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Firedoglake Seeks Paid Archivist For Bradley Manning Court Martial Coverage

By: Brian Sonenstein Friday May 10, 2013 4:31 pm

Protester sports FDL Bradley Manning t-shirt at SF Pride direct action

Protester sports FDL Bradley Manning t-shirt at SF Pride direct action. (Flickr/Steve Rhodes)

Firedoglake has been at the forefront of the battle for fair justice for Bradley Manning for over 3 years now, and as we gear up to cover his court martial beginning June 3rd, we’re looking for a paid archivist to assist us in collecting, organizing and presenting our reporting to our readership in the most efficient way possible.

Our hope is to revive our Bradley Manning coverage page with Kevin Gosztola’s unparalleled investigative reporting from Ft. Meade. As one of the few journalists to have covered nearly every day of the pre-trial proceedings, we want to give readers full and timely access to more than just his written, knowledgable analysis by creating a hub for all relevant TV and radio interviews, Tweets and other media as well. We especially welcome applicants who have new and innovative ideas for presenting our coverage during the court martial.

To that end, if you have a strong interest in Bradley Manning’s case and possess the following, please copy and paste your CV/Resume and brief introduction (who you are, why you want to be involved) into the body of an email and send it to We’ll be accepting submissions until Monday, May 20th.

  • 15/20hrs per week
  • Willingness to commit for the duration of the court martial (8-12 wks)
  • Proficient in basic HTML/CSS coding
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A strong work ethic
  • Your own computer and regular access to the internet
  • Experience with and a footprint in social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Reddit, etc.
  • Confidence to work independently and under tight deadlines

You may work from home and telecommute.

What we want most out of this is to find someone who shares our commitment to providing the public with comprehensive and accurate reporting on Bradley Manning’s court martial. While none of the following skills and qualifications are required or necessary for this position, you may get a leg up if you’re familiar with: Photoshop or graphic/web design, WordPress blogs, online political advocacy and previous archival experiences.

We are offering a stipend to our Bradley Manning archivist commensurate with their skill set and level of experience.

This is a great, hands on opportunity for anyone looking for experience working within a fast-paced news media and advocacy organization. If you or someone you know is interested in helping Firedoglake cover Bradley Manning’s court martial, please copy and paste a CV/Resume and brief introduction into the body of an email and send it to Deadline May 20th, 2013.


Which Side Are You On? Fiscal Cliff Edition

By: Brian Sonenstein Tuesday December 4, 2012 1:27 pm

Firedoglake’s pledge drive to strengthen – not cut – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits has grown to over 70,000 activists. By mobilizing to make phone calls, office visits, run ads, write letters and more, our activists have played an important role in preventing benefit cuts from taking place over the past 4 years.

We’re reviving our pledge drive for the latest showdown, vowing to withhold support from any politician who participates in cutting Social Security, Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits.

It’s time to ask our elected officials: Which side are you on?

Here is my email to our activists:

Pledge to Protect Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid From Benefit Cuts

Dear Firedoglake activist,

Will Democrats in the House and Senate stand firm in opposition to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefit cuts, or cave to the President's "Grand Bargain" strategy of trading cuts for tax increases on the wealthy? Raising taxes on the rich is essential to growing our economy, but we cannot throw the poor, elderly and disabled to the wolves to do so.

Unfortunately, Democratic party leaders like Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin are following the President's lead, proposing a separate commission just to cut Social Security to entice GOP negotiators. Critical resistance is taking root in response as Chicago activists have planned a "Durbinville" shanty town to symbolize the depression-era conditions millions of Americans will face as a result.

Firedoglake is once again organizing our pledge not to support any elected official who votes for cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.

Add your name to our campaign: "I pledge not to support any elected official who votes to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits."

Social Security is the biggest and most successful anti-poverty program in America, especially among senior citizens. That means any discussion we should be having about Social Security should involve expanding benefits — not cutting them.

While the idea that we face a "deficit crisis" is far-fetched in the first place, shoring up the budget by attacking programs like Medicare and Medicaid that reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses (the largest contributing factor to poverty today) is heartless and horrific. In engineering the 'fiscal cliff' during the debt ceiling negotiations a year ago, the deficit scolds have put forth the threat of another recession as the public's punishment should we refuse to accept their austerity plan.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid continue to provide an essential anti-poverty service to the most vulnerable among us despite repeated attempts to weaken and dismantle them. Cutting their benefits at a time like this makes no sense and we have to stand firm and tell our elected officials they will be held accountable for voting for any program that includes them.

FDL activists have consistently played an important role in opposing cuts to these vital programs. Taking the pledge is the first step in our continued resistance that will include organizing petitions, call campaigns, office visits, advertisements and much more around the Fiscal Cliff negotiations and beyond.

Take the pledge: "I will not support any elected official who votes to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits."

We have to do everything we can to speak out against any Grand Bargain achieved on the backs of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare recipients. Please join us in opposing benefit cuts today.

In solidarity,

Brian Sonenstein
Campaign Director,

Firedoglake #S16 Livestream

By: Brian Sonenstein Sunday September 16, 2012 8:33 am

Live streaming by Ustream

I’m going down to Foley Square shortly to deliver our Free Speech Kits thanks to the generosity and support of hundreds of Firedoglake activists.

I’ll also be livestreaming some of the events this afternoon, and will be back for the ‘main event’ tomorrow morning.

#S16: Occupy Austin Livestream from NYC

By: Brian Sonenstein Sunday September 16, 2012 5:17 am

Live broadcast by Ustream

Starting at around 10-10:30 AM, Occupy Austin will resume its livestream from the anniversary actions taking place in New York City for Occupy’s first birthday. Protesters arrived Friday and are gearing up for Monday’s big day of direct-action.

Here’s a look at today’s schedule

I’ll be heading down there later today and most if not all of tomorrow to join in on the coverage, so stay tuned!

Just Say Now Launches GOTV Effort to Make 2012 the Year We Legalize Marijuana

By: Brian Sonenstein Wednesday September 12, 2012 8:17 am

11:46am: Huuuge thank you to the nearly 100 people who have brought us almost halfway to our goal in just our first day! Please help us turn out as many voters as possible on Election Day in support of marijuana reforms across the country.

In less than 60 days, we will have the chance to make history.

With marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in an unprecedented 3 states, this November could be a turning point that begins a national wave of reform. To get there, we need to raise at least $5,000 over the next week to set up our phone bank, identify supporters, register voters, promote these initiatives and get folks to the polls on Election Day.

Remember, Just Say Now is a 100% grassroots-powered campaign, so we’re counting on you. Can you please chip in $20+ to help us raise at least $5,000 to make 2012 the year we legalize marijuana?

Donate $20+ to Just Say Now’s Get Out the Vote campaign and help us reach our $5,000 goal to build support for marijuana reform initiatives before Election Day.

Just Say Now played an important role in the 2010 election, launching over 30,000 calls to voters in support of marijuana reforms in various states. We hope to smash our record this year, but our ability to make an impact hinges on our capacity to contact prospective voters.

Our straightforward 5-step plan is designed to push support for these initiatives over the top and drive voters to the polls- but the more help we get from activists like you, the more we can do. Here’s what Just Say Now plans to do from now until Election Day:

Step 1: Raise at least $5,000 to set up our phone bank, identify supporters, register voters and run advertisements in support of these initiatives.

Step 2: Drive volunteers to our phone bank to call hundreds of thousands of voters across CO, WA, OR, AR and MA in support of ballot initiatives there.

Step 3: Provide strategic support to the campaigns to give them the best chance possible to pass these initiatives.

Step 4: Educate everyone on when, where and how to vote for these initiatives, and make sure they do so on Election Day.

Step 5: Analyze lessons-learned and prepare to support the next round of marijuana reforms taking root across the US.

It’s time to finally begin to end the war on marijuana and bring sensible reform to our nation’s racist, oppressive drug laws. Can you help us achieve this historic victory by donating $20+ to our Get Out the Vote efforts for marijuana reform initiatives nationwide?

HELP MAKE HISTORY: Donate $20+ to support Just Say Now’s GOTV efforts to legalize marijuana in 2012.

I can’t stress the monumental opportunity we have before us with 3 marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in Colorado, Washington and Oregon during a general election, when turnout is at its highest.

But even though we have the advantage of multiple ballot initiatives and strong, well-organized state campaigns, we still have quite the uphill battle before us. For example, Colorado’s Amendment 64 enjoys a 9-point lead over the opposition in the polls, but is still hovering just under 50% support overall. The polls are very, very close there and in other states, and could easily break either way, which is why your active participation in our campaign matters so much this year.

It’s our job to make sure eligible supporters in these states are registered to vote and know when, where, how and why to vote for these initiatives. If we can hit our fundraising goal of $5,000, we can start to turn out the vote for marijuana right away.

Click here to donate $20 or more to turn out voters in support of marijuana legalization this year.

What’s Next in the Battle to Protect Social Security?

By: Brian Sonenstein Thursday August 23, 2012 6:47 am

Want to know the latest on the pro-austerity campaign to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits behind the public’s back?

Join our Firedoglake Membership webinar Wednesday, August 29th at 8pm Eastern on “Catfood 3.0 and the Ongoing Fight to Protect Social Security” with special guests Nancy Altman, Eric Kingson and Alex Lawson of Social Security Works.

The deficit scolds have set up a seemingly never-ending system of triggers and deadlines to force ‘solutions’ to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid budgets that would reduce benefits and do irrevocable harm to these critical programs. From the debt ceiling debacle to the upcoming fiscal cliff, our country has been led into a vicious cycle of fear mongering and misinformation on the deficit that only becomes more entrenched with time.

Now that secret committee meetings have failed twice to impose unpopular austerity programs on the public, corporate heavyweights and their friends on Capitol Hill are forming groups like Fix the Debt, raising millions of dollars to lobby Congress into passing harmful reforms that throw society’s most vulnerable under the bus in the name of so-called ‘fiscal responsibility.’

By making our voices heard once more in opposition to benefit cuts, we can continue to fight back attempts to destroy some of the most successful programs in our country’s history.

Nancy, Eric and Alex will take us through the forces waging the war on benefits and give us their thoughts on what we can do to stop this and future, inevitable assaults on these programs.

If you’re already a Firedoglake Member, you can register here or check your email in the coming days for an invitation.

If you’re not a Firedoglake Member, click here to join for as little as $45/year and we’ll send you an invitation to the webinar.

Demand Safe Passage for Julian Assange

By: Brian Sonenstein Thursday August 16, 2012 6:34 am

Julian Assange - Flickr / Abode of Chaos

Regardless of your feelings about Julian Assange or Wikileaks, Ecuador has the sovereign right to grant political asylum to individuals who meet their requirements. Ecuador has decided that Julian Assange is justified in his request for asylum, and the UK, US, Sweden and other international players should respect that.

If you want to make your voice heard today, please consider contacting the UK Embassy and demanding they respect Ecuador’s sovereignty and allow Julian Assange safe passage out of the country:

  • San Francisco: (415) 617 1300
  • Los Angeles: (310) 481-0031
  • Denver: (303) 592 5200
  • Chicago: (312) 970 3800
  • Houston: (713) 659 6270
  • Atlanta: (404) 954-7700
  • Miami: (305) 400-6400
  • Washington DC: (202) 588 7800
  • New York: (212) 745-0200
  • Massachusetts: (617) 245 4500

You can also contact the US State Department at 202-647-4000

Finally, give the Ecuadorian embassy a call and show some solidarity (202) 465-8120

Speak out – even if you believe it’s futile. Exercise the right because you have the freedom to do so. Let us know if you hear anything interesting in the comments.

Be sure to follow Kevin Gosztola’s liveblog(s) at the Dissenter and follow him on twitter @kgosztola for updates throughout the day.

Catfood 3.0: Astroturf Edition!

By: Brian Sonenstein Thursday July 26, 2012 12:23 pm

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles cannot take “no” for an answer.

After two years and two failed attempts to gin up public support for their horrific austerity agenda known as the Simpson-Bowles plan (aka the Catfood Commission plan here and elsewhere), the deficit scolds are coming out of the woodwork to form an astroturf supergroup called Fix the Debt.

Their goal? Fix the Debt aims to raise around $100 million in the next few months (with the help of their 1% sugardaddies like Honeywell CEO David Cote and wealthy benefit cut crusader Pete Peterson) to collect 10 million petition signatures in support of pushing a legislative version of the Catfood Commission plan through Congress.

With the so-called “fiscal cliff” looming in the not-so-distant future, the announcement of Fix the Debt’s formation signals the beginning of a campaign to provide whatever political cover necessary to shove unpopular policies down the throats of the American public.

We’re fighting back by asking activists to preemptively call members of Congress about this astroturf group to cut benefits, and not to support their work.

Click here to call your member of Congress to oppose Fix the Debt.

FDL has been fighting Simpson-Bowles for over 2 years now and we have no intention of stopping now. We will be following Fix the Debt closely and keep our activists at the ready to push back on any attempt to force an austerity agenda through Congress.