Saturday, December 25, 2010
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
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
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.
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?
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.
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
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
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
At least 4 community organizers currently being held as
political prisoners as G20 related police repression continues to
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
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
“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
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
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
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.
State of Oregon's forests
Know your rights
Government repression and the Green Scare
... 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
- extra tarp to contribute to camp! You will get this back.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
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
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, May 17, 2010
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:
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!!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
See the full Schedule after the 'jump' or on http://beyondpatriarchyconference.wordpress.com/.
Beyond Patriarchy Convergence schedule
Solidarity with Palestine (Ben Linder Room)
Fertility Awareness for Fun and Health (Rogue River Room)
Money Skills for Activists (Umpqua River Room)
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)
“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
SNACKZ 11:00-11:30 (Survival Center)
Fighting Fatphobia (Rogue River Room)
Tree Climbing Training (Lorax Manner)
Politics of Sex Positivity (Metolius River Room)
LUNCH 1:00-2:00 (Multicultural Center)
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)
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)
SNACKZ 11:00-11:30 (Survival Center)
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)
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
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
Monday, May 10, 2010
Where: Willamette 100, UO Campus
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
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
This Thursday, May 13:
Incident at Oglala
Check out a clip from film on youtube.
Upcoming Films: TBA
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
- THE GENERAL STRIKE AGAINST PULLMAN
- RADICAL UNIONS: THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR ANDTHE INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD
- HOW MODERN UNIONS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
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.
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.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
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
Saturday, April 24, 2010
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.