Digital Warrior

Remembering an internet activist and innovator who fought to liberate knowledge in our annual Freedom of Information coverage


Few have shaped the Internet like Aaron Swartz. A programmer and Internet freedom advocate, Swartz’s activism challenged the notion that information should be owned. An open web, he argued, is key to the betterment of humanity.

His life ended abruptly, at the age of 26. Many hail him as a hero. Fighting through his demons, Swartz pioneered technology dedicated to free and open access to information. He helped inspire an ongoing national movement against online censorship.  Read more »

For your rabble-rousing Valentine, #Activistpickuplines


Freelance writer and activist Suey Park, who started the #NotYourAsianSidekick trend, created a new hashtag trending on Twitter just in time for Valentine's Day: #ActivistPickupLines.

Buzzfeed of course is on the case, and they report that Park, 23, was inspired to create the hashtag by a student who told her, "I'm down for the struggle and the snuggle."Read more »

Elderly activists and SF natives march to preserve San Franciscan culture at Our Mission: No Eviction


Gum Gee Lee recognizes that she’s not the only one. 

Dressed in her now signature floral patterned blue jacket, she climbed the white flatbed truck that served as a makeshift stage of the Our Mission: No Eviction rally on Saturday, and with the aid of a translator she spoke to the 300 or so protesters. 

“Its not okay to use gentrification to takeover,” she said. “It is disproportionately affecting the elderly and disabled.”Read more »

Activists score big victory as Jack Spade gives up on the Mission


Score one for people power. Anti-gentrification activists in the Mission scored a major victory last night in their months-long battle to keep Jack Spade, an upscale men’s clothing chain, from opening a store on 16th Street — first by winning over the Board of Appeals, then by convincing the company to just give up.Read more »

The other thing Chelsea Manning said, and more updates


By now, we all now that Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years on Aug. 21 for leaking classified U.S. government documents, would like to enter the next phase of her life as a woman named Chelsea. “I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in a statement. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female.”Read more »

Tenant defenders, hate-free billboards and budget hackers


Tech sector startups aren’t the only folks “disrupting” things in the Bay Area as of late. Social justice activists are mounting their own creative, grassroots responses to unjust practices – and while they don’t often have deep pockets, they’ve got the collective momentum of people who give a damn propelling them onward. Below, a few examples of what’s percolating on this front.

Landing at the landlord’sRead more »

Guardian forum on Plan Bay Area draws big, engaged crowd


San Franciscans who want to help shape how this city grows — rather than just leaving it up to regional planners and market forces — packed a large conference room last night for a community forum presented by the Bay Guardian: “Whose Future? What Does the Regional ‘Plan Bay Area’ Really Mean for San Francisco?”Read more »

Is there such a thing as "green" fracking?


Michael Klein is an unlikely oil industry executive. He’s also an unlikely environmental activist. For many years, the affluent San Franciscan was a major donor and chair of the board of the Rainforest Action Network, an environmental organization famous for its aggressive agitation targeting timber giants, coal companies, air polluters, and the dirty energy financiers of Wall Street.

But he's stepped down from that role, and has since helped form a company called Hydrozonix, which might be called a “green” fracking enterprise.Read more »

All the rage

25 years ago, queer activist network ACT UP redefined AIDS, changed politics, and saved lives. Can the rebooted ACT UP/SF mobilize a new generation?


AIDS is so hot right now.Read more »

On the Om Front: In the name of love


It’s February—feeling a little love in your heart? Srutih Asher Colbert’s been feeling the love all year long. She’s a Bay Area yoga teacher (and hairdresser) who raised $24,000 in one year through grassroots fundraising to fight sex trafficking in India, where she’ll be going next week to volunteer her time to the cause.

Om Front talked to her about how, and why, she undertook the challenge.

Read more »