We Are Legion: #MillionMaskMarch, Russell Brand Goes Anon in London

Firebrand actorvist Russell Brand joined the #MillionMaskMarch on in London on November 5. #MillionMaskMarch went across the global, proving Anons are legion and while the majority of protests were peaceful, there were clashes with police in London where protestors threw inevitable bottles, scuffled with cops outside Buckingham Palace and one protestor appeared to have been struck by police van. Anons in Australia and Armenia marched. South Africa was only sub-Saharan African nation to participate though some Egyptians did don the EFG masks. In Oslo, police stopped 60 protestors who were wearing mask.  Sao Paulo Brazil was epic-check  out the pic below!

In the United States, Anons marked in front of Edward Snowden’s former employer Booz Allen Hamilton in Atlanta. In front of the White House where a flag was burned and protestors chanted:

Obama come out. We have some shit to talk about.

In Los Angeles, Anons marched downtown and assembled outside LAPD headquarters and the Los Angeles Times building, while in Denver the police kept a wary eye. The yellow masks of Texas brought it in Austin and Dallas, Anons proved they know the way to San Jose…. Twitter #MillionMaskMarch has plenty of news, photos and updates.

Back to masked Russell Brand who told the BBC  that he doesn’t vote, and suggested the rest of us not vote either. While Brand has expressed some interesting views, avoiding the ballot box is pretty dumb in the  United States, where the ability to vote is being eroded with the closing of polling places in minority neighborhoods, and the  limiting of mail-in voting, provisional ballots and early voting.   Huge masses of people suffered jail, beatings, police dogs, and even death fighting for their right to vote here in the US and abroad.  Brand doesn’t think voting will change anything. He’s wrong.

Guess who votes religiously in the US? Conservatives. Liberals, progressives, moderates who  avoid voting will cause change, but not in hopey changey way. You want to see change? Stay home and don’t vote and see who gets elected. Right-wing theocrats like Ted Cruz and Tea Party candidates because their followers vote. Don’t vote, and watch ballot measures that can screw you get passed. Don’t vote and see local right wing judges hit the bench.


Brazil photo: @RedHack on Twitter, Brand photo: @Skip_Lord  on Twitter

Occupy Back to Chalk Sidewalks at Los Angeles Art Walk

Occupy has vowed to return to Art Walk tonight, Thursday the 9th, and “Chalkupy” the sidewalks, as well as staging

an open community art and music space in Pershing Square with a community potluck and a “Really Really Free” Market.

Occupiers also plans to have a portion of the evening dedicated to the victims of LAPD violence at last month’s event including those arrested for chalking, those injured by police projectiles and other law enforcement weaponries, small businesses and artists who had to shut down early, and residents and patrons who the LAPD kept from entering or existing buildings until early the next morning.

In advance of tonight’s Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, members of Occupy were arrested earlier today for chalking Pershing Square. The three arrested Chalkupiers were bused in from Occupy Oakland. Two were released, and one remained in jail on an outstanding warrant.

The Los Angeles Police Department–which came down hard on  Occupy last month for chalking the sidewalks, streets and crosswalks–is taking a firm stance on sidewalk chalking, as is the city. Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Horace Frank, of the Central Division, told the Los Angeles Times that his officers plan to enforce the anti-chalking law if they see it being broken:

It’s a violation of the law, it’s vandalism, and we’re going to make an arrest,” he said, adding that he has received frequent emails from downtown property owners complaining about damage from chalk.

“My BlackBerry is burning up with pictures of businesses being vandalized.”

Meanwhile, though the city has declined to press charges on the majority of those arrested for chalking–which seems like a huge waste of everyone’s time and a form of intimidation–no permits will be issued for  chalking:

Richard Schave, a founding member of the Art Walk non-profit, asked the city if it would be possible to create a “safe space” for the group to protest, after LAPD clashed with protesters at last month’s “Chalk Walk.” The city said that it could approve a permit for protesters to congregate at Pershing Square, but not if the event included chalking, which it does not consider lawful.

The President of Public Works, Andrea Alarcon, sent Schave a letter saying that the city considers chalking illegal activity:

“Unfortunately, a request for a permit to assemble in Pershing Square for the purposes of ‘chalking’ does not fit within the parameters of our permitting structure because the use of chalk to deface public or private property is not lawful.”

9:15 p.m: According to Channel 9 News, Chalkupy is going on at Pershing Square and no arrests have been made. While there is a police presence, it’s waaaay smaller than last month’s; and police say they are taking things on a case by case basis, with no arrests so far tonight. Meanwhile, some of the chalkers are heading to Art Walk.

Will update at next news report.


Photo: Twitpic @FreshJuiceParty

HT: LAist

Now You Can “Officially” Protest the 2012 Olympics!

The 2012 Olympics® is a serious  branding fest, and what better way to show corporate compliance than with an official tee shirt that satirically supports protesting the greenwashed London Olympics®–and provides you with a link to apply for official tickets to protest.

Created by the anarchitects Space Hijackers, the tee shirt mocks the glut of official merch stamped with the ghastly London Olympics® logo and the UK government’s first court order to ban an Occupy activist from the Olympic Games®.

Space Hijackers explain their reasons for protesting the London 2012 Olympics® include poor employment practices, lack of affordable housing after the Olympics, toxic waste, unethical sponsors, and inability of Londoners to get to their jobs because of VIP traffic routes created by the 2012 Summer Games®, and that the Summer Games®:

will certainly be promoting many things through its corporate sponsorship deals. LOCOG are interested in protecting their benevolent sponsors but seem to have little interest in anyone else’s freedom of speech or expression, even handing out ASBO’s to anyone opposing the games. Their crack team of branding Police will be enforcing laws expecially drawn up for the olympics which are far more stringent than any other copyright law. With everything from an “Official chocolate bar of the Olympic Games” through to banning anyone using the words “olympics”, “2012″, “Summer Games” “Twenty Twelve” and many more, the games is more than anything an experiment in extending corporate control of social life.

Late Night FDL: May Day–Walking, Dancing, Marching: It’s Good for You!


It’s May Day when those of certain faiths celebrate spring with dances round the maypole (a phallic symbol if ever there was one) and jumping over the Beltane fires, along with some other heart-rate raising activities of the fornicatory variety. In modern times May Day has become associated with another exercise: Marches! There were marches all over the world today!

Today in Los Angeles we had Four Winds, where groups from the four corners of the county converged in downtown, joining with pro-immigrant rallies in downtown and shutting down LAX for a while. There were several arrests for civil disobedience, and some idiot hit an LAPD officer with a skateboard. Not be sexist, but the moran, who remains at large, hit a female officer, and considering how everyone at the marches is supposed to be all respectful of the wimmins–even cops–that’s an epic fail. Or an outside agitator.

Celebrating May day with a Beltane frolic or a community march helps change the world. And even if it’s not a holiday, please make an effort to walk! Exercise changes your life!

Ryan Gosling Saves Journalist from Oncoming Cab, Thus Raising Awareness of Political Issues in US

There is a cringe-worthy cute-meet romance movie in this story, as well as some valid points about our celebrity-focused culture, and how it subsumes the the news cycle, pushing out important socio-political issues.

Political journalist Laura Penny is rather pragmatic about being saved from an oncoming New York taxi by a double-denim wearing guy who turned out to be actor/heartthrob Ryan Gosling. The Drive star reached out and grabbed her in the nick of time.

Penny–the author of Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism and Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent who has covered Occupy and writes for the Independent–is a contributing editor to The New Inquiry, and has contributed to The New Statesman, The Guardian, The Nation, Salon.com and Jezebel. She described the incident on Twitter:

I  literally LITERALLY got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling….I was crossing 6th avenue in a new pink wig. Not looking the right way because I am from London. Ryan Gosling grabbed me away from a taxi…Identity of no-idea-if-actually-a-manarchist-but-definitely-a-decent-sort Ryan Gosling confirmed by girl next to me, who said ‘you lucky bitch’

Penny has received numerous media requests which she has turned down because

it’s getting silly now…I really think it’s a bit of a fuss over not very much

and writes in her piece for Gawker on the incident

I am grateful to every other kind New Yorker who has saved me from oncoming traffic in recent weeks, good citizens making the streets of this fine city that much safer for random British writers who can’t remember to look both ways….People do lovely, considerate things for other people all the time. I don’t believe that the fact that A-list celebrities occasionally act like human beings is in itself news — it might have been slightly newsworthy had Mr. Gosling simply floated by on a cloud of his own cultural significance whilst a young woman got smeared into the tarmac, but lucky for me, even the most chiseled-jawed of us are usually boringly dependable in times of minor peril.

Gosling may not be a manarchist, he is socially active. He volunteered in Biloxi, Mississippi as part of clean up efforts after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, has campaigned with PETA to encourage KFC and McDonalds to use more humane methods of slaughtering chickens.  The actor is also involved with African aid causes, and has traveled to Darfur, Uganda and Congo, as well as supporting  the Invisible Children charity.

And pulling Penny out of the way of a taxi isn’t Gosling’s first peripheral brush with Occupy. His upcoming film, Gangster Squad, about the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1950s, displaced Occupy LA for several days last year when they shot scenes at Los Angeles City Hall.

To Penny–who explained via Twitter she couldn’t do any TV appearances to discuss her five-second encounter with Gosling because the Manic Panic hair dye she used had turned not only her hair but her hands and face fuschia–the real heroes in America

are risking everything to make sure that the United States doesn’t slide further into bigotry, inequality and violence whilst everyone is distracted by the everyday doings of celebrities.

Exactly. But it would have been a fabulous opportunity for her to open celebrity-crazed minds to

war on Iran and war on women’s bodies and [why] Rick Santorum is considered a serious presidential candidate.

And in case you were wondering, Gosling didn’t say

Hey girl

when he moved Penny out of the way of the cab. He said

Hey, watch out!

Late Night FDL: Wolverines? US Military “Invades” Los Angeles for Training Mission


This must be the reason the Los Angeles City Council wanted Occupy LA out of downtown. I’m kidding!  They were actually worried about the trees and the lawn and the Farmers Market.

According to KFI640:

Joint military training exercises will be held evenings in downtown Los Angeles through Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The LAPD will be providing support for the exercises, which will also be held in other portions of the greater Los Angeles area, police said…

The exercises are designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments, prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployments, and meet mandatory training certification requirements, police said.

The comments on KFI are hysterical, in every meaning of the word:

-I don’t have to imagine the reasons for this training, or its location. Only wonder when it will be put to use. Can you spell Marshal Law?

-Yes, but evidently you can’t.

plus the usual screams about Posse Comitatus. At least it’s not interfering with the Downtown Art Walk/food truck frenzy. Now that would cause a serious uprising!

Black Phoenix #Occupies Your Nose and FDL Takes to the Road for #Occupy

The perfumers at the ultra-cool and collectible Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab have whipped up the sweet scent of democracy, Occupy style, and are donating all proceeds above manufacturing costs to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy LA in the form of  dollars to the OWS General Assembly for needed supplies, as well as sending pizza, aka the round meal (and making sure the ‘zas have lots of veggies on them for extra vitamins and fiber).

So far BPAL has donated over $1,300 to the OWS GA and has delivered stacks of pizzas to both camps, thanks to the scent which they describe thusly:

Rock the protester cliché! This is a filthy friggin’ patchouli, dark, deep, rooty, and strangely sexy, with cocoa absolute, tobacco absolute, and bourbon vanilla.

Meanwhile at Firedoglake, we have the #Occupy Supply Fund, with Kevin Gosztola hitting the road in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky to donate specific goods needed at eight sites.