goldman sachs conquering europe? simon johnson argues ‘what you have in europe is a shared world-view among the policy elite and the bankers, a shared set of goals and mutual reinforcement of illusions.’

am wochenende fand der 4. Heldenmarkt in berlin statt. 147 aussteller präsentierten ihre nachhaltigen produkte auf 3.000qm, erstmals auf zwei etagen. dazu gab es ein programm mit verschiedenen vorträgen und workshops, zu themen wie social entrepreneurship, lebensmittelspekulation, fairtradeproduktion, ökologischen reisen oder zertifizierungsstandards. laut veranstalter waren an den beiden tagen 6.000 menschen gekommen um sich ein bild von nachhaltigem konsum zu machen. ich mischte mich für RESET unter das publikum und berichte in deren blog von meinen Eindrücken. vollständigen bericht bei lesen

schaut nach einem empfehlenswerten programm aus, beim one world berlin human rights film festival. ab donnerstag eine woche lang. und was für ein schönes poster!


Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by R. Buckminster Fuller:  

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

saw this awesome short film on plastic bags and behavior at the interfilm short film festival! also saw this take on the exorcist, also a fun little clip if you don’t know it yet.

what happened on friday at UC davis is fucking outrageous!! the important part is mostly in the first minute of the video. peaceful protesters who are just sitting on the ground are being pepper-sprayed for no reason at all. this is how UC davis professor nathan brown describes what happened next:

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

being arrested after pepper-sprayed is especially painful, because you can’t wash the stuff out of your eyes or try to reduce the pain – you’re in handcuffs. i don’t even know if the word agony sufficiently describes that situation.

the council of UC faculty associations condemned the police violence, calling it “unprovoked, disproportional and excessive”. they “are outraged that the administrations of UC campuses are using police brutality to suppress dissent, free speech and peaceful assembly”.

prof. brown’s open letter to the UC davis chancellor linda p.b. katehi calls for her immediate resignation, as the person directly responsible for this course of action. i fully support prof. brown. i’d even go a step further. she should be arrested and tried for this criminal assault (i’m not a lawyer, so i don’t know if this is actually possible. it’s simply an expression of my personal sense of justice).

i wouldn’t stop there. usually i see the police as victims/puppets of those that command them (usually politicians in the executive branch), and not as malignant people. but in this case, all i see is plain cold-hearted brutality. the cop, identified as john pike, doesn’t even try to steal himself away from the scene, like NYC’s tony boloney. this guy seems pretty proud of his actions. he should stand trial as well!

more background info, more pictures. the whole world is watching. now the whole world needs to get off its ass and do something!

john pike at work

yet again, the i am not moving movie is spot on.

[UPDATE: how awesome is this movement?! they managed to protest the chancellor with their presence in absolute silence as she exited the press conference, turning it into a walk of shame!]


In this photo from The New York Observer, Former Philadelphia police Captain Ray Lewis, sits in zip cuffs after being arrested today in conjunction with the Occupy Wall Street protests. Another photo of Lewis protesting can be found here.

Drew Grant of The Observer writes: “There is simply nothing more bizarre than looking at images of a man in police uniform arrested and handcuffed by people wearing lower-ranking NYPD garb.”

Lewis’ arrest was caputured on video:

Lewis knew his arrest was a possibility. In a rousing speech last night, Lewis criticized the NYPD and its use of force, along with New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. An excerpt:

“You should, by law, only use force to protect someone’s life or to protect them from being bodily injured. If you’re not protecting somebody’s life or protecting them from bodily injury, there’s no need to use force. And the number one thing that they always have in their favor that they seldom use is negotiation – continue to talk, and talk and talk to people. You have nothing to lose by that. This bullrush–what happened last night is totally uncalled for when they did not use negotiation long enough.

“They complained about the park being dirty. Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they’re concerned about a dirty park. That’s obnoxious, it’s arrogant, it’s ignorant, it’s disgusting.  

[The NYPD], they’re trying to get me arrested and I may disappear OK? But as soon as I’m let out of jail, I’ll be right back here and they’ll have to arrest me again. All the cops are, they’re just workers for the one percent and they don’t even realize they’re being exploited.”

Capt. Lewis truly understands what it means to protect and serve the people, and for that sir, I thank you. 

today is world toilet day, one day out of the year to shed light on the fact that 2.6 billion people are without access to toilets. every 20 seconds, a child dies from water-related diseases, mostly diarrhea. that’s like eight 747s crashing every day, killing all passengers. i didn’t even know this was something that could kill, but diarrhea kills more kids than AIDS, malaria and measles combined!

if you don’t have time for the documentary, check out wateraid’s campaign clip:
[why won’t tumblr embed video anymore?]

more info here or check out the article i co-wrote for WASH united’s guest blog post on the gates foundation blog on why it’s not a lack of technological or financial resources that needs to be overcome to solve this problem. the problem is the lack of public discourse on this ‘taboo’ topic.

by the way, vanguard is a great investigative journalism TV format you should check out!

rechtsextremismus heute: zwischen schnuller und springerstiefel zeigt wie die NPD stimmen fischt. schließlich sitzen sie in zwei landtagen, jeweils ein zweites mal bestätigt. das heißt natürlich auch, dass sie ganz offiziell steuergelder bekommen.

aber nicht nur erhält die NPD steuergelder, auch über V-männer kommen anscheinend ordentliche summen rein, laut einem über zwei jahre alten monitor bericht. so ‎ermöglichten es die zahlungen des verfassungsschutzes wolfgang frenz überhaupt, die NPD in NRW zu gründen. wann wird dieses lächerliche V-mann system endlich eingestellt, und diese ‘partei’ verboten?

sustainable/strategic consumption (buying ecosocial products) alone will not save the world. of course, i do not want to buy products that contribute to exploitation of people, animals or nature in general. it’s just not enough to buy the ‘right’ products, as long as you’re still consuming so many of them. i think clive hamilton makes an excellent point on this.

patagonia interesting approach includes telling people to buy less. instead, ‘repair what you can. reuse what you no longer need. recycle what’s worn out.’ their motivation to tread lighter on nature seems nothing but genuine, which makes it a little easier for me to post their video. and for them, it actually pays off as well. can this model also work when everybody is doing this?