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Please Save Firedoglake

Here at Firedoglake we’ve never been one to back down from a political fight. From our support of whistleblowers to our Occupy Supply fund during the height of OWS, this site has always sided with people over partisan politics. But now, under constant denial of service attack by our enemies, we need your help so we don’t sink under ever mounting technical support bills.

Let me talk a moment about how I got involved, and why FDL is important to me.

I’ve been a writer for a long time, but it was through the Occupy movement & FDL that I became a full-time journalist. As I witnessed arrests and injustice on the streets of Austin, Texas, I felt compelled to cover the events through livetweets and writing. I covered the Houston Port Shutdown in December of 2011, where undercover Austin Police officers led to 7 felony charges against occupiers, and the Occupy Austin eviction in February of 2012. Police targeted our livestreamer, Corey Williams, for early arrest that night, destroying his laptop in the process. Soon after, Occupy Supply sent him a new one that he still uses to this day in activism.

Women & allies in orange t-shirts block a staircase at the Texas Capitol

Firedoglake carried Kit’s live coverage of the People’s Filibuster in Texas. Now FDL needs your help to stay alive!

In April of that year, Jane invited me to join the Firedoglake team as the weekday editor of MyFDL. Ever since then I’ve been here with you almost every day Monday through Friday, enjoying your words, ideas, and images. It’s been an honor to be part of a team that includes top journalists like Kevin Gosztola, whose coverage of Chelsea Manning and the rapid loss of our right to dissent is almost unmatched. When a new issue arises I’d like us to support, the FDL team is always one step ahead of me — after Hurricane Sandy, I remember thinking, “I should email Jane about sending support to Occupy Sandy. I’ll do it in the morning.” But the next morning, Jane and talented coworkers like Bev Wright and Brian Sonenstein were already sending out action alerts to raise money for the cause.

Believe it — every time FDL gets involved with a cause, we make an impact far beyond even what our sizable monthly traffic counts should allow. That’s because our readers are engaged, active, and willing to do far more than just vote once every four years. You’re part of the solution, every day.

And Firedoglake has touched my life too. I have fibromyalgia, a disability which causes severe chronic pain and fatigue. There aren’t many jobs I can easily work with this condition — there’s days I’m out on the street covering a march for you, but others when I can barely get out of bed to feed myself. Since fibromyalgia isn’t on a list of “approved” conditions, it would require a years-long legal battle to get on Social Security Disability with no guarantee of success. Firedoglake lets me do meaningful work, and pay the rent, even on days when I’m barely mobile. Perhaps more importantly, I can think of few jobs that would allow me the freedom to cover protests like last summer’s pro-choice people’s filibuster in the Texas Legislature.

All of this could change if we can’t keep paying our bills to keep our servers on. As we begin the fight for net neutrality and continue to struggle for a real voice in politics, sites like Firedoglake are more important than ever and growing rarer ever day.

FDL reflects an incredibly wide range of viewpoints about politics and the issues of the day. What unites these views almost across the board is a belief that our politicians could do a better job of serving the people and safeguarding our planet.

Despite my personal investment in Firedoglake’s survival, if we shut down the real tragedy would be the loss of this diverse, justice-seeking viewpoint that American and global politics so desperately needs. Please donate today to keep Firedoglake alive, and share this post with your friends who read (or should read) FDL.

Photo by Kit O’Connell, all rights reserved.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and