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Category: Creative Commons

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.