Monthly Archives: November 2008

Moscow: Free Concert in Support of Assaulted Russian Activists (December 1)

listovkaNO TO THE PERSECUTION OF SOCIAL AND LABOR ACTIVISTS!

NO TO THE REPRESSION OF TRADE UNIONS!

NO TO THE WHITE TERROR AGAINST THE LEFTIST MOVEMENT!
¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨

FREE CONCERT

December 1, 2008, 9:00 p.m. Proekt OGI, Moscow (Potapovsky per. 8/12, bldg. 2; Metro: Chistie Prudy)

Chronicle of a Single Day (November 13, 2008): 

The second attack on Alexei Etmanov, leader of the labor union at Ford-Vsevolozhsk; the third attack on Carine Clément, director of the Institute of Collective Action; the brutal beating of Mikhail Beketov, leader of the movement to defend the Khimki Forest.

The beatings and murders of labor and social activist is the quiet civil war of our time, a corporate White Terror, a strike by the wealthy and the powers-that-be against the leaders of social movements that in one way or another raise questions related to property and ownership. Our task is to call this process by its real name and publicize what is happening. Each of us will in the end be forced to take sides and it is better if we do this right now. We are on the side of the oppressed.

Slaughter 2017, Lesorubi [Woodcutters], Zombiderevenshchina [Rural Zombie], Vladimir Aigistov and others will perform sets of political new hardcore, punk rock, country metal, and protest songs.

The concert is organized by the >Vpered>> (Forward) Socialist Movement. Entry is free.

 

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Filed under activism, political repression, Russian society, trade unions, urban movements (right to the city)

“We Won’t Pay for Your Crisis”: A Pamphlet about Italy’s Anomalous Wave

If you download and read one short .pdf-format pamphlet today, this should be it:

The Anomalous Wave So Far: The Education Rebellion in Italy (October-November 2008)

Produced by folks at London’s 56a Infoshop Social Centre, this little piece of enlightenment gives readers a brief history of the wave of student protests and mobilizations that has rocked Italy since November. The authors also ponder the prospects of the Anomalous Movement as new nationwide actions are right around the corner in Italy, and they analyze the movement’s tactics and dynamic, its relation to established political movements, and its stance on Italian neofascism.

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Filed under international affairs, protests, student movements

Take Back the Land!

[We would like to thank Comrade V. for alerting us to the work of these wonderful activists.]


Miami New Times
Squatters
Don’t cry. Just move into one of those empty homes around the corner.
By Natalie O’Neill
November 20, 2008

Her knee-length dreadlocks wrapped in a green cloth, Cassy hoists her two-year-old daughter up on a hip and shuffles in her socks into her big, clean bedroom. “This house is a castle,” says the slender, soft-skinned former university teaching assistant, shaking her head in disbelief. “I’ve never had a walk-in closet … and all this space.”

Two months ago, Cassy (not her real name) was homeless, out in the rain with her four kids. Now she has a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, sky-blue house on a tree-lined street in Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood. She takes warm showers, cooks vegan dinners, and watches the news on a small, fuzzy TV screen. The only catch: The house isn’t hers. Cassy is a squatter and, at any moment, could be arrested for trespassing, even burglary.

Not everybody in Miami-Dade County is crying over this year’s 40,342 foreclosed properties. Cassy is part of a small, well-executed movement by activists at Take Back the Land to relocate homeless families into empty houses and abandoned government-owned buildings.

(Read the rest of this article here.)

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Happy Thanksgiving

A National Day of Mourning for Indians

Following are excerpts from a statement written by Mahtowin Munro (Lakota) and Moonanum James (Wampanoag), co-leaders of United American Indians of New England. Read the entire statement at www.uaine.org.

2052709968_c8436b86dfEvery year since 1970, United American Indians of New England have organized the National Day of Mourning observance in Plymouth at noon on Thanksgiving Day. Every year, hundreds of Native people and our supporters from all four directions join us. Every year, including this year, Native people from throughout the Americas will speak the truth about our history and about current issues and struggles we are involved in.

Why do hundreds of people stand out in the cold rather than sit home eating turkey and watching football? Do we have something against a harvest festival?

Of course not. But Thanksgiving in this country—and in particular in Plymouth—is much more than a harvest home festival. It is a celebration of pilgrim mythology.

According to this mythology, the pilgrims arrived, the Native people fed them and welcomed them, the Indians promptly faded into the background, and everyone lived happily ever after.

The pilgrims are glorified and mythologized because the circumstances of the first English-speaking colony in Jamestown were frankly too ugly (for example, they turned to cannibalism to survive) to hold up as an effective national myth. Continue reading

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Filed under activism, anti-racism, anti-fascism, international affairs, open letters, manifestos, appeals

Giorgio Agamben: Terrorism or Tragicomedy

Terrorism or Tragicomedy
Giorgio Agamben
Free the Tarnac Nine

On the morning of November 11, 150 police officers, most of which belonged to the anti-terrorist brigades, surrounded a village of 350 inhabitants on the Millevaches plateau, before raiding a farm in order to arrest nine young people (who ran the local grocery store and tried to revive the cultural life of the village). Four days later, these nine people were sent before an anti-terrorist judge and “accused of criminal conspiracy with terrorist intentions.” The newspapers reported that the Ministry of the Interior and the Secretary of State “had congratulated local and state police for their diligence.” Everything is in order, or so it would appear. But let’s try to examine the facts a little more closely and grasp the reasons and the results of this “diligence.” Continue reading

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Filed under critical thought, international affairs, open letters, manifestos, appeals, political repression

Chto Delat Weekly Reader No. 8: Can We?

m-anti-obama-no-barack-we-cantHere at Chtodelat News, we’re awfully tired of having to translate endless reports of assaults on Russian activists. So we’re glad that once in a while we can turn our gaze from the troubled Eurasian plains and forests to the bright shining shore of America—where President-Elect Obama is rapidly filling his cabinet with dubious DNC types, ex-Clintonites, Wall Street insiders, and fallen university presidents. Good for him! It is nice to know that the one of us who could vote, voted for the wrong guy. (Or is he?) Let the class war to end all class wars begin! So you’ll know which side you’re on when all hell breaks loose, we present you with a user’s guide to the current conjuncture featuring video lectures from Democracy in America: The National Campaign, texts by Brian Holmes, Mike Davis, and Luis Martin-Cabrera, and a forecast of what lies ahead for our comrades in the Zapatista movement. Yes, we can! Continue reading

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The Truth in Khimki (More on the Case of Mikhail Beketov)

Chtodelat News has already reported on the recent attacks on Russia social and labor activists. The most serious of these assaults was made on Mikhail Beketov, the editor-in-chief of Khimkinskaya Pravda. Beketov has bravely campaigned to save the Khimki Forest from destruction, and has exposed the corruption of the local administration. Now he lies in a coma at Moscow’s Sklifosovsky Institute, badly beaten, one leg amputated, on the verge of death.

Below, we present a translation of a recent article on the Beketov case from the independent liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Elena Kostyuchenko’s investigative report is not, however, run-of-the-mill journalism. Whether she intended it or not, her essay hearkens to the great nineteenth-century tradition of engaged writing represented by Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Vladimir Korolenko. “The Truth in Khimki” is not so much a reporting of facts as it is a portrait in miniature of a society in deep, continuing crisis and riven by violent, often lethal contradictions. Police who are less interested in solving crimes than in squelching “the opposition.” A population that (sometimes) knows the truth but, with few exceptions, is too frightened to speak out or act on what it knows. State officials who can’t be bothered to answer the charges made against the state and are quick to downplay the significance of the journalists making those charges. (Witness Putin’s public reaction to the murder of Anna Politkovskaya.) Neighbors who are so apathetic that they let a beaten man lie on the cold ground for two days before they call the police. Rightless migrants whose humanity is often more easily manifested than that of the fully endowed “citizens” who surround them. (Witness the Uzbek migrant worker who was the only person to come to the aid of a Tuvan journalist attacked by skinheads in the Petersburg subway, in December of last year.)

On a more pragmatic note, we should call attention to the fact that, at the end of the article, the newspaper’s editors provide information on how to donate money for Beketov’s medical care and donate blood for the transfusions he so badly needs. If you have the means or ability to help Beketov in this way, please do.

Novaya Gazeta
November 20, 2008
Elena Kostyuchenko
The Truth in Khimki
The police are afraid to investigate the attempted murder of journalist Mikhail Beketov
 

As this issue of the paper goes to press, Mikhail Beketov, the editor-in-chief of Khimkinskaya Pravda [The Khimki Truth], is alive. For the past four days, he has been the most serious case in the intensive care ward at the Sklifosovsky Institute. He has suffered a deep skull fracture as well as multiple fractures all over his body. His right leg has been amputated, and doctors are getting ready to amputate his crushed and frostbitten fingers. He is in a coma. His relatives say that Mikhail hears their voices. He tries to open his eyes; he shakes his head, straining to say something. The doctors advise his relatives not to get their hopes up—just muscle contractions, they say. The doctors have no idea why he is still alive.

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Filed under activism, political repression, Russian society, urban movements (right to the city)