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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 April 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017 25 NEWS people through bullying, mobbing, and coercive and threatening behaviours. The constancy of trauma continues among the downtrodden and they remain as if oppressed. Hatred can degenerate people to not just psychological wounds but to the irrecoverable. The World Health Organisation definition of lateral violence notes some of the damage and ‘including psychological harm, deprivation and maldevelopment’ and reflecting ‘a growing recognition among researchers and practitioners of the need to include violence that does not necessarily result in injury or death, but that nonetheless poses a substantial burden on individuals, families, communities and healthcare systems worldwide.’ It is argued that the concept of lateral violence became pronounced with European colonialism into Africa and Latin America but it is indisputably evident that it is a human narrative as long as is recorded human history. Lateral violence includes patriarchy's control over women. Theorists Paulo Friere and Frantz Fannon argued that the victims of the colonialists took on negative views of themselves, of their culture and of their capabilities and that this lent to adopting behaviours of the oppressor. eral violence continues perniciously into organisations that were established by affirmative action policies for one's own people to lend a helping hand to the rest of their people. The anger and hatred that culminates from lateral violence pervades into the organisations and can stress the organisation, degrading its functions and capabilities. Lateral violence can escalate from individual behaviour to a collective carry-on. When a number of people collectivise the attacks they can undermine and the anger and hatred become primary. It is one thing to have your say and another thing to derail hope by turning on Jane Middleton-Moz argues, "When individuals feel inferior, inadequate, and afraid, they take on the qualities of the oppressor as a way of acquiring strength and an illusion of power." Though most social theorists agree with these views I disagree. Not every oppressed individual has soaked up lateral violence behaviours or lowself-esteem. Yes, colonisation robbed peoples of their autonomy and stole their lands. Human beings are simpler than all this, they just want to be included; people need people, in this is borne the elemental principles of identity – in how we interact with each other, in how we are treated: as equals or as second-class citizens or as inferior. Our engagements with one another are always internalised. The negative engagements and put downs translate toxically as 'racism'. In unequal societies there is inherent unfairness and discrimination and this hurts – it goes to the psychosocial self – and in fact we do not fight against each other but fight to engage with each other; we need each other. The British colonialists were the world's most significant slum builders – but for the oppressed, whether for the majority of the population in the Indian subcontinent, whether for the descendants of Terra Nullius' First Peoples through the segregation and missions and reserves there was a corralling and tormenting – there were physical and psychosocial deprivations. The Belgians committed despicable atrocities in the Congo, the Portuguese and Spanish impoverished and indentured peoples through Africa and Central and South America. The majority of the European colonisers were cruel. Had the colonialists included the local peoples they dispossessed of not only their lands but of their humanity everything today would be different. But this cruelty is a human narrative not limited to the European colonialists. Throughout human history the invader dominated and indentured and discriminated. In general throughout history there have been no binaries with the oppressor and the oppressed, only dichotomies. Had the colonialists welcomed everyone's children to school, and if they were open to business and venture with everyone – those who arrived and those who were present – and delved into humanity instead of entrenching and normalising differences we'd have a whole different world story today and a zeitgeist to embrace. So, for those relative few from within the oppressed who worked up favour from the oppressor, whether they became trackers, native police, advisers, or bureaucrats – many within their people saw a pathway out of the cruelties but many others perceived that those who made it out left their people behind to rot on the missions and reserves, in the shanties. Lateral violence is a mixed bag in terms of its causality and it came out of moralisations within the predicament of racism and segregation, from within the act of oppression and of a hatred of the oppressor. What of the ways forward? How best to understand the way to the positive self? There is a lesson still to be learned today – right around the world – that we are in this life gig together, all of us and despite the politics of identity that the oppressor has established, despite what the colonialists and post-colonialists have done, whether we are black, brown, white, we are equal and in this fact we must work together, not in silos or otherwise we perpetuate some of the negatives of past wrongs and the psychological and spiritual wounds will not heal. There were some schools in 'early Sydney' that included several Aboriginal students but racism kicked them out once some began to excel educationally. Had the colonialists' mandate been that they reach out to everyone, live together instead of killing fields, genocide and apartheid cruelties we would have less burden today, and much love. The anger has always been at the injustices by the oppressor, the major frustration of the exclusion and that the act of exclusion was aided and abetted by persecution. Lateral violence divides peoples as oppression divide peoples. Lateral violence extends beyond peers to everyone who can make a difference to the lives of the marginalised in improving their lot. Educating the ways forward for us all to walk through life as neighbours and as equals is imperative and this learning can bring people together. There is a context of new meanings, maybe even a dawn of new meanings we need to give birth to that carry us together into humanity where equality is inalienably lived, where there is no oppressing. Lateral violence is traumatic and its intergenerational transmission perpetuates the constancy of trauma – from the cradle to the deathbed. Displaced anger and the presumptive negative premises that drive lateral violence can become internalised to the point it can affect the brain's amygdala. There occurs degeneration from disordered thinking to serious psychological wounds. The positive self becomes a bridge too far. Narcua Langton of the Na- tive Women's Association of Canada says "Those most at risk of lateral violence in its raw physical form are family members and, in the main, the vulnerable members of the family: old people, women and children. Especially the children." * Gerry Georgatos is a suicide prevention and prison reform researcher and advocate with the non-tertiary Institute of Social Justice and Human Rights. He is a member of national projects to further develop suicide prevention, and wellbeing and education programs in prisons. Gerry's research has a focus on trauma recovery and restorative approaches. He works first-hand with the critically vulnerable and marginalised. He is also a prolific writer on the understanding of racism and on the ways forward from racism. Funeral services provider drops body of impoverished man on the street The body of an elderly man who lost his life in a fire that destroyed his home was left on the street in Thessaloniki, when the funeral services provider called on the scene discovered there was nobody to pay for the services. The underprivileged man was living in a house owned by a charity organisation the Panorama suburb; the city council's social services and the local church came to his aid offering meals and clothing, and a young man was reported to be looking after him and taking care of the house. After the fire, his neighbours called the undertakers to collect his body and trans- fer it to the morgue. The service costs €200 (A$291), but since there is no next of kin to pay for it, the provider refused to proceed. His body, wrapped in a plastic bag, was left on the street for five hours until another undertaker stepped in and collected the body pro bono. Such incidents are reportedly not uncommon recently, though to a lesser extent, as the ongoing financial crisis has left the majority of Greeks deprived of funds. Many funeral service providers are left unpaid and bodies are often kept for days at home, before families are able to gather the money necessary for a funeral. Greek, Armenian and Assyrian genocides commemorated in Los Angeles suburb A tribute to the victims of the Turkish crimes against three nations was held at the city of Glendale, in suburban Los Angeles, raising awareness for what is considered to be a ‘triple genocide’, of Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians. The genocides are now ranked among the most horrific events to take place during WWI (1914-1918), claiming the lives of 750,000 Assyrians, 1.5 million Armenians, and 1 million Pontic Greeks. Turkey still denies the genocide and claims the victims were casualties of war, but descendants of the three nations have long held successful campaigns to acknowledge the crimes, and hold commemorative events throughout the world. Glendale is home to a large Armenian population, but also features many Greeks and Assyrians. The tribute events included lectures, poetry readings, performances and a candlelit vigil, and were attended by a large audience of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and others. Speakers included Robert Avetisyan, the Permanent Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to the United States, Sabri Atman, the director of the Assyrian Genocide Research Center, Paula Devine, Mayor of the City of Glendale, Ara Najarian, Glendale City Council member and Ara Aharonian, Glendale City Council Genocide Commemoration Committee member. Ivan Savvidis gains management of the Port of Thessaloniki A joint venture of German, French, and Greek companies gained control of the Port of Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest, for €231.9 million. The sale was part of the country's ongoing effort to privatise public assets and was part of an open public tender. The venture comprises German Deutsche Invest Equity Partners GMBh, the French Terminal Link SAS (part of CMA CGM group) and Ivan Savvidis' Belterra Investments Ltd. They gain control of 67 per cent of the company, outbidding the second bidder by a 10 percent margin. The total cost of the deal amounts to €1.1 billion, in- cluding an obligation by the bidders to invest €180m over the next seven years. The deal was made possible when CMA CGM, one of the world's leading port management companies (servicing 420 of the world's 521 commercial ports) entered the venture, through its branch, Terminal Link. The venture will manage the port - one of the most significant of the Balkans - until 2051. This is one of the biggest investments that the GreekRussian businessman (and owner of PAOK FC) has made in Greece and it follows his pledge to invest €250m in the coming years.
22 April 2017
6 May 2017