In the first recent action of its kind, anti-austerity Occupy activists and radical librarians converged on a newly opened derelict building in Oakland, California's Fruitvale district on Monday, August 13, and began to stock it with books. The building at 15th and Miller Avenue had been a library for over six decades, then an alternative continuation school founded by radical Chicano activists, and an adjunct to a halfway house across the street; but it had been abandoned for over a decade since. The library was part of a national set of Carnegie grant donations, still known for their architectural beauty; the building remains in the National Registry of Historic Places.
When earthquakes, floods, droughts and volcanic eruptions strike where we live, they are usually considered instances of crisis and unmitigated natural disaster. Yet, recently I have had opportunities to witness how the meaning of crisis depends entirely on one's point of view. The opportunities have come during two visits to Mexico City. The first visit was a month or so after the major earthquake of 1985 that brought widely reported death and destruction. The second was a follow-up visit seven months later. During the days and weeks following the quake, television and newsmagazine images of the anquished search for survivors, of mountainous rubble and of tent cities of the homeless had fully prepared me to find a flattened city and prostrate population.
Create an uproar! Intoxicate the politics of everyday life with a provocative disordering of the censors. Why follow orders or order followers? Be proud of your disorderly conduct. Conduct yourself with the electricity of unrestrained revolt. What is called for is not the bureaucratically packaged stimulation of the economy, but a poetically inspired flowering of autonomy.
The Spanish field workers union the SAT has gone en masse to two supermarkets to take food by direct action. Unemployed fieldworkers and other members of the union went to two supermarkets, one in Ecija (Sevilla) and one in Arcos de la Frontera (Cadiz) and loaded up trolleys with basic necessities.
The other day I met a student named Yusuf who said he wanted to figure out how to organize with the other tenants in his building. “I was active in community stuff when I was back in L.A.” he said. “But since I moved to New York, I haven’t met any of my neighbours. The one time I did was when my upstairs neighbour had locked himself out of his apartment, and he needed to crawl through my window and onto to fire escape to go in his own window. Other than that, I haven’t met anyone and I don’t know how. I barely see them.”
Over the past years, anarchists have helped popularize the discourses of consent in interpersonal relationships as a way to counter rape culture, and consensus in political organizing as an anti-authoritarian approach to decision-making. Recently, however, we’ve seen the language of consent and consensus used to condemn direct action and delegitimize autonomous initiatives. Does consent discourse offer a useful framework with which to evaluate direct action tactics and strategy? Can we challenge consensus reality effectively while respecting everyone’s wishes? What’s the relationship between desire and social transformation? This analysis grapples with these questions, exploring the limits of the politics of consent and proposing an alternative.
Yesterday, the 2nd of March, another sign against TAV was planted in the city of Turin. Around 60 activists from Reclaim the Fields occupied a piece of land between Corso Marche and Corso Francia. In a few hours the letters NO TAV were carved from the earth and seeded with a variety of grains and peach trees. The action took place on common land that will be privatised and demolished if the highspeed train line between Lyon and Turin (TAV) is built.
...right wing corporate-backed foundations and the CIA have been funding the non-communist left since the late sixties, in the hope of drowning out and marginalizing the voice of more militant leftists.
On Monday 27th February our comrade Juan, arrested on 26th January and detained in the prison of Spini di Gardolo in Trento, heard of the eviction of Baita Clarea in Val Susa and of the serious condition of Luca. For this reason Juan decided to carry out a protest and refused to go back to the cell after the time in the exercise yard. A prison officer ordered him to go back to the wing, Juan refused and said openly that he was protesting in solidarity to Luca Abba’, seriously injured in Val Susa in the struggle against the TAV.
The point of tensions since last year has been the place where the first tunnel is planned to be dug: la Maddalena. The area has been occupied by NOTAV people (legally as the land belongs to one NOTAV supporter) who built houses and organized lots of events. On the other part of the valley a huge military camp has been set up where cops and soldiers stay locked in their well protected fort. Mainstream media call the military camp the “building site” despite the fact that it is not actually were the tunnel is planned to be built.