Political statement on homepage

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orathaic
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Re: Political statement on homepage

#121 Post by orathaic » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:26 pm

flash2015 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:46 pm
For example I don't believe in "defunding the police" but at least in the US they are way, way over militarized (many police departments have tanks, wtf???) and overused so something needs to change.
When talking about de funding the police, it is important to ask what it means.

If you could send a social worker or professional psychologist to talk someone down from jumping off a bridge, would tha the better than sending a police officer (whose training is largely about other things)?

If de funding the police means finding other state employees who could do a better job at specific task, and transferring the current police budgets (eg drugs prevention programs run be experts to prevent the need for policing of drug use in 'at risk' communities), I suspect you would actually support it.

And it sounds like you wouldn't disagree with this.

Abolish the police is a difference (related) idea, and I suspect the major issue with it is that many armed and trained right wingers being fired from their jobs as police officers is a recipe for further far right violence and terrorism.
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Re: Political statement on homepage

#122 Post by flash2015 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:01 am

Octavious wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:58 pm
It's not a case of the Black Lives Matter organisation being infiltrated by a few Marxists. It is, and always has been, a far left organisation pursuing far left goals. Standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter isn't much different to standing in solidarity with the Soviet Union because you like what they say about gender equality.

You can support the principle that black lives matter, and you can support reform in reforming various aspects of US policing and prison policy, and I'd give it my full backing. You can even have sympathy for many of the protesters, who I have no doubt are largely well intentioned even though their actions will cause suffering and death. But as far as showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter political group goes, I'm afraid that is black and white. Not a chance in hell I can support that.

The webDip banner was clearly in support of Black Lives Matter (the capitalised political group). They did not say "we at webDip believe black lives matter", but that they are in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. It is an important distinction. It is quite a contemptible feature of modern American politics where groups are inclined to call themselves slogans that can't on their own be disagreed with. The same shite as in the abortion debate where one side likes to be called pro life and the other pro choice, when anyone with an ounce of sense is clearly both. The idea being to try and portray anyone who disagrees with them as against their slogan. Pathetic stuff, but the Black Lives Matter bastards seem to have done their weasel politics more effectively than most. Or maybe people just need time to recognise them for what they are.
This makes no sense to me. I try to think issue based rather than "tribe" based. I can find common cause with anyone as long as they are right on a specific issue...and that can include Trump (e.g. Patriot act renewal) or even Russia or China. On another website, I have been called a member of the 50-cent army before (I never got my 50 cents - the pharma industry also owes me a cheque for all the times I have called out anti-vax nonsense). If there were white supremacists that were part of a march for universal healthcare, I would have no qualms supporting them. Just because I may agree with them on one thing doesn't mean I have to agree with them on absolutely everything.

In the past few years, there hasn't been much movement on police brutality...if anything we have been backsliding. Trump is on record in stating that police were not roughing up suspects enough. He killed federal oversight of police departments that Obama put in place after Baltimore. The Jeff Sessions Justice Department rolled back reform on civil forfeiture (where police can steal money/property from civilians without due process merely on the suspicion that it could have been involved in a crime). This new movement actually appears to be opening discussion again on a lot of important issues with policing and racism in the US...with even some Republicans now agreeing that things are messed up (e.g. Mississippi is getting rid of the confederate flag on the state flag). Given that some progress may actually get made, I find it hard to criticize the whole movement because some people have more radical beliefs than my own.

We can argue about how "left" some members of BLM are but again this is largely irrelevant. We aren't voting for them to form a government. This is largely a single issue being discussed or set of related issues (e.g. like racial profiling). Why does whether some of them have more radical views mean so much to you? In recent years it has been a common tactic on the right to equate everything socially liberal with marxism - feminism = marxism, universal health care = marxism, gay marriage = marxism, network neutrality = marxism...and of course BLM = marxism. This all coming at a time where society in many Western countries is more capitalist (e.g. decline of trade unions, pensions vs. 401Ks, floating currencies, free trade and ever increasing international trade agreements until recently, obsession with the stock market etc.) than at any other time since the great depression. I see these sort of arguments as a copout, an easy diversion from the issue at hand, a sort of "ad hominem" argument - they can't discredit the issue at hand directly so call them all marxists, QED. It feels like you are doing the same thing here.

The only real issue I can possibly see here with BLM is if they did not really care about the issues they are promoting...the protests are fake and it is all a small part of a grand plan to overthrow the government and give us the communist utopia. Again while there are radicals as part of the protests (and other socialist/communist groups love to join these things too), and there are certainly things I didn't like that happened (like the looting which went on early) I don't see there is much evidence that the overall protests are fake and are primarily working for much more radical goals.
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Re: Political statement on homepage

#123 Post by Octavious » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:00 am

I've lost you completely. Black Lives Matter is a political group which raises a significant amount of funding to fight the issues it cares about. Those issues include abolishing prisons, opening up borders, defunding and abolishing the police, and destroying capitalism. It's not like they're an anti racism group who happens to contain a number of left wing thinkers. They are a hard left group raising money for their campaign to fight for hard left issues. I'm not accusing them of hypocrisy or trying to pull the wool over people's eyes. They seem more or less open and honest, and what they're campaigning for is consistent with their world view. But their world view is pure Marxism. Theirs is not a simple fight against racism. Theirs is a fight against racism armed with the hammer and sickle.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#124 Post by orathaic » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:44 am

I mean, if Marxism = {feminism, marriage equality, net neutrality, universal health care, and BLM} then maybe it is something we should try...

Not that I'm against any of the steps towards prison abolition. It is really shitty that a poor person who can't afford to pay a parking fine ends up with a warrant against them and can find themselves arrested for smoking weed, with the parking fine used to justify a longer prison sentence; while a wealthy person who avoids paying tax, or embezzled money from their business gets ignored, and smoking he same weed gets off with a warning.

Prison isn't appropriate for either. It costs the state, and in the US puts money into the hands of private for profit prison operators. Or facilitates slavery Labour like conditions as prisoners are rented out to recoup some of the cost.

I don't know what if any of this system you would actually support. Especially considering the US has the highest prison population per capita in the world. Along with the highest total prison population.

If you ask yourself what social function prison, is it to rehabilite or to punish? Either way the prison system (particularly in the US) fails. Lack of access to jobs for ex-cons means they are actually more likely to reoffend. So rehabilitation often fails.

If it is a punishment, then surely after serving their time they should be treated equally again. You don't keep punishing a child for one mistake... Cause they eventually decide it isn't worth not repeating the undesirable behaviour - if they are going to be punished anyway...

So in the US prisoners and ex-cons aren't allowed vote or legally buy firearms. The whole things seems designed to disenfranchised and lead to more crime (and thus more prison labour).

So again, Octavious, which part of this do you support? The slavery or the wasted tax payers money failing to rehabilite?

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#125 Post by orathaic » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:29 am

Then you see things like this: https://twitter.com/GalvinAlmanza/statu ... 13792?s=09

And question the whole policing system.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#126 Post by Octavious » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:47 pm

Ora, as a life long fully paid up member of the hard left I am not at all surprised that you are fully in support of extreme left policies. It would be disappointing and somewhat hypocritical of you if you weren't. But you must recognise that a hard left man supporting hard left policies of a political organisation does nothing to convince me that said organisation is anything other than hard left or worthy in any sense of my support.

But regarding prisons, they exist for three purposes. To reform where reformation is possible, to provide a sense of fairness by punishing those who did wrong, and to keep the public safe by keeping scum locked away.

Do I believe that the United States has got its prison system right? Not at all. But BLM are also in favour of abolishing UK prisons and we have no equivalent prison labour system. If you believe that theirs is a crusade simply to end prison labour you are sadly mistaken. The prison system can and should be reformed, but to abolish it is nonsensical.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#127 Post by hooligannon » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:26 pm

orathaic wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:44 am
I mean, if Marxism = {feminism, marriage equality, net neutrality, universal health care, and BLM} then maybe it is something we should try...

Not that I'm against any of the steps towards prison abolition. It is really shitty that a poor person who can't afford to pay a parking fine ends up with a warrant against them and can find themselves arrested for smoking weed, with the parking fine used to justify a longer prison sentence; while a wealthy person who avoids paying tax, or embezzled money from their business gets ignored, and smoking he same weed gets off with a warning.

Prison isn't appropriate for either. It costs the state, and in the US puts money into the hands of private for profit prison operators. Or facilitates slavery Labour like conditions as prisoners are rented out to recoup some of the cost.

I don't know what if any of this system you would actually support. Especially considering the US has the highest prison population per capita in the world. Along with the highest total prison population.

If you ask yourself what social function prison, is it to rehabilite or to punish? Either way the prison system (particularly in the US) fails. Lack of access to jobs for ex-cons means they are actually more likely to reoffend. So rehabilitation often fails.

If it is a punishment, then surely after serving their time they should be treated equally again. You don't keep punishing a child for one mistake... Cause they eventually decide it isn't worth not repeating the undesirable behaviour - if they are going to be punished anyway...

So in the US prisoners and ex-cons aren't allowed vote or legally buy firearms. The whole things seems designed to disenfranchised and lead to more crime (and thus more prison labour).

So again, Octavious, which part of this do you support? The slavery or the wasted tax payers money failing to rehabilite?
Let’s say that the charges against the murder of George Floyd come to fruition, and he is convicted for x number of years. What happens to Floyd’s murder when we abolish prisons? Are you advocating for Floyd’s murder to preserve the right to vote and OWN FIREARMS?

I agree with you on one point; I don’t want Floyd’s murder to have the privilege to work while he is in prison.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#128 Post by orathaic » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:42 pm

Octavious wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:47 pm
Ora, as a life long fully paid up member of the hard left I am not at all surprised that you are fully in support of extreme left policies. It would be disappointing and somewhat hypocritical of you if you weren't. But you must recognise that a hard left man supporting hard left policies of a political organisation does nothing to convince me that said organisation is anything other than hard left or worthy in any sense of my support.

But regarding prisons, they exist for three purposes. To reform where reformation is possible, to provide a sense of fairness by punishing those who did wrong, and to keep the public safe by keeping scum locked away.

Do I believe that the United States has got its prison system right? Not at all. But BLM are also in favour of abolishing UK prisons and we have no equivalent prison labour system. If you believe that theirs is a crusade simply to end prison labour you are sadly mistaken. The prison system can and should be reformed, but to abolish it is nonsensical.
Not only do I not believe that their prison abolition position is 'simply about prison labour', I also didn't make any claim that that was their only reason. In fact I think I was pretty clear about that.

As for your three reasons. 1) reformation - as I said, it does not do this job, in fact prison systems tend to put those with minor charges together with those with who are career criminals, and then takes job opportunities away from those with mí or charges; thus allowing great networking opportunities (and in particular in the US gang formation). So if you are seeing reformation instead of a training space for further criminality, then you're seeing a different system than I.

2) A sense of fairness/punishment: this is not the only means the state has to provide a sense of fairness, I'd like to use penalty points on driving license as an example (because only having speeding fines means wealthy people can just pay speed and pay the fine like an extra tax, while poverty stricken people end up unable to pay and possible even imprisoned). Basically, there are other, and better alternatives which could serve this function. I would also like to point out restorative justice.

3) public safety: again, speeding in a motor vechile puts the public in danger. We have ways to incentivise people away from undesirable behaviour, and calling them scum isn't one of them. In fact dehumanising people is part of the problem. When society tells you that you are useless, a failure, not worthy of respect, the natural defense mechanism is to tell society to go fuck itself.

And this messaging comes from everywhere, told by parents not to bother, schools tell kids they are failures, and people like you... Yeah. You're not part of the systemic / institutional problem, but you're not helping.

And to preempt a 'personal responcibility' argument, when a Lion eats a Gazelle in the wild, you can probably blame the Lion or just accept it as nature. When a Lion eats a Gazelle in the Zoo, you blame the Zookeeper.

People are raised in a society with implicit social contracts, not in the wilderness fending for themselves. This is more akin to the Zoo, and states+governments are the Zookeepers.

Prison abolition is on step in the goal of building a better system. Instead of advocating for more of the current broken system.

And lastly, though we both agree the US is far more broken. I was first introduced to the concept of prison abolition while living in Bristol. UK based folks who care about UK problems.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#129 Post by orathaic » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:51 pm

@hooligannon, fair question.

I don't know how to get to prison abolition. But the steps on the way start with removing prison sentences for non-violent offences (and amnesty for those currently held for non-violent offences) - actually during a covid 19 pandemic is the perfect time to trial early release, though doing it enmass might strain the housing system's capacity to house everyone... But still. Imagine all those held on charges relating to weed smoking released.

And when we built better systems, including things like restorative justice (think community service for those who vandalise property), we can talk about violent offenders like George Floyd's murders. I believe Norway has a pretty good system for rehabilitation. Similar to prisons, but people get houses, (on an island which they can't exactly leave) no guards or guns, lots of social worker style supports.

But copy what already works and then look at whether the system is still deeply broken and harmful.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#130 Post by Octavious » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:36 pm

orathaic wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:42 pm
And lastly, though we both agree the US is far more broken. I was first introduced to the concept of prison abolition while living in Bristol. UK based folks who care about UK problems.
The UK and Bris'ol has plenty of leftie enthusiasts such as yourself, I agree. There was a cafe just under the 51 02 building in Stokes Croft where I had a few fun debates with Green Party types and their ilk. That doesn't make them right, or give me reason to side with them.

I don't think we'll achieve anything more here. Thank you for outlining your position. I passionately disagree, probably as much as you disagree with mine. It is not something I can see my opinion changing on.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#131 Post by orathaic » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:05 pm

Octavious wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:36 pm
orathaic wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:42 pm
And lastly, though we both agree the US is far more broken. I was first introduced to the concept of prison abolition while living in Bristol. UK based folks who care about UK problems.
The UK and Bris'ol has plenty of leftie enthusiasts such as yourself, I agree. There was a cafe just under the 51 02 building in Stokes Croft where I had a few fun debates with Green Party types and their ilk. That doesn't make them right, or give me reason to side with them.

I don't think we'll achieve anything more here. Thank you for outlining your position. I passionately disagree, probably as much as you disagree with mine. It is not something I can see my opinion changing on.
Hang on a sec.

What about reform? Is there nothing you agree with me on (aside form the US, though perhaps you think prison Labour is a good thing and should be introduced to the UK).

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#132 Post by Octavious » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:55 am

As much as imprisoning Labour would be rather fun, it's sadly an idea purely for thought experiments.

In terms of prison labour with a small l, it can indeed be a good thing. Getting prisoners used to a work schedule strikes me as an important aspect of rehabilitation into society. Allowing prisoners to build a degree of savings prior to release is also important for rehabilitation, as the last thing you want is to reintroduce a desperately broke chap back into society whose only known method of getting cash quickly is via crime.

What you want to avoid is creating some sort of prison industry built on cheap labour that will undercut legitimate businesses and bugger up the markets, but labour that teaches a skill (learning carpentry or plumbing, say) or labour creating stuff that the state might want but would otherwise not exist (disaster relief blankets for refugee camps springs to mind) strikes me as being fundamentally a good thing.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#133 Post by TomareUtsuZo » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:31 am

I have to say, Octavious schools the shit out of you guys. But, I don't get the idea he's having any effect on your thick skulls.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#134 Post by orathaic » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:32 am

Octavious wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:55 am
As much as imprisoning Labour would be rather fun, it's sadly an idea purely for thought experiments.

In terms of prison labour with a small l, it can indeed be a good thing. Getting prisoners used to a work schedule strikes me as an important aspect of rehabilitation into society. Allowing prisoners to build a degree of savings prior to release is also important for rehabilitation, as the last thing you want is to reintroduce a desperately broke chap back into society whose only known method of getting cash quickly is via crime.

What you want to avoid is creating some sort of prison industry built on cheap labour that will undercut legitimate businesses and bugger up the markets, but labour that teaches a skill (learning carpentry or plumbing, say) or labour creating stuff that the state might want but would otherwise not exist (disaster relief blankets for refugee camps springs to mind) strikes me as being fundamentally a good thing.
Apologies for the errant capital L, autocorrect.

You realise you are describing an apprenticeship system which doesn't require prisons to be funded.

Infact redirecting funds from maintaining prisons to supporting decent education and jobs programs is exactly the kind of crime prevention we need to consider.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#135 Post by Octavious » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:30 pm

I'm really not. I'm pretty certain that the vast majority of internships don't involve being locked up, and being locked up is very much a part of what I was envisioning. Without the locking up bit prisons are an awful lot like hotels with disappointing restaurants. A slightly better quality Holiday Inn, perhaps. But the locking up is described by most people as a key feature of prisons.

Can I quickly return to this response to hooli?

Can I first ask you to define a violent offence? I used to be fairly confident in my understanding of the word violence. Lately however the left has been rather keen on evolving the word and lefties have expanded violence to include swearing, general rudeness, and (very popular lately) being quiet. Are you reverting to the traditional (some would say real) sense of violence for this instance?

Also, where is it that vandalism is worthy of a prison term? It is virtually unheard of in the UK, and I assume most of Europe. Is this one of those major demands that in reality already happens pretty much everywhere outside of Mississippi?
orathaic wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:51 pm
@hooligannon, fair question.

I don't know how to get to prison abolition. But the steps on the way start with removing prison sentences for non-violent offences (and amnesty for those currently held for non-violent offences) - actually during a covid 19 pandemic is the perfect time to trial early release, though doing it enmass might strain the housing system's capacity to house everyone... But still. Imagine all those held on charges relating to weed smoking released.

And when we built better systems, including things like restorative justice (think community service for those who vandalise property), we can talk about violent offenders like George Floyd's murders. I believe Norway has a pretty good system for rehabilitation. Similar to prisons, but people get houses, (on an island which they can't exactly leave) no guards or guns, lots of social worker style supports.

But copy what already works and then look at whether the system is still deeply broken and harmful.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#136 Post by orathaic » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:06 pm

Quickly, the locking up part is not required for that kind of training. Which is a huge part of my point.

I think you need to prove that locking people up works as a deterant, and makes society a better, safer place. Rather than talking about the good thing s which can happen equally well outside of the prison system if we invest in alternatives.

I mean we are agreed on the usefulness of labour for learning a skill. So that is something.

As to my definition of violence, les assume I mean to include physical violence, and then also rape, as it literally violates the body of another (whether they are unconscious or frozen in terror) you can probably call all of that sexual violence (which is currently illegal) and finally extend it to include harassment as a form of emotional violence (which is very well understood, particularly when studied in relation to children suffering from emotional abuse, again already illegal). Mainly including harassment because it is often a precursor to murder (and it is too late to punish someone at that point).

Currently victims of harassment are able to get court orders to prevent their harasses from contacting them (ie not a prison sentence) which if it works is fine. Prison sentences for breaching those court orders would remain.

It is notable what I am not including. Breaking and entering would be punishable by community service (falling under property damage) . Whereas threatening someone with a knife or gun and robbing them would be violent crime (emotional violence, even if no-one is injured).

All drug use would be legal, and addiction issue would be dealt with a health problem (ie dept of health, not dept of justice), allowing police resources to be redirected towards drug suplly/production, and the violence associated with the drug trade (this is a big related area in the US as African Americans appear to use drugs at the same rate as white Americans, but are incarcerated at a much higher rate for drug related offences - but to avoid going on a tangent, and try for consistency, I'd say drugs for personal use should be legal, distributing drugs to a community should be punishable by community service - in that community - and violence associated with repaying drug debts or moving in on other people's territory should be punishable with prison time)

And as to your question on vandalism, I may be misusing the word, but my understanding is that any damage is vandalism. From graffiti to the breaking half of breaking and entering.

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#137 Post by Octavious » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:33 pm

You don't consider breaking and entering to be violent? That's... astounding. Even if the victim isn't present the emotional impact can be massive. If the victim is present it can be devastating.

And community service for drug dealing? We are a long way apart on that one. A hefty prison term is very much my compromise position, as apparently amputating a limb is frowned upon.

Why is, out of interest, that you're perfectly happy with community service as a punishment and yet describe working in prisons as akin to slave labour? Are they not essentially the same thing with a different label?

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#138 Post by flash2015 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:12 pm

Octavious wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:00 am
I've lost you completely. Black Lives Matter is a political group which raises a significant amount of funding to fight the issues it cares about. Those issues include abolishing prisons, opening up borders, defunding and abolishing the police, and destroying capitalism. It's not like they're an anti racism group who happens to contain a number of left wing thinkers. They are a hard left group raising money for their campaign to fight for hard left issues. I'm not accusing them of hypocrisy or trying to pull the wool over people's eyes. They seem more or less open and honest, and what they're campaigning for is consistent with their world view. But their world view is pure Marxism. Theirs is not a simple fight against racism. Theirs is a fight against racism armed with the hammer and sickle.
You mention a set of policies - abolishing prisons, opening up borders, defunding police. None of these policies I see as specifically anti-capitalist. My anarchist, pro-capitalist "end the fed/taxation is theft" friends are loving this. If anything open borders especially would be "pro capitalist" as it would allow more efficient allocations of labour. You see otherwise? At least traditionally, weren't communist societies like the soviet union pro-police brutality and pro-prison? Since BLM against these things, doesn't it make it hard to label everything they do marxist?

Coming to your last point how are BLM currently funding the destruction of capitalism? I would assume you know of some plans to organize a coup to take over the US or the UK? Or are you suggesting certain policies (raising the minimum wage, making a more progressive tax system, universal health care, UBI, climate change which should neither be left or right etc.) will all lead to marxism? Or are we OK if we implement one or two of these policies but if we choose more than that we automatically convert into Stalinist Soviet Union with gulags and the rest? Again, I am not really understanding the "marxist" fear here...other than as a weak attempt to change the topic.

Still of course not a fan of the banner. And I do have some frustration with governments waving through or even explicitly supporting the protests...as it made it harder to combat COVID. People were quite rightly complaining of unequal treatment...and it has already had some legal repercussions (e.g. NY state losing a lawsuit over keeping Churches at 25% capacity, the judge specifically mentioning the governments double-standard over the protests as one of the main reasons why they lost).
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Re: Political statement on homepage

#139 Post by Octavious » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:20 pm

Flash, what are you trying to argue? Are you trying to say that they don't want to to dismantle capitalism? Because they very much do. My suspicions in this area were first aroused by the statement on their fundraising page that says
We’re guided by a commitment to dismantle capitalism"
https://uk.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fund

What more do you want?

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Re: Political statement on homepage

#140 Post by flash2015 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:01 pm

Octavious wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:20 pm
Flash, what are you trying to argue? Are you trying to say that they don't want to to dismantle capitalism? Because they very much do. My suspicions in this area were first aroused by the statement on their fundraising page that says
We’re guided by a commitment to dismantle capitalism"
https://uk.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fund

What more do you want?
I am asking for actual evidence that they are implementing this. What are they actually doing to destroy capitalism?

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