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A time to be born and a time to die

Pete Seeger, singer, musician, songwriter, political activist for more than 7 decades died, age 94. As a song writer, he is best known as the author or co-author of Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, If I Had a Hammer, and Turn, Turn, Turn! [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 27, 2014 - 314 comments

 

The Strange Case Of Vahid Brown

Is Vahid Brown An Agent Of The State, Or Are Portland Anarchists On A Witch Hunt? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 12, 2013 - 64 comments

Protect the Peaks

Environmental and Native American activists in Flagstaff, AZ face federal charges for allegedly "interfering with a forest officer" after a protest action in which they "quarantined" the Coconino National Forest Service lobby to protest a decision permitting the expansion of the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort onto the San Fransisco Peaks – a site regarded as sacred by the Navajo, Hopi, and Havasupai people. The proposed expansion entails the use of treated sewage effluent, aka reclaimed wastewater for snowmaking operations. These events occurred on the same day that the USDA and Forest Service issued a final report (pdf) which outlines recommendations for working more closely with Native representatives surrounding sacred sites issues.
posted by Scientist on Dec 11, 2012 - 19 comments

privilege-checking and call-out culture

Ariel Meadow Stallings (creator of Offbeat Mama and Offbeat Bride) on liberal bullying: "...what's the biggest challenge we deal with every day? The challenge that has my editors second-guessing every post and quaking in fear, just waiting for the awfulness to begin? It's attacks from our fellow progressives... Increasingly, I've started recognizing this kind of behavior for what it is: privilege-checking as a form of internet sport. It's a kind of trolling, with all the politics I agree with, but motivations and execution that turns my stomach. It's well-intended (SO well-intended), but when the motivations seem to be less about opening dialogue about the issues, and more about performance, righteousness, and intolerance for those who don't agree with you… well, I'm not on-board." [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 2, 2012 - 180 comments

Librarians are doing it for themselves

What really concerns librarians; what do they discuss when they self-organise and decide for themselves? After the inaugural UK event, the second UK Librarycamp, with around 200 attendees, was recently held; reflections by Frank Norman, Carolin Schneider [1] [2], Sarah Wolfenden, Amy Faye Finnegan, Shambrarian Knights, Michelle, Jennifer Yellin, Jenni Hughes, Bookshelf Guardian, Amy Cross-Menzies and Simon Barron, and by one of the organisers. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 1, 2012 - 10 comments

The "Unstoppable Gay Jew"

In 1971, "decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating—never mind repealing—a policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle." Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist who pioneered the fight for same-sex marriage in Washington State, 41 years ago. Via.
posted by zarq on Jun 7, 2012 - 16 comments

Dreaming in French

On Angela Davis.
posted by latkes on Mar 25, 2012 - 10 comments

A Profile in Courage

“You’re from The New York Times,” he said. “How can I be sure you’ll be objective and accurate?”
posted by Renoroc on Jul 27, 2011 - 68 comments

On John Ross (1938–2011)

Before John Ross died this January, he asked his family and friends to do the following with his ashes: 1) Scatter them along the #14 bus route in San Francisco’s Mission District, where Ross lived on and off for much of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. 2) Sprinkle them in the ashtrays in front of the Hotel Isabel in downtown Mexico City, Ross’s home base from 1985 to 2010. 3) Mix them with marijuana and have them rolled into a spliff to be smoked at his funeral. A certain half-baked logic ran through much of Ross’s life and writing. For a few years during the Carter era, as he recounts in his (mostly true) memoir Murdered by Capitalism, he spent his afternoons drinking Gallo wine and smoking pot and PCP in the Trinidad cemetery in Humboldt County, California. It was there that he met the ghost of Edward B. Schnaubelt...
posted by jim in austin on Jun 11, 2011 - 17 comments

The FBI is targeting Peace Activists again.

The FBI has a long history of targeting peace and social justice activists. Now activists across the country are sounding the alarm. It's happening again.
posted by history is a weapon on Sep 26, 2010 - 102 comments

You'll Be Missed, Ms. Lincoln

Not just a singer, but a songwriter. Not just an actress, but an activist. Abbey Lincoln helped to push the expectations that the jazz loving public had of jazz vocalists beyond the stereotype of sexy chanteuse delivering someone else's lyrics. From sexy and sultry (as in this clip from "The Girl Can't Help It") to quirky and passionate to elegant and expressive, Ms. Lincoln was a true original in every sense of the word. [more inside]
posted by jeanmari on Aug 14, 2010 - 21 comments

Stormy Weather (1917-2010)

Lena Horne dies at 92.
posted by iviken on May 10, 2010 - 68 comments

please take me home.

Noah Kirkman was stopped by the police while riding a bicycle without his helmet... He then spent the next two years trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare... trying to go home. The Kirkman family has been locked in Kafkaesque bureaucratic limbo since a misunderstanding ruined an idyllic summer vacation in small-town Oregon in 2008. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Apr 16, 2010 - 23 comments

Robert Park

On Christmas day, Robert Park walked over the frozen Tumen river from China and into North Korea. He did an interview that was to be released when he had crossed over.
posted by paladin on Jan 3, 2010 - 148 comments

"Y'all mind hanging back? You're jamming my frequency."

Anyone who was moved by Zelda Rubinstein's performance as the eccentric medium in "Poltergeist" will be dismayed to hear that she is seriously ailing. What you may not be aware of is her role, first in Los Angeles (way back in 1984), and later internationally, in gay rights and AIDS education advocacy. [more inside]
posted by Morrigan on Dec 29, 2009 - 21 comments

wetness ... pours onto my paper out of my pen

Suheir Hammad, a Palestinian-American poet and activist now based in New York, writes about being a Muslim immigrant and also a woman challenging conventions. Spotted by Russell Simmons for Def Poetry Jam, she has performed pieces about love in the time of war, exoticising beauty, and a touching ode to her father, among many others. Suheir has just produced and released her first feature film Salt of This Sea, up for the Cannes Films Festival and possibly an Oscar, and recently performed in Ramallah for the 2009 Palestinian Festival of Literature.
posted by divabat on Jul 7, 2009 - 5 comments

Aung San Suu Kyi arrested after her home was invaded by an American

Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese (Myanmar) activist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was arrested after her home was invaded by Vietnam War veteran and Mormon evangelist. John William Yettaw swam to her compound May 3 and was arrested two days later on his way back. Suu Kyi has spent 13 of the last 20 years under house arrest, and she was supposed to finally be freed May 27. She will go on trial for the illegal visitor on Monday; if convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.
posted by dejah420 on May 14, 2009 - 50 comments

An outlaw view of the underbelly of the beast during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Fear and Loathing in Denver, Colorado - August 24-28, 2008.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 29, 2008 - 56 comments

H.H. Cool J

Helen (Hunt) Jackson was an author and an activist. Her mom died when Helen was 14, her dad 3 years later. Helen's first child died at 11 months, her second at 10 years old. In 1879 she was inspired after hearing Chief Standing Bear describe how the U.S. government took Native Americans' land. She began to publish in support of Native American rights. 1881 brought her book A Century of Dishonor [pdf], branded with the words "Look upon your hands! They are stained with the blood of your relations". In 1883, she published her most famous work, Ramona, a novel about racial discrimination set in California. If that's too much to take in, and now you need some kitties, she's still got you covered. Letters from a Cat (1879) is being featured at Archive.org today. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Aug 25, 2008 - 7 comments

BP doesn't like identity "correction"

Oh dear. Robert White at BP's Legal Department doesn't like the Yes Men's immaculately executed spoof of BP's corporate site. The Yes Men pursue the tactic of "agreeing their way into the fortified compounds of commerce", and their apology is most agreeable. Is humorous exposure of "monstrous crimes" more effective than its humorless exposure, or all a bit too subtle to be effective?
posted by falcon on Mar 11, 2008 - 15 comments

This one time? At protest band camp?

HONK! is a showcase and annual festival for a "new kind of street band": motley, theatrical, activist protest groups working within the marching band tradition. From this central site, link to video and audio from twenty bands currently playing in the "honk" genre, from New York's Rude Mechanical Orchestra to to Atlanta's Seed and Feed Marching Abominables to Portsmouth, NH's Leftist Marching Band. Heavy on the brass and percussion, rousing, raucous, and fun, these bands form part of a worldwide musical phenomenon.
posted by Miko on Jul 30, 2007 - 19 comments

¡Los encuentros mas esperados del siglo!

Super Amigos is a new documentary about five masked wrestlers from Mexico City who fight for social justice. Featuring Fray Tormenta, the luchador/priest who was the inspiration for Nacho Libre; indefatigable community organizer Super Barrio; environmental activist Ecologista Universal; homophobia smasher Super Gay; and the matador's arch-nemesis, Super Animal. And they aren't the only ones--El Hijo de Santo is fighting for the sea turtles.
posted by hydrophonic on Mar 29, 2007 - 14 comments

A sad loss

RIP Heather MacAllister. "Any time there is a fat person onstage as anything besides the butt of a joke, it’s political. Add physical movement, then dance, then sexuality and you have a revolutionary act.”  Founder of Big Burlesque and Venus Group, she died Feb 13 after a long fight with ovarian cancer. She was notably photographed by Leonard Nimoy. Multiple memorial services are planned for her birthday, Feb 25. [some links may be NSFW]
posted by cubby on Feb 15, 2007 - 15 comments

William Sloan Coffin 1924-2006

"William Sloan Coffin, who died yesterday at 81, was among the foremost pacifists of his generation, and set the mold for the liberal activist preacher."

Coffin, the model for Doonesbury's Reverend Sloan, was a Freedom Rider, Yale chaplain, champion for social justice and one of the most respected leaders of the anti-Vietnam war movement.
posted by jessamyn on Apr 12, 2006 - 30 comments

Betty Friedan died

Betty Friedan died today, her 85th Birthday. A radical activist from her youth and a summa cum laude university graduate, she was fired from her leftist union journalist job in 1952 for being pregnant with her second child. Eleven years later she turned her experiences and insights into a book, The Feminine Mystique, which changed history for women.
posted by nickyskye on Feb 4, 2006 - 55 comments

All roads lead to...

The Nexus of Evil So it seems as though the Chairman of the Colorado College Republicans (Jay Bob Klinkerman, no really, no kidding, that's his name) seems to be the one responsible for the removal of three Democrats from a Bush Social Security Sideshow. For some reason, and possibly it was always the case, all roads in this administration frequently lead to back to the same places, with the same names. What do all of the high profile actors in the current GOP have in common? Some sort of activity or affiliation with either the College Republicans or Young Republicans. If you are wondering about the names - how about Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist, Lee Atwater, and the central organizer, Morton Blackwell. College Republicans have been the footsoldiers for the right since the Draft Goldwater campaign, and have been rewarded for their service throughout the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush#41 and#43 . You can also find their fingerprints all over the various thinktanks, the direct-mail industry, and fundraising. I strongly recommend taking some time to read up on the history of the College Republicans (PDF).
posted by rzklkng on Apr 28, 2005 - 43 comments

An Abortion Clinic Nightmare or An Activism Boon?

A Supreme Court ruling with interesting implications: All lower court racketeering convictions against pro-life protestors have been effectively overturned. Operation Rescue is quite free to harass patients and blockade clinics again. Is this a major dent in the campaign to save Roe vs. Wade? Or does this open up new possibilities for activists of all stripes?
posted by ed on Feb 26, 2003 - 39 comments

Philip Berrigan Obit - Prrotest obsolete?

Peace Activist Philip Berrigan Dead at 79 Yes, I know, obituaries are depressing. But this man was one of my very few heros. He fought a good fight, but in this age of corporate sponsored and government promoted dimunation of conscience can a single person "bearing witness" to the immoral actions that go on in this world really make a difference? Or is the idea of citizen protest just a quaint vestige of another era? [NYT link]
posted by ahimsakid on Dec 7, 2002 - 8 comments

A Left-wing European human-rights activist's take on Iraq.

A Left-wing European human-rights activist's take on Iraq. No, not what you'd come to expect by now. Far from the pro-forma accepted perspective of the Left, Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, a German human rights activist makes a case for the war in Iraq in this insightful interview. He mentions plenty of things I haven't read about before in regards to Kurds and has quite a few strong words to say about Germany and the recent fashions of the European Left.
posted by bokononito on Oct 7, 2002 - 24 comments

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