“Wal-Mart earned $27 billion in profit last year. They could afford to pay their bottom million workers $10,000 more a year, raise all of those people out of poverty, cost — save taxpayers billions of dollars, and still earn $17 billion in profit, right? It’s simply nuts that we have allowed this to happen. […] You know, this ridiculous idea that a worker on Wall Street who earns tens of millions of dollars a year securitizing imaginary assets or doing high-frequency trading is worth 1,000 times as much as workers who earn tens of thousands of dollars a year educating our children, growing or serving us our food, throwing themselves into harm’s away to protect our life or property, that this difference reflects the true value or intrinsic worth of these jobs is nonsense.”

aboriginalnewswire:

Using a prototype Truth Rectification Processor, the words of Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev have been filtered through a complex algorithm that strips away lies.

Amazing results!

This experiment, led by @alexnunns (https://twitter.com/alexnunns), is inspired by earlier, remarkable research carried out by gabbriana2008, which used alternative “mind-reading technology”. Those results can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMd_j…. It is not known whether this technology is still operational, or if it has been destroyed by Mossad.

Some of the raw data that was fed into the Truth Rectification Processor can be viewed here: http://www.thenation.com/article/1807…
And some of its design principles were based on this: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/c…
Legal analysis was cited from: http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/…

The raw interview footage belongs to the BBC, used here under fair use. See the original here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRfNR…. Respect to Emily Maitlis.

50 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Works Every Socialist Should Read (by China Mieville)

theweeklyansible:

Reposted from Fantastic Metropolis, author China Mieville lays out a list of 50 science fiction and fantasy works he feels every socialist ought to read.

Metropolis is THE sci-fi film every thoughtful socialist should watch, though its ultimate conclusion can be described as fascist.

When I became a socialist I was also studying Sociology and Philosophy academically. I experienced something that seems to be a trend among many (though assuredly not all) folks who delve into these worlds: a sudden loss of interest in fiction.

Over time I only read non-fiction work and discovered something missing. Reading fiction again had a major impact on me, stimulating parts of my brain that had laid mostly dormant (or only experienced anything through film and TV shows). I feel invigorated from diving back in and also feel better equipped to deal with issues as a socialist (and as a sociologist and a philosopher).

I recommend Mieville’s recommendations because he is himself a fantastic science fiction author. There is a fantastic interview with him at the website of the International Socialist Review. He is the author of such fantastic works as The City & the City, Kraken and his new book that I’m holding in my hand in eager anticipation, Embassytown. Enjoy!

image

This is not a list of the “best” fantasy or SF. There are huge numbers of superb works not on the list. Those below are chosen not just because of their quality—which though mostly good, is variable—but because the politics they embed (deliberately or not) are of particular interest to socialists. Of course, other works—by the same or other writers—could have been chosen: disagreement and alternative suggestions are welcomed. I change my own mind hour to hour on this anyway.

Iain M. Banks—Use of Weapons (1990)

Socialist SF discussing a post-scarcity society. The Culture are “goodies” in narrative and political terms, but here issues of cross-cultural guilt and manipulation complicate the story from being a simplistic utopia.

Edward Bellamy—Looking Backward, 2000–1887 (1888)

A hugely influential, rather bureaucratic egalitarian/naïve communist utopia. Deals very well with the confusion of the “modern” (19th Century) protagonist in a world he hasn’t helped create (see Bogdanov).

Alexander Bogdanov—The Red Star: A Utopia (1908; trans. 1984)

This Bolshevik SF sends a revolutionary to socialist Mars. The book’s been criticized (with some justification) for being proto-Stalinist, but overall it’s been maligned. Deals well with the problem faced by someone trying to adjust to a new society s/he hasn’t helped create (see Bellamy).

Emma Bull & Steven Brust—Freedom & Necessity (1997)

Bull is a left-liberal and Brust is a Trotskyist fantasy writer.F&Nis set in the 19th Century of the Chartists and class turmoil. It’s been described as “the first Marxist steampunk” or “a fantasy for Young Hegelians.”

Mikhail Bulgakov—The Master and Margarita (1938; trans. 1967)

Astonishing fantasy set in ’30s Moscow, featuring the Devil, Pontius Pilate, The Wandering Jew, and a satire and critique of Stalinist Russia so cutting it is unbelievable that it got past the censors. Utterly brilliant.

Katherine Burdekin (aka “Murray Constantine”)—Swastika Night (1937)

An excellent example of the “Hitler Wins” sub-genre of SF. It’s unusual in that it was published by the Left Book Club and it was written while Hitler was in power, so the fear of Nazi future was immediate.

Octavia Butler—Survivor (1978)

Black American writer, now discovered by the mainstream after years of acclaim in the SF field.Kindredis her most overtly political novel, the Patternmaster series the most popular. Survivor brilliantly blends genre SF with issues of colonialism and racism.

Julio Cortázar—“House Taken Over” (1963?)

A terrifying short story undermining the notion of the house as sanctity and refuge. A subtle destruction of the bourgeois oppositions between public/private and inside/outside.

Philip K. Dick—A Scanner Darkly (1977)

Could have picked almost any of his books. Like all of them, this deals with identity, power, and betrayal, here tied in more directly to social structures than in some other works (though see Counter-Clock World and The Man in the High Castle). Incredibly moving.

Thomas Disch—The Priest (1994)

Utterly savage work of anti-clericalism. A work of dark fantasy GBH against the Catholic Church (dedicated, among others, to the Pope…)

Gordon Eklund—All Times Possible(1974)

Study of alternative worlds, including an examination of hypothetical Left-wing movements in alternative USAs.

Max Ernst—Une Semaine de Bonté (1934)

The definitive Surrealist collage novel. A succession of images the reader is involved in decoding. A Whodunwhat, with characters from polite commercial catalogues engaged in a story of little deaths and high adventure.

Claude Farrère—Useless Hands (1920; trans. 1926)

Bleak Social Darwinism, and a prototype of “farewell to the working class” arguments. The “useless hands”—workers—revolt is seen as pathetic before inexorable technology. A cold, reactionary, interesting book.

Anatole France—The White Stone (1905; trans. 1910)

In part, a rebuttal to the racist “yellow peril” fever of the time—a book about “white peril” and the rise of socialism. Also interesting isThe Revolt of the Angels, which examines now well-worn socialist theme of Lucifer being in the right, rebelling against the despotic God.

Jane Gaskell—Strange Evil(1957)

Written when Gaskell was 14, with the flaws that entails. Still, however, extraordinary. A savage fairytale, with fraught sexuality, meditations on Tom Paine and Marx, revolutionary upheaval depicted sympathetically, but without sentimentality; plus the most disturbing baddy in fiction.

Mary Gentle—Rats and Gargoyles (1990)

Set in a city that undermines the “feudalism lite” of most genre fantasy. An untypical female protagonist has adventures in a cityscape complete with class struggle, corruption, and racial oppression.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman—“The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892)

Towering work by this radical thinker. Terrifying short story showing how savage gender oppression can inhere in “caring” relationships just as easily as in more obviously abusive ones. See also her feminist/socialistic utopias “Moving the Mountain” (1911) andHerland(1914).

Lisa Goldstein—The Dream Years (1985)

A time-slip oscillating between Paris in the 1920s, during the Surrealist movement, and in 1968, during the Uprising. Uses a popular fantastic mode to examine the relation between Surrealism as the fantastic mode par excellence and revolutionary movements (if nebulously conceived).

Stefan Grabiński—The Dark Domain (1918–22; trans. and collected 1993)

Brilliant horror by this Polish writer. Unusually locates the uncanny and threatening within the very symbols of a modernizing industrialism in Poland: trains, electricity, etc. This awareness of the instability of the everyday marks him out from traditional, “nostalgic” ghost story writers.

George Griffith—The Angel of Revolution (1893)

Rather dated, but unusual in that its heroes are revolutionary terrorists. Very different from the devious anarchist villains of (e.g.) Chesterton.

Imil Habibi—The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist (1974; trans. 1982)

The full title is much longer. Habiby was a member of the Palestinian Community Party, a veteran of the anti-British struggle of the 40s, and a member of the Knesset for several years. This amiable, surreal book is about the life of a Palestinian in Israel (with surreal bits, and aliens).

M. John Harrison—Viriconium Nights (1984)

A stunning writer, who expresses the alienation of the modern everyday with terrible force. Fantasy that mercilessly uncovers the alienated nature of the longing for fantastic escape, and show how that fantasy will always remain out of reach. Punishes his readers and characters for their involvement with fantasy. See alsoThe Course of the Heart.

Ursula K. Le Guin—The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974)

The most overtly political of this anarchist writer’s excellent works. An examination of the relations between a rich, exploitive capitalist world and a poor, nearly barren (though high-tech) communist one.

Jack London—Iron Heel (1907)

London’s masterpiece: scholars from a 27th Century socialist world find documents depicting a fascist oligarchy in the US and the revolt of the proletariat. Elsewhere, London’s undoubted socialism is undermined by the most appalling racism.

Ken MacLeod—The Star Fraction (1996)

British Trotskyist (of strongly libertarian bent), all of whose (very good) works examine Left politics without sloganeering. The Stone Canal, for example, features arguments about distortions of Marxism. However, The Star Fraction is chosen here as it features Virtual Reality heroes of the left, by name—a roll call of genuine revolutionaries recast in digital form.

Gregory Maguire—Wicked (1995)

Brilliant revisionist fantasy about how the winners write history. The loser whose side is here taken is the Wicked Witch of the West, a fighter for emancipatory politics in the despotic empire of Oz.

J. Leslie Mitchell (Lewis Grassic Gibbon)—Gay Hunter(1934, reissued 1989)

By the Marxist writer of the classic work of vernacular Scots literatureA Scots Quair, andSpartacus, the novel that proves that propaganda can be art. This is great science fiction. Bit dewy-eyed about hunter-gatherers perhaps, but superb nonetheless. As an added bonus, it also has a title that sounds amusing today. Check out his short fiction, which includes a lot of SF/Fantasy work.

Michael Moorcock—Hawkmoon (1967–77, reprinted in one edition 1992)

Moorcock is an erudite Left-anarchist and a giant of fantasy literature. Almost everything he’s written is of interest, but Hawkmoon is chosen here in honor of Moorcock having said about it: “In a spirit consciously at odds with the jingoism of the day, I chose a German for a hero and the British for villains.” There are also plenty of satirical references and gags about 1960s/70s politics for the reader to decode.

William Morris—News From Nowhere (1888)

A socialist (though naively pastoral) utopia, written in response to Bellamy (above), that unusually doesn’t shy away from the hard political question of how we get the desired utopia-proletarian revolution. See alsoThe Well at the World’s Endand his other fantasies.

Toni Morrison—Beloved (1987)

It’s well known thatBelovedis a superb book about race and slavery and guilt, but it’s less generally accepted that it’s a fantasy. It is. It’s a ghost story that wouldn’t have half the charge without the fantastic element.

Mervyn Peake—The Gormenghast Novels (1946–59)

An austere depiction of dead ritualism and necessary transformation. Don’t believe those who say that the third book is disappointing.

Marge Piercy—Woman on the Edge of Time (1976)

A Chicano woman trapped in an asylum makes contact with a messenger from a future utopia, born after a “full feminist revolution”.

Philip Pullman—Northern Lights (1995)

Pullman let us down. This book is here because it deals with moral/political complexities with unsentimental respect for its (young adult) readers and characters. Explores freedom and social agency, and the question of using ugly means for emanicipatory ends. It raises the biggest possible questions, and doesn’t patronise us that there are easy answers. The second in the trilogy,The Subtle Knife, is a perfectly good bridging volume… and then in book three,The Amber Spyglass, something goes wrong. It has excellent bits, it is streets ahead of its competition… but there’s sentimentality, a hesitation, a formalism, which lets us down. Ah well.Northern Lightsis still a masterpiece.

Ayn Rand—Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Know your enemy. This panoply of portentous Nietzcheanism lite has had a huge influence on American SF. Rand was an obsessive “objectivist” (libertarian pro-capitalist individualist) whose hatred of socialism and any form of “collectivism” is visible in this important an influential—though vile and ponderous—novel.

Mack Reynolds—Lagrange Five (1979)

Reynolds was, for 25 years, an activist for the U.S. Socialist Labor Party. His radical perspective on political issues is reflected throughout his work. This book—examining a quasi-utopia without sentimentalism—is only one suggestion. Also of huge interest are Tomorrow Might Be Different (1960) and The Rival Rigelians (1960), which explicitly examine the relation between capitalism and Stalinism.

Keith Roberts—Pavane (1968)

These linked stories take place in a present day where Elizabeth I was assassinated and Spain took over Britain. This examines life in a world where a militant feudal Catholicism acts as a fetter on social and productive functions. Though Roberts was no lefty at all, and you could probably power France on the energy from his spinning grave at being included in this list.

Kim Stanley Robinson—The Mars Trilogy (1992–96)

Probably the most powerful center of gravity for Leftist SF in the 1990s. A sprawling and thoughtful examination of the variety of social relations feeding into and leading up to revolutionary change. (It’s also got some Gramsci jokes in it.)

Mary Shelley—Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818)

Not a warning “not to mess with things that should be let alone” (which would be a reactionary anti-rationalist message) but an insistence on the necessity of grappling with forces one unleashes and the fact that there is no “innate” nature to people, but a socially-constructed one.

Lucius Shepard—Life During Wartime (1987)

Horrific vision of a future (thinly disguised Vietnam) war. Within the savage examinations of the truth of war and U.S. foreign policy, Shepard also investigates the relation between SF, fantasy, and “magic realism”, and uses their shared mode to look back at reality with passion.

Norman Spinrad—The Iron Dream (1972)

A SF novel by Adolf Hitler… Spinrad’s funny, disturbing and savage indictment of the fascist aesthetics in much genre SF and fantasy. What if Hitler had become a pulp SF writer in New York? Not a book about that possibility but a book from it. “By the same author: Triumph of the Will and Lord of the Swastika.” Brave and nasty.

Eugene Sue—The Wandering Jew (1845)

Huge book by radical socialist Sue, about the adventures of the family of the Wandering Jew of legend. Symbolic fantasy elements: the Jew is the dispossessed laborer and his partner is downtrodden woman. Marx hated Sue as a writer (not without reason—less, for Sue, is not in more) but hell, it’s an important book.

Michael Swanwick—The Iron Dragon’s Daughter (1993)

Great work that completely destroys the sentimental aspects of genre fantasy. From within the genre—fairies, elves, and all—Swanwick examines the industrial revolution, the Vietnam War, racism and sexism, and the escapist dreams of genre fantasy. A truly great anti-fantasy.

Jonathan Swift—Gulliver’s Travels (1726)

Savage attack on hypocrisy and cant that never dilutes its fantasy with its satire: the two elements feed off each other perfectly.

Alexei Tolstoy—Aelita (1922; trans. 1957)

Distant relative of the other Tolstoy. The “revised” version is less good, written in the stern environment of Stalinism. A Red Army officer goes to Mars and foments a rebellion of native Martians. Good rousing stuff, but also interesting in terms of “exporting” revolution. See also the superb avant-garde film version from 1924.

Ian Watson—Slow Birds (1985)

Left-wing author whose short story collection above includes a cold demolition of Thatcher and Thatcherism. His take on oppression—cognitive and political—informs all his rather austere, cerebral writing.

H.G. Wells—The Island of Dr Moreau (1896)

Like a lot of Wells’s work, this is an uneasy mixture of progressive and reactionary notions. It makes for one of the great horror stories of all time. A fraught examination of colonialism, science, eugenics, repression, and religion: a kind of fantasy echo of Shakespeare’sThe Tempest.

E. L. White—“Lukundoo” (1927)

One of the most utterly extraordinary (and almost certainly unconscious) expressions of colonial anxiety and guilt in the history of literature.

Oscar Wilde—The Happy Prince and Other Stories (1888)

Children’s fantasies by this romantic, socialist author. Marked by a sharp lack of sentimentality, a deeply subversive cynicism, which doesn’t blunt their ability to be intensely moving.

Gene Wolfe—The Fifth Head of Cerberus (1972)

Wolfe is a religious Republican, but his tragico-Catholic perspective leads to a deeply unglamorized and unsanitized awareness of social reality. This book is a very sad and extremely dense, complex meditation on colonialism, identity and oppression.

Yevgeny Zamyatin—We (1920; trans. 1924)

A Bolshevik, who earned semi-official unease in the USSR even in the early 1920s, with this unsettling dystopian view of absolute totalitarianism. These days often retrospectively, ahistorically, and misleadingly judged to be a critique of Stalinism.


With many thanks to Mark Bould, Brian Stableford, and the members of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts email list (IAFA-L) for their suggestions. I take full responsibility for the final selection…

Detroit Water Brigade: Statement on end to emergency management of Detroit’s water
July 30, 2014

We commend the move by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, City Council and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes to return control of Detroit’s water to the democratically elected leadership of the city of Detroit. This is a positive step in the direction of popular control of Detroit’s water and other common resources by the people of Detroit.
 
This decision comes after months of sustained pressure from a broad cross-section of Detroiters and their international allies: protest marches, direct action blockades, hundreds of thousands of petition signers, and a recently-filed injunction in U.S. Bankruptcy Court calling for an immediate end to the shutoff program. We are proud to work hand-in-hand with Detroiters of all stripes to affirm the human right to access to clean drinking water and sanitation and get a long-term Water Affordability Plan. We also look forward to a day when all of Detroit’s public services are returned from privatization and mismanagement to full popular control by accountable and democratically elected officials.
 
Finally, we are committed to working in good faith with all interested parties to ensure that every single Detroiter has access to water. We call on everyone – not matter how much you owe or can pay – to join us this Saturday, August 2nd, from 8:30am to 5pm at 13303 E. McNichols Rd at the DWSD Customer Service Center in order to apply for financial assistance and get on an affordable payment plan. We will have Water Advocates on hand to counsel families and support them, as well as transportation, free food, water and childcare for any family that calls us in advance at 313-279-0608 Extension 1. This is just one step in our commitment to ensuring that the thousands of Detroiters without water today get access back, and every Detroiter can keep their water on.

Source

“We’re tired of war. I, for one, have had enough of bloodshed, death and destruction. But I also can no longer tolerate the return to a deeply unjust status quo. I can no longer agree to live in this open-air prison. We can no longer tolerate to be treated as sub-humans, deprived of our most basic human rights. We are trapped here, trapped between two deaths: death by Israeli bombs and missiles, and death by Israel’s blockade of Gaza.”
Mohammed Suliman, Palestinian human rights worker in Gaza, "From Gaza: I would rather die in dignity than agree to living in an open-air prison"

anarcho-queer:

U.S. Democrats plan to give Israel an addition $225 million for military spending. The same bill also cuts $1 billion of emergency funds meant to deal with the 50,000 undocumented child migrants held in crowded and unsanitary border facilities.

Israel already received $504 million for the joint U.S.-Israel Missle Defense Program for the Fiscal Year of 2014. That is not including the $3.1 Billion the Obama Administration spent on Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel for the Fiscal Year 2014.

The U.S. funds genocide, plain & simple.

america-wakiewakie:

Gentrification Stops Here! Kitzia Esteva-Martinez’ goal is to raise $900 in 5 days! Help me raise them bucks before my birthday!
I am an organizer in the Immigrant Rights Campaign at Causa Justa :: Just Cause — a grassroots organization building the power of working class Black and Latino residents fighting for housing and immigrant rights in the Bay Area.
We have the chance to fight gentrification and the displacement of working class tenants in the Bay Area by fighting to put anti-speculation legislation on November’s ballot in San Francisco and fighting for a healthy-homes law in Oakland.
Every year hundreds of working class families live under unhealthy conditions and harassment by slumlords in Oakland. We want fight like hell this fall to pass legislation that ensures our communities have a healthy home and are safe from threats by their landlords because of low income and immigration status vulnerability!
Your donation will ensure that we are able to do the outreach needed to bring the voices of impacted immigrant families into the forefront of this anti-displacement, anti-gentrification fight! This policy will defend tenants against illegal landlord harassment including lack of repair and maintenance and ICE and police threats meant to displace Oakland residents!
Please help us make this happen by donating to CJJC by August 1st so we can receive matching funds, and match your donation dollar for dollar.
Will you donate $50+ today? I’m giving $50 dollars to support CJJC. Will you join me? Please donate on my page and help me meet my goal of 500+ in 5 days by August 1st. We only have 5 days to do this together! (remember my bday is August 3rd!  I would love to wake up to this fundraising accomplishment!)
Thank You!!! Gracias!!!!
Donate here. Please signal boost!

Yes!! Let’s fund our movements! 
Follow Causa Justa here.

america-wakiewakie:

Gentrification Stops Here! Kitzia Esteva-Martinez’ goal is to raise $900 in 5 days! Help me raise them bucks before my birthday!

I am an organizer in the Immigrant Rights Campaign at Causa Justa :: Just Cause — a grassroots organization building the power of working class Black and Latino residents fighting for housing and immigrant rights in the Bay Area.

We have the chance to fight gentrification and the displacement of working class tenants in the Bay Area by fighting to put anti-speculation legislation on November’s ballot in San Francisco and fighting for a healthy-homes law in Oakland.

Every year hundreds of working class families live under unhealthy conditions and harassment by slumlords in Oakland. We want fight like hell this fall to pass legislation that ensures our communities have a healthy home and are safe from threats by their landlords because of low income and immigration status vulnerability!

Your donation will ensure that we are able to do the outreach needed to bring the voices of impacted immigrant families into the forefront of this anti-displacement, anti-gentrification fight! This policy will defend tenants against illegal landlord harassment including lack of repair and maintenance and ICE and police threats meant to displace Oakland residents!

Please help us make this happen by donating to CJJC by August 1st so we can receive matching funds, and match your donation dollar for dollar.

Will you donate $50+ today? I’m giving $50 dollars to support CJJC. Will you join me? Please donate on my page and help me meet my goal of 500+ in 5 days by August 1st. We only have 5 days to do this together! (remember my bday is August 3rd!  I would love to wake up to this fundraising accomplishment!)

Thank You!!! Gracias!!!!

Donate here. Please signal boost!

Yes!! Let’s fund our movements! 

Follow Causa Justa here.

“Scenes of death and destruction and the smell of blood are everywhere in Gaza’s streets, and the Israeli shelling is still ongoing. There is no celebration for us this year.”
— Hossam al-Ranteesi, a 32-year-old cab driver, on the empty streets of Gaza on Eid al-Fitr.

Resistance is justified when Gaza is occupied
July 29, 2014

As the world reels in horror at mounting Palestinian deaths in Gaza, the Israeli propaganda machine and its willing accomplices in the U.S. mainstream media have issued their customary reply: Blame Hamas.

Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer,Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed all responsibility for Palestinian deaths on Hamas:

We’re sad for every civilian casualty. They’re not intended. This is the difference between us. The Hamas deliberately targets civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians. They embed their rocketeers, their rocket caches, their other weaponry which they use to fire on us in civilian areas.

What choice do we have? We have to protect ourselves. So we try to target the rocketeers. We do. And all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can…They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.

Netanyahu presents Israel as innocently defending itself—and Hamas as inviting Palestinian deaths for propaganda purposes. He then goes on to call Hamas “genocidal terrorists,” stating that they “call for the destruction of Israel, and they call for the killing of every Jew wherever they can find them.”

Thane Rosenbaum, a senior fellow at NYU School of Law, went even further in his July 21 Wall Street Journal op-ed article. Rosenbaum explained that it’s impossible to kill “innocent civilians” in Gaza…because all of Gaza is guilty:

[In 2006], the people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives…Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore…

On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations. At that point, you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets.

This reasoning isn’t confined to avowedly conservative publications like the Journal. Bob Dreyfuss, writing for The Nation, made the liberal version of the argument in an article titled “The Palestinians Must Put an End to Suicidal Hamas.” He directs his outrage not at Israel for its genocidal actions, but at Hamas’ “idiotic decision to fight Israel by firing useless missiles against unseen Israeli targets.”

Those who stand for self-determination for the Palestinian people shouldn’t help Israel make its case for shedding Palestinian blood. We should be challenging Israel’s various alibis for its killing fields in Gaza—and that means setting the record straight about Hamas.

Israel claims that if only Hamas were to stop firing rockets, accept a ceasefire and recognize Israel, it would stop bombing Gaza.

But Hamas did precisely that in the year and a half following the November 2012 ceasefire that ended Operation Pillar of Cloud, as Israel dubbed its last rampage through Gaza. In 2013, “Israel had one of the quietest years, if not the quietest year, it had had since rockets started coming from Gaza, which, by the way, began before the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in the fall of 2005,” Nathan Thrall, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, told Democracy Now!

Between November 2012 and today, it was Israel, not Hamas, that more frequently—and far more lethally—violated the terms of the ceasefire, as an infographic at ElectronicIntifada.net shows. During this time, Israel continued to carry out air strikes against whatever targets it deemed legitimate, and Israeli snipers fired on—and killed—farmers if they strayed too close to the Israeli-designated “buffer zone” along the Gaza-Israel border. The terms of the ceasefire also stipulated that Israel would lift its blockade of Gaza—which instead intensified, especially after the Egyptian military took over power after toppling Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi a year ago.

So why don’t the Palestinians employ nonviolent resistance, as so many liberal commentators implore?

The answer is that they do—but Israel, the media and the rest of the world routinely ignore these popular struggles. As Patrick O’Connor explained at ElectronicIntifada.net:

The fact that thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis are together employing nonviolent tactics similar to those of the U.S. civil rights movement and the South African anti-apartheid movement would come as surprising and welcome news to most Americans. Americans are largely unaware of the struggling but vibrant grassroots nonviolent movement in Palestine, because the U.S. corporate media prefers a simple, flawed story of Palestinian terrorist attacks and Israeli retaliation.

Similarly to U.S. civil rights activists, Palestinians must face tear gas, stun grenades and even live ammunition to take part in such resistance, but still they courageously do.

The nonviolent movement is based in the West Bank because that’s where it’s possible to employ such tactics in confrontations with Israeli security forces. In Gaza, which is hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world by Israel’s total control over all air and sea access—and by Egypt’s collaboration with Israel to keep Gaza’s borders closed—there is no way to engage Israel by nonviolent means. Gaza is an open-air prison, and getting too close to the bars means death by an unseen sniper, a navy boat or a drone.

Full article

heterogeneoushomosexual:

burymyart:

Indigenous Feminism Without Apology
by Andrea Smith

We often hear the mantra in indigenous communities that Native women aren’t feminists. Supposedly, feminism is not needed because Native women were treated with respect prior to colonization. Thus, any Native woman who calls herself a feminist is often condemned as being “white.”

However, when I started interviewing Native women organizers as part of a research project, I was surprised by how many community-based activists were describing themselves as “feminists without apology.” They were arguing that feminism is actually an indigenous concept that has been co-opted by white women.

The fact that Native societies were egalitarian 500 years ago is not stopping women from being hit or abused now. For instance, in my years of anti-violence organizing, I would hear, “We can’t worry about domestic violence; we must worry about survival issues first.” But since Native women are the women most likely to be killed by domestic violence, they are clearly not surviving. So when we talk about survival of our nations, who are we including?

These Native feminists are challenging not only patriarchy within Native communities, but also white supremacy and colonialism within mainstream white feminism. That is, they’re challenging why it is that white women get to define what feminism is.

DECENTERING WHITE FEMINISM

The feminist movement is generally periodized into the so-called first, second and third waves of feminism. In the United States, the first wave is characterized by the suffragette movement; the second wave is characterized by the formation of the National Organization for Women, abortion rights politics, and the fight for the Equal Rights Amendments. Suddenly, during the third wave of feminism, women of colour make an appearance to transform feminism into a multicultural movement.

This periodization situates white middle-class women as the central historical agents to which women of colour attach themselves. However, if we were to recognize the agency of indigenous women in an account of feminist history, we might begin with 1492 when Native women collectively resisted colonization. This would allow us to see that there are multiple feminist histories emerging from multiple communities of colour which intersect at points and diverge in others. This would not negate the contributions made by white feminists, but would de-center them from our historicizing and analysis.

Indigenous feminism thus centers anti-colonial practice within its organizing. This is critical today when you have mainstream feminist groups supporting, for example, the US bombing of Afghanistan with the claim that this bombing will free women from the Taliban (apparently bombing women somehow liberates them).

CHALLENGING THE STATE

Indigenous feminists are also challenging how we conceptualize indigenous sovereignty - it is not an add-on to the heteronormative and patriarchal nationstate. Rather it challenges the nationstate system itself. Charles Colson, prominent Christian Right activist and founder of Prison Fellowship, explains quite clearly the relationship between heteronormativity and the nation-state. In his view, samesex marriage leads directly to terrorism; the attack on the “natural moral order” of the heterosexual family “is like handing moral weapons of mass destruction to those who use America’s decadence to recruit more snipers and hijackers and suicide bombers.”

Similarly, the Christian Right World magazine opined that feminism contributed to the Abu Ghraib scandal by promoting women in the military. When women do not know their assigned role in the gender hierarchy, they become disoriented and abuse prisoners.

Implicit in this is analysis the understanding that heteropatriarchy is essential for the building of US empire. Patriarchy is the logic that naturalizes social hierarchy. Just as men are supposed to naturally dominate women on the basis of biology, so too should the social elites of a society naturally rule everyone else through a nation-state form of governance that is constructed through domination, violence, and control.

As Ann Burlein argues in Lift High the Cross, it may be a mistake to argue that the goal of Christian Right politics is to create a theocracy in the US. Rather, Christian Right politics work through the private family (which is coded as white, patriarchal, and middle-class) to create a “Christian America.” She notes that the investment in the private family makes it difficult for people to invest in more public forms of social connection.

For example, more investment in the suburban private family means less funding for urban areas and Native reservations. The resulting social decay is then construed to be caused by deviance from the Christian family ideal rather than political and economic forces. As former head of the Christian Coalition Ralph Reed states: “The only true solution to crime is to restore the family,” and “Family break-up causes poverty.”

Unfortunately, as Navajo feminist scholar Jennifer Denetdale points out, the Native response to a heteronormative white, Christian America has often been an equally heteronormative Native nationalism. In her critique of the Navajo tribal council’s passage of a ban on same-sex marriage, Denetdale argues that Native nations are furthering a Christian Right agenda in the name of “Indian tradition.”

This trend is equally apparent within racial justice struggles in other communities of colour. As Cathy Cohen contends, heteronormative sovereignty or racial justice struggles will effectively maintain rather than challenge colonialism and white supremacy because they are premised on a politics of secondary marginalization. The most elite class will further their aspirations on the backs of those most marginalized within the community.

Through this process of secondary marginalization, the national or racial justice struggle either implicitly or explicitly takes on a nation-state model as the end point of its struggle - a model in which the elites govern the rest through violence and domination, and exclude those who are not members of “the nation.”

NATIONAL LIBERATION

Grassroots Native women, along with Native scholars such as Taiaiake Alfred and Craig Womack, are developing other models of nationhood. These articulations counter the frequent accusations that nation-building projects necessarily lead to a narrow identity politics based on ethnic cleansing and intolerance. This requires that a clear distinction be drawn between the project of national liberation, and that of nation-state building.

Progressive activists and scholars, while prepared to make critiques of the US and Canadian governments, are often not prepared to question their legitimacy. A case in point is the strategy of many racial justice organizations in the US or Canada, who have rallied against the increase in hate crimes since 9/11 under the banner, “We’re American [or Canadian] too.”

This allegiance to “America” or “Canada” legitimizes the genocide and colonization of Native peoples upon which these nation-states are founded. By making anti-colonial struggle central to feminist politics, Native women place in question the appropriate form of governance for the world in general. In questioning the nation-state, we can begin to imagine a world that we would actually want to live in. Such a political project is particularly important for colonized peoples seeking national liberation outside the nation-state.

Whereas nation-states are governed through domination and coercion, indigenous sovereignty and nationhood is predicated on interrelatedness and responsibility.

As Sharon Venne explains, “Our spirituality and our responsibilities define our duties. We understand the concept of sovereignty as woven through a fabric that encompasses our spirituality and responsibility. This is a cyclical view of sovereignty, incorporating it into our traditional philosophy and view of our responsibilities. It differs greatly from the concept of Western sovereignty which is based upon absolute power. For us absolute power is in the Creator and the natural order of all living things; not only in human beings… Our sovereignty is related to our connections to the earth and is inherent.”

REVOLUTION

A Native feminist politics seeks to do more than simply elevate Native women’s status - it seeks to transform the world through indigenous forms of governance that can be beneficial to everyone.

At the 2005 World Liberation Theology Forum held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, indigenous peoples from Bolivia stated that they know another world is possible because they see that world whenever they do their ceremonies. Native ceremonies can be a place where the present, past and future become copresent. This is what Native Hawaiian scholar Manu Meyer calls a racial remembering of the future.

Prior to colonization, Native communities were not structured on the basis of hierarchy, oppression or patriarchy. We will not recreate these communities as they existed prior to colonization. Our understanding that a society without structures of oppression was possible in the past tells us that our current political and economic system is anything but natural and inevitable. If we lived differently before, we can live differently in the future.

Native feminism is not simply an insular or exclusivist “identity politics” as it is often accused of being. Rather, it is framework that understands indigenous women’s struggle as part of a global movement for liberation. As one activist stated: “You can’t win a revolution on your own. And we are about nothing short of a revolution. Anything else is simply not worth our time.”

Andrea Smith is Cherokee and a professor of Native American Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and co-founder of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence and the Boarding School Healing Project.

_____________________________

R.I.S.E.:
Radical
Indigenous
Survivance &
Empowerment


https://www.facebook.com/RISEIndigenous
___________________________________________.

(via randomactsofchaos)

princesswhatevr:

lilcochina:

Yet ppl don’t understand how white privilege still exists in brown n black countries

And pooooor Europe doesn’t want any immigrants in their country :’(

(via classe)

momo33me:

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration, Dublin 19. July 2014
momo33me:

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration, Dublin 19. July 2014
momo33me:

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration, Dublin 19. July 2014
momo33me:

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration, Dublin 19. July 2014
momo33me:

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration, Dublin 19. July 2014
momo33me:

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration, Dublin 19. July 2014

momo33me:

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration, Dublin 19. July 2014

(via occupywatchdog)

thebowspring:

Native American Confronts Protesters on Illegal Immigration

badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista:

standwithpalestine:

Israel’s genocide of Palestinians continues in Gaza having killed over 1,032 - including 219 children - in its latest assault and racist Israelis are out in the streets chanting “School is out in Gaza - They have no children left there”

(Starts from 0:46 - turn on English captions)

There’s no way in hell this will be shown on TV or any mainstream news website so make sure you share and reblog.

(via Elizabeth Tsurkov)

Disgusting.

Women of Comic-Con protest sexual harassment: a cute costume isn’t the same as consentJuly 27, 2014
Amid the costumes and fantasy of this weekend’s Comic-Con convention, a group of young women drew widespread attention to a very real issue — sexual harassment at the annual comic book convention.
Geeks for CONsent, founded by three women from Philadelphia, gathered nearly 2,600 signatures on an online petition supporting a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con.
Conventioneers told Geeks for CONsent they’d been groped, followed and unwillingly photographed during the four-day festival.
Meanwhile, what Geeks for CONsent and others regarded as blatant objectification continued at this year’s convention. Scantily clad women were still used as decoration for some presentations, and costumed women were described as “vaguely slutty” by panel moderator Craig Ferguson. When Dwayne Johnson made a surprise appearance to promote “Hercules,” 10 women in belly-baring outfits stood silently in front of the stage for no apparent reason.
Groping, cat-calling and other forms of sexual harassment are a larger social issue, not just a Comic-Con problem. And many comics and movies still portray women as damsels in distress. But Geeks for CONsent says things are amplified at the pop-culture convention where fantasy and character costumes play such a large role.
"It’s a separate, more specific issue within the convention space," said Rochelle Keyhan, 29, director of Geeks for CONsent. "It’s very much connected (to the larger problem) and it’s the same phenomena, but manifesting a little more sexually vulgar in the comic space."
Keyhan’s focus on Comic-Con began with a movement launched in her hometown called HollabackPhilly, to help end public harassment against women and members of the LGBT community. She and her colleagues developed a comic book on the subject in hopes of engaging middle- and high-school students, which is what brought them to Comic-Con.
Costuming, or cosplay, is a big part of the popular convention, with male and female fans dressing as their favorite characters, regardless of gender. A man might wear a Wonder Woman outfit, and a woman could dress as Wolverine. Keyhan and her colleagues — all in costume — carried signs and passed out temporary tattoos during the convention that read, “Cosplay does not equal consent.”
Source
Gross sexual harassment at Comic Con. Women of Comic-Con protest sexual harassment: a cute costume isn’t the same as consentJuly 27, 2014
Amid the costumes and fantasy of this weekend’s Comic-Con convention, a group of young women drew widespread attention to a very real issue — sexual harassment at the annual comic book convention.
Geeks for CONsent, founded by three women from Philadelphia, gathered nearly 2,600 signatures on an online petition supporting a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con.
Conventioneers told Geeks for CONsent they’d been groped, followed and unwillingly photographed during the four-day festival.
Meanwhile, what Geeks for CONsent and others regarded as blatant objectification continued at this year’s convention. Scantily clad women were still used as decoration for some presentations, and costumed women were described as “vaguely slutty” by panel moderator Craig Ferguson. When Dwayne Johnson made a surprise appearance to promote “Hercules,” 10 women in belly-baring outfits stood silently in front of the stage for no apparent reason.
Groping, cat-calling and other forms of sexual harassment are a larger social issue, not just a Comic-Con problem. And many comics and movies still portray women as damsels in distress. But Geeks for CONsent says things are amplified at the pop-culture convention where fantasy and character costumes play such a large role.
"It’s a separate, more specific issue within the convention space," said Rochelle Keyhan, 29, director of Geeks for CONsent. "It’s very much connected (to the larger problem) and it’s the same phenomena, but manifesting a little more sexually vulgar in the comic space."
Keyhan’s focus on Comic-Con began with a movement launched in her hometown called HollabackPhilly, to help end public harassment against women and members of the LGBT community. She and her colleagues developed a comic book on the subject in hopes of engaging middle- and high-school students, which is what brought them to Comic-Con.
Costuming, or cosplay, is a big part of the popular convention, with male and female fans dressing as their favorite characters, regardless of gender. A man might wear a Wonder Woman outfit, and a woman could dress as Wolverine. Keyhan and her colleagues — all in costume — carried signs and passed out temporary tattoos during the convention that read, “Cosplay does not equal consent.”
Source
Gross sexual harassment at Comic Con. Women of Comic-Con protest sexual harassment: a cute costume isn’t the same as consentJuly 27, 2014
Amid the costumes and fantasy of this weekend’s Comic-Con convention, a group of young women drew widespread attention to a very real issue — sexual harassment at the annual comic book convention.
Geeks for CONsent, founded by three women from Philadelphia, gathered nearly 2,600 signatures on an online petition supporting a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con.
Conventioneers told Geeks for CONsent they’d been groped, followed and unwillingly photographed during the four-day festival.
Meanwhile, what Geeks for CONsent and others regarded as blatant objectification continued at this year’s convention. Scantily clad women were still used as decoration for some presentations, and costumed women were described as “vaguely slutty” by panel moderator Craig Ferguson. When Dwayne Johnson made a surprise appearance to promote “Hercules,” 10 women in belly-baring outfits stood silently in front of the stage for no apparent reason.
Groping, cat-calling and other forms of sexual harassment are a larger social issue, not just a Comic-Con problem. And many comics and movies still portray women as damsels in distress. But Geeks for CONsent says things are amplified at the pop-culture convention where fantasy and character costumes play such a large role.
"It’s a separate, more specific issue within the convention space," said Rochelle Keyhan, 29, director of Geeks for CONsent. "It’s very much connected (to the larger problem) and it’s the same phenomena, but manifesting a little more sexually vulgar in the comic space."
Keyhan’s focus on Comic-Con began with a movement launched in her hometown called HollabackPhilly, to help end public harassment against women and members of the LGBT community. She and her colleagues developed a comic book on the subject in hopes of engaging middle- and high-school students, which is what brought them to Comic-Con.
Costuming, or cosplay, is a big part of the popular convention, with male and female fans dressing as their favorite characters, regardless of gender. A man might wear a Wonder Woman outfit, and a woman could dress as Wolverine. Keyhan and her colleagues — all in costume — carried signs and passed out temporary tattoos during the convention that read, “Cosplay does not equal consent.”
Source
Gross sexual harassment at Comic Con. Women of Comic-Con protest sexual harassment: a cute costume isn’t the same as consentJuly 27, 2014
Amid the costumes and fantasy of this weekend’s Comic-Con convention, a group of young women drew widespread attention to a very real issue — sexual harassment at the annual comic book convention.
Geeks for CONsent, founded by three women from Philadelphia, gathered nearly 2,600 signatures on an online petition supporting a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con.
Conventioneers told Geeks for CONsent they’d been groped, followed and unwillingly photographed during the four-day festival.
Meanwhile, what Geeks for CONsent and others regarded as blatant objectification continued at this year’s convention. Scantily clad women were still used as decoration for some presentations, and costumed women were described as “vaguely slutty” by panel moderator Craig Ferguson. When Dwayne Johnson made a surprise appearance to promote “Hercules,” 10 women in belly-baring outfits stood silently in front of the stage for no apparent reason.
Groping, cat-calling and other forms of sexual harassment are a larger social issue, not just a Comic-Con problem. And many comics and movies still portray women as damsels in distress. But Geeks for CONsent says things are amplified at the pop-culture convention where fantasy and character costumes play such a large role.
"It’s a separate, more specific issue within the convention space," said Rochelle Keyhan, 29, director of Geeks for CONsent. "It’s very much connected (to the larger problem) and it’s the same phenomena, but manifesting a little more sexually vulgar in the comic space."
Keyhan’s focus on Comic-Con began with a movement launched in her hometown called HollabackPhilly, to help end public harassment against women and members of the LGBT community. She and her colleagues developed a comic book on the subject in hopes of engaging middle- and high-school students, which is what brought them to Comic-Con.
Costuming, or cosplay, is a big part of the popular convention, with male and female fans dressing as their favorite characters, regardless of gender. A man might wear a Wonder Woman outfit, and a woman could dress as Wolverine. Keyhan and her colleagues — all in costume — carried signs and passed out temporary tattoos during the convention that read, “Cosplay does not equal consent.”
Source
Gross sexual harassment at Comic Con.

Women of Comic-Con protest sexual harassment: a cute costume isn’t the same as consent
July 27, 2014

Amid the costumes and fantasy of this weekend’s Comic-Con convention, a group of young women drew widespread attention to a very real issue — sexual harassment at the annual comic book convention.

Geeks for CONsent, founded by three women from Philadelphia, gathered nearly 2,600 signatures on an online petition supporting a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con.

Conventioneers told Geeks for CONsent they’d been groped, followed and unwillingly photographed during the four-day festival.

Meanwhile, what Geeks for CONsent and others regarded as blatant objectification continued at this year’s convention. Scantily clad women were still used as decoration for some presentations, and costumed women were described as “vaguely slutty” by panel moderator Craig Ferguson. When Dwayne Johnson made a surprise appearance to promote “Hercules,” 10 women in belly-baring outfits stood silently in front of the stage for no apparent reason.

Groping, cat-calling and other forms of sexual harassment are a larger social issue, not just a Comic-Con problem. And many comics and movies still portray women as damsels in distress. But Geeks for CONsent says things are amplified at the pop-culture convention where fantasy and character costumes play such a large role.

"It’s a separate, more specific issue within the convention space," said Rochelle Keyhan, 29, director of Geeks for CONsent. "It’s very much connected (to the larger problem) and it’s the same phenomena, but manifesting a little more sexually vulgar in the comic space."

Keyhan’s focus on Comic-Con began with a movement launched in her hometown called HollabackPhilly, to help end public harassment against women and members of the LGBT community. She and her colleagues developed a comic book on the subject in hopes of engaging middle- and high-school students, which is what brought them to Comic-Con.

Costuming, or cosplay, is a big part of the popular convention, with male and female fans dressing as their favorite characters, regardless of gender. A man might wear a Wonder Woman outfit, and a woman could dress as Wolverine. Keyhan and her colleagues — all in costume — carried signs and passed out temporary tattoos during the convention that read, “Cosplay does not equal consent.”

Source

Gross sexual harassment at Comic Con.