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My friend Rod recommends this video

29 Nov

Saga City – Our communities facing climate change from SAGA CITÉ on Vimeo.

Grand Jury Resisters Need Your Help

27 Oct

Friends are in jail. We don’t know how long they will be there. We don’t what criminal activity is being investigated that leads to these folks being jailed for refusing to answer Grand Jury questions.

Land of the Free. Home of the Brave.

Jump in, you can help. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

 

 

 

Committee Against Political Repression

 

 

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Compilation Album Created in Support of Grand Jury Resisters

Posted on October 26, 2012 | 2 Comments

 

Musical Impressions has created a compilation album called “Black Clothing, Anarchist Literature, Flags, Flag-Making Materials, Cell Phones, Address Books, & Hard Drives” in support of the Grand Jury Resisters.

You can buy it here. Proceeds go to support the legal and material needs of those resisting the FBI investigations of anarchists in the Pacific Northwest.

Free Matt, Leah and KTeeO

1 Oct

What can I say? This has got to stop. Free these prisoners of conscience.

Committee Against Political Repression

Katherine “KteeO” Olejnik was taken into federal custody today for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury. She is the second subpeanut to be jailed for refusing to testify.

Please write to KteeO!! She is specifically interested in news and information about the Basque region, and reading material related to linguistics and social anthropology.

Katherine Olejnik #42592-086
FDC SeaTac,
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

This is the statement she wrote explaining why she is refusing to cooperate:

For me choosing to resist a grand jury is about humanity – I cannot and will not say something that could greatly harm a person’s life, and providing information that could lead to long term incarceration would be doing that.

For me choosing to resist a grand jury is about freedom of speech and association – I cannot and will not be a party to a McCarthyist policy that is asking individuals…

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Open versus Closed Societies

19 Sep

Let’s assume that a person really wanted to understand a foreign philosophy, a different way of setting up a society. If that was the case, I would recommend listening to Suzanne Guerlac talk about the philosophy of Henri Bergson. Thinking in Time

This is a dense program, but Suzanne is articulate and the interviewer asks probing intelligent questions, so if you have an hour where you really want to listen closely, I heartily recommend this program. It is especially powerful when Suzanne starts talking about how the evolution from a closed society to an open society is not an easy evolutionary transition, that Bergson thought it would take some sort of fundamental change in way of being to occur. Imagining that sort of thing is difficult. Yet those moments occur. Think Solidarity in Poland. Think the fall of the USSR, the sudden destruction of the Berlin Wall. In those moments, I suspect that an open society emerged, however briefly, before a closed society reasserted itself. Fits and starts. Evolution and change may not be orderly.

So, open societies. What would that look like? Listen hard to Guerlac’s discussion of love and livingness as something new, not love that arises with an object that is loved by a subject who loves, but when love arises in reference to all living things. Pretty amorphous stuff. And for those of you who need a lot of structure, this is not going to be your cup of vegan broth. But if you want to stretch a bit, and you want to commit the energy, I think this program will stretch you.

Against the Grain appears to be a wildly intelligent program. My friend Gar Lipow is the latest guest. Gar is talking about climate change and economic exploitation. Suzanne is so last week.

If you make it through the Open Society talk and thinking in time ala Bergson, and you want to think more about open societies, you could check out the mp3s at Audio Anarchy . The Anarchy Tension series is a good place to start if you have an open mind. You may come to the conclusion that this is simple utopian sophistry, that might be true, but it may also be true that if/when an open society emerges, this could be one of the ways that it will happen. This might be the shapeless shape of a certain kind of open society.

See some of you there.

No Minority, No Majority. There Shall Just Be People.

12 Sep

Biko!

You are not forgotten.

Struggle. Resist. Live and Work for Justice.

Austin’s Picks: Is class struggle anarchism?

25 Aug

Austin K sent this link along in an email this morning. It’s a couple of years old, but it’s still worth sharing and reading. The links go to interesting websites if you have an open mind about politics, which is to say, that you can imagine or entertain valid political positions that are broader than the republican and democratic party talking points. I am only posting two of the points that Nate pulls from Tom’s article. Nate uses his What in the Hell …? website the way I use smallblueplanet.org as a staging area to gather ideas, to store links and info, then to compose from that website for publication elsewhere. For me, that makes Nate’s What in the Hell… ? particularly interesting.

What in the Hell is Class Struggle Anarchism?

July 24, 2009

Austust another WordPress.com siteIt’s

Hat tip to Tom Wetzel for this fine article. Check it out. Full disclosure and a little bragging, I know Tom, we’re both involved in the Workers Solidarity Alliance, so I’m biased. Anyhow, read his piece.

My favorite three bits are quoted below. With these bits I was reading it and I was like “yeah, this is what I try to do in this kind
of work but I haven’t put it this clearly before,” which is a cool feeling, like the article put clearly into words what had been more of a gut feeling for me or stuff I’d fumbled and put badly before.

1. “Dual organizational anarchists often say that the role of the anarchist political organization is to “win the battle of ideas,” that
is, to gain influence within movements and among the mass of the population by countering authoritarian or liberal or conservative ideas. Bakunin had said that the role of anarchist activists was a “leadership of ideas.”

But disseminating ideas isn’t the only form of influence. Working with others of diverse views in mass organizations and struggles, exhibiting a genuine commitment, and being a personable and supportive person in this context also builds personal connections, and makes it more likely one’s ideas will be taken seriously.”

2. “mass struggles and mass organizing as the process for changing society…because it is through the active participation of growing numbers of ordinary people, building and controlling their own movements, that they develop the capacity and aspirations for changing society.

From the point of view of “organized anarchism with a class struggle perspective,” two kinds of organization are needed: (1) forms of mass organization through which ordinary people can grow and develop their collective strength, and (2) political organizations of the anarchist or libertarian socialist minority, to have a more effective means to coordinate our activities, gain influence in working class communities, and disseminate our ideas. In the World War 1 era Italian anarchists coined the term “dual organization” for this perspective.

Read the whole piece if you have a couple of minutes.

If an Agent Knocks…

26 Jul

Well, the news in Olympia is that the agents came knocking in the last few days.

Our free society has generally embraced the political freedom of aligning with either the Republican or the Democratic Party!

For those of us that find that range to be a little too tight, you can stray into the fringes of the Justice Party or the Green Party.

If you are drawn to politics beyond this range, you should expect to be surveilled, investigated, possibly indicted and maybe jailed for your politics.

True political freedom in the land of the free and the home of the brave has always been illusory.

There are some important considerations to consider if you have a hoody on your coat rack in the closet today.

Claim and exercise your Constitutional rights. Don’t fall for lying schemes and conversational gambits such as “you know why I am here, don’t you?”

“Let me come in and let’s talk.”

You may want to exercise your right to remain silent.

You may want to exercise your right to counsel.

I expect we will be having meetings to discuss the suppression of political thought, the continuing criminalization of poverty, the politics of oppression.

Sunday, July 29th at Sylvester Park at 2:30. See you there?

Here are a couple of online resources:

http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_If_An_Agent_Knocks.pdf

http://grandjuryresistance.org/

Quotes for a Snowy Thursday

1 Mar

Yep, it’s snowing again in Western Washington. Very pretty, just an inch or so here in Chehalis. I expect it will be gone soon, but as daylight appeared, the neighborhood was especially appealing to the eye.

I collect quotes. They are useful in so many ways. Sometimes the author captures something large in very few words. That’s a good feat. Sometimes, the quote reminds us that our current problems may be the same one that we have faced for generations. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the problems aren’t real or worthy of our attention, it may just remind us to be patient, to consider challenges in larger time frames.

I am thinking about unfettered capitalism, the dominant current cultural love affair with free market economics and thinking that Dresden James’ quote below is on the mark. To question capitalism is preposterous and the questioner appears to be a raving lunatic. I am raving these days.

I am also thinking about socialism: medicare – universal health care – public services from garbage pickup/recycling to higher education and thinking that Tallyrand is right about new names. How would we propose economics and public governance as if people mattered without getting isolated as socialists or communists. How did these terms become so odious?

Commune, a couple of definitions:

1. To be in a state of intimate, heightened sensitivity and receptivity, as with one’s surroundings: hikers communing with nature.

2. To receive the Eucharist.


“An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public.” — Talleyrand, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838) 1st Prince de Bénévent, French diplomat

“Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us?”
— William O. Douglas (1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”
— Dresden James

“It is the growing custom to narrow control, concentrate power, disregard and disfranchise the public;
and assuming that certain powers by divine right of money-raising or by sheer assumption, have the power to do as they think best without consulting the wisdom of mankind.”
— W. E. B. Du Bois
(1868-1963) Professor, Civil Rights Activist, NAACP Founding Member

“We are not liberated until we liberate others. So long as we need to control other people, however benign our motives, we are captive to that need. In giving them freedom, we free ourselves.”
— Marilyn Ferguson 1938- ) American author, Source: The Aquarian Conspiracy

Get out there and do great things today.

Mike

Black Bloc 101

11 Feb

Chris Hedges made a few waves with his recent piece describing the black bloc as the cancer in occupy.

click me pleaseI believe in diversity. I think diversity is a fundamental natural law of the universe. But I understand that human beings have a tidiness gene that makes us think that we can organize and be more efficient through suppression of diversity, by rejection of the natural order and diversity that constantly arises and evaporates back in to the order of chaos. Chaos is not merely disorder. There may be a level of order benefit and diversity in chaos that is not easily observed and is under-appreciated.

The black bloc tactic is something that arises from police violence toward non-violent protest and the willingness of society to choose order over the bedrock right to peacefully assemble and petition for redress of grievance.

Diversity of tactics and tolerance of the diversity of tactics is something that I embrace whole-heartedly. Things can go wrong. I have seen that. Things can go right. I have seen that as well. I am usually pleased to see a black bloc tactical option in a crowd of protesters. I believe Hedges could not be more wrong about the black bloc tactic.

Here is an interesting and informative piece in response to Hedges cancer article. I recommend that you read the piece if you don’t understand and appreciate the black bloc tactic or if you read the Hedges article and thought what he said made a lot of sense.

After you read the piece, you might want to look through the n + 1 zine that is carrying the piece. Looks like a pretty informative vehicle. A weapon of mass instruction. I am down with that. Thanks to my friend Elliot Stoller for bringing this piece to my attention.

World Like Expectancy – Interesting Website Shared by My Friends at TC Pro-Net

6 Feb

The Thurston County Progressive Network are a great bunch of folks who work year-round to produce a more progressive community in the Olympia area. In this week’s calendar they share a link to World Life Expectancy website and a cancer cluster map.

It’s an interesting website from an epidemiology perspective. The suggestion in the cancer cluster webpage is that environmental degradation can be tracked to a certain extent by cancer rates. I think there are a lot of regional cultural issues, like diet, wealth/poverty that also contribute to the cancer clusters, but environmental degradation is probably part of the story. If you live in one of the black (high cancer rate incidence) counties, you can weigh in with why you think your county might have high cancer rates.

I am in Lewis County, WA. It’s a relatively low income per capita by WA standards, so we probably have a lower rate of preventive click me pleasemedical care, but we also have a couple of superfund cleanup sites, one for PCBs, and we have a coal mine (not operational today) and a coal-fired electricity plant, known locally as the Centralia Steam Plant. We try not to mention coal here on either shore of Coal Creek, but the steam plant and the steam mine have been a large part of Lewis County economy over the decades.

This website also has an informative interactive world life expectancy map that includes gender life expectancy. Pretty cool website. Lots of information.

oh, friendship is good for longevity, according to these folks. Sounds right to me.

Don’t miss this page if you are a budding epidemiologist.