Category Archives: Video

Massive Mexico City protest supports teachers

The battle over neoliberal educational “reforms” mandated by the regime of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has caused a walkout by teachers and massive unrest in the state of Oxaca, where as many as a dozen protesters were slain 19 June.

Now thousands have taken to the streets of the nation’s capital in support of the strikers.

We begin with raw video footage from RT’s Ruptly TV:

Mexico: 10,000s march in Mexico City in solidarity with Oaxaca teachers

And the details from United Press International:

Tens of thousands of people in Mexico City protested on Sunday over recent violent clashes between police and a teachers union in the Oaxaca state that killed at least 10 people.

The protest on Sunday was called by Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City, one week after the clashes between the National Coordinator of Education Workers union and Mexican state police.

Authorities said more than 4,000 police officers were deployed to central Mexico City as the march occurred Sunday.

The teachers union, social organizations and local residents held protests and disrupted traffic on a major highway connecting Oaxaca to Mexico City for about a week before violence erupted last Sunday when riot police attempted to disperse the crowds. Authorities said 10 people died, but some witnesses said up to 12 people died. Dozens of civilians and police were also injured.

And now for something completely different. . .

Would you believe a bicycle that walks?

Theo Jansen [previously] is a Dutch physicist-turned-artist, a creative mind who has fabricated kinetic sculptures, including a remarkable assemblage he calls the Strandbeest.

Here’s one example, a wind-powered version from his Strandbeest Workshop:

Amazing, no?

But what other possibilities exist for Jansen’s remarkable idea?

Well, Blaine Elliott and a group of creative friends in Santa Barbara, California, picked up the basic concept and applied it to the bicycle.

From Blaine’s Blog:

In late 2014, two friends and I decided to begin building a bike based on the Strandbeest. The Strandbest is a walking machine created by Theo Jansen in the 1980s. Imagine this machine below, scaled down to the size of a bike, where the back wheels of a bike are replaced with legs. That is more or less what we set out to do. The process involved 3 people, took 6 months and 1000 man hours to complete.

As complicated as this machine may appear to be, it can be simple when broken down. The Strandbeest is a series of Jansen’s linkage’s. Each Jansen Linkage imitates the motion of a leg. A leg by itself is trivial but when they function together, you get something much more complicated.

Our idea was to leverage the concept of the Jansen Linkage to construct a bicycle that has rear legs instead of a rear wheel. In this blog I’m going to review the various work that was involved in order to make that idea a reality. By this point, most of the bike is done. There’s some painting and fine tuning to do. I’m pleasantly surprised with the results. We had a lot of confidence this bike would work and it wasn’t until maybe 70% through the project we we really able to unit test it.

And here’s the result, from his vlog:

Riding the Strandbeest Bike

And that, dear reader, is something completely different. . .

Oh, and if you’re visiting Northern California this summer and interested in seeing more of Jansen’s creations and learning more about the artist, the Exploratorium is currently featuring through 5 September an exhibition, Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen.

John Oliver’s jock itch: Tackling sports doping

As a short, fat kid, we always looked at sports with a slightly jaded eye, especially given the demigod status accorded jocks in high school and college.

The quarterback of our high school football team would later be indicted for his role in a savings and loan scam involving the brother of a future President of the United States, and the jock in question was actually one of the nicer athletes we encountered in school and sheltered us from some of his bullying teammates.

Later on in college we graded papers, only to discover that star jocks who failed test after test somehow managed to wind up with Cs and Bs on their report cards.

We also grew up in the Cold War, where the Olympics were, like warfare, simply an extension of politics by other means.

All the same, growing up we were also huge baseball fans, with the New York Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals our favorite teams. Willie Mays and Stan Musial were our heroes.

But enough of that and on with the show.

From Last Week Tonight:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Doping

Program notes:

Doping scandals have cast a shadow over the Olympic Games. Until we eliminate drugs from sports, we should at least update our athlete promos.

Bloody Sacramento clash between fascists, foes

Most if not all of the victims of the stabbing attacks and clubbings appear to have been members of the counterprotest, organized by Anti-Fascist Action Sacramento [Antifa-Sacramento].

We begin with dramatic and graphic footage captured by “andreas potato,” apparently one of the neo-Nazis given other videos he has posted:

And the story, from KTXL in Sacramento:

Several fights broke out Sunday morning at the State Capitol as protests clashed.

A march planned by the Traditionalist Worker Party, often linked to white supremacy and far-right causes, had planned a rally at the Capitol and was met by resistance from an Antifa Sacramento counter-protest.

Sacramento Police say at least five people were stabbed. It was not immediately clear which group the victims belonged to, though it appeared many were from the Antifa counter protest.

No arrests were made.

Here’s the poster for the counterprotest, from the Antifa webpage:

BLOG Antfa poster

On June 26th, The Traditionalist Workers Party, the political wing of Matthew Heimbach’s Traditionalist Youth Network, has called for a public action.  Starting in the Alt Right, the TYN/TWP has quickly moved towards more street racist organizations and is affiliating, to some degree, with The Sacto Skins, Golden State Skinheads, National Socialist Movement, California Skinheads (CAS), Blood & Honor and the Ku Klux Klan.

Matthew Heimbach was recently fired from his attempt to work as a family case manager for Indiana social services when his nationalism was discovered.  This was easy since he violently attacked and removed an African American protester at a Donald Trump rally, as well as continuing his far-right street activism in opposition to things like immigration, same-sex marriage, and Black Lives Matter.  He gained notoriety earlier in his life for forming the White Student Union at the Towson University Campus, and later was connected with the Aryan Terror Brigade, the American Freedom Party, and the League of the South.

Heimbach and TYN/TWP is holding a rally on the steps of the California capitol building in Sacramento, at 1315 10th St, Sacramento, California(95814).  The event is somewhat of a wildcard in terms of attendance, yet it will likely include all of the open racists from the surrounding area.  For those in California, this will not come as a surprise since skinhead gangs and KKK locals have been there for years, and now the Donald Trump campaign has made them feel emboldened.

More from the Los Angeles Times:

The rally was organized by an affiliate group of the Traditionalist Worker Party, according to its Facebook page.

The group describes itself this way on its website: “The Traditionalist Worker Party is America’s first political party created by and for working families. Our mission is defending faith, family, and folk against the politicians and oligarchs who are running America into the ground. We intend to achieve that goal by building a nationwide network of grassroots local leaders who will lead Americans toward a peaceful and prosperous future free from economic exploitation, federal tyranny, and anti-Christian degeneracy.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, said the party was part of a new breed of white nationalist organizations that fielded candidates in local elections.

From Patch in Sacramento, more about the event’s organizer:

Matthew Heimbach, the founder of the party, posted a picture to Twitter Sunday with the caption, “just some of our brave comrades preparing to march today in California. Hail the TWP and GSS. United, we will win!”

Heimbach shoved a black woman at a Trump rally in April and screamed at her to leave. He reportedly identified himself as the man who pushed the woman in a video posted online, the Washington Post reported.

“White Americans are getting fed up and they’re learning that they must either push back or be pushed down,” he wrote online.

Heimbach tweeted an image of his group as they prepared for the rally:

BLOG Fascisti

Finally, from RT’s Ruptly TV, raw footage of the aftermath:

USA: Multiple stabbings hit Sacramento Capitol after far-right clash with antifa

Program note:

Multiple people were stabbed after clashes broke out between far-right activists from the Traditionalist Worker Party and counter-protesters outside State Capitol in Sacramento, California, Sunday.

The Obama/Clinton lethal Asian agenda dissected

In Asia, far more than in the United States, the past is present, and nowhere more so than in Japan, where the Obama administration, following policy guidelines laid down by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State, is reigniting tensions and imperial ambitions thought stifled by defeat in World War II.

In the latest edition of The Empire Files, her weekly series for teleSUR English, Abby Martin interviews Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University.

Kuznick is a specialist in the history of America’s decision to use nuclear weapons on an already defeated Japan, and has followed closely the decision of the Obama administration to revive Japan’s military under the right wing government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In do so and at the express urging of Barack Obama, the Abe government has scrapped legislation drafted by the post-World War II U.S. occupation government barring Japan from possessing an offensive military and has revived Cold War strategies in pursuit of what Hillary Clinton called America’s new Pacific Century.

It’s a chilling story, critically important for understand just what a Clinton presidency would mean for a world already trembling on the brink of yet another economic collapse in the wake of the Brexit.

From teleSUR English:

The Empire Files: Untold History of Imperial Japan & the Bomb

Program notes:

Obama’s high-profile trip to Hiroshima was accompanied by a media storm that gave endless justifications for the US use of the atomic bomb on Japanese civilians. The myths are widely accepted in society, and underpin the notion of American exceptionalism.

Abby Martin interviews Dr. Peter Kuznick, co-author with Director Oliver Stone of the bestselling book and HBO series “The Untold History of the United States,” about the real story behind the use of the atomic bombs—as well as the untold history of Imperial Japan, its role today for the US Empire, and the danger for new war on the horizon.

‘Yes Minister’ explained the Brexit. . . in 1983

Back in the early 1980s, Yes Minister, a genially cynical British comedy, explored the hypocrisies of governance in a faded empire.

In this clip, via Iceland Pirate Party founder Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby explains Britain’s policy stance vis a vis the European Union [AKA Common Market]. It’s eerily prescient, given the events now unfolding on the Continent:

Yes Minister — Why Britain Joined the European Union

Peña Nieto doubles down on Mexican ed ‘reforms’

Resistance to the neoliberal educational agenda of the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has sent thousands of Mexican teachers and their supporters into the streets of Oaxaca cities and towns.

Violent repression by police has led to the deaths of at least nine protestors and injuries to scores more, leading physicians to join in with a strike of their own.

But all the activism has been met with a stone wall of resistance from the capital.

The latest development from teleSUR English:

Mexico “will continue to deepen” the controversial education reform that has resulted in violent repression of teacher protests, Education Minister Aurelio Nuño said on Thursday.

Nuño called the law, which was implemented by President Enrique Peña Nieto, a “central and essential project” that Mexico needs to be successful in the twenty-first century.

The minister gave these statements during a meeting with the head of the government-recognized teachers union, the SNTE.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osoio Chong met with leaders from the radical CNTE teachers union, who have been leading protests against the reform. No agreements resulted from talks, which followed the massacre of 12 people in the southern state of Oaxaca during CNTE-led protests against the reform.

Teachers have been protesting since 2013, when Peña Nieto presented the education reform as part of a set of 11 radical neoliberal reforms in key areas such as finance, health and energy sector.

Meanwhile, strike supporters have joined the protest in New York City.

From RT America:

Protesters gather outside NYC Mexican Consulate in solidarity with 9 killed in Oaxaca

Program notes:

For a second day, demonstrators gathered outside the New York City Mexican Consulate, outraged over the shooting of teachers in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca in southern Mexico. State and federal police are accused of opening fire Sunday on protesters who were expressing their dissent over government reforms to privatize education. Many of the people were teachers in their teens and early twenties. In the carnage nine people died; 100 were injured, including 45 who remain hospitalized; 21 were arrested, and 23 are disappeared. Video and reporting by @RebMyles.