Carwil Bjork-James Profile picture
political anthropologist, revolutionary, prof, translator — Bolivia, indigenous ppls, movements, tactics Book:
Feb 26 7 tweets 3 min read
[academic researcher of social movements hat on here]

1. Suicide protest is uncommon, but well articulated. It has happened hundreds of time.

Enough for us to draw some patterns.

/ cite coming at end of thread his unusual use o f suicide as protest—I use the term “suicide protest” to indicate it being a form of protest by means of suicide—has occurred more often than one would expect in modern societies throughout the world.1 In South Korea alone, a total of 107 protesters, including Chun, died by suicide protest from 1970 to 2004. Suicide protest was not limited to Korea. According to a study, about one-half o f all 133 incidents of “suicide by burning,” reported in The Times of London or the New York Times from 1790 to 1971, were “political suicide”; all o f these political suicides have occurr... 2. Protest suicides are generally unconnected to mental illness, generalized depression, or a desire for notoriety. Recent studies show that the psychopathological interpretation o f these incidents o f self-immolation is not quite empirically supported (Park, 1994; Biggs, 2005). For example, Singh and his associates (Singh et al., 1998) investigated 22 survivors of self-immolation in India and found only one incident o f psychopathological symptoms. Likewise, Biggs (2005), after examining a total of 533 incidents of self-immola tion between 1963 and 2002, reports little incidents of self-immola tion resulting from psychological disturbances such as the pursuit of vanity or escape from personal failings....
Feb 24, 2022 25 tweets 3 min read
A quick rundown of the mostly aligned, but sometimes conflicting factors for a coherent left take on the Ukraine crisis… Anti-imperialism and self-determination are foundational values for looking at international conflicts.

Both are grounded in a refusal of the right to conquer territory by force.
Feb 22, 2022 7 tweets 1 min read
Just as in 2020, when we discovered that rich countries could abruptly end car commuting when necessary for COVID, Germany/EU are discovering they can rapidly pivot their energy mix against Russian expansionism. One obvious lesson is that we could also drawdown carbon emissions rapidly over the next ten years if we discovered the global climate crisis to be the life-threatening emergency that it is.
Feb 22, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
I don't think I've ever seen a literature review sentence that more thoroughly buries the lead than this one in green.

Nepstad and Mitchell each conducted a comparative analysis on the Tiananmen movement, with diametrically opposed takes. Image For Sharon Nepstad, Tiananmen protesters failed in large part because they did not stay nonviolent. She concludes that the Eastern European revolutions of the same year succeeded because of their nonviolent discipline. Image
Mar 28, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Monthly reminder that there are more than two positions in Bolivian politics. It's possible to both want to hold Jeanine Áñez accountable for 2019 massacres and object to her current detention.
Mar 28, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read
Bolivian prosecutors have abandoned efforts to explain the death of Orlando Gutiérrez, a mining leader who died in late October.… Gutiérrez's widow and an unsigned communique from the FSTMB mining union alleged foul play, but evidence for this claim grew increasingly circumstantial and speculative.

Mar 28, 2021 8 tweets 1 min read
Twelve Bolivian organizations issue joint statement calling out simultaneous impunity for human rights violations, a "disastrous" judicial system, and "escalating criminalization as a governing strategy." The signing organizations' credentials range from long-time supporters of grassroots efforts, to independent media, to the NGO establishment.
Dec 21, 2019 26 tweets 4 min read
With reports from the OAS, European Union both out, and critiques offered by CEPR, it's time to see what we know about election integrity, bias, irregularity, and fraud. Like all those in this debate, my prior perspective shapes my standard of proof.

I see the Bolivian electoral process as distinctly transparent, but also its officials as often partisan (the latter is often true globally and in many places elec officials must be bipartisan).
Dec 18, 2019 5 tweets 2 min read
#BoliviaEnCrisis #FreedomOfExpression
Major indigenous radio stations in Santa Cruz, La Paz, Cochabamba were attacked and destroyed by anti-Morales protesters in early November.…
(thread) Radio Kawsachun Coca's office in the Six Federations cocalero headquarters in Cochabamba was burned out the night of the police mutiny. Image
Nov 16, 2019 11 tweets 2 min read
First complete narrative of the #massacre in #Sacaba. Death toll has risen to 8, all on cocalero side.… 115 civilians were reported injured.
193 protesters were arrested, including one MAS legislator, 1 Venezuelan.
Nov 15, 2019 7 tweets 2 min read
The Añez will offer two alibis for the #Sacaba #massacre: the actual use of dynamite by demonstrators and the alleged presence of Venezuelans. Neither is justification for murder. Dynamite is a perennial object in Bolivian protest, used typically for loud noises and space-clearing. Despite its fearsome image, it's an ineffective antipersonnel weapon.
Nov 14, 2019 13 tweets 4 min read
Añez is an interim president from a minority party who has appointed a partisan cabinet.

The MAS-IPSP majority had its first session last night, giving an institutional face to Evo Morales' plurality of voters.

Bolivia remains on edge. #BoliviaEnCrisis
Continuing risks:
Exclusion of the MAS-IPSP from the political arena.
Deadly policing by the Armed Forces.
Partisan violence in a conflict that cannot be solved by force.
Nov 12, 2019 12 tweets 4 min read
#Bolivia #Fraud #Fraude
Due to the following news, I am going to start calling the election fraud in Bolivia "confirmed." We have a coherent narrative endorsed by both the chief electoral official and the OAS audit team… As I described earlier, the OAS audit identified an unauthorized server, interruption of the rapid count, unreliable data put in the official count, and apparent over-voting in Argentina as fatal flaws in the vote.
Nov 12, 2019 14 tweets 3 min read
A little historical perspective on the #BoliviaCoup/#NoFueGolpeDeEstado debate… [I want to acknowledge I have an unusual vantage point in this debate. I've spent the past 12 years documenting and explaining how movements overthrow governments in Bolivia.]
Nov 11, 2019 11 tweets 3 min read
There are numerous reports of political arsons and vandalism in Bolivia tonight, following the resignation of Evo Morales.

Both sides have perpetrated these acts, though many voices are only describing such acts by those they oppose.

(What follows is not a complete list) Early on in the election protests, outraged crowds lit fires at election authority facilities. Such acts are not all that unusual in Bolivia, but the larger fire in Sucre, Potosí were out of the ordinary and destroyed election materials.