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Category: Creative Commons

#GonzoNotes 01: Life Under President Trump

Posted in Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and MintPress News

Donald Trump is going to be president.

That’s fucking ugly, so I want you to just sit with it for a minute.

I know some people are working for a different outcome. I will rarely tell anyone not to act, and this includes my comrades petitioning the electoral college to reject Trump, or supporting efforts to recount the vote.

Still, fundamentally, our democracy isn’t built for this. The electoral college was never meant to serve the people, and it never will.

Advice For Bernie’s ‘Revolution’ & Other New Activists After DNC 2016

Posted in Creative Commons, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

I just got back from Philadelphia, where I was covering protests at the Democratic National Convention for MintPress News, so I spent a lot of time observing the activists taking the streets in America.

I’m impressed by the passion and righteous anger so many people are feeling right now, especially those of you who feel betrayed by the Democratic Party. Many of you may be taking the streets, attending nonviolent direct action trainings, and feeling the joy of holding a public space for a cause for the first time in your lives.

I don’t want the post that follows to sound like an “old man yelling at clouds,” but I’ve been an activist for a while now. I don’t claim to be the world’s greatest expert in street protest tactics, but I saw a few things that concerned me in Philly.

In ‘Ovarian Psycos,’ Women Use Bikes To Claim Space & The Streets (#SXSW)

Posted in Creative Commons, Journalism, and SXSW

There’s a particular liberation found on two wheels, gliding through a night time city street.

That feeling becomes simultaneously even more liberating and powerful in a group of cyclists, reasserting our right to take up space normally dominated by cars.

But cycling culture is notoriously sexist — just ask almost any woman who has tried to purchase a bike or get repairs at a shop, and group rides are often male-dominated and unwelcoming to women and the gender-nonconforming.

The Ovarian Psycos are a women-of-color cycling crew from East Los Angeles and the Boyle Heights neighborhood. Beyond simply spreading the joy of the ride to more people, their work is directly situated in a historic tradition of feminist and Xicana activism.

“Ovarian Psycos,” a documentary from directors Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle that premiered this year at SXSW, brings the crew’s politics and passion to the screen, where it can hopefully inspire other women like them to take up more space on the streets and in their everyday lives.

Protesting Gentrification & Blue Cat Cafe At #SXSW

Posted in Creative Commons, Journalism, and SXSW

Yesterday I was sitting outside the Austin Convention Center eating some macaroni and cheese when I heard the sounds of a protest.

Strangely (for me), my initial reaction was mild annoyance. Usually I love a good protest, but just a few minutes before I’d witnesses a few dozen SXSW badgeholders march past while chanting about sheep and dreams. It wasn’t real activism, but actually a promotional event for a movie premiering at the film festival.

So when I heard another group of marchers, I assumed it was more corporate faux-grassroots astro turf.

Then, as the group drew nearer, I realized it was the genuine article, a small march organized by Defend Our Hoodz – Defiende El Barrio, a local group struggling against gentrification and inequality in east side Austin.

How I Met Vermin Supreme At SXSW 2012

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Occupy Wall Street, and SXSW

I didn’t officially attend SXSW 2012, but it was the first year I got into the convention center.

I had been invited to share my experiences with Anonymous at a panel about the documentary “We Are Legion” which played at the film festival. I had plenty to share — most notably, Anonymous helped us identify Austin Police officer Jason Mistric after he threatened me with pepper spray on the night Occupy Austin got evicted from its encampment in 2012.

Of course, the city had likely evicted our camp in order to make sure we weren’t cluttering up the city hall steps when Southby came to town, so what came next felt somewhat appropriate. After the panel, I gathered with two other occupiers that had found their way into the convention center and Mic Checked a speech by George Friedman, the CEO of Strategic Forecasting, a corporate intelligence agency which had helped infiltrate and spy on Occupy along with other activists groups, and helped send political prisoner Jeremy Hammond to prison.

Of course, security soon got involved.