How-tos for the modern revolutionary

My monthly newsletter with positive news and strategies for social change, the October 2016 issue.

Winter is coming, and you should be watching a movie instead of reading your emails. So I’m going to keep it short, and just give you five easy ways of fighting the power.
 
 This is how to…
 
 1.Protest in style (like Jaden & Willow Smith at the Dakota Pipeline protests)
 http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/33478/1/jaden-and-willow-smith-join-the-dakota-pipeline-protests
 
 2. Find out about the ten dirtiest secrets from the rulers of the world
 http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2869-10-years-10-million-documents-the-top-10-greatest-hits-of-wikileaks
 
 3. Become a political activist (like Nadya Tolokonnikova from Pussy Riot)
 http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/33090/1/the-pussy-riot-protest-manifesto-nadya-tolokonnikova
 
 4. Find out more about the soon-to-be most powerful person on earth (wops, got that one wrong!)
 https://www.versobooks.com/books/2121-false-choices 
 
 5. Fight transphobia, and get great nails
 http://thelongandshort.org/society/nail-transphobia
 
 See you next month!

Strong protest, weak song ✊

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the September 2016 issue.

Do you remember in 2003 when Dixie Chicks said that they were ashamed that Bush was from Texas? If you are country stars from the south your protests will stir up emotions. The same seems to be true for American football stars. Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand up for the national anthem has gained more attention than any other celebrities speaking up for black lives.
 
 “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
 
 In a couple of tweets John Legend points out that it also happens to be a ”weak song”. And then there is the thing about the third verse being about killing slaves.
 
 “For those defending the current anthem, do you really truly love that song? I don’t and I’m very good at singing it. Like, one of the best”
 “My vote is for America the Beautiful. Star spangled banner is a weak song anyway. And then you read this…”
 https://theintercept.com/2016/08/28/colin-kaepernick-is-righter-than-you-know-the-national-anthem-is-a-celebration-of-slavery/
 
 As everyone, except a small isolated elite in media and politics expected, Jeremy Corbyn easily won the re-election as leader of the British Labour Party. And just as in Spain and other places were progressive forces are on the rise, the struggle is really between if we should have more or less democracy:
 https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/09/jeremy-corbyn-labour-leadership-democracy-doug-saunders/
 
 Here’s an inspiring interview with journalist Amy Goodman, who is facing arrest for covering the North Dakota pipeline protests that I wrote about last month. If you don’t like reading you can watch Neil Young’s song Indian Givers in support of the protests instead.
 http://www.huckmagazine.com/art-and-culture/amy-goodmans-fierce-brand-independent-journalism/
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM-NkM-dIDA
 
 Also, the students in South Africa are taking to the streets.
 https://www.zedbooks.net/blog/posts/south-africas-insurgent-students/
 
 See you next month!

People you can trust

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the August 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

There are some people who you just know can trust. Who have organised and stood up for justice before, who are doing it now, and will most likely keep doing it in the future. Here a a few of them that did great stuff in August:

The people of Barcelona, the amazing story of one of the most progressive cities in Europe:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/08/barcelona-en-comu-ada-colau-podemos-catalonia-housing/

The teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico, fighting for higher wages and against corruption:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/08/mexico-teacher-union-strikes-oaxaca/

Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, still standing up against capitalism (the TPP agreement which no-one knows what it is about but it’s an international secret trade agreement, so it’s probably not about basic income and better bike lanes)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/01/musicians-election-2016-tpp-tom-morello-talib-kweli

The Greek anarchists, still standing up for refugees and against police repression:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/08/refugee-solidarity-activists-released-greek-jail-160801140605585.html

Indigenous American activists (with some backup from Leonardo DiCaprio) are taking on a oil pipeline in North Dakota:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/la-na-sej-north-dakota-pipeline-20160827-story.html

Also, there is now an app for you if you’re a refugee caught in the German bureaucracy:
http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/2016/08/refugees-build-bureaucrazy-app-to-solve-german-paperwork-problems/

Rihanna and Snoop join the revolution

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the July 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

While all the lights are on the presidential candidates at the moment, the grass-roots movements for social change and racial equality are gaining momentum in the US. Black Lives Matters protesters have been shutting down highways and Bernie Sanders’ supporters are taking to the streets. According to activist and reverend Osagyefo Sekou the new political awakening will take new forms:
 
 “The occupation of public space, the rejection of traditional leadership and calling into question systems that previous generations sought to become a part of.”
 “The age of Ferguson demands that we ask a different set of questions,” he added. “Much of it is not going to happen in electoral politics; it’s going to be young people in the streets. I am not saying don’t vote. I am saying vote and. Voting is not the end goal. Voting is harm reduction.”
 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/17/democrats-netroots-convention-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders
 http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/13/us/police-shootings-protests/
 
 The last month has also seen hordes of artists and performers turning into political activists. Beyoncé told her fans to contact their congressional representatives, Snoop Dog and the Game met with new police cadets and T.I. joined protest marches.
 http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/inside-hip-hops-new-activist-era-w431275
 http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/32046/1/beyonce-rihanna-and-more-speak-up-on-black-lives-in-america
 http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7431234/police-shootings-celebrity-activism
 
 All the artists getting on board also has the upside that there’s a new playlist for the uprising:
 http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/songs-of-black-lives-matter-22-new-protest-anthems-20160713/dangelo-the-charade-20160713
 
 In the UK, some guy named Smith (who is a basic Drowzee) is challenging Jeremy Corbyn (a mighty Charizard) for the leadership of the Labour Party. Hopefully, this will push the party to become against nuclear weapons again.
 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/17/corbyn-puts-trident-fore-labour-divisions-deepen
 
 And Snowden is designing a cool phone case:
 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/21/phone-case-privacy-data-monitor-bluetooth-wifi-snowden-introspection-engine
 
 See you next month!

Your generation is going to fix this 🛠

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the June 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

The parliamentarians of the British Labour Party tries to blame Brexit, England’s elimination from Euro 2016 and the loss of their empire on Jeremy Corbyn. Labour’s grass roots showed their support for Corbyn in their thousands at a spontaneous rally outside of parliament.
 https://twitter.com/johnmcdonnellmp/status/747509213891551233
 
 Spain had their second election in half a year and new left wing party Podemos are closing in on the social democrats and widening the gap to hipster neoliberal Ciudadanos.
 
 Here’s Chantal Mouffe on Brexit and the Spanish elections:
 http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2732-a-salutary-shock-chantal-mouffe-on-brexit-and-the-spanish-elections
 
 Is there an European revolt going on? Yes, and you can read about it in this book!
 http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Europe-in-Revolt
 Or in the New Left Review:
 https://newleftreview.org/II/98/susan-watkins-oppositions
 
 “Your generation is going to fix this” — Michael Moore has hope for the future. 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adLevrVBCqI

Kurds, Coal and Cardboard #keepitintheground #rojava #feelthebern

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the May 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

It may seem like a stretch to find positive news from Syria, but the story of how the Kurds got inspired by an eco-anarchist to create an egalitarian and democratic society in the middle of the war must be the most inspiring thing that ever happened:
http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2644-debbie-bookchin-kurds-are-practicing-the-most-democratic-form-of-government-there-is-on-the-planet

While the Swedish Social Democrat and Green Party government are selling off the Swedish state owned coal mines in Germany instead of closing them down, the Ende Gelände campaign are promising lots of trouble to any interested bidder. Watch how 3500 people shut down the biggest mine in May:
http://youtu.be/xa0dTUQL-Eo

Spain’s two dominant parties were never able to form a government after the election in December. For the re-election in June things are looking good for the progressive Podemos and United Left coalition, they are now the second biggest party in the polls!
http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/05/23/inenglish/1463987552_727104.html

French newspaper workers are showing that they too can decide what’s being published and not, not just the editors and owners.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/26/french-press-attacks-union-for-preventing-publication-of-papers

And Brazilian film stars are standing up against the right-wing plot to kick out president Dilma of office.
http://www.firstpost.com/world/cannes-turns-political-as-brazil-stars-stage-pro-dilma-protest-on-red-carpet-2785964.html

We might not be able to bring Bernie into the the White House, but you can get a life size cardboard version of him for your own home!
http://www.amazon.com/Bernie-Sanders-Advanced-Graphics-Cardboard/dp/B01BX9Z5YM/

See you next month!

Spring is here! #nuitdebout #democracyspring

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the April 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

Spring is finally here, and with it a little bit of revolution in the air!

The Democracy Spring movement in the US staged massive civil disobedience for a week in April, to “end the corruption of big money in politics and ensure free and fair elections”. The actions, from the 11th to 18th April resulted in 1400 arrests outside of the Congress. Among them Rosario Dawson. And Talib Kweli supports it too, so you know it’s a beautiful struggle.
http://www.democracyspring.org/

Sais-­tu ce qui se passe là? Various protests and strikes against new austerity measures in France have been going on for a while now, and since the 31st March an occupation of the Place de la République in Paris has turned into the Nuit Debout movement. Which I’ve been told means ”staying up all night”, but in a clever an poetic french way. Now they have a radio and a library and a newspaper and are spreading all over the place.
Read all about it in French: https://nuitdebout.fr/

Here’s a background in English:
http://theconversation.com/are-frances-nuitdebout-protests-the-start-of-a-new-political-movement-57706

And check out David Graeber’s analysis of Nuit Debout and the Panama Papers, how both the exploiters and the exploited are creating their own autonomous spaces.
http://autonomies.org/en/2016/04/nuit-debout-david-graeber/

The Egyptians are at it again, but this time the authorities have figured out how to counter their actions with pro-government dance parties if they use Facebook, so they’re relying on the encrypted chat program Signal instead.
https://theintercept.com/2016/04/26/facebook-no-longer-secret-weapon-egypts-protesters-turn-signal/

And if you want to enjoy starting a revolution in the comfort of your own sofa, there’s now a crowdfunded computer game you should check out:
http://riotsimulator.com/

Five million ways to kill Trump

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the March 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

This wasn’t the most interesting month, or maybe I just missed stuff cause I watched the hundredth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race and got a thousand likes in the Kendall and Kylie game instead of following the news 🙂

Or maybe I just got bored by the US elections already.
 There are five million ways to kill a CEO, but who will succeed in beating Trump?
Will it be Bernie?
Or Anonymous?
Or the neocons (god forbid!)?

The millennials are broke but queer and generally cool about gender stuff.

M.I.A. is still the best.
 And now you can 3D print your own nukes!

Beyoncé’s hot sauce, 99 Ballons & Basic income

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the February 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

Beyoncé has hot sauce in her bag (yes, there is an explanation for that) and owned February: she did a Black Panther inspired performance at the Super Bowl, she dropped a video to Formation criticising police violence and through Tidal she and Jay Z donated 1,5 million dollars to Black Lives Matter.
 
 Last weekend saw a huge demonstration in London against the renewal of UK’s nuclear weapons. And a new cover of Nena’s 99 Luftballons!
 
 In the US, a poll found that young Americans prefer socialism to capitalism and would rather have dinner with Bernie Sanders than Jennifer Lawrence.
 
 And Apple stood up for encryption against the FBI.
 
 Finland is preparing to try out basic income next year.
 
 And the Democracy in Europe Movement, DiEM, that I wrote about last month was founded in Berlin. I wrote an insider/outsider account of it.

Dreadlocks, DiEM and the Bern

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the January 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

Podemos, now third largest party in Spain, outraged the establishment by for the first time in Spanish history bringing a black person, a nursing mother and a guy in dreadlocks to parliament! Who knows what they will come up with next!
http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/01/13/inenglish/1452691766_941030.html

It looks like the crushing of Greece by the EU and the banks didn’t manage to crush the will to challenge the European elites. Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, is right now setting up a network to radically transform the EU. The launch of DiEM will be in Berlin the 9th of February.
http://www.volksbuehne-berlin.de/praxis/en/diem_25_videouebertragung/

Another initiative is the Pour Un Plan B En Europe network, that keeps doing conferences to figure out what to do with the EU.
https://www.euro-planb.eu/?page_id=865&lang=en

In the US, self proclaimed social democrat Bernie Sanders keeps fighting for power in the Democratic Party and has a large lead among young people. Here’s a calendar for you if you also feel the Bern:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/12/22/sexy_men_who_dig_bernie_sanders_pose_for_sexy_2016_calendar.html

Glenn Greenwald analyses the seven stages of hell that progressive politicians like Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders has to go through:
http://flip.it/lJz_1

And the tech award of the month goes to… this little refugee saving robot:
http://www.wired.com/2016/01/a-robot-life-preserver-goes-to-work-in-the-greek-refugee-crisis/

Podemos, Paris and Playgrounds

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the December 2015 issue. Subscribe here.

An anti-austerity party founded in 2014, experimenting with new forms of democratic decision making and creating their own YouTube news just got 21% in the Spanish elections!!!

Leftists all over Europe, please copy and paste!

The Left Can Win, Pablo Iglesias
Understanding Podemos, Pablo Iglesias (long text…)

French people together with climate activists from all over the world defied the ban on demonstrations and took to the streets of Paris during the climate summit. The awesome Climate Games group has more than a hundred inspiring action reports on their website.

See the demonstration, the adbusting and the funny dresses.

The result of the summit? Looks like we will need a lot more of this.

On the techie side of things, a company called Bitnation are using the technology behind Bitcoin to help refugees with emergency ID- and credit cards. And the Backslash art project made new cool gadgets for activists, yey!

Also, Banksy is the nicest guy ever.
Banksy turns Dismaland into playground and community center for refugees

How to stop ISIS and automate everything

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the November 2015 issue. Subscribe here.

Canada elected a new anti austerity government after ten years of conservative rule! The clever Trudeaumetre website is keeping track of prime minister Trudeau’s fulfilling of electoral promises.

Portugal also got a new anti austerity government! The global media is sharpening their knives and comparisons to Greece’s failure to comply with neo liberal policies are the standard narrative for describing what is going on. Don’t bother to read that. Here’s a background with Tariq Ali instead.

The Paris attacks are being used to stop climate protests and refugees. Here are some constructive ideas about how to actually stop ISIS.
Turkey could cut off Islamic State’s supply lines. So why doesn’t it? — David Graeber
Isis in Paris — Tariq Ali

Fully Automated Luxury Communism (#FALC) is a thing, and everybody has to know about it!

And finally, watch M.I.A.’s and Pussy Riot’s music videos about welcoming refugees!