Sunday, September 30, 2007

Right now I'm printing out copies of my zine, and plan on bringing them to a vendor at the Baltimore Book Fair whose been selling zines from my class. These however are free, because aside from producing the images, there was in essence no direct cost (aside from MICA tuition) in printing them. I'll post some photos soon.

I went to the protest yesertday and got to speak to Carlos Arredondo a little bit, and got more detailed information, which if nothing else is the only reason why this protest was worth attending.

Coincidentally, one of the Indy editors was at the protest with some of the interns distributing copies of the paper.

Here's the article I just submitted to the NY Indypendent Editors:

Amidst all of the distorted accounts of pro-war attendee numbers [for the Sept. 15th Anti-War rally in D.C.], and their sympathetic stance as part of the silent minority that approve of the racist and criminal war in Iraq, there seemed to be a general omission of all of the inflammatory remarks and actions made on their behalf.
Once the 'die-in' had been underway, Carlos Arredondo, a member of the Gold Star Families for Peace, had been walking down Constitution Avenue with the coffin of his son Alex, and some supporters. What soon unfolded would shock all of the protesters, and supporters immediately surrounding him.
A member of the "Gathering of Eagles", a faction of pro-war aggressors, had ripped the photograph of Alex from the coffin and darted towards his cronies to revel in the despicable act. As soon as Carlos had caught wind of this, he raced out to retrieve the photo of his son. This was the excuse the G.o.E. were waiting for, and immediately about 5 or 6 of the husky brutes loaded on top of Carlos, beating him in the head and had it not been for the help of some nearby activists, he would have most probably been left for dead.
The police arrived on the scene after the brutalizing had ceased only extend to extend it further, without hesitation a group of 7 to 10 officers had jumped in unison atop of the already severely injured Carlos. "You're attacking the victim! You're attacking the victim!" cried an outraged onlooker. The the main instigator had already fled, and the police were only left to take testimony from a few of the pro-war goons, and nearby witnesses. The entire series of events had
been caught on film, and had it not been for that the Police were dead-set on apprehending Carlos.
According to Carlos was rushed off on an ambulance and had "… sustained bloody cuts on his shins. He also reported bruises all over his torso and head where he was kicked." A supporter of his, Hannah Johns noted that after all was said and done, Carlos had attempted to press charges against the D.C. Police, however was informed he would face a counter-suit since one of the officers had sustained injuries after unnecessarily restraining him during the attack.
The following protest on September 29th wasn't quite as mired with misfortune as the previous rally was for Carlos, however he was forced by the police to remove photographs he had hanging near "Camp Alex".

Now we'll see if it gets published.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Right now I'm wokring on a zine based on some of my strongest convictions on contemporary society. It's kind of ranty, but I'm happy with it, and don't mind that I'm 'exploiting MICA print services'. It's got to be a joke that they have those signs hanging up. MICA doesn't hesitate to exploit the student body, staff and faculty, etc. so fuck 'em.
I'm pretty stoked about it, and plan on printing like a hundred and leaving them around campus. My zine class will also have a table at the Baltimore Book Fair, and will be selling some there. I don't care so much about that, and almost don't want to. I feel like people who would go so far as to pay for my silly zine would already identify with what I have in it, so I'm kind of conflicted about the whole thing.
I'll post some pictures maybe when I'm done.

This Saturday is another Anti-War rally in D.C.
October 9th I'll be speaking on behalf of Argentineans in respect to the "Che's" assassination fourty years ago.
October 17th is a mass action for the Baltimore Algebra Project, and it's going to be fucking amazing.

God damn. Baltimore, I hate to love this place.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The most recent publication of New York's Indypendent paper is out;
The Indypendent: "Playing With Fire"

Here's the Illustration I submitted for the review on "Walmartopia"
"When Wal-Mart Rules the Earth: A Review of “Walmartopia”

I also have a lot to say about the protest, and will post once I can collect myself.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Now, I'd just like to make note of something that ranks pretty high on my paranoia meter.

I was just at the PBS website because I was setting up my link list, and the first thing you see on their website is the Ken Burns documentary; "The War."

Not one second later! I get an email from Amazon informing me of the opportunity to pre-order a dvd of "The War" by Ken Burns. Is Amazon monitoring my internet use in some way, in an attempt to steer me into purchasing their crap?

Amazon is Creepy

I have ordered no titles by Ken Burns, and can only recollect one history textbook I bought for a class.

Is this not fucking weird?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

This video is just further affirmation to my already deep-seated belief that the United States is under a carefully constructed police state. Disgusting and sickening.
I feel like I've had this conversation several times in the past year, and the thought just terrifies me more and more each time. Earlier today, I was sitting in Conway Park, Baltimore with a woman who worked as part of the exploited custodial staff in Camden Yards Stadium. The stadium is the largest employer in Baltimore of temp-workers (mostly homeless), and happened to be paying sub-poverty wages to their workers, for a quite a while.
I've been a volunteer to help this campaign by the United Workers Association (UWA) to get these people the living wage they are entitled to as workers ever since Maryland's passing of the Living Wage Act. On Thursday it was announced that there was a 4-1 vote on passing a binding contract to give these people what should have been rightfully theirs from the get-go. ["Cleaning Up After the Orioles"]

Anyway, so I was sitting with this woman who was apparently apart of the initial group of workers to bring this situation to light, and as we waited to direct people away from Conway Park to the new concert location behind the AFSCME offices in Pigtown, I was compelled to ask.. "What's next?"
She informed me that the UWA would be moving onto more worker violations in the area, as seen in the public schools and in jails and other correctional facilities. I'm all for worker rights, and believe that no one should ever endure any exploitative circumstances for any reason, but it's especially hard for me to find a soft spot for correctional officers.
Although I already knew the answer, I couldn't help but ask if they were doing anything for the exploited prison inmates. While it's somewhat of a controversial issue, they are workers, unconventional workers, but workers nonetheless. Since they are essentially forced into slave labor to rebuild roads and participate in other physically demanding tasks, I would have to say they fit the criteria. And not to mention the constant violence they face either from fellow inmates or more often by the police. How can we ever expect to move away from the escalation of crime in this country when, during their time in 'correctional' facilities, the police (the only figures they make contact with regularly) perpetuate violence in a persisting manner? This is leading by example? It's maddening!

While I truly hate to generalize and lump people into stereotypes, correctional officers tend to fall into a group of individuals in this country that start out as well intended people, just trying to do the right thing. Without much time they turn into overwhelming beasts of ego and instead of helping the people they set out to initially protect, they now seek out those same people to harass and wrongfully punish, all in the name of the law. A person tends to forget their ethical boundaries when they're saturated with such a tremendous amount of authoritative power. Examples:
Amadou Diallo
Human Rights attorney, Michael Tarif Warren and wife Evelyn Warren
Raymond Smoot
Abu Ghraib

It's wildly terrifying. It's especially terrifying that there are laws in place specifically set to protect police interests, and really none at all to curtail indiscretions committed by the police and other law enforcement officials.

This is all withholding police actions at protests. Those are the scariest of all, and pose the greatest potential threat to myself. Protesters very rarely act in a violent manner and for the most part assemble in the most peaceable way possible. It boggles my mind why the police have historically always reacted to protesters in the most brutal way in an effort to protect institutions that go far beyond protecting themselves. I have a guess, but I'm hoping that I am just hopelessly wrong.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hello great wide world of bloggers and blog readers!

I'm here to claim my patch of the internet, and make advantageous strides in the wonderful world of self-publishing. Believe it or not, I've given some serious consideration to starting a blog of my own for some time now, and finally crossed the threshold into documenting projects and groups I am committed to in a semi-responsible way.
The timing is weird I think, I'm in the middle of a book trying to get across the dangers of self-publishing (Cult of the Amateur, by Andrew Keen), and after attending his talk at the Strand in June I think it was.. actually agree with a fair amount of his claims. Another weird coincidence is I suppose the 'zine class I recently enrolled in at my school, and there was a brief pause where our teacher acknowledged how zines and zine culture almost come across as redundant with the advent of the internet and the ensuing culture that manifested itself out of bytes on computers.

Anyway, after a passing conversation with my roommate, and thinking about the matter briefly. Ultimately I inwardly agreed with her sentiment despite my more outwardly vocalized skepticism of blogging as a viable means of communicating. Hence my unveiling at 2-ish am. I certainly didn't think I would follow up with it, maybe for another month or so, but the strangely synchronistic activities I've been partaking in as of late have been pretty alarming to me, and thought it merited some documentation.

Right now, I can only offer some delirious rambling, and the beautiful but blurry view from my studio:
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