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Category: Act Out!

A Message From Texas: When The Left Fights Together, We Win!

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

With all the leftist bickering, in-fighting, both-siding, my anti-war prayers are bigger than yours bullshit, it seemed like a good time to highlight a leftist success story — particularly as it takes place in a bastion of right wingdom and frequent contributor and gonzo journalist Kit O’Connell was there to document it.

So yes — the Lone Star State is perhaps the last place where many of us would expect to see a broad coalition of left leaning groups successfully fight off the hateful Republican agenda. But that’s what just happened during a recent “special session” of the Texas legislature.

Special sessions are a loophole written into the Texas Constitution to allow the state government to conduct emergency business, but in this case the only emergency was that Gov. Greg Abbott had failed to oppress transgender people by passing a version of the so-called “bathroom bill” during the first part of the year. The Governor drew up a 20-point plan of hate for his month-long session, ranging from an attack on public workers’ unions, a pile of new restrictions on abortion, the bathroom bill, and even a bill that undermined the ability of cities to collect taxes to fund social services.

Then, to the surprise of even the people involved in the organizing to resist Abbott, activists working together across issues managed to fight off all but a handful of Abbott’s proposals, in an extraordinary display of the effectiveness of intersectional activism against seemingly insurmountable odds. At a time when some of our fundamental rights are under attack, the success of activists in one of the most politically conservative of states should give us all renewed faith in the power of movement building.

Sorry Chris Hedges, Antifascists Are Building A Better World With Mutual Aid (Act Out!)

Posted in Act Out!, Journalism, and Video

In a recent episode of Act Out! inspired by Hurricane Harvey, Eleanor Goldfield looks back at disaster relief and disaster capitalism after Hurricane Katrina. From there, she pivots to a critique of Chris Hedges recent garbage take on antifa, using my recent article on antifascist disaster relief as evidence that antifascists are building a more just world through mutual aid in addition to fighting nazis in the streets.

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.

What Is Hempcrete? And Democrats Resistance To Change (Black Tower Radio Interview)

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

On the first Wednesday of every month, I appear on Black Tower Radio to discuss my latest journalism.

Hempcrete is a simple and unique building material that creates sustainable, durable, and healthy homes. Leigh Humphries, a student at Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina used hempcrete to create a unique doghouse as her final project, but hempcrete is not just for dogs. It’s appearing in more and more buildings across the United States.

Plus, the Democrats are calling for a “summer of resistance” but the history of the party suggests they’re unable to embrace real progressive change. We look back at the history of the Wisconsin Uprising, and examine the problems in modern democracy.

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.

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.

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