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Riot Logistics

The recent uprisings in USA after the death of George Floyd lead us to move up the publication of this article by Nick Dyer-Witheford, Jaime Brenes Reyes and Michelle Liu that will be part of a forthcoming book on Capital Revolutions we are editing as Into the Black Box. We thank the authors for their contribution.

Originally published by Into The Black Box. Written by Nick Dyer-Witheford, Jaime Brenes Reyes and Michelle Liu.

Riots and Logistics

In 2018 and 2019 popular uprisings burst out around the planet in Paris, Hong Kong, Santiago, Quito, Beirut, Barcelona, Tehran, Baghdad and many other locations. The protests were characterized by their scale, paralyzing major cities and surrounding areas; their duration, often lasting for months; and their intensity. Confrontations with security forces resulted in protesters’ deaths (in Iran and Iraq numbered in the hundreds); many serious injuries, such as the hundreds of eye-wounds  inflicted on demonstrators in Chile by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters or, in France, mutilations from police stun grenades; thousands of arrests; and, often, extensive property damage. The tumults have been called a “global rebellion against neoliberalism”—perhaps an overly smooth description,  too quickly ironing out the complexities of the revolts’ political composition and the variety of the regimes they contested. [1]  Nevertheless, there were manifest commonalities in the outrage over conditions of inequality, precarity, corruption and subjection to police violence that these unrests revealed as widely shared across the world-market.

Authorities swiftly designated the risings as “riots,” a label many protestors categorically reject.[2]  In fact, the rebellions  often  started—and continued—as  peaceful demonstrations whose defiance of prohibitions on assembly or route of march ignited extreme police violence. Nonetheless, a feature of these events was the frequent determination of protestors—usually a minority, but often with wider support—to take-on police in street battle, and even escalate conflict strategically, following a logic articulated by the Chilean student who remarked of the youth protest against the country’s elite, “if we don’t fuck shit up, we don’t exist to them.”[3] We therefore term the 2018-19 uprisings a cycle of riots, acknowledging exceptions and emphasizing that in no way is the term “riot” used pejoratively, but rather with a connotation supplied by Martin Luther King: “In the last analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.”[4]

Here, we consider these riots in relation to logistics. Logistics and riots seem antithetical, at extremes of order and chaos, system and anarchy. The contrast is deceptive. As a burgeoning literature has established, logistics has a military origin, describing activities that bring forces, supplies and equipment to the field of battle. From this genesis the term passed into the lexicon of capitalism, and now designates the coordination of globe-spanning supply chains, marshalling and integrating widely varied operations to outdo commercial competitors in the struggle for profit. To prevail, logistic systems must circumvent all interruptions to the connection between the extraction of surplus value at point of production and the realization of that value in the moment of exchange. Such systems thus, as Deborah Cowen insists, operationalize the structural violence of global capitalism.  Logistics is,  in the words of  Jasper Bernes, “capitalism’s art of war”—just as riots can be a countervailing class war waged by those dispossessed, exploited and  insulted in the normal processes of marketization, a “counter-logistics.” [5]

Logistics Interrupted

Several authors have pointed to the potential vulnerability of contemporary logistical networks to civil disturbances, blockades  or strikes.[6] The boldest theorization of this issue is, however, Joshua Clover’s “riot-strike-riot’” thesis, which argues that riots are the paradigmatic form of resistance in a capitalism that has become increasingly “circulatory.” [7]

In classic Marxist thought, production—the making of commodities—is the heart of capital.  The workplace, the point of production, is thus the crucial site of workers’ collective counterpower, and the strike—pre-eminently, the industrial factory strike—their key weapon. But Clover postulates that at certain phases in the history of capitalism production becomes enveloped or subsumed by the larger apparatus of circulation that connects production to the market. These moments include both capitalism’s preindustrial phase, where mercantile trading is preeminent, and its post-industrial (or perhaps better, super-industrial) moment, when production becomes dependent on global supply chains.

At such moments logistical operations leap into salience both for the managers of capitalism and those who rebel against it. In early mercantile capital, a crucial form of resistance to an emergent market logic is, Clover points out, the food riot. In capital’s later, industrial phase, emphasis shifts to the strike-power of the mass factory worker. But in today’s world market, production is itself distributed across extended networks connecting software studios to assembly plants, and goods circulate to warehouses, supermarkets, stores, homes and computers through planet-spanning systems of transport and communication. Revolt gravitates towards interruption of these flows, in new forms of riot.

Clover’s work was formulated amidst  the “occupy” movements following the  financial crash of 2007-8, but, we suggest, finds its  full concrete adequation in the explosion of 2018-19, on at least three counts.[8] First, the trigger for many of these uprisings was an increase in the costs of the circulatory activities of transportation and communication-imposed on populations for whom these had become a central element  of “la vie chere” (expensive life). Larger constellation of grievances involving issues of social reproduction and labour conditions then condensed around all these initial outbursts. Fuel taxes, costly to precarious drivers and couriers and to small businesses, ignited both the Gilets Jaunes in France, and  the revolt of  Ecuador’s indigenous farmers that drove that country’s  government from the capital, Quito. It was a doubling in the price of gas that detonated mass protests in Iran. In Iraq,  the drivers of “tuk-tuks”(automated rickshaws)  objecting to traffic regulations and fuel prices  became “symbols of rebellion.”[9] Metro fare rises were the spark in Santiago, while in Beirut it was an increase in the costs of digital communication—the so-called “WhatsApp tax”—that set off widening waves of protest.

Second, the battlegrounds of the protests were logistical. Paul Virilio pointed out long ago that mobility has always been definitive of social “movements,” and the street a site of proletarian power before the factory.[10] Events in Paris, Santiago, Hong Kong and elsewhere updated this truth for  the vast, intertwined  transportation networks  of twenty first century capitalism. Occupy movements had filled  squares charged with  symbolic significance. In 2019, such moments recurred: “Tahrir Square” enjoyed a second life, not in Cairo but Baghdad. But in this round of struggles, motion, fluidity and viscosity, speed and slowdown, shaped protesters’ tactics.

For the Gilets Jaunes, slowdowns of  “exurban roundabouts” were the “backbone of . . . revolt” and  bases for other actions that included  destroying speed cameras, obstructing toll booths, and blocking “highway interchanges, airports, rail tracks, alpine tunnels, and maritime ports.”[11] In Puerto Rico, protest against government corruption found its feet by putting nearly a million people on to the Expreso Las Américas highway. In Iraq, the port of the oil city Basra and that of Um Qasr, the country’s only deep-water exit, were blocked for days. For Catalonian independence activists in Barcelona, and the Hong Kong anti-extradition movement, airport blockades were high-water moments in rebellions which also, however, baffled authorities by their fluidity in running battles through city streets. In Canada indigenous support for Wetʼsuwetʼen chiefs’ resistance to construction of a gas pipeline across their territories generated rail and road blockades that paralyzed east-west traffic.

Third, disrupting the circulatory flow of value gave protesters material power. The scale of damage inflicted on capital is difficult to assess.  Opponents of the movements sometimes exaggerated the economic impacts, emphasizing hardships to “likeable” small businesses and scapegoating protests for capital’s chronic problems (e.g. a falling rate of profit). It is, however, also the case that in several instances blockades and riots hit sectors of capital hard.

In  Hong Kong, a transportation, communication and financial hub of the world market, anxious business consultancies reported  on “supply chain disruptions” caused by “city-wide demonstrations and general strikes” that “paralyzed major highways and expressways,” and an airport occupation affecting not only passenger but also cargo flights, costing the aviation industry some $76 million.[12] The unrest struck an economy already in recession due to  US China trade wars and the flight of both companies and elite workers; the danger of exacerbating such difficulties probably stayed China from full-scale military intervention against protestors whom declared “if we burn, you burn too”.[13]

In France even a few weekends of  Gilets Jaunes’ actions in the capital city not only affected Paris’ retail, entertainment and tourism businesses, but also menaced big chain stores—Leclerc, Carrefour, Casino, Super U, Intermarché—as occupied roundabouts blocked deliveries.[14] In Chile,  confrontation between police and protestors in Santiago and other cities damaged small businesses, the classic commercial casualty of riots, but it was a retail oligopolist that was the intentional target of protestors’ anger. Walmart, known in Chile as Lider, notorious for its low wages and the high interest debit cards, reported 128 of its stores were looted, 34 torched and 17 of these burnt to the ground. Elsewhere, even the attempts to suppress riots gave capital pain.[15] In Iran, each day of the state-imposed Internet blackouts cutting protestors’ lines of communication cost the country’s business $369.5 million a day or $15.4 million per hour.[16]

The year of riots thus came with a price tag for capital—one reason why the tumults often forced states to swift retreats and concessions. Economic disruption was of course not the whole story. What was at stake in the streets was the ability of police and paramilitaries to uphold regime authority and legitimacy in wider struggles over rights, freedoms and social conditions. But in logistical struggles, economics and politics inexorably intertwined.

Riot Platforms

Riots  break capital’s logistical systems; they also, however, construct a different logistics, the counter-logistics of the riot itself—that is to say, the self-organization of protestors; their ability to gather; respond to police attack; disperse and re-assemble; supply themselves with gas masks, food, or barricade materials;  make collective decisions on the fly amidst police attacks and street fighting; connect with  other protests, across cities, regions, and borders. Riots thus involve not just the circulation of capital, but also, to take a phrase from the operaismo tradition, the circulation of struggles.

This take us from transportation to another aspect of logistics, communication.  For just as capital’s logistical operations have come to increasingly depend on digital networks, so too have the methods of those who interrupt such operations. To assert this is, of course, not to suggest that the Internet caused the riots, a foolish proposition; Philip Mirowski is correct  to say that focus on social movements’ use of digital networks risks amplifying capital’s inherent technological fetishism.[17] Yet as the streets of putatively “smart” cities filled with tear gas and broken glass,  mobile phones and wi-fi networks became, for police and protestors alike, a part of riots, components and conditions  of—to adopt a fashionable language— the riot-assemblage.

Athina Karatzogianni describes several “firebrand waves of digital activism” running from the 1990s to the second decade of the 21st century.[18] Tweaking her schema slightly, we can distinguish three such waves: the altermondialism of 1994-2001; the occupy movements of 2010-2014; and the transnational  uprisings  of 2018 on—three pulses in an ongoing cycle of digitized resistance.  Alter-globalism developed an “electronic fabric of struggle” of indie-media centres operating outside a still nascent dot.com digital capitalism; occupy movements, in contrast, “choreographed” their actions inside new corporate platforms, earning the appellation “Facebook, (or YouTube or Twitter ) revolutions”; the 2018-19 uprisings, however, drew a jagged, asymmetric division across those platforms, a frontier marked by fierce contestation between the digital tactics of police and protesters, surveillance and sousveillance, suppression and subversion.[19] “Platform capitalism” spawned riot platforms.[20]

After the cyber-crackdowns that followed occupy movements, mass use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for radical politics seemed increasingly dangerous.[21]  Yet these relatively open, public facing corporate social media continued to play a role in the 2018-19 uprisings. The movement of the Gilets Jaunes, though not caused by Facebook, was facilitated by Zuckerberg’s platform.[22] It emerged  from the famous “Anger Groups,” a ferment of Facebook pages voicing grievances over rural speed limits, fines and fuel taxes amongst people who, initially, often met “only on social media and at protests on traffic roundabouts.”[23] As the movement grew, outrunning its initial political composition, it was accompanied by  further Facebook proliferation, some sites commanding national participation, others more regional or city specific. Change in Facebook’s algorithms in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, prioritizing local content over large publisher sites probably fostered this process.[24]

Mainstream news reporting identified Facebook influencers such as Éric Drouet, Maxime Nicolle (“Fly Rider”) and Priscillia Ludosky as leaders of the yellow vests. But detailed analysis suggests a more  rhizomatic process within which such  leadership roles were understood pragmatically and provisionally in a movement  of  “complex composition and multidirectional orientation.”[25] The  most comprehensive study of yellow vest Facebook postings defines six categories of usage: 1) comments on  clashes with law enforcement; 2) calls for reinforcements at strategic locations; 3) expression of  material grievances e.g. raising of the minimum wage and pensions and more taxation of the rich; 4) debates over internal governance and democratic power sharing;  5) messages of support and encouragement; 6) links to  external videos and / or articles.[26] Some of the content  was  thus agitational, but it was also, and often simultaneously, mobilizing and  organizational—that is to say, logistical.

The Gilet Jaunes’ use of Facebook, and other episodes, such as the “Twitter storms” of Lebanon’s revolts, show that, despite the dangers of police monitoring, and waves of mis and dis-information, such platforms continued to serve as chaotic incubators of revolt. The panoptic and preemptive powers of security forces were not sufficient to prevent profuse, volatile virtual mobilizations of counter-power; the guardians of the state could sometimes only watch the slow-motion explosion. As such revolts escalated, however, police surveillance and manipulation, and censorship by corporate platforms, became an increasing concern for protestors. Rioting rapidly developed a repertoire of digital anonymization, camouflage and obfuscation techniques.

The Hong Kong protests were a vanguard in this regard. This uprising, whose immediate cause was the issue of judicial extraditions to mainland China, was about fear of a surveillance super-state. Front line militants almost immediately developed an anti-surveillance methodology: wearing masks and wielding umbrellas as shields from AI-driven facial recognition systems; using cash, not credit cards, to buy public transport tickets to demo sites; metal wrapping of credit and ID cards to prevent RFID reading; destroying “smart city” lamp posts suspected of housing surveillance sensors; and, most dramatically,  the use of green laser pointers to blind cameras and drones.[27] If, as Stefano Harney suggests, surveillance can be understood as “preemptive logistics,” then anti-surveillance measures are precognitive counter-logistics.[28]

As anti-surveillance measures developed, so too did an inverse dynamic of “sousveillance”— documenting security force violence and provocations, deanonymizing police officers, disseminating reports on events authorities denied. Again, Hong Kong’s  intensely mediatized urbanism fostered such practices; the videoing and live streaming  of police attacks on demonstrators and bystanders playing an important role in solidifying anti-government forces, though live streaming was a two-edged sword, also used by police against rioters.[29] Sousveillance activities were also, however, undertaken in less propitious settings. In Iran, despite Internet blocking, reports, video  and photos of events in centres  of revolt such as Shiraz were relayed out of the country, not only right after the blackouts ended, but also sometimes during them, passing through chains of more than forty proxy servers or using satellite internet and roaming SIM cards to access international circulation.[30] In Chile,  protesters well-aware of their country’s history of evidence-obliterating fascism filmed on mobile phone police beating demonstrators and torturing arrestees, and undercover officers setting fires, vandalizing property, and encouraging looting, then sent this molecular archive across the “world screen” of Facebook walls, Instagram feeds, and Twitter hashtags such as #LoQueNoMuestraLaTele (What the Television Doesn’t Show), to save it from authorities “before they erase it.”[31]

The tools of greatest importance to protest counter-logistics were, however, those that enabled End to End Encrypted (EEE) communication through commercial apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. These can be seen as a legacy of the previous “occupy” cycle of struggles, which towards its end included Edward Snowden’s 2013-14 revelations about the cooperation of companies such as Google and Facebook with NSA surveillance. These disclosures deeply embarrassed corporate platforms, raising the specter of user defections, and prompted them to offer enhanced privacy options, commercially disseminating a type of programs previously only championed by dissident libertarian cypher-punks.  Facebook’s acquisition of the encrypted message-service WhatsApp in 2014 was symptomatic. So too was the acclaim suddenly bestowed on Moxie Marlinspike, a former head of cybersecurity at Twitter who left in 2013 to create the encryption app Signal, an achievement that also earned him harassment by US security agencies.  Other encryption apps came from developers exposed to even more overt authoritarian digital repression: Telegram was launched in 2013 by Nikolai and Pavel Durov, former owners of Russian social network VContakt, but effectively dispossessed of their company by Putin cronies after refusing demands to block by anti-government protest.

These apps provided crucial means of coordination for a new generation  of protestors, especially in regions outside of North America and Europe  where adoption was faster than in the global north-west. In Hong Kong, Telegram had been installed 1.7 million times; it functioned as the nervous system of revolt, hosting protest groups with tens of thousands of members.[32] The Hong Kong movement also used Apple’s Airdrop app, which allowed an anonymized “note passing” across mobile phone networks.[33]  In Chile, wide everyday use of WhatsApp provided a basis for student organizing of the turnstile-jumping metro  fare-avoidance that ignited the uprising.[34] Virtual Private Networks were also  sometimes important; in Iran they protected communication between domestic protests and diasporic communities.[35] Widely available, easy to use  encryption and anonymization gave a  degree of security to online organizing, even if this confidence was periodically shaken by the discovery of vulnerabilities in supposedly safe systems.[36]

Digital technologies also supported experiments in rapid, ad hoc collective decision making. Hong Kong  protesters “be water” strategy is one of  fluidity, involving demos that turn into marches that become blockades that spawn wildcat offshoots. Protesters used online platforms to “open source”[37] responses to changing riot conditions. These include Telegram chat groups and forums such as LIHKG, a Hong Kong version of Reddit where users post anonymously and hold polls. They developed other crowdsourced tools, such as the mobile app HKmap.live, displaying  the  location of police and protesters in city streets, until it was removed from Apple’s app store after complaint from China.  Protesters also circulated information including Tinder, Uber, and Pokémon Go,  in  a remarkable the “gamification” of political protest.[38] These digital co-ordinations evolve alongside, not in contradiction to,  distinctly analog methods; in Hong Kong streets, protesters formed human chains directed by hand-signals  to pass supplies, as in the heat of battle revolt fused into urgent cyber-physical ensembles.[39]

Another example of such organization is the Democratic Tsunami platform used by Catalonia’s  independence movement to assemble  protests in Barcelona in 2019. Users of an anonymized peer-to-peer network specified their available days and times for ‘pop-up’ civil disobedience actions. The deployment  of Democratic Tsunami  may have been  partially prompted by struggles within the Catalan autonomy movement, as a technological gambit by factions attempting to outflank more established interests.[40] However, it seems the platform, once set in motion, escalated  conflicts with authorities that outran any specific control, including the attempted occupation of Barcelona’s El Prat airport which mobilized 10,000 demonstrators.  This example reminds us that networked riot coordination does not mean perfectly horizontal decision making. Writing of  the digital organization of occupy movements, Rodrigo Nunes noted that their ostensible  decentralization and  flatness obscured  the formation of verticalisms and  hubs inherent in network dynamics.[41] He did not, however,  frame this observation  as a denunciation, but rather as a call  for better radical understanding of how networks really function. Riot platforms should also be seen in this light, as powerful instruments of “organized spontaneity”— new, networked war machines, allowing novel combinations of  horizontalism and verticality, now being deployed beyond the static sieges of occupation to  supply the counter-logistics of tumultuous large-scale, popular uprising, [42]

Counter-Counter-Logistics and Non-Sovereign Revolutions

Every move provokes a counter-move. Security forces struck back against the protests of 2018-19 with blackouts, intimidation, hacks, entrapment, attrition, and cooption. In the 2010-2014 struggles, Internet blackouts, such as that with which the Mubarak regime fought Egypt’s Tahrir Square protest, were a dramatic, but ultimately ineffective response to networked rebellion. Subsequently, regimes threatened by revolt, far from taking networks down, started leaving  social media on, the better to monitor, sabotage and arrest protestors: there were suggestions this would become the new normal of protest control.[43] However, in 2019 Ecuador, Iraq, and Iran saw Internet blocking  ranging in from gradual throttling to selective outages to  near total blackouts, escalating as protests peaked.[44] More specific hacking  attacks were aimed at encrypted apps, such as the blackouts of Telegram in Hong Kong, likely launched from mainland China.[45]

At the same time, however, in Iran and Iraq, state-affiliated “electronic armies”—reinforced by bots—labored online to discredit and intimidate protestors.[46] Such strategies  blur with governmental encouragement of “patriotic” online denunciations of dissidents, such  those that have swept China’s social media networks in reaction to the Hong Kong uprisings.[47] At a higher level of sophistication lies the liberal discrediting and defamation of the Gilets Jaunes mounted by France’s media establishment.  All these efforts directly or indirectly support the street level violence of security-forces’ advanced riot control panoply: targeted takedowns, tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, stun grenades, water cannon, truncheons, live fire—and the post-event arrests based on social media and live feed evidence.

Beyond such blunt responses, state power refined a more subtle strategy for dealing with the 2018-19 protests: co-option. In the world-market, state suppression of restive populations entangles with competitive state versus state conflicts. The riots of 2018-19 were thus caught up in intercapitalist cold wars, between US and China, Russia and Iran, and other rival alliances, cold wars waged in part via computational propaganda, psy-ops and hacking. States frequently portrayed protests at home as products of external sedition, while themselves inciting protests in competitors’ territories that they would never tolerate internally, a dark dynamic generating rumors with a deadly life of their own.

Russian covert operations in the 2016 US election had included the circulation of spurious “Black Lives Matter” virtual memes, as well as messages from astro-turfed anti-immigrant and Islamophobic groups, in a “strategy of tension” exacerbating domestic antagonisms. Following this, opponents of the Gilets Jaunes proposed the yellow vest uprising was Russian manufactured. In an inverse process, the Chinese and Iranian government depicted domestic social rebellions as US initiated “color revolutions”, while in Lebanon the Twitter storms of protests frequently raged against “foreign influencers” from, alternatively, Iran or the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

These various accusations are not completely groundless. Some Hong Kong protestors substantiate China’s depiction of them by the waving of US flags and appeals to Trump; the US openly acknowledges aid to Iranian rebellions, especially in circumventing Internet censorship; and in Lebanon protestors’ networks do swarm with influencers and bots aligned in wider Middle Eastern power conflicts. However, such outside instigation is insufficient to account for the scale and persistence of any of the protests. Apprehensions of foreign involvement, particularly cyber-involvement, are at once imaginary and true,  as riots exhibit both exogenous and endogenous causes. There are always certain participants  in the uprisings  who hold to the dubious logics of “my enemy’s enemy” and “the lesser of two evils.” Thus the constant possibility exists that the counter-logistics of riot platforms will become part of the logistics—the art of war—of competing blocs of global capital and the state formations associated with them.

A different  political dynamic  would be for protests to connect themselves, not with contending states, but with each other, in a cross-national circulation of struggles, motivated by the shared range of oppositions to corruption, inequality, precarity and brutality.[48] Some glimmers of such a process are visible, at least at a tactical level: protesters in Chile learned from those in Hong Kong to use lasers against police and outdid their mentors by shooting down a police drone over Santiago. There are scores of manuals on street level protest digitally travelling around the planet. The feminist anthem, “Un violador en tu camino,” made famous in the context of the 2019 uprising, has circulated globally. How far this process can scale further to shared political visions is unclear, though recent conversations between Hong Kong and Puerto Rican protestors about what the Lausan Collective felicitously terms “non-sovereign revolutions” point in this direction.[49]

The 2018-19 protests have won victories. Taxes or price rises that ignited uprising were often swiftly rolled back; in Hong Kong, the inflammatory extradition bill was withdrawn. In Lebanon, a government fell; in France, there were increases to the minimum wage and further tax cancellations; in Chile, truce was struck on promise of a constitutional referendum—a deal supported by some protesters, though opposed by others. Nowhere, however, did concessions come close to meeting the aspirations for equality, security and justice that had exploded onto the streets, desires that could evidently only be met by deep transformations to states and economies. And by the end of 2019 some movements were already subsiding, stalled or suffering serious reverses, though others continued unabated. Then, in 2020, the Covid 19 pandemic imposed an abrupt moratorium on mass action. The duration of this pause, and the nature of the threshold it marks is, at the time of writing, uncertain. It is quite possible, however, that any “return to normal” will also be a return to the turbulence of the years of riots, with conflicts only exacerbated by disease and recession.[50] In recent years, the left has in many places round the world taken an electoral turn, imagining a parliamentary path to post-capitalism. But  we might also consider another route, in which a new mode of production, if there is to be one, appears only out  of  dire crisis and severe social tumult — in which  case, any fresh system for  the supplying  of human need and ecological protections may well find it germinal moments in riot logistics.

[1] B. Ehrenreich, “Welcome to the Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism”, The Nation, 25 Nov. 2019, https://www.thenation.com/article/global-rebellions-inequality/

[2] Thus the fourth of Hong Kong protestors’ “five demands” was a retraction of the official characterization of the protests as “riots”( the other four being the withdrawal of the “extradition bill”, an investigation into police brutality and misconduct, the release of all arrested protesters, and the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s rand the introduction of universal suffrage for election of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.

[3] R. Rojas, “If We Don’t Fuck Shit Up, We Don’t Exist to Them” Jacobin, 22 Oct. 2019 https://jacobinmag.com/2019/10/chile-protests-public-transit-austerity-democracy

[4] M. L. King, “The Other America,” 1968 https://www.crmvet.org/docs/otheram.htm

[5] J. Bernes, “Logistics, counterlogistics and the communist prospect,” Endnotes 3, 2013, https://endnotes.org.uk/issues/3/en/jasper-bernes-logistics-counterlogistics-and-the-communist-prospect; D. Cowen, The Deadly Life of Logistics: Mapping Violence in Global Trade. University of Minnesota Press, 2014; N. Rossiter, Software, Infrastructure, Labor: A Media Theory of Logistical Nightmares, Routledge, 2016; B. Neilson, “Five Theses on Understanding Logistics as Power,” Distinktion, 2017, 13:3 pp. 323–40; Degenerate Communism, “Chokepoints: Mapping an Anticapitalist Counter-Logistics in California,” Libcom.org. 2014, https://libcom.org/library/choke-points-mapping-anticapitalist-counter-logistics-california.

[6] J. Alimahomed-Wilson & I. Ness, eds.,  Choke Points: Logistics Workers Disrupting The Global Supply Chain, Pluto Press, 2018; N. Cuppini, M. Frapporti, & M. Pirone, “Logistics Struggles in the Po Valley Region: Territorial Transformations and Processes of Antagonistic Subjectivation,” The South Atlantic Quarterly, 2015 114:1, pp. 119-134; S. Mezzadra &   B. Neilson, The Politics of Operations: Excavating Contemporary Capitalism, Duke University Press, 2019;

[7] J. Clover Riot, Strike, Riot: The New Era of Uprising, Verso, 2016.

[8] For Clover’s own comments on 2018-19, see “The Year in Struggles,” Commune Magazine 3 April 2020, https://communemag.com/the-year-in-struggles/

[9] Anon. “Irak: Die Tuk-Tuk-Revolte”  Wildcat 104, 2019  https://www.wildcat-www.de/wildcat/104/w104_proteste_irak.html

[10] P. Virilio, Speed and Politics: An Essay on Dromology, Semiotext(e), [1977] 1986.

[11] S. Kipfer, “What colour is your vest? Reflections on the yellow vest movement in France,” Studies in Political Economy, 100:3, 209-231, 2019.

[12] Resilience 360 Hong Kong Protests: Impact on Supply Chain Operations,  Resilience  DHL https://www.resilience360.dhl.com/resilienceinsights/hong-kong-protests-impact-on-supply-chain-operations/ , 2019.

[13] M. Pirone, “A Logistical Insight on Hong Kong Mobilizations. Interview with Laikwan Pang,” Inside the Black Box, http://www.intotheblackbox.com/interviews/a-logistical-insight-on-hong-kong-mobilizations/ 27 Dec. 2019.

[14] J. Garnier, ‘“Gilets jaunes”: le manque à gagner serait de 2 milliards d’euros pour le commerce”, Le Monde, 14 Dec. 2018 https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2018/12/14/gilets-jaunes-le-manque-a-gagner-serait-de-2-milliards-d-euros-pour-le-commerce_5397441_3234.html

[15] E.Vergaran, ”Chile protests resume, demonstrations crimp economic growth,” AP News 4 Nov. 2019 https://apnews.com/d42ff6fca3c445a19783f59f984cb5a1; Anon, “Nearly 130 Walmart stores looted or burned,”  Business Insurance, 21 Nov  2019 https://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20191121/STORY/912331779/Nearly-130-Walmart-stores-looted-or-burned#.

[16]K. Kalbasi, “Iranians endure internet shutdown with despair and disarray,” The Atlantic Council 25 Nov. 2019 https://atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/iransource/iranians-endure-internet-shutdown-with-despair-and-disarray/

[17] P. Mirowski, Never Let A Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, Verso 2013.

[18] A. Karatzogianni, Athina, Firebrand Waves of Digital Activism, 1994-2014: The Rise and Spread of Hacktivism and Cyberconflict, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

[19] H. Cleaver, “The Zapatistas and the Electronic Fabric of Struggle,” 1995. https://la.utexas.edu/users/hcleaver/zaps.html P. Gerbaudo, Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism, Pluto 2012.

[20] N. Srnicek, Platform Capitalism, Polity 2017.

[21] N. Dyer-Witheford, Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex, Pluto, 2015.

[22] J. Schradie, “Debate: The ‘gilets jaunes’ movement is not a Facebook revolution,” The Conversation 12. Dec. 2018, https://theconversation.com/debate-the-gilets-jaunes-movement-is-not-a-facebook-revolution-108627

[23] Kipfer, 209.

[24] R. Broderick & J. Darmanin, “The “Yellow Vest” Riots In France Are What Happens When Facebook Gets Involved With Local News,”  BuzzFeed News  6 Dec. 2018  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/france-paris-yellow-jackets-facebook

[25]  B. Sebbah et al., “Les Gilets jaunes se font une place dans les médias et l’agenda politique”, Université de Toulouse, 2019 http://demainlegrandsoir.org/spip.php?page=article&id_article=1945; Kipfer 211.

[26] B. Sebbah et al.

[27]  J. Bray, Jessica & T. Quinn “Optics and Fluidity: Evading Surveillance in Hong Kong,” Platypus: The CASTAC Blog, 2 Oct. 2019 http://blog.castac.org/2019/10/optics-and-fluidity-evading-surveillance-in-hong-kong/;  A Dapiran, Anthony , “”Be Water!”: seven tactics that are winning Hong Kong’s democracy revolution,” New Statesman, 1 Aug  2019, https://www.newstatesman.com/world/2019/08/be-water-seven-tactics-are-winning-hong-kongs-democracy-revolution

[28]  N Cuppini & M. Frapporti, “Logistics Genealogies: A Dialogue with Stefano Harney,” Social Text 2018, 136: 95–110.

[29] M. Hui, ”The Hong Kong protests are the most live-streamed protests ever” Quartz, 11 Nov.  2019 https://qz.com/1737197/hong-kong-protests-are-most-live-streamed-ever/; M. Purbrick,  “A Report of the 2019 Hong Kong Protests,” Asian Affairs, 2019 50:4, 465-487.

[30] M. Safi, “Blocked roads then bullets: Iran’s brutal crackdown in its City of Roses,” The Guardian, 1 Dec. 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/01/iran-fuel-protest-crackdowns-revealed-on-social-media

[31] N. Haynes &  B. Campbell, “Before They Erase It: Memory and the social media archive,” Platypus: The CASTAC Blog, 12 Nov. 2019 http://blog.castac.org/2019/11/before-they-erase-it-memory-and-the-social-media-archive/

[32] Purbrick 2019.

[33] M.  Hui, “Hong Kong’s protesters put AirDrop to ingenious use to breach China’s Firewall,” Quartz 8 July, https://qz.com/1660460/hong-kong-protesters-use-airdrop-to-breach-chinas-firewall/

[34] S. Valenzuela, “The Personal Is the Political? What Do WhatsApp Users Share and How It Matters for News Knowledge, Polarization and Participation in Chile,” Digital Journalism  21 Nov. 2019.

[35] L. Khodabakhshi, “Why ordinary Iranians are turning to internet backdoors to beat censorship” BBC Global News, 10 Jan.  2018 . https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-42612546

[36]  C. Cimpanu, “Hong Kong protesters warn of Telegram feature that can disclose their identities,”  Zero Day, 23 Aug. 2019 https://www.zdnet.com/article/hong-kong-protesters-warn-of-telegram-feature-that-can-disclose-their-identities/

[37] L. Oiwan, “The organisation and future of Hong Kong’s ‘open source’ anti-extradition law movement,” Hong Kong Free Press, 21 July 2019. https://hongkongfp.com/2019/07/21/organisation-future-hong-kongs-open-source-anti-extradition-law-movement/

[38] Purbrick 2019.

[39] Dapiran 2019

[40]  E. Gilmartin & T. Greene, “Catalonia’s “Democratic Tsunami,” Jacobin, 24 Oct. 2019. https://jacobinmag.com/2019/10/catalonia-independence-democratic-tsunami-police-repression

[41] R. Nunes, Organisation of the Organisationless: Collective Action After Networks, Mute and Post-Media Lab, 2014.

[42] G. Roggero & D. Lassere (2020) “’A Science of Destruction’: An Interview with Gigi Roggero on the Actuality of Operaismo,” Viewpoint Magazine, 30 Apr. 2020, https://www.viewpointmag.com/2020/04/30/a-science-of-destruction-an-interview-with-gigi-roggero-on-the-actuality-of-operaismo/

[43] R. Deibert, Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace, McClelland & Stewart, 2013..

[44] S. Brannen, C. Haig &  K. Schmidt The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend. Centre for Strategic and International Studies: Washington, DC, 2020.

[45] S. Shanapinda, “How a cyber-attack hampered Hong Kong protesters”, The Conversation, 13 June, 2019, https://theconversation.com/how-a-cyber-attack-hampered-hong-kong-protesters-118770.

[46] K. Kalbasi; H. Hamzoz, Social Media and Iraq’s Protest Movement,” Epic, 28 Feb 2020 https://enablingpeace.org/38-social-media-and-iraqs-protest-movement/

[47] Anon, “Why are informed Beijingers increasingly baffled by the struggle in Hong Kong?” Chuang, 10 Oct. 2019 http://chuangcn.org/2019/10/baffled-beijingers/; S. Lee Myers & P. Mozur, “China Is Waging a Disinformation War Against Hong Kong Protesters,” The New York Times,  13 Aug. 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/13/world/asia/hong-kong-protests-china.html

[48] See Anon (2020) The Divided God Chuang http://chuangcn.org/2020/01/the-divided-god/; J. Werner, “A Global Path through the Hong Kong Dilemma: Towards a New Internationalism”, Made in China Journal,  15 July 2019 https://madeinchinajournal.com/2019/07/15/a-global-path-through-the-hong-kong-dilemma-towards-a-new-internationalism/ .

[49] D. Lindorff, “Hong Kong and Puerto Rico: Two Colonies Doomed to Second-Class Status by Remote Central Government Control” Common Dreams,  24 July 2019,https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/24/hong-kong-and-puerto-rico-two-colonies-doomed-second-class-status-remote-central; Lausan Collective, “Non-sovereign revolutions: Thinking across Puerto Rico and Hong Kong,” 18 Mar. 2020, https://lausan.hk/2020/part-one-non-sovereign-revolutions-thinking-across-puerto-rico-and-hong-kong/

[50] This essay was completed as the riots protesting the police killing of George Floyd broke out in Minneapolis, USA.



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