Archive - 2008

Angry Women (Re/Search ; 13)

Angry Women (Re/Search ; 13)

author: Andrea Juno

name: Steev

average rating: 4.03

book published: 1991

rating: 4

read at:

date added: 2008/09/05

shelves: politics


Wild vs. Wall

I'm proud to finally post online the short version of the film I made for the Sierra Club concerning the border wall and its effects on the environment. This project started in January, finished (late) in August, and will be premiering theatrically later this month at an event here in Tucson with our local congressman Raul Grijalva.

The full version of the film is about 20 minutes long, but you won't see that one online for a little while longer. The Sierra Club local group is trying to use it to raise money for a new border job they're hiring for. They've pressed a few hundred DVDs of both versions and will be sending it around the country to Sierra Club chapters and other interested parties.

Anyway, it's a relief that this is finally done and out there, and I'm hoping it will do some good in helping to get the word out about the gigantic folly that is our increasingly militarised and draconian border infrastructure and the frightening loss of our constitutional rights as a nation.

Wild Versus Wall (short version)

Oh The Waste

I am so angry and frustrated about what's happening in the Twin Cities this week. Not at the cops - no, they're just doing what's to be expected of them. If you're surprised by their response to the protests, you've been deluding yourself about the state of civil liberties and freedoms in this country for the last 4 years, at least.
No, what I'm irritated about is all the wasted energy and resources and passion being spent by activists and independent journalists. Imagine all the other places and causes that could be aided by all that attention and effort. Not only protesters and reporters, but all the other 'support' for the protesters. For instance, this fragment from an indymedia report about some street medics from Portland who went to the DNC and RNC protests:

...we treated hundreds of injured people and took into our care an unexpected number of activists with additional health concerns, both related and unrelated to the events, plus tended to people with various illnesses as well as some difficult cases with chronic conditions.

We treated injuries from pepper bullets, pepperspray, beatings, strangleholds, clubbing, cuts, scrapes, bruises, handcuff injuries, exhaustion, dehydration, heat illness, exposure to the elements, asthma attacks, psychological emergencies, and some serious medical emergencies.

That's so sad. It's great that those medics were around, but all of those injuries could have been avoided! They're all completely pointless problems caused by the decision to be out there on the streets getting beat up by cops!

What if those activists, medics, and indy journalists all descended on a place that really needed their help, like Juarez for instance? They could escort women at risk of rape and murder to and from work, give medical care to them and their children, and make news reports about what they see. They could act as human shields when the police or army show up to abuse citizens. They could refuse to smoke any pot that comes from Mexico and they could form a posse to take down small time narcos and document the violence of the cartels.

That is just one example. They could also be in New Orleans helping people there in the aftermath of Gustav. There are numerous projects and causes available.

But instead these people go somewhere where they'll make absolutely ZERO positive difference. None of the people there for the convention, the replublican delegates and what not, are going to have their minds changed or swayed. Others out in the world might be, but they'll never see it because the mainstream media will never show it. And just as many might be swayed the opposite way, with all the reports of caltrops in the streets and broken windows. More bad press for anarchists and activists in general. So these people are not only doing no good, they also CREATE their own crisis because the cops of course respond as usual with extreme force, and then the activists expect to be helped and supported. Selfish, privileged dimwits, why didn't you people stay home so the medics wouldn't have to waste their time bandaging your meaningless wounds? So the videographers wouldn't be wasting tape on your sorry asses?

It's just so sad and maddening. And I saw it all coming. It wasn't rocket surgery to predict.


Yesterday's Twitter tweets:

  • 10:38 damn, what happened to indyblogs? #
  • 11:59 when did it become ok to not sign things? just cuz there's a from field doesnt mean... oh nevermind... #
  • 14:18 making sun tea w/ green tea, homegrown mint, star anise, jasmine, sarsparilla, and a bit of kava #

Little-reported Hurricane Gustav News

This is from Jenka, an Indymedia activist who sort of splits her time between Portland, DC, and New Orleans...

hurricane gustav is expected to make landfall in a little over eight hours, just
west of new orleans, through the native nation of houma. the
government has ordered an evacuation, with the national guard stepping
in to enforce it. 1.9 million people have apparently gotten out, while
tens of thousands continue to be stuck on the highways out of town.
14,000 people without cars were taken out on buses and trains.

FEMA says they have it all figured out, and are doing much better now:

If you listen to their accounts, all is running like a well-oiled
machine, and things are as they should be. They omit the computerized
'ID bracelets' that failed dues to computer glitches on saturday, the
hundreds of people left waiting for buses in jefferson parish, the
hospitals that had to get help from the canadian airforce
because they had been forgotten by FEMA's evacuation plan....3
hospitalized patients died during evacuation. 80 people have been
killed by Gustav in several Caribbean countries. But no one was killed
in Cuba, even though the hurricane went straight across the western
part of the island - that country has evacuation down to an art (the US
won't ask them for advice though, even after Katrina's precedent)

And other big questions remain.
Will the levees hold?
"As the US Army Corps of Engineers and local authorities rushed to
shore up levees on the vulnerable West Bank of New Orleans, which
largely escaped Katrina???s punch, officials made no promises that
up-armored levees would hold. Of particular concern is the Harvey Canal
in Jefferson Parish, widely seen as a weak point in the system. In
fact, only about one-third of the city???s $12 billion new levee system
has been completed. With storm-surge projections of up to 20 feet and
many levees at eight feet, overtopping seems likely if the storm holds
its course."

"Leading experts from the U.S. and the Netherlands say the [levee]
system is riddled with flaws. They say that even a weaker storm than
Katrina could breach the levees if it hit this season." - from an
article in early august...

Where are they taking people, and what is the plan to get them back
home? After forcing people to leave after Katrina, many were prevented
from returning for 18 months, two years....far from the 'few days' they
were promised

What about the prisoners?
The prison officials at Orleans Parish Prison, if you remember, simply
left the prison during Katrina. Prisoners drowned in their cells, and
were abandoned for days in cells filled with water. Now, a
desperate call has been made by prisoner support groups in the region
to contact the sheriff and make sure that prisoners are evacuated too:

And what about those who can't, or won't (hey - you might be reluctant,
too, if it took you 18 months to get back home last time) evacuate?
"Those who stay will encounter a skeleton crew of law-enforcement
officers who will treat anybody on the street as a suspicious person,
says Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish. The idea is to
guarantee that property will be protected against looters ??? a main
reason so many residents decided to ride out Katrina. 'If you stay,'
Mr. Broussard warns, 'this will be no Mayberry.' 'We've learned from
our mistakes,' says New Orleans Police Officer B. Francois. 'And this
time, if we arrest someone, theyre not going to the local jail.
Theyre getting on a bus to Angola,' the infamous rural prison farm."

"Residents wonder whether by being vigilant -- or hysterical, depending
on one's perspective -- officials are putting themselves in a position
to be able to say 'I told you so' if anyone stays behind. This time
around, Mayor Nagin and all disaster-response spokespeople are making
it clear that if you stay behind and are stranded on your roof waving a
flag made from a bedsheet, it is you who will be held accountable, not
them. Many who are riding out the storm feel that's the motive behind
Nagin's emphatic plea during a press conference Saturday for citizens
to flee 'the mother of all storms,' and 'get their butts out of New

The law-and-order model that caused so much pain after Katrina is going
to be in force, and even more so, this time around.

Again, as during Katrina, many of those unable to evacuate are elderly
(according to a friend of mine in New Orleans now)

I am in touch with Common Ground Relief, the group I worked with in
2005, formed after Katrina and still going strong. Some have evacuated
to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and some are hunkered down in New Orleans.
If you want to help, or check for updates, check

You can follow the progress of the storm here:

The Riot Porn Extravaganza Begins

Well, it's starting a little earlier than MAY have been expected by some, but Round 2 of this election cycle's Protest Pornography Theater is ramping up to full scream this morning in Minnesota. Many alt-media reports are coming in about various houses full of activists waking up to M-16s in their faces while the pigs ransack their houses and accuse of them of 'conspiracy to riot' and other crazy crap. What a great show!

Let me be perfectly clear: This is absolutely reprehensible on the part of law enforcement, but on the other hand: WTF did you expect, activists? After the RNC in New York 4 years ago, and the "Miami Model," did you really think it would be any different or better? The piles of civil liberties lawsuits against the NYPD are still in their early stages - is there anything to indicate that the Twin Cities popo, not to mention regional or national agencies, will have any incentive to act in a more gentle manner, other than some facile lies that have occasionally spewed from the mouths of local politicians about how this time it will be different?

If the same thing doesn't work, again and again, why not try something new? You'd think more people would think of other ways to improve the world than going to another mass mobilization, than organizing another mass mobilization.
But no, because everything looks like a nail when you're a hammer.

So, here we are once again all over, with an army of stormtroopers in armor occupying the city to meet the threat of a horde of raggedy peaceniks, blackblockers, traveller kids, and the privileged off-Broadway journalists whose hobby it is to "cover" the epic struggle. And so expect all week to see (if you bother to look at any non-mainstream news), from the cameras and pens of those reporters who aren't getting swept up now in the pre-raids, an endless stream of distracting descriptions of the mayhem that these poor freedom fighters are experiencing at the hands of the brutal shock troops of Amerikkan Fascism.

Jesus H. Christ. Oh, yeah, and what was it all for? I forget... why are these people sitting in the street waiting for the batons to split their skulls?

Oh, I think I remember, something about voicing our opposition to this old white-haired wrinkly dude who everyone already knows is full of shit, and his stupid-ass party and the corporations and jesus freaks that run it that we already know are full of shit, who happen to be having a big theater production called a "Convention" where they act like they're choosing the old wrinkly guy to be their candidate for Suppsedly Most Powerful Man in the World.

Who the fucks cares??! Go home. Go back to your own fucking cities and towns and work in your own fucked up communities to make them better. Because nothing you're doing in the Twin Cities this week is going to make a goddamned bit of difference, other than waste money, time, and add a couple entries to your FBI file. Oh and maybe you'll get laid at the big after-party in the park before the midnight peace vigil, and catch scabies or HPV.

At least for Allah's sake try something different. I'm so tired of this shit.

And if you're an indy-reporter and you insist on staying and trying to tell this story - just stop and remember to tell the story of WHY these protesters are there. What do they want? What do they REALLY want?

Oh and one more thing - remember your raincoat, and remember the 150 mile-an-hour winds that are making life total fucking hell for the residents of Havana right now, and the poor folks in New Orleans about to get totally screwed over again...

39 Is OK

Two confirmations in the last few days that I'm not really that old: First, I just read (in the New Yorker's "Fashion Rocks" supplement, of all ridiculous things) that the guitarist from the band The Kills, Jamie Hince, is 39 as well. And he's dating Kate Moss. Second, I'm taking a Screen Acting class, believe it or not (I want to get better in front of the camera as I insert myself into my own films more and more, and I think knowing about acting will help me direct), and I was worried before my first day Friday that I was going to be the oldest person there, especially when I saw a gaggle of what looked like 19-year-olds entering the room ahead of me. I literally almost just chickened out and left, but luckily I didn't, and discovered that there were 4 or 5 others that were in my age range or older. It's actually a very diverse range of students and it looks like it will be a good class.

So, I should stop fretting. Still plenty of time to be a rock star or movie star. Hah.

Memento & Following

Memento & Following

author: Christopher Nolan

name: Steev

average rating: 4.00

book published: 2001

rating: 4

read at: 2008/08/30

date added: 2008/08/30

shelves: filmmaking


Onto in Jail in China!

Holy smokes, my friend Onto the Ontologist, activist, Indymedia comrade, and philosophy student, got detained after displaying a "free tibet" banner at the Olympics! OMG! He and his co-protesters are expected to be out soon. Fingers crossed.

Damn, I wish I could afford to go to China (I wouldn't go, I'd probably buy a new tripod and a shotgun microphone and pay next month's rent, but anyway, I wish I had the money)...