The Mass Demonstrations For Quarantine

The trouble with paraphrasing is that in the process you accidentally can end up talking about something completely different, and then I get all pedantic in the service of making a point. John Philpin paraphased John Gruber on the matter of public protests.

It’s never wise to gauge public opinion solely by looking at protests, but in this particular case it could not possibly be more misleading. By definition, only the people who think these restrictions are nonsense/unnecessary/too broad/whatever are even willing to congregate in large groups. You can’t hold a public rally in support of stay-at-home orders.

The reason why I countered that this is not the same as saying “you can’t publicly protest to support ‘shelter in place’” is that these daily evening rounds of applause and pots-banging people have been doing from their stay-at-home porches, balconies, and windows in support of frontline workers arguably in fact are public protests — technically (pedantically?) — demonstrations) in support of “shelter-in-place”.

It’s the “public rally” that’s stymied by the very nature of being voluntary shut-ins, barring car-based demonstrations which present their own issues.

Maybe what we need is to get creative, and technological: maybe what we need is a sort of central clearinghouse of daily videos, all hosted on a single page that’s updated every day with the previous evening’s mass, if distributed, affirmation.

It’s not that the majority is silent. It’s that they currently can’t be seen or heard outside of their own physical communities en masse.

We could change that.

Sarah Mirk’s zine today is sort of what …

Sarah Mirk’s zine today is sort of what keeps nagging at me, especially given the recent debate wherein even in the midst of a rising pandemic, the rallying cry was that we simply address the emergency, and any systemic or structural considerations were to be deferred.

It’s baffling to me that we seem incapable of simultaneously addressing emergency needs and the fact that some big, structural changes would make our communities far more resilient the next time a national emergency strikes.

What I keep getting stuck on, though, is that this particular national emergency is built to resist any type of political organizing which requires mass mobilization. How do you make your voices heard in sufficient numbers when you can’t safely assemble even in insufficient numbers?

I’ll confess that I am posting about …

I’ll confess that I am posting about Umbrella in part to demonstrate that I’ve discovered a way post the “three rightwards arrows” character as a proper antifascist thanks to applying transform:rotate(135deg); via CSS. Hopefully you don’t have a fascist browser.

PopMob is joining Rose City Antifa, Direct Action Alliance, PNW Youth Liberation Front, Bananabloc, Satanic Portland and others in calling for #AUnitedFront to stand against hate [this] Saturday!

“Mapping has been the tool of empires and …

“Mapping has been the tool of empires and governments for 500 years,” Dalton told MapLab, pointing to the days of Columbus and other Western explorers who used geographic tools to colonize civilizations around the globe. “What happens when maps get into hands of people who’ve been victims of cartographic sleights of hand?”

From MapLab: The Power of Counter-Maps by Laura Bliss

Need a lift? Here’s something you …

Need a lift? Here’s something you don’t see every day. The owner of a new chocolate shop has his storefront targeted by an art-activist pointing out colonialist implications of its branding. His response? “It’s not the community’s job to understand what my motivations are or the meaning this has for me,” he told the press. “It’s my job to care about the concerns of the community.” And he’s removed and is reworking his business’ branding.

We should know better. Generation Z, which …

We should know better. Generation Z, which includes my own daughter, is going to face problems boomers refuse to concede are problems at all. Generation X should understand this well. We have been living under the shadow of the boomer generation our entire lives. So much so in fact that many people forget we even exist. And there’s another thing we understand. Most boomers don’t get it. Never will. Many Gen Xers get it. We have for a long time. Let’s not make common cause with the wrong side.

From ‘OK, Boomer’ Is Too Timid by John Stoehr

‪It’s true I’ve thirteen years on Lindy West but …

‪It’s true I’ve thirteen years on Lindy West but you know what I was doing when Saved by the Bell was on? Sleeping two successive weekends in Lafayette Park across from the White House to protest the first Gulf War. ‬ You know what I was doing when Clueless came out? Trying to stop the Communications Decency Act.

Why is Melissa Lemieux of Newsweek referring to …

Why is Melissa Lemieux of Newsweek referring to three plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Portland as “counterfascist”, let alone as “self-described counterfascist” in the article’s meta tags? Just as a counterprotest doesn’t mean “against protest”, but “a protest opposing another protest”, counterfascist would mean “a fascist opposing another fascist”. The word here is antifascist, and it’s neither dirty nor a slur. It’s a perfectly good word describing a perfectly good thing to be: against fascism, and neither Lemieux nor the protesters should avoid using it.

ETA: Apparently, Newsweek got the “self-described” language from OPB, where Meerah Powell referred to “a self-described ‘counter-fascist protest’”. Alex Zieklinski’s coverage for Portland Mercury teaches me that the language ultimately is drawn from the text of the complaint which refers to “counter-fascist groups” and “counter-fascist protestors”, which also isn’t a thing. This means the actual lawyers for antifascists are running from the term antifascist. That’s bad.

ETA: This effectively sells out anyone else still—correctly, and appropriately—calling themselves antifascist. It cedes authority over our language to the bad-faith apologists for fascism and hate who want to make “antifa” synonymous with “terrorist”. Shame on Levi Merrithew Horst and Oregon Justice Resource Center.

ETA: Weirder yet, the complaint later does use the term “anti-fascist” and OJRC used that term in a statement, so why are they using the nonsense word “counter-fascist” at all?