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Kevin Rashid Johnson and Oregon’s Isolation Torture Unit

This is an update about Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, a prisoner activist and intellectual who is currently in a dire situation in Snake River Correctional Institution in Oregon.
As was reported last week, Rashid has been in the midst of a health crisis for almost a month now, which has included periods of severe disorientation. For a time he was refusing to eat or drink; as far as our most recent information if concerned, he is currently accepting liquids but still not eating. ...........READ MORE

Kevin Rashid Johnson Emergency

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a New Afrikan Communist prison organizer and intellectual in the United States and one of the founders of the NABPP-PC (New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter). He has spent most of his adult life in the prison system and continually been subjected to political repression and violence in retaliation for his organizing efforts. He is currently held at Snake River Correctional Inst in Oregon.

A supporter recently received a very distressing letter informing us that Rashid was in a serious medical situation, and was not receiving adequate care. Details from this letter were circulated online, however ...........READ MORE


Comments on a Divided World, from Don Hamerquist

In the text that follows, Don Hamerquist addresses the current salience of imperialism, territory, and revolutionary organizing in the First World. This essay is prompted by the review of Zak Cope’s Divided World Divided Class by Matthijs Krul, which was reposted to Sketchy Thoughts a few weeks ago. Don explains that “For Krul citations I am using generated page numbers from a print out of the version of the review and its single page of introduction that was on Sketchy Thoughts. These provide a rough guide to the relative locations of the citations, but may not translate accurately to ...........READ MORE

Rape and canadian colonialism

Human Rights Watch has accused Canada’s federal police of intimidating and even sexually assaulting aboriginal women and girls in the province of British Columbia.

In a scathing report, which was released on Wednesday, the rights organization documented numerous accounts of women and girls in the province’s indigenous communities finding themselves in a constant state of fear.

“The threat of domestic and random violence on one side, and mistreatment by RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officers on the other, leaves indigenous women in a constant state of insecurity,” AFP quoted Meghan Rhoad, co-author of the 89-page report on the issue, as ...........READ MORE

Arm the Spirit Archive

For those of you unfamiliar with Arm the Spirit, it was one of the only publications devoted to reporting on the armed resistance movements in the 1990s. There were a very few magazines and newspapers with this purview at the time, and yet in the days before the internet they played an important role in allowing the broader left to understand the guerilla struggle, especially as since the mid-80s this struggle had primarily been occurring outside of the English-speaking world.

For a variety of reasons, Arm the Spirit would eventually cease to exist. Just recently, though, a former member has ...........READ MORE

Vision of Fire #1: Maoism

i received a surprise in my mailbox last week, a zine entitled Visions of Fire, this first issue being devoted to Maoism. The editor has assembled some pieces both sympathetic and critical of maoism, as well as an introductory editorial situating their own position.

The editor is more critical of Maoism than i am. Not that i am or ever have been a Maoist; democratic centralism strikes me as too open to abuse, and i remain skeptical about the virtues of the Cultural Revolution. But i have learned, and continue to learn, a great deal from Maoists i have known, ...........READ MORE

Two Aspects of Power: Consciousness and Physical Force

Left: A Freedmen’s school, a place of learning established by New Afrikans who had escaped the slave-system in the south of the united states. Right: a mob of euro-americans burns a Freedmen’s school to the ground.

It is necessary, first, to overcome the opposition between a physicalist vision of the social world that conceives of social relations as relations of physical force and a “cybernetic” or semiological vision which portrays them as relations of symbolic force, as relations of meaning or relations of communication. The most brutal relations of force are always simultaneously symbolic relations. And acts of submission and ...........READ MORE

Eight Years of Sketchy Thoughts

It has been eight years since i started this blog, basically as a way of trying to figure out how to develop and explore some political ideas and perhaps also deal with a period of political and personal isolation i was going through. It “worked”, and provided a space not only to try and figure some things out, to record things i would otherwise have forgotten, and to try and elaborate a set of political reference points. It has been a nice complement to what at the time was the more business-oriented site i also run.

Of course, every ...........READ MORE

Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women

i am reposting this horrific news, without commentary except to say that obviously i do not share the authors’ insistence on nonviolence, but equally obviously that is not the most important thing here in this post. Sexual violence, from India to Turtle Island, has always been used by the powerful to terrorize subject peoples, just as it has been tolerated and encouraged amongst oppressed peoples as a safety valve for male distress and (more importantly) as a direct attack on women, who have regularly formed the backbone of resistance movements here as elsewhere.

The following press release details the a ...........READ MORE