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New Report Documents ‘Total Policing’ Clampdown on Freedom to Protest

[Drawn from Netpol’s own release] A detailed new report launched today by the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) highlights how promises made by the police to ‘adapt to protest’ after 2009′s G20 demonstrations in London have been forgotten in a remarkably short space of time and a far more intolerant ‘total policing’ style response to…

Levi Bryant: Denaturing Nature: Talk at SPACE Gallery

SPACE host a lecture by Levi R. Bryant on the 5th of July at 6.30pm: Bryant is a leading thinker in the emerging fields of Object Oriented Ontology and Speculative Realism. The talk  suggestes that nature must be denatured, but without abandoning nature. Rather than absorbing nature into culture and language, culture should instead be absorbed into…

Civil Disobedience — Between Symbolic Politics and Real Confrontation

Some consider civil disobedience too radical; an attempt to procure political power under the mantle of moral principles or a one-sided renunciation of the duty to obey and uphold the law, and that is not to be tolerated. Citizens in functioning democracies must limit themselves to the legally sanctioned possibilities available to them for expressing dissenting views and influencing the political process. From this perspective, civil disobedience is little more than political blackmail. Others consider it an impotent expression of a reformist yearning for cosmetic changes within the given system; as a socially permissible and harmless protest of well-intentioned citizens that remains purely symbolic and only contributes to stabilizing prevailing relationships.

This essay attempts to show that both of these widespread views fail to fully address the specific characteristics of civil disobedience as a genuinely political and democratic practice of contestation. To present these specifics in detail, it is first necessary to define civil disobedience. Second, I situate this form of political practice between the opposing poles of symbolic politics and real confrontation. In a closing remark, I briefly examine the role of civil disobedience in representative democracies.

Law’s Justice – Editorial from Relaunched Journal: No Foundations

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The relaunch of No Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice is devoted to rethinking the possibility of law’s justice. We have chosen to approach this question from a law and humanities perspective, mainly for two reasons. The first is that this interdisciplinary movement, presently gaining momentum in Europe, reconceptualizes law in a way…

Launch: New Critical Legal Thinking

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We would like to invite you to the launch of New Critical Legal Thinking. It will take place at 6pm in the Clore Management Building, Birkbeck, University of London, on Saturday the 30th of June, during the London Conference in Critical Theory. New Critical Legal Thinking articulates the emergence of a stream of critical legal…

Brutality on World Refugee Day – Ireland

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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.

The Greek Crisis as Racketeering

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Sociologist Charles Tilly drew a compelling analogy between the state as the place of organised means of violence, and racketeering. He defined the racketeer “as someone who creates a threat and then charges for its reduction”, in order to gain control and consolidate power. In this regard, a state and its government differ little from…

Declaration: Hardt & Negri

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This is not a manifesto. Manifestos provide a glimpse of a world to come and also call into being the subject, who although now only a specter must materialize to become the agent of change. Manifestos work like the ancient prophets, who by the power of their vision create their own people. Today’s social movements…

In solidarity with the Greek People

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For joint actions around the Greek elections, and for large Euro-Mediterranean’s mobilizations in autumn 2012! The response to the financial and economic crisis is the same everywhere: cuts in expenditure and austerity measures under the pretext of reducing deficits and the repayment of a public debt which is the direct outcome of 20 years of…

The Challenges of Indignation: Spain’s 15M

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The 15M [the Indignados ‘movement’] is very alive, we see this in the great challenges that await it. It has many achievements, some very visible, like the creation of a different social climate or having socialized the idea that the crisis is a con, and that this con started well before the crisis. A year…

Palestine Place – Workshops, Discussion and Action in support of Palestine, 2–17 June 2012

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It is mid-2012 and in Palestine the 64 year-long struggle against Israel’s political, economic, and cultural occupation and violence continues with an ever-increasing intensity. The state of Israel, supported by central London’s powerful political elite, continues to control the discourse on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Though it attempts to drown out the voices of…

CFP: “Democracy & Law” | Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies

Democracy and Law Democracy and law are central themes of global studies. Nowadays international politics seems to be interceded via a multitude of legal practices and processes, consequently bringing the role of, and need for, international law into sharp relief. Yet particularly since the emergence of the ‘war on terror’ many have questioned the efficacy…

Convergence on Activism & Research Ethics, 30 June 2012, London

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Occupy Research Collective Convergence (ORCC): Activism & Research Ethics 10:00-17:00 Saturday June 30th – Pearson Building, University College London, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6BT (enter from Gower Street). See here for directions. Are you researching Occupy or contemporary social movements? Are you involved in Occupy or other forms of activism? Are you interested in using research…

SYRIZA Proposal: The Exit from the Crisis on the Left

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1. Creation of a shield to protect society against the crisis • Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection, housing, and access to all services of public utilities. • Protection of and relief measures for indebted households. • Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, and…

New CLC Stream: Vulnerability: Is there a Choice

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‘Neoliberalism solves its problems by moving them around geopolitically’ David Harvey (2005). This stream aims to create a space for dialogue about the issues that are pertinent to current geopolitical, neoliberal and socio-economic issues. We invite papers from all disciplines to address the concept of vulnerability as an embodied experience but also as a material…

Blockupy and The Politics of Crisis

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The politics of crisis speaks among other things to the inherent crisis within the capitalist process. Nonlinear studies of capitalism, for example, take a far more honest approach to their subject matter. One can read the theology that is neoclassical economics and despair that even the first steps of scientific method are ignored. The primary…

Total Blockupy ban met with 14 May protest

The complete ban on any form of Blockupy protest, the proposed clearing of the peaceful Occupy camp, the Frankfurt council’s stonewalling manner, and now the setting up of an exclusion zone (see picture) for named individuals across inner Frankfurt has forced party members and activists to speak of the need to defend the “basic right…