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Reflecting before the #LL12 Living Liberally Celebration

By: HarryWaisbren Tuesday April 24, 2012 3:33 pm

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This year’s Living Liberally celebration is coming up on May 10th, and it has me reflecting on what my favorite Living Liberally moment was from 2012.

Although there are many of them, I have to say that my experiences at the OWS Drinking Liberally chapter at Zuccotti Park easily take the cake. Moreover, I found OWS Drinking Liberally on the whole to be indicative of both what is best about Living Liberally, and Occupy Wall Street itself.

It was a perfect match. OWS is an idea, one whose time has come and which never could be evicted. And this is precisely why OWS is made manifest through so many cultural formats, which are so naturally able to express a central idea like this one.

Living Liberally is a platform to celebrate liberal culture, which finds direct alignment in the Occupy idea. Namely, that our political structures should serve us, the people — all of us.

This is why I am so proud to have been able to contribute to both OWS and LL by hosting a few of those fantastic OWS Drinking Liberally’s.

Zuccotti Park was still first getting off the ground, and we were able to provide as inviting a format as possible for like-minded new-comers to learn about Occupy. This was crucial then, and there remains a need for more of these kind of endeavors today. The Occupy movement is so innovative and different that it can be very difficult to understand and intimidating to approach, which is why being able to experience it in a shared cultural setting like OWS Drinking Liberally was such a perfect way for so many to be introduced.

The OWS Drinking Liberally crew proved to be a perfect part of the solution for this at the most crucial of times last Fall, and I particularly relished being able to take so many amazing and influential liberals across the street and give them their first tour of ‘Liberty Square’.

So if you can make it to New York City on May 10th, come join us in celebrating this and all of the other ways that Living Liberally has touched the core of American society!

The 2012 Living Liberally celebration will not be one to miss, and there couldn’t be a better time to show your support for this increasingly impactful cultural fixture in contemporary America.


Come to Netroots New York: Learn about the Wisconsin uprising

By: HarryWaisbren Tuesday December 6, 2011 10:20 am

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Get ready! The latest Netroots Nation regional conference — Netroots New York on December 17th and 18th — is coming up soon, and it couldn’t be in a better time or place.

Occupy Wall Street is rapidly transitioning, and the 99 percent movement at large is steaming full speed ahead. Likewise, I’m especially encouraged about how this conference could be used both as an assessment point for where we are at, as well as a launch pad for US as we progress further.

My confidence here is directly related to how last year’s Netroots Wisconsin conference helped ‘unite the Cheddarsphere’. As the Wisconsin uprising has illustrated, the power of connecting activists on the ground and online so that they can work in concert just can not be underestimated.

The burgeoning Netroots New York schedule already reflects a similar sentiment. This can be seen from the OWS influencers on the panels to the estimated 40 sessions and 500+ participants taking part in the independent OWS training day being held in cooperation with the conference.

On my end, I have helped put together a Wisconsin panel with key players on the ground and in media from the occupation last spring and since, including:

Peter Rickman: union leader and UW-Madison graduate student that put his academic study of the labor movement to work, most famously by being a chief instigator of the Capitol occupation. In light of his efforts, Peter accepted the 2011 Paul Wellstone citizen leadership award on behalf of the Wisconsin movement at this summer’s Take Back the American Dream conference. You can check out video of him on the megaphone at that first historic demonstration below:

Jenni Dye: Wisconsin attorney, progressive activist, social media organizer, and candidate for Dane County Board. Jenni, aka @legaleagle, was one of the top tweeters during the Capitol occupation and a key organizer of the Walkerville tent city following from it. Moreover, her work at Walkerville in particular helped inspire the parallel Bloombergville occupation that proved to be so crucial to Occupy Wall Street.

John Quinlan: Madison, WI-based community leader, journalist, nonprofit development consultant, civil rights activist, media reformer, gay community leader, and radio show host. John has an almost unparallelled understanding of Wisconsin’s media environment, and has been documenting and producing social media coverage of the uprising through ventures like the Media Coverage of WI Capitol Protests Facebook group.

Xavier Lopez-Ayala: New Media Coordinator at The New Media Firm, which ran the online advertising for We Are Wisconsin in the recall elections. Xavier worked with on the ground activists in Wisconsin to build up their Facebook pages in the early days. The New Media Firm is a full service political media consulting and advertising agency specializing in the integration of traditional and new media for democratic candidates and progressive organizations.

I absolutely can not wait to get these Wisconsin activists in the same room as their New York compatriots, and couldn’t be more excited about the potential results from it!

The panel and the conference at large truly will not be events to miss. You can register here, and as we say in Wisconsin: forward.

Come check out the Patriot Act Action Hub

By: HarryWaisbren Wednesday October 7, 2009 4:45 pm

Get FISA Right is proud to announce that we have launched a Patriot Act Action Hub which we will be using heavily in anticipation of and during tomorrow’s Patriot Act business.

This hub will aggregate news and action items through a communal liveblog. It works best with a myriad of voices though, and we would love any and all of your participation—in particular the expert and passionate community here at FireDogLake!

You can help out by signing in and using the liveblog similar to a chatroom. All tweets to #PatriotAct are relayed into the liveblog as well, so you can participate that way too. We also have a series of ongoing campaigns on Twitter and Facebook (based on the #Skittles model Jon Pincus blogged about here), and we wholly endorse the ACLU’s call to action through phone calls to targeted committee democrats.

The American people are not cowards who give up liberty in the name of security without a fight, and those in the Obama administration and in the media who presume we do have gravely misjudged the fortitude of this great country.

Let’s let them know what we’re made of while taking Attorney General Holder up on his offer for a conversation about civil liberties!

As Rove clogs the works for Attorney General Holder, should we push for Fitzgerald?

By: HarryWaisbren Saturday December 13, 2008 10:12 pm

Bmaz has written a great post about the coming right wing war against Eric Holder for AG. She cites how Rove has already rallied the troops and they are preparing for some grand old party style pearl clutching.

Bmaz and Looseheadprop have been leading the way in recognizing the risks that Holder is not quite the Attorney General we need to solve the simple problem of restoring the rule of law. It’s not like the lack of the rule of law lends great credence to the argument (made presciently from Paul Rosenberg at Open Left) that America is a failed state or anything

Anyways, if Rove is to win this battle (what, democrats folding, I don’t believe it)…wouldn’t it open a gigantic opportunity for Obama to permanently end the Blago connections and general "corrupt Chicago politician" talk for the rest of his administration with a Fitzgerald appointment?

Other massive political assets this move would hold include:

1. It would be a message to our CIA agents in the field that he has their backs, and Obama could argue that this is the way a president really "supports our troops".

2. It would reignite the memory that it is the Republicans so corrupt that they committed

Help Russ Feingold Get Answers on Voter Suppression Plan!

By: HarryWaisbren Sunday November 2, 2008 10:38 am

This Friday, netroots favorite Sen. Russ Feingold sent a letter to our state’s Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asking him to reconsider his plan to send prosecutors and special agents from the Division of Criminal Investigation to polling places around the state on Election Day.

Feingold also asks for Van Hollen to "provide detailed information about how Department of Justice employees will be deployed, including the locations to which they will be deployed, how those locations were chosen, and a detailed description or copies of the instructions these employees will be given."

As I described in a previous post here, there are a variety of new tools available to help us combat this blatant voter intimidation effort. I am organizing an effort through the Voter Suppression wiki to pressure Van Hollen to release this information beforehand so we can make sure to document what is occurring at these polling locations. I would also like to shine a spotlight on Feingold’s request to "ensure that criminal law enforcement personnel are not deployed at polling stations" as Van Hollen himself said they would not only on Sept. 23.

Now, what better way to expose this blatant corrupt and bigoted effort than by utilizing

Help Prevent Voter Suppresion!

By: HarryWaisbren Sunday November 2, 2008 9:39 am

Although our political and media establishment seems to have collectively forgotten that trumped up voter fraud allegations were precisely what led to the US attorney purge, many of us in the progressive blogosphere seem to remember all too vividly. The question is, what do you plan to do about it?

Very fortunately, there are a series of new tools that have been developed precisely to combat these Jim Crowe style policies in ways we have never been able to before:

The Voter Suppression wiki has been instrumental in promoting and connecting these innovations, and it will continue to act as an information hub to those looking for answers for what they can do to prevent the suppression of their vote as well as what they can do to help others. Likewise, the Election Protect wiki is another great resource for protecting your vote, and furthermore it is acting as an encyclopedic institutional memory for these rancid tactics already.

Both of those services will be complemented by the bevy of reports of voter suppression that will be flooding in on election day from non-traditional sources. This includes the Twitter Vote Report which will aggregate reports of problems from around the country and display them