a month ago in ukraine

Just going through some older articles I have been saving. Here’s a good one on Ukraine following the revolution (or coup? I’m still grappling with this.) Well worth a read, though it is long.

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Hands off Venezuela!

The Guardian reports that Spain has cut off sales of riot gear to Venezuela. Perhaps they are worried that they may need it themselves. One can only hope.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the unique position that Venezuela finds itself in. And let us consider the will of the people in all of this.

 

May Day

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In 1887, four Chicago anarchists were executed; a fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by “hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge”. The state had, in the words of the prosecution put “Anarchy is on trial” and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea.

The anarchists were trade union organisers and May Day became an international workers day to remember their sacrifice. They were framed on false charges of throwing a bomb at police breaking up a demonstration in Chicago. This was part of a strike demanding an 8 hour day involving 400,000 workers in Chicago that started May 1st 1886 .

Read more at libcom.org…

I don’t have much to add. The story of the Haymarket martyrs speaks for itself. I just hope we take the time today to recognize that gains for the working class are never handed down from bosses and political masters.

They are taken.

Frank Luntz is an asshole

Frank Luntz is an asshole.

He made a career out of getting paid by the political elites to talk to regular people in order to find out what makes them tick. He uses the information he gets from focus groups to manipulate and deceive the general public. It’s partly due to his work that nearly half of the country consistently votes against their best interests.

One of the more devastating recommendations was outlined in a memo on “environmental communications.” He argued that the Republican party should stop mentioning “global warming,” and instead refer to “climate change.”

Climate change sounds benign in comparison to the ominous global warming. Yet, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even  if we were to completely stop contributing to global warming today, the impact will be catastrophic.

But the media speaks matter-of-factly about mild sounding climate change. Politicians of all stripes use the phrase as well. Even dedicated activists have adopted the language that Frank Luntz carefully chose to inoculate against their attempts to raise awareness.

STOP TALKING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE and GO BACK TO TALKING ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING!

take a sharp left turn

Nothing is slowing the consolidation of power and the concentration of wealth. Social movements have been painfully impotent at driving change. Minor gains produced by elevating consciousness are quickly mitigated and reversed by the state/corporate/media propaganda machine.

Here in the United States, there is no left wing political party of any significance. The Democratic and Republican parties are two heads of the same beast. The difference between the two is a matter of their willingness to respond to pressure from below, and nothing more.

Creature comforts distract us from the reality that most of us are living on the cusp of poverty. The burden of debt and the high cost of living ensure that we all live in instability and uncertainty. The financial coercion we live under forces our compliance and affords us no freedom to examine and alter the social relationships that suppress the masses for the benefit of a tiny minority of elites.

As the country races further to the right, the situation is becoming ever more intractable. We need to take a sharp left turn before it is too late.