Socialist Social Media for the New Days: Long Live TIKKIT! [review]

SocialMediapocalypse

annnarkehmedia.com subscribers will be aware that following the most recent social mediapocalypse, I went dark for a little while on Big Tech’s social media monopolies, while I investigated what alternatives are currently available. I’m still not posting much to the old platforms. Spending a little time away from them has been really good for my mental health. Particularly in terms of getting a better perspective on the state of it all.

This will be my second review of alternative social media platforms.
You can also read about my first week on steemit.com, here.

tikkitlogo

One of the first new platforms I joined recently was tikkit.co.uk – which was only launched about a month or so ago. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s been endorsed by the great George Galloway on his radio show, the Mother of All Talk Shows. (I’ve not been able to find the link to that endorsement yet, so could be remembering it wrong. Apologies if so. I’ll update this post if and when I find the link).

INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW

(From tikkit.co.uk‘s ‘about’ section)
“The aim of Tikkit is to become the most used site on the web, replacing Twitter to make mobile social media a truly free experience, no data collection, no location collection, no care for whatever app or site you last visited.

The software is owned by one person and it’s use has been gifted to everyone. The owner, admin and moderators are all left wing socialists based in the UK.

Together we have the power to make this the first socialist media platform based in the UK, created by the left for us all, not just the profiteers

Zero tolerance to fake news.”

The ‘one person’ who owns the software is a chap called ‘Tony X‘, who appears to be a proper old school socialist. Tony has been very responsive to every issue I’ve raised since joining Tikkit and he’s answered every question I’ve asked regarding Tikkit.

For example. When I first joined, the site only had the traditional binary gender designations; male or female. Being a genderless, anarcho-punk emoji, I tagged Tony asking them to add an ‘other’ option, which they did almost immediately. Similarly, when selecting which nation state you belong to, I wanted the option of being a ‘Citizen of the World’ which again, Tony made happen almost instantly. They even took some time to answer a few questions for this review.* (Thanks Tony, much respect)!

Tony_X_Qs

*wiixiiw is a new video hosting platform which Tony’s also been developing.

#AdvertisingShitsInYourHead

There’s currently no advertising on Tikkit, which is of course a most welcome and r3V0_|utionary change from the big social media monopolies’ abuse of our data. For me, the advertising industry’s mass manipulation of human thought and behaviour has been one of the most pernicious aspects of Big Tech in recent decades.

Apart from a distinct absence of corporations trying to sell you ideas and material shit you don’t need, Tikkit feels very much like a facebook/twitter hybrid. There’s a top trending hashtags column which displays the current top 5 trending hashtags. Another key distinction, is that the main prolefeed looks like it’s literally just a chronological list of posts. Seemingly no algorithms silently deciding which content you get to see and which you don’t.

ECHO CHAMBERS AREN’T NECESSARILY BAD

Initially, I was concerned that Tikkit would, by definition be a bit of a ‘Leftist’ ideological echo chamber. It is, though I’ve actually come to quite like that about it. It’s been great to have a space which is overtly and deliberately ‘left’ leaning to retreat to when the post truth, post satire world gets too much for my poor little brain. I think because everybody knows it’s a left leaning platform makes it an interesting and useful echo chamber to have.

However, having only launched recently it’s still quite sparsely populated. I decided to just follow everybody who’s joined so far, to get a decent overview of how it’s doing. It looks like there’s only about 330 users there so far but new people have been joining almost every day I’ve been there. As with all the burgeoning new platforms, it seems to be a question now of how many of these new users will start actually using their shiny new accounts or not.

You can create groups and 8 have been set up already; Disability, What About The Workers, BizEpeople, memes, inforapenny, Occupy2018, Philosophy and Jineology.

tikkit_groups.png
I didn’t know what Jineology was and had to look it up. So even with a smaller user base, Tikkit is already providing me with a useful social experience, ie: teaching me about stuff I didn’t already know.

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF TIKKIT

At the moment, only a small handful of people seem to be posting regularly. Most of these seem to just be ‘hit and run’ or ‘flash’ posts, or flash floods of posts. (We’ve all done it…) That said, the quality of posts has generally been higher than on the old platforms and the few interactions and discussions I’ve had there have been generally friendlier and more interesting than on the old social media.

There’s scant other information about Tikkit, on the website or elsewhere on the internet. There’s no wikipedia entry about it and no FAQ, yet. I quite like this ‘mystery’ angle about it too. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out but my gut tells me that they’re good people.

I like Tony X and team Tikkit’s style. If enough comrades migrated there (and started using their accounts) it could become a powerful Leftist space, for both networking and possibly also for organising.

Onwards comrades, to the new days!

Long live TIKKIT!

PS: Little toes ARE really weird, but essential.

WP_TIKKIT

  • ALL Ann Narkeh Media’s stuff is offered to the internet for FREE and WITHOUT ADVERTISING! SUBSCRIBE to get notifications of NEW THINGS.
  • If you LIKE it, or think it’s useful, please SHARE it.
  • IF YOU’RE ABLE, please consider making a paypal contribution towards keeping Ann Narkeh Media online.

ANM_LARGE_GIF

copyleftfont
extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction. Join the Extinction Rebellion.

cropped-anmxr.png

 

Is it Just a Coincidence That Steemit.com is Down Today? #OCCUPYSILICONVALLEY

Firstly, Happy 7th Birthday Occupy!

Today is September 17th, the 7th Anniversary of Occupy Wall St and Adbusters have launched #OCCUPYSILICONVALLEYa call to reject the big tech monopolies’ control over us in whichever way is most appropriate to you.

They’ve suggested four online actions you could participate in, or that you could simply take a day off the internet altogether.

OSV_banner

I’ve only been on steemit a couple of weeks now but I’ve rapidly become a steemvangelical. I had been plugging steemit to comrades in my various little Occupy circles regarding it’s apparent multiple benefits to our mutual aims. I’d also been plugging #OccupySiliconValley to my fellow steemians, as quite a good day to promote steemit to people who would probably quite appreciate it there.

The Press Release Big Tech Doesn’t Want You To See.

OSVpressreleaseSearching for more information about steemit being down, I found this fragment from a link in an ecosia search result:

is under attack. There is huge DDoS ( get hundred thousand requests per second from botnet.… by fbslo”

isitdownorjust.me/steemit-com/* reckons it’s a problem with their servers. (*tip: it’s probably more helpful to check if it’s back yet using isitdownorjustme than directly requesting a page from steemit.com until the attack is over).

If I understand it correctly though steemit.com is decentralised, so that must imply either a very co-ordinated DDoS attack or a massive system error.

Or on the upside, it could also mean an absolutely momentous uptake in terms of new users, or fresh ‘plankton’. Either way, I’m reasonably sure that the good folk at steemit will have it back up and running again soon.

Is it just a coincidence that steemit.com is down today?

I’ve started a 24 hour poll on twitter.

UPDATE – Turns out it was just a bug in the code, apparently.

STEEMITREVIEW

ALL Ann Narkeh Media’s stuff is offered to the internet for FREE and WITHOUT ADVERTISING! SUBSCRIBE to get notifications of NEW THINGS.

If you LIKE it, or think it’s useful, please SHARE it.

IF YOU’RE ABLE, please consider making a paypal contribution towards keeping Ann Narkeh Media online.

ANM_LARGE_GIF

copyleftfont
extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction. Join the Extinction Rebellion.

cropped-anmxr.png

 

 

WTF!!? Brexit Obsessed Idiots Need Slapping About the Face With Wet Fish

UK citizens are so hopelessly hypnotised that some (many) of them explicitly care more about Britain’s future trading relationship with the EU than they do about the ongoing extinction level event which is likely to kill them, their friends, family and quite possibly all vertebrate life on planet earth.

The CGI weather report from the Weather Channel, from which the stills in this meme are taken shows the grim reality of flood projections, which sadly most people on earth are too poor to evacuate from.

FuckingBrexit
To the braindead ‘Brexiteers’ and ‘remainers’ though, it was just another opportunity to meme about their favourite all encompassing, divisive, disempowering distraction: Fucking Brexshit.

Whoever made this meme seriously needs a good slap about the face with a wet fish.

That is all.

ALL Ann Narkeh Media’s stuff is offered to the internet for FREE and WITHOUT ADVERTISING! SUBSCRIBE to get notifications of NEW THINGS.

If you LIKE it, or think it’s useful, please SHARE it.

IF YOU’RE ABLE, please consider making a paypal contribution towards keeping Ann Narkeh Media online.

ANM_LARGE_GIF

copyleftfont
extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction. Join the Extinction Rebellion.

cropped-anmxr.png

Is This Post-Capitalism? My First Week on steemit.com [review]

SocialMediapocalypse
annnarkehmedia.com subscribers will be aware that following the most recent social mediapocalypse, I’ve mostly gone dark on the big social media monopolies while I investigate what alternatives are currently available.

This will be the first of several reviews which I’ll be posting.

steemit.com is by far and away the most mindblowing of all the new social media platforms I’ve discovered on my post-social mediapocalypse journey, so far. It’s so much deeper than I had anticipated. I’m realising that it’s potential for positive systemic change on a global scale is incredible. Unprecedented in fact, as far as I’m aware.

I was only looking for new social media platforms but it turns out that steemit could also be part of the solution to the world’s hopelessly corrupt monetary system.

Which is nice.

*CAVEAT/WARNING* these are my personal reflections after just over a week on steemit. It’s been challenging and some of my assumptions, conclusions and advice could yet prove to be wrong. I am fast becoming a steemvangelical but steemit might yet prove not to be the glorious utopia it currently appears to be.

Any corrections, further advice and constructive criticism welcome.Steemit

INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW

Steemit, Inc. is a private company based in New York City, headquartered in Virginia. The company was founded by Ned Scott, and Dan Larimer, creator of BitShares, and EOS. It’s been building STEEM since it launched in March 2016.

There are very few rules on steemit but the context, culture and etiquette are very different to the old social media platforms and I’m still only just starting to figure it all out.

Steemians upvote posts and comments and the authors who get upvoted can receive a monetary reward in a virtual currency token named Steem and in US dollar-pegged tokens called Steem Dollars. People are also rewarded for curating (discovering and sharing) popular content. Vote strength and curation rewards are influenced by the amount of STEEM Power held. Steemians are affectionately referred to as ‘plankton, minnows, dolphins and whales’, representing the scale of their STEEM power, (wealth) and influence.

You don’t have to ‘buy in’ to get started on steemit.com. My account‘s currently got 0.788 STEEM power. At the current market rate, that’s about 50cents for my first day’s activity. Upvotes accumulate for a week at which point you can claim them. My most popular post on STEEMIT so far has reached the current market equivalent of about $1, give or take. My second most popular post has reached the market equivalent of $2. So it’s not about how many people upvote you, it’s about who upvotes you.

$2 isn’t a lot but it’s $2 more than big data were sharing with me. And it’s $2 just for posting something that I wanted to post, that had value to me, that others saw value in.

If everybody migrated to steemit the quality of popular discourse and the value of STEEM could both rise significantly.

THIRD PARTY APLICATIONS

Steemit includes a host of third-party applications, such as d.tube, which is a decentralized video platform. It’s similar to YouTube, but instead of advertisements, it uses the built-in STEEM currency which is awarded by people upvoting other people’s vids. #AdvertisingShitsInYourHead

There are LOADS of other third party apps, up and running and in development on steemit, including front ends which I haven’t looked at yet. I’m particularly excited to explore D.live – the steemit livestreaming service. Livestreaming to the blockchain would be really useful.

POSITIVE BEHAVIOURAL MODIFICATION

There are many subtle but profound differences between steemit and the old social media platforms, which I’m still adjusting to. At the moment they almost all seem positive, apart from the inevitable phenomenon of some (a lot) of people literally just unashamedly milking it for the sake of milking it.

So why do I think steemit is so good?

  • It’s not just that participating in the community is incentivised monetarily.
  • It’s not just that there are no advertisements constantly shitting in your head.
  • It’s not just that the preferred etiquette is for less frequent, higher quality posts
  • It’s not just that there’s no censorship, that you know everything you say and do is indelibly stored in the blockchain forever, so people are further incentivised to be more considerate and thoughtful.
  • It’s not just that there are no constant ‘notifications’ and other triggers demanding your attention and modifying your behaviour

It’s all of these things and many more which give me real hope in steemit, as a potentially paradigm shifting solution to so many of the micro and macro challenges which humanity currently faces.

THE ANCAP CHALLENGE

There seem to be quite lot of self identifying ancaps involved in and supporting steemit.com. I had always rejected anarcho-capitalism in the past, because I found the concept somewhat oxymoronic but in the context of the steemisphere and it’s relationship to actual social value I have to warmly welcome and applaud their work, and their ostensibly long sighted ethical and moral compass.

If like me you’re primarily interested in steemit as a means of keeping the internet free and escaping big data’s myopic nightmarish filterbubbles, don’t make the mistake of just sacking off all the crypto-guys as hopeless breadheads, as I very nearly did. The crypto-currency side of it is a daunting learning curve which I’m only just now, reluctantly starting. The thing I’ve come to realise though, is that for steemit to deliver on it’s paradigm shifting potential the emerging crypto-markets need to be succesful.

This is quite a challenge to accept and reconcile. It seems to me now like some sort of weird, new, anarcho-crypto, post-capitalist, Max Keiser and Jeff Berwick via Jaron Lanier and David Graeber hybrid, which I’m struggling to get my head around because it’s such a monumental challenge to all my previous assumptions about economics and society.

Dos and Don’ts

I dramatically underestimated just how steep a learning curve steemit would be. While in many ways it’s very similar to the old social media platforms, the differences are deeper and  more significant than they first appear. Don’t just dive in at the deep end like I did, don’t rush, take your time, as I’m trying to do now.

Don’t just skim the introductory material and the FAQ!
I just dived straight in and made a lot of ‘plankton’ (n00b) errors…
Again, steemit.com is way deeper than it looks at first.

Do have actual real conversations with people on your posts and on theirs. Check your replies and respond to them. This should just be standard but bears mentioning, as it’s such a cultural shift away from facebook and twitter’s incessant and addictive notifications. Steemit doesn’t send you a notification every time somebody farts, or hassle you to post something if you spend a day or two offline.

Don’t just follow back everybody who follows you, as you might have done on the old social media. I made the mistake of following back 150 odd people who followed me and had to spend a day or two trawling through removing loads of bots, dead accounts and other bods who I found disinteresting. I’ve probably got a fair bit more following and unfollowing to do before I get it right for my personal ‘niche’.

Do check out the people who have followed you and follow them back if they seem interesting and cool to you.

It’s not about how many followers you can acquire anyway, it’s about the quality of the interactions you have and the actual connections you make along the way.

RECOMMENDATIONS

If you’re interested in learning more and joining the steemit community, use the time queuing for your account to properly familiarise yourself with the white paper, the blue paper and the FAQs.  There’s a lot to digest but don’t be put off and don’t just skim through it all like I did at first. There’s way more exciting information in these documents than I can helpfuly relay here and now.

You don’t need an account to have a look around the platform and its various affiliates like Dtube, Dsound etc.

Say goodbye to being dripfed bullshit by big data’s prolefeeds. You’re responsible for how you use your time on steemit and for what content you create, curate, upvote and share.

Don’t be put off by the ‘trending’ ‘new’ and ‘promoted’ feed being mostly drivel, as it is on big data’s platforms. Don’t be put off by the mountains of posts about cryptocurrency and markets if they’re mostly illegible to you, as they are to me.

Go straight to the ‘View all tags’  link (at the bottom of the trending tags bar) and have look for stuff you’re interested in. If what you’re looking for isn’t in the long top trending list, use the searchbar. This takes you to a google search – set that to ‘by date’ to find the most recent posts and discussion about what interests you.

Tags I’ve personally found interesting on steemit.com so far include:

#anarchy #eco-train #earthdeeds #earthtribe #informationwar * #news #nature #science

*Important note: the ‘informationwar’ account and tag is not affiliated with Alex Jones and his hatemongering crew of alt-right wrong uns. Thanks to @sloe for pointing this out and to @informationwar for confirming.

infowardisclaimer

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF STEEMIT

From my perspective, it’s a bit of a shame that so many people on steemit are currently there just for the purpose of making money. At the same time, I fully respect how much effort those same people have put into making this potential utopia a reality. Given all the other benefits of the paradigm shift that steemit represents for the digital space and the material world, I’m prepared to suspend my disbelief and challenge my preconceptions.

One of the only two criticisms on the wikipedia entry about steemit.com, is from Joe Lee, co-founder and CIO of digital currency trading platform Magnr, who told CoinDesk:

Whether Steem succeeds as a digital currency will be more a reflection of Steemit’s success as a platform as opposed to the economics of the coin itself. This is a good example of a digital currency whose value will be closely affiliated to its utilitarian value as a social networking and sharing platform.”

So, the ‘whales’ and the ‘planktons’ successes on the platform are inextricably intertwined. Community cohesion and monetary value are inextricably and immutably connected. If the steemit community absorb this criticism constructively steemit could save the internet which could help save the world!

A mass migrate to steemit could improve the quality of the steemit platform, the diversity and quality of the content there, the cohesion amongst the community and at the same time raise the living standards for everybody, rapidly.

It could lead to an actually grassroots-led third sector that could be infinitely more effective than the current one, (which rewards it’s CEOs six-figure salaries while leaving the problems themselves unsolved for decades on end)…

A mass migrate to steemit could be just the r3V0_|utionary paradigm shift we need.

Could steemit.com be Post-Capitalism?

It certainly looks promising to me!

Reviews of all the other social media platforms I’ve been investigating will be posted very soon.

steemitbanner_1350X275.png

  • ALL Ann Narkeh Media’s stuff is offered to the internet for FREE and WITHOUT ADVERTISING! SUBSCRIBE to get notifications of NEW THINGS.
  • If you LIKE it, or think it’s useful, please SHARE it.
  • IF YOU’RE ABLE, please consider making a paypal contribution towards keeping Ann Narkeh Media online.

ANM_LARGE_GIF

copyleftfont
extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction. Join the Extinction Rebellion.

cropped-anmxr.png

GONE DARK

TJFL_GIF

Since the latest Social Media Apocalypse, I’ve been limiting my public use of the big social media monopolies, (namely facebook, twitter and youtube) even more than I previously had done.

I’m now officially ‘going dark’ on these platforms.

Going dark is military lingo for the termination of communication. It is used to describe a scenario in which communication appears to have ceased, but in reality has just moved from public communication channels to more private communication channels to prevent eavesdropping,…or in this case, data abuse and behavioral manipulation.

It’s been really good to spend some time away from the big platforms and generally away from the internet. I was becoming extremely vexxed by the state of it all. I displaced the stress onto some comrades who didn’t deserve it. I really regret falling out with them and will be properly apologising as soon as I find the right words.

New Platforms 

Steemit

I got my shiny new steemit beta account today. I’m looking forward to figuring it out and how to use d.tube, which seems to be some sort of affiliated partner. I’ve never used a block chain enabled platform before, it’s exciting!
tikkitlogo
I’ve been enjoying the new socialist social media platform, tikkit. it’s still quite sparsely populated at the moment but feels good so far. Obviously a bit of an echo chamber but nice to find a space that’s explicitly for ‘left minded’ people.
Minds_logo
And I’m also on minds.com which seems to have become a refuge for all the racists, sexists, islamaphobes, Trump supporters, Alex Jones fans and far-right wingnuts who’ve been booted from the rest of the internet. Interestingly, virtually the entire nation of Vietnam have also recently migrated from facebook to minds.com.

I haven’t spent a lot of time there yet but there’s certainly a really interesting and challenging blend of different folk, compared with the myopic filter bubbles I had become used to.

More thorough reviews of these platforms will be forthcoming as soon as I’ve finished setting them up and figured them out. Any more recommendations would be most gratefully received, of course.

Decision Dilemma

One of the dilemmas I’m currently considering (again) is whether or not to just delete the monopolistic platforms altogether. ‘Going dark’ is a temporary compromise while I reflect, investigate alternatives and theorise the best plan of action.

Though also fairly monopolistic, google and wordpress have never banned me overtly, and as far as I can tell they haven’t censored, or ghostbanned me yet either, so this website will continue to be my principle outlet for new things and stuff.

I’ll still be logging back in to kafkabook, twatter and yootoob occasionally, to post new content from this site, to support twitterstorms, to share any urgent information and to check messages. Incidentally, I’ve noticed some really strange stuff with my personal inbox and the inboxes of other pages I administrate on facebook. I no longer rely on that as a secure method of communication, at all.

If you want to get hold of me try one of these new platforms, or email;
annnarkeh (at) gmail (dot) com

SocialMediapocalypse

  • ALL Ann Narkeh Media’s stuff is offered to the internet for FREE and WITHOUT ADVERTISING! SUBSCRIBE to get notifications of NEW THINGS.
  • If you LIKE it, or think it’s useful, please SHARE it.
  • IF YOU’RE ABLE, please consider making a paypal contribution towards keeping Ann Narkeh Media online.

ANM_LARGE_GIF

copyleftfont
extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction. Join the Extinction Rebellion.

cropped-anmxr.png

Regarding the ‘Social Mediapocalypse’…

TJFL_GIF
TL:DR and trigger warning. This post is for my own sanity and for people who are trying to pay attention to the collapsing everything. It asks more questions than it answers.

Since the recent spate of bannings on social media, I feel I should write a little more on the subject. Digital censorship is something I’ve written about at some length in the past and most of my conclusions about the issue remain the same as they were last time round. I don’t want to dwell on it too much now but ICYMI, the digital hammer is coming down again, repeatedly. All over the place. Like cyber whack-a-mole.

Simultaneously, the right wing, billionaire owned corporate media and their chums in parliament have inadvertently revealed the most problematic elephant in the room.

The Palestine anti-semitism debate flame war has been fueled by the anti-Corbyn, pro-Israel lobby to epic proportions now. As absurd as it is, this #WreathGate mullarkey seems to have been a significant watershed moment. Corbyn’s graceful, powerful riposte to Netanyahu on twitter seems to have galvanised pro-Corbyn and pro-palestinian supporters, who have been speaking up louder than ever. The way people are thinking and talking about the world is finally, dramatically changing, on Israel/Palestine and an overwhelming number of other significant things that really matter, materially and ‘spiritually’ for want of a better word.

In this context, the social media crackdown looks like an inevitable overreaction by the status quo against the internet’s rising consciousness, which is once again threatening to disrupt business as usual. Whether it’s ‘top down’ collusion and censorship, co-ordinated campaigns by third parties to get certain channels suspended, or both is largely irrelevant at this point. (It looks like a bit of both to me).

Between all this and the chaos of Trump and Brexshit, most people’s attention has been diverted away from grappling with the painful reality of the actual apocalypse, the 6th Mass Extinction event which is escalating, rapidly. Here too, an awful lot more people are engaging with it than ever before though.

The ‘digital commons’ still represents one of our best hopes for developing, discovering, sharing and implementing positive global solutions to the greatest challenge in history: Survival.

Ironically, the carbon footprint of this digital activity now needs to be factored into our calculations too. We need to be more efficient than ever.

Continue reading Regarding the ‘Social Mediapocalypse’…

National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist, London, 13th October 2018

TJFL_GIF

I’m very proud to have collaborated with my mate, Donnachadh McCarthy again, helping to put together the posters, flyers and social media materials for the National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist, organised by Stop Killing Cyclists and supported by a broad coalition of campaign groups.

National_Funeral_V8.png

The event will honour and mark the deaths of:

  • over a thousand cyclists killed on our roads in the last decade
  • the thousands of cyclists killed by traffic pollution
  • the hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to cycle but were afraid to, due to the lack of protected cycle lanes and who thus died from horrific lung & heart diseases, asthma, diabetes and a plethora of other diseases brought on by the sedentary, petrochemical lifestyle.

NFUCPosters.jpg

National_Funeral_800X800_V3UK Gov. Plc has invested almost nothing on safer cycling but tens of £billions on ever more roads for the car-lobby. £billions more is given in annual tax-cuts to the toxic diesel/petrol lobby, which is accelerating the 6th Mass Extinction.

The excellent photograph in the poster captures the scale of Stop Killing Cyclists’ first mass die-in, at Tfl headquarters, 5 years ago. 1500 people came together to protest, after 6 people were killed while cycling in one month.

This year’s National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist hopes to be the largest ever Die-In in UK history, to ensure the Chancer of Death, Phillip Hammond, the incumbent PM, Jeremy Corbyn and his incumbent Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell hear two clear demands for the Autumn budget:

£3 Billion per year investment in cycling

A reversal of tax cuts on toxic diesel and petrol

#3Billion4Cycling

Donnachadh explained how they had arrived at the £3 Billion per year figure based on doubling the Dutch model, which invests the equivalent of £30 per person per year on cycling. The UK needs to catch up with 50 years of failure to invest in safer cycling.

The Dutch have the safest cycling infrastructure in the world. Despite some hotspots, they also enjoy some of the cleanest air in Europe.

More Dutch Cycling = Safer Cycling + Less Pollution + Cleaner Air

Dutch-Cyclists-Safest

#Divest

The second demand, a reversal of the year on year tax-cuts on toxic fuel should be a no-brainer, given the calamitous state of our collapsing climate. If we are to survive the 6th Mass Extinction, we must create a cleaner, safer world. Electric vehicles alone aren’t going to cut it, especially if the electricity which powers them is still produced by burning toxic fossil fuels and distributed across an ancient, inefficient power grid. Electric vehicles still have a massive embedded carbon footprint.

The UK, and the world must fully divest from fossil fuels as Ireland has done and properly invest in safe cycling infrastructure.

Righteous Rage to Peaceful Action.

National_Funeral_Back_V2_Inverted

Channel your anger at all these injustices into peaceful direct action and demand better from UK Gov. Plc.

If you’re not able to attend, please share this event with your networks.

Cheers.

National_Funeral_1920X1080

  • ALL Ann Narkeh Media’s stuff is offered to the internet for FREE, and now WITHOUT ADVERTISING! SUBSCRIBE to get notifications of NEW THINGS.
  • If you LIKE it, or think it’s useful, please SHARE it.
  • IF YOU’RE ABLE, please consider making a contribution. 

ANM_LARGE_GIF

copyleftfont
extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction, particularly as corporate power invests so much pretending that it isn’t really happening…

 

 

EXTINCTION OR SURVIVAL? Imagining a Future for our Scorched Planet.

TJFL_GIF

In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a lot of batshit crazy. I suppose I should feel privileged to live in a time of such unprecedented global challenges.

We were taught about global warming in school. It was all a bit flakey back then because the fossil fuel corporations had just started distorting and disputing the climate science. A school of science which incidentally they had pioneered. The basic principles were understood long before I was born. #ExxonKnew

When I started primary school, we were being taught that the apocalyptic climate collapse we’re witnessing now might happen in a few hundred years but if we recycled more and changed our light bulbs and used catalytic converters and stopped using CFCs everything would  probably be OK.

By the time I started secondary school, they were saying this cataclysmic tragedy might unfold in about a hundred years and we should probably all recycle more to be on the safe side. By the time I finished, they were saying maybe 50 years, if we didn’t take more meaningful action.

As I got older, they  revised it down further, saying probably within our lifetimes. Then the IPCC report. The World Scientists’ Warnings to Humanity. TWENTY THREE years of annual international climate conferences (COP24 will be in December this year). All too little too late and still held back by an industry determined to protect it’s short term shareholder interest.

Now, everything’s collapsing around our ears and it has become difficult to imagine a future in which organised human life on planet Earth is viable. Or life at all for that matter.  It turns out most of the recycling we’ve been diligently doing has been going to landfill and incinerators all these years. Increasing numbers of people believe that we’ve already passed the tipping point. An uninhabitable planet is now baked in to the mix.

Corporate media have starting to make the most monumental U-turn in history: We should now accept that an increasingly chaotic climate is the ‘new normal’. We should be preparing for more heatwaves and sea level rise of 60m. (normally I wouldn’t link to sky news but it’s interesting that even they are now starting to accept the stark reality). It has become undeniable. Much of humanity’s minds are being blown. Like frogs in boiling water, slowly realising our shared fate too late.

The Global heatwave is symptom of early stage cycle of civilisational collapse

Extinction_RebellionThe world’s ‘leaders’ (such as they are) have procrastinated and lied and squabbled and squandered decades that could have made a difference. The farcical folly of the greenwashing industry; recyling going to landfill and incinerators,  ‘catalytic converters’,  ‘carbon trading schemes’ and so on tell us all we need to know about their ‘leadership’ on the issue.

You need only look at the brutal corporate policing of protests from Standing Rock to Preston New Rd to understand how intractable the problem is.

The fact that at least FIVE pacific islands have already been lost to rising sea levels is not yet commonly known or understood. I had hoped that this news might have woken up more people when it happened. Two years ago.

Imagining Hope

I’m suppose I’m lucky to have been engaged with the problem of catastrophic climate collapse and human extinction for quite a long time. I’m not as panicked by it as people who are just coming round to the concept now, so I can at least offer a relatively calm perspective. Continue reading EXTINCTION OR SURVIVAL? Imagining a Future for our Scorched Planet.

Trump and Brexit are Distractions. What Are They Distracting us From?

During the 2016 US presidential election, the provocative philosopher, Slavoj Žižek made a leftist’s case for electing Trump, (please bear with me). Slavoj’s insensitivity to the plight of LGBTQ comrades, his positions and commentary on climate change and immigration are deeply problematic for me but his perspective on Trump and the state of ‘the left’ was right on.

(Very) basically, his analysis rhymed with that of Julian Assange; that the 2016 US election was like a choice between cholera and gonorrhea. To them and doubtless many American citizens, the Clinton mafia represented an inertia perhaps best exemplified by their unforgivable treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters.

Slavoj argued that Trump, while horrific, represented a shake up of the blatantly corrupt establishment. My interpretation of his point during the election was that ‘the Left’ needed a good kick up the arse. Or as he put it, “the awakening of an authentic left”.

After the election, he was absolutely roasted, most notably by Mehdi Hassan on Al Jazeera, where he offered this defence of and exposition on his thinking.

‘The Left’ certainly seems to have started getting it’s shit together in the Trump era. We’ve had a few big wins. #BlackLivesMatter has changed the conversation on institutional racism and white privilege. #MeToo has changed the conversation on patriarchy and toxic masculinity.

Sadly, ‘the Right’ are relentless in their destructive tendencies and tribalism is easily exploited. Fake NGOs and other useful idiots are still appealing to maintain ‘the Left’s’ static status quo, which has in my lifetime been concerned only with cosmetic change. Talking shops. Anything but directing actual change through action.

“If you can’t face Hiroshima in the theatre,

you’ll eventually end up in Hiroshima itself” 

–  Edward Bond

Noam Chomsky has made the case that Trump, being a master showman, is simultaneously a massive distraction and a wrecking ball, paving the way for the worst horrors of neo-liberal disaster capitalism in the US and around it’s worldwide empire.

Here in the United Kingdom of America, there are similarities and differences. Our equivalent of Bernie Sanders is Jeremy Corbyn, who has apparently succeeded in piercing the archaic, anti-democratic parliamentary structures. This is a win. Corbyn appears to be a genuine, lifelong ally.

The similarities are more striking though.  Treason Mayhem and her chums have been creating a terrifyingly absurd spectacle for over two years now. Brexit has not only succeeded in dividing all we who might otherwise be natural allies. It has also robbed people of their hopes, dreams and nightmares for the future. It is robbing them of their power, because the neverendumb referendum created such a convincing illusion of power.

UK Gov Plc announced last week that they intend to start distributing ‘packages’, ‘warning‘ (terrorising) UK citizens ‘on a weekly basis’ about the perils of a ‘no deal Brexit’.  Could this be because many people are now starting to realise that Brexit was a con? A black and white choice on a rainbow of options over which we have no actual say.

People tend to feel more powerful in a tribe and the longer they affiliate with that tribe, the harder the die casts. Nobody wants to give up their power, so if you associate your power with a tribe you will most likely defend your tribe against all logic.

So, having successfully divided and distracted most of us, what have Trump, the Tories and their chums been up to? What have they been distracting us from?

(The following list is not in order of importance. All these struggles are interconnected).

The Planet is Literally Burning

The exponentially accelerating effects of extreme pollution, climate change, ‘hyrdological extremes’ (drought, flood)  and the resultant 6th Mass Extinction. Wildfires raging in the arctic circle. 

I’ll just repeat that: Wildfires raging. In the arctic circle.

In the ARCTIC circle.

“This appears to be a trend as more and bigger blazes are reported in other far northern regions like Greenland, Alaska, Siberia and Canada.” – and in the North of England.

Class War

The effects of austerity on the vulnerable. The thousands of people who have committed suicide or died from preventable conditions after being found fit for work; The increasing numbers of uncounted homeless deaths on our streets, and in squats, and bedsits, and B&Bs, hostels, and other unsafe, temporary means of hiding the problem while lining the pockets of landlords and poverty property developers. The vast majority of the population reliant on the state and foodbanks for survival.

Fracking

The ecocidal fracking industry spreading across the country, poisoning our water, land and air for a short term injection of capital into the dying fossil fuel industry. UK Gov plc deploying the UK’s public police force to act as private security to ‘protect’ the fracking industry. From the knitting nanas of Lancashire. By throwing them around, arresting them and dragging them through the courts…

Proxy Warmongering and Fascism

Refugees and immigrants from poor countries fleeing the effects of climate change wrought on them by richer countries. Refugees and immigrants fleeing the secret proxy wars of a dying empire which is closing it’s borders, abandoning them to die and worse. These human beings are almost exclusively referred to in terms of the problems they present at the borders. The hostile environment. Those fucking ‘Go Home’ vans. The horror of Yarl’s Wood detention centre and Guantanamo. Trump locking children in cages. Trial runs for fascism in full flow.

The Rise of the Neo-McCarthyist Corporate Police State

Lush managed to pierce the established media networks with their excellent but much maligned #SpyCops campaign, shedding precious light on the undercover policing scandal, which otherwise nobody would know anything about. Undercover police formed intimate, long term relationships with activists, fathering children with them before abandoning the families they had co-created. Spycops apparently compiled blacklists of environmental, peace and human rights activists, members of Parliament and trade unionists, undermining union disputes. High profile victims of this scandal include the incumbent Prime Minister, Jeremy Corbyn.

The impetus for writing this little rant/blog/article is this week’s revelation, courtesy of Baroness Jenny Jones: UK Gov Plc are now deploying children as #SpyCops to do dangerous police work. If this isn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back I dread to think what will be.

This list is by no means comprehensive. I think it’s sufficient to make my point though.

We need to make earth great again. Whatever you’re doing to make this happen, keep it up. Do more if you can. Don’t forget to practice self-care, be kind to yourself and others.

Keep it lit.

  • ALL Ann Narkeh Media’s stuff is offered to the internet for FREE, and now WITHOUT ADVERTISING! SUBSCRIBE to get notifications of NEW THINGS.
  • If you LIKE it, or think it’s useful, please SHARE it.
  • IF YOU’RE ABLE, please consider making a contribution. 

ANM_LARGE_GIF

copyleftfont
extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction, particularly as corporate power invests so much pretending that it isn’t really happening…

Got Me Some JUSTICE!

TJFL_GIF
Personal Blog 22/5/2018

First and foremost I want to express my infinite gratitude to all my friends and family for putting up with me these last three years or so. In particular, singular thanks to my excellent solicitor, Anna Thwaites of Bindman’s LLP. for helping me successfully pursue restorative justice. These are my personal reflections on getting nicked, being vindicated at trial and successfully pursuing legal action against the police, who have not accepted liability but have paid a reasonable settlement out of court. 

I am overwhelmingly relieved to discover that there is not only just us, there is sometimes also justice. I feel very privileged to have been born in a country where institutions like the Legal Aid Agency and solicitors like Bindmans LLP exist.

It has been extremely difficult not being able to talk about ‘my case’ these last three years. Ironically now that it’s been settled, I don’t really want to talk about it. I feel obliged and compelled to share my experience though, for my own sanity, for those who care and for those who are interested.

Context

Almost Three Years Ago, I was arrested while livestreaming from Runnymede Eco Village who were hosting the Festival for Democracy, which was a folk gathering of peace activists, environmental activists, students and hippies. The event was intended to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta being signed. I was there to learn some history, to relax, to perform some music with friends and move in for a bit. Runnymede eco-village was an amazing place, which was later shamefully destroyed by bailiffs. I’m gutted that I didn’t get to spend time there before it was demolished.

Runnymede.jpg
As far as I understood it, the organisers of the festival had permission from the local council and the police months in advance of the festival but when we arrived there was a heavy police presence. They had cordoned off the eco-village and were preventing people from attending what they were calling ‘an illegal rave’.  I think it’s most likely that the ‘illegal rave’ was a simple ruse to shut down the festival.

I started livestreaming immediately, to let people know what was happening and to seek advice from comrades online. I was able to broadcast a transmission from Phoenix who reassured people that it was all a misunderstanding and the festival for democracy was going ahead. We did some more broadcasts of Phoenix showing us around and liaising with the police at the entrances.

 

They arrested me while livestreaming Phoenix in discussion with a police officer at the main entrance to the site. The officers who arrived were overbearing and rude. They offered me no opportunity for discussion. They handcuffed, fingerprinted, DNA swabbed and detained me in a cell overnight. They confiscated my phone and refused to return it for months. They released me with conditions to leave the area and not return. I could not collect my belongings from the eco-village. I had just over £1 to my name. If it wasn’t for the comrades who waited all night to help me out, I would have been absolutely fucked.

I was the only livestreamer broadcasting from the site. I later discovered that the broadcast of my arrest had put people off attending – because the over-policing of what was intended to be a peaceful political gathering was so frighteningly disproportionate. It cannot be proven at this stage whether or not it was their intention to discourage people from coming by singling me out for arrest midway through a broadcast but that was the effective outcome.

They took me to court several months later under threat of a prison sentence. I was found not guilty by a prosecutor who expressed their discomfort at my having been brought to trial, let alone arrested. My vindication apparently came by virtue of the footage I had livestreamed before and during the arrest. (Bambuser’s free livestreaming service is sadly offline now but I have saved the footage).

When used effectively, livestreaming inverts the traditional, ‘top down’ technological paradigm. It is ironic that the Orwellian surveillance state now feels so threatened by it’s own technology. “They” clearly don’t like it. Unfortunately, “they” still hold the monopoly on the use of force.

Amongst various other factual inaccuracies in the information the police had on me, they had placed a marker for ‘weapons’ on my custody record. I was not then and do not carry weapons. Understanding how livestreamers are now routinely picked off at protests, demonstrations, actions and peaceful assemblies, I wonder if they categorised my livestreaming phone as a ‘weapon’ in the information war. It’s not that implausible.

They also placed markers for ‘psychosis’ and ‘schizophrenia’ on my custody record. I have never been diagnosed with either of these conditions.

After three years of asking them to correct the inaccuracies on my custody record, they finally agreed to add an amendment. On page 20 something of that document.

Does the State Now See Me As An ‘Arrestable’?

In my few years on various frontlines of UK activism, I have often wondered what happens to all the people who get arrested. A few people I know and know of seem to be in a continuous cycle of getting nicked and then being prosecuted (dragged through the courts) for protesting, demonstrating, occupying, blockading etc. A few have even done time in prison for peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience.

These brave few ‘arrestables’ seem remarkably at ease with the risks they take on a seemingly regular basis. I admire them all for their courage, for the strength of their convictions and for their determination to use their lives to help unfuck the world. They inspire me to do all I can to help. I also wonder which of them are political, corporate, or state plants. I wonder which political parties, which corporations, which states…which agendas…

Many more of the people who get nicked simply vanish from public view altogether. They either burn out and fade away, or go incognito as I have done to some extent recently.

It’s for this reason that I had never voluntarily been an arrestable. I would take part in mass actions but I’d always been too scared to put my hand up for cracking the squat, or doing the lock-on, or the lorrysurf, or the blockade. The unknown was scary. Being arrested was scary. Being taken to court and prosecuted was scary.

The Bad

The last three years have definitely taken their toll on me physically and mentally. I’m not going to detail all of the fuckery that’s gone on because I don’t think that would be very useful or helpful but it has all been very taxing. I’ve struggled to sleep. My physical and mental health have suffered. The legal chicanery was nauseating. My solicitor was cautious about me discussing the case publicly, which was extremely frustrating. By the end of it, the cost budget if the case proceeded to trial would have been six figures. Despite being protected to some extent by the Legal Aid Agency, this was a huge privilege, responsibility and pressure to bear. Channelling the anger and fear, balancing the paranoia and caution has been extremely difficult but…

The Good

It was well worth it. I was not only vindicated at my criminal trial but I got justice afterwards. I feel great now. I’m sleeping better. I’m in a much better place psychologically and materially than I have been for a long time. I’ve got an opportunity to properly recuperate healthwise, to square up with all the people who’ve helped me and to pay some forward to comrades who need help now. That’s also what I’m trying to do here with this bit of scribbling, in a non-materialistic sense…

Perhaps most significantly, I’m a lot less scared of it all. Arrest, trial and litigation are not as unknown and scary as they were. I don’t especially want to go through it all again, but I’m much better prepared if I decide that I must voluntarily or if I’m involuntarily forced to again.

Hindsight

As difficult and counter-intuitive as it was, I now believe it was the right move to self-censor about the litigation. Regardless of the impact on my case, it would have had a detrimental impact on people’s perception of the ‘scary unknown’. Being arrested and prosecuted. Facing trial, possibly prison. Pursuing restorative justice. It was all scary and I was very freaked out by it. I kept a personal blog for my darkest moments, which became thousands of words long. I don’t think any of it would be of much use to share now, though I’ve boiled down some of it here so as not to sugarcoat it.

Three years was a long time to wait, but it is extremely satisfying to have walked this road to the end. I’ve learned a lot about myself, the people around me and about how another pillar of the prostitute state operates.

I feel very privileged to live in a part of the world that still enjoys freedoms that would see you assassinated elsewhere. I’m looking forward to getting stuck back in to using this privilege as effectively as I can to help unfuck the world.

Lastly, again, I am overwhelmingly grateful to Bindmans LLP’s excellent solicitors, Samantha Broadley and legal counsel, Owen Greenhall who helped to vindicate me at my criminal trial, to Anna Thwaites who helped me get restorative justice and to the Legal Aid Agency, without whom I would not have been able to get legal representation at all.

Thanks to everybody who’s helped me out materially and emotionally.

You know who you are and you’re awesome.

thankyoudance

  • ALL Ann Narkeh Media’s stuff is offered to the internet for FREE, and now WITHOUT ADVERTISING! SUBSCRIBE to get notifications of NEW THINGS.
  • If you LIKE it, or think it’s useful, please SHARE it.
  • IF YOU’RE ABLE, please consider making a contribution. 

ANM_LARGE_GIF

copyleftfont
extinctionsymbol

The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction, particularly as corporate power invests so much pretending that it isn’t really happening…