Today in labor history, May 17, 2004: Starbucks baristas in New York City sign cards demanding representation by the Industrial Workers of the World. The Starbucks Workers Union, affiliated with the IWW, continues to fight for higher wages, better working conditions, regular hours of work, and health coverage for Starbucks workers.
“Italy epitomizes the social contradictions of the whole world, and tries, in a manner we are familiar with, to amalgamate in a single country the repressive Holy Alliance of class power, bureaucratic-totalitarian and bourgeois, which already functions openly across the face of the earth in an economic and police State solidarity; although, of course, not without some discussion and settling accounts in the Italian manner. As the most advanced country at the moment in its slide toward a proletarian revolution, Italy is also the most modern sort of laboratory for international counter-revolution. Other governments coming out of the old bourgeois democracy, “pre-spectacular” in nature, look on with admiration at the Italian government for the impassiveness which it can maintain at the tumultuous center of its degradation, and for the calm dignity with which it sits in the mud. It is a lesson which they will have to apply in their own countries for a long time.”
Guy Debord, from the 4th Italian edition of La Société du spectacle
«L’Italia riassume le contraddizioni sociali del mondo intero, e tenta, nel modo che si sa, di amalgamare in un solo Paese la Santa Alleanza repressiva del potere di classe borghese e burocratico-totalitario»
Stills: Il divo, 2008, Paolo Sorrentino
“Revolutionary soldiers and sailors of Petrograd in 1917. These were workers and peasants in uniform. They had chosen the most radical form of class struggle by turning their weapons on their social enemy.”
Dietrich Mühlberg - Proletariat: Culture and Lifestyle in the 19th Century
HAPPY MAY DAY!
L.A. Digger News (1967). Tabloid newspaper format (16pp.). First edition, “published and edited by two diggers, George and Plastic Man. They have been gathering the contents of the paper from the streets as they make their daily rounds of the feed-in’s, love-in’s, underground papers and all the groovy people they know in the area”.
The mass media are anti-mediatory and intransitive. They fabricate non-communication - this is what characterizes them, if one agrees to define communication as an exchange, as a reciprocal space of a speech and a response, and thus of a responsibility (not a psychological or moral responsibility, but a personal, mutual correlation in exchange). We must understand communication as something other than the simple transmission-reception of a message, whether or not the latter is considered reversible through feedback. Now the totality of the existing architecture of the media founds itself on this latter definition: they are what always prevents response, making all processes of exchange impossible (except in the various forms of response simulation, themselves integrated in the transmission process, thus leaving the unilateral nature of the communication intact). This is the real abstraction of the media. And the system of social control and power is rooted in it.
Jean Baudrillard - Requiem for the Media
President of the Monroe, North Carolina, branch of the NAACP, Robert F. Williams (center), organizing his branch with arms in support of self-defense against white supremacists. Despite being successful, he was ultimately expelled for being too “militant,” and left the country for Cuba after being hunted by the FBI on falsified charges. His ideas had a big influence on the formation of the Black Panther Party.