By Doug Porter
Tuesday, November 29 is Day One of a new era of protest. Older topics, like the Fight for $15 and ending mass incarceration, are being joined by newer concerns, as Uber drivers and Standing Rock supporters connect the dots in their quest for economic, environmental, and social justice.
It’s also Giving Tuesday, and with the Trumpian onslaught on human rights about to begin, supporting organizations working for progressive causes is more important than ever.
Two other developments worth noting on this day are Elizabeth Warren’s speech on the Senate floor Monday telling Democrats to stiffen their spines and the release of an app to help consumers avoid spending money with any Trump-related enterprise.
Building Unity – Justice Can’t Wait
Plans for a day of national protest by the Fight for $15 movement were made long before the general election. Since the movement launched on November 29, 2012, with a walkout of 200 fast food workers in New York City, over 22 million people have benefited from increases in the minimum wage.
Voters in four states approved November 2016 ballot measures to raise minimum wages. A dozen other states raised their minimum wages via legislation prior to 2016 and were joined by California, Oregon, and New York this year. Twenty-nine states currently have higher wage standards than the Federal minimum.
On the fourth anniversary of the Fight for $15 movement airport baggage handlers, Uber drivers, fast-food cooks, cashiers, hospital workers, and others are staging actions. This is the first time that Uber drivers have joined in a Fight for $15 action with gig workers protesting side by side with more traditional labor.
Protests are scheduled at 20 major airports and outside McDonald’s franchises at 340 locations throughout the country to “underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants, or support racism or racist policies, will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for $15,” the organization said Monday.
A few snippets from early reports on Tuesday:
New York, via Gothamist:
Hundreds of fast food workers, airport workers and living wage activists, including elected officials, gathered this morning in lower Manhattan to protest unfair labor practices and demand better wages and job conditions in a “Fight for 15” rally. Following a dawn rally in Zuccotti Park, protesters marched up Broadway to a McDonald’s location:
Chicago, via Associated Press:
Demonstrators demanding higher minimum wages amassed at a McDonald’s in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village Tuesday ahead of a planned airport strike.
Workers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport are expected to walk off the job over union rights and an hourly wage of $15.
About 500 workers have committed to the strike on Tuesday. They include cabin cleaners, janitors, wheelchair attendants and baggage handlers.
Los Angeles, via KTLA:
Hundreds of activists began marching outside a McDonald’s in downtown Los Angeles early Tuesday before a smaller group sat down and blocked the East 7th Street and Alameda Street intersection just before 7 a.m.
Video from the scene showed officers wearing crowd control gear taking some of the protesters into custody after they refused to leave the intersection.
About 40 people were taken into custody for failure to disperse, said Los Angeles Police Department Detective Megan Aguilar.
San Diego, via 10News:
The protests “will underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or health care, deport immigrants or support racism or racist policies will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for $15,” according to organizers.
There are a series of rallies throughout San Diego. At 6 a.m., dozens of people gathered outside a McDonald’s in the 2700 block of Main Street in Barrio Logan.
At 12:30 p.m., a second protest was scheduled at the San Diego International Airport.
At 5 p.m., demonstrators will hold a march beginning at the Federal Building at 880 Front St. in downtown San Diego.
Giving Tuesday Never Meant So Much
Organizations working on social justice issues are a critical element in the upcoming struggles for freedom likly to occur when President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence take office in January.
Many of these organizations are national, so it’s important to see if they have local chapters or advocates needing volunteers or financial support.
The list below is absolutely not exhaustive. Please feel free to add suggestions (with links!) in the comments.
ACLU San Diego: The ACLU defends basic freedoms. Every day. For every American.Strengthen ACLU lobbying efforts and grassroots activity by becoming a member of the ACLU of San Diego! Paying annual dues of $35 or more entitles you to a membership in the state and national ACLU.
Alliance San Diego: a community empowerment organization working to ensure that all people can achieve their full potential in an environment of harmony, safety, equality, and justice. Alliance San Diego includes the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, which does important work locally.
Partnership for Advancement of New Americans: A research, public policy, and community organizing hub dedicated to advancing the full economic, social, & civic inclusion of refugees. Their tasks will include defending refugees and new Americans from hate and harmful policies under Trump.
Planned Parenthood: For the past century, Planned Parenthood has transformed women’s health and empowered millions of people worldwide to make informed health decisions, forever changing the way they live, love, learn and work. There are over 650 Planned Parenthood health care centers across the country and 2.5 million men and women who visit them annually. If you like, you can join the 20,000 other Americans who have made a donation in Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s (the Republican credited with spearheading the movement to defund Planned Parenthood) name.
Southern Poverty Law Center: A critical non-profit combating hate, intolerance, and discrimination through educational programs and litigation, the SPLC has played a significant role in tracking the massive spike in hate crimes across the U.S. following Trump’s election.
Lambda Legal: The oldest national legal organization dedicated to fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ community and Americans living with HIV. Their website features an important tool for understanding the legal protections LGBTQ people have in each state.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is one of the largest and most influential organizations fighting for both the rights of African Americans and against racial prejudice in the United States.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (San Diego) CAIR is a Muslim civil-rights advocacy group dedicated to promoting a positive image of Islam and Muslims in the United States. In these days of Trump, it’s critically important to support organizations like CAIR and commit to standing beside our Muslim brothers, sisters and siblings in the face of institutionalized discrimination.
Stand With Standing Rock is an organization committed to permanently halting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Under a Trump presidency, Native sovereignty may not be a top priority, and it’s important that we continue to support the efforts to protect Native people, their traditions, their histories, and their livelihoods.
NARAL Pro-Choice America: Pro-choice women and men across the United States working to protect and expand reproductive freedom. They have a dandy set of “Gender Cards” celebrating American women––including Dolores Huerta, Sarah Weddington, Harriet Tubman, Hillary Clinton and more in exchange for a $30 minimum contribution.
San Diego 350: Supports local climate action programs by advocating for better policies for clean energy, transit, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating impactful and dramatic campaigns & actions, and public education programs in schools & faith groups.
Environmental Health Coalition: Uses community organizing tactics to advance an environmental and social justice agenda. They organize and advocate to protect public health and the environment threatened by toxic pollution, supporting efforts aimed at creating a just society and fostering a healthy and sustainable quality of life. Most importantly, their work centers around empowering people and building leadership.
Center on Policy Initiatives: A research and action institute dedicated to creating economic prosperity, sustainable communities and a healthy environment for all. CPI serves a unique role in the San Diego region providing the analysis, policy solutions, education and alliances that advance social and economic justice
Interfaith Center for Worker Justice: This group is all about the intersectionality of economic, social, spiritual, and political issues. From immigrant advocacy, to workplace social justice issues, to affordable housing, to supporting small businesses against Big Box stores, they’re there, doing an amazing amount of work.
Union del Barrio: Since 1981 Unión del Barrio has led struggles to resist migra and police violence; defend the rights of workers, prisoners, mujeres, and youth; and even launched numerous independent electoral campaigns.
Border Angels: Engages in community education and awareness programs that include guided trips to the desert to place water along migrant crossing routes as well as to the border to learn about the history of US-Mexico border policy and experience the border fence firsthand.
KNSJ: An all-volunteer non-profit community radio station sustained primarily by donations from listeners. Their programming includes Democracy Now! featuring Amy Goodman and the Thom Hartman Show. It is a project of the Activist SD, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
An app to boycott via Huffington Post:
Are you trying to avoid giving your money to businesses who either support President-elect Donald Trump or were complicit in his election to the White House? A new app is here to help.
Boycott Trump is a free app from Democratic Coalition Against Trump available on iPhones, iPads and Androids that allows users to search a database of over 250 businesses to determine if they share a connection to Trump. The app’s creators have already found dozens of high-profile businesses that support or are affiliated with Trump ― and some of them may surprise you.
Senator Elizabeth Warren gives a speech starting with a denunciation of the 21st Century Cures Act, originally intended to spur medical innovation but which she now says has been “hijacked” by the pharmaceutical industry.. and ends up speaking to Democrats, urging them to stand up for what is right.
Republicans will control this government – but they cannot hand over that control to big corporations unless Democrats roll over and allow them to do so.
It is time for Democrats – Democrats and Republicans who should be ashamed by this kind of corruption -to make it clear who exactly they work for. Does the Senate work for big pharma that hires the lobbyists and makes the campaign contributions or does the Senate work for American people who actually sent us here.
On This Day: 1864 – The Sand Creek Massacre occurred in Colorado when a militia led by Colonel John Chivington, killed at least 400 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians who had surrendered and had been given permission to camp. 1934 – Clerks, teamsters and building service workers at Boston Stores in Milwaukee went on strike at the beginning of the Christmas rush. The strike won widespread support—at one point 10,000 pickets jammed the sidewalks around the main store—but ultimately was lost. Workers returned to the job in mid-January with a small pay raise and no union recognition. 1961 – The Mercury-Atlas 5 spacecraft was launched by the U.S. with Enos the chimp on board. The craft orbited the earth twice before landing off Puerto Rico.
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