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New Media We Recommend

April 7, 2011

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights, by Omar Barghouti – Last week we posted a story about the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that is targeted at the state of Israel.  This book is by far to date the best comprehensive look at both the evolution of the BDS campaign and its guiding principles. Barghouti does a great job of providing both a political framework for why BDS is so important and numerous concrete examples of how it is working at the local level. The book is full of stories about how people in churches, universities, unions, artists and other sectors of civil society are putting into practice the tactics of the BDS campaign in order to challenge the illegal occupation of Israel.

Fields of Resistance: The Struggle for Florida’s Farmworkers for Justice, by Silvia Giagnoni – If you have ever wondered about the living and working conditions of farmworkers in the US, then Fields of Resistance is an excellent way to get your questions answered. The book not only looks at the realities that farmworkers face in Florida, it provides a great deal of inspiration based on the organizing campaigns being waged by the Mexican and Central American migrant workers to improve the conditions they work in. Giagnoni not only provides important analysis on this topic, she put a human face on these forgotten workers. The author’s account of visiting the homes of migrant workers an sitting through numerous meetings with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) makes the reader feel as if you were there.

Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment, by Mazin Qumsiyeh – In popular US culture where our perceptions have been deeply influenced by commercial news media and entertainment media, the dominant images we have of Palestinians are as terrorists or suicide bombers. Palestinian author and activist Mazin Qumsiyeh provides the perfect antidote for such perceptions in his book Popular Resistance in Palestine. The book demonstrates that there has been popular resistance (mostly non-violent) for centuries by Palestinians against numerous countries that have sought to oppress them. Mazin takes the reader through the resistance to the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire and more recently the State of Israel. What one walks away with after reading this book is that Palestinians have a rich history of resistance where most of the population has actively struggled against oppression and occupation through a variety of means. Popular Resistance in Palestine is an important contribution to understanding the history of the Palestinian people.

Inside Job (DVD) – There have been several documentaries that investigate the 2008 global financial crisis, but few have done it as well as Inside Job. This feature length documentary not only takes us into the halls of power and corruption it provides an important analysis that challenges our understanding of contemporary neo-liberal capitalism. The film will piss you off and it can be a useful popular education tool for those wanting more than to just be mad.

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