Radical media, politics and culture.



By Eugene W. Plawiuk

The international working class holiday; Mayday, originated in pagan
Europe. It was a festive holy day celebrating the first spring planting.
The ancient Celts and Saxons celebrated May 1st as Beltane or the day of
fire. Bel was the Celtic god of the sun.

nomadlab writes "It is a bad year to be a journalist.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released a very troubling report. Some of the main findings are:

* total of 37 journalists were killed worldwide as a direct result of their work in 2001, a sharp increase from 2000 when 24 were killed. The dramatic rise is mainly due to the war in Afghanistan, where eight journalists were killed in the line of duty covering the US-led military campaign. Most of the journalists killed, however, were not covering conflicts but were murdered in reprisal for their reporting on sensitive topics including official crime and corruption in countries such as Bangladesh, China, Thailand, and Yugoslavia.

* After four years of steady decline, the number of journalists in prison jumped nearly 50 percent - from 81 in 2000 to 118 in 2001.

* Governments around the world invoked "national security" concerns while seeking new restrictions on the press or unleashing new intimidations in countries like Zimbabwe, where journalists were denounced as "terrorists." As justification, some cited U.S. actions after September 11, such as the State Department's attempt to censor a Voice of America interview with Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

read the rest of their report at on the cpj.org site."

www.wildcat-www.de/en/zirkular/61/z61e_mou.htm writes

For two generations French workers have been used to the
transfer of economic activities - mainly industrial factories -
from the main towns (especially from Paris industrial suburbs)
towards the country. For a time it was a very profitable for
companies: the mechanisation of agriculture "liberated" quite a
lot of farm workers (in 1945 more than 30% of the population
was living from agriculture and not even 10% 20 years later -
5% today). Wages were lower (then legally) up to 30% less
than in Paris; small towns, local administrations and the state
gave copious incentives. These companies could speculate
with the freed urban land and they could also engage a new
manpower easier to exploit for a while; even if the conditions of
work and wages were not that good, they often were better than
the farm work, for these country people not used to industrial
work; even more important, these workers and their families
could stay close to their birth-place. These economic transfers
did not raise resistance because in the main towns deserted by
industries it was then easy to find another job, the
unemployment rate being very low.

Anonymous Comrade writes

"This was written to share the experience of one waitress with
others. We often work in small places for short times, but if we all
stand together we have a chance to fight back against the crap we
get at work.. This starts with sharing what is going on...

There are lots of us working in insecure, part time, cash-in-hand
service and catering jobs. We are often fairly isolated. We all put
up with similar stuff, but it seems like each thing is a one-off
incident. Well it's not.Here is one story and some thoughts.

Alice's Restaurant

When I moved to Germany, not able to speak German at all, my
choices of employment were pretty limited. I tried all the temporary
agencies, but no luck. The only place I could work speaking English
was the Irish pub. There the boss was Irish and all the work took
place in English. The boss knew that was the only place we could
work and so she could be pretty sure I would accept the 11 marks
an hour she was offering. Which I did.

Arthur Zinault writes "Barricada #11 presented the organizational views of some anarchists of the past, including the anti-union views of Italian anarchist Luigi Galleani. The series of articles on "anarchist organization" in that issue merit some comments on the relation of workers' groups to the anarchist movement.

Luigi Galleani wrote that the "anarchist movement and the labor movement follow two parallel lines, and it has been geometrically proven that parallel lines never meet." (Galleani's comments were, I noticed, prefaced with a note by the editors that they "disagree strongly with" some of Galleani's ideas.) While no mathemetician would argue with Galleani's geometry, a historian might: the real history of the anarchist and labor movements can not be framed in terms so simple or absolute.

hydrarchist writes: "Book Review: Defining Global Justice and the ILO

Defining Global Justice: The History of U.S. International Labor
Standards Policy.
By Edward C. Lorenz. (Notre Dame, Indiana, 2001. Pp.
X, 318. Index.)

Edward C. Lorenz's Defining Global Justice gives us the first attempt at
a broad overview of the history of the role of the United States in the
International Labor Organization. Based on an impressive command of a
wide variety of sources, this well organized and clearly written account
explains how the social gospel movement, progressive era reformers,
academics and attorneys, feminists and consumers, and labor unions
attempted to shape an international organization that could establish
standards to protect workers around the world.

Finance and Economics after the Dotcom Crash

Interview with Doug Henwood

By Geert Lovink

Doug Henwood is one of the few marxist economists whose opinions and
analyses of the world of finance and trade are being taken serious by the
mainstream media. Seen as a toy rebel Wall Street analysts love to hate him.
Doug is very friendly and open, quite the opposite of what you may fear
dogmatic revolutionaries turned crusty academics look like. Unlike most of
his comrades Henwood is able to remain in dialogue with his liberal and
conservative opponents. In public debates he can surprise you with his
marvelous negative dialectics. Online he is sharp, short and precise.

In an interview with salon.com,Doug Henwood described his position as such:
"Wall Street is populated by some of the most cynical, greedy bastards on
earth. But it's not enough just to say that. The last thing I want to do is
sound like a guy on a soapbox moralizing. It's not their personal moral
characteristics that create the system they populate. Capitalism is
essentially an amoral system based on exploitation. And Wall Street is part
of the class struggle, to use an unfashionable term. But most people don't
realize this, so the market looks incomprehensible to them."

NY Domestic Worker Challenges Involuntary Servitude

Filipino Workers Center

"Justice for Elma, End Abuse Now!" is a new initiative of the Filipino
Workers Center that seeks to obtain justice for Elma Manliguez, a domestic
worker who was severely mistreated by her employer in Queens, and to
highlight the plight of domestic workers in New York.

On Tuesday, November 13, 2001, Elma Manliguez filed a civil action in the
United States Eastern District Court against Martin and Somanti Joseph. The
suit alleges that the defendants violated the U.S. Constitution, federal
and state laws by coercing Ms. Manliguez into coming to the U.S., forcibly
confining her in their house, subjecting her to inhumane work conditions,
and inflicting on her other forms of abuse and humiliation. The suit seeks
compensation for unpaid wages, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

Louis Lingg writes: "For its compliance and cooperation with the U.S. 'war on terrorism' Pakistan anticipates generous direct aid, debt restructuring, and most importantly, relaxation of tariffs, quotas, and other restrictions on exported goods, especially textiles. A boon for Pakistan's rapacious capitalists? A nightmare for Pakistan's most exploited workers?

David Grenier writes:

"Signs you didn't see at the "Walk for Capitalism"

The Capitalists are trying to coopt our tactics, just as some of them have tried to coopt our language. Nothing is funnier than seeing Capitalists claim they are "anarchists" because they want private tyrannies to replace ones that at least theoretically have a small modicum of popular control. Any understanding of the history and theory of anarchism would make a person realize that property rights (designed not to ensure that you can use something, but to ensure that everyone else can't), corporate hierarchy, and a transfer of wealth from laborers to "owners" (stockholders) has absolutely nothing to do with the anarchist vision of a leaderless society based on cooperation, freedom, and mutual aid with abundance for workers and nothing for parasites.

So now the Capitalists are trying to pull off a "global day of action" a la World AIDS Day and May Day. But people who feel that the only real motive is greed and the only reason to do anything is for money are obviously incredibly bad at organizing. This is why two years ago there were fifty thousand people in downtown Seattle fighting global Capitalism (and managing to shut down the WTO meetings) while yesterday, on "D2" (see, the Capitalists are even trying to co-opt the worst part of current radical culture - the Bingo naming system) about three dozen people showed up at the "Walk for Capitalism."

Read the rest of this story at the infoshop.


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