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Category: Austin

Fascism & The Harsh Lessons Of Failure (Gonzo Notes)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, and Gonzo Notes

I’m in a strange position this month as a gonzo journalist, because I can’t really write about the major action I attended last month.

The short version is that I attended a counterprotest against the Austin version of the national “March 4 Trump.” We were badly outnumbered, surrounded and attacked by fascist Trump supporters. I survived a serious assault and was hospitalized overnight. I now face a misdemeanor assault charge even though I was the victim, along with hospital bills, and this charge prevents me from writing much more.

Still, here’s the main lesson I learned — at least the one that’s safe to share:

We are not ready. …

What Vault 7 Means for You & How to Protect Yourself With Encryption

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

So, you may have heard: the CIA could be listening to your phone conversations, recording your Skype calls, and even spying on you through your TV.

The latest bombshell from WikiLeaks, code named “Vault 7,” revealed the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret tool box of technological exploits. This leak is terrifying, to be sure, but it also gives tech companies valuable new information about how to protect their users.

And for everyday activists on the Front Lines, there are some vital, and simple steps we can take to protect our allies and our plans from surveillance.

Now, we still don’t know who’s responsible for the Vault 7 leak, although WikiLeaks released a statement saying that the anonymous source, “wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”

Much like Snowden hoped to do.…

What Is A Sanctuary City & How Can We Defend Immigrant Families?

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, and Journalism

The reports from the first wave of Trump’s ICE Raids are full of disturbing stories of jackbooted thugs oppressing the oppressed — and literally tearing families apart in the name of a fascist, xenophobic and factually inaccurate agenda.

Trump’s long-promised mass deportations have begun, ramping up from the Obama administration’s already disgusting record of nearly 3 million deportations. As more and more people find themselves in the crosshairs of fascism, it is quite clear that those of us lower on that checklist — because we are all on it — have an obligation to stand up — to demand our communities and cities be safe havens for all — sanctuary cities, if you will. And to be ready to put our bodies on the front lines for freedom, justice and human rights.

The concept of a “sanctuary city” actually dates back to the Old Testament, and early Christian rulers who designated certain cities as places of sanctuary for those accused of accidentally committing manslaughter.

Two thousand years later, and we’ve entered the bizarro world of 2017, where people who call themselves the followers of Christ have turned “sanctuary” into a dirty word and back a crackdown on the undocumented, literally among the most vulnerable people around.…

How To Survive Hurricane Donald (Gonzo Notes 05)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

Resilient communities are more resistant.

Strong communities survive and strong communities resist.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, radical activists and community organizers created Common Ground Relief to step in where the government and traditional NGOs like the Red Cross failed. They organized both the immediate needs of the community, like food and rebuilding, while also enabling long term political organizing. Today, the Common Ground Health Clinic still remains in New Orleans, offering “solidarity not charity.”

Occupy Sandy was a more recent, well known response to disaster. With their skills honed by Occupy Wall Street, activists created an ambitious network of neighborhood relief centers offering supplies of all kinds and connecting people with builders and other volunteers after Hurricane Sandy.…

What You Need To Know To Protest Donald Trump’s Inauguration

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and Lee Camp

Thousands of people are preparing to protest the inauguration around the country on Friday, or planning to participate in one of the many women’s marches that take place nationwide on Saturday. And for many of you, it will be your first time to take action.

Welcome! Taking the streets for justice can be exhilarating, and a well-directed protest can help change the world. At the same time, marching is hard work, and the potential for police violence is worse than ever. That shouldn’t scare you away — but you should take steps to be prepared.

If you can, you should form an “affinity group” with a few of your friends or close allies. An affinity group is a small team that agrees to work together and watch each other’s backs.…

Protests & Events In Austin For Donald Trump’s Inauguration

Posted in Austin, and Creative Commons

You don’t have to go to Washington, D.C. to resist Donald Trump. Here in Austin, we’ve got a full weekend of protest — and some fun events to round it out.

Heres’s a list of every protest, rally, or inauguration-related event I know of in Austin. You can jump in the comments with links if you know about anything else I’ve missed.

I’m not endorsing any of these events, but I’ll be covering them when I can. Keep an eye on my Twitter for updates and my Facebook for live coverage.…

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