Docu: INTO THE FIRE

May 31, 2013

Vluchtkerk evicted

May 30, 2013

Yesterday the squatted church in Amsterdam Zuid Oost was evicted.
This place functioned as a hide out for a large group of undocumented migrants
for most of the winter and it was supported by a large network of activists and charity workers.

This is the second time the place has been evicted. After the first time in December 2012
the people were granted access to the same place again due to the controversy that arose at the time.
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Into the Fire

May 24, 2013

The documentary
Into the Fire is on the topic of refugees in Greece. Greece is the one country through which a majority of ´asylum seekers´ or ´illegal migrants´ (apologies for the facism in the terminology) enter Europe before heading elsewhere.

This documentary exposes a part of the story of the migrants as told through the eyes of the Reel News Network.

https://network23.org/stopg8/

Posted on May 9, 2013 by stopg82013 | Leave a comment

Presenting the action map for the June 11 Carnival Against Capitalism. 100 locations in the West End connected to blatant murder, oppression and exploitation. Click on the image above to zoom in, download and print.
There is also an online map which will feature more details and even more addresses. It is still being updated. To check in for latest progress go to: mappingthecorporations.org/ and select “Mapping Capitalist London” in the sector menu.
If you have more information on any company, or want to add a new address, please email stopg8@riseup.net
Read on for background on the map and capitalist London.
This is London.
London is at the heart of global capitalism. It is one of the main hubs of a worldwide system of money and power. Deals made here build factories in Asia, burn down forests in South America, and start wars in Africa. For billionaires, dictators, and other parasites London is a safe place to hide out, launder money, and go shopping. These people are not untouchable. They are right here on our doorstep, and they have names and addresses.
We now live in a globalised economy. Factories in Asia make goods using raw materials from Africa, South America and the Middle East, which are sold (on credit) to European consumers. The UK produces little: a factory here can’t compete with a Bangladeshi sweatshop where wages are pitiful and life is cheap. In the 1980s and 90s the UK economy shifted away from manufacturing to money management, and is now almost entirely based on debt and on London’s role as a financial middleman.
No longer the capital of a powerful country, London thrives as a money-laundering centre for the new global elites. It attracts international wealth with its banking infrastructure, established networks, minimal tax and regulation, historic prestige, and tame population. As the city’s role changes, its landscape is transformed. The valuable real estate in the centre is socially cleansed and secured with private guards, gated areas, and CCTV, pushing us out to the forgotten fringes.
London has three main economic power centres. In two of them, the City and Canary Wharf, the big banks shout their power with glass skyscrapers and neon corporate logos. But much of the power in London is quietly concentrated in the old elite areas of the West End. Here deals are done in whispers, behind unmarked doors.
Money.
Mayfair is home to private banks, banks that cater to the wealthy and don’t ask questions. The map shows just a few of them, including some dedicated to washing money for regimes like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The deregulation and financial boom of the 80s and 90s led to new forms of investment including *private equity* and hedge funds. These also gravitated to the private banking zone, making Mayfair the world’s second hedge fund capital after New York.
Private equity investors buy companies and shares in private deals, rather than on ‘public’ stock exchanges. They are less transparent, less regulated, and can make much bigger profits. Some private equity funds take over existing companies, sacking workers and ‘asset stripping’ the firms. Some speculate in real estate, including the ‘land grab’ funds buying up farmland in poor countries, displacing communities and pushing up food prices. ‘Soft commodities’ funds speculate on food and water supplies. Other funds specialise in privatisation, using their political contacts to grab cheap government assets.
Hedge Funds are ‘alternative’ investment managers specialising in risk, secrecy, and big profits. In contrast to the cautious and relatively tightly regulated pension funds of the City they are private partnerships, usually run by a few superstar managers, that publish little information and attract wealthy investors. Hedge funds follow a range of different strategies. Some make their money by gambling on currencies and other financial markets: a number made a killing out of the sub-prime mortgage collapse of 2008. ‘Distressed debt’ funds, sometimes called ‘vulture funds’, are glorified debt collectors who buy up and chase bad debts, including those of struggling countries like Greece and Argentina. Many fund bosses are big political party donors, which helps them fend off regulation and investigation despite their unsavoury reputations.
Dirt, blood and spin.
Some of the world’s bloodiest and most polluting corporations are based in the West End. Oil giant BP and mining companies like Lonmin are vestiges of British colonial power, still plundering Africa and other resource rich regions. Their new neighbours are ‘emerging market’ giants like India’s ArcelorMittal, Tata and Vedanta. A number of these companies are based around St James’ Square, south of Piccadilly, the area that is also the traditional clubland of the old British ruling class.
Where there’s a goldmine or an oilfield, you need guns (and drones, jets, guided missiles, etc) and hired killers to defend it. The West End is also the main European base for many of the world’s largest arms companies, including BAE Systems, Thales, Lockheed Martin and more, and also of mercenaries and private security contractors. These can be found clustered around Victoria, and throughout the area.
Some unfortunate regimes and corporations suffer from ‘reputational issues’: i.e. people realise that they are murdering bastards. This is where Public Relations companies like Bell Pottinger, Brown Lloyd James, and M&C Saatchi step in to spin destruction into development. The West End has become a key base of the global PR trade, traditionally centered around Soho.
Dens of the rich.
Once you’ve made obscene money, you need to spend it. London real estate is a prime investment opportunity, and you can get round planning laws by knocking mansions together and digging down for underground swimming pools. The boutiques of Bond Street and the nightclubs of Mayfair and Knightsbridge mix the prestige of the old aristocracy with the glamour of the new mega-rich. Crucially for them all, London is a haven of ‘stability’: extradition treaties don’t touch the elites, and London’s occasional riots usually stay safely away from rich areas.
If we knew our power …
The old idea was that we could overthrow capitalism by uniting as workers and taking over production. But London doesn’t produce anything: the only work left is in the ‘service’ sector, serving the rich. If we want to destroy the system that is killing us, and replace it with sustainable and worthwhile ways of living, we need to identify where our power lies today. Cities like London are key hubs in the circulation of finance and information that keeps the global system going. To function they need stability and security. They rely on us to keep tame and compliant. Time to wake up.
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Posted in General
Mayday actions
Posted on May 5, 2013 by stopg82013 | Leave a comment
On International Workers’ Day, activists from the Stop G8 Network held a series of loud and angry protests against Mango, Primark and Benetton stores in Oxford Street.
Each of these companies is known to have sourced their clothes from the Rana Plaza factory in Savar, Bangladesh, in which more than 500 people are known to have died after the building collapsed (see here for more info). Protesters entered the shops and chanted about the continued exploitation of workers in Bangladesh and elsewhere. Many leaflets were handed to people in the heaving shopping district and there was considerable interest and support. Most shoppers were deterred from entering the shops due to the large number of police and protesters standing in front of the entrances. Protesters emphasised that the disaster in the Bangladeshi garment factory is just the latest incident in a series of such tragedies and that callous disregard for workers is part and parcel of global capitalism.
More pictures are available here

Further actions in solidarity with Bangladeshi workers were held in Hackney, Birmingham and Bristol. For more info see here.
In Lewes a social centre has been squatted and is being used for skillshares, anticapitalist workshops, seedling swaps and the distribution of fresh vegetables for donations while a piece of anti-capitalist G8 themed street theatre, involving the guillotining of David Cameron, was carried out in Worthing Town Centre.

Earth First! Newswire

by Oliver Kelly Dean

In late March 2013 it was announced that ‘the government of Tanzania is establishing a corridor of 1,500 sq Km for both public and international interests’. The “international interests” are the United Arab Emirate’s Otterlo Business Corporation Ltd (OBC) that plans to use the land for big game hunting. The purpose of this project has been introduced under the noble banner of “conservation” but in reality the plan is for the land to be used to create yet another location for rich Arabs to hunt big game. Putting aside the obviously disgusting sport of hunting animals: the forced eviction of the Maasai people from their own land is defined as a crime against humanity and ethnic cleansing by both United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). This collaboration of east-African governments and corporate colonialists that is sweeping the continent – as foreign empires did…

View original post 630 more words

“The latest from the Crimethinc ‘stable’ – this critically acclaimed short is inspired by the book Days Of War Nights Of Love chapter, ‘L is for Love’. The film narrates the chapter (courtesy Amy Ray of The Indigo Girls) and tells the story of two couples: one that followed the path most likely to please society, and the other too passionate about life to care what anyone thinks. Music by Radiohead and Speedy Voodoo.”

even on DVD

On a side note:
“We conceive of the relationship between film and social history as a process of discursive transcoding. We do so in order to emphasize the connections between the representations operative in film and the representations which give structure and shape to social life. […] As a result, films themselves become part of that broader cultural system of representations that construct social reality. That construction occurs in part through the internalization of representations. […] Consequently, the sort of representations which prevail in a culturure is a crucial political issue. Cultural representations not only give shape to psychological dispositions, they also play an important role in determining how social reality will be constructed, that is, what figures and boundaries will prevail in the shaping of social life and social institutions. They determine whether capitalism will be conceived (felt, experienced, lived) as a predatory jungle or as a utopia of freedom. Control over the production of cultural representation is therefore crucial to the maintenance of social power, but it is also essential to progressive movements for social change.”

Ryan, M., & Kellner, D. M. (1990). Camera politica: The politics and ideology of contemporary Hollywood film (Vol. 604). Indiana University Press.

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