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Friday, July 1, 2016

Kiev

Arriving in this post-Soviet city was supposed to remind me a lot of Budapest, and in some ways it did. Rusty industry and old, worn-out buildings surround the outskirts.

Today the country is attempting to legislate its Soviet past out of existence. The Communist Party and nearly all communist or Soviet symbolism are banned. Statues of Lenin and Soviet heroes were removed. It's warned that anyone who dares wear leftist symbols in the city will be attacked, if not by straight-up fascists, then by garden-variety nationalists. I've been told Kiev is home to several anarchist squats, yet they exist in hiding from the extreme amount of repression.

In Maidan (the city centre) there are memorials for the victims of the wars in Crimea and Donetsk. It's actually hard to tell that Ukraine is at war with its Russian separatists without seeing all the war propaganda. When I arrived in the main train station, the first thing which took my eyes were the number of soldiers walking around in groups in the area between the trains and the metro.

Construction resumes during the summer. New buildings are popping up all over Kiev, from what I could see. The engineers who design these things must let the craving for the future dictate the structure; each one is 20 stories or so tall.

I only spent a day and a half here. At least the food is good.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Reblogged: Mexico Massacred Its Citizens and Nobody Seems to Have Noticed

The "Three Amigos" Summit is the perfect time to hold President Enrique Peña Nieto accountable for human rights violations.
 
This time it is impossible to look the other way. The Mexican government is normally adept at managing public opinion so the responsibility for the violence and human rights violations ripping apart the country falls on the shoulders of local officials or organized crime groups. But on June 19 that narrative was broken under the heavy weight of the facts. 

The press originally reported a “clash between teachers and police” in the town of Nochixtlán in the southern state of Oaxaca. The authorities claimed their agents were unarmed and the protesters had fired on them first. The new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, was carefully neutral in her first public evaluation of the incident, stating simply that she “lamented the loss of human lives.” 

But during the ensuing days the awful truth has trickled out. Thanks to the reports of journalists on the scene, the Mexican government has been forced to accept that the police were in fact heavily armed. And the evidence now points to the commission of a brutal massacre by federal forces against peaceful protesters. These forces are under the command of Mexico´s President Enrique Peña Nieto and receive significant funding from the United States government under the Merida Initiative.

Continue reading on Telesur.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Video: ANTIFA vs. Nazi Scum in Sacramento (June 26, 2016)


Solidarity with our comrades, some of whom are still in the hospital after being stabbed by fascist scumfucks. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Reblogged: Always on the side of the rebels, never with the snitches and the kneelers – France


These last two months (March-April) the streets of major cities in
France have been transformed into fields of resistance, where mass
protests and clashes are taking place in the framework of the general
strikes which are against the new labour legislation of the government.
Barricades, luxury cars and police cars burnt, cops and
undercovers beaten, banks smashed, people masked up with stones in their hands,
are some of the images that prove to us that in every corner of the
earth the war against the state and capital still rages and that nothing
is over…

“We ask for nothing, we are taking it all”, “No insurrection without
fire”, “Destroy wage slavery” etc, are some of the chants from the
black bloc and the anarchist groups that clash and express their
refusals in the street.


As was expected, all that’s taking place could not be without the
labour leaders and reformists who speak of provocateurs, liken the black
bloc with the fascists, condemn the violent practices against the state
and at the same time have relations with the police....


At the same time, the forces of oppression use plenty of teargas, brutally beat
protesters and arrest people. In a nutshell, they do everything under
the orders of their superiors in order for them to protect their bosses
and the peaceful citizens-subjects.

It is more than obvious now that the economy is collapsing, resulting in
it showing its real face: Hunger wages combined with wretched working
conditions, that contribute to an inhumane middle ages-like work
environment, where the worker is the modern slave on the production
line. At the same time, repression intensifies and strengthens, in order
for the police-state in the streets to become a daily routine and
for whoever seeks the attack on the world of authority to hesitate to take
action.


End the false dilemmas. Whoever chooses inactivity, chooses their
chains.

The moment is now, the place is here. From the streets of France to the
alleyways of Chile, from the mountains of Mexico to the avenues of Athens.

The whole world is a field of unrest!

 



(Taken from and translated by: actforfreedomnow)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

3.5.16

One thing that strikes me so much about the United States now that I've lived abroad is, the near lack of any kind of intellectual culture. I grew up in the Boston Area which, next to New York, Chicago, and maybe Washington DC, is one of the few places where anything of that nature can be found (and it's usually conducted by intellectuals who only seek to further the status quo - economics professors from Harvard who advocate expanding global capitalism to an even higher realm, etc.). From my experience, "heavy" conversations with the average American - including college students - rarely go that far. There is a tendency to address only what they see on a surface level, nothing further, and an even stronger tendency to talk out of arrogance, rather than wisdom or knowledge.


By contrast, I've experienced the exact opposite in France. People from all backgrounds take an interest in the arts and current events, and willingly discuss them in an open space. This is something heavily built into the culture as well: everyone takes an hour off work at 13hr where they go to cafés to discuss politics and art over coffee and pastries. Mainstream French news publications openly discuss controversial issues, even featuring communist intellectuals like Alain Badiou on the front cover (it's not like David Harvey gets put on the cover of Newsweek). This isn't exactly a "French" thing either, as you see similar attitudes in Germany, Greece, Brazil...

Americans also tend to be quite detached from their history. In Europe, by contrast, people will acknowledge their countries' triumphs and crimes. The French may feel reluctant to talk about France's colonial history in Africa and Indochina, for example, but they are well aware of it and will talk about it if they need to. I have rarely seen Americans speak about American imperialism (such as US intervention in Central America between 1950s-1980s) out in the open. Even while growing up in the Merrimack Valley, it was a rare thing to speak about the history of labor struggles in our region.

There's a paradox: Americans pride themselves on their individualism and how much they value freedom of speech compared to other nations, yet there's very little speech in American culture that's truly insightful or cutting-edge. Instead, what's given is an endless repetition of the same old points-of-view. Politicians may be scum everywhere, but in the US there isn't even an attempt to appear sophisticated.

It's also the case that those of us who desire an intellectual conversation on a serious issue with someone (say, a college student) are accused of being "entitled" for wanting to get to that level of understanding. Everyone assumes your intentions are as nefarious as theirs when you're merely looking for a clarification.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Re: Nietzsche, narcissism and self-transcendence



Very interesting. I want to start reading Nietzsche again.

One common trope I've seen with narcissists is, they always demand that other people self-destruct ("take one for the team") for the greater good, but refuse to do so themselves. I was recently having a discussion on self-sacrifice and how it relates to "the struggle" with a Marxist-Leninist friend of mine. There are plenty of organizations on the radical Left (both Marxist and anarchist-oriented) which push for what they conceive of as extreme discipline; namely, monitoring other members' consumer choices, personal relationships, what kind of music they listen to, and so on, all in the name of molding the mind so that it becomes "non-oppressive". But it's not really - it's only a means in which others within the organization (usually the higher-ups) get to bully others whom they see as morally imperfect.

I think you're right. The problem in this case is narcissism, and narcissism almost always grows in people who are broken in some form. Narcissism is taken up in order to compensate for lack of knowledge or (emotional) strength. In the scenario of me and my friend, you see a bunch of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist college kids being bullied into thinking of themselves as soldiers without any war. I'm not necessarily against rejecting capitalist culture as much as possible, but in this case, the call for that rejection is being driven by the egos of others, rather than an action to ensure a higher goal.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"A Good Student" - Insurrection Notes of the December Revolt



Text:

The December Revolt inspired countless of texts and poems. It seemed like all these thoughts and feelings that were asphyxiating inside our minds and bodies about what is wrong with this world, busted out into words and actions, from a written text to the mesmerizing sight of a flaming barricade that is an optical poem in itself.

The extract spoken in this video comes from an e-mail sent during the December Rebellion in Athens to the Occupied ASOEE university in Athens and was published in the website of the squat on 12 December 2008. 


How the December Revolt started:

6 December 2008, few minutes after 9 pm - Time Zero of the December Revolt. Two policemen shoot against a group of youngsters hanging out on a Saturday night, at the heart of the Exarcheia district of central Athens, Greece an area with a long history of insurrection against authority and riots for socio economic and political grounds, inhabited mainly by anarchists, anti-authoritarians and liberals. The police bullet finds in the heart and kills 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

Και μέχρι τα 18 νόμιζαν πως με έχουν με το μέρος τους. Άριστη διαγωγή, άριστοι βαθμοί, πτυχία σε ξένες γλώσσες. Ξέρετε, όλα αυτά τους κάνουν να σε λένε "καλό παιδί", εννοώντας πως θα μπεις σε μια καλή σχολή, θα αποκτήσεις μια καλή δουλειά, θα κάνεις μια καλή οικογένεια, θα είσαι ένας φιλήσυχος άνθρωπος, θα πηγαίνεις το Σάββατο στο σούπερ μάρκετ και τις Κυριακές εκδρομή με το αυτοκίνητο. Και δεν έχω τίποτα προσωπικό με αυτούς τους ανθρώπους. Αν κανείς δεν τους μίλησε για το παραθυράκι που θα τους δείξει εικόνες έξω από τον μικρόκοσμό τους δε φταίνε αυτοί. 


Αλλά και αν -μόνοι τους ή με βοήθεια- κοίταξαν από αυτό το παραθυράκι και αποφάσισαν πως δεν ενδιαφέρονται, είναι δική τους επιλογή και δε θα τους πιέσω για τίποτα. Το μόνο που μπορώ να κάνω είναι να τους δείξω και αυτό το "άλλο" και να τους αφήσω να διαλέξουν. Και ας μου μιλήσουν μετά για ευτυχία και πως αυτοί την εννοούν. Και έγινα 20, αλλά δυστυχώς για κάποιους δεν έγινα φυτό. Αποφάσισα να ψάχνω ό,τι μου πλασάρουν για σωστό και να μαθαίνω πολλά για να αποκτήσω δική μου άποψη. Και μετά με τρόμαξαν. Με τρόμαξαν πολύ γιατί με κάποιον τρόπο με έβαζαν να διαλέξω: ή υποταγή ή ξύλο. Δε με κάνουν να πιστεύω σε δημοκρατία όταν με το που ανοίγω το στόμα με κυνηγάνε με ένα δακρυγόνο και με τρομοκρατούν. Και αυτό έχει δύο αποτελέσματα : ή φοβάσαι και μένεις σπίτι τρώγοντας τη φόλα ή γεμίζεις οργή.


Το ομολογώ. Στην αρχή πέτυχαν το πρώτο. Τρόμαξα. Παραλίγο να γίνω ένα με ό,τι πριν κατηγορούσα. Μόνοι τους όμως έσκαψαν το λάκκο τους. Χρειαζόταν ένα γερό χαστούκι για να ξυπνήσω. Και να το. Λυπάμαι αγαπητοί μου αλλά θα με βρείτε πάλι απέναντί σας. Είμαι μόνο 1,70 και 55 κιλά. Δεν έχετε ιδέα τι μπορώ να κάνω όμως.

Saturday, November 28, 2015