Announcements

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CFP For the global emancipation of labour: new movements and struggles around work, workers and precarity
Interface

Once, the labour movement was seen as the international social movement for the left (and it was the spectre haunting capitalism). Over the last century, however, labour movements have been transformed. In most of the world membership rates have dwindled, and many act in defence of, or simply provide services to, their members in the spirit of interest or lobbying groups. Labour was once a broad social movement including cooperatives, socialist parties, women’s and youth wings, press and publications, cultural production and sporting clubs. Often it was at the core of movements for democracy or national independence, even of social revolution. Despite the rhetoric of ‘socialism’, ‘class and mass trade unionism’ or, alternatively, technocratic ‘organising strategies’, most union movements internationally operate strictly within the parameters of capitalism and the ideology of ‘social partnership’ (i.e. with and under capital and state).

Little Black Cart Starts a Publishing Wing
LBC Books

LBC Books is the new publishing arm of Little Black Cart distribution. We will be publishing at least one new book a month and will be helping a variety of other publishing groups with their material. We imagine a diverse and prolific publishing space of ideas, history, action, and polemics.

Rebel Studies Library Opens in Belarus

Rebel Studies Library is the first alternative non-commercial volunteer-based antiauthoritan diy library in the belarussian cultural zone (founded 05.12.2011). We provide free and open, non-commercial public space for reading books (in english, russian, ukrainian, belarussian, german, polish languages), watching movies and discussions. You don't pay money for using books and watching movies. Right now, we have about 400 books of relevant to the contemporary world literature (Fiction, Cinema, Theatre, Religion, Philosophy, Psychology).

Crisis of Everything Everywhere January 7th-15th
16 Beaver

Crisis of Everything Everywhere is the potential name for a small scale / molecular / modular / horizontally organized effort to think, speak about, and speculate upon our present.

It will unfold over a period of 9 days, between January 7th and 15th. It will involve various groups and individuals who have explored or been directly involved in the movement of the squares, encampments and occupations of 2011.

It will involve artists, thinkers, writers, activists, occupiers, poets, programmers, workers, revolutionaries, students, debtors, laborers and laborless of all kinds into a focused yet open-ended conversation, collective research and analysis of our contemporary social-political movements / struggles.

Given the fact we are in New York, we will make a special effort to address and consider how those movements have impacted the political and cultural landscape of this city, region and country. And by connecting to other histories and places, to begin to build up an image of what kinds of struggles and challenges may lay ahead in the coming weeks, months, even years.]

Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons: A Community Gathering

A crisis in capitalism is stalking the world. Greed, ecological plunder, famine and displacement off the land increasingly mark the battle lines between the rich and everyone else. Enforced homelessness, social service cuts, and environmental disasters have become regular occurrences. But today we also see people in every corner of the world rising up against these injustices. We are inspired by this “indignant” moment, but we want to understand what lies beyond our collective “no!” to a future foreclosed by dispossession, debt and ecocide.

Fighting for safe food and housing, decent health, clean air and undeveloped spaces in nature have long given common cause to communities around the world. The “commons” refers to relationships based on shared resources, collective management, networks of mutual aid, respect and dignity. But these commons have either been captured by the market or are increasingly at risk of it. Taking back the commons means reclaiming community control over the parts of our lives that have been colonized by governments, markets, and corporations.

Can we recognize, reclaim and create alternative social realities that the elite tell us cannot possibly exist? A gathering is being organized to help us answer this question. The gathering will cover the themes of systemic crisis, economics, land, food, water, health, education, media, ecology, decolonization, migration and the history of the commons.

Join Us!

Solidarity Aid Appeal for Striking Oil Workers in Kazakhstan

For many months, workers at the Ozenmunaigas oilfield in Kazakhstan have been locked in a bitter battle with the bosses at the state-owned oil company KazMunayGas.

The workers first took action over promised hazard pay that was never delivered. What began as a small strike soon grew into larger activity, drawing in thousands of workers with wider demands. The state's response has been brutal.

Around 1,000 workers have been fired. Two of the workers' elected representatives, unionist Akzhanat Aminov and labor attorney Natalya Sokolova have been arrested. Sokolova has been sentenced to prison for a term of six years for “stirring up social conflict.” The house of another negotiator has been burned to the ground, and Zhalsylyk Turbaev, a leading militant, has been murdered.

Loren Goldner's Marx's Capital Study Group
New York City, January 2012

A new study group on Marx's Capital is forming in the New York City area, starting in mid-January.

We will meet on Thursday nights, every other week, starting either Jan. 12 or Jan. 19.

Location to be determined.

We will begin with some of Marx's pre-Capital writings from the 1840's and 1850's as essential background. There will be about 100 pages of reading per session.

The group will be highly participatory, with all members expected to do 15-20 minute presentations on aspects of the reading.

Anti-Torture Activists To Occupy Washington January 10-12

January 11 will mark the tenth anniversary of the first detainees' arrival at the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. To remember this travesty, Witness Against Torture is planning 10 days of activities in Washington, D.C. demanding an end to torture and indefinite detention at Guantanamo, Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and elsewhere, and that the president reject the just-passed National Defense Authorization Act.

Jan. 2-12: WAT sponsors Hungering for Justice, a 10-day fast highlighting the ongoing crimes at Guantanamo and Bagram. Dozens of activists are expected to participate in the fast in Washington as well as other cities. Locations of daily activities in support of the fast to be announced.

Situationist Aesthetics: The SI, Now
University of Sussex, Brighton, UK – Friday 8th June 2012

Keynote: McKenzie Wark (The New School, NY), author of The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International (2011), Gamer Theory (2007) and Hacker Manifesto (2004).

Since the beginning of the movement there has been a problem as to what to call artistic works by members of the SI. It was understood that none of them was a situationist production, but what to call them? I propose a very simple rule: to call them ‘antisituationist.’ We are against the dominant conditions of artistic inauthenticity. I don’t mean that anyone should stop painting, writing, etc. I don’t mean that that has no value. I don’t mean that we could continue to exist without doing that. But at the same time we know that such works will be coopted by society and used against us. Our impact lies in the elaboration of certain truths which have an explosive power whenever people are ready to struggle for them. At the present stage the movement is only in its infancy regarding the elaboration of these essential points. - Attila Kotányi at the Fifth Conference of the SI, 1961

Is it oxymoronic, heretical or just plain wrong to talk about Situationist aesthetics? The Situationist International (SI) condemned attempts to discuss its work in terms of aesthetics, but perhaps it is now time to brush the SI against the grain.

When it first announced its programme, the SI insisted that ‘There is no such thing as Situationism’. A few years later, before expelling its members deemed to be too invested in artistic production, the SI declared that in an age of spectacle any work of art produced by a Situationist must necessarily be ‘antisituationist’. The SI’s tactical intransigence regarding the political value of the aesthetic, and its refusal of the possibility of a specifically Situationist aesthetic, threw up problems that remained unresolved by the time of the SI’s dissolution. Since 1972, particularly in Anglophone contexts, Situationist practices have penetrated an array of cultural spheres, and much cultural production which the SI would have dismissed as spectacular has claimed some Situationist influence.

The Housing Monster a new illustrated manifesto
Prole.info

“Looking for a place to dwell? Or even for an entirely new world to live in? But maybe you’re afraid radical theory is boring? Then The Housing Monster is the book for you. The author of the now classic Abolish Restaurants has come to grips with another vital issue: the housing question. Class analysis + a critique of daily life + uncensored innovative graphics + more... Enjoy!” —Gilles Dauvé

The Housing Monster takes one seemingly simple everyday thing—a house—and looks at the social relations that surround and determine it. Starting with the construction site and the physical building of houses, the book slowly builds and links more and more issues together: from gentrification and city politics to gender roles and identity politics, from subcontracting and speculation to union contracts and negotiation, from intensely personal thoughts and interactions to large-scale political and economic forces. What starts as a look at housing questions, broadens into a critique of capitalism as a whole.

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