Burnt Bookmobile

250 inmates hurt, 55 hospitalized after California prison riot
08/09/2009, 4:09 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

Flames leap from a housing unit at a prison in Chino, California, on Saturday night.

From CNN:

“More than 250 inmates were injured in a riot that erupted overnight at the California Institution for Men in Chino, a spokesman said Sunday.

Flames leap from a housing unit at a prison in Chino, California, on Saturday night.

A similar riot broke out in December of 2006, Hargrove said.

Fifty-five inmates were taken to area hospitals with serious injuries, said Lt. Mark Hargrove, prison spokesman.

None of the facility’s employees was hurt in the melee, which broke out at about 8:20 p.m. Saturday at the Reception Center West facility, Hargrove said. The situation was under control by 7 a.m. Sunday, he said.

The scene of the violence was the medium-security housing facility with seven units, each of which houses about 200 inmates, he said.

Some 80 officers responded to the riot, during which a housing unit was heavily damaged by fire, he said.

Guards used pepper spray, “less lethal force, and lethal force options” to regain control, Hargrove said in a written statement.

The institution was placed on lockdown pending an investigation of the cause of the fighting, and visiting privileges were suspended.

Aref Fakhoury, acting warden for the California Institution for Men, said police departments from the cities of Chino, Chino Hills and Ontario, and the Chino Valley Independent Fire District aided in quelling the violence.

The inmates’ injuries ranged from stab wounds and slashes to head trauma, Hargrove said. Some were considered life-threatening.

Hargrove said inmates used “weapons of opportunity” such as broken glass during the riot.

Images taken from the scene showed flames coming from the building as a helicopter hovered overhead.”


Nanterre, Here, Now
08/09/2009, 1:38 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized

“The events at Nanterre University during the general strike of May 68′ in Paris is somewhat well documented. The continuation of the struggle in and around this specific university for a few years following May, is less remembered, if at all.

Jean-Francois Lyotard is hardly remembered as a subversive; little more than a few books of literary analysis and more philosophically centered documents are even read today, usually within the confines of the university, and steadily less so after his death a few years ago. There is another side, one that was engaged with far left communist groupings (Socialisme ou Barbarie, Pouvoir Ouvrier) throughout the early 1950’s until the mid 1960’s, and heavily engaged with some of the Enrages of the Nanterre student milieu in the late 60’s to early 70’s. After the 1970’s, the more explicitly extremist ‘political’ pieces by Lyotard tend to be little found, beyond solemn remembrances of former comrades in these communist groupuscules, vague calls for artistic terrorism and general revolt, and a potential theoretical critique which was, and is, easily recuperated by the academy and even certain questionable political groupings.

I have decided to format this little known piece owing to the more recent and interesting renewal of struggle within and against the university (thus far in NYC, potentially elsewhere). This is a zine meant to historically ground our understanding of university occupations, as well as theoretically ground a critique of how systems of bureaucratic domination function, how they can be subverted in the immediate (“Here, Now”), as well as offer a trenchant analysis of reformists in the university, as well the university structure itself, and its relation to other social nodes of capitalism.

A selection from the text:

“The struggle at Nanterre is not “political”: it in no way aims to seize power in its present form, even political power. It is even less interested in introducing new interlocutors to the conference table. Its reach extends beyond the regime and the surface on which it pretends to act and invites us to join in discussion. The struggle directly attacks the system. In the sphere of the university, attacking the system cannot mean demanding supplementary credits or a “democratization” of teaching or an increase in the number of scholarships. The university belongs to the system insofar as the system is capitalist and bureaucratic.”

Yadira Lopez


Shoplifting on the rise in Milwaukee according to local news
08/07/2009, 5:22 PM
Filed under: Milwaukee area

From the Journal Sentinel:

“Melissa Friedrich has her workers at Gap in Bayshore Town Center keeping a closer eye on customers these days so that merchandise doesn’t sneak out the door without being paid for.

Next door at Banana Republic, workers make sure to keep fitting rooms locked, especially after being stung by the dirty boxers bandit – a man who tries on underwear, folds his old skivvies back into the packaging and walks out wearing the new ones.

Shoplifting has been around as long as there have been merchants. But local police are receiving more calls from local retailers who say they’ve been ripped off.

In the year ending in April, calls for service to police regarding retail theft increased by at least 19% over the previous 12 months at three of the Milwaukee area’s four biggest malls, a Public Investigator analysis of police calls shows.

Bayshore Town Center in Glendale has seen the largest increase in calls – 41% over the previous year, records show.

Brookfield Square had a 28% rise in calls, while Mayfair had nearly a 20% increase in calls to police for retail theft.

The Greendale Police Department, which responds to Southridge Mall, said it could not provide similar data. But the mall has experienced a small increase in overall thefts, not just retail thefts, for the period, records show.

Retail experts say shoplifting is up throughout the country in part because of the ailing economy.

“Your numbers don’t surprise me,” said Joseph LaRocca, senior asset protection adviser for the National Retail Federation, an industry trade group.

Last year, retailers reported a 5% to 15% increase in shoplifting, LaRocca said.

Nationally, shoplifting cost retailers $11.8 billion in profits in 2007, according to a survey conducted by the University of Florida.

The rise in police calls doesn’t necessarily mean that malls are any less safe for shoppers. Crimes against people didn’t rise significantly at any of the malls, the analysis shows.

Local police and mall officials say the higher numbers could also be due to improvements in the way mall employees spot and report crimes.

“Nobody wants it to happen, but it could be interpreted as people being vigilant,” said Steve Smith, general manager of Mayfair.

At Bayshore Town Center, Glendale police are holding twice-a-year retail theft seminars to teach store workers how to identify a shoplifter.

Officials at Bayshore also say calls to police have increased because more customers are visiting the mall since it opened in the fall of 2006. More overall traffic means more theft, the mall managers and police said.

But workers interviewed at stores throughout Bayshore Town Center said they are simply experiencing more customers helping themselves to a five-fingered discount.

Employees at Gap and GapKids frequently find security tags that were once sewn on clothing, removed and stuffed in the pockets of other clothes still in the store.

Most salespeople at Bayshore said they couldn’t be quoted by the Journal Sentinel because their store is owned by a corporate entity that would not allow them to talk publicly about the store.

But almost all workers praised the Glendale Police Department.

“It’s amazing how quickly they respond,” said Friedrich, the Gap manager.

At least one Glendale officer is always on duty at the mall, said Capt. Mark Ferguson.

“We think that our presence is more than adequate,” Ferguson said.

Mall officials said one challenge in combating retail theft is that not all retailers report crimes or prosecute to the same degree.

“If the store doesn’t prosecute, then there is nothing to charge anybody with,” said Smith, of Mayfair.

Stores that don’t prosecute thieves can get a reputation as an easy target.

LaRocca, with the National Retail Federation, said retailers throughout the country are reporting what they believe to be an increase in organized crime rings.

The targeted items are popular things many people want to buy – designer labels, the newest video game, makeup, he said.

In the end, retail theft adds up to a “hidden crime tax” for consumers, LaRocca said.

Ultimately, retailers pass along the cost of theft to the consumer, which amounts to about a penny-and-a-half for each dollar spent in a store, LaRocca said.

That’s what concerns Ed and Dorothy Kelley, who shopped at Bayshore Mall last week.

“It means higher prices,” Ed Kelley said.”

Beyond moralistic arguments against shoplifting it appears the best they can come up with is that a “hidden crime tax” will increase prices by pennies, which may seem nearly insignificant compared to the rising price of some products due to the current economic crisis.  This is invisible increase of pennies is then supposed to illicit a feeling of injustice on the part of the consumer, who is encouraged to continue to not shoplift and to feel the need to stop others.

Against Amnesia
08/07/2009, 3:24 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

A selection from the anarchist library:

“There are moments when life seems entirely impossible. All the crazy dreams of rebellion disappear. The desire to revolt against the society of the civilized is lost to futility, the open but empty hand. All of the late-night laughter filled conversations, the meanderings and wanderings of those intoxicated with thoughts of adventure, begin to seem naive and empty. One comes to the conclusion that one is accomplishing nothing: destruction and creation seem equally without attraction. One abandons one’s own imagination and returns to the old trap of fear. The existential idiot occupies one’s head.

Here is the point where the misery of this society completes itself. This society strengthens itself by continually forcing the individual to disappear: the individual disappears when the individual gives in to the misery of this society. One begins to accept the limitations imposed by this society as one’s own. To experience comes to mean to repeat oneself. One begins to feel one has nothing to offer in defiance, nothing to give: every gesture becomes a blank stare. Passion is pacified. Desire is rationalized away. The forbidden remain forbidden.

This supreme moment of misery marks nothing less than the triumph of amnesia. Such complete abandonment of life’s adventure is the surrender of one who has forgotten all previous rebellion and all previous desire to revolt. Memory has ceased to be a pleasure: the misery of the moment stretches backwards forever. Amnesia is essential to civilizing human beings: when one forgets the possibilities (the richness of past, present, and future) one is domesticated, one disappears.

Amnesia is the colonization of memory. One is forced to forget everything rebellious about one’s life. The colonized mind is less likely to imagine a total revolt against this society if all traces of earlier revolts are suppressed. Everything from simple negative gestures to the hand in the cookie jar to late night crimes make memory precious to the individual; as soon as these breaches are forgotten the present becomes less and less pregnant: the stem of the flower is cut before the flower blooms. One is in despair over the absence of past freedom simply because the residue of past freedoms have been purged from one’s memory.

When asked how one knows that freedom is possible the rebel responds with examples of past freedoms. The rebel remembers the events, movements, and moments of one’s past that mark breaks with the dominant order. One knows that freedom is possible because everybody has experienced freedom: the taste of paradise is in all our mouths. To forget this is fatal. Amnesia can be combated by constantly digging back into our memories, by constantly becoming more and more aware of our mistakes and victories. No, we must not dwell in the past, we must be cruel with our pasts (and those who would keep us there), and yet we must be greedy with our pasts (and wary of those who would paint those pasts with the blackness of misery and impossibilities). Rebels must return to their own past with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a knife in the other.”

-(d)anger 1993


New Books in from Autonomedia
08/06/2009, 10:16 AM
Filed under: Milwaukee area, update

Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici

“Caliban and the Witch is a history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch-hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She shows how the battle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization.”

Silvia Federici is part of the Midnight Notes Collective.

Against the Megamachine by David Watson

“Urban-industrial civilization is a vast junkyard. Everything, from the planets to the cells of our bodies, is contaminated with its poisons. What it means to be human is now in dangerous flux, while the entire edifice sways over us, threatening to crash down in ruins. The green world in which we evolved is being shredded by our instruments and our way of life.”

This world we must leave was already mentioned in a previous post, but this came in as well. If people have any suggests for other autonomedia texts you should let us know and well consider carrying them.


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