As 2013 came to a close, researchers at the Institute of Biotechnology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico continue to have charged conversations amongst themselves over their work, but their minds will likely stray from their experiments to thank the patron saints that they are still alive. This year saw the second assassination attempt on researchers and their colleagues.
On Tuesday 14th January, in northern Milan, trade unionist Fabio Zerbini was brutally beaten by two men suspected to be connected with Italian organised crime. Fabio Zerbini is a co-ordinator for the SI Cobas, a base union that is active in the logistics and warehouse sector. A few days before he had found his car’s side-view mirror broken.
Fabio Zerbini with microphone, addressing a workers' demonstration.
The NATO 3—Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, Brian Jacob Church—started their trial today with a full complement of defense attorneys and a courtroom packed with supporters. The prosecutors started off the opening arguments and were immediately followed by the defense attorneys. After the lunch recess, an audio technician who enhanced the audio on a number of tapes that make up a key part of the state's alleged evidence against the three defendants testified that he had enhanced the audibility of the tapes but not altered the content in any way. His testimony was immediately followed by Chicago Police Officer Nadia Chikko, known as “Gloves” during her infiltration of the Chicago activist community.
Since the President’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, some media outlets have zealously revisited the case of celebrated political prisoner and radio journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Specifically, controversy has arisen over Abegbile because his name appears in post-sentencing legal briefs that successfully challenged the constitutionality of Abu-Jamal’s death sentence.
More than just an anthology of essays, Chris Crass's Towards Collective Liberation is a coming-of-age tale for the modern activist. Crass chronicles his growth as an organizer, illustrating how the rewards and challenges of being a college-age activist with Food Not Bombs has shaped his current endeavors in feminist work with men and anti-racist work with majority white groups. In tracing his own evolution as an activist, Crass examines his involvement in half a dozen activist groups, showing how current sociopolitical issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and US wars abroad are linked to struggles at home.
Students, teachers, parents, and members of 10 local unions packed the Portland, Oregon, school board meeting Monday in solidarity with union teachers. Students made clear that if the district does not settle a fair contract, we would stand alongside our teachers on the picket line. “Stay at the table! Don’t impose!” we declared at the demonstration. “If you do, we’ll strike, too!” The crowd numbered more than 400.
Portland students say their teachers' union is on their side—unlike the school board. They packed a board meeting to demand a fair, student-centered contract. Photo: Bette Lee.
The Mondragon cafe and bookstore, Winnipeg’s anarchist icon, will close in one week, ending an 18-year run of lefty politics, co-operative management and southern fried tofu. "We’ve had a rough year, a rough couple of years, financially," said Cora Wiens, one of Mondragon’s remaining workers. "I think a lot of people are really sad about it and are now realizing what this place has meant."
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The ongoing water crisis in West Virginia has revealed the economic inequality in the state, as the richest shrug off inconveniences brought on by the contamination while the poorest struggle to obtain one of life's basic necessities. In the South Hills section of Charleston, where some homes sell for $1 million, residents report few problems finding or affording potable water.
The clash that was lately in Ramalla between the Palestinian authority police and strikers demonstration of employees of the United Nation agency stress it again: Anarchists against the Wall initiative activists and many of the internationals, and even many Palestinians, have joined the struggle against occupation and settler project. The expectations for a Palestinian state are low and marginal and very few have any illusions about the expected freedom in the "free Palestine" they chant. The intensifying international pressure on Israel brings hesitant hopes about the nearing changes in the region. And the joint struggle continue in Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Nebi Saleh, Qadumm, Ma'asara, Sheikh Jarah, and South Hebron Hills, with hesitant contemplations to join from other villages.
This year, Black Powder Press released a compilation of essays by Seaweed, an author whose writings I have enjoyed for years, which reimagine land-based struggles and propose building autonomy from a regional perspective. Land and Freedom is Seaweed’s first published book. The compiling of these nine essays has really helped me to hash out some of the core ideas and theories behind their writing.
On Friday 10th of January Basmanniy district court of Moscow ceased criminal case against Alexey Olesinov, Alexey Sutuga, Alyon volikov and Babken Guskasyan. All four were accused of “hooliganism”, a criminal offense which is included in the amnesty bill, approved as a PR stunt on initiative of Vladimir Putin himself in advent of the Sochi Winter Olympics – most known amnestied political prisoners being 30 detainees of the Arctic Sunrise ship of Greenpeace, and two imprisoned members of Pussy Riot. Four anti-fascists had also other, less severe charges which fall under statutes of limitations.
Counterintuitive as it may seem, we are targeted for digital surveillance as groups and communities, not as individuals. Big Brother is watching us, not you. The NSA looks for what they call a “pattern of life,” homing in on networks of people associated with a target. But networks of association are not random, and who we know online is affected by offline forms of residential, educational, and occupational segregation.
Mumia Abu-Jamal was one of hundreds of journalists who received in the mail a packet of covertly-copied COINTELPRO documents. They were sent by eight activists who broke into FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania in 1971—and whose identities just became known last week. On WBAI’s “Law and Disorder,” on January 13, Mumia told us that he wasn’t sure if he received the papers because he was a radio reporter at the time, or whether the activists saw his name as a Black Panther Party member targeted for surveillance. The papers detailed names and activities of individuals he knew well for years, living and working closely together in communal spaces, who were FBI informants.
Today, the final jury members were selected for the NATO 3 trial. The trial itself is scheduled to begin next Tuesday, January 21st at 11am in Courtroom 606 at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse, 2650 South California Avenue.
Thousands of construction workers building a Samsung's factory in Vietnam's northern Thai Nguyen province clashed with security guards on Thursday, leaving 13 people injured, four critically. Between 3-4,000 of the 10,000 workers building the factory went on the rampage, burning containers used by security forces and destroying cars and motorcycles after security guards beat a worker unconscious.
Building on the success of its predecessor, the 3rd International Conference of the Anarchist Studies Network will showcase the best new thinking in the study of anarchism as a political theory and practice – past, present and future. The conference aims to breach new frontiers in anarchist scholarship, and encourage cross-pollination between disciplines and contributions from both within and outside the official academic sphere. Proposals are welcome for sessions and individual papers from any scholarly discipline(s), on any topic relevant to the study of anarchism. Also welcome are proposals for practical workshops, experiential sessions, and other activities.