NEW YORK, NY - The Industrial Workers of the World, Starbucks Workers Union released a report today, “Low Wages and Grande Profits at Starbucks” with an analysis of company performance over the last decade. The report describes how Starbucks has dramatically improved profitability at the company since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, and that the company has enriched shareholders at the expense of its nearly 200,000 workers.
A good friend, someone who is working towards the transformation of our society into something resilient, equitable and beautiful, told me the other day that they can’t actually imagine what a transformed society would look like, and that they felt that that was impeding their ability to stay motivated. I couldn’t believe it. For me what we’re working towards is so vivid and real, and that’s part of what’s helped me to not just imagine a better future and stay motivated, but to share that vision with others and motivate them.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s recently released long-term predictions for the global economy through 2060 (Paul Mason, “The best of capitalism is over for rich countries – and for the poor ones it will be over by 2060,” The Guardian, July 7), economic growth will stagnate to something like two-thirds its present level and economic inequality will increase. But growth will continue at a higher level in the developing countries until mid-century, because there are still significant gains to be achieved through the diffusion of the West’s existing technological advantages to the rest of the world. Still, the price for even this level of economic growth — obviously, from the perspective of the neoliberal wonks at OECD — will be growing inequality.
It’s no secret that the publishing world is being wrenched apart by forces well beyond its control. Between the ever-shrinking attention span of the average American and the arrival of an entire generation brought up on digital storytelling in video games, on the web and T.V., the book as a means of entertainment seems rather quaint, almost an affectation.
On the afternoon of Saturday, August 9th, 2014 an 18 year old, unarmed teenager named Mike “Mike Mike” Brown was murdered by a Ferguson Police Department cop. He was shot in the back and the head, as he knelt on the street with his hands in the air in the middle of a densely populated apartment complex. Hundreds of residents immediately gathered around the site of his murder, spilling out onto the main street, W. Florissant, and partially blocking it. Mourners at the site were met with assault rifles and police dogs, while police shut down access to the city. The following night, Sunday, August 10th, another candlelight vigil was called. This event, attended by over a thousand, quickly and naturally evolved into something else. What follows is a compilation of first person accounts of the event.
Cesare Lombroso, one of the influential founding figures in criminological social science, dedicated a great deal of his research, study, and writing to the analysis of anarchists, as, in his view, prototypical agitators. Indeed, the centrality of concern over anarchism in his work is often overlooked or forgotten. The anarchists provide one of the primary resources for Lombroso’s multisectional “Illustrative Studies in Criminal Anthropology.” Indeed, Lombroso suggests that the study of the physiognomy of the political criminal provides perhaps the most practical application of Criminal Anthropology (capitalization in the original). Lombroso’s interests in anarchists as a significant criminal type emerge very early on in his work. He develops a lengthy discussion of the anarchist criminal figure in 1891 in his article “Illustrative Studies in Criminal Anthropology. III. The Physiognomy of the Anarchists” published in the journal The Monist.
Anarchism and academia have always been curious bedfellows. On the one hand, they ought to be complimentary; anarchism is the belief that societies are best organised through the autonomy of those within them, and education is as important to self-mastery as the freedom necessarily entailed by the authenticity of such mastery. Yet academia itself is often tied to the augmentation, cultivation and justification for elite power: education was historically a tool used by the clergy and the aristocracy in order to rule over the serfdom, and then once again by elite actors in order to rationalise and legitimise their worldviews in the modern era.
BALTIMORE, MD - Workers at Jimmy Johns have announced their membership in the IWW Jimmy John's Workers Union and have asked management to recognize their union and negotiate. This decision was prompted by the actions of Mike Gillett and Danny Dolch, owners of the Jimmy Johns franchise, who have targeted workers for their desire to have a more fair workplace.
Rather worrying news about those mysterious sink holes that have appeared in Siberia. It now appears they were giant methane releases - long forecast by climate change scientists as a likely positive feedback occurrence as permafrost in Siberia melted and released trapped methane. Worrying because methane is a 20 times more potent climate change gas than CO2 because it is more efficient at trapping radiation.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the 1889 London Dock Strike. While this strike was preceded by others which showed of a new spirit of revolt amongst the unskilled, including the match-girls strike and the unionisation of London gasworkers, the dockers’ strike had more of an impact due to the numbers involved. As well as an important event in British Labour history, it also played a key role in the development of anarchism as it provided a concrete example of the power of organised labour and the importance of anarchist involvement in it.
The text below is translated from the poster at the centre of this image of the destruction of Gaza by the Israeli state. But it refers not to this horror but another in 1943 when the Nazis crushed the Warsaw ghetto, wiping out the poorly armed organised resistance that operated out of a warren of bunkers & sewers hidden beneath the ghetto. This poster was by one of the armed factions that defended the Ghetto, the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB)
If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of Homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NWE (the nuclear weapons era). The latter era, of course, opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy itself, but -- so the evidence suggests -- not the moral and intellectual capacity to control its worst instincts.
The joint struggles in the locations of regular weekly activities of Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Ma'asara, Sheikh Jarah, Nabi Saleh, Qaddum, Western Hills of Hebron, in the week end actions and some in between focused on the war on Gaza as the more obvious aspect of occupation. To day, it seems Israel failed to establish a weakened but independent power in the Gaza strip - mainly because the atrocities of Israel failed to recruit international pressure on Egypt to open enough the siege on Gaza. It seems, there will be a revival of the accord between the Hamas and the west bank Palestinian authority. Israel invested so many efforts to sabotage. It is not clear yet how the the detail will be and how the last Israeli atrocities will influence the pressure of the imperial powers on Israel to end the 1967 occupation. Latest news: Israel started to pull back its forces from the Gaza strip with no resolution and with rockets still fired on Israel.
We are presently blocking the expansion of the largest opencast lignite mine in Western Europe with treesits and barricades through out the Hambacher Forest. After the last eviction on March 27th 2014 we have re-occupied the forest, this time, building up not one but two separate tree sits with multiple platforms, tree-houses, walk ways in between and barricades throughout the forest.
Workers at Tom Cat Bakery sharpened their resistance against company attacks this summer with a solidarity BBQ in front of the Queens-based factory. Tom Cat's private equity owners, Ancor and Merit Capital, are seeking devastating health care cuts and other takeaways from workers in contract negotiations with the Bakery Union. Dual-card IWW members are leading a struggle to build long-term power and secure a good contract, after beating back a de-certification attempt from a mob-dominated union earlier this year.