July 24, 2014

Fracking Fights Loom Large in Mexico

"Mexico is emerging as the next big battleground in conflicts over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as the method of extracting natural gas is commonly known.

"While Mexican lawmakers consider regulatory legislation to put into practice the 2013 energy reform that opened up their county's oil and gas reserves to private investors, anti-fracking forces are mobilizing for a moratorium or an outright ban of the controversial practice from the Mexican Congress."

Please read more at:  http://www.upsidedownworld.org/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4932:fracking-fights-loom-large-in-mexico-&catid=39:mexico&Itemid=79

June 17, 2014


1.  76.4% of the apprentices have been middle class or upper middle class.
2.  73.9% of the apprentices have been European-American.

Although data are not available to confirm actual demographic 
representativeness, AEH staff believed this was reasonably representative of the people who 
went through the program

Page 9 of submission.

June 13, 2014

Did Ties to CIA-Labor Penetration Abroad Blowback at Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union?

Fred Hirsch-August 29, 2011

On July 25, 2011 the most frequent blogger on the United Farm Workers Alumni E-mail list lashed out with derogatory remarks about Miriam Pawel, author of "The Union of Their Dreams."  He did so in commenting on a magazine article in The Atlantic entitled "The Madness of Cesar Chavez by Caitlin Flanagan.  I met Miriam Pawel at her "Union of Their Dreams" book launch at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California.  She was joined on the stage by Sabino Lopez, Chris Hartmire and Jerry Cohen, three of the deeply dedicated people whose stories are the substance of her book.   Pawel is a prolific journalist whose work is characterized by audacity, honesty, and clarity.  She is probably working on another book about Cesar Chavez and the struggles in which he was prominent.  Pawel can be expected to shine her light of keen observation and brilliant writing talent into corners and crevices that might otherwise be left in obscurity.

June 12, 2014

Labor's Cold War

"Pinochet, however, saw all unions, not just left-leaning ones, as the enemy. One of his first acts after seizing power was to outlaw the CUT. In the months following September 11, hundreds of trade unionists--including some who had worked with AIFLD--were rounded up, many never to be seen again. Figueroa managed to make his way to the Swedish Embassy, where he suffered a nervous breakdown during a monthslong stay. In a 1975 interview in Mexico, where he died several years later, he accused AIFLD of "13 years of massive social espionage.""


The Madness of Cesar Chavez

June 10, 2014

The National Agricultural Workers Survey

Undisplayed Graphic

"Farm workers were predominantly Hispanic; most were foreign-born (see Figure 1.1). Almost 7 out of 10 farm workers were foreign-born. Of the foreign-born workers, 94% were born in Mexico. Among the remaining 3 out of 10 farm workers born in the United States, approximately two-thirds were non-Hispanic whites, and one-third were of Hispanic background. A very small percentage (<3% of all farm workers) represented other ethnic groups including African American and Asian American farm workers."


Cuatro Caminos Collective

*Meaningful Work,
*Wholesome Local Food,
*Appropriate Technology,
*Intergenerational/Cross-Cultural Dialogue and 


May 06, 2014

California's Central Valley, Land of a Billion Vegetables

ny times article about the central valley.


"la accion es la madre de la esperanza."

-Pablo Neruda

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."

-Anatole France

"It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor."


April 17, 2014

Which Side Are You on? Why This Student Sit-in Against Peabody Coal Matters

"Entering its second week, the inspiring Washington University sit-in against Peabody Energy has already gone beyond its goals to cut school ties with the St. Louis-based coal giant, and forced the rest of the nation to ask themselves an urgent question in an age of climate change and reckless strip mining ruin: Which side are you on?" 

Taken from:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/16-1

I just spent another six days on Black Mesa where even more people are facing forced relocation for mine expansion.  I've written about the land struggle elsewhere, but hope to have more new information soon.

April 09, 2014

Naomi Klein: (R)evolution of Climate Change

Last night I was able to hear Naomi Klein speak at Northern Arizona University.  Having gotten involved with radical politics in 2001, I feel like I've grown up reading her work from No Logo and Fences and Windows, through many articles especially in The Nation, to The Shock DoctrineThe Rise of Disaster Capitalism, which I actually picked up from the Iron Rail Infoshop the second time I was in New Orleans volunteering after Hurricane Katrina making it particularly relevant, and watching The Take and a handful of other videos.

Klein started off speaking about how she hasn't given many public talks over the last four years because she has been working on a new book which is currently in the final edits called This Changes Everything, the "This" being climate change.

She talked about how long she was in soft denial of climate change, and systematically about the various ways people try to ignore it including personal struggles, but how Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy showed this is a struggle people cannot ignore.

Next Klein addressed the predictions for the rise of temperatures on our current trajectory as an example of what will happen if we do nothing, and why we need to change how we think, relate to each other, even govern, everything needs to change.

Klein backtracked to 1988 as being the starting point for the emergence of the science behind climate change being connected to greenhouse gases.  She contextualized this by talking about how the Berlin Wall came down the next year and then began the era of global market fundamentalism that we are in, and has led to a 60% rise in emissions.

Klein considers in the fundamental problem that people consider the economic change we need to be scarier than climate change.  She said many of the necessary changes are exciting, and solve other problems we have anyways.  She compared the transformation to the abolition of slavery and the New Deal.  Talking about the era after the New Deal, she said she recently found out that in 1946 40% of the fresh produce consumed in the U$ was still being grown in the backyard Victory Gardens that had been a big part of the domestic side of the recently ended war drive, but what we need now will be bottom up.

The Ontario Green Energy plan to get off coal by 2015 was discussed next, and how they've been able to get down to just one coal burning plant when they used to be very dependent on it.  This plan was a response to the high point of the current economic crisis which saw many plant closures from the Big Three U$ auto-manufacturers in that province.  The Ontario government tried to offset these plant closures by creating Green jobs.  30,000 were created, and many ex-autoworkers started to make solar panels and wind turbines for local use.

Japan and the European Union took Canada to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and won, Ontario promptly shutting down its program.  But this has caused many people to realize the need to change the laws that govern global trade.  Similarly in Quebec, a fracking ban has been challenged by a U$ corporation under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

Next Klein talked at length about how a grassroots movement emerged in Boulder, Colorado initially to Green up the Coal powered grid, but moved to re-municipalize the energy system since the private company that ran it refused to get off coal.  This has been happening on a large scale in Germany where in Hamburg, the second largest city, a ballot initiative for re-municipalization of electricity has won.  In Berlin a similar vote got a majority, but voter turn out was too low to make the super majority needed to win.  Then the small scale, decentralized Green energy being used in Germany was described.

The brutal flooding this winter in the UK was talked about, and how Cameron's austerity measures effected this through massive funding cuts to the organizations that should have been dealing with the flooding.  Klein compared this in detail to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Tar Sands and fracking projects came up next, and how they have created the movements that oppose extraction.  Klein talked about how one of the most exciting aspects of this resistance is the indigenous leadership in North America.

This was followed by campaigns for fossil fuel divestment such as the Do the Math Tour, and how schools, cities, churches and foundations are divesting from fossil fuels, and some in turn are investing in Green energy.

For particularly local relevance she talked about the Black Mesa Water Coalition, and the struggle against coal mining and burning for power on Dine land.

Then Klein backtracked to how her views on global warming started to change when she met with a Bolivian governmental representative who talked about the need for Green development, speaking to the UN in 2009.  She advocated a Green Marshal Plan for development in the Third World.  The contextualization of how this fit into the history of colonialism and the current crises of economics and the environment was a moment of clarity for Klein.

Klein ended her talk by reiterating the need for a movement similar to that of the abolitionists, and expanded this to how the women's movement has helped bring attention to the ongoing crises women face, and how we need to stop looking away from climate change. 

During questions and answers, Klein was asked about China's rise to prominence in the global economy.  She said China is opening a coal burning plant a week, but Third World development has been used as an excuse to not cut First World emissions and this needs to stop, we need to get beyond this and "our economic model is at war with Earth and we need to change."  We can't pretend that colonization and the Industrial Revolution didn't happen, we can't ignore our history.  Confronting our history can be liberatory.  She also talked about how the anti-China messaging of many big Green groups in the U$ drives her crazy and how we go nowhere with this sort of hyper-patriotism.  We need to foster internationalism and humanism.  "If we are going to win this, we need to have a values change."

Klein was asked about the negative industrial aspects of Green energy, and she admitted it's an important thing to examine, but talked about how complicated this is.  We need to consume less, and the transition will include urban planning adding more public transit and designing cities away from car culture in general.  She also talked about cleaner ways to recycle.

The topic of re-municipalization was returned to, trying to fight against urban sprawl, and how the leaders globally in Green energy are generally places where there is more public ownership. 

Then the Transition Town Movement was discussed.  When visiting its birthplace in the UK, Klein stressed how one of its major components isn't just giving people bad news, but hanging out with people and creating the space to process the information and make plans for the change we need.

When asked about Green Washing, Klein responded with how it creates an illusion of the scale of the problem.  It makes the threat seem small.  She said in the 1980s many environmentalists decided to not go directly after polluters, and how carbon offsetting and many other bad ideas that won't work came out of this and she thinks it's "scandalous."  The emerging, grassroots climate movement will either turn to these groups to proper solutions or make them irrelevant.  "We're actually acting like this is a war 'cause it is."  The need to protect water is the driving force behind the movement against fossil fuels and it's a largely women led movement all over the world, that's exciting, and it starts with water and goes up.

March 16, 2014

The Country Grind Quarterly

"This is the website for an epic newspaper written by and for rural punks. It comes out of the Canadian prairies."


My response to the Rural Punks article in Profane Existence: 


February 14, 2014

February 07, 2014

Fwd: Sub-irrigated Planter out of 2-liter bottle



"la accion es la madre de la esperanza."

-Pablo Neruda

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."

-Anatole France

"It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor."


February 05, 2014

Weaving on a Rigged Heddel Loom

Weaving with a rigged heddel loom.  When I was farming in Sheepranch, California in the winter of 2010-11 I had one of these.  I only worked on it a bit and did a workshop with it for the Cuatro Caminos Collective after I left Sheepranch and comrade Iris bought it from me. 

Comrade Ned found one in the Free Box at the Taala Hooghan Infoshop in Flagstaff, Arizona and I got it set up today in the Sheepherders' Lending Library.  Wow, sheep keep coming up...

Pictures taken by Malene, a Traveler walking around the U$.  https://traveltheunitedstates.wordpress.com/

Card Weaving-Advanced Turtorial

Card weaving: http://www.hollowtop.com/spt_html/weaving.htm



When the prison doors are opened, the real dragon will fly out.
--Ho Chi Minh

Local to Global Justice Forum & Festival Arizona State University * Tempe

This year's topic is Food Justice!


January 18, 2014

For or Against the Grain?

I included a Three Sisters Companion Planting tutorial in the last 'zine I did:


but I am currently reading Against the Grain:  How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization by Richard Manning, and along with all the the Green Anarchist/Anti-Civilization/Primitivist thinking I've been around especially over the last two or so years along with retrospect on the two farm seasons of actually doing the Three Sisters Companion Planting, I've been questioning grain consumption and production quite a bit more than I have before.  Does anyone have comments to post on grain?
Card weaving: http://www.hollowtop.com/spt_html/weaving.htm


"When the prison doors are opened, the real dragon will fly out." --Ho Chi Minh

January 16, 2014

Flowering Papalo

Attached: IMG_0036.JPG
Google Drive: create, share, and keep all your stuff in one place. Logo for Google Drive

January 08, 2014

Protesters Block Google Bus at 24th and Valencia (San Francisco)


"la accion es la madre de la esperanza."

-Pablo Neruda

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."

-Anatole France

"It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor."


January 04, 2014


This is the first section of a document shared with me by Eco-Socialist and musician Fred Ho.  I think it's one of the more exciting political pices I've read in the last couple years, and would like to know what people think of it.  If you would like to read the rest of the Manifesto, please e-mail me at alextheweaver at gmail dot com
In modernist orthodoxy (whether pro-capitalist or the orthodoxy of Leftist mainstream anti-capitalist presumptions), the self-evident assumption has been that capitalism, since its global ascension, has been a great productive power for humanity.  Only a very tiny minority would challenge this presumption of productive power and assert the opposite: that capitalism has NOT produced greater productive power, but profound destructive power the likes of which can be barely comprehended.

The presumption of the "miracles" of capitalist productivity often cite the plethora of consumer goods, advanced electronic technologies, factory production, and attendant social transformations including the modern era allegedly with diminishment of parochialism, xenophobia, religious dogma, backward superstitions and traditions (towards women and other social groups traditionally oppressed by patriarchal violence and domination), the rise of the secularism, the supremacy of science and rationalism, etc. 

Critics of modern capitalism are apt to point out that capitalism's global ascension has also enabled humanity to develop enormous destructiveness, from weapons that can blast the very existence of this planet into smithereens countless times over, to toxins that can poison every life form on the biosphere, to profound and possibly irreversible changes to climate, depletion of the protective ozone layer, and unimaginable alteration of the very molecular structure of existence itself.  But these same critics either accept as fait accompli that technological supremacy and the factory system of mass production are permanent, and while acknowledging capitalism has wrought a tremendous swath across the planet of genocide, ecocide and matricide, nonetheless cannot imagine an existence that would benefit from the immediate halting and reversal of such assumed "inevitables." 
Beyond the contradiction of private ownership vs. the social nature or production (i.e., between the minority of owners vs. the majority of exploited producers), is the profound paradox to the capitalist mode of production with its seemingly mighty productive powers:  it is the only system, created by humans, which creates more problems than it can solve.  And that inexorable logic has generated profound byproducts for which humans must choose between retaining and expanding such byproducts or face the death of human life upon this planet.   It is our contention that should humanity choose to continue with its present hubris for the capitalist system (and possibly ALL of its attendant technological byproducts) as the great engine of "civilization" and "progress", that this direction will culminate in the certain destruction of the biosphere we dismissingly refer to as "nature" as it pertains to habitability for human life. Indeed, with all of its technological and purported social "progress," capitalist civilization may well be the ultimate barbarism, as we shall argue below. 
The shortcomings and problematic failings of the Marxist left are, not surprisingly, founded upon assumptions that have become ironically "natural" to most of humanity in our acclimation to the seemingly miraculous productive power of capitalism.
The principle assumption is that humans are the dominant and primary species and thereby deserve to conquer and control nature.  Either from God's special conferment to scientific arguments and justifications upon human capacity for greater intelligence, technological creation, higher levels of social organization, possession of an opposable thumb, etc. Thus, the "purpose" of the natural world is to provide "resources" for satisfying humanity's needs and wants.  The socialist view, contained in such propositions as "environmental justice," "sustainability," and "eco-socialism," remains essentially the same, viz., the "democratization" of nature.  All these assumptions presume a biblical-like "stewardship" by humans over nature and the apriori valorization of human domination over nature, which in only a few centuries, has come to seem "natural."  (Note: with the current of eco-socialism, there is a growing viewpoint that revolutionary ludditism, which we are arguing, must become the primary feature of revolutionary socialist transformation.  We don't want to be unfair to those proponents.)
With the exception of certain deep ecology and anarchist-influenced thought, viz., John Zerzan and his manifesto FUTURE PRIMITIVE, most pro- and anti-capitalist currents assume that humanity has "advanced" vis-à-vis the natural world from a primitive stage to a higher, more advanced one.  Anarchist revolutionary Ron Sakolsky, paraphrasing Zerzan, states:
"the change from hunter-gatherer to the settled agricultural ways of life was based on the domination of nature which has its civilized legacy the miseries of production, private property, work, governmental tyranny, and abstraction from the natural world through the mediating concepts of time, written language, and institutionalized religion." (Sakolsky, Creating Anarchy, p. 179)
This presumption of human primacy and its attendant "natural" tendency and "right" to dominate (human and anything else) is the problem and failure of ANTHROPOCENTRISM, or as our Indigenous brothers and sisters have termed, species-centrism.
On the other hand, another great error is often committed by pro-environment/pro-ecology radicals:  ANTHROPOMORPHISM.   Viz., the ascribing to nature (often spelled Nature with a capital "N" as a personal pronoun) of human-like attributes, including self-awareness; and the inference that somehow "nature's interest" can be known to humanity; and Nature wants and requires us to value it.  Indeed, as David Pepper, a self-identified "eco-socialist" asserts in the need to have a dialectical view of society and nature (i.e., nature is socially produced as how humans think about, relate to, and act/impact upon nature results from human society):  "worship of nature actually mystifies nature, placing humanity far apart from it" (p. 115).  And "Humans are not like other animals, but neither is non-human nature external to society.  The nature that we perceive is socially perceived and produced.  Also, what humans do is natural."  As an eco-socialist, Pepper argues that human social actions are determinant: humans can either continue to destroy the habitat or to perform eco-rectitude and thereby create a sustainable equilibrium between human use and ecological processes.  What Pepper and almost all eco-socialists fail to do is to delineate specifically what technological and sociological byproducts created in the last 200 years of capitalism's global ascension should be kept, and what should be eliminated, and how correctitude should happen.  Pepper, John Bellamy Foster, and many who are proponents of eco-socialism evince sympathetic and positive stances towards Ludditism, but few actually DEMAND it. 

*from Marvin Gaye's MERCY, MERCY ME
Card weaving: http://www.hollowtop.com/spt_html/weaving.htm


"When the prison doors are opened, the real dragon will fly out." --Ho Chi Minh

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