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January 17, 2019

Channel Zero

Shut Down Canada – Solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gidumt’en

This post was originally published on this site

Today’s episode features two interviews about solidarity actions with the Wet’suwet’en people currently defending their sovereignty, their lands and their waters by resisting pipeline construction through their territories.

In our first interview we speak with an urban Indigenous organizer about several different solidarity actions on unceded Coast Salish territories in Vancouver and some of the broader context, strategy and motivations behind those actions. Our second interview is with two Mi’kmaq land and water protectors in Unama’ki (so-called Cape Breton) about a solidarity action that shut down the Canso Causeway, related struggles against resource extraction throughout Mi’kma’ki, and some of the broader context and motivations behind those struggles as well.

Many different solidarity actions have taken place across this territory and around the world – too many to count! Actions and demonstrations have continued to flare up throughout so-called Canada – we encourage you to participate in solidarity actions happening in your area, and if it doesn’t seem like anything is happening where you are, grab some friends and organize your own action! This is not over.

Solidarity actions and further updates and info:

We support the Unist’ot’en and Wet’suwet’en Grassroots Movement (facebook)

January 8th – International Day of Action (facebook)

Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidumt’en Territory (facebook)

Unist’ot’en Camp (blog)

Unist’ot’en Camp (facebook)

sub.media category: Unist’ot’en

This Is Not Over: Major Disruptions Continue in Support of Unist’ot’en Camp (itsgoingdown.org)

Another End of the World Is Possible: Indigenous Solidarity and Blocking Extractive Infrastructure in Canada (mtlcounterinfo.org)

North Shore Counter-Info: Posts tagged Unist’ot’en

North Shore Counter-Info: Posts tagged Wet’suwet’en

Alliance Against Displacement (facebook)

Warrior Publications: Posts tagged Unist’ot’en

#shutdowncanada #wetsuwetenstrong #thetimeisnow #notresspass

 

Music in this episode: A Tribe Called Red – Unist’ot’en Camp – Stadium Pow Wow (feat. Black Bear) Spoken word clips from Unist’ot’en spokesperson Freda Huson

by From Embers at January 17, 2019 02:00 AM

anarchistnews.org

Brawling at the Wake: Syndicalism Makes a Cameo Plus Moral Superiority

"Financial institutions hate this but you can eliminate student loans with one simple trick! *image of rich people getting decapitated by guillotines*

I am so horrendously bored at the tired bickering of syndicalists and insurrectos (who in their grand maturity have become antifascists and prisoner supporters, love ya). However, for you my lovelies, I have peeled my forehead from my computer screen without even wiping my greasy sweat, to type a bitter epitome about my love for the beautiful idea. Aside from the german comrade (shout out), I would argue that the different sides of this debate seek to play the role of manager in social struggles. Do you know how I feel about managers? ...DO YOU?!
Within this conversation you want to sway us to abandon the corpse of syndicalism or to hold our heads high in solidarity with our commrades in the struggle. Personally, I've abandoned enough corpses this week and I'm tired. My head is fine where its at. Maybe don't tell me what to do with my body, O.K.? Outside of this conversation you want to sway us in terms of how we engage with or intiate a struggle, the tactics we use, the people we associate with, the attitudes we bare, and so on. The thing is, that no one needs an extra uncle to wrecklessly throw us opinions about how we should live and feel. We already stole something from that asshole, belittled him in some way, or otherwise undermined his efforts. And, damn, did we have a good time doing it.
All I'm tryna say is, maybe its time to decolonize, bruh. I think this tendency is the sour leftover muck of an anarchism which is still trying so hard (finally) to relinquish its roots as a eurocentric middle to upperclass philsophy. An anarchism in which each of our factions boil down the juice of a struggle or an outburst in order to triumphantly drink the gravy of our respective political outlooks. I have arrived to tell you to add some goddamn spice, because all this salt is fucking with my blood pressure. Also, get me some water.
The crafty ghosts person accuses IWOC of supplanting FAM's efforts to spread state by state as if these things can't happen simultaneously or seperately. IWOC might be annoying, but we don't all have to do the same thing. We don't even have to act in concert to be effective (whatever that means). There are ALLOT of people locked up, I'm sure they can pick sides and form alliances with who they like, the way they probably already do in day to day life like any of us. What do they call that? FREE ASSOCIATION? I mean, why should I care if unionists are still in the mix doing their thing?(This is not a rhetorical question) Surely, some of them have sense and will be exposed to other ideas, see the petty politics, and jump ship. Just the same, people will do this within the dominant ideologies and social circles of IGD.
People are bound to switch up, because this is a political evolution we're all taking place in. Its a process and there is LOTS of process. Like we makin' american cheese, baby. Mmmmmmmmmm... YUM. Put THAT on your big mac and smoke it. How and when people make these transitions in their thought proccess is unlikely to be deeply influenced by uncle whats-his-face the street politician, but rather by the actual experiences which make up their lives. The same way they got to where they already were. Because, hopefully, people have their own sense of agency. Hopefully, they have... What do you call it? AUTONOMY? SELF DETERMINATION?
I was really into the jabs and pot shots of crafty ghosts. I was like "Finally, some action!", but at the heart of it I felt their was quite allot of moral superiority going on in their arguement. To be clear I don't think the author is unique in this, but it felt cheap to me. Like, how the hell are we supposed to become better more liberated people who fight for a better more liberated world if we're still trying to distract from our deeply flawed personalities and subconcious motivations by trying to blame our problems on other people who, at this stage of the game at least, want pretty similar things. Things like freedom from domination, oppression, hierarchy, capitalism, and a whole shitty soup of -isms.
Heeeeyyyyy... I've got an idea. How bout: They do it that way, we do it this way, and we employ a DIVERSITY OF TACTICS. Those grimey bosses, managers, landlords, pigs, jailers, etc will NEVER see it coming. They'll be surrounded on all sides by people who, get this... don't even like each other... but have the sense to see a real enemy when they stand before them.
In conclusion, more guillotines. LE FIN.

by anon at January 17, 2019 12:45 AM

January 16, 2019

libcom.org

E18: Anti-Zionism in Israel, part 2

Concluding part of our two-part episode on a people’s history of Zionism and opposition to it within Israel, in conversation with former members of socialist group Matzpen: Moshe Machover, Haim and Udi.

read more

by Working Class History at January 16, 2019 11:16 PM

E17: Anti-Zionism in Israel, part 1

First of a two-part episode on a people's history of Zionism and opposition to it within Israel, in conversation with former members of Israeli socialist group Matzpen, Moshe Machover, Haim and Udi.

read more

by Working Class History at January 16, 2019 11:08 PM

E16: Women in the early IWW

Podcast about the early history of women in the revolutionary Industrial Workers of the World union in the United States, in conversation with Heather Mayer, author of Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the IWW in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924.

read more

by Working Class History at January 16, 2019 11:02 PM

E15: The Peterloo massacre with Mike Leigh

Podcast episode about the Peterloo massacre of 1819 with Mike Leigh, director of his new film, Peterloo, and Dr Jacqueline Riding, author and historical consultant on the film.

read more

by Working Class History at January 16, 2019 10:56 PM

anarchistnews.org

Night Forest Journal issue 1

Attention radicals, anarchists, poetic-freaks, lovers of freaky poetry, savage kids, eco-nerds, feral folk, witches, individualists, nihilists, primitivists, zenarchy weirdos, rebels with tribal tendencies and the anti-political!

Night Forest Journal issue 1 is a collection of poems, stories, essays and images, for your psychic-wanderings.

Thank you to all of you who have sent in your creativity, whether that is as poetry, essays, art or short stories. We are very happy to announce that the first Night Forest Journal is complete and ready for you to read.

We the editors wanted this project to be a space of raw unapologetic desire.

What it has become is far more beautiful than we imagined it would ever be.

This space was intended also to be a confused place, caught between beauty, joy, fury and sadness.

For reasons we did not expect, we are sad not to be sharing this space with a friend. Tyler Dixon’s pieces are particularly beautiful to us, for reasons that are plain and not confusing.

The confusion we are voicing is that of being caught between the renunciation of pessimists and abjectionists, and the optimism of revolutionary’s and salvationists. Rather than either of these narratives, our authenticity is drawn towards an absurd desire for life, that is not blind to the death that is Leviathan.

We apologise for this to no one. We are not seeking to prove anything to anyone. We are aligned with no ideology or flag.

This journal is the sound of feral animals, screaming into the night.

The journal is available from both of the links below.

https://nightforestpoetry.wordpress.com/night-forest-journal-issue-1/

https://issuu.com/nightforestpoetry/docs/night-forest-issue-1_final

by anon at January 16, 2019 09:07 PM

Dewayne-Net

Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds

Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds
An alarming study shows massive East Antarctic ice sheet already is a significant contributor to sea-level rise
By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis
Jan 14 2019
https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2019/01/14/ice-loss-antarctica-has-sextupled-since-s-new-research-finds/

Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water — a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades.

The Antarctic lost 40 billion tons of melting ice to the ocean each year from 1979 to 1989. That figure rose to 252 billion tons lost per year beginning in 2009, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That means the region is losing six times as much ice as it was four decades ago, an unprecedented pace in the era of modern measurements. (It takes about 360 billion tons of ice to produce one millimeter of global sea-level rise.)

“I don’t want to be alarmist,” said Eric Rignot, an Earth-systems scientist for the University of California at Irvine and NASA who led the work. But he said the weaknesses that researchers have detected in East Antarctica — home to the largest ice sheet on the planet — deserve deeper study.

“The places undergoing changes in Antarctica are not limited to just a couple places,” Rignot said. “They seem to be more extensive than what we thought. That, to me, seems to be reason for concern.”

The findings are the latest sign that the world could face catastrophic consequences if climate change continues unabated. In addition to more-frequent droughts, heat waves, severe storms and other extreme weather that could come with a continually warming Earth, scientists already have predicted that seas could rise nearly three feet globally by 2100 if the world does not sharply decrease its carbon output. But in recent years, there has been growing concern that the Antarctic could push that even higher.

That kind of sea-level rise would result in the inundation of island communities around the globe, devastating wildlife habitats and threatening drinking-water supplies. Global sea levels have already risen seven to eight inches since 1900.

The ice of Antarctica contains 57.2 meters, or 187.66 feet, of potential sea-level rise. This massive body of ice flows out into the ocean through a complex array of partially submerged glaciers and thick floating expanses of ice called ice shelves. The glaciers themselves, as well as the ice shelves, can be as large as American states or entire countries.

The outward ice flow is normal and natural, and it is typically offset by some 2 trillion tons of snowfall atop Antarctica each year, a process that on its own would leave Earth’s sea level relatively unchanged. However, if the ice flow speeds up, the ice sheet’s losses can outpace snowfall volume. When that happens, seas rise.

That’s what the new research says is happening. Scientists came to that conclusion after systematically computing gains and losses across 65 sectors of Antarctica where large glaciers — or glaciers flowing into an ice shelf — reach the sea.

West Antarctica is the continent’s major ice loser. Monday’s research affirms that finding, detailing how a single glacier, Pine Island, has lost more than a trillion tons of ice since 1979. Thwaites Glacier, the biggest and potentially most vulnerable in the region, has lost 634 billion. The entire West Antarctic ice sheet is capable of driving a sea-level rise of 5.28 meters, or 17.32 feet, and is now losing 159 billion tons every year.

The most striking finding in Monday’s study is the assertion that East Antarctica, which contains by far the continent’s most ice — a vast sheet capable of nearly 170 feet of potential sea-level rise — is also experiencing serious melting.

The new research highlights how some massive glaciers, ones that to this point have been studied relatively little, are losing significant amounts of ice. That includes Cook and Ninnis, which are the gateway to the massive Wilkes Subglacial Basin, and other glaciers known as Dibble, Frost, Holmes and Denman.

Denman, for instance, contains nearly five feet of potential sea-level rise alone and has lost almost 200 billion tons of ice, the study finds. And it remains alarmingly vulnerable. The study notes that the glacier is “grounded on a ridge with a steep retrograde slope immediately upstream,” meaning additional losses could cause the glacier to rapidly retreat.

“It has been known for some time that the West Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsula have been losing mass, but discovering that significant mass loss is also occurring in the East Antarctic is really important because there’s such a large volume of sea-level equivalent contained in those basins,” said Christine Dow, a glacier expert at the University of Waterloo in Canada. “It shows that we can’t ignore the East Antarctic and need to focus in on the areas that are losing mass most quickly, particularly those with reverse bed slopes that could result in rapid ice disintegration and sea-level rise.”

[snip]

by wa8dzp at January 16, 2019 06:56 PM

Dark markets have evolved to use encrypted messengers and dead-drops

[Note:  This item comes from friend David Rosenthal.  DLH]

Dark markets have evolved to use encrypted messengers and dead-drops
By Cory Doctorow
Jan 14 2019
https://boingboing.net/2019/01/14/drone-serviced-dead-drops.html

Cryptocurrencies and Tor hidden services ushered in a new golden age for markets in illegal goods, especially banned or circumscribed drugs: Bitcoin was widely (and incorrectly) viewed as intrinsically anonymous, while the marketplaces themselves were significantly safer and more reliable than traditional criminal markets, and as sellers realized real savings in losses due to law enforcement and related risks, the prices of their merchandise plummeted, while their profits soared.

But much of the security of dark markets was an illusion. The anonymity of cryptocurrencies could often be pierced; the services themselves could be subverted by law enforcement in order to roll up many sellers and buyers at once; and the “last mile” problem of shipping illegal substances through the mails exposed buyers and sellers to real risks.

The buyers and sellers in dark markets have responded to these revelations and new facts on the ground with a range of ingenious, high-tech countermeasures.

Buyers are now more likely to conduct sales negotiations through encrypted messenger technologies, and each customer is assigned their own unique contact, staffed by a bot that can answer questions on pricing and availability and broker transactions. Many of these transactions now take place through “private cryptocurrencies” that have improved anonymity functions (there is a lot of development on these technologies).

Delivery is now largely managed through single-use “dead drops” — hidden-in-plain-sight caches that are pre-seeded by sellers, who sometimes use low-cost Bluetooth beacons to identify them (these beacons can be programmed to activate only in the presence of a wifi network with a specific name: a seller provides the buyer with a codeword and a GPS coordinate; the buyer goes to the assigned place and creates a wifi network on their phone with the codeword for its name, and this activates the Bluetooth beacon that guides the buyer to their merchandise).

The logistics of these dead-drops are fascinating: there’s a hierarchy on the distribution side, with procurers who source merchandise and smuggle it into each region; sellers who divide the smuggled goods into portions sized for individual transactions, and sellers, whose “product” is just a set of locations and secret words that they give to buyers.

The hierarchy creates the need for auditing and traitor-tracing to prevent the different layers from ripping each other off. Dead drops are randomly audited and audits are verified by reporting on the contents of unique printed codes that accompany each drop. Distributors post cryptocurrency “security” (bonds) with sellers and lose their deposits when their dead drops fail.

In a fascinating paper on the rise of these “dropgangs,” Jonathan “smuggler” Logan identifies some key weaknesses in the scheme, including the persistence of trackable coins being spent by buyers at the end of the transaction (dropgang members are more likely to adopt private coins than buyers); and the lack of the buyer-and-seller reputation systems that the dark markets provide. 

Logan proposes that this can be resolved with “proofs of sale” that would be published on public forums, which increases the risk from law enforcement.

Logan also proposes that ultrasonic chirps may replace Bluetooth beacons, with per-drop codephrases doing a call-and-response to help buyers home in on their purchases.

[snip]

by wa8dzp at January 16, 2019 06:56 PM

China Will Boycott Foreign Brands

China Will Boycott Foreign Brands
The American Trade War with China is backfiring
By Michael K. Spencer
Jan 11 2019
https://medium.com/futuresin/china-will-boycott-foreign-brands-66ea09293cfb

The danger of standing up to China is the impact of the Chinese consumer can hurt American and foreign brands. This is what the likes of Apple, Starbucks and so many others will find out in 2019. China’s boycott of US goods remains a real threat.

A U.S. government shutdown and a trade-war truce are potentially a dangerous combination. The economic data out of China is not good and this means that Apple has had to cut its iPhone production to adjust. American brands that are dependent upon sales in China might be up for a rude awakening in 2019.

China has a history of using challenges to its authority as a reason to commit economic punishments including telling consumers to boycott certain brands from particular countries. Luxury jacket maker Canada Goose seems to have been caught up in a political dispute between China and Canada in late 2018, but how many Chinese consumers can really afford Canada Goose or pricey iPhones?

Retailers are slashing iPhone prices across China as consumers say the phones aren’t worth the cost, as Huawei gains even more relevance to Chinese nationalism and patriotic loyalty. Apple’s marketshare in China appears on a steep decline over the trade war.

The Trump administration’s trade war is sending a bit of a chill across the Chinese economy and yet when the impact reaches America, it might be too late to avert an economic nosedive into the next global recession as the markets are fueled more by sentiment than by data in a volatile last three months heading into 2019.

Apple CEO Tim Cook made a rare cut to the company’s sales forecast and as Apple goes so many foreign and especially American brands could go, down in China. Eventually, the era of Chinese consumers being acutely aware of US brands and actively seeking them out could fade in the 2020s. The longer the trade war goes on for the more likely that is to happen.

THE WEAPONIZATION OF THE CHINESE CONSUMER

Meanwhile, China has begun to hold Canadian citizens in apparent retribution for arresting Huawei’s CFO. The problem is there are new documents that link Huawei to suspected front companies in Iran and Syria. China does not particularity seem to respect the legal proceedings of Canada or the United States and seems prone to peculiar acts of revenge.

For China to use its own consumers against foreign brands then would be the biggest weapon, even if it hurts many Chinese companies who benefit from it. According to a previous survey, 54 per cent of respondents — drawn from 300 Chinese cities said they would “probably” or “definitely” boycott US-branded goods in the event of a trade war. It appears in 2019, we will all bear witness to such an event.

New Chinese nationalism could be a force to be reckoned with. From Apple to Starbucks, to KFC to McDonalds a lot of American brand and fashion brands in particular could stand to suffer. Huawei and Luckin make sufficient alternatives to Apple or Starbucks for the majority of Chinese consumers.

The survey found that the most likely boycotters were aged 25–29, had lower middle incomes and lived out of the major metropolitan areas. Both Apple and Samsung have noticed a slow in sales growth in the last few weeks, and if the trend continues it could boost made in China brands. Huawei is already expected to catch Samsung in global sales of smart phones sometime in the early 2020s.

BOYCOTTS AND DIPLOMATIC THREATS

China uses boycotts to punish foreign brands on a regular basis. You might remember the 2012/13-consumer boycott of Japanese cars in response to disputes over islands in the South China Sea had a very sharp effect, with Japanese brands suffering a 32 per cent sales tumble over a 12-month period. But the impact on American brands could in particular be significant for the global economy.

In particular the role of Huawei in Chinese cyber espionage seems to be a grave concern to the international community. The arrest of Huawei’s CFO in Canada has also led to some weird diplomatic repercussions. The retaliatory arrests in China of foreign nationals is creating a culture of fear around China, right when China needs to learn how to lure and retain talent in fields such as machine learning, AI, corporate management and academia as a whole at the highest levels.

[snip]

by wa8dzp at January 16, 2019 06:55 PM

Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’
Scientist Brad Lister returned to Puerto Rican rainforest after 35 years to find 98% of ground insects had vanished
By Damian Carrington
Jan 15 2019
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/15/insect-collapse-we-are-destroying-our-life-support-systems

“We knew that something was amiss in the first couple days,” said Brad Lister. “We were driving into the forest and at the same time both Andres and I said: ‘Where are all the birds?’ There was nothing.”

His return to the Luquillo rainforest in Puerto Rico after 35 years was to reveal an appalling discovery. The insect population that once provided plentiful food for birds throughout the mountainous national park had collapsed. On the ground, 98% had gone. Up in the leafy canopy, 80% had vanished. The most likely culprit by far is global warming.

“It was just astonishing,” Lister said. “Before, both the sticky ground plates and canopy plates would be covered with insects. You’d be there for hours picking them off the plates at night. But now the plates would come down after 12 hours in the tropical forest with a couple of lonely insects trapped or none at all.”

“It was a true collapse of the insect populations in that rainforest,” he said. “We began to realise this is terrible – a very, very disturbing result.”

Earth’s bugs outweigh humans 17 times over and are such a fundamental foundation of the food chain that scientists say a crash in insect numbers risks “ecological Armageddon”. When Lister’s study was published in October, one expert called the findings “hyper-alarming”.

The Puerto Rico work is one of just a handful of studies assessing this vital issue, but those that do exist are deeply worrying. Flying insect numbers in Germany’s natural reserves have plunged 75% in just 25 years. The virtual disappearance of birds in an Australian eucalyptus forest was blamed on a lack of insects caused by drought and heat. Lister and his colleague Andrés García also found that insect numbers in a dry forest in Mexico had fallen 80% since the 1980s.

“We are essentially destroying the very life support systems that allow us to sustain our existence on the planet, along with all the other life on the planet,” Lister said. “It is just horrifying to watch us decimate the natural world like this.”

It was not insects that drew Lister to the Luquillo rainforest for the first time in the mid-1970s. “I was interested in competition among the anoles lizards,” he said. “They’re the most diverse group of vertebrates in the world and even by that time had become a paradigm for ecology and evolutionary studies.”

The forest immediately captivated Lister, a lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic University in the US. “It was and still is the most beautiful forest I have ever been in. It’s almost enchanted. There’s the lush verdant forest and cascading waterfalls, and along the roadsides there are carpets of multicoloured flowers. It’s a phantasmagoric landscape.”

It was important to measure insect numbers, as these are the lizards’ main food, but at the time he thought nothing more of it. Returning to the national park decades later, however, the difference was startling.

“One of the things I noticed in the forest was a lack of butterflies,” he said. “They used to be all along the roadside, especially after the rain stopped, hundreds upon hundreds of them. But we couldn’t see one butterfly.”

Since Lister’s first visits to Luquillo, other scientists had predicted that tropical insects, having evolved in a very stable climate, would be much more sensitive to climate warming. “If you go a little bit past the thermal optimum for tropical insects, their fitness just plummets,” he said.

As the data came in, the predictions were confirmed in startling fashion. “The number of hot spells, temperatures above 29C, have increased tremendously,” he said. “It went from zero in the 1970s up to something like 44% of the days.” Factors important elsewhere in the world, such as destruction of habitat and pesticide use, could not explain the plummeting insect populations in Luquillo, which has long been a protected area.

Data on other animals that feed on bugs backed up the findings. “The frogs and birds had also declined simultaneously by about 50% to 65%,” Lister said. The population of one dazzling green bird that eats almost nothing but insects, the Puerto Rican tody, dropped by 90%.

[snip]

by wa8dzp at January 16, 2019 06:54 PM

anarchistnews.org

Anarchy Radio 01-15-2019

LISTEN HERE: http://archive.org/details/AnarchyRadio01152019

Events reminders. Enviro marker of the week. Snitch culture call.
"Post-Left" foibles...e.g.regarding strikes/unions, EZLN, "How Fascists
Approach the Post-Left Anarchist Movements" by Dimitris Plastiras.
"Whopping American weight gains. Wichi hunter-gatherers in Argentina.
Problem Solving Deficit Disorder - tech dependance. Desalination hoax.
One call, action briefs.

Tags: 

by anon at January 16, 2019 06:38 PM

jacobinmag

A Mighty Wind

Democrats are endorsing striking teachers. That doesn’t mean the party’s abandoning its education agenda, but it does mean that the working class is making itself harder to ignore.


alt People rally in the streets of downtown LA in the pouring rain during a United Teachers Los Angeles strike on January 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Barbara Davidson / Getty

When Chicago teachers struck in 2012, the entire liberal political class seemed against them, as Corey Robin noted last year. The strike was provoked by a Democratic power player, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and liberal pundits lined up to tut-tut about how a strike waged for “the schools Chicago’s children deserve” was actually hurting Chicago’s children.

In March 2016, the Chicago Teachers Union struck again, walking off the job for a day to protest budget cuts and demand the rich pony up more for public schools. Bernie Sanders voiced his support; he even held a news conference in Chicago about it. And two days later, after Emanuel endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party presidential primary, Bernie responded, “I want to thank Rahm Emanuel for not endorsing me. I don’t want the endorsement of a mayor shutting down schools and firing teachers.”

Back then, Bernie’s support for striking teachers made him an outlier on the national political stage. But now, things have changed.

In 2018, a strike wave swept through West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona, highlighting the dismal state of public schools in those states. Teachers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana voted on a one-day strike to protest tax exemptions for gas giant ExxonMobil while schools faced budget cuts. Teachers struck in Washington and Colorado. Chicago charter school teachers walked off the job, the first such strike in the nation. Oakland teachers, in a city and state under firm Democratic Party control, started getting restless.

Robin wondered after the red-state strikes last year if the change in rhetoric would carry over to a blue-state teachers strike. With the Los Angeles teachers strike kicking off this week after a year of militant teacher actions throughout the country that the public largely supported, we have an answer: liberal politicians with close ties to the Democratic establishment are now publicly supporting Los Angeles’s striking teachers.

Bernie supported the strike, of course, as did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Ocasio-Cortez even took an extra step, naming school privatization as a primary source of teachers’ frustration.) But this time they weren’t alone.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hedged uncomfortably for months as the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) negotiated with the district, preparing for possible strike action. In December Garcetti said, unconvincingly, “I agree with the teachers, and I think with our district, our class sizes are too big …. But we have to live inside our means too.”

The district, of course, is sitting on a $1.86 billion reserve. And UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl, at a union rally Monday, noted the irony of the strikers teaching “in the richest country in the world, in the richest state in the country, in a state as blue as it can be, and in a city rife with millionaires, where teachers have to go on strike to get the basics for our students.” Teachers clearly aren’t the ones who need a lecture about living inside their means.

This week, however, Garcetti’s spine stiffened slightly. “I’m immensely proud of Los Angeles’s teachers today for standing up for what I believe is a righteous cause,” he said.

Garcetti’s shift should be viewed with strong suspicion, of course. He’s given some praise to the union and showed up at a picket line, but most of his rhetoric has been mealy mouthed, and he (and most other Democrats) don’t mention critical strike issues like charter schools. Still, his expression of approval is a slap in the face to Garcetti’s gala wingman and occasional donor Eli Broad, a determined school privatizer and one of UTLA’s archenemies. The mayor’s willingness to jeopardize that lucrative relationship is a sign of the immense power that teachers can wield when they withhold their labor.

Then there’s Kamala Harris, who until recently had mostly confined her education advocacy to fighting absenteeism and truancy, in one case by championing a law that threatened the parents of absent children with a $2,000 fine. Despite her most recent campaign receiving multiple donations from Eli Broad’s foundation, Harris came out swinging for the Los Angeles teachers on Monday.

“Los Angeles teachers work day in and day out to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders,” she said. “I’m standing in solidarity with them as they strike for improved student conditions, such as smaller class sizes and more counselors and librarians.”

This decision to cross the billionaire California Democratic Party funders who are hell-bent on privatizing Los Angeles schools demonstrates just how successful the striking teachers have been in influencing party insiders’ calculus.

And behold the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Tom Perez, who said on Monday, “I stand with the Los Angeles teachers marching for the pay, resources, and working conditions they deserve.”

The DNC is the official governing apparatus of a party that receives massive funding from charter school interests. Austin Beutner, the charter-bankrolled Los Angeles school superintendent and the teachers’ number-one antagonist in this fight, is a major DNC donor. In 2012, the year of the Chicago Teachers Union’s historic strike, the DNC hosted a screening of a film by Michelle Rhee, the leader of the “education reform” movement and a militant opponent of teachers’ unions.

While Perez himself hasn’t voiced strong education opinions in the past, this is his milieu. He was a cabinet member in Obama’s administration, which provided cover to the school privatization movement intent on breaking teachers’ unions and lowering taxes for the rich. Perez made regular appearances with Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education, who championed school closings, charter proliferation, and negative incentives for teachers.

“Los Angeles teachers are fighting for the children they teach to have the resources they need to achieve and flourish,” Perez said on the day the strike began. It was astonishing to see a representative of the party cadre that was recently openly enamored of corporate education “solutions” now explicitly backing teachers who oppose those solutions — even if he didn’t have the guts to make the connection to his former boss’s “education reform” initiatives.

Just a few years ago, there was no question that establishment Democrats would side with charter schools and bought-off district officials over teachers and their unions. But such people pay close attention to which way the wind is blowing. Democrats’ calculus has changed: they must make concessions to striking teachers, even if they’re striking in Democratic territory and even if that means crossing their donors. For party elites to publicly side with the teachers in this conflict, there must be a mighty wind blowing indeed.

To be sure, not every prominent Democrat is ready to pick a side. Most remain silent on the LA strike, despite the fact that more than 30,000 teachers serving over half a million students have stopped going to work in the second-largest school district in the nation. A few Democrats have even dug in their heels: Arne Duncan did his usual tap dance, blaming UTLA for falling down on their responsibilities to children: “Let’s never forget the impact of a potential strike on Los Angeles’ most vulnerable students,” he wrote in the Hill. “It’s just like a family, when adults fight, it’s kids that lose.”

Still, even a few establishment types paying homage to striking teachers is an enormous departure from when all of liberaldom scolded striking Chicago teachers for their selfishness and unreasonableness a few years ago. Mass strikes have disrupted that dynamic.

Strikes transform ordinary working-class people into a powerful social force that can’t be ignored. They do this by halting the normal functioning of society, exposing the fundamental importance of workers’ labor, and creating urgent crises to which lawmakers must respond. They can also raise popular political and class consciousness — especially strikes in institutions like schools, which are integral to many people’s daily lives — making it harder to buy working-class people’s votes with money from self-interested billionaires.

We shouldn’t take the Democratic Party’s growing support for striking teachers at face value. There is still a strong pro-privatization and pro-austerity strain in the party, and it’s easier to tweet support for striking teachers than do battle with the wealthy forces that pushed those teachers to the picket line.

But we should see this new willingness to publicly support striking teachers as a good sign. It is evidence that the balance of class forces in the country is changing, and that working people are making themselves harder for corporate politicians to ignore. A storm is brewing, and the winds are making landfall.


by Micah Uetricht at January 16, 2019 06:33 PM

Mpalothia

Santiago, Chile: Contribution of La Rebelión de las Palabras

Santiago, Chile: Contribution of La Rebelión de las Palabras
Contribution from La Rebelión de las Palabras for the meeting taking place in Santiago, Chile on 23rd December in combative memory of nihilist-anarchist comrade Sebastian Oversluij, “Angry”. The meeting was also within the context of Black December and internationalist anarchist praxis. 5th year since Sebastian’s death during a bank expropriation. From the Spanish State, we greet first of all the compas that […]

Source

by InNero at January 16, 2019 03:50 PM

resilience.org

Is Coastal GasLink an Illegal Pipeline?

Michael Sawyer

The $6.2-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline may face a bigger threat than the opposition of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and protests across Canada.

by Andrew Nikiforuk at January 16, 2019 02:58 PM

InterPressService (global south)

Acts of Terror Will Not Undermine Our Resolve

President Kenyatta addresses the Nation on 16 Jan 2019. “I also commend the civilians who looked after one another. For every act of evil that led to injury yesterday, there were a dozen acts of compassion, overflowing patriotism and individual courage,” Credit: KBC

By Siddharth Chatterjee
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 2019 (IPS)

On 15 January 2019, terror struck Nairobi’s 14 Riverside Drive.

Kenya is in mourning following a senseless act on innocent and defenseless civilians by individuals preoccupied with contemptible and misplaced ideology; who hope to intimidate others through violent acts of terror. Like in their other past attempts, they have failed, and Kenya remains unbowed.

As President Kenyatta has noted in his address; “We will allow no one to derail or frustrate our progress….We have prevailed and shall always prevail over evil. Let us now go to work without fear and continue with our work of building our nation.”

Our thoughts are with all the affected and families who are experiencing the most inconsolable pain and trauma of this heinous act. The UN Country Team in Kenya stands in solidarity with the families who are suffering the most inconsolable pain and will live for a long time with the trauma of this terrible attack.

As the intelligence and security apparatus continue with investigations, our message to Kenyans remains that, we cannot give in to fear or the temptation to define the attack as a war between races or religions. That has always been the narrative that the perpetrators of terror would wish to spread.

Fortunately, they have always been on the losing side of history. The attack on 14 Riverside Drive should not deter Kenya’s resolve, but should further strengthen the country’s determination to overcome adversity and challenges that threaten its social fabric.

We applaud the work of Kenya’s security emergency rescue services and first responders, who mobilised in remarkable timeliness, demonstrated exceptional professionalism and heroism, thereby keeping the number of fatalities to a minimum. We also commend Kenyans for their heroic acts and solidarity for one another during this time.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his message “has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Nairobi and extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a swift recovery. The Secretary-General expresses his solidarity with the people and Government of Kenya(GoK)”.

Terrorism remains a global threat and presents a challenging test for intelligence and law enforcement agencies worldwide. No country is immune. Kenya has done remarkably well in preventing numerous other attacks.

The reality is that a multitude of stresses impact vulnerable populations around the world, leaving many disproportionately susceptible to extremist ideologies — driven by factors such as surging youth unemployment — which terror groups take advantage as a considerable reservoir for recruits. There is a need for concerted efforts to weaken the terror groups’ narrative and win the battle of ideas.

The UN remains steadfast in its support to Kenya’s development agenda, including commendable initiatives by the government based on a long view of the prevention of violent extremism in line with the UN Development Assistance Framework.

Together we can pursue smart, sustainable strategies that augment security with what the UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner describes as the triple nexus, “Achieving the 2030 Agenda and ensuring no one is left behind requires a pro-active, evidence-based and holistic approach to risk, resilience and prevention across humanitarian, development and peace effort.” This approach will be a long-term antidote to terrorism and the key to preventing violent extremism.

Already our partnership is underway with several local initiatives that are bearing fruit. Previously characterized by belligerence based on competition for resources, the border regions of Eastern Africa are slowly changing the narrative, replacing aggression with dialogue and socio-economic transformation.

A stand-out initiative is the Kenya-Ethiopia Cross Border Programme, launched in December 2015 by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia. This initiative is supported by IGAD, the European Union and Japan and implemented by the United Nations family in Kenya and Ethiopia together with local authorities on both sides.

Such initiatives represent determination and hope. They are a declaration that the soul of those on the right side of humanity can never be destroyed or prevented from living freely by terrorists.

The post Acts of Terror Will Not Undermine Our Resolve appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Siddharth Chatterjee is the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Kenya.

The post Acts of Terror Will Not Undermine Our Resolve appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Siddharth Chatterjee at January 16, 2019 02:29 PM

jacobinmag

Derek Fisher Is a Bad Guy

Former Lakers star Derek Fisher is now the most parasitic of capitalists, working to rob fellow athletes of cash.


alt Derek Fisher of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 13, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox / Getty

The Derek Fisher vs Matt Barnes episode in October 2015 was an ugly one. Barnes drove nearly two hours to his former Los Angeles home, where he reportedly got into a physical altercation with Fisher, his ex-teammate. Fisher and Barnes played together on the Los Angeles Lakers for two seasons, a time when they were friendly, and Fisher was now beginning a relationship with Barnes’s recently estranged wife Gloria Govan, once a star on the VH1 reality TV show Basketball Wives. Barnes and Govan were still legally married, with custody battles to come.

NBA players and fans quickly took Barnes’s side, ignoring his own record that includes a domestic violence arrest five years prior. His toxic, vengeful mission, however, was interpreted with righteousness, no doubt in part because of Fisher’s sordid reputation.

Fisher, currently the coach of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and a freshly minted executive at a predatory Denver-based entity called Luxury Asset Capital, has a rich history of not just personal betrayals, but professional subterfuge that undermines the collective bargaining power of his peers.

“Man!!!! Hell Naw!!!! Stay away from this!!!!” tweeted Jared Dudley, upon learning of Fisher’s new job at Luxury Asset Capital. Dudley is a thirty-three-year-old veteran for the Brooklyn Nets, with a strong reputation as a “culture guy” who educates younger players about the peaks and perils of the NBA lifestyle. “Derek Fisher sold us out in the CBA now he selling us out again,” tweeted Baron Davis. Davis, a teammate of Fisher’s during the 2004–05 season with the Golden State Warriors, was referring to Fisher’s highly scrutinized role as the president of the NBA Players’ Union during the league’s 2011 work stoppage.

Amid negotiations long enough to shorten the season by sixteen games, Fisher was accused of working privately with league commissioner David Stern. It was reported that Fisher assured Stern he could deliver an agreement for a 50–50 split of basketball-related revenue between players and owners, a figure less generous than the 52–48 premise under which the union had been previously operating.

Executive Director of the union Billy Hunter publicly called Fisher out, as did Jerry Stackhouse, then a player with the Miami Heat. “He does have aspirations to possibly be a [general manager] one day,” Stackhouse said. “If he can be the guy to bring the sides together in whatever way, maybe there would be an opportunity for him to be a GM. I’m not saying that he has an ulterior motive but the possibility lies there.”

Fisher was not in a position to decide anything unilaterally for his union anyway, but his hands were all over the negotiations, and the widely held suspicion that he was willing to sell his peers out inured him to most of them forever. When Fisher got a prestigious five-year, $25 million head coaching contract with the New York Knicks, a job for which his qualifications were questionable, a mere ten days after playing his final professional game in 2014, it did not exactly reverse the feeling that he had leveraged his high position in the union against players for future personal gain.

It can also easily be argued that the inflation in head coaching salaries that Fisher benefited from in 2014 was directly related to the collective bargaining agreement he helped owners reach in 2011 — much of its structure was designed with recent foolhardy player contracts in mind. During summers between NBA seasons, franchises frequently strike out in their effort to sign big-name superstars like LeBron James, but then commit their excess funds to outsize deals for middling talents.

This was especially true before the 2011 deal — owners were very motivated, during negotiations, by how much bad money they had thrown around the league. The new deal thus included a byzantine collection of stipulations and rules, including shorter overall terms for player deals and various individual salary caps that essentially protected owners from paying players too much, but left more money lying around for executives and coaches.

In 2016, Fisher was fired from his coaching job after compiling forty wins and ninety-six losses, with no playoff appearances. Months later, he finalized a costly divorce from his wife Candace, who said Fisher “blindsided” her by moving his belongings out of their house in the middle of the night. Fisher is now perhaps too financially stricken by his divorce to even pretend to do anything but viciously skim from the frequently mismanaged storm-glut of capital that his professional realm creates.

Luxury Asset Capital has hired Fisher as the executive vice president of a new sports and entertainment division that offers short-term loans ranging from $50,000 to $5 million using assets such as contracts, pensions, cars, watches, fine art, jewelry, and “real estate (in specific situations)” as collateral. The firm’s website boasts quick liquidity for high-value possessions and assets, which makes them sound quite a bit like a mega-scale pawn shop.

“Often times,” the site reads, “traditional forms of financing are too slow, burdensome and invasive, or have negative tax or other consequences that make them less than ideal or unviable choices, particularly when time is a factor”; “Doing business with us is straightforward and discreet, requiring little paperwork, typically no credit checks, virtually no personal or business information and no waiting period.” A probably obvious piece of personal financial advice: never give money, or anything, to a company that uses this kind of language.

Fisher, in defense of his new position, has attempted to evoke pathos and nuance to show what Luxury Asset Capital does. “A lot of athletes have gone broke because athletes have trusted their advisors to manage their money because we’re not experts in it, and a lot of guys have been taken advantage of by their advisors,” he told the Guardian.

We’re making this assumption, and for me in particular as a man of color, we’re making this assumption that it’s always related to athletes making poor decisions, driving around in Bentleys and jewelry and cars and sometimes the assets and the money disappear for other reasons: advisor was embezzling money; there was a divorce event that half of his assets, marital property, are gone. And now life looks different and he has to figure out how to navigate all these moving parts.

The company cites loan figures from 50–70 percent of collateral value, but provides scarce and unclear information about interest rates on their webpage. That Fisher villainizes the financial “advisor” class of his sport while clearly joining their ranks, in all ways but nominally, speaks to just how insidious his intentions are.

Like all traitors to solidarity, his surest shot at success is to obfuscate; to fudge the line between labor and management, between ally and predator; to conjure enough personal sympathy to make you soften your grasp on the hard edges of principle.


by John Wilmes at January 16, 2019 02:28 PM

resilience.org

Istanbul Restaurant Offers Job Training and Other Services for the Homeless

Ayşe Tükrükçü

Explaining the many barriers former sex workers, abuse victims, and the homeless face at getting a fresh start in life, Tükrükçü says her personal experiences helped her understand that what is needed most to build a new life is skills.

by Nimet Kirac at January 16, 2019 02:22 PM

Dreams Deferred: How Enriching the 1% Widens the Racial Wealth Divide

Racial wealth gap

In light of Dr. King’s pursuit of economic justice, this report highlights how historic racial wealth disparities have been perpetuated and increased by the trend towards extreme inequality in the United States.

by Dedrick Asante-Muhammad at January 16, 2019 01:51 PM

Mpalothia

Canada: Reportback from the 2018 Montreal New Year’s Eve Noise Demo

Canada: Reportback from the 2018 Montreal New Year’s Eve Noise Demo
Report back from the New Year’s Eve noise demonstration in so-called Montreal. This report was originally published on Montreal Counter-Info. On New Years Eve 2018, a crowd of around 150 people gathered near Henri Bourassa Metro on the island of Montreal to take three school busses out to Laval, Quebec. Every year since 2014, and […]

Source

by InNero at January 16, 2019 01:16 PM

resilience.org

Extinction Rebellion isn’t about the Climate

XR flag

And I’m here to say that XR isn’t about the climate. You see, the climate’s breakdown is a symptom of a toxic system of that has infected the ways we relate to each other as humans and to all life.

by Stuart Basden at January 16, 2019 12:23 PM

InterPressService (global south)

A Salty Dilemma

A desalination plant. Across 177 countries, there are now 16,000 desalination plants, many of which are concentrated in the Middle East and North Africa where water scarcity is already a reality.As desalination plants continue to pop up, so does a hypersaline, chemical by-product known as brine. Credit: RoPlant

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 16 2019 (IPS)

As the threat of water scarcity increasingly grows, many have turned to the Earth’s plentiful oceans for a solution. However, this has created a new risk threatening public and environmental health: brine.

In a new study, the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment, and Health (UNU-INWEH) assessed the state of desalination around the world as countries increasingly convert sea water into freshwater for its citizens.

“There is an increasing level of water scarcity across the globe, but there are hot spots of water scarcity like those in the Middle East and parts of Africa. They really need an additional supply of water that they can use to meet the requirements of their population,” one of the report’s authors Manzoor Qadir told IPS.

Across 177 countries, there are now 16,000 desalination plants, many of which are concentrated in the Middle East and North Africa where water scarcity is already a reality.

As desalination plants continue to pop up, so does a hypersaline, chemical by-product known as brine.

In fact, for every litre of freshwater a plant produces, 1.5 litres of brine is produced, a figure that is 50 percent more than previously estimated.

Globally, desalination plants produce enough brine in one year to cover all of Florida in one foot of the waste.

“Historically what we used to see was the equal volumes of brine versus desalinated water—that is not true…there is more brine produced than desalinated water. It really needs efficient management,” Qadir said.

Countries are increasingly turning to the oceans as a solution to water scarcity. Pictured here is Sri Lanka’s southern coast near Hikkaduwa town. Credit: Amantha Perera/IPS

The study, which is the first to quantify brine production across the world, found that just four countries are responsible for 55 percent of global brine: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar.

Almost 80 percent of brine is produced in plants near the ocean and are often discharged back into the ocean, posing major risks to ocean life and marine ecosystems.

According to the UNU-INWEH report, untreated brine increases both the temperature and salt concentration of sea water. Together, these conditions decreases the water’s oxygen levels, impacting sea organisms and the food chain.

The desalination process also uses toxic chemicals such as copper and chlorine, polluting oceans when released.

As desalination plants are predicted to increase in number, the assessment highlighted the need for improved brine management strategies to avoid further and future environmental damage.

The report’s authors pointed to the various economic opportunities to use brine including in the irrigation of salt tolerant crops,  electricity generation, and even aquaculture.

“Using saline drainage water offers potential commercial, social and environmental gains.  Reject brine has been used for aquaculture, with increases in fish biomass of 300 percent achieved,” Qadir said.

“”There is a need to translate such research and convert an environmental problem into an economic opportunity,” he added.

But first and foremost, countries need to minimise the volume of brine produced including the adoption of more efficient modern technologies, Qadir noted.

“[Middle Eastern countries] especially need to take concrete action just to make sure that there is an environmentally feasible management of brine,” he told IPS, while also acknowledging the importance of desalination.

UNU-INWEH found that eight countries including the Maldives, Singapore, Antigua and Barbuda and Qatar can meet all their water needs through desalination. And it is predicted that more and more countries will rely on such plants for their water needs.

“We need to raise the importance of global water scarcity and the key contributions of desalinated water, but at the same time we should not just ignore the other part of desalinated technology which is brine production,” Qadir concluded.

The post A Salty Dilemma appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Tharanga Yakupitiyage at January 16, 2019 11:57 AM

jacobinmag

Mass Action and Modi

Last week, millions of workers in India launched a general strike — a dramatic effort to combat Modi's anti-labor policies.


alt Workers on strike in Haryana, January 9, 2019. CPI(M) / Twitter

On January 8 and 9, millions of workers in India launched a general strike, disrupting key industries, blocking train lines and highways, and participating in rallies and demonstrations denouncing the anti-worker policies of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The strike was the third of its kind since the BJP came to power in 2014, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi serving as the perfect avatar for the party’s program of neoliberalism and strident Hindu nationalism. It is likely the last such strike before the next national-level elections, slated for April and May.

The results of the upcoming contest will be important. Progressive activists know that another BJP victory would accelerate the creeping authoritarianism of Modi’s government, strengthening the violent forces of reaction at the expense of workers, farmers, women, Muslims, and those from the oppressed, “lower” castes. So, does last week’s massive strike provide any clues about the prevailing political and electoral mood?

The unsatisfying answer is that it’s extremely difficult to say, especially because the mass action was largely symbolic. The one- or two-day general strike is a peculiar form of protest in India. Workers have employed it over a dozen times since 1991, when Indian policymakers responded to an economic crisis by introducing a raft of reforms that accelerated the privatization and liberalization and of the Indian economy. In recent years, general strikes have been called by a coalition of national-level trade unions, each of which is affiliated with a major political party. The most vocal supporters have been the unions tied to the two mainstream Communist parties, the CPI and CPM, and to the Congress Party, once the party of Indian independence and now an ideologically rudderless opposition party. All of these formations, along with their affiliated unions, see the BJP as their enemy and see the strike as a tool to attack the government’s pro-business labor reforms. In the case of the most recent action, union leaders are particularly concerned with proposed amendments to laws governing trade union activity.

But the general strikes have rarely sparked immediate policy changes. As I have argued in my analysis of two previous general strikes, such actions may be symbolically powerful, but they are hollow unless backed up with further agitation. Because they are time-limited, a one- or two-day strike may be a minor irritant for state and capital, but — like more conventional, localized strikes against employers — they only become effective when they threaten to stop production for prolonged periods of time. And national-level trade unions have been unwilling or unable to make such a threat.

One- or two-day strikes, then, highlight the many difficulties facing the Indian labor movement and the broader left: the challenges of organizing a workforce that is overwhelming composed of informal-sector workers, who have always been poorly represented by trade unions; the insidious structure of labor relations in the country, which encourages negotiation with a paternalistic state rather than militant action; and the divided nature of the labor movement, exacerbated by the existence of national-level unions whose main loyalties are to a particular political party, not to the working-class movement.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh or BMS, the trade union affiliated with the BJP, actively campaigned against the recent general strike, calling it a political ploy. And on the other end of the political spectrum, left critics of the “mainstream” Communist parties, and especially of the CPM — which has helped rein in neoliberalism’s worst excesses at the national level, while implementing pernicious forms of neoliberal rule at the state level, most notably in West Bengal — have questioned the wisdom of collaborating with the morally bankrupt Congress Party. Nevertheless, many independent unions and activists have supported the strike, staging militant actions around the country, sometimes triggering violent police repression. And organizers throughout India have recognized the importance of reaching beyond traditional union strongholds and building strength in India’s vast informal sector.

There are other glimmers of hope. While the CPM may be on shaky ground politically and electorally, the party’s peasant wing, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), has seen a surprising resurgence, showing the strength of rural India’s discontent with the current government and suggesting possibilities for a broader coalition against the BJP. Most notably, AIKS was behind a resoundingly successful protest march in western India in early 2018, one that drew attention to the devastating agrarian crisis wrought by decades of neoliberal, pro-industry policies. This was followed by a sizable protest in Delhi in November 2018. And one of the most promising aspects of the recent general strike was the support extended to it by various peasant organizations, including the AIKS. Still, the efforts to forge a new progressive movement in India — one that unites not just workers and peasants, but also women and the oppressed castes — are in their nascent stages, and face many formidable challenges.

At a more immediate, electoral level, anti-BJP forces were buoyed by the BJP’s drubbing in recent state-level elections. It is difficult, of course, to extrapolate national-level trends from state polls, and the party that has benefited from BJP’s recent electoral decline, the dynastic Congress Party, hardly inspires confidence. (Like the Democratic Party in the US, Congress is its country’s second-most-enthusiastic capitalist party.) But for activists in India, any electoral setback for the BJP provides welcome breathing room and buys time for the hard work of building a political force that can counter the Indian right — not just electorally, but at the more intimate level of social norms, religious discrimination, the family, and caste relations.

For last week’s general strike to be more than a symbolic gesture, it will have to feed into a movement that goes beyond the limitations of its main organizers and finds a way to channel the energy and complexity of India’s fights against capital, against caste, and against patriarchy. The country’s future depends on it.


by Thomas Crowley at January 16, 2019 11:51 AM

InterPressService (global south)

Why We Should Care about Vulnerable Coastal Communities

Meity Masipuang is a member of an enterprise group in Papusungan village, Lembeh island, Indonesia. Their women’s group purchases fish to smoke and resell. They are participants of the IFAD-funded Coastal Community Development project in Indonesia. Credit: IFAD/Roger Arnold

By Nigel Brett
ROME, Jan 16 2019 (IPS)

According to UN statistics, approximately 40 per cent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast, and overall the world’s coastal population is increasing faster than the total global population. At the same time, global warming is causing sea levels to rise and increasing extreme weather incidents on coastlines.

The impacts are well publicized and alarming. But what we may not realize is that the people who are the most vulnerable to climate change are often the poorest. It is essential that we act upon what we know in order to mitigate the effects of climate change and build resilience in the poorest communities. In all of our development work, we cannot regard climate change and the plight of vulnerable coastal communities as a niche issue.

A large portion of the world’s poor people live in Asia and the Pacific: 347 million people in the region live on less than US$1.90 a day, almost half of the 736 million people living in extreme poverty worldwide. Rising sea level exposes large areas of Asia and the Pacific to potential floods, coastline damage and increased salinity of agricultural lands. Climate change and environmental degradation (including in small island developing states, or SIDS) is harming the poor rural population’s ability to produce food and income, which calls for urgent action to help people safeguard their assets and fragile resources, while also diversifying their income base.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with people in vulnerable coastal communities across the world to build resilience and institute sustainable agricultural practices so that vulnerable people can make a living while also preserving the environment and the resources that are the foundation of their way of life.

Nigel Brett Credit: IFAD/Flavio Ianniello

Some livelihood practices are not sustainable and can exacerbate climatic vulnerability. For example, unsustainable fishing destroys corals and depletes fish stocks, and the cutting down of mangroves for firewood results in coastal land that cannot resist flooding, cyclones and coastal erosion. Since 66 per cent of the fish that is eaten worldwide is caught by small-scale fishers, it is in everybody’s best interest to help them to improve their ability to make a living while protecting the environment.

In over 180 villages in Indonesia, the IFAD-supported Coastal Community Development Project introduced aquaculture and supported initiatives to make fishing and processing techniques more efficient and sustainable. By providing rudimentary refrigeration techniques such as ice coolers, and by forming and training women’s groups to process some of the fish into fish paste and dried fish snacks, fishermen were able to fish less because they did not have to factor in the amount of fish wasted by lack of refrigeration or low market demand. These measures also had a substantial impact on food security and actually reduced acute child malnutrition in the areas by half. And through community-based coastal resource management groups, marine resources have been maintained or improved.

In the Asia and the Pacific region overall, vulnerable communities are a prominent focus of our investment portfolio. Just under one third of our current $2.7 billion portfolio in the region is invested in improving the lives of 15,360,000 poor rural people living within five kilometers of the coastline.

One thing we’ve learned is that there is no such thing as a one-size fits all approach in working with vulnerable coastal communities. Context matters. Bangladesh suffers from overcrowding on its limited land, while the Pacific Islands suffer from not only extreme weather but a remote and dwindling population. In Tonga the rural population is declining due to migration and a lack of incentives for youth to remain. It is also classified as the second most at-risk country in the world in terms of its exposure and susceptibility to natural hazards and the effects of climate change. Development approaches need to be different.

Up to 80 million people live in flood-prone or drought-prone areas in Bangladesh, and thousands of vulnerable families eke out a living on river islands known as chars. The Char Development and Settlement Project has developed roads that remain intact even after they have been repeatedly submerged in water. It has also helped communities (especially women) to develop small businesses that can withstand floods, such as raising ducks. But, one of the most important aspects of the project’s work is land titling—which is particularly important for women. With land as collateral, women can access credit and acquire labour-saving machinery, including small irrigation pumps and rice threshers, and build small storage sheds to protect harvested rice from rain and floods.

In Tonga, we are helping communities to develop high-value crops that can be exported in order to boost the rural export market. The project is also planting tree species that can protect the coastline from tornados and cyclones. The project is working with communities to identify where improved infrastructure is needed (such as weather-resistant roads and waterfronts), and get them directly involved in investing in and supervising construction and maintenance.

After 40 years of working with poor rural people around the world, IFAD has learned that no one can hope to face these challenges alone. In a rapidly changing world we need to work together to channel support where it is most needed. Rural transformation can increase production and incomes, reduce hunger, and at the same time protect natural resources. With the right support, vulnerable coastal communities can play a part in securing a sustainable future.

The post Why We Should Care about Vulnerable Coastal Communities appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Nigel Brett is Director of the Asia and Pacific Division at the International Fund for Agricultural Development

The post Why We Should Care about Vulnerable Coastal Communities appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Nigel Brett at January 16, 2019 11:47 AM

resilience.org

How Do we Ensure that Project Hope Overcomes Project Fear?

People's Vote march

Today is about changing the conversation about Brexit. It’s about moving forward – humbly, positively and with hope.

by Caroline Lucas at January 16, 2019 11:35 AM

Why Liberals Should Be “Conservative”: Climate Change, Excellence, and the Practice of Happiness

Aristotle

By “conservative” I am not referring to anything resembling Republicans or European “center-right” parties, or positions yet further to the right on the liberal-conservative continuum as it is commonly understood today. 

by Erik Lindberg at January 16, 2019 11:13 AM

InterPressService (global south)

Honduran Crisis Produces New Caravan

The first caravan of Central American migrants reached the town of Matías Romero in Oaxaca state on November 1, 2018. The Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs estimates that 4,000 people spent the night there. Credit: IOM / Rafael Rodríguez

By Jan Egeland
OSLO, Norway, Jan 16 2019 (IPS)

A new caravan heading towards Mexico and the United States was reportedly set to leave San Pedro Sula in Honduras on 15 January. The large number of people expected to leave Central America is a true testimony to the desperate situation for children, women and men in this poor and violence affected region.

Instead of talking about a crisis at the US-Mexican border, North Americans must wake up and address the real humanitarian crisis in Central America. The long walk north will be extremely dangerous and exhausting for the thousands of families from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that will join the caravans planned in 2019.

Obstacles on the way are likely to increase, as there is fatigue and frustration from communities who supported migrants during last year’s exodus. There is rising xenophobia in both the United States (US) and Mexico and increasingly tough border regulations in every country on the way.

Border controls, guards or walls will never stop people who are hunted by gang violence and flee for fear for their lives. Youth who have lost all hope for a better future in Central America will try repeatedly to reach a better life in the US, Canada or Mexico.

To tackle the current crisis, the more affluent American nations need to understand their own neighborhood and invest much more in bringing hope, security and good governance for people who currently see no other option than to flee.

Having spoken to many desperate Honduran families who have been or will be on the caravans, I am convinced that the current policies from the US through Mexico and Central America will only deepen the crisis, the desperation and the exodus. Investment in education, livelihoods and violence prevention are better alternatives to detention and deportation back to places where there is only misery and violence.

Hondurans who have managed to reach Mexico during previous journeys have told NRC staff that they were held in shelters, forced to sign deportation papers and deported without a fair hearing of their asylum claims. In spite of the hardships and the dangers many are still planning on leaving again even though they know of the slim chances of reaching the US.

“Dying here or dying there, it doesn’t make much difference. At least there I have a small chance to see that my life improves,” said one person who is planning to leave again for the north with the caravan.

If a gang is extorting you, if you are a witness to a crime or if your neighborhood is taken over by organized crime you may have no other option than to flee. People will only stay if they are protected from violence, lawlessness and crime and provided with education and livelihood opportunities.

Thousands of people remain stranded and blocked on the border between Mexico and the US where processing is extremely slow. The US and Mexico recently signed the agreement ‘Remain in Mexico’ in which the US will be able to send people back to Mexico while they go through the refugee status determination process.

This process can take years due to a backlog in the system. The agreement comes on top of President Trump’s attempts to build a wall, migrant children dying in US custody and last summer’s family separations crisis. 75,279 people were deported from Mexico and the US in 2018, according to a Honduran centre for migration: Observatorio Consular y Migratorio de Honduras (CONMIGHO).

The post Honduran Crisis Produces New Caravan appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), visited Honduras in December 2018.

The post Honduran Crisis Produces New Caravan appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Jan Egeland at January 16, 2019 10:34 AM

Channel Zero

From the Whiteaker to the Woods: The Rise of the “Eugene Anarchists,” Part 1

This post was originally published on this site

The post From the Whiteaker to the Woods: The Rise of the “Eugene Anarchists,” Part 1 appeared first on It’s Going Down.

“That was the kind of equation if you will, I remember talking to people, and everybody was saying, “If the urban, anarcho-punk types ever connect with the tree-sitters and forest defense people – it’s gonna really take off.” – John Zerzan

“That surge of creative, autonomous energy attracted fresh new blood to town, eco-anarchists ready for action. They’d heat up not only the streets of Eugene but also the surrounding forests, staging direct actions and road blockades that would make Warner Creek seem vanilla by comparison.” – Eugene Weekly

In this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we again return to the topic of the 1990’s, this time in a two part series that will center on the green anarchist and eco-defense movement in Eugene, Oregon. In the first part of the series, we talk with long-time anarchist John Zerzan, and in the second part, we will talk with a member of Cascadia Forest Defense. Born into a working class family, John soon found himself in the strange land of Stanford University, and quickly dove into the radical politics of the 1960s. Originally working as a union organizer, John soon became interested in the ultra-left, the Situationists, and the rioting that was breaking out in Berkeley over the weekends while living in the bay area.

As time progressed, Zerzan concluded that that the formation of class society marked by the shift from hunter-gatherer bands to sedimentary life through agriculture and domestication led to the creation of the State, patriarchy, and industrialism, and has since sent humanity on course towards our current industrial climate catastrophe. Moreover, he argued that by giving up such a form of life, human beings were leaving behind an existence largely of freedom and autonomy. Into the 1970s and 1980s, Zerzan found common cause in the emerging anti-civilization milieu that included writers such as Fredy Perlman and Jacques Camatte, and publications like Fifth Estate and Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed.

By the 1990s, Zerzan was living in the working class neighborhood of the Whiteaker in Eugene, Oregon, a small college town. But by the mid-1990s, things were stirring, as our conversation takes us through the formation of one of the most vibrant anarchist enclaves in the past 25 years, as well as the factors that led to its breaking apart.

As John discusses, there was an attempt to bring together both the anarcho-punks living in towns and in the cities in the Pacific Northwest along with the emerging tree sitter movement which was fighting to save old growth forest from industrial logging, which was clear cutting and devastating entire areas. Rising up to meet the Timber companies was a new generation of 1990s eco-activists. Their power and determination was seen most clearly in the Warner Creek blockade, which lasted for months, even through harsh winter, and saw the emergence of the “Cascadia Free State,” an autonomous zone hell bent on fighting the logging.

In many ways, the project of melding the anarcho-punks with the new generation of forest activists was successful, and created a vibrant community in Eugene from the mid-to-late 1990s until the early 2000s. This community engaged in a wide range of activities and organizing endeavors, from running a cable access Television Program, Cascadia Alive, to fighting militant pitched battles against the destruction of green space in the town. From community gardens to supporting tree sits to a growing print culture, the Eugene scene was just as much about building as it was fighting. However after a series of anti-globalization riots broke out in the area, including in Seattle, Washington against the WTO meetings in the November of 1999, where the “Eugene anarchists” where specifically blamed for leading the black bloc, soon the mainstream media was firmly locked on Eugene.

Around the same time, the underground group, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) began to take action, and while hurting no living begin, successfully burned down millions of dollars of property – targeting everything from GMO crops to wild horse slaughter houses.

In the aftermath of such actions, repression ramped up, and soon both police, corporate media, and FBI agents had descended on Eugene, making several arrests. Internal stresses and divisions within the movement also broke people apart, leading to many to drift way in the face of rising scrutiny and law enforcement presence. We thus end our conversation with John by talking about this reality, and what could have been done differently.

Be sure to tune in for our second installment on this topic, as we we talk with someone who was involved in the growing eco-defense and tree sit movement. Until then, enjoy the interview!

More Info: Flames of Dissent from Eugene Weekly on history of Eugene anarchist movement, collection of articles on late 1990’s Eugene movement and the Whiteaker neighborhood, John Zerzan’s weekly anarchist radio show.

by It's Going Down at January 16, 2019 10:21 AM

jacobinmag

New Democracy Against Democracy

The Right in Greece is once again gaining ground, and posing a serious risk to Greek democracy.


alt Supporters of the New Democracy party sit beneath a picture of party leader and Prime Minister Antonis Samara in an election kiosk on January 25, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Matt Cardy / Getty

The capacity of the Left to successfully confront the far right’s continuing political ascent will be severely tested in 2019 in the only country in the world where the decade-long crisis of neoliberal global capitalism swept a radical left party into government: Greece. There was a very rapid passage from euphoria to disappointment on the international left when the Syriza government elected in January 2015 was forced by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to succumb less than six months later to a further austerity bailout package, despite a referendum rejecting a similar creditor proposal by over 60 percent.

Despite this, the Syriza-led government was reelected later in 2015 and now approaches the end of its term. Having just this year finally secured the ending of the long sequence of neoliberal austerity memoranda imposed continuously on Greece since 2010, it now faces, in the run up to the forthcoming election, a main opposition party which has fully embraced the hard turn to the Right elsewhere. Emitting the all too familiar ugly dog whistle of “losing ethnic identity due to migration,” the New Democracy party now amplifies social tensions amid a toxic mixture of neoliberal and reactionary policies and outlandish conspiracy claims — even, most recently, claiming that Syriza’s moves to secularize the Constitution would lead to a ban on Christmas.

The far-right tack New Democracy has taken reflects a situation where, however much public expenditure was hamstrung by the austerity memoranda, Syriza’s attempt to democratize certain aspects of public life in a state with a long reactionary history has been substantial. This has included legislating a path to citizenship for migrants, as well as for their children born in Greece, securing the right of civil union and child fostering for LGBTQ couples, and guaranteeing full access to hospitals for all, including undocumented workers. Moreover, the Syriza-led government reactivated, staffed and overhauled the state agency responsible for scrutinizing labor relations and working conditions which had fallen into a state of vegetation in the pre-Syriza period, during which various illegal employment practices flourished, as well as introduced numerous very innovative systematic policies to relieve the humanitarian crisis caused by the 25 percent drop of the country’s GDP.

Most recently, after a broad public consultation, there has been the advancement of constitutional reforms for securing proportional representation and new popular referenda initiatives, making it mandatory for the prime minister to be an elected member of parliament (in order to avoid another technocrat-led government in the future), and introducing term limits for MPs, including the removal of their immunity from prosecution protections for fraud and corruption.

Perhaps most significantly, while reinforcing the constitutional ban against the privatization of university education, it would constitutionally underwrite the Syriza government’s efforts to finally secure the separation of church and state in Greece. This secularizing of public sector institutions is a crucial political task which has until now remained a pipe dream for Greek progressives.

These basic yet decisive steps towards democratization are a clear indication that despite its shortcomings, Syriza is the only force in the country with the political capacity to overmatch the far right that has been coming to power elsewhere. It was the rise of Syriza, in the face of the initial electoral successes of the outright neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party earlier in the decade, which kept the rise of the extremist far right in Greece at bay, at least relative to other European countries during a similar period.

But now, after three consecutive losses to Syriza (in two elections and the referendum), it is New Democracy which has taken up the mantle of the far right. Extreme reactionary views have always been a part of New Democracy, although before gaining power in 2012 it appeared fairly moderate on social issues. Its new leader as of 2016, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the son of a former prime minister, was viewed at the time as a choice that, despite being nepotistic, would signify a shift back towards a more liberal agenda on social issues. However, under his leadership, New Democracy has made a hard turn to the right on every level.

Reactionary views are being propagated by the leadership, either directly through Mitsotakis himself or through Adonis Georgiades, one of the party vice chairs, or the parliamentary representative Makis Voridis. This duo is infamous for their “activist past,” whether as an axe-wielding “fighter against the Left” in the case of Voridis, or as a promoter of Holocaust-denying literature in the case of Georgiadis.

With their xenophobic nationalism and anti-human rights rhetoric, they have shifted the mainstream of the party towards the far right. The rhetoric which has become more and more prevalent at New Democracy’s recent party congresses — bearing an alarming similarity to that of the Civil War years — was heard as well at the counter-protests to a recent antifascist speech by Tsipras in Thessaloniki. Perhaps not surprisingly, all this has emboldened Golden Dawn to actually set out terms for a possible coalition government with New Democracy.

Belying certain remaining vague liberal rhetoric in its platform, New Democracy has voted against every piece of equal rights legislation introduced by Syriza. At the same time, the party has ever more fully embraced the harsh neoliberal agenda imposed by the creditors during the memorandum years. This is an important distinction since even the previous governments headed by New Democracy never actually fully presented the EU-imposed neoliberal austerity in positive terms, claiming that a large portion of the imposed neoliberal reforms were not the party’s preferred policy.

Now however, in a toxic mixture of neoliberal and far-right conservative policies, the party is calling for the harshest measures, even in the current new period where the bailout programs of neoliberal imposition have ended. New Democracy’s loud promise to reduce “illegal immigration” ominously signals returning to the pre-2015 practices of mass deportation and sinking of refugee vessels in the Aegean.

Advancing the idea of a privatized Chilean-style “personal piggy bank” pension plan (which is openly saluted by New Democracy as a measure imposed by Pinochet) is part and parcel of its campaign for a neoliberal weakening of the public sector through privatization and cuts throughout the public service. Particularly ironic is its embrace of the austerity policy of only one new hire for every five layoffs in the public sector just as the Syriza government has secured a ratio of one-to-one, while at the same time pledging to keep the approximately eight thousand priests as public servants. This would reverse a recent agreement the Syriza government secured with the church leadership, whereby priests would lose public servant status, a small but important step towards a more secular state.

The question for progressive forces is quite clear. There’s no denying that the Syriza period has had its fair share of disappointing moments. As with those who recognized the failings of the Workers Party (PT) in Brazil, yet turned back to it in face of Bolsonaro, many people who were critical of the Syriza government will end up voting for it. And in Greece, the result of this is much more likely to succeed in preventing the election of the reactionary right. The end of the memoranda allows Syriza to pave a much clearer path to progressive reforms which lie ahead (including a minimum wage increase and the return to free collective bargaining, as well as constitutional separation of church and state), showcasing the sharp contrast between its political program and that of a New Democracy increasingly speaking to and for the far right in the country.

Despite not living up to the high expectations that it gathered in 2015, Syriza remains not just the only viable choice to ensure even minimum social and human rights standards, but to halt the rise of neofascism in one more European country. While the election of New Democracy itself would be a big blow to democracy in Greece, there exists an even larger danger, that of shifting the hegemonic range of “acceptable” public discourse even farther to the right, inevitably yielding an even stronger and more legitimized presence of Golden Dawn and other openly fascist political players, while at the same time breeding fascist practice on the social level.

To be sure, if this is to be more than a temporary defensive victory against the forces of reaction that all capitalist societies are currently spawning, Syriza still needs to become the party so many of its activists and supporters once hoped it would be, but that it never quite was, even at its best. Indeed, both in the run up to and during Syriza’s period in government, democracy and extra-parliamentary life of the party were diminished, while Syriza’s previous attempts to create organic relations between social movements and parliamentary representation started to devitalize. It must reinvent its capacity, as a party, to think, educate, mobilize, and act as a radical progressive force in society as well as an agent acting to secure and support a Syriza government.

Above all, Syriza needs to reengage with and invest in the further development of the social movements, in ways which did not happen when it first came to power in 2015. The movements themselves must also play a crucial transformative role of both their own capacities and goals as well as their relation to politics and the government. This is needed to sustain social pressure and protest while at the same time opening new roads for progressive legislation and reform.

This is the only sure way for Syriza to reinvent itself and avoid complete integration into the existing state apparatus as a typical social-democratic party, and instead bring about transformation of the state institutions so as to make them agents of economic and social transformation.


by Jodi Dean at January 16, 2019 10:21 AM

A-infos

(en) Britain, Manchester SolFed Organises a Further Picket in Support of 6 Brighton Tenants Sat, 12/01/2019 - 17:42 housing dispute

On Saturday 12th Jan Manchester SolFed picketed Skipton Building Society in support of 6 Brighton tenants. The tenants have been organising with Brighton SolFed after being treated appallingly by the Brighton letting agency, Fox and Sons. The company, Fox and Sons, is owned by the Connells group, one of the largest estate agency and property services providers in the UK, which last year made £104.2m in profits. In turn, the Connells group is owned by the ever so friendly - we do not have shareholders - Skipton Building Society. Saturday's picket was part of an escalation of the dispute with pickets taking place in Bristol, Manchester and Brighton in support of the 6 tenants For more http://www.solfed.org.uk/manchester/manchester-solfed-organises-a-further-picket-in-support-of-6-brighton-tenants ...

by A-infos (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca) at January 16, 2019 06:01 AM

(en) Belaruss, anarchist group pramen: Amnesty International points to extrajudicial killings in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has been roiled by unrest since demonstrations began against planned welfare cuts by Ortega's government in April, which then spiraled into a wider protest against him. The crackdown on protesters has sparked widespread international condemnation. Ortega's supporters say the protests have been orchestrated by his opponents to remove the former Marxist guerrilla from power. ---- Amnesty International said that two men, aged 22 and 34, and a 16-year-old boy were shot and killed by police while fleeing a shootout on July 24. ---- The other three potential victims were a policeman who stood down and two youths killed when students of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua on July 13 barricaded themselves in a church in Managua, Amnesty International said ---- YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN: Belarusian anarchists express solidarity with people of Venezuela. ...

by A-infos (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca) at January 16, 2019 06:00 AM

(en) Czech, AFED, The Klinika eviction struggle - day one, two, three: [machine translation]

Attempt to evacuate the clinic - the first day The Autonomous Social Center of Klinika is again facing an attempt to liquidate. ---- Thursday, January 10 was the long-awaited date announced by the ex-executive sent by the Railways Administration (SŽDC) to get rid of the building of the Zizkov Clinic of its current inhabitants and users and hence of the life they impressed. ---- The autonomous social center of the Clinic was created by occupying the long-term unused and dilapidated building at the end of 2014. Since then, a number of cultural, educational and educational events, courses, workshops and festivals have been held. All this on a non-monetary basis and without the need for subsidies and grants. However, an interesting coalition from neo-Nazi clusters across hate Internet trolls, some police and politics of all kinds (ODS ...

by A-infos (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca) at January 16, 2019 05:40 AM

(en) US, black rose fed CLASS WAR IN SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC SWEDEN

Two activists with the SAC syndicalist union in Sweden write on the "Peace Obligation" proposal which would effectively outlaw strikes and workplace actions outside of narrow conditions. The piece explains both the political context for the proposal - crafted jointly by employers and major unions and backed by the Social Democratic Party - as well as the resistance led by a coalition of independent unions and activists. ---- By Gabriel Kunh and Micke Nordin ---- The resurgence of - true or self-proclaimed - socialist movements in the Global North has implied very generous interpretations of life in the Nordic countries. Sweden, in particular, has often been hailed as a model for the "democratic socialism" espoused by Bernie Sanders and others. ...

by A-infos (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca) at January 16, 2019 05:40 AM

(en) wsm.ie: The Next Global Crash? On China and the 21st Century Crisis

Today, China is the driving engine of global economic growth. A major crisis of the Chinese economy will almost certainly drag the global economy into the next recession in the 2020s. This may turn out to be far more damaging than the Great Recession of 2008. ---- Minqi Li is a political economist at the University of Utah and an advocate of China's Maoist New Left[1]. His most recent book, ‘China and the 21st Century Crisis', outlines capitalism's next looming crisis. Regardless of the proximate cause, this coming crisis will be economic, political, and ecological. It will also be global. ---- China's economic boom from the 1990s onwards was based on three primary conditions: the rapid growth of exports to western capitalist economies, the intense exploitation of a large, cheap workforce, and ruthless environmental degradation. Following the 2008 global ...

by A-infos (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca) at January 16, 2019 05:36 AM

(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #290 - freedoms, Internet, bigger but more fragile than we think (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Every year, La Quadrature du Net enters the donation campaign in mid-November. This year, the donation campaign was to be an opportunity to promote our Internet, the free, shared, decentralized and human-sized Internet. But as soon as we started we were already facing a new reactionary European law. ---- When it was created, the Internet presented itself as an area of freedom. The right to speak was no longer restricted to the mass media only and it was much easier for everyone to express themselves and hope to be heard. The Internet promised to be the privileged space for sharing knowledge and creation, the space to teach others and to oneself, a space of rights. ---- This state of grace did not last, and companies and states quickly tried to monopolize Internet users' freedoms. It is against this grabbing that La Quadrature du Net was born, to fight against surveillance and ...

by A-infos (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca) at January 16, 2019 05:36 AM

anarchistnews.org

Anews Day Zero

Before you ask, yes we know we have been down for 48 hours, and yes we know that anews time does not extend prior to that downtime. We begin again from the ashes of a database crash and burn. We'll fix it (although we probably need an expert at innodb) but for now it is more important to get back up and running than be precious about the past.

Perhaps anarchism is more about our glorious future than the past anyways, right? We joke!

-worker

by worker at January 16, 2019 05:23 AM

TOTW: What "Not Anarchists" Influence Your Anarchy?

Anarchists have never existed in a vacuum. We are a part of the world we live in as much as we might want to destroy that world. We interact with the (not anarchist) world in ways that both influence it and are influenced by it. While this is true on every level of day-today life, it is especially true in how we engage with writing and thinking from outside anarchist spheres.

At varying times anarchists have found influence or inspiration in the work of existentialists, situationists, post-modernists, anti-state communists, tiqqunists (so many -ists!), et. al. This is both worthwhile, in that it engages with the world we live in, and the not-anarchist ideas around us, and it is dangerous. Often anarchists who take a deep dive in to non-anarchist thinking end up abandoning anarchy for the more practical, the more formulaic, the more efficient.

What are the non-anarchist writers and thinkers you find influential or inspiring? Why? How do you integrate that into your anarchy?

by anon at January 16, 2019 03:30 AM

Eric’s Communication Restricted: Call in to Help!

via Support Eric King

  • Update. In addition to calling the north-central regional office it is urgent that calls begin to come into USP Leavenworth. The prison has just made us aware that not only was it a choice made by them to restrict communication but they are blatantly lying saying they made him aware. Not only that they are refusing to provide proof that legal procedures were followed they are refusing to even respond to his grievances that were made TWO MONTHS ago. Leavenworth needs be held accountable for this*USP Leavenworth:913-682-8700

    The executive assistant who lied today would I am sure love to hear from you: LVN/ExecAssistant@bop.gov

    Eric is still being held at USP Leavenworth after being assaulted by staff at FCI Florence. He still is being held without charges, disciplinary write-ups, or any disciplinary hearings for more than 140 days. He is still under the jurisdiction of FCI Florence and this month when he tried to call his wife for his one phone call a month he found that their communication was restricted and he was unable to call. EK remains without an explanation as everyone refuses to provide any information as to why his phone communication has been cut off.

    This is incredibly problematic not only for Eric and his family for all political prisoners. If the BOP is able to block communication with Eric despite laws and regulations what is to stop them from restricting communication of other political prisoners from their support and family.

    Eric is being held in absolute segregation without even a cellmate at USP Leavenworth and has been now for over 137 days now. This added to his previous time in isolation makes his time served about a year of his total prison time which is very traumatic and triggering. Eric is still dealing with the emotions that have resulted from the incidents that took place in Florence as well as that he has been unable to see his family for over 4 months now. He has missed holidays and birthdays. The day he was attacked was the day following his wife’s surgery for cancer therefore he has missed being able to process subsequent medical problems with her. He is faced with the realization that for the remainder of his sentence he will be far from his wife and kids. The letters and support he has received has been amazing and he is so thankful. While he processes the trauma and grief we ask that you stand with him and continue to show support.

    We ask that folks call as often as they can and to as many offices as they can. Take a block of time and call the same number over and over, request difference staff’s voicemail. Get creative but show them that we are watching and ready to protect our friend and comrade.

     

    We got word that Eric was planning on going on a hunger strike beginning yesterday if he didn’t have answers. As there is a prolonged delay in mail right now he may have already began. If this is the case it is so important that we hit the phone lines as hard as possible on Monday.

     

    • Update. In addition to calling the north-central regional office it is urgent that calls begin to come into USP Leavenworth. The prison has just made us aware that not only was it a choice made by them to restrict communication but they are blatantly lying saying they made him aware. Not only that they are refusing to provide proof that legal procedures were followed they are refusing to even respond to his grievances that were made TWO MONTHS ago. Leavenworth needs be held accountable for this*USP Leavenworth:913-682-8700
      The executive assistant who lied today would I am sure love to hear from you:

     

     

    BOP North Central Regional Office
    Call: 913-621-3939
    Ask for: Director Jeffrey Krueger. If denied ask to speak with his assistant. If denied again, demand the person answering the phone take down a message.Email: NCRO/[email protected]

    FCI Florence
    Call: 719-784-9100
    Ask for: The warden/assistant warden, the legal department, Counselor Quintana, Counselor Rivera. If denied demand the person answering the phone take down a message.

    Email: FLF/[email protected]

     

     

    Sample Script:

    Hi I am calling about Eric King, #27090045 to demand that his phone restriction be lifted. It is unacceptable to take away a prisoner’s calls to his wife and family without any notice and without him being brought up on any charges. We demand that Eric is provided with proof that proper procedure was followed and that his two month old grievance on the issue is addressed. Restrictions on his communication with his spouse needs to be lifted immediately”

    Thank you for all of your help and continued support!
    Until all are free.
    -EK Support Crew

  • by thecollective at January 16, 2019 03:17 AM

    Relentless repression in Russia: why we will demonstrate on Saturday 19 January

    From People and Nature

    Relentless repression in Russia: why we will demonstrate on Saturday 19 January

    On Saturday 19 January we will demonstrate in London, in solidarity with Russian anti-fascists. Eleven of them, who have been arrested, tortured and accused of fabricated “terrorism” charges, are awaiting trial. Many others have faced a relentless campaign of persecution by officers of the federal security services (FSB) and the police – which is reviewed in this article.

    Please join us on Saturday, to support the Russian anti-fascists and strengthen international solidarity against fascism, xenophobia and state terror. Please re-post and share this article.

    Details of our London event here.

    2018 summary

    By Misha Shubin, 31 December 2018 (Original Russian text here)

    I’ve also decided to sum up the year’s results. Not the results for me, but rather to remember what happened to anarchists and leftists in Russia in 2018. This post will be long and many of you know about, or heard something about, the events that I recount here.


    Protest in Russia about the “network case”, summer 2018. The poster reads: “electric shocker: confessions 100% guaranteed”

    But I think it is very important not to forget about all this. [Note. Links from the original article to Russian-language sources are included. Links to English translations or relevant articles in English added where available. Translator.]

     

    The “Network Case”

    Eleven anarchists and anti-fascists have been arrested. They are accused of setting up a terrorist group and preparing terrorist actions. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), they wanted to organise an armed uprising in Russia.

    Almost all the evidence has been gathered with the help of torture. The detainees were beaten up. Some of them were tortured with the help of shocks from a stationary electric dynamo, others with hand-held electric shockers [similar to cattle prods]. At least one of the accused, Dmitry Pchelintsev, was hung upside down.

    The accused are: Yegor Zorin, Ilya Shakursky, Vasilii Kuksov, Dmitry Pchelintsev, Arman Sagynbaev, Andrei Chernov, Viktor Filinkov, Igor Shishkin, Yulian Boyarshinov, Mikhail Kulkov, Maksim Ivankin.

    What to read:

    “How the FSB is manufacturing a terrorist case against antifascists in Russia”

    What else you need to know about this case:

    “A witness in the ‘network’ case, Ilya Kapustin, was tortured with a hand-held electric shocker.” After that, he emigrated to Finland.

    Viktoria Frolova, Ilya Shakursky’s girlfriend, was detained on Russia’s border with Ukraine. (Link in Russian.) Shakursky was threatened that “it would be bad” for his girlfriend if he did not make a confession.

     

    The case of anarchist Evgeny Karakashev

    In early February 2018, anarchist Evgeny Karakashev was arrested in Crimea [the peninsula annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014]. They brought him to the police station with a bag over his head. There were fresh bruises on his temples and his knees. On the basis of


    Evgenii Karakashev. Photo from V Kontakte

    two video-clips that he had uploaded to various chat forums, he was accused of making public calls for terrorist activity.

    What to read:

    “A rifle stock to the heart, a fist to the gut: how left-wing activists are persecuted in Crimea”

    (And more in Russian.) [And a report of Karakashev’s subsequent court appearance is here.]

    What else you need to know about this case:

    The main prosecution witness is a former comrade of Karakashev’s.

    In the autumn, 16 people from various Russian regions were called to the Investigative Committee for interview. Many of them have expressed left-wing views. Some of them did not even know Karakashev.

     

    Torture of anarchists in Chelyabinsk

    Anarchists in Chelyabinsk staged an event on the night of 14-15 February, in solidarity with the “Network Case” defendants. They displayed a banner outside the FSB headquarters and threw a flare over a fence. The banner said: “The FSB is the chief terrorist.”

    Three days later, five people were arrested: Dmitry Semenov, Dmitry Tsibukovsky, Anastasia Safonova, Maksim Anfalov and their friend Maksim. Tsibukovsky and Anfalov were beaten up and tortured with electric shockers.

    Over the summer, the criminal case against these Chelyabinsk anarchists was dropped.

    What to read:

    “The main thing at that moment, in that situation, was to come out alive”

    What else you need to know about this case:

    In November, a new criminal case was opened against the anarchists Tsibukovsky, Safonova, Grigory Potanin, Mikhail Perkov and Dmitry Dubovoi. This time, they were charged with vandalism in connection with their protests organised against the pension reform.

     

    The broken window in United Russia’s office and torture of Svyatoslav Rechkalov

    On 31 January, persons unknown broke a window at the office of United Russia [the largest party in Russian parliament, supporting president Putin] and threw a smoke bomb. A criminal case for vandalism was open. Sixteen days later, Yelena Gorban and Aleksei Kobaidze were arrested. After questioning, they were released, having given a written pledge not to leave the country.

    On 14 March, searches were conducted of the homes of anarchists from the People’s Self-


    Svyatoslav Rechkalov. Photo: Project 117

    Defence organisation, in connection with this case. After that Svyatoslav Rechkalov and Andrei were detained; the latter, most likely, was released.

    Rechkalov was driven around the city for several hours, blindfolded. Then they began to beat him and torture him with electric shocks. They threatened him that if he did not make the necessary confession, he would end up as a defendant in the “Network Case”. After beingtortured, Rechkalov was released. He emigrated to France.

    What to read:

    “The horror continues”, and “They put a bag on my head, cuffed my hands behind my back and tortured me with a taser”.

    What else you need to know about this case:

    In November, Rechkalov started getting threats from the FSB. (Link in Russian.)

     

    Torture of Left Bloc activist Maksim Shulgin

    At the end of April, Left Bloc activist Maksim Shulgin was detained in Tomsk. On the way to his interrogation, security service officers beat him up in their vehicle and held his face against a heater. To protect his face from burns, Shulgin put his hands against the heater


    Maksim Shulgin

    and received first- and second-degree burns. Shulgin was accused of inciting hatred towards the police, after posting songs on “V Kontakte” [a social network, similar to Facebook].

    Shulgin wrote a statement about the torture. At the end of December he was again detained. This time they tried to choke him, in order to force him to withdraw the accusations he had made against FSB officers.

    What to read:

    Arrest in April. “Is Maxim Shulgin An Extremist?” and “Tomsk resident tortured for posting songs about police on VK.”

    Torture in December. (Link in Russian.)

    What else you need to know about this case:

    Another nine Left Bloc activists were detained together with Shulgin. They were forced to make confessions, under threat of torture. (Link in Russian.)

     

    Explosion at Arkhangelsk, interrogation of anarchists and left activists, and torture of Vyacheslav Lukichev

    On 31 October there was an explosion at the FSB headquarters in Arkhangelsk, set off by Mikhail Zhlobitsky [who died at the scene]. As a result, all over Russia the police has started bringing in for “discussions” anarchists, left-wingers and those who hold other political views. (Link in Russian.)

    At the beginning of November the anarchist Vyacheslav Lukichev was arrested in Kaliningrad. He was accused of justifying the explosion set off by Zhlobitsky. It was later established that after Lukichev’s arrest he was beaten by six people. He was questioned for 36 hours.

    What to read:

    “Vyacheslav Lukichev: interrogated for 36 hours and beaten”

    What else you need to know about this case:

    After the explosion a 14-year old, who allegedly had had contact with Zhlobitsky, was detained in Moscow, on suspicion of preparing bombings. (Link in Russian.)

     

    What else happened this year?

    ■ In March the police checked the documents of participants in a football tournament organised by anti-fascists. (Link in Russian.)

    ■ In July, the police and FSB officers went to the “Priamukhino Readings” conference [an event held annually to discuss the ideas and legacy of Mikhail Bakunin, at his birthplace in Tver’s region]. The conference theme was “Revolution and Culture”. The security service officers checked participants’ passports, and then detained Artem Markin, an anarchist from Belarus. He was detained for three days, for allegedly using psychotropic substances. See: “A Funny Thing Happened in Pryamukhino”.

    ■ In August officers from Centre “E” [also named the General Administration for Combating Extremism] turned up at the “Icebreaker” [Ledokol] punk festival. They arrested two people, tried to persuade them to turn informer, and asked about the People’s Self-Defence group. (Link in Russian.)

    ■ In October the anarchist Ilya Romanov was sentenced to five-and-a-half years on charges of incitement to terrorism. He allegedly published on facebook a video recording of jihadists, and of an occult ritual featuring a puppet named Vladimir. All the indications are that the criminal case was fabricated. See: “Meet Russian anarchist Ilya Romanov. He’s spent nearly twenty years in prison”.

    ■ At the end of December, the anarchist Aleksandr Kolchenko [from Crimea, who since 2015 has been serving a ten year sentence in Russia on trumped-up charges] was transferred, on a formal pretext, to a punitive isolation cell – where he saw in the new year. (Link in Russian.)

     

    Moloko plus siloviki

    [Moloko is Russian for “milk”. Siloviki, literally “people of force”, or “tough guys”, is a widely used colloquial term for FSB officers, used as English speakers might call policemen “cops”.]

    In mid June there was a gathering in Krasnodar of members of the collective that publishes the counter-cultural almanac moloko plus. Sofiko Arifdzhanova and Pavel Nikulin had planned to make a presentation on the latest issue of the almanac, on the theme of revolution. On the day before the meeting, the police arrested Sofiko, and a volunteer [who helped with printing], Anastasia Kkhukhurenko. The police would not release them, and demanded a meeting with Pavel. And then they compelled Sofiko and Anastasia to sign an undertaking not to organise non-sanctioned mass gatherings and warned them about the punishments for extremist activity. Then they let them go.

    The next day, persons unknown attacked Sofiko and Pavel, using pepper spray. A few hours later, at the presentation, the police arrived and confiscated the print run of the almanac.

    In September, there was another presentation, in St Petersburg, and FSB officers turned up. There, everything wound up relatively peacefully. They just got up and left.

    After another two weeks there was a presentation here in Nizhny Novgorod. A few minutes after it began, officers from Centre “E” burst in, with armed back-up. Sofiko, Pavel and I were arrested and taken to the police station. Ninety copies of the almanac were confiscated, along with some gas cylinders. Pavel was detained for two days on charges of insubordination to a police officer. The issue of moloko plus is now being checked for any indications of extremism. There is a big text about our adventures in Russian here.

    I am sure I have forgotten something, and so not included it. But, generally speaking, that’s what sort of year we had.

     

    More on defending Russian political prisoners:

    The Rupression site

    “Convoyed”, on The Russian Reader

    by anon at January 16, 2019 03:15 AM

    Don’t Want to be Your “Second Pillar”: A Response to RED

    via IT'S GOING DOWN

    What follows is another essay on the ongoing dialog on syndicalism in the 21st Century. This essay in particular is a response to the Radical Education Department from the author of “Crafty Ghosts.”

    The Radical Education Department, in their response to Nothing to Syndicate, asserts that Occupy, anti-ICE struggles, and anti-racist struggles were “almost always expressing precisely working class concerns”. This is blatantly untrue. ICE detainees generally identify first as migrants. Occupiers rallied in public parks, not workplaces. The unemployment rates in Ferguson were three times higher than the national rates. “Worker” is not an identity these people in revolt took for themselves, it is one that class-reductionist leftists foisted unto them.

    RED might think that by spending the first half of their article describing a dynamic interrelationship between class and other identities and oppressive systemss they’ve thrown off the old “class reductionist” millstone, but we can see them pivoting away from those arguments before the conclusion. All their intersectional rhetoric unravels with statements like: “the resurging fascism in the US and beyond is only another step in a dynamic that lies at the very heart of capitalism,” and “we should not see recent uprisings as alternatives to worker struggle, but as channels into which working class radicalism is flowing”.

    Since the situationists threw up “never work” tags in May of 68, social uprisings have been increasingly disinterested in letting “working class radicalism” flow through them. Leftitsts, please try to recognize this; people are not your ventriloquist dummies. Many understand their oppression and exploitation in terms that are NOT primarily economic, that do NOT involve identifying as workers, and while their ire may be aimed at the same wealthy elites as you, their relationship with those elites is often NOT mediated by a boss or a workplace hierarchy. Today, people find ourselves relating to our oppressors through police, ICE agents, prison guards, politicians, and, yes, internet aps.

    Recognizing that digitization (and more importantly financialisation and precariatization) change people’s relationship with the mode of production is not “repeating the fever-dreams of the ruling class”, it is calling for an updated praxis.

    What does it mean that a Lyft driver operates their car (and thus assumes the overhead costs and start-up risks) but still has surplus value stolen by the company? It means capital has sneakily reduced its role from owning the means of production to purely mediating the circulation of finance, a significant transformation.

    What does it mean when factories and offices are staffed by temp workers, who are already functionally scabbing against the full-time employees? It means the workers often can’t strike and have thus joined the rest of us in our “[limited] ability to disrupt capitalist power”.

    What does it mean that some of the richest companies are based on recirculating content we create for them, free of change? It means we have become at once consumer, producer AND product.

    What does it mean when some workers fight to defend their benefits, ie, retirement accounts, which are invested in stock portfolios and grow based on the exploitation of other workers? It means that class lines are blurrier than your analysis admits.

    What does it mean that the planet will choke on the exhaust of industrialism even if it were miraculously halted today? It means that we can’t rely on a rising revolutionary consciousness among the industrial proletariat. That ship has sailed, and then sunk.

    What does it mean that the ruling classes are dumping massive and ever-expanding resources into systems of carcerality rather than systems of labor-extraction? It means the unemployed “surplus population” is a bigger threat to them than any mass of people identifying as workers.

    What does it mean when people who are more motivated to work for social amelioration rather than economic gain–whether at state run institutions like public education or private like non-profits (including privatized schools)–are employed by one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy? It means that for many of us, the desire to play a role in altering social reproduction, is actually at the root of our exploitation.

    If your analysis reduces these complexities to “the same as any other firm” then it is “passe, outmoded and defunct.” Social struggle, insurrection, uprisings, revolts, feminism, anti-racism, these are not “the second pillar of syndicalism,” they are an entirely different route toward the deconstruction and revolutionary reconstitution of society. Unlike workplace organizing, they are vibrant expansive movements winning gains in cultural and social realms. They are also wise to resist being subsumed under the failing leftist model of economy-first struggle. The bureaucratic left is not just a capitulation, it is a death knell to movement energy. Anarcho-syndicalism while less centralized and dull than Marxist-Leninist schemes is still more bureaucratic than the struggles that are currently winning gains, contesting territory, and building power.

    Historical periods when syndicalism experimented with feminist or revolutionary cultural changes during large scale labor-based struggles are not relevant to the current situation, because presently, those “pillars” are reversed: the economic pillar is dragging behind the cultural. I can agree that we need an “infrastructure… to move from win to win” but a “federation of revolutionary workplace councils” is not it. Calling for a “federation of councils” in a context of “locale-specific, minimally organized, very loosely connected” struggle is a call toward centralization. Relative to the dominant anti-authoritarian practices, syndicalism (especially ushered in by the IWW which is partially composed of state socialists) is a step toward bureaucratization and the danger of socialist parties, the capitulation, reformism and authoritarianism that RED warns against.

    Meanwhile, there are infrastructures already carrying many of us from win to win, they’re just (intentionally) opaque and (unfortunately) weaker than they need to be. These infrastructures include collective housing, mutual aid networks, protest norms like black bloc, security culture, or the st paul principles, street medics, legal defense crews, spokes-councils, and “anarchist franchise” projects like food not bombs, disaster relief, really really free markets, social centers, etc. These are the names anarchists give these practices, but mutual aid infrastructure exists in other communities as well, they tend to be based in kinship networks and are sometimes more robust and less scrutible to outsiders, including us. This infrastructure is exactly the kind of practice that anarchosyndicalists frequently deride as “lifestylist” or “subcultural”, but then turn around and imitate under an IWW banner.

    What’s happening, and what critics are calling attention to, is that syndicalism is inserting itself in these struggles, distracting and sapping energy from them if not actively undermining and sabotaging. This causes some very specific detriments, which RED avoids by speaking in generalities. The GDC competes with antifa crews (mass antifascism is an established antifa practice, not a GDC innovation). IWOC competes with the Freedom Movement (prisoners didn’t call themselves “incarcerated workers”, the IWW did, before supplanting Free Alabama Movement’s effort to expand state-by-state).

    In each of these situations, syndicalists are creating more accessible, but less effective and less authentic alternatives to pre-existing struggles. Many people involved intend to support or cooperate with the movements they’re joining, but by joining them through a syndicalist project, rather than on the struggle’s own terms, they end up subsuming it to the needs of the syndicalist bureaucracy. At the very least our own contribution is wasted on politicking and conflict-resolution with the rest of the union.

    Just because something is formally established doesn’t mean it’s more robust, sustainable or powerful than informal structures or disorganized struggle. Anarcho-syndicalism needs to do more than learn the rhetoric of intersectionality and then assert the superiority of class struggle organizing without evidence. RED’s article is full of evidence that worker-power continues to bottom out (record low strikes, reformist dominance in trade unions, etc) and effectively argues against “the rigidity and top-heaviness” of unions, but then urges anti-authoritarians to leave our lively efforts and join them as a “second pillar” struggling to resuscitate exactly those failures. Syndicalism’s corpse is stiff and pale, stop breathing for it. Give up the ghost.


    Liked it? Take a second to support It's Going Down!

     

    by thecollective at January 16, 2019 03:13 AM

    The State Shutdowns, the Commune Rises: #J20 Events Across US

    From It's Going Down

    In December of 2018, It’s Going Down along with CrimethInc., Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and the Final Straw all made a call for a week of action and experimentation around mutual aid, community resilience and self-defense, and the creation of survival programs.

    As we write this, the government has now entered the third week of a “shut down,” and while some workers have launched sick-outs and protests, many other people are at risk of losing their food stamps, housing vouchers, disaster relief funds, and access to a variety of programs – from women’s shelters to children’s programs.

    TIA #51: We talked with @Franklin__Lopez from @submedia on the growing #WetsuwetenStrong revolt, and we discussed the #J20 call in the context of a three week old #GovernmentShutdown that is on the verge of cutting off access to food, housing, and beyond. https://t.co/cfagpZCLgi pic.twitter.com/ezn64YN05V

    — It's Going Down (@IGD_News) January 10, 2019

    This reality is compounded by the ever growing crisis that was already outside our door; one that sees the growth of economic refugees displaced by everything from rising rents to climate change driven fires, the onslaught of automation, AI technology, and the growth of the gig economy that is removing, surveilling, and automating us out of our own lives and jobs, the further entrenchment of this racialized colonial nightmare, that sees mass incarceration and prison slavery, coupled with troops at the border and concentration camps for kids as a “solution,” and an explosion of drug overdoses, the ratcheting up of debt, and the lowering of life expectancy among the working-class and poor.

    In the last two years, the Trump administration has only accelerated these realities, from slashing billions in taxes for the wealthy and corporations, and cutting everything from environmental standards to banking regulations. In each and every example of just how this civilization is starting to collapse in on itself, the Democrats are not a force which pushes back, but instead of one that only seeks to better manage a ship which is so clearly sinking.

    On our first podcast of 2019, we talked to @Crimethinc about everything from the #J20 trial to #AbolishICE as we look back on 2018. They argue we may be entering into a small window of revolt – and how organized we are now may determine how far we can go. https://t.co/LCx9mKPJKt pic.twitter.com/8hWwpGML9I

    — It's Going Down (@IGD_News) January 3, 2019

    With all this in mind, we hope that this #J20, anarchists, autonomists, and anti-authoritarians can come together to begin to experiment in forms of mutual aid and survival programs which can begin to build resilience and autonomy where we live in the face of a crisis that is expanding all around us.
    Mutual Aid Mondays: Olympia, WA

    January 21st: Every Monday at Billy Frank Lot. Franklin Street & State Ave, 7pm. More info here.

    Event Description:

    Every Monday for the past two months, members of Just Housing, Olympia Assembly, Oly Sol, Olympia Community Medics, Olympia Industrial Workers of the World and residents of the downtown houseless community have been coming together to share hot food, coffee, winter clothing, medicine, hygiene and other survival supplies for the cold and wet months ahead.

    A hot meal, dry clothing and conversation can be the difference between life and death for someone living without adequate shelter, in poverty, burdened with illness or depression. We are not here to do charity work, but to build community and organize around our shared struggles as neighbors, comrades and friends.

    Anyone is welcome to join. We meet downtown at Franklin and State, 7pm every Monday. Fight the Power, Serve the People!

    Mutual Aid Laundry Day and Community Meal: Tacoma, Washington

    Sunday, January 20th: Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective planning day of action. Connect with them here.

    Event description:

    On J20, Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective will be responding to a direct need within our community. Many of our houseless and struggling neighbors have expressed a need for assistance with laundry. We will be working with a local laundry mat to offer the payment and supplies needed for each individual to do two or more loads of laundry. It is crucial for our neighbors to have clean and dry clothes during the rainy and freezing season and we are thrilled to have the funds to support our community. We will also offer a meal during this time and hope to reach more neighbors. Additionally, we will be supporting Hilltop Urban Gardens (HUG)on January 21st for their MLK day event. Founded in late 2010, by long-time organizer Dean Jackson, Hilltop Urban Gardens is a community-based urban agriculture, justice, and equity organization in Tacoma, WA.

    Community Range Day: Los Angeles, CA

    January 20th: Community firearms and safety training. Contact Los Angeles Redneck Revolt for more info.

    Description:

    All Los Angeles John Brown Gun Club trainings are free of charge. However, you are responsible for your own range fees, which range from $15 – $20. If you bring your own firearm, you will be responsible for providing your own ammunition. If you will be practicing with one of our member’s firearms, we provide 20 rounds per firearm, per participant. Please consider a small donation for ammunition, we’d appreciate it.

    In order to ensure everyone is getting the best instruction, and to provide a safe environment for those who are participating, we limit the number of participants at our community range days.

    @crimethinc, @IGD_News, @MutualAidRelief, and @StrawFinal, we are calling for a week of action around the weekend of January 20, 2019. pic.twitter.com/gmgTkZxqM4

    — Los Angeles John Brown Gun Club (@LAJBGC) December 3, 2018

    Fundraiser for Unsheltered Relatives: Flagstaff, Arizona

    Saturday, January 12th: Join Taala Hooghan Flagstaff info shop in gathering supplies and funds for the unsheltered community in so-called Flagstaff, Arizona. Come to the benefit at Firecreek Coffee Company, at 8pm, on Saturday, January 12th, or donate here.

    Description:

    ‘Fundraiser for Relatives’ will be our benefit show to gather food, sleeping bags, warm clothing and monetary donations for the unsheltered in our community. This time of year is cold and harsh, and we’d like to share the abundance with all.

    Back the Wolf Pack: Somi Se’k Solidarity Fundraiser: Austin, TX

    Sunday, Janurary 20th: Come out to support indigenous resistance along the border and raise funds for the Somi Se’k Village Base Camp. Event at the Third Place in Austin, Texas, 8 PM. More info here.

    Event description:

    We invite you to third place to celebrate & support one such hub of survival, autonomy, & resistance relevant to our local context. The recently established Somi Se’k Village Base Camp, near so-called Floresville, has been building infrastructure to enable and support resistance. Under the leadership of the Esto’k Gna (Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas), the Base Camp aims to build and proliferate a network of Front Line Encampments to provide aid to migrants, resist the Border Wall, protect sacred sites, combat extractive industries & pipelines, and more while restoring Esto’k villages. The first such village they will support will be an encampment at the National Butterfly Center, which will be divided by the border wall.

    The Camp needs your help & support. Come out to this event to help raise funds, which will go towards supplying the Base Camp & Front Line teams with supplies and infrastructure. Join us and learn more how to materially support the struggles of our comrades and how you yourself can get involved. We’ll be playing a short film, giving out information about the Camp, and wil end with music & dancing. Full schedule & lineup TBA

    You can also check out the info on our autonomy calendar, if you don’t use Facebook https://t.co/Vlz3Pvbo5H

    Learn more about the camp: https://t.co/s8yRz1osPAhttps://t.co/aL993cwKlt#J20 call to action from @crimethinc & @IGD_News: https://t.co/9Hz2CkaoiQ

    — Autonomous Student Network—Austin (@ASN_ATX) January 8, 2019

    Potluck, Film, & Community Gathering: Cleveland, OH

    Sunday, January 20th: Come out to enjoy a potluck, a discussion, and film showing of “Conspiracy to Riot,” from subMedia. Event begins at 5 PM. More info here.

    Description:

    Join us on January 20th for a vegan potluck, film showing, and community gathering where we will be fostering conversions around solidarity and mutual aid in Cleveland.

    Launch of Community Radio Station: St. Cloud, MN

    Sunday, January 20: Celebrate the launching of a community pirate radio station, starting at 9 PM.

    Description:

    We are taking over the airwaves with Radio Free Cloud, a pirate radio station broadcasting a mix of comedy, music and political education live in St. Cloud, MN on 93.9 FM. Listen starting every Sunday at 9 PM, and connect to us on Mastodon at https://RadioFree.Cloud.

    Free Meal, Film Showing, and Community Gathering: Kansas City, MO

    Sunday, January 20th: Gathering at Bluford Library, 1 PM. Event info here.

    Description:

    Come out to fellowship on January 20th 1-5pm at Bluford Library for a free film screening of Black Snake Killaz, a documentary on the actions of #noDAPL. There will also be food, clothing, and clothes mending available for all! We hope to see you.

    Come out to fellowship on January 20th 1-5pm at Bluford Library for a free film screening of Black Snake Killaz, a documentary on the actions of #noDAPL.

    There will also be food, clothing, & clothes mending available for all! We hope to see you #J20 pic.twitter.com/7YwPeuOHBT

    — Greater KC IWW (@GKCIWW) January 8, 2019

    Mobile Soup Kitchen: Columbia, MO

    Throughout the week, members of the Mid-Missouri John Brown Gun Club take to the streets with the mobile soup kitchen. Contact them for ways to support.
    Free Store and Community Meal: Colorado Springs, CO

    Sunday, January 20th: Come out to Antler’s Park at 1 PM for a free store and community meal. Event info here.

    Description:

    Jan 20th we’ll be holding our next Free Store and Community Meal. As many of you know one of the largest encampments in the city was destroyed on Dec 11th followed by the 2nd largest one on Dec 17th. The cops and other city entities went into these people’s community, took and or destroyed all of their belongings left them to start over for the millionth time. These distros are helping these folks rebuild their lives and your participation is absolutely crucial.

    We’re doing “brunch” this month, the plan for the main dish is French toast, pancakes, and sausage all cooked on site to ensure a hot meal. Please bring sides, snacks, treats, water, clothing, shoes, blankets, and anything else you think folks will be in need of. We’ve recently gone through the Amazon wish list and added/removed things. This list is merely a guide, buy the supplies from where ever. Thank you all for your continued support, it’s the life blood of this monthly community event!

    Our Free Store and Community Meal is January 20th 1pm at Antler's Park in Colorado Springs. If you want something to eat, you need some water, you need supplies, you need clothing, etc this is for you. We welcome you to come help and/or get whatever you need no strings attached.

    — Worker's Initiative for Liberation & Defense (@WILDFrontRange) January 10, 2019

    Movie Night Outside Prison Work Camp: Gainesville, Florida

    Wednesday, January 23rd: Join Gainesville IWOC for a movie night outside of the Gainesville prison work camp. Starts at 7 PM. Event info here.

    Description:

    Join us every 4th Wednesday at sunset for movies outside Gainesville Work Camp! Folks inside: tell us what you want to see! Folks outside: bring blankets and snacks, invite your friends and family!

    Dance Party to Benefit Migrant Caravan: Boone, North Carolina

    Friday, January 18th: Come out to benefit migrant caravan. Espresso News, 10 PM.

    This is happening this Friday! Come on out! @WorkersCarolina @avlantiracism @StrawFinal @IGD_News @submedia @Boone_DSA @commotion pic.twitter.com/uWbCTpCkvD

    — giles Shurtleff (@GilesShurtleff) January 14, 2019

    Community Building Through Mutual Aid: Shelby, North Carolina

    Sunday, January 20th: Come out for a series of events in Shelby, North Carolina. Event info here.

    Description:

    Join CWC as we kick off the new year in conjunction with organizations across the country as we honor the 2nd anniversary of the J20 inauguration protests with a Day of Action in Uptown Shelby. We will have a winter Workers Feeding Workers potluck from 1:00-3:00 followed by a screening of the film “Sorry to Bother You” at 117-B W. Warren St, Shelby, the home of our Totally Free Clothes Store.** We will have copies of our zine as well. This is a great opportunity to come meet some of us and see what we do in our community. Help us grow our mutual aid projects in 2019. Hope to see you there.

    **the potluck will be on the courtsquare which is easily accessible, but unfortunately the movie showing afterwards is in a space nearby that is not handicap accessible. it’s the only free venue available to us, we are constantly searching for a better spot to host us. if you know of one in Shelby or Gastonia, please hit us up. no one has to attend both events to be welcome, please just drop in whenever works best for you!

    #J20 #MutualAid We are having a Day of Action including a Workers Feeding Workers community potluck from 1-3 and a film screening and discussion from 3-6.https://t.co/Lz8gFRBM8u

    — Carolina Workers Collective (@WorkersCarolina) December 27, 2018

    Really Really Free Market: Washington DC

    Saturday, January 19th: Come out to the St Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal starting at 4pm. More info here.

    Description:

    A free store is a “store” where all goods are free. Whether it is a book, furniture, a shirt, or a haircut, it is all freely given away. It’s a place where anyone can participate by leaving stuff they don’t want or taking stuff they do. No strings attached.

    Mutual aid is the voluntary exchange of resources and services. Instead of looking to corporations or the state, we can look to one another for what we need. This practice has existed for thousands of years in many societies. Capitalism creates a false sense of scarcity by placing a monetary value on everything from the environment to human life, in order to build wealth. Mutual aid focuses on building community wealth, and not only in terms of material gain. Mutual aid places value on a large spectrum, not just on monetary or material goods. Mutual aid creates cooperation instead of competition.

    Westside Free Food Distro: Chicago, Illinois

    Come out to the Breakaway Community Center in Chicago with a bag to participate in the Westside Free Food Distro, every Wednesday from 7:30 – 9 :30 PM. Contact the space for more info. More info here.

    This week, our weekly food distro includes bananas, hearts of romaine, honey crisp apples, green onions, brussel sprouts, and carrots! pic.twitter.com/s96nL7QVae

    — B r e a k a w a y (@Breakaway_chi) January 2, 2019

    Community Food Program: Atlanta, Georgia

    Come to the South Bend Commons Space in Atlanta, Georgia on every Friday at 12 NOON in order to get healthy food. To get more info, contact the space here.

    See you tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/PSndlgmWUh

    — The South Bend Commons (@sbc_atl) December 14, 2018

    Really Really Free Market & Potluck: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Sunday, January 20th: Liberation Project is hosting a Really Really Free Market and potluck on J20 in Philadelphia, starting at 12 PM. Event info here.

    Description:

    Spend J20 in solidarity with your comrades while browsing through stuff and eating food! There will be an donation bucket at the space to contribute towards Liberation Project’s Emergency Fund for comrades facing state repression after events. If you feel inclined to throw a couple of bucks their way that would be great!

    Health Autonomy Study Group: Central Vermont

    Sunday, January 20th: A winter series of discussion and skill share based on topics related to autonomous and anti-capitalist health care. Discussion on January 20th is about sexual health autonomy. For a list of lit and resources or to get more info, email: health_autonomy@riseup.net.
    Email your event info at: info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org

    by thecollective at January 16, 2019 03:07 AM

    Anews Podcast 98, 1.11.2018

    via The Anews Podcast

    Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 98. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week on anarchistnews.org.

    Editorial: on passion and gadflies, by Chisel
    TOTW: goals for 2019, with Aragorn! and Ariel

    This podcast is the effort of many people. This episode was

    • sound edited by Linn O’Mable
    • what’s new was written by Jackie and narrated by Chisel and Dim
    • Redacted with SUDS, et al
    • Music!
      1) Lil Yachty – Talk To Me Nice (feat. Quavo)
      2) Krallice – Go Be Forgotten
      3) The Gerogerigegege – Goalkeeper
      4) Brock Van Wey – White Clouds Drift On And On
    Tags: 

    by anon at January 16, 2019 03:04 AM

    F.L.O.W.E.R. on Opposing “Rock Stone Mountain” 2019 + Black Flags Over Brooklyn with Kim Kelly

    From The Final Straw Radio

    Firstly we’re presenting a conversation that William had with an organizer with F.L.O.W.E.R., which stands for Front Line Organization Working to End Racism, about opposition to a neo confederate rally scheduled to take place on February 2nd at Stone Mountain Park about half an hour’s drive outside of Atlanta, Georgia. We talk about the longstanding history of this rally, which originally was a KKK event, its resurgence alongside the rise of far right activity, and some of what’s been done to oppose it in recent years. We also talk about what to keep in mind when standing against this event and how to learn more and plug in, plus much more.

    This group is @flowerunited on Twitter, and that’s a great way to get rapid updates as February 2nd draws nearer. Also a great way to keep updated and read more about the history of this event, plus to see a long list of endorsing groups, you can go to https://flowerunited.org/

    . … . ..

    Next up, Bursts spoke with journalist, metalhead, anarchist, and antifascist Kim Kelly. Kim is an editor at Noisey, the VICE music site and has contributed radical content to Teen Vogue and many other platforms online and in print. For the rest of the hour we spoke about the upcoming “Black Flags Over Brooklyn” antifascist and antiracist heavy metal festival that Kim and others are organizing January 25 and 26 in New York City alongside a day-long anti-authoritarian leftist gathering. We also talk about the culture wars in metal, taking radical space in mainstream publications and more. You can find much of Kims work at noisey.vice.com, more about Black Flags Over Brooklyn and how to get merch or participate by just searching it on the web or finding its kickstarter or eventbrite. If you want to hear our interview with one of the headlining bands, Dawn Ray’d about politics and extreme music check the link in our shownotes.

    Oh, and we mentioned Red + Anarchist Black Metal blog

    Suggestions of good things by Kim ala metal with not terrible (even good) politics!

    Labels: Alerta Antifascista, Halo of Flies, Sentient Ruin, Tankcrimes, Gilead Media, Tridroid Records, An Out Recordings, Eternal Warfare, Blackened Death Records, Get Better Records, Yehonala Tapes, 20 Buck Spin

    Sites doing good work: Toilet Ov Hell, Astral Noize, Metalsucks, No Clean Singing, Invisible Oranges

    Update from Unist’ot’en Camp

    Here’s an official update from the Unist’ot’en Camp about the raid on the Gidimt’en Access Point we talked about on last week’s episode of The Final Straw.

    Eric King Comms Blocks, Possible Hungerstrike

    A post up at SupportEricKing.org that we read from in the episode starts with an announcement that Eric has been denied his monthly call with his wife who is recovering from surgery, was assaulted by staff at FCI Florence and transfered to FCI Leavenworth (though still under Florence’s jurisdiction) and away from his daughters and wife, is coming up on 5 months in solitary and may have begun a hunger strike. There is a request for call-ins. Here is a sample script:

    Hi I am calling about Eric King, #27090045 to demand that his phone restriction be lifted. It is unacceptable to take away a prisoner’s calls to his wife and family without any notice and without him being brought up on any charges.

    Supporters are asked to call and email:

    FCI Florence
    Call: 719-784-9100
    Ask for: The warden/assistant warden, the legal department, Counselor Quintana, Counselor Rivera. If denied demand the person answering the phone take down a message.

    Email: FLF/ExecAssistant@bop.gov

    BOP North Central Regional Office
    Call: 913-621-3939
    Ask for: Director Jeffrey Krueger. If denied ask to speak with his assistant. If denied again, demand the person answering the phone take down a message.

    Email: NCRO/ExecAssistant@bop.gov

    Yiddish Anarchism Conference

    Also coming up in NYC, on Sunday January 20th there’ll be a free conference entitled “Yiddish Anarchism: New Scholarship On A Forgotten Tradition”. The conference will be conducted in English, will be free, run from 10am to 8pm at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research at 15 West 16th St. More info can be found at yivo.org/Anarchism

    The latest Error451

    This week we released a new Error451 episode into our podcast stream, this time an interview with Kali Kaneko about Leap Encryption Access Project, about VPNs and psuedonymity online. If you haven’t, visit our website and take a listen. Or, better yet, subscribe to our podcast by visiting “podcasting” link and following the instructions there!

    Support Our Work

    If you appreciate the work that we put into making this show happen, week after week, sometimes more than once a week and if you can afford to help us out, please consider donating to The Final Straw. If you visit our website, you can click the Donate/Merch button and there you’ll find a few options. We can take one-time donations via paypal or venmo, we can take ongoing donations via liberapay, you can buy t-shirts, stickers, buttons and more via our bigcartel store or become a sustainer via patreon and make monthly donations. The patreon option has a lot of options for thank you gifts including what’s already been mentioned, plus homemade mixtapes and an option to get a zine made of any interview we’ve conducted, getting those words into the hands of translators and folks who have hearing impairments!

    If you can’t afford a monetary donation, no worries, tell your friends about the podcast, share an episode on social media, write us an email or a letter to suggest content. You could also contact your local community radio station and say that you want us on your airwaves. We have a weekly, 59 minute and FCC-friendly episode out every Sunday afternoon up for radio stations to download and use. More info on that can be found at our website by clicking the radio link at the top of the site.

    As an aside, we’ve just started sharing Political Prisoner button mixpacks for Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross. The buttons feature the faces of 54 (and more to come) political prisoners held by the U.S. government. The sales go to benefit the activities of BRABC. Prisoner support sites and distributors should contact blueridgeabc@riseup.net for deals on the buttons. If you want to make your own and have a button maker, the pdf’s of the button images are up at https://brabc.blackblogs.org/pp-ppow-buttons/ for download for free.

    . … . ..

    Playlist here.

    by anon at January 16, 2019 03:00 AM

    “They are collecting information on people involved in social activism”

    Ukrainian anarchists targeted in series of searches

    In December, Ukrainian law enforcement searched a series of activists' homes in connection with a violent assault on a Ukrainian war veteran. Activists believe this is part of a wider campaign against anarchists in Ukraine.

    This article was originally published in Ukrainian media outlet Zaborona. We translate it with their permission here.

    In December 2018, Ukraine’s Security Services (SBU) conducted searches at the homes of seven anarchists. According to the activists, SBU officers forced two anarchists to sign a cooperation agreement, and one of the activists had her passport confiscated.

    Who have you come for?

    Early on the morning of 6 December, officers of the National Police, Prosecutor’s Office and SBU searched the homes of anarchists in Kyiv, Brovary, Dnipro and Lviv. In Lviv, west Ukraine, investigators visited three addresses – Taras Bohay (Ecological Initiative), Oleh Kordiyaka (Black Banner) and a woman who asked for her name not to be published for security reasons.

    In Kyiv, investigators searched the home of Khrystyna, 19, and in Brovary, a town outside the Ukrainian capital, law enforcement visited the official place of residence for Roman, 20, though they only found the activist’s mother at home (he does not live there). In Dnipro (formerly Dnipropetrovsk), the police visited the apartment of Natalya and Maksym, both 20.

    Khrystyna, Roman, Natalya and Maksym say that they are not members of any organisation, and call themselves “autonomous participants of the anarchist movement”. They don’t give out their surnames, as they are concerned about possible attacks by radical nationalist groups. As in the case of other anarchists, they believe it’s best to act anonymously: they use false names in social media and cover their faces at public protests.

    Previously, only the searches of the apartments Lviv activists, who are publicly active, were reported in the media. The remaining activists did not report the searches, but later they agreed to share their stories with Zaborona.

    Grounds for search

    Kyiv’s Podil District Court issued the warrants for all six searches, which state that these investigative actions are being conducted as part of a investigation into an attack on a former Right Sector volunteer fighter, Dmytro “Verbych” Ivashchenko.

    On 2 May 2018, Ivashchenko was attacked in the Podil district of Kyiv. Three men and women wearing masks assaulted him, stabbing him in the back. Ivashchenko spent an extended period of the time in hospital as a result.

    The police established the identities of only two of the attackers – Kseniya Lapynska from Chernihiv and Vyacheslav Lukichev. Lapynska, 25, was arrested almost immediately after the incident, and was given a three year suspended sentence. The second likely attacker, Lukichev, 24, is a Russian anarchist – he managed to leave Ukraine before being detained. In November 2018, he was arrested in Kaliningrad on suspicion of “justifying terrorism online”. The investigation into Lukichev was opened after he called Mikhail Zhlobitsky, who set off a bomb at an FSB office in Arkhangelsk on 31 October, a “hero” online.

    The court decisions regarding the 6 December searches state that the activists whose homes were searched could be complicit in the attack on Dmytro Ivashchenko. The warrants do not clarify on what grounds law enforcement have these suspicions.

    Questoning, detention, attempts at recruitment

    In the process of searching the activists’ apartments, Ukrainian law enforcement confiscated computers, telephones, flash drives and hard disks belonging to the activists. Several of them also had clothes, paint and posters confiscated.

    After the searches finished, the activists, apart from Roman (Brovary), were taken to police stations for questioning. According to them, they were questioned for several hours about what they know about the attack on Dmytro Ivashchenko. Investigators were also interested in the civic and political activity of the activists and their acquaintances. After questioning, they were released without charge.

    Khrystyna, from Kyiv, complained that while she was in Podil District Police Station, an SBU officer forced her to sign an agreement to cooperate.

    “He said: let’s cooperate, then we’ll let you go,” she says. “I was really afraid, I didn’t know if anyone else knew they’d detained me. I realised I could be there for 24 hours and that no one would know about it. So I signed the paper that said I will cooperate with the SBU.”

    After questioning, the police did not return Khrystyna her passport – they only returned her papers on 21 December, after she made a complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office

    According to Khrystyna, after the investigation, SBU officers called her several times and proposed meeting, but she refused. She says that she signed the agreement only in order to be released, and she didn’t want any further contact with the security services. Afraid of persecution, Khrystyna changed her apartment and telephone number, and created new social media accounts. After questioning, the police did not return Khrystyna her passport – they only returned her papers on 21 December, after she made a complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office.

    Maksym, from Dnipro, also stated that SBU officers forced him to sign a cooperation agreement. According to his wife Natalya, SBU officers were rude to them during questioning, pressuring and trying to force them to stop their civic activities. Natalya says that several days after the search, an SBU officer summoned Maksym for an informal chat, to which the activist agreed. During the meeting, the SBU officer asked the young man for information on other activists in Dnipro. Natalya says that they no longer answer calls from their “curator” as they call him, and have changed their place of residence.

    What the Prosecutor’s Office and SBU believe

    In response to an official information request by Zaborona, Kyiv’s Prosecutor Office stated that these searches were conducted to identify all persons complicit in the attack on Dmytro Ivashchenko. At the same time, the ministry’s press office did not explain how these seven anarchists are connected with this crime, citing the need to keep investigation materials confidential. On this basis, the Prosecutor’s Office refused to comment on the results of the searches and did not report what status the activists have in the investigation.

    The Prosecutor’s Office states that no one was detained after the searches, including Khrystyna from Kyiv.

    “Khrystyna [...], who was mentioned in your request, came to Podil Police Station in order to give an explanatory statement, although she could not provide information towards evidence for the criminal investigation, in connection with which she was not questioned as an evidence. Her passport was not confiscated. According to information from Podil Police Station, she left the document in the investigator’s office.”

    As to the activists in Dnipro, the Prosecutor’s Office stated that they had not received a complaint of possible unlawful actions by law enforcement officers.

    In response to an information request by Zaborona, the SBU stated only that “SBU officers operated within the framework of current legislation”. The agency refused to give any other comment, stating that “information of a pre-trial investigation cannot be publicised”.

    The activists’ position

    All seven activists whose homes were searched insist that they bear no relation to the attack on Dmytro Ivashchenko – and they don’t know who did. According to them, they are involved in legal civic activity – they organise ecological and animal rights demonstrations, campaigns against development and in support of trade unions, as well as lectures and film screenings.

    The anarchists believe that the SBU has used the attack on Ivashchenko as a pretext to pressure them and collect information on participants in their movement.

    “They came to me because I’ve been involved in activism for a long time, and I don’t hide my views,” says Taras Bohay. “I think that they knew that I had nothing to do with the attack. They were just interested in my correspondence, chats. They collect information on people involved in social activism.”

    “They came to me because I’ve been involved in activism for a long time, and I don’t hide my views”

    Bohay and his comrades are yet to get used to increased attention from law enforcement. For example, in September this year, the police dispersed an animal rights action by Ecological Platform in Lviv, and earlier this year the SBU raided the organisation’s summer camp in the Carpathian mountains, recording all the participants’ personal details in the process.

    “There were also regular attacks by the far right on Ecological Platform activists and other anti-authoritarian organisations, as well as people with anti-fascist views. In some instances, the attacks took place with assistance from the police – as was the case in the attack after the feminist march on 8 March, when the police blocked the route of a tram in which activists were traveling, and the far right then attacked them,” says Bohay.

    Bohay believes that these recent attacks on activists in Lviv and the searches conducted on 6 December are connected, and considers this an act of repression.

    by anon at January 16, 2019 02:53 AM

    Anarchy Bang - Episode Two

    From Anarchy Bang

    Episode Two

    This episode was thematically about place. Where is Home? What is Home? This talk was at least half the episode concerned ideas around home and indigeneity. Also discussed were prefiguration, “what is anarchy?”, and more.

    by anon at January 16, 2019 02:06 AM

    Radical Underground - Episode 29: New Tracks/Rap Insurrecto

    From Radical Underground (Sound Cloud)

    On this episode, it's all music, except for a clip from an interview with Kuwasi Balagoon, an anarchist and member of the Black Liberation Army. Most of the tracks here are from the past year, including a few anarchist rap tracks from the US and some new underground tracks from Indonesia. We've also got a couple songs by Palabras En Conflicto, the rap group that Sebastían 'Angry' Oversluij was a member of. Angry was a nihilist-anarchist who was killed by a security guard during an attempted bank robbery in Dec 2013. His death was recently commemorated by high school students in Santiago, Chile (see the photo that goes with the episode). We also feature a track by Nepalese anarcho-punk band Rai Ko Ris.

    Playlist:
    A$AP Rocky- "Black Tux, White Collar"
    ("Kuwasi Balagoon interviewed on local new television, 1980s": www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWn2B881BuQ)
    Johnny Panic- "Doom"
    Lee Reed- "ACAB"
    Sima Lee- "It's On"
    Rebel Diaz, Divine RBG- "Viva Puerto Rico Libre! (Ghetto Brothers Remix)"
    Four Fists- "Annihilation ft. Sims"
    Morgue Vanguard x Doyz- "CSDB FM"
    Morfem- "Memento"
    The Stocker- "Bangsat Permanent"
    Doyz- "Primitive Future"
    Rand Slam & Joe Million- "Kelas Berat"
    Krowbar- "Doktrin 9Mm"
    Palabras En Conflicto- "Rap Insurrecto"
    Palabras En Conflicto- "Somos Lx Dekiciadxs"
    Rai Ko Ris- "New Anti-National Anthem"
    Body Count- "Cop Killer"

    by anon at January 16, 2019 01:56 AM

    What ever happened to the Church of Anarchy?

    From Isthmus by Andy Moore, January 10, 2019

    The avant-garde cofounder left Willy Street years ago for life in the Driftless Region

    I’ve entered this menagerie to catch up with an artist I’ve never met but have followed for decades.


    Madison old timers will remember aND as the prankster-in-chief of the Church of Anarchy, a whirlpool of visual art and performance that swirled from a house on the 1300


    block of Williamson Street in the 1980s. aND created the alternative universe with his late wife, then known as Liz Was. The Iran-Contra affair had protesters in motion on the Capitol Square but aND wanted to protest art or, as he puts it, “the concept of what art is or what music is — or what culture should be made of.”


    During the 1980s and early 1990s, aND and Was turned art inside out. Performing hundreds of planned and spontaneous performance art shows, their status alternated between counterculture heroes and celebrated mainstream weirdos. For the couple, art was a totem to be torn down and stomped on. Even if you had to make art to do it.


    Michael Anderson grew up in a traditional household in Wisconsin Rapids. He began writing poetry at 13. A lifetime of deconstructing reality began by questioning his own name. One day while hanging out at the Rapids public library, he looked up the name Michael Anderson in the Chicago phone book. There were 325 of them. Even worse, he counted 12 Michael David Andersons, his full name.


    “I thought, oh my God, that can’t be my name. I started scrambling for pseudonyms,” he says. By 16 he landed on an alternative spelling of his first name, mIEKAL, and decided to just shorten his last name to the first syllable, “aND.”


    Writing poetry full time is partly to blame for aND’s eight attempts to finish college at UW-Oshkosh. However, it gained him a scholarship residency at Ragsdale Writers Retreat in Lake Forest, Illinois, two years running. It was there that he started a work called SAMSARA CONGERIES, which took him 35 years to complete. All together he has published 36 books of poetry and a novel.


    On a hot August night in 1980 he climbed onto an empty bar stool at the Crystal Corner Bar next to a musician from Long Island named Elizabeth Nasaw. She moved in with him the next day. They were


    performing together almost immediately, and in celebration of her mutual commitment to aND, she became Liz Was. The duo started out as Two Dogs in Paris, but consistent with their belief that art is temporary, they renamed their project a dozen times. Performances included regular sermons in the front yard where, dressed in an orange wig and kabuki robe, aND preached in complete gibberish.



    Was and aND were prolific. They produced art events the way others take daily showers. They put 40 people on a bus to Aztalan, Wisconsin, for a seven-day celebration of the pyramid-like rock sculptures there. They inhabited a miniature pyramid for 24 hours in front of the then-Civic Center on State Street. And they organized the Festival of the Swamps, an avant-garde counterpart to the city-sponsored Festival of the Lakes.


    The couple also cut the edge of what would become the ’zine movement via their poetry press Xexoxial Editions, which continues to this day.


    “They had no role models,” says Dan Bitney, drummer for the Tar Babies, a punk band that found success in the ’80s. Fellow Madison visual artist and musician Andy Ewen, of Honor Among Thieves, also remembers the couple. “I have never known anyone whose life and art constituted a whole as much as it did with Liz and mIEKAL,” he says.


    Was and aND were legally married during a performance art piece in 1987, the same year their son, Liaizon Wakest, was born. His name appeared after days of arranging wooden letters purchased at St. Vinny’s on their coffee table.


    “My childhood was great,” says Wakest, who now lives in New Orleans. He was “unschooled” until he was 10 and attended alternative high schools in Viroqua and Madison. “I say that I grew up in an anarchist commune. Growing up there we would never use the word commune, mainly because it had a really bad reputation (I think especially in the Midwest). Now having traveled the world, I think calling it a commune is the most succinct.”


    The commune Wakest refers to wasn’t the Willy Street home of his birth. By 1990, when Wakest was a toddler, aND says drug houses surrounded their apartment, giving dangerous new meaning to the word anarchy. Was and aND answered an ad in Isthmus advertising for people interested in starting an “eco-village” in the country. The couple traveled to the Mineral Point area to meet with a stranger who invested a wealthy Chicagoan’s money in the purchase of old municipal properties in rural Wisconsin towns and villages. The stranger eventually set them up, deed and all, with properties including the old West Lima Post Office and school building. Dreamtime Village was born.


    During the ’90s the school and post office became an experimental arts residence that was visited by hundreds of artists over the years. Dreamtime Village was — and is still — guided by Australian aboriginal philosophy, one with a language that had no words that separated daily life from art. “They believed that the sleeping hours are the waking hours, and the waking hours are the sleeping hours,” says aND. It’s the ultimate paradigm shift.


    The couple split up in 1998, and Was changed her name to Lyx Ish. They co-parented Liaizon and continued to run Dreamtime and Xexoxial Editions until Ish passed away suddenly after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2004. aND’s entry in his personal timeline when she died reads, “music leaves my soul.”


    These days aND devotes most of his time to permaculture — a branch of sustainable farming that incorporates philosophical principles — and wine making. His fruits and vegetables go into his wines, which he stamps with his Beyond Vineyard/Driftless Sacred Grove label.


    “He is a poetic green wizard,” says Kate Heiber-Cobb, founder of the Madison Area Permaculture Guild “His arts flow over into the life-giving work he does around the earth.”


    Sitting on the second floor of his post office home, as his lone koi fish swam back and forth behind him in a giant tank, I asked aND what he wished people living more conventional lifestyles could understand about his life and worldview. Appropriately enough, the answer came back to living on the edge.


    “There’s a concept in permaculture called edges. Like where a hillside meets a pond. Those edges are the highest percentage of diversity and potential,” says aND. “Because it’s two different systems meeting each other, that edge is where things can happen.


    “The idea of edges applies to everything in our life. We found some cracks in the pavement and we situated ourselves in the places that were most neglected — and most unwanted. And that’s where we made our home. Spaces that nobody else was paying attention to.”

    by anon at January 16, 2019 01:52 AM

    Episode 91 – Bellamy on Corrosive Consciousness

    From The Brilliant

    Getting specific is part of what Season 4 of The Brilliant podcast is about. Specifics about what a green perspective is (this conversation with BF is about the book Corrosive Consciousness). Specific about what different projects of dialogic anarchist practice looks like (namely an announcement for our new project Anarchy Bang https://anarchybang.com/ and, of course, this podcast). For my first The Brilliant conversation in 2019 I sit with Bellamy and talk about what he intended to do with his book Corrosive Consciousness, talk about what was done well (the argumentation) and what wasn’t (the tone) and the disingenous politicking that resulted once John Zerzan got ahold of the book and presented it on his bully pulpit.

    I was upset that the book was undermined, this is the full story of how, what, and why that happened. An interesting test case of what politics look like in the anti-political milieu and what bad faith looks like in practice. We also get the skinny on leaf-cutter ants which I can’t get enough of.

    (324)

    11 January, 2019

    by anon at January 16, 2019 01:37 AM

    jacobinmag

    Billionaires vs. LA Schools

    The Los Angeles teachers' strike isn't all about wages. At its core, the strike is a fight against a hostile takeover of public schools by the superrich.


    alt People rally in the streets of downtown in the pouring rain during a United Teachers Los Angeles strike on January 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Barbara Davidson / Getty Images

    Watch Eric Blanc on Democracy Now! this morning discussing the LA teachers strike here.

    Unlike many labor actions, the Los Angeles teachers’ strike is not really about wages or benefits. At its core, this is a struggle to defend public schools against the privatizing drive of a small-but-powerful group of billionaires.

    The plan of these business leaders is simple: break-up the school district into thirty-two competing “portfolio” networks, in order to replace public schools with privately run charters. As firm believers in the dogmas of market fundamentalism, these influential downsizers truly believe that it’s possible to improve education by running it like a private business. Not coincidentally, privatization would also open up huge avenues for profit-making — and deal a potentially fatal blow to one of the most well-organized and militant unions in the country, the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA). As union leader Arlene Inouye explains, “This is a struggle to save public education; the existence of public education in our city is on the line.”

    It’s always important to “know thy enemy.” But this is especially true for the educators’ movement in Los Angeles, which is directly challenging an unholy alliance of the some of richest individuals in the United States. Here’s a short primer on the corporate “who’s who” aiming to destroy public schools in LA — and across the nation.


    The Walton Family

    In a watershed moment for the drive to take over Los Angeles public education, pro-charter billionaires spent an unprecedented $9.7 million to buy the 2017 Los Angeles school board elections. A key funder of this campaign to elect charter school acolytes was none other than the Walton Family, best known as the founders of Walmart.

    Having made their fortune through union-busting and infamously low wages, the Arkansas-based Waltons — now the richest family in the world — have spent much of the last two decades bankrolling the privatization of public education. Nominally, this philanthropy is dedicated to improving life prospects for low-income families. Yet as journalist Harold Meyerson notes, “a more direct way to help them would be to give workers at Walmart . . . a raise and to give them more hours.”

    For the Waltons, their $2.2 million contribution to the 2017 school board election was just a drop in the bucket. Over recent years, the Walton Family Foundation has given $84 million to Los Angeles charter schools and it has spent $1.3 billion on “school reform” efforts nationwide. And in a further effort to capture the hearts and minds of Angelinos, a Walton-funded media outlet, The 74, took over the well-respected LA Schools Report in 2016.

    These initiatives have already had a major impact on Los Angeles. About 18 percent of students now attend charter schools, a rate far higher than in the rest of the country.


    Doris Fischer

    With a net worth of over $2.7 billion, Doris Fisher — co-founder of The Gap — is the second-highest political donor in California. Fisher, like her late husband Donald, has primarily donated to Republicans, but she is also close to former governor Jerry Brown and has donated to a wide range of pro-charter Democrats. In the pivotal 2017 capture of the LA School board, Fisher gave a whopping $4.1 million to the California Charter School Association’s efforts.

    The Fishers’ pro-privatization advocacy has also taken more direct forms. Using over $70 million of their personal wealth, Don and Doris Fisher founded the KIPP Foundation in 2000; it soon became the biggest charter network in the United States. With fifteen schools in Los Angeles alone, KIPP LA educates close to six thousand students.

    Though the educational achievements of charters like KIPP are no better than their district public school equivalents, teachers at KIPP schools are notoriously overworked, leading to extremely high turnover rates. As LA parent advocate Cynthia Liu explained to Capital and Main,

    If you look at the industries where these people [like Fisher] made their wealth, you can see why they have this idea that you have to squeeze labor to make your profits. If you have children in India making your clothing, your profit margin is very large. Similarly, if you use automation and low-cost education ‘shock troops’ to minimize the role of teachers . . . you minimize your education labor costs.

    Charter school leaders are unabashedly proud of their efforts to impose corporate methods upon the public sector. In the words of KIPP Foundation CEO Richard Barth, “[Don Fisher] used what he learned in growing Gap Inc. to show us what we could do in public education.”


    Reed Hastings

    Bay Area resident and former Peace Core volunteer Hastings made his massive fortune through developing software tools and subsequently founding Netflix. Unlike Fisher and the Waltons, he’s a liberal and a dedicated backer of the Democratic Party.

    In 2000, Democratic Governor Gray Davis appointed Hastings to the State Board of Education; the following year he became board president. This rise to the top of the state’s education apparatus was the prize given to Hastings for his groundbreaking efforts to get California to lift its cap on charter schools in 1998.

    Along with other privatizing zealots, Hastings has long been opposed to democratic oversight over education. In his opinion, the “most important thing” about the structure of charters is that they “have stable governance — they don’t have an elected school board.” For Hastings, the solution for public schools is not to fully fund them — rather, they need to “adopt the same principles of competition and accountability as exist in the private and nonprofit sectors.”

    Eager to make this dream a reality in Los Angeles, Hastings gave a record-breaking amount — roughly $7 million — to the California Charter Schools Association in the leadup to the 2017 LA school board election. Subsequently, Hastings became a founding investor of City Fund, an institute tasked with promoting the “portfolio model” of school privatization across the United States. Citing the examples of New Orleans, Washington DC, and Denver, City Fund’s pitch concludes that “[o]ur goal is to make the model normal. After enough adoption we believe the model will transition from being a radical idea to a standard policy intervention.”


    Eli Broad

    As with almost everybody else on this billionaires list, LA’s Eli Broad has no professional experience in education. Yet this hasn’t stopped him from using his immense personal fortune to foist his vision upon the city’s schools. With a net worth of over $7.4 billion, Broad is the fourth richest individual in the United States. In 2017, he gave nearly $2 million dollars to elect a pro-charter majority to the school board. This was just the latest manifestation of Broad’s longstanding drive to dismantle public education in Los Angeles and nationwide.

    After striking it big in the home building and insurance industries, he founded the Broad Academy in 2002 to train a new generation of privatizing school leaders. By 2012, the center was boasting that it had “filled more superintendent positions than any other national training program” and that “Broad graduates are in the number one or number two seats in the three largest districts in the country (New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago).”

    Like Hastings, Broad is a liberal — and major funder of the Democratic Party establishment, including leading lights such as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, and Chuck Schumer. “The unions no longer control the education agenda of the Democratic Party,” Hastings bragged to the Wall Street Journal.

    Broad stepped up his hometown privatizing efforts in 2015 by producing a plan to ensure that charters would capture at least 50 percent of the so-called “market share” of LA schools. The proposal was explicit about the national stakes of the campaign: “Los Angeles is uniquely positioned to create the largest, highest-performing charter sector in the nation. Such an exemplar would serve as a model for all large cities to follow.”

    A major public scandal erupted after the forty-four-page plan was leaked to the press — then-school board president Steve Zimmer denounced it as “an outline for a hostile takeover.” The specific initiative was scrapped, but only temporarily. Within two years, Broad had begun a renewed push for a “hostile takeover.” This time it took the form of helping buy the 2017 school board elections — and subsequently imposing one of his close friends as new district superintendent: Austin Beutner.


    Austin Beutner

    For LA’s teachers, students, and parents, Austin Beutner is currently enemy number one. Beutner is not only the handpicked representative of the democracy-subverting billionaires discussed above — he’s one of these billionaires himself.

    Beutner has zero credentials to lead the second-largest school district in the country. He began his career as a downsizing investment banker in the early 1990s. The Clinton administration chose him to head their project of helping privatize state enterprises in Russia and, as the New York Times reported, “teaching the American way of doing business.”

    Beutner soon after co-founded the investment firm Evercore Partners together with other Clinton confidants. Today, Evercore is the second-largest such firm in the world, behind only Goldman Sachs.

    Like Hastings and Broad, Beutner is a major funder of the Democratic Party. Beutner’s considerable financial contributions to the Democrats helped convince Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to appoint him as first deputy mayor in 2010. (Last week, Beutner returned the favor by tapping Villaraigosa to be his PR man against LA teachers.) As the Wall Street Journal explained, Deputy Mayor Beutner was “charged with making Los Angeles more business friendly.”

    In 2013, Beutner joined with with Eli Broad in an attempt to buy the Los Angeles Times. Though the bid was ultimately unsuccessful, their partnership bore fruit in early 2018 when the new school board chose Beutner as superintendent. Upon taking office, he immediately used Broad funding to hire a cadre of downsizers led by two consulting firms, Ernst & Young and Kitamba; the latter company has already played a central role in privatizing schools in Newark and Washington D.C. If they get their way, Los Angeles will become the model for privatization efforts across the United States.


    The Stakes

    Beutner and his billionaire buddies have transformed Los Angeles into ground zero in the nationwide struggle over public education. UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl is clear about the stakes:

    In the same way that Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt attacked the very institutions they were appointed to lead, Austin Beutner was brought in to attack our public schools. They want to end public education as we know it. They’re ambitious so we must be ambitious. It’s not enough to win a salary increase when we may not have a school district in a few years.

    At its heart, the struggle in Los Angeles is not just about the fate of public education. This is a strike for democracy — against the plans of a tiny clique of billionaires to unilaterally impose their vision for the world upon the working-class majority.

    Like the electoral insurgencies of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, LA teachers have posed the central question of our time: Who should determine governmental policy — the working class or the rich? Los Angeles strikers are leading the charge for a society that works on behalf of the many, not the few. They deserve all our support.


    by Eric Blanc at January 16, 2019 12:35 AM

    AMW

    Letter from the Revolutionary Palestinian Leila Khaled to Kurdish Revolutionary Leyla Güven

    The iconic and historic Palestinian revolutionary, Leila Khaled, wrote a letter addressed to the Kurdish deputy on hunger strike Leyla Güven, who almost seventy days ago began a hunger strike calling for an end to the isolation of imprisoned Kurdish revolutionary Abdullah Öcalan Khaled, member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said that “the dungeon” where Güven is imprisoned does not prevent the voice of the Kurdish deputy from being heard.

    January 16, 2019 12:00 AM

    How The FSB Is Manufacturing A Terrorism Case Against Antifascists In Russia

    In the run-up to presidential elections and the FIFA World Cup, repressions against antifascists and anarchists started in Russia. In Autumn 2017, 6 people were arrested in Penza; several of them had weapons and explosives planted on them. FSB officers then tortured the antifascists right in the detention facility: they applied naked wires to the activists’ various body parts and turned the electricity on, they beat them up, hanged them upside down.

    January 16, 2019 12:00 AM

    ELN Claims Responsibility for Brinks Helicopter Expropriation

    The guerrilla group ELN released a communiqué, claiming responsibility for the expropriation of a Brinks helicopter for revolutionary struggle. On January 11, a helicopter belonging to the Brinks company, transporting 1.7 million pesos was hit in the air. Once it made an emergency landing in the municipality of Hacarí, in Norte de Santander, Colombia, it was destroyed and incinerated. The following is an English translation of the communiqué from the ELN:

    January 16, 2019 12:00 AM

    Call for International Solidarity With Anarchist Yellow Vest Militants

    Since November 17th, an unprecedented social movement arose almost everywhere in France. We, the so-called “yellow vests protesters“ are occupying, blocking, invading the streets, attacking the repressive forces, undermining, talking and dreaming of better tomorrows. This movement is characterized for its best part by the numerous actions conducted by its participants. The important comeback of direct actions practices obviously threatens the power who would prefer the exploited workforce to stay docile and participate to their citizen duties and other electoral jokes.

    January 16, 2019 12:00 AM

    Anarchist Political Prisoner, Eric King, Launches Hunger Strike

    Anarchist political prisoner Eric King has launched a hunger strike and is in need of support. Eric, a 30-year-old vegan anarchist, was arrested and charged with an attempted firebombing of a government official’s office in Kansas City, MO in September 2014. On March 3, 2016, he accepted a non-cooperating plea agreement and was sentenced to 10 years. He has been held in extreme isolation recently after being assaulted by prison guards.

    January 16, 2019 12:00 AM

    Afrin Liberation Army Carries Out Two Successful Operations

    Afrin Liberation Forces conducted two operations on January 10th against the invading Turkish Army and its proxy fighters. ALF fighers conducted an operation targeting the Turkish-backed jihadist Hamza division in the town of Sherawa of occupied Afrin, killing one and wounding another. As another group of enemy fighters tried to intervene, the ALF struck them, killing four and injurying one. ALF squads in Azaz successfully targetted a military vehicle, destroying the vehicle and killing the two occupants.

    January 16, 2019 12:00 AM

    January 15, 2019

    sub.media

    Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Spreads Across so-called “Canada”

    Following the dismantling of the barricades on Wet'suwet'en territory, solidarity actions continue to take place across so-called "Canada" and beyond.

    by Stimulator at January 15, 2019 11:59 PM

    Channel Zero

    Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Spreads Across so-called “Canada”

    This post was originally published on this site

    Following the dismantling of the barricades on Wet’suwet’en territory, solidarity actions continue to take place across so-called “Canada” and beyond.

    by Sub Media at January 15, 2019 11:59 PM

    Dewayne-Net

    Car companies aren’t even trying to sell electric cars

    Car companies aren’t even trying to sell electric cars
    Manufacturers and dealers are putting more time and effort into selling gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs.
    By Jeremy Deaton
    Jan 15 2019
    https://thinkprogress.org/car-companies-are-not-promoting-selling-electric-vehicles-854eb5ea496a/

    The Detroit Auto Show got off to a roaring start this week as gas-guzzling newly unveiled sports cars, trucks, and SUVs took center stage, including the 2020 Kia Telluride, the largest SUV the company has ever produced.

    Plug-in cars also garnered headlines, though less favorable ones. Infiniti’s concept all-electric SUV, the QX Inspiration, made news by dying before it could drive onto the stage. It was a four-wheeled metaphor for the auto industry’s fraught relationship with electric cars.

    Car companies say they are going all in on plug-in cars, but experts and advocates have found that dealers and manufacturers are putting almost no effort into selling them. Ad spending for trucks and SUVs dwarfs ad spending for electric cars, and EV buyers report being frustrated by their experience at dealerships.

    Head to a Ford dealership and ask about an F-150. You will be shown its features, invited on a test drive, and treated to a carefully practiced sales pitch detailing the truck’s strength, power and durability. Ask about an electric car, and you might have a very different experience. In 2016, the Sierra Club sent volunteers to more than 300 dealerships around the country to record their experience shopping for an electric vehicle.

    The results were dismaying, to say the least. More than one in five Ford and Chevy dealers had failed to charge an EV so it could be taken for a test drive. Only around half of salespeople explained how to fuel a plug-in vehicle, and only a third discussed the tax credits available to buyers. “The dealership had no idea about the state and federal tax credits,” said a volunteer in California. “They said it was the policy of the company to not talk about tax incentives because they were not tax experts.”

    Many volunteers described dealers who were woefully incompetent or, in some cases, openly hostile to EVs. “Senior sales staff had no idea what the battery electric vehicles’ range was. He called it a go-cart,” said a volunteer in New York.

    “There were no EVs in stock and [the dealer] stated that he has no interest in ever selling an electric vehicle,” said another in Maine. “I couldn’t do a test drive because the key was lost. I was encouraged to purchase a non-electric vehicle instead,” said another in Connecticut. If dealers are reluctant to sell EVs, that has an impact on consumers. Studies show that drivers are more likely to buy an electric car after they take one for a spin.

    Dealers may be reluctant to sell EVs because, like most Americans, they don’t know much about them. “A lot of our salesmen are not familiar with electric vehicles themselves, and so rather than try to sell people something they don’t know or don’t feel comfortable with, they’re trying to sell them something else,” said David Greene, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee.

    A 2014 study found that drivers shopping for an EV were much less satisfied with their experience than those who were shopping for a conventional car. Those shopping for a luxury car showed the greatest satisfaction — the more money the dealer believed they stood to make from a sale, the more satisfied the customer was with their shopping experience. Notably, Tesla buyers were the most satisfied of all.

    [snip]

    by wa8dzp at January 15, 2019 11:18 PM

    Channel Zero

    Episode 29: New Tracks/Rap Insurrecto

    This post was originally published on this site

    On this episode, it’s all music, except for a clip from an interview with Kuwasi Balagoon, an anarchist and member of the Black Liberation Army. Most of the tracks here are from the past year, including a few anarchist rap tracks from the US and some new underground tracks from Indonesia. We’ve also got a couple songs by Palabras En Conflicto, the rap group that Sebastían ‘Angry’ Oversluij was a member of. Angry was a nihilist-anarchist who was killed by a security guard during an attempted bank robbery in Dec 2013. His death was recently commemorated by high school students in Santiago, Chile (see the photo that goes with the episode). We also feature a track by Nepalese anarcho-punk band Rai Ko Ris.

    Playlist:
    A$AP Rocky- “Black Tux, White Collar”
    (“Kuwasi Balagoon interviewed on local new television, 1980s”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWn2B881BuQ)
    Johnny Panic- “Doom”
    Lee Reed- “ACAB”
    Sima Lee- “It’s On”
    Rebel Diaz, Divine RBG- “Viva Puerto Rico Libre! (Ghetto Brothers Remix)”
    Four Fists- “Annihilation ft. Sims”
    Morgue Vanguard x Doyz- “CSDB FM”
    Morfem- “Memento”
    The Stocker- “Bangsat Permanent”
    Doyz- “Primitive Future”
    Rand Slam & Joe Million- “Kelas Berat”
    Krowbar- “Doktrin 9Mm”
    Palabras En Conflicto- “Rap Insurrecto”
    Palabras En Conflicto- “Somos Lx Dekiciadxs”
    Rai Ko Ris- “New Anti-National Anthem”
    Body Count- “Cop Killer”

    by Radical Underground at January 15, 2019 11:10 PM

    libcom.org

    E14: The Vietnam war with Noam Chomsky

    Podcast episode about the Vietnam war with Noam Chomsky, and Mrs Van, a member of the Vietnamese Women’s Union. We look at the geopolitics of the conflict and its human cost.

    read more

    by Working Class History at January 15, 2019 05:22 PM