Chicago, IL – At 5:00 p.m. on July 16, a group of activists from the Anti-War Committee – Chicago (AWC), the 8th Day Center for Justice, the American Friends Service Committee, the Episcopalian Peace Fellowship, and Jews for Justice in Palestine, entered the Boeing Company building and refused to leave. They went there to deliver a message: they oppose the Boeing Company providing weapons for the Israeli siege of Gaza. The action was initiated by Jewish Voices for Peace, as one of a number of actions happening around the country in response to the vicious assault by Israel.
Raleigh, NC – 84 people were arrested today, June 17, during the 7th wave of Moral Monday protests, while over 1000 rallied outside the North Carolina legislature to protest the right-wing policies being carried out by the Republican majority. While police loaded up buses with the arrested protesters, hundreds chanted, “You're gonna need another bus, 'cause baby there are more of us!”
ADAPT members say, “I'd rather go to jail than die in a nursing home!”
St. Paul, MN – On May 11, members of ADAPT Minnesota and up to 20 of their supporters challenged politicians to not accept any of the Republicans’ health and human services cuts to people with disabilities. While the supporters stood outside the Senate chamber doors with signs, four members from ADAPT MN – Galen Smith, Chris Bell, Nikki Villavicencio-Tollison and Darrell Paulsen – went to the senate gallery intending to send a clear message to the politicians below. As soon as the session’s gavel struck down, the four ADAPT members shouted, “I'd rather go to jail than die in a nursing home!” The session came to a halt while the four were briefly detained and removed from the gallery.
This essay was written by one of five people arrested at the Move the Game protest in Minneapolis on August 11, 2010. The protest confronted a meeting of Major League Baseball (MLB) team owners and league Commissioner Bud Selig, demanding that they move the 2011 All Star game out of Arizona unless the anti-immigrant law SB1070 is repealed. The essay focuses on part of the arrestees’ jail experience, bringing to light this largely hidden site of large numbers of immigrant deportations.
Immigrant rights protesters demand MLB move the All-Star game out of Arizona
Minneapolis, MN – Chanting “Move the game! Move the game!”, 100 immigrants and supporters confronted a meeting of Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Bud Selig and team owners at a ritzy Minneapolis hotel on August 11, 2010. The protest was part of the national movement demanding that Major League Baseball move the 2011 All Star game out of Arizona unless the state repeals its recently passed anti-immigrant law, SB1070. Losing the All Star game would be a big blow to Arizona, resulting in an estimated $60 million loss of revenue. Thirty percent of MLB players are Latino, and many have spoken out against SB1070.
Phoenix, AZ – Over 500 activists and community members gathered here on the morning of July 29 to protest SB1070 on the day the law was going into effect. The law has lost some of its teeth due to pressure from the immigrant rights movement, which resulted in the long overdue federal injunction. On July 28, a judge struck down the part of the law that required all Arizonans to carry their proof of legal status constantly, as well as the part that legalized and mandated racial profiling, declaring these parts unconstitutional. However, most of the law remains intact, including the parts that criminalize day laborers and target families with mixed immigration status.
Minneapolis, MN – On Saturday, Feb. 6, about 40 people gathered at the Minneapolis Labor Center to train for civil disobedience in support of the janitors of SEIU Local 26. The janitors clean the downtown office buildings of some of the richest banks and corporations in the country, but they have low pay and bad work conditions. Since the janitors' union contract expired on Jan. 8, a strike of the 4000 janitors – mostly Latino and East African immigrants – could begin at any time. The janitors are demanding “good, clean, green jobs” along with full-time work at a decent wage, safe and environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals and day jobs instead of overnight shift. Their employer is refusing to move in negotiations.
Chapel Hill, NC – A 16-day sit-in at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) administration building came to a dramatic close on Friday May 2, when Chancellor Moeser ordered UNC police to arrest five of the protesters. It was the longest sit-in protest in UNC’s history. Dozens of students had occupied the lobby of South Building, the administrative headquarters at UNC, in a protest against the university’s use of sweatshops for the manufacture of UNC apparel (Sit-in at administration building demands end to UNC sweatshop clothing, Fight Back!, April 2008).
Los Angeles, CA – Chanting, “Regents, regents, can’t you see? You’re creating poverty!” 16 student activists from UCLA Students for a Democratic Society, the UCLA Student Worker Front and other University of California campuses temporarily brought a meeting of the University of California Regents to a halt May 14 to protest a hike in student fees. The students locked arms and continued chanting until they were physically removed by UC police officers. All were charged with misdemeanor counts of failing to disperse.
Washington, D.C. – 1,000 people descended on the Supreme Court, February 28, demanding a new trial for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. Protestors blocked traffic and clogged the streets in a civil disobedience action. Police arrested 185 people. The Washington D.C. demonstration coincided with a protest in San Francisco where 166 people were arrested for jamming the streets around the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.