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FILM: Local Organizations Team up to Show "Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience"

East Michigan Environmental Action Council - Mon, 08/19/2030 - 8:02pm
What: Film screening of "Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience" with Question and Answer session to follow afterwards

When: September 6th, 2013

Time: 8PM

Where: Cass Corridor Commons
             4605 Cass Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48201

East Michigan Environmental Action Council, 5E, Heru, and the American Indian Health and Family Services invite you to the film screening of, Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience, on September 6th, 2013. The showing will take place in the D. Blair Theater of The Cass Corridor Commons.

Focusing on the lives and experiences of the Native/Indigenous community in the Midwest, Our Fires Still Burn is a one hour documentary that works to dispel the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the United States. The narrative that Native and Indigenous peoples no longer exist in the US has been perpetrated in many forms since the beginning of colonization in the US, with perhaps the most famous example being the book (and movie), The Last of the Mohicans. The narrative usually argues something along the lines that because Native peoples are now dead (or are actively dying), we need non-Native peoples to "save and recover" (read; loot) Native artifacts (very often including actual bones of human beings). Another strand of the narrative argues that names like Washington Red Skins are actually compliments that honor long dead tribes rather than the offensive insults that Native/Indigenous peoples say they are.

Our Fires Still Burns argues that the narrative that Native/Indigenous peoples are dead is harmful in that it invisibilizes and makes unnecessary the voices of the very much alive Native/Indigenous community. But as Our Fire Still Burns shows, Native and Indigenous peoples continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society.

The film viewing of Our Fires Still Burn will appeal to native and non-Native alike, and will be followed by a question and answer session featuring many of the people appearing in the film, as well as film director Audrey Geyer.  Ms. Geyer is an independent video producer and director whose programs have been broadcasted locally and nationally on PBS. She is the founder and current executive director of Visions, an independent video production company local in Metro Detroit. Visions work focuses on creating documentaries that tell the stories of communities that are underrepresented in mainstream media.

As East Michigan Environmental Action Council co-director, Diana Copeland says, the most important thing to do right now in light of various attacks on marginalized communities in Detroit is to build community responses to those attacks, "Conversations that happen where we can begin to get to know each other are essential and will only make our communities stronger."
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Submit a Comment on Rate Filings for 2017 VT Health Connect Plans

VWC - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 12:14pm

The Green Mountain Care Board is taking public comment on rate filings for 2017 Vermont Health Connect plans until Tuesday, July 26th.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is proposing an average annual increase of 8.2% over 2016 premiums, with per-plan increases ranging from 5.2%-10.9%. MVP Health Care is proposing an average annual increase of 8.8% over 2016 premiums, with per-plan increases ranging from 3.5%-13.5%. Meanwhile, MVP Health Care is suing the state of Vermont in order to remove sections of Act 48 allowing government to regulate health insurance rates based on affordability, quality of care, and access to care.

Can you afford an 8% rise in your health insurance costs next year? Do you think that healthcare should be afforded as a public good and a right?

Share your story below, especially how the health insurance rate hikes will affect you and your family.

First and Last Name * Address * Telephone Number Email Address Comment * Can the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign submit this comment to the Green Mountain Care Board? * Yes No I give the VWC permission to submit my story to the Green Mountain Care Board for public comment and use for the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign. * Yes No Leave this field blank
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Check out our End of the Year Report

USAS - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:19pm

USAS is another year older and another year stronger. As we wrap up the 2015-2016 school year, we have so much important work to reflect on. We’ve won victories with workers on our campuses and around the world, launched 3 new national campaigns, and significantly increased our membership and online presence. Check out the entire 2015-2016 report here.

For more information on how to get involved in our movement, contact a member of USAS National Staff at email hidden; JavaScript is required /* */ .

    

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

New York Tenants Win Historic Rent Freeze for Second Year

CAAAV - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 2:38pm

Yesterday, New York won a historic rent freeze for the second year in a row, protecting over one million rent-stabilized tenants from weighty rent increases. Shout out to our Chinatown Tenants Union leaders for mobilizing in large numbers, testifying at hearings, and training new tenants to share their stories.

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) voted 7-0, plus two abstensions, for the Rent Freeze. Our city-wide Rent Justice Coalition showed when low-income New York tenants come together rent justice can be a reality.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Presentando la próxima Directora Ejecutiva de CVH

CVH - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 9:59am

Estimados miembros y amigos de Community Voices Heard:

Nosotros - la junta directiva de Community Voices Heard y CVH Power - queremos expresar nuestro agradecimiento a todos ustedes por su continuo trabajo, convirtiendo a CVH en una fuerza poderosa para la gente de bajos ingresos en la ciudad y el estado de Nueva York. 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

NNIRR Deplores Supreme Court Immigration Ruling, Calls on Obama to Suspend Detentions and Deportations

NNIRR - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:49pm
Story Type:  Press Release Story Publisher:  NNIRR

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Supreme Court Deadlocks On Immigration, Leaving Obama’s Deportation Relief Plan In Limbo

NNIRR - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:19am
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Cristian Farias Story Publisher:  Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court couldn’t reach a majority for or against President Barack Obama’s plan to defer deportation for millions  Thursday, effectively leaving his executive actions on hold and undocumented immigrants in limbo.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

RELEASE: Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign denounces insurance industry lawsuit

VWC - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:03am

For Immediate Release: June 23 2016

Contact: Keith Brunner, 802-363-9615

Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign denounces insurance industry lawsuit

The Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign is condemning a lawsuit against the State of Vermont as an insurance industry attack on government’s ability to regulate health insurance rates to protect the public good. The campaign warns that the lawsuit is an attempt to undermine confidence in government and to pave the way for a continued rise in healthcare costs and corporate profits.

MVP Healthcare, a New York-based health insurance corporation, is suing the Green Mountain Care Board, stating that the board’s charge to regulate insurance prices based on what is “affordable,” “promotes quality care” or “promotes access to health care” is based on vague and unconstitutional language. Along with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP has annually proposed rate hikes, in some cases as high as 27%.

“This is essentially an assault on the authority of government to regulate the private sector,” said Ellen Schwartz, president of the Vermont Workers’ Center. “It’s completely unethical and would undercut the ability of the Green Mountain Care Board to consider what matters most to the public: cost, quality, and access.”

Schwartz added, “I’d also like to see MVP’s CEO Denise Gonick, who made $1.1 million last year, explain to a struggling Vermont family how the concept of ‘affordability’ is an ‘empty platitude’.” [1, 2]

Supporters of the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign are encouraging Vermont residents to attend public hearings on July 21 where the Green Mountain Care Board will consider MVP's request for an average 8.8% rate increase for 2017 plans. A similar hearing will take place on July 20 for Blue Cross Blue Shield's proposed 8.2% rate increase. Both hearings take place in the GMCB Board Room, 89 Main St., Montpelier. [3]

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. MVP’s lawyer Gary Karnedy referred to the concepts of quality care and affordability as “empty platitudes,” quoted in VTDigger. http://vtdigger.org/2016/06/22/insurer-lawsuit-accuses-green-mountain-care-board-of-overreach/

  2. http://www.dfr.vermont.gov/sites/default/files/MVP%20-%20S200%20Form%202015%20VT%20ACT%20150.pdf

  3. http://ratereview.vermont.gov/2016_VHC_rate_review
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Join us to celebrate NNIRR's 30th Anniversary

NNIRR - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:43am
Subtitle:  Reception and Program - July 29, 2016 in Oakland! Link Path:  http://www.nnirr.org/drupal/NNIRR-30th-anniversary Sort Order:  1
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

NNIRR's 30th Anniversary Reception: Tearing Down Walls, Lifting Up Justice

NNIRR - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 5:12pm
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

Save the date for NNIRR's 30th Anniversary Reception 

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

We’re with you, San Anto!

SWOP - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 4:05pm

Stefany Olivas is a leader, organizer and artist with SWOP’s food justice program. She is the curator of @ProjectFeedTHeHood on Instagram. Stef can be found with a bunch of students huddled around her planting seeds or harvesting knowledge, fruits and vegetables in school gardens across the city.  

Some in my realm of social media, friends, family don’t believe in institutional racism, or they believe that people in poverty choose to be poor. I ask that they read this with an open heart and mind, and trust that we all have the ability to act on love, compassion and empathy.

Trump recently blazed through New Mexico, leaving a path of hate and division. He’s since been on a provocative tour of mostly brown cities, and is now on his way toward San Antonio. SWOP’s connection to the people and organizations of San Antonio is deep.

I want to take some time to tell our friends and family in San Antonio and all the other communities of color around our nation to know that Albuquerque hears your cries of struggle in your pursuit for happiness and justice, and we stand in solidarity with you as you celebrate our communities in the face of hate.  Islamophobia, racism, homophobia, and sexism are real – we have no choice as targets but to feel their impacts. We also have no choice but to stand up to the hate.

When Trump came to Albuquerque, there was still some concern by many that protesting the violent, hateful rhetoric of the presidential campaign would backfire and help spread this message of hate. Inspired by folks in Chicago, AZ, the Bay Area and across the nation, we know that the only way to stop attacks on our community is to be visible and stand up and be counted. We are proud to have been a part of people across the country saying “Ya Basta!”  

But let me tell you, despite witnessing my very first peacekeeper training, it was not easy to just stand by. But I knew that was Trump’s plan, that had already come to fruition in so many places. Organizations in New Mexico hosted several discussions and a training on de-escalation techniques, rally safe-zones, and united/bilingual messaging. The individuals who trained and even volunteered last minute to do their absolute best keep the peace, did so in the best interest of their family, friends, and community. We even discussed in the gatherings that there continues to be quite a bit of tension between Albuquerque Police and it’s residents, and although we are not there to judge those who act out, at a certain point a small group can only have so much control over the outcomes. Nonetheless the Dump Trump Rally in ABQ had hours of marching, spoken word, limpias, blessings, piñata’s and gritos- and only a fraction of our community acting out in frustration with their leadership.

The people who make up these protests, here and across the country, fighting oppression and hate for years and some even decades. And the work that we all do here in the southwest- in this struggle against oppression- has been passed from our elders and ancestors for 500 years.

As difficult as it may be to go all the way and take a side, we have to trust in our organizations and leadership to create spaces where we can celebrate our community together despite all attempts to tear us apart. They carry knowledge of organizing in communities for far longer than Donald Trump’s hate rhetoric has been circulating. Trump is merely a result of the same systems that have been pushing communities into cycles of poverty and violence for generations.

In Albuquerque the mainstream media, our police force and our elected representatives have chosen to stand aside while this hateful rhetoric resonates in our town even still, and in desperation continue to blame anyone but themselves to claim there was a so-called riot (sorry but a couple of arrests 1 broken door, 1 tipped trashcan, and a broken door DO NOT qualify as a riot in my book).

Even now there are leaders who let Trump come in and disparage everyone in the state who are desperately working to criminalize our young people and target volunteer peacekeepers. New Mexico has a long history of its elected officials catering to corporations and leaving the community to the wayside. We are the worst in childhood well being, the lowest job growth in the nation, and have been facing a hunger crisis for years. The community is frustrated, needs answers, needs healing, and needs public figures and officials they can trust – who stand up and defend our community. We do not have that right now. That’s why we stood up before, show up today, and will continue to defend our people as more attacks come.

We are seeing the same patterns of hate speech and inflated reactions by the community all across the nation. Trump has been a platform for hate by our broken democratic system and mainstream media. It’s time our community was heard. I know our friends and family at Southwest Workers Union and the people of San Antonio are ready to show Trump what’s up.

As a young woman of color who grew up internalizing racism, perpetuating it and even expressing it at some times, I have seen the toll that hateful rhetoric can take personally and in society. As difficult as it has been to come to terms with what some of my beliefs used to be, it has been empowering for me to understand that what I went though is a symptom of a broken political system and misled mainstream media. I have learned to trust my gut, my mentors and those who have struggled for justice before me. Today I have the honor of working with young people of color across our city to understand not only how to grow food, but how bringing people together is one of many tools to organize communities to bring healing and empowerment. Together is when we can realize that deep down in even the most calloused of hearts, our core values are that of love and compassion. I believe in our community and in our message – we are truly better together. San Anto, we’re with you.  

“All that your ancestors had to go through for you to be here.. and you doubt yourself? How dare you. You are of a legacy of survival that is to never be questioned.” Bolajoko Collins

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

How the Supreme Court May Change the Future of Undocumented Immigration in the United States v Texas

NNIRR - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 3:00am
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Jennalee Beazley Story Publisher:  Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Synopsis

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

UE GEB Opposes Coup in Brazil

UE - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 3:15pm
14 June, 2016Members of the General Executive Board from the Eastern Region Karen Rizzo, Deb Gornall, Donna Morgan, Jim Borowski and Bud Decker.Pittsburgh

At its meet at UE's national headquarters in late May, the union's General Executive Board adopted a resolution opposing the ongoing coup against the democratic pro-labor government of Brazil.

DEFEND DEMOCRACY AND THE WORKING PEOPLE OF BRAZIL Statement of the UE General Executive Board

 

The “impeachment” and May 12 “suspension” from office of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff by her rivals in the Brazilian congress should be called what it really is: a coup. It is an attempt by the enemies of Rousseff’s party, the Workers’ Party (in Portuguese, Partido dos Trabalhadores or PT) to achieve by other means what they have been unable to accomplish at the ballot box – the removal from power of the country’s working class party.

Ever since PT leader Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva was elected as Brazil’s president in 2002, right-wing corporate forces, including Brazil’s media, have been trying to destroy him and his party. Yet Lula remained extremely popular with Brazil’s working class majority, was reelected in 2008, and in 2010 PT candidate Dilma Rousseff was elected as his successor, Brazil’s first woman president, then re-elected in 2014.

Lula was a factory worker and militant shop floor leader who became one of the founders of the Brazilian metalworkers union (CNM) and the country’s largest labor federation, the Central Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT.) The PT governments led by Lula and Rousseff made substantial gains in lifting 30 million Brazilians out of poverty, created 15 million jobs, and reindustrializing the country into an economic powerhouse (the fifth largest economy in the world.) Over 13 years in power the PT also reduced child labor, empowered women, raised the minimum wage, increased real wages by 53 percent, reduced unemployment, and provided social security – the Bolsa Familia – for 47 million Brazilians. The PT was only founded in 1980, but supported by the trade union movement, landless peasants, and other working class sectors, it has rapidly to become one of the largest most popular parties in Brazilian history.

This coup was led by some of the most conservative legislative forces in Brazilian society and those in the legislature who spear headed it are themselves under investigation or indictment for their own corruption deals. According to a nonprofit called Transparência Brasil, 60% of Brazil’s federal legislators have been convicted or are under investigation, for crimes ranging from corruption to electoral fraud to assault.

On May 5 the Supreme Federal Tribunal suspended one of the leaders of the impeachment effort, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, after being found guilty of corruption, money laundering, intimidation and criminal conspiracy. The coup plotters have tried to portray the putsch as intended to save the country from Rousseff’s “corruption” when in fact it is they who have been under investigation

President Rousseff has not been indicted for any crime. She is accused of administrative irregularities in the management of the state budget. Even if proven, the accusation is not grounds for impeachment, which is legally only for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, such as treason.

The real reason for her removal was dramatically revealed on May 23 when the country's largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, published leaked transcripts of phone conversations a few weeks before the coup between then-Senator Romero Jucá (later a minister in the coup government) and a former oil executive in which they agree that Rousseff must be removed in order to end the investigation of corruption which threatens them and their cronies. In the conversations Jucá describes a “national pact” in which the Brazilian military, most of the Supreme Court, and other powerful institutions had agreed to back the removal of the elected president. 

Upon Rousseff’s removal, Vice President Michel Temer, who is not from the PT but represents a pro-business centrist party (and is himself under investigation for massive corruption) was sworn in as acting president. It has also been revealed that Temer was a U.S. “intelligence asset” – a spy for the U.S. embassy. Polls show that only 2 percent of Brazilians want him to be president, while 60 percent believe he should be impeached. When he took office Temer immediately appointed a new cabinet that is all-white (in a country that is 51 percent non-white) and all-male, reversing the gains of women under the PT. The coup government was immediately recognized by the U.S. and other major Western governments, and began rolling back pro-worker policies of the PT and imposing pro-corporate neo-liberal policies.

Protests against the coup by unions and other workers’ and progressive organizations in Brazil have been growing week by week. On behalf of the members of UE, we express our solidarity with the CUT, other labor organizations, and the people of Brazil in their struggle to restore democracy.

We call on the Obama administration to condemn the impeachment of President Rousseff as an illegal coup d’etat; to withdraw its recognition of the illegal coup government; and to use its considerable influence to demand the reinstatement of the democratically-elected government of President Dilma Rousseff.

May 27, 2016

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

New Members Join UE in Two NLRB Election in Ohio

UE - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 12:03pm
14 June, 2016New UE members at the Cleveland CSX rail yard celebrate their victory.Cleveland

UE Local 716 has gained 50 new members through National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) elections at two rail yards in Ohio. Local 716 is the new statewide local of rail crew van drivers in Ohio employer by Hallcom (formerly Renzenberger.) These two wins bring to seven the number of rail yards represented by the Local 716. The NLRB counted the ballots on June 13.

The NLRB conducted the vote by mail-in ballot elections.  Drivers at the CSX rail yard in Cleveland voted 19 to 0 for UE. Drivers at the CSX yard in Crestline vote 14 to 3 for UE. Crestline is a small community in north central Ohio.

Both groups overcame an intense anti-union campaign by the company. In Crestline the company tried to win people over by giving an unexpected raise to each worker, ranging from 25 to 75 cents an hour, just two days after the union petitioned the NLRB to conduct an election. The Crestline drivers wisely accepted the raise and still voted for UE, knowing that the union provides the best way to increase their pay.  The Cleveland drivers were never offered a raise and they were united in aggressive struggle. 

When the company sent its labor relations manager to give its “25th hour” anti-union speech (by law the company must cease its propaganda in the final 24 hours before the vote), the workers in Cleveland were ready to talk back, to such an extent that the boss ended up pleading for a chance to speak at “his” meeting.  So they allowed him about 30 seconds to speak, and then the workers resumed telling him how the company had mistreated them and why they were voting to form a union.

UE Field Organizer George Waksmunski assisted the Cleveland and Crestline workers in their organizing campaigns. 

 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Victory to the Verizon workers!

VWC - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 6:30pm

Last week, the largest strike in recent US history ended in victory for Verizon workers. While workers in Vermont weren't on strike, VWC members joined solidarity pickets in Burlington at the Verizon store, part of a national solidarity effort to pressure the company to negotiate in good faith. 

Their victory is a victory for all working families - showing that when workers and community members come together in solidarity we can win, even against multinational corporations like Verizon. Congratulations and thanks for staying strong!

Want to learn more? Here's an article by Christine Owens with the National Employment Law Project in the Huffington Post:

Worker Unity Brings Victory at Verizon 

"The largest strike in recent history ended on Wednesday, as nearly 40,000 Verizon field technicians, call-center workers and others went back to work after more than six weeks on the line. The strike captured the public’s imagination not just because of its size and duration, but because it laid bare the seedy underbelly of the attack on good jobs in America — unprincipled and unbridled outsourcing and globalization, fueled by corporate greed.

The Verizon strike was less a battle over union benefits than a fight for the future of work in America; less a campaign for those who sport the union label and more a crusade for us all. Confounding prognosticators and pundits, the workers won — and so did we all."

Click here to keep reading...

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

PBNYC Cycle 5 Press Release

CVH - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 6:14pm

THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
City Hall 
New York, NY 10007
                                                                                                                                                                          (212) 788-7116
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**                                                                                                              
May 26, 2016

     

 


Contact: (212) 788-7116
Release #: 051-2016
 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

This Changes Everything!

East Michigan Environmental Action Council - Sat, 05/28/2016 - 7:08pm
EMEAC is working with a dynamic team of environmental and climate justice activists to bring this thought-provoking global event home to Detroit!
Bringing Climate Justice Home to Detroit presentsA Free Showingof the Naomi Klein Film




This Changes EverythingDetroit Film Theatre at the DIA5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit 48202     Thursday May 26, 2016      Doors open/networking at 6pm      Film at 7pm


Sponsored by:Detroit Film TheatreDetroiters Working for Environmental JusticeEast Michigan Environmental Action CouncilEcology CenterGreat Lakes Bioneers DetroitIHM Peace, Justice & Sustainability OfficeMichigan Coalition for Human RightsMichigan UnitedPeople’s Water BoardSierra ClubSolidaritySoulardarity Voices for Earth JusticeZero Waste Detroit

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everythingis an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.
Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better. Join us on May 26 to watch the film as a community and then join us in ongoing actions to make #JustTransition here at home!
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

A 3 Year Old’s Lessons From a Trump Rally

SWOP - Fri, 05/27/2016 - 1:34pm

The following article is from Monica Cordova, former staff at SWOP and program director at Funder’s Collaborative on Youth Organizing

“Mama when do we get to meet Mr. Trumps to tell him to stop being means to peoples?” my three-year-old Graciela asked me as we left the Trump Rally in Albuquerque.

This election season has been painful for our community, and as a Chicana mama of two small children I have been forced to have difficult conversations I know they are not ready for- most adults can barely handle them. Explaining to my kids the hate and intolerance they are bombarded with in the media has been nothing short of heartbreaking. The decision to have them witness this rally first hand was agonizing- yet an important life lesson I needed them to learn.   

Tuesday afternoon’s rally was about more than standing against hate speech, though. It was an opportunity for my kids to feel the spirit of Nuevo Mexico that I know and love so dearly. From my grandpa tending to the land in southern New Mexico to nourish his family to my parents falling in love at Eastern New Mexico University this state has enriched my family for generations.

Walking through the street outside of the convention center with my double stroller holding both of my kids, outstretched hands offered bottles of water. Others smiled at my babies and handed them maracas. Graciela strained in her seat to get a better view of a blessing from local indigenous leaders, the music and the chants piquing her curiosity.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go!” began to vibrate the crowd and both Mateo and Graciela knew it was time to sing and dance. Trumpets boomed, multiple languages were in the air. Albuquerque was being, well, Albuquerque.

I looked around at all of the colorful banners and shirts, the sounds of protest and smells of spring, and saw the culture that represents the true soul of the Land of Enchantment. Overwhelmed with such a feeling of familia, I couldn’t help but hug my children and my mother- it felt like we were all being embraced by a land filled with centuries of struggle.

As Trump supporters taunted the peaceful rally with racial epithets and chants, the gente around us exuded kindness and even hugs.  For those that know the history of the southwest, from the colonization of the land by the Spanish, to the dispossession of La Raza by the U.S. conquest, to the present day with its poverty and criminalization felt disproportionately by our people, anger and hurt are never far from the surface.  But the movimiento is also strong, the legacy of Chicano and Native American liberation struggles threads through our community today.

The passion demonstrated by the protesters on Tuesday came from a place of love and a celebration of the diversity that makes New Mexico and our country stronger. Standing up to white supremacy has never been optional- it’s been a centuries long battle for survival.  Make no mistake about it–Donald Trump is just the latest manifestation of white supremacy- and, once again, our survival is on the line.

As dinnertime approached, I needed to get the kiddos home and we drove away. Graciela lifts up her head and asks “Mama when do we get to meet Mr. Trumps to tell him to stop being means to peoples?” I looked back at my baby, just 3 years old, too young to understand the possibility of hate, and said, I’m sorry baby. Even if you were able to talk with him sometimes you can’t reason with people that have that much hatred in their heart. She smiled and said, “that’s ok mama, we won’t be his friend.” I stared at the green light ahead and held back tears of joy and sadness- my child learned the right lesson, but she would have to grow up in a world where a Trump is possible.

Later, the media would ignore the positivity of the night and focus only on the idea of rowdy crowds that gathered after our rally dispersed. Protestors got violent, the headlines blared- the same as always.

But what should be on full display is the violence coming out of Trump’s mouth every time he speaks. The danger he creates for my babies, women, people of color and the LGTBQ community every time he opens his mouth.  The racism he incites is the violence.

And in my beautiful state of New Mexico what should be on national news as a crisis is the fact that we are 49th in child well-being while 30% of children experience hunger or are at risk for being malnourished. Families are starving, economically dying and struggling through an education system that has failed them. That is true violence.  

Through it all the people have courage, vision and determination. And what has been inspiring is the community across the country coming together to show that love trumps hate. Our community will not tolerate the divisiveness of xenophobia, bigotry, homophobia and misogyny that Donald Trump preaches.  Our hearts are bigger than his hate.

Love trumps hate. Focus on the words and actions of those on the ground in communities across this country looking to truly shift the conditions for those most vulnerable.  There is hope out there. You just aren’t going to find it coming out of the mouth of Donald Trump.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Albuquerque Picks Up The Pieces After Trump Blows Through Town

SWOP - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 6:31pm

Community begins healing after hateful, divisive Trump rally.

Over the last year we’ve all heard Donald Trump’s hateful, divisive and often violent speech aimed at much more than half of the population as he campaigns to be president. We’ve also seen a rise in racism, xenophobia and misogyny from a small but significant segment of Donald Trump supporters, in what many have called a resurgence of white nationalism.

Last week Donald Trump announced that he would bring his violent hate speech to New Mexico, a state with the largest per capita concentration of Chicano, Latino, Immigrant, and Native people in the country.

Local community and civic organizations understood quite well that Trump’s decision to come to Albuquerque would provoke protest, anger and division in our state. Our answer was to step up and provide leadership when no one in the City of Albuquerque seemed ready to do so.

Our governor and mayor stayed away, maybe afraid of any political consequences. Albuquerque’s police department marched forward with their usual confrontational attitude toward people exercising their 1st amendment rights.

We opened our offices to organizations and local residents of all colors, young and old, to create a space for everyone to celebrate our communities, and to say ‘no’ to the violent, hateful, divisive rhetoric of this presidential campaign.

Our message was simple: “We’re better together.”

To our dismay and surprise local police departments and the secret service seemed to stage the controversial event to provoke confrontation between protesters and rally attendees. Community members against hate were penned in the middle of the street with no shade, and bottlenecked rally attendees to walk down a path down the side of the pen.

On multiple occasions the peacekeeping team organized out of these efforts diffused situations that could have led to more serious confrontations, particularly when local police departments failed to provide security for peaceful, lawful demonstration and rally attendees.

We are proud of our peacekeeping efforts. We are proud of our city for standing up against divisive hate speech, racism, misogyny and patriarchy. As community organizations with long lasting ties to communities in the city and across the state, we felt that creating a message and space for New Mexicans to peacefully demonstrate against Donald Trump was the right thing to do. While we would never condone any type of violence, we are also not in a place to provide policing for the city of Albuquerque. That’s APD’s job.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

The Strategy Center—Finally—Gets the Tanks and M-16s Out of the LA School System

Labor/Community Strategy Center - Tue, 05/24/2016 - 7:00pm
Today, after 18 months of ferocious uphill organizing the Labor/Community Strategy Center reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles School Police Department.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

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