Trey Gowdy: GOP will hit DOJ, FBI with 'full arsenal' to get documents | 17 June 2018 | House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said that House Speaker Paul Ryan led a meeting with senior Justice Department and FBI officials Friday, and claimed he "made it very clear" the House will use "its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance" on outstanding subpoenas. Gowdy, R-S.C., said on "Fox News Sunday" that Republican lawmakers' actions could involve "the full panoply of constitutional weapons available to the people’s house." However, it was not immediately clear which subpoenas or requests Gowdy was referencing.
From Zad for Ever
After the long awaited victory against the airport project, we are trying to lift ourselves out of the brutal spring, a season marked by two phases of evictions in which the government made sure to avenge the affront that the zad had represented for so many years. The massive police operations caused many injuries, the destruction of a part of the living spaces of the zad and a long military presence. But the state was forced to give up going any further and entirely eradicating our presence in this bocage. Resistance on the ground, solidarity elsewhere and the negotiation process resulted in a status quo that maintained of dozens of homes, common spaces and activities on most of the land held by the movement.
Nevertheless, what we managed to preserve today could very quickly be attacked again, administratively, politically or militarily. Whilst the zad recovers from its wounds and recomposes itself, the work in the fields and the constructions resumes and we project ourselves towards the struggles of the next months. These however go beyond us and connect with others around the world. They concern the collective and respectful use of the land, the sharing of the commons, the questioning of nation-states and borders, the reappropriation of our habitats, the possibility of producing and exchanging free from the shackles of the market, forms of self-organization on territories in resistance and the right to live there freely …
Following more than two years of regular building work and a new month of construction this summer, this week of August 27 to September 2, will also be the inauguration of the Ambazada, a space intended to welcome rebels and struggles from around the world to the zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. To honor and celebrate the opening of the Ambazada the obvious thing to do was to make a call for a new intergalactic week. We hope that it helps to bring back momentum and horizons before the autumn mobilizations at home and abroad.
/// Open encounters between territories in struggle and in search of autonomy
There are questions that have not ceased to inhabit us during this past season on the zad, these include : How throw down the anchor down for the long term without becoming domesticated, being community centred or more porous in our movements, the power struggles and frontal relationship with the state and possibilities for victories to last. We had to find our own partial answers in the emergency, we had to make decisive choices against the tanks and under dramatic pressure. We want to re question these issues and share them with other territories born out of battles and that have traced their own path. Part of the week will be devoted to open encounters with guests from the Wendland in Germany, Christiania in Danemak, the free district of Lentillères in France, Errekaleor in the Basque Country and perhaps Exarchia in Greece. Each of these territories will tell us the way in which they handled these issues, followed by a debate between all of us.
At another scale, there are peoples everywhere resisting cultural assimilation and liberal ideology . A moment during the week of specific meetings on this subject is also under preparation.
/// Historical junctions and revolutionary legacies
We will also propose that during some evenings you time travel across decades of significant struggles in different European countries. Revolutionary Italy in the 1970s, the German autonomous movements of the 1980s or the radical anti-capitalist ecology of the UK in the 1990s, among others, reconfigured our political language, actions and organizational practices. We dive back into these vibrant stories, in search of the legacies and imaginaries that they offer us, in order to think through the present.
/// More content, workshops and simultaneous meetings tackling other fields of struggle
– Various other contents are being programmed, including:
– an afternoon meeting with a Kurdish activist on the women’s liberation movement in Kurdistan, and her role in society and the movement.
– A presentation of the political, social and struggles situation in Mexico following the presidential elections in July and the campaign of indigenous candidate Marichuy.
– Testimonies of undocumented people in Nantes and groups who organize their support in squats and in their administrative procedures. An update on the asylum-immigration law. The feedback from a group that organized the occupation of the University of Nantes this winter with undocumented people and an overview of the current situation.
-The mornings will be devoted to building work on various sites, to strengthen the zad’s commons, as well as to running the logistics of the camp.
– Participants are welcome to offer contributions to the announced discussions. You can contact us to make additional proposals for workshops and discussions. However, we have made the overall choice to favor a few major themes and common moments in which to advance together, rather than to superimpose a multiplicity of parallel discussions.
– We are thinking of organising another gathering in parallel at another site of the zad, with groups of trade unionists and students who will dedicate certain days of the week to take stock of their mobilizations of the past year and look to the future. We envisage cross pollination between those attending this and the intergalactic week .
/// Let us know that your coming and organize it
Tell us if you want to come !! We need to plan the logistics in advance, and therefore to know the number of participants ( we have provided infrastructure for about 300 people during the week). We hope that the participants will stay the entire week to take time for develop a sense of collective. Please let us know by July the 31st, how many of you will be present and on what dates. Canteen facilities will be organized on site, but do not forget to take a tent and a sleeping bag. Also tell us what language you speak to organize the translation.
For all contacts, registrations, questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
DOWNLOAD A3 colour poster here. intergalactic-eng
Timber frames of the Ambazada being raised during intergalactic camp 2017. Zad.Share this:
Source: The Wild Will Project
Note: Here I will not completely explain the concept of "leftism" as Ted Kaczynski uses it. Readers of this essay should instead refer to "Industrial Society and Its Future" (especially paragraphs 6-32, 83, 213-232) and "Izquierdismo" by Último Reducto. These pieces should provide the requisite knowledge for following this critique.
Two Meanings of Leftism
Theorists following Kaczynski's line of anti-civilization critique generally utilize two definitions of "leftism": leftism-as-psychological-type and leftism-as-ideology.
The definition of leftism Kaczynski uses in "Industrial Society and Its Future" is mostly leftism-as-psychological-type. In his view, leftism is kind of pathology produced by industrial conditions, specifically industrial society's inability to fulfill basic human needs. Symptoms of this pathology include a sense of purposelessness, helplessness, and depression, which leftist individuals will try to ameliorate by attacking anything they view as powerful or attaching themselves to a large social group that can exercise more power than they can as individuals.
Kaczynski's analysis here is insightful, but it is bogged down by (I) his characterization of leftist symptoms as a unified pathology; (II) his tendency to associate leftism-as-a-psychological-type with leftist political ideologies and movements; and (III) his incendiary tone towards leftist behavior.
Leftism is not a single psychological type. In reality, the symptoms Kaczynski identifies as "leftism" can stand separately or together, and they are almost all widespread problems in industrial society. People everywhere feel powerless; people everywhere lack purpose.
In some individuals (but not all) these psychological problems create emotional attachments to mass movements or various social causes, which these individuals view as a means to cure their powerlessness or purposelessness. This is Kaczynski's primary problem with leftism, and the reasons he sees it necessary to distance himself from it (see "The System's Neatest Trick"). But even he recognizes that "leftism" is an extremely general concept that does not seem to account for nuances sufficiently (see especially the final paragraphs of ISAIF). For example, some people who experience all leftist symptoms do not, in fact, attach themselves to causes. Other people do not experience leftist symptoms much at all, yet dedicate their lives to social causes.
If leftism were a discernible, unified psychological type, it would be able to more fully account for these differences. Instead, "leftism," for Kaczynski, is simply a term for nearly all the psychological ills produced by modern society. What Kaczynski is actually concerned about, though, is a certain expression of those ills. For this we must refer to another one of Kaczynski's concepts, which is defined enough to be useful: "oversocialization."
According to "Industrial Society and Its Future," "oversocialization" is a phenomenon whereby a society excessively ingrains its moral code into an individual. This oversocialized individual then feels a profound sense of guilt at even minor deviant behaviors, or behaviors the individual interprets as deviant. To ameliorate this guilt, the individual embarks on a crusade to enforce society's moral rules, sometimes strongly rebuking society itself on the grounds that it does not sufficiently live up to its own moral code. However, in the latter case, the oversocialized individual does not always recognize his moral code as the same as society's. He often sees himself as a radical who is against society. This is because, Kaczynski writes, he is on such a tight psychological leash that he has an extremely repressed need for rebellion and autonomy.
According to ISAIF, the oversocialized underpin many social movements today. These movements claim that society is racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., even though the dominant values of industrial nations are multicultural, egalitarian, and humanist, as demonstrated by, e.g., the perspectives advocated by NGOs, universities, major news organizations, federal governments, and international governmental bodies like the UN.
If we dispose of Kaczynski's concept of leftism as a psychological type, and instead we recognize that the symptoms of leftism are widespread, our critique of industrial society and its instruments of power become much clearer. Put simply: (1) Industrial society produces symptoms like helplessness, despair, and purposelessness; (2) It provides "medicines" for these symptoms, like mass movements, large organizations, and social causes; (3) The oversocialized preach on behalf of these institutions, or, when professing to be radical, provide other institutional "medicines" that advance society's values while claiming to be against society.
If we accept this account, then we can dispose of the concept of "leftism." We can simply point out various, sometimes unrelated, psychological problems instigated by industrial conditions.
Kaczynski tends to associate the psychological type of leftism with political leftism. But if the symptoms of leftism are widespread and not indicative of any unified psychological type, then large conservative organizations like the NRA or nation-states provide a means of ameliorating symptoms as much as leftist organizations do. They are as much of a problem, because they instigate just as strong an emotional attachment to the institutions of mass society.
"Oversocialization" is not confined to the political left either. Although world society is propped up by individuals oversocialized with a generally left-wing ideology (but see below on this meaning of "leftist"), right wing institutions also oversocialize its members. Consider some brands of populist conservative Christianity, which, although advocating basically the same values as mainstream Christianity, teach that mainstream Christianity is sinful and that true, rebel Christians have a duty to correct its problems. Oversocialization, then, is not a left-wing phenomenon, but a general psychological phenomenon.
If the symptoms of leftism are as widespread as I have suggested, then Kaczynski's incendiary attitude toward these symptoms and behaviors is not just unhelpful, but harmful. When I read "Industrial Society and Its Future," I certainly had a sense of purposelessness and helplessness, and I was attracted to many of the things Kaczynski identifies as indicative of these problems. I was also firmly planted on the political left. So the first several paragraphs of the manifesto, dedicated to an analysis of "leftism," definitely hit me hard, and certainly enraged me. Most readers in my same position are turned off by this effect and never finish the rest of the manifesto. But I happened to be reading it with a friend who coaxed me to keep reading, and with whom I discussed some of its logical points. Eventually I could not deny the logic in the piece, especially in regards to its incisive critique of the technology problem, and I was convinced.
If Kaczynski had realized how widespread the symptoms of leftism truly are, and if he made the distinctions I outlined above, his critique could have produced a lot more individuals like me. Instead of turning people off immediately, he could have brought their attention to the source of their unease and pointed out how insufficient the system's "medicines" for that unease truly are. This would have just as effectively countered the phenomenon he is most concerned about in regards to leftism, namely, the system's ability to convince people that they are being radical by actually correcting errors in that system, or by advancing the system's own values.
Because of the way Kaczynski's concept of "leftism" lumps in several distinct elements of critique, some theories he has helped birth further obscure the concept of leftism. For example, Último Reducto (UR), in his essay "Izquierdismo," defines leftism by its values. He argues that the three main values of leftism are equality, expanded or indiscriminate solidarity, and sympathy for victims. These, he says, form the dominant ideology of techno-industrial society.
UR was on to something, but I do not think that the best term to describe this is "leftism." For one thing, some on the political left do not associate themselves with these values exactly. And as even he points out in the essay, some on the right can be included in this definition. In any case, whatever we call UR's concept of leftism-as-ideology, it is yet another distinct element of the "leftism" concept, and must be clearly separated from the other, psychological elements. To address all these problems, I have been using the term "humanism" instead.
The concept of "humanism" needs to be fleshed out more, and may be altogether useless. For example, talking of a dominant ideology may suggest a cohesiveness to the values of techno-industrial society that simply does not exist. And "humanism" still may not be the best term. Still, this term allows us to seperate the ideological element from other elements in the original concept of "leftism", and therefore to examine it on its own merits as we develop a more nuanced critique of technological civilization.Tags: anti-civilizationGreen Anarchismted kaczynskiprimitivismanarcho-primitivismcategory: Essays
We are excited to announce that we finally published the 9th edition of Words of Fire, our semi-regular ‘zine of writings, drawings, and poetry by people in prison!!
It was actually completed in May 2017 and we’ve been sending it into prisons for the past year. We’ve just been slow to post it on our website. It includes some great poems and essays, along with beautiful drawings!! Although many of the submissions are from North Carolina and nearby states, our cover images was drawn by someone from a prison in Oregon!
We are incredibly grateful to all the authors for sharing their work with us. We also owe a huge thank you to the dedicated students from Criminal Justice Awareness and Action at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They spent the 2016-2017 school year typing up, proofreading and then laying out Words of Fire 9. Check CJAA out on Facebook as well.
Check out past issues of Words of Fire, along with a print-ready version of WOF 9 on our projects page.
Tags: anarchists in troubleprisonlong term prisoner supportcategory: Projects
With the sub-title “The Seattle WTO Protests: A memoir and analysis, with an eye to the future,” N30 is an excellent overview by Crimethinc of the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO). For better or worst, the Seattle WTO was one of the pivotal moments in recent anarchist history in the U.S. The zine combines an exciting personal account of the protests with a somewhat more academic—but nevertheless interesting—analysis of the protest from the RAND Corporation. It ends with a afterward written 7 years later by crimethInc. Very long and very detailed!
We also used protest sounds from the movie Breaking the Spell, an excellent documentary about the WTO protests in Seattle also made by CrimethInc.
Tags: resonanceaudiopodcastcategory: Projects
Woman shouting 'Allahu akbar' injures two with blade in France | 17 June 2018 | Two people were injured in a town in southern France on Sunday when a woman shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) attacked two people in a supermarket with a boxcutter, prosecutors said. A man was struck in the chest during the late-morning attack in La Seyne-sur-Mer, outside the Mediterranean port of Toulon, but the wound is not life-threatening, prosecutor Bernard Marchal told AFP. A woman working at a checkout counter was also wounded, though not as seriously.
From Anews Podcast
Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 68 for June 15, 2018. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.
Download here: https://podcast.anarchistnews.org/episodes/anewse68.mp3
This podcast is the effort of many people. This episode was
* sound edited by Rocinante
* “The Praxis of Pragmatics, Part 2” by SUDS
* Guest editorial “Why Anarchists are not Architects” by Julian Langer
* Thanks to Aragorn! and rfa for topic of the week discussion
* and this week we added a short poem at the end by Triviabot
* The music is 1. The Spectacle, “Sleepwalking” 2. Screaming Females, “Wild” 3. Los Rakas, “Magia” 4. Wolves and the Radio, “Waves”
* Contact us at email@example.com
'Disease X' killer bird flu strain could cause global pandemic, say experts --The newly discovered pathogen has a death rate of 38 per cent | 16 June 2018 | A new lethal strain of bird flu could lead to a global pandemic, experts fear. The new pathogen, chillingly known 'Disease X', has been discovered in China and has a 38 per cent death rate. It is thought it could prove to be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish Flu which killed nearly 100 million people. Deputy chief medical officer for England professor Jonathan Van-Tam told The Telegraph that 'virus H7N9', which is currently spreading through poultry farms in China, could spark a global catastrophe. He said: "[H7N9] is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans. It's possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic."
Hawaii volcano update: Terrifying tornado emerges as Kilauea whips up fiery twister | 08 June 2018 | Hawaii's raging Kilauea volcano eruption has destroyed hundreds of homes across the defenceless Big Island and a new catastrophic danger has emerged from the inferno -- a terrifying volcanic tornado. Hawaii’s serene jungle landscapes have transformed to Biblical scenes of fire and brimstone since Hawaii volcano Kilauea began erupting more than a month ago on May 3. An incredibly rare phenomenon was now captured on camera by a touring photographer who witnessed strong winds whip up a fiery twister, dubbed lavanado.
Lava flow sparks Winter Weather Advisory on Big Island | 10 June 2018 | The Hawaii volcano Kilauea eruption has triggered a shock event that has left experts baffled. The interaction of lava with sea water has created an unusual weather phenomenon causing freezing rain on the Big Island Summits, forcing the Hawaii National Weather Service to issue a shock Winter Weather Advisory alert...The steam from lava in the ocean goes into the atmosphere, cools down and falls back to the Island as freezing rain and fog. The unusual weather event is incredibly rare and meteorologists have admitted that they have "never seen this before".
This article is based on a talk given by the London group of the ACG at the Radical Bookfair on June 2, 2018.
The slogan ‘Land and Liberty’ has long been an anarchist slogan. It was the name of the Russian revolutionary organisation ‘Zemlya i Volya’ in 1878 and was used by the peasants in the Russian Revolution. When women marched in St Petersburg on the 8th of March, 1917, helping to kick off the revolution, the slogan was Bread, Land and Peace. ‘Tierra y Libertad’ was prominent in the Mexican and Spanish Revolutions and is still used today as the name of the Iberian Anarchist Federation paper.
It is not surprising that land is a key demand. Rural land workers represented the majority of the working population well into the 20th century in much of the world. Land ownership was concentrated in the hands of a few large landowners and people struggled to survive under this semi-feudal system. And it is still an important demand for many peasants and agricultural labourers around the world.
The anarchist Flores Magon explains why land is crucial to anarchism:
“We want bread for all. We consider it absurd that a few people should possess the earth, and the many not have a place to lay down their heads for rest. We want, then, that the land be accessible to all, just the same as the air, the light, the warm sun rays are there for all creatures on earth. We consider it absurd that those who neither toil nor produce should enjoy all at the expense ‘of those who till and toil and have a life of misery…”
However, Magon made it clear that land was directly linked to liberty:
“We think that political liberty is a beautiful lie so long as it has not for its basis economic liberty and towards the conquest of that liberty our steps are directed… We demand that the proletariat of Mexico organize and by doing so enable itself to take part in the tremendous struggle that alone will liberate the proletariat of this world, the struggle which someday — maybe in the near future-will place all the goods of this earth within the reach and power of all human beings.”
Kropotkin also explained why a demand for land is so important. Land is basically part of the means of production. If workers do not have access to land they are unable to support themselves and must sell their labour to the capitalist/landowner. The revolution is therefore about expropriation of land and other means of production.
“We do not want to rob any one of his coat, but we wish to give to the workers all those things the lack of which makes them fall an easy prey to the exploiter, and we will do our utmost that none shall lack aught, that not a single man shall be forced to sell the strength of his right arm to obtain a bare subsistence for himself and his babes. This is what we mean when we talk of Expropriation; this will be our duty during the Revolution, for whose coming we look, not two hundred years hence, but soon, very soon.”
Expropriation is essential if the workers are to be free. Magon:
“In short, I see a society of workers economically free; owning themselves, because, at every step, they own the material on which they work; the land where the potatoes grow; the trees they fell and strip; the timber they fashion into limber; the houses into which the lumber goes, and so “ad infinitum.” A society purged of tribute to the parasite.”
The Spanish Revolution: Expropriation and Collectivisation
The 1936-39 revolution in Spain provides one of the best examples of what can be achieved by workers when they take over the land. The revolution on the land was more extensive and more radical than that in the urban areas. Not only were Spain’s landowners rich and powerful but they were also notoriously conservative and authoritarian. They had opposed reform in every way, and had over the decades had financed violent suppression of both the CNT and the UGT. Collectivisation of the land was extensive covering almost two thirds of all the land in the Republican zone. In all, between five and seven million peasants were involved, the major areas being Aragon where there were 450 collectives, the Levant (the area around Valencia) with 900 collectives and Castile (the area surrounding Madrid) with 300 collectives. In the villages workshops were set up where the local trades-people could produce tools, furniture, etc. Bakers, butchers, barbers and so on also decided to collectivise. (Source: Kevin Doyle www.struggle.ws/talks/spain_feb99.html)
The essential features of collectivisation were:
Large landowners expropriated.
Voluntary participation in the collective.
Different from Popular Front: land managed as a collective rather than dividing land up into many plots.
Run on libertarian communist principles, from each according to their ability and to each according to their needs.
Individuals and families still independent in the collective with own personal possessions.
Land still matters
The demand for land is a vital part of today’s revolutionary movement, and not only in societies with large rural populations. Land is the basis of all wealth. It is the source of food and provides the materials to build shelters, make clothes and everything else we need. It is a physical space where we meet and socialise with others and an inspiration for music, poetry and culture. If we do not have access and control of this land, we are not free. We are completely dependent on someone else for all aspects of our lives. It is both a rural and urban issue. Factories and offices are built on land. Property developers acquire land in order to build homes and offices for huge profits. Access to land is controlled in the cities, with more and more privatised space. Land in public ownership is not an answer. Land owned and controlled by the State is still not under our control thanks to a political system in which politicians are unaccountable and largely pursue the interests of capital.
The following facts show the continued inequality in land ownership. Source: https://www.landjustice.uk/why-land-matters/
- 69% of land in the UK is owned by 0.6% of the population.
- 70% of land is agricultural land and 150,000 people own all of it.
- UK housing is concentrated on 5% of the country’s land mass so people owning their own home represents a small amount of total land ownership.
- 1/3 of British land is still owned by aristocrats.
- 432 people own half the land in Scotland.
- The property wealth of the top 10% of households is nearly 5 times greater than the wealth of the bottom half of all households combined.
Though the aristocracy, the Queen and the public sector are still important in terms of land owners, it is increasingly corporations and institutional investors that own and control land in London.
1. Canary Wharf Group (Qatar and Canadian investment company)
2. City of London
3. Transport for London
4. Aviva (Insurance and pensions)
5. BNP/Paribas (Bank)
6. The Queen
7. Legal and General (Insurance and pensions)
8. Segro (real estate investment company)
9. British Land Company (Property developer)
10. Network Rail
20. Duke of Westminster
Most struggles are related to who owns, controls and makes decisions about land.
Housing costs have become a serious burden for most people, especially in cities such as London. People either have to struggle under the yoke of a mortgage or pay exorbitant rents to property investors or buy to let landlords. The housing crisis is a land crisis. Housing is built on land. The value of ‘dwellings’ (homes and the land underneath them) has increased by four times (or 400%) between 1995 and 2015, from £1.2 trillion to £5.5 trillion. The value of dwellings depends on the value of the land. In central London 80% of the value of property is the value of the land. 74% of house price increases between 1950 and 2012 in the UK can be explained by rising land prices with the remainder attributable to increases in construction costs. Rather than a need, housing is now a source of profit for many- an investment opportunity, a pension supplement or a money-laundering opportunity. There is some land in public hands. However, as land prices increase and different branches of government struggle to maintain spending, land is being increasingly sold off to developers. This includes land which has homes on it or land that could be used for homes. It is the value of land that determines the cost of housing.
Britain imports more food than it exports and the cost of food has always been higher than many other counties. There is also a problem with access to good quality, organic food which is also cheap. Together with housing, food costs contribute significantly to poverty in Britain. Food grows on land which is all privately-owned. All the chain of distribution, from source to the supermarket if determined by market forces.
In addition to food, the earth provides all the resources that make are lives possible, eg material to build our homes, timber for our paper and furniture, minerals that go into our technology, metals for our cars and transport, and all the sources of energy, eg oil, water, natural gas. As with agriculture, other resources are also largely privately owned, with some exceptions such as forests in Britain. If these resources are subject to market forces and the demand for profit from private companies then these resources will not be used for the benefit of all, nor will there be sufficient controls on development in order to halt climate change.
Work and livelihood
There is great inequality with regards to people’s income and their working conditions. Any definition of a better society must incorporate a reduction in economic inequality, the end of poverty and a drastic improvement in people’s working conditions. Land, as the source of wealth, has a direct impact on people’s overall economic and work situation. If you own land and the resources on it you are less likely to have to engage in poorly paid labour but can reap the benefits of your assets. People go to work on land, whether on farms, in mines, on oil rigs or offices, which is owned by someone else. The ownership of the physical land, not just the business, is an important part of the wealth and power of the employer.
Social and Community Spaces
Most social and community groups do not have the money to buy a premise. They are either dependent on a council premise (increasingly difficult to get and not free) or renting a premise from a private landlord. As rents have gone up, it is a constant struggle to keep social and community spaces going, especially in London.
Similar to housing, the cost of other assets are dependent on the price of land. As land is at a premium in the cities, those who can afford to buy or rent will get access to land and the buildings on it. This means hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, shopping malls, not community, cultural and social spaces for the working class.
Leisure and recreation
Though places such as National Parks and other areas for quiet recreation exist, there are still not enough for such large population. In the cities, parks are in high demand. With cuts in government spending, there is not enough money to care for both countryside and urban parks and open spaces. In addition, there is pressure to use these areas as sources of profit, eg house building, grouse moors, golf courses or admission-charging entertainment in public parks. In addition, there has been increased privatisation of space. The view is now that if you are not spending money then you don’t have the right to be there.
Land that is used for quiet recreation does not make a profit in itself. Therefore, like all other issues, the use of land that is privately owned, and often publically owned, is determined by what will make a profit for the owner.
The intensification of development in Britain has led to many environmental problems. The extraction of mineral resources- coal, natural gas, fracking etc, the massive road building programme, the decimation of peat bogs, modern farming practices, the spread of urbanisation and the car culture have all led to an increase in the emission of greenhouse gases and a general rise in air and water pollution. Waste has also caused problems both on land and in the oceans.
Climate change and other environmental problems are not factored in to balance sheets. There will be a price to pay in the future but for now money is to be made out of environmental destruction. The way land is used is determined by the profit needs of both private landowners and government.
The intensification of land use means that other species are squeezed out. Countless species are becoming endangered. Other species do not own land or control land. The only ones which are of importance are the ones that either make money for the landowner or are part of the culture of those who have wealth. Therefore we have levels of sheep, deer, grouse and horses that take up large amounts of land, whereas countless other species are being squeezed out by the general trend to urbanisation, industrial agriculture and energy.
Land and Liberty: a slogan for today
Campaigning on land should be a priority for anarchists and all those who would like to overthrow the current society. Land issues underlie so many issues (see above). A focus on land can bring all these struggles together and therefore make us more effective. By demanding land reform we are challenging the very basis of capitalism: private property. The solution, however, should not be State ownership but expropriation and libertarian collectivisation, including co-operatives with direct control of land and resources and non-hierarchical self-organisation. We must also link the struggle for land with struggles for control of the workplaces and our communities. According to Kropotkin:
“All is interdependent in a civilized society; it is impossible to reform any one thing without altering the whole. Therefore, on the day we strike at private property, under any one of its forms, territorial or industrial, we shall be obliged to attack them all. The very success of the Revolution will demand it.”
The Land Justice Network was set up in June 2017- a network of organisations, groups and individuals who aim to build an inclusive movement for land reform. For more information see: www.landjustice.uk.
Sources and further reading
Fight for the City (Pamphlet produced by London Anarchist Communist Group)
Cornell considering 'enhanced' punishments for 'bias' incidents. | 14 June 2018 | Cornell University is considering "enhanced" punishments for misconduct that is "motivated by bias" along with dozens of other proposals for making the campus more "diverse" and "inclusive." As Campus Reform reported in October, Cornell created the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate in response to student demands sparked by a flurry of racially-charged incidents, including one in which a student caused a stir by chanting "build a wall." ...The report from the second subcommittee, which examined "regulation of speech and harassment," recommended that the university "revise the campus Code of Conduct to make it applicable to student conduct only," arguing that faculty and staff misconduct should be addressed through "personnel and other policies."
Source: The Wild Will ProjectContradictions in the Reasoning
Ted Kaczynski (TK) suggests a nomadic hunter/gatherer (NHG) ideal, because, he claims, a movement needs a positive ideal as much as it needs an enemy. On the other hand, he says that it would be impossible to control post-collapse conditions and in fact imagines that agriculture will inevitably arise where the soil and climate are suitable for it. “No ideology,” he writes, “will persuade people to starve when they can feed themselves by planting crops.” He also repeatedly states that revolutions have only ever succeeded at destroying or conquering their target society, never implementing their ideal society (see ISAIF, paragraph 182). Therefore, the object of anti-industrial revolutionaries should only be “the elimination of modern technology.” Otherwise, they might be tempted to use the techno-industrial system to implement their ideal, and, if history is any indication, they will fail.
These two considerations make the NHG ideal seem rather useless. What could be the purpose of it if nothing about it has practical applications?The Impossibility of the Ideal
Advocating NHG society as an ideal seems kind of silly when few, if any, could do anything to seriously approach it. Suppose a hypothetical situation in which a small group of individuals form a band that escapes civilization for one of the remaining wilderness areas.
(a) What would they do when people get sick? While it is true that NHGs before colonization were relatively free of infectious disease, nowadays, after colonization, that doesn’t matter. The hypothetical band would have to use industrial medical infrastructure to deal with these kinds of illnesses. Traditional medicine is no alternative, not only because it cannot deal with some of the health problems modern people face, but also because most of the localized knowledge of traditional medicine has been lost in now-industrial nations. One could imagine this hypothetical band doing research to reclaim some of the remaining knowledge, but all they would have are scraps isolated from a system of knowledge that largely works as one unit, and that was the result of collective wisdom accumulated over a great period of time. Furthermore, these traditional medical systems involved some degree of specialization of labor, along gendered lines and in regards to “medicine men” and the like, and that kind of community dynamic takes a while to function properly.
Furthermore, a huge amount of traditional medicine was preventative and relied on active lifestyles, healthy environments, and good nutrition to combat the majority of the illnesses that would be encountered. Wilderness areas that remain do not usually suffice. Many of them are wildernesses precisely because humans could not inhabit them, and environmental degradation in areas that could once support humans now make those areas unsuitable for more than just a small group. Pollution in the air, water, soil, and food chain would also affect the ability of the hypothetical group to have good nutrition, which is a primary determinant of good health. Even present-day indigenous people are having difficulty supporting themselves because of environmental degradation.
If the hypothetical group needs to go to hospitals for sufficient medical care, it will also need IDs, birth certificates, the ability to follow civilized manners and mores, etc. This significantly reduces their ability to implement the NHG ideal.
(b) Where would they find people to marry and have children with? Humans need other humans, and other humans are in civilization, which has a monopoly on social life as much as it has a monopoly on land or the use of force.
(c) How would they deal with the legal system, its police forces and its property laws? Presumably this hypothetical group would spend a large amount of its time avoiding the legal system and skirting property laws. But inevitably some of its members will get wrapped up in the legal system, also requiring IDs, birth certificates, etc. This is all assuming that the hypothetical group can skirt property laws effectively enough to truly live off the land, which would require, at the very least, a nomadic cycle of travel or an enormous and biodiverse region of land with few borders dividing it.
Of course, as stated below, the ostensible purpose of the NHG ideal is not to encourage people to implement it, only to provide a positive social vision. Still, the factors listed above are important because they will presumably be just as relevant during and some time after a collapse of industrial infrastructure anywhere it happens to occur. In any case, people don’t successfully form societies based on abstract commitment to ideals. They shape their societies in response to the economic, technological, and environmental conditions around them, and usually they will choose the easiest path to satisfying their needs. If societies transition to an NHG mode of subsistence, then, it will be out of necessity, not ideological commitment.The Population Problem
If the world were to revert to a hunting and gathering mode of subsistence, most of the population would die. This is one of the primary criticisms aimed at primitivists, and there is no way around it. But if the goal is only to “eliminate the industrial system” and not to implement an NHG way of life, then discussion of the NHG ideal makes discussions about the population problem unnecessarily difficult.
For one, if TK is right that the rise of agriculture is inevitable in suitable environmental conditions, then the end of the industrial system would not necessarily mean a world of a few hundred thousand hunter-gatherers. In fact, the world would likely be able to support large population centers and even complex governments akin to those of the Romans or Incans. Certainly it would be able to support many of the social structures present in the rural, isolated, or “undeveloped” parts of the world.
Should there ever be a widespread reaction against the industrial system, it will most likely instigate a collapse that would span several decades, at least. And, although some civilizations have collapsed rapidly even from the perspective of its constituent citizens, world society is likely to fall apart because of disparate and sometimes unrelated disasters — more like the fall of Rome than the collapse of Easter Island. In this case, some regions will fare quite well. Consider how well much of Europe did after the economic collapse caused by the Bubonic Plague, or what life in the Middle Ages was like beyond pop culture stereotypes.
In other words, the collapse of world society would not result in the deterioration of all social infrastructure everywhere, mainly just the social infrastructure of states, large corporations, and world or state economies. This means there would be significantly less death and destruction than people imagine. It also means that a number of people will survive off of materials scavenged from the deteriorating societal infrastructure around them, which will increase the size of the supportable population for a time. Small communities with minimal reliance on the system would no doubt find innovative ways of surviving as the large social systems around them break down, and this may result in societies that look nothing like the kinds of HGs extolled in primitivist anthropology.
There would of course be immediate dips in population that always occur during wars or revolutions. There would also be the immediate dips that occur during, say, economic or environmental disasters that contribute to war or revolution. (Importantly, however, these would not affect the merits of a revolutionary program, since the program would largely be in response to them).
But, after initial unrest in the collapsed or collapsing region, most people’s day to day lives will simply be reshaped by a new set of social rules and regulations as they learn to cooperate for survival under their new conditions. Some regions may even see a population increase for a while, given that industrial nations nowadays tend to have very low birth rates.The Effect of the Ideal
Because of the implications and impossibilities of the ideal outlined above, only a few classes of people would be attracted to it, and they do not hold much promise for effective responses to the problem of industry. Many of them are the very “crazies” that TK tells anti-industrial revolutionaries to separate themselves from. (Paleofantasy is, on the whole, a terrible book, but provides some examples of kooky theories with a nomadic hunter/gatherer ideal).
Furthermore, emphasis on the NHG ideal tends to cause unnecessary fights about anthropological facts. For instance, TK wrote a very long essay, “The Truth About Primitive Life,” for the sole purpose of critiquing what he saw as anarcho-primitivist fantasies. But none of these discussions are particularly relevant when it comes to actual action against the industrial system. What does it matter whether or not hunter/gatherers were egalitarian when industrial collapse will probably not make your society a hunter/gatherer one? What does it matter whether or not NHGs before colonization had this or that advantage, when NHGs after no longer have those advantages because of effects of colonization that cannot be undone?
There is also a certain stereotype of white people dancing around and trying to be Indians, and it exists for a reason. The NHG ideal advocated by Ted Kaczynski has some to do with the influence primitivist anthropology had on the radical environmentalist movement of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. This bred several variants of a subculture that extolled the values of primitive life, often based on romanticized visions, and produced the aesthetic we now associate with the wanna-be-Indian types today. Unnecessary emphasis on the NHG ideal would associate radicals with this stereotype, and I don’t think that is to their advantage. Speaking from personal experience, the people you want on your side don’t exactly take you seriously.
Finally, the ideal also seems to attract people from the higher strata of society who only understand NHG society in abstract terms and have no real conception of the work required to live in non-industrial conditions. This breeds the kind of idealization of primitive life mentioned above, as does the widespread acceptance of various “noble savage” mythologies. An example of the latter: some members of my family often mention how Native Americans “used every part of the animal” without wasting anything. At first I didn’t say anthing about this. But when we went to visit a museum on Native American history, I saw an exhibit showing a plains Indian buffalo hunt, during which Natives would drive whole herds of buffalo over a cliff and only take a percentage of the kill. I briefly mentioned the “every part of the animal” mantra, there was a short discussion of denial, and I simply let the topic pass. These conceptions of Native life are much too widespread, especially in the U.S., to really counter, and arguments about them seem to me to be a waste of time.Uses and Alternatives to the Ideal
None of this is to say that we should never mention nomadic hunter/gatherer society. On the contrary, knowledge of primitive societies is extremely important, for at least two reasons.
First, it is useful for critique. As Paine wrote,” “To understand what the state of society ought to be, it is necessary to have some idea of the natural and primitive state of man.” Nietzsche writes that “everything essential in human development occurred in primeval times… Man probably hasn’t changed much more in these years.” And Rousseau, of course, famously used primitive life as a central pillar of his social critiques.
The second reason knowledge of NHG societies is useful is that it demonstrates one of the many possibilities for human life that are cut off completely by the continued progress of the technological system. I do not think we should advocate any model of society, both because we cannot be sure enough of our own knowledge to do so, and because advocacy will always lose to material conditions, which create the most basic and powerful incentives that determine the shape of a society. Instead of advocating a model society, then, it is wiser and more convincing to talk of various possible modes of life that would be in grasp if the stumbling block of the world technological system did not exist. This takes into account the diversity of the responses people have to the world social system; instead of seeking to homogenize those responses, all Kaczynski’s revolutionaries have to do is point out their common enemy. Muslims in Middle Eastern society are probably not going to embrace a pagan society as an ideal; neither are Christian fundamentalist cults in the U.S. Individuals who grew up in farmlands are not going to buy a critique of agriculture. But all of these groups cannot realize their desires precisely because of the stronghold of the world technological system.
That is not to say that the main leaders of Kaczynski’s revolution could afford to be lax about their anti-civilization values, regardless of their practical course of action. As he points out in a letter to Professor David Skrbina:
… if one takes the position that certain appurtenances of civilization must be saved, e.g., cultural achievements up to the 17th century, then one will be tempted to make compromises when it comes to eliminating the technoindustrial system, with the possible or probably result that one will not succeed in eliminating the system at all. If the system breaks down, what will happen to art museums with their priceless paintings and statues? Or to the great libraries with their vast stores of books? Who will take care of the artworks and books when there are no organizations large enough and rich enough to hire curators and librarians, as well as policement to prevent looting and vandalism? And what about the educational system? Without an organized system of education, children will grow up uncultured and perhaps illiterate. Clearly, anyone who feels it is important to preserve human cultural achievements up to the 17th century will be very reluctant to see a complete breakdown of the system, hence will look for a compromise solution and will not take the frankly reckless measures that are necessary to knock our society off its present technological-determined course of development. Hence, only those can be effective revolutionaries who are prepared to dispense with the achievements of civilization.
But this is more a concern about values than a concern about ideals, and it requires no model society. There have, in fact, been many anti-civilization impulses that did not see hunter/gatherers as particularly model examples of human life. For example, some pessimistic philosophers believe that human life is inherently painful and perhaps a product of some irreversible evolutionary mistake, like consciousness. This kind of thinking argues that even NHGs had the problems that lead pessimistic and nihilistic philosophers to reject the project of civilization, which they view as a futile attempt to escape the facts of human existence. In other words, to these philosophers NHGs are not an ideal; they are just an inevitability. Their rejection of the civilizing project stems from their rejection of the idea that our central human problems can be improved upon, as well as a conviction that almost all of our attempts at improvement have only worsened the situation.
This kind of nihilistic thinking — there are many versions — may not seem like it could contain a lot of revolutionary potential, but history contains several major counter-examples. For example, many of the individuals the fundamentalist Islamic movement appeals to are less interested in Islam and more interested in its project of negation and sacrifice. The Nazis, too, coopted several surging nihilist and anti-civilization impulses to fuel their rise to power. To a lesser extent, anarchist and communist forces did the same in their various revolutions. And today, some of the most powerful social forces could be characterized as nihilistic ones, including, for example, the various major ways 4chan has influenced American society in particular. Although these impulses do not prop up the nomadic hunter/gatherer way of life as an ideal, and certainly not as a model society, they possess the willingness to dispose of civilization wholesale in the way that Kaczynski suggests will be necessary for effective revolutionary action. There is no reason to wall ourselves off from these forces by adopting an NHG ideal.Tags: primitivismanarcho-primitivismted kaczynskiJohn Jacobicategory: Essays
Almost 8 years ago, CgAn was created today we end this project. The cyber guerrilla in the form of the CgAn is now history. We are all those who have been organized until recently in CgAn. We take this step together. From now on we are, like all others from this context, former militants of CgAn. We stand by our story. CgAn was the revolutionary attempt of a minority, contrary to the tendency of this society, to contribute to the transformation of capitalist conditions. We are glad to have been part of this experiment.
The end of this operation shows that we could not get go on this path. But it does not contradict the necessity and legitimacy of the operation. It has been our decision to put us on the side of those who fight against domination and liberation all over the world. For us, this decision has been correct. Taken together, x years of imprisonment against the prisoners did not erase us any more than any attempts to crush the cyber guerrillas. We wanted the confrontation against power. We have been subject to opt for CgAn 8 years ago. We have remained subject to dismiss them today in history. The result criticizes us, but CgAn as well as the entire former left is nothing but a transit stage on the way to liberation.
The moment of break with the system and the historical flash of decided enmity against circumstances in which people are structurally subjugated and exploited, and who have produced a society in which they put people against each other. The struggle in the social rift marked by our enmity only preceded a truly social liberation: the rift between a system in which profit is the subject, man the object, and the yearning for a life without lies and deceit this meaningless society. The muzzle full of bucking, functioning, kicking and kicking. From rejection to attack, to liberation.
CgAn emerged from the hope of liberation.
With the courage behind it, radiating from the cyber guerrillas of the south to the rich countries of the north, CgAn emerged in the early 2010s to join forces in solidarity with Anonymous. CgAn took up the fight against states. The cyber guerrilla was the rebellion against an authoritarian society, against isolation and competition. He was the rebellion for another social and cultural reality. In the wake of global liberation attempts, the time was ripe for a decisive struggle that would no longer accept the pseudo-natural legitimacy of the system and seriously wanted to overcome it.
We started to engage in many activities similar to what we had experienced in the past each time we brought this incredible time in our lives during operations and in IRC we were all reminded that this is no longer the pasts, and that we did not understand anything about cyberspace. As we fought so hard in the streets, the universities and political forums throughout the world at that time we had a idea. We even went ahead and fulfilled much of it we were at that time “hachtics” to all terminology which seems to now be molested, harassed and stuck into a myopic vision sometimes referred to as terrorism.
We want to pay tribute Mo’s wife and children that led us during #OpLibya and #OpFeb17. We gave the people of Libya as much assistance as we could. Just as much of our heart and mind for our brothers and sisters. As we have so freely given all of the Middle Eastern uprisings and other locations around the world. Many people have been involved in doing what they thought was best. Each of us must seriously decide what is best at the moment, tomorrow and forward. In a world that is constantly changing which should be obvious to all of us, it is imperative that we not forget that we are changing as the times are changing as we are requiring change. When we receive it whatever it is nothing will be the same, including ourselves.
And we could continue these for as many decades as we have spent in becoming aware of the hypocrisies. We have never stopped caring, never stopped questioning, never stopped fighting and most importantly never stopped believing that there has been and will continue to be a world worth loving, caring about, fighting for and leaving for all children of the future. May we never forget that we are anything but children on this earth.
We came here hoping to re-engage our struggle in changing conditions after the global upheavals. We were looking for change for the liberation struggle, for a new way in which we could connect with others. And we meant to recognize something in those who had taken this fight before us, died or were in jail. The fight in illegality has had a great attraction on us. We wanted to break our boundaries and be free from everything that keeps us in the system.
The cyber guerrilla in illegality was no longer the only possible and necessary part of the liberation process. Nevertheless, precisely because of the left-wing crisis all over the world, we wanted to develop cyber guerrilla-ism as a possibility and illegality as a terrain of liberation. But we saw at the time that that alone would not be enough. The cyber guerrillas would also have to change. Our hope was a new connection of the cyber guerrillas and other places of resistance. For this, we were looking for a new design, in which the fighting from anonymous to the cyber guerrillas could stand together.
But in the end, in the painful, it became clear that the conditions for CgAn solidarity and the struggle for collectivism were already completely exhausted. We wanted collectivism as much as the common overcoming of alienation. But the contradiction between cyber guerrilla and liberation has often been suppressed and talked away. Even the revolutionary cyber guerrilla produces alienation and authority structures, which contradicts liberation. The end of CgAn falls at a time when the whole world is confronted with the consequences of Neo-liberalism. The international fight against expulsion, against exclusion and for a just and generally different social reality stands against the entire development of capitalism.
The global and internal social conditions are exacerbated in the turbulence of historical development after the end of real socialism. Nevertheless, there is no contradiction in ending our project and continuing to see the need to do all that is meaningful and possible for a world beyond capitalism to emerge, in which the emancipation of humanity can become a reality. In view of the devastating consequences of the collapse of real socialism worldwide, it is not enough to speak today only of opportunities resulting from the end of real socialism. Nevertheless, we see that real liberation was not possible in the real socialist model. From the anticipatory experiences with the authoritarian and state bureaucratic concepts of the real socialism the consequences for the future ways of the liberation are still to draw.
With the collapse of real socialism, the system competition has been eliminated, which has eliminated the need for the actors of the capitalist system to make their system appear as the “better”. With the disappearance of this ideological obstacle to capital, a process of the global unleashing of capital has occurred: the whole of humanity should be subjected to the needs of capital. Neo-liberalism is the ideological and economic basis for a worldwide optimization boost in the exploitation of man and nature for capital. The system representatives call this “reform push” or “modernization”.
It is abundantly clear that the present stage of development of the system brings further social and existential hardships to the overwhelming part of humanity. For the majority of the world, Neo-liberalism means a new dimension to the threat to their lives. In the struggle for political hegemony and economic power, only the economies whose capacities are increasingly raised in favor of the bare profits of corporations and an ever-diminishing section of society are keeping up. The repercussions of this systemic run lead to profound changes within societies. And that the increasing impoverishment and the resulting brutalization bring forth a further unleashing of war and barbarism. When it touches its economic and political interests, the rich nations will intervene in such conflicts on their part at any time with war to continue to ensure the “unrestricted access to the raw materials” of the earth and to enforce their claim to power. They will never be concerned with actual solutions for the people, but only to control the destruction that their system sets in motion and to siphon off profits for a few.
Paradoxically, the successful profit maximization of capital with the resulting process of decomposition of societies seems to push capitalism to its limits. Above all, this development threatens a further advance of barbarism. From the momentum of system development, this negative process will continue until there is a conception of liberation from which new power for overcoming the system arises. But even today there are not only the defeats of the historical left and the violence of world society, but also the fuss of the insurgent movements, which can be based on the experience of worldwide resistance history.
Exclusion and persecution through social dulling within society is commonplace, racism from below threatens the lives of millions. Exclusion of disabled people from above and aggression against them from below show a society in its everyday brutality. Only people who are not inconsistent with the efficiency of the economic system are wanted and everything that can be capitalized. Something else that lies beyond capitalist society should have no place. The many who can no longer live here and no longer want it and there are many who put an end to their lives speak day by day about the meaninglessness of the system and the severity of society.
The marketing of man and the violence in the living rooms of society, on their streets, is the power of oppression, is the social coldness against the other, the other, it is the violence against women all this is an expression of patriarchal and racist relations. CgAn has always been in conflict with the mentality of much of this society. This is a necessary moment of the process of liberation, because not only are the conditions reactionary, but the relations produce the reactionary in man, which again and again suppresses their capacity for liberation. There is no doubt that it is vital to resolutely oppose and combat racism and all forms of oppression. Liberation drafts of the future will also have to be judged by finding a key to the reactionary consciousness and awakening the need for emancipation and liberation.
It is not possible for us to look back on a smooth and flawless history, but we have tried something. CgAn could show no path to liberation, but it has contributed to the idea of liberation, to ask the question of the system was and is legitimate as long as there is domination and oppression instead of freedom, emancipation and dignity for all in the world.
There are still comrades in prison, although the struggle for liberation is far from over, this dispute has become historical. We support all efforts that result in the prisoners coming out of jail upright. At this moment in our history, we want to greet and thank all of you who have received solidarity along the path of the past years, who have supported us in many ways and who have fought with us from their foundations. Behind us all lies a common path. We wish that we all find ourselves on the unknown and winding paths of liberation along with many others.
We will never forget the comrades, we want to especially remember those who decided to give everything in the struggle and died in it. Our memory and our full respect for those whose names we can not name because we do not know them.
Ultras Devils 77
The countless dead, tortured in Egypt/Libya army jails
Owen Dennis Collins
We are Autonomen,
We are Ungovernable,
We are Action,
We do not forget our comrades,
Politburo Meowist Party of the Soviet #CgAn.
If anyone wants to keep CgAn services up and running in the future cash is accepted https://cyberguerrilla.info/donation/ to pay for server, on the moment guerrilla-chest is good for almost a year.
General Secretary of the Meowist Party of the Soviet #CgAn
In the six weeks that President Donald Trump’s “heartless and cruel” family separation policy has been in effect, nearly 2,000 immigrant children have been separated from their families, according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data obtained by the Associated Press and published on Friday.
The staggering figure—which averages out to 47 children ripped from their parents’ arms each day—comes as Trump and the Republican Party continue to lie about the White House’s responsibility for the so-called “zero tolerance” policy that made family separation a consistent practice.
According to the DHS figures, “1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31,” the AP reports.
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) June 15, 2018
2000 children in *six weeks*. Think about the scale of the crime being perpetrated here. https://t.co/z10uzkklds
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) June 15, 2018
When Trump was asked about his administration’s family separation policy during a press gaggle on the White House lawn on Friday before the DHS numbers were made public, the president claimed to “hate” that children are been taken from their families and stated falsely: “Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.”
The crowd of reporters tried repeatedly to explain to Trump that his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is responsible for the family separation policy and that he could change it at any time—but Trump pressed on, unphased by the facts.
“I hate it,” Pres. Trump says of administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the U.S. border, claiming he has no ability to alter the policy without votes from Democrats. https://t.co/FaycODDn27 pic.twitter.com/zEJT1XgxKk
— ABC News (@ABC) June 15, 2018
The post Trump Policy Has Ripped 2,000 Kids From Parents in Just Six Weeks appeared first on Truthout.
White Helmets: Washington resumes funding for major 'regime change' tool in Syria | 16 June 2018 | Washington's decision to resume funding for White Helmets after a brief freeze highlights how important the controversial group is for the US-promoted agenda for regime change, journalists and Syrian conflict observers have told RT. Mike Raddie, co-editor of BSNews and an anti-war activist, told RT how the so-called Syria Civil Defence units - the White Helmets - have been instrumental in the justification of the US strikes on Syria in April of 2017, and the trilateral strikes by the UK, France, and the US in April 2018. Calling the self-styled volunteer organization a clearly "belligerent party" with links to al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] terrorists, Raddie noted that the group has been actively calling for a "no-fly zone, which obviously means full invasion." Thus, he believes, the State Department decided to release some $6.6mn in previously frozen funding for the White Helmets, just in case another pretext for a strike against Syria or a similar intervention is needed.
Following their success with the abortion referendum, Irish feminists are preparing for their next fight against a clause in the constitution which states that a woman’s place is in the home.
Commonly referred to as the “women in the home” clause, it states that Ireland “recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the state a support without which the common good cannot be achieved. The state shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.”
Although the clause has no legal implications today, activists argue that its continued existence in the constitution is sexist and “constitutionally relegates women to second class citizenship.”
A 2013 constitutional conference recommended the removal of the clause and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar promised when he took office last year that citizens would be able to vote on the issue in a referendum. That vote could take place as soon as October, coinciding with the presidential election.
Depending on the results of the referendum, the clause may either be removed entirely or adapted to use gender neutral language. Some form of change is unlikely to be opposed.
Symbolic though it may be, the clause reflects many larger concerns of Irish women and is a barrier blocking the way to further progress. Some activists hope the discussion surrounding a referendum could lead to a bigger conversation about women’s rights in Ireland.
Some critics agree that the clause needs to be amended but think focusing on the next battle before finishing abortion legislation would be a mistake. Women should be able to win multiple rights concurrently, but after a 35-year struggle, it’s easy to see why activists would want to ensure nothing gets in the way of finalizing abortion legislation.
After the referendum, Varadkar stated he believed the changes to abortion law will be finalized by the end of the year.
The “women in the home” clause is not the only issue Irish feminists are fighting, and many others are more practical and less symbolic in nature. Many other issues are coming into focus, like sex education, contraception costs, and the gender pay gap, which has become a hot topic across Europe as nations create new legislation to better understand or help eliminate the gap, which in Ireland stands at around 15 percent.
The post Irish Feminists Prepare to Fight “Women in the Home” Clause appeared first on Truthout.
Have you ever stopped to consider what happens to the bodies of undocumented migrants when they die trying to reach the shores of Europe? Who they are, who mourns their loss, where and how they are buried?
The nameless and un-mourned bodies of undocumented migrants feature prominently in the lived experiences of the Mediterranean coastal towns where they wash up – the triangle connecting Tripoli, Zouara and Lampedusa has been nicknamed “the black zone” by locals because of the countless corpses floating around – but they are conspicuously absent from the broader migration narrative and from the rhetoric of many influential actors involved in policy, academia, and the media. This blind spot is unsettling. Policy makers urgently need to discuss undocumented migrant body identification from a human rights perspective and to address the shortcomings of current management and identification efforts in European countries.
The International Organization for Migration’s “Missing Migrants Project” estimates that there have been 16,003 migrant deaths and disappearances in the Mediterranean since 2014. Like the estimates on living undocumented migrants, the true figure is likely to be much higher due to the difficulties of tracking those that do not wish to be tracked, and of counting bodies that have sunk below the surface of the waves. Most of those bodies will likely never be found.
Those that are found will just as likely never be identified. This is partly because of the inherent difficulties of identification in this context: there is no readily available information on the migrant’s nationality, route, or family relations; any personal belongings or identification documents may be ruined or rendered illegible by the water; and the bodies that have drowned are usually found as they resurface from the sea floor during decomposition, at which point they will have begun to lose physical attributes and appendages. Identification is also hindered by the lack of national legal provisions for dealing with migrant deaths – and the ensuing issues with funding, overlapping mandates, and incoherent policy – which means that there is currently no systematic collection or storage of information that would be useful for future identification efforts.
Identifying these bodies thus comes with many challenges, but it’s certainly not impossible. This has been proven by the success of Italian authorities’ identification efforts following three shipwrecks off the coast of Lampedusa. For one of these shipwrecks the Italian National Commission for Missing Persons and its team achieved an impressive 58.5% identification rate by rigorously following best practices for the treatment of the dead; by engaging in a multi-stakeholder process that combined a range of scientific approaches; and by utilising diplomatic and civil society to contact the victims’ families for ante-mortem information.
In another case, forensic scientists and anthropologists managed to identify bodies that had been submerged for a year within the vessel, thus proving that identification is possible with DNA technology even in the advanced decay or skeletonisation stages of decomposition. “With a little bit of money, a lot of goodwill and some hard work”, said Vittorio Piscitelli, the head of the Italian Commission, “it can definitely be done”. The next logical step is to provide this service to as many dead migrants as possible, not just those on large-scale shipwrecks that receive political and media attention.
European states have the specialised bureaucracy and the technological capacities required to improve their attempts at identifying migrant bodies. They also have the money, considering that the EU’s budget for the management of external borders, migration and asylum will increase from €13 billion to €34.9 billion in the coming years. As a start, experts recommend establishing a centralised database to collect the relevant information (photographs, gender, nationality, DNA, burial locations), as well as standardising the procedures for body management and identification. The feasibility of identification only strengthens the human rights argument of properly attempting to identify the migrant bodies for the sake of the individuals, the families, and the states involved.Rights After Death
The right to be identified after death is universally recognized in domestic and international law. Beginning with the 1949 Geneva Conventions, a range of international frameworks have been developed for dealing with identification after death, including the 1956 UN Handbook of Vital Statistics Methods, the ICRC Guiding Principles on the Missing, and Interpol’s Disaster Victim Identification. The common imperative of these frameworks is that identity and identification is a human right that extends past death. But states’ recognition of this human right seems to be dependent on the circumstances surrounding the migrant deaths; the deaths of ‘regular’ migrants (tourists, students, businessmen) in accidents and disasters are met with large-scale international responses that include advanced technological equipment and specialized teams while the deaths of ‘irregular’ migrants are met with bureaucratic ambiguity and administrative inaction.
The contrast is striking, and it emphasises the differences in value that societies place on human lives. An undocumented migrant is implicitly considered, as Judith Butler put it, “an ungrievable life, one that cannot be mourned because … it has never counted as a life at all”. More systematic and concerted efforts for undocumented migrant identification would remedy the state of invisibility that many have been subjected to during their journey by restoring the name, story, and humanity that they had previously been stripped of. The naming that comes from identification efforts would also push back against the normalisation of undocumented migrant death and the securitisation narrative that surrounds them.Right to Mourn
Identification efforts would also restore dead migrants’ links to their families and communities after death and provide closure for those who were close to them. The families have to live every day without knowing the fate of their missing loved ones, and this often leads to psychological or psychosocial problems, as well as economic and administrative complications regarding funeral arrangements, remarriages, inheritances, guardianships, and land ownerships.
Taking these many burdens into account, it seems crucial to incorporate the families into the narrative of migrant death and the process of undocumented migrant identification. This would facilitate access to practical information and acknowledge the emotional component inherent in the passing of a loved one. It would also improve the visibility of the families, who are rarely able to exert political pressure to demand accountability, justice, and commemoration.State Commitments to Human Rights
Even the states involved in the management of undocumented migrants are likely to benefit from promoting identification efforts. The current policy vacuum around dealing with migrant bodies has created a dissonance between the values that states proclaim and the actions they take to uphold them. This dissonance has human rights implications because of the way in which it consistently undermines the rights to human dignity, freedom, and equality of dead migrants.
With states choosing to frame undocumented migrant deaths as accidents rather than direct consequences of their intensified border control policies, it is no wonder that some critics have gone so far as to call the Mediterranean the “graveyard of European values.” Developing and implementing specialized policies for the identification of undocumented migrants would provide much needed coherence to states’ approaches to migration, as well as facilitate social inclusion by proving to the living migrants they are hosting that their lives are worth the same as those of their own citizens.
Until now, the issue of undocumented migrant death identification has been lost in the wide and complex narrative of migration. But it is important that we begin to consider the human rights implications of ignoring this topic, as well as the inherent value of implementing policies that facilitate identification. There are human rights in life and in death for all human beings, and the consistent denial of these migrants’ identity – of their name, their family, and of the life they fought so hard for – through inadequate identification systems should be considered a human rights violation. For the sake of the individuals and their families, and for the credibility of the European project, more can and must be done to address this.
The post Nameless and Un-Mourned: Identifying Migrant Bodies in the Mediterranean appeared first on Truthout.
Increased Deaths and Illnesses From Inhaling Airborne Dust: An Understudied Impact of Climate Change
The Dust Bowl in the 1930s was one of the worst environmental disasters of the 20th century. Intense dust storms relentlessly pounded the southern Great Plains of the United States, wreaking severe ecological damage, forcing 2.5 million people to leave the region and claiming unnumbered lives, mainly from “dust pneumonia.”
Research has shown that this disaster was fueled by a combination of severe droughts and over-cultivated lands. Today, climate change driven by human actions is enhancing the occurrence of droughts in multiple regions around the world.
As researchers working at the intersection of environmental health, air pollution and climate change, we wanted to know how increasing drought conditions and population growth in the U.S. Southwest could affect airborne dust levels and public health.
In a recently published study, we estimate that if the world stays on its current greenhouse gas emissions path, rising fine dust levels could increase premature deaths by 130 percent and triple hospitalizations due to fine dust exposure in this region.Harmful Effects of Inhaling Dust
If global greenhouse gas emissions are not sharply reduced, scientists project that the U.S. Southwest – already the nation’s hottest and driest region – will experience unprecedented multi-decade “mega-droughts” in the coming decades.
It is now well understood that short- and long-term exposures to airborne particles, including dust, pose major health risks. Effects range from increased hospital admissions to higher risk of premature death, primarily due to cardiovascular and respiratory disorders.
In our study, “dust” refers to soil-derived airborne particles generated by wind erosion or human activities, such as farming operations or travel on unpaved roads. Any soil particles smaller than 0.05 millimeters – roughly the width of a human hair – can be uplifted into the air. We focused on particles smaller than 0.0025 millimeters (2.5 microns), which are collectively known as “fine” particulate matter (PM). Particles this small stay in the air longer and cause the greatest harm to human health, since they can penetrate deep into the lungs.
Decades of epidemiological research have firmly established a link between exposure to fine PM and adverse health effects. Although more research is needed to differentiate between the potency and effects of various materials that make up fine PM, which also include emissions from fossil fuel combustion and other industrial sources, evidence suggests that dust is a significant contributor.
For example, silica, which makes up around 60 percent of windblown desert dust, is known to cause chronic lung inflammation, lung cancer and autoimmune diseases. Dust can also transport soil-borne pathogens and toxic contaminants over large areas. In the U.S. Southwest, dust episodes have been linked to outbreaks of valley fever and arsednic poisoning.Dust and Droughts in the US Southwest
The southwestern United States, much of which consists of deserts and drylands, has the nation’s highest levels of airborne dust. The first question we investigated was how drought conditions occurring in different hydrologic systems, such as surface soils, river discharge areas and groundwater storage, have been influencing levels of airborne fine dust in recent years.
By analyzing data collected between 2000-2015 at 35 monitoring sites in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, we found that year-to-year changes in fine dust levels observed at each monitoring site tended to occur in sync. This pattern suggests that there is one or more common cause of large-scale changes in fine dust levels.
Indeed, we found that these changes were significantly correlated with soil moisture conditions across southwestern North America. Years with higher-than-normal fine dust levels were also marked by drier-than-normal soil moisture in areas spanning the Chihuahuan, Mojave and Sonoran deserts, the southern Great Plains and the Colorado Plateau.
Studies have shown that dust emissions within these regions primarily come from desert areas, dry lake beds, previously burned areas and lands disturbed by agricultural activities and fossil fuel development. Our findings are consistent with previous field studies showing that soil moisture can control dust emissions by modulating vegetation cover and soil stability.In early June 2018, drought affected 27 percent of the lower 48 states.NIDIS Airborne Dust and Health Risks Under Future Climate Change
In our next step, we quantified potential future changes in fine dust levels and associated public health impacts under two different climate change scenarios used in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The so-called “worst-case” scenario in the report is characterized by unabated, increasing greenhouse gas emissions over time. In the “best-case” scenario, dramatic cuts in emissions are required to hold global warming below two degrees Celsius.
First, we used projections of temperature and precipitation for the years 2076-2095 from an ensemble of 22 climate models in conjunction with our derived dust-soil moisture relationships to quantify future changes in dust due to changing drought conditions under the two climate scenarios. Since there is variation among climate model projections, using a large group of them allows us to gauge the robustness of the results.
We then estimated the resulting public health impacts by applying relationships drawn from studies that have quantified increases in risk of premature deaths and hospitalizations in representative U.S. populations due to exposure to fine PM. In these calculations, we also took into account projections of population growth for the Southwest and changing vulnerability to disease.On March 31, 2017, thick plumes of dust stretched hundreds of kilometers from northern Mexico into Texas and New Mexico. The source appeared to mainly be farmland near the Mexican town of Janos.NASA Earth Observatory
Under the worst-case scenario – the path we’re currently on – fine dust levels in the Southwest could increase by 30 percent by the end of this century compared to present-day values. This would result in a 130 percent increase in premature deaths and a 300 percent increase in hospital admissions attributable to fine dust exposure.
Even under the best-case climate mitigation scenario, we project that fine dust levels in the region could increase by 10 percent. This rise would increase premature deaths and hospital admissions due to fine dust exposure by 20 percent and 60 percent respectively, compared to present-day values.
It is worth noting here that we only looked at the isolated effect of future drought conditions. Changes in other factors, such as wind speed and human land use, may enhance or dampen our results.Dust and Droughts Are a Global Threat
Other researchers have found results similar to our study in other parts of the world. For example, researchers have shown that the occurrence of dust storms in China and Saudi Arabia is modulated by rainfall or soil moisture in surrounding regions, which include remote deserts and drylands.
Today, drylands compose 41 percent of the world’s total land area and are home to around 2.1 billion people. On the world’s current greenhouse gas emissions trajectory, droughts will intensify and drylands will expand in parts of South America, Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean. Our findings highlight the potential for climate change to worsen air quality problems in many populated arid regions around the world – one of the many threats posed by climate change to human health and well-being.
The post Increased Deaths and Illnesses From Inhaling Airborne Dust: An Understudied Impact of Climate Change appeared first on Truthout.
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Today’s Solecast is an in-depth discussion with an editor from It’s Going Down.
In this episode have a wide ranging discussion about what anarchist and anti-authoritarian resistance has looked like under Trump and potential paths for the future. We talk about lessons learned from J20, Standing Rock, Prison Strikes, Airport Shutdowns and more. We talk about the things anarchists have done with disaster relief, anti-fascism and pipeline blockades. We discuss certain modes of resistance that people might be interested in replicating, whether it’s anarchist student groups, unions (like the Burgerville union), or The Black Rose Federation in LA helping to organize resistance against ICE Deportations. We also talk a little about media and ideology.Tags: it's going downsolecastpodcastmovementcategory: Projects