Tactical Briefing #7

Hey all you dreamers, redeemers and tone shifters out there,

What will we do if Trump goes all out to steal the election?

The right is full of gusto . . . we on the left are always playing defence. If Trump plays his cynical game to the hilt and really does refuse to leave, then, as in Belarus and many other countries around the world, it will fall on us the people to turn up in massive numbers and set things right.

A million activists descending on Washington for a totally non-violent carnivalesque play-jazz siege on the White House feels like a pretty fine option to keep in mind.

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Adbusters #151

Siege on the White House

Find out more about the #WhiteHouseSiege in this landmark issue . . . and be a part of history.

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When memes inspire terrorism

Earlier this year, the FBI elevated a new threat to its list of top-level priorities, alongside ISIS: racist violence. Though the KKK, neo-Nazi gangs, and other hate-groups are mainstays of the American right's extremist fringe, a new affiliation — born online and steeped in meme culture — has come to light as anti-lockdown and racial-justice protests have faced right-wing backlash.

Decked out in military fatigues, tactical gear and — signally — Hawaiian shirts, gun-toting "boogaloo bois" have maintained a conspicuous presence at demonstrations this summer. (Kitschy Hawaiian patterns, as well as igloo motifs, symbolize "big luau" and "big igloo," corruptions of boogaloo coined to evade internet censors.) More an in-group revolving around memey signifiers than a movement, the boogaloo bois are a loose band of pro-gun, anti-government militants, largely mustering on Facebook and subsribing to various strains of far-right libertarianism.

They are united, however, by their aim to spark a government-dissolving revolutionary war known as the "boogaloo." (The word is borrowed from the 1984 breakdance-themed flop Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, and is meant to evoke the notion of a "sequel" to the Civil War.) And though not all adherents embrace a racist ideology (some even expressing solidarity with black victims of "state" violence), to many the sought-after boogaloo is an all-out "accelerationist" race war. That idea has been appropriated by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. And as unrest erupted across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death, they saw an ideal opportunity to catalyze the boogaloo.

Online radicalization is no longer exclusive to ISIS. In the United States, homegrown memes now inspire an all-American brand of terrorism.

Link this.

From hate-mail to hashtags

Here's an excerpt from hate-mail we received on September 8th:

You think everyone in America is afraid of you. Trust me before this bullshit you have started is finished you will be afraid of us. We will not be shooting teargas or rubber bullets at you. It will be for real bullets.

That's only one of hundreds of similar messages which have made their way into our inbox since we began our campaign for the White House Siege. We've been asked to "go to another country." We've been informed that we'll be met by "armed militias." We've been told to "get ready for war." We've been threatened with being "taken away in body bags." We've been called disappointingly few variations on "commie" and "libtard." We've been bad-mouthed by "patriots" whose mastery of grammar would make George Washington wince. We've been called the N-word.
From the beginning, we've made it clear that we're calling for an explicitly peaceful demonstration. But that has been wholly lost on bloodthirsty, far-right keyboard-warriors. Honesty and truth are meaningless to them. They're spoiling for a fight.As a result, the hashtag #WhiteHouseSiege has been censored on Facebook and is not likely to survive for long on other social-media platforms. So, from now on, we will tag our WHS-related posts with the hashtag #ReOccupy.
Stay safe.

Link this.

Succumbing To Barbarity

"Kill all you see, whether children or adults." That's what Myanmar's military allegedly commanded as it waged a coordinated campaign of ethnic violence against the Rohingya minority. At the Hague, two former soldiers confirmed what the military, known officially as the Tatmadaw, has long denied: that it perpetrated atrocities including mass rapes and massacres, decimating whole villages at once. Since 2017, the violence has driven some 700,000 Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh, where they languish as refugees. The International Court of Justice is investigating charges that the Tatmadaw committed genocide. In a divided age punctuated by crises, let this serve as a dire warning lest the world succumb to barbarity.

Link this.

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On Monday, masked men snatched Belarusian opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova off the streets of Minsk, stuffed her into an unmarked minivan, and drove her to the southern border. After arriving around 4am Tuesday morning, she ripped up her passport; as a result, border guards would not allow her to be sent across into Ukraine. Kolesnikova's kidnapping comes off the back of mass gatherings Sunday, when 100,000 marched through the streets of Minsk to President Lukashenko’s residence. Dressed in the nation's pre–Soviet era colors and waving flowers in the air, protestors have been disputing the legitimacy of last month's election for over four weeks. In place of striking journalists at Belarus' state news network, Putin has sent in personnel from Kremlin-funded broadcaster RT to prop up Lukashenko’s brutal regime. Brussels, London, Washington and Ottawa have made tepid calls for the preservation of democracy. The fate of the country hangs in the balance.

Circulating on social media:

"Footage of an Israeli soldier kneeling, George Floyd–style, on the neck of a Palestenian senior protesting in the West Bank."


#BLM Street

I sensed then, and this belief would grow as the years went on, that the lifeblood of the movement was not going to be the spokesmen – the schooled, sophisticated, savvy upper crust who might be best at speechmaking and press conferences. They would be the leaders, naturally, but it was going to be the tens of thousands of faceless, nameless, anonymous men, women and children – men like my father, women like my mother, children like the boy I had been – who were going to rise like an irresistible army as this movement for civil rights took shape.
John Lewis, from his autobiography, Walking with the Wind

David Graeber,

David Graeber, the anarchist intellectual whose early efforts in Zuccotti Park made Occupy Wall Street an era-defining movement, died Wednesday. He was 59.


#WhiteHouseSiege Tactical Briefing #3

Trump is trying to steal the election . . . it’s got many of us pretty rattled . . . and things could turn very ugly very quickly as November 3rd approaches. Lawyers are already in court, mounting pre-emptive strikes and preparing for the scorched-earth scenarios likely to come.

Meanwhile white supremacists are waiting in the wings, spoiling for a violent showdown.

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#WhiteHouseSiege Tactical Briefing #2

Time is short. Shall we rely on William Barr to interpret the law justly, in the interest of all Americans? On the police or military to drag Trump from the White House when he loses? On the grace and civility of the alt-right hordes and white supremacists? Of course not.

By now it’s clear that Trump and his sycophants will do anything to prevent Joe Biden from taking office, including crippling the Postal Service. There is no limit to their cynicism, no end to their corruption.

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#WhiteHouseSiege Tactical Briefing #1

It’s been nine years since we set off the political earthquake of #OccupyWallStreet, laying siege to NYC’s Zuccotti Park and inspiring thousands of similar protests around the world.

The Occupy anniversary arrives September 17th, 2020. And it may be the perfect day to trigger another global big-bang moment — a massive collective action of the sweetest kind of disobedience.

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Co-opted by Capitalism

Michael Moore's Planet of the Humans

Earth Day’s fiftieth anniversary, which fell on April 22, marked a strange celebration for climate-change deniers. Breitbart News, the notorious mouthpiece of the alt-right, published an article that day under the headline “Michael Moore–backed ‘Planet of the Humans’ Takes Apart the Left’s Green Energy Scams.” The following day James Delingpole, who once wrote in The Telegraph that “it would be nice to think one day that there would be a Climate Nuremberg” for any and all “who talked up the global warming scare,” tweeted that Moore was his “new hero.”

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Far-right media are after us. Here’s what we think of them.

The inevitable has happened: Adbusters has been caught up in the far-right’s hysterical, post-truth fantasia. To understand how the rabid right turns fact into fraud, abandoning even the pretense of truthfulness, read on. You are about to witness an example of how information is forced through the ideological meatgrinder, emerging out the other side as inflammatory delusion.

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Siege on the White House

Adbusters #149 The Re-enchantment of the Political LeftGet this issue

On September 17th, it will have been nine years since we set off the political earthquake of #OccupyWallStreet. And it may be the perfect day to trigger another global big-bang moment — a massive collective action of the sweetest kind of disobedience.

Over the past nine years, the shadows have only grown longer. Inequality has soared. Not a single Wall Street CEO spent a night in jail after the 2008 financial meltdown. Politicians and corporate criminals continue to savage the public trust with impunity. And all the while, this howling void of a president, his sins too many to name, sits smugly atop a corona death-toll that may surpass two-hundred thousand Americans by Christmas.

So, on September 17th, in the original and enduring spirit of Occupy, thousands will lay siege to the White House. Drawing wind from #MeToo, #BLM, #ExtinctionRebellion, we will once again summon the sweet, revolutionary nonviolence that was our calling card in Zuccotti Park.

Find out more about the #WhiteHouseSiege in this landmark issue . . . and be a part of history. It all happens on September 17th, in Lafayette Square.

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We, the people of Earth are now speaking with one voice. And we demand some systemic changes:

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