Social Activism


November 1, 2011

Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: We turn here to New York and the Occupy movement. As participants in Occupy Wall Street continue protesting the record profits made by banks bailed out by taxpayer money, a group of grassroots activists are hitting JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo where it hurts most: the wallet. Dubbing this Saturday as "Bank Transfer Day," activists are urging people to move their money out of the largest banks in the country into local community banks and credit unions.


October 15, 2011

The streets of Bloomington swelled on Oct. 15, 2011, with Occupy Bloomington protesters who demanded a cultural revolution that rewards humanity and justice over avarice and sociopathy. The march began at People's Park and proceeded to the Farmer's Market and back to the park, with stops at Chase bank, the Monroe County Jail and the Farmer's Market.

As motorists, downtown shoppers and market-goers honked, smiled and otherwise demonstrated support, the marchers chanted "We are the 99 percent; you are the 99 percent," "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out," and "This is what democracy looks like."


October 13, 2011

“Hundreds turned out onto the streets of Indianapolis to protest the banksters and perpetual war machine. The crowd was high spirited and politically sophisticated. Revolution was in the air!” So went the assessment of day 1 of Occupy Indianapolis by Bob Baldwin, an Indianapolis resident.

In an e-mail, Baldwin did a good job capturing the mood of the protest, which began at noon on Oct. 8, and the corporate media did a decent job of describing its content. But no news story except one in the Bloomington Herald-Times mentioned the most exciting aspect of the event, the “leaderless resistance,” as that story described it – that is, the process through which the protest took place.

October 8, 2011

News Release
Occupy Bloomington

Passionate community members and students will gather at People's Park on Kirkwood Avenue at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, to begin an occupation of the park in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Occupy Together movement as a whole. Those in attendance will set up camping equipment to use the park as a hub to plan other events and actions around the Bloomington community to empower and raise awareness.

The Occupy Bloomington movement has drawn people of all ages, creeds, races, beliefs and political standings. Through group consensus the movement has agreed on a location and time to begin the event. Any interested community members are invited to come share ideas, passions and thoughts on where to take the movement.


September 25, 2011

Leaving Washington after 10 days in front of the White House, I ride the train through hills and mountains – Maryland, West Virginia? I look out on trees, rocks, river: wide river, shallow with rocks, winding, here and there a small island; now an old stone building, a wide field, a farm; now trees again, roads, farms. “Beautiful,” I think. There's a bit of mist, now turned to rain streaming down the windows. Across the aisle a baby is entertained by his mother.

This is what it is about – that life should continue. Perhaps I should say, life as we now know it. The teaching says, “Accept what is offered,” but I am not yet able to accept the end of human life, the end of trees, of rain, of deer. I am worried at the loss of insects. Suddenly I remember, driving a car in the summer 10, 20 years ago meant a windshield splattered with insects, frequent scrubbing and cleaning of their dead bodies – and this is no longer true; the insects are nearly gone. What else is lost, will be lost every day in this great extinction? How can I come to terms with it?

Divest from health insurance companies

September 17, 2011

I was the doctor on duty one night in August when the ambulance rushed a man into our Midwestern hospital ER. As I walked into the room, the scene was right out of TV. A nurse was trying to start an IV. Someone was running an EKG. A student had just put oxygen in the patient’s nose. The room seemed crowded. The paramedics were sweating and slightly out of breath.

But my attention was on a pale, thin, 55-year-old man sitting bolt upright on a gurney, clutching his chest and straining to breathe. Cold sweat dripped off his nose. I asked a couple of quick questions as I leaned him forward to listen to his lungs. Someone handed me his EKG showing an acute heart attack.

September 16, 2011

When Libyan rebels went to Bab al-Azizia in Tripoli last week, questions were raised about the success of the Libyan revolution. Is the Libyan revolution considered a victory? Would this victory have occurred without the help of NATO? Did the involvement of NATO undermine the uprising?

After Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's reign collapsed, there was a strong belief among Arab leaders that the collapse of additional Arab leaders should be avoided. Evidence of this is that the Arab leaders have encouraged their brothers to fight against their people. No one among the Arab leaders has yet made a declaration regarding the right of the people to demonstrate. Not even the Arab League said a word about that.


August 26, 2011

The Midwest Rising Convergence 2011, on Aug. 12–15 at the University of Missouri–St. Louis conference center, wasn’t an ordinary conference. It featured no experts or celebrities. The 200 or so participants co-operatively ran it, cooking and serving meals, working at the registration desk and holding workshops.

Billed as an anticorporate gathering of activists with a focus on environmental and economic justice and on the interconnectedness of social justice issues, the convergence was highlighted by several instances of direct action.


August 5, 2011

Imprisonment in this country means “systematic torture, endemic corruption, pervasive racial and class bias, the failure of the war on drugs, and the massive economic and social devastation it wreaks upon entire communities,” in the words of Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, writing on July 20.

Imprisonment can be a collection of abstractions to someone who hasn’t spent time incarcerated, but a new memoir describes the day-to-day, and sometimes minute-by-minute, existence of the incarcerated: Marshall “Eddie” Conway and Dominique Stevenson, Marshall Law: The Life and Times of a Baltimore Black Panther (Oakland: AK Press, 2011).

Aryan murders put entire state on lockdown; prisoners seek solidarity

July 30, 2011

Indiana Prisoner Solidarity

Editor's note: This statement was submitted and "written collaboratively between citizens on the inside and outside of Indiana prisons. The goal is to contribute to opposition and active resistance to all forms of domination, be they imposed directly by the state or manifested through structural inequalities and prejudices."

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On the morning of July 16, an alleged white supremacist was stabbed and killed by two alleged Latin Disciples. The attack took place at Pendleton Correctional Facility in the maximum security area of the prison. The murder, coming on the heels of inmate murders at Miami Correctional Facility and Pendleton Correctional Facility earlier in the year, was the stated pretense for putting all institutions in the state on lockdown and conducting thorough, far-reaching searches.

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