“The liberal is so preoccupied with stopping confrontation that he usually finds himself defending and calling for law and order, the law and order of the oppressor. Confrontation would disrupt the smooth functioning of the society and so the politics of the liberal leads him into a position where he finds himself politically aligned with the oppressor rather than with the oppressed.” Stokely Speaks, 170.
“Today, there are many well intentioned people who think they know the history of Gandhi and King. They assume that nonviolence won the struggle for Indian independence, and that Blacks in the US are equal citizens because of the nonviolent protests of the 1950s.
“Pacifist ideologues promote this version of history because it reinforces their ideology of nonviolence, and therefore their control over social movements, based on the alleged moral, political, and tactical superiority of nonviolence as a form of struggle.
As the Spanish economy continues its post-2008 nosedive, unemployment sits at 26 percent nationally, while over half of young people can’t find work. Meanwhile, Marinaleda boasts a modest but steady local employment picture in which most people have at least some work and those that don’t have a strong safety net to fall back on.
But more than its cash economy, Marinaleda has a currency rarely found beyond small-scale activist groups or indigenous communities fighting destructive development projects: the currency of direct action. Rather than rely exclusively on cash to get things done, Marinaleños have put their collective blood, sweat and tears into creating a range of alternative systems in their corner of the world.
When money hasn’t been readily available — probably the only consistent feature since the community set out on this path — Marinaleños have turned to one another to do what needs doing. At times that has meant collectively occupying land owned by the Andalusian aristocracy and putting it to work for the town, at others it has simply meant sharing the burden of litter collection.
While still operating with some degree of central authority, the local council has devolved power into the hands of those it serves. General assemblies are convened on a regular basis so that townspeople can be involved in decisions that affect their lives. The assemblies also create spaces where people can come together to organize what the community needs through collective action.
“The best thing they have here in Marinaleda, and you can’t find this in other places, is the [general] assembly,” says long-term civil servant for the Marinaleda council, Manuel Gutierrez Daneri. He continues: “Assembly is a place for people to discuss problems and to find the solutions,” pointing out that even minor crimes are collectively addressed via the assembly, as the town has no police or judicial system since the last local cop retired.
In his time as mayor, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo has managed to leverage considerable financial support from the state government, a feat which Gutierrez Daneri attributes to the town’s collective track record for direct action. “If you go ahead with all of the people behind you, that is very powerful,” he says.
As a result, the small town boasts extensive sports facilities and a beautifully-maintained botanical garden, as well as a range of more basic necessities. “For a little village like this, with no more than 2,700 people, we have a lot of facilities,” says Gutierrez Daneri.
British ex-pat Chris Burke has lived in Marinaleda for several years, and he explains that access to the public swimming pool only costs €3 for the entire summer. Burke recounts Mayor Sánchez Gordillo saying to him, “The whole idea of the place being somewhere good to live is that anyone can afford to enjoy themselves.” Burke adds pragmatically, “You can’t have a utopia without some loss-making facilities.”
The international medical community has long maintained an ethical line against force-feeding. As infectious disease specialist Kent Sepkowitz has written, “Without question, it is the most painful procedure doctors routinely inflict on conscious patients… The procedure is, in a word, barbaric.”
Yet in Guantanamo Bay, it is daily procedure for a reported 18 hunger striking detainees. Every day medical professionals watch strapped-down inmates gasp, gag, and choke with streaming eyes as rubber tubes are snaked through sensitive nasal passages into empty stomachs. Despite urging from institutions including the American Medical Association and theNew England Journal of Medicine, Gitmo prison medical staff continue to participate, all of them just following orders. All but one.
One nurse, it was revealed this week via human rights group Reprieve, has refused to participate in the force-feedings. The nurse, who has not been named, has been assigned other duties at the prison camp. As the first and only medical professional to refuse to force-feed, specifically citing ethical grounds, he is to be commended.
As Reprieve attorney Cori Crider told the Guardian, “This guy is basically a hero, and he should be permitted to give care to detainees that is ethically appropriate.”
Crider is right to praise the nurse as a “hero.” There’s a reason that institutional lines don’t get crossed more often — there is a risk in crossing them. If rules were truly made to be broken, they wouldn’t be rules. Rules and orders can be resisted, but they persist with the assumption that they are there to be followed.
Herein lies the power and the problem of the hero. A hero is necessarily an exception — it’s inherent in the concept. So while the Gitmo nurse deserves praise as a hero, for the brutalized hunger strikers, this is no time for heroes. Or it is no time, at least, for heroes forced to stand alone. All the medical professionals at the camp should follow suit. It’s the least that should be done in a prison camp that shouldn’t exist at all.
“All that is necessary for a triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” goes the phrase attributed to Edmund Burke, though it’s not proven he ever said those precise words. The 18th century statesman and political philosopher did, however, write something along similar lines: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle,” he noted in his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents.
The two phrases — the popular and the precise — transmit the same general proposition. But the latter emphasizes something crucially lacking in the former. “The good must associate,” it stresses, “in a struggle.” The more famous saying, meanwhile, seems to put the onus on good men as individuals to resist inaction.
The resisting nurse cannot be faulted for inaction. But one good man here is not enough. As a spokesperson for the military southern command that oversees Gitmo said, the nurse’s protest is “being handled administratively.” This one ethical act of refusal can be absorbed by military management, and the torturous practices at Gitmo can continue unabated, even while legal challenges mount and international censure has been issued.
It is not enough, after all, that people act for good. In the struggle against the horrors of Gitmo, ethical actors must, as Burke urged, “associate” such that there’s no room nor need for heroes at all.
The National Defense Authorization Act which was passed in 2012 and extended in 2013 and 2014, authorizes the U.S. military to arrest anyone, anywhere on the planet, to deny them access to a lawyer, and to detain them indefinitely without at trial. Furthermore the U.S. government claims the right to do all of this in secret.
The right to a fair trial, is gone, and without the right to a fair trial, you have no rights at all.
the most notable thing to take from this report is that we only find out about these vile practises of OUR government – using OUR tax money, overseen by OUR elected officials – from the foreign press. american media is policy and/or agenda-driven, ie – worthless.
this is a “holder” intro piece. i hope to archive the entire article, along with supplemental ones, over the next few days.
NSA targets the privacy-conscious
Months of investigation by the German public television broadcasters NDR and WDR, drawing on exclusive access to top secret NSA source code, interviews with former NSA employees, and the review of secret documents of the German government reveal that not only is the server in Nuremberg under observation by the NSA, but so is virtually anyone who has taken an interest in several well-known privacy software systems.
von J. Appelbaum, A. Gibson, J. Goetz, V. Kabisch, L. Kampf, L. Ryge
The investigation discloses the following:
Two servers in Germany – in Berlin and Nuremberg – are under surveillance by the NSA.
Merely searching the web for the privacy-enhancing software tools outlined in the XKeyscore rules causes the NSA to mark and track the IP address of the person doing the search. Not only are German privacy software users tracked, but the source code shows that privacy software users worldwide are tracked by the NSA.
Among the NSA’s targets is the Tor network funded primarily by the US government to aid democracy advocates in authoritarian states.
The XKeyscore rules reveal that the NSA tracks all connections to a server that hosts part of an anonymous email service at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It also records details about visits to a popular internet journal for Linux operating system users called “the Linux Journal – the Original Magazine of the Linux Community”, and calls it an “extremist forum”.
It is a small server that looks like any of the other dozens in the same row. It is in a large room devoted to computers and computer storage, just like every other room in this industrial park building on Am Tower Street just outside the city of Nuremberg. That the grey building is surrounded by barbed wire seems to indicate that the servers’ provider is working hard to secure their customers’ data.
Yet despite these efforts, one of the servers is targeted by the NSA.
The IP address 220.127.116.11 is explicitly specified in the rules of the powerful and invasive spy software program XKeyscore. The code is published here exclusively for the first time.
After a year of NSA revelations based on documents that focus on program names and high-level Powerpoint presentations, NDR and WDR are revealing NSA source code that shows how these programs function and how they are implemented in Germany and around the world.
The NSA program XKeyscore is a collection and analysis tool and “a computer network exploitation system”, as described in an NSA presentation. It is one of the agency’s most ambitious programs devoted to gathering “nearly everything a user does on the internet.” The source code contains several rules that enable agents using XKeyscore to surveil privacy-conscious internet users around the world. The rules published here are specifically directed at the infrastructure and the users of the Tor Network, the Tails operating system, and other privacy-related software.
Pedro’s got a pipe bomb set for the fourth of July
a detonator slow fuse Loisaida
high demolition dope fiends toking Tompkins Square
take the world in hand and fuck it.
When Pedro died the shitstem lied and Hiram and Elias tried
as Ponce bled Jayuya spread and Oscar and Griselo fled
with dreams and dignity a people could be free
through selfless sacrifice a nation could rise.
Pedro’s got a pipe bomb but the boom is on loan
broken-English hype-dreams sleep in skin and bone
consecrated crack heads sucking strangled tongues…
When Pedro died the sanctified Lolita and Boriqua pride
as Lares screamed Utado dreamed
and presidents and preachers schemed
of land and liberty and country tis of thee
the selfish satisfied a nation would rise.
Tired of the bullshit the rat race and dog piss.
The poverty pimps future feels like a slit wrist.
so, the Mericuhn empire is intimidated by the military contractors they give hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. who didn’t see this coming when ronald wilson reagan was the acting president?
this is exactly like the rise and fall of the roman empire. first, the republic is overthrown by a military coup – jfk’s assassination – then the over-extended empire creates proxy armies it cannot control, who continue to increase in power, while rome tears itself apart with internal conflicts.
eventually, the hired mercenaries invade the homeland, install their own puppet dictator, and the plunder and decimation of the empire begins, leading to its decimation and the rise of one wretched regime after another throughout the realm, as one reactionary faction of aristocracy after another tries to seize power.
damn, will our fall be a bloody mess! bet it even leads to a prolonged dark age, too. people too busy fleeing conflicts, being slaughtered in wars, and trying to avoid execution by religious zealots and the local government to read, study, or learn much.
Abby Martin discusses a New York Times revelation concerning officials at Blackwater threatening to murder State Department officials, and how this is just the latest example of Blackwater’s criminal, murderous and unaccountable legacy.
The colonies are collapsing – it's a scorched earth policy, a war of attrition, so the survivors are left with NOTHING!