Everyday Connection is a radio show you can find here, Yesterday they interviewed a member of mediawrench, Kristopher Harrison, about mediawrench, where it came from, and where its going. It was a lot of fun! Check out their stuff, and also check out the interview here. Thanks to Rick and Jean for having us on the show! It will be fun to see where mediawrench takes us next.
Here are the links to the interview:
Combining both old and new tech for revolutionary ideas with a simple premise, long-time friends and dynamic-duo Tom and Gary held Toronto’s first Decentralized Dance Party (DDP) in the downtown core. Following was a party where many carried ghetto-blasters tuned to a single station transmitted by Tom via FM leading the course through Bay St to Nathan Phillip Square up Yonge St. onto Dundas Square to the after-party at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Regular stops included dance-offs in the Financial District, a jumping-jack competition at GoodLife and a contest for the ‘Stephen Harper’ Dance. DDP has already been featured in many major cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Austin, Chicago, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Washington in the US and Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Fredericton and Vancouver in Canada and they wish to take the DDP worldwide.
The DDP is a portable, battery-powered Party System.
It consists of hundreds of Party People, carrying boomboxes, and a DJ who wears a backpack, containing an FM radio transmitter.
All the boomboxes are tuned into the DJ’s master FM broadcast, resulting in a mobile, synchronized sound system. This Portable Dance Party roams the night, generating complete awesomeness, street by street and block by block, onto buses and subways, into public fountains and beyond. Inevitably interfacing with the public, together we create an infectious epidemic of fun. A Roaming Party Adventure that lasts all night long!
Contributions by Jared D. Khan and Kris Harrison
Greetings, everyone. Let me be the first to thank you all for visiting Media Wrench. It humbles me that we have come to a point in the Occupy movement where we have never been more excited about the evolution of where independent media is going as we get off to a running start in 2012. Many of us at Media Wrench never had the luxury of having a waning thought about the Occupy movement mainly because we are living it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There isn’t a day that goes by that we not only think of our fellow Wrenchers, but also of fellow Occupiers. When I meet with my colleagues, I am being reminded on a daily basis about how much of an impact the movement has been on us because we have become such an integral part of Occupy Toronto. I always thought that, for the most part, there is no real way for us to fully comprehend the extent of the impact that we, as a media group, have had on the Occupy Toronto movement and how it has affected our lives since the first day of the camp on October 15th, 2011.
From the time we started Media Wrench, we realized that a single meeting could not determine the final 12 members. I must insist to you all that this was probably one of the most difficult decisions that we’ve ever had to task ourselves with. I can say for myself that there was a great deal of anxiety with choosing the group but in the end, it eventually was made with consensus and I, personally don’t see how else it could have been done at the time. There are many questions about who we are, what we do and essentially, what happened to the Media Team at Occupy Toronto? Media Wrench has a simple mantra: We are your new neighbors and we’re here to help.
The start of Media Wrench comes with a great number of challenges. When we arrived at a consensus over our trusted network and the basics of putting together an organization, we found that there was a single important question for ourselves: Are we still a part of Occupy Toronto? This was another question that was difficult to answer for ourselves. Some of us decided that we wanted little to no affiliation with Occupy Toronto; or what it has become today. Whereas others had little choice but to maintain our relationships with those who are still working with Occupy Toronto but wanted to put our efforts into an independent project that would least hinder the group’s intent on covering the Occupy movement happening Globally.
I have also seen an evolution of the Occupy movement. I don’t consider this Occupy Toronto 2.0, instead I consider the formation of Media Wrench the future of the Worldwide Occupy movement manifested through a natural progression. People pluralize movements with their own town’s encampment and what is going on in Wallstreet. To me, those who have put a great deal of blood, sweat and tears into our respective committees (namely, Media), are facilitators of Occupy Toronto and thus, we have elevated ourselves to the level of ambassadorship for the Occupy movement. As ambassadors, it is our own prerogative to bring out the message of people who want change, who want to see a real political challenge to the system that’s in place in our country, not next month or next year, but NOW. All of us in Media Wrench have brought ourselves to the frontlines of an information war and, for better or worse, we are in it for the long haul.
Having said that, being responsible for providing the news coming out of the Occupy movement, whether it is in Toronto or others all around the world, exercising transparency is one of our primary mandates. This is due to the nature of Occupy not having a single message to a diverse audience. I will further reiterate and say that regardless of what perceptions others have about Media Wrench in any respect, we work in solidarity with the Occupy movement at large.
By: Jared D. Khan
‘Occupy the Cuts’
The Occupy The Budget was an interesting action. Everyone getting together and standing up for the common good was amazing to see. One moment I was inside city hall and the second I step out side the number of people gathering outside tripled. The night went on as people started to set up tents; which was great to see as people were helping out others. The idea of another encampment was nice to think about. We at MediaWrench ran into some individuals who had tents ready and even took days off work to camp out for the protest. After talking to them for a bit they told us that they were discouraged to set up a tent because they said that when they tried to help others with their tents, they got pushed away. They also said that everyone and everything seemed to be ‘cliquey’ and that you had to know the right people.
This upsets me because it wasn’t really made clear to others just how to start setting up their tents and I, personally, didn’t like the fact that these people were ready to set up camp and took would-be working hours from their day for this event and in the end, they didn’t feel confortable doing it. Somewhere along the line, something needs to happen to prevent this in future re-occupies because people are bound to run into people they know from original encampment and groups are bound to naturally re-occupy together. Perhaps it is best to just encourage everyone more often to stay inclusive and, possibly, try to talk and be more open to others. The first day Occupy started, no one new each other but the next time around the re-occupation wont be the same way.
‘Matty Patty’s Angry Ranty’s’
For weeks now I’ve been struggling with writers block. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out a topic on what to write my first Media Wrench column on. I couldn’t choose between the omnibus crime bill, the budget cuts in our city, Toronto, SOPA(the internet copy-right bill) and the NDAA(National Defense Authorization Act) in the United States of America. When it dawned on me that perhaps it shouldn’t be just one specific thing I decide to write on.
The big problem is government intervention and control in the daily and otherwise private lives of citizens around North America. What all of these bills have in common is that it gives the government, and the powers that influence the government through Super PAC’s and Wall Street, more and more power to impose what THEY think is best for our society. These bills and laws that are trying to come into practice all hide and garner under the pretense of keeping you safe from yourself, because to them it’s been proven that free speech and knowledge are dangerous tools for the common man to possess. From their perspective we have become unmanageable and these bills are here to support the small percentage of North Americans that possess power and wealth’s business models. To them you are either an asset, or a liability, not a person, not a beautiful mind that has creative ideas, that has different interests, that has something unique about them. You are a number/statistic in a corrupt system.
All these bills infringe and over-step boundaries on rights that were earned from our ancestors in the previous world wars, and the civil rights movements. These bills will reverse the sacrifices that our great grandparents made to ensure that we would never have to live in a world where control was in the hands of megalomaniacs that had a thirst for ultimate power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and if these bills gain more support within our already broken and unjust governments, this will give them the power to become undoubtedly more corrupt than let’s say they already are. If we give them an inch with any of these bills, let it be certain that they will take 2 miles to lock in their power, and to gain complete control over our society. Some may argue that I am being a bit of an over-reactionary, and that I may even be called a chicken little. My response is how can someone say that when a bill that gives government and military the ability to detain “terrorists” and “political dissidents” without trial on the basis of national security has passed in the US? How is building super prisons, and giving lower jail time sentences to child molesters than to someone who indulges in marijuana not alarming, especially in a country like Canada? How is it that homosexuals from outside of our country, like thousands have in the past, have come to Canada as a safe haven to experience the same rights as straight people, suddenly have that right taken away without warning? How is a bill that promotes government regulation of the internet bettering a free and open society?
It is alarming and frankly it’s worth the rant. It’s worth striking a conversation, debate, argument, or whatever form of intellectual contact you choose to use. In fact it should be encouraged, and you should be enraged and you should definitely talk about it, or express it in some way, but make sure you copyright it first, make sure you leave out any form of political commentary, and make sure that you support and follow your government without question. And Remember ████ everything ███ █████ is █████ ████ ████ fine. ████ ███ █ ██████ love █████ ██████ ███ your █████ ████ government.