Friday, October 27, 2006

Will Bradley Roland RIP

I write the headline Will Bradley Roland is dead, but it doesn't feel right. Brad is dead. Brad, quick to film, loud laugher, hugger, would call me to borrow equipment. He was just "Brad," just one name. Brad was radical, he would sometimes get on my nerves, but mostly because he reminded me of my brother. Brad is dead. No, Brad was murdered in Oaxaca doing what he did: reporting for Independent Media. Brad, tall gangly guy, activist, sharp, goofball smile, dead man. Brad was murdered. I called a mutual friend and he pointed out, resigned, that Brad died doing good work. Part of me knows that there are journalists murdered all over the world, killed for reporting what is happening, and that Brad is only the latest in a long line, from Ruben Salazar shot down by the LAPD in LA to Al-Jazeera in Iraq being bombed by the US military. Why should Brad be excepted from that? Brad is part of that line now. That understanding doesn't change the fact that Brad should be alive right now. Brad RIP.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Election

At the incredible Feminism and War conference, I think it was Margo Okazawa-Rey who pointed out that Reagan in '86, the identical point in Bush's presidency, worked with Democratic control of both houses and still got everything he wanted. I do think it's important for as many republicans to get swept out of power as possible, but I'm nervous about the amnesia: Democrats have to be forced to deliver on stopping the war. Any nonsense about sitting tight until '08 has to be dismissed out of hand, especially in light of this crazy blather about attacking Iran.
In other news, Newsweek has a recent article about Bush's standings. 51 percent of Americans support impeachment. Mind you that Bush's 2004 election sparked the call that he had won a "mandate" on 51 percent. Obviously, we suppport impeachment. Why? Cheney will be no better and the Democratic frontrunners all seem pretty gross (Yes, even Obama. We read Paul Street around here.). What good is impeachment if it'll only replace scum with additional scum - if he's even replaced which is no small matter *cough* Clinton *cough*?
While Impeachment is bad because it reinforces the idea that the system can be self-correcting, it has some pluses as well. First, internally, it distracts the rulers. When their daily briefings have to get cut short because of meetings with lawyers, they're bound to be distracted. While this won't effect some things (roads will still be paved and the fbi will still harass people), it may curtail broad new changes. So while this may be only a dime's worth of difference to most Americans, that dime may mean a lot if you're a nice south American country with strong oil reserves and a penchant for not licking the ruler's feet.
Second, it forces the Corporate media into damage control over the possibilities of systemic flaws. This may not happen if Bush is accused of lying, such as what happened to Clinton (who should've been impeached for many other things, especially his Iraq policy), but if Bush was to be impeached about the 2000 or 2004 election (which introduces the meme that elections may not change things), the war (all sorts of possibilities here), or the internal wiretapping (cointelpro memes?), All sorts of important ideas are introduced into the national conversation. This can plant beneficial seeds for the left to nurture.

Lastly, our own lean is that, while the election is important, we need to foster AWOL soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan and build a significantly stronger counter recruitment movement in the country. The system requires war: if we can bring the war machine to its knees through our actions (instead of "representatives" moderating and filtering our demands into soggy pleas), we can force a new relationship of power. It isn't the revolution, but unlike the election, it may on the path to the fundamental change we need to see as a world.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nat Turner's run

Doing some research for the next big piece of the website, I was putting together a timeline of Slave Revolts and came across the dates of Nat Turner's revolt. As I entered them in, I realized that, if my math is correct (not a safe assumption), that one hundred and seventy five years ago today, Nat Turner was in hiding after his revolt. The two day action ended in August and he wasn't captured until November. For almost three months, he managed to hide out. What must he have been thinking of? Was he focusing on the first revolt or planning his next one? What would that have been like? It's weird surfing the web and looking up people like Nat Turner. There are all these well-intentioned teachers out there, including the Turner rebellion on their class websites, but blindly referring to it as a "terrible" thing (and Not "terrible" because it didn't succeed or because Turner was killed or because white power ruled the day; no, "terrible" because it was violent). Anyway, a hundred and seventy five years later, something to think about.

Friday, October 13, 2006


It is with sadness that we note the passing of Gillo Pontecorvo, director of one of the greatest anti-colonialist films of all time, The Battle of Algiers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


There will be some interesting new additions in the coming week or so. In the meanwhile, I found out that THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED is actually online in its entirety. Holy smokes!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Bitch | Lab

Added Bitch | Lab to the blogroll. It is too consistently good for us to dis it any longer.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I went to the World Can't Wait protest and, I have to say, I needed that. A lot of young people involved, people fired up, and beautiful weather: who can complain? That said, I had a few thoughts which I thought I'd share for the few activists reading this:

  1. First, and foremost, lose the 9-11 alliance. I understand that we need to be big tent and actually change anything, but conspiracy theorists aren't merely wrong. They get us painted with the same brush: shoddy analysis strung together with chicken-wire, grating paranoia, and an implicit embrace of a lot of American problems (Did I hear a 9-11 person say something antisemitic today? Yes.). Worse, they handed out anti-war stuff while wearing 9-11 shirts. Cut the 9-11 people loose, let them have their own events, and get back to addressing the root causes of war and poverty. If they call us gatekeepers, just stump them into silence by suggesting that the conspiracy theorists are actually put in place to distract us from the real issues. I asked this one young woman who had a 9-11 shirt on with anti-war stickers if she was an antiwar person OR a conspiracy person and she responded "both, but 9-11 first, because it makes the rest of this true." Oy Vey!

  2. Second, lose the dissertation chants. "Drive out, drive out the bush regime. The world can't wait. Something else or other that I can't remember." NO ONE LIKES THIS CHANT unless they are a member of World Can't Wait already. A simple "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho" goes a long way, but particularly popular today was "I Say CALL, you say RESPOND, call (Respond)! call (respond)!" But just remember: variety is good, cadence and rhyme are important, call and respond is great, humor is golden. They should have classes on this.

  3. We could always grumble about the absence of strategy past the next protest, but then we'd be here typing all day.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006