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Tag: Gonzo Notes

What Are The Antifa Doing After Harvey? (#GonzoNotes)

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

Recently I heard from a reporter writing an article for a major mainstream newspaper who wanted to talk with antifascists. After checking out his Twitter, I decided to give him a shot. 

We spent about an hour talking about my work with Oh Shit! What Now? an antifascist anticapitalist educational collective that’s hosted everything from computer security classes to discussions of education reform. I stressed the everyday nature of real antifascist organizing, and emphasized that all of us are involved in other social justice causes. 

When the article came out — actually an opinion piece, it turned out — it was a horrorshow of predictable hot takes about antifa that ignored nearly everything I told him, and most of the other constructive work being done by antifascists around the country. 

Do We Owe Politicians Our Respect? (Respect Is Earned #GonzoNotes)

Posted in Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

If they won’t let us dream, we won’t let them sleep

Time and again, one of the resounding criticisms of activist movements from the right and from the center-left is our lack of decorum.

While we sometimes acknowledge that acts of resistance can be effective, we’ve sanded all the rough edges off of our memories of these moments. Frequently cited are the successes of the Black Civil Rights movement, but in the popular imagination their victories were won by respectful, soft-spoken men and women dressed in suits, calmly advocating for their rights.

You’re Never ‘Just’ A Journalist: Reporting From The Left & The Far Right (Gonzo Notes)

Posted in Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

It’s a gift to be a journalist in this moment.

Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves. It’s the only way to get through.

Freelancers (like I am right now) spend every month counting our pennies, making sure we’ll make rent and have a little left over for food and coffee and the other vices of our profession. For those lucky few with a steady job, they’re wondering how long until downsizing and budget cuts will put them out on the street.

In addition to journalism’s grim financial picture, we’re finding ourselves targeted by the government and by far-right fascists for violence and repression in a way we haven’t faced in decades.

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).

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.

Don’t Let Unity Erase Your Struggle (Gonzo Notes 04)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

A vital part of preparing for the next 4 years is building broad coalitions, but lately I’ve been reminded that coalition building has a dark side too.

This is work we need to do, without a doubt. A coalition can mobilize thousands of people from diverse backgrounds, and illuminate the intersection between our struggles.

The trouble is that with every group you bring to the table, you have to accommodate not just another political agenda but differing tactics for achieving those goals.

Questions quickly arise: How far are you willing to go to resist the government? Will your coalition collaborate with the police and in what ways? Are all organizations committed to nonviolence and, if so, do they have compatible definitions of what nonviolence means?

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