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Shahid Buttar's blog

Questioning police body cameras across the Midwest

This month, I had a chance to invite audiences in two midwestern cities at the center of the Black Lives Matter uprising to reconsider the conventional wisdom on police body cameras.

Challenging Mass Surveillance on Capitol Hill

Today, after publishing Back to Square One on Spying in the Hill, I spoke at a congressional briefing about a proposed bipartisan measure to repeal the twin statutory pillars of the surveillance state. Here's video of my remarks at the briefing:

Defending the First Amendment on Capitol Hill

I know how to intentionally risk political arrest. I've done it many times before, though not in the past ten years.

DJ set at Bossa in DC

Arrested for asking questions about corruption

I'd been back in DC for less than 14 hours before I found myself standing up in a Senate hearing chamber to ask Director of National Intelligence James Clapper a question that somehow never came up during his appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

NSA vs USA

Check out a series of 9 sick remixes of NSA vs USA, or download the open source stems from which to construct your own. You can also download the extended dance floor mix from Soundcloud.

NSA vs. USA was written to be a teaching tool as much as a dance track. Below are annotated lyrics, with links to articles and reports you can read to learn more. The first step in helping "build a movement, raising your voice" is to learn history and get informed.

It shows who we are (February 2015)

In my favorite place yet
I learned a great deal
for many millions together
can do amazing things

I learned a great deal
Cuba's revelatory history
can do amazing things
were we in the States aware

Cuba's revelatory history
it shows who we are
were we in the States aware
we'd do something about it.

It shows who we are
when our empire throws elbows
we'd do something about it
if it impacted us

Artist-activists from Ai Wei Wei to Alli McCracken

My visit to the phenomenal @Large exhibit on Alcatraz, envisioned and remotely coordinated by Chinese dissident artist Ai Wei Wei, came on the heels of a mid-life crisis. The timing could not have been more poignant.

ShantiSalaam (2006-07)

From December 2006 through January 2007, I joined two dear friends (Hawah and V:shal) for a two month voyage across South Asia promoting Hindu-Muslim harmony. At the time, I wrote a series of blog posts recounting our adventures, which I've collected and posted here:

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