Recently, a £20,000 settlement was awarded to me by the Metropolitan police, not in recognition of their selective brutality, but as a way of preventing an embarrassing court proceeding. The commissioner was forced to admit “apparent inconsistencies” between officers’ accounts claiming I violently attacked them and video evidence proving that, in fact, I was the one being attacked by officers. This was after raising a civil claim in respect of those same officers attending court to give evidence to have me convicted.

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fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

It is with profound sadness that I write to tell you QEJ is closing.

Funding has always been a challenge for QEJ throughout our 12 years of existence, but this year the financial crisis has been relentless.  We finally had to face the painful reality that we cannot keep going. The crisis cannot be resolved simply by a one-time burst of money. Had that been true, we would have turned to you, our community, and asked for help. I am sure of your response.

What the Board and I had to confront was that this financial crisis would remain an ongoing emergency because we had no certain guarantees of future long-term funding. We were looking down the barrel of the funding-world shotgun, and understood that we could not stay alive. We know that QEJ is not unique in this crisis. We see clearly how our radical vision of social change — including issues of poverty, incarceration, sexuality and racism too often did not align with more mainstream foundation priorities. And we know that this gap between our vision and the funding that enables it is a critical issue for our communities in the future.

We have never had a large number of major donors able to write big checks (though we thank the ones who have). What we have always had was a loyal and committed group of donors who believe in what QEJ does, and who gave—not huge sums—but all they could. Yet that wasn’t enough to keep us afloat. We needed to find another way to stay alive and, though we had a strategy, we did not have the time to implement it. Realizing this, we looked at each other and said what we had never said before: We have to close.

This has broken our hearts.

That heartbreak is a reflection of how proud we are of the community we have helped build, the accomplishments we have collectively achieved, and the history we have made.  We have been a unique, innovative LGBTQ voice speaking from the crossroads of sexual orientation, gender identity, class and race. We have never shied away from articulating our critique of capitalism and its ruinous impact on queer lives.  We fought for a vision seen through a distinct QEJ lens – a vision not framed by same-sex marriage or “don’t ask-don’t tell”.  We have talked about the root causes of poverty while we organized for a safer, more inclusive, and more accessible homeless shelter system.  We have advocated for economic justice and basic workplace protections like paid sick days and living wages as we organized around the need for transformative economic change.  We have often been the organization to most fiercely claim the untamable beauty of queerness in LGBTQ identities: the beauty in what we have been, the beauty and potential in who we are, and the vast possibility of our future. And we have never wavered in identifying the goal as liberation, not equality.

We ask you to keep QEJ’s legacy and vision alive. The work that we have done these past 12 years is of fundamental importance for the future of our communities. Queer, economic justice activism is needed now more than ever and we will need you, our community, to help carry that work forward as QEJ comes to an end. Use our website, our writings, like A New Queer Agenda and Beyond Marriage, talk about the issues and the vision for which QEJ is known. It is now up to each of us to take this on, never letting the too often absent voices of our communities disappear. We know that QEJ’s impact has been much larger than its size. Help all of us who love QEJ keep this legacy a living thing.

“Queer issues are class issues. They are issues of government and nonprofit violence, both inside and outside LGBQT organizations. The struggles we face go beyond making ends meet; violence’s of poverty, racism, policing, and ableism pervade our lives.”

A Fabulous Attitude – A  QEJ Welfare Warriors report

We will be organizing a NYC celebration of QEJ sometime in January 2014, to celebrate the beauty, history and vision that is  QEJ’s.  We will let you know more about this when we do.

Thank you for your love and support.

Amber Hollibaugh – QEJ Executive Director/Founding Board Member

Super sad that this decision had to be come to, for any radical organisation doing good work, but I think it’s a mark of a great organisation that it knows when energy can be better spent elsewhere.

"Queer issues are class issues"

too fucking right

"Wealth may breed narcissistic tendencies — and wealthy people justify their excess by convincing themselves that they are more deserving of it."

Wealthy Selfies: How Being Rich Increases Narcissism

Map of the most deprived areas of London (“Lower Super Output Areas” are areas of ~1000 people).
You can literally see Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Woolwich as a big band. Terrifying.

Map of the most deprived areas of London (“Lower Super Output Areas” are areas of ~1000 people).

You can literally see Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Woolwich as a big band. Terrifying.

"The Stream on Al Jazeera America wants your thoughts on the intersection of class and feminism. Who can afford to be a feminist?"

Class as a feminist issue - Branch

In a few minutes, I’m here live for a chat/roundtable about class, feminism and how inclusive feminism is of class issues. Click the link to see live (starts in a couple of minutes) or read later, as the stream is saved and accessible after the talks are finished.

(via redlightpolitics)

(via brujacore)

Tags: class feminism

"Chapman may be the deluded and confused white chick in the midst of women who are mostly of color and from much scrappier backgrounds, but she’s also portrayed as the only one who can rise above her own needs to consider the larger issues facing inmates. This goes against what we know about prison movements, which have often been and continue to be led by women and people of color, many of them queer and trans people. Angela Davis, who spent time in prison, is one of the world’s foremost abolitionists, as is Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated trans prison activist with roots in Stonewall (and the subject of a forthcoming documentary). Yet, from the perspective of the show, only white women have the wherewithal to understand and contest prison conditions."

White Chick Behind Bars

Netflix’s Orange is the New Black gets an ‘A’ on queer issues, a ‘C’ on race and an ‘F’ on class.

BY YASMIN NAIR

(via fabianromero)

"Orange ultimately sees prison as the logical, if slightly flawed, corrective to society’s problems. Rather than recognizing the prison as the Prison Industrial Complex and questioning a system that keeps recirculating people (mostly of color) through its doors in order to survive, the show sees prisons as housing units, almost like sorority houses. The rationale here is that prison can be a fun place, if only some of the worst elements, like solitary confinement or bad food, were taken away."

YES. Not surprised that a co-founder of Against Equality is a good writer, but still, fucking good.

(via sorejigsaw)

"

"White middle-class parents often presume an entitlement, both to a good education for their children and to educational success." Black middle-class parents do not, due to "their own negative experiences of school, the labour market and wider society on account of their race".

As black people know, the cause of race equality is distinct from the class struggle. Yes, there are some areas of overlap, but the sooner many so-called anti-racists accept this basic premise, the better.

"

Being black and middle class doesn’t mean you don’t face racism

punkistani:

“Hosting the Olympics is often presented to us as an ideologically neutral opportunity to boost tourism and sports. In a thought-provoking piece Ashok Kumar outlines a clear and consistent, yet barely noticed, pattern of the Games being used to fundamentally restructure the host City to the purposeful exclusion of its working class and ethnic minority residents.…”

This is a really great article.

If you’ve heard negative things about the Olympics, and want to know more, then read the shit out of this.

tipsforradicals:

This dude sadly passed about a week ago, and sadly it took that for me to actually read any of his work.

A few thoughts on this:

  • Definitely back the idea that a moral critique of hierarchy often misses out on a power analysis that deals with the ways various hierarchies work in our society. Each needs a different approach, and their inevitable intertwining and mutual reinforcement means that bringing down any one (e.g. capitalism) in no way guarantees the destruction of the others.
  • Infoshops as theory is inherently introverted; insurrection as theory is inherently vanguardist. Both are missing a common strand of movement building - I can’t help but think of Movement for a New Society here.
  • A bit of a lack of intersectionality. I really stand behind his point that different forms of hierarchy (a) have had varying degrees of involvement in the building of our society (b) need to be tackled differently - butI don’t think that they can be separated out to the extent that they are here e.g. the lack of gender analysis in the “wages of whiteness” critique.

RIP Joel Olson <3

Marxists, Socialists, Leftists, etc.

philosophy-of-praxis:

omnipresentspeed:

I would like a better understanding of your approach towards economics. I consider myself a capitalist. However, I am interested to hear how you all present your points and answer a few questions. I do not want to make some long hateful flame fest and the minute I start seeing this or even get hints of it, I’ll delete this post.

Now, if you are interested, without using strawmen, personal attacks, ideological insults, or anything else aside from reasonable, simple explanations, could you please address the following:

1) What is wrong with private property? How is private property theft? 2) What makes free-market capitalism hierarchical? Exploitative? 3) How can wealth be redistributed in a non-coercive manner? How can redistribution occur without negating the non-aggression principle? 4) Why should an individual’s primary concern be for others instead of himself? 5) How do you eliminate class and capitalism in a manner consistent with the non-aggression principle? 6) How are issues such as racism, gender inequality, religious discrimination, ableism, etc. linked to capitalism? How are these issues addressed under other systems?

I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to answer this. As I said, full blown capitalist and quasi-Objectivist here, but I am legitimately curious. Please maintain civility.

Thanks.

1. Private property should be recognised as distinct from personal property.  Personal property is something you’re in possession of and have a personal use for.  Private property is something owned by one person which is worked by (an) other(s) for the profit of the owner.

Say I own some land and contained underneath it is coal.  I make the investment to get some people to make a mine, dig up the coal and process it.  At no point is my labour used in the creation of a product to sell: I do not dig the coal, I do not refine it.  Because the land is mine, the coal is mine and therefore I take the proceeds from the sale of the coal and pay the workers a wage.  Yet it is the labour of others and not myself that has created the wealth, only through happenstance that I own the land do I take profit from the process of production.

In this sense it is theft though: legal means are in place to defend my claim to the land (judicial and police system) however through my claim the resources are mine to control.  The coal is denied to common use based on those who labour for it and those who require it, instead it exists for my personal profit.  I can hoard the resource so that I can maximise my personal profit, I can plunder the resource so that it can be of no use for future generations.  The argument I take is that this is illegitimate and maintained only through force and coercion (if people do not work for me, they starve.  That in itself is a form of force) whilst there is no justification as to why I can claim that land as mine (so I inherited it or bought it, but from whom and how did they acquire it?  The world wasn’t made with title deeds.  For land to become private rather than the commons requires an individual to claim it, in doing so they prevent its use by others, often through force such as wars.)

2.  I think I answered in 1 as to why it’s considered exploitative but for clarity: the labour of the masses functions so that the few can profit from the surplus that labour creates.  In this way it is also hierarchic, the owners of private property are a select, elite few who also hold (as a class rather than necessarily as individuals) the political power, they can control, for example, the expectation of minimum wage, holiday time, hours worked in a week, number of breaks in a day etc.  Their position is maintained through, say, the police or private security, historically thugs and fascists are brought in to scab or break up pickets and so on.  The owners of private property don’t have to work, their lives aren’t as stressful but they do reap the benefits of the labour others put in, tenfold compared to the wage the workers receive.

3.  In the sense of transitioning from capitalism to communism, a “non-coercive manner” is unlikely for redistribution.  If everybody who owns land relinquishes it to the collective, then fine.  If they defend it, especially with violence, then coercion will be used.  I am not fussed about maintaining a non-aggression principle, when aggression has been used to achieve and maintain the status quo as being beneficial for the select few.

4.  Because if everyone takes that attitude it’s completely non-functional and becomes the “war of all against all.”  It is, simply put, a better way to create a well functioning society through being considerate of others.  Living within a society that functions better, has fairer distribution of resources etc is fundamentally in the interests of the majority of people.  Unless you’re grand-bourgeois and own a massive factory or big chain, the chances are that you as an individual would be better off under a socialist system where people look out for each other, rather than trying to look out only for yourself as an individual but not progressing far up the lander in the grand scheme.

5.  You don’t.  The non-aggression principle is an idea that inherently favours maintaining the status quo of exploitation and removing any capacity for meaningful change by denying the ability to make it happen.  It is produced by the most extreme proponents of the “purest” form of that exploitative system.  It makes no sense to be bound by a contradictory, hypocritical ideal.

6.  Not to say that they’re inherent purely to, nor that they developed solely out of, capitalism.  However systems of othering functions within capitalism to divide the working class and prevent it from organising.  Racism is a contradiction supported and maintained (whether through conscious recognition or not) through capitalism because it benefits the super rich to have white people fighting to keep down black people, rather than white and black people fighting to bring down the super rich, for example.  Dehumanisation of people from external nationalities is also important for legitimising wars over resources and so on as well.  Either they don’t use the resources properly and thus don’t deserve them (manifest destiny) or the people are “barbarians” and need to be “civilised.”  External cultures must be brought into heel so that they function within the capitalist system so that their labour and resources may also be exploited.

Gender inequality, along with discrimination based on sexuality, plays into this idea for the nuclear family.  People’s sexual and reproductive purpose under capitalism is that they must breed the next generation of workers, through constructing divided labour in which the woman looks after the child that frees up the man to work more hours of the day.  The man is viewed as dominant because he primarily is seen as the contributor to the powers of production and the wealthy class is primarily dominated by men in positions of power.  This has a knock on effect for the way in which magazines, TV, adverts, etc are constructed.  The people with control represent a specific group, therefore they reproduce media that prioritises and values the identity they connect with.

Religious discrimination is a tricky one to cover quickly but broadly I see religious institutions as not being separated from these organisational power structures.  Religious institutions become a method of ideological control to construct society in a fashion beneficial to capitalism, and subaltern cultures with religious connection that do not conform to this are oppressed as a result.

Ableism relates to the way in which capitalism is homogenising so that it can produce and continue producing for the minimum effort with maximum profit.  People with impairments require a divergence from this homogenous mass that capitalism aims to create - they do not function as a part of the machine, as it were, and therefore their needs are considered to be a burden and extraneous rather than something that can be catered for and resolved, because there isn’t a great profit factor in resolving those issues.

How is it catered for within other forms of society?  It’s not something that magically just changes but without the profit factor, without the need to exploit and without the need for infinite accumulation then society doesn’t need to organise itself in a fashion that creates othering and oppression.  The greed and selfishness that maintains such power dynamics are, in the grand scheme, a hindrance to building a society which functions positively.  While somebody under capitalism my see themselves as benefiting from oppression and therefore propagate it, their incentive to do so outside of the capitalist system is greatly reduced.  Domination over media and cultural sources that propagate and instil such systems is no longer by the elite minority, because everybody has equal control in the means of production, and therefore it becomes easier to create counter-culture which is able to change and develop peoples stances so that such forms of discrimination can be broken down.

Now obviously that last part is hypothetical and a bit vague, but it’s 2 am and probably the best you’re going to get from me at the moment.  I’m not saying oppression just disappears, but the incentive to maintain it is no longer present, the power structures to reinforce it can be removed, and through struggle, if done properly, people can have detrimental prejudices challenged and broken down.

socialist critique of capitalist value systems etc.

(via ceborgia)