Saturday, January 17, 2009

5 Reasons We Aren't Tossing Bricks, Yet

This New York Times commentator quite blatantly mourns the lack of rioting in the U.S., and offers up some theories on why it isn't going down yet.
Free market advocates have been rendered impotent; why aren’t they up in arms that their belief system has been forever invalidated? Leftists watch as our elected leaders hand over the oversight function to the very companies that caused this mess; why aren’t they taking to the streets?
This article is a few months old and things have just gotten worse. I am a big fan of this man, but I feel like his analysis into our seeming jadedness to this mass economic pillage is a bit shallow. Let's get down to brass tacks, the middle class is still too comfortable to bite the hand that slaps, there is a also an aspect of learned helplessness that we have deviously been indoctrinated into, and the stigma of the riot runs deep. I'm gonna toss out there too that this stigma has more than a little bit to do with racism, but I'll address that later for sure.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Harvey Milk, the White Night Riots and Lesbians Against Police Violence

This account of the white night riots of 1979 really enthralled me. The author Maggie Jochild offers up a first hand glimpse of radical queer activism in San Francisco, the amazing and frightening events leading up to, during, and the repercussions of, the riots in San Francisco, and a somewhat surprising, less than glowing remembrance of Harvey Milk. The link also includes amazing pictures, youtube video of the riot and the aggressive Gay/Lesbian Freedom Day Marches, and links to other accounts of the riot. Particularly interesting and infuriating is an account of the Elephant Walk police riots, brutal cop revenge for the white night riots. Exciting & sobering.

More Anti-Government Riots!

Economic hardship and neo-liberalism spreads rebellion, yes, as it should.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Farmers Riot in Nicaragua

A farmer, using a slingshot, throws stones at riot police officers during a protest in San Benito, northern Nicaragua, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009. Hundreds of farmers blocked the Pan-American highway demanding a renegotiation of their debts with microfinance firms. Btw, microfiance loans are not progressive!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Q: What steps should be taken to stop a slaughter?

Riots break out in Europe and Pakistan against Israel's bloody attack on Gaza, mass protests worldwide.


So far there are over
over a thousand Palestinians dead, and many thousands wounded 13 Israeli's have been killed, all but three are military.
"The civilian population has no way to hide. The population density is so high you can not do attacks like this without knowing that you are attacking the civilians.

"Also, the injuries must come from extremely explosive devices. We suspect that Israel is using a new type of high explosive called Dime [dense inert metal explosive].

"We urge the world, stop the bombing of Gaza. Please stop it."

--Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor working at Shifa hospital in Gaza City

Police killings need always spark riots

The anger displayed on Wednesday night should not come as a surprise. This the most horrible cop killing I have ever seen, a response of this nature is justified and arguably helpful as a means of achieving justice for Oscar Grant. [account of the killing]

Admittedly, riots are not always a useful tactic in social justice campaigns, but the manic maneuvers in which cops cover their tracks, and the general apathy of the white public around police brutality requires a huge noise to be made, and that's exactly what Oakland's youth did.

There has been a lot made of the fact that rioters broke windows of black-owned business as well as those owned by the city. While this is undeniably sad and regrettable, I would argue the blame should point back to the police who truly incited this riot through brutal murder. As a friend reminded me, sometimes thoughtfulness goes out the window in the fervor of a riot, anger and despair are not always
conveniently contained (at least a couple accounts of the riot blame the riot cops for charging the peaceful protesters and pushing them into the street, where they started running and breaking windows). This posting at Racealicious and the many responses discusses the typical and important debate points on the topic.

A roundup of coverage of the riots

Watch the sickening video of the murder

Video and photos of the protest and riots