A dozen part-time UPS workers in Minneapolis took protest action on the job August 22, after discovering ties between Missouri law enforcement and a company, Law Enforcement Targets, whose shipments we handle each day.
Some of us removed the company’s packages from trucks that would deliver them to law enforcement. Others, in solidarity, refused to ferry these packages to their intended trailers.
Others posed with a sign reading “#handsupdontship.” The phrase “hands up, don’t shoot” has come to symbolize protest over the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri.
We decided we could not be silent while our work was contributing to the militarized violence that police are directing at Ferguson residents in the aftermath of Brown’s death.
This is high-stakes activism. These workers are at risk losing their jobs for this. Well done, UPS folks, for sticking to your principles.
This is where unity works. The powers use Racism to divide, we must see past the games and stand together.
Feel safe to fuck up around me.
We’re human. If you manage not to fuck up, that’s awesome! But when you do it, it’s probably a product of being indoctrinated with oppressive beliefs. This is something that you never asked for, and as long as you are on the side of ridding the world of oppressive structures, then I support you. Fucking up is an opportunity to learn to never-do-again. Sometimes that’s the way we have to learn. That’s definitely a way that I learn!!!
I can encourage you to critically think and I can discourage you from talking about what you don’t know about. But at the end of the day, I can’t really dog you for being a person and not getting it right 100% of the time. Because like… I’m a person too and I fuck up too lol.
Some of the most avid anti-racists on tumblr (even the ones who truly understand theory) have had mostly white friends and sexual partners. Some of them have said and done mean things within the day! Many of them don’t really do shit offline to deconstruct oppression, and they’ll take jobs or actions that play directly into the oppressive system. Some of them ridicule and are dismissive of others. (Many of these things describe me for example)
I don’t say this to call us out or vilify us or whatever. I’m just saying that your faves are probably problematic, because they’re just people like you and me, and we kinda live in a problematic world.
On the same token, make sure that you understand the humanity of others—including the things that are not so peachy. Ask yourself, at what point is this person, no matter how awesome they appear to be and how humanly flawed they are, hurting you. They deserve grace and recognition that they are a person capable of growth, but at the end of the day you need to keep yourself safe. If someone is making you feel bad about yourself—not making to self reflect, but attacking your innocent behaviors and actions as a person—don’t follow them just because they seem to have all the answers.
I promise, promise, promise that you are capable of finding these answers on your own, in a way that doesn’t make you feel insecure or self loathing. Don’t follow someone that makes you feel bad about yourself when you can follow people who teach you the same things and uplift you as a person.
That includes me.I’ll keep up my bargain by making sure this is a safe place for you all (after me, of course).
But also this is such an important conversation to have. Being an anti-racist isn’t about some sort of reverting back to some sort of perfection but a work of actively recognizing internalized issues, and a lot of it is built on a community that is invested in caring for each other so everyone can grow better.
“Palestinians have done it all. We choose resistance, always, in all its forms. We resist because it is our right. Because we are the indigenous people of the land and we have nowhere else to go or belong. Because our parents, grandparents, great grandparents and on and on are buried in this soil. Because we are right and our cause is just. We resist passively and actively. We resist violently and non-violently. It is our legal and moral right to resist with whatever means available to us against what has been accurately called “incremental genocide.” We have tried everything to gain the simplest of human dignities. We gave up our legal, historic, moral, cultural, and ethnic right to 78% of Historic Palestine in order to form a state on the remaining 22%, of which Israel cannot claim an iota of sovereignty. But Israel has never acted in good faith, choosing instead to colonize more than half of that territory in the time period when we tried to negotiate statehood. Now some Palestinians have chosen to take up arms again. Although the rockets launched from Gaza amount to firecrackers that have hurt no one, firing them makes perfect sense. If this minimal disruption of normality in Israeli lives is all we can do, then that is what we should do. If the most Palestinians can do is to make it inconvenient for an Israeli couple to enjoy a day of beach, gym and coffee shops while they tear our children’s bodies apart, then that is what we should do. These rockets are symbolic and radical assertions of an indigenous people’s unbending will to live with dignity in their ancestral homeland. They are minimal acts of self-defense of a people against whom unspeakable crimes have never ceased in over 60 years.
There are people in the world who understand what I am saying. People who have lived under the terrible, cruel, humiliating boots of another people. People who dreamed and agonized for the sweet breath of freedom and justice. Who had to fight and die for it against a vastly superior military force. That is why South Africa stands with us. Why the Irish are with us. Why Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Cuba, DR Congo, and others are with us. Civil societies, if not governments, in every part of the world stand with us. Thank you, we say. Thank you, our brothers and sisters for your solidarity. We shall not forget it.”
Yi Hyun - How is Media Manipulated
I went to university back in the 80s. The 80s were dark times. When people from my generation look at today’s university students, we’re really jealous on one hand. They’re a lot more carefree than we are. When I was in university, times were dark and depression, and we had a lot of issues to worry about.
When I went to university- you know that metal sculpture in the front of Seoul National University? to the left of that we, the students would walk in single file, and to the right, you know who would enter the campus? The police. In front of Seoul National University is the largest police station in Asia. The station is about 1.5, 2 kms to the school and there would be a line of policemen extending from the station all the way to the front gate of the school in the morning, where they would enter with the students. How many police men would enter? A minimum of 1000 policemen, every day.
The campus was filled with police. Every bench was occupied with a police man. Every spot of grass where students could sit down was in hearing range of a police man. Because of this, you couldn’t smile at school. If you smiled, you either had mental issues, or you has NO thoughts whatsoever to the situation around you.
This is a time when we felt that every phone inside the school was bugged. We knew every room was bugged too. So when we communicated in our rooms, we hardly ever talked. If it was important, we wrote it down. What did we do with the papers that we wrote things down on? We burned them.
Participating in a protest once for us was something that could get you killed. So we had to be really careful when spreading the news about a protest. You NEVER passed on information about a protest by phone. What would happen is you would walk through the grass fields, and an upperclassmen would, from behind, start walking next to you, and as they walk side by side with you, without looking at you, they’d say “month, day, time” and the second you heard that your heart would start racing. You feel like you’ve become a independence fighter. And because of that idealism, you’d end up going to the protest despite how dangerous it was.
Later on, if you guys study Communications, publication, sociology, history, or political science, you’ll be granted access to historical archives of the newspapers of the 1980s and of before, during Park’s dictatorship or Chun’s. Back then, there were the 4 major papers since it was before the creation of the Hangyureh, but the 4 papers were the Chosun, the Donga, the Joongang, and the Hanguk were the 4 major papers.
In that era, all 4 papers would be the same. If you looked at the front page, every newspaper, everyday would be the same. There would be a picture in the upper left or in the upper center. What picture? Park Chunghwee’s picture, or Chun Duhwan’s picture. Doesn’t it sound like I’m talking about North Korea right now?
Even the titles of articles were the same. How do newspapers produce articles with the same titles? Do all reporters think as one?
The secret was revealed, how that was possible.
One of my upperclassmen became a reporter. He was a person who believed that he could instill justice in society through the pen. So he dreamed of writing of what’s right, and so he dreamed of becoming a reporter, and eventually became a reporter.
He became a reporter, but they had him writing fiction novels.
When Chun DuHwan was in power, go read the Chosun Daily. Notice how they praise, almost worship Chun. Those apathetic bastards. I have never heard about these people apologizing. I haven’t heard of them kneeling in front of the Korean masses and apologizing for what they did. That newspaper still remains today.
This is the newspaper that, during the Gwangju massacre, called the people protesting for democracy as “thugs under the control of North Korean agents” and called it the Gwangju riots, I haven’t heard of the people responsible for this ever apologizing.
Anyways, my upperclassmen who became a reporter, he would ask the other reporters with more experience who were older than him if they became a reporter to be doing this shit, is this what a reporter should be doing? And every single one of them told him he was too naive and he was too young.
Back then there was a government ministry called the Ministry of Culture and Public Relations, and inside this ministry was the department of Public Relations and Advertisement. Every day, this department would fax something to every major newspaper’s editing office. The title of this fax was “Government Order on Reporting”.
The things that were on the order were things such as “do not ever write an article on x”, number 2, “when writing an article about a certain topic, do not ever use a certain phrase in the title”, number 3, “when writing an article about a certain topic, make sure to use the specified phrase in the title”, and finally number 4, “limit the length of an article to a specific number of lines of print”.
The measurement in Korea back in the days was dan. Now, all the newspapers are read horizontally, but back in the 80s, you would read the newspaper vertically, from top to bottom, and then left to write. A dan represented a vertical length. It still remains to this day, as a front page of a newspaper, disregarding the margins, is 13 dan from top to bottom. This order would tell the newspapers to only reserve 1 dan for a certain story, or 5 dans for another story.
So if a story is 1 dan, would the story’s importance be emphasized or not? Of course not, the importance of the story would be presented as being very small. If the story covers a whole 5 dans, more than 1/3 of the front page, the story becomes larger, more discussed, seemingly more important. If a story was as large as 8 dans, it’s top news. But hardly any stories went up to 8 dans and even a story that’s 5 dans was big news.
What’s funny is that no matter how trivial something is, if you give it 5 dans of newspaper coverage on the front page, it seems like a dire matter. Inversely, if you take a very important topic and only give it 1 dan of coverage on the front page, the story feels trivial or it isn’t even seen.
This is the basics of media manipulation.
And then enters the TV. How do you manipulate the TV news to emphasize importance? What is the basic of TV news media manipulation?
The order the stories are presented in.
The first story presented is the story the broadcasting center chose as the most important. We too perceive the first story as the most important.
Do you understand?
So back in the days of Park and Chun, it was the government who was deciding this, up to the mid 80s. It helped that there was a government official in every editing office. Members of the Korean CIA would be in the editing office and oversee the newspapers and news shows and reporters.
And that’s why you got the same newspaper everyday.
My upperclassmen who became a reporter took the report orders and copied them and kept them. He kept them and archived them, and eventually he had a press conference.
A reporter opening a press conference.
At this press conference, he didn’t call any Korean reporters. Why? Because if he called Korean reporters, Korean CIA agents came with them. So at this press conference he only called foreign press groups. Reuters, AF press, the AP. These are the groups he called.
Calling in these foreign press groups, he leaked the report orders and explained ”here is a dictatorship which manipulates the media like this”. He leaked the secret to the whole world.
In Korea, we call this the Report Order Incident.
What do you think happened to him? He went to jail. He was fired from his job and then taken to jail. Do you know what they charged him with? Releasing national secrets.
Do you think it was easy for him to become a whistleblower? It probably wasn’t. He would have known that he was going to be taken to jail, right? He knew that he was going to be fired.
But it wasn’t just being fired and being imprisoned. Back then they would torture you. There are people who are disabled today because of the injuries they sustained being beaten and tortured. There are people who died during the torture that they would inflict on prisoners. Do you think he wasn’t afraid of the torture? He probably had the shit beaten out of him. Was he not scared of it?
He probably thought of a lot of things. Does me doing this change the world in the slightest way? Does me doing this alone cause any change in the world? Don’t you think he asked himself these questions?
When this happened, he had just married. Do you think he wasn’t worried for his wife?
Mengzi said, 2300 years ago, to call what is right, right, sometimes you must have the courage to risk your life to do it. To call something wrong, wrong, you have to risk your means of surviving disappearing. And because of that fear, in the face of power, we have a hard time saying what is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong.
In Taiwan, formal government control of much media lasted until well into the late 1990s. Following the win of the DPP in 2000, media entered a new relaxed period. Despite this, much media still retained either a ‘pan-green’ (pro-DPP/Taiwan) or ‘pan-blue’ (pro-KMT/China) allegiance. Today, most media organs can still be categorised in this way with pan blue media vastly out numbering pan green. Although formal government control is mostly a thing of the past, media consolidation by people sympathetic to the KMT and CCP is arguably currently threatening the independence of the media once again, except that this time the political influence is covert rather than overt.
I just got back from a Palestine activist protest and I really need people to understand this.
If you claim to care about Palestine, if you can tweet, instagram and blog post after post alluding to justice and liberation for Palestine, you need to be about more than talk. If its within your capability, action needs to accompany talk.
These numbers are super important. Your presence and the physical evidence against Zionists and all scum who go to immense lengths to justify Palestinian suffering is imminent. Because pro Israelis have money, they have political leverage and immunity. They have the support of powerhouse corporations and the most hegemonic governmental institutions on Earth. They have the means to buy solidarity and manipulate the very nature of the oppression they enact to shift public opinion in their favor.
Pro Palestine folks? Not so much. We rely on truth and the moral goodness of those who are willing to stand for the oppressed and against immoral crimes. Solidarity is organic and from a place of labor and love, not hatred and monetary incentives. But in the end, I believe that is exactly where pro-Palestine have an advantage. When solidarity is genuine and not purchased, its power will outlast.
But solidarity is not without effort. Its chic among leftist circles to carry around the keffiyah and present the look of a radical, in spirit, but its not chic to be up against hundreds upon hundreds of people who call you terrorist and shout the most obscene racist and Islamophobic sentiments, to be spat on, to be egged on and unconsentfully videotaped. Its not chic when you can’t present a politic with the relative immunity of social media and have to go toe to toe with genocide instigators and truly feel like the weight of the world rests on your back. Its not fashionable or an aesthetic to be up against people who equate your religion or ethnicity with violence. But the latter is what will become victorious and through the hard work, I truly hope to see a liberated Palestine in my lifetime, and better yet, in the lifetime of all the aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers and grandparents who have been exiled from their indigenous homelands.
This reality however, cannot exist if its not worked towards and its important to do the work that does not foster you praise and can be brandished for followers.
Masterlist of protests and facebook event links (though I’d suggest you not, you know, “join” them on facebook what with NSA surveillance… and general US attacks on activists). But yeah, here’s a list. Plus tips for dressing/packing for a protest. And street medic tips, the most basic ones of which are:
Plus this super helpful post that was going around, read it!
If anyone has tips for how to deal with police if stopped, please add/ let me know.
Happy Pride, everyone!
We compiled this list of tips to help Pride event organizers make their Pride events more inclusive for attendees with disabilities.
1. Ensure physical and cognitive accessibility from the start. Let’s go beyond just wheelchair ramps, raised viewing areas, and ASL interpreters. Have designated areas as far away from noise as possible for people with sensory processing disabilities who might get overloaded from all the hustle and bustle at Pride events. Have designated smoking areas and encourage attendees to refrain from smoking outside those areas. Supply communication badges and strongly encourage people to use them and respect the communication preferences of all attendees.
2. Create “drop out/in” points on parade/march routes. Many people with disabilities want to be a part of Pride parades and marches, but they are unable to walk the whole route. Instead of barricading the whole route, create “drop out/in” points for people to enter and exit the parade when they are unable to continue.
3. Have the parade/march displayed and live-captioned on closed-circuit TVs. This feature can be expensive for smaller Pride events, but this can help people with auditory processing disabilities understand what the announcer is saying.
4. Use clear signage and have volunteers ready to direct people where they need to go. Some people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have trouble navigating festivals so it would be helpful to have things clearly labeled and marked.
5. Have people with disabilities in leadership roles when planning Pride events. Whenever possible, seek the input of people with a diverse array of disabilities when planning Pride events. Nothing About Us Without Us.
Some people just don’t understand that people find it to be more productive with spending their energy on empowering their community or communities rather than educating (or arguing with), mainly, people with privileges.
Not everything a person who faces discrimination and/or oppression does has to benefit those who contribute to their oppression and discrimination.
This ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ shit needs to be -BACKED-.
I am all for the encouragement of urban gardening, but pretty pictures and platitudes aren’t enough. You need to be out there handing out dirt and seeds and containers, you need to be getting out there and building wheelchair-accessible raised community gardens and building seed libraries and showing people how to hang tomato plants off fire escapes and commandeer city land - and even THEN you don’t say ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ you say ‘Hey, this is how to do it, if you want in.’
Telling people they can do it isn’t doing shit if you’re not actually showing them how and helping to make it possible.
Growing food instead of lawns is good, but can we PLEASE work on doing things to make it possible?
Maybe give people instructions on how to work with an/or fight their home owner’s association, how to appeal to a landlord, how to address local ordinances, and how to grow stealth food crops as ornamental plants in areas where food gardening is banned. Seriously, they will come bulldoze your shit and then bill you for it.
(Also we need to remember that some people will never be able to invest the money, time, and effort both physical and mental that it takes to have a garden, because they have personal care needs/care of others responsibilities/jobs/illnesses/physical disabilities/other shit to do/do not give a dull fuck about gardening and are perfectly happy with a patch of grass or even astroturf AND THAT IS OK TOO.)
Ok not deter anyone from doing this but just an observation I have about home gardens and shit:
To me it’s funny seeing white ppl with these gardens in their yards, like ur ppl literally destroyed whole ecosystems and forests, killed families of color and destroyed cultures, put them in jails and cities with little to no access to the resources that would enable them to have these plots of land, let alone a house to grow it in, have them situated in food deserts and then u kick them out of wherever they were staying in these under served urban areas, refurbish and buy the homes and set up these little gardens so that u can have fresh kale for ur breakfast smoothies.
Just rlly funny.
^Also 100000000% important commentary. The reason you folks HAVE to fight your HOA and the city to be allowed to grow food instead of lawns is because of -entirely racist- anti-gardening laws that are meant to keep out poor people, poc, immigrants, etc.
Apartheid in Detroit: Water for corporations, not people
June 18, 2014
Biill and Hillary Clinton were up to their ears in more than $10 million worth of legal debt at the end of Clinton’s tenure as president. Donald Trump was bailed out of four bankruptcies. But Detroit residents are having a basic human right – the access to water – cancelled for being late on bills of $150.
In the spring, Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr ordered water shutoffs for 150,000 Detroit residents late on their bills. Orr is an unelected bureaucrat accountable only to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who appointed Orr and several other “emergency managers” in largely poor, black communities like Detroit, Benton Harbor, Flint, and Highland Park, to make all financial decisions on behalf of local elected governments.
Orr’s plan will shut off water for 1,500 to 3,000 Detroit residents each week. Neither Orr nor Homrich, the contracting company Orr hired to shut off residents’ water, answered calls for interview requests.
Detroit citizens have been protesting the decision on the basis that water is a human right that cannot be denied to families who need it for cooking, bathing and flushing toilets. Many residents facing water shutoffs are currently on monthly payment plans with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), paying upwards of $160 per month as water rates continue to rise, and were given no prior notice that their water was about to be cut off. Last week, the Detroit City Council held a public hearing to discuss a proposed 4 percent hike in water rates.
“The families I’ve talked to in my neighborhood and others around the city are confused about why they’re being hit (in this way),” community activist Russ Bellant told the Michigan Citizen. “Some knew they were behind, but thought they’d have time to pay it. These are people who mow the lawn on the vacant lots next door (to them).”
As the Michigan Citizen reported, residents with delinquent water bills are losing their water while prominent Detroit corporations with much larger delinquent water bills are being left alone. The Palmer Park Golf Club owes $200,000. Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, owes DWSD $80,000. Ford Field owes $55,000. Kevyn Orr is arguing that the shutoffs are necessary to pay for the DWSD infrastructure – yet when Detroit raised $1 billion in bonds to pay for new infrastructure, $537 million of it went to banks like JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Morgan Stanley to pay off interest instead.
Community activists are placing blame on the structural, institutionalized poverty in Detroit that forces the people to foot the bill for corporate mismanagement. Detroit’s bankruptcy and urban blight is a direct result of the housing bubble that burst, putting over 60,000 homes in foreclosure and rendering thousands of families homeless.
Dan Gilbert, the billionaire owner of Quicken Loans who is financing much of the gentrified development of downtown Detroit, has been particularly blamed for his company’s role in exacerbating the foreclosure crisis through its intimidation of homeowners, pressuring them into risky subprime lending schemes.
“Instead of going after the corporate institutions who owe millions, they’d rather turn off the water for poor people,” said Demeeko Williams, an organizer with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management.
To fight back, Williams and other community activist groups like Moratorium NOW! and the Detroit After Party are teaming up to create theDetroit Water Brigade, a mutual aid effort aimed at providing residents with water and stopping water shutoffs with nonviolent direct action. The Detroit Water Brigade has set up a bridal registry on Amazon.com inviting those interested to help purchase necessary supplies like water coolers, cases of bottled water, heavy-duty contractor bags, and orange safety vests.
Some of the more radical direct actions being promoted by the Detroit Water Brigade include distributing flyers instructing people on how to turn their own water back on after it’s been shut off, and how to pre-emptively stop contractors from shutting water for their home. The flyer reads:
“Step 1: If your water is off, have the neighborhood water person or a friend (not you) obtain a water key and turn it back on 1st. (If you expect your water to be turned off, go to step 2.)
“Step 2: Purchase ready mix cement from the hardware [store].
“Step 3: Fill lockbox pipe 3/4ths full with dry cement mix.
“Step 4: Add water to top off. Don’t use rocks because rocks can be sucked out.”
The Detroit Water Brigade is also meeting regularly to train interested residents in nonviolent civil disobedience. Residents are planning to form human chains putting themselves between water lockboxes and contractors hired to shut off water. The water brigade is counting on Detroit’s understaffed police department to not have the resources to arrest and jail everyone participating in the water shutoff demonstrations.
In response to sustained protests from Detroit residents, the DWSD has removed the “Water Shut Off” decals from its trucks.