Tag Archives | Activists

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.

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The Yes Lab: Pipeline Company’s PR Dream Turns Into a Nightmare

I just received the following press release:

Pipeline Company’s PR Dream Turns Into a Nightmare
TransCanada’s “community consultation” squad dogged by activist lookalikes

In towns across Canada, troupes of mischievous activists are successfully derailing the attempts of TransCanada—the company building the stalled Keystone XL pipeline—to ram through their latest proposed project, the Energy East pipeline, which would bring over a million barrels of Tar Sands oil to the East Coast for export, primarily to Europe and Asia.

During previous pipeline projects, stakeholders were able to express concerns in front of their whole community. To impede the type of opposition that has stalled past projects, this time TransCanada has changed the format of community consultations, turning them into trade-show-like promotional events where stakeholders can only speak one-on-one with company representatives (or PR contractors hired for the occasion).

To outwit this latest ploy by TransCanada, local activists all along the pipeline route have been swarming these events dressed just like TransCanada reps, but with lookalike “SaveCanada” name tags and brochures.… Read the rest

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Assassinations of Environmental Activists Have Doubled Over the Last Decade

Picture: Sigurdas (CC)

Fred Pearce writes at the Guardian:

Where is Sombath Somphone? With every day that passes, the fate of one of south-east Asia’s most high-profile environmental activists, who was snatched from the streets of Laos in December, becomes more worrisome.

His case has been raised by the State Department and countless NGOs around the world. But the authorities in Laos have offered no clue as to what happened after Sombath was stopped at a police checkpoint on a Saturday afternoon in the Lao capital of Vientiane as he returned home from his office. It looks increasingly like state kidnap — or worse, if recent evidence of the state-sponsored killings of environmental campaigners in other countries is anything to go by.

Personal danger is not what most environmentalists have in mind when they take up the cause of protecting nature and the people who rely on it in their daily lives.

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Telltale Signs Of Undercover Infiltrators

Is your annoying new friend an FBI-planted agent provocateur? For those involved in social activism, via the Portland Independent Media Center, Kristian Williams provides the warning signs from a series of recent cases:

A recent article in Seattle’s Stranger detailed a long-term police operation to monitor, infiltrate, and entrap activists in Seattle. The story is convoluted and more than a little absurd; it’s all rather like the plot of a Coen Brothers’ movie. But the short version is that an undercover Seattle cop infiltrated an after-hours party scene. The SPD hoped to find some dirt on local politicians, the FBI hoped to find a connection to the Earth Liberation Front, and after two years they finally managed to hook someone with a drug scam.

With this in mind, I will sum up three recent cases involving the use of provocateurs against the anarchist and radical environmentalist movements. And I’ll point out some of the warning signs that should have made people wary:

PROVOCATEUR PROFILE #1: “BRYAN OWENS”/BRYAN VAN BRUNT

1- Money issues: Bryan’s habit of throwing around cash meant that, even though a lot of people didn’t like him and were annoyed by his “blustery bro-dude personality,” they were willing to put up with it.

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Documents Show FBI Raids Are Targeting Anarchists And Activists

I’m curious to see this news get tweaked as a lighthearted Portlandia segment. The Portland Mercury on the revelation that the FBI is conducting raids on the homes of politically minded locals in search of “criminal evidence” such as black clothing, anarchist literature, and placard signs and flags:

The first interview with any of the Portlanders who were served grand jury subpoenas as FBI agents searched their homes on July 25 shines some light on what authorities may be hoping to achieve with the raids.

Dennison Williams was in bed at his house on Wednesday morning when he heard someone shout, “FBI!” Then came a loud crash, which turned out to be agents breaking down his front door, and Williams heard a bang and a saw a flash of light—the agents throwing flash grenades.

FBI officers entered his room with assault rifles and kept them aimed at him while they handcuffed him.

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NYPD Creates Posters Featuring Anti-Brutality Activists’ Photos And Personal Info

You may not be a criminal suspect, but the police will feature you in a “wanted” poster if they don’t like you. Via DNAinfo New York:

The NYPD has created a “wanted” poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them “professional agitators” who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

The flyer featured side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye, 35, and his partner Christina Gonzalez, 25, and warned officers to be on guard against them. It was spotted by multiple people, including the couple, when it was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house last Thursday, where residents met for precinct council meeting.

“Be aware that above subjects are known professional agitators,” read the flyer, which bears the NYPD shield and a seal of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division.

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UK Undercover Police Had Children With Activists They Were Spying On

Bob Lambert. Photo: CSTPV

Bob Lambert. Photo: CSTPV

Paul Lewis and Rob Evans report for the Guardian:

Two undercover police officers secretly fathered children with political campaigners they had been sent to spy on and later disappeared completely from the lives of their offspring, the Guardian can reveal.

In both cases, the children have grown up not knowing that their biological fathers – whom they have not seen in decades – were police officers who had adopted fake identities to infiltrate activist groups. Both men have concealed their true identities from the children’s mothers for many years.

One of the spies was Bob Lambert, who has already admitted that he tricked a second woman into having a long-term relationship with him, as part of an intricate attempt to bolster his credibility as a committed campaigner.

The second police spy followed the progress of his child and the child’s mother by reading confidential police reports which tracked the mother’s political activities and life.

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The Political War Will Continue

partyfightAs The Dog Days Of Summer Approach, Politicians Rest Before Returning To The Fray

Now that the debt drama is over for the moment, we can all safely retreat in what was once called the “Dog Days Of Summer” and chill out if the volatile weather allows us to. We can think back to that old song, “Summer time and the living is easy.” Even as we all know that for millions “the living” is anything but.

The House and Senate have become ghost-like chambers because all its members, so filled with strident indignation and inflexible talking points just a week ago, are now off on their paid vacations hyping their political war stories to grandchildren.

Imbued with a sense of triumph, the Tea Party is huddling to come up with ongoing tactics to hold the system hostage while the party leaders plan the new “super committee” with 12 chosen acolytes (how Biblical, that number 12!) to map the next round of fiscal blood-lettering.… Read the rest

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Al Gore’s New Reality Show: 24 Hours Of Reality

Al Gore has a new reality program, 24 Hours of Reality, set to air its first live-stream on September 14. In his continuing campaign to raise awareness about global climate changes this program is a new step towards provoking action. The program will run 24 hours around the globe in multiple languages and featuring scientists, executives, celebrities and citizens around the world. [More at The New York Times]
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