Pambazuka News 521: African awakenings: The spread of resistance

Manal & Alaa's bit bucket

In this week’s round-up of social media activity around Africa, Sokari Ekine highlights reasons to oppose military intervention in Libya, the politics of a ‘no-fly zone’ and reports of torture of Egyptian activists at the hands of a military previously heralded as a champion of the people’s cause. She also focuses on the Cameroonian government’s Twitter crackdown, planned protests against Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Côte d’Ivoire’s ongoing post-election crisis.

'In addition to ensuring women's participation, there will need to be a strong commitment during the transition period to protecting and promoting women's human rights by abolishing discriminatory laws and practices,' writes Nadya Khalife for about the Egyptian revolution. 'That means repealing family law provisions that discriminate against women and instead giving them equal rights in marriage, divorce, guardianship, custody and inheritance. New laws to make domestic violence and sexual more


Following protests by thousands of Wisconsin workers and their supporters in response to new legislation that bans collective bargaining by public sector workers, Horace Campbell places the struggles in the state in the wider social and political struggles in the US. As in Tunisia and Egypt, workers faced austerity measures, decline in income, dispossession, and states that were more accountable to the corporates than citizenry, Campbell notes.

As donors retreat from funding HIV prevention and treatment, the vulnerability of national programmes reliant on external funding has become apparent. Without long-term sustainability, the lives of millions could be at risk. In the run-up to this year’s UN High-Level meeting on HIV/AIDS, activists from East and Southern Africa are calling on governments to take increased ownership of these programmes to ensure treatment continues after donor funds have gone.

UNAIDS has released a new policy brief to help countries make intellectual property rights work for them, amid growing concern that an impending free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and India could threaten the world's supply of generic antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. The UNAIDS brief, published on 15 March, noted that few developing countries had exercised this right and cited a lack of capacity to deal with the complicated legal paperwork required. Nevertheless, the flexibility more