<B>Another Government Is Possible, And SG Contributor Lee Camp Is In The Cabinet!</B>
Apr 2013 23

Another Government Is Possible, And SG Contributor Lee Camp Is In The Cabinet!

Posted In Activism,Blog,Comedy,Entertainment,Politics

We’re pleased to announce that activist comedian and SG contributor Lee Camp, who made his name bringing laughter to OWS encampments across the nation (and for calling Fox News a “parade of propaganda” and a “festival of ignorance”), has been appointed to the Green Shadow Cabinet.

Here’s an excerpt from an official Green Shadow Cabinet statement which explains how this alternative opposition American government will work:

Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the 2012 Green Party presidential and vice-presidential nominees, marked the beginning of Earth Week by announcing a new Green Shadow Cabinet that will serve as an independent voice in U.S. politics, putting the needs of people and protection of the planet ahead of profits for big corporations. The Cabinet will operate in the tradition of shadow cabinets in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and France, responding to actions of the government in office, and demonstrating that another government is possible. The Green Shadow Cabinet, includes nearly 100 prominent scientists, community and labor leaders, physicians, cultural workers, veterans, and more, and will provide an ongoing opposition and alternative voice to the dysfunctional government in Washington D.C..

And here’s a few words from the Green Shadow Cabinet’s new Secretary of Comedy & Arts…

The Ridiculous Reality of Government Has Surpassed Humor and Satire

by Lee Camp

I’m honored to have been chosen as the Secretary of Comedy and Arts for the Green Shadow Cabinet. However, I must say that I feel I have the hardest job in the entire governmental body — far more difficult than, say, the President or that other guy who makes the President’s decisions. Why do I believe I have the hardest job? Because we live in a country where reality has lapped satire and surpassed humor altogether.

We live in a country where Congress is unwilling or unable to pass any sort of meaningful Wall Street reform immediately following the largest financial crime and collapse, mankind has ever seen. We have a government that passes the STOCK Act to stop government officials from trading on insider knowledge, but then just last week they pass a new bill UNANIMOUSLY that guts the prior one. We have a government that prosecutes whistleblowers far more strenuously than they go after the fraudsters, banksters, and murderers exposed by those whistleblowers. How am I supposed to create comedy when reality is as ridiculous as anything can be?! Only fiction like Catch-22 and 1984 can EVEN BEGIN to describe the reality in which we live.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is set to be the largest trade deal in history, likely giving international corporations the right to bring legal action against the United States for enforcing our own environmental laws. So we’re passing a trade deal to give other countries the right to tell us what to do on our own land?! How does a comedian go about exaggerating that? We live in a hyperbole! We exist in an inflated dark metaphor that cannot be topped!

On the warfront, the Pentagon, to their credit, realized we were killing too many civilians in Afghanistan. So they came up with a bold new solution. They changed the definition of the word “civilian” to exclude anybody of military age. The military now has the power to change the definition of words?! Up is down. Right is wrong. Inside is out. And it’s my job to mock it?! I can’t mock it — I’m too dizzy!

My point is simply that I’m honored to hold this position at which I can’t possibly succeed. In a world where the reality is comedy, I guess I’m just the anchorman.

Lee Camp is the Secretary of Comedy and Arts for the Green Shadow Cabinet. He is a comedian whose website is www.LeeCamp.net, has web video show YouTube. He has appeared in numerous forums, notably Showtime’s “Green Room with Paul Provenza” and “Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann

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<b>Love In A Time Of Mass Incarceration</b>
Jan 2013 06

Love In A Time Of Mass Incarceration

Posted In Activism,Blog,Favorites,Politics

by Rachel Allshiny

“What are you doing for New Year’s?” The question, posed by friends and family members this past week, seemed innocent enough. When I cheerfully answered, “Protesting the prison industrial complex,” however, most people were taken aback.

My sister-in-law tried to convince me that a prison protest on New Year’s Eve would accomplish nothing beyond annoying the guards. A friend said I should take the day off of political activism and do something fun. My parents have given up making sense of my extracurricular activities altogether.

But to me, a prison noise demonstration was the only place I wanted to be. I have been very active in supporting political prisoners this past year, primarily the NATO 5 and Jeremy Hammond. Through my interactions with them and the system that has taken them hostage, I have come to recognize how many lives are ruined when we lock people in cages. I no longer trust the “justice” system to determine guilt or innocence, and I know that the prisons have done far more harm to individuals and our society as a whole than can ever be justified.

The first noise demonstration began mid-afternoon at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago, a federal prison. Like many protest actions I have attended, there was a festive spirit to the gathering. Many protesters wore brightly colored masks and used a variety of New Year’s party noisemakers to add to the general ruckus. The plaza was still cordoned off with yellow CRIME SCENE tape from a recent prison break, in which two bank robbers successfully wove a rope out of bed sheets and lowered themselves down 15 stories. One of the men remains at large. We asked people to bring their old bed sheets and knotted them into a rope of our own right there in the plaza. It was a symbol of liberation for all who are incarcerated as well as an embarrassing reminder of the facility’s recent security breach.

We chanted and sang, shouted and danced. A few people swung the bed sheets like a jump rope. We marched around the building, followed closely by Chicago Police Department and Department of Homeland Security vehicles. The building goes straight up and has only the narrowest of windows, but we were soon able to see prisoners waving at us from every floor. Some turned their lights off and on repeatedly to get our attention. We cheered. The guards just stood their ground and glared at us.

The first noise demo ended at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building. A woman spoke about travesty of workplace raids, as well as whole families rounded up in home raids, all resulting in record numbers of deportations. These immigration detention centers are like a shadow prison system – “detention” is not considered “incarceration” and a different set of rules apply to the undocumented.

***

After a short break to allow people to warm up, we met at Cook County Jail for a second noise demo. This time we armed ourselves with glow sticks and were joined by a ragtag anarchist marching band. Also joining us was a veritable fleet of CPD and Cook County Sheriff cars, and two bike cops who must have drawn the short end of the stick. By this point it was very cold, and getting colder by the minute.

The plan was to circle the perimeter of the jail, which is close to a 2-mile walk. (Cook County is not only one of the most notorious jails in the country, but also the largest, and houses 10,000 inmates at any given time.) But first we veered off course and crossed the street to stop by Division 11, the newest section of the jail, built outside of the main compound. The other divisions are set back behind rolls of razor wire or overlap with other buildings, blocking our view of the windows. But Division 11 has windows facing directly onto an open plaza, and we were able to easily see and be seen by those inside.

The reaction of the inmates to our presence was incredible. We saw rows of silhouettes waving, clapping, dancing, jumping with joy. They banged on the windows and flickered their lights at us. One inmate took off his uniform shirt and swung it around his head. It was the most electric, uplifting feeling imaginable. The band played louder, we danced and clapped and made some noise. We ignored the guards yelling at us and the lights flashing atop squad cars and gave it everything we had. When we finally turned back to circle the main compound, a young woman stopped banging on a pot lid long enough to exchange a high five and irrepressible grin with me.

The jubilant spirit did not last long. Within a few minutes, we were having a tense confrontation with our law enforcement escorts, which result in a violent and entirely unnecessary arrest. The protester would later be charged with felony aggravated battery, but the only violence I saw that night was perpetrated by officers of the law on unarmed, peaceful activists.

Still, we made a complete circuit around the jail. On the last leg of the journey we spent some time blocking a side street with the bed sheet rope snaked between us, dancing and singing. It was a glorious moment, in no way diminished by the police officers watching us dubiously from every direction.

As a society, we try to hide our problems, to lock them away instead of working proactively on solutions. When our problems inevitably worsen and multiply we lock those away, too – and find a way to make the whole system profitable for well-connected individuals and corporations. We do everything possible to make prisoners –– most of whom are serving time for non-violent offenses, most of whom have dark skin –– invisible.

Noise demos such as these, in solidarity with others held on New Year’s Eve across the globe, refuse to buy in to that mentality. We stand up and say: They have hidden you away, but we see you. They have told us to forget, but we remember you. They have demanded that jail be miserable and dehumanizing –– but we brought you a marching band.

In a call from Cook County Jail on the morning of December 31st, one of the NATO 5 explained to me: “It’s hard to be in here this time of year. Even if you aren’t big on celebrating the holidays, other people are feeling it. Everybody is missing someone.”

I feel good about how we spent New Year’s Eve. It was exciting to see prisoners expressing joy, which they get to do so rarely. It was cathartic to unleash my own pent up frustration at the jail’s unforgiving walls in the form of a primal, wordless scream. Most of all, it was inspiring to see so many others committed to supporting prisoners in 2013 and beyond.

This is what solidarity looks like.

Photos courtesy of Lee Klawans and Chicago Indymedia.

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<B>How To Make Renewable Energy More Dangerous</B>
Nov 2012 20

How To Make Renewable Energy More Dangerous

Posted In Activism,Blog,Politics

by Lee Camp

The world needs to switch to renewable energy, but the problem is that it’s not sexy enough. So how to we sex-up green energy? Well, you could strap giant tits to the wind turbines, I suppose. But I have a different idea that should get us all salivating about green energy.

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<b>StrikeDebt To End Millions Of Dollars Worth Of Misery With Rolling Jubilee Debt Forgiveness Operation</b>
Nov 2012 15

StrikeDebt To End Millions Of Dollars Worth Of Misery With Rolling Jubilee Debt Forgiveness Operation

Posted In Activism,Blog,Favorites,Politics

by Nicole Powers

Occupy Wall Street offshoot StrikeDebt, a collective which aims to help free the masses from the bondage of debt, officially kicks off its Rolling Jubilee with a telethon tonight which will be webcast live from NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge at 8 PM EST. The fundraising event will feature a slew of progressively-minded celebs including comedienne Janeane Garofalo and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead.

The Rolling Jubilee, which takes its name from the multi-faith tradition in ancient civilizations whereby slaves would be freed and debt forgiven, is essentially a people’s bailout. Working with industry experts, StrikeDebt aims to buy debt on the open market for cents on the dollar and then forgive it.

Within days of setting up PayPal and WePay accounts, StrikeDebt’s initial goal of raising $50,000 was exceeded. So far over 5,000 individuals have donated a collective total of over $200,000 – which is enough to forgive in excess of $4 million in debt.

Since 62% of all bankruptcies are caused by health issues, medical debt is at the top of StrikeDebt’s shopping list. Indeed, this morning the group announced via Twitter that they had purchased their first $100,000 of medical debut.

Because companies that own bad debt sell it for a fraction of its face value, for every $10 donation StrikeDebt gets they estimate they will be able to erase approximately $200-worth of debt.

Support the People’s Bailout and help StrikeDebt erase millions of dollars worth of misery by donating via WePay at rollingjubilee.org/.

The 501(c) non-profit organization promises 100% of the money raised will go to the process of buying and abolishing debt, and that in the interests of transparency, a full accounting of funds received and spent will be reported on their website.

Watch tonight’s Rolling Jubilee Telethon via the embed below and follow @StrikeDebt for updates.

Watch live streaming video from lepoissonrouge at livestream.com
<b>TPP: Boring Evil Is The Worst!</b>
Nov 2012 15

TPP: Boring Evil Is The Worst!

Posted In Activism,Blog,Politics

by Lee Camp

Okay, I’ll be honest. The Trans-Pacific Partnership sounds boring. It sounds really boring. I’m talking, really, REALLY boring. Like painting your grass so that you can watch the grass grow and the paint dry at the same time –– THAT kind of boring! But I will make it very NOT boring. And it will affect your life. So those are two reasons to not find it boring.

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<b>Are We Stuck In Permanent Childhood?</b>
Nov 2012 13

Are We Stuck In Permanent Childhood?

Posted In Activism,Blog,Politics

by Lee Camp

It’s almost here. It’s almost time for that big shopping day each year when someone gets trampled to death as a thousand crazed zombie-like human beings scramble for the last few copies of the new zombie video game. And that’s the time when we all have to ask ourselves, “Are we progressing? Or is this a nation of children?”

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Election 2012: The Morning After Pill
Nov 2012 07

Election 2012: The Morning After Pill

Posted In Activism,Blog,Politics

by Lee Camp

What did we learn about marriage equality, mari-ja-juana, and legitimate rape last night? Here’s a summary with more information and more curse words than you will ever find on the mainstream media!

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