Manissa Maharawal: Shut it down: Notes on the #blacklivesmatter protests in Oakland, California – Part 1


Part I. Rage, grief and learning while walking:

Since the summer of 2014, there have been sustained protests across the United States surrounding issues of police violence, systematic racism, and the devaluation of Black life. What started as protests over the non-indictment of the white police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, respectively, quickly grew into a nationwide uprising that employed highly disruptive direct action tactics. These protests are expressions of collective outrage, anger, and grief that have forced a much needed, nationwide conversation about race, racism, and the value of Black life in America. They have also become important sites of political education and experimentation as people joined together, night after night, in demonstrations of collective power and rage to “shut shit down.”
Continue reading

Barbara Karatsioli: Syriza and the return of the political

The electoral win of Syriza in Greece substantiates cross-European objections to austerity. Contrary to recurrent warnings that have for years emphasized how Syriza’s electoral victory would jeopardize Greece’s future in Europe and plunge the economy further into crisis, the first weeks in government underline that Syriza’s rise to power may be just what was needed to return the political to European politics. People across Europe now go beyond mere solidarity with Greek efforts, as they call for collective action to revisit the question of how to deal with fiscal policies and indebted nations. The call is for people to come before profit, not a centralized subordination of policies to a very particular economic calculus and to technocratic power.
Continue reading

Nicolas Martin: Democracy subverted: Inequality, liberalism, and criminal politics in the Indian Punjab

A number of liberal scholars of India, ranging from Amartya Sen and Jean Drèze to James Manor, all broadly view democracy as the solution to a variety of social evils including poverty, inequality, corruption, crime, and even violent conflict. They all acknowledge that Indian democracy is at times a messy affair, but they share a common faith in its self-correcting potential. As they see it, democracy has fostered a more assertive citizenry that no longer accepts traditional hierarchies and that is less tolerant of abuses of power.
Continue reading

Theodoros Rakopoulos: The future lasts a long time…or is it here already? The Left in power in Greece

On the evening of 16 June 2012, after the announcement of the electoral results that had brought Syriza to second place behind the conservative New Democracy (but at 27 percent, risen almost seven-fold from the previous elections), Alexis Tsipras came on the stage in the midst of bittersweet celebrations in central Athens. Syriza , the party miracle of the radical Left, had been christened as the moral authority in Greece and the Eurozone: it had taken over the questione morale to center stage and monopolized it. In a moment of powerful semantics connecting past and future, the then-38-year-old Tsipras embraced the Syriza MP (today MEP) Manolis Glezos, then 90 years old, one of the most prominent anti­–Nazi Resistance Europeans alive today. Tsipras then, among other interesting points such as tearing the debt Memoranda apart, uttered the classic phrase, “The future lasts a long time.” He didn’t actually quote Althusser, but we got the point.

Continue reading