Race

The Slave Ship Embodies the Whole Story of Slavery

Slave_Ship

The man refused to eat. He had been sick, reduced to a ‘mere skeleton.’ He had apparently made a decision to die. Captain Timothy Tucker was outraged, and probably fearful that his example might spread to the other 200-​plus captives aboard his ship, the Loyal George, as it made its way across the Atlantic to Barbados…

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

Eliza Koch

The Cupcake as Object The cupcake is barely a cake. When we think about what “the cake-​like” ideal should be, it is something spongy, moist, characterized by excess, collapsing under its own weight of gooey jam, meringue, and cream. It is something sickly and wet that makes your fingers sticky. The cupcake is none of these…

Racism as Excessive Legalism

Queue

We rightly celebrate that we live in a society where law and order prevail. The capacity to follow established rules allows for the smooth operation of the many necessary transactions that make up our everyday life. And the law, among other things, guarantees that we as citizens can access certain goods and services by right rather…

Farewell, Madiba. Farewell

Candle

I, along with millions, perhaps even billions, lit a candle on the 5th of December 2013 in memory of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Madiba or Tata, as he is also affectionately known in the Xhosa language of his Native Land, Azania, known through its colonial and now post-​apartheid name, South Africa. The candlelight has many meanings in…

Black and Red Baiting: A Reply to Eric Heinze, ‘Angela Davis’s Racism’

King Communist Training

It is to be hoped that most readers of Critical Legal Thinking who enjoy a passing acquaintance with twentieth-​century history or the writing and activism of Angela Davis, will recognise Eric Heinze’s article ‘Angela Davis’s Racism’ for what it is: a pompous and purblind character-​assassination, whose ignorance of history and political bad faith make old school anti-​communist…

Angela Davis’s Racism: A Glance at Morality and History

Erich Honecker and Angela Davis

What might we have thought about high-​profile personalities flying into Alabama or Mississippi in the 1950s — white figures meeting with white governors, white mayors, white police chiefs, to openly cheer those states’ ‘equitable solutions’ to social problems? Such visits certainly took place. Surely we would have to call those visitors overtly racist, or else wilfully ignorant, hence…

Murder by Fascists in Greece

golden-dawn-greece

Last night, 34-​year-​old anti-​fascist and left-​wing rapper Pavlos Fissas was stabbed to death in Athens while he was surrounded by a group of 30 thugs in Golden Dawn shirts and military trousers. The victim, whose stage name is MC Killah P, had been watching a football match with his girlfriend. The Greek media is reporting that the murder…

Wanted For Love, But Not Here: The Travelling Rights of African LGBT Activists

Wanted for Love

One of the dangers of awareness campaigns centred on social media is that they risk being online popularity contests. The [Dutch] national “Wanted For Love” campaign — a collaborative initiative of Hivos and Human Rights Watch aimed at drawing attention to the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in “Africa” — welcomes the like-​tivist spirit with…

On the Zimmerman Verdict: Violence and Reason

Trayvon Martin art

George Zimmerman’s acquittal is not a mere validation of one White man’s fear of and disdain for young Black males and the deadly force with which these emotions were unleashed upon an innocent boy. Rather, it is a terrifying and heartbreaking expression of six White female jurors’ desire to empathize with and protect a man whose liberty was…

Prisoners’ Hunger Strike in California

PelicanBaySHUExerciseYard

Daletha Hayden hasn’t hugged her son in four years. Since 2009, the only face-​to-​face contact they’ve had has been through thick glass. Even phone calls are not allowed in Tehachapi State Prison’s isolation unit. Despite the separation, she said she has seen the effect solitary confinement has had on him. “He has these bouts of…

Anti-​Colonial Events in Brazil

man-and-riot-polic_2255967k

In the colonial countries, on the contrary, the policeman and the soldier, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action maintain contact with the native and advise him by means of rifle butts and napalm not to budge. It is obvious here that the agents of government speak the language of pure force. The intermediary…

Debating BDS (Boy­cott, Divest­ment, Sanc­tions): Fraser v UCU

images

On March 22nd, 2013 the Employment Tribunal (UK-London) rendered judgment in the case of Fraser v University & College Union (UCU). Ruling in favour of UCU, the Tribunal’s judgment brought immense relief to UCU members, BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activists, and others who were anxious about the potential repercussions that a negative outcome might have for freedom of…

The Right against the City

Golden Dawn supporters on the streets

“Reclaim our cities”. “Self-​organise”. “Take neighbourhood action”. Consider these slogans for a moment. Sound familiar? Indeed they should, echoing as they do a body of scholarship (e.g. Amin & Thrift, 2005; Butler, 2012; Chatterton, 2010; Dikeç, 2001; Harvey, 2003; Leontidou, 2006, 2010; Marcuse, 2009; Mayer, 2009; Simone, 2005) stemming from Henri Lefebvre’s idea of the Right to the City (Lefebvre, 1996; henceforth RttC). Despite this common origin, interpretations of the Lefebvrian “right” have been most diverse; perhaps his own often-​times abstract writing has inadvertently caused this scholarship to reach outside the confines of his own political allegiance and thought: ten years ago, Mark Purcell (2002) protested that the original RttC notion was more radical than his own concurrent literature would make it appear. But today, a reformist interpretation of Lefebvre might be the least of the worries we are faced with here, on the south-​eastern shore of the Mediterranean that is the Greek territory.

Australian government asked to leave aboriginal community

Amoonguna

Just over five years ago, on 21 June 2007, Australia’s then prime minister John Howard announced that rates of child sex abuse in the country’s Northern Territory aboriginal communities were so high that they constituted a national emergency. Drawing on the federal government’s constitutional power to override Territory legislation, and suspending Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975, Howard…

When capitalism is defended with legitimate violence

Striking Lonmin minewokers shot by police

It has been a long fortnight for South Africa, which has unmistakably shown all the flaws and fallacies of its post-​apartheid ‘rainbow nation’, along with the weaknesses of a non-​racialist society deeply riddled with economic and social asymmetries. More importantly, it has shown that capitalism cannot conclude compromises with the excluded and exploited, and that investors have…

Austerity by way of the Colonies: Workfare in the UK

The_Snapshot_of_poor_law_of_1834

The taxi took an alternate route to the airport that day, the day before the Queen’s Jubilee parade, to avoid the very early morning rehearsals of military personnel, horses, and others involved in orchestrating the impending celebrations. Arriving at my destination 22 hours later, in a time zone 13 hours behind GMT, I went to the Guardian…