Being new to Toronto I couldn't miss out on the Marijuana March, here's a usually cynical report on the business of spliffage done for Irish Indymedia.
For all those geeks out there who have Second Life accounts, here's your chance to picket IBM in the virtual world of Second Life.
Since the Euro-Mayday Net Parade in 2005, where scattered workers unable to participate in the traditional parade could design avators with short biographies of themselves that were added to a huge animated march, these sort of online collective acts of mobilised petitioning have become much more common.
This is the first I've heard of one specific to one workplace. The action arises from negotiations over a new internal collective agreement at the works, after a majority of IBM employees asked for a small pay increased the company snapped back by canceling benefits related to productivity, meaning a loss of 1,000 Euros for individual workers.
Mute has been a journal I've being getting my jollies from since I came across it over two years ago. Always accessible, both meaning it always wings its way into my path and just weighty enough to remain readable - its become something of a critical ground for teasing out various themes around developments in capitalism, from multiculturalism, through precarious labour, web 2.0 production and environmental disaster. The new issue on the credit crunch is out now for reading online, though its nice to have it arrive in your letter box unexpected. Dubstep fans might also be interested in the fact that Kode9 occasionally writes for it.
I'm doing a course called US! A Course On Working Class Fictions at the Toronto Anarchist U this fall....
Class is a constant process of formation, it is how they eye us up and how we eye them up in an endless unfolding of power balances, institutional forms, desires, fears and fantasies. Hence this course runs from Charterism and socialism to the mass worker, then beyond to class displacement and what may be germs of wholly new class experiences in the slums of the south and the knowledge industries of the North.
So the great bespectacled Chommers has come and gone? What a build up there was - and as a whole the events themselves were just an interesting quirk to after work hours rather than the mind shattering revelations some were expecting. The humourous highpoint was the special disposition he was given by the state to enter the country, what a way we've come as anarchists from the Palmer raids that saw Goldman and other anarchists deported from the states. The low point was the passive consumption of his politics by so many, or maybe this is just an activist disdain for the huddled masses?
Tearing down the fourth wall of the home, dramatists and novelists like John Osbourne documented the confusion of class identiy in the "pretty dreary...American age," with nothing to do but wait bored for the great bang of the H-bomb. In re-forging the nation's social contract, post war Britain and the "craddle to grave" schema of the welfare state saw political narratives rocket from traditional community relations of solidarity and struggle to an individuated relationship to the state, and then state blocs against state blocs, literature spilled into the micro cultures of the kitchen and family, and characters left with only new interior comforts in the artificial desires of consumerism and the rat race of social mobility.