Category Archives: Activism

TV Activists Expose Corporate TV

TVParty!, an old TV show website, has a entry called TV Terrorist. It contains real historic examples of TV broadcasts being hijacked. Lots of comments by users too about the events and their details. Side Note: It’s really sad when the colloquial term for political action is terrorist not activist. The events described on the TVParty! website didn’t involve suiside bombers or any death that I’m aware of. Just dramatic oposition to corporations who lease the public’s airwaves. I’m so sick of the term activist being used pejoratively. (i.e. Judicial Activist) Anyway…

My favorite example on this site is called, “Sometimes it’s the network that does the hijacking!”. It’s an example of “hijacking” media with a spoof cartoon called Conspiricy House Rock (MPEG video). It appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1998 and is quite funny. See a transcript I found bellow on the site snltranscripts.jt.org.

Continue reading TV Activists Expose Corporate TV

Protests at WTO meeting in Hong Kong

Peace and solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong working to stop the WTO. May you have success and return home safely to your families. Here are some links to stories about the latest protest.

From DemocracyNow (December 14, 2005):

The World Trade Organization has entered its second day of its ministerial meeting in Hong Kong. South Koreans have led attempts to reach the convention center by swimming across Hong Kong Bay. They have been blocked off by heavily armed police barricades and beaten back by riot police with pepper spray and batons. We speak with Anuradha Mittal, an expert on world trade issues in Hong Kong.

Protests Continue at WTO Conference as Talks Stall Over Agricultural Trade from democracynow.org
WTO Protest Action Hong Kong from Indymedia Ireland
Hong Kong People’s Alliance on WTO
Our World is Not For Sale
Protests to Greet WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong from San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia

Chapel Hill Free Public WiFi Petition

In an effort to bring a free public WiFi network to Chapel Hill and to let our elected representatives know how we feel I’ve created an online petition.

To: Chapel Hill Town Council

The time has come for the Town of Chapel Hill to build a free, community-owned, public municipal network. The network should have wireless access and provide an open, unfiltered, and unmonitored connection to the Internet available to ALL people. It must be maintained by a local nonprofit for the people of Chapel Hill. Not by a private business or corporation.

We request that the Chapel Hill Town Council act swiftly to bring this service to the people.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

It will be presented to the Town Council as soon as posible. If you are a citizen of Chapel Hill please go to http://www.petitiononline.com/chwifi/petition.html and sign it. Thank you!

¡Viva Chavez!

It was a joy to watch Hugo Chavez on C-SPAN the other day. It was hard to believe that my corporate controlled TV could be showing an entire speech by the most popular socialist leader in decades. But at least three other cable news channels were spewing lies to spin Chavez as a dictator. I wonder how accurate the English translation of his speech was?

Chavez spoke after the final march of the Third Peoples Summit in Mar del Plata, Argentina. This event was a counter protest of Summit of the Americas and President Bush’s arrival in Argentina.

Here are people and organizations who’ve covered this event, the issues behind it, and sent me to great links. Stan Goff, Rabble of Anarogeek.com, Read World Radio FM, Democracy Now!, Free Speech Radio News, and Argentina Indymedia (Spanish).

Data Gathering Swarms

Amazon.com has announced the Amazon Mechanical Turk beta. Basically they’ve created a software API (Application Programming Interface) to distribute work requests that people perform better than computers. Marty Kearns describes it as a Network-centric work service. There are lots of things humans do better than computers. Imagine paying the world to help you do heavy data lifting efficiently. Have you heard of the SETI@home project where people donate their computers spare power to find aliens? Imagine that scalling to do lots of different projects accross the entire world!

I’d like to see the AMT used for a audio and video transcription and translation service. In a relatively short amount of time we could have lots of text to search and sort that was beforehand locked away. What could this mean to politics? How about equal information access to the disabled? It could bring about radical transparency in broadcast media!

Video Games for Peace

The Washington Post has a story – Video Game World Gives Peace a Chance – about the development of multiplayer online video games that have the goal of countering bloodshed instead of creating it. Teams at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Southern California, United Nations’ World Food Programme, and MTV are working to create and promote the video games. The subject of these peaceful video games ranges from creating peace in the Middle East, fighting genocide, and stopping hunger. The game Food Force, sponsored by UN World Food Programme is already launched and in full gear.

A few years ago when I read the online comic The Spiders – thanks Ruby – the concept of the video game console/Internet generation becoming PHYSICALLY active remotely from their living rooms amazed me. Not only could people playing peaceful video games develop positive social justice ideals, be creative, improve hand eye coordination, gain social skills, and make friends they could participate in NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION.

US solders are already guiding remote control flying robots that carry missiles and other weapons. What if the average citizen were able to wield this power? I wouldn’t wish such a nightmare scenario upon the earth but the potential of remote control empowerment is staggering. Video games already act as pre-training for battle. Especially in games like America’s Army, the US Army’s first person shooter video game. There have been reports of improved physical skills among soldiers who have played this game compared to soldiers who did not.

Instead of training new killers why not train activists to spread peace and understanding with high technology? Imagine a digital Engaged Buddhist monk wielding Akido across the physical world by traveling through the conduits of the Internet. William Gibson we are only beginning to understand the accuracy of your literacy soothsaying.

via: Boing Boing, Smart Mobs

CounterHegemony Podcast

I just found the CounterHegemony blog and podcast . (Here is the podcast feed: http://counterhegemony.libsyn.org/rss) It’s created by Dan Lesh. To find out just what Hegemony is I listened to his first podcast this morning while walking to work. I’ve heard this word used a lot and thought I had a good understanding of it. But there is always room for more understanding.

I really enjoyed Dan’s causal style and earnest desire to teach people new things. While reading Noam Chomsky books it’s easy to get lost fast if you’re not a super learned academic. So to have someone simply break down complex concepts is great. There is so much new to learn. For example:

Hegemony is the dominance of one group over other groups, with or without the threat of force, to the extent that, for instance, the dominant party can dictate the terms of trade to its advantage; more broadly, cultural perspectives become skewed to favor the dominant group.

That’s just wikipedia’s definition. Go listen to the first episode – Hegemony – to get a better explanation.