Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
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a 15-year-old kid was killed by a cop and everyone went bonkers. Since then, the country has suffered a total economic meltdown and the austerity measures taken to counteract it have led to endless protests and rioting. As one of the first European nations to stumble into grim recession mode, Greece is demonstrating what happens when the money runs out and the authorities must fight their own people in the streets in an attempt to cling to power. The brutal beating of 31-year-old Giannis Kafkas last week shows that the political elite are willing to do whatever it takes–violence notwithstanding–to preserve their rank.
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Monday, May 16, 2011
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey formally charged Amelia Nicol with the attempted murder counts along with two counts of assault and single counts of use of explosives, possession of explosives, arson, inciting a riot, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.
The charges state that on the night of May 6 Nicol threw an incendiary or explosive device at officers in a marked patrol car. The device exploded and burned, damaging the patrol car. The two officers in the car were not injured.
The charges also allege that Nicol fled the scene and as she was being taken into custody a short time later she spit on officers and resisted arrest, said district attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough.
The incident occurred at 11th Avenue and Kalamath Street during a march by people protesting law enforcement brutality cases in the Denver metro area.
"March against police terror!" said an announcement for the protest on the Facebook page of a group called Denver Black Anarchist Cross.
"The police are at war with the people. It’s time for the people to be at war with the police," the release said.
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The Middle Class
In relation to wealth and the means of production in class societies, there have always been middling classes. In capitalist society, the middling classes are professionals (sometimes capitalist), small industrial capitalists, and small business capitalists (business owners who do not own the means of production, but do own the means of distribution and rely on wage labor for profit). With the outsourcing of production and the growing monopolization of corporations, there are now less small industrial capitalists amongst the middle class: more professionals (highly skilled laborers, etc.) and small business capitalists. The middle class is thus more unstable, more competitive amongst themselves, and with more potential to be open to small forms of socializing wealth. Their politics are often in favor of the Welfare State because of the precarity inherent in their social position. In one generation, a working class individual can take part in this new form of middle class many times over; and, someone born into the homes of the middle class is likely to descend from it: to become unskilled and without the capacity to run a small business. It is only in the upper brackets of the middle class that inherited wealth can provide the children of middle class parents with an advantage in becoming skilled or starting their own business (or taking over the business of their parents). The Middle Class is basically a zone of temporary success for those with capitalist ambitions. It is thus realistic to consider those in or of the middle class with anarchist ambitions as honest revolutionaries just as much as those who remain unskilled and of the lowest class brackets.
Anarchists are in opposition to both the State and Capital; many today, comprehending the Subjectification of Statism and the Objectification of Capitalism are also opposed to institutions that rule through such mechanisms but aren’t themselves necessary for the Capitalist State to exist (but are in a sense, necessary for the ruling class to maintain power): patriarchy, psychiatry, heteronormativity, marriage, etc. Anarchism (anarchist practice and theory) spreads on two levels: psychologically and economically – through the destruction of Objectification (and Subjectification) and through the socialization of wealth. An anarchist revolution would effectively be both the expropriation and socialization of the means of production as well as the destruction of those institutions that are inherently hierarchical or a form of Power. Many socialists, while considering the working class as the likely agents of a socialist revolution, also considered it of vital importance to gain the allegiances of the middle class: the intellectuals, artists, skilled workers, distributors, and such.
Anarchists have often had a different view of things but by far not all anarchists: Kropotkin, for instance, was very interested in winning over those of the middling classes to anarchism. This may be because they have been particularly concerned with both the destruction of the State and Capital and have rejected the politics of winning over the middle class as a useless endeavor since the middle class is hardly in a position to expropriate the means of production any more than the rest of the working class and gaining their ideological allegiance would be more useful for the usurpation of the State than its destruction. But as things are now with this rather new composition of the middle class, it isn’t so easy to find a clear position on their capacity to be agents of an anarchist revolution. Since anarchism spreads on the above mentioned two levels, the allegiance of those from the middle class (at one point or another) is a gain and puts a revolution in a less compromised situation since the middle class now, for the most part, has no real economic interest in maintaining capitalism. Also, the middle class as a class with more wealth has a potential to socialize more wealth. Either way, the spread of anarchism on the economic level (socialization of wealth) is extraordinarily challenging: the means of production have been outsourced and are rather inaccessible physically, the capacity of the ruling class is great (militarily, psychologically, politically, culturally, and economically), and attempts to socialize wealth in the forms of communes, free distribution, and expropriation of commodities is harder because of the former growth in ruling class powers. So at this point, we mostly make our gains psychologically. Whether these psychological gains are the result of riots, academic work, or literature distribution is less relevant than the fact that these psychological gains are a double-edged sword: they provide the ruling class with ideas for managing revolutionary desires and with insight into revolutionary practices that are illegal and/or subversive. This increases the ruling classes capacity to propagate counter-information in an attempt to discredit claims about their own position as a ruling class and ours as a ruled class. At the same time, it does change the ways in which we relate to each other, wealth, and power.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
In 2008, a few years after the Bush administration's warrantless-wiretapping program was revealed for the first time by the New York Times, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act. That act authorizes the government to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans' international communications without meaningful oversight. As we've explained before (including in our lawsuit challenging the statute), the FISA Amendments Act is unconstitutional.
In 2009, we also filed a Freedom of Information Act request to learn more about the government's interpretation and implementation of the FISA Amendments Act. Last November, the government released a few hundred pages of heavily redacted documents. Though redacted, the documents confirmed that the government had interpreted the statute as broadly as we had feared and even that the government had repeatedly violated the few limitations that the statute actually imposed.
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