Along with his collective, Oh Shit! What Now? Kit curated a collection of zines for the Antifascist Days of Unity in October 2019.
Police raided a pair of north Texas CBD stores recently, even as policymakers in the Lonestar State began reevaluating the legal status of hemp and CBD.
On March 15, police raided GM Tobacco stores in Duncanville and Lancaster, Texas. These two suburbs are located just south of Dallas, in the larger Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area of northern Texas. Amy Wazwaz, who co-owns the stores with her husband Houd, told NBC DFW that police seized about $50,000 in hemp-derived CBD, including hundreds of CBD oil products and about 30 pounds of loose, smokable hemp. Police also took cash from the register and the safe.
Dan Sullivan, attorney for the Wazwaz family, told Ministry of Hemp that the stores only sold legal, high-quality CBD products. “They won’t sell anything that doesn’t have third party lab testing” proving its purity and legality, he explained.
Threat modeling is a fancy term for “knowing how to protect yourself in different situations.”
The idea of “threat modeling” originated in the military before being adopted by security experts. While the field includes many advanced concepts that don’t interest us here, threat modeling can help us get a handle on our personal security choices. In an age of mass surveillance, choosing what steps to take can feel overwhelming. For a lot of people, it may be easier to do nothing at all than worry about protecting yourself online.
Unfortunately, even if you feel like “you’ve got nothing to hide,” many of us are still vulnerable: to government repression, to police brutality and surveillance, and to threats from fascist forces. Even if you’re completely safe, your social networks might be used to target other people close to you. You might not even be aware that someone near you is taking actions that make them a target for surveillance.
Want to be a better livestreamer? I asked indie journalist Jon Ziegler, for his top livestreaming tips when we recently spoke.
Jon, better known to his fans as Rebelutionary Z is one of the most experienced streamers today. He began covering footage of protests and activist events during Occupy Wall Street. Unlike most of the people who started then, he’s continued to report from liberal and radical left events. He credits the Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson and St. Louis for bringing him back to the field after Occupy ended. Since then he’s traveled around the continent, including reporting on the Standing Rock protests where he sustained a serious injury from a rubber bullet. He also streamed the nazi attack in Charlottesville that killed Heather Heyer.
I asked Jon for his top livestreaming tips. I’ve divided them into two sections, one for newcomers and people who only stream occasionally. He calls these “Johnny On The Spot reporters,” people who were in the right place at the right time to catch a breaking event. In the second section, I’ve included some further tips for more experienced citizen journalists.
The recent first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration got me thinking about nonviolent activism and police.
My thoughts brought me back to 2011. Occupy Wall Street was a nonviolent movement, but when we started collaborating with other movements and activist groups, we quickly learned that one definition of nonviolence rarely matched another.
It seems simple on the surface: nonviolence means not physically attacking another person. Beyond that, things quickly break down. Is swearing at another person a form of verbal violence? Does a nonviolent person run from the police or does “nonviolent civil disobedience” mean staying to face the charges for whatever laws you might have broken? Is destruction of property also a form of violence, or is it another type of action which should be evaluated separately?
What do you feel when you see the black bloc?
I feel pride, solidarity, and hope.
Though their faces are masked, I see a group of beautiful humans willing to get injured or imprisoned in order to keep all of us safer.
What the mainstream media wants you to feel is fear. Strangely, they want you to feel the opposite around the police, who come out to the protest dressed for war, driving military vehicles and with a sniper team ready on the roof tops. In addition to bullets, they’ve got bean bag guns, pepper bombs, noise cannons, the whole array of nightmarish “less lethal” weaponry that late stage capitalism can bring to bear.
Meanwhile, the black bloc have just their bare hands and their bodies, or if they’re lucky, a handful of flags on sticks and some homemade shields.