ActCon III Video Archive is Now Available

It’s time to work smarter, not harder. ActCon III was our third activist online training conference, designed to train more activist leaders to make a bigger impact. Recorded Live Saturday, September 19th 12-7 PM EST. get_archives

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Project Digital Privacy was founded as a result of increased social activism in regards to government surveillance, especially in the online age. PDP is an organization that is dedicated to non-violently ending unconstitutional digital surveillance at the local level. SI advisers are helping PDP refine its final strategy, and prepare for launch.

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Weekly Updates, Stories, and Resources

CAIA Gains Authority to Challenge Forced Agreements in Fracking Dispute

We have fantastic news from Idaho, where we’ve been helping Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability put the brakes on a runaway train: for-profit fracking, unfairly advantaged by regulations that allow “forced pooling,” which amounts to legalized theft of private property. The news? CAIA has just received official standing to represent their members in court. They understand the issues and know the law, and now they can help people hold onto their rights: On Thursday, Tommy Butler, the Hearing Officer in the Fruitland forced-pooling matters, granted Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability’s (CAIA’s) request to officially intervene on behalf of our members threatened with Integration by Alta Mesa’s two applications for Sections 14 and 19! It is now official:  CAIA is the only organization in the State of Idaho with the legal authority to challenge this blatant attempt to force Idaho citizens to give up their property rights. Full announcement here: Forced Pooling Update: That’s activism when it really matters. If you don’t know much about forced pooling, here’s a little background: Forced pooling happens after a promising patch of land is identified by a company that wants to extract and sell what’s under it. First, owners of the land are asked if they would like to lease the rights to the resources under their land. Some people are rightly suspicious, dislike the terms, or don’t want oil or gas extracted from their property, period. It’s a noisy, polluting, and unnecessary process that is protested around the world. They’re the hold-outs. Holding out isn’t all it’s fracked up to be, though. Those who refuse to sign an agreement will... read more

She’s not in Kansas Anymore: How Amber Got Her Daughter Home

You hear of people moving mountains to achieve their goals. That might not apply in Kansas, but whatever the prairie equivalent is, Amber Ostrom did it several times over in the eighteen-month fight to regain custody of her daughter, Georgia. A chain of events anchored on both ends by laws that infringe on a person’s natural right to grow, consume, and sell a non-toxic medicinal plant, Cannabis sativa, got the ball rolling. Solutions Institute’s Bobby Rodrigo brought Amber and Georgia’s story to our attention and we got to work on fundraising while he continued direct assistance and publicity work on their behalf. It began when the people of a Colorado town bucked the state trend and voted to eject all of the town’s legal marijuana businesses, one of which was Amber’s. Amber was not just a Cannabis business owner, she was a patient who used marijuana to prevent epileptic seizures with minimal side effects. With her business gone, she thought about Georgia’s health as well as her own, and decided to move to Arizona for a climate that would keep Georgia, who has rheumatoid arthritis, as comfortable and healthy as possible, and allow legal access to marijuana and jobs in her area of expertise. In Arizona, she found a job in a well-run medical Cannabis dispensary. She worked long hours to earn what she needed to establish a home and make up for lost income and the expense of moving. It was good for her wallet, but she felt it was not good for her daughter. She arranged for her stepbrother and his wife to take Georgia into their... read more

ActCon III is this Saturday, Sept. 19 – World-class speakers and audience Q&A – Buy your ticket today!

Countdown to Saturday! ActCon III tickets are still on sale, and we’ve added two impressive panelists, Anita MonCrief and Robin Koerner. See their mini-biographies and topics below. September 19, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. eastern ActCon III is the crash course in activism excellence that you attend from home, comfortable in your favorite chair. Each panelist will speak for 15 minutes and a hold a 10-minute Q&A with you, the home audience, via streaming video. As always, you’ll be able to view the archive for 30 days afterwards. ActCon III is a chance learn how top activists empower their actvism. Activism is more than the essential passion in every activist’s heart, it’s knowing how to put that passion into action, efficiently and effectively. Our panelists have shown that they know how to do that, and they’ve raised awareness and brought about change with their knowledge. On Saturday, they’ll share it with you. ActCon III Event and Ticket Information Date: September 19, 2015, 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. eastern Place: The comfort of your home Tickets are on sale now: http://solutions-institute.org/membership-account/membership-levels/ Your ticket purchase secures access to the event video archive for 30 days after the event. Watch live, or watch later!   Sponsorships Sponsorships are available to organizations wishing to reach our intended audience of 100 committed activists. Contact Bobby Rodrigo for details: bobbyrodrigo@solutions-institute.org   Speakers and Topics Emanuel Sferios – “Creating Bridges in Activism” A Strategy of Freedom and Equality Adrian Bernal – “Using the Media” How to get the Media Involved in Your Events and Organization Angela Keaton – “What’s Your Plan?” Life After Activism Hayden Collins... read more

The Three Percent: Why BLM Seattle Won When They Interrupted Bernie Sanders

UPDATE: Activist Talib Kweli went on the Bill Maher Show and agreed, bringing in even more insight on why BLM Seattle was successful after interrupting Sanders. He and Jennifer Granholm, Senior Adviser to Correct the Record, point out some of the misconceptions and even further victories that arose from the incident:   When “Black Lives Matter” Seattle co-founder Marissa Johnson and a few allies interrupted Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders at a campaign event last week, the reaction was swift and furious. The Stranger’s Charles Mudede argued that BLM activists needed smarter tactics, Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan outright called it “stupid,” and even other Black Lives Matter activists have signed a petition calling for the Seattle activists to apologize.  Yet as Marissa Johnson deftly demonstrated on an interview with MSNBC, the activists knew exactly what they were doing.   This isn’t the first time Black Lives Matter activists have interrupted public events, in fact they are probably best known for it. They interrupted a speech by another candidate, Martin O’Malley, at the progressive Netroots Nation conference, attempted to interrupt a speech by Hillary Clinton, and have disrupted public spaces on numerous occasions. Some of their tactics, from an activist’s perspective, are questionable.  It remains to be seen what shutting down freeways and creating racially-oriented safe spaces at protests have done to actually advance their cause of racial justice. They have been one of the most controversial nonviolent groups in recent memory, and a group I’ve personally criticized in the past. But interrupting Bernie Sanders, contrary to popular opinion, was brilliant. The reason is the first lesson we teach SI clients. Politicians,... read more

News2Share Journalist Defeats False Arrest Charges

Last November, News2Share’s Trey Yingst was arrested on a public sidewalk while attempting to create an objective record of the activism and police response in Ferguson. After a lengthly legal process, he is now free of all charges and receiving a payout of $8500. See his statement below: I am pleased to announce that all charges have been dropped surrounding my arrest in Ferguson last November as part of a civil lawsuit settlement. In addition, St. Louis County is giving me $8,500 and agreeing not to oppose a record expungement request as part of the settlement. With a portion of that money, I plan to pay my attorneys and travel costs. I will be donating the remainder of the settlement to a scholarship fund for high school students from Ferguson looking to study journalism in college. I would like to thank the ACLU of Missouri for their tremendous work in serving as my legal counsel and protecting the constitutional rights of the American people. The efforts of Tony Rothert, Andy McNulty, Gillian Wilcox and Jeffery Mittman were crucial to the outcome of my case. Journalists should never have to work under fear of arrest for simply doing their job. I hope that my arrest can serve as an opportunity for police departments across the country to reflect on the treatment of media. Exercising First Amendment rights remains a crucial part of American society, holding members of law enforcement and the general public accountable for their actions. Just released from Clayton County jail after being arrested for exercising my 1st amendment rights on a public sidewalk. @news_2_share — Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) November 23,... read more

Texas Cop Delivers Bag of Dirt, ‘2nd Declaration of Independence’ to White House

Author’s Note: Activism is a form of art, and it can be executed very poorly or very well. See the story below, which details a bizarre activism stunt that has gained both praise and shock. Good or bad, the reach of any activist activity is propelled if the leader is able to attract media. For videos and stories like this, check out News2Share, its Facebook, and its Twitter. Article and Photos by Alejandro Alvarez Video Report Filmed and Edited by Ford Fischer For Richard Kent of Houston, Texas, Independence Day meant a little more than fireworks and barbecues. His holiday weekend plan: deliver a ‘second Declaration of Independence’ and a bag of dirt from Southern states to the White House. “I know people try to label me a domestic terrorist or some nonsense like that,” he would later tell a Secret Service official, “but I’m the farthest from it.” Kent, a commissioned Houston security officer and member of the militia group Oath Keepers, drove all the way from Houston intending to organize a march to the White House. His mission, he said, was to hold the Obama administration accountable for ‘treason against the American people.’ Joining him was Sean Bosilovick, General of Special Operations for the United States Militia, who said he was sent to ensure Kent accomplished his goal. As crowds gathered around the Washington Monument for the Fourth of July fireworks, Kent and Bosilovick sought to secure as many signatures on their declaration as they could. They did not reach their goal number of signitures. Still, they pressed on with delivery. Kent’s own “Declaration of Independence” is a... read more
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