Tag: Violence

On the Zimmerman Verdict: Violence and Reason

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…

Dehumanisation and the Systemic Perpetuation of Rape

Are we witnessing a global epidemic of sexual violence against women, or are we simply witnessing a temporary surge in public and media interest in a ubiquitous, endemic problem? I suspect the latter — much as a spectacular famine, or a good earthquake, temporarily piques ‘international’ (i.e. Western or Euro-American) interest in the endemic reality…

Pasolini’s Salò: Torture is Political

Pasolini’s controversial final film Salò (1975), based on Marquis de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom (1785), poses significant questions regarding the intersection between sadistic torture and sovereignty. The film is divided into four segments, heavily inspired by Dante’s Inferno: Ante-Inferno, Circle of Manias, Circle of Shit, and Circle of Blood. Salò focuses on four corrupt…

Occupy Policing: The Eviction of Occupy Melbourne

Inspired by the global call for action by the Indignados movement in Spain, the protests and revolutions across the Arab World and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, activists organised to launch Occupy Melbourne in City Square on 15 October 2011. Occupy Melbourne sought to transform City Square into a ‘common’ space…

Race, Civility & A Good Cup of Tea: Tottenham

This is an exerpt; Full text available at Canadian Dimension … In response [to the summer’s riots], many observers tried to comment on the situation, drawing out grand theories of the political, social, and economic context behind the events. Some blamed social spending cuts brought on by the new Tory budget. Others drew attention to…

The Guise of Citizenship: Immigration & Liminal Spaces of Legality

Like all obviousnesses, including those that make a word ‘name a thing’ or ‘have a meaning’ (therefore including the obviousness of the ‘transparency’ of language), the ‘obviousness’ that you and I are subjects – and that that does not cause any problems – is an ideological effect, the elementary ideological effect (Althusser, Ideology and the Ideological…

Violence at the Edge: Tottenham, Athens, Paris

Few are willing to make comparisons between this past year’s radical political activity – from the student protests to the major TUC demonstration – and the Tottenham riots. The reasons for this are fairly obvious: there is no unifying political goal of these ‘looters’, ‘hooligans’ and ‘thugs’. Theirs instead appears to be a ‘consumerism of…

Who’s Breaching Whose Peace?

On 14 April 2011, the High Court of England and Wales ruled, in R (on the application of Joshua Moos and Hannah McClure) v The Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis, that the police had acted unlawfully in “containing” (aka kettling) certain G20 protestors on 1 April 2009. It made clear that the police…

A Note on Violence

There is a determined constituency within the new student movement who do not rule out the use of physical force in protest. The damage they incur is far from random vandalism. The courage they display in refusing to be intimidated by the increasingly brutal tactics of the police has garnered some recognition from others within the movement. Yet the issue remains controversial and potentially divisive.

The Violent Vocabulary of Policing

Those of us living in the so-called advanced democracies such as the United Kingdom often forget that Police is an integral part of coercive capacity of the state. Yet, what should make a democracy democratic is accountability of the state to the people. People matter. It is not enough that in Britain, there are organizations…

Power, Violence, Law

Over the last two hundred years, the theory of right, now known as normative jurisprudence, has discovered its vocation in a frantic attempt to legitimise the exercise of power. It carries out this task by declaring that law and power are external to each other ontologically, politically, morally, the two are involved in a zero-sum…