Saturday, August 19, 2017

NYPD Don't Kill Our Mentally Ill March: Brooklyn mourns mentally ill man killed by NYPD

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Brooklyn, NY - Over a hundred people gathered in front of the home of recent NYPD victim Dwayne Juene in Flatbush, Brooklyn, on August 19, 2017; to protest the killing of the mentally ill by NYPD. After a brief press conference, relatives of victims and advocacy groups led a march to the 67th Precinct where Officer Miguel Gonzalez is based.

"Currently, only 13% of the NYPD's uniformed officers are trained to deal with people with mental illness. This is absolutely and unambiguously unacceptable. Black Lives Matter Greater NY has advocated for too many of these victims. It is time that Mayor DeBlasio and Commissioner O'Neil paid attention to this problem. I have looked into the eyes of the victims families as they wonder why this happened. The answer is that New York City and America as a whole doesn't care enough to end these killings." Said Hawk Newsome, President, Black Lives Matter Greater New York.

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Dwayne Jeune, 32, a man whose mother called the police to report that he was acting erratically was fatally shot last Monday by one of the police officers who responded to the family’s apartment in Brooklyn.

Officer Miguel Gonzalez of the 67th Precinct was identified by law-enforcement sources as the cop who fatally fired five shots at Dwayne Jeune. 

Gonzalez also shot and wounded another mentally ill man under similar circumstances last year, Davonte Pressley was shot three times in the torso by Gonzalez outside a coin laundry in East Flatbush.

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Police sources said officers were called to the home and found Jeune to be combative and threatening. Officers tried to use a Taser on him twice, but it didn’t work. That’s when police say Jeune pushed an officer to the ground and stood over him with a carving knife, prompting Officer Miguel Gonzalez to open fire.

"Over the last eight months my law firm, Rubenstein & Rynecki, has been retained to represent 4 families who have lost mentally ill loved ones who were killed by the NYPD. These killings must stop! We need all NYPD officers to learn how to interface with the NYPD mentally ill. A task force is needed to improve protocol in these situation and Gov. Cuomo needs to extend his executive order involving unarmed civilians killed by the police to give the Attorney General Jurisdiction to prosecute police officers if a crime was committed by the police in killing a mentally ill person." Said Attorney Sanford Rubenstein.

The family and elected officials are calling on the NYPD to reevaluate how officers handle the mentally ill. While some of the officers dispatched that day were specially trained, the officer who fired his weapon was not.

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#67Precinct #ACAB #BlackLivesMatter #BLMGreaterNY #Brooklyn #Copwatch #DwayneJuene #‎EndPoliceBrutality‬ #EndPoliceTerror #Flatbush #FTP #JailKillerCops #KilledByNYPD #KilledByPolice #MentallyIll #NewYork #NYPD #OfficerMiguelGonzalez #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #PoliceAccountability #PoliceBrutality #PoliceKillings #ProsecuteNYPD #racism #RiseAndResist #SafetyBeyondPolicing #SayTheirNames #‎Solidarity #stillnojustice #TakeBackOurCommunities ‪#‎ThisStopsToday‬ 

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Immigration advocates to protest Trump attacks on immigrants during NYC Visit: “You Can’t Replace Us!”

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New York, NY - On the fifth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the New York Immigration Coalition will join its partners and immigrant New Yorkers to demand an end to discriminatory attacks on undocumented immigrant communities. Immigration advocates rally near Trump Tower on August 15, 2017; to demand Administration uphold programs that protect 1.2 million people from deportation

DACA and TPS are under attack, unprecedentedly and publicly putting immigrant communities under attack. 

More than 800,000 young people may lose protection from deportation due to a demand made by ten attorneys general in June. Neither the White House nor the Justice Department have said whether they’ll defend the DACA program that’s set to be challenged in court unless the administration rescinds it by Sept. 5.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has provided over 350,000 people relief from countries experiencing humanitarian crises by granting them work permits and allowing them to live in the United States without the threat of deportation. The Department of Homeland Security has not said for certain that they will continue the program. 

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Immigration advocates organized a solidarity rally on the 5th anniversary of the DACA program that granted relief to nearly a million undocumented immigrants and which Desis Rising up and Moving (DRUM) was on the frontlines fighting to protect DACA and all of immigrant communities. 

New York Immigration Coalition
Desis Rising up and Moving (DRUM)
MinKwon
Yonkers Sanctuary Movement
Columbia County Sanctuary Movement
DACA recipients, TPS recipients and other immigrant New Yorkers

The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

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#Activism #DACA #DefendDACA #DefendDemocracy #DefendTPS #DeportICE #DumpTrump #Here2Fight #Here2Stay #HereToStay #humanrights #ICEfreeNY #ImmigrantNY #immigration #LoveTrumpsHate #MuslimBan #MuslimRights #NewYork #Ni1Mas #NoBan #NoBanNoWallNoRaids #NoHumanIsIlegal #Not1More #NotMyPresident #NoTrumpNYC #NoWall #NYC #NYCC #NYIC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #RefugeesWelcome #RejectPresidentElect #ResistTrump #RiseAndResist #SanctuaryCity #‎Solidarity #StopDeportations #StopICEraids #StopTheHate #TakenFromUs #TPS #TrumpTower

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

As Trump visits NYC, concerned residents demand Trump and the GOP stop risking nuclear war and stop implicitly encouraging the spread of racism

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New York, NY — In disbelief that an unhinged president is risking life as we know it and a complicit Republican party is doing nothing to stop it, tri-state area residents chant, shout, and march in protest, doing everything in their power to keep the country and the world safe. 

In the wake of the horrific events of the past week, Activists took to the streets after Trump stokes fears with careless words and tactics. Members of Rise and Resist and concerned residents, organized a march on August 14, 2017; from the main branch of the New York Public Library to the Trump International Hotel near Columbus Circle with signs conveying simple messages to Trump and the GOP – no war, deescalate immediately, and be proactive in ending racism in the U.S.

"I think Americans don't think something this dangerous could be happening in this country, but it is," said Martin Quinn, Queens resident and new activist. "We have a racist president, a party turning the other cheek, and an administration risking nuclear war through incompetence and bravado." 

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“I march because of the reckless abandon this president displays in his rhetoric about North Korea,” said Marilyn Oliva, a member of Rise and Resist. “He’s a schoolyard bully with zero sense of diplomacy and tact. His words and those of others in his government threaten the stability of the world.”

“In the wake of all this dangerous saber-rattling by the Republican party, I feel it’s my duty to march and demand the hostile threats of war stop now,” said Maryellen Novak, co-organizer of Monday’s action. “I’ll not only be in the streets, but do everything I can to oust this treacherous president, his cronies, and the party from office.”

Rise and Resist is a direct action group made of new and experienced activists committed to opposing, disrupting, and defeating any government act that threatens democracy, equality, and our civil liberties. Previous Rise and Resist actions include a Trump Tower protest against the administration's immigration policy where 26 members were arrested, and a “cough-in” at Jean-Georges restaurant at Trump Tower to protest the potential repeal of the ACA.

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#Activism #BlackLivesMatter #BLMGreaterNY #Charlotsville #DefendDemocracy #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #EndRacism #EndTheWars #EndWhiteSupremacy #FakePrez #impeach #LoveTrumpsHate #MangoMussolini #NewYork #NoHate #NorthKorea #NotMyPresident #NotWelcome #NoWar #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #rally #refusefascism #RejectPresidentElect #ResistTrump #RiseAndResist #Solidarity #StopTheHate #TransLivesMatter #trumpvsallofus #YesLove #YesPeace

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Indigenous Leaders, Activists at Goldman Sachs Pipeline Finance Conference Protest Giant Bank’s Oil and Gas Pipeline Investments and Links to Trump

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New York, NY - On August 10, 2017; over 100 activists from indigenous, environmental and community groups held a protest outside Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York, as the bank hosts a private finance conference for oil, gas, and pipeline corporations. A 40-foot wide, 7-foot tall set of interlocking panels forming a large mural was held in front of the doors blocking the entrance to the building, resulting on 5 arrests..

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Indigenous leaders and activists from the American Indian Community House, New York Communities for Change, Food & Water Watch, People’s Climate Movement – NY, Greenpeace, and the Sane Energy Project were protesting the banks’ financing of fossil fuel projects such as Dakota Access that destroy water and air quality and cause climate change, as well as the bank’s close ties to the Trump administration and violations of the sovereignty of Native American Nations and people.

Wall Street’s giant bank held a conference for the pipeline and fossil fuel corporations that seek to rip through indigenous communities; destroy our water and air quality; and fuel the climate crisis. 

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At this elite, private conference, Goldman will bring these corporations into one place to network with big investors and get financing for oil and gas projects such as Dakota Access, Pilgrim, KeystoneXL and other tar sands pipelines. 

The focus of the action was to tell Goldman Sachs to stop financing oil, gas, coal, and pipelines and expose the banks control over Trump and the federal government. 

The activists also urge New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to reject all fracking infrastructure projects, such as the Pilgrim Pipelines, which are also opposed by indigenous communities.

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#Activism #AICHNYC #CivilDisobedience #ClimateChange #climatejustice #CorporateGreed #DakotaAccessPipeline #DefendTheSacred #DefundDAPL #demonstration #DivestDAPL #DumpTrump #FossilFree #GoldmanSachs #GovernmentSachs #humanrights #IndigenousRights #IndigenousRising #KeepItIntheGround #KXL #LoveTrumpsHate #mniwiconi #NewYork #NoDAPL #noKXL #NoPipelines #NotMyPresident #NYC #NYC2StandingRock #NYCC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #ProtectTheSacred #rally #resistenciaindigena #ResistTrump #‎Solidarity #StandWithStandingRock #StopKXL #StopTheBlackSnake #StopThePipeline #WaterIsLife #WaterProtectors ‪#‎weareallconnected

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

Thursday, August 3, 2017

New Yorkers Arrested at Senator Schumer’s Office as Trump’s FERC Nominee Advances 
    
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Washington, DC - Senate Minority Leader and New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s Washington, DC office was rendered inoperable on August 3, 2017 morning when nearly two dozen people blockaded the office doors, delivering a letter backed by 15,000 supporters demanding that the Senator oppose Trump’s nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 (S 1460). Hailing from New York, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Virginia, and representing a coalition of over 190 groups pledged to fight Trump’s FERC nominees, seven individuals held up a banner and were arrested for refusing to move. The banner read “Senator Schumer: Don’t Trump Our Future. Vote no on FERC Nominees. Vote No on Energy Bill S1460.”

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These arrests happened only hours after Trump officially nominated Democrat Richard Glick, an energy aid to Senator Maria Cantwell, to FERC. Richard Glick will now have to pass through the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources before coming up for a confirmation vote by the full Senate. Republican FERC nominees Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson have already made it through the committee and are up for a full Senate vote soon. Powelson and Chatterjee need to be approved before FERC has the quorum it needs to approve fossil fuel infrastructure projects. 

Senators on both sides of the aisle have shown little to no opposition to Trump’s FERC nominees. Because FERC has lacked a quorum since February, Bloomberg reports that $14 billion worth of infrastructure projects are being held up, worrying investors. This includes Dominion’s proposed $5.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the Nexus pipeline, a $2.1 billion joint project from DTE Energy Co. and an Enbridge subsidiary.

Those opposed to Trump’s nominations to FERC point out FERC’s utter disregard for communities and the climate. FERC regulates the electricity market and is responsible for rubber stamping fossil fuel infrastructure such as fracked gas pipelines, compressor stations, and LNG export terminals. Climate protectors, individuals, and groups from around the country are demanding that the Senate reject Trump’s FERC nominees until FERC’s abuses of power and law are investigated, and steps are taken to replace FERC with an agency dedicated to a just transition off fossil fuels. 

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“Concerned New Yorkers have been focused on Senator Schumer standing up to FERC since 2015 when they approved the Spectra Pipeline adjacent to Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant,” states blockader Kim Fraczek, Director of Sane Energy Project, based in Brooklyn, NY, where Senator Schumer also lives. "We were pleased when the Senator met our demand to request FERC issue a Stop Work Order for the harmful and undemocratic pipeline. FERC denied his request to protect 20 million of his constituents. It’s clear to us that Senator Schumer understands the peril FERC facilitates, and why it is necessary to block Trump’s nominees, Chatterjee and Powelson, whom we expect to fast-track further detriment to our health, safety and democracy.”

"The Democrats seem to enjoy talking about climate change to media and at public events to their constituents. But talk is different than action,” said Jess Rechtschaffer of New York, who was arrested when she refused to stop blocking the office doorway. “Chuck Schumer, along with the majority of the Democratic Party, have been enabling the fossil fuel industry for years, at the expense of public health and safety for decades now.”

Deborah Kushner was also arrested blocking Schumer’s office. Deborah is from Nelson County, Virginia, a battleground between local residents and Dominion Power's proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline. “Everything is wrong in this scenario,” she said. “Taxpaying property owners faced with eminent domain seizure of their land by a for-profit company, wondering about our home's proximity to an "incineration zone," finding huge gaps and incorrect data in FERC'S Environmental Impact Statement, seeing property values plummet before work starts. FERC must be stopped in its tracks and turned 180 degrees around so that we can continue to live and breathe in peace.”

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Drew Hudson of South Carolina, an organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy and founder of 198 Methods, said he participated in the blockade because he wanted to “demand Chuck Schumer and other Senators who claim to care about the climate to put up or shut up. You can't claim to care about the climate and the Paris accords if you vote for FERC, fracking and fossil fuel exports." 

The FERC Vacancies Campaign has been working for months to fight Trump’s FERC nominations. They have sponsored national lobby days, call-in days, district office visits, and disruptions to pressure senators into voting no on Trump’s nominees. They pledge that the resistance will continue to the end, and that there will be political consequences for Schumer and anyone else if they vote in FERC’s favor by approving either Trump’s FERC nominees or the upcoming energy bill. 

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#Activism #ActOnClimate #arrests #BeyondExtremeEnergy #BXE #ChuckSchumer #CivilDisobedience #ClimateChange #climatejustice #EnergyDemocracy #energyefficiency #FERC #FERCdoesntwork #FoodAndWaterWatch #FossilFree #KeepItIntheGround #NoPipelines #NYSsenate #PeacefulResistance #ResistTrump #SaneEnergyProject #SaneSolutions #SenatorSchumer #‎Solidarity #SpeakUpChuck #StopGasExports #WashingtonDC ‪#‎weareallconnected‬ #WeSayNo #YOUAREHERE

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

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

“Taken From Us”: Immigrants and Activists to Protest JPMorgan Chase Nationwide Across the Country for Financing the Immigrant Detention of Family Members and Backing Trump

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NEW YORK — On August 2, 2017; hundreds of immigrants and allies in New York City protested outside JPMorgan Chase offices, calling on its complicity in Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, particularly through its financing of private immigrant detention centers run by the GEO Group and CoreCivic. The “Taken From Us” protest featured powerful visual illustrations of the families separated by private immigrant detention centers, with empty pairs of shoes collected and displayed to symbolize missing relatives, friends, and loved ones. 

Marches and rallies were held outside of the corporate headquarters of JPMorgan Chase in New York City, and other JPMorgan Chase locations around the country, including New Jersey, Connecticut, and North Carolina. Organizations behind these actions include Make the Road, Center for Popular Democracy and SumOfUs.

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JPMorgan Chase is one of the companies exposed by the recently launched “Corporate Backers of Hate” campaign, which has exposed how nine major corporations stand to profit off Trump’s anti-immigrant, -Muslim, -refugee, and worker agenda and, in many cases, are cozying up to the Trump administration.

Earlier this spring, more than 500 New Yorkers marched against JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, with 12 facing arrest after participating in a civil disobedience at the JPMorgan Chase headquarters. Hundreds also marched to the company’s annual shareholder meeting and confronted CEO Jamie Dimon for his company’s financing of private immigrant detention and his role on Trump’s Business Council. Local and state lawmakers in New York, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and TK have also expressed concern to the company and vowed to explore legislative action.  And thousands of people across the country have written to Jamie Dimon and the company’s Board to echo the campaign’s demands via the Corporate Backers of Hate website.

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#Activism #BackersOfHate #Chase #CorporateGreed #deportation #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #EndMassIncarcerarion #HereToStay #humanrights #ICEfreeNY #immigration #JPMorgan #MassIncarceration #MuslimBan #MuslimRights #NewYorkCity #NewYorkers #Ni1Mas #NoBanNoWallNoRaids #NoHumanIsIlegal #Not1More #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #RefugeesWelcome #resist #ResistTrump #SanctuaryCity #shoes #‎Solidarity #StopDeportations #StopMassIncarceration #TakenFromUs

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Activists protest inside Trump Tower to declare ‘The President Is Not Above the Law’ calling on Trump to let Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation proceed

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New York City - New and experienced activists demonstrated inside the Trump Tower atrium on August 1, 2017; to voice their objection in response to reports that Donald Trump is considering firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller and to pardon administration members who have broken the law. 

Members of Rise and Resist, a NYC-based direct action group, carried signs stating ‘You can’t fire the truth’, ’No pardons for kleptocrats’, and ‘Hands off Mueller’ while chanting inside the Trump property and distributed leaflets conveying a simple, direct message - Trump cannot be allowed to obstruct justice. 

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“The situation is all too reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre and Nixon’s firing of Archibald Cox,” said Rise and Resist member Donna Gould. “I’m here protesting because I want to sound a wake-up call to help prevent a constitutional crisis.”

“I fear the president is trying to do an end run around the judicial system, and I’m very afraid that he’s going to get rid of Mueller by dealing dark and dirty,” said Jonathan Walker, a member of Rise and Resist. 

Rise and Resist formed in response to the 2016 US election, and is committed to opposing, disrupting, and defeating any government act that threatens democracy, equality, and our civil liberties. Previous Rise and Resist actions include a "cough-in" at Jean-Georges restaurant, a Federal Plaza rally decrying Medicaid cuts, and a protest against Trump's abbreviated visit to New York City in May.

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#2017 #Activism #collusion #corruption #DefendDemocracy #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #FBI #FBIDirector #HandsOffMueller #impeach #Investigation #NewYork #NotMyPresident #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #RejectPresidentElect #ResistTrump #RiseAndResist #RobertMueller #Russia #SpecialCounsel #trump #TrumpCabinet #TrumpTower

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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Protest Against Trump's Transgender Military Ban in New York City

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New York, NY - On July 29. 2017, a group of New Yorkers gathered at Columbus Circle across the Trump International Hotel and Tower New York in Central Park to raise their voices in protest against discrimination towards the LGBTQ community, in the aftermath of the Trump/Pence regime decision to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

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The Trump/Pence regime banned transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. This comes on top of Trump revoking federal guidelines that mandated transgender students have the right to use public bathrooms that match their gender identity and a host of other measures that demean, victimize and deny transgender people their fundamental rights. 

Activists groups stated that the ban of transgender people in the U.S. military forms part of moves by the Trump/Pence regime to consolidate fascism in the U.S., one part of which is to attack the LGBTQ community for how they choose to live their lives and to aggressively re-institute oppressive “traditional values" in U.S. society. This ban also contributes to whipping up a dangerous, violent lynch mob atmosphere targeting transgender people in society as a whole. 

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#Activism #BlackTransLivesMatter #Community #DefendDemocracy #demonstration #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #EndTransphobia #Equality #FakePrez #GayRights #GenderEquality #GenderNonConforming #GNC #GOP #humanrights #LGBTQ #LGBTQLivesMatter #LoveTrumpsHate #MangoMussolini #march #NewYork #NotMyPresident #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #Protest #rally #RejectPresidentElect #resist #ResistTrump #revolution #‎Solidarity #StopTheHate #TGNC #Trans #TransDayOfAction #Transgender #TransJustice #TransLiberation #TransLivesMatter #Transphobia #TransRights #TransWomenBelong #trump #trumpvsallofus

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

"Millions Marching for Medicare" rally in NYC

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New York, NY - On July 24, 2017; hundreds of New Yorkers joined a grassroots alliance of health care advocates in a rally on the steps of Union Square to demand a universal, single payer, improved and expanded Medicare healthcare system and an end to for-profit healthcare. Coordinating rallies have been organized in communities across the country, with the founding rally being held in Washington D.C. 

Healthcare is a burning issue that affects every person, young and old, every family and every community that bears the skyrocketing weight of foreclosures and bankruptcies that result from medical bills that cannot be paid, as well as failing businesses that come from an unsteady economy and a growing poverty class.

With the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) looming on the horizon and the two disastrous & cruel Republican replacement proposals, that political analysts deem more of a tax break for the one percent than a viable health care for anyone, a large majority of Americans are demanding universal healthcare. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center poll shows that 60% of the population now favors a Medicare for All health care system over both the GOP proposals & the ACA.

Nearly 45,000 deaths are associated with lack of health insurance every year in the United States, according to a study published by the American Journal of Public Health. New Yorkers gathered together on Monday, July 24th to demand that our elected officials put the health and well being of the people of this country over the wealth of the few and guarantee healthcare for all.

“It's time for the people to speak with one crystal clear voice to demand from our elected representatives the justice of a fair, non-profit healthcare system.” - Millions Marching for Medicare co-founder Michael Rushnak.

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The NYC rally will feature testimonies from private citizens as well as esteemed speakers from the medical and political arenas, including the sponsor of NY state’s single payer bill, the NY Health Act, Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, Dr. Roona Ray & Dr. Steve Auerbach of Physicians for a National Health Program, RN Peter Pacheco of NYSNA, Kenneth Shelton of Black Lives Matter of Greater NY, and policy director Heidi Siegfried of the Center for
Independence of the Disabled New York.

Co-hosted by a grassroots alliance of health care advocates.
Single Payer Health - Long Island
Long Island Activists
HEAL NY: Healthcare Equity Action League of NY
Campaign for New York Health
Center for Independence of the Disabled New York
New York Health Act
Black Lives Matter of Greater New York
The People For Bernie Sanders
RefuseFascism.org
New York Progressive Action Network - NYPAN
Action Blitz
Women's March on NYC
Resisters

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#ACA, #Activism, #AffordableCareAct, #AHCA, #CareNotCuts, #DefendHealthcare, #Dying4Care, #HealthcareForAll, #HealthcareIsAHumanRight, #HealthcareNotWealthcare, #KillRepeal, #KillTheBill, #Medicaid, #Medicare, #Medicare4All, #MedicareForAll, #NewYork, #NYC, #Obamacare, #PeacefulProtest, #PeacefulResistance, #rally, #ResistTrump, #SinglePayer, #TrumpCare, #TrumpCareKills, #trumpvsallofus, #UnionSquare, #UniversalHeathcare
© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Access Denied: a campaign led by New York Elected Officials, transit experts and advocates for disabled New Yorkers, seniors, parents, and veterans demanding to the MTA: “Let us ride”

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New York City - Disability rights groups, New York Elected Officials, parent advocates, aging groups, and transit advocates in New York City launched a campaign on July 20, 2017, calling on Governor Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to adopt clear, ambitious plans to make the NYC subway system fully accessible and to address long-term dysfunction in MTA elevator maintenance operations. The groups marked the release of a TransitCenter report entitled “Access Denied: Making the MTA Subway System Accessible to All New Yorkers.” The report chronicles the short and long term policy failures that have rendered the MTA the least accessible subway system in the country, and presents actionable recommendations to remedy the problem. 

The report notes that while the MTA will achieve accessibility at “100 key stations” identified in a 1994 legal settlement in its current cycle of capital investments, the agency has no clear plans for expanding the number of accessible stations going forward. “Having no strategy, plan, goal or set of benchmarks to significantly expand accessibility — let alone make every station in the system accessible — is unconscionable nearly 30 years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Chris Pangilinan, a transit expert, subway rider, and wheelchair user who works at TransitCenter.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

The report also documents how limited subway trip-making is for people who can access only 110 of 472 subway stations, and that this limitation is compounded by the daily roll of the dice that subway elevator users face in terms of elevator breakdowns and inaccurate alerts regarding outages.

NYC subways are the least accessible major subway system in the country for people who require stair-free access. Only 23% of the city’s subway stations have elevators. The elevators break down often, rendering even fewer stations accessible to those with mobility impairments. In contrast, Boston’s “T” and Chicago CTA urban rail networks have more than twice the station accessibility, and thus vastly greater trip-making opportunities for people requiring accessible stations despite being 100-plus year-old systems like the NYC subway. After city and transit leaders empowered agency staff to tackle the issue, 71% of Boston’s subway stations and 69% of Chicago’s rail stations have been made accessible. Both cities have concrete plans to reach 100% accessibility.

In 1994, the MTA agreed to make 100 “key stations” accessible by 2020. This was part of a settlement that exempted the agency from full compliance with the ADA and the state’s Public Buildings and Transportation Laws. The MTA is currently working to complete the final 11 of these 100 stations. But beyond fulfilling this 25-year-old agreement, neither the Cuomo Administration nor the MTA has an articulated plan or policy for making the system more accessible in the future.

"Transportation access is the second biggest barrier to employment for people with disabilities. We need reliable transportation like everybody else," said Monica Bartley of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Governor Cuomo and the MTA leadership have the power to remedy today’s unreliability and vastly accelerate progress on system-wide accessibility for the NYC subway. “Access Denied” calls on the Governor and transit leaders to incorporate detailed ADA accessibility improvements into the MTA’s Twenty-Year Capital Needs Assessment and the 2020-2024 Capital Program, with a strategic goal of 100% accessibility and clear targets and benchmarks on the way to full accessibility. The investment strategy and focused policy attention should allow a faster pace of new elevator construction, such as 15 newly accessible stations a year. This would result in 100% accessibility in 25 years. As an example, Chicago has set a deadline of 20 years to achieve 100% accessibility in its system.

In the short run, the MTA needs to completely overhaul subway elevator maintenance and management practices, with a focus on employee retention, better training, tracking, reporting and accountability for performance. If the agency cannot accomplish better elevator reliability in-house, the MTA should contract out for elevator maintenance operations to a private company that specializes in the field, like tens of thousands of elevator buildings in the city do already. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

“We cannot continue to tell those unable to get up and down steps on their own that the subway system is not for them,” said City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “There needs to be a real plan to tackle the lack of accessibility in the city subway system. This not only means more elevators must be built, but those that are already in place must be maintained. Far too often I get calls from constituents furious that elevators at the uptown A and 1 train stations are down. It is unacceptable. This is an issue that troubles thousands across our city and I am proud to join TransitCenter in demanding a change.”

#AccessDenied #Accessibility #ADA #ADAcompliant #AmericansWithDisabilitiesAct #AndrewCuomo #BrokenElevators #Cuomo #Disability #ElectedOfficials #GovernorCuomo #LetUsRide #Lhota #mobility #MTA #NewYork #NYC #NYCSubway #NYCTransit #PressConference #rally #RiseAndResist #safety #StrandedByCuomo #straphangers #SubwayStation #TransitCenter #transportation #wheelchair

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

More than 500 constituents occupy offices of all 52 GOP senators who have not spoken up against ACA repeal resulting on 175 arrests

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Washington DC - 175 people were arrested after a massive civil disobedience on July 19, 2017; in Senate offices around Capitol Hill. In the wake of the health care bill collapse, constituents from across the country flooded Capitol Hill to protest Republican senators who have not spoken up against ACA repeal and demand universal, affordable, quality healthcare for all.

People with disabilities and life-threatening chronic illnesses, cancer survivors, Medicaid recipients, Affordable Care Act (ACA) policyholders, registered nurses, doctors, and others directly impacted by the potential repeal of ACA traveled from all states represented by Republican Senators to descend upon Capitol Hill to send one clear message: Stop trying to kill Obamacare.

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The Republican healthcare bill may not have enough votes to go forward, but GOP senators have signaled they will still proceed with a vote to repeal the ACA. Dozens of people will risk arrest in acts of civil disobedience—a sign of just how critical it is to them that their Senators hear their pleas not to put their lives and those of people they love at risk by stripping protections for preexisting conditions, essential health benefits, and other key features of the ACA that have allowed 20 million Americans to access coverage since its implementation. The protesters will call for Senators to instead support a single payer, Medicare for All system, that would ensure guaranteed health care to every person living in the United States.

Prior to the action, the Center for Popular Democracy, Housing Works, National Nurses United, Rise and Resist, Positive Women’s Network – USA, ACT UP, and Health Care for America Now, and a nationwide network of 500+ constituents of all 52 Republican Senators, including many with serious health conditions and disabilities held a National Town Hall Meeting on Health Care, open to the press at St. Mark’s Church 301 St St SE, Washington DC.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Speakers included patients and providers from states that would be hurt by repeal, as well as the Presidents of National Nurses United, Physicians for a National Health Plan, as well as speakers from Hoosier Action from Indiana, Positive Women’s Network, and Housing Works in New York. The panel is moderated by Dr. Sanjeev Sriram, host of the podcast “Dr. America”, who also practices general pediatrics in southeast Washington.

After the town hall, around 2 p.m., hundreds of constituents from almost every state in the country step off to hit the offices of every senator who has not come out against repeal, and participate in civil disobedience to demand health care for all.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote next week on the ACA Repeal bill that would:

* End the Medicaid expansion and all premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies while ending the individual mandate
* Leave 18 million Americans uninsured during the first year it takes effect
* Leave 32 million Americans uninsured by 2026
* Increase premiums by 25% within the first year and 100% by 2026

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

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