Tuesday, 30 December 2008
By Remi Kanazi • Dec 10th, 2008
In my mind
I’ve freed Palestine
Envisioned a dream
That just needs to be seen
Olive trees and fields of figs
That lead to our roads
No blocks filled with cops
No ten-year-olds shot
Is what I got
I understand my grandmother’s plan
To live on her bought and paid for land
And though it isn’t in her hands
It remains in her heart
Every time another is killed
We go back to the start
1948: the date you make us remember
The star and scars of David
And we’re the ones who’ve hated?
We’ve been raped and berated
By bullets and forced “immigration”
Squatting and settling
Left wrestling with the best Zionism has to offer
While the US fills its coffers
We’re seen as monsters
Our people blow up in pain
Black-eyed and half-insane
Wouldn’t you be?
If an Israeli bullet penetrated your child’s brain?
I envision Palestine in my mind
With the “chosen” frozen in time
To realize their morality’s blind
To take back generations of crime
And put an end to Apartheid
How many kids sit and wish
They could be labeled other than a terrorist
To exist is to resist!
Reads the graffiti in their cities
Give them chalk instead of rocks
They’ll use the blackboards
If you let them go to school
Give them chalk instead of rocks
Instead you bulldoze the block
Destroy their homes
Palestine is what you call the “no building zone”
But you can’t bulldoze our minds
Every time we’ll rise through ashes
Like Cassius Clay
We’ll bob and weave for infinity
There is no divinity
In bombing our cities
Setting up committees to treat us differently
We’re from Falasteen
The land where dreams are made
So just remember one thing
One day the bells of freedom will ring
And you’ll see me smiling
Loving life in Palestine
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Forget all your opinions about what is going on in Iraq. There are great chances that you are wrong, lacking vital information or, at least, that the information you have is only one small part of the huge caos that Iraq is today.
How do I know this? First of all, I apply this rule to myself. Second, one of the most important lessons I've learned when I was in Iraq is that...you really need to be there in order to understand how little we know about it.
But let's forget all about this too, I'm not trying to start a debate, more urgent things are happening. In Iraq, there is a "city" called Ashraf. It's the headquarters of the PMOI, iranian resistance, protected under the Geneva Agreement by american forces. 4800 people live there, including young men and women, educated in the best western schools, who decided to join Ashraf in order to "make a difference and fight for freedom." The difference is...they have no guns, so they fight with the same persistent activism then many of the western movements: words, campaigns, concrete actions of support to iraqi civilians. What do they fight against? Torture, terror, violence against women, dictatorship. But forget about all this, it doesn't matter one bit at this point. First of all because you don't know if I'm telling the truth. Second because, even if it's true, it would be only a small portion of the great chaos that Iraq is today.
The facts are: the american government has agreed to transfer the responsibility of protecting Ashraf citizens from America to the Iraqi Government, under Iraqi Government request. The Iraqi Government wants to close Ashraf camp and send citizens back to Iran or a third country.
Facts are: 4800 people risk death, torture and displacement, right now, while we wrap Christmas presents.
Facts are: Iranian prisons are far worst then any Guantanamo, the shameful prison we fight so much against.
Facts are: you can make a difference, by signing the following letter to Obama and send it back to firstname.lastname@example.org. At this ponit I am still trying to find a delivery adress, but all your help is necessary. Best wishes,
NOTE: You will need to put your name, position and the name of the organization you belong to. If you don't belong to any, please put your name, email and hometown.
LETTER TO OBAMA
Dear President Obama
Following the singing of the agreement between the USA and Iraq on the status of the US forces in Iraq the anxiety and fear over the situation of the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, home to the members of the People's Mojahedin organization of Iran (PMOI), the main opposition to the Iranian regime, has extremely increased.
The residents of Ashraf were recognized as "protected persons" under the 4th Geneva Convention in 2004 by the US government. Recently the US authorities in Iraq have announced that the protection of the Camp and its residents will be transferred to the Iraqi forces.
Concerning the influence of the Iranian regime in Iraq since the war in 2003 and an Iranian official collective death sentence on the PMOI members, the said transfer will put the lives of the residents of Ashraf at great risks. Many world leading human rights organizations and personalities, as well as members of the US Congress have expressed their concern over the situation. Amnesty International warned on December 27 that, "The Iraqi government is reported to have told the PMOI that those at Camp Ashraf must leave Iraq by 31 December 2008. Some Iraqi officials have suggested that they will be forcibly expelled if they fail to comply. According to Amnesty International, the Iranians would be at risk of serious human rights violations if they were forcibly returned to Iran."
The Parliamentary Assembly of Council Europe (Written Declaration No 415) announced on 2 October 2008 that: "Transferring protection of Ashraf under the present circumstances violates the principle of non-refoulement, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Refugee Convention, the Convention Against Torture, IHL and International Law and would result in a humanitarian catastrophe, thus we urge U.S. forces for as long as they remain in Iraq to continue to protect Ashraf residents and uphold their judicial protection under international law."
We urge you that the US protection of Camp Ashraf is continued until the government of Iraq provides secure and viable guarantees for protection of Ashraf residents. We are sure such guarantees under the auspices of international community will help to safeguard the independence and security of the government of Iraq vis-a-vie the pressures and interferences by Iran.
(Views addressed are not necessarily the views of SLLU as an organisation. Members are free to comment).
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
The Meeting of 21st Dec 08 decided:
( attendants: Plot Tracer, Smoke Wijaya, Jamadagni Lefavre, Demo Ho, Coop Cascarino, Brotherjim Jonesford, Ms Qunhua, Ernest Newman, Frew Lovenkraft, Socrates Nightfire, Xulio Pessoa)
-on weekly Membership Meetings, every sunday, 2 pm SLT, Unity Station;
-on SLLU Alecto, SLLU Funds Account, to have a second person able to access it, next to Plot, namely Forelle Broek;
-on Feminist space. Feminist Network of SLLU can use land of SLLU for this: non-used parcel in Flagg, next to the place build in solidarity with the Greek Revolt;
-on having a promotional space for Indymedia (webbased and SL based Indymedia) at the Unity Station (on 2nd or 3d floor);
-2 Year Party for SLLU: we will aim for end Jan, early febr 09;
-need for SLLU to do something around the economic crisis, proposals will be discussed next meeting, Sun 28 Dec.
[If anyone wants a complete chatlog of this meeting, contact Plot or Smoke. Next meeting will be Sunday 28 Dec, 2 pm SLT, Unity Station.]
Posted by Smoke Wijaya at 09:51
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Please check out the Indymedia site for information about the Greek uprising info hub. And join in the debate!
Thursday, 18 December 2008
This is a follow up for clarification of our goals, and for our perception of what the climate in Greece means for the rest of us, and of course, why we have acted at all on this issue.
As many of you should be aware, since the first days of the Greek riots, SLLU has been organising an infohub in Second Life. This parcel has come under some scrutiny, which I would like to cut through quickly.
We acknowledge that this hub does not constitute real world action on its own. However, our aim is to raise the consciousness of this situation through the means we have available to us, just as indymedia or libcom have used their means. Our goal with this parcel, is to bring to the front the facts of the Greek Riots, and indeed what has become much more: The greek resistance.
We created this parcel as an action of solidarity with the family and friends of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, and in Solidarity with those who struck back against the apparatus that caused his death.
The methods used to raise awareness and provoke action are not, as some critics have made out, as simple as action in the real world. There is a hefty propaganda campaign required, among other various actions, especially now that the counter-campaign has gone into full swing.
The purpose of the hub:
To educate and facilitate consciousness. Most information given to the majority of the public, including the vast majority of users of Second Life (making up hundreds of thousands of people world wide), do not receive the complete story of the rioting or the resistance in Greece. Many have not even heard of the resistance. Through this medium, SLLU in collaboration with other activists have staged demonstrations to bring awareness of the issue to others, and we have had success. This hub, by all intents and purposes, is working as it is supposed to.
The current situation in Greece:
It is important for us now to recognise the shift in climate amongst the working class of Greece. What started as rioting and lashing out against police has progressed (and rather quickly) to a new level of fighting. What was once a reaction, has now become fuel for action. We now see student and worker occupations of buildings - importantly, occupations which have lead to major video and press releases.
We have seen General Strikes, which have successfully brought Athens to a stand still. These strikes have also begun to spread beyond the nation's boarders.
What we have is a fundamental progression of a movement, as we have seen many times before. From rioting, to coherent direct. From lashing out, to striking back and striking back hard. With further mass demonstrations planned, and further general strikes planned - it now becomes a situation not only for the disillusioned youths and Anarchists (as we have been told by major media), it is now a situation involving the broader Greek working class, and indeed, the working class of the world as a whole.
So what do we do now?:
It is my opinion that what must now be done is a continued campaign against the political right and misrepresentation. We must publish and expose any and all lies and slanderous actions. We must publish and expose any and all resistance in Greece or any other part of the world. We must continue to keep up to date, continue to flood this stream of information through as many minds as possible, and we must encourage, rather push, for people to act out wherever and whenever they can.
I am to understand that several solidarity protests are occuring in time with protests and strikes in Greece. We must be plugging these at every opportunity.
We at SLLU, will continue to do what we can within this Virtual world, by staging demonstrations, continuing to update information, and continuing to cultivate conversation and consciousness on the issue - just as we do in our daily real world lives.
But the most important thing to do is this: We must leave behind the shackles of the riots. The riots are quite important, without them, none of this was possible. However, the rioting will quickly become the bane of the movement across the world if it is not completely progressed into a working class movement, a movement of the majority. So with that said, we must assimilate the police brutality into the brutality of the very system that breeds them. We must assimilate the state corruption into the very system the state apparatus serves. And we must then divide the people between those who rule, and those who have been subjugated. We must bring to the front parallels between Greece and our own nations.
Understand that quickly, the rioters become a minority, and the riots themselves lose purpose under the weight of the broader movement. And so in light of this, we too, who seek to help progress this movement must move beyond the riots. As I have stressed here out our hub, we will be focussing more on the resistance itself than we will the violence. As the resistance itself is the most important part of the picture. We must then show that the broad resistance is to that of the State, and indeed, Capitalism itself.
Finally, I would like to draw attention to some things.
We at SLLU recognise the broad arrangement of politics within our membership. As such, all actions of solidarity have, and always will be, inclusive of all political views.
Much of the situation in Greece has been limited only to Anarchist and Anarcho-communist sources, and for that we apologise to many of you. Not because the sources are wrong, but because they are the only available sources of information that are frequently updated.
We would like to stress that the activities are not limited to Anarchists, that we have a broad spectrum of political ideas cooperating in this endeavour.
I would also like to mention something about the conduct within the parcel. Out of respect for the deceased, please do not come here naked. Out of respect for the people of Greece, do not bring firearms into the Parcel, and begin shooting people.
In regards to what is and is not regarded - Do not use this parcel as a means to plug your own ideologies. Discuss them, by all means, but this Parcel is not a place for you to advertise.
No form of bigotry is tolerated here. Be it anti-religious, sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-working class, nationalist, ageist etc. We in SLLU do not stand for these things, and we cannot sit idly as people spread these diseases further, especially in a place where the whole purpose is to squash those ideas, and to bring Solidarity.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
As the economy continues its downward slide, the U.S. labor movement is showing signs of a revitalization. On Wednesday, workers represented by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) ended their occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago after reaching an agreement on their unpaid wages and benefits. On Tuesday, after a 16 year struggle, workers at the Smithfield Packing Co. voted in favor of union representation by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). Also last week, truck drivers affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) staged a work-stoppage at the North Carolina operations of timber and paper giant Weyerhaeuser Mills, following which the company agreed to meet with the workers to discuss their issues.
These three victories -- two of them in what is arguably the most anti-union state in the U.S. -- come at a time when unions are once again under public assault, as pro-corporate and anti-worker interests seek to pin the blame for the ailing U.S. auto industry on the United Auto Workers (UAW), and attempt to derail the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA"), a legislative initiative aimed at restoring the right to organize that U.S. labor law ostensibly guarantees workers, but which has been thwarted by decades of increasingly aggressive employer tactics and increasingly feeble government enforcement.
I will be discussing these and other recent developments this Thursday, December 18th, North Carolina Public Radio's "The State of Things". The show, which airs live at Noon Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5) on Thursday, will also be available online (click here).
Eric Fink (SL avatar 'Forelle Broek') is a law professor and former labor union lawyer, and a member of SLLU.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
IN SOLIDARITY with GREEK UPRISING (see below) - TWO SL RALLIES, SUNDAY 14th:
12PM-3PM SLT @ THE WATERHEAD: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Waterhead/36/76/25
9PM-12AM SLT @ AHERN: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ahern/3/4/40
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Individuals and groups organized through Second Life Left Unity (SLLU) have created an interactive media installation in the virtual world of Second Life in solidarity and support of the Greek protesters and for the remembrance of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the Greek teenager who was murdered December 6, 2008 in cold blood by Greek police. This criminal act of state terror has been the spark of the consequent protests that have been raging on in for days in Greece.
This inworld site has been created to show the SLLU members and concerned SL citizens support and solidarity with the family and loved ones of Alexandros as well as to inform and spread awareness about the murder, the uprising and the historical context.
An independent media info centre is set up with links to various web sites about the current situation to counter one-sided news from the established, corporate controlled venues. Greek independent free radio can be listened to live at this metaverse location.
Second Life is an international platform where people from all over the world can engage in a 3D Internet environment. Please join us there to show your support for tragic abuse of state power.
Take action, consider organizing protests yourself against state-supported fundamentalist-capitalist oppression anywhere, in cyberspace or on the streets!
SLLU has plans for more actions and events to cause attention to the situation, which will be announced at the solidarity protest place in SL, as well as on the SLLU blog (links below)
Please join us there to show your support for tragic abuse of state power.
INWORLD CONTACTS: Smoke Wijaya; Abel Koskinen; Plot Tracer
AVATAR TELEPORT LINK:
INDEPENDENT, FREE (non-commercial, non-state) left news sources by the people, about the current situation in Greece:
SLLU have hosted two of the events on the SL human Rioghts Festival Agenda - Russel eponym played a blinging set in the hub yesterday. Photos below. Ledoof Constantineau's exhibition continues - please visit - http://slurl.com/secondlife/Oculea/156/150/44
THURSDAY 11th dec - Human Rights - Uthango™
8 am Human Rights discovery walk
9 am Thumper Boucher
10 am Sage Duncan
11 am Mash Rode
12 noon Rara Destiny
1 pm Peregrine Singh
2 pm Inchino Melson
3 pm Virtual Live Band (VLB)
4.15 pm Serene Bechir+guest (poetry reading)
Sim CONTACT: Alanagh Recreant, Aayia Jun
FRIDAY 12th dec - New Caerleon Human Rights Exhibit
8 -10 am UK Writers Guild and Bookstacks Poets and Writers Readings
10 am - 12 noon Jano Runo performs
Sim CONTACT: Sabrinaa Nightfire
HRF Exhibition Gallery Zeusdinne
12 noon - 1 pm Blair Blonde
1 - 2 pm to be determined
Sim CONTACT: Zeusdinne Baroque
New Caerleon Human Rights Exhibit
4 - 5 pm Thumper Boucher
5 - 6 pm OhMy Kidd
6 - 8 pm Angelnskyz Galicia and Dougie Moonites
Sim CONTACT: Sabrinaa Nightfire
8 - 9 pm and 10 pm to midnight
Thoth Jantzen´s incredible video experience
Sim CONTACT: Thoth Jantzen
SATURDAY 13th dec Human Rights Festival
Keeping Kids Safe - Fundraising
11 am Pasty Petrov
12 noon Ricken Flow DJ
1 pm Jano Runo
2 pm Kitzie Lane
3 pm Jaycee Slade DJ
4 pm Nick99 Razor
5 pm Sequoia Pinion
6 pm DJ HUSH
7 pm Johnny Kidd (comedian)
8 pm Darrius Bereford
9 pm Bassie Shelman
Sim CONTACT: Carmen Gray
HRF - LOVE IS THE GREATEST GIFT - SATURDAY 13 dec
07:00 - Maximillion Kleene
07:30 - Cylindrian Rutabaga
08:00 - Ayden Kruh
08:30 - Vladamir Lamont
09:00 - Peregrine Singh
09:30 - Enniv Zarf
10:00 - Franklee Anatra
10:30 - Jonas Lunasea
11:00 - OhMy Kidd
11:30 - Freestar Tammas
Sim CONTACT: Freestar Tammas
SUNDAY 14th dec PeaceTrain/Twilight´s Peace Human Rights Festival
7-9 am Sammy Jacobs Abbey of the International Center for Conflict and Human Rights Analysis (ICCHRA) - by skype from Ghana
SIM Contact: Siri Vita
9am slt Fodie Crosby - Live Music!
10am slt Joaquin Gustav - Live Music!
11am slt Edward Kyomoon - Live Music!
12 noon slt Allister Westland - Live Music!
1 pm slt Pillowfish - Live Music!
theRings/CARP Human Rights Festival performance 14 dec
2 pm theRings Performance
3 pm theRings Discussion
Sim CONTACT: junivers Stockholm, Velazquez Bonetto
PeaceTrain/Twilight´s Peace Human Rights Festival
4 - 5 pm Al Hofmann
5-6pm SLT - Obeloinkment Wrigglesworth
6:00- 7:00 pm - Human Rights Discussion
7:00 - 8:00 pm - Improvisational Piano with Enniv Zarf and artist Texanna Schumann
MONDAY 15th dec - HRF UNION ISLAND
8 am Philip Jennings, General Secretary of UNI Global Union,
(the international federation for unions in business services representing around
20 million people around the world) is hosting a presentation and discussion on
labour rights, Zuzanna Gorska (Solidarnosc), Owen Tudor UK TUC
Contact: Johninnit Ni
MONDAY 15th dec HRF Cupid
4 am Mia Maxsted
9-10 am Vienna James
10 am Fodie Crosby
11.30 am Mats Milev
1 pm Xander Nichting
2 pm ZeroOne Paz
3 pm TJ Oanomochi
4 pm AL Hofmann
5 pm Eio Tuqiri
Sim CONTACT: Edemon Gausman, Bailarin Franciosa
Human Rights Festival Sandbox
Join "the rings discussion group"
Build you own Human Rights Art
Sim CONTACT: Edemon Gausman, Bailarin Franciosa
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
On Dec. 4th, over 2000 independent grassroots organizers and activists from 32 states and a wide range of organizations attended a forum in DC to discuss their role in the election of Obama, and how they would hold him accountable to his promise to bring them and their constituencies "to the table" in setting his administration's policy agenda.
The forum was co-sponsored by the community organization that Obama worked with as a youth fresh out of law school, when he was inspired by the writings of Saul Alinsky, a seminal influence for grassroots organizing technique in the US.
Criticized by some elements of the left for being essentially "reformist", Alinsky laid out methods for mobilizing local constituencies to challenge local, state and national power, to force changes that their communities desperately need for the most fundamental dignity and survival.
The methods Alinsky developed, organizing on the Southside of Chicago, were adapted by civil rights, labor, anti war and environmental groups all over the US, who were more interested in building a material base of support and participation in struggles for power, than in symbolic rhetorical "revolutionary" posturing and posing.
The focus tends to be on tangible, immediate practical local issues. It's about pressing the contradictions of capitalism, in terms of democracy...which can arguably be considered a first step in raising consciousness of the need for revolution.
Wiki on Alinsky
Many (but not all) of the participants in this forum were from "faith based" groups that were the backbone of the black civil rights movement (not to be confused with the right wing fundamentalist "Christian" base of the Republicans). A large preponderance of the attendees and their constituencies are people of color.
Several labor unions also participated in the forum.
Whether Obama ultimately proves willing or able to actually deliver on his promises, or the hope he has inspired, such motion in the masses tends to develop legs of it's own, and thus could be considered a positive development.
This CSPAN archive video was broadcast live during the forum on Dec. 4th. It's 2 hours and 24 minutes long.
Video of Forum
Members of Obama's transition team participated in the forum and workshops, setting yet another precedent for this election, in actually continuing to hold out hope for really substantial, significant change in governance for the US, post election.
This official Obama administration transition website goes beyond anything ever seen before in the US, in terms of attempting to establish a two-way dialog with the general population.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
The beginnings of SLLU have largely been documented on the web – rudimentary searches will show who was involved and how it developed. One article gives a basic – and not totally detailed – run down on the beginnings (http://www.redflag.org.uk/frontline/feb07/03secondlife.html ). Wikipedia has at least three mentions of the group – one on Second Life Businesses; one on the page of the French Front National and one on the page of the Scottish Socialist Party. SLLU has been mentioned in quality press across the world – including the London Telegraph, Guardian and Los angeles Times and New York Times. Members have been interviewed on TV –CNN and British station, Channel 4 have both carried articles on the groups work. We have organised and been part of the organisation of various SL events – including being the initiators of the “attacks” on Front National; supported the first SL/RL “strike” which led to the resignation of the CEO of Italian IBM – amongst many others.
SLLU became more insular than originally planned because of wrecking tactics by some who joined with less than a “Unity” agenda. Unity on the left means a place we on the left can come together on things we can agree on and a place to discuss – comradely – things we may differ on.
The Aims and Principles of SLLU were developed by an active core of members who met over a periods of 8 weeks – with meetings going on well into the wee small hours here in the UK. Members of the core were drawn from countries across the world – well, countries reflective of the digital haves…
The SLLU, in order to continue as a real left unity project, must ensure it has procedures that ensure responsibility and accountability of members.
SLLU has developed from the insular group (and insulation was necessary to protect what had been built) to a group that has opened up to more members taking control. This has been reflective in the amounts of people who have requested use of notices and those who have organised meetings in SLLUnity Station Hub and those who now “own” the Hub. All lands have been passed on to the group – and no individual has control of any of the institutions of the group (except for the funds AV – which will soon pass on to two members agreed by a group meeting).
Procedures are necessary in light of the new openness of the group.
Once these have been achieved, SLLU can truly blossom.
The Hub will be used for discussion. It will be used for exhibition and educational installations – as well as the other lands we own. Members will share ideas and group together to implement them in SL and RL.
Plot Tracer is an avie who is part of this, but just a part. I have, with others, given a large part of my last two years to this project, but my time is increasingly being taken up with other rl things. I will be in and out of SL – but have not the time to devote to projects like I have been able to over the past few months. SLLU is extremely dear to me – and to others who have been part of the project. Now it is over to all those who would like to see a Left Unity project get results.
Remember, capitalists can unite on varied platforms in order to keep their hegemony. Let’s unite on various projects that throw a spanner in their works and moves the time closer when capitalism is a seen by all as old fashioned – and barbaric – in our history books alongside feudalism.
Plot Tracer, 7.12.08