Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Sunday, 7 March 2010
A topic I seen on Venezuela Indy media
Now Playing: Google -Data retention and thoughts on their practices - link is from venezuela
Google, shocking and wicked *
(renvoi) Riseup.net - 05.03.2010 8:11 PM
Newsletter in February 2010. Special Edition on Google
The motto of Google: "don't be bad" has been key to the success of the company. When he made his appearance, Google was the only search engine that no favored the search results of the advertisers, a significant factor in his rapid rise. Recently, its CEO (english "chief executive officer," executive director) Erich Shmidt said that Google is "trying to not to cross the line of horror" when it comes to the retention of personal data. Perhaps the new slogan should be: "don't be shocking".
However, Eric Schmidt lost no time to cross the line of horror in December when he said in an interview that: "if there is something you don't want that nobody knows, perhaps should not have to be doing them in first place." In effect, the head of the corporation with the largest number of surveillance data in the world just announced that if you are "innocent" should not have have nothing to hide. As many people have noticed, the declaration of Schmidt is hypocritical and disturbing. Its logic is almost identical to the 'claim' totalitarian that if you want freedom of speech, perhaps you should not say anything controversial.
The opinions of Eric Schmidt are particularly problematic in the light of the recent changes in the policy of Google. In March 2009, Google gave reverse its policy, maintained for a long time, contrary to monitor the behavior of the [surfers). Now, Google crawls the conduct of Internet users (beeches signed contract and entered into Google or not) with the purpose of show people advertising more focused. In February 2010, the Washington Post revealed that Google even reversed an existing policy teaming up with the NSA -(National Security Agency) arm electronic spy secrecy of the U.S..- to combat the "cyber".
In both cases, has told us that we do not worry that Google only shared data that have been expunged (i.e. , the information that identifies us personally is withdrawal). But there are all a flow of reasons for alarm. Recent research has shown as the sites of social networks allow to drain a large amount of personal information to its partners advertisers and how exceptionally difficult is to create a set of data that may not be des-switching.
In fact, the department of defense of the U.S. has a new initiative based precisely on this principle. So-Called 'DNA Digital', The purpose is to develop a database of fingerprints electronic, very similar to the databases of DNA that kept many national governments. The goal is accurately identify individuals from data that is commonly thought that are anonymous --small fingerprints that we always leaving that we use a computer.
In spite of all this, Google continues to assure its users that there is nothing to worry about. After all, if you have time, you can use the board of Google to set a complex set of options for "self" of your privacy. The problem is that this interface only applies to the data linked directly to your account of Google, and that it cannot do anything about the many ways in which Google retains proxy data and easily des-anonymised about you. For example, that's not allows you to eliminate the location data that Google keeps on you when you send an e-mail to a user gmail.
Google wants our confidence. We are asked to have faith in the magician -behind the curtain- that controls the largest data set that the world has ever known. The new motto of Google is clear: "Do not be so bad that people are beginning to give account". And we are beginning to realize.
As protecting your privacy online.
Addressing this issue is really a social problem, not individual. Ask the individuals holding long practiced 'hygiene of privacy' is in addition to impractical, politically suspect. Create online privacy, in our opinion, should be done in community and through alternatives of support.
However, there are some things that we recommend that are mainly 'installs and forget about' and do not require continuous and tedious maintenance.
If you use Firefox, a browser that recommend, you can install several extensions to use while surfing. Firefox is free software and while members of the community have written software to add new features, anyone can download and use these extensions (mira https://addons.mozilla.org for more information about the extensions for Firefox).
Here are some extensions of Firefox that recommend:
-Customize Google https://addons.mozilla.org/es-ES/firefox/addon/743
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 12:45 PM PST
To Flip Off the police is not illegal
Now Playing: Free Speech ...its all in the finger.... and legal to do
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
Original Post Here --> www.oregonlive.com
We are lucky to have someone with so much character protecting our "free speech" rights. Wonder how he would feel if someone waited in the street every day in front of his house and made similar gesture or used similar words to harass him every day. ...
When Robert J. Ekas decided to exercise his right to free speech, he didn't open his mouth.
He hoisted his middle finger.
His single-digit protests, aimed at Clackamas County sheriff's deputies last year, resulted in verbal showdowns, traffic tickets and, ultimately, a federal lawsuit.
Giving a police officer the finger may be a rude and ill-advised gesture, but it is not against the law, legal experts say.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that speech may not be prohibited simply because some may find it offensive," said Ira P. Robbins, a law professor from American University in Washington, D.C. "Virtually every time someone is arrested for this, assuming there's no other criminal behavior ... the case is either dismissed before trial or the person is convicted at trial and wins on appeal."
Ekas, who represents himself, sued the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and three of its employees, seeking corrective action and unspecified damages. Assistant County Counsel Edward S. McGlone III declined comment on the lawsuit.
Ekas, 46, a retired Silicon Valley systems analyst turned mathematician who lives in the Clackamas area, claims the traffic stops were acts of retaliation that violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights. He also wants the court to rule that the Sheriff's Office fails to discipline employees who "chill citizens' ... free speech rights."
Ekas gave the finger to a deputy in July 2007 while driving near Clackamas Town Center, according to the lawsuit. With the deputy in pursuit, Ekas said he opened his sunroof and again extended a middle finger. The deputy turned on his flashing lights. Ekas stopped and was cited for an illegal lane change and improper display of license plates. He was acquitted of the charges.
In August 2007, Ekas flipped off another deputy. Ekas again was detained but not issued a citation. He claims he was harassed and intimidated by the deputy and a sergeant who was dispatched after Ekas requested a supervisor be sent to the scene.
Ekas said his actions are a political statement and a protest of police violence.
"They kill unarmed people. That bothers me," Ekas said of police officers. He cited the deaths of James P. Chasse Jr. and Aaron Campbell at the hands of Portland police and the fatal shooting of Fouad Kaady by Clackamas County officers.
"What I am expressing is the right to dissent. That is to say, 'Look, the policies that you've implemented ... the things you've done in our community are offensive to me. Here's my response to that offense,'" Ekas said.
"I did it because I have the right to do it," Ekas said. "We all have that right, and we all need to test it. Otherwise we'll lose it."
Ekas's method of expressing himself has a long history.
The ancient Romans called it "digitus impudicus" -- the impudent finger.
Police have been known to retaliate with traffic tickets or making arrests for disorderly conduct, but criminal charges are routinely dismissed. Criminal law "generally aims to protect persons, property, or the state from serious harm. But use of the middle finger simply does not raise these concerns in most situations," Robbins wrote in a law review article, "Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law."
A Pittsburgh man, David Hackbart, won a $50,000 settlement last year after being cited for disorderly conduct for flipping off an officer. The charge was "retaliatory" and violated his constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled.
The officer's "response to Hackbart's exercise of his First Amendment right" was to charge him with a crime, said U.S. District Judge David Cercone.
In West Linn, Police Chief Terry Timeus took a more diplomatic approach.
After a man's run-ins with police escalated from giving officers the finger to following them on patrol, accusing them of retaliation and shining his headlights on them during traffic stops, Timeus stepped in to try to defuse the situation.
The police chief met with the man and told him the pattern of confrontation and harassment "isn't going to accomplish anything."
Reached at his home, the man said he suffers from anxiety and depression and asked not to be identified. He acknowledged his history of confrontation and grievances with police but said he wanted to move on.
"Chief Timeus has made a difference," the man said, "and I don't want to jeopardize that."
-- Steve Mayes
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 12:09 PM PST
Saturday, 6 March 2010
Relax Listen Think
Now Playing: RELAX
Topic: SMILE SMILE SMILE
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:44 PM PST
February 23, 2010
Dear President Obama,
A contingent of Peace Groups and Activists will be setting up a Peace Camp across the street from your house on the lawn of the Washington Monument called, Camp OUT NOW.
After over one year of your presidency, it's become crystal clear to even many of those who supported you, that your foreign policy is as much of a disaster as was George Bush's.
On Sunday, 33 civilians were killed in a bombing raid on a caravan in Afghanistan, and no matter how many times you or your generals say, "Sorry," innocent civilians will always be killed in these insane wars of profit and occupation. Since, by your regime's own admission, civilian slaughter "can't be avoided," these wars must come to an immediate end.
It's also quite tragic that your war in Afghanistan has victimized more of our troops than when Bush was president, and more of our returning vets are committing suicide with most of their needs still going unmet.
For all intents and purposes, Mr. Obama, you have had a blank-check from the U.S. anti-war movement since you were elected. Certainly being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize gave these wars some international legitimacy, but those days of your free pass to carry out and magnify the Bush regime's crimes against humanity are over.
Even though there have been those of us in the anti-war movement who never dropped the ball, or passed it to the Democratic Party, many of the ones who supported you are also starting to awaken to the harsh reality that you are only keeping your campaign promises and they don't like that.
Mr. Obama, your anti-war base is an awakening giant that you will have to deal with in this election year. People are fleeing your party with the same regularity that they fled the other party when Bush was president. This waking giant is also realizing that with a Democratic majority everywhere, your failure in proceeding with a progressive agenda is abysmal.
Every time you are "contemplating" sending more troops to Afghanistan, you have countless meetings with what you have called your "War Council." The very name implies a foregone conclusion that you will send more troops and that other, more rational, more humane, and more peaceful solutions are never even considered.
In 2005, I asked for a meeting with President Bush that was never granted, and as you know, Camp Casey in Crawford became the spark that lit a prairie fire of anti-war sentiment that swept you and your cohorts in the Democratic Party back into power and now we are coming to collect the spoils of that victory--which is not more war--but more Peace. You Democrats owe much to your anti-war base--and we will not be quiet nor be ignored as we were in the previous administration. It's time for you to pay the Peace-piper, Mr. Obama.
Our demands are profound, yet simple for you to perform: troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (where three soldiers were just killed); no more drone bombings anywhere; close the permanent bases and torture prisons; and bring the mercenary soldiers home, too. We will not be closing up Camp, or the movement, until positive progress in the direction of Peace is noted.
The first week of Camp (March 13-20), we are asking for a meeting with you to discuss setting up a Peace Council that you will regularly meet with that will have a seat at the table when decisions that will kill, maim, displace, or harm our troops or civilians in any way are being discussed. We also demand that this Peace Council be comprised of grassroots members of the Peace Movement and not rubber-stamp status quo worshippers, or other "Peace" Prize laureates like Henry Kissinger, who already, reportedly, has your ear.
If you do not meet with representatives from Camp OUT NOW, we will be a thorn in the side of the War Machine, and we will not go away without a struggle. If you do meet with us and agree to a Peace Council, we will pack up our tents, but we will still be a thorn in the side of the War Machine until Peace is finally achieved--the only difference is that we won't be camped across the street from your home.
During your campaign, you often quoted Roosevelt as saying that if the voters wanted him to do the right thing, they would have to "make him." Well, Mr. Obama, we are the bosses of you--not your corporate masters--and we will be in DC to "make you" do the right thing.
I can be reached at anytime through my email:
In struggle until there is finally Peace,
Mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was murdered on 04 April, 2004, by the U.S. War Machine.
And the Peace of the Action Coalition
For more coverage of this event will be on my website "Joe Anybody goes to DC"
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:58 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, 6 March 2010 12:39 PM PST
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
No Pay - No Play - Portland Indy Media is off line for a short while ?
Now Playing: PIMC website is down YIKES!!!!
Portland Indy Medai website has not been showing up all morning on 3.2.10
This is killing me
I was told we needed to pay the bill ...(and we did pay, so I was informed) ....Now we all have to wait for the site to come back>
WOW! just like that!!! Poof! No Indy Media
Here is a screenshot that is what is now showing
All morning it was just a pure white page with no text, now it looks like the screenshot picture below taken at 11:30 AM on 3.2.10
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:34 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 2 March 2010 11:40 AM PST
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Police cover up - report on the shooting of civilians during Katrina in 2005
Now Playing: Former New Orleans Detective Pleads Guilty in Katrina Shooting Cover-up
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
Published on Thursday, February 25, 2010 by Pro Publica
Former New Orleans Detective Pleads Guilty in Katrina Shooting Cover-up
Former New Orleans Police Department Lt. Michael Lohman on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiring to obstruct justice, in connection with one of a string of violent encounters between police and civilians in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Police shot at least 10 people during the week after the storm made landfall. (We have been investigating the shootings, along with our partners the New Orleans Times-Picayune and PBS "Frontline.")
The FBI closed Danziger Bridge along U.S. 90 on Sept. 26, 2009, to further investigate the controversial shooting incident that occurred there in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (Danny Bourque/The Times-Picayune)
Lohman's guilty plea stems from the so-called Danziger Bridge incident
of Sept. 4, 2005. Responding to an emergency call that day, New Orleans police officers shot six citizens-killing two-on and around the span.
The Times-Picayune has been covering the Danziger Bridge shootings from the start and it has the latest.
Lohman helped orchestrate the police's investigation of the shooting, a probe portrayed in the bill of information as an attempted cover-up. The former lieutenant was involved in planting a handgun at the scene, drafted phony police reports, and lied to federal agents, according the court document. (The New York Times has good details on the alleged cover-up. And we at ProPublica have posted the bill of information in our easy-to-read document viewer.)
Lohman's plea is the clearest indicator yet that the federal government-which for more than a year now has been investigating the New Orleans Police Department's actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina-is mounting a two-pronged probe: federal prosecutors and the FBI are scrutinizing incidents in which police shot civilians in the chaotic days after the storm, as well as the alleged efforts of other officers to cover-up those shootings.
Defense attorneys familiar with the widening federal probe say the Justice Department is looking at the death of Henry Glover as a possible cover-up, as well. Glover was shot on Sept. 2. 2005-possibly by NOPD officer David Warren-and died, according to three witnesses, at a makeshift police compound in the Algiers section of New Orleans. His charred remains were later discovered in an incinerated car dumped on a Mississippi River levee.
Federal agents began examining Glover's death after ProPublica, in conjunction with The Nation magazine, reported on the case in late 2008.
In recent weeks, the Justice Department has begun looking at three other post-Katrina incidents-the shootings of Danny Brumfield, Matthew McDonald and Keenon McCann, all of whom were shot by NOPD officers in the week after the hurricane made landfall. Brumfield and McDonald died; McCann was injured but survived to file a lawsuit against the police department. He was shot to death by an unknown assailant in 2008 while the suit was pending.
The NOPD, like most police departments, conducts an investigation every time an officer opens fire on a citizen-the goal is to make sure the shooting was proper and justified. As a general rule, officers are allowed to use deadly force only when confronted by a person posing a physical threat, either to the officer or another civilian.
However, a joint effort by reporters with ProPublica, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and PBS "Frontline" found that NOPD investigators did little to determine whether officers acted appropriately when they shot Brumfield, McDonald and McCann. NOPD detectives collected little physical evidence, spoke to few civilian witnesses, and conducted brief interviews-ranging from seven to 12 minutes-with the officers involved in the shootings.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 2:33 PM PST
Get The Lobbiest Out - California's new beta ballot experiment
Now Playing: A test of a fair election in California, with lobbiest out of the way
Topic: BIG MONEY PLAYERS
A report from
February 26, 2010
THIS WEEK IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
A Neat Little Ballot Experiment in California
There's an interesting initiative on the California ballot this June. It's called the California Fair Elections Act, and it's an attempt to get voters to approve public funding of statewide campaigns.
But that's not why it's interesting. Public campaign funding is hardly a fresh idea after all. The basic idea behind Proposition 15 isn't that fresh, either. In a nutshell, it would require all state-registered lobbyists to pay an annual fee of $350, which supporters estimate would raise about $2 million per year. (This is a funding mechanism that, if not interesting, is certainly cheeky: The idea of making lobbyists pay the bill for a system that would undermine the influence of lobbyists is, at the very least, sort of a delicious irony.)
Candidates who want access to this money would first have to raise five dollars from at least 7,500 registered voters. Candidates who do this would receive enough money from the CFEA fund to run a statewide campaign, but only if they agree not to raise money from any other source. This is designed to eliminate the need to raise money from special interests, and it's similar to public funding laws passed in other states, including Arizona.
But that's still not why I find Proposition 15 sort of fascinating. What's new and different about it is that it's basically a beta test. It applies only to one office—secretary of state—and only to the elections in 2014 and 2018. On January 1 of the following year, it automatically disappears for good unless voters decide they like it and want to extend it.
I'm generally not a fan of ballot initiatives. They tend to be badly written, they've long since been captured by wealthy corporate interests, and they routinely expend money that doesn't exist. Proposition 15 falls into none of those traps, but what really makes it appealing to me is that I like the idea of short-term experiments. If Prop 15 fails, not much harm is done. If it works, it will have proven itself in the toughest arena of all: real life. It's a small-bore way of allowing voters to find out if they like the idea before committing themselves to a sweeping and permanent change. We could use more initiatives like this.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 12:01 AM PST
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Peace - War - ...how about some cooperation for Peace by everyone
Now Playing: Can the Right and Left Work Together to Oppose War and Empire?
Can the Right and Left Work Together to Oppose War and Empire?
By Kevin Zeese
There has to be a better way to stop wars and reduce military spending. Polls show U.S. voters at worst divided on current wars and more often show majority opposition to them. Yet, when Congress “debates” war the widespread view of Americans is muffled, not usually heard.
For the last decade, with President Bush in office the peace movement has been politically left and Democratic leaning. The right wing has been kept off the stage as a result the anti-war movement does not reflect the breadth of American opposition to war. For too long the peace movement has been like a bird with only a left wing. It can barely fly and when it does it seems to go in circles. Perhaps a bird with two wings will fly better?
This past weekend Voters for Peace sponsored a meeting of 40 people from across the political spectrum who oppose war and Empire. The people attending see the U.S. military as too big and too expensive and recognize spending $1 million to keep a soldier in Afghanistan for one year is a symptom of mistaken militarism that weakens U.S. economic and national security.
The purpose of the meeting was to see if we could work together. Could we put aside our differences on other issues and focus on reducing American militarism and in the long run ending reliance on war?
The conversation began with discussions of the history of anti-war advocacy in the United States and what we can learn from it. One point repeatedly made by people on the left and right was that historically there have been conservatives who opposed war and empire. Today those voices are heard in a whisper, if at all. Before the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, strong opposition to foreign intervention not only came from progressives but also from traditional conservatives rooted in the recommendation of George Washington’s farewell address – ‘avoid foreign entanglements.’ How can we re-awaken that common sense conservatism and forge a broad based anti-war movement?
What would a broad based anti-war movement look like? Some of the conservatives in the room warned against this 21st Century movement looking like the anti-Vietnam war protests of the 60s. Many on the left and right acknowledged that the mass weekend protests against Iraq were large in size but ineffective in result. While there is a role for such protests, they are not sufficient for the task at hand. Some conservatives warned against describing the United States as imperialist – that would get up the hackles of many Americans. But, they were comfortable describing the United States as an Empire.
Personally, I found that of interest. Americans never hear discussed in the media whether or not our country is an Empire. And, if we were to have such a discussion the critical questions would be is Empire good for us, for our national security, for our economy, for our democracy? Having those questions debated would be a breakthrough in political dialogue.
It is hard to deny the American Empire. The U.S. has more than 2,500,000 DoD personnel deployed across the planet and 761 military bases on foreign soil not counting more than 100 in Iraq and more than 400 American and NATO bases in Afghanistan. U.S. troops are now stationed in 148 countries and 11 territories according to DoD’s “Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and Country.” America has spawned a military network larger than the Roman Empire, which at its height had 37 major military bases, and the British Empire which had 36. More bases are planned; billions spent building bases in far off lands while large swaths of American cities degrade into impoverished zones and the infrastructure of the nation crumbles.
When the Cold War ended, rather than reducing troops in Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, the Philippines, and so many other nations; ending the NATO alliance which was designed to combat the now non-existent Soviet Union; and shrinking the weapons and war budget, the U.S. decided to seek to become the sole superpower on Earth. U.S. military spending is now as much as the whole world combined. The U.S. Navy exceeds in firepower the next 13 navies combined. When all the budgets are accounted for – the Pentagon, the wars, the 16 intelligence agencies, the super-sized embassies – total Empire spending is more than $1 trillion annually.
And, the Empire has deep roots. General Smedley Butler, the most decorated Marine in history joined the Marines in 1898 and served 34 years in China, Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico and other nations as part of the early American Empire. When Butler retired and thought about his career he described himself as a “racketeer” for U.S. business interests around the world and said “war is a racket.”
But, this massive Empire is not discussed. It is the elephant in the living room of American foreign policy. And, the entrenched military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about in 1961 is now so powerful that cutting the military budget is off the table in Washington, DC – despite cost over-runs of hundreds of billions in weapons contracts, the GAO consistently describing the Pentagon as un-auditable and budgets filled with waste, fraud and abuse. The war budget grows and grows despite a fragile if not collapsing economy at home.
After a long day of discussion it became evident that people from across the political spectrum, despite differences on other issues, could in fact work together to challenge American militarism. Some in the room who had been working on these issues for forty years thought such a coalition was decades past due. Some of the students in attendance had their eyes opened to the history of traditional conservative anti-war efforts as in their lifetimes it had not been heard from.
In discussing this publicly, so far I have only heard from one person on “the left” who opposes it. He was a co-founder of Progressives for Obama and he lumps everyone on the conservative side into what he calls “racist populism.” Such broad stroke descriptions of people are prima facie evidence of prejudice and certainly not consistent with people I have met from across the spectrum. But, his opposition shows the challenge on “the left” – too many are unwilling to stop their support for the Democrats and Obama.
The challenge on the right is also difficult. The Neocons have taken over almost all significant conservative organizations. How can we attract traditional conservatives to anti-war advocacy? The day after the conference, the surprise land slide victory of the anti-war conservative, Ron Paul, at the CPAC convention gave hope that there were more right wing peaceniks than we may have imagined.
While our task is urgent – something which the 1000th death of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan and the weekend’s killing of two dozen more civilians in an aerial attack brings home – our job is immense. Undoing a century old Empire that is larger than any that ever existed, is no easy task, but for citizen patriots it is an essential one for the survival of the nation and the benefit of the world.To join our efforts sign the Voters Pledge at www.VotersForPeace.US and get involved.Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 6:01 PM PST
Rocks, protesting, black block , and police provocateurs
Now Playing: I'm A Better Anarchist Than You - Email from David Rovics
I'm A Better Anarchist Than You
Some Thoughts on Vancouver and the Black Bloc
I love a good riot. The distant sound of things breaking, the smoke
billowing from whatever is burning, the young men and women busily smashing whatever they can find into fist-sized pieces, launching the objects overthe heads of their fellow rioters (if all goes well) and into the ranks ofthe black-clad police with their Ninja Turtle armor, translucent plastic shields and their array of far more sophisticated weaponry.
I love the scent of tear gas (if I'm just on the outskirts of the cloud), it's
exhilarating, the scent of possibility, of the situation's volatility, the
thrilling uncertainty. The excitement of seeing the barricades get lit on
fire, knowing that no police vehicle, no matter how well-armored, is going
to drive through that.
They're going to have to put the fire out first, and until they manage to
get some big hoses to the scene (which might require the participation of
the fire department, which might not want to participate), this is our
block. Maybe the police even retreat a couple times under particularly
heavy volleys of rocks and bottles, the crowd surges and cheers, meanwhile the more experienced rioters stay busy gathering wheelbarrows full of morethings to throw at the cops, knowing they'll be back soon.
My neighbor says it's because I'm an Aries, but whatever it is, if I find myself in the midst of such a situation, the memories are all fond ones of the rush and the togetherness of the moment. It's a warm, fuzzy feeling, really.
However, most people in most of the countries with which I'm fairly
familiar – the US, Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Japan
– don't feel that way. For most people I meet riots are scary things and
they don't care or notice much whether it was a chain store's windows
smashed or a local one, whether only SUV's were torched or hybrids, too,
whether any passersby got hurt in the process or not. The major news
outlets don't pay much attention to what the underlying reasons for the
rioting is – just enough about the situation for people to associate the
riot with the cause and the cause with scary people who aren't like them.
I've been home in Portland over the past couple weeks, not in Vancouver for the Olympics and the accompanying protests that tend to materialize when a gigantic corporate event and the international media covering it rolls into (and over) the town.
By European standards the event the media was focusing on sounds like it was a pathetic little riot, a few smashed windows and overturned newspaper boxes, but it managed to attract the lion's share of Canadian and even international media coverage, as usual – it's sensational, but more than that it serves the purposes of corporate media outlets who, for political reasons, want to make most protesters look bad and don't want people going out to rock the boat in the first place.
By my informal count traveling around, I'd say that most people in many
countries are afraid to go to protests, even if their sympathies are with
those protesting. They're afraid of what they've heard in the media about
how things get out of control. They'd rather avoid lines of police in riot
gear, and they feel unsafe at the thought that what they believed was going to be a nonviolent event might suddenly get scary when a small group of people decide to start throwing rocks through store windows.
Some of the rock-throwing anarchists (as opposed to the far more numerous non-rock-throwing variety of anarchists) will now ask, who cares? Who cares if lots of people are afraid to come to protests because of us. They're “liberals” anyway (anyone who doesn't support your right to riot is a liberal, in case you didn't know).
But here's the thing: we need a mass movement, and contrary to what
certain popular primitivist authors like to say, a few thousand dedicated
people are not going to accomplish much of anything, let alone
revolutionary change, without the support of a mass movement. That is,
whatever tactics you're using to organize resistance groups of any kind,
the tactics need to be ones that don't completely alienate the general
public (very much including the “liberals”). And the general public
tends to be freaked out by groups of people committing acts of violence (or
forms of property destruction that seem violent to them).
In recent decades lots of people in lots of places have embraced all kinds of militant and often effective tactics – strikes, bus boycotts, sit-ins,
building take-overs, nonviolent civil disobedience of all kinds. Those of
any political persuasion who would say that tactics like these are
universally ineffective are simply ignorant.
Equally, there have been some pretty darn effective movements that have
employed violence around the world over the past few decades and centuries, and you'd have to be an extremely ideological pacifist not to recognize that. But these movements that have employed violent means have used a lot more than rocks.
It takes a pretty desperate situation (say, Cuba in 1959) for movements like that to garner popular support, and there's not a
serious guerrilla movement anywhere that wouldn't admit that the fish need the sea in which to swim, or they quickly die.
In the context of most modern, relatively well-off countries, it seems
quite evident that rioting – even if it's not much of a riot – only
impedes anyone's efforts at building a movement. It is, in fact, a
much-used strategy of the police, as we've seen time and time again
certainly throughout North America, Europe and elsewhere.
I have no doubt that the first rock thrown is thrown by an undercover cop at least half the time in most situations. I also have no doubt that most of the young people participating in Black Bloc and advocating for “diversity of
tactics” (translation: “don't tell me not to throw rocks, you oppressive, ageist liberal carnivore!”) are well-meaning people doing a lot of good work in their communities when they're not throwing rocks through windows. But whether or not they want to believe it, when they
start throwing rocks during a march they are doing exactly the same work as the police provocateurs – I mean literally, not figuratively.
Black Bloc: doesn't this make you wonder about what the fuck you're doing?
Written by David Rovics 2/24/10
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 9:47 AM PST
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Dont 'spray me bro"
Now Playing: Joe Anybody sues the police
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
News / Cops Videographer Sues Police Over Pepper Spray
Posted by Matt Davis on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 12:09 PM
- JOE ANYBODY: VIDEOS THE POLICE
Local videographer Joe Anybody has filed suit against the police today over being pepper sprayed during March 2008 protests over the U.S.Invasion of Iraq. Anybody, whose real name is Mike Tabor, has a history of being harassed by police, as he videotapes police actions and protests
. The bureau even made policy changes
following a prior incident.
Tabor's new suit involves the pepper-spraying of people on the sidewalk during a protest in front of the Wells Fargo Tower on March 19, 2008, the 5th anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq. From his attorney, Aaron Vahola:
Michael Tabor, aka “Joe Anybody”, a freelance videographer, was videotaping the protest from the sidewalk. While there was some confrontation with the police elsewhere in the protest, there was no resistance to the police in his area. Lt. Mike Lee was walking through the crowd, and had his back turned to some protesters without incident.
Lee started pushing protesters without provocation, then directed Officer Aaron Schmautz to pepper-spray the crowd. Tabor was hit by the pepper spray, even though he was on the sidewalk and no threat to the police line.
This spraying was against PPB policy, handed down that same day, prohibiting use of broadcast spraying in most instances. See the attached memo from Chief Sizer, particularly Section 635.10(f)(3). The PPB violated this memo in this instance, broadcast spraying a crowd that was not surging at the police lines, including my client, Mr. Tabor.
Also note: Ronald Frashour, the officer who killed Aaron Campbell, was sued for Tasering a videographer several years ago. This is a pattern and practice of the Portland Police Bureau, and it is my opinion that a lack of accountability and punishment for officers who commit misconduct leads to repeat offenses, liability for the city, and even deaths, such as those of Campbell and Raymond Gwerder, who was killed in a manner shockingly similar to Campbell by an officer (Leo Besner) with a history of unprovoked violence against citizens.
We'll have video of the alleged incident around 5pm today. In the meantime it is against police bureau policy to comment on open lawsuits.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 2:16 PM PST
Newer | Latest | Older