Skip to content

Category: Creative Commons

Using Able-Bodied Privilege To Defend Healthcare & Human Rights

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

They’re loud, they’re fierce, and they’d rather risk death than see their — and your — health care get cut.

You’ve probably seen stories about protesters torn from their wheelchairs as they shut down Senators’ offices, resisting the devastating new Republican “health care” plan that would push even more people into ill health, bankruptcy and death.

To give you a rough idea of how many — there are currently about 29 million people uninsured under the ACA — although many who are insured still suffer from the economic burdens of trying to stay alive. That number may drop a bit by 2026 but under the proposed AHCA, revised or not, more than 50 million people would be uninsured. And we’ll get to what third option would leave no one insured but first, let’s circle back to these protests.

Organized under the hashtag #ADAPTandResist, they have spread across the U.S., from Capitol Hill to legislator’s offices around the country. We’ve all been justifiably horrified to see people defending their right to health care literally dragged to jail, and sometimes bloodied in the process. But as with anyone who places their body squarely in the path of the powers that be, these protesters don’t want our pity, they want our solidarity — because this is a struggle we should all take part in.

They also aren’t new to this struggle either — actually, disability rights advocates from groups like ADAPT are some of the fiercest, and most effective activists around, and they’ve literally transformed the world you live in, to everyone’s benefit.

Diversity Of Tactics Keeps Your Enemies Off Balance (Gonzo Notes)

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

September 17, 2012: the financial district was in chaos.

On the morning of the one year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, marking the day that tents first went up in Zuccotti Park, activists flooded Wall Street for hours.

Some held birthday parties in bank lobbies until the police came. Others took the furniture out of buildings and threw it in the street. One group I knew blocked traffic with a makeshift donut stand, offering dumpster-dived pastries and coffee to the NYPD.

A Brief Timeline Of Fascist Activity In Austin, Texas Since The 2016 Election

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, and Journalism

Summer 2016 – present: Emboldened by the increasing success of Donald Trump and the “alt-right” fascist agenda, white supremacist groups step up recruiting and propaganda efforts on college campuses. Racist posters & graffiti tied to white supremacist groups like Vanguard America and Identity Evropa routinely appear on and around UT Austin.

November 19, 2016: The hate group “White Lives Matter” stages a protest outside the Texas Capitol to coincide with the unveiling of the African American History Memorial. The white supremacists are met by an overwhelming force of counter protesters, but are defended by Austin Police Department horse cops and Texas DPS State Troopers in armored riot gear. A handful of arrests are made but the fascist event is effectively surrounded and shut down.

March 4, 2017: The far right rallies at Woolridge Square park as part of a national “March 4 Trump” day of action on “Confederate Flag Day.” Local organizers include known fascist Jennifer Drabbant. Trump supporters happily march and rally side by side with neo-nazis and fascist 4chan trolls. A small counter-protest is surrounded by violent fascists, including Gregorio Rendon who assaults activist and gonzo journalist Kit O’Connell by slamming him head-first into a lamp post. Kit is arrested by Austin Police Department and charged with misdemeanor assault, while Gregorio is briefly held in cuffs than released without charges. Kit is admitted to the hospital with injuries to his head, arm and leg.

The Democrats’ ‘Resistance Summer’ Is Really Resistance To Change

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

We’ve got a hot summer ahead, and I don’t just mean record-breaking temperatures thanks to climate change.

Assuming the fuck-ups in the GOP clown car, currently careening out of control across our nation, can get their act together, we’re poised to see devastating legislation targeting some of the most vulnerable people in America. People are angry, and ready to active against the system, in a way we haven’t seen in years.

And huddling in corner number two — are the Democrats. And despite their feeble attempts at both resistance and distinct alternatives, their proposed “Resistance Summer” is designed to attract new activists and bring a flood of new liberal voters to the polls in upcoming elections.

Despite the catchy, chic, goes-with-a-beach-tote name, we’ve seen this sort of thing before from the Democrats. Indeed, while the party claims to support progressive causes, Democrats have a long history of sucking the life out of grassroots movements, taking their momentum for revolutionary change and directing the energy back into the American status quo at the ballot box.

You’re Never ‘Just’ A Journalist: Reporting From The Left & The Far Right (Gonzo Notes)

Posted in Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

It’s a gift to be a journalist in this moment.

Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves. It’s the only way to get through.

Freelancers (like I am right now) spend every month counting our pennies, making sure we’ll make rent and have a little left over for food and coffee and the other vices of our profession. For those lucky few with a steady job, they’re wondering how long until downsizing and budget cuts will put them out on the street.

In addition to journalism’s grim financial picture, we’re finding ourselves targeted by the government and by far-right fascists for violence and repression in a way we haven’t faced in decades.

What Is American Fascism And Who Are The Antifa?

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

You’ve seen them on TV: black clad activists marching against, and even openly fighting with neo-nazis, nationalists, and white supremacists. Since the election, antifascists have seemingly been everywhere online and in the media. Some call them terrorists, while others call them heroes, but really they’re just humans like you and me. Humans who hate fascism.

Who are the antifa, where did they come from aaaand what, really, is fascism anyway?

A question that’s no longer simply academic: across the U.S., and indeed, in Europe too, far right forces are growing in power. Whether they call themselves “nationalists” or claim to be opposed to “radical” Islam while targeting innocent Muslims for threats and violence, the bad old days are coming back round again on insanity’s loop.

Subscribe to Gonzo Notes

Get Kit′s thoughts on current events, and links to all his latest writing, delivered 2-4 times per month to your inbox.

FreshMail.com