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A week of corporations stealing from workers, the people of Ratnagiri fighting against the building of an oil refinery and UPS workers authorising a strike

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 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.

Today I’m sharing my feelings on corporations stealing from workers, governments subsidising the destruction of the people and the planet, UPS workers authorising a strike, and people in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra in India fighting an oil refinery. 

Onto the news… 

News that made me say abolition is already here for corporations

Did you ever wonder what it would feel like to walk into a grocery store, take whatever you want, walk away without paying, and not get arrested? Me too! I think about it every day. Turns out all you have to do is be a corporation and you’ll find out. Although the United States says stealing is a crime, this only applies to people who are not corporations.

It turns out that “Workers in the US have an estimated $50bn-plus stolen from them every year,” according to the Economic Policy Institute but no one is getting taken away in handcuffs. Meanwhile workers who steal from their workplaces are usually arrested. I actually don’t think it’s possible to steal from your workplace – that’s called reclaiming your time or liberating goods. So next time you liberate all the pens from your office supply closet, call yourself a revolutionary, not a thief.

Nonetheless, the fact that corporations can steal from workers without consequences while we can’t liberate items from our jobs means that prison abolition is here for corporations. Whenever I tell people that we should abolish prisons they always ask, but what are we going to do with all the terrible criminals? Well I’m here to tell you those criminals you are worried about are being supported by the government to steal.

Wage theft “surpass[es] all robberies, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts combined,” but for some reason the news is only worried about thefts by people who are liberating items from pharmacies and grocery stores. This is obviously because the news is being told by the people who are stealing from workers. How else would you explain why Anderson Cooper, a very wealthy man, is telling the news on CNN instead of me, a pothead anarchist.

So yes, the government and the media are gaslighting us into thinking abolition would lead to a dystopia when in reality we already live in a crime-filled dystopia where the biggest criminals are rewarded with fancy yachts.

News that made me wish I was wrong

Governments all over the world are giving corporations money to destroy the climate and people. Honestly, when I write sentences like this I wish I was one of those people in a basement with a tinfoil hat connecting my “findings” with the yarn I took from all my sweaters to prove that the government is responsible for everything bad. I wish I was just another person with so much free time that I made all this up in my head. I’m not though.

Governments all over the globe are giving fossil fuels, farming, and fishing corporations trillions of dollars in subsidies. Yes, those fossil fuels. The ones that are causing global climate change that cause wildfires in Canada which turned the air in New York City into poison for an entire week. And if you are thinking, wow this is really bad that the government is paying for bad air quality, well it gets worse.

Governments aren’t just giving money to corporations to ruin our lives, they also spend more money to ruin our lives than to improve our lives. “According to the World Bank, many countries spend more on harmful subsidies than they do on health, education or poverty reduction.

I think it’s so funny that the World Bank mentioned poverty reduction as something that governments should be doing when the governments are the ones that create poverty. By funny I mean hahaha this is so funny we should start a revolution now because if we don’t this horror film we live in is going to end with the monsters winning.

News that made me feel like we should strap a camera to Joe Biden’s head

Unionised UPS workers have voted to authorise a strike if the workers and the corporation don’t agree on a new contract by 31st July. 97% of the workers voted to authorise the strike, which is amazing because I can’t get 97% of my friend group of three people to decide when we can see each other. Seriously friends, if thousands of workers can come together to take on an evil corporation, we can decide when to meet at the park.

The UPS workers have voted to go on strike for the main reasons why workers generally go on strike, a greedy corporation wants to suck their life force for profits. For UPS in particular, workers are demanding “higher pay; the elimination of so-called two-tier wages, where newer workers are paid less than older employees for the same job; the removal of surveillance cameras from delivery trucks; and more full-time jobs.

These are all very reasonable demands given that UPS made record profits in 2022 and no one should have to deal with their employer watching them through a camera as they work. Actually, as the employers of politicians, maybe we the citizenry should attach cameras on Joe Biden and all of congress members’ foreheads so we can monitor who they speak to.

Nonetheless, the threat of a strike has already led to some concessions by UPS to add air conditioners and other “cooling measures” in the delivery trucks. This is proof that collective action is the only way we can improve our lives. Now let’s use that collective action to stop corporations forever.

News that made me remind you Dracula isn’t real

The people of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra in India are protesting the government’s plan to build an oil refinery in their home because the oil refinery will destroy their livelihoods. The government claims the refinery is “a non-polluting green refinery.”

I know very little about oil refineries other than they are terrible. However, given that oil is literally destroying our planet, I’m assuming that a non-polluting green refinery is as real as Dracula.

One thing you can always count on though is for governments to lie for their corporate overlords.

💌

I know I spend a lot of time talking about the evils of the United States government. I would like to clarify that while the US government is the most evil because it has the most power, all governments are bad. Governments are like sugar-free candy, they shouldn’t exist.

While governments exist we should do everything in our power to prevent them from harming us and the world we live in. Of course any resistance against the state will be met by state violence as has happened to the people of Ratnagiri. They have been beaten by the police and arrested.

However, the people of Ratnagiri’s actions have led to growing support across the state of Maharashtra to resist the refinery proving that acts of resistance inspire support just like smoking weed around your friend can inspire them to get high.

See ya next week,

Marcela

What can you do?

  • If you are looking for something to read during Juneteenth, here is Black Anarchism 101
  • To celebrate, Junteenth (yes I celebrate by writing), I wrote about why representation will not lead to the liberation of Black people. READ IT HERE
  • If you enjoy my writing and would like me to be able to do more of it please become a paying Feel the News subscriber
  • Read my previous column HERE
Design by Naomi Gennery @nn.aa.ii
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