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It's not a famous venue, but unless you live somewhere like New York or San Francisco, it's like the best of the all-ages youth centers in your area.  And it has successfully hosted "name acts" such as Fugazi.  It may indeed have shaped the formation and development of such a center in your area by its example.  I know that in my area, the Flywheel Arts Center has become indispensable, as a center for youth and alternative culture,and is a decade younger than 242 Main, suggesting some influence.  From an article in Vice about the Burlington youth center:

It isn't a household name like the now-defunct CBGB in New York City, and it doesn't get the same recognition in the punk rock history books as a spot like 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley. But 242 Main Street is special in its own way: Nearly 30 years after opening its doors, it is now one of the longest running all-ages music venue in the country, beginning as an offbeat government-funded effort to overturn a draconian city ban on live music that resulted in the transformation of an old administrative building into the municipal youth center that exists to this day.
This wasn't an expensive, big-government project imposed on the town or state.  Instead it attracted young, enthusiastic people willing to put in the work to make their own dream come true, a victory for the DIY mentality:
"It was something that the community of young people said that they wanted, needed, and were willing to take care of," she said. "They didn't ask us to give them anything—they asked us to provide the opportunity. Everyone was very well aware that they had to police it and make sure that there were no problems. For us, it was a belief that if kids feel that they're respected and needed and that they're a component of a greater good, then that's fantastic."
It's a small thing, but it certainly isn't politics and government as usual.  Of such small pieces in then-Burlington mayor Bernie Sanders socialism made, touching peoples' lives as they live them, allowing for ever-greater democratic control and participation in our public life.
Now, as Bernie Sanders gears up for a 2016 presidential run, the formation of the Mayor's Youth Office and 242 Main provides interesting insight into the administrative style of Vermont's beloved Socialist senator—an offbeat yet tangible manifestation of Sanders' ideas about democracy, which almost radically encourage participation in government. With his work in Burlington, Sanders, whose anti-establishment politics have puzzled pundits and endeared him to liberals looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton, staked his claim that government can be a positive force in people's lives. And for generations of kids in Burlington, 242 Main Street has been just that.
I encourage everyone to read the Vice article linked above.

Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:00 PM PDT

Learning the wrong lessons?

by ActivistGuy

In the wake of the Michael Brown killing, many are pointing to the "militarization" of the police as the problem.  That the distribution of military-grade goods to local police departments as part of our various "Wars" (on drugs, on terror) is the proximate cause of the spectacular rise of police violence against civilians, up to and including the execution of unarmed citizens.  I, as probably comes as no surprise, have a radically different perspective.  See below the doodlebug.

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Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:27 PM PDT

America's Largest Street Gang

by ActivistGuy

I'm sure very few of you have seen this video.  It's pretty chilling.  It's about 56 minutes long.  In the context of recent events, it makes eminently clear that there are not coincidences or "bad apples", but a nationwide pattern, a doctrine that police may do whatever they like, and that it CAN happen to you or your loved one.  Full disclosure:  I was once arrested for taking someone to the hospital, so I have personal knowledge of the ludicrous, absurd lengths this doctrine of police infallibility can carry to.


Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:07 AM PST

Sych a liberation hero

by ActivistGuy

The Kyiv Post has published a rundown of the initial appointments to the new government of Ukraine.  My sources had been very insistent that the great "revolution" was deeply penetrated by well-organized far-right parties, in particular Svoboda and the Pravy Sektor.  While the fairly large center-right party of former boxer Vladimir Klitschko has chosen not to join the new government of Yulia Tymoshenko, Svoboda has stepped up taking several cabinet positions.  Here's an introduction to their new Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Oleksandr Sych.

     photo content_zps9c1700e3.png

Here's the Kyiv Post on Sych:

Oleksandr Sych, 49, was appointed deputy prime minister. This Svoboda Party member from Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast had a swift rise since his party made it to parliament. He has made some highly controversial moves in parliament since his election.

One of his legal initiatives was an attempt to ban all abortions, even for pregnancies that occurred during rape, an idea that caused a massive outcry among human rights groups. He also famously recommended women to “lead the kind of lifestyle to avoid the risk of rape, including one from drinking alcohol and being in controversial company.” It's not clear what area of the economy he will supervise as deputy prime minister.


Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 09:58 AM PST

The Single Bullet Theory

by ActivistGuy

They say those of us who question the Warren Commission official finding that OSWALD ACTED ALONE are crazy, creepy Conspiracy Theorists.  They say it's CT, because "extreordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".  Guess what?  I agree.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Posted below is the WikiPedia entry on the Single-Bullet Theory.  If one accepts the findings of the Warren Commission, it follows that one MUST accept the Single-Bullet Theory as fact.  There is no other possible forensic explanation that covers the evidence and events of that day if one is to believe that Oswald acted alone.

I believe that the Single-Bullet Theory represents ann extraordinary claim.  Where's the extraordinary evidence that CT debunkers are usually so quick to demand?  50 years later, and still nowhere in sight.


Did Oswald act alone?

37%41 votes
54%59 votes
7%8 votes

| 108 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 07:37 AM PDT

What I want to know is...

by ActivistGuy

What's with the fricking rush to war?  Did the Kaiser and von Moltke request it?  Maybe  Clemenceau?

Syria will still be there in a month or two, and so will its civil war.   Our "pro-western" heroes in the al-Nusra Front will still stand tall in the Euphrates Valley that they traversed from Iraq as members of our allied "Great Sunni Awakening".

So why don't we take a couple months to find out what the facts of the chemical attack were?  Little matters like who carried it out, that simply are foreclosed from discussion in the US media and political class.

Who benefits by a rush to war?  (Besides Raytheon, that sees its stock price going through the roof*)Does it bring us greater understanding?  Just imagine that instead of threatening the UN inspectors with being killed by our bombs, our first response had been to protect and assist the inspectors in doing their jobs and getting the facts right.  Is there some reason the rush to war crowd thinks it's a wise idea to threaten the UN inspectors and keep them from effectively doing their jobs?  Is there something to hide, perhaps?  I can see no other reason if we're all so certain of the unimpeachable nature of the Israeli "intelligence product" being used to drive this rush to war.

And just why is it that the only SIGINT intercept being rolled out comes from Mossad?  Is the US intelligence agency that should be carrying out such functions distracted from its primary duties by other tasks its been given?  Or is there no NATO corroboration of the Israeli "intelligence" because there were no such communications to be captured in the first place?  

Rush to war, and we never get those answers, just lots of talk in the quagmire about how "now is not the time to point fingers."  Except those of us that want to take the time to get this right?  We're getting that finger all right.  Rush to war and all you get is August 1914.  Hitler and his minions have been hopelessly overplayed.  World War I is much more the norm of how war consumes everything, and there would have been no WWI without, yes, that rush to war that's being demanded of us today.

*Brings to mind the Fear song, "Let's Have a War" with its line "Let's have a war!  Jack up the Dow Jones!"

"Let's Have a War, sell the rights to the networks!"


A decade ago, many Americans chose to be fooled by the Lying Squad of Bush, Cheney, and Powell, into rallying 'round for Operation Iraq Liberation.   Mission Accomplished! The facts were there, the tell-tale signs it was BS were there (claims that Saddam was in league with al-Qaeda, when al-Qaeda's #1 agenda has always been overthrowing secular Arab dictators).  And when all the lies came to light post-war, the great wailing and gnashing of teeth went up.  "Nobody could have known!"  (Millions of us knew)  "Nobody told us!"  (No official sources, but in theory you're grownups and should know better than  to trust "official sources".)

This time people are telling you, and if you're deliberately closing your ears to those warnings, you'll have no one to blame but yourselves for the consequences.

Here we are, on the brink of war with Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons, except the only ones alleging that Assad did it are the US, Israel and the high command of the Syrian rebels.  The UN's Carla Ponte says otherwise, but even more telling, Syria's Kurds say otherwise, as well.

The Syrian Kurds are no friend of Assad.  In the early days of the rebellion, their militia was front and center.  As the civil war has dragged on, however, and the Kurds have gotten to better know their "fellow rebels", they've pulled back into a condition of "armed neutrality".  They may be the closest thing to reliable sources on the ground that exist in Syria.  We owe it to both them and to ourselves to hear what they are saying.  Given their history with Assad, it's pretty stunning to see the Kurds come to Assad's defense on this issue, because they understnd he's neither stupid nor crazy.  As reported by Reuters:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not be "so stupid" as to use chemical weapons close to Damascus, the leader of the country's largest Kurdish group said.

Saleh Muslim, head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said he doubted the Syrian president would resort to using such weapons when he felt he had the upper hand in the country's civil war.

He suggested last Wednesday's attack, which the opposition says was carried out by government forces and killed hundreds of people, was aimed at framing Assad and provoking an international reaction.

Read it all.  At least you won't be taken by surprise in the postwar world.  


Put up a Turkey video diary a week ago, here's another that came through my FB connections earlier today.  Here we see Turkish young people in one of those overlooked moments in an uprising when community and solidarity get forged, among the protesters themselves:

They use their instruments of protest to lay down the rhythm track!


Just a video from a Turkish video artist that was passed around in my local Occupy group:


Mon May 27, 2013 at 11:20 AM PDT

Memorial Day for Steelworkers

by ActivistGuy

Courtesy of the Bread & Roses Labor Memorial Committee:

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
― George Orwell

The Memorial Day Massacre of 1937 took the lives of 10 steel workers and injured 105. The Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) organized a peaceful protest that was to take place on Memorial Day in 1937. SWOC was attempting to organize the steel workers into an industrial union. When the company refused to recognize the union the workers went out on strike. The workers were striking against Republic Steel, part of the group of steel companies known as "Little Steel", who did not want to grant them union recognition.

After a family picnic, workers and their families decided to picket in front of the Republic Steel main gate. When the group a line of police officers, about 300 ft. wide, met them. The workers tried to talk to the police about letting them picket in front of the main gate; instead, the police opened fire on the crowd. Gas bombs and shots were fired at the crowd. When the day ended, 4 people were killed, 6 would later die in the hospital, and 30 suffered gunshot wounds, mostly in the back as they ran away.


Mon May 20, 2013 at 04:30 AM PDT

Supersize this strike!

by ActivistGuy

Thousands of fast-food workers from hundreds of chain restaurants in five najor American cities have walked off the job over the last several days.  Demanding living wages, more respect on the job, and the dignity and security of a unionized workplace, workers in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York and St. Louis have joined this sudden and unexpected labor uprising.  Read more here.

To whet your appetite for the whole story, here are a couple photos:

              photo 14_zps4f23c2d6.jpg

              photo 15_zpsc634fe60.jpg

If you're a fast-food worker, share this news with your co-workers.  The rest of us can show solidarity.

How big could supersized be?  There are over 3 million fast-food workers in the US today.  


Thu May 09, 2013 at 10:28 PM PDT

Kubla Khan

by ActivistGuy

across the Great Wall of Kos, "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

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