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Call for Submissions: Sickness and Health in Philadelphia (And Beyond)

We're happy to announce that we at the defenestrator have decided to move toward a theme based, quarterly publication.

The theme we wish to explore in the next issue of the defenestrator is Sickness and Health in Philadelphia (and Beyond). The deadline for submissions for this issue will be Sunday, August 21st, 2011.

In our city access to healthcare is a problem we grapple with everyday and we seek to explore how different groups and people fight for access to the care they need...and the conditions to make that possible! We do wish to investigate what healthcare might look like if it was not based on profit and empowered patients, but we are also living in in the “here and now” and wish to explore how some of us are getting by in the current set up and what low cost/no cost resources are available.

However issues surrounding sickness and health also extend into many areas that aren't exclusively a problem of access. Some of us find ourselves suffering from physical and mental ailments where care by mainstream medical institutions are found lacking or even exploitative and so we seek support systems and communities of care outside the traditional institutions. We are interested in what promotes (and prevents) health in our city with an eye toward solutions, alternatives and struggles.

The issue of sickness and health has so many facets and intersects with so many other issues that we look forward to being surprised by the article submissions that come our way for this issue. There are many stories and we hope you clue us in to what sickness and health looks like in Philadelphia (and Beyond).

We are seeking interviews, reports from movements of people fighting for healthcare (and what makes that care possible), essays that seek to analyze, book reviews, narrative nonfiction that tells the stories that are seldom told, insightful art and much more.

Please take a look at our submission guidelines for the general length of articles, political content and helpful tips @ http://www.defenestrator.org/submission_guidelines http://www.diggyinsurance.com. If after reading the guidelines you have more questions or have an idea for a submission, but want some feedback please drops us a line @ rosa@defenestrator.org.

Defenestrator + Philly BDS: Film Screening and Dance Party

7 pm - 3 am

Join the Defenestrator and Philly BDS for a film screening and dance party on Saturday, August 6!

7:30PM Film Screening
"Jaffa: The Orange's Clockwork"
Firehouse Bikes
701 S. 50th St.
(free entry and hummus)

10:30PM Dance Party
Featuring DJ Ev Daddy
Ninja House
4707 Hazel Ave.($5 cover includes beer; cash bar)

Spread the word, and invite your friends and comrades! 

All proceeds benefit Defenestrator and Philly BDS. Philly BDS is a coalition working for human rights in Israel/Palestine, supporting the 2005 call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Israeli occupation. For more information, visit http://phillybds.org.

Meet your defenestrator

7 pm - 9 pm
Wooden Shoe Books (704 South Street)
Issue 51 of the defenestrator is out! Join us for a discussion with a few contributors to the latest issue of Philly's radical newspaper. Learn more about the struggles they've written about, get connected, and also find out how you can be involved with the paper!

PACK THE COURTS FOR Askia and Tanya!

8 am - 2 pm
Criminal Justice Center 13th & Filbert room 705

Tuesday, April 12th 8am @ CJC (13th & Filbert) Room 705
*Askia and Tanya go back to court to get the determination as to whether their cases will be combined.
Please see attched flyer.
* Fundraiser Film Screening of Justice Walk For Askia
Saturay, April 16, 2011 @ the Lava Space (41st & Lancaster) $10 donation
Justice Walk For Askia highlights the September 17,2011 West Philadelphia demonstration held to seek justice for Askia.
There will also an art auction of orginal paintings and sketches by Askia Sabur. All proceeds will go to the Sabur family as Askia has been unable to work since his attack in September.
Please see attched flyer.

Solidarity and its Discontents

While building solidarity between activists in the U.S. and Iran can be a powerful way of supporting social justice movements in Iran, progressives and leftists who want to express solidarity with Iranians are challenged by a complicated geopolitical terrain. The U.S. government shrilly decries Iran’s nuclear power program and expands a long-standing sanctions regime on the one hand, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes inflammatory proclamations and harshly suppresses Iranian protesters and dissidents on the other. Solidarity activists are often caught between a rock and a hard place, and many choose what they believe are the “lesser evil” politics. In the case of Iran, this has meant aligning with a repressive state leader under the guise of “anti-imperialism” and “populism,” or supporting “targeted” sanctions.

Don't Phrack with Philly!

welcome to fracksylvania: by Eian Weissman

Hydraulic fracturing (often called fracking) is a form of drilling for natural gas that releases dangerous chemicals and radioactive toxic waste. Gas companies throughout Pennsylvania have been dumping this waste into our rivers and streams – our drinking water! There is currently a loophole that allows gas companies to drill without obeying the Clean Water Act, and they are not required to research the effects of their drilling or clean up the waste they cause.

The Delaware River Basin Commission is currently considering a draft that will allow for more unregulated fracking in the Marcellus Shale—a gas-rich rock formation which is also known to contain radioactive substances. These plans don’t address health and safety regulations to keep radioactive, carcinogenic chemicals out of the water that Philadelphia, New York, and all cities and towns downstream rely on for clean drinking water. Reports are already coming in from across Pennsylvania of wells being poisoned by toxic chemicals as a result of fracking. On March 8th, hundreds of people gave testimony before Philadelphia’s City Council in opposition to this draft – several were mothers who worried for their children’s health, some were scientists who argued for the need for safety measures and regulation prior to considering future drilling.

Book Review: Vincent Lyon-Callo, Inequality, Poverty, and Neoliberal Governance: Activist Ethnography in the Homeless Sheltering Industry. Broadview Press, 2004.


In recent years there has been increased discussion of the role that the non-profit structure has had on building radical struggles. INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence's edited volume The Revolution Will Not Be Funded, which focused on the role of foundation funding on movement building, was a watershed on this issue. Lyon-Callo's book, published as an academic monograph three years earlier, functions as an important, but largely overlooked, companion work.

The focus in this volume, based in the author's experience in the 1990s working as a shelter staff member, is the way structural factors that create poverty become normalized and reinforced in day to day thought and action, and the difficulties particular actors encounter in challenging that normalization. Lyon-Callo's narrative is based on the small city of Northampton, Massachusetts, which experienced a significant loss of manufacturing jobs in the 1980s, accompanied by a decrease in affordable housing and the consequential appearance of homelessness. Since the 1970s there was also a major shift in wealth, and an increase in low-wage and low-hour jobs that made accessing enough wealth to obtain basic stability all the harder.

Rednecks with Guns and other anti-racist stories and strategies

Following the election of Obama, many folks involved with a spectrum of different anti-racist work were left dumbfounded by the rise of the aggressive and often explicitly racist white Tea Party movement. Though the Tea Party Movement had been funded in the millions, enjoyed the enthusiastic backing of Fox News and was being manipulated by powerful forces on the right, it was also clear that the right was comfortably engaging with a sector of the North American working class largely abandoned by the broader left.  In the throes of economic crisis many formerly enfranchised whites were looking at serious setbacks. In response the left for the most part smugly responded by dismissing the crazy tea baggers while white supremacists and conservatives moved into largely uncontested territory. In looking for exceptions, I decided to check out the John Brown Gun Club, a group of white working class anarchists who before the emergence of the Tea Party movement, had been sowing class struggle and anti-racist solidarity amongst mostly white gun enthusiasts in Kansas. Here Dave Onion interviews long time anti-racist gun slinger Dave Strano.

Mujeres Creando: rebellion, it’s your fault i’ll be happy

Translation of an article by Helen Álvarez Virreira about the Bolivian anarchist feminists, Mujeres Creando (from thecommune.co.uk)

mujeres creando graf in la paz

To walk the streets of La Paz is also to walk through the story of Mujeres Creando (Women Creating) an anarchist and feminist movement which has used graffiti and creativity as its forms of struggle and has made the streets its canvas. “Women who get organised don’t have to iron shirts any more”,  ”I don’t want to be the woman of your dreams, I want to be the woman of my dreams” and “Because Evo Morales doesn’t know how to be a father (he tried to disown his daughter), he doesn’t know what it means to be a mother” are among its graffiti.

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