Independent Media

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From Farce to Tragedy: The New Crisis at Pacifica Iain Boal On September 17 the Governance Committee of the Pacifica National Board passed a resolution expressly designed to find out whether Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! program is getting CIA funding through covert channels like the Ford Foundation for suppressing the “truth” about the 9/11 “cover-up.” The author of the resolution, Chris Condon, made it clear that he wrote a motion on funding disclosure specifically to find out "where the hell Amy Goodman's money is coming from." Condon’s campaign for reelection to the KPFK Local Station Board in Los Angeles is endorsed by the current interim Executive Director of Pacifica and chair of the Pacifica National Board, Grace Aaron. Despite being thrown out of the Church of Scientology, Aaron still publicly identifies herself as “a follower of the teachings of L Ron Hubbard." What on earth is going on here? Listeners to the largest independent radio network in the US, whose broadcast signals are powerful enough to reach a fifth of the entire population, are no strangers to faction fights among staff and local boards, especially at the largest stations, WBAI (New York), KPFA (Berkeley), and KPFK (Los Angeles). But veterans of the now legendary 1999 crisis could be forgiven for thinking that Pacifica had safely resumed its mission of promoting understanding between peoples and individuals through peaceable dialogue. Many will be dismayed to learn that Pacifica is once again on the edge of the abyss.
Forthcoming Team Colors Book on Radical Currents & Organizing Friends, Team Colors is pleased to announce that AK Press will be publishing the collective’s first book, Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States. The volume will be released June 2010 to coincide with the US Social Forum in Detroit. “Will you join us in the middle of a whirlwind?” This is the question Team Colors has asked organizers, activists, artists, and theorists as we have sought to understand the current composition and strength of radical movements in the United States. In utilizing the metaphor of a whirlwind to describe the myriad of struggles that are taking place currently and those that have been blowing across the planet over the past decade, Team Colors has conducted an inquiry and examination of movements in the United States, which has resulted in the collection Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States (Whirlwinds). Whirlwinds provides case studies, movement strategies, theoretical analysis and interviews on radical community organizing—toward making social change possible!
Why Richard Florida's honeymoon is over Richard Lautens From The Toronto Star Uzma Shakir scanned the crowd, tapping her pen on the table. It was her turn. It was hot – too hot, an early-summer evening scorcher. All the chairs were filled. Latecomers spilled out the back and on to the gritty sidewalks on Bloor St. W. near Lansdowne. She stood. "I am the creative city," she said. Laughter. "That's what Richard Florida says. I make it really exotic." But the laughing stopped quickly. "Richard Florida's exotic city, his creative city, depends on ghost people, working behind the scenes. Immigrants, people of colour. You want to know what his version of creative is? He's the relocation agent for the global bourgeoisie. And the rest of us don't matter." Honeymoons, typically, are short. For Florida, who arrived in Toronto just over two years ago to head the Martin Prosperity Institute, a University of Toronto think-tank created just for him, it's officially over.
A Post-Fordist struggle: Report & reflections on the UK Ford-Visteon dispute 2009 NEW PAMPHLET FROM PAST TENSE past tense has a new FREE pamphlet available for your delectations In June 2000 Ford Motor Company outsourced the production of certain component parts to a new company called Visteon - in reality a spin off company of Ford in which Ford retained a 60% holding. In England a deal between the Ford company and the union promised all former Ford workers – now employees of Visteon –the same wage and pension conditions they'd had with Ford. But all newly hired Visteon workers were employed under inferior contracts. On 31st of March 2009 Ford/Visteon announced the closure of three factories in the UK and the sacking of 610 workers. The company was declared insolvent and put into receivership: workers were sacked with only a few minutes notice. No guarantees were given concerning redundancy or pensions payments. The management had made the workers work up to the last minute, knowing that they would not even receive any wages for their final shifts. On the 31st workers in Belfast responded to the closure announcement by occupying their factory spontaneously… the Basildon (Essex), and Enfield (north London) Visteon plants also occupied the next day… While the Basildon workers’ occupation ended quickly, the Enfield and Belfast plants remained in the workers’ for several weeks. Written by a member of the Visteon Support group who was active in the struggle at Enfield, this pamphlet briefly details the occupation there, relates the occupiers dealings with Visteon, with the Unite union, the support they received, and the outcome of the dispute… ‘A Post-Fordist Struggle’ is FREE, available from Past Tense for just 2 stamps (first or second class); write to us c/o 56a info Shop, 56 Crampton Street, London SE17 3AE. If you want a few copies to distribute, drop us a line: (a small donation would be appreciated though not compulsory).
Mayday magazine was launched to improve and liven up political debate amongst those seeking ways forward in the complex world we now live in. The problems of capitalism are huge and myriad, whilst the trauma of Marxism emerging from the domination of orthodox Communist parties has meant that the working class is without mechanisms of self reproduction and independent political development. Towards this end Mayday engages politically with the world as it is, rather than impose plans from above. We seek to encourage and spread existing struggles and attempts at progressive political renewal.
Pirate Bay Website Sold for $7.8 Million Today, Swedish software company Global Gaming Factory X AB has announced it has acquired The Pirate Bay website for 60 million SEK, which is roughly the equivalent of $7.8 million USD. This was almost immediately confirmed by The Pirate Bay. Although the title of their post is entitled “TPB might change owner,” from the text of the post it is obvious that the site has indeed been sold.
World Leaders Thank Arrestees, Avert Climate Disaster In a front-page ad in today's International Herald Tribune, the leaders of the European Union thank the European public for having engaged in months of civil disobedience leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference that will be held this December. "It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies.... To those who were arrested, we thank you." There was only one catch: the paper was fake.
The Oakland Rebellions The Unfinished Acts Crew After its debut at the San Francisco and New York City anarchist bookfairs, we're happy to offer up the final run, all cleaned up and freshly dropped on the internet. Read it here: http://issuu.com/unfinishedacts/docs/unfinished_acts Low res for slower connections here: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/06/15/18601725.php Comment on the indybay site if you decide to print and distro it! In conversation, unfinished acts crew From the introduction: Unfinished Acts was written collectively by a group of anarchists who were and still are actively present in the rebellion following Oscar Grant’s execution -- a collective recounting and analysis of events surrounding the shooting of an unarmed 22-year-old Black man in Oakland. Oscar Grant III was executed by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officers during the first hours of 2009 on the platform of the Fruitvale station. The following pages include a few short histories of significant social movements to help contextualize the rebellions. This history acts as intermissions for a documentary dramatization (but factually correct!) of some of the events that unfolded in the streets during the first month of 2009. We have reconstructed the narrative and dialogue from collective stories, personal experiences and videos of the rebellions posted online. We conclude with our own analysis and lessons.
Unfinished Acts: The Oakland Rebellions From the introduction: Unfinished Acts was written collectively by a group of anarchists who were and still are actively present in the rebellion following Oscar Grant’s execution-- a collective recounting and analysis of events surrounding the shooting of an unarmed 22-year-old Black man in Oakland. Oscar Grant III was executed by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officers during the first hours of 2009 on the platform of the Fruitvale station. The following pages include a few short histories of significant social movements to help contextualize the rebellions. This history acts as intermissions for a documentary dramatization (but factually correct!) of some of the events that unfolded in the streets during the first month of 2009. We have reconstructed the narrative and dialogue from collective stories, personal experiences and videos of the rebellions posted online. We conclude with our own analysis and lessons.
City from Below Issue of the Indypendent Reader The new issue of Baltimore’s Indypendent Reader, which comes out of the recent “City from Below” gathering, has been released. Information about it below. This special national issue of the Indypendent Reader comes out of a conference held in Baltimore this March called the City From Below, which was co-organized by the Indyreader, Participation Park (a political project centered around a community garden on a reclaimed vacant lot in East Baltimore), and Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, a worker-owned and democratically managed collective project in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood. The conference came out of our recognition that all of our projects were in very concrete ways focusing their energies on what might be called a politics of urban infrastructure – working towards a media platform for Baltimore’s social movements, creating a public space and sustainable urban agricultural alternative, building a business oriented not towards profit but towards social justice, and the distribution of radical information – and in a way such that all of our individual projects reinforce each other through the larger horizontal networks of social movements we all exist within. For us and our projects, this kind of mutually reinforcing dynamic is one of the most exciting things about this kind of city-centric activism and organizing – it’s not only that we’re working to make the cities we live in a better place, but in some sense, it’s the city itself that’s working towards this goal. Taken to its limit, it’s a vision of urban democracy where the city’s inhabitants themselves directly control the way the city works and how it grows – not in the sense that they get to elect a mayor or a councilperson once every few years, but that they actively participate in a thriving fabric of locally controlled projects and initiatives which build and manage the urban environment.
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