed from the strangulation of debt and unfair terms of trade and from the destabilizing chaos of financial flows then they must recommend this. If national food security requires a degree of protectionism rather than unfettered free trade, it must be strongly advocated. There could be no clearer public health imperative. If the obstacle to such advocacy is the hand that feeds the international AIDS community, then the time has come to bite it. That hand is the alliance of WB/IMF/WTO, the G8—even occasionally the UN—and the transnational corporations influencing their policies.
The beauty of a fair international economic order lies in the fact that nations, communities, and families left to their own devices are quite capable of meeting their own basic needs. Removing the obstacles to self determination is the task to be accomplished.
The international AIDS community needs to ally with the tremendous movement for social and economic justice today. As a start it might wish to make immediate debt cancellation and the introduction of a Tobin-type tax its funding source for the first few years, followed swiftly by the first steps towards fair trade, bringing trillions of dollars to public health efforts within the long promised new international economic order.
A slightly different version of this article first appeared in African Journal of AIDS Research. Alison Katz is a member of the People’s Health Movement.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
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MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
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MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
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BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
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ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
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NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
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LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
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ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
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LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
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SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
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WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.