Starbucks workers are leading an electrifying drive to organize the major coffee chain, with one or often several stores announcing they’re joining this growing movement each day. Amazon workers from coast to coast are organizing to build power at one of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations. Workers in Staten Island recently filed to hold union elections at 2 warehouses. The majority Black Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama are engaged in their second union campaign, after the results of the first were tossed out based on Amazon’s egregious union busting campaign – which they continue in earnest in Bessemer, Staten Island, and elsewhere.
Staff for #RememberTrayvon. The murder of Trayvon Martin was the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement that accelerated with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and has grown with the deaths of so many other blacks at the hands of police. Here are several campaigns to remember Trayvon: #TrayvonTaughtMe digital toolkit and campaign:The #TrayvonTaughtMe digital campaign highlights the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement, and how Trayvon’s extrajudicial murder and his family’s commitment to ending gun violence and strengthening communities catalyzed a generation of organizers and activists to take action for Black lives. #OurSonTrayvon campaign: In collaboration with Gbenga Akkinagbe, founder of Liberated People, and activist-writer Michaela Angela Davis, BLM is supporting the launch of the #OurSonTrayvon campaign, whose goal is to create a sustainable movement humanizing Black children in the collective imagination. #DearTrayvonsMom letter writing campaign: is soliciting love letters to Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother and #TalkAboutTrayvon digital toolkit and campaign: seeks to launch a conversation among white people about the conditions that led to the extrajudicial murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman.
By Aprill O. Turner for the Campaign for Youth Justice. The tragic death of Trayvon has set off a national conversation about racial profiling and the role race played in the death of this young man. Trayvon’s death, and those of other young black men, has served as a catalyst for a new generation of activists that seek to dismantle the structures that target and criminalize black youth. New organizations have been formed, new leaders have emerged, the spirit of resistance has been given a reboot, and a new modern day civil rights movement has emerged. The question at the center of this movement is, “What does the world look like when Black Lives Matter?” What does education look like when Black lives matter? What does economic opportunity look like when Black lives matter? What does the criminal justice look like when Black lives really matter?
George Zimmerman, singing autographs at a gun show in Orlando, Florida over the weekend, wondered why people are angry with him. Here is one possible answer: Here is the thing, George, people know that it is not an aberration for a wanna be cop like you to patrol a neighborhood with a loaded gun and, upon seeing an African American kid whom you did not recognize, assume that kid was a threat, and then tail that kid with your itchy finger on the trigger of your loaded gun and initiate and then escalate a situation that resulted in that unarmed kid murdered and killed by you, Georgie. It is more than that, however. People are angry at the ALEC written stand your ground laws that, while it played no direct role in your not guilty verdict, played a very direct role in the culture that empowered you to cruise around packing heat. In the case of stand your ground, the NRA wrote the law, and worked with ALEC to grease it through the legislature and get it passed into law in 2005, and the rate of legally justifiable homicides in Florida has tripled since then.
Hundreds gathered to commemorate the second anniversary of Trayvon Martin's fatal shooting by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman. The walk for peace was led by Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, in Miami Gardens Saturday. Hundreds of demonstrators joined a 1.1 mile walk, with an important message. "Show everybody you can walk in peace, talk in peace," said Tracy Martin. "The whole thing is not just about Trayvon ... it's about all of our kids." The unarmed teenager was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, two years ago. Fulton said nothing can break the bond of a mother and son, not even death. "I say all the time that I have two boys, and I still have two boys. I have one in heaven, and I have one here on Earth." said Fulton, as she addressed the crowd.
October 22, the 18th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, is less than two weeks away. So far, 15 cities in this country and one in Canada have announced plans to take to the streets on this day. This list needs to grow quickly. We need to have 50 or even 100 cities planning marches and rallies, cultural events, teach-ins, and more on O22. Look at the horrors being inflicted on people. Police killing innocent, unarmed people is about an everyday occurrence. And these cops are almost never punished in any way for these crimes. Recently in some outrageous cases where cops were brought into court for killing people, those courts have dropped the charges or overturned convictions of killer cops. All this is unacceptable and it must be stopped! BE THERE ON OCTOBER 22 TO SAY NO MORE!!
After staging a sit-in outside Gov. Rick Scott's office at the Florida Capitol for the past 31 days, the Dream Defenders are ending their round-the-clock vigil. They say they've accomplished many of the goals that they set for themselves when they arrived here on July 16. They organized the sit-in because they were upset with the not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman. The group called for a special legislative session focusing on Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law, racial profiling by police, and zero-tolerance school policies. They convinced House Speaker Will Weather to schedule a hearing on Stand Your Ground this fall. They plan to meet with leaders at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to talk about racial profiling. And they say they have a commitment from state education leaders to talk about policy adjustments to juvenile justice rules.
Trayvon’s Law seeks to reverse state laws that allow people to shoot-and-kill first then claim self-defense later with impunity, that encourage racial profiling, and that excessively punish black and brown school students for trivial offenses. Many have argued that Trayvon Martin was racially profiled as a black youth by Zimmerman, who initially invoked “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws after he shot and killed the teen. Martin was suspended from his school in Miami when he was murdered.
The Dream Defenders, who are marking Day 24 of their Capitol sit-in outside Gov. Rick Scott's office, announced they are launching a massive drive to register 61,550 voters by 2014 -- the margin Scott won by in the 2010 election. "We intend to register the people that are forgotten - the black, the brown, the indigent, the poor, the LGBT community and we will meet them where they are, in the classrooms, in the mall, at the club, on the corner, at the bus stop" said the Dream Defenders Executive Director Philip Agnew at a press conference Thursday.
As protesters gathered outside Alec's 40th annual gathering of lawmakers and corporate interests in Chicago, a new watchdog report finds that stand-your-ground laws of the sort forwarded by the group and made infamous by the Martin killing are still proliferating around the country. Last year, Alec came under intense criticism that its model stand-your-ground law, first adopted in Florida in 2005 having been drafted by the National Rifle Association, had prevented the arrest of George Zimmerman, Martin's shooter, and made his prosecution more difficult.
Three State Capitols around the country are echoing with the songs and chants of people who feel scorned by their state government. In Wisconsin, protesters who participate in a daily sing-along are facing a crack down from the Capitol Police, with over 50 people arrested in three days. In Florida a group called the Dream Defenders has been occupying the State Capitol for 13 days, demanding that Governor Rick Scott call a special session to address the repeal of Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" law and to address racial profiling. And in North Carolina, civil rights and religious organizations are organizing weekly protests at the Capitol, dubbed “Moral Mondays,” to express their opposition to an avalanche of retrograde policies that are radically reshaping the state.
Here's a video from the Dream Defenders who have taken over Florida Capitol to demand the #TrayvonMartinAct. Since Tuesday morning, July 16, the Dream Defenders have maintained a presence at the Capitol for an extended stay to apply pressure and demand that Governor Rick Scott call for a special session of legislature to address issues related to the environment in Florida that led to this tragedy and injustice. Dream Defenders are pushing for what they are calling the 'Trayvon Martin Act' which addresses the repeal of Stand Your Ground, racial profiling, and the war on the youth.
Perhaps in reaction to the growing support for the Dream Defenders, the governor is now denying access to food and water for the occupiers, which includes a child of 8 years. According to their tweets, staff at the Capitol are telling the Dream Defenders that if they want food and water, they will have to go outside to get it. Of course, the occupiers know that they are not likely to be allowed to return. Supporters are gathering outside of the Capitol to demand that the Dream Defenders be allowed to eat and drink. They urge people to call the Capitol and the Governor's mansion.
When the young activists known as the Dream Defenders marched into Gov. Rick Scott’s office last week, few observers expected the group to attract much attention. But seven days later, the Dream Defenders have proven hard to ignore. What began as a modest protest has morphed into a week-long occupation of the Florida Capitol. The organizers, most of whom are college students and young professionals, say they are prepared to stay for weeks or even months — as long as it takes for Scott to call a special session on racial profiling and the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.
A black president can’t get too close to black folk, because Fox News, with their reactionary self in oft—in so many instances, will attack them, and that becomes the point of reference? No. If they’re going to be part of the legacy of Martin King, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker and the others, then the truth and justice stuff that you pursue, you don’t care who is coming at you. But, no, this black liberal class has proven itself to be too morally bankrupt, too hypocritical, and indifferent to criminality—Wall Street criminality, no serious talk about enforcement of torturers and wiretappers under the Bush administration. Why? Because they don’t want the subsequent administration to take them to jail. Any reference to the hunger strike of our brothers out in California and other places, dealing with torture? Sustained solitary confinement is a form of torture. And we won’t even talk about Guantánamo. Force-feeding, torture in its core...