The lines of a ferocious struggle are crystallizing. In fact, it has been ongoing for decades, even centuries, but in the United States and elsewhere it has been strangely one-sided for some time. A class war from above has been assaulting us, with little visible response, outside of occasional outbursts from those most victimized and excluded by the system of domination and exploitation.
The global economic system has sustained itself, since the early 1970s, through the expansion of debt—corporate, household and state debt. The US has gone through an orgy of overconsumption; other countries exporting to the US market, an orgy of overproduction. Added to this already volatile situation was a massive amount of fraud and speculation, torrents of blood money for a repressive security-surveillance-industrial complex and imperial wars, the unprecedented acceleration of giant financial transactions, and, fundamentally, all the limits the capitalist delirium of eternal economic expansion and profit accumulation is bound to run into.
The inevitable disaster arrived in 2008. State and central bank bailouts saved the financial system, but the rest of us have to live through the consequences: tremendous unemployment, home foreclosures, “austerity”—i.e. decimation of wages and benefits in the public sector, elimination of social services, etc. An enormous upwards transfer of wealth has been engineered. What was already a vicious neoliberal attack on ordinary people beginning in the Reagan-Thatcher years—depressed wages; spurs to new levels of productivity; a prison-industrial complex to exacerbate racial divisions, confine and torture those “superfluous” to the work-system, and send a warning to the rest of us—has blossomed into open destruction of our lives. Passivity and conformism were once the norm, but it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the social and political problems weighing down on us.
Last Thursday dozens of students at Manhattan’s most overcrowded school fought with violent pigs and school staff as they tried to brutally repress the student body. In the chaotic video (now removed from Youtube), one can spot numerous incidences of officers physically attacking students simply for verbally expressing their rage at their abusive apparatus of school security. We’re happy to see at least a couple students with the confidence to fight back, and we want to offer any sort of solidarity these students now need as they become further criminalized for standing up for themselves and classmates.
(If you’re a Bergtraum student use the contact form to get in touch!)
In December 2010, students rioted when the principal Andrea Lewis demeaned her students by revoking their “bathroom privileges.” One officer was sent to the hospital after the ensuing unrest. In the next week, NYPD installed metal detectors. Dozens of students skipped school to protest the indignity. Those who did attend class had their electronics confiscated by the police. 500 phones were seized. There is perhaps no social set as volatile as high school students. Entrapped in boredom, humiliated by universal condescension by parents, teachers, and administrators, living in a world more policed than even the otherwise massively pig-infested streets of the City, their resentment of those who put them in this condition is a ticking time-bomb. It is no wonder, then, to see the system’s hatred of the poor, the young, and the disobedient manifest itself so openly in spectacles like these. It is also telling to see how futile these forces would be if the student body was more confident and unified.
As some community-organizing oriented groups seek to show their solidarity with students by defending public schools against privatization, we as anti-authoritarians are opposed to the school as a system of obedience and indoctrination. Thus, we have no hopes for saving the public schools. Instead, we hope to see them, along with prisons and asylums, fully taken over by their interned, and either revolutionized or destroyed. We are also aware this can only be done with the solidarity of those outside the institutions walls. We hope to see May Day as a first step in uniting students and their allies citywide in this effort.
Declaration of the European Action Conference in Frankfurt on February 26th, 2012
The 400 participants of the Action Conference from February 24th to 26th in Frankfurt/ Main, Germany, have decided to call for days of protest from May 17th to 19th against the crisis dictatorship of the European Union. We resist the disaster that is applied to Greece and other countries, against the impoverishment and denial of rights of millions of people and the practical abolition of democratic procedures resulting from the decisions of the Troika consisting of ECB, EU and IMF.
The days of protest in Frankfurt directly succeed to the International Action Day on May 12th and the anniversary of the first assembly in Madrid on May 15th. We are therefore sending a visible sign of solidarity to those people in Europe who have been and are resisting against the debtocracy of the Troika and the attacks on their livelihood and their future. Simultaneously, protests are being organised in the US against the G8 Summit in Chicago.
The choice of Frankfurt for the protests results from the role that the city has as headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) and of powerful German and international banks and corporations.
On May 17, we will occupy parks and main squares of the city to create spaces for discussion and exchange. On May 18, we will block the running business of banks in Frankfurt and turn our anger about the Troika’s policies into action. We will gather for a large demonstration on May 19 and visualise the broad base of the protests. From many countries and regions of the world people will travel to Frankfurt and participate in the days of protest.
The success of the protests requires a mobilisation that is actively supported by as many as possible: the Occupy movement, the initiatives of unemployed and the crisis alliances, trade unionists, Attac, the environmental and peace movement, migrants’, youth and students’ organisations, anti-racist, anti-fascist and left groups, activists of various local struggles and the Left Party.
The period of mobilisation includes the European action day on March 31st and international Mayday, as well as collective bargaining struggles in Germany that have our solidarity.
“At the General Assembly meeting last night, Occupy Wall Street’s dreamer contingent got a very special valentine: the GA endorsed the Direct Action Working Group’s proposal to call for a general strike on May Day—May 1, 2012. Occupiers celebrated with cheers and Valentine’s Day balloons.
The text approved by the GA is as follows:
May Day 2012 Occupy Wall Street stands in solidarity with the calls for a day without the 99%, a general strike and more!! On May Day, wherever you are, we are calling for: *No Work *No School *No Housework *No Shopping *No Banking TAKE THE STREETS!!!!!
Public statement by the Unión Portuaria de Chile explaining the reasons for the national strike on 15 and 16 February.