Expansive protections against police abuses win approval in Providence, RI

My latest writing for EFF addresses the nation's most visionary local civil rights & civil liberties policy, adopted by the Providence (RI) City Countil to impose several sets of limitations on the Providence Police Department. The passage of this measure feels like a tremendous vindication, as it eclipses less visionary alternatives and reflects both the intersectional vision (and even some of the text) from the Local Civil Rights Restoration Act that I compiled at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee back in 2009.

Cell phone spying takes a turn for the worse

On May 18, the Detroit News published a story documenting the first known example of a cell-site simulator (a military-grade surveillance tool used widely by state & local police across the U.S.) to track down someone suspected not of a national security threat or violent felony, but rather an immigration offense. The story includes a clever infographic explaining the technology, and quotes me at some length explaining that:

“Once you start giving agencies fancy toys, and somebody is making money off of it, they are going to use them for more things, and ultimately oppress your rights....Whether Trump was in office or someone else....”

Bringing the Movement to the dance floor

On Sunday, April 9, a gaggle of friends joined me to host Movement: a party to benefit immigrant rights at Public Works in San Francisco's Mission district. We brought together folks from acros the bay area, had the dance floor jumping under a sun-lit disco ball, and raised over $1,000 for Causa Justa / Just Cause.

My mix from the afternoon spans hip hop, jazzy, tribal, and funky house, and also features my live vocals, including a lyrical shout out to the resistance by water protectors at Standing Rock at 45:15.

The event is a recurring gathering dedicated to inclusion, connection, activation, and transformation by bringing together diverse local artists, people who like to dance and express, and nonprofits that work every day to defend the rights of marginalized communities. 

We'll be hosting the next event in the Movement series sometime this summer. To hear details once they're announced, drop me a line!

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."

From Ferguson to Jerusalem, the criminals wear badges

My latest track, Ferguson to Jerusalem, combines dark, driving tech house with conscious lyrics addressing the global policing crisis. Across the Earth, we the People face a common enemy: so-called "security" services that occupy neighborhoods and oppress communities in the name of keeping capital safe.

Taking to the road to raise the alarm

The inauguration of President Agent Orange marked a disturbing escalation in a longstanding constitutional crisis. If our nation's intelligence apparatus once again grows politicized (as it was for 40 years under the corrupt reign of intimidation and terror over whch J. Edgar Hoover reigned), democracy could hang in the balance. As I explained in a blog post for EFF published days before Trump's inauguration:

Many Americans reacted to seemingly politicized FBI disclosures in the days before the 2016 presidential election with surprise. But the FBI has embroiled itself in partisan controversies since its very origins. From the Palmer Raids through the McCarthy era, from the Green Scare to its infiltration of labor organizing by farm workers, the FBI has a long history of investigating and undermining constitutional rights in the context of political movements.

Under Hoover’s direction, the FBI achieved its written goal: the "neutralization" of domestic social groups speaking out to advance their views as protected by the First Amendment. Hoover's FBI achieved its goals with a fraction of the budget, staff—and none of the computing power—of the FBI today.

These concerns are part of why the Electronic Frontier Alliance (a project I launched at EFF last year) has expanded across the country, generating opportunities in February alone to inform, inspire, and mobilize audiences in Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Washington DC, New York City, and Atlanta.

Angels (February 2017)

Angels abound
they appear
when needed

people who
might take in a
as their own

kind of how
the man some describe
as the only Son
of God 

their blessing
beyond what
it seems

respite to
a weary wayfaring
of course

but far
more merely
than support

proof that
can care for
even one in

a pickle
and in

My ode to the Resistance

Consider this my ode to the Resistance.

I spun this set during sunset on a Saturday in Oakland for a housewarming and joint birthday party celebrating a pair of brilliant activist lawyers and a new intentional community. It includes the most hip hop I’ve ever included in a set, with some of my favorite and most conscious tracks leading into some swing, melodic, and goofy house before tribal and melodic interludes leading up to a dreamy and finally disquieting close.

Make sure you catch the lyrical mashup around 56:00!

"The lid is lifting."

In a story covering the emergence of rising activism among workers in the tech industry, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune quoted me (and gave me the pull quote!) saying "Comfortable people are waking up. It’s easy to be aware when you’re uncomfortable; a lot of people have lost their comfort and their complacency."

Fortune (January 2017)

Whenever I
I remember

how other people
spend the month of December:
exposed to the elements,
trying to stay dry.

A hair's breadth
that guy
from you & I.


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