October 27, 2021

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The Edge
Colonialism and Racism are ‘Etched into Global Conservation’ — Prakash Kashwan

“The entire institutional structure, the systems for promoting global conservation, were meant to exclude local people from national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. We call this the fines, fences, and firearms approach.”

On Tuesday, October 26, Dr. Prakash Kashwan joined Ithaca College professor Dr. Jake Brenner for a discussion on environmental justice, interdisciplinary scholarship, and the legacy of colonialism in conservation.

Dr. Kashwan illustrated possibilities for collaborations across disciplines to create the best possible scholarship, and described how “the effects of colonialism and racism are etched into the dominant philosophy, models, and institutional apparatus of global conservation.”

Read more and watch their full discussion on The Edge.

How the Taliban Beat a Military Superpower

On October 26, Cornell University hosted “Losing the Longest War: Afghanistan, 2001-21,” a public lecture that examined the history of the war in Afghanistan and the larger history of the kind of warfare the United States finds particularly challenging. The event further analyzed what went wrong in the Afghanistan war and why future conflicts of this type are likely to meet similar ends.

The lecture was hosted by David Silbey, the associate director of the Cornell in Washington program and a senior lecturer at Cornell.

Silbey began by asking the question that has been on Americans’ minds since the evacuation of troops from Afghanistan: “How could this happen?” He explained that “The U.S. spends more on military defense budgets than the next seven highest spenders combined,” but the Taliban refused to engage on the U.S. military’s terms.

Read more on the history of U.S. warfare on The Edge.

Upstate Drone Action Calls for Reparations at Senator Schumer’s Syracuse Office

Thursday, October 28, 2 p.m.: Upstate Drone Action members from New York State will conduct a press conference and hold a meeting with staff at the office of Senator Schumer located in the James M. Hanley Federal Building, 100 S. Clinton St, Syracuse, NY 13261.  

On August 29, after hours of surveillance on what it believed to be a vehicle containing an ISIS bomb, the U.S. military fired a drone strike on civilian driver Zemari Ahmadi in Kabul, Afghanistan. The military stated the strike may have killed three civilians, though reporting by the New York Times showed it killed 10, including seven children, of the Ahmadi family.

Ban Killer Drones, a national network resisting the use of drone attacks, is calling for reparations to the Ahmadi family, saying thousands of others killed by U.S. drones deserve similar payments, which should be made under the oversight of Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

Read the full report on The Edge.

Upcoming Events
10/28 Book Talk: “Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World Without Borders”

Thursday, October 28, at 6:00 p.m. at Ithaca College Textor 101 and via Zoom. Join on Zoom here.

Award winning journalist and author Todd Miller will speak about his new book where he asks the question: “Is it possible to create a borderless world?” In a series of anecdotes, he relates his encounters with U.S. Border Patrol agents, deportees, migrants, human-rights activists, and scholars, taking readers on a journey from the deserts of the Southwest to the mountains of Guatemala, and to border zones across the globe. 

Read more here.

More from the Edge
Media’s ‘Border Theater’ Ignores Constant U.S. Brutality

“[The Border] has been designed, across administrations, both Democrat and Republican, over decades, to inflict violence on some of the poorest people in the hemisphere.”

Todd Miller, author of “Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World Without Borders,” writes on what the media misses when it flocks to the U.S.-Mexico border only to deliver sensational stories. The recent cycle covering thousands of Haitians arriving to Del Rio showed only a “glimpse into the everyday” actions of the Border Patrol to deter migrants.

Read Miller’s full commentary on The Edge.

See him talk at Ithaca College and over Zoom.

Digital Repression around the World Becoming a ‘Smokescreen for Bloodshed’

On October 19, the International Forum for Democratic Studies and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted an online discussion to examine the critical issues surrounding digital repression.

Members of the Digital Democracy Network, a diverse group of cutting-edge thinker-activists engaged in work on technology and politics, sat down to discuss how recent developments in technology and its governance are also presenting new opportunities for authoritarian abuse.

“Shutdowns tend to arise as a culmination of the terrible journey of repressive tactics,” said panelist Jan Rydzak, who added, “authorities are increasingly opting for using shutdowns in what I think is the most egregious way, which is as a smokescreen for bloodshed.”

Read more on the panel and its remarks on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Police charged in death of Black man shot 76 times in Atlanta (The Independent)

2. Could Climate Change Be More Extreme Than We Think? (The Atlantic)

3. The Texas Abortion Ban Handed Abusers A Whole New Tool To Control Their Victims With (HuffPost)

4. Neutrino result heralds new chapter in physics (BBC)

5. Men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse cannot be called ‘victims’ in court, judge rules (The Guardian

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The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.