Privilege (for the benefit of the privileged), identity and the Class War. By Mal Content.

“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone.

… From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.”

– Aldous Huxley: ‘The Doors of Perception’.

This was always going to be a personal account, anarchism is after all an extrapolation of the particular to the general. The author is an able-bodied (at time of writing), cis-male, heterosexual*, Working Class anarchist of North European heritage, self-educated with a few engineering and craft skills, living in the South of England, I don’t need a university lecturer to tell me that’s a position of considerable privilege in the modern world, and a potentially reactionary one, yet I’ve honestly never wanted anything from this society but to witness its demise. I’m also big, ugly, and in my fifties which helps when dealing with management and cops.

* I seldom use the word ‘straight’, it implies bias, and I’m not claiming my relatively banal proclivities as a badge of community with anyone.

Early on I questioned whether I was writing primarily for people more or less like myself, and dismissed the idea. Obviously it has its limitations, it wouldn’t be of much use to someone whose interest was, for example, the development of anarchism within Chinese culture. It is intended for people new to anarchist ideas, and privilege is a concept many find utterly baffling. Like reification* it’s a hard one to get your head around because it’s woven into the fabric of perceived reality, it’s largely invisible, especially if your contacts are all drawn from a narrow social base.

* Of course, privilege is a form of reification.

Privilege in this context is an absence or mitigation of oppression, seen from the point of view of the oppressed. At first sight it’s counter-intuitive, because no one ever feels privileged,* and the colloquial use of the word is a benefit of some kind, usually earned. It sounds dangerously close to the bosses’ view that we ought to be grateful for access to work, housing, health and education. It’s a demonstrable fact that the presence of any super-exploited group, migrant labour for example, depresses pay and conditions for all workers, so how does it work? How is it a privilege not to be excluded, underpaid, sexually abused, targeted by cops or attacked by bigots?

* There’s a lesson there; not even the ruling elite feel privileged, because they’re conditioned from birth to believe they deserve a bigger slice of the pie.

The liberal would claim these as basic human rights, but they have it backwards, society is oppressive by its nature, its institutions were specifically devised to divide and exploit us, so we each become acclimatised to the level of oppression we experience, and only when these lines are crossed protest that our rights have been violated. This is the liberal trap – it’s the oppression that’s normal, not the absence of it. For many these experiences are routine, and they may indeed consider it a privilege to walk home without being harassed, to apply for a vacancy and be offered an interview, or to attend and not hear that it has just been filled.

If X walks a steeper road than Y, all things being equal, Y will make more progress in a given time for the same effort. Capitalism requires us to compete by excluding others*, so as Y is ahead of X they will have the first choice of whatever they need for the next leg of the journey, and set off feeling positive and refreshed. So on through life; Y will always be where X isn’t, and X will have to work harder than Y just to avoid being left by the wayside. Y’s setbacks will be easier to overcome and of shorter duration. Believing in equality of opportunity, Y may conclude the demoralised and resentful X isn’t trying, or they may congratulate themselves on their own industry and cunning. Meritocracy is a nasty bourgeois trap, like justice, it’s a logical fallacy.

* Housing gentrification and social cleansing is a good example of this.

Read the rest of it.

The Tories want immigrants to save them from shortages? Fuck off

gal-dem

In a winter of discontent ruled by shortages, the Tories are turning to the immigrants they demonised to help them out.
Kemi Alemoru

Welcome to Britain. A land where Nandos and KFC, our premier chicken restaurants, are out of chicken. McDonald’s has no milkshakes. Our supermarket shelves are empty. Brexiteer-run budget pub chain Wetherspoons has pumped its own beer taps dry. The British Soft Drinks Association says we’re running out of gas to make our drinks fizzy. And thanks to nationwide fuel shortages, people are stuck in mile-long queues at petrol stations. Good luck. Outside of the motorway network an estimated 50%-85% of independent petrol stations in the UK currently have nothing left to give. We’re watching the nation coming apart at the seams.

What a silly little mess

view post

Chiapas on the Verge of Civil War

Enlace Zapatista

Communique from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

September 19, 2021

To the people of Mexico:
To the peoples of the world:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion:

First: On September 11, 2021, in the early morning, while the Zapatista air delegation was in Mexico City, members of ORCAO – a paramilitary organization serving the Chiapas state government – kidnapped the compañeros Sebastián Nuñez Pérez and José Antonio Sánchez Juárez, autonomous authorities from the Good Government Council of Patria Nueva [New Homeland], Chiapas.

The ORCAO is a political-military organization with paramilitary characteristics: they have uniforms, equipment, weapons, and ammunition purchased with money they receive from [government-sponsored] “social programs”. They keep part of the money for themselves and use part of it to pay off government officials for reporting that they [the ORCAO] are complying with the terms of the social programs. They fire on the Zapatista community of Moisés y Gandhi every night with these weapons.

The EZLN has waited patiently as all avenues toward a solution were attempted and exhausted. While the Chiapas state government tried to sabotage and impede freedom for our compañeros, it was human rights organizations and the progressive Catholic church who made an objective assessment of what might happen.

Second: The compañeros were deprived of their liberty for eight days and then freed today, September 19, 2021, thanks to the parish priests of San Cristóbal de las Casas and Oxchuc, of the San Cristóbal diocese. The compañeros were robbed of a walkie-talkie and six thousand pesos in cash belonging to the Good Government Council.

Third: Kidnapping is a crime under both the bad government’s laws and Zapatista law. While the Chiapas state government has supported and covered up these crimes, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation took the necessary steps to free those who were kidnapped and to detain and sanction those who committed the crime.

Fourth: The only reason the conflict did not escalate into a tragedy was due to the intervention of the parishes mentioned above, human rights organizations, and the mobilizations and denunciations carried out in Mexico and, above all, Europe.

Fifth: The misgovernment of Rutilio Escandón is doing everything possible to destabilize the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas:

It violently represses the normalistas [1].

It sabotages the agreements made between the organized teachers and the federal government, forcing the teachers to take more radical action to demand the agreements be complied with.

Its alliance with narcotraffickers forces indigenous communities to create their own self-defense groups, as the government does nothing to protect the life, liberty, and property of the population. It not only protects the narcotrafficking gangs, but also encourages, promotes, and finances paramilitary groups like those that are constantly attacking communities in Aldama and Santa Martha.

Its vaccination campaign is purposefully slow and disorganized, creating unrest in rural communities that it will no doubt exploit. Meanwhile, the rising covid deaths in these communities are ignored.

Its officials are stealing everything they can from the state treasury, perhaps preparing for a federal government collapse or betting on a new party coming into power.

And now they want to sabotage the departure of the Zapatista delegation participating in the European chapter of the Journey for Life. They ordered their ORCAO paramilitaries to kidnap our compañeros, leaving the crime unpunished, and trying to provoke a reaction from the EZLN, all in a state where governability hangs by a thread.

Sixth: If what the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) wants is to provoke a crisis with international repercussions so that it can destabilize the regime currently in power, they should call a referendum to revoke the presidential mandate.

The PVEM is one of the names used around here by the same old PRI. Sometimes they say it’s the PAN, sometimes the PRD, and now it’s the PVEM badly disguised as the Movement for National Regeneration [MORENA]. But it’s the same criminals as ever, and now they’re part of the misnamed “opposition” movement, a “fifth column” within the 4T [2].

Those responsible are: Rutilio Escandón and Victoria Cecilia Flores Pérez.

If what they want is to topple the federal government, or to cause problems in retaliation for the current federal criminal investigations against them, or to support one of the factions competing for power in 2024, then they should use the available legal channels and stop playing with the life, liberty, and property of the people of Chiapas. They should call for a vote to revoke the presidential mandate and stop playing with fire because they’re going to get burned.

Seventh: We call on Europe below and to the left and on the Sixth in Mexico and abroad to protest in front of Mexican embassies and consulates and at the government offices of the state of Chiapas, demanding an end their provocations and renunciation of their death cult. The date is Friday, September 24, 2021.

Given the actions and omissions of the state and federal governments regarding these crimes and previous ones, we will take the necessary measures to bring justice to the criminals in the ORCAO and the government officials who sponsor them.

That is all. Next time there won’t be a communique. That is, there won’t be words, only actions.

From the mountains of southeastern Mexico,
In the name of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the EZLN

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Mexico, September 19, 2021.

[1] Students at the Escuelas Normales, or rural teachers’ colleges.

[2] The López Obrador campaign deemed its governing project the “Fourth Transformation” (4T), supposedly on par with historic events such as Mexican Independence (1810), a period of reform in the mid-19th century, and the Mexican Revolution (1910).

Red and Black Telly roundup.













Revolutionary Winston Smith Murdered by Federal Task Force in Minneapolis and the Community Responds

Abolition Media Worldwide

Hennepin and Ramsey County Deputies working on the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force murdered Winston Boogie Smith in broad daylight on 6/3/2021 in Minneapolis, MN, only 10 minutes away from where MPD murdered George Floyd.

The murder happened hours after the city attempted to take down George Floyd Square, a memorial site created and maintained by the community.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force had previously executed activist Michael Reinoehl without warning or trying to arrest him, an execution Trump bragged about.

Before Winston Smith was murdered, he had posted on social media of his whereabouts, and police were staked out at the location as heard on police scanners. After the murder, the media spread lies that Winston was a murder suspect and later retracted it.

Winston Smith was outspoken on the issue of community defense. Winston Smith was 32 years old when he was murdered by Minneapolis police. He was a beloved comedian, musician and a revolutionary. He left behind three young children.

Smith’s family held a vigil on top of the parking ramp Friday evening, laying flowers and candles. Protests began Friday afternoon and continued into the early hours of Saturday morning in Uptown, Minneapolis. During rush hour, protesters blocked Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. As the evening continued some demonstrators used dumpsters and cars to block off West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South. Numerous fires were lit in the area.

Support his family: https://winstonsmithwasassassinated.com/

Newsletter from PSC Soton

See newsletter from PSC Soton

Dear PSC Soton Subscriber

I hope you are keeping safe and well. And thank you for your concern over the plight of the Palestinians.

Just a bit about us. Palestine Solidarity Southampton campaigns for Justice for Palestine. We are part of the bigger national Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Everyone of all ethnicities and of all faiths or none is welcome to join us. We are not part of any political party.

As well as raising awareness of the horror of apartheid legislation and ongoing ethnic cleansing that the people of Palestinian are subject to, and have been for over 70 years, we raise funding to campaign against businesses that profit from oppression, against the government who facilitate the sale of arms to Israel, and against institutions like pension funds who invest in companies aiding and abetting Israel’s human rights abuses.

However, the cause of these problems, the illegal occuption of parts of Palestine by Israel, the ongoing enforced ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their homes and farms where they and their familes have lived for generations, and the apartheid legislation that denies them equal rights, these injustices all continue.

And so, we still need to support the people of Palestine.

Thank you for your support Andy on behalf of PSC Southampton

PSC SOTON SPONSORED WALK Brockenhurst to Lymington Sunday 20th June 2021 11.00am

If you would like to support Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the National and local Palestine Solidarity Compaign, we are organising our annual fundraising sponsored walk on Sunday 20th June. You can join us or just sponsor us, whatever is best for you.

Leaving from Brockenhurst Station (south side) at 11.00am, it goes through the woodland and meadow path and minor roads to Lymington, a route of 5 – 6 miles, taking in the two historic churches of Brockenhurst and Boldre. We will also meet at Southampton train station first as well at 10.15am so if you would like to come you could join us there if you like.

Please bring a packed lunch, drink and sensible footwear for possible mud near Brockenhurst. We walk whatever the weather so rainwear may be appropriate. We carry the flag of Palestine.

Ballymurphy: State Massacre

Anarchist Communist Group

After fifty years the truth is beginning to emerge about the massacre of eleven people in West Belfast by the Parachute Regiment of the British Army.

A coroner has found that nine of the ten had been shot by them, whilst in the case of the tenth, John McKerr, there was doubt as to who had killed him, it either being a Loyalist paramilitary or more probably a British soldier. The coroner found that there was a distinct lack of evidence volunteered by the authorities as regards his death, hinting at the cover-up that had taken place over a span of fifty years.

The families of those murdered have had to wait a half century for this. John Teggart, the son of one of those murdered, Daniel Teggart, went on record to state, “It has taken us 50 years to get to this point. We are just ordinary families from Ballymurphy but we have held the British government and Ministry of Defence to account. We hope today will give strength to all other families. It can be done, don’t give up, you will succeed. These lies end today. We have corrected history today. The inquest confirmed that the soldiers who came to the area, supposedly to protect us, turned their guns on us.”

The massacre took place on 9th August 1971 when six hundred paratroopers surrounded and entered the Ballymurphy estate, smashing down doors at 5am and dragging people from their beds. This coincided with a Loyalist attack on homes in nearby Springfield Park, causing families to flee into the streets.

The paratroopers shot Joan Connolly repeatedly, totally disfiguring her face. She lay on waste ground for six hours, bleeding to death. Another victim of the paratroopers, Noel Phillips, was wounded and then finished off with a shot behind each ear. A local priest, Father Hugh Mullan, was shot at least twice whilst giving last rites to another dying man. Another, Pat MacCarthy, suffered a mock execution, with an unloaded gun shoved in his mouth and fired, resulting in his death by a heart attack.

The paratrooper commanders tried to cover up the massacre by stating that the IRA were firing on soldiers at the time and that those killed were IRA volunteers, when in fact none of those massacred were paramilitaries.

Over the years, a massive cover-up has obscured details of what happened. The original inquest in 1972 returned open verdicts. As a result of families of those murdered getting together in a campaign, the Attorney General in Northern Ireland okayed a request for a new inquest in 2011. These finally opened in late 2018 and finished this March.

One officer implicated in the massacre is now a retired British Army general, Sir Mike Jackson. Five months after the Ballymurphy massacre he was second in command of the Parachute Regiment when it shot dead fourteen unarmed civilians on Bloody Sunday in Derry. Chief of General Staff of the British Army until his retirement in 2006, Jackson was commander of the British Army that invaded Iraq in 2003. At the inquest he gave a grudging, mealy-mouthed apology: “Let me say to the families who so long ago lost their loved ones: for me it’s a tragedy. It’s a tragedy which is hugely regrettable, but I would also say that anybody who loses their lives as a result of violent conflict is also a tragedy. I too have lost friends, so be it. My sympathies to you and I’m sorry that it is only now after so long that you feel you can come to terms.”

Boris Johnson failed to make an apology in Parliament after the findings of the inquest, leaving it to the Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis, to do this. Johnson sent a letter to the bereaved families just a few minutes before the announcement in Parliament. The families described this as unacceptable. One of them, Carmel Quinn, saying that Johnson’s description of the massacre as an “event” was appalling. “It wasn’t an event, it was mass murder of a civilian population.” John Teggart went on to say, “General Mike Jackson is considered a hero in Britain, but he was the one who told you that our loved ones were gunmen and gunwomen. The inquest confirmed that the soldiers who came to the North, supposedly to protect us… turned their guns on us. The British government now wants to deny us the chance for justice by introducing an amnesty for these murders.I want to speak directly to the people of Britain at this moment. Can you imagine what would have happened if soldiers murdered 10 unarmed civilians on the streets of London, Liverpool or Birmingham? What would you expect of an investigation? Would you expect justice? Or would you be happy for them to get an amnesty?”

The apologies made by the present government are particularly nauseating and insulting, as we know they are being made by the same establishment that was responsible for the original acts and the subsequent cover ups. And the same State that would do it all again if they needed to.

The Ballymurphy massacre, which happened over two days, is less well known than Bloody Sunday, not least as there was minimal media attention, yet it set the scene for the continued brutality of the Parachute Regiment. As the truth of the British State’s activity in the Six Counties, its collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries and its willingness to lie and obfuscate, is slowly being admitted to, we see revealed the state dripping head to foot in blood.

Red and Black Telly roundup.










Indigenous Man In Arizona Imprisoned For Social Media satire.

Enough 14

Page, Arizona – Loren Reed, a 26-year-old Diné (Navajo) man, is set for trial on May 4, 2021 for a trumped-up federal charge of “Threats to Damage and Destroy a Building by Means of Fire” after he engaged in a heated debate over Black Lives Matter protest tactics[1] in a private Facebook chat group created to organize a local police brutality protest. Reed has been held in federal pretrial detention without bail for ten months after a prior high school acquaintance reported him to the police for a different satirical social media post about planning a protest or ‘riot’ at the courthouse that never actually happened. An undercover FBI agent then infiltrated the private chat group, and monitored numerous messages exchanged by Reed and his friends. After this intrusive monitoring of speech, and lacking any real evidence, Reed was quickly and violently arrested in his neighborhood on June, 2, 2020. Nothing incriminating was found during or after the arrest, despite officers thoroughly searching Reed’s home and even his housemates.

“This federal charge is unconstitutional because there was never a legally-justified ‘true threat’ contained in the posts that would remove the broad protections of the First Amendment that apply even to vitriolic or offensive speech,[2]” said CLDC Executive Director Lauren Regan, one of the attorneys assisting Loren Reed on the case. “The supposed “threat” was never communicated to any target or victim, there was no intent to act or any evidence of an intent to act, and there is no lawful basis to federally prosecute someone for speech only – much less an Indigenous organizer confronting racism in a very conservative region of Arizona.”

“Prosecuting someone in these circumstances takes us down the slippery slope of what is protected speech versus what is a ‘true threat’ justifying criminal prosecution. We must hold strong to the outer limits of the First Amendment or we all lose the right to freely speak our minds. Today the criminalized speech may pertain to Black Lives Matter protests, but tomorrow it could be religion, science, or other political beliefs.” Regan said.

Over the course of the next ten months, Reed was held without formal charge for a month in the Coconino County Jail, where he contracted COVID-19 and where his close friend had died the year before after being denied medical care.[3] He was later transferred to a private for-profit  federal detention center in Florence, Arizona, a polluted copper mining town turned prison industrial complex hub. Reed was not indicted with a crime until late September. His trial has now been delayed three times and is currently set for May 4, 2021.

The U.S. Attorney’s office blames the pandemic for the following nine months of additional detention in which Reed was denied a speedy trial –  or even bail –  and in which it filed three separate motions to ‘extend’ his case. However, that has not stopped the government from attempting to bury this miscarriage of justice by informally suggesting an oppressive plea agreement that would result in a felony conviction, and likely probationary sentence.

“For an Indigenous person who faces the reality of institutional racism in his daily life, being threatened with a conviction for a crime he did not commit is a precarious, life-devastating burden,” stated Klee Benally, a longtime Diné (Navajo) sacred lands advocate and organizer from Flagstaff, Arizona. “It is courageous of Loren to refuse to accept this atrocious deal. While it could free him from custody immediately, it would endanger organizers and activists in the future by further criminalizing speech. Loren is taking a powerful stand, and we need to stand right there with him.”

Reed, a rapper who is known as a sensitive yet enthusiastic jokester, adamantly denies that there was any threat implied in his posts. Anyone reading them[4] with an open mind would agree. And yet, the State wants to saddle a young Indigenous man with a felony conviction that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

“This is yet another attempt to control the speech and tone of a person of color amidst a year of heartbreaking – and increasingly fatal – racially-motivated police violence. Appallingly, in this situation the State has chosen to exploit a snitch’s biased complaint to police[5] in order to further perpetuate this cycle of violence,” said Regan.

“We are calling on the federal prosecutor to immediately dismiss the charge in the interests of justice. Mr. Reed has already served over 10 months in pretrial detention for speech that did not actually threaten anyone,” she added.

“As Indigenous justice advocates, we stand with Loren Reed. The criminalization of Loren — and his right to free speech — is an ongoing violation of Indigenous rights and overall justice,” said Morning Star Gali of the Pit River Tribe, a lifelong Indigenous rights advocate with Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples who is currently based out of Sacramento, California.

“We also need to talk about the racism at play here,” said CLDC Attorney Sarah Alvarez. “Already, the feds are declining to prosecute, electing to charge petty misdemeanors, and/or negotiating lenient plea deals[6] for the white supremacists that assaulted the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They have also entirely turned a blind eye toward the hundreds of far-right individuals who threatened politicians and police via social media. Meanwhile, an Indigenous man has been sitting in jail without due process for 10 months – all over a tongue-in-cheek social media post where no violence or property damage ever occurred nor was ever intended to occur. It’s difficult to prove this in court, but Mr. Reed’s case is a textbook example of race-based disparate treatment, and it needs to end with an immediate dismissal of the charge against him.”

Reed is scheduled for a jury trial starting May 4 but there’s still time for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice to do the right thing and immediately drop the charge to let him return to his life.

Notes

[1] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss Due to Likely Presentation of Inaccurate, Incomplete or Misleading Information to Grand Jury at 4, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021).

[2] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss for Inadequate Indictment at 6, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021)

[3] “Jail footage shows Kyle Martinson yell for help before death,” Arizona Daily Sun, June 17, 2019. https://azdailysun.com/news/jail-footage-shows-kyle-martinson-yell-for-help-before-death/article_ea48524d-8991-50cd-91a9-8f67ae8ec3c8.html

[4] “Indigenous man faces 10 years for Facebook comments,” Al Jazeera, January 19, 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/19/holdindigenous-man-faces-10-years-for-facebook-comments-during-b

[5] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss for Selective Enforcement & Selective Prosecution; Mot. for Discovery at 5, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021)

[6] “Many Capitol rioters unlikely to serve jail time,” Politico. March 30, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/30/jan-6-capitol-riot-jail-time-478440

Protests Break Out Across US Over Police Shooting of Daunte Wright

Abolition Media Worldwide

The Minnesota police murder of Daunte Wright reignited impassioned protests across many US cities Monday night — with a riot in Portland, Oregon, as hundreds attacked cops.

A second night of demonstrations boiled in Brooklyn Park, where the murder occured, while protesters gathered in other cities in a show of unity. Researchers were able to locate and publicly post the address of the pig who murdered Daunte, driving her from her home.

“Burn the precincts to the ground, in every city and every town!” chanted marchers in Portland. Demonstrations happened in Los Angeles, California, while areas of Seattle, Washington, were covered in anti-cop graffiti as protesters repeatedly blocked main roads.

Protesters streamed through a Washington, DC, subway station, jumping over turnstiles, as hundreds gathered at the capital. In New York, marchers shut down a portion of the Manhattan Bridge on Monday night.

The strongest actions took place in Portland, Oregon, as revolutionaries tried to storm the Penumbra Kelly Building, which houses offices for multiple law enforcement agencies, including Portland police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. People threw glass bottles, frozen water bottles, rocks, ball bearings and shot fireworks at the police and the building.

Elsewhere in the city, a group cut through a chain-link fence to access a parking lot at the historic building that houses Portland Police Bureau traffic offices at the same time as the riot was happening. They succeeded in smashing windows and slashing tires of several police vehicles.