Violence, Healing and 500 Years of Anti-capitalist Resistance
JOIN US March 3-4 for a TWO-PART lecture and discussion series featuring autonomist, feminist, activist and writer, Silvia Federici.
...THURSDAY MARCH 3, 7:00pm
"Women, Witches and the IMF: The True Nature of Global Capitalism"
Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St
This discussion will focus on the true nature of global capitalism, including the way that "primitive accumulation" is actually an ongoing process, and that this process is generated and maintained, at least in part, through violence against women. Federici will touch on the major themes in her book "Caliban and the Witch," which explores the violent origins of capitalism in the Great Witch Hunt of Europe, and draw parallels between the new land grabs and simultaneous return of witch-hunting in Africa and India. She will also discuss the necessity for a feminist analysis of capitalism and the importance of women's struggle over reproduction as part of anti-capitalist movements.
For the past two weeks I've been helping organize a volunteer camp in small town Chile. It's simply called the Trabajo Voluntario (Volunteer Work) or TraVol, and was co-organized by the Free University of Santiago. If you read Spanish, there's more info at: http://travol-polpaiko-2011.blogspot.com/
The camp is taking place in Polpaico, a a small, relatively poor town in the northern part of the Santiago Metropolitan Region (there are 13 regions in Chile, kind of like states but less autonomous from the federal government). It's not really a city, but it's also not isolated, as hundreds of vehicles pass everyday.
Paying back student loans can be a real downer. Loans can make organizing after college virtually impossible as they force debtors to work a full-time corporate or nonprofit job, or join the military just to pay them off. When I graduated from college, I had $50,000 worth of student loan debt. I felt I was forced to get a full-time job, and pay them off as quickly as possible so in the future I could finally dedicate myself to social change work. Luckily I didn’t have to make this choice, as there are other options available! Here are a few worth knowing about.
On May 5th, all hell broke loose in Athens, Greece. Tens of thousands of people of all political stripes flooded the streets to protest the government’s reduction of public sector wages, cuts to pensions, and the rollback of pro-labor laws. In the midst of these riotous demonstrations, the firebombing of Marfin Bank, allegedly by anarchists, resulted in the deaths of three of its employees from suffocation.
California entered a serious budget crisis in 2008 as a result of the financial crisis and slump in its once-hot housing market. (Despite having the largest dollar per capita prison system in the entire United States, cuts were instead made to vital public services under the watch of of Arnold Schwarzenegger, super-rich Reagan-wannabe known for his attempts to ‘terminate’ allegations of sexual misconduct and business-related conflicts of interest).
By Milena Velis and Bryan Mercer
Philadelphia is in crisis. People across the city are feeling the effects of the global economic downturn and wondering what the future will bring for them and their families. The city has finally resolved a long, drawn out, and deeply unsettling budgeting process, and it feels like the dust has finally settled. But even though massive service cuts and layoffs are off the table for now, this economic crisis is far from over, and we in Philadelphia now have a clear idea of the kinds of solutions our city government is willing to present.
The lesson we can learn from a year of repeated deficit announcements, “civic engagement” budget workshops, and political negotiations, is that the poor and working people of the city are paying for this crisis. In a city rife with both wealth and poverty, it's clear that our government’s primary agenda is to attract and protect business, and not to make sure that the wealth generated here meets the basic needs of Philadelphia’s residents. If the city government continues down the path it has chosen, it can only lead us to a broken state that exists to serve business need before public need, abandoning the interests of the majority of Philadelphians. The only solution to the crisis we are currently facing is an independent politics that addresses the real roots of our situation.
Pennsylvania, along with the rest of the world, is in crisis. Many people do not have access to decent housing, education, healthcare, jobs, healthy food, transportation and communication. While we are told that there are not resources to provide for our basic needs, bankers and the ultra-rich get trillions of dollars in bail-out funding, and our services are cut and costly wars are waged.
Edited by Chris Spannos
Review by James Generic
"Real Utopia: Participatory Economics for the 21st Century", edited by Chris Spannos, is a collectionof essays by a multitude of authors who have developed Participator Economic (Parecon) theory, used it in real collective work, and have written extensively in defense of participatory economics.
The Philadelphia City Council passed the city's 3.8 billion dollar budget for Fiscal Year 2010 on May 21st, 2009. This budget, whether the Mayor and Council admit it or not , was a response to the popular pressure around cuts to services that began with Mayor Michael Nutter's Nov 6, 2008 announcement of a mid-year 'correction'—cuts that would have closed 13 libraries across the city. This year's budget, while avoiding the drastic cuts originally proposed, still balances the budget on working people by increasing taxes and cutting services.