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Kit O'Connell: Approximately 8,000 Words Posts

Richard Spencer’s Ties To Violent Nazi Will Fears (Newsweek)

Posted in Austin, and Journalism

Last week, Texas neo-nazi Will Fears, along with his brother Colton and another local fascist, Tyler Tenebrink, were arrested after a speech by the notoriously punchable Richard Spencer at the University of Florida. 

Fears was, once again, working with Patriot Front, the neo-nazis who attacked the Houston Anarchist Bookfair and themselves a spin off of Vanguard America, the neo-nazi group that included Heather Heyer’s killer in Charlottesville. Patriot Front and other fascist groups like Anti-Com were working as security for Spencer’s event, according to a document leaked by Atlanta Antifascists that has since been verified by multiple sources including Spencer’s think tank.

The Fears brothers and Tenebrink were arrested after the speech when Tenebrink, under encouragement from Will Fears, opened fire on a group of antifascist activists.

I recently spoke with Newsweek reporter Michael Hayden about Fears’ long history of violence against antifa and the left in Texas, which includes his participation in the May Day fascist attack in downtown Austin and an assault on a clergywoman at Houston airport during the Muslim Ban protests.

The 8K Words Holiday Giveaway: Kit’s Gonzo Insiders Get A Book By Scott Crow & Stickers!

Posted in Journalism

Don’t say I never give you anything.

My friend, the anarchist author scott crow, recently approached me to let me know that he has copies of his books to give away, and I realized this would be a perfect holiday gift for my Gonzo Insiders.

Anyone who signs up on my Patreon as a Gonzo Insider (or at one of the higher levels) before December 1st will get free copy of “Emergency  Hearts, Molotov Dreams: A scott crow Reader.”

This 2016 collection brings together fascinating interviews about a range of topics that are more current than ever, including anarchy, cooperatives, police brutality, prisons, animal liberation, environmental justice, surveillance and political movements. Also included is my conversation with scott, originally published at Firedoglake, where we discussed the rise and fall of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the lessons that can be learned by future movements.

Reclaim Your Online Privacy: Alternatives To Facebook, Twitter & Google

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

Imagine a police state so bent on repressing dissent that people were targeted by the government just for visiting a web page or liking a page on Facebook?

This dystopian scenario isn’t science fiction, and it isn’t something happening in a far off country — it’s happening in the United States. No really, let’s take a look at a recent example: On an auspicious Friday the 13th in October, the federal government dropped its demand that Facebook turn over information about anyone who had simply “liked” a page dedicated to protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration. And while it wasn’t successful, this isn’t the first time the feds tried to target anyone who’d even looked up information on the massive January 20 protests.

While the government backed down when challenged by groups like the ACLU and cyberliberties watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation, this was still a clear attempt to silence even the most basic forms of dissent and it’s almost certain we haven’t seen the last of this kind of thing. Keep in mind that dozens of people arrested for protesting the inauguration are STILL facing decades in prison, and we can only guess at the horrors the Cheeto Gestapo might have unleashed with access to even more information about Trump’s opponents.

And if you think this all sounds Orwellian, you are absolutely correct.

‘I Feel Like A Political Orphan’: Talking Sex Work & Cannabis With Mistress Matisse

Posted in Creative Commons, Journalism, and Sex & Relationships

“The idea that we’re protecting people by keeping sex work illegal is ridiculous,” Mistress Matisse told me. “We’re protecting no one like that.”

I’ve been a fan of Mistress Matisse for years, since I discovered her through her column “Control Tower,” which ran until 2011 in “The Stranger,” the same publication as Dan Savage’s classic sex advice column “Savage Love.” Along with a calendar of sex-positive events in Seattle (which I’d fantasize about attending from miles away Texas), “Control Tower” offered sensible advice on BDSM, kink, and nontraditional relationships.

Matisse is a pro-domme, an outspoken advocate for sex workers’ rights and, most recently, a cannabis entrepreneur. Her unique water-based THC and CBD-infused lube, Velvet Swing, is available for sale in Washington state. While Matisse reached out to me to promote Velvet Swing, I knew there’s a lot more to her than just giving people better orgasms by getting their genitals buzzed.

I most wanted to hear her thoughts on our bizarre political moment.

On Punching Nazis & Forbidden Knowledge In 2017 (#GonzoNotes)

Posted in Gonzo Notes, Journalism, and LGBTQIA

Almost a month ago, in broad daylight in a busy urban neighborhood in Houston, nazis tried to shut down a book fair.

If you follow me online, you’ve heard about this incident: a group of about two dozen nazis targeted the Houston Anarchist Bookfair while I taught a class on antifascism (called “Punching Nazis”) inside. The volunteer security team prevented them from entering the building, and they left after throwing a temper tantrum for their livestream viewers. The book fair, and my class, continued after a brief but terrifying interruption.

Master gaslighters, as always, the nazis began their livestream by declaring themselves to be “peaceful,” then stood outside a community center armed with tactical gloves demanding that I — they called for me by name — come out and fight them. The bookfair’s organizers pointed out the likely results if we’d been drawn into a fight:

How The World Anti-Doping Agency Changed Course On CBD

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

A defiant act by an MMA fighter transformed global policy on athletes using CBD oil.

When MMA fighter Nate Diaz took a few drags from a CBD-laden vape pen during a press conference, he put his career at risk. Instead of hurting him, the act influenced an important change to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s policies, and helped reduce the stigma around hemp.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract of cannabis or industrial hemp which doesn’t cause people to get high. Instead, its beneficial properties includes reducing inflammation. Now, many more professional and top-ranking amateur athletes will be able to use CBD, because recently WADA removed cannabidiol from its list of banned substances.

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