Correct; Politically

Clearly, 'something' has gone wrong.

Clearly ‘Something’ has gone mad

There has literally never been a better time to relentlessly insult whoever you please to as wide an audience as you please; it’s a veritable golden age, with one catch, they can probably hear you.

You know there was a time when a man could say whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.

All he had to worry about then was who, if anyone (it was more than likely someone) would henceforth attempt to punish him for it. It’s possible someone would challenge him to a duel. Maybe a mob would casually set fire to him. Or perhaps the local constabulary would kidnap him, torture him to death, and sell his family into slavery. You know, the little things. Minor hiccups in an otherwise glorious age of freedom.

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Smartarse With A Smartphone: Making Media In Melbourne Campaigns

I used to be addicted to the challenge of political stand up comedy but I walked away to focus on activism. I suspect jokes are a good way to water down ideas until you’re just wasting time. Why stand on a stage sharing your thoughts with punters who will do nothing with those ideas when you can instead do real things with actual people? Its heartbreaking festival shows in the bullshit world of entertainment or its winning campaigns on an Earth where real people live: no choice at all when you think about it. I am part of Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA), and we have gone a long way by doing exactly what we want to do. Meanwhile, political stand-up in Australia is essentially a pointless conversation the political class is having with itself and I found myself answering to people who considered me an idiot, what with my obvious desire to change things without asking middle-class people nicely first.

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​ Paradigm Shit Or Paradigm Shift? A Conversation With “Robin Hood Of The Banks” Enric Duran

As an anarchist, it’s kinda against the rules for me to hero worship…

But when presented with a man who essentially stole half a million euros from Spanish banks and used that money as a war chest to fund emancipatory, horizontal, peer-to-peer, and anti/post capitalist movements and projects in Europe well…

Let’s just say if I was inclined toward man-crushes, anticapitalist activist Enric Duran would be a reasonable candidate!!

And really, this spectacular action is just one glamorous achievement in a long list of successful acts of resistance and of building alternatives within the belly of the beast.

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The Village In The Dunes: A Photo Essay

The four-wheel drive stopped in the compound. Through the tinted windows I could see a fearsome dog straining at its chain and baying at the vehicle. Its fur was the same muddy yellow color as the sandy soil beneath its feat and the packed earth walls of the farmhouse buildings. A rickety wooden door in one of the walls opened slowly, as if commanded by a magic cipher, and a woman stepped out. She was the same shape and color as a boiled potato, and she motioned for us to come inside. We filed into the central hall and were served lunch.

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MDMA For Soldiers? An Interview With Dr Stephen Bright On MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy For PTSD

Could returned servicemen with war-ravaged hearts and minds soon be given MDMA to smooth their way back into society? Is using MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a legitimately good idea, and is it ever going to be common practice? ImportantCool spoke to Dr Stephen Bright of Curtin University to learn more about this Huxley-esque development.

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Libya Is Not Iraq – Why I’m Leaving “The Reality Based Community”

For all I know, by the time this book is published my view of the Soviet régime may be the generally-accepted one. But what use would that be in itself? To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.

– George Orwell, from the unpublished introduction to Animal Farm.

A Libyan man

A Libyan man, with his son in the background, holds part of a rocket fired by forces loyal to Gaddafi that blew holes through three walls of his house.

There is an overwhelming consensus among Western pundits, on the Left and Right, that the conflict in Libya was “a disaster”. The consensus goes beyond that too. It includes the view that the conflict was, first and foremost, a campaign led by the United States aimed at toppling a hostile government, and that this US adventurism had disastrous consequences for the US, the region, and most of all for the people of Libya. It’s a line of attack that shortcuts past the need for any factual detail by using the phrase “regime change” to invoke the memory of Iraq and associating any opponents with that war – even if they, like me, were vocally against it at the time. Continue reading

Archival Activism

 “Effective democratization can always be measured by this essential criterion: the participation in and the access to the archive, its constitution, and its interpretation.”

– Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression (University of Chicago Press, 1996, p.4).

Archivists and other professional record keepers are an interesting bunch. Widely regarded as quiet people who are respectful of authority and rules, the stereotypes usually have us laboring away in basements, always dusty, and probably wearing a cardigan. Not typically courageous, and unlikely activists. However, both the archivist/record keeper [1] “type” and the work itself are, in reality, a lot more interesting. We have a unique view of the world of information – the 21st century’s most important currency – and our work is inherently political. In many of the jobs we do, we have agency or at least influence in matters of policy, record keeping systems design, the retention and findability of records, and records access. These are not trivial matters, in politico-social terms. Records – in all their forms –  enable and leave traces of what governments, corporations, and individuals do. They can be created in order to repress or to free, to nurture or to attack. They can be shared in order to heal, or withheld in order to deceive. Records and record-keeping support affect myriad aspects of the lives of individuals and can influence the direction of a whole society. Continue reading

Activists interrupt Australian Prime Minister during speech with sign “FFS Close the Bloody Camps”

Today in Melbourne activists from the group Whistleblowers Activist Citizens Alliance (WACA) interrupted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a major economic address.  The protest targeted the horrific conditions which refugees are facing in Australia’s offshore detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island.  The group, who had infiltrated the audience, interrupted the speech by chanting: “Malcolm Turnbull, shame on you, shut down Manus and Nauru”.  One protester managed to get up on stage within just a few metres of the PM holding a sign “FFS Close the Bloody Camps”.

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‘Egypt’s Darkest Day’ Remembered In London

Protesters recently gathered at Marble Arch in London, three years after the “worst single-day killing of protesters in modern history”. On August 14, 2013, security forces opened fire on a pro-democracy sit-in that lasted for six weeks, following a military coup that ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. According to a report published by Human Rights Watch: “At first light on August 14, security forces using armored personnel carriers and snipers fired on the crowd with live ammunition shortly after playing a recorded announcement to clear the square through loudspeakers. Police provided no safe exit and fired on many who tried to escape”. Amnesty international described it as “Egypt’s darkest day”. Following the massacre, use of the Rabaa symbol, denoted by holding up four fingers, became widespread by pro-democracy supporters around the world as a symbol of defiance. Continue reading