Monday, June 18, 2018

Climate And Anti-Mass Incarceration Advocates join forces to protest outside Governor Cuomo’s NYC fundraiser as He seeks re-election calling for an end to “Cuomo’s Pipelines: Prisons to Poisons”

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New York, NY – Over 100 New Yorkers came together outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fundraiser at the Plaza Hotel on June 18, 2018, calling on the New York governor to act on climate and prison injustice under the umbrella of “Cuomo’s Pipelines: Prisons to Poisons Are Bad For New York.” This is the first time these two movements have come together to demand systemic change from the governor. Activists stressed that their campaign to pressure Cuomo will continue throughout the summer and fall.

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Activists demand Cuomo live up to his own rhetoric on climate change by stopping fossil fuel infrastructure projects and launching a bold plan to get the state to 100% renewable energy and bring an end to mass criminalization and mass incarceration across issues, and overhaul bail, speedy trial and discovery laws, end long-term solitary confinement, and release aging and older people in prison and survivors of domestic and gender based violence.

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Climate activists connected the fight to get off fossil fuels to the unique threats climate change poses to New Yorkers, and how recent climate disasters demand swift action. 

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“We will continue to escalate our demands of Governor Cuomo to halt fracking infrastructure and push for community-led renewable energy in New York,” said Kim Fraczek, the Director of Sane Energy Project. “Earth’s life sustaining climate is reaching a breaking point rapidly, and New York is in a position to set a national standard for climate leadership. However, Cuomo continues to give business to the same destructive corporate powers. It’s time for real change."

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A broad coalition of advocates, formerly incarcerated people, family members, and members of the Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) Campaign, Survived & Punished NYC, JustLeadershipUSA, and NY CAIC’s #HALTsolitary Campaign also rallied for an end to mass criminalization and mass incarceration across issues, calling on Governor Cuomo to be a real progressive and overhaul bail, speedy trial and discovery laws, end long-term solitary confinement, and release aging and older people in prison and survivors of domestic and gender based violence.

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“The Campaign For Alternatives to Isolated Confinement stands in solidarity with the gathered groups to address and say to Governor Cuomo and other policy makers that ‘We the People’ demand fairer and more just systemic change to reflect the real needs of the people,” said the Campaign’s Organizer, Victor Pate. “NY must pass the HALT Solitary Confinement Act to end the torture of solitary for all people, bring pre-trial and parole justice, protect DV survivors, and transform the entire injustice system that is destroying people, families, and communities.

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As Governor Cuomo runs for a third term, New Yorkers gathered to take a stand against the unjust and racist policies and practices that have become the legacy of prisons and jails throughout New York State. They also called on the Governor to use his executive power to grant more clemencies, commutations and pardons. 

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#Activism #ActOnClimate #ClimateChange #ClimateCrisis #climatejustice #CommunitiesFightBack #CommunityOrganizations #CuomosPipelines #CuomoWalkTheTalk #EndMassIncarcerarion #EnergyDemocracy #energyefficiency #EnergyIndependence #environment #FossilFree #FreeNewYork #GovernorCuomo #HALTsolitary #infrackstructure #KeepItIntheGround #LetThemGo #MakePollutersPay #MakeREVreal #NewYork #NYC #OffFossilFuels #ParoleJustice #politics #PrisionsToPoison #StinkyBoots #StopMassIncarceration #YOUAREHERE 

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

6th Annual Women Stage the World Parade: The Women Count March

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New York, NY - The League of Professional Theatre Women led the 6th Annual Women Stage the World Parade: The Women Count March through Times Square on June 12, 2018, to raise awareness about the underrepresentation of women in theatre and the performing arts. The league wants to see a 50-50 breakdown in professional performance groups by the year 2020. 

The March welcomes all theatre women and allies to join together to shed light on the lack of gender parity in the field and ask theatre decision makers to take a step toward positive change by having #OneMoreConversation with a female job candidate before hiring.
In these efforts, the League is quantifying the current state of gender parity with the Women Count Report series, raising awareness with this March, and offering a solution with #OneMoreConversation.
Women Stage the World continues a long tradition of activism by women of the theatre. The Suffrage Movement would not have achieved success without our theatrical foremothers, who created the first-ever marches and street pageants, including the game-changing first March on Washington in 1913, which inspired many future equality marches. A century after the 19th Amendment, women are still fighting to have their voices heard, and be “counted” as valuable and equal citizens. 
The tradition of donning costumes of noted women artists began in 1985 with the historic Guerilla Girls, and has continued with Women Stage the World and other LPTW Heritage programs. We embody women of the past, speaking out in the present, so our voice will be heard in the future. These programs recall a formidable heritage of activism, and are proof-positive that women do, indeed, COUNT.  
#Activism #ActorsEquity #Art #Broadway #Equality #feminism #GenderEquality #GenderParity #LPTWomen #NewYork #NYC #OneMoreConversation #Parade #‎Solidarity #Theater #WomenCount #womenintheatre #womenstagetheworld

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Sunday, June 10, 2018

61st Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City

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New York NY - Under the theme, “One People, Many Voices,” The 61st Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade continue celebrating the best of Puerto Rican culture and music while paying tribute to the heroes that contributed to the recovery, rebuilding and renewal efforts since Hurricane Maria. The Parade also announced several distinguished Puerto Ricans honorees to march up Fifth Avenue on June 10, 2018.

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This 2018 National Puerto Rican Day Parade will be led by the award-winning actor, Esaí Morales, who will serve as Grand Marshal. Born in Brooklyn, Morales’ screen credits include roles in films like “La Bamba” and “My Family/Mi Familia”, as well as television series like “Chicago PD,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” and “Ozark.” Over his 35-year career, Morales has sought to challenge the stereotypical portrayal of Latinos in television and film, and he now serves on the national board for SAG-AFTRA.

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Legendary singer/songwriter and former member of the world-renowned Fania All-Stars, Ismael Miranda, will be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement title. Other leading honorees announced at a press conference in San Juan include noted singer Lucecita Benítez with a Lifetime Achievement title, Laura and Jorge Posada as Madrina and Padrino (Godmother and Godfather) and Carlos Beltrán as Athlete of the Year.

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Other distinguished honorees include several individuals who are leaders in multiple fields. Former Miss Universe, television host, dancer, and model, Zuleyka Rivera, will be this year’s Parade Queen. 

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This year’s honorees will also include first responders and other local heroes who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to providing emergency aid and ongoing recovery relief to Puerto Rico in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. These individuals and organizations have demonstrated an extraordinary degree of dedication to helping the people of Puerto Rico, while also helping to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis that still evolving on the island.

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The situation in Puerto Rico is still quite dire, with thousands of families living without electricity, clean water, and many other basic necessities. For many, access to education and medical service is far from adequate, creating a humanitarian crisis that will require a long-term rebuilding and renewal effort. 

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Other families that have fled Puerto Rico are still without affordable housing and employment. The NPRDP honors these organizations to promote their great work, help drive awareness and keep the conversation related to Puerto Rico in the mainstream dialogue; while leveraging their infrastructure and capacity to continue addressing the humanitarian crisis.

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#4645 #4645Deaths #AiuditTheDebt #AuditTheDeaths #BillDeBlasio #Boricua #BoricuaPride #ElectedOfficials #EsaiMorales #FifthAvenue #GovernorCuomo #HurricaneMaria #NewYork #NYC #NYCityCouncil #NYCMayor #OnePeopleManyVoices #OurPowerPR #Parade #PRParade #PuertoRicanParade #PuertoRico #PuertoRicoNoSeVende #PuertoRicoNotForSale #StreetFestival #streetphotography #UnPuebloMuchasVoces #uprose #ZuleykaRivera

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Friday, June 8, 2018

Make The Road NY, Legal Aid, and Council Member Menchaca Rally In Support Of Emergency Stay Motion For Pablo Villavicencio - New Yorker Detained By ICE After Delivering a Pizza To Ft. Hamilton Army Base

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New York, NY — Make The Road New York members, The Legal Aid Society, and Council Member Carlos Menchaca held a rally outside the Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza on June 8, 2018, in support of an emergency stay motion filed this afternoon for Pablo Villavicencio. Villavicencio was recently detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after delivering a pizza to Fort Hamilton Army base in Brooklyn, where a guard contacted ICE after running a background check on Villavicencio. 

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The motion urges ICE to issue an immediate stay of removal on humanitarian grounds so that Villavicencio can continue to pursue a meritorious form of relief from removal - adjustment of status for permanent residency – to remain with his family.

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“Pablo is the bedrock of our family, and our children and I would be lost without him. It is outrageous that he could be taken from us like this,” said Sandra Chica, wife of Pablo Villavicenio. “We call on ICE to do the right thing and let him come home while we fight against his deportation so he can stay here with his daughters.”

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“ICE’s belligerent, indiscriminate, draconian, and wasteful detention of Pablo is the antithesis of human decency and of the values that underlie our city, state, and country,” said Jennifer Williams, Deputy Attorney-In-Charge of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “Pablo is the provider for his U.S. citizen wife and children, he pays his taxes, and he has no criminal history. If the Government has any remaining decency, they will grant our motion and release Pablo back to his family and community immediately.”   

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Natalia Aristizabal, Co-Director of Organizing at Make the Road New York, said: "Our community is here to stay, and here to fight for Pablo. We demand that ICE grant Pablo’s stay and release him back to his family immediately. We also call on all New York elected officials to demand that ICE free Pablo immediately.”

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"The current broken immigration system fails all of us. By preventing hard working immigrants from contributing fully to our economy, we both hamper our economic growth and waste tremendous resources on an enforcement system that all agree does not work. Mr. Villavicencio-Calderon deserves an opportunity to fully explore his legal options to remain in the country. He has made this country his home and built a life with a beautiful family,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca and Chair of the City Council's Immigration Committee.

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Villavicencio is currently detained in New Jersey and could be deported back to his native Ecuador as early as Monday. If the motion is granted, Villavicencio would be released from detention and would be afforded the opportunity to fight his removal proceeding.

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The announcement concerning the motion of stay was made at a press conference and rally outside the Jacob Javits Federal Building in downtown Manhattan. Supporters also announced a public petition to demand that ICE release Villavicencio from detention now.

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#Activism #CarlosMenchaca #CustomsEnforcement #demonstration #deportation #DeportICE #FreePablo #HereToStay #humanrights #ICEfreeNY #ImmigrantNY #ImmigrationCourt #LoveTrumpsHate #MakeTheRoadNY #NewYork #Ni1Mas #Not1More #NYC #PabloVillavicencio #rally #RefugeesWelcome #ResistTrump #SanctuaryCity #StayMotion #StopDeportations #StopICEraids 

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963
Rise and Resist joins environmental advocacy organizations for a protest outside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offices in downtown Manhattan, calling for the removal of Scott Pruitt

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New York, NY - Activist group Rise and Resist, in collaboration with Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, and in solidarity with the Poor People's Campaign, announced a week of actions every day at noon from June 4 to June 8 outside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offices in downtown Manhattan, calling for the removal of Scott Pruitt. The week of protests culminated on June 8, 2018, with Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir exorcising the EPA building.

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The groups used visually impactful street theater to ask passersby to contact Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and other members of Congress to say #ImpeachPruitt.

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  • June 4: Donning hazmat suits, we will hand out filthy branded “Pruitt Water” to call out Pruitt for gutting the Clean Water Act and burying reports of toxins in drinking supplies. 
  • June 5: Wearing surgical masks, we will stage a cough-in to highlight Pruitt’s rollback of the Clean Air Act and the trashing of science-based emissions standards. 
  • June 6: Hauling trash bags filled with paper Pruitt heads, we will declare “Pruitt is Wasteful” to call out Pruitt’s scandalous misuse of public funds and the high costs of his failure to enforce environmental law. 
  • June 7: Bearing tombstones reading “R.I.P. Climate Science,” we will highlight Pruitt’s rejection of climate science and science-based environmental policies.  
  • June 8: Joined by radical performer Reverend Billy, and in flower and animal costumes, we will conduct a casting-out ceremony to cleanse the EPA toxic Pruitt.

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Donald Trump’s EPA head Scott Pruitt has turned the Agency into a cesspool of corruption, corporate cronyism, and deregulation. In response to Pruitt’s unprecedented attacks against the EPA, climate science, and clean air and water laws, and the health of American people, street activist and advocacy groups are coming together in a novel effort to #TakeBacktheEPA and call on Congress to #FirePruitt.  

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“Scott Pruitt collaborates with dirty industries to deregulate protections against their environmental abuses,” says Rise and Resist’s Betsy Andrews. “So we are creating our own collaboration, combining the skills of environmental advocates with the street smarts of activists to demand that Congress heed citizens’ call to impeach Pruitt.” 

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#Activism #ClimateChange #ClimateDeniers #demonstration #DirectAction #Earthalujah #environment #EnvironmentalProtectionAgency #EPA #GOP #KeepItIntheGround #NewYork #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #rally #RevBilly #ReverendBilly #RiseAndResist #ScottPruitt #StopShoppingChoir #ResistTrump #TrumpCabinet

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963
Reproductive Rights Organizations Across New York Launch Campaign to Combat City’s Fake Abortion Clinics

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NEW YORK, NY – Reproductive rights activists, policymakers and community leaders gathered at New York City Hall on June 8, 2018, to launch a campaign that protects local women’s reproductive rights by countering fraudulent clinics that seek to prevent abortions. The #ProTruth campaign is focused on combating New York’s “crisis pregnancy centers,” fraudulent clinics that aim to prevent women from accessing abortion care.

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The #ProTruth campaign is led by the National Coalition of Jewish Women New York in partnership with the Office of City Council Member Helen Rosenthal (District 6) and a coalition of nonprofits including the National Institute for Reproductive Health, Lady Parts Justice League, #Exposefakeclinics, Abortion Access Hackathon, Get Organized Brooklyn’s Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights (WHARR), New York Latina Advocacy Network and Planned Parenthood of New York City.

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The coalition will expose fake abortion clinics, also known as “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) or “pregnancy service centers,” which pose as licensed health care clinics that perform abortions but, in fact, do not have certified medical professionals on site and aim to prevent abortion care. The #ProTruth campaign will educate locals on fake clinics’ tactics, which include lying about the health effects of abortion, intentionally delaying a person’s decision-making and emotionally manipulating patients. The #ProTruth campaign will also mobilize activists to ensure enforcement of New York’s Local Law 17 of 2011, which states that these centers must disclose that they are not licensed medical facilities.

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Andrea Salwen Kopel, executive director of NCJW NY, said, “For decades, National Council of Jewish Women New York has been fighting for reproductive rights and access to comprehensive, quality care. As a faith-based organization, we have a special role to play on this issue, because anti-choice activists often claim to have God on their side. Fake abortion clinics are the new ‘front lines’ of the war against women’s reproductive autonomy, where anti-choice activists use religion as an excuse to deceive and manipulate vulnerable women and girls. We are so proud to be spearheading this coalition of vital service providers and powerful advocates.”

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“Manipulating women as they seek pregnancy-related medical services, including pregnancy termination, is unconscionable and illegal. So called “pregnancy services centers” should be expected to abide by the law like everyone else, anddisclose that they are not licensed medical facilities. More importantly, harassing and deceiving women as they decide how to proceed with their pregnancies, is exactly the opposite of what our approach should be to health care and family planning,” said New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Women.

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“New Yorkers deserve to know that when they enter a facility that looks like a medical office, and sounds like a medical office, they are being cared for by an actual medical provider. Instead, fake clinics try to trick women out of receiving the abortion care they are seeking,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “That’s why we’re proud to have worked with the New York City Council to pass Local Law 17 which requires these facilities to disclose when there are no medical providers supervising or providing services, and to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information. We’re incredibly proud to work with the National Council of Jewish Women New York to raise awareness among New Yorkers about fake clinics and the ways in which the city regulates them to mitigate the damage they do.”

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Get Organized Brooklyn’s Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights said, “The grassroots members of WHARR have made the unmasking of CPCs in New York a priority issue of our advocacy. WHARR will fight to ensure that CPCs stop employing false and deceptive tactics. People with unwanted pregnancies deserve accurate health care, information, empathy, and support – not ideologically motivated 'fake news.'"  

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Elizabeth Estrada, NY field and advocacy manager of the New York Latina Advocacy Network said, “CPCs disproportionately hurt our Latinx community and families by adding yet another significant barrier to already limited access to care. Latinx folks face language and cultural barriers that hinder not just health care access, but health care literacy. We deserve to know the full range of options so that we can make the decisions that are best for ourselves and our families with dignity and self-determination. No one should be deceived when they are seeking health care – it’s that simple.”

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#Abortion #Activism #CrisisPregnancyCenters #demonstration #Exposefakeclinics #FakeClinics #GOP #Idefy #IStandWithPP #NewYork #NYC #PeacefulResistance #photojournalism #PlannedParenthood #prersist #PressConference #Protest #ProTruth #rally #ReproductiveRights #ResistTrump #StandWithPP #TrustWomen #WomenRights

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963