Bernie Sanders, Black Lives, and Direct Democracy Reflections on Sanders at Netroots Nation 2015

grievanceA couple thoughts came to mind after watching the YouTube video of Black Lives Matter protesters making their presence known to Bernie Sanders at Netroots Nation 2015 in Arizona:

Bernie talks at people and he doesn’t know how to listen. I suspect this comes from being one of a few voices of push-back for so many years in the senate. A seed of self-righteousness will gestate in these conditions, and this can be a good thing, but not always.

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Solidarity and Power Recognizing the interconnection of our grievances gives us power

grievanceThis is a time of unification and power. A time where Black Lives Matter protests have erupted in Israel, where law school deans pledge real solidarity in Baltimore, and where Strike Debt is strategically staging a general Student Debt Strike in solidarity with Corinthian students already on strike. While thinking about these types of ongoing developments back in January I wrote a piece on Strike Debt’s blog about connecting our struggles – specifically speaking about how the battle against debt and the fight for systemic change waged by the Black Lives Matter movement have deep similarities.

I’ve still been thinking a lot about this – especially in relation to the ultimate power and potential of our movements. I say movements in plural because a number of us who are active still see our struggles as discrete battles, and because collectively we have not found a way to connect the overarching energy of our resistance.
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A Practical Guide to Online Security

With the recent revelation of extensive NSA spying, many questions  have jumped to the forefront: What is the history and extent of the surveillance? What is the Obama Administration’s relationship to the surveillance program?  How can we secure our Anonymity online?

For over 18 months I have been working on a document that answers these questions. The result is ‘Anonymity in the Swarm: a practical guide to online security’.

Main aims of the manual:

Demystify Technology by explaining key aspects of current technology in every-day language.

Provide a framework for action by showing how various tools can be used to securely browse the internet, send/receive encrypted email, etc. all in a step-by-step fashion.

Wonderland: Training Ground for Budding Imperialists?

On Friday, March 5th an old tale was yet again returned to the media landscape in order to generate capital, and institute cultural markers via entertainment. In a review of Alice in Wonderland The Times Online makes an astute observation, showing how markets and the careful construction of images play a crucial role in how stories are told (retold):

Commercial considerations have also made Alice 19 years old, for the all-important teen market. Burton lets her break the Victorian mould and become an empowering, feminist figure as she puts on some Joan of Arc armour, grabs the vorpal sword and roars “off with your head” at the Jabberwock. In all, a fantastic film that gets curiouser and curiouser.

But, rather than following through with some sort of deeper analysis the reviewer’s deconstruction only focuses on alterations for market-value and entertainment purposes. What of the rest of the film? Continue Reading