Tag solidarity

Friday Declared a Day of Solidarity with Arrested Spanish Animal Rights Activists the #Spanish12

 

 

12 animal rights activists with the group Igualdad Animal were arrested in Spain on Wednesday and charged by officials as “ecoterrorists.”  Although all of the details of the Spanish government’s allegations have not been revealed, it has been confirmed that the charges stem from non-violent, non-sabotage, actions related to the open rescue and liberation of animals in deplorable conditions and the video documentation of cruelty on factory farms (as captured in the groups video above.)

These charges present a new chapter in an increasingly diluted industry-driven narrative that abolitionists who oppose animal cruelty are in some manner on par with “terrorists.”

An international day of solidarity and action has been planned for tomorrow, Friday June 24th, 2011.  Events will be happening from Spain to New York to Toronto to Berlin.   Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Movement Under Siege has compiled an up-to-date roundup of all the solidarity events being planned world-wide on his blog http://greenisthenewred.com …if you don’t see an event in your country PLAN YOUR OWN!

A list of all the Spanish embassies can be found HERE!

These updates are reposted from Will Potter’s http://greenisthenewred.com

UPDATE: No prisoner support page yet, but you can donate to their legal support here (in English)

UPDATE 2: Official statement from Animal Equality. The Spanish government is saying the arrests are related to the recent release of mink from fur farms. Above-ground activists respond:

These two organisations, which define their activism as being non-violent, dedicate their efforts to raising public awareness of animal rights, by informing society of the consequences of the consumption of animal products and the promotion of alternatives. On the other hand, even though the organisations were not involved in the mink liberations, neither condemns these types of actions, to the extent that they defend the interests of all animals regardless of species, as none of the minks exploited by the fur industry deserves to live and die on a Spanish fur farm….

The animal exploitation lobbies and powerful multinationals wish to put the brakes on the animal rights movement in Spain, and now we are seeing the arrival of repression.

UPDATE 3: International day of protest and solidarity called for FRIDAY, JUNE 24th, 2011.Here’s a list of Spanish embassies.

Update 4: Protests planned for San FranciscoTorontoNew York CityWashington DCand more. Post a link in the comments and I’ll add them. Also, a quick thing you can do is update your social media profile photos with the banner above.

UPDATE 5: Protest in Munich, Germany, Friday 6/24 from 9 am – 1 pm in front of the Spanish embassy (Oberföhriger Str. 45).

UPDATE 6: Protest in Brussels, Belgium, Friday, 6/24 at 2 pm in front of the Spanish embassy (Wetenschapsstraat 19).

UPDATE 7: Animal Equality lawyers report:

“…the treatment of those detained is currently adequate, although they are not being given a vegan diet. Some of the activists have declared themselves on hunger strike until they receive vegan food…They are calm, but strong and determined, and many people are currently working on this situation. Many thanks for all the support that has been received so far.

“You can make your support for the detained activists reach further by calling the police stations in Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña where they are currently being held and inquiring about the health of the activists..

The following is a suggested text to read:

“Hello. I am calling because I am concerned about the health of the activists who were arrested yesterday and who are currently being held in the police station. I would like to request that they be given a vegan diet.. I wish to express my concern for the health of those detained, and in particular, Sharon Nunez Gough, who has certain health problems.”

Telephone numbers:

- Comandancia de la Guardia Civil A Coruña, 0034 981 16 78 00, where the following activists are being held:

Sara, Olaia, Eneko, José Ramon, Eladio, Rafael, Jennifer y Borja

- Comandancia de la Guardia Civil Santiago de Compostela, 0034 981 581 611, where the following activists are being held:

Jose, Sharon y David.

UPDATE 8: Leaflets and posters are available for download for the solidarity events.

UPDATE 9: Protest in Vienna, Austria, Friday, 6/24 at 11 am in front of the Spanish embassy (Argentinierstraße 34, A-1040 Wien)

Protest in Berlin, Germany, Friday, 6/24, at noon in front of the Spanish embassy (Lichtensteinallee 1)

Vote Today to Help Food Not Bombs Earn a Grant to Continue Feeding Hundreds of Hungry Families

Food Not Bombs, Long Island, is an entirely volunteer-based organization that has brought free plant-based meals, groceries,and clothing to those in need for over 14 years. In the last five years the group has seen an exponential growth in the number of volunteers, amount of donations, sponsors, as well as in the community participation at the food shares —all without any operating budget. Following a mantra of “solidarity, not charity” Food Not Bombs community food shares feed hundreds of families vegan meals & groceries each week in 5 cities across suburban Long Island.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Food Not Bombs DIY ethos and decentralized structure is what has allowed it to flourish and spread its feedings virally to countries all around the world. Maintaining the ideals, autonomy & purely volunteer framework of Food Not Bombs is what will assure it’s continued success and continued growth within the community. It is for these reasons that Food Not Bombs volunteers have started a partner non-profit with the purpose of increasing access to recovered food, increasing distribution of food to communities in need, and for the purpose of coaching existing soup kitchens & pantries to more efficiently serve the community even while operating on a shoestring budget.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

This new partner non-profit, properly named ‘Community Solidarity‘ can use your help. They have been nominated to the Vivint Gives Back Project, a socially-driven non profit incubator, and if they receive enough endorsements from people like you they can earn one of a handful of grants for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Food Not Bombs is asking all of their supporters to endorse the Community Solidarity project by visiting http://vivint.com/givesbackproject/charity/647 and casting your vote for them. You can continue to help them by sharing the endorsement link with your friends on social networks. You can return back to the Vivint link to vote once a day until the drawing in August.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

It is a sobering fact to learn that poverty and a lack of access to food and water kills more people every day then violent conflicts do. A fact that we so often ignore is that the blight of scarcity, poverty, and hunger are things we can do something about it. Food Not Bombs & Community Solidarity are showing us that DIY hunger relief and community empowerment are more then just bright-eyed ideals, they are an ever-growing concrete reality.

Organizing DIY Solidarity: 100 Shows for Haiti & Forward by Moe Mitchell

Moe Mitchell contacted the Sparrow Project with an idea …a DIY, community-based response to the ongoing needs in post-earth quake Haiti. With the help of Greg Bennick of 100 for Haiti, Sparrow launched the “100 Shows For Haiti campaign, within a few short weeks we planted seeds, the idea took root, you responded and raised $17,500 through events big and small. The following is Moe’s statement …an account that inspiration can be contagious and how one person’s idea became an ongoing project that we invite you to continue with.

At the end of last summer I had an opportunity to remove myself from my daily life and focus on reflection.  I spent several days in silent meditation, facing nothing but myself.  I thought this look inward would provide a better insight into my own consciousness, but I was surprised when I realized how many blind spots I had for other people and my connection with those people. I confronted the reality that I, and those around me, can do more to provide mutual aid, support, care, solidarity, and – dare I say – love to one another.  It was painful and humbling to confront my inconsistencies, but ultimately it spurred me to action.

 

 

I was reminded of the great loss in Haiti and my feeling of ineptitude in response to it.  The suffering was so great, how could one person be of any help?  I donated money but my efforts felt hollow. Surely I could have given more but I was troubled by the idea of giving to an organization that may use the funds in counterproductive ways or to advance a self-serving agenda.  I was worried about contributing to what Naomi Klein defines as disaster capitalism. Disaster capitalism are efforts that corporations and governments make to exploit times of great crisis and can come in the form legislation limiting civil liberties during a time of war or billion dollar contracts offered to multinational corporations for disaster relief.

 

Unsure of the most responsible way to give my resources, I was paralyzed into inaction. This paralysis was a total cop out. Despite the potential pitfalls of charity, I realized that it was my responsibility to discover effective means of solidarity with the Haitian people by doing my homework on the groups or movements worth supporting, staying connected with them, initiating outreach to my community, and being publicly accountable.

 

When I returned from meditation I reached out to my friends Andy Stepanian and Danielle Thompson of the Sparrow Project to collaborate on a week of actions and fundraisers to commemorate the anniversary of the earthquake.  Funds would support Haitian Women for Haitian refugees, a grassroots organization that has built a center in Léogâne to support the work of women in the aftermath. Instead of throwing one big effort, we would use the power of social media to inspire our entire network to take initiative. These new media tools, when used effectively, have proven to be powerful agents for spreading ideas. Why not have the concept of global solidarity go viral?  We could provide materials, logistics, and a rallying cry. The rest is up to each individual in each community.   In this way we’d minimize overhead to almost zero and maximize our impact.

 

We decided not to focus our intentions on the power of charity nor the nobility of do-gooders.  By only giving to Haitian-based, Haitian-run organizations, we hoped to shine a light on the power, ingenuity, and resilience of the Haitian people. The Haitian people are not helpless; they are in crisis. Friends in crisis need support, not pity.  We wanted to expose more people to the truly heroic work on the ground that Haitians are doing for other Haitians.  As more people knew of the work already being done, the better likelihood that direct support could reach local activists.

 

The Sparrow Project immediately swung into action, enlisting the support of a team of folks around the country including Greg Bennick, who had visited Haiti over the past year and created an organization called 100 for Haiti.    100 for Haiti aims to raise $100,000 for a free clinic in Port-au-Prince led by Dr. Jacque Denis. In the interest of collaboration we joined forces by making a call out to our shared networks, asking people to throw fundraisers nationwide and internationally that would support both organizations. “100 Shows for Haiti” was born.

 

 

At first we were unsure about how many people would respond.  Most likely, we thought we were being presumptuous at best by calling our effort 100 Shows for Haiti when we had zero shows on the calendar.  Armed with a helping of hubris and plenty hope, we put the call out to our various networks, through Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, email, conference calls, and the like.  Slowly, people began to commit: a bakery open house in Utah, a dance performance in California, a hardcore show in South Korea.  As momentum built, the calendar filled up. In a few weeks scores of individuals on four continents staged dozens of events, and fundraisers. Events earned as much as $5,000 and as little as $12.  All of these interactions were important opportunities to raise consciousness, build community, and support Haiti.  All in all we raised $17,500.00 in a few weeks, and more events are on the calendar.

 

 

Motivated by our immediate success, others are staging events in April, May, June, on and on. What started as an idea a few friends bounced around in an email chain has blossomed into a grassroots, decentralized, international solidarity movement.  We may have put out the initial call but our communities answered  and they answered in ways we never could have imagined.

 

We hope others will apply this model of grassroots response to other needs all around the world. The emergence of the network as a global tool for change means all of our voices are amplified.  Let’s use that new platform to exercise our collective ability to make great change.  Visit www.100showsforhaiti.com

 

- Moe Mitchell is a lobbyist and community organizer with the New York Civic Engagement Table.  When Moe is not at his day job, he expresses his political action through song as the front man for the New York Hardcore band Cipher.  Moe is a tireless social justice activist, a vegan, a poet, and a unbridled voice for the voiceless.

Wisconsin, The Working Class Awakening

- by Arthur Smilios, Sparrow Media contributor.

 

 

Hubris is the gift to the righteous; it ensures that the wicked will meet the sword of justice. The machinations of Scott Walker and his vampiric sponsors, the Koch brothers, in recent weeks, in Wisconsin, are a seminal event. This is momentous: posterity could remember this as the moment the working class shed the yoke of serfdom and accommodation and finally rejected plutocratic dicta that ensure our degradation, enslavement and ultimate extinction. The ignoble Governor Walker’s lies about “balancing budgets” were laid bare by a Yippie-style prank call in which he revealed that his goal is essentially to establish a precedent that would begin a domino effect leading to the dissolution of the organized labor movement.

For too long, the working class has acquiesced to the capitalist class, in supine servitude, so it was a great surprise that the masses arose and demanded that the proposed bill not be passed.

 

 

While the events that continue to transpire in Wisconsin are encouraging, it remains to be seen what will eventually come of them. The people of Wisconsin are undaunted and their courage and resolve seems to be spreading. Similar events are occurring in Indiana and are expected in every state where hateful, anti-worker legislation is being proposed. The capitalists and their marionettes in government may have gone too far, this time. Will this be our Cairo? Our truly grass-roots movement from below, rather than the “astroturf networking,” funded by corporations, which has passed for peoples’ movements, in recent years. Will Americans finally awaken and realize that the red herrings of race, religion and every other falsely divisive distraction are just that? Distractions. Will we finally understand that it is about class? Because, it is always about class. If this does turn out to be the case, as I hope it does, then the capitalist class had better take care: we are 95%; they are the degraded product of profligacy and entitlement.

 

 

It awaits to be seen whether this is our Cairo, or if our class solidarity is splintered by agents provocateur, simple apathy or the stupefying and seemingly self-loathing practices of workers who vote for politicians who enact programs designed to harm working and poor people. I hope it is the former.

 

 

- Arthur Smilios is an unapologetic anti-capitalist, musician rabble rouser.   Arthur was the co-founder of the seminal New York punk band the Gorilla Biscuits. Since his days of performing “Cats & Dogs” (a song that encouraged thousands to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle)  Arthur has strived to braid his art with his passion for social justice.  The Sparrow Project has invited Arthur to continue to sound off on the issues he holds most dear through their blog on http://sparrowmedia.net .  Arthur’s articles are written exclusively in his own voice, and may not reflect the views of The Sparrow Project.

The Largest All-Vegan Thanksgiving Food Share

Long Island Food Not Bombs, in recent years has re-defined food sharing programs, constantly outdoing similar programs and even themselves with the quantity of food shared, it’s quality, and the community participation the sharing inspires.   There has never been a Food Not Bombs chapter that has exponentially grown this way, and in LIFNB’s growth something beautiful is happening.  Next week LIFNB will be hosting  a series of events, the largest will be their all-vegan Thanksgiving Food Share, if you are able to attend please do.  If you live far away and are reading this, then get inspired and go out and do your own event!

 

Please take a moment to watch the video and then read LIFNB’s update below.  Share it with friends and get involved!

 

 

“Starting November 20th and going through November 25th Long Island Food Not Bombs will be holding its largest endeavor to date; it will include parties, Food Shares, copious amounts of decadent foods, the sharing of clothing, books and the organized efforts of thousands of community members. The largest of all these events will be Vegan Thanksgiving. It’s a 2-day affair that starts as an all night cooking party, (on Nov.20th, everyone is invited) and culminates into the Vegan Thanksgiving Food Share the next day in Hempstead (“the Hempstead Food Share Bonanza”).

 

Please Spread the word! This is our most ambitious project to date and to pull it off we are going to need your help, your friends help and even the help of their friends. Solidarity is what makes Long Island Food Not Bombs so strong and we ask that you help us make these events even more absurdly inspirational than we could ever imagine.

 

The Hempstead Food Share, on November 21st, will be the largest Food Not Bombs ever! We expect to be able to share a feast with everyone that comes! We’ll then be continuing the week with nearly a dozen events spread across our Food Shares in Bedstuy, Coram, Huntington and Farmingville.”

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 20th @ 3pm: Expanded BedStuy Thanksgiving Food Share
Saturday, November 20th @ 7pm: Vegan Thanksgiving Cooking Party @ JonSTeps’ House
Sunday, November 21st @ 2pm: Hempstead Food Share Bonanza
Monday, November 22nd @ 5:30pm: Coram Thanksgiving Sleeping Bag/ Blanket Food Share
Monday, November 22nd @ 9pm: Dumpster Scavenger Hunt/LIFNB Olympics
Tuesday, November 23rd @ 6:30pm: Huntington Thanksgiving Food Share
Thursday, November 25th @11am: LIFNB Thanksgiving Lunch in Farmingville
Thursday, November 25th @ 6:30pm: Farmingville Food Share

 

 

 

Peace Activists Targeted By FBI for Justice Work; Protests Planned Nation-Wide This Week to Show Solidarity & Support

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss – By Arthur Smilios, Sparrow Media Contributor


If, in fact, there is anyone left who still believes that Barack Obama is a progressive, I offer this past Friday’s raids on peace activists in Minneapolis and Chicago as proof to the contrary. The homes of eight activists were invaded and their belongings confiscated due to their support of the Palestinian cause and the resistance in Colombia, as well as their criticism of the hegemonic wars being waged by the US.

In a nation whose de facto motto is, in Randolph Bourne’s words, “War is the Health of the State,” this should come as no surprise. The powers that be (Wall Street; defense contractors; private militias, etc) and the government they control have a vested interest in maintaining and expanding the status quo of mass, state-sanctioned violence and misery. It is common knowledge that the oil cartels and the inner circle of elite corporations have made obscene profits off of the hell unleashed by the US on the Middle East. It is also a point of dark humor among the rest of the world that Israel is the 51st state in the Union, as the US government consistently, with no deviation, condemns any UN resolution critical of the former, however effete and benign that resolution may be. What is not as widely known is that Colombia, with its repressive (and capitalist-friendly—surprise, surprise) regime is, as former FBI agent Coleen Rowley points out in an interview on Democracy Now!, the third largest recipient of US military aid. It stands to reason, then, that anyone who is shining the light of truth on these horrible events is a target of the war machine.

 

The raids were clearly political, in nature; obviously a means of attacking an ideology, as the victims were affiliated with a number of groups opposed to US policies, including the Freedom Road Socialist Organization—not the “S” word! As Colombia solidarity activist Tom Burke, one of those handed a subpoena by the FBI, said, “[The raids] are designed to suppress dissent and free speech, to divide the peace movement, and to pave the way for more US military intervention in the Middle East and Latin America.”

 

Aside from the obvious problems with the national police arbitrarily invading citizens’ homes, what is even more disturbing is that, while virtually ignoring truly dangerous people, such as murderers of health-care providers and armed, racist paramilitary groups, they are targeting peace activists. But this is nothing new. Eugene Debs served years in jail for refusing to recant his statement that the First World War was “a capitalist’s war.” Emma Goldman was deported for similar sentiments.

 

Former Agent Rowley, when asked if there is any difference in the way the FBI conducts its business—consciously and deliberately abrogating civil liberties—now and during the Bush II years, categorically states that there is, in fact, no difference.  Rallies are scheduled for tomorrow, around the country. A full listing of where and when they are being held can be found at Fight Back!

Tuesday 9/28:

NYC, NY – 4:30 to 6pm Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza

Newark, NJ – 5 to 6pm Federal Building Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA – 4:30pm Federal Building, 6th & Market,

Washington DC – 4:30 – 5:30 FBI Building, 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW.

Boston, MA – 5 pm, JFK Federal Building

Detroit, MI – 4:30 pm McNamara Federal Building, Michigan Ave. at Cass

Raleigh, NC – 9 am. Federal Building, 310 New Bern Ave

Asheville, NC – 5 pm Federal Building,

Atlanta, GA – Noon, FBI Building

Los Angeles, CA – 5 pm, Downtown Federal Building, 300 N Los Angeles St

Tucson, AZ – 5 pm Federal Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 9/29:

Albany, NY -5 to 6 pm Federal Building

 

 

 

As Barack Obama proves that he is nothing more than a handsome, intelligent and eloquent version of Bush II, and this nation moves closer to outright totalitarianism, it is imperative that we exercise our right to freedom of speech while we still somewhat can. The word “terrorism” has been bandied about as carelessly as that other bette noir, “socialism.” Webster’s defines terrorism as “the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion.” Following this definition, it is clear that the greatest purveyor of terror, at home and abroad, is the corporately owned, militarist US government and its agents. We have to let them know that we will not be cowed into submission and indolence by their Stalinist tactics and that we refuse to allow them to continue funding mass murder with our tax dollars. If you can, please attend these rallies and show your support for free speech and thought.

 

- Arthur Smilios is an unapologetic anti-capitalist, musician rabble rouser.   Arthur was the co-founder of the seminal New York punk band the Gorilla Biscuits. Since his days of performing “Cats & Dogs” (a song that encouraged thousands to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle)  Arthur has strived to braid his art with his passion for social justice.  The Sparrow Project has invited Arthur to continue to sound off on the issues he holds most dear through their blog on http://sparrowmedia.net .  Arthur’s articles are written exclusively in his own voice, and may not reflect the views of The Sparrow Project.

Uganda Skate Union Support Shirts & CNN

The Uganda Skateboard Union in Kitintale Uganda has whittled itself out a little place in the hearts of us here at Sparrow. If you are able to, please consider buying one of these t-shirts we made to support their beautiful program that embodies solidarity and hope.

 

One year ago Cassi Amanda Gibson visited their handmade skatepark and emailed us photos. Since then the kids of the skateboard union and Jackson Mubiru, the union’s founder, have consistently inspired us and everyone else who we shared their story with.

 

To say that skateboarding will put an end to a 20 year long civil conflict would be naive, but the principals exercised by the Uganda Skateboard Union have, and will continue to change lives for the better. In a region where international non-profits and NGO’s providing aid are often viewed with skepticism, or viewed as parental, these youth have created their own social epicenter where their positivity and creativity is infectious.

 

 

Their numbers are growing exponentially every day, and with the growing numbers, gear and resources are being run through faster then they can arrive in the region. Sparrow was stoked to team up with Sky High Skateshop, Special Sauce, Supreme, and Boundless NYC in helping provide the Union with over 100 pairs of brand new skate shoes, dozens of new decks, trucks, clothes, books & magazines. The kids were stoked too. Cassi and her sister Nicolette returned to Kampala twice over the course of the year to bring the kids more supplies and to film a short video for http://sparrowmedia.net. The kids are also pretty good at getting their own press, like this photo feature on BBC.com and most recently this video feature on CNN.com

 

With their growing numbers their dreams are growing too…

 

 

The kids hope to expand their park and build an adjacent school. In a country where publicly subsidized schooling ends at age 12 and only the most fortunate can further their education, this kids are taking their DIY approach one step further with a plan to build a solar powered learning center as part of the programming offered through the union. This will cost them $13,800 (US Dollars) to build and outfit with books & five computers. The Sparrow Project has made these shirts to support the dreams of the Uganda Skateboard Union, when you purchase one %50 of the proceeds will go directly to the Uganda Skateboard Union. The kids in Kitintale live the very essence of solidarity, we tried to capture a piece of that and put it on a shirt.

Uganda Skate & Solidarity on Girlie Girl Army

“Green” Media Guru Chloe Jo Davis reached out to Nicolette & Cassi Gibson to run a feature on the Skate & Solidarity Project in Kampala Uganda.  Please be sure to check out the article on the Girlie Girl Army, leave comments, and thank them for supporting the project.

The full article which includes video can be seen at this link – http://girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20100112/skating-in-uganda/

Jackson Mubiru is the director of the Uganda Skateboard Union, Kitintale Skate Park. Located in the Kampala district of Uganda the skatepark has been existent for about 4 years now and is going into its fifth year. From the initial amount of kids skating the numbers have grown due to an increasing popularity of the sport. Today the popularity of the sport is growing exponentially; at least fifty kids are skating, upwards from a humble beginning of less than thirty. This is great news, however, nothing is ever easy, and with the rise in number of kids attracted in to skating there is lack of gear, skateboards, and most of all the kids are in need of a bigger and better skate park. Despite these setbacks, folks have reached out and sent donations from time to time and have kept Kitintale skate park in theirs hearts. There have been many passing foreign visitors at the skate park and some have donated money for the cause. This is vital because the park relies solely on private donations, for now.

The full article by Nicolette Gibson can be found at this link – http://girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20100112/skating-in-uganda/