fractal ethnography

Month: December, 2011

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This packet gets sent home in the same folder as homework and lyrics to “Over the River and through the woods//to the shopping mall we go” Advertisements

‘The Ask’ and #gradlaborcounts

Alinsky and Me, the organizer and the anthropologist: These are my efforts to work at this distance, by embedding instrumental political strategies into socio-cultural systems/histories/contexts.  The exercise is a reckoning with tempo, situating linear urgencies of a campaign in a slower ethic of the intimate, material, ecological densities that structure and exceed our everyday.

Demanding the right to unionize is like a picture within a picture: we are demanding the right to demand rights.  The Grad Labor Counts! campaign brings together student-workers already organized and already laboring, to demand legal recognition (and thus bargaining status) for what we already do.  On the other hand, the National Labor Relations Board continues to sit on the ruling that would resolve this bureaucratic absurdity; they cannot rule against us, there’s no such legitimate opinion.  We only ask they do what they are already supposed to do: their job; the nation relating to labor; public servants working for the public welfare. Read the rest of this entry »

what “occupy” is to me: a narrative on relations among people

I found #occupywallst on the Adbusters website in July, reading Micah White’s critique of MoveOn-style ‘clicktivism.’  #occupywallst, it claimed, could be our “Tahrir” moment.  Maybe, I thought then following the Tar Sands Actions; also, right on.  My uncle brought it up on 9/9/11, the 40th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion.  My family was at an event held under the Freedom Archives on Valencia St, a screening of the 1974 documentary.  Afterwards, there was a Q&A with my uncle and two young organizers speaking on Pelican Bay.  A hunger strike — a movement growing from within the prison system. Read the rest of this entry »