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A week of record flooding in NYC, poisonous Californian countertops and a potential worker strike in Nigeria

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.

I’m sharing my feelings about the floods in so-called New York City, poisonous countertops in California, and the workers’ strike in Nigeria.

Onto the news… 

News that made me feel the police should be used as human jet skis

New York City experienced a flash flood which caused cars to float around roads like Noah’s Ark. There were waterfalls in the subway which reminded me of Glacier National Park. This is what happens when a city is dealt a trifecta of manmade evil: horrible infrastructure, global climate change, and a mayor who did not read his job description.

The New York City subway is horribly maintained – because why waste money on making sure the train system doesn’t turn into a water park when you can spend it on the police so they can harass poor people who can’t pay for the train? Bonus if you can spend money on a police robot to “monitor” the subway. 

Here is a photo of the mayor of New York City attempting to make a heart sign with a police robot. The only thing Eric Adams can love more than a human police officer is a robot police officer because it doesn’t need lunch breaks, it costs less money, and it lets him pretend it loves him. You can only make the heart sign with someone who loves you, right?

The police are obviously useless when it comes to keeping people safe during a flood. The police are actually worse than useless. Something useless at least does not do harm, you can ignore it.  

When the whole city was flooding, the police were busy harassing unhoused people. This should answer everyone’s question of whether the police are going to be helpful during the apocalypse – the answer is a resounding NO.

Global climate change has increased the intensity of rainfall by 13% since the 1970s. Time for New Yorkers to invest in jet skis, unless they want to swim in a bus on their commute. Yes, the rain was so bad on Friday that a bus was filled with water.

Then there is Eric Adams. I personally don’t know what the mayor is supposed to do other than give capitalists more money, and as that’s what Eric Adams is doing, I guess he’s doing his job. But that’s not what the people of New York City expect. That’s because a lot of people still believe the government is supposed to help. I wish I could hand each and every one of them a copy of Anarchism and the Black Revolution so their feelings wouldn’t be hurt every time a politician disappointed them.

The people of NYC expect Eric Adams to warn people that a flood is coming so they don’t send their children to school that day. They expect him to have a conference early in the morning before the city turns into a lake. However, the people of New York should know by now that Eric Adams’ only job is to make sure rich people feel good. That’s why he wants to allocate the entire city budget to the NYPD, and he was attending a fundraiser when the city was literally in the midst of an apocalypse.

If they read Anarchism and the Black Revolution they would know Eric Adams is doing his job.

News that made me say countertops are not a basic need

Predominantly Latinx immigrant workers in the place called California are getting silicosis. Silicosis is a very dangerous lung disease caused by particles from engineered stone used for countertops. Workers get the disease when particles travel to their lungs during the process of grinding and polishing engineered stone. 

1 in 5 workers who work on engineered stone are at risk of getting the diseases. The obvious solution to this would be to ban this dangerous product, but this is capitalism and in capitalism things just don’t make sense.

It’s okay for people not to have countertops so that someone can live. If people have to cut their vegetables on their laps until we find a solution, so be it.

However, the obvious is turned into the complicated under capitalism because making money is given as much weight as human life. Capitalism turns the obvious into the complicated because the easy solution for everything that ails us is to get rid of capitalism. Capitalists don’t want to get rid of capitalism. So capitalists like to act like the problems created by capitalism are calculus instead of simple arithmetic.

That’s what’s exactly happening with the engineered stone. I would have thought we can all agree that no one needs to die so people can have fake stone countertops, but the manufacturers of engineered stone disagree. These manufacturers are not saying yes people should die so you can have your breakfast on fake stone because that would be frowned upon. What they are saying is that their extremely dangerous product isn’t actually dangerous, it’s just being used incorrectly. The correct use for this product would be to stop using it. 

The manufacturers are claiming that if proper work regulations are used, the engineering stone will be safe. Additionally, they are stating banning the product would have “severe economic consequences”. Obviously these manufacturers’ souls have been replaced by a dark hole that only feeds on money so no one should listen to them. When a fifth of the people who work on your product are dying, the product needs to go bye-bye like NSYNC said.

Then there’s the state of California, the all powerful state that decides what happens within its borders. The state doesn’t have to listen to manufacturers; they could just ban the product. However, as we all know, the state and capitalists have brunch together. So instead of banning this dangerous product, the state is considering regulations, and we all know businesses are great about following regulations! (That was a joke. No they are not. They break them because their dark insides need to be fed by money.)

💌

Given the state and manufacturers refuse to do anything to protect workers, all that is left for workers who get sick is to sue manufacturers for falling ill. For community outreach groups to let workers know about the dangers of engineered stone. For consumers to reject the use of engineered stone for their countertops. And for us to topple capitalism. Only we can keep each other safe, not a group of people whose dark insides need to be fed by money to survive.

News that made me ask whether there are enough police to make us go to work

Nigeria’s president is increasing the wages of workers out of the kindness of his heart. He has listened to the complaints from the people of Nigeria about the high cost of living and has decided to do the right thing. If you haven’t realised by now, I’m being extremely sarcastic. That is not the truth. In this world that’s not real news, that’s the beginning of an Onion article.

No, the president of Nigeria is not raising wages because he understands the hardship of not being a rich person who drinks tea from a gilded tea cup. I don’t know what rich people do but I assume this is something useless enough a rich person would do it.

The president of Nigeria is raising wages following calls for an indefinite strike by labour unions. Workers don’t get anything from the kindness of the government or corporate lords, they have to resort to threats. Workers always have to say, if you are not nice to us, then we will stop renting our bodies to you and you will have nothing to pour into your gilded tea cups.

Now the president of Nigeria is claiming that the increase in wages was because he does understand the plight of the regular person. He said, “There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago”. Of course this is a lie. If you really thought that,Mr.I-don’t-care-about-anything-other-than-my-gilded-teacup, you would stop colonisers from pillaging Nigeria’s resources and return land back to the people.

I don’t want to make this about the empty suit who runs Nigeria though, I want to make this about the people who sew the suits. I’m really happy the labour unions in Nigeria across industries came together to call a general strike because it reinforces the power of workers. Additionally, it shows the impact workers organising across industries can have.

I truly hope the workers use this power to get more than a raise. My dream is one day workers coordinate to stop working for the capitalists and start doing only the things that serve them and their communities. What if instead of striking for raises, all workers decided to walk away from bullshit jobs and just did the work of caring. What if the people who decide where to put that annoying ad on a website decided to grow food and take care of their grandmas.

I know this sounds like a fairytale; however, I’m not dreaming of a toxic mirror to tell me who is the fairest of us all. I’m dreaming of a world which I think is possible. Think about it. Every single day all the workers in Nigeria wake up in the morning to do things for the capitalists and colonisers.

Like all workers across the globe they are using their collective power to maintain oppression. What if all workers decided to use their collective power to take care of each other. If they can use this power to get a small raise from the government, they can definitely use this power to divest from capitalism entirely.

Sure they’ll send the police after us, but do they have enough police to make all of us go to work?

The apocalypse is here

I took a break from the news to tell you which skills I learned from my corporate job to prepare me for the apocalypse.

@feelthenewswithmarcela How my job has prepared me for the apocalypse #antiworktiktok #standup #antiwork ♬ original sound – Feel the News

 

What can you do?

Design by Naomi Gennery @nn.aa.ii

 

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