Creative Activism

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Celebrating Diversity in Boston

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Filed under: Creative Activism

Gay St. Patrick’s Day Float Crashes Boston’s Parade Despite Anti-Gay Policy
by James Nichols
The Huffington Post
March 17, 2014

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Amid controversy surrounding the anti-gay St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York City and Boston, a group of gay activists stealthily invaded the Boston parade with a pro-gay float.

Read more here.

Creative Activism in Bulgaria

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

From Marcy LaViollette: Appreciated and reblogged from animalnewyork.com


Bulgaria’s Soviet Soldier Statue Vandalized Again: The Ukraine Colors Edition
by Marina Galperina
Animalnewyork.com
February 25, 2014

The most hated statue in Sofia, Bulgaria has been painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, in solidarity with the revolution and the deadly protests in the former Soviet Republic.

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It is, essentially, a gigantic bronze relief to remind the Bulgarian people about an invading Soviet forces that crushed and “liberated” the country from its a reformist uprising 45 years ago. It was previously vandalized in June 2010 when the soldiers were painted as Superman, Ronald McDonald, Santa Claus and other capitalist/pop culture American icons, captioned below in graffiti: “In step with the times!”

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It was vandalized again in August 2013, when it was sprayed entirely in hot pink and tagged with the words “Prague ’68″ and “Bulgaria apologizes” in Czech and Bulgarian, as in, sorry about the Warsaw Pact, you know, that time Bulgarian troops aided the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

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And of course, that time in August 2012 when it was briefly balaclava’ed in tribute to the jailed Russian feminist art-band activists of Pussy Riot.

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lead image: AFP Photo/Nikolay Doychinov

F.B.I. Burglars Come Clean After 43 Years

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Filed under: Creative Activism

In 1971, eight anti-war activists, including John and Bonnie Raines, broke into a suburban FBI office outside of Philadelphia and stole just about every file in the building.

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They then leaked pertinent documents to the media that directly implicated J. Edgar Hoover in his efforts to discredit protestors, particularly black student activists, with extraordinary surveillance and “dirty tricks”. In particular they uncovered an operation called COINTELPRO, short for Counter Intelligence Program, which followed “subversive” domestic political groups, specifically to discredit people and destroy their reputations.

Said one of the most damning memos regarding the surveillance: “It will enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles and will further serve to get the point across there is an F.B.I. agent behind every mailbox…” The burglars, who remained anonymous until now, feeling the information they revealed was more important than their identities, put the first chink in Hoover’s formidable power base, eventually helping to bring down his operation.

Betty Medsger of The Washington Post was the first reporter to write about the files. She has now written a book, out this week, called “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI”. Documentarian Johanna Hamilton has produced a film called “1971,” about this daring feat.

For the full story:

  • Burglars Who Took On F.B.I. Abandon Shadows, The New York Times
  • After 43 years, activists admit theft at FBI office that exposed domestic spying, NBC News
  • ‘Somebody had to do it': Aging activists confess to being behind great FBI heist in 1971 which shed light on controversial surveillance program (and say ‘hi!’ to Edward Snowden), The Daily Mail
  • Satanists Demand Equal Rights at Oklahoma State Capitol

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, The Big One

    From IBTimes.co.uk:

    A group of Satanists who hope to build a statue of the devil next to a monument of the Ten Commandments by Oklahoma’s Capitol building have unveiled their proposed design.

    satan-statue

    The Satanic Temple, a New York-based organisation who describe themselves as “the most active satanic organisation in the world”, applied for a permit to erect a monument of Satan next to the Ten Commandments memorial.

    Read the rest of this article here.

    Watch the video from the group’s Indiegogo fund raising site, where, with 10 days to go, they’re already 10% above their goal.

    Create an NSA document

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, First Amendment Issues

    From Joe King: Leak your own NSA document, via Graham Cluley’s Security Newsletter, the site churns out a unique [fake] surveillance program when you visit.


    The NSA Product Generator

    Inspired by the recent dump of NSA’s TAO product catalog, containing weirdly-codenamed products beyond the wildest paranoid’s dreams. Each time you refresh the page, another document is generated.

    nsaproductgenerator

    Another demented project from @ternus

    Pussy Riot To Pursue Human Rights Agenda

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    Filed under: Creative Activism

    Pussy Riot Unveil Plans for Human Rights Organization
    by Patrick Reevell
    Rollingstone
    December 27, 2013

    Freed musicians return to Moscow to announce next steps, which do not include touring

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    On Friday, Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina held their first public press conference since their release from prison on Monday. They unveiled their plans for a new human rights organization and said they remain committed to bringing down Russian president Vladimir Putin.

    “The system ought to be in shape. We’re going to force it to get into it,” Tolokonnikova told hundreds of journalists at the studios of the Russian opposition TV station, TV Rain. “We intend to help with the advancement and reaction to complaints of prisoners about the conditions of their incarceration. We want to provide them with legal aid.”

    (more…)

    Elf Advocates and Environmentalists Join Forces

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Urban Legends

    From Ellie:


    Iceland’s hidden elves delay road projects
    by Jenna Gottlieb
    World News NBCnews.com
    December 22, 2013

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    REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — In this land of fire and ice, where the fog-shrouded lava fields offer a spooky landscape in which anything might lurk, stories abound of the “hidden folk” — thousands of elves, making their homes in Iceland’s wilderness.

    So perhaps it was only a matter of time before 21st-century elves got political representation.

    Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from to the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church.

    (more…)

    Protestors Accused of Terrorism Hoax

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

    Glitter-Covered Banner Got These Protesters Arrested for Staging a Bioterror Hoax
    by Molly Redden
    Mother Jones
    December 17, 2013

    Energy giants have lobbied police to treat environmental activists like potential terrorists. Looks like it’s working.

    glitter-protest

    It’s not uncommon for environmental protesters to face arrest, but here’s an apparent first: On Friday, Oklahoma City police charged a pair of environmental activists with staging a “terrorism hoax” after they unfurled a pair of banners covered in glitter—a substance local cops considered evidence of a faux biochemical assault.

    Stefan Warner and Moriah Stephenson, members of the environmental group Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, were part of a group of about a dozen activists demonstrating at Devon Tower, the headquarters of fossil fuel giant Devon Energy. They activists were protesting the company’s use of fracking, its role in mining of Canada’s tar sands, and its ties to TransCanada, the energy company planning to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. As other activists blocked the building’s revolving door, Warner and Stephenson hung two banners—one a cranberry-colored sheet emblazoned with The Hunger Games “mockingjay” symbol and the words “The odds are never in our favor” in gold letters—from the second floor of the Devon Tower’s atrium.

    (more…)

    Epic Don’t Drink and Drive Prank

    posted by
    Filed under: Creative Activism, Practical Jokes and Mischief

    From Tom Mabe and MabeinAmerica: Tom and Jim teach an alcoholic a lesson after his fifth DUI. When he wakes up from having passed out, they convince him he’s been in a coma for 10 years.


    tommabecomahoax

    Watch the video

    Bombing for Peace

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

    15graffiti-graphic-200More than a dozen street artists from around the world, including New York, Britain, the Czech Republic and Hawaii, traveled at the behest of Artists 4 Israel to the Golan Heights, where, with $12,000 worth of spray paint, they left their mark on the edge of this 1.8-mile-wide demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria.

    “Most of the group’s time, and paint, was spent at the military and intelligence base, a huge two-story structure that a local tour guide said was built by the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The guide, Chen Kristal, said it had been the headquarters for the Syrian top brass, and that the famous Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who was eventually hanged in Damascus, had also been stationed there.” New York Times

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    ChemisQuneitra

    ChemisEye-425

    Read more and view additional photos here

    Fast Food Activist

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    Filed under: Creative Activism

    An unknown artist paints recipes for healthier meals over fast food ads in Cologne, Germany:

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    via FastCo

    The Heidelberg Urban Revival Project

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    Filed under: Creative Activism

    From Atlas Obscura, Your Guide to the World’s Hidden Treasures:


    The Heidelberg Project: Bringing Color, Art, and Controversy to a Decaying Part of Detroit
    by Ella Morton
    Slate
    November 19, 2013

    Watching the deterioration of his impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood of McDougall-Hall two decades after Detroit’s 1967 race riots, artist Tyree Guyton felt the need to do something. So he picked up a paintbrush and painted pastel polka dots all over his grandfather’s Heidelberg Street house.

    Guyton’s paint job was the first act toward what became the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor community art project aimed at breathing life back into his decaying district. Encouraged by his grandfather, and with the help of local kids, Guyton began decorating the abandoned homes beside the polka-dot house and installing art made from salvaged materials.

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    The project now spans two blocks and is constantly evolving, anchored by the altered houses. One ramshackle two-story home is covered in stuffed animals. Another is painted with numbers of wildly varying sizes and colors. Strewn across the yards are sculptures incorporating decorated cars, shopping carts, doors, shoes, and household appliances.

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    Read and see more here

    Comic Activism

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    Filed under: Creative Activism

    From worldcomicsindia.com


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    Read more:

  • Exclusive: Meet India’s Comic Activists Whose Wall Art Is Inspiring Movements — And Changing Policy, Truthout
  • Russell Brand Speaks on Truth and Change

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    Filed under: Creative Activism

    Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”
    by Russell Brand
    NewStatesman
    October 24, 2013

    But before we change the world, we need to change the way we think.

    [Article follows the video]


    Russell Brand on BBC’s Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman, October 24, 2013


    Russell Brand, guest editor of the NewStatesman:

    russellbrandnewstatesman-200When I was asked to edit an issue of the New Statesman I said yes because it was a beautiful woman asking me. I chose the subject of revolution because the New Statesman is a political magazine and imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics.

    When people talk about politics within the existing Westminster framework I feel a dull thud in my stomach and my eyes involuntarily glaze. Like when I’m conversing and the subject changes from me and moves on to another topic. I try to remain engaged but behind my eyes I am adrift in immediate nostalgia; “How happy I was earlier in this chat,” I instantly think.

    I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites. Billy Connolly said: “Don’t vote, it encourages them,” and, “The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever being one.”

    I don’t vote because to me it seems like a tacit act of compliance; (more…)

    No Woman, No Drive

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Parody

    From Naomi:


    ‘No Woman, No Drive’ Is This Year’s Best Saudi Driving Protest Song
    by Michael Ballaban
    Jalopnik.com
    October 26, 2013

    No Woman, No Drive video

    Saudi Arabia has some of the most repressive laws against women in the entire world, prohibiting them from even sitting behind the wheel of a car. Today, brave women across Saudi Arabia are protesting those laws by simply by driving, and brave comedians are protesting by making absolutely hilarious songs.

    It’s not strictly illegal, per se, for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, but they just won’t let you get a driver’s license unless you have what they consider to be the requisite equipment between the legs. So that makes it illegal, to the tune of ten lashes. Yes, ten lashes.

    Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh posted the excellent “No Woman, No Drive” today to bring more attention to the plight of women in the Middle Eastern country. It’s not only sarcastic and sharp, but relevant as well, with references to the new and absurd claim that driving might damage one’s ovaries.

    Read the whole article here.

    Related:

  • Saudi Ministry Warns Women Not to Defy Driving Ban
  • If Women Drive They’ll Damage Their Ovaries, Says Stupid Saudi Cleric