On Mike Davis' "Planet of Slums" Richard Pithouse Visions of the future, presented as aspiration or inevitability, exercise tremendous power over certain kinds of decision making in the present. In cities where local elites are able to imagine a convivial future for themselves and where the economy is based on consumption as well as production or extraction, the vision of the future is, above all, the idea of a ‘World Class City’. This is the idea that guides and justifies the decisions of the technocratic elites organized in ‘partnerships’ across governments, donor agencies, NGOs, the academy and corporations. Their decisions produce broadly similar results around the world – the exclusion and eviction of the poor, the commodification of public space and public investment in projects for private profit such as conference centers, casinos, hotels, shopping malls, golf course estates, major sports events and so on at the direct expense of public investment in public housing, public facilities and public space. Rem Koolhaas tells us that it is time to get real and the reality is that shopping is “the last remaining form of public activity.”1
Critical Art Ensemble's Steve Kurtz is Cleared of Mail and Wire Fraud Charges Artist and University of Buffalo Professor Steve Kurtz was cleared of charges for mail and wire fraud today in federal court. U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara ruled that criminal charges brought against him by federal prosecutors were “insufficient on[their] face.”
Jun 5 2008 9:00 am
Jun 7 2008 6:00 am
HOW CLASS WORKS — 2008 A Conference at SUNY Stony Brook June 5-7, 2008 The Center for Study of Working Class Life is pleased to announce the How Class Works – 2008 Conference, to be held at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, June 5 - 7, 2008. Purpose and orientation : The conference seeks to explore ways in which an explicit recognition of class helps to understand the social world in which we live, and ways in which analysis of society can deepen our understanding of class as a social relationship. Presentations should take as their point of reference
IFPI Forces Danish ISP to Block The Pirate Bay Ernesto The battle between the IFPI and the Pirate Bay continues. A Danish court ruled in favor of the IFPI, and ordered the Danish ISP "Tele2?$B!m (DMT2-Tele2) to block all access to the popular BitTorrent tracker. The Pirate Bay, currently ranked 28th in the list of most visited sites in Denmark, is working on countermeasures. The court case was initiated by the IFPI - the infamous anti-piracy organization that represents the recording industry - and plans to force other ISPs to do the same. However, The Pirate Bay is determined to fight back, as usual. The Pirate Bay team has already asked other BitTorrent admins to stand up against the IFPI lobby, and arranged a meeting with Tele2 to discuss the current events. Pirate Bay co-founder Brokep told TorrentFreak in a response: "I hope the torrent community understands what this will do to Danish people. It will also act as a very bad precedent for the European Union, and I hope everybody will fight this." At the moment, The Pirate Bay team is registering new (Danish) domains, to make sure people can still download .torrent files from the Bay when the ban is activated later today tomorrow. In addition the Pirate Bay will launch a campaign website, together with the Danish pro-piracy lobby "Piratgruppen".
After a long procrastination in fighting out whatever issue broke the info exchange slash code site, and an even longer process of converting that slash code site to drupal, we're just about done. At this point, all stories, users, comments have been moved over. slash user's journal entries are now blog posts. Thanks to those that attended the workshop at NYC Drupal Camp 3 for which conversion from slash to drupal was started. Details on the conversion can be found at http://eric.openflows.com/node/26 Expect the site to change a bit in design, interface and features over the next month or two.

Behind the fire: Ben Dangl on struggles in Latin America

Shay Totten

From the Vermont Guardian

Vermont Guardian: In the research for your book, The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia, what did you find to be the biggest misconception that people in the United States have about the struggles facing many of the indigenous people in Latin and South America?

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