It is our duty as radicals to join together and form a new popular front, a populist social and artistic movement that creatively articulates the trials and the struggle of the working classes--art against the totalitarian capitalist order. Through a combination of art, activism and social movements we will unmake the hegemony of the 1%.
Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening
Greenhouses are usually glazed structures, but are typically expensive to construct and heat throughout the winter. A much more affordable and effective alternative to glass greenhouses is the walipini (an Aymara Indian word for a “place of warmth”), also known as an underground or pit greenhouse. First developed over 20 years ago for the cold mountainous regions of South America, this method allows growers to maintain a productive garden year-round, even in the coldest of climates.[…]
Gonna pitch this idea to Curt
You have NO IDEA how much I want to do this.
This is part of my future plan for post-peak-oil/ climate change survival. … but in all seriousness, I want one.
This is FANTASTIC.
The real history of International Women’s Day
March 8, 2013
Do you have $100+ to spare? Then you could attend an International Women’s Day luncheon hosted by the Chamber of Commerce or various business organisations. But, although IWD has become mainstream in recent years, it was historically a socialist event and that is how we commemorate it
Clara Zetkin, a leading member of German Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the early 1900s, argued that the working class would never win its battles without women and raised the issue of special party work among women. Under her leadership a working women’s movement grew rapidly in Germany, and the female membership of the SPD rose from 10,500 in 1907 to 150,000 in 1913.
Zetkin proposed the establishment of an international women’s day at the International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen in August 1910, inspired by American socialists who had held women’s demonstrations and meetings the year before. The slogan for IWD was to be: “The vote for women will unite our strength in the struggle for socialism.”
In 1911, more than a million women and men took up the idea of IWD enthusiastically, with rallies and marches in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark and other major industrial cities of Europe. According to the Russian revolutionary socialist Alexandra Kollontai, “Germany and Austria were one seething, trembling sea of women… Meetings were organised everywhere – in the small towns and even in the villages, halls were packed full.”
In subsequent years and throughout World War One, IWD continued to provide a focus for activists. In 1913 and 1914 women across Europe held peace rallies on or around 8 March. In 1915, socialist women held a march in Bern, Switzerland, in opposition to their own countries’ war effort, which was treason in wartime. They took a manifesto home to be distributed secretly in their countries. In 1917, female socialists in Turin hung posters addressed to women throughout the working class neighbourhoods protesting rising food prices. And in 1918 in Austria, 3,000 women, despite the ban on demonstrations, marched in small groups past the parliament and the Palace of Justice demanding peace.
In Russia Alexandra Kollontai played a leading role. She brought the idea of IWD to Russia and helped organise events in the pre-war years. In Petrograd (St. Petersburg) in 1913, Bolshevik women workers organised a “scientific morning devoted to the woman question” (this sort of subterfuge was necessary under tsarism). Kollontai wrote:
“This was an illegal meeting but the hall was absolutely packed. Members of the party spoke. But this animated ‘close’ meeting had hardly finished when the police, alarmed at such proceedings, intervened and arrested many of the speakers.”
In 1914 police again intervened and arrested many people. Some women were nonetheless able to celebrate IWD with flash meetings around the city, and similar small actions were possible in 1915 and 1916.
Peace and bread
By 1917, deteriorating living conditions had resulted in strong feelings. Frustration with food shortages and interminable queues had already produced food riots, and the large number of women workers in large factories had already carried out many strikes.
What happened in Petrograd combined food riots, economic strikes and a political strike. And it was all sparked by women determined to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The local Bolsheviks judged the time unripe for militant action. So when a group of women from the Vyborg district asked for advice on how to celebrate IWD they were told to “refrain from isolated actions and follow only instructions of party committee”.
The women decided to strike anyway. In spite of all directives, women in Petrograd chose to protest and strike for “Bread and Peace” on 23 February (8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Demonstrations organised to demand bread were supported by the industrial workforce. Women textile workers in several factories went on strike and sent delegates to metal workers for support. The women workers marched to nearby factories bringing out over 50,000 workers on strike.
By 25 February, the strike had spread to 240,000 workers. Mass demonstrations surged through the town. The following day large parts of Petrograd were in control of the insurrection and when soldiers went over on 27 February, the tsar abdicated.
General Khabalov of the Petrograd Military District summarised the problem facing the authorities: “When they said, ‘Give us bread!’ we could give them bread and that was the end of it. But when they said, ‘Down with the autocracy!’ we could no longer appease them with bread.”
Happy International Women’s Day!
Pictured: Si Se Puede by Robert Valadez, Chief Theresa Spence, Dr. Angela Davis, Vandala Shiva, Amy Goodman, Malala Yousafzai, Leila Khaled, Pussy Riot & Zapatista women.
To honor International Women’s Day, March 8: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (The Rebel Girl), prominent Industrial Workers of the World organizer during the 1912 strike. Flynn played a leading role in the 1912 strike. Born in Concord, NH in 1890, her family moved to NYC in 1900, and was educated at the local public schools. Her parents introduced her to socialism. When she was 16 she gave her first speech, “What Socialism Will Do for Women”, at the Harlem Socialist Club. Flynn was expelled from high school for her political activities. Author Theodore Dreiser described her as “an East Side Joan of Arc”.
In 1912 Flynn traveled to Lawrence, MA during the Great Textile Strike. In her autobiography she noted: “As the terrible New England winter dragged along the terror and violence increased. On Feb. 19, 200 policemen with drawn clubs routed 100 women picketers. A Boston newspaper described the scene: ‘A woman would be seen to shout from the crowd and run into a side street. Instantly two or three police would be after her. Usually a night-stick well aimed brought the woman to the ground like a shot and instantly the police would be on her, pulling her in as many ways as there were police” (Flynn, 1955).
Via Bread and Roses 1912-2012
don’t forget to…
“The present Administration is carrying on the greatest preparation for war in the history of mankind. Stevenson promises to maintain or increase this effort. The weight of our taxation is unbearable and rests mainly and deliberately on the poor. This Administration is dominated and directed by wealth and for the accumulation of wealth. It runs smoothly like a well-organized industry and should do so because industry runs it for the benefit of industry. Corporate wealth profits as never before in history. We turn over the national resources to private profit and have few funds left for education, health or housing. … It costs three times his salary to elect a Senator and many millions to elect a President. This money comes from the very corporations which today are the government. This in a real democracy would be enough to turn the party responsible out of power. Yet this we cannot do.”- W.E.B. Du Bois, 1956 (or is it 2012?)
Income inequality has become so severe in the US that the top 1% automatically absorb 93% of all income gains. This bodes ill for the future, since “a growing body of economic research suggests that it might mean lower levels of economic growth and slower job creation in the years ahead”.
Tragically, the well-off and the poor are often united in capitalist culture by their shared obsession with consumption. Oftentimes the poor are more addicted to excess because they are the most vulnerable to all the powerful messages in media and in our lives in general which suggest that the only way out of class shame is conspicuous consumption. Propaganda in advertising and in the culture as a whole assures the poor that they can be one with those who are more materially privileged if they own the same products. It helps sustain the false notion that ours is a classless society. When these values are accepted by the poor they internalize habits of being that make them act in complicity with greed and exploitation. Who has not heard materially well-off individuals talk about driving through poor neighborhoods and seeing fancy cars or massive overeating of junk food? These are the incidents the well-off emphasize to denigrate the poor while simultaneously holding them accountable for their fate.
bell hooks (via wretchedoftheearth)
The Occupy Popular Front in action: Occupy Dallas Culture
THIS IS AN URGENT CALL TO ACTION FOR ARTISTS AND CREATIVE CULTURE VISIONARIES!
Brothers and Sisters!
The Occupy Dallas Creative Factory sends an urgent call for artists and creative culture visionaries to contribute to the ongoing Occupy Dallas movement, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street (OWS), and the Occupations occurring globally. It is crucial that artists and creators engage in the process of evolutionary dialogue currently unfolding within and around the Occupations. United, we create a culture by which we facilitate the holistic growth of our community, sustain our presence in democratic public space, and find sound aesthetic voice to use for Justice.
OWS <OD> is one in a chain of protest movements unfolding across the world over the past several years concerned with democratic empowerment and economic justice in the face of untrammelled corporate domination of political institutions and social life more generally. This domination has involved the legal enshrinement of “corporate personhood” at the expense of representative government, punitive austerity measures, rising unemployment, massive income inequality, ecological destruction, assaults on collective bargaining rights, the dismantling of the social safety net, and the scapegoating of public employees, working families, people of color, and immigrants.
The <Occupy Dallas Creative Factory> embraces the fact that the OWS <Occupy> movement is not reducible to a single “message” or even a particular set of policy prescriptions; in the most general sense, OWS and its affiliated movements around the world are about democratization, the first manifestation of which has often been the unauthorized occupation of nominally public streets, buildings, and plazas ranging from Tahrir Square to the Wisconsin State House.
«The Creative Factory, in name, echos Wharhol’s radical assembly line studio. We, as a community of Occupy, have many brilliant heads and hard working hands to achieve our creative goals. We literally have the POWER OF THE PEOPLE.»
The <Culture Committee/Creative Factory> encourages the engagement of both public and private spaces of cultural and social significance, projects that are digitally-based (photos, videos, texts, graphics), but also long-distance ideas capable of on-site realization by interested collaborators. These might encompass sign-making, performative gestures, tours, choreographic scores, acoustic experiments, historical reenactments, or ephemeral architectures.
Art projects working to cultivate and facilitate <outreach between labor unions, churches, schools, museums and other such groups> are especially welcome.
We look forward to your contributions to this initiative…Time is of the essence!
<Occupy Dallas Cultural Committee//Creative Factory>
Please send inquiry, suggestions, proposals, correspondence, and LOVE to:
And See the web page and Blog as they develop: