politics

A Glorious Sunny Day to Blockade The G8

Well, for the first time in 5 days it's really nice and warm and sunny here by the Baltic Sea, and various groups are by now at blockade points by the thousands around Heiligendamm, trying to stop the symbolic personal representatives of world power from getting to meet each other.
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But I slept in, because I was up late encoding and uploading video and hanging out with the Kein TV video volk till very late. Finally my coverage of monday's migration demos are online, both as an mp4 from my site, and an ogg file on v2v.cc, via bittorrent and other peer-to-peer technologies. I was trying all day to upload it, to Indymedia Germany, to YouTube, etc, and both at the IMC here and at Kein.TV's lab there were internet problems and/or congestion which made it impossible.

Anyway, you should watch, I like how it turned out.

Today, who knows what will happen. There were rumors about police banning absolutely everything, all blockades, all further demos, everything, but it appears, according to the indymedia germany news ticker, that stuff is still going down. I hurt my foot yesterday so i don't know if I'll be running around filming a lot like I would like to. We'll see.

Watching and Waiting

My 5th day in Germany and Berlin. Things have gone well other than the usual new-place frustrations from time to time of getting lost or being super tired or hungry and wandering looking for a place to rest or eat that is suitable.
Kein Mensch Ist Illegal - 2

Yesterday I went to a rally and march concerning migration and immigration and borders - against deportations and oppression and borders. "Kein Mensch Ist Illegal" is the German for a slogan I'm quite familiar with from being in in the US-Mexico borderlands: No One Is Illegal. I shot a few stills, some video, and recorded some great audio, including a great trio of german singers at the rally who did this sort of electroindustrial rap music, a few songs worth, which seemed to be relevant to the issues at hand but I couldn't be sure, of course. I made my first post to Germany Indymedia's website with some of the photos.

Today as I made my way around the city picking a few more bits of gear and supplies, the week of G8 protests officially began in Rostock and Schwerin. Police have already started huring people and arresting people. I've been following the Germany IMC news ticker to see the latest news. Julia and I will be driving her mother's car to Rostock tommorrow morning. I intend to spend most of the day just getting oriented and attending border/migration related forums and workshops at one of the convergence centers. Then monday is the big migration demo and march. I plan to stay safe and relatively out of the action, playing my usual role of media activist and documenting, rather than getting in the thick of the action.

Tonight though we'll be at a screening at NGBK, a gallery in the Kreuzberg neighborhood here in Berlin, where they will screen some of Julia's work. Later in the week they plan to screen some videos of mine as well as indymedia videos I've gathered during my stint as indymedia newsreal editor.

Something seems to have broken regarding my Twitter feed, which used to appear on the right column of my blog thanx to some stolen and hacked javascript code... You may want to check my Twitter page if it seems like a long time since I've blogged and you're worried or curious what's going on. I may not get to my blog that often in the coming week, though i'll try, but I can post to Twitter with my phone, so I might do that, even though it costs money, just to keep you avid readers informed...

NEE

A hilarious political protest campaign is going on in Belgium, making fun of the system in a really effective way and encouraging people to vote for empty seats in the Belgian parliament.

And parodying unrealistic campaign promises:
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(via Brian)

Newt Gingrich calls Spanish "the language of living in a ghetto"

Former speaker of the House of Represetatives Newt Gingrich (what is he now, just a racist hatemonger on the lecture circuit?) gave a speech decrying bilingual education and calling Spanish "the language of living in a ghetto". He received cheers from the crowd of members of the National Federation of Republican Women.
(via Mun2 Daily Dos)

Tucson Weekly, You Suck Again (now for sexism)

Just a few weeks after yet another insanely racist and propagandistic cover story about illegal immigration by the ludicrously unskilled and racist Leo Banks, the Tucson Weekly is at it again.

I wouldn't make this much fuss about this normally except that this issue came out yesterday, on International Women's Day. They pretty much hardly ever put anything this extreme on their cover, but now of all days, they run this. And it's completely gratuitous, nothing to do with the story at all, except that the story is dead boring (about the state legislature) so they must have felt they had to jazz it up to get people to even pick up a copy.

Tucson Weekly, you are the most conservative, racist, sexist, classist entertainment weekly I have ever seen out of all the 8 or 9 cities i've lived in, including, believe it or not, Charleston, South Carolina. In fact, in everywhere else that I've lived, the weeklies have been at least somewhat consistently left-of-center - although the Portland Mercury is sometimes annoyingly too-hip-to-be-left (but this is because they feel the need to appear cooler and different than the older, more staid liberal Williammette Week. This may be a little of what's going on here in Tucson; although there's no other paper to compete with, they maybe just purposely printing shockingly clueless and controversial stories in order to boost circulation).

Tucson Weekly, you suck.

Chavez Getting Even Stronger

The Venezuelan legislature is in the process of giving Hugo Chavez "the power to rule by decree for 18 months so that he can impose sweeping economic, social and political change." Wow. How long before he declares himself president-for-life?

Appropriately enough, I just saw an excellent film called Land of the Blind, about a fictional and archetypal country that goes from totalitarian right-wing rule to totalitarian left-wing rule thanx to a palace guard, played by Ray Fiennes, who later regrets his role in the revolution when things are even worse under the new "People's Committee for Justice and Democracy" regime, and is imprisoned for refusing to sign the loyalty oath to the Chairman-for-Life, played by Donald Southerland. It's a really great dystopian absurdist black-comic story, kindred in set design and mood to Terry Gilliam's Brazil, tho not as funny.

Gradually Eroding Freedoms

I can't remember where I first was referred to this, but according to various blogs, there's an amendment to a bill in Congress now, Section 220 of S. 1, though "on hold," that would basically require anyone writing about Congress to register quarterly with Congress. WTF? Insane. Both left and right bloggers and organizations seem to be complaining, but there's not as much chatter about this, or media attention, as I would expect. I looked further and found this on the SF Bay Times site:

Checking the actual text of Section 220, a laborious exercise indeed, I find that the text requires that third parties who pay money in order to engineer what might appear to be a grassroots lobbying effort must declare themselves. I also learn that the tactic, presumably one close to the heart of James Dobson and Focus on the Family, is called

Tucson Activists and La Otra

Here's a video I made recently that I just uploaded about the appearance of the Zapatista La Otra Campaña caravan coming to Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, about one hour south of the Arizona border.


You can also download it from my server (33 MB).

yay! Pinochet is Dead!

Wow. Former Dictator of Chile Augusto Pinochet has finally shuffled off his mortal coil. Of course I should wait a bit before getting too excited, since there was talk that he'd died a week ago and then he apparently had not. But this time it looks real. It's just too bad he was not brought to justice before kicking the bucket.

Marian Franz Dies

Director of the national Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund died a couple weeks ago.

In 1982, Franz became the first full-time director of the National
Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund.

Franz believed that war taxes have enormous consequences.

"They kill twice," Franz said. "First, they directly enable war . . .
particularly paying for weapons. Second, taxes allocated for war
represent a distortion of priorities. Money is taken away from the
important work of healing and spent to destroy and kill."

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