I’m pleased to announce the upcoming publication of a new zine, “Beyond the Concrete Milkshake: Tactics for Dealing with Media Trolls & Grifters.”
At the beginning of the year, I announced on Patreon that one of my goals for 2020 was the creation of a zine. I’ve made great progress and intend to publish by late March or early April.
One side effect of the first few years of the Donald Trump administration, with all its associated increase in far-right activity, is a hijacking of Leftist tactics for use by fascist causes. One clear example is the banner drop. Once beloved primarily by far left activists, this technique now sees regular groups by nazi and hyper-nationalist fascist groups. So too it is with the media grifter.
The techniques of social media and smartphone-based street journalism pioneered during the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements now see widespread use by the fascist opposition. These media trolls and grifters are especially common at protests and other events in Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas (and anywhere within driving distance of Infowars staffers). But they can appear at any event, at any time.
While at first they can look like regular indie journalists and often claim to be unbiased, these media trolls are actually trying to punch down by making movements for justice, human rights, and climate change mitigation look bad. They frequently and deliberately seek to harm movements by publishing dishonestly edited videos, sharing the personal information of activists both online and with dangerous nazi terrorists, or even participating in physical assaults in order to provoke the left and generate footage.
The title of the zine is, of course, a reference to a mythical“quikrete milkshake” supposedly used by antifa in Portland against grifters and other fascists. Physical self-defense, however justified, can end up feeding into their narrative and even may be profitable for the media troll. For that reason, “Beyond the Concrete Milkshake” collects nonviolent techniques organizers, activists, and antifascists of all kinds can use to protect themselves, their comrades and their movement from media trolls.
“Beyond the Concrete Milkshake” will be part of the Spring Edition of my Virtual Gonzo Zine Library. Anyone who joins my Patreon at $10 and up before March 31, 2020 (including existing patrons) will get a printed copy in the mail. However, the zine itself will be available for free online, for anyone to print and distribute.
Thanks to all my patrons, and everyone who is making this work possible. I’ve bought a new printer and other supplies for zine creation, and I’m even working to commission a few simple pieces of art for this publication. I really couldn’t do it without you.
Stay tuned for more updates on this zine and the Virtual Gonzo Zine Library. Become a Patron today at any level and get a brief sneak preview of part of the zine itself, a satirical introduction to the media troll.