Tag Archives: beyond patriarchy

NAC118. OSUNA (SEVILLA) 08/08/2012.- El parlamentario autonÛmico, lÌder jornalero del Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT) y alcalde de Marinaleda, Juan Antonio S·nchez Gordillo, durante la ocupaciÛn hoy, 8 de agosto de 2012, de la finca propiedad del Ministerio de Defensa " Las Turquillas" en la provincia de Sevilla. Gordillo ha dicho que los supermercados de los que se llevaron ayer comida tambiÈn son "responsables" de la crisis econÛmica. EFE/Juan Ferreras

The thriving Spanish town of Marinaleda runs on the principles of mutual aid and direct action

The currency of direct action

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.”

THERE’S MUCH MORE TO SEE, FROM ROAR -

Marinaleda: the village where people come before profit

This article was originally published at Contributoria.

NAC118. OSUNA (SEVILLA) 08/08/2012.- El parlamentario autonÛmico, lÌder jornalero del Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT) y alcalde de Marinaleda, Juan Antonio S·nchez Gordillo, durante la ocupaciÛn hoy, 8 de agosto de 2012, de la finca propiedad del Ministerio de Defensa " Las Turquillas" en la provincia de Sevilla. Gordillo ha dicho que los supermercados de los que se llevaron ayer comida tambiÈn son "responsables" de la crisis econÛmica. EFE/Juan Ferreras
NAC118. OSUNA (SEVILLA) 08/08/2012.- El parlamentario autonÛmico, lÌder jornalero del Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT) y alcalde de Marinaleda, Juan Antonio S·nchez Gordillo, durante la ocupaciÛn hoy, 8 de agosto de 2012, de la finca propiedad del Ministerio de Defensa ” Las Turquillas” en la provincia de Sevilla. Gordillo ha dicho que los supermercados de los que se llevaron ayer comida tambiÈn son “responsables” de la crisis econÛmica. EFE/Juan Ferreras
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Non-Conformity & Creativity Now Listed As A Mental Illness By Psychiatrists

“The nail that sticks up will be hammered down.” – Japanese Proverb

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the latest addition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it looks that way. The manual identifies a mental illness labelled as “oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD. It’s defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior.” (0) It’s also included in the category of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The manual is used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses, and it seems that with each new issue a new, made up mental illness is added to the list. This isn’t something new, in the Soviet Union, a systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place and was based on the interpretation of political dissent as a psychiatric problem.  Mental illness has been used for political repression, those who were/are non-conformant and do/did not accept the beliefs of authority figures (like government agencies) face labels that do not represent them at all, and have no scientific backing what so ever. (1)

On the first glance, political abuse of psychiatry appears to represent a straightforward and uncomplicated story: the deployment of medicine as an instrument of repression. Psychiatric incarceration of mentally healthy people is uniformly understood to be a particularly pernicious form of repression, because it uses the powerful modalities of medicine as tools of punishment, and it compounds a deep affront to human rights with deception and fraud. Doctors who allow themselves to be used in this way betray the trust of society and breach their most basic ethical obligations as professionals.” (1)

The entire psychiatric disease model today is based on the theory that a brain-based, chemical imbalance causes mental illness.  Dr. Mark Graff, Chair of Public Affairs of the American Psychiatric Association said that this theory was “probably drug industry derived.” (source)

“There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, I have a biological imbalance, I say, ‘show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?” –  Dr. Ron Leifer, New York psychiatrist (source)

“If a psychiatrist says you have a shortage of a chemical, ask for a blood test and watch the psychiatrist’s reaction. The number of people who believe that scientists have proven that depressed people have low serotonin is a glorious testament to the power of marketing.”  - Jonathan Leo, associate professor of anatomy at Western University of Health Sciences.  (source)

reposted from Arjun Walia, Collective-Evolution

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Indigenous Peoples: Language Revitalization & Gender Identity

At the core of European legal thought is sustaining binaries such as the colonizer v. the colonized, the conqueror v. the conquered, the civilized v. the savage, or the male v. the female. During her lecture on systemic violence at Concordia University, Andrea Smith explains how colonialism legitimized gender violence through the installation of patriarchy, a male system of domination over females (Smith, 2011). Smith (2011) states:

Of course, patriarchy is built on a gender binary system. You can’t have patriarchy unless you have two genders, one that dominates another gender. So consequently, in many Native communities that were not built on a gender binary system, those who did not fit that system were often targeted for destruction as well (at approximately 2:05).

Watch Andrea Smith’s talk on Systemic Violence Against Native Women and Struggles for Land

Lecture at Concordia University: September 30th, 2011 – video by Concordia’s TV station, CUTV.

When settlers first arrived to the Americas, their relations with Indigenous populations were vital to their survival (Mawani, 2001). However, once more settlers began to arrive, the relations with Indigenous populations became more of an inconvenience (Mawani, 2001). By 1867, Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald enacted the Indian Act, 1867 and this act was (and continues to be) a useful tool to police Indigenous populations (Comack, 2012). Brock Pitawanakwat (2009), in his research on Indigenous language revitalization, argues, “Canadian Indian Policy sought to undermine Indigenous independence and eradicate Indigenous languages” (p. 2). The eradication of Indigenous languages is then essential to colonialism since it promotes policy objectives, like those objectives associated with the enactment of the Indian Act. The primary objective behind the Indian Act was “to get rid of the Indian Problem” (Leslie, 1978). To accomplish this goal, colonizers forcibly removed Indigenous children from their homes to attend residential schools, where they were forbidden to practice their culture or speak their language (McGeough, 2008). Further, Pitawanakwat (2009) states, “the efforts to spread European languages in the Americas were fuelled by the colonists’ desires for administrative efficiency” (p. 2). While these are historical accounts of undermining Indigenous languages, the loss of language as an effect of colonialism still exists today. For example, within Canada, the loss of Indigenous languages occurs “at an even faster rate than the global average” (Pitawanakwat, 2009, p. 1). It has been shown that the main reason for loss of Indigenous language is European colonization and by 2100, it is predicted that only four of the original sixty Indigenous languages will be retained (Pitawanakwat, 2009, p. 1). For Indigenous peoples, the language is directly connected to their culture and from the perspective of the colonizer, it is a sensible policy and practice to prevent Indigenous peoples from both speaking their language and practicing their culture.

Though there are many efforts to restore Indigenous languages and culture, this colonial objective, to get rid of the Indian problem, still manifests itself in other ways in a contemporary context. From a legal perspective, within the Canadian court system, the value of Indigenous languages and cultures are diminished. This undermining of Indigenous languages and cultures is illustrated within the lower court decision in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (hereinafter referred to as Delgamuukw) (Borrows, 1999). John Borrows, an Anishnaabeg legal scholar, examines how the value of Indigenous languages and culture were belittled in Delgamuukw. In the case of Delgamuukw, McEachern C.J. diminished the importance of Indigenous languages in Canadian law when he did not accept evidence in the form of song or oral history from the plaintiffs, House of Delgamuukw, as proof of Aboriginal title. Specifically, McEachern C.J. (1991) viewed these songs and oral histories as songs, folklore, or mythology (p. 93). Borrows, however, outlines the importance of language for Aboriginal people’s political, economical, and legal systems. He writes, “Indigenous languages and cultures shaped their legal, economic, and political structures, and the socio-cultural relationships upon which they were built. Many of these narratives were considered private property” (p. 9). Indigenous language has formed the basis for Indigenous law, and in relation to colonialism, the loss of Indigenous language indicates a loss of Indigenous political, legal, social and economical systems. The Supreme Court of Canada also established that McEachern C.J.’s decision discovered, “a trend imbricated in the very bedrock of western European legal thought” (Burrows, 1999, footnote 22, p. 29). As noted earlier, central to European legal thought is sustaining binaries such as the colonizer and the colonized, or more specifically, the male and the female.

from: KWE TODAY: fierce indigenous feminism

 

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NGO poverty pimps! may they die soon, but not quickly!

Rafel Cervantes reflects on the implications for social movements of NGO-cop collaboration.

Rafa reflexiona en las implicaciones que tienen las organizaciones sin fenes de lucro y no-gubernamentales en colaboracion con la policia hacia los movimientos sociales por justicia.

PRESS RELEASE VIA MORATORIUM ON DEPORTATIONS CAMPAIGN

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) used marshals and police to assault participants in the Mayday March. Marshals obstructed groups of marchers, blocking them from being able to walk or to pass on either side of the street, and directed police to kettle specific groups of people whose messaging was not convenient. Eventually, marshals signaled out Ze (Jose Garcia), an undocumented organizer and outspoken critic of ICIRR. ICIRR and SEIU marshals physically restrained him and signaled the police to arrest him and Anne Wooton. Ze is also currently fighting his deportation proceedings. This is a politically motivated attack intended to suppress dissent and to control people’s autonomous participation in a public event.

Join Moratorium on Deportations Campaign (MDC) to show solidarity for all those pushed, tackled and intimidated during the march and to hold the police and so called social justice organizations accountable. We cannot accept that any organization would resort to the use of state violence as a way to control a public event or people’s political ideas and expressions.

Documentation of past examples of ICIRR calling police on undocumented activists

pieces of madrid

This short documentary explores ongoing resistance and self-organization in the midst of the economic and social crisis in Madrid, Spain.

As social conditions continue to deteriorate across the country, people have been turning to the streets and to each other to find for solutions to the crisis. This film tells a story of the massive mobilization that saw millions of people converge on Madrid on March 22nd 2014, the story of the proliferation of social centers, community gardens, self-organized food banks, and the story of large-scale housing occupations by and for families that have been evicted. The film pieces together many of the creative ways that people have been coping with crisis and asks what the future may hold for Spain.

Filmed and edited in March/April 2014, it is part of the Global Uprisings documentary series. View more at globaluprisings.org.

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Beehive Collective’s Tour in Colombia with New Graphic Campaign ‘Mesoamérica Resiste’

After nine years of research and illustration, the Beehive Design Collective launched their latest graphic campaign, Mesoamérica Resiste, in December of last year. Mesoamérica Resiste is the third installment in a trilogy about globalization in the Americas (following earlier graphics about the FTAA and Plan Colombia). This graphic campaign was directly researched with communities from Mexico, Central America, and Colombia who are impacted by the Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project, a neoliberal regional development plan formerly known as Plan Puebla Panama. Since fundraising for a big initial print run of posters and banners last year, the Bees have been actively buzzing across the hemisphere using these illustrated popular education tools to pollinate resistance in communities facing resource-extraction industries, militarization, and forced displacement.

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Since late last year, pollinators involved with the project Polinizaciones have been facilitating workshops of Mesoamérica Resiste and sharing posters with communities from Petén, Guatemala to Caquetá, Colombia. In February 2014, the Beehive was invited to participate in an artist residency with the Museo de Antioquia of Medellin, Colombia, as part of Contraexpediciones(Counter Expeditions).

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Following the artist residency, the pollinators of Polinizaciones toured and brought Mesoamérica Resiste to a variety of rural and urban communities living the realities depicted in the graphic. In Medellin, weeks before the city hosted the World Urban Forum,we painted murals and shared with communities suffering the impacts of gentrification. In the Department of Caldas there was a showing in the city of Manizales, and we also spent a week visiting different schools and community spaces in the Indigenous Reserve of San Lorenzo of the Embera Chamí People.

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In the city of Cali, Bees presented the Mesoamérica Resiste graphic in different public settings including the University of Valle and the San Antonio hill. In the Agua Blanca District of the city, a workshop was held with the youth of the Theatre Circus Capuchini. In the north of the Department of Cauca, pollinators visited the indigenous Nasa communities of Toribio and Tacueyo. In Tacueyo, the Bees were present for the swearing in of this year´s Student Indigenous Guard and in Toribio, at the CECIDIC educational center, numerous workshops were done with students. In the area of Silvia in Central Cauca, Mesoamérica Resiste was shared in schools of the Kiswo People and Misak People, as well as at the Misak University and community radio station.

 – from upsidedown world news, Photo Essay: The Beehive Collective’s First Tour in Colombia of the New Graphic Campaign ‘Mesoamérica Resiste’

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