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A week of Columbia University not caring about Palestine, Sudan starving, and half of America unable to afford rent

A re-reading of the news through an anarchist lens

Design by Naomi Gennery @nn.aa.ii

Hi, I’m Marcela: I’m a comedian, I live in Brooklyn, and I really like to tell people how to feel about the news. After wowing zoomers all over on TikTok by giving them news with a sense of humour and anarchy, I decided to start a weekly Sunday newsletter to share my feelings about more news. 

My weekly newsletter has evolved into this beautiful Tuesday weekly news column for shado which also covers international news. I hope the newsletter keeps you informed and makes you laugh a little. We live in hell and I believe humour helps keep this place a little bit cooler.

I’m sharing my feelings about Columbia University not caring about its Pro-Palestinian students, people in Sudan starving, and half of Americans not being able to afford rent. 

Onto the news… 

News that made me say the purpose of education is not to give war criminals a good resumé

Pro-Palestinian Columbia University students protesting the genocide in Gaza on campus were attacked with dangerous chemicals by former IOF soldiers. 

Instead of supporting the students who were attacked, the university’s initial act was to scold the students for holding an unsanctioned protest. After being shamed on social media, Columbia pretended to care about the safety of all its students. 

No one is expecting the administrators of Columbia University to be like parents who will kiss your boo boo after you fall off the dining table. However, blaming students for being victims of an act of chemical warfare is something only a truly evil institution would do. Columbia likes to pretend like it’s this beacon of intelligence when in reality it’s just a beacon of colonialism. 

Columbia has been and will always be a coloniser as long as the so-called United States of America exists – and this is not the first time students have protested the school’s support for apartheid. In 1985 students protested the school’s investment in “corporations operating in Apartheid South Africa.” The university did not throw these students a party for standing against apartheid, it “threatened to expel them.”  

Let’s be honest. Any institution that is lauded by corporations and the government is usually a beacon of colonialism. Corporations and governments are run by colonisers so if they like you, it means you are a coloniser. Just ask the Black Panthers. Neither corporations nor the government will commend you for being a beacon of excellence if your goal is decolonisation. 

However, they will use your idea and not give you credit because colonisers don’t have any good ideas. For example, the Black Panthers gave the US government the idea for free student lunches; the government went to war against them. Columbia and other ivy league schools educate future war criminals (presidents of the so-called United States); the government says they are great.    

We should start calling these “esteemed” educational institutions out for what they are and stop supporting their existence. I’m not just saying this because I’m not a white man who plays lacrosse and is guaranteed admission to Columbia or other ivy league schools. I’m saying this because it’s heartbreaking seeing coloniser institutions continue to be lauded as places where people should aspire to go. 

Maybe I’ve smoked so much weed that I’ve become delusional, but what if we all decided that colonisers don’t deserve respect and started acting accordingly? What if no one applied to these fancy Ivy League schools, or any school that has decided protesting genocide violates school policy? Maybe education shouldn’t be about giving aspiring war criminals a great resume so they can run for office. And maybe, just maybe, we can start having a conversation of what education should look like in our society.

News that made me say we should get rid of leaders

People are starving in Sudan because of the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). It’s beyond upsetting that “leaders” seeking power are able to displace, murder, and starve millions of people without any consequences. In fact, these leaders bringing death and destruction can move around freely like international pop stars with terrible stylists to discuss the terms of ending the war while people are starving. 

The leader of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, went on an East African tour in December, where he dined with the presidents of Ethiopia and Uganda to discuss how to bring about peace in Sudan. The prime minister of Ethiopia, Minister Abiy Ahmed, posted a photo at the restaurant with Mohamed as if they are just two besties friends out to brunch. I’m surprised he didn’t post the photo on Instagram and caption it, “besties peacetalking.” I simply would never want to be photographed with someone who thinks it’s okay to murder people so he can lead them but I, unlike world leaders, have standards. 

I know what you might be thinking: hey there, Marcela, you are a stand up comedian and know nothing about diplomacy. Yes, I’m not a diplomat and I understand that majoring in international relations doesn’t make me one. No, I’ve never facilitated a peace talk unless you count the one time I was trying to get my friends to agree on a restaurant. However, it does feel like I’m living in a weird simulation when people carrying out the violence are the ones talking about how to bring about peace. You know you could bring about peace by simply not being a murderous power hungry monster, right?

An easy way to end murder is to just stop killing people. An easy way to end starvation is to not displace them so they have access to land to grow their own food. The problem is that starvation and murder are viewed by world leaders as acceptable consequences of seeking power, because these leaders usually don’t have to deal with consequences. 

It’s not even a situation where a teacher who gives a lot of homework has to then deal with reading a lot of terrible papers. These leaders can simply not allow aid trucks to feed people while eating at restaurants. 

I would never wish ill upon another human, but sometimes I think maybe we should drop all these leaders in the unspeakable situations they’ve created in their quest for power. I know it sounds petty. However, maybe if these people calling for the bombs to be dropped were on the receiving end of those bombs, they would be more thoughtful. 

Obviously I don’t want any bombs to be dropped on anyone, even if their name is Joe Biden. What I want is the end of all bombing, all wars, and all starvation. The only way peace can happen is not through peace talks by world leaders responsible for the violence. We can only have peace when we get rid of all world leaders and govern ourselves.

News that made me say stop waiting for Nancy Pelosi to free you

A study has revealed that at least half of all US renters can’t afford rent. Which means 100% of all US renters should stop paying rent. No one should pay rent because rent is a tax to live. We are born on this planet and we should be able to take up space on a large rock without having to pay a tax. 

💌

Leopards don’t have to pay rent so why should we? Sure leopards are commodified in other ways, like being placed in zoos. However, I’ve never seen a leopard barista. I guarantee you if leopards had opposable thumbs Starbucks would try to find a way to make them make decaf soy lattes. Until the leopards unionise. 

When you are forced to pay a tax to live, it means you are forced to work to live. What’s the word they use to describe forcing people to work? I think it’s slavery. You might be reading this and thinking: No Marcela, you have gone way too far. I have been accused many times of being dramatic but I assure you I’m not doing this for the drama. When I start crying because the waffle place I wanted to eat at is closed, that’s being dramatic. 

I’m not the first person who has ever used the term wage-slavery to describe the situation which most of us find ourselves in. Seriously, just go to the Anarchist Library and google wage-slavery.

Additionally, did you know that property rights originate from Roman slavery laws? When I first read this I needed to take a long walk. Every single time I think I’ve learned everything about the terrible world we live in, I find out about something even more awful. Knowledge about the world we live in is like an infinite nested Russian doll of evil. The more you learn the more evil it gets. 

Think about it though. If you humans live on land, and someone says they own the land the humans live on, doesn’t that make the people who live on that land the property of the human who owns the land? Which makes sense why the person you pay rent to is called a landlord. They are literally your lord! 

Even Roman jurists concluded that property rights are unnatural because slavery is unnatural. If the people where the law came from say the law is unnatural, you should listen to them. Just like when your weed dealer says you should be careful with those edibles, you should listen to them. If you don’t listen, you will end up in a very uncomfortable situation. Which is being very high or paying a tax to live. So if you want to live a comfortable existence, stop paying rent and monitor how much edibles you take. 

Notice how I say stop paying rent and not call your representative. This is because the government actually enforces your wage-slavery. Who do landlords call to evict you when you don’t pay your rent? The government! Stop waiting for Nancy Pelosi to save you. She’s busy inside trading

Only we can free ourselves.

A moment in Black history

I took a break from the news to tell you about one of my favourite moments in Black History.

@feelthenewswithmarcela Black excellence includes biting people! Read Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman ! Subscribe to my newsletter. Come to my show tomorrow at Friends and lovers in Brooklyn for news! #feelthenews #books #blackhistorymonth #saidiyahartman #blackanarchists #leftisttiktok #leftistsoftiktok ♬ original sound – Feel the News

See ya later,

Marcela

What can you do?

Design by Naomi Gennery @nn.aa.ii
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