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Austin Rallies in Solidarity with Wisconsin


MoveOn joined with the following individuals/groups (Van Jones, USAction/ TrueMajority, Color of Change, PCCC, CREDO, Democracy for America, National People's Action, Center for Community Change, Courage Campaign, and Progressive Majority) across the country to show our solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin. Republican Governor Walker is attempting to break the unions there, and other states with Republican governors will... be attempting the same strong-arm tactics if we don't stand up now.

The country needs to stand behind these heroic individuals demonstrating in Madison.  Republicans have no use for unions, especially ones that have the best interests of children and aged at heart.

This is a zgraphix production.
Produced for Austin Indymedia by Jeff Zavala.

You Say You Want a Resolution?-Re-Post from Austin Gonzo

Re-Post from Austin Gonzo 

You Say You Want a Resolution?


The following is my speech I plan to deliver at the Feb. 17, 2011, council meeting, in relation to Item #49, a directive to the City Manager to study the "risks and benefits" of body scanners and pat-downs – a proposed TSA mandate for our airport.


I'd like to impress upon you here today that while this resolution, as drafted, speaks to the crux of the issue well ...and represents the concerns of the people in the "Whereas's"...it's the "Be it Resolved" part that's the sticking point.

While there's some validity and possibilities in tossing this issue to the City Manager...it's just that, frankly, we've tried that in the past and it's sometimes proved to be a trajectory into a black hole. No offense Manager Ott, that's just the pattern amongst City Managers here and elsewhere there's a "Council-manager" structure. Besides, our manager's got plenty of issues to deal with where he actually has to negotiate differentiating factions. Here, we already know where we all are.

The City Manager's too busy to study the studies…which we already HAVE...and know how to read.

We all know how we feel about this thing...we all know this poses grave health risks, and is not about security but instead about a couple of private entities' profit margins and a handful of bought-and-paid-for Congressmen (none of ours, luckily, that I've discovered).

I've not met an Austinite yet who's FOR these measures.

Let's try this: who here -raise your hand- wants body scanners and pat downs in our airport? *crickets*

This resolution, as written, seems to be putting off the inevitable...or, buying us time - for something, I'm not sure. And we may not have time...enough to debate this for the next 6 months since the TSA has flip-flopped on whether they will implement this grand plan of theirs next month or next fall.

Resolutions are broad expressions of opinion and are often passed to express democratic consensus even when the subject matter is not under the purview of the governing entity.

Resolutions carry weight with those under whose purview this WOULD fall...those legislators it's addressed to...who are more suited to halt the proposed program.

We've seen Patriot Act resolutions, divestment resolutions from South Africa in the 1980s, our not-long-ago resolution on the Kyoto Treaty & greenhouse gases....even Congress passes resolutions on things it can’t control; but boy, did they have an impact, despite their supposed "toothlessness."

This resolution should express the very REAL public outrage of Austin residents, regardless of whether it can REALLY do anything about it.

This resolution should be one of outright protest against a security system that's already proven to be a failure.

We need to tell TSA we will not subject Austinites and visitors to unnecessary physical invasions (be they scanners or pat downs) and will not risk financially damaging our airport with these senseless, unfunded mandates.

Many airports are hurting financially and are in conflict with the TSA over security, according to an airline consultant an ACLU national representative spoke with. They said the security mission conflicts with airports’ other goals (for example, most airports would go out of business without their retail and parking) and they view these pointless, intrusive TSA efforts as a nuisance - a rather potent barrier to conducting day-to-day business.

We manage our airport "in cooperation with" federal authorities....not at the behest of. (S. 13-1-3 B4 of our charter)

Let's define "cooperation"...this is where folks make decisions together on an egalitarian basis, NOT a hierarchical one. That should apply to the relationship between our gov't and the people just as much as it should apply to that of federal and local entities where "cooperation" defines the relationship, and in this case, it does.

"Cooperation" can't be interpreted, in any way, as: compliance in spite of our ability to keep our airport financially afloat or limit our liability when privacy/invasion issues arise. The TSA is forcing air travelers, as it forces municipalities, into a no-win situation.

Keep in mind Congress hasn't passed any legislation to mandate this yet. As far as the TSA's administrative mandate, they, according to the law, have to provide a reasonable alternative or "opt-out" for scanners...if we say that pat downs aren't reasonable, then it gets kicked up to Congress. So TSA's "mandate" is hardly a settled issue and therefore its legitimacy is vulnerable to public opinion.

The local gov't represents the local residents in these "cooperative" relationships - if the residents say 'no' then the local gov't must represent us, even if just symbolically via a resolution. While we must "implement and enforce regulations imposed by the TSA" (S. 13-1-3 B5) - we have a say in it...a resolution is just that - "a say" - it's not legally binding, rather, it just let's the feds know we aren't going to lay back and enjoy it.

At the end of the day, sure...the feds are going to do what they're going to do; but we can put up our dukes and say, loudly, we're not going down without a fight.



Austin Activists Stands with the Egyptian Revolution




Filmed, Edited & Produced for Austin Indymedia by Jeffry Zavala

Larger Version and Additional Videos here.


Austin's KAOS Radio Popped by FCC

Tune into KPFT-90.1FM, TONIGHT at 7:30PM Central
to hear Austin Airwaves' exclusive coverage of
the take down of Austin's KAOS Radio by two FCC
agents yesterday.  AA's Jim Radio was the only
reporter on the scene to document the closure.
Links to Audio/Video/Photos

Don't be late!  It's the lead story on the Houston Indy
Media Show and will run no longer than three minutes.
Then it's back to Pledge Drive!  Support KPFT/Pacifica!

Palestine Solidarity Activists Protest Zionist Propaganda in Austin


Women in Black Standing for Peace in Austin


Women in Black was inspired by earlier movements of women who demonstrated on the streets, making a public space for women to be heard - particularly Black Sash, in South Africa, and the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, seeking the "disappeared" in the political repression in Argentina. But WIB also shares a genealogy with groups of women explicitly refusing violence, militarism and war, such as the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom formed in 1918, and the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp in the UK and related groups around the world opposing the deployment of US missiles in the eighties.

Protest for a Death Penalty Free Austin with ProfessorD.US


A group of protesters including ProfessorD.us from The Dope Poet Society gathered at the steps of the Travis County Courtroom to speak out against the death penalty. 

Dignity Not Detention National Day of Action in Austin


Human rights groups around the country participated in a National Day of Action yesterday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration Customs and Enforcement's (ICE) 2009 detention reform announcement. Activists called for an end to the human rights abuses in detention centers, the restoration of due process in the enforcement of immigration laws, and the implementation of cost saving alternatives.

LOCAL GROUP HIGHLIGHT: Ecology Action: Recycling, Education, and Cooperation

Ecology Action: Recycling, Education, and Cooperation

by Brent Perdue and scott crow

Ecology Action is a recycling center.  It's not so much what we do, but how we do it.  We believe we are creating cultures, models, stories of a better future.

Aviva Chomsky on Immigration Myths - Last Sunday Special Event at 5604 Manor

Aviva Chomsky is a history professor and coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State College in Massachusetts. Her 2007 book “They Take Our Jobs!” And Twenty Other Myths about Immigration provides a careful analysis of the overheated rhetoric around immigration policy in the United States, debunking the 21 biggest myths and stereotypes in today’s debate. [video link to talk she gave in Austin below]


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