“Protests don’t do any good.” That’s what a progressive friend of mine said yesterday. I launched into my monologue, including the protests against the Vietnam War and for civil rights which we’re both old enough to remember. By the time I finished, he agreed with me—although perhaps out of exhaustion. Earlier this week, “hundreds” of Trump supporters gathered across the country but failed to display much energy. At the same time, the Resistance Movement is overwhelming the nation.
Unlike the Vietnam War protesting, this activism is not around a single issue. The “women’s march” was about far more than women; it showed how all of us need to come together to fight back against the authoritarian regime from the federal government. Everyone needs to know that we are not alone while we are all at risk.
A question after that first march on January 21 was what would happen after…
I participated in the march on Denver on January 21, 2017. Between 200,000 and 300,000 people were walking for democracy in Denver; we joined several million men, women, and children around the world who are standing up and fighting back for our rights and for our democracy. Here are three pictures I took while in Denver for the March.
Joanne Tosti-Vasey is ready to march in Denver on January 21, 2017.
Parental support for gay rights: Message to Donald Trump
Ray, Alex, and Marian Bradley (wearing the red “pussy’ hats) marching in the Denver Women’s March on January 21, 2017
And here’s another perspective on the Women’s Marches around the world from a fellow blogger.
I couldn’t stop laughing! A poll shows that Republican males believe that their lives are harder than those of women. Men make more money for the same work, have a far less chance of rape, don’t have their reproductive rights attacked, and do far more housework than men while holding a full-time job, but white men are the “low people on the totem pole” and “everybody else is above the white man,” according to an 81-year-old retired police captain. He complained that “everything in general is in favor of a woman. No matter what happens in life, it seems like the man’s always at fault.”
In this survey taken after the election, only 41 percent of GOP men think now is a good time to be a man. Although one-third of women feel unsafe because of their gender, only 20 percent of men understand that women feel this way. Thirty percent of women…
Outdoor portion of the PSU “#NotMyPresident Walk-Out/Love Trumps Hate” Rally
Penn State University held a “#NotMyPresident Walk-Out” Protest on Tuesday, November 15. It was one of many held at universities across the country. Students who believe in human rights and who oppose the election of Donald Trump got up, walked out of class, and headed to a designated meeting space on each campus to “show their resistance” to this election.
It quickly turned into what I believe would be better called a “Love Trumps Hate” Rally. The speakers acknowledged that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. We, as citizens must, therefore stand up and speak out for all people and the environment.
Caring for all of our brethren including LGBTQIA people, people of color, Muslims, documented and undocumented immigrants, and women is an absolute necessity. Like in the 1960’s, the civil rights movement must rise again.
The rally occurred at two different venues. The first one happened in front of the Old Main Building. Somewhere between 800 and 1000 people appeared to be attending this part of the rally. Since the university did not allow any voice amplification, most people, including myself, were unable to hear what was said.
So the best I could do was take pictures of the signs that were carried by the participants. Here is some of what was expressed.
The “#NotMyPresident” Type Signs
Grr! Donald Trump is NOT My President
Prez or Predator???????????
Anger sign declaring those opposing Trump will “Make Racists Afraid Again.” This was the only non-peaceful statement I saw at the rally.
Put a “Fence Around Pence.”
The Public Discourse and “Love Trumps Hate” Type Signs
Democracy is Dissent. A statement declaring that we have a 1st Amendment constitutional right “of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress.”
Get White Supremacy Out of the White House (a call for Trump to reverse his decision to make White Supremacist Steve Bannon his Senior Counselor) and a call for “Civic Engagement.”
Nasty Women Keep Fighting
After the speeches were done, about half of the participants marched over to the Hetzel Union Building to hold a second rally calling people to stand up, support our brethren, and to fight back just as those that fought segregation did in the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s during the Civil Rights Movement.
Leaving Old Main
Entering the Hetzel Union Building (aka the HUB)
Inside the HUB
Once inside, people gathered on the steps near the HUB-Paul Robeson Center that was created to “provide cultural, educational and social support for Black students. It was also expected to provide a place for ‘building bridges to understanding.'” Using the Center as a backdrop, the rally focused on standing up, fighting back, making sure our voices are heard, and spreading the message of civil rights for all.
I was able to hear much of what was said and sung in this venue. Here are some of the additional messages I saw and some of the words I heard.
Rally on the steps of the HUB-Paul Robeson Cultural Center.
A Wall is NOT an invitation to dialogue.
We are fighting for what’s right.
We are Stronger Together
A friend and colleague, Peter Buckland, also attended the rally. Here’s his view and commentary from inside the HUB. If I can get a YouTube link, I’ll embed it here.
And this is how the rally ended:
Let the Sunshine In
What I did not get a picture of was everyone coming together at the end of the rally to hug one another, saying that “I’ll be here for you.” Black. White. Latino. Muslim. Gay. Straight. Women. Cis. Men. As the Three Musketeers said, “All for One and One for All.” Love does Trump Hate.
Does @Walmart provide good healthcare benefits? Find out at @ChangeWalmart: (Short answer: no) #WalmartStrikers
Here are some bullet points from this article:
Walmart’s health care plans stopped covering any employee working less than 24 hours per week in 2012;
States are forced to cover hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees under their state’s Medicaid and state-based low-income health care plans. In fact, of the 23 states making reports disclosing employers of recipients receiving state assistance, 21 report that Wal-Mart has the largest number of employees on the public roll; and
According to a Wal-Mart Manager (Gretchen Adams in 2003), the company encourages employees to enroll in public assistance.
And there’s more damming evidence. Take a moment and read the full article.
This morning, the Huffington Post posted an article about yesterday’s statement from Facebook. Facebook has agreed to take the following steps to reduce online violence against women and children on their pages:
We will complete our review and update the guidelines that our User Operations team uses to evaluate reports of violations of our Community Standards around hate speech. To ensure that these guidelines reflect best practices, we will solicit feedback from legal experts and others, including representatives of the women’s coalition and other groups that have historically faced discrimination.
We will update the training for the teams that review and evaluate reports of hateful speech or harmful content on Facebook. To ensure that our training is robust, we will work with legal experts and others, including members of the women’s coalition to identify resources or highlight areas of particular concern for inclusion in the training.
We will increase the accountability of the creators of content that does not qualify as actionable hate speech but is cruel or insensitive by insisting that the authors stand behind the content they create. A few months ago we began testing a new requirement that the creator of any content containing cruel and insensitive humor include his or her authentic identity for the content to remain on Facebook. As a result, if an individual decides to publicly share cruel and insensitive content, users can hold the author accountable and directly object to the content. We will continue to develop this policy based on the results so far, which indicate that it is helping create a better environment for Facebook users.
We will establish more formal and direct lines of communications with representatives of groups working in this area, including women’s groups, to assure expedited treatment of content they believe violate our standards. We have invited representatives of the women Everyday Sexism to join the less formal communication channels Facebook has previously established with other groups.
We will encourage the Anti-Defamation League’s Anti-Cyberhate working group and other international working groups that we currently work with on these issues to include representatives of the women’s coalition to identify how to balance considerations of free expression, to undertake research on the effect of online hate speech on the online experiences of members of groups that have historically faced discrimination in society, and to evaluate progress on our collective objectives.
What I don’t see in this Facebook statement is an agreement to be more transparent in their monitoring process. I would like to see them report how many and what types of pages/ads that they have monitored, shut down, and/or contacted for possible violation of their regulations. In addition, in their efforts to “balance the consideration of free expressions,” I believe they need to provide to the public upon request reasons they allow or disallow a particular ad or page that allegedly violates the new anti-rape policy from remaining online.
There were several petition sites where you could raise your voice to call on Facebook to follow through on this statement to end their misogynistic rape ads that they have called “humor.” The one that gathered the most signatures was called Demand Facebook Remove Pages That Promote Sexual Violence. It is now closed. This petition collected signatures that were sent to Facebook. It successfully called upon Facebook to do several things (others are listed on the petition page itself), including
Make a public statement that rape is never acceptable; that promoting sexual violence and violence against women is repugnant; remove content that advocates rape, sexual violence, and violence against women; and that the terms of service/community standards will be updated to specify this.
Be transparent about the content monitoring process; to state publicly if and how many pages are removed that promotes sexual violence or violence against women. (Note, this was not part of Facebook’s recent statement, but I believe should be part of their new policy).
Since the second issue of transparency was not covered in Facebook’s statement, I would suggest we continue making comments to Facebook about the need for more transparency. There is another petition on Change.org. It is still open and allows you space to comment on this issue. In that comment box, you can make your suggestion for more transparency as they craft this new policy. Here’s what I wrote to them in that comment box:
Thank you for issuing your statement to review and update your policy on any type of hate speech that allegedly condones or promotes violence against women including domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault (whether it is in ads or on pages). And thank you for agreeing to “establish more formal and direct lines of communications with representatives of groups working in this area [of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking], including women’s groups, to assure expedited treatment of content they believe violate [your new] standards.” However what I don’t see you your agreement is a willingness to be more transparent about this issue to the public. I am therefore asking that your efforts to “balance the consideration of free expressions,” that you to provide to the public upon request reasons why you either allow or disallow a particular ad or page that allegedly violates your new anti-violence policy from remaining online.
MySpace was a popular social network several years ago, but it was quickly taken over by Facebook and pretty much disappeared. Now, the most popular social network is showing very bad judgment.
Last week, protesters boycotted Facebook advertising because the network permitted images of domestic violence against women at the same time that it banned ads about women’s health. Companies that pulled their advertising include online bank Nationwide UK, Nissan UK, and J Street. Dove, a Unilever brand running a “self-esteem” ad campaign for women, faces pressure on Twitter although Procter & Gamble responded, “We can’t control what content they [our advertising] pops up next to. Obviously it’s a shame that our ad happened to pop up next to it.”
Zappos replied that users upset by an ad appearing next to a date rape image “click the X to delete the ad.” Zipcar is still advertising but “expressed to Facebook…
Progressive commentary from Gainesville, Florida, once called the Berkeley of the South. Potano was the chief of and the only known name of the Native American tribe inhabiting the area around what is now Gainesville at the time the Europeans arrived.
“It takes no compromise to give people their rights…it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” – Harvey Milk
Learn more about the state laws being introduced and passed around the U.S. that is limiting Women's rights. Did you know that the Women's Equal Right Amendment from 1983 still needs to be ratified by 3 more states before it goes into effect?