Off-duty D.C. cop arrested for shooting trans women

29.08.2011 § Leave a comment

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray joined LGBT activists on Friday in expressing shock and outrage over news that an off-duty District police officer allegedly fired a pistol at three transgender women and two male friends while the group was sitting in a car on a city street.

Police issued a statement Friday saying three of the people in the car “sustained non-life threatening injuries” in the incident. The statement said the officer involved in the incident was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and driving while intoxicated.

According to the employees and the DCTC members, the two women said the incident started when Officer Furr, appearing drunk, approached one of the two women on the street near First and Pierce Streets, N.W. about 5:25 a.m.

They said the two victims informed them that Furr became angry when he solicited one of the women for sex and she turned him down. What unfolded next remains unclear, with police officials saying they wanted to wait until Furr appeared in court on Saturday or Monday before providing full details as they known them.

Full Article Here

Locked Up and Left Behind: New York’s Prisoners and Hurricane Irene

27.08.2011 § Leave a comment

“We are not evacuating Rikers Island,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a news conference this afternoon. Bloomberg annouced a host  of extreme measures being taken by New York City in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, including a shutdown of the public transit system and the unprecedented mandatory evacuation of some 250,000 people from low-lying areas. But in response to a reporter’s question, the mayor stated in no uncertain terms (and with more than a hint of annoyance) that one group of New Yorkers on vulnerable ground will be staying put.

New York City is surrounded by small islands and barrier beaches, and a glance at the city’s evacuation map reveals all of them to be in Zone A (already under a mandatory evacuation order) or Zone B–all, that is, save one. Rikers Island, which lies in the waters between Queens and the Bronx, is not highlighted at all, meaning it is not to be evacuated under any circumstances.

According to the New York City Department of Corrections’ own website, more than three-quarters of Rikers Island’s 400 acres are built on landfill–which is generally thought to be more vulnerable to natural disasters. Its ten jails have a capacity of close to 17,000 inmates, and normally house at least 12,000, including juveniles and large numbers of prisoners with mental illness–not to mention pre-trial detainees who have yet to be convicted of any crime. There are also hundreds of corrections officers at work on the island.

We were not able to reach anyone at the NYC DOC for comment–but the New York Times‘s City Room blog reported: “According to the city’s Department of Correction, no hypothetical evacuation plan for the roughly 12,000 inmates that the facility may house on a given day even exists. Contingencies do exist for smaller-scale relocations from one facility to another.”

Full Article Here

biopolitical threats: Associated Press article on NYPD as “little CIA”

26.08.2011 § Leave a comment

Gawker  gives a summary of recent Associated Press article showing that NYPD was called to do what federal law prohibits the CIA from doing: intensive domestic spying (it’s actually illegal for CIA employees to gather intelligence inside the U.S.) So ok, we knew that already, the spying, the intel, the threats. But now this story is all over the news, Against the Grain, DemNOW, all that ish.

So the Nothing wonders, what is the meaning of this leak to Associated Press? Is it the triumph of good journalism (barf)? Or maybe because the CIA/FBI/NYPD want us to know how closely they’re looking. Well.

Now we know for sure some things  will get us a look from the NYPD intel:

  • “If a raker noticed a customer looking at radical literature, he might chat up the store owner and see what he could learn. The bookstore, or even the customer, might get further scrutiny. If a restaurant patron applauds a news report about the death of U.S. troops, the patron or the restaurant could be labeled a hot spot.”
  • “Rakers” employ “Mosque Crawlers,” or informants tasked with attending Muslim religious services and reporting back to the NYPD.
  • If you appear Middle Eastern and have been arrested or detained, “expect the NYPD to try to use that as leverage to turn you into an informant. The department created a special “debriefing unit” tasked with scanning arrestees for potential informants: “When someone is arrested who might be useful to the intelligence unit – whether because he said something suspicious or because he is simply a young Middle Eastern man – he is singled out for extra questioning. Intelligence officials don’t care about the underlying charges; they want to know more about his community and, ideally, they want to put him to work.” Example: The Department asked the city Taxi Commission to generate a list of all Pakistani cab drivers with minor infractions, in the hopes of inducing them to cooperate.

 

Students as Indentured Servants: Foreign English language students tricked into working at Hershey’s plant in Pennsylvania GO ON STRIKE!

25.08.2011 § 1 Comment

So this program is advertized in countries around the world as an English language program for young students, mostly poor, who pay exhorbitant fees for Visas to come to the US, and then find out that they ARE WORKING FOR LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE IN  A HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE FACTORY! An insane example of a new form of human traffickign that turns students into indentured servants

And a Fuck Yeah goes to these kids cuz hundreds of them just went on STRIKE in PENNSYLVANIA.

It is totally insane, check out this article, and support them if you can.

Hundreds of foreign students walked out of a Hershey’s chocolate plant in Palmyra, Pennsylvania August 17 to protest against exploitative working conditions. The students are in the US as part of the State Department’s Summer Work Travel Program.

The program, advertised as a way to practice English and travel the country in exchange for two months of work, draws more than 120,000 students to the US each year. Most students come from poor social conditions and economic prospects in their home countries, hoping to fund their education and better the financial position of their families.

Families often pay thousands of dollars to obtain the summer work visas, known as J-1 visas, through non-government firms. Visas for the 400 students employed in the Palmyra plant were arranged by a California-based company called the Council for Educational Travel, USA (CETUSA).

« Read the rest of this entry »

the riots target bastions of economic misery, not small independent businesses (UK)

25.08.2011 § Leave a comment

another gem from Infinite Thought today:

The false narrative that it was small and independently-owned businesses that suffered the most in recent unrest serves a useful media purpose – to further entrench the ‘us’ and ‘them’ narrative of ‘good’ (broom-wielding, ‘community-minded’, etc.) and ‘bad’ (‘purely criminal’) Londoners.

But anyone who walked around Brixton, Walworth Road, Peckham etc. will have noticed that it was overwhelmingly chain-stores and bastions of economic misery (banks, bookies, highly-exploitative loan shops, pawn shops, arcades etc.) that got their windows broken.

Riotwiki seeks to overturn the DeLoot etc. narrative and detail which shops exactly got targeted before people forget. Please help with this important project if you can, and undermine the dubious ideological discourse that would see those involved in the recent unrest depicted as ‘mindless’, and as somehow less representative of London than those who felt compelled to ‘clean it up’.

from the Riotwiki website:

A collective analysis of the 2011 UK riots.

In the aftermath of frenzied reporting and as tales of burning homes, personal robbery and damage to local independent business come to the fore, we ask people to show a spirit of solidarity, resilience and a continued questioning of the accounts that are being circulated.

The narrative of tragic community destruction is being deliberately deployed by the status quo to justify the continued vilification and repression of those that were rioting; a tactic that at the same time is turning communities against each other when what is really needed is a show of solidarity and strength. As photographs of kids posing with stolen bags of value range basmati rice and expensive xbox gear surface over the internet, we ask whether these riots should be framed in this way.

« Read the rest of this entry »

a brief history of rioting (UK)

25.08.2011 § Leave a comment

lol @ ‘greed + twisted morals’

Fukushima, Cattle, Insurrection, Becoming-Woman

25.08.2011 § Leave a comment

Some comrades have been working on this fascinating website: JAPAN: FISSURES IN THE PLANETARY APPARATUS. The coverage on Fukushima stuff is really horrendous over here, if it get covered at all. Recently the NY times published an article calling out Japanese government for suppressing information, which is certainly true, the radiation is literally off the charts — the measuring machines can’t read it. And the government is encouraging people to ignore it.

BUT! What about the life? Where is the STRUGGLE? what are people doing? What CAN they do? Word has it food shortages (due to the fact that all new crops are fully radioactive) are coming up in the next months, that people are thinkign about making exodus from the toxic sites, perhaps appropriating land, space, elsewhere.

A perusal of Jfissures.org found:

From a letter “To Foreign Comrades” :

In the aftermath of 3/11, a new network of people has begun mobilizing in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Hyogo. The members of the new network include: older activists who had been protesting against nuclear power plants Monju (in Tsuruga), Takahama and Mihama nuclear power plants; DJs and sound demo organizers; residents of tent village and their supporters; Organic farmers; researchers of global warming through water resources; activists for abolishment of death sentence; people from religious organizations; friends, acquaintances, riot grrrls, queer friends, and the poor. Everybody is different but based on minimum commonground, we are organizing a mob to make things together

And this caught an eye, though deleuze-drenched… remember that quote from A Thousand Plateaus…

“All becoming is minoritarian. Women, regardless of their numbers, are a minority, definable as a state or a subset; but they create only by making possible a becoming over which they do not have ownership into which they themselves must enter; this is a becoming-woman affecting all of humanking, men and women both.” (117)

and then how Elizabeht Grosz picked it up and said

“Becoming-woman means going beyond identity and subjectivity, fragmenting and freeing up lines of flight, “liberating” multiplicities, corporeal and otherwise, that identity subsumes under the one. Woman’s becoming-woman is a movement for and of all subjects insofar as it is the putting into play of a series of microfeminities,impulses, wills, in all subjects…” (178)

well then we have, from jfissures.org, “In the streets we become cattle: Towards a theory of demonstrations”

You cannot find us. We have given up our names. Which we had borne from start to finish. We are in exodus from our resumes and CV’s, workplace ethics and being a good citizen. But, from the start we didn’t have names. The plebs don’t leave any remains anyway. People may call us minor. We never could understand what statements like ‘it’s safe’ or ‘it won’t influence health’ meant. The words that come out of the infants that we’d see from time to time on the bus or on the train are more articulate than that stuff. On that day in Tokyo where a fascist mayor had gained his reelection, we who gathered in the streets of Koenji, in spite of the fear of being injured by radiation, walked between the threshold of the everyday, and a new ethics which unfolds outside of it. You define this world of ours in terms of opinion. We don’t understand what an opinion is and we don’t want to know. We get this the whole time we’re walking, from start to finish, and we don’t want to hear it, since it is not even of everyday life. If that’s proper Japanese or if it’s ethics we will be in exodus from it. We make our appeal to micropolitics. At this moment we are walking in this street.

We greet the children who wear their sanitary masks, flee from the rain, and avoid drinking their water, and who play in the courtyards where the dust dances, and say to them,‘welcome home.’ They will be able to choose to continue living life through the image of our lives.

We become a pack. We do not rely on any regulation or system which disconnects us from the pack. Imagine it. An invisible system that cannot be put into language. A disconnection that is latent in it, that men and women hang around. There are people there who learn intimacy with their man or their woman in it. Their encounters with them are disseminated. But when they separate they give up their intimacy, don’t they? We are alone and we are innumerable. We do not adjust our immanent gregariousness to the default system.

It ‘s the same with the difference between men and women, in men and women. In the invisible system we can see roles for men and the roles for women distributed here and there. But he who hangs on, and she who hangs on here is pierced through by the single pack. They become woman. It is in anticipation in their wombs. They occupy a single position. We are alone and we are innumerable. I wonder to myself if I can become woman. Sexuality is not something we possess but which supports us through difference. It makes us and it takes us apart. In assembling us, it strips us bare of our positionality as individuals. We who have been made solitary by the ethics of the pack continue our encounters on the street, again, and again.

….

At Fukushima, cattle and dogs escaped. Later, innumerable cattle appeared in front of TEPCO’s offices. They were brought there in the shaking trailer against their will, for had they only known where TEPCO’s offices were they surely would have come there walking. Can we discern the plaintiveness that crosses over into urgency in their voice as we walk? We become cattle and dogs. Perhaps this is solidarity.

We already knew. We are able to be in that close, intimate time. That time which was lived by cattle, dogs, and cats. A voice may say, that close intimacy was the time when we were domesticated by the family, the state, the system. A loud voice may say, ‘be human!’ ‘the encounter is what happened after all of that!’ But this should not be overlooked: We are not in the business of verifying the connections between us and them. Our affect shaken by cattle, feeling shame, we become cattle. The Self Defense Force (SDF) member who fled from Fukushima became cattle before this shame, and exposed his shame. He is us. Being-man right now — wasn’t this what he was ashamed of? We become cats whose tongues are dry from the dust when we walk through the shattered rubble, we become dogs when we drink seawater on the shore where there is nothing but the sound of waves. We become cattle when we chew the cud while keenly sensing the disquiet in its unchanging taste. With our affect shaken by one shame after another we become cattle and dogs and cats, and we become a pack. A pack of innumerable affects that cannot be disconnected. The groups called Bosozoku (motorcycle gangs) in Yokohama and Ibaraki, ashamed with confused adults, raised voice through the roaring produced by their high-speed intimacies with their motorcycles. They showed their affect and abandoned their given names all by themselves. When a high school student in Minami Soma said, ‘I feel death coming on bit by bit,’ she became woman. Even a woman becomes woman. When you get down to it, what is ‘realistic,’ what is ‘possible,’ what is an ‘alternative energy plan?’ We should not get too familiar with these things. Because we have abandoned our names.

3/11. On the way home from hours long walk, we noticed it. Through the explosion at Fukushima, we came to believe, in the darkness of the rolling blackout. We carried the great and vague fear and anxiety, of wondering what could happen next. But we became aware of something that could only be expressed as a strange sense of release after the fear. What had bound us was the radioactive, the nuclear. Being ordered to ‘be human’ from the moment we were born. This was also the same. Even the left-wing groups are saying, ‘make connections!’ This was also the same. The SDF in exodus from Fukushima had felt it. The young couples who had fled Fukushima with their children had felt it. We were in exodus because of the absence of a common ethics. The future that nuclear power had prepared had collapsed. Constituting innumerable affinities, all the while fearing radiation, we are together in something mysterious which can only be expressed as liberation.

the streets we saw nothing but insurrection.

It’s stupid to ask what counterproposals or alternative lifestyles or posses were born there.

In the street, among those who go by the way of the street, there are innumerable conspiracies.

Multiple conspiracies, which nobody can grasp completely.

We will make an insurrection in the streets again.

But it will be completely different from the one before.

With our affect shaken in shame, constantly re-encountering,

As innumerable lines change their form we become a pack and make an insurrection,

Before every nuclear plant collapses in on itself in shame.

eviction struggle in nyc; land struggles move forward…

25.08.2011 § Leave a comment

Last friday saw around 200 civilians show up at unearthly hours of the morning to prevent Marshalls from Evicting a Ms. Ward in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Hipsters in broad attendance, and what better use for them than blocking the Marshall, right? Ms. Ward was prey to some wack debt scam, and  her house (which she’s lived in for like  44 years) is in foreclosure. The eviction was successfully prevented and it seems there is some deal being struck with the “new owners”, some rando company. More info over at Organize 4 Occupation, the group bottomlining the biz: http://www.o4onyc.org/

 

Another action is being called for August 31st (see below) to pressure the powers that be to resolve things in Ms. Ward’s favor.

Organize 4 Occupation appears to be the newest iteration of a series of threads of struggle around land issues in NYC, which have usually either become dominated by non-profits and rendered obsolete, or slowed down and dispersed (some milestones in that – RECLAIM NYC; CAP Your Landlord; No More Affordable Housing Scams; Picture the Homeless, etc) This O4O appears to have wrangled in some of those folks who are relatively antagonistic towards non-profits, but mad active, which is tight, we hope it continues that way, and will come to any eviction blockade we can.

 

 

 

 

 

Off-duty NYC cop rapes woman at gunpoint at 6:45am in Inwood

20.08.2011 § Leave a comment

Michael Pena, 27, was charged in the 6:45 a.m. incident, which happened near the intersection of Park Terrace West and West 217th Street, just south of Baker Field.

Pena, drunk, encountered the 25-year-old woman, a Bronx school teacher, on the street and asked her directions for the No. 1 train, said police sources.

She smelled booze on Pena’s breath as the officer put his arm around her.

Then, according to sources, Pena opened up his jacket to show he was carrying a gun on his hip, and said, “You’re coming with me.”

The officer took the woman to the courtyard of a residential building, where two witnesses saw the assault take place.

NY Post article Here.t

This comes only months after two NYC pigs  Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno were acquitted of entering a woman’s house with her and raping her in her bedroom – see previous post, and also the response some people took in putting up pictures of Moreno in his neighborhood reading “Police Rapist Kenneth Moreno is your neighbor” and “Police Rapist Kenneth Moreno lives in park slope”

“recent research suggests that the austerity… will lead to social unrest”

17.08.2011 § Leave a comment

the relative debt load of leading developed economies… in german, sowwy

…recent research suggests that the austerity we see in places like Spain and Italy will lead to social unrest. “Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe, 1919-2009” is the title of the paper published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research. This paper finds that:

  • From the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1930s to anti-government demonstrations in Greece in 2010-11, austerity has tended to go hand in hand with politically motivated violence and social instability. In this paper, we assemble cross-country evidence for the period 1919 to the present, and examine the extent to which societies become unstable after budget cuts. The results show a clear positive correlation between fiscal retrenchment and instability.

Additionally, two economists have found that “higher per capita GDP growth is significantly negatively linked to the support for extreme political positions.” The German economists, Markus Brückner and Hans Peter Grüner wrote pointedly that:

  • Our results therefore make clear that countries should not expect right-wing parties to get majorities unless growth declines quite as much as in the 1920s. Nevertheless, even with a less significant fall in economic growth rates, a rise in support for extreme parties is likely to change political outcomes – for example through their impact on incumbent parties’ political platforms.

So what we should expect is a high level of political volatility and social unrest in Italy and Spain (as well as in Ireland, Greece and Portugal) and an increase in right extremism. The same is true regarding austerity and social and political outcomes in the US, by the way. If the level of social volatility accompanying this outcome is too great, the euro zone will break apart as the future right-leaning governments there will resort to economic nationalism and repudiate their debt by defaulting.

Eurobonds would certainly lower yields across the eurozone and reduce liquidity constraints that have required front-loaded deficit reduction attempts. The effect on Germany is arguable. But, at a minimum, euro bonds would minimize the potential for the extreme outcome from social unrest which I just outlined.

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