Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Word from the Community Solidarity Network post G20...

Community Update by the Community Solidarity Network Post G20 – Arrests, Intimidation and Ongoing Resistance

This report has been a long time coming. Many people that spent the last year as the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, putting together the infrastructure for the Convergence have been arrested, beaten, and intimidated. Many of our most beloved and central organizers are under house arrest conditions while many others in the city have leaped forward to join the resistance.

A new organizing space, the Community Solidarity Network, has just been formed. We see ourselves as the central networking, trust-building and organizing hub for the post-G20 defence happening in different spheres across Toronto. Though our primary mandate is to ensure that all charges against everyone who opposed the G20 be dropped, we will be hosting open meetings shortly for everyone who is organizing various initiatives in the city.

We have established a legal defence fund that is independent, held in trust by a lawyer and overseen by seven highly respected trustees. All money raised at this time is being directed to this G20 Legal Defence Fund that will soon be accepting applications from anyone that requires money for defence. Money will be distributed based on ‘need’ and 'risk' as established by the G20 Legal Defence Fund’s trustees. At this time, we have only raised a fraction of funds required and encourage people facing charges to apply for Legal Aid and if possible to organize fundraisers and approach family members to donate to the fund. We ask the same for all allies as a tremendously large amount of money is presently required. However, the G20 Legal Defence Fund cannot promise that it will be able to cover everyone's full legal expenses.

If you are a defendant, please make sure that you have signed up on to our announcements list through http://g20.torontomobilize.org to receive timely updates and ways to apply to the Fund. Also, visit http://movementdefence.org/ to get options on other post-G20 legal defence.

If you are organizing support events or fundraisers, please see http://g20.torontomobilize.org/getinvolved. Details of transferring money can be found at http://g20.torontomobilize.org/support.

To hear about G20 related events around the world visit, http://g20.torontomobilize.org/event. To join our announcements list, write to community.mobilize@resist.ca

============================================

Since June 27, 2010, there have been five major demonstrations against police impunity and repression that have brought out approximately 8,000 people to the streets of Toronto. These protest were organized by ourselves as many other organizations in the city. The demands were an end to police violence, a public inquiry and freedom for our friends.

We now know that in between June 21-27, 2010, at least 1,100 people were held for long periods, either on the streets or in a makeshift jail that was built specifically for the purposes of housing people speaking out against the G8/G20 policies. Many thousands more were detained and questioned but we have no reliable way to ascertain exact numbers at this time. Of the 1,100 people actually held, we believe that at least 306 had charges laid against them.

Of these 306, it is our understanding that presently, at least four are still in prison, their bails either denied or they are awaiting bail hearings. Arrests continue to occur with the most recent that we know of taking place in Hamilton on the night of August 26th. Those in jail are Indigenous people, Indigenous solidarity activists, environmental justice activists and low-income people unable to put up large sums of money as bail.

304 people appeared in court on August 23, 2010. 104 of these people had their charges withdrawn or stayed or considered completed by the (in)justice system. Many people were coerced coerced in to paying sums of $50-$100 and were ‘diverted’ or were asked to turn in ‘guilty’ pleas. Approximately 33 did so in the end. This was an obvious ploy to allow the police to save face and not explain why the ridiculous charges, long detentions and mental trauma had to take place in the first instance. Many people were told to take the ‘deal’ or face further repression. Despite this coercion, dozens of people refused to take the 'deal' insisting that they would take their charges to trial to assert their ability to organize in the face of repression.

232 people (at least) continue to face ongoing prosecution and criminalization and will be returning to the courts in the months and years to follow.

Of these 232 people, plus the arrest on August 26th, it is our current understanding that at least 110 face conspiracy and counseling charges. Conspiracy charges do not require authorities to prove that any so-called illegal activity even took place, only shared intent or encouragement of so-called illegal activity. The test for evidence is sufficiently lowered for conspiracy charges and is thus an easy way for the police and the courts to criminalize dissent and silence outspoken critics. This is one of the most worrisome tactics of the G20 ‘security’ attack and the establishment of the Integerated Security Unit and must be loudly and publicly opposed. Of the people facing conspiracy and/or counseling charges, two are presently in prison, while the courts and the prosecution are attempting to put two back in jail.

18 or so that face the gravest conspiracy charges have been released on extremely difficult bail conditions. Many are under house arrest, unable to use laptops, cell phones, internet, associate with loved ones or friends or join or organize public demonstrations.

We now know that many of the committees organizing logistical support as well as many meetings where public demonstrations were being planned in Toronto and across cities in Ontario and Quebec were infiltrated. Many dozens of organizers and activists were followed, questioned, harassed and intimidated. People were approached at their homes and workplaces, on dark street corners and on transit – all intended to create a sense of insecurity and tension in the lead up to a people’s convergence against the G20 policies.

The police have continued to use the media to drum up fear. For the last five months, we have seen the images and statements released by the Police, by Minister Stockwell Day and others to ostracize people that struggle for justice and to scare people from taking to the streets. While over 40,000 people refused to be intimidated by this propaganda and acted together – the police, even in recent weeks, continue to hold press conferences to criminalize people while mainstream TV and newspapers gleefully cover images of burning police cars. Ridiculous claims of what happened in Toronto continue to be written and re-written that could not be further from the truth.

The truth is simple. The G8 and G20 process is one of exclusion and exploitation. It is a place for the rich of the world to gather to create the policies that suppress people of color,Iindigenous people, women, queer communities, disabled communities and the environment. The G8 and G20 meetings resulted in a declaration of war against the people of the world. Termed ‘austerity measures’ the governments of the world and their corporate puppet masters have vowed to cut people’s access to healthcare, education, good jobs, decent living conditions, justice or dignity, instead choosing to bail out banks and large industries. This process impacts people across the globe, it attacks people on their streets and in their homes everyday. This process is opposed by all of us. The week of June 21-27, 2010 was not a series of protests; it was a series of declaration of the kinds of worlds we wish to live – worlds with justice, dignity, self-determination and mutual aid.

As the months pass, we are fighting to support our friends, our comrades and our allies in the pursuit of their freedom. We know that many of them are organizers and activists, some without full immigration status, and that it is our responsibility as a movement to ensure that police and state repression does not trample upon those that will act for real change.

Actions in solidarity have taken place across Turtle Island and across the globe. In particular, it has been heartening to see many organizations and coalitions that were absent in the mobilizations prior, stepping up to show solidarity. Many educationals and fundraisers have taken place to create awareness and money to support the legal fight that must ensue. We look forward to continued solidarity and salute the work of allies and friends that continue to fight for justice in their communities and for those abused by state violence in Toronto during the G20.

Please feel free to label me conspiracy theorist paranoiac...

Hundreds of dolphins make themselves at home in waters of southwest B.C.
now, that migration inland to waters most likely fed from mountain run-off or from deep under the earth started in May.

January, February, April, May...

What happened the month before all these dolphins just up and moved away from the sea?

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster or the Macondo blowout)[7][8][9] is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.[10][11] The spill stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010

But marine biologists are stumped.

O.kay.

This is not one possible future of Ontario public schools...

This is the reality of our here and now. There is a massive disparity between schools in poor or working class neighbourhoods and schools in wealthier neighbourhoods in Ontario. That's a fact. I think that the whole idea of schools individually fundraising should be outlawed and that instead, there should a common pot where all monies go in order to be redistributed as needed with priority given to schools in working class and poor neighbourhoods.

Fundraising could lead to ‘have’ and ‘have-not’ schools, group warns

A parent-led group says schools in Ontario raised over half a billion dollars through fundraising, fees, corporate donations and other charges over the past academic year, but not all institutions are raking in the cash.

In a report released today, People for Education says the level of fundraising in the 2009-2010 year varied from school to school — ranging from nothing to $200,000 — and it fears this could lead to a system of “have” and “have-not” schools.

The report says parents continue to raise funds for traditional items, such as graduation ceremonies and student awards, but over half of student councils also report raising funds for basics such as computers, classroom supplies and text books.

Money is also raised for things like building renovations, and fees are also reported to be rising for activities like field trips and sports.

The group says as school-generated funds become entrenched in school budgets, it will become more difficult for schools to go without this private funding.

It says the provincial government needs to outline what things should be available to all students in every school, at no extra charge.

“Ninety-five per cent of Ontario's students attend publicly funded schools,” says Annie Kidder, executive director of People for Education.

“We need a vision for education in Ontario that goes beyond test score targets and instead describes a strong system, fully-funded and able to provide every student with the education he or she needs to be successful in the 21st century.”

Monday, August 30, 2010

I like this song...


I think that people are right about the public conversion rate from moderate left to radical left post G20


I already defined as radical left but now I'm realizing there are depths of hatred for the blue uniformed donut eaters and ideas for what less disengaged forms of resistance look like that I have not yet begun to explore. Yup. I am a convert. Radical left to anarchist full black bloc direct action sympathizer. The pigs really do good work. I really do need to find something more constructive to do than cuss them and call them assholes when they come to my house to call. Funny when I turned my daughter towards them and pointed them out for the evil they are, they quickly turned out the lights they had been shining on my house and drove away. Bail compliance indeed. If they're looking for any kind of compliance whatsoever, they're fucking sadly mistaken.

This article is so many shades of wrong, wrong, wrong...

woman sexually assaulted in wealthy toronto neighbourhood?

what?

as if sexual assaults are the domain of poor and or working class neighbourhoods because what?

wealthy men don't sexually assault wimmin?

only working class or poor men use rape as a tool of domination?

because unlike men of the upper classes they don't know any better...?

i see...

then the article identifies that the woman was homeless.

and this is important because...?

oh, because if she's homeless her safety from rape isn't assured?

she doesn't have a right to expect to not be hit over the head multiple times and violated?

because her well-being is not top priority?

o...kay.

then the article says that she was taken to the hospital with what was thought to have been serious injuries...

but then they realized she'd only been hit over the head multiple times and raped...?

and those aren't considered serious injuries?

why?

because she's homeless?
because she's a woman?
because she's poor?

because rape and violent assaults don't result in serious injuries?

nice piece of shit oppression based reporting.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Follow-up on the G20 in Toronto...thanks secondwaver...

i posted this a few days ago but it's worth posting again. maybe i'll print it and give it my neighbours. over a month later, some of them have started asking questions...

Understanding anarchism through the veil of misinformation: follow-up on the G20 in Toronto

Émilie Breton, Anna Kruzynski, Magaly Pirotte and Rachel Sarrasin. Published in Le Devoir, August 24th, 2010.

As members of the Research Group on Collective Autonomy, we join our voices to those who are speaking out against unprecedented State violence and police repression in the wake of the G20 Summit held in Toronto in June. This violence has affected our friends, our colleagues, our comrades, our partners, our communities. In the same vein, we wish to denounce the misinformed and sensationalist discourses that have been emerging in the media.

Repressive forces deliberately targeted those dressed in black. The media, also seemingly concerned with anarchist dress-codes, broadcast, over and over, images of supposed “young thugs” and focused their analyses on the now famous Black Bloc tactics. This kind of media coverage gives the impression that the acts in the streets of Toronto were void of political content and that anarchists are scary individuals who should be placed behind bars for the protection of all.

Troublesome values?

Lack of understanding of what is happening in the field, intellectual laziness or priority given to news that sells? Maybe. However, it is clear that one of the main reasons underlying the criminalisation and intimidation of those who identify with anarchism is the fact that these people are part of a growing movement that is built upon values that are contrary to those held by proponents of capitalism. Cooperation versus competition; mutual aid versus individualism; self-determination versus hierarchy; respect versus racism, (hetero)sexism, ageism; liberty versus control. Liberty, central to anarchist thought, cannot exist without equality. In stark contrast to liberal connotations of this value, for anarchists, liberty and personal fulfilment cannot be dissociated from collective well-being. Collective well-being and equality become possible when people take charge of all the aspects that affect their lives: political decisions, production of goods and management of health, education and social services.

Yet the State, close ally to capital, is determined to put a stop to the circulation of ideas and practices based on these positive values. Sensing that ever growing segments of the population are feeling powerless and overwhelmed by increasing injustice, the State uses all the means at its disposal to muzzle voices that are proposing alternative paths to a better world. In an effort to maintain its legitimacy, the State seeks to interfere with the building of a mass movement founded upon anarchist values.

These values in practice are at the heart of the research conducted by our group. For five years now, we have been working with collectives and networks espousing anarchist values to document their ideals, practices, tactics and organisational forms. What emerges from our work is that this movement is much more than those actions we see on the news from time to time. Here in Quebec, at the margins of an institutional system that is at an impasse, several hundreds of activists work without pay, sustained only by their outrage and their hopes, setting-up and managing spaces of political reflection and action. They seek to apply the values that they hold dear to their daily struggles: they engage in advocacy and support for immigrants and refugees, lesbians, gays and queers; they take a principled stance against war, imperialism, colonisation, ecological destruction, gentrification, sexism, the food industry or police repression, to name but a few.

Creating a better world, here and now

These anarchists, treated like terrorists on the streets of Toronto, study in our colleges and universities, are involved in parent committees at their children’s schools, take care of their loved ones, work in community organisations, sell us our bread and serve our coffee in the neighbourhoods they seek to transform. These people set up self-managed cafés and bars, independent bookstores and libraries, alternative media, neighbourhood committees, anarchist zines… They recycle old bikes, circulate and invent freeware, create groups dedicated to food sovereignty (via buyers clubs, seed sharing, organic agriculture)… They reclaim vacant lots and buildings to organise housing cooperatives, guerrilla gardening, film screenings and street parties. They set up skill-shares and free-schools for children of all ages…

The activists involved in these projects are experimenting with organisational forms that are coherent with values of direct democracy and autonomy. Every person involved in a project participates in the decision-making, management and accomplishment of tasks. There are no leaders, no bosses, no representatives. Mechanisms exist to facilitate discussion and decision-making, skill-sharing, participation in meetings and the development of equal social relations. In order to limit their dependency on capitalist exchanges and State funding, these groups Do-It-Themselves, finding their materials in garbage containers and engaging in barter with other like-minded groups or individuals.

In other words, grounded in their communities, these groups seek to set up autonomous political, social, economic and cultural projects that break with the logic of domination that underlies capitalist interests. These initiatives promote another form of politics, of cohabitation, founded on anarchist values and physical proximity. In their attempts to put their values and ideals into practice in the here and now, these groups are engaging in tiny, everyday revolutions, very often behind the scenes. In doing so, they show by example that people are able to get organised without depending on economic or political elites. And every time a neighbour, a friend, a family member decides to get involved, he or she participates in the building of alternative institutions and projects, that one day will, we can only hope, render redundant and obsolete those of the dominant system.

Putting up road blocks to the capitalist machine

But those in power will not sit back and let this happen. That is why along with these slow-moving long-term tactics activists also engage in actions that target the symbols of global capitalism, as was the case during the G20. These kinds of actions shed some light on the often hidden contradictions of this unjust system and interfere with its smooth running and consolidation. History has taught us that movements that have successfully contributed to social change have used an array of different tactics, from popular education, to civil disobedience, to sabotage. These tactics then are complementary to those prefigurative initiatives founded on anarchist values, and, as a whole, make up the contemporary anarchist terrain of struggle.

So when the media focus on the movement’s confrontational tactics, without revealing the breadth and scope of its ideas and practices, they create a skewed image of the politics that underlie contemporary anarchism. Moreover, by engaging in mass repression during street actions, in the name of preserving security and peace, the authorities are in fact attempting to silence a movement whose ideas and practices ring true to ever growing numbers of people. But history has also shown that in situations of flagrant injustice, the people will not be silenced and always find the courage to rise up again…

I went to post an article about the occupation of Palestine...

...and then remembered where I'm presently living. foregrounding the familiar and up close mess in my yard because the comfort of denial creeps in pretty damned easily...
Views of colonialism differ to that of Stephen Harper

On Sept. 25, Prime Minister Stephen Harper proclaimed an astonishing statement at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, USA.

He said colonialism never existed in the history of Canada. This is an erroneous portrayal of Canadian history because Canada was created on a foundation of colonialism.

As Indigenous peoples, we should be concerned of this statement made by the highest official of this country and what its consequences are.

Colonialism is an act of domination involving the subjugation of a sovereign people by another sovereign power. There is historical documentation recording events where sovereign nations began extending their powers onto foreign lands. Some examples include the British occupation of India, and the colonization of other countries such as Africa and so on.

The occupying nations often were in search of new lands and wealth to support their metropolitan states.

Imperialistic expansion led to colonial rule over Indigenous nations, deprivation of lands and natural resources, cultural transformation, and other aspects of exploitation, and suppression of political and human rights.

In Canada, early European explorers and missionaries began arriving and settling on Indigenous peoples’ territories.

During this period, Canada became a colony of Great Britain and all authority originated from there. The British North America Act governed the affairs of the colony. Soon the settlers came to distinguish themselves as a separate identity from their Mother Land. Canada’s constitution was repatriated in 1982 and is now considered a decolonized country.

Is it really a decolonized country? In the first place, Canada never possessed the necessary international prerequisites to be recognized as a nation state. Decolonization involves the occupiers leaving the country and returning to their home countries. This happened in India where the British left the country, and the real “Indians” of India took over their nation once again.

In Canada, the occupiers are still here. Indigenous nations are still under colonial rule. Colonialism is alive and well in Canada today.

The settler governments’ premise for subjugation is that the natives were savages and inferior, and perceived them as incapable of governing themselves. The occupiers felt it was their divine right and duty to fend for the natives. Instead, the effects of colonialism have been very devastating on the cultural identity, political and territorial integrity of the Indigenous peoples. Treaties paved the way for European settlement and economic expansion.

The BNA Act relegated Indigenous nations as perpetual “wards of the state”. They were then relocated onto “Indian Reserves”. Jurisdiction of natural resources were delegated to the provincial governments. Indigenous territories were demarcated into municipal, provincial, national and international boundaries.

A federal parliament and provincial legislatures were instituted to reinforce colonial laws enforcing every aspect of how the people will live in their communities. The colonial Indian Act governs the affairs of the reserves and dictates how the Chief and band council will be elected and how they will govern.

There was the “ Child Scoop” era, and the infamous Residential School period. Roads, railways, and other infrastructure were constructed towards the interior of Canada displacing Indigenous populations along the way. Billions of dollars of natural resources have been exported to international destinations. History and retrospect verifies the disintegration of Indigenous societies as borne by current statistics of poverty, disease, homelessness. The settlers have thrived with the bountiful homelands of the Indigenous nations.

The Government of Canada has apologized for the residential schools. But, the residential schools policy is only one instrument of colonialism and oppression. Perhaps, the Prime Minister can now apologize for the impacts colonization has had on the Indigenous Peoples along with the appropriate means of recompense for all the loss we have suffered under colonial rule. We need our freedom and resources so we can rebuild our communities for a better future.

Dean Cromarty,
Wunnumin Lake First Nation

(Backgound: 2008 Lakehead University graduate with a degree in Political Science and Indigenous Learning, former Chief of Wunnumin Lake, and executive director of Shibogama, chairman of Wasaya Group Inc.)

further away from my "home" on native lands...

Come to think of it...

how do fat cats run a series of meetings to decide our fates if there's no power, no juice? i love this video.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

CRAC-K is...


an autonomous research collective with anti-authoritarian, feminist and against all forms of oppression affinities. Working as we do in other autonomous anti-authoritarian collectives, we see a profound potential for social transformation through engaged reflection on our individual and collective actions. This is among the many reasons that we are engaged in the CRAC-K research project, which explores specific experiences with anti-authoritarian modes of autonomous collective organizing in Quebec since 1995. Currently, in addition to having developed a kind of yellow pages of autonomous collectives in Quebec—our repertoire—we are also in the process of producing monographs about several pro-feminist anti-authoritarian groups and networks.

To date, the monographs on the eco-radical group, Liberterre, the anti-authoritarian feminist radio production group Ainsi Squattent-Elles and an article on the experience of self-managed gardens have been completed and published. We are in the process of putting together monographs (and other texts) on the following groups and networks: queer activist group Les Panthères Roses; la Convergence des Luttes Anti-Capitalistes (CLAC); collective gardens; Queer People Of Colour (QPOC) networks; queer group Q-Team; Ste-Emilie Skillshare, which is a queer space for production and sharing of creative work; radical feminist networks; and anti-racist/anti-colonial (pro)feminist networks.


Using a research-action methodology, we are working to produce a series of publications or texts that reflects on the interests and preoccupations of these groups and networks. These texts therefore both reflect the issues that these groups and networks wish to put forward within their/our milieus, and simultaneously enter into a dialogical process of research that will ultimately bring about some kind of transformation. We are particularly interested in the many challenges, contradictions and issues that have been encountered by activists in their collective actions and organizing work, such as the relations of domination or power that develop among people or groups which might be linked to a range of diverse social identities, categories and experiences.


We work in a place of rupture and subversion in relation to normalized university research, because we believe that knowledge should be in the public domain, and furthermore that is should be constructed and shared by the people to whom it pertains. It is our hope and our goal that, by participating in this research, these networks and groups, who already produce knowledge through their day to day organizing work, will be at the heart of the content of this virtual space, our website. Our works are created within the framework of research-action – they are first and foremost ours! The primary idea behind this methodology is to relate these two goals—research and action—through the dialogical process between the two, engaging the participation of all involved. This trajectory is intended to have positive repercussions for the milieus and activists with, as, and for whom we are researching. If the details of our functioning interest you, please do not hesitate to check out our library.


This is why we are interested in creating tools, such as this website – because of our desire to nourish and energize anarchist and anti-authoritarian organizing and organizations, to contribute to the fluidity of exchanges among multiples groups, networks and individuals, and to continue the consolidation of our findings, and the concretization of our values and principles.


For more information, to add a group to our repertoire, or to find out dates for our events, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Combatting the public smearing of those who resist...

Understanding anarchism through the veil of misinformation: follow-up on the G20 in Toronto

Émilie Breton, Anna Kruzynski, Magaly Pirotte and Rachel Sarrasin. Published in Le Devoir, August 24th, 2010.

As members of the Research Group on Collective Autonomy, we join our voices to those who are speaking out against unprecedented State violence and police repression in the wake of the G20 Summit held in Toronto in June. This violence has affected our friends, our colleagues, our comrades, our partners, our communities. In the same vein, we wish to denounce the misinformed and sensationalist discourses that have been emerging in the media.

Repressive forces deliberately targeted those dressed in black. The media, also seemingly concerned with anarchist dress-codes, broadcast, over and over, images of supposed “young thugs” and focused their analyses on the now famous Black Bloc tactics. This kind of media coverage gives the impression that the acts in the streets of Toronto were void of political content and that anarchists are scary individuals who should be placed behind bars for the protection of all.

Troublesome values?

Lack of understanding of what is happening in the field, intellectual laziness or priority given to news that sells? Maybe. However, it is clear that one of the main reasons underlying the criminalisation and intimidation of those who identify with anarchism is the fact that these people are part of a growing movement that is built upon values that are contrary to those held by proponents of capitalism. Cooperation versus competition; mutual aid versus individualism; self-determination versus hierarchy; respect versus racism, (hetero)sexism, ageism; liberty versus control. Liberty, central to anarchist thought, cannot exist without equality. In stark contrast to liberal connotations of this value, for anarchists, liberty and personal fulfilment cannot be dissociated from collective well-being. Collective well-being and equality become possible when people take charge of all the aspects that affect their lives: political decisions, production of goods and management of health, education and social services.

Yet the State, close ally to capital, is determined to put a stop to the circulation of ideas and practices based on these positive values. Sensing that ever growing segments of the population are feeling powerless and overwhelmed by increasing injustice, the State uses all the means at its disposal to muzzle voices that are proposing alternative paths to a better world. In an effort to maintain its legitimacy, the State seeks to interfere with the building of a mass movement founded upon anarchist values.

These values in practice are at the heart of the research conducted by our group. For five years now, we have been working with collectives and networks espousing anarchist values to document their ideals, practices, tactics and organisational forms. What emerges from our work is that this movement is much more than those actions we see on the news from time to time. Here in Quebec, at the margins of an institutional system that is at an impasse, several hundreds of activists work without pay, sustained only by their outrage and their hopes, setting-up and managing spaces of political reflection and action. They seek to apply the values that they hold dear to their daily struggles: they engage in advocacy and support for immigrants and refugees, lesbians, gays and queers; they take a principled stance against war, imperialism, colonisation, ecological destruction, gentrification, sexism, the food industry or police repression, to name but a few.

Creating a better world, here and now

These anarchists, treated like terrorists on the streets of Toronto, study in our colleges and universities, are involved in parent committees at their children’s schools, take care of their loved ones, work in community organisations, sell us our bread and serve our coffee in the neighbourhoods they seek to transform. These people set up self-managed cafés and bars, independent bookstores and libraries, alternative media, neighbourhood committees, anarchist zines… They recycle old bikes, circulate and invent freeware, create groups dedicated to food sovereignty (via buyers clubs, seed sharing, organic agriculture)… They reclaim vacant lots and buildings to organise housing cooperatives, guerrilla gardening, film screenings and street parties. They set up skill-shares and free-schools for children of all ages…

The activists involved in these projects are experimenting with organisational forms that are coherent with values of direct democracy and autonomy. Every person involved in a project participates in the decision-making, management and accomplishment of tasks. There are no leaders, no bosses, no representatives. Mechanisms exist to facilitate discussion and decision-making, skill-sharing, participation in meetings and the development of equal social relations. In order to limit their dependency on capitalist exchanges and State funding, these groups Do-It-Themselves, finding their materials in garbage containers and engaging in barter with other like-minded groups or individuals.

In other words, grounded in their communities, these groups seek to set up autonomous political, social, economic and cultural projects that break with the logic of domination that underlies capitalist interests. These initiatives promote another form of politics, of cohabitation, founded on anarchist values and physical proximity. In their attempts to put their values and ideals into practice in the here and now, these groups are engaging in tiny, everyday revolutions, very often behind the scenes. In doing so, they show by example that people are able to get organised without depending on economic or political elites. And every time a neighbour, a friend, a family member decides to get involved, he or she participates in the building of alternative institutions and projects, that one day will, we can only hope, render redundant and obsolete those of the dominant system.

Putting up road blocks to the capitalist machine

But those in power will not sit back and let this happen. That is why along with these slow-moving long-term tactics activists also engage in actions that target the symbols of global capitalism, as was the case during the G20. These kinds of actions shed some light on the often hidden contradictions of this unjust system and interfere with its smooth running and consolidation. History has taught us that movements that have successfully contributed to social change have used an array of different tactics, from popular education, to civil disobedience, to sabotage. These tactics then are complementary to those prefigurative initiatives founded on anarchist values, and, as a whole, make up the contemporary anarchist terrain of struggle.

So when the media focus on the movement’s confrontational tactics, without revealing the breadth and scope of its ideas and practices, they create a skewed image of the politics that underlie contemporary anarchism. Moreover, by engaging in mass repression during street actions, in the name of preserving security and peace, the authorities are in fact attempting to silence a movement whose ideas and practices ring true to ever growing numbers of people. But history has also shown that in situations of flagrant injustice, the people will not be silenced and always find the courage to rise up again…

Kkkanada inc....hehehe...

this was funny in that evil ass laughter of the fucking damned way...

If you recognize any of these faces don't be a treacherous jackass...

...don't fuckin' turn them in.

Opposing a witch-hunt against anarchists and some other militants, in support of them and their actions...

click here for audio...

A brief history of the Black Bloc...

“The state cannot be wished away. If we are to oppose the corporate domination of the world and the wholesale slaughter of life on earth we must understand the need for a militant and confrontational movement against the power structure. This is not to say that everyone needs to take up militant tactics, but we need to cultivate a respect for a diversity of tactics and a respect for those who engage in more militant tactics, no matter how controversial. We need to regard tactics as tools, and be open to flexibility and to utilizing different tools at different times. We need to develop a sense of urgency-these are urgent times. We need to build a revolutionary movement and a culture of resistance.”
(“What Happened in Adams Morgan on Jan. 20: Report Back,” by The Circle A Brigade, The Black Bloc Papers, p. 341)

Vancouver mining company sues the people of el salvador for right to poison rivers...

from the vancouver media co-op...

Pacific Rim Mining held its annual general meeting in downtown Vancouver today - attended by a few directors and more than a dozen protesters.

Most of the demonstrators were from the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) in the US Pacific Northwest. They wore tags describing themselves as shareholders in democracy, human rights, access to clean water and "our future."

Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining is suing the people of El Salvador after the government refused to allow it to mine using methods that would poison El Salvador's rivers. The suit for millions in "lost profits" has been filed under the Central American Free Trade Agreement. CISPES is calling on the company's directors to drop the suit.

Two CISPES representatives were allowed into the meeting, then ejected after they tried to speak.

For more information visit www.cispes.org

Israeli ships not welcome...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One of the most touchingly beautiful images I've seen in a long time...


Of course people had to go and get STOOpid 'bout it. hateful, homophobic morons...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh WOW!

Sex smart films

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I wonder if these people are going to actually be sued by the corporation - Harper Collins - for posting Howard Zinn's work online...

History is a weapon

History isn't what happened, but a story of what happened. And there are always different versions, different stories, about the same events. One version might revolve mainly around a specific set of facts while another version might minimize them or not include them at all.

Like stories, each of these different versions of history contain different lessons. Some histories tell us that our leaders, at least, have always tried to do right for everyone. Others remark that the emperors don't have the slaves' best interests at heart. Some teach us that this is both what has always been and what always will be. Others counsel that we shouldn't mistake transient dominance for intrinsic superiority. Lastly, some histories paint a picture where only the elites have the power to change the world, while others point out that social change is rarely commanded from the top down.

Regardless of the value of these many lessons, History isn't what happened, but the stories of what happened and the lessons these stories include. The very selection of which histories to teach in a society shapes our view of how what is came to be and, in turn, what we understand as possible. This choice of which history to teach can never be "neutral" or "objective." Those who choose, either following a set agenda or guided by hidden prejudices, serve their interests. Their interests could be to continue this world as it now stands or to make a new world.

We cannot simply be passive. We must choose whose interests are best: those who want to keep things going as they are or those who want to work to make a better world. If we choose the latter, we must seek out the tools we will need. History is just one tool to shape our understanding of our world. And every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.

From travelingsoldier.org...


By Fabian Bouthillette, USNR, Veteran, Iraq Theatre;
Traveling Soldier Editorial Board & Military Resistance Organization


One of the perks of graduating from the United States Naval Academy is the opportunity to choose your first assignment as an officer in the Navy. Of course, one's rank within the graduating class determines the order of choosing, but my rank was high enough that I could have virtually chosen any class of ship to serve on at any of the Navy's domestic or international bases.

Always in pursuit of the unknown and the maximum amount of adventure, I chose to serve aboard a guided missile destroyer stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. This is the same base that was once used by the Imperial Japanese Navy, and where the radio order sent to the Japanese fleet to bomb Pearl Harbor originated from.

Yokosuka is now home to the Navy's Seventh Fleet, the same fleet responsible for much of the action in the pacific during World War II. Today, seventh fleet is comprised of an aircraft carrier and her squadron of escort ships and other combat vessels.

During my time of service - September 2003 to July 2005 - the specific carrier assigned to seventh fleet was USS KITTYHAWK, the same carrier that experienced a revolt of sailors during the Vietnam War, an incident my Navy would rather never have mentioned again.

KITTYHAWK, at the time of my service, was the Navy's oldest ship still in active service, and the only carrier still powered by gas and not nuclear power like the rest of the Navy's carrier fleet.

This was not a coincidence.

The people of Japan and Yokosuka, not wanting a giant nuclear powered ship parked next to their town (because of environmental concerns and resistance to more sailors camped out in their backyard), had managed to block the U.S. Navy's plans to decommission KITTYHAWK and replace her with a more modern, larger, and nuclear powered aircraft carrier, thus forcing the Navy to continue to maintain the aging KITTYHAWK.

But it was well known among the officers in seventh fleet, and most of the enlisted sailors as well, that our admirals were still actively lobbying the Japanese to allow a nuclear carrier in. The admirals almost seemed desperate to make this exchange happen.

This desperation led our admirals to keep our junior sailors on a short leash, worried about a public relations disaster that could result from a potential crime committed by an American sailor.

The leash came in the form of a midnight curfew for our most junior sailors. While more senior sailors and officers were allowed to enjoy living in a beautiful "host" nation - I spent many weekends in Tokyo drinking entirely too much Japanese beer - our junior sailors were subjected to a very poor standard of living, and robbed of the opportunity to explore a foreign culture.

Many knew it was because of their commander's desire to bring in a new supercarrier. Attitudes towards the leadership in Yokosuka from the junior sailors were not very positive.

To add to the degradation, sailors were further induced to behave as "model citizens" by a policy commonly known as the Blue Card policy. Junior sailors who maintained good behavior and discipline during a six-month probationary period would be issued a blue card that would represent their privilege to remain off the base overnight. In practice, however, sailors were usually not given a blue card after six months of model behavior, and the probationary period dragged on.

Morale was sacrificed for the politics of bringing in the much-desired nuclear carrier.

I had become friends with one of these junior sailors, a skilled signalman who was in my watch section on the bridge of our destroyer when at sea. Many times after our night watches, we would hangout (technically fraternize, and technically against regulation) and talk about our current operations.

Often, the blue card issue came up as a major gripe. The signalman made it clear to me that he felt robbed of the opportunity to see Japan because of the policies of our admirals and our government. I did sympathize with him, but there was nothing to be done. At least he had the opportunity to unload some his frustration to an officer, and I had the opportunity to gain some insight into the life of a junior sailor.

Our ship's supply officer, a Lieutenant more senior to me, had in his previous assignment served at Diego Garcia, a very isolated island base. This Lieutenant was a career Navy man. He had decided to serve at the remote Diego Garcia base because it was considered a hardship tour of duty.

After a hardship tour it is often Navy policy to allow an officer to pick his or her next assignment, thus giving motivated officers an opportunity to be more proactive with the management of their own careers. In this way, Navy policy is designed to keep one of our most strategic bases staffed with motivated and disciplined personnel. This officer was rewarded with career options for his hardship at an overseas base while the junior sailors in Yokosuka were simply ordered to endure. The United States Air Force, however, did not seem as caught up in keeping its junior enlisted personnel on a leash, as I observed in Okinawa where our ship would often pull into port for supplies.

During these visits most of the crew would find itself at Kadena Air Force base.

If you look at a map of Okinawa, Kadena is the giant blob taking up a large percentage of the island. We Navy types, happy to enjoy the amenities of Kadena, were also disgusted with the size of Kadena. Perhaps for some of us it was more of a jealous reaction than ideological stance; I have to imagine that my ship's sailors felt disrespected by the difference in standard of living between them and the junior airmen at Kadena.

While Yokosuka was home to over 15,000 sailors and their families crammed on a relatively small peninsula in Tokyo Bay, Kadena had four lane roads and two, yes two, golf courses.

Hanging out at Kadena felt more like going to an elite country club than a strategic base.

While Okinawans were forced to live on top of each other, and subject to the noises of constant military aircraft coming and going, Americans at Kadena were afforded much space and comfort. Really, Kadena was closer to being a U.S. colony than a base serving any important wartime purpose.

America's military and civilian leadership is obsessed with maintaining good public relations with the nations that host bases.

Perhaps it is ignorance, or just arrogance, or perhaps even racism that blinds America's leaders to the fact that relations are already poor.

Or perhaps America's leadership is not blind, and they do know relations are poor and always will be until we just leave.

Indeed, our leadership does not negotiate with the citizens of host nations, but simply the government officials of host nations. Our leadership is not concerned with the people of our host nations, but rather only their governments.

I must admit that at Yokosuka many sailors, other than non-blue cardholders, enjoy their experience. For me, it was my first experience outside of America for any extended period of time, and I feel very fortunate to have lived within a foreign culture. My pay was good and I was able to live in a three-bedroom house off the base with another young officer happy for the chance at adventure.

Sadly, and ironically, my Navy adventure did not make me feel that Yokosuka, or any overseas base, is a worthwhile convenience for Americans, or even a necessity, but rather I was embarrassed to be an occupier, a relic of World War II and the racism that was prominent during that war in the Pacific.

The junior signalman whom I spent nights with conversing after watch is at least one other sailor who shared this sentiment.

Graduating from the Naval Academy and driving warships for a living had truly been dreams come true. I had achieved a life of adventure, adrenaline, and - so I thought - meaning.

But even before I had left the Navy I realized that I was not protecting freedom or defending the constitution of the Unites States. Rather, I was simply an officer in the Imperial Navy of the United States. Our mission was not to promote peace, but to maintain American economic influence around the world, and our weapon was fear.

I love a good fight, but I am not a gangster.

After my tour in Japan I separated from active service, and went back to being a civilian for the first time since high school.

Two organizations landed in my lap, and I have remained active in both for the last five years: Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and Military Resistance.

Both groups are dedicated to bringing the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan to an immediate end.


The veterans and civilians dedicated to each organization may have different ideas on politics in general, but both understand the lies that have been told to the American people by our own government to maintain support for the wars.

The members of both organizations, who represent a diverse cross section of America, also understand that America is this planet's first global empire.

There might not be literal colonies propped up around the world, but with giant bases like Kadena that look more like small American towns, America can try to maintain its economic influence.

Relations might seem peaceful on the surface, but only because we are holding our host nation's citizens hostage at the end of a giant barrel.

I have found that the anti-war philosophy of Military Resistance fits closely to my understanding of how a war of empire can be ended.

By actively reaching out to members of our armed forces, through newsletters or actual face-to-face interaction, members of Military Resistance work to encourage the culture of resistance growing within the active duty military itself.

In Vietnam, the degradation of the American military's capability to execute operations, due to the low morale of the troops, is what forced America's politicians to end that war.

I believe morale in Iraq and Afghanistan is so low already that the capability of our military to fight and win battles is too degraded to accomplish anything.

Our politicians already realize that there is nothing further that can be won in Afghanistan or Iraq, and they will bring our troops home to where they belong, or resistance within the armed forces will become so great that they will be forced to do so.


The anti-war movement in America can and should serve as a catalyst in helping troops resist fighting in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, even as the U.S. global network of bases would remain in place even after troops are returned home.

In fact, the network still strives to grow. USS KITTYHAWK returned to the United States in 2008 where she was decommissioned. USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, a bigger nuclear powered aircraft carrier, now occupies the aircraft carrier pier at the Yokosuka Navy Base where she continues the legacy of KITTYHAWK and all Seventh Fleet carriers before her.

Nevertheless, the citizens of the nations hosting American bases will keep up their spirit of resistance as more American service members realize that they are not supporters of freedom, but rather they are occupying troops in foreign nations supporting the global empire known as the United States of America.

I've been taking a long hard look at the links in my sidebar...

Should have done so a while back. A lot of the blogs are either inactive or just plain disappeared. I've also been finding lots of blogs that are new to me that I'd like to link to. So, I'm gonna be jettisoning the vast majority of blog links to individuals in my sidebar. If you have a blog and would like to be added to my sidebar or kept there...or if you've been reading secretly for weeks or months or years (it's been known to happen, don't know why publicly acknowledging reading me would strike such fear and/or loathing into the hearts of such stalwart political types...hehehe)...or if I've linked to you via a recent post and for any reason you think that a links exchange might be a good thing...just let me know. I'd love to update my sidebar links with some brand spanking new politically, socially, historically relevant ones...that aren't internet spam trash written by faceless and/or anonymous strangers. Thanks in advance.

Holy Shite! I'm in love...again!













jewdas... how completely, irreverently, incorrigibly out of BUMbakleet order. Very, very nice. :)

Hello!

Probably you’ve clicked here because you’re rather baffled by the rest of the site. Probably this is because you’re not Jewish. Or American. Or (g-d forbid) both!

Never fear, behind all the jargon, the UJIAs, JNFs and different types of Bagels there’s some key ideas that are straightforward and for everyone regardless of ethnicity.

A few years ago we came across a great find. Amidst a large pile of rubble, in a dark corner of East London, we found the book of Jewdas. And lo, it was very good.

It had been written in Jerusalem thousands of years ago, by a cabal of radical scribes, and yet we discovered it by the back of a kebab shop in Dalston.

Written in Yiddish (which turned out to be a far older, more authentic language than Hebrew), it teaches of the great radicalism of Jewish tradition, a tradition of dreamers, subversives, cosmopolitans and counter-culturalists. It waxes lyrical on the virtues of cosmopolitanism, putting loyalty to ideas of international justice over tribalism and parochialism, and attacks the opressiveness of the ‘natural’ in favour of ethics designed to meet the face of the other. It preaches of the need to widen Judaism beyond the boundaries of those born Jewish, towards an ethic of wider concern, a Judaism that might at times stand in critique of the Jews. It prophesised a rise of ‘international subversives’ who would undermine power wherever they found themselves, who would preach veganism, pacifism and pickled cucumbers.

The book also made very clear that a man would rise up, known as Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, and that he would not be the messiah but rather a very naughty boy.

The book was not only passive, it also made active demands. A quick bible code style analysis determined that the book was instructing us to mercilessly satirize Anglo Jewry, suggest new and more radical ways of being Jewish, and also throw excellent parties. Who were we to disobey?

So here we are. Hope that made some sense. If not lets just say this- whatever your background if you: prefer stirring things up to keeping the peace, prefer dreaming of the utopian rather than settling for the prosaic, and think that culture and ethnicity should be springboards for overthrowing the state, then you’re a Jewdaser at heart. Lets storm the barricades together.

Chimurenga Vol. 15: The Curriculum is Everything (may '10)...

Wish these folks were driving Black agendas in this city. What a novel concept. Fuck institutions. Teach our own, validate our own, accredit our own. But yes, I know...dark, you're such an idealist. Who would ever take someone educated mostly outside the academy seriously when there are so many professor taught, university molded academics who identify completely with the corporate university super structure whose politics we can trust, admire and emulate. Yup.

Now I need to find a copy of this somewhere cuz I'd dearly love to read it and see what the contributors are writing about say...an anti-authoritarian, non-hierarchical curriculum...
What could the curriculum be – if it was designed by the people who dropped out of school so that they could breathe? The latest issue of Chimurenga provides alternatives to prevailing educational pedagogy. Through fiction, essays, interviews, poetry, photography and art, contributors examine and redefine rigid notions of essential knowledge.

Presented in the form of a textbook, Chimurenga 15 simultaneously mimics the structure while gutting it. All entries are regrouped under subjects such as body parts, language, grace, worship and news (from the other side), numbers, parents, police and many more. Through a classification system that is both linear and thematic, the textbook offers multiple entry points into a curriculum that focuses on the un-teachable and values un-learning as much as its opposite.

Inside: Amiri Baraka waxes poetic on the theoretics of Be-Bop; Coco Fusco flips the CIA’s teaching manual for female torturers; Karen Press and Steve ColemanDambudzo Marechera proposes a “guide to the earth”; Dominique Malaquais designs the museum we won’t build; through self-portraits Phillip Tabane and Johnny Dyani offer method to the Skanga (black music family); and Winston Mankunku refuses to teach.

Other contributors include Binyavanga Wainaina, Akin Adesokan, Isoje Chou, Sean O’Toole, Pradid Krishen, E.C. Osundu, Salim Washington, Sefi Atta, Ed Pavlic, Neo Muyanga, Henri-Michel Yere, Medu Arts Ensemble, Aryan Kaganof, Khulile Nxumalo and Walter Mosley amongst others. Cover by Johnny “Mbizo” Dyani.
instruct in folk-dancing;

The expulsion of the Roma...



from aljazeera.net

France has begun deporting hundreds of Roma travellers to Romania and Bulgaria, in a move that critics fear could spark racism and further discrimination against a vulnerable community.

Some 79 Romanian Roma who have agreed to "voluntarily return" to their home country are being flown out of France on Thursday, receiving about $380 for doing so.

The first flights carrying dozens of men, women and children, arrived in Bucharest, the Romanian capital, in the early afternoon.

Another 132 will be expelled on Friday, part of the 700 that France intends to repatrtiate from the country by the end of August.

The action comes after French police closed down several Roma camps around the country, with many seeking refuge in a gymnasium outside Paris.

The plan is part of president Nicolas Sarkozy's controversial crackdown on Roma communities, which he described as sources of trafficking, exploitation of children and prostitution.

'Xenophobic reaction'

But human rights groups and politicians have criticised the move, accusing the French government of picking on a minority population.

Teodor Baconschi, Romania's foreign minister, said he was worried about the risk of "xenophobic reactions".

"I am worried about the risks of populism and xenophobic reactions in a context of economic crisis," he told the Romanian service of Radio France International (RFI Romania).

Human rights groups and media in Bulgaria also criticised France's handling of the Roma issue.

Krasimir Kanev, head of rights watchdog the Helsinki Committee in Bulgaria, said he was "worried by the measure aimed at an ethnic group".

Fernanda Eberstadt, the author of Little Money Street, a book based on the Roma community in France, told Al Jazeera the crackdown was a "classic scapegoating of a vulnerable minority".

"It does stigmatise an entire group ... For most people it's upsetting, humiliating, traumatic, to be uprooted and be thrown out of the country."

She added the move "has echoes" of the round-ups and removals of Roma that took place in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

Around 10,000 Roma from Romania and Bulgaria returned to their countries using the "voluntary return" procedure last year, but Thursday's move is the first since Sarkozy launched a crackdown on the community.

Baconschi said he "hopes" that all legal procedures have been duly applied for these "expulsions".

Fears of discrimination

The French foreign ministry has insisted that the measures being taken against the Roma were in line with European rules.

"The measures taken by the French authorities with regard to dismantling illegal camps fully conform with European rules and do not in any way affect the freedom of movement for EU citizens, as defined by treaties," Bernard Valero, foreign ministry spokesman, told the AFP news agency.

Valero said a European directive "expressly allows for restrictions on the right to move freely for reasons of public order, public security and public health".

The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, said it was following the situation "very attentively", adding that France must abide by the bloc's freedom of movement rules when it expels Roma living illegally in the country.

There are about 15,000 Roma of Eastern European origin in France.

The Roma community in Romania numbers 530,000 according to the national census or 2.5 million according to non-governmental organisations, who say that some do not declare themselves as Roma, fearing discrimination.

This critical analysis of the toronto star micro-chip article was bang on...

Alan Watt's critical analysis of one generation is all they need, the toronto star article about universal micro-chipping

Wise Up Journal...

...provides an alternative media centre for Ireland, a place where controversial* Irish documentaries and stories get published and made (*when truth is controversial, we’re living in a society entirely controlled by corruption). We also cover important news from around the world to give a big picture overview of major issues affecting all of us.

Microchips for EVERYONE...yipPEE! :)

‘One generation is all they need’

By Kevin Haggerty
Special to the Star

One generation is all they need

By the time my four-year-old son is swathed in the soft flesh of old age, he will likely find it unremarkable that he and almost everyone he knows will be permanently implanted with a microchip. Automatically tracking his location in real time, it will connect him with databases monitoring and recording his smallest behavioural traits.

Most people anticipate such a prospect with a sense of horrified disbelief, dismissing it as a science-fiction fantasy. The technology, however, already exists. For years humane societies have implanted all the pets that leave their premises with a small identifying microchip. As well, millions of consumer goods are now traced with tiny radio frequency identification chips that allow satellites to reveal their exact location.

A select group of people are already “chipped” with devices that automatically open doors, turn on lights, and perform other low-level miracles. Prominent among such individuals is researcher Kevin Warwick of Reading University in England; Warwick is a leading proponent of the almost limitless potential uses for such chips.

Other users include the patrons of the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona, many of whom have paid about $150 (U.S.) for the privilege of being implanted with an identifying chip that allows them to bypass lengthy club queues and purchase drinks by being scanned. These individuals are the advance guard of an effort to expand the technology as widely as possible.

From this point forward, microchips will become progressively smaller, less invasive, and easier to deploy. Thus, any realistic barrier to the wholesale “chipping” of Western citizens is not technological but cultural. It relies upon the visceral reaction against the prospect of being personally marked as one component in a massive human inventory.

Today we might strongly hold such beliefs, but sensibilities can, and probably will, change. How this remarkable attitudinal transformation is likely to occur is clear to anyone who has paid attention to privacy issues over the past quarter-century. There will be no 3 a.m. knock on the door by storm troopers come to force implants into our bodies. The process will be more subtle and cumulative, couched in the unassailable language of progress and social betterment, and mimicking many of the processes that have contributed to the expansion of closed-circuit television cameras and the corporate market in personal data.

A series of tried and tested strategies will be marshalled to familiarize citizens with the technology. These will be coupled with efforts to pressure tainted social groups and entice the remainder of the population into being chipped.

This, then, is how the next generation will come to be microchipped.

It starts in distant countries. Having tested the technology on guinea pigs, both human and animal, the first widespread use of human implanting will occur in nations at the periphery of the Western world. Such developments are important in their own right, but their international significance pertains to how they familiarize a global audience with the technology and habituate them to the idea that chipping represents a potential future.

An increasing array of hypothetical chipping scenarios will also be depicted in entertainment media, furthering the familiarization process.

In the West, chips will first be implanted in members of stigmatized groups. Pedophiles are the leading candidate for this distinction, although it could start with terrorists, drug dealers, or whatever happens to be that year’s most vilified criminals. Short-lived promises will be made that the technology will only be used on the “worst of the worst.” In fact, the wholesale chipping of incarcerated individuals will quickly ensue, encompassing people on probation and on parole.

Even accused individuals will be tagged, a measure justified on the grounds that it would stop them from fleeing justice. Many prisoners will welcome this development, since only chipped inmates will be eligible for parole, weekend release, or community sentences. From the prison system will emerge an evocative vocabulary distinguishing chippers from non-chippers.

Although the chips will be justified as a way to reduce fraud and other crimes, criminals will almost immediately develop techniques to simulate other people’s chip codes and manipulate their data.

The comparatively small size of the incarcerated population, however, means that prisons would be simply a brief stopover on a longer voyage. Commercial success is contingent on making serious inroads into tagging the larger population of law-abiding citizens. Other stigmatized groups will therefore be targeted. This will undoubtedly entail monitoring welfare recipients, a move justified to reduce fraud, enhance efficiency, and ensure that the poor do not receive “undeserved” benefits.

Once e-commerce is sufficiently advanced, welfare recipients will receive their benefits as electronic vouchers stored on their microchips, a policy that will be tinged with a sense of righteousness, as it will help ensure that clients can only purchase government-approved goods from select merchants, reducing the always disconcerting prospect that poor people might use their limited funds to purchase alcohol or tobacco.

Civil libertarians will try to foster a debate on these developments. Their attempts to prohibit chipping will be handicapped by the inherent difficulty in animating public sympathy for criminals and welfare recipients — groups that many citizens are only too happy to see subjected to tighter regulation. Indeed, the lesser public concern for such groups is an inherent part of the unarticulated rationale for why coerced chipping will be disproportionately directed at the stigmatized.

The official privacy arm of the government will now take up the issue. Mandated to determine the legality of such initiatives, privacy commissioners and Senate Committees will produce a forest of reports presented at an archipelago of international conferences. Hampered by lengthy research and publication timelines, their findings will be delivered long after the widespread adoption of chipping is effectively a fait accompli. The research conclusions on the effectiveness of such technologies will be mixed and open to interpretation.

Officials will vociferously reassure the chipping industry that they do not oppose chipping itself, which has fast become a growing commercial sector. Instead, they are simply seeking to ensure that the technology is used fairly and that data on the chips is not misused. New policies will be drafted.

Employers will start to expect implants as a condition of getting a job. The U.S. military will lead the way, requiring chips for all soldiers as a means to enhance battlefield command and control — and to identify human remains. From cooks to commandos, every one of the more than one million U.S. military personnel will see microchips replace their dog tags.

Following quickly behind will be the massive security sector. Security guards, police officers, and correctional workers will all be expected to have a chip. Individuals with sensitive jobs will find themselves in the same position.

The first signs of this stage are already apparent. In 2004, the Mexican attorney general’s office started implanting employees to restrict access to secure areas. The category of “sensitive occupation” will be expansive to the point that anyone with a job that requires keys, a password, security clearance, or identification badge will have those replaced by a chip.

Judges hearing cases on the constitutionality of these measures will conclude that chipping policies are within legal limits. The thin veneer of “voluntariness” coating many of these programs will allow the judiciary to maintain that individuals are not being coerced into using the technology.

In situations where the chips are clearly forced on people, the judgments will deem them to be undeniable infringements of the right to privacy. However, they will then invoke the nebulous and historically shifting standard of “reasonableness” to pronounce coerced chipping a reasonable infringement on privacy rights in a context of demands for governmental efficiency and the pressing need to enhance security in light of the still ongoing wars on terror, drugs, and crime.

At this juncture, an unfortunately common tragedy of modern life will occur: A small child, likely a photogenic toddler, will be murdered or horrifically abused. It will happen in one of the media capitals of the Western world, thereby ensuring non-stop breathless coverage. Chip manufactures will recognize this as the opportunity they have been anticipating for years. With their technology now largely bug-free, familiar to most citizens and comparatively inexpensive, manufacturers will partner with the police to launch a high-profile campaign encouraging parents to implant their children “to ensure your own peace of mind.”

Special deals will be offered. Implants will be free, providing the family registers for monitoring services. Loving but unnerved parents will be reassured by the ability to integrate tagging with other functions on their PDA so they can see their child any time from any place.

Paralleling these developments will be initiatives that employ the logic of convenience to entice the increasingly small group of holdouts to embrace the now common practice of being tagged. At first, such convenience tagging will be reserved for the highest echelon of Western society, allowing the elite to move unencumbered through the physical and informational corridors of power. Such practices will spread more widely as the benefits of being chipped become more prosaic. Chipped individuals will, for example, move more rapidly through customs.

Indeed, it will ultimately become a condition of using mass-transit systems that officials be allowed to monitor your chip. Companies will offer discounts to individuals who pay by using funds stored on their embedded chip, on the small-print condition that the merchant can access large swaths of their personal data. These “discounts” are effectively punitive pricing schemes, charging unchipped individuals more as a way to encourage them to submit to monitoring. Corporations will seek out the personal data in hopes of producing ever more fine-grained customer profiles for marketing purposes, and to sell to other institutions.

By this point all major organizations will be looking for opportunities to capitalize on the possibilities inherent in an almost universally chipped population. The uses of chips proliferate, as do the types of discounts. Each new generation of household technology becomes configured to operate by interacting with a person’s chip.

Finding a computer or appliance that will run though old-fashioned “hands-on”‘ interactions becomes progressively more difficult and costly. Patients in hospitals and community care will be routinely chipped, allowing medical staff — or, more accurately, remote computers — to monitor their biological systems in real time.

Eager to reduce the health costs associated with a largely docile citizenry, authorities will provide tax incentives to individuals who exercise regularly. Personal chips will be remotely monitored to ensure that their heart rate is consistent with an exercise regime.

By now, the actual process of “chipping” for many individuals will simply involve activating certain functions of their existing chip. Any prospect of removing the chip will become increasingly untenable, as having a chip will be a precondition for engaging in the main dynamics of modern life, such as shopping, voting, and driving.

The remaining holdouts will grow increasingly weary of Luddite jokes and subtle accusations that they have something to hide. Exasperated at repeatedly watching neighbours bypass them in “chipped” lines while they remain subject to the delays, inconveniences, and costs reserved for the unchipped, they too will choose the path of least resistance and get an implant.

In one generation, then, the cultural distaste many might see as an innate reaction to the prospect of having our bodies marked like those of an inmate in a concentration camp will likely fade.

In the coming years some of the most powerful institutional actors in society will start to align themselves to entice, coerce, and occasionally compel the next generation to get an implant.

Now, therefore, is the time to contemplate the unprecedented dangers of this scenario. The most serious of these concern how even comparatively stable modern societies will, in times of fear, embrace treacherous promises. How would the prejudices of a Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, or of southern Klansmen — all of whom were deeply integrated into the American political establishment — have manifest themselves in such a world? What might Hitler, Mao or Milosevic have accomplished if their citizens were chipped, coded, and remotely monitored?

Choirs of testimonials will soon start to sing the virtues of implants. Calm reassurances will be forthcoming about democratic traditions, the rule of law, and privacy rights. History, unfortunately, shows that things can go disastrously wrong, and that this happens with disconcerting regularity. Little in the way of international agreements, legality, or democratic sensibilities has proved capable of thwarting single-minded ruthlessness.

“It can’t happen here” has become the whispered swan song of the disappeared. Best to contemplate these dystopian potentials before we proffer the tender forearms of our sons and daughters. While we cannot anticipate all of the positive advantages that might be derived from this technology, the negative prospects are almost too terrifying to contemplate.

Related:

Mp3: Analysis from Alan Watt *

Microsoft Links Up With Human-embedded RFID Chips

Shopping Centre Offers RFID Child Tags To Familiarise Families With Tracking

Fox News: Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ebert Promote Benefits Of Insane RFID Brain-Chips (Video) *

Telegraph: Better Than Viagra - Using Sex To Popularise The Brain-Chip *

Great Control With Radio-Frequency Identification Surveillance - Already In Passports And More *

IBM Ad - RFID Implant Checkout Supermarket *

The EU & RFID Chips: Springing the Trap (video) *

Google launches software to track mobile users *

Irish Govt And The StratAG Project - Full Spectrum People Tracking Based Technology *