Google really did a great job with their doodle today. The doodle marks the 100th anniversary of the Silent Parade. The march was organized by the likes of the NAACP and W. E. B. Du Bois.
So all weekend we’ve protested over the non-indictment in Ferguson, MO and Walmart’s (and the retail and fast food sectors) dastardly ways. Some were even successful in shutting down a mall in St. Louis. Of course the organizing and the protesting doesn’t stop here and while I won’t go into what can be done in the future because there are many groups already organizing in that regard; I will mention that Cyber Monday is tomorrow.
Why let an opportunity to make more noise pass us by? There are many things we can do online. We can take to social media and infiltrate the #CyberMonday hashtag.
You can leave reviews on Amazon.com and other commerce sites in protest too. What about doing things inside of online games and virtual worlds? Just some thoughts.
Recently, Republicans in Pennsylvania passed a law that would prevent prisoners from having their voices heard in public. They did this under the guise of supposedly aiding the victims of violent crime and their immediate family. This law was passed in light of the graduates of Goddard College in Vermont selecting Mumia Abu-Jamal as their commencement speaker. Whether you believe in Jamal’s innocence and unjust imprisonment or you don’t; silencing people like this goes against the ideals of free speech.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU are have took up the fight against this law in Pennsylvania. This is why progressive law groups are so important to our democracy.
Besides the law organizations that protect free speech; groups that bring lawsuits to battle corporatism, racism and conservatism like the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Environmental Law Institute, Earthjustice, etc. are also praiseworthy.
To put it simply sue the bastards!
Activists in Ferguson, MO are planning a rather large protest in the city this weekend. They’re calling it Ferguson October. They are asking for people all over the country to converge on Ferguson with noted figures like professor Cornell West already said to be attending.
While I’m supportive of these and other efforts to organize, resist and educate another thought also came to mind. If you’re an activist and an organizer wouldn’t it be logical that law enforcement, the federal government and corporations would be trying to infiltrate your networks? After all it’s widey known that police departments send undercover officers to peace groups and Occupy organizations to gather intelligence.
I bet law enforcement in Ferguson are gathering every bit of information they can on key figures in opposition to the status quo like members of Hands Up United.
This is why I feel it’s important for activists to start thinking about securing their communications. The tools are now widely available and easy to implement.
Everyone’s talking about a local municipal government in the UK who painted over a Bansky piece because it was considered “offensive.” This has led to the discussion of whether Bansky harbored racist tendencies. The truth is that if you followed the artist’s work at all, you would know that he is employing wit to tell the truth about conservatives in the UK who want to stop immigration.
Diego Gomez posted academic research online. In this day and age of the privatization of everything it seems that what he did was a crime. Even things that are supposed to be free and open to everyone is now commodified. This is what drove Aaron Swartz to try and open up JSTOR to the public. Now Gomez faces up to eight years in prison for his act of defiance in the face of the corporatized elite in Columbia. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation states on their website “if open access were the default for scholarly communication, cases like Diego’s would become obsolete.” I may be a bit hyperbolic in invoking Swartz’s name in comparison to Diego Gomez, but I do it to draw more attention to Diego’s situation. I was wrong about Matthew Keys but I’m hoping I’m closer with my comparison of Gomez’s actions. Aaron Swartz believed in the same ideals as Diego Gomez and it’s time that we all organize around those ideals.
The crowdfunding website GoFundMe who currently houses a fundraiser for the officer that murdered Michael Brown in cold blood in Ferguson, MO is trying to employ some Ferguson police department-like tactics to deal with criticism from ColorOfChange.
But then last week GoFundMe’s lawyers sent us a Cease and Desist letter, threatening the ColorOfChange community and the movement for racial justice we’re working to build together. We’ve been talking to our legal team and they confirm that ColorOfChange – as a civil rights organization – has right to publicly criticize any corporation. GoFundMe can’t take that away from us. Our lawyers say that this Cease and Desist letter is a scare tactic meant to silence us and squash our campaigns. ColorOfChange is asking people to chip in $5 dollars as a response to GoFundMe’s skulduggery.
Cuban Five that is. It’s actually ridiculous that there are still members of this group imprisoned for no good reason.
The Cuban 5 are five Cuban nationals who worked in South Florida to observe the activities of far right-wing Cuban exiles who had for years been mounting armed actions against Cuba, in which thousands of Cuban citizens have been killed. Information they had gathered was passed to the F.B.I. by the Cuban government in the hopes that it would act to put a stop to these illegal activities by the exiles. Instead, the F.B.I. arrested the Cuban 5 and, after a farcical trial, they were condemned to long prison sentences. By now they have been imprisoned for sixteen years. There have been worldwide appeals on their behalf, as the cause of the Cuban 5 has grown into a huge international campaign with involvement of labor unions in a number of countries.
While one could say that they were spying, there’s nothing diabolical about what happened. It seems to me that the FBI would rather support right wing terrorism and spy on Muslims!