Tag Archives | Activism

Bill Aimed At Shutting Off NSA’s Water Starts Moving Forward Again

86625164_9e87ff2651_z

Serge (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via Tech Dirt:

The attempt to nerf the NSA’s new data center in Utah continues. As we covered here at the beginning of this year, legislators and activists began pushing a bill that would cut off the NSA’s water supply if it continued to gather data on American citizens. It’s an interesting move, one that leverages the states’ abilities to combat overreaching federal laws, but one that has gone nowhere so far. The bill was discussed and then tabled indefinitely, supposedly for “further study.”

Apparently, some sort of studying has gone on during the intervening months, because it appears the bill is moving forward again.

On Wednesday, the Public Utilities and Technology Interim Committee discussed the bill that “prohibits cooperation between a federal agency that collects electronic data and any political subdivisions of the state.”

The Salt Lake Tribune has more details.

Committee members expressed some concerns with the bill but no outright opposition.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Activist Comics: Free Airtime for Candidates

In the wake of the 2014 midterms, it is estimated that dark money spending — campaign expenditures from unknown contributors — topped $145 million. Most of that is spent on outside advertising, which is now largely unregulated since the Citizens United decision ruled that restricting corporations’ right to spending in elections is tantamount to prohibiting citizens’ freedom of speech.

The increasing majority of these campaign ads are negative, which puts off the electorate and reduces turnout. And most of these ads are now run by outside groups that supposedly have no coordination whatsoever with the candidates that they are supporting — and if you believe there is no coordination with Super PACs and campaigns, Karl Rove is here to tell you that Ohio just went for Romney. And in 30-second installments, these ads can’t say much except try to push buttons.

In other countries, candidates are given evening primetime to tell the public what they are for, as opposed to hiding behind attack ads.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The KKK Learns the Hard Way: Don’t Mess With Anonymous

(Photo: Twitter)

(Photo: Twitter)

via Take Part:

The hacktivist collective hacked the Ku Klux Klan’s Twitter account after the white supremacists threatened Ferguson protesters.

Participants of one group wear hoods, while members of the other cloak their identity with the mystery of the Internet and Guy Fawkes masks. Despite all that secrecy, most folks would agree that’s where the similarities between the Ku Klux Klan and Anonymous begin and end. But the two organizations are now engaged in a war after the hacktivist collective took over several of the hate group’s Twitter accounts and revealed the identities of purported KKK members on social media.

In a YouTube video posted on Sunday announcing Operation KKK, Anonymous stated, “We are not attacking you [the KKK] because of what you believe in, as we fight for freedom of speech. We are attacking you because of your threats to use lethal force against us at the Ferguson protests.”

Read More: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/11/17/anonymous-hacks-kkks-twitter-account-starts-outing-alleged-members

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Revolution vs. Rationalization: The Militarization of the Police and The Death of Rebellion

DonkeyHotey (CC by-sa 2.0)

DonkeyHotey (CC by-sa 2.0)

[Editor’s note: For future reference, Willis Gordon will be running a column on Disinfo.com: “Photobombing Salman Rushdie.”]

I initially wrote this to be presented to a crowd of highbrow poets and writers in the aftermath of the Brooklyn Book Festival. Considering my audience, I started reading up on classic poets and philosophers and found myself revisiting some of my favorite English Philosophers to get a handle on America’s current events. One of these sages, the Philosopher Jagger once said in 1968 that “in sleepy London town there’s just no place for a street fighting man.”

That was 44 years ago. That sleepy London Town is now the entire American landscape, and the street fighting man has not been displaced by some massively oppressive police force, totalitarian government, private death squad or even overfunded espionage tactics. It was us. We are so afraid of true revolution, or even change, that we have conditioned ourselves to shrink back from any indication of it.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

What do Occupy and the Tea Party have in Common? More than you Might Think.

In an article entitled “The Six Principles of the New Populism (and the Establishment’s Nightmare)” Robert Reich outlines six points of agreement between “Occupy” leftists and the “Tea Party” right:

[Editor’s note: We only took the first few sentences of each point, follow the link to read the entire article.]

1. Cut the biggest Wall Street banks down to a size where they’re no longer too big to fail. Left populists have been advocating this since the Street’s bailout now they’re being joined by populists on the right.

2. Resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking and thereby preventing companies from gambling with their depositors’ money. Elizabeth Warren has introduced such legislation, and John McCain co-sponsored it. Tea Partiers are strongly supportive, and critical of establishment Republicans for not getting behind it.

3. End corporate welfare – including subsidies to big oil, big agribusiness, big pharma, Wall Street, and the Ex-Im Bank.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Pursuing Justice Through Filmmaking, Why we Create Beauty, Hot Dog Related Altercations

Via Midwest Real

Filmmakers Spencer Chumbley and Erik Ljung have shot for organizations like VICE and Al Jazeera. I caught up with the guys just before they debuted their film, The Death of Cory Stingley a the Milwaukee Film Festival. 

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOADIMG_6025

Humans make things, we always have. But, we don’t just make, we create beauty. We pay attention to symmetry, form and detail. Why is that? Darwinian theory says it’s simply a form of “peacocking.” More specifically, our creative predispositions are merely “fitness signals.” For example, if you write a novel, create a moving peace of art, or compose a great song, it’s just a uniquely human way of showing off your intellect in hopes of attracting a mate, like a peacock with it’s innately douchey bouquet of feathers.

I fucking hate this idea.  

But, let’s be fair. It’s totally undeniable that ego and social elevation are often intertwined with creative accomplishments.Read the rest

Continue Reading

Privacy Activist Sues Chicago Police For Records Related To Cellphone Monitoring

Local police departments nationwide are using technologies like Stingray to track and monitor cell phones, and they are very secretive about it. Several organizations and activists across the country are doing their best to dig as deep as the rabbit hole goes.

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

A local privacy activist has filed a second lawsuit aimed at the Chicago Police Department after CPD released a handful of documents admitting it has equipment that monitors and tracks cellphones. Freddy Martinez filed his first lawsuit against CPD in June, demanding it turn over records related to purchases of ISMI catchers, commonly referred to as “Stingrays,” devices which mimic cell phone towers and collect data from phone calls, texts and more. Martinez’s first suit garnered a meager three pages of invoices that show CPD purchased the technology.

In an interview with CBS Chicago, Freddy Martinez said:

“It’s strongly suspected that the Chicago Police Department does monitor protesters and constitutionally protected activities.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Letter of Inquiry to the Police in Regards to Militarization

From Divided Core:

       Below is the template of a letter that I sent to my local police department and city government inquiring about any weapons or equipment the police may have received from the U.S military.  Considering what’s going down in Ferguson, I think it would behoove you to ask your local police station if they’ve accepted any dangerous gifts from the U.S Pentagon. (I received a polite response from the Sebastopol Chief of Police, and am happy to report that Sebastopol, CA is does not currently participate in any program in which military gear is provided to them by the Department of the Defense.)  Here’s the template of the simple letter:

Dear Chief of Police ________ and the City of _____,I am a resident of ______ and am curious if our police department receives any funding and/or equipment and weapons from the Department of Defense.  I love our town and respect our police department, yet (in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson, MO) I am curious if our police force has accepted any arms, ammunition, robots, or otherwise from the U.S military.
Read the rest
Continue Reading

Did YouTube Copyright Rules Help to Silence Activists?

Activists love putting up their videos on YouTube (Luke Rudkowski, for example), but the video-sharing site’s copyright rules aren’t always favorable to activists, reports New Media Rockstars:

File this under “dirty tricks” if you’re the sort of person who files things! The Australian environmental activist group Get Up! is claiming that its opponents have exploited YouTube’s copyright policies in a sneaky attempt to silence them. The group, which campaigns for various social and environmental causes, suggests that an anti-coal video they produced may have been pulled from their channel by a strategically timed copyright claim just before a critical vote on the issue.

The video was allegedly produced by Get Up! to educate the public about a proposed coal transportation facility that could potentially endanger part of the Great Barrier Reef. The video highlights other environmental abuses by Adani, the energy conglomerate that would own and operate the expanded facility.

Read the rest
Continue Reading