75 Years For Protesting In Black?

People marching in Austin, Texas on Saturday were among the millions nationwide who mobilized to express their dismay at the reality of President Donald Trump. "There are millions of people in this country who currently feel lost and alone and would like to contribute to movements that envision a more just society," writes Lobel. But in addition to organizing this new wave of energy, he adds, there must also be "a coherent strategy and vision" if transformative change is to be achieved. (Photo: Steve Rainwater/flickr/cc)

By Alex Kane for The Indypendent – Inauguration Day demonstrators potentially face decades in prison on charges they say are all ‘Trumped’ up. The Indy has obtained exclusive police body camera video of the Jan. 20 crackdown. Olivia Alsip found herself trapped. The 24-year-old activist traveled to the nation’s capital from Chicago to express her ire against Donald Trump’s antagonistic rhetoric targeting minorities and queer people on Inauguration Day. By 11 a.m. that morning, though, she found herself kettled with hundreds of other protesters with no way to go to the bathroom, eat or drink. At one point, Alsip told The Independent, D.C. police indiscriminately pepper-sprayed the crowd, hitting a child and someone on crutches. Six hours later, Alsip was handcuffed and taken in a police van with other demonstrators to a D.C. jail. The whole experience “felt like being in a cattle car of some sort and being treated as livestock and bodies, rather than actual people,” said Alsip. Her troubles did not end when she was released the following evening. Instead, Alsip and over 200 other demonstrators are now facing felony charges that could carry up to 75 years in prison if they are convicted. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which reports to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is prosecuting the case.

Wheelchair Users Dragged Away From McConnell’s Office For Protesting Health Care Bill

Stephanie Woodward, of Rochester, NY, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, is removed from a sit-in at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office as she and other disability rights advocates protest proposed funding caps to Medicaid, Thursday, June 22, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

By E.A. Crunden for Think Progress – Activists in wheelchairs protesting the Senate’s newly-released health care bill were arrested and dragged from outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday. The incident occurred after about 60 members of ADAPT, a U.S. disability rights organization with fierce objections to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), staged a “die-in” outside of the Kentucky senator’s office. The AHCA would cap and cut Medicaid, something that would have severe repercussions for Americans with disabilities. Many people living with disabilities rely on Medicaid for their basic care and survival. A press release circulated by ADAPT stated that the intent of the protest was to “dramatize the deaths” the AHCA would cause in this community if implemented. “To say people will die under this law is not an exaggeration,” Mike Oxford, an ADAPT organizer from Kansas, said prior to the protest. “Home and community based services are what allow us to do our jobs, live our lives and raise our families. Without these services many disabled and elderly Americans will die. We won’t let that happen.” Initially, the demonstration was a relatively peaceful show of dissent, as a large number of protesters gathered outside of McConnell’s office to voice their anger, with some yelling

Protests In India Against Import Of Methane Gas

From timesofindia.indiatimes.com

By Staff of The Times of India – KOCHI: Njarackal policeremoved protesters from the Puthuvype LNG import terminal of the IOC on Wednesday after they allegedly disrupted the functioning of the plant. According to police, as many as 204 protesters were arrested and removed from the spot. The arrested persons were booked under sections 188, 283, 143, 145 147 and 149 of the IPC and were later let go on bail. District collector had given out instructions to ensure police protection for the smooth functioning of the terminal of Indian Oil Corporation. The district collector’s direction to the rural district police chief came in the wake of orders of the state and central governments, the Kerala high court and the National Green Tribunal. High court had on September 8 ordered the police to provide necessary protection to the LPG terminal in the special economic zone of Puthuvype. The order was applicable to all persons connected with the terminal, including the company’s property, employees and contractors. Varapuzha archbishop Joseph Kalathilparambil meanwhile condemned the arrest and police atrocity. “Abolishing people’s protest is not the right way. There are more than 1,000 families residing in a one kilometer radius of the project. The people are apprehensive about the project leading to disasters in the future.

Scores Of Farm Workers, Activists March On Ben & Jerry’s

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By Wilson Ring for Associated Press – MONTPELIER, Vt. – Scores of dairy farm workers and activists marched Saturday to a Ben & Jerry’s factory to push for better pay and living conditions on farms that provide milk for the ice cream maker that takes pride in its social activism. Protesters said Ben & Jerry’s agreed two years ago to participate in the so-called Milk with Dignity program, but the company and worker representatives have yet to reach an agreement. “We can’t wait any more. We are going to pressure them and see what happens,” said Victor Diaz, a Mexican immigrant now working on a farm in Vergennes. The march that began Saturday morning in Montpelier ended mid-afternoon at the plant in Waterbury, about 14 miles away. Organized Will Lambek said the marchers presented a letter to company CEO Jostein Solheim who said the company was committed to joining the program.

‘Day Of Rage’ Protesters Demand May’s Resignation

Protesters hold signs calling for justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. Photograph: Teri Pengilley for the Guardian

By Nadia Khomami for The Guardian – Hundreds of protesters marched from west London to Downing Street on Wednesday to protest against the government’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire. The march – on London’s hottest day of the year – was one of a number of “day of rage” protests to coincide with the state opening of parliament. The demonstrators demanded that the displaced residents of Grenfell Tower are rehoused locally, and want full amnesty and permanent UK residency for those without immigration papers. The marchers also demanded the publication of all records of the companies involved with the tower and their dealings with Kensington and Chelsea council. There were around 500 people on the march, police said. The march, which was organised by Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary (MFJ), set off for Downing Street as the prime minister set out her legislative programme for the next two years.

Prime Minister Forced To Flee As Londoners Protest Deadly Fire

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By Jake Johnson for Common Dreams – People have thus far been “unsatisfied by the [government's] response,” said Mustafa Almansur, who organized the day of mass action after losing a friend in Wednesday’s fire. Protesters entered the town hall building to “find the executives and make them answer our questions,” he added. In a speech outside Kensington town hall, Almansur explained why the protests were necessary: The reason for the protest is that so far in the last three days the general public have done everything from raising money to actually going out there on the streets, helping people, finding the victims of the tragedy, going to the community centres, the churches and the mosques with donations and in cash. To this day the council has failed to do anything in public, they have not made a public statement or any public comment. The statement they made today was just a fluffy statement—open-ended promises with no concrete numbers of what they are going to be able to do for the people. Commentators and British MPs have highlighted austerity and vast inequities between rich and poor as possible causes of the Grenfell fire, as Common Dreams has reported

Monthly Rally In Newark Against US War Escalations / Threats #NJSaysNoToWar

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By Staff of NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East – Largely with the local support of the Peoples Organization for Progress, anti-war activists including Newark residents and those from surrounding communities have converged on the Martin Luther King Jr. monument for protests against the various escalations and threats of war by the US administration 3 times since early April. The events have also received strong support from NJ Peace Action and the Green Party of New Jersey. We are now considering a proposal to make this type of activity a monthly event, picking a particular Friday of each month. The proposal is not just to show up for an hour plus protest and then go home but to incorporate into the effort a concerted organizing drive with the goal of connecting to the local pedestrian and vehicle traffic and to integrate the war issues we are raising with the related devastation of the war related economic issues and how the war economy directly and adversely impacts the Newark community. The monthly event should include organizing during the “in between” times and in the hours before each gathering as well as during the gathering to reach out and connect with pedestrians, shop owners, labor organizations, schools, religious institutions, housing and other outlets in the surrounding blocks.

Nationwide Protests Oppose ‘Anti-Conspiracy’ Bill, As Japan Moves To Remilitarize

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By Lisa Torio for Waging Nonviolence – Since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “anti-conspiracy” bill entered the upper house of parliament in early April, thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets in protest. Demonstrations against the bill actually started in December, when Abe’s plan became known to the public, but their intensity has grown in recent weeks. As the ruling coalition is pushing to pass the bill before the end of the legislative session on June 18, hundreds of people are staging daily demonstrations in front of the government offices to demand lawmakers scrap the bill, which lies at the intersection of Japan’s struggles. “This bill cuts across all issues because our lives depend on our right to resist,” said Keiko Makimoto, a retired elementary school teacher, who has been participating in the anti-nuclear demonstrations in front of the government offices nearly every week since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. “I’m here today so that I can keep fighting everyday.” While Abe says the bill is tailored to combat terrorism and organized crime ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, the scope of the proposed legislation is so broadly defined that it could give law enforcement agencies the ability to target activists and ordinary citizens they suspect of “preparing to commit a crime.”

Trump Postpones Trip To UK Due To Fear Of Protests

The President reportedly made the admission in a recent phone call to the PM AFP/Getty

By Emily Shugerman for Independent – The President does not want to visit the UK until the public supports him, sources say. Donald Trump has reportedly told Theresa May that he does not want to visit the UK soon for fear of large-scale protests against him. Ms May invited Mr Trump to Britain seven days after his inauguration. Now he apparently wants to wait until the British public supports him coming. The US President made the admission in a recent phone call to the Prime Minister, a Downing Street adviser who was present for the call told The Guardian. The aide said Ms May seemed surprised. Jeremy Corbyn welcomes ‘cancellation’ of Donald Trump state visit. Mr Trump – never a favourite among British voters – stoked outcry in recent weeks for attacking London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of terrorist attacks in the city. The President ridiculed Mr Khan’s calls for calm, and later condemned the Mayor’s “pathetic excuse” for his statements.

Tree Biotech Conference Disrupted Amidst Week Of Protest

From stopgetrees.org

By Staff of The Campaign to Stop GE Trees – Concepción, Chile – Today the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) 2017 Tree Biotechnology Conference was forced to cancel its field trip to the University of Concepción’s Center for Biotechnology amidst protests on campus against genetically engineered (GE) trees. This week of protest in Concepción is the latest in a global, years-long campaign to end the threat of GE trees. On Wednesday, dozens of students and allies held a demonstration outside of UC’s Center for Biotechnology, denouncing the university’s research on GE trees as only benefiting corporate interests, and demanding an end to the monoculture forestry model. This is the second time the conference was targeted for protest. On Monday, demonstrators marched on the opening session of IUFRO, which was hosted by Arauco and regional government spokespeople. Demonstrators argue that GE varieties of pine and eucalyptus would exacerbate the social and ecological crises already caused by the monoculture model, including record wildfires this past January that killed 11 people and displaced thousands.

The Pacific Northwest Is Proving Grassroots Action Against Fossil Fuels Can Work

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By Renee Lewis for Fusion – The Pacific Northwest is proving that grassroots action against the fossil fuel industry can work, and the strategies they’re using can be used anywhere. The region has seen a tsunami of fossil fuel infrastructure proposals in the last few years—from coal export, oil-by-rail, liquefied natural gas, and more. “And what we have seen happen very much to everyone’s surprise is that local grassroots opposition stopped every single project they fought against,” said Eric de Place, Sightline Institute’s policy director on energy policy. Sightline Institute is a sustainability research and communications center in the Pacific Northwest. The fossil fuel industry may dominate in Congress but we crush them at the local level. “The fossil fuel industry may dominate in Congress but we crush them at the local level,” de Place said. “I think it’s a tremendously powerful technique.” That opposition at the local level was summed up by one million comments —all from a public opposing new fossil fuel infrastructure projects in their communities. The comments were delivered to Washington Governor Jay Inslee on May 11 by a coalition of groups in the Pacific Northwest…

Amid Divestment Protests, More Cities Explore Public Banks

Wells Fargo bank sign (Photo by Mike Mozart | Flickr CC 2.0)

By Oscar Perry Abello for Moyers and Company – Philadelphia City Council Member Cindy Bass was already thinking about how to cut the city’s ties with Wells Fargo when bank CEO John Stumpf testified last September before the US Senate. Questioning Stumpf about the bank’s fraudulent accounts scandal, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said, “So you haven’t resigned, you haven’t returned a single nickel of your personal earnings, you haven’t fired a single senior executive. Instead, your definition of accountable is to push the blame to your low-level employees who don’t have the money for a fancy PR firm to defend themselves.” Search the US Department of Justice website for “Wells Fargo” and “settlement” and you’ll get a litany of results: a $25 billion settlement for foreclosure abuse (a record), $1.2 billion for improper mortgage lending practices, and $184.3 million in compensation for steering black and Latino borrowers into predatory subprime mortgages. The 2016 hearing was the moment when the wheels fell off the stagecoach. Stumpf finally stepped down, about a month later, but he never returned a nickel of his pay. In fact, he left with a $133.1 million severance package. “Their lackluster responses, it was so outrageous, they just didn’t get it,” says Bass. “As a city, how could we be in bed with this company?

Journalist Faces 75 Years For Covering DC Inauguration Protest

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By Matt Grubs for Santa Fe Reporter – Aaron Cantú, a staff writer at the Santa Fe Reporter, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he participated in a riot while working as a journalist during protests in Washington, DC on Inauguration Day. Cantú faces eight felony counts—including inciting a riot, rioting, conspiracy to riot and five counts of destruction of property. The grand jury handed up the indictment last week. On January 20, a collection of DC police and federal law enforcement officers arrested more than 200 people in connection with a rally that began as a protest, but turned destructive as several people broke the windows of businesses, damaged vehicles and allegedly caused a police officer to break his wrist. Cantú was not named specifically by prosecutors as the cause of any of the destruction, as some defendants were. Instead, the indictment named him as being present while the damage happened. The arrests have been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, other civil rights groups and newspapers as overly broad and lacking hard evidence. Video from the conservative media group The Rebel shows glimpses of Cantú off to the side of the protests with other journalists, washing what appears to be pepper spray from his eyes.

Enviros Disrupt Senate Energy Committee For Second Time Over Trump Nominees

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By John Zangas for DC Media Group – A group of environmentalists disrupted the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources as it attempted to vote on two key Trump nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It was the second time in two weeks the Senate Committee was disrupted by environmentalists. Three activists representing a coalition of 170 green groups were arrested early Tuesday after interrupting the Committee vote, delaying it for a brief time. Ted Glick and Sid Madison, environmental activists from New Jersey, and Jess Rechtschaffer, an activist from New York, were arrested and charged with incommoding and blocking an exit during a Senate hearing. Glick was also charged with resisting arrest and held overnight and will be arraigned Wednesday. Both Rechtschaffer and Madison paid a $50 post and forfeit fine and were released a short time later. By posting the fine, they admit guilt and avoid a court hearing. The Senate Energy Committee meeting ended after voting 20-3 to forward the nominees anyway. The approvals of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, who have worked as fossil energy insiders, will come to a full Senate vote.

April Showed Huge Increase In Nonviolent Protests Across the US

Rob Crandall / Shutterstock.com

By Alexandra Rosenmann for AlterNet – April showed a huge increase in nonviolent protest activity across the U.S. As co-director of the Crowd Counting Consortium, Erica Chenoweth has been collecting political crowd data since the Women’s March in January. She also produces a monthly breakdown for the Washington Post on political activism trends based on the numbers. Based on Chenoweth’s data for April, here are five signs indicating engagement in the resistance to Trump is on the rise. 1. The reported crowd size increased more than 60 percent. According to Chenoweth’s report, “April had a 62 percent increase over the number of reported crowds in March [as well as] a major increase in participation—between eight and 13 times greater than the estimated number who participated in March.” The largest event was the March for Science, in which approximately half a million Americans participated.