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Kit O'Connell: Approximately 8,000 Words Posts

Officer-Involved Shootings: How Was The Officer Involved?

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

I found a really stark example this week of how the mainstream media continues to misreport about police killings, or as they too-often call them, “officer-involved shootings.”

I’m not the first one to point out that this is a problem. Experts on journalism discourages the use of vague language like “officer-involved shootings.” So why does the media persist in it?

Again, this happens all the time. I’m only calling out ABC here because it’s so blatant: two contrasting examples from the same 24-hour period. Here’s the first tweet:

Mutual Aid In The Media After The Texas Freeze (Podcast Appearance)

Posted in Audio, Austin, Journalism, and Media

I appeared on a second episode of the It’s Going Down podcast about the Texas Freeze.

The first part of this discussion, published last month, focused on the disaster itself. In the second part the panelists (including myself) discuss how the media, populace and local governments reacted to the mutual aid efforts:

Anyone Can Adopt Any Activist Tactics: A Spencer Sunshine Interview

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

Activists sometimes forget that anyone can use tactics like banner drops, including the fascist far right.

Late in 2020 and in the first days of 2021, I spoke twice to Spencer Sunshine, a researcher of the far right and ways to oppose them. I included “40 Ways To Fight Fascists,” the zine he co-wrote with PopMob, in my Virtual Gonzo Zine Library.

Since Trump’s election, I’ve noticed more American fascists using tactics traditionally associated with leftist activism, like banner drops or wheatpasting. Patriot Front is one of several groups that frequently drops banners, with messages in support of white supremacy, from buildings and overpasses.

Mutual Aid After The Texas Freeze (Podcast Appearance)

Posted in Audio, Austin, and Journalism

I appeared on the It’s Going Down podcast to discuss the climate crisis, mutual aid, and lessons learned from the deadly freeze in Texas during mid-February 2021.

After The Coup Attempt, We’re All ANTIFA Now

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

I keep thinking about the guy at the coup attempt who tried to murder a cop in uniform, because he thought the cop was ANTIFA.

When I think about the fury that the crowd unleashed on that cop, and the ready justification this guy had at hand, it makes me realize that we are all ANTIFA now. When Peter Stager beat Metro cop Michael Fanone with an American flag pole (symbolism, y’all), he wasn’t imagining the cop was “antifa.”

That is, he didn’t consider the police officer to be part of a political tendency loosely organized around opposition to white supremacy, genocide, and dictatorial power. No, he thought the cop was all caps ANTIFA, a much more nebulous, and dangerous category. And every one of us that’s even a little left-of-center can end up in that category, at any time, in 2021.

‘We Must Act & Care For Each Other’: An Interview With Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Posted in Creative Commons, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

Inspired by Common Ground in New Orleans and Occupy Sandy and numerous other community-led relief efforts, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief cultivate “autonomous, decentralized, and liberatory disaster relief.”

I’ve featured multiple Mutual Aid Disaster Relief publications in my Virtual Gonzo Zine Library. Most recently, I put “Lessons Learned” in the “Winter 2020” edition of the VGZL. I reached out to MADR by email, and they answered collectively. I found their answers so eloquent, I wanted to present them here in Q&A format rather than editing them into a formal interview-style article. I’ve only lightly edited the responses for clarity and brevity.

Kit O’Connell: Any advice for handling armed fascists or right wingers that show up in disaster areas trying to “patrol” “prevent looting” guard against “antifa” etc?