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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.

Capitalism’s Bad Seed: “Confronting Fascism” Urges Us To Re-Examine The Far Right’s Rise

Posted in Creative Commons, and Radical Media

“Fascism never appears in public as its secret parasitic self but alwais in some other grandioise guise.” — J. Sakai, “The Shock of Recognition” in “Confronting Fascism”

“Fascism” was the top word looked up last year in Merriam-Webster. The rise of Donald Trump and the violent, xenophobic nationalism he emboldens have provoked new fears among Americans, and among left-leaning white Americans in particular, many of whom are experiencing real anxiety about the direction of our country’s politics for the first time. One issue is simply definitional, with pundits and political analysts across the political spectrum seemingly unable to agree on what fascism is, and how we’ll know if and when our government turns in that direction.

Another segment of the population, including the growing numbers of black-clad radicals out in the streets confronting white supremacists and nationalists, are convinced this debate is coming decades late and that the current regime and the violent reactionaries attacking minorities in its name are self-evidently fascist. “Confronting Fascism: Discussion Documents For A Militant Movement” from Kersplebdeb and AK Press should appeal to people in both camps, and help those in the former make their way into the latter.

What Vault 7 Means for You & How to Protect Yourself With Encryption

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

So, you may have heard: the CIA could be listening to your phone conversations, recording your Skype calls, and even spying on you through your TV.

The latest bombshell from WikiLeaks, code named “Vault 7,” revealed the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret tool box of technological exploits. This leak is terrifying, to be sure, but it also gives tech companies valuable new information about how to protect their users.

And for everyday activists on the Front Lines, there are some vital, and simple steps we can take to protect our allies and our plans from surveillance.

Now, we still don’t know who’s responsible for the Vault 7 leak, although WikiLeaks released a statement saying that the anonymous source, “wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”

Much like Snowden hoped to do.

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.

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