Alfredo López is a founder and Board member of May First Movement Technology. During his half-century of movement activism, he has been a leader in the Puerto Rican independence, labor, and anti-war movements; organizer of several major national demonstrations and scores of smaller ones; editor of two publications (Claridad and Sevendays Magazine); radio and television producer (and host); college teacher; and author of six published books and hundreds of published articles. His most recent book is Goodies From the Yum Yum Tree: The Internet and Revolution in the Final Days of Capitalism.
Free Speech Zero Day: Fascists Are Abusing It, Corporations Exploit It - How Do We Take It Back?
The left has historically fought corporate and government censors to ensure radical and revolutionary ideas can be freely shared under the banner of free speech. Recently, fascists have begun using the same free speech argument to support the spread of racism, misogyny, violence, and hatred both online and in real life. This has become especially true during the heavy switch to online organizing during the COVID-19 crisis. This mixes with an increasing dependence on corporate marketed software, including web conferencing software like Zoom.
How do we fight back without compromising our own online organizing? What changes in our own meeting and conference culture need to be made? How do we avoid depending on corporate definitions of political extremism which have historically targeted trans folx, bogus political groupings such as "black separatist extremists," and other movement allies?