Category Archives: Torture & Human Rights

A New Book: A Quaker’s Life in Our “Interesting,” Tumultuous Times

Emma Lapsansky-Werner and Chuck Fager at the Quaker History Roundtable, summer of 2017

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AFSC: When the Slides Went Awry, And The Key Questions Weren’t Asked . . .

Brian Blackmore

Last month I attended two presentations by the new AFSC Director of Quaker Engagement, Brian Blackmore, at Durham and Chapel Hill Meetings here in North Carolina.

Blackmore, just a year in the job, is the successor to Lucy Duncan, a longtime AFSC staffer who was unceremoniously fired in early 2022 when she tried to start a staff uprising to stop a major internal reorganization. Continue reading AFSC: When the Slides Went Awry, And The Key Questions Weren’t Asked . . .

Gwynne Dyer On the Navalny Murder

By Gwynne Dyer

Feb. 19, 2024

Vladimir Putin’s regime had been assassinating Chechen warlords, defectors from the Russian intelligence services and sundry wayward oligarchs for years, but its first political murder was the hit on high-profile journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in her Moscow apartment in 2006 — and so it has been ever since.

Anna Politkovskaya,

Attacks on Russian ex-intelligence agents on foreign soil, however, are conducted more discreetly, by poisonings, not by mob-style shootings, e.g. Alexander Litvinenko, killed in London by radioactive polonium-200 dropped in his tea, and Sergei Skripal, poisoned by the nerve agent novichok smeared on his doorknob (but survived) in Salisbury, England.
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Brazil’s Slave History: Recognition & Talk of Reparations

January 30, 2024
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The executive manager for institutional relations at a Brazilian state bank took the microphone before roughly 150 people at a forum on slaverys legacy in his country, which kidnapped more Africans for forced labor than any other nation.“Today’s Bank of Brazil asks Black people for forgiveness,” André Machado said to the mostly Black audience at the Portela samba school in Rio de Janeiro.

“Directly or indirectly, all of Brazilian society should apologize to Black people for that sad moment in our history,” he said, reading a statement to audience members who sat watching from plastic chairs, their eyes fixed upon him.

Brazil — where more than half the population selfidentifies as Black or biracial — has long resisted reckoning with its past. That reluctance has started loosening.

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Two by Dyer: A Just War In Gaza? And China: Is A Slow Future of Fizzle Underway?

Gwynne Dyer —

#1- Just War and the Gaza Strip

 December 5, 2023

Augustine of Hippo

“If you (Americans) were OK with us killing 5,000 children, you are OK with killing 10,000 children,” said Daniel Levy, a former Israeli diplomat who helped negotiate the Oslo peace accords in the 1990s. That’s what Israeli diplomats really think of US policy, he says.

This implies that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) both dismiss US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s strenuous warnings about the need to avoid high Palestinian casualties in the renewed bombing as just so much hot air.

Continue reading Two by Dyer: A Just War In Gaza? And China: Is A Slow Future of Fizzle Underway?