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Category: Occupy Wall Street

Wheelchair Sports Camp On SXSW, Music Festival Accessibility, & Occupy

Posted in Austin, Journalism, Occupy Wall Street, and SXSW

Wheelchair Sports Camp is one of the better-known bands in the “krip hop” movement, led by Kalyn, a self-described “MC/beat-maker/activist/educator/shit-talker.” Their music combines electronic sounds and hip-hop beats with live jazz instrumentation, and, of course, Kalyn’s rapid-fire words. Sometimes funny, sometimes experimental, I’ve enjoyed every performance I’ve seen since I first caught them in 2012 at Occupy Austin’s ambitious “Occupy SXSW” mini-festival.

After seeing Kalyn perform again at this year’s SXSW, I asked her to answer a few questions by email.

I’m looking forward to their upcoming album, “No Big Deal,” which Kalyn mentions below.

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.

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.

Leak Reveals Denver Police Use Undercover ‘Shadow Teams’ To Target Protest Leaders

Posted in Journalism, MintPress News, and Occupy Wall Street

A leaked police manual reveals how Denver police respond to marches and other forms of protest, including their use of undercover “platoons” of officers to pick out leaders for later arrest.

On Jan. 19, Unicorn Riot, an independent media collective with several members in the state, published a heavily redacted version of the 2011 edition of the “Denver Police Department Crowd Management Manual” obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act request. Days later, an anonymous source sent them an unredacted copy of the 2008 edition of the manual. The two editions appear to have few differences and the policies described in both versions match the behavior of police toward protests, according to activists and journalists interviewed by MintPress News.

“This manual has been a tremendous help to our reporting in terms of understanding the police apparatus that is deployed at protests,” representatives of Unicorn Riot told MintPress by email.

‘Bring Your Cat To Stratfor Day’ Spreads Awareness Of Anonymous Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond’s Birthday

Posted in Austin, Journalism, MintPress News, and Occupy Wall Street

In what’s become an annual tradition, activists gathered in downtown Austin on Friday to celebrate the birthday of a political prisoner and hacktivist nearly forgotten and ignored by the mainstream media: Jeremy Hammond.

In 2012, Hammond, along with other members of the Anonymous-associated group Lulzsec, hacked millions of emails from the servers of the Strategic Forecasting, also known as Stratfor, a private intelligence corporation located in the city, and leaked them to WikiLeaks, where they became known as the “Global Intelligence Files.” Among other revelations contained in the emails, the files showed that Stratfor had been spying on activists on behalf of corporations like Dow Chemical and working with the Texas State Troopers to infiltrate Occupy Austin.

For Leah Burris, an organizer from Prison Abolition and Prison Support (PAPS), an Austin-based group which organized the protest on Hammond’s birthday, the worst thing about Stratfor is that they are supported by our tax dollars in addition to their corporate clients. “What I wish people know most about them is that basically our government is giving Stratfor money that we give them to spy on us.”

Anonymous Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond Promotes Prison Abolition From Behind Bars

Posted in Journalism, Occupy Wall Street, and Truthout

Jeremy Hammond has spent two birthdays in captivity now since his conviction, but his friends have promised to celebrate each one. As with many political prisoners, his supporters send him cards, but they’ve also invented a new tradition: turning his birthday party into political protest against his enemies.

Hammond was sentenced to a decade’s imprisonment in November 2013 for his part in the hack of Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based private intelligence agency. As part of LulzSec, an infamous collective from the Anonymous movement, Hammond liberated 5 million emails and the credit card numbers of Stratfor’s clients, which included government and military officials. The emails became part of a searchable archive on Wikileaks called the Global Intelligence files, while Anonymous used some of the credit card numbers to charge donations to charity.