Monday, April 28, 2008

A sea change

I've been offline for a week, and only have a minute now, but I wanted to paste up this fine poster (click to enlarge it), which has been produced by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's San Francisco and Oakland locals. Members of both locals are going on strike this May Day to protest the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In my Anzac Day post I talked about the way that the First World War saw the eventual radicalisation of large numbers of people who had initially been patriotic and pro-war. The recent history of the ILWU is an interesting study in the same dynamic. Like our wharfies and seamen, the US longshoremen have a long history of trade union militancy and progressive stances on important political issues. The weakening of the trade union movement and the left in the 1990s meant that some of that tradition had been lost by 2001, when the union slid from understandable outrage at the 9/11 attacks into vociferous support for Bush's invasion of Afghanistan.

When they took strike action against the threat of casualisation in 2002, West Coast ILWU members soon found that their union's support for Bush's foreign policy had won them no favours from the White House. Alarmed at the prospect of gridlock at busy Californian ports, Bush invoked the McCarthy-era Taft-Hartley Act, which allows the breaking of strikes for reasons of 'national security', and sent in the army against the ILWU.

In the aftermath of this disaster, there appears to have been a sea change in the attitudes of the ILWU rank and file towards Bush's foreign policy. The union opposed the invasion of Iraq, and its San Francisco and Oakland locals have been bastions of the US Labor Against the War organisation, which has highlighted repression of the Iraqi labour movement and brought Iraqi union leaders on speaking tours to the US.

I remember handing out Anti Imperialist Coalition leaflets calling for solidarity with the ILWU against Bush back in 2002, at the same time as that pillar of the left Chris Trotter was using his access to the mass media to attack our little group as 'anti-American' and to defend Bush's War of Terror as an unavoidable response to 9/11 which no sensible person could ever oppose. It's nice to see how some things have changed. The pity is that the radicalisation inside the ILWU hasn't yet been mirrored across the US population, or for that matter the Kiwi population, which seems to find the occupation of Tibet by a distant government more objectionable than its own government's material support for theocracy and terrorist bombs in Afghanistan.


Blogger Richard said...

Yes -I was thinking the other day that these invasions are as unjust as and as terrible as Vietnam and Apartheid etc (in fact as some of the actions of the White Rhodesians n what is now Zimbabwe) or and the occupation and destruction of Maori land and cultures etc - but there is not the the massive and angry response. It is all pretty luke warm from the left

People are partly fooled by this nonsense about terrorism - as in
the 70s etc they were duped but he endless propaganda against "communism" etc - the students (ad workers) are not as radical or even as politically aware as in the 70s or even the 80s...

Silliman and Co. have or seem to have checked out and dived into poetry... this is ok to a point but there are times when that is not enough...

National would be no better but Phil Gough and Clark seem to have swallowed this nonsense about terrorism (or the vote catching side of their consciences has) - Clark is always also dribbling on about ANZAC day and other crap. (I know the point she is making -about war, she is not an out and out "warmonger" (but then we are involved in Iraq and Afghanistan etc...complex -problematic) but it is also but too conveniently "in line"

And, sadly, she is one of our best politicians we have had (and is at least someone who reads widely and appreciates the arts etc) - as I respect her in many ways...

Who was that Maori soldier who got an award for killing Afagnistanis - he should have been executed or at least spanked very hard - some of these military people are not well educated or very knowledgeable and others are simply dangerous fascists) (certainly to such as him it needs to be made clear that these (to me murderous and illegal) wars he was involved in in are pretty dubious at the least) - I think more direct even violent action is need by the left - the right are seeing as as all just talk and no do. So they proceed with war (and price rises) etc
The Iraqis themselves are somewhat divided (except that they naturally all (unless they are cowards or traitors) hate the US and other invaders - but the US is losing the wars - or with massive firepower just managing to hold on over there...but they will lose eventually.

Meanwhile there have been in the order of 3000 US military killed and about 1 millions of people in Iraq. The US started a very bloody and vicious war there... they seem to specialise in attacking 'weak' nations and bombing civilians (as in Korea and Vietnam etc)

These wars are quiet terrible, ghastly and bloody. Civilians - as usual are killed - even targeted by the US and their allies...

But people in other countries have bought into this nonsense about terror...Borat didn't!

One trap is concentrating on 'personalities' - such as Bush or the democrats (none of whom are any good -they all serve Mammon and capitalism) or whoever... Bush is only a "stooge" for the Imperialists in the US

1:18 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Name: Bryan Butler

My name is Bryan Butler and I have been working my whole life trying
to find the truth. I have found the connection, the truth.
I have simplified what others could not. I am finding myself
bored and I am no longer challanged.

I gave a presentation in my class and it had to be under 3 minutes,
it went as follows. Though I can explain it better in person.

_____________________Deep thinking with Bryan Butler____________



For my topic I have chosen a difficult concept to Convey. And that is,
if it would be possible or even conceivable that nothing would be in
the center of the earth.
So for my time with you we are going to do some light deep thinking
and try to think a little out of the box and hopefully no one will get
My objective is to make one good point that would support nothing
being in the center of the planet.
I have a short amount of time, and I have racked my brain trying to
find the best way to accomplish my objective here today and I believe
the answer for achieving my objective is to talk about opposites, more
over antonyms.


Antonyms are words that are opposite, ladies and gentlemen.

So here is a quick list of other antonyms, Good/Bad, Wrong/Right,
Up/Down, Left/Right, Day/Night, Beginning/End, Forever/Never, Yes/NO,
Open/Close, Forward/Backwards, In/Out, Plus/Minus, Positive and
Negative, and so On and so OFF. (Boy that was a mouthful)

Now when I was younger I found that I had a Mother and Father, and
soon after I had a Brother and Sister, I went outside my house and saw
the day and sure enough sooner or later the night came. I went to
school and I found, Educated and Uneducated, I found Rich and Poor, I
found Smart and Dumb, I found Right and Wrong and I learned about
Kindness and Cruelness, I learned about Mercy and Ruthlessness, I
learned about 1 and 0, about positive and negative, about North and
South, about On and Off. So as my time decreased here on earth I
found my grade levels increased and I learned that I was stacking this
Opposites and Similarities in order to learn. I then realized I should
put the similarities into categories, so I took words like kindness,
Mercy, fairness, and others and grouped them together and found the
name for that category to be Good. I then grouped the words Cruelness,
Ruthlessness and unfairness, and found the name of that category to be
bad. Not surprisingly I found, of Course, each category still had an
opposite. But then I came upon a problem in school. I learned that hot
and cold went into the category Temperature. I learned that queit and
load went into the category sound. I learned about other categories,
such as Color, such as taste and smell, such as Time and Weight. The
problem came when trying to find the opposites of those categories. So
I grouped them together Time, Temperature, Color, taste, smell,
weight, and all other categories that I had ever seen. What do they
all have in Common I then asked my self and the answer was simply,


So the next question I came upon was this, can there be one without
zero, could there be on without off, could there be white without
In a movie there are good guys and bad guys, problems and solutions,
so would it be enjoyable to come up with a movie that had only Good
guys and solutions without problems. How could you have a solution
without first having a problem? How would you know what a good guy was
if there was not a bad guy to compare him too. Well sounds about as
good an Idea as having a computer language with only 1's. If all you
had ever seen was darkness how would you truly know you were in
darkness until you saw the light?

So they say no matter how many times you split a magnet you always
have a positive and a negative, JUST LIKE CATEGORIES. So if opposites
attract like positive and negative, and they don't exist without each
other. Could Energies opposite be the absence of all energy types,
meaning No Time, No smell, No taste, No temperature, and the absence
of all color, making it pure black? The center of your eye is not pure
black but energy black attracting all possible light, not stones or
other energy types though. The center of the earth could be the
absence of all energy, pure black, attracting all possible energy none
excluded and as a result gravity is created.

So if you wouldn't mind I would like to write a few things on the

Truth |Lie

English/ Something + Nothing = Everything |contradiction = Not 1
Math/ 1 + 0 = 1 |contradiction = Not 1
Science/ Energy +Ab-energy = 0 |contradiction = NOT 1

What's the opposite of the Category Everything, How could anyone
find the
truth without the contradiction? The opposites truth and lie are the

Zero + one = One, and you can't see the zero anymore.
Something + Nothing = Everything, You still can't see the nothing.
Energy + the Absence of energy = 0, the line representing the 1 making
it possible to see the 0 and the 1 together for the can not exist
without eachother.

Most people when they see this 0 they say it is a Zero but I see a 1
not just a

To explain, I took a stick and put it in the dirt and moved it around
in a
circle and I got a blurry one around the zero, like a wheel. The one
made it possible to find the zero!

d. The 0 demonstration.
1. How could you see Zero without the 1? You could not see it (erase
2. How could you know energy without the absence of all energy? (leave
d. Thank you all for listening I wish you all the best in your life

9:00 am  

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