David Graeber: Major Direct Actions (1994-2003)

The following timeline appears in David Graeber – Direct Action: An Ethnography, AK Press (2009).

January 1, 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect. Uprising by the EZLN (or Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, or Zapatistas) in Chiapas begins with a surprise military offensive that leads, briefly, to the seizure of Chiapas’ capital, San Christobal de las Casas.  The Zapatistas, however, quickly transform from an offensive force to a defensive one, creating a series of self-governing autonomous communities, seeking international allies, and promulgating a politics of direct action, democratic experimentation, and a new approach to revolution that converges with the anarchist tradition in its refusal of traditional attempts to transform through the seizure of state power.

August, 1997 Second Zapatista “International Encuentro For Humanity and Against Neoliberalism” in Spain ends with a call to create an international network, that ultimately comes to be known (in English) as Peoples’ Global Action. Aside from the Zapatistas themselves, the core of PGA, at first, consists of the Brazilian Landless Farmers’ Movement (MST), the Indian Karnataka State Farmers’ Association (KRRS, a mass-based Gandhian direct action movement), anarchist or anarchist-inspired groups including Ya Basta! in Italy and Reclaim the Streets in the UK, and various indigenous and agrarian movements and radical labor unions.
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Steven Pippin: Mamiya 330 twin lens reflex shot with .25 calibre (self portrait) (2010)

“Pippin is not interested in employing a photographic process to arrive at a specific visual result; rather, the process itself determines the result to a great degree.”

via we make money not art, CEAAC

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OWS, Month 3

The accelerating Occupy Movement is freely developing of its own momentum. Not only have occupations proliferated around the globe, but as the occupations gain mass they’re increasingly throwing off satellites.

One such satellite is The New School Free Press’s occupation of a building owned by Wells Fargo, an action which continues Occupy Wall Street’s novel focus on private institutions:

“As we are continually and violently pushed out of public spaces, the people of this city must find new spaces in which to foster dialogue, learn and engage politically. Private spaces must be liberated; the movement must expand. We students, educators and members of the broader public have come together to occupy this space, seeking to transform it into a place of public education, safe and open to all.

“Much of the repression of this movement has been conducted under the pretense of public health and safety. We, the occupiers, declare that our primary concern lies in the safety and well-being of this occupation and its participants. New School President David Van Zandt and the New School Administration have expressed concerns that we observe the building?s fire code. We share these concerns. Licensed fire guards are included among the occupiers and we will continue to take the necessary steps to prevent harm from coming to anyone.

“We reiterate that this occupation is not a New School action; this building actually belongs to Wells Fargo, whose role in the current economic crisis is well-known. We are occupying a building: and we, as occupiers, are not solely students ? we are workers, teachers, students, unemployed, under-employed, indebted and exploited. We are creating a common space that will eventually be open to all. In addition to the people?s university, the CUNY adjunct project, and the all-city student assembly, we are in the process of planning a series of open teach-ins and events. Schedule forthcoming.”

Viewpoint Magazine continued their excellent coverage of the movement this week with an article that examines and welcomes the shift toward deeper decentralization. Is there a limit to this reduction in scale?

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via OccupyTVNY
more at AnonOps1337

Activist Mark Reed of the alter-globalization movement teamed up with fellow Occupiers, including a nearby resident, to pull off this historic spectacle of positive slogans and street chants.

The Verizon Building was previously projection bombed in 2008 in protest of the company’s unconstitutional practice of warrantless wiretapping.

Verizon is the 16th largest company in the U.S. with $2.5 billion in profits last year, yet it continues to threaten its workers with pension and benefit cuts.

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November 17th, 2011

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many – they are few.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley (1819)

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This Week on Against the Grain

Mon 11.07.11 | Anarchism in Thought, and in the Streets
Anarchist principles inform much of what is happening at Occupy Wall Street and beyond. So what does anarchism, a rich tradition of political thought, mean? Martha Ackelsberg, Cindy Milstein, Tomas Moniz and Roger White discuss anarchist ideas and dynamics. Milstein also describes “anarchism in action” at Occupy Philly.

Tues 11.08.11 | Wall Street, Populism, and the Left
Moving your money out of the big banks that have helped create the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression may seem like an excellent idea. But leftwing journalist Doug Henwood believes such actions — along with community currencies and attempts to abolish corporate personhood — are misguided. Henwod discusses the long, and problematic, history of American populism, and what a radical approach to finance might look like.

Wed 11.09.11 | “Free Trade” & Corporate Power
Martin Hart-Landsberg points out that free trade agreements, such as the one the US is poised to conclude with South Korea, are about much more than trade — they expand the power of big corporations, strip governments of their ability to regulate them, and fuel capitalism’s destructive tendencies. According to Hart-Landsberg, the Korea-US trade deal would also fuel the already-disastrous financialization of the US economy.

via Against the Grain

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It’s the End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine: 11.09.11

1. No cops allowed in Occupy Vancouver
2. W.T.F.W.J.D.
3. Ninjas?
4. Bahrain battles SUVs
5. Justice, Syria style
6. #Jan25
7. Is this a revolution?

Stimulator’s fuckin site

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IBM Processor

Breaking Process

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Free Speech Radio News: 11.04.11

  • Unemployment lowers in US, but joblessness rates still far from recovery
  • Educators use Occupy movement to empower students, defend public education
  • Alternative G20 in Nice calls for fundamental changes to financial system
  • Ortega favored for re-election in Nicaraguan vote
via Free Speech Radio News

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Is this what anti-Hegelianism looks like?

Bergson explains that there are two ways of determining what colors have in common.  Either we extract the abstract and general idea of color, and we do so by “effacing from red what makes it red, from blue what makes it blue, and from green what makes it green”: then we are left with a concept which is a genre, and many objects for one concept.  The concept and the object are two things, and the relation of the object to the concept is one of subsumption.  Thus we get no farther than spatial distinctions, a state of difference that is external to the thing.  Or we send the colors through a convergent lense that concentrates them on the same point: what we have then is “pure white light,” the very light that “makes the differences come out between the shades.”  So, the different colors are no longer objects under a concept, but nuances or degrees of the concept itself.  Degrees of difference itself, and not differences of degree.  The relation is no longer one of subsumption, but one of participation.  White light is still a universal, but a concrete universal, which gives us an understanding of the particular because it is the far end of the particular.  Because things have become nuances or degrees of the concept, the concept itself has become a thing.  It is a universal thing, if you like, since the objects look like so many degrees, but a concrete thing, not a genus or a generality.  Properly speaking, there is no longer many objects for one concept; the concept is identical to the thing itself.

Deleuze, Gilles. “The Concept of Difference in Bergson” (1956) Desert Islands and Other Texts, 1953-1974. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e), 2004 43. Print.

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