What Are The Lessons From The Trump-Backed Insurrection Of January 6?

A year ago today, a fascist mob took over the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C., stunning the country and the entire world. Called to action by Donald Trump and instigated by his false accusation that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, the mob stormed the building and briefly stopped the certification of the electoral college votes. The attack would not have been possible without collusion from high-level military, police and security officials. Yet, none of them have been brought to justice. At the same time, Congress formed a special committee on January 6th which has no legal authority to persecute the people responsible for it.

The insurrection was a historic attack on one of the most fundamental tenets of US democracy – the peaceful transition of power between the two ruling class parties.

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Using Pressure To Settle Grievances

What ultimately settles grievances? More often than not, it hinges on the union’s ability to pressure management to settle. When managers look at the steward and the grievant across the table at a grievance meeting, they must clearly understand that they are dealing with more than just two people. They are dealing with the entire union. Management must also go to the grievance meeting feeling some immediacy, so they don’t drag the grievance out through all the steps.

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How The World Went From Post-Politics To Hyper-Politics

Ten years and a decade of populist turmoil later, Ernaux’s testimony reads both familiar and unfamiliar. The rapid individualisation and decline of collective institutions she diagnosed has not been halted. Barring a few exceptions, political parties have not regained their members. Associations have not seen attendance rise. Churches have not filled their pews, and unions have not grown precipitously. Across the world, civil society is still mired in a deep and protracted crisis. On the other hand, the mixture of diffidence and apathy so characteristic of Ernaux’s 1990s hardly applies today. Biden was elected on a record turnout; the Brexit referendum was the largest democratic vote in Britain’s history. The Black Lives Matter protests were mass spectacles; many of the world’s biggest corporations took up the mantle of racial justice, adapting their brands to support the cause.

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In Conversation With Clayton Thomas-Müller

Indigenous climate activist, writer, and filmmaker Clayton Thomas-Müller was raised in Winnipeg, a city named after the Cree word meaning “muddy waters.” His memoir, Life in the City of Dirty Water, published in August 2021, recounts his early years of dislocation growing up in the core of the Manitoba capital—from the domestic and sexual abuse he endured to the drugs he sold to survive (his first job was managing a drug house for the largest Indigenous gang in the country).

Clayton’s early struggles are only the beginning of his remarkable story, however. Years later, his immersion in Cree spirituality and reconnection with the land and his home territory of Pukatawagan led him on a personal healing journey that saw him become a leading organizer on the frontlines of environmental resistance, opening new pathways against the extractive forces perpetuating climate breakdown.

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The Radical Legacy Of New York’s Winter Rent Strike

From 26 December 1907 to 9 January 1908, 10,000 tenants, predominantly Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe living in New York City’s Lower East Side, took part in a historic rent strike. During an economic depression causing mass unemployment and grinding poverty, landlords tried to hike rents by thirty-three percent. With their cry to ‘fight the landlord as they had the Czar’, the tenants won a partial victory, with rents significantly reduced for 2,000 households.

The movement established a tradition of militant working-class housing campaigns that eventually contributed to winning vital rent controls that still protect millions of the city’s tenants today. But as the Covid crisis continues, New York City renters are again organising against rapacious landlordism.

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Government Action, Not Consumer Action, Will Stop Climate Change

Pointing the finger at individual consumers has been the default strategy of powerful corporations since the 1950s. Deflect blame for smog or litter or polluted waterways or carcinogens or gun violence away from manufacturers and onto John Q. Public. Make the issue about personal responsibility. “People start pollution, people can stop it,” said the famous crying Indian ad from the early 1970s, the brainchild of a can and bottle manufacturers trade group.

The strategy has worked like a dream because Americans prize personal responsibility. Ronald Reagan was speaking for many of us when he said: “It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

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Former Hunger Strikers Reflect On Their Experiences

The huelga de hambre has been used for thousands of years. It has won many struggles,” said Ana Ramirez, 42, who fasted for 24 days this spring to demand that undocumented people and other excluded workers in New York receive stimulus and unemployment money. “Esther the reina won a battle with the hunger strike.”

Ramirez is referring to Queen Esther of the Old Testament’s Book of Esther. The queen and her supporters fasted for three days in advance of going to ask her husband, Persian King Ahasuerus, for permission to have her enemies — who were trying to wipe out all Jews in the empire — killed. She prevailed. Mahatma Gandhi used the hunger strike. So too Cesar Chavez. South African political prisoners hastened the end of the apartheid era with their hunger strike.

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The Pendulum Swing Of Black Liberation

In June of last year, I wrote a piece about the call-and-response between movements for Black liberation in the United States and elsewhere, focusing on the upheavals that happened in Sudan in late 2018, and of course the protests that erupted in Minnesota and spread across the country after the murder of George Floyd in May of last year. In this piece, I encouraged all of us to refuse the enclosures of hemisphere, market, nation and language, to embrace urgency and refuse to concede to the divisions presented by nation, market and geography.

This piece focused on the activation of struggles, and less so on the reality that each movement for liberation was met with a deepening repression and political conservatism.

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Chile: Another Good-Sized Nail In Neoliberalism’s Coffin

This brings us to a central political issue: what has the October 2019 Rebellion and all its impressively positive consequences posed for the Chilean working class? What is posed in Chile is the struggle not (yet) for power but for the masses that for decades were conned into accepting (however grudgingly) neoliberalism as a fact of life, until the 2019 rebellion that was the first mass mobilization not only to oppose but also to get rid of neoliberalism. The Rebellion extracted extraordinary concessions from the ruling class: a referendum for a Constitutional Convention entrusted legally with the task to draft an anti-neoliberal constitution to replace the 1980 one promulgated under Pinochet’s rule.

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Mutual Aid And Solidarity In Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protests

On October 18, 2020, during the #EndSARS protests against police violence and state corruption in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, a photo was shared on social media that quickly drew nationwide attention. The image showed passionate protesters with their fists pumped in the air, mouths wide open singing songs and chanting slogans. Some were holding placards that read “Our Lives Matter.”

What drew the attention of the public, however, was the woman right at the center of the image. With a small Nigerian flag in her left hand and missing her right leg, the woman who was later identified as Jane Obiene stood out because of the defiant spirit she embodied by joining the protest march on crutches.

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Why Activists Need Art To Create Social Change

“The Art of Activism: Your All-Purpose Guide to Making the Impossible Possible” by Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert compiles knowledge the authors have gleaned from training hundreds of activists and artists around the world over the last 12 years. Their main message? Because today’s political terrain is one of signs, symbols, stories and spectacles, activists must learn to operate in that cultural space if they hope to change the world.

Although a free companion workbook is available for those looking to sharpen their practical skills, “The Art of Activism” is more than a nuts and bolts “how-to” guide. Duncombe and Lambert also deliver thought-provoking discussions on the theoretical underpinnings of artistic activism, drawing on fields as diverse as marketing, cognitive science and pop culture.

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Our Age Of Uprisings: We Are A World Remaking Itself

The global pandemic unfolds amidst a world of uprisings. Some have seen huge numbers gather in the streets and become ungovernable, including the victorious farmer’s strike in India, the efforts to expropriate the landlords in Berlin, the mass refusal of anti-Black police violence in the US, and the mobilizations against the neoliberal regime in Chile.

Elsewhere, in Chiapas, Kerala, Rojava and an archipelago of smaller “zones to defend,” the uprisings take more sustained forms as people reinvent or reclaim life in common. Indigenous people around the world are refusing to allow their lands and lives to be sacrificed on the altar of extractive capitalism. The great global struggle against capitalism’s climate apocalypse is escalating.

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The Need For A Feminist Lens

The Black Experience in the Americas has always been, by circumstance, design and by purpose, inextricably tied to the land and to forms of Resistance expressed through different peoples in different territories throughout the Americas. Climate change affects communities and regions differently, even within the same country, depending on their cultural, economic, environmental, political and social context. But climate change also affects people differently within these same communities and regions depending on their race and genders, both at an individual and collective level.

For Black communities, an underspoken issue that is usually left out of organizing spaces related to climate change is migration.

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The Climate Response Cliff

Climate change is only one symptom of a broader ecological crisis; the rapid loss of wild life is equally critical. Most species other than humans and our livestock, (and pets and pests) have had horrifying drops in population within the last 70 years or so, even if they are not yet threatened with extinction. We and our livestock are now 96% of the mass of land vertebrates, leaving all wild creatures together to comprise a mere 4%. At this rate within another generation there may be virtually nothing left but us and our coterie—and we would not survive that, as we depend on a network of life more complex than we can imagine. We’re also seeing the oceans acidifying, filling with plastic and toxins, and warming; topsoil depleted, rivers and aquifers running dry; and the proliferation of nuclear weapons and power plants leaving sites potentially dangerous for thousands or even millions of years.

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Understanding And Resisting The New Cold War

We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us that if our country and our way of life are to survive we must weaponize, weaponize, weaponize… We must recognize this as Cold War messaging to be resisted, and help others do the same.

The first thing to understand is that the Cold War is psychological war waged by the US and its allies. It is carried out on a worldwide basis and especially in the United States against the public. These operations are aimed at conditioning people to accept war preparations and war operations. They involve the joint efforts of what Ray McGovern (a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) has called the MICIMATT Complex — the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academic-Think Tank Complex.

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