Billy Fong is out of a job. Until recently, this high school student had found a purpose helping Hong Kong’s demonstrators over the high median dividers cutting through their encampment in the city’s Admiralty district. Yet, as the occupation of Harcourt Road enters its fourth week, getting over the concrete walls has become easy: protesters handy with tools have made several sets of wooden stairs for them, complete with handrails. “I have somehow become useless,” says Fong, 17, standing idly at one such set of steps on a recent evening. “But it’s okay,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Now I have more leisure time.”
The FBI announced this week that the massive database system it had been building for eight years, pulling together stores of biometric information on millions of people, is at "full operational capacity." The Next Generation Identification (NGI) system is a vast, centralized surveillance tool — and the stuff of totalitarian dystopia: fingerprint databases, iris scan details, more than 50 million images used for facial recognition (a.k.a. "faceprints"), and the capacity to hoard information of individualizing details like gait, voice pattern, and tattoos. Yet aside from a flurry of pained press releases from privacy groups and civil libertarians, the news of Big Brother's ascension was met not with a yell but a whimper.
For those of us concerned with anarchist storytelling, Michael Moorcock’s 1978 essay Starship Stormtroopers simply knows no equal. Here is a science fiction legend, an anarchist himself, explaining the politics of the 1960-70s science fiction scene and ruthlessly attacking the reactionary and conservative elements in genre fiction. While much of the essay discusses stories that seem less relevant today, other parts tear apart many science fiction legends whose presence lingers on in the world. Of particular interest to me is how masterfully and concisely Moorcock pieces apart the romanticism that draws us to conservative writing.
Ursula K. Le Guin is being given an honorary National Book Award. That she deserves it is beyond question: at 84 years old, she’s run out of other prizes to win. In the science fiction and fantasy ghetto, she’s swept all the categories and can safely rest on her laurels as a Science Fiction Writers of America “Grand Master,” of which there are only thirty-one.
Villagers in southwest China have vowed to “fight to the death" after a long-running land dispute erupted into violence that left eight people dead and at least 18 injured. Hundreds of police were surrounding Fuyou village in Yunnan province on Thursday morning in the wake of pitched battles between local farmers and hundreds of unidentified men who launched a Tuesday afternoon assault on the community.
Villagers stand behind shields taken from police injured during clashes at Fuyou village
Baltimore Jimmy John’s worker and veteran James Hegler was fired on Sept. 5 in retaliation for organizing a union at his workplace and participating in concerted activity against low wages and appalling working conditions. On Sunday, Oct. 19, workers and supporters picketed outside the Pratt Street Jimmy John’s to demand both the reinstatement of James Hegler and an end to illegal retaliation against workers.
Vikki Law: Resisting Gender Violence Without Cops or Prisons
By Angola 3 News
Activist and journalist Victoria Law is the author of "Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women" (PM Press, 2009). Law has previously been interviewed by Angola 3 News on two separate occasions. Our first interview focused on the torture of women prisoners in the US. The second interview looked at how the women's liberation movements of the 1970s advocated for the decriminalization of women's self defense. Taking this critique of the US criminal "justice" system one step further, Law presented a prison abolitionist critique of the how the mainstream women's movement, then and now, has embraced the same "justice" system as a vehicle for combating violence against women.
While citing the important work of INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence, Law argues that "today, abuse is treated as an individual pathology rather than a broader social issue rooted in centuries of patriarchy and misogyny. Viewing abuse as an individual problem has meant that the solution becomes intervening in and punishing individual abusers without looking at the overall conditions that allow abuse to go unchallenged and also allows the state to begin to co-opt concerns about gendered violence."
Furthermore, "the threat of imprisonment does not deter abuse; it simply drives it further underground. Remember that there are many forms of abuse and violence, and not all are illegal. It also sets up a false dichotomy in which the survivor has to choose between personal safety and criminalizing and/or imprisoning a loved one. Arrest and imprisonment does not reduce, let alone prevent, violence. Building structures and networks to address the lack of options and resources available to women is more effective. Challenging patriarchy and male supremacy is a much more effective solution, although it is not one that funders and the state want to see," says Law.
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