Category Archives: emergency

“Why the March for Our Lives could win”

“That’s what makes movements like the March for Our Lives — and much of the activism that’s followed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 — so important. For once, we are seeing a mass movement that is extremely dedicated to gun control. And by attracting so much national attention, the movement may inspire other Americans to follow suit — making gun control an issue that can actually sway votes.”

“Drawn to a Cause, British Woman Dies Fighting Alongside Kurds in Syria”

“In Britain, Ms. Campbell, 26, was active in causes like animal rights and environmental protection, but until recently, she had no personal connection to the Kurds. Yet she was deeply moved, family and friends said, by the fight to defend an autonomous, mostly Kurdish region in northern Syria, known as Rojava, whose leaders advocate a secular, democratic and egalitarian politics, with equal rights for women.”

Stephanie Abraham: “Indicting the System”

Khan-Cullors’s book, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, co-written with author and journalist asha bandele, “is about Patrisse Khan-Cullors as much as it is about our current moment, wherein Black people, Muslims, the mentally ill, immigrants, women, trans folks, and others are one fender bender away from being beaten and charged with terrorism. The authors make clear that each of us needs to answer the question: what will I do when they call me a terrorist — because who among us won’t be?”

“Steve Bannon Thinks the Golden Globes Signal the End of the Patriarchy”

“It’s a Cromwell moment!” Bannon shouted … “It’s even more powerful than populism. It’s deeper. It’s primal. It’s elemental. The long black dresses and all that—this is the Puritans! It’s anti-patriarchy.”

Valerio Starita: “L’autonomie s’organise”

The French movement against the ‘Labour Law’ “last year was a movement in revolt against precarity, a movement which was crystallised by the Labour Law, and which was quickly redoubled by a wide movement in revolt against police repression, owing to the particular context it had to face – namely, the state of emergency. This was the context in which we saw autonomous contingents forming on the protests, bringing together as many as several thousand people.”

Amitai Etzioni & Mark Bray on the Antifa

Is violence a legitimate political tool?

‘“A colossal miscalculation”: Why the Kurds’ independence bid might lead to civil war in Iraq’

“The Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan are fighting over control of Kirkuk, a multiethnic region in northeastern Iraq that sits atop some of the country’s most lucrative oil fields. It’s an area that has been a flashpoint between the country’s Arab majority and the Kurdish minority on and off for decades.  The Kurds want Kirkuk to be part of a future independent state of Kurdistan, controlled from its capital, Erbil. The Iraqi central government, on the other hand, wants to keep Kirkuk — along with the rest of Iraqi Kurdistan — as part of a unified Iraq, controlled by Baghdad.”

Nathan Heller: “Is there any point to protesting?”

“Still, what has protest done for us lately? Smartphones and social media are supposed to have made organizing easier, and activists today speak more about numbers and reach than about lasting results. Is protest a productive use of our political attention? Or is it just a bit of social theatre we perform to make ourselves feel virtuous, useful, and in the right?”

Boaventura de Sousa Santos: “The Left and Catalonia”

“First, the relationship between law and democracy is dialectical and
not mechanical. Much of what we consider democratic legality in a given
historical moment started as illegality, as an aspiration to a better and broader
democracy. It is therefore imperative to evaluate the political processes in
terms of their overall historical dynamics. In no case can they be reduced to
conformity with the laws of the day.”

Étienne Balibar: “The Idea of Revolution: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

‘A political scenario of revolutionary moments in history essentially combines three types of phenomena: a change in the distribution of power within society, which transfers it from those from above who “normally” monopolize it … to those from below who “normally” are excluded or marginalized …; a transition from one state or social regime to another, which … separates “long” periods of time …; a moment of exception with respect to the legal and institutional “governmentality” …, where the rules of decision-making and the forms of representation are suspended … All three aspects are … antinomic or structured as unities of opposites.’