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Recent articles by Andrew
Recent Articles about North America / Mexico The Left
Hundreds arrested, beaten and tear gassed as police repress protest at Toronto G20
north america / mexico | the left | news report Tuesday June 29, 2010 17:30 by Andrew - WSM - peronal capacity andrewnflood at gmail dot com
At least 600 arrests took place at the G20 summit in Toronto as police used considerable force to break up protests. Media reports& video (below) indicate that many of the beaten were journalists covering the protest. The G20 was meeting to co-ordinate further attacks on the global working class. This is what the coded statements from the G20 about 'austerity budgets' and 'cutting deficits' will mean in practice. This despite the "risk that synchronised fiscal adjustment across several major economies could adversely impact the recovery" acknowledged in the final G20 communique. [Italiano]
In a statement headed 'This is what a police state looks like!' issued on Sunday Ontario Anarkismo group, Common Cause reported that on Sunday morning "protesters sitting in the streets this morning at a jail solidarity rally were subjected to violent baton attacks, snatch squads and rubber bullets by the Police." (full text at end) In response to the planned attacks on workers Common Cause wrote in advance of the summit that "Such a widespread attack on the entire working class can only be successfully responded to by all working class people standing together and using our collective power as workers to withdraw our labour in a general strike."
Downtown Toronto had been turned into a fortress with the world leaders behind big steel and concrete walls with military helicopters flying them into the sealed off zone. Police had been given special powers to stop and search anyone coming within 5m of the zone. Police blocked a demonstrations Saturday afternoon from coming within a few blocs of this exclusion zone, it appears that it was at this point that a number of demonstrators using Black Bloc tactics broke away to target a number of multinational chain stores including according to the Guardian "'Urban Outfitters, a branch of Scotia Bank and an Adidas store." Police attacked with batons, tear gas, pepper spray and plastic bullets, some of the tear gas was fired as 'muzzle blasts.'
A number of video's have been posted to youtube showing police violence during the summer protests, including charging a crowd of protesters who were singing the Canadian national anthem and targeting people who were journalists, snatching cameras and microphones.
It has been clear as have been released that conditions in the detention center were delibretly degrading and that many of the detained were mistreated in a wide variety of ways.
WORDS: Andrew Flood IMAGE: Based on photo by nouspique
This is what a police state looks like!
We live in a political and economic system based on constant violence; exploitation of workers, destruction of the environment, war, racist police killings, hunger and homelessness in an environment of plenty, denial of land and self-government to indigenous peoples, plundering of the resources of the Third World and the arming of repressive regimes. This weekend, this quiet violence continued within the G8 and G20 summits. G20 leaders agreed to halve national deficits by 2013; The expected cuts to educational, social services and healthcare programmes will no doubt continue to be carried out on the backs of workers and poor people.
On the streets of Toronto, the police reminded us of the state's willingness to use blatant violence. Protesters sitting in the streets this morning at a jail solidarity rally were subjected to violent baton attacks, snatch squads and rubber bullets by the Police. Others were boxed in by riot cops and arrested, while being told they had to leave. Sleeping people have been pulled from their homes at gunpoint in the middle of the night.
As of today, well over 600 people have been arrested. Many have been beaten. People who have been arrested have been strip-searched and held in cages, facing long delays in obtaining legal support, including one deaf man who was denied an ASL interpreter. People arrested have included both corporate and independent journalists as well as approximately 200 people, many local residents, who were surrounded by police and held in the pouring rain over four hours. This is how the state responds to anyone who shows dissent.
Common Cause stands in solidarity with everyone who was arrested or assaulted by the police. As anarchist communists, we oppose all state violence. While the violence on the street may dissipate after this weekend, the police will not be going away; they will be remaining in Toronto, or returning to Hamilton, Montreal, Vancouver, or Calgary.
We will continue to resist austerity measures and other policies that exploit and oppress us in our daily lives. Although the street violence today was directed at us in Toronto, the violence of the state continues around the world. The violence of the capitalist state will not stop with the end of the G20 summit; neither will our resistance. We are with those arrested in Toronto, with those who protested, and with those around the world who will continue to fight for our collective liberation.
Free the Toronto 600! Build the General Strike!
ReelNews report on black bloc and police violence
Police attack crowd singing the Canadian national anthem
Police snatch squads being used against G20 protesters and journalists
Female protester talks about disgraceful conditions in detention center - she was never charged and told 'don't protest anymore' as she was released.
18 year old bystander describes how he was arrested and the disgusting conditions in the detention center for 26 hours, and how queer detainees were segregated
Video shot by resident who lives opposite the detention center of the police attack on protesters outside
Tue 29 Jul, 10:37
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Amidst the Democratic mid-term election victories on November 8th, an independent won the Senate race in Vermont. What is significant is that he is a self-proclaimed socialist and so the first socialist senator in US history. The previous best result in a Senate race by a socialist was in 1930 when Emil Seidel won 6% of the vote.
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Campaigns teach by more than what is in their written programs. Even if the campaign was more explicitly radical, functionally it is teaching people that social change comes about through electing better politicians. The campaign has all the features of a mainstream election effort – adoration of a single personality, exaggeration of his “leadership”, meaningless pledges to “get results for you”. This is an elitist approach that reinforces the passivity of people by making someone else the “leader” who gets things done, instead of arguing for all of us to take control over our own lives. The activists and community members who have dived into the Ty Moore campaign are not prioritizing organizing one-on-ones to plan direct actions at work, at school, or in their neighborhoods, or discussing and debating how to replace the racist police with community militias or how narrow gender-roles stifle our humanity or how to build rank & file power against the union bureaucracy. They are rallying around “our guy” and training people to fundraise and to get out the vote. This is the main lesson that participants in the campaign are gaining: How to participate in this unjust system.
From Theory to Practice, Taking a Critical Look at Leninism Mar 17 0 comments
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Democratic Centralism in Practice and Idea: A critical evaluation Mar 17 0 comments
The terrain is changing beneath our feet. Since the collapse of the majority of the “official communist” regimes, the world has witnessed both events and ideas that have undermined the former dominant thinking within the left. The Zapatistas, Argentina in 2001, South Korean workers movements, Oaxaca in 2006, the struggles around anti-globalization, and Greece’s series of insurrectionary moments have increasingly presented challenges to traditional left answers to movements and organization. In previous eras Marxist-Leninism was the nexus which all currents by default had to respond to either in agreement or critique. Today, increasingly anarchist practices and theory have come to play this role.
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The Montpelier based Catamount Tavern News, Vermont’s only union affiliated newspaper, has decided to shutdown the presses
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Upping the Anti editorial statement Apr 18 Upping the Anti 0 comments
Editoral statement of new Candian publication called 'Upping the Anti' published by the Autonomy & Solidarity website which "is an on-line network for anti-capitalists who believe that revolutionary transformation will come from workers and oppressed people self-organizing from below and not from the top down organizing of any state, party or union bureaucracy"