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,
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 ] by Monday, 29th of July 2013. We
also invite proposals for possible panels.

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


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


‘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 – accessed April 7 2008

Marilyn Manson – accessed April 9 2006

Doco  – accessed April 7 2008

Comic stuff: – accessed March 27 2008