One weird trick to show support for leftist civil liberties

The last couple of months have seen a lot of intra-left argument about the ACLU. And the last couple of years have seen a lot of argument, all over the place, about “free speech” – what should be included under that banner, what exceptions there should be, what the priorities of people who care about […]

Make new activists, and keep the old…

I’ve been seeing some argument lately around how people new to activism and how people not new to activism talk to and about each other.

To those who are bitter. To the ones who were derided as foolish children because of the issues they fought for, issues which perhaps are newly fashionable. To the ones […]

“You’re here”: A story for the age of Trump

Here is a story about coalitions and working together that seems appropriate for our time.

In May of 2012, after a winter and spring of Occupy infighting about ideology and tactics, I was pretty insecure about how other activists saw me. Back then people weren’t saying “left” and “liberal”, they were saying “radical” and “liberal”, […]

An obligatory Nevada WTF post

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a Bernie Sanders supporter! I also have some thoughts, regarding different subsets of people, about the mess in Nevada and some of the resulting Internet conversation.

To the people who doxxed, harassed, and threatened a Nevada Democratic Party official: Stop being assholes, okay? And no, the fact that the […]

Environmentalists win on Keystone XL. Don’t forget what went into that.

By now, many of you have seen the news that President Obama rejected a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. While TransCanada is reviewing its options to keep the project alive, but experts are dubious. This is a major victory for environmentalists – as a friend commented upon hearing the news, five years ago it […]

The anti-racist-policing movement has done fine

In the wake of the DOJ’s report on Ferguson, there’s been a lot of people talking, correctly, about the terribleness of the Ferguson police report. There’s also been people complaining that the DOJ’s finding Darren Wilson’s story credible enough not to prosecute means that Mike Brown wasn’t a good case to focus on, “Hands up, […]

The Civil Rights Movement, disruptive protest, and harm

This is the promised follow-up to my last couple of posts – I said I would talk about disruptive protest and the potential harms it can do to uninvolved parties, so I am.

An argument that I’ve been seeing a lot is that disruptive protest is wrong because it causes negative effects for innocent bystanders. […]

Protest, strategy, and disruption

This is the first part of my follow-up to the last post. Since I promised in that post that I would have more to say, in the future, about strategy, tactics, and disruption, in a more general post that wasn’t about the I-93 action.

I’ve heard any number of times before, but especially over the […]

On Oprah and movement structure

Oprah decided to market her “Selma” movie by saying that Ferguson protesters need “some kind of leadership” that makes concrete demands. The actually-existing, prominent, dedicated, respected organizers of Ferguson were not thrilled. Especially since Ferguson Action, a major movement coordination website, has both a long-term vision and shorter-term demands right there on the site. Individual […]

On politics, activism, charity, and efficiency

While reading a forum, I came across a link to a blog post by Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex, which made the case that “charity” is a more effective way of helping people than “politics”. This post is a response to that one.

First, the bits that I do agree with. The eventual conclusion […]