New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent
They are thousands-strong and growing: entering devastated neighborhoods yet to see outside help from established aid organizations.
They are staffing donation drop off sites, running mobile food kitchens and delivering hot meals. They are distributing food and supplies to the stranded, locating trapped seniors, and aiding clean-up efforts.
In short, they are helping some of New York’s most vulnerable right now, and the work being done is simply breathtaking. And that work is growing by the hour.
On Thursday, legal documents intended to be cloaked indefinitely were accidently unsealed in US District Court in Seattle for a moment, finally offering a small bit of insight as to why the FBI has been targeting adherents to a specific ideology and intensifying what some have equated to a politically-motivated witch-hunt aimed at anarchists.
Matt Taibbi and Chrystia Freeland on the One Percent’s Power and Privileges
The One Percent is not only increasing their share of wealth — they’re using it to spread millions among political candidates who serve their interests. Example: Goldman Sachs, which gave more money than any other major American corporation to Barack Obama in 2008, is switching alliances this year; their employees have given $900,000 both to Mitt Romney’s campaign and to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Why? Because, says the Wall Street Journal, the Goldman Sachs gang felt betrayed by President Obama’s modest attempts at financial reform.
To discuss how the super-rich have willfully confused their self-interest with America’s interest, Bill is joined by Rolling Stone magazine’s Matt Taibbi, who regularly shines his spotlight on scandals involving big business and government, and journalist Chrystia Freeland, author of the new book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.
A conversation with anarchist anthropologist David Graeber and Charlie Rose: Debt, Greece and Occupy Wall Street
All we have, as Vaclav Havel wrote, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets - utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.
— Christopher Hitchens, in a truth-out.org interview, “Why Revolt is All We Have Left”
According to a recent investigation by the Swedish news show Uppdrag Granskning, Sweden’s telecommunications giant Teliasonera is the latest Western country revealed to be colluding with authoritarian regimes by selling them high-tech surveillance gear to spy on its citizens. Teliasonera has allegedly enabled the governments of Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Kazakhstan to spy on journalists, union leaders, and members of the political opposition. One Teliasonera whistle-blower told the reporters, “The Arab Spring prompted the regimes to tighten their surveillance. … There’s no limit to how much wiretapping is done, none at all.”
The investigative report, titled “Black Boxes,” in reference to the black boxes Teliasonera allowed police and security services to install in their operation centers—which granted them the unrestricted capability to monitor all communications—including Internet traffic, phone calls, location data from cell phones, and text messages—in real-time. This has caused concern among Swedish citizens and Teliasonera shareholders, who had previously been assuaged by assurances from the telecommunications company that they follow the law in the countries in which they are operating.
This is the start of a new politics, but obviously mere meetings and protest marches are not enough. There is nothing certain about the future, save that it is our actions that will create it and that others are already exploiting our inaction. It is no longer sufficient to appeal to government to put things right; a corrupted system will not reform itself. We must create new systems, new modes of decision-making and interaction, and new forms of economic behavior to replace the old.
Occupy Wall Street demonstrated some of the necessary elements of this new politics. Anyone who wished to participate could do so. All had a voice in decisions. These are the features of “participatory democracy,” which, when practiced more broadly, delivers outcomes unfamiliar from our own corrupted democracy: equality (because the interests of all are accounted for); transparency (and thus less corruption); and a civic culture of respect, not ugly partisanship.
This is a politics of the many for the many, rather than that of a small clique of elected representatives, co-opted by the powerful few. It requires patience and work, as the Occupiers of Zuccotti Park have learned. The consensus principle is vital, and prevents the “tyranny of the majority,” but it must (and can) be engineered to allow fast decisions and discussions of complex issues. In Porto Alegre, Brazil, mass participation in decision-making has succeeded in deliberating the affairs of a city, and the results clearly indicate more equal provision of services, better environmental protection and an improved political culture, one that is open, nonpartisan and uncorrupted.
Once decisions are made this way, they have immense force. Unlike with the distant machinations of government, all participants feel that they have been consulted. Everyone commits.
- Carne Ross, in Occupy Wall Street and a New Politics for a Disorderly World
(via P2P Foundation)
WikiLeaks Central announced a “Call to Coders” Tuesday as they prepare for the March launch of the “first massive decentralized social network in the history of the Internet.”
“The goal of the Global Square is to perpetuate and spread the creative and cooperative spirit of the occupations and transform this into lasting forms of social organization, at the global as well as the local level.
Anarchistic, high-energy, and self- organized, street medics have been part of activist counterculture since the 1960s, with major presences at civil-rights protests, anti–Vietnam War actions, the American Indian Movement’s occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973, anti-globalization protests in the 1990s and early aughts, and most recently, at Occupy encampments internationally. Street medics also take their skills to disaster areas: there were medics in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and in Haiti after the earthquake.