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robertogreco : militarization   17

Mapping Who Lives in Border Patrol's '100-Mile Zone' - CityLab
"All of Michigan, D.C., and a large chunk of Pennsylvania are part of the area where Border Patrol has expanded search and seizure rights. Here's what it means to live or travel there."
border  borders  us  mexico  2018  tanvimisra  checkpoints  civilrights  lawenforcement  policing  military  militarization  borderpatrol  california 
may 2018 by robertogreco
The Big Picture: Defending Open Cities | Public Books
"At their best, the daily dynamics and interdependencies of life in the city contribute to the making of an urban subject, as distinct from an ethnic, religious, or racialized subject. Being an urban subject is a temporary condition, but it matters profoundly for a city. Most of the time, in most moments of history, in most geographic locales, humans are specific subjects marked by ethnicity, language, phenotype, and more. But in the vortex of a modern, complex city’s daily transactions we all become urban subjects.

I think of the possibility of an urban subject not as one that erases the powerful markers of difference in a city, but as one that repositions those differences, even if only for a while, and that thereby can contribute to sociability."



"Today, many cities are at risk of losing this capacity for making urban subjects. Instead, as they stratify, they become both playgrounds for the rich and ghettos for the poor: sites for a range of new types of conflicts. It is no coincidence that in an age of vast inequalities we are seeing an upswing in abusive police actions, as well as class war, and a resurgence of older modes of ethnic and social “cleansing.”"



"The urban order that gave us the open city is still there, but increasingly merely as visual order."



"In the 20th century, both the modest social classes and the powerful found in the city a space for their diverse “life projects.” None of these cities and projects were perfect. All of them contained strands of hatred and injustice. But the complex interdependence of daily life in cities was the algorithm that made them thrive.

This is no longer quite the case in today’s major cities. We are seeing an unsettling of older urban orders. It is part of a larger disassembling of existing organizational logics and hence unlikely to produce urbanities that resemble those of our recent past. Think of all those newly built empty towers in midtown and now also lower Manhattan: they de-urbanize the city. Similar growth patterns can be seen in London, in LA, and in a slew of other global cities. Prosperity begets rampant development—but not always of the kind that binds communities into tighter urban arrangements."
saskiasassen  cities  urban  urbanism  inequality  militarization  society 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Architecture of Persecution – Guernica
"The 4000-year-old city of Jerusalem's rich archeological history is weaponized against Palestinians."


"This is why that [sic] we opted for the methodology of walking through walls . . . like a worm that eats its way forward, emerging at points and then disappearing. We were thus moving from the interior of homes to their exterior in a surprising manner and in places we were not expected, arriving from behind and hitting the enemy that awaited us behind a corner.

The speaker is an Israeli paratroop commander called Aviv Kochavi, interviewed by the architectural theorist Eyal Weizman in 2004. During the 2002 attack on Nablus, Brigadier General Kochavi’s troops advanced into the city through aboveground “tunnels” which they blasted through the dense urban fabric of houses, shops, and workshops. The soldiers avoided the streets and alleys of the city, moving horizontally through party walls and vertically through holes blasted in floors and ceilings. Thermal imaging technologies allowed them to “see” adversaries on the other side of solid barriers, and 7.62mm rounds could penetrate to kill on the other side. Much fighting took place in private homes, and the civilian population was profoundly traumatized.

A retired brigadier general called Shimon Naveh, who taught at the IDF’s Operational Theory Research Institute, told Weizman of the IDF’s interest in the philosophical work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, particularly the concepts of “smooth” and “striated” space:
In the IDF we now often use the term “to smooth out space” when we want to refer to operation in a space as if it had no borders. We try to produce the operational space in such a manner that borders do not affect us.

Elad’s multidimensional project to smooth out the Palestinian space of Silwan seems entirely continuous with these French-theoretical military tactics. They are an organization that has grown out of war, a very modern full-spectrum war in which the distinction between combatants and the civilian population is blurred, and the battlefield could potentially be everywhere, including inside civilian homes. Elad’s attack is slow, but it is happening. It is unfolding at the pace of spades and excavators, the pace of planning hearings and court dates and fundraising galas, an assault on an urban area slowed down to the speed of archaeology.

Elad’s latest tactic in Silwan is burrowing. It has already built a tunnel (billed as “the pilgrims’ route”) to connect the City of David to the Temple Mount, and the highlight of tourist offerings is the chance to walk underground along part of an ancient aqueduct system, through which water still flows. Other tunnels are confidently identified as the work of King Herod, or as hiding places for Jewish rebels against the Romans. The new tunnels (no doubt supplied with their own attractive biblical backstories) are worming in all directions under Palestinian Silwan. Part of their routes are secret. Residents complain that they are seeing cracks in their walls, in the foundations of their houses. They wonder whether it is because of the tunnels that in several places the streets have collapsed."
walls  borders  harikunzru  palestine  israel  2017  jerusalem  elad  military  militarization  border  burrowing  silwan  war 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Seeing and killing with police robots | Javier Arbona
"Much more will need to be studied in the weeks, months, and years ahead. However, I wanted to touch on a question about how “unprecedented” this case was, given how oft the words “first” and “unprecedented” are being thrown around. Anyone familiar with the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia should not be so surprised by this supposed “first”. More recently, the outcome of a standoff with Chris Dorner, a Black officer, ended with a robot shooting smoke bombs that burned down the cabin Dorner was hiding in. So, since it was not unprecedented, in effect, how come ‘we’ (what we?) are caught by surprise, playing catch-up with the ethics and capabilities of the police? Perhaps this raises more questions about the culture around policing with a certain lack of critical memory, than about the policing itself."



"I’m curious about these two goals for the robot; one as a ‘seeing’ entity, and another as a killing machine. These separated endeavours, anticipated more than a decade-and-a-half ago, bring up many questions about the nature of identification and violence. As a relative of mine put it, they did not send a robot to capture or kill, for an example, white supremacist Dylann Roof, the suspect in the mass killing inside a Black North Carolina church. So, thinking about the writing of Simone Browne here, in the very same context of the Black Lives Matter protests that were going on in Dallas in the wake of more police killings this past couple of weeks, it’s impossible to separate who becomes targeted by automated or semi-automated killing machines, and who is taken alive, and how are the visual regimes of each sort of operation organized."
javierarbona  dallas  police  blacklivesmatter  automation  robots  seeing  simonebrown  lawenforcement  us  militarization  2016 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Dr. Cornel West | Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela | Official Web Site
[previously on militant tenderness and subversive sweetness: https://twitter.com/search?q=rogre%20militant%20tenderness ]

"The natural death of Nelson Mandela is the end of not only a monumental life but also an historic era. Like any spectacular cultural icon, Mandela was many things to all of us. Yet if we are to be true to his complex life and precious legacy, we must pierce through the superficial surfaces and market-driven fanfares. Mandela was a child of his age and a man who transcended and transformed his times. He was a revolutionary South African nationalist who embraced communists even as he embodied his Christian faith and enacted his democratic temperament. He was a congenial statesman whose prudential style and message of reconciliation saved South Africa from an ugly and bloody civil war.

Mandela the man was rooted in a rich African tradition of soulcraft that put a premium on personal piety, cultural manners and social justice. Ancestor appreciation, gentle embrace of others and fair treatment of all was shot through the "soul-making" of the young Nelson Mandela. The fusion of his royal family background, high Victorian and Edwardian education and anti-imperialist formation yielded a person of immense self-respect, moral integrity and political courage. These life-enhancing qualities pit Mandela against the life-denying realities of the dark underside of European imperialism—realities of pervasive terror, chronic trauma and vicious stigma. Yet though deeply wounded and perennially scarred by these realities, Mandela emerged from such nightmarish circumstances with sterling character—a militant tenderness, subversive sweetness and radical gentleness even acknowledged by his foes. To put it bluntly, Mandela the man chose to live a life of wise remembrance, moral reverence and political resistance rather than a life of raw ambition, blind avarice and personal subservience. More pointedly, Mandela refused to be intimidated by the Goliath-like powers of an authoritarian regime.

Mandela the revolutionary movement leader was blessed with a rich South African progressive tradition unmatched anywhere on the globe. Where else can we find so many spiritual giants and political exemplars of courage—from Desmond Tutu, Walter Sisulu, Beyers Naudé, Joe Slovo, Ruth First, Albertina Sisulu, Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko, Billy Nair, Allen Boesak, Ronnie Kasrils, Rusty Bernstein, Oliver Tambo and so many others. Mandela the man was deeply shaped by the South African freedom movement. He began as a narrow black nationalist, shifted quickly to a United Front strategy, supported the armed struggle and called off the counter-violent stance only when the government renounced violence. Mandela was designated a dangerous enemy of the South African government—a terrorist, communist, traitor and hater—because he led a movement that saw South African laws as themselves criminal. He was imprisoned for over 27 years, permitted one visit and one letter every six months, forbidden to attend the funerals of his mother and oldest son, often relegated to solitary confinement, and sometimes permitted to read only his Bible because his courageous witness as part of the freedom movement constituted the major threat to the South African government. As international support for Mandela and the movement escalated (including many African leaders, the Soviet Union, and millions of people of all colors around the world) and international support for the South African regime was exposed (including America's Reagan and Britain's Thatcher), old-style apartheid began to crumble. The writing on the wall was clear as the Berlin Wall fell.

Mandela the statesman tried to hold together a fragile emerging multiracial democracy and heal a traumatized society against the backdrop of a possible civil war. This incredible balancing act highlighted the spiritual qualities and moral sentiments of Mandela the man—and made him the democratic saint of our time. Yet this gallant effort also downplayed Mandela the revolutionary movement leader who highlighted targeting wealth inequality, corporate power and sheer corruption and cronyism in high places. Mandela is the undisputed father of South African democracy because the freedom movement he led broke the back of old-style apartheid. Yet his neoliberal policies—much to the delight of corporate elites and new black middle-class beneficiaries—failed to address in a serious manner the massive unemployment, inadequate housing, poor medical facilities and decrepit education. The masses of precious poor people—disproportionately black—have been overlooked by the full-fledge integration of the South African economy into the global capitalist world.

I asked the great Nelson Mandela about this grave situation after I gave the Nelson Mandela lecture in Pretoria a few years ago. I lambasted the Santa-Clausification of Nelson Mandela that turned Mandela the man and the revolutionary leader into an unthreatening, huggable old man with a smile with bags full of toys—especially for cheering oligarchs like the Oppenheimers or newly rich elites like Cyril Ramaphosa. Even global neoliberal figures like Bill Clinton and Richard Stengel of Time Magazine become major caretakers of Mandela's legacy as his revolutionary comrades fade into the dustbin of history. As I approached him, he greeted me with a genuine smile of deep love and respect, expressed in the most elevating and encouraging language his appreciation of my righteous indignation in my speech and told me to be steadfast in my witness.

The most valuable lesson we can draw from the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela is to be neither afraid nor intimidated by the neoliberal powers that be. We must create our own deep democratic forms of soulcraft, social movements and statecraft—forms that resist the dominant forces of privatizing, financializing and militarizing that overlook poor and working people. Nelson Mandela met the most pressing challenges of his day with great dignity, decency and integrity. Let us confront the free-market fundamentalism, escalating militarism and insidious xenophobia in our day with his spirit of love, courage and humor.

-- Dr. Cornel West"

[via: "Showed kids 60 Minutes with Cornel West last night. ("I'm unimpressed by smartness.") http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-cornel-west-on-race-in-the-u-s/ "
https://twitter.com/ablerism/status/711908596540379136

"+ See also West on Mandela: "a militant tenderness, subversive sweetness and radical gentleness." http://www.cornelwest.com/nelson_mandela.html "
https://twitter.com/ablerism/status/711908847695368192 ]
cornelwest  tenderness  sweetness  care  caring  gentleness  radicalism  radicalgentleness  subversivesweetness  militanttenderness  militancy  nelsonmandela  soulcraft  piety  manners  culture  justice  socialjustice  ancestors  appreciation  fairness  imperialism  trauma  terror  stigma  character  democracy  freedom  society  fear  neoliberalism  legacy  statecraft  privatization  finance  militarization  poverty  dignity  decency  integrity  courage  love  humor  canon  xenophobia  militarism  via:ablerism 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The City of the Global South and its Insurrections: Algiers, Cairo, Gaza, Chandigarh, and Kowloon | THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE
"On November 10th, I was invited by friend Meriem Chabani to give a small lecture in Paris in the context of the exhibition New South that she curated around six architecture students’ thesis projects engaging cities of the Global South in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Burkina Faso, Morocco and the Canaries. I started writing a digest of this presentation here the next day but the Nov. 13 attacks occurred and I am profoundly sadden to announce that, Amine Ibnolmobarak, the brilliant and kind author of the project for Mecca in this exhibition, was killed in the shootings. Despite the shock of this news and the difficulty to mourn in the maddening noise of the journalistic and political state of emergency, his friends gathered around his family, and remembered with emotion his life in the great hall of the Beaux Arts school last Friday.

The City of the Global South and its Insurrections: Algiers, Cairo, Gaza, Chandigarh, and Kowloon ///

This presentation constitutes a rather shallow examination of five cities’ reciprocal influence between their urban fabric and their insurrections and counter-insurrections operations. In order to make the presentation clearer, I produced a few new maps and thus propose to include my slides here, as well as a few notes to explain them."



"CONCLUSION ///

The criminalizing discourses that took the Kowloon Walled City for object as well as its inhabitants, even if based, to a certain degree on a actual facts, is common to all neighborhoods presented here. These discourses construct an imaginary of these neighborhoods that prepares the policed and/or militarized interventions against the urban fabric and its inhabitants. The insurrections evoked throughout this presentation are sometimes less the historical accomplishment of their inhabitants than a narrative forced upon them in order to (re)gain the full political control of these urban formations. As described in another recent article, the rhetorical use of “bastions” or “strongholds” to talk about these neighborhoods or other similar ones, contributes (more often than not, deliberately) to their transformation or demolition orchestrated by the State, sometimes including the very lives of their inhabitants (like in the case of Gaza)."
algiers  algeria  cairo  egypt  gaza  palestine  chandigahr  india  kowloon  hongkong  china  northafrica  asia  globalsouth  léopoldlambert  cartography  history  cities  urban  urbanism  architecture  design  insurrection  colonialism  decolonization  colonization  lecorbusier  battleofalgiers  alilapointe  tahrir  tahrirsquare  militarization 
december 2015 by robertogreco
America Deserta | Artbound | Shows | KCET
""Artbound" travels to Southern California's desert regions in this episode featuring the landscape painting and video art of visual artist Diane Best, whose work personifies the creative spirit found throughout the Joshua Tree region; the Coachella artists the Date Farmers who infuse abstract expressionism with a politically charged, pop culture update; a draw-in with Hillary Mushkin's Incendiary Traces at the 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center that challenges participants to become conscious of militarized landscapes.

We also examine the superadobe construction techniques of Cal-Earth, whose experimental designs are challenging the ubiquitous cookie-cutter suburban communities in the urbanized southwestern Mojave Desert; Jackrabbit Homesteads and the cultural legacy of the Small Tract Act in Southern California's Morongo Basin; the eclectic practice of Joshua Tree's "Art Queen Shari Elf"; and a performance by Rodrigo Amarante."
deserts  art  california  socal  coachella  joshuatree  2015  datefarmers  hillarymushkin  cal-earth  rodrigoamarante  jackrabbithomesteads  artbound  mojavedesert  dianebest  29palms  military  militarization 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Fences Where Spain And Africa Meet | KSMU Radio
"On a rocky beach in North Africa, a chain-link fence juts out into the Mediterranean Sea.

This is one of Africa's two land borders with Europe, at two Spanish cities on the African continent. Ceuta and Melilla are Spanish soil — and thus part of the European Union — separated from the rest of Europe by the Mediterranean, and separated from the rest of Africa by huge fences.

If someone manages to scale those fences, he lands in Europe. Tens of thousands of African and Arab migrants try to do that each year. Many have traveled hundreds of miles already, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, but also from conflict zones like Syria or Somalia. Their journeys are similar to those many Latino migrants make northward to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Thousands of people cross the Morocco-Ceuta border legally every day. Dozens more are believed to cross illegally — smuggled in the back of trucks, or hidden in secret compartments under cars or in their trunks. Others manage to scale a huge double fence, lined with anti-climbing mesh and patrolled by border guards.

Still others swim.

"Nine hours in the water — I was hungry!" says Mohamed Ba, 21, from Guinea Conakry in West Africa. "I didn't take my clothes or shoes. I was suffering."

Ba swam around the fence near the Tarajal crossing between Morocco and Spain. He spent his family's life savings on the trip north to Morocco. He'd planned to pay smugglers to hide him in the back of a truck, to cross into Spain. But he got robbed.

"I had 200 euros ($210) in my pocket. They pulled the money off me and they beat me. You see that?" he says, pointing out a long scar on his arm. "I begged them and pleaded, but they did not leave me alone."

Broke, Ba was determined to reach Europe. He refused to turn back. So he waited until nightfall, and jumped into the water and swam — around the chain-link border fence topped with barbed wire. At times, he had to hold his breath underwater, to avoid being seen by Spanish border guards.

Nine hours later, shivering, he emerged onshore in Spain the next morning. "It was cold, and I didn't have anything with me," he says.

A Red Cross team treated him for the early stages of hypothermia. This was back in September, when the Mediterranean is at its warmest. Ba is one of the lucky ones.

In February 2014, at least 15 Africans died trying to swim around the same fence, when border guards fired rubber bullets at them in the water. Sixteen Spanish troops have been indicted in that incident.

"That was a monumental mistake, but we work under so much pressure," says Juan Antonio Delgado, a Civil Guard spokesman. "You've got 500 desperate Africans face to face with 50 of us guards. It's very dramatic. They're absolutely determined to get across."

Thousands do, with the potential to overwhelm public services in Ceuta, a city of about 85,000. The local jobless rate tops 30 percent, without including migrants, all of whom are unemployed. Spain is asking for more EU help to secure its border and prevent migrants from entering.

Moroccans who reach Ceuta illegally are automatically deported, because of a bilateral treaty between Spain and their country. But many African countries have no such treaties. And many migrants try not to disclose their origin, so Spanish officials can't deport them.

Once a migrant enters Spain, he or she has two options: Claim political asylum, or be considered an "economic migrant" — Ba.

"I need a job because my people have nothing, and my father is dead," he says, explaining why he left his native Guinea. He says his dream is to someday work in Barcelona and send money home to his family. "I have only my mom and two younger sisters. I want to give them food and help them. ... They are all in Guinea."

One of the first people many migrants encounter is Germinal Castillo, a Red Cross worker who's part of a team of first responders dispatched to Ceuta's beaches and port, where scores of migrants turn up.

"They're often in a terrible, horrible state. Most often it's hypothermia," says Castillo, who treats an average of about 20 migrants a week in winter — and sometimes 10 times that in summer. "The problem is that they arrive without any documents. They kiss the ground, but then they have to wait months for visas and work permits."

"They're all looking for a better life," he says. "They're looking for what we already have."

While they wait for that paperwork, migrants are housed in local immigration and asylum centers — huge, prisonlike fortresses nestled in the hills of Ceuta and Melilla and across mainland Spain.

Many of the centers are filled beyond capacity, and human rights groups have complained of abuses. Migrants must adhere to curfews and mealtimes but can otherwise come and go freely despite big metal bars and razor wire around the centers.

I met Ba at one of these facilities, where West African men milled around outside, smoking and drinking beer. Ba has been awaiting the paperwork he needs to travel elsewhere in Europe.

Finally, after six months, the documents have come through.

"I was sleeping and the immigration people woke me in my bed to tell me, 'Today you have your pass — and tomorrow you can travel to the [Iberian] peninsula,' " he says, lifting a can of beer on his final night in Ceuta. "Because of that I'm very happy. I am laughing! I am eating good and sleeping good."

The next morning, he disappears into a crowd boarding a ferry for the Spanish mainland, chasing his dream to work in Barcelona."
borders  spain  españa  2015  africa  mediterranean  ceuta  melilla  europe  militarization  fences  morocco  immigration  migration 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Tomgram: Miller and Schivone, Bringing the Battlefield to the Border | TomDispatch
"It was October 2012. Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was explaining his country’s border policing strategies. In his PowerPoint presentation, a photo of the enclosure wall that isolates the Gaza Strip from Israel clicked onscreen. “We have learned lots from Gaza,” he told the audience. “It’s a great laboratory.”

Elkabetz was speaking at a border technology conference and fair surrounded by a dazzling display of technology -- the components of his boundary-building lab. There were surveillance balloons with high-powered cameras floating over a desert-camouflaged armored vehicle made by Lockheed Martin. There were seismic sensor systems used to detect the movement of people and other wonders of the modern border-policing world. Around Elkabetz, you could see vivid examples of where the future of such policing was heading, as imagined not by a dystopian science fiction writer but by some of the top corporate techno-innovators on the planet.

Swimming in a sea of border security, the brigadier general was, however, not surrounded by the Mediterranean but by a parched West Texas landscape. He was in El Paso, a 10-minute walk from the wall that separates the United States from Mexico.

Just a few more minutes on foot and Elkabetz could have watched green-striped U.S. Border Patrol vehicles inching along the trickling Rio Grande in front of Ciudad Juarez, one of Mexico’s largest cities filled with U.S. factories and the dead of that country’s drug wars. The Border Patrol agents whom the general might have spotted were then being up-armored with a lethal combination of surveillance technologies, military hardware, assault rifles, helicopters, and drones. This once-peaceful place was being transformed into what Timothy Dunn, in his book The Militarization of the U.S. Mexico Border, terms a state of “low-intensity warfare.”"



"No one may frame the budding romance between Israel’s high-tech companies and Arizona better than Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “If you go to Israel and you come to Southern Arizona and close your eyes and spin yourself a few times,” he says, “you might not be able to tell the difference.”

Global Advantage is a business project based on a partnership between the University of Arizona’s Tech Parks Arizona and the Offshore Group, a business advisory and housing firm which offers “nearshore solutions for manufacturers of any size” just across the border in Mexico. Tech Parks Arizona has the lawyers, accountants, and scholars, as well as the technical knowhow, to help any foreign company land softly and set up shop in the state. It will aid that company in addressing legal issues, achieving regulatory compliance, and even finding qualified employees -- and through a program it’s called the Israel Business Initiative, Global Advantage has identified its target country.

Think of it as the perfect example of a post-NAFTA world in which companies dedicated to stopping border crossers are ever freer to cross the same borders themselves. In the spirit of free trade that created the NAFTA treaty, the latest border fortification programs are designed to eliminate borders when it comes to letting high-tech companies from across the seas set up in the United States and make use of Mexico’s manufacturing base to create their products. While Israel and Arizona may be separated by thousands of miles, Rothschild assured TomDispatch that in “economics, there are no borders.”"



"Arizona, as Weiner puts it, possesses the “complete package” for such Israeli companies. “We’re sitting right on the border, close to Fort Huachuca,” a nearby military base where, among other things, technicians control the drones surveilling the borderlands. “We have the relationship with Customs and Border Protection, so there’s a lot going on here. And we’re also the Center of Excellence on Homeland Security.”

Weiner is referring to the fact that, in 2008, DHS designated the University of Arizona the lead school for the Center of Excellence on Border Security and Immigration. Thanks to that, it has since received millions of dollars in federal grants. Focusing on research and development of border-policing technologies, the center is a place where, among other things, engineers are studying locust wings in order to create miniature drones equipped with cameras that can get into the tiniest of spaces near ground level, while large drones like the Predator B continue to buzz over the borderlands at 30,000 feet (despite the fact that a recent audit by the inspector general of homeland security found them a waste of money).

Although the Arizona-Israeli romance is still in the courtship stage, excitement about its possibilities is growing. Officials from Tech Parks Arizona see Global Advantage as the perfect way to strengthen the U.S.-Israel “special relationship.” There is no other place in the world with a higher concentration of homeland security tech companies than Israel. Six hundred tech start-ups are launched in Tel Aviv alone every year. During the Gaza offensive last summer, Bloomberg reported that investment in such companies had “actually accelerated.” However, despite the periodic military operations in Gaza and the incessant build-up of the Israeli homeland security regime, there are serious limitations to the local market.

The Israeli Ministry of Economy is painfully aware of this. Its officials know that the growth of the Israeli economy is “largely fueled by a steady increase in exports and foreign investment.” The government coddles, cultivates, and supports these start-up tech companies until their products are market-ready. Among them have been innovations like the “skunk,” a liquid with a putrid odor meant to stop unruly crowds in their tracks. The ministry has also been successful in taking such products to market across the globe. In the decade following 9/11, sales of Israeli “security exports” rose from $2 billion to $7 billion annually.

Israeli companies have sold surveillance drones to Latin American countries like Mexico, Chile, and Colombia, and massive security systems to India and Brazil, where an electro-optic surveillance system will be deployed along the country’s borders with Paraguay and Bolivia. They have also been involved in preparations for policing the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The products of Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries are now in use from the Americas and Europe to Australia. Meanwhile, that mammoth security firm is ever more involved in finding “civilian applications” for its war technologies. It is also ever more dedicated to bringing the battlefield to the world’s borderlands, including southern Arizona.

As geographer Joseph Nevins notes, although there are many differences between the political situations of the U.S. and Israel, both Israel-Palestine and Arizona share a focus on keeping out “those deemed permanent outsiders,” whether Palestinians, undocumented Latin Americans, or indigenous people.

Mohyeddin Abdulaziz has seen this “special relationship” from both sides, as a Palestinian refugee whose home and village Israeli military forces destroyed in 1967 and as a long-time resident of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. A founding member of the Southern Arizona BDS Network, whose goal is to pressure U.S. divestment from Israeli companies, Abdulaziz opposes any program like Global Advantage that will contribute to the further militarization of the border, especially when it also sanitizes Israel’s “violations of human rights and international law.”

Such violations matter little, of course, when there is money to be made, as Brigadier General Elkabetz indicated at that 2012 border technology conference. Given the direction that both the U.S. and Israel are taking when it comes to their borderlands, the deals being brokered at the University of Arizona look increasingly like matches made in heaven (or perhaps hell). As a result, there is truth packed into journalist Dan Cohen’s comment that “Arizona is the Israel of the United States.”"
border  borders  us  mexico  israel  palestine  gaza  2015  drones  surveillance  militarization  arizona  naomiweiner  toddmiller  gabrielschivone  economics  warfare  business 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Teddy Cruz to Ted Cruz: Tear Down That Wall | Creative Time Reports
"In an open letter, the renowned urbanist urges the Republican senator to embrace immigration reform—and the creative intelligence of immigrant communities."



"We should recognize and celebrate the innovations of immigrants, because their tactics of survival and self-made entrepreneurship form the core of a more emancipatory idea of the American dream. As an urbanist I look at the complex networks of informal economic exchange and mixed-use housing in immigrant communities and am compelled to ask: How can the human capacity and creative intelligence embedded in migrant communities be amplified to rethink sustainability? Can a cross-border citizen—say, someone who lives in Tijuana and works in San Diego—bring about an idea of citizenship rooted in the shared values and interests between two divided cities? How can immigrant communities help us think about strengthening the social ties and economic landscapes of all our communities, particularly in border cities where American families go back generations?

Because of the opportunities opened up by border territories, I take a stand against your anti-democratic legislation, Senator Cruz. The extremist cultural war that you and your party have waged against the ethical imperative for shared values will only solidify our nation’s global isolation. Do you really have the audacity to claim that undocumented immigrants, the poorest and most marginalized human beings dwelling among us, are the greatest threat to our American way of life? Even after studies have shown that our current deportation program has had “no observable effect on the overall crime rate”? Ultimately a society that is anti-taxes, anti-immigrants, anti-government and anti–public infrastructure only commits civic (and economic) suicide. If we do not reverse the polarizing policies spearheaded primarily by your party, they will lead to the obsolescence of the United States as a global leader in defining how a pluralistic democracy should work.

The truth of the matter is that in today’s world we cannot go it alone—nor can we impose our will on others by force. The problems of Mexico and Central America are ours too. The problems of Ferguson, MO, and other communities with marginalized populations are not isolated from the halls of Washington. We cannot wish away the problems of such places with guns and fences; instead we must listen to, and cooperate with, those most affected by our policies.

"Empathy, of the sort promised on the Statue of Liberty’s plaque, must be at the center of today’s debates. I believe that an absence of empathy also entails a lack of care for ourselves, because we can always find ourselves in the place of others. For this reason, economic and urban growth cannot come at the expense of social equity. The drive to privatize cannot overrun public infrastructure. Mistrust of government cannot undermine the need to protect our shared values. And your hollow notions of freedom and progress, Senator Cruz, cannot and must not subordinate our collective responsibilities to individual self-interest.

Please consider this point, Senator Cruz: immigrants are not threats; they may in fact be our best teachers. So let’s be pragmatic and find an intelligent and just process to provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers who are already here with us in the United States. They are not returning willingly to the violence and oppression that they escaped, and they are an economic and cultural engine for our country—an engine that you and I have been lucky to be part of as immigrants, documented or not."

[via: http://jonerichall.com/post/103404504479/its-time-for-a-new-border-narrative-based-on-reality ]
teddycruz  tedcruz  2014  border  borders  immigration  economics  urbanism  urbanplanning  urban  cities  militarization  infrastructure  policy  politics  us  immigrants  democracy 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Itemizing Atrocity | Jacobin
"In her book Scenes of Subjection, Saidiya Hartman writes:
Rather than try to convey the routinized violence of slavery and its aftermath through invocations of the shocking and the terrible, I have chosen to look elsewhere and consider those scenes in which terror can hardly be discerned … By defamiliarizing the familiar, I hope to illuminate the terror of the mundane and quotidian rather than exploit the shocking spectacle.

Hartman’s emphasis on “the terror of the mundane and quotidian” is her attempt to address the dilemma of black people having their suffering (un)seen and (un)heard by non-blacks — including those who purport to care:
At issue here is the precariousness of empathy … how does one give expression to these outrages without exacerbating the indifference to suffering that is the consequence to the benumbing spectacle or contend with the narcissistic identification that obliterates the other or the prurience that too often is the response to such displays? This was the challenge faced by [Frederick] Douglass and other foes of slavery…

A century and a half after Douglass fought against slavery, the police have become more militarized in terms of weapons, tanks, training, and gear. SWAT teams have been deployed at an accelerated rate and for an increased number of activities. Reports, like the one recently published by the ACLU, provide some details about these technologies of war amassed by local police departments.

Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, Radley Balko, and others have explained that the militarization of US police can be traced back to the mid-1960s. For example, in 1968, urban police forces were able to buy new equipment and technologies thanks to funding from the newly passed Safe Streets Act. The social anxiety and fear engendered by the Vietnam War and domestic urban rebellions led by black people provided license for the police to turn these new products on the marginalized populations of inner-city America.

SWAT teams, batterrams, and no-knock warrants (immortalized by Gil Scott Heron and written about by James Baldwin), all predate contemporary hyper-militarized police forces. Black people have been the overwhelming targets of these instruments of war."



"Attention is drawn to the “spectacular event” rather than to the point of origin or the mundane. Circulated are the spectacles — dead black bodies lying in the streets or a black teenager ambushed by several police officers in military gear, automatic weapons drawn.

Along with these dramatic images, numbers and statistics are the main metric for soliciting empathy and galvanizing people into action.

It is the size and power of the gun. It is the number of cops at the scene. It is the tank pointed at protestors. It is the forty-one bullets shot at a black immigrant standing in his doorway. The eight to ten times a black teenager was shot “like an animal” when walking to see his relatives or the four hours his body laid in the street while family members and neighbors watched and waited helplessly. The at least eleven times a black woman was punched by a cop straddling her on the side of a highway. The over two minutes a forty-eight-year-old black woman, half-naked, was kept in the hallway and surrounded by about a dozen cops after being dragged out of her apartment. The number of black people stopped and frisked."



"How does black suffering register when we are told that it is the militarization of the police that is the problem? Again, Hartman is instructive, writing of “the narcissistic identification that obliterates the other.” It is true that militarization is a global phenomenon. It is true that the United States and its allied countries enforce their brutal agendas throughout the world through military force, sanctions, and “the war on terror.”

It is also true that, despite the black diaspora’s effort to emphasize what happens to black people worldwide (including in the United States), references to globalization, militarization, and the war on terror are often treated as markers of non-blackness — and among some progressives, as code for “needing to go beyond black and white” or for blacks in the United States to not be so “US-centric” (read: “self-absorbed”)."



"Relatedly, the push for coalition and the use of analogies suggests a difficulty to name precisely what black people experience in the United States. Scenes of police violence against blacks in Ferguson seemingly become more legible, more readable and coherent, when put into conversation with Iraq or Gaza. And yet something gets lost in translation.

The sentiments — “I thought I was looking at pictures of Iraq but I was looking at America!” or “Ferguson=Gaza” or “now [blacks in the United States] know how the Third World feels” — circulate on social media. Such statements express a belief in American exceptionalism and a certain amount of glee and resentment towards African-Americans while professing empathy.

Amid this, we are left with the difficulty to name both the spectacle and the quotidian violence blacks in the United States experience day after day, from the police and the racially deputized. What do we call this incessant violence? How do we describe it beyond the “spectacular event”? Occupation? War? Genocide? Life? Death?

We conclude with more questions: How do we rightfully account for the increased militarization of the police as a problem without forgetting what Joy James reminds us: “the dreams and desires of a society and state will be centered on the control of the black body” — or as Jared Sexton emphasizes: blacks serve as “the prototypical targets of the panoply of police practices and the juridical infrastructure built up around them?”

How do we contend with Wilderson’s assertion that “white people are not simply ‘protected’ by the police. They are — in their very corporeality — the police?” What does all this mean when we think about hyper-militarized police forces that weaponize white supremacy against black bodies and the specter of blackness among others? How does it feel to be the prototypical target?

What do the spectacles of policing — as well as the responses to it — both reveal and camouflage in regard to the “terror of the mundane and quotidian,” a terror that is often taken for granted, even in critical commentary?"
us  2014  tamaranopper  mariamekaba  saidiva  hartman  empathy  mundane  quotidian  slow  small  race  police  atrocity  indifference  suffering  globalization  militarization  spectacle 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Design in Times of Crisis — A Quick Round-Up for a Time of Crisis
"Here’s a quick-and-dirty summary of recent events in Brazil which clearly show where the interest of the capital lies, the situation of human rights, and the creepy, dreadful direction things are taking.

(Last update: 09/June/2014)

• Brazil is living a dystopian present.
Police have “preventively arrested” two youngsters in Goiania (central Brazil) and confiscated “subversive material”, i.e. flyers featuring imagery and slogans against FIFA and the upcoming World Cup;
(ref: https://twitter.com/RMKnabben/status/470361781857435648/photo/1)

• Police in Belo Horizonte (southeastern Brazil) admitted to the use of force and violence to remove homeless people from the vicinity of the stadiums and “FIFA-protected” areas;
(ref: http://noticias.band.uol.com.br/cidades/minasgerais/noticia/100000686346/Militares-admitem-retirar-moradores-de-rua-na-Copa.html)

• Military police have erected a wall that isolates the German national team from the rest of the village their are occupying in Bahia during the World Cup. Villagers were “required” to wear a badge AT ALL TIMES so as to be identified. Maiara Alcântara da Luz, who lives there, said she thinks it is “[…] humiliating. They should identify themselves, for THEY come from outside. I’ve lived here since I was born”.

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago.
(ref: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/esporte/folhanacopa/2014/06/1467170-alemanha-cria-muro-de-berlim-na-bahia.shtml)

• The extreme right wing christian section (let’s call them for what they really are) of the brazilian congress has suspended the bill which guaranteed state-covered medication and abortion in cases of sexual violence, life-threatening pregnancies or foetus anencephaly; their next move is to exempt public healthcare from providing emergency care for victims of sexual abuse. This will effectively cut off the majority of the population from receiving any kind of health care following an episode of sexual violence, and make it even more difficult to file police reports and prosecute sexual predators;
(ref. http://www.revistaforum.com.br/blog/2014/05/portaria-referente-ao-aborto-legal-durou-uma-semana/ and http://mairakubik.cartacapital.com.br/2014/06/06/corpo-nao-pode-ser-trocado-por-voto/)

• Human rights violations related to the preparations for the World Cup: http://rioonwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/2012-World-Cup-Olympics-Dossier-English.pdf "
worldcup  2014  brazil  brasil  policestate  protest  force  militarization  control  power  humanrights  stateofexception 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The Criminalization of Everyday Life | Perspectives, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com
"Many who have long railed against our country’s everyday police overkill have reacted to the revelations of NSA surveillance with detectable exasperation: of course we are over-policed! Some have even responded with peevish resentment: Why so much sympathy for this Snowden kid when the daily grind of our justice system destroys so many lives without comment or scandal? After all, in New York, the police department’s “stop and frisk” tactic, which targets African-American and Latino working-class youth for routinized street searches, was until recently uncontroversial among the political and opinion-making class. If “the gloves came off” after September 11, 2001, many Americans were surprised to learn they had ever been on to begin with.

A hammer is necessary to any toolkit. But you don’t use a hammer to turn a screw, chop a tomato or brush your teeth. And yet the hammer remains our instrument of choice, both in the conduct of our foreign policy and in our domestic order. The result is not peace, justice or prosperity but rather a state that harasses and imprisons its own people while shouting ever less intelligibly about freedom."
prisonindustrialcomplex  militarization  war  us  security  civilrights  lawenforcement  incarceration  criminalization  policestate  2013  chasemadar  tomengelhardt  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  education  schooltoprisonpipeline  immigration 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Tunnelling borders | openDemocracy
"The growing ubiquity of militarized borders has with it produced a subterranean network of cross-border tunnels. In tunnelling, global “urban burrowers” have begun to compose a new layer of multitude grounded in the struggles against global hegemony itself."



"This constant specter of walls cropping up along the world’s boundaries at first seems ignorant of its own porosity. Yet, the policy of walling hardly overlooks these routine practices of less visible trespass. In a so-called ‘borderless’ era of free trade walls strategically redirect unsanctioned cross-border flows further out of view and deeper underground by beckoning their own subversion this way, and for multiple reasons:

[1] Walls help to force a commingling of uncontrollable movements of various types with the illicit underground networks of criminal drug and human trafficking syndicates, and militant groups;

[2] by driving the world’s labor/refugee overflow underground it becomes easier to perceive such a superfluous population as less human and through a wider lens of “ferality” (a description Pentagon researchers have drawn upon to characterize the insurgents fighting the new urban wars of the 21st century—wars that would take place in the filthy spatial fallout of failed states/cities). This paves the creation of a more broad base subclass of borderzone criminality identified through a purposeful blurring of migrant/refugee/criminal/terrorist suspect categories. This pixelation only invites a greater juridical stripping of their legal status and harsh penalization under anti-terror national security frameworks; and,

[3] underground spaces can be deemed more viable military targets despite those that lack any violent intention by virtue of sharing a spatial typology that in nature coincides with other like-spaces that have been designed for more nefarious uses.

Today, not only do walls beget tunnels they co-construct them as an intended by-product that forces a multitude of forbidden cross-border sub-agencies into self dug graves and abyssal legality. Rather than taking responsibility through progressive immigration and labor policy, or re-examining the failures of the War On Drugs, or preventing Israel's annihilation of Palestinian statehood, national governments deploy a dehumanizing strategy of criminalization through forced tunnelization."
bryanfinoki  tunnels  border  borders  2013  security  westbank  gazastrip  palestine  israel  syria  egypt  korea  militarization  subversion  walls  fences  michaeldear  partitions  diplomacy  eyalweizman  opendemocracy  surveillance  stephengraham  economics  underground 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Everything you know about immigration is wrong
"According to Massey, the rise of America’s large undocumented population is a direct result of the militarization of the border. While undocumented workers once traveled back and forth from Mexico with relative ease, after the border was garrisoned, immigrants from Mexico crossed the border and stayed.

“Migrants quite rationally responded to the increased costs and risks by minimizing the number of times they crossed the border,” Massey wrote in his 2007 paper “Understanding America’s Immigration ‘Crisis.’” “But they achieved this goal not by remaining in Mexico and abandoning their intention to migrate to the U.S., but by hunkering down and staying once they had run the gauntlet at the border and made it to their final destination.”

The data support Massey’s thesis: In 1980, 46 percent of undocumented Mexican migrants returned to Mexico within 12 months. By 2007, that was down to 7 percent. As a result, the permanent undocumented population exploded.

The militarization also had another unintended consequence: It dispersed the undocumented population. Prior to 1986, about 85 percent of Mexicans who entered the U.S. settled in California, Texas or Illinois, and more than two-thirds entered through either the San Diego-Tijuana entry point or the El Paso-Juarez entry point. As the U.S. blockaded those areas, undocumented migrants found new ways in — and new places to settle. By 2002, two-thirds of undocumented migrants were entering at a non-San Diego/El Paso entry point and settling in a “nontraditional” state.

In recent years, the net inflow of new undocumented immigrants arriving from Mexico has fallen to zero. Some of the decline is due to the U.S. recession and a falloff in construction, which employed a lot of migrant workers. But some is due to an improving economy in Mexico, where unemployment is 5 percent and wages have been rising. “I personally think the huge boom in Mexican immigration is over,” Massey said.

Yet the political debate over immigration is stuck in 1985. Congress is focused above all on how to further militarize an already militarized border — despite the fact that doubling the size of the border patrol since 2004 and installing hundreds of miles of barriers and surveillance equipment appears to have been counterproductive. At any rate, the flow of unauthorized immigration has slowed dramatically. “Listening to the Republicans, you’d think waves of people are crossing the border,” Massey said. “But illegal migration stopped four years ago and has been zero since.”

In light of these facts, the debate is backward. Republicans in the House of Representatives are focused on further militarizing the border against the people who are no longer crossing it; at the same time, they are loath to do anything about the millions of real undocumented immigrants who are the legacy of the last buildup. At best, we can hope to waste tens of billions of dollars on further enforcement in return for a lengthy and complicated path to citizenship. At worst, we’ll do nothing — in which case this will be known as the era of wasted opportunity."
immigration  us  mexico  migration  politics  policy  border  borders  2013  dougmassey  ezraklein  law  history  militarization 
august 2013 by robertogreco

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