The point being, an angry song about a political prisoner in South Africa, held captive for 21 years (at the time of writing), and written and performed by a bunch of chippy former pop stars who appeared hellbent on throwing their success back in the faces of their fans, has no business being this happy, this celebratory, and this powerful.
posted by nickyskye
on Jun 27, 2013 -
In 1985, McDonalds sued left-wing activists in the UK for libel over a pamphlet accusing the multinational food giant of environmental destruction, abuses of workers' rights and selling junk food. The ensuing trial became the longest-running civil trial in English history, ending in 1997 in a Pyrrhic victory for McDonalds, who had lost millions of pounds in pursuing the case, and won £40,000 for their trouble. (The judgment was later overturned in the European Court of Human Rights.) Now, it has been revealed that the leaflet in question had been co-written by an undercover police officer assigned to infiltrate Greenpeace
. The officer in question, Bob Lambert, had previously spent years infiltrating environmental groups, even fathering children with activists
before disappearing. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Jun 21, 2013 -
Let Us Dot the ‘i’ and Cross the ‘t’: Insurgence and the End of ‘Tough Love’ Politics in Turkey
: As I type out these words, it is the tenth day of the anti-government protests in Turkey. Beginning at that rather inconspicuous and under-visited park, protests have gone viral and spread to more than twenty provinces. For now, activists occupy the park and most of Taksim Square. Despite relentless police brutality aiming to subdue the blessedly unruly crowds, thousands of citizens remain in the streets. Activist youth have already come up with a whole new series of tear gas-related jokes.
Abdullah Cömert, a young activist in Hatay,,was killed when shot by a tear gas canister in the head. Another young worker from Ankara, Ethem Sarısülük, is in a coma from a riot police officer that shot a bullet which ricocheted and hit Sarısülük in the head. There were protesters who lost their eyes to tear gas or to canisters shot in their face. In general, riot police deliberately targeted individuals by means of gas grenade launchers. Whatever the political prospects of Turkey’s “Occupy moment” will be, the Ministry of the Interior has a lot to answer for. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle
on Jun 8, 2013 -
While national media coverage of state politics has focused on hot-button topics like gun control
and gay rights,
a storm has been quietly brewing in Raleigh, NC, where the NAACP
has organized protests calling attention to the regressive agenda
of the Republican governor and NC General Assembly. Known as "Moral Mondays,"
these protests have resulted in nearly 160 arrests
-- and they're getting bigger
each week. With the GA taking a break for Memorial Day, the next showdown is set for June 3.
posted by Shoggoth
on May 23, 2013 -
Her encampment is 'an old patio umbrella draped in a white plastic sheet secured with binder clips. It is flanked by two large boards with messages in capital letters: BAN ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS OR HAVE A NICE DOOMSDAY and LIVE BY THE BOMB, DIE BY THE BOMB. This rudimentary shelter has been positioned outside the White House for more than three decades. It is a monument itself now, widely considered the longest-running act of political protest in the United States, and this woman, Concepcion Picciotto — Connie, as she’s known to many — is its longest-running caretaker.' [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 6, 2013 -
Mortgage fraud, faux-democracy and escrache in Spain.
Those unfortunate enough to lose their homes are also burdened with a debt for life.
Anatomy of an ‘escrache
Spanish banks repossessed 30,000
family homes in 2012 and those who take part
in doorstep protests may face fines of up to 6,000 euros in Madrid.
Between 2002 and 2008 an average of 754,000 new homes were built in Spain every year. It is currently estimated that up to 6 million homes remain vacant.
posted by adamvasco
on Apr 14, 2013 -
Makers: Women Who Make America
is a sweeping 3-hour documentary of the movement for women's equality in the last half of the twentieth century. Airing this month on US public television, it's accompanied by an online archive of videos
of interviews with individual women in leadership across a variety of fields. Leaders and activists, celebrities and pioneers, and everyday women retell the story of their awakening, organizing, and world-changing efforts.
posted by Miko
on Feb 28, 2013 -
Marshall Sahlins, a leading American anthropologist, resigned last week from the National Academy of Sciences. This may come as a shock to the scientific community and even to students at NYU. Anyone taking an introductory course to anthropology at NYU, for example, is bound to encounter several readings of Sahlins’s work. Among his more influential works are “Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities,” a case study of the murder of Captain Cook in Hawaii and how it was the result of underlying social factors. Normally, when a scientist or scholar resigns from such a prestigious position, one assumes that he probably committed an irrevocable and egregious error that forever taints his credibility as an academic. However, our assumptions sometimes deceive us. If we explore the reasoning and motivations behind Sahlins’s resignation, we may arrive at deeper insights into the issues at play.
posted by infini
on Feb 27, 2013 -
It is June 2, 2010 and Mark Zuckerberg is sweating. He’s wearing his hoodie—he’s always wearing his hoodie—and he’s on stage and either the lights or the questions are too hot. … “Do you want to take off the hoodie?” asks Kara Swisher.
“I never take off the hoodie.”
The varied cultural resonances of an unassuming garment
posted by the mad poster!
on Jan 29, 2013 -
Idle No More.
(Note: music autoplay.) A year after the housing crisis in Attawapiskat (previously
), Chief Theresa Spence is on the 14th day of a hunger strike
. In a teepee close the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, she waits for a meeting with Prime Minister Harper in order to address ongoing poverty on reserves and the implications of Bill C-45, which strips protected status from thousands of miles of Canadian waterways, as well as ongoing plans for oil pipelines across the North and Harper's plans to bring legislation allowing for the privatization of reserve lands. An international surge of support from Indigenous Peoples, organizing through social media (including Facebook
) has seen demonstrations across North America, including thousands of First Nations activists marching
on Parliament Hill, a rail blockade
in Sarnia, Ont., and an open letter from Canadian academics
, an open letter from The Assembly of First Nations
, and other actions. [more inside]
posted by jokeefe
on Dec 25, 2012 -
Dave Hartnett was surprised with an award
this week for his services to tax avoidance. He was celebrating his retirement as head of the UK's tax and customs department, where he agreed "sweetheart" deals
with Goldman Sachs and Vodafone, letting them off outstanding tax bills. Cue some pleasantly awkward confusion as the partygoers realise what is going on.
posted by creeky
on Sep 24, 2012 -
Yesterday, July 29, 2012, saw a massive antinuclear protest, attended by young and old alike, in Tokyo. This video
, and this one
, too, (both well-edited and featuring English subtitles) bring you right into the center of the action, to get a feel for the energy that the movement is steadily gaining.
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jul 29, 2012 -
Last Saturday Anaheim police shot Manuel Diaz as he fled from questioning. Neighborhood residents approached the police and recorded
the scene of the shooting. As tempers rose, the police attempted to control the situation. This did not go well.
On Sunday, many people joined a protest
at the Anaheim police department held weekly since 2010.
On the same day, Anaheim police shot and killed Joel Acevedo
, during an arrest for a stolen car. Further protests at the Anaheim City Council meeting on Tuesday turned violent
with some protestors throwing rocks and smashing windows. [more inside]
posted by eurypteris
on Jul 25, 2012 -
The latest record from Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Americana
(released June 5, 2012), is a surprising collection of grungy covers of classic American folk songs, many of which are better known for their contemporary use as children's songs or camp songs. Of the record, Neil Young said:
Every one of these songs has verses that have been ignored. And those are the key verses, those are the things that make these songs live. They’re a little heavy for kindergarteners to be singing. The originals are much darker, there’s more protest in them...[cite]
Nevertheless, many of NY&CH's renditions skip some of the juicier bits from the history of these songs' performance. Read on for a listing of tracks with some of their darkest verses. [more inside]
posted by yourcelf
on Jul 14, 2012 -
Pussy Riot is a free-floating (except when jailed) band of punk rockers and activists in Russia. Their punk protest issues include LGBT and gender rights, as well as opposition to Putin and the government. They’re usually anonymous, and they change their assumed and actual names and personnel on a whim. They perform in balaclavas that hide their features, and wear bright-colored tights and plain, skimpy dresses, so anyone can easily don Pussy Riot gear. Hair, makeup, even gender — doesn’t matter. This is not rock star territory. Men can be members of Pussy Riot; so can anyone on the spectrum. They do not perform in clubs or theaters or at music events. Every performance is a guerrilla one. Vice interviews
Pussy Riot (before the arrests). Salon reports
on the recent detention of three members
. Amnesty International page
posted by infini
on Jul 14, 2012 -
"Shut Up and Dance’s 1991 hardcore LP ‘Dance Before the Police Come’ was released at a time when the UK authorities were struggling to contain the massive explosion of raves. Thousands of people each weekend were playing a cat and mouse game with the police to party in fields and warehouses, and if the state was often outwitted by meeting points in motorway service stations and convoys of cars, it tried to keep the lid on the phenomenon by staging high profile raids."Dance before the police come
: a social history, covering UK (and US) raves, queer activism, morality police (both figurative and literal) and racial discrimination. [more inside]
posted by Len
on Jul 9, 2012 -
Gymnast: In Motion
— The elegant movements and athletic prowess of five twirling trampolinists are captured in photographer Steve Harries
’ new short film. Performing up to 7.5 meters in the air—shot from a tall camera tower beneath a rig suspending the set, mirrors and lights from the ceiling—bodies were broken up into fragmented forms and motions by a bank of six mirrors. Contrast that with No Church in the Wild
, the Jay Z & Kanye West collaboration filmed by Romain Gavras
. A message of hope to anyone who feels society needs to change direction, or a furious extended urban battle scene?
posted by netbros
on May 30, 2012 -
In March, 2012, students in Montreal, Canada took to the streets to protest the Quebec Liberal government's intention to raise tuition by 75% over five years.
The red square
, a symbol of the last student strike, quickly became the symbol of this one as well. [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee
on Apr 30, 2012 -
The 158th Boat Race
between Oxford University Boat Club
& Cambridge University Boat Club
last Saturday was perhaps the most eventful in the event's 183 year history
. The race was stopped after a protestor, Trenton Oldfield, swam out out the course and was narrowly missed by Oxford's blades. After a 20 minute delay, the race was restarted. Thirty-five seconds in, the Oxford cox was warned for steering into Cambridge's line, and then initiated a blade-clash that broke one of Oxford's blades. Cambridge rowed on to win by four and a quarter lengths (Official race report
). After finishing the race, Oxford's bowman collapsed, and was taken to hospital; the traditional presentation ceremony was abandoned. The OUBC medical officer stated
: "The sudden and premature stopping of the Race when concentration and exertion were at their peak was bad enough, but when the Race had lost its equal footing for having lost an oar, the psychological response was to try even harder. Oxford drove themselves to the limit to try to contain the damage. Alex Woods rowing at Bow reached the finishing line and found he had expended all reserves of energy; in my view he had rendered himself hypoxic, and this was the cause of his collapse"
. He has returned home to recover. [more inside]
posted by James Scott-Brown
on Apr 9, 2012 -