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Defending net neutrality

My latest writing for EFF is an exhortation to activism to defend net neutrality, the principle that ensures any user or startup access to the global Internet on the same terms as corporate behemoths. As I write in Net Neutrality Needs You as Much as You Need It:

"With the future of the Internet, its capacity to continue fostering innovation, and freedom of expression online hanging in the balance, EFF encourages Internet users to speak out--both online and in the streets--to defend net neutrality."

I also had a chance to speak at a pair of rallies for net neutrality, one when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai visited San Francisco in September (at 30:30)...

...and another at a Verizon store on December 7.

Joining tech workers standing up

On Tuesday, March 14, I returned to Palo Alto to speak at a rally organized by Tech Stands Up, a coalition of tech workers "standing up for the fundamental rights of all communities and persons." Before sharing some suggestions for how people can raise their voices in today's time of crisis, I explained that "politicized surveillance is not an abstract future fear in America. It is an established historical fact."

Dancing up a GUST

I've been rehearsing with Get Up Street Theater (GUST!) for months, but finally had a chance to join the group in public at the Women's March in Oakland. Check us out!

Get Up Street Theater at the Women's March in Oakland from Peter Menchini on Vimeo.

Spitting truth to power on Independence Day weekend

The weekend of July 4th brought me back to the east coast to rejoin Meso Creso, a crew started by some DC homies with which I've rolled since 2009, at the PEX Summer Festival. My DJ & MC set that Friday night was among my highlights of the summer.

After DJing for 4 years and MCing for over 20, this is the first recording ever to combine my beats and live vocals, so I'm quite excited to share it! My several vocal peformances include (around 31:15) this rhyme connecting the dots between our various struggles "from Ferguson to Jerusalem."

"Green out of the pockets of politicians..."

The PEX Summer Music Festival in July 2015 gave me a chance to break through a few personal musical milestones. My DJ & MC set at Meso Creso on Friday night better realized the vision that prompted me to start DJing in the first place -- fusing the lyrical spirit of conscious hip-hop with the funk and delirium of house music -- than any gig I've played yet. Fortunately, the inspiration struck at a good time.

A tribal, dreamy, funky, conscious, Latin, and sometimes techy deep house set mixed on the Meso Creso sound system at the PEX summer music festival (07.04.2015) by Shahid Buttar on Mixcloud


This 2:00 video clip shows me mixing between tracks, our fabulous and frenetic crowd celebrating the wee hours of Independence Day, and a single rhyme challenging both drug policy and money in politics.

Debating an NSA apologist on the eve of a Senate victory

On Tuesday, May 19, I was invited to join a panel on The Heat including my colleague Julian Sanchez from the Cato Institute and Fred Fleitz, a former CIA employee and Senior Vice President at the Center for Security Policy. Our discussion spanned two segments (both posted below after the jump).

Days later, popular constitutionalists scored a major victory when the Senate failed to extend section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, allowing its scheduled expiration under a previous act of Congress. It's the first time a controversial surveillance authority has ended since unconstitutional mass surveillance was first illegally imposed in secret over a decade ago, and offers me particular cause for celebration as I'll be wrapping up my time leading the Bill of Rights Defense Committee next week. 

Fighting corruption in the surveillance state

I've had a chance to publicly critique the intelligence establishment several times this month. After being quoted by the Guardian as describing the proposed USA Freedom Act as "yesterday's news," I had a chance to visit Thom Hartmann several times on The Big Picture. Here's our on April 28 interview:

That visit was followed by a series of return appearances on The Big Picture.

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:


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