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Avoid Genetically Modified Organizers

I would call them Academically Modified Organizers except that doesn't relate their haunting similarity to agricultural GMOs. University-incubated community organizers are designed to share a tragic characteristic of killer crops: the terminator gene. And it self-selects for stupid.   OF COURSE establishment-perpetuating education is going to adulterate what it's selling as liberatory ideology! For example: anti-oppression, to innoculate against leadership; safe spaces to subvert direct communication; inclusion to preempt focus; consensus to thwart decision. These are genetic modifications to the social impulse, confounding political activism with self crit therapy. The newest social studies grads have resurrected a hopeful rejoinder to repression that reeks of their generations's ubiquitous consolation prize. It goes THEY TRIED TO BURY US. THEY DIDN"T KNOW WE WERE SEEDS. Sorry, no you are not viable seeds. Poor hobbled Millennials, your miseducators and anti-social conditioners have as good as irradiated your seeds. Your enfeebled strain of resistance may be crazy infectious to systemically modified uncritical thinkers, but it's not fertile.

DIY legal strategies for defendants to give their lawyers a running start

If you’ve been arrested at a protest action you’ve got more legal options than paying the fine or taking a plea deal. Whether or not your act was constitutionally protected, or should be, or whether it was civil disobedience and was meant not to be, there are a couple good reasons to fight your charges in court. First, to draw further attention to your issue, and second, to give your prosecutors more incentive to offer a better plea deal. They might even drop your charges altogether. 48186

Every god but Allah for Muhammad Ali?

When the fuck did Muhammad Ali become Unitarian? He was Muslim. Why all the other God/G*d freaks crashing his funeral? I understand friends wanting to speak. This being a culture of celebrity worship, I can even understand a policy of open mike for celebrities. Presumably there was a pecking order to separate the A-list from the Bs. You'd think Ali's memorial would have warranted also discriminating icons from mere celebrities. Religious demagogues should have been disqualified without question, no matter their humanitarian temperament. Ali was a follower of Elijah Muhammad. Where was Farrakhan? Where were the militants? Extorted to take a backseat. As usual the corporate media whitewashed Muhammad Ali’s activist persona in favor of painting him into a black Albert Schweitzer. As if the shared experience of rooting for boxing opponents in itself uplifts humanity.

Clicktivist shaming is also clicktivism

As a street activist, I take heed of neither what police want me to do, nor politicians, nor ministers. Why should I treat online advice givers any different? I understand the frustration we all have about internet "clicktivism" substituting for in-person activism, but calling out the behavior as if online social media isn't the revolution's killer app is dumb and very probably mendacious. Fuck you PC culture for whom every political event is an opportunity to lecture others on how not to squeeze the most out of the privilege ie- fleeting power they have against the omnipotent state. Fuck you blacksplainers who think being African American is license to tell others how to be allies. "Allies" to what? Handwringing? Bench-sitting? Imagine if abolitionists had heeded the will of the majority of slaves to remain slaves! Shouted from the streets "what white people can do to help" would be relevant, but coming from people who are otherwise advocating for voting, or lobbying, or holding prayer vigils, or capitulating to power, your must-needs are irrelevant. Those in the streets are your comrades. Your online "stop doing this" lists are for chumps.

The History of Violent Protest in Colorado Springs, in a Nutshell.

GET THIS. I heard a reverend-person yesterday lecturing newish activists about their need for nonviolence training, which she was volunteering to lead. She was also offering rubber wristbands for her graduates to wear at demonstrations, so that police could differentiate between protesters. She told us she'd ask officers to scrutinize those not wearing bands as being the potential troublemakers. This, she assured everyone, would make it more difficult for outside groups to waylay the action. I kid you not. And she's a church leader praised locally as something of an activist! HA! That's a RAT!   I recognized the Springs "outsider" buggaboo so I thought I'd relate where it came from in a little piece I'll call The History of Violent Protest in Colorado Springs. Ready? It won't take long. 45841

350.ORG disowns Paris sans-culottes, opts for boot-counting passivist shtick, figures to storm the Bastille shoeless.

HOLY CRAP, Bill McKibben sells out the activists again, agreeing not only to cancel planned protests at the Paris Climate Conference, but distancing 350.ORG and its collaborator NGOs from real demonstrators upset at the protest ban. After leading hundreds of thousands in New York City on the World's Largest Climate March TO NOWHERE, Bill McKibben flushes the Paris demonstrations and the climate they hoped to save with them. Nothing says silence like a streetful of shoes. Antiwar activists resorted to staging shoe die-ins at every surge of the Iraq War. The result? Crickets. We used army boots to represent mounting American war casualties. As pacifism lost popular traction, the disparing passivists cobbled larger and larger "demonstrations". Activists came to call them exercises in BOOT-COUNTING. It's a well-trod path, and as you might expect of shoes without wearers, they march nowhere. 44996

Get a job you dirty hippie! Unhelpful advice which activists take personally.

Occupy Wall Street composed a chant to rebut the ageless heckle hurled at protesters: GET A JOB YOU DIRTY HIPPIE! After Zuccotti Park was razed and Occupiers regrouped, they offerd this rejoinder. Remember it?     "Got a JOB. Took a SHOWER.     We're still occupying, speaking truth to power!" Of course it wasn't true, or at least whether we did or not was as irrelevant as the original misconception. But street activists come up against misguided advice much more pernicious than the crudely insulting. Consider the constructive advice from journeymen activists who've been at this for a long time and know how it's done. You know the ones, who preach nonviolence or you'll never get anywhere, as if they have a record of success or fount of experience more illustrative than the old grindstone. False history has even robbed them of the authentic lessons to glean from Gandhi and MLK. Yet even the best-intentioned of our peers caution that movements will never take hold without blablabla. This sacred cow, for instance: community outreach. 42626

The People’s Climate March will move the United Nations if marchers push it

I heard a dispiriting conceit at yesterday's 350.ORG whistestop rally at Denver's Union Station to cheer climate activists bording the Amtrak Zephyr destined for the New York City #S21 People's Climate March. This young, otherwise energetic and charismatic environmentalist told the crowd that she did not expect anything to come of the hoped-to-be-massive demonstration but would attend anyway. Ironically this was addressed to supporters who'd already decided not to join the march based I'm guessing on the same logic. Yet we cheered, chanted about the imperative to act, and applauded a successive speaker who added that if world leaders ignored this people's march, there would follow another and another, ever larger. Hmm. I doubt it. Activism is already showing diminishing returns and drawing numbers to unsuccessful actions doesn't help. I appreciate not wanting to seem to hold foolish expectations, but I'd rather accept defeat having believed it was not inevitable. The antiwar movement laments the election of Barack Obama because he herded the populist anti-Bush groundswell toward supporting the other corporate war party. But I blame Obama for a larger malpractice: innoculating Americans against hope. Extended generations of altruists lost their cherry to the hope-change-artist and while they wise up

I’ll believe drugs are victimless when a pot activist gets off the couch for an issue other than access to his addiction

I know as many functional drug users as victims of substance abuse addiction, so it's a complicated issue for me. I'm against drug criminalization fueling our prison industrial complex, but marijuana rights activism seems too guided by self-interest for my comfort. Is your access to pot more urgent than suffering, injustice and inequity? Of course that may be my privilege speaking. It's a condescending bugger.

Occupy Denver hits the Terrible Twos!

LOOK OUT DENVER! There was no birthday cake this year for Occupy Denver, though the second annual #S17 OWS anniversary celebration did not go unmarked. Subgroup offshoots of Denver's notorietous Occupy deployed themselves with the usual rowdy spirit. Denver Homeless Out Loud, advocates for the homeless where traditional "advocate" kapos leave off, defied the city's no-sleep no-shelter ordinance by setting up tents on the eve of S17. Police kept the activists awake all night and forbid them to enter the tents, but the encampment hung on until morning for a scheduled solidarity action. At noon Colorado Foreclosure Resistance picketed the offices of Castle Law Group, responsible for 90% of the state's foreclosures. Occupiers moved on to protest the Westin's Palm Restaurant (Boycott the Palm) for its stand on criminalizing Denver's poor. Other Occupiers couldn't join in because they were in Boulder organizing Occupy Flood Relief. Armed with megaphones, drums, the capability to mobilize at often a moment's notice, and an attenuation level pegged at disruptive, Occupy Denver acts every bit its age, prepare for it Denver, a year of the terrible twos. Happy Birthday Occupy!

My impatience with not so anti frackers

I'd tell you I've had it up to here with moderate turncoats, but of late I've resolved to keep them well underfoot. Take the local fight against FRACKING.   We've built a pretty determined group of fractivists in Colorado Springs, with healthy allies statewide, and in the interest of growth began to make alliances with less hardy participants who have unseemly strong opinions considering their otherwise unproven skills, stamina, and motives. Their most common denominator however is that they do not hold firmly oppositional positions to the oil & gas industry; they consider themselves more diplomatic than radical which by their own assumption will prove more successful. Except, no. 39138

BIDDER 70 doc reduces super-activist Tim DeChristopher to a number, lonely

BUMMER. I was thrilled a documentary would tell the world about Tim DeChristopher. You might think his achievement would be more widely know. It's a testament of the power he's up against, added to the meager support he has received, that even here I have to explain who he is and what he did. Tired of the futility of outdoor protests to prevent BLM land sales to the extraction industry, Tim DeChristopher attended an auction of particularly dubious legitimacy and successfully thwarted it by posing as a bidder and buying many of the lots. This happened at the close of Bush's presidency, but Obama's administration pursued a successful prosecution. DeChristopher has just been released after serving two years in federal prison. The documentary "Bidder 70" recounts the ordeal in a manner that provides neither encouragement nor inspiration, and leaves me to question how DeChristopher might have been better represented in court, publicized in actions, and celebrated in film. To say Bidder 70 reduces Tim DeChristopher to a number distorts the idiom. No mere number, DeChristopher is the important but solitary number one, among a casualty count always rising. In the sea of ineffectual activism that prompted his improvisational escalation, DeChristopher

Colorado Extraction Resistance claims responsibility for gas balloon attack on gas frackers

DENVER, COLORADO- Organizers of an annual oil and gas industry conference held at the Grand Hyatt on Monday and Tuesday tried to prevent public interruption of their let's frack Colorado discussion. They tried to ignore protesters outside. They revoked the admissions passes granted to activists who wanted to attend the open segment of the conference designed for public consumption. They didn't count on the COLORADO EXTRACTION RESISTANCE to successfully negotiate the heightened security and deliver gas balloons to gas frackers convening in the ballroom. 38898

Now Colorado College students have to ask permission if they want to protest

COLORADO COLLEGE- How do you protest having to seek permission to protest? Do it without. But Colorado College students learned on Wednesday that protesters risk arrest for trespassing: trespassing on the private property of a private college ostensibly protecting the non-dissenting students from having to see dissent. It would be interesting to see college administrators have to explain that on their campus, the freedom to speak didn't include the freedom to hear.

Fracking protest message at Denver 350 rally cuts through nebulous “Forward on Climate” theme

DENVER, COLORADO- Score another success for Colorado Fractivists who crashed this weekend's climate rally with their unequivocal anti-fracking message. The February 17 event was intended to urge President Obama "Forward on Climate", to borrow his most recent campaign vagarity, but when official speeches began, and the prefab signs were distributed, it became unclear who might be trying to co-opt whom. 38457

MIT drives Aaron Swartz to suicide, guards JSTOR for ivory tower and intel analysts only

RSS pioneer, Reddit cofounder and information activist Aaron Swartz, was found hanged this week. He was 26. Swartz was facing 35 years for hacking, aka liberating MIT research archives buried behind a pay-wall, often to the frustration of their own authors. You might think schools of higher learning are in favor of disseminating knowledge instead of confining studies in repositories. Aaron Swartz did. Swartz advocated for uninhibited access to information over the internet, in particular with scholarship often bought, paid for, and then buried by academic institutions. Swartz was charged with hacking into MIT's JSTOR archives, in September 2011. They might have considered his motives, but instead pursued charges. MIT's response to Swartz's suicide was to direct anyone affected by his death to "Mental Health Services".

Denver Canadian Consulate closes its doors to IDLE NO MORE round dance and a very polite letter

DENVER, COLORADO- Indigenous activists paused only one day before assembling a second IDLE NO MORE gathering to perform a round dance at the Canadian Consulate in Denver today, to deliver a letter urging the Canadian government and the British Crown (the Queen!) to meet with Chief Theresa Spence and end her hunger strike over recent legislation which gutted First Nation treaty protections. After a rally of dance, song and orations, a delegation sought to enter the consulate but was denied. After filling the downstairs lobby, being told picture-taking was not allowed, and the building's security crew receiving a squad of reinforcements from DPD, the activist were finally sent a representative to accept the letter without comment.

How much does Occupy not believe in elections? Enough to boycott them?

Pundits, even friendlies, are infecting the Occupy Movement with direction-waylaying cynicism, so I'll tell you what I think Occupy should do next. Never mind the usual grievances, leave those to existing advocacy groups, although they do benefit from Occu-proding obviously. No matter what you think Occupy Wall Street's core issue was, by definition OWS asserted our system of governance was broken, our regime is not responsive, not representative, and immovable by the conventional permitted mechanisms. So right now, which bankrupt democratic mechanism is being paraded before us, taunting a debunking from Occupy? We've been paying it lip service already: the fraud of our electoral process. Isn't it time Occupy said DON'T VOTE? Don't dignify Election 2012 with your buy-in, undignify it with a vote of no confidence. I don't mean merely not vote, let's Get Out The No Vote! Now wouldn't that separate the men from the Dems! 34662

David Gilbert took an axe, gave US war effort forty wacks, SDS, WUO, BLA…

If you watched the 2003 documentary about the 1960s radical antiwar anti-imperialist anti- racist activists turned 1970s nonviolent bombers The Weather Underground, you're going to be thrilled to know David Gilbert, lone Weatherman behind bars yet irrepressible idealist, finally WROTE A BOOK!   I'll begin with insight prompted by Gilbert's recollections. In the 1970s, bombings were inseparable from bomb scares, and I remember thinking, who'd plant a bomb but divulge it beforehand with an anonymous phone call? Was it a change of heart, a betrayal, an informer? Eventually phoning in bomb scares was itself made illegal. That seemed imprudent. It turns out the expression "bomb scare" was a misrepresentation. The call wasn't made to scare anyone, but to evacuate the building. If a bomb failed to detonate, as sometimes happened, the authorities could characterize the then-false warning as a "scare". It didn't make sense, until the behind the scenes accounts come to light from voices such as Bill Ayres and now Gilbert. The WUO bombings of government facilities and landmarks associated with America's warmaking apparatus were not intended to kill people, and they didn't, because the bombers always gave forewarning of when the timer was set to go off. (TO BE CONTINUED..)

Sin las mujeres, no hay revolución

Camila Vallejo, Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin, Ann Wright, Cynthia McKinney, Kathy Kelly, Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein, Bernardine Dorhn ...an exhaustive list of the dominance of women among activist leaders would go on and on, back to earlier waves of influential organizers, Mother Jones, Lucy Parsons, Hellen Keller, Emma Goldman, Harriet Tubman, Louise Michel.

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