Foreign Affairs

Waiting in Istanbul

Waiting in Istanbul

For all that they came to symbolize during the months to follow, the protests were meant to emphasize that justice does not move at the speed of money.

Waiting is a social phenomenon. There is a politics to it: to who waits for what and for how long, and to who doesn’t, and how impatiently, and at what cost. You can tell a lot about the hierarchy of a city by observing its distribution of patience and impatience, mobility and immobility. The more concentrated wealth in an area, for example, the more taxis; the more taxis, the more traffic; the more traffic, the longer people who can’t afford cab fare are left waiting for the bus. In this network of contingencies and indirect consequences, when one person takes a shortcut another is always left in the lurch. People feel this. A sense of injustice is fundamental to the experience of waiting.

Eastern Ukraine: Popular Uprising, Conspiracy, or Civil War?

Eastern Ukraine: Popular Uprising, Conspiracy, or Civil War?

We’ve recently grown accustomed to things going their own way without us having any influence on what happens. It’s impossible to predict what will happen when there are so many forces at work. Each time you want to think that the worst has passed, that it can’t possibly get any worse—and then it does. What new provocation awaits us? No one knows. Still, there’s some hope that inflation and worsening conditions for workers will push the workers of large manufacturing concerns to come out and become an organizational force that can resist the growth of the chauvinistic and xenophobic ones.

324: Dispatches from Taipei

324: Dispatches from Taipei

It started at the back door. Police asked the sitters to leave; if they refused, they grabbed them by their necks and dragged them out. Several TV reporters were on the scene but turned away. The footage that professional cameramen captured shows supporters, seated in the back rows, chanting. Before running at the protesters, the riot force took off their badges so that their names would be hidden.