Tag: activism

NO END TO LABOR STRUGGLES ABOUT CUTS TO PUBLIC HOLIDAYS ANYWHERE IN SIGHT?

Attempts earlier this month by youth activists to storm the DPP headquarters are evidence of increasing ties between Taiwanese youth activism and organized labor. The first attempt to invade the DPP headquarters consisted of approximately a dozen individuals and took place on November 1st, while the second attempt consisted of twenty individuals and took place on November 2nd.Both attempts involved activists who had been present at the Legislative Yuan occupation and attempted Executive Yuan occupation during the Sunflower Movement.

Youth activists demanded to meet with Tsai Ing-Wen to present their demands for the Tsai administration to reverse plans to cut public holidays but withdrew when this proved to be impossible. The DPP seems to have urged police to take a light hand with the students, with fear that a forcible eviction of the students would provoke public blowback against the DPP. Student groups, consisting of many of the same individuals, followed up with protests outside the Presidential Residence and Tsai Ing-Wen’s residence on Friday.

Free labs for activists

An initiative in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, seeks to combine political knowledge with hacker culture to democratize and strengthen development.

The Instituto Cidade Democrática (Democratic City Institute), in Brazil, is about to launch and coordinate a very interesting initiative, part of the public project Redes e Ruas (Streets and Networks) of the Municipality of São Paulo, called Laboratórios Livres de Participação Social (Free Labs for Social Participation).

The premise of the project is to unveil the universe of political participation in the internet by experimenting with four free applications that put collective intelligence at the service of communities.

Ethiopian Authorities Arrest Zone9 Blogger Befeqadu Hailu Citing ‘State of Emergency’

Befeqadu Hailu, one of the best-known voices in Ethiopia’s stifled media environment, was arrested on November 10, 2016. In the morning hours, authorities took Befeqadu from his home to a jail cell in a nearby police station. He spent the day in there and was then transferred to a police station located in a neighborhood called Kotebe.

A member of the high-profile Zone9 blogger collective and a Global Voices contributor, Befeqadu is an active voice in the blogosphere and on Twitter. When the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency, he wrote:

Denver Launches Program To Give Jobs To Thousands Of Homeless, Supports Other Projects

The election of a Republican President hasn’t seemed to slowed the thump of progressive policies. In Denver, officials are initiating a program aimed at providing thousands of paying jobs to the homeless. A variety of work is included in the plan, launching as similar projects crop up elsewhere.

Initiated on November 1st, “Denver Day Works” hopes to put thousands of the city’s homeless to work. According to Denverite, many assignments include park maintenance, planting trees, clearing snow, etc. Denver Human Services Spokeswoman Julie Smith says they’re aiming for “low to no barriers. No background checks. Do you want work? We’re going to put you to work today.”

Kazakhstan: Beer Baron’s Downfall Spells Trouble for Activist Trial

A military court in Kazakhstan has sentenced a brewery tycoon to 21 years on coup-plotting charges, bringing a close to an opaque two-month-long trial that shed little light on exactly what happened.

The fear now is that Tohtar Tuleshov’s conviction could have grave repercussions for small-time civil activists charged on related offenses.

The Astana Military Court on November 7 determined that Tuleshov had sought to provoke turmoil by financing a wave of anti-government protests, as well as financing a transnational criminal group.

Deputies From Wisconsin And Elsewhere Leave North Dakota, Refuse To Return As Millions Join Movement

Widespread outrage over both the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and violent police crackdowns rages on. That outrage is spreading even to police agencies now returning from deployment to the reservation. Two departments have already refused to return, citing personal and public objections. As if that wasn’t enough, an army of sympathizers is re-purposing social media to combat police efforts in Standing Rock.

Minnesota’s Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department is among that group. Lawmakers, according to MPR News, found police activities in Standing Rock “inappropriate”. It’s to the point where they’re considering rewriting legislation to avoid future deployments to incidents like the pipeline resistance.

Police officials, of course, declined to comment on their return from North Dakota or their feelings on what’s happening there. It’s also made the task of rebuilding trust with the community an even loftier uphill battle. “I do not support Sheriff Stanek’s decision to send his deputies to North Dakota”, says LT. Governor Tina Smith, “nor did we approve his decision to begin with. I do not have any control over the Sheriff’s actions, which I think were wrong, and I believe he should bring his deputies home if he hasn’t already.”

Reporter Amy Goodman’s Dakota Access Charges Dropped, State Surveillance And Violence Escalating

Authorities have only amplified an already ultra-militarized presence against water protectors at Standing Rock. Supporters and journalists are targeted, arrested, and charged with various crimes on a daily basis including renowned reporter Amy Goodman. Amy’s charges were recently dropped, but surveillance and abuse continue without halt by the government.

Democracy Now! has been on the forefront of Dakota Access coverage since construction of the pipeline began. The $3.8 billion dollar project has already destroyed sacred Native American lands and threatens water supplies. Although focus on water tainting revolves around native communities, they certainly aren’t the only one’s in danger. Dakota Access also flies in the face of pleas by climate scientists that literally no more oil or gas can be harvested from the earth, if we want to prevent climate catastrophic.

Dakota Access Black Out: Praying Protesters Raided By Military-Style Police, Facebook Access Blocked

Don’t let headlines pacify you into tuning out of the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Why? Well, because authorities just conducted a military-style raid on peaceful protesters. This is a story quickly being censored, with few beyond those on the ground really certain what’s happening.

The targeted group were actually in a prayer circle when authorities ambushed them. Several sources, including Native American Here, report police in military-style gear and vehicles held prayer goers at gunpoint. At the ends of shotguns and rifles were they arrested, despite the efforts of protesters nearby. Those who attempted to film the “crackdown” stated their Facebook access was blocked.

4 Reasons Protesters Block Roads

Whenever protesters choose to block a road familiar arguments surface. Won’t it alienate people? Why don’t they obstruct a police station, or parliament? Why make this a problem for everyday people? These arguments dominated comment threads after Black Lives Matter brought traffic to a halt near Heathrow airport in August, and they’re not meritless – people debate them every time a blockade is considered. Here are four reasons they decide to do it anyway:

Respected Journalist Amy Goodman Faces Arrest Warrant For Covering Pipeline Protest

The US government took a sharp turn down Orwell Avenue after issuing an arrest warrant for renowned journalist of Democracy Now! Amy Goodwin. Democracy Now traveled to North Dakota to cover protests against a massive pipeline project threatening Native American lands. The charges arrive as activists are detained, and concerns of political suppression germinate.

According to Democracy Now!, Goodwin is charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing. Her team traveled to North Dakota to cover the pipeline protests spearheaded by a coalition of Native American tribes. The charges come after Goodwin’s team filmed Dakota Access security guards unleash dogs on peaceful protesters.

Artivism: art as activism, activism as art

Art can be a powerful tool for activists. It can grapple with the world and bring about change. This piece explores some of the artivism on display at AWID 2016.

There is a bridge in Cape Town, at a busy junction outside the city centre, under which homeless people shelter and cars pass throughout the day and night. For many years the long stabilising wall, which lifted the bottom of the bridge from the ground, boasted a colourful mural. I most clearly remember the months when it denounced then president Thabo Mbeki’s harmful stance on HIV and AIDS: I’m sick of President Mbeki saying HIV doesn’t cause AIDS! My memory has eroded much of the detail, but the line – and the lesson – remains clear.