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Notre-Dame-Des-Landes, France: Call for bids on the ZAD “To build a future without an aeroport”

House Occupation News -

Resumption of public works 30th and 31st January 2016

Herein-below the list of proposed lots, updated 25th December

The “steering committee for a future without an aeroport” launch a call for bids to start the public works (which never ceased from our side) on the ZAD the 30th and 31st January 2016, just after the confectioners’ truce.

This call for bids is addressed to everyone who participated in the struggle from within the area and beyond, whether organised in committees or groups of friends. It is designed to reinforce the collective, material, agricultural, defensive and festive structures that exist on the ZAD of Notre Dames des Landes. It consists of diverse projects, adapted to all different tastes and all bodies of work. The construction should take place, or at least be well under way, the 30th and 31st January 2016.

These public works will continue on the ZAD all year long. Each committee or enterprising individual is invited to take on the lot that they wish and will be put into contact for the relevant members of the « steering committee for a future without an aeroport ». Each committee or group responsible for a project will be invited at that moment to team up the place, path, home or activity concerned on the ZAD, with a place of their choice in their village or area, so that the exchanges continue far beyond the weekend.

As there will be no aeroport, this appeal replaces and cancels that which was formulated by the prefecture at the end of October, and responds in that way to the threats of the government to come and effectuate their own damaging aeroport works, and other police operations.

The complete list of proposals is available on zad.nadir.org. All applications with be taken into consideration. The dossiers should be send to the steering committee before the 10th January ; appeldoffreszad(at)riseup.net

For all inquiries about the conditions, use the same contact details.

Below is a list of the lots, the complete list with the list of signatures

Lot n°1 : clearing and installing fences, the Cow Group, Bellevue

Lot n°2 :renovating the showers and collective spaces, Wardine

Lot n°3 : clearing the brambles from the walls of an old barn, Sylvie and Marcel, Liminbout

Lot n°4 : upkeep of hedges planted in 2013 in the 24ha collectively planted

Lot n°5 : installing fences, Sheep Group, Rosier

Lot n°6 : constructing a dry place for storage and meetings, Medicinal Plant Group, Rouge et Noir field

Lot n°7 : re-opening an entrance to a field and clearing a pathway, 100 Noms

Lot n°8 : building a collective climbing wall, La Grée

Lot n°9 : interior modification of the ’Q de Plomb’, Liminbout

Lot n°10 : creating a mezzanine of 20m², Fosses Noires.

Lot n°11 : re-creating a footpath Le Tertre – La Freuzière – St Jean du Tertre

Lot n°12 : creating a mezzanine, electrical repairs and renovation a collective bathroom, Domaine libéré.

Lot n°13 : making a plant nursery for chestnuts trees, destined to be planted on the ZAD in the winter 2016-2017, Reclaim the Fields (this lot will take place elsewhere, not on the ZAD)

Lot n°14 : signposting the entranceways to the ZAD,

Lot n°15 : putting up a greenhouse (polytunnel), Rouge et Noire field

Lot n°16 : interior modification of the meeting room by COPAIN, Bellevue

Lot n°17 : sheep hangar by COPAIN, Rosier

Lot n°18 : works for the conserve place and transformation workshop, Noe Verte

Lot n°19 : building a dome greenhouse, the arboretum field

To reply to this call for bids or for all queries concerning it; appeldoffreszad [at] riseup [dot] net

Signatories : COPAIN, ADECA, Naturalistes en lutte, ACIPA, Sème ta ZAD, Q de Plomb , Collectif des Ecologistes Libres et Autonomes, La grange antiTHT et antinucléaire de Montabot, comité soutien St Herblain/Indre, Comité Anti Aéroport de la Chapelle sur Erdre (CAAC), collectif Bon pied bon oeil, Parti de Gauche, EELV.

This call for bids is supported by the agreed basis established by the movement for the future of the ZAD.

As there will be no aeroport…

We defend this place and intermingle here in our many different ways. We want to take care of the woodlands, its inhabitants, its diversity, its flora and fauna and we plan to stay.

Once the aeroport project is abandoned, we ask;

1- That the inhabitants, proprietors and tenants that were subject to an expropriation or eviction procedure can stay on the zone and reclaim their rights.

2- That the farmers in the struggle affected, having refused to fold when faced by AGO-VINCI, can freely cultivate the land that they currently have use of, reclaim their rights and continue their activities in good conditions.

3- That the new inhabitants who came to occupy the ZAD to take part in the struggle can stay on the zone. That that which has been built since 2007 in the occupation movement in terms of atypical agricultural experimentation, self-built or light homes and accommodation (cabins, caravans, yurts etc), ways of life and struggle, can be maintained and continued.

4- That the land redistributed each year by the chamber of agriculture for AGO-VINCI under the form of indeterminate leases be taken on by an entity from the movement in the struggle which assembles all its elements. That it be therefore the anti-aeroport movement and not the customary institutions that determine the usage of these lands.

5- That these lands go towards new agricultural and non-agricultural institutions, official or alternative and not to extensions.

6- That this basis becomes a reality by our collective determination. And we pay attention together to resolve the possible conflicts linked to their being put into place.

We are already seeding and building a future without an aeroport with diversity and cohesion. It’s up to us all, from today, to make it flourish and to defend it.

The goal of the six points mentioned above is to put some necessary common bases into place to project the future of the ZAD once the aeroport project is definitively abandoned.

They were discussed by a regular assembly which had as its objective to think about the future of the land once the project is abandoned. It is an assembly that brings together people from different parts of the struggle. This is a long-debated text, both in assemblies and in different organisational spaces within the movement.

[From zad.nadir.org (in French), December 27th]

Geneva, Switzerland: Burying the airport of Notre-Dame-Des-Landes

House Occupation News -

In these days of celebrations, we wanted to also extend our wishes to the French government. Death wishes where the Notre-Dame-Des-Landes project is buried once and for all.

Faced with the growing ZAD eviction threats, a small team of artist-apprentices in the night of December 25th to 26th went to decorate the French consulate in Geneva, to thereby also mark down the resistance in Switzerland.

Since 2008, the prospective airport land has been occupied by several hundred inhabitants. Thousands of people line the streets in every support demonstration. Hundreds of defence committees exist in France and elsewhere. But the French government, with [Manuel] Valls leading, insists on passing the project by force, ignoring popular request demanding the airport’s abandonment.

Nevertheless we are determined and the airport won’t happen. The resistance is organising, in Switzerland as in Nantes, like everywhere opposing any projects aimed at perpetuating an alienating and iniquitous capitalist system. And if they use force, we, the militants, will reduplicate creativity.

So go on then, Merry Christmas and choke yourself in your caviare.

PS: More information about Notre-Dame-Des-Landes, the call-out for decentralised actions on January 16th and eviction threats on zad.nadir.org.

[From Contra Info via Renverse.ch]

Lawsuit of Teen Mauled by K-9 Exposes Culture of Police Brutality

Revolution News -

A Florida mother called the police over fears that her son was suicidal, a cop came to her house and then sicced his K-9 dog on the 18 year old leaving him mauled and scarred. As suspected in the fatal shooting that took the life of 12yr old Tamir Rice, before the North Fork Police Officer Read More

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Squatters occupy Royal Mint site to protest against homelessness

The Guardian | Protest -

Group takes over site where British coins were manufactured to highlight how empty buildings could provide shelter for rough sleepers

Squatters have occupied part of the former Royal Mint building opposite the Tower of London to protest against issues including climate change, homelessness and the widening gap between rich and poor.

The activists, who comprise various groups from across the capital, unfurled banners on Tuesday that read “system change not climate change” and “104,000 homeless children at Christmas”, as they took over part of the grade II-listed Johnson Smirke building, which was built in 1807.

Related: 2015 in housing: 12 months of growing crisis

Related: Not your average homeless hostel: inside Neville and Giggs' hotel of hope

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Climate activists can learn a lot from Black Lives Matter

Waging Nonviolence -

by Kate Aronoff

(Twitter / Eli Gerzon)

Yesterday afternoon, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty told a cramped room of reporters that no officers would be tried for the killing of Tamir Rice. The announcement came just over a year after the 12-year-old was gunned down by police for waving around a toy rifle in a Cleveland park. Within two seconds of arriving at the scene, officer Timothy Loehmann had fired two very real bullets at Rice — including the one that killed him.

Calling Rice’s death a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day,” McGinty spent several minutes laying out the ways in which the child should have known better than to play in a park while being black. It was “indisputable,” he said, “that Tamir was drawing a gun from his waist.” McGinty added that the boy’s “size made him look much older” and that he “had been warned that his pellet gun might get him into trouble that day.”

Before the press conference was over, Twitter had issued its own verdict. One of the most popular (and representative) came from “Selma” filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who posted a photo of Tamir smiling in a restaurant with a one-word caption: “Innocent.”

As the movement for black lives has pointed out over the last year, the fact that police can kill a 12-year-old boy without impunity is grounds for moral outrage and disobedience. Organizers are already channeling that outrage into protests in Ohio, New York and elsewhere. The non-indictments of the officers that killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner drove thousands into the streets last year. The rallying cry Black Lives Matter was birthed in similar environs two years prior, when George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder after shooting Trayvon Martin dead on a sleepy Sanford, Florida street. Continued police shootings around the country have prompted further escalation, with protesters moving to shut down business as usual in shopping malls, airports and highways from coast to coast, most recently in a series of actions known as BlackXMas.

These efforts have catapulted a conversation about police brutality and systemic racism into the mainstream. Sixty percent of Americans — compared with just 43 percent the year before — now believe that black Americans’ fight for equal rights isn’t over. The movement has also racked up a string of legal and political victories, including California Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to ban the use of grand juries in cases of excessive police force.

Central to the movement’s success has been its ability to outline the appropriate public response to killings and non-indictments. On top is a call for empathy, with the families of victims and the countless others who have experienced similar losses.

Alongside it is a sense of justified anger. Nearing 2016, law enforcement’s ability to kill unarmed children and walk free isn’t shocking. As Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote of Rice’s case last year, “Convicting an officer of murder effectively requires an act of telepathy.” The anger that the movement for black lives has articulated, then, is not for specific incidents or errant prosecutors; it’s for a system that was designed to fail large chunks of the people living in it. Events like Monday’s non-indictment are reminders to keep fighting.

Samaira Rice, Tamir’s mother, said as much in her statement on the grand jury’s decision: “I don’t want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy or his name be ignored. We will continue to fight for justice for him, and for all the families who must live with the pain that we live with.”

The facts of her son’s case were all part of the discussion Monday — no less so than among legal analysts — but they served mostly to bolster the movement’s larger narrative that “the whole damn system is guilty as hell,” and shutting down business as usual is the only way to change it.

Of the many lessons the climate movement can draw from the one for black lives, this might be the most valuable. Building on a scaffolding erected by Al Gore and his ilk, mainstream climate activists have for years billed their battle as one for the truth, believing that if they tell the truth, the people (and the politicians) will follow. But faced with disappointments like the Paris Agreement, more environmentalists are coming to realize what many organizers in the movement for black lives already knew: that changing anything means building a big, brash movement. And doing that means talking about people, not statistics.

To be fair, climate denial is a colossal problem. There are still plenty of truths to be told. The GOP’s party line is to disagree with 97 percent of scientists, and its 2016 hopefuls range from quiet skeptics to dues-paying members of the Flat Earth Society. A year-long investigation by Inside Climate News revealed that ExxonMobil funded cutting-edge research into climate change starting in the 1970s, only to spend millions covering up its findings over the next 40 years. Republican obstinacy provided an easy excuse for U.S. negotiators to excise the Paris Agreement’s few binding sections, on the grounds that any agreement that had to pass through a GOP-controlled Congress would be dead on arrival at American shores.

Only sheer stupidity, the argument goes, could obscure the links between devastating floods in the United Kingdom, a nearly 70 degree Christmas in New York and the impotence of the climate deal reached in Paris a few weeks back. “If only they knew better,” goes the thinking of mainstream climate activists.

Content explaining how stupid Republicans are on climate is its own renewable resource — just look at the climate change tab of any major progressive news outlet. A cottage industry has cropped up to generate rapid-fire fact-checks on Republican presidential debates and just about anything Donald Trump says.

But what good does caring about the truth really do? Trump’s resilience against reality is a case in point. As journalist Paul Waldman recently explained, “Not only does [Trump] refuse to be held to any standard of truth, he refuses to act ashamed when he gets caught in a lie, or even grant that he might have been mistaken. And his supporters go right along — if Donald says it, it’s true, and no bunch of media jerks are going to tell them otherwise.” For Trump supporters, facts are irrelevant. The same might well be said of many Americans — not because they’re ill-informed, but because stories do more work than a slideshow ever can. And most people generally don’t like being called stupid. Trump and the climate deniers are telling one story, and the media jerks another. Movements have to up-end them both.

As the movement for black lives already understands, dismantling racism is not about proving racists wrong. Climate change will not be solved by convincing climate deniers of their own idiocy. Each are about power and affecting near-tectonic shifts in national values and priorities: Whose lives matter? Who controls our future? What does security mean amidst rising tides, and who deserves it?

The point here is not to draw a hokey analytic comparison between the movement for black lives and the one against climate change. For one, the links between climate and racial justice aren’t abstract. Reducing that relationship to “links” at all belies how deeply interwoven the two really are. It was Cleveland’s polluted Cuyahoga River, after all, which sparked national outrage when it caught fire one June morning in 1969 — a scandal that led to both the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, some of this country’s longest-running fights against pollution and extractive industry have taken root in the communities of color that are first to feel their worst impacts. It’s no secret, either, that the nations currently feeling the blunt force of climate change tend to be poorer and browner than the ones that contributed most to it.

These connections aren’t just facts. They’re lived reality. Necessarily, the movement for black lives has always been a struggle for life and death. The climate fight — for many — is no different. As protesters respond to yesterday’s grand jury decision, environmentalists should be taking notes and joining in.

The millennials must keep up the pressure following the Paris climate deal | Finn Harries

The Guardian | Protest -

My generation has a responsibility to find practical solutions to the environmental problems we have inherited and ensure politicians honour their promises

I was 15, sitting on a London tube headed for the Houses of Parliament with my mum, when she leant forward and warned me that she might be about to get arrested. It was 2009 and we were on our way to a climate change protest she had helped to organise.

Together with a group of friends - all women - she had co-founded an environmental lobbying group to demand that the government take urgent action on climate change in the run-up the Copenhagen UN climate talks.

Related: YouTube film-maker Finn Harries: my generation must save the planet #groundup

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Bosnia: Workers in Banja Luka Protest Against New Labour Law

Revolution News -

Workers clashed with the police in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, protesting a  new Labour law. Around 5.000 workers were present at the height of the protests. Protests were held in front of the Parliament building of Republika Srpska (RS), an autonomous Serb entity of BiH, and clashes started when Prime Minister of RS Zeljka Cvijanovic refused Read More

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No Charges for Officers who Shot and Killed 12yr old Tamir Rice

Revolution News -

Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced today that the Grand Jury deliberating the conduct of the two officers involved in the shooting death of Tamir Rice has decided not to indict the officers on any charges. 12-year-old Tamir Rice was gunned down in a city park on Nov. 22 during an interaction that lasted 2 seconds. He was playing with Read More

The post No Charges for Officers who Shot and Killed 12yr old Tamir Rice appeared first on revolution-news.com.

Racist Harasses Black Photojournalist & Anti-Fracking Grandparents at Rex Energy Protest

Revolution News -

A shockingly racist incident occurred in Butler, PA during a peaceful protest against the Rex Energy company. Videographer Tom Jefferson described the incident on his Youtube channel: I was photographing a peaceful protest aimed at Rex Energy in Mars, Pa, At one point during the day a worker showed up. He started by insulting the protesters. Then he turned Read More

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What Banksy did next: five fresh ideas for the street art agitator in 2016

The Guardian | Protest -

It’s been a busy 2015 for Banksy, who opened his own theme park and intervened in Europe’s refugee crisis. Here’s how he should wield his spraycan next year

It’s been quite the year for every council worker’s favourite stencil owner. From his tour of Gaza to bringing Steve Jobs to Calais’s largest refugee camp, Banksy has highlighted the politics of many of 2015’s most troubled regions. Where he goes next is anyone’s guess. Surely it can’t be long until he’s asked to join Geri Halliwell in the hallowed corridors of the UN as a goodwill ambassador.

The year started in earnest with that February tour to Palestine, when Banksy followed up his 2005 paintings on the West Bank barrier wall with a portrait of the weeping goddess Niobe on the door of bombed-out resident Rabie Darduna – all that was left of his house after it was hit by Israeli munitions last year. Unfortunately, just a few months later it emerged that Darduna had been duped into selling the door for just 700 shekels – about £120. After all, the art market isn’t exactly known for its ethics.

Related: Banksy's Dismaland: 'a theme park unsuitable for children' – in pictures

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Mexico: Families of Ayotzinapa Students March for 15 Month Anniversary of Disappearance

Revolution News -

Hundreds of people marched with families of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa in Mexico City on December 26 to commemorate the 15th month anniversary since the students were forcibly disappeared. Protesters joined the parents peaceful march to the Guadalupe Basilica where they attended a mass in memory of the 43 students who were disappeared in Read More

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Lost Refugee Cat Seeks Family After Separation in Lesvos

Revolution News -

Do you recognize this cat? He is lost. He landed on the north shore of Lesvos Island towards Skala Sykamenia, Greece at the beginning of November with his family but he got scared and ran away. We would like to try and reunite Dias with his family. They brought him very far and likely had Read More

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Ohio: Team Recovery, Street Awareness Against Addiction

Revolution News -

Toledo Ohio – For the second time in one week people recovering from heroin addiction joined by the codependent in their community have taken their message to the streets. Their message was clear…Fuck Heroin! Standing in the cold rain their crowd quickly grew from 7 people to an estimated 60 people. With what seems to Read More

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Kurdish Woman’s Address to Turkish Citizens

Revolution News -

Turkey – A Kurdish woman pleads to the Turkish citizens, asking them not to turn their backs while Kurds are being killed by the Turkish government. The AKP government has declared a war on Kurdish people since last summer, imposing days-long curfews and holding military operations in many pre-dominantly Kurdish cities. 1.3 million citizens have Read More

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Stratfor, Where’s My Truck?

Revolution News -

by Douglas Lucas Thanks to his friend at the intelligence firm Stratfor, a director for Dell’s fulfillment operations reaped information from government surveillance for the private purpose of hunting down his stolen truck. The previously unreported story is revealed in internal Stratfor emails obtained by WikiLeaks. In an investigative partnership with the megaleak publisher, Revolution Read More

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Tony Abbott defends threatened statue of 'father of apartheid' Cecil Rhodes

The Guardian | Protest -

In an email to a British newspaper, the former Australian prime minister and Rhodes scholar criticises a campaign at Oxford accusing Rhodes of racism

Tony Abbott has defended a statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University as a student-driven campaign gains momentum to have it taken down because of the man’s racist past.

Students have already caused a plaque dedicated to Cecil Rhodes, accused of being “the father of apartheid”, to be taken down and the university is consulting on whether to remove the statue from Oriel college as well.

Related: The Guardian view on Cecil Rhodes’s legacy: the empire strikes back – good | Editorial

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Black Lives Matter Disrupt Status Quo in 6 Cities For #BlackXmas

Revolution News -

The MOA protest was a decoy according to Black Lives Matter MLPS, and the real plan was to shut down the light rail and the airport. At least six different cities held #BlackXmas actions today, including the planned decoy Mall of America protest in Minneapolis, MN. In Minneapolis, the biggest mall in the country, the Read More

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The 60s can’t save us, nor can ‘The Man in the High Castle’

Waging Nonviolence -

by Max Zahn

A screen shot from “The Man in the High Castle.” (Amazon)

When ashes fall from the sky in the first episode of “The Man in the High Castle,” a new television series from Amazon, the viewer can’t help but mistake them for snowflakes. They flutter to the ground beside a windy stretch of road in America’s Midwestern plains, gradually amassing into a white fog, just as a winter storm might.

Ashes, snowflakes. The resemblance is uncanny — the connotations, of course, wildly disparate. The mistake is unavoidable as the audience struggles to make sense of this work of alternative history, equal parts ambition and cheap thrill, based on the novel of the same name by Phillip K. Dick set two decades after Japan and Germany have defeated the United States in World War II, the latter nation becoming a fascist vassal split between the victors. Baseball, billboards, and burgers remain, yet so too, it seems at first, do safe assumptions about snowflakes. If it quacks like America and walks like America, is it still America? “The most chilling thing about the series,” writes Todd VanDer Werff of Vox, “isn’t how different [America] is, but how similar.”

What’s most haunting about the resemblance is how the characters themselves are seduced by it, grasping ever less tightly to the America they once knew — or, in the case of the younger characters, never knew. For them, it doesn’t matter whether the fog comprises ashes or snowflakes; the point is that it’s obscuring their view. The audience has the luxury of comparing the America on screen to the one off it. In the characters’ case, preserving the distinction is a feat of memory; a delicate balance between the resistance born of nostalgia and the tacit acceptance that comes from stringing days together, building a new life.

“The Man in the High Castle” is, therefore, a show about remembering. For the most part, the older characters, many of whom fought in the war 20 years prior, simply choose not to. They must reconcile themselves to their reality, no matter how abhorrent. But the young characters, like Joe Blake, a 20-something Nazi secret agent, and his soon-to-be love interest, Juliana Crane, a member of a small but committed resistance movement, are driven by curiosity about the country that America once was. They’re nostalgic for a time they never knew, and they lack the shame in having lost it.

The show goes out of its way to establish this stark generational divide, so much so that, for those on the left, the dynamic feels reminiscent of the contemporary relationship between the 1960s generation — many of whom fought valiantly against but, ultimately, capitulated to neoliberalism — and millennial activists who look back nostalgically on that post-WWII era of high union density and low wealth inequality. Like Juliana and Joe, young activists today — myself among them — cannot viscerally feel the absence of that imagined past. Their nostalgia is purely intellectual, even if it must willfully ignore the comparatively worse social conditions for women and people of color. Many activists nevertheless derive hope from their knowledge of a time that better aligns with their desired role of government. Hence all of the mythology on the American left around that Edenic phenomenon called the 60s. The yearning, at bottom, comes from disappointment with the status quo.

As those ashes start to fall, we find ourselves riding along with Joe on an assignment driving a truck cross-country. After suffering a flat tire, Joe asks a middle-aged, avuncular highway patrol officer for assistance. Joe points to a tattoo on the officer’s arm, depicting a flower overlaid by a dagger. “A soldier so fierce he’d kill a rose,” the officer explains. “That was you?” Joe asks. “Oh, a long time ago,” the officer responds. “We lost the war, didn’t we? Now I can’t even remember what we were fighting for.”

Neither can Joe, of course. He was a baby during the war. Having grown up as a member of the Nazi youth and having joined the SS after a brief stint working in a factory, he’s never even left New York. His father, he tells the officer, fought in the war as well. Joe, like the viewer, cannot recognize the ashes. “What is that?” he wonders aloud. “Oh, it’s the hospital,” the officer nonchalantly replies. “Tuesdays they burn cripples, the terminally ill … those [who] drag on the state.” Nary a shudder accompanies the statement — things are the way they are.

“You have a safe trip, son,” the officer says. “Make your old man proud now.” Honoring the older generation, at least for the officer, means acclimating as best you can. It is akin to the stereotypical sell-out ex-hippie wishing a young activist luck on a corporate job interview.

Earlier in the episode, while posing as a prospective member of the resistance in order to infiltrate it, Joe must convince its elder leader that he isn’t a spy. “I want my country back,” he says. “You never had it,” the resistance leader retorts. “You were still sucking your thumb when [the Germans] dropped the [atom] bomb” that won the war. Joe responds: “My father told me what it was like … He said every man was free … I don’t have any buddies who died in the war. I don’t know what freedom is … I’m here because I want to do the right thing.” Though the hollow words of an infiltrator, Joe’s lofty declarations mirror the rallying cry of a young resistance member, Randall, a few episodes later, who says, “Evil triumphs only when good men do nothing.”

Their nostalgia lacks the specificity to be visceral; it’s abstract, saccharine. They miss sights they’ve never seen, freedoms they’ve never enjoyed. That yearning leads the young revolutionaries toward conspicuously high-minded rhetoric and an ineffective course of action. The viewer learns about the resistance’s activities through Juliana Crane, whose younger sister Trudy, unbeknownst to Juliana, has been a member of the resistance for some time. In the first episode, Trudy turns over a subversive and illicit film to Juliana, asking that she make sure it get delivered to a member of the resistance’s East Coast affiliate. Moments later, Trudy is caught and killed by the state’s secret police. Juliana inherits the task. The delivery of these films, it soon becomes clear, is the nationwide resistance’s primary objective. It’s hard to fathom, though, how the spreading of the films could plausibly spur an insurrection strong enough to overcome the German and Japanese military regimes. Writing in Verge, Adi Robertson aptly points out how the members of the resistance “spend so much time and money acquiring films that they start feeling like bootleg video distributors who moonlight as dissidents.”

The films, carefully doctored to mimic newsreels, depict World War II as if the United States had in fact won. They therefore supply the detailed vision of a pre-fascist America that the show’s young generation never had and that the older one has forgotten. Using the films as its primary means to spark dissent, the show’s resistance movement recapitulates the tactic most commonly associated with America’s hippie generation: experimental art intended to raise public consciousness. Intoxicated by how good it feels to “see” a better alternative, the show’s activists think the mere spreading of that revelation is all that’s required of them.

“The Man in the High Castle” thus reimagines the rock n’ roll revolution, but shifts the experimental art from an audio to a visual medium, one better fit for the widely accessible YouTube-dominated media landscape of today than the expensive film reel technologies of the 1960s. You have to wonder, even if the films prove as potent as the resistance hopes, whether the movies can possibly be distributed en masse at a time when most people simply didn’t own the hardware necessary to watch them at home.

But the show’s depiction of the resistance reflects an even deeper fallacy. The successes and failures of the 1960s didn’t spring from (predominantly white) kids listening to the Grateful Dead or taking LSD. That’s just the popular narrative too-often told. As the truer story goes, the years of organizing on the part of both the civil rights and antiwar movements — coupled with increasingly receptive media coverage — built power that couldn’t be ignored, at least until the right prevailed and Reaganism began in earnest. So “The Man in the High Castle” ends up looking like a strange projection of Americans’ most terrifying fears of Nazi control combined with our most glamorous understandings of 60s insurrection. Alternative history, after all, is in the eye of the rememberer. Putting the moral clarity of 1940s anti-fascism together with the romantic protests of the 1960s seems like an ex-hippie’s yearning for a more straightforward political landscape and a set of youngsters more willing to inhale the accepted wisdom of a bygone era.

The show’s prescription doesn’t match the present-day disease — or even its symptoms. On the other hand, Dick’s novel, which was released in 1963, spoke directly to its historical moment, chronicling the influence not of a mysterious underground film but of a work of popular fiction called “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy,” which depicts the U.S. winning World War II as a result of Italy’s betraying the Axis powers and a joint British-Russian military force conquering Berlin. As quasi-revolutionary music topped the charts, Dick exposed how popular art’s potential to spark massive policy change depends on the public institutions built to enact its demands. In the case of his hypothetical Nazi state, prospects were bleak.

Now those same songs sell Hummers and iPhones. The revelatory individualism harnessed by the left in the 1960s has been co-opted by consumer culture’s celebration of selfhood and a government made ever more vulnerable to corporate influence. If any lesson can be gleaned from this show, it’s that a resistance, quite literally, needs a clear vision. But instead of looking forward for this better alternative, the show’s characters look back. What they see, again quite literally, is a projection — and one of their deepest yearnings. Similarly, today’s young activists don’t miss the 60s; they daily mourn the 2015 they don’t have.

With Trump bringing fascism, or at least its facsimile, into the national conversation with plans for a Muslim registry, a border wall and mass deportation, the gauntlet has been thrown. The left cannot respond by projecting its bygone heyday onto an unwieldy present. Instead of the individually-experienced revelation inspired by the films distributed by the show’s resistance movement or the hallucinogens handed out by 60s dissidents, the left could use a clearer collective idea of the world it wants. And we can no longer find it by looking back.

These days there’s no shortage of far-right blathering to make lefties feel superior or CNN documentaries on the 60s to make them feel nostalgic. But moral high ground and indulgent memories do not make a social movement. In fact, if neoliberalism’s rightward shift continues, then the left’s wistful desire for a return to moral clarity could take the form of an all-too-real rolling back of even its most basic victories. Circumstances probably won’t get as bad as those depicted in this show, but with Trump’s meteoric rise, suddenly anything seems possible. Since intergenerational strife pervades “The Man in the High Castle,” it’s fitting that the response the show inspires is perhaps the most tired yet prescient advice of all: Be careful what you wish for.

Maina Kiai: We are living in an age of protest

The Guardian | Protest -

The UN’s special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association believes there is a crisis of governance and the poor and marginalised are expressing themselves on the streets

Maina Kiai is tired. It’s been a long year for the UN special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and he tells me he’s looking forward to the end of the year.

Kiai has spent his life fighting injustice. From facing down repressive politicians in his home country of Kenya to touring the world to document human rights abuses. But the past 12 months have been almost too much for the veteran activist.

If someone is suffering, we all lose our dignity

Related: The unarmed civilians bringing peace to South Sudan

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About 2,000 Bosnian’s Protest Increasing Air Pollution in Lukavac

Revolution News -

Almost 2,000 citizens protested against air pollution in Lukavac, northeast Bosnia and Herzegovina. Protesters held signs that read: ‘we are privileged, we can see the stuff we breathe’, ‘how much are children’s lungs worth?’, ‘can I have some clean air for my grandchildren?’, while some had plastic bags filled with ‘clean air’. Citizens demand industrial polluters abide Read More

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