“Let me draw a distinction,” said former House Speaker and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich in Hanover, New Hampshire in early October of this year. “Virtually every American has a reason to be angry. I think virtually [every] American has a reason to be worried. I think the people who are protesting in Wall Street break into two groups: one is left-wing agitators who would be happy to show up next week on any other topic, and the other is sincere middle-class people who frankly are very close to the Tea Party people who care. And actually… you can tell which are which. The people who are decent, responsible citizens pick up after themselves. The people who are just out there as activists trash the place and walk off and are proud of having trashed it, so let’s draw that distinction.” Continue reading “a crumbling pillar in our democracy” »
The rusted matatu van’s exhaust coughed and puttered down the dirt street, merging onto the bustling main road that was paved but littered with potholes. On either side, piles of burning tires surrounded by sweat drenched Kenyans wielding machetes stood shouting. I pressed my face against the dusty glass and watched the riots unfold right outside my van.
If I had known then that just one hundred yards away was a man who would dominate international media in the next few years with the revelation of millions of top secret documents I would have been curious to meet him and see what it was all about. The journalist in me would have needed to know, but back then only a handful of people knew who he was. Julian Assange was attending the World Social Forum in Nairobi. I didn’t even know it was going on, nor what it was at the time, but the forum was a radical parody of the World Economic Forum, where rich influential people gathered in Switzerland to discuss money, whereas this forum consisted of poor and powerless people gathered to discuss justice.