PETA billboard protests Renaissance faire's favorite fare

PETA installed an old-fashioned protest billboard adjacent to the Ohio Renaissance Festival that opened this weekend in Waynesville. The animal rights activists consider the classic Renaissance faire fare of an oversized turkey leg to be distasteful, to say the least. From WLWT5:

The billboard -- placed near the fairgrounds and showing a turkey's face -- reads "Ye Can Live Without Yon Turkey Leg. I Cannot. Go Vegan Forthwith!"

Officials with PETA said they're urging festival-goers to switch from a turkey leg to a falafel, hummus or corn on the cob...

"PETA erects billboard protesting turkey legs at Ohio Renaissance Fest" (WLWT5, thanks Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Hong Kong protesters use lasers to blind security cameras

Freelance journalist Alessandra Bocchi posted this video of protesters in Hong Kong using some kind of laser to target security forces' cameras: it's part of the #612strike movement's stunning repertoire of improvised anti-police countermeasures, in a near-civil-war where faces have become a battleground. Read the rest

Children from Mexico and the US play together on seesaws that cross the border wall

Two artists installed seesaws that cross the border wall between the United States and Mexico, enabling children from both countries to play together. The brilliant creative intervention was created by Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, a design professor at San Jose State University. From CNN:

In 2009, the two designed a concept for a binational seesaw at the border for a book, "Borderwall as Architecture," which uses "humor and inventiveness to address the futility of building barriers," UC-Berkeley said.

Ten years later, their conceptual drawings became reality. Rael and his crew transported the seesaws to Sunland Park, New Mexico, separated by a steel fence from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico...

In an Instagram post, Rael said the event was "filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall."

"The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S -Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side," he wrote.

More: "Borderwall as Architecture Becomes Reality" (UC Press)

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One of the most incredible experiences of my and @vasfsf’s career bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall. The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S. - Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.

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Interactive map of public facial recognition systems in America

Evan Greer from Fight for the Future writes, "Facial recognition might be the most invasive and dangerous form of surveillance tech ever invented. While it's been in the headlines lately, most of us still don't know whether it's happening in our area. My organization Fight for the Future has compiled an interactive map that shows everywhere in the US (that we know of) facial recognition being used -- but also where there are local efforts to ban it, like has already happened in San Francisco, Oakland, and Somerville, MA. We've also got a tool kit for local residents who want to get an ordinance or state legislation passed in their area." Read the rest

AOC and Greta Thunberg talk tactics and hope

Congresswoman and force of nature Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and student activist and force of nature Greta "Extinction Rebellion" Thunberg conducted a videoconference to meet one another and talk tactics for saving the world from dying in its own waste-gases; the wide-ranging conversation touched on the unique power and problems of being a young activist; the problem of holding up Nordic countries as paragons of climate virtue; winning the fight over climate denialism; the true nature of leadership; keeping motivated in the face of desperation and crushing setbacks, and the tipping point we're living through. Read the rest

Suspicious material in letters to Straight Pride Parade organizers turned out to be... glitter!

Organizers of the planned "Straight Pride Parade" in Boston next month called police after receiving suspicious envelopes containing a powdery substance. A hazmat team investigated and the mystery material turned out to be... glitter. From The Guardian:

The suspicious envelopes, filled with a “granular substance”, were addressed to three members of “Super Happy Fun America”, a group whose membership have previously organized and attended events, some of which have turned violent and who have links to far-right figures.

One of the recipients, Mark Sahady, is known as the leader of the Boston chapter of a group called Resist Marxism, an organization described by the Daily Beast as the new organization as a “front for [the] far-right group”.

In 2018, Think Progress reported that Resist Marxism had links with white nationalist groups, and that members had expressed antisemitic sentiments in leaked chats.

The sender or senders of the glitter parcels remains unknown.

Read the rest

LED traffic sign in Texas displays witty warnings of global warming

While some who saw this variable message sign in Houston though it had been hacked, it's actually a roadside art installation by Brooklyn artist Justin Brice Guariglia. Read the rest

World Citizen Comics: a new line of graphic novels for young activists

Firstsecond Books (previously, publisher of In Real Life, which I created with Jen Wang) has announced a new line of YA-oriented graphic novels called "World Citizen Comics," on contemporary activist themes like "how to fight corruption in elections, blast fake news with truth-telling, and even battle would-be dictators both near and far through a better understanding of constitutions and the rule of law." Read the rest

Artist Nan Goldin leads protests at the Guggenheim and the Met over their reputation-laundering of the Sacklers' opioid epidemic fortunes

The Sackler family (previously) is one of the richest in the world, and if you've heard of them, it's probably because their family name adorns so many art galleries, museums, and academic institutions around the world: but they way they got that money is less-well-known. Read the rest

EFF is hiring an activist!

My colleague Elliot Harmon writes: " EFF is looking for a new addition to our activism team. This job is a big one: you’ll be joining EFF’s efforts to end warrantless spying by the NSA and other federal government agencies, as well as to fight for restrictions on the use of surveillance technologies by local law enforcement agencies. And it’s the perfect time for you to start: Section 215—the law that the NSA relied on for decades to collect Americans’ phone call records—is set to expire at the end of 2019. Between now and then, we expect a major legislative fight over its reauthorization. We need someone activating the public to demand that lawmakers respect their right to private communications." Read the rest

To do: attend a Youtube town hall and learn how to join the Right to Repair movement

With the Right to Repair movement surging around the world, now is the perfect moment to check out the Right to Repair Youtube town halls, which will help you get involved with your local policymakers to ensure that you can fix your stuff! (via Motherboard) Read the rest

Striking photo essay about Oakland's Black Panther Party (1968)

Fifty years ago, San Francisco's DeYoung Museum exhibited Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones's striking photo essay depicting Oakland's Black Panther Party at the peak of their community activism and political activity. Starting this week, those powerful images will be displayed again as part of the Vanguard Revisited: Poetic Politics & Black Futures exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute.

The work is still pertinent today and will serve as a platform to discuss issues of documentary photography, social activism, and how the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s in many ways manifests itself in the social context of today...

Black Futures is not delivered with a passive voice, but a voice steeped in deft poetics and sharp politics that continue to accumulate power from its own rich history.

See more of the images at Juxtapoz.

To learn about the Black Panthers's inspiring, polarizing, and ultimately tragic history, I recommend the fantastic documentary "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution."

Read the rest

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream," the deep house mix

From 1989, Fingers Inc.'s beautiful mix of "Can You Feel It" with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech:

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Vermont man installs massive middle finger sculpture on lawn

Several weeks ago, Ted Pilkey of Westford, Vermont installed this massive wooden middle finger sculpture on his lawn atop a 16-foot-pole. From Boston.com:

“I’m not trying to cause hate and animosity to the people who live in that town, because there’s very good people in that town,” the 54-year-old Westford native says of his fellow residents in the 2,000-person town. “All the people are very good people.”

With the exception, Pelkey says, of the Westford Selectboard, Development Review Board, and other town leaders, who have blocked his efforts to get a permit to build the 8,000-square-foot garage, so he could move his truck repair and monofilament recycling businesses in nearby Swanton to his own property.

Officials say Pelkey’s applications have fallen short of the town’s standards, but he thinks they’re biased against him...

Although the structure is visible from a state highway, it is outside of the State Right of Way and not within our jurisdiction,” Jacqui DeMen, a spokeswoman for the agency, told Boston.com in an email. “The structure does not meet the statutory definition of ‘sign’ and thus can’t be regulated under the Vermont Billboard Law.”

Perhaps Pelkey was inspired by a similar sculpture outside the Italian stock exchange in Milan.

Read the rest

Activist Shaun King relaunching Frederick Douglass' abolitionist paper, North Star

On Thursday, civil rights activist and journalist Shaun King announced that he will be bringing back North Star, the abolitionist newspaper started by Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany 171 years ago, after receiving full permission and blessing from Douglass' family.

He writes:

In 1847, with slavery still in full force, two brave men, Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany (both pictured above), started an abolitionist newspaper called The North Star — named for the star, Polaris, that was often used as a guide for those seeking freedom in the North.

Douglass and Delany knew then, as we know now, that in order to fight back against injustice, their stories had to not only be well told — with the color and dimension and nuance that was frequently missing elsewhere, they knew they needed a newspaper that represented the cause of liberation with urgency, clarity, heart, and soul...

While The North Star was originally a print newspaper, we will be launching a news app, a full news website, a collection of podcasts, and an online nightly news broadcast. We’re not just here to change the news — we aim to change the world.

King, with his friend Ben Dixon, are first gathering 100,000 people to assist in their November 15 launch through BuildingTheNorthStar.com. Since the announcement yesterday, over 61,000 people have signed up to help.

By the end of 2018, they hope to have 25,000 people signed up as members of the new North Star.

Go get'em, gentlemen!

Thanks, Kristen! Read the rest

Supreme/Richard Prince release t-shirt with composited face of Trump's female accusers

Clothing brand Supreme and artist Richard Prince created "18 & Stormy," a new t-shirt design emblazoned with the composited face of Stormy Daniels and eighteen women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. The proceeds from the t-shirt benefit Downtown for Democracy, "a political action committee founded by creative people to transform cultural influence into political power."

(Hypebeast) Read the rest

Public watched opioid addict detox on big screens in Greenwich Village

The film above documents "Treatment Box," a one-day installation in New York City's Greenwich Village over the summer where passers-by could watch 26-year-old Rebekkah suffer through the horrors of painkiller and heroin withdrawal. Anti-addiction organization The Truth orchestrated the recording and public showing of Rebekkah's five-day experience that was edited into a single long-form video. After the detox, Rebekkah entered a treatment facility for treatment at no cost to her. From Ad Age:

The scenes of her shaky limbs, nausea, vomiting and insomnia played out on a three-dimensional installation at Astor Place in New York City in June. Passersby stopped to watch a life-size Rebekkah in her room, often huddled in bed, wracked with pain. Interspersed are short interviews where she explains that she was prescribed opioids when she was 14, after injuring her ankle during cheerleading practice. Addiction quickly followed, and two months later, she tried heroin. “I feel like I’m coming back from the dead,” she says on Day 3 of detox...

Before beginning the campaign, the organizations met with a medical ethicist to determine whether the project should move forward, and the treatment protocols were reviewed by Phoenix House, a national addiction treatment program.

Read the rest

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