In the final installment of his three-part “Weaving the Streets” series, Brendan Reilly looks into the perspective of Freiburg, Germany residents who oppose the decision to turn agricultural land outside the city into a new district featuring affordable housing. Despite the eco-friendly design of the proposed district, those in the anti-build camp are concerned about the environmental consequences as well as the impact on the region’s agrarian culture.
“In My Own Backyard”: SUNY Potsdam Professor on Archaeology as Entry Point to Local History, Instrument of Social Justice
“I think there’s something really compelling about living and researching in the same place. To feel more grounded, quite literally, by going into the ground. I think there’s a power to that. Of staying and learning more about where you live.” Nicole Roché introduces us to Dr. Hadley Kruczek-Aaron, who does archaeological research at the intersection of local history and social justice.
As the “March against Racism” began on Saturday morning in Potsdam, New York, organizer Jennifer Baxtron told the crowd to raise their signs and let their voices be heard. “Show everybody that even in this little town, love conquers hate,” she said. “Love overpowers hate.” Nicole Roché reports on a march that sought to shine a light on the need to address issues of racism and xenophobia in the majority-white “North Country” of northern NY - and beyond.
My seven months abroad have flown by–I can count the days on my fingers before I leave Freiburg, the mid-sized city in Southwest Germany. As I prepare to take my final exams and leave my Black Forest life, the farms to the northwest of town remain unscathed by the bulldozer’s touch. However, 2020 will see the start of construction for the new residential district of Dietenbach, planned to be built and ready for its first tenants by 2022. In my first blog post, I introduced this socio-ecological dilemma that has been taking place here: a debate between those seeking to preserve the nearby farmland and those in favor of construction to alleviate steep housing prices. In this post I explore the side of the issue in support of construction, examining what the positive aspects of a new city district are, and how Freiburg’s pro-Dietenbach residents present their argument.
Ellen Allerton explores the complex cultural politics and public debates surrounding Māori Language Week, part of a larger effort to grapple with New Zealand’s history of colonization. While the promotion of te reo Māori (the Māori language) has generated both expressions of cultural pride and conservative backlash, it also involves troubling examples of what Allerton calls “commodification of the culture through performances and feasts that are meant purely to attract tourists.”
As the impeachment debate continues within the Democratic Party, Weave News contributor William Hunt shares a letter he recently sent to Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). “We are living through a slow-motion coup d’etat, a steady unraveling of democratic institutions. Six more years of it and the damage may become irreparable,” Hunt writes. He also notes that “the Democrats’ obsession with winning back Trump’s white rural and working class base risks dampening the enthusiasm of some essential Democratic constituencies, among them African-Americans, Hispanics, progressive women, sexual minorities, and the young in general.”
What do we encounter every day that most of us just don't see? The cruelest life circumstances are translated into statistics — cold percentages that don’t fully show the heartache of poverty, addiction, crime, and loss. The numbers represent real people in our hometowns who are struggling to cope, to build or rebuild their lives, but it’s as if they’re invisible to us. Connie Jenkins introduces us to two “life in progress” stories of North Country residents who have battled substance abuse.
In this investigative article created through the St. Lawrence Citizen Journalism Incubator (SLCJI), Gwendolyn Deuel examines the fallout from the cancellation of SUNY Potsdam’s CLEAR program, which offered conferences, workshops, summer camps, non-credit programs, and training seminars to the community in the North Country.
“What comes to mind when you think of a refugee camp? I had always imagined the refugee camp as filled with tents, temporary residents, humanitarian organizations, and international workers – a place for the mobile migrant fleeing war, poverty, or political unrest. But, what does a refugee camp look like when it stands in the same place for over seventy years?” Charlie Finn reports on his visit to two Palestinian refugee camps in the occupied West Bank.
On Friday, April 19, the TAUNY Center in Canton, NY hosted a “Citizen Journalism Showcase” organized by the St. Lawrence Citizen Journalism Incubator (SLCJI), a collaboration of four North Country organizations: Weave News, North Country Public Radio, The Hill News, and Nature Up North. The event showcased the projects of eight citizen journalists who participated in the first year of the SLCJI.
By Brendan Reilly
Activists around the world often find themselves advocating for initiatives and policies that will make their communities more livable and sustainable. But what happens when different progressive values animating such work come into conflict with each other? In the first installment of a three-part series for our Weaving the Streets series, Brendan Reilly reports from Freiburg, Germany on a local debate that pits affordable housing against the desire for “green living.”
By John Collins
At a time when socialism is enjoying a resurgence and the structural flaws of capitalism are coming under greater scrutiny, when the evils of mass incarceration are being openly discussed, when even US support for Israel is on the table for debate in Washington, there is no better moment to seek out the prophetic voice of Angela Davis. Yet as John Collins notes in this news analysis piece focusing on National Public Radio (NPR), her voice is rarely found in the broadcasts and pages of US establishment media.
By Ifat Gazia
“I want children of the future to have memories different than my own - so that when they remember the sunshine, it is not in the pain of loss, in the heat of flames,” write Ifat Gazia in her first piece for Weave News. Gazia has lived through the daily reality of militarization in Kashmir, where the impact on ordinary people is tremendously underreported. Join her on this journey of memory, anger, and hope.
By Charlie Finn
Olives, garbage, and security are simultaneous embodiments of Palestinian resistance and Israeli settler colonialism.
By Torri Lonergan
As political violence continues in Nicaragua, neighboring Costa Rica is receiving a significant number of Nicaraguan refugees. In recent months, Costa Rica has seen an upsurge in anti-immigrant sentiment as well as popular demonstrations in support of the refugees. Torri Lonergan reports from Costa Rica in her second installment for our Weaving the Streets project.
By Asmaa Tayeh
Zeyad Aabed has devoted his career—26 years—to running an NGO dedicated to offering education and health services to the deaf. It was, to say the least, a labor of love. But now, much of the funding on which his NGO depends is drying up. And today, he feels exhausted and depressed, fearful he will have to close the El-Amal Rehabilitation Society altogether. (Reposted from We Are Not Numbers)
By Torri Lonergan
The issue of marriage equality, set within a larger struggle over LGBTIQ rights, has become a central element of Costa Rica’s ongoing political debate during the country’s 2018 presidential election campaign. In her first post for our Weaving the Streets series, Torri Lonergan reports on how the potential legalization of same-sex marriage is sharpening the fault lines between progressive Costa Ricans and those who hold more more conservative Catholic and evangelical views.
Interweaving with Hanif Abdurraqib: “To know that I cannot move the world on my own means that I can’t be silent”
By Nicole Roché
On the morning of October, 11, 2018, poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib spoke with students on the St. Lawrence University campus, where the subjects ranged from Kanye West to Black Lives Matter to Abdurraqib’s extensive sneaker collection. After the Q&A, Nicole Roché, who teaches a class about storytelling and identity in the first-year program at St. Lawrence, interviewed Abdurraqib about his work and about his experiences talking with young people in America.