Thursday, October 23, 2014

IT'S TIME TO PUNT ON THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE



My blogging these days is limited by the Royal's playoff run and World Series entrance.  With the Series tied one to one and moving back to SF, I decided why not a sports article.  When looking for a quick, yet relevant sports piece the place to go is, of course, Edge of Sports.

The post below analyses the short, strange, career of Michael Sam and the on going idiocy known as the NFL.  One thing the NFL is proving this year is you can't trust anything they do or believe anything they say.  The Michael Sam "case" is one more example of that, and one more reason why watching the NFL has become more and more problematic for me.  

While all of professional sports is a big business, the NFL seems particularly grotesque.  America's favorite sport is nothing but violence, testosterone, and, quite clearly misogyny.   Is it also homophobic?  Well, duh.

I don't have to spend time watching this shit and acting like what is so blatantly going on can simply be ignored.  

Do you?

I am not going to tell you that major league baseball is free of all of this, but I will tell you that I honestly believe it is far less women hating, gay hating, and certainly far less violent then its football counterpart.  I am not going on some rant that no one can sit back with a cold beer and enjoy their favorite sporting event on television, or in the stands and have to feel guilty about it.  However, I am telling you the NFL, well, I find it hard to watch without that feeling of guilt.  Maybe they are just too blatant, I don't know, but seriously folks, like really.  

Remember the movie Roller Ball, the original one...hello, are we there yet.  Are you and I willing to pay money to watch grown men bash each other to a pulp, root for teams which play us for fools with their homophobic gimmicks, cheer for stars who spend their off time beating on women?  


Oh yeah, today I read there is a damn good chance we will be seeing Ray Rice back on the field before you know it.


Really?


They Need Him, So Why Was Michael Sam Cut From the Dallas Cowboys?



The set-up seemed preordained, written up by a hacky Hollywood screenwriter. Here are the Dallas Cowboys, the surprise juggernaut of the 2014 NFL season. They have all the Super Bowl ingredients: a fearsome offensive line, a healthy and surprisingly calm Tony Romo at quarterback, and a record-breaking running back in DeMarco Murray. The one thing they’re missing, an essential in today’s pass-happy NFL, is the ability to rush the passer. This is a Cowboys team with only six sacks on the season and not a single player with more than 1.5. There on the practice squad is a son of Texas, Michael Sam, whose chief commodity as a college All-American was his ability to get off the edge and drop the quarterback. The script was written for Sam to be promoted to the roster, and making a needed contribution to a dream season in Big D. Instead, it was announced on Monday evening that Michael Sam was being cut from the organization. The three sacks and eleven tackles in four games Sam garnered in preseason with the St. Louis Rams meant nothing. He was gone.
Oh, by the way, if Sam had been brought up to the main squad, he would have become the first openly gay active player in NFL history.
Did this have anything to do with his release? After all, Sam fulfilled a position of need on a team achingly close, after years of mediocrity, to being on the inside track to the Super Bowl. It is a legitimate question, given the groundbreaking nature of Sam’s efforts and the risk-averse reality of today’s NFL. Even though he, by every account, had been quiet to a fault and just worked hard on the practice squad, the widespread, whispered, off-the-record, belief has been that he would be a “distraction” and was only on the team because of NFL pressure, not to mention team owner Jerry Jones’ inexhaustible desire for publicity.
Throughout the year, when asked about Sam, the Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has been peevish. ESPN Dallas’s Jean-Jacques Taylor recently questioned the head coach about Sam’s progress. Garrett, in Taylor’s words, “did not provide a ringing endorsement.” The head coach then said, “He comes to work every day. He practices hard and he’s one of the 10 practice players we have. He’s working on his skills trying to develop, but also doing a lot of other things. He’s playing offense, playing defense and playing the kicking game. That’s what a lot of those guys do.”
Why would Garrett be so dismissive of Sam? Maybe it has something to do with why Sam was on his practice squad in the first place. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King reported that after Sam was cut from the Rams and spent almost three days without a spot on an NFL team, “a league official contacted multiple teams asking if they had evaluated Sam as a probable practice squad player. Now Sam and the NFL avoided a nightmare situation when he signed with the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.” The league offices have denied this, but we have to remember, as we have all learned this fall, that you know the NFL is lying when their lips are moving.
Jim Buzinski over at Outsports now argues that this will make closeted male athletes throughout the sports world far less likely to be open about their sexuality. “With Sam being cut halfway through the NFL season and without ever stepping on the field during a regular season game, I think it will be a while before we see another player come out publicly. There just isn’t much upside and the perception will linger that by being out, Sam hurt his draft status and chance of landing on a team.”
That perception is hard to shake.
Sam was typically gracious upon hearing about his release. “I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates and fans for their support,” he said on Twitter. “While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.”
One wonders whether Sam will get that opportunity. As of now, it looks like he was caught in a vise between NFL headquarters pushing to get him on the Cowboys practice squad and the lack of desire by any franchise to want to be “the ones” to actually put themselves out there and give him an honest chance. It is ironic that the Dallas Cowboys, a team defined for so many years by “distractions,” starting with their own endlessly embarrassing owner Jerry Jones, are now finally winning and therefore want no part of the non-football-related attention Michael Sam brings. This is still like a Hollywood movie. Only now it reeks of farce.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DO YOU EVER WONDER WHY GOD IS SO PIECEMEAL WITH THOSE WHOLE WRATH THING...

if it isn't one thing,
it's something else


I don't know about you, but I have to get myself in shape for the opening night of the World Series.  May I just say a "LET'S GO ROYALS."

Meanwhile, god is casting down the wrath again.  If it isn't one thing it is something else.  You'd think a being who is all knowing, all powerful, omnipotent, and all that would have just cleared all the stuff that gets on his/her/its/ their nerves out of the way a long time ago.

But no....

Bill Berkowitz, who has the misfortune of being a San Francisco Giants fan, is responsible for the following piece from TruthOut.


Ridiculous Pastor John Hagee: Ebola is God’s Judgment on America for Trying to "Divide Jerusalem"



BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
aaaHagee(Photo: Paul Wharton)I know you've been waiting for it. And now you're getting it. One of this country's most influential evangelical Christian pastors is claiming that Ebola is God's judgment on President Obama for attempting to divide Jerusalem. Before you slap your forehead, and scream for mercy, remember that nearly every awful event that has happened over the past umpty-umph years – from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina, from tornadoes and the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 -- is a result of God's judgment, according to many American Christian leaders.
"I want every American to hear this very clearly," Pastor John Hagee said on a recent broadcast of Hagee Hotline. "The prophet Joel says in the third chapter, 'I God will bring all nations' and hear that phrase—'all nations' includes America, 'into judgment for they have divided up My land, the land of Israel.' God says when any nation divides up the land of Israel, they are subject to judgment, and dividing Jerusalem is dividing the land.
"Our president is dead set on dividing Jerusalem. God is watching, and He will bring America into judgment. There are grounds to say judgment has already begun because he, the president, has been fighting to divide Jerusalem for years now. We are now experiencing the crisis of Ebola.
"We have a crisis in our economy. We are worried on every hand that we are going to be attacked by radical Islam, and there are some very rational voices saying we are their next target. We are a nation that has a crisis of leadership. We are in chaos, in crisis. Anarchy is running our nation in Ferguson, Missouri."
So here we have Hagee, a well-known expert on race relations (not) maintaining that, "Anarchy is running our nation in Ferguson, Missouri." To be honest, I'm not even sure I know what that means other than Hagee attempting to lump apples, and prayer beads together.
("On the same broadcast, host Matthew Hagee cited Matthew 24:7 to claim that the current Ebola crisis is a "pestilence," and thus, a sign of the end of times, and the second-coming of Jesus Christ," the Jerusalem Post reported.)
Pastor John Hagee is no run-of-the-mill evangelical preacher. He is the founder of a multi-million dollar media empire anchored by his San Antonio, Texas-based Cornerstone Church, which boasts perhaps as many as 20,000 active members. He is the founder of the Christian Zionist organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which has, according to CUFI leaders, more than one million members.
He is also the man who got in deep trouble during the 2008 presidential campaign, when after Sen. John McCain managed to seek out and get Hagee's endorsement, a video surfaced that showed Hagee claiming that that God had sent Adolph Hitler to hunt the Jews, chase them from Europe, and drive them to Palestine. McCain was forced to disavow Hagee's endorsement.
Hagee's Global Evangelism Television (GETV), was characterized by People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch as "a one-stop destination for all your John Hagee Ministries-related needs. ... featur[ing] live events along with music videos, short messages, looks behind the scenes, and current and archived sermons."
In a video titled The Agenda to Destroy America, Hagee "spent a half-hour talking directly to the camera about how Communists have succeeded in taking over America," Right Wing Watch pointed out.
Hagee was also included on Foreign Policy-compiled list of the 50 Republicans who have the greatest influence on the GOP's foreign policy.
In an early August column, titled, "Is Deadly Ebola Outbreak the First Bowl of 'Revelation' Judgment?" Charisma News' Jennifer LeClaire reported that, "Liberia's church leaders are claiming the deadly outbreak is a plague God has sent to punish the nation for 'immoral acts' such as homosexuality." LeClaire pointed to a report by Liberia's Daily Observer which noted that "more than 100 bishops, pastors, general overseers, prophets, evangelists and other ministers of the gospel who are part of the Liberia Council of Churches have resolved": "God is angry with Liberia, and that Ebola is a plague. Liberians have to pray and seek God's forgiveness over the corruption and immoral acts (such as homosexualism, etc.) that continue to penetrate our society. As Christians, we must repent and seek God's forgiveness."
In a more recent column titled "Is John Hagee Right? Is Ebola God's Judgment for Dividing Jerusalem?" LeClair, news editor for Charisma, revisited the God's judgment claim. "Is Ebola God's judgment on America? I honestly don't know. I do believe God has lifted His hedge of protection, in part, over this nation. Some call that discipline. Some call it judgment. Some don't believe God is involved in it at all. But I am praying about what Hagee said and what could happen next."
The only sure thing that will happen is that when the next tragedy strikes, or when the next natural disaster hits, there will be some evangelical Christian preacher declaring it to be an example of God's judgment.

Monday, October 20, 2014

HAITI: THE LAND THAT THE UNITED NATIONS FORGOT, BUT CHOLERA DID NOT



And what about Haiti?

If the United Nations brings a deadly disease to a country should it be held accountable?  Should someone?

This Thursday a court proceeding will get underway with that question at its heart.  Courts are nice and we hope this one shows some actual justice and dispenses it as well, but...

As Haiti Libre points out:


After the rejection in February 2013 by the United Nations, of a first complaint against the UN in 2011, which accused the peacekeepers of being responsible for the cholera outbreak in Haiti in 2010 and demanded compensation for victim the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), on behalf of plaintiffs Haitian and Haitian-American, who contracted cholera, as well as families of deceased, filed Wednesday, October 9, 2013 in federal court in Manhattan a new complaint against the UN in an attempt to lift the diplomatic immunity that the United Nations has since 1946 [under section 29 of the Convention on the Privileges and immunities of the United Nations]. This complaint relates directly to the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for careless and dangerous behavior.

That's what they'll be talking about in a New York courtroom later this week. 

Maybe you remember, its only been four years, that while cholera hadn't been heard of in Haiti in 110 years, suddenly in October of 2010, that all changed. Twelve months later, cholera had sickened more than 450,000 Haitians, nearly 5 percent of the population. More than 6,000 were dead.  Today the numbers are higher: more than 8,500 people have died and over 700,000 have been infected.

The pathogen spread into Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The world has failed to tame this epidemic. It continues to plague Haiti to this day, some 300 people are diagnosed with the disease each week, one of which, on average, will die.

Foreign Affairs, yes that Foreign Affairs, admits:


The right to health comes with a cover charge, and much of the world -- especially those in struggling states such as Haiti, Liberia, and Sierra Leone -- can’t pay it. In Haiti, cholera found its ideal host. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti lacks any system of modern water treatment. In the fall of 2010, United Nations peacekeeping troops from Nepal imported cholera to Haiti. They were stationed at a military base in rural Haiti, where their sewage was dumped, untreated, into Haiti’s waterways. As Paul S. Keim, a geneticist who studied the Haitian and Nepalese cholera strains, told The New York Times, in 2012, “It was like throwing a lighted match into a gasoline-filled room.

 Multiple studies, including one from Yale University, affirm that the epidemic spread from peacekeepers in a UN camp about 35 miles from Port-au-Prince. UN officials, however, have refused to accept responsibility.

The UN argues that it has immunity from prosecution in this case. In March this year, the US Justice Department sided with the UN, granting it immunity and recommending that the case be dropped.

One of those facing scrutiny in the coming court case is Edmond Mulet, who led the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) at the time of the outbreak. Mulet has stringently disregarded the claims against him. In an interview with FRANCE 24, he dismissed all evidence incriminating the UN.  He claimed that it has not been proven that the cholera was brought in by Nepalese peacekeepers.  He than asked France 24 not to air the interview.

UN Secretary general, Ban-Ki Moon has  asserted the organization’s immunity – and Haiti’s lack of sovereignty – by coldly asserting that the charges against it were, in legal parlance, “non-receivable” – and hence, inactionable. In essence, the assertion of non-receivable becomes a curt denial of Haitian humanity.  Lately, he simply refuses to comment.


France 24 points out however,


Not everybody at the UN got the silence memo. Gustavo Gallon, a senior human rights expert who was appointed by the UN to report on the situation in Haiti, publicly disagreed with the body over its refusal to address the claims against it. “Silence is the worst of responses to a catastrophe caused by human action,” he said in March.

One of the lawyers representing Haitian victims is Mario Joseph, who is handling some 5,000 cases says the UN has worked overtime to cover its culpability.  He adds, 


The UN, not intentionally but with the greatest level of negligence, gross reckless negligence, inflicted a disease on the people of Haiti when they were already suffering so much.

 Brian Concannon of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) , who is also representing cholera victims in their case against the UN  says:


The UN has a binding international law obligation to install the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to control the cholera epidemic, as well as compensate those injured.  MINUSTAH (the United Nations force that has militarily occupied the republic since 2004) has spent far more than $2 billion since cholera broke out on other things. It is a question of priorities.



The Canal, a Panamanian Blog, writes that Beatrice Lindstrom, an IJDH staff attorney, says treaties give the United Nations legal immunity when the organization sends peacekeepers. Instead, it is supposed to organize a Standing Claims Commission to determine whether the United Nations can be held liable for damages against a person and, if so, for how much.+


But Lindstrom says that UN officials didn’t organize a Standing Claims Commission in Haiti, nor have they done so in any of the countries in which they’ve launched peacekeeping missions in the past 66 years. In other words, if the United Nations does something wrong in a country where the organization has peacekeepers, there is simply nowhere for victims to turn

Daniele Lantagne, an environmental engineer at Tufts University and one of the UN-appointed researchers who matched the Haitian cholera strain with that of the outbreak in Nepal, is concerned that while the contagion rate has slowed in recent years, the country risks a second round of mass contagion while the international health focus is turned to Ebola.
The current lull in deaths caused by cholera might be explained by partial immunity, which occurs when a disease is rampant, she told FRANCE 24. That period of respite, she said, will last for two to three years. “After that, however,… there could be another surge.”
Something about all this sounds familiar doesn't it?
The following is from  Common Health.
Outbreak On Trial: Who’s To Blame For Bringing Disease Into A Country?
By Richard Knox
If an international agency introduces a devastating disease to a country, should it be held accountable?
That’s the big question at the heart of a court proceeding that gets underway next Thursday. The international agency is the United Nations. The disease is cholera. And the nation is Haiti.
Four years ago this month, thousands of Haitians downstream from a U.N. peacekeeping encampment began falling ill and dying from cholera, a disease not previously seen in Haiti for at least a century.
Since then cholera has sickened one in every 14 Haitians — more than 700,000 people; and over 8,000 have died. That’s nearly twice the official death count from Ebola in West Africa thus far.
A year ago, a Boston-based human rights group sued the U.N. for bringing cholera to Haiti through infected peacekeeping troops from Nepal, where the disease was circulating at the time. The U.N. camp spilled its sewage directly into a tributary of Haiti’s largest river.
There’s little doubt that the U.N. peacekeepers brought the cholera germ to Haiti. Nor is there argument over the poor sanitary conditions at the U.N. camp.
When I visited the scene in 2012, it was plain how untreated sewage from the camp could easily contaminate the Meille River that runs alongside before it spills into the Artibonite — Haiti’s Mississippi — which provides water for drinking, washing and irrigation for a substantial fraction of the country’s population.
The smoking gun, scientifically, is a molecular analysis of the Haitian cholera bug compared to the Nepalese strain from the same time period. It showed the two differ in only one out of 4 million genetic elements.
“That’s considered an exact match, that they’re the same strain of cholera,” Tufts University environmental engineer Daniele Lantagne told me last year.
She’s one of four scientists appointed by the U.N. to investigate how cholera got to Haiti.
But next week’s proceedings, in the U.S. District Court of Judge J. Paul Oetken in New York City, will not deal with those facts, and how they point to the U.N.’s responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti. The only issue for now is whether the U.N. can be sued — or if it enjoys absolute immunity.
At a time when nations and U.N. agencies are being criticized for not doing enough to quell the burgeoning Ebola epidemic, the cholera suit may have special resonance.
The U.N. is not commenting on the suit. “We don’t make comments on ongoing cases,” says Matthias Gillmann, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Gillmann says the agency hasn’t commented on the matter since it announced last year that claims for compensation filed by Haitian cholera victims “were found not receivable.”
However, the U.N. has been deploying a public relations strategy to defuse Haitians’ anger about cholera. Last July Ban Ki-Moon made what he called a “pilgrimage” to a cholera-stricken family in Haiti and said he was “very much humble and sad to have seen all this tragedy that has been affecting many Haitian people.”
Ban also said the U.N. “has a moral duty to help those people to stem the further spread of cholera,” although the agency has been able to raise only about $26 million out of the $2.2 billion it says will be needed to bring clean water and sanitation to Haiti.
The U.N.’s surrogate in this legal battle is the U.S. government. In a legal brief filed in July, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara argued that the U.N. and its officials are totally immune from lawsuits, no matter what harm may arise from its activities, such as peacekeeping missions.
“The U.N. has repeatedly asserted its immunity,” Bharara wrote Judge Oetken. “Plaintiffs have not presented — and cannot present — any evidence to the contrary.”
Of course, the plaintiffs see it very differently. They’re represented by Dorchester-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and its sister group Bureau des Avocats Internationaux. Their lawsuit demands that the U.N. pay for an adequate water-and-sanitation system for Haiti, the only sure way to end the cholera epidemic, and to compensate cholera victims.
Brian Concannon of the IJDH says the U.N.’s immunity is limited. He says it’s supposed to have a mechanism to compensate those injured by its actions — which might cover such things as sexual assault by peacekeeping troops, or property damage, as well as the introduction of lethal diseases.
That mechanism is called a Standing Claims Commission, which would resolve disputes over damage claims.
“The U.N. has never set up a Standing Claims Commission in 60 years of peacekeeping missions,” Concannon said in an interview.
His group petitioned the U.N. in 2012 to set up such a commission to address cholera claims. But as the secretary-general’s spokesman says, the U.N. found those claims “not receivable,” which provoked the current lawsuit.
Despite the opposition of the U.S. government, Concannon says he’s optimistic. For one thing, Judge Oetken didn’t have to schedule a hearing at all. “The safe route for the judge would be to say, ‘I’m going to defer to the government and dismiss the case,’” Concannon says. “The fact he granted our request for a hearing is a sign the court is taking this seriously.”
In addition, the judge has opened the hearing to outside “friend of the court” parties — groups of international legal experts who support the plaintiffs’ claims. “It’s unusual that the judge made such a broad invitation,” Concannon says. “We think it’s a sign he’s interested in these issues.”
Manfred Nowak, a professor of international law and human rights at Stanford University and a former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, signed one of those amicus briefs. “The U.N. needs to understand,” Nowak says, “that immunity cannot mean impunity.”




Friday, October 17, 2014

EBOLA: IT'S A SHAME



It's a shame that I was writing about the dangerous situation with Ebola in Africa years before the national media noticed it. It's a shame that I have been shouting about the current epidemic in West Africa long before the national media noticed it. It's a shame that the national media and the American people seemed far more concerned about three cases of Ebola in the USA then the thousands and thousands in Africa. It's a shame that I seem to know more about how to deal with Ebola then the CDC or WHO. It's a shame that I have lost so much confidence in the CDC and WHO. It's a shame that the head of the CDC is just another political appointment, that WHO regional offices are political appointments. It's a shame that the workers at the CDC and the WHO don't have more say in their agencies. It's a shame that local health departments are for the most part incompetent. It's a shame that we are all told absolutes when there are no absolutes. It's a shame that few share the fact that we have never dealt with this particular strain of Ebola, that we have never dealt with an epidemic the size and scope of what we are seeing in West Africa, that we have never tried to contain Ebola in heavily populated area. It's a shame that Republicans see all this as an opportunity to push right wing politics, and Democrats think complaining now about budget cuts is the best they got. It's a shame that the best the government can do is hold hearings after the fact and appoint a Czar. It's a shame that the Czar they have appointed has less relevant experience then I do. It's a shame that until a couple of white Christian Americans contracted Ebola, that no one here much gave a damn. It's a crime that thousands are dying in Africa not primarily as a result of a virus but as a result of poverty and healthcare inequality. It's a shame so few seem to get the fact that the battle lines are now in Africa because what happens there will shape what happens everywhere else, and because it is there that people are dying in droves. It's a shame that Americans really believe that the way to deal with Ebola is to take people's temperature at the airport, and believe that they can really build a wall around their country in a globalized world. It's a shame that Americans, the media, the government don't get the fact that if Ebola explodes in the developing world that it will have a huge impact on the lives of everyone worldwide. It's a shame that governmental officials don't seem to understand how international trade, energy, food, etc., works in a global world. It's a shame that so many now want to blame Africans and nurses for what is happening. It's a shame that racism and stigmatization have reared their ugly heads yet again concerning an infectious disease. It's a shame and it is frightening that three cases of Ebola in the USA has panicked the nation, while the deaths of thousands of black Africans seem to mean nothing. It's a shame that only I seem to know and warn that Ebola is nothing compared to avian flu. It's a shame that as unprepared as the nation and world has seemed in response to the Ebola virus, its preparation for a just as lethal, and much more easily transmitted avian flu virus is a big bunch of nothing. It's a shame that Americans can't seem to learn to think beyond their own individuality. It's a shame that the finger of blame for so much of this is not being pointed squarely at Capitalism. It's all a shame.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

15M.cc: AUTONOMIA AND THE MULTITUDE (STARTS AS THREE?)



What can I do?  What is autonomous action?  How can we get anywhere without a vanguard party to lead us?

The post below gives an example of one the myriad answers to all of those questions.  The multitude can and does always find new ways "to take charge of our life and start a change."  This is exactly what a group of people in Spain have done...and they have done more.  They have made sure that the voice of the multitude, the struggle itself will be known and will continue.  They found a way.

This is something each of us collectively with others of us must and can do.  The State can throw a lot at us.  Global Capital can sometimes seem to simply overwhelm us.   Neither can eliminate us and as long as we, the multitude, are around a new world, a better world remains on the horizon, maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday.

In Spain the 15M movement did not result in some organization with huge numbers of card carrying members.  As Revolution News writes:

The 15M movement is a social movement. This means, it has served as a catalyst for “moving” social collectives, associations, non-mobilized people, initiatives… and in this sense it still exists today, as another step in the spiral of social reactivation. It radically changed the country’s political climate. The most visible consequences have been the success and victories of the PAH (Platform of those affected by mortgages – which already existed before), massive mobilizations against cuts – many organised in the so called “mareas” (social “waves” protecting healthcare, education, women’s rights, anti-repression, etc.), the strengthening of a thousand struggles, the creation of new initiatives building alternatives and solutions, organised legal actions against corruption and injustices and the building of self-support networks all around the state.

Just one part of the 15M movement is the 15M.cc,


In September 2011 an innovative project was launched with the aim of documenting and transmitting the myriad activities of the 15M movement to the widest audience possible. 15M.cc is an ongoing experiment in collaborative, transmedia and copyleft creation and, over the past eight months, the project has evolved in ways its three founders, Stéphane M. Grueso, Patricia Horrillo and Pablo Soto, could not have imagined.

Initially, the intention was to produce a documentary, a book and a website but, as the scope of the project widened, sister projects in Malaga and Seville were set up.

The 15M.cc website then became an umbrella for a cluster of 15M projects and the original idea of the project’s founders became Madrid.15M.cc. An important point is that 15M.cc does not represent the 15M movement; its purpose is to document and raise awareness about the movement and its rich ecology. 

That is how it so often works when a few  of us  (15M.cc started with three people), or many of us begin something, we simply don't know where it will end.  However, begin we must. 

And that is why the State has no answer.  How could they?  An answer to what?  You can't step on all of us.

After all as 15M.cc itself puts it:

This project, as we have explained since the beginning, is alive and open to changes as elements that can improve it keep coming up. The aim is managing to get each person into feeling 15M.cc hers or his as far as they can or want to, and participate in those areas in which they feel comfortable, collaborating on initiatives already happening or creating their own. The important thing is to build a community capable of creating as many more stories about 15M as possible.

This is what autonomia is all about.   

I love this stuff.

The post below is from Autonomies and I hope you can view the video as well as read the information.



Unrepresentable stories: Films of resistance


Spain’s public prosecutor has recently asked for cumulative legal punishment of up to 74 years and 3 months for those involved in the initial disturbances that led to the acampada of the Puerta del Sol, in Madrid (2011), and the subsequent rise of the movement that came to be known as 15M. (Público 15/10/2014) This is but another expression of the politics of fear that the government has employed against the diversity of social movements that 15M has become. And it is paralleled by the effort to efface the memory of the movement, to retell its story in such a way that its radical possibilities are marginalised and silenced.
Against this, the multiple efforts to tell the radical story, and to keep making it real, become fundamental. In this way, the past does not pass away, but remains a permanent present.
We share below a documentary, 15M: Málaga Despierta, made by activists of Málaga15M.cc (part of the larger 15Mcc project), focusing on the movement in the andalusian city, along with the film’s manifesto.
Manifesto “15M: Málaga Awakens”
Two years ago, almost three after the start of the 2008 crisis, we all received a convocation through social networks for a social mobilisation. Yet another one, many of us thought. The apathy was already generalised. People continued to lose their jobs, their homes, their rights and, obviously, their illusions and their energy. However, we decided to go on hoping too. Nobody knew what was going to happen on this May 15, 2011 in the demonstration called by DRY [Democracia Real Ya], but the desire to support this call with the motto “We are not commodities in the hands of politicians and bankers”, we shared. We thought we were going to be the same usual four old faces. But we saw it as just, necessary and urgent to go into the street to make it obvious that we could no longer tolerate what we suffered, that we had to act. And thus our surprise that we were not alone! Thousands of people had decided they were also fed up. After this demonstration full of freshness, spontaneity, energy and outrage, some became depressed thinking that it was then time to leave. Again another useless demonstration? Again we are going to return home, to remain silent and alone? That organic character and spontaneity that accompanied this movement from the beginning led to a group of people deciding to stay in a square in Madrid. The morning of May 16, 2011, the light that thousands of people had radiated during the afternoon of 15 continued latently to shine amid the blankets of people who sustained the hope that something big could happen. The rest, we already know. A violent eviction led to the symbolic act of camping spreading, filling all of the squares of the country with hope. People of all ages came to the camps with firm proposals, wanting to work, wanting to change things. We were sleeping and suddenly woke up.
In Málaga, we also awoke. It was a Tuesday, May 17th. We reacted, as one has to in these cases, united and above all, believing that it was finally our chance to change the world. At first, some felt shyness and hesitation. We were not used to speaking in public about things that affect our daily life: economics, politics, law, social rights … We learned slowly, together, helping each other.
15M: Málaga Despierta is a story that happened in Málaga, but told with a universal message. The germ is the same as that of the 15M movement. We came to the square with a camera and a microphone to reflect what was happening. And little by little we were becoming more willing to contribute their faces professionalism, but above all his humanity to tell the story of the awakening of a generation.
15M: Málaga Despierta was already a seed from the first week of the acampada in Malaga. We arrived at the square to record images for Tere, a friend of Rakesh, who worked at a production company in Madrid and wanted to include sequences of Spain’s third largest camp. But, in addition to recording these images, the first week we had already decided we would do our own documentary. And in this new world of synergies, networks and solidarity brothers of 15m.cc from Madrid to tell us that they were going to start a collaborative and participatory project. It would be made with the voice of many, and assembly based. Copyleft. Pro-commons. Free. At the time we thought that this was the code we had to follow, the same we had learned in the squares since the 15th May. So we copy it.
In this way then the 15mMalaga.cc team begins to tell its own story and invites all citizens to share their contribution in the form of photographs, videos, music, creativity and knowledge in general. It’s been a year and a half of hard work. With zero budget and a great deal of creativity. With enthusiasm and energy, but also with crises and difficult moments. But we’ve been united, working together, and in the end we can say today that 15M: Málaga Despierta is a reality motivated by a desire to change things, for the regretful injustices that we daily know of and from which we’re becoming protagonists in our, for the solidarity and networks that have been created among us, now gathered to move in the same direction. We have awakened and will not return to sleep. As our dear José Luis Sampedro, godfather of this documentary, says “We have received a life, our duty is to live!”
We have told our story with the help of many voices. A story that happened in Málaga and has not yet finished: that continues to be written. A story with a universal message that we wish to share in many cities, countries and continents, across borders. We know that only by sharing can we continue to build. We know that the famous “Yes we can” of 15M can become a reality if we work together from the local and think globally.
So today we release this message on the network that we hope you will make yours. So that everyone can share it and we can go further. That’s always been our goal, equal to the slogan of 15M, “we move slowly because we are going far.” Let us continue writing together this story of change, which is ours! From Madrid, Malaga, Seville to Cairo, the West Bank, Reykjavik or Bogota we have awakened and are joined by invisible umbilical cords. We do not want to close our eyes. We have understood that now is the time to take charge of our life and start a change. We owe it to ourselves today, to the younger generation and older who already fought for our rights. So, let us follow the leitmotif of this movement, tell the story you really want to live!