TimeToRise is Phoenix Media Co-op’s regular newsletter about what’s new in the struggle for a better world, from the UK and beyond.
This week, the chauvinist Taliban retaking control of Afghanistan is the main story.
As Phoenix Media Co-op previously explained, the US and its Saudi allies bolstered religious fundamentalists in Afghanistan in the 1980s to defeat ‘communism’. This sparked a humanitarian disaster. And the Taliban came out on top. Women in particular suffered immensely as a result. Then, after Washington’s 2001 invasion, warmongers helped to ensure the superpower stayed in the mineral-rich country until 2021. But two decades on:
- The US has spent over $2tn.
- Over 75,000 Afghan civilians have died, including many children.
- There are millions of displaced people.
- The opium trade has grown massively, helping to sustain the Taliban. The country is now responsible for over 80% of the world’s supplies of opium and heroin.
- Poverty is still rife, and literacy rates remain low.
- The struggling economy depends heavily on foreign aid.
The rapid collapse of the country’s puppet government shows how central corruption was in the post-2001 order, and how there were no fundamental changes to the context that had facilitated the Taliban’s rise to power in the first place (contrary to constant claims of progress from US generals).
Now, as people resist or flee from the Taliban, and women hit the streets to protest, solidarity is incredibly important. Care4Calais Manchester, for example, is seeking to raise £100,000 to support refugees from Afghanistan. It has already reached over £70,000. The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), meanwhile, is trying to pull together $100,000 – to support Afghan women. It has reached over $45,000 so far. Other campaigners are calling for pressure on governments that are still trying to deport Afghan asylum-seekers.
Another humanitarian crisis, meanwhile, is ongoing in Haiti. Over 2,000 people died after the recent earthquake. And many campaigners are calling for support for grassroots Haitian groups, because endless foreign intervention in the country is a key part of why it’s in such a bad situation to begin with.
— Jane Touil (@jane_touil) August 21, 2021
Many protesters also called for support for refugees.
On 25 August, meanwhile, there’ll be a fair in Bristol to raise money to support young people facing prosecution for campaigning against the bill.
Other action on our radar
- A high court case to save the life of Geronimo the alpaca failed. But campaigners continued to oppose his murder. This issue is deeply tied to the UK government’s policy on controlling Bovine TB, which involves the slaughter of thousands of cattle every year and the highly controversial culling of badgers.
- There’ll be a UK day of action on 28 August targeting the TUI airline for its involvement in controversial deportations.
- From 23 August, Animal Rebellion will be campaigning in London over the link between animal exploitation and the climate crisis .
- A global day calling for people to #BoycottPuma over the company’s support for Israeli apartheid will take place on 18 September.
- First Nations campaigners in Canada have walked hundreds of kilometres to demand justice for the country’s Indigenous people, particularly in light of this year’s revelations about hundreds of children who died in highly controversial residential schools.
- In the US, non-profit workers are insisting on the right to unionise.
- Workers have also been on strike at the Royal Parks in London to oppose outsourcing injustices.
- Scotland’s tenants’ union, Living Rent, has made progress in getting the Scottish government to act on its demands. It says it will keep up the pressure.
- In England, the cycle tour against high-speed rail line HS2 continues. Fundraising for the tour will finish on 28 August.
Please get in contact with us if there are actions and/or events you’d like us to include in future TimeToRise newsletters.