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What began as a protest movement after 10 days of sustained defiance, has taken a couple shaky steps towards revolt. The situation here is still fluid and ripe with potential. Locally, people are surprised that similar unrest hasn’t sparked off in other cities. If it were to spread, the scope here would likely widen. It’s difficult to get a sense of how people outside the metro area interpret what’s happening here. What follows are some observations from St Louis residents and participants in the struggle who might give a clearer picture of this strange new reality.
Exclusive interview with Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry, Part III of report back from Cannes Film Festival by professor and critic Dennis Broe of Long Island University, Exclusive interview with Homeless Liasion for Allentown Schools Rooster Valentini, Fair Food Rally for Imokalee Workers against Wendy’s, Canada’s Grassy Narrows First Nation demands government action after 50 years of mercury poisoning, and a fast food workers labor struggle update with New School University economist Richard Wolff.
The story of Pandora’s Box (which was really a jar) -- much like the Biblical tale of “forbidden fruit” -- is meant as a warning that once the evils of the world are released, it’s virtually impossible for them to be recalled. Sticking with the Greek mythology vibe, I guess you could say Adam Weissman has been playing the role of Cassandra in the struggle to inform others about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The New York Times published an article today August 17th titled "Lack of Leadership and Generational Split Hinder Protest," which argues that the two points of contention are possibly related. Of course as usual with the NY Times, dry reporting is the default instead of an obvious position that may scare regular readers. With that said, it doesn’t take reading between the lines to notice that Ferguson and the rejection of formal leadership is a trend increasing in frequency worldwide.
On the 11th of Novermber 2008 ten young people were subjected to early morning raids in the French village of Tanac, garnering widespread media attention. They were investigated under suspicion of sabotaging French railway lines and the Minister of the Interior at the time deemed it necessary to inform the country of a, “anarcho-autonomous clandestine structure,” that was,” focussed on committing violent acts.”
San Francisco Bay Area Palestine activists have declared their first victory in attempting to prevent the offloading of an Israeli cargo vessel at the Oakland Port. Originally planning to show up at 5:00 am Saturday morning to block the ship, activists sent word out late last night that the meeting time had been moved up to 3:00pm, as the ship had delayed its arrival at Oakland in an apparent attempt to avoid the protest.
Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan, on whose imprisonment Freedom has reported recently, was freed from Rikers Island jail in New York City in July. A short time afterwards a report by the ‘New York Times’ exposed the extent of brutal attacks by prison officers there. New York city’s health department carried out a secret study and found that abuse was widespread and routine.
At the time of writing (12th August 2014), Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, has come to the conclusion that much of the country had come to months ago- that Tory policy on prisons is dehumanising, that being imprisoned makes you ‘uniquely vulnerable’, and that our current public discourse in regards to prisons is myth-laden and exasperatingly underdeveloped. Mr. Hardwick has a decent attitude toward the purpose of the prison system: ‘you’re sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment’, but he’s also hardly an anarchist. Nevertheless, I believe that any reform of the prison system ought to consider what Peter Kropotkin had to say on the matter, in his work ‘Prisons: Universities of Crime‘, originally read to the British Medical Association in 1913.
What happened to Mike Brown is a tragedy that can’t be put into words. A less spoken tragedy is that it’s the day to day reality for so many of us–especially those of us who are young, who are people of color, who don’t fit the cops’ idea of an acceptable, law abiding citizen. How often do the police kill someone? In St. Louis, it seems like almost every month. We often don’t do anything about it, or feel like we can. The last few days have been different.
This is not a call to storm the hospitals and switch off people's life support systems, burn down pharmacies, or dismantle all wheelchairs. While this article is part of a growing call to view technology’s ubiquitous presence with a much more critical eye, it does not mean we're arguing for rounding up people at gun point and forcing them to hand over their smart phones; nor are we on a crusade to deny people access to hormone therapies, [modern] abortions or other tech advances used to sustain and improve quality of life.
China Labour Bulletin, a workers’ rights group in Hong Kong, has documented 235 incidents of strikes or worker protests in the second quarter of 2014. This represents a 49 per cent hike over the same period last year, and 180 per cent more than in the same period in 2012.
In remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic oil train tragedy that killed 47 people, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) raised a banner from cranes today calling out unfair labor practices and protesting unsafe oil at the Port of Vancouver in Washington.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union raised a banner from cranes calling out unfair labor practices and protesting unsafe oil at the Port of Vancouver in Washington.
Over the course of a few years, local police in a seemingly coordinated effort have put forth narratives designed to stop radicals from lending unmediated support to impacted communities during times of crisis. The pattern of this counterinsurgency strategy is simplistic yet fairly effective. A decade of intense militarization, economic decline and an overall breaking system has created a need for the state to stop uprisings before they take hold. Their strategy is two fold, divide the impacted community into good and bad protesters while concurrently attacking the anarchist movement.
A few months ago, I was walking across Dublin to meet a friend. At the top of Grafton St., a woman from some religious group or other was handing out glossy leaflets titled something like “Reasons to go on living”. How absurd. I wanted to take her aside and explain to her that, while she probably means well, anyone who is actually considering suicide has a complex and personal web of problems in their life that couldn’t possibly be addressed by a one-size-fits-all pamphlet of generic reasons why life is worth living.
As you may have heard, a young black man named Michael Brown from Ferguson, Missouri was shot many times and killed by a police officer on August 9 of this year. A bit of a caveat before my rant: I'm angry and it comes out a bit here. Sorry not sorry.