Though the crimes and abuses of the GW Bush era seem almost quaint in comparison to the trumpist agenda, the Bush actions spawned a new kind of protest movement, the first mature, networked resistance, which tried (unsuccessfully) to haul the Democratic Party away from finance-oriented neoliberalism and into a labor-oriented, diverse, racially aware left wing opposition party. Read the rest
Five years ago, we won an unprecedented victory: spurred on by blackouts of more than 50,000 sites, more than 8 million Americans called Congress to object to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a brutal internet censorship bill that would have been a stake through the heart of the open net. SOPA, which had been tipped to sail through Congress without any fuss, died an unprecedented death. It set a precedent. Read the rest
EFF Legislative Counsel Ernesto Falcon has posted an excellent, practical guide to talking to your member of Congress -- how to do it, how to maximize your efficiency, and why you should. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Whoah. This is huge news. NBC is reporting that Chelsea Manning is on President Obama's "short-list" for commutation. It even appears that the DOJ has recommended that she be released. Chelsea has suffered immensely at the hands of the U.S. government, all for doing what she thought was right and trying to help people. I hope everyone will drop what they are doing today to call the White House at 202-456-1111 and tell President Obama go do the right thing and reduce Chelsea's sentence to time served. Read a statement from Chelsea's attorney and Fight for the Future here." Read the rest
A pair of data-scientists in Washington State are convening a meeting of "Data Scientists, Data Science Enthusiasts, and Advocates for Civic Liberties and Social Justice" who want to figure out how "Data Scientists & IT Professionals use their expertise to help answer the current human questions which social and policy-based organizations are currently struggling to address?" Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Ding dong! The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead. Most news articles say the cause of death was simple: the election of Donald Trump. But they've only got a tiny part of the story. Now more than ever, it's critical we share the real story: creative and strategic grassroots organizing can take on concentrated wealth and power and win. I've got an op-ed in The Guardian today with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, etc) Check it out and please share!" Read the rest
Anil Dash says that once we finish grieving, we need to organize. Start by figuring out who's already fighting for racial justice, against climate change, and for civil rights (including LBGTQ rights and women's rights) in your community and commit to helping them. Read the rest
I'm the "Honourary Steward" for this year's Shuttleworth Fellowship, this being a valuable and prestigious prize given to people who are undertaking to make the world a better, more open place ("social innovators who are helping to change the world for the better and could benefit from a social investment model with a difference"). Read the rest
Daisy Edmonds had enough of gendered clothes at her local Tesco, so she took matters into her own hands in the best way after a mini-rant. She moved some shirts that said "Hero" among clothes intended for girls. I hope she moved some "Beautiful" tops among the boy clothes, too! This has, of course, not sat well with internet trolls. Read the rest
UK-based NGO Global Witness reports that at least 185 environmental activists were murdered last year around the globe, and two-thirds of those were in Latin America. According to the report: Read the rest
UC Berkeley, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, installed an emergency exit door between Chancellor Nicholas Dirks’ office and his conference room so he can escape if protestors violently storm his suite. From the Daily Californian:
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Construction of the door was requested about a year ago in response to a protest in April 2015 when protesters stormed the chancellor’s suite (photo above).
During the protest, students staged a sit-in outside Dirks’ office where they banged on desks and chanted loudly. They were eventually escorted out of the building, some in handcuffs, by UCPD officers.
Later that day, protesters marched from Sproul Hall to the area in front of University House, the chancellor’s residence.
ASUC Senator-elect Chris Yamas said there have been many protests on campus throughout the tenure of several different chancellors, but no instances when a chancellor was physically harmed.
“There has to be other ways to handle student concerns and protests than simply building ways to avoid them,” Yamas said. “The chancellor seems elitist and out of touch and inaccessible to the students.”