Radical media, politics and culture.


"Notes on Another Defeat for U.S. Workers:

The Los Angeles Supermarket Strike of 2003-2004"

Loren Goldner

Media coverage was eclipsed by Hollywood’s Academy Awards, but on Sunday, Feb. 29, Southern California supermarket workers voted 86% to end their five-month old strike, accepting a contract that amounts to a serious, if not total, victory for a determined employer offensive with national implications.Thus one of the most important strikes in the U.S. in years has ended in defeat.

nolympics writes:

This essay is from Confronting Capitalism, a new collection from Softskull edited by Eddie Yuen, George Katsiafikas and Daniel Burton Rose and to be published in the coming months.

"Insurgent Chinese Workers and Peasants:
The 'Weak Link' in Capitalist Globalization and U.S. Imperialism" (1)
John Gulick

The attacks of September 11 forced the worldwide movement against capitalist globalization into temporary retreat. But as the Bush II regime parlayed the mini-horror of Cold War blowback into the mega-horror of U.S. imperial conquest in Central and West Asia, savvier elements of the movement against capitalist globalization quickly regrouped. While the Cheney-Perle-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz axis in Washington plotted the invasion and occupation of Iraq, these elements of the movement appropriately preoccupied themselves with how to theoretically link capitalist globalization and U.S. imperialism, and how to recompose the movement accordingly. Given the urgency with which this reorientation had to be effected, and the tremendous stakes involved, it is no mystery why relatively obscure events unfolding in the "rust bowl" of northeast China in the spring of 2002 were missed by most opponents of capitalist globalization and U.S. imperialism. Yet these events that took place in the cities of Daqing and Liaoyang crystallized a much vaster pattern of events that may seriously wound both capitalist globalization and U.S. imperialism.

jinx writes


When: Thursday, Feb 19 from 12:30-2pm

Where: Room 1134, International Affairs Building

It will take place at the Institute of African Studies (Room 1134) International Affairs Bldg, Columbia University. Amsterdam Ave @ 117th Street, 11th floor

The speaker:

Franco Barchiesi (b.1968 Senigallia, Italy) is
currently Assistant Professor in African Studies at the Dept. of Politics, University of Bologna.
From 1996 to 2002 he has been a lecturer in the Dpt of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he is a PhD candidate and completing a dissertation on "Social Citizenship and Changes in Forms of Employment in the Making of Post-apartheid South Africa". He has published, among other, in "Review of African Political Economy",
"Critical Sociology", "Rethinking Marxism", "Monthly Review", "Antipode", "Labour, Capital & Society". His latest book (co-edited with Tom Bramble) is "Rethiking the Labour Movement in the 'New' South Africa"
(London, Ashgate, 2003).

hydrarchist writes...here are some documents related to the series of wildcat strikes which broke out in the transpoirt sector in Italy in december. The strikes shut down Milan, Brescia and numerous other cities in what is a struggle not only over pay but also working conditions. The main trade unions have been run out of the tramworkers (autoferrotranvieri) depots to be replaced largely by grassroots trade unions such as the CUB, COBAS and SULT.

Efforts to build support for them have also involved a reflection on how 'precari' can make conflicts in the transport sector their own but makeing demands for free transpoirtation and 'social tariffs' rather than abstract 'solidarity'. Here are some libertarian tracts produced on these questions.

[January 12, 2004]

Let’s Block Everything…

…All of it

The transit workers in struggle in all the cities of Italy are not alone. From Paris to Bucharest, from Los Angeles to Rome wildcat strikes, city blockades and riots are spreading over the entire planet, a sign of a widespread impatience with the living conditions imposed on all the exploited. When the masters have less and less to concede, pressed in a crisis that is not a crisis but the normal functioning of the economy, when insecurity and fear become the social norm, there is no longer any distinction of category that holds. When there is nothing to mediate, all that remains to the unions – long since pledged to guarantee the resignation of the workers to business and government – is to put on the uniform of the police, as they did in Milan two years ago when they handed the names of the participants in the blockade of the station during the strike of railroad cleaners over to the forces of order.

"The Undesireables"

Pont St. Martin Parigi

There are ever increasing numbers of undesirables in
the world. There are too many men and women for whom
this society has not provided any role except that of
croaking in order to make everyone else function. Dead
to the world or to themselves: this is the only way
society wants them.

"A Rift in Empire?

The Multitudes in the Face of War"

Brian Holmes

The February 15 [2003] antiwar demonstrations proved it: the self-organization of free singularities is possible on a planetary scale. And that was an event, despite all that followed. In a manifesto-text written just after those demonstrations, I used the language of Negri and Hardt to say that the multitudes could create a rift in Empire. In a context where the Aristocracy (the great transnational companies) had been weakened by a string of financial disasters, where the Monarchy (the political and military command of the earth) had fallen apart in serious dissension, I wanted to encourage the democratic action of the Plebe, against the scorn of the American, British, Spanish and Italian leaders. It was a moment that had multiplied the world's political stages, overflowing the traditional mechanisms of representation.

Anonymous Fls
writes here is a long article in three parts, the first below, the Part II and Part III. All footnotes are at the end of the final segment.

"Precarias: First Stutterings of Precarias a la Deriva"

Precarias a la Deriva

Trabajo flexible ¿Es que somos invisibles?

Trabajo inmaterial ¡Ay que estrés mental!

Trabajo de jornalera ¡Eso es la repera!

(Little song by Precarias a la Deriva in the General Strike of 20 June 2002)


"Precarias a la deriva" (Precarious women workers adrift) is a collective project of investigation and action. The concerns of the participants in this open project converged the 20th of June 2002, the day of the general strike called by the major unions in Spain. Some of us had already initiated a trajectory of reflection and intervention in questions of the transformations of labor (in groups such as ‘ZeroWork’ and Sex, Lies and Precariousness, or individually), others wished to begin to think through these themes. In the days before the strike we came together to brainstorm an intervention which would reflect our times, aware that the labor strike, as the culminating expression of a process of struggle, was unsatisfactory for us for three reasons: (1) for not taking up –and this is no novelty- the experience and the unjust division of domestic work and care, almost entirely done by women in the ‘non-productive’ sphere, (2) for the marginalization to which both the forms of action and the proposals of the strike condemn those in types of work –ever more common- which are generally lumped together as ‘precarious’[1] and (3) for not taking into consideration precarious, flexible, invisible or undervalued work, specifically that of women and/or migrants (sexual, domestic, assistance, etc.). As a friend recently pointed out in the context of the more recent ‘political’ strike against the war (April 10, 2003), “How do we invent new forms of striking when production fragments and dislocates itself, when it is organized in such a way that to stop working for a few hours (or even 24) does not necessarily effect the production process, and when our contract situation is so fragile that striking today means risking the possibility of working tomorrow?”

Comrade Fls writes

Michael Hardt: Affective Labor

Focus on the production of affects in our labor and our social practices has often served as a useful ground for anticapitalist projects, in the context of discourses for instance on desire or on use-value. Affective labor is itself and directly the constitution of communities and collective subjectivities. The productive circuit of affect and value has thus seemed in many respects as an autonomous circuit for the constitutions of subjectivity, alternative to the processes of capitalist valorization. Theoretical frameworks that have brought together Marx and Freud have conceived of affective labor using terms such as desiring production and more significantly numerous feminist investigations analyzing the potentials within what has been designated traditionally as women's work have grasped affective labor with terms such as kin work and caring labor. Each of these analyses reveal the processes whereby our laboring practices produce collective subjectivities, produce sociality, and ultimately produce society itself.

renegado writes

Ewa in Basra, 18.12.2003

Oil workers in Iraq's biggest and most profitable company the Southern Oil Company have refused American Occupation Administration slave-wages and created their own wage scale instead to be accepted on pain of mass energy sector strike. CPA forced to retreat and start paying workers more. Iraqi worker representatives from the country's energy sector met last week to discuss the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority)imposition of low wages upon public sector workers in the country.

hydrarchist writes:

This is the third part of the essay. All footnotes are collected at the bottom of this segment.

Part I.

Part II.


Let’s just say that we have fallen into the same productivity that capital expects from a worker, that it expected from a factory worker, except that now the factory is life and we almost never do anything that does not have a clear purpose, whose end has not already been determined. (Drift with language workers).


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