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September 2015

Bold Nebraska Victory On Eminent Domain Over TransCanada

By Bold Nebraska - This afternoon, TransCanada announced that the company will pull out of the lawsuit filed by over 100 Nebraska landowners challenging their right to use eminent domain to seize land for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Facing mounting legal expenses and a likely loss in court, the company will instead go through the Public Service Commission (PSC) review process it had originally hoped to avoid. The PSC process will take at least a year, and cannot move forward if and when President Obama rejects the federal permit for the pipeline. “This is a major victory for Nebraska landowners who refused to back down in the face of bullying by a foreign oil company,” said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska.

NY Opt Out Leaders Protest Phony Cuomo Commission

By Diane Ravitch - The New York State Allies for Public Education, representing more than 50 grassroots groups across the state, denounced Governor Cuomo’s commission to review and revise the Common Core standards and tests. Yet th Cuomo commission includes no parent who opted out, no early childhood educator, but many who served on Cuomo’s last, failed commission. NYSAPE describes the commission as”donor-driven,” chaired by the same banker who chaired the last Cuomo commission on standards and tests. Opt out leaders promise to refuse the tests next spring. “The Cuomo Commission consists of many members from his first unproductive Commission and will again be led by the same businessman, Richard Parsons, despite the public’s outcry for an educator-led process. . ."

Mock Funeral For Poverty Wages

By Danielle Sweeney in Baltimore Brew - The funeral sendoff was staged New Orleans style with a Dixieland band, Mardi Gras beads, boas and parasols. The deceased was “poverty wages,” symbolized by a black casket and eulogized by a Unitarian minister at a funeral yesterday in front of City Hall organized by Maryland Working Families. A majority of workers don’t earn enough to live with dignity was the take-away message of the afternoon. Their explicit message – Baltimore won’t prosper and move ahead unless wages rise at large institutions like the Johns Hopkins Hospital. About 80 people, many from Service Employees International Union, AFSCME, Casa Baltimore and other organizations, paraded around War Memorial Plaza and listened to speakers who called on city government to support higher wages. A few shared their experiences as low-wage full-time workers who struggle to live in the Baltimore area.

Ending Police Militarization, One City At A Time

By Ana Conner and Tara Tabassi in Truth Out - Urban Shield, the world's largest SWAT training and war-weapons expo, was held in September in California's Bay Area, beginning on the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Hosted each year since 2007 in the Bay Area's Alameda County (last year in Oakland, this year in Pleasanton) with exercises all across the Bay, it is attended by hundreds of local, federal and international law enforcement agencies and weapons manufacturers. Since his tenure began in 2007, Alameda County's sheriff, Gregory J. Ahern, has been waging war on Black and Brown communities across the Bay Area. Urban Shield solidifies Ahern's war, and makes it a profitable one. As the Bay Area Urban Shield's core organizer, he has received over $100,000 in contributions for his electoral campaign from Urban Shield vendors, such as 511 Tactical, Adamson Police Products and Corizon Health.

Planned Parenthood Supporters Rally To Stop Funding Cuts

By Miranda Katz in Gothamist - Following a summer of slanderous attacks against Planned Parenthood and repeated attemptsby Congressional Republicans to cut its funding, several hundred people turned out in Foley Square today for a #PinkOutNYC rally in support of the organization that serves nearly 50,000 patients in New York City alone. That number might well start going up, given the opening of a new Planned Parenthood center in Long Island City—that is, unless a cut in government funding keeps the organization from providing its essential services. The latest charge against Planned Parenthood was sparked by a series of highly edited and misleading videos put out by the so-called Center for Medical Progress, a dummy group of anti-choicers masquerading as medical professionals to con their way into conversations with Planned Parenthood executives and clinicians.

Protests To Defend Penobscot Nation Of Ancestral Waterway Rights

By Levi Rickert in Native News Online - Last night, Monday, September 28, a small group of Native people and a large group of allies came together to speak out against the perpetuation of oppressive and genocidal acts against Maine’s Native peoples. They showed up outside the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus. Specifically, the group came to challenge the State of Maine’s current attempts to strip the Penobscot Nation of their ancestral rights to their waterways. The group held an alternative awards ceremony outside the event and in the lobby, giving Mills a “Dishonorable History Taker Award” for her perpetuation of colonial practices and her many other disgraceful actions. Brochures were handed out at the door so that the attendees could be educated as to the realty of how the state is treating the Penobscot Nation.

Black Lives Matter Takes Back The Night & Shuts Down Toronto

By Al Donato in The Huffington Post - Black lives were the focus at Take Back The Night on Saturday, an event that shut down Toronto streets and highlighted sexual violence. Hundreds rallied against police brutality and in solidarity with marginalized black lives, with particular attention to the lives of black individuals who are cis women, trans, queer, on the gender spectrum, with disabilities, and are sex workers. Take Back The Night, an international feminist event since 1976, has featured protests, marches and vigils against sexual violence. For this year’s 35th annual protest, the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre (TRCC)/Multicultural Women Against Rape partnered with Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition for the theme “All Black Lives Matter: Black Communities Take Back the Night.”

Grassroots Women’s Response To Climate Change

By Kahea Pacheco and Melinda Kramer in Earth Island - In an event hall in the small village of Sirsi, on the edge of the Western Ghats in the Indian state of Karnataka, more than a hundred women gather to participate in the Malnad Mela, a decade-old festival organized by Vanastree, a seed saving collective of women farmers. These participants, as well as the 800 or more community members who visit throughout the day, have traveled long distances to be there despite a week of heavy monsoon rains and winds, uprooted trees, and power outages. Sunita Rao— seed saver, farmer and founder of Vanastree — believes that the mela is a critical opportunity to bring women home gardeners and farmers together to exchange skills, share and sell produce, and discuss solutions and adaptations to the growing threat climate change presents to the region.

Project Highlights Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women

By Lucia Edwardson in Metro News - In 2014 there were an estimated 225 missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada, according the RCMP statistics. Jamie Black, an aboriginal artist from Winnipeg, wanted to showcase the issue in an artistic way, so five years ago she created the REDress project. Each dress is “symbolic of the violence faced by indigenous women but is also a symbol of the power of a community coming together to fight this violence,” said Black. Linda Nothing, who is helping to organize the Calgary chapter of the project that will be held Oct. 4 across the country, said they will be accepting red dress donations to create their installment, but are also asking Calgarians to show support on their own. “We encourage people to hang up a red dress outside their home, business or office, to wear a red dress on that day and also to study what is happening, why is that happening,” she said.

First Nations Teen Files Complaint Against Police After Street Check

By Jody Porter in CBC News - A teenager from Neskantaga First Nation in northern Ontario has filed a formal complaint against Thunder Bay police after she says she was subject to a street check that left her frightened and under threat. Cheyanne Moonias, 18, is living in Thunder Bay, Ont. to attend school at the Matawa Learning Centre. Her complaint to Ontario's civilian police oversight body, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, said that she was walking back to school after lunch on Sept. 10 around 1.p.m. when she was approached by two male officers asking for her identification. "I responded back, saying 'no, you don't have the right to ask me for i.d.'", Moonias said. "'The police officer responded back 'we could do what we want, we are the law.'" Moonias said the officers then asked if they could search her for drugs or weapons.

Tractor Protest Against The TransPacific Partnership

Ottawa area farmers brought a long convoy of tractors into downtown Ottawa this morning for a protest against the concessions the Harper government is poised to make at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Atlanta this week. CBC has reported, "Canada is preparing to open the border to more American milk, without getting reciprocal access for Canadian dairy farmers in the United States... Trade Minister Ed Fast will leave the campaign trail to join his counterparts in Atlanta on Wednesday [Sept. 30], intent on concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks. ...What Fast offers could seriously disrupt the supply-managed dairy sector. The short strokes on dairy come down to how much of Canada's domestic market would be opened up to American products to compensate U.S. dairy producers for opening up their market to TPP partners such as New Zealand, an aggressive and competitive dairy exporter."

Battle To Protect The Arctic From Oil Drilling Is Not Over

By Brian C. Black in The Conversation - After billions of dollars invested over several years, Royal Dutch Shell said September 28 it would end oil exploration offshore Alaska after “disappointing” results. But industry efforts to drill for oil and natural gas in the Arctic are unlikely to end with Shell’s decision to abandon the Chukchi Sea. Indeed, momentum to exploit fossil fuel reserves in the Arctic has been building for decades. This week, in fact, political and industry leaders will converge on Fairbanks, Alaska for the 2015 Arctic Energy Summit, where they will consider options and opportunities for energy development, despite some of the lowest gasoline prices in years and a glut of natural gas in the US. The trends pushing for oil and gas in the Arctic run counter to the efforts of a growing number of advocates who argue some fossil fuel resources need to remain untapped to slow the rate of carbon emissions.

From Hashtag To Strategy: Growing Pains Of Black Lives Matter

By Alicia Garza and Jamala Rogers for In These Times - We’ve said, very directly, that to rebuild the Black Liberation Movement, we actually need to build a different kind of united front—both internal to Black communities and external to Black communities. We have also been very clear that our election strategy is to push the Democratic Party to acknowledge the concerns of Black people. It’s not just about having candidates say “Lives Matter,” but certainly it is about exposing where candidates stand as it relates to Black people. We should figure out how not to try to make everybody fit into the mold we are most comfortable with. I organize domestic workers. Domestic work is a relic of slavery, and very much Black women’s work. I can’t talk about domestic work without talking about Black women. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Pledge To Stop Algonquin Pipeline Expansion

By SANE Energy Project. New York State - Spectra Energy recently received Notice to Proceed for clearcutting trees along the pipeline path of the AIM route in New York just north of New York City. This is the Pipeline that is: Running adjacent to Indian Point Nuclear Facility On top of 2 fault lines Horizontal drilling under our glorious Hudson River or Muhheakantuck "river that flows two ways", the Lenape name 400 feet from an elementary school Just condemned our friends' homes to make way for the expansion. We are beginning a long-term direct action campaign, and training starts soon. If you would like to participate in a direct or support role, please sign this Pledge to Resist, and we will reach out to you.

Stop The TPP: Tell USTR ‘No To This Bad Deal!’

By Staff of Popular Resistance. Trade ministers from around the world are meeting in Atlanta, GA today through Thursday in a desperate attempt to finalize the text of the TransPacific Partnership (TPP). Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is feeling pressured by the October 19 elections as the opposition parties step up their criticism of the TPP. People are rising up in protest to this deal that is bad for people and the planet! In Ottawa, Canada, farmers brought their tractors to the capital to demonstrate against the harmful impacts the TPP will have on local dairy farms. In Atlanta, Georgia, a coalition of groups are holding a series of actions this week.
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