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

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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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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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Thee Adventures of Robyn Hoodie: ‘FREEDOM’ [Comic Book]

#WeSaidNo #WeSayNo #LockTheGate #LockTheeGate #FrackFreeSherwood #FrackFreeEverwhererobynhoodiecartoon1_freedom

As Cuadrilla assault Lancashire, INEOS are preparing to frack historic Sherwood Forest. Get yer tights on – it’s Robyn Hoodie time! 

frack-off.org.uk have published this map detailing all the current threats and the growing resistance to dirty fuel around the country.

Support your local fracktivists – Lock Thee Gate!

 

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Many more memes (and other doings) on this site and on various other ghostbanned social media channels.

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Robyn Hoodie Says: ‘Not Sherwood, Not ANYWHERE!

#WeSaidNo #WeSayNo #LockTheGate #LockTheeGate #FrackFreeSherwood #FrackFreeEverwhere

As Cuadrilla assault Lancashire, INEOS are preparing to frack historic Sherwood Forest. Get yer tights on – it’s Robyn Hoodie time! 

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frack-off.org.uk have published this map detailing all the current threats and the growing resistance to dirty fuel around the country.

Support your local fracktivists – Lock Thee Gate!

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Many memes (and other doings) on this site and on various other ghostbanned social media channels.

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#StopGhostBanning

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  • MANY of Ann Narkeh‘s doings over the last few months have been #GhostBanned, filter bubbled or otherwise redacted down the memory hole. SUBSCRIBE to get all the things and stuff sent to your inbox.
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DEFEND ALL OUR FORESTS [The Occupied Sun]

The Occupied Sun
#LockTheeGate

DEFEND ALL OUR FORESTS

OS_DEFENDALLOURFORESTS.png#FrackOff #WeSaidNo #WeSayNo #LockTheGate #LockTheeGate

#FrackFreeEverwhere

The Occupied Sun Says:

INEOS are preparing to frack historic Sherwood Forest. Get yer tights on – it’s Robin Hood time! 

frack-off.org.uk have published this map detailing all the current threats and the growing resistance to dirty fuel around the country.

Support your local fracktivists – Lock Thee Gate!

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Many more alternative front pages from the Occupied Sun (and other doings) on this site and on various other ghostbanned social media channels.

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BREXSHIT neverendum is a FARCE [The Occupied Sun]

The Occupied Sun

While The World Burns:

BREXSHIT neverendum is a FARCE

They want us;

  • Confused

  • Divided &

  • Distracted…

By a Neverending Mass Debate

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Some say #BREXIT, Some Say #BREXSHIT, Some say #HOPEnotHate

The Occupied Sun Says:

On one level, Hatey Kopkins and that racist bloke are just pantomime court jesters. On another level, they’re hate magnets; lightning rods channelling society’s primal fears into hatred.

The few people who buy into their rhetoric hate; migrants, refugees, LGBTQ peeps and ‘foreigners’ while almost everybody else in our interconnected global society hates them and their brainwashed followers

As I write this, I’m struggling not to hate them myself, but I know that this hatred is distracting me (and everybody) from focusing on the systemic problems and solutions. And I know that there is no ‘them’ – everything is connected, we are all one.

Continue reading BREXSHIT neverendum is a FARCE [The Occupied Sun]

KT HOPKINS APOLOGISES [Daily Wail]

Daily Wail 

KT HOPKINS APOLOGISES

Bigots Sneaked Out £150,000 Apology in the Early Hours of Monday Morning

Help HOPE not hate SUE Farage over Brendan Cox comments, here.

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More from Daily Wail on this site, also from WailOnlineand twitter.

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THE PROSTITUTE STATE by Donnachadh McCarthy [The Occupied Sun Book Review]


The Prostitute State
is a transformative read.

book cover 24mmI was lucky enough to spend time with the author, Donnachadh McCarthy during Occupy Democracy’s Tarpaulin Revolution in 2014, where he was arrested several times for peacefully protesting the UK’s scandalous democratic deficit.

We occupied Rupert Murdoch’s news HQ together in 2015, where he generously gifted me a copy of his third book, The Prostitute State.

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Donnachadh McCarthy

The book is semi-autobiographical and explains how Donnachadh arrived at his conclusions. His insights into the inner workings of the corridors of power are as remarkable as his personal journey. Donnachadh is an incredible human being; a rare combination of fierce intellect and compassionate, sensitive humility.

The former vice chair of the Liberal Democrats turned whistleblower on corruption within the party, he has been tirelessly campaigning on environmental issues for over two decades both outside and within the system. His Victorian terrace home in Camberwell was London’s first carbon negative house.

Despite Donnachadh’s impressive CV, when I sat down to read The Prostitute State I wasn’t really expecting to glean much new information from it. In my arrogance, I thought I had already picked apart and understood the pillars of corruption which we all suffer under. I could not have been more mistaken. Donnachadh offers up revelation after revelation, backed by dense references, citations and peer reviewed datasets.

Whether you’re well aware of the revolving door or just noticed it’s existence, The Prostitute State is a must read for truth seekers worldwide.

In Donnachadh’s analysis, there are four main pillars of The Prostitute State; the Corrupted Political System; the Prostituted Media, Perverted Academia and the Thieving Network of Tax Havens. The book not only examines and exposes each of these pillars, but most importantly, it explains how the rich elites and corporations control the production of thought, the dissemination of thought, the implementation of thought and the funding of thought, and why this means we no longer live in a democracy.

Unlike other books which examine the doings of the 1%, The Prostitute State isn’t thin on suggestions for what can be done about the challenges we are facing either.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Continue reading THE PROSTITUTE STATE by Donnachadh McCarthy [The Occupied Sun Book Review]

President Trump: What Hope Now?

Everybody seems to be freaking out about who America “chose” to be their new puppet president, so here are my current top 10 reasons to remain hopeful for the future…

  1. Ultimately, it’s all just a barely scripted pantomime. People are finally waking up to this fact worldwide, and starting to take action en masse. Hilary Clinton is just as bad as Trump but hides it (slightly) better. Her gender was her singular redeeming feature. They’re both just puppets, actors, tools of the establishment, icons to divide us, distract us and disempower us.*
  2. On the same day Trump was elected, three more women of colour were elected to the senate. Four out of a hundred may still be a small concession in a pantomime which is designed to divide, distract and disempower us, but it is still the largest leap in any US election so far.
  3. The Tories’ loathsome bedroom tax has been defeated. Or was this just UK Gov. Plc throwing the proles a sliver of hope for the day to keep us going? We’ll see.
  4. Dong energy, a major oil and gas company is dumping their 1.5bn fossil fuel portfolio to go 100% renewable.
  5. The standoff at Standing Rock has reached global awareness. Redhawk has reported that at least 2 cops have handed in their badges to join the water protectors. Practical, effective international solidarity is also growing, at standing rock and beyond.
  6. Trump can’t stop the energy revolution. Renewable energy capacity has overtaken coal according to a report by the IAE which says half a million solar panels were installed every day last year globally. In China, two wind turbines were set up every hour. Policy changes in China, India and Mexico have been important forces behind the growth of the renewable energy sector.
  7. If you loved Hitlery and wanted her to win, you can reassure your ego (and your ideological echo chamber) that according to many analysts, had there been proportional representation in the US, she would have won. (She is still just an icon to divide, distract and disempower us, just like Trump).
  8. Voter turnout has dropped to 50% in the US. While some will argue that this is a bad thing, I would have to refer you to the 1st reason to be hopeful. Participating in an oversimplified, absurdly polarised slagging match, or “voting for the lesser of two evils” for generations is what got us into this mess. If people stop participating in the pantomime, they are more likely to be doing something useful with themselves. If enough people chose not to participate, it would disempower the puppet masters and we could all crack on with building a better world!
  9. Katie Hopkins promised to move to the US if Trump was elected. Yes, I know including this on the list is playing into the divisive, disempowering distraction thing, but she’s too vile not to celebrate her departure…
  10. ‘President Trump’ should serve as a call for everybody to wake the f*** up to how absolutely, royally f***ed we all are if we don’t become more actively and effectively involved in changing the world for the better.

*This election campaign should have made it absolutely clear to everybody that mainstream democracy has become a sick joke. While traumatic for many people to come to terms with, this raising of consciousness is a good thing, on balance.

Don’t let the bullshit merchants divide, distract and disempower us! If you’ve been keeping it lit, now is the time to spread it around good people.

If you’re just waking up and shaking off the cognitive dissonance, welcome! Take a deep breath and try not to lose your shit. It’s going to be OK.
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HOPEBOMB by Angry Band (ft Anonymous) – [MUSIC VIDEO]

Happy Nov 5th everybody, have a HOPEBOMB from Angry Band and Anonymous.

(original message was by Anonymous illuminatisos, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oYQ_toFfRs)

FREE Angry Band downloads from soundcloud.com

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