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The Shortwave Report 10/01/10 Listen Globally

 

Dear Radio Friend, 

 

            The latest Shortwave Report (October 1) is up at the website 
   http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/shortwave.shtml  in both broadcast quality (13.3MB) and quickdownload or streaming form (4.9MB) (28:59)
   (NEW! If you have access to Audioport.org there is a higher quality version posted up there {26.7MB} http://www.audioport.org/index.php?op=producer-info&uid=904&nav=&)

     This week's show features stories from China Radio International,
 Radio Deutsche-Welle, Radio Havana Cuba,
 and the Voice of Russia.
   From CHINA- 
The US Congress has passed legislation targeting China's currency policy- some believe that the bill will make the trade imbalance worse. Russia has completed a major crude oil pipeline to China. The Australian government will have a parliamentary debate on the country's involvement in the war on Afghanistan. In Colombia, the military commander of the FARC rebels was killed, possibly weakening the organization.

    From GERMANY- 
There were massive demonstrations and strikes across Europe in response to austerity measures and bank bailouts imposed by various governments. The European Commission is launching legal proceedings against France over its crackdown on and deportation of Roma gypsies. The German government has extended the life of its 17 nuclear power plants by more than 10 years.
   From CUBA- 
A US court has ruled that corporations cannot be sued for human rights violations abroad. Northern Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire is under arrest and facing deportation from Israel after being refused entrance to the country. The CIA continues to escalate drone attacks in Pakistan. The Pakistan government threatened to cease protecting NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, following Apache helicopter attacks by the US military which crossed the border into Pakistan. A new study warns that 20% of the plants on earth face human induced extinction.

    From RUSSIA- 
Venezuela's United Socialist Party retained a majority in the national assembly following elections last weekend. A complex computer worm, capable of seizing control of industrial plants, has infected computers at Iran's first nuclear power station as well as those controlling gas and oil pipelines. An observation on how the war on Afghanistan is likely to turn into a second Vietnam, based on government corruption and the expansion of fighting into neighboring countries.

There is an article about the Shortwave Report by Cassandra Roos on line at-http://www.campusprogress.org/soundvision/780/big-stories-shortwaves 
 
I was interviewed for an informative weekly radio show Mediageek, available at http://radio.mediageek.net 

  All that plus times and frequencies for listening at home. It's free to rebroadcast, please notify me if you're airing it and haven't notified me in the last month, please mention the website if you only air a portion. If you just want to listen and have a slow connection, try the streaming version- lower sound quality but good enough and way easier if you don't have a high-speed internet connection. If streaming is a problem because of your slow connection, download the smaller file- it takes 20 minutes or less, and will play swell in any mp3 player application (RealPlayer, Winamp, Quicktime, iTunes, etc) you have on your computer. 
This program will be aired on Friday evening at 6:30pm (PDST) on KZYX/Z Philo CA, you might be able to stream via < http://www.kzyx.org >
There are several other streams that work better- < http://www.freakradio.org >Freak Radio Santa Cruz  now streams this program on Friday at 9:00am.(PDST)
The Shortwave Report may be downloaded as a podcast from < feed://www.radio4all.net/responder.php/podcast/podcast.xml?series=outFarpress+presents > or iTunes (search for "shortwave" in podcasts) 
Check out the amazing streams at < http://www.radicalradio.org > 
And Radio For Peace International at < http://www.rfpi.org > 

I hope you'll listen and air this if you're connected with a radio station. I am still wondering how to get financially compensated for the 25 hours I put into this program weekly- any ideas are appreciated. Any stations rebroadcasting this (or listeners) are welcome to donate for production costs. You can do so through the website. Many thanks to those that have donated! No Guilt! (maybe a little) 
link for broadcast edition- 
http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/swr_10_01_10.mp3 >(13.3MB)
link for smaller file and streaming- 
http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/shortwave.shtml >
       ¡FurthuR!      Dan Roberts

 
--"

To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom. Their courage teaches us a great lesson - that there are things in this world worth defending. 

To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors.

"

 

-- Ronald Reagan, March 21, 1983

 

SB1070 Vigil at Texas Capitol

 On July 29, 2010, the day Arizona's SB1070 immigratin law took effect, members of the Austin community held a vigil at the Texas Capitol in protest of the law.

Hands Across the Sand Demonstration

 On June 26, 2010 the Austin, TX community showed solidarity with the Gulf Coast communities affected by the BP oil spill by participating in the international Hands Across the Sand Demonstration at Lady Bird Lake.

SB1070 Protest and Counter-Protest at Texas Capitol

 On Saturday, June 12th supporters and opponents of Arizona's SB1070 immigration law gathered at the Texas Capitol building.

The Netherlands: Squatting prohibition

We are squatters from the Netherlands. We are asking you to help us in our struggle against the squatting prohibition. We will have two demonstrations this week, on 1st October in Amsterdam and 2nd October in Nijmegen. This week mayor of Amsterdam said that in coming months 200 squats will be evicted in the city!!! If you can not come to the Netherlands please organize a protests or action in your place against the squatting prohibition that starts on 1st October 2010.  

Subversion de la théorie

 

Tomball Today (9/25/2010)

reposted from Texas Antifa

Today the crypto-fascists were at Tomball but so were we. It was less intense than last week- this week the pigs were recording everything. Good things and bad things on that, under the pretense of "protecting" us and checking out the teabaggers M.O. they are also studying us. Once again they are playing the dry branch card (a dry branch hangs low pretending to give us shade---dry  branches break easily!!!). PWOC folks talked to Tomballs head pig complaiing about Barney and how the police reacted to their calls. Another good thing about this is that the city is now wasting money having to baby-sit us, so hopefully they put more pressure on the teapartiers so they just fuckoff.

From early on the crowd was different than it was last week: there were fewer women and fewer kids. One guy even brought his pitbull. This week the conservatives tried a different tactic, they were getting people to sign a petition (for i dont know what) and not scaring people away. Steve Potvin, from Borderwatch, was walking around the parking lot talking to people and talking to the group of people doing a car wash.
This of course was what was planned. Two biker guys rolled up and immediately started trying to intimidate people. One called a Chicano a "nigger" and the other was pretending to shoot people in their head. This other guy, whose affiliation we do not know yet, was being really aggressive and seemed to hang out most with the bikers and Barney (Tony Moony) and this other man who has been known to be very violent and aggressive towards our folks.
Their usual pishposh continued for the resting hours.

Now for us.
We did things differently as well. Chants were not as prominent. The microphone was passed around waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than last time. There were about 5 speakers today, 3 of them doing the usual "youre stupid" or "youre racist" and repeating it over and over, 1 of them talked about the history of tx but added some classist rhetoric, and the last was tying things together in a more politically radical way. The last person talked about autonomy, self-determination, racism, history, and classism. That person had people in our side nodding and agreeing with them so they took the liberty to keep going in order to not get back to the usual "racists go home!" bullshit.
We had a couple of people who are from tomball stop by and ask us whats up and staying there and also the car wash folks  were asked to wash the bikes of the idiots and they said no, same for a big-ass pick up truck that was just leaving the conservatives side.

The actual people rallying with the t-partiers were actually not being very entertaining but the drivers by picked up the slack and we got quite a couple "go back to mexico" or "illegal aliens".

Oh! and odd fact, this lady kept yelling at us "I'm not racist! I'm not racist! Youre just a wetback!" that same lady also said "I don't care if youre black, brown, or a chink-o".

Please folks, we will be there every Saturday morning there. come out and support if you can, a couple of community folks are definitely interested in going out there as a weekly event.  

 

The Selfish Apple Tree

 Mr. Apple Tree refuses to share his apples with other creatures in the forest. Poor Mrs. Cow wants to taste the apples and offers Mr. Apple Tree her milk in exchange for an apple or two but Mr. Apple Tree is not interested. One day a dramatic, life-changing experience occurs in Mr. Apple Tree’s life which never leaves him the same again. Mr. Apple Tree begins to love and share. Find out what caused the big change in Mr. Apple Tree’s life.

Texas School Board Tries to Rewrite History, Again

originally posted on ColorLines

The Texas State Board of Education has come up with another way to rewrite history, and this time it concerns what they perceive as potential “anti-Christian” bias in the state’s world history textbooks. The culprit? A “pro-Islamic” slant, of course.

The board kicked off a three-day convening in Texas yesterday to discuss, among other things, an innocuous enough sounding resolution to ensure the “balanced treatment of religious groups in textbooks.” The resolution, which is on the board’s agenda for tomorrow, would ban from Texas classrooms textbooks that “offend Texas law with respect to treatment of the world’s major religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage space-wise and/or by demonizing or lionizing one or more of them over others.”

And in a display of surreal Islamophobic paranoia, outsized even by today’s standards, the resolution warns that Christians could face the dangers of continued future discrimination “as Middle Easterners buy into the U.S. public school textbook oligopoly.”

“I think our documentation clearly shows that the bias is there,” said the resolution’s author, Randy Rives of Odessa, who spoke to NBC. “And we feel that it was not done on accident.”

Among the charges, from the text of the resolution:

In one instance, devoting 120 student text lines to Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings but 248 (more than twice as many) to those of Islam; and dwelling for 27 student text lines on Crusaders’ massacre of Muslims at Jerusalem in 1099 yet censoring Muslims’ massacres of Christians there in 1244 and at Antioch in 1268, implying that Christian brutality and Muslim loss of life are significant but Islamic cruelty and Christian deaths are not.

Groups like the Texas Freedom Network and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have urged the state board not to pass the resolution.

Earlier this year, the Texas board successfully passed updates to state curriculum that excised people of color from Texas state curriculum and reinforced the notion that the U.S.’s founding documents had their origins in biblical scripture.

The reason these debates gain so much national attention is because Texas is the only state in the country with uniform adoption standards from kindergarten through 12th grade, which means that there are only a set number of textbooks the state’s school districts can access for free. It’s such a big market that textbook companies often wait to write books until they hear from Texas’ state board. And so when the state rejects or adopts textbooks for its five million public school students, they have the ability to also drive the market and shift public school curricula nationally.

Of course, at its heart these sorts of conversations are about the narrative of American history. Who are this country’s central characters, its heroes and villains? What are the country’s central struggles, and who deserves the blame and credit for America’s various missteps and milestones? There will always be competing narratives, but in Texas it’s Christian fundamentalists who get the final word.

Read the resolution in full here, uploaded by NBC.

 

 

Call To Action: Confront Racist "Border Watch" Near Houston

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Yesterday, about 50 racists from the Border Watch, Minute Men, and Tea Party rallied for over 5 hours in front of the HEB Store at 28520 Tomball Parkway. The Tomball City Council's recent rejection of anti-immigrant proposals has energized these extremists and increased their numbers. Only 12 people showed up for our counter-protest, so we were badly outnumbered.

With our sound system and portable cd player, we drowned out the racists' rants with chants, Hispanic music, reggae, and labor songs. A couple of passers-by stopped to join us. A couple of others rejected the racists' lies after discussing the immigration issue with us. Despite our tiny numbers, we outlasted the racists again, chanting "Ya se van, ya se van, los racistas ya se van" as they departed.

Unfortunately, the extremists were able to get several passers-by to stop, sign their petition, and join their rally. Two carloads of racist youth drove through the site repeatedly, shouting, "White Power!" Confederate flags on the back of some trucks and signs in support of Joe Horn, the Pasadena man who killed two Hispanic burglars, conveyed the same racist message. A local Constable's Deputy honked in support of their rally as he drove by.

The morning included a physical confrontation in which one racist assaulted one of our organizers, who suffered a minor abrasion of his left arm but did not require medical attention. Frankly, we know the possibility of such incidents deters some progressive people from coming out to oppose these racists. But substantially increasing the numbers at our protests will minimize the likelihood of violence and help to defeat the Border Watch, Minute Men, and Tea Party.

Do we have a choice? Does anyone believe that ignoring these racists or foregoing counter-protests will make them go away? Does anyone doubt that the hysteria against immigrants, coupled with growing anti-Muslim bigotry, the racist backlash against Obama, rapidly changing demographics, and the continuing Great Recession provide fertile soil for an American fascism that wraps itself in the flag and the cross?

We urgently appeal to you to join us next Saturday, September 25, beginning at 8 am, in front of the HEB Store at 28520 Tomball Parkway. This event is being organized by the Latin American Organization for Immigrant Rights and the Progressive Workers Organizing Committee. We'll bring the sound system, signs, water, gatorade, a canopy, folding chairs, and sunscreen. And we'll be doing some outreach to Tomball residents during the week. But we need you to come out and join us. We also need a videographer. Please call us at (832) 692-2306 or Juan at (832) 282-6997 if you can help or would like more information.

In Solidarity,

David and Rona
PWOC  

 

The Shortwave Report 09/24/10 Listen Globally

 

Dear Radio Friend, 

 

            The latest Shortwave Report (September 24) is up at the website 
   http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/shortwave.shtml  in both broadcast quality (13.3MB) and quickdownload or streaming form (4.9MB) (28:59)
   (NEW! If you have access to Audioport.org there is a higher quality version posted up there {26.7MB} http://www.audioport.org/index.php?op=producer-info&uid=904&nav=&)

     This week's show features stories from China Radio International, 
Radio Deutsche-Welle,

 Radio Netherlands, Radio Havana Cuba,
 and the Voice of Russia.
   From CHINA- 
More flooding in Southern China where the rainfall is said to be the heaviest in 200 years. At the Millennium Development meeting China cancelled the debt of 50 poor nations and gave another $200 million to flooded Pakistan. An international meeting is being held in Moscow to try and divide claims on resources, which are said to be 25% of the world's oil and gas. Following the release of the US hiker, Iranian President Ahmedinejad wants the US to release some Iranians he says are being held illegally.

    From GERMANY- 
Israel is facing more pressure to open its nuclear weapons program to the IAEA and to sign on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Last weekends elections in Sweden saw the rise of a far-right populist party, called the Sweden Democrats- there is a strong shift to the right in many European nations.
   From NETHERLANDS- 
Thousands of protestors took to the streets of Stockholm following the victories by the Sweden Democrats. Women have taken the majority in Switzerland's government for the first time. The European Parliament passed laws making it easier to deport illegal immigrants to Pakistan. France has sent troops to Niger to free kidnapped citizens, and the government says that there have been credible threats of attacks by Al-Qaeda in France.
   From CUBA- 
Venezuela has Parliamentary elections this weekend. US drone attacks continue in Pakistan, killing at least 28 people. A United Nations committee accused Israel of failing to investigate abuses, deliberately attacking civilians, and using white phosphorus and torture during the attack on Gaza 2 years ago. Bob Woodward has a new book on the Obama administration strategy in Afghanistan.

    From RUSSIA- 
An observation on the recent election in Afghanistan, questioning the legitimacy of an election held under foreign occupancy.

There is an article about the Shortwave Report by Cassandra Roos on line at-http://www.campusprogress.org/soundvision/780/big-stories-shortwaves 
 
I was interviewed for an informative weekly radio show Mediageek, available at http://radio.mediageek.net 

  All that plus times and frequencies for listening at home. It's free to rebroadcast, please notify me if you're airing it and haven't notified me in the last month, please mention the website if you only air a portion. If you just want to listen and have a slow connection, try the streaming version- lower sound quality but good enough and way easier if you don't have a high-speed internet connection. If streaming is a problem because of your slow connection, download the smaller file- it takes 20 minutes or less, and will play swell in any mp3 player application (RealPlayer, Winamp, Quicktime, iTunes, etc) you have on your computer. 
This program will be aired on Friday evening at 6:30pm (PDST) on KZYX/Z Philo CA, you might be able to stream via < http://www.kzyx.org >
There are several other streams that work better- < http://www.freakradio.org >Freak Radio Santa Cruz  now streams this program on Friday at 9:00am.(PDST)
The Shortwave Report may be downloaded as a podcast from < feed://www.radio4all.net/responder.php/podcast/podcast.xml?series=outFarpress+presents > or iTunes (search for "shortwave" in podcasts) 
Check out the amazing streams at < http://www.radicalradio.org > 
And Radio For Peace International at < http://www.rfpi.org > 

I hope you'll listen and air this if you're connected with a radio station. I am still wondering how to get financially compensated for the 25 hours I put into this program weekly- any ideas are appreciated. Any stations rebroadcasting this (or listeners) are welcome to donate for production costs. You can do so through the website. Many thanks to those that have donated! No Guilt! (maybe a little) 
link for broadcast edition- 
http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/swr_09_24_10.mp3 >(13.3MB)
link for smaller file and streaming- 
http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/shortwave.shtml >
       ¡FurthuR!      Dan Roberts

 
--"
If you interviewed 1,000 politicians and asked about whether the media's too soft or too hard, about 999 would say too hard."

 

Eric McDavid's Appeal Denied

 

Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements

 In January 2009, activists in Austin, Texas, learned that one of their own, a white activist named Brandon Darby, had infiltrated groups protesting the Republican National Convention (RNC) as an FBI informant. Darby later admitted to wearing recording devices at planning meetings and during the convention. He testified on behalf of the government in the February 2009 trial of two Texas activists who were arrested at the RNC on charges of making and possessing Molotov cocktails, after Darby encouraged them to do so. The two young men, David McKay and Bradley Crowder, each faced up to fifteen years in prison. Crowder accepted a plea bargain to serve three years in a federal prison; under pressure from federal prosecutors, McKay also pled guilty to being in possession of “unregistered Molotov cocktails” and was sentenced to four years in prison. Information gathered by Darby may also have contributed to the case against the RNC 8, activists from around the country charged with “conspiracy to riot and conspiracy to damage property in the furtherance of terrorism.” Austin activists were particularly stunned by the revelation that Darby had served as an informant because he had been a part of various leftist projects and was a leader at Common Ground Relief, a New Orleans–based organization committed to meeting the short-term needs of community members displaced by natural disasters in the Gulf Coast region and dedicated to rebuilding the region and ensuring Katrina evacuees’ right to return.

 

I was surprised but not shocked by this news. I had learned as an undergrad at the University of Texas that the campus police department routinely placed plainclothes police officers in the meetings of radical student groups—you know, just to keep an eye on them. That was in fall 2001. We saw the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, watched a cowboy president wage war on terror, and, in the middle of it all, tried to figure out what we could do to challenge the fascist state transformations taking place before our eyes. At the time, however, it seemed silly that there were cops in our meetings—we weren’t the Panthers or the Brown Berets or even some of the rowdier direct-action anti-globalization activists on campus (although we admired them all); we were just young people who didn’t believe war was the best response to the 9/11 attacks. But it wasn’t silly; the FBI does not dismiss political work. Any organization, be it large or small, can provoke the scrutiny of the state. Perhaps your organization poses a large threat, or maybe you’re small now but one day you’ll grow up and be too big to rein in. The state usually opts to kill the movement before it grows.

And informants and provocateurs are the state’s hired gunmen. Government agencies pick people that no one will notice. Often it’s impossible to prove that they’re informants because they appear to be completely dedicated to social justice. They establish intimate relationships with activists, becoming friends and lovers, often serving in leadership roles in organizations. A cursory reading of the literature on social movements and organizations in the 1960s and 1970s reveals this fact. The leadership of the American Indian Movement was rife with informants; it is suspected that informants were also largely responsible for the downfall of the Black Panther Party, and the same can be surmised about the antiwar movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Not surprisingly, these movements that were toppled by informants and provocateurs were also sites where women and queer activists often experienced intense gender violence, as the autobiographies of activists such as Assata Shakur, Elaine Brown, and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz demonstrate.

Maybe it isn’t that informants are difficult to spot but rather that we have collectively ignored the signs that give them away. To save our movements, we need to come to terms with the connections between gender violence, male privilege, and the strategies that informants (and people who just act like them) use to destabilize radical movements. Time and again heterosexual men in radical movements have been allowed to assert their privilege and subordinate others. Despite all that we say to the contrary, the fact is that radical social movements and organizations in the United States have refused to seriously address gender violence[1] as a threat to the survival of our struggles. We’ve treated misogyny, homophobia, and heterosexism as lesser evils—secondary issues—that will eventually take care of themselves or fade into the background once the “real” issues—racism, the police, class inequality, U.S. wars of aggression—are resolved. There are serious consequences for choosing ignorance. Misogyny and homophobia are central to the reproduction of violence in radical activist communities. Scratch a misogynist and you’ll find a homophobe. Scratch a little deeper and you might find the makings of a future informant (or someone who just destabilizes movements like informants do).

The Makings of an Informant: Brandon Darby and Common Ground

On Democracy Now! Malik Rahim, former Black Panther and cofounder of Common Ground in New Orleans, spoke about how devastated he was by Darby’s revelation that he was an FBI informant. Several times he stated that his heart had been broken. He especially lamented all of the “young ladies” who left Common Ground as a result of Darby’s domineering, aggressive style of organizing. And when those “young ladies” complained? Well, their concerns likely fell on sympathetic but ultimately unresponsive ears—everything may have been true, and after the fact everyone admits how disruptive Darby was, quick to suggest violent, ill-conceived direct-action schemes that endangered everyone he worked with. There were even claims of Darby sexually assaulting female organizers at Common Ground and in general being dismissive of women working in the organization.[2] Darby created conflict in all of the organizations he worked with, yet people were hesitant to hold him accountable because of his history and reputation as an organizer and his “dedication” to “the work.” People continued to defend him until he outed himself as an FBI informant. Even Rahim, for all of his guilt and angst, chose to leave Darby in charge of Common Ground although every time there was conflict in the organization it seemed to involve Darby.

Maybe if organizers made collective accountability around gender violence a central part of our practices we could neutralize people who are working on behalf of the state to undermine our struggles. I’m not talking about witch hunts; I’m talking about organizing in such a way that we nip a potential Brandon Darby in the bud before he can hurt more people. Informants are hard to spot, but my guess is that where there is smoke there is fire, and someone who creates chaos wherever he goes is either an informant or an irresponsible, unaccountable time bomb who can be unintentionally as effective at undermining social-justice organizing as an informant. Ultimately they both do the work of the state and need to be held accountable.

A Brief Historical Reflection on Gender Violence in Radical Movements

Reflecting on the radical organizations and social movements of the 1960s and 1970s provides an important historical context for this discussion. Memoirs by women who were actively involved in these struggles reveal the pervasiveness of tolerance (and in some cases advocacy) of gender violence. Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Elaine Brown, each at different points in their experiences organizing with the Black Panther Party (BPP), cited sexism and the exploitation of women (and their organizing labor) in the BPP as one of their primary reasons for either leaving the group (in the cases of Brown and Shakur) or refusing to ever formally join (in Davis’s case). Although women were often expected to make significant personal sacrifices to support the movement, when women found themselves victimized by male comrades there was no support for them or channels to seek redress. Whether it was BPP organizers ignoring the fact that Eldridge Cleaver beat his wife, noted activist Kathleen Cleaver, men coercing women into sex, or just men treating women organizers as subordinated sexual playthings, the BPP and similar organizations tended not to take seriously the corrosive effects of gender violence on liberation struggle. In many ways, Elaine Brown’s autobiography, A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story, has gone the furthest in laying bare the ugly realities of misogyny in the movement and the various ways in which both men and women reproduced and reinforced male privilege and gender violence in these organizations. Her experience as the only woman to ever lead the BPP did not exempt her from the brutal misogyny of the organization. She recounts being assaulted by various male comrades (including Huey Newton) as well as being beaten and terrorized by Eldridge Cleaver, who threatened to “bury her in Algeria” during a delegation to China. Her biography demonstrates more explicitly than either Davis’s or Shakur’s how the masculinist posturing of the BPP (and by extension many radical organizations at the time) created a culture of violence and misogyny that ultimately proved to be the organization’s undoing.

These narratives demystify the legacy of gender violence of the very organizations that many of us look up to. They demonstrate how misogyny was normalized in these spaces, dismissed as “personal” or not as important as the more serious struggles against racism or class inequality. Gender violence has historically been deeply entrenched in the political practices of the Left and constituted one of the greatest (if largely unacknowledged) threats to the survival of these organizations. However, if we pay attention to the work of Davis, Shakur, Brown, and others, we can avoid the mistakes of the past and create different kinds of political community.

The Racial Politics of Gender Violence

Race further complicates the ways in which gender violence unfolds in our communities. In “Looking for Common Ground: Relief Work in Post-Katrina New Orleans as an American Parable of Race and Gender Violence,” Rachel Luft explores the disturbing pattern of sexual assault against white female volunteers by white male volunteers doing rebuilding work in the Upper Ninth Ward in 2006. She points out how Common Ground failed to address white men’s assaults on their co-organizers and instead shifted the blame to the surrounding Black community, warning white women activists that they needed to be careful because New Orleans was a dangerous place. Ultimately it proved easier to criminalize Black men from the neighborhood than to acknowledge that white women and transgender organizers were most likely to be assaulted by white men they worked with. In one case, a white male volunteer was turned over to the police only after he sexually assaulted at least three women in one week. The privilege that white men enjoyed in Common Ground, an organization ostensibly committed to racial justice, meant that they could be violent toward women and queer activists, enact destructive behaviors that undermined the organization’s work, and know that the movement would not hold them accountable in the same way that it did Black men in the community where they worked.

Of course, male privilege is not uniform—white men and men of color are unequal participants in and beneficiaries of patriarchy although they both can and do reproduce gender violence. This disparity in the distribution of patriarchy’s benefits is not lost on women and queer organizers when we attempt to confront men of color who enact gender violence in our communities. We often worry about reproducing particular kinds of racist violence that disproportionately target men of color. We are understandably loath to call the police, involve the state in any way, or place men of color at the mercy of a historically racist criminal (in)justice system; yet our communities (political and otherwise) often do not step up to demand justice on our behalf. We don’t feel comfortable talking to therapists who just reaffirm stereotypes about how fucked-up and exceptionally violent our home communities are. The Left often offers even less support. Our victimization is unfortunate, problematic, but ultimately less important to “the work” than the men of all races who reproduce gender violence in our communities.

Encountering Misogyny on the Left: A Personal Reflection

In the first community group I was actively involved in, I encountered a level of misogyny that I would never have imagined existed in what was supposed to be a radical-people-of-color organization. I was sexually/romantically involved with an older Chicano activist in the group. I was nineteen, an inexperienced young Black activist; he was thirty. He asked me to keep our relationship a secret, and I reluctantly agreed. Later, after he ended the relationship and I was reeling from depression, I discovered that he had been sleeping with at least two other women while we were together. One of them was a friend of mine, another young woman we organized with. Unaware of the nature of our relationship, which he had failed to disclose to her, she slept with him until he disappeared, refusing to answer her calls or explain the abrupt end of their relationship. She and I, after sharing our experiences, began to trade stories with other women who knew and had organized with this man.

We heard of the women who had left a Chicana/o student group and never came back after his lies and secrets blew up while the group was participating in a Zapatista action in Mexico City. The queer, radical, white organizer who left Austin to get away from his abuse. Another white woman, a social worker who thought they might get married only to come to his apartment one evening and find me there. And then there were the ones that came after me. I always wondered if they knew who he really was. The women he dated were amazing, beautiful, kick-ass, radical women that he used as shields to get himself into places he knew would never be open to such a misogynist. I mean, if that cool woman who worked in Chiapas, spoke Spanish, and worked with undocumented immigrants was dating him, he must be down, right? Wrong.

But his misogyny didn’t end there; it was also reflected in his style of organizing. In meetings he always spoke the loudest and longest, using academic jargon that made any discussion excruciatingly more complex than necessary. The academic-speak intimidated people less educated than him because he seemed to know more about radical politics than anyone else. He would talk down to other men in the group, especially those he perceived to be less intelligent than him, which was basically everybody. Then he’d switch gears, apologize for dominating the space, and acknowledge his need to check his male privilege. Ironically, when people did attempt to call him out on his shit, he would feign ignorance—what could they mean, saying that his behavior was masculinist and sexist? He’d complain of being infantilized, refusing to see how he infantilized people all the time. The fact that he was a man of color who could talk a good game about racism and racial-justice struggles masked his abusive behaviors in both radical organizations and his personal relationships. As one of his former partners shared with me, “His radical race analysis allowed people (mostly men but occasionally women as well) to forgive him for being dominating and abusive in his relationships. Womyn had to check their critique of his behavior at the door, lest we lose a man of color in the movement.” One of the reasons it is so difficult to hold men of color accountable for reproducing gender violence is that women of color and white activists continue to be invested in the idea that men of color have it harder than anyone else. How do you hold someone accountable when you believe he is target number one for the state?

Unfortunately he wasn’t the only man like this I encountered in radical spaces—just one of the smarter ones. Reviewing old e-mails, I am shocked at the number of e-mails from men I organized with that were abusive in tone and content, how easily they would talk down to others for minor mistakes. I am more surprised at my meek, diplomatic responses—like an abuse survivor—as I attempted to placate compañeros who saw nothing wrong with yelling at their partners, friends, and other organizers. There were men like this in various organizations I worked with. The one who called his girlfriend a bitch in front of a group of youth of color during a summer encuentro we were hosting. The one who sexually harassed a queer Chicana couple during a trip to México, trying to pressure them into a threesome. The guys who said they would complete a task, didn’t do it, brushed off their compañeras’ demands for accountability, let those women take over the task, and when it was finished took all the credit for someone else’s hard work. The graduate student who hit his partner—and everyone knew he’d done it, but whenever anyone asked, people would just look ashamed and embarrassed and mumble, “It’s complicated.” The ones who constantly demeaned queer folks, even people they organized with. Especially the one who thought it would be a revolutionary act to “kill all these faggots, these niggas on the down low, who are fucking up our children, fucking up our homes, fucking up our world, and fucking up our lives!” The one who would shout you down in a meeting or tell you that you couldn’t be a feminist because you were too pretty. Or the one who thought homosexuality was a disease from Europe.

Yeah, that guy.

Most of those guys probably weren’t informants. Which is a pity because it means they are not getting paid a dime for all the destructive work they do. We might think of these misogynists as inadvertent agents of the state. Regardless of whether they are actually informants or not, the work that they do supports the state’s ongoing campaign of terror against social movements and the people who create them. When queer organizers are humiliated and their political struggles sidelined, that is part of an ongoing state project of violence against radicals. When women are knowingly given STIs, physically abused, dismissed in meetings, pushed aside, and forced out of radical organizing spaces while our allies defend known misogynists, organizers collude in the state’s efforts to destroy us.

The state has already understood a fact that the Left has struggled to accept: misogynists make great informants. Before or regardless of whether they are ever recruited by the state to disrupt a movement or destabilize an organization, they’ve likely become well versed in practices of disruptive behavior. They require almost no training and can start the work immediately. What’s more paralyzing to our work than when women and/or queer folks leave our movements because they have been repeatedly lied to, humiliated, physically/verbally/emotionally/sexually abused? Or when you have to postpone conversations about the work so that you can devote group meetings to addressing an individual member’s most recent offense? Or when that person spreads misinformation, creating confusion and friction among radical groups? Nothing slows down movement building like a misogynist.

What the FBI gets is that when there are people in activist spaces who are committed to taking power and who understand power as domination, our movements will never realize their potential to remake this world. If our energies are absorbed recuperating from the messes that informants (and people who just act like them) create, we will never be able to focus on the real work of getting free and building the kinds of life-affirming, people-centered communities that we want to live in. To paraphrase bell hooks, where there is a will to dominate there can be no justice, because we will inevitably continue reproducing the same kinds of injustice we claim to be struggling against. It is time for our movements to undergo a radical change from the inside out.

Looking Forward: Creating Gender Justice in our Movements

Radical movements cannot afford the destruction that gender violence creates. If we underestimate the political implications of patriarchal behaviors in our communities, the work will not survive.

Lately I’ve been turning to the work of queers/feminists of color to think through how to challenge these behaviors in our movements. I’ve been reading the autobiographies of women who lived through the chaos of social movements debilitated by machismo. I’m revisiting the work of bell hooks, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Toni Cade Bambara, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Gioconda Belli, Margaret Randall, Elaine Brown, Pearl Cleage, Ntozake Shange, and Gloria Anzaldúa to see how other women negotiated gender violence in these spaces and to problematize neat or easy answers about how violence is reproduced in our communities. Newer work by radical feminists of color has also been incredibly helpful, especially the zine Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities, edited by Ching-In Chen, Dulani, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.

But there are many resources for confronting this dilemma beyond books. The simple act of speaking and sharing our truths is one of the most powerful tools we have. I’ve been speaking to my elders, older women of color in struggle who have experienced the things I’m struggling against, and swapping survival stories with other women. In summer 2008 I began doing workshops on ending misogyny and building collective forms of accountability with Cristina Tzintzún, an Austin-based labor organizer and author of the essay “Killing Misogyny: A Personal Story of Love, Violence, and Strategies for Survival.” We have also begun the even more liberating practice of naming our experiences publicly and calling on our communities to address what we and so many others have experienced.

Dismantling misogyny cannot be work that only women do. We all must do the work because the survival of our movements depends on it. Until we make radical feminist and queer political ethics that directly challenge heteropatriarchal forms of organizing central to our political practice, radical movements will continue to be devastated by the antics of Brandon Darbys (and folks who aren’t informants but just act like them). A queer, radical, feminist ethic of accountability would challenge us to recognize how gender violence is reproduced in our communities, relationships, and organizing practices. Although there are many ways to do this, I want to suggest that there are three key steps that we can take to begin. First, we must support women and queer people in our movements who have experienced interpersonal violence and engage in a collective process of healing. Second, we must initiate a collective dialogue about how we want our communities to look and how to make them safe for everyone. Third, we must develop a model for collective accountability that truly treats the personal as political and helps us to begin practicing justice in our communities. When we allow women/queer organizers to leave activist spaces and protect people whose violence provoked their departure, we are saying we value these de facto state agents who disrupt the work more than we value people whose labor builds and sustains movements.

As angry as gender violence on the Left makes me, I am hopeful. I believe we have the capacity to change and create more justice in our movements. We don’t have to start witch hunts to reveal misogynists and informants. They out themselves every time they refuse to apologize, take ownership of their actions, start conflicts and refuse to work them out through consensus, mistreat their compañer@s. We don’t have to look for them, but when we are presented with their destructive behaviors we have to hold them accountable. Our strategies don’t have to be punitive; people are entitled to their mistakes. But we should expect that people will own those actions and not allow them to become a pattern.

We have a right to be angry when the communities we build that are supposed to be the model for a better, more just world harbor the same kinds of antiqueer, antiwoman, racist violence that pervades society. As radical organizers we must hold each other accountable and not enable misogynists to assert so much power in these spaces. Not allow them to be the faces, voices, and leaders of these movements. Not allow them to rape a compañera and then be on the fucking five o’ clock news. In Brandon Darby’s case, even if no one suspected he was an informant, his domineering and macho behavior should have been all that was needed to call his leadership into question. By not allowing misogyny to take root in our communities and movements, we not only protect ourselves from the efforts of the state to destroy our work but also create stronger movements that cannot be destroyed from within.

[1] I use the term gender violence to refer to the ways in which homophobia and misogyny are rooted in heteronormative understandings of gender identity and gender roles. Heterosexism not only polices non-normative sexualities but also reproduces normative gender roles and identities that reinforce the logic of patriarchy and male privilege.

[2] I learned this from informal conversations with women who had organized with Darby in Austin and New Orleans while participating in the Austin Informants Working Group, which was formed by people who had worked with Darby and were stunned by his revelation that he was an FBI informant. 

 

 

SECRET DE L ' ALIENATION

 

SECRET DE L ' ALIENATION

 

Boycott Grupo Pellas: Boston University concludes that there is no evidence linking Nicaragua Sugar to CKD

 

Nicaragua Sugar (Grupo Pellas) refuerza ayuda a afectados de IRC

 

Battle of Algiers: White vigilantes and the police in Katrina’s aftermath

 

"...within the war we are all waging with the forces of death, subtle and otherwise, conscious or not -- I am not only a casualty, I am also a warrior." -- Audre Lorde

As we pass the fifth anniversary of Katrina I want to share this narrative about anarchist organizing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and about the violence we were confronted with from the white vigilantes and police in Algiers. It takes place upon my return to the area after a failed mission to find my friend Robert King of the Angola 3 right after the levees gave way.

This story, which takes place just before we organized the
Common Ground Collective, is adapted from a draft of my forthcoming book: Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective. Five years later we have only scratched the surface in learning about the atrocities of the vigilantes and the police. We are still healing from those encounters. This story is just one of many.

The FBI’s War On Democracy --Claude Marks discusses the new film COINTELPRO 101

 

The Shortwave Report 09/17/10 Listen Globally

 

Dear Radio Friend, 

 

            The latest Shortwave Report (September 17) is up at the website 
   http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/shortwave.shtml  in both broadcast quality (13.3MB) and quickdownload or streaming form (4.9MB) (28:59)
   (NEW! If you have access to Audioport.org there is a higher quality version posted up there {26.7MB} http://www.audioport.org/index.php?op=producer-info&uid=904&nav=&)

     This week's show features stories from China Radio International, Radio Netherlands, Radio Havana Cuba, 
Radio Deutsche-Welle,

 and the Voice of Russia.
   From CHINA- 
China's currency, the yuan, has reached a new high against the US dollar. Surveys show that Chinese do not want their retirement age changed. A report on the status of OPEC, questioning how much influence it really has on the price of petroleum products. The French Senate almost unanimously passed the bill banning the burka in public.

    From NETHERLANDS- 
The ongoing deportation of Roma people from France is continuing to receive harsh criticism from the rest of Europe, and some suggest that it is just preparing the way to deport Muslims.
   From CUBA- 
US drone attacks are rapidly increasing in Pakistan, with 3 in a 24 hour period Tuesday. 14 antiwar activists are facing trial in Nevada for opposing drone attacks last year. The Obama administration is asking Arab states to withdraw a measure calling on Israel to join the global nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Cuba made a proposal at the United Nations to eliminate and forbid the possession of nuclear weapons, and suggested that current military spending be used for social and economic development. The Pentagon is negotiating to buy and destroy all 10,000 copies of an Afghan War memoir, "Operation Dark Heart" by Anthony Shaffer. The Obama White House rejected a proposal to reinstall the solar panels Jimmy Carter had installed in the 1970s.
   From GERMANY- 
The European Commission has proposed tougher controls on derivatives and other practices that helped create the current financial crisis.

    From RUSSIA- 
A commentary on the planned $60 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, possibly the largest arms sale in history.

There is an article about the Shortwave Report by Cassandra Roos on line at-http://www.campusprogress.org/soundvision/780/big-stories-shortwaves 
 
I was interviewed for an informative weekly radio show Mediageek, available at http://radio.mediageek.net 

  All that plus times and frequencies for listening at home. It's free to rebroadcast, please notify me if you're airing it and haven't notified me in the last month, please mention the website if you only air a portion. If you just want to listen and have a slow connection, try the streaming version- lower sound quality but good enough and way easier if you don't have a high-speed internet connection. If streaming is a problem because of your slow connection, download the smaller file- it takes 20 minutes or less, and will play swell in any mp3 player application (RealPlayer, Winamp, Quicktime, iTunes, etc) you have on your computer. 
This program will be aired on Friday afternoon at 4:30pm (PDST) on KZYX/Z Philo CA, you might be able to stream via < http://www.kzyx.org >
There are several other streams that work better- < http://www.freakradio.org >Freak Radio Santa Cruz  now streams this program on Friday at 9:00am.(PDST)
The Shortwave Report may be downloaded as a podcast from < feed://www.radio4all.net/responder.php/podcast/podcast.xml?series=outFarpress+presents > or iTunes (search for "shortwave" in podcasts) 
Check out the amazing streams at < http://www.radicalradio.org > 
And Radio For Peace International at < http://www.rfpi.org > 

I hope you'll listen and air this if you're connected with a radio station. I am still wondering how to get financially compensated for the 25 hours I put into this program weekly- any ideas are appreciated. Any stations rebroadcasting this (or listeners) are welcome to donate for production costs. You can do so through the website. Many thanks to those that have donated! No Guilt! (maybe a little) 
link for broadcast edition- 
http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/swr_09_17_10.mp3 >(13.3MB)
link for smaller file and streaming- 
http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/shortwave.shtml >
       ¡FurthuR!      Dan Roberts

 
--"
You've had enough, haven't you? Enough of this rabble? Well, we're going to get rid of them for you.

"

 

-- Nicolas Sarkozy, 

Comments about young delinquents in Paris suburbs, made just before the October/November 2005 riots. Sarkozy was answering a woman who asked him if he would help them "to get rid of this rabble".

 

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