In 2019 we saw some of the largest marches ever organised, the demise of decades old dictatorships, global inequality under the spotlight like never before, and a growing demand for fundamental systemic change. Here are twelve movements that inspired us in 2019.
Rakhine State, historically known as Arakan, represents the post-colonial failures of Myanmar in microcosm: ethnic conflict, political impasse, militarisation, economic neglect and the marginalisation of local peoples. During the past decade, many of these challenges have gathered a new intensity, accentuating a Buddhist-Muslim divide and resulting in one of the greatest refugee crises in the modern world. A land of undoubted human and natural resource potential, Rakhine State has become one of the poorest territories in the country today.
As the government meets to design a “roadmap” for developing the new national land law, TNI looks at how the situation has changed since the development of the National Land Use policy a few years ago and reflects on the issues at stake for millions of people across the country with rights to land in the current context.
The latest decision from the Supreme Court in India has legitimized the destruction of the Babri Mosque. Meanwhile, mainstream parties and commentators refuse to call it what it is: the latest stage in an accelerating process of Hindu ethno-nationalism.
Katie Sandwell, Angélica Castañeda Flores, Lyda Fernanda Forero, Jennifer Franco, Sofia Monsalve Suárez, Andrea Nuila, Philip Seufert
10 December 2019
We urgently need new, revitalised, visions of human rights, and rural communities are in the process of building just these kinds of visions. The climate crisis poses massive threats to human rights, but so do mainstream technical and economic climate ‘solutions’, and rising authoritarian voices around the world. The battle for resources and territories, including land, water, fisheries, and forests is becoming increasingly intense, with land-intensive renewable energy projects and the drive to marketise carbon and biodiversity additional threats to nature and to the livelihoods of rural and indigenous people around the world.
The energy transition is in the news. Interest in energy transition ranges from actors such as peoples in resistance, workers, academics, and public administrations, to large corporations, international institutions and governments. The paradigm of energy transition, if it exists, runs a serious risk of being coopted by large companies, of being trivialized and placed at the service of the current system of social reproduction that seeks to perpetuate existing power relations.
The far right is increasingly active globally—at the level of governments, through civil society, and in the digital sphere. Their political parties are cooperating across borders, their anti- democratic actions are undermining the rule of law, their attacks on “globalists” are eroding the efficacy of international institutions, and their racist memes are spreading throughout culture. According to the 80 academics, researchers, and activists interviewed in this report, this threat to democracy and internationalism is urgent.
On the occasion of the International Conference ‘The Future is Public’, the Transformative Cities Initiative will bring 8 of the finalists together to debate and discuss the opportunities and challenges for transforming our local contexts so we address the global challenges we are facing. During this unique event we will announce which initiatives received more popular support and who will receive the Transformative Cities 2019 People’s Choice Award.
Public ownership is at the heart of an alternative vision, one that puts people, public services and the planet first. This movement has inspired the City of Amsterdam, TNI and the many international partners to organize the international conference Future is Public: Democratic Ownership of the Economy in Amsterdam.
The report focuses on 19 Frontex operations run by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex) to explore how the agency is militarising borders and criminalising migrants, undermining fundamental rights to freedom of movement and the right to asylum.
From 16 to 18 October 2019, representatives of member states, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society attended the 6th Intersessional Meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. On 17 October 2019, representatives of coca and opium growers from Colombia and Myanmar delivered statements highlighting the situation of communities involved in the illicit cultivation of coca and opium in both countries. Below are their full statements.
Multistakeholderism has become a new buzzword for global governance, shaping standards for products, setting the rules for global initiatives and increasingly entering every arena of global governance including the UN. They are driven by transnational corporations to consolidate power and profits and have disturbing implications for democracy, accountability and for communities most affected by corporate human rights violations.
Northern African countries are key suppliers of natural resources to the global economy, from large- scale oil and gas extraction in Algeria and Tunisia, to phosphate mining in Tunisia and Morocco, to water-intensive agribusiness paired with tourism in Morocco and Tunisia. The commodification of nature and privatisation of resources entailed in these projects has led to serious environmental damages, and forced these countries into a subservient position in the global economy, sustaining and deepening global inequalities.
Distributed Cooperative Organizations (DisCOs) are a P2P/Commons, cooperative and Feminist Economic alternative to Decentralised Autonomous Organizations (or DAOs).
DisCOs bring together the worlds of the Commons and P2P, Open and Platform Cooperativism, Distributed Ledger/Blockchain tech, and Feminist Economics together in a fresh, radical framework fit for addressing the challenges of our times.
The Frente Amplio (Broad Front) government of Uruguay, one of the most stable, fruitful and serene experiences of the “new Latin American left”, is going through a very dramatic electoral process with likely profound impacts in the country and in the region. Daniel Chavez appraises the results of the Uruguayan experience and suggests what might be relevant for other counter-hegemonic processes in the region and the world.
This briefing aims to deepen discussion on the Belt and Road Iniatiative (BRI) in Myanmar. The BRI is often described as a ‘grand strategy’ led by President Xi Jinping, centrally planned and rolled out by obedient state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The sheer size of the initiative – 136 countries have received US$90 billion in Chinese foreign direct investment and exchanged US$6 trillion in trade with China - can make the BRI appear monolithic and inevitable. However, using a political economy analysis, this briefing demonstrates that the BRI is not a grand strategy, but a broad framework of activities that seek to address a crisis in Chinese capitalism. An examination of four BRI projects in Myanmar using Chinese language sources shows the extent of lobbying by Chinese SOEs and the Yunnan provincial government to promote the projects, with support from the central Chinese government.
On the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, a new report reveals the European businesses profiting from the construction of new walls across Europe. It identifies three key players – the arms firms Thales, Airbus and Leonardo – as well as a whole host of construction, shipping, technology and security firms from across Europe winning border militarisation contracts.