“Black Rifles Matter in Berkeley” by Ann Garrison (sfbayview.com)

December 25, 2015

On Tuesday evening, Dec. 15, 2015, the Berkeley City Council voted to keep sending officers to the annual Urban Shield war games and weapons expo, even after one vocal citizen held up the expo’s best selling T-shirts and read their inscriptions: “Black Rifles Matter,” “This (barrel of a gun) is my peace symbol” and “Destruction cometh. And they shall seek peace. And there shall be none” (Ezekiel 7:25-27, King James Bible).

“Black Rifles Matter,” a top-selling T-shirt at the Urban Shield Expo 2015

This year’s Urban Shield expo, billed as the world’s largest tactical training exercise for law enforcement and first responders, was held in Pleasanton, a normally tranquil Bay Area suburb. It began on Friday, the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and continued through Monday, Sept. 14. Roughly 5,000 people from over 100 police and emergency response agencies around the country and the world attend.

On Friday morning, members of Code Pink Women for Peace dropped a banner reading “War Games in Pleasanton?” on the overpass above Highway 680 to mark the beginning of the expo at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds, where vendors displayed state of the art weaponry, surveillance tech and first responders’ gear.

“Urban Shield: Honor the Past, Prepare for the Future,” a promo video posted to YouTube, featured voices of law enforcement officers realizing, after 9/11, that they are now the frontline of defense against acts of war and therefore have to adopt a new approach to public safety.

“We have to realize that the battle is no longer going to be overseas,” said one officer. “You know it used to be that, if you were in the military, that was when you went to fight a battle. And if it was here, you were dealing with local criminals and local crime. But (now we’re) realizing that at any date, something could strike our area and we may have to respond to a domestic terrorism threat.”

On Tuesday evening, Dec. 17, 2015, the Berkeley City Council voted to keep sending officers to the annual Urban Shield war games and weapons expo.

The video also includes clips of George Bush announcing the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina and television anchors announcing mass shootings like those in Aurora, Colorado, Newton, Connecticut, and Lafayette, Louisiana, but its central, defining event is 9/11.

The militarization of Berkeley

The Stop Urban Shield Coalition, which last year succeeded in pushing the expo and exercises hub from Oakland to Pleasanton, aims to rid Alameda County of the annual event altogether because, they say, it advances the surveillance state and militarization of the police. That means they need to persuade city councils and county boards of supervisors to nix participation by their own law enforcement teams, including ultimately that of Alameda Sheriff Greg Ahern himself.

The Stop Urban Shield Coalition aims to rid Alameda County of the annual event altogether because, they say, it advances the surveillance state and militarization of the police.

Berkeley, home to the University of California and its history of anti-war and social justice struggles, might seem like a likely place to start. Berkeley Copwatch was the first Copwatch. It inspired a global movement and attracted press coverage from as far away as France and Japan.

In 2013, the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists gave Berkeley Copwatch a James Madison Freedom of Information Award for their investigation of a proposal, written by the cities of Albany and Berkeley and the University of California, to acquire an armored tank for crowd control. Copwatch won the award not only for the investigation but also for getting the press coverage that caused enough outrage to stop the acquisition.

Bay Area Light Brigade’s display outside Berkeley City Council on Dec. 17, 2015

The Bay Area Light Brigade gathered outside Berkeley City Hall to spell “Stop Urban Shield” and “Stop Militarization” and a crowd of activists entered the council chambers and waited until after 10 pm to make their case. Mayor Tom Bates was clearly eager to hurry the meeting to adjournment, but Media Alliance Executive Director Tracy Rosenberg persuaded him to allow her to show a five-minute video of the war games exercises and rhetoric that police engage in at Urban Shield.

JP Massar of Oakland Privacy Working Group held up the best-selling “Black Rifles Matter” T-shirt and asked if this was the culture Berkeley wanted to promote.

Copwatch founder Andrea Prichett talked about her decades of work to empower citizens to refuse to be abused by the police and to encourage the police to protect the community without excessive or lethal force.

Andrea and others cited the excessive use of force during 2014 Black Lives Matter protests in Berkeley, which took place shortly after Urban Shield 2014. In December, after hearing the testimony of about 10 people who said they were treated unnecessarily roughly during a Dec. 6 protest, the Berkeley Police Review Commission voted to ask Berkeley city officials to restrict the use of tear gas, over-the-shoulder baton hits and firing projectiles as a form of crowd control.

Copwatch founder Andrea Prichett talked about her decades of work to empower citizens to refuse to be abused by the police and to encourage the police to protect the community without excessive or lethal force.

A Black Vietnam veteran talked about how he and his fellow soldiers had used Asian characters for target practice during the Vietnam War and said Black and Latino images are the targets on shooting ranges now.

Everyone cited the police executions of Black and Brown people that we all hear on the daily news from all over the USA.

The oratory was impressive, as usual, but alas, the Berkeley City Council was not. After courteously extending public comment past midnight to allow everyone their allotted time to speak, the council took a quick vote, without insightful debate, and decided that the Berkeley Police would continue to participate.

A Black Vietnam veteran talked about how he and his fellow soldiers had used Asian characters for target practice during the Vietnam War and said Black and Latino images are the targets on shooting ranges now.

Now this wasn’t really surprising to anyone who’s watched Berkeley City Council meetings. They typically feature a host of eloquent citizen orators and a board that’s uninspired, uninspiring and unlikely to take political risks, set an example or lead a movement..

“The Berkeley City Council votes 6-3 against almost every community initiative for real police reform,” said Tracy Rosenberg. “They do so in defiance of evidence that Berkeley is not exempt from the excessive use of force and racial profiling problems that activists have been calling out across the country.

“A one year moratorium on participation in a macho and dangerous war games and militarization exercise was a simple request with strong support from the people of Berkeley. It’s very disappointing that the council wouldn’t go along.”

“The Berkeley City Council votes 6-3 against almost every community initiative for real police reform,” said Tracy Rosenberg.

The Stop Urban Shield Coalition is little more than a year old, having come together around its first success, in 2014, when it persuaded the City of Oakland not to host Urban Shield 2015. Their low expectations of the Berkeley City Council made it a good place to practice the pitch they plan to take to city councils and county boards around the Bay.

The coalition website says, “While Urban Shield is just one front in the fight against the state’s attempt to militarize every aspect of our lives – from its war-making here and abroad to the increasing presence of police in our schools, to the systemic murder of Black and Brown people at the hands of police – stopping Urban Shield would be a major victory against this growing trend of militarization in cities everywhere, from Oakland to Ferguson to Baltimore. Join us in resisting violence against our communities and in fighting for genuine visions of justice, safety and self-determination.”

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News,Counterpunch and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News, KPFA Flashpoints and for her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at anniegarrison@gmail.com. In March 2014 she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for promoting peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa through her reporting.

Note from Mike Zint:

The population is the enemy when the police are militarized. The proof is in the violence, killings, illegal detentions, and the lack of accountability. “I’m scared for my life” has become the mantra for murder. Dogs and cats are not even safe. Next year, it will be worse. And it will not change until we make them change. A few thousand protesters will not do it. A few million will get some attention. A national strike will win the day.

OccupyForum off-site meeting on Monday, December 28

O C C U P Y F O R U M   O F F – S I T E  M E E T I N G

Monday, December 28th at 6:00 pm

SEIU Local 1021 350 Rhode Island, Suite 100 San Francisco, CA 94103 near 16th Street
Office: (415) 848-3611  Toll-free: (877) 415-1021

  Justice 4 Mario Woods

Coalition Meeting: Next Steps

“You need to come out and be a part of this. Activate yourself.

Ignite yourself. Come out and stand with the People. You need to be here.

I need to see you here. We need to do this as a Human Race.”

— Maurice Tatum in front of City Hall for Justice for Mario Woods

Come out Monday night at 350 Rhode Island at 16th street for

Mario Woods Coalition planning meeting 6 pm.

Now that there are videos of these killings, it makes it a lot harder for police and authorities to deny to the public what’s happening. And the People won’t allow it.

This is a great time to join in and put a stop to police violence/murder against people of color, and the racist system that permits it to keep happening.

OccupyForum is showing up in solidarity for these meetings through this period of time. Please step up and stand up!

Updated video of shooting of Mario Woods (GRAPHIC CONTENT) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grcd1JlbXN8








99 Homes Official Trailer (2015) – Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern Drama

99 Homes Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern Drama

A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real estate broker who’s the source of his frustration.

The Movieclips Trailers channel is your destination for the hottest new trailers the second they drop. Whether it’s the latest studio release, an indie horror flick, an evocative documentary, or that new RomCom you’ve been waiting for, the Movieclips team is here day and night to make sure all the best new movie trailers are here for you the moment they’re released.

In addition to being the #1 Movie Trailers Channel on YouTube, we deliver amazing and engaging original videos each week. Watch our exclusive Ultimate Trailers, Showdowns, Instant Trailer Reviews, Monthly MashUps, Movie News, and so much more to keep you in the know.

“Is S.F.’s Homeless Problem Actually Improving?” by Adam Brinklow (sfweekly.com)

December 23, 2015

Here’s a mind-blowing proposition: What if San Francisco is actually doing a goodjob alleviating its homeless problem?

You’d be forgiven if you were briefly paralyzed with laughter at the idea. But this potentially stunning claim comes by way of the US Conference of Mayors’ annual report on hunger and homelessness, released Tuesday.

The Conference, a policy group composed of big cheeses from US cities with populations of more than 30,000, says that homelessness was on the rise all over the country in the last year — but that San Francisco has bucked the trend by reducing the number of homeless and providing exemplary service for those who remain.

No, really, this is the actual report. It’s not some kind of gag report they threw out on a holiday week assuming no one would read it.

In general, the number of homeless people in 21 participating cities increased by an average of 1.6 percent. San Francisco’s report card looks pretty spiffy by that standard: a 7 percent decrease in individual homeless and a heartening 34 percent decrease in homeless families, for a total of 6,042 homeless San Franciscans, not counting those in transitional housing.

This contradicts results from the city’s biennial homeless count,released back in July, which showed an increase of 3.88 percent over last year (about 200 people) to a total of 6,686, continuing a trend of steady annual increases for the decade.

The Mayor’s Conference estimates homeless populations by crunching numbers about demand for relief services, which might distort the findings — what if there are more homeless but they’re for some reason putting less strain on the system?


On the other hand, the city’s methods for tallying the homeless — sending teams of volunteers to walk the streets and count the number of transients on a single night — is not above reproach either.

So let’s entertain this crazy notion for a second. If the Conference is right and San Francisco really did get people off the streets, then why does the problem seem worse now than ever?

Well, the report did offer that 48 percent of the city’s homeless are mentally ill, way above the general average of 29 percent. This would make for a homeless population that’s more, well, visible, and more likely to engage in behaviors like the public crapping that contributes the present sense of emergency.

Also, 48 percent of San Francisco homeless are physically disabled, 46 percent are victims of domestic violence, and 11 percent are HIV positive, all (shamefully) much higher than the general mean. But by contrast, only 11 percent of homeless San Franciscans are employed, the fourth lowest figure on the list.

(Washington DC was the dubious number one in that category at 34 percent.)

This would suggest that we’re relieving homelessness generally, but that the homeless who remain are from the most vulnerable populations. That’s really not a good thing, but it would that we’re still helping a lot of people. Theoretically.

This could also be a matter of clearing a low bar. Most of the other 20 cities are perilously short on shelter space. McKinney, Texas, turns away 86 percent of people seeking emergency housing; Charleston, North Carolina, turns away 60 percent; Los Angeles, 39 percent. And San Francisco? Zero.

Yes, zero. Everybody who came looking for a bed found one, a feat matched only by Salt Lake City.

The reports also seems pretty impressed by the recently opened Navigation Center, praising its flexible and holistic approach and the degree and variety of services offered, calling it “comfortable and attractive” and praising it for “meeting clients where they’re at.”

So there’s a contradiction for you: We can simultaneously be doing a lousy job and doing better than any 20 other given cities in America. Depending on your point of view.

The findings are probably still a tough sell for locals. Elena Temple-Webb, spokesperson for the Conference of Mayors, notes that the report worked off of numbers provided by city agencies and that if there’s a discrepancy “your question should be directed at them.”


The report cites Joyce Crum, director of housing and homelessness for the San Francisco Human Services agency, as the source of local data, but Crum was not available for comment.

Note from Mike Zint:
No, it’s not. The homeless do not try for beds. Beds contain lice and bed bugs. And, shockingly enough, shelters have chairs that you are forced to sit in for days while waiting for a bed. (MSC South for three days. No bed given) Did Ma Browns get their beds? Nope, they are still sitting in chairs! So, do you think the homeless are seeking that? And the navigation center is only 75 beds. Can you see the lies?

Here is the truth. The mayor said no homeless people during the super bowl. His foot went into his mouth. The navigation center could not have handled the percentage of people the city claims to have helped. And, the article even has a disclaimer on the agencies accuracy on the numbers. So, why write this article at all?

To play pretend while torturing and committing genocide! Strong words, yes, but I lived it.


December 22, 2015

It was less than ten degrees and snowing when Denver police officers began rousing people from their tents and lean-to shelters near the Samaritan House at Park Avenue and Lawrence Street around 6 a.m. last Tuesday, remembers Peter, a homeless man. In the midst of the storm, the police told Peter and others to get inside one of the nearby homeless shelters or else face a citation or arrest.

But according to Peter, the DPD didn’t just come to move the homeless along or get them out of the weather. They brought a Public Works dump truck with them, and began throwing some of the homeless individuals’ possessions into it. “They took everything. They told you, ‘You get one chance. Take two bags of what you want and then get away from everything because it’s all going in the dumpster,'” Peter told a videographer associated with the livestream channel Unicorn Riot.

Another woman explained how the police treated her property: “Cops come and throw our things away and don’t give a shit…My life, I’m starting all over again. I’m back in the garbage bags again.”

After seeing the videos, Westword reached out to Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson, who confirmed that officers had contacted homeless individuals on Tuesday morning, and that their objective was two-pronged: to get the homeless out of the storm and inside where it was warm and safe, and to clear the sidewalks of the obstacles which the homeless had put there.

“Nothing of value was removed,” says Jackson, who explains that when belongings are discarded by Denver police during a sweep, it is done on a case-by-case basis, depending on the material’s value.

Of course, value is a subjective assessment, and one man’s trash may be another man’s treasure. Some of the homeless confronted by police last Tuesday feel that they had very important possessions taken from them. According to Denver Homeless Out Loud, this included survival gear like tarps and blankets.

Peter, the homeless man interviewed on video, says that police threw away a nice purse, embedded with rhinestones, that he had and was worth some money.

This is hardly the first time that the DPD has been criticized for confiscating items belonging to the homeless, or throwing away items left behind when the homeless were arrested. According to Denver Homeless Out Loud, this happens regularly. In April 2015, the organization conducted a survey of 441 homeless individuals and discovered that 61 percent of those surveyed had had belongings taken by Denver police or city employees. Only 19 percent of those individuals ever got their possessions back.

The state ACLU has also called out the DPD for disposing of people’s possessions without notice or due process. “Property can’t be treated like it’s trash,” says Mark Silverstein, legal director of the ACLU of Colorado. This is because the Fourth Amendment prohibits the unlawful seizure of property. In 2012, the ACLU sent the DPD a letterfollowing allegations that Denver police had illegally confiscated and destroyed property belonging to protesters with the Occupy Denver movement. The letter cited a California case, Lehr v. City of Sacramento, which affirms that homeless citizens cannot have their property destroyed on the spot without the city providing an opportunity to retrieve it after confiscation.

But it does not seem that the homeless who lost belongings last Tuesday will have any such opportunity. As another woman interviewed by Unicorn Riot (pictured below) put it, “They step on it, they break it, and they threw it in the garbage truck. No warning.”

Note from Mike Zint:

During police sweeps you have a few minutes to save your belongings if you are lucky. Cities have no intention of preserving of keeping it for you. The intention is to purposely steal it as punishment for being homeless in public. To fight back is impossible. You need money to do that. Or lawyers. And good luck getting a lawyer. They want big bucks.

Things I used to own: baby pictures, multiple warm sleeping bags, cell phones, computer, extra clothing, back packs, inhalers, and a jewelry making set up that took years to develop. Zero charges, zero arrests, and this has happened multiple times.

Why do they do it? Because there is no room for poor people anywhere. Harass them, steal from them, abuse them, torture them, and maybe they will move along.

Mental disabilities and drug use are often the end result.

Class warfare waged by Chambers of Commerce, Commercial districts, Business associations are the reality. And it won’t stop until enough people get screwed by the corrupt, greedy system!

“Hunger, homelessness on the rise in major US cities, study finds” by Ned Resnikoff (america.aljazeera.com)


December 22, 2015

Many of America’s largest cities continue to grapple with rising food insecurity and homelessness, according to a report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Tuesday. The latest iteration of the non-partisan group’s annual Hunger and Homelessness Survey found that homeless shelters and food pantries across 22 U.S. cities are struggling to keep up with rising demand for their services.

It is in Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Los Angeles where homelessness was found to have increased the most sharply over the past year. The largest increase came in Washington, D.C., where the number of people experiencing homelessness rose by 28 percent and the number of homeless families went up by 60 percent. Meanwhile, requests for emergency food assistance in the city rose by 27 percent during the same period.

Overall, across the 22 cities included in the survey, homelessness increased by 1.6 percent over the past year, the survey found. The amount of emergency food assistance distributed by those cities increased by three percent. The cities surveyed included Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

As in prior years, officials from those cities identified low wages and a shortage of affordable housing as major factors contributing to hunger and homelessness. A growing number of cities over the past three years have sought to address poverty by raising wages, spurred in part by a series of nationwide strikes and protests from fast-food employees and other low-wage workers. Over the course of 2015, 14 U.S. cities and states — including Los Angeles, the state of New York, and Massachusetts — have approved $15 minimum wage rules for some or all workers, according to a Monday press release from the National Employment Law Project.

The estimated number of homeless people nationwide has declined steadily since 2007, according to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, the number of people in shelters has remained roughly consistent, and many urban areas have seen homelessness rise.

Hunger, meanwhile, has remained consistently elevated nationwide since the Great Recession. The budget for food stamps has nonetheless been significantly tapered over the last few years, including by a $5 billion across-the-board benefits cut that took place in November 2013.

Some cities did see a marked decrease in homelessness, including San Francisco, which saw a 15 percent drop in the number of homeless people within city limits. The Conference of Mayors did not elaborate on the reasons for the decline, but applauded an “exemplary” city initiative called the Navigation Center, which offers temporary housing to homeless individuals and has them work with case managers to find a more permanent solution.

Note from Mike Zint:

When it was time to count homeless people here in Berkeley, the police cracked down and sent them running. A lot did not get counted. San Francisco has a new navigation center. That’s great. San Francisco homeless dropped by 15%? Ed Lee is lying. I will say that without hesitation. There is no decrease. There is a highly abusive policy there. Chase them off the sidewalks during the day. Chase them out of the parks at night. Use DPW to torture them with sleep deprivation under the guise of sidewalk cleanings. Use toxic chemicals where they sleep. Threaten them with a tanker truck, soak their belongings, send in the cops to STEAL sleeping gear. And that is the tip of the iceberg. No homeless are allowed during the super bowl is San Francisco. The navigation center is 75 beds. The word estimate is used. That’s nothing more than a guess. See through this lie. And it is a lie.

Some cities did see a marked decrease in homelessness, including San Francisco, which saw a 15 percent drop in the number of homeless people within city limits. The Conference of Mayors did not elaborate on the reasons for the decline, but applauded an “exemplary” city initiative called the Navigation Center, which offers temporary housing to homeless individuals and has them work with case managers to find a more permanent solution.

Action Council Events — December 23 to January 4


~ Action Council ~  

Occupy San Francisco Bulletin Board:


~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Wednesday, December 23

D 23, Wednesday, 7:00pm. Anti Police – Terror Project, Conference Call to Structure Spokes council for MLK weekend of actions

Got ideas? Need more info? Want to help plan and structure the spokes council itself? This will influence the kinds of actions we produce and the numbers we turn out, so the more help we have the better! Three conference calls,starting today!  

Dates & Times of conference calls:

Wednesday, 12/23 – 7pm
Saturday,  12/26 – 7pm
Tuesday,  12/20 – 7pm

To join the conference calls please follow this registration link:


Facebook for Updates, Meetings, Calendar:  http://www.facebook.com/events/1637988586490486/

Save the following dates for spokes council meetings:

Tuesday, Jan 5, Time and Date, TBD
Saturday, Jan 9, Time and Date, TBD
Tuesday, Jan 12, Time and Date, TBD
Thursday, Jan 14, Time and Date, TBD          

Thursday, December 24


SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place

We Demand Justice for Mario Woods!

We gather to demand that Chief Greg Suhr resigns or is fired and that the members of the SFPD who killed Mario are charged with MURDER!

It’s Christmas Eve but the struggle remains today, tomorrow and in the future. We can’t Give in We can’t Give up.

We are UPSTANDERS. Standing up for JUSTICE

Info / RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1521180278180095/

Friday, December 25

D 25, Friday, 7:00pm, Stand Up to Police Union Bullies

Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Ave.

Quentin Tarantino’ s movie “The Hateful Eight” opens up in theaters. Tarantino  was threatened by the police union after speaking up for families who lost loved ones to police murderers. Solidarity with all who have been victims of state-sanctioned violence.

Check out your local theater or if in the SF Bay Area:

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/147822978913488/

Sunday, December 27

D 27, Sunday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Lake Merritt Weekly Peace Walk

Start and End at the colonnade between Grand and Lakeshore Avenues on Embarcadero. [Near the Grand Lake Theater. Across the street from the Lakeview Library, which is at 550 El Embarcadero, Oakland, CA 94610].

Info: 510-763-8712  / https://www.facebook.com/LakeMerrittNeighbors   /  https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/12/19/18781135.php

Friday, January 1, 2016

J 1, Friday, 12 Noon – 5:00pm, 7th Year Vigil for Oscar Grant III

Grant Station (Fruitvale BART)

7th year vigil commemorating Oscar Grant’s life. We ask you to join us in celebrating his life and what has changed since the loss of his life.

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/11/27/18780414.php

Monday, January 4

J 4, Monday,10:00am – 1:00pm,  Seed Freedom RallyLobby Day, Speakers, March Rally

California State Capitol – North Steps
10th & “L” Streets


A formal action in protests of unjust 2014 “California Seed Law” AB2470

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/439592409573864/
Contact: (916) 454-5805 (916) 715-2731
http://CSGunited.org/ info@CSGunited.org
Sponsored by Biosafety Alliance, CSG (California State Guild), Label GMOs, Moms Across America, SONGLINE,CA

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

~On Going ~

Berkeley Post Office – Occupation

Berkeley Post
2000 Allston Way

Originally started over 400 days ago to “Save the Berkeley Post Office” ! Occupation continues to also protest against Berkeley’s anti-homeless laws. All are welcome to stop by to show support.

Needed – are socks, food, blankets etc.

Protest is 24/7

Sponsor: “First They Came For the Homeless…”

Occupy San Francisco Outreach Group – Every Tuesday & Thursday, 12:30pm – 1:30pm – weather permitting

101 Market St.

Distribution of literature! Come by!

TED talk: Ilona Szabó de Carvalho: 4 lessons I learned from taking a stand against drugs and gun violence

Throughout her career in banking Ilona Szabó de Carvalho never imagined she’d someday start a social movement. But living in her native Brazil, which leads the world in homicidal violence, she realized she couldn’t just stand by and watch drugs and guns tear her country apart. Szabó de Carvalho reveals four crucial lessons she learned when she left her cushy job and took a fearless stand against the status quo.