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New Media We Recommend

September 6, 2011

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in Twenty-First Century America, by Michael Ratner & Margaret Ratner Kunstler – For anyone looking to understand what your legal rights are to dissent in the US today, this book is an excellent resource. The co-authors not only present what the US government has done in recent years to crack down on dissent, they provide useful tips and information on what to do if you are arrested, approached by law enforcement, given a subpoena, faced with a Grand Jury and how to deal with surveillance. One section of the book is entitled, “If an Agent knocks,” and is presented in a “know your rights” fashion. The book also includes a section on current US Attorney General Guidelines, which is useful for understanding the parameters in which the legal system is operating to identify and target dissidents. A great book that could be a useful tool for a workshop.

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution, by David Carter – It is the general belief that the Stonewall rebellion is what ushered in the contemporary LGBT movement. The 1969 riot in New York is what is in principle the reason for the annual Pride Celebrations across the country. Looking at original source material and conducting interviews with both protestors and police officers, David Carter sheds light on what really happened at Stonewall. Carter provides excellent contextual information and great detail of what happened over the 3-days of rioting by angry members of the LGBT community that were sick and tired of being harassed by the cops. Carter also spends several chapters looking at other organizing that took place shortly after the riots and the formation of both the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activist Alliance. An important contribution for understanding the history of the LGBTQ movement.

Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, by Andrew Nikiforuk – The Obama administration just gave the green light to continue the US/Canadian Tar Sands Project, a project that the author calls one of the worst environmental disasters in recent years. Nikiforuk, a Canadian journalist, presents a well documented case for why the Tar Sands Project will be devastating for the environment, for indigenous people and how it is contributing to global warming on a massive scale. The book also helps connect the dots on who is financing the project, who is profiting and how money is influencing politics in both Canada and the US. Tar Sands is an important book for those who care about the environment and for anyone who cares about the future of humanity.

Capitalism is the Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity (DVD) – With all the global turmoil since the 2008 economic crash and the ongoing resistance to that crash, few writers or films have laid the blame properly where it belongs…….with capitalism. This film relies on both numerous writer/activists to critique the current push towards “austerity,” it also looks at key events of resistance that helps frame the state of desperation that global capitalism finds itself in. One of the resistance actions the film looks at is the G20 Summit in Toronto, which not only shows the desperation of capitalism, but the brutal force it is willing to use against anyone who disagrees. This is an important film not only because of the analysis it provides, but because of its call to action for systemic change.

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