The State

British Police in £9m Scheme to Log 'Domestic Extremists Thousands of activists monitored on network of overlapping databases Police are gathering the personal details of thousands of activists who attend political meetings and protests, and storing their data on a network of nationwide intelligence databases. The hidden apparatus has been constructed to monitor “domestic extremists”, the Guardian can reveal in the first of a three-day series into the policing of protests. Detailed information about the political activities of campaigners is being stored on a number of overlapping IT systems, even if they have not committed a crime. Senior officers say domestic extremism, a term coined by police that has no legal basis, can include activists suspected of minor public order offences such as peaceful direct action and civil disobedience.
Democratic Terrorization A Not Bored interview with Claude Guillon Q: You will soon publish Democratic Terrorization (Libertalia), which analyzes in detail the French and European legislative arsenals concerning anti-terrorism. Can you develop the thesis of your book and compare the situations in 1986 and today?
Statement in support of Abahlali baseMjondolo 9 October 2009 The South African shack-dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) is an egalitarian, democratic organisation dedicated to the self-empowerment and self-education of thousands of disadvantaged people. We the undersigned support the resolve of AbM activists to play a leading part in the determination of their own future, and to help make, rather than suffer, public decisions about housing, land, and development. We condemn all acts of violence and intimidation against AbM members and the residents of South Africa's informal settlements. We condemn any participation or collusion of the government and police in the recent assault against AbM leaders and their families, and in the destruction of their homes and offices. We call on the government to do all that is required to repair the damage done in recent weeks, and to protect AbM activists and settlement residents from any future violence; we note in particular the repeated death threats against AbM President S'bu Zikode and Vice President Mashumi Figlan. We call on the ANC to respect and facilitate, rather than discourage, popular participation in the governing of South Africa.
ANC Atrocity in South African Shack Settlement On Saturday 26 September, Abahlali baseMjondolo, the shack dwellers movement, was attacked in the Kennedy Road settlement, Durban, by an armed mob chanting ethnic slogans and backed, fully, by the ANC. [The following is based on a report from an Abahlali member in Durban] Kennedy Road is one of the poorest shack settlements in Durban. Local police appear to be entirely complicit in these attacks, as do local members of the African National Congress.
The Logic of Terrorism Michel Bounan I Terrorism can be defined as an ensemble of criminal operations, of a variable nature and importance, intended to frighten a particular population with a view towards obtaining political concessions. To attain their goals, terrorist crimes must be known as widely as possible, and terrorism -- whatever it is -- is first and foremost a mediatic[1] operation. It is always a question of making known to the members of a sensitive group the crimes that will remain suspended over their heads if they not give in to certain political demands or if they remain in solidarity with their representatives. It is even a question of exposing one's own political projects to other individuals who are interested in such demands, so as to lead them to an active solidarity, which is so much more probable than terrorism tearing a few concessions from its enemies. The performers and planners of terrorist operations are sometimes overtly the States, as in the bombardment of London by the German Army in 1940, the bombardment of Dresden by the English air force in February 1945, or even the destruction of Hiroshima by the American Army in August of that same year. The proclaimed goal of terrorist acts is always to terrify the civilian population of the enemy, so as to neutralize its solidarity with its too bellicose government and to isolate this government so as to obligate it to capitulate.
A Somali Pirate Story Jordan Zinovich with Hans Plomp Once again the West prepares to demonstrate its confused notion of moral superiority. On Monday, 18 May 2009, five alleged Somali pirates faced a preliminary hearing in Rotterdam accused of attempting to hijack the freighter Samanyolu, which on January 2 was sailing in the Gulf of Aden under the flag of the Dutch Antilles(1). The trial is scheduled sometime this autumn, but during the preliminary hearing defense lawyer Willem-Jan Ausma called the five men modern-day Robin Hoods who “attack ships of rich countries to give the ransom to poor families.” He insisted that they act out of “desperation and poverty,”(2) and Haroon Raza, who represents one defendant, said poor social, financial, and political conditions in Somalia were the root causes of piracy.(3)
Interview with Julien Coupat LeMonde Here are the responses to the questions that we [Isabelle Mandraud and Caroline Monnot] posed in writing to Julien Coupat. Placed under investigation on 15 November 2008 for “terrorism,” along with eight other people interrogated in Tarnac (Correze) and Paris, he is suspected of having sabotaged the suspended electrical cables of the SNCF. He is the last one still incarcerated. (He has asked that certain words be in italics.)
Academic Freedom Controversy at the University of California Santa Barbara Leading Radical Scholar Accused of Anti-Semitism Professor William Robinson, a world renowned Jewish scholar, is facing charges of Anti-Semitism at the University of California Santa Barbara. A list of his publication and other information about his work can be found at:
"The Transborder Immigrant Tool, Violence, Solidarity and Hope" Electronic Disturbance Theater Border Context, Walking, Deaths Consider the incommensurability of the following two re/presentations of walking: The first from Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Walking” (1862), while pleasant enough to contemplate, hardwires an ironic Orientalism into its infrastructural mandates:
Social Movements Against the Global Security Architecture! A Critique of the Militarisation of Social Conflict and the Securitisation of Everyday Life Gipfelsoli Recent unrest due to food price hikes, protests against rising energy costs, visions and realities of a climate crisis and growing concerns over scarce resources, in conjunction with the continued turmoil of financial markets, are creating a sense of insecurity for a neoliberal regime in severe crisis. The G8 states and their allies are seeking to contain these conflicts and the evident accumulation crisis of the global economy through market-orientated solutions in order to restore economic growth whilst calls for more state intervention in the regulation of financial markets are rife. At the same time, the 'war on terror' serves to justify ever-more militarisation of all spheres of life. Wars are waged to secure new markets, transport routes and resources. New techniques of governance are emerging within a logic of waging war against who- or whatever cannot be made profitable. In 2009, a number of security policy changes whose consequences are as yet unclear, are planned for the EU. Under the banner of 'civil-military cooperation', internal and external security are to be merged into a 'comprehensive' and supra-national 'security architecture'. With a view to the US ministry, the 'Department of Homeland Security', founded after September 11th 2001 and comprising governmental, business and research organisations, EU security authorities are pushing for similar policy approaches for the European Union. 'Homeland Security' is to form the basis of the global security architecture of the most dominant states and richest economies, incorporating supranational institutions and multilateral agreements.
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