Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Black Lives Matter

The fightback that erupted in the usa after the murder of George Floyd didn't just come from nowhere. There had been resistance before and there had been many, many deaths before. One of these deaths was in 2012 when Trayvon Martin was killed, it was after the acquittal of his murderer that #BlackLivesMatter came into being.

The usa has never been the ‘land of the free’ or the democracy it ever claimed to be; the usa is founded on slavery and genocide of First Nation peoples. It is a settler colonial nation & a hyper-consumer capitalist country based on super inequality and racism.
Freedom is a Constant Struggle
Ferguson, Palestine, and
the Foundations of a Movement

The fightback that erupted after the killing of George Floyd is a response to the dehumanisation of people. It is a reaction to the violence of capitalism.

Killing Trayvons:
An Anthology of American Violence

BlackLife Post-BLM
and the Struggle for Freedom

We Want Freedom
A Life in the Black Panther Party

Writing on the Wall:
Selected Prison Writings
of Mumia Abu-Jamal

500 Years
of Indigenous Resistance

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Barry Pateman & anarchism: "If you think you've got the answers, you're wrong"

The Final Straw Radio chatted with Barry Pateman on 26 April this year in an episode called 'Barry Pateman on Anarchist History and Challenges'.

It's a rich and glorious discussion where Barry talks about 'what does it mean to be an anarchist in a capitalist world?', how 'to beat weaselly capitalism' in the world we live in and how we need to communicate. It's a highly-recommended must listen that talks about being an anarchist, communication and communities, class and bolshevism and the joy and frustration of being an anarchist in a capitalist world.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Think Carefully About Any COVID-19 Tracing App

Below is an article from anti-surverillance group OASIS on the upcoming tracing app(s):

The fear of COVID-19 is viral. That play on our fear means that we may be rushing to introduce surveillance apps that we will later regret.

As one of the tools to fight COVID-19 the NZ government has promised that there will be a contact tracing app available by mid-May. The first iteration they have said, will be in the form of an on-line sign-up form, and could be out by 11th May.

But there has been minimal discussion about the pros and cons of COVID-19 apps. Rather, our fear of the virus and its effect on our world has meant that most people are unquestioningly accepting the necessity of using apps to keep the spread of the virus under control.

However, we need to break away from the fear factor and consider the long-term societal results of any COVID-19 apps. We need to consider possible consequences weighed up against any benefits. We need to not only question the short-term need for contact tracing but think of their long-term use and effect. We need to look at what we are being asked to give up.

Decisions made today about any tracing or tracking apps will have huge implications for our futures.

Read more here.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

We’re 25!

Twenty-five years ago, on May 1, 1995 members of the anarchist group Committee for the Establishment of Civilisation (CEC) started up Anarchist Books in the existing space of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), called the Freedom Shop in a tiny building at 272 Cuba St.
The Freedom Shop in 1995

A lot has changed since then – the building made way for the ill-named “bypass”, the Cuba St district was thoroughly gentrified, the Freedom Shop is now in Newtown and the future of printed material is uncertain.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

COVID-19: NZ vs SWE

By Peppertree

If the fight against the virus was a football game, we would find ourselves in the typical first 15 to 20 minutes. There are two typical strategies for that phase. One is to throw everything forward to score an early goal in order to demoralise the opposition and provide a buffer to take a breather. The other is to not do anything spectacular, but to focus on a solid defence, check out the opposition’s weaknesses and to build up the game.

NZ has chosen the first strategy and it seems that the early goal has been scored. New infection numbers have dropped to mostly single digits and the number of fatalities is very low, although still increasing. But now the big question is what to do next. Just like the full-on attack mode in football can’t be kept up beyond 20 minutes, the level of lockdown we have can’t be sustained much longer.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Small revolutions


"I stopped by Commonsense Organics on the way home and a woman in the queue - desperate for a conversation with someone other than her husband - started chatting from 2 metres away. At one point she leaned in and said 'You know, I'm not even wearing a bra. Because no one cares anymore.' Small revolutions happening every day."

Friday, 10 April 2020

COVID19 - We’re not all in this together

By Peppertree

There is plenty of writing out there that stresses how the COVID19 pandemic is different from other disasters because “it affects everyone”. Even on the left, people are writing about how the compliance with lockdown is an example of what we can achieve if we all pull together and put human life before profit. They then build a picture of how this crisis can lead to a revolution of sorts that results in a different economic system that doesn’t leave people in poverty and the planet in ruins.

That is a nice thought but unfortunately it’s based on a lie, just like any other time when the privileged claim that “we’re all in this together”.

Because we’re not. For some, mainly middle class white people like myself, the virus threat and the lockdown has been an inconvenience. I still have my job, I have a home that I can work from, I have access to communications technology that allows me to stay in touch with friends and family. I am reasonably healthy and am not reliant on help from others to get through my day. Yes, not being able to see people who are close to me sucks and I hate standing in the queue at the supermarket. But that’s pretty much it.