JOURNAL OF THE 24TH YEAR
Japan's Fukushima Disaster
The Shura Case
Death Row Inmates Exonerated
NUGGETS FROM THE NUT HOUSE
From Netanyahu to Mladic
Edward S. Herman
GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY NOTES
Veterans Support Manning
Double Dip Recession
Iara Lee's Culture of Resistance
Len Weinglass (1933-2011)
Michael Steven Smith
Checkmate In The Great Game
Nicolas J.S. Davies
The Colonial Predator Legacy
Against Corporatocracy Rule
Bruce E. Levine
The Mideast & South Central Asia
Bin Laden and the Arab "Awakening"
From Poppies to Fentanyl Lollipops
The Lacandon Jungle and the Carbon Market
Displacing People for Profit
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Iara Lee's Culture of Resistance
Most activists know Iara Lee as the passenger on the MV Mavi Marmara whose crew managed to smuggle footage of the May 30, 2010 attack by Israeli commandos past security personnel. When the ship was raided and nine passengers killed, Lee was completing a six-year film project that had put her in some of the world’s most dangerous places. From the slums of Sao Paolo to Nigerian rebel camps, over 5 continents and 35 cities, she interviewed people who were risking their lives to improve the lives of others.
What sent Lee on this trip was the
Lee’s cinematic sweep began with scenes of International Peace Day being celebrated in
Nigerian activist-musician Femí Kuti says he is still singing about the problems his father Felá was singing about 47 years ago, such as children being poisoned by polluted land and water, a result of oil drilling. “Can you blame us,” he asks, “for turning against our government when it hangs peaceful protestors like Ken Saro-Wiwa?” In
Lee takes us next to
That’s the conclusion Lee reached at the project’s end. “We don’t have drone planes, missiles, or white phosphorous,” she says, “but we have our freedom to resist oppression. To sing, dance, and express how we feel about world politics. Global solidarity is the only thing that can promote real change.”
Of Korean descent, Lee studied filmmaking in
Lee was living in
Her film also shows that women are often the boldest change-makers because they have so much at stake. In
Shooting Cultures of Resistance in police states, where journalists are fair game, took courage and ingenuity. Lee and her crew crossed into Syria in the middle of the night, got a friendlier reception from militants in Nigeria than from the government, and talked their way into (and out of) Brazil’s notorious favelas (slums). Which brings us back to the deadly Israeli raid on the MV Mavi Marmara in May 2010.
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla remains for Lee an inspiring example of civil disobedience. “No matter how frustrated we get, violence is never going to get us where we want to be,” she says. “We need to stick to the tradition of nonviolence and, as activists, be very disciplined and organized. Even Hamas said that we accomplished more with the flotilla than they had with rockets.” Though Lee’s crew succeeded in smuggling raw footage of the attack past security guards, she found no
When she presents her documentary worldwide, Lee challenges audiences to take action: “We want to snap people out of their comfort zones.... If they are consumers, they are complicit. They use the ‘blood gadgetry’ in their cell phones, iPads, and laptops. We are all directly linked to the extraction of minerals, especially coltan, in
There are many ways people can support grassroots organizations, such as cultures of resistance and others profiled in the film. They can contribute by teaching “history from below” through the Zinn Education Project or joining Clowns Without Borders to entertain in areas of conflict. They can help enforce international law by interning with the Center for Constitutional Rights or organize a poetry reading with help from Poets Against War.
Says Lee, “We want to give activist-artists and peacemakers specific ways they can plug into a global network. At this point, for me filmmaking is a tool rather than a career. Through the Caipirinha Foundation, I can help support artists as well as create art. It’s satisfying to be able to give back, not just to use people’s stories.”
Lisa Mullenneaux is a journalist and publisher based in Manhattan and Woodstock,
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
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, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate 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.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. 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 the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
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 in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
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 across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock 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; email@example.com; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
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.
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.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.