Throughout history, portraits have played an essential role in how different cultures depict people of high social relevance. Kings, emperors and politically powerful families were the common possessors of that privilege. This historical relationship (which spans cultures and ages) between portraits and power continues today, where it can still be clearly seen through the photographic portraits of the leaders of modern states.
For weeks now, pro-democracy protest groups have occupied parts of central Hong Kong, calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Local police have been urging the demonstrators to leave for days, and have recently stepped up efforts to dismantle barricades on several major roads - only to have many of them rebuilt hours later. Tensions boiled over last night, leading to a violent clash between police and protesters. Police arrested dozens, and at least one demonstrator, politician Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, was dragged away and beaten by police, a moment caught in this video. As of today, most of the Occupy protesters remain in place, Beijing refuses to budge, and no discussions are underway.
Correction: ISIS was not a subsidiary of Al Qaeda, although there were links between the groups which contributed to its rise before Al Qaeda disavowed ISIS. “ISIS grew out of the former Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), a jihadist militant umbrella group that is believed to have helped create the al-Nusra Front in mid-2011” (x). al-Nusra is al Qaeda’s official arm in Syria.
A short (and incomplete given the scale of US-propagated violence across the globe) account of the myriad ways in which US imperialism directly led to creation of ISIS. US imperialism is never the answer and the US-led coalition now will only destabilize the situation further and lead to even more violence and long term problems in the entire region.
I mean, it still amazes me that this isn’t “duh” to most everyone.
This past Sunday, Senator Tom Harkin held the thirty-seventh annual Harkin Steak Fry, a Democratic fundraiser that has drawn Presidential hopefuls to Indianola, Iowa, since its inception. About ten thousand people, including the photographer Danny Wilcox Frazier, were on hand this year to listen to the headliners Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, among other guests. It was the final steak fry for Senator Harkin, who is retiring after representing Iowa in Congress for forty years, leaving many to wonder what will supplant the famous event.
A review of more than 200 documents pertaining to open records requests made by members of the public — including news organizations and individual journalists — revealed police were not specifically requested to release a copy of surveillance footage purporting to show 17-year-old Michael Brown engaged in a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store hours before he was shot on August 9, 2014.
At a press conference on August 15, 2014, Ferguson City Police Department Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters that his agency was forced to release a copy of the surveillance footage because members of the media had filed open records requests — incorrectly referred to by the police chief as “FOI requests” — for a copy of the tape.
"We’ve had this tape for a while, and we had to diligently review the information that was in the tape, determine if there was any other reason to keep it," Jackson told reporters at the press briefing. "We got a lot of Freedom of Information requests for this tape, and at some point it was just determined we had to release it. We didn’t have good cause, any other reason not to release it under FOI."
However, a review of open records requests submitted to the police department and the City of Ferguson prior to the release of the tape revealed no individual, journalist or news organization specifically requested a copy of the surveillance footage before the Ferguson Police Department released it to journalists on August 15.
'They're Talking To People': Tensions Ease In Ferguson As Police Change Tactics
Ferguson, Mo., saw more protests last night – but instead of meeting demonstrators with tear gas and armored vehicles, police walked with them, and posed for photos. The shift came after days of clashes sparked by the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown….
But the key difference in Ferguson Thursday was that police had changed their approach to trying to prevent a repeat of the violence and property damage that occurred Sunday. Police were heavily criticized for using tear gas, deploying heavy weapons and arresting journalists….
"When we talk about boots on the ground," [Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron] Johnson said at a news conference Thursday, "my boots are going to be on the ground. And so we are going to have a different approach and have the approach that we are in this together."
Johnson kept that promise last night, walking with demonstrators, hugging people, and representing authority in a way that’s been absent this week. The community responded with a spirited demonstration that was marked by cheers and the honking horns of passing cars.
Now, of course, it’s important to start dealing with the shooting that led to these protests (along with other such shootings that aren’t getting much publicity), the militarization of police around the country — oh, and the pervasive, systemic racism in American society.
(TPM) Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson proposed legislation on Thursday aimed at demilitarizing domestic police forces, amid national criticism of heavily armed cops going after protesters in Ferguson, Mo.
"Our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s," the Democratic congressman wrote in a "Dear Colleague" letter to members of Congress. "Unfortunately … our local police are quickly beginning to resemble paramilitary forces."
The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act would prevent the transfer of certain military-grade equipment from the Department of Defense to local law enforcement agencies. That includes some automatic weapons, armored vehicles, armored drones, silencers and flash-bang or stun grenades.
While Russia continues to claim it has no involvement in the civil conflict in Ukraine, the selfie-strewn Instagram profile of Russian soldier Sanya Sotkin may tell a slightly different story. A story which is landing Russian President, Vladimir Putin in even more hot water than he’s already in.
With the unwanted help of the ‘Photomap’ feature in Instagram, the 24-year-old’s Instagram profile shows a number of self-portraits that are geotagged inside the borders of Ukraine. More particularly, inside rebel-controlled territory, some of it dangerously close to the location of where Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was tragically shot down, killing all 298 people on board.
Photographer Cristina de Middel’s new book Party is meant to question the idea of political power in a playful way. In the book, de Middel has taken the original text from Chairman Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book and redacted most of the words, creating new and biting quotes that mock the statements of this once-powerful communist leader of China. Alongside the text, she’s also included her own photos of contemporary China that are another way of poking fun.
“Political speech is like advertising,” says de Middel about Mao’s over-the-top language in the Little Red Book, which was meant to galvanize popular support for his brand of communism. “There is some interesting deepness, but it is not in the message, it is in the strategy.”
Mao’s strategy was to flood China with his missive. First published in 1966, theLittle Red Book, or Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong as its officially known, is second only to the Bible as the most printed book in history. Over a billion copies have circulated. Many people in China revere Mao to this day, and he is still credited with modernizing the country by transforming it from an agrarian to an industrial economy. But others see Mao as the worst type of dictator, one whose rule caused 40-70 million people to die from starvation, forced labor, and executions.