Google Will Find You

This is along the lines of what I’ve been thinking about recently. And it will not be long……

http://youtu.be/MoyuGDUdoB0

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The San Francisco Dream House Raffle 2013

Through its “Dream House Raffle” http://www.sfraffle.com/. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts extracts capital from the red hot property market in San Francisco to finance its art programs. Prizes in the raffle include the multi-million dollar “Dream House” and a slough of other luxury prizes, including luxury cars, luxury vacations, and jewelry, and other capitalist trinkets. The raffle’s web site has the “look and feel” of a shopping channel site or a seedy internet scam. (Full disclosure: I am an artist who does not own property in San Francisco and has purchased raffle tickets in previous years.) The “Dream House Raffle” has run for the last five years.

SF Raffle Dream House

"Dream House" Raffle billboard, Bernal Heights, San Francisco, March, 2013

The irony is that this avowed supporter of the local arts is profiting from the red hot property and rental market that has driven many artists out of town. In addition YBCA’s celebration of exclusive, expensive luxury goods, absent of any balancing position on the housing situation in San Francisco and the Bay Area, brings into question its claim to represent of a cross-section of diversity in the City.

The high property values have been fueled primarily by the booming tech sector that is threatening to turn San Francisco into a playground for the young rich technocrati and their heavily pampered dogs [there are more dogs San Francisco than children].  In it’s “Dream House Raffle” the nightmare hypocrisy of this so-called liberal city is brought into sharp focus.

Advertisements for the “Dream House” are cropping up all over San Francisco – on billboards, on buses and bus shelters, and in BART stations. Along the platform at Powell Street station a long line of Dream House billboard advertisements disappears into the distance. Strangely, none of these ads mention YBCA as if, indeed, there is something embarrassing about the enterprise.

Dream House advertisements at Powell Street Station, San Francisco, April 2013

"Dream House" advertisements at Powell Street Station, San Francisco, April 2013

In its advertising, YBCA gives the general location of the “Dream House” but the address is a closely guarded secret. This year, the house is in Pacific Heights. After two hours using Google Maps with Street View, combined with pictures of the house itself and the views from it as shown on the raffle web site, I found it at 2508  Green Street.

The "Dream House" at 2508 Green Street, San Francisco

Some artists and activists are attempting to raise awareness of the contradictions surrounding the raffle. In January of this year, a group called “Occupy the Dream House” staged a demonstration at the 2012 Dream House in Menlo Park.

The drawing for the main prize is is scheduled for June 21, 2013 when the lucky winner of the “Dream House” will be announced and they will join the rich property owners on top of the hill.

Graffiti on the Bernal Heights "Dream House" Raffle billboard, April 2013

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URBAN PROTOTYPING

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Forensic Accounting!

Money Masters
Created by: www.ForensicAccounting.net

Posted in art, ARTISTS/ACTIONS, CAPITALISM, CAPITALISM IS OVER!, CORPORATE BRUTALITY, DEMOCRACY, EVIL CORPORATIONS, FASCISM, FORENSIC ACCOUNTING, GOVERNMENT, GREED, HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES, INCOME INEQUALITY, OCCUPY ALL STREETS!, OCCUPY THE WORLD!, OCCUPY!, TAX THE RICH, THE 99% | Leave a comment

GENERATION FOOD PROJECT

Please Help Support this Important Project of Raj Patel and Steve James!!! Only 5 days left to reach the goal!!! Click HERE to support! Thank you!!

Posted in CAPITALISM, CAPITALISM IS OVER!, ENVIRONMENT, FEED THE WORLD, FOOD, GLOBALIZATION, INTERNATIONAL, OCCUPY THE WORLD!, SOLUTIONS | Leave a comment

Claire Fontaine!

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We Are The 99%!


Megan Wilson’s Installation at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Occupy Exhibition – from her project 99%.

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Google Bus Line and Homeless Guy

There was a homeless guy face down on the sidewalk right next to the Google bus line on 24th Street. Everybody was just walking past him or ignoring him as they peered into their smart phones. I walked past too but turned around and went back. I tapped him on the shoulder, “Man, are you OK?” He looked up and grunted. He seemed alright. Perhaps I should have done more, called somebody, but who? but feeling too tied up with my own problems. The Google line; the collapsed homeless guy – could there be a more poignant portrait of our times?

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OCCUPY BAY AREA!

Occupy Bay Area

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

July 7 – October 14, 2012

Opening: Occupy Bay Area Night 
Jul 7, 2012 6:00pm
Grand Lobby $5 general admission/ FREE for YBCA members 

Since its inception in September 2011, the Occupy Movement has generated both praise and condemnation. A direct response to the financial instability, subprime mortgage crisis and the decline of trust in the government’s ability to effectively address the problems in the labor market, it continues to resonate in the American consciousness. In response to the significant output of art and documentation produced in support of the Occupy Movement in Oakland and San Francisco, YBCA has put together an exhibition of works that have proven to be particularly effective in supporting the goals and aspirations of the Movement. Impressively, various political poster artists devoted their talents to messaging the politics and culture of the movement by creating iconic images — designs that were a call to action, or posters announcing an upcoming event. In many ways these works, by twenty-five Bay Area artists, carry forward the region’s long tradition as a leader in political struggles, from the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, to struggles by communities of color in the 1970s, to AIDS activism in the 1980s. The exhibition also includes a selection of photojournalistic and documentary photography and video that serve as a record of the events around the Occupy Movement.

Additionally, to connect to earlier movements and provide a historical context for the project, the exhibition includes posters and photographs from other political struggles, including the Black Panther Party, I-Hotel in Manilatown (1968–77); the ARC/AIDS Vigil at City Hall (1985–95); the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969–71); the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964–65); and the San Francisco State University protests, to gain an Ethnic Studies program and Black Student Union demands (1968–69).While these earlier movements certainly differ in ways from Occupy, they all are the result of a deep desire for marginalized peoples to be represented and treated fairly.

This exhibition is not meant to represent a fully executed social history, but is a testament of the power of images to evoke the emotional expression of popular and wide-spread sentiments. By localizing our efforts, we also pay special tribute to the role that Bay Area artists have played in giving voice to the 99% and utilizing art as an effective vehicle for social change.

Poster artists: Rich Black, Zerena Diaz, Cannon Dill, Digniad Rebelde (Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza), Eric Drooker, Alexandra Fisher, Dave Garcia, Ronnie Goodman, Jason Justice, Gabby Miller and Miriam Klein Stahl, Nuclear Winter Art, Occupy Design, Political Gridlock (Jon-Paul Bail), Cristy C. Road, Faviana Rodriguez, Chris Shaw, Colin Smith, Winston Smith, Chuck Sperry, Xavier Veramontes, Gregoirire Vion, Fred Zaw, Anonymous artists

Aligned artists: Sergio de la Torre, Kota Ezawa, Eric Drooker, Megan Wilson, Suzanne Lacy, Sanaz Mazinani

Artists of historical posters & photographs: Robert Bechtle, Emory Douglas, Rupert Garcia, Ilka Hartmann, Steven Marcus, “Indian Joe” Morris, Rachael Romero, Sheila Tully, Anonymous artists

Photojournalism and video artists: Li Chen Ewen Wright

Posted in art, ARTISTS/ACTIONS, OCCUPY ALL STREETS!, OCCUPY SF, OCCUPY! | Leave a comment

Chevron’s Worst Year Ever, Episode 5: Nigeria

By Rebecca Tarbotton, Rainforest Action Network, Executive Director / reposted from SFGate / originally posted May 28, 2012

This has been one of the worst years ever for Chevron. From it’s ongoing massive legal losses in Ecuador, to offshore disasters in Brazil and Nigeria, to the tragic deaths of its employees in several locations, including right here in California.

This is the fourth in a series of statements we’re posting as we prepare for a week of what is sure to be inspired 99% Spring protest against Chevron’s irresponsible and destructive business practices (read the first statement, by Kazakhstan’s Sergey Solanyik, here; the second, by Ecuador’s Luz Trinidad Andrea Cusangua, here; the third, by Communities for a Better Environment about Richmond, CA, here; and the fourth, by The Wilderness Society in Australia, here).

These statements are by people from around the world (and from right here in the Bay Area) letting us know what it really means to live in the communities where Chevron operates. Many will travel to San Ramon, CA to bring their calls for justice directly to the company’s executives, board members, and shareholders at Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting on May 30. You can view all of the statements at TrueCostOfChevron.com. If you want to join the protest on May 30, RVSP and find details here.

Today we have two statements from Nigeria, where Chevron was responsible for one of the worst oil disasters of the past year when one of the company’s offshore rigs exploded and burned for over a month. Chevron was never able to contain the fire, but it eventually went out on its own. Large numbers of fish were killed by the oil that was spilled as a result, and the air and coastline were badly polluted.

The first statement is from Emem Okon of the Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, the other is by Nnimmo Bassey, executive director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth in Nigeria, and Laura Livoti of Justice In Nigeria Now!

CHEVRON FIRE AND THE PEOPLE OF KOLUAMA 1 AND KOLUAMA 2 IN BAYELSA STATE

I will travel over 6000 miles to attend Chevron’s annual general meeting because I want the Chevron CEO, John Watson, and the Board to know about the devastating impact of the raging fire from Chevron’s Gas Wellhead in Bayelsa State. During the 2011 AGM in San Ramon, I requested that Chevron leadership meet with Niger Delta women and their international allies to discuss issues of environmental justice and the impacts of Chevron’s activities on the peoples’ livelihoods in the Niger Delta. To date, they have not done so. This request is even more vital now considering the impacts of the 46 days of fire on the people of Koluama 1 and Koluama 2 communities in Bayelsa state.

Oil and Gas related incidents in Nigeria’s Niger Delta are unending. The record of environmental devastation was updated in the early hours of January 16, 2012 when the people of Koluama 1 and Koluama 2 communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state were awakened by the explosion from the CHEVRON’s Apoi North Gas Wellhead. Their world stood still for moments when the communities vibrated; the people were alarmed, terrified and frightened. Later, they found out that yet again, the oil industry has manifested their trademark of destruction.

Chevron Nigeria rig fire

A Chevron oil rig burns in the waters off the Niger Delta

The Koluama people are fisher folks as their communities are mainly riverine, taking more than three hours boat drive from Koluama to Yenagoa the Bayelsa state capital. The implication of this is that the primary occupation of the people is fishing; the Atlantic Ocean and the Koluama River contribute to the main sustenance of life in these communities. The Koluama River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Life in these communities is very challenging; the Chevron fire incident has made it worse. The water has been poisoned; the environment has been devastated; the livelihood destroyed; the people are wrecked, busted and helpless.

The incident has impacted on the health and livelihoods of community members. As result of the toxic fluid flowing from the fire, fishes and other aquatic lives are dying in great numbers in the ocean. Besides it is not healthy to eat anything from the ocean or the Koluama River since they have become polluted by the toxic fluid. Chief Christian Munghanbofa-Akpele, Chairman, Koluama 1 Council of Chiefs said helplessly, “our lives are now endangered”. There is no health care facility in the community to handle any health casualties.

Chevron has operated in Koluama community since 1953, when they started with seismic operations. The impacts of the explosives led to the dislocation of the communities to the present site. In 1963, the company struck oil and have continued operations ever since. Community members recounted that they are yet to benefit positively from the existence of Chevron in the communities. This negates Chevron recently released corporate responsibility report that they have invested over $200 million to support community programs around the world, with a focus on health, education and economic development. Why have Koluama 1 and Koluama 2 communities in Nigeria’s Delta not benefitted from these programs?

Koluama community members alleged that they suffered similar disaster in 1980 when there was a major oil spillage from Funiwa 5, about 300 metres from the Apoi North Wellhead, the site of the raging fire. The Koluama people decry the negative impacts from Chevron’s operations on their environment. Dead fishes were noticed floating on the water; some were seen struggling to stay alive. The peoples economic activities were disrupted and will remain so for a long time. The Koluama people demand for justice, while they wait for Chevron to act and government to ascertain the extent of damage and conduct a proper clean up of the environment.

On behalf of women in Niger Delta communities, I appreciate Chevron’s reported successes and achievements in Nigeria’s Delta, where they claim ‘to have provided jobs and sustainable economic development while fostering innovative multistakeholder partnerships and socioeconomic investment models’. It is possible to deliver more than 200 projects in 425 communities, villages and chiefdoms only if these projects are not water-boreholes with dry taps; power generating plants that do not provide electricity; completed schools buildings and health centres that are abandoned because they are not equipped with relevant facilities. We will like to know how the 850,000 people from the 425 communities are utilizing the projects. What are the sustainability plans for these projects? Are some of the over 200 completed projects in the Niger Delta located in Koluama 1 and Koluama 11 communities? Are people from Koluama 1 and Koluama 11 communities part of the 850,000 Niger Delta people that are benefitting from Chevron’s largesse? Why are they complaining of neglect and Chevron’s insensitivity. However, there are over 20 million people in the Niger Delta, impacting only on 850,000 persons is very insignificant, that is less than 5% of the population; the impact is not felt. Chevron needs to do more in the Niger Delta.

Anna Orumo says “We are not happy about what is happening to our environment”.

Doris Okorodudu says “I have the intention to tell Chevron my mind – this thing that happened is threatening us; it has stopped us from going to fish in the ocean. We are known for fishing and when you take that away from us, what else do you want us to do? WE ARE ANGRY AND CHEVRON SHOULD KNOW THIS.”

We call on Chevron to clean up their mess in the Niger Delta!

 

 

Emem Okon

Read more from Nnimmo Bassey and Laura Livoti here

Posted in Big Oil, BIGOTRY, CAPITAL, CAPITALISM, CAPITALISM IS OVER!, COLONIALISM, CONSUMERISM, CORPORATE BRUTALITY, DEMOCRACY, ECONOMY, EMPIRE, EMPLOYMENT, ENVIRONMENT, Global Warming, GLOBALIZATION, Health, HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES, imperialism, INCOME INEQUALITY, INTERNATIONAL, Investment, OCCUPY THE WORLD!, POLICY, postcolonialism, RACISM, RESOURCES, UNEMPLOYMENT, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment