To be blunt, if you don’t have skills or a network of collaborators, it’s unlikely that shit will happen in your town even if there is ample reason for it to. We can’t create social movements or prolonged ruptures from thin air – at best we can prepare ourselves and others for when they occur. But by refusing to wait, we can create the context for the next big thing. — Don’t Die Wandering: Atlanta against the police, Winter 2011-2012 (via ninjabikeslut)

(via bedangeroustogether)

america-wakiewakie:

Zionism & the Mainstream Press: Turn Off the TV Before You Become A Tool of Oppression | AmericaWakieWakie
Former Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, before the world at the United Nations Convention in 1951, spoke to expose Britain’s colonialist domination of his country. In his address he said, “They [the British government] are trying to persuade world opinion that the lamb has devoured the wolf.”
These sentiments reverberate in the mainstream media’s current portrayal of Israeli domination and occupation over Palestinians. In such a narrative life is preserved and life is taken. But we who digest the news fed to us do something sinister when we listen or read unquestionably: We become the silencer attached to the tip of a rifle invading Palestinian homes… the stealth by which genocide encroaches upon a people, executing them without a sound.
The press is supposed to keep us informed, aware and alert, critically engaged in the events of the world, so that when we object or want to change the course of happening-history, we can. In reality the mainstream press has acted more to misinform us, to make us the silencers of bombs, missiles and bullets, enablers of war and genocide, than wielders of knowledge and actors for justice.  
Keeping the blinders on at all times  
As events in Gaza grow increasingly lethal, as more and more Palestinians suffer or are displaced by Israeli forces — deaths now top more than 560 — the Western news machine drones on and on framing story after story in colonist narratives. Pro-Zionist coverage has and continues to dominate prominent Western news outlets. We are never meant to know the truth of Palestinian struggle — even if large protests about it are happening in our backyard. 
Sunday’s  march in San Francisco, and elsewhere in the United States, turned-out crowds of thousands. Counted together, tens of thousands. Still, not more than a bleep made it to airtime on local news. When the protests have gotten coverage, they have been misconstrued.
After the crowd mobilized in San Francisco to make their solidarity with Palestine known, passionately but peacefully occupying all lanes of traffic from the Ferry Building to City Hall, local news outlets reported the march as a “dueling protest” with another low-key, pro-Israel gathering in the city.
Da Lin, reporting for CBS San Francisco, per the usual course in mainstream coverage, committed the oft repeated fallacy of blaming both sides equally, or the act of creating similar culpability where it cannot possibly exist. In his follow-up to the station’s video coverage he stated:
“[S]upporters on both sides of the Middle East conflict chanted slogans outside the Jewish temple Congregation Emanuel.
Palestinian supporters called Israeli troops terrorists for killing dozens of women and children in recent days, while supporters of Israel denounced attacks by Hamas.”
And that’s it basically. Nothing was said of Israeli occupation, siege, or the ongoing blockade for which Hamas has taken to armed resistance. Not a word was spoken about the fact that Israel is the 4th largest military power in the world, or that it receives full backing AND billions in funding from the U.S. No mention of the Palestinian children actually killed by the Israeli Defense Force, or that “defense” against a people with no army who are resisting colonial domination, alien occupation, and a racist regime is not a “conflict” — it’s genocide. 
But this is what blaming both sides does: It ignores material reality. Atif Choudhury, in a recent op-ed for the Huffington Post, put it well:
"Sentiments like “it’s both sides fault” may be true in the strictest sense of the principle that it takes two parties to have a conflict, but in practice the gulf is stark.
One side routinely have their houses demolished, while another is building mansions in their place. One side are routinely expelled from their homes; the other side is adverse possessing them like it’s a monopoly game. One side has water use rationed down to the drop; the other draws upon the same water supply to support swimming pools and fountains in illegal settlements. One side routinely has pregnant women and/or their newly born children die while trying to get through a maze of checkpoints in order to get to their local hospital, the other has roads criss-crossing occupied territory exclusively for their own use. One side can be jailed, shot, and even killed for protesting, while the other can vandalize, harass, and assault with impunity and has the full resources of a sovereign state act as their personal security guards.
The list of disparities goes on and on, and again does not even take into account a stark reality of each and every phase of this six decade tragedy — that one side routinely loses far more of their sons, daughters, husbands, and wives than the other.”
Being fed information is easy, understanding resistance is not
There is a sort of defacto pro-Zionism happening when we accept the mainstream narrative. It is frighteningly easy to do too (because it is meant to be). It is easy to digest a story which says two opponents are hashing out differences with all ignorance to nuance. One is winning. One is losing. Some are dying. Some are not. One is moral. The other is evil. It is a binarization of history which when one side is chosen as truth, the other’s history and struggle is executed.
Less we want to be culpable in the onslaught of Gaza, this is a time when we must make a choice between what is right, and what is easy. We have to realize when we listen to and accept the Zionist narrative we facilitate the conditions of Palestinian oppression. As Malcolm X once said, “If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
(Photo Credit: AmericaWakieWakie) 

america-wakiewakie:

Zionism & the Mainstream Press: Turn Off the TV Before You Become A Tool of Oppression | AmericaWakieWakie

Former Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, before the world at the United Nations Convention in 1951, spoke to expose Britain’s colonialist domination of his country. In his address he said, “They [the British government] are trying to persuade world opinion that the lamb has devoured the wolf.”

These sentiments reverberate in the mainstream media’s current portrayal of Israeli domination and occupation over Palestinians. In such a narrative life is preserved and life is taken. But we who digest the news fed to us do something sinister when we listen or read unquestionably: We become the silencer attached to the tip of a rifle invading Palestinian homes… the stealth by which genocide encroaches upon a people, executing them without a sound.

The press is supposed to keep us informed, aware and alert, critically engaged in the events of the world, so that when we object or want to change the course of happening-history, we can. In reality the mainstream press has acted more to misinform us, to make us the silencers of bombs, missiles and bullets, enablers of war and genocide, than wielders of knowledge and actors for justice.  

Keeping the blinders on at all times  

As events in Gaza grow increasingly lethal, as more and more Palestinians suffer or are displaced by Israeli forces — deaths now top more than 560 — the Western news machine drones on and on framing story after story in colonist narratives. Pro-Zionist coverage has and continues to dominate prominent Western news outlets. We are never meant to know the truth of Palestinian struggle — even if large protests about it are happening in our backyard. 

Sunday’s  march in San Francisco, and elsewhere in the United States, turned-out crowds of thousands. Counted together, tens of thousands. Still, not more than a bleep made it to airtime on local news. When the protests have gotten coverage, they have been misconstrued.

After the crowd mobilized in San Francisco to make their solidarity with Palestine known, passionately but peacefully occupying all lanes of traffic from the Ferry Building to City Hall, local news outlets reported the march as a “dueling protest” with another low-key, pro-Israel gathering in the city.

Da Lin, reporting for CBS San Francisco, per the usual course in mainstream coverage, committed the oft repeated fallacy of blaming both sides equally, or the act of creating similar culpability where it cannot possibly exist. In his follow-up to the station’s video coverage he stated:

[S]upporters on both sides of the Middle East conflict chanted slogans outside the Jewish temple Congregation Emanuel.

Palestinian supporters called Israeli troops terrorists for killing dozens of women and children in recent days, while supporters of Israel denounced attacks by Hamas.”

And that’s it basically. Nothing was said of Israeli occupation, siege, or the ongoing blockade for which Hamas has taken to armed resistance. Not a word was spoken about the fact that Israel is the 4th largest military power in the world, or that it receives full backing AND billions in funding from the U.S. No mention of the Palestinian children actually killed by the Israeli Defense Force, or that “defense” against a people with no army who are resisting colonial domination, alien occupation, and a racist regime is not a “conflict” — it’s genocide. 

But this is what blaming both sides does: It ignores material reality. Atif Choudhury, in a recent op-ed for the Huffington Post, put it well:

"Sentiments like “it’s both sides fault” may be true in the strictest sense of the principle that it takes two parties to have a conflict, but in practice the gulf is stark.

One side routinely have their houses demolished, while another is building mansions in their place. One side are routinely expelled from their homes; the other side is adverse possessing them like it’s a monopoly game. One side has water use rationed down to the drop; the other draws upon the same water supply to support swimming pools and fountains in illegal settlements. One side routinely has pregnant women and/or their newly born children die while trying to get through a maze of checkpoints in order to get to their local hospital, the other has roads criss-crossing occupied territory exclusively for their own use. One side can be jailed, shot, and even killed for protesting, while the other can vandalize, harass, and assault with impunity and has the full resources of a sovereign state act as their personal security guards.

The list of disparities goes on and on, and again does not even take into account a stark reality of each and every phase of this six decade tragedy — that one side routinely loses far more of their sons, daughters, husbands, and wives than the other.”

Being fed information is easy, understanding resistance is not

There is a sort of defacto pro-Zionism happening when we accept the mainstream narrative. It is frighteningly easy to do too (because it is meant to be). It is easy to digest a story which says two opponents are hashing out differences with all ignorance to nuance. One is winning. One is losing. Some are dying. Some are not. One is moral. The other is evil. It is a binarization of history which when one side is chosen as truth, the other’s history and struggle is executed.

Less we want to be culpable in the onslaught of Gaza, this is a time when we must make a choice between what is right, and what is easy. We have to realize when we listen to and accept the Zionist narrative we facilitate the conditions of Palestinian oppression. As Malcolm X once said, “If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

(Photo Credit: AmericaWakieWakie) 

archivestories:

the city as archive, geography as history

[Photo credit! Eli Meyerhoff]

Pondicherry, a city of around 700,000 in south-east India, was a French territory, beginning in the late 17th-century, but without interruption between 1814 and 1954. I wrote my dissertation about Pondicherry, specifically the decolonization of Pondicherry. It will probably come as little surprise to many that almost all of the archival records for a project like this are in France (with some important addition in England). While Indian archives hold some copies of early Pondicherry records, and then official correspondence with the French after 1947, researchers of French-Indian history need to spend a great amount of time in France. Which is exactly what I did. 

Now, almost two years after finishing the dissertation, here I am, in Pondicherry, walking down the streets I have seen on maps for years, bearing the names of figures I have followed through countless government memos and “confidential” correspondence. One of the most interesting legacies of the decolonization movement is hardly visible on paper, but is incredibly present in the everyday life of Pondicherry today. Pictured here is Edouard Goubert, a politician of mixed French and Tamil heritage, who spent the majority of his life in Pondicherry. He was a Francophile, he served in the French military in the First World War, and by the late 1940s, he had started the French India Socialist Party, and was elected to the French Senate as one of the representatives from Pondicherry. As many groups called for the merger of Pondicherry into India and the end of French rule in the area, Goubert initially led the groups committed to staying within the French Union. 

Goubert is celebrated today in Pondicherry because he eventually changed his position and 1954 led the final charge to merge with India. Along with his political transformation, he changed his name, and his clothes. His statue, which stands in a primary location in the ville blanche (literally “white town” but now called on many maps “heritage town”), depicts Goubert in a typical Congress Party outfit, with a Gandhi cap and Nehru jacket, symbolizing his commitment to independent India. This image is striking in comparison to the majority of photos of Goubert from his life, where he is usually seen wearing a Western-style suit and tie.

In just about every history written of Pondicherry, no one has anything good to say about Goubert. The pro-French side thinks him a traitor, while various Indian political groups think he was a man inspired only by political ambition, with little thought of the people of Pondicherry. He is accused of running smuggling circles, hiring goondas to bully political opposition, and of being interested only in himself. 

Yet, Goubert’s name graces what is perhaps the most important street in Pondicherry. Goubert Avenue runs alongside the sea, one of the main tourist attractions in the city.On weekends, hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists, primarily from the nearby megalopolis Chennai, but from all over India, with dozens of French tourists thrown in for good measure, descend on this road, which is blocked to car traffic at night, to walk, sit by the Bay of Bengal, and have snacks and chats with friends and family. 

Despite the prominence of Goubert’s name on the walls that line this road, every single auto-rickshaw driver I’ve encountered refers to is as “Beach Road.” While the post-colonial city planners gave a great amount of prominence to Goubert’s name, it’s not clear from daily interactions that he is remembered much at all.  Goubert Avenue, to my eyes, is the happiest road in Pondicherry, a strange fate for such a divisive figure, but perhaps a telling one. Goubert transformed his entire identity to fit his changing surroundings, an apt metaphor for post-colonial Pondicherry. 

 

america-wakiewakie:

"The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing."
— Malcolm X

america-wakiewakie:

"The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing."

— Malcolm X

standwithpalestine:

Over 3,000 people protested in LA yesterday against Israel’s ground invasion and terrorist attacks on the Gaza Strip, shutting down Wilshire Boulevard as they marched to the Israeli consulate. The Israeli military has now killed 501 Palestinians in the space of 13 days. (Photos: Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters)