Nicole Colson

"Last year it felt like a funeral. This year it feels like a resistance."

Those words--from one of the many hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets on January 20 as part of the massive Women's Marches marking the shameful anniversary of US President Donald Trump's first year in office--summed up the political mood.

In two words: Pissed off.

AFTER Charlottesville, we know the truth: The supposedly respectable "alt-right" isn't so "alternative." They're a new generation of the same violent, racist reactionaries of yesteryear.

And from the days after Charlottesville, we know another truth: They are being aided and abetted by none other than the current occupant of the White House.

THE STORY is, by now, a familiar one: An unarmed person is gunned down by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later.

But Justine Damond, who was killed by cops in Minneapolis on July 15, was white. Her murder has led to multiracial calls for justice for her and all victims of police brutality--and raised another dimension to the epidemic of police violence that is leading people on the left to consider new questions.

One year after European Union leaders signed a deal with the Turkish government to cut off the wave of desperate refugees seeking to reach Europe’s shores, the policy has caused even more death and suffering.

Apparently, the universe does have a sense of humour.

After blaming his poor showing in the first presidential debate on problems with his microphone, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy is swirling around the toilet bowl due to comments that a different microphone did pick up.

Trump went into the second debate on October 9 with Hillary Clinton needing the impossible — for millions of people to forget the revulsion they felt when they learned about his casual misogyny unearthed in a 2005 recording.

The death of yet another Black man at the hands of police — this time in Milwaukee on August 13 — touched off nights of rebellious protests as crowds of people confronted officers and demanded justice.

The bitter discontent was years in the making. It is the result of systematic racism and discrimination that has left Black residents in Wisconsin's largest city as second-class citizens.

I BELIEVE that reviewers generally should disclose when they have a vested interest in the thing they're reviewing, so full disclosure: Barring another Jar Jar Binks fiasco, there was about as much chance of me--a geek hurtling toward middle age at light speed--hating J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII--The Force Awakens as there is of the Millennium Falcon successfully navigating an asteroid field.

It is the single image that has crystallised the horror of the refugee crisis in Europe: On September 2, a photographer took a picture of the lifeless body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a Kurdish refugee from Syria, lying face-down on a Turkish beach.

The toddler was one of at least 12 refugees — including his five-year-old brother Galip, and their mother Rihan — who drowned during a desperate bid to reach the Greek island of Kos, joining more than 2500 refugees who have perished in the Mediterranean this year.


Syrian refugees on Greece-Macedonia border. Photo: Amnesty International.

“Are we animals? Why? Why?”

Those were the words of one Syrian refugee to BBC's Channel 4 recently after Macedonian police attacked desperate families seeking entry into the country along the border with Greece.

The refugee crisis has grown to immense proportions. Tens of thousands of people have flooded into the Balkans in recent weeks.

Macedonia

Craig Stephen Hicks murdered three of his neighbours in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on the evening of February 10: Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Yusor's sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

Hicks was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after he turned himself in to police.

Almost immediately, authorities declared the motive for the killings was a dispute over parking at the condominium complex where they all lived. But it was impossible to ignore the cloud of hate and bigotry hanging over these murders.

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