Censored for years, the Smothers Brothers kept on satirizing. In the end their uncompromising political message drove them off the air, with CBS firing the duo and the rest of their comedy ensemble under pressure from the White House. Though the Brothers and the ACLU fought a successful legal battle in response, their careers were effectively over. A documentary, Smothered, tells the whole story — but only clips seem to be available online.
|By: Kit OConnell Wednesday April 16, 2014 4:37 pm|
|By: Michelle Chen Monday April 1, 2013 12:10 pm|
Originally posted at In These Times
This year’s World Social Forum, a transnational gathering of social activists, took place in Tunis, a city bubbling with unrest as it struggles to shake off a legacy of authoritarian rule while navigating tensions over women’s rights, labor and nationalism. At the gates of the gathering last week, these faultlines became starkly apparent when a caravan of trade unionists and rights advocates found themselves unexpectedly blockaded. Border police, under official orders, refused entry to a delegation of 96 Algerian activists that included members of the embattled union SNAPAP, known for its militancy and inclusion of women as leaders and front-line protesters.
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday February 25, 2012 12:00 pm|
To commemorate the first anniversary of the overthrow of the dictatorship, activists in Egypt called for a general strike earlier this month. But compared to the massive uprising of 2011, the response on the ground was muted. The military regime that has succeeded Hosni Mubarak was predictably dismissive of the anti-government “plotters,” and even activists acknowledged what seems to be a sort of protest fatigue.
But a year ago, when the Arab Spring was still fresh, labor activists were on the frontlines across Egypt, leading a massive wave of strikes and demonstrations.
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday September 17, 2011 5:10 pm|
The new Libya now straddles these two contrasting scenes, its freedom struggle ruptured by infighting and pressure from foreign forces that have their own designs for the country’s future. Yet viewed from a wide angle, the revolution has cracked open a window for a new political vision, spanning the full spectrum of peril and promise that Libyans have long been denied.
|By: Siun Saturday March 5, 2011 1:59 pm|
Micah Sifry’s been out in front of the new developments in transparency and media for quite a while. His work with the Personal Democracy Forum and his writing at techPresident continue to chronicle the ways technology leads to major changes in American democracy.
Now Micah has written a fascinating book, Wikileaks and the Age of Transparency. Particularly timely as we watch both Bradley Manning’s prosecution and the immense changes in North Africa and the Middle East, Sifry not only talks about Manning, Assange and the release of both the Collateral Murder video and the state department cables – but tells the bigger story of old closed hierarchical systems being overtaken by open, lateral relationships.