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The Future of Left Turn: We have some major news about the future of Left Turn. We have published the final issue of our print publication. This decision did not come easily, but in the end we felt we had no choice. This is not, however, the end of Left Turn...Read more

April 17, 2012

In response to a question regarding advice for young activists, 96 year old movement veteran Grace Lee Boggs recently told Hyphen Magazine that activists should turn our backs on protest organizing because it “leads you more and more to defensive operations” and “Do visionary organizing” because it “gives you the opportunity to encourage the creative capacity in people and it’s very fulfilling.” This quote made its way around facebook, twitter, and tumblr, as fans of Grace reposted it like it was common sense while others thought the quote bordered on conservatism.

To better understand Grace’s call, we need to understand the historical perspective in which it’s rooted.  We also need to understand how visionary organizing differs from protest organizing, how Grace understands revolution, and that the way history develops means that ideas that were progressive or even revolutionary in one era, can become mental roadblocks to progress in another era.

February 16, 2012

This is a message to friends, family and fellow organizers regarding the struggle in Alabama against the most extreme anti-immigrant law in the country, HB 56. The bill, titled the Hammon-Beason Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, was signed into law in June of 2011. Although it has received a lot less coverage, it is, by all accounts, even more draconian than Arizona’s SB 1070.

I arrived in Alabama 2 days before HB 56 went into effect with the original plan of being here for 2 weeks. That turned into 3 months.  I have just returned for 6 more months to work with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice I learned about the incredibly egregious law HB 56 and I listened to my heart, which told me to respond to the call for organizing support and to go to Alabama.  Now I am living in Alabama (AL), a place I never imagined myself. Every day is incredibly challenging, full of simultaneous heartbreak and inspiration and yet I am thankful to be here, working side by side with hundreds of incredible people. I believe that from this atrocity, a movement is being born that will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, possibly millions.  I know many might not know the extent of both the crisis and the subsequent developing movement to confront it, so I want to update you and ask for your feedback and support in building a national movement against this vicious anti-immigration law.

February 10, 2012

The end of 2011 saw the beginnings of a shift to a more overt and aggressive policy by the US and its allies towards Iran. This shift was not the result of any new threat being posed by Iran but by the need for the US to maintain a sizeable military presence in the oil rich region after withdrawing from Iraq. The Arab revolutions are also a major factor in this shift, particularly for the US’s Gulf Arab allies and Israel. Saber rattling around Iran heightens sectarian tensions in the region and, therefore, weakens the revolutionary wave which threatens the Gulf Arab monarchies. Israel, on the other hand, is leading the push for an attack because it deflects attention away from its continued denial of land and rights to Palestinians at a time when it is coming under increased international criticism.

February 7, 2012

While the tone of Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, is much more diplomatic than his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, the state policies of militarizing territories to facilitate resource extraction under the guise of economic development and counter-insurgent security have not changed. The forced displacement of inhabitants that it spurred has also not abated.

Santos, the Minister of Defense under Uribe, assumed the presidency in August 2010. He kicked off his administration by naming four focus areas as the “locomotives” of his government´s economic development, one of these being mining-energy generation.

Xan West
February 6, 2012

by Jared Ball

AK Press, 2011

“The ability to determine which forms of cultural expression are widely disseminated and which are not is purely ideological and serves a colonizing purpose”- Jared Ball, I Mix What I Like!: A Mixtape Manifesto

I have a confession.  I’ve most likely seen every episode, reunion and thrown down of Love & Hip-Hop.  Critical consciousness intact, I sit guilty and mesmerized by one solid hour of television dedicated to black women man chasing, trash talking and fist fighting.  For months I’ve tried to analyze what it could be about me, my homies, and apparently a large segment of the nation that, though we know it is wrong, can’t seem to look away.  Many of us use a train wreck analogy to justify our attraction to such a rachet show: I can’t look away because I want to see how bad it gets. 

However we justify it to ourselves, most of us rely on personal responsibility and question ourselves: why do I have this sick obsession?  But, I began to notice Love & Hip-Hop and the weave-pulling drama that goes with it, is always on the air—morning, after school, nighttime, and that’s not even the marathons. If one is to turn on VH1, Love& Hip-Hop is what’s on.  The other music channels are not much better.

Jared Ball’s I Mix What I Like!: A Mixtape Manifesto properly places Black America as a colonized people within a nation, and therefore recognizes a colonized hip-hop nation within this colony.