… but the streets belong to the people! Jesse Walker, Hit & Run (2009-06-10): The People’s Stop Sign. In which people in an Ottawa neighborhood take nonviolent direct action to slow down the traffic flying down their neighborhood streets — by putting up their own stop signs at a key intersection. The city government, of course, is now busy with a Criminal Investigation of the public’s heinous contribution to public safety.
Abolitionism is the radical notion that other people are not your property. Darian Worden (2009-06-09): The New Abolitionists
The point is that the principles of abolitionism, which held that regardless of popular justifications no human is worthy to be master and no human can be owned by another, when carried to their logical conclusion require this: that no human is worthy of authority over another, and that no person is owed allegiance simply because of political status. When reason disassembles the popular justifications of statism, as advances in political philosophy since the 1850’s have assisted in doing, the consistent abolitionist cannot oppose the voluntaryist principles of the Keene radicals.
Mr. Obama, Speak For Yourself. Thomas L. Knapp, Center for a Stateless Society (2009-09-09): Speaking of the State
A campaign of isolated incidents. Ellen Goodman, Houston Chronicle (2009-06-08): Sorry, but the doctor’s killer did not act alone
Let’s screw all the little guys. Just to be fair. (Or, pay me to advertise my product on your station.) Jesse Walker, Reason (2009-06-09): The Man Can’t Tax Our Music: The music industry wants to impose an onerous new fee on broadcasters.
Some dare call it
torture.Just not the cops. Or the judges. Wendy McElroy, WendyMcElroy.com (2009-06-08): N.Y. Judge Rules that Police Can
Taser Torturein order to coerce compliance with any arbitrary court order. I think that Wendy is right to call
pain compliancefor what it is — torture (as I have called it here before) — and that it is important to insist on this point as much as possible whenever the topic comes up.
On criminalizing compassion. Macon D., stuff white people do (2009-06-05), on the conviction of Walt Staton for
knowingly litteringwater jugs in a wildlife refuge, in order to keep undocumented immigrants from dying in the desert.
Freed markets vs. deforesters. Keith Goetzman, Utne Reader Environment (2009-06-04): Do You Know Where Your Shoes Have Been?, on the leather industry and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Utne does a good job of pointing out (by quoting Grist’s Tom Philpott) that the problem is deeply rooted in multi-statist neoliberalism: because of the way in which the Brazilian government and the World Bank act together to subsidize the cattle barons and ‘roid up Brazilian cattle ranching, the report
is really about the perils of using state policy to prop up global, corporate-dominated trade.
Well, Thank God. (Cont’d.) Thanks to the Lord Justice, we now know that Pringles are, in fact, officially potato chips, not mere
savory snacks, in spite of the fact that only about 40% of a Pringles crisp is actually potato flour. Language Log takes this case to demonstrate the quasi-Wittgensteinian point that, fundamentalist legal philosophy to one side, there’s actually no such thing as a self-applying law. (Quoting Adam Cohen’s New York Times Op-Ed,
Conservatives like to insist that their judges are strict constructionists, giving the Constitution and statutes their precise meaning and no more [linguists groan here], while judges like [Sonia] Sotermayor are activists. But there is no magic way to interpret terms like) I think the main moral of the story has to do with the absurdity of a political system in which whether or not you can keep $160,000,000 of your own damn money rides on whether or not you can prove to a judge that your
due process— or potato chip.
savory snackhasn’t got the requisite
potatonessto count as a
potato crispfor the purposes of law and justice.
Small riots will get small attention, no riots get no attention, make a big riot, and it will be handled immediately.Loretta Chao, Wall Street Journal (2009-05-30): In China, a New Breed of Dissidents. The story makes it seem as though the most remarkable thing about the emerging dissident movement is that they are
safeenough for the State to
toleratethem, rather than launching all out assaults as they did against the Tienanmen dissidents in 1989. Actually, I think that that misses the point entirely; and that the most interesting thing is that they have adopted such flexible and adaptive networking, both tactically and strategically, and that they now so often rise up from the very social classes that the Chinese Communist Party claims to speak for (not just easily-demonized students and intelligentsia, but ordinary farmers, factory workers, and retirees) — that the regime isn’t
toleratingthem; it just no longer knows what to do with them.
Counter-Cooking and Mutual Meals. Julia Levitt, Worldchanging: Bright Green (2009-06-03): Community Kitchens (Via Kevin Carson’s Shared Items.) If I may recommend, if you’re going to work on any kind of community cooking like this, particularly if you’re interested in it partly for reasons of
resiliencyand building community alternatives, you should do what you can to make sure that it is strongly connected with the local grey-market solidarity economy, through close cooperation with your local Food Not Bombs (as both a source and a destination for food) and other local alternatives to the state-subsidized corporate-consumer model for food distribution.
Looking Forward. Shawn Wilbur, In the Libertarian Labyrinth (009-06-06): Clement M. Hammond on
Police Insurance. An excerpt on policing in a freed society, from individualist anarchist Clement M. Hammond’s futurist utopian novel, Then and Now which originally appeared in serialized form in Tucker’s Liberty in 1884 and 1885. (Thus predating Bellamy’s dreary Nationalist potboiler by 4 years.) Hammond’s novel is now available in print through Shawn’s Corvus Distribution. The good news is that, while Bellamy’s date of 2000 has already mercifully passed us by without any such society emerging, we still have almost 80 years to get it together in time for Hammond’s future.
Here at Reason we never pass up a chance to have some fun at the expense of Pete Seeger.Jesse Walker, Hit & Run (2009-06-09): They Wanna Hear Some American Music. On brilliant fakery, the invention of Country and Western music, the cult of authenticity, and the manufacture of
Americana.For the long, full treatment see Barry Mazor, No Depression (2009-02-23): Americana, by any other name…
Anarchy on the Big Screen. Colin Firth and Kevin Spacey have signed on for a big-screen film adaptation of Homage to Catalonia. The film is supposed to enter production during the first half of 2010.
Technological civilization is awesome. (Cont’d.)
Freezers are awesome. J.D., Get Rich Slowly (2009-06-06): 3 Easy and Delicious Ways to Preserve Your Berry Harvest. My plan is to make some freezer jam.
Toward usable e-mail. Leah Chaney, OtherInbox (2009-06-05): Organizer By OtherInbox now available with Yahoo! Mail apps!. Even where technological civilization is not yet awesome enough, it soon will be.
IMPACT! Strategies for Social Change Forum, Thursday, June 18, Sonoma County, California. Infoshop News (2009-06-08):
Strategies for Social ChangeForum on June 18th in Sonoma County
IMPACT!, an independent and radical youth organization in Petaluma is turning one year old this month. Part 1 of the celebration is a forum, entitled
Strategies for Social Change,where organizers from labor, immigrants’ rights, and anti-police brutality groups will be discussing their projects and strategies for achieving radical social change locally. This event will be bilingual and free. … As one part of the celebration of IMPACT!’s one-year anniversary, we are excited to announce a forum on Thursday, June 18th at 7pm at the Peace and Justice Center in Santa Rosa (467 Sebastopol Ave) … After hearing from all the different organizations, we hope to have an open dialogue about how we can build real people power in our communities and what methods, strategies, tactics, we can implement to achieve long-lasting and radical social change.
Anarchist Movement 09, East London, England. Anarchist Movement Conference 09 was held last Saturday at Queen Mary, University of London. About 300 attended. Some reportbacks from Anonymous @ Infoshop News (2009-06-09),
Nestor Makhno@ indymedia london (2009-06-07), Paul Stott (2009-06-08), and No Pretence (2009-06-07). One of the major events at the conference was anarcha-feminist group No Pretence’s appearance at the closing plenary to deliver a statement and project a video presentation calling out sexism in the U.K. movement:
SPEAK! Listening Party. Sunday, June 14th, 2-5pm. Long Beach, California. Julie, feministe (2009-06-05): SPEAK! Listening Party in Long Beach, CA!
Remember that awesome CD that’s out right now? The spoken word collection that features the work of BFP, Black Amazon, Little Light, and so many others? The one that combines personal history and movement making in truly inspiring ways? If you live in or around Long Beach, CA and haven’t heard it yet, now’s your chance!(Via bfp, flip flopping joy 2009-06-05.)