Net Neutrality activists smash old computers in front of FCC

On the 16th of May, net neutrality activists smashed old desktops, laptops, and computer hardware in front of the FCC, then loaded the junk into a trash can and attempted to deliver it to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The smashfest carried a serious message: that a non-neutral, corporate-content centric Internet would make most people’s computers and phones as worthless as the smashed junk in front of FCC headquarters.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets home demo for net neutrality

On the 14th of May, Popular Resistance showed up outside the home of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in opposition to reopening the net neutrality issue. In addtion, three of Pai’s neighbors joined the protest. Net neutrality was thought to be settled law, but Trump and Pai want to reopen the danger of paid prioritization and throttling or outright blocking of websites that cannot pay for premium “fast lanes.

Protests at homes are known for getting results, and a previous round of masssive public pressure and literally millions of public comments in the previous net neutrality rulemaking reversed what had been former FCC chair Wheeler’s anti net neutrality position into a final ruling in favor of net neutrality. Now that hard-won victory has to be re-fought, again with Verizon, Comcast et all seeking absolute control over the Internet as delivered “last mile” through their ologopoly services.

Popular Resistance put the details of the protest on Facebook, only to find that Facebook took the posting down. Facebook claims to support net neutrality, presumably to avoid having to split their profits with Comcast, Verizon, and similar Big Telcos. None the less, there are unconfirmed suspicions that the FCC or their security people may have leaned on Facebook to remove the posting or else. On the other hand, Facebook has long been infamous for removing pages posted by progressive groups trying to organize protests, so this could also have been an entirely in-house decision.

Without net neutrality, the Internet could devolve into a service dominated by “zero-rated apps” such as Facebook and Google ad supported apps rather than websites, with data for anything else strictly capped and expensive. Anyone who is blocked by Facebook and Google would find nobody can afford to use their own websites because they count against data caps lowered to prioritize Netflix, Google, Facebook et all.

Videos linked from here on are not supported by advertising, would be (and are now) unavailable as “zero rated content,” and would count against what could become far lower data caps. They will not be made available on Youtube or Facebook except by 3ed parties. They could become inaccessable except for those willing to pay big bucks to use up and buy more expensive capped data. The “nightmare plan” might be $50 a month for unlimited Facebook, Twitter, Google, Youtube, Netflix and your ISP’s email with your real name on it, plus 500MB of “general data” with a hard cap.

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Boston neo-Nazi “Proud boys” rally humiliated by larger counterprotest

The neo-Nazi “free speech rally” of the so-called “Proud boys” and “based stickman” in Boston turned into an embarassing defeat for the facists. Some right-wing reporter known to hang with “based stickman” is whining about being “assaulted,” for a while there were only about 100 of the “proud boys” present. Counterprotesters held the ridge above the fascists, two arrests reported.

For most of the rally, the right-wingers were reported to be “low energy” and “just milling around” without even giving speeches. Meanwhile, antifa activists chanted things like “Go back to 4chan! At one point, one of the facists is reported to have run up the hill and punched someone “twice his weight” before being removed by police. One report that this was the first person arrested. Far right claims to have countercharged after antifa charged down the hill at them, unknown if any truth to that or it is a reference to the single fascist trying to beat up someone twice his size. For some reason the cops arrested the Nazi for punching an antifascist protester, even though all day they had faced in the direction of the antifa, not those who had publicly told people to expect violence and come in “based stickman” gear meaning armor and things like their flagpoles that could be used as clubs.

At about 3PM the fascist march withdrew from Boston Commons and marched away, complete with a Kek flag and even a Japanese Imperial (WWII) flag. In the end, right-wing posts on a social media website (not sure which one) conceded defeat and “blamed” mainstream conservatives and even the oathkeepers (!) for their humiliation at the hands of anti-Facists.

This battle is also being fought on Twitter. A recent problem has been the growth of fake Twitter accounts that appear to be Antifa accounts and mix what appear to be legitimate photos and accounts of actions with calls for revoking the First Amendment (which applies to governments only) and that sort of thing. One of the “Boston Antifa” fake twitter accounts posted a shot of a thin crowd holding the high ground on Boston Common, probably while most marchers were in the streets of the city. They hashtagged the photo with an anti-free speech hashtag plus those that would be expected in an effort to smear anti-Fascist organizers. In reality, the First Amendment forbids government censorship and arrest, not opposing protests. The first words of the First Amendment are “Congress shall make no law” and this has been extended by courts to also apply to all other institution of government under the US. Nowhere is shouting down or counterprotesting hate speech or anything else mentioned in the US government’s Constitution.

Another fake Twitter account (Cambridge Antifa) posted shots of huge marches elsewhere in Boston, some of which were found to be from protests on other days in Boston. It is possible those photos and locations were meant to divert and distract counterprotesters from reaching Boston Commons, along with a report of subway problems for “police activity” on the same fake Twitter account. It was reported elsewhere that a “mainstream” or liberal rally called against hate scheduled for 3PM was cancelled on “advice” of police. In the end, right-wing posts on a social media website (not sure which one) conceded defeat and “blamed” mainstream conservatives and even the oathkeepers (!) for their humiliation at the hands of anti-Facists.

Video-a trumper gets arrested for assaulting a counterprotester. Video originally posted to Twitter by Luke O’Neill

Holding the ridge above the fascists as things kick off-Stand Against Hate BOS photo

Unicorn Riot photo of the tiny “Proud Boys” rally in Boston Commons

Boston DSA Photo of the facist rally

Faceoff with the fascists! Cut from larger photo by FungalMonolith

Another shot of the faceoff between the “proud boys” and antifa. Unicorn Riot photo shot from behind the fascists

The right wing march abandons Boston Commons, appears to be police following them

Neo-Nazi “Kek” flag in the alt-right march in Boston

The Boston Herald published this photo on twitter clearly showing the green “Kek” flag of the Nazis-and showing a weak fascist turnout

Right wingers concede defeat on an unknown social networking site

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DC Bike Party for May 2017

On the 10th of May the DC Bike Party took to the streets again. This ride was themed as the “spy ride” and began just before sunset from Dupont Circle. DC Bike Parties are normally on the 2nd Wednesday of the warmer months, starting 8PM at Dupont Circle. Hundreds of riders usually show up.

Video from the May DC Bike Party

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Facing prison for laughing at Sessions confirmation, Code Pink holds “laugh-in” at DOJ

On Jan 10, Code Pink protested the confirmation of racist Jeff Sessions attorney general. On the 3ed of May, three Code Pink members were convicted of “disorderly conduct” carrying up to a year in prison for this, one for nothing more than laughing at Sen Shelby and Sessions prior to the hearing. They are CODEPINK members Desiree Fairooz, Tighe Barry, and Lenny Bianchi. Desiree Fariooz laughed “reflexively” when Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) had the nerve to claim Jeff Session’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.” For that she faces a year in prison.

On the 10th of May, Code Pink held a “laugh-in” in front of the Dept of Justice to protest these outrageous possible prison terms-and the decades in prison over 200 Inauguration protesters are facing.

Video-Code Pink’s “laugh-in” at the Dept of “Justice”

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Comey firing draws Russiagate/Trump protesters to White House

On the 9th of May, Trump fired FBI director James Comey. It is generally believed this is due to his request for more resources to investigate “Russiagate,” the suspicions that Trump had help from Putin in the 2016 election. On the 10th of May, protesters gathered in front of the White House not to defend the FBI but rather against Trump. Some demanded a special prosecutor, others went further to demand that Trump be impeached.

While chaos in the FBI will directly benefit those of us in the activist community who are being harassed by cops and the FBI, it is a safe bet the firing to James Comey had nothing to do with that. The suspicion is that this was indeed about disrupting an investigation-the investigation into Trump himself. Even the Washington Post printed a letter or an editorial calling this a “Constitutional crisis.”

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Detention, torture of Gay men in Chechnya draws protesters to Russian Embassy

On the 9th of May, members of HRC (Human Rights Campaign) showed up outside the Russian Embassy to protest ongoing mass arrests and torture of Gay men in Chechnya.CNN reports that at least three detention centers in Chechnya are being used to imprison Gay men for nothing more than who they are.

Gay men are being held for weeks of electric shock torture and starvation in Chechnya, in what enemies of the GLBTQ community have called a “prophylactic cleaning” of this conservative vassal state of Putin’s Russia. Some have been killed outright. The three detention centers have been compared to concentration camps in online forums. Since the Chechen Republic is currently a ” federal subject” or so-called Republic of Russia, that means Putin himself or others in the Russian government could shut down the torture centers at little risk to themselves. While Chechnya has fought and lost two recent wars against Russia, the current government there is a vassal state of Putin’s Russia. Russia itself is also known for an anti-Gay “Homosexual Propaganda” law rammed through by no less than Putin himself.

With Trump also being a friend of Putin and possibly Putin’s vassal as well, the events in Chechnya may even be a warning of how the Trump Adminstration will treat GLBTQ issues in the future.

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