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Featured Column:

#BlackLivesLooking: A Year After Ferguson

One year ago today, August 9 2014, Michael Brown was killed by then-Officer Darren Wilson. From that minute has come a movement that has many goals and accomplishments. Its overarching tactic has been to keep our attention focused on the killing of Black people by police, which has created a new way of seeing that we might call #BlackLivesLooking. Like all other police, Wilson relied on the very brevity of the encounter to avoid indictment. #BlackLivesLooking refuses to allow these moments to pass and keeps us looking at what at first seems to be unbearable. As we stay with them, we see these moments not as “tragedies” or “mistakes” but instances of how the system of racial hierarchy known as white supremacy functions. Every day.

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Tidal hosts weekly columns from movements around the world by a range of contributors.

Transforming the Tide of Racial Violence

As #blacklivesmatter grows, increasing numbers of people will come to believe that justice for black people cannot be achieved through our political, social, and economic system. As movement activists become increasingly clear of this, we must also begin providing people with a sense that any system that can provide justice for black people will also be a system that can solve the problems of all U.S. residents. If this leadership and vision is not developed, we can guarantee the development of more Dylan Roof’s, more burning churches, and the destruction of life on earth.

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July 3, 2015

Jim Crow in Ferguson

The spectacularly racist witness at the Grand Jury investigating Michael Brown’s murder didn’t make that much difference. Even prosecutors were critical of her, giving them the opportunity to appear even handed in the criticism of witnesses. The real horror in the interminable proceedings is how they show Ferguson to be a pitiless Jim Crow police state.

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December 17, 2014

The body of Michael Brown

The photograph below shows Michael Brown’s body lying in the street, published without comment on the front page of the print edition of the  New York Times this morning (11/26/14). I would not have posted it otherwise but when the Times can annotate the pictures of protest in Ferguson but not mention what this picture […]

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November 26, 2014

America’s Debt Prisons: The Social Cost of Punishment for Profit

Today, “paying one’s debt to society” literally describes our criminal justice system as court sanctioned debts are heaped on those convicted in addition to time served., Punishment for profit reigns, while the financial and social burden of incarceration is placed on the poorest. In the contemporary prison system, the combined impact of the financialization of prison construction with the imposition of incarceration’s monetary burden onto inmates themselves has ravaged impoverished communities. Meanwhile, corporations make huge profits off of prison contracts and the cheap labor pool provided by inmates.

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October 2, 2014

After Isla Vista: The New Male Gaze

After Isla Vista we need to say, yes, it’s all men. Not all the time and not every man all the time. But every man some time. For after the misogynist/racist mass murder in Isla Vista, some men started posting #notallmen. But it is, insofar as male-identified people are interpolated (hailed/called/named) by the new male gaze. Whether we like it or not and until it has been refused, queered and made alter…When it was most revolutionary, Occupy was queer and feminist in this sense….It was a place where excitation flowed into excitation….And now the queer/feminist revolution is now being rewritten as the main failing of the movement by those seeking to return to a class analysis.

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May 29, 2014

Cecily Sentencing Statement

Today, Cecily Mcmillan was sentenced to 90 days in prison for being sexually assaulted by a police officer at a protest, and then responding to that violence by defending herself. We all know that Cecily did not receive a fair trial and this case will be fought in the Court of Appeals. The sentencing of […]

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May 19, 2014

Articles from Issue 4: Block by Block

In both its devastation and possibility, Detroit is an outpost from our collective future. Long-term struggles on the ground throw our cities, our work, and our lives into a new light. In Detroit, racial, economic, and environmental justice are understood in the global context of empire, neoliberalism, and climate disaster. People think of revolutionary time in decades and centuries, rather than in days and months. In Detroit, it’s all about “visionary organizing.”


Communiqué #4

The city is the dreamworld of capitalist civilization; as the economic foundations of that civilization crumble, what do we do with the physical and imaginative ruins? What would it mean to bid the dream of the city farewell, and envision a different kind of collective landscape beyond the divide between urban and rural? The conditions for the Plan are ripe, and the securing of space will be essential.

Commoning Against Debt

Debt is an exemplary form of capital accumulation today, operating through a new regime of self-managed exploitation imposed on poor women in the South as much as student debtors in the north. Practices of commoning–mutual aid networks, pooled resources, shared caring activities–are essential to resisting debt and reproducing non-capitalist forms of living.


Mississippi Goddam

At a moment of movement impasse, what lessons could Occupy learn from the radical community organizing tradition pioneered by SNCC in the early sixties? Long-term, locally embedded relationship-building and leadership development at the neighborhood level were key principles that allowed SNCC to mobilize people on the ground in ways that were expansive and empowering.

Combined with more familiar forms of colonial rule, debt is a disciplinary mechanism control in the occupied territories exercised in different ways by Israel, international donors, and modernizing Palestinian elites. Boycott, divestment and sanctions can thus be a crucial supplementary frame for building global solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle. What debts does the world owe Palestinians?