- L.A. Anarchist Bookfair: Actions + Conversations + Intersections 2010. Guy Debord, Los Angeles Anarchist (2010-01-16).
L.A. Anarchist Bookfair: Actions + Conversations + Intersections 2010 Sunday January 24th : : Barnsdall Art Park 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 http://www.anarchistbookfair.com/(Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- Invictus (Clint Eastwood, 2009) Guest Contributor, Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture (2010-01-11).
by Guest Contributor Geo, originally published at Prometheus Brown Morgan Freeman: the kind of black dude even an old white racist can’t hate. Which is why he was cast to drive Miss Daisy, free a man from prison, become president (twice), help Batman, and become the literal, physical embodiment of...(Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- Blame the Libertarians! Radley Balko, The Agitator (2010-01-11).
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Peyton Thomas has emerged as Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s book-learnin’ alter-ego, working with Arpaio to criminally investigate, indict, and otherwise legally intimidate anyone who dares to question the fearless lawman (as well as, now, anyone who dares to question Thomas). Thomas has gone after members of the...(Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- BOSTON COPS ABUSE THOSE TAKING PIX OF THEM. UNDERNEWS (2010-01-18). The War on Photography (Cont'd.) (Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- Creatures from the Conservative Id. Pro Libertate (2010-01-18). Dick Cheney and the triumph of enthusiastic sado-statism. [Trigger warning: the second half of this story includes graphic descriptions of torture and a photograph of its aftereffects.] (Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- Another Brick in the Wall. Mises Institute Daily Articles (Full-text version) (2010-01-14).
[Originally published as "Song that's driving teachers up the wall" in Libertarian Review, Vol. 9, No. 9 (September 1980), pp. 42–43.] The British Band, Pink Floyd's song, "Another Brick in the Wall" has been banned in South Africa, ignored by some radio stations in the United States, and attacked by...(Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- Eminent Domain Abuse: What Would Homer Simpson Do? Division of Labour (2010-01-18). Resistance to Ratner in NYC (Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- A Matter of Degree: The New York Subway. Mises Institute Daily Articles (Full-text version) (2010-01-11).
[From chapter 14 of The Rise and Fall of Society by Frank Chodorov.] The small State can do to Society everything the large State can do, but not so much of it. The tyranny and terrorism of modern communistic overlords is of a kind with the practices of ancient Sparta,...(Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- Warwick Township Cop Assaults, Kidnaps and Imprisons Me Over My Request for Business Card. Arm your Mind for Liberty (2010-01-18). Gansters in Blue arrest George Donnelly for speaking when not spoken to. (Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
- Mises.org joins the fight for liberty online. David Veksler, Mises Economics Blog (2010-01-16).
You may have heard that Google's decided to stop censoring results from its Chinese search engine. After China attempted to access the email accounts of human rights activists, Google also decided to encrypt all Gmail traffic by default. The team behind Mises.org is also contributing to the effort to keep...(Linked Monday 2010-01-18.)
The World Association of Newspapers and World Editors Forum have called for the repeal of a punitiveluxurytax on newspapers that are imported into Zimbabwe, which is preventing independent newspapers from reaching their audience.
The tax was imposed in early June in the run-up to the widely condemned presidential election won by Robert Mugabe after his opponent quit the race in the face of escalating violence against his supporters. It aims to reduce the influence of South African-based news sources, which have been extremely important to Zimbabweans.
Restricting access to information by punitive taxation constitutes a clear breach of the right to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by numerous international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,the Paris-based WAN and WEF, which represent 18,000 newspapers world-wide, said in a letter to President Mugabe.
The two organisations called on Mugabe to remove the luxury tax on foreign publications and to end state intimidation of the independent media. All domestic independent newspapers and broadcasters in Zimbabwe are banned.
The letter to the President said:
We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications in 102 countries, to call on you to immediately lift the punitiveluxurytax imposed on imported newspapers, magazines and periodicals, which is clearly aimed at preventing independent newspapers from reaching the people of Zimbabwe.
On 8 June, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported that allforeign newspapers sold in Zimbabwe will now have to pay import duty, as the government moves to protect Zimbabwean media space. The newspaper went on to say that this move is meant to curb the entry into the country of what it calledhostile foreign newspapers.
All foreign publications are now classed as luxury goods and therefore attract import duty at 40 percent. The tax appears to be particularly aimed at South African-based news sources, which have been extremely important to Zimbabweans. All domestic independent newspapers and broadcasters in Zimbabwe are banned.
The Zimbabwean, a twice-weekly newspaper printed in South Africa for distribution in Zimbabwe, has been forced to pay almost USD20,000 per week and is reducing its circulation from 200,000 copies to 60,000 as a result.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority refused to release a consignment of 60,000 copies of the 19 June issue of The Zimbabwean. This followed the burning of 60 000 copies of The Zimbabwean on Sunday on 25 May.
We respectfully remind you that restricting access to information by punitive taxation constitutes a clear breach of the right to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by numerous international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration states:Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers.
We respectfully call on you to remove the luxury tax on foreign publications and to end state intimidation of the independent media. We urge you to take all necessary steps to ensure that in future your country fully respects international standards of freedom of information.
WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom and the professional and business interests of newspapers world-wide. Representing 18,000 newspapers, its membership includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 11 regional and world-wide press groups.
The WEF is the organisation for editors within the World Association of Newspapers (http://www.worldeditorsforum.org).
Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAN and WEF have to be diplomatic in their letter, so they can only
respectfully remind. But I am under no such obligation, so I will take the liberty of saying here that the actions of the armed faction occupying the seats of power in Harare are despicable and yet another step down an incredibly dangerous road. Zimbabwe is a naturally rich and fertile country that has been systematically stripped and immiserated by a century of successive kleptocratic armed factions — first the land-grabbing white colonialists, and then an independent white apartheid government, and now a violent
revolutionary government which intones populist slogans to justify thievery, patronage to its political supporters, and sustained state and paramilitary assaults on all popular movements and all centers of civil society that are even remotely independent of the all-devouring State. This latest assault on Zimbabwean civil society and basic norms of truth and rationality, in declaring all non-State-dominated sources of information a mere frippery, indeed as a sort of decadence from which Zimbabweans must be
protected against their wills, is only one of many incredibly troubling developments from a belligerent occupying regime, which imposes the will of a tiny political-military clique on the innocent and unwilling majority, and which indulges in the incredible audacity of passing itself off as a Leftist regime, while actively constituting itself as one of the most violently anti-worker governments in the world.
Here is the front page, above-the-fold story from the current issue of the Industrial Worker, on troubling news from Zimbabwe, a rich and fertile country immiserated and stripped by a century of kleptocratic armed factions — first the land-grabbing colonialists, and then an independent white apartheid government, and now a violent
revolutionary government, which has intoned populist slogans in order to justify government patronage to its political supporters, while assaulting all popular movements independent of the government — especially workers’ unions — on the grounds that any movement independent of, or opposed to, the
anti-imperial government must therefore be a tool of white imperialism. The government that claims the right to rule Zimbabwe has, through this and other means, made itself into one of the most violently anti-worker governments in the world today.
Zimbabwe [sic] arrests unionists, opposition
Zimbabwe’s ruling party and paramilitaries are conducting a terror campaign of arrests and captive meetings of opposition supporters before the presidential run-off election on June 27.
Police arrested the union president Lovemore Motombo and general secretary Wellington Chibebe of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) on May 8. Police charged them withinciting people to rise against the government and reporting falsehoods about people being killedduring a May Day rally.
The General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe has said that 40,000 farm workers areaffected by the current terror campaignthat has led to violence and eviction from their workplaces.
Teachers in rural classrooms are among those being targetted as MDC supporters. Two have been killed to date, with a third abducted by Zanu-PF paramilitaries. The teachers’ union has received reports that the Zanu-PF are chasing teachers out of schools, beating them, and demandingrepentancefines in the form of cash, goats, and cattle, according to IRIN, a United Nations news service report.The situation in the schools resembles war zones, and there is no way teachers can report for work to face those death squads,Raymond Majongwe, president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, told IRIN.
Our fear is that more could be under torture, or have been killed,said Majongwe.
The MDC has placed the death toll since the March 29 election at 43 people, with hundreds beaten and more than 5,000 people fleeing to the mountains and elsewhere to escape Zanu-PF militias.
People who have tried to file complaints to the police are, in turn, detained and interrogated, said the MDC, which means few people are coming forward.
On April 25, armed police raided the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) headquarters in Harare and arrested more than 300 men, women and children who had taken refuge there from political violence.
National and international unions have condemned the Zanu-PF for the violence against union members and party activists.
Dockworkers affiliated with the Congress of South African Trade Unions in South Africa and dockworkers in Mozambique refused to unload a ship loaded with AK-47 machine gun bullets, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades sold by China to Zimbabwe. The ship returned to China without unloading its cargo.
In a speech to the Zanu-PF’s Central Committee on May 16, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Zimbabwean democracy was stronger than ever and blamed the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for inciting rural violence to benefit Western political and corporate interests.
Such violence is needless and must stop forthwith. Our fist is against white imperialism; it is a fist for the people of Zimbabwe, never a fist against them.
The same day, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai delayed his return to Zimbabwe, saying that his party alleged that the military planned to kill him and at least 36 other opposition leaders.
Tsvangirai had been lobbying neighbouring countries and the United Nations to pressure Mugabe to release and accept the election results.
While the MDC refers to Tsvangirai as thePresidenton its web site, it has agreed to contest the presidential run-off in a bid to avoid violence such as that seen in Kenya after its election.
Despite the violence, MDC activists are gearing up for the presidential election campaign. The MDC said that 20,000 activists attended a rally in Harare.
The people are very clear on what they want. They want change. The dictatorship is dead and on 27 June we must attend its burial,said MDC parliamentarian Nelson Chamisa.
It’s hard to know what to do in the face of this kind of violence, especially when it is so far away. There may not be much that American workers really can do other than bear witness and hope. But I do want to call special attention to the vital importance of actions like those of the dockworkers in South Africa and Mozambique — an inspiring example both of direct action on the shop floor, and also international labor solidarity. In the end, the actions of workers both in Zimbabwe and in international solidarity campaigns will matter far more than even the fairest, most transparent, most open elections ever will or ever could. What is needed is more — not just inspiring examples, but a coordinated campaign of industrial action against the entire coercive apparatus of Zanu-PF and the Zimbabwean state, to choke off their capacity to attack and terrorize workers.
What Mugabe and his apparatchiks are doing to workers in Zimbabwe is abominable, but we must never forget that the workers have more power standing with our hands in our pockets than all the combined wealth and weapons of the bosses — whether economic, social, or political.