activism


animated texas flagSometimes I think I live in an entirely backwards state that does more harm than good. Other days I read stories like these that make me proud to be a Texan:

El Paso denies feds access to road for border fence

EL PASO, Texas — The country’s largest border city has decided to block efforts by federal authorities to use an access road that cuts across city property to work on existing border fencing.

The El Paso City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to block the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque district, from using the access road.

The vote, which City Councilman Steve Ortega described as “symbolic,” is the latest salvo by cities and property owners opposed to plans to build several hundred miles of new fencing in Texas.

“They haven’t made a case of why we need a new fence,” City Councilwoman Susie Byrd said after the vote.

Byrd said she was most concerned by what she described as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s lack of cooperation with local communities.

“The first time we’ve heard from them was today,” Byrd said.

In El Paso, Homeland Security officials have proposed replacing stretches of fencing near the city’s downtown that have been in place for well over a decade. There is also a plan to add new fencing that would cover more than a half-mile near one of the city’s international bridges.

…..Councilman Steve Ortega said the vote sends an important message about the city’s opposition to what he said was a symbolic attempt to secure the border.

“We met symbolism with symbolism,” Ortega said.

Austinites protest ICE presence in Travis Co. jail

Austinites protested federal immigration agents presence inside Travis County jails Tuesday on the front steps of the building.

The group says giving Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, an office inside the county jail isn’t fair. So along with protesting, the group delivered a letter of protest to the sheriff Tuesday.

The crowd also took turns voicing concerns of racial profiling and of dividing families. Leaders are worried an increased presence of ice will compromise public safety. They say documented and undocumented immigrants will fear reporting crimes because they could be removed from the country.

Sheriff Greg Hamilton responded to their concerns, saying it’s his job to keep the community safe and that means working with other law enforcement agencies.

Well I can’t go, but maybe you can.

CALLING STUDENTS AND YOUTH NATIONWIDE

 

Spring Break in Washington D.C. to End the Iraq Occupation

We invite you to invite yourself, your friends, and your peers to come to Washington D.C. to join youth and students from around the nation to

Break the War with Spring Break!
http://www.ourspringbreak.org

Come any time from March 7th to March 23rd to protest the Iraq War as it is forced into its sixth year. This spring our Generation steps up.

Events will include but are not limited to: Sit-Ins, Demonstrations, Marches, Rallies, Civil Disobedience, Music Performed by Head-Roc and Son of NUN and more

Spring break: one usually imagines these words screamed from bourbon filled mouths at a tacky beach resort. Let’s use this vacation as an opportunity to take concrete creative action to end this unjust war and show that we care.

Be There

Click facebook.com/group.php?gid=7034243829 to join the Facebook group!

Click groups.myspace.com/ourspringbreak to join the MySpace group!

Click www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7FheS2RFMs to see the YouTube video!

To organize for Our Spring Break, e-mail: contact@ourspringbreak.org

http://www.ourspringbreak.org

Our Spring Break is endorsed by: Artists Against the War, Backbone Campaign, Camp Casey Peace Institute, Campus Anti-War Network, CODEPINK Women for Peace, A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, United for Peace and Justice, AfterDowningStreet.org, The Critical Voice, Democrats.com, Grassroots America, Gold Star Families for Peace, Kennebunk Peace Department, Not In Our Name, Progressive Democrats of America, World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime

I just saw this and I think it is really warped. 

Kids: The New Voice In The Abortion Debate

The bell rang and the eighth graders jumped up, eager to compare notes.

“I named my baby Kyle Patrick,” one shouted.

“Mine is Antonio!”

At the urging of an antiabortion activist, they had each pledged to “spiritually adopt” a fetus developing in an unknown woman — to name it, love it from afar and above all, pray daily that the mother-to-be would not choose abortion.

“Maybe one day you’ll get to heaven and these people will come running to you . . . and say, ‘We’re all the little children you saved,’ ” activist Cristina Barba said. She smiled at the students in their Catholic school uniforms. “Maybe you really can make a difference.”

Thirty-five years after Roe vs. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, opponents are pouring resources into building new generations of activists. Young people are responding with passion.

Today’s students and young adults have grown up in a time when abortion was widely accessible and acceptable, and a striking number are determined to end that era.

Pew Research Center polls dating back a decade show that 18- to 29-year-olds are consistently more likely than the general adult population to favor strict limits on abortion. A Pew survey over the summer found 22% of young adults support a total ban on abortion, compared with 15% of their parents’ generation.

Click here to continue reading

Here are some suggestions for those kids that might actually be more helpful than what they are doing:

  1. Learn more about how to NOT become pregnant.  This is called sex education.  The real stuff that includes contraceptives and how to use them.  Prayer might be less effective than condoms.  Just sayin’.
  2. Help change this country so that women who want to have babies can get daycare and healthcare and jobs that pay them enough to raise the babies.
  3. Spend your time opposing war, capital punishment, drunk driving, cancer, heart disease, child abuse and all of the other things that kill people.
  4. Help get national health care for the United States so that women who know their fetus will be a baby with health problems will be more likely to choose to have the baby.
  5. Focus on the choices you want to make for yourselves, but let the rest of us make OUR own choices.

By the way, this is my “blogging for choice” post. 

These kids care about their health and the health of all their classmates. They protested, got suspended, got press, and MADE A DIFFERENCE! Now their school will be cleaned and even the other schools in their district. Good for them! (The part about their protest is at the end of the article in bold.)

Entire school system to be scrubbed after superbug case

PIKEVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — An eastern Kentucky school district with one confirmed case of antibiotic-resistant staph infection plans to shut down all 23 of its schools Monday, affecting about 10,300 students, to disinfect the facilities.

 

art.staph.ap.jpg

Workers clean a classroom in Chicago, Illinois. Staph infections have spread recently through several schools.

The project will involve disinfecting classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, hallways, locker rooms, buses and even external areas such as playgrounds and sports fields, said Roger Wagner, superintendent of Pike County schools.

“We’re not closing schools because there’s been a large number of breakouts, but as a preventive measure,” Wagner said.

One Pike County student was diagnosed with in September with MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The bacterial strain can be treated with other antibiotics, but without treatment it can be deadly.

The bacteria was blamed for the death of a 17-year-old Virginia high school senior and a 12-year-old New York City middle school student this month.

At least seven students on New York’s Long Island were recently diagnosed with MRSA, as were 10 members of an athletic team at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.

However, a government report has estimated it may sicken more than 90,000 Americans each year.

Two weeks ago, students staged a sit-in at the lunch room of Pike Central High School in effort to get school officials to clean the school as protection against the bacteria.

Most abandoned the sit-in after Principal David Rowe threatened them with a three-day suspension, but 33 stayed and were given the choice of one day of in-school suspension or two days out-of-school suspension.

Three chose out-of-school suspension.

Who’s the phony one here? Rush or the soldiers from Vote Vets?

These suggestions are from Code Pink. (Thanks Franya.) What else might work? Please leave a comment.

1. Tell Senator Lieberman: No War in Iran!

Joe Lieberman is waving his sword again. On Sunday, he told CBS “I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq.”

Upon hearing these words, our own Leslie Angeline, a CODEPINK member from Santa Rosa, CA, decided to go on a hunger strike until Senator Lieberman agreed to meet with her. Leslie, who recently returned from a peace delegation to Iran, has made it her mission to prevent America from attacking the country.

You can join us in solidarity by calling and emailing Lieberman’s office to demand that he retract his irresponsible call for military action in Iran. Call (202)224-4041 and ask to speak to Vance Serchuck, Lieberman’s Legislative Aide on foreign relations and Iran, or click here to send an email along with the picture on the above right of our action outside his office. We are holding photos taken from Leslie’s recent trip to Iran. Ask Lieberman if he really wants to attack these beautiful people, this beautiful place. See more action photos here.

As Leslie says, “70% of the Iranian population is under the age of 30-the age of my son. Iran is a country of warm, kind, and generous children and their families. We cannot start bombing these kids.”

Download and distribute our latest DON”T IRAQ IRAN flyer!

 

2. Learn What Presidential Candidates Are Saying About Iran

It is critical during this election season, to listen to what the presidential candidates – both Republican and Democrat – are saying about Iran. When a candidate says “No options are off the table,” they are sanctioning not only a possible military attack, but also a nuclear attack on Iran. This is totally unacceptable. We must insist that they put a nuclear attack off the table, and that they call for negotiations, not war.

Click here to download our list of presidential candidates and their positions on Iran.

3. Sign Our Petition to the UN Security Council!

Click here to add your name today!

4. Tell Congress! Don’t Iraq Iran!

Help us prevent another war in the Middle East. This time Congress must stop a pre-emptive attack! Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has introduced legislation (S.759) that would prohibit any funds from the recent supplemental bill to be used in attacking Iran. Urge your Senator to support S.759 TODAY!

5. Ask Your Press to be Critical and Vigilant!

The mainstream media is already jumping on the bandwagon about the Iranian threat. We hoped they would have learned their lesson after spreading falsehoods about WMDs in Iraq. But once again journalists such as New York Times’ Michael R. Gordon, Judith Miller’s sidekick in the WMD and phony aluminum tubes reporting, are quoting anonymous sources as proof that Iran is providing Iraqi militias with powerful explosives to attack US troops. For more analysis of the press and Iran, click here.

In fact, the evidence against Iran is insubstantial and full of exaggeration. Even General Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he hasn’t seen any intelligence that supports the claim. We need to tell the press that now is the time to ask serious questions instead of blindly supporting the administration’s headlong rush into another tragic and unnecessary war. Please contact media outlets and tell them we demand a critical, vigilant press. Click here to send your letter now!

 

6. Learn More!

PowerPoint Show of influential and famous Iranians in our midst:

In recent years, the media has damaged Iran?s image so badly that when people hear the name of Iran, they only picture black chadors, terrorism, and ayatollahs. These stereotypes are being constructed to make it easier for governments to attack Iran with public approval. This is why NoWar SA has produced a prsentation to help break down these negative stereotypes.

This is from Progressive Democrats of America. Please call or email.

Fema Trailers

Push the Senate Today to Support Katrina Survivors

September 25th, 2007

100,000 displaced. 65,000 families still living in FEMA trailers. This is the Gulf Coast two years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. After years spent dragging its feet, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs is holding hearings today on the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act, the bill that will create a real road home for thousands of renters and owners in New Orleans and throughout the region.

Tell Chairman Dodd (D-CT) and the committee to move the legislation and bring Katrina survivors home.

The legislation, already passed in the House, will establish a right
to return for residents of public housing, release funds to create a
Road Home program that really works, designate $1.7 billion for rental housing and earmark millions for community development programs.

Read more about the bill here.

The legislation is finally on the agenda; let’s work together to make sure the Senate makes it a priority.

Send a letter today.

Thank you for standing up for just recovery in the Gulf…and nothing less.

Le’Kedra, Rosa, Ditra, Noeleen, Josué and Andre
The KIN Team

Many photos available here.

Who would have the courage to do this today, 50 years later? She is a hero.

Elizabeth Eckford, Of The Little Rock Nine, Tells Her Life Story

It was a school night, and Elizabeth Eckford was too excited to sleep. The next morning, September 4, 1957, was her first day of classes, and one last time she ironed the pleated white skirt she’d made for the occasion. It was made of pique cotton; when she’d run out of material, she’d trimmed it with navy-blue-and-white gingham. Then she put aside her new bobby socks and white buck loafers. Around 7:30 a.m. the following day, she boarded a bus bound for Little Rock Central High School.

Other black schoolchildren were due at Central that historic day, but Elizabeth would be the first to arrive. The world would soon know all about the Little Rock Nine. But when Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Central, and thereby become the first black student to integrate a major southern high school, she was really the Little Rock One. The painfully shy 15-year-old daughter of a hyper-protective mother reluctant to challenge age-old racial mores, she was the unlikeliest trailblazer of all. But as dramatic as the moment was, it really mattered only because Elizabeth wandered into the path of Will Counts’s camera.

You can read more about the history here.

photo by Will Counts/Arkansas History Commission

It’s very hard to stand up to a bully on your own. Bullies can be very intimidating, which is why bullying works until someone stops the bully. This is a wonderful account of how some high school kids in Canada reacted to a bully in their school, and how they worked as a group to show that the bully’s opinion was meaningless.

 

students in pink shirts

‘I’ve stood around too long’
Central Kings students wear pink to send bullies a message
By IAN FAIRCLOUGH Valley Bureau | 3:51 PM

CAMBRIDGE — Two students at Central Kings Rural High School fought back against bullying recently, unleashing a sea of pink after a new student was harassed and threatened when he showed up wearing a pink shirt.

The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying.

RELATED: Pink shirts legend grows

“It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something,” said David.

They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.

“I made sure there was a shirt for him,” David said.

They also brought a pink basketball to school as well as pink material for headbands and arm bands. David and Travis figure about half the school’s 830 students wore pink.

It was hard to miss the mass of students in pink milling about in the lobby, especially for the group that had harassed the new Grade 9 student.

“The bullies got angry,” said Travis. “One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We’re glad we got the response we wanted.”

David said one of the bullies angrily asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality.

He told the bully that didn’t matter to him and shouldn’t to anyone.

“Something like the colour of your shirt or pants, that’s ridiculous,” he said.

“Our intention was to stand up for this kid so he doesn’t get picked on.”

Travis said the bullies “keep giving us dirty looks, but we know we have the support of the whole student body.

“Kids don’t need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school. That should be the last thing on their minds.”

When the bullied student put on his pink shirt Friday and saw all the other pink in the lobby, “he was all smiles. It was like a big weight had been lifted off is shoulder,” David said. No one at the school would reveal the student’s name.

Travis said that growing up, he was often picked on for wearing store-brand clothes instead of designer duds.

The two friends said they didn’t take the action looking for publicity, but rather to show leadership in combating what they say is frequent bullying in schools.

( ifairclough@herald.ca)

    My brother was 6 when he decided to join the military and 18 when he did. He was not drafted. It was his choice. I do not want to get drafted when I turn 18 in 2 yrs (and a few months). Do you? If Bush doesn’t ever let this war end, and if Congress never pushes for it to end, then we all might end up fighting. Even with enlistment bonuses and 5th tours of duty, the military is going to run out of soldiers and marines.

This is an ad that is being run in Maine where Susan Collins is up for re-election, but it could run anywhere. Watch it. Share it with people. Keep me and my friends and our classmates and our generation from having to get drafted to fight Bush’s war.

Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to go on 3 or 4 or 5 deployments? Are you ready for PTSD? Are you ready to die?

solar panelsOK. Texas started. In addition to the ones mentioned here, there are also schools with some solar panels. Can the whole country do this? Can we do a better job at recycling at school? Can we turn in more work electronically and not on paper? Can they cut down on the AC sometimes? What’s happening where you live?

Schools find it easy being green

Districts strive to make campuses eco-friendly.

Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen


AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Sunday, August 26, 2007

When it comes to building schools, district leaders and taxpayers are focused on being green: being environmentally friendly as well as fiscally responsible.

Several campuses are opening for the first time Monday in the Austin area, and dozens of other campuses and school buildings are under construction or are being renovated. Many have gone green — using recyclable materials in construction and operation and saving on water and energy — as part of a nationwide movement that touts green schools as healthier for students and cheaper to operate.

Almost four years ago, the Austin school district made the largest purchase to date of renewable energy from Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program: 45.7 million kilowatt-hours annually of solar, wind or geothermal power. It was the largest such purchase by a school district nationwide. The district is eligible for $430,000 in Austin Energy rebates for environmentally friendly projects in the 2004 $519.5 million bond program.

When Pickle Elementary School opened in Northeast Austin in 1999, it was the first Austin campus to include green building features like proper solar orientation to better take advantage of natural light, which helps it use 25 percent less energy than other campuses, along with rainwater collection to replace water that evaporates out of air conditioners and salvaged long-leaf pine floors. An analysis estimates that those features will save the district $12 million over the life of the school.

Schools represent the largest construction sector in the nation, with $53 billion being spent this year, and they are the fastest-growing market for green building, which is expected to account for 5 percent to 10 percent of the school construction market by 2010, according to the Council of Educational Facility Planners International.

About 60 schools across the country, including two in Dallas and Houston, have been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization in Washington that sets “green” standards. An additional 370 are in the pipeline; one San Marcos school is among the nine in Texas.

I wonder who is behind THESE people.

Not everyone believes that it’s easier being green, however. Saying that building costs would skyrocket, the Fast Growth School Coalition, a group of 124 Texas school districts, helped defeat a bill during the most recent legislative session that would have required all school construction to fall in line with standards set by the Green Building Council.

I just got this email. But it sounds like people in other states can call their governor too.

—Freckles Cassie

Dear Cassie,

George Bush has done it again. He has sided with insurance and drug company profits over the health and well-being of our nation’s children. Late Friday night, the Bush administration released a letter to state health officials that
effectively eliminated health insurance coverage for millions of American kids. This underhanded one-size-fits-all cutback limits Texas’s ability to cover uninsured kids and cripples any chance of reasonable expansion.¹

What can you do? Let’s face it; President Bush isn’t going to take your call.

On the other hand, when the governor of a state calls, even Bush will listen.

Call Governor Perry right now and demand that Texas stands up to President Bush’s anti-children campaign.

Governor Rick Perry
512 463-2000

Here’s what you can say:

“President Bush’s new rules which reduce the availability of the Children’s Health Insurance Program for uninsured kids must be repealed. Governor Perry must call President Bush today and demand a complete rollback of the new rules. Can I count on the governor to stand up for our kids?”

Please report how your call went here:
http://www.DemocracyforAmerica.com/chipcalls

This is a very important time. Congress is poised to send an extensive expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan to Bush’s desk next month, and Bush has already threatened to veto it. If we amp up the pressure now on a rules change they didn’t even think we’d notice, we send Bush and Republicans in Congress a clear message that the health of America’s children always comes first.

Please call the Governor right now. Your neighbor’s kid might be depending on it.

Charles Chamberlain

Political Director

¹: “Rules May Limit Health Program Aiding Children” NYTimes,8-21-2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/washington/21health.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

 

Rachel Maddow shows that the repubs only care about unborn children and not children after they’re born. Good job!


 

end the occupation of iraqWhen the Iraq war started in 2003, Donald Rumsfeld told us that it would probably last, “It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months,”
He was right. Six weeks later, the president strutted around a ship near San Diego and told the troops on the ship this: “In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed,” Bush said then. “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on. … We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.”

So, the war ended and then the occupation started. And disaster. And looting. And violence. And the worst decision-making in history. And five years later, people are still dying.

The time to end the occupation is NOW! And here are some things you can do to help:

1) Start calling it an occupation and not a war.

2) Learn more about it. Here are some good websites:

3) Call your member of congress and your senator and tell them to fund the withdrawal of the troops.

Please do what you can and leave suggestions here of other places where people can learn how to end the occupation.

Time to start looking at who is for impeachment and who is against.

Cindy Sheehan said this today:

“If Nancy Pelosi doesn’t do her constitutionally mandated job by
midnight tonight, tomorrow I will announce that I’m going to run
against her,” Sheehan said after a cross-country trip with supporters.

“Not only am I going to run against her, but I will beat her.”


Who else is on board?

On Sunday, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold said he would introduce two censure motions, a lesser non-binding device than impeachment, against Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other White House officials.

US peace activist Cindy Sheehan vowed Monday to stand for election against top Democrat Nancy Pelosi in 2008, over her refusal to launch an impeachment drive against President George W. Bush.(AFP/Nicholas Kamm )

AFP Photo:
US peace activist Cindy Sheehan vowed Monday to stand for election against top Democrat Nancy…

Here’s one more to add to the list:

Priming the Pump

The purpose of this workspace is to develop Articles of Impeachment against the chief villains of BushCo.
This workspace was inspired by a post by looseheadprop at FireDogLake.

(Note: these articles are just proposals.

The real Articles will be written by the House Judiciary Committee.)

Table of Contents

Standards and Order of Proof

Articles of Impeachment concerning President George W. Bush

Articles of Impeachment concerning George W. Bush et al.

Articles of Impeachment concerning Vice President Dick Cheney

Articles of Impeachment concerning Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales

Additional proposals for articles of impeachment may be found at http://www.impeachpac.org/?q=articles

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