The Resistance Report is a trusted and growing outlet for movement building news, analysis, interviews and editorial commentary. Creator and host Dennis Trainor, Jr was active in the Occupy movement and helped plan the Occupation of Washington, DC at Freedom Plaza. He wrote and directed the critically acclaimed documentary, American Autumn: an Occudoc, and is currently working on a documentary for Move To Amend. Produced by Acronym TV in conjunction with Popular Resistance, you can find The Resistance Report right here every Saturday at noon (EST). A full archive of episodes is below.
AtPeace Makita is a single mother of five, a life long resident of Detroit, and the Creative Director of the Detroit Water Brigade. She wants you to know that the push for the privatization of the water supply in Detroit could be coming to an area near you soon. “If Detroit can be used as a prototype,” asks Makita “why can’t it happen in LA, Chicago, or New York? On top of the bankruptcy, on top of the foreclosures, on top of the mayoral issues and emergency manager, on top of all of it – now you want to take our life source?”
After five hours of rallies and marches on justice for Palestine and Ferguson, 1,500 protesters were in Union Square park in Manhattan, all with their hands up for Mike Brown. When the crowd took their hands down, a voice from the crowd told them “Mike Brown never took his hands down. The dead children in Gaza did not get to take their hands down.” And so it was on this dramatic ending to a long day of complimentary marches in New York Wednesday: the NYC Solidarity with Palestine March over the Brooklyn Bridge and the Hands Up/ Turn Up march in remembrance of Mike Brown energized activists and community members who stood up to racism and oppression “from Ferguson to Palestine.”
Atpeace Makita, a single mother of five children who turned to activism after her water was shut off by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, talks with Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the Detroit Water Brigade and what it is like to living during the current push for the privatization of the water supply. Only the Polar Ice Caps contain more fresh water that The Great Lakes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, The Great Lakes are the largest surface fresh water system on the Earth, providing 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and 21% of the world’s supply.
While Benjamin Netanyahu has practically been given an anchor chair at CNN during Operation Protective Edge to pound home a narrative that almost everyone else in the world (save for 100% of US Senators) has rejected; namely that Israel is a victim of terror and not a perpetrator, telling the counter narrative is left to media outlets without ties to major corporate interest and/or ties to the duopoly here in the United States. In this interview with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV, Mnar Muhawesh, editor in chief of Mint Press news says she sees the role of journalism as protecting the people from the State. “The role of journalism is to inform he public and hold those in power accountable. (What we have today) is a journalism outfit that does not work in the interest of people, it is working in the interest of the government, corporations and these lobby groups.”
Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News. Ms. Muhawesh is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups. She is also regularly interviewed on nationally and internationally syndicated networks like RT about the need for independent journalism and neoconservatism in the media. She started her career as an independent multimedia journalist covering Midwest and national politics while focusing on civil liberties and social justice issues posting her reporting and exclusive interviews on her blog MintPress, which she later turned MintPress into the global news source it is today.
That was before Operation Protective Edges. On August 2, The National reported: “Soros Fund Management, the family office of the billionaire investor George Soros, has sold its stake in SodaStream, the soda making appliance producer that profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and was made popular by actress Scarlett Johansson’s endorsement. The decision comes as a number of big international investors, including the fund linked to the Microsoft founder Bill Gates, join in a burgeoning financial boycott of Israel amid a push by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and other groups seeking more rights for Palestinians. SodaStream, headquartered in the Israeli city of Lod, has its main factory in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.
Take a long look in our eyes, we are the insect in your ears, the rust upon your gears, the resistance you fear, the faith you smear, the justice you want to disappear We are the Palestinian mothers who continue to send their children to school amidst gunfire, children they gave birth to behind a checkpoint, take a long look We are the shame on the face of a Zionist at the point of realization, the crux of courage to refute the support of a gangster nation, take a long look We are the tears of a father holding his mangled child in a hospital about to be set to the fire, take a long look We are the soldier turning against his battalion, the drone operator turned freedom fighter, take a long look
“What once was maybe a Christian-Fascist movement against women’s right to abortion really got elevated and brought into the halls of power,” says Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy. “Starting with Ronald Reagan, continuing under Bush, escalating Bill Clinton (quiet as it is kept: Bill Clinton who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which became the foundation for the recent Hobby Lobby decision).”
“There is a big difference between being anti-pornography and anti sex worker,” says Taylor. “Stop Patriarchy does stand firmly against pornography, against the sex industry, against the commodification of women’s bodies, against the sexualized degradation of women, and just to be real: what is going on in pornography today is exactly part of this whole revenge against women. I don’t understand how anyone could claim to be for women’s rights and find (pornography) empowering or something we should celebrate.” Taylor sums up her argument by saying: “There is no difference between the Pope and the pornographer. Both reduce women to objects. You could be a breeder or you could be a sex object.”
Stop Patriarchy’s highly theatrical, non-violent yet confrontational style has not endeared them to all activists in Texas fighting for reproductive justice. In fact, a coalition has formed whose sole purpose is to oppose Stop Patriarchy. Texans for Reproductive Justicehas published a Letter of Concern, opposing “Stop Patriarchy’s messaging, tactics, dishonesty, and racism.” Stop Patriarchy has seen this type of resistance before.
Diane Derzis runs the only remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. Speaking to Acronym TV on background for this episode, Dianne told us she was “warned about Stop Patriarchy” before they came to defend her clinic during the 2013 Abortion Rights Freedom Ride. Derzis, who now sits on the Abortion Rights freedom Ride advisory board noted that one reason people fear Stop Patriarchy is because their leader, Sunsara Taylor, is a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is on the record with his objective to “make abortion a thing of the past.” Looking at the evidence, it is hard not to come to any other conclusion than the war on women is being won by a radical and regressively religious agenda. Six states in the nation have only a single abortion clinic left. By September 1st of this year, Texas is likely to have only six abortion clinics operating. The group End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women is embarking on an Abortion Rights Freedom Ride across the state of Texas this August, and the freedom ride has set high expectations for itself, including: 1. To forge a national strategic counter-offensive to what is a national war on women. 2. Radically reset the political, moral, and ideological terms of this fight so that millions understand that this fight is about women’s liberation or women’s enslavement and; 3. Mobilize all people of conscience to wage massive, independent, political resistance. Relying on politicians, and the courts, has not halted the barrage of attacks. Not all pro-choice advocates are warming to the idea of Stop Patriarchy non-violent, yet highly dramatic and confrontational style and their oft-repeated slogan “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology.”
In this clip from the full-length Acronym TV program, Gaza Solidarity Grows as Israel Continues Massacre (http://bit.ly/1ALhy5l) Kash Nikazmrad, an organizer with Students for Justice in Palestine, discusses the current siege on Gaza with host Dennis Trainor, Jr. Nikazmrad echoed the statement issued by Palestinian civil society organizations (http://electronicintifada.net/content/palestinian-orgs-justice-delayed-justice-denied/992) on 3 October 2009, which reads in part: “Justice delayed is justice denied. All victims have a legitimate right to an effective judicial remedy, and the equal protection of the law. These rights are universal: they are not subject to political considerations. In the nine months since Operation Cast Lead, no effective judicial investigations have been conducted into the conflict. Impunity prevails. In such situations, international law demands recourse to international judicial mechanisms. Victims’ rights must be upheld. Those responsible must be held to account.
Jason Leopold, in the clip from the full length Acronym TV episode, How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Guantanamo Prison, talks about the most shocking thing that struck him about visiting Guantanamo Bay Prison: The surrounding is like any small American town. An Irish pub, swing sets in the back yard of houses where American kids are growing up, a McDonalds, a high school proudly graduating the class of 2014, and other pedestrian businesses all going about their business while up the road, a facility that has the air of a concentration camp.
Citing President Obama’s major 2013 counter terrorism speech, wherein he acknowledged that a US drone had targeted and killed a U.S. citizen (Anwar Al-Awlaki) and where the President was forced to discuss GITMO because, “it was the height of a hunger strike and it attracted attention around the world.” In that speech, Leopold notes, Obama lifted a moratorium, “that he put into place and here we are year later and there have been no Yemeni’s released. As we saw with the swap with the Taliban of the five prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, that was a fight he was willing to wage with Congress.”
According to Kash Nikazmrad of Students for Justice in Palestine, one should view passages from the Hamas charter like the one above as hyperbolic political rhetoric meant to stoke a political base, and not, he says, as something to be taken literally. The focus, he says should be on the genocidal conditions imposed by Isreal that give birth to the resistance. “The UN recognizes Genocide as anything deterring the progression of human life,” says Nikazmrad, “and that is what (Israel) does in Gaza. They don’t allow them to fish. Settlers come and cut down Oliver trees and put concrete on the olive trees. And (Israel) is all outside, and they blame Palestinians for building tunnels to try to bring medical supplies in. What do you think will happen when you build a prison (Gaza) and you prevent people from having any kind of right to life? They are going to try and build tunnels and they are going to try and resist the occupation that is there.”
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