transnationals

If you’ve been deeply affected by reading “My Family’s Slave” here are some general concrete things you can do.

1) Understand and tell other people that this is not only something that happens in the Philippines. It happens in many other countries. Probably on every continent. For example, in Haiti, they’re called restaveks. Across South Asia, many child slaves work in the textile industry. Don’t treat this as an individual personal failing done only by a few bad people when it’s a vast economic system that thrives in secrecy and which many of us indirectly benefit from.

2) There’s no true ethical consumption but you can at least not support industries, companies or entire economies heavily involved in modern day slavery. Cut out visiting Dubai, for example (although I don’t know anyone that rich).

3) Support transnational unions of service and domestic workers.

4) If you or anyone you know employs domestic workers, talk to them discreetly and compassionately. Ask what they need and how you can support them. Ask who takes care of THEIR kids. Keep your eyes open.

5) Look at any local laws that passively encourage these exploitative relationships and work towards changing them. Immigration law is a huge issue in this area. Undocumented workers scared to come forward because they don’t want to be deported, for example.

6) Fight for feminism and disability rights because women and disabled people are especially vulnerable. I remember in the 90s there was a vast Mexican slave ring that enslaved deaf Mexicans and made them beg on the subways in NYC for money. I gave money to some of these people not knowing that they were kept as slaves and had to turn all their money over to their slavemasters at night, and it shocked the hell out of me. Private charity doesn’t work - these people need living wages, independence, legal advocates. All fixes on a systemic basis.

10

What Trump’s latest executive order actually means for the protestors at Standing Rock and the building of the pipeline

This would be a huge blow for the people who fought for more than seven years against the project, a transnational pipeline that would extend from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The venture was killed by President Obama in 2015 because it would contribute to climate change and deter American efforts to reach a global deal addressing this issue.

4

Trump’s plan to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group is about going after American Muslims

  • Trump is expected to sign an executive order that could clamp down on mosques, Islamic charities and Muslim civil rights groups.
  • The anticipated order (CNN) would designate the Muslim Brotherhood — a transnational political Islamist group — as a foreign terrorist organization, a former senior Obama official, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of harassment by the far right, told Mic.
  • State Department officials and DHS are objecting to the designation, the New York Times reported
  • However, several Muslim-American organizations were told the order is imminent and is expected to be signed some time next week.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood, established in 1928 in Egypt, is an Islamist organization — it sees Islam as a political system — with a number of independent branches, political parties and related social initiatives.
  • The Brotherhood, as an ideological movement, has repeatedly denounced violence and encouraged civil engagement, but at times various factions have been accused of engaging in violence.
  • Robert McCaw, director of government affairs for the Council of American-Islamic Relations, said in an email that designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is the Trump administration’s strategy to carry out McCarthyesque witch hunts on Muslim leaders and organizations within the United States. Read more (2/12/17 1:47 PM)

I just want to show my utter support to Diego Luna’s attitude of being aggressively, unapologetic Mexican/Latino. Because he’s there in stage, speaking Spanish, speaking English with heavy accent and being proudly Mexican.
And that, my friends, even for me, a Mexican girl living in Mexico, is uplifting in times where Donald Trump is menacing transnational companies to close factories in Mexico or forcing them (Ford) to do it.

Women’s rights, Standing Rock protests planned in major US cities this weekend

New York City

Rally for a #FairWorkWeek and Fast Food Worker Empowerment
Friday, March 3, 2017, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Eastern, City Hall

“Everyone needs to plan their time to balance work, family and education. But last minute scheduling practices endemic in the fast food industry prevent fast food workers from planning theirs. It’s time for a #FairWorkWeek NOW! They also need the ability to form their own nonprofit organization to fight for their rights and improve their communities.”

People’s March for Education Justice
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern, Trump International Hotel

“As we continue to defend public education from federal attacks by Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos, we march to defend [education] here in New York from Governor Andrew Cuomo. The public investment he proposes in his education budget this year is woefully inadequate and falls way short of being equitable. … Black, brown, immigrant, refugee, low-income, LGBTQIA, English language learners, homeless students and students with disabilities are worthy of an investment that will meet their needs not deny them opportunities to be successful.”

NY March 4 Trump Rally
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Trump Tower, 725 5th Avenue

“This is a Pro America rally in support of our President and to show our American pride. Wear your USA and Trump gear. Bring your American flags, signs and pride. This will be a peaceful rally. See you there!”

Real New Yorkers Don’t - “March 4 Trump”
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern, 53rd Street and 5th Avenue

“Donald Trump was scheduled to return to NYC for the first time since the inauguration; but of course he chickened out, knowing that we prefer New York City WITHOUT HIM! We are certain that his absence will not stop the trumpalumpas from continuing with their March 4 Trump rally in support of him this Saturday, so we still want to make a strong showing in a counter protest at Trump Tower.”

March 4th for Standing Rock
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern, New York Public Library, 42nd Street and 5th Avenue

“Six days before the national Rise with Standing Rock mobilization in Washington, D.C., march on Trump Tower (on 5th avenue) to protest the Dakota Access pipeline and its threat to the Standing Rock Sioux, their sacred lands and clean water.”

Print Organize Protest
Sunday, March 5, 2017, Shoestring Press, 663 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn

“Print Organize Protest is a nationwide campaign where print shops work with local artists to open their doors and invite the community in to print clothing and signs of resistance. We are a network of artists and printers committed to creating social change through art in our communities.”

Washington, D.C.

Event to Protest Trump at Russian Embassy
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern, Embassy of Russia, 2650 Wisconsin Ave NW

“Please come to our peaceful, issue-focused protest of Trump-Russia covert collaboration. We’ll protest outside the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. — a location sure to generate press coverage.”

Chicago

Print Organize Protest
Sunday, March 5, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central, Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, 4912 N. Western Avenue

“Print Organize Protest is a nationwide campaign where print shops work with local artists to open their doors and invite the community in to print clothing and signs of resistance. We are a network of artists and printers committed to creating social change through art in our communities.”

Los Angeles 

International Women’s Day March 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific, Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, 100 W. 1st Street

“This march is convened and led by transnational/women of color, but all people are welcome to join!”

San Francisco

Print Organize Protest
Sunday, March 5, 2017, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific, the Women’s Building, 3543 18th Street, #8

“Print Organize Protest is a nationwide campaign where print shops work with local artists to open their doors and invite the community in to print clothing and signs of resistance. We are a network of artists and printers committed to creating social change through art in our communities.”

Read more (3/3/17 9 AM)

So I asked Dr. Kyle T. Mays (US History, Afro-Indigenous, and Indigenous Studies) about better terminology for describing the non-voluntary movements of groups to the U.S. (i.e. African slaves), because most terms (ex. “settlers”) imply false agency and intent, and are therefore grossly inaccurate. He told me that “arrivants” is currently the preferred term, and that there is an emerging area of study on the “arrivant” experience vs the voluntary immigrant experience. So I thought that might be useful to share here, because words carry implications of which we need to be constantly aware.

171

Unlovable
Undesirable
Unwanted

These words line the walls of
My easily scarred body
Framing me with
Their jagged claws
That tear away at what is left
Of a girl left behind
On the February road
Like trash that had rotted so bad
It was a blessing to throw out

There are people who say
Those words are not true
But how can I believe them
When my very existence
Began with rejection
When my first definition of love
Is abandonment
How can I, a second hand soul
Unfit for my own flesh mother
Ever be worthy
How I can know love if all
The things my body remembers
Is the violent shaking of
A darkness so dark
It numbed my heart
And
I’m here
Still in the shadows
Pretending my heart knows the
Rhythm to life

2

Trump signs three more executive orders — all on crime prevention

  • Trump signed three executive orders Thursday after swearing in Jeff Sessions. They are:
  • Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety
    • In this executive order, Trump declares, “It shall be the policy of the executive branch to reduce crime in America.”
    • In order to do that, the order calls on Sessions to create the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety
  • Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers
    • This calls on the Department of Justice to “further enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal and local law enforcement officers,” within the boundaries of the Constitution.
    • It also calls on the DOJ to review whether existing laws are “adequate” to protect law enforcement officers.
  • Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking
    • The final executive order says “transnational criminal organizations” — such as drug cartels, human trafficking groups and hackers — have “spread throughout the nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens.”
    • It calls for the executive branch to “strengthen enforcement of Federal law in order to thwart transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations, including criminal gangs, cartels, racketeering organizations, and other groups engaged in illicit activities that present a threat to public safety and national security.” Read more (2/9/17 3:18 PM)
The cause of women’s rights must be won through women’s own efforts. It must not be granted by men. If we allow women’s rightful role to be imposed by men, we are renouncing our freedom; and if we allow ourselves to look up to men and ingratiate ourselves to them, whatever rights we obtain in this way are handed to us from above. As we continued to be instrumentalized and remain men’s appendages, we would be liberated in name only and our rights could never really be our own. I argue that we women must rely on ourselves to find the joy of liberation and should never expect men to be our liberators. Today, Chinese women still expect men to come to set them free; we are content with playing a passive role. We have not risen to the level of self-consciousness. Not only do we fall easy prey to men’s manipulation, we also pay homage to them. Is this not a disgrace?
— 

“On the Question of Women’s Liberation” He-Yin Zhen (1907)

Translation from The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory, eds. Lydia H. Liu, Rebecca E. Karl, and Dorothy Ko (2013)

anonymous asked:

I've lost complete faith in humanity.

Look. I’m not trying to be rude, but I am gonna be real.

You saying you’ve lost faith in “humanity” isn’t worth shit. It doesn’t challenge anything, it doesn’t mean anything. Statements like this evaporate the very nature of oppression and dissolve who is oppressor/beneficiary and who is oppressed. The continuous occurrence of black people being killed by white police isn’t some ubiquitous urgency for which all of “humanity” is at fault. White supremacy, white privilege, a virulently anti black economical/social/political system is at fault and all those who validate it, at any time, are at fault.

And honestly, who the fuck are you to declare that you’ve lost faith in humanity? There are many amazing people from Toni Morrison to Cornel West to Angela Davis to Harry Belafonte who have seen the absolute worst American domestic (and foreign, if we’re being real) terrorism has had to offer and they live with hope in their hearts and revolution on their minds everyday. You don’t get to dismiss the amazing work of my elders and the youth of my community because you lost faith. And you don’t get to come into my inbox and bombarde me with your reactionary garbage when you can’t even locate systems at fault and would prefer to lazily dredge up vague concepts like “humanity”. If we don’t have hope, we have nothing. No praxis. Angela Davis has spoken on this topic many times before. About how those who discuss the world as a perpetually stagnant place and throw their hands in defeat are counteractive to any revolutionary thought.

One of her most relevant quotes. “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”

Do I have “faith” in the system? Absolutely not. But I do have faith in the resilience of my people and all oppressed people by Empire, whether we’re talking Pakistan, Mexico, the Congo, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq and beyond. I have faith in the abundance in domestic and transnational solidarity, coalition building and activism that comes from tragedies and injustice. And yes, these are the positives amongst “humanity” which you collectively condemn.

Which leads into my final point, whether or nor you realize it, you mean white people. And your equivalence of white people with “humanity” is actually pretty fucking racist and legitimatizes the dehumanization of everyone who isn’t white, especially black people in this context, which ironically, is how we’re at the point of a black man can get killed on camera and a grand jury in majority decides his life isn’t even worth a trial.

3

Faces: Weaving Indian Jewish Narratives
- Sonia Benjamin

“Visualizing the Bene Israel faces and then painting ornamentation that represents their lives and passions,” has been a very personal experience.  “I wonder if they could be the ghost images from my past and childhood.  I am weaving new and old stories.  Are these faces from dreams and memories or are they just other faces from passports, immigration cards or perhaps from my parents’ photo albums?  It is with these faces and stories that the rest of the world, I hope, will come to know more about the Bene Israel Jews in a very transnational India.”

Images:
Maayan Abraham (Shapurkar)
Lt General (Retired) Jack Jacob (and Pal Singh Gill his lifelong assistant)
Synagogue Lamp Lighters in Mumbai

In early-twentieth-century urban Peru, few cultural traditions remained that were considered Afro-Peruvian. Race was perceived as changeable, whiteness was equated with social mobility, and, as Raúl Romero explains (1994), Peruvians of African descent typically were not viewed as a separate ethnic group because they identified culturally, along with the descendants of Europeans, as criollos, a term that originally described the children of Africans born into slavery and later included European descendants born in Peru. After independence, the word criollo came to describe a set of cultural practices that were believed to be of European origin, including música criolla, or Creole music. At Lima’s jaranas (multi-day, invitation-only social gatherings involving the communal affirmation of shared criollo culture through food, drink, humor, music, and dance), ethnically diverse criollos performed música criolla, especially the marinera, on the guitar, cajón (box drum), and other instruments. Those who did not play an instrument sang, danced, or performed the special rhythmic handclap patterns unique to each musical genre, affirming the participatory character of creating and maintaining a shared culture. Although the performers were of mixed ethnic backgrounds, by the middle of the century this music was considered to be of strictly European origin (Romero 1994).

Before the Afro-Peruvian revival, many blacks in Peru identified with criollo culture, yet they were denied the social benefits afforded white criollos. In the 1960s, while African independence movements and the U.S. civil rights movement sought to overturn colonialism and racism, respectively, in Peru, music and dance were the first successful arenas for the politics of black resistance. Whereas for some critics, staged music and dance might seem an unlikely format for collective protest, the first step for Afro-descendants in the isolated black Pacific was to make themselves visible as a group by organizing around a newly embraced collective, ethnic, and diasporic identity before they could unite in a political struggle for civil rights. In the Afro-Peruvian revival, black Peruvians began by mounting staged performances that reinscribed forgotten and ignored black culture in Peruvian official history, starting with times of slavery (plantation settings, slave dances, and so on). The leaders of the Afro-Peruvian revival reconstructed lost black Peruvian music and dances for theatrical performances and recordings, musically promoting racial difference to challenge the prevailing ideology of criollo unity without racial equality.


Many Peruvian musicians date the beginning of the revival to 1956, when Peruvian scholar José Durand (a white criollo) founded the Pancho Fierro company, which presented the first major staged performance of reconstructed Afro-Peruvian music and dance at Lima’s Municipal Theater. Several black Peruvians who participated in Durand’s company formed their own groups in the 1960s, including the charismatic siblings Nicomedes and Victoria Santa Cruz. Perú Negro, the only group from the revival still existing in the twenty-first century, was founded in 1969 by former protégés of Victoria Santa Cruz…


Like her brother, Victoria Santa Cruz looked toward the black Atlantic to forge a transnational diasporic identity for black Peruvians, transplanting musical instruments and cultural expressions in revival productions. But Victoria Santa Cruz’s most celebrated legacy in Peru is her idiosyncratic deployment of “ancestral memory” as the cornerstone of a choreographic technique that enabled her to “return” to Africa by looking deep within her own body for the residue of organic ancestral rhythms…


Explaining what she means by “ancestral memory,” Victoria Santa Cruz writes: “What is ancestry? Is it a memory? And if so, what is it trying to make us remember? … The popular and cultural manifestations, rooted in Africa, which I inherited and later accepted as ancestral vocation, created a certain disposition toward rhythm, which over the years has turned itself into a new technique, ‘the discovery and development of rhythmic sense’ … I reached my climax … when I went deep into that magical world that bears the name of rhythm” (Santa Cruz 1978, 18). Elsewhere, she said: “Having discovered, first ancestrally and later through study and practice, that every gesture, word, and movement is a consequence of a state of being, and that this state of being is tied to connections and disconnections of fixed centers or plexus … allowed me to rediscover profound messages in dance and traditional music that could be recovered and communicated. … The black man knows through ancestry, even when he is not conscious of it, that what is outwardly elaborated has its origin or foundation in the interior of those who generate it” (V. Santa Cruz 1988, 85).

—  Heidi Carolyn Feldman,  “Strategies of the Black Pacific: Music and Diasporic Identity in Peru,” Comparative Perspectives on Afro-Latin America (2012)

Please don’t forget Standing Rock
This is an update on Standing Rock. It’s not pleasant. You’ve been fairly warned.

Update from Standing Rock volunteer-
Friends,
I have returned from Standing Rock with my mind blown, my heart broken and my spirit troubled with foreboding of a deepening tragedy. Volunteering as a legal observer with the Water Protector Legal Collective I witnessed several confrontations between Water Protectors (WP) and law enforcement: national guard, sheriffs and private security (LE).
On 1/18/17 - 1/19/17 I observed WP with their hands in the air chanting “hands up don’t shoot” being fired upon at a range of 10 to 15 feet. Tear gas canisters and rubber bullets ( rubber bullets are regular bullets covered in rubber) were used against unarmed WP who had been singing and praying. I observed national guard chasing WP off the Backwater bridge, firing at people running away. I heard people choking and gagging from tear gas. I saw access to the WP medic vehicles being blocked. I spoke with medics and WP who described bullets penetrating flesh and causing terrible injuries, including to one media person who nearly lost his finger when his camera was targeted.
I talked with a media person and was told of 4 media people on the bridge that night, 3 had their recording devices shot and the 4th, his hand. I saw a photo of a sheriff aiming a rifle directly at a media woman who was standing apart from the crowd. I heard testimony of the back of the medic pickup truck being awash in blood after evacuating wounded.
I watched, and then, inadvertently became a part of, WP being forced off the bridge by national guard who were hiding behind WP vehicles parked along the road and firing rubber bullets at fleeing people. Many people were shot in the back, the neck, the head. When LE fired at people at close range, many were shot in the genitals or in the face. I received information about DAPL security breaching the short wave radio channels of the WP with taunts such as ”come out and fight like men you faggots or we will come to Camp and fuck your women.”
There are some young warriors, who, without the support of their elders, many who want the camps cleared to mitigate the economic and social damage being suffered by the local community in having the bridge closed, have vowed to not leave the camps or to let the last section of pipeline be built.
Driving away from the area on Monday I saw a convoy of construction vehicles heading to the drill pad. Last night an indigenous website live streamed reports of drilling and construction noises coming from the drill pad.
Without the eyes of a free press these attacks and trespasses continue, with the human rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples denied. The UN Committee on Transnational Corporations and Human Right Abuses was in Standing Rock this week to take testimony of the many transgressions against people: crop dusters spraying poison pesticides and fertilizers on the camps; hair samples indicating the presence of these chemicals; people who have been injured, beat up, arrested, strip searched; media and medics being targeted by snipers; (one medic told me he stopped wearing his Red Cross vest due to medics being targeted); praying people being attacked and the refusal of DAPL and our government to abide by the Rule of Law.
The vets who came in Dec to stand down against these crimes need to be on the ground there now, right now. We need to stand up for our brothers and our sisters, for their way of life and, I believe, for our social contract as a democracy which is now threatened.
Please share this so word gets out what is happening, thank you.
Deborah MacKay
This is copy-pasted. If you choose to share, please do the same.

Seldom is there an attempt to analytically link actual institutions of state power, capitalism, and transnational networks to such forms of cultural reproduction, inventiveness, and possibilities. This is a significant problem of method because it raises hopes that transnational mobility and its associated processes have great liberatory potential (perhaps replacing international class struggle in orthodox Marxist thinking) for undermining all kinds of oppressive structures in the world. In a sense, the diasporan subject is now vested with the agency formerly sought in the working class and more recently in the subaltern subject. Furthermore, there are frequent claims that diasporas and cosmopolitanisms are liberatory forces against oppressive nationalism, repressive state structures, and capitalism, or that the unruliness of transnational capital will weaken the power of the nation-state. […] But while such tensions and disjunctures are at work between oppressive structures and border-crossing flows, the nation-state—along with its juridical-legislative systems, bureaucratic apparatuses, economic entities, modes of governmentality, and war-making capacities—continues to define, discipline, control, and regulate all kinds of populations, whether in movement or in residence.
—  Aihwa Ong, Flexible Citizenship
Ex-Controller Recovery

me and @animorphs-hcs were musing about animorphs, AS WE DO, so here’s some Things we discussed abt Life as an ex-controller and some of the cultural things that arose out of it. THIS IS LONG AF (very brief r*pe and abuse mention)


• The Sharing once opened clinics for trans youth, making HRT available to thousands of kids. Of course, they would be infested during appointments and consultations. Marco is eternally bitter that he couldn’t take advantage of it.

• Self-Help books and support groups: “Regaining Your Life Post-Slavery” “You Didn’t Do It: Coping With Your Yeerk’s War Crimes as a Free Human”

• Reclaiming and repurposing old Sharing facilities into support circles– Turning the community centers into therapy/support areas and places for former controllers to talk and congregate

• Articles studying the Yeerk relationship with gender and how that effected their trans hosts (often the Yeerk was the only person in their life that didn’t misgender them, leading to extreme guilt for that small pleasure).

• Articles on people attached to their Yeerk and feeling the consequences of feeling like they were friends with their abusers

• Falling in love with a Controller,and after they’re free, feeling like you loved the Yeerk more than the person 

• A highly controversial article about how transnational and multiracial people “benefited from their enslavement” because their racial identity conflicts were solved (because of an added alien perspective), many response essays denounce this as racist and demeaning

• An article dealing with how intercourse while under yeerk control is always rape because neither participating party can give informed consent

• Yeerks being the only comfort for some abuse victims because their abusers have isolated them. Abuse victims who feel silenced taking comfort in their new mental abuser, then after the war feeling doubly crushed when they must reconcile that their yeerks were just new abusers

• University professors proposing adding a citation method for if the source was written by someone under Yeerk control because “technically the Yeerk deserves credit for the ideas too.” On that same vein, books published by controllers have the suffix “U.Y.C” added to the publication information (meaning Under Yeerk Control). 

 • Academia stigmatizing former-controllers because their work was published through a Yeerk

• There is a discussion about whether awards (e.g., Award shows, Nobel Prizes, Pulitzers, etc.) should be retracted because the winners were not unaided. After a thorough discourse, this is eventually dismissed because the yeerk only allowed the hosts to act to each person’s natural capabilities.

“Please don’t forget Standing Rock
This is an update on Standing Rock. It’s not pleasant. You’ve been fairly warned.
Update from Standing Rock volunteer-

Friends,
I have returned from Standing Rock with my mind blown, my heart broken and my spirit troubled with foreboding of a deepening tragedy. Volunteering as a legal observer with the Water Protector Legal Collective I witnessed several confrontations between Water Protectors (WP) and law enforcement: national guard, sheriffs and private security (LE).
On 1/18/17 - 1/19/17 I observed WP with their hands in the air chanting “hands up don’t shoot” being fired upon at a range of 10 to 15 feet. Tear gas canisters and rubber bullets ( rubber bullets are regular bullets covered in rubber) were used against unarmed WP who had been singing and praying. I observed national guard chasing WP off the Backwater bridge, firing at people running away. I heard people choking and gagging from tear gas. I saw access to the WP medic vehicles being blocked. I spoke with medics and WP who described bullets penetrating flesh and causing terrible injuries, including to one media person who nearly lost his finger when his camera was targeted.
I talked with a media person and was told of 4 media people on the bridge that night, 3 had their recording devices shot and the 4th, his hand. I saw a photo of a sheriff aiming a rifle directly at a media woman who was standing apart from the crowd. I heard testimony of the back of the medic pickup truck being awash in blood after evacuating wounded.
I watched, and then, inadvertently became a part of, WP being forced off the bridge by national guard who were hiding behind WP vehicles parked along the road and firing rubber bullets at fleeing people. Many people were shot in the back, the neck, the head. When LE fired at people at close range, many were shot in the genitals or in the face. I received information about DAPL security breaching the short wave radio channels of the WP with taunts such as ”come out and fight like men you faggots or we will come to Camp and fuck your women.”
There are some young warriors, who, without the support of their elders, many who want the camps cleared to mitigate the economic and social damage being suffered by the local community in having the bridge closed, have vowed to not leave the camps or to let the last section of pipeline be built.
Driving away from the area on Monday I saw a convoy of construction vehicles heading to the drill pad. Last night an indigenous website live streamed reports of drilling and construction noises coming from the drill pad.
Without the eyes of a free press these attacks and trespasses continue, with the human rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples denied. The UN Committee on Transnational Corporations and Human Right Abuses was in Standing Rock this week to take testimony of the many transgressions against people: crop dusters spraying poison pesticides and fertilizers on the camps; hair samples indicating the presence of these chemicals; people who have been injured, beat up, arrested, strip searched; media and medics being targeted by snipers; (one medic told me he stopped wearing his Red Cross vest due to medics being targeted); praying people being attacked and the refusal of DAPL and our government to abide by the Rule of Law.
The vets who came in Dec to stand down against these crimes need to be on the ground there now, right now. We need to stand up for our brothers and our sisters, for their way of life and, I believe, for our social contract as a democracy which is now threatened.
Please share this so word gets out what is happening, thank you.
Deborah MacKay”

medium.com
Moana and Resistance Spectating
Nov 23 2016
By Richard Wolfgramm

Moana for us represents many things — harmless entertainment, some might see it as a documentary providing a missing piece in a cultural identity puzzle. Some see Moana in a pedagogical role, a teaching tool that will help others learn more about us. And some of us see Moana as an extension of the Disney moneymaking apparatus and evokes a painful ongoing pattern of colonialism, imperialism, exploitation, homogenization, cultural theft and appropriation in the Pacific.

All are true and problematic all the same.

But there is a danger when we say that we must take one side or the other. This absolutist point of view is divisive, and to unjustly label family and friends employed by Disney or those who work in cultural entertainment as cultural prostitutes is detestable.

The bigger truth is this: we live in a complex age of inevitable consumerism and capitalism. This is the world that is imposed on us, so we occupy this world as involuntary or voluntary participants, as colonized people, in colonial settler roles, as transnationals, and as members of diasporic communities around the world. Capitalism is demanding and unforgiving. Engagement for many of us is out of necessity.

On the flip side, we can also be critical of Disney’s capitalistic aims and side-eye their claims of doing justice to our stories, without having to be dismissed as “haters.”

Ultimately, what saves Disney’s Moana from the shit-show train wreck it could have been is the work of the Oceanic Story Trust and the breakthrough performance of its star, Auli’i Cravalho.

[…]

With that said, as we go to the theaters, I hope we will make a conscious choice for just one time, as I know many of us will see it multiple times, to transcend being mindless consumers and become resisting spectators, and recognize that the eye candy we see on the big screen are really just surface, readily accessible manifestations of deep cultural treasures that Disney, nor any outsider, can never touch. These treasures can only be felt by the heart and by our own lived experiences.

And when we see the character of Moana overcoming great odds on the big screen to save her village, even at the risk of losing her own life, we aren’t witnessing anything new that we don’t already know about ourselves — love, sacrifice, determination, resilience, family, reciprocity, conservation and stewardship of the planet are the hallmarks of our rich oceanic culture, values that have existed long before Disney mined our stories, values that can never be replicated in box office ticket and merchandise sales.

A question often raised by opponents of anti-imperialist Marxism and related lines of praxis is why capitalists should employ First World production workers at all if they are a net drain on surplus value. Whilst it may be admitted that the wages of unproductive sector workers can be considered what Marx called the faux frais (fringe costs) of capitalist accumulation, it is hard to see why imperialists would hire any First World productive sector workers given a certain capacity to super-exploit. In fact, the trend has indeed been towards the latter’s replacement by Third World workers, there being objective limits to how many labour aristocrats capital can afford to employ at a particular time. Nevertheless, there remain certain economic and political imperatives behind the First World’s retention of a production base. First, manufacturing is a much more significant job creator and sustainer than services. Too great a diminution of manufacturing in the imperialist countries would have a tremendous knock-on effect in terms of the wider market for jobs and goods. Second, some companies producing shoes, textiles and other such goods in the First World have managed to find a niche market in consumers willing to pay extra for items “Made in the USA/UK/France,” etc. Third, it may not always be possible to provide alternative, non-productive employment for First World workers displaced from their jobs by the globalisation of production. Fourth, and relatedly, the clamour for protectionism on the part of the labour aristocracy and the decadent middle class of the developed world sets limits to bourgeois “internationalism” (“globalisation”). There would be serious political consequences for the imperialist states should they risk losing the loyalty of their own workforce. Fifth, adequate supply of the domestic market ensures that Third World companies competing for access to a limited (First World) market must lower their own wages and prices, thus ensuring greater profits for Western corporations and investors. Finally, political instability in the Third World and competition from powerful rivals compels the leading imperialist countries to maintain a competitive edge in domestic manufacturing. Indeed, the First World may in the near future be forced to seriously curtail industry in the Third World and re-emerge as the world’s principal industrial centre. International regulations governing environmental degradation and labour standards should certainly be understood in this (protectionist) context.

Simply put, the OECD’s high-wage manufacturing cannot be driven out of the market by low-wage Third World manufacture because the latter is not in competition with the former. In the first place, there is a very real specialisation in the production of light consumer goods by the Third World semi-peripheries. Textile and clothing production, for instance, provides 30% of manufacturing employment in the Third World, but less than 10% of OECD manufacturing employment. Western manufacturing specialises in much sought-after capital goods and electronics production, but even within textile and clothing manufacture, the First World specialises in high-end, high-value-added production of suits, tailored garments, etc. Meanwhile, whilst much of the already limited Third World market in light consumer goods is catered to either by Western imports or by local subcontractors of large OECD-based transnational monopolies, Third World producers are very much dependent upon having access to First World markets. It is intra-Third World competition for such access, and not competition with First World manufacturers, which ensures relatively low Free On Board prices (that is, shipping prices for goods at the point of their manufacture and before they have reached their destination) for Third World imports. Underpriced Third World inputs and consumer goods allow for high ‘Value-added” to accrue to the products of Western industry at the global average rate of profit. This, in turn, enables the West to remain the most lucrative market for goods and investment.


It should, finally, be noted that oppressed national and colonial minorities perform disproportionate quantities of the productive labour carried out in the First World, allowing employers there to keep costs relatively low and retain the loyalty of the metropolitan “white” workers through the provision to them of more lucrative and desirable white-collar employment.

Whether done for reasons of institutional self-preservation, well-intentioned false cosmopolitanism or avowedly conservative proclivities, by presenting the bifurcation of the world workforce into rich and poor as the natural and inevitable outcome of national differences in economic efficiency, educational attainment and cultural norms, the Western left effectively promulgates a mollifying, but self-serving, ideology that obscures the imperialist structures underlying international political economy.

—  Zak Cope, Divided World Divided Class