Protests




Question MarkLeanne Maxwell writes at SFist:

Last week’s climactic worldwide May Day events, in which police and protesters clashed and black bloc protesters caused thousands of dollars worth of property damage, revived the nation’s waning interest in the Occupy movement long enough for everyone to ask, “What next?”

As can be expected, the cause has hit somewhat of a plateau, and the sentiment amongst the public seems to be that the Occupy groups should separate themselves from the violent factions of the movement and expand their community-minded support into the neighborhoods.

SFist took it upon ourselves to ask members of Occupy in various cities to suspend disbelief for a moment and pretend they were each the leader of the movement. What would be some tangible next steps for Occupy? Naturally, only two of the participants ventured to imagine if Occupy did have a leader, but we like the variety of answers we received…


Did you know that yesterday was the National Day of Reason? Despite rain, several thousand nonbelievers gathered for a pro-reason rally on the National Mall. California Rep. Pete Stark, the lone openly…



Impose Magazine‘s Gretchen Robinette has a very thorough photo treatment of yesterday’s May Day activities in lower and mid-Manhattan. Parks and major thoroughfares such as Broadway north of Union Square were filled…



783784-nPerformance art with an undertone of torture seems to be big right now — so at least it’s being put to good use in an animal rights protest shocking passersby in central London. The Herald Sun writes:

A young woman agreed to be tortured in full public view to try and end animal testing. Jacqueline Traide endured ten hours of injections, being smothered in different lotions, and irritants being squirted into her eyes as part of a world-wide campaign by Lush and The Humane Society International.

The stunt took place in a Lush store window on London’s Regent Street, one of the UK’s busiest shopping precincts. Passers-by were stunned by the display, with many stopping to take photos and record the gruesome spectacle with their phones.



John BrennanReports Cheryl Calm on KING 5 News:

Frequent flying businessman John Brennan set off an explosives wand at Portland International Airport Tuesday and stripped naked to show TSA screeners he was not carrying a bomb.

John Brennan stripped off his clothes at the TSA security station and stood there naked, as waiting passengers and their families looked on, took photos or looked away.

Brennan said as he left jail Tuesday night that removing all his clothes was not premeditated. The frequent traveler who had heard of many TSA issues while on prior business travels was just fed up as he set off the detector at PDX.

“And the machine went off, and I asked what it was and he said ‘nitrates’ which I know from Oklahoma City is one of the explosive ingredients,” said Brennan, “and I was not interested in being hassled so I took off my clothes to show them I was not carrying any explosives.”


Natalie W. and Aaron Cynic write at Diatribe Media: For more than a week, a coalition of Chicago activists including patients and staff from the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic, representatives from the…



Everyone knew that the New York Police Department was planting agents provocateur amongst protest groups, but now there’s documentary proof. From AP via CBS News: Undercover NYPD officers attended meetings of liberal…



If video games are an artform and/or shaping societal force, when will there be video game activism? From last week, via notes.husk.org: “GOD HATES GAME DESIGNERS” and “THOU SHALT NOT MONETIZE THY NEIGHBOR”,…





G8Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Illinois legislators are still wrestling with the issue of average citizens recording police activities on the streets, particularly in regard to the upcoming NATO/G8 demonstrations in May in Chicago. Local law enforcement, however, will be able to keep their eyes and ears trained on anyone planning to protest, and will now be doing it from the friendly windy city skies.

A press release from a company called Vislink revealed that Chicago Fire and Police Department helicopters will be equipped with new airborne surveillance technology ahead of the summits in May:

The airborne units will transmit to four strategically located ground-based receiver sites providing city-wide coverage and the ability to simultaneously receive real-time images from two aircraft for viewing at the OEMC operations center. An additional three receive systems will be installed in the city’s mobile command vehicles to facilitate field operations.


What did civil disobedience look like a century ago? Considerably calmer and more formally dressed. Riots broke out after busloads of suffragettes poured into central London, resulting in the police arresting women for their own safety. From the British Film Institute:

A suffragette procession in Trafalgar Square led by Sylvia Pankhurst results in a riot in Whitehall. Policemen are seen escorting Miss Pankhurst away.



What politician would suppress them? The Guardian writes: There hadn’t been many – indeed any – rallies like it before in Russia. Last month saw dozens of toys, from teddy bears to Lego…



Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines visits Chile to look at the student uprisings that have been going on for months. Students have taken over and occupied schools and universities — in opposition to the prohibitively expensive, poor-quality education system and politicians who say that their main priority is to provide “certainty for investors”. Does Chile’s extremely privatized, class-segregated education system provide a warning of where the United States could be headed?