Must Read Roundup

From Gaza to Elon Musk and underground economies, these stories are worth your time.

There has been a lot going on this week, and it wasn’t easy narrowing down a list of recommended articles for you all. I’m also dealing with a lot of pain this week (as some of you know, I have a chronic back problem that’s flaring up), and I’m a bit over-scheduled at present. So, curating this weekly roundup almost got away from me entirely. To be honest, I’m sure there will be weeks when that happens. But I read some great articles during the last week that I wanted to be sure to share with you all, and given the severity of the situation in Gaza, I wanted to share a couple of pieces that I’ve found helpful on that subject as well.

Palestinian resistance in Gaza launches unprecedented surprise attack on Israel by Tareq S. Hajjaj.  “In the early morning hours of Saturday, October 7, the Palestinian resistance in the besieged Gaza Strip launched an unprecedented surprise multi-prong attack on Israel, including firing a barrage of rockets toward Israeli territory while simultaneously carrying out a ground offensive into nearby Israeli towns which breached the Israeli Gaza barrier and overwhelmed surrounding Israeli military posts.”

Gaza’s shock attack has terrified Israelis. It should also unveil the context by Haggai Matar. “Contrary to what many Israelis are saying, and while the army was clearly caught completely off guard by this invasion, this is not a ‘unilateral’ or ‘unprovoked’ attack. The dread Israelis are feeling right now, myself included, is a sliver of what Palestinians have been feeling on a daily basis under the decades-long military regime in the West Bank, and under the siege and repeated assaults on Gaza.”

Elon Musk is a racist by Paris Marx. “That it’s taken so long for so many people to realize that the apartheid billionaire might have held onto some racist ideas from his upbringing is yet another example of how the media failed us and allowed Elon Musk to accumulate the power he’s now wielding against migrants, trans people, and many other groups in society. Billionaires like Musk are not just a threat to marginalized people, but to democracy as a whole because of how they can warp the media and political systems to their ends.”

5 Things You Need to Know About the Latest Violence in Palestine/Israel (IMEU). “Before the latest surge in violence, Israeli soldiers had already killed more than 250 Palestinians, including at least 47 children, in the occupied West Bank, more than any year since the Second Intifada, or uprising, against Israel’s occupation in the early 2000s.”

Cop Cities in a Militarized World by Azadeh Shahshahani. “This new reality for U.S. environmental activists is one that organized popular movements in Central America, where the police and military have received extensive U.S. training for decades, know all too well.”

Indicting anarchism, inventing ‘terror’: From 1898 to Cop City by William C. Anderson. “What’s certain is no anarchist group in the history of this country has ever lived up to the relentless killing with impunity that the police and state exercise daily. Old propaganda tells us anarchism is a major threat while the state grants legitimacy to its forces that kill relentlessly based on race. This is what we should be collectively putting on trial, not the people resisting such an arrangement.”

NYC Nannies Built an Underground Care Economy That Should Inspire US Policy by Julia Kopstein. “Operating in the shadows, these workers have created microeconomies of their own, where they are able to share resources, and protect their jobs and pay. Transcending basic notions of mutual aid, the operations of this underground network allow this group of nannies to send lifelines to one another. Their informal economies offer lessons in redistribution, the value of unionization and the power of comradery.”

As Incarcerated Women, We’re Subjected to State Rape by Elizabeth Hawes. “We are continually told that DOC policies are in place for our safety. Yet the DOC’s policies overlook their own involvement in invoking trauma. Who reviews the consequences of the methodical stripping of incarcerated women? No one examines the fallout of state rape.”

As a Black Woman Accused of Killing a White Man, I Was Never Innocent Until Proven Guilty by Tracy McCarter. “As a nurse, I knew better than many the danger I faced when he put me in chokeholds, simultaneously compressing both my carotid arteries. I knew each time he did this, he could easily choke me to death.”

Tent Camp Debate Highlights Uneven Burdens in Migrant Response by Wendy Wei and Jim Daley. “‘The way the mayor’s office is using the term ‘mutual aid’ seems like marketing,’ Mari, a volunteer with the Edgewater Mutual Aid Network, told the Weekly. ‘Mutual aid is working in solidarity with people. It’s knowing that people are the experts in their own lives . . . Mutual aid is not in alignment with helping take on city jobs. The whole relationship between the city and volunteers is exploitative, and the people who suffer the most are the asylum seekers.’”

The Case for Child Welfare Abolition by Roxanna Asgarian. “It’s hard to overstate how little mainstream news attention has been paid to other problems with the system, which critics say is more akin to law enforcement than social services, given its ability to surveil parents and hand down the ultimate punishment — terminating the legal bonds between parent and child.”

These are heavy topics, so if you’re in need of something uplifting, and you haven’t checked out my conversation with Patty Krawec yet, I really recommend giving it a read or a listen.

Book wise, I have been reading Practicing New Worlds: Abolition and Emergent Strategies by Andrea J. Ritchie. I definitely recommend checking it out. You can preorder it now from AK Press. The book drops on October 24.

I know we’re all navigating a lot this weekend, including a lot of tragedy and loss. If you are struggling right now, please be gentle with yourself. To stay in the fight, we all need to be cared for. Don’t leave yourself behind.

Much love,