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The John Dickinson Forum: Teaching the Virtues of Self-Government |

“Some educators approach civics in terms of activism and protests,” notes Professor Mark David Hall, “but protest by itself is not useful in civics.” As Hall notes, “Before students can participate in self-government, they must have knowledge of the basic principles of the American constitutional order.”

the John Dickinson forum at George Fox University provides students with this crucial foundation of civic knowledge.

The university’s Herbert Hoover professor of politics, Hall, founded the Dickinson Forum five years ago “to encourage discussion and debate” about “America’s founding principles and current events related to those principles”. . A scholar of American political thought and early American Christianity, Hall has authored or co-edited twelve books, including the most recent, “Does America have a Christian foundation?

A partner program of the Jack Miller Center, the Forum offers a variety of activities for students, including lectures, book and current affairs discussions, and debates. It has partnered with various institutions in the Pacific Northwest, making its programs available to students at other colleges and universities and to the general public.

The Forum is named after John Dickinson, an important but overlooked American founder. Dickinson played a critical role writing pro-liberty pamphlets before American independence, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and was “one of the most thoughtful defenders of liberty in the founding era”. At one time, Delaware’s largest slave owner, Dickinson, influenced by his Quaker upbringing, finally freed his slaves.

The Forum contributes to civic education by bringing in speakers each year to discuss the American founding principles. According to Hall, some speakers also lecture on individuals and movements of later generations that focused on these principles, such as Abraham Lincoln, whose political acumen was heavily influenced by the Declaration of Independence. For example, historian Wilfred M. McClay recently spoke on the role of the Constitution in contemporary civic education.

Speakers scheduled for the spring 2022 semester will include Paul Miller of Georgetown University, Jason Ross of Liberty University, Kevin RC Gutzman of Western Connecticut State University, and tentatively Ian Rowe of the Woodson Center/1776 Unites.

Hall says students who attend the Forum don’t get a simply triumphant account of America. After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, he and an African-American colleague held a book group on the issue of race and the United States. Discussions focused on documents from the 1619 Project and its critics, as well as articles arguing for and against reparations. Hall and his colleagues have worked to promote “ideas rather than protests,” he says, and they “have worked to include students from all sides” of the current debate. He notes that this particular reading group was so popular that a new group had to be created to accommodate any interested students.

Student reading groups are an important part of the Forum’s programming. Groups of about ten students meet each semester to discuss readings on freedom, equality, and human flourishing in America and around the world. Reading articles from The Economist and other leading periodicals, students debate controversial topics such as the justice of Harvard’s affirmative action policies. Group members are also invited to attend dinners with the speakers that the Forum brings to campus each semester.

Hall believes that one of the main threats to civic education is the magnification of political discourse. He points to the efforts being made in Florida public schools as an encouraging sign that states are beginning to take civics more seriously.

An accomplished student of early American Christianity, Hall also emphasizes the important connection between maintaining a “moral commitment to freedom” and religion, an increasingly overlooked aspect of civic education today. He points to a famous syllogism proposed by James Hudson of the Library of Congress on the relationship between religion and morality: virtue and morality are necessary for free republican government; religion is necessary for virtue and morality; therefore, religion is necessary for republican government.

Hall acknowledges that our circumstances have changed significantly since the founding, when disputes were primarily between competing denominations of Christianity; today, different religions compete for respect in the public square. Nevertheless, he cites the teaching of George Washington that a society is unlikely to function well without a shared morality supported by religious instruction. Although he admits that Washington suggested that certain individuals could be moral without being religious, this realization is highly unlikely for society as a whole.

Promoting the virtues of self-governance, as well as the importance of morality and religion, the John Dickinson Forum seeks to strengthen the foundations of American politics.

Mike Sabo is the editor of RealClear’s American Civics Portal.

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Sovereignty

The John Dickinson Forum: Teaching the Virtues of Self-Government | News

“Some educators approach civics in terms of activism and protests,” notes Professor Mark David Hall, “but protest by itself is not useful in civics.” As Hall notes, “Before students can participate in self-government, they must have knowledge of the basic principles of the American constitutional order.”

The John Dickinson Forum at George Fox University provides students with this crucial foundation of civic knowledge.

The university’s Herbert Hoover professor of politics, Hall, founded the Dickinson Forum five years ago “to encourage discussion and debate” about “America’s founding principles and current events related to those principles”. . A scholar of American political thought and early American Christianity, Hall has authored or co-edited twelve books, including the most recent, “Did America Have a Christian Founding?”

A partner program of the Jack Miller Center, the Forum offers a variety of activities for students, including lectures, book and current affairs discussions, and debates. It has partnered with various institutions in the Pacific Northwest, making its programs available to students at other colleges and universities and to the general public.

The Forum is named after John Dickinson, an important but overlooked American founder. Dickinson was instrumental in writing pro-liberty pamphlets before American independence, was a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and was “one of the most thoughtful defenders of liberty in the founding era” . At one time, Delaware’s largest slave owner, Dickinson, influenced by his Quaker upbringing, finally freed his slaves.

The Forum contributes to civic education by bringing in speakers each year to discuss the American founding principles. According to Hall, some speakers also lecture on individuals and movements of later generations that focused on these principles, such as Abraham Lincoln, whose political acumen was heavily influenced by the Declaration of Independence. For example, historian Wilfred M. McClay recently spoke about the role of the Constitution in contemporary civics.

Speakers scheduled for the spring 2022 semester will include Paul Miller of Georgetown University, Jason Ross of Liberty University, Kevin RC Gutzman of Western Connecticut State University, and tentatively Ian Rowe of the Woodson Center/1776 Unites.

Hall says students who attend the Forum don’t get a simply triumphant account of America. After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, he and an African-American colleague held a book group on the issue of race and the United States. Discussions focused on documents from the 1619 Project and its critics, as well as articles arguing for and against reparations. Hall and his colleagues have worked to promote “ideas rather than protests,” he says, and they “have worked to include students from all sides” of the current debate. He notes that this particular reading group was so popular that a new group had to be created to accommodate any interested students.

Student reading groups are an important part of the Forum’s programming. Groups of about ten students meet each semester to discuss readings on freedom, equality, and human flourishing in America and around the world. Reading articles from The Economist and other leading periodicals, students debate controversial topics such as the justice of Harvard’s affirmative action policies. Group members are also invited to attend dinners with the speakers that the Forum brings to campus each semester.

Hall believes that one of the main threats to civic education is the magnification of political discourse. He points to the efforts being made in Florida public schools as an encouraging sign that states are beginning to take civics more seriously.

An accomplished student of early American Christianity, Hall also emphasizes the important connection between maintaining a “moral commitment to freedom” and religion, an increasingly overlooked aspect of civic education today. He points to a famous syllogism proposed by James Hudson of the Library of Congress on the relationship between religion and morality: virtue and morality are necessary for free republican government; religion is necessary for virtue and morality; therefore, religion is necessary for republican government.

Hall acknowledges that our circumstances have changed significantly since the founding, when disputes were primarily between competing denominations of Christianity; today, different religions compete for respect in the public square. Nevertheless, he cites the teaching of George Washington that a society is unlikely to function well without a shared morality supported by religious instruction. Although he admits that Washington suggested that certain individuals could be moral without being religious, this realization is highly unlikely for society as a whole.

Promoting the virtues of self-governance, as well as the importance of morality and religion, the John Dickinson Forum seeks to strengthen the foundations of American politics.

Mike Sabo is the editor of RealClear’s American Civics Portal.

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Sovereignty

Mobile home community finds stability in self-government

One sunny, cold January morning, John Egan joined other residents of the mobile home park on a neighbor’s porch. They needed to organize. But how?

“I had to go to the bathroom, and when I came back from the bathroom, they said, ‘Hi! You are president! ‘ Mr. Egan recalls.

The half-dozen people had gathered to think about how to buy their Durango, Colorado park from the private owner – a move Mr. Egan and others saw as a blow in the dark. But now they had at least a president for what would become an interim board. With advice from a non-profit housing organization and majority support from the community, residents were able to purchase the approximately 15-acre property in five months. They celebrated with a picnic, as the new Animas View MHP cooperative joined a few thousand other resident-owned communities across the country.

Their achievement is unusual. The resident-owned market represents only 2.4% of prefabricated housing communities nationwide. According to industry experts, it is important to strengthen the health and longevity of mobile home fleets, as they are a vital source of affordable housing. Recent Colorado legislation provides certain provisions for communities like Animas View who hope to secure their future by governing themselves.

“Everyone sleeps better at night,” says Steve Boardman, here for 20 years, pulling out his refresher.

“We are in control. “

Affordable homes with a view

River, mountains, blond grass bleached in autumn – Durango mobile homes have a million dollar view. Largely motionless and expensive to move, these prefabricated units have been commonly referred to as “manufactured homes” since 1976. They are estimated to house between 18 and 22 million people in the United States.

“It’s one of the biggest sources of affordable housing in our country, and it’s very affordable without any federal subsidies.,Explains Associate Professor of Sociology Esther Sullivan at the University of Colorado at Denver.

The median annual household income of these owners – $ 35,000 – is half that of built-in-place owners, according to Fannie Mae. Manufactured homes occupy 6.3% of the US housing stock, with more than double that share in rural areas.

Many residents own their homes but not the underlying land, for which they pay “land rent”. This model can stimulate financial insecurity: these homeowners are “more likely to see their homes depreciate and have less protection if they fall behind on payments,” reports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Media reports have increasingly highlighted private sector purchases of these parks which often result in rent increases, which housing advocates deem predatory.

Mobile home park investor Frank Rolfe says: “When we buy these properties, they are often in terrible shape, and [we] bring them back to life. … You can’t bring old properties back to life without increasing rents.

Mr. Rolfe estimates that he and a partner are the fifth largest owners of mobile home fleets in the United States. “There’s this conception, I think, that park owners are kind of hostile to residents buying their own communities, and that’s completely irrelevant,” says Mr. Rolfe, co-founder of Mobile Home. University, based in Colorado, which trains investors to buy parks. Three parks he co-owned have been sold to residents.

More owners

Mr Egan and his wife, Cate Smock, bought their trailer here in 2012 – an affordable move to Durango so their son could attend a better school. But subsequently, they saw the rent for their land, which includes utilities, increase every year, or even twice a year.

“You’d dread the piece of paper with the black electrical tape on your door,” she said. Residents of Animas View also complained about the previous owner’s lack of attention to their needs and delayed repairs.

Shortly before Christmas 2020, residents learned that the last owner, Strive Communities, intended to sell. Residents began to organize almost immediately. (The monitor was unable to reach Strive for comment.)

“We don’t tell people that it’s easy” to become resident owned, says Mike Bullard, communications and marketing manager for ROC USA, a New Hampshire nonprofit that, along with its affiliates, reports. having helped nearly 300 prefabricated housing communities become resident-owned. (ROC stands for Resident Owned Communities.)

With 430 households, the Halifax Mobile Home Estates Association in rural Massachusetts is the largest in the ROC USA network, owned by residents since 2017. The budget is tight due to the size of the community, the board chair said. administration Deborah Winiewicz, but at least the members have a say. on how these funds are spent by voting at an annual meeting.

“We have also found that people are more proud of the community because it is theirs,” she adds, noting that their sales office is run by resident volunteers.

In Colorado, the subsidiary of the Thistle ROC network helped the Durango Co-op raise the funds necessary for their purchase. But to afford the funding, the co-op increased the land rent by $ 80 this fall (the rent ranges between $ 755 and $ 825). While the hike may seem counterintuitive, it’s not uncommon, says Bullard.

“These groups are not only buying the real estate, but the business as well,” he says, adding that land rents for new resident-owned communities will generally drop at or below market rate within five years.

The sale, first reported by The Durango Herald, closed in June for a purchase price of around $ 15 million, according to Dan Hunt, a former Animas View board member who sits. now on the operations and finance committees.

Learning about the local community organization helped convince Kevin Miller to rent land there for his motorhome. Now chairman of the board, Miller, who moved in last year, says he likes the idea of ​​keeping money in a community.

“I’m proud to tell people where I live now,” he says.

Progress since failure

Among legislation to strengthen protections for mobile home dwellers, Democratic Governor Jared Polis signed a bill in 2020 that requires homeowners to provide residents with at least 12 months’ notice of a possible change in land use. It also gives residents 90 days after being notified by the owner of a potential park sale to make an offer to purchase and arrange funding. Homeowners should respect this “opportunity to buy” window before selling to someone else.

But the model belonging to residents remains the exception and not the rule. Animas View is one of three parks to become owned by Colorado residents in 2021, out of a few dozen that have changed ownership.

However, the new legislation “gives [residents] the opportunity to be able to compete with an offer they would not have seen before, ”says Andy Kadlec, Program Director at Thistle ROC.

Advocates say this legislative momentum was born out of activism and the unsuccessful attempt by residents of another Colorado mobile home community, Denver Meadows, to buy their park ahead of its scheduled closure as the owner considered a redevelopment . Despite help from advocacy group 9to5 Colorado and Thistle ROC, the Aurora-based community’s offer to purchase in 2017 was reportedly rejected. Although some landlords received relocation assistance, many ended up paying double the rent elsewhere, says Cesiah Guadarrama Trejo, deputy state manager of 9to5.

The Denver Meadows saga was featured in the 2021 mobile home documentary “A Decent Home” by filmmaker Sara Terry, a former Monitor reporter. His team hosted an event in Colorado in November that connected manufactured homeowners from across the country with activists, policy experts and former residents of Denver Meadows.

Reflecting on when she started the film about six years ago, Ms. Terry notes, “I had to talk about the ‘underreported’ affordable housing crisis. … [Now] people pay attention. I think popular activism is flourishing, and that gives me hope. “

Mr Hunt, one of the few Animas View residents who attended the rally, said he approached a displaced man from Denver Meadows and thanked him.

No threat of eviction

Just beyond the boundaries of Durango Park, a train slices through the mountain view with a harmonic blast. Current and former board members are keen to keep this community intact and, so far, residents report that no one has moved since the sale.

“One of the first things we decided when we got together as a board of directors was that we would not allow anyone to be forced out of the park due to an inability to pay rent,” former board chairman Mr Egan said in his home, where Christmas stockings hang above an electric fireplace.

To make sure people can afford to stay, the community is developing a rental fund. In addition to seeking outside funding, some residents plan to make cash donations themselves. Lindie Hunt, treasurer to the board of directors and wife of Mr Hunt, recently started the fund with a check for $ 60 – money she received for inspecting a neighbor’s home while she was away.

“It wasn’t my money in the first place,” she reasoned in her kitchen, getting ready to go to work one morning.

Beyond the repayment of the initial five loans, the community of 120 lots is faced with infrastructure projects, such as the wholesale replacement of the water and sewer system. To help reduce maintenance costs, many residents volunteer their time and skills. Mr. Boardman sometimes wields a weedkiller.

Needing to collaborate, residents also began to get to know their neighbors better. Surrounded by sawdust and screws, Kirby MacLaurin and Doug Harris voluntarily demolish a duplex that the co-op hopes to renovate for rent.

Although they’ve been overlapping at Animas View for a few years now, the men have just met.

“Since we created the cooperative, we have met for the first time. Isn’t that amazing? Mr. Harris said.

“That’s right,” said Mr. MacLaurin, hammer in hand. “Best friends… what a find. “

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Home rule

HB 218 Targets Employers, May Violate Ohio Constitution, House Rule

There was a time when Statehouse Republicans readily and often called employers in Ohio “job creators.” But HB 218, as it is now written, barely stops seeing employers as agents of the Deep State.

Certainly Ohioans, many of them, are fed up with COVID-19 and its delta and omicron variants and everything that comes next. But, also true, vaccination is the most effective procedure to combat COVID-19. And opposing vaccination is not very consistent with a legislature that proclaims itself pro-life.

The truly remarkable thing about the bill is what the misguided nonpartisan Legislative Services Commission, the ever-underrated bill research and drafting arm of the General Assembly, has to say about the version of HB 218 currently pending in the Senate.

Among other potential problems, the commission’s analysis warns, the bill may violate the Ohio Constitution’s prohibition on retroactive laws; could violate home rule in the town and village – although, for 20 years, a habitual legislative abuse at the Statehouse; and can alter contracts, which would violate both the constitutions of the United States and Ohio.

That is, passing the bill as it stands might as well be full employment law for Ohio lawyers, given the big target, federal and state, which the legislation would paint over itself. (And here you also thought the GOP was the party of tort reform – the crusade to reduce the number of lawsuits filed in Ohio, i.e., injured people in exchange for fair compensation.)

Now the question is who will blink first: the Senate who might water down the version of the bill passed by the House (but maybe not) – or DeWine? The governor, up for re-election next year, probably doesn’t want to tick off far-right activists in Ohio Republicans, who call talk shows, never miss a primary — and have long memories.

MEANWHILE: If nothing else, the gerrymander of the Ohio House and State Senate Districts Redistricting Commission, as well as the gerrymander of the General Assembly of (potential) congressional districts in the Ohio may also increase lawyers’ billable hours. Anti-gerrymandering plaintiffs filed three lawsuits against the new Ohio House and State Senate districts.

The high court has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday December 8 on the alleged pro-Republican General Assembly gerrymanders. It’s impossible to know whether the Supreme Court’s final decision — four Republicans and three Democrats — will cross or follow party lines. An idealist hopes for a multiparty decision. A realist admits he’s in Ohio.

Thomas Suddes is an adjunct assistant professor at Ohio University. He covered the Statehouse for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer for many years.

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Home rule

Williamson City Council Expresses Interest in Self-Reliance Program | Southern West Virginia

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Self government

Letters to the Editor, September 26, 2021: Rational Self-Government column is a troubling notion | Letters

“Rational autonomy”

column a disturbing notion

David Marion’s recent commentary column, “Voting Rules and Rational Self-Government,” leaves a disturbing impression.

He defines his position by asking rhetorical questions, such as “Who, after all, wants incompetent, ill-informed, or ad hoc governance, deliberations, voting or decision-making?” – as an argument for his call for voting rules and rational autonomy. He calls on the American people to follow the example of the founders of our country, as set out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Those who disagree with his argument practice “power politics”, which he seems to define as “emphasizing the importance of individual will or desires in governance”.

Our founding fathers established a number of positive principles as the foundation of self-government. However, it is clear that they have also practiced “power politics” in a number of compromises around fundamental issues, such as the restriction of the freedoms and rights of enslaved individuals.

The politics of power frequently determine the design of electoral districts. The aggressive efforts of many states to adopt restrictive voting rules are certainly power policies designed to limit voting opportunities for those seen as a threat to the grip of power by those in office. If the United States is to finally deliver on its equal rights promise, we must focus on the right to vote and improve, not restrict, access to voting opportunities.

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Self government

Chronicle Stepankowsky: Knowledge of history is essential for self-government | Chroniclers

Boston’s Old South Meeting House brings history to life and reminds you that it repeats itself often.

It was here, for example, that 5,000 Bostonians protested against British taxes, prompting settlers to dump 342 cases of imported British tea into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773.

Just outside the 300-year-old brick walls, a sidewalk medallion marks the location of the Boston massacre, when nine British soldiers fired at settlers rioting against the presence of redcoat troops in Boston March 5, 1770. The first of five victims was docker Crispus Attucks, who was of African and indigenous descent. He and the other four are buried in the nearby cemetery, next to Samuel Adams.






ANDRE STEPANKOWSKY


You can almost imagine Adams’ voice ringing and echoing through the white walls and galleries of the Old South Meeting House. A failed brewer but a gifted orator and politician, Adams is known as one of the fathers of the American Revolution. He was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. He propagated the Boston Massacre and helped organize the Correspondence Committees, which coordinated affairs and civic resistance to British rule.

Sadly, I would bet that more people today know Samuel Adams as a 21st century beer company than as a patriot. And this is one of the points of this column.

People also read …

Yes. My daughter and I visited the Samuel Adams Brewery (not related to the revolutionary except for his name) on a four day visit to Boston earlier this month. The tour quenched both my thirst for beer and eastern seafood. It also fulfilled my need to refresh and deepen my understanding of our nation’s roots during this time of upheaval.

Boston, then a city of nearly 16,000 inhabitants (a little larger than Kelso), became the cradle of the American Revolution. I learned that the British had sent around 4,000 troops to the city and ordered the settlers to pay to quarter them. Bostonians got angry when their city became a military fortress.

Yet about half of the city has remained loyal to the British Crown. Imagine how much the Loyalist businessmen must have felt when the Correspondence Committees “asked” them not to do business with the British. It looks a bit like the companies’ pinch today to exclude opponents of masks and vaccines.

We have learned that John Adams, who later became the second president of this country, was the lawyer who successfully defended the British soldiers who killed Crispus Attucks and the other victims of the Boston Massacre. Adams, like all Founding Fathers, abhorred mob rule. During the soldiers’ trial, he portrayed Attucks as a terrifying figure who led an intimidating mob against British soldiers. However, Adams (a first cousin of Sam Adams) later took inspiration from Attucks’ actions.

Without a doubt, the British viewed Attucks and his countrymen as thugs. Doesn’t this reflect the clamor for the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, seen by myself and most Americans as the work of a mob, but as a patriotic act? by a few? History is often in the eye of the beholder.

Visiting Boston’s many historic sites leaves you convinced that British authority over its settlers was stubborn and harsh. Yet were their actions so horrific as to warrant a bloody revolution? Most of the settlers’ objections were to the Townsend Acts, which required the American colonies to pay for the North American war against France and to protect the settlers from the native tribes. Sounds reasonable. But the settlers oppose it, shouting “no taxation without representation”. Americans today share that independence, as do many who resist vaccine and mask mandates, legal and justifiable as they are.

The real value of tours like this is to be grounded in history, to be inspired by it, and to understand that it is not one-dimensional, as is often taught in schools. How cool, for example, to see Paul Revere’s pistol, which he perhaps carried on his famous nighttime ride and which reminds us of the risks the early Patriots took to build this nation. (British soldiers detained Revere briefly before he could complete his entire mission).

Visiting the homes and graves of our revolutionary patriots, visiting the places where they worked and spoke, makes history more tangible and sparks thoughts and questions, even action plans. Invoking the founders of our nation today to guide decisions is a risky controversial strategy. Who knows what they would have thought of modern problems, however complex and burdensome they are? They had flaws: they were prejudiced (the majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners), excluded (only wealthy white males could vote in early U.S. history), and suspected to give too much power to the people.

Yet understanding their motivations – as well as the pressures and conflicts they faced – inspires and reminds us that they have grappled successfully with the same basic questions we still grapple with today: what is the appropriate role of government? When is violent resistance justified? How far should the popular will reign? When does the good of many outweigh the good of the individual?

Unfortunately, knowledge of our history is woefully poor. The 2020 Annenberg Constitution Civics Survey, for example, found that half of American adults could not name all three branches of government. A 2018 survey found that only one in three Americans could pass the civics exam for U.S. citizenship.

Knowing our history is essential for self-government. An inscription in the magnificent Boston Public Library reminds us: “The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as a safeguard of order and freedom.

Maybe more of us should visit Boston.

Andre Stepankowsky retired in August 2020 after a 41-year career as the city’s reporter and editor at The Daily News. He has won or shared many prestigious journalism awards, including the 1981 Staff Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Mount St. Helens. His column will appear on the editorial page every other Wednesday.

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Self government

Opinion: Helping Xinjiang and Tibet through Divestment and Self-Government

These days, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s going on outside the United States, yet China continues to commit human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet with impunity. In fact, the pandemic has increased restrictions. Fortunately, the international community is speaking out, the Member States of the United Nations decry abuses in Xinjiang and human rights experts raise concerns on the “enforced disappearance” of the Panchen Lama. As the number of these convictions increases, we would like to propose two more: the disengagement of companies complicit in human rights violations and the recognition by the United Nations as non-self-governing territories.

Tibet and Xinjiang both have a disputed history of conflict with China, mostly over sovereignty issues. China claims Tibet has been under Chinese sovereignty for 1793. In contrast, the Tibetan government-in-exile claims that Tibet was invaded in 1949-50. Tibet had its own language, currency, army, government, culture, religion and treaties, which display their independence. Meanwhile, in comparison, in Xinjiang, China began asserting more sovereign control over the region – which borders Russia – as it became more interested in trade. A history of separatist violence challenging Chinese sovereignty claims has only heightened China’s resolve.

China’s human rights violations in Tibet and Xinjiang in the name of state sovereignty are truly endless. China has implemented the forced transfer of populations; public executions; murder of demonstrators; torture of monks, nuns and citizens in the country, including Tibet. Tibet also suffered from the genocide. Both regions suffered “re-education” and mass surveillance, and China has denied the basic rights of the two populations. Less direct infringements of rights such as destruction of monasteries, exile of religious leaders, attempted installation of religious leaders and Tibetan flag bans and Dalai Lama photos also took place.

Despite China’s draconian control over the two regions, divestment could be an effective means of exerting economic pressure on China. In Xinjiang, in particular, the divestiture could have the additional effect of ensuring that US-based businesses and consumers are not complicit in these human rights violations. In Tibet, US companies should consider disengaging from strategic sectors that will weaken either Chinese economic growth or the People’s Liberation Army. Meanwhile, in Xinjiang, Americans and US companies own millions of shares in Chinese tech companies like Hikvision and Dahua, which are implicated in human rights abuses, while other US-based companies companies, like Nike and Adidas, can source materials from the forced labor of the Uyghurs themselves, for which these companies should be held accountable. Marion smith, the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, endorses this approach through Congress. All of these measures may not force China to completely stop the persecution of Uyghurs, but it would make participation in human rights abuses costly for American businesses, investors and consumers.

In addition to divestment, the UN should officially recognize Tibet and Xinjiang as Non-self-governing territories, which is defined as “the territories whose population has not yet reached a full measure of self-government”. A formal label like this would constitute a strong UN challenge to China’s claims to sovereignty in the two regions, and it would require China to report annually on the status of each territory’s progress towards independence. . retaliation, but China status on the UN Special Committee on Decolonization could influence the definition of decolonization, which would also have consequences for the rest of the world. In addition, the presence of Han Chinese settlers, attracted by incentive migration policies, complicates the eventual process of decolonization for the two regions. However, it should be noted that the two regions, which still have high ethnic concentrations of their indigenous populations, can serve as buffer states and benefit from growing international recognition of human rights violations. A more in-depth conversation on this idea would certainly help shed light on the extent of China’s resistance and more details on the effectiveness of this proposal.

As should be evident by now, these propositions are neither simple nor holistic. Our argument is that resuming the debate, even with non-exhaustive solutions, is the only way to find better answers. While talking about the problem isn’t a guarantee of a solution, ignoring it is a sure-fire way to make sure there never is one.

Fatima Bamba, Katie Engsberg, Mitchell Macheske and Sarah Salkowski are masters students at the School of International Service. The opinions expressed by the authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Eagle and its staff.


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Self government

Private militias are the enemy of self-government

If we cherish our right to choose our leaders, we must crack down on private armed “militias”.

The US Constitution and all 50 states prohibit armed militias who train together or show up in force at public gatherings. Under Illinois law, it is illegal for people to organize into a private militia without state permission.

Yet national authorities have looked the other way as private militias – truly irresponsible armed offenders – do just that. Authorities have also ignored the dangerous spread of “open port” laws, which allow vigilantes to carry military-style weapons to public gatherings and even to state capitals. Organizations that track militias say they are active in all 50 states.

Climb the steps of the Capitol

When insurgents stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, militias known as Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and Three Percenters were among them. The video captured men dressed in camouflage marching in an organized line along the steps of the Capitol with combat helmets, bulletproof vests, gloves with knuckle protection and radios. On Monday, the FBI warned of possible armed protests in all 50 state capitals and Washington, DC, in the coming days.

For Americans who believe in democracy, this is very scary.

Reasonable Americans should agree that no elected government can function if armed paramilitaries use force or the threat of force to overthrow the will of the people. How can government function when lawmakers and their families are threatened with violence? Yet the Southern Poverty Law Center says that in 2019 there were around 180 anti-government militias across the country undergoing military-style training.

Ignore at our peril

Government officials have tended to ignore groups because they do not recognize the extent of the threat, do not want to spark a storm of opposition from gun rights groups, or, in some regions sympathize squarely with the militias. In addition, some police and prosecutors claim that anti-militia laws are so vague that they are unenforceable.

Laws need to be updated and enforced.

In court documents filed Thursday, federal prosecutors, without specifically naming the militias, said some of those who stormed Capitol Hill intended to “capture and assassinate elected officials.” They are the kind of people who are drawn to armed militias. And this is not the first time that we have seen an attempt to overthrow duly elected governments. Members of a Michigan militia called Wolverine Watchmen have been accused of plotting the kidnapping of governors, including Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

People who believe in their right to violently overthrow democracy have long communicated with each other and reinforced their twisted beliefs in online chat rooms and in the feverish swamps of message boards. After January 6, it is clear that they represent a clear and present danger.

“We are in the middle of another civil rights movement,” said Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “I think it’s an effort to maintain a white supremacist system.”

Some militia members are aligned with the so-called boogaloo movement, which seeks to prepare for or incite civil war.

Easily leads are swept

Chicagoan Lee Goodman, who led the pre-pandemic protests against gun violence, said he always tried to engage with opponents who showed up at his events.

Many of them were people who had perhaps barely passed civic education classes in school and did not really understand a political system based on democratic representation. They are trained by like-minded individuals with violence in mind, he said.

“When you tell them it’s all about personal freedom, they believe it,” he said.

True personal freedom requires democratic government. America’s real strength is that it is a democracy ruled by the will of the people. Private armed “militias” have no place here.

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Home rule

Home Rule for Scotland should be an option in any second referendum as well as Scottish independence and retention in the Union – Professor Ben Thomson

Scottish independence and unionism are often represented by Saltire and Union Jack, but there is a third choice: Home Rule (Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP via Getty Images)

This month is the debate on the UK Internal Market Bill, last month the response to Covid; every political subject seems to be polarized here in Scotland between the perspective of unionism and the perspective of independence. It looks like you have to be on one side, that the UK has to be the sovereign state, or the other, that Scotland has to be a separate sovereign state. Yet there is an alternative, which many may see as a better solution to traditional unionism or independence where sovereignty is properly shared. This is called “Home Rule”.

The idea of ​​Home Rule has been around since the 19th century. The Scottish Home Rule Association was formed in 1886 when Parnell was advocating for Irish Home Rule. There were numerous self-government bills for both Ireland and Scotland, including one for Scotland in 1913 which was passed by the House of Commons. However, none made it through the House of Lords despite Gladstone’s support for the Liberals and Keir Hardie for Labor.

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Home Rule is where Scotland has full control over internal affairs, including the ability to raise the money it spends, but remains part of the UK. To achieve this, two criteria must be met. The first is that sovereignty must be shared, in other words once autonomy is enshrined in the constitution, it takes the consent of both parties to change powers. Under decentralization, powers are granted and not granted so that Westminster can unilaterally change provisions that affect the Scottish Parliament, as the current debate on proposed new legislation for the UK internal market demonstrates. The only way to enshrine shared sovereignty is through a written constitution that provides the appropriate basis for a relationship based on mutual respect between levels of government.

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Scotland Needs Home Rule – Gordon Brown

The second is that the burden of proof should be on the UK government to show why powers should be reserved at Westminster level. This is called the “principle of subsidiarity”. For example, why should Scotland be limited in the way it raises its taxes?

Currently, it has the power to set income tax rates and directly receives half of the VAT. Why would he not have the ability to decide on the structure of his own taxes to cover his expenses? This is similar to the situation that exists in any of the US states or provinces of Canada where state or provincial governments have much greater control over their own tax system and can create a structure that is suitable. to their industries and to the choices of people locally. .

Home Rule therefore goes well beyond devolution. This requires a written constitution in which national powers become the sole responsibility of the Scottish government. Thus, in addition to the current devolved areas such as health, education and policing, the Scottish government would become responsible for all social security and welfare as well as any taxes it wished to use for fund Scottish public services.

However, it is not independence. Under Home Rule, Scotland would continue to be part of the UK and Westminster would remain responsible for a range of vital issues such as macroeconomic management, including monetary policy and currency; defense; foreign Affairs; overseas trade; and citizenship. The UK government would also be able to levy its own taxes in Scotland to cover its share of Scottish spending. It actually strengthens the UK as it then becomes clearer that on these issues the UK government is acting on behalf of all UK citizens. The UK government would act as if the US government were exercising its federal powers in areas such as defense, and there are no special rights for individual states.

Some would say this is too good to be true – for Scotland to have full control of internal affairs, but benefit from the pound sterling as its currency, no borders and no trade restrictions with the rest of the UK – United and the influence that comes from being part of the UK when it comes to making its voice heard on global issues, whether at the United Nations or on the environment – and the rest of the UK – Uni would not accept it. However, by gaining more control over its own affairs, Scotland can create a better environment for economic success that would benefit both Scotland and the UK. Basically, Home Rule concerns the decentralization of powers where it is appropriate and not sovereignty. The UK is currently very centralized and the Home Rule model would not only be good for Scotland but also for Northern Ireland, Wales and different parts of England.

One of the trade unionists’ arguments against Home Rule is that it is a slippery slope to independence. I wouldn’t agree, as this is more of a natural step towards federalism in the UK, where such an arrangement is enshrined across the UK in a written constitution. After all, some of the most prosperous countries in the world such as the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, and Australia have a federal model.

The upcoming Scottish elections will likely be dominated by the constitution and the call for another referendum. If there is another referendum and it is a clear choice between independence and unionism, then about 50 percent of the population will be deeply unhappy with the result. Last time around, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon both voted in favor of a second question on an alternative to the status quo and independence that was rejected by David Cameron. Ultimately, however, it would have to be the people of Scotland who would choose our constitution and it would be a less successful choice if Home Rule was not on the ballot as the second question in a future referendum.

Professor Ben Thomson is the author of Scottish Home Rule: The Answer to Scotland’s Constitutional Question, which goes on sale from tomorrow, published by Birlinn

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Sovereignty

America’s system of self-government is miserable and okay

Eeveryone today is unhappy about politics, or at least it seems. Our system is down, it’s sick, it’s dysfunctional, etc. I certainly agree that our government has its share of problems (and then some!). But going against the grain that I am, I think our misery is actually a sign that she is still doing at least a few good things.

Think about the Brexit vote a few years ago. It was a huge popular plebiscite in the UK on whether the nation should separate from the European Union. The vote to “Leave” obtained a narrow majority which was very divided according to geographic, socio-economic and age criteria. Since then, the process of leaving the EU. . . didn’t go so well, as we all know.

Something like Brexit never would, could never happen in the United States. We do not have national plebiscites, on the one hand. But more importantly, we don’t give so much power to narrow majorities.

It comes down to the distinction that is often made that the United States is a republic but not a democracy. This notion is imprecise, but it reveals a key idea. The founders were committed to the idea of ​​popular government, as opposed to government by unelected monarchs. But they were deeply skeptical of the power of the people. They had good reasons for both opinions. The period between the end of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution taught settlers that a king without sympathy for his subjects is indeed dangerous. But the period between the declaration of independence and the ratification of the Constitution has taught them that popular majorities can be even more dangerous than any king.

So the drafters came up with an ingenious solution: the people would have full power to choose their governors, but in the absence of large, lasting, and substantial majorities, their rulers would find it difficult to adopt major changes. They are betting the future of the American republic on the assumption that the larger the majority, the more it represents the interests of the whole nation and the more capable it should be to govern.

This is why Brexit could never happen in the United States, at least not the way it did in the United Kingdom. The Framers would likely be appalled if 51.9% of the nation could impose its will at 48.1% on such a fundamental issue.

Now imagine that the United States struggles with its own version of Brexit, with no hope of a popular referendum and with the practical need for an overwhelming majority to support its passage. The two sides would be locked into a long, passionate and ultimately virulent debate that would make them both. . . wretched. But at least neither side could impose itself on the other.

It is, in its own way, the genius of American self-government. Without a decisive majority, both camps would be stuck in an impasse where they would make themselves unhappy. But it is the compromise that must be made, lest one party succeed in imposing its views on the opposition.

It’s not perfect, that’s for sure. The left is understandably frustrated that Donald Trump wields so much power when he did not win a majority in the 2016 election. But then again, note that the sheer extent of presidential authority is quite distant from the point of view. original founders. Ditto for the authority of the courts. It developed later.

I would much rather take power away from the executive and the courts than make our system more ‘democratic’, at least in the sense of the term Brexit. I’d much rather be miserable than live under the sweeping decisions of a faction that just happens to equal a numerical majority for a brief moment. And the reason is that I believe the Founders were fundamentally right. Majority rule is an essential quality of Republican government, but it is also its greatest threat – for majorities can be narrow-minded, short-sighted and even vengeful.

The corollary to this is that we should stop looking for individual meaning and purpose in our politics. We will never find him there. Our policy is a policy of Federalist 10 and 51, where a multiplicity of fundamentally interested factions fight each other through an incredibly complicated process, and perhaps craft a compromise that no longer or less makes anyone happy. It is not satisfactory. It is often lamentable. But this is how our government has stood for two centuries and more.

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Independence activist

Little-known independence activist

Please remove the space in the name of the image.












Little-known independence activist



































































Fri 3 December 2021 | 21:36


Little-known independence activist

Posted: 04/04/2019 16:57

Updated: 2019-04-05 09:18

By Choe Chong-dae

Seo Young-hae (1902-56) had been forgotten. He is better known to scholars who study French literature and the history of diplomacy than to his compatriots. His exceptional dedication to the Korean independence movement was revealed in a recent book titled “Seo Young-hae, Activist for Independence in Paris”, written by Jung Sang-chun, an official of the Presidential Committee for Balanced National Development.

Seo was an independence activist, novelist, journalist and diplomat who dedicated himself to the restoration of Korean sovereignty against Japanese colonial rule through remarkable diplomacy in Europe. Driven by patriotism, Seo participated in the independence movement on March 1 in 1919 at the age of 17. Fearing arrest by Japanese police, Seo went into exile in China and joined the Republic of Korea Provisional Government’s establishment in Shanghai as its youngest member. He went to Paris in 1920 to continue his future studies. A graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris, a higher education institution, he established “Agence Korea” (News Agency) in 1929 and was appointed representative of the Liaison Office of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai in 1936, later promoted to Ambassador to Paris.

During his 27-year stay in Paris, Seo made remarkable efforts to restore Korean sovereignty and devoted time to reporting and writing extensively on the brutal Japanese colonial rule to European media. Remarkably, Seo’s life was exposed to the world through his novel “La vie d’un Coréen” (Around a Korean Life) published in French in 1929, followed by other sensational novels. Her first novel describes the oppression suffered by Koreans under Japanese imperialism as well as Korean history, culture and customs that have helped raise awareness of the plight of Koreans and aspects of Europe.

Two years after Korea’s liberation, he finally returned to Korea in 1947. He was sent to Pyongyang with Kim Koo to join the South and North Korean Conference in 1948. He was one of the two iconic figures. who played a central role in the pursuit of Korean independence abroad. ; one was Seo Young-hae in France, the other was Syngman Rhee in the United States

Although Seo maintained a close friendship with Rhee who became Korea’s first president in 1948, he opposed Rhee’s policy of creating a separate state in the South, while supporting Kim Koo who wanted to establish a unified government for all of Korea. As a result, his life in Korea was unstable. He worked at the Korean Provisional Government Affiliate School for Personality Education for Korean Residents in Shanghai until 1956 without contacting his family in South Korea. After that, his traces are not known.

Seo’s remarkable diplomacy for Korean independence in Europe has had a profound impact on my mind and reminds me of the quote “the pen is mightier than the sword”.

Author Jung Sang-chun compares him to Philippe Aries (1914-84), the French pioneer historian. He called himself a “Sunday historian,” proud to write outside of college in his spare time. Jung devoted himself to studying during the holidays to avoid official influence.

Jung went to Paris to study on a state scholarship in 1994-96 and in 2000 while working at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a diplomat. During his stay in Paris, he immersed himself in the search for Seo who dreamed of Korean independence.

Coincidentally, Jung’s father Jung Il-yeong, a former journalist, taught English at Gyeongju High School in the early 1960s, where he had a close relationship with my family. Currently, Jung’s studies are focused on researching the history of Korea’s independence movement with my brother Choe Chong-kan, a ceramic artist.

Seo’s extraordinary dedication to the Korean independence movement as a pioneering diplomat in Paris would most likely have remained in the shadows had it not been for author Jung’s outstanding research into Seo’s life.
Choe Chong-dae ([email protected]) is a guest columnist for the Korea Times. He is president of Dae-kwang International Co. and director of the Korean-Swedish Association.














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Home rule

The Third Home Rule Bill is 100 years old today. What did it do?

A SMALL NUMBER of events are being held across Ireland today to mark the centenary of the Third Home Rule Bill – legislation considered by many to be essentially the first piece of legislation that ultimately created the Irish state that we know today.

But what was this bill – and why is it considered so important? Let’s try to explain the story behind it all.

We should start with the basics.

In 1800 the Parliament of Ireland (as it was then called) and the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Act of Union, legislation which merged the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the UK.

The countries had (partially) shared a head of state since 1541 – when Henry VIII quashed Silken Thomas’ rebellion and elevated Ireland from a lordship to a kingdom, and proclaimed himself King of Ireland.

If at first you don’t succeed…

The Act of Union, which came into force in 1801, remained in force throughout the 19th century, despite a number of Irish nationalist movements – Charles Stewart Parnell having succeeded in convincing the Prime Minister of the time, William Gladstone of the Liberal Party, to introduce a bill. which would have undone most of the Act of Union, recreating a Kingdom of Ireland with its own parliament (albeit with limited power) – a concept called “Home Rule”.

Despite Gladstone’s pleas – culminating in a now famous three-hour speech in the House of Commons – this Home Rule Bill was defeated by 341 votes to 311 in June 1886, largely thanks to the rebellion of 93 backbench liberals who opposed the bill because Gladstone had drafted it in secret and without their input.

Wounded by rebellion by his MPs, Gladstone called a general election later that month and lost power. He returned in 1892 and gave it another chance – but again decided to draft his bill in secret, even excluding his own ministerial cabinet and cabinet from any input.

Despite this, the bill was approved by the House of Commons in September 1893, but it was already considered damaged goods. Gladstone’s secret redaction had led to a catastrophic financial mistake, massively underestimating the amount of money Ireland should contribute to the UK budget, while tensions between the Tories and the Parnellite nationalist wing of the Irish Parliamentary Party led to regular fights on the benches of the opposition.

When the Bill was then sent to the House of Lords, the Conservative majority – being staunch supporters of Unionism – were in no mood to be open-minded. The Lords overruled the bill by a vote of 419 to 41 and the motion was again defeated.

Changing at home…

In the meantime, although nationalist sentiments remained high in Ireland, British politics underwent greater changes. A dispute arose in 1909 when the Liberals – back in power – pushed a budget through the House of Commons but blocked by the House of Lords (which, due to its composition, had a firm Tory majority), a move seen as a break with precedent.

Two general elections were held in 1910 in an effort to allow the public to decide whether the Liberals or Conservatives should win, each with inconclusive results. In the end, the only way for the Liberals to retain power was to strike a deal with the Irish Parliamentary Party, trading the support of the 74 IPP MPs for another attempt to introduce Home Rule.

What followed was a fundamental change in the British political system: knowing that the only way to break the Conservative majority in the Lords was to flood it with new Liberal life members, the Liberals secured the support of King George V to appoint hundreds of new peers. and secure their majority.

The Tories backed down – happier to retain their majority in a weakened House of Lords than to relinquish their stranglehold on power – and the Liberals pushed through new laws that meant the House of Lords could no longer veto legislation, but only to delay it. The Lords could now only vote against legislation twice: if the Commons approved it three times, it would be sent directly to the King for enactment.

This done, Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith introduced the Third Home Rule Bill in the House of Commons on April 11, 1912 (100 years ago today). This Bill created a bicameral Parliament, with a 164-member House of Commons and a 40-member Senate, and also allowed Ireland to continue to elect MPs for Westminster (although the size of Irish constituencies would become much larger, which means fewer deputies).

Although the Lords continued to oppose it – and with significant opposition from Ulster-based Unionists, who feared becoming a powerless minority in a country ruled by Dublin and not the more industrial Belfast – the Commons successfully passed the bill three times.

…and abroad

There was only one problem: by the time he was adopted a third time and could be sent to the king, a bigger problem loomed on the horizon: the United Kingdom was now part of the Great War.

Assuming the war would be brief, Asquith rushed through a new suspensive law which put the provisions of the Home Rule Bill and another law, giving Wales an independent church, on hold until the end of the war. .

The legislation was then overtaken by events. The Great War continued and nationalism was instead expressed through the Easter Rising of 1916. Britain then chose to try to implement Home Rule immediately, but agreed not to. do so unless an agreement is reached on Ulster’s status within the new jurisdiction.

As World War I continued in 1917 and 1918, Britain found itself short of manpower and attempted to tie Home Rule to compulsory conscription – something rejected by all parties nationalists – and when the United States joined the war, avoiding the crisis, the conflict quickly ended. .

A blank page

But with the Liberals now in power for more than eight years and having delayed the election until the end of the war, a general election was called. The Irish Parliamentary Party lost nearly all of its seats to Éamon de Valera’s young Sinn Féin, whose members boycotted Westminster and formed their own revolutionary assembly. This assembly became the first Dáil and declared an independent country called the Republic of Ireland, a decision which led to the Irish War of Independence.

In 1920 the Third Home Rule Bill (now known as the Government of Ireland Act 1914) was replaced by a Fourth Home Rule Act which divided Ireland into two jurisdictions, the Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

Elections were held to the parliaments of both countries, but Sinn Féín de De Valera rejected Britain’s right to pass laws for the Republic of Ireland. Sinn Féin fielded candidates for the new elections, but these candidates instead formed the Second Dáil.

Eventually a truce was reached during the War of Independence and the second Dáil sent a team led by Michael Collins to negotiate what became known as the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which the Dáil ratified by 64 votes to 57.

The result was the creation of an Irish Free State of 26 counties – which slowly ruled out the king’s role and eventually became the modern Republic of Ireland we know today – and the Irish Civil War, fought between supporters and opponents of the treaty.

Read: French anthem composer and creator honored at Glasnevin

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Independence activist

Independence activist returns home to Western Sahara

Aminatou Haidar had been on a hunger strike for 32 days, but was eventually sent home after Morocco admitted her to Western Sahara.

HIGHLIGHTS OF HISTORY

  • Aminatou Haidar finally returns home after 32 days of hunger strike in Spain
  • Morocco allowed her to return home to Western Sahara
  • Haidar was hospitalized the day before after complaining of abdominal pain
  • Haidar still refuses to recognize Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara

Madrid, Spain (CNN) – An award-winning independence activist returned home to Western Sahara early Friday from Spain.

She ended a 32-day hunger strike when Morocco admitted her to disputed territory following multinational negotiations over her case.

A Spanish government plane carrying activist Aminatou Haidar, 43, left Lanzarote airport in the Canary Islands at around 10:30 p.m. local time on Thursday for El Aaiun airport in Western Sahara. CNN’s partner channel CNN + reported.

On his arrival, the Moroccan authorities returned his passport to him. They had taken the passport last month when they refused entry to her at the same airport when she refused to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, Lamine Baali of the separatist Polisario Front told CNN.

“This is a victory for international law and human rights and for the cause of Western Sahara,” Haidar said in Lanzarote before boarding the plane.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement, saying: “I was delighted to learn of the Moroccan government’s decision to readmit Aminatou Haidar on humanitarian grounds after her month-long hunger strike in Spain.

“This humanitarian gesture reflects the true spirit and generosity of the Moroccan government and people, and underlines the urgency of finding a permanent solution to the conflict in Western Sahara,” Clinton added.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who met Clinton in Washington last Monday, said in Brussels on Friday that Spain had “made no concessions”.

“We have had broad negotiations with the Moroccan authorities. And we have worked in a coordinated manner with the United States and France” to find a solution, said Moratinos.

It is a victory for international law and human rights and for the cause of Western Sahara
–Aminatou Haidar

On Thursday evening, Haidar left a hospital in Lanzarote, where she had visited a few hours earlier complaining of abdominal pain, and returned to the airport, where she had conducted most of her hunger strike from 32 days. She then took the plane to her home.

The plane took off moments after the Spanish prime minister’s office issued a statement claiming that Spain “shares the concern of the international community” over the status of the disputed territory of Western Sahara, but that pending a agreement negotiated by the United Nations, Spain “confirms that Morocco’s law applies to the territory of Western Sahara.

Haidar had demanded that she be able to return to Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, without having to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over it.

Baali said Morocco this time did not ask Haidar to fill out a disembarkation card upon arrival, which was a flashpoint last month, when she wrote on a disembarkation card that her nationality was Sahrawi and not Moroccan, Baali said.

Haidar arrived at the airport on the island of Lanzarote – just off the west coast of Morocco – on November 14, shortly after the Moroccan woman refused entry at El Aaiun airport.

She began her hunger strike on November 16, but it ended shortly after she returned home on Friday in the Hay Hazari neighborhood of El Aaiun, about a 30-minute drive from the airport. Baali said, as supporters allegedly cheered her on.

Haidar was initially taking fluids to regain strength, Baali said, and was with her two children and other family members.

Earlier Thursday, the European Parliament abruptly stopped before voting on the Haidar affair when German lawmaker Martin Schulz told parliament it appeared “there would be a solution today”.

“We can help Mrs Haidar more by remaining silent rather than passing a resolution,” Schulz said, according to the parliament’s press office.

During her hunger strike, Madrid offered her Spanish nationality or political asylum, but she refused.

In an emailed statement to reporters, Haidar thanked Spain but said: “I have no intention of applying for Spanish, American or Italian citizenship. I live under Moroccan occupation and I defend, like the rest of the Saharawi people, for ourselves. -determination. “

Spain officially withdrew as a decades-long colonial power in Western Sahara in early 1976, shortly after the Moroccan king led a “green march” with 350,000 Moroccan civilians in the territory to claim it. .

A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front – a group made up mainly of Sahrawis, which promotes the independence of Western Sahara – ensued and was finally halted, after more than a decade, in 1991, thanks to a ceasefire. fire brokered by the United Nations, according to the CIA World Factbook.

A referendum organized by the UN on the final status of the territory has been postponed several times. Morocco presented an autonomy plan to the United Nations, but the Polisario responded with an independence plan for the 405,000 inhabitants of the territory, Muslims of Arab or Berber origin.

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington, DC, awarded Haidar a Human Rights Fellow last year.

Haidar was recently in New York City to receive another award, the Train Foundation Civil Courage Award for 2009, just before flying to Western Sahara and being denied entry in November, a spokesperson for the foundation, Barbara Becker.

A senior Moroccan government official, Khalihenna Ould Errachid, told CNN + earlier in December in an interview that Haidar “has always been Moroccan”.

“She was never part of the former Spanish Sahara”, added the Moroccan official, “and I say that Aminatou Haidar must regain her Moroccan nationality and say it clearly, and tomorrow she will be able to return, without problem” .


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