The State

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"The Rebellion of the Poor Comes to Grahamstown" Xola Mali, Ayanda Kota, Nombulelo Yame The rebellion of the poor has been spreading from town to town, from squatter camp to squatter camp, since 2004. Last week it arrived in Grahamstown. There is no third force, political party or communist academic behind our struggle. It is oppression at the hands of the African National Congress that has driven us into the rebellion of the poor. We are in rebellion because we are being forced to live without dignity, safety or hope.
The Autumn of the Hegemon Louis Proyect This was the year that the war in Afghanistan became the longest in American history. It was also a year in which a jobless recovery was threatening to spiral out of control, turning into a double-dip recession. For those with even the most underdeveloped capacity for making historical analogies, it should be rather obvious that the U.S. is facing the same kind of intractable contradictions that brought down the USSR.
US Justice Department Prepares Expansion of "Anti-Terrorism" Law Targeting Activists Michael Deutsch In late September, the FBI carried out a series of raids of homes and antiwar offices of public activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Following the raids, the Obama Justice Department subpoenaed 14 activists to a grand jury in Chicago and also subpoenaed the files of several antiwar and community organizations. In carrying out these repressive actions, the Justice Department was taking its lead from the Supreme Court's 6-3 opinion last June in Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project, which decided that nonviolent First Amendment speech and advocacy "coordinated with" or "under the direction of" a foreign group listed by the Secretary of State as "terrorist" was a crime.
"Government Cuts: As Stupid As They Seem?" Hillel Ticktin [There are a surprising lack of convincing explanations as to why the capitalist class is pushing through the present unprecedented austerity drive - even at the risk of provoking both mass opposition and a double-dip recession. The following excerpts, from Hillel Ticktin's recent articles in Critique, do offer an interesting partial explanation.] It remains very unclear why a section of the ruling class is going for these cuts. It is one thing to reduce government spending and raise taxes during an upturn, as Canada did in the 1990s, and quite another to do so today. The large scale unemployment consequent on such reductions in the public sector is being matched with substantial salary reductions. As there are often disproportionate numbers of female employees in the sectors being proposed for downsizing, the measures will bear heavily on women and families. There are suggestions that the poorest will be protected, but this is a fig leaf to provide a semblance of humanity. The poorest may be protected but most people are by definition not in that category, but are nonetheless scraping by, with incomes a fraction of the so-called upper middle class. Whatever their present views, they will be jolted into opposition to the government and ultimately to the system.
The Political Meaning of the Attacks on Abahlali baseMjondolo Michael Neocosmos The background and consequences of the recent violent destruction of the Kennedy Road organisation of the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) movement of shack dwellers by a combination of gangs recruited for the purpose, police action and local and regional ANC structures needs to be analysed at some depth. The reason is that this event and the actions surrounding it by various state apparatuses have major consequences for the democracy and citizenship rights which have been painfully fought for and constructed through popular struggle in this country over many years, but particularly during the popular upsurge of the 1980s. At this stage, AbM is trying to reconstitute itself in response to the ongoing attacks on its key militants but it is not yet clear how the attacks will change the movement.
ACTA Treaty is DMCA on Steroids Kevin Carson [Reposted from Center for a Stateless Society] In last year’s election campaign Obama came across as vaguely more friendly to open-culture than the alternatives, among other things supporting “fair use” reform of the DMCA and opposing requirements for ISP data retention (both issues on which Hillary waffled). As somebody put it, “Obama’s a Mac and Hillary’s a PC.” Even the U.S. Pirate Party endorsed Obama as the least evil candidate. But if recent events are any indication, Obama’s stance on the preexisting digital copyright regime is that of Rehoboam: “My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke.” It was a safe bet something was up when Obama refused to discuss—for “national security” reasons, of course—the terms of the forthcoming Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (a secret copyright treaty). Now the Internet chapter has leaked, according to Cory Doctorow, and “It’s bad. Very bad.” Among other things:
The Heart of India Is Under Attack Arundhati Roy A shortened version of this article appeared in The Guardian (UK), Friday, October 30, 2009. This is the full version. Ed.] To justify enforcing a corporate land grab, the state needs an enemy — and it has chosen the Maoists The low, flat-topped hills of south Orissa have been home to the Dongria Kondh long before there was a country called India or a state called Orissa. The hills watched over the Kondh. The Kondh watched over the hills and worshipped them as living deities. Now these hills have been sold for the bauxite they contain. For the Kondh it's as though god had been sold. They ask how much god would go for if the god were Ram or Allah or Jesus Christ.
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