Political Activism – Mov Soc http://movsoc.org/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 15:40:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://movsoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/mov-soc-icon.png Political Activism – Mov Soc http://movsoc.org/ 32 32 Elon Musk never cared if Twitter was a business failure – he wants a political victory | Richard Seymour https://movsoc.org/elon-musk-never-cared-if-twitter-was-a-business-failure-he-wants-a-political-victory-richard-seymour/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 15:40:37 +0000 https://movsoc.org/elon-musk-never-cared-if-twitter-was-a-business-failure-he-wants-a-political-victory-richard-seymour/

OWhy bother restoring Donald Trump’s Twitter account? Twitter owner Elon Musk having said that no such decision would be made until a content moderation board was established, the decision came after launching a quick poll on Twitter. He also reactivated the accounts of Kanye West, dumped by advertisers after raving anti-Semitic remarks, and Andrew Tate, the misogynistic “influencer” banned in 2017 for violating the terms of use.

This puts already nervous advertisers, who account for about 90% of the company’s revenue, in a precarious position. The NAACP called on big companies to stop advertising on Twitter. Many of them have already done so. The Trump decision also risks causing a wider political backlash for the platform, especially among users. Musk is already under federal investigation for his conduct during the takeover.

Although Musk is the richest man in the world, very little he’s done since buying Twitter remotely resembles good business sense. This is partly due to his management style that takes place in a more public forum: he notoriously rules by fear, breaks the law, breaks unions and fires employees who criticize him. He seems intent on establishing the same pattern on Twitter, based on his seemingly unassailable belief that he knows best. But his interest in Twitter is not just commercial. It’s clear he thinks Twitter’s old leadership had a leftist bias and would like to restore a friendly climate for right-wing agitators. The goal seems to be to redesign Twitter and change its perceived politics.

So Musk bought a platform he knew little about and started “moving fast and breaking things,” as the Silicon Valley motto goes. The purchase itself, adding $13 billion to the company’s debt, was the first financial injury inflicted on the company. The second was the ax taken in staffing, making advertisers nervous and drawing the ire of the Federal Trade Commission. He laid off a considerable number of employees, starting by purging about half of the employees, before begging some of them to return. Meanwhile, a senior Twitter executive made it clear how low valued those who returned were and how soon they would get the boot back. In leaked Slack messages, he called them “weak, lazy and unmotivated”, and he said they could easily be fired again.

Musk fired about 1,200 other staff, including engineers responsible for content management and bug fixes, after imposing a de facto loyalty oath. He asked engineers to bring him examples of their own coding work to determine their value to the company — odd, given that code is written collectively — and he drafted 50 Tesla employees with no obvious experience with social media software or design to watch. Twitter code. Recently, after having a dispute on Twitter with an engineer who knew more about platform performance issues than he did, he tweeted him out.

His online behavior makes the company terrible. Twitter’s fact-checking service humiliated him after he falsely tweeted that Twitter “drives massive numbers of clicks” to other websites, being by far the “biggest driver of clicks on Internet”.

Nothing in Musk’s conduct, however, suggests that Twitter’s chaos is primarily about business. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Musk’s takeover was encouraged not only by ousted executive Jack Dorsey, but also by a network of right-wing libertarian billionaires close to Musk, including the founder of PayPal. , Peter Thiel. They argued that Twitter would be best run as a private company.

One reason for libertarian interest in Musk, according to the WSJ, may have been his political evolution. Although he was once a centrist who backed Andrew Yang, he vehemently rejected Trump’s ban, felt Twitter’s content moderation policies were politically motivated, and claimed Twitter was “gone.” taken from the extreme left”. (This is dead wrong: Twitter’s own internal research found it amplified right-wing content.) It became a purveyor of misinformation, for example on Covid-19, and the attack on Paul Pelosi (husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi). As CEO of Twitter, he used the platform to encourage voters to back Republicans in the U.S. midterm elections and, when they lost, spread a conspiracy theory that Sam Bankman- Fried was laundering money for Democrats. He is, albeit hardly a Trumper, happily adjacent to the culture war politics of the American far right.

This would suggest that the billionaire’s takeover was, in part, a political move aimed at “disrupting” the communications networks that the American right has repeatedly claimed were biased against it. Twitter, as a political entity, punches well above its commercial weight. In its early days, it thrived on its association with the Obama White House and its alleged role in the “Twitter revolutions” (a phrase coined by the State Department). It was seen as a means of projecting American influence abroad. It didn’t cause these revolutions any more than the Trump presidency or Black Lives Matter did, but it was central to these political battles because of how activists, politicians and journalists used the platform. Although it had far fewer users than Facebook or TikTok, it was and remains a powerful tool for shaping public discourse. Whoever controls it, whether he knows what he is doing or not, has real political power.

Despite what Musk thinks, Twitter’s old board didn’t wield that power for the left, or even for liberals. Their content moderation policies have evolved over time to appease advertisers and governments. They didn’t want to get rid of the various fascist micro-celebrities and far-right disinfotainers, let alone far-right profit-making bigwigs like Trump and Alex Jones: they had to. Now, under Musk’s one-man rule, Twitter is being realigned. It’s partly for Musk’s recreation. He likes to “trigger the libs” and swallow purveyors of far-right incitement, misinformation and propaganda on his platform. But it’s also to further rebalance online news ecologies in favor of the right.

Restoring Trump’s account won’t bring back the days when the former president was worth $2 billion on Twitter in a single year. But it does indicate where Musk wants to take the platform.

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Environmental activists project images of energy poverty onto Rishi Sunak’s house | Rishi Sunak https://movsoc.org/environmental-activists-project-images-of-energy-poverty-onto-rishi-sunaks-house-rishi-sunak/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 22:41:00 +0000 https://movsoc.org/environmental-activists-project-images-of-energy-poverty-onto-rishi-sunaks-house-rishi-sunak/

Energy crisis campaigners screened scenes of people struggling with fuel poverty at Rishi Sunak’s Yorkshire mansion on the eve of the declaration of autumn.

Greenpeace activists parked a van outside the Prime Minister’s £1.5million constituency house and used it to show the trailer for a hard-hitting documentary about the frontage of the Georgian mansion.

It reminds Sunak that energy companies are set to make £170billion in excess profits over the next two years – but it would cost ‘only’ £55billion to insulate every home in the UK, which are among the coldest and most common in Western Europe. .

“Unless the government intervenes, we will suffer every winter, while corporations get richer,” the film says. The trailer was thrown over the front of the Grade II listed house near Northallerton in North Yorkshire as night fell on Wednesday.

The prime minister was at the G20 world leaders meeting in Bali at the time. His wife and daughters were not believed to be in the house during the stunt. Activists were able to watch the nine-minute film twice with no response from anyone inside.

The film, made in partnership with the New Economics Foundation think tank, tells the story of a community struggling to support themselves and each other through the food bank cost of living crisis. and community centers. It focuses on Maltby in the South Yorkshire constituency of Rother Valley, which first became Conservative in 2019. It will be shown at public screenings across the UK, starting on Wednesday.

A new poll, commissioned by Greenpeace from Survation, has found that 64.6% of Britons have had to cut other expenses due to rising energy bills, rising to 72.5% in ‘red wall’ constituencies “. Almost 77% would support a government program to install home insulation in their area, rising to 80% in the red wall.

Heather Kennedy, a New Economics Foundation community organizer who works in and around the Rother Valley and helped produce the film, said: ‘Rising energy prices are much compounded by our poorly insulated and leaking, wasting our money every time we turn on our heating.

“But there are investments the government could make in this budget that would protect us from rising energy costs this winter and winters to come. Our Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is set to launch a national home improvement program to insulate cold and drafty British homes this winter.

Nearly 7 million households – a quarter of the country – are already in fuel poverty, and this figure is expected to rise to 11 million next year without further government intervention. A recent report by Cambridge Econometrics on behalf of Greenpeace UK suggested that a government-backed program to insulate homes and install heat pumps could pump almost £7billion a year into the economy and create almost 140,000 new jobs by 2030.

Ami McCarthy, a political campaigner with Greenpeace UK, said: ‘What the country needs is a massive isolation program which should be paid for by a windfall tax on companies making huge profits at our costs. The government introduced a windfall tax, but left a huge loophole that gives huge amounts of that money to fossil fuel company expansion plans that won’t heat our homes for years, but warm the climate For centuries.

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Sowore, Yabagi, Umeadi, Adebayo attend presidential meeting at town hall https://movsoc.org/sowore-yabagi-umeadi-adebayo-attend-presidential-meeting-at-town-hall/ Sun, 13 Nov 2022 18:07:52 +0000 https://movsoc.org/sowore-yabagi-umeadi-adebayo-attend-presidential-meeting-at-town-hall/

Everything is ready for the second in a series of presidential town hall meetings.

Four presidential candidates from the 18 political parties registered for next year’s general elections will be seated shortly to engage in a debate and tell Nigerians their plans for security and the economy.

The candidates are Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), Yabagi Sani of the African Democratic Party (ADP), Peter Umeadi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The debate will begin at 7:00 p.m. and is expected to last approximately two hours.

It will feature questions from the moderator, panelists and audience. There will also be a live fact-check on the contestants’ data or assumptions, presented by the PREMIUM TIMES team.

PREMIUM TIMES partners with Arise Television to host the Presidential Town Hall and this is done in conjunction with the Center for Democrats and Development (CSD).

Other media partners for Sunday’s public meeting include the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Nigerian Publishers Guild, Vanguard Newspaper, Daily Trust Newspaper and New Telegraph Newspaper.

Leadership newspaper, TheCable, Punch newspapers, Guardian newspaper, The Sun newspaper and the Nigerian Fact-Checkers Coalition are the other partners.

This debate comes exactly a week after the first in the series – which featured Peter Obi of the Labor Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP and Kola Abiola of the People’s Redemption Party and Ifeanyi Okowa, who represented PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.


During last week’s date, Atiku and APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu were absent from the presidential town hall meeting – which sparked controversy on social media. Many Nigerians have accused the duo of avoiding critical public engagements.

This document also reported how the participants behaved during the event which lasted more than four hours.

Follow PREMIUM TIMES as we bring you live updates from today’s debate.

You can also watch the debate live here…


The debate has begun.

The two moderators are Laila Johnson-Salami and Rufai Oseni, both of ARISE TV, kicking off the discussion by reading the house rules.

Mr. Oseni asks the first question: “If you were President of Nigeria, how would you approach the issue of security.

AAC’s Omoyele Sowore is the first to respond.
He says if elected to power in 2019, no one would complain about the insecurity in the country.

“You can’t collect security intelligence when you don’t have smart people in power.”

Before we can talk about the use of firearms, we need to address the issue of equality.

What I would have done as president is make sure we had security agencies that could handle security.


Mr. Yabagi Sani from ADP is next to respond.

He says that as president he will govern with the rule of law. This means that security agencies will work in a way that gathers information from each other and works where and when they need it. He says he will tackle poverty – a key factor that contributes to insecurity.

APGA’s Mr. Umeadi says it’s about the layout, the security structure and, most importantly, the leadership. He denounces the missing gap between the leadership and the country’s problems as many leaders “run away” from the country’s challenges.


Mr Adebayo of the SDP says the political elite are very good at scaring people.

“The insecurity in this country remains and starts from Villa,” he said. “You have to make sure that we don’t have political activists in the security structure. This is the problem we have. Instead of focusing on ongoing security issues, they will fight over the budget. »

What I will do is make sure we run the right government to include and address the issues.


A panelist, Waziri Adio, asks the following question.

What specific things will you do to address the drivers of insecurity in Nigeria?


Mr Sowore says inequality, corruption and lack of borders lead to insecurity.

He says one of the most bizarre decisions of the Buhari-led government is the closing of borders because “you can’t close what you don’t have”.

This country needs a political activist as president who must tackle the issues, he said.


According to Yabagi, Nigeria must have a functional security architecture to avoid risks, identify threats and take action when necessary.

“The rule of law will be our mantra.”


Mr. Umeadi cautions against turning away from the issue of insecurity itself.


For his part, Mr. Adebayo says he has four points to answer the question:

-Stop using law enforcement to solve political problems. No reason for Nnamdi Kanu to be treated as he is; the government itself must know that you cannot have enough personnel; third, to recognize their defense mechanism and ensure that those in power do not profit from the products of insecurity.


Another panelist, Kemi, asks the following question.

“Do you think these structures should come under one platform? If so, what are your plans for doing so? If not why ?”

Mr. Sowore replied in the negative. Nigeria, he says, is ripe for restructuring.

He is in favor of the creation of a state police force, a campus police force and a community police force.

He says there is a need to fix the constitution to ensure this is included.


Mr. Yabagi also answers in the negative.

He says it is necessary to amend the constitution and provide for the creation of a state police.

“The way to solve all this remains the problem of poverty,” he adds.


Like the others, Mr Umeadi supports the creation of a state police which would mean changing the constitution.

“Could we give military training to people who go to NYSC and start a diet that could empower the people? We are a little too docile. We will become a stronger society,” he said.


For Mr. Adebayo, it will eliminate crime in government. He says it is one of the hardest things to do in Nigeria today due to the lack of an effective policing system. He says he will ensure long-term peace for the country by talking to Nigerians and parliamentarians to see how to get the police to reach the locals.


Next questions for Sowore:

-Can education eliminate insecurity in Nigeria?

-Information from your platform that is not true and unverified. How can we give you the seat of power and how are we sure you are not a CIA agent?


Sowore says he’s not a CIA agent.

“If I was a CIA agent, Buhari would have disappeared from the face of the earth when he detained me. You can’t do that to a CIA agent. He says he hasn’t written for Sahara Reporters since. one moment.

The best way to approach education is through budgeting, he says. “Education does not automatically eliminate crime but can uplift people.”


Questions to all applicants:

-What plans are in place for security and the economy with respect to the female gender?

-Would you keep two jobs like Buhari at the head of the oil ministry?


Mr Adebayo says he will ensure equality and fairness and have a government where women are not denied opportunities because of their gender.

He says leaders who hold more than one position end up doing no work. For him, he will make sure to have high-level people who can manage the departments.


Mr Umeadi says the constitutional provisions that push for equality and 35% affirmative action are far from reality.

He says 11 northern states have home child rights law.

He says he would not hold two offices if elected president.


Mr. Yabagi says will ensure that as many women as possible enter the National Assembly.

He does not think it is necessary for a leader, a president, to hold another ministerial position. “What is needed is that they have KPIs and deliver results.”


Mr Sowore says the problem of inequality started when women started to accept percentage roles.

“If you are not 35% of the population, why do you accept 35% in government. It is time for women to stand up and take their place.

If you really want to be a minister as president, try to be a tourism minister and we’ll know you’re serious, he said.


Next question about economics:

“As President, how are you going to build Nigeria’s primary industries to end Nigeria’s dependence on imports?


Mr Adebayo says he will put an economist, not a cashier, at the Central Bank.

He says he will ensure that full employment is achieved. To do this, he will invest in agriculture before embarking on the steel industry.

It will also invest in social services such as education, health and housing. And will make infrastructure and roads to attract foreign investment.


Mr Umeadi says he will ‘impress the power of states over anyone else’s’.

He says he will maximize the powers of the people and create skill centers that will create jobs for people in the long run. This, he says, will ease the burden on the government and also provide enough for exports.



















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Bahrain activist’s family receives special visit but worries about his health https://movsoc.org/bahrain-activists-family-receives-special-visit-but-worries-about-his-health/ Thu, 10 Nov 2022 05:55:00 +0000 https://movsoc.org/bahrain-activists-family-receives-special-visit-but-worries-about-his-health/

DUBAI (Reuters) – The family of a death row Bahraini activist were allowed physical contact with Mohammed Ramadhan for the first time in years during a prison visit this week, his wife said, while adding that she believed he was not receiving proper medical treatment.

The family were among those who called on Pope Francis ahead of his visit to Bahrain last week to speak out against capital punishment, which he did while insisting on human rights.

Ramadhan’s wife, Zainab Ebrahim, who visited Jau prison on Monday with their three children, said she did not know why they received a “special visit”.

“It’s been years since we’ve been able to touch it,” she told Reuters, adding that they were usually separated by a glass barrier.

“The kids ran up to him as soon as they saw him and they were crying and screaming and hugging him.”

Political cartoons about world leaders

A government spokesman, in response to a question from Reuters, said inmate visits “may include private and exceptional visits without glass or physical barriers”.

Ramadhan and another man, Husain Moosa, were sentenced to death in 2014 for bombing a convoy and killing a policeman in what rights groups say were convictions based on confessions extracted under torture.

Bahrain’s highest court upheld the sentences in 2020.

Last year, a United Nations human rights watchdog called on Bahrain to release and compensate the two men, saying they were being arbitrarily detained.

The UN panel said it considered the two men to have been detained because of their political opinion, for participating in pro-democracy protests.

Bahrain, which crushed an anti-government uprising in 2011, rejected the report, saying the trials and appeals met all the requirements for a fair trial.

Ramadhan’s wife said his requests to visit the outpatient hospital for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for a lump in his neck were not granted, although he was taken to the clinic in the prison.

She said the lump was discovered about four months ago.

The government spokesman said: “The standard process before any scan, invasive diagnosis or treatment is for a patient to be seen and assessed by a medical professional.”

The spokesperson said Ramadan had refused to go to a medical appointment on October 19 and that another was scheduled but “has not yet taken place”.

(Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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German climate activists are “taking works of art hostage” – DW – 05/11/2022 https://movsoc.org/german-climate-activists-are-taking-works-of-art-hostage-dw-05-11-2022/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 11:09:46 +0000 https://movsoc.org/german-climate-activists-are-taking-works-of-art-hostage-dw-05-11-2022/

Earlier this week in Berlin, a cyclist was declared brain dead after an ambulance failed to reach her in time. Berlin police blamed the delay on a traffic jam caused by a roadblock by protesters from the group Last Generation. The police filed a complaint against two of its activists for failure to provide assistance and obstruction of those providing assistance.

The group denied any responsibility and strongly criticized the coverage of the controversy. “We didn’t expect an entire media system to turn against us,” the group said in a statement posted in German on its website. November 4.

Activists said they faced a “surge of accusations, untruths and hatred” and pointed out that the accident happened several kilometers from the place of the demonstration. They also said they notified police of the protest, requested the diversion of emergency vehicles and left enough room for an emergency lane. Last Generation, or Letzte Generation in German, is associated with Just Stop Oil in the UK, Declare Emergency in the US, Denierere Renovation in France and other climate change protest groups.

According to local media outlet Bayerischer Rundfunk, Last Generation activist Henning Jeschke said the group was deeply saddened by news of the cyclist’s accident but will continue their protests.

“As long as our highest political authorities go against the constitution, as long as they destroy our lives, we will resist peacefully,” Jeschke said.

Bringing attention to climate change

In recent weeks, climate activists have protested not only on the streets of Europe but also in its museums, defacing famous paintings in London, Paris, The Hague and Berlin with mashed potatoes, soup with tomatoes and red paint. None of the paintings were permanently damaged as all had been covered in plastic or glass.

The German Art History Association issued a statement last week calling on activists to stop attacking cultural artefacts, calling protecting works of art an “obligation to future generations” for which works are preserved.

On October 23, climate activists threw mashed potatoes on Claude Monet’s famous “Haystack” painting at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, near Berlin. At the National Gallery in London, Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ was attacked with a can of soup 10 days earlier by Just Stop Oil activists. There was also an attack in The Hague against “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer and against a dinosaur skeleton in the Museum of Natural History in Berlin. At the Louvre in Paris, a visitor smeared cake on one of the world’s most famous paintings, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’.

Paintings by Monet
Painting haystacks at different times of the day, Claude Monet created a series of paintings that are considered masterpieces of European Impressionism.Image: Manfred Thomas/dpa/picture alliance

Why target works of art?

The younger generation, to which many climate activists belong, grew up with social media and is therefore aware of the power of images, explains Kerstin Thomas, professor of art history at the University of Stuttgart.

“At the German Art History Association, we sympathize with the aims of activists,” says Thomas, in her role as president of this association. “However, we cannot support their means of protest in museums. Works of art are held hostage in a battle with which they have nothing to do.” The works attacked, she says, were not responsible for the climate crisis, nor glorified it nor fueled it.

“The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer exhibited at the Maurithuis in The HagueImage: Bart Maat/EPA-EFE

Works of art and monuments have always been the target of political protest. For example in 16th century Europe, when Protestants destroyed religious works of art in Catholic churches because they thought they would harm the Christian faith.

Challenging power dynamics

“Monuments have also been common targets in the past,” Thomas told DW. Two recent examples include the toppling of Soviet statues in the Baltic states following the Russian invasion of Ukraine or the removal of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in the UK.

But recent protests by climate activists in museums are of a different nature, she said. The purpose of monuments and statues is to express power, she explains. Protests against them are protests against the power they represent, for example against empire and colonialism, or against the regime of the former Soviet Union.

This is not the case with the climate crisis and the paintings recently targeted by activists, argued Thomas. “Images themselves do not embody power,” she said. “They are not responsible for the climate crisis.”

Monet’s “Haystack” is not an expression of the power of the oil companies, any more than van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”.

The world famous of Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh’s famous ‘Sunflowers’ are on display at the National Gallery in LondonImage: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/picture alliance

But climate activists argue that if the planet perishes there will be no more art, so saving the planet comes before protecting images. They also insist that they only target the frames and glass protecting the paintings.

Is one window enough?

There too, Kerstin Thomas does not agree with them because “a frame or a base also belongs to the work of art and its history”.

It is the mission of museums to preserve all this for the future. “It’s about preserving our cultural heritage in a way that future generations can still benefit from it.”

Also, the panes do not hermetically seal the artwork from outside influences, she explained. Tomato soup contains a lot of acid and could definitely damage a piece of art. “If you attack a work of art, you gladly agree to damage it.”

A copy of the Mona Lisa exhibited at an auction in Paris
This copy of the “Mona Lisa” was sold at auction in Paris in 2021 for $2.9 million. The original painting is exhibited in the Louvre and attracts millions of visitors each year.Image: Michel Euler/AP Photo/picture alliance

After a wave of attacks, the German Art History Association fears that this method of protest may become commonplace and may even begin to be seen as acceptable. “It would be wrong if such actions were to stand out as a legitimate form of protest,” Thomas said.

Climate protests in museums have already resulted in at least one unrelated copycat attack. In Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie, a woman threw artificial blood at Henri de Tolouse-Lautrec’s painting “Clown” on October 30. She then told the police that she wanted to protest for more democracy in Germany.

A poster of
At the former National Gallery in Berlin, the woman who threw artificial blood on a painting by Henri de Tolouse-Lautrec has been arrested by the police.Image: Christophe Gateau/dpa/picture alliance

Meanwhile, many European museums have tightened security measures to prevent further attacks on valuable artifacts. Until further notice, visitors to Berlin’s museums will only be admitted to the exhibition spaces after checking their jackets and bags in the cloakroom or leaving them in lockers. This also applies to the neighboring city of Potsdam.

Other museums like the National Gallery in London, the British Museum and the Louvre have also said their security measures are under constant review. However, they do not wish to discuss it publicly in order to better protect their artwork.

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Review: 3 Activism Books to Get You Excited on Progressive Politics, Racism, Labor Justice https://movsoc.org/review-3-activism-books-to-get-you-excited-on-progressive-politics-racism-labor-justice/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 11:03:06 +0000 https://movsoc.org/review-3-activism-books-to-get-you-excited-on-progressive-politics-racism-labor-justice/
“The Activist’s Media Handbook: Lessons from Fifty Years as a Progressive Agitator”, by David Fenton. Photo: Earth Conscious Publishing

While insider tales of Trump administration incompetence are reliable bestsellers, they don’t often come with a roadmap to stave off future election disasters. In contrast, books on political activism are by definition future-oriented — they can change the way we think about and solve difficult problems. The three activism-focused books discussed here vary in methodology and quality, but each champions the need and the steps to bring about change.

David Fenton’s new book, “The Activist’s Media Handbook: Lessons From Fifty Years as a Progressive Agitator,” is filled with leftist luminaries. The Berkeley-based public relations executive takes duly pride in championing progressive causes alongside Nelson Mandela, Al Gore and death penalty opponent Bryan Stevenson. Although mostly memoirs, the book offers pragmatic ideas for correcting often ineffective political messages from the left.

David Fenton is the author of “The Activist’s Media Handbook”. Photo: Earth Conscious Publishing

In the 1960s and 1970s, Fenton learned activist strategies for gaining attention from his “mentor” Abbie Hoffman, photographed the trial of the Chicago Seven, and helped organize Musicians United for Safe Energy’s famous No Nukes concert. . Since starting Fenton Communications in 1982, Fenton writes, he has worked with leaders of the aforementioned groups and helped design ad campaigns for Greenpeace and MoveOn; “personally guided” journalists in a Central American war zone; and developed media strategies aimed at stopping the US invasion of Iraq after 9/11 and securing the pardon of Edward Snowden.

Leftists and Democrats have the facts on their side in debates on foreign policy, the environment and other issues, he writes. But too often they have hurt their own cause with confusing messages — like when Gore, with his “repeated, flat explanation of tax policy,” lost to George W. Bush — and “rigid ideology.” An example of the latter is “the horribly misguided slogan ‘Defund the police,’ which alienates many voters, he says.

So how can the left recruit allies and win more elections? Fenton has a lot of ideas. Some are costly: “Building new, more contemporary institutions” to take control of media narratives. Others are free but delicate: “Beware of ultra-left bullying, of the assertion that one should listen to a ‘vanguard’ group above all others. Perhaps most importantly, the left must simplify its message. Instead of striving “to reach net zero by 2050” in greenhouse gas emissions, he writes, climate activists should move forward: “Our children deserve a future, we must therefore act against the polluters”. Fenton adds, “We may not like ‘Make America Great Again,’ but it worked.”

“White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Racism and How to Do Better,” by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao. Photo: Penguin

Regina Jackson and Saira Rao also favor unambiguous language. In “White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Racism and How to Do Better,” they urge millions of their fellow citizens to admit “what you are: white supremacists.” All white women? “YES. ALL. WHITE. WOMEN.”

Regina Jackson is the co-author of “White Women”. Photo: Denver Pictures

Jackson, who is black, and Rao, who is Native American, run Race2Dinner, a Denver-based company. For $5,000, a group of eight can dine with them and spend extra time with someone they describe as the company’s resident white woman. Here is how they describe their work: “we will explain to you why you are racist. Although we’re sure you already know that. Since countless Twitter users will do the same for free, you might consider Race2Dinner too expensive. If so, “you’re steeped in white supremacist culture.”

“White Women” presents the reader with a choice. You can agree with the authors’ massive censorship of white women – “ALL YOU”. Or you can question their lack of subtlety and reductive characterizations, thus conceding that “[y]You are nothing if not constantly WHITE.

Saira Rao is co-author of “White Women”. Photo: Ali Bibbo

In any case, white reader, Jackson and Rao have already diagnosed your sectarian pathologies. After all, “people of color know white people better than you know yourselves.”

Jackson and Rao focus on white women in part because white women “chose racial solidarity over gender solidarity” when they helped elect Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. When white women dodge uncomfortable conversations about race or flaunt their ‘toxic positivity’ by tweeting seemingly benign slogans — ‘LOVE everyone,’ let’s say — they’re polishing the racist ‘throne’ that white men sit on, write the authors.

The authors offer tangible advice – confront racist friends and relatives, for example, and ditch social media. Instead, talk to “real-life women of color.” You’re not going to dismantle white supremacy on Facebook or Twitter. Their advice to embrace depth and avoid social media is of the “do as I say not as I do” variety. In “one of our Facebook posts” they “asked people to comment with an adjective that best describes white women.”

Jackson and Rao are surely hoping that “White Women” will find a large and enthusiastic audience. But if not, they will know who to blame.

“Essential: How the Pandemic Transformed the Long Fight for Workers’ Justice,” by Jamie K. McCallum. Photo: Core Books

Jamie K. McCallum, too, is seeking a big shift in America’s collective mindset. “The way our society is organized is dangerous and absurd” – and COVID has demonstrably made it worse, he writes in “Essential: How the Pandemic Transformed the Long Fight for Worker Justice”.

Jamie K. McCallum is the author of “Essential: How the Pandemic Transformed the Long Fight for Worker Justice”. Photo: Michelle Leftheris

A labor historian who writes frequently about labor issues in the Bay Area, McCallum wants to replace capitalism with socialism. It’s not imminent, he concedes. But his analysis of recent public opinion polls and union-building efforts shows how progressives could “build a viable alternative to the status quo.”

McCallum’s interviews with essential workers and their families – among them a striking health care worker who won safety and wage concessions from her employer, and the daughter of a Walmart employee who died of COVID – form the empathetic core of the book. Employers often treated these workers, many of whom are people of color, “like sacrificial lambs.”

Meanwhile, he meticulously explains how we got here. After World War II, financial interests tied health insurance to employment, locking people into punitive workplaces. Since then, rising insurance premiums, cuts in public health spending and laws decimating unions have made life increasingly perilous for the “third of American workers” deemed “essential”.

Polls since the pandemic show growing support for organized labor — and a corresponding decline for corporations. Meanwhile, flight attendants, nurses, and Amazon workers have had relative success with “pandemic-era strikes, walkouts, and protests,” McCallum writes. Now is the time, he said, for workers to redouble their efforts for meaningful health care reform and a Green New Deal that would protect workers and the environment while creating many new jobs. For that to happen, it will likely take “militant labor-led movements” that “create a crisis for” corporations and banks.

Furthermore, “we need a strong anti-work policy framework” aimed at “shortening the workday, the workweek, and the workyear,” writes McCallum. It’s an interesting idea that needs a better name. “Antiwork” is almost as deaf as “defund the police”.

The Activist’s Media Handbook: Lessons from Fifty Years as a Progressive Agitator
By David Fenton
(Earth Aware; 248 pages; $35)

White women: everything you already know about your own racism and how to do better
By Regina Jackson and Saira Rao
(Penguin; 224 pages; $16)

Essential: How the pandemic transformed the long fight for workers’ justice
By Jamie K. McCallum
(Basic books; 320 pages; $30)



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Tribal War | The Spectator Australia https://movsoc.org/tribal-war-the-spectator-australia/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 07:37:01 +0000 https://movsoc.org/tribal-war-the-spectator-australia/

When Elon Musk opened the birdcage, the Wokest goons flew straight into the waiting prison cell from the far-left social media platform Tribel.

At least, that’s what they keep promising to do. Twitter is awash with blue-ticks insisting they will shut down their accounts after racking up tearful attention. They are all still there.

To smooth the transition, Tribel decided to prove it takes the safe space industry seriously by preemptively banning former US President Trump and current Twitter overlord Elon Musk — even though neither has expressed a desire to join.

Social media is a lucrative industry. There are 4.7 billion users worldwide, of which Facebook takes the lion’s share, followed by YouTube. Twitter comes in at 14th place, however, it leads the pack on “live news,” meaning Twitter’s influence hits above the body of its user base. He fulfills the role of the medieval town crier, shouting out to the rest of the internet. When it comes to news platforms, Twitter has no equal.

If you haven’t heard of rival Tribel, don’t worry. Tribel has been around for a year and has barely made a dent in the social media market. The site’s founder, Omar Rivero, is also responsible for the embarrassing Occupy Democrats Twitter account (which Musk did not ban).

In a Tweet last week, Occupy Democrats wrote:

‘BREAKING: New pro-democracy Twitter alternative @TribelSocial announces that it has preemptively blocked Donald Trump, @DonaldJTrumpJr and Kanye West from its social network, citing their “spreading dangerous conspiracies and fake news”. RT IF YOU SUPPORT TRIBEL’S DECISION!’

Yes… Social media’s pro-democracy petty is looking for people to congratulate it on banishing the former president from the free world. Maybe it’s a parody platform managed in secret by BabylonBee?

Incidentally, it was Twitter’s banning of BabylonBee that led directly to Twitter’s release. Musk has decided that a social media entity unable to handle a bit of comedy needs to be reformed urgently for the good of humanity – and by God, the left hates the sound of laughter.

In response to Tribel’s request for public congratulations on his recent banning of accounts that don’t exist – which is a bit like Stalin squinting at his cheering party members, daring someone to stop clapping first – Twitter users were quick to mock Tribel’s overbearing terms of service.

A screenshot of Tribel’s Terms of Service states:

Use of published information: In exchange for using the Website, you hereby grant Tribel an unlimited, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-for, transferable, assignable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, edit, translate, distribute, commercially exploit, reuse, perform and display all information posted, including personal information…’

Which doesn’t seem exactly – uh – sure?

Tribel moved quickly on rival platform Twitter, forcing the new social media platform to fall behind faster than PayPal.

‘Hi! We removed this part of our Terms of Service a few days ago. We really have no idea why our former lawyer put this in there, and we should have checked his work more carefully. We would never “sell” user posts – whatever that means! We are political activists.

It looks like the platform has been guilty of a bit of fake news and misinformation – but I credit them with the admission that they are in fact political activists.

The post-millennium went a little harder with the fledgling tech company, hinting that Tribel may be a data-gathering exercise for Occupy Democrats and Rivero, given that it’s essentially a honey trap for their potential ideological clients.

As Tribel is busy boarding up sobbing leftists with bruised feelings after enduring two days of verbal retaliation from conservatives (who eventually had the tape ripped from their mouths), Elon Musk is tweeting ‘scary’ things as :

“Finally, the truth that carbs are amazing can be told on this platform!” #Freedom of speech.’

“Freshly baked bread and pastries are among the great joys in life.”

“Comedy is now legal on Twitter.”

Tribel is simply not growing at the pace required to worry Twitter. Like other social media platforms that have tried to usurp the bluebird, it’s nearly impossible to force a comfortable clientele to move. Only a truly better product has the power to clean the room.

That didn’t stop Omar Rivero (using Twitter?) from complaining:

“Trumpers and Elon Muskers are flooding my inbox with racist threats because I’m the founder of @TribelSocial. Apparently it drives them crazy that I’m a Mexican immigrant who created a fast-growing pro-democracy society [sic] Alternative to Twitter. If you have my back, please RT and join Tribel! ‘

Which is a pretty weird advertising flex. Rivero should try to be a conservative woman on Twitter for five minutes under the tyrannical rule of left-leaning content moderators who saw “no problem” with death threats filling the inboxes of women who dared to say hateful things like ‘men competing against women in cheating sport’.

The tweet pinned to Tribel’s Twitter account (don’t you like how they’re grabbing Twitter’s top customer base?) reads:

‘To all the Trump supporters who accuse us of “censoring” them on our new social media: we don’t censor any posts. Our algorithms simply filter out fake news, bigotry and hostility. If you want to trend on our network, your posts should be factual and free from bigotry.

In other words, Tribel embraces speech and truth the way Stalin, Mao, and Hitler did—with their feelings—and by blaming its users for the speech it weaponizes against its corporate competitors. After all, is there anything more “unfriendly” (to use their words) than accusing users of being “hateful, liar, bigoted” without offering any proof, then telling people to “ subscribe” – basically – if they also hate this group of people?

Tribel gave the world a concrete example of their moral logic and censorship power when Libs of TikTok created an account to state an established biological fact “men can’t get pregnant” and received an almost immediate jubilant message from Tribel:

‘It was quick. Your transphobic posts were quickly deleted by our system – then we at the @TribelSocial Network got you started quickly. Bring your bigotry back to Trump’s Truth Social or @kanyewest’s Parler.

Too bad for Tribel who is interested in “truth” or facts. On Tribel – the virtuous authority on absolute “truth” in modern society – men can get pregnant. Otherwise, you will be banned for transphobia.

At least Tribel gives us a glimpse of what the public forum looks like when Democrats can act out their wildest “free speech” fantasies. Most would call it a Stalinist hellscape that resembles the ideological grime scraped off from shovels in Mao’s death camps.

Just for fun, here’s a passage that hasn’t aged particularly well since Occupy Democrats – the self-proclaimed arbiters of truth and facts…

“Since the start of the coronavirus crisis in Wuhan, China, American conservatives and imperialist liberals have worked tirelessly to politicize the pandemic and turn it into an indictment of the Chinese Communist Party. In doing so, they dragged the WHO into the mud for its work in China, accusing them of helping the Chinese government ‘cover up’ the extent of the pandemic by using data provided by the Chinese government and tightening their pearls. against the director of the WHO. – Praise from General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for China’s tough but effective containment efforts.

“But the World Health Organization operates on the principle that every life in every country is of equal value and they will do whatever they have to do to save as many lives as possible.

“If that means not recognizing Taiwan’s independence and treating the Chinese government with anything other than open hostility, then they will, if it buys them the Chinese government’s continued cooperation.”

Pro-democracy starts with freedom of expression.

Freedom of speech eliminates lies and misinformation through the noise of debate.

When Twitter was controlled by ideological censors, outright lies were normalized as fact – like pregnant men. The left is furious with Musk’s purchase of Twitter because his era of misinformation is over.

Free speech will settle this mess soon enough, but will fringe activism survive the revolution?

I doubt.

Do you have something to add ? Join the discussion and comment below.

]]> Latinx Activism in Iowa – The Simpsonian https://movsoc.org/latinx-activism-in-iowa-the-simpsonian/ Wed, 26 Oct 2022 22:52:28 +0000 https://movsoc.org/latinx-activism-in-iowa-the-simpsonian/

The Culver Public Policy Center and Latinos Unidos hosted a roundtable among Latinos active in Iowa politics.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, the Culver Public Policy Center and Latinos Unidos invited five Latinx people from Iowa politics to speak at a panel discussion on October 12. They talked about the challenges they faced and the importance of Latino representation in the state of Iowa. .

The event was moderated by Trenity Rosenberg, a junior serving as an undergraduate assistant for the Culver Center. The panel included Iowa House candidate Adam Zabner, West Des Moines school board member Anadelia Morgan, Latino Politic Network co-founder Rob Barron, activist and former candidate Marlu Abarca, and board member Ed Moreno. West Liberty school board.

In Iowa, 6.6% of citizens identify as Hispanic or Latinx, making it one of the fastest growing voting blocs in the state, but is disproportionately represented in the voter in Iowa, less than 1% of those elected being Latinx. Panelists discussed their experiences in Iowa’s predominantly white political landscape.

Adam Zabner

Adam Zabner is the Democratic candidate for House District 90. The child of Venezuelan immigrants, he grew up in Iowa City and went to the University of Chicago, being involved in the Institute of Politics. Since graduating, he has worked for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign and Jon Ossoff’s Senate run-off campaign.

After the 2016 presidential elections passed, Zabner said he felt demoralized and jaded. Because of this experience, he intended to obtain his doctorate. in neuroscience. Yet after political action brought him back to the political stage in 2020, Zabner is now in the running to be among the first Latinos elected to the Iowa legislature.

Working on numerous campaigns, Zabner limited himself to one definition of what it means to engage voters here in Iowa: It’s about showing up.

“I think what people want is like a quick fix [to engage Latinx voters], but there is no miracle solution. Showing up is 90% of that,” Zabner said. “It shocks me when people ask how to reach Latino voters. Just introduce yourself.

Anadelia Morgan

Elected to the West Des Moines School Board last November, Anadelia Morgan has a background in federal grant management and community organizations. ShWe also co-founded the Student of Color Family Support Group.

“The big picture of wanting to bring communities together, especially for underrepresented and marginalized communities, is my driving force,” Morgan said. “So I said to my husband: you make money and I will make the change.”

Morgan saw disparities and inequities in the West Des Moines School District and used her voice to bring about change.

“I wanted to make sure our district was moving in a direction where all students were treated fairly,” she said. “I needed to talk.”

Rob Baron

For two terms on the Des Moines School Board as an at-large member, Rob Barron served on Senator Tom Harkin’s staff as education policy advisor and is now the Executive Director of Campus Compact of Iowa and Minnesota.

Barron also helped co-found the Latino Political Network, a nonpartisan organization that works to empower, educate and empower future Latinx elected officials. He has seen success across the state and continues his efforts to ensure that the state’s electoral seats accurately represent the people.

“We talk a lot about why we race and why our community needs to be represented, and what happens when we are represented,” Barron said. “It can’t be just one [person], it must be multiple because there are so many different perspectives. It’s just a narrow slice running for office.

Marlu Abarca

In 2019, Marlu Abarca ran for a seat on the Des Moines City Council. They have been involved in the Iowa Democratic Party’s Latino Caucus and numerous presidential campaigns. They also served on the board of Al Exito, a statewide organization that prepares Latinx students for college.

Finding her political spark in an AP economics class with city council candidates coming to speak, Marlu found her political passion – being able to engage with the community around her and giving voice to others – being active .

“I loved going out and talking to people about things that matter to me, even though I was only 17 and couldn’t vote,” Abarca said. “The process [of activism] helped me feel independent.

Ed Moreno

Ed Moreno was elected to West Liberty on the school district’s school board last November and grew up in Davenport. He is currently president of his local League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the West Liberty Chamber of Commerce.

Moreno worked to give Latinos a voice through the school board, making room for accurate representation in the city with a population of nearly 50% Latinx.

“If you’re sitting at the table, you can interact with people who may never have interacted with someone who looked like you, or acted like you, or taught like you,” Moreno said. “You are representative of who you represent.”

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India’s scientific community needs to speak out more on social issues https://movsoc.org/indias-scientific-community-needs-to-speak-out-more-on-social-issues/ Sun, 23 Oct 2022 06:29:59 +0000 https://movsoc.org/indias-scientific-community-needs-to-speak-out-more-on-social-issues/

Photo: Rupinder Singh/Unsplash


  • Indian scientist Prafulla Chandra Ray remarked in 1924, at the time of India’s struggle for independence: “Science can afford to wait, but Swaraj cannot.”
  • Of late, the voice of the Indian scientific community in the chorus of protest against the problems plaguing the country has been depressingly weak.
  • Even when some of them speak up, they walk cautiously, as if trying to voice their opposition, but in a way that doesn’t offend the other party.
  • There are many reasons for this, but scientists must weigh them against their responsibility to define and defend the purpose of science.

In October 1946, a young professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), received a phone call from Harold Urey, then a Nobel laureate, inviting him to join a group of activists and scientists called the Committee of atomic energy emergency. Scientists (ECAS). The group was led by Albert Einstein.

The young man was delighted by the invitation and accepted it immediately, and spent the next half of his life engaging in political activism, voicing his opinions on issues ranging from the Vietnam War to the dangers of the atomic bomb, although he was criticized and ridiculed by the political right of the time. It was none other than Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel laureate and scientist often considered the father of modern chemistry.

Pauling was not alone. History is replete with examples of renowned scientists taking very active political positions in the face of threats to social harmony, tolerance and comity among nations. Why, remember Indian scientist Prafulla Chandra Ray’s popular remark in 1924, at the time of India’s struggle for independence: “Science can afford to wait but Swaraj cannot.

Despite this history, in recent times the voice of the Indian scientific community in the chorus of protest against the issues affecting the country as well as the world has been depressingly weak. Very rarely do we have an Indian scientist speaking out against tyranny and on social issues. More often than not, they remain silent. Even when some of them speak up, they walk cautiously, as if trying to voice their opposition, but in a way that doesn’t offend the other party.

There are several reasons for this. India has a very large population, so the fraction of scientists is very small. These scientists work in many scientific institutes. And among them, Venky Ramakrishnan, the structural biologist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009, said, “India has pockets of good institutions. Most of the good science in the country happens in these pockets. Similarly, in most Indian universities, science departments are at best of average quality; only a few are well funded, well staffed and undertake serious scientific research.

When people from these departments express their opinions on certain issues, they are rarely heard because they are in a very small minority.

Unlike the West, Indian scientists are largely dependent on government funding for their research. In many Western countries, up to two-thirds of total scientific research expenditure falls on the private sector. Apart from a few usual suspects, India’s private sector funds virtually no serious scientific research. Science today is also expensive. This raises a second problem: research institutes are at the (financial) mercy of the government and are afraid to do anything that could be perceived as rocking the boat.

In fact, not only the funding: scientists also fear not winning this or that prize, not getting promotion, not being inducted into an academy and not being included in lucrative committees, like the Council. scientific advisory to the Indian government.

A third problem concerns the scientific community itself. Members of the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and Other Backward Communities make up only 9% of all IIT faculty members. Many scientists are also of the view that affirmative action in science education and research undermines the chances of an Indian scientist winning a Nobel Prize. A 2021 RTI query revealed that of the 466 faculty members at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, 438 belong to privileged caste groups. There is no Nobel Prize winner among them.

In other words, the argument seems to be that the presence of these 28 individuals from lower caste groups is the reason why none of the others have won major awards for their scientific work. This argument only betrays a moral bankruptcy on the part of those who make it – and that is reflected in their inability to speak out in the face of autocratic or repressive politics.

When asked why he continued to participate in demonstrations and protests against nuclear war, instead of spending his time studying philosophy and logic, Bertrand Russell is famous for saying that if he and his peers focused only on their intellectual work, the world does not There is no one left in time to appreciate it.

Science helps us understand the world in which people live. Scientists are part of this community of people, of this society. If society falls, scientists will fall too – and science will be useless. Thus, alongside their research activities, scientists also have a social responsibility.

There are Indian scientists who speak on occasion. We need more. Science does not exist in silos, and it is important for them – as well as for us – to ask themselves what we are doing with science for. Our scientists must take the lead in defining this goal, and then help defend it.

Saurov Hazarika is a research chemist at Pennsylvania State University.

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Sponsors need to be diligent, just like athletes, to ‘earn their spot’ on a jersey, says former Diamonds player https://movsoc.org/sponsors-need-to-be-diligent-just-like-athletes-to-earn-their-spot-on-a-jersey-says-former-diamonds-player/ Thu, 20 Oct 2022 02:14:52 +0000 https://movsoc.org/sponsors-need-to-be-diligent-just-like-athletes-to-earn-their-spot-on-a-jersey-says-former-diamonds-player/

What started as a request by Australian netballer Donnell Wallam to remove the name “Hancock” from her dress has erupted into a nationwide conversation about sports washing that some athletes and fans say is overdue.

From the Australian Diamonds netball team’s new partnership with Hancock Prospecting, to the Fremantle Dockers’ long-standing partnership with Woodside, and Australia’s Test captain Pat Cummins snubbing Alinta Energy, sports sponsorships have come under scrutiny.

Former Australian Diamond Amy Steel – who retired from the sport in 2016 – has her own concerns over Netball Australia’s new contract.

Ms Steel retired from the sport after suffering heat stroke. She had been playing a game on a 40-degree day before collapsing and losing consciousness, leading to lingering health issues.

“Climate change is a deeply personal issue for me – my netball career ended due to heatstroke,” said Ms Steel, who now worked as a decarbonisation consultant.

“We have already seen so many recurring days of extreme heat. We have to change the schedule for many elite sports.

“It’s already having an impact on cricketers and tennis players.”

Ms Steel said she was also concerned about Australian Diamonds’ new partnership with Hancock Prospecting, which is owned and run by Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, who last year prepared a video for high school students who question climate change.

Gina Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, sponsors several sports associations.(Provided: Hancock Prospecting)

“I would say it’s a really unattractive position for a sponsor to speak out on an issue that has such solid science and, above all, to try to convince our generations of students of this issue,” he said. she declared.

“As an athlete, you have to fight so hard to earn the opportunity to wear the dress, and it takes years and years for some athletes.

“From a sponsorship perspective, putting on the dress seems like a fairly easy undertaking. There doesn’t seem to be much rigor in being able to win a spot on an Australian Diamonds dress – and other codes as well.

“Sponsors should be subject to a certain rigor in order to earn their place, just as we as athletes must earn this privilege.

Ms Steel said athletes had shown bravery in speaking out in recent days, breaking a ‘golden rule’ for professional sportspeople.

“One of the golden rules is to never say anything that might reflect negatively on you and your sponsors and your relationship with your sponsor,” Ms Steel said.

“It takes a lot of courage as an athlete to stand up to everything you’ve been trained in and say, ‘Actually, I’m going to stand up on this issue and make my voice heard’.”

Sponsorships and “soft power”

It was climate concerns that also got a high-profile group of Fremantle Dockers fans – including author Tim Winton – talking about sport washing this week.

The group – which also included a former club legend and former Western Australian Premier – wrote a letter to the club regarding their long-term partnership with Woodside Energy.

In February, Winton gave an “uncomfortable” speech, decrying the Perth Festival’s reliance on fossil fuel corporate sponsor money.

“If we are trying to give ourselves a chance to address the climate challenge, the emergency that we face, then we have to get out of their influence,” he said at the time.

A man wears a Freemantle Dockers scarf
Tim Winton is an author, environmentalist and Fremantle Dockers fan.(ABC News: Rhiannon Shine)

Earlier this month, the Perth Festival announced it was parting ways with US fossil fuel giant Chevron.

“The sponsorship game isn’t really philanthropy. It’s soft power,” Winton told 7:30 a.m. on ABC.

“Washing the Arts [and] sportswashing – it’s a way of laundering what is now, obviously, becoming an unacceptable business.

“It’s a way of trying to trade their social license on the back of our club, our players and our game.

“I don’t think a lot of us are comfortable with the idea of ​​us being used that way.”

Winton told ABC 7:30 a.m. he understands it might be difficult for the arts and sports sectors to attract funding, however, the bar should be raised.

He said the Perth Festival’s decision to part ways with Chevron was an example of this.

Man stands on stage behind the Perth Festival podium with a whale shark skin graphic in the background.
Tim Winton speaking during the Writers Weekend closing speech at the Perth Festival, 2022. (Provided by: Paul Gamblin)

“Lo and behold, in six months Chevron gracefully left that arena,” he said.

“I think the same is likely to happen with Woodside and the Fremantle Dockers.”

On Wednesday, Dockers chairman Dale Alcock said the players on ABC Radio had raised their concerns and discussed the matter with the club executive, but there were no plans to terminate the Woodside deal , which would expire at the end of 2023.

Woodside told ABC 7.30 he appreciates his long-standing partnership with the Dockers and that the company and the club share common values.

Future sponsorships must align with values, says marketing expert

Kevin Argus, sports marketing and sponsorship specialist at RMIT, explained that sponsors pay for the rights to exploit or leverage a sports organization’s brand for commercial gain, and this is very effective.

Dr Argus said sponsors are generally looking for either brand awareness, loyalty or likeability.

Kevin Argus
RMIT’s Dr. Kevin Argus is an expert in sports marketing and sponsorship.(Provided)

“[The] The question is, ‘Why would Australia’s richest woman want to be loved by people who apparently have nothing to do with her business?'” he asked.

“All major corporations invest heavily in lobbyists to influence government policy and it’s been a super successful investment.

“When that fails, some corporate leaders engage in political activism to inspire the public to support their agenda on behalf of their shareholders.”

Dr Argus said he expected more athletes to speak out against sponsorships they were not comfortable with.

“Going forward, the broader sports sponsorship ecosystem will see greater influence from players seeking to align their values ​​with sponsorship deals,” he said.

“The reason this will be increasingly supported is that policy-making at governmental, institutional and organizational levels will be influenced by women and youth who are now the most influential voices in the community.

“Organizations that do not consult, consider or act in accordance with these voices and their values ​​will increasingly be seen as less relevant.”

Hancock defends his record

Donnell Wallam, a Noongar woman from the WA area, expressed an objection to wearing the Hancock Prospecting logo on her dress when she made her team debut.

Wallam has not publicly stated her reasons for resisting wearing the logo.

Since Wallam raised his concerns over the sponsorship, the Hancock Prospecting logo has been conspicuously absent from players’ uniforms, including during their game against New Zealand last night.

Native woman wearing a gray shirt seated at a table.
Noongar’s wife, Donnell Wallam, has been a member of the Diamonds team, but has yet to debut.(ABC News: Curtis Rodda)

In a statement, mining company Hancock Prospecting said its multimillion-dollar partnership with Netball Australia would continue, “assuming Netball Australia is able to reach an agreement with the parties involved”.

Asked if this meant the sponsorship deal was contingent on all players wearing the Hancock logo, a company spokesperson said: “We won’t be answering any further questions.”

“Hancock Prospecting and Gina Rinehart have a long and highly valued history of supporting Australian athletes as they strive to perform at their best and represent our country on the world stage,” the spokesperson said.

“Our long-term partnerships with Australia’s top athletes in swimming, rowing, volleyball and artistic swimming span over a decade.

“Assuming Netball Australia reaches an agreement with the relevant parties, $3.5 million per year for four years can be directed to the Diamonds High-Performance scheme.”

Netball players wearing green and gold jerseys huddle together.
Some players objected to the multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Hancock Prospecting.(PA: James Ross)

The company also defended its Indigenous rights record, highlighting the scholarships, training and employment it offers.

“Hancock has positive agreements with all Aboriginal title holders in the areas where we operate, providing very significant royalty payments to traditional owners in all of our mining areas, well in excess of $300 million over the past seven years only,” the company said. .

“Assuming Netball Australia is able to reach an agreement with the parties involved, we look forward to working with Netball Australia and the Diamonds to support and provide more opportunities for many people, including Indigenous youth in the Pilbara. , Western Australia and Australia at large.”

In the 1980s, Lang Hancock – who was the founder of Hancock Prospecting and father of Gina Rinehart – made comments suggesting a plan that would kill Indigenous people.

ABC 7.30 asked Hancock Prospecting what their reaction was to reports that players were concerned about the late Lang Hancock’s views of Indigenous Australians, but they didn’t answer that question in their response.

Ms Steel said that while she could not speak on behalf of Indigenous Australians, she believed the company should acknowledge its founder’s previous remarks.

Side profile of Amy Steel at the beach
Amy Steel says Hancock Prospecting should apologize for the hurtful remarks towards Indigenous Australians by its founder, Lang Hancock.(ABC News: Rhiannon Shine)

“When we reflect on what emerges from the Uluru statement, [and] telling the truth is kind of expecting companies like Hancock to raise their hands and say, “Lang Hancock said some odious things some time ago, we recognize that they were very hurtful and harmful, and we can see the player reaction that it is still hurtful and harmful today to this day,” she said.

“There are apologies that need to be said.”

Watch 7:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday 7:30 p.m. on ABC iview and ABC TV

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