Advocacy-Groups

Plan 2014 Enacted: Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Applauds Action to Restore Health of Lake Ontario & St. Lawrence River

Plan 2014 Enacted: Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Applauds Action to Restore Health of Lake Ontario & St. Lawrence River

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Published December 9, 2016  AKWESASNE  – The St. Lawrence River, one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers for 2016, is on the path to recovery. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a coalition of environmental advocacy groups and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Thursday applauded the enactment of Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Plan 2014 by the United States and Canadian governments. The coalition…

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Homeless People Read Mean Tweets About Themselves To End Stereotypes

When celebrities read mean tweets about themselves, it’s funny. When homeless people do it, it’s heartbreaking.

In a powerful PSA by Canadian advocacy group Raising the Roof, people who are dealing with homelessness read actual tweets written about those living without stable shelter. See all of the emotional reactions here. 

Watch the full video here. 

NYPD officer pictured ‘putting seven-months pregnant woman into a chokehold for illegally grilling outside her apartment’

An advocacy group has released images which claim to show an NYPD officer putting a seven-months pregnant woman into a chokehold for illegally grilling on the sidewalk in front of her apartment. 

NYPD officers have been banned from using the chokehold since 1993, but an officer can be seen in the pictures wrapping his arm around 27-year-old Rosan Miller’s neck in the Saturday incident. 

Her young daughter is also in the pictures, watching the arrest unfold.

Illegally grilling on the sidewalk! What a hardened, dangerous criminal! And I bet that little girl now has a very solid grasp on who she can trust and what’s ok to do to women and/or people who are physically weaker than you!

motherboard.vice.com
A New Advocacy Group Is Lobbying for the Right to Repair Everything
As all our things become ‘smart,’ companies are increasingly saying that fixing them is illegal.

Last summer, when the Copyright Office asked if anyone wanted to defend the right for video game console jailbreakers to mod or repair their systems, no one had a formal legal argument prepared.  A new association representing repairmen and women across all industries was just formed to make sure nothing like that ever happens again.

Repair groups from across the industry announced that they have formed The Repair Coalition, a lobbying and advocacy group that will focus on reforming the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to preserve the “right to repair” anything from cell phones and computers to tractors, watches, refrigerators, and cars.  It will also focus on passing state-level legislation that will require manufacturers to sell repair parts to independent repair shops and to consumers and will prevent them from artificially locking down their products to would-be repairers.

“It’s long overdue,” Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the group, told me.  “We have all these little businesses trying to repair stuff and running into what they thought were different problems in different industries.  We realized it was all just the same problem.”

That problem — that manufacturers of everything are trying to control the secondary repair market — has two main sources, Gordon-Byrne said.  First, manufacturers use federal copyright law to say that they control the software inside of gadgets and that only they or licensed repair shops should be allowed to work on it.  Second, manufacturers won’t sell replacement parts or guides to the masses, and often use esoteric parts in order to specifically lock down the devices.

These problems have been well known in the smartphone, computer, and consumer electronics for years, and it’s why groups like iFixit and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have been able to mount successful challenges to the DMCA in recent years.  Increasingly, however, these problems are spilling over into just about every other industry.

The Repair Coalition — which is also calling itself repair.org — includes members from the EFF, iFixit, PC Rebuilders & Recyclers, The Fixers Collective, Public Knowledge, and a series of other smaller industry groups.

“All consumer appliances, from refrigerators to microwaves, very much have repair monopolies from manufacturers, even if you are able to buy parts,” Gordon-Byrne said.  Customers who have dared to repair their refrigerator will get to a certain part of a repair and find that components for thermostats or valve controls are locked down via passwords that manufacturers only give to licensed repair shops that they themselves control.  The problem is only going to get worse as the Internet of Things takes hold.

“We’ve had these kinds of issues for a long time, but now with the electronics-fication of everything, they’re affecting literally everything in the world that is complex enough to have digital components,” Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, told me.

And so The Repair Coalition will primarily work at a federal level to repeal Section 1201 of the DMCA, which states that it’s illegal to “circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under [the DMCA].”  Thus far, activists have tried to gain “exemptions” to this section — it’s why you’re allowed to repair a John Deere tractor or a smartphone that has software in it.  But the exemption process is grueling and has to be done every three years.

“I don’t like exempting equipment because it’s all conceptually the same problem,” Gordon-Byrne said.

On a state level, the group will push for laws such as one being proposed in New York that would require manufacturers to provide repair manuals and sell parts to anyone — not just licensed repair people — for their products.  The thought is that, if enough states pass similar legislation, it will become burdensome for manufacturers to continue along with the status quo.  At some point, it will become easier to simply allow people to fix the things they own.

“We want to become an umbrella organization for repair,” Gordon-Byrne said.  “We want to help the small repair technicians that aren’t getting help from anywhere else.”

“They’re affecting literally everything in the world that is complex enough to have digital components” – in an increasingly connected world, that’s a big problem.

What's happening in Australia

Australia still doesn’t have marriage equality.

Today the government announced that on February 11 2017, a plebiscite (compulsory vote) will be put to the citizens of Australia to answer the question: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

The Australian government is pledging $15 million in public funding (tax money) towards the “Yes” and “No” advocacy groups.

This means $7.5 million dollars worth of tax money is being spent on a campaign against LGBTI+ human rights.

This means 5 dehumanising months of LGBTI+ people being forced to have their humanity “debated” on.

Of children listening to hateful homophobic rhetoric. Of LGBTI+ people’s lives and well-being being put in danger.

Even worse, the fact that Parliament isn’t voting on the issue themselves means the likelihood of the plebiscite passing (allowing “same-sex” marriage) is actually very low. There’s no logical reason for Parliament not to vote on the issue because in Australia, the definition of marriage is civil (governmental), and not religious.

Essentially a tonne of money is being used in a bid to prevent marriage equality passing in Australia and endangering the lives of LGBTI+ citizens.

LGBTI+ people in Australia are hurting today.

#NoPlebiscite is the tag being used on Twitter in protest, please consider helping.

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Gran Fury was an artistic collective active in New York between 1988 to 1995 that operated in tandem with ACT UP, the AIDS advocacy group founded in the city in 1987. The organizations’ graphical material, in particular its iconic SILENCE=DEATH design, eventually disseminated beyond the city and beyond activist circles into national discourse and popular culture. Named for a line of Plymouth cars used by the police department, Gran Fury’s tactics embraced advertising techniques - bold aesthetics and graphic design, the exploitation of public spaces, emphasis on wide distribution. At the same time, its members remained wary of the branding of its art as trendy “convenient product” and consistently emphasized the limitations of art and importance of direct action, exemplified by the recurring slogan “Art is not enough”.

Our first projects were poster sniping (illegal wheat-pasting of posters on vacant signage), and Xeroxed flyers, a working method which grew out of an ACT UP aesthetic and our limited funds. After about a year, our tactics changed as we questioned whether postering was the most effective means of reaching a large general audience. 

As Gran Fury received increasing art world support, we did so with the condition that we receive the greatest possible public access to our work, in most cases exhibiting outside the art space itself. We decided not to produce work for the gallery market. Art institutions provided us with access to public spaces a group such as ours would otherwise never have had the resources to acquire; they profited through supporting AIDS work by an activist group which met their aesthetic standards and which was willing to observe certain boundaries of wheat was and was not allowable-explicit obscenity or critique of their sponsors.

…At the same time, our work began to feel like a signature style, a convenient product for the art world to use to fulfill its’ desire to “do something” about the AIDS crisis. Gran Fury’s status as flavor of the month in the American art world was over; interest in our work had shifted to Europe where we consistently felt handicapped by attempting to understand their specific issues, as well as by our inability to use colloquial slogans. In 1992 we designed a campaign for Montreal which utilized the symbols of Quebecois sovereignty to draw attention to AIDS issues – specifically a warning to conduct research and design programs that would apply to the Canadian situation. The project backfired because the icon we chose to use was too potent – some did not recognize it as an AIDS campaign. In general, we found that we could only produce the most general messages, otherwise we ran the risk of misreading a local situation or creating something that would fail in translation.

Good Luck…Miss You ~ Gran Fury

We want the art world to recognize that collective direct action will bring an end to the AIDS crisis. And that collective direct action can mean a whole lot of things across a whole lot of communities: we have already been co-opted, we are complicit with the art world’s institutions in what we hope are strategic ways. We do not only act as an irritant, we also point to what’s going on in society at large. 

Whenever we can, we steer the art world projects into public spaces so that we can address audiences other than museum-going audiences or the readership of art magazines…

Our main beat isn’t with the art world, it’s with the United States government’s lack of response and the political crisis that underlies the medical crisis of AIDS. If we can use the art world as a tool to broadly articulate concerns, then we are glad for that support. My fear is that the heavy emphasis on the cultural analysis of AIDS distances us from the fact that this is a living, breathing crisis in which lives are at stake right at this moment.

BOMB: Gran Fury by Robert Gober

NYPL

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Watch These Kids Find A Way To Ease World Hunger In Under 2 Minutes

If only the world would approach hunger like two kids at a kitchen table. In a social experiment by advocacy group Action Against Hunger, 20 children paired off in groups were told to wait near plates with serving covers over them. For more information on how to take action against world hunger go here. 

79¢. By some calculations, that’s how much a woman earns for every dollar a man earns. It represents the wage gap.

For some women—women of color, trans women—it’s as low as 43 cents. Maybe worse.

$15.00. That’s the cost of this tote bag that fights the wage gap.

All profits go to UltraViolet, an advocacy group working to expand women’s rights—especially women of color and LGBTQ+ women.

Black trans woman, Maya Young, was stabbed to death in Philadelphia over the weekend

On Saturday night in Philadelphia, 25-year-old Maya Young was found dead after having been stabbed multiple times, WPVI-TV reported. Young was a black transgender woman, the third trans person and second trans woman of color whose murder has been reported this year.

“The community is heartbroken once again with the senseless slaying of another Transgender woman of color,” an advocacy group, the TransHealth Information Project, wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.

“She loved people and she loved being around people,” a friend of Young’s, Anthony Harper said. No arrests have been made so far in relation to Young’s murder. Advocates are concerned about an increase in murders of trans people, and trans women of color in particular, over the past few years. 

source

One more extract from Facebook post:

It’s so sad that we feel death is freedom.

Especially when it comes to Transgender individuals, we live this life as a human just as everyone else and our lives matter. We lack adequate support with housing, employment, education, and medical services. What we need to do to survive puts us in harmful situations. This may not be the reason behind Maya’s murder.

#Maya Young
#Say Her Name

Imagine life where you are exactly the same person as you are but you are a part of a social group hated by ignorant and violent people. Every day you can be killed just for the way you are. That is what Transgender people are facing every day. These difficulties were not created by them, so it’s up to us to love and respect each other regardless of skin, gender, religion and so on. It’s our only chance to live normal life.

awarenessact.com
Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American

The news out of Flint, Michigan brought the issue of contaminated drinking water into sharp focus, as it was revealed that officials at every level—local, state and federal—knew about lead-poisoned water for months but did nothing to address the problem.

Under state-run systems like utilities and roads, poorer communities are the last to receive attention from government plagued by inefficiencies and corrupt politicians. Perhaps no group knows this better than Native Americans, who have been victimized by government for centuries.

In the western U.S., water contamination has been a way of life for many tribes. The advocacy group Clean Up The Mines! describes the situation in Navajo country, which is far worse than in Flint, Michigan.

Since the 1950s, their water has been poisoned by uranium mining to fuel the nuclear industry and the making of atomic bombs for the U.S. military. Coal mining and coal-fired power plants have added to the mix. The latest assault on Navajo water was carried out by the massive toxic spills into the Animas and San Juan rivers when the EPA recklessly attempted to address the abandoned Gold King mine.

“In 2015 the Gold King Mine spill was a wake-up call to address dangers of abandoned mines, but there are currently more than 15,000 toxic uranium mines that remain abandoned throughout the US,” said Charmaine White Face from the South Dakota based organization Defenders of the Black Hills. “For more than 50 years, many of these hazardous sites have been contaminating the land, air, water, and national monuments such as Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Each one of these thousands of abandoned uranium mines is a potential Gold King mine disaster with the greater added threat of radioactive pollution. For the sake of our health, air, land, and water, we can’t let that happen.”

There is no comprehensive law requiring cleanup of abandoned uranium mines, meaning corporations and government can walk away from them after exploiting their resources. 75 percent of abandoned uranium mines are on federal and Tribal lands.

Leona Morgan of Diné No Nukes points out one example: “The United Nuclear Corporation mill tailings spill of 1979, north of Churchrock, New Mexico left an immense amount of radioactive contamination that down-streamers, today, are currently receiving in their drinking water. A mostly-Navajo community in Sanders, Arizona has been exposed to twice the legal limit allowable for uranium through their tap.”

Last week, Diné No Nukes participated in protests in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of past and ongoing contamination of water supplies in the west, which disproportionately affects Indian country.

“These uranium mines cause radioactive contamination, and as a result all the residents in their vicinity are becoming nuclear radiation victims,” said Petuuche Gilbert of the Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment, the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and Indigenous World Association. “New Mexico and the federal government have provided little funding for widespread clean up and only occasionally are old mines remediated.  The governments of New Mexico and the United States have a duty to clean up these radioactive mines and mills and, furthermore, to perform health studies to determine the effects of radioactive poisoning. The MASE and LACSE organizations oppose new uranium mining and demand legacy uranium mines to be cleaned up,” said Mr. Gilbert.

Politicians continue to take advantage of Native Americans, making deals with mining companies that would continue polluting their water supplies. Senator John McCain sneaked a resolution into the last defense bill which gave land to Resolution Copper. Their planned copper mining would poison waters that Apaches rely on and would desecrate the ceremonial grounds at Oak Flat.

While EPA and local officials have been forced to address the poisoned water in Flint, the contamination of Indian country water supplies continues. A bill called the Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act, introduced by Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, has languished in Congress for two years.

ya’ll remember the whole petition about net neutrality? yeah. it’s dead. 

We’re really, really fucking this up.

But we can fix it, I swear. We just have to start telling each other the truth. Not the doublespeak bullshit of regulators and lobbyists, but the actual truth. Once we have the truth, we have the power — the power to demand better not only from our government, but from the companies that serve us as well. “This is a political fight,” says Craig Aaron, president of the advocacy group Free Press. “When the internet speaks with a unified voice politicians rip their hair out.”

We can do it. Let’s start.

read the full article here

please please PLEASE HELP RESTORE THE INTERNET!! THE WAR IS ONLY STARTING BUT WE CAN DO THIS. WE ARE THE INTERNET. WE CAN WIN!

huffingtonpost.com
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Calls 'Choice' An Empty Concept For Poor Women
WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the concept of "choice" is an ephemeral one for low-income women who live in states that pass laws limiting access to abortion, as they may

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the concept of “choice” is an ephemeral one for low-income women who live in states that pass laws limiting access to abortion, as they may not be able to afford to travel to a state with less onerous restrictions.

The lack of reproductive freedom is a remaining barrier to gender parity, the justice said at a Duke Law event Wednesday evening. Advocacy organizations and groups that fund abortions have pushed the idea that being “pro-choice” includes fighting to end the decades-old Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds from going toward Medicaid coverage for abortion except in limited circumstances. One in four women on Medicaid who would have abortions if the Hyde Amendment didn’t exist instead carry an unwanted pregnancy to term because of the prohibitive cost of the procedure, the Guttmacher Institute notes.

The justice alluded to this new reality as Mississippi’s last clinic fights to remain open and providers battle restrictions that could close all but nine or 10 clinics in Texas:

“There’s a sorry situation in the United States, which is essentially that poor women don’t have choice. Women of means do. They will, always. Let’s assume Roe v. Wade were overruled and we were going back to each state for itself, well, any woman who could travel from her home state to a state that provides access to abortion, and those states never go back to old ways … So if you can afford a plane ticket, a train ticket or even a bus ticket you can control your own destiny but if you’re locked into your native state then maybe you can’t. That we have one law for women of means and another for poor women is not a satisfactory situation.”

Read the full piece here

More Ruth Bader Ginsburg posts on Profeminist

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be taking a 50 day trip in partnership with the United Nations, supported by the Secretary General’s MDG Advocacy Group. I’ll be posting portraits and stories from the trip on the blog. We’re calling it a ‘World Tour,’ because the trip will span over 25,000 miles and circumnavigate the globe. But since there are only ten countries on the itinerary, it would be rather foolish to claim that these portraits and stories somehow represent 'the world,’ or humanity as a whole. The point of the trip is not to “say” anything about the world. But rather to visit some faraway places, and listen to as many people as possible. 

In addition to gathering portraits and stories, the purpose of the tour is to raise awareness for the Millennium Development Goals, which are pictured. The MDG’s are eight international development goals that every member state of the UN agreed we should accomplish by the year 2015. Basically: they’re stuff that everyone can agree the world needs. (More info can be found here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/). So in addition to telling stories of individuals, we hope this trip may in some way help to inspire a global perspective, while bringing awareness to the challenges that we all need to tackle together. Hope you enjoy.

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These adoption day photos bust myths about adopting from the foster system.

Over 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system are waiting for a permanent home. And some never stop waiting. Many turn 18 before they can find a family, so more than 20,000 children end up aging out of the system every year. 

But with an estimated 81.5 million Americans who have considered adopting, the obvious question is “why?” If so many people want to be parents and so many kids need loving homes, why are so many children left in the foster care system?

Some advocates suspect the negative stereotypes of kids in foster care may be part of the reason.

But the advocacy group Together We Rise wants to help challenge these stereotypes by sharing photos of children on one of the happiest days of their lives: adoption day.

buzzfeed.com
North Carolina is getting sued for its terrible, horrible, no-good, very anti-LGBT law
"By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatm...
By Dominic Holden, Chris Geidner

It’s official: North Carolina is getting sued for the passage of HB2, the law that bans LGBT nondiscrimination protections and forces transgender people to use the wrong bathrooms.

Lambda Legal, the ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina, and Equality North Carolina filed a lawsuit challenging HB2 on behalf of three individual plaintiffs and two advocacy groups (the ACLU of NC and Equality NC). 

The lawsuit argues that the new law denies LGBT people equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment because the new law was designed to single LGBT people out for discrimination and less protection.

“H.B. 2 was motivated by an intent to treat LGBT people differently, and worse, than other people, including by stripping them of the protections afforded by the City of Charlotte’s Ordinance and precluding any local government from taking action to protect LGBT people against discrimination,” the lawsuit alleges. By doing so, it continues, “H.B. 2 imposes a different and more burdensome political process on LGBT people than on non-LGBT people who have state protection against identity-based discrimination.”

Hell yes. Do the damn thing, y’all. Take. It. Down. 

CHICAGO <3

Hey guys,

Today’s show is in Chicago, Illinois which is home to both the first openly-LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States and to Boystown, the first officially recognized gay village in the U.S. Boystown is now known for its nightlife and colorful atmosphere.

In Chicago we’ll be working with Project Fierce, an incredible organization that aims to reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing accessible housing and support services.
At a time when LGBTQ youth are at greater risk for depression, bullying, and violence, than their peers, organizations like Project Fierce are a necessary resource for teens that don’t feel safe. About 40% of homeless American teens identify as LGBTQ and Project Fierce can provide them with a safe and comfortable environment.

Want a ticket upgrade? We’re taking donations of basic necessities that are often taken for granted. We are asking that you bring a new stick of deodorant to donate at the show. Bring at least one to be entered in a raffle for a ticket upgrade.

Love Troye x

jezebel.com
Men's Rights Group Demands Their Balls Be Allowed to Breathe on Buses

A recent campaign to stop the phenomenon known as “manspreading” on New York’s transportation system has men’s rights organizations in a tizzy, especially in Canada, where one “advocacy group” is demanding men be allowed to spread their legs as far and wide as they want to to avoid a pain more awful than anything women have ever known.

normally you shouldn’t read the comments, but the comments are fantastic.

nytimes.com
On Being Queer in the Caribbean
To find themselves, and for safety, many gay and trans people choose exile.
By Gabrielle Bellot

“An editorial in the Jamaica Observer asked if it was necessary for Jamaicans to be in exile to write well, yet, incredibly, failed to examine the reason for Mr. James’s exile: his fear of what would happen if he were to live openly as a gay man. Rather than start a conversation, the mainstream Jamaican media largely killed off his queerness.

And the many voices of queer individuals in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean who have been assaulted, forced into pretending to be heterosexual or cisgender, or even murdered, need to be heard. Such stories are not hard to find. Between 2009 and 2012, the Jamaican advocacy group J-FLAG reported 231 attacks against L.G.B.T. people.“