Race

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…

Coughing out the Law: Perversity and Sociality around an Eating Table

Ham Sandwich

It was lunch­time at Sydney’s David Jones, Australia’s up-​market de­part­ment store chain. So I headed down to the ‘food floor’. Whenever I have to shop at DJs I try to make sure I go there around midday, pre­cisely so I can go down to the food floor and order the ex­cep­tion­ally suc­cu­lent off the bone ham sand­wich at the roast…

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…

Health, Safety and Publicness: Athens, August 9 – 14, 2012

371

Five days in Athens. Five very varied days. I used to fre­quent Athens as a teen­ager with my par­ents. We were al­ways transit vis­itors, en route to Kano, Nigeria where my late father used to work. Those visits where quick, two days in Athens, vis­iting an­cient monu­ments, mu­seums, tav­ernas, cafes, friends, and re­l­at­ives. You see, post 1974…

Racism, Sexism and Swimming at the London Olympics

chinese-swimmer-ye-shiwen-2012-london-olympics-gold-09

I’ve been a little taken aback this week at the level of ra­cism against China in the British and US media, and on longer-​than-​usual com­ment threads on various friends’ face­book walls. I mean, I know that ra­cism in sport and in the media is nothing new, and I know that being mixed race white-​Chinese, I’m taking the various swipes being…

Brutality on World Refugee Day — Ireland

immigration-detention-handcuffs

Yesterday an­other mass de­port­a­tion to Nigeria took place after many Direct Provision centres were raided by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) early in the morning. We have been in­formed that people in­cluding women and chil­dren were taken in Carrick-​on-​Suir, Cork and Portlaoise.

Out of des­per­a­tion, a woman called Adekemi tried to harm her­self with a knife while she was being taken­from her room. After having dragged her out­side al­most naked from the waist up, the po­lice pepper sprayed her, beat her severely, and hand­cuffed her in front of early age chil­dren who were vis­ibly dis­traught. As she had re­cently un­der­gone a ser­ious stomach sur­gery, the scar opened and started bleeding while she was being beaten. Adekemi was then hos­pit­al­ised, but after a short time she was brought back to the hostel, and to­gether with her three chil­dren she was taken to the air­port by the GNIB for deportation.