Home / Action Plan / Human auctions in Libya and the patriarchal, imperialist system that enables them

Human auctions in Libya and the patriarchal, imperialist system that enables them


Image from CNN footage

Last week a  CNN report containing footage of African migrants being sold in human auctions in Libya was published. In the footage, we see young men being sold to buyers for about at $400 to undisclosed buyers. Here are the videos:

I have been terribly busy and unable to blog in a few weeks but I could not be silent about this. It is the most terrible thing to watch especially seeing my fellow countrymen, people whose presence feels so familiar to me, being treated this inhumanely. It is unbearable.

There have been protests in Paris and overdue discussions about racism in the Arab world, and Libya has allegedly opened an investigation about the footage. The African Union has issued a statement and it chairman, President Alpha Conde of Guinea, demanded prosecutions and said, “These modern slavery practices must end and the African Union will use all the tools at its disposal”.

But I want to point out, as others have, first of all that Black African leaders bear a pressing responsibility to take immediate steps to protect their citizens in all parts of the world.

Secondly, and what is not being discussed especially in mainstream media, and something which is terribly important to emphasise, is that slavery in Libya is only possible because of the capitalist, patriarchal and imperialist system that rules the world.

It is what I call PIE – Patriarchal Imperialist Expansion, which is the system that is destroying the planet and causing atrocities as those above.  PIE is a system led by elite, usually white and male groups, who for centuries have subjected women, nonwhites, indigenous and poor people to various kinds of assaults from colonialism to unfair trade agreements to religious change in order to control the largest possible share of the globe.

In addition, PIE is also a system that creates borders to protect its interests, which in return creates refugees and migrants, which in return creates a “market” for people smuggling, which in return creates travesties like young girls being drowned at sea and young men being sold at modern day slave markets. The tighter PIE’s borders, the more of these markets will emerge.

Needless to say, PIE is also a system where elite countries invade countries like Libya in the first place, pushing the country into war and anomie that is wreaking havoc in myriad ways.

Please excuse the hastiness of this post, but it is an intervention to call for a focus not only on Libya, racism in the Arab world etc. but also the larger structure that forces so many people to migrate in the first place.

African countries need to strategise on how to escape the damning loop that keeps us bound to this exploitative system, and Europe needs to end its patriarchal and imperialist invasions and open its borders to those who suffered the most from this greedy inhumanity.


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‘The Last Jedi’ Will Be the Biggest Movie of 2017, Even as It Leaves Some Records Untouched


The first shows for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” begin tonight, and there’s every expectation that is will be the biggest-opening, top-grossing domestic release of 2017. At a minimum, we’re looking at a $200 million opening, with $225 million very likely.

With strong holiday playtime following the first 10 days of release, a multiple of at least three times its opening is possible, which could propel to the domestic take to around $700 million.

Yes, it’s going to be huge — but there’s a few records it might not beat. Here (with adjusting numbers to 2017 values) are some comparable numbers that “Jedi” will easily best, and a few that seem unlikely.

Top domestic grosses of 2017: YES

“The Last Jedi” should find the opening numbers easy to beat, and it’s hard to imagine it won’t be the best-performing movie of the year.

Film Studio Opening Gross Domestic Total
Beauty and the Beast Disney $174.8 million $504 million
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Disney $146.5 million $412.6 million
It Warner Bros. $123.4 million $389.8 million


Best opening weekends in the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE

The bigger opening numbers in recent years can be tied to more seats available, pre-buys, and overall moviegoing habits.

Title Year Opening Box Office
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 $254.5 million
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2016 $157.6 million
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith 2005  $151.1 million


Best domestic gross for the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE

This includes reissues. “Star Wars” is the #2 film of all time, while “The Force Awakens” is the biggest success in the last 20 years. To be as high as fifth on the all time “Star Wars” list, “The Last Jedi”  would need to do 78 percent of the total for “The Force Awakens,” and significantly better than “Rogue One.”

Title Year Total Box Office
Star Wars 1977 $1.591 billion
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 $965.5 million
The Empire Strikes Back 1980 $876.8 million
The Return of the Jedi 1983 $840.0 million
The Phantom Menace 1999  $757.4 million


“The Fate of the Furious”

Top international grosses for 2017: NO

The two most recent “Star Wars” films weren’t top among overseas release in their years. In 2015, “The Force Awakens” was second to “Furious 7,” though it did gross over $1 billion overseas. “Rogue One” was eighth best among 2016 releases, grossing $524 million. Expect “The Last Jedi” to gross somewhere in between, unlikely to be better than third best for the year.

Title Studio Total
The Fate of the Furious Universal $1.010 billion
Wolf Warrior 2 Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co. $864.9 million
Despicable Me 3 Universal $767.8 million
Beauty and the Beast Disney $759.5 million
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Disney  $622.3 million


Top worldwide grosses for 2017: YES

This looks entirely doable. “The Force Awakens” made over $2 billion, “Rogue One” a little over $1 billion; expect this to do more, both at home and overseas.

Title Studio Total
Beauty and the Beast Disney $1.264 billion
The Fate of the Furious Universal $1.236 billion
Despicable Me 3 20th Century Fox $1.033 billion
Spider-Man: Homecoming Sony $880.2 million
Wolf Warrior 2 Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co.  $870.3 million


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