May 26, 2022

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The Edge

Ukraine in the Global Politics of Left and Right

Some elements of the left have had difficulty processing the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, characterizing it as a valid response to American imperial designs. High on the list is NATO expansion.

Thomas Shevory, author and professor emeritus of politics at Ithaca College, focuses on the implications of this commentary for global right-wing politics, stressing the importance of historical context and Ukrainian politics.

“It seems, at the very least, presumptuous, for outsiders to tell Ukrainians, other Eastern Europeans, and Nordic states, how to conduct their defense and economic affairs,” Shevory says. He also examines the white nationalist politics of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he says we can see echoes of in “Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida and the rantings of the Buffalo, New York, Tops Market shooter.”

Read Shevory’s full commentary on The Edge.

Until Black Bodies are Free, None of Us Are Free

Author Zillah Eisenstein delivered this speech in Seneca Falls, New York, on May 21, 2022, as part of the national “Summer of Rage” abortion rallies. Read her speech from Ithaca, New York, here.

Before I start: This is an incredible moment — both dire and promissory. The right-wing zealots have taken power in the Republican party and the Court and have exposed themselves by doing so. Instead of mystifying their power, they have unveiled it for all to see.

So we must use their arrogance against them. This should allow us to solidify our coalitions among ourselves.

It is time for abolition — to abolish white supremacy and to end murderous plunder and killing. And it means an end to the control of all women’s bodies — whatever form or identity it may have. And it is time for reparations. Repair the wounds of our Black sisters, and we will become free with them.

Read Eisenstein’s full speech on The Edge.

U.S. ‘Military Aid’ to Ukraine at $54 Billion as Media Calls for More

As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, U.S. media echoes calls from Ukrainian officials for more weapons. The total U.S. spending on Ukraine has reached $54 billion, with largely bipartisan support on aid packages from U.S. lawmakers.

CNBC described the latest legislation President Joe Biden signed on Saturday for another $40 billion in weapons and aid to Ukraine during the fourth month of the Russian invasion.

The legislation was passed with bipartisan support, and “deepens the U.S. commitment to Ukraine.” The bill includes $20 billion in “military assistance,” which CNBC said will ensure “a steady stream of advanced weapons that have been used to blunt Russia’s advances.”

Ukrainian officials are requesting the U.S. and NATO send multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), though a U.S. official reported concern in the White House that this could lead to Russian escalation.

Read the full report on The Edge.

PCIM Interns to Work in Local News, Museum, Radio Station

This summer, the Park Center for Independent Media is sponsoring several internships for Ithaca College students, including at independent news outlets, a film distributor, and a museum.

Working with the New Jersey Globe, journalism student George Christopher ’23 will report on government and campaign events concerning state elections. Evan Miller ’24, another journalism student, will spend the summer at Juno Films.

Two students will be working with WRFI community radio, helping to produce daily shows: Devon Jezek ’25, majoring in documentary studies and production, and Griffin Frechette ’23, studying journalism.

At the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, journalism student Desiree Holz ’23 will intern with the communications department.

Himadri Seth ’23, studying economics and journalism, will be at FAIR. And working with The Ithaca Voice will be journalism student Caitlin Holtzman ’23 and Eva Salzman ’23, studying journalism and women and gender studies.

Read more about PCIM’s 2022 summer interns here.

FLEFF Retrospective: “The Social Media Debate” Book Launch

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) and PCIM hosted a book launch on March 23 for “The Social Media Debate: Unpacking the Social, Psychological, and Cultural Effects of Social Media.”

Editor Devan Rosen, professor at Ithaca College in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies, spoke about the book with two of the contributing authors, Ysabel Gerrard and Francesca Sobande.

Rosen began by discussing the negative effects of social media on society. “These companies (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) knew what they were doing in creating things that were highly addictive,” Rosen said. “On a more macro level, we have entire nation-states using these technologies to gain control. Bolsonaro in Brazil would not be President were it not for his ability to control social media.”

Read more from the discussion here.

Watch the full book launch here.

In Other News

1. Anger as police admit hour delay stopping gunman and school was unlocked | The Independent

2. The Real Reason America Doesn’t Have Gun Control | The Atlantic

3. The Most Extreme Abortion Ban In The Country Was Just Signed Into Law In Oklahoma | HuffPost

4. How can Ukraine export its harvest to the world? | BBC

5. Outrage and inaction: how the push for US gun control rises and falls with each school shooting | The Guardian 

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website and The Edge, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.