Saturday afternoon, dozens of activists gathered in midtown Manhattan to demand the United States impeach and remove President Donald Trump and set a national standard for leadership and accountability. Bill Moyer, the Backbone Campaign’s Executive Director and co-founder said of the overall action, “Humor and ridicule of tyrants is a timeless tradition we are proud to be part of. Our grave concerns mount as the stage is being set for the Predator-in-Chief Donald Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump’s profane buffoonery and criminal incompetence are an insult to rights and protections people have fought and died for abroad and at home in the social movements that have improved our society."
By Lorna Garano for Truthout. L.M. Bogad's artful activism blends the strategies of civil disobedience with heaping doses of Harpo Marx. As a professor and "tactical performer, Bogad says he is committed to "speaking mirth to power." In his long career he has staged outrageous theatrical spectacles to skewer governments, corporations and power brokers of all sorts. Bogad has worked with the Yes Men and with unions and human rights groups on picket lines and occupations around the world. He helped to create and train the spectacular Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) and to make the street theater organization known as Billionaires for Bush -- which calls for "Government of, by, and for the Corporations" -- a fixture at the protests that shadowed George W. Bush's time as president. All of this "serious play" is informed and inspired by constant research into the long history of creative resistance.
By Dipanita Nath in Indian Express - Threads criss-cross a patch of a wall like a colourful cobweb gone chaotic. Through the artwork, a third-year student of Applied Art, Aditya Verma, is registering his protest against the College of Art, Delhi. “Look at the base of this wall, it is cracked like the system here. The college covers the crack with paint but does not repair it. My threads may be weak and break, but they sure as hell can highlight the problem of the crack,” said the 21-year-old. Students of the college have been on strike since August 31 to demand better infrastructure, equipment, staff and sanitation facilities, among others. Since Tuesday, the 16th day of the protest, the students have been “occupying” the campus the way only artists can — by covering the walls and pathways with graffiti.
By Araz Hachadourian in Yes Magazine - A recent study revealed that nearly half of people between the ages of 13 and 22 have experienced online harassment. Of those surveyed, one-third did nothing when they saw someone else being bullied. It’s an issue the members of the historically Latino Pregones Theater in the South Bronx, New York, saw in their community. So they wrote a play about it—and not just any play. They used a tradition of avant-garde theater to make sure that audience members leave better prepared to take action when they see cyber-bullying take place in their lives. The play is part of a program called “Pregones Emotions,” a blend of traditional theater, improv, and audience participation that the group started performing with local middle schools in 2006.
By The Editors of ARTnews - Eight new 'Morning Links' to news on the art world! 1)Yesterday, MoMA staff protested healthcare cuts outside of the museum. 2) Pierre Audi, founder of the Almeida Theater in London, has been named the new artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory. 3)As the New York City Opera is bankrupt, they are considering undergoing a reorganization in order to legally be able to accept millions of dollars from Pierre DeMenasce, who left 10 percent of his $70 million estate to the opera in his will. 4) Due to the recent acquisition of a collection of works by John Singer Sargent, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be creating a John Singer Sargent Archive, which will be held at the Forsythe Institute across from the museum.
By Michael Fox and Ryan Harvey in TeleSur - Artist and activist Ryan Harvey, co-founder of Firebrand Records with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, gave teleSUR en exclusive interview about the new distribution label. Harvey, who is also a teleSUR blogger, explains that over the next year Firebrand hopes to build the roster and help artists achieve more recognition through both promotion of their releases, tours, and other projects, and through cross-pollination from the collective nature of the label: "Firebrand is a new project because of it's scope: we are both international and multi-genre, but more importantly, we are offering a mechanism whereby artists don't have to worry about political or social censorship surrounding revolutionary ideas about human rights, for instance, to hope to get real professional promotion and distribution."
As a political activist, I have organized and attended many street protests. I often wonder how many people in the public we influence as we march by them brandishing our signs and shouting our chants. And when we post our articles, events and memes on Facebook, are we preaching to anyone besides the choir? Maybe there is a better way to change hearts and minds and inspire people to action. In a 2013 article, the radical intellectual Chris Hedges wrote: “The resistance needs a vibrant cultural component. It was the spirituals that nourished the souls of African-Americans during the nightmare of slavery. It was the blues that spoke to the reality of black people during the era of Jim Crow. It was the poems of Federico Garcia Lorca that sustained the republicans fighting the fascists in Spain. Music, dance, drama, art, song, painting were the fire and drive of resistance movements.”
The legacy of the brutal Burmese regime that kept glamorous challenger Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest and its tightly controlled society closed off to outside influences had seemed poised for real change. Just a month ago, as the early sunlight spread across the Bagan plain lighting up hundreds of ancient pagodas and warming up a sizable gaggle of tourists (including myself) perched high on one of the structures to witness the sunrise, it seemed clear that a new day was dawning. As part of the inaugural Beautiful Rising workshop, we had gathered in Yangon the week before to hear stories of resistance and begin to tease out the shared lessons that these events held for frontline activists.
What does create long-lasting change, is changing the hearts and minds of the people, and changing the consciousness of society. This is done by connecting to them on both an emotional and a logical level, not by just expressing how angry you there. There is certainly plenty of value in large gatherings where people loudly express their views, but it will require a bit more creativity than that to really connect with people on a deeper level. Most people think protests are aimless especially when they are mismanaged and get violent. Such protests instead lead to many socio-economic challenges, which create more problems than before.
From CreativeResistance.org - Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) at University of Pennsylvania is engaging in a series of creative actions, held weekly on Fridays. The group aims to create a more conscious and active community at U Penn and in Philadelphia. Police brutality is modern day lynching, state sanctioned murder. There are more Black men in prison today or under the watch of the criminal justice system than were enslaved in 1850. On October 24th, Gina Marie, Jamal Taylor and Breanna Moore portrayed slavery in 1814, lynching in 1914, and mass incarceration/prison industrial complex in 2014 to represent persistent acts of genocide against Black people. They wore tape over their mouths, symbolic of the silencing of African ancestors and brethren behind bars. “We will not be silent about our oppression.”
Protesters again stopped work at the construction site of the first tar sands mine in the US. Five people were later arrested and jailed but the campaign to stop the mine said the resistance will not relent until all tar sands plans are canceled. By moving quickly through the site to obstruct numerous construction vehicles, just a handful of speedy protesters were able to shut down the enormous construction project on a sprawling 213 acres in Utah’s Book Cliffs. “Direct, physical intervention is necessary to halt the completion of this toxic project,” said one protester.
From CreativeResistance.org. Through tear gas and the sweltering sun, umbrellas have been an indispensable tool for Occupy Central protesters in the streets — becoming a new symbol of protest for a more democratic Hong Kong. As the civil disobedience movement entered a second day on Monday, logos for the “umbrella revolution” or “umbrella movement” began spreading on social media. Kacey Wong, an artist and assistant professor at Polytechnic University, shared images of an umbrella in fiery red-orange, from the Resident Evil films, in an attempt to inspire other artists to come up with designs.