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.

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New music video for Thom Yorke's "Hands off the Antarctic" from Greenpeace

Greenpeace International just released this beautiful music video for "Hands off the Antarctic," a new track by Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Part of Greenpeace's Protect the Antarctic Ocean initiative, the footage is from their Arctic Sunrise research vessel.

"There are some places on this planet that are meant to stay raw and wild and not destroyed by humanity’s footprint,” Yorke said. “This track is about stopping the relentless march of those heavy footsteps. The Antarctic is a true wilderness and what happens there affects us all. That’s why we should protect it.”

The environmental group premiered the video yesterday by projecting it onto London's Marble Arch.

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Activists teaching Australian Aboriginals to protect themselves by recording their interactions with law enforcement

Smartphone video footage of police brutality being exercised against black Americans and other ethnic minorities living their lives within the nation’s borders have become depressingly commonplace. While difficult to watch and, most likely for the videographer, difficult to stand by and film, such footage can be an important tool in bringing cops who abuse the power of their office to justice. The news, social media and water cooler talk here in North America often overflows with reports of abuses of power by law enforcement officials. It’s easy to forget that the very same brand of injustice and violence are served up in other parts of the world – a lot.

According to The New York Times, in Australia, a country that’s been marred by institutional racism since its inception, “...aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are incarcerated at 13 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians. They make up 27 percent of Australia’s prisoners, compared with 3 percent of the overall population.” Given the disproportionate representation of Indigenous Australians in the clink, it’s safe to say that there’s some greasy shit going on Down Under, of a similar sort to the greasy shit we see going on up here in places like New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.

To help Australia aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander peoples to mitigate this prejudicial treatment at the hands of those meant to serve and protect them, human rights activists are teaching them how to respond to the threat of police violence and to record their interactions with law enforcement, just like we do up here:

From The New York Times:

The Copwatch workshops, activists said, are intended to teach people their legal rights and how to safely record interactions with police officers.

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Watch Sister Rosetta Tharpe perform ‘This Little Light of Mine’ in 1960

In 1960, Sister Rosetta Tharpe performed this rousing rendition of "This Little Light of Mine" at France's Festival de Jazz d’Antibes Juan-les-Pins. Most of us are familiar with "This Little Light of Mine" as a lovely children's spiritual, but the 1920s tune, written by Harry Dixon Loes, became an anthem of the Civil Rights movement.

Learn more about the song's history at NPR: "'This Little Light Of Mine' Shines On, A Timeless Tool Of Resistance"

(via The Kid Should See This) Read the rest

Help save artist Kal Spelletich's robots and the future of tech-art

For 25 years, my friend Kal Spelletich of Seemen and Survival Research Labs has lived and worked in a San Francisco warehouse studio where he's built myriad robots, fire machines, and sculptures, hosted music, art, and political action events, and provided support for more than 100 other artists, activists, and fringe characters. Guess what. Kal's been evicted. This is yet another gut punch for the Bay Area's creative community that inspired so many technologists but is now being eviscerated by today's big money tech bubble. Kal has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help him push through: Save Kal's Robots

Rented way back in 1995, my space is was one of the last remaining raw warehouse art spaces and I made it into a home for experimental, non commercial art. I hosted jaw-dropping, fire spewing, ear shattering robot performances, music, noise and art events with the likes of Chris Johanson, Johanna Jackson, Marie Lornez and her epic boat, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Matt Heckert.

I did all this without grants or outside support.

No trust funds, patrons or high paying side jobs here. I passed along the cheap rent.

I provided housing and studios for countless artists, freaks, traveling activists and radical journalists like Trevor Paglen, AC Thompson, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, worked on Survival Research Laboratories shows, and countless others.

My life and warehouse were the inspiration for Rudy Rucker’s sci-fi novel Realware. Another book that wouldn't have happened without my warehouse is Streetopia.

I ran my studio as an experimental art/live space that housed and supported over 100 other artists and activists.

Read the rest

We need 46 more Congressional votes to force a vote on restoring Net Neutrality

The Discharge Petition that cleared the Senate in May is struggling in the House (as we knew it would). Read the rest

Protest without strategy is performance

In times of trouble, people want to do something, but as activist Kat Calvin points out, make sure your time and resources are spent wisely. Otherwise you end up enriching grifters: Read the rest

The EU's latest copyright proposal is so bad, it even outlaws Creative Commons licenses

The EU is mooting a new copyright regime for the largest market in the world, and the Commissioners who are drafting the new rules are completely captured by the entertainment industry, to the extent that they have ignored their own experts and produced a farcical Big Content wishlist that includes the most extensive internet censorship regime the world has ever seen, perpetual monopolies for the biggest players, and a ban on European creators using Creative Commons licenses to share their works. Read the rest

So, who was Marjory Stoneman Douglas?

We've certainly heard plenty of reporters and cable news talking heads marble-mouthing their way through "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School" over the past week. It definitely doesn't want to roll off of the tongue. But who exactly is the school's namesake, Marjory Stoneman Douglas?

Turns out, Marjory Douglas was a bit of a badass in her own right, a writer of some repute who became a relentless advocate for preserving the Florida everglades. She was also an outspoken suffragist and civil rights advocate. She died in 1998 at the age of 108. Read the rest

Listen: Deep house mix of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" (1989)

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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Erica Garner, 1990-2017

Erica Garner, the daughter of police brutality victim Eric Garner, died early Saturday aged 27. Inspired to activism by her father's killing, she suffered a massive heart attack on Christmas Eve and fell into a coma.

ABC News:

Garner's official Twitter account, run by her family and friends since she became ill, asked that she be remembered as a mother, daughter, sister and aunt with a heart "bigger than the world."

Eric Garner was choked to death by New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who had attempted an illegal chokehold while arresting Garner for selling untaxed cigarettes. Pantaleo was not charged with a crime despite the death being ruled a homicide, and video of the attack being recorded by a bystander. The NYPD settled the family's lawsuit for $5.9m to avoid a civil trial.

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Lawrence Lessig on an excellent episode of the Webby Podcast with David-Michel Davies

On the latest Webby Podcast, my pal and Webbys exec director David-Michel Davies has a rollicking and provocative conversation with the great activist lawyer Lawrence Lessig. In 2014, Lessig won the Webby Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award and damn he deserved it. Listen:

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"Monopoly Man" photobombs Equifax CEO's Senate hearing

Consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen's Amanda Werner, dressed as Rich Uncle Pennybags from the Monopoly game, sat behind former Equifax CEO Richard Smith this morning during his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee about the company's breach of 45,500,000 Americans' private data . From Public Citizen's statement:

Make no mistake: Arbitration is a rigged game, one that the bank nearly always wins. Shockingly, the average consumer forced to arbitrate with Wells Fargo was ordered to pay the bank nearly $11,000. Bank lobbyists and their allies in Congress are trying to overturn the CFPB’s rule so they can continue to rip off consumers with impunity.

(The Hill) Read the rest

To avoid honoring FOIA requests, some governments are suing requesters

Freedom of information requests for public records are getting harder to complete, especially now that some governments are suing requesters. Read the rest

Fans kicked out of Boston baseball stadium for ambiguous anti-racism banner

Four fans were kicked out of Boston's Fenway Park during a baseball game yesterday after unfurling a banner reading: "Racism Is As American As Baseball."

Here's what one of the planners of the stunt had to say:

There were originally about eight people involved who had this idea, and those eight people come from various organizing groups in the Boston area. Mostly groups that affiliate with racial justice causes. And the banner came in response to the racist comments at the beginning of the season at Fenway [that Adam Jones spoke of].

"But overall, we saw, we see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it's actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture towards that, to have a conversation about that."

And according to the Boston Red Sox:

"During the fourth inning of tonight's game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club's policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park."

(Bleacher Report) Read the rest

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