Folks have been protesting about our species' slow turning of the knife deeper into the belly of Mother Earth for a long time now. However, once it became evident that it was a killing wound we inflicted on the environment, leaving us well and truly fucked, the protests escalated in size and numbers. Quickly.
Kids have been walking out of class, taking to the streets by the thousands. The pillaging of the Amazon, which has been going on for decades, is suddenly on the agenda in a big way with the United Nations and popping up in news broadcasts around the world. The climate activist group Extinction Rebellion is all up in everyone's grills around the globe, too. Recently, members of the group took to the streets to block traffic and generally fuck shit up (in a good way!) in major cities around the globe. London was on their hit list and man, did they hit it: shutting down streets in the city's downtown core, primarily in Trafalgar Square. Flights out of Heathrow Airport were disrupted. Over an eight-day period, London's Metropolitan Police Service threw over 1,300 of the protesters in the clink. It seems that the MPS was so sick of filling out paperwork for the arrests that they opted to make it illegal for Extinction Rebelling to do their thing within the city's borders... which, when you think about it will likely result in more paperwork. But hey: I am but a simple writer.
From The Guardian:
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The Metropolitan police issued a revised section 14 order on Monday night that said “any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘Autumn Uprising’ ...
[My EFF colleague Katharine is back with a very important message about a singularly stupid and dangerous legislative proposal that is steamrolling through Congress; even by the standards of stupid and dangerous Congressional copyright rules, this one is an exception -Cory]
Every year, for a couple of years now, Congress has debated passing some version of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act). It’s supposed to be the answer to artists’ prayers: a quicker, cheaper way to deal with infringement than going to court. But the way this bill is written (and re-written, and re-written, and re-written) doesn’t do that. It just makes it easy to bankrupt people for sharing memes. Read the rest
From The Verge:
While Monteiro says he’s sold over 10,000 copies of the book so far, only 150 paperbacks have been printed since he changed the cover, which isn’t a lot of opportunities for it to catch the right person’s eye.
Monteiro says he was working on some union organizing when he came up with the idea: “We were discussing how to get messages in front of people and I realized ‘Oh, huh. I have this thing that Amazon workers see every time a book gets ordered. Let’s put a message there.’”
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Every time you buy my book from Amazon, a warehouse worker has to pull it off the shelf. From now on, this is what that worker will see. At least until Amazon shitcans the whole thing. Hurry up. https://t.co/l5jxdz1azW pic.twitter.com/DqWZT5MI9q— Mike Monteiro (@monteiro) October 4, 2019
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
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
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.
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
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
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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.
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
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
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."
From 1989, Fingers Inc.'s beautiful mix of "Can You Feel It" with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech: