#WokeWars – Cops Clash With “Anti-Capitalist” Climate Protestors in Black Rock Desert

For many years there has been a tension on the Playa between Burners and Cops. This year, though, it seems the two sides are aligned against a new invasive species: anti-capitalist activists. So woke that they travel hundreds of miles to the desert to hold up thousands of cars, idling in the heat and emitting CO2 for absolutely no reason. Did anyone learn about pollution from this stunt?

Fortunately these Pyramid Lake Reservation Rangers know what time it is. It’s one-time on yo ass muthafucka!

You might have seen the clip, but have you seen the full video? An epic moment in Burning Man history.

Maltese man with accent shouting “this is a democracy!”. He was then arrested.

“We need Burners to rise up!”, says whiter-than-thou hippy chick.

Burner Karen “you’re making an unsafe environment for other humans, which I know is the opposite of what you want. I support this planet, fuck you!”

A link between Burning Man and the Maui fires is claimed, but not explained.

As well as the 9 million (at posting) views on Raw Story’s tweet, this was picked up by LA Times, Daily Mail, NY Post, Fox News, The Hindustan Times, Russia Today and many others.

If Burning Man was a country it would be the 4th biggest polluter in the world. Will Burners finally address the environmental nightmare behind the rave? Or nah? Which branch of Woke overrides which? The Progressive Paradox…

Protesting the Protestors [Update]

Over at burningman.com, Caveat Magister’s attempts to laugh off¬†the Burner community’s Commodification Camp concerns –¬†Why Am I Making Fun of Burners and 12 Shocking Revelations About Ultra-Rich Plug and Play Camps¬†– went down like a lead balloon.

Commenter Metapony likened it to the 2007 DPW workers rights protest at BMHQ, during a Regionals Conference:

This burning blog posting mocking people and misrepresenting the issue reminds me of something…
Oh yes, I remember! This is like the time there was a small protest across the street from the Burning Man office (during the spring regionals summit in 2007) and the BM Org sent a bunch of people out to make fun of them…

So carry on that fine tradition of misrepresenting and mocking folks with real issues, CM. Good job.

This is an interesting chapter of Burning Man’s history that I had never heard of before. From¬†Bright Path:

Today, Feb. 18, 2007, a few workers, some with their heads covered by paper bags, staged a small demonstration outside of Burning Man headquarters in San Francisco to protest what they say are reductions in pay, forced “death waivers” and lack of adequate health care for the workers who primarily clean the desert up after the Burning Man event.

 

protest-burningman_2-18-07

Now that I’ve seen the video, it definitely has some resonance with the current situation.

The protest begins in a fairly low-key fashion, with 2 of the protestors afraid to show their faces for fear of losing their jobs or future art grants. Caleb, the unmasked protestor, is very well-spoken about the reasons for their protest. Then, Burning Man¬†HQ’s doors open and some other protestors stream out to¬†disrupt the protest with a protest of their own: mocking the¬†seemingly valid concerns about pay cuts, medical treatment, and possible violations of labor regulations.

Caleb "Shooter" Schaber

Caleb “Shooter” Schaber

Sadly, a couple of years after this video was made¬†Caleb “Shooter” Schaber, the unmasked protestor, gonzo artist, and ¬†former combat photojournalist, committed suicide¬†in Gerlach, NV .

At the time these events occurred, he spoke out on tribe.net about the sock puppets that were dispatched to attack him as revenge against his peaceful protest. People wondered on ePlaya if the counter-protestors were acting independently, or if they were sent out by BMOrg to misdirect the situation. Some of the protestors were identified as Regional representatives of the Org.

Here’s some further discussion of the situation at Indybay and Fark.

Does anyone know the real story behind this? Was it all just a Cacophony-style prank, another Big Farce¬†–¬†or were¬†the protestors expressing¬†legitimate concerns? Did BMOrg ever respond seriously, or was the pranking the extent of it?

If you feel like protesting today, sign the petition against Commodification Camps.

 

aleb David Schaber - founder of the Chupacabra Policia, press correspondent in Afghanistan, writer for Hustler magazine. He earned his playa name of 'Shooter' with a .38 in a Seattle bar in 1996. On April 17, 2009 he took the Hunter S Thompson exit from life. Image: flickr/Danger Ranger (Creative Commons)

Caleb David Schaber – founder of the Chupacabra Policia, press correspondent in Afghanistan, writer for Hustler magazine. He earned his playa name of ‘Shooter’ with a .38 in a Seattle bar in 1996. On April 17, 2009 he took the Hunter S Thompson exit from life. Caption + Image: flickr/Danger Ranger (Creative Commons)

[Update 11/2014 9:32pm]

A Burner who was there that day at the Regional conference but wishes to remain anonymous contacted us and provided some further details. I asked:

Were the protestors concerns fake? Did BMOrg do anything about them? When the anti-protestors learned what the protest was about , what did you do then? Did you go back inside and report back to anyone, or did nobody  care?

Anonymous Burner replied:

In regards to Caleb’s group’s protest: I believe their concerns were real.¬†¬† Personally, I agree with where they were coming from.¬† In fact,I believe that these concerns are manifesting again today within DPW.
in regards to The “protest of the protest”: I can only speak to what went on that day.¬†¬† The BMOrg didn’t “do anything” in regards to the protesters that I was aware of.¬† The regionals did not go back to “report” to anybody.¬†¬† The regional’s network was not a hierarchical structure at the time (nor is it today to my knowledge).¬†¬† Did people care?¬†¬† Sure.¬† There was definitely independent discussion after the fact, but not within the frame of the conference.¬† The issue had absolutely nothing to do with what the conference was being held for, which was open discussion about building and strengthening “Burner” communities within our regions.¬†¬†

Burning Man Makes Further Inroads on Mainstream Consciousness

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Bob Wiseman’s New Album Includes a Call for Change, Burner-Style

by Whatsblem the Pro

Bob Wiseman is a Canadian musician and filmmaker who is sometimes referred to as ‚Äúthe Canadian Tom Waits.‚ÄĚ Don’t ask me why, and don’t ask him why either; neither of us thinks he sounds anything like the Pride of Pomona. Maybe it’s the genre-jumping eclecticism?

Wiseman himself discounts the comparisons with Waits. He has his own thing going on. . . and as a founding member of major-label artists BLUE RODEO with five albums under his belt with the band and thirteen solo albums on the Atlantic Records and Warner Music labels, Wiseman has paid his dues and made his mark.

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Wiseman’s latest solo effort,¬†GIULIETTA MASINA AT THE OSCARS CRYING, was released four days ago to critical acclaim both in Canada and here in the States. Musically, the album is all over the map, bopping around between slow piano ballads, folk-rock, and quirky, nervier numbers. . . and as is Wiseman’s habit, the lyrics are marked by the unambiguous political content that sometimes irritates his record company handlers; his second solo album, 1988’s¬†BOB WISEMAN SINGS WRENCH TUTTLE, contained a song called¬†Rock and Tree¬†whose potentially libelous lyrics so alarmed Warner Music that they destroyed the first thousand copies pressed. On this new album, the song¬†Robert Dzienkanski at the Vancouver Airport¬†leaves no room for doubt: the song is written in plain language, and taken from the true story of a Polish immigrant who was tasered to death by the RCMP in 2007.

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Most interesting of all is the fact that Wiseman’s new album also contains a song entitled¬†The Reform Party at Burning Man:

They passed a law last week scientists cannot speak

Gag order they want every tape-recorder

They want to control the blues restrict access to news

Shamelessly they grin there will be no facts without spin

They’re tough on crime that’s right

They own a patent on that sound-bite

Their grand plan unveiled: build more jails

They want to control the blues restrict access to news

Shamelessly they grin there will be no facts without spin

It is in vogue to spin in the era we are in

But once upon a time people had a dime

Nobody would think it was a crime when a poor person dared

To ask you to share because life is unfair

But the era we are in it is in vogue to spin

Put the truth in a box and do not let it talk

And expand the wars and the military bets

And limit the questions the media gets

How many lies can you bake in this pie

And pretend that you are friends with the little big guy

It is a mystery book the way you look

knight to queens rook

They are ok with foul play every little G20 cop got paid

But what’s especially perverse is that this all feels rehearsed

They want to control the blues restrict access to news

Shamelessly they grin there will be no facts without spin

We didn’t vote so

You could make a joke out

Of people that are broke

Interesting that while the title explicitly mentions our annual festival, Wiseman apparently feels no need to make any explanation to people who might ask ‚Äúwhat’s Burning Man?‚ÄĚ Has TTITD penetrated the public consciousness to the point that the question is now rare, and even a little silly?

It wasn’t long ago that Burning Man was a fairly obscure thing; even now, many who have heard about it have some strange and terribly inaccurate ideas about what we do out there on the playa, mostly mixed up with visions of filthy Rainbow Gathering hippies wallowing in mud and exchanging drugs and social diseases. Bob Wiseman’s casual name-dropping of the Man with no accompanying explanation tells us that this might be changing; Wiseman wants to send Canada’s staunchest Conservatives to Burning Man for a political makeover, and he assumes that his audience gets it.

They’re onto us. Maybe someone should talk to Larry about changing the name of the event to something unpronounceable.

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