Naomi Klein

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Capitalism Vs. The Climate

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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

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We Take Risks, Others Pay the Price

Posted on CNN.com

When I met George Awudi, a leader of Friends of the Earth Ghana, he was wearing a bright red T-shirt that said "Do Not Incinerate Africa." We were both attending the World Social Forum, a sprawling gathering of tens of thousands of activists held earlier this month in Dakar, Senegal.

Amid that political free-for-all -- with mini-protests breaking out against everything from Arab despots to education cuts -- I assumed that Awudi's T-shirt referred to some local environmental struggle I hadn't heard of, perhaps a dirty incinerator in Ghana.

He set me straight: "No, it's about climate change." Specifically, the combative slogan refers to the refusal of industrialized nations to commit to deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Since the hottest and poorest countries on the planet are being hit first and hardest by rising temperatures, that refusal will mean, according to Awudi, that large parts of Africa "will be incinerated."

Democracy Born in Chains

The inspiring overthrow of Hosni Mubarak is only the first stage of the Egyptian struggle for full liberation. As earlier pro-democracy movements have learned the hard way, much can be lost in the key months and years of transition from one regime to another. In The Shock Doctrine, I investigated how, in the case of post-apartheid South Africa, key demands for economic justice were sacrificed in the name of a smooth transition. Here is that chapter.

DEMOCRACY BORN IN CHAINS:

SOUTH AFRICA’S CONSTRICTED FREEDOM

Reconciliation means that those who have been on the underside of history must see that there is a qualitative difference between repression and freedom. And for them, freedom translates into having a supply of clean water, having electricity on tap; being able to live in a decent home and have a good job; to be able to send your children to school and to have accessible health care. I mean, what’s the point of having made this transition if the quality of life of these people is not enhanced and improved? If not, the vote is useless.
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 20011


Goldstone's Legacy for Israel

Published in The Nation

This essay is adapted from the introduction to The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict (Nation Books).

A sprawling crime scene. That is what Gaza felt like when I visited in the summer of 2009, six months after the Israeli attack. Evidence of criminality was everywhere—the homes and schools that lay in rubble, the walls burned pitch black by white phosphorus, the children’s bodies still unhealed for lack of medical care. But where were the police? Who was documenting these crimes, interviewing the witnesses, protecting the evidence from tampering?

The Search for BP's Oil

Published in The Nation

"Dolphins off the bow!"
 
I race to the front of the WeatherBird II, a research vessel owned by the University of South Florida. There they are, doing their sleek silvery thing, weaving between translucent waves, disappearing under the boat, reappearing in perfect formation on the other side.

After taking my fill of phone video (and very pleased not to have dropped the device into the Gulf of Mexico), I bump into Gregory Ellis, one of the junior scientists aboard.

"Did you see them?" I ask excitedly.

"You mean the charismatic megafauna?" he sneers. "I'll pass."

Addicted To Risk

Naomi gave a TED talk at the first-ever TEDWomen conference on December 8, 2010, in Washington, DC. Here is video and text of the speech.



I just did something I’ve never done before. I spent a week at sea on a research vessel. I’m not a scientist but I was accompanying a remarkable scientific team from the University of South Florida that has been tracking BP’s oil in the Gulf of Mexico.


G20 Trials and the War on Activism

On the evening of Thursday, November 11, Naomi made a special appearance in Toronto with Juno award-winning recording artist Hawksley Workman at a fundraiser for the legal defence costs of G20 arrestees.

Here is video and text of Naomi's speech at the fundraiser. A correction from Naomi: "At one point in the speech I make reference to reports of rape in detention. The reports were of rape threats. I misread my text and apologize."


Watch live streaming video from rabbletv at livestream.com


So we are here to raise money.

But more fundamentally, we are here because we know what happened in this city during the G20 and the wrong people are on trial for it.

There are police officers that should be facing charges for assault and harassment -- and so should any supervisors who enabled or covered over those abuses.

Sticking the Public with the Bill for the Bankers' Crisis

Published in The Globe and Mail

My city feels like a crime scene and the criminals are all melting into the night, fleeing the scene. No, I’m not talking about the kids in black who smashed windows and burned cop cars on Saturday.

I’m talking about the heads of state who, on Sunday night, smashed social safety nets and burned good jobs in the middle of a recession. Faced with the effects of a crisis created by the world’s wealthiest and most privileged strata, they decided to stick the poorest and most vulnerable people in their countries with the bill.

The G20: A Global Menace Invented by Larry Summers

Here in Toronto we are getting the predictable lectures about how burning cop cars and smashed Starbucks outlets distract attention from “legitimate” protestors and NGOs with “important messages.” It’s a nice theory, except for the fact that the non-violent protests were being completely ignored by the international press until stuff started burning.

But they were taking place all over Toronto, timed with the G20 summit. This is a speech I delivered on Friday night, at a terrific event organized by the Council of Canadians. It is about why the G20 deserves to be derailed, interrupted and, ultimately, shut down.

Watch live streaming video from rabbletv at livestream.com

Gulf Oil Spill: A Hole in the World

Published in The Guardian.

Everyone gathered for the town hall meeting had been repeatedly instructed to show civility to the gentlemen from BP and the federal government. These fine folks had made time in their busy schedules to come to a high school gymnasium on a Tuesday night in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, one of many coastal communities where brown poison was slithering through the marshes, part of what has come to be described as the largest environmental disaster in US history.

BP and US Government 'Command Center' Guarded by Company From Afghan Embassy Hazing Scandal

Published in The Nation

I just got off the phone with my friends Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," and her husband Avi Lewis, host of al Jazeera English's popular program Fault Lines. They are traveling around the devastated US Gulf reporting on the horrific disaster caused by BP's massive oil spill. They described to me a run in that they just had with the private security company Wackenhut, which apparently has been hired to do the perimeter security for the "Deepwater Horizon Unified Command." The "Unified Command" is run jointly by BP and several US government agencies including the US Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security.

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