Tag Archives | Activism

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Fires Back At Accusations of Anti-Semitism Following Criticism of Israel

PIC: Jethro (CC)

PIC: Jethro (CC)

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

Confronting recent criticism of his support for Palestinian rights and the BDS movement in two furious, personal, open letters, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters rips the “crude pattern” of equating his and others’ criticisms of “the policies of this government of Israel” with anti-Semitism, viewing it as perhaps “a reaction to the fact that BDS is gaining ground, day by day and year by year, all over the world.” Arguing that dehumanization of the other is “the root of all injustice and oppression” and that “the tree of fear and bigotry bears only bitter fruit,” Waters cites the death of his father fighting the Nazis in Italy to chide critics – especially those penning poisonous pieces about Waters’ “anti-Semitic stench” – with, “Do not presume to preach to me, my father’s son, about anti-Semitism or human rights.”

“Look to your own house and the human rights abuses and racism of the Israeli government you defend.

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Changing Your Personal Consumption Isn’t Confronting The Problem

happy_familyFrom Orion Magazine, a classic essay from Derrick Jensen on the limits of living simply:

Why now do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?

Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet.

We so often hear that the world is running out of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. But more than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry.

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Complicit Corruption: Calling Out the Supreme Court on Citizens United

“Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.” – Thomas Jefferson

This past Wednesday, Kai Newkirk – co-founder of 99Rise.orgstood up during a session of the Supreme Court and (while being secretly videotaped, presumably by another member of his organization) made the following bold announcement:

“I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe that money is not speech, corporations are not people, and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Overturn Citizens United. Keep the cap in McCutcheon. The people demand democracy!”

This is the first time that video footage has ever been taken within a session of the SC (these sessions are open to the public, yet photography and recordings are banned) and Newkirk will face federal prosecution in March for having the balls to stand up in front of these crooks and say what everyone else is already thinking.… Read the rest

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Western Spy Agencies Infiltrating, Warping World of Online Activism

abc_edward_snowden_2_jt_130609_msJon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

According to newly published documents, Western spy agencies like the GCHQ and NSA have developed sophisticated online operations in which covert agents infiltrate online communities, networks and forums in order to “manipulate, deceive”—even destroy the reputations of—targeted individuals and groups even if those people have not be charged, or necessarily accused, of a crime.

Building on his previous reporting about so-called “dirty tricks” used by GCHQ to ensare, trap, and discredit online hacktivists and other digital networks, journalist Glenn Greenwald late Monday published a new series of internal agency slides—leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden—which show how a special unit, called JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group), has attempted “to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse” for its own ends. In so doing, writes Greenwald, these operations are disrupting “the integrity of the internet itself.”

Using sophisticated psychological templates, the slides show how the intelligence service believes it can use subversion to disrupt online networks by using various tactics, of which Greenwald descibes two as key: “(1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable.”

In just one example, a slide titled “Disruption” offers a playbook for some of the tactics used to discredit a target.

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Cody Wilson on Creating the 3d Printed Gun


In this video Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange talks to Cody Wilson, the creator the 3d printed gun. Cody calls the gun’s development an activist project and describes his work as a psychological operation. All over the world the 3d printed gun is shaking up political discourse. Since launching the information into the political domain Cody has been facing an intense ongoing legal battle.

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A Critical Analysis of the State’s Definition of “Ecological Terrorism”

Pic: Will Potter (CC)

Pic: Will Potter (CC)

An incredibly lucid and thought provoking analysis by David Nickles of the DMT-Nexus, via their news site: The Nexian:

While the following article focuses on the relationship between the state, its shareholders, and ecological activists, much of the framing, narratives, and propagandizing can be easily applied to the War on [some people who use certain] Drugs. The parallel manners in which dominant narratives (and their wide-ranging repercussions) are framed by politicians and media figures in both arenas are easily observable and evidence certain functions of the state apparatus. This article is intended to serve as a crash course in some radical perspectives on ecological struggle, in order to lay the foundation for future writings on ecological resistance and entheogens. Ecological struggle is inherently tied to entheogenic rituals within many cultures around the world. The utilization of entheogens to open ourselves to these struggles, catalyze our own action with regards to them, and create rituals that can help sustain the long-term engagement necessary for such work cannot be overstated.

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Why No One Really Won In The Trial Of The NATO 3

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

NC_NATO30612_mezzn.1339531807

Assistant State’s Attorney John Blakey dubbed the three men “Mr. Cop on Fire,” “Captain Napalm” and “Professor Molotov” respectively, and of hatching a nearly super-villanous terrorism plot that would have included attacks on police stations, President Barack Obama’s Chicago campaign headquarters, Chase Tower and burning police officers in the streets.

The trial was the first time the Illinois State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted a case under a 12 year old terrorism law passed just after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Prosecutors argued the three men came to Chicago “ready for war” and presented the jury with inflammatory and incendiary statements the trio made recorded by undercover police, as well as four beer bottles filled partially with gasoline and a collection of various weapons including a bow and arrow, a throwing star, a slingshot and a homemade “shield” emblazoned with the words “austerity ain’t gonna happen.”

If one were to believe Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez Betterly, Chase and Church—who have spent nearly two years in Cook County Jail awaiting trial with $1.5 million bonds—were “cold, calculating terrorists.” Even Judge Thaddeus Wilson seemed to believe the rhetoric (at least in part) when he declined a move by the defense for a direct acquittal.

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The Day We Fight Back

A message from the organizers of “The Day We Fight Back“:
Day We Fight Back

DEAR USERS OF THE INTERNET,

In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. Today we face another critical threat, one that again undermines the Internet and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance.

In celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA two years ago, and in memory of one of its leaders, Aaron Swartz, we are planning a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.

Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action. Together, we will make it clear that such behavior is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight.

If you’re in the US: Thousands of websites will host banners urging people to call/email Congress.… Read the rest

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Does Socialist Critique of Terrorism Apply to Animal Activists?

Pic: Daniel Schwin (CC)

Pic: Daniel Schwin (CC)

Jon Hochschartner writes at CounterPunch:

The animal rights movement has long been divided between militants and pacifists, between those who support violence against property or institutional exploiters and those who do not. In one camp, we find activists like Steven Best, who argue the scope of animal exploitation is so great that preventative violence is a moral necessity. In the other, we find activists like Gary Francione, who argue all forms of violence are wrong, including those directed at institutional exploiters or their property.

I’d argue that by focusing so intently on the morality of violence, the animal rights movement often ignores whether the debated tactics are effective. Additionally, I’d like to investigate what, if anything, we can learn from other movements that have grappled with the question of terrorism. In this essay, I will be examining the revolutionary workers’ struggle specifically.

Most socialists don’t have a moral opposition to violence, but recognize it’s generally incapable of creating large-scale, permanent change when carried out by individuals or small groups.

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Surveillance Camera Man: Antagonism as Activism?

So there is a guy on Youtube who goes by the name of Surveillance Camera Man, and over the past year he has uploaded five videos which are comprised of various scenes of him wandering around and filming people without their permission, presumably to see what kind of reaction he would get. He comes off as a bit of a creep, though, because when people ask him what he is doing, all he ever really says is: “Shooting a video.” A lot of people become belligerent rather quickly, which is understandable considering that they have a camera shoved into their face by a man who refuses to answer their questions. (I almost feel bad for the guy on the phone who keeps saying: “This is a private phone call!” The irony being, of course, that there is no longer any such thing as “private” phone calls…or texts…or emails.) 
But this is where I am torn on the methods employed by SCM: because on the one hand, you could argue that he is raising awareness about the fact that we are all constantly being monitored/recorded, and that he is also pointing out the hypocrisy of our nonchalance over these issues when we are not being confronted with them face-to-face.… Read the rest
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