Tag Archives: politics

DC has no May Day.

Or, why the Institute for Policy Studies can eat shit.

I’ve often groused about how the activist millieu in DC is domesticated, low key and dead. Every event inevitably follows this formula: BORING SPEECH followed by THREE WORD CHANT, with ANNOYINGLY SERPENTINE MARCH that passes by OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, winding up OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, with BORING SPEECH, THREE WORD CHANT, THREE WORD CHANT and BORING SPEECH. Sometimes, BORING SPEECH is interspersed with BORING FOLK MUSIC.

It’s almost as if all of these events are planned by the same central committee. We’ve long been frustrated and irritated by the presence of 501c(3) non-profit groups– they latch on to every movement and suck the life out of it. Suddenly, every event –no matter how grass-roots its origins– is handled like a goddamned rock concert, with backstage passes and VERY BUSY STAFFERS who are VERY IMPORTANT AND CANT TALK WITH YOU RIGHT NOW WOULD YOU KINDLY STEP AWAY FROM THE SPEAKERS. You have to butter these little shits up, too, or else they’ll do everything in their power to keep you from taking pictures or interviewing people.

Politics.

So it comes to pass that every activist event ends up following the same fucking script, with people on the street becoming so accustomed to the routine that they block it all out. The people of DC have acquired ninja-like prowess in dodging and brushing off bright, shiny-faced youth with pamphlets, and shitty, squawking bullhorns just blend into the white noise of the city. I know, you’re getting less than minimum wage to hand out fliers for an hour or two and it looks good on your curriculum vitae when you apply to another 501(c)3, but the people who told you to do this have no connection with the worker you’re slowing down who needs to catch the subway or else she’ll lose her minimum wage job.

This is why no one who lives in DC gives two shits about activism anymore, and why no one bothers to start anything. You’d think DC would be alive with political discourse on every corner, but it’s not. Everything has been domesticated. Tamed. Broken. Every movement, no matter what it is, will inevitably be co-opted by a large, well-funded nonprofit who will then move its own people into leadership positions in the original, grass-roots group. Or– as with the case of Occupy DC, where there is no leadership position– the nonprofits will create leadership positions with their own people already in the position; namely, the Institute for Policy Studies’ involvement with Occupy DC. We were looking up info about tomorrow’s May Day event at Malcolm X park, and saw this press release. “That’s odd”, we thought. “Occupy is just supposed to DO THINGS, not have press agents and people who live in very expensive apartments in Alexandria.”

“Who ARE these people?” “Hmm… they work for something… Institute for Policy Studies?” “INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES?! A FUCKING NON-PROF?!” “Yeah, fuck that shit, I’m not wasting my time on that crap.”

What DOES MayDay DC have planned, anyway? A carnival? A family friendly outing of happy, puffy, safe pablum that completely undercuts the serious nature of the entire goddamned 99% message? The right wing and corporatists are waging a very literal war on working people, dissidents and anyone who doesn’t fit into their narrow “God-Money-Empire” worldview, and the best way to demonstrate this is by having nonprofit staffers dress up in CLOWN COSTUMES for a goddamned PARADE?

The common line of apologist bullshit from non-profits is that without the power of a nonprofit, they wouldn’t be able to pull in notable speakers or professional sound systems– which is probably they’ve had their sights set on Occupy since it first appeared. Think about it– a legitimately grass-roots movement that doesn’t want or need your fucking Genelec monitors that you can’t mix properly, and where speakers like Slavoj Zizek spent their own money to travel to and attend. Hell, DC may actually by a perfect example where right wing media may have had its baseless propaganda finally hit a mark: a rich, well-funded group of flatulent, old “establishment leftists” really have taken over the activist scene in DC.

The major difference between what Institute for Policy Studies does and what Americans for Prosperity does is AFP has the backing of the Koch brothers’ billions, and IPS only has donations from a few well-off people from left-of-center. Either way, both of these abominations are the very definition of astro-turf political movements. Nothing of any journalistic importance will happen at Malcolm X park today, and I’m certainly not going to risk my brand new camera and lenses to cover a fucking astro-turf event that’s already being photographed by talentless hacks working for a fucking non-profit. Fuck that shit.

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Filed under Anarchism, anti-capitalism, Politics

Woman’s head stomped by Paul Supporters in Kentucky *UPDATED*

ASSHOLE IDENTIFIED: Tim Profitt, Rand Paul's Bourbon County coordinator

From the Louisville, Ky, Fox affiliate, who has the entire incident on video– including the faces of her attackers:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41) — Outside the Conway-Paul debate, a Rand Paul supporter pulled the woman’s blonde wig off and stomped on her head. She was representing the liberal organization MoveOn.org and claimed to be presenting Paul with an award from RepubliCorp. That’s a group created by MoveOn.org that focuses on what it calls the merger between corporate America and the Republican Party.

“I’m here to present Rand Paul with the ‘Employee of the Month’ award, however his supporters were not very nice to me and my message which is same as everyone else. I got my head stepped on and I have a bit of a headache,” said Lauren Valle, MoveOn.org.

The woman denied police were involved, but right afterwards officers pulled her aside to question her about the incident.

According to WTVQ, an assault charge has been filed, but there have been no arrests.

Blue Bluegrass has photographs of the man in the plaid shirt who is clearly seen holding down Lauren Valle as his co-attacker stomps on her head and neck.

MIKE PEZZANO OF LEXINGTON, KY. Taken by Blue Bluegrass

Bring these brutal pigs to justice immediately!

UPDATE: Barefoot and Progressive has identified the stomper as Tim Profitt, Rand Paul’s Bourbon County coordinator. Profitt recently admitted to the attack by way of an “apology” issued to the Associated Press. Of course, he’s claiming the video makes it look “worse than it really was”, as if there is such a thing as a nice way to repeatedly stomp on the head and neck of a woman who’s being held down on the ground. Profitt is not only a monster, he’s a complete and total buffoon, if his statement to the press is any indication.

Tim Profitt, a volunteer with the Republican’s U.S. Senate campaign, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the camera angle made the scuffle Monday night appear worse that it was. He criticized police for not stepping in and says other supporters warned authorities about the activist.

“Gosh, the video of me stomping on a woman’s head and neck wasn’t nearly as bad as it looks, and the police didn’t do their job because they didn’t arrest the woman whose head I was FORCED to stomp!”

TPM has more. Now, who’s the oaf who held her down? Maybe he’ll make a similarly boneheaded statement to the press.

UPDATE NUMBER TWO: The oaf who held Lauren Valle down while Tim Proffit stomped on her head an neck is Lexington Rand/Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty group member Mike Pezzano.

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Filed under "Town hall meetings", extremism, Politics, Tea Parties

It’s What’s For Dinner…


From Mike Flugennock
Here’s another piece inspired by an article I saw at
one of my all-time favorite Leftie blogs, Stop Me Before I Vote
Again
— specifically, this entry, containing an especially pithy comment
by another one of my Leftie blogozone faves, The Drunken Pundit, who comments:

…With both parties fully in the grip of the
industrial-financial-military complex of the American Empire they have
to serve up shit sandwiches to everyone but they each need their own
distinctive flavor of shit in order to differentiate
themselves…

I honestly can’t think of anything else to add to this succinct and
elegant analysis — at least not in written words — so, I’m not going
to waste time blathering here this time, and just get on with the cartoon:

11×17 inch medium-res jpg image, 624k.

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Filed under Politics

Protests Against Israeli Piracy in DC

Protest at the Israeli Embassy May 31, 2010, Washington DC


As a part of the massive international outcry over the assault and seizure of the humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza in international waters,

International ANSWER Brian Becker Speaking Our Against Israeli Piracy at Protest at Israeli Embassy

International ANSWER organized a demonstration and rally in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC today. Joining similar protests in Sweden, Turkey, Jordan, Canada and other countries, the turnout in DC was modest in number, but no less spirited.

Protesters Gather at Embassy with Chants and Protest Supporting the Palestinian People and Against Israeli Aggression


Protesters chanting pro-Palestinian slogans and clad in Palestinian flags lined the sidewalks around the Israeli Embassy in Northeast DC, eliciting honks of support from passing motorists, while Brian Becker of ANSWER DC implored that those who died yesterday not be forgotten and not have died in vain.

Protesters promise another rally tomorrow at noon, in front of the White House.

The protest will ask the Obama Administration and the United States Congress to:
-Publicly condemn the attack on civilian ships in international waters
-Release the names of all those killed, injured, and being detained; and
-Recall the United States ambassador from Israel
The Israeli government has subjected Gaza to a complete blockade for the past 3 years, leaving 1.5 million people to rely on aid for survival. In March 2009, The Lancet, the foremost medical journal, dedicated a full series of articles about health in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that shows the extent of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that the Israeli government denies even exists. UNDP just released a report documenting the scale of this crisis.

The Gaza flotilla has attempted to deliver desperately needed aid to the Palestinians in Gaza and has been met with violence and death for the activists. International outcry, protests, and diplomatic rows have ensued.

The Washington DC community is also mobilizing to show not only solidarity with the Palestinians, but also to present specific asks. Washington DC, more than any city in the world, represents the power that keeps peace in the Middle East and justice for the Palestinians a remote prospect.

The asks for the Obama Administration and the United States Congress:

-Publicly condemn the attack on civilian ships in international waters
-Release the names of all those killed, injured, and being detained
-Recall the United States ambassador from Israel

WHEN: Tuesday, June 1st 2010
TIME: Noon
WHERE: in front of the White House, Lafayette Park

The protest is organized by a coalition of organizations: MAS, CAIR, Code Pink, ANSWER, CJA, the Vineeta Foundation, Jewish Voice for Peace, WIAMEP, Muslimah Writers Alliance

More photos from Wespennest and Isis

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Filed under Gaza, Politics