Soapy is on hunger strike

Soapy is on hunger strike

As of yesterday members of Students for Justice in Palestine began a hunger strike in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners. The following is a statement we released explaining our actions.

Whereas Palestinian political prisoner Samer al-Barq is on day 106 of his hunger strike in protest of his detention
Whereas Hassan Safadi is on day 76
Whereas Ayman Sharawna is on day 66
Whereas none of these prisoners have been charged with any crime or have received any trial in Israeli courts, a situation known as “administrative detention”
Whereas the continued use of administrative detention is in direct violation of the agreement signed by Israel with Palestinian prisoners this May
Whereas Palestinian detainees are routinely tortured by Israeli prison officials until they confess to crimes they did not commit
Whereas Palestinians are found guilty in 99.74% of cases brought against them in Israeli military tribunals

Students for Justice in Palestine has begun an open ended hunger strike until there is justice for the hunger striking detainees.

As of right now there are eight of us on day two of this hunger strike.

For more information about the hunger striking detainees visit http://www.addameer.org/etemplate.php?id=515

Please call or email the following members of the Israeli government to demand the release of Samer al-Barq, Hassan Safadi and Ayman Shawarna.

Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Military Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Israel
Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
Email: arbel@mail.idf.il; avimn@idf.gov.il
Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
Col. Eli Bar On
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
Beth El 90631
Fax: +972 2 9977326

Posted By

Soapy
Aug 9 2012 19:49

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Comments

Choccy
Sep 13 2012 20:27

thegunshow
Sep 13 2012 20:31
jef costello wrote:
It does seem a bit of a low blow to criticise someone who's doing something

Grow up.

The greatest problem of the last decade and a half of activistism is the idea that you can't criticise people because they are doing something, it's the politics of guilt and dictatorship of the mindless actions. Ironic that it finds its ultimate manifestation in the hunger strike.

Here we have the activist as the martyr, as ever, giving their all for their struggle. Acting on behalf of the cause, making the struggle a personal battle between them and the state.

Even the Irish republican movement had a stronger critique of the role of hunger strikes than some here - they saw it was problematic as it made the struggle individualistic and undemocratic.

Curiously, one group that did support hunger strike tactics was the WSM when Maura Harrington went on hunger strike and they picketed in support of her - in essence urging on a vulnerable, confused person to starve themselves to death.

Soap, the Israeli government doesn't care if you're alive or dead, but I do - so go eat a sandwich and quit the posturing.

As Zizek would say; Don't act, just think.

snipfool
Sep 13 2012 20:33
mons wrote:
Most people, even if they don't agree with the motives of this protest would probably at least offer sympathy and say something like 'oh wow thats impressive, good luck to you' or something...

Really? Good luck on dying? I'm ashamed that I was too timid to say anything when the blog post first appeared, but it immediately stuck out as problematic at best. I am glad revol et al. have spoken out. I thought I'd add this seeing as you suggested people were stifled due to the abrasive responses. For me they were a relief. The 'stifling' was more not being sure what to say to someone who's starving themselves to death.

thegunshow
Sep 13 2012 21:00

TRIGGER WARNING:

RIP Soapy mate.

wojtek
Sep 13 2012 21:06

Everything Revol's been saying.

Quote:

Thanks a lot Choccy, you've just ruined Big Lebowski for me now wink even if it is one of those films that are only good when you're high.

Fleur
Sep 13 2012 22:13

I think that everyone is jumping the gun a bit about Soapy and friends actually starving themselves to death. THAT ISN'T WHAT YOU ARE PLANNING ON DOING, IS IT? I'm assuming it's a solidarity fast and you are calling it a hunger strike for maximum impact.
It must be about 6 or 7 days now, in which case you are doing damage to your bodies, reversible at this point, but you're respiring ketones and putting massive pressure on your liver. Depending on how well you body can cope with getting rid of the ketones, you're you're at risk of developing ketoacidosis, which I've seen someone close to me go through and it's really nasty and can happen quite quickly. I know that this is an obvious thing to say, but you'll be feeling like shit because your body is having a tough time dealing with it. If you haven't had a medical check-up before starting, then you can't be sure how your body is going to cope. You're also not thinking straight because your brain's not getting the glucose it needs. So I hope you have already put a time limit on this because your capacity for rational thought is going to diminish.
I want to be supportive to you personally, although I really don't think that what you are doing is going to have any effect on the actions of Israel, but I'm really more concerned with what you are doing to your health than any political argument at this point. Martyrdom is a really overrated concept.
You probably haven't checked in because it's pretty hostile here, but I for one would really like to know if you are OK, although if you carry on you won't be.

Fleur
Sep 13 2012 22:24

For the record Soapy, I do empathise with your impulse to just do something, fuck knows I don't do anything much other than mouth off, but a prolonged hunger strike is damaging to your health which is of no benefit to anyone.

Indigo
Sep 13 2012 22:34

Why stop at a hunger strike? Anyone up for a solidarity dirty protest? Smearing shit on walls to to change the world one injustice at a time, after all Its better than not doing anything. And as a serial lurker, there's nothing that encourages me to post more than someone being rightfully called out on shit politics, it should be done more often.

PartyBucket
Sep 13 2012 22:38

A dirty protest would be a precursor to a hunger strike.
These idiots have gone straight to the furthest extreme, but obviously with no intention of following it through, and even if they had, someone would stop them, I hope.

Indigo
Sep 13 2012 23:22

I have no doubt whatsoever that someone would step in, or the strikers would come to their senses before any lasting injury could occur. Only the most impossibly earnest moron would damage themselves over such a farce.
I don't care if Soapy's intentions are good, s/he's clearly adult enough to think things through and I can't see how any sane grown-up could understand this publicity stunt to be anything other than what it is, a (no doubt well intentioned) stunt. It's not organising and it's stretching the definition of solidarity pretty damned far given the fact that its got no chance of impacting anything. Additionally I don't buy this 'at least it raises awareness' stuff for a second, raising awareness counts for fuck all. It's not organising and it won't change anything, we've been through that with the kony debacle, putting your body at risk to raise awareness is jaw-droppingly silly. Stop it.
To come to an anarchist communist site with this kind of stuff is also fairly silly, and rightfully s/he's been called out for blatant crap-spouting.

Soapy, I have every confidence that you're well meaning. however I'd urge you to stop the strike and address issues you have a real ability to change in your locality, if you put half the effort into that as you are into the hunger strike you can actually really help people, instead of damaging your body for no reason.

888
Sep 13 2012 23:49
thegunshow wrote:
As Zizek would say; Don't act, just think.

I'd rather hunger strike myself to death than be a Zizek fan. Theory comes from action, not vice versa, idealists. At least Soapy is more likely to do something useful by pure random chance or learn what kind of action is useful through experiment than wankers who have wasted their lives reading pointless philosophy books.

888
Sep 13 2012 23:52
revol68 wrote:
I love how this place has went full circle to indulging shitty activist and student politics, it's now filled with muppets who seem to think their little bubbles are relevant to life as the vast majority of working people experience it. Even worse it's also admined by people who know it's a pile of shite but under the auspices of their PR drive for the new improved diet Libcom (now 95% vitriol free) bite their tongues over shit like this hunger strike. In keeping with the activist bubble they imagine the issues of politico culture being unrepresentative of the wider class are simply matters of individual behaviour and being more welcoming ie less critical of stupidity, less swearing or scathing.

critics are of no value. go and join the dupont brothers

Arbeiten
Sep 14 2012 02:43

O.K. I don't want to be a pawn in any bigger argument about libcom culture lol. I just don't want to ick a brother while he is down (even if I don't agree with the reasoning for self inflicted down-ness). I hope we can be frank without being too rude, offensive or whatever.

While I agree with your try things out see if they work approach 888 (and indeed try do so myself*), a hunger strike in the name of people on the other side of the globe is really heavy stuff. For all the reasons already pointed out. The history of 'solidarity' hunger strikes is pretty thin, while white people dying in palestine hasn't proven to be that effective a propaganda tool either. No matter how I try and think about this, I keep coming back to the problem of self-rightiousness and substitutionalism (I don't really want to get into stereotypes about so called 'liberals' or students or activists or whatever). Yes it is insane that these people are on hunger strike (a profoundly different existential choice given the ramifications of their choice and their situation), yes, the israeli state basically uses 'humanitarian' rations (food, water, electricity, movement etc, etc,) as a valve tightened and loosened according to the will of the military. I'm not sure. I can't quite articulate** it, but it just doesn't sit right.

* Indeed wasn't it touched upon earlier today that taking on big targets like the IMF, WTO (lets add the Israeli state [and by proxy the U.S, E.U. and NATO to boot) is a practical impossibility. This is why I find this so difficult to say because, reasonably, someone might retort 'well what the fuck are you doing'. Nothing of course. I know the atrocities that go on in Israel/palestine, in Tibet, in a plethora of other places. But what can I do? I'm not sure this is it.

** mostly this is the reason I deleted my post originally by the way.
n.b. Read theory by all means, but fuck Zizek. Pain in the arse. I prefer a dialectical [sic] approach to theory and action Mr. T .

mons
Sep 14 2012 11:53

I can't be arsed to read the whole thread through again but i'm pretty sure everyone is agreed that it's not a sensible thing to do, isn't communist, won't achieve anything other than making soapy and co worse off. Also i don't think anyone has said that it shouldn't be criticised. A lot of people are arguing against a massive strawman, e.g. when arguing against guilt politics and activism. And no revol I doubt I'm "institutionalised within the mindless milieu of muppets who think solidarity and progressive politics revolve around "good intentions" and a false unity that acts to stifle proper criticism by appeals for respect/ comradely behaviour." given I have never been in the activist milieu and my friends are not political let alone activists, and I think there should be criticism of it, because it doesn't amount to proper solidarity or communist politics.

Maybe I came down to strongly on the other side in my last comments actually, I imagine I could just have easily have reacted differently initially. I was writing a thing about activists and activist culture and how it shoots itself in the foot when I posted, and so it's easy to interpret everything as weird activist behaviour. I'm not sure anymore.

I think saying it is 'insulting' is basically ultra-left in a bad way/politically correct/whatever tho, but i accept i might be wrong about that if some people are actually insulted which i find hard to believe. I still think it is weird to slam people, hurting noone other than themselves, at a personal level for this, and to slam those who offer nice sentiments (while still criticising the politics of the action) to the people doing it.

LBird
Sep 14 2012 12:48
888 wrote:
Theory comes from action, not vice versa, idealists.

Here is the philosophical roots of Soapy's mistake.

On the contrary, theory comes from the human mind, sometimes as the result of experience, but just as often from guessing, chance, brilliance, luck, discussion, intuition, etc.

For Communists, action must follow theory. This is not idealism, as 888 alleges.

To argue that 'theory comes from action' is to take a conservative philosophical starting point.

Think about the shite taught on PGCEs about 'reflective practice'.

flaneur
Sep 14 2012 13:44

There's probably a third option revol albeit one you're obviously not familiar with. It's called having a bit of tact, even if the hunger strike is a terrible idea. I know, that's not as HILARIOUS as being obnoxious over the internet and Zizek doesn't bother with it neither but don't you get bored always acting like a dickhead?

888
Sep 14 2012 14:05
LBird wrote:
888 wrote:
Theory comes from action, not vice versa, idealists.

Here is the philosophical roots of Soapy's mistake.

On the contrary, theory comes from the human mind, sometimes as the result of experience, but just as often from guessing, chance, brilliance, luck, discussion, intuition, etc.

For Communists, action must follow theory. This is not idealism, as 888 alleges.

To argue that 'theory comes from action' is to take a conservative philosophical starting point.

Think about the shite taught on PGCEs about 'reflective practice'.

I'm not familiar with PGCEs but how can anyone say 'reflective practice' is not a good idea? Maybe not the way they put it, but in general it's obviously sensible.

Have fun building your Descartian inverted pyramid of theory untainted by reality or experimental evidence. Useful theory might come via the means of guessing and chance, but it has to be confirmed as useful, has to actually have practical implications, otherwise all it is is nice sounding poetry. Theory (of any use) comes into being as the expression of class struggle, not vice versa, and it is the very definition of idealism to argue otherwise.

LBird
Sep 14 2012 14:30
888 wrote:
Have fun building your Descartian inverted pyramid of theory untainted by reality or experimental evidence.

Who advocates this?

888 wrote:
Useful theory might come via the means of guessing and chance, but it has to be confirmed as useful, has to actually have practical implications, otherwise all it is is nice sounding poetry.

Yes, theory (coming first) has to be tested in practice (coming second).

888 wrote:
I'm not familiar with PGCEs but how can anyone say 'reflective practice' is not a good idea? Maybe not the way they put it, but in general it's obviously sensible.

No, 'reflective practice' is the conservative ideological conditioning that all trainee teachers in the UK are subjected to. And it's neither 'obvious' nor 'sensible'.

It's not obvious to those conditioned by it, and it's not sensible for Communists to advocate it as a method.

Starting from 'practice' means starting from a given way of teaching (the present bourgeois method) and trying to improve it.

On the contrary, we have to criticise what exists (by theoretical discussion) and then implement revolutionary new ways of teaching.

Teachers' 'reflection' is individual and passive; we require 'criticism' and a new practice which flows from theoretical axioms, and is amended by collective considerations of our new practice.

thegunshow
Sep 14 2012 14:44

Any updates from Soapy?

thegunshow
Sep 14 2012 14:50
888 wrote:
thegunshow wrote:
As Zizek would say; Don't act, just think.

At least Soapy is more likely to do something useful by pure random chance

If the last decade and a half has though us anything it's that a million monkeys with a million placards can not create a revolution by going through all the permutations.

If anything, Soapy is more likely to do something counter-productive, through mindlessness than something useful by accident.

Fleur
Sep 14 2012 16:26

So, you look any good in a bikini?

According to their college paper they've scheduled the end of the hunger strike for today at 5pm (about 5 hours time.) So that's one concern out of the way, no-one's planning on doing themselves any lasting damage. I'm not posting it up because someone's bound to cut and paste for piss taking purposes and I'm not enabling that. Go find it yourself.
I think it's fair to say that most people disagree with Soapy's group's tactics, what I don't think is fair is to express that in the form of personal abuse, as Arbeiten said, to kick a brother when he's down. Soapy's been posting on Libcom longer than me and I hope they comes back. As I said before, solidarity politics is one route to getting to thinking politically, these days I don't think they're very effective, I think that working on things locally is more so, but also like I said before, I'm not really putting my money where my mouth is on that score either, so I'm not going pull any I'm a better commie than you argument here. Call it what you will, not wishing to indulge in uncomradely behaviour, call me a wishy-washy old softy for not wanting to hurt someone's feelings. Call someone out on something you disagree on, by all means, but don't reduce it to a level of nastiness.
Palestinians have been fucked over since long before I was born and there's no sign of that changing and I wouldn't criticise anyone for feeling empathy for their situation.
The bottom line though is that if I were to throw out a question to libcommers, to anyone, asking if they had never done anything which turned out to be not the right course of action, politically ineffective, self-harming on any level or just plain daft and if anyone put their hands up to say that they hadn't I'd tell them to get the fuck out of it. None of us are right all of the time, I know I'm not.

888
Sep 14 2012 17:44
LBird wrote:
a new practice which flows from theoretical axioms, and is amended by collective considerations of our new practice.

How platonic... That's not how it works though, you can only form axioms after you've already worked out how a system works to a large extent, and for a theory of social struggle that would be done by... social struggle.

Axioms in geometry were only clarified a long time after the rules of geometry were known. But even then mathematics is a rare case, since it's purely theoretical. There aren't any axioms in chemistry, or if someone came up with some, they are never taught or of any use. And the more complex the system you're looking at is, the muddier things become, the less useful deriving things starting from some fundamental principles becomes (which was only ever done after the fact anyway)

LBird
Sep 14 2012 17:55
888 wrote:
...you can only form axioms after you've already worked out how a system works...

But if we wish to replace an existing system, how can we form axioms based upon the workings of that system?

No, we form our Communist axioms and build an entirely new system based upon our needs and wants.

You've got things the wrong way around, mate.

888 wrote:
...There aren't any axioms in chemistry, or if someone came up with some, they are never taught or of any use...

Periodic table?

Serge Forward
Sep 14 2012 20:04
flaneur wrote:
There's probably a third option revol albeit one you're obviously not familiar with. It's called having a bit of tact, even if the hunger strike is a terrible idea. I know, that's not as HILARIOUS as being obnoxious over the internet and Zizek doesn't bother with it neither but don't you get bored always acting like a dickhead?

Bang on, flaneur!

Revol, you speak much truth but you really could do with enrolling at your nearest anarcho-charm school. Try and be a bit nice for once.

Soapy, you sound like a reet nice fella, but seriously, do yourself a big big favour and get summat down yer before you do some permanent damage to yerself. Revolutionaries need to be well, not make themselves ill.

As for the discussion between LBird and 888, please put down the crack pipe and listen to yourselves.

snipfool
Sep 14 2012 21:40

revol, you're a cunt.

Arbeiten
Sep 14 2012 21:47

I think it is just you revol ( eek ). Unless I am being a proper cunt (which usually entails a lot of booze) I would expect someone to reasonably explain to me what I am doing wrong and why. You can't fight alienation with alienated means blah, blah, blah. But yeah. I'm sure we can revive the forum cultures war in the proper thread. grin

thegunshow
Sep 14 2012 22:05

Yeh be nice, we're trying to cynically recruit these people Revol!

snipfool
Sep 14 2012 22:11

As much as I agree that Soapy's actions needed to be criticised, I'm not convinced that criticism is necessarily comprised by a more tactful delivery. I'm still grateful that revol spoke out though. What I'm worried about is that this tough love hasn't had the intended effect of slapping him or her back to reality. I mean, Soapy has replied in a while. Soapy?

Serge Forward
Sep 15 2012 00:18
revol68 wrote:
This whole oh say it nicer thing is such superficial shite, not to mention patronising, maybe its just me but id rather someone called me a cunt and treated me like im responsible for my stupidity thab give a patronising lecture on how they respect my intentions but maybe... etc

No, it's neither superficial shite nor patronising, it's about being serious rather than being, as you put it, a cunt. What Soapy is doing is worth criticisng properly and you don't do that by starting with insults and, some point down the line, slotting in criticisms almost as an afterthought. In fact, leaving out the insults completely and keeping it only to the criticism must surely be a better way of doing things than slagging off someone, doncha think? Unless it's more to do with the big I am and making those you disagree with feel small.

Serge Forward
Sep 15 2012 07:09

I see you've gone for the big I am option, revol. And frankly, if you think casual racism, sexism, homophobia is preferable to someone at least having some social and political awareness and trying to act upon it positively, even though their actions may be misguided, then you need to unwedge your head from out yer arse.

I hope you're nicer to people in real life than on t'internet, laddie. Just try and imagine that our Soapy is in the same room as you. See, I like a lot of your ideas and you say many things I agree loads with, but the way you fucking say it all devalues so much of it because you simply come across as a petulant tit.