New week, new link roundup. Let’s dive into the treats!
First and very importantly, if you have a Queensland postcode and you haven’t yet signed the parliamentary e-petition against the sale of Deebing Creek Mission to developers, GET ON THAT RIGHT NOW. Usually - okay, nearly always - petitions are empty gestures, but one thing I did not know until this weekend is that if a parliamentary e-petition gets to 10,000 signatures, it must be debated in Parliament. This one is at 5,752 signatures and ticking up nicely, so it’s got a good shot. This campaign is really gaining momentum, and - interestingly - it’s now seen as a moral struggle that no one wants to be on the wrong side of, similar to the twentieth-century picket line. (See, for instance, Mini Movers being forced to clarify that their trucks did not break up the camp last week, once it became apparent that “the situation was one which Mini Movers could not morally support.”) I went out to the camp on Friday and was blown away by how beautiful and peaceful it is out there. The thought of a housing development on that land makes me sick. Anyway, sign the petition, and go out to the camp if you can. You can also make donations and keep up with the campaign via the Save Deebing Creek Mission Facebook page.
That Buzzfeed piece on ‘How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation’ gave me a feeling of subtle dissatisfaction when I first read it, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. A critique by Amelia Horgan hits the nail on the head: “What’s remarkable about the article is that it elicits the experience of discussion, the feeling of theory, but without any of the lights actually switched on. Instead, what is demanded is that we identify with it. Millennial Burnout is not an invitation to think. It is an invitation to write ‘same’ when you share the piece … [But] these are desperate times that require thought and action: we need much, much more than the feeling of identification.” Horgan’s short essay also brings some much-needed historical and class analysis to the question of the yoofs. Recommend.
On a more self-promotional note - last week we published a piece that I may never stop raving about: Rachel Rowe’s ‘Outside, Against, and Beyond AMLO: Struggles for Autonomy in Mexico.’ Written in collaboration with comrades in Mexico, this piece brings us inside the pockets of indigenous resistance in Mexico, including housing cooperatives, a student radio station, and of course the Zapatistas. Rachel links these movements to the history of neoliberalism in Mexico (including the crucial role played by the drug trade) and discusses the recent election of social democratic president AMLO in this historical context. In short: read this to understand a little more about contemporary Mexican politics. (If it leaves you wanting more, my partner is currently reading Open Veins of Latin America, and reports that it is “a total banger”. This week’s image is of Chavez gifting a copy to Obama, FYI.)
International Corporate Cupcake Day, I mean International Women’s Day, was this past Friday. No, obviously I do support IWD for its revolutionary history and even its revolutionary potential, but I just really hate breakfast events. Here’s an article from the ABC which does a pretty good job of outlining the discomfort I think many of us feel, and even includes a shout-out to Lenin’s best gal Nadya Krupskaya. In case you missed it, we also published a statement by local feminist group Feminist Action!, addressing the “growing confluence of so called “radical feminists” (a clever name, but false to its heart) with the religious and conservative right.” And just to continue on with the Mexican theme of today’s link roundup, here is a letter from the Zapatista women to the women who struggle in the world.
How many women have been murdered in those progressive or reactionary worlds while you have been reading these words, compañera, sister? Maybe you already know this but we’ll tell you clearly here that in Zapatista territory, not a single woman has been murdered for many years. Imagine, and they call us backward, ignorant, and insignificant.
This piece from the New York Times, of all places, on the real-life impacts of a $15 minimum wage, is quite moving and well-written. “A $15 minimum wage is an antidepressant. It is a sleep aid. A diet. A stress reliever. It is a contraceptive, preventing teenage pregnancy. It prevents premature death. It shields children from neglect … We will spend an incredible amount on a new heart drug. But if we increased wages by $1, we’d save more lives.” Of course, what it leaves out is that $15 per hour for the most difficult, grueling jobs out there is not nearly enough. But it’s still worth reading, to get a sense of the struggles happening in the US around this issue.
Last but not least, about a week and a half ago we released a new Floodcast, with our (first ever!) special guest Jeremy Poxon. Last night my partner’s brother told me that Jeremy is “basically the only reason I’m still on Twitter”, and it’s true, he is a prolific and highly skilled poster. But he’s also the media officer for the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, and has an in-depth knowledge of the Australian welfare system and how broken it is. It was our absolute pleasure to interview him about the political-economic context of the welfare system, as well as both historical and current movements to resist Centrelink demons and build the power of the poor. Give it a listen if you haven’t already.
Until next week!