Activism

Posted by Anne Landman on December 22, 2011

All-American MuslimThe travel website Kayak.com and Lowes Hardware stores pulled advertising from TLC's reality show All-American Muslim after the right-wing Florida Family Association (FFA) complained that the show presented Muslim-American families as ordinary people. FFA, disturbed by the normative portrayal of American Muslims, complained on its website that "The point of the show is to depict Muslims as ordinary folks just like you and me who are subjected to unjust suspicion," and saying the show is "propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law." FFA maintained that the show was an attempt "to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad." The group started pressuring advertisers to drop their sponsorship of the show. The CEO of Kayak.com, which dropped its ads, claimed that no third party had influenced their decision to discontinue advertising on the show. A Kayak.com executive claimed TLC had misled them about the nature of the show, and added, "...Mostly, I just thought the show sucked." Lowes responded to FFA saying the show did not "meet Lowe's advertising guidelines." The chain issued a more ambiguous public statement saying the company had a "long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion," and saying the show had turned into "a lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives - political, social and otherwise."

After Lowe’s made it public that it had pulled its ads, boycotts have been called, protests planned, 200,000 petitions have been delivered by local religious leaders, a spoof Lowes TV ad has gone viral and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons offered to buy the remaining advertising on the show.

No
Posted by Anne Landman on December 20, 2011

As winter sets in and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) encampments contract, the three-month old movement continues to have a big impact on the campaign trail. President Obama as well as some GOP candidates have adopted OWS concerns and language, while big bank lobbyists and GOP spinmeisters work hard to hold the line, defending U.S. economic institutions and the American "free market" system against what they fear could be a broad-based populist uprising.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on December 20, 2011

Hundreds of "solidarity singers" congregated in the Wisconsin capitol Monday to sing politicized Christmas songs and challenge new Walker administration rules for protests in the building.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on December 16, 2011

As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's new policies restricting protest in the Wisconsin capitol take effect in advance of the anniversary of 2011's historic labor uprisings, the controversial governor has enlisted a new spokesperson to sell the rules, a 28-year old protégé of Karl Rove and new political appointee of the governor.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on December 15, 2011

Color of Change has launched a campaign encouraging corporations that rely on business from African-Americans to stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which promotes voter ID legislation that suppresses the black vote.

Posted by Rebekah Wilce on December 09, 2011

Raw Milk Activists at the Illinois BorderOn Thursday, the Raw Milk "Freedom Riders" rode again. In November, they crossed the Pennsylvania border into Maryland in protest against federal law 21 CFR § 1240.61, which prohibits interstate commerce of raw milk for human consumption.

Posted by Anne Landman on December 06, 2011

Astroturf vs. GrassrootsThe "Occupy Wall Street" movement is providing a real-time case study of the difference between a true grassroots movement and a corporate-backed astroturf movement.

Americans in recent years have been besieged by industry-funded astroturf efforts masquerading as real grassroots movements. One example is the "Hands off my Healthcare" national roadshow, which was backed by the Koch-funded group, Americans for Prosperity. Another is the Tea Party, which got a corporate-sponsored media boost from the Fox News Channel and benefitted from the the efforts of a Sacramento, California-based Republican PR firm, Russo Marsh & Rogers. Astroturf uses manufactured spin and messaging that requires real money for things like media buys, front groups, mass-broadcast faxes, telemarketing-generated petitions, glossy postcards, form letters and talk radio-inspired phone calls.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on November 30, 2011

As state legislators and corporate lobbyists from around the country convened in Scottsdale Wednesday for an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting, Arizona residents impacted by ALEC policies raised their voices in opposition to the organization's corporate agenda.

Posted by Anne Landman on November 30, 2011

Siri logoApple is being accused of using its new IPhone 4S to promote an anti-abortion agenda. IPhone 4S users in big cities have found that when they ask their IPhone to locate abortion clinics, the phone's new voice-assistant, Siri, says she can't find any. Instead, she directs users to "crisis pregnancy" centers, which do not offer abortion services. When an IPhone user named Kristen asked Siri why she is anti-abortion, the phone responded, "I just am, Kristen." Users who ask the phone to locate places where they can get emergency contraception are shown a Google results page containing definitions. Siri may not help IPhone owners find abortion services or even emergency contraception, but she will help users locate strip clubs, escort services, Viagra and plastic surgeons who do breast implants. Siri will even recommend a good place to dump a body.

No
Posted by The PRW Staff on November 22, 2011

This is a guest op-ed by Robert Greenwald, president of the Brave New Foundation, and was originally published in Truthout.


The Occupy movement has drawn attention to how too many in the 1% get to play by their own rules while exploiting the 99%. But who's doing the most to damage our economy and democracy?

You tell us.

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