Privacy activists spent a day on Capitol Hill scanning faces to prove that scanning faces should be banned

Activists from Fight for the Future prowled the halls of Congress in "jumpsuits with phone strapped to their heads conducting live facial recognition surveillance" to "show why this tech should be banned." Read the rest

US Navy building a ship named after Harvey Milk sixty years after he was booted out for being gay

The US Navy is building a ship that they are naming after a true American hero. Harvey Milk (1930-1978) was an inspiring LGBT activist who in 1978 became the first openly gay elected official in California history. On November 27 1978, Milk, a highly effective member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and mayor George Moscone were assassinated by another city supervisor. But before all that, Milk served in the Navy. That is, until his superiors found out Milk was gay and forced him to resign. From CNN:

More than 60 years later, the Navy began construction Friday on the USNS Harvey Milk, a new oiler ship that will resupply fuel to other ships at sea. "(This) sends a global message of inclusion more powerful than simply 'We'll tolerate everyone,'" Stuart Milk said at a ceremony in San Diego, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. "(It says) We celebrate everyone."

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Nicole Murray Ramirez, the chairman and executive director of the San Diego International Imperial Court Council, an LGBT organization, was a leader in the push to name a vessel after Milk.

“When ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was lifted, I researched, and one guy picks all these (ship) names — the Secretary of the Navy,” Ramirez said.

His organization, which has chapters nationwide, organized a national letter-writing campaign in 2011 to push then-Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to name a ship for Milk.

image: "Harvey Milk in dress Navy Blue uniform for his brother's wedding in 1954" (CC BY-SA 3.0 Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: The Brutal 1968 DNC and Abbie Hoffman’s Illegal Forehead

The mayhem (or success) of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and Abbie Hoffman's arrest for writing a forbidden word on his forehead.

From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.

(See all Boing Boing installments)

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Librecorps: an organization that connects student free/open source software developers with humanitarian NGOs

Librecorps is a program based at the Rochester Institute for Technology's Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) initiative that works with UNICEF to connect students with NGOs for paid co-op placements where they build and maintain FOSS tools used by nonprofits. Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: Paul Krassner and the Birth of the Political Prankster Group, YIPPIE!

A 1967 acid trip during a hurricane at Ramrod Key, Florida, leads Abbie Hoffman, his wife Anita, and Paul Krassner to see the upcoming 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago as a hugely visible moment for political protest.

When home from the vacation, the group has a celebratory smoke, leading to Paul's coining of the term Yippie, for politicized, radical, or activist hippies.

From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.

(See all Boing Boing installments)

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This Thanksgiving, don't have a political argument, have a "structured organizing conversation"

Union organizers don't have arguments with workers, they have "structured organizing conversations" -- conversations in which the organizer asks someone to think about what change they want to see, what the obstacles to that change are, and then asks them to think about whether that change will come about unless they form a union. Read the rest

About Face: EFF's new campaign to end government use of face surveillance

Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation launched About Face, a new national campaign to end governmental use of facial recognition technology for surveillance at all levels -- city, state and federal. Read the rest

How (and why) to become a tech policy activist

Caroline McCarthy is a journalist and ex-googler who now works as an ad-tech exec for a startup that Fox bought and they transfered to Disney when the two companies merged; in this great, impassioned Tedx talk, she lays out the case for being a "tech policy activist" and explains how the field of tech policy, though neglected by politicians and pollsters, is vital to many aspects of our daily lives, and how it fails to decompose neatly on left-right lines and nevertheless demands our close attention lest it be formulated in ways that disappoint or even harm us. It's a great talk, akin in some ways to Schneier's plea for "public interest technologists." Read the rest

Protestors use laser pointers to bring down police drone

As William Gibson wrote, "The street finds its own uses for things."

More in this vein:

• Hong Kong protesters use lasers to blind security cameras

• After student arrested for carrying laser-pointers, Hong Kong protesters stage "stargazing" laser-protest

(Thanks, UPSO!) Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: Applying for a Permit to Exorcise the Pentagon of Evil Spirits, Levitating It Ten Feet Off the Ground

Abbie Hoffman and Martin Carey arrive at The Pentagon to do a literal hand-count on how many protestors will be needed to encircle the building for a protest. On the way out they apply for, and receive, a permit to initiate an Exorcism to rid the base of its evil demons.

Part one of "LEVITATION OF THE PENTAGON" — Continued Next Week

From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.

(See all Boing Boing installments)

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Pirate Bay cofounder Peter "brokep" Sunde has a new TV show about activism

The Activist is a new 5-part series from Peter Sunde (previously), AKA brokep, who cofounded The Pirate Bay and also founded Flattr. Read the rest

London Metropolitan Police Service bans Extinction Rebellion from entering the city

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:

The Metropolitan police issued a revised section 14 order on Monday night that said “any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘Autumn Uprising’ ...

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A new copyright bill would be a disaster for how regular people use the internet

[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

Mike Monteiro put a pro-union message for Amazon workers on his new book's cover

Designer/activist Mike Monteiro added a pointed pro-Union message to the cover of his new, print-on-demand book that Amazon workers would perhaps see when they print copies to ship to customers. The Amazon-specific cover to Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It made it through their approval process and is visible on the product page, for the moment anyway.

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.’”

Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It (Amazon)

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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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