“If someone asks, ‘But what in the end is a philosopher?’ I would say ‘A philosopher is a human being who fights in theory.’”
— Louis Althusser, “The Dialectic: Laws or Theses?”
Photo: Althusser marches at a protest during the May ‘68.
Claudia Bernardi: In the last year, there were several OCCUPATIONS OF THEATERS AND CINEMAS all over Italy. There is a kind of network of independent spaces for culture.
In the past year, there are two examples in Rome that are worth speaking about. The first one is Nuovo Cinema Palazzo, a very old cinema, where the local government recently decided to build a casino there. So, all the population organized—there are even comrades of ESC squatting there, and migrants and even residents of 70, 80 years old, migrants, several artists and care workers. After one year of struggle, occupiers have been recognized as a ‘multitude’ by the same court—as a multitude of people resisting against the casino and as legitimate to take back the place. Now, there are several independent projects: theater, performances, children’s activities, a free room for study—libraries in La Sapienza are open for only three hours a day now, and they are going to be completely closed from September—language courses, spaces for migrants.
It’s really a heterogeneous space and we are creating knowledge about ‘what is an occupation of a cultural space?’ What does it mean to, not only defend culture and to resist the attacks of the government, but to create a new way of the production of culture? That’s the main antidote to the attacks of the government.
The second one is Teatro Valle. It’s the oldest theater in Rome, built in 1727. It was going to be closed, so a group of artists decided to occupy it—developing a common way to build up a common constitution through a large process of definition of new norms to organize and manage the space, affirming theatre as an institution of the common. They are finding out a new way, inside and against the Italian law, to create new norms that legitimate the space as part of ‘commons’ To build up these open spaces, we had several debates to create that status with the lawyer, philosophers, journalists, and all the artists. They wrote this statute that is free and available to be modified on the website, and after months, they are collecting all the advice from people and raising funds to create a foundation. They are producing law “from below” and, at the same time, they are creating anomalous norms that will be available for everybody.
Visiting Rome, Forte Prenestino
Visiting Rome, San Lorenzo, via dei volsci 32
March 30: Land Day in Palestine
Land Day, or ‘Youm al-Ard’ in Arabic, commemorates the day in 1976, when Israeli Occupation forces opened fire on a group of Palestinians peacefully protesting the confiscation and closure of 5,500 acres of land from villages in the Galilee. That day, Khair Mohammad Yasin, Raja Husein Abu Ria, Khader Abd Khalaileh, Khadijeh Shawahneh, Mohammad Yousef Taha, and Rafat Al Zuheiri lost their lives defending their rights; 96 were injured and more than 300 were arrested.
Via Richard Reilly
This short documentary tells the story of the uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina that started in early February 2014. Since February 5 2014, protests — started by workers from five factories in northern city of Tuzla: Dita, Polihem, Poliolhem, GUMARA and Konjuh – have swept across the country. The factories had been privatized, bankrupted and stripped of their assets, leaving the workers with large debts, no salaries, no health care and no benefits. The protests culminated on February 7, 2014 when several governmental buildings were set on fire in cities across the country, including the presidential building in Sarajevo. Under pressure of protests, four regional governments resigned. The protests were followed with mass popular assemblies, referred to as plenums, that quickly spread across the country.
Permanently Temporary, or The Logistics of Proletarian Defeat.
“Temp labor is one of the fastest growing industries in the US. Increasingly, temp workers are part of a business strategy to keep costs down and profits high. From mega-retailers to mom-and-pop shops, temps are hired to do some of the hardest and most dangerous jobs. While more and more of the American workforce is comprised of temporary workers, they’re largely hidden from public view. Many of these workers stay silent, often having their livelihoods threatened if they speak out. Wanting to get a glimpse of this invisible workforce, VICE News traveled across the country, scouring warehouses, temp agencies, and temp towns in search of the people, who make our world of same day delivery possible.”
For more from VICE News on the plight of temp labor in the US, read “A Modern Day Harvest of Shame“
Antifascism is self defence.