Tag Archives: protest

One Wisconsin Now rolls out ‘Rebellion’ activist calendar

One Wisconsin Now this week rolled out an online calendar for activists to post events and to find out what’s happening all across the state.

“There’s incredible energy and determination by the hardworking people of Wisconsin to fight back and to have their voices heard,” One Wisconsin Now program director Analiese Eicher said in a news release. “What we’ve put together is a great tool for people to use to publicize their events and to connect with other activists and work together.”

The calendar is at onewisconsinnow.org/rebellion/.

Using an online form, organizers can post information on the page hosted on One Wisconsin Now’s website about what, when and where they’ll be holding events and actions on national, state and community issues.

Events will be listed chronologically and users can access information about events that may be going on near them from a map of the state.

The calendar also allows users to sign up to attend actions and a notice will be sent to the event organizer.

Eicher said, “Our calendar is one more way to help people get out, speak up and fight back for our country, our state and our communities. The special interests may be getting their way with the Republicans in charge today with their lobbyists and their campaign cash. But that only works if we let them get away with it by staying home and staying quiet.”

An alliance: Lefties, techies in San Francisco, team up against Trump

Before Donald Trump’s election, Laurence Berland viewed political protest as a sort of curiosity. He was in a good place to see it: San Francisco’s Mission District, once an immigrant enclave in the country’s heartland of radicalism that is increasingly populated by people like him — successful tech workers driving up rents while enjoying a daily commute to Silicon Valley on luxury motor coaches.

Berland regarded the activism of his adopted city with a mix of empathy and bemusement, checking out Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and protests against the gentrification of his own neighborhood. But now there is less distance between him and activists on the street.

On a recent day Berland stood with about 100 others — from software engineers like himself to those who work in tech company cafeterias — outside a downtown museum for a rally against President Trump. A clipboard-carrying organizer approached Berland to ask if he wanted to join a network of grassroots activists, but Berland waved him away. He had already signed up.

In the place that fought against the Vietnam War and for gay rights and, more recently, has been roiled by dissent over the technology industry’s impact on economic inequality, an unlikely alliance has formed in the left’s resistance against Trump. Old-school, anti-capitalist activists and new-school, free-enterprise techies are pushing aside their differences to take on a common foe.

For years, these two strands of liberal America have been at each other’s throats. There’ve been protests against evictions of those who can’t afford the Bay Area’s ever-soaring rents. And think back, not so long ago, to the raucous rallies to block those fancy buses shuttling tech workers from city neighborhoods to the Silicon Valley campus of Google, where Berland once worked.

Cat Brooks, a Black Lives Matter activist in Oakland, has seen the toll the tech industry has taken on some. Her daughter’s elementary school teacher just moved to a distant suburb after her rent skyrocketed, and Brooks thinks more tech money must find its way into local communities. She nevertheless welcomes the infusion of new energy to the protest arena.

“It’s not about the business of we were here first,” she said. “We’re about the business of how can we support? Division at this time is not helpful.”

The tech industry opposition started when Trump imposed his initial travel ban on immigrants and refugees from seven majority Muslim nations. The industry prides itself on its openness to immigrants, who comprise about one-quarter of the U.S. technology and science workforce and include the founders of iconic institutions.

Nearly 100 tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Uber, filed a court brief urging suspension of the ban, while Google co-founder Sergey Brin, a Russian immigrant, joined protests at San Francisco International Airport. That was followed by an unprecedented companywide walkout at Google and now, on March 14, nationwide rallies are planned for a “Tech Stands Up” day of protest.

“People in Silicon Valley, it’s really hard to get them excited about things that aren’t technical,” said Anita Rosen, a technology project manager who has started an activist group in the Valley suburb of Mountain View. “But everything that Trump says is the opposite of what we believe. He hates technology. He hates foreigners.”

Kai-Ping Yee moved to the Bay Area from Canada in 1998, earned his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and landed a job as a software engineer in Google’s philanthropic unit in 2007. Now he works at a startup to help immigrants send cash home. After the election he helped create an online pledge, signed by thousands of technology workers, against building databases for any potential Muslim registries or to aid deportations of immigrants. Yee is a Canadian citizen, though he is a legal permanent resident of this country, and he’s been shocked at having to think about a contingency plan should life in the U.S. become impossible.

“People whose pedigree is knocking on doors and calling representatives and waving signs are getting together with people who design apps,” Yee said. “People are working with people who do really, really different things because they realize it’s an emergency.”

Some aren’t so sure about sharing the streets because they don’t think they share the same goals.

Franki Velez, an Iraq War veteran on disability, stood outside an Oakland rental office recently with other longtime activists and renters fighting eviction. There was not a technology worker in sight, and she worried that they are missing the point anyway. They want to change, but preserve, a system that’s benefited them, she said, while protesters like her want to tear the system down and start from scratch.

“They don’t understand it’s a colonial system that’s never meant to be reformed,” she said.

Still, while their approaches can be strikingly different, Velez’s causes are increasingly being adopted by people not like her.

Velez’s group marched to a Wells Fargo branch to hand over a demand that the bank stop investing in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Two hours later, in the comfortable Silicon Valley suburb of Campbell, biotech executive Michael Clark drew cheers after telling a gathering of anti-Trump activists that he’d closed his Wells Fargo account to protest the pipeline.

Clark grew up in New Hampshire and then in Silicon Valley, when his mother took a job at Apple in the 1990s. He always considered himself a political independent, a moderate. But Trump’s election horrified him and, with a friend who runs a gourmet chocolate shop, he founded a chapter of the national liberal group “Indivisible” in Campbell.

“The country has moved so much to the right that puts me in the middle with people I wouldn’t have previously been aligned with,” Clark said. “It’s interesting that someone like me is on the same side as a lot of socialists.”

Spring storm: Activists gathered outside Ryan’s Racine office to protest health care plan

About 250 people from Illinois and Wisconsin assembled outside House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office in Racine March 14 to demand he drop his health care repeal plan.

The demonstration took place days after the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis showed the House GOP health plan would cause 24 million Americans to lose their health coverage.

People from Fair Economy Illinois and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus joined with members of Citizen Action of Wisconsin — all People’s Action organizations — and with SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans.

Protesters marched from Racine’s Monument Square on Main Street to Ryan’s office with cans of dog and cat food — the kind of lunch organizers say some seniors will have  if House Republicans pass their health plan is passed.

Outside the speaker’s office, people shared stories and fears of living without health insurance.

Reggie Griffin, of Chicago, is in his 70s and works as a home caregiver. He said he would be devastated by the defunding of Medicare because of chronic health conditions. “I want to live a life of dignity,” Griffin said, according to a news release from organizers of the protest. “There are some members of Congress, like Speaker Paul Ryan, who think I don’t deserve to live with dignity.”

“This is a huge test for our democracy, because the Republican repeal can’t survive once the people understand it’s true implications,” said Robert Kraig, executive director for Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

“This attack on seniors and families will devastate Midwest communities. It is irresponsible and ruthless,” added Anna Marin, manager of civic engagement for the Jane Addams Senior Caucus.

One of the speakers at yesterday’s action, Tammy Wolfgram, is a small business owner from Hartland.

Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Wolfgram, her husband and her daughter could not find any health insurance company that would sell them coverage because all three had pre-existing conditions.

She said they struggled to afford costly insurance with high deductibles on Wisconsin’s high-risk pool.

“If ACA is repealed, I don’t know what we will do,” Wolfgram said.

A report by the Congressional Budget Office released this week shows 14 million people will lose their insurance coverage by next year and 24 million by 2026.

“Anyone who believed GOP promises that people would still have health insurance under the Republican repeal plan now know that they were lied to; they are going to be left out in the cold,” said LeeAnn Hall, co-director of People’s Action and executive committee member of Health Care for America Now.

People Power: ACLU launches nationwide training on protest, resistance

The American Civil Liberties Union staged a nationwide training event over the weekend to make sure people are aware of their rights as protesters and urge organized, public resistance by those opposed to policies of President Donald Trump.

Organizers said the event at a sports arena on the University of Miami campus was livestreamed to locations in all 50 states.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said 200,000 people had signed up to attend one of an estimated 2,000 local events.

The event, staged in town hall style, was aimed at capitalizing on numerous demonstrations since Trump’s election in November and to make sure people know their rights to protest, Romero said. He said priority issues are immigration, the First Amendment free speech and religious freedom rights, civil and reproductive rights and rights of LGBT people.

“We will bring all the lawsuits necessary to defend these rights,” Romero said. “We’ll do the work in the courts. You do the work in the streets. People are motivated. They want to be engaged.”

The ACLU also launched a new grassroots online organizing platform called PeoplePower.org. It’s billed as a way for people considering a local protest or rally to connect and coordinate with others around the country with similar intentions, and to provide details of ACLU initiatives.

Another plan is creation of “freedom cities” around the country that would encourage local officials to pass laws resisting Trump policies such as stepped-up deportations of people living in the country illegally, said Faiz Shakir, ACLU national political director.

Other parts of Saturday’s event detailed the rules for demonstrations on streets, sidewalks and in public parks, and the rights people have when arrested such as the right to remain silent. ACLU attorney Lee Rowland said large demonstrations generally require a local permit, but government can’t typically shut down protesters in public places without good reason.

“The government can’t censor you just because it disagrees with your opinion,” Rowland said.

Also speaking at the event was Padma Lakshmi, an Indian-born cookbook author, actress, model and television host. She said she emigrated to the U.S. at age four and said the nation appears to be retreating from its welcoming ways.

“Lately I’ve started to feel like an outsider,” she said. “What makes America great is our culture of inclusion. We must not tolerate the intolerance.”

On the web

Watch the video.

London museum displays pink Pussyhat as solidarity symbol

A pink hat worn during the Women’s March on Washington has taken its place in history as a symbol of solidarity for women’s rights by going on display in a London museum.

In January, women-led protests against U.S. President Donald Trump saw hundreds of thousands of women take to the streets in U.S. cities, as well as cities around the globe.

Many wore knitted pink cat-eared Pussyhats, a reference to Trump’s boast in a 2005 video made public during the election campaign about grabbing women.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, a top tourist attraction in the British capital, is now showcasing a hat knitted by Jayna Zweiman, the co-founder of the Pussyhat project, which called on people to turn the women’s march into a “sea of pink.”

“The Pussyhat has become an immediately recognizable expression of female solidarity and symbol of the power of collective action,” Corinna Gardner, a curator at the museum, said in a statement.

“This modest pink hat is a material thing that through its design enables us to raise questions about our current political and social circumstance,” she added.

The founders of the project, Jayna Zweiman and Krista Suh, called on people around the world to make the Pussyhats for those attending the march, which took place the day after Trump’s inauguration.

They asked volunteers around the world to help sew, crochet or knit pink hats with ears by using simple patterns available on the project’s website.

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s “rapid response collection,” which explores the impact of current events on art, also features a burkini, a flag designed for the first refugee team to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games and a Vote Leave campaign leaflet distributed in the run-up to Britain’s referendum on EU membership.

From Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org.

A call goes out for women to strike on March 8

Organizers of the January Women’s March are calling for women to strike on March 8 and encouraging them not to spend money to show their economic strength and impact on American society.

“A Day Without a Woman” is the first national action by organizers since the nationwide marches held the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration that drew millions of women into the streets in protest against misogyny, inequality and oppression.

Wednesday’s event coincides with the U.N.-designated International Women’s Day and organizers say they want to “stand with women around the globe” who supported their efforts Jan. 21 with similar protests in cities around the world.

Spokeswoman Cassady Findlay said organizers were inspired by the recent “Day Without an Immigrant” protests held last month.

She said the action is aimed at highlighting the effect of women on the country’s socioeconomics system and demonstrating how women’s paid and unpaid work keeps households, communities and economies running.

“We do all of this and get paid less than men, get sexually harassed, get inadequate family leave,” Findlay said. “We provide all this value and keep the system going, and receive unequal benefits from it.”

Organizers are asking women to wear red to signify love and sacrifice.

It is unclear how many women could participate in the action.

More than a million people, mostly women, turned out nationwide for the Women’s March.

School districts including Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools in North Carolina, have canceled classes in anticipation of employee participation.

Some businesses have said they will either close or give female employees the day off.

The event website provides templates for “out of office” emails and an employer letter.

The site had more than a half-million visitors and more than 60,000 had clicked on the letter template by mid-day March 7.

The role of women in American society is significant. According to the U.S. Census, women make up more than 47 percent of the workforce and are dominant in such professions as registered nurses, dental assistants, cashiers, accountants and pharmacists. They make up at least a third of physicians and surgeons, as well as lawyers and judges. Women also represent 55 percent of all college students.

Still, American women continue to be paid less than men, earning 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. The median income for women was $40,742, compared with $51,212 for men, according to 2015 census data.

On the web

A Day Without A Woman: https://www.womensmarch.com/womensday/

In the spirit of love and liberation…

This is the statement from the organizers of the march and A Day Without A Woman:

In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women’s March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system–while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. We recognize that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression and political targeting. We believe in gender justice.

Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

  1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

A Day Without a Woman reaffirms our commitment to the Principles of Unity, which were collaboratively outlined for the Women’s March. We are inspired by recent courageous actions like the “Bodega strike” lead by Yemeni immigrant store owners in New York City and the Day Without Immigrants across the U.S. We applaud the efforts of #GrabYourWallet and others to bring public accountability to unethical corporate practices. The Women’s March stands in solidarity with the International Women’s Strike organizers, feminists of color and grassroots groups in planning global actions for equity, justice and human rights.

When millions of us stood together in January, we saw clearly that our army of love greatly outnumbers that of fear, greed and hatred. Let’s raise our voices together again, to say that women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability.

Taking the day template

https://www.womensmarch.com/letter

Out of office template

https://www.womensmarch.com/out-of-office

Trump signs revised executive order for travel ban, reaction to ban 2.0

President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order for a U.S. travel ban on Monday, leaving Iraq off the list of targeted countries.

More than two dozen lawsuits were filed in U.S. courts against the original travel ban and the state of Washington succeeded in having it suspended by the 9th Circuit court of Appeals by arguing that it violated constitutional protections against religious discrimination.

The new order, which the White House said Trump had signed, will keep a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of six Muslim-majority nations — Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the officials said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said earlier on Monday that the new order would take effect on March 16. The new directive delays implementation.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Monday, “As threats to our security continue to evolve and change, common sense dictates that we continually re-evaluate and reassess the systems we rely upon to protect our country.”

A White House senior official said Iraq was taken off the list in the original order, which was issued on Jan. 27, because the Iraqi government has imposed new vetting procedures, such as heightened visa screening and data sharing, and because of its work with the United States in countering Islamic State militants.

The White House official said the new executive order also ensures that tens of thousands of legal permanent residents in the United States — or green card holders — from the listed countries would not be affected by the travel ban.

Trump’s original order barred travelers from the seven nations from entering for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days. Refugees from Syria were to be banned indefinitely but under the new order they are not given separate treatment.

“This executive order has scrapped that division and the indefinite suspension and has collapsed them into a single category of a 120-day suspension,” the White House official said.

Still, the new order is drawing widespread criticism among progressives who challenged the first executive order and many other actions by the president.

“Version 2.0 of the Trump anti-Muslim executive order is still based entirely on religious hatred and thinly-veiled racism,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. ” He is still targeting specific countries; he is telegraphing his despicable anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-people of color views. This version is still completely against core American values such as freedom of, and from, religion; it still diminishes our stature as a global partner for humanitarianism by denying vulnerable refugee families some basic respite — solely on the basis of their faith.”

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said, “Courts across the country have made clear: President Trump is not above the Constitution. While the White House may have made changes to the ban, the intent to discriminate against Muslims remains clear. This doesn’t just harm the families caught in the chaos of President Trump’s draconian policies — it’s diametrically opposed to our values, and makes us less safe.”

“The changes the Trump administration has made, and everything we’ve learned since the original ban rolled out, completely undermine the bogus national security justifications the president has tried to hide behind and only strengthen the case against his unconstitutional executive orders,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

Young Wisconsin activists to protest pipeline expansion

Young environmentalists will be marching March 4 in Whitewater to demonstrate against a proposed pipeline expansion.

Wisconsin already is bisected by five pipelines.

Now Canada-based Enbridge Energy has plans — announced via shareholder letters — to construct Line 66, a pipeline that would run parallel to the existing Line 61.

These pipelines would carry 2 million barrels of oil per day from Superior diagonally through the heart of the state and across many vital waterways.

The statement said the oil transported by Line 61 and the oil that would be pumped into Line 66 is tar sands oil, perhaps the most environmentally destructive source of energy on the planet, requiring clearcutting of pristine Alberta Boreal forest, and releasing a slew of different environmental toxins.

Also, more than 800 spills occurred under Enbridge’s watch from 1999 to 2010, an average of one spill roughly every five days. Three weeks ago, an Enbridge pipeline in Texas spilled 600,000 barrels of oil.

Activists will gather to demonstrate opposition to “Enbridge’s profit grab at the expense of the people and the natural environment,” said a statement from the 350 Madison Climate Action Team, an affiliate of 350.com.

The activists hope their protest will lead to a public commitment by Enbridge not to construct any new tar sands oil infrastructure in Wisconsin, improved pipeline management, oversight and technology and eventually the decommissioning of pipelines.

The gathering will begin at 2 p.m. near the fountain on the campus mall in front of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center. The march will proceed to the Cravath Lakefront, where a rally and press conference will be held at 3:30 p.m.

On the Web

Find more at http://350madison.org/   and http://www.divestfund.org/.

1000s to join ‘Resistance Recess’ at townhalls nationwide

More than 200 actions are planned nationwide at congressional townhalls and at “constituent townhalls” where elected officials won’t hold meetings, according to a statement from the Resistance Recess coalition.

As Congress takes its first recess of the new session, thousands of constituents nationwide will join the “Resistance Recess” — a nationwide week of action with more than 200 events taking place at elected officials’ town halls and public appearances, or at self-organized “constituent town halls” in districts where congressional leaders are refusing to hold face-to-face meetings.

Nationwide, constituents are demanding answers from members of Congress to questions around Donald Trump’s agenda — from whether they’ll pledge to protect and improve health care to how they will challenge executive actions by Trump .

They also will be demanding Democrats lead a resistance to Trump’s agenda — fighting for an immediate, independent investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia, rejecting his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, working to counter his attacks on immigrants and refugees and blocking an agenda that “would bankrupt our nation and divide our communities for the benefit of billionaires and corporations.”

The actions will be taking place through Feb. 26.

The Resistance Recess is a grassroots movement being supporting by MoveOn.org Civic Action and other partners.

Scientists protest Trump administration, march planned on D.C.

Hundreds of scientists, environmental advocates and their supporters held a rally in Boston on Sunday to protest what they see as increasing threats to science and research in the U.S.

The scientists, some dressed in white lab coats, called on President Donald Trump’s administration to recognize evidence of climate change and take action on various environmental issues.

Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies renewable energy solutions to climate change, said scientists are responding to the Trump administration’s “anti-science rhetoric.”

“We’re really trying to send a message today to Mr. Trump that America runs on science, science is the backbone of our prosperity and progress,” Supran said.

The “Rally to Stand Up for Science” in Boston’s Copley Square was held outside of the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, one of the first major gatherings of scientists since Trump was elected in November.

Protesters held signs that read “Science Matters,” “Scientists Pursuing Truth, Saving the World” and “Make America Smart Again.”

Some of those who turned out criticized Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency over the objections of environmental groups.

During six years as the attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt filed 14 lawsuits challenging EPA regulations. He previously expressed skepticism about scientific evidence showing the planet is heating up and that humans are to blame. However, during his Senate confirmation hearing last month, he said he disagreed with Trump’s past statements that global warming is a hoax.

Science March on Washington

The March for Science in Washington, D.C., will take place on April 22, which is Earth Day.

The event will kick off at 10 a.m. with a teach-in and rally on the National Mall and end with a march through the streets of D.C.

The rally will be “a call for politicians to implement science based policies, as well as a public celebration of science and the enormous public service it provides in our democracy, our economy, and in all our daily lives.”

An announcement said the rally will feature main stage speakers and several large teach-in tents around the Mall, where scientists, educators and leaders from a wide variety of disciplines will discuss their work, effective science communication strategies and training in public advocacy.

Satellite marches also will be taking place that day.