XLt Herbst Radar v.2 : Another Brave New Bubble Bursting …

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Upcoming Actions:

< 20.9 > Alternative Wohngipfel, 10-18h

< 21.9 > Protest Am Kanzleramt, 14h

Events to Keep an Eye On !

< 21.9 > Netzpolitik Konferenz, Volksbühne

< 27.9- 12.10 > The Most Dangerous Game – exhibition + discussions on The Situationists, HKW

more coming soon !

KIEZ NOTES !

Truly an odd and unfortunate coincidence that Netzpolitik.org in Berlin, founded in 2002, will celebrate its 16th year on the same date that Mietenwannsinn ( the organization which formed to fight against the rising rents and gentri-fork-nation ) will be fighting against Horst Seehofer and Angela Merkel’s Wohngipfel ( Housing Summit ) to save our city. Yes, the same “alt right” xenaphobe from south Germany is also Bau Minister – Minister of the Interior, Building and Community.

S.O.S. ! This is not hyperbole! It is for the average citizen, and especially the most vulnerable, one of the most pressing day-to-day issues and threats to our way of life and livelihoods in the “Btropolis”. Rising rents and displacement !

From an XLt perspective, we have often found it problematic that the “Tech Sector” has trouble engaging fully in the interconnected crises, both local and global, which have been exacerbated, boosted and accelerated by corporate + krapitalist technologies.

In fact, one could argue, that at times, their analysis of tech problems and solutions are in the category of “Not My Department ” … ( a reference to Werner Von Braun, and a clever title for one of the Chaos Congresses some years ago ).

Silicon Valley, not only gobbling up all our data, is now also pouring its vulture capital into the neighborhoods of Berlin, a major local news story for easily over a year.  And the Kiez mobilizing resistance has been one of the hottest nodes of activism and community organizing now for several months…  not just as a local story, but global, in that for the first time urban residents are rejecting, not just the Google monopoly / monstrosity’s plans to open an incubator “campus”, but the wholesale digital culture’s neo-colonialisms, smart cities for suckers, the shitty internet plunderers of everything, etc. … Here in a very residential and multi-cultural zone of Kreuzberg, and quite literally a major historical artery of the deep left resistance subcultures.

Rarely does the “tech sector” show up to lend support when situations like a turkish family grocer ( Bizim Bakkal, from which arose the Bizim Kiez movement ), or a longtime local bakery, or a multitude of families with kids are ejected by market real-estate encroachments, profiteering and speculating landlords! But occasionally they do, and many tech activists have gotten on board the various Anti-Goo campaigns… and are not only providing important tactical tech, but also learning alot in the process of how to be in solidarity with concepts + movements like Wir Beliben Alle ( We are all staying ) and preventing more forced evictions! … For Netzpolitik, this seems to be another case of …  “Not Their Department” ! …

Are tech companies to blame for these rapidly escalating injustices ?! Is this even an issue for an Org that is busy focusing on “fighting for our digital rights” !? To begin, we need to start asking a lot harder and bigger questions about digital environments, rights and trajectories … and challenge the techno-fixers, when they are part of the problem and/or complicit, and when they choose to stay on the sidelines, as wealth deploys for gain over community interests.

Well, from some of our own experiences of analyzing and fighting the krapitalist tech invasions of cities like San Francisco ( and seeing neighborhoods like the Mission District devastated and turned into a cultural wasteland of empowered silicon-fried players )… let’s just say the time for myopic analysis and technotopian bubbledom has been way over, probably since the 90s … or even the 50s ( i.e. the internet’s MIC roots, and the weaponization of mass media + communications)… Or, really back to the roots of industrial era to c.1872 when Engels published Zur Wohnungsfrage !

Those who claim to be constructing the happy tomorrowlands of the technosphere, are really really late to arrive at the true landscapes of the many grim present challenges on the ground. Especially acknowledging how and where the “digital revolution” has miserably failed. And we need to come together establish a realtime solidarity culture + city, before it’s too late … for so many !

The founder of Netzpolitik ( and co-founder of Re:publica, the “start-up trade show” ) Markus Beckdahl, supposedly a beacon of lefty digital movements and “tech progress”, only managed TWO WEEKS AGO to finally write that there are options to Google’s tools and we should probably start using them, cause monopolies are bad for us! Doh !

One could hear the intensity of wrist-slapping, as he also wished them a happy 20th birthday; And, we kid you not, thx them for all the great work over the years showing us the way of the future !

Imagining that solutions will now be based on opting out of the cybernetic regime, just seems now to be really in denial of just how deep we were all sold down river ( or upstream ) in regards to an entire web culture driven by surveillance krapitalism !  This is all way beyond a problem of merely reclaiming our rights to a privatesphere ! The Top 5 Titans of the Internet, like Google, will not simply go away through consumer/user choices; There need to be some serious political contestations and immediate reigning in of the abuses ! And there is convincing analysis that our “technological progress” is what is fueling the rise of authoritarianism around the world, because it has so empowered the 1%, NOT democracies.

If a whole forest falls, and no forest creatures are left to hear it, does it make a sound ?! Do cyborg bears shit in the virtual woods, when there aren’t any real ones left ? One might imagine they are preparing to take a big data dump at an electronic theater near you !

( hmm, metaphor-work in progress ;)

Not surprisingly, many DIY neighborhood orgs in the city have developed a far more relevant analysis of the tech threats and how their industries are deeply interconnected to the problems we face in the struggles for a more egalitarian and just future… apparently far better than the supposed tech experts !  … links coming soon.

If you aren’t already in the streets, and planning to attend the Netzpolitik conference, DO COME with some serious questions for the techno-dysney-topians and the wired liberals !

In an interesting juxtaposition, we noticed this weekend that one of the early idealist tech rebels, Peter Sunde of Pirate Bay … wasn’t much interested in the battles over #Article13 and net neutrality…  he’s out at Hambacher Forest this week witnessing and reporting on the courageous tree sitters, and the new levels of ( incredibly, still civil ) disobedience at the various frontlines  …

Times are changing rapidly ! Our activism will most probably need to adapt, and/or be drasticly re-imagined…

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We will definitely come back to report on the Netzpolitik… at least the portions we are able to attend…

And we came across an incredible text just yesterday that describes all-too-painfully-well the lost war of The Net and Digital Cultures, and relating to the work of Paul Virilio who passed away this week. We will see if we can get permission to quote it. It seems like an important perspective, particularly for those who work on #Netzpolitik .

to be cont.


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