Saturday, January 26, 2013


Precarisation (huh) is the subject of the essay below from generations online)  presented in the on going series known only as Theoretical Weekends at Scission.  If you don't like it, blame Franco Berardi, not this poor fool.  It is the weekend, and I do have other things to do.

Info-Labour and Precarisation
Franco Berardi (Bifo)
"We have no future because our present is too volatile. The only possibility that remains is the management of risk. The spinning top of the scenarios of the present moment."
(W. Gibson: Pattern recognition, tr. It. L'accademia dei sogni)

In February 2003 the American journalist Bob Herbert published in the New York Times the results of a cognitive survey on a sample of hundreds of unemployed youths in Chicago: none of their interviewees expected to find work the next few years, none of them expected to be able to rebel, or to set off large scale collective change. The general sense of the interviews was a sentiment of profound impotence. The perception of decline did not seem focused on politics, but on a deeper cause, the scenario of a social and psychical involution that seems to cancel every possibility of building alternatives.

The fragmentation of the present time is reversed in the implosion of the future.

In The Corrosion of Character: the Transformation of Work in Modern Capitalism (Norton: 1998; tr. It. L'Uomo Flessibile), Richard Sennett reacts to this existential condition of precariousness and fragmentation with nostalgia for a past epoch in which life was structured in relatively stable social roles, and time had enough linear consistency to construe paths of identity. "The arrow of time is broken: in an economy under constant restructuring that is based on the short-term and hates routine, definite trajectories no longer exist. People miss stable human relations and long term objectives." (R. Sennett: The corrosion of character)

But this nostalgia has no hold on present reality, and the attempts to reactivate the community remain artificial and sterile.

In the essay "Precari-us?", Angela Mitropoulos observes that precariousness is a precarious notion. This because it defines its object in an approximate manner, but also because from this notion derive paradoxical, self-contradictory, in other words precarious strategies. If we concentrate our critical attention on the precaricious character of job performance what would our proposed objective be? That of a stable job, guaranteed for life? Naturally no, this would be a cultural regression that would definitely subordinate the role of work. Some started to speak of Flexicurity to mean forms of wage independent of job performance. But we are still far from having a strategy of social recomposition of the labour movement to extricate ourselves from unlimited exploitation. We need to pick up again the thread of analysis of the social composition and decompositon if we want to distinguish possible lines of a process of recomposition to come.

In the 1970s the energy crisis, the consequent economic recession and finally the substitution of work with numerical machines resulted in the formation of a large number of people with no guarantees. Since then the question of the precarity became central to social analysis, but also in the ambitions of the movement. We began by proposing to struggle for forms of guaranteed income, uncoupled from work, in order to face the fact that a large part of the young population had no prospect of guaranteed employment. The situation has changed since then, because what seemed a marginal and temporary condition has now become the prevalent form of labour relations. Precariousness is no longer a marginal and provisional characteristic, but it is the general form of the labour relation in a productive, digitalized sphere, reticular and recombinative.

The word 'precariat' generally stands for the area of work which is no longer definable by fixed rules relative to the labour relation, to salary and to the length of the working day. However if we analyse the past we see that these rules functioned only for a limited period in the history of relations between labour and capital. Only for a short period at the heart of the C20th, under the political pressures of unions and workers, in conditions of (almost) full employment and thanks to a role more or less strongly regulatory of the state in the economy, some limits to the natural violence of capitalist dynamics could be legally established. The legal obligations that in certain periods have protected society from the violence of capital were always founded on the existence of a relation of a force of a political and material kind (workers' violence against the violence of capital). Thanks to political force it became possible to affirm rights, establish laws and protect them as personal rights. With the decline in the political force of the workers' movement, the natural precariousness of labour relations in capitalism and its brutality have reemerged.

The new phenomenon is not the precarious character of the job market, but the technical and cultural conditions in which info-labour is made precarious.The technical conditions are those of digital recombination of info-work in networks. The cultural conditions are those of the education of the masses and the expectations of consumption inherited from late C20th society and continuously fed by the entire apparatus of marketing and media communication.

If we analyse the first aspect, i.e. the technical transformations introduced by the digitalisation of the productive cycle, we see that the essential point is not the becoming precarious of the labour relation (which, after all, has always been precarious), but the dissolution of the person as active productive agent, as labour power. We have to look at the cyberspace of global production as an immense expanse of depersonalised human time.

Info-labour, the provision of time for the elaboration and the recombination of segments of info-commodities, is the extreme point of arrival of the process of the abstraction from concrete activities that Marx analysed as a tendency inscribed in the capital labour relation.

The process of abstraction of labour has progressively stripped labour time of every concrete and individual particularity. The atom of time of which Marx speaks is the minimal unit of productive labour. But in industrial production, abstract labour time was impersonated by a physical and juridcal bearer, embodied in a worker in flesh and bone, with a certified and political identity. Naturally capital did not purchase a personal disposition, but the time for which the workers were its bearers. But if capital wanted to dispose of the necessary time for its valorization, it was indispensable to hire a human being, to buy all of its time, and therefore needed to face up to the material needs and trade union and political demands of which the human was a bearer.

When we move onto the sphere of info-labour there is no longer a need to have bought over a person for eight hours a day indefinitely. Capital no longer recruits people, but buys packets of time, separated from their interchangeable and occasional bearers.

De-personalised time has become the real agent of the process of valorisation, and de-personalised time has no rights, nor any demands either. It can only be either available or unavailable, but the alternative is purely theoretical because the physical body despite not being a legally recognised person still has to buy his food and pay his rent.

The informatic procedures of the recombination of semiotic material have the effect of liquifying the 'objective' time necesssary to produce the info-commodity. All the time of life the humanmachine is there, pulsating and available, like a brain-sprawl in waiting. The extension of time is meticuously cellularised: cells of productive time can be mobilised in punctual, casual and fragmentary forms. The recombination of these fragments is automatically realised in the network. The mobile phone is the tool that makes possible the connection between the needs of semio-capital and the mobilisation of the living labour of cyber-space. The ringtone of the mobile phone calls the workers to reconnect their abstract time to the reticular flux.

It's a strange word that with which we identify the ideology prevalent in the posthuman transition to digital slavery: liberalism. Liberty is its foundational myth, but the liberty of whom? The liberty of capital, certainly. Capital must be absolutely free to expand in every corner of the world to find the fragment of human time available to be exploitated for the most miserable wage. But liberalism also predicates the liberty of the person. The juridical person is free to express itself, to choose its representatives, to be entrepreneurial at the level of politics and the economy.

Very interesting, only that the person has disappeared, what is left is like an inert object, irrelevant and useless. The person is free, sure. But his time is enslaved. His liberty is a juridical fiction to which nothing in concrete daily life corresponds. If we consider the conditions in which the work of the majority of humanity, proletariat and cognitariat, is actually carried out in our time, if we examine the conditions the average wage globally, if we consider the current and now largely realised cancellation of previous labour rights, we can say with no rhetorical exaggeration that we live in a regime of slavery. The average salary on the global level is hardly sufficient to buy the indispensible means for the mere survival of a person whose time is at the service of capital. And people do not have any right over the time of which they are formally the proprietors, but effectively expropriated. That time does not really belong to them, because it is separated from the social existence of the people who who make it available to the recombinative cyberproductvie circuit. The time of work is fractalised, that is reduced to minimal and reassemblable fragments, and the fractualisation makes it possible for capital to constantly find the conditions of minimum salary.

How can we oppose the decimation of the working class and its systemic de-personalisation, the slavery that is affirmed as a mode of command of precarious and de-personalised work? This is the question that is posed with insistence by whoever still has a sense of human dignity. Nevertheless the answer does not come out because the form of resistance and of struggle that were efficacious in the C20th appear to no longer have the capacity to spread and consolidate themselves, nor consequently can they stop the absolutism of capital. An experience that derives from worker’s struggle in the last years, is that the struggle of precarious workers does not make a cycle. Fractalised work can also punctually rebel, but this does not set into motion any wave of struggle. The reason is easy to understand. In order for struggles to form a cycle there must be a spatial proximity of the bodies of labour and an existential temporal continuity. Without this proximity and this continuity, we lack the conditions for the cellularised bodies to become community. No wave can be created, because the workers do not share their existence in time, and behaviours can only become a wave when there is a continuous proximity in time that info-labour no longer allows.

Translated from the Italian by Erik Empson

Friday, January 25, 2013


Kerry Cunneen is a young woman and an anarchist who is refusing to cooperate with a grand jury which is investigating anarchists in the Northwest.  The grand jury is "specifically" looking  into the May Day attack on the Nakamura federal courthouse during an anti-capitalist march in Seattle last year.  However, like all political grand juries it is, in actuality,   a repressive fish hunt.

Paperblog reports:

Maddy Pfeiffer, another grand jury resistor in the same investigation, is still currently incarcerated for refusing to testify. Prior to being imprisoner, Maddy offered the following statement: “[T]he day before my 23rd birthday, two FBI agents wearing ill-fitting khakis and too much gel in their hair served me a subpoena for 9am on November 7th. I knew my fate right away: 18 months in SeaTac Federal Detention Center. Matt, Kteeo and Leah have all been imprisoned for their refusal and I will be the next. Despite the urgings of lawyers, agents and judges, I only have one option: non-cooperation. Any other option is unthinkable… The vultures of the state will try to imprison my comrades and I until we give in. We will never give in.”

Kerry has stated:

I refuse to appear [before the grand jury] because I despise the state. They are working to undo everything that Anarchists stand for. I refuse to help them on the principle that prisons should be abolished. I refuse them because I am in complete support of the crimes they are investigating. I refuse them with a visceral hatred for the law and all of the lives they ruin. I am glad for the little bit of resistance I can provide in denying them information. I respect and admire Matt, Kteeo and Maddy for making the sacrifice that is involved in sitting for an undetermined jail sentence. I just am not personally willing to take a step in the direction of my own jail cell.

Grand juries have been a favorite tool of the State in its never ending campaign of repression against any and all who resist its rule and capitalism since, well, for a long, long time.  

In all that time, there have been many who spent months and months, even years, in jail for refusing to act as an agent of the State.  Their courage   and their forthrightness is something we all should support however we can and emulate whenever we must.

Kerry is one in a long line of such people.

On Scission Prison friday, I wish to share the following interview with Kerry which has appeared at numerous anarchist sites and is taken here  from  the Committee Against Political Repression:

Radio Interview with Grand Jury Resister Kerry Cunneen

Grand Jury resister Kerry Cunneen gave an interview to Finn’s Revolution radio show. Here is a rough transcript of the interview:

Question: What is anarchism and how did anarchists find themselves at May Day in Seattle?
Kerry: Anarchism is a political philosophy centered on the idea that a society without domination is better suited to foster the wellbeing of its members. Anarchists are necessarily anti-capitalists because capitalism hinges on exploitation and economic division in society. We also oppose the concentration of power that we refer to as the state. These various bodies of law, force, and control seek to contain the possibilities for society and compel us all to perpetuate capitalism. There are many other forms of social domination that anarchists will fight to abolish, such as racism and patriarchy, that are also deeply entwined  with capitalism.
As for May Day, it is, among other things, an anarchist holiday. It is a day that commemorates the militant labor struggle for the eight hour work day and the anarchists who were killed or imprisoned by the state for participating in this struggle. In Chicago, where the labor struggle was particularly militant, the police opened fire on a picket, killing and wounding picketers. The next day a demonstration was called and a bomb was thrown at the police line, killing an officer and wounding others. The state tried eight anarchists for the murder, and regardless of whether they were at the demonstration or not, all eight were sentenced to death or life in prison. We take May Day as a chance to remember these militant struggles and to inspire us to keep fighting against the state that wants us submissive or dead. Every year there are demonstrations and other events in cities all over. In the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was calling out to anarchists to come together and have a really massive anti-capitalist march. Many anarchists answered the call and showed up in Seattle that day.
Question: What was May 1, Seattle all about? Were there progressive groups involved? What was your involvement? Were you arrested or investigated? If so, how were you treated?
Kerry: There were a lot of events and marches scheduled for May Day in Seattle
this past year. A lot of them were related to occupy. I can’t say much about
the organizing of Seattle’s May Day because I don’t live there and was not
part of the organizing. I can say that May Day demonstrations have in many
places become somewhat placid, not resembling the spirit of resistance to
state control. They often get city permits, and designate peace police to
make sure the march is whatever the organizers want it to be. The anti-
capitalist march in Seattle was organized to be different. This march was
meant to be a disruption of capital. It was unpermitted and there was no
leadership in the march or expectation of abiding laws.
I was in Seattle at the anti-capitalist march on May Day. It was a glorious
day for anarchists, in my opinion. We effectively disrupted the goings on of
downtown Seattle. I was not arrested or anything, but clearly I have
become involved in the investigation somehow. But, with secret
investigations it is difficult to glean much information.
Question: Some people are appalled when property damage and injury occur in these kinds of events. What can you say regarding that?
Kerry: I would say that property destruction is an important tactic in the fight
against capitalism. I think property destruction does a number of things that further the struggle against domination. For one, it solidifies for us and reminds us that the powers we fight are not abstract and insurrmountable. They are
vulnerable to attack. I think also that when an institution which forcibly
maintains power over us is targeted by property destruction, this will often
resonate with others who experience the violence of that institution. It
makes us feel less alone and less like victims. I think that property destruction has a good effect on those who carry it out as well. I think most people need to unlearn submission and show themselves that they have the capacity to act for
their own liberation. I think that when people burn cop cars, break bank
windows, or blockade a road (thwarting the transfer of goods and or law
enforcement) they are also demonstrating to themself some of the
magnitude of their ability to resist. I think too that in some cases the
economic damage of property destruction can be effective against the state
and capital. It is not as though breaking windows is an end goal, but it is a
tactic that people shouldn’t thoughtlessly cast aside as if it were the
introduction of violence into the fight against the state, instead of the
response to endless state sponsored violence.
There are many flawed arguments against property destruction, but
without a specific one to debunk, I would only extrapolate on this point that
in general people are accustomed to experiencing and absorbing state
violence as normal. There is a desensitization and sometimes a blame
shifting that goes on to justify state violence against people. But, when
people fight back against these concentrated powers it is sensationalized
and often viewed as unprovoked or illegitimate. In the case of a
demonstration in the streets, it is really awful to hear someone criticize the
breaking of windows as they gloss over the acute violence at the hands of
the state. Demonstrations are often brutally repressed, people are beaten,
pepper sprayed, arrested and imprisoned and this is expected and often
accepted by witnesses and people in general. How can a rational person
deny efforts of resistance the use of violence against those who hold it in a
monopoly? We want to win, we really mean to destroy capital, and for that
we will need to be open to the idea of property destruction. We have to
strip capital of its power over society. This is not an easy or voluntary
occurrence but one that is achieved by force. Property after all, is a farce.
Question: Kerry, you, Maddy, Matt & Kteeo are currently refusing to cooperate with a Grand Jury in Seattle which is investigating events which occurred during May Day protests last year. First, why do you think the government has subpoenaed you and has decided to pressure you to testify? And why are all of you refusing to appear?
Kerry: I don’t know why I was subpoenaed to the grand jury. I am an Anarchist, I am known to have been in Seattle on May Day and the Feds are grasping at
straws trying to make a case against Anarchists in whatever way they can.
I doubt they have any idea who broke the courthouse windows nor do they
care. I think they are using the attack on the courthouse as a pretext to
bring down a heavy hand and try to scare Anarchists away from militant
resistance. It isn’t working and I am glad to think that this is frustrating to
the state.
I refuse to appear because I despise the state. They are working to undo
everything that Anarchists stand for. I refuse to help them on the principle
that prisons should be abolished. I refuse them because I am in complete
support of the crimes they are investigating. I refuse them with a visceral
hatred for the law and all of the lives they ruin. I am glad for the little bit of
resistance I can provide in denying them information. I respect and admire
Matt, Kteeo and Maddy for making the sacrifice that is involved in sitting for
and undetermined jail sentence. I just am not personally willing to take a
step in the direction of my own jail cell.
Question: Clearly the government is attempting to intimidate you and anarchists and activists in general. First by calling you to testify in a Grand Jury setting thereby trying to force you give up your right to remain silent which exists in standard judicial courts, and then by jailing some of you to wear you down. Can they legally keep any of you in jail indefinitely until you testify, and just how long do all of you think this can last? Can you talk about what legal actions are being taken on your behalf?
Kerry: The state has the power to do lots of things, legal or not. Legally though,
people can be held in civil contempt for not testifying for a period up to 18
months or whenever the grand jury ends, whichever comes first. The grand
jury is slated to end by March of 2014 so there could be a lot of people in
jail for a long time over this. There are currently no legal actions being
taken on my behalf that I know of. I am not in need of any legal help unless
I am arrested. There doesn’t seem to be much that lawyers can do to help
people who are subpoenaed. All of the attempts to get the subpoenas
thrown out have been laughed out of the courts. They are going to do all
they can to turn people against their principles. I don’t see it working with
most Anarchists though.
Question: Kerry, where can listeners find out more about all this, and what can they do to get involved and help?
Kerry: So, the support group for the subpoenaed folks has a website. It is That is where you can go for news
and updates about the grand jury in the Pacific Northwest. It is also where you can donate some much needed money which will help us fill the commissary of
the folks in jail so they can continue to write letters, eat and such things.
We also need money for lawyers fees and in case of indictments coming
from the grand jury. There is a support site for the 5 people recently
indicted for alleged crimes during the various marches of May Day in
Seattle. The site is There is also a
site, which is cataloging the numerous actions of property
destruction which are being carried out in solidarity with those resisting the
grand jury and its targets.
I would say that people can help by holding fundraisers and other events to
raise money and awareness about what is happening. You can contact
either support groups to figure out how to set something up in your area.
Probably the most important thing though, is that people continue to
struggle in the spirit of the anti-capitalist march on May Day. People need
to attack, in whatever way they feel they can, the institutions that hold us
down. We are all inspired by resistance and it helps those of us facing
repression to know that we don’t struggle alone.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


How many times have you said to yourself, "How do they sleep at night?"  This is a story that ends up giving the unfortunate answer to that question.  I will leave you with that.  

The following is from the Monthly Review.

Introduction to Lettuce Wars
A Cab Ride for a Lawyer
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Bruce Neuburger is a former farmworker, GI organizer, movement newspaper writer and editor, and cab driver. A longtime radical political activist, for the past twenty-five years he has been an adult school and community college teacher.
This an excerpt from the forthcoming Lettuce Wars: Ten Years of Work and Struggle in the Fields of California (Monthly Review Press, 2012).
It was early evening, a few hours before my shift’s end. The cab line at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco was a crapshoot. Sit in line and take your chances or cruise the streets for fares in hope of being bounced around the city like a pinball. You got in line because, like the people who work slot machines, there’s always the chance of a jackpot. Here you invest your minutes, not your money, but the anticipation is similar. It was airport action that represented the most likely bonanza. Better odds here than cruising or taking your chances on a radio call—a rigged radio at that—though at the St. Francis you could easily end up waiting fifteen or twenty minutes for a $5 ride to the Wharf.
This is one of the pains and attractions of cab driving—the dice are always rolling. In an hourly job there’s the security of knowing what you’ll take home at the end of the day. A cabby never knows. No matter how bad your day or even your week, the chance of scoring the big ride lurks behind every call and every “flag.”
San Francisco cab companies put the allure of the gamble squarely in the drivers’ job description when, in 1978, they backed a ballot proposition that won voter favor. It set up a lease arrangement. Cab company employees were suddenly “independent contractors.” Independence! One of those alluring terms that hides less alluring realities: the end of company health benefits, retirement benefits—any benefits. Independent means you’re on your own, good luck!
As the line at the St. Francis crept forward and my cab inched toward the front of the pack, I kept a close eye on the guests leaving the front door. This one with baggage, airport; that one, in casual clothes, probably heading for the Wharf; just behind them a well-dressed woman with a big Macy’s bag, maybe heading home to the Marina or Russian Hill.
When a man in his forties, wearing a business suit with a suit bag and small suitcase, left the door, my anticipation rose. And when I pulled forward and heard the doorman’s flat-handed whack on the trunk of my blue and white Desoto Cab, I felt grateful—an airport! My annoyance at the doorman’s outstretched and grasping hand (done surreptitiously for the sake of the clientele), as he tossed the luggage in the trunk, was mollified by the security of a $30 trip. I immediately began to calculate my best odds: playing the airport roulette or deadheading back to town.
As my passenger settled into the back, we headed down Powell to Ellis and then down to Stockton, across Market to the 4th Street entrance to the freeway. I looked in the rearview at my benefactor. “What airline?” “United.” He had the fleshy face of someone who was no stranger to a dinner table. His brown hair was short, but long enough to comb to the side. No facial hair. A businessman or a lawyer, I guessed. This was no tourist—too deliberate and matter-of-fact for that.
I was still in my early years of cab driving, which meant I still relished conversations with the anticipation of gleaning some noteworthy exchange or story to pass on to cabby friends at the cab lot, where we waited to turn in our waybills, gates, and dispatcher bribes (tips) for the shift. The appreciation, the enthusiasm for this, which characterized the first few years on the job, and perhaps for some retains its attraction longer, was gradually wearing away, like the tread on cab tires, from the relentless bounding of traffic, the tyranny of repetition.
Perhaps it’s true that every person who steps into a cab is a potential story, but like any kind of mining it takes energy and effort to retrieve the nugget from among the slag of normal chatter. My energy had spiked a bit then, juiced by the good fortune of an airport ride.
I found my passenger was returning to Chicago, or perhaps it was New York, after several days of meetings. “I enjoy your city,” he said, as many visitors do, “but I didn’t see much this time—too many long meetings.” What kind of meetings were those? “Lawyer business, man, legal strategies and all that.” A lawyer, as I’d guessed, but the “man” in there spoke of something less straight than his appearance conveyed. I was searching for another handle for the conversation when he offered, “I was meeting with some of your local growers’ people. Well, maybe not exactly local—Salinas, that’s not that far from here, am I right?” “Not too far,” I said. “What kind of growers?” “Lettuce, vegetable growers,” he said, “looking to get out from under their union contracts.” “And you’re part of that?” I asked. “Legal advice, strategies, that sort of thing. Those contracts are legally binding agreements. You can’t just drop them. There are issues that need to be considered.” He paused and patted his breast pocket as though he was making sure of something, an airline ticket maybe?
“And if the companies go out of business, then return to operation under a different name, they’re no longer bound by the legal commitments of the previous company?” I asked. In the rearview I saw the passenger look up. “Sounds like you have a legal mind. You might be in the wrong business.” He laughed. “Well, I’ve heard about that kind of thing happening in Salinas,” I said. “Read about it?” he asked. “Ya, I guess so. Don’t remember where.”
Actually I knew a fair amount about Salinas, unions, and lettuce growers. I’d spent most of the previous decade working in the lettuce fields, and I knew people working in the fields there. And I knew things were going in a bad direction for them. But I didn’t feel like explaining that. I wanted to hear what my rider had to say.
The lawyer was frank. He discussed dumping unions as another of his profession might explain the writing of a will or the drawing up of a contract. He was interested in technical, legal questions, like an architect consumed by the design and engineering details of a building, not how it will affect the neighborhood in which it is built. Or like the technocrat designing a bomb, oblivious, numbed, or just removed from the deadly consequences of its architecture. But there was also a hint of the cynical there, as though he understood there was something foul in this business.
The conversation had taken an unexpected turn, and I found the trip, which I’d sought to make as quickly as possible, too short to fill my curiosity. I eased my foot slightly off the pedal as the names Hanson, Sun Harvest, Cal Coastal, Salinas Lettuce Farmers Co-op, and others rolled out in my passenger’s description. He saw bored lawyers scratching notes on legal pads and well-dressed growers’ representatives discussing legal strategies; I saw farm labor buses, their sides freshly repainted, and lettuce workers with knives sticking out their back pockets standing in the chill of a morning street trying to catch a job, with the trepidations of soldiers defeated in battle, hoping for lenient treatment from their captors.
When we hit the curb at United, I popped the trunk and set his bags by the curb. Then I said what I felt I had to say, if only to relieve the pressure that was building during the conversation. “You know, when the growers drop their union contracts the workers lose their seniority, their health benefits, even their jobs. This causes real suffering to them, their families, their children—everyone is affected. And these contracts were won through long, tough struggle.” The lawyer looked up from his bags. He handed me two twenties. “No one said life was fair.” And, I thought, glibness is a lot easier when it’s not your ass being ground into the dirt. The lawyer gave a hint of a shrug as he looked at me. It seemed he was about to stop and say something more, but he picked up his bags and all that came out was, “Keep the change, bud.” He headed off to his flight.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The Black Panther Party.  They built free clinics.  The fed children.  They educated themselves and a myriad of others.  The kept an eye on the police.  They picked up the gun to defend themselves and their people.  They influenced an untold number of peopple.  They scared the beejeezus  out of the oppresors and the exploiters, the racists, and, yes, the pigs.  They stood tall.  They were targeted by COINTELPRO,  attacked, shot, jailed, murdered.  They withstood it and they led.  The Black Panther Party.

The Black Panther Party was of, by and for the Black community.  I don't know if they ever intended to be anything more than that, but by God, they were.  

Personally, I would never have become the person I am without the existance of the Black Panther Party.  Their influence on this white boy living in the heart of America, in the belly of the beast was immense.  No group of people impacted me more then then the Black Panther Party.  Living in Lawrence, Kansas, I had a poster of Huey Newton on my door and Pete O'Neal on my wall.  I attended rallies where Pete spoke in Kansas City.  I listened and I heard.  I learned.  I was moved to act in ways beyond what I thought possible. Sitting in prison, their steadfastness in the face of much worse adversity helped keep my head above water.  The Black Panther Party.

I don't think there ever really was or ever has been ansything quite like the Black Panther Party.  They turned a nation on its head.  Their cry for justice was heard around the world.

They really did talk the talk and they really did walk the walk.

They paid a high price and we all owe them...for all that they did and all that they accomplished.

The Black Panther Party.

The following information about the film about the Panthers, "Seize The time: The Eighth Defendant," is from and Indiegogo.  At this site, you can make contributions to support the film.

Reach Cinema writes:

”SEIZE THE TIME: The Eighth Defendant “ is an independent film that will contribute to how we as a people and the youth of earthly nations of peoples can realize the true history in our USA, not only  trough the scope of cinema, but come away with a true understanding as to why we must never let such murderous racism and fascism as the COINTELPRO-police attacks to never happen again. 

REACH Cinema Entertainment, LLC has been established to produce, " SEIZE THE TIME: The Eighth Defendant ” a feature length film that will chronicle the legendary life of Bobby Seale, the founding Chairman and national organizer of the Black Panther Party.  A dramatized story of how the 1960’s government power structure with the US Attorney General’s & the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) under the Nixon administration, moved to destroy and smash the  Black Panther Party (BPP) and how the Black Panthers resisted and weathered everything the fascists threw at them. 

Seize the Time: The Eighth Defendant

"SEIZE THE TIME: The Eighth Defendant" a feature length film dramatizing the life of Bobby Seale, the founding Chairman organizer of the Black Panther Party.

Bobby Seale, Chairman, co-founder and national organizer of the Black Panther Party is producing a biographical feature motion picture which will dramatize his life and the tumultuous 1960’s and 70’s, the era in which the Black Panthers emerged as the prominent revolutionary civil rights movement of it’s time.  Bobby and his partner Stephen Edwards, a filmmaker and former member of the Panthers, have written a screenplay with the title, ‘Seize the Time, The Eighth Defendant.” “Seize the Time” is the title of Bobby’s autobiography, which has sold over one million copies since it was first published in 1970. A studio executive at Fox Search Light Pictures introduced the concept of producing a dramatized feature instead of a traditional documentary to Bobby and Stephen during a meeting one year ago. 

For over thirty-five years, Bobby has been given the privilege of speaking to hundreds of thousands of students on college campuses worldwide. Since the late 1970’s audiences have been mesmerized by Bobby’s charismatic speaking ability as he relates his most personal experiences during a time in American history that helped shape today’s politics.  Bobby talks about the people in the Black Panther Party, their supporters and the various social programs they created; how they prevailed in a world where they were persecuted and their lives and those of their friends and families were threatened. 

The image of Bobby Seale chained, gagged, and bound to a chair in a Chicago courtroom is one that lives in America’s national consciousness. This film tells the story of how he got there, and how he survived. It comes from Bobby Seale’s memories, with his approval and in his voice.  It offers dramatic and essential insights into United States history and the conflicts and contradictions that reverberate to this day.

For the first time, millions of people will have an opportunity to experience these stories in movie theaters across America and the world. As the film’s producers, Bobby and Stephen will coordinate the development and production of the screenplay from written word to motion picture. This will be achieved through the hiring of a professional crew of talented production personnel as well as contracting box office talent to play characters in the film.

With the completion of the screenplay, the project has now entered the pre-production stage. We need funds to complete this critical phase of the production, which prepares the film to be financed and distributed by a major studio.  You, our supporters , can play an essential role in getting this film project financed, produced and into theaters . This passionate, historical, and poignant film can then be seen by generations of people who lived during that period and those who did not.

Our objective is to raise $420,000. The proceeds will be utilized in the following ways: 

To create a budget break down of the screenplay; create a shooting schedule that can be executed.

Design a storyboard of each scene of the screenplay so that the director and cinematographer can design a shooting blue print.

To cast the film with actors whose marketability maximizes the film’s commercial value.

Contributors can donate from $25 to $10,000. For your generous donation you will receive an assortment of gifts that include Bobby Seale’s autobiographies, historical Black Panther Posters, DVD documentaries on the Black Panther Party as well as your own personal DVD of the movie “Seize the Time: The Eighth Defendant” once it’s released. 

If you were part of these times, or know the importance of documenting the struggles and successes of this historical period, or simply want to be part of an exciting life changing project, please contribute.

To view a video of Bobby Seale discussing the film,

"SEIZE THE TIME: The Eighth Defendant"