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Daily Archives: 06/05/2011

(Act for Freedom Now!) Saloniki – A few words from the father of anarchist Giannis Skouloudis:

“(‘Terrorism’ as an act of innocence…) Since when are 20 year old kids called terrorists? To be baptized Christian at the age of 2 and a terrorist at 22, to be praised when you read non-school books and then have them used against you as probative evidence, to be made to wear white shirts in the parade and now white bulletproof vests in the courts…”. Think about that… 

Its been 7 months since the day they arrested my son Giannis Skouloudis for the arson of vehicles of the D.E.I. (national electricity company). His claim of responsibility for this action brought as a result his imprisonment in the youth correctional prisons of Avlona as the state calls these modern hellholes of human souls.

Watching the war intensify all this time I felt the need to greet, wanting to give strength and courage to, all those who stood next to him, those who resist, fight and continue fighting inside and outside the walls against this rotten system that wants us all to be  slaves. Against the bending, ass-kissing and grabbing what you can. Against good manners, the myth of a set life and the modern way of life that as a supreme ideal sells quietness, order and safety.

From my position as a parent I am proud of my son and his attitude but also of all the other kids that fight for the freedom of thought and the individual. 

And a few words for the parents. We brought our children into this world, we raised them and the time has come for us to let them lead us into the future. Lets not try to keep them tied up in the past any more. Lets stand next to them at the barricades and let us learn from them. 

I send my solidarity to all political prisoners but also to all those outside the walls who continue to fight choosing the difficult path towards absolute freedom.

Giorgos Skouloudis

May 5th 

Source: http://actforfreedomnow.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/a-few-words-from-the-father-of-anarchist-giannis-skouloudis-saloniki-greece/

(c4ss.org) History, since the agricultural revolution, can be usefully conceptualized as an offensive-defensive arms race between technologies of abundance and social structures of expropriation.

Until the appearance of agriculture, human society didn’t produce a large enough surplus to support much in the way of social organization above the hunter-gatherer group. Agriculture was the first technology of abundance sufficiently productive to support parasitic classes on a large scale. With agriculture came a superstructure of kings, priests, martial castes and landlords who milked the producing classes like cattle.

We now seem to be nearing the end of an interval of ten thousand years or so between two thresholds. The first threshold was the appearance of the first large-scale technology of abundance — agriculture.

Since then we have been in that aforementioned arms race. Sometimes technologies of abundance produce an increase in the social surplus faster than the class superstructure can expropriate it, and things become better for the ordinary person — as in the late Middle Ages, when the horse collar and crop rotation caused a massive increase in agricultural productivity, the craftsmen of the free towns developed new production technologies, and the decay of feudalism resulted in falling rents and de facto emancipation of large sectors of the peasantry. Sometimes the advantage shifts to the social structures of expropriation, and things get worse — as in the case of the absolute monarchies’ suppression of the free towns, what Immanuel Wallerstein called the “long sixteenth century,” and the Enclosures.

We’re approaching the second threshold, when the technologies of abundance reach a takeoff point beyond which the social structures of expropriation can no longer keep up with the rising production curve.

The interval between the two thresholds has been comparatively brief, compared to the hundreds of thousands of years that homo sapiens has existed in something like its present form and the billion years or so that the sun will likely be able to support human life. Seen in that light, this interval is a brief initial adjustment period in the early stages of human productivity. The state was an anomaly in this early stage of the technological explosion, in the childhood of the human race, by whose means the parasitic classes were briefly able to piggyback on the revolution in productivity and harness it as a source of income for themselves.

During this brief interval, parasitic classes — bureaucrats, usurers, landlords, and assorted rentiers — used the state to create scarcity by artificial means, in order to enclose the increased productivity from technologies of abundance as a source of rents for themselves. But after these first few millennia, the productivity curve has shifted so sharply upward that the increases in output will dwarf the rentier classes’ ability to expropriate it. What’s more, new technologies of abundance are rendering artificial scarcities unenforceable.

Around forty years ago, it was fashionable to say that humanity was entering the “Age of Aquarius.” There is a sense in which the 1970s really were the beginning of a new age of human liberation. They saw the birth of the two technologies of abundance — the desktop computer and cheap numerically-controlled machine tools — which will eventually free us from the grip of the corporate state and its artificial scarcities.

The apparent reaction of the decades since — neoliberalism and the Washington Consensus, Reaganism and Thatcherism, the jackbooted police state of the Drug War and War on Terror, the neocons’ wet dream of a Thousand Year Reich enforced by the Sole Remaining Superpower, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — can be seen as a desperate rear guard action by the corporate state, the death throes of a dying system, a last-ditch effort by the forces of artificial scarcity to suppress the forces that will destroy them.

This effort will fail. What file-sharing has done to the record industry, and what Wikileaks has done to the national security state, are only the dimmest foreshadowings of what technologies of abundance and freedom will do to the old authoritarian institutions.

Encryption and darknets are destroying the power of the music, publishing, and movie industries to collect rents on their so-called “intellectual property,” and eliminating economic transactions as a tax base to support bureaucrats.

New physical production technologies, by extracting greater outputs from ever smaller inputs, are rendering the privileged classes’ huge supplies of land and capital utterly useless as a source of income.

Ordinary people, with cheap means of informational and physical production, will soon be able to meet our needs through peaceful production and trade in a fraction of the present workweek, and dump the rentiers off our backs.

If this framing of human history is valid, we’re just finishing the dawn of humanity’s brief childhood, and entering the long afternoon of its maturity.

Source:  http://c4ss.org/content/6971

(eff.org) Yesterday we learned of reports that the Syrian Telecom Ministry had launched a man-in-the-middle attack against the HTTPS version of the Facebook site. The attack is ongoing and has been seen by users of multiple Syrian ISPs. We cannot confirm the identity of the perpetrators.

The attack is not extremely sophisticated: the certificate is invalid in user’s browsers, and raises a security warning. Unfortunately, because users see these warnings for many operational reasons that are not actual man-in-the-middle attacks, they have often learned to click through them reflexively. In this instance, doing so would allow the attackers access to and control of their Facebook account. The security warning is users’ only line of defense.

EFF is very interested in collecting TLS/SSL certificates. Our SSL Observatory project has collected millions of them by scanning the public Internet. Thanks to the assistance of a Syrian citizen named Mohammad, we can also provide a copy of the fake Syrian Facebook certificate. Interested readers can find a copy in human readable and PEM encoded form.1

This is very much an amateur attempt at attacking Facebook’s HTTPS site. The certificate was not signed by a Certificate Authority that was trusted by users’ web browsers. Unfortunately, Certificate Authorities are under the direct or indirect control of numerous governments, and many governments therefore have the capability to perform versions of this attack that do not raise any errors or warnings.

Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/05/syrian-man-middle-against-facebook

(eagainst.com) On May 1, 2011 in the city of Setubal in Portugal, for the second consecutive year, the anti-authoritarian and anti capitalist May Day protest took place. The event was organised by the anarchist collective, called Terra Libre. Approximately 200 people from various parts of Portugal joined the demonstration, together with some collectives and organizations such as the anarcho-syndicalist union of ΑΙΤ and the Antiwar Platform against NATO (PAGAN).

The march moved peacefully through the main streets of the city, with protesters shouting anti-state slogans (“the people united, do not need a party, ” self-organization”, ” organized people do not need the State”) and handing out leaflets. The response of the locals was positive.

Heavy police was absent during the protest but they appeared when the march reached its final destination, close to the historic neighborhood of Fonte Nova: Everything started when a protester was asked to provide some ID. Soon six other armed men appeared, assaulting the man who was participating in the protest by driving a car and playing music. The officers initially asked him to lower the volume. The atmosphere turned to be aggressive when some officers managed to isolate four protesters who had no IDs as well, and three others who tried to help them. The officers responded with physical violence and pepper spray attacks. They also threw rubber bullets against other demonstrators, and, as some claim, real fire in the air was heard.

The protesters regrouped and counter-attacked with stones, using umbrellas and tables from a nearby restaurant to defend themselves from shots, and finally achieved to temporarily repel the officers who later on re-organized again. The police chose not to approach the neighbourhood, perhaps fearing widespread conflict with other locals, as there were many who tried to defend themselves on the side of demonstrators. Instead, the officers were waiting around the corner for the time where the demonstrators would have to depart. As one protester said:

What we saw in Setúbal was an attempt to impose terrorism police in a demonstration of solidarity and full of vigorous revolt against an intolerable situation: the attack on capitalism and the interference of the IMF in Portugal.

The total number of those injured either by the use of batons or tear gas and rubber bullets (while there are reports in the Portuguese Indymedia that one person was hit by real bullets in both knees) is estimated to be around 30. Most were helped by residents of Setubal. In overall, at least 12 were arrested. All of them claim wild beatings during their transfer to police stations or inside the detention centres. Many people were hit in the neck and a lot of people were hit in the back and abdomen. It should be reported also that this event did not attract the interest of the mainstream media that were completely focused on the death of Osama Bin Laden…

Read more: http://eagainst.com/articles/portugal-an-unreported-struggle/

(Amnesty.orgAuthorities in China must clarify the current status and reveal the whereabouts of a lawyer and a journalist who have gone missing in the past week, Amnesty International said today as a clampdown on activists appeared to be widening.

Li Xiongbing, a prominent Beijing human rights lawyer known for taking on politically sensitive cases, has been missing since yesterday after he was telephoned by police.

Zhang Jialong, 23, a former Caijing magazine journalist who has covered the detention of acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei, went missing on 28 April after reportedly being approached by a person claiming to represent Beijing police.

“The sudden disappearance of these activists is alarming; the authorities must immediately provide clarification as to Li Xiongbing and Zhang Jialong’s whereabouts. If they have been detained for their legitimate human rights work, they must be released,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.

“This is part of a wider trend of repression of lawyers, writers and government critics; the authorities are trying to intimidate and silence anyone who writes about sensitive subjects or who dares to defend victims of human rights violations,” he added.

The families of Li Xiongbing and Zhang Jialong have received no formal notification from the authorities about their detention or whereabouts.

Li Xiongbing’s wife, Wu Haiying, says she last heard from him on Wednesday afternoon, when he called to say he would be away for some days. Wu Haiying has since been unable to reach her husband by telephone.

Zhang Jialong has also reported on the aftermath of the Sanlu tainted milk scandal according to the International Federation of Journalists. Six children died and 300,000 became ill from drinking infant formula tainted with melamine in 2008.

Li Xiongbing has represented Gongmeng, a legal aid organization, and Aizhixing, an AIDS NGO, which has faced bureaucratic restrictions and police warnings. Its director Wan Yanhai went into exile in 2010 to escape government persecution.

Since online calls for a Chinese ‘Jasmine Revolution’ inspired by people’s movements in the Middle East and North Africa began circulating in late February, the Chinese authorities have rounded up dozens of activists, lawyers and bloggers.

Human rights lawyer Li Fangping returned home Wednesday after disappearing for five days. He has declined to talk about the events of the past week.

Writer and human rights activist Ding Fangguan (known as Gu Chuan) and lawyers Jiang Tianyong and Teng Biao were released last month but remain under illegal house arrest.

Ding Fangguan has not yet been able or willing to describe in detail how he was treated during the 62 days he was held in incommunicado detention.

“The attacks on lawyers in particular signal a big step back from the Chinese government’s commitment to the rule of law and the development of the legal profession,” Sam Zarifi said.

Among the more than 200,000 lawyers in China, only a small proportion is willing to take the risk of representing victims of human rights violations. These lawyers constitute an important part of the weiquan (‘rights defense’) movement, which uses Chinese law to protect the rights of individuals.

Like other human rights defenders in China, weiquan lawyers have been harassed, assaulted, kept under surveillance and prosecuted for protecting the rights of others.

The Chinese authorities have also imposed arbitrary administrative sanctions, such as fines, on law firms that employ weiquan lawyers.

Source: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/chinese-government-critics-missing-crackdown-dissent-widens-2011-05-05

(deepgreenphilly.com)

Layla Abdel-Rahim joins me for today’s podcast. Get ready for a fascinating, thought provoking discussion. Layla is a teacher, a prolific writer, a philosopher, and an artist. Her critiques of industrial civilization are definitely on point, and they compliment the works of the anarcho-primitivist philosopher John Zerzan whom she recently paneled with in New Mexico at the ‘Anarcho-Primitivist Momentum’ conference.

Listen to the podcast here: http://www.deepgreenphilly.com/?p=277

Layla´s home page: http://layla.miltsov.org/home/
~ on Open Anthropology Cooperative: http://openanthcoop.ning.com/profile/LaylaAbdelRahim