Social Networking and Far Left Radicals


By —— Bio and Archives February 10, 2011

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The unrest in Egypt has brought out many troubling associations in the past few weeks, followed by many unanswered questions. As outlined earlier this week in a piece by Judi McLeod, the State Dept. along with Google, Twitter and many corporate sponsors, have been backing Movements.org, where overseas radicals have been trained in using social networking to organize revolution. Following the continued activities of Movements.org, I have been disturbed to find further associations with anarchists, socialist groups and others whose main goal is the destruction of capitalism.

Just this week on Movements.org, writer Brannon Cullum, formerly a teacher at Trinity Episcopal School in Austin, TX, suggests in her post that radicals start using some alternate online sources for networking that are more secretive and secure:

Organizing a movement and looking for a better way to collaborate with your group members? Crabgrass is a free software produced by the Riseup tech collective that provides secure tools for social organizing. Crabgrass has a suite of tools that are perfect for group collaborationg including wikis, task files, file repositories, and decision-making tools. The software is written in Ruby using the Ruby on Rails framework.

Unlike other social networking platforms and group collaboration tools, Crabgrass was specifically designed for activists and movement organizers. It is already used by a wide variety of activists and organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme and environmental activists.

Looking further into this software on Riseup.net, I was concerned to find that it appears to be operated by far Left radicals with an agenda for this country and the globe that most would find appalling. From their site (emphasis mine):

The Riseup Collective is an autonomous body based in Seattle with collective members world wide. Our purpose is to aid in the creation of a free society, a world with freedom from want and freedom of expression, a world without oppression or hierarchy, where power is shared equally. We do this by providing communication and computer resources to allies engaged in struggles against capitalism and other forms of oppression.

  • We value, support, and engage in struggles for human liberation, the ethical treatment of animals, and ecological sustainability. We join in the fight for freedom and the self-determination of all oppressed groups. We oppose all forms of prejudice, authoritarianism, and vanguardism.
  • We organize on the basis of autonomy, mutual aid, resource sharing, participatory knowledge, social advocacy, anti-oppression work, community creation, and secure communication.
  • We work to create revolution and a free society in the here and now by building alternative communication infrastructure designed to oppose and replace the dominant system.
  • We promote social ownership and democratic control over information, ideas, technology, and the means of communication.
  • We empower organizations and individuals to use technology in struggles for liberation. We work to support each other in overcoming the systemic oppression embedded in the use and development of technology.

In working towards their stated purpose, Riseup.net securely hosts email and many, many private lists for union, radical feminist, revolutionary, anarchist and communist groups worldwide, including many state socialist organizations. Just a few examples include the Communist Party of the District of Columbia, Houston Anarchists, (who describe Houston as the “stronghold of capitalists, fascists, flag worshipers and bible-thumpers; located in Texas, in the US-occupied territory of Native America”), Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), a socialist “social gospel organization, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Columbia University, SDS Portland, and a group calling itself Doomsday Engineering, who state on their sign up page, “Welcome, O our comrades, to a conspiracy whose center is everywhere and whose perimeter is nowhere.” These are but a few of many long lists of similar groups utilizing the resources offered at Riseup.net.

Although no names are exposed on the “About” page, the concept appears to have started back in 2005 with several anarchist bloggers working together. One of them, Josh Wolf, owns the Riseup.net site now. (* See correction at bottom of article)

Some journalists will remember videographer Josh Wolf as spending almost a year in prison for refusing to turn over video footage taken at a G8 anarchist protest in San Francisco back in 2005. Before spending time in prison, he posted online about having the seed money available to them to start his Rise Up Network, using funds he received from the video footage.

Today, in addition to operating the Riseup.net site, he is the Outreach Director for Peralta TV, where they feature programming such as their own production, “Merritt College: Home of the Black Panthers”, as well as the usual lineup of far Left programming from LINK TV and Democracy Now. Peralta is part of the community college system located in Oakland, Ca.

We had already learned about the involvement of Movements.org in the current Egyptian unrest, sponsored by our own State Dept. and sponsors like MSNBC, Twitter, Facebook and many more. We were already aware that Movements.org was founded by former State Dept. employee Jared Cohen, now with Google, as well as Howcast’s Jason Liebman and Gen Next’s Roman Tsunder. What we didn’t know is that they are actually referring young activists from around the globe to a radical, anarchist site advocating the end of capitalism and offering secret, secure online networking to work towards this goal.

Despite the media coverage, it does not appear that freedom is the real end game for these activists, unless you consider anarchy and communism to be freedom. It is past time to demand answers of our State Dept. as well as anyone sponsoring activities that are a clear attempt to “fundamentally change” our nation and our world into something none of us will recognize.

*Correction:
Josh Wolf no longer works for Peralta TV and according to Josh, he has no association with the current Riseup.net site. According to their 2009 Washington State Charitable Solicitations form, contacts listed are Abraham Flaxman (president), Daniel Scott (Secretary), and Devin Theriot-Orr (Finances).



Michelle Horstman -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Michelle Horstman is a small business owner, artist and mother of three in Texas. Michelle also writes for NewsRealBlog and her personal blog can be found at Benfranklinslepthere.blogspot.com.

Michelle can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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