Indigenous Roundup: Avenger Missiles, No Clemency, Decampment.

Courtesy Gary Dorr.

Courtesy Gary Dorr.

Mobile Avenger Missile Launcher Appears at Standing Rock.

A first-hand account of the terrifying deployment of an anti-aircraft device pointed at people.

Later, a veteran buddy looked it up to be sure, matched it up with our pictures, and based on his experience noted:

“My suspicion is that the Avenger Missile Systems deployed to Standing Rock are a cost-effective alternative to having an Apache Helo flying overhead when they need it. The Avenger system has Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Capabilities. The civilian plane and helicopter probably don’t have FLIR and that is when they need an Apache Helo to “monitor” situations under darkness and record for evaluation later. Instead of calling up the Apache, they can have Avengers on-site for instant intelligence day or night. The Avenger system also has video capabilities. It costs them far less to have an Avenger system on the ground 24 hrs a day than to deploy an Apache Helo occasionally. The security ground forces have Night Vision but the Avenger has FLIR and a laser rangefinder along with video capabilities. The FLIR will be at least a plate-sized round lense mounted on the weapon rail on the left side (driver side) if there is one. Just a suspicion. If I am correct, there should be more info to request in a FOIA. The sheriff’s Department can’t all have TS Sec clearances so if they brief them all using Avenger footage, it should be low hanging fruit that would be unclassified.”

[Read more…]

“But Nobody Told Him That.”

Three of the half-dozen octogenarian protesters who set up shop near the senior citizens’ residence where they live in downtown Washington, D.C., during Saturday’s Women’s March. CREDIT: Alan Pyke/ThinkProgress.

Three of the half-dozen octogenarian protesters who set up shop near the senior citizens’ residence where they live in downtown Washington, D.C., during Saturday’s Women’s March. CREDIT: Alan Pyke/ThinkProgress.

Nasty, Brave Women came out all over the world to march, and even those who were unable to march found a way.

…These women would love to be joining the march. But they had a hard enough time convincing their landlords to let them go even as far as this spot in Thomas Circle. They are in their 80s and 90s, veterans of many cycles of American political harmony and social discord. The management at their building were terrified these seniors might get hurt even walking three hundred feet to the circle.

That concern wasn’t going to stop 83-year-old Harriet Fulbright from demonstrating her dissent against Trumpism.

“Damnit, I feel strongly about making our views and feelings known,” Fulbright said. “I’m here because I’m very worried.”

Like her fellow senior sign-wavers, Fulbright remembers the mass upheaval of the Vietnam era and the paranoia which government surveillance and sabotage of dissenters inspired.

Something about today’s moment is scarier than the demagogues before, both losers like Barry Goldwater and winners like Richard Nixon.

“This is new. Nixon was not my favorite,” Fulbright said, with a wry grin, “but I’m more worried now.”

Mamie Chesslin, 83, nodded along with that comparison from her wheeled scooter. As a former Department of Justice attorney who spent her career enforcing environmental laws, Chesslin knows better than most just how much federal agencies influence the future — for brighter or dimmer.

“I honestly wonder how we’re going to survive it,” Chesslin said. “He’s pathological in a way we haven’t seen before. The world doesn’t stop because of Donald Trump, but nobody told him that.”

Ms. Chesslin is right on the money. She puts that sharp mind right on the big, huge problem: Trump thinks he can do anything he wants, and he’s surrounded himself with people who tell him that’s right. He’s also surrounded by people who have enough power to try and make that a reality.

“I’ve been astonished and delighted by the reactions from younger people today,” said Tina Hobson, 87, who helped rally the group to defy the well-intentioned concerns of the residence staff. “Instead of an intense, anxious day, it’s been a lot of fun.”

[…]

“When you get to this age you remember what life was like before Roe vs. Wade. You can tell the stories,” she said.

“None of us thought we’d be doing this again.”

At a mere 59 years of age, and the unwanted product of pre-Roe life, I never thought we’d be doing this again, either. Yet here we are. Stay strong, stand up, shout out. Resist.

Via Think Progress.

Man Shot at Seattle Protest.

Protesters at the Seattle event in an AP photo by Ted Warren.

Protesters at the Seattle event in an AP photo by Ted Warren.

A “person of interest” is under arrest in the shooting of a man during the protest of an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos in Seattle.

The victim, who is in his 30s, is hospitalized in critical condition with a possibly life-threatening injury, Seattle PI reports. He was shot in the abdomen at a Friday night protest at the University of Washington, where Yiannopoulos, a gay alt-right nazi commentator, was speaking.

The victim’s name has not been released, nor has the name of the person of interest. He turned himself in to university police and is under arrest, according to Seattle PI.

The massive protest delayed the start of the speech by Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart editor who is notorious for his racist, anti-trans, and otherwise inflammatory statements. The event, coordinated by the University of Washington College Republicans, had been oversold, and police had to eventually stop ticket holders from entering the venue. Some attendees supported Yiannopoulos, but others came to confront him.

The shooting came after what had been a largely peaceful protest, with demonstrators holding anti-Yiannopoulos and anti–Donald Trump signs, and “occasionally trading barbs” with ticket holders, Seattle PI reports.

Via The Advocate. Let’s hope we don’t see more of this happening.

400 Sparkling Nipples.

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In a new artistic statement against censorship, this time in response to Facebook’s anti-nipple legislation, the Madrid-based artistic group Luzinterruptus lit 400 plastic breastfeeding nipples with LEDs at the entrance of Facebook’s Madrid headquarters. For an hour, the 400 nipples shone brightly outside of the office, beautifully illuminating the sidewalk and reminding passersby of just how harmless nipples are.

[…]

The project took five hours to set up and was removed completely after the exhibition was finished. Luzinterruptus wrote on their website that they now have 400 nipples available for any artists who would like to install a related project. And, it is possible that this project will morph into related anti-censorship statements, just as Luzinterruptus’ environmentalist projects have continued to make powerful statements about global warming in different incarnations, filling the fountain in Trafalgar Square with glowing garbage and raining condoms.

In addition to protesting the censorship of Facebook policies, Luzinterruptus wants to call attention to other elements of the restrictive policies. Specifically, they are reacting to what they see as a hypocritical stance on potentially disturbing images. While Facebook removes photographs of breastfeeding women, they allow violence, racism, and misogynistic content to roam free. Finally, Luzinterruptus wants to make viewers aware of the third-world workers who they believe are exploited by Facebook to as they work for very low wages to censor Facebook content. Even in reactions to the installation, Luzinterruptus has seen backlash. “Many magazines commented that they couldn’t publish articles [about the installation] because of editorial politics,” Luzinterruptus tells the Creators Project. The reactions to the installation have shown the artistic group just how much influence Facebook has. Will 2017 be the year we finally #freethenipple? We’ll have to wait and see.

The Creators Project has the full story.

What Art Under Trump?

Illustration: sophiazarders.tumblr.com.

Illustration: sophiazarders.tumblr.com.

Margaret Atwood has an excellent article up at The Nation about the chill which is already sweeping over the artistic community at large. Atwood is no stranger to dystopian scenarios, but thankfully, those were fiction. We may well be facing an artistic dystopia very soon.

Of what use is art? It’s a question often asked in societies where money is the prime measure of worth, usually by people who do not understand art—and therefore dislike it and the artists who make it. Now, however, the question is being posed by artists themselves.

For American writers and other artists, there’s a distinct chill in the air. Strongmen have a well-earned reputation for suppression and for demanding fawning tributes: “Suck up or shut up” has been their rule. During the Cold War, many writers, filmmakers, and playwrights received visits from the FBI on suspicion of “un-American activities.” Will that history be repeated? Will self-censorship set in? Could we be entering an age of samizdat in the United States, with manuscripts circulating secretly because publishing them would mean inviting reprisal? That sounds extreme, but considering America’s own history—and the wave of authoritarian governments sweeping the globe—it’s not out of the question.

In the face of such uncertainties and fears, the creative communities of the United States are nervously urging one another not to surrender without a fight: Don’t give up! Write your book! Make your art!

But what to write or make? Fifty years from now, what will be said about the art and writing of this era?

[…]

In the short run, perhaps all we can expect 
from artists is only what we have always expected. As once-solid certainties crumble, it may be enough to cultivate your own artistic garden—to do what you can as well as you can for as long as you can do it; to create alternate worlds that offer both temporary escapes and moments of insight; to open windows in the given world that allow us to see outside it.

With the Trump era upon us, it’s the artists and writers who can remind us, in times of crisis or panic, that each one of us is more than just a vote, a statistic. Lives may be deformed by politics—and many certainly have been—but we are not, finally, the sum of our politicians. Throughout history, it has been hope for artistic work that expresses, for this time and place, as powerfully and eloquently as possible, what it is to be human.

This is a do not miss article. Outstanding, and highly recommended.

Sister Marches.

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If you can’t make the women’s march on Washington, there are sister events! They are going on everywhere, not just here in uStates, but all over the world. Check out the sisters page, and see if you can find a march near you. (There are even three here in nDakota!)

World of Wonder has more details.

Rediscovering Scarecrows.

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Made in collaboration between photographer Kate Fichard and plastic artist Hugo Deniau, ‘Scarecrows’ is a series that invites the former tradition ousted by sharp technological progress. The project was born out of Fichard’s observation that the tradition of blanking out birds from the crops has faded recently in France. “I noticed that scarecrows no longer exist on fields and vegetable gardens. Unfortunately, today they are replaced by pesticides and protection nets.” Being sensitive to environmental issues, the photographer decided to bring back the tradition and offer the meeting with these mysterious sculptures once again. This time, however, scarecrows are inspired by the idea of contemporary terror by using objects and colors tied to pollution and attacks that ruin the environment. Fichard, who got very much involved in the project, plans to continue travelling around different fields and produce more works, aiming at publishing a book or an exhibition about the subject.

All images © Kate Fichard

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You can see more of these amazing statements at iGNANT.

Uprise / Angry Women.

Laura Murray, ‘Plug It Up’.

UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN Exhibit artwork, The Untitled Space Gallery, New York – Laura Murray – Plug It Up.

In the wake of Paul Ryan’s promise to defund Planned Parenthood, the current political climate is not promising for women. In response, The Untitled Space art gallery has assembled work by 80 contemporary female artists expressing anger and defiance through their art. Uprise/Angry Women gives women a chance to artistically express their fears and frustrations about the sexist and discriminatory rhetoric brought to light by the impending administration. The show’s curator Indira Cesarine writes, “Right now, more than ever, women need to unify and work together to ensure that our rights, which were fought for with blood and tears for many decades, are not only assured, but continue to progress.”

Cara Deangelis, ‘Donald Trump with a Crown of Roadkill’.

UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN Exhibit artwork, The Untitled Space Gallery, New York – CARA DEANGELIS- Donald Trump with a Crown of Roadkill.

Lili-White, ‘Winning Personality Target’.

UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN Exhibit artwork, The Untitled Space Gallery, New York – Lili White “Winning-Personality Target”.

Linda Friedman Schmidt, ‘Weeding’.

UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN Exhibit artwork, The Untitled Space Gallery, New York – Linda Friedman Schmidt – Weeding.

You can read about this at The Creators Project. * UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN.

Screenshot Activism.

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Credit: Matt Chase.

Screenshot activists are reaching out to advertisers, pointing out ads which are right next to hateful commentary, fake news, and open bigotry. The primary target right now is Breitbart. So far the activism has been effective, but as with all activism, this could be, and needs to be, a much larger effort.

One day in late November, an earth and environmental science professor named Nathan Phillips visited Breitbart News for the first time. Mr. Phillips had heard about the hateful headlines on the site — like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” — and wondered what kind of companies would support such messages with their ad dollars. When he clicked on the site, he was shocked to discover ads for universities, including one for the graduate school where he’d received his own degree — Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “That was a punch in the stomach,” he said.

Why would an environmental science program want to be promoted on a site that denies the existence of climate change? Mr. Phillips figured — correctly — that Duke officials did not know where their ads were appearing, so he sent a tweet to Duke about its association with the “sexist racist” site. Eventually, after a flurry of communication with the environment department, he received a satisfying resolution — an assurance that its ads would no longer show up on Breitbart.

Mr. Phillips had just engaged in a new form of consumer activism, one that is rewriting the rules of online advertising. In the past month and a half, thousands of activists have started to push companies to take a stand on what you might call “hate news” — a toxic mix of lies, white-supremacist content and bullying that can inspire attacks on Muslims, gay people, women, African-Americans and others.

In mid-November, a Twitter group called Sleeping Giants became the hub of the new movement. The Giants and their followers have communicated with more than 1,000 companies and nonprofit groups whose ads appeared on Breitbart, and about 400 of those organizations have promised to remove the site from future ad buys.

[…]
 
But when I reached out to several organizations that seemed to have joined the ban, they didn’t want to talk about it. A bank and a nonprofit group did not respond to my queries. Two companies — 3M and Zappos — declined to talk about the matter. A Patagonia spokeswoman said that her company did not advertise on white-supremacist sites — but she would not comment on the screenshots that activists had sent to Patagonia in early December showing the company’s logo on Breitbart’s Facebook page. Warby Parker was the most forthcoming; a representative pointed me to a statement that thanked a Twitter activist for inspiring its own ban on Breitbart.
In the behavior of some of these companies, you can detect the way our norms have already shifted. In the old normal, it would have cost little to stand up against neo-Nazi slogans. But in the new normal, doing so might involve angering key players in the White House, including the president-elect, Donald J. Trump, who has hired the former editor of Breitbart as his senior adviser. Mr. Trump recently proved the damage he could do to a company by criticizing Lockheed Martin on Twitter; soon after, its stocks prices tumbled.
 
Still, a new consumer movement is rising, and activists believe that where votes failed, wallets may prevail. This struggle is about much more than ads on Breitbart News — it’s about using corporations as shields to protect vulnerable people from bullying and hate crimes.

Nicholas Reville, a board member of the Participatory Culture Foundation who has worked with the Sleeping Giants, pointed out that businesses benefited from embracing diversity: “You have to be inclusionary if you’re going to try to sell to a very large audience.” And he pointed out that consumer activism might be especially effective because so many people feel they have no other way to express their opposition to Trump-ian values.

The founder of Sleeping Giants agreed. “It’s scary to say it, but maybe companies will have to be the standard-bearers for morals right now,” he said. He added that most corporations embrace policies (on paper at least) that prohibit racist bullying and sexual intimidation. Even if President Trump flouts these rules, corporations may continue to uphold them. “We’ve all seen employee handbooks where they have codes of behavior,” he said. “Maybe that’s all we have to fall back on now.”

If you’re already on Twitter, and can cope with skimming Breitbart, consider joining #sleepinggiants. There’s also a sleeping giants EU.

The NY Times has the full story.