World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice [Reblog]

Yesterday, over 17,000 scientists from all over the planet warned us for a second time that because of human activity,  we face ‘vast human misery’ in the near future.

I knew things were bad, but the datasets they present are absolutely terrifying.

The message needs to be heard and understood by everybody if life on this planet is to stand a chance of survival. The scientists’ warning should have been on the front page of every newspaper, should have been the top headline for every news network – but so far has only been picked up by 23 news outlets and 5 (now 6) blogs.

It’s incredible that this critical information is competing for attention with the likes of ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ and the ‘MTV EMAs’…This is why Extra-Terrestrials won’t reveal themselves to us.

Pay attention. Don’t get sad, or mad, get active.

Stay strong. Keep it lit. Be excellent to each other.

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[OP follows]

Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” (see supplemental file S1). These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” In their manifesto, they showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world. They expressed concern about current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine life depletion, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course would bring.

The authors of the 1992 declaration feared that humanity was pushing Earth’s ecosystems beyond their capacities to support the web of life. They described how we are fast approaching many of the limits of what the ­biosphere can tolerate ­without ­substantial and irreversible harm. The scientists pleaded that we stabilize the human population, describing how our large numbers—swelled by another 2 billion people since 1992, a 35 percent increase—exert stresses on Earth that can overwhelm other efforts to realize a sustainable future (Crist et al. 2017). They implored that we cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and phase out fossil fuels, reduce deforestation, and reverse the trend of collapsing biodiversity.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response by exploring available time-series data. Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse (figure 1file S1). Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs from burning fossil fuels (Hansen et al. 2013), deforestation (Keenan et al. 2015), and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption (Ripple et al. 2014). Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century.

Figure 1.

Trends over time for environmental issues identified in the 1992 scientists’ warning to humanity. The years before and after the 1992 scientists’ warning are shown as gray and black lines, respectively. Panel (a) shows emissions of halogen source gases, which deplete stratospheric ozone, assuming a constant natural emission rate of 0.11 Mt CFC-11-equivalent per year. In panel (c), marine catch has been going down since the mid-1990s, but at the same time, fishing effort has been going up (supplemental file S1). The vertebrate abundance index in panel (f) has been adjusted for taxonomic and geographic bias but incorporates relatively little data from developing countries, where there are the fewest studies; between 1970 and 2012, vertebrates declined by 58 percent, with freshwater, marine, and terrestrial populations declining by 81, 36, and 35 percent, respectively (file S1). Five-year means are shown in panel (h). In panel (i), ruminant livestock consist of domestic cattle, sheep, goats, and buffaloes. Note that y-axes do not start at zero, and it is important to inspect the data range when interpreting each graph. Percentage change, since 1992, for the variables in each panel are as follows: (a) –68.1%; (b) –26.1%; (c) –6.4%; (d) +75.3%; (e) –2.8%; (f) –28.9%; (g) +62.1%; (h) +167.6%; and (i) humans: +35.5%, ruminant livestock: +20.5%. Additional descriptions of the variables and trends, as well as sources for figure 1, are included in file S1.

Humanity is now being given a second notice, as illustrated by these alarming trends (figure 1). We are jeopardizing our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats (Crist et al. 2017). By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.

As most political leaders respond to pressure, scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life. With a groundswell of organized grassroots efforts, dogged opposition can be overcome and political leaders compelled to do the right thing. It is also time to re-examine and change our individual behaviors, including limiting our own reproduction (ideally to replacement level at most) and drastically diminishing our per capita ­consumption of fossil fuels, meat, and other resources.

The rapid global decline in ozone-depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively. We have also made advancements in reducing extreme poverty and hunger (www.worldbank.org). Other notable progress (which does not yet show up in the global data sets in figure 1) include the rapid decline in fertility rates in many regions attributable to investments in girls’ and women’s education (www.un.org/esa/population), the promising decline in the rate of deforestation in some regions, and the rapid growth in the renewable-energy sector. We have learned much since 1992, but the advancement of urgently needed changes in environmental policy, human behavior, and global inequities is still far from sufficient.

Sustainability transitions come about in diverse ways, and all require civil-society pressure and evidence-based advocacy, political leadership, and a solid understanding of policy instruments, markets, and other drivers. Examples of diverse and effective steps humanity can take to transition to sustainability include the following (not in order of importance or urgency): (a) prioritizing the enactment of connected well-funded and well-managed reserves for a significant proportion of the world’s terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and aerial habitats; (b) maintaining nature’s ecosystem services by halting the conversion of forests, grasslands, and other native habitats; (c) restoring native plant communities at large scales, particularly forest landscapes; (d) rewilding regions with native species, especially apex predators, to restore ecological processes and dynamics; (e) developing and adopting adequate policy instruments to remedy defaunation, the poaching crisis, and the exploitation and trade of threatened species; (f) reducing food waste through education and better infrastructure; (g) promoting dietary shifts towards mostly plant-based foods; (h) further reducing fertility rates by ensuring that women and men have access to education and voluntary family-planning services, especially where such resources are still lacking; (i) increasing outdoor nature education for children, as well as the overall engagement of society in the appreciation of nature; (j) divesting of monetary investments and purchases to encourage positive environmental change; (k) devising and promoting new green technologies and massively adopting renewable energy sources while phasing out subsidies to energy production through fossil fuels; (l) revising our economy to reduce wealth inequality and ensure that prices, taxation, and incentive systems take into account the real costs which consumption patterns impose on our environment; and (m) estimating a scientifically defensible, sustainable human population size for the long term while rallying nations and leaders to support that vital goal.

To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. This prescription was well articulated by the world’s leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.

Epilogue

We have been overwhelmed with the support for our article and thank the more than 15,000 signatories from all ends of the Earth (see supplemental file S2 for list of signatories). As far as we know, this is the most scientists to ever co-sign and formally support a published journal article. In this paper, we have captured the environmental trends over the last 25 years, showed realistic concern, and suggested a few examples of possible remedies. Now, as an Alliance of World Scientists (­scientists.forestry.oregonstate.edu) and with the public at large, it is important to continue this work to ­document challenges, as well as improved ­situations, and to develop clear, trackable, and practical solutions while communicating trends and needs to world leaders. Working together while respecting the diversity of people and opinions and the need for social justice around the world, we can make great progress for the sake of humanity and the planet on which we depend.

Spanish, Portuguese, and French versions of this article can be found in file S1.

Acknowledgments

Peter Frumhoff and Doug Boucher of the Union of Concerned Scientists, as well as the following individuals, provided thoughtful discussions, comments, or data for this paper: Stuart Pimm, David Johns, David Pengelley, Guillaume Chapron, Steve Montzka, Robert Diaz, Drik Zeller, Gary Gibson, Leslie Green, Nick Houtman, Peter Stoel, Karen Josephson, Robin Comforto, Terralyn Vandetta, Luke Painter, Rodolfo Dirzo, Guy Peer, Peter Haswell, and Robert Johnson.

Supplemental material

Supplementary data are available at BIOSCI online including supplemental file 1 and supplemental file 2 (full list of all 15,364 signatories).

References are cited in the original post.

Supplementary data

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Cop Drops BARS on Amber Rudd in Poetic Police Petition

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A COP has started a poetic petition to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd to stop single crewing (screwing) them. It has been written in bars of emotional rhyming verse.

I recommend reading the whole thing but here’s an excerpt:

Last week I was hit, spat at and punched.
There wasn’t one day that I ate my lunch.
I held a man’s hand who’d just lost his wife,
I took a child from his Father who was wielding a knife.
I pulled a girl off a bridge who was mentally ill,
I locked up a worker who had nicked from the till.
I persuaded a battered woman to finally speak,
After seeing her every day, week after week.
 ”

At time of writing, the petition has received over 100, 000 signatures. 

As an artivist and anarchist, it gave me some serious pause for thought before signing it. Locking up anybody, let alone workers who are so skint they have to steal is extremely problematic for me, as is any monopoly on the use of violence, but still,

Not All Cops Are Bastards

(the ratio is debatable).

Despite my currently taking legal action against the police.

Despite my being appalled by their track record of endemic racism.

Despite my outrage at the way they are used as corporate-state enforcers to infiltrate, distract, suppress and destroy peaceful, democratic protest in the UK and worldwide.
 
Despite all these reasons (and more), I recognise that not ALL cops are bastards. I doubt very much that the individual who started this petition is a bastard. 


I’ve made the same point about ACAB before. Now, in light of the recent police violence in Catalonia, I think we would all do well to heed Julian Assange’s warning that this change of relationship between state and population threatens to ripple throughout Western Europe and America.

These ‘ripple effects’ have been ebbing and flowing for centuries…where are we now?

In the UK, where public police numbers have already been cut dramatically, private security firms G4S and Serco are soon to be given the power of arrest in a £290 million deal with the Tories.

We must prevent these ripples of neo-fascism becoming a wave as they have in the past. We need to focus on resisting the apparent rise of extreme fascism in the new millennium through all non violent means.

That’s going to mean more than just repeatedly getting our fucking heads kicked in for practising non-violent civil disobedience.


The Wrong Side of History

WrongSideOfHistory
 
The police and security services are tools which can be used to either create, or destroy individuals and societies. Historically, the police have always been on the wrong side of civil rights movements. When they go native en masse tends to mark the end of one struggle and the beginning of a new one. This petition isn’t exactly going native, but it does send a stark message which deserves support.

Grinding down the public police while creating and now empowering private police as the war drums grow ever louder are extremely disturbing trends which echo the rise of fascism in the past.

I value, respect and extend solidarity to all those cops who are not bastards. Those who save lives and especially those who have sacrificed their lives to save lives; those who try to keep us safe from the fascist corporatocracy, rather than enforcing it; those who find a way to actually do the job of protecting people in spite of the impossible situations they are placed in.
 
In particular, I respect those who find the courage to speak out. Those who refuse to follow orders which they know to be wrong, those who blow the whistle on their colleagues who ARE bastards. Those who stand up to UK Gov Plc and their chums in positions of power.
 
Hopefully, the cop who started this petition will read this and know that they have the public support of at least one anarchist. I hope this small gesture gives cops and private security pause for thought the next time they receive orders to spy on us, or to drag us out of a peaceful demonstration, occupation or lock-on.

I will almost certainly lose a few subscribers for reiterating my position on the ACAB trope. This is a contentious point for an anarchist to make but I don’t give a fuck, I think it’s a necessary discussion, particularly as we are rapidly sliding into ecocide and neo-fascist dystopia.

In my anarchist utopia, we would still have cops but their only role would be to protect people from violence. As things are now though, I would far rather a publicly accountable police force than the clunking fist of G4S, an unaccountable, profit driven transnational corporation who have an appalling track record of oppression and human rights abuses.

Thought Crime?

NOT ALL COPS

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Crossing the Streams [PRAXIS]

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The pace and scale of the chaotic changes we are living through today is bewildering. Terrifyingly dystopian, while brimming with potential for a better world out of all the madness. Cognitive dissonance and existential angst have become near inescapable aspects of conscious life. It’s no wonder that so many people chose to remain asleep for so long. Sleep is no longer an option though. The climate has collapsed. The fascists are in charge. The sky is falling in. We are out of time.

I have been an avid spectator and supporter of alternative, independent media for most of my adult life. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, the UK’s alt media scene was then a vibrant sub culture. A smattering of local and national freesheets and websites offered windows out of the saccharin neo-liberal myopia, speaking truth to a generation of otherwise silent witnesses. I would occasionally engage in memery, art, video and music, but mostly I was just a spectator back then.

The history of the struggle for a more truthful, independent media goes way back, to well before they tried to brand it ‘fake news’. It predates Iraq, Hillsborough and Orgreave, Murdoch, Bernays and Machiavelli. Like most controversial struggles, it’s not on the prescribed curriculum but thanks to the tireless work of many digital activists and independent publishers, it is now available online…if you know what to look for.

First the internet, then smartphones with cameras and now livestreaming have been massive gamechangers in this aspect of the struggle. Today, anybody who is privileged enough to have a smartphone and an internet connection can become a source in realtime, almost anywhere. Like agent Smith from the matrix, (but hopefully with somewhat better intentions and outcomes).

The first ever TV shows were broadcast live. Videotape wasn’t invented until the late fifties, and didn’t become really affordable until the seventies. Modern livestreaming technology has been around since the late nineties. With a few notable exceptions, the ability to broadcast live video had been limited almost exclusively to corporate media until fairly recently.

By 2011, most people had livestreaming technology in their pocket. The freeflow of uncensored information and ideas online had already monumentally shifted our perceptions of ourselves and each other. The Occupy movement was arguably the first global movement which was able to see each other in realtime, uncensored, worldwide.

There has since been a massive groundswell in grassroots-led, social media powered citizen journalism, reporting on injustices being suffered all over the world, from Palestine to Syria, from Standing Rock to Preston New Road. Arguably, this groundswell is what led to the bizzare, post truth spectacle of ‘mainstream’ corporate media denouncing social media as #FakeNews…

2017 is the year that the livestreaming subculture finally started to go mainstream in the UK. Facebook launched their streaming feature in January this year, making the technology accessible to their 2 billion users. Twitch.tv, the pre-eminent videogame streaming service added an ‘IRL’ (In Real Life) streaming functionality in March.

Now, it seems that some sections of the 1%’s corporate media are finally changing too. Empowered by social media, the massive groundswell in grassroots-led citizen journalism is apparently forcing them to.

In July this year, during the BBC’s gender pay gap scandal, Sky News political correspondent, Lewis Goodall (who is a self declared comprehensive school boy), acknowledged that their whole profession’s class gap is ‘worse’.* He said: “And it’s quite unfair to single out the BBC in this regard anyway, I’m sure the pattern of private school dominance is repeated across our industry: at Sky, ITV and across Fleet Street“.

In August, Channel 4’s Jon Snow used his McTaggart lecture to tell his colleagues that they have become too far removed from ordinary people. He said that the media was “comfortably with the elite, with little awareness, contact or connection with those not of the elite” and that Grenfell had shown this lack of connection was “dangerous”.

Snow was acknowledging the media’s responsibility for the tragedy, which was so eloquently expressed by Ishmail Blagrove in the video that went viral of him telling sky news.

Last week, the BBC’s Nick Robinson whined that “guerrilla war” is being waged on the BBC. As Thomas Barlow of Real Media and the Media Fund points out, “We know why: Robinson’s not as afraid of the independent media as he is of the Murdoch press, and he shares more political and personal affinity with the tabloid press. It’s not just that he’s a Conservative, it’s that the BBC’s news agenda is largely set by the tabloid press.

Despite the Nick Robinsons of this world, there have been acknowledgements in word and we’re slowly starting to see them in deed from factions within the ‘mainstream’ media. Channel 4, ITV, Sky, the independent, the grauniad, all seem to be accepting that they need to shape up. Social media and citizen journalism are here to stay. People are sick of corporate bullshit and they have an alternative now. Who’s going to pay to be lied to when you can access truthful, firsthand information for free? Even the Daily Fail and S*n have started to report slightly more accurately (online, if not in print).

Crossing The Streams

It is no longer unusual for corporate media to suddenly appear on independent livestreams hurriedly setting up their cameras and asking people for interviews. Yesterday, I was watching the Occupy News Network streams from the last few days’ #StopHS2 action at Colne Valley. On the last stream, 24 hours into a seven person lock-on, a journalist from ITV news turned up just as the protectors were starting to be removed. He explains that ITV are planning to do a live report that evening. Dan, the livestreamer laughed, “yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m already live…

The game is changing. Livestreaming technology (and internet access generally) are levelling the battlefields for truth and justice. It is a reason to be hopeful, but we must not become complacent.

The independence referendum in Catalonia is one of the most striking recent example of how most corporate print and broadcast media are still trying to distort people’s perceptions of reality.

This photo was published with the caption: “Firemen try to hold a group of people in front of Spanish Guardia Civil officers outside a polling station in San Julia de Ramis CREDIT: LUIS GENE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

CatalonianFiremen.png

The firefighters were actually defending the voters from riot police who were attacking them with batons. (Again, even the S*n newspaper acknowledged the reality of the situation).

I share Craig Murray’s suspicion that “were it not for social media, UK mainstream media would have told us very little at all. This is an object lesson in how the mainstream media still seek to continue to push fake news on us in the age of citizen journalism. They no longer have a monopoly on the flow of raw information; what they can do is to attempt to distort perceptions of what people are seeing.

Corporate media had near exclusive access to livestreaming technology when it first appeared. Today, the technology has been democratised and corporate media are playing catch up with it.

Whether this results in a more or less truthful account of our objective reality is up to us. There are at least 7 billion different ways of seeing the world. None of us have a monopoly on truth, all of us do. We don’t have to be passive, silent spectators, consuming the corrupt corporate culture which guards the status quo anymore. We can all be active, outspoken participants, creating meaningful change in our daily lives and sharing the effort with each other. In realtime.

The culture we are finally outgrowing has historically thrived on division and conflict. It is designed to pit all struggles against each other, in it’s preferred language: Violence.

We can keep getting drawn into the dominant culture’s outdated, ultrapolarised, dogmatic and combative worldview, or we can keep tuning in to real life and getting on with helping to build the other world that we all know is possible.

Together.

—End Rant—

* It’s a shame that Lewis hung this article on the gender paygap headline, because the class gap is equally deleterious to our cultural diversity. ‘The gap’ is the fulcrum of intersectionality, not the identities of all those disenfranchised by the gap. The headline: ‘class gap is worse’ risks setting feminists against class warriors, which is unhelpful. Reading beyond the headline though, it is apparent that the author is sincere in their conviction and makes some excellent points.

CROSSINGTHESTREAMS

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FULL SOLIDARITY

FULL SOLIDARITY with everybody taking action against fascism; today, tomorrow and every day.

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From the brave water protectors resisting fracking bullies, Cuadrilla in Lancashire to the peace activists blockading and occupying to stop the DSEI arms fair in London,

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to workers on McStrike worldwide.

McStrike

Deep green peace, love and solidarity without borders; in the corridors of power, in the courts and on the streets.

Resistance is fertile.

One struggle.

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One Week Today – #StopDSEI Blockade and Occupation

One week today, Occupiers will be joining Stop The Arms Fair‘s week long blockade, setting up camp to prevent the world’s largest arms fair from taking place.

DSEI (Defence Security Equipment International) gather once every two years, dripping in blood and oil. Arms dealers and governments buy and sell weapons which kill, maim and torture.

The peace movement have been dancing this dance against the festival of death since well before 2001, when DSEI first moved to the ExCeL Centre, London Docklands.

As comrades in Australia have demonstrated, it is possible to shut down an arms fair, but only with sufficient numbers of people prepared to seriously disrupt their setup.
  • Stop the Arms Fair 4th-11th September 2017.
  • DSEI Arms Fair 12th-15th September 2017.
  • ExCeL Centre, London Docklands.
There definitely seems to be much more momentum building this year. Various groups have been organising for months now all over the country. Unfortunately, I can’t be there. My health and finances are shit and I’m not up for getting arrested again. I’ll be in the back office doing my bit to reflect a truthful account of the spectacle; mirroring, ripping, editing, uploading and sharing livestreamed reports throughout the week of action for Occupy News Network.
Followers of this blog will know that I haz been making things and stuff to help promote this year’s blockade and Occupy the Arms Fair camp.
Here are some memes;

 

(9000 points go to whoever spots protest stencil‘s excellent subvert in one of these…) 😉

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(I pinched the skyline silhouette off the inspirational Stop the Arms Fair memes).

STAFSquare

Here are some #StopDSEI videos.

If they speak for you, please like, share, download and mirror this stuff, and all the other wonderful things everybody’s making and doing to help art the arms fair.

If like me, you can’t get to London there’s probably a weapons producer, military supplier or surveillance and security company somewhere near you. Why not pay them a visit?

Also. Let’s own the interwebz. #StopDSEI.

4th-11th September – NETWORK IT!

Please help share the things and stuff leading up to and throughout the blockade, however long it needs to last. Make and do and say the things. Find and sign all the petitions. Write a personal letter to your MP. Write to them again. Meditate. Pray. What ever works for you.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, stay safe, stay strong and look after each other.

Solidarity.

STOPDSEIwp


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Over 100 MPs From All Parties Unite to Condemn The Murdoch Problem.

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107 MPs from all UK political parties are finally doing something about the Murdoch problem.

They’ve signed a scathing letter to The S*n’s editor, calling for the scalp of the journo who wrote their most recent incendiary, racist article. The article in question plumbed new depths for the S*n’s depravity and has been likened to nazi propaganda.

OS5in5The letter was organised by Naz Shah, the Labour MP for Bradford West and details precise examples of how the S*n’s increasingly racist content correlates with spikes in hate crimes.

It follows a joint complaint about the article to the press regulator, IPSO (the Independent Press Standards Organisation), issued by Jewish and Muslim organisations last week. IPSO have received a further 150 complaints about the article so far.

Given that IPSO are famously toothless and Murdoch is notoriously powerful, letter writing and complaining might appear like futile gesture politics at this point.

Here’s why I think it might not be just that.

Firstly and most broadly, gesture politics are not in and of themselves futile. They are a means to an end. An end to the beginning. Doors opening to new possibilities. Politicians from all parties, people of all faiths and none are uniting against racism and Murdochian propaganda. This marks yet another significant milestone in the struggle for real democracy.

During Occupy Democracy‘s occupations of Parliament Square in 2015-16, we heard from numerous ‘insiders’, including politicians and ex-politicians that they and their colleagues were terrified of the tabloids’ power to snoop, smear and blackmail. The corrupting influence of the media was then and is still now one of the fundamental pillars of corruption in Westminster’s Prostitute State and beyond. No politician would propose or support legislation to meaningfully reform the media, for fear that their character and career would be assassinated by the gutter press, such was the reputation of the billionaires behind the curtain.

Reforming and democratising media ownership became one of Occupy Democracy’s principle demands. During these occupations, some of us co-founded Occupy The Media Billionaires working group. One of the core objectives we set ourselves was to embolden and empower good politicians to end the tabloids’ stranglehold over our democracy.

Two years ago, a gesture like this letter from such a large number of the political classes seemed impossible.

The fact that the letter has cross-party support might also prove to be significant in terms of the progressive alliance for electoral reform, which continues to evolve backstage, regardless what the various party leaderships say. (Jeremy Corbyn’s signature was notably absent from the letter of condemnation, though he has warmly welcomed it’s contents).

Out of all the hatred and fear, does this cross-party political faction represent real hope?

dontletmurdochshitinyourheadMurdoch’s power and influence is not to be underestimated. His empire is vast. We must not be complacent or naive, but we should certainly celebrate the victories when they come. We can also celebrate (but not overstate) the fact that newscorp suffered another loss of £629m (2%) in the first quarter of this year.

Two years ago, corporate 1% media held the monopoly on information and the way in which it was shared.

They were ignoring, censoring or distorting social media and citizen journalism.

Over the last year or so, #PostTruth, #AlternativeFacts and #FakeNews was them laughing at us, trying to distract, divide, demoralise and disempower everybody with infantile astroturfing, gaslighting, flame wars and worse.

Now they’re so desperate that they’re literally printing nazi propaganda, blatantly inciting violence. They’ve been fighting citizen journalism since long before social media arrived. The internet offers us the edge we have desperately needed.

This letter marks another significant win in the struggle for a truly independent media, a real democracy and a fairer, more truthful and compassionate world.

This was only the politicians’ first hurdle though. Next, they should be bringing criminal prosecutions against all the Murdochian, Machievellian hatemongers masquerading as journalists.

If they can introduce some meaningful, strong legislation to democratise media ownership then that would be the cherry on the cake.

Here’s the full letter, as originally published by the independent.

Sincere thanks to all the MPs involved, even the Tories and Blairites.

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if you enjoyed reading these musings, you might also enjoy the Alternative Media ListOver 100 more credible, interesting and challenging alternatives to the 1%’s corporate media.
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Occupy News Network launch new fedbook page

In August last year, Occupy News Network’s fedbook channel was hacked by a small number of selfish fkwits the original co-founders. At that time, the page had 17k followers and dozens of contributors. It had become a significant hub of the movement, sharing information, news and views which corporate media had censored or distorted.

For a short while the page was renamed “The ‘O’ News Network”, posting distinctly white brocialist bullshit before vanishing from my prolefeed altogether. I don’t know if they renamed it again, blocked me, or sold it for profit. Those responsible claimed with much fanfare that they were launching a new ONN website, scheduled for October last year. I suppose given the parlous state of their few postings after the hack, we should be grateful that this never happened.

ONNlogo1v2GreenOccupy London stalwart, Obi has been hard at work reclaiming and rebooting the ONN youtube and twitter channels.

I was flattered to be asked to create the new logo and banners, which look quite good.

Today, we have begun rebuilding the old facebook channel from scratch.

If you were one of the original contributors, or if you want to join this new hub, get in touch.

Capitalists, egotists and control freaks need not apply.


All Ann Narkeh Media’s doings are produced for FREE. There is not and never has been a budget for advertising. If you’re reading this, you are the distribution network.

If you’re able, any and all contributions would be most gratefully received, cheers.

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Dear internet: if you’re able, please help.

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Hello internet.

In brief: This laptop is on it’s last legs and can no longer produce audio or video. It can barely browse the interwebs anymore. Also, my health is deteriorating. I have a degenerative condition which affects my mobility. This has been exacerbated by years of sofasurfing. I want to continue being a productive digital artivist, but could do with some support, if you’re able.

Two years ago, I was able to download, edit and reupload videos from Occupy Democracy comrades, who occupied and livestreamed from Stop The Arms Fair’s week of action against the biennial #DSEI arms fair in London.

I was able to create 27 videos that week and got my production time down to under an hour, from downloading the live broadcasts to uploading the edited clips via The Occupied Sun’s youtube channel. I created video, web banners and a brandalised film poster to promote the occupation and published a unique The Occupied Sun front page matching the theme of each day’s action. I’d like to be able to do the same but better in terms of amplifying the peace movement’s efforts for this year’s week of action, September 4th-12th.

I launched this website in January 2016, to start collecting and organising all my doings into one place and to start accepting contributions.

In January 2017 in the face of apparent ghostbanning and digital censorship, I redoubled my efforts on all fronts, creating and publishing original content each day of that month. My trusty laptop finally collapsed under the strain. This was the machine I had been using for graphics, animations, video, sound and music. It had been becoming increasingly difficult to do anything except write and make graphics as the processor began to struggle with sound and video.

Fortunately, I was gifted this laptop, which has allowed me to struggle on thus far, albeit with significantly limited software and hardware capabilities. It can’t handle DAW/audio/music software, but had been just about able to create basic, short videos.

Now however, this machine too is on the verge of collapse. It can’t handle creating video at all anymore.

Because of this, my rate of creative output has dwindled over the course of the year, to the point where the last two videos (here and here) took about a week each to make and the resolution was disappointing by the final render.

I updated everything and cleaned it up but it’s made matters worse. I think the last update made the software too heavy for the processor. Even web browsing is now becoming difficult.

I know that in perspective, it’s not an ’emergency’ at all. If Ann Narkeh stops being able to make stuff, I’ll carry on with whatever tools are available and almost certainly find other things to do. But of all the things I’ve done, Ann Narkeh’s have been the most impactful and felt the most right. I’m proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish with your support. I’ve learned a lot and I have loads of ideas for new, better content;

  • I want to start producing regular, alternative headline news reports again, but better.
  • I want to promote solution based thinking and doing.
  • I want to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis.
  • I want to produce materials to help stop international terrorism and war.

My network and platform have expanded and my skills have developed but my capacity to create quality stuff has diminished. It’s most frustrating, hence writing this letter.

I enjoy using the digital skills I’ve developed and would very much like to be able to keep creating things and stuff under these auspices.  What I really want is to be able to make the best stuff I possibly can, including video and music.

To do this, I need a powerful laptop loaded with the necessary software to produce video and ideally music again.

But I’m skint.

Too skint to acquire a new laptop, let alone a powerful laptop loaded with the necessary software.

I’ve been sofasurfing and surviving hand to mouth for about 5 or 6 years now, I’ve lost count.  My health is deteriorating. I could really do with raising a deposit for a place of my own and a decent #BasicIncome too, but that’s a big ask. One kind subscriber recently set up a £2 monthly contribution. If everybody put in a quid a month I could sign off the dole, get a laptop and a flat, eat well and start funding other people’s eatings and doings!

Despite my disadvantages, I’m still a relatively privileged white man in a suffering, dying world. I’m lucky to have been born in a country which still has a welfare system, as battered as it is. I’m lucky to have friends and family who love and support me by letting me share their spaces. Everybody’s struggling, so I’m uncomfortable asking for further support. For many years, I operated a strict no money, no profit rule, but it wore me down and burnt me out.

I’m infinitely grateful to the comrades who persuaded me to compromise and start accepting contributions from those who are able. I’m humbled that whenever I’ve had to ask, good people have come through for me. When the subscription for this website came up recently and I didn’t have it, you paid it for me. When I ran out of cash last month and when I was sanctioned by the DWP, you kept me fed and watered.

I wouldn’t be able to have reached so many people without all the likes, shares and comments I’ve received either. Thankyou all so much for your emotional and material contributions to my doings.

Your generosity and support so far has been humbling. I’m really chuffed that you like the stuff and things that I make and do. I’m still determined not to become a feckless, breadheaded anarcho-capitalist and will continue to limit sending the hat round for ’emergencies’ only.

If you’re skint too but want to help, please pass the hat on by sharing this letter.

If you’re able, please sling me a few quid towards refurbing or replacing this laptop, so I can get stuck into making r3VOLutionary animations, video, sound and music again.

If you’re regularly flush, setting up a monthly micro-contribution gets me closer to generating my own #BasicIncome and signing off the dole.

Love, respect, gratitude,

Ann Narkeh

 

*UPDATE*
An awesome, generous comrade has ordered me a new laptop! I should receive it and be returning to full production mode in the next few days. You know who you are and you rock – thankyou so much! I’m going to leave this post up for posterity (and because I’m still flat broke..)

Any and all contributions towards Ann Narkeh Media’s doings would still be most gratefully received.

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Not One Day More? OCCUPY THE LOT!

We’ve all had enough.

Not just of ‘this Government’. Not just of ‘austerity’. We’ve had enough of this whole rotten, so called ‘neo-liberal’ establishment. We’ve had enough of Murdochian post-truthmesiters desperately trying to regain control of our minds with fake news dripping in hate and fear. We’ve had enough of the spectacle that seeks to distract, divide and disempower us. Most of us don’t care about whether you’re old or young, Brexit or remain, rich or poor. We are finally starting to understand that we, the people must create the next new world order, not these detached, soulless automatons prowling the halls of Westminster.

Corbynmania is encouraging, because for those of us listening, it’s not all about Jeremy Corbyn, as delightful as he is. It’s not about his fantastic allies in the stinking corridors of power either.

It’s about their vision and their method for accomplishing that vision. Their policies.

It’s not Corbyn they fear, it’s us. The ever expanding precariat. Understanding the policies and supporting them. Hearing the message and responding to the call, taking action. They fear our kindness and our compassion. They fear our limitless capacity for unconditional love. They fear our loving selflessness most when things are at their worst, for that is when we need it most.

A thread jumped out at me from one of the occuchannels recently, saying that this People’s Assembly demo on Saturday (Not One Day More) is being led by ‘da yoof’ and that they’ve specifically asked for ‘a big Occupy presence’ there. This comes after Corbyn’s repeated calls to occupy the empty properties that are being used as landbanks while people are dying on our streets for lack of basic shelter. I can imagine the apparently Corbyn infused spirit of this year’s Glastonbury filling parliament square and it arouses my least cynical dreams for a fairer world. They’ve got SHY FX headlining. And Captain SKA. Singing ‘Liar Liar’ right outside parliament…

PAnotonedaymore
I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to make it due to health and funding issues, but I hear the call and am trying to sort a lift out. Whether I go or not, I thought it might be useful to share some of my thoughts and experiences from the last six years with everybody, particularly the next generation of Occupiers, so here goes;

  1. Occupations of public space are hard work…and fun!
  2. Real Democracy is hard work but worth it in the end.
  3. All our struggles are intersectional. Check your privilege.
  4. Take leadership from the most impacted.
  5. Praxis Makes Perfect.
  6. Leaderless does not mean ‘without leaders’. Step up if and when you have to. Don’t fall into the Tyranny of Structurelessness.
  7. Listen more, talk less. Listen to the old guard. Know your history.
  8. Moneylessness (ie gift economies) expose and purge the corrupt and greedy.
  9. Love conquers fear. Every time. Most people are good people.
  10. Keep it lit. Take breaks. Don’t burn out. It’s not selfish to look after yourself too.
  11. Negotiations with power must be diplomatic but uncompromising.
  12. If you can’t dance it’s not your revolution.

One solution, rEVOLution.

Revolution is just the constant state of change that we are all experiencing. You’re either consciously trying to influence that change, or you’re not. Don’t judge people who aren’t too harshly. You will probably need to step back from it all yourself one day.

If you’re still not interested in politics, it is still most interested in you…the revolution is constant and relentless and there are infinite ways in which it will deceive you, distract you, depress the shit out of you and ultimately divide us.

Don’t lose touch with your friends and family as you make new friends and family on the barricades. Don’t fall out with people you disagree with. Agreeing to disagree is OK. You learn more from people you disagree with. If we shut down disagreeable conversations, (or if they are shut down for us with digital algorithms) we preclude serious change.

Love and respect everybody.

Don’t be violent, but don’t be timid either.

We don’t need riots any more than we need A-B marches.

With the greatest respect to all those who were at Grenfell and to the people’s assembly, we don’t need one more minute’s silence or one more minute’s applause either. Of course we should honour the victims, the survivors and the heroic. It’s brilliant that they’re bringing so many people together on Saturday, but we don’t need ‘one massive show of strength and solidarity‘ as much as we need organised, ongoing occupations, empowering people and forcing the necessary negotiations with power.

Diversity of tactics wins. Voting, Protest or Direct Action alone won’t change anything. We need them ALL AT ONCE!

We need communities to come together and stay together, taking back the commons with real, direct democracy. Not just in London but everywhere, all over the country and ultimately, the world.

Like 2011, but better.

We must reclaim the rights of all the dispossessed voiceless people and create this better society ourselves. Corbyn’s revitalised Labour party can help, but that’s all they can do.

It’s down to us to actually make it happen.

Make it count.

Keep it lit.


If you found these ramblings in any way edifying, please help SHARE them.

  • ALL Ann Narkeh’s doings are created and offered to the interwebz for FREE!
  • If you’re able, please consider making a contribution, thankyouplease.

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Voting, Protest or Direct Action Alone Don’t Change Anything. We Need Them ALL AT ONCE. [PRAXIS, Blog]

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PRAXIS Blog.

After much soul searching, I’m going to vote for the first time ever this Thursday.

Since holding my nose to register and receiving my polling card, I’ve arrived at a few personal realisations about the spectrum of activism I now find myself occupying.

protestVSdirectaction

For a long time, I’ve understood that voting versus protest versus direct action are all false paradoxes. Voting and protesting are appeals to power (or demands from it), while direct action takes power back. Clearly, none of these forms are by any means mutually exclusive from each other. In fact, separated from each other they are all extremely limited methods of influencing change.

What I’ve come to realise is that the limitations of all these forms might only be overcome by practising them all at once.

People have argued this case with me forever, but I could never abide our hopelessly corrupt electoral system. They were frustrated by my unwillingness to participate in elections and I was frustrated by their willingness to follow a narrative controlled by the establishment.OS_DEMOCKRACY

I could never accept party politics because it never seemed like a feasible way of influencing actual change before. Parliament is (was?) too corrupt – tightly controlled by crude but effective hypnotists, (‘spin doctors’) on behalf of greedy, opportunistic psychopaths (‘masters of the universe’).

It’s terrifying that the kind of changes a Corbyn Government promise only seem possible now because they are so desperately overdue

extinctionsymbol

The sorts of changes we need to mitigate the effects of the various converging catastrophes around the world are monumental. I’ve been earnestly, relentlessly campaigning for these sorts of changes for a decade and a half now.

For a long time I signed petitions and protested, marching from point A to point B, but eventually I stopped wasting my time. Power either ignored, marginalised or suppressed all these forms. It felt like direct action was the only game in town if you really wanted to influence positive change.

I came to see parliamentary democracy as beneath my contempt. An elaborate spectacle to distract, divide and disempower us all.

So, instead of writing letters and occasionally ticking a cross in a box, I focused all my efforts on supporting small and increasingly large scale grassroots movements and direct action groups. (including campaigns to reclaim, unlock or otherwise Occupy Democracy).

Without fully realising it, I have been enduring the cognitive dissonance of campaigning outside the system for systemic changes. My only involvement in party politics has been cheering the few heroic exceptions and booing the many villains. Almost meaningless (except for the lulz…).

 

Unless we all actually negotiate with power, we can’t achieve the scale of change that’s necessary in time. (It’s already too late).

Until very recently, it felt like we were fighting an inexorable descent into unimaginably horrific dystopia. Then, from out of nowhere, Corbz has somehow managed to turn things around.

Where just a few years ago, our hopes and dreams were branded either naive utopianism or dangerous Thought Crime – they are now considered respectable, realistic and necessary.

Continue reading Voting, Protest or Direct Action Alone Don’t Change Anything. We Need Them ALL AT ONCE. [PRAXIS, Blog]