Sunday — 12.27.20 — Thirty Fifth Testing Assembling

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0. Small Wish
1. Invitation
2. Some Useful Reading

1. Small Wish

Dear List,

We have maintained this list since 1999. There are likely some who have been on this list since then.

We realize many do not always get to attend or follow what we are doing. Especially in these years of near invisibility and silence.

But we do appreciate everyone and do wish you all the best in this most difficult of times.

We imagine many have lost someone dear in this year. And all the ugliness of our worlds have also been laid more apparent in the lights and shadows cast by the virus and the many responses to it.

We hope that in these uncertain times, we may find in friendship, community, communality, our special everyday forms of communism, the measures needs to overcome whatever lays ahead for us.

Art has never been for us a space of specialization, separation or enclosure, but rather the very possibility or means of making sense, weaving our worlds together in arrangements of our own making.

There is little to celebrate but if we can celebrate, it is for and toward these weaves of our own making.

So for the new year we wish you all the spirit to continue our struggles and the weaving of worlds.

1. Invitation

This Sunday, at 11 AM (New York Time) we will assemble consider the large-scale protests unfolding in Punjab, India.

In the midst of efforts by states to utilize the virus as cover for various modes of state violence, including lawfare and warfare, this week we gather to hear about one of the massive coalition of peasant farmers (Kisan) and rural laborers (Mazdoor) in India, who since November 24, 2020, has organized one of the largest occupations and mass protests in the world.

Thousands of farmers have set up encampments (Morchas) and blocked highways surrounding Delhi to demand the elimination of neoliberal agricultural laws passed this summer. These laws disband regional state procurement programs and markets (Mandis) that offer price controls and minimum price guarantees and opens the agrarian market to speculators and transnational corporations. The farmers warn that the BJP government’s latest moves as the first step to their dispossession, losing Indian food sovereignty and famines. The movement against the farming laws started in Punjab, the heartland of Indian agriculture, and are now spreading throughout the country. The location of the protests in Punjab has also raised some historical questions about the history of Indian Partition and the very meaning of land as a source of relative autonomy and independence for farmers. The media and propaganda wing of right wing BJP has struggled to paint the peasant protests in the sedition or anti-national slot because the image of Punjab’s farmers has been central to the creation of food sovereignty and self-sufficiency.

Food Sovereignty and the meaning of autonomy

Social Infrastructure of Protest

The question of land as a source of obligations and subsistence (and not reduced to commodity).

If you are interested to join, please write to mai [AT] 16beavergroup.org

2. Some Useful Readings

Trolley Times (English Version- Publication established to support the
Kisan Protests).

Mubbashir Rizvi,
Colonial Infrastructure and the Politics of Partition of Punjab

Ravinder Kaur. “Has Modi Finally Met His Match in India’s Farmers? |
December 10, 2020.

Navyug Gil, A Popular Upsurge Against Neoliberal Arithmetic

Navyug Gil, Farm Bills A False Experiment In The Name of Agricultural

Serhan, Yasmeen. “Where Nationalism Has No Answers.” The Atlantic,
December 21, 2020.