Cardboard Castles and Other Amenities...

I am really interested in using different forms of cultural action to help build better communities. Communities are a vital social model, allowing us to tackle problems beyond the ability of individuals with the focus of a defined (usually relatively small) group of people. How do the arts and cultural work in general help communities grow more sustainable futures? If you have a cool website or project or your own ideas on these subjects please let me know.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

When Right-Wing Corporate Media Isn’t Enough.

Elliott Liu is a NYC-based writer, activist, and media-maker, with deep connection to the radical left and anarchist movements around the country. He writes Lines of Flight, one of the best blogs about these movements out there. Although it is clear Elliot has deep roots in poststructuralist political philosophy, his righting is chocked full of clear and thought provoking analyses of radical left news you will never hear on the mainstream media.

Smiles On TV, Smoke In The Streets: Part 1 is a great article discussing the protests and state repression that surrounded both major party conventions. Well worth the read.
The fallowing is a list of raids which all occurred in a 48 hour period in a preamble to the RNC:
  • The "Bushville" encampment for the poor and the homeless was surrounded by police, who arrested two people and dispersed everyone. The camp would be forced to move multiple times throughout the week.
  • Police smashed in the door of the Welcoming Committee's convergence center with guns drawn, and detained a group of youth, parents and children who were watching a movie inside
  • A Food Not Bombs house that had dedicated its kitchen to feeding thousands of protesters during the RNC was searched and sealed by police
  • Michelle Gross, a local organizer with Communities Against Police Brutality, had her car broken into. Mysteriously, none of her possessions were stolen, but all of her documents were thoroughly searched.
  • I-Witness Video, a media crew supporting civil rights, saw police come in through the attic of the house in which they were staying with guns drawn. (They were raided again later in the week, based on a bogus rumor that the group was "holding a hostage" in its office.)
  • An Earth Justice Bus carrying permaculture demonstrations and training equipment was seized and towed on its way to the Twin Cities. Its passengers were left on the side of the highway and had to walk to get help.
  • The Glass Bead Collective, a video art and activism crew from NYC, were detained without arrest and had all their video equipment confiscated.
  • The houses of multiple organizers connected with the RNC protests were raided. It's hard to tell from confused posts from the day-of, but somewhere around four houses were targeted. (Video of some of these raids are available here.)
  • In Oakland, the Long Haul Infoshop was raided by federal officials who carted off numerous computers. Activist networks are still speculating as to whether it was connected with pre-RNC raids that took place around the same time.
I highly recommend adding Elliot to your RSS feed.


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