• View from Nowhere. Is it the press’s job to create a community that transcends borders?

    A few years ago, on a plane somewhere between Singapore and Dubai, I read Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities (1983). I was traveling to report on the global market for passports—how the ultrawealthy can legally buy citizenship or residence virtually anywhere they like, even as 10 million stateless people languish, unrecognized by any country. In the process, I was trying to wrap my head around why national identity meant so much to so many, yet so little to my passport-peddling sources. Their world was the very image of Steve Bannon’s globalist nightmare: where you can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many passports.

    Anderson didn’t address the sale of citizenship, which only took off in earnest in the past decade; he did argue that nations, nationalism, and nationality are about as organic as Cheez Whiz. The idea of a nation, he writes, is a capitalist chimera. It is a collective sense of identity processed, shelf-stabilized, and packaged before being disseminated, for a considerable profit, to a mass audience in the form of printed books, news, and stories. He calls this “print-capitalism.”

    Per Anderson, after the printing press was invented, nearly 600 years ago, enterprising booksellers began publishing the Bible in local vernacular languages (as opposed to the elitist Latin), “set[ting] the stage for the modern nation” by allowing ordinary citizens to participate in the same conversations as the upper classes. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the proliferation (and popularity) of daily newspapers further collapsed time and space, creating an “extraordinary mass ceremony” of reading the same things at the same moment.

    “An American will never meet, or even know the names of more than a handful of his 240,000,000–odd fellow Americans,” Anderson wrote. “He has no idea of what they are up to at any one time.” But with the knowledge that others are reading the same news, “he has complete confidence in their steady, anonymous, simultaneous activity.”

    Should the press be playing a role in shaping not national identities, but transnational ones—a sense that we’re all in it together?

    Of course, national presses enabled more explicit efforts by the state itself to shape identity. After the US entered World War I, for instance, President Woodrow Wilson set out to make Americans more patriotic through his US Committee on Public Information. Its efforts included roping influential mainstream journalists into advocating American-style democracy by presenting US involvement in the war in a positive light, or simply by referring to Germans as “Huns.” The committee also monitored papers produced by minorities to make sure they supported the war effort not as Indians, Italians, or Greeks, but as Americans. Five Irish-American papers were banned, and the German-American press, reacting to negative stereotypes, encouraged readers to buy US bonds to support the war effort.

    The US media played an analogous role in selling the public on the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But ever since then, in the digital economy, its influence on the national consciousness has waned. Imagined Communities was published seven years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, twenty-two years before Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat, and a couple of decades before the internet upended print-capitalism as the world knew it (one of Anderson’s footnotes is telling, if quaint: “We still have no giant multinationals in the world of publishing”).

    Since Trump—a self-described nationalist—became a real contender for the US presidency, many news organizations have taken to looking inward: consider the running obsession with the president’s tweets, for instance, or the nonstop White House palace intrigue (which the president invites readily).

    Meanwhile, the unprofitability of local and regional papers has contributed to the erosion of civics, which, down the line, makes it easier for billionaires to opt out of old “imagined communities” and join new ones based on class and wealth, not citizenship. And given the challenges humanity faces—climate change, mass migration, corporate hegemony, and our relationships to new technologies—even if national papers did make everyone feel like they shared the same narrative, a renewed sense of national pride would prove impotent in fighting world-historic threats that know no borders.

    Should the press, then, be playing an analogous role in shaping not national identities, but transnational ones—a sense that we’re all in it together? If it was so important in shaping national identity, can it do so on a global scale?

    Like my passport-buying subjects, I am what Theresa May, the former British prime minister, might call a “citizen of nowhere.” I was born in one place to parents from another, grew up in a third, and have lived and traveled all over. That informs my perspective: I want deeply for there to be a truly cosmopolitan press corps, untethered from national allegiances, regional biases, class divisions, and the remnants of colonial exploitation. I know that’s utopian; the international working class is hardly a lucrative demographic against which publishers can sell ads. But we seem to be living in a time of considerable upheaval and opportunity. Just as the decline of religiously and imperially organized societies paved the way for national alternatives, then perhaps today there is a chance to transcend countries’ boundaries, too.

    Does the US media help create a sense of national identity? If nationalism means putting the interests of one nation—and what its citizens are interested in—before more universal concerns, then yes. Most journalists working for American papers, websites, and TV write in English with a national audience (or regional time zone) in mind, which affects how we pitch, source, frame, and illustrate a story—which, in turn, influences our readers, their country’s politics, and, down the line, the world. But a news peg isn’t an ideological form of nationalism so much as a practical or methodological one. The US press feeds off of more pernicious nationalisms, too: Donald Trump’s false theory about Barack Obama being “secretly” Kenyan, disseminated by the likes of Fox and The Daily Caller, comes to mind.

    That isn’t to say that global news outlets don’t exist in the US. When coaxing subscribers, the Financial Times, whose front page often includes references to a dozen different countries, openly appeals to their cosmopolitanism. “Be a global citizen. Become an FT Subscriber,” read a recent banner ad, alongside a collage featuring the American, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, and European Union flags (though stories like the recent “beginner’s guide to buying a private island” might tell us something about what kind of global citizen they’re appealing to).

    “I don’t think we try to shape anyone’s identity at all,” Gillian Tett, the paper’s managing editor for the US, says. “We recognize two things: that the world is more interconnected today than it’s ever been, and that these connections are complex and quite opaque. We think it’s critical to try to illuminate them.”

    For Tett, who has a PhD in social anthropology, money serves as a “neutral, technocratic” starting point through which to understand—and tie together—the world. “Most newspapers today tend to start with an interest in politics or events, and that inevitably leads you to succumb to tribalism, however hard you try [not to],” Tett explains. “If you look at the world through money—how is money going around the world, who’s making and losing it and why?—out of that you lead to political, cultural, foreign-policy stories.”

    Tett’s comments again brought to mind Imagined Communities: Anderson notes that, in 18th-century Caracas, newspapers “began essentially as appendages of the market,” providing commercial news about ships coming in, commodity prices, and colonial appointments, as well as a proto–Vows section for the upper crust to hate-read in their carriages. “The newspaper of Caracas quite naturally, and even apolitically, created an imagined community among a specific assemblage of fellow-readers, to whom these ships, brides, bishops, and prices belonged,” he wrote. “In time, of course, it was only to be expected that political elements would enter in.”

    Yesterday’s aristocracy is today’s passport-buying, globe-trotting one percent. The passport brokers I got to know also pitched clients with the very same promise of “global citizenship” (it sounds less louche than “buy a new passport”)—by taking out ads in the Financial Times. Theirs is exactly the kind of neoliberal “globalism” that nationalist politicians like Trump have won elections denouncing (often hypocritically) as wanting “the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much.” Isn’t upper-crust glibness about borders, boundaries, and the value of national citizenship part of what helped give us this reactionary nativism in the first place?

    “I suspect what’s been going on with Brexit and maybe Trump and other populist movements [is that] people. . . see ‘global’ as a threat to local communities and businesses rather than something to be welcomed,” Tett says. “But if you’re an FT reader, you see it as benign or descriptive.”

    Among the largest news organizations in the world is Reuters, with more than 3,000 journalists and photographers in 120 countries. It is part of Thomson Reuters, a truly global firm. Reuters does not take its mandate lightly: a friend who works there recently sent me a job posting for an editor in Gdynia, which, Google clarified for me, is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland.

    Reuters journalists cover everything from club sports to international tax evasion. They’re outsourcing quick hits about corporate earnings to Bangalore, assembling teams on multiple continents to tackle a big investigation, shedding or shuffling staff under corporate reorganizations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, “more than half our business is serving financial customers,” Stephen Adler, the editor in chief, tells me. “That has little to do with what country you’re from. It’s about information: a central-bank action in Europe or Japan may be just as important as everything else.”

    Institutionally, “it’s really important and useful that we don’t have one national HQ,” Adler adds. “That’s the difference between a global news organization and one with a foreign desk. For us, nothing is foreign.” That approach won Reuters this year’s international Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the mass murder of the Rohingya in Myanmar (two of the reporters were imprisoned as a result, and since freed); it also comes through especially sharply in daily financial stories: comprehensive, if dry, compendiums of who-what-where-when-why that recognize the global impact of national stories, and vice versa. A recent roundup of stock movements included references to the US Fed, China trade talks, Brexit, monetary policy around the world, and the price of gold.

    Adler has led the newsroom since 2011, and a lot has changed in the world. (I worked at Reuters between 2011 and 2013, first as Adler’s researcher and later as a reporter; Adler is the chair of CJR’s board.) Shortly after Trump’s election, Adler wrote a memo affirming the organization’s commitment to being fair, honest, and resourceful. He now feels more strongly than ever about judiciously avoiding biases—including national ones. “Our ideology and discipline around putting personal feelings and nationality aside has been really helpful, because when you think about how powerful local feelings are—revolutions, the Arab Spring—we want you writing objectively and dispassionately.”

    The delivery of stories in a casual, illustrated, highly readable form is in some ways more crucial to developing an audience than subject matter.

    Whether global stories can push communities to develop transnationally in a meaningful way is a harder question to answer; it seems to impugn our collective aptitude for reacting to problems of a global nature in a rational way. Reuters’s decision not to fetishize Trump hasn’t led to a drop-off in US coverage—its reporters have been especially strong on immigration and trade policy, not to mention the effects of the new administration on the global economy—but its stories aren’t exactly clickbait, which means ordinary Americans might not encounter them at the top of their feed. In other words, having a global perspective doesn’t necessarily translate to more eyeballs.

    What’s more, Reuters doesn’t solve the audience-class problem: whether readers are getting dispatches in partner newspapers like The New York Times or through the organization’s Eikon terminal, they tend to be the sort of person “who does transnational business, travels a good deal, is connected through work and media, has friends in different places, cares about what’s going on in different places,” Adler says. “That’s a pretty large cohort of people who have reason to care what’s going on in other places.”

    There are ways to unite readers without centering coverage on money or the markets. For a generation of readers around the world, the common ground is technology: the internet. “We didn’t pick our audience,” Ben Smith, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed, tells me over the phone. “Our audience picked us.” He defines his readers as a cohort aged 18–35 “who are on the internet and who broadly care about human rights, global politics, and feminism and gay rights in particular.”

    To serve them, BuzzFeed recently published a damning investigative report into the World Wildlife Fund’s arming of militias in natural reserves; a (not uncontroversial) series on Trump’s business dealings abroad; early exposés of China’s detention of Uighur citizens; and reports on child abuse in Australia. Climate—“the central challenge for every newsroom in the world”—has been harder to pin down. “We don’t feel anyone has cracked it. But the shift from abstract scientific [stories] to coverage of fires in California, it’s a huge change—it makes it more concrete,” Smith says. (My husband is a reporter for BuzzFeed.)

    The delivery of these stories in a casual, illustrated, highly readable form is in some ways more crucial to developing an audience than subject matter. “The global political financial elites have had a common language ever since it was French,” Smith says. “There is now a universal language of internet culture, [and] that. . . is how our stuff translates so well between cultures and audiences.” This isn’t a form of digital Esperanto, Smith insists; the point isn’t to flatten the differences between countries or regions so much as to serve as a “container” in which people from different regions, interest groups, and cultures can consume media through references they all understand.

    BuzzFeed might not be setting out to shape its readers’ identities (I certainly can’t claim to feel a special bond with other people who found out they were Phoebes from the quiz “Your Sushi Order Will Reveal Which ‘Friends’ Character You’re Most Like”). An audience defined by its youth and its media consumption habits can be difficult to keep up with: platforms come and go, and young people don’t stay young forever. But if Anderson’s thesis still carries water, there must be something to speaking this language across cultures, space, and time. Call it “Web vernacular.”

    In 2013, during one of the many recent and lengthy US government shutdowns, Joshua Keating, a journalist at Slate, began a series, “If It Happened There,” that imagined how the American media would view the shutdown if it were occurring in another country. “The typical signs of state failure aren’t evident on the streets of this sleepy capital city,” Keating opens. “Beret-wearing colonels have not yet taken to the airwaves to declare martial law. . . .But the pleasant autumn weather disguises a government teetering on the brink.”

    It goes on; you get the idea. Keating’s series, which was inspired by his having to read “many, many headlines from around the world” while working at Foreign Policy, is a clever journalistic illustration of what sociologists call “methodological nationalism”: the bias that gets inadvertently baked into work and words. In the Middle East, it’s sectarian or ethnic strife; in the Midwest, it’s a trigger-happy cop and a kid in a hoodie.

    His send-ups hit a nerve. “It was huge—it was by far the most popular thing I’ve done at Slate,” Keating says. “I don’t think that it was a shocking realization to anyone that this kind of language can be a problem, but sometimes pointing it out can be helpful. If the series did anything, it made people stop and be conscious of how. . . our inherent biases and perspectives will inform how we cover the world.”

    Curiously, living under an openly nationalist administration has changed the way America—or at the very least, a significant part of the American press corps—sees itself. The press is a de facto opposition party, not because it tries to be, but because the administration paints it that way. And that gives reporters the experience of working in a place much more hostile than the US without setting foot outside the country.

    Keating has “semi-retired” the series as a result of the broad awareness among American reporters that it is, in fact, happening here. “It didn’t feel too novel to say [Trump was] acting like a foreign dictator,” he says. “That was what the real news coverage was doing.”

    Keating, who traveled to Somaliland, Kurdistan, and Abkhazia to report his book Invisible Countries (2018), still thinks the fastest and most effective way to form an international perspective is to live abroad. At the same time, not being bound to a strong national identity “can make it hard to understand particular concerns of the people you’re writing about,” he says. It might be obvious, but there is no one perfect way to be internationally minded.

    Alan Rusbridger—the former editor of The Guardian who oversaw the paper’s Edward Snowden coverage and is now the principal at Lady Margaret Hall, a college at Oxford University—recognizes the journalistic and even moral merits of approaching news in a non-national way: “I think of journalism as a public service, and I do think there’s a link between journalism at its best and the betterment of individual lives and societies,” he says. But he doesn’t have an easy formula for how to do that, because truly cosmopolitan journalism requires both top-down editorial philosophies—not using certain phrasings or framings that position foreigners as “others”—and bottom-up efforts by individual writers to read widely and be continuously aware of how their work might be read by people thousands of miles away.

    Yes, the starting point is a nationally defined press, not a decentralized network, but working jointly helps pool scarce resources and challenge national or local biases.

    Rusbridger sees potential in collaborations across newsrooms, countries, and continents. Yes, the starting point is a nationally defined press, not a decentralized network; but working jointly helps pool scarce resources and challenge national or local biases. It also wields power. “One of the reasons we reported Snowden with the Times in New York was to use global protections of human rights and free speech and be able to appeal to a global audience of readers and lawyers,” Rusbridger recalls. “We thought, ‘We’re pretty sure nation-states will come at us over this, and the only way to do it is harness ourselves to the US First Amendment not available to us anywhere else.’”

    In employing these tactics, the press positions itself in opposition to the nation-state. The same strategy could be seen behind the rollout of the Panama and Paradise Papers (not to mention the aggressive tax dodging detailed therein). “I think journalists and activists and citizens on the progressive wing of politics are thinking creatively about how global forces can work to their advantage,” Rusbridger says.

    But he thinks it all starts locally, with correspondents who have fluency in the language, culture, and politics of the places they cover, people who are members of the communities they write about. That isn’t a traditional foreign-correspondent experience (nor indeed that of UN employees, NGO workers, or other expats). The silver lining of publishing companies’ shrinking budgets might be that cost cutting pushes newsrooms to draw from local talent, rather than send established writers around. What you gain—a cosmopolitanism that works from the bottom up—can help dispel accusations of media elitism. That’s the first step to creating new imagined communities.

    Anderson’s work has inspired many an academic, but media executives? Not so much. Rob Wijnberg is an exception: he founded the (now beleaguered) Correspondent in the Netherlands in 2013 with Anderson’s ideas in mind. In fact, when we speak, he brings the name up unprompted.

    “You have to transcend this notion that you can understand the world through the national point of view,” he says. “The question is, What replacement do we have for it? Simply saying we have to transcend borders or have an international view isn’t enough, because you have to replace the imagined community you’re leaving behind with another one.”

    For Wijnberg, who was a philosophy student before he became a journalist, this meant radically reinventing the very structures of the news business: avoiding covering “current events” just because they happened, and thinking instead of what we might call eventful currents—the political, social, and economic developments that affect us all. It meant decoupling reporting from national news cycles, and getting readers to become paying “members” instead of relying on advertisements.

    This, he hoped, would help create a readership not based on wealth, class, nationality, or location, but on borderless, universal concerns. “We try to see our members. . . as part of a group or knowledge community, where the thing they share is the knowledge they have about a specific structural subject matter,” be it climate, inequality, or migration, Wijnberg says. “I think democracy and politics answers more to media than the other way around, so if you change the way media covers the world you change a lot.”

    That approach worked well in the Netherlands: his team raised 1.7 million euros in 2013, and grew to include 60,000 members. A few years later, Wijnberg and his colleagues decided to expand into the US, and with the help of NYU’s Jay Rosen, an early supporter, they made it onto Trevor Noah’s Daily Show to pitch their idea.

    The Correspondent raised more than $2.5 million from nearly 50,000 members—a great success, by any measure. But in March, things started to get hairy, with the publication abruptly pulling the plug on opening a US newsroom and announcing that staff would edit stories reported from the US from the original Amsterdam office instead. Many of the reasons behind this are mundane: visas, high rent, relocation costs. And reporters would still be reporting from, and on, the States. But supporters felt blindsided, calling the operation a scam.

    Today, Wijnberg reflects that he should have controlled the messaging better, and not promised to hire and operate from New York until he was certain that he could. He also wonders why it matters.

    “It’s not saying people who think it matters are wrong,” he explains. “But if the whole idea of this kind of geography and why it’s there is a construct, and you’re trying to think about transcending it, the very notion of Where are you based? is secondary. The whole point is not to be based anywhere.”

    Still: “The view from everywhere—the natural opposite—is just as real,” Wijnberg concedes. “You can’t be everywhere. You have to be somewhere.”

    And that’s the rub: for all of nationalism’s ills, it does instill in its subjects what Anderson calls a “deep, horizontal comradeship” that, while imagined, blossoms thanks to a confluence of forces. It can’t be replicated supranationally overnight. The challenge for a cosmopolitan journalism, then, is to dream up new forms of belonging that look forward, not backward—without discarding the imagined communities we have.

    That’s hard; so hard that it more frequently provokes a retrenchment, not an expansion, of solidarity. But it’s not impossible. And our collective futures almost certainly depend on it.
    #journalisme #nationalisme #Etat-nation #communauté_nationale #communauté_internationale #frontières #presse #médias

  • Federal judge rules Uber calling its drivers independent contractors may violate antitrust and harm competition / Boing Boing

    A federal judge has ruled that alleged misclassification of drivers as independent contractors by the ride-hailing service app Uber could harm competition and violate the spirit of America’s antitrust laws.

    • Lawsuit says misclassifying workers creates competitive harm
    • 30 days to amend complaint with new information

    The ruling by Judge Edward Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is not a final decision in the case, but is a “significant warning to ride-hailing companies,” Bloomberg News reports.

    “It signals how a 2018 California Supreme Court case and future worker classification laws could open the floodgates to worker misclassification and antitrust claims.”

    Uber’s Worker Business Model May Harm Competition, Judge Says

    Uber’s Worker Business Model May Harm Competition, Judge Says
    Posted June 21, 2019
    Suit: Misclassifying workers produces competitive harm
    Complaint must be amended within 30 days with new information
    Uber‘s alleged misclassification of drivers as independent contractors could significantly harm competition and violate the spirit of antitrust laws, a federal judge ruled.

    The ruling, although not a final decision in the case, is a significant warning to ride-hailing companies. It signals how a 2018 California Supreme Court case and future worker classification laws could open the floodgates to worker misclassification and antitrust claims.

    Judge Edward Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California declined to dismiss all of the claims brought against Uber by Los Angeles-based transportation service Diva Limousine, saying the company established a causal link between Uber’s behavior and real economic harm being felt by competitors.

    Driver misclassification could save Uber as much as $500 million annually just in California, according to Diva’s lawyers.

    “Diva’s allegations support the inference that Uber could not have undercut market prices to the same degree without misclassifying its drivers to skirt significant costs,” the judge wrote in the June 20 ruling.

    Unlike employees, independent contractors aren’t entitled to benefits such as health care, unemployment insurance, minimum wages, and overtime.

    An attorney for Diva said he was pleased with the court’s decision and that it was a warning that the company couldn’t skirt California labor laws.

    “There’s an acknowledgement here that Uber not only harms its drivers but also that its conduct crosses the line from robust competition to unfair competition,” said attorney Aaron Sheanin of Robins Kaplan LLP. “And that injures its competitiors, including Diva.”

    Uber didn’t return a request for comment.

    Overall, Uber was only able to get part of Diva’s complaint fully dismissed—specifically, its claims under the state’s Unfair Practices Act. Diva’s claims under the California Unfair Competition Law can proceed once it amends its complaint to address jurisdictional issues and other legal arguments.

    Diva’s lawyers have 30 days to refile an updated complaint which is likely to move forward given the judge’s ruling that the claims have merit.

    The ruling was based in part from language drawn from the California Supreme Court’s April 2018 ruling in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court. That decision made it harder for California employers to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees. It also condemns misclassification as a type of unfair competition.

    Uber identified Dynamex in regulatory filings as a long-term potential risk factor for its business success.

    The case is Diva Limousine, Ltd. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 3:18-cv-05546, Order Issued 6/20/19.

    #USA #Uber #Wettbewerb #Monopol #Urteil #Justiz

  • Ces femmes qui ont compté dans l’ombre

    photo apparaissant « par magie », donc non créditée

    On trouve beaucoup d’exemples de travaux scientifiques basés sur le travail de « calculatrices féminines », dont les noms apparaissent au mieux dans les remerciements.

    L’un de mes articles scientifiques préférés a été écrit par Edward Lorenz, en 1963, et s’intitule « Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow » (flot déterministe et non périodique). Il s’agit de l’un des textes fondateurs de la théorie du chaos. Son contenu passera dans le grand public un peu plus tard à travers la belle image de l’effet papillon : un battement d’ailes d’un papillon au Brésil pourrait engendrer un ouragan au Texas. Cette publication est un mélange extraordinaire de physique, de météorologie, de mathématiques et de simulations numériques. Je l’ai lue et relue un très grand nombre de fois et je croyais la connaître jusque la semaine dernière.

    Un article de Joshua Sokol dans Quanta Magazine m’a appris que j’aurais dû lire le dernier paragraphe dans lequel l’auteur remercie « Miss Ellen Fetter qui a pris en charge les nombreux calculs et les graphiques ». Comment ? Ce n’est pas Edward Lorenz qui a fait les calculs, mais une assistante ? Il faut comprendre que simuler le mouvement de l’atmosphère sur un ordinateur était une composante essentielle de l’article. En 1963, les ordinateurs étaient primitifs et « prendre en charge les calculs » aurait probablement mérité un peu plus qu’un discret remerciement.

    Ce n’est pas la première fois que des scientifiques utilisent des « calculatrices féminines », dont les noms apparaissent au mieux dans les remerciements. Dix ans auparavant, Enrico Fermi, John Pasta et Stanislaw Ulam publiaient la première simulation numérique d’un système physique complexe. On peut considérer cet article comme la naissance d’une nouvelle discipline de physique mathématique. Il s’agissait d’étudier, sur un ordinateur, les vibrations d’une chaîne constituée d’une soixantaine de ressorts « non linéaires ».

    Là encore, deux lignes discrètes dans la publication remercient Miss Mary Tsingou pour « la programmation efficace du problème et pour avoir effectué les calculs sur l’ordinateur Maniac de Los Alamos », ce qui représente pourtant une partie très importante du travail. Ce n’est qu’en 2008 que le physicien Thierry Dauxois lira ces deux lignes et proposera d’appeler Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou cette simulation numérique. J’aurais même proposé de respecter l’ordre alphabétique…


    • Nicole-Reine Lepaute — Wikipédia

      Détail d’un portrait de Nicole-Reine Lepaute
      par Guillaume Voiriot, là aussi, il faut aller chercher l’auteur qui n’est pas mentionné dans les infos WP de l’image, mais en note de l’article…

      Nicole Reine Lepaute, née Étable, le 5 janvier 1723 à Paris, morte dans la même ville le 6 décembre 1788, est une calculatrice et astronome française. Elle est, avec Caroline Herschel et la marquise du Châtelet une des principales femme scientifique du siècle des Lumières.

      Son travail est souvent inclus dans celui d’autres auteurs, dont Jérôme de Lalande et son mari. Mais, s’il faut en croire Lalande, qui l’aimait beaucoup, elle était « un maître plutôt qu’un émule ». Elle a notamment aidé au calcul de la date précise du retour de la comète de Halley de 1759 et contributrice majeure au calcul de l’éphéméride astronomique La connaissance des temps.

    • On trouve beaucoup d’exemples de travaux scientifiques basés sur le travail de « calculatrices féminines », dont les noms apparaissent au mieux dans les remerciements.

      L’un de mes articles scientifiques préférés a été écrit par Edward Lorenz, en 1963, et s’intitule « Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow » (flot déterministe et non périodique). Il s’agit de l’un des textes fondateurs de la théorie du chaos. Son contenu passera dans le grand public un peu plus tard à travers la belle image de l’effet papillon : un battement d’ailes d’un papillon au Brésil pourrait engendrer un ouragan au Texas. Cette publication est un mélange extraordinaire de physique, de météorologie, de mathématiques et de simulations numériques. Je l’ai lue et relue un très grand nombre de fois et je croyais la connaître jusque la semaine dernière.

      Un article de Joshua Sokol dans Quanta Magazine m’a appris que j’aurais dû lire le dernier paragraphe dans lequel l’auteur remercie « Miss Ellen Fetter qui a pris en charge les nombreux calculs et les graphiques ». Comment ? Ce n’est pas Edward Lorenz qui a fait les calculs, mais une assistante ? Il faut comprendre que simuler le mouvement de l’atmosphère sur un ordinateur était une composante essentielle de l’article. En 1963, les ordinateurs étaient primitifs et « prendre en charge les calculs » aurait probablement mérité un peu plus qu’un discret remerciement.

      Calculs faits à la main

      Ce n’est pas la première fois que des scientifiques utilisent des « calculatrices féminines », dont les noms apparaissent au mieux dans les remerciements. Dix ans auparavant, Enrico Fermi, John Pasta et Stanislaw Ulam publiaient la première simulation numérique d’un système physique complexe. On peut considérer cet article comme la naissance d’une nouvelle discipline de physique mathématique. Il s’agissait d’étudier, sur un ordinateur, les vibrations d’une chaîne constituée d’une soixantaine de ressorts « non linéaires ».

      Là encore, deux lignes discrètes dans la publication remercient Miss Mary Tsingou pour « la programmation efficace du problème et pour avoir effectué les calculs sur l’ordinateur Maniac de Los Alamos », ce qui représente pourtant une partie très importante du travail. Ce n’est qu’en 2008 que le physicien Thierry Dauxois lira ces deux lignes et proposera d’appeler Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou cette simulation numérique. J’aurais même proposé de respecter l’ordre alphabétique…

      En remontant encore dans le temps, on arrive à une période où les calculs étaient faits à la main, et où la main en question était bien souvent féminine. Dans les années 1940, un membre d’un institut de mathématiques appliquées ose parler du kilogirl (kilofille) : la quantité de calculs qu’une femme peut produire en mille heures ! Vers 1880, l’astronome Edward Charles Pickering recrute, à Harvard (Massachusetts), une équipe de plus de 80 calculatrices féminines surnommées « harem de Pickering » et payées moins qu’un ouvrier.

      On sait que la comète de Halley est visible dans le ciel à peu près tous les soixante-seize ans. Sa trajectoire est perturbée par l’attraction de Jupiter et de Saturne. Au milieu du XVIIIe siècle, certains savants doutaient encore de la théorie de la gravitation de Newton. Le calcul de la date du retour de la comète fut un grand moment de l’histoire des sciences. En novembre 1758, l’académicien Alexis Clairaut annonce un retour « vers le mois d’avril de l’année prochaine ».

      Ce fut un triomphe quand sa prédiction se réalisa. La théorie est en effet due à Clairaut, mais les calculs monstrueux ont été effectués par Joseph Lalande et Nicole-Reine Lepaute qui « calculaient depuis le matin jusqu’au soir, parfois même à table ». Clairaut « oubliera » de remercier sa collaboratrice. La Ville de Paris rendra partiellement justice à Nicole-Reine, en 2007, en donnant son nom à une rue.

      Nicole-Reine Lepaute (1723-1788), calculatrice et astronome.

      En 2017, l’ingénieur de Google James Damore a été renvoyé après avoir affirmé que le manque d’informaticiennes était d’origine biologique.

  • Sur l’#Europe_forteresse, quelques #critiques...

    Extrait d’un entretien avec #Sandro_Mezzadra :

    Vous réfutez la vision d’une Europe forteresse. Réfutez-vous aussi le durcissement des politiques migratoires mises en œuvre par les États membres de l’UE ?

    Je critique la vision unilatérale des frontières les réduisant à leur fonction de mur. Les #frontières excluent, séparent, c’est un fait. Mais elles ne sont pas que cela. Je ne cherche pas à nier la #violence qui s’exerce aux frontières, la manière dont des vies sont exploitées, enlevées. Mais il me semble qu’il faut changer de point de vue afin de retrouver un angle d’attaque plus efficace. Le concept d’Europe forteresse a été inventé dans les années 1990 pour dénoncer les politiques migratoires européennes. La référence de cette métaphore est militaire, puisque l’Europe forteresse désignait les fortifications nazies bordant les rivages de l’Atlantique. Cette image n’est pas inutile. Mais, au cours des dernières années, elle a été récupérée par les institutions européennes elles-mêmes, notamment par Frontex. À trop l’utiliser, on risque de faire le jeu des politiques qu’elle est censée combattre.
    Pour répondre à votre question, il n’existe pas de politique européenne migratoire commune. Mais il existe un cadre global, à travers la mise en place de règles minimales, l’identification de supposées “bonnes pratiques”, le déroulement de négociations informelles ou encore l’établissement de relations bilatérales. Ce cadre global tend à instaurer une politique de sélection inclusive. Le but des politiques migratoires européennes n’est pas de barrer la route aux migrants. Ça, c’est le spectacle. Des centaines de milliers de personnes entrent et s’installent légalement – mais aussi illégalement – chaque année dans l’Union européenne. Les États membres ne s’en plaignent pas. Au contraire, ils en ont besoin, pour des raisons économiques et démographiques identifiées depuis longtemps par Bruxelles. L’Europe vieillit, l’Europe a besoin de main-d’œuvre. Les systèmes de migrations saisonnières, de migrations circulaires, les systèmes à point sont appréciés. Ces dispositifs sélectifs sont compatibles avec la flexibilité exigée par les économies de marché.
    Les dirigeants et experts européens débattent du “management de l’immigration” et de “just-in-time” ou “to-the-point migrations”. Ils ont cru, un temps, comme en Italie, que les quotas étaient une solution adéquate. Or ceux-ci se sont avérés particulièrement rigides, donc inadaptés aux besoins des entreprises. Ce management a à voir avec une gestion entrepreneuriale. L’objectif est de diversifier les compétences des migrants. La figure du migrant peu qualifié, recruté comme OS dans l’industrie automobile, est dépassée en tant que point de référence normatif pour les politiques et expériences migratoires. La figure du migrant est multiple. Les statuts, les expériences des migrants sont plurielles. De même que la figure du citoyen et du travailleur s’est fragmentée, celle du migrant a explosé.

    #Forteresse_Europe #Mezzadra #critique #migrations #réfugiés #récupération #vocabulaire #terminologie #mots


    « La “forteresse”, une image dramatiquement fausse. Un article de @isskein

    Tous ces aspects vont à l’encontre du syntagme figé de “forteresse Europe”, dont le succès est grand dans les mouvements altermondialistes. Parfois utile pour mobiliser, il est calamiteux pour l’analyse et l’action. D’abord parce qu’il focalise sur la répression : si l’Europe mène une guerre aux migrants, dont les morts se comptent par milliers, du détroit de Gibraltar aux côtes maltaises et siciliennes, du tunnel sous la Manche à la frontière gréco-turque, on oublie trop souvent que la politique européenne est aussi fondée sur l’utilitarisme : “Nous avons besoin des immigrés, mais ils devront être choisis, contrôlés et placés” déclare Romano Prodi (11 sept 2000, dépêche Ansa). On oublie surtout que la fermeture et le contrôle des frontières sont mis en échec chaque jour : selon Europol chaque année près de 500.000 personnes réussissent à franchir “illégalement” les frontières de l’UE.
    Cette vision victimaire, paternaliste, strictement humanitaire, fait des migrants les victimes d’inévitables catastrophes dues à la globalisation néolibérale, des corps soumis voués à l’invisibilité, à l’errance et à l’attente, alors que, comme le font remarquer Étienne Balibar et Edward Saïd, ils ne sont ni “une masse fluctuante indifférenciée”, ni “d’innombrables troupeaux d’innocents relevant d’une aide internationale d’urgence”.
    Appliquée aux camps, l’image de la forteresse est tout aussi dramatiquement fausse. Ceux que l’on y enferme ne sont pas, comme le voudraient les différents corps policiers, administratifs et humanitaires qui les gèrent, des catégories (“clandestins”, “irréguliers”), mais des femmes et des hommes.
    Il y a une autonomie des migrations, qui les rend irréductibles aux lois internationales de l’offre et de la demande (le « push-pull » des théories classiques), car c’est un mouvement social autonome. Et les migrants sont des sujets, des femmes et des hommes qui, en exerçant quotidiennement leur droit de fuite et de fugue, mettent en question les frontières et la citoyenneté européenne.
    Il ne s’agit pas là de céder au romantisme de l’exil et du nomadisme, ou de considérer que la migration est en elle-même porteuse d’émancipation, mais de placer au premier plan la résistance et la dignité de sujets. »

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • ’Orientalism,’ Then and Now | by Adam Shatz | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

    Un retour sur l’histoire de l’orientalisme et sa « mutation » à l’époque actuelle.

    Edward Said’s Orientalism is one of the most influential works of intellectual history of the postwar era. It is also one of the most misunderstood. Perhaps the most common misunderstanding is that it is “about” the Middle East; on the contrary, it is a study of Western representations of the Arab-Islamic world—of what Said called “mind-forg’d manacles,” after William Blake. The book’s conservative critics misread it as a nativist denunciation of Western scholarship, ignoring its praise for Louis Massignon, Jacques Berque, and Clifford Geertz, while some Islamists praised the book on the basis of the same misunderstanding, overlooking Said’s commitment to secular politics.

    Since the book’s first publication in 1978, “Orientalism” has become one of those words that shuts down conversation on liberal campuses, where no one wants to be accused of being “Orientalist” any more than they want to be called racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic. That “Orientalist” is now a commonly applied epithet is a tribute to the power of Said’s account, but also to its vulgarization. With Orientalism, Said wanted to open a discussion about the way the Arab-Islamic world had been imagined by the West—not to prevent a clear-eyed reckoning with the region’s problems, of which he was all too painfully aware.

  • Condamné pour pédophilie, le cardinal Pell visé par une procédure civile

    Le cardinal australien George Pell, déjà condamné pour pédophilie, risque de nouveaux démêlés avec la justice, avoir été accusé dans une plainte portée au civil d’avoir couvert un prêtre dont il savait qu’il abusait d’enfants.

    La plainte a été déposée vendredi 7 juin auprès de la Cour suprême de l’Etat de Victoria par un homme qui affirmé avoir été abusé par le frère chrétien Edward « Ted » Dowan lors de scolarité à Melbourne au début des années 1980, a rapporté la presse locale.

    George Pell, ex-numéro trois du Vatican, qui était à l’époque évêque vicaire à l’éducation pour la région de Ballarat (sud), est accusé d’avoir permis l’ecclésiastique de passer d’une école à une autre alors qu’il était au courant de faits qui lui sont reprochés.
    Lire aussi En Australie, le cardinal Pell a contesté en appel sa condamnation pour pédophilie
    Pell « doit répondre » de crimes « commis par d’autres prêtres »

    « Pell doit répondre non seulement pour ses propres crimes mais aussi pour ceux commis par d’autres prêtres et frères dont il a autorisé la mutation d’une école à l’autre et d’une paroisse à l’autre », a dit Michael Magazanik, l’avocat de la victime, cité par le journal The Australian.

    Outre George Pell, la Commission catholique pour l’éducation, l’évêque de Ballarat Paul Bird et l’archevêque de Melbourne Peter Comensoli sont mentionnés dans la plainte, selon la même source. L’affaire doit faire l’objet d’une médiation.
    Lire aussi Après Notre-Dame, une messe de Pâques de « renaissance » à l’église Saint-Eustache

    George Pell a fait appel de sa condamnation pénale pour actes de pédophilie. A l’issue d’une audience jeudi, les trois magistrats de la Cour suprême ont mis leur décision en délibéré et on ignore quand elle sera annoncée. Ils peuvent confirmer la condamnation, ordonner un nouveau procès ou acquitter le prélat.

    George Pell avait été reconnu coupable en décembre de cinq chefs d’accusation portant sur des agressions sexuelles commises contre deux enfants de chœur en 1996 et 1997. Il avait ensuite été condamné en mars à six ans d’emprisonnement.

    #catholicisme #culture_du_viol #violophilie #pedocriminalité

  • Israël aurait largement compté sur la #NSA pendant la #guerre du #Liban de 2006 | The Times of Israël

    Israël a largement compté sur les renseignements américains lors de la guerre du Liban de 2006, et a demandé, à de nombreuses reprises, de l’aide pour localiser des terroristes du #Hezbollah en vue d’assassinats ciblés, selon les derniers documents classifiés ayant fuité par l’intermédiaire du lanceur d’alerte américain Edward Snowden.

    Les deux documents divulgués mercredi ont révélé que même si l’Agence de sécurité nationale (NSA) n’avait pas l’autorisation légale de partager des informations en vue d’assassinats ciblés, la pression israélienne a conduit à la création d’un nouveau cadre de travail pour faciliter le partage de renseignements entre les deux pays.

    L’un des documents rendu public cette semaine, par The Intercept, était un article de 2006 paru dans la newsletter interne de la NSA, SIDToday, écrit par un officiel anonyme de la NSA à Tel Aviv qui officiait comme agent de liaison avec des officiels israéliens pendant le conflit de 2006.


    Le rapport explique que la guerre de 2006 a poussé l’ISNU [l’unité israélienne SIGINT de renseignements militaires] dans ses « limites techniques et de moyens », et des officiels israéliens se sont tournés vers leurs homologues américains à la NSA pour obtenir un grand soutien et de nombreuses informations sur des cibles du Hezbollah.

    #états-unis #agression #guerre_des_33_jours

  • Baltimore paralysée par un virus informatique en partie créé par la NSA

    Le problème, c’est que, trois semaines plus tard, l’affaire n’est toujours pas résolue. Les serveurs et les e-mails de la ville restent désespérément bloqués. « Service limité », indiquent les écriteaux à l’entrée les bâtiments municipaux. Les équipes municipales, le FBI, les services de renseignement américains et les firmes informatiques de la Côte ouest s’y sont tous mis : impossible de débarrasser les dix mille ordinateurs de la ville de ce virus, un rançongiciel. Et pour cause : selon le New York Times, l’un des composants de ce programme virulent a été créé par les services secrets américains, la National Security Agency (NSA), qui ont exploité une faille du logiciel Windows de Microsoft. L’ennui, c’est que la NSA s’est fait voler en 2017 cette arme informatique devenue quasi impossible à contrôler.

    Alors, beaucoup de bruit pour rien ? Non, à cause du rôle trouble de la NSA. Selon le New York Times, celle-ci a développé un outil, EternalBlue (« bleu éternel »), en cherchant pendant plus d’une année une faille dans le logiciel de Microsoft.

    L’ennui, c’est que l’outil a été volé par un groupe intitulé les Shadow Brokers (« courtiers de l’ombre »), sans que l’on sache s’il s’agit d’une puissance étrangère ou de hackeurs américains. Les Nord-Coréens l’ont utilisé en premier en 2017 lors d’une attaque baptisée Wannacry, qui a paralysé le système de santé britannique et touché les chemins de fer allemands. Puis ce fut au tour de la Russie de s’en servir pour attaquer l’Ukraine : code de l’opération NotPetya. L’offensive a atteint des entreprises, comme l’entreprise de messagerie FedEx et le laboratoire pharmaceutique Merck, qui auraient perdu respectivement 400 millions et 670 millions de dollars.

    Depuis, EternalBlue n’en finit pas d’être utilisé, par la Chine ou l’Iran, notamment. Et aux Etats-Unis, contre des organisations vulnérables, telle la ville de Baltimore, mais aussi celles de San Antonio (Texas) ou Allentown (Pennsylvanie). L’affaire est jugée, à certains égards, plus grave que la fuite géante d’informations par l’ancien informaticien Edward Snowden en 2013.

    Le débat s’ouvre à nouveau sur la responsabilité de la NSA, qui n’aurait informé Microsoft de la faille de son réseau qu’après s’être fait voler son outil. Trop tard. En dépit d’un correctif, des centaines de milliers d’ordinateurs n’ayant pas appliqué la mise à jour restent non protégés. Un de ses anciens dirigeants, l’amiral Michael Rogers, a tenté de dédouaner son ancienne agence en expliquant que, si un terroriste remplissait un pick-up Toyota d’explosifs, on n’allait pas accuser Toyota. « L’outil qu’a développé la NSA n’a pas été conçu pour faire ce qu’il a fait », a-t-il argué.

    Tom Burt, responsable chez Microsoft de la confiance des consommateurs, se dit « en total désaccord » avec ce propos lénifiant : « Ces programmes sont développés et gardés secrètement par les gouvernements dans le but précis de les utiliser comme armes ou outils d’espionnage. Ils sont, en soi, dangereux. Quand quelqu’un prend cela, il ne le transforme pas en bombe : c’est déjà une bombe », a-t-il protesté dans le New York Times.

    #Virus #NSA #Baltimore #Cybersécurité

  • The Statue of Liberty’s new museum: Lady Liberty celebrated freed slaves, not immigrants - The Washington Post

    The new Statue of Liberty Museum in New York Harbor boasts a number of treasures: the original torch, which was replaced in the 1980s; an unoxidized (read: not green) copper replica of Lady Liberty’s face; and recordings of immigrants describing the sight of the 305-foot monument.

    It also revives an aspect of the statue’s long-forgotten history: Lady Liberty was originally designed to celebrate the end of slavery, not the arrival of immigrants. Ellis Island, the inspection station through which millions of immigrants passed, didn’t open until six years after the statue was unveiled in 1886. The plaque with the famous Emma Lazarus poem — “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — wasn’t added until 1903.

    “One of the first meanings [of the statue] had to do with abolition, but it’s a meaning that didn’t stick,” Edward Berenson, a history professor at New York University and author of the book “The Statue of Liberty: A Transatlantic Story,” said in an interview with The Washington Post.

    #esclaves #migrants #états-unis #statue_de_la_liberté

  • Who Was Shakespeare? Could the Author Have Been a Woman? - The Atlantic

    On a spring night in 2018, I stood on a Manhattan sidewalk with friends, reading Shakespeare aloud. We were in line to see an adaptation of Macbeth and had decided to pass the time refreshing our memories of the play’s best lines. I pulled up Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy on my iPhone. “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,” I read, thrilled once again by the incantatory power of the verse. I remembered where I was when I first heard those lines: in my 10th-grade English class, startled out of my adolescent stupor by this woman rebelling magnificently and malevolently against her submissive status. “Make thick my blood, / Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse.” Six months into the #MeToo movement, her fury and frustration felt newly resonant.

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    Pulled back into plays I’d studied in college and graduate school, I found myself mesmerized by Lady Macbeth and her sisters in the Shakespeare canon. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, raging at the limitations of her sex (“O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace”). Rosalind, in As You Like It, affecting the swagger of masculine confidence to escape those limitations (“We’ll have a swashing and a martial outside, / As many other mannish cowards have / That do outface it with their semblances”). Isabella, in Measure for Measure, fearing no one will believe her word against Angelo’s, rapist though he is (“To whom should I complain? Did I tell this, / Who would believe me?”). Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew, refusing to be silenced by her husband (“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, / Or else my heart concealing it will break”). Emilia, in one of her last speeches in Othello before Iago kills her, arguing for women’s equality (“Let husbands know / Their wives have sense like them”).
    I was reminded of all the remarkable female friendships, too: Beatrice and Hero’s allegiance; Emilia’s devotion to her mistress, Desdemona; Paulina’s brave loyalty to Hermione in The Winter’s Tale; and plenty more. (“Let’s consult together against this greasy knight,” resolve the merry wives of Windsor, revenging themselves on Falstaff.) These intimate female alliances are fresh inventions—they don’t exist in the literary sources from which many of the plays are drawn. And when the plays lean on historical sources (Plutarch, for instance), they feminize them, portraying legendary male figures through the eyes of mothers, wives, and lovers. “Why was Shakespeare able to see the woman’s position, write entirely as if he were a woman, in a way that none of the other playwrights of the age were able to?” In her book about the plays’ female characters, Tina Packer, the founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, asked the question very much on my mind.

    Doubts about whether William Shakespeare (who was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 and died in 1616) really wrote the works attributed to him are almost as old as the writing itself. Alternative contenders—Francis Bacon; Christopher Marlowe; and Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, prominent among them—continue to have champions, whose fervor can sometimes border on fanaticism. In response, orthodox Shakespeare scholars have settled into dogmatism of their own. Even to dabble in authorship questions is considered a sign of bad faith, a blinkered failure to countenance genius in a glover’s son. The time had come, I felt, to tug at the blinkers of both camps and reconsider the authorship debate: Had anyone ever proposed that the creator of those extraordinary women might be a woman? Each of the male possibilities requires an elaborate theory to explain his use of another’s name. None of the candidates has succeeded in dethroning the man from Stratford. Yet a simple reason would explain a playwright’s need for a pseudonym in Elizabethan England: being female.
    Who was this woman writing “immortal work” in the same year that Shakespeare’s name first appeared in print?

    Long before Tina Packer marveled at the bard’s uncanny insight, others were no less awed by the empathy that pervades the work. “One would think that he had been Metamorphosed from a Man to a Woman,” wrote Margaret Cavendish, the 17th-century philosopher and playwright. The critic John Ruskin said, “Shakespeare has no heroes—he has only heroines.” A striking number of those heroines refuse to obey rules. At least 10 defy their fathers, bucking betrothals they don’t like to find their own paths to love. Eight disguise themselves as men, outwitting patriarchal controls—more gender-swapping than can be found in the work of any previous English playwright. Six lead armies.

    The prevailing view, however, has been that no women in Renaissance England wrote for the theater, because that was against the rules. Religious verse and translation were deemed suitable female literary pursuits; “closet dramas,” meant only for private reading, were acceptable. The stage was off-limits. Yet scholars have lately established that women were involved in the business of acting companies as patrons, shareholders, suppliers of costumes, and gatherers of entrance fees. What’s more, 80 percent of the plays printed in the 1580s were written anonymously, and that number didn’t fall below 50 percent until the early 1600s. At least one eminent Shakespeare scholar, Phyllis Rackin, of the University of Pennsylvania, challenges the blanket assumption that the commercial drama pouring forth in the period bore no trace of a female hand. So did Virginia Woolf, even as she sighed over the obstacles that would have confronted a female Shakespeare: “Undoubtedly, I thought, looking at the shelf where there are no plays by women, her work would have gone unsigned.”

    A tantalizing nudge lies buried in the writings of Gabriel Harvey, a well-known Elizabethan literary critic. In 1593, he referred cryptically to an “excellent Gentlewoman” who had written three sonnets and a comedy. “I dare not Particularise her Description,” he wrote, even as he heaped praise on her.

    All her conceits are illuminate with the light of Reason; all her speeches beautified with the grace of Affability … In her mind there appeareth a certain heavenly Logic; in her tongue & pen a divine Rhetoric … I dare undertake with warrant, whatsoever she writeth must needs remain an immortal work, and will leave, in the activest world, an eternal memory of the silliest vermin that she should vouchsafe to grace with her beautiful and allective style, as ingenious as elegant.

    Who was this woman writing “immortal work” in the same year that Shakespeare’s name first appeared in print, on the poem “Venus and Adonis,” a scandalous parody of masculine seduction tales (in which the woman forces herself on the man)? Harvey’s tribute is extraordinary, yet orthodox Shakespeareans and anti-Stratfordians alike have almost entirely ignored it.

    Until recently, that is, when a few bold outliers began to advance the case that Shakespeare might well have been a woman. One candidate is Mary Sidney, the countess of Pembroke (and beloved sister of the celebrated poet Philip Sidney)—one of the most educated women of her time, a translator and poet, and the doyenne of the Wilton Circle, a literary salon dedicated to galvanizing an English cultural renaissance. Clues beckon, not least that Sidney and her husband were the patrons of one of the first theater companies to perform Shakespeare’s plays. Was Shakespeare’s name useful camouflage, allowing her to publish what she otherwise couldn’t?
    Shakespeare’s life is remarkably well documented—yet no records from his lifetime identify him unequivocally as a writer.

    But the candidate who intrigued me more was a woman as exotic and peripheral as Sidney was pedigreed and prominent. Not long after my Macbeth outing, I learned that Shakespeare’s Globe, in London, had set out to explore this figure’s input to the canon. The theater’s summer 2018 season concluded with a new play, Emilia, about a contemporary of Shakespeare’s named Emilia Bassano. Born in London in 1569 to a family of Venetian immigrants—musicians and instrument-makers who were likely Jewish—she was one of the first women in England to publish a volume of poetry (suitably religious yet startlingly feminist, arguing for women’s “Libertie” and against male oppression). Her existence was unearthed in 1973 by the Oxford historian A. L. Rowse, who speculated that she was Shakespeare’s mistress, the “dark lady” described in the sonnets. In Emilia, the playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm goes a step further: Her Shakespeare is a plagiarist who uses Bassano’s words for Emilia’s famous defense of women in Othello.

    Could Bassano have contributed even more widely and directly? The idea felt like a feminist fantasy about the past—but then, stories about women’s lost and obscured achievements so often have a dreamlike quality, unveiling a history different from the one we’ve learned. Was I getting carried away, reinventing Shakespeare in the image of our age? Or was I seeing past gendered assumptions to the woman who—like Shakespeare’s heroines—had fashioned herself a clever disguise? Perhaps the time was finally ripe for us to see her.

    The ranks of Shakespeare skeptics comprise a kind of literary underworld—a cross-disciplinary array of academics, actors (Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance are perhaps the best known), writers, teachers, lawyers, a few Supreme Court justices (Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens). Look further back and you’ll find such illustrious names as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Henry James, Sigmund Freud, Helen Keller, and Charlie Chaplin. Their ideas about the authorship of the plays and poems differ, but they concur that Shakespeare is not the man who wrote them.

    Their doubt is rooted in an empirical conundrum. Shakespeare’s life is remarkably well documented, by the standards of the period—yet no records from his lifetime identify him unequivocally as a writer. The more than 70 documents that exist show him as an actor, a shareholder in a theater company, a moneylender, and a property investor. They show that he dodged taxes, was fined for hoarding grain during a shortage, pursued petty lawsuits, and was subject to a restraining order. The profile is remarkably coherent, adding up to a mercenary impresario of the Renaissance entertainment industry. What’s missing is any sign that he wrote.

    From January 1863: Nathaniel Hawthorne considers authorship while visiting Stratford-upon-Avon

    No such void exists for other major writers of the period, as a meticulous scholar named Diana Price has demonstrated. Many left fewer documents than Shakespeare did, but among them are manuscripts, letters, and payment records proving that writing was their profession. For example, court records show payment to Ben Jonson for “those services of his wit & pen.” Desperate to come up with comparable material to round out Shakespeare, scholars in the 18th and 19th centuries forged evidence—later debunked—of a writerly life.

    To be sure, Shakespeare’s name can be found linked, during his lifetime, to written works. With Love’s Labour’s Lost, in 1598, it started appearing on the title pages of one-play editions called “quartos.” (Several of the plays attributed to Shakespeare were first published anonymously.) Commentators at the time saluted him by name, praising “Shakespeare’s fine filed phrase” and “honey-tongued Shakespeare.” But such evidence proves attribution, not actual authorship—as even some orthodox Shakespeare scholars grant. “I would love to find a contemporary document that said William Shakespeare was the dramatist of Stratford-upon-Avon written during his lifetime,” Stanley Wells, a professor emeritus at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, has said. “That would shut the buggers up!”
    October 1991 Atlantic cover

    In 1991, The Atlantic commissioned two pieces from admittedly partisan authors, Irving Matus and Tom Bethell, to examine and debate the argument:
    In Defense of Shakespeare
    The Case for Oxford

    By contrast, more than a few of Shakespeare’s contemporaries are on record suggesting that his name got affixed to work that wasn’t his. In 1591, the dramatist Robert Greene wrote of the practice of “underhand brokery”—of poets who “get some other Batillus to set his name to their verses.” (Batillus was a mediocre Roman poet who claimed some of Virgil’s verses as his own.) The following year, he warned fellow playwrights about an “upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers,” who thinks he is the “onely Shake-scene in a countrey.” Most scholars agree that the “Crow” is Shakespeare, then an actor in his late 20s, and conclude that the new-hatched playwright was starting to irk established figures. Anti-Stratfordians see something else: In Aesop’s fables, the crow was a proud strutter who stole the feathers of others; Horace’s crow, in his epistles, was a plagiarist. Shakespeare was being attacked, they say, not as a budding dramatist, but as a paymaster taking credit for others’ work. “Seeke you better Maisters,” Greene advised, urging his colleagues to cease writing for the Crow.

    Ben Jonson, among others, got in his digs, too. Scholars agree that the character of Sogliardo in Every Man Out of His Humour—a country bumpkin “without brain, wit, anything, indeed, ramping to gentility”—is a parody of Shakespeare, a social climber whose pursuit of a coat of arms was common lore among his circle of actors. In a satirical poem called “On Poet-Ape,” Jonson was likely taking aim at Shakespeare the theater-world wheeler-dealer. This poet-ape, Jonson wrote, “from brokage is become so bold a thief,”

    At first he made low shifts, would pick and glean,
    Buy the reversion of old plays; now grown
    To a little wealth, and credit in the scene,
    He takes up all, makes each man’s wit his own

    What to make of the fact that Jonson changed his tune in the prefatory material that he contributed to the First Folio of plays when it appeared seven years after Shakespeare’s death? Jonson’s praise there did more than attribute the work to Shakespeare. It declared his art unmatched: “He was not of an age, but for all time!” The anti-Stratfordian response is to note the shameless hype at the heart of the Folio project. “Whatever you do, Buy,” the compilers urged in their dedication, intent on a hard sell for a dramatist who, doubters emphasize, was curiously unsung at his death. The Folio’s introductory effusions, they argue, contain double meanings. Jonson tells readers, for example, to find Shakespeare not in his portrait “but his Booke,” seeming to undercut the relation between the man and the work. And near the start of his over-the-top tribute, Jonson riffs on the unreliability of extravagant praise, “which doth ne’er advance / The truth.”

    From September 1904: Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrates Shakespeare

    The authorship puzzles don’t end there. How did the man born in Stratford acquire the wide-ranging knowledge on display in the plays—of the Elizabethan court, as well as of multiple languages, the law, astronomy, music, the military, and foreign lands, especially northern Italian cities? The author’s linguistic brilliance shines in words and sayings imported from foreign vocabularies, but Shakespeare wasn’t educated past the age of 13. Perhaps he traveled, joined the army, worked as a tutor, or all three, scholars have proposed. Yet no proof exists of any of those experiences, despite, as the Oxford historian Hugh Trevor-Roper pointed out in an essay, “the greatest battery of organized research that has ever been directed upon a single person.”
    Emilia Bassano’s life encompassed the breadth of the Shakespeare canon: its low-class references and knowledge of the court; its Italian sources and Jewish allusions; its music and feminism.

    In fact, a document that does exist—Shakespeare’s will—would seem to undercut such hypotheses. A wealthy man when he retired to Stratford, he was meticulous about bequeathing his properties and possessions (his silver, his second-best bed). Yet he left behind not a single book, though the plays draw on hundreds of texts, including some—in Italian and French—that hadn’t yet been translated into English. Nor did he leave any musical instruments, though the plays use at least 300 musical terms and refer to 26 instruments. He remembered three actor-owners in his company, but no one in the literary profession. Strangest of all, he made no mention of manuscripts or writing. Perhaps as startling as the gaps in his will, Shakespeare appears to have neglected his daughters’ education—an incongruity, given the erudition of so many of the playwright’s female characters. One signed with her mark, the other with a signature a scholar has called “painfully formed.”

    “Weak and unconvincing” was Trevor-Roper’s verdict on the case for Shakespeare. My delving left me in agreement, not that the briefs for the male alternatives struck me as compelling either. Steeped in the plays, I felt their author would surely join me in bridling at the Stratfordians’ unquestioning worship at the shrine—their arrogant dismissal of skeptics as mere deluded “buggers,” or worse. (“Is there any more fanatic zealot than the priest-like defender of a challenged creed?” asked Richmond Crinkley, a former director of programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library who was nonetheless sympathetic to the anti-Stratfordian view.) To appreciate how belief blossoms into fact—how readily myths about someone get disseminated as truth—one can’t do better than to read Shakespeare. Just think of how obsessed the work is with mistaken identities, concealed women, forged and anonymous documents—with the error of trusting in outward appearances. What if searchers for the real Shakespeare simply haven’t set their sights on the right pool of candidates?

    Read: An interview with the author of ‘The Shakespeare Wars’

    I met Emilia Bassano’s most ardent champion at Alice’s Tea Cup, which seemed unexpectedly apt: A teahouse on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, it has quotes from Alice in Wonderland scrawled across the walls. (“off with their heads!”) John Hudson, an Englishman in his 60s who pursued a degree at the Shakespeare Institute in a mid-career swerve, had been on the Bassano case for years, he told me. In 2014, he published Shakespeare’s Dark Lady: Amelia Bassano Lanier, the Woman Behind Shakespeare’s Plays? His zeal can sometimes get the better of him, yet he emphasizes that his methods and findings are laid out “for anyone … to refute if they wish.” Like Alice’s rabbit hole, Bassano’s case opened up new and richly disorienting perspectives—on the plays, on the ways we think about genius and gender, and on a fascinating life.

    Hudson first learned of Bassano from A. L. Rowse, who discovered mention of her in the notebooks of an Elizabethan physician and astrologer named Simon Forman. In her teens, she became the mistress of Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, the master of court entertainment and patron of Shakespeare’s acting company. And that is only the start. Whether or not Bassano was Shakespeare’s lover (scholars now dismiss Rowse’s claim), the discernible contours of her biography supply what the available material about Shakespeare’s life doesn’t: circumstantial evidence of opportunities to acquire an impressive expanse of knowledge.

    Bassano lived, Hudson points out, “an existence on the boundaries of many different social worlds,” encompassing the breadth of the Shakespeare canon: its coarse, low-class references and its intimate knowledge of the court; its Italian sources and its Jewish allusions; its music and its feminism. And her imprint, as Hudson reads the plays, extends over a long period. He notes the many uses of her name, citing several early on—for instance, an Emilia in The Comedy of Errors. (Emilia, the most common female name in the plays alongside Katherine, wasn’t used in the 16th century by any other English playwright.) Titus Andronicus features a character named Bassianus, which was the original Roman name of Bassano del Grappa, her family’s hometown before their move to Venice. Later, in The Merchant of Venice, the romantic hero is a Venetian named Bassanio, an indication that the author perhaps knew of the Bassanos’ connection to Venice. (Bassanio is a spelling of their name in some records.)

    Further on, in Othello, another Emilia appears—Iago’s wife. Her famous speech against abusive husbands, Hudson notes, doesn’t show up until 1623, in the First Folio, included among lines that hadn’t appeared in an earlier version (lines that Stratfordians assume—without any proof—were written before Shakespeare’s death). Bassano was still alive, and by then had known her share of hardship at the hands of men. More to the point, she had already spoken out, in her 1611 book of poetry, against men who “do like vipers deface the wombs wherein they were bred.”

    Prodded by Hudson, you can discern traces of Bassano’s own life trajectory in particular works across the canon. In All’s Well That Ends Well, a lowborn girl lives with a dowager countess and a general named Bertram. When Bassano’s father, Baptista, died in 1576, Emilia, then 7, was taken in by Susan Bertie, the dowager countess of Kent. The countess’s brother, Peregrine Bertie, was—like the fictional Bertram—a celebrated general. In the play, the countess tells how a father “famous … in his profession” left “his sole child … bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that her education promises.” Bassano received a remarkable humanist education with the countess. In her book of poetry, she praised her guardian as “the Mistris of my youth, / The noble guide of my ungovern’d dayes.”
    Bassano’s life sheds possible light on the plays’ preoccupation with women caught in forced or loveless marriages.

    As for the celebrated general, Hudson seizes on the possibility that Bassano’s ears, and perhaps eyes, were opened by Peregrine Bertie as well. In 1582, Bertie was named ambassador to Denmark by the queen and sent to the court at Elsinore—the setting of Hamlet. Records show that the trip included state dinners with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, whose names appear in the play. Because emissaries from the same two families later visited the English court, the trip isn’t decisive, but another encounter is telling: Bertie met with the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, whose astronomical theories influenced the play. Was Bassano (then just entering her teens) on the trip? Bertie was accompanied by a “whole traine,” but only the names of important gentlemen are recorded. In any case, Hudson argues, she would have heard tales on his return.

    Later, as the mistress of Henry Carey (43 years her senior), Bassano gained access to more than the theater world. Carey, the queen’s cousin, held various legal and military positions. Bassano was “favoured much of her Majesty and of many noblemen,” the physician Forman noted, indicating the kind of extensive aristocratic associations that only vague guesswork can accord to Shakespeare. His company didn’t perform at court until Christmas of 1594, after several of the plays informed by courtly life had already been written. Shakespeare’s history plays, concerned as they are with the interactions of the governing class, presume an insider perspective on aristocratic life. Yet mere court performances wouldn’t have enabled such familiarity, and no trace exists of Shakespeare’s presence in any upper-class household.

    And then, in late 1592, Bassano (now 23) was expelled from court. She was pregnant. Carey gave her money and jewels and, for appearance’s sake, married her off to Alphonso Lanier, a court musician. A few months later, she had a son. Despite the glittering dowry, Lanier must not have been pleased. “Her husband hath dealt hardly with her,” Forman wrote, “and spent and consumed her goods.”

    Bassano was later employed in a noble household, probably as a music tutor, and roughly a decade after that opened a school. Whether she accompanied her male relatives—whose consort of recorder players at the English court lasted 90 years—on their trips back to northern Italy isn’t known. But the family link to the home country offers support for the fine-grained familiarity with the region that (along with in-depth musical knowledge) any plausible candidate for authorship would seem to need—just what scholars have had to strain to establish for Shakespeare. (Perhaps, theories go, he chatted with travelers or consulted books.) In Othello, for example, Iago gives a speech that precisely describes a fresco in Bassano del Grappa—also the location of a shop owned by Giovanni Otello, a likely source of the title character’s name.

    Her Bassano lineage—scholars suggest the family were conversos, converted or hidden Jews presenting as Christians—also helps account for the Jewish references that scholars of the plays have noted. The plea in The Merchant of Venice for the equality and humanity of Jews, a radical departure from typical anti-Semitic portrayals of the period, is well known. “Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?” Shylock asks. “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” A Midsummer Night’s Dream draws from a passage in the Talmud about marriage vows; spoken Hebrew is mixed into the nonsense language of All’s Well That Ends Well.
    Stephen Doyle

    What’s more, the Bassano family’s background suggests a source close to home for the particular interest in dark figures in the sonnets, Othello, and elsewhere. A 1584 document about the arrest of two Bassano men records them as “black”—among Elizabethans, the term could apply to anyone darker than the fair-skinned English, including those with a Mediterranean complexion. (The fellows uttered lines that could come straight from a comic interlude in the plays: “We have as good friends in the court as thou hast and better too … Send us to ward? Thou wert as good kiss our arse.”) In Love’s Labour’s Lost, the noblemen derisively compare Rosaline, the princess’s attendant, to “chimney-sweepers” and “colliers” (coal miners). The king joins in, telling Berowne, who is infatuated with her, “Thy love is black as ebony,” to which the young lord responds, “O wood divine!”

    Bassano’s life sheds possible light, too, on another outsider theme: the plays’ preoccupation with women caught in forced or loveless marriages. Hudson sees her misery reflected in the sonnets, thought to have been written from the early 1590s to the early 1600s. “When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, / I all alone beweep my outcast state, /And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, /And look upon myself and curse my fate,” reads sonnet 29. (When Maya Angelou first encountered the poem as a child, she thought Shakespeare must have been a black girl who had been sexually abused: “How else could he know what I know?”) For Shakespeare, those years brought a rise in status: In 1596, he was granted a coat of arms, and by 1597, he was rich enough to buy the second-largest house in Stratford.

    Read: What Maya Angelou meant when she said ‘Shakespeare must be a black girl’

    In what is considered an early or muddled version of The Taming of the Shrew, a man named Alphonso (as was Bassano’s husband) tries to marry off his three daughters, Emilia, Kate, and Philema. Emilia drops out in the later version, and the father is now called Baptista (the name of Bassano’s father). As a portrait of a husband dealing “hardly” with a wife, the play is horrifying. Yet Kate’s speech of submission, with its allusions to the Letters of Paul, is slippery: Even as she exaggeratedly parrots the Christian doctrine of womanly subjection, she is anything but dutifully silent.

    Shakespeare’s women repeatedly subvert such teachings, perhaps most radically in The Winter’s Tale, another drama of male cruelty. There the noblewoman Paulina, scorned by King Leontes as “a most intelligencing bawd” with a “boundless tongue,” bears fierce witness against him (no man dares to) when he wrongly accuses Queen Hermione of adultery and imprisons her. As in so many of the comedies, a more enlightened society emerges in the end because the women’s values triumph.

    I was stunned to realize that the year The Winter’s Tale was likely completed, 1611, was the same year Bassano published her book of poetry, Salve Deus Rex Judæorum. Her writing style bears no obvious resemblance to Shakespeare’s in his plays, though Hudson strains to suggest similarities. The overlap lies in the feminist content. Bassano’s poetry registers as more than conventional religious verse designed to win patronage (she dedicates it to nine women, Mary Sidney included, fashioning a female literary community). Scholars have observed that it reads as a “transgressive” defense of Eve and womankind. Like a cross-dressing Shakespearean heroine, Bassano refuses to play by the rules, heretically reinterpreting scripture. “If Eve did err, it was for knowledge sake,” she writes. Arguing that the crucifixion, a crime committed by men, was a greater crime than Eve’s, she challenges the basis of men’s “tyranny” over women.

    “I always feel something Italian, something Jewish about Shakespeare,” Jorge Luis Borges told The Paris Review in 1966. “Perhaps Englishmen admire him because of that, because it’s so unlike them.” Borges didn’t mention feeling “something female” about the bard, yet that response has never ceased to be part of Shakespeare’s allure—embodiment though he is of the patriarchal authority of the Western canon. What would the revelation of a woman’s hand at work mean, aside from the loss of a prime tourist attraction in Stratford-upon-Avon? Would the effect be a blow to the cultural patriarchy, or the erosion of the canon’s status? Would (male) myths of inexplicable genius take a hit? Would women at last claim their rightful authority as historical and intellectual forces?

    I was curious to take the temperature of the combative authorship debate as women edge their way into it. Over more tea, I tested Hudson’s room for flexibility. Could the plays’ many connections to Bassano be explained by simply assuming the playwright knew her well? “Shakespeare would have had to run to her every few minutes for a musical reference or an Italian pun,” he said. I caught up with Mark Rylance, the actor and former artistic director of the Globe, in the midst of rehearsals for Othello (whose plot, he noted, comes from an Italian text that didn’t exist in English). A latitudinarian doubter—embracing the inquiry, not any single candidate—Rylance has lately observed that the once heretical notion of collaboration between Shakespeare and other writers “is now accepted, pursued and published by leading orthodox scholars.” He told me that “Emilia should be studied by anyone interested in the creation of the plays.” David Scott Kastan, a well-known Shakespeare scholar at Yale, urged further exploration too, though he wasn’t ready to anoint her bard. “What’s clear is that it’s important to know more about her,” he said, and even got playful with pronouns: “The more we know about her and the world she lived in, the more we’ll know about Shakespeare, whoever she was.”
    Related Stories

    Such Ado: The Fight for Shakespeare’s Puns
    Shakespeare in Love, or in Context

    In the fall, I joined the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust—a gathering of skeptics at the Globe—feeling excited that gender would be at the top of the agenda. Some eyebrows were raised even in this company, but enthusiasm ran high. “People have been totally frustrated with authorship debates that go nowhere, but that’s because there have been 200 years of bad candidates,” one participant from the University of Toronto exclaimed. “They didn’t want to see women in this,” he reflected. “It’s a tragedy of history.”

    He favored Sidney. Others were eager to learn about Bassano, and with collaboration in mind, I wondered whether the two women had perhaps worked together, or as part of a group. I thought of Bassano’s Salve Deus, in which she writes that men have wrongly taken credit for knowledge: “Yet Men will boast of Knowledge, which he tooke / From Eve’s faire hand, as from a learned Booke.”

    The night after the meeting, I went to a performance of Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre. I sat enthralled, still listening for the poet in her words, trying to catch her reflection in some forgotten bit of verse. “Give me my robe, put on my crown,” cried the queen, “I have / Immortal longings in me.” There she was, kissing her ladies goodbye, raising the serpent to her breast. “I am fire and air.”

  • U.S. sinks Arctic accord due to climate change differences - diplomats - Reuters

    Front row from left, Foreign Ministers of Norway, Ine Eriksen Soreide, Russia, Sergey Lavrov, Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Finland’s Timo Soini, Canada’s Chrystia Freeland, Denmark’s Anders Samuelsen and Iceland’s Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson pose for a picture during the Arctic Council summit at the Lappi Areena in Rovaniemi, Finland May 7, 2019.
    Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

    The United States has refused to sign an agreement on challenges in the Arctic due to discrepancies over climate change wording, diplomats said on Tuesday, jeopardising cooperation in the polar region at the sharp edge of global warming.

    With Arctic temperatures rising at twice the rate of the rest of the globe, the melting ice is creating potential new shipping lanes and has opened much of the world’s last untapped reserves of oil and gas to commercial exploitation .

    A meeting of eight nations bordering the Arctic in Rovaniemi in Finland on Tuesday was supposed to frame a two-year agenda to balance the challenge of global warming with sustainable development of mineral wealth.

    But sources with knowledge of the discussions said the United States balked at signing a final declaration as it disagreed with wording that climate change was a serious threat to the Arctic.

    It was the first time a declaration had been cancelled since the Arctic Council was formed in 1996.

  • Rapid #permafrost thaw unrecognized threat to landscape, global warming researcher warns — ScienceDaily

    Le dégel rapide du #pergélisol est une menace non reconnue pour le paysage

    Les scientifiques étudient depuis longtemps comment le dégel progressif du pergélisol survenant pendant des décennies sur des centimètres de sol de surface influera sur le rejet de carbone dans l’atmosphère. Mais Turetsky et une équipe internationale de chercheurs envisagent quelque chose de très différent : l’effondrement rapide du pergélisol qui peut transformer le paysage en quelques mois seulement par le biais d’affaissements, d’inondations et de glissements de terrain.

    Le pergélisol fond si rapidement dans l’#Arctique que les scientifiques perdent leur équipement)


  • Venezuela: El fundador de Blackwater busca crear un ejército de mercenarios para derrocar a Maduro | Público

    Blackwater au service de Guaido au #Venezuela : BFM TV va-t-elle en parler ?

    Erik Prince, el fundador de la controvertida empresa de seguridad privada Blackwater y declarado partidario del presidente Donald Trump, ha estado tratando de impulsar un plan para desplegar un ejército privado para ayudar a derrocar al presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, según han contado a Reuters cuatro fuentes conocedoras de los esfuerzos.

    En los últimos meses, según las fuentes, Prince ha buscado inversión y apoyo político para tal empresa por parte de influyentes partidarios de Trump y ricos exiliados venezolanos. En encuentros privados en Estados Unidos y Europa, Prince ha esbozado un plan para desplegar a hasta 5.000 soldados a sueldo en nombre del líder opositor Juan Guaidó, según dos fuentes con conocimiento directo de las gestiones de Prince.

    Una de las fuentes ha contado que Prince ha mantenido reuniones sobre este asunto hasta mediados de abril. El portavoz del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca, Garrett Marquis, no ha querido hacer comentarios sobre si Prince ha planteado su plan al Gobierno y si este sería considerado, si bien una fuente conocedora del sentir de la Casa Blanca ha apuntado a que no lo respaldaría.

    Por su parte, el portavoz de Guaidó, Edward Rodríguez, se ha limitado a afirmar que los responsables de la oposición venezolana no han discutido sobre operaciones militares con Prince, mientas que el Gobierno de Maduro no ha querido hacer comentarios.

    Algunos expertos de seguridad estadounidenses y venezolanos, a los que Reuters ha contado el plan, lo han considerado políticamente inverosímil y potencialmente peligroso ya que podría desencadenar una guerra civil.

    Un exiliado venezolano próximo a la oposición se ha mostrado de acuerdo pero ha señalado que los contratistas privados podrían resultar útiles, en caso de que el Gobierno de Maduro se desmorone, ofreciendo seguridad para una nueva administración el día después.

    Marc Cohen, portavoz de Prince, dijo este mes que el fundador de Blackwater «no tiene planes de operar o llevar a cabo una operación en Venezuela» y declinó responder a más preguntas.

  • Charles Marville - Vues du Vieux Paris | Vergue

    Rue Saint Jacques, du boulevard Saint Germain. Paris Ve. 1866.

    Charles Marville - Vues du Paris d’Haussmann | Vergue

    Photographes | Vergue


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    #photographie #archives #histoire #Paris

  • Je pense que la phrase, niveau café-du-commerce-de-droite, que j’ai la plus entendue, et ça depuis que je suis gamin, c’est : « Le problème, en France, c’est qu’on n’y aime pas les riches ». Un temps, ça c’est vaguement affiné pour devenir « c’est qu’on n’y aime pas ceux qui réussissent ». Le moindre crétin de droite, avec un verre dans le pif, va te la sortir (et comme tu sais, ça sert de fondement philosophique à la longue complainte, qui va suivre, sur les impôts).

    Et donc on avait bien besoin du quotidien de révérence pour aborder ce sujet tabou : Les riches, ces mal-aimés

    On les jalouse, on les envie, surtout on ne les aime pas. Même quand ils donnent leur argent pour la bonne cause. L’historien allemand Rainer Zitelmann a étudié dans plusieurs pays, dont la France, les mécanismes de cette détestation.

  • D’abord, ils sont venus pour Assange…

    En conclusion, et comme l’ont déjà affirmé Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Reporters Sans Frontières, The Guardian et bon nombre d’autres institutions [5] pourtant plus souvent complaisantes qu’adverses à l’égard des puissants, l’arrestation d’#Assange est un coup porté à la #liberté d’#information dans son ensemble. Sa capture est voulue à tout prix pour l’exemple au mépris du droit international et des promesses faites dans le passé par un gouvernement Équatorien manifestement acheté par les US (l’Équateur a opportunément reçu un prêt de 10 milliards par le FMI [6]...). Jeter Assange en prison vise à décourager quiconque de suivre son inspiration pour publier sans compromis ce qui expose les crimes et #mensonges des puissants. Ne nous y trompons pas, et au-delà des désaccords avec certains des propos d’Assange, il est urgent de reconnaître la portée de l’héritage de #WikiLeaks : de ce qu’il inspire pour le présent et pour le futur d’une presse libre et d’une information qui permettrait de collectivement et durablement rétablir les rapports de force, d’inquiéter les dominants et d’espérer un jour les faire payer pour leurs crimes et mensonges.

    • A tous ceux qui nous ont abandonné : nous n’oublierons pas. A tous les autres : nous nous battrons jusqu’au bout pour empêcher l’extradition et la mise au ban de celui qui fut, il y a deux ans, reconnu par l’ONU comme le seul détenu politique du continent.

      Les cinq ans de prison auxquels fait face théoriquement Julian Assange sont d’évidence une façon pour les Etats-Unis d’obtenir son extradition – en prétendant à une peine légère – afin d’ensuite dévoiler l’ensemble des autres poursuites qui pourraient le mener à la prison à vie.

      Il n’y a aucun doute sur le fait que cette procédure, enclenchée dès le départ dans un seul but, détruire Wikileaks et cet individu, est politique et ne s’achèvera que lorsqu’il sera complètement écrasé.

      C’est à nous de l’éviter.

      Juan Branco

    • lien propre:

      Glen Greenwald, Micah Lee - 20190412

      In April, 2017, Pompeo, while still CIA chief, delivered a deranged speech proclaiming that “we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” He punctuated his speech with this threat: “To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.”

      From the start, the Trump DOJ has made no secret of its desire to criminalize journalism generally. Early in the Trump administration, Sessions explicitly discussed the possibility of prosecuting journalists for publishing classified information. Trump and his key aides were open about how eager they were to build on, and escalate, the Obama administration’s progress in enabling journalism in the U.S. to be criminalized.

      Today’s arrest of Assange is clearly the culmination of a two-year effort by the U.S. government to coerce Ecuador — under its new and submissive president, Lenín Moreno — to withdraw the asylum protection it extended to Assange in 2012. Rescinding Assange’s asylum would enable the U.K. to arrest Assange on minor bail-jumping charges pending in London and, far more significantly, to rely on an extradition request from the U.S. government to send him to a country to which he has no connection (the U.S.) to stand trial relating to leaked documents.

      Indeed, the Trump administration’s motive here is clear. With Ecuador withdrawing its asylum protection and subserviently allowing the U.K. to enter its own embassy to arrest Assange, Assange faced no charges other than a minor bail-jumping charge in the U.K. (Sweden closed its sexual assault investigation not because they concluded Assange was innocent, but because they spent years unsuccessfully trying to extradite him). By indicting Assange and demanding his extradition, it ensures that Assange — once he serves his time in a London jail for bail-jumping — will be kept in a British prison for the full year or longer that it takes for the U.S. extradition request, which Assange will certainly contest, to wind its way through the British courts.

      The indictment tries to cast itself as charging Assange not with journalistic activities but with criminal hacking. But it is a thinly disguised pretext for prosecuting Assange for publishing the U.S. government’s secret documents while pretending to make it about something else.

      Whatever else is true about the indictment, substantial parts of the document explicitly characterize as criminal exactly the actions that journalists routinely engage in with their sources and thus, constitutes a dangerous attempt to criminalize investigative journalism.

      The indictment, for instance, places great emphasis on Assange’s alleged encouragement that Manning — after she already turned over hundreds of thousands of classified documents — try to get more documents for WikiLeaks to publish. The indictment claims that “discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information. During an exchange, Manning told Assange that ‘after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.’ To which Assange replied, ‘curious eyes never run dry in my experience.’”

      But encouraging sources to obtain more information is something journalists do routinely. Indeed, it would be a breach of one’s journalistic duties not to ask vital sources with access to classified information if they could provide even more information so as to allow more complete reporting. If a source comes to a journalist with information, it is entirely common and expected that the journalist would reply: Can you also get me X, Y, and Z to complete the story or to make it better? As Edward Snowden said this morning, “Bob Woodward stated publicly he would have advised me to remain in place and act as a mole.”

      Investigative journalism in many, if not most, cases, entails a constant back and forth between journalist and source in which the journalist tries to induce the source to provide more classified information, even if doing so is illegal. To include such “encouragement” as part of a criminal indictment — as the Trump DOJ did today — is to criminalize the crux of investigative journalism itself, even if the indictment includes other activities you believe fall outside the scope of journalism.

      As Northwestern journalism professor Dan Kennedy explained in The Guardian in 2010 when denouncing as a press freedom threat the Obama DOJ’s attempts to indict Assange based on the theory that he did more than passively receive and publish documents — i.e., that he actively “colluded” with Manning:

      The problem is that there is no meaningful distinction to be made. How did the Guardian, equally, not “collude” with WikiLeaks in obtaining the cables? How did the New York Times not “collude” with the Guardian when the Guardian gave the Times a copy following Assange’s decision to cut the Times out of the latest document dump?

      For that matter, I don’t see how any news organisation can be said not to have colluded with a source when it receives leaked documents. Didn’t the Times collude with Daniel Ellsberg when it received the Pentagon Papers from him? Yes, there are differences. Ellsberg had finished making copies long before he began working with the Times, whereas Assange may have goaded Manning. But does that really matter?

      Most of the reports about the Assange indictment today have falsely suggested that the Trump DOJ discovered some sort of new evidence that proved Assange tried to help Manning hack through a password in order to use a different username to download documents. Aside from the fact that those attempts failed, none of this is new: As the last five paragraphs of this 2011 Politico story demonstrate, that Assange talked to Manning about ways to use a different username so as to avoid detection was part of Manning’s trial and was long known to the Obama DOJ when they decided not to prosecute.

      There are only two new events that explain today’s indictment of Assange: 1) The Trump administration from the start included authoritarian extremists such as Sessions and Pompeo who do not care in the slightest about press freedom and were determined to criminalize journalism against the U.S., and 2) With Ecuador about to withdraw its asylum protection, the U.S. government needed an excuse to prevent Assange from walking free.

      A technical analysis of the indictment’s claims similarly proves the charge against Assange to be a serious threat to First Amendment press liberties, primarily because it seeks to criminalize what is actually a journalist’s core duty: helping one’s source avoid detection. The indictment deceitfully seeks to cast Assange’s efforts to help Manning maintain her anonymity as some sort of sinister hacking attack.

      The Defense Department computer that Manning used to download the documents which she then furnished to WikiLeaks was likely running the Windows operating system. It had multiple user accounts on it, including an account to which Manning had legitimate access. Each account is protected by a password, and Windows computers store a file that contains a list of usernames and password “hashes,” or scrambled versions of the passwords. Only accounts designated as “administrator,” a designation Manning’s account lacked, have permission to access this file.

      The indictment suggests that Manning, in order to access this password file, powered off her computer and then powered it back on, this time booting to a CD running the Linux operating system. From within Linux, she allegedly accessed this file full of password hashes. The indictment alleges that Assange agreed to try to crack one of these password hashes, which, if successful, would recover the original password. With the original password, Manning would be able to log directly into that other user’s account, which — as the indictment puts it — “would have made it more difficult for investigators to identify Manning as the source of disclosures of classified information.”

      Assange appears to have been unsuccessful in cracking the password. The indictment alleges that “Assange indicated that he had been trying to crack the password by stating that he had ‘no luck so far.’”

      Thus, even if one accepts all of the indictment’s claims as true, Assange was not trying to hack into new document files to which Manning had no access, but rather trying to help Manning avoid detection as a source. For that reason, the precedent that this case would set would be a devastating blow to investigative journalists and press freedom everywhere.

      Journalists have an ethical obligation to take steps to protect their sources from retaliation, which sometimes includes granting them anonymity and employing technical measures to help ensure that their identity is not discovered. When journalists take source protection seriously, they strip metadata and redact information from documents before publishing them if that information could have been used to identify their source; they host cloud-based systems such as SecureDrop, now employed by dozens of major newsrooms around the world, that make it easier and safer for whistleblowers, who may be under surveillance, to send messages and classified documents to journalists without their employers knowing; and they use secure communication tools like Signal and set them to automatically delete messages.

      But today’s indictment of Assange seeks to criminalize exactly these types of source-protection efforts, as it states that “it was part of the conspiracy that Assange and Manning used a special folder on a cloud drop box of WikiLeaks to transmit classified records containing information related to the national defense of the United States.”

      The indictment, in numerous other passages, plainly conflates standard newsroom best practices with a criminal conspiracy. It states, for instance, that “it was part of the conspiracy that Assange and Manning used the ‘Jabber’ online chat service to collaborate on the acquisition and dissemination of the classified records, and to enter into the agreement to crack the password […].” There is no question that using Jabber, or any other encrypted messaging system, to communicate with sources and acquire documents with the intent to publish them, is a completely lawful and standard part of modern investigative journalism. Newsrooms across the world now use similar technologies to communicate securely with their sources and to help their sources avoid detection by the government.

      The indictment similarly alleges that “it was part of the conspiracy that Assange and Manning took measures to conceal Manning as the source of the disclosure of classified records to WikiLeaks, including by removing usernames from the disclosed information and deleting chat logs between Assange and Manning.”

  • How children lost the right to roam in four generations | Daily Mail Online

    Even if he wanted to play outdoors, none of his friends strays from their home or garden unsupervised.

    The contrast between Edward and George’s childhoods is highlighted in a report which warns that the mental health of 21st-century children is at risk because they are missing out on the exposure to the natural world enjoyed by past generations.

    The report says the change in attitudes is reflected in four generations of the Thomas family in Sheffield.

    The oldest member, George, was allowed to roam for six miles from home unaccompanied when he was eight.

    His home was tiny and crowded and he spent most of his time outside, playing games and making dens.

    Mr Thomas, who went on to become a carpenter, has never lost some of the habits picked up as a child and, aged 88, is still a keen walker.

    His son-in-law, Jack Hattersley, 63, was also given freedom to roam.

    He was aged eight in 1950, and was allowed to walk for about one mile on his own to the local woods. Again, he walked to school and never travelled by car.

    #transports #territoires #mobilité

  • Old Stuff !!

    Playlist :

    Jandek : The Stumble (The place - Corwood Industries - 2003)

    Naked city : Grand Guignol (Grand Guignol - Avant - 1992)

    Sadato : Guitar Taiko (1992 - Atonal Records - 1992)

    AMM III : Radio Activity (It Had Been An Ordinary Enough Day In Peublo, Colorado - ECM Records - 1991)

    Blurt : The Tree Is Dead, Long Live The Tree (Smoke Time - Moving Target - 1987)

    Holy Modal Rounders : The Second Hand-Watch (Indian War Whoop - ESP Disk / ZYX Music - original 1967)

    Current Ninety Three : The Magical Birds In The Magical Woods (Sleep Has His House - Durtro - 2000)

    Third Ear Band : Spirits (Radio Session - Voiceprint - 1994)

    Jon Rose : Semi Membranosus (Moves and Games (In Six Mouvements)) (Pulled Muscles - Immigrant - 1993)

    Edward ka-Spel : Inferno (Down In The City Of Heartbreak And (...)

  • Know The Coin: Interview with #bitcoin Gold’s Communications Director Edward Iskra

    Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Know The Coin with ChangeNOW! Today’s guest is Edward Iskra, Communications Director and Board Member in Bitcoin Gold, who was very nice to sit down with our marketing manager Pauline and talk about BTG, its history, features, and future updates!Hey there, Edward! Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background? Was the Bitcoin Gold your first sort of venture into the #crypto world?No, it wasn’t. I’m a little older than an average person in crypto. I got my computer science degree back in the early 90s. I was following the news about Bitcoin during its first peak over $1k value, before the Mt. Gox era. I wasn’t actively involved, though — no mining or investing — I was too busy working as an IT director in a small investment bank (...)

    #cryptocurrency #cryptocurrency-news #bitcoin-gold

  • Edward Saïd — Wikipédia

    Un extrait de la fiche Wikipedia sur Edward Saïd, en fait l’intégralité de ce qui est résumé à propos de ce qui reste pour beaucoup son principal ouvrage, L’Orientalisme. A peine 4 lignes pour ses thèses, 26 pour présenter les réfutations apportées à ses thèses, à commencer par Bernard Lewis... Bon, c’est quand même mieux en anglais...

    En 1978, il publie son livre le plus connu, L’Orientalisme, considéré comme le texte fondateur des études postcoloniales. Il y mène une analyse de l’histoire du discours colonial sur les populations orientales placées sous domination européenne en développant quatre thèses, à savoir la domination politique et culturelle de l’Orient par l’Occident, la dépréciation de la langue arabe, la diabolisation de l’arabe et de l’islam, et la cause palestinienne. Le livre suscite des commentaires très divers, et notamment une célèbre controverse avec Bernard Lewis.

    Dans un article intitulé « La question de l’orientalisme » (The New York Review of Books, 24 juin 1982), Bernard Lewis répond aux attaques visant les orientalistes, et particulièrement à celles que leur adresse Edward Saïd. Bernard Lewis estime que la démonstration d’Edward Said n’est pas convaincante. Il reproche à Said11 :

    de créer artificiellement un groupe, les orientalistes, qui partageraient, en gros la même thèse, ce que Bernard Lewis juge absurde ;
    d’ignorer les travaux des orientalistes du monde germanique (ce qui « n’a pas plus de sens qu’une histoire de la musique ou de la philosophie européenne avec la même omission »), pour se focaliser sur les Britanniques et les Français, et de négliger, parmi ces derniers, bon nombre d’auteurs majeurs, comme Claude Cahen ;
    de préférer, souvent, les « écrits mineurs ou occasionnels » aux « contributions majeures à la science » ;
    de faire commencer l’orientalisme moderne à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, dans un contexte d’expansion coloniale de la Grande-Bretagne et de la France, alors que cette science émerge au XVIe siècle, c’est-à-dire au moment où l’Empire ottoman domine la Méditerranée ;
    d’intégrer dans son analyse des auteurs qui ne sont pas de vrais orientalistes, comme Gérard de Nerval ;
    de commettre une série d’entorses à la vérité et d’erreurs factuelles, notamment quand Edward Said accuse Sylvestre de Sacy d’avoir volé des documents et commis des traductions malhonnêtes (« Cette monstrueuse diffamation d’un grand savant est sans un grain de vérité »), ou lorsqu’il écrit que les armées musulmanes ont conquis la Turquie avant l’Afrique du nord (« c’est-à-dire que le XIe siècle est venu avant le VIIe ») ;
    de faire des interprétations absurdes de certains passages écrits par des orientalistes, notamment par Bernard Lewis lui-même ;
    d’utiliser deux poids, deux mesures : « les spécialistes soviétiques, en particulier quand ils traitent des régions islamiques et d’autres régions non européennes de l’Union soviétique, se rapprochent le plus — beaucoup plus que tous ces Britanniques et ces Français qu’il condamne — de la littérature tendancieuse et dénigrante, qu’Edward Said déteste tant chez les autres » ; or Said ne mentionnerait jamais les thèses contestables d’auteurs russes.

    Edward Saïd écrit alors une lettre à la New York Review of Books, publiée avec une réplique de Bernard Lewis12.

    Deux ans avant cette controverse, Jean-Pierre Péroncel-Hugoz avait publié dans Le Monde un compte-rendu de lecture recoupant certaines critiques de Bernard Lewis, en particulier le mélange fait entre des savants et des écrivains de fiction (« L’une des principales faiblesses de la thèse d’Edward Saïd est d’avoir mis sur le même plan les créations littéraires inspirées par l’Orient à des écrivains non orientalistes, dont l’art a nécessairement transformé la réalité, et l’orientalisme purement scientifique, le vrai. »), la focalisation excessive sur des aspects secondaires dans l’œuvre de certains orientalistes, et l’omission de nombreux spécialistes (Jean-Pierre Péroncel-Hugoz donne une liste, dans laquelle se trouvent Antoine Galland, Robert Mantran et Vincent Monteil)13.

    Tout en se déclarant d’accord avec Edward Saïd sur certains points importants, comme la définition du terme orientalisme, le philosophe Sadek al-Azem a conclu pour sa part, que le livre manquait trop de rigueur pour être vraiment concluant : « chez Saïd, le polémiste et le styliste prennent très souvent le pas sur le penseur systématique14. » Malcolm Kerr, professeur à l’université de Californie à Los Angeles puis président de l’université américaine de Beyrouth a porté une appréciation assez similaire sur l’ouvrage : « En accusant l’ensemble de la tradition européenne et américaine d’études orientales de pécher par réductionnisme et caricature, il commet précisément la même erreur15. »

    #edward_said #wikipedia

  • Robert Tibbo, l’avocat d’Edward Snowden forcé à l’exil

    Le sort de cet avocat des droits de l’homme et de sept de ses clients est lié au destin du lanceur d’alerte américain, à l’origine des révélations sur la surveillance de masse menée par les Etats-Unis. C’est une belle victoire qui a dû adoucir, au moins pendant quelques heures, l’exil de Robert Tibbo en France. Après plusieurs années de bataille, l’une des clientes de cet avocat canadien, Vanessa Rodel, et sa fille Keana viennent d’obtenir, le 25 mars, l’asile au Canada. Elles faisaient partie d’un (...)

    #web #surveillance #activisme #PRISM

  • Top oil firms spending millions lobbying to block climate change policies, says report

    Ad campaigns hide investment in a huge expansion of oil and gas extraction, says InfluenceMap.

    The largest five stock market listed oil and gas companies spend nearly $200m (£153m) a year lobbying to delay, control or block policies to tackle climate change, according to a new report.

    #Chevron, #BP and #ExxonMobil were the main companies leading the field in direct lobbying to push against a climate policy to tackle global warming, the report said.

    Increasingly they are using social media to successfully push their agenda to weaken and oppose any meaningful legislation to tackle global warming.

    In the run-up to the US midterm elections last year $2m was spent on targeted Facebook and Instagram ads by global oil giants and their industry bodies, promoting the benefits of increased fossil fuel production, according to the report published on Friday by InfluenceMap (

    Separately, BP donated $13m to a campaign, also supported by Chevron, that successfully stopped a carbon tax in Washington state – $1m of which was spent on social media ads, the research shows.
    Sign up to the Green Light email to get the planet’s most important stories
    Read more

    Edward Collins, the report’s author, analysed corporate spending on lobbying, briefing and advertising, and assessed what proportion was dedicated to climate issues.

    He said: “Oil majors’ climate branding sounds increasingly hollow and their credibility is on the line. They publicly support climate action while lobbying against binding policy. They advocate low-carbon solutions but such investments are dwarfed by spending on expanding their fossil fuel business.”

    After the Paris climate agreement in 2015 the large integrated oil and gas companies said they supported a price on carbon and formed groups like the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative which promote voluntary measures.

    But, the report states, there is a glaring gap between their words and their actions.

    The five publicly listed oil majors – ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and Total – now spend about $195m a year on branding campaigns suggesting they support action against climate change.

    But the report said these campaigns were misleading the public about the extent of the oil companies’ actions because while publicly endorsing the need to act, they are massively increasing investment in a huge expansion of oil and gas extraction. In 2019 their spending will increase to $115bn, with just 3% of that directed at low carbon projects.

    Shell said in a statement: “We firmly reject the premise of this report. We are very clear about our support for the Paris agreement, and the steps that we are taking to help meet society’s needs for more and cleaner energy.

    “We make no apology for talking to policymakers and regulators around the world to make our voice heard on crucial topics such as climate change and how to address it.”

    Chevron said it disagreed with the report’s findings. “Chevron is taking prudent, cost-effective actions and is committed to working with policymakers to design balanced and transparent greenhouse gas emissions reductions policies that address environmental goals and ensure consumers have access to affordable, reliable and ever cleaner energy.”

    The successful lobbying and direct opposition to policy measures to tackle global warming have hindered governments globally in their efforts to implement policies after the Paris agreement to meet climate targets and keep warming below 1.5C.
    #lobby #climat #changement_climatique #pétrole #industrie_du_pétrole #rapport

  • ce qui se passe à Ferguson mérite quelques secondes d’attention. Depuis 2014 les militant.e.s là-bas qui ont impulsé le mouvement #BlackLivesMatter meurent les uns après les autres. De mort violente.
    L’hypothèse d’une série d’exécutions commises par un groupe de tueurs suprémacistes blancs ne peut plus être étouffée, même si la police et la justice s’y emploient fermement.
    Police, the FBI and Homeland Security have monitored black activists throughout the country, especially after Michael Brown’s killing.” D’autres témoignages glaçants et des précisions importantes dans cet article du média indépendant Black Agenda Report.

    The Fight for Justice Takes Its Toll on Ferguson Activists | Black Agenda Report

    Darren Seals, one of the two activists who were shot and found in burning cars, had said in a November 2014 Facebook post that he had been shot before. Some activists in St. Louis also often suffer from depression and isolation, and have limited access to therapy and other resources.

    St. Louis is one of the most segregated cities in the US, with Delmar Blvd. dividing the more affluent white population from neighborhoods that are up to 98 percent black in North St. Louis. The Ferguson protests in 2014 were a flash-point, but “there’s a long history of this kind of violent reaction to black folks in St. Louis generally, and certainly violent reaction to protesters,” said Blake Strode, the executive director of ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit civil rights law firm that has worked on dozens of cases of police brutality.

    “St. Louis has the highest murder rate in America.”

    Besides the unexplained deaths, Ferguson activists have experienced myriad threats to their physical and mental well-being. In 2014, one young activist, Josh Williams, was arrested after lighting a garbage can on fire while protesting the police killing of another black man, Antonio Martin, according to activists. He was convicted a year later, after pleading guilty for arson, burglary, and theft, and sentenced to prison for eight years. He told Vice News that his harsh sentence was to make an example out of him, and that prison guards verbally abuse him with racist slurs.

    • Je me permets de libérer ici l’entièreté du thread trèsimportant de Olivier Cyran :

      Sans vouloir ajouter à l’accablement général – mais ce qui se passe à Ferguson mérite quelques secondes d’attention. Depuis 2014 les militant.e.s là-bas qui ont impulsé le mouvement #BlackLivesMatter meurent les uns après les autres. De mort violente.
      Etats-Unis. L’agence de presse officielle du capitalisme américain Associated Press reconnait enfin les assassinats ciblés d’animateurs de protestations antiracistes. @rebel_workers @OlivierCyran
      Puzzling number of men tied to Ferguson protests have died

      Deandre Joshua a été abattu d’une balle dans la tête puis brûlé dans sa voiture en 2014, au plus fort des protestations qui avaient suivi le meurtre par un policier blanc d’un jeune homme noir désarmé de 18 ans, Michael Brown.
      Son camarade Darren Seals, vu sur Internet en train de réconforter la mère de Michael Brown, a connu le même sort deux ans plus tard. Le corps criblé de balles, la voiture incendiée. Dans ces deux affaires l’enquête n’a toujours rien donné.
      Marshawn McCarrel, de Columbus, dans l’Ohio, très impliqué lui aussi dans les mobilisations de Ferguson, meurt en février 2016 d’une balle dans la tête. Les enquêteurs concluent... au suicide.
      En mai 2017, deuxième "suicidé" par balle : Edward Crawford Jr., 27 ans. C’est lui qu’on voit retourner une grenade lacrymogène aux envoyeurs sur cette photo célèbre, couronnée d’un prix Pulitzer.
      Octobre 2017 : le corps sans vie de Danye Jones, autre jeune militant de Ferguson, est retrouvé pendu à un arbre dans le jardin de sa maison. Suicide, continue de marteler la police. Lynchage, accuse sa mère.
      Un mois plus tard, c’est au tour de Bassem Masri de succomber. Cet Américano-Palestinien de 31 ans s’était fait remarquer par ses « livestreams » téméraires au cœur des manifestations violemment réprimées de Ferguson. Cette fois, la police conclut à un décès par overdose.
      Incroyable : c’est au sixième mort seulement que des soupçons commencent à affleurer dans la presse mainstream – grâce notamment à cet article de l’agence American Press (AP), beaucoup repris aux USA et utilisé comme source pour ce thread. 
      L’hypothèse d’une série d’exécutions commises par un groupe de tueurs suprémacistes blancs ne peut plus être étouffée, même si la police et la justice s’y emploient fermement.
      À Ferguson, cela fait des années pourtant que les militant.e.s qui ont allumé la mèche de BlackLivesMatter vivent dans la peur. Cori Bush, une figure du mouvement, évoque « le harcèlement, les intimidations, les menaces de mort et les tentatives d’assassinat » dont elle fut et continue d’être la cible. La maison de Cori Bush a été vandalisée, sa voiture percutée et envoyée dans le décor pendant qu’elle conduisait. Un jour un inconnu lui tire dessus alors qu’elle est au volant, manquant de tuer sa fille de 13 ans. On peine à concevoir le mélange de stress, de deuil, de colère, de terreur et d’impuissance dans lequel vivent les rescapé.e.s de la lutte de 2014. Inutile de préciser qu’elles n’ont aucune aide à attendre d’une police notoirement raciste – et peut-être impliquée elle-même dans ce qui ressemble fort à une série d’assassinats politiques. Sans doute que dans dix ou vingt ans Hollywood en tirera un film à oscars – on essaiera d’attendre moins longtemps pour témoigner de la solidarité aux militant.e.s en danger.
      “Police, the FBI and Homeland Security have monitored black activists throughout the country, especially after Michael Brown’s killing.” D’autres témoignages glaçants et des précisions importantes dans cet article du média indépendant Black Agenda Report.