This Picture’s Not Funny: French Far-Right Official Sparks Mob Violence Against Journalists

Where the hell are all the #jesuischarlies?

Following the attacks against the cartoonists and journalists at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, the English-language media fell all over itself to show support for the magazine. The New York Times published a column describing the attack as “an assault on French identity.” The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the Daily BeastUSA Today, and many others all republished a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad to show their support for the magazine. Nearly 4 million people gathered in a giant Paris “unity rally” to condemn the attack. Charlie Hebdo and its anti-Muslim cartoons are still in the news four months later as the magazine was awarded the prestigious PEN Freedom of Speech award this year, despite strong objections from PEN members. Continue reading

Sydney to CELAC: The Poverty Of Western Politics And The Rise Of The Third World

I’m writing from Sydney, a city that is one of the world’s richest in material terms and yet most impoverished in its political debate. The press has been filled with talk of a possible third party-room overthrow of an elected prime minister in the last five years. The governing Liberal-National Coalition has been considering removing its parliamentary leader, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a public relations move made by the previous Labor government when it removed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010, then reinstated him in 2013. Continue reading

Matagarup: The Fire Is Still Burning

ImportantCool correspondent Ray Grenfell reports from the frontline of the struggle against the ongoing dispossession of Australia’s indigenous peoples.

The drone of industry and “development,” machines heaving dead yellow sand from one place to another in syncopated beeps, echoes across the river. On this side of the river, I have come to speak to a group of people who may soon be evicted for protesting the closure of communities and providing a refuge. Continue reading

Albuquerque Dispatches: Life In The Kill Zone

On Violence and Paranoia – Plus, a Cry for Help

Many of the claims in this article may seem incredible, particularly to readers unfamiliar with American police. We assure you, it’s all true. Click here to see the attached Artefact containing supporting documentation for each segment of this piece.

One

Now, you’re at a crime scene. You talk to the witnesses – glimpses of a man dressed all in black, fast on a bicycle. You think to yourself, it could have been worse. The attacker could have lit the match before he fled. Six months ago, three teenagers beat two homeless men to death for fun. They beat them with bricks until the bodies were unrecognizable. The teenagers bragged to the police that they were responsible for 50 other attacks before they were caught. Continue reading

The Baby Is Crawling – ImportantCool’s Mission To Change The Media

ImportantCool is a project being undertaken by some 30 odd people around the world to fundamentally change the way the media industry works. We don’t just want to change which or what kind of stories get told. We want to change the methodology and conditions by and under which they are told, making the media itself freer and more diverse, as well as more transparent and accountable. We’re building a democratic and radically transparent media organization of global scale which we hope will set a new world’s-best standard for how news-media is made. It’s early days, and we’re only just beginning to put our ideas, partially, into action. Even the minor progress we’ve made so far has come at a seemingly ridiculous cost in terms of time and effort. Some of us have been working on this project since early 2013. But we have faith in our ideas, and in our ability to use them to reshape the media industry, which is undergoing simultaneously a crisis and a renaissance, both of unprecedented scale. We believe that if we can change the media in the way we envision, we can also change the world. We’re certain that to do either, we need passionate, intelligent, and engaged people on board. We’re hoping that’s you. We’ve been surprised by the level of support so far, having raised enough to cover web-hosting, legal, and accounting costs, before even engaging in our first fundraising drive, which is imminent.  As I write this I am told that someone else has come on-board. Obviously, however, we’re hoping that these early patrons are the first of many. That’s an even bigger ask than it sounds, as we need more from these patrons than just their money. More on that topic later. Continue reading

The Case Of Barrett Brown: A Death Knell For American Journalism?

Barrett Brown, a 33-year-old American journalist and founder of Project PM, was sentenced to five years in prison in late January. But why is his story worth noting? And how is this an attack on journalism? Allison Pointer, ImportantCool’s US-based journalist, attended the hearing and here’s what she had to say.

The 22nd of January 2015, marked 37 days since the supposed sentencing date for journalist Barrett Brown. But it was then that his sentence was actually handed down, a court decision that will have catastrophic effects on the future of journalists in the US. Continue reading

#BlackLivesMatter: The Twenty-First Century’s Civil Rights Movement?

By Simeon Nkola Matamba (Twitter:@Simeon_5)

Protests that recently engulfed Ferguson before spreading across America have once again brought racism to light. They are an eloquent reminder of persistent social imbalances in the “Land of The Free” purportedly rid of race discrimination.

Echoes of the six bullets fired by white policeman Darren Wilson to seal the destiny of a black boy, Michael Brown, still resound in Ferguson and beyond. As a further matter, unrest fueled by Wilson’s non-indictment for the murder of Brown increased the likelihood of seeing American society propelled to the brink of a dangerous precipice. Continue reading

The Mother Of All Corporate Power Grabs – The Trans-Pacific Partnership

At a secret meeting in the US this week representatives from governments in the Asia-Pacific region will be seeking to finalize the details of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP threatens to be the mother of all trade deals encompassing, if it comes to fruition, more than 40 percent of the world’s GDP. Led by the United States, it is being negotiated in secret by the 1 Percent and threatens to encroach on the rights and quality of life of the 99 Percent by ways and means unprecedented. Continue reading

What Went Wrong With Egypt’s Revolution: Four Years On From Tahrir Square

Today is the fourth anniversary of the 25 January 2011 Egyptian uprising that in 18 days brought down a dictator (former Air Force General Hosni Mubarak), shook the world, and gave hope to millions in Egypt and elsewhere. It seemed a new day was dawning in the Middle East, so long dominated by dictators in the pockets of outside powers. What’s more, it seemed a wave of democratization might occur with startling speed and a relative peacefulness compared to historical transitions of similar magnitude. Continue reading

From Ferguson to Finance: Understanding America via Matt Taibbi’s ‘The Divide’ (2014)

Matt Taibbi invites readers to compare how US law enforcement selectively enforces the law based on class and race
Matt Taibbi shot to fame in 2009 as Rolling Stone’s white-collar crime correspondent. Documenting Goldman Sachs’s role in the 2008 sub-prime mortgage scam, Taibbi dubbed the bank “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

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