Questions About the SWAT Shooting

Six days later, police are releasing no new information about Friday’s shooting of a man by a member of the Washtenaw Metro SWAT.

What’s been reported:

  • The victim was a 33-year-old man who was taken to the hospital for “non-life threatening injuries.”
  • The shooting occurred in the 700 block of Lowell Street in Ypsilanti, reportedly in response to a barricade situation.
  • The SWAT member who shot the man is a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputy and is now on paid vacation.
  • Michigan State Police are investigating the shooting.

The lack of any further details is a red flag. Police never withhold details for long—that is, if those details look favorable to the police. Yet we’ve learned next to nothing from the sheriff’s office, the state police, or the Ypsilanti Police Department, who called in the SWAT. What information is Sheriff Clayton, who claims to support transparency and accountability, withholding?

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The “Reiterated” End of History

Pozol Colectivo

pozol

It is said, it is repeated, it is taught, it is imposed that world history progressed on a path to where money would come to reign, that those from above would win, and that we, those of the color of the earth, would lose. The monarchy of money presents itself this way, as the culmination of the end of history; the realization of humanity. —Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, closing remarks at the Encounter of the Indigenous Peoples of America in Vicam, Sonora (October 14, 2007)

We refer to that mass and energy that has the capacity to act as a type of repulsive gravity, as “dark energy.” Physical cosmologists propose that this so-called dark energy will come to dominate the dynamics of the universe. That is, that dark energy appears to be the only power capable of determining the future of the universe in its grand scale. —Alejo Stark, “Dark Energy and the End of History,” presented at The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas (December 27, 2016)

It is said that the dominance of dark energy announces the end of cosmological history, but as astrophysicist Alejo Stark suggests in his presentation at the encounter, The Zapatistas and the ConSciences for Humanity, this interpretation of the universe’s dynamics may not be conclusive and perhaps may be too hasty. For not so long ago, here on Earth, at the same time that the universe’s final destiny was being pin-pointed and announced, Francis Fukuyama was declaring that the evolution of humanity throughout the ages had reached its final destination. It was with capitalism, he decreed, that civilization had attained its apex. In this way, he argued that the social dynamics of subversion and rebellion had been defeated once and for all, and with them, any possible radical transformation of society. Such is what was sought in the deepest desires of Fukuyama and those in power, as Stark puts it, that “capitalism had triumphed and, consequently, the fate of human society was to be determined by it from now on.”

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J20

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On J20, as Trump tries to inaugurate a new regime of white supremacist control and domination, people across Turtle Island will be inaugurating their own new era: a flowering of self-organized resistance, community self-defense, and solidarity projects. Here in Detroit, let’s join together on #J20 in refusing white nationalist ascendance *and* the indefensible racial capitalist, settler colonial regime of terror the United States always already has been! #EmbraceUngovernability #FuckTrump (and Clinton) #AmerikaWasNeverGreat. Most important, our dreams are too beautiful to ever fit in their ballot boxes! So let’s create a visible presence for systemic critique and liberatory visions.

Meet up at 5 p.m. outside Greektown Casino, 555 Lafayette, Detroit. We’ll be bringing a bunch of banners, signs, buttons, music, and free literature, but you’re welcome to make your own “become ungovernable” images. Plans include sticking together to meander through downtown, and time to share our current and future efforts/ideas with each other so as to encourage a variety of imaginative self-organization in the days and months ahead.

All who hold to the “principles of solidarity” below are welcome. Spread the word; bring yourself and many others!

Principles of Solidarity:

* Our solidarity will be based on respect for a political diversity within the struggle for social justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of action but are committed to treating each other with respect.

* We realize that debates and honest criticisms are necessary for political clarification and growth in our movements. But we also realize that our detractors will work to divide by inflaming and magnifying our tactical, strategic, personal, and political disagreements. For the purposes of political clarity, and mutual respect we will speak to our own political motivations and tactical choices and allow other groups and individuals to speak on their own behalf. We reject all forms of red-baiting, violence-baiting, and fear-mongering; and efforts to foster unnecessary divisions among our movements.

* As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics. We will commit to respecting each other’s organizing space and the tone and tactics they wish to utilize in that space.

* We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others. We oppose proposals designed to cage protests into restricted “free speech zones.”

* We will work to promote a sense of respect for our shared community, our neighbors, and particularly poor and working-class people in our community and their personal property.

Click right here for event details.

Introducing: Rustbelt Abolition Radio

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In this episode we turn to recent news of the deepening impacts of the biggest prison strike in U.S. History, as we look at Kinross Correctional Facility in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We also speak with Professor Liat Ben-Moshé on our carceral society and the political imaginary of abolition. We wrap with a phone interview with Chaz, an imprisoned trans woman in Michigan who is fighting for queer and trans prisoners’ liberation.

Letter to the Office of Student Conduct

Dear Associate Director Michael Smith,

I hope this finds you well in the New Year. I was happy to have the opportunity to speak with you at length on Friday, December 8, at the Office of Student Conduct, Community Standards and Wellbeing. I appreciate you taking the time to talk. Since then, I’ve reflected on our conversation, and I want to feedback a few of the main points of our exchange, as well as my persistent concerns. Please be patient with the length of this letter, as its concerns are many.

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The Pitfalls of (White) Liberal Panic

Dylan Rodríguez

There should be no shock at the success of White Nationalist revival. A fog of liberal-progressive panic seeps across the closest quarters, oddly individualizing what some inhabit as a normal and collective disposition of familiarity with emergency under conditions of constant bodily and spiritual duress. In the living room, kitchen, office, school, cafe, park, dorm room, gym, and library there is a steady-sad din: How did this happen, Why such hate, There are so many of them, What will happen to our country, Will I be threatened, My uncle and neighbor lied, What does the world think of us, I do not feel safe, What do we do now, Who will protect those people from them, How could this happen my god my god …

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