'Liberty Square' is from Michael Sorkin's All Over the Map
One of the basic rights enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution is that of "the people to freely assemble." Free assembly is the primary expression of democracy in space, the physical embodiment of liberty. This relationship far predates the American experience. Cities, in particular, have long been seen as especially conducive to freedom, as exemplified in the famous motto of the Hanseatic League: "City air makes you free." The just city is one where citizens move unimpeded and gather in many different forms for self-expression. In modern times, social progress has been directly linked to the variety of rallies, demonstrations, marches, and insurrections that have had as their arena the streets and squares of the city. From women's suffrage to civil rights to union organizing to anti- war protests, the power of bodies together in space has been crucial to the defense of our rights. In real democracy, the streets belong to the people.
In city after city, certain places have become linked to these gatherings, institutionalized by repeated use. While the street is the bedrock of the popular right to the city-the conduit of association-it is only part of the necessary infrastructure of assembly, which includes privatized spaces such as bars, cafés, lecture halls, stadia, and stoops, as well as bigger public spaces: the parks, plazas, and town squares that remain fundamental to sound urbanism. Whether the Zocalo in Mexico City, the Mall in Washington, or Tiananmen Square in Beijing, these great sites are zones of focus, the common property of those dedicated to the struggle for free association. Indeed, the right of the public to gather in these places continues to be defended in blood.
On Thursday 8 September on BBC One, Question Time returned for a new series with a special programme - ten years on from the September 11 attacks.
Tariq Ali, author of The Obama Syndrome, was on the panel, along with Defence Secretary Liam Fox, former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, the leading advocate of regime change in Iraq Richard Perle, American-born playwright Bonnie Greer and Christina Schmidt, whose husband Olaf, a British Army bomb disposal expert, was killed in Afghanistan. Chaired by David Dimbleby from London.
White Riot editors Stephen Duncombe and Maxwell Tremblay discussed punk, race and politics with Alexis Petridis for the Guardian Music Weekly podcast.
Going through the 'album' accompanying the book, the editors describe The Clash's 'White Riot' as
the quintessential articulation of radical whiteness ... It has all the complicated notions of the racial identity of punk rock - which is at one and the same time, a radical articulation of racial solidarity and anti-racist sentiment.
We purposely started the book with a non-punk piece, Norman Mailer's 'White Negro', because what we're trying to point out is that punk slips into a long line of bohemian cultural expressions of being able to and desiring to identify with the Other as a way of freeing oneself from white bourgeois restrictions; Patti Smith's 'Rock n Roll Nigger' is exactly within that tradition - and that haunts punk rock for 40 years.
'Daily Humiliation' is from Alain Badiou's Polemics, first published in Le Monde following the riots in Parisian banlieues and throughout France in November 2005.
'Constant identity checks and questioning by police.' Of all the complaints made by the youth of this country in revolt, the omnipresence of police checks and being arrested in their everyday lives, this harassment without respite, is the most constant, the most widely shared. Do we really realize what this grievance means? The dose of humiliation and violence it implies?
I have a 16-year-old, adopted son who is black. Let's call him Gérard. No sociological or misérabiliste 'explanations' can be applied to him. He grew up in Paris, in all simplicity.
American producers Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy have created Wugazi: 13 Chambers, the result of "a year's worth of cutting up every imaginable Fugazi record and trying out every Wu-Tang acapella they could get their hands on."
Is hip hop Black America's answer to punk? The two genres of music and subcultures share plenty of traits such as oft-politicized lyrics, repetition, an incredible ability to annoy parents, as well as the central concern with identity that has been played out through the politics of race for decades.
Fugazi frontman and punk hero Ian MacKaye once held some views about race that now seem shocking. At the age of 19, MacKaye was interviewed about race and the Minor Threat song "Guilty of Being White" for Maximumrocknroll, which he later stated to be "an anti-racist song." White Riot editors Stephen Duncombe and Maxwell Tremblay try to unpick his rants in their introduction to the interview: