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The revolution will have to wait

(Reprinted from Clay Claiborne’s listserv. He’s been working tirelessly with Wikileaks Central, DailyKos, and OWS but got a little overextended and could use a bit of financial help. His letter clearly shows the massive amount of good work he’s doing so if you can spare some money, it’ll go to a good cause. He also builds Linux computers and has produced film documentaries.

I know Clay from the antiwar protest days in Los Angeles. He’s a great guy.)

Right now I’m at the end of my rope and I can’t continue without your support.

2011 has been a tumultuous year! Spring arrived in January.

As it began, I was focused on making the sequel to Vietnam: American Holocaust, Vietnam: People’s Victory. That routine was disrupted by an email I received from the Electronic Frontier Foundation on January 14th. It warned of a JavaScript exploit that the Ben Ali regime was using to track and arrest Tunisian bloggers and told the measures websites needed to implement to protect the identity of Tunisian activists.

Upon noting that my favorite blog site, the DailyKos had not implemented the recommended security measures, I immediately tabled my plans for the day and forwarded the information along with my concerns to it’s technical support team and then wrote the first of over 124 freely contributed pieces on the “Arab Spring” that would appear in the Daily Kos and later WikiLeaks Central. I saw that something historic had already begun so I put my back to the wheel as best I could from Venice, CA and started pushing for its success.

My writings on the struggles of the people of North Africa and the Middle East have been widely read, not only over here, but over there as well. And I’ve had my moments, such as when France24 asked to use pictures of a protest in Algeria that I had received via activists on the ground and posted publicly to the Internet.

Beyond publishing these struggles to the world, I think I have been able to have a positive impact on them. A few days after Mubarak was forced out, I wrote Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre! as a warning to the Egyptian revolutionaries that the Egyptian army could not be trusted. When I saw it was being posted to Egyptian movement websites April 6th and Khalid Said by Mona Knoleif with the comment “I do not trust the military one bit and this report is very very worrying. The revolution still has a long way to go. We must all be very alert, very aware and not drop our guard for one minute.” I knew it had served its purpose.

My first intense, almost daily, period of blogging for the Arab Spring tailed off in March as I saw the need to regroup in my personal life, and as now, build income for essentials like rent and food. It was also a time when NATO was getting involved in the Libyan struggle and although I had written about and supported the protests in Libya since January, NATO’s involvement raised a whole host of questions that I wasn’t comfortable dealing with, and I didn’t have to. Fortunately, I found a short term open source computer gig in Santa Monica that solved both problems.

I went to an ANSWER event in June that featured Cynthia McKinney speaking on behave of Mummar Qaddafi. I went there hoping to sell some DVDs but what I saw there forced me to abandon my ambivalence about the Libyan freedom fight and enlist myself full time in their struggle. I’ve written 46 pieces on the Libyan revolution since mid-June and they have had a positive impact on that struggle. I gained a minor reputation as a Qaddafi myth buster when I showed that Russian Air Force claims that there were no air strikes by Libyan forces were contradicted by Saif Qaddafi, who said the air strikes only hit ammo dumps. Also Qaddafi’s people stopped claiming rallies of over a million supporters in Green Square after I proved that it simply couldn’t hold that many people and that blog went viral.

In the course of this blogging, I developed a significant Libyan following, in fact some call me an “Honorary Libyan.” and some of my writing has found its way to the Libyan Youth Movement website, feb17.info, and been re-tweeted to the 44 thousand followers of @ShababLibya. I put that affection to the test when I published Racism in Libya in which I criticized some of the more backwards aspects of the Arab revolution in Libya. To my delight it went viral! It has been shared over 500 times, republished on numerous websites and read widely among Libyan revolutionaries. For example, @IbnOmar2005 tweeted it to 3200 followers and said “@clayclai’s articles give an in depth analysis of the situation in #Libya, connecting readers with the country’s deep history” and “I honestly think @ClayClai wrote the best articles this revolution, better even than my fellow #Libyans.”

As August turned into September and Mummar Qaddafi was at long last routed from Tripoli, I looked to my dwindling bank account and vowed to make October the month that I focused on nothing but making money. The problem was, my help was badly needed elsewhere, and closer to home this time. The Arab Spring had come to Los Angeles.

On the day before it was to begin, the LAPD was still saying there was no place Occupy Los Angeles could camp, I initiated discussions with staff from city councilmembers Alarcon and Rosendahl that led to meetings with the LAPD, the City Attorney and the issuing of an “Urgent Memo from Councilmember Alarcón re: Planned Peaceful Protest by “Occupy Los Angeles” on Oct. 1st, 2011″ hours later that reflected the arguments I had made to him and laid the groundwork for one of the few big city occupations that has not been disrupted by police violence. This also led to a resolution of support for Occupy Los Angeles that was sponsored by Alacron and Rosendahl and passed unanimously by the city council. Many people were involved in this effort. I spoke before city council twice in favor of the resolution.

I have been covering Occupy LA for WikiLeaks Central, writing 12 articles with pictures since September 28th, and those articles have been republished by the DailyKos, Anonymous DKos , Occupy Wall Street and Occupy LA.

There was also much going on inside Occupy Los Angeles and for the first week or so, I saw it as an “All Hands on Deck” situation, particularly for older activists such as myself that could share the benefits of a little experience with the new crop of young activists that are making Occupy Together such an important movement. So making the rent money had to wait a little longer.

Now, as Occupy Los Angeles moves into it’s third week, I feel that it is out of the white water and finding its legs. In any case I know that I will be in dire straits if I don’t raise more than a thousand dollars by the end of the month.

Therefore I am appealing to you, my friend and supporter to help me out.

If you haven’t yet purchased Vietnam: American Holocaust or one of my other fine film offerings on DVD, now would be a good time. If you have, this might be a good time to purchase additional copies for a local library of school. [Click here to purchase DVDs] [Click here to purchase from Amazon]

If you are in need of a new computer, please look at my Linux Beach computers that run both corporate [Windows] and open source software. I have championed the political side of the Open Source movement ever since I founded Linux Users, Los Angeles in 1996. One of the streams that fed Occupy Wall St. has been the Open Source movement. Isn’t it about time you owned an open source computer? [Click here to buy Linux Beach Computers]

I also have many skills, ranging from computer technology to filmmaking, so if you know of job or contract opportunities in the Los Angeles area, please tell me about them.

And if the only thing you can do is send me a little money, that would be helpful too. October 28th is my birthday. Send me a present. [Click here for PayPal]

I am reaching out to you know it the hopes that I can find a way to continue the good work I have been doing.

Here are my latest pieces on Occupy LA:
2011-10-16 Ten Thousand March with #OccupyLA
2011-10-12 Los Angeles City Council votes support for #OccupyLA

In Solidarity,

Clay Claiborne
Linux Beach
116 Rose Ave, Ste. 9
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1536
(323) 219-6507 cell

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