Breivik and Judeo-Christian terrorism

In response to Brievik’s Judeo-Christian fascist political terrorism–77 murdered and 96 injured when he bombed Oslo government buildings housing the Labor Party, and slaughtered Labour Party children at a multicultural summer camp,

the Jerusalem Post wrote an anxious story demanding that we prevent the right-wing atrocity from overshadowing the “Failure of Multiculturalism” in Europe. What is the Jerusalem Post on about, you ask? Good question, because as much of a non sequitor as it first appears, it just so happens to get to the heart of the Breivik massacres.

“The Failure of Multiculturalism” in Scandinavia: International Conservative Politics

What has happened in northern Europe is that conservatives have been waging a campaign against labor, and the tool that they have been using is a spectacularly-conflicted (But who needs consistency? What you need is complete coverage!) dual politics creating a “multiculturalism crisis” out of immigrants–immigrants portrayed as both Muslim criminals and as victims of the social democratic welfare state and labor institutions. This political campaign has been raging unchecked since the 1990s. Breivik is the direct product of this conservative campaign.

The broad, intended conservative goal is to exterminate labor institutions in Scandinavia, and thus to exterminate social democracy. It’s been a more difficult project there than elsewhere, though certainly not impossible. Neoliberalism has made great headway for conservatism in Scandinavia. Leave it to a Scandinavian, however, to increase effectiveness and efficiency: You can also help to extinguish the Labour Party’s future by directly exterminating its youth.

The connection to neocon Israel lies in the conservative goal of promoting imperial, high-inequality, capitalist, Anglo-american-centric capitalist countries on the global political-economic stage. Scandinavia isn’t China, but social democracy is an alternative political economy that has the capacity to subordinate finance capital to socio-economic welfare and occasionally controls finance capital. It is  thereby a threat to the financial-military domination of the global conservative hegemon.

Norwegian teens mourn the loss of their friends.



Breivik was the product of global conservative conditioning. Not only did he target Labor Party representatives and children, Breivik wrote a 1500 page “manifesto,” in which Israel is mentioned on 170 pages, Norway on 135. Breivik: “So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists.”

A plump and satisfied Breivik, in Izod, on the way to jail.



Studying Swedish immigration politics over the past 10 years, I have found the “failure of social democratic multiculturalism” trope to be a fundamental conservative tool in Scandinavia. There it is used to argue not just for stepped-up European harmonization with imperial Anglo-American-Israeli policy, but also for dismantling the labor protections that enable social democracy.

The conservative argument is this: “The Failure of Multiculturalism (in Scandinavia, not US/Israel-special-relationshi​p countries) is the result of Muslim Criminality + Social Democratic institutions (eg. welfare state, labor rights). The solution to the Failure of Multiculturalism is to break down labor institutions, and to support Israel in our Clash of Civilizations.”

In this conservative political campaign, the problems posed by fascism (understood beyond the 20th century Jewish Holocaust) are eclipsed, by design (Thanks, Lyotard). These politics are neocon Zionist home turf. It is no surprise that J-post is anxious that such emergent crises of fascism will slow the conservative campaign in Scandinavia.

I initially went to Sweden with the PhD advisor-driven mission of discovering what the Swedes had done to violate their immigrants and how US-Canadian immigration could provide the Swedes with a proper immigration approach. Having extensively compared, in Sweden, the US and Canada, Swedish immigration policy and outcomes with Canadian, US, and other Anglo-country policies and outcomes, I can firmly say that the long legacy of social democratic multicultural policy and program development in Sweden is, if anything, more progressive, constructive, and preferable, from both overarching immigrant and native perspectives. It’s not the communist horizon, but as usual, actually-existing (not nominal) social democracy, even in decline, pretty much gives you the best you are going to get out of capitalism.

Why the Failure of Multiculturalism politics now? 


Graeber points out that modern racism is a class-compromise byproduct in European societies, where elites wished to resume slavery in their countries, and working men and women refused the institution. Essentially, political-economic elites resorted to promoting modern racism as a means of securing broad consent to their right to superexploit someone…elsewhere.

(After the ‘Dark Ages’ rejection of slavery in Europe,) modern racism…had to be invented largely because Europeans continued to refuse to listen to the arguments of the intellectuals and jurists, and did not accept that anyone (in their own societies, whom) they believed to be a full and equal human being could ever justifiably be enslaved” Graeber 2011: 212.

It is worth asking to what extent intellectuals and jurists today are again trying to convince these intransigent, vulgar ‘Europeans’ (or Americans) to accept slavery in their own societies. Where do race and immigration politics, including carefully-managed versions of anti-racism (“Antiracism = submit to capital” or “Civilized contemporary global capitalists are antiracist/antiracism.”) in Europe and the Anglosphere, coincide with the promotion of domestic debt peonage and international slavery?

Why are Scandinavians vulnerable to the conservative anti-racist/pro-racist political one-two punch? What I observed is that, hitting the wall imposed by the bourgeois takeover of social democracy, their tremendous historical social democratic capacity for problem solving stutters and stalls. Unwilling to accept that even Swedish (nativist), righteous liberalism is unable to solve the fundamental social problems of capitalism, they descend into an inability to admit that coerced human migration in capitalism is not potentially a picnic on the beach.

They hysterically swear to themselves that somewhere out there is a liberal-conservative model of social inclusion that is both cheaper and can achieve more inclusion than social democratic inclusion could. There is not. What Swedes have consistently failed to acknowledge, throughout the conservative ascent era, is that immigration is extremely hard, especially for non-elites. It’s hard for the “welcoming” society. It’s harder for immigrants. Refugee immigration is even harder still. It does not get done in any core capitalist country easily or prettily or cheaply.


The free-market formula for purportedly “masterful” immigration (touted to flourish in Austria, Canada, the US) is an unwholesome marketing combination of outright distortions and fractional truth based in ideal, exceptional, fleeting experiences blown up by marketing spin into a bloated department store parade float, distracting children and obstructing our view. The actually-existing social democracies do fundamentally-vexed immigration and social incorporation about as well as it can be done, and they have kept trying to improve (including counterproductively), in the causative context of global imperial war and exploded societies. And in that context, human mobility and the difficult work of rigorous collective restoration are essential.

In studying the intensely-marketed Failure of Multiculturalism campaign in Sweden, I had to conclude that, regardless of what righteous, altruistic feminists and anti-racists it grafts onto its project, it is a conservative political campaign to dismantle labor institutions on the back of immigrant victimology and stigmatization. That is ugly.

It is no prettier that this immigrant-exploitative war on the working class is intimately tied to international neocon efforts to push the more reluctant, social-democratic quarters of Europe behind the oil-dependent, finance-ruled, high-inequality, bellicose and belligerent conservative imperium. Only chronic marketing victims should be surprised that such an imperial military-finance alliance both ignites the E-Z/La-Z semi-laissez faire marketing imaginary (“All the Beautiful, Cafe-latte Multicultural Utopia needs is Walmartization!”) and, on its flipside, fosters contemporary fascism.

Doug Henwood responds: “There’s a right-wing critique of soc dem that says it only works in ‘homogenous’ places like Sweden. Relatedly, Hayek claimed that soc dem and socialism are fundamentally nationalist, since their planning universe need national borders. But your research shows that not only is that not true, but the war on immigrants is part of a war on soc dem.”

(Henwood’s friend Joel Shalit keeps an eye on some contemporary national conservative movements, and also does some damage-repair for Israel within the Western Left. He doesn’t have much to say about the Breivik case; but he does understand at least Israeli, British, German and Italian conservative politics, and following up on his “Actually Existing Israel” (April 2011), Henwood interviewed Joel Shalit on Israeli national identity and radical conservatism and superficially on Israel’s relationship to the European right on Henwood’s radio show Behind the News.

In response to the Jerusalem Post article, Shalit advocates in “Breivik and the Jews” that Jewish people should not be trying to hide the dependency of contemporary European fascism on Jewish conservatism, but rather should confront the conservative ideas.)

Hegemony via Confusion & Opportunistic Parochialism

Having recently viewed a succession of music videos from the 1980s (of which this is representative), and this depiction of modern postmodernism, I think it bears iteratation: confusion is a tool of conservative hegemony.

The conservative “immigrant crisis” political trope continues unabated, as where in March 2012, the right-wing Swedish press, apparently hoping that no one has memory in Sweden and claiming that the Left never let Swedes chat about all the immigrant problems, again lays the blame for the right-wing Breivik atrocity squarely on the shoulders of…you guessed it, “Left-wing culture politics.” Jävla galen propaganda.

The Anglo-american media spun the Breivik massacres in this way: “Norwegians are a lot more barbaric that they think they are. After all, they are Vikings, who once gleefully hurt the innocent villagers of Great Britain.” This interpretation of the meaning of the Breivik massacres is “backed up” by Wikileaks documents in which the US State Department whines that Norway should devote its income to a bigger militarized policing apparatus.

Huh. Of course the US State Dept. desires that other countries give their money to Halliburton. Where has that been shown to reduce harm, and how does that fervent wish demonstrate that Norwegians need to convert over to a similarly repressive state? And as regards purported Norwegian sub-surface barbarity: Norwegians simply do not engage in viciousness at the volume that people in right-wing societies do, and that’s because they have savvier social integration understanding and institutions (Not because they are “homogeneous”, which due to inter alia mass immigration, they are not).

 By any valid measure (Though my review of the literature “documenting” the failure of multiculturalism in Scandinavia shows clearly that conservatives will fuck with the measures–so let’s aggregate the measures for ease of consensus.), the contemporary Scandinavian societies cannot compete in the violence Olympics with the Judeo-Christian Anglo-American societies. (Even if Zionism is your sole measure of civilization, Scandinavians have award-winning, government-mandated, early-to-late education programs focused on the singular tragedy of the early 20th century Jewish Holocaust. They have lots of advanced initiatives designed to combat antisemitism. Their press is not anti-Semitic.) The result of this vigorous socialization into Western “civilization”? When married to conservative politics, it has meticulously groomed a Christian Zionist terrorist.

Norwegians are not insulated from global civilization/hegemony, surreptitiously (yet lazily!) cultivating their genetically-cruel culture in the backwoods. That’s a cockamame story. That it sells at all is dependent, in fact, on the parochialism and Halliburton investments of the Anglo-american press’ audience.

… A lesbian couple heroicallysaved 40 children from Breivik.

Race politics working their magic on this side of the pond:


Brad de Long ponders a Republican Bangledesh-American arguing hopefully that white American conservatives are not racist; they’re just protecting good things from bad people, Virginia. De Long answers the Republican in “Why Don’t Republicans Like Illegal Immigrants from Mexico?, where he argues that illegal immigrants from Mexico logically should be the posterboys for Republican ideals, and yet still Republicans hate illegal immigrants.

Here’s my rejoinder to the conservative-liberal debate on conservative racism:

It is true that Republicans degrade or hate Mexican immigrants, surfacely because they are “colored” and often have an accent. Wah-wah. But inasmuch as such complaints gesture lazily towards some vaguely-natural “problem” and echo historical charges against some people by other people, it still is something of a random problem construction, as De Long points out. Why is active racism characteristic of conservative politics today?

Because racism  is dehumanization and it is not random; it is a conservative “Little King” institution that allows tyrants to maintain a popular base in a high- inequality political-economy.

Racism encourages zero-sum thinking that co-opts people to a high-inequality agenda. When Republicans enjoy bonding together by actively degrading Mexican immigrants (and other people they want to perceive and remake as low status and powerless), they are sharing a symbol of their tribal project, working together to promote their own material benefit at the expense of other people. In the race-besotted US/Israel, conservatives set up this classic stratification credo, typically without any confirming evidence whatsoever: If we don’t savagely degrade and super-exploit the weaker tribes, they will eat us and everyone we love.

Racism is a conservative coalition-building tactic. From a top 0.1% ruler down to their media lackeys down to a conservative convenience clerk, what these capitalist conservatives have always wanted is to privatize (someone else’s) commons, and the perpetuation of cheap labor that they can exploit. So no matter whether they’re trying to transfer the wealth of the dwindling US middle class into their own off-shore hoard, or whether they’re suffering stagnant income and related hierarchy indignities–no matter their horrible alienation, at least they’ll always share the high-inequality market and the militarized police to force someone more vulnerable to provide them all a compensatory Chemlawn yard.

And while preventing immigration historically tends to allow labor to organize and take a larger share of social wealth, creating a special class of dehumanized and legally-vulnerable laborers definitely does produce loads of cheapened labor to use and abuse– with fun moralistic fervor!

Conservatives are an organized political group that strives to dictate to us our true value (abysmally low), and what we owe them (the sun and the moon and the stars). Paraphrasing David Graeber, conservatives seek to transform the very foundations of our being–since what else are we, ultimately, except the sum of the relations we have with others–into matters of fault, sin, and crime, and to make the world into a place of iniquity–an agonized, writhing hell that they rule, a little crowning fraternity of the damned.

Let me give you a representative example of the framework problem I see with so much of the professional neoliberal civilizer staff, by recounting two examples of pertinent antiracist history that I can say with a great deal of assurance that antiracists don’t know or cannot remember–because it doesn’t fit in the official multiculti Anglo settler country anti-communist plot line.

1) “Communists” in the US South

2) Socialists and communists in the US North:

A century ago, in the early 20th century, socialists in the interior, in Minnesota, worked in coalition with the Twin Cities African American community to promote and host anti-racist movie and discussion nights in rural towns. It was immensely successful anti-racism and progressive rural mobilization (Jennifer Dalton. “Making MN Liberal”). It created the conditions for such unusually progressive politics that in that era, the state even saw its forests run for ecological goals (Mark Hudson. “Fire Management in the American West.”), the preservation of urban public space, the nation’s strongest teacher’s union, the preservation of family farms, and its workers’ lives defended by the National Guard (which only happened one other time in US history–under Pinchot’s PA governance.)

 For at least 5 generations (and, really, we know more), socialists have known–and were capable of acting upon the knowledge–that to build and maintain working class consciousness and mobilization in North America, partly we need to combat the tool of racism across geographies–combat it by engaging people’s sociability. (Kind of like how today, a hundred years later, it is still socialists who work with First Nations folks to develop some of the most innovative antiracism initiatives in central Canada, such as Neechi CED initiatives.)

The Minnesota socialists’ early and effective anti-racism efforts were disbanded, eliminated by a small group of liberals who used the threat of fascism to take over the Farmer-Labor Party. Today rural Minnesota is instead organized by the far right, via churches, and rural people there are again “naturally” racist and sexist and, well, sort of feudal rural idiots, just like how we imagine they should be to sustain the rationale for our jobs as professional civilizers in a gloriously unequal–ahem! ambition-rewarding!–society. And the result is that rabid anti-inegalitarians rule unfettered throughout.

That’s how much we have progressively improved our anti-racism by imagining that working class consciousness and a strong anti-inequality critique is a problem because it must “subsume race,” which we know because we have accumulated our tremendous liberal intellectual endowment of identity politics theory and initiatives that we somehow imagine, despite all the evidence, that conservatives cannot manage the hell out of (the combo racist and antiracist politics harnessed by conservatives in the destruction of US mass public education being but one case in point).

I am always impressed every time I realize that liberals think they personally discovered anti-racism in 1968, possibly at a cocktail party in New Haven or Toronto or London–maybe in the coffee shops of Paris, and that their job is to be as boorish as humanly possible whenever Marxists suggest that This is America, land of identity politics and that North America is rich in hugely-overdeveloped identity politics theory and initiatives, which are materially-supported by universities, governments and foundations across the political spectrum, and which help political-economic elites bond globally, as a class (The ultimate multicultural camaraderie). Whereas the US is absolutely, forcibly poverty-stricken in working class consciousness and historical-materialist understanding.

This intellectual poverty and self-sabotage underlies our inability to sustain a critical mass of alternative mobilization to address our failing, persistent, zombie political-economy, or race and women’s poverty– inequality problems, or our market-besotted, energy-drunk failure to contribute to a greater, barely-initiated project of building a decent, judicious, healthy environment, society and world. When liberals insist that we don’t need a Marxist understanding of racism, they breathe life into racism, which is also a tool for predatory rulers.





David Montgomery’s Cambridge-published studies on Cold War-suppressed Leftist contributions in the US:


Montgomery, David. 1987. The Fall of the House of Labor: The Workplace, The State, and American Labor Activism, 1865- 1925. Cambridge Press.
Montgomery, David. 1995. Citizen Worker. Cambridge.
Montgomery, David. 1979. Workers Control in America. Cambridge.

(In contrast to Lipset’s classic liberal story “Political Man” about the good center and the bad peripheries.)

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US Cold War biological weapons, human radiation, and war psych experiments

Sept. 28, 1994 US House of Reps hearing on US human radiation experiments, biological weapons testing and war psych experiments,
testimony by Representative Martin Sabo:

“During the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. Army conducted numerous
open-air experiments of biological and chemical warfare methods
in Minneapolis and other areas of greater Minnesota, the United
States and Canada . These tests involved the spraying of varying
quantities of zinc cadmium sulfide, a fluorescent powder, to
simulate dispersion patterns of actual biological or chemical
agents .

At the time, the Army considered zinc cadmium sulfide to be
a harmless stibstance. However, numerous Hinnesotans, including
former students of an elementary school downwind of several tests
conducted in Minneapolis in 1952, now suffer from various adverse
health effects ranging from reproductive difficulties to cancer.
They wonder if their illnesses are linked to the tests to which
they were unwittingly subjected.

The enclosed reports detail the known or probable adverse
htiman health effects of cadmium, the most toxic ingredient in
zinc cadmium sulfide. One of the reports, a paper by Dr. Leon
Prodan published in 1932 — a full two decades before the
Minneapolis sprayings, asserts that inhalation or ingestion of
even small amounts of cadmium or its compounds can pose serious
dangers to human health. “

r. CONYERS. “Marty, we have 239 cities involved in what hap-
pened to your city. Minneapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Spring-
field, IL — we are trying to make sure that the names of these cities
are declassified so they can be released. If they are not declassified,
I am going to ask that that happen right away.”

From the 1995 Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments

Thursday, March 16, 1995

Attending: Ruth Faden, Kenneth Feinberg, Eli Glatstein, Jay Katz,
Patricia King, Susan Lederer, Ruth Macklin, Lois Norris, Nancy
Oleinick, Henry Royal, Mary Ann Stevenson, Duncan Thomas, Reed
Tuckson.

Statement of Senator Wellstone

“Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota addressed the Committee
and urged members to investigate thoroughly the concerns of armed
services veterans exposed in connection with weapons tests. He
recounted the experience of Minnesota veterans who today feel
misled and neglected by their government because of health
problems they ascribe to exposures in the nuclear tests.
He noted the disclosure of fragmentary evidence of secret
Veterans Administration files on veterans exposed during weapons
testing. The senator informed the Committee of a preliminary
study by the National Academy of Sciences that is considering
whether it is feasible to do a full-scale medical follow-up
study.
He added that the Committee s analysis of intentional
releases, though predicated on radiation exposures, might well
apply to the spraying of zinc cadmium sulfide over many cities,
including Minneapolis, as part of dispersal studies for
biological and chemical warfare purposes in the 1950s and 1960s.
Members questioned Senator Wellstone about the Committee s
scope of inquiry regarding exposures to veterans; ethical
criteria to judge intentional releases; and eligibility rules in
existing radiation exposure compensation laws.”

Biological weapons production in the US from WWII through 1969

“During World War II, research, development and pilot-scale production of biological weapons was centered at Fort (then Camp) Detrick, in Maryland. Large-scale production was planned to take place at a plant near Terre Haute, Indiana, built in 1944 for the production of anthrax and the filling of anthrax bombs. Equipped with twelve 20,000-gallon fermentors, it was capable of producing fill for 500,000 British-designed 4-pound anthrax bombs a month. Although the United Kingdom had placed an order for anthrax bombs in 1944 and the plant was ready for weapons production by the following summer, the war ended without anthrax having actually been produced.

Contrary to the view that biological weapons are easy to develop, by the end of the war Fort Detrick comprised some 250 buildings and employed approximately 3,400 people, some engaged in defensive work but many in the development and pilot production of weapons. Several years after the end of the war, the Indiana plant was demilitarized and leased to industry for production of antibiotics. It was replaced by a more modern and flexible biological weapons production facility constructed at Pine Bluff Arsenal, in Arkansas, which began production late in 1954 and operated until 1969.

A major effort of the 1950s was encompassed under Project St. Jo, a program to develop, test, produce, and deploy anthrax bombs to Europe for possible use against Soviet cities. In order to determine quantitative munitions requirements, 173 releases of (zinc cadmium sulfide) aerosols were secretly conducted in Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Winnipeg — cities chosen to have the approximate range of conditions of climate, urban and industrial development, and topography that would be encountered in the major potential target cities of the USSR. The weapon to be used was a cluster bomb holding 536 biological bomblets, each containing 35 ml of a liquid suspension of anthrax spores and a small explosive charge fuzed to detonate upon impact with the ground, thereby producing an infectious aerosol to be inhaled by persons downwind. In later years, anthrax was abandoned as a standardized US lethal biological agent and replaced with a lethal strain of tularemia, a much less persistent and more predictable agent. Other agents — the bacteria of brucellosis, the rickettsia of Q-fever, and the virus of Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, all more incapacitating than lethal, as well as fungi for the destruction of rice and wheat crops — were also introduced into the US bioweapons stockpile, along with improved munitions for high-altitude delivery and spray tanks for delivery of agents by low-flying aircraft. According to published accounts these developments culminated in a major series of biological weapons field tests using various animals as targets, conducted at sea in the South Pacific in 1968.”

Meselson, Matthew. 1999. Excerpt from “The problem of biological weapons.”

Minnesota police state


1) 

It is required by the State that you have a permit to assemble publicly and voice your dissent in Minnesota (MN). Groups that wanted to protest during the Republican convention (RNC) negotiated all summer long with a conglomerate of police, FBI, Secret Service, the RNC, and the city of St. Paul. The conglomerate permitted protesters to assemble at the State Capitol, which was separated from the RNC’s fortress downtown by the interstate highway system. The fortress city was only accessible via bridges. For the most part, St. Paul was thus a ghost town, the RNC revelers totally insulated from the outside world by miles of  giant, double chain link fences and thousands of militarized police commanded by the Secret Service and the FBI. “Delegates were in a bubble,” noted one journalist.

2)
Prior to the Republican convention of 2008, the Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher used paid infiltrators to spy on and sabotage public organizations likely to protest the Republican convention, including anti-war and peace organizations. Before and during the convention, they raided the homes of members of organizations such as Food Not Bombs and one that video records militarization and police brutality. In these raids, they arrested organization members in their homes.
3)
US taxpayers paid $50 million to the city of St. Paul for RNC security. According to the Minnesota press, the state assembled and lent to the national Secret Service and FBI 3700 national guard riot cops in full black military regalia (some from around the country) to keep protesters away from Republican elites. Republicans paid the state to cover anticipated lawsuits against police misconduct. The militarized police surrounded protesters at all times, using 4 foot long clubs to beat protesters with, and chemical weapons, rubber bullets, and concussion genades. They used excessive force. The Excel convention center was surrounded by two layers of 10 foot high thick steel walls. 
After protesters had registered with the state and obtained permits to march in protest, the police state designated marching routes ringed by fencing far apart from the convention. Protest marches involving from 500 to 12000 people were also ringed by the 3700 black-clad, helmeted, heavily-armed militarized police. Said one local citizen, “Prior to this, I had only seen pictures of this sort of thing from Latin America.” 
Ensconced in their citizenless police state utopia in downtown St. Paul, Republicans partied. The police state of Minnesota created holding centers by surrounding imprisonment areas with two layers of 10 foot high chain link fence, and hundreds of riot police, regular police, and police on horses.
The militarized police arrested hundreds of protesters, journalists, medics, and shoppers. Typically, the militarized police would declare that citizens’ permits to assemble publicly had run out and they would demand that citizens exit public space. When on principle, a few citizens refused, the militarized police rushed in groups of 50 to beat and arrest these individuals.  
On Thursday, September 4, the grand finale of the RNC, protesters wanted to march near the RNC, but the militarized police forbade them. Organized by anarchists, they quickly split into two groups to rush toward downtown St. Paul. The riot police trapped protesters, journalists and even 19 corporate communications professionals–and even Sears shoppers on the bridges, blocking off the downtown end of the bridges with dump trucks and snow plows donated by the St. Paul mayor, as well as police on horses, and thousands of riot cops. A main group of protesters was trapped on the John Ireland Bridge. Others, including two 17-year-old girls who managed to run and escape cluster bombing and tear gassing, were trapped on the other bridges, where they were arrested.
Nuns and Minnesota locals were paddywagoned away and released. On the orders of the City Attorney, John Choi, and the Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, out of state protesters and journalists were charged with a misdemeanor, removed from public life for a few hours to days, and had to supply $2000 bail ($200 immediately) to the state.
4)
The militarization of American public life is abetted not only by the Minnesota city and county attorneys, but also by the corporate press and Minnesota mayors, who unanimously praised the massive presence and function of the 3700 riot police troops. Even though Minnesota has a unique (but clearly forgotten) history in an early 20th century socialist governor who would send the National Guard out to defend (rather than attack) strikers from corporations’ hired private armies (the Pinkerton Detectives), “Never once,” said a flabberghasted citizen, “have these (present day) political leaders ever stopped to think that the police could be used to protect people’s constitutional rights, to protect civil liberties, rather than to repress them.”
The media and political leaders worked to convince the broad, uninvolved Minnesota public that the assemblage of 3700 armed, militarized, helmeted, jackbooted riot police is an appropriate response to the public expression of dissent. Chief among the reasons cited for the approval of fascism voiced by people who did not attend the protests is that it stops “anarchists” from “throwing rocks through windows”. By and large people who say this cannot articulate, independent of sensationalist propaganda, what an anarchist is, or why she (or a couple of broken windows) should be feared more than a police state protecting a corrupt plutocracy from a crumbling society. 
In contrast to the alienated corporate consensus, one of my eye witnesses was impressed by the disciplined organization of anarchists at the protests. They used Twitter (cell phone communication technology), they had planned for riot police shutting down their protests, they quickly split off in groups and went separate routes.
Provactively, protesters were exhilarated with their experience. Protest participants explained how the protests “energized” them with a sense of community: “Being there, being a part of it, hearing a very articulate, clean-cut, very young black man at the back of a group of protesters captured on a bridge calling the National Guard out, saying ‘We’re all Minnesotans. Tomorrow you go back to living with us. You watch the Vikings with us. Why are you working for them? (gesturing toward elite Republicans holed up in a barricaded city)’ I thought, These people (protesters) are great. I felt a sense of pride. These people understand democracy and they understand what’s wrong with the police state approach to social conflict.” 
As well, being there gave a participant a sense of “gratitude” for anarchists. “You know, I don’t feel an affinity with dirty hippies. But being there, being a part of it, there’s a lot of different kinds of people here protesting. The mainstream media works to tell a story about how it’s dirty hippies dissenting. It’s a lie. If you’re not here, you don’t know. You follow their story and you complain about the anarchists. Even some middle class protesters buy in. But while I wouldn’t do some of the (anti-property) things the anarchists do, I’m grateful for them. They allow me to have a more moderate stance.” We talked about how elites are only shaken by disruption (Piven & Cloward), which causes discomfort, and how young anarchists allow dissenting middle aged middle class people to participate in a bloc pushing for change without participating in discomfiting disruption themselves. 
A protester commented on experiencing for the first time the charged “potential for humans to act together spontaneously. A lot of the protest was highly organized, but with police repression, sometimes we had to improvise together. It pushes you to the brink of the unknown. That can be scary, but that kind of ability to innovate collectively in the face of stress is also a very impressive human capacity.”
Witnesses commented on the “horror of being in a police state. The streets were emptied of citizens.” “It was a police state,” they said somberly. “You could not walk freely in public space.” Yet, according to a source who had a journalist’s pass into the dead city taken over by the RNC, the sense of confidence and comradeship protesters discovered in each other contrasted sharply with the “manufactured patriotism” within the RNC cordon sanitaire.
5)
It came out in a September meeting of reporters covering the RNC that some reporters were “embedded” with the militarized police. This means that the State police arranged to have these communications professionals, paid by media businesses, act as the police’s own communications team. In “exchange” for doing this service for the police, the communications professionals were not allowed to report on the events until the last day of the convention. Is corporate media shite? It is shite.
For more on the RNC protests and police state repression:
To teach yourself about fascism, see Andrew Bosworth’s “Welcome to Neo-fascism 101.”

solidarity and independent socialist organization

This entry reviews some lessons from Paul Buhle’s “The legacy of the IWW” in this June 2005 Monthly Review, as well as the Norweigan Steinar Stjerno’s Solidarity in Europe (2005). In a larger project I’m currently working on, I’m trying to discuss the changing modern meaning and uses of solidarity–especially vis-a-vis outsider groups like immigrants.

While in Europe some contemporary social democrats congratulate themselves on effectively adopting the Christian democrats’ johnny-come-lately appropriation of solidarity (dropping worker solidarity and dropping the “belief in the lowest ranks of workers” in favor of an electorally-driven, middleclass-fetishizing, mostly-nationalist, and charity-based definition of solidarity) as “modernisation,” I’m interested in what happens politically when the praxis-fueled sense of (to paraphrase) “working people who understand their own power and the capacity to act and share with other workers across the world” is lost.

The main thing it seems to me right now is that, in the capitalist historical era, if a society doesn’t put together a discrete socialist party & a solidaristic (beyond business unionism) labor movement to keep the soc dems (or other lefty-capitalist political organization) honest over time, the slogan “solidarity” comes to be simply used as a gesture back to a lost period of time in which working people played a dynamic role in social formation.

In many European countries such a gesture has proven a risky basis on which to differentiate soc dem parties from liberal parties in electoral competition. Without socialist organization and counter-hegemony, the political-economic system reverts to liberalism/conservatism. Even though Soc Dems in Sweden deny this (and though they do have the long-range political savvy to protect the Left Party from bourgeois attacks), liberalization is patently observable and can’t be disguised as “modernization”… even more so in the other soc dem countries and parties. It’ll be interesting to see how Chavez develops a counter-neoliberal infrastructure in capitalist Venezuela (see Gott, Richard. 2005. “Chavez shows how to lead.” The Guardian Weekly, June 3-9: 5).

There’s a really great history article I was reading a few months ago about ecology, the northern MN timber workers (obviously many Finnish and Ojibway), the socialist MN governor, and the Wobblies (I’ll retrieve the reference in a few days). It covers a rare instance in US history when the Wobblies were surprised to find that their view of what was possible in terms of labor movement was too restricted. The difference was in how Wobblies met for one of the first times in the US the accumulated work socialists and communists had done to build statewide cultural programs and political organization. (Pinchot’s Pennsylvania was also uniquely facilitative to labor, but that was based on Pinchot’s personal politics and elite power.)

Then we recall Jennifer Delton’s fascinating history of how it all imploded. East Coast political keynesians came to MN, colonized the strong race- & rural/urban-solidaristic socialist organizations and the socialist-farmer political party, and eviscerated them, transfering the socialists’ voters and anti-racism initiatives into the keynesians’ newly-formed DFL Party. Delton argues that on a national scale, the keynesian Democrats (HHH, Mondale, Freeman) then took the anti-racism modernization platform into the Democratic Party and induced the transfer of white Southern elites & their followers into the Republican Party. Minnesotans were left to drift from then on into the upswelling tide of right-wing organization and hegemony.

There’s another interesting point in that I found that revisionist Republican hegemonists attack the current “Happy to pay for a better Minnesota” campaign as ahistorical, claiming rather disingenuously that MN was always a Republican state, dedicated to inegalitarian, imperial neoliberalism, and the absolute power of the filthy rich. Well, it’s true that the Democratic Party in MN (the DFL) is an invention of outside intervention in the mid-twentieth century. However, to imply that the same political forces existed in the past as exist today in MN is a rather big, fat lie.

No, historically, Minnesotans weren’t Democrats at the time when the Democrat Party was the party of Southern slavers and conservative Catholic immigrants. Besides the rapacious, pro-elite, Anglo Republicans, most Scandinavian and other non-Anglo Minnesotans were in fact radicals. They were socialists, Nonpartisan Leaguers (radical farmers), social democrats, Trotskyites, and communists, all struggling for a political and economic citizenship society not based on ownership (see the illuminating history: Millikan, William. 2005. A union against unions: The Minneapolis Citizens Alliance and its fight against organized labor, 1903-1947. Minneapolis: Minnesota Historical Society Press). They were damn sure happy to pool resources and work together to produce the social infrastructure, public goods and culture, quality of life, and opportunities that working people can’t afford when they’re isolated.