Posts

the revolution will be televised – nice short documentary on the #occupy movement in the US by Livia Santos from Kumba Films (thx, bruna!)!

usually i go with gil scott-heron and argue the opposite: the structure that makes “television” prevents this media of leading to anything worthy of being called a revolution. in fact, the media have a deep interest in not documenting anything revolutionary that could uproot their comfy status as a major political force that is outside of any democratic controls.

on the other hand, i fully agree that moving images on a screen are the communication technology of the future (and probably already of the present). why else would i keep a blog on audiovisual content for a sustainable future!? that’s why i hope for more cinematographers and people using their 5D(-equivalent)s to make great-looking films about inspiring people/movements/events to transmit the important messages of our time.

love is the felt experience of connection to another being. an economist says ‘more for you is less for me.’ but the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. if you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. their pain is your pain. your sense of self expands to include other beings.

film project crowdfunding at indiegogo

cognitivedissonance:

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. 

i shot this picture yesterday during the peaceful and inspiring assamblea in front of the reichstag, which boasts in huge letters: “dem deutschen volke” (for the german people).

what started as a highly inspiring day, with 10,000 berliners joining the (rather quickly organized) demonstration in solidarity with people worldwide, quickly turned ugly in the evening when the police violently interrupted the peaceful assamblea pictured above.

the assamblea (using the human mic technique learned from the #occupywallstreet movement) identified two working groups to plan for shelter and food for the camp, which were given an hour to discuss and report back to everybody. meanwhile, two tents and a beach shelter were set up onsite in the fashion of the acampada movement, as the nightly temperatures in berlin make necessary. groups of 15-20 policemen then entered the sitting crowd and went after the tents and camping mats (another good video), destroying them in the process.

the police then retreated, and the assamblea continued to discuss how to deal with the situation. it was announced that the reason behind police operation was that our presence was tolerated, but the tents were not (thx for making it clear after using force!). two tents were set up again, and then it was announced that those would be tolerated for now. then the food arrived and was distributed, hope soared that this was the beginning of a meaningful movement – so much solidarity was in the air. unfortunately, the police then moved in and took away the food of the protesters, without explaining their reasons for doing so.

the next police attack started after it was dark– using flood lights to heighten the unreal atmosphere. multiple groups of 15-20 policemen (usually 2-3 operating at the same time) would forcefully push themselves into the group of sitting demonstrators, and pull out anything that would help keep them warm: sleeping bags, (rescue) blankets, even simply the cardboard on which they sat. that’s when i witnessed brutal police violence against peaceful citizens: one person being brutally punched in the face, and two rows in front of me people were being peppersprayed for no apparent reason. i didn’t witness it myself, but heard that even batons were used to clear the way.

the problem was, that it was not clear to anybody, what the mission of this offensive was, not even giving people the chance to comply and heightening the perceived level of aggression. the fact that multiple groups were operating at the same time made it hard for the photographers to document what was going on, and since i haven’t yet found a good picture showing anything (one from the use of pepperspray in the afternoon), the police tactic to avoid being pictured seems to have worked out. other reports even say that some journalists were not allowed on the premises.

in the end, the police cleared the area with force, again pretty (unneccesarily) rough, people being punched and kicked, cops kneeling on young women, and the released people being shoved to the ground again. videos here and here.

afterwards, people weren’t even allowed to stand where the police initially suggested it would be OK for them, but were threatened so they move to brandenburger tor. about 100 people arrived there, and were swiflty surrounded by police again, who started arresting people that did not leave those premises. this was the end of the day for me.

so much on what happened from my perspective, now some thoughts:
as in new york, it seems that the mainstream media is not giving this much coverage in the beginning. the intellectual capacity of the author of a report in the “former newsmagazine” was especially disappointing, and i’m not going to link there. most reports pigeonholed the demonstration as an anti-bank protest, which is not very accurate. jacob jung made a great post on why it was more than that. [EDIT: also great in german: jule’s video, and i think this guy’s fundamental critique of money creation is spot on] i think the lesson from the various demonstrations around the world this year is that the protest needs to be sustained. just one ‘day of action’ will not show the urgency of the issue, and not get the attention that is needed. so, if this is going to become a real movement, these kinds of demonstrations need to continue and the need to be productive.

i’m still split on the issue whether this has to be in front of the symbolic reichstag building to show the hypocrisy in our political system that will not let citizens assemble in front of the national legislative assembly; or whether this confrontation with the police takes too much time that could better be spent discussing the reasons for their engagement in the movement or finding a way out of the mess we have gotten ourselves into. i’m slightly leaning towards the latter though.

the most ironic fact of the day was that the police was behaving illegally themselves on two accounts: 1. they were not wearing ID badges as they are legally obliged to do now in berlin, 2. police are not allowed to film a demonstration without proper reason. these were the same people that (sometimes even literally) kicked peaceful demonstrators out of the square in front of a symbolic building whose lit up façade reads “dem deutschen volke”. after all, it’s a constitutional basic right to assemble freely and demonstrate, and a demonstration needs to be within sight/earshot of those that the message should reach. this “bannmeile”, which stems from a law from 1920, is absolutely ridiculous. happy to see that the pirate party is going to ask the right questions, although i doubt that much will come of it.

what a sad day for a democracy that once wrote ‘freedom of assembly’ into its constitution. chapeau to the demonstrators who kept it peaceful on their side till the end.

[EDIT: i want to make clear that most policemen did their jobs more or less without malice against their fellow citizens. i don’t want to give them all a bad reputation. it’s just sad that those offenders will probably not see any consequences!]

[UPDATE: on sunday, there were around 400 people on the lawn in front of the reichstag again, discussing in an assamblea. it was not a ‘versammlung’ however, since those must have a leader (‘versammlungsleiter’) and need to be registered. it seems like people will continue this throughout the week, at 3pm infos usually via alex11.org or facebook, livestream via castortv]

[UPDATE: two more great reports in english by victoria and flourlumps]

these #occupywallst protests are highly inspiring! here’s another great article from the guardian on the protests. i hope to see an even bigger movement coming together on october 15 for #occupytogether– find an event close to you on this map: map.15october.net

you should also check out this video i put into a post in german a few days ago.

unlimited (economic) growth – in my view, the most dangerous assumption underlying the failing systems. we’ve built an ‘intergenerational ponzi scheme’, where we “steal from the future, sell it in the present, and call it GDP.” the quote is from paul hawken, and i found it on the blog of the brilliant kyra choucroun, who wrote a very insightful post on breaking out of the unlimited growth mindset!

i posted the post carbon institute’s brilliant analysis of unlimited growth and its impact on the environment a while ago, well worth taking the time to watch. as naomi klein pointed out in her #occupywallst address, these two issues are inextricably linked: “The new normal is serial disasters: economic and ecological.”

the script for the video comes from andrew simms, fellow at the new economics foundation (NEF), one of the most important institutions to help us find a way out of the mess we’ve gotton ourselves into. i am very much looking forward to #occupytogether on october 15 and hope it can be a start to turn things around.

die WISO reportage, die u.a. auch für wirbel sorgte, da eine weitere version zunächst wegen einer “regierungsanfrage” von youtube entfernt wurde. im nachhinein angeblich ein automatisierungs- bzw. übersetzungsproblem. dies ist jedoch die fassung mit der geschichte über die sparkasse bremen.

[EDIT: hier noch ein sehr guter beitrag von monitor zur lobbymacht der finanzbranche]

wir schlittern also geradewegs in die nächste finanzkrise, und es scheint als ob hierzulande niemand hinsieht oder hinsehen will. derweil regt sich inzwischen in vielen städten der USA protest: #occupywallst breitet sich auf die ganze nation aus! sehr inspirierend:

naomi klein hat eine tolle rede geschrieben, die den kern des problems gut einfängt:

The point is, today everyone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control. Unfettered greed has trashed the global economy. And it is trashing the natural world as well. […] The new normal is serial disasters: economic and ecological.

die bewegung erfährt viel prominente unterstützung, jüngst von den ökonomen joseph stiglitz und paul krugman, sowie bill mckibben von 350.org. in diesem video seiner rede wird noch etwas deutlich: da die NYPD keinerlei elektronische verstärker für redner duldet, haben die demonstranten das “human microphone” entwickelt- zeugnis des einfallsreichtums der menschen vor ort!

es wird endlich zeit, dass wir strukturelle veränderungen vornehmen, um die endlosschleife an desastern endlich hinter uns zu lassen. #occupywallst inspiriert nicht nur nordamerikaner, sondern menschen weltweit: am 15. oktober finden weltweit aktionen statt- laut www.occupytogether.org sind mind. 85 aktionen bestätigt, und an 1150 orten laufen die vorbereitungen dafür. in deutschland sind bisher aktionen in frankfurt, hamburg, berlin angekündigt.

new york sieht sich ja gerne als mittelpunkt der welt, als kreatives epizentrum. #occupywallst liefert auf jeden fall ein überzeugendes argument dafür, dass da etwas dran sein könnte.

best comment on the police brutality incidents at the #occupywallst protests in new york, glad to hear a major media outlet call this one out. because this does happen every day, in the US but also in other “democratic” societies.

remember the berlin cop that kicked the head of a demonstrator lying on the ground in 2010? or the guy with his bike at the freiheit statt angst demo 2009, who was first punched by a cop, wrestled to the ground, arrested and charged with assault on a cop – because he was asking for the identification number of another cop. or what happened to the older retired guy bleeding out of his eyes in stuttgart last year?

last year, amnesty international reported on 15 detailed cases of police brutality in germany, some of which even ended in death. like oury jalloh, who burned to death in a prison cell in dessau, with his hands and feet tied to a flame-retardant bed, and none of the cops on duty were held responsible. in a society we’d like to call democratic or free, this simply cannot stand. if the “western governments” want to differentiate themselves from the totalitarian regimes we love to criticize/bomb for oppressing their people, they better start cleaning up their act at home.

it’s sad that an initially peaceful protest will only be newsworthy through police brutality or riots. the real news is, that there is a scent of change in the air during these crisis-ridden times. people realize that the systems are not working anymore, taking it to the streets and protesting their governments (essentially for failing them). and this change is happening bottom-up, with brave individuals at the forefront. in closing, one more great comment from o’donnell on “tony boloney”: