Friday, March 29, 2013
It is Prison Friday here at Scission and we shall turn our attention to a call from the Northwest to support Grand Jury resisters. I myself first got involved in the whole grand jury business shortly before one went off in 1971 and indicted me and three of my brothers. I joined with many others to fight back against a wave of political grand juries launched by the Nixon Justice Department then and throughout the early 70s. Later I found myself helping to organize the Committee to Stop the Grand Jury which was supporting resisters to a grand jury investigating the Brink truck robbery carried out by the Black Liberation Army around 1981, if I remember correctly. I got back into the grand jury resisters support issue with one up in Iowa that was harassing animal rights activists...and never looked back.
The State loves the grand jury and has used it forever to repress political activism of all stripes. We must continue the resistance.
The following is from Puget Sound Anarchists.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Every now and then I just run across something that makes me yowl (is yowl even a word?).
CLR James used to write about the relationship between popular culture, music, art, literature and class struggle. This is something most of the left ignores most of the time. That seems strange since often a large part of the left is young, and a large part of its base is young, you would think they would be into the whole music thing in their lives. Somehow though the left, especially the Marxist left, has this tendency to take itself so seriously that it is incapable of realizing the role popular culture plays in the lives of most people.
Apparently, as the post below will indicate, the Nazis got this...or they didn't.
This will be one of the more different, strange, in some ways amusing, in some ways scary, in most ways just odd posts you will run into on Scission.
I just could not resist...
resistance is not futile...
I mean really...
The following is from Searchlight (an odd article for them as well).
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Financial Capital, the Empire itself, is taking over Detroit and the people of this over 80% African American City are all the losers.
Kevyn Orr began the first day of his eighteen-month tenure as the state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) of Detroit Monday, three days before the new emergency manager law goes into effect. Detroit is now the largest US city to be under the control of an unelected official with sweeping powers to gut public services and the wages and pensions of city workers. - African Globe
Did you know that Detroit is the world's largest majority black city outside of Africa.
Kevin Orr is black. Kevyn Orr is a prominent partner at Jones Day, an international law firm of over 2500 attorneys in 37 offices worldwide. Black Agenda Report adds:
Kevyn Orr, anointed by Michigan’s Republican governor, is a bankruptcy specialist whose mission is to liquidate the assets of the 82 percent Black city, especially the revenue-producing Water and Sewerage Department. Orr’s firm’s clients – which, according to their website, include “more than half of the Fortune 500 companies” – have plenty of experience at liquidating in Detroit. Butch Hollowell, general counsel for the local NAACP, says Wells Fargo has “done more foreclosures in Detroit and the state of Michigan than any other firm,” and is Detroit’s number one property tax scofflaw. Jones Day also represents Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and CitiGroup.
I'm just saying, sounds like Greece to me, shades of Cyprus.
During a rally on March 6th one resident demanded:
“If an emergency manager comes to town, arrest him and put him in the Wayne County Jail with the rest of the fellows.”
As Diane Bukowski writes in the Voice of Detroit:
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and State Treasurer Andy Dillon, in collusion with Detroit city officials, are racing to put the city under the direct control of Wall Street banks and disenfranchise its residents, before over 226,000 signatures for a referendum to repeal Public Act 4 are validated.
The African American people of Detroit are literally fighting for their lives and for their right to have some say, at least, some say in what happens in their world.
While it is not as if any city in America is really in control of the working people, the poor people, the real people of that city, but still...this plan for Detroit is a bit blatant, don't you think?
Me thinks it will take more than a call for a referendum to beat back this takeover.
Sandra Hines, a long time community activist in the city sure sounds like she gets it. She told the state appointed financial review team at its meeting last week,
“This is war! We are not going to let you come in and take our city. This whole process is built on racism. It’s white supremacy at its best. House Negroes still exist. You don’t live in Detroit, and all you want to do is close, shut down, take everything we have away, our city, our schools, our homes, our libraries!”
She has got that right. This IS war...and it isn't just a war for Detroit. It's much more than that.
PR Watch writes:
As early as 2005, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an influential right-wing think tank in Michigan has called for emergency managers as a way of breaking public employee contracts and lowering wages for public workers. The Mackinac Center is a member of the State Policy Network and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and has been funded by a number of right-wing foundations including the Dow Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, the Walton Foundation, the DeVos Foundation, and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.
Louis Schimmel, a former Mackinac employee who penned reports and articles on EFMs, was appointed the EFM of Pontiac, Michigan by the Governor Snyder in 2011. Schimmel "pursued the most aggressive turnaround plan in the state,"according to Mother Jones. Schimmel proposed putting nearly every city property up for sale, "including city hall, the police station, fire stations, water-pumping stations, the library, the golf course, and two cemeteries," but Pontiac still faced a huge shortfall in 2012.
If they get away with this crap in Detroit, they can get away with it anywhere.
No one says Detroit doesn't need something help. No one claims Detroit is in great shape. No one says Detroit today is what we want Detroit to be in the future. What I am saying is what it doesn't need is the masters of Finance Capital. It needs, well you know what I am going to say, the multitude. Only the working people of Detroit can free themselves from yet another desperate attempt to detroy their lives. Capital always destroys the lives of working people. Sometimes it is just more blatant than at other times. When they start brining in the Masters of the Universe, you know they are getting serious and you know we need to get serious, too. I mean finance capital is not going to save working people. It exists to exploit them. The State (or the state) isn't going to save working people, it exists to control them for finance capital.
The following is from Black Agenda Report.
The Lords of Capital Seize Detroit
The Lords of Capital Seize Detroit
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“Financial manager Kevyn Orr may answer to the state of Michigan, but he represents the corporate class.”
Detroit’s state-appointed emergency financial manager promised that he won’t cut the salaries of the City Council or the mayor – at least not for the time being. On Thursday, under the law that makes corporate lawyer Kevyn Orr the dictator of the 82 percent Black city, the mayor and city council’s salaries will automatically be set at zero. Which is what their powers will amount to – and what the vote of Detroit’s 700,000 people will be worth – under the new regime: zero.
Demonstrators have been protesting the disenfranchisement of what now comprises more than half of Michigan’s Black population. Rev. David Bullock says, “This is about the state taking over cities and school districts.” Technically, he’s right. But the state is only acting as a bully for the real usurpers of political power: corporate America. Financial manager Kevyn Orr may answer to the state of Michigan, but he represents the corporate class, mainly finance capital. His law firm, Jones Day, from which he has technically – and, no doubt, temporarily – resigned, brags that it represent more than half the Fortune 500 companies in the United States. On top of that, while Orr sits in the Detroit dictator’s seat, his law firm is taking over as restructuring counsel for the city. This means that lawyers for Jones Day will be handling the sale of Detroit’s property and the cancelling of its contracts as ordered by another Jones Day lawyer, Kevyn Orr. As Atty. Tom Stephens points out, under this incestuous arrangement, “the same law firm is effectively serving as attorney, client, and local government” in Detroit – a concentration of power that would be unthinkable in a majority white metropolis.
“Kevyn Orr will be making decisions on how Detroit will deal with creditors that include his former firm’s Wall Street client, Merrill Lynch.”
But it gets worse. Jones Day also represents many of the banks that were primarily responsible for rendering Detroit’s tax base untenable, through devastating home foreclosures. One of them is Bank of America, the parent company of Merrill Lynch, which is a counter party to Detroit’s derivative interest rate swaps. As Tom Stephens explains, that means Merrill Lynch “is one of the city’s key creditors.” So, financial dictator Kevyn Orr will be making decisions on how Detroit will deal with creditors that include his former firm’s Wall Street client, Merrill Lynch. What Kevyn Orr calls his job description would be grounds for an indictment for criminal conspiracy in any society under the rule of law.
But, that’s the point: the corporate rulers of America have discarded the rule of law – certainly, as it affects Black people, who are targeted for disenfranchisement and outright removal from the nation’s cities. Yes, the corporate henchman Kevyn Orr is Black, which only goes to show that the Lords of Capital have enlisted a class of Black folks who will enthusiastically assist in the liquidation of African American political, civil, economic and human rights.
One of them now sits in the White House. Barack Obama is the biggest privatizer of public schools in history, far more effective than George Bush. The massive assault on local elected authority over the public schools, mainly targeting Black school districts, paved the way for privatization through charters. It was only a matter of time before Black city governments were also neutralized. President Obama has been indispensable to this whole process, as has Detroit mayor Dave Bing. So, it is true that the siege of Detroit is largely racial. It is also true that more than a few Black folks are working for the other side.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The Dropkick Murphys, for those of you who don't know them, are a Celtic-american punk rock band from Boston. I'm a big fan.
On their Facebook page they write:
In addition to hopefully bringing people together for a good time, we hope to share some of our experiences and beliefs in working class solidarity, friendship, loyalty and self- improvement as a means to bettering society.
The band has been influenced by punk bands like Stiff Little Fingers, Swinging Utters, The Clash, and Sex Pistols, as well as Irish rock band The Pogues. They also have been influenced by AC/DC and the Ramones.
The band has over the years been involved with various working class causes and has been very supportive of unions and union workers.
From their "Worker's Song,"
Yeh, this one's for the workers who toil night and day
By hand and by brain to earn your pay
Who for centuries long past for no more than your bread
Have bled for your countries and counted your dead
In the factories and mills, in the shipyards and mines
We've often been told to keep up with the times
For our skills are not needed, they've streamlined the job
And with sliderule and stopwatch our pride they have robbed
We're the first ones to starve, we're the first ones to die
The first ones in line for that pie-in-the-sky
And we're always the last when the cream is shared out
For the worker is working when the fat cat's about
And when the sky darkens and the prospect is war
Who's given a gun and then pushed to the fore
And expected to die for the land of our birth
Though we've never owned one lousy handful of earth?
All of these things the worker has done
From tilling the fields to carrying the gun
We've been yoked to the plough since time first began
And always expected to carry the can
The band is much beloved in the skinhead world as well. Uh oh, you think skinhead and some of you think racists and nazis. Not true. Yes, there are racist skinheads and certainly there are nazi skinheads, but they are far from predominate on the scene and they are detested by the Murphys. They demonstrated their anti-nazi feelings pretty clearly recently at a show in New York.The band which has no trouble with stage invasions and the like was surrounded on stage by fans as they finished up an anti-white supremacist song. Then band member Ken Casey spotted some bonehead giving a nazi salute. Casey rushed over and gave the fool a bruising. He bashed the nazi with his guitar before being separated by roadies as the man was tossed off stage.. Casey took back the microphone and screamed "Nazis are not fucking welcome at a Dropkick Murphys show."
Now, the band has been threatened by nazis who say they will attack them when they show up soon for an Australian tour.
My guess is the Murphys are not shakin' in their boots. My guess is any nazis who shows up at one of their shows in Australia will come away much the worse for wear. Numerous punk boards contain comments from fans who are warning the nazis to stay away. My guess is the nazis will heed that warning. Nazis like a good fight where there are maybe twenty of them beating on one person. They are seldom so "brave" when the odds are not quite so much in their favor.
Meanwhile, Scission salutes this band and calls on all anti-racists to stand in solidarity with them.
The following is from our old friends at One People's Project.
AUSSIE BONEHEADS THREATEN DROPKICK MURPHYS AFTER BEATDOWN OF NAZI DURING NYC SHOW
Seriously, they really think they are going to beat down THIS band?
One People’s Project
A week after a video from a Dropkick Murphys show during St. Patrick’s Day weekend showing the bass player confronting a person doing a Nazi salute while on their stage and declaring that they will not tolerate Nazis at their show, the band posted a message on their Twitter account from a person reportedly from Australia warning that they may be attacked by neo-Nazis when they play a series of shows there.
“Fuck Drop Kick Murphy’s (sic),” the email from a person calling himself “Joe Smith” read. “You fucking interracial communist faggots. Be careful in Australia because there is (sic) plenty of neo nazis in Australia who would love to kick your ass, watch out Zionists.”
The email was dated March 21, just over a week since they played a show at Terminal 5 in New York City to a packed crowd. Known for inviting fans on stage as they play, when one of those persons began giving the Nazi salute to the crowd, bassist Ken Casey noticed him from the corner of his eye, confronted the person and an altercation ensued. Seconds later, Casey returned to his microphone and declared, “Nazis are not fucking welcome at a Dropkick Murphys show!” The video of the altercation has since gone viral.
Dropkick Murphys, who in recent years have been seeing mainstream success, have long been a staple in the underground music scene, and have a huge following among traditional skinheads, who, like the band, do not hold the neo-Nazi beliefs that many in the mainstream have been falsely led to believe is a part of skinhead culture. One of the band’s more popular songs is "Skinhead on the M.B.T.A.", which is about the working-class punks of Boston.
Despite this, neo-Nazis have been fans of the Boston-based band due to their promotion of their Irish culture and heritage, but a recent thread on Stormfront might suggest this recent incident changes everything. “All these homos did was place a big target on their backs,” a poster from Texas calling himself 14th District wrote. “The result will be some of their fans will get beat down, shows stopped and loss revenue.” Still, another poster did admonish the reputed neo-Nazi, saying, “As much as I don't like it, it was the guy's own fault for not being situationally aware.” Indeed, another poster recalls the band doing this to another neo-Nazi ten years ago.
Dropkick Murphys is expected to be in Australia this week.
THE VIDEO THAT STARTED IT ALL
ANOTHER DKM VIDEO FROM BACK IN THE DAY
Shot July 16, 1999 during the Warped Tour on Randall's Island in NYC by DLJ
Monday, March 25, 2013
How would you feel if your were suspecting that your community's drinking water had long been causing illness in your neck of the woods and you had for a while been complaining about it? How would you feel if all the while you were told there was no problem and your water was safe to drink? How would you feel, if all that turned out to be untrue and you had, in fact, been drinking water unfit for consumption? What would you, could you actually do about it if your community was just not significant enough apparently for anyone to care about? How do you go about getting anything done when the most local of local representatives of the huge, far flung Empire either lack the brains, the power, or the wherewithal to do anything? How would you feel if your health, your life, and those of your loved ones, friends and neighbors just didn't count?
Top News Arab Emirates (of all places) reports on the little community of Delegate in Australia:
A report that was released last year said that NSW (New South Wales) Health found that water from the Delegate River contains high pollution levels. Considering this, residents of the town believe that the water quality was always a problem for them but they were never asked to take proper steps in this regard.
Last year the report was given by NSW Health department to the Bombala Shire Council.
You have to ask, if the water is bad, why not fix it, or warn people, or issue a boil order or something. Seems like an easy call. Seems like nothing too tough. Why just pass your report along to the Bombala Shire Council? Why is the best that anyone can tell you is,
" A meeting by delegates is also expected in near future?"
You know the answer and so do I.
The world is full of such stories. This is one of them.
The following is from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
NSW town furious at dangerous water supply
By Robert Virtue
Residents of a small town in southern New South Wales say they have been kept in the dark about pollution in their water supply.
Around 140 properties at Delegate, on the NSW border with Victoria, draw their water from the Delegate River.
But a report late last year from NSW Health found the water from the Delegate River is too polluted to drink.
Resident John Wilkshire says the community has been worried about the water quality for years, but they have never been told to take precautions.
"We have never been directed to boil it by the council, so we are all thinking here that we have a safe water supply, but it appears that's not the case," he said.
"People are suffering from health problems, including quite a number of children."
Last year's NSW Health draft report was provided to the Bombala Shire Council, which is holding a meeting in Delegate this afternoon.
The council's general manager, Don Cottee, admits the town's water has been a problem
"The water is not safe to drink and that's what we want to discuss with the community," Mr Cottee said.
Mr Cottee says daily testing has been conducted since the council was notified of the problems and steps are being take to improve the water quality.
"They haven't had a safe supply of water. It's being looked at now," he said
"The only form of treatment is the application of chlorine.
"The system is tested for residual chlorine at the extremities."
But Mr Cottee says while the chlorine reduces the risk, it does not remove all of the dangers.