Lessons from the Coronavirus Crisis

By Ernst Stetter

No diseases here. Friedrichshain, March 2020.

The end of the tunnel is nowhere in sight. Coronavirus continues to infect the globe.

The figures we see are growing exponentially. The numbers of deaths continue to mushroom daily.

Economic systems are falling rapidly, triggering a worldwide recession whose impact on jobs and growth is not yet known. Entire industries have shut down.

Countries around the world are restricting the movement of people, blocking the entry of persons coming from regions and countries particularly affected by the virus.

People have finally recognised how globalisation created economic interdependence, of corporations and businesses.

Life Under Lockdown

By Basilio Korman

Social distancing used to be about class. Balon, Aurora.

I’m in the second week of self-imposed Coronavirus isolation, and the fourth day of the nationwide lockdown mandated by the Italian government to stop — or at least slow — the epidemic.

I leave home only for two reasons: To buy food, once every two days, or dispose of the garbage once a day, that, with a family of three stuck at home for fifteen days now is piling up much quicker than usual.

It’s time to take out the garbage. I’m slowly pushing the huge black sack containing four smaller bags with recycling…

Rusland en het Oekraïne-referendum

Paul Simon

Zeg gewoon nee. 2016 Oekraïense referendum, Amsterdam.

Toen EU leiders het toetredingsproces voor Noord-Macedonië en Albanië weigerden te starten, was het de Franse president Emmanuel Macron die als boosdoener uit de bus kwam.

“Frankrijk ondermijnt de stabiliteit van de Balkan — en van de EU,” meent Jasmin Musjanovic Zij voegt zich bij een groep van Macron-critici, daar dat de hoop van Balkan-reformisten op zo’n kritiek moment ontnomen is.

Maar behalve Frankrijk, wilden ook Denemarken en Nederland toetredingsgesprekken met Albanië niet starten.

Berucht om haar sceptische houding tegenover de uitbreiding van de EU, zou Den Haag niet overtuigd worden. Op 9 oktober…

Extinction Rebellion and the Holocaust

By Joel Schalit

Welcome to Climate Camp. Berlin, October 2019.

For a week, it seemed, Berlin had been taken over by the left. Not just any left but something new and unrecognisable. In the place of the customary red and black flags of anti-capitalist groups, protestors were waving flags featuring an hourglass, in soft greens and light blues.

Blocking traffic, staging sit-ins around the Bundestag, and the Victory Column, the ubiquity of the movement’s icon was confusing.

On the surface, there was nothing especially political about it. Its clean lines and minimalist, design-bureau style said what it had to: that it was…

Caught Between Two Gas Giants

By Maxim Edwards

Russia is growing closer. Laying the foundations, Rügen.

Nord Stream 2 is going ahead. Last Wednesday, after two and a half years of delay, Denmark’s government gave permission for a section of the natural gas pipeline to pass through its exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea.

Securing this permission was the final hurdle to completing the 1,225-kilometre undersea pipeline which runs from Ust-Luga in Russia’s Leningrad Region to Greifswald on Germany’s Baltic coast.

When it becomes operational next spring, Nord Stream 2 and its predecessor, which was opened in 2011, could double the capacity of Russian natural gas deliveries…

Russia and the Ukraine Referedum

By Paul Simon

Just say Nee. 2016 Ukraine referendum, Amsterdam.

When EU leaders declined to start the accession process for North Macedonia and Albania, it was French President Emmanuel Macron who was singled out as the spoiler.

“France is undermining Balkan — and EU — stability,” opined Jasmin Musjanovic, joining a chorus of Macron critics for dashing the hopes of Balkan reformists at such a critical juncture.

But alongside France, Denmark and the Netherlands rejected the opening of accession talks with Albania, too.

Notoriously sceptical of EU expansion, the Hague would not be convinced. On 9 October, the Dutch parliament had already…

Natasha Lennard’s Being Numerous: Essays on Non-Fascist Life

By John Foster

Inspecting a communist banner. Berlin, May Day 2019.

Fascism is the order of the day. One might confuse it with populism, or that the two are somehow vying for supremacy.

But populism wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t for the prospect that fascism might be on the cusp of making one of the unlikelier comebacks in the history of world politics, given its relatively recent associations with Hitler’s body count.

For the left, the question is, as it has been since the mid-1920s, how to stem the resistless tide of fascism.

After 1945, the question seemed…

Blaming the Left for Terrorism

By Spencer Sunshine

So much fascism — and anti-fascism. Turin, August 2019.

The United States is having its third wave of “Antifa panic” in as many years. Donald Trump’s 27 July tweet called for Antifa — short for antifascist activists — to be declared “a major Organization of Terror”.

This produced a pushback, especially in Germany, sending #IchbinAntifa trending on social media.

Antifa is not an organisation at all, but a decentralised, leaderless movement that opposes fascism and the far-right. Although most of its work is legal and non-violent, the movement is best known for occasional street fights with extremists.

Recently in the…

The BoJo-Trump Deal

By Mitchell Plitnick

Royal Navy frigate HMS Richmond. Al Başra Oil Terminal, Iraq.

Iran and a trade deal. The 26 July exchange could not have deferred more to Trump.

But, as far as first conversations between Britain’s newly elected premier with his American counterpart, it couldn’t have been more Boris Johnson, either.

With tensions rising in the Persian Gulf and Washington unclear about its intentions, the crisis was bound to amplify his proclivity to inconsistency.

While Boris Johnson has praised the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal, as it is formally called) and has repeatedly ruled out military action against the Islamic Republic, he has also warned Tehran…

Carola Rackete vs. Matteo Salvini, Part III

By Sean Quinn

Italian marines speed towards a suspected refugee ship, November 2018.

Picture this: You are the captain of an NGO rescue ship that has been stranded at sea for weeks awaiting permission to dock at the nearest port.<! — more →

Aboard you have 42 refugees whom your crew has rescued at sea, many of them now in deteriorating health. Finally, in despair, you decide to enter the port without permission.

When you do you are arrested. No surprises so far.

But then you are faced with the results of the two-week campaign of attacks waged against you by a senior…

The Battleground

News Matters in Critical Times

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