Saturday, December 25, 2010

A look at a world beyond exploitation.

In 1952 the Cuyahoga river caught on fire, a river was burning. How did it get that way? The industrial centers on either side dumped chemicals, so many chemicals from industrial waste, the pollution killed all life in the water itself. This was a consequence of pollution going unchecked, industry being ill maintained and an ignorance of the balance between production and natural conservancy. A corporate process that exploited the workers, the citizens and disproportionately the poor erupted in a literal conflagration. How can we create a balance between our needs and still lead meaningful lives, or in the words of Camus can we be “Neither Victims Nor Executioners?” Is it possible to exist in such a world?

The world is complex, of this there is no doubt. Rainfall effects the water table at the time of the rain as well as months later with the snowmelt. The Rains may cause a river to rise in a flood and be destructive, yet it may also nourish crops and create a state of lush verdant foliage. So when humans introduce industrial manufacturing and chemicals cloud the skies to rain light acid upon us, can we blame the rain for its increased toxicity? Yet can we do away with industrialization without leaving billions in want?

Perhaps a better question is why WITH industrialization are billions STILL in want? Was not Capitalism’s promise to deliver to all the people, by creating incentives of work and by mass production, so that everyone would have more? If this is so, what great calamity has held us back, what sickness and plague should deprive the great many of the world of even the basic necessities of healthy food, clean water and shelter? Much less education and the great spoils of the elusive ‘American Dream’? Do not tell me that the great many are just lazy and refuse to work, spare me the details of how greed will bring about an economic utopia. It is for that reason, greed and corporate avarice, that we see Billions starving, living in filth, with poor sanitation and no hope or prospect of immediate relief.

Corporate dreams of global prowess have been achieved and have failed to render either glory or redemption for their great exploitation. Furthermore the expansion from national exploitation to global modes of exploitation, have shrunk the relative proportion of those who gain to less than a percent of a percent of the population. This trend of global industry has narrowed the scope of their gains and spread only despair among those wishing for a way out.

Any solution to social or environmental disparity will necessitate a fission from our current economic modes and way of life. To paraphrase Dorothy Day ‘We aren’t saying go around wearing a burlap sack’. But Peter Maurin begins to identify the problem with industrialism and corporatism, in the earlier part of the 20th century “The Industrial Revolution did not improve things; it made them worse. The industrial revolution has given us technological unemployment. And the best way to do away with technological unemployment is to place idle hands on idle land” (Maurin was no fan of a planned economy, this is just common sense). Because we can only produce what we need, there is no sense in producing vast quantities beyond need, therefore even with production there will be shortfalls, partly because the production is not always needed and partly because there is a want so desperate for basic necessities that stores are an abstraction of daily life. Despite efforts from modern advertising trying to create artificial want and a market need, in the first and third world, there simply is not a static wealth for such a demand. We cannot keep producing and producing in great quantities exclusively for the wealthy, luxuries, while the great many poor suffer in want of basics, necessities. The consequence of such a course is both impractical and unethical. Marx’s vision of “the rich will get richer while the poor get poorer”, ought to be augmented by ‘and the poor will be kept from the rich by great geographic separation of the first and third world, to be left to suffer amongst themselves’. In short we can produce all the crap we want and we will not create enough, we will have ‘idle hands’, idle bodies, communities, cities and nearly idle countries. What is capitalism’s answer to this- loans at high interest from the World Bank and IMF, will these loans free the people to ascend from poverty, or enslave them in a debt they cannot repay? That is another question for another day, but as plainly as we have eyes, we can see a great disparity, plainly evidencing a failure of the economic system to meet needs at any basic level, on a global scale.

Turning to economic structures of Capitalism, Industrialism or Corporate models will not raise our ‘idle hands’. Freedom will mean the ability to create sovereignty over land, with banks of seed, not money. The problem is the amount of land, we cannot run the land if we all strive to just feed ourselves. We are not inherently individualists, even large industrial farms need extra hands. But if we work land together, we can both create community and conserve resources. Also humans are not exclusively solitary creatures, Abraham Maslow the Psychologist describes famously a need for both individual sovereignty and community belonging. The purpose of an agricultural movement is therefore three fold- First to avoid the large impersonal and exploitative corporate system and conversely to deliberately create community and collaborative, consensual, local work. Second to work with land, not around or through it, but with it, to produce based on basic needs and meaningful projects; this environmental idea is one that seeks to avoid exploitation or degradation, but include the land in a part of the process of deciding what, when, where and how much to grow. Third the solution must not be based in assumed hierarchy or roles but instead empowering the people along with the land to motivate growth of food and production of essential goods. In short such a system should break down a Industrial order, a Social order and an Environmental order, to be replaced over time with a more comprehensive, holistic participation with one another, the earth and our labor.

In the interest of safety, it may be well worth the consideration that no person should just go and dig up soil wantonly. Indeed knowing what to grow, paying attention to the seasons, watering patterns, frost, plant cycles, perennial and annual plans and time investment is no small matter. In the 60’s and 70’s many young ‘hippies’ tried back-to-the-land movements and starved because they didn’t know what they were doing. Don’t do that.

If you want to learn how to farm, try volunteering at a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), Lane County has a master gardener program, try ‘WWOOF-ing’ (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, see: http://www.wwoof.org/ ). Try a garden first and work with people you know, the community gardens in Eugene/Springfield are a great way! Learning about ‘greenhouses’ and ‘volunteer plants’ that are edible are both major tools to success. Practically speaking even thirty people can be too few, you can get burned out on the same faces, try up to 50 or 100! This is not a small endeavor, as you may now imagine. They process of organizing need not fall upon one person’s shoulders, to do this right. An organization ought to be started, where people can get together and talk about their gardens, learning together and gathering skills to prepare for a more full-time endeavor. Some groups align based upon religion as with the Catholic Worker movement or the Amish/Mennonite/Shaker communities. Religion does not have a monopoly on farming groups, Intentional Communities coming together around other beliefs- ideological, family or common interests create ties. The point is, that it is far easier to get along with people who you have a great number of things in common with. Also social groups can function together, because community is no joke and there ought to be times of cohesion and meeting those around you, outside of work as well as new faces, for some variety. Community cannot exist without communication, this means meetings and gatherings of some sort, that is a fact. There is extensive literature on the topic of organic/sustainable/productive agricultural skills and organization, as well as intentional communities and challenging socio-economic hierarchy, if your interest has been piqued.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Radical Caroling!

The Holiday Season is upon us once again and Eugene’s Anarchist Black Tea Society is full of the holiday spirit. As anarchists we cherish the seasonal values of gift giving and cooperation as much as that red-clad communist Santa Claus does. In fact we are so devoted to the promotion of relationships based on the spirit of generosity rather than cutthroat competition that an entire school of anarchist thought is based in the notion of “gift economics”. A gift economy is a society where goods and services are provided free of charge without expectation of immediate compensation.

Sadly we, like many Americans, are not able to give as generously as previous years due the parasitism of the bankers and the immiserating effects of capitalism. We are however determined to not allow modern material scarcity to dampen our festivities. We are pleased to announce our first ever anarchist holiday caroling troupe. On December Tuesday 21st at 2:00pm we will gather at the holiday market to sing songs of joy, rebellion, and subversion.

Let the ruling class tremble in their Christmas stockings!

Let the sound of our collective voices batter the eardrums of Kitty Piercy and the Eugene City Council!

Together lets decorate the Christmas tree of equality with the ornaments of class consciousness!



Yours in anarchy,

Black Tea Society

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rioting is a healthy site for sore eyes.

‘Standing Ground’ is a phrase with two meanings. First it means to stand one’s ground-to have a defiant spirit. Second it means to have a physical space around which a community unites. The University seldom has either and needs both. The streets of Eugene become a physical place and the unruliness is an embodiment of a resistance to oppression. If you were at the riot, you were yelled at by authority figures who had neither respect for you nor your friends. They gassed you, they arrested nine of you and they would not have hesitated from killing you. In a drunken revelry you may have realized what many politically savvy folks already know, that we live in a horribly cruel and violent society, that cruelty and violence was unleashed upon you. You made a Standing Ground and you defied the police- if only for a short time. Well done.
One University head-shed- Sheryl Eyster is quoted as saying the situation was a “disappointment…we would have certainly liked to have been trying to prevent”. Right, Ms. Eyster, lets placate students and calm them into living submissive lives. To hell with that, lets hope everyone learned that the state, at all levels is oppressive- officers were called out from Lane County Sheriff’s Office, the Springfield Police Department and the Oregon State Police (in addition to EPD). One police agent – Lt. Scott Fellman is quoted as saying “It shouldn’t be happening because it’s illegal and dangerous”. I got news for you Fellman- your organization a greater danger to any student than any other organization and if your laws weren’t so repressive, this wouldn’t be an issue in the first place. One student is quoted as saying “It was like a war zone”. Who made that war zone? Who fired tear gas and dove a car into the crowd- the police. So let’s question who was doing the more serious damage, the gang running around with guns like a snatch-squad, or the people drinking and having fun?
Students did throw bottles, rocks and even eggs. But come on, who had the majority of force- the Police, so who’s ethical responsibility is it to let people go free- the Police. When students get together in a public space, that is challenging to authority figures, because control of space is power. People aren’t allowed to have power. That is why students will take Standing Ground, as they should, because the police oppress us all and that is just plain wrong. Let us all stand in solidarity with the students the next time they stand their ground.

http://www.kval.com/news/local/103801014.html
http://kezi.com/news/local/190179
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig0pK0uMCPU

Global Corporate Empire strikes back against resistance.

Green foliage above, the call of wildlife around, surrounded by Green stalks and brown boughs. The Jungle looms with an ever-present buzz. Burried in the Jungle is the concrete bunker, inside the bunker you sit. Then you hear the planes overhead and hide, knowing they could fire-bomb you or launch rockets. Having seen bodies flying and blood spray you want to avoid that at all costs. No bombs explode.
You wait quietly, perfectly still, there have already been bombs exploding dangerously nearby, you sit listening for attacks elsewhere. There are many camps like yours throughout the jungle. For forty years you have been slowly fighting against tyranny of a US backed dictatorship. The US pays the government to fight against so-called communism, but if their alternative is to spray herbicides over farmer’s fields and have interrogation squads throughout the country, how can we sit back? The Drug Lords pay the government to leave them alone, the government takes their money and the US money to fight the drug lords, occasionally spraying a cocoa field or making a raid. But most of the money is to live in luxury while the people are harassed, tortured and taxed to death. So you and your friends got together to stand against this injustice. For some Forty years you have defended freedom through a gorilla war. But the government is not content, because your very existence is a threat.
You hear the roar of vans and the march of boots. You look to your companions, having been committed for decades against the tyranny, you aim your guns scanning the foliage for signs of military. They knew where you were, there has been a snitch. They have come to impose a constitution that the people had no say in and which is only enforced when the corrupt leaders decide to enforce it, for their benefit. For so long you and your companions didn’t give a damb about the Constitution and the Laws, because we were outside that realm.
Sudden and frantic they rush, you fire, letting off small sprays bringing down person after person. They continue rushing in, a bomb goes off, you ears ring, bullets fly and you think that you have nearly four tons of food that the other regiments need to sustain themselves against the oppressors. You fire more bullets, emptying your clip and replacing it. Just as you snap it in, the sharp impact spins you sideways and you are gasping for air. Bombs have fallen around the bunker and the shock alone would be terrifying to anyone less stalwart than yourself. More bullets fly, some of your companions have gone down, you fire more, they fire and in a final spray of bullets you feint. In a few hours you have died.
Your name was Mono Jojoy and you were the second in the command of FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. Your death is a crippling blow to the resistance. The forces of tyranny, who are in power only by creating fear, can they be overcome? Jojoy’s death meant the capture of food and loss of free land. The stakes of this and other wars of resistance are literally the difference between military dictatorships and personal human sovereignty. Will you join the resistance?

Diversity at the University of Oregon- A controversy.

You are in class or on break and a strange man in a business suit comes to you offering a high prestige, high pay job. Of course, you take it. The man tells you, this job happens to be Director of the University of Oregon’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED). The problem- you can’t do your job, well it’s not that YOU can’t it’s that you are in a system that devalues non-white administration, faculty and students. Your job was created after a lawsuit and tremendous public humiliation- where local schools even said they would not hire your school’s graduates, because they are culturally incompetent. You are hired so that the University can say they care about diversity, but they want you to tow the company line and smother dissent.
So you step into this role as head of OIED and find that the Central administration -Johnson Hall- doesn’t really care about you, your department’s mission- in fact, your job only exists because they were forced to create it. Now you are stuck between, being told to shut up and squelch dissent, or fulfill your mission to build a support network in the University. If this was you, your name would be Charles Martinez. That is where Charles Martinez picked up his job, which he announced he intends lay down at the end of the year (big surprise, right).
Martinez said in an interview that “So often when you hear diversity, you tend to think about just a couple of things. You might think about Race and Ethnicity or you might think about gender and while those things are important aspects of diversity. We really mean diversity in a much broader sense. So we’re talking about a much broader set of variables in which we vary and in which we are similar…”. The support OIED seeks to provide to the breadth of diverse communities is tremendously difficult. Charles Martinez acknowledges this ‘On the ground it’s hard to translate that’. Tasked with a problem too big and given ‘authority’ by people who don’t care if your alive, OIED is effectively powerless- although valuable in spirit and goal- like so many faculty, administration and students, completely disempowered.
Left to sort out how to support diversity efforts and held in check by central administration of good-ol’-boys. Martinez says ‘Its unlikely to have… folks to feel like they’re equally included’. When your director of diversity says that peers wont feel equally included, that’s a problem. It is in the hands of University President Lariviere to empower OIED and whomever it’s new director is; but likely as not, he will choose a do-nothing person who can be tokenized for claims that the University supports diversity.
This is just a continuation of the University acting like a corrupt body. The central administration cares only for the smooth transition of money from students tuition into their six figure salaries. Meanwhile faculty gets the lowest of competitive wages in the nation and athletes gallivant around getting in fights and stealing from fellow students. This seems like a scene from a medieval play- corrupt king lording over serfs, with high taxes and low services, crooks paid by the king ravage the land- they even have a granite palace (Go into Johnson Hall, Seriously). Tuition is robbery; Depose the theives.

http://mediastream.uoregon.edu/audio/channel/OHC/2008/uot/UOT_328.mp3

Grant me Freedom

Riding a train, you think ‘I am just on my way home’. It happens to be in San Francisco, you think ‘this is progressive city & I am in a safe neighborhood’. Then one evening you step off the train, to find a gunman shouting in your face. You get back on the train and think ‘damb I almost got shot or died’. Then the gunman gets on the train, grabs your friend and tells you to come along. Fearing for your life you go, you watch your friend get tied to a hand rail then the gunman knocks you to the ground and with two of his friends ties your hands behind your back. While you are on the ground and the gunman and his friends stand over you, they shoot you in the back, the bullet bounces back and punctures your lung and you die. Your name is Oscar Grant and you were killed on New Years day, 2009. The gunmen were the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority (BART). They killed you and they would have gotten away with it, but for a number of cell phone and video cameras which captured your murder.
On July Ninth, 2010- the Gunman, Johannes Mehserle, was convicted of ‘involuntary manslaughter’ and was sentenced to the minimum possible punishment. A maximum of 14 years, for shooting and killing an unarmed, faced-down in-the-cement, handcuffed man, in the back. If Oscar Grant were a business professional, White or otherwise privileged would the officer have gotten a minimum sentence? No.
The people of Oakland rioted, because this was murder. A similar situation happened in Eugene in 2008, to Ian VanOrnum, a college student who was not shot, but tazed in the back, while faced-down on the ground with multiple officers standing over him. The murder of Oscar Grant could happen to any of us and unless we record it very well, the officers will get away. The assumed innocence and protective role of the police grants them immunity for assault, murder and the privilage to violate the laws they are theoretically enforcing. Meaning that they are the single most significant violent threat to citizens. It may well be that there are more shootings by police than robbers in the United States. This is difficult to tell however, since “No comprehensive accounting for all of the nation's 17,000 police department exists” says Common Dreams, which makes is difficult to determine if, for instance- the Police kill more people than so-called ‘criminals’.

PS: The Insurgent strongly recommends the reading of ‘Our Enemies in Blue- Police and Power in America’ by Kristian Williams, printed by South End Press-2007 as an examination of the police’s role in society. At least google the book and read it’s bio. Seriously.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day!

The best day of the year is Labor Day. This Insurgent just wanted to recall the history that brought us to this point...

In Chicago, at the Haymarket square. It was evening, there was little light. Earlier that day there had been a march of workers who were on strike. As some of those workers returned that evening for the end of the shift to attend a rally. The police closed in. The workers listened to speeches from some the organizers on a platform. As the speeches were wrapping up the Police descended, carrying asps and guns, the crowd was bludgeoned. As the participants in the rally began to try to escape the blows of the police, a bomb went off.

That bomb remains a point of mystery and contention. Some contend the bomb was thrown by the workers others contend a Undercover Pinkerton Detective and some have suggested the Police planted the bomb before the rally.

Whatever the source of the bomb, the police took that as their que and charged in, arresting all the organizers. After a one day trial, which did not look at their guilt of throwing a bomb, they were found guilty and hanged.

This injustice is mourned and the sacrifice of the workers commemorated on International Worker's Solidarity Day- May 1st. However, the US fails to honor what is widely known as the Haymarket Massacre, celebrating instead a vague honor of labor, in September.

While the Haymarket is in Chicago and the massacre was an assault on US Labor, the US does not largely teach this piece of history, nor celebrate the solidarity and gains made, as does the rest of the world on May 1st.

SO enjoy the largely Meaningless day that is meant to distract from corrupt police and legal systems, the control of our lives by corporations, the transfer of wealth into the hands of the few elite- simultaneously lowering the standard of living for workers and the murder of Labor Organizers.

Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Tea Party has a leak.

In recent news, mark Williams- noted leader in the Tea Party has been expelled from the group. 

The Conservative groups has gained support, by trying to be populist demagogues.  The harassed politicians by bussing in people from out-of-area to 'make' issues in town hall meetings a tactic called 'astro-turf' (meaning fake grass-roots). The Tea Party is noted as a low taxation platform that also sports many 'birthers' (those who do not believe US President Barak Obama was not born in the United States and is therefore ineligible for the presidency). 

SOmehow Williams managed to become too extreme for them... after he wrote a personal blog note targeting the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The NAACP responded, cautioning the Tea party, if it wants to maintain any legitimacy, it would need to expel its racist elements- which may include many members. As a token nod that he had gone too far, the Tea Party leadership expelled Williams. This leaves a massive gap in leadership as the wolves gather for power.  

The Tea Party is notable as having been influenced strongly by political figure Sarah Palin (noted for a failed vice presidential candidacy in 2008). The Tea Party is also noted to be supported by 10% of the US population according so one survey. So who will fill the void of power in a 'family values, financial freedom, freedom, liberty, political scandal party'? Time will tell. Go Ducks

 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guns, Bullets and the 'right' to shoot anybody anywhere!

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled earlier this week, that Chicago's long-standing handgun ban cannot stand. This may be a blessing and a curse. If there is need of a revolution ('if' with some sarcasm), This will speed its presence. The riots in Chicago in 1968, may well have ended in the overthrow of the state, if the people had been well armed. The people outnumber the police, the military and if we threw the leaders off our backs, it could be done easier with a gun. 

Bt of course, you cant kill the devil with a bullet of a sword.

Yet until the revolution and after, the devil will live inside us. The people will hurt, maim, kill and bring suffering, like harbingers of evil. The church-bells will never stop chiming in mourn, until we all put down our weapons. Arming our homes may feel safer, but how many people are protected? How many people will suffer a worse fate, because they walked into a situation carrying 'heat'. How many triggers will slip, in nervous hands? How many children will be shot by irresponsibly unattended firearms? How many gangs will grow, bringing the bullet with them? When the burglar walks into your home, maybe you shoot him and he dies. Maybe that same burglar shoots you and you die, whereas with no gun you get restrained and loose some money. How many people will snap and with easy access to a gun will kill their co-workers, themselves, their family, friends, neighbors. It only take one to make a tragedy and Chicago is made of millions. Now its a waiting game, where little tickers will mark the passing of time and suffering of families. 

How long, until the memorials on street corners, will spill into the street? 

You can say the gun won't kill, only people kill, but then there's the misfire. So that doesn't really hold up. Further what are guns made for? you don't build bridges with guns, you don't tie ropes, wash dishes, make art or cook tarts. Guns kill, that their exclusive purpose, so yes Guns kill, they kill because that is what they do, perhaps sometimes they kill defensively, but is that not sill killing? Is launching a fast flying chunk of metal not like throwing a stone, punching and indeed attacking? What other conclusion could you possibly draw from a gun's existence, but that it kills. If you wear a demon on your back and sick it on a person, is that not still attacking?

"Any idiot can kill, it takes more courage lay down you weapon". 

We all know that violence begets violence and even an act of 'self defense' will be murder, will be killing, will be loss of life. Such a decision is wearing down on us, on our culture. Ask yourself, where does all this lead. At the end of the day will we have more bridges, ropes, clean dishes, art or cookies? No. Will we have more coffins?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Political Prisoners to the North

At least 4 community organizers currently being held as
political prisoners as G20 related police repression continues to
increase.

As the G20 meetings happen behind fortified fences, numerous long-time
community organizers working on issues ranging from migrant justice to
climate change to indigenous sovereignty are being targeted and arrested
by police.

At approximately 4:45 a.m., June 26, about 20 police officers raided a
Toronto home. They entered the house without consent through the back
door, aggressively dragging unclothed people from their beds, kicking
others who were asleep on the floor.

Police demanded that everyone provide names and identification. A number
of people repeatedly requested to view the warrant before complying with
police demands.

“I requested a warrant at least five times from the cop who refused to
show me his badge number, to which he said they have every legal right to
do what they’re doing and they didn’t have to show us anything,” said
Tammy Kovich, a resident of the raided house.

Police forcibly detained and cuffed a number of people, and refused to
allow those in the house to call for legal advice. Without showing
warrants, asking consent, or giving notice, police did an illegal cursory
search of some of the people on the premises as well as the house itself.

“I went out the front door to get a signal so that I could call for legal
advice, and a cop grabbed me and pushed me back towards the house.  A
minute later, I was on the phone with the G20 legal people, and he grabbed
my phone away from me and smashed it onto the front porch,” stated another
resident, Renee Henderson.

One arrest was made at this house: an organizer of G20 Childcare as well
as other community projects.  A warrant was not shown for their arrest.
This individual was also detained and harassed by police earlier this week
while walking on in Toronto, and was searched without credible legal
rationale.

Across town, the door to another house was kicked in and three long time
community organizers Leah Henderson, Alex Hundert and Mandy Hiscocks were
placed under arrest. Warrants have also been issued for the arrest of
other community organizers.  These politically motivated raids and arrests
of community members are just some of the tactics the police have been
using to intimidate and silence those who have voiced their concern about
the illegitimate and undemocratic institutions of the G8/G20.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The congressional investigation of BP records, shows that the highest estimate is at 100,ooo barrels a day. A little higher of an estimate. 




According to CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/20/gulf.oil.disaster/index.html?hpt=T1

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A call out

In the interest of Education. The Insurgent is putting a call out- we want to know

"What radical or underground movements are active in the United States today?"

If anyone has names and a website or a news link. This is to help empower ourselves with the stories of struggle and victory, tell your friends that we want to know- what is happening today in America? We are NOT asking for personal stories of for people to reveal themselves or their actions, we are just looking to get a list and help develop a 'strategy guide and historical compendium'.

An example might be:

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF)
http://www.animalliberationfront.com/
has done break-ins to free animals, bomb buildings and outlets, leafleted around stores using animal testing.

Earth First (EF!)
http://www.earthfirst.org/
Forest Defence Action, tree sits, lock downs, barricades, banner drops, tree spiking, etc.

Cascadia Summers/Cascadia Forest Defence (CDF)
http://forestdefensenow.blogspot.com/
Tree sits, direct action

Take Back The Land (TBTL)
http://takebacktheland.org/
Direct action, pairing homeless families with homes, lock downs, sit-ins, public utility negotiation.

Tell us more, what is happening in your area or what have you heard about.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Forest Defense Memories...

In preparation for this weekend's Cascadia Action Camp 2010 we look back on last year's formation of the Elliott Free State. I get all excited when I think of what this summer will bring.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer means it's time for Action

From forestdefensenow.org

ATTENTION FOREST DEFENDERS:
Join us in the trees for another summer of resistance!
West Coast Earth First! Rendezvous and CFD Action Camp converge this weekend June 11th through 13th.

This will be an opportunity to sharpen your direct action and forest skills. Most importantly, this will be THE BEST WAY to plug into the CFD's summer campaign to defend Oregon's native forests.

Workshops:
Climb trainings
State of Oregon's forests
Field surveying
Anti-oppression
Know your rights
Government repression and the Green Scare
Wilderness survival
... and much more!
WHAT TO BRING:
- sleeping bag and tent
- clothes for sun, rain, and swimming
- water bottle and extra water
- flashlight and batteries
- that good ol fire in your soul
- passion, enthusiasm, ideas, and skills
- food: there will be communal meals, but please bring snack food, extra food for yourself, and food to donate to the kitchen
- your own bowl, cup, spoon, fork, and knife
- willingness to help out and participate
- sunscreen and bug repellent
- instruments
- extra tarp to contribute to camp! You will get this back.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Knight Library evacuated on Sunday before Finals!

At Apprx. 11:22pm The fire alarm was pulled in the Knight Library. The intercom was taken over by an artificial male voice commanding everyone to leave the building, as 'a fire alarm had been activated, this is not a drill, please leave the building, do not use the elevator'.... This message repeated itself on a loop.

While some speculated that the fire-alarm was pulled by someone who wanted a table, others thought it might be a distraction to steal valuable books. Meanwhile the DPS officers arrived on seen, not to alarm anyone they said "you know as much as we do".

Nearly everyone evacuated by stairs as the fire-doors closed.

For one student it was not a joke, a self identified 'pyro-phobe' screamed "I thought this was going to be like inferno and I would need to jump out a window".

DPS concluded that it was a individual who pulled an alarm on the third floor.

Whoever did this, come on, really? Really? Some of us have finals in the morning. 

Go Ducks.

Good Luck on Finals

For every student, there is shot of adrenaline.
For every paper, there is a thousand unopened books.
For every online, in-class and closed/open book test, there are no-dos and toothpicks.
For every unemployed graduate, there is forest defense this summer! 

An Open Letter Regarding The 2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews: Confronting Racism & Israeli Apartheid

The Jewish anti-zionist network sent this press release to the student Insurgent, it is reprinted below: 
  
In less than a month, people from across the United States and beyond will be gathering at the 2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews: Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid (the "Assembly"). 

The Assembly is an historic event intended to build relationships, political clarity and Jewish anti- Zionist organizing and activism. It takes place at a time when recognition of the brutal nature of the State of Israel is growing, and increasing numbers of people are compelled to challenge its impunity. To date, the Assembly has over forty endorsers, anticipates two hundred participants, and has gained the interest of Palestinian, Palestinian solidarity and anti-racist movements in the United States, as well as the attention of mainstream Jewish media.  

Given the stated purposes of the Assembly, we are expecting challenges to be leveled against it. IJAN, the main organizer of the Assembly, is already receiving criticism based on inaccurate assumptions or apparently different political goals. With this momentous event upon us, we would like to take a moment to make clear the principles, positions and goals of the Assembly and help correct or prevent misconceptions.  

IJAN and the Assembly stand firmly against Zionism – the exclusionary colonial ideas, policies and practice that privilege Jews above, and at the expense of, Palestinian people. By extension we reject the Jewish nationalism that underlies Zionism, a nationalism that erases diverse Jewish histories and champions safety in separation, isolation and domination of others. We believe that true safety and long-term freedom can only be found in the emancipation of all people.  

We expressly challenge Zionism’s monopolization of our diverse Jewish histories, politics, cultures and religious practices.  We take strength from and join in the long tradition of Jewish commitment to human emancipation.  Against the Zionist betrayal of this tradition and the hijacking of Jewish history, the Assembly is a collective act of Jews reasserting and reconnecting with a long history of participation in social justice movements. 

In the same way that we reject Zionism’s inherent racism, we reject racism and hatred in any form and against any people or person. Thus we refuse to ally ourselves with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacists or Holocaust deniers. To do otherwise, would mean to embrace the Zionist strategy of conflating Judaism and Jewishness with Zionism, a tactic used to assume and even impose unconditional support of Jews for Israel regardless of that State’s actions. In our unequivocal rejection of Zionism, we do not and will not take part in actions that conflate Zionism and Judaism, whether intentionally or thoughtlessly. We believe that supporting Palestinian self-determination requires challenging Zionist ideas, policies and practice, not the practice of Judaism.  

To ensure that we are neither divisive nor obtrusive guests in Detroit, the Assembly will not endorse participation in any political activities other than those developed through the collaborative national process of the organizing for it. We request Assembly participants not to be provoked by those who may attempt to undermine the objectives of the Assembly, including by calling for our participation in activities outside of and contradictory to it.  

In addition, IJAN will not align itself with those who either seek to use the struggle against Zionism for their own ends, individual or collective, or who proclaim themselves anti-Zionist but whose divisive actions serve only to further a Zionist agenda, undermining Palestine solidarity work and anti-Zionist organizing.  Rather, the Assembly is intended to promote the building of organized forces of Jews who can multiply and amplify efforts to overcome Zionism and decolonize Palestine, by working with and in support of the Palestinian struggle for liberation.   

To that end, we welcome all who are 1) interested in supporting the organizing of anti-Zionist Jews as part of the broader Palestine solidarity movement and anti-racist, anti-imperialist organizing in the United States and beyond, 2) committed to the principles reflected in the Assembly's purpose, goals, assumptions and expectations, and 3) able to express this commitment through participation that supports the goals and activities of the Assembly. While we welcome discussions on our continually evolving struggle to overcome the destructiveness, including of life and land, of Zionist principles, practices and policies, we will not tolerate attempts to disrupt, undermine, provoke or attack participants, speakers or facilitators.  

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nothing Nice to Say



I was reading some old web comics and came across this gem by Mitch Clem, who happens to produce "the worlds first online punk comic," an award he earned because he made it up himself. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

P.S. The comic refrences an event similar to this one.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Update

Most of the survivors have been released from the Israeli commandeering of aid vessels. 

These four have not been released however;
Sheikh Raed Sala, Sheikh Hamad Abu Daabes, Mr. Muhammed Zeidan and Ms. Lubna Masarwa

and instead are facing charges, it is unclear what those charges will be.


One survivor reports:
"The aggression came from the sky, from helicopters from which soldiers came down by ropes. We waited in the fore room and saw them carrying an Israeli soldier who looked to me like he'd had a breakdown. Then the second and third came, but after these three injured soldiers then I saw a lot – maybe 10 – passengers who were severely hurt, injured, covered in blood. They were treated in the salon next to me. One was so badly injured I am sure he must have died soon after. I didn't even consider going upstairs as it was just too dangerous."

but no word on official Israeli story.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

16 dead Under Fire from Israeli military

A Flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, attempted to run an Israeli blockade this night- 5/30/10. 

One of the ships carrying food and medical supplies was boarded by helicopter and ten on that boat are dead. The remaining fleet is on track, though official reports show that some have been detained and rerouted by force. 

More loss of life for an area already full of suffering. Total death count on Aljazeera is at 16.

An Israeli group Stand with us claims the crew of the boats did not take a letter for a captive israeli solider and is therefore illegitimate, since the Pro-Palestinian group did not fully embrace the humanitarian mission they claimed. 

The ships left from Turkey and now in response to the deaths, in Istanbul citizens are now rioting at the Israeli embassy. 

This period will now be trying for the families of the dead flotilla crew and for the Israeli embassy workers. 

The Israeli army created a blockade to prevent weapons flow into Gaza, but rockets have periodically continued to flow despite the blockade, so it seems pointless, excepts now, to clearly halt even humanitarian aid. Food, medical supplies and clothing. The Palestinian ship's crew was unarmed. 

The use of force by the state is necessary only to preserve the basic health of its people. This force has ended the lives and acted against the interest of the people of Gaza. 

Why the Israeli army didn't just search the vessel, for the weapons they fear and let them go, we will likely never know. But today marks a solemn period of mourning, for again, a state uses weapons against an unarmed people. Like in Thailand, Tibet, Sudan, etc. The Israeli government has only further cemented it's position as an illegitimate and evil force on this earth. If Israel would let Palestine be and halt settlement expansion, the rockets would stop. In the meantime however, the United States is funding this operation, giving millions every day to continue this blockade, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the encroachment of Palestinian territory. 

for updates in english on the event check Aljazeera or http://www.witnessgaza.com/.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

BP Fucks up, again.

Doug Suttles, CEO of PB announced today  that the 'top kill' plan failed. Utterly.

Top kill would have pumped tons of sand and sediment into the oil tube gushing high pressure liquids and gas to stop the flow and then sealed it with cement. Industry 'specialists' were called in to make the problem go away. They can't. 

Why?

Because the industry specialists don't know what they are doing. They are hacks, paid big salaries to be officials that testify that the effects of the corporation they work for are not going to be serious. They are unprepared, not knowledgeable and drilling where we ought not drill, mining in too dangerous areas and using chemicals and worthless fail safes. 

11 died, 17 more injured and a relentless leak pouring oil from more than a mile underwater. 

The so-called experts, working for the corporations don't know what they are doing, they never have. They lied to congress and to the committees to obtain permits. The well is broken and oil is spilling. The liars are caught with their pants down. We ought to tie them up, and stick them in the leaking pipe. 

If a corporation in a person, then let's hold the CEO's to the same level of accountability. What would happen if a person dumped a barrel of oil in your back yard, they would be fined, let's multiply that fine by 5000-70,000 (number of barrels pouring out each day) and multiply that by the number of days this goes on (more than a month >30 days). 

The experts don't know, they never knew and are just as liable as the CEO. They lied, people are out of work and the effects have reached the shore and leak has gone unabated! We should never have built that far offshore, that far underwater and the the lying thieves should go to the hell they made.

GO Ducks!

Live from NW Folk Life in Seattle

I had to go all the way to Seattle to discover Chervona from Portland. Worth the drive. Anyhoo... back to the festival.



I'm going to see Blackbird Raum on the folk punk stage!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prison industrial complex.

One writer for the universities' mainstream paper the Oregon Daily emerald, prisons and a life of crime as a great deal of correlation with one's economic status.  http://www.dailyemerald.com/opinion/u-s-problems-rooted-in-poverty-1.1484913

One the (many) systemic problems emerging from this class tragedy, happens to create sub-tragedies. The Prison industrial complex, fed by judges who who get kickbacks from private prisons. Judges who are not getting kick backs have their hands tied twofold, one with the alternate pressure to convict, because they know the prosecutors and have a working relationship and two because they length of sentences and imprisonment requirements of many offenses are becoming stricter. These effects in turn fill the prisons and create new sets of problems. 

The 'criminal' largely held on account of an already biased system, will be subject to various forms of torture. A few being solitary confinement or 'the hole' which allows no outside contact. This amounts  to sensory depravation. 'Treatments' and 'correctional' tools are horrible and draconian, encouraging only fear. A fear-based society being one that most would not appreciate. This system designed to scare or create a dissuading factor for criminals has the opposite effect! Indeed many incarcerated gain greater skills, some become a part of almost compulsory prison gangs. Both of which effect one's behavior outside prison, in this way the 'justice system' is counter intuitive.

The system is justified only by the serial killers, those seriously deranged (Although even these people can benefit from humane treatment, counseling and other non-physical interactions). Aside from this factor there is no incentive to actually lock people up. At least there wasn't until prison labor came around. Based in compulsory civic service (forced manual labor), the modern system contracts the captive prisoners and makes them do labor- for the profit of industry. This becomes essentially slave labor, where the worker is compensated as a sub-minimum wage. Further, one prison feeds only basic nutrients and puts the humans into tents, amid squalor. It is unclear today which is more toxic the mind of the vicious criminal or the mind who delights in creating torture for the captive human. 

Like the man who invented lynching, Mr.Lynch, who used the technique to break the captive spirit and set an example. The prison keeper will confine, effectively torture and make a slave of the confined inmate. This system justified in a false sense of justice, and maintained as a state-run, for-profit slavery, this is an injustice.

The things we do for entertainment

The things we do for fun... are taking a lot of time. According to a google study, the average American watches 5 hours of TV a day. This is undoubtedly detracting from family and community ties. Instead of participating in public affairs, Americans have a propensity to stare are a bunch of flickering lights.

This is not entirely surprising following the decline in participation civically. While some eat and watch TV, or perform other activities. Some who are watching are watching the news and being informed. This situation however, is also covered in daytime TV, reality shows, sitcoms. That much TV cannot help but be accompanied by atrophic behavior, leading to obesity and declines in civic participation. On the plus side, a definite target for revolutionary interruption of laziness. 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10132877.stm

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rollege Cocks!@!

We at the Insurgent have been mourning the loss of fratmusic.com and have been looking for a new way to chill. The upcoming graduation ceremonies scare us because we know that soon we are going to have to settle down at our dads' businesses and won't be able to rage 7 nights a week.

Before we move back down to California we're doing our best to get in as beer pong games as possible and trying to bring flip cup back. We would like our legacy to be more than just that random police charge. (If we play our cards right we could be remembered as the kids who returned flip cup's title of, "Official Party Game of the Red Party Cup," thereby returning beer pong's title of "Official High School Party Game of the Red Party Cup.")

While the above post may not have made any sense to anyone I suggest you visit http://www.collegerocks.net/ and relish in the fact that you are only young once.

I love my Ducks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Press Release: May 19th “Ride of Silence” Honors Bicyclists Killed on Roads

Ride of Silence
EMU 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 18


Press Release: May 19th “Ride of Silence” Honors Bicyclists Killed on Roads

The Ride of Silence, an annual bicycle ride held to memorialize cyclists killed or seriously injured on local roadways and to promote traffic safety, will be held on Wednesday, May 19. Riders will gather at the EMU Amphitheater on the University of Oregon campus (13th & University) at 6:45 p.m. After a brief ceremony, the group will leave on bicycle to visit the sites of several bike fatalities in recent years.

The Ride of Silence is a slow-paced, silent ride, similar to a funeral procession. Besides honoring those who have been killed while bicycling, the Ride seeks to give a visible reminder to motorists and bicyclists alike of their responsibility for ensuring safety on our shared roadways.

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, eight bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle collisions in Eugene-Springfield from 2004-2008 (the most recent data available). Another 37 collisions resulting in serious injuries to bicyclists were reported to ODOT during the same period. At least two additional bicyclists were killed in rural Lane County from 2004 to 2008..

Wednesday’s ride will depart from the EMU around 7 p.m. on a flat, 10-mile route that will stop by three different locations at which bicyclists have been killed. A brief memorial to the cyclist involved will occur at each site. The ride is open to bicyclists of all ages and abilities. Helmets are required by law for all cyclists under the age of 16, and are strongly encouraged for all. For more information, contact Sue Wolling at 541-345-2110 or sue@eugenegears.org.

Monday, May 17, 2010

'Why We Rage' Wednesday at 7:30

Wednesday, May 19th, at 7:30pm
In the Student Recreation Center Bonus Room
7:30 PM - Doors open
8:00 PM - Student acts start
9:00 PM - Athens Boys Choir



"Why We Rage" is an event spawned from the the printed publication that shares the same name.

The print version of "Why We Rage" originated with the creative and frustrated energies of students exercising their passions in the face of blind cultural ignorance and oppression. Seeking an outlet for their grievances, student poets, writers, commentators, embarked on expressing their feelings through cultural work as a way to educate others and enact change.

The "Why We Rage" event is a way for students to come together to express their passions for social justice, peace, equity, and sustainability.

Read the full letter from Alex Esparza (ASUO Multicultural Advocate, LGBTQA Co-Director, OSERA Co-Chair) after the jump.


Letter From Alex Esparza:
Hello all!

The week of the event has finally arrived!! This Wednesday, May 19th, at 7:30pm in the SRC Bonus Rm is the Why We Rage event! This is being put on by myself as the ASUO MCA, the MCC, MEChA, the LGBTQA, and the student unions as a whole. Its going to be an amazing event and a really unique opportunity to hear student pieces--spoken word, poetry, music, and artwork--as well as Athens Boys Choir. Please attend and show support! Below is an explanation of Why We Rage and Athens Boys Choir.

Why We Rage originated with the creative and frustrated energies of students exercising their passions for social justice, peace, equity, and sustainability in the face of unknowing, often blind cultural ignorance, willful denial, institutional, and intersectional oppression. Seeking a positive outlet for their legitimate grievances, student poets, writers, commentators, embark on expressing their feelings through cultural work as a healthy way to share their experiences and further educate a broader audience with the goal of encouraging all people to step up and develop plans of action to achieve genuine coalitional solidarity and community.

A page of "Explanation of the Publication" states: "Why We Rage is a space for student voices to be presented in a manner that reflects their opinions and values concerning various social issues. For many students, activism is an integral part of their lives along with their studies. Through their quest for social justice, many students encounter some form of resistance and find it difficult to express their anger. Often times, the anger of people of color is considered unproductive" or is devalued. In reality, this anger is an indicator of unjust social conditions that are harmful to everyone. This concerns issues such as racism (institutional, systemic, interpersonal, and otherwise), discrimination on various levels, and misunderstanding of gender, class, and sexuality."

Katz, aka Athens Boys Choir, is a spoken word artist from Athens, Georgia. He is a trans activist, often speaking to issues of marginalization of the trans and Queer communities. He was one of the lead performers of Out/Loud last year, and was widely received.

So please, save the date!!

In solidarity,

Alex

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Last Minute Reminder: Beyond Patriarchy Conference Right Now!

The workshops are currently on a lunch break, but will resume again at 2 and continue until 5. Then Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is giving the keynote titled, "Maybe What Openness Is About" in PLC 180.

See the full Schedule after the 'jump' or on http://beyondpatriarchyconference.wordpress.com/.


Beyond Patriarchy Convergence schedule

FRIDAY

WELCOME 2:30-3:00

WORKSHOPS 3:00-4:20
Solidarity with Palestine (Ben Linder Room)
Fertility Awareness for Fun and Health (Rogue River Room)
Money Skills for Activists (Umpqua River Room)

WORKSHOPS 4:30-5:50
Aggressor Accountability in Radical Communities (Rogue River Room)
Effective Communication (Ben Linder Room)

DINNER 6:00-7:00 (Campbell Club)

KEYNOTE 7:00-9:00 (PLC 180)
Tobi Hill-Meyer
“Trans Women Claiming Sexual Agency: Who’s Standing in the Way”

FILM SCREENING 9:00-11:00 (PLC 180)
Doing it Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project

SATURDAY

SNACKZ 11:00-11:30 (Survival Center)

WORKSHOPS 11:30-12:50
Fighting Fatphobia (Rogue River Room)
Tree Climbing Training (Lorax Manner)
Politics of Sex Positivity (Metolius River Room)

LUNCH 1:00-2:00 (Multicultural Center)

WORKSHOPS 2:00-3:20
Resources Available to Prisoners and Political Prisoners (Metolius River Room)
Transgender Inclusion? (Rogue River Room)
Disability Culture and Access panel (Fir Room)
Feminist Economics (Umpqua River Room)

WORKSHOPS 3:30-4:50
Resisting White Supremacy panel (Campbell Club)
Unnatural Embodiment (Metolius River Room)
Gay Imperialism (Rogue River Room)
Practical Self Defense (Ben Linder Room)

KEYNOTE 5:00-7:00 (PLC 180)
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
“Maybe What Openness Is About”

DINNER 7:00-9:00 (Campbell Club)
Meeting for next year’s BP organizers 8:00-8:30 (Campbell Club Blue Room)

PARTY 9:00-??? (Campbell Club)

SUNDAY

SNACKZ 11:00-11:30 (Survival Center)

WORKSHOPS 11:30-12:50
Economy of Caring (Rogue River Room)
An Introduction to Ecofeminism (Umpqua River Room)
First Aid For The Streets And The Woods (Ben Linder Room)

SNACKZ 12:50-1:10 (Survival Center)

WORKSHOPS 1:10-2:40
Sex Worker Panel (Campbell Club)
Embodied Activism (Fir Room)
Men and the Patriarchy (Ben Linder Room)

CLOSING 2:40-3:40 (Fir Room)
CLEANUP 3:40-4:00 (Everywhere!)


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fashioning Resistance to Militarism: Thursday Night

Resisting Militarism Fashion Show
Thursday, May 13, 2010
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Agate Hall, University of Oregon


We here at the 'Surgent consider ourselves incredibly fashionable people. The other day I was feeling incredibly fashionable and decided to bust out my dad's old leather jacket. As I strutted my stuff down the runway that is 13th avenue I was humbled by the fashion police. He told me the epaulettes on my jacket went out of style 5 years ago, but recently they've been resurrected by people who want to make an implicit statement against fashion. Of course I then threw off my jacket and walked home crying. (Of course I forgot I was wearing my cat/rose sweater which made everything even worse.)

Now all this could have been avoided if I had taken the time to think about why my jacket had pointless military accouterments sewed on its shoulders. I blame my father for my bad style choices. If I wanted to pretend I was in the army I should have checked with the blogosphere first and made sure epaulettes were still "in."

I will have to check out the Militarism Fashion Show to see all the great ways military fashion has crept into the mainstream.

Resisting Militarism Fashion Show
Thursday, May 13, 2010
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Agate Hall, University of Oregon



From the event's Facebook page:

Military clothing has long been adopted into civilian wardrobes.
Even the khaki slacks available in every casual clothing line have military origins.

Fashioning Resistance to Militarism

Presents a provocative and eye-catching exposé of how militarism has seeped into our homes, our closets, and our minds.

Produced by UO students, staff, and faculty in collaboration with Eugene community members, this unique fashion show features original designs that challenge some pervasive assumptions about militarism. This show uncovers the high costs of militarism in terms of people’s lives, their emotional wellbeing, environmental contamination, carbon footprint, war profiteering, and all the ways war is made to seem normal…

Don’t miss this “counter couture” for peace and justice.

Thursday May 13, 7pm
Agate Hall Auditorium (@Agate and18th)


Organized by University of Oregon, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and Oregon WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions).

Co-sponsors: Center for the Study of Women in Society, Oregon Center for Humanities

Neon Stare

Have you ever looked at someone you don't know, stared into there eyes and been met with a blank stare? That dead look, of scorched images searing the retina. Of overloud music booming through a speaker shoved deep into the ear canal. Small TVs, screens, blinking neon are but a small portion of the innumerable brightly covered distractions.

We wear clothes, shiny, bright or black, showing off how different we are, or receding deep into ourselves. Our hyper-individualism drowns out others, their needs and feelings. We are increasingly told what to wear, how to wear it, what to a own- just to maintain a sense of privilege and self. Because without our identity as individuals, we are meaningless...

This notion of individualism, the Ipod, Ipad, flashy clothes, new cars, new tvs etc, all make up the nearly completely internalised self, at the expense of the interpersonal communication- leaving only a neon stare. Well, turn off the neon, the ipod, wear bland clothes, try not be compelled by adds or shop at stores... try to grow food, build your own home, talk to your folks. Create a community, know your neighbours. The individual running of society makes nearly every participant a guilty accomplice to the resource extraction and wars therefrom. Compliance with the system is inevitable at some level, since we are surrounded by it and alternatives will take time to develop, but we need to develop alternatives.

It is incumbent upon the citizens of this world to tear down walls of inhibition and talk to those around us. We need to help each other out and create a interpersonal systems of understanding and toleration.



Monday, May 10, 2010

The MCC Presents: The Other Mexico

When: Wednesday, May 12th, 7PM
Where: Willamette 100, UO Campus

The UO Multicultural Center is hosting activist Leonor Arenas Agis and journalist John Gibler to talk about the state of social movements in contemporary Mexico.

Visit the Event's Facebook Page


LEONOR ARENAS AGIS is the daughter of Gloria Arenas Agis and Jacobo Silva, two former political prisoners in Mexicos's state of Guerrero. Both Arenas Agis and Silva were released last October after 10 years in a Mexican prison. Leonor, as the daughter of these guerrilla leaders, faced multiple assassination attempts before seeking political asylum in Canada. In Canada, Arenas Agis was active in social justice movements. Now, back in Mexico, Arenas Agis is studying medicine and is also a part of two collectives. The first works for the release of all political prisoners in Mexico and the second seeks access to health care for all.

JOHN GIBLER is a former Global Exchange human rights fellow in Mexico who has been social movements since January 1st, 2006. He reported on the ground from the Zapatistas Other Campaign, the massive protests against electoral fraud in Mexico City, and the civil disobedience uprising in Oaxaca. His writing and photographs have appeared in numerous publications across the nation. He has also reported from Oaxaca for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the international edition of the Miami Herald. Before moving to Mexico, Gibler worked for various human rights and social justice organizations in Mexico, Peru, and California. He reported on environmental justice issues and water privatization in California for Public Citizen, Terrain Magazine, ColorLines, the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, the Journal on Race, Poverty and the Environment and other independent media.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fascism Stinks: A communiqué from Eugene Anarchists

To whom it may concern,

We members of Eugene’s anarchist Black Tea Society are shocked and appalled by the behavior of a number of reckless hooligans during the Pacifica Forum meeting Friday, May 7th! In the early evening a putrid smell, very similar to that of looming fascism, filled Esslinger Hall. The culprit: three dozen stink bombs. What these young miscreants just don't understand is that history has proven time and again that fascists are consistently vanquished by reasonable dialogue and passive sign holding. After all what brought down Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco and many more was clearly the might of Western capitalist logic. These misguided youth are obviously wing nut Utopian Kropotkonites! We are in complete total agreement with the wise and benevolent University administrators that these hooligans actions were childish and unimaginative and that fascists are sacrosanct should be unopposed. We also hold that the brutal response of university security was entirely justified. We suggest to campus security that they adopt a policy of throwing all anti-fascists down stairs, as they did to Fridays protesters. We hope that in future people will exercise proper restraint when dealing with advocates of genocide and totalitarianism.


Hugs and Kisses,
Black Tea Society

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pacifica Forum, not so much. Insurgent, awesome.

Four people cited, one arrested. The protests intensified today, with music, disruption and even Stink bombs. The Antifascists let themselves be heard disrupting the movie showing- which explained 'the jewish conspiracy'. 

Pacifica Forum had to stop and restart their presentation amidst much chaos. disrupting  statements, music, stomping feet and other tactics. One forum member left early, frustrated that the forum was not able to give its normal bigoted platform uninterrupted.

DPS (Department of Public Safety) railed against several student and non-student protesters. Grabbing a handful after several stink bombs were broken. Apparently the foul smelling devices were duds, as on pacifica member put it "In my day at least the stink bombs stank". 

Well the stink bombs stunk and foul ideology of the forum was abruptly shorted. 

Go Ducks!

Also this coincided with the release party of the new Student Insurgent, issue 21.4.  A fine example of writing, fighting and solidarity. Telling the stories they wont tell you. The stories of resistance!

This Week: Free Film brought to you by the CLDC

The second Thursday of each month @ 7 pm in the WestTown Community Center @ 275 W. 8th (next to WOW Hall) the Civil Liberties Defense Center brings you movies that make you think.

This Thursday, May 13:
Incident at Oglala
Check out a clip from film on youtube.



Upcoming Films: TBA


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pipeline stopped!!!

On Tuesday afternoon, NW Natural's business partner, Northernstar, declared bankruptcy and announced they are suspending development on the Bradwood LNG terminal! The LNG terminal was one of the two proposed for the Columbia River and would have directly connected to the Palomar Pipeline. This is an amazing victory!

The Pipeline represents a continued dependance on Fossil Fuels and archaic systems of dependance and destruction. Rather than investing in gigantic projects of waste and environmental destruction, we see alternatives everywhere.

Sometimes just not doing something bad, is in fact, good.

Sunlight is not for Franchise

Flame licked the building. The heat rose in vision-distorting waves, charring and weakening the sides of the structure. Glass shattered from the intense heat.  Support beams buckled and the towering behemoth, home of a bank, or maybe a banker's home. The building fell to its knees, buckling under the pressure and weakening bonds of support. No Molotov had done this work; this was a bomb.

Like so many families that lost their homes, here finally, was retribution. Not divine, but deliberate and delivered. If we cannot have home, neither can you...

The firemen gazed in awe as the paint burst into flames, the fire so hot it made other buildings smoulder. What had been used to create such a high intensity burn? Such a lasting fire... what was the accelerant?

For the police, who cared nothing for human life, there was a different question. Who had started it? Whoever had dared to challenge the systems of oppression must be stopped! The police searched the site for days, scanning rubble. finally finding evidence of white phosphorus and finger prints. The police waited for weeks to get back the DNA sample. It was questionable who had done it, but the bomber had been careless, leaving evidence, or perhaps deliberate. In any event, the self-appointed authorities of the state suspected a culprit and went cautiously, at an early hour to his registered home. Just as they arrived the sprinkler system went off.

The officers were on edge--was this a timer or an early alarm? Dressed in black, the officers came forward and silently brought up the battering ram. SWAT members sat behind the neighbors' fences.  

There was only one door to the house and a few small windows.  

BANG!*!#! the door jarred under the pressure. but didn't budge. The officers were shocked the lock should have snapped under the pressure! The snipers got twitchy, what was behind that door?

BANG!@!*! the second blow and the door swung back, locks dangling. Ready to rush in, the cops were stopped short by a cement wall! There was no where to go.

They stared at the giant cement wall that stood before them. It didn't move. What was going on? As the day progressed, they tried to fire tear-gas into the house, only to find that the windows had cement behind their glass and drawn blinds. What was this place?

They called in a jackhammer and began to break the wall, little by little grinding in a solid wall of cement. !!!!!BOOM!!!! There was an explosion, and the jackhammer fell, its owner knocked backwards 7 feet!

The police bristled, sweat from the day's heat now building on their brows, under shiny black uniforms and streaking down their cheeks. The nervousness multiplied by bombs buried in a cement wall further scared them and did not ease their sweating brows...

The day wore on the bomb squad, using a jackhammer, and minor explosives to grind into the wall. The state's minions ran into metal tubes securing the wall. This section was a door! They cut the metal tubes and tried to open it... no luck. They kept grinding, using explosives. Another bomb went off, precious equipment destroyed. Who was this person who had locked himself in a cement building, with bombs imbedded in the walls?!?

The grinding continued well into the afternoon until the far side had been reached and the police stormed in. The house was empty, though it looked lived-in. In the hours it took for the police to dig through the wall. The woman crawled out the tunnel she had dug before the bombing and escaped to one of several safe houses.

Hours earlier, during the raid, she had looked back on her old street, now blocked by police. The sunlight glinted off a gutter, that shining light would be her last memory of that beautiful place she called home. But oppression will steal what you love. They have the legitimate use of authority after all. As she drove away, she marvelled at the three bombs about to go off, the interior ministry, another banker... maybe there would be more. She thought, because you may find me in prison, or see me on TV; I'll say 'The sunlight dragged me here'!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Pledge allegiance
to / / / / no
god / / / / or
false --- --- ...authority!
I --- --- pledge
myself to
creating a more just,
environmentally sound
and egalitarian society!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day, International Workers Day!!!

Brush Up on Your Knowledge of Union History
  • THE GENERAL STRIKE AGAINST PULLMAN
  • RADICAL UNIONS: THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR ANDTHE INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD
  • HOW MODERN UNIONS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
What is May Day?

Each year, many nations around the world honor May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. The date is respected in the United States as the anniversary of an historic undertaking for workers’ rights. On May 1, 1886 hundreds of thousands of workers paraded through the streets of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and other American Cities demanding the eight-hour workday. in many cases, despite municipal laws, many employers continued to exact long workdays from their employees. On May 1, workers achieved their hard-fought eight-hour workday.

In subsequent years, May 1 became the day labor unions and other groups would organize public demonstrations to solidify their right to shorter hours. In 1890, the American Federation of Labor reached overseas to Europe to spread workers’ rights; May Day had become an internationally recognized opportunity for direct action. This tradition of activism continued in the United States until 1953 when tens of thousands of May Day participants were denied their usual permit to march. In the United States, this date has since dwindled into relative obscurity.


The Pullman Strike

In July of 1894, south of Chicago on an orderly three thousand acre track of land, Pullman Illinois erupted in a violent clash between railroad workers, industry, and government. The previous May, three thousand workers from the Pullman Palace Car Company went on strike to protest a wage reduction. By June, the American Railway Union brought the conflict to the national scene by virtually halting railway transit west of Chicago.

Within days, federal soldiers were dispatched to break the strike. This decision by President Cleveland resulted in intensified violence. Unions of workers and alliances between owners had evolved before this conflict. George Pullman had a city designed to provide for all of the needs of his employees. In response to the financial panic of 1893, Pullman authorized a wage cut of 25% without reducing his workers’ cost of living. Owners and laborers both took a stand. The Pullman conflict provided the spark to initiate the general strike, which shook the country perhaps more than any other single labor dispute in American history.



MAY DAY!!! MAY DAY!!!

“Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the granite foundations of
a skyscraper. If the basic elements, identity of interest, clarity of vision, honesty of intent, and oneness
of purpose, or any of these is lacking, all sentimental please for solidarity, and all other efforts
to achieve it will be barren of results” —Eugene V. Debs


Eugene V Debs, a president of the American Railway union and a founder of the Industrial Workers of the World. He was imprisoned for his role in the Pullman Strike for obstructing the mail despite his specific instructions to allow passage of these trains. He ran for president five times, once garnishing nearly 1 million votes and was jailed twice for his activism.


Radical Unions:

THE ORDER OF THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR

(KOL) was first established in 1869 by textile workers in Philadelphia. In 1886, The KoL grew to contain over 700,000 members including blacks and women. The organization did not participate in the protests of May 1, 1986; However, many local branches did take part. The KoL was obligated to operate as a radical union from its inception. The founding coincided with the dissolution of the Garment Cutters’ Union. Many members had been blacklisted but determined to found the Knights of Labor as a secret organization.

These leaders expanded the Union’s influence by welcoming people from different industries, genders, and races into the organization. This was a radical decision for the time and a huge step for inclusivity. (Unfortunately, the KoL continued to exclude and antagonize Asian workers.) With its diverse membership, the KoL sought to achieve the eight-hour workday, the elimination of child labor, and equal pay for equal work among other pursuits.

After many successes in the early 1980s, subsequent strike failures, refusal to participate in the successful May Day demonstration, and competition with the newly established American Federation of Labor, the influence of the KoL had largely disappeared by 1900.


THE INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD

(IWW), established in 1905, took some of the most drastic and effective methods of any labor organization to that time. By 1917, many states enacted laws to pacify many IWW initiatives. The IWW was quick to declare strikes, boycotts, and slowdowns. It often employed direct action, thereby sacrificing many chances for comprise. Members were drawn from all working class people including immigrants, women, minorities and the unemployed. The IWW became the most Inclusive union on the national stage.


The IWW states in its constitution: “Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.” Its zealous pursuit of these goals lasted into the 1920s During World War I, the IWW never ceased its activities. Many members were arrested for evading the draft and others were falsely accused of cooperating with German agents. Many of the organizations’ leaders were arrested under provisions of the Espionage Act. This included the founder William Haywood, who skipped bail to flee to Russia, leaving the IWW with a massive debt. In the mid-1920s membership had dropped off and the IWW’s influence had greatly diminished. The organization has survived and continues to organize labor actions today.

Modern Union Strategies:

Trade Unions, Industrial Unionism & Service Unionism

Trade unions accept members based on their individual occupation or trade. Commonly, workers in the same craft and in the same union will be employed by many different industries and by many different employers. Trade unions have much in common with guilds, which have existed since medieval times.

Industrial unions were designed to incorporate all workers from a given industry. Often this form of union is referred to as a vertical union since it consists of the least skilled workers to the most specialized workers. Prior to the Knights of Labor, unions had been organized as trade unions. The American Federation of Labor that largely supplanted the Knights of Labor accepted all workers, but continued to organize them on the basis of their trade. The Industrial Workers of the World was the next genuine large industrial union.

As the size of the service economy has grown, service unionism has been used to operate in specific localities rather than in specific industries and for specific trades. Closely coordinated activism among participants in a strike prevent counterstrokes from employers and avoids targeting single shops which sometimes merely close down rather than directly oppose a strike. By targeting an entire region, the people from the collective area can more forcefully demand better wages, hours and benefits.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Which Veggie Burgers Were made With a Neurotoxin?

The answer will scare the shit out of you.

A food and agriculture nonprofit recently found that many veggie burgers currently on the market are made with an EPA-registered air pollutant and neurotoxin.

In response to this news one angry vegan said, "I'd still rather eat poison than an animal." Personally I would prefer to eat neither the animal nor the poison. Vegetables come straight from the earth and are tasty too.


Find the full story on MotherJones.com

Spring Japanese Film Series

Every Thursday at 6pm in the Mills International Center.
April 29: Welcome Back Mr. McDonald
May 6: Ponyo
May 13: Waterboys
May 20: Detroit Metal City
May 27: Paprika
June 3: Sakuran


Sounds like a good time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Decolonial Food For Thought at the CAER Conference

Claudia Serrato and Chris Rodriguez of Decolonial Food For Thought visited Eugene from LA to speak at the Coalition Against Environmental Racism's 15th annual grassroots environmental justice conference.

The two spoke about how colonization has radically changed indigenous food habits. The two briefly touched on how modern writers such as Micheal Pollen in his book Omnivore's Dilemma often blame today's food problem on the industrial revolution. These two visionaries back up 500 years to European colonization.

For more information visit www.decolonialfoodforthought.com


The CAER conference continues for the rest of today and concludes with a local food action tomorrow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Queer Prom this Saturday

Don't forget, Saturday April 24th, in the Gerlinger Gym from 9PM to 1AM. Sponsored by the LGBTQA.



And it's free!

Monday, April 19, 2010

We are hiring

We need motivated, organized and radical people who are willing work with us to create some amazing work during the next school year.

Send us an email, or stop by our meetings Tuesdays at 6:15 in the Survival Center.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The dollar, oppression and a viable alternative

We are constantly told if we work hard we will earn more and do better in life. This is a lie. Minimum wage, a concession paid for in the blood of years of Union struggle. The 8 hour work day, 8 to rest, 8 to play and 8 to keep the bills at bay. How about the 5 day work week. Won, won by struggle and years of pushing back. These small luxuries, why were they so hard fought? 

Well to answer that question, first consider what money is. Money is a unit of currency exchange, divisible and able to multiply to infinite levels. The use of money is a system, one which is not consentual or even democratic, everyone born is forced into the system!  The dollar and currency is an arbitrary unit, changing with inflation and deflation, wreaking havoc on the lives of everyone under the system. exchange is simply a tool to control the lives of the many, by the few. The origins of money may have been organic, but it is manipulated toady, for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many, or in the words of Smedly Butler "Its a racket". 

The Racket:

Since those few at the top control the vast majority of money, they had the power against which workers fought to earn the 5 day work week, 8 hour day and a minimum wage. The few did not want to reform and still today resist any reforms, spending millions in lobbies, billions in add campaigns and control the mass media. We are constantly told if we work hard we will earn more and do better in life. This is a lie. The advertisements which fund the leisure Television shows, news and print are from the wealthy, in who's interest they try to defend. In who's interest they print, publish and inform to distract and blind the masses to this system, wage oppression.

But money is just a tool of exchange right?

The use of money on a arbitrary scale means that trys to match skill and time. This is a flawed and oppressive system. Since some people make more money, the wage system says your time is worth more. Since our lives are are limited in time, because everyone dies, money by its very nature implies that some people's lives are worth more than others. That is a deranged manipulation of human existence. A system that even implies that someone's life is worth more than others, is just plain wrong.

The wage system is oppressive, but its all we've got, right?

Wrong, actually trade and barter existed for millennia prior to the oppressive system we have today. Trading goods for goods, removes any ambiguity as to the real worth versus externalized costs. Trade local, work local and help those around you.

Another system that could still have an intermediary exchange unit, but remove the oppression inherent to the dollar system. A hour wage system would provide incentive to work, become educated and equalize the labor value. If a person works an hour, they are paid an hour. The value of the hour is divisible by the labor applied to it. So a gallon of milk may cost 3/16 an hour, a house small house 25,000 hours. etc. the work one does is valuable, a janitor should receive no less than the business executive. A janitor is not an unskilled trade and physical labor is no less valuable than drawing designs for a house. The level of education could be correlated to a lowering of taxation services. The hour wage system rewards greater, those who contribute more. The average work week on one's life could then be paid to the individual upon an accepted age of retirement. There is so much more to this, that this article cannot indulge, Consider the possibilities of success!