Tag Archives: Protest

Resist Protest Event in Minnesota Draws Huge Crowd, Ignored By Press

Last night, I went to an event, apparently organized by an indivisible group, in Plymouth Mass.

Plymouth is in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District, and is represented by Congressman Erik Paulsen. Paulsen took over, years ago, from a “reasonable Republican” that even Democrats in CD03 remember fondly. But Paulsen has quietly and without fanfare served as a Tea Party Republican since being elected. During the time that he and Michele Bachmann served in the same Congress, in physically adjoining districts, Paulsen and Bachmann voted the same way on almost every bill, and the few differences were trivial, such as, one was absent, or a division on a water district resource bill, or something really minor.

Other than being a lock-step Republican, Paulsen is famous for something else: Doing or saying absolutely nothing to anyone at any time, and keeping entirely to himself. Back when he was first elected, he had a town hall meeting or two, the last of which was done electronically, as far as anyone remembers, so no one would be in the room with him. That was close to seven years ago. It is like Paulsen is pathologically unable to be in a room with constituents.

Meanwhile, the voters of the third district are a mixture of Democratic union supporters and recent immigrants who are politically active and vote, wealthy Republicans who quietly write checks and vote, and workers in the technology, medical device, or Big Ag industries whose livelihoods depend on good science policy in Congress but who are not politically active and don’t vote. This is the education district. Some of the top school districts in the state are in this congressional district. But the voters prefer to send education-killing Republicans to the State House and an anti-Education member to Congress, then compensate for their bad policies by voting yes, sometimes, on school district bonding bills. It makes very little sense that Erik Paulsen gets elected every two years.

Part of this has to do with the inability of Democrats to get their acts together. One year, two medium-strong candidates slogged it out in the primary and caucus process, but caused so much hate that a lot of Democratic voters stayed home. Several year later, in 2016, that vitriol probably kept some of the Democrats that might have elected one of those candidates, back for another try, from being elected. One year we had a good candidate who was very honest, and thus, another candidate who was less than honest in his positions was selected to run against Paulsen, and he stopped running several weeks before the election for personal reasons. One year a really good candidate emerged, but a different candidate, very well connected in the Democratic Party on the national level, shoved him aside, ran, and lost. That sort of thing.

So, the other day, I was communicating with some environmental activists about an event we’ve got coming up. Somebody said, “hey, let’s bring some flyers for our event to that thing going on Thursday down at the church.” So I looked into the thing.

It turns out that an Indivisible group had organized a Town Hall for Congressman Erik Paulsen. He never has his own, so they kindly organized one for him. He was invited, but just in case, they got a big cardboard cutout to put up in front of the room.

The event was not that well publicized. I know a lot of activists in the area who did not know about it. I learned about it at the last minute from a random mention, as noted. And, I did go.

So, I got in the car to drive the five minutes down to the church. Partway there, traffic stopped. About 25 minutes later, I got to the church, crawling along in this huge traffic jam, that was going out in all directions from the church. Five minutes after that I got a parking spot a few blocks away, and walked down to the church. So, maybe a thousand cars were in this giant traffic jam, and hundreds of people were standing around outside the church. Inside, were the 600 or so maximum occupancy, and and the cardboard cutout.

One or two thousand, maybe a little more, citizens showed up to let Erik Paulsen know that they did not appreciate his having ignored the voters for so long, and demanding to know what he will do, as a member of the House, and as a Republican, about his fellow Republican, Donald Trump.

I hear the news reporters were there, but there were no TV trucks identified as being affiliated with a station. I saw one guy from MinnPost. I see zero coverage of this event on most of the news this morning, and where there is coverage, it is minor (the Strib did something small).

If people are wondering what they can do about Trump, one thing you can do right now is to contact WCCO, KARE, FOX-9, Eyewitness 5, and the Star Tribune and ask them why they did not cover the protest with a couple thousand people at it held in Plymouth.

Stand Up for Science Gathering in Boston

This is not the April 22 March for Science, but something more local and timed to occur with the American Association for the Advancement of Science meetings in Boston.

From the press release:

Scientists Take to the Streets to “Stand up for Science”

Scientists and impacted communities respond to attacks by anti-science forces and climate deniers in government

BOSTON – On Sunday, February 19, scientists, science advocates, community members, and frontline communities will rally at Boston’s Copley Square to call for increased vigilance to defend science against the barrage of attacks mounted by the Trump administration and Congress. The rally coincides with thousands of scientists gathering in Boston for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting, one of the first major convenings of scientists since anti-science forces and climate deniers gained unprecedented power in government.

The rally builds on the growing and historic movement of scientists fighting back against the Trump administration’s efforts to discredit science and climate research and dismantle key scientific institutions within the government. Since the election, hundreds of climate scientists rallied in San Francisco, thousands of scientists have signed open letters, rogue Twitter accounts have sprung up on behalf of governmental agencies, and some scientists may run for elected office. Sunday’s rally is the precursor to the March for Science taking place in DC and in cities around the world this April 22.

WHAT: Rally to Stand up for Science

WHO: AAAS members and community supporters (full speaker list to be announced):

<li> Jacquelyn Gill, Ph.D. Asst. Prof. of Paleoecology, Univ. of Maine, Candidate for US Congress (ME-2), 2018; Host, Warm Regards Podcast</li>

    <li>Kelly L. Fleming, Ph.D. AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow hosted at the US Dept. of Energy, 500 Women Scientists Leadership Board</li>

    <li>Geoffrey Supran, Ph.D. Science History Post Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University</li>

    <li>Astrid Caldas, Ph.D. Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists</li>

WHERE:

Copley Square
560 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116


WHEN:

Sunday, February 19, 2017
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm ET

WEAR YOUR LAB COAT IF YOU’VE GOT ONE!

March for Science

The March for Science is scheduled to take place April 22, 2017 in DC . Hashtag #ScienceMarch

Twitter account here.

Web site here, though not much there yet, this was JUST announced seconds ago.

Please note that they are accepting donations. Click through to the donations page to give a donation!

Alternate logo here:

MarchForScience

To find out about other marches in your area, if you can’t get to DC, for now, look at March for Science “follow” list, here. They will be putting info up at a later time, apparently.

Like the tree that stands beside the water …

We shall not be moved. …”

Fifty five of us jammed in a bus designed to hold fourty people plus a driver, rolling down Highway 90 from Upstate New York to Chicago. As a teenager (just turned 15), I was thrilled to be going to Chicago to attend the Fight Back Conference, a thinly disguised Communist Party meeting. I was going, in part for Keith, the young African American kid (about 12 years old) who was shot in the back by a state trooper just under a year earlier. Keith was driving a mo-ped down the toll road, on the shoulder, where he shouldn’t have been. It appears that he did not notice the trooper pull over behind him, so he just kept driving off. Or maybe he was trying to escape. If memory serves, he was the first human to be shot and killed with one of the brand new Magnum sidearms that the troopers fought so hard to arm themselves with, to replace the old .38’s typical in those days for police officers. He was shot square in the back.

Continue reading Like the tree that stands beside the water …

Scott Walker RECALLED after weakening Unions, cutting their pay, and threatening them with military action

The Government Accountability Board in Wisconsin voted unanimously to recall Governor Scott Walker following the submission of a petition with 900,000 signatures. (Only 540,208 signatures were required.)

Walker was targeted for recall after he pushed through a law last year that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most state workers. It also forced the workers to contribute more to their pension and health care costs, which amounted to a cut in pay.

Walker told reporters he would be willing to mobilize the National Guard in order to address potential repercussions from unions.

source

#occupy update

Things have gone south in Oakland

On Saturday, Occupy Oakland re-entered the national spotlight during a day-long effort to take over an empty building and transform it into a social center. Oakland police thwarted the efforts, arresting more than 400 people in the process, primarily during a mass nighttime arrest outside a downtown YMCA. That number included at least six journalists, myself included, in direct violation of OPD media relations policy that states “media shall never be targeted for dispersal or enforcement action because of their status.”

After an unsuccessful afternoon effort to occupy a former convention center, the more than 1,000 protesters elected to return to the site of their former encampment outside City Hall. On the way, they clashed with officers, advancing down a street with makeshift shields of corrugated metal and throwing objects at a police line. Officers responded with smoke grenades, tear gas, and bean bag projectiles. After protesters regrouped, they marched through downtown as police pursued and eventually contained a few hundred of them in an enclosed space outside a YMCA. Some entered the gym and were arrested inside.

As soon as it became clear that I would be kettled with the protesters.

..

Read the rest here

If there were lobbyists in the 18th century, would there be a provision in the US Constitution …

… to restrict their activities?

David Cay Johnston doesn’t say that, but on reading his essay, I was thinking that. The corporations that occupy Congress won’t tell you anything you weren’t already thinking about how the government serves corporations, but it is a well framed and well written and reasonably detailed update that you should read. Continue reading If there were lobbyists in the 18th century, would there be a provision in the US Constitution …

“The girls of Egypt are here”

Egyptian Women Protesting
Women protesting in Cairo. (Phtoto:http://goo.gl/RneKl)

Thousands of Egyptian women marched in Cairo last night in protest of treatment of female demonstrators in Tahrir Square.

Their chant was: “Drag me, strip me, my brothers’ blood will cover me! Where is the field marshal? The girls of Egypt are here.”

(The reference to “Field Marshal” ist ot FM Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.)

This is the lasrgest and most significant demonstration by women in Egypt in modern times, by a large margin. Continue reading “The girls of Egypt are here”