Author Archives: safis

Report on The Fourth National BDS Conference, 8 June 2013, Bethlehem


Report on The Fourth National BDS Conference, 8 June 2013, Bethlehem

Ramallah – 18 June 2013 – On 8 June 2013 the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)[1] organized its “Fourth National BDS Conference” at Bethlehem University, under the slogan: “Boycotting Israel and opposing normalization contribute to Liberation, Return of Refugees, and Self-Determination.” With 700 participants, mostly representatives of the national committee member entities, including political parties, trade unions, women’s organizations, professional syndicates, youth and student groups, and other civil society organizations, the conference was hailed by several commentators as a “turning point” for the BDS movement’s local work. A substantial part of the credit goes to the selfless efforts of tens of — mainly youth — volunteers who worked for long weeks on organizing all aspects of the conference with dedication and aptitude.

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Sudanese civil society calls for a constitution that recognizes the country’s diversity and promotes equality


Sudanese civil society calls for a constitution that recognizes the country’s diversity and promotes equality

(18 June 2013) On 6 June scores of prominent Sudanese journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders, and political activists adopted a Declaration of Guiding Principles for Constitution Making in Sudan.

Building on constitutional initiatives undertaken by civil society actors inside Sudan, delegates discussed and adopted guiding principles for the Sudanese constitution making process and future content of the constitution of Sudan.

The seminal meeting took place in Nairobi, Kenya against a backdrop of systematic crack-downs on civil society, political activists, the media and independent voices in Sudan. Deeply concerned that the prevailing social and political climate in Sudan is not conducive to the meaningful participation of the Sudanese people in determining their future constitution, delegates set out essential pre-requisites for the commencement of the constitution making process, including an end to all armed conflicts in the country.

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Zimbabwe: IMF Dialogue a Step Forward


21 June 2013


Last week quite a timely event happened.

After a decade-long impasse, Zimbabwe’s cabinet finally submitted to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) after recently approving it.

While an SMP remains an informal and flexible instrument for dialogue between the IMF staff and a member country on its economic policies, it is not a formal re-engagement with the IMF executive directorate.

Under the SMP a country’s economic reform targets, policies and programmes are monitored by a nominated team of IMF staff for an agreed period.

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Campaign to Protest USA Foreign Policy during the State Visit of President Barack Obama


We as South Africans in the form of the South African Communist Party (SACP), the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCL), the South African Students Congress (SASCO), the Muslim Students Association(MSA), the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union(NEHAWU), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Friend of Cuba Society (FOCUS), Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South African), and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), declare our utmost rejection of visit of the United States of America President, Barack Obama to our country.

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The “explosion” of citizenship on the streets


Cândido Grzybowski

Sociologist, director of Ibase

Nothing better for democracy than streets and avenues taken by citizens protesting. That is the evidence that the streets indeed set the public agenda. What was deemed as unthinkable a little while ago has actually happened: the mayors of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro reduced public transport fares. More than the immediate reasons, what really matters is the symbolism of the protests and the signals that they convey to the political arena. Once again it was up to the youth to open way for the ressurgence of insatisfactions and claims, through a cacophony of voices, some of them provocative in their own ways. I am not referring here to the opportunist riots, which were also present at these occasions. The dominant tone of the dispute for a new sense and direction of everyday Brazil is not violent, as it should be in order to be strongly anchored in democracy.

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Declaration on International Solidarity and People’s Co-operation



Taking note of the momentous developments that have unfolded around the world over the past months and years, and that continue to inspire popular uprisings against dictatorship and authoritarian rule across Africa and beyond;

 Thereby reminding ourselves, and the world, of the power of the people in democratic struggles to bring about change and an improvement in their lives;

 Noting also that recent democratic uprisings have had a profound impact that continues to inspire people around the world from all walks of life, rekindling hope after decades of setbacks, defeats and erosions of our fundamental rights;

 Recognising that growing numbers of oppressed, marginalised and vulnerable people around the world, and those who stand in solidarity with them, increasingly recognise their own cause as part of a common, global struggle for a just and liveable future;

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