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The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited by Louisa Lim – review

The Guardian | Protest -

Lim’s powerful book explores how the ‘act of excising the collective memory’ of the massacre that took place on 4 June 1989 has been achieved

Journalist Louisa Lim conducted a small survey of Beijing students and found that out of 100 only 15 recognised Jeff Widener’s “Tank Man” photo, the celebrated image of the Tiananmen Square massacre, instantly recognised around the world. Her powerful book explores how “this act of excising the collective memory” has been achieved. No one now knows exactly how many died on 4 June 1989 in the square that has been at the political heart of China since the 15th century. The authorities say 241; the real figure is probably 10 times that number. Lim has talked to soldiers, students and the relatives of those who were killed to show both the horror of what happened and how successful the Chinese state has been at expunging the event from the national consciousness. Lim’s important book offers a chilling vision of an Orwellian society: “Memory is dangerous in a country that was built to function on national amnesia.” Young Chinese are not interested now in what happened, but Lim clings to the hope that, in the words of author Lu Xun: “Lies written in ink can never disguise facts written in blood.”

• To order The People’s Republic of Amnesia for £15.99 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.

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Heathrow hints it may oppose ban on night flights as price for third runway

The Guardian | Protest -

Chief executive says airport needs to discuss Davies commission requirements, including outlawing fourth runway, with government

Heathrow is to press the government to loosen the conditions attached to a third runway going ahead, with the airport reluctant to accept a proposed ban on night flights or legislation against further expansion.

Its chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said he was confident Heathrow would be given the green light to expand and that “it wouldn’t make sense” for the prime minister, David Cameron, to oppose a new runway now.

Related: Villagers turn to civil disobedience in battle against third runway at Heathrow

Related: Heathrow third runway recommended in report on airport capacity

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France approves 'Big Brother' surveillance powers despite UN concern

The Guardian | Protest -

UN says powers given to intelligence agencies, which include phone-tapping and computer-hacking, are ‘excessively broad’ and intrusive

France’s highest authority on constitutional matters has approved a controversial bill that gives the state sweeping new powers to spy on citizens.

The constitutional council made only minor tweaks to the legislation, which human rights and privacy campaigners, as well as the United Nations, have described as paving the way for “very intrusive” surveillance and state-approved eavesdropping and computer-hacking.

Related: France passes new surveillance law in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack

Related: Widow of Charlie Hebdo cartoonist brings legal action over ‘security failings’

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London: Help us rebuild the People’s Regeneration Show Home!

House Occupation News -

New occupation and community-led refurbishment will highlight that ‘regeneration’ doesn’t need to be another word for ‘social cleansing.’ Come down now and help make it happen! [Previous stories here]

Good morning London! As most of you started your work days today, dozens of us began to repair the damage inflicted by Annington Properties to one of their buildings – one of our homes – on the Sweets Way Estate.

Today we start work on the ‘People’s Regeneration Show Home’ at 153 Sweets Way (N20 0NX). Over the next 72 hours we will demonstrate that a group of committed and skilled volunteers, with (almost) no money between us, can turn a smashed-up shell of a building, into a lovely family home. And all without the ‘help’ of either the council or private developers.

Can you come down and help us make it happen? Families are welcome!

Shortly after the bulk of the evictions began on Sweets Way, Annington sent in contractors to make the houses unliveable while they prepared to demolish them and build luxury flats in their place. Rather than letting us stay in these homes and avoiding the inhumane evictions they put so many of us through, they paid workers to break windows, strip piping, knock holes in the roofs and smash up the porcelain of dozens and dozens of otherwise-liveable family homes.

The kitchen of the People’s Regeneration Show Home, after Annington ripped it apart, but before we started refurbishing it.

This morning we started the process of putting one of those homes back together to shine a light on the regeneration racket. Across London, councils and developers work hand-in-glove to argue that it is impossible to maintain – or to build new homes – that people can truly afford to live in. Sometimes they blame austerity, sometimes they blame the conditions of the buildings or unseen market forces, but the result is always the same: private development is the only way forward.

But we’re not having it! Our homes were never in need of a refurb until Annington ripped them apart, and even if they had been, we won’t accept that demolition was ever the only choice. So we’re putting another option on the table: People’s regeneration.

We’re fixing plaster board, replacing flooring, building cabinets, reinstalling plumbing and collecting furniture to make this possible. Can you come join us this weekend?

We’re still a relatively small group, with a very short window of time to make this happen. If you can come get involved, spread the word, contribute some furniture or building supplies, you will help make the case that what we are doing is a viable alternative to the brutal kind of ‘regeneration’ London has come to know!

We hope that this will spread. London has countless homes and whole estates that have been left to get run-down, which a bit of collective action could easily make liveable again.

Regeneration doesn’t have to be a horrendously expensive code word for social cleansing; it can be a collective, sustainable and affordable way for people to come together and improve their homes and their community. We’re just highlighting something communities across London can do wherever they are, to make sure the homes they need are there for those who need them.

So come get involved! Help make it happen on our estate and then take the lessons back to your own! The Councils and developers don’t give a toss about our communities or our homes, so let’s do what is needed to hold on to, create and rebuild the places and spaces that matter to us!

Show up at 153 Sweets Way any time this weekend and get stuck in! We can make this happen!

Get the latest from @SweetsWayN20 / #SWShowHome

https://sweetswayresists.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/prsh-launch/

Amsterdam: July 25th, demo, the Village of the ADM moves to the city

House Occupation News -

UPDATE: The demo from tomorrow is postponed to another date!

Saturday July 25th 2015, Demonstration, parade starting at 15.00,  De Dokwerker, Jonas Daniel Meijerplein.
We take our village to the city and show who we are and what we do. We live at the ADM for a reason. The fringe- and free-zone freely wandering human being needs a place too. We won’t give up and we’ll show in theatrical form that we are an addition and therefore should stay. Join us and express yourself. This will be epic.

ADM is under threat. The destructive forces of greed, power, big industry and Economic growth have focused their eyes on our little oasis in the Amsterdam Harbor. This little self organized experimental community of more then 120 people is more important then a ship yard which is what the owner wants to change our little village into. Lets keep ADM an autonomous and free.

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ADM, Hornweg 6, 1045AR Amsterdam
https://adm.amsterdam/

source: https://adm.amsterdam/event/demo-village-adm-moves-city-amsterdam

The Kurds are Crowdfunding a Revolution

Revolution News -

After 134 days of intense fights against ISIS, the Kurdish city of Kobanê is under reconstruction. An international solidarity movement is now using crowdfunding as a tool to support of the so-called ’Rojava Revolution’. Initiatives to rebuild Kobanê, a secular progressive, and ecologically sound society, is emerging from international angles. Recently a conference called ‘International Read More

The post The Kurds are Crowdfunding a Revolution appeared first on revolution-news.com.

London: Lewisham and Southwark College occupied, evicted

House Occupation News -

On Sunday 19 July, in the middle of the night and after much planning, a group of around 15 members of the Southwark and Lewisham community including LESOCO (Lewisham and Southwark College) students, occupied the Camberwell campus of LESOCO to resist its closure. They locked the gates and barred the doors, claiming the space for the community and wrenching it from the claws of managers, bureaucrats and the market. The plan was to use the campus for community education and organising and to stop management from clearing the building out by the end of the month. They damaged nothing. They wanted the building kept for further education.

The cops arrived when the alarms went off and the occupiers were told that they could stay as it was a ‘legitimate protest’. However, in the morning when security arrived they attempted to enter the occupied building by jumping over the wall and climbing through a window. This failed due to hasty barricading of a door. That’s when cops and management arrived at the site. A callout was made to supporters to come down and show solidarity and people began arriving in dribs and drabs.

The occupiers were unaware that there was due to be (ironically) a security guards training class at the site that day, (as this class was organised by the job centre not the college they were not aware it was happening.) The tutor of this course said that the class could be re-arranged, and there were 3 other empty LESOCO campuses to use. However, management refused to rearrange this class, so the occupiers offered to share part of a building with them. Management again refused and used this as a pretext for a heavy handed police response. The police now claimed that this was aggravated trespass and bought TSG and dog units to the site, threatening everyone inside with arrest if they did not leave in one hour. The police cut through the locks on the gates and the occupiers decided to leave by jumping over the back fence, rather than being dragged out and into custody by TSG.

The staff have been on strike, the students and community have protested and campaigned, yet management, the councils and the governors have not listened. Direct action became not an option but a necessity. Yet still, even with an occupied campus they would not listen and rather than negotiating with students, staff and members of the community, the management of Lewisham and Southwark College decided to rely on police violence to repress the demands to protect further education in our borough.

https://fightforlsc.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/occupation-management-use-state-violence/

Amstelveen (NL): Island squatted

House Occupation News -

Twenty squatters have been there a week on the Amsteleiland, which is on the edge of Amstelveen and Ouderkek aan de Amstel.Two years ago the people living on the island had to leave to make way for a ‘millionaire’s enclave’ which has never appeared. Developer Marco Krol bought the island in 2009 and planned to build swanky villas, but the plans went awry.
The squatters are planning a BBQ for the neighbourhood.
Source

London: Waiting For Eviction And Them Dirty Bailiffs

House Occupation News -

We may not have otherwise have said – but up until now that is – for the last 8 or so weeks we have been occupying (squatting) 2 commercial properties in the two adjoining North London Boroughs of first Islington and at this time of writing Camden.

The crew moved from Central London following a number of evictions, 41 to be precise, some high profile and others not so.

Possibly, in the fullness of time and indeed with time permitting it may be an idea to recall some of our many experiences, as the sharing of information with others is so important in the modern class struggle, but without compromising our own and others security.

We Fought The Property Developers

We have fought the property developer whilst pressure on social and council housing and its tenants and rampant gentrification march on with the help of the developers many powerful friends, we have fought on for all of seven long months, which if anything seems like an eternity for many a comrade – the court hearings, nothing more than a farce and always a forgone conclusion in favour of the owner/developer – nothing new there then – but still we must fight on each and every front, as you never know?

Now in Camden – Kentish Town To Be Precise.

On Thursday last, we were yet again ordered to vacate our current and latest home by and in the High Court (Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England) following a well presented defence of the occupation, in fact our case was executed and prepared with such precision by our on the spot lay-lawyer, who is exact and accurate – one big thank-you to that comrade.

To The Barricades

During the last few days, we have been erecting in earnest and putting in place ‘the barricades’, so here is another big shout-out of gratitude to another comrade in particular, who has constructed with the help of other crew members the fortifications.

As you can imagine with a little apprehension and with trepidation we anticipate the morning the bailiffs come smashing their way into our home.

ACAB

It would be remiss not to add that in the past members of our crew have been on the receiving end of uncalled for violence and sustained injures from the baffles, whilst the police have been in attendance, standing by and doing just nothing.

So there we are – waiting digging in and standing on the front line almost a week after the court directive, we will update comrades as soon as there are any new developments.

The Former Pizza Express in Kentish Town our Home

Squatter and Homeless Autonomy (SHA)

Amsterdam: Short explanation of all ADM court cases (in 2015)

House Occupation News -

In the most recent court-case (the so-called “kort geding”) the owners demanded urgent eviction of the ADM. Verdict July 13th 2015 [ADM won!]
The so called ‘evidence’ of the owners entailed 2 rental contracts: One was lacking a signature (concerns small part of the ADM land) and the other was lacking a date (concerns ADM water).

The ADM people made clear during the trial on June 29th. that:

  • the plans do not fit within the ‘kettingbeding’, which is a special clause that the city council put in the original sales-contract of the ADM to avoid speculation with the terrain.
  • This “kettingbeding” says that one can only do shipbuilding and /or repairing on the ADM terrain.
  • To allow the activities proposed by the owners (ship dismantling instead of ship building) would increase the value of the ADM whilst the municipality still has the first right to buy.
  • if the plans and intentions were real – to actually have the shipbuilding-hall ready for renting by the 1st of August – then there would be a pile of paper work showing detailed planning, elaborate financial planning and approved licenses / building permits.
  • before the needed permits can be granted, not only does the municipality of Amsterdam need to be clear about their position relating ADM, a detailed investigation of the wild-life on ADM is needed as well as a special permit in relation to the protected plants and animals.

It is now up to the City Council to state their position. How does the municipality choose to treat the financial, cultural and ecological value of the ADM terrain?

Still another “in depth” court case is in progress (the so called ‘bodemprocedure’) in which the owners also demand eviction.
The first hearing will probably be on July 29th. 2015.

More about this will follow in the month to come.

Earlier this year Chidda BV started a court case (also a socalled’kort geding’) against four ADM-ers. Verdict was on March 25th. 2015.

This court case was aimed at gaining access for inspections, viewings and construction.

The judge did not grant their demand:

  • partially because it was judged to be impossible to realise because only four ADM-ers were summoned so others could resist.
  • also the demanded ‘admission without any restrictions’ would be of to high impact on the privacy of the ADM-ers and in the light of the history it is understandable that the ADM people are not accommodating to that on first impulse.

[Explanation: Luske came visiting the ADM in 1998 with a bunch of thugs and an excavator. For this he was convicted in 2002 for attempted manslaughter.]

The heirs of Luske (in other words: Chidda BV and Amstellimmo BV) are making it seem like the ADM-ers do all in their power to obstruct all co-operation.

This is far from the truth: it was Chidda BV who came with extra demands during the negotiation interval (which was ordered by the judge) on top of the ones they originally stated. Nevertheless the ADM people kept the dialogue going and offered proposals to accommodate their wish to be able to do inspections and viewings. It is the owners who aborted this dialogue and asked the judge to rule a verdict.

Finally

It is clear that after a long period of not caring at all about the ADM terrain the owners now try all sorts of things – like different court cases and showing up on the ADM unannounced with an excavator again.

The presented plans are non-specific and constantly changing: from buyers to renters, from housing of immigrants to ship dismantling. All of these plans are not even possible under the contractual restrictions of what is and is not allowed on the ADM, as cstated in what is called the ‘kettingbeding’. As is the first right of the municipality to buy the ADM.

In 2004 the city council litigated up to the highest court to keep the ‘kettingbeding’ in tact. Therefore it is highly unlikely that the municipality of Amsterdam will approve of any of the presented plans. Allowing these will increase the value of ADM which Amsterdam still wants, and has first right, to buy. This added value belongs to the Amsterdam people and not to some real-estate tycoon.

If ever some true plans do occur, that also have the approval of the city council, then things should be done right: for humans, wild-life and even for the tax payer. But most of all for the sake of culture!

https://adm.amsterdam/article/short-explanation-all-court-cases-2015

Organized youth and top-level defections threaten Uganda’s dictatorship

Waging Nonviolence -

by Phil Wilmot

View image | gettyimages.com

After a full day of darting around the congested Ugandan capital city of Kampala to meet with activists, civil society groups and community leaders, I gratefully swung my backpack off my shoulders and tossed it on the table. I sunk my body into the refuge of a few soft cushions and exhaled a deep sigh of resignation. My host eagerly dashed to his television to switch on the evening news, as if the physical, psychological and emotional beatings we absorbed that day had not diverted a single ounce of his energy.

“Haven’t you had enough political talk for today?” I asked him, popping the cap off a much-needed beer. “Don’t you want to rest so we can be ready to do it all again tomorrow?”

“No, Museveni must go,” he promptly replied. “The dictator is not getting any sleep. Why should we?”

He’s right. There’s no possible way President Yoweri Museveni is getting a good night’s rest with his 30-year military regime progressively imploding. When you’re a head of state for that long, no reality beyond lifelong monarchy seems safe. You have waged war upon your own people, you’ve stolen their natural resources, you’ve pillaged neighboring countries, and you’ve manufactured one of the most corrupt systems of governance in modern history. You cannot simply turn over the keys to the state house.

Internal defections cause paranoia

Dictators prefer to have a few allies they can trust, and for many years, Museveni was able to attract quite a number. His economic policies drove the Ugandan populace so deep into poverty that he was able to buy the votes and support of the masses with a mere bar of soap or a cup of water.

These days are different though. Two key long-time allies of the Museveni regime have defected since the last election cycle, causing many to question whether the three-decade ruler has the political infrastructure it takes to shield his power from the encroaching civil society movements.

According to inside sources, such as Museveni’s Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi, even the allegiance of Museveni’s closest kin — such as his wife and son — has become unreliable. However, the dictator was driven into a more severe frenzy in 2013 when General David Sejusa, the then-spy chief of the Ugandan military, decided he had enough after coming across a secret military plot to assassinate himself and other political leaders who had called for investigations into Museveni’s alleged plan to pass power onto his son.

Sejusa’s falling out with Museveni left him exiled in London, where he then established Freedom and Unity Front, a political movement provocatively abbreviated as FU. In December 2014, he returned to Uganda, which was a subject of much excitement for freedom-loving Ugandans, who were seeking a political figure not interested in occupying a high level office — an ambition Sejusa called “foolish … since Museveni has already stolen millions of votes for the upcoming elections.”

As if losing a member of the high command who knows all of the secrets behind his war crimes and political tactics was not enough to startle Museveni, his former prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, announced his intention to campaign for the presidency as the National Resistance Movement, or NRM, ruling party flag-bearer last month. Such intra-party competition is foreign to the history of the big shots in the NRM. Moreover, Mbabazi has been a driving agent of many of the most totalitarian laws passed in recent years, including the Orwellian Phone Tapping Bill and the Public Order Management Act, which renders unapproved conversations between more than three people illegal. Draconian partners are needed in a dictatorship and Museveni has lost the man who historically seemed to be his closest friend.

Youth organizing more strategically

The proverbial moat surrounding the Ugandan dictatorship’s castle is drying up, making it a perfect time for young unemployed people of the nation to launch their own offensive. Nonviolent civil resistance in Uganda is still a young phenomenon. Walk-to-work protests in 2011 pushed astronomically high food and gas prices down temporarily, followed by a successful peaceful campaign to protect Mabira Forest from deforestation by a sugar company later that same year. Teacher strikes have occurred annually to protest low wages in government schools. A few rallies and marches have been on occasion dispersed with tear gas. All of these efforts, however, have lacked continuity.

Police apprehend yellow pigs released by Ugandan youth activists in downtown Kampala on Feb. 16. (Kenneth Kazibwe)

Furthermore, actions in the past year have been mainly symbolic. A group known as the Jobless Brotherhood has been releasing pigs painted yellow to represent the ruling party in strategic locations around the country, often placing a hat that resembles the iconic one worn by Museveni atop the pigs’ heads. Other conglomerates of unemployed youths have organized marathons through Kampala in protest of corruption and life presidency. Until now, these movements have been fragmented, their actions being short-term and somewhat short-sighted. However, with the recent establishment of politically ecumenical groups, such as the Interparty Youth Platform and the No More Campaign, some much-needed synergy is brewing in the world’s demographically youngest nation.

Arrested for criticizing arbitrary arrests

On July 9, former Prime Minister Mbabazi and opposition party leader Kizza Besigye were arrested without substantial cause or charges. With the help of the youth groups, the Democratic Alliance — which consists of leaders of various opposition political parties — convened a press conference the following day to criticize the government for making politically-motivated arbitrary arrests. At this event, seven members were arrested, loaded into police vehicles, and driven from court to court (even beyond the geographic jurisdiction of the alleged crime) until the business day ended, necessitating their detainment. Both male and female activists were stuffed in the same small cell with other suspects at a rural police post.

Four visitors came that evening to deliver food to the detainees (who are not given dinner or breakfast in Uganda). Those visitors were also gathered and thrown in the cell. The following morning, an additional seven visitors were also arrested and thrown behind bars after the police officers on duty felt threatened by their large numbers and fired bullets. Altogether, 18 activists, many of them high-profile figures in civil society, were victimized by police brutality over a single incident.

Youth organizer Daniel Tulibagenyi poses at the press conference he organized to criticize the government for arbitrary arrests, before being arrested himself. (WNV / Daniel Tulibagenyi)

From symbolic one-offs to crisis-generating actions

There is clearly a fear that organized youths present a strong threat to Museveni’s interests. Now that the youths have finally strengthened their internal structures, police have been following them from meeting to meeting, cracking down at will despite the rights to assembly, association and movement guaranteed in Uganda’s constitution — something Museveni has publicly called “just a piece of paper.”

In some areas of the country, farmers who sell their products to multinational corporations aligned with the Museveni government are scheming to withhold their products and labor. Others are advocating for agricultural cooperatives in rural areas to spend a week without sending food to Kampala. Shutdowns of the transportation sector are also being planned. “We need to pin the dictator in a crisis,” noted one youth activist. “We have to present him with a scenario that hits him where it hurts and consequently undermines the assets that support his rule.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Wadulo, a civil society advocate in parliament suggested a different approach. “I think we should explore forgiveness as a tactic. Elections are just around the corner in early 2016, and Museveni is prepared for bloodshed. Is that what we want? Let’s move into the win-win quadrant. Let’s allow him to move out of power peacefully by appealing to his interests.” Wadulo acknowledged that this will necessitate appeals to bodies such as the International Criminal Court for Ugandan stakeholders to handle the terms of his exit from power. “He is a dictator, but he is our dictator,” Wadulo claimed.

“But will he keep the loot of 30 years?” asked Oyaka Makmot, one of my fellow board members at Solidarity Uganda. “Just because Mandela advocated for a flexible form of political forgiveness does not mean that such an approach should be replicated elsewhere in Africa. Reconciliation and healing is not authentic in the absence of justice.” Such comments echo the sentiments of youths throughout the country who are eager to witness an oppressive regime endure some form of payback.

Tilling the soils for war

The elephant in the room, as with many other dictatorships, is the United States’ military interests. Uganda is the key security partner in Sub-Saharan Africa for the superpower with the world’s largest military budget. The Uganda People’s Defence Force has fought proxy wars against the Al-Shabab terrorist entity in Somalia, as well as looted the mineral-rich Congo for raw materials sought by international companies that manufacture electronics and vehicles, among other products. When it comes to U.S. interests south of the Sahara, the U.S. base in Entebbe, Uganda is the jumping-off point. U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Scott DeLisi has maintained a neutral role in Ugandan political matters, though he has failed to recognize the lack of a level playing field for political candidates. As a result, activists have accused him of being complacent with the fact that his government is funding, training and equipping a military that has a terrible human rights record.

Ugandan youths are at the moment discussing a push for a freeze of military support from the United States if Museveni is on the 2016 election ballot, knowing that in the event of election violence or similar political mayhem, Museveni will be quick to turn to the Pentagon for help.

At the same time, however, it would be erroneous to insist that Museveni’s regime is solely insulated by a foreign government. He has invested national funds in his own internal security strategies, arming informal vigilante youth groups with weapons only intended for soldiers. Recent government budgets have seen the line items relating to community policing and crime prevention skyrocket, begging one to question what the country’s not-so-distant future has in store. Uganda is already overridden with armed police in public areas and at private businesses, soldiers on buses, civilian spies, and tear-gas-dispensing machines stationed in public areas. Every aspect of public life is a reminder that Museveni — and Museveni alone — is the man in charge. After all, this is the man who once said, “I own the money in Uganda.” But as we practitioners of strategic nonviolent action know, resources such as money, weapons and sanctions will ultimately prove insufficient.

'He's not wanted': immigration activists to protest Donald Trump at border visit

The Guardian | Protest -

Thousands are expected to meet Trump at airport in Laredo, Texas, and warn his comments could have dire consequences for the Republican party as a whole

Donald Trump will be met by over a thousand protesters when he lands in Texas to visit the US-Mexico border on Thursday, according to the League of United Latin American Citizens (Lulac).

The Republican presidential hopeful has been roundly criticised for a series of slurs on the Latino community and Mexico, and activists say he will face a hostile environment when he arrives in the city of Laredo, which has a 95.6% Hispanic and Latino population.

Related: Donald Trump may have overstated his appeal among Hispanic voters, poll finds

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3 CanVies Defenders declared Innocent of Attack on Police

House Occupation News -

VICTORY. The sentence condemning three young defenders of Can Vies to 3.5 years in prison has been revoked #EfecteCanVies (en español abajo)

Now the Provincial Court of Barcelona has had to revoke the sentence and absolve them  of all charges.

The police wanted revenge after losing the amazing 4 day resistance and street battles against the eviction and wanted to lock up 84 arrested. These three were accused by police witnesses of throwing bottles from a rooftop , later the alternative paper ‘Directa’ proved the identification was absurd as there was no vision from where the police were.

Other sentences have had to be cut back to avoid accused of having to serve prison time. None are now in jail and the campaign to raise money for fines continues.

 

There is no way the State can lock up 84 people for defending a peaceful anarchist community center against an immoral and unprovoked attack. Our hope is that all these sentences will eventually have to be withdrawn due to public resistance, just as the attack on Can Vies had to be cancelled, and that false accusations will be prosecuted instead.

So What Happened..How Could The Squatters WIN

CanVies (pronounced ‘vias’) is an Occupied Assembly-Run Social center (CSOA), set by the railway tracks in a workers area in what was once a CNT Union Center 80 years ago. The occupation has lasted 17 years, surviving multiple eviction attempts due to strong local support.

Last year Barcelona City Council decided on frontal attack, enraged that there were growing autonomous communities they didn’t control. Thousands stood in front of the riot police, who finally broke through and the demolition began.Then the unthinkable happened.the community took the streets, and fought the police for 4 days, the demolition was paralyzed……

continue reading here:     https://thefreeonline.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/can-vies-accused-ideclared-innocent/

Suruc Suicide Bomber Trained by ISIS in Syria

Revolution News -

The deadly suicide bombing on July 20th in Suruç, Turkey which left 32 young activists dead and dozens of others severely wounded has shaken the country. The moment of explosion was captured on camera, and in the aftermath forensics investigation began. The bomber’s identity has now been confirmed to be the 20 year old Mechanical Read More

The post Suruc Suicide Bomber Trained by ISIS in Syria appeared first on revolution-news.com.

Thousands pack New York’s Times Square to protest Iran nuclear deal with US

The Guardian | Protest -

An estimated 10,000 people, consisting mainly of pro-Israel supporters, chant ‘kill the deal’ and demand Congress vote down proposed nuclear agreement

Thousands of protesters packed into Times Square on Wednesday evening to demand that Congress vote down the proposed US deal with Iran.

As the crowd loomed behind police barricades, chants of “Kill the deal!” could be heard for blocks. The event, billed as the “Stop Iran rally” consisted mainly of pro-Israel supporters, though organizers said it represents Americans of all faiths and political convictions.

Related: 'Netanyahu cheered up by US missile offer': how the Onion scooped Haaretz

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Kansas City PD Chief Forte: #HamsterLivesMatter More Than Black Lives

Revolution News -

By One Struggle KC #HamsterLivesMatter Hamster lives matter. They matter more than the life of a 21-year of Black man. At least, according to Kansas City, Missouri Chief of Police Darryl Forté.  On Thursday, July 9th, Javon Hawkins was shot by Kansas City, Missouri police (“KCPD”).  There is conflicting information regarding the events that led Read More

The post Kansas City PD Chief Forte: #HamsterLivesMatter More Than Black Lives appeared first on revolution-news.com.

Bernie Sanders condemns 'starvation' pay at rally to raise US minimum wage

The Guardian | Protest -

Democratic candidate and senator tells activists he is introducing bill to increase wage to $15 an hour amid a strike by some federal workers

Several hundred protesters in blue T-shirts saying “Strike” were joined by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a grassy park outside the US Capitol building on Wednesday morning to demand an increase in the minimum wage and to focus attention on the economic struggles of hundreds of federal contract workers.

Related: I work at the US Capitol and KFC. Colonel Sanders pays me more than Uncle Sam | Sontia Bailey

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Have reports of capitalism’s death been greatly exaggerated?

Waging Nonviolence -

by Kate Aronoff

View image | gettyimages.com

Late last week, economic journalist Paul Mason, whose Channel 4 blog has been one of the best English-language sources for making sense of the ongoing Greek crisis, published an excerpt from his forthcoming book in The Guardian. It announces that the end of capitalism has begun and that (spoiler) it doesn’t look how we thought it might. The 20th century old/new leftist dream of some crisis-sparked proletarian revolt, he argues, has been battered by neoliberalism and, now, is being replaced by a steady trickle of viable, largely technology-fuelled alternatives to the current economy. “Capitalism, it turns out, will not be abolished by forced-march techniques,” Mason writes. “It will be abolished by creating something more dynamic that exists, at first, almost unseen within the old system, but which will break through, reshaping the economy around new values and behaviors.”

He contends that advances in information technology have “reduced the need for work, blurred the edges of work and free time and loosened the relationship between work and wages.” Stemming from the Wages for Housework campaign of the 1970s, feminist movements and scholars have for years highlighted the loose connection between work and pay, along with the blurry line between labor and leisure at home and in the workplace. And, as Doug Henwood rightly pointed out, there’s nothing inherent to technological innovation that means less work, especially for the market’s worst-off; in the last several years, the American economy has actually become more productive (that is, labor intensive) relative to GDP. To date, automation hasn’t so much reduced the need for jobs as it has expanded capitalism’s capacity to create more terrible ones.

Clearly, though, the economy is changing. For Mason, there are a few other factors driving this transition: an influx of abundant information at odds with capitalism’s drive to hoard scarce resources; the rise of “spontaneous production … that no longer respond[s] to the dictates of the market and the managerial hierarchy,” like Wikipedia; and, finally, the growth of alternative economic practices in the face of crisis — food co-ops, time banks, parallel currencies and other measures falling broadly under the umbrella of “free time, networked activity and free stuff.”

As austerity wears at its seams in southern Europe, all of the above are disrupting what Mason calls a “fifth long upswing for capitalism,” differentiated from the previous four by a lack of pressure from the workforce to herald in higher wages, new technology and more consumption. Increasingly, networks are replacing hierarchies and we’re all learning to share more, in cyber and real-space. In their beautiful abundance, these social and actual technologies chafe at ownership; influenced by technology, in turn, there is a new engine of change replacing the industrial worker: “the educated and connected human being.” Information technology and the networked social forms accompanying it are non-capitalist beasts just waiting to be let out of their stables to race toward a post-capitalist future.

But as Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor noted recently for The Nation, there’s no ready-made path from information to liberation. “Our high-tech tools are constrained by market incentives and government surveillance interests that are often intertwined,” they wrote. “We cannot think about surveillance without paying keen attention to the corporations that benefit from it and the deep inequities that result.” Not only is there a barely-hidden world of workers making the digital revolution possible, but tech itself is already being used to serve the interests of those driving our current, vastly unequal economy. It deserves noting that some of the biggest fans of decentralization — technological or otherwise — are right-wing libertarians, who would be as happy to see workplace protections stripped as they would to see a new start-up food co-op take root.

Consider Uber, the poster-child of the for-profit sharing economy now worth $50 billion. Until a landmark ruling last month, the company posited itself as a neutral technology, simply providing its army of contingent drivers with a platform through which to make their own money — and stay exempt from federal labor laws. By ruling that Uber is, in fact, an employer, the California Labor Commission confirmed what many drivers already knew: Work in the sharing economy doesn’t stray very far from the current one.

Left to its own, state-supported devices, capitalism has proven itself plenty adept at navigating crisis after crisis, and, from subprime mortgages to student debt to climate change, monetizing the seemingly priceless. As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wrote in 2010, banks are a “highly sophisticated engine for converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth — pure profit for rich individuals.” Technology is just another hurdle they can ably jump over. Even against the information age’s more egalitarian impulses, tech remains firmly in the hands of the one percent — albeit a nerdier, tanner and more socially progressive one.

Conversely, Mason is exactly right to point out the incredible promise these emergent innovations hold to serve downright radical ends. But what’s going to take them there? “No doubt, the Internet opens up new avenues and opportunities for resistance,” Taylor and Hunt-Hendrix concluded. “But new technologies will not solve the problems at hand: People acting collectively will.” Tech is contested political ground. Even in the transition from feudalism to capitalism Mason references, it took a plague and, importantly, a widespread peasant revolt to lurch Europe out of stagnant feudalism. As in other historical epochs, disruptive power is necessary to drive society’s agenda away from the interests of those already in charge.

Mason’s call to “direct all actions towards the transition — not the defense of random elements of the old system,” to focus solely on building alternatives, is a false dichotomy. If Syriza’s project in Greece has shown anything, it’s that combining a broad-based solidarity economy with political power is deeply threatening to neoliberalism, the top brass of which will risk self-implosion to stamp it out. Acting alone, Solidarity for All didn’t provoke a sadistic backlash from Greece’s creditors. Syriza’s victory at the polls, its leadership’s presence at the negotiating table in Brussels, and the egalitarian populist parties grasping at state power across the Mediterranean did — but neither the challenge nor the solution could exist without the other.

Millennial-led movements from Black Lives Matter to Occupy Wall Street have already put the social technologies Mason describes into practice, and are writing new rules for how popular uprisings work in the 21st century. Podemos, Spain’s ascendant populist party, uses a sub-Reddit to make decisions among members at the national level. Thankfully, technology is changing organizing at least as much as it is the economy. Capitalism isn’t going anywhere without a fight, no matter how inventive the alternatives. If the early 20th century labor heroine Lucy Parsons were alive now, she might add an addendum on to the statement she’s best remembered by: “Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to innovate away their wealth.” Today’s movements will need to be at least as creative as the forces they’re taking on, and be building solutions that are even more so. Post-capitalism is coming, but a new and even more disruptive tradition of organizing will have to clear the way first.

July 25th: International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners

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The July 25 International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners is less than a week away! Events and actions will be held across the globe, including New York City, Philadelphia, La Puente, California, Chicago, Denver, and Portland, Oregon (US); Sydney (Australia); Helsinki and Tampere (Finland); Bristol and other cities (UK), as well as Bulgaria, and lots of Read More

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