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Tag: Activism

Fascism & The Harsh Lessons Of Failure (Gonzo Notes)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, and Gonzo Notes

I’m in a strange position this month as a gonzo journalist, because I can’t really write about the major action I attended last month.

The short version is that I attended a counterprotest against the Austin version of the national “March 4 Trump.” We were badly outnumbered, surrounded and attacked by fascist Trump supporters. I survived a serious assault and was hospitalized overnight. I now face a misdemeanor assault charge even though I was the victim, along with hospital bills, and this charge prevents me from writing much more.

Still, here’s the main lesson I learned — at least the one that’s safe to share:

We are not ready. …

Resistance, Self-Care And Threat Modeling After Vault 7 With Katie Klabusich

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

Katie and I talked about the difficulty of building a resistance against odds that can seem insurmountable using “How to survive Hurricane Donald,” the February 10 issue of Gonzo Notes, as a jumping off point. I also mentioned activist Liam Shea, the community activist who inspired me to write both “Hurricane Donald” and the following issue of Gonzo Notes, “Stay and fight fascism where you are.” Shea died tragically and unexpectedly in early February.

Local organizing is a theme I’ve been returning to frequently recently, and will probably keep talking about, because it seems so vital. Until there is another Occupy-style moment of national “rupture” — which, so far, hasn’t materialized via the Trump regime — the best we can do is strengthen our local communities and share the skills we have with each other.

Inspired by my script on “Vault 7” for Act Out! we closed with a discussion of what WikiLeaks’ latest release means for activists, and I explained why threat modeling means we can still fight back even when the government has access to terrifying mass surveillance tools.…

Stay And Fight Where You Are (Gonzo Notes)

Posted in Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, Journalism, MintPress News, and Occupy Wall Street

I wrote the last issue of Gonzo Notes, about creating resilience to both man-made and natural disasters, with a specific comrade in mind.

Just hours after the newsletter hit inboxes, I found out my comrade Liam Shea had died.

His death was devastating and unexpected to all his friends and allies, but most of all to his partner Luna. His loss robbed the world of a powerful activist; an old-school nazi-punching punk; someone who had, time and again, put himself at risk for the needs of others, to the point that he tattooed his knuckles with Y.N.W.A. (You’ll Never Walk Alone).…

What Is A Sanctuary City & How Can We Defend Immigrant Families?

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, and Journalism

The reports from the first wave of Trump’s ICE Raids are full of disturbing stories of jackbooted thugs oppressing the oppressed — and literally tearing families apart in the name of a fascist, xenophobic and factually inaccurate agenda.

Trump’s long-promised mass deportations have begun, ramping up from the Obama administration’s already disgusting record of nearly 3 million deportations. As more and more people find themselves in the crosshairs of fascism, it is quite clear that those of us lower on that checklist — because we are all on it — have an obligation to stand up — to demand our communities and cities be safe havens for all — sanctuary cities, if you will. And to be ready to put our bodies on the front lines for freedom, justice and human rights.

The concept of a “sanctuary city” actually dates back to the Old Testament, and early Christian rulers who designated certain cities as places of sanctuary for those accused of accidentally committing manslaughter.

Two thousand years later, and we’ve entered the bizarro world of 2017, where people who call themselves the followers of Christ have turned “sanctuary” into a dirty word and back a crackdown on the undocumented, literally among the most vulnerable people around.…

Rebecca Solnit’s ‘Hope In The Dark’ Is An Antidote To Leftist Doom & Gloom

Posted in Creative Commons, and Radical Media

“Things don’t always change for the better, but they change, and we can play a role in that change if we act. Which is where hope comes in, and memory, the collective memory we call history.” — Rebecca Solnit, “Hope In The Dark”

The left has a problem with winning.

We — and while I identify as radical, not leftist, but it’s fair to lump me in with the group for now — are losing bigly, at least from the simplest perspective. A white nationalist regime occupies the White House, while the GOP simultaneously controls most of the country’s legislatures. It’s a dark time, and we’re faced with the prospect of a daily fight just to preserve basic human rights. We need to figure out some way to keep going, despite these losses.…

How To Survive Hurricane Donald (Gonzo Notes 05)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

Resilient communities are more resistant.

Strong communities survive and strong communities resist.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, radical activists and community organizers created Common Ground Relief to step in where the government and traditional NGOs like the Red Cross failed. They organized both the immediate needs of the community, like food and rebuilding, while also enabling long term political organizing. Today, the Common Ground Health Clinic still remains in New Orleans, offering “solidarity not charity.”

Occupy Sandy was a more recent, well known response to disaster. With their skills honed by Occupy Wall Street, activists created an ambitious network of neighborhood relief centers offering supplies of all kinds and connecting people with builders and other volunteers after Hurricane Sandy.…

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