In an effort not to clog up my blog with endless ranting about protests both large and small, the freedom of assembly, and other such heresies, I’ve begun this new page. If you are interested to know what it is like to be in a mass-demonstration, (or if you’ve been there, done that, and for some reason want a flashback) from the experience of someone who for years was actively helping people get themselves arrested…which usually leads to, well, getting arrested—then read on. Otherwise you’ll be bored as hell, and likely annoyed with me (if you aren’t already)
I’ll occasionally add a tale, some current news, and perhaps the latest outrages. Rest assured that I’ll stubbornly stick to my words and promise to be as ornery and biased as possible. Please feel free to comment with your own point of view, tales of doom and glory, wisdom to pass on, or just to call me an asshole.
This section is named after a brilliant essay written by an activist named Sarin. Body Hammer: Tactics and Self-Defense for the Modern Protester is vital reading if you plan to attend a mass-demonstration. It is widely available at local Infoshops or on the Net. I know it sounds like a joke, but seriously: Safety First. People have died in the streets. Although there is widespread violence and human rights abuses in America, outright death is less common. However it does happen all around the world. If you go to a mass-demonstration, firstly have fun or they’ll already have won; and speak your piece in peace, but get informed and actively be prepared for the worst to happen. Also try not to get killed in the process.
Like the Clash said~ “You have the right to free speech, as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.”
Achtung! This gruesome little page runs linear, like we think time does, so for the latest news scroll down to the bottom. Bon Chance!
17 April 2k9
“Indian policemen arrest a Tibetan activist during a protest in New Delhi on April 13, 2009. Tibetan students organized a naked protest at the Chinese embassy against the ongoing situation in Tibet. A court in Tibet has condemned two people to die for their roles in violent riots in Lhasa last year, China’s state media said on April 8, the first death sentences reported over the deadly unrest.” ~Wall Street Journal
Photo credit: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images. Also, Many Thanks to the Wall Street Journal-no kidding-(http://blogs.wsj.com/photojournal) for their excellent photo journal.
Imagine if every activist had such courage as the nine Tibetan students arrested at this protest, and if everyone was given an opportunity to discover that courage in themselves…how would the world look then? The only obstacle to bringing about such a day is our own individual and collective will.
Some Risk Their Lives Just to Vote
30 April 2k9
poem for a Zimbabwean Dictator
Go ahead, hang us all!
One hundred thousand, and more.
Crowd the limbs of trees and shanty walls
with our desecrated, bloated, husks.
In Harare, spike our heads on the gate
of your fine palace, the Iron Mask Estate;
leave us swaying, bruised and flyblown,
from traffic lights and street corners,
having dressed our corpses in
Go ahead, measure out the rope, plait the nooses
with your hatred and your savagery.
We know too well the mark of your butchery.
Yet to the millions of dissidents, and refugee innocents
it makes not one whit of a trifling difference
how many times you count the tally
—for you are still a despot, and atrocity,
Mugabe, may never be
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
13 July 2k9
Iraq Veterans vs War~photo by Rob Finch of The Oregonian
This may be difficult for some to believe but I do have respect for a great majority of American Soldiery. The Armed Services does great good, when given the opportunity, yet also does terrible harm when ordered to do so. The problem and disgrace all too often lies in the Commander in Chief.
This we all know, and here I acknowledge it. However, the burden of this lies not only with those in uniform, but also with the citizenry they defend and represent. We as a nation, equally bear the responsibility of war. In the aftermath of 9/11 we as a nation lashed out in war; but we, citizen and soldier alike, were lied to, again and again, as to the targets of our hostility.
We know this now, we suspected it all along.
Unfortunately, not all soldiers are all they can be. The discipline that was instilled in them, along with the craft of killing, does not take. And they remain the bullies they were before donning a uniform and given an excuse to cause grief, pain and death. It was just such a prowling pack of puerile punks who dishonored the uniforms they were wearing when our paths crossed.
The following poem is a factual account, and here it’s aimed directly at the drunken thugs; it is not aimed at the majority of Service women and men who honor their oaths as American Soldiers. Above I have attached a photo of some Iraqi war veterans that have truly earned my respect and admiration: The Iraqi Veterans Against War (http://ivaw.org) have taken a brave stand and should be praised for it; after serving their country in a war, to come home and protest that war is a an act of compassionate duty if ever there was one.
Yet for the bullies, the sociopaths, hiding midst the file and rank, befouling the hidden prisons dank: here and now I call you on your sadism—You are a disgrace to us all.
in anchorage tonight iii
What I said to the soldiers
hanging out on 4th. Avenue
looking for a good time
chugging two-dollar beers
in rock-bottom bars.
They smoke out on the sidewalk
basking under a dusky sun
as if they own its fire
it patriotically falls upon.
Their sense of entitlement
swollen and swinging
between their legs,
their common sense
shriveled and scarce,
hiding in their bellies
under all that beer.
They decide it might be amusing
to block a cripple’s way.
Snickering bully, malicious smiles
with bright orderly teeth.
They look like menacing green-clad
insects beneath black glasses blank.
Where you goin? Asks one.
Down this sidewalk, I answer,
and point through a buzzing knot
of clammy muscle and adrenalin.
You sure? asks another.
Yeah, pretty sure,
I answer and begin
a can of bear mace.
Smiles fall from faces
behind shiny shades,
one or two look as if
they would like to be
holding a gun.
Well, let the man through,
last soldier says, drooling
venomous, reptilian sarcasm.
In his voice there is an
unmistakable undertone of
—I’ll see you later…
Get bent, you fucking mercenary,
I answer, and roll through their
hostile, yet suddenly deflated, gauntlet.
Neck flesh crawling
with the bugs of their glares;
it is better not to listen
to the silence in my wake,
I push harder.
Ya better let it go
cause you can’t ride a slut
with your face all fucked up,
first soldier says to last
to restore mirth, and morale,
in the American Way.
To hell, boys
you can go right to hell.
ISRAELI BULLDOZING CONTINUES
photo copyright AFP
“Will this cycle of destruction never end?” Millions of voices have raised this cry, yet the destruction of civilian homes continues. Under the auspices of war, Israel has made the bulldozer a feared mechanism of tyranny. And always the blame is placed on the families whose homes have been destroyed, often with injuries and the loss of life; that they have brought it upon themselves by being or harboring militants.
I don’t pretend to know how to solve this ancient feud, how to end this despicable war. Yet I know in my heart that demolishing the homes of an already impoverished people only lowers Israel to the same level of those who would fire a rocket into a city.
Here is a BBC story on the latest swing of a fatal pendulum: BBC NEWS
Mohandas Gandhi said, “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism
or the holy name of liberty and democracy?”
He also said, “Man’s nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield
to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.” This is a beautiful truth; and in my darkest times I cling to it, aware that it not only applies to Israeli and Palestinian, American and Iraqi, but it also applies to me.
Please allow me to introduce you to the good folks at Fix Fell. For months they have been blockading a BP/Arco station at Fell st. & Divisadero in San Francisco. They have been protesting both to bring light to BP’s continuing crimes, and to fix a dangerous bike lane at that intersection. Please give them a bit of your time and support, if you can. We all need a bit of help now and then, and they need it now. Thank you for your consideration.
Check out Fix Fell on the web for updates and ways you can help, or just leave a comment in solidarity.
Update: Being a seasoned protester, I have participated in and read of many accounts of Direct Action. And this one is outstanding. I highly recommend reading Drake Logan‘s testimonial on the experience of Non-Violent Civil Disobedience during Fix Fell’s A20 protest, and the ensuing arrest and jail stay. It’s an articulate, intelligent, and passionate essay. One that speaks volumes as to why a person would choose to be arrested in the course of standing up for Human Rights, and for the betterment of our society.
Please read the raw reality here.
And if it moves you at all, please send it to those you feel may need or desire to read it as well.
Agent Provocateurs Exposed at the Toronto G20
In a growing storm of condemnation, it has been revealed by Global Research.ca that undercover (UC) operatives, acting in the guise of Black Bloc protesters, incited violence, rioting, and property damage, including the burning of a police car, at the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto. Terry Burrows writes that some ‘economizing’ led to these UC agents being issued the exact combat boots as the Riot Swine.
Riot Issue Boots on Black Bloc Provocateur
In his article, Mr. Burrows makes an excellent case. And those of us who’ve spent a lot of time at mass demonstrations such as this will tell you: Undercover Agents Provocateur are as common as badly spelled signs. And often are just as glaring. However, such Law Enforcement Agents do a lot of damage to a cause or organization by painting us all with the same marginalizing brush. As Mr. Burrows points out, by allowing one of their UC operatives to thrash & burn one of their own cars, the Police had only to sit back and let the Media Swine focus on that, rather than the crucial issues which brought thousands out into the street.
Please take a moment to read Terry Burrow’s excellent article, complete with video and pics. Thanks.
~No Justice, No Peace~
Please remember this the next time you find yourself at a protest, however small it may be: If someone suggests that you Fuck Shit Up, or engage in any kind of violence whether it’s directed at people or property, just tell them to get bent…it’s quite possible they’re an undercover cop. And if they’re not a cop, try to school them in the ways of Non-Violent Protest~As they say: learn a skill, do a skill, teach a skill. Peace.
Yikes! I really have got to pay more attention to this poor page; as some of you, Dear Readers, seem to enjoy it.
My deepest admiration, and a tip of the hat, to the Anarchist Collective, Indecline. Recently they unveiled a statue in three cities entitled The Emperor Has No Balls. It’s a brilliant piece of both art and political theater. This video is a time-lapse on the creation of this effigy of the Carbuncle Candidate, El Trumpo:
Pure effing Brilliance!
Meanwhile, from Brazil, there’s this provocative shot by Reuters photog, Ricardo Moraes, along with this caption from the Huff Po on the real Rio Olympics 2016…the unseen, unsightly, not-medie-genic parts that those in positions of making a buck on Rio2016 would rather not even be discussed. Too bad. The world has had its eye on Rio for weeks now, and much good could have come of it, instead many pockets, from many nations, were lined…Oh, and a few members of our swim team made complete asshats out of themselves after winning gold medals. Privileged clowns should be flayed for it…sigh…this is why:
“An anti-government demonstrator, with a sticker which reads “boycott” on his hand, attends a protest on the Rio de Janeiro state economic crisis and against 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 6, 2016.” ~Huffington Post
Love & Kisses,
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No Further Updates to Follow. Thank you.