Anyone following French politics in recent years should not be surprised by the recent explosion of public protest and resistance across the country. For years, France has simmered with a combination of a deeply unpopular government, a limping economy and a struggling, fed up populace.
Capital in the 21st Century Thomas Piketty Havard University Press, 2014 US$39.95, 696 pages By now, perhaps, you’ve heard the fuss about French economist Thomas Piketty’s new book Capital in the 21st Century, but haven’t been able to carve out time to read it. Waiting for a movie version? It could be a long time coming (more on that below). In the meantime, here are some critical takeaways, and omissions, for labour activists.
Despite an ongoing outcry by a large group of her supporters, Judge Ronald Zweibel sentenced Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan to 90 days in jail on May 19. McMillan had been found guilty of assaulting a police officer during the operation to close down an Occupy protest at Zuccotti Park in March 2012. McMillan says she elbowed police officer Grantley Bovell after he grabbed her breast, leaving it bruised.
On October 20 last year, I did stand up at a party in Chelsea, Manhattan, for the book I had just written called America's Got Democracy! The joke that got the biggest laugh, which I will now ruin by writing it out, was about how the supposedly “stark choice” between Democrats and Republicans around global warming isn't the different things they're going to do about it, but the different ways they say they're not going to do anything about it.
Sydney City Council officers, with the support of police, moved to close down the Occupy Sydney camp in Martin Place on the night of July 4. This follows a resolution passed by the council to evict the camp recently. Occupy Sydney participant Lance told Green Left Weekly that the council took away two truckloads of Occupy material that evening, most of which was to support the homeless community of the city, as well as political banners.
“In light of news that every day the entirety of telecom giant Verizon’s call system records are handed over to the NSA, news that Occupy Wall Street protest attendees’ cellphones were logged should hardly come as a shock,” said Salon.com on June 7. “It nonetheless bears noting that cellphone metadata of march and rally participants was likely specifically logged, as security expert Steven Ramdam recently noted. “This means that individuals were directly targeted for their engagement with First Amendment-protected activity.”
Artists, students, intellectuals and citizens of New York City, together with supporters of Occupy Wall Street, came together on June 1 in Zuccotti Park to show solidarity their friends, brothers and sisters who are occupying Gezi Park in Istanbul. Since May 27, citizens of Istanbul from all backgrounds have been staging a peaceful resistance in Gezi Park, the city's largest public park, protecting it and its trees from a large gentrification project to transform a public park into a shopping center.
10 years on from the beginning of the Iraq war, former marine and anti-war activist with Iraq Veterans Against the War, Vince Emanuele, speaks about his background and experiences in Iraq and more.
I spoke with the Coup’s Boots Riley at an auspicious time. Right before calling him, I’d returned from a downtown rally of thousands of striking Chicago teachers and their supporters. It was arguably the most significant American labor battle in thirty years, trading in the calcified, ineffective style of “union-management cooperation” for an old school, knock-down, drag-out, class struggle unionism that gets actual results.
This episode focuses on feminism's resurgence and Venezuela's unfolding revolution. It includes activist news on Stop CSG protests, Global Noise protests, plus Carlo Sands on the European Union's Nobel Peace prize win, and a performance by 1000 eyes at Occupy.