Solidarity Bank

…some thoughts from Ian Chamberlain

Archive for the ‘Thought’ Category

What solution for a “just peace”?

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What steps are practical and just?

Another issue which seems to polarize activists seeking a “just peace” to the Israel/Palestine conflict is what will a “just peace” look like? This often focuses on a discussion about one or two states, with advocates on both sides making claims about why their “solution” is more just. The honest answer is that no solution will make the history of suffering disappear, heal the scars or solve all the issues. Lars and Ian debate the issue of what is pragmatic given “facts on the ground” as well as considering the views of the international community, Palestinians and Israelis.

Listen to the podcast on This is not BBC Hebron/Al-Khalil.

Photo by Fillipo Minelli.


Written by Ian Chamberlain

10 February 2012 at 23:30

Posted in Podcast, Thought

The BDS movement

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Not BBC Hebron/Al-Khalil

There’s plenty of excitement amongst pro-Palestinian activists about the growing BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement. But are activists engaged in the campaign weighing up the pros and cons of using particular tactics or are they hiding behind the “led by Palestinian civil society” banner? Should we be campaigning for a more nuanced form of BDS campaign which takes account of our own countries’ responsibility for upholding the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank? Here I discuss the issue with a fellow EAPPI observer in Hebron as part of a new podcast This is not BBC Hebron/Al-Khalil.

Written by Ian Chamberlain

28 January 2012 at 20:10

Posted in Podcast, Thought

Democracy and Process: The Real Power of Occupy LSX

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General Assembly at Occupy LSX

Writing from Occupy LSX, Ian Chamberlain argues the real power of the movement is the new world of possibilities it has created, built on consensus, cooperation and a rejection of the corporate-guided, party-political approach that has dominated the country for generations.

I now know that I’m hardly alone in thinking, and feeling, that for too long the views and needs of ordinary people have been ignored by our “democracy.” The sense of powerlessness that I experienced after I lost my job, when I saw so many opportunities disappear – such as going back to college or university to re-train, as fees tripled beyond my reach and as I struggled to find enough work to pay the rent – I experienced this as an individual, but now I see it throughout my South London community.

Read the rest of this entry in Ceasefire Magazine »

Written by Ian Chamberlain

18 November 2011 at 14:36

Posted in Protest, Thought

Creating space for radical thought

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How the BBC reminded us how little is questioned

Two weeks ago, Jeremy Paxman interviewed the radical linguist, philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky for a highly edited, seven-minute interview on Newsnight. A rare opportunity to hear a radical voice in the mainstream media.

A friend once described Chomsky as a Yoda for peaceniks, conjuring up the comical image of the wise old Jedi master from Star Wars, with his unusual speech pattern and meditative calmness. Indeed, Chomsky’s presentational style is an anachronism in an age where the media expect short, punchy answers. He said himself at the University College of London a day after the Paxman interview – referring to how Twitter sometimes prevented ideas from being understood – it was as though “nothing over 140 characters existed.”

Watching the interview, you’d be forgiven for thinking Paxman was in poor health or perhaps not even in the room while the interview was conducted and pasted in later. Paxman was reduced to complete silence whilst he was assaulted with fact after fact as Chomsky recalled the West’s interventions in the Middle East. This was uncharacteristic behaviour for the BBC’s longest serving Newsnight presenter, with a reputation for aggressive and incisive questioning, and a salary of over £1 million.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ian Chamberlain

20 March 2011 at 15:35

Posted in Thought