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Category: Creative Commons

Starbucks Racism & The Media: There’s Nothing New Except The Attention

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

As a journalist, I want to talk to other white people about recent coverage of “Starbucks Racism” incidents.

People of all races are horrified by the reports filling the news of black people targeted by whites for everyday activities. I’m calling it “Starbucks Racism” in this post not because I particularly hate Starbucks. It’s simply that the incident in which police arrested two black men waiting for a third friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks is now infamous. This story ushered in renewed interest in the media in this kind of “casual” but extremely dangerous racism.

There’s a reaction to these Starbucks Racism stories I’ve mostly noticed among white people. It reflects both a misunderstanding of systemic racism and a misunderstanding of how the media works. I’ll paraphrase something I saw on a friend’s wall: “What’s wrong with people? I’m so disgusted at how people act recently.”

Building Power: scott crow On Asking The Right Questions After Antifa

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

This is the third and final part of my interview with scott crow.

We discuss what comes after antifa finish driving neo-nazis and white supremacists from our streets. In the second part of my interview, crow commented that the left is great at building “fire brigades” but less effective at building power.

I asked crow what building power looks like to him.

“I think that it starts with asking the question, ‘What does it take to build power?'”

Black Rose Book Distro, St. Louis Radical Pop Up Bookstore, Attacked By White Supremacists

Posted in Creative Commons, Journalism, and Radical Media

Black Rose Book Distro, a network of radical “pop up” bookstores in St. Louis, was attacked by white supremacists in January.

I first heard about the incident via Twitter as the distro’s volunteers spread the word about the damage to their books, zines, and safer sex supplies.

Authors, publishers, and activists of all kinds quickly stepped up to replace almost everything, and all of the Black Rose Book Distro locations are open again. But I still think it’s important to spread word about what happened, because American nazis pose a growing risk to not just the physical safety of marginalized groups in the U.S., from LGBTQIA folks to immigrants and people of color, but also our culture and knowledge too. The members of Black Rose agreed when I approached them for an interview.

Everyday Antifascism & The Limits Of Antifa: scott crow On Movement Building Under Trump

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

“I’m not into the politics of reaction,” scott crow said. 

“You need dual power. You must resist on one hand, but you have to build and create on the other hand.”

In December, I caught up with anarchist organizer and author scott crow when he stopped by my house to drop off some copies of his book “Emergency Hearts, Molotov Dreams,” which I gave away to my Patreon patrons. I took the opportunity to talk with crow about American politics and antifa after a year of the Trump regime. In the previous part of this interview, I got crow’s thoughts on the media, so in this part I’ll focus on our conversation about everyday antifascism and the limitations of antifascist tactics.

Nonviolent Activism And Police: Nonviolent Activism Means Never Working With The Cops

Posted in Creative Commons, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

The recent first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration got me thinking about nonviolent activism and police.

My thoughts brought me back to 2011. Occupy Wall Street was a nonviolent movement, but when we started collaborating with other movements and activist groups, we quickly learned that one definition of nonviolence rarely matched another.

It seems simple on the surface: nonviolence means not physically attacking another person. Beyond that, things quickly break down. Is swearing at another person a form of verbal violence? Does a nonviolent person run from the police or does “nonviolent civil disobedience” mean staying to face the charges for whatever laws you might have broken? Is destruction of property also a form of violence, or is it another type of action which should be evaluated separately?

Beyond The Dumpster Fire: Political Predictions For 2018

Posted in Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

2017 was a challenging year, but one that was actually rewarding on a personal level.

I began the year by losing my job at MintPress News, but by the end of the 2017 I’d accepted a position as editor of Ministry of Hemp, a niche media site that’s still in its early stages but rapidly growing into a respected voice.

I started Gonzo Notes in late 2016, and during 2017 it reached many new people and became an important part of my monthly output. One issue, “What Are The Antifa Doing After Harvey?” was quoted internationally.  My writing career continues to grow more rewarding in all kinds of ways, especially in the feedback and support I get from my readers.