In the Streets

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We Want the Full Loaf (not just a child support grant) Mnikelo Ndabankulu [Presentation at the Development Action Group Workshop, Cape Town, South Africa, 18 November 2009] The Slums Act The Slums Act first came to our ears as a Bill in 2006. The information about this Bill came to us indirectly through our sources. It was clear that we needed to discuss this Bill as Abahlali. M'du Hlongwa and I both went to the Government Communications to ask a copy. We had two copies and we shared these copies and we analysed the Bill. We had a number of meetings where we read the Bill together going one line by one line. Before we could get into the Bill the name of the Bill was already frustrating us as it talked about shack settlements as 'Slums'. Yes our communities are under developed and they need development. That is obvious. But they are not 'slums'. A slum is a place where there there is nothing good, where there is no survival. We immediately thought that it is wrong to call our communities 'slums'. We immediately thought that the government must recognise that our settlements are communities – communities that are underdeveloped due to neglect by the government - and that they need to be developed by that same government. They need to be made formal – not to be eradicated.
The Decade to Come Brian Holmes It was the heyday of globalization, the high point of the Internet boom and the last gasp of the New Economy: the WTO ministerial in Seattle was meant to celebrate the advent of a corporate millennium extending “free trade” to the furthest corners of the earth. Nobody on that fall morning of Tuesday, 30 November 1999, could have predicted that by nightfall the summit would be disrupted, downtown Seattle would be paralyzed by demonstrations and a full-scale police riot would have broken out, revealing to everyone what democracy really looks like and plunging the city into five days of chaos. Nobody, that is, except the thousands of protesters who prepared for months to put their bodies on the line and shut down the World Trade Organization – as well as their hundreds of thousands of other bodies across the world who learned the potentials of the networked society by participating in the far-flung renewal of leftist, anarchist, social justice and ecology movements that began in the wake of the Zapatista uprising five years before. The 30th of November was their day, our day, a tumultuous day in the streets, inaugurating a movement of movements whose resistance had become as transnational as capital.
"Eyes Closed and Covered:" The "Internationalist" Blockade in Germany Volker Weiss [The long-standing conflicts inside the Left in Germany on the issue of nationalism emerged again a few weeks ago in Hamburg when some activists violently blockaded the showing of the film "Why Israel?" by former Jewish anti-fascist partisan Claude Lanzmann. This text analyzes the incident, and attempts to contextualize it within a broader political and historical framework.] After the violent blockade of a film showing of Claude Lanzmann’s “Why Israel” in Hamburg, Germany, the coalition around the Internationalist Center B5 has sought to make an explanation. This Autumn in Germany the showing of 2 films were forcefully prevented: In Hoyerswerda, a bomb threat caused the cancellation of Quentin Tarantinos “Inglorious Basterds,” and in Hamburg the showing of the documentary “Pourquoi Israel” (1972) of the French filmmaker and former antifascist partisan Claude Lanzmann was also not allowed to take place. In contrast to in Hoyerswerda, where the film showing was prevented by Neo-nazis, in Hamburg it required internationalist window dressing. At the end of October, a coalition around the “Internationalist Center B5″ blockaded a theater in their direct vicinity, the Independent Cinema B Movie. With physical blows and wild remarks, [ed. multiple sources reported that the B5 activists shouted "Jewish pigs" and "fairies" ("Shuchteln") at those seeking to enter the theater, and had physically assaulted some of them] the activists made clear that, the causing of injuries to a few people was worth it to them to prevent an engagement with the theme “Why Israel?”
The Necrosocial Occupied UC Berkeley 18 November 2009 "Being president of the University of California is like being manager of a cemetery: there are many people under you, but no one is listening." UC President Mark Yudof "Capital is dead labor which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor." Karl Marx "Politics is death that lives a human life." Achille Mbembe Yes, very much a cemetery. Only here there are no dirges, no prayers, only the repeated testing of our threshold for anxiety, humiliation, and debt. The classroom just like the workplace just like the university just like the state just like the economy manages our social death, translating what we once knew from high school, from work, from our family life into academic parlance, into acceptable forms of social conflict.
Grave Concerns about the Detention without Trial of the Kennedy Thirteen: This Travesty Must End Rubin Phillip 18 November 2009 After their 6th inconclusive bail hearing today, it is now abundantly clear that the legal process for the Kennedy 13 is a complete travesty of justice. They are scheduled to appear again on the 27th November. By that time, some of accused will have been in prison for 2 months without trial - two months in prison without any evidence being presented to a court and without a decision on bail. This is a moral and legal outrage that amounts to detention without trial by means of delay. In our view, it borders on unlawful detention. I am, tonight, issuing a call for their immediate release - justice has been delayed far beyond the point at which it was clear that it had been denied.
All Charges Dropped Against the Pemary 13, But Someone Needs to Answer for Police Attacks Abahlali basePemary Ridge Press Statement 16 November, 20:42 Abahlali basePemary Ridge is happy that all charges were dropped against 13 of our members, who were arrested in a brutal attack last Friday by the Sydenham police. Abahlali has said, since 2005, “My lawyer is my neighbour.” In court today, the Pemary 13 were not represented by a lawyer, but by the Chairperson of Abahlali baseMotala Heights , Shamita Naidoo, who learned about justice through years of experience working in her community, and about the law seeing case after political case brought by police against shack-dwellers. Shamita spoke powerfully and with a lot of anger against the police violence so common in Abahlali communities, and in all shack settlements.
"Two New Publications on Greece's 2008 Revolt" Anonymous Comrade With only weeks to go before December 6th, the day marking one year from the assassination of Alexis Grigoropoulos, two new excellent publications on the uprising of 2008 have come out by comrades in the UK and the US.
Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Occupied On Tuesday, October 20 2009 the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna was squatted, here is the statement and the demands of the occupants: The Bologna process aims at an extensive convergence of european Universities with the Anglo-American education system. The aim is to enter competition in the global education market in order to strengthen universitie's economic position and increase their research dependent revenues. The establishment of regulative norms and the harmonization of standards are the basis and at the same time the precondition of this process: without standardization there can be no measurability, without measurability no comparability, without comparability no competition. Economization and the logic of competition are imposed at every level of knowledge production.
Party Politics Versus Living Politics University of KwaZulu-Natal Forum Lecture Thursday 22 October 2009 Party Politic Vs Living Politic in Kennedy Road The Kennedy Road settlement, like all other Abahlali baseMjondolo settlements, has been embarking on a living politic. This politic is a living politic because it talks about the realities of our democracy – a democracy that serves the interests of a minority while the majority our people continue to live and to die in inhuman conditions.
Single-Payer Health Care Sit-Ins and Rallies The next day for Single-Payer Healthcare sit-ins and rallies is October 28! Visit www.mobilizeforhealthcare.org to sign up!
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