crossthewerewolf asked:

So the Royal Canadian Circus is coming to my town and I don't agree with circuses at all. They are so cruel, how they deprive the animals of basic needs to get them to preform. Even using whips, chains, sharp hooks and electric prods to get them to do what they need to make money. So I banded together with the small group of Vegans in my town and we have a petition started. If we get enough signatures, we will confront the mayor on having it banned from our city. Im glad :)

Hey crossthewerewolf ! This is just awesome, thanks so much for taking action and speak up for those animals; people with initiative like this is what we’re missing :)

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Exploratory Steelhead in British Columbia Part 3 & 4
Foraging, Over Harvest and Activism

It’s tough to go anywhere with Yvon and not stop to grub up some wild food along the way. And since I’m pretty much in the same category, when you put the two of us together, we tend to find the time–even in the middle of a steelhead trip. The crab pots paid off with countless huge Dungeness, right in front of camp, and Yvon, as usual, ate all the crab innards with a spoon while Will and I stuck to the succulent leg and body meat. Then there were limpets dotting the rocks along the beach, which I thought of as tiny abalone. We also found tremendous steamer-clam beds, and even a lack of implements and containers couldn’t slow us down. That’s the human backhoe mining for bivalves with a mini-raft oar above, and hauling our catch in someone’s discarded wading boot below. Who needs shovels and buckets?

As we were gearing up in the early-morning dark for another day of fishing, the crackly voice on the radio told us we should start making other plans. Especially if we wanted to make our flight home any time in the next three or four days. With a 17-foot aluminum skiff the only available transportation, and 30+ miles of open saltwater between us and home, it was suddenly a race to pack up and get out of Dodge before the front hit. So much for fishing.

The good news is that we beat the storm back to town, and managed to dig a nice boot-full of steamer clams along the way. More importantly, our hasty departure allowed us to spend some extra time with our hosts, the people of the Heiltsuk First Nation, as they scrambled to protest a surprise commercial herring harvest opened by Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

According to William Housty, Heiltsuk Coastwatch Director and cultural leader, scientific studies (by both independent researchers and DFO’s own biologists) show that herring stocks along the Central Coast are too depleted to allow a commercial fishery. The Heiltsuk and DFO had an agreement that the government would consult with Heiltsuk leaders before opening the fishery and give at least 24 hours notice before any opener.

Instead, knowing the Heiltsuk would protest, DFO opened the fishery without consultation or any warning whatsoever. Rumor had it that DFO didn’t even announce the opener by radio, but instead contacted the fishing fleet directly so the Heiltsuk protesters wouldn’t have time to organize.

An entire hotel building was rented, we were told, to a “private party,” which we soon discovered was a large number of black-clad RCMP officers sent in to “keep the peace.” But to me, it looked ominously like they were there to protect the commercial fishermen.

And yet, word went out throughout the Heiltsuk Nation, and protests materialized in a matter of hours. People dropped what they were doing and jumped onboard. Heiltsuk boats raced to the fishing grounds to protest in person, while other members occupied the DFO office nearby. While the protest was too late to stop the seine fishery, ultimately, the corporate fishing fleet and DFO gave in, sending the gillnet boats home empty.

The fact that DFO would ignore both Heiltsuk sovereignty and the best available science to hold this fishery on a depleted stock is just further proof that when the Harper government talks about “First Nations rights,” “listening to science” or “sustainability,” it’s a complete joke. And not a very funny one, at that.

For me, this was a steelhead trip that ended up being about much more. From the tremendous wealth of wild food, natural resources and culture protected by the Heiltsuk Nation, to their inspiring confrontations with those who seek to destroy it, I learned much. And I returned home more convinced than ever of the importance and value in protecting what we love.

original content Dylan Tomine

Brisbane protest over Indigenous community closures occupies City Hall The Guardian

After Friday’s planned protest was called off due to storms, a reported 3,000 protesters gathered on Saturday as hundreds held a peaceful sit-in

Hundreds of people “occupied” Brisbane’s City Hall in protest at the threatened closure of remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia.

The sit-in, which ended peacefully on Saturday evening after protesters chanted slogans and sported banners in the hall for more than two hours, followed nationwide protests on Friday.                   

Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy spokesman Paul Spearim said Indigenous communities were concerned the plight faced by those in WA was a harbinger of what could take hold in the fellow mining state of Queensland. …..

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1 in 3 women will have an abortion — and these stickers are fighting the stigma 

This week, activists on 75 college campuses created a “pop-up” sticker project, in collaboration with the 1 in 3 campaign, campaign director Julia Reticker-Flynn told Mic. The stickers, which included women’s real stories of abortion in English and Spanish, were posted in high-traffic spaces on their campuses to spark personal dialogues about the role abortion plays in women’s lives. But not everyone was OK with the stickers.

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LGBT people of color face systemic discrimination and inequality in housing, healthcare, employment, family recognition, education, and countless other ways. Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for LGBT People of Color is a new report by the Movement Advancement Project that examines the ins and outs of political, financial and legal landscapes for LGBT people of color. Read the full report here

Let’s talk about just how “unskilled” my minimum wage labor is.

At IHOP, I had to memorize a vast menu of possible breakfast combinations. Did you know the system contains more than thirty different choices for how an egg should be prepared? Then choices of pancakes or French toast, what kind of toppings, was this a custom order or was it one of our seasonal specials? Oh, yeah, the seasonal specials. Every three months, we had a four hour staff meeting to discuss the new food items that would be added to the menu. Most of us came in and spent this four hour meeting in addition to the nearly twelve hour shift we would work later that night or had already been working early that morning.

Better memorize the seasonal specials, too, or else you’ll be screwing up people’s food left and right. And screwed up food means screwed up tips, especially when it comes to breakfast. On that note, guess how similar all the dishes looked. When you work primarily in a breakfast diner with infinite combinations of specials, pre-designed plates, and custom orders, it is very easy to mistake your table’s food for someone else’s when it comes out. You definitely don’t want to make that mistake, though, since IHOP has a system where you might run another server’s food out to their table. You have to be able to see what a dish is by sight and be able to distribute it to a table whose order you did not take. Some of my coworkers who had been doing this for years could take an order completely by memorizing it at the table. When you are often expected to serve up to eight people at one table, often several tables at a time, this is a truly incredible feat.

Oh, and dishes come out hot. At my IHOP, the dress code dictated a short sleeved collared white shirt. The lack of sleeves meant that I had to balance a number of very hot dishes on my bare arms, then walk to the table and distribute them without dropping anything. If you’ve never had to successfully balance ten hot plates on your arms at a time, I suggest you pop some in the microwave right now and give walking across your living room a shot. (Might not want to try unless you have carpet or money to spare for new plates, though.)

During football season, IHOP was the only restaurant open late in my town with enough space for large parties. On these Friday and Saturday nights I worked until 5 or 6 in the morning, having started my shift at 4 or 5 that afternoon. I took orders for parties of ten, fifteen, and twenty, often at the same time, with smaller tables as well. I was expected to split checks and understand how to divide incredibly complex orders, and then take payment without losing credit cards, mixing up checks, or any other disastrous thing that can happen when you are holding fifteen forms of payment in your hands at once.

Even when the actual serving had ended, there were a number of meticulous shopkeeping duties that had to be done at the end of each shift. Sometimes that meant I’d be filling 200 tiny cups with salad dressing at four in the morning, and others it meant I’d be taking meticulous inventory in my short sleeves in the freezer, restocking from storage where necessary. Everyone had to roll silverware every night, and when you’ve been on your feet for eleven hours, you can imagine how it feels to have to roll two hundred forks and two hundred knives into two hundred napkin and put the sticky tab on each one, after you wash off all the water spots and polish the utensils.

Did I mention there’s a lot of lifting in a minimum wage service job? I’m sure that’s true in other areas as well, but even now that I’m working as a soda jerk and not a server, there’s tons of lifting heavy objects. I have to lift large boxes of supplies from the stock room in order to make sure everything is, well, stocked. I lift gallons of frozen ice cream. I carry bus trays full of solid glass dishes and half-finished drinks to the kitchen (you think this job is unskilled? You try scraping all those plates without actually touching someone’s half-eaten pancakes. It’s impossible).

Not to mention handling to-go orders without tips, people who come in with coupons that slash their order to nothing and then tip according to the adjusted total despite you delivering the same level of service, the fact that the prices were already low because it’s IHOP so tips were meager. I could complain to you for days about experiences with bad and ignorant customers that took all my control, all my people management skills, all my thickness of skin to get through, and I didn’t get paid any extra for putting up with that shit.

Remember, I only get paid the equivalent of a meal at McDonald’s for every hour of my work. I deserve better. We all do.

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Take Action on Earth Day!
This Earth Day, we want to make a statement that can’t be ignored. We need as many people as possible to watch the groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret”, exposing the most destructive industry facing the planet today. On April 22nd, let’s share the truth about who is really destroying our planet!

“Cowspiracy may be the most important film made to inspire saving the planet.
- Louie Psihoyos, Oscar-Winning Director of “The Cove”

“A documentary that will rock and inspire the environmental movement.”
- Darren Aronofsky, Director of “Noah” and “Black Swan”