Radical media, politics and culture.


Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Triangle Fire Commemoration -- 94th Anniversary of Workplace Disaster

What: In 1911, 146 young immigrant garment workers died in a tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City. This tragedy galvanized a city to fight for labor reforms and for fire safety in the workplace.

hydrarchist writes: This from ben at undercurrents/indymedia uk.

Milan Fashion Week Anti-precarity Action

At the end of Fashion Week in Milan, anti-precarity activists pulled off an ambitious spoof against the fashion industry and the mainstream media. The scene was set earlier in the week when protesters targeted the a cat walk show by Prada and issued a statement that there would be further protests and that the fashion show by the controversial japanese designer Serpica Naro. On Thursday another show was disrupted when eight women breached security and took over the cat walk and issued further statements over the microphone before being kicked out. Milans police contacted the press agent of Serpica Naro and warned them of the threats being made to disrupt her show which was schedualed to take place on saturday evening. The media ran a few stories and the agent for Serpica Naro was interviewed about the prospect of protests by anti-precarity activists.

s0metim3s writes:

"Lessons from the Pietariat"

Mute Magazine

Sometimes it's hard to tell self-congratulation from self-abasement. Not a Proper Job, a tempting directory for artists, was launched in London in October at a party advertised as follows: 'If you live a creative lifestyle, you are by definition a member of the 'Not a Proper Job' club. So come join us and celebrate not having a Proper Job. Birds of a feather should flock together!'

"Productivity at any Cost?
Jeep workers question DaimlerChrysler’s vision in the aftermath of tragedy"
Michael Brooks
Toledo City Paper

The shotgun-wielding Myles Meyers killed a fellow Jeep employee and wounded two others before turning the weapon on himself on Jan. 27. One view: Just another crazed American worker shooting up his workplace.
Dieter Zetsche, CEO of DaimlerChrysler, reiterated this assessment in a plant-wide memorandum distributed on Jan. 28.
“All information indicates this was an isolated incident,” he said. Jeep workers, however, say that Meyers’ outburst was not isolated and was the culmination of systematic harassment by management that took place throughout many months. Many workers are afraid of the consequences of speaking out about what they feel is a climate of intimidation at Toledo North. Most workers would talk only under a guarantee of complete anonymity.
“You’re not wearing a wire, are you?” asked a suspicious worker. “How do I know you’re not hired by management?”
“They have been obsessed with firing Myles for months,” said ‘Karl,’ whose name has been changed out of fear that his participation in this article will lead to retaliation.
“This is a part of their campaign to eliminate the higher-paid, older workers — especially activists who want a stronger union — and to replace them with younger, cheaper new hires.”

Marx and Makhno Meet McDonalds's:

Casualized Workers in Paris Win Several Strikes,
Honorably Lose Another with Combined
Union and Non-Union, Legal and Illegal Tactics

Loren Goldner (1), Break Their Haughty Power

Over the last several years, a revolving network of militants in Paris, France, have developed a strategy and tactics for winning strikes by marginal, low-paid, outsourced and immigrant workers against international chains, in situations where the strikers are often ignored by unions to which they nominally belong, or are actually obstructed by them.

While some of these methods benefit from aspects of French labor law that are more favorable to strikers than one finds in the backward U.S. of A, the overall strategy can certainly find its uses in other countries.

"Blood on the Upholstery of Jeep Liberty"

A Dialogue About Murder in Toledo

Manuel Yang and Peter Linebaugh, CounterPunch

Manuel: I still can't believe the horrible, horrible homicide and suicide that took place at the DaimlerChrysler Stickney Avenue plant last night, Wednesday, 26 January, on the second shift.

Peter: Yeh, say it. Let's try to think about it.

Manuel: How Myles Meyers, 54 years old, came to work with a double-barreled shotgun hidden under a long black coat and wrought terror in the body shop. That he shot one of his supervisors, Roy Thacker, point blank in the head and wounded another boss, an area manager. He wounded a team leader as a third victim, before putting a slug into his own head. This man, Myles, the shooter worked at Jeep for 31 years.

Peter: Yes, I read about it in the paper, The Blade, and everyone was talking about it after the evening news. It was horrible tragedy, so horrible we couldn't discuss anything else at our Marxist study group this morning when, originally, we were to talk about Sections 3 & 4 ("Branches of English Industry without Legal Limits to the Working Day" and "Day and Night Work") from Chapter 10 on the Working Day in Capital Volume One. During our conversation, a Jeep worker told us that the media was circulating the company's lie about Myles's motive for "going postal" at the plant, as when the Toledo Blade says he "recently faced disciplinary action by the company because he reportedly argued with a supervisor"; in fact, Myles's fellow worker told us that the bosses Myles shot were those who carried out Daimler-Chrysler's policy of eliminating jobs by headcounts.

Anonymous Comrade writes:


Precair Forum Provocation

This is a further "provocation" for the Precair Forum scheduled for 12 February in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It was composed by the group preparing the workshop about flexibilised work, i.e. that performed under zero-hour contracts, with minimal contracts or labour statutes, or through job-agencies. It is intended to spark some debate at the forum about what role "flexworkers" could play in social movements in the Netherlands. Other provocations and texts are here.

"We are the only ones who can represent us."

The current trade union movement is still oriented on the ‘trade’, the profession. We flexworkers, on the other hand, no longer exercise a profession, we no longer have a trade. Last autumn’s trade union actions (i.e. in the Netherlands) have relied in great measure on traditional segments of the working class: dockworkers, public transport, construction… Flexworkers weren’t visible in any of these actions as a recognizable part of the working class. Which is logical because we don’t work in any fixed sector, we work in all of them, we hop from one to another. The union movement knows these changes of the labor market and of the working class. She does not, however, draw any conclusions from it which have consequences for the structure of its organization. The current trade union movement does not, as it were, consider us as ‘workers’ in the full sense of that word.

From the International newsletter of the SUF, Jan 005

"Free Public Transport!"

An Introduction to Planka.nu*

Swedish Anarchosyndicalist Youth Federation

* The word "planka" is swedish slang meaning something like "free riding" (a
verb). "Nu" means "now". A fair translation of Planka.nu would therefore be
"Free Ride Now! "

The campaign Planka.nu has more than any other syndicalist practice during
the last years drawn attention to itself and generated debate. What has
organized free riding to do with syndicalism? That is what we will try to
sort out.
For those of you who have missed what this has been about, a short resume:

Planka.nu was started by SUF in Stockholm and has recently gotten
subsidiaries in Gothenburg and Helsinki. The goal is free public
transportation, which certainly isn't an unrealistic demand. The Stockholm
underground is already financed partially by taxes, but many politicians
would for ideological reasons want to raise the prices and lower the
taxes. The method used by Planka.nu has been widely debated. To encourage
free riding and running the P-kassa, a kind of solidarity fund that is
open for everyone who pays a fee of 100 SEK (about 10 euro) per month. The
fund then pays the fine of 800 SEK for those who get caught.

Not sure about the provenance of the following ad (submission), but it's certainly interesting (disgusting?).

Anonymous Comrade writes:"Elite Base can be found on www.proshieldint.com it offers soldiers leaving the forces to work in the increasingly rewarding market place of Private Security Companies...

Earning more then $400 a day is enough for most soldiers to make the move!! Jobs mainly in Iraq are available for all trades. From bomb disposal, doctors and close protection.

Is it any wonder that sites like this offer a great alternative for ex-soldiers to use their skills in a more rewarding avenue."

"Critical Management Studies" Papers Sought

American Studies Association Conference

Washington, DC, November 3–6, 2005

Looking for one or possibly two more papers for the American Studies Association Conference, 2005:

Panel: "Critical Management Studies in American Studies"

Conference theme: "Groundwork: Space and Place in American Culture."

Please note that as the deadline is imminent, I need to confirm panelists no later than January 26th. This panel will critically explore the concept, "management." Until the
relatively recent emergence of the field of Critical Management Studies,
management has received little attention by scholars interested in
issues of power, authority, agency, and identity. A critical engagement
with management therefore signals important new work in American
studies. How has management — as a field, a community, and a set of
practices, theories, and heuristics — shaped notions of space and place
in the United States? How does management function as ideology,
aesthetics, politics, and as a conceptual lens in local, national, and
international contexts? How has management generated and proliferated
particular ways of seeing, imagining, and knowing, and with what
consequences for everyday life and social formations?
Please send your abstract (no more than 350 words please), contact
information, and a 1-page CV to gray0119@umn.edu. I will respond to
all submissions immediately upon receiving them. (The conference submission deadline is
January 28th).

David Gray

Department of American Studies, University of Minnesota



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