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Velvet Revolution

Can Politics Stay Local?

Peter A. Georgescu | Posted 11.11.2014 | Home
Peter A. Georgescu

A hospitable Southern cultural bias for caring about others thrives, partly as a result of America's political structure, but mostly because the political structure doesn't inhibit it. The Constitution protects individual freedom -- not love for one's neighbor.

Plugging Iran's 'Brain Drain'

Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney | Posted 11.04.2014 | Home
Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney

It is no secret that Iran has a "brain drain" problem; it has been recognized by top Iranian authorities including Iran's Minister of Science and Technology Reza Faraji Dana, who noted, "Every year, about 150,000 of our elite emigrate from Iran, costing our economy $150 billion."

Humility, the Religious-Secular Divide and the 'Very Survival of Western Society'

David Briggs | Posted 06.14.2014 | Home
David Briggs

The idea that there are different forms of belief and unbelief, and that many people are on a common journey to greater understanding, shines through Halik's writing and his work in promoting dialogue among religious and secular individuals.

Behind the Velvet Revolution

John Feffer | Posted 04.18.2014 | Home
John Feffer

Whichever version of this key event is true, the Velvet Revolution wouldn't have proceeded without the network of dissidents who had been patiently preparing for just such an opportunity.

Slovakia's Pendulum Swing

John Feffer | Posted 02.22.2014 | Home
John Feffer

We talked about the role Slovaks played in the Velvet Revolution, the effort to join NATO, and how rock bands can help out at critical moment in a political uprising.

Expanding the Fourth Estate in the Czech Republic

John Feffer | Posted 02.09.2014 | Home
John Feffer

When Communism collapsed in 1989 in East-Central Europe, many industries collapsed with it. Factories closed, workers were out of jobs, and economies shrank. But one sector of the economy grew: the media.

David Cerny: Portrait of an Artist as a Young Provocateur

John Feffer | Posted 02.07.2014 | Home
John Feffer

One night in the spring of 1991, David Cerny painted the tank pink. "Of course, it was a political statement and at the same time it was an artistic action," Cerny told Radio Praha. "And it was a lot of fun." He told me a different story in an interview in his favorite pub in Prague back in February.

Taking the Velvet Revolution to the People

John Feffer | Posted 02.03.2014 | Home
John Feffer

The Velvet Revolution began in the cities of Czechoslovakia, but what made the revolution irreversible were the efforts of mainly young people to spread the message of the revolution beyond the cities. Michaela Novotna was one of the young people to go to the countryside.

Pushing Boundaries

John Feffer | Posted 11.27.2013 | Home
John Feffer

For many journalists, rebellion took the form of pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable.

Speak, Memory

Daniel Maidman | Posted 06.03.2013 | Home
Daniel Maidman

Fedele Spadafora is a New York artist who is in the home stretch of that anxious journey which characterizes the development of the technically-trained painter: he is just about done making pictures in homage to his skills, and has nearly made his skills the servants of a vision.

The Greengrocer That Broke the Camel's Back

Uriel Abulof | Posted 03.04.2012 | Home
Uriel Abulof

Vaclav Havel left an indelible imprint on the conscience of the entire world. His 1978 essay The Power of the Powerless, has lost none of its relevance, particularly in the wake of the stormy year that the Middle East experienced.

Real-World Change Can Come From Within

Parker J. Palmer | Posted 03.04.2012 | Home
Parker J. Palmer

The notion that social change can be sparked by an inner revolution is not only realistic. It also gives us a gift that conventional "realism" withholds -- a chance to do something that might make a difference.

On Vaclav Havel, Kim Jong Il and Regular Russian Citizens

Tereza Nemessanyi | Posted 02.21.2012 | Home
Tereza Nemessanyi

Most people who know me know my parents defected from Czechoslovakia, and that its Velvet Revolution changed my life. I went from being "from nowhere" to "from somewhere."

Remembering Vaclav Havel

Todd Brewster | Posted 02.20.2012 | Home
Todd Brewster

With the news this past weekend that Vaclav Havel, the one-time Czech president, had died, I found myself recalling a scene back in 1989, when I was lucky enough to spend a week in Prague with the leader of what eventually became known as the "Velvet Revolution."

Remembering Vaclav Havel

Andrew Nagorski | Posted 02.20.2012 | Home
Andrew Nagorski

Looking back at my encounters with Havel, I'm struck by three dominant character traits: his moral courage, his ability to recognize and live with the contradictions of human behavior, and his sense of the absurd.

Zach Carter

WATCH: Media Matters Toasts Final Glenn Beck Show With Silly Party | Zach Carter | Posted 08.28.2011 | Home

Glenn Beck's tenure at Fox News will come to an end on Thursday, and no organization seems happier about his impending signoff than Media Matters, the...

A Middle East-Like Revolution in Cuba? Don't Hold Your Breath

Christopher Sabatini | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Christopher Sabatini

Under current U.S. law, Cuba will never have a Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who has become a hero in Egypt for defending freedom of expression and communication among activists.

After the Fall of African Dictatorships

Alemayehu G. Mariam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Alemayehu G. Mariam

If Africans are to have hope of a better future, they will need to build a fortress of freedom impregnable to the slings and arrows of civilians dictators and the savage musketry of military juntas.

As African Tyrants Fall

Alemayehu G. Mariam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Alemayehu G. Mariam

The Tunisian people's revolution provides practical insights into the prerequisites for dismantling dictatorships in Africa. The first lesson is that when dictatorships end, their end could come with either a bang or a whimper.

Iran Opposition Unplugged

Jamal Dajani | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Jamal Dajani

It seems that the balance in the Iranian uprising is shifting in the regime's favor. This time Ahmadinejad was prepared... he succeeded in "unplugging" the opposition.

How Sweet The Sound: An Interview With Joan Baez

Mike Ragogna | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Mike Ragogna

For most of the fifty years since she debuted at the Newport Folk Festival, Joan Baez has dedicated her life and music to fighting for equality and social justice, and for bringing about positive change in the world.

Fox 'News' Fans Flood Anti-U.S. Chamber Campaign With Death Threats, Racial Attacks

Brad Friedman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Brad Friedman

"Conservative" Fox "News" fans sure do use the F-word a lot in their death threats. We're used to various death threats by now, but those American "values"-lovin' viewers have really outdone themselves this time.

Lessons from the Velvet Revolution

Stephen Zunes | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Stephen Zunes

These movements were largely led by democratic socialists who mobilized workers, church people, intellectuals, and others to face down the tanks with their bare hands.

Freed Academic Haleh Esfandiari: 'Iranians Want Evolution, Not Revolution'

Diane Tucker | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Diane Tucker

Every two or three years, there has been a wave of protests like this in Iran. But this time I think there has been a fundamental change.

Yemen: A Powder Keg Ready to Explode

Jamal Dajani | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Jamal Dajani

The Obama administration may be ignoring what could potentially be the hottest spot in the Middle East, the country which is the ancestral birthplace of Osama bin Laden: Yemen.