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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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


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


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.