GMOs & Organ Damage
Edward S. Herman
Movements V. Correa
Stephen R. Shalom
Epic Recession II
Enemy at Home
Zaps - 03-10
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The Comcast-NBC Merger & the Future of Internet Video
Will this lead to profound changes in our experience of media and challenge the viability of independent media makers?
Sometimes history offers moments of wonderful irony. The week that Comcast announced its intention to acquire a controlling interest of GE's entertainment operations, including NBC and Universal Studios (NBCU), AOL was formally spun off from TimeWarner (TW). These two mega-mergers serve as bookends to corporate arrogance within the media industry during the first decade of the 21st century.
With much fanfare, TW acquired AOL for $164 billion in January 2001. Within a year AOL-TW's stock price plunged and the much-hyped "synergies" that were the merger's rationale turned out to be a mirage. The company wrote off $99 billion in losses. Only bankers and corporate management benefited from the get-rich-quick scheme. The AOL-TW merger exemplified the financial scam at the heart of the tech bubble. That merger and the Comcast-NBCU deal were sold on the basis of a distinct business model or financial analogy. For AOL-TW, the analogy is publishing; for Comcast-NBCU, it is cable television. In both cases, the logic of the then-current performance of these distinct lines of business provided the investment rationale for "guaranteed" long-term financial gain. As TW found out the hard way, the publishing model failed. As broadband Internet evolves as the principal video distribution medium, Comcast may face a similar crisis with regard to the cable model.
The ongoing restructuring of the music industry signifies the powerful force of digital disruption transforming popular culture. The same forces are remaking the print magazine and newspaper businesses. The long-term impact of this disruption on video may result in the end of the television channel as we know it. In its wake, we might witness the emergence of something best understood as web-based "open video" or "no channel" television. Such a development could turn the Comcast-NBCU deal into a replay of the AOL-TW debacle.
Comcast's acquisition of a controlling interest in NBCU should be stopped on the basis of anti-competitive media consolidation. Equally critical, it should be opposed on the basis of the cable model that drives the venture. Comcast is seeking to extend the conventional two-tier cable-pricing model to a two-tier structure for Internet media traffic. In addition to a "basic" and "premium" fee structure, we are likely to see the imposition of a data-rate structure divided between a "faster" or privileged and "slower" or normal data-rate. This model would not only overthrow the established practice of content "net neutrality," but would put the final nail in the coffin of an American communications system based on open architecture and meaningful network competition.
The Trusts Are Back
The same logic of market consolidation that refashioned most industries in America has refashioned the media industry. Some major mergers and acquisitions suggest the pull of industry restructuring. In the U.S., Murdoch's News Corporation gobbled up 20th Century Fox, Harper Collins, MySpace, and the Wall Street Journal, the ideological jewel in the crown. The Disney enterprise has gone far beyond Donald Duck and a movie studio to include ABC, the ESPN channels, and Broadway productions. Like the AOL-TW catastrophe, the mismatched CBS-Viacom venture included a TV network and innumerable broadcast stations, media production entities, radio stations, Simon & Schuster, and the Blockbuster home video chain. After five years or so, the marriage ended in divorce.
Mergers within the entertainment sector parallel those within the telecom industry that led to the dominance of AT&T and Verizon. Clinton's Telecommunications Act of 1996 restructured the old telephone business. With each merger, the FCC, after much fuss and deliberation, required the merged company to meet nominal requirements (e.g., service upgrades) that, in nearly all cases, it failed to meet.
AT&T, the rebranded Southwestern Bell (SBC) that was originally a Texas RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company), came out of the 1984 breakup of Ma Bell. Between 1992-2005, it gobbled up Pacific Telesis (in California and Nevada), then SNET in 1998 (in Connecticut), then Ameritech (in 5 midwestern states, including Illinois and Ohio), BellSouth (in 12 southern states, including Florida and Louisiana), and took over AT&T. Verizon grew by gobbling up Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, GTE, and MCI. These two mega-merger conglomerates now dominate the wireless market, with AT&T controlling 78 million and Verizon 80 million subscribers. In terms of high-end broadband, AT&T's U-verse has an estimated two million and Verizon's FiOS has nearly three million subscribers—as well as their respective wireline services.
In 2008, Jupiter Research estimated that the top four Internet Service Providers (ISPs)—AT&T, Comcast, TW-AOL, and Verizon—controlled more than half (56.2 percent) of subscribers. According to the Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2005, the number of ISPs shrank by almost 75 percent, from 9,335 to 2,437. No current estimate of total ISPs is available from either the FCC or Census Bureau.
The Comcast acquisition of a controlling interest in NBCU will likely receive only the most nominal regulatory scrutiny. In keeping with the Obama administration's public performance style, we are likely to see much fulmination over the merger at FCC, FTC, and the Justice Department. Hearings will be held, media barons and NGO critics will testify, much deliberation will take place, and, when all is said and done, the deal will probably go through and Comcast will be required to meet only the minimalist of public-interest requirements, most of which it will fail to fulfill.
The goal of a major merger, in addition to the ostensible and much-ballyhooed benefits of increasing corporate profit and a company's stock price, is to attempt to maximize control over a market. For media conglomerates, mergers like that of the Comcast-NBCU plan are efforts to impose integration on the market by securing control over the three principle phases of media operations—content, distribution, and audience. This has been a key feature of the entertainment media business since its inception a century ago.
Comcast's media-merger effort occurs on the 100th anniversary of the attempt by Thomas Edison and other early pioneers of the movie business to impose a trust, the Motion Picture Patents Company, on movie production. Not unlike today, the trust was challenged by indies who became producers to circumvent the trust. Their efforts were exonerated in 1915 when the U.S. courts charged the trust with restraint of trade. In 1948, the Supreme Court ruled in what is known as the Paramount Decision that the Hollywood studios violated anti-trust laws in their control over exhibition. The studios had exercised monopoly control over the movie business by joining film production companies with theater chains and prohibiting exhibition of non-studio movies. With the consumer adoption of television in the 1950s, the studio system ended and new modes of mass-market full-motion entertainment content were introduced that fundamentally transformed the media marketplace.
Now, the likely Comcast-NBCU merger points to a possible wave of consolidation, but one in which those controlling distribution will take over some of the major media companies. In effect, today's battle reflects the inherent tensions between those controlling the "pipe" (distribution companies) and those making the "content" (media conglomerates).
Comcast is a $34 billion-a-year telecommunications utility that operates in 29 states and has 24 million cable and 16 million Internet subscribers. For years it has been active in the relative fringes of the content side of the media industry. In 2004, it failed in an effort to acquire Disney. It put its toe in the media waters through its interests in the Golf Channel, E! Entertainment, G-4, Style, and regional sports cable services, as well as the lifestyle website Daily Candy.
NBC is one of the four major broadcast networks and controls 33 local TV stations, the Spanish-language network Telemundo, 13 cable networks (USA, CNBC, Bravo, SyFy, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, Oxygen, the Weather Channel), as well as Universal (a major movie studio, theme parks, Focus Features, a boutique "art house" micro-studio). In addition, it controls numerous websites, including a 30 percent stake in Hulu, the free online TV re-broadcaster owned with Fox and Disney.
The acquisition of NBCU may well spike a round of media mergers in which the big pipes, most notably AT&T and Verizon, could seek to acquire major content companies like Viacom and possibly Disney or Sony Entertainment. Equally important, it could likely lead to the majors introducing new ways to address the content-pipe battle, the tiering of data-rate. In turn, this will lead to profound changes in the American consumer's experience of media and the long-term viability of independent media makers.
Video and the Future of the Internet
The business analogy at the heart of the proposed Comcast-NBCU merger is cable television. This model is based on securing an exclusive subscriber who pays a monthly fee for a package of programs that includes both "basic" services (broadcast networks, ad-sponsored cable channels, PEG access channels) and value-added "fee" services (premium channels like HBO, pay-per-view offerings, and video-on-demand).
The mass adoption of broadband Internet services, facilitated by companies like Comcast, challenges the cable model. As indicated by viewer preferences, Internet users are more aesthetically curious, more open to independent innovation than offered by conventional TV fare. In reaction, the big-media players are seeking to kill Internet neutrality and further erode the open architecture communications model in order to maintain control over what Americans see on next-generation Internet-TV.
The market tracking firm comScore reports that in July 2009, "online video reached another all-time high…with a total of 21.4 billion videos viewed during the month." It also claims, "158 million U.S. Internet users watched online video during the month, the largest audience ever recorded."
More compelling, comScore also found that online video is dominated by nontraditional media sites like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. It estimates that this sector accounts for more than half of all videos viewed (56.7 percent); YouTube accounted for 99 percent of Google's 9 billion videos viewed. More traditional media company sites—like CBS, Fox, and Disney—accounted for only 12.4 percent of total views; Hulu garnered only 2.1 percent of all views.
These viewing preferences, which may well change, are indicative of a deeper crisis confronting corporate American media. The viewership of broadcast network programming is shrinking. Inexpensive Reality TV and 24/7 talking-heads programming predominate; leading cable channels repeatedly show recycled network fare; niche-oriented cable channels proliferate as optical fiber capacity increases. Viewers are often bored by what's on the tube. Americans, channel-surfing in a supersaturated media environment appear more open to innovative programming, particularly user-generated-content (UGC) or do-it-yourself (DIY) videos, as represented on YouTube.
Since the post-WW II era, UGC has grown in variety and popularity as wave after wave of more democratic (i.e., cheaper and easier-to-use) technologies were introduced. The self-printing Polaroid instant camera was introduced in 1946 and revolutionized photography. It enabled users to take a photograph and have it automatically duplicated in about a minute. The Xerox photo-duplication process introduced in the 1960s further enabled the mass reproduction of images, if only in black-and-white. Analog home video superseded 16mm and 8mm film. In the wake of the 1984 Supreme Court's Sony decision permitting off-air videotape recording and Sony's introduction of the camcorder in 1985, there was an explosive growth of UGC—by the late-1980s, DIY porn accounted for 30 percent of new porn video releases. And the digital revolution led by the Apple computer, HD cameras, and easy-to-use video editing software has turned everyone into a potential videographer.
Traditional content companies, along with the pipe companies, are aggressively promoting standard television programming on their websites to attract viewers. They know that the digital disruption will in time engulf them like it did the record, magazine, and newspaper industries. Comcast-NBCU is offering free programming through Hulu and its TV Everywhere initiative. TV Everywhere is a "trial" launched by Comcast and TW (along with most of the media big-dogs) during the 2008 summer to offer "free" online TV programming to existing cable subscribers. How long these services will remain free is anyone's guess.
The dominant content and pipe companies know that YouTube is stealing the show. YouTube, together with other forms of UGC or DIY content, poses a different and more innovative business model, though Google has begun to introduce advertising on YouTube. For years the company has struggled to figure out how to monetize its free "self-broadcasting" service. Adopting a revenue-sharing model, Google will pay independent suppliers for their content and this will likely encourage both more and better-produced programming submissions. (Google also recently announced that YouTube will sell indie films.) With an endless stream of potentially better UGC functioning as a viable alternative to conventional corporate-media fare, viewers may obtain a significant choice over what they watch on their TV/computer.
UGC is but one genre of the programming formats and distribution options likely to be found on next-generation "no channel" or "open video" web-television. In the new digital music world, people don't buy records or discs anymore, but acquire singles for both a fee and for free ("liberated" IP sharing among friends and others). Video will be ubiquitous and with it new forms of "programming" will emerge. Instead of network executives determining what you see, sophisticated web 3.0 semantic search algorithms (on Google, of course) can match you to your programming choices. The user will always have the power to intervene and select their own lineup.
Faced with this possible development, the major media conglomerates, led by the telephone and cable duopoly (and their new content holdings), will likely marshal their collective power to halt or delay this eventuality. Political influence is the easiest card to play. Given the Obama administration's conduct with regard to the "public option" in the health-insurance reform debate, one might expect a similar fate for "net neutrality" and "open infrastructure."
In simplest terms, under net neutrality, the pipes—the cable and phone companies—agree to treat the flow of each application's digital data equally; all roads on the metaphorical optical-fiber information highway travel at the same speed. Within an open architecture communications network, multiple access providers compete based on services offered and prices charged. The corporate agenda seeks, first, to impose a two-tier structure on the flow of digital data, thus all applications would no longer be treated equally. Second, through consolidation, it seeks to limit competition, in this case to only the most aggressive cable and telephone companies.
Obama and the Democrats (like the Republicans) are likely to support programs to further the interest of big-media as they have with finance and health. This policy will constrain Internet-media innovation. According to Bruce Kushnick, head of TeleTruth, "America is now 15th or so in the world in broadband because of the practices of the cable-phone company duopoly. Other countries, such as Korea, Japan, and France, offer speeds 20 to 100 times faster in both directions, and for the price of the inferior copper-based DSL offered in the U.S. The American public is the big loser."
Corporate media's tendencies toward content consolidation and network monopolization must be resisted. If we are lucky, the Comcast-NBCU merger will be a disaster like the AOL-TW catastrophe.
David Rosen is the author of Sex Scandal America: Politics & the Ritual of Public Shaming (Key) as well as Off-Hollywood: The Making & Marketing of Independent Films (Grove). He has been on the board of directors of the Independent Television Service and Film Arts Foundation as well as an advisor to the Video Collection/MoMA.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.