I will be attending the launch this evening at the Verso Books loft in Brooklyn of Verso’s Counterblasts series, of which my The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work is a component. Derrick O’Keefe, author of Michael Ignatieff: The Lesser Evil? and Jade Lindgaard, co-author with Xavier de la Porte of The Impostor: BHL in Wonderland, will be in attendance, as well.
Tomorrow (March 17), Verso’s Andy Hsiao will be chairing a Left Forum panel entitled Counterblasts: Challenging “star” public intellectuals who defend Empire and Capital. I won’t be able to make it, but O’Keefe and Lindgaard will be speaking on the panel along with Joel Whitney of Guernica Magazine, a valuable ally in the anti-Friedman campaign.
For more information on the party tonight see here.
Check out the trailer for “Resistencia”, Jesse Freeston’s documentary-in-progress, and visit the film’s website.
A bit of background to the documentary, courtesy of Freeston:
The film follows 3,000 landless farming families as they occupy the palm oil plantations of Miguel Facussé, the richest man in Honduras. Over their two-year-long occupation, they’ve been threatened, jailed, beaten, had their homes burnt down, and more than forty farmers have been killed by Facussé’s guards, the police, and the military, all of which work together to try and push them off the land. Despite this constant violence, the families are still there and they’re not going anywhere.
The occupation began after the 2009 military coup d’etat—organized by Facussé and other oligarchs—that overthrew the only president that ever supported the farmers. Abandoned by the electoral process, the farmers took over the land and are now implementing their own democracy inside the occupied plantations.
The following is my latest short post for the London Review of Books blog.
In June 2009, the Bolivian state-run newspaper Cambio reported that Alán García, the then president of Peru, had accused Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, of inciting genocide against the Peruvian police force. Morales had expressed solidarity with inhabitants of the Peruvian Amazon opposed to the multinational corporate exploitation of the region’s resources.
Since then, Morales seems to have adjusted his position on both environmentalism and the rights of indigenous peoples. There are plans to build a highway through Bolivia’s Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). The government has portrayed the road’s opponents as politically motivated allies of US imperialism, and the police have cracked down violently on protesters. The road would benefit Brazilian energy companies and coca-growing Morales supporters who have moved into the area.