Cosmic Gangster Capitalism: Elon Musk Crowds the Heavens

9 April 2020 — American Herald Tribune

“I don’t trust glib reassurances from satellite operators without precise details.” Alice Gorman, space archaeologist, May 26, 2019

Elon Musk 0a326Astronomers tend to have their eyes, and minds, not merely in the clouds but beyond them.  The dream of unimpaired vision tends to come with the territory; the better the uninterrupted line, the better the data.  But the increasing incidence of clutter above the earth’s surface is becoming more than a point of minor interest.  It preoccupies those keen on clarity and pollution, both in terms of actual space debris, and the issue of light disruption.

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IRR News (25 March – 8 April 2020)

9 April 2020 — Institute of Race Relations weekly digest – Against Racism, for Social Justice 

The consequences of Covid-19 are not indiscriminate. In addition to doctors and nurses, low paid members of the workforce  – bus drivers, care-home workers, hospital staff, retail and delivery workers– are on the frontlines and are more likely to catch the disease as they are more exposed. The global pandemic, as Liz Fekete argues, lays bare global fault lines of race, class and indigeneity which render some communities across the world infinitely more vulnerable to infection than others, as well as ensure vastly differentiated race and class-based policing of lockdown measures in the seventy countries declaring a state of emergency to date. These fault lines raise, for Fekete, the question: is the war on Covid-19 morphing into a war on the poor?

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Spycops campaign update, April 2020

9 April 2020 — Spycops

Here’s this month’s news from the campaign for truth and justice about Britain’s political secret police.


The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC – the successor to the Independent Police Complaints Commission) has found that the Met has been destroying spycops files.

Despite Met staff being given the clear command not to destroy any files that may be useful in the Undercover Policing Inquiry, officers have nonetheless done exactly that.

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Femicide Does Not Respect the Quarantine: The Fifteenth Newsletter (2020)

9 April 2020 — Tricontinental


Shehzil Malik Women in Public Places 2012Shehzil Malik, Women in Public Places, 2012.

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Days, weeks, months, an indeterminate amount of time as the world seems paralysed by the journey of SARS-CoV-2. The lack of certainty increases the anxiety. This virus, as Arundhati Roy writes, ‘seeks proliferation, not profit, and has, therefore, inadvertently, to some extent, reversed the direction of the flow [of capital]. It has mocked immigration controls, biometrics, digital surveillance and every other kind of data analytics, and struck hardest – thus far – in the richest, most powerful nations of the world, bringing the engine of capitalism to a juddering halt’. Lockdowns have now become almost universal, the planet more silent, the birdsong richer. Arundhati Roy’s cautionary ‘thus far’ is significant as the virus makes its circuit deep into zones of extreme deprivation, into the slumlands of Dharavi (India) and Cidade de Deus (Brazil).

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9 April 2020 — John Pilger


Next week Curzon Home Cinema will be streaming John Pilger’s film The Dirty War on the NHS, which was first released last December. This re-release could not be more timely. The government is telling us to stay at home and “protect the NHS”. John’s film spells out the reason why the NHS might be overwhelmed by the impact of the coronavirus: the lack of resources which are the direct result of the policies of the last ten years and the devastation caused by sustained privatisation. At the end of the film Professor Danny Dorling foresaw what we are now going through: “The NHS gave us freedom from fear …. now that fear has returned.”  This is a film to enrage, but also to inspire: to make sure that when the pandemic is over, the NHS is rebuilt as a properly funded public health system.

The film will start streaming on Curzon Home Cinema on 13th April. And on the 15th April the screening will be followed by discussion with two of its main contributors – Professor Allyson Pollock and Dr John Lister at 8.30 pm.