I’m really excited that the magazine on Black Lives Matter, race and activism which I guest edited for New Internationalist is out now.
It’s been a long time dream of mine to edit an issue of New Internationalist so I’m really glad to have edited the March issue.
As it says on the New Internationalist website:
Black Lives Matter has become a rallying cry for a generation of black activists around the world, from the US to the UK, Australia to Brazil.
As they build links across borders, one of the most empowering things about these struggles is that they make their blackness a source of strength, building on a long history of black resistance.
It’s been an inspiring journey researching what’s been happening with Black activism around the world. There was so much more than we could fit into 16 pages!
The articles in the main section of the magazine are all written by awesome woman and genderqueer writers of colour: janaya khan, Natty Kasambala, Vanessa Martina Silva, Jamilah King, Kam Sandhu, Amy McQuire and Kristina Wong.
I’m motivated by music so while working on the magazine I put together a little #BlackLivesMatter playlist:
As the climate of hostility towards migrants in the UK continues to grow I wrote a short piece for December’s New Internationalist magazine about a boycott of the school census. This asks parents, guardians and carers in England to state if their children are foreign nationals and the information has been used by the Home Office.
More recently I wrote this about the impact of deportation charter flights on families in the UK for Aljazeera. This was published during over two weeks of protest across the UK, as well as demonstrations in Jamaica and Nigeria. The #StopCharterFlights actions included ‘ad hacks‘ on the London tube system, a demonstration outside the British High Commission which had to be rescheduled after arrests
Later in the issue is a feature on PrEP, the HIV prevention medicine that has sparked excitement and activism across the world, as well as debate around how it’s used.
An interview I did with Welsh musician Gwenno Saunders earlier this year is at the back of the magazine. Taking in Wales, Cornwall and politics – three of my favourite topics, Gwenno was so nice to speak to that I didn’t want to get off the phone!
I’ve written an article for the New Internationalist about Thousand 4 £1000, a project to crowdfund housing for vulnerable migrants in Brighton.
Started by Brighton Migrant Solidarity, Thousand 4 £1000 is a project of Brighton Migrant Solidarity is a community response to the enforced homelessness faced by some migrants who have no stable immigration status. The aim is to get 1000 people (or more!) to donate £1 a month in order to rent a house and provide a small income – a way of showing people that the community welcomes them.
Find out more about Thousand 4 £1000 here at the Brighton Migrant Solidarity website.
Read the full article on the New Internationalist website here.
This week the Guardian Sustainable Business network published my article about The Big Lemon bus company and Brighton Energy Coop’s plan to bring electric buses to the streets of Brighton and Hove, powered by solar energy generated at the Big Lemon depot.
Local councils across the UK are recognising the benefits of workers’ co-operatives for the local economy and community. But is this just an excuse for pushing through more privatisation? How can co-ops work with councils for their benefit?
This is the focus of my article in the Summer issue of STIR magazine, out now. The issue’s focus is ‘the future of work’ covering topics such as mutual aid networks, the music sharing industry and what internet culture can learn from co-ops.
I wrote an article for the Guardian’s Sustainable Business network about ‘solidarity fridges’ around the world. I visited Frome in Somerset to check out their community fridge which holds donations of surplus food from individuals and businesses. Anyone can come and take the food between 8am and 8pm every day.
The Frome project was inspired by solidarity fridges in Spain, where there are now eight. I also spoke to some people in Dubai who had started a similar scheme, mainly for providing construction workers with cold drinks and fruit.
The theme of this month’s magazine is ‘smiley-faced monopolists’. It argues that “for Facebook, Amazon and Google, we have traded our privacy for something we find useful and put on hold our support for ethical shopping in exchange for the ease of low (or no) price and almost-instant gratification.” The magazine questions the exploitative and anti-democratic nature of ‘surveillance capitalism’.
My feature focuses on online ‘direct’ giving and lending platforms. Why bother with aid agencies when you could just get money directly to those in need?
I also wrote two short articles for this month’s news section: one on the relentless Nuit Debout movement and discontent in France, and the other about the ‘refutrees’ of the Newbury bypass which were saved from destruction and are now thriving around the country.
Over 1,000 students in London students who are refusing to pay their rent for university accommodation. The rent strike is part of a wider Cut the Rent campaign against expensive university accommodation which campaigners say pushes studying in the capital out of reach for students from less-wealthy backgrounds.
A few weeks ago I spoke to students from Goldsmiths and University College London (UCL) about why they’ve joined the rent strike and New Internationalist have published my article about the campaign.
I have two short stories in the June issue of New Internationalist which is out now.
One article focuses on court cases being fought by LGBTI rights activists in Belize and Jamaica. When I was in Belize in January I met Caleb Orozco of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), a tireless activist who is challenging the country’s anti-gay sodomy law. When I got back to the UK I also spoke to lawyer and activist Maurice Tomlinson who is challenging a similar law in his home country of Jamaica, as well as laws which restrict his rights to travel as a gay CARICOM citizen.
The second story is about the PREVENT, Islamophobia and Civil Liberties National Conference which takes place in London on 4 June. The event will examine the impact of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, which in 2015 legally enforced on public sector workers the Prevent duty, which encourages people to monitor and report others they suspect to be at risk of radicalisation.
The main section of the magazine is written by journalists from Sierra Leone, and takes a critical look at the impact of Ebola, asking whether the right lessons have been learned. New Internationalist also has an interactive documentary called ‘Back in Touch‘ which brings the stories to life.