Sunday, April 30, 2017

Over a thousand Long Islanders March For Climate, Jobs, And Justice In Sister Event for People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C.


Long Island, NY -- All Our Energy, Stewards of the Sea, Long Island Progressive Coalition,  Sane Energy Project, the Sierra Club and several other organizations marched with over a 1,000 people in Long Island, NY as a Sister march to the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 29, 2017. This event was the largest climate mobilization since the election, and marks the end of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, during which time Donald Trump has dismantled hard-won climate protections, issued assaults on our air, water, and land, directly attacked the well-being of working families, and marginalized Indigenous communities, people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQIA community, women, young people, and low-income communities.

Together with environmental justice, faith-based, youth, Indigenous, and civil rights groups, labor unions, frontline communities, and other justice-focused organizations, the Long Island march joined the tens of thousands in solidarity by taking to the streets for climate, jobs, and justice.

"I was proud to see so many Long Islanders taking a stand to preserve our environment," said Senator Todd Kaminsky. "In the absence of federal action to protect our drinking water and prevent climate change, New York must take the lead in creating a green, sustainable future. I - along with the hundreds of people who marched today - will keep fighting to increase investments in renewable energy, pass measures to mitigate climate change and protect our drinking water."


This event was endorsed by New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Immigration Coalition, Long Island Jobs with Justice, Communication Workers of America Local 1108, Long Island Bus Riders' Union, Long Island Activists, Long Island Clean Air Water & Soil, Long Island Streets, and Working Families New York. Cosponsors include Long Island Progressive Coalition, All Our Energy, New York Communities for Change, Interfaith Power & Light, Sane Energy Project, Sierra Club and Stewards of the Sea. 

The following organizations and individuals provided comments on the march: 

Dyáni Brown, Shinnecock Nation: "The violence committed against the Water Protectors at Standing Rock is an example of how far the U.S. is willing to go to protect its interest in Big Oil--and that was under the Obama administration. Now with Trump in office, the agenda to exploit the safety of the American public is even more personal. It's not just indigenous people who are under attack anymore, now everyone is a target. From defunding public healthcare and education to privatizing the internet and federal land, only few will benefit at the expense of many."

Laura O’Shaughnessy Swan, Director, Stewards of the Sea: “We believe, as stewards of the sea, in using creativity to spread awareness of global issues that are challenging our world.” 

Kim Fraczek, Director of Sane Energy Project: “What might appear as a tragedy for our health, safety and democracy with the current Administration, it is actually a giant opening for all of us to come together to see our power and create the world we know is possible. Long Island and New York City are in a particularly strong place to lead the direction of the nation, and push a New York State renewable economy policy to reflect the values of energy democracy.”

Helen Dorado Alessi, Executive Director, Long Beach Latino Civic Association: "Let us not deny what is staring us right in the face. If we do not take care of our planet it will not be able to take care of us. President Trump you are in denial! Wake up!!!! Environmental justice for all!"

George Povall, Director, All Our Energy: "From the shores that Superstorm Sandy came home to, our climate movement rises. Today our diverse communities unite for climate solutions that swell from individual, to local, to national actions, and become an unstoppable global flood to save the climate we all depend on." 


Ryan Madden, Sustainability Organizer, Long Island Progressive Coalition: "This march for climate, jobs, and justice is a collective rebuttal to the disastrous climate rollbacks of the Trump Administration and we are calling on local and state leaders to take bold action to counter this backsliding. Climate protection must serve as a means to challenge environmental and racial injustice and as a means to greater economic justice and stronger local economies. Today in Long Beach, an area on the frontline of climate impacts, we have come together as community, labor, faith, immigrant, and indigenous groups to enact our vision for a just and equitable future.”

Michael Gendron, Executive Vice President, Communication Workers of America Local 1108: “We are witnessing an agenda whereby our leaders are trying to set the clock back to a time when corporations were allowed to pollute our air and waterways with impunity, all in the name of progress. Their progress, not ours. We need our elected and corporate leaders to set a course of developing clean, renewable energy so that we can be the world leaders in this technology. These leaders must do so while creating good paying careers for those transitioning out of the fossil fuel industries and those entering the workforce for the first time. This way we can move forward and live up to the responsibility to our children to make sure we leave them a world they can live in.”

Rabbi Glenn Jacobs, New York Interfaith Power and Light: “We are the first generation to face climate change and we are the last generation that can address it.”

Shay O’Reilly, Organizing Representative, Sierra Club: “People from across Long Island are marching together today because all of us know that rising seas, extreme storms, drought and pollution threaten our communities and our future generations. We need swift action to move to renewable energy that can revitalize our economy and slow climate change. We’re calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state leaders to defend New York and build a sustainable future with us.” 


#Activism #AllOurEnergy #Art #ClimateChange #ClimateJusticeNow #ClimateMarch #DefendDemocracy #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #EnvironmentalJustice #EnvironmentDefenders #First100Days #humanrights #LongBeach #longbeachny #LongIsland #LoveTrumpsHate #NewYork #NotMyPresident #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #PeoplesClimateMarch #rally #RejectPresidentElect #resist #ResistTrump #SaneEnergyProject #SierraClub #‎Solidarity #trump #TrumpCabinet #trumpvsallofus #WinWindNY

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963

Friday, April 28, 2017

The National Organization for Women New York issues Trump's presidency a 100-Day Report Card on Women's Rights



New York, NY - The National Organization for Women - New York organized a women's rally and march on April 28, 2017; starting at Columbus Circle to mark the first 100 days of Trump's presidency and to issue an assessment of his record-to-date on women's rights. 

President of NOW New York, Sonia Ossorio, said, "We are out here to issue this school-yard bully a report card on how the policies he's implementing impact women and families and the hard-fought progress we have made in the last century." 

The full report card: 


* Trump's team is threatening to de-fund the vital programs of the Violence Against Women Act - programs that support survivors and aim to end rape culture.

* Trump made sure the White House website was wiped clean of reports on sexual assault and domestic violence, within minutes of being sworn into office.

* Trump has made it more difficult for immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence or abuse to come forward, by creating a culture of fear in immigrant communities.

* Trump put transgender students at-risk across the country by repealing protections that allowed them to use bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identity.

* New York City reported a 24 percent increase in hate crimes last year over 2015.

* Trump dismisses sexual harassment and holds a longstanding record of his own misogyny, including comments about grabbing women. 



* Trump revoked the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order, eliminating requirements for federal contractors to hold them responsible for sexual harassment and promoting equal pay.

* Trump defended Bill O'Reilly in the face of multiple sexual harassment lawsuits, saying he doesn't think O'Reilly "did anything wrong." Trump said dealing with sexual harassment is "up to the individual," placing responsibility on victims instead of holding harassers and the companies that protect them accountable.

* Trump has the lowest percentage of women in cabinet-level positions in almost forty years.


* Trump confirmed ultra-conservative Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, paving the way for overturning Roe v. Wade.

* Trump reinstated the global gag rule and signed a domestic gag rule allowed states to withold federal family planning funding from women's health clinics that provide abortions, jeopardizing the health and lives of millions of women.

* Trump proposed a repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act that would leave millions of women without coverage - an estimated 24 million Americans Americans would lose their insurance.

* Trumpcare will severely cut the Medicaid coverage that is vital to 19 million women. In fact, half of all births are covered through Medicaid. Trump's plan will most harm the people with the highest needs - those who are sick or have limited income - and will increase already existing racial disparities in care. 

* Trumpcare will allow states to opt out of federal requirements like maternity care, preventive care, and prescription drug coverage.

* Trumpcare could deny millions of women access to affordable contraception and would severely reduce insurance coverage for abortion. 

NOW New York advocates for the women and girls of New York, by working to defend reproductive rights, fight economic inequality, and end discrimination and violence against women. As the largest NOW chapter in the country, they play a key role in shaping both the local and national debate on the issues that impact women.

#Activism #DefendDemocracy #demonstration #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #First100Days #GOPHandsOffMe #LoveTrumpsHate #NewYorkCity #NotMyPresident #NOWNYC #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #pussygrabsback #refusefascism #RejectPresidentElect #ResistTrump #‎Solidarity #trump #TrumpFailsWomen #WomenRights #womenrisingup #WomensMarchNYC #WomenStrike #WomenVoters

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Family members of people impacted by raids and grassroots community groups rally against NYPD and Federal "gang" raids, protesting militarized sweeps and conspiracy prosecutions


New York, NY​ – Family members of people impacted by NYPD and federal "gang" raids (Taylonn Murphy Sr. and several affected family members), lawyers (Prof. Babe Howell of CUNY Law School) and community groups (Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee - NYC, Coalition to End Broken Windows, Why Accountability, Copwatch Patrol Unit, El Grito de Sunset Park, Black Youth Project 100 NYC, Universal Zulu Nation, ANSWER Coalition, FLO Harlem, Black Lives Matter NYC, ICE-Free NYC, No Separate Justice campaign, Mi Casa No Es Su Casa, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, NYC Shut It Down, People's Power NYC) held a rally April 27th, 2017; at City Hall steps followed by a march to the U.S. Attorney's Office and MCC federal prison to protest against the NYPD and federal "gang" raids that are devastating communities of color across the city as well as the prison system.

Under the banner of fighting "gangs", local and federal law enforcement agencies are conducting militarized raids that lead to harsh prosecutions of young people from poor neighborhoods of color – especially in public housing. More than 1,000 people were arrested in over 40 so-called takedowns last year alone, according to the NYPD. Those people are now facing torture and solitary confinement in New York City’s federal prisons.
Most arrested are vilified through the media before they've even seen a judge and never see trial as they're pressured to take plea deals. Some young people have been swept up in indictments in large part due to the loose gang criteria, designed by police, that imply whomever associated with alleged "gang members" or wear certain colors are involved in a complex criminal syndicate. Police and prosecutors are also using social media to build cases. This is a recipe for wrongful convictions and follows in the footsteps of the era of mass incarceration and fear-mongering hysteria of the 'Super-predator' days.

The rally falls on the 1 year anniversary of the massive NYPD and federal takedown, which included the Homeland Security Investigations, a division of ICE, last April in the Eastchester Gardens section of the Bronx, the largest "gang" takedown in NYC history. 120 people, mostly young Black public housing residents, were indicted as a result of that massive, multi-agency operation.

The group rally to defend all families from across the city who've not only had to deal with pre-dawn military-style raids but also RICO and conspiracy charges and even efforts to evict them from their
housing. There are solutions to community violence that work to help people and that don't rely on raids and incarceration.
#ACAB #Activism #BlackLivesMatter #BrokenWindows #Bronx120 #BX120 #CityHall #Copwatch #demonstration #EndBrokenWindows #‎EndPoliceBrutality‬ #EndPoliceTerror #FTP ‪#GangRaids ‪#‎indictamerica‬ #JailKillerCops #NewYork #‎NoJusticeNoPeace #NoRacistPolice #NoRaids #NYC #‎NYC‬ShutItDown #NYPD #PeacefulProtest #PoliceBrutality #ProsecuteNYPD #racism #rally #ReformRICO #SafetyBeyondPolicing #‎Solidarity #stillnojustice #StopTheRaids #TakeBackOurCommunities ‪#‎ThisStopsToday

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Protest Against NYC Council Member Margaret Chin and Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Racist Policies and the Destruction of Chinatown, Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan


New York - Chinatown, Lower East Side, and Lower Manhattan residents and workers protest NYC Council Member Margaret Chin’s divisive and destructive rezoning and land use policies on April 26, 2017 outside the New York City Council building at 250 Broadway, to demands Council Member Chin to step down for collusion with luxury developers.

Chinatown, Lower East Side, and Lower Manhattan residents and workers, tired of NY City Council Member Margaret Chin’s selling out their communities to luxury developers and pitting Asian Americans, Blacks and Latinos against one another, organized a protest to demand that Chin step down.

Chin ignored the community-led Chinatown Working Group rezoning plan that would protect all communities of color and working families in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Instead, Chin launched her own limited rezoning for Chinatown that would exclude Latinos, Blacks and other Asians from land-use protections.

Chin gave a green light to the construction of the 80-story Extell condo tower on the East River waterfront--promoted by a real estate tycoon who calls Donald Trump "truly a visionary developer in N.Y. City." (Gary Barnett, The Real Deal, 3/24/17).

Chin did not speak out against the sale of air rights by Settlement Housing Fund and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council to JDS, which is trying to relocate seniors as it builds a 77-story building next to the Extell tower. High-rise projects from Starrett Development are in the works.


She has supported private development plans in the middle of NYCHA projects and in other public spaces, such as Elizabeth Street Garden. She held two meetings about the EIS process on the waterfront—all a phony show right before the elections. Chin's actions support Mayor de Blasio’s pro-developer rezoning plans in the neighborhood.

Community representatives from all parts of Council District 1 will call for both Margaret Chin and Mayor Bill de Blasio to step down and stop their deals with luxury developers that are destroying our communities.

#AffordableForWho #AffordableHousing #Chinatown #demonstration #displacement #ElectedOfficials #Gentrification #Housing #HousingRights #humanrights #lanlord #LES #LowIncomeHousing #manhattan #MargaretChin #MayorDeBlasio #MYNYCLandlord #NewYorkCity #NOEVICTIONZone #NothingInnovativeAboutDisplacement #NYC #NYCityCouncil #NYCMayor #OurCity #PeopleFirst #Protest #rally #RealAffordabilityForAll #rezoning #SaveNYC #tenantharassment #tenants #tenantsfightback #Zoning

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Indigenous people and allies deliver strong message to Citibank shareholders meeting: No Dakota Access Pipeline, Divest, Defund and Decolonize investments

New York City - Hundreds turned out in the rain for a prayerful rally on April 25, 2017; at the historic Cooper Union to protest Citibank’s annual shareholder meeting. The Indigenous-led, and ally supported event sent a strong message to Citibank and its shareholders: honor Indigenous rights, stop extractive energy investment now, and invest in  a Just Transition, and renewable energy towards a climate-stable future.

Just two miles away, the United Nations 16th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is taking place April 24-May 5. Heads of state from across the world are gathered to advance the struggle for Indigenous peoples’ rights and survival. In contrast, while the UN Forum will be focusing on Indigenous rights, at their annual meeting, the Citi CEO and Board of Directors reported to their shareholders of the profits they have made from violating these rights of Indigenous nations. Citibank sponsors and funds abuses of Indigenous rights and the environment by funding the pipelines and oil and gas extraction in and across Indigenous lands. The Dakota Access Pipeline construction desecrated sacred burial sites and incited police violence against unarmed water protectors. Citibank also funds and supports tar sands and shale oil extraction on Indigenous lands. A delegation of Indigenous women addressed the CEO and Board of Directors during the question and answer session of the meeting.

Citibank maintains involvement in the controversial pipeline with a $521,808,456 investment. Citibank was the main convener of the 17 banks that supplied the loan for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Citi is banking on pipeline infrastructure and keeping a stronghold on oil as a commodity by providing revolving credit to TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL Pipeline. Citibank finances the companies behind all of the proposed tar sands pipelines, including Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain and Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement pipeline, all of which face significant Indigenous and grassroots opposition.

“Not only should Citibank divest from funding human rights abuses to Indigenous Peoples, but they should have a portfolio that includes investment in communities working toward a Just Transition using transformative models like eco-villages to develop true sustainability and support Indigenous sovereignty,” said Kandi Mossett, of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations, with the Indigenous Environmental Network.

"It's critical to show our presence at Citibank's meeting so they, and the rest of the world know, that WE are aware that their financial decision making directly destroys the earth, directly negatively impacts the water many indigenous folks strictly rely on, and we are going to fight for this earth and the next 7 generations," said Shawnee Rice with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

Dwayne Perry, Chief of the Ramapough Lenape Nation said, "We are the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, descendants of the original people of Manhattan and the elders of this land.  We consider the injustices at Standing Rock and those who profit from them as injustices to all people, just as we see the building of dangerous and unnecessary oil pipelines as a threat to all waters and lands.” 

“Banks and other financial institutions have a long, long history of financing these horribly destructive extractive industries. These industries violate Mother Earth and her sanctity, indigenous treaties and sovereignty, and result in vicious and repeated violence against indigenous people and all other people who get in their way.” Said Rick Chavolla, of the Kumeyaay Nation and Board Chair of the American Indian Community House. “We have come together as Indigenous people, with our brother and sister allies to say: Enough is enough, this stops now.” The rally delivered its message in no uncertain terms: It is time for Citibank to stop funding Indigenous and human rights abuses and environmental destruction, it must divest today.

Indigenous and grassroots pressure centering around the Water Protector movement at Standing rock continues to grow. Cities like Seattle, WA and Davis, CA divested from Wells Fargo after the project continued without the consent of the Standing Rock Sioux. European heavy hitter, ING, and other foreign banks have sold their stakes in the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

#Activism #AICHNYC #BannerDrop #Citibank #CooperUnion #CorporateGreed #DakotaAccessPipeline #Decolonize #DefendTheSacred #DefundDAPL #demonstration #DivestDAPL #FirstNationsRising #FloodCiti #FossilFree #humanrights #IndigenousRights #IndigenousRising #KeepItIntheGround #mniwiconi #Nation2Nation #NewYork #NoDAPL #NoPipelines #NYC #NYC2StandingRock #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #ProtectTheSacred #rally #resistenciaindigena #RiseWithStandingRock #‎Solidarity #StandWithStandingRock #StopTheBlackSnake #StopThePipeline #WaterIsLife #WaterProtectors ‪#‎weareallconnected

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963



Monday, April 24, 2017

On Holocaust Remembrance Day Homeland Security Chief Kelly to receive Adolf Eichmann Award and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to receive the Joseph Goebbels Award 

On the United States Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 24, 20147; Refuse Fascism held a press conference outside the Museum of Jewish Heritage at 36 Battery Place, in New York; protesting the Trump administration’s threats and actions against “the Muslims, the Mexicans, the refugees, the immigrants from everywhere that have been vilified and targeted by the Trump/Pence regime in ways that echo the demonization of Jews and other groups in Nazi Germany.”

The press conference was followed by a procession to 26 Federal Plaza, Manhattan, the U.S. Federal Building which houses an Immigration Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office, the participants will present the Adolf Eichmann Award to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly for “for striking terror into the hearts of Muslims everywhere by enforcing Mein Trumpf’s January 27, 2017 Muslim Ban,” and “for his tireless effort to begin construction of the border wall by the end of summer 2017.”

The Joseph Goebbels Award will be presented to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for calling immigrants “violent…depraved...filth.” As he wrote, "It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth."

Scott Gilbert, a descendant of Holocaust survivors, and an organizer of the event said, “If ‘Never Again!’ is going to continue to mean anything, it has to mean something now – when immigrants, Muslims, and people all over the world are being threatened by the Trump/Pence fascist regime in the most powerfully militarized country on earth.”
Holocaust Survivors and their descendants speak to why the comparison of Nazi war criminals and Trump cabinet members is both appropriate and chilling. They will be supported by statements from faith leaders and civil rights activists. 

#Activism #DefendDemocracy #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #HereToStay #HolocaustRemembrance #humanrights #ICEfreeNY #immigration #MuslimBan #MuslimRights #NewYork #NoBan #NoBanNoWallNoRaids #NoRaids #NotMyPresident #NoWall #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #RefugeesWelcome #refusefascism #RejectPresidentElect #ResistTrump #RiseAndResist #SanctuaryCity #TravelBan #trump #TrumpCabinet #trumpvsallofus 

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tens of thousands took to the streets of Manhattan for a protest in the name of science

New York City - At The March for Science in New York City, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Midtown Manhattan on April 22, 2017; carrying signs and banners and despite the rain, for a protest in the name of science. The March for Science, one of several hundred held around the world, planned as a response to Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts and political appointments.

Tha March for Science NYC started at Central Park West and West 62nd Street around 10:30 a.m. and proceeded south to Broadway via Columbus Circle, passing Trump International Hotel and Tower, ending at West 52nd Street and Broadway.

As the protesters passed Trump International Hotel and Tower, shouts of "Evil!" "Shame! Shame!" "Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has got to go!" and "Impeach!" rent the air.

By noon, the march stretched north for at least a dozen blocks from Trump International Hotel and Tower near Columbus Circle.

As the massive crowd headed down Central Park West, chants of "Science makes America great" rippled down the street.


Thousands of scientists and their allies were marching through Manhattan to protest President Donald Trump’s approach to science, including his job picks for top regulatory posts and proposed cuts to research funding.

The protest put scientists, who generally shy away from advocacy and whose work depends on objective experimentation, into a more public position.

The organizers acknowledged, however, there is still a steep hill to climb. Despite a show of force for other anti-Trump protests, such as the January women’s marches and last week’s Tax Day March, the administration continues to move forward with its plans.

Jill Dvornik, a senior stem-cell researcher at Mount Sinai Hospital and march co-organizer, said important initiatives are being threatened by federal budget cuts. Advances in everything from biomedical studies to technological devices could be affected.

Mutale Nkonde, co-director of the march and Black Girls Code volunteer, said she and the hundreds of supporting groups wanted New York’s march to be one of a kind. They treated the event like a parade, incorporating floats, banners, puppets and other artistic representations throughout the day.
“This taps into people’s psychological need for a good time and feeling safe in the city,” she said of the parade’s design.


Organizers portrayed the march as political but not partisan, promoting the understanding of science as well as defending it from various attacks, including proposed U.S. government budget cuts.

#Activism #Art #DefendDemocracy #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #ErikMcGregor #LoveTrumpsHate #MangoMussolini #manhattan #MarchForScienceNYC #NewYork #nolabcoatrequired #NotMyPresident #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #refusefascism #RejectPresidentElect #resist #ResistTrump #revolution #RiseAndResist #Science #‎Solidarity #trump #TrumpCabinet #trumpvsallofus

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963



Friday, April 21, 2017

Undocumented workers at New York City’s Tom Cat Bakery are Planning ’A Day Without Bread’, asking consumers to show their support at the dining table.

Every week, the workers at Tom Cat bakery in Queens proudly serve their city their freshly baked loaves, but they’re asking people across the city for once to give up their daily bread this Friday. Instead, they want fellow New Yorkers to stand in solidarity with them and feed the resistance, because Homeland Security is getting ready to raid their kitchen. 

Since March, the workers have baked under a cloud of fear. The management has told them to present proper employment papers by April 21 or be fired. Coming amid President Trump’s anti-immigrant crackdown, workers are fighting for their jobs and the lives they’ve made in this country. With or without legal status, workers have a better way of proving their right to stay.

The management initially eased up on the identification checks, allowing an extension from the original deadline to prepare their legal cases and brace for possible layoffs. But workers have nevertheless continued their campaign with the planned mass bread-fast protest to defend the targeted workers tomorrow. And beyond their immediate plight, Tom Cat’s workers are a canary in Trump’s coal mine as ICE intensifies its deportation drive, with a sharp rise in arrests of immigrants without criminal records reported in the New York region.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to cut off federal funding for cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. As local governments buck pressure from Homeland Security, the stand-off unfolds more subtly in local workplaces, which will be a frontline for testing employers’ willingness to resist Trump and face the political and legal risks.
Although the management might never have paid much attention to immigration rules before, the gourmet bakery, which was taken over by a private-equity firm several years ago, is no stranger to labor troubles. Tom Cat’s first major labor conflict began around 2011 with a campaign by bakery drivers accusing the company of exploitative scheduling and pay schemes. With the support of the worker center Brandworkers, they developed a “Declaration of Dignity” to demand fair working conditions and equitable pay. After initially meeting with resistance, the workers secured a labor rights agreement in 2012. The victory marked a milestone for grassroots organizing in the city’s food production chain.

While they’re not formal unions, worker centers like Brandworkers and Domestic Workers United have become a pillar of the city’s labor landscape, particularly in the largely non-unionized food sector, where even smaller boutique producers often run on deeply exploitative, bullying labor practices.

It’s unclear why ICE seems to be scrutinizing Tom Cat in particular, raising suspicions among some movement veterans, that ICE is pursuing a symbolic attack on a well-known group of local immigrant labor activists.

So-called employer sanctions, or regulations penalizing employers for hiring undocumented workers, have long been used by the federal government as an indirect way of punishing companies that hire undocumented workers. But penalizing the mere hiring of unauthorized worker tends to leave them even more vulnerable to actual labor violations, as the workers face the constant threat of deportation if they challenge labor abuses.

But in an immigrant-heavy city like New York, workers are faced with the choice between laying low, or showing solidarity in public and seeking safety in numbers. Many are now choosing the latter, stepping up and speaking out on behalf of their communities while they still can. As immigrants across the country prepare for the mass strikes and protests scheduled to occur this May Day, many unions and city governments are affirming immigrants rights by declaring themselves “sanctuary cities,” ensuring non-compliance with federal enforcement efforts, and pressure is mounting on employers work to protect, rather than expose, workers at risk of deportation.
While public institutions might be more willing to take political action to protect immigrants, for private businesses, the question of complicity with ICE touches on deep issues surrounding the sense of labor equity that local immigrants have developed as the foundation of the city’s low-wage labor force. Now that Trump seems bent on vastly expanding deportations, city businesses will have to decide where their loyalties lie if their workers are suffering the legal consequences of an unjust economic structure.

When they launched their first workplace justice years ago, Tom Cat workers never anticipated the risks they’d face under the future president. But now Trump’s crackdown only affirms their belief that the most precious reward for their labor isn’t a paycheck, but a voice in their workplace.

Their jobs might be threatened, but after so many years organizing for a fairer workplace, these workers have come too far to surrender what they’ve built without a fight.

#Activism #DeportICE #ErikMcGregor #HereToStay #humanrights #ICEfreeNY #ImmigrantNY #immigration #LoveTrumpsHate #MuslimBan #MuslimRights #NewYork #Ni1Mas #NoBan #NoHumanIsIlegal #Not1More #NotMyPresident #NoWall #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #RefugeesWelcome #refusefascism #RejectPresidentElect #resist #ResistHere #ResistTrump #revolution #RiseAndResist #SanctuaryCity #‎Solidarity #StopDeportations #StopICEraids #StopTheHate #TomCatBakery #Trump #WorkerRights

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963



Thursday, April 20, 2017

City Councilman Ritchie Torres, activist Affua Atta-Mensah and seven other New Yorkers arrested protesting Trump’s  callous, dangerous and destructive plan to cut $6.2 billion from HUD budget

New York City - On April 20, 2017; a total of nine New Yorkers, including City Councilman Ritchie Torres, Community Voices Heard (CVH) Executive Director Affua Atta-Mensah, CVA Lead Organizer Gabriel Strachota and the Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood were arrested protesting President Trump’s proposed federal housing cuts.

In an act of Peaceful Civil Disobedience, the group refused to stop protesting beyond police barricades during a major demonstration by thousands at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City. Trump’s proposal to cut $6.2 billion in federal housing funds would decimate programs that help millions of low-income Americans keep a roof over their heads.

Community Voices Heard, a community activist organization started by single mothers on public assistance in NYC more than two decades ago, was at the forefront of the #NoCuts Coalition rally, along with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, Assemblywoman Marisol Alcantara, and the leaders of several dozen grassroots, civic and labor organizations.

If enacted, Trump’s cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would put hundreds of thousands of Americans in immediate danger of losing their homes in public housing developments or privately owned buildings. Others would continue to live in unhealthy sub-par conditions because repairs would be further delayed, and critical upgrades would be cancelled for lack of funding. Such conditions include the persistent existence of mold in NYC Housing Authority apartments, which is caused by leaky roofs and faulty pipes in buildings that are 70 years old.
“Public housing is critical affordable housing, and all levels of government should be increasing financial support, not drastically reducing it,” Alcantara said. “NYC already is the throes of a homeless crisis because so many families, and single adults, can’t afford rents. Cutting HUD funds would force many more New Yorkers, including senior citizens, veterans and the disabled, into the streets and shelters. Trump’s cuts would be crippling blow to our efforts to make New York City more affordable for working families.”

Trump’s funding cuts would cause an estimated 20% reduction in the operating subsidies to the New York City Housing Authority. Projects likely to be scrapped include replacement of old boilers, resulting in even more breakdowns, and even more days without heat or hot water. Tenants would have to find other housing after five years. Thousands of rent-subsidy vouchers would be eliminated.

“When Donald Trump campaigned before black and inner-city communities, he always raised the question “What have you got to lose?” David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society, said. “Now that he’s been elected, the answer is clear: New York’s housing safety net is at grave risk under this president, whose policies would further marginalize public housing residents by choking off critically-needed federal funds. Without this federal commitment, the future of New York’s greatest affordable housing resource, and home to more than a half a million primarily low-income New Yorkers, looks bleaker than ever.” 

NYC neighborhoods like Red Hook, Brooklyn, will be hit extremely hard by this proposal, Jill Eisenhard, Founder and Executive Director of Red Hook Initiative (RHI), said.

“It is hard to conceive how the Red Hook community will survive the proposed budget cuts when its public housing residents already live in unsafe and unhealthy conditions,” Eisenhard said. “In the past year, NYCHA has finally made progress to address apartments with critical, harmful levels of mold. We cannot afford to take a single step backward.”
The #NoCuts Coalition is comprised of the following groups and individuals:  

·       Community Voices Heard
·       U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer
·       Manhattan North District Council of Presidents
·       Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA)
·       New York Communities for Change
·       The Black Institute
·       CASA-New Settlement
·       MFY Legal Service
·       Coalition for the Homeless
·       Pratt Center for Community Development
·       Neighbors Helping Neighbors
·       Center for NYC Neighborhoods
·       GOLES
·       FUREE
·       Legal Aid Society
·       Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition
·       CAAAV
·       Brooklyn For Peace
·       WE ACT for Environmental Justice
·       Community Service Society
·       Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Transport Workers Union Local 100 
·       National Action Network
·       Racial & Economic Justice
·       Red Hook Initiative
·       Goddard Riverside Community Center
·       Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
·       DC37
·       Picture The Homeless 
·       Greater New York LECET
·       Unique People Service
·       United Neighborhood Houses 
·       Supportive Housing Network of New York 

#Activism #AffordableHousing #arrests #BenCarson #BudgetCuts #CivilDisobedience #DefendDemocracy #demonstration #displacement #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #ElectedOfficials #ErikMcGregor #HousingBudget #HousingCuts #HousingRights #HUD #humanrights #LowIncomeHousing #NewYork #NoCuts #NothingInnovativeAboutDisplacement #NotMyPresident #NYC #OurCity #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #rally #RealAffordabilityForAll #refusefascism #RejectPresidentElect #ResistTrump #RitchieTorres #‎Solidarity #trump #TrumpCabinet

© Erik McGregor - - 917-225-8963