community action for January 2010

February 2010 >> << December 2009

from the open publishing newswire...

featured stories from across the us...

Jan 02 2010
Two Minneapolis Marches Snake Through Skyways; In Cairo, Gaza Freedom March is Still Stuck

On Wednesday, December 30, about 100 people marched through the Minneapolis skyways in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March. During the demonstration, some people spoke on the phone with Minnesotans in Cairo, Egypt, where the Gaza Freedom March is being obstructed from entering Palestine. Nearly 2,000 internationals have intended to enter Gaza through Egypt to join an estimated 50,000 Palestinians on a march ending a mile from the Israeli border wall. (See photos from Minneapolis below.)

Related at TCIMC:
Tuesday: Five Minnesotans Detained in GFM | GFM Update from Minnesotan in Cairo | Stop the Deportation of Ryan Olander, Minnesotan Arrested in Sheik Jarrah | Minnesotans to Join GFM | All stories tagged Palestine, Gaza | Buffalo IMC: As Buffolonians Protest, Gaza Freedom March Attempts to Enter the Strip | Boston IMC: Photos/ Video-Boston Gaza Freedom March Support Action | DC IMC: Vigilers Mark Anniversary of Israeli Invasion of Gaza, Demand End to US Aid | Houston IMC: Gaza one year later | More: GFM featured on KFAI evening news (Audio) Were you at one of the marches in Minneapolis? Publish your own photos or video or add a comment to this article!

Jan 02 2010
Save Our Poolz POOL PARTY!

Rolling up our sleeves, Diving back in!

Please join the Save Our Poolz coalition at the Ship Room in the Hotel Vernon in Kelley Square, 5pm until 9pm, as we re-energize, come together as a community, and reflect on why we keep fighting for pools and our neighborhoods, families, and youth, on what we've won, and the new leaders we've seen rise up, and on where we're going: creating participatory democracy and a strong, organized inner city!

There'll be some great, diverse entertainment of several genres, including, at this time: Serge Castillo, Nat Needle and Cha-Cha Connor, AcapElote-Veda, more to come!

Jan 11 2010
"Take Back the Night" March through Ashland

Sunday January 10th here in Ashland a "Take Back the Night" march and candlelight vigil took place. There were 75-100 women, men and children in the march which started out at Triangle Park and made it's way down Siskiyou to the Downtown Plaza.

Jan 15 2010
Local Rally in Support of Viva Palestina!

About twenty local activists gathered in front of the Federal Building on January 6, 2010 in support of Viva Palestina! The Viva Palestina convoy numbers 500 and includes local student and film maker Adriano Contreras. It started in London, England in December. Led by Member of Parliament George Galloway, the delegation traveled through Europe to Egypt, where they intended to cross into Gaza on or around Christmas. The convoy consists of ambulances, trucks, buses and cars full of medical supplies and people. Galloway led a similar group to Gaza last summer, which was allowed to stay for 24 hours in the besieged territory. Viva Palestina is not affiliated with the Gaza Freedom March, led by the American group Code Pink. Both groups however share the common goal of a free Gaza.

Jan 15 2010
Grassroots Organizations Call For Solidarity After Earthquake Devastates Haiti

haiti solidarity On January 12th, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti. The earthquake was centered ten miles southwest of Haiti's capital Port-Au-Prince and was the largest earthquake to strike the Caribbean nation in more than two centuries. Buildings have collapsed and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN he believed more than 100,000 people have died. Among the buildings that collapsed were the Presidential Palace, the UN headquarters and at least one hospital in the capital... Read More at Houston IMC

Grassroots organizations in Haiti are struggling to ensure their voices are not lost amidst the outpouring of donations to traditional NGOs and religious charities. Meanwhile, on Friday, the Obama administration granted undocumented Haitians currently in the United States temporary protection status, a move pushed for by immigrant advocates since December of 2008. It's unclear what exactly this means for Haitians like activist Jean Montrevil currently in immigration detention. But Obama also recruited former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to lead relief efforts, and and one of the more popular places to donate, Yele Haiti, has echoed calls for U.S. military intervention in Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas.

Indybay: Largest Earthquake in 200 Years Devastates Haiti | Houston IMC: Tragedy in Haiti. Expressions of solidarity and support. | Call for Solidarity and Funds for the Working People of Haiti! from Miami Autonomy and Solidarity via Buffalo IMC | More coverage from Port-Au-Prince at Media Hacker | Support: Haiti Action Relief Fund | Partners in Health | Pastors for Peace | Grassroots International

Jan 17 2010
Vote YES for the Unemployed Rally in Ashland

No More Tax Breaks for Big Banks: Oregonians Protest US Bank’s Opposition to Ballot Measures 66 & 67

Ashland, OR – Over 60 unemployed people will hold a rally where they will urge Oregonians to vote YES for tax fairness. They will also deliver a petition with over 1,000 signatures, protesting US Bank’s opposition to Ballot Measures 66 & 67. The rally will be held in front of US Bank at 30 North 2nd Street Ashland, OR at 9 am Tuesday, January 19. Tax Fairness Oregon is coordinating this effort with Southern Oregon Jobs With Justice, Western Regional Advocacy Project, Sisters Of The Road, and Street Roots.

Jan 17 2010
Brandon from Houston IVAW featured on BBC: Reconciling Guantanamo

Brandon Neely is one of the founders of Houston Iraq Veterans against the War and was spoken out at length about his experiences in the Army in Iraq, and as a military police officer at Camp X Ray in Guantanamo, Cuba. Brandon participated in the Winter Soldier Gathering in Austin, and has spoken with the UC Davis based Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, and on the Rachel Maddow Show.

This most recent story about Brandon by the BBC is amazing in that it shows the capacity and courage of individuals to make amends and stand up for justice. Brandon takes the really brave step of reaching out to folks detained in Guantanamo with the goal of apologizing for the mistreatment they experienced being detained by the US military, and the role that he played in it.

It is also quite brave of Shafiq and Ruhal to be willing to meet with Brandon and speak about their experience on television as well to accept his apology. Shafiq and Ruhal both appreciate Brandon's apology, and his sharing his experiences about Guantanamo, because it corroborates the story they have been telling, which was meet with skepticism by a public, where large sectors of the population buy into the mainstream media narrative that everyone detained at Guantanamo was a terrorist, and for that matter, that most muslims are terrorists. While Shafiq and Ruhal really appreciate Brandon's apology, they put the blame where it belongs saying "I dont hold you responsible" and "its the government that needs to apologize" [read full article]

Watch the Show - Tales from Guantanamo: Part one - the guard's story | Part two - the reunion

Jan 19 2010
Workers Call on Starbucks to Honor Dr. King with March and Rally

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) branch here held a march and rally at Starbucks to call on the corporation to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the federal holiday commemorating his birth. The Starbucks Workers Union of the IWW is demanding that Starbucks pay a holiday premium to baristas who work on MLK Day just as the Seattle-based chain does for five other federal holidays.

Jan 20 2010
Mumia Abu Jamal Supreme Court Decision/Emergency Response Demo

The Supreme Court has tossed out a lower court ruling which had stated that if the Philly DA wants to execute Mumia, then Mumia must first have a new penalty hearing. The case is now in front of the 3rd Circuit Court, with the DA seeking Mumia's execution without a sentencing hearing.

In Philadelphia, demonstrate Wednesday, Jan 20 at 4pm at the SE corner of City Hall (Juniper St).

Jan 21 2010
BLASTING HALTED: Tree Sit in West Virginia

January 21, 2009 — Protesters associated with Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice halted blasting on Coal River Mountain today with a three-person tree-sit. David Aaron Smith, 23, Amber Nitchman, 19 and Eric Blevins, 28 are on platforms approximately 60 feet up two tulip poplars and an oak tree. The mountain has become a rallying point for local activists, representing for many the cleaner, more sustainable possibilities of wind energy. Their banners state: “EPA Stop the Blasting”, “Windmills Not Toxic Spills”, and “Save Coal River Mtn.”


Jan 22 2010
Rainforest Action Network Targets General Mills, Cargill Over Palm Oil

Minnesota-based General Mills' brands--including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Nature Valley and Progresso--are some of the most trusted by mainstream America.  But around 100 of their products include palm oil or palm oil derivatives purchased from Cargill, the country's biggest private multinational.  That makes General Mills complicit in the rainforest destruction, land theft, and human rights violations brought about by palm oil production.

On Tuesday morning, 42 Twin Cities activists and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) paid General Mills a visit at their Golden Valley headquarters, unfurling a seventy by thirty foot banner reading "Warning! General Mills Destroys Rainforests."  They held the banner over a frozen pond for about half an hour, while a helicopter circled overhead taking aerial photos.  After getting the photos, they left with no trouble from security.

RAN's Cargill Campaign | The Problem With Palm Oil | RAN Twin Cities | Cheerios Maker Linked to Rainforest Destruction || Previously: Holiday Petition Delivery to Cargill | Orangutan Activists Visit Cargill (Video) | See below for more photos (Aerial photos by: Mercury Miller/RAN)

Related: BLASTING HALTED: Tree Sit in West Virginia

Jan 22 2010
Tax Fairness Protest @ US Bank in Ashland, OR

January 19, 2010- Oregonians marched on US Bank in Ashland to protest the bank's disrespect for its unemployed customers. For the bank its nothing but greedy profit that drives its huge contributions to the NO on Measures 66 & 67 campaign. At the same time they spend big bucks to defeat these measures the US Bank gets money and unemployed customers because it has a contract with the State of Oregon to automatically receive unemployment compensation bucks from people who have been laid off from work. The bank actually stands to gain as unemployed ranks swell.

Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice organized this action. Protesters included 42 WRAP travelers mainly from Portland on their way to San Francisco for a west coast convergence calling attention to the national travesty of homelessness. Most of the travelers are without homes or jobs so the protest at the bank has direct implications for them. The WRAP travelers were joined by Southern Oregonians and the crowd of over 60 presented over 1000 names on a petition calling on US Bank to stop abusing its unemployed customers. Passing measures 66 and 67 will help the most effected in this recession.

The demonstration took place during a wind and rain storm. Protesters chanted loudly: "We got sold out. Banks got bailed out." A bank manager refused to accept the petitions so they were taped to the teller window.

Keep reading for more & click on any photo to make it larger...

Jan 22 2010
Chicago MLK Day Commemorated with Public Workers' March for Social Services

The final three years of the life of Rev. Martin Luther King were increasingly devoted to economic justice issues, and it was in that spirit that the newly-formed Public Workers Unite coalition organized a march in protest, at which some 200 rallied and marched through downtown Chicago.

Much like Reverend King, who was fighting on behalf of public servers workers during his final days, Public Workers Unite rallied against a series of planned cutbacks and layoffs in public services — public transit, education, and other local services — and targeted corporate welfare (rallying at the Chicago headquarters of Boeing) which by contrast is on the increase.

Chicago Indymedia coverage: Photos: Hundreds march for jobs and public service on MLK Day | Public Workers Unite! MLK Day Video

Additional Coverage: In These Times: Chicagoans Demand Public Services, Public Jobs on MLK Day | WHPK Radio: Interview with Earl Silbar about Public Workers Unite

Jan 22 2010
On One-Year Anniversary of Obama Presidency, Homeless Advocates Demand Real Change

Despite threatening thunderstorms, hundreds of people gathered in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza on January 20 to demand that the Obama administration provide significantly increased HUD funding in the federal budget to eradicate homelessness. Following a music filled rally in the plaza, they marched to Nancy Pelosi's office and on to Civic Center, making their way through puddles left by the recent downpours.

Jan 23 2010
Free Mumia! Los Angeles Rejects High Court's Ruling

LOS ANGELES, Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - Despite heavy rain, a group of about 30 people attended a demonstration for the freedom of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The last-minute action was organized by anti-racist activists who were reacting to the overturning of a judgment that favored the condemned journalist.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals had overturned Abu-Jamal's death sentence, finding that the judge in the case had failed to properly instruct members of the jury to consider possible mitigating circumstances during sentencing. However, the Supreme Court overturned the lower court's decision, opening up the possibility that Abu-Jamal, who has always maintained his innocence, could return to death row. Full Report: Free Mumia! Los Angeles Rejects High Court Ruling by Rockero | | En español: ¡Libertad Para Mumia! Los Angeles Rechazó el Juicio de la Corte Suprema por Rockero | Photos from Philly Emergency Demo

RELATED: FREE MUMIA! by Echo Park Community Coalition | Pam Africa on the Supreme Court ruling against Mumia by San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper | Voices with Vision 2010-01-21 US 'Democracy' from Mumia Abu Jamal's Case to the Fate of the Iraqi Refugees by Ryme Katkhouda, Hanan Tabbara, | Supreme Court opens door to Mumia’s execution by Jeff Mackler | Aotearoa New Zealand solidarity with Mumia by Anarchist Black Cross

Jan 24 2010
42 arrested in Guantanamo Bay protest-14 inside US Capitol

On Jan 21, 42 people were arrested for protesting the continued existence of the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention camp, exactly one year after President Obama promised to close it within one year.

Those arrested on the Capitol steps held banners reading "Broken Promises, Broken Laws, Broken Lives." Inside the Capitol, 14 activists performed a "memorial service" for the three men whose deaths at Guantanamo in 2006 were initially reported as suicides and callously described as "acts of asymmetrical warfare" by military officials. New reports provide strong evidence that the men may have been tortured to death at a CIA secret prison in Guantanamo.

Jan 24 2010
Protest the Reed College Chicken Slaughter!

PDX ADL will be bearing witness and protesting the Reed College chicken slaughter starting at 11:00am. Please come around 10:30 if you are interested in letting Gabriel Holt know that his murderous lifestyle will not be tolerated as a college course. Let's let the public know what is going on and let Gabriel know that he can not murder without consequence Sorry this is last minute everyone,

What: Witness and Protest the Chicken Slaughter at Reed
When: 10:30am
Where: 3908 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Why: Because taking the murder of farm animals into one's own hands is a false solution to animal suffering. Because these chicken's lives will be in the hands of inexperienced persons with a predisposition to killing. Because we will never give an inch!


Jan 26 2010
Make War No More! Martin Luther King Day of Nonviolent Resistance

Make War No More! Martin Luther King Day of Nonviolent Resistance at Lockheed Martin on Monday, January 18, 2010 in Valley Forge, PA.

About 50 people stood before the Valley Forge, PA complex of Lockheeed Martin in the bright sun and warmish air (compared to the days of recent frigid weather) holding signs and banners, and listening to excerpts from Dr. King's sermons and speeches. During a period of silence for the devastated people of Haiti, a bell tolled for all the victims.

Jan 26 2010
Immigrants' Rights Protesters Block 12th St, Independence Ave

On January 26, several hundred immigration reform/immigrant rights activists from groups such as Casa de Maryland descended on the Department of Homeland Security to demand an end to the workplace raids and detention of immigrants. Both 12th st and Independence Ave were blocked by sitting, arm-locked protesters at different times before 24 people were arrested. Read More | Audio narration from the street blockades

Jan 29 2010
State of Emergency: Ice Storms Knock Out Indigenous Infrastructure in South Dakota

It has been a devastating winter for weather-related disasters. While there has been a lot of information about (and vital response to) the situation in Haiti, there's another emergency closer to home, one which calls for solidarity with the indigenous people of South Dakota and surrounding areas.

The past weekend's ice storms brought down 2,000 to 3,000 utility poles on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, knocking out an already shaky resource infrastructure.  Crews are working feverishly, but electricity may be out for up to 30 days in some areas. With no electricity, no heat, no running water, and a wind chill below zero the situation is growing more difficult. The bulk of those most affected by the storm are located on reservations in Pine Ridge, Standing Rock, Eagle Butte and others. This is an urgent state of emergency. Read more & donation information

Jan 31 2010
Japanese Ambassador gets home demo over whaling

On Jan 30, the Bob Barker brigade deployed 4 protesters in a snowstorm-to the home of the Japanese Ambassador. (Video and audio will be uploaded later, delayed by snow conditions)

February 2010 >> << December 2009