Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category
Cecily McMillan and the Rise of the Soldier-Cop

Cecily McMillan and the Rise of the Soldier-Cop

  • May 07, 2014
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On Monday a New York jury found Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan guilty of felony assault on police officer Grantley Bovell, during a protest in New York’s Zucotti park on March 17, 2012.    McMillan was convicted of deliberately elbowing Bovell in the face, during a violent police assault on a protest to mark the six-month anniversary of the Occupy movement.

A graduate student from the New School, McMillan claimed that she instinctively elbowed Bovell without knowing he was a police officer, after someone grabbed her right breast. Videos of the protest show McMillan...

Whatever Happened to the Future?

Whatever Happened to the Future?

  • April 17, 2014
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There was a time when the future seemed like something you could rely on, at least if you were lucky enough to live in the ‘developed’ world; when you could look at your life twenty or thirty years down the line and know that you would have a job, and that if you worked for...

Richard Levin’s Awfully Big Corporate Adventure

  • March 25, 2014
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One of the small mysteries that has always intrigued me about Tony Blair’s dizzying transformation into a global moneymaking machine, was his teaching role at Yale University.   In September 2008 Blair taught his first class at Yale as part of a three-year collaboration between the Yale School of Divinity and the Tony Blair Faith...

Russia: Under Western Eyes

  • March 05, 2014
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Just to be clear:   I regard Russia’s quasi-occupation of the Crimea as a dangerous gambit,  and a violation of international law that opens the possibility for a range of potentially dire outcomes.     That said, I can’t see how any state in Russia’s position would allow such a vital economic and strategic asset...

Breaking Bad and the end of the American Dream

  • December 05, 2013
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I’ve finally got to the last episode of Breaking Bad, and I feel not so much bereft as relieved that it’s over.   Not because it wasn’t good.   On the contrary, it’s actually a stunning achievement.     The performances are astonishing throughout.     The writing is sharp and skilful, with an...

Britain’s Death Squad

  • November 22, 2013
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Last night’s Panorama investigation on the Military Reaction Force (MRF) was an important and revelatory insight into a little-known facet of the British ‘dirty war’ in Northern Ireland.   A secret unit that ‘did not exist on paper’,   the MRF carried out undercover surveillance and extra-judicial executions of IRA members, mostly in West Belfast,...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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