Monthly Archives: June 2013

Filthy bastard mining corp Riotinto slips the (legal) noose once again (the law is an ass)

Rio Tinto wins end to human rights abuse lawsuit in U.S.

Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:47pm EDT
* Bougainville residents sued over activity linked to mine
* 9th Circuit rules after top U.S. court narrows law’s reach
By Jonathan Stempel
June 28 (Reuters) – Benefiting from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Rio Tinto Plc has won the dismissal of a nearly 13-year-old U.S. lawsuit accusing the Anglo-Australian mining company of complicity in human rights abuses on the South Pacific island of Bougainville.
Friday’s ruling by a majority of an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ends litigation begun in 2000.
Roughly 10,000 current and former Bougainville residents had sought to hold Rio Tinto responsible for human rights violations and thousands of deaths linked to polluting a copper and gold mine it once ran.
The ruling follows the Supreme Court’s April 17 decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, where the justices limited the sweep of a 1789 U.S. law that lawyers had used for roughly three decades to fight human rights abuses worldwide.
Five justices said the Alien Tort Statute was meant to cover international law violations occurring in the United States, and that violations elsewhere must “touch and concern” U.S. territory “with sufficient force” to displace that presumption.
The Bougainville residents alleged that after workers in 1988 began to sabotage the Rio Tinto mine, the company goaded Papua New Guinea’s government to exact retribution and conspired to impose a blockade, leading to thousands of civilian deaths.
On April 22, the Supreme Court threw out an earlier 9th Circuit ruling that let the lawsuit proceed, and asked it to revisit the matter in light of Kiobel.
Steve Berman, a lawyer for the Bougainville plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
He had asked the 9th Circuit to send the case back to the Los Angeles district court so that his clients could try to proceed with other claims, “sans invocation of the ATS.”
Kiobel was also cited this week by a Virginia federal judge who dismissed a lawsuit accusing defense contractor CACI International Inc of conspiring to torture detainees a decade ago at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The judge in that case said that because the alleged abuse occurred outside the United States, he lacked jurisdiction to consider claims by four former detainees. They plan to appeal.
The case is Sarei et al v. Rio Tinto Plc et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 02-56256.

Crisis & Critique of the State: CFP, 25-26 Oct 2013, Centre for Cultural Studies, #Goldsmiths

Call for Papers
Crisis & Critique of the State
Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2013
25 – 26 October 2013, Goldsmiths, University of London
 
Keynote Speakers:
Sara Farris, Goldsmiths, University of London
Bob Jessop, Lancaster University
Massimiliano Tomba, University of Padua
 
The ongoing crisis poses the question of state and democracy anew. While
many commentators mourn the vanishing sovereignty of the state in the face
of financial markets and globalisation, and declare our times to be postdemocratic,
their nostalgic image of the glorious days of democracy and
sovereignty as bulwarks against capitalism is profoundly problematic. We
consider it therefore not only necessary to discuss the question of the state
and democracy again, but with Negri we could even say that “there must be a
structural theory of the State-capital-society relationship and a political
strategy adequate to the structural character of these interrelations.”
 
Revisit concepts and discussions…
The goal of the conference is to debate critical materialist notions of the state,
which do not fall back into vulgar conceptions that see the state simply as the
tool of the ruling class, but also refuse the common liberal position in which
the state becomes the mere mediator of conflicting interests. We consider
Poulantzas’s notion of the state as “the specific material condensation of a
relationship of forces among classes and class fractions” to be a fruitful
starting point. From Poulantzas’s perspective, which critically incorporates
Althusser’s earlier attempt to complexify a materialist concept of the state, the
state is the product of existing power relations; however, it can gain a relative
autonomy from those structures and in turn transform them. That is also the
backdrop against which democracy within capitalist societies can be
discussed productively. But the question of democracy goes beyond the
analysis of the existing: philosophical, social and empirical notions of
democracy, sovereignty and the political are key to any present discussion of
emancipatory politics.
 
…to address questions of the present.
We want to tie in with existing materialist conceptions and critiques of the
state and think through their relevance to the present. What does it mean for
the state to be the “ideal collective capitalist” (Engels) in times of the
economic crisis? Is there a notion of the state that we should defend and what
would it look like? What is a feminist critique of the state in the face of the
crisis (of reproduction)? These are only a few of the many questions we hope
to discuss from various disciplinary, theoretical as well as empirical,
perspectives.
 
Topics include but are not limited to:
- (materialist) state theories
- state-form, sovereignty and the law
- the crisis and critique of democracy, representation and popular sovereignty
- critiques of the nation state, citizenship and immigration policies
- the state and race
- feminist critiques of the state
- governmentality / management and resistance in the economic crisis
- the politics of austerity and their cultural and economic implications
- the role of the state and political economy
- (post-)politics and the political
- the relationship between democracy, populism and fascism
- revolution and the state
- the relation of philosophy and politics vis-à-vis the state
- violence, repression and the state: “policing the crisis”
- state & the commons
 
The call is primarily addressed to postgraduate students, young researchers,
activists, etc. We plan to have panels with academics from Goldsmiths and
other universities responding to the presentations.
 
Please send abstracts of not more than 500 words to
goldsmithsgradconference [at ] gmail.com by Monday, 29th of July 2013. We
also invite proposals for possible panels.

George Henry Linney – circa 1932, Mayor of South Shields.

G.A

Iron foundry worker and Mayor of South Shields, Great Grandpa Linney

Mayor Linney

 above: walking by the corner of Ocean Road and Mile End Road, Mayor’s sunday 1932

GHLinney St Hildas ChurchAbove: leaving St Hilda’s Church, circa 1932

Mayor south ShieldsAbove: Mayor’s Sunday 1933 Mayor: Coun. Samuel Lawlan, Retiring Mayor; Coun. George Henry Linney (on the left of picture), Town Clerk Harold Ayrey. South Shields. Photographer: Cleet James Henry.

Thomas Mouat Tate

Thomas Moaut Tate…among many other things, timekeeper for The Basin Football Club, Vic. Australia (circa 1970-1980), formerly trolley bus driver, iron-foundry work, ships stoker (on The Welshman – Malta Convoy, and others), service 1940-1943, sunk three times, a.w.o.l. in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt 1944, returned to service 1944-45, demobbed 1945, emigrated to Australia, painter (of houses), and singer of songs.

Superman returns? Not in the right place to do any good.

russell-crowe-in-full-costume-on-setDestroying the planet is the gothic of today and no bat in a cloak can swoop down from up high, like some inverted interbred vampire out of Capital, to redeem us. The bad debts pile up; floods, strange weather, drought, fire, starvation and death, compounded, if not outright caused, by a mercenary human aggression with less morality than wasps.

Large dams, mining, war, pollution, an obscenity that abides in the love of wealth and power. Suited monstrosities of corporation, Government, banking and science. In politics, Machiavelli would need rescue remedy today – appalled and embarrassed he would be.

I sit outside in the dull acid rain typing.

(yes SF, I know Russ is not the bat’s dad x)

Spivak in Other Asias

Spivak:

‘If an academic includes empirical details in her essays, joins demonstrations, participates in international conferences with political-sounding titles, and engages in solidarity tourism, we think of her as an activist’ (Spivak 2008:89)

That such an activist can be simply ignored by the World Bank etc., (when not directly employed by the same) and is manifestly some distance from the subaltern (who speaks or not) is of a type with her close relative:

‘The liberal Euro-US academic, unceasingly complicitous with the text of exploitation, possibly endorsing child slavery every time s/he drinks a cup of tea, paying taxes to destroy survival ecobiomes of the world’s poor and bomb innocent African villages by mistake, sometimes mouthing a “Marxism” liber-humanized out of existence, and talking no doubt against military aggression, profoundly irresponsible to the academics one obligation of not writing on something carelessly read … to them belongs the happy euphoria of being in the right’ (Spivak 2008:71)

Me and you both.

Iraq AC/DC

AC/DC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX05dWBoeUs – accessed April 7 2008

Marilyn Manson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOWmTyrz1RA - accessed April 9 2006

Doco http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=1ljXnV4Ibpk  – accessed April 7 2008

Comic stuff: http://gocomics.typepad.com/the_sandbox/2008/03/5-years-1-year.html – accessed March 27 2008

Lin Chen talk – 11:30 26 June 2013

CCS presents:

Lin Chen (Freie Universitat Berlin)
talk – 11:30 26 June 2013
Council Room Laurie Grove Baths Goldsmiths University of London

The year 2012 is Germany’s Chinese culture year. The organizers put forward the claim that original traditional Chinese culture would be presented. With regards to this the Jiangsu Kunqu Ensemble was invited to perform three “authentic” Zhe-zi Xi1/ One Act Kunqu as part of the opening ceremony in February. Luzia Braun, the “Stellvertretende Leiterin des ZDF-Kulturmagzins Aspekte” was invited as the moderator. The performance lasted two nights in Konzerthaus Berlin.

Generally speaking it was a nice experience, the live accompaniment impressed the audience favorably, yet the performance was a little different from my former Kunqu experience in China. They saved the expense to transport the essential stage requisites, namely one desk and two chairs to Berlin. Without them, two female performers seemed clumsy in showing some beautiful stylized gestures from the Peony Pavilion.

After the performance an intense interview process was held. Towards the end, the moderator Luzia Braun proposed her master-stroke to Ke Jun, director of the Jiangsu Kunqu ensemble, “Herr Ke, would you tell us the most obvious difference between Kunqu and Peking Opera?” “Well”, Ke Jun answered determinately, “Peking Opera is entertainment, but Kunqu is culture.”

Lin Chen is a doctoral candidate in Interweaving Performance Cultures at FU Berlin, and an Erasmus visiting student in the Centre for Cultural Studies PhD program at Goldsmiths.

Details also here

Structure

theme – trinket – introduction

repetition of theme – short version, long version, large and small

relation to whole

specificity

transitions, incidental

development – fate – of theme as it changes

repetitions – in different registers

rhythm, tempo, volume, intensity

reversal, dynamic, relation of components, inversion of same

further development of the whole, structure as anagram of specificity

differential overall structures and framing

being able to locate each element in the overall context

asymmetry, exceptions, incommensurables

 

 

The Hanging Channel spin offs

A new satellite service from the people who brought you ‘Captive Camera (Gitmo)’, ‘America’s Funniest NSA Surveillance Videos’, the YouTube viral sensation ‘LiveScream direct from the heart of Bhagram’ prison, and ‘The Hanging Channel™’ (the one with the ‘real’ – accept no substitutes – Saddam Hussein billion dollar drop – hosted by Devilish McCall).

Must see screen moments on this new service include (live links to be provided later):

- George Bush snr golfing

- George W reading stories to children when the TT were hit

- Obama watching the snuff film from Abbottabad with Hilary

- Hilary saying ‘wow’ to her blackberry when Gaddafi was killed

and other gems. Do not miss this. Parental misguidance recommended.

 

(essay on the Hanging channel see here)

 

 

Talk notes for Taipei conference on Time and Possibility, circa December 2009

More notes not written up, not fit for filing ‘cept in the rapt that is WordPress.

20130618-214315.jpg

MA Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy in the Centre for Cultural Studies at #Goldsmiths

Screen shot 2013-06-18 at 16.43.20Screen shot 2013-06-18 at 16.43.43

Sonic Border talk notes 2008

notes on the global sweatbox (2008 talk in Malmo)

SB1

sb2 sb3 sb4 sb5 sb6 sb117 sb118 sb119 sb1191 SB1192 sb1193 SB1195

SB1196

SB1197SB1198

SB1199

(ha! REF that if you can employers. Sadly, this never got typed up nor even given over to the mice to gnaw on)

Last paragraphs that do not make the cut

20130618-135539.jpg

Marx Trot 2013 – July 7

karl-marx-grave-highgate

All welcome. A day of revolutionary dawdling, pints, and ending up awash somewhere on Tottenham Court Rd… The annual Marx trot this year will be on July 7. Lal Salaam!

We will again be leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the Lord Southhampton pub which was the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – then onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, – now a crappy cocktail bar – and more… All welcome (kids could surely come for the first couple of hours – but warning, its a longish walk across the heath between Highgate and the Grafton Terrace HouseBYO libations for the first part.

.

Last year’s trot = http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/marx-trot-2012-july-7-2/

(and links to previous) here: http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Other links:

http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

The Great Windmill Street venue is where Liebknecht says the Manifesto was adopted by the League of the Just/German Workers Educational Association/Communist League – but some say it was at the White Hart in Dury Lane. In any case Marx lectures on Capital at Great Windmill Street, but see here:http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

For Leninists – a diversion on the trot might take in Charing Cross station, and areas near Kings Cross and Pentonville:http://sarahjyoung.com/site/2011/01/16/russians-in-london-lenin/

Dancing the first international! http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspot.co.uk/2009_10_01_archive.html

A pub crawl with Karl http://www.mytimemachine.co.uk/pubcrawl.htm

J.G.Ballard – ‘no great novel has been written in English since – Catch 22′

The much missed J.G.Ballard wrote back years ago after we asked him to speak at a CCS workshop on Cultural Fictions:

BAllard letter

Thank you for the invitation, but I’m afraid that age and the pressures of work mean that I have to decline.

But I wish you all the best – I’m not sure whether you see me as inside or outside s-f, and either way a victim of its overreaching success. In fact I think you’re rather stretching definitions if you include recent novels like Super-Cannes and Millennium People as s-f. But calling something s-f is a traditional way of defusing the threat, and academia, especially the Eng Lit departments, has a lot to feel threatened by – its beloved mainstream is now a parched riverbed – no great novel has been written in English since – Catch 22? – more than 40 years ago. I wonder why?

Sincerely,

JG Ballard

(transcription SF, thanks)

Adorno Marcuse correspondence on the student left, dialectics, left fascism, Institute, distortions, travel, recuperation and more

Screen shot 2013-06-12 at 11.47.45

Continue reading by clicking on the screenshot or here: adornomarcuse_germannewleft

 

The essay Resignation should also be read alongside this: adorno_resignation1969

GERMANY, THE FAR RIGHT AND THE NSU TRIAL

Written by IRR European News Team

Attacks in Germany linked to the NSU trial demonstrate that the far Right does not need a stimulus for violence.

Following the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and attacks on several mosques, the government-funded Tell MAMA project warned of the dangers of cumulative extremism, tit-for-tat violence between Islamists and counter-jihadists and a ‘spiral of violence’ seemingly without end. Government counter-extremism programmes in other European countries, which tend likewise to locate all violence within a cumulative extremism framework, have been hotly contested by anti-fascists who point out that violence is central to the far Right’s modus operandi and needs no stimulus. Since the trial of the sole surviving member of the NSU and four suspected accomplices started at the Munich Higher Regional Court on 6 May (the trial is expected to last for two years) journalists from a number of newspapers, and organisations like the Media Team of the Munich Alliance Against Nazi Terror and Racism have been documenting acts of far-right intimidation and violence associated with the trial. And the Coordination Council of Muslims in Germany (KRM) have called for better protection of mosques during the NSU trial period as, according to KRM spokesman Aiman Mazyek ‘Democracies are supposed to ensure security for places of worship’.

For instance, as the trial began, between 10 and 20 May, four mosques were vandalised, in Bullay, in the Rhineland-Palatinate state, as well as its capital, Mainz; in the town of Lengerich in Steinfurt and Düren in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the Duren attack, the perpetrators scrawled on the mosque the words ‘The NSU is alive and you will be the next victims’. Many acts of political intimidation have taken place in Bavaria where the NSU trial is taking place in its capital Munich. The Bavarian Refugee Council has had its building repeatedly vandalised and the Kurt-Eisner-Verein and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung offices have also been attacked. Residents at the housing project Ligsalz8 (which has also been repeatedly vandalised) were pelted with eggs on 8 May and, on 13 May the door of the Munich office of the legal team representing family members of a victim of the NSU was ‘extensively’ daubed with excrement and urine. The Süddeutsche Zeitungcomments that this ‘is unlikely’ to be a ‘coincidence’. The Spiegel also took the same line when it reported on 16 May that the home of anti-racist activists was pelted with paint bombs. ‘They want us to feel unsafe’, one of the activists told the paper. ‘We won’t allow ourselves to be intimidated.’

RELATED LINKS

Media Team of the Munich Alliance Against Nazi Terror

NSU Watch

Wagner notes

From SpiegelOnLine – by Dirk Kurbjuweit:

In German politics, this pathos [found in Heidegger, Schiller] ceased to be possible after Hitler, in contrast to the United States or France. Germans can still relish in the music of Wagner, as long as they take the position that the music is innocent or that they don’t care about the political context of art. Then it becomes an innocent pathos. This is one of the aspects of Germans’ enjoyment of Wagner.

Futures

John Barker, involved many years ago with the Angry Brigade, is working with PM press and trying to publish his novel, Futures, in English. 
 
Although set in 1987, the financial markets it describes bare striking resemblance to the present financial crisis and might be interesting to some of you. 
 
They are trying to raise the money, by asking for people to commit money upfront in exchange for a copy of the published book. If you want to know more here is a link to the crowd source website:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/futures/futures-a-novel-by-john-barker
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