Bossnapping: Insurrectionary adventurism or opportunism?

PARIS (AFP) — Bosses across the world are having to break bad news to employees as companies go under. But that can be a risky business in France, where some furious workers have taken to holding their managers hostage to demand better pay-offs.

In the latest outbreak of "bossnapping", workers at a pharmaceutical factory were Wednesday holding their boss in his office for a second day to force him to improve their redundancy packages.

"This action is our only currency. But there is no aggression," said union representative Jean-Francois Caparros from the plant owned by the US industrial conglomerate 3M in the central town of Pithiviers.

The detention came less than two weeks after workers held the boss of Sony France hostage for a night and barricaded their factory entrance with tree trunks. They freed him only after he agreed to reopen talks on their pay-off.

In neither case did police intervene to free the managers, in a tacit recognition that such radical tactics were part of negotiations and that no harm would come to the bosses.

more from the AFP


Bash Back: Solidarity With All Cop Killers

On March 26th, Bash Back! operatives dropped a banner from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union. The banner read only: "We (heart) Lovelle Mixon."
There have been a ton of Web arguments over the banner and the situation.

Vandalism at parking meters up after rate hike

Chicago motorists are venting their anger about higher parking meter rates tied to a 75-year, $1.15 billion lease — with a spike in vandalism and a drop-off in on-street parking, the private contractor acknowledged Wednesday.

“We’ve certainly seen an uptick in the amount of vandalism at the meters. That suggests to me that some people are unhappy with the increase in the meter rates," said Mike Kuziak, chief operating officer of LAZ Parking, the operator hired by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.

"We've increased our resources to respond to meter maintenance issues to make sure the integrity of the system remains intact."

Kuziak said he was "not authorized to talk about revenue" and, therefore, could not put hard figures behind the anecdotal evidence supplied by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin that a boycott is brewing to protest rates that require motorists to pump 28 quarters into Loop meters for two hours of parking.

But he said, "Clearly, as the rates have increased, there are people who are unhappy about it, and there are people who will seek alternative parking. That will free up more spaces on the street for the benefit of the merchant community."

Marin reported Sunday that she had observed open meters on Clark Street in Lincoln Park, on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park and on Columbus Drive around the Sheraton Hotel during midweek, mid-day hours, when it would normally be difficult to find a space.

A barrage of angry e-mails only bolstered her contention that the empty spaces signal a backlash to the rate hikes, elimination of free Sunday parking and to the contractor's decision to issue parking tickets to "supplement" the city's enforcement efforts.

from the Sun-Times


No to contracts, no to Olympics, no to police

Saying it has been "backed into a corner," the Chicago police department's patrolman's union announced today it will be having an "informational picket" at City Hall next Thursday to protest the lack of a contract.

The picket will happen the same day the International Olympic Committee is set to come to Chicago. Buses will drive officers from meeting points around the city to City Hall for a picket at 11 a.m.

Forward with the FOP General Strike!

from the Trib


"Snitches get stitches"

A convicted drug dealer from the West Side has been charged with attacking a 73-year-old man who routinely called police to report him, Chicago police said today.

Police say Bennie Hale, 21, learned that the manager of a laundromat in the 5400 block of West Chicago Avenue, had been calling police whenever he allegedly saw Hale selling drugs in his business place and nearby.

Hale allegedly confronted the man, hitting him on the head and body with his fists, and damaged the victim's office and office equipment. Hale fled, but police later arrested him.

Hale, of the 4300 block of West Washington Boulevard, was charged with aggravated battery of a senior citizen and is due in court this morning. He was paroled in August after serving prison time on a 2007 drug conviction and has a 2006 conviction for manufacture/delivery of cocaine, according to the Illinois DoC Web site.

from the Trib

NSM rally under the arch in St. Louis

The National Socialist Movement, America's Nazi Party[,] announces that it will rally under the Arch in St. Louis, Mo.[,] on Sat., Apr. 18th[,] from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This is the same group at the blunt end of the anti-fascist riots in Toledo a few years ago.

This week, Calgary saw a cat-and-mouse chase of a neo-Nazi by Canadian anti-fascists. Some wack claiming to be a spokesperson from Calgary ARA condemned attacks against the Aryan Guard, but we're hoping this was a slip of the tongue and not ARA going soft on fascism.


Banner drop in Pilsen

Published at Chicago Indymedia with some discussion of gentrification there.


River Forest cop cars vandalized and set ablaze

An arson investigation is underway following a vandalism spree that damaged four River Forest government cars early Friday, including the burning of a squad car and a community service officer’s car.

Police Chief Frank Limon said besides the two police vehicles, two of the village’s Public Works Department vehicles had windows smashed out. All four were parked just west of Village Hall. One of the squad cars was extensively damaged, the other is being repaired, Limon said. “We know it wasn’t accidental,” said Limon.

“We’re looking at everything and anything.”

from Pioneer-Local


Independent social space shutdown

In yet another blow to Chicago’s arts community, local performance space and nonprofit resource center AV-aerie has gone on “indefinite hiatus” following a visit from a dozen city officials this past Friday (which unfortunately put an early end to a benefit show for local upstart Dill Pickle Food Co-op).

As anyone who’s followed its trials and tribulations is well aware, this isn’t the first time the space—formerly Open-End gallery, Ideotech and the home of DEPART-ment—has run into problems with the zoning board. Last May, AV-aerie chief Marshall Preheim was slapped with a citation for not having a Public Place of Amusement license, and ever since he’s been ensnared in a lengthy and expensive tug of war with the city.
from Time Out