The Challenge of Autonomy: Prospects for Freedom Going Into 2021

The Challenge of Autonomy: Prospects for Freedom Going Into 2021

  1. Intro: Do For Self Politics vs. Hypothetical Radicalism

“And i prayed to God to make me strong and able to fight…”

– Harriet Tubman

“Freedom is something that you have to do for yourself.

– Malcolm X

[see pdf for full text]

Young people getting active in the streets today are entering a desert of political options and conversations. A degenerate political left represents the only well-known alternative to openly fascist Democrats and neo-nazi-courting Republicans, a left that has grown so petty bourgeois (middle class) in its class character that it has very little relationship to the physically existing world, as outlined in section 1. For those of us who actually want to make this thing materially viable, we need to focus on building the actual material infrastructure for self-determination, independent of police and State assistance…

[see pdf for full text]

We put this together in three parts: 1. an introduction 2. an analysis of the events of 2020 and how they show us the limits and “prospects for freedom” available in the foreseeable future, and then 3. a list of concrete, tried and tested baby steps that serious comrades can start from scratch with. We speak from generations of experience and successful communal structure – not from our own personal opinions, left-wing jargon, dreams, theories or books alone…

[see pdf for full text]

No one is going to get us ready for what’s coming except ourselves. No one is going to get us free except each other…

Let’s each and every one of us, wherever we are right now, whatever we’re working with no matter how few or how poor, analyze our situation, form a plan, and start right now. And let’s see it through!


Egyptian Army Begins Flooding Of Gaza Tunnels

via Middle East Monitor

Blockaded by Israel since 2007, Gaza used to receive much-needed supplies through the network of smuggling tunnels on its border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Since the 2013 military coup against President Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian authorities have cracked down on the smuggling tunnels along the border with Gaza.

One of the tunnel owners, a Palestinian man who goes by the name of Abu Mohammad, told Anadolu Agency: “The Egyptian army started pumping large amounts of water from the Mediterranean Sea into the tunnels through large underground pipes that have hundreds of holes in them. These pipes were extended in the past in a trench that extends across the borders between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.”

Abu Mohammad also explained that large amounts of water flooded the tunnels that were used to smuggle food, medicine and construction materials from Egypt to Gaza.


Why I am running for the National Union of Students (NUS)

n-MALAKA-largeBy:  Malaka Mohammed

This is going to be a bit long, but I am sure it is of importance as well. Maybe some of you have already known that I am running for the National Union of Students (NUS) block of 15. I am running because I believe that students’ unions can change lives. First-hand experience has taught me that student activists working as a team can have a transformative impact. If Sheffield Students’ Union didn’t lobby the University for a Fee Waiver, I would not be here. In September 2013, I crossed tens of checkpoints from Gaza to pursue my education. I had then been nominated for an officer position and despite MA deadlines, EU tour talk and the only five months I have spent in Sheffield, I decided to run for the election. I gave talks in over 67 campuses all over the world on the right to education, finished my deadlines, and came first in a very tough competition with the highest number of votes in the history of Sheffield Students’ Union.

For me, this election is about identifying the small matters that accumulate and create the bigger problems and challenging them in order to move forwards and be successful in standing up for what’s right. My team achievements include £15k for more books, removing all library fines, an annual full fee waiver for a Masters student, lecture recording policy, better assessment & feedback, BME take the lead, re-forming the Academic Representative Committee, qualitative learning spaces, better representations for postgraduates, the first ever virtual cultural exchange ‪#‎SheffGaza2015‬, etc.

If elected, my three main priorities are to 1) widen participation for all by campaigning for free education, joining virtual educational projects globally, and promoting a culture of liberation which is my main passion. Every voice is important. I want to see everyone integrating and enjoying what they are doing by bridging gaps, raising awareness & introducing interactive sessions. I want to 2) empower you as a student, student union and member of a community. I believe that we all have the power to make a change. During my work as an officer, I helped student activists in making their ideas reality. I will work to ensure NUS works alongside you to realise local campaigns and goals. As an international postgraduate education officer with a humble experience of lobbying universities and students’ unions to get things done, 3) I want to bring what I achieved into a national level. International peace and justice and more campaigns for postgraduate and international students who seem to be left in many of the NUS campaigns is a priority. They have concerns that fully deserve all our attention.

How can you support my campaign? Every little help does count. From sharing, liking, retweeting or favouriting social media posts, sharing your own posts using these two hashtags ‪#‎Malaka4Block and #‎NUSNC15‬, telling any NUS delegate about my manifesto, and showing support in my Facebook page Malaka #1 for Block of 15.

Thank you all 🙂

Banksy Unveils New Graffiti Art Series In Gaza

From Street Art News

After teasing us with a single shot on Instagram earlier this morning (GMT time), Banksy finally revealed the location of the first piece which is Gaza in Palestine. Inspired by “The Thinker” by Rodin the first piece is entitled “Bomb Damage” and obviously with Banksy, the placement is just on point.
On top of that, the elusive British street artist took the opportunity to reveal four new pieces which you will be able to find around Gaza.
Two quotes were enclosed with the images of the new stenciled pieces:

Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost everyday.  — Banksy

A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens. — Banksy

Just like in New York City back in 2013, one of the new piece is text based and reads: “If We Wash Our Hands Of The Conflict Between The Powerful And The Powerless We Side With The Powerful – We Don’t Remain Neutral”.
Finally, Banksy drops a strong statement with a 2 minute long video which document his recent trip to Palestine.
Hit the jump to discover more images on these powerful artworks plus the video and as usual keep your eyes peeled on StreetArtNews for the latest Banksy updates. Continue reading

A Brief History of Block the Boat, Oakland: Organization, Planning, Autonomy, Spontaneity Combine for a Spectacular Direct Action at the Port


Emily Loftis/MintPress

From Hyphenated Republic

In August, 2014, an ad hoc coalition and ever-changing group of autonomous activists prevented the Zim Piraeus from offloading it’s good for four days and caused subsequent entanglements that prevented the vast majority of its cargo from touching dry Oakland land. Much has already been said about the relationship between labor and the BTB coaltion that was necessary for such a monumental win. I would like to speak of another hand in hand relationship that received less attention or press, but was just as important, and perhaps even more so, to the final impact of the Block the Boat coalition’s unprecedented victory in Oakland.

That relationship between organizations in the Bay Area organizing scene that comprised the Block the Boat coalition and action taken through existing solidarity networks and individuals, acting autonomously. To understand the remarkable victory of Block the Boat, Oakland, one has to first trace the line of this uneasy partnership, and the incredible feedback loop it unintentionally unleashed, amping the Block the Boat signal higher and higher towards success*.

Block the Boat Begins

2014’s Block the Boat began at the end of an otherwise dreary pro-Palestinian [and pro-Immigrant] rally, with an uncharacteristically high, and thus, indicative, turn-out of about 100 people marching listlessly in a circle in front of the Federal Building in Oakland. At the end of the action, a call was made by some organizers to create an ad hoc assembly to discuss the possibility of blockading a Zim shipping lines ship. From the outset, the assembly made it clear that they sought to emulate the successful action by a coalition of labor and social justice groups in 2010 which blockaded a Zim ship for two work shifts as protest against the Mavi Marmara atrocity. Zim, an iconic Israeli company with ownership, voting and vetoing power vested in the state itself, was seen as a perfect BDS target–emphasis on the S for sanction, especially for those at the assembly who wanted to bring BDS further into the direct action sphere. The atmosphere was charged with anger and sadness about the shocking death toll in Gaza at Israeli military hands, the sense of urgency was palpable.

Read the entire piece here.


UPDATED: Bay Area Protesters Speak: 3-Day Ship Blockade, Colonization and Gaza


Photo from Bay Area Intifada

[Update:] On the fifth day that autonomously- organized protesters returned to picket, the Zim ship finally sailed out to Tacoma. Despite some official reports, only a tiny portion of the shipment intended for Oakland ports was unloaded (This was witnessed by dockworkers, a Ports of America worker, a port trucker, vigilant protesters on the ground and our own contributor here at Bay Area Intifada). 

For the third consecutive day, an Israeli ship, the Zim Pireaus, has been blockaded by Bay Area protesters in solidarity with Gaza. In the wee hours of Monday morning, with very little mobilization, a dozen or so people held a picket. With the support of longshore workers, the ship–which had already been delayed for two days at the Port of Oakland–sat unloaded. [Read details, watch videos and see photos from Saturday and Sunday blockades here.]IMG_3410

In the evening, enough people came through to create pickets. Though police officers pushed a pathway through protesters, longshore workers again refused to cross the pickets. It is yet to be determined how much the blockade has cost Israel.

Adam and Ankash were part of the bike block and had been riding to the port the last three days. They spoke with us on the blockade, Gaza and colonization. Continue reading

Israeli Ship Blockaded at Oakland Port For Two Days

Photo by Bay Area Intifada

Photo by Bay Area Intifada

At a couple hours notice on Sunday, hundreds of people in the Bay Area mobilized at the Port of Oakland to blockade the unloading of the Israeli ZIM ship.  Watch this video of AROC’s Lara Kiswani announcing the boat had not been unloaded, for a second day. A large number of longshore workers were supportive in the days’ efforts.

On Saturday, thousands of people had forced the ship to circle doughnuts in the ocean after flooding the port with shouts of “Ferguson to Palestine,” “Viva Viva Palestina,” and “Udhrub Udhrub Tel Aviv.” Organizers had called for protesters to show up for the early morning shift, but when the ship delayed, the word quickly spread to shut down the port for the afternoon shift. Read a recap of both days here on Arab Resource Organizing Center’s site.


Photos from the two-day blockade

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According to one organizer, there has never been a consecutive two-day ship blockade in Oakland’s long history of movements, which in recent years includes actions against the war on Iraq, South African apartheid, the murder of Oscar Grant and the Occupy Oakland shutdowns.

A video of Saturday’s blockade from Tom Vee.


Follow Block the Boat Gaza on Facebook for more upcoming actions.

Khutbah with Dr. Hatem Bazian: Do not be utilized to support the empire.

Midday prayers held at the UN Plaza during SF rally for Gaza.

Midday prayers held at the UN Plaza during SF rally for Gaza.

On Friday’s rally for Gaza in San Francisco, Brother Hatem Bazian gave the khutbah for Friday prayer services. He warned Muslims living in the US against being a cog in the machine of the “colonial mother land” –be it through direct aid to the military industry, work of so-called human rights organizations or seamless assimilation into a society/culture with a historical legacy of colonization, slavery and genocide.

[Side note: In the middle of the khutbah, a woman stood a couple feet from Brother Hatem and antagonized him as he spoke. Some organizers led her away from the front. Hatem briefly responded to the small commotion by criticizing the State’s neglect of social services and encouraging listeners to love and support people with mental health issues.]

Listen to the entire khutbah below:

[Video] Paris Defies Ban On Pro Palestine Demonstrations, Clashes Break Out


Video From Revolution Et Libertes

Paris, France

The following video helps breakdown the sequences of events in Paris during todays (July 19th) demonstration in support of Palestine and in defiance of the French governments ban on Pro Palestinian / Anti Zionist protests.

The video breakdown is clear: 1: Peaceful Protestors Defying The Government Ban 2: Police React With Tear Gas Attacks 3: The People Resist

The French police can be seen HERE attacking a disabled pro Palestinian demonstrator who is bound to a wheelchair. As people rush to defend the man from the police and cameras appear, the police back off. Continue reading