Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Allied Media Conference

I arrived home Monday night and have been working like a maniac ever since. No rest for the wicked.

I accomplished many things by attending AMC. I met awesome women. You know them from the internets. They are also awesome in person. I'll write more about that later.

I managed to raise the average age 20 years or so every time I walked into a room. Which is perfectly OK. Being around young activists is a real treat. Only sour point came when I signed into the dorm and someone behind the desk asked me if I was there as a chaperone. Not a big deal, since there were, in fact, events for high school age kids at which chaperones are required. But I was with two 30 something (I think) videographers and it felt like an insult to them. What? These folks need chaperones?

The dorms were ascetic to the extreme. And empty of everything useful. First, call me old for not realizing that dorm rooms have private baths and showers these days. Also call me clueless for not realizing I'd need soap. In the U.S., of course, it is impossible to buy one bar of soap. So I was forced to walk to a CVS and purchase way more soap and shampoo than I needed.

Call me an old fogie for having nothing at all to entertain myself in the ascetic dorm room. No laptop. No MP3 player. Just a Walkman. So I listened to some awesome jazz stations as I fell asleep.

What's different about AMC from other conferences I've travelled to? People are all about caring and learning. No old axes to re-grind. No old battles to re-fight. Just new ideas and new attempts at making a difference.

Grace Lee Boggs in her closing speech talked about the anger of the sixties that motivated a lot of us. Activists today seem to be motivated by something else: caring and loving and forgiving and continuing. If I were a poet (Little Light could do this!), I could describe this sense of both acceptance for our faults and hope for our futures.

I also got to experience my first pay-as-you-go cell phone. The rest of you awesome nerds know all about this, but I have been postponing my acquaintance with modern technology. I can't tell you how much wasted time I spent trying to figure out how to use and program this tiny piece of technology.

I keep reminding myself of my mother's experience. She's a very intelligent woman. She read the instructions about loading websites. The instructions tell you to type a url address into the text box and you will be transported to the website you desire. Nowhere in the instructions does it mention you have to hit return or enter in order for the website to be accessed. So she spent far too much time typing addresses in and waiting for something to happen. Same experience, different tool for me and the cell phone. What an amazing waste of time!

Much more to talk about, of course. I am psyched and inspired.

Tomorrow, I head off to continue my tour of the rust belt cities. I'm attending the National Anti-War Conference in Cleveland this weekend. About which, more later.

Hugs to all the fabulous people I spent time with this weekend. You make the world a better place!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Going to AMC

Why is it that I have to work three hours of overtime in order to get ready a few days off? Yikes!

Anyway, I'm headed off to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference this weekend. I've never been before and I have no idea what to expect, except that I look forward to meeting some folks I've been reading on the internets. Brownfemipower, Black Amazon, Little Light, Miss Crip Chick Lex, Mamita Mala, tigera consciente will all be there. An embarrassment of riches if you ask me.

I'm going to do my best to sit, listen, learn, absorb, and try to comprehend. One thing about an old gal like me is how hard it is to sit and listen for hours on end. I know I did this when I was in school for many years. But I've lost the talent. I need to rest and let stuff settle in or it will just bounce right off my hard shell of a brain.

Going to Detroit is almost like going home. I spent much time on my Grandmother's farm growing up on 37 Mile Road north.

I hope to give a decent report when I return. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Second draft

RNClarge - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

RNCletter - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Monday, June 09, 2008

First Draft

First draft RNC flyer - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Sticker idea

The Republicans are coming this fall, and this idea has been kicking through my head. Tell me what you think. Make suggestions to change it. Use it if you want it!

NO RNC IN MSP sticker - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Local man busted for trying to have his wife killed

You can read the article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. An interesting twist is the guy has some writing up on an MRA website:

A man listed by the Web site (I'm not gonna link) as "Terrence DeChaney" of Coon Rapids describes in a posted entry as being frustrated with the court system and living "in a county that does and will not believe in joint custody." The Web site promotes custody rights issues.

The posting details how the man's wife went to a women's shelter, where she was instructed on how to kick him out of their home by claiming domestic abuse. She now lives in the house that he built "by hand." And he pays her more than $3,100 in child support (or 60 percent of his income) each month. The posting continues by voicing concern about his limited visitation and custody rights, claiming, "This is basically legal theft and legal child abuse."

He ended the nine-paragraph diatribe by noting, "Father's [sic] going through this lopsided process snap."

Lovely little tidbit from his posting:

... the women's shelter instructed my ex to say she was afraid of me and to kick me out of the house with a DV charge, even though she had just told her that I had never threatened her or and she was not afraid of me. I have this recorded from my personal telephone, but can not use it because I was not part of the conversation.

Notice that? He was bugging his wife's phone conversations!

On the internets, everyone knows your an asshole.

Flickr Meme

Flickr meme mosaic - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

1. Yukon Raven, 2. coffee and chocolate mousse cake, 3. Assignment: Seasons, 4. End of the day, 5. Kyra Sedgwick, 6. You Sexy Thang, 7. Up north in God's Country, 8. Chocolate Mousse Decadence!, 9. What Is Truly Indecent?, 10. Croak, croak, 11. War Sucks, 12. *raVen*

via Uncool

The concept:
1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page of results, and pick one image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? right now?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your flickr name?

Friday, June 06, 2008

This is my friend

Mickey - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

From the StarTribune, an article about my friend getting arrested for exercising his free speech rights in St. Paul:

St. Paul police to apologize for detaining antiwar activist

Last update: June 5, 2008 - 11:54 PM

St. Paul police said Thursday that they will apologize to an antiwar organizer who was detained Tuesday outside the Obama campaign rally at the Xcel Energy Center for handing out leaflets promoting a Sept. 1 march on the Republican National Convention.

The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said the arrest of Mick Kelly, 50, of Minneapolis, does not augur well for the way authorities will treat protesters during the convention.

"We're concerned the police so quickly violated Mick Kelly's First Amendment rights," Charles Samuelson said.

Mayor Chris Coleman said Thursday that he did not think the arrest presages anything about how convention protests will go. "It just says we need to educate our officers," he said. "The First Amendment is a core value of me as mayor and [John] Harrington as [police] chief.

Coleman praised police for moving quickly "to correct what was a mistake." He added, "We are going to move quickly to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Tom Walsh, a St. Paul police spokesman, said police initially believed that Kelly's leaflet distribution was in violation of an ordinance that prohibits peddling within a certain distance of the Xcel Center.

"But it's not," he said. "It's a free speech issue. He wasn't selling or vending, so in this case he was within his rights."

The citation will be dismissed, Walsh said, and the event commander, Cmdr. Joe Neuberger, will apologize to Kelly. Walsh said free speech issues will be part of the training officers receive for the convention. That training has begun but has not been completed, he said.

Walsh said there were no other arrests at the event. Peddlers (who had been selling campaign souvenirs) who were within the radius of the ordinance were asked to move and did, he said.

"It was an impromptu event," Walsh said. "A limited amount of resources were available. ... The safety and security of people attending the event was our priority."


Pioneer Press article

Protester wrongly cited by police
City to apologize to man leafleting at Obama rally

By Tad Vezner
Article Last Updated: 06/06/2008 01:20:57 AM CDT

St. Paul police plan to apologize to a protester who was given a citation and placed in a squad car outside the Xcel Energy Center for handing out fliers promoting an anti-war rally during the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Mick Kelly, of Minneapolis, was detained Tuesday just before Sen. Barack Obama gave his speech claiming the Democratic nomination for president, according to Charles Samuelson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota.

Kelly was cited with scalping, Samuelson said; police records indicate he was cited for "soliciting and peddling."

"There weren't any tickets (being scalped). That's interesting, in and of itself," Samuelson said.

Kelly is a spokesman for the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War and was handing out fliers for a protest scheduled for Sept. 1, Labor Day. He has also been active in trying to lay out what he considers an acceptable, more prominent protest route during the Republican convention, which will be held Sept. 1-4 at the Xcel arena.

"Mick gets arrested for handing out clearly protected information in a clearly protected area. That concerns us: How many people are going to get arrested on Labor Day? For what? Being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Who knows?" Samuelson said.

Teresa Nelson, legal counsel for the ACLU, happened to be standing beside Kelly when he was detained.

"Sort of ugly luck for the cops," Samuelson said. He said Kelly was placed in a squad car but later released.

As of Thursday evening, the citation was dismissed and the event commander, Joe Neuberger, had contacted the ACLU to try to get Kelly's phone number to apologize, Samuelson said.

Samuelson added that he had yet to reach Kelly on Thursday evening.

Mayor Chris Coleman also expressed his apologies Thursday.

"It's pretty clear that we made a mistake, that he should not have been given a citation. We do apologize and are taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again," Coleman said.

"I, as mayor, and the (Police) Chief (John Harrington) take the First Amendment very seriously. It's something we both believe in very strongly."

Coleman said he had assurances from Harrington that the citation against Kelly was dropped and that an apology would be made.

Tom Walsh, the police spokesman handling RNC issues, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. Another police spokesman said Thursday evening that he knew only of the initial citation, but nothing related to the subsequent fallout.

Coleman said police will receive "a lot more training" on First Amendment issues and "more clarity about what the ordinance allows."

The city ordinance in question was Ordinance 345.08, which in part prohibits peddling "within one hundred (100) feet of an entrance to an entertainment venue within three (3) hours of an event scheduled at that entertainment venue," and also "within the State Capitol complex buildings and grounds and the Saint Paul River Centre complex buildings, grounds and surrounding sidewalks."

"(The incident) was a bad thing to do, especially when you've been telling everybody for 14 months how in support of the First Amendment you are," Samuelson said.

Tad Vezner can be reached at 651-228-5461.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Blessings be to the volunteer librarians among us

Malcolm at Malcolmgin has a metapost collecting blog posts that talk about What Rachel Moss Did after attending Wiscon, a popular feminist science fiction conference. I love it when a blogger takes time to put together all relevant links to an issue. It's a common practice and I've done it once or twice. Always volunteer. Always appreciated.

As to the issue of Rachel Moss' inability to appreciate women who look different from herself, I feel something between pity and disgust. Pity that she is so shackled by mainstream ideas about who is worth listening to and disgust that she lacks any creativity at all in her choice of victims.

OTOH, I am amazed by some of the awesome writing I've discovered because of this issue. Via, The F-Word I find the link to Charlotte Cooper's posts on headless fatties. Admit it, you've seen dozens if not more images of fat people in the news with their heads cropped out of the picture. I have and I never noticed how common it is before Charlotte pointed it out to me.

Dismissing somebody for their looks? Too damn easy and too popular in this world.

Choose to be a better person. Choose to have a decent reason for disagreeing with somebody. Stand above the common crowd that follows the lead of the mainstream media by pissing on anyone who doesn't follow their dictates on size, dress, make-up, etc. Distinguish yourself as someone who thinks for herself and decides for herself the worth of others based on something more than superficiality.