Author: Carsten Agger Published: October 30th, 2011
Hvis du stadig tror, intet har forandret sig det sidste års tid: Disse billeder er fra Tahrir Square i Kairo, hvor demonstranter viser deres solidaritet med Occupy Wall Street og ofrene for politivold i Oakland, Californien. Almindelige egyptere demonstrerer i solidaritet med almindelige amerikanere, og folk i USA er glade for og stolte af støtten. Det er for tidligt at sige, hvad det ender med at komme til at betyde, men noget er bristet.
As they vowed earlier this week to do, Egyptian pro-democracy protesters marched from Tahrir square to the U.S. Embassy today to march in support of Occupy Oakland—and against police brutality witnessed in Oakland on Tuesday night, and commonly experienced in Egypt.
Above and below, photos from Egyptian blogger Mohammed Maree, who is there at the march live-tweeting. He is a journalist with Egytimes.org, a human rights activist, and a veterinarian …
Author: Carsten Agger Published: October 30th, 2011
Ja, det skal uforbederligt venstreorienterede eller i hvert fald krigskritiske stemmer jo sige. Er det Michael Moore, der nu igen har været ved at blamere sig?
Nej, denne gang kommer kritikken fra den amerikanske regerings ledende statsadvokat på Guantanamo-lejren med ansvar for at retsforfølge de mistænkte i Bushs “krig mod terror”. Den nu pensionerede oberst Morris Davis lægger ikke fingrene imellem, når han beskriver sin egen tidligere arbejdsplads:
Retired air force colonel Morris Davis resigned in October 2007 in protest against interrogation methods at Guantánamo, and has made his remarks in the lead-up to 13 November, the anniversary of President George W Bush’s executive order setting up military commissions to try terrorist suspects.
Davis said that the methods of interrogation used on Guantánamo detainees – which he described as “torture” – were in breach of the US’s own statutes on torture, and added: “If torture is a crime, it should be prosecuted.”
The US military, he said, had been ordered to use unlawful methods of interrogation by “civilian politicians, and to do so against our will and judgment”.
Davis was speaking at a conference on human rights law at Bard College in New York state. After resigning from the armed forces, in a dramatic defection to the other side of the raging debate over conditions at the camp, he became executive director of, and counsel to, the Crimes of War project based in Washington DC. The speech was to launch the project’s 10th anniversary campaign and to protest against the existence of the camp and the torture there and at so-called “black sites” run by US intelligence around the world.
“No court has jurisdiction over Guantánamo,” said Davis. “Some senior civilian Bush adminstration officials chose Guantánamo to interrogate detainees because they thought it’s a law-free zone where we can unlawfully… handle a very small number of cases. We have turned our backs on the law and created what we believed was a place outside the law’s reach.” He added that America was “great at preaching to others, but not so good at practising what we preach. There is a point when enough is enough, and you have to look at yourself in the mirror. Torture has no place in American courts.”
Author: Carsten Agger Published: October 27th, 2011
USAs præsident Barack Obama:
Square by square, town by town, country by country, the people have risen up to demand their basic human rights. (…)The United States supports a set of universal rights. And these rights include free speech, the freedom of peaceful assembly…
Nåh nej, det var noget helt andet, han talte om. Eller var det?
Herunder ser vi Oaklands heroiske politi, der forsvarer Mubaraks dikatur det amerikanske demokrati mod demonstranter, der forsøger at komme en såret kammerat til undsætning:
Author: Allan Lindemark Published: October 19th, 2011
Der er stadig alt for mange myter i dansk politik. Fx at Venstre og Konservative vil sætte skatten ned. Det er naturligvis ikke korrekt – man kan fx se hvad der skete de sidste 10 år. Næh Venstre og de Konservative vil sætte skatten ned for de allerrigeste – og op for de fattigste. Det er borgerlig klassekamp der batter:
“I covered the street demonstrations that brought down Milošević, I’ve covered both of the Palestinian intifadas, and once movements like this start and articulate a fundamental truth about the society that they live in, and expose the repression, the mendacity, the corruption and the decay of structures of power, then they have a kind of centrifugal force, you never know where they’re going.”
He went on: “What happens, and it’s true in all of these movements as well, is the foot soldiers of the elite, the blue uniform police, the mechanisms of control, finally don’t want to impede the movement. At that point, the power elite is left defenseless. So, where’s it going? No one knows. Even the people most intimately involved in the organization don’t know. All of these movements take on a kind of life and color that in some ways is finally mysterious. The only thing I can say, having been in the middle of similar movements, is that this one is real … And this one could take ‘em all down.”
Despite the emphasis on avoiding ‘leadership’ in the traditional sense, there is an elaborate division of labour involving working groups on every area of the work that needs to be done to keep the thing going. These report back to the general assembly, which tends to be held at between 12-1pm and then again at 7pm each day. I won’t labour the details of process. The principles of consensual ratification and decision-making are familiar enough by now. Essentially, when asked to vote on a proposal, you can vote ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘block’. Only if someone ‘blocks’ a decision does a majority not result in a motion being passed. This means that if someone has serious objections, their ideas or interests have to be taken into account somehow. Of course, this is intended to frustrate the emergence of any kind of centralised leadership. “We don’t need another Scargill, or another Swampy, I was told. We don’t need another leader they can cut down.” At the moment, the swarm is prevailing over the vanguard. Naturally, I’m sceptical of all this, but it’s only fair to say that everyone I spoke to said it had worked quite well. At any rate, the occupation is digging itself in somewhat and it seems to be well enough organised for present purposes.
But where can Occupy London go? I wanted to dip my toe in the water of the politics of the occupation, so I asked about the heterogenous political elements present, and what people thought was the dominant tendency. There is an idea, which I heard a few times, that “this is not about left and right”. One person I spoke to said explicitly that it was not just a left-wing event, and explained that there were many present who wouldn’t call themselves left-wing. Strangely, this insistence sits alongside a set of classic left-wing ideological articulations. Catherine at the media centre said that “these old ideas of political divisions are not necessarily relevant,” before going on to add, “because this is about the 99%, this is about the have-nots, versus the have-yachts.”
The sign on the wall says ‘Tahrir Square, EC4M’. The sneering article on Huffington Post UK, observing this, quoted someone saying “it’s not remotely like Egypt”. Well, of course it’s not like Egypt. This isn’t a revolutionary situation, but merely a punctuating moment in the temporal flow of class struggle. But the purpose of slogans mentioning ‘Tahrir Square’ is to accentuate the internationalism of the movement, to point to its deep systemic roots, to express solidarity with the Arab Spring, to hope that this is the beginning of our own Spring, and to identify the commune as the political form of these aspirations. At the most prosaic level, it expresses the movement against austerity in its most ‘political’ moment, complementing the ‘economic corporatist’ moment of trade union struggle. It identifies the political class rule of the 1% as the key problem; the colonization of the representative state by big capital. And it proposes its own direct democratic answer. Of course, Occupy London is not yet a commune. But it is the germ of a commune. Perhaps its fruition will be when the germ takes seed in the heart of productive relations; when the commune is the workers’ answer to the power of the 1%.
Author: Carsten Agger Published: October 17th, 2011
Tunesien, Egypten, Wisconsin, Grækenland, Spanien – så Wall Street, og nu alle større byer i hele USA. Der er mere oprør i luften, end der har været meget længe.
Og her, Danny Glover:
Activist and filmmaker Danny Glover was among speakers in downtown Oakland on October 15th, at a rally in support of the Occupy Oakland encampment. Frank Ogawa Plaza has been renamed Oscar Grant Plaza, replete with a library, hot organic meals cooked on site, dishes, toilets, and a network of raised walkways to get you around the tent city that blankets the square.
Author: Carsten Agger Published: October 6th, 2011
Jeg har aldrig været en stor fan af Apple-produkter; jeg kom for sent i gang med computere til at stifte bekendtskab med de første Macs, og iPods og iAltmuligandet har altid virket lidt for poleret, smart og hypet men ikke særlig robust, for det skal jo alligevel kun holde til næste generation kommer om et par minutter. Der er dog ingen tvivl om, at Apple har været med til at skubbe grænserne for, hvad man kan med computere og anden elektronik, kontrolfreaks eller ej. Og hovedæren for dette tilfalder uden tvivl Steve Jobs.
På denne video forklarer Steve Jobs, hvorfor han blev hvad han blev, fordi han droppede ud af college og gjorde de ting, der interesserede ham, i stedet for at passe sine studier; og hvorfor du ikke kan lade dig nøje med det næstbedste job, men skal holde dig til det, du selv vil og kan stå 100% inde for, uanset hvad andre måtte forvente af dig. Hvorfor du skal følge dit hjerte og gøre de ting, der interesserer dig, i stedet for at følge den slagne vej:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Hvad man end måtte mene om Apple og deres umiskendeligt totalitære tendenser i retning af censur mod og overvågning af deres egne kunder, er det tankevækkende ord fra en mand, hvis tekniske vision forandrede verden.