"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

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Tuesday, November 25 2014 @ 04:46 PM CST

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How the Democrats Became the Party of Neoliberalism

Left

There is a standard critique of the U.S. political system that seemingly explains why right-wing ideas drive the national agenda even when Democrats control the White House: the Democratic Party does not stand for anything and the Republicans are the party of ideologues.

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Transcripts of FAA phone conversations about Ferguson no-fly order

Breaking News

Recordings reveal Federal Aviation Administration staff seeking police agreement to change designation of airspace restrictions to prevent media from using area.

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Some Thoughts on the PKK and the Rojava 'Revolution'

Middle East

Patrick Cockburn, perhaps the most well informed journalist in the Middle East, has written that: 'Whatever happens at Kobane, ISIS is not going to implode. Foreign intervention will only increase the level of violence and the Sunni-Shia civil war will gather force, with no end in sight.' ('LRB' 6/11/14)

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Occupy Democracy is not considered newsworthy. It should be

Occupy Wall Street

From last Tuesday, Parliament Square was wrapped in wire mesh. In one of the more surreal scenes in recent British political history, officers with trained German shepherds stand sentinel each day, at calculated distances across the lawn, surrounded by a giant box of fences, three metres high – all to ensure that no citizen enters to illegally practice democracy. Yet few major news outlets feel this is much of a story.

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Mayhem in the Mission District

Anarchist Opinion

Wednesday night, before the San Francisco Giants had even won their third World Series in five years, people were already chanting, “Fuck the Police!” This sentiment would carry itself through the entire night. As the evening wore on, massive crowds spilled into the streets, clashing with police, vandalizing their vehicles, and throwing fireworks inside the windows of broken cruisers. Vanguard Properties, the target of numerous anti-gentrification protests, was hit with massive vandalism and a brick was thrown through its windows, knocking down a poster calling for people to vote against a recent anti-gentrification initiative.

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Block the Boat Declares Decisive Victory Over Apartheid Israel

Oakland has made history once again with another BDS victory for Palestine against the Israeli Zim shipping line. This latest round of organizing has been the most momentous and historic. Members of ILWU Local 10 informed Block the Boat organizers that the Zim Beijing which was headed to the Port of Oakland, has been re-routed to Russia to avoid disruptions at the SSA terminal. For the first time ever, an Israeli ship has been completely turned away before reaching its port of destination due to sustained overwhelming community organizing.

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Jalil Muntaqim Responds to Letter about Racism at the 2014 ABC Conference

Prisons

The following is a response to a widely publicized criticism of one of Jalil’s supporters by a participant at the 2014 North American ABC Conference. The letters Jalil asks folks to disseminate are the result of FOIL requests in regards to the Police Benevolent Association’s coordinated attempt to block parole for Jalil and include vile and vulgar racist language.

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Palestine-Israel: People Defend Palestinian Olive Harvest

Middle EastAll along the years Israel tried to neutralize the pressures of the more enlightened people by hiding its brute racism and and murderous activities recruiting the memory of the Holocaust as justification for every heinous act of it when revealed. However, as the masquerade was exposed last years and more and more are disillusioned from the "Zionist dream", the restrained are loosened fast. The rightists preach their extreme racist ideology in the open. The "para militarists" settlers get freer hands. The transfer of Palestinians both within the 1948 borders and these occupied in 1967 is done in the open. Though it is still restricted mainly to the Israeli area of the Bedouins in the south and the C agricultural regions of the 1967, the "gloves" were removed. In the same new mode, the repression of the non armed popular struggles intensified last few weeks and we can not guess which will be - if at all, the limit of the new repression mode.
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Public Grief and the Logic of War

Anarchist Opinion

The past week has seen two attacks in Canada against Canadian soldiers by Muslim men. In response, thousands of people filled the streets to wave flags and call for heightened surveillance, preventive arrests, and war in the middle east. The crowds are calling for a police state. It feels heavy, and we're stuck watching with dread as the crowds seem intent on re-enacting propaganda scenes from the 1936 olympics in Berlin. Except in Canada in 2014, instead of a torch the crowds are cheering on the progress of a dead soldier whose corpse was driven from Ottawa to Hamilton.

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Iron Workers Wildcat Strike in San Francisco

A wildcat strike took place in San Francisco on September 11th. The striking workers are affiliated with the Iron Workers Union. Local 377 of the Iron Workers Union struck against San Francisco Bay Area building contractors. The Ironworkers were upset that the union leadership had singed a deal with the contractors that did not give them much of anything. The contract gave the workers benefits with only a sixty-cent rise spread out over the period of a year while prices in the area were climbing.

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Jimmy John's Makes Low-Wage Workers Sign 'Oppressive' Noncompete Agreements

Capitalism

A Jimmy John's employment agreement provided to The Huffington Post includes a "non-competition" clause that's surprising in its breadth. Noncompete agreements are typically reserved for managers or employees who could clearly exploit a business's inside information by jumping to a competitor. But at Jimmy John's, the agreement apparently applies to low-wage sandwich makers and delivery drivers, too.

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The Main Hong Kong Protest Site Is a Perfect Anarchist Collective

Practical Anarchy

 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.”

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Your Face, Voice, and Tattoos Are the FBI's Business Now

Spying on You

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.

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Starship Stormtroopers

Culture

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.

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The Godmother of Feminist Sci-Fi Finally Won a National Book Award

Culture

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.

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Chinese villagers vow to 'fight to death' after deadly land clashes

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

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Jimmy John’s Workers Picket In Baltimore

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.

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