Justin Holmes

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There are few things I enjoy and love more than teaching and helping others understand the things I’ve learned. In doing this, I always learn a great deal myself!

Below are some of my prepared presentations – please note, these are loose guidelines and do not represent the comprehensive gamut of my lecture / speaking experience.  I can give these presentations exactly as written or I can tailor a presentation to the specific needs of your group or event.

Real rights and liberties in the 21st century: How cameras and other technology are changing encounters with police and other government agents

For several years now, I have been video-documenting police activity and helping others assert their rights during police encounters.  Occasionally, I have even had to assert my own rights from behind the camera.  Although my function in this regard is primarily as a police watchdog, I have become close and social with many police officers in the community (albeit enemies with others :-0).

During this presentation, which includes some of my own police videos, I will walk the audience through the process of asserting Constitutional and other rights during a police encounter using a video camera, including role-play exercises if appropriate.  I will also explain and answer questions about my experiences video-recording police and other government agents and highlight the key points of asserting rights, liberties, and the rule of law as an activist-journalist. Other topics in this presentation include: The future of police-watching, the use of text-messaging as a tool of resistance, and how to reach out to your local police to find common ground.

*This presentation can be a great addendum to a screening of Busted: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters.  (BitTorrent available here.)

The way of the wiki: The social and political implications of collaborative technology

In this presentation, I’ll discuss the major emerging collaborative technologies, including wiki, bittorrent, Twitter, and the social networks, especially Facebook. I will also identify ways that these technologies have been used to foster creativity and political activism, especially on college campuses. Finally, I will engage the audience and forecast even more radical future uses. I can answer questions from either political science wonks or hardcore tech people – I speak both languages fluently and can translate if needed. :-)

Note: I also teach a day-long course on Mediawiki administration, with an emphasis on creative collaboration or activism.  To inquire about this program, please see Radical Technology Teach-in.

Student Governments and the power structures of Higher Education

This is an interactive presentation or guided roundtable discussion in which I will assist campus activists in brainstorming about how to use the institutions of Student Government, Campus Auxiliary Services Boards, Higher Education Administrative entities, Faculty Governance Committees, and other entities to further local political change on or off campus. As a former Student Senate Chair, Student Body President, and plaintiff in the landmark free speech and due process case Holmes and Partington v. SUNY et. al., I am a leading expert on these issues and have spoken at many conferences of varying sizes on the matter. See Campus Coup for more on my fight for free speech during my college years.

Technology, Drugs, and Public Policy

While my degree from New Paltz is in Political Science (Law Seminar), my studies truly focused on technology policy, drug policy, and campus activism. In this lecture and discussion, I will trace the role of drugs as technology throughout history, talk about some of the foreseeable “psychedelic” uses of technology in the future, and what reactions can be expected from government.  I am a strong supporter of repeal of drug prohibition, and I have experience debating prohibitionists.  This presentation can be tailored to a debate or discussion panel as well.


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