Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Sev7nth Circle Begins: Storytelling on Instagram

The Sev7nth Circle Begins: Storytelling on Instagram

PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING MY WORK

The Sev7nth Circle is a feminist sci-fi thriller about a young woman named ROO (age 23) and an ancient society of women called the Sev7nth Circle. The story unfolds via Instagram and a website (sev7nthcircle.org) and will include real world “events.” Chapter one is about the lost and erased women of science, who will be revealed, at the end of ROO’s quest to open a secret portal. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

This is basically what Marilyn Oliva, one of its creators, told me early this summer when she asked if I would like to play one of the guardians of the sev7nth circle. We met in a direct action activist group after the 2018 presidential election. I said yes, of course! It’s hard to imagine what storytelling looks like on Instagram and the best way to “get it” is to follow the series through your Instagram account @sev7nthcirle

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

The creators of the Sev7nth Circle are Marilyn Oliva – an Affiliated Scholar at Fordham University and a freelance archivist, and Jan Libby – writer, designer, and producer of immersive and interactive stories. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<



Our goal in creating this series was to recover the many women who have been whitewashed from history in a compelling and unusual way. To do this we developed the idea of a limbo-like universe where women from the Humanities, Arts and Sciences languish and wait to be released into the public consciousness. We then created the @sev7nthcircle story about a young woman’s quest–to discover the whereabouts of her mother–during which she discovers a secret society that fights for the return of the forgotten, lost, and erased women of history.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

The Project: We wanted to tell the story of the women who have been whitewashed from history in a compelling and unusual way. To do this we developed the idea of a limbo-like universe where women from the Humanities, Arts and Sciences languish and wait to be released into the public consciousness. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

We then created an Instagram series about two young women who go on a sort of personal quest–to discover the whereabouts of one of their mothers–and stumble on a secret society that both guards and seeks the return of these forgotten, lost, and erased women. 

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

Instagram is the perfect platform to share the Sev7nth Circle story: it allows us to use a fun combination of content: still images, video, gifs, music, and text to tell our feminist sci-fi thriller and lets followers stay connected to the unfolding story whenever they check into Instagram.

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

#Activism #feminism #FeministSciFi #LightProjection #NewYork #NYC #SEV7NTHCIRCLE #TheIlluminator #womeninscience #womenrisingup

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

Monday, October 15, 2018

Indigenous Women’s Delegation takes fossil fuel divestment demands to Chase Bank’s doorstep

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING MY WORK

New York, NY - The indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation, facilitated by Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), along with environmental organizations in NYC  and national organization Rainforest Action Network stood together on October 15,2018 to demand JPMorgan Chase divest from fossil fuels. Six women leaders, from the frontlines of pipeline battles across the nation, spoke out and disrupted Chase Bank’s Private Client offices in the landmarked 28 Liberty building downtown.  
Today the Canadian company, Enbridge is seeking to renew its credit with Chase  in order to complete the Line 3 expansion pipeline.  Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement is dangerously similar to Keystone XL. They are both proposed 36” transborder pipelines which would carry heavy tar sands crude oil from Canada through the United States and across delicate water, land, and cultural resources, with some oil potentially bound for export. Despite harsh public backlash and environmental warnings from the disastrous KXL and DAPL fights, banks like JPMorgan Chase refuse to learn and continue funding outdated and dangerous pipelines.
JPMorgan Chase should prohibit all financing for companies with current or planned operations in the tar sands sector, in recognition of its environmental, social, and growing  financial risks.
This rallying cry from the fourth Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation launches their mission to New York City and Washington D.C. from October 15-17th, to take part in high-level meetings engaging the Equator Principle Association banks (EP banks) and the credit rating agency MSCI, regarding fossil fuel developments; Indigenous and human rights violations; dangers to increasing climate chaos; and demands for institutional action to change the harmful financing practices supporting extractive industries. 
The call from the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation is for rights and environmental violations to be more thoroughly reflected in the rating scores given to fossil fuel extraction companies. Such shifts in rating agency procedures would act as as one tool to contribute to the continued divestment of funds from unjust and dangerous extractive corporations and projects.
JPMorgan Chase, Wall Street’s worst offender when it comes to funding tar sands, and French bank Crédit Agricole are joint bookrunners and lead arrangers for the line of credit for Enbridge Energy Partners.

* The Mille Lacs, White Earth, and Red Lake tribes in Minnesota whose lands would be crossed by the pipeline are all strongly opposed to the pipeline due to its impact upon their territories, especially the culturally significant wild rice beds.
* The opposition of three Ojibwe tribes demonstrates that Enbridge’s Line 3 project violates the internationally recognized principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent for impacted Indigenous peoples.
* Environmentalists and landowners along the proposed route, oppose the project. 
Minnesota’s commerce department has concluded that the state does not need the project, and an Administrative Law Judge had ruled that the state’s Public Utility Commission should deny Enbridge its preferred route.
“Enbridge has the only fully approved, fully funded major tar sands line in North America. It is a 1/3 owner in Dakota Access, and therefore a 1/3 owner in the brutality on unarmed people that took place in Standing Rock. Enbridge now plans to send almost one million barrels of oil per day through my people’s treaty territory, against the will of the tribes and people. Enbridge holds an A credit rating. No bank with even the most basic respect for human rights should be funding this company.” - Tara Houska (Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe, Tribal attorney, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, and former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders)

“Divestment from dirty fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure demonstrates a commitment to our collective future and the web of life. What is needed immediately from financial institutions, insurance companies and rating agencies, is a show of leadership and dedication to ecological sustainability, and human and Indigenous rights, as we face the unprecedented challenges of a world plunging into climate chaos. Indigenous women have long bore the brunt of extractive industries, and despite this, shine powerfully with solutions to the harms that come from these destructive practices. Financial institutions, businesses, and governments need to listen to Indigenous women and adhere to their demands, which are founded on requests for basic respect for obtaining free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities, as required under international law. WECAN International stands with representatives of the ongoing Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations - and is calling for justice and accountability from institutions engaged in or enabling fossil fuel extraction. Business as usual cannot continue. Now is the time to move forward towards renewable, regenerative energy for all.” - Osprey Orielle Lake (Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network and Co-Director of the Divest, Invest, Protect campaign) 


Indigenous Women’s Delegation demands Chase to divest from fossil fuels


#Activism #Chase #ChaseBank #ClimateChange #ClimateCrisis #climatejustice #CorporateGreed #DefendTheSacred #DefundTarSands #divest #FossilFree #IndigenousRights #IndigenousRising #IndigenousWomen #JPMorgan #JPMorganChase #KeepItIntheGround #mniwiconi #NewYork #NoBayouBridge #NoDAPL #noKXL #NoPipelines #NoTarSands #NYC #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #peopleoverpipelines #ProtectTheSacred #RainforestActionNetwork #StopLine3 #stopLine3pipeline #StopTheBlackSnake #StopThePipeline #WaterIsLife 

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

Monday, October 8, 2018

Indigenous, Black and Decolonial Activists gather for 3rd annual Anti-Columbus Day Tour at the American Museum of Natural History, calling for renaming Columbus Day and removing Theodore Roosevelt’s statue

PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING MY WORK

New York, NY - Activists from New York’s Indigenous and Black communities, along with decolonial advocates led the 3rd annual “Anti-Columbus Day Tour” at the American Museum of Natural History on October 8, 2018; the groups are demanding that Mayor de Blasio and members of the New York City Council join the growing list of cities in the U.S. that have renamed Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day and for the removal of Theodore Roosevelt’s statue. 
Last year, more than a thousand people attended the Anti-Columbus Tour at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). In advance of this year’s gathering, organizers from New York’s Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian communities, along with decolonial advocates, issued a public letter demanding that New York join the growing list of cities in the U.S. that have renamed Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. New York City boasts the largest indigenous population in the country—more than one hundred thousand people—and it sits on the homeland of the Lenape, which is and always has been a place of Indigenous movement. In the letter, several grassroots groups (Decolonize This Place, American Indian Community House, NYC Stands with Standing Rock, Black Youth Project 100, and South Asia Solidarity Initiative) insist that the public holiday should honor the persistent presence of Indigenous Americans, and that it is no longer acceptable to commemorate Christopher Columbus, a figure widely associated with exploitation, enslavement, and conquest.
The coalition demands that elected officials remove the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt (outside the AMNH), which has often been cited as the most hated monument in New York City. The statue is seen as an affront to all who pass it on entering the museum, but especially to African Americans and Indigenous Americans. “No truly reputable museum” observes Nitasha Dhillon from Decolonize This Place, “should allow such a racially inflammatory monument to guard its entrance.” The statue is city-owned, and sits on land managed by the Parks Department, so city officials have jurisdiction over its fate. Participating groups call on the AMNH leadership to decommission the museum’s “deeply flawed adoration” of Roosevelt, “a champion of male chauvinism and white supremacy,” which continues inside its walls in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda and the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall.
The letter also calls attention to the Museum's discredited racial classification system that relegates colonized peoples to the domain of Nature and colonizers to the domain of Culture and Science. Even more bizarre, as Amrit Trewn, Black Youth Project 100 organizer points out, "there is no space in the museum where African and African-descended people are allowed to exist in modern time, they are frozen in the past.”
Regarding the inappropriate display of artifacts, Crystal Migwans, from NYC Stands with Standing Rock, calls for respect for these "artifacts" as ancestral beings,
and for true collaboration with their descendants: "The AMNH sits atop a mountain of cultural wealth drained from our communities. The objects in those cases are our relatives, and their mistreatment here, in the heart of this American metropolis, reflects our own." The groups have insisted that the museum’s display plan be reviewed and re-conceived by curatorial representatives of the “exhibited” populations, and that human remains, sacred things, and objects of power be placed under the authority of their descendants.
Recently, the AMNH leadership announced plans to renovate the Northwest Coast Hall, its first cultural gallery, largely untouched since it was built at the turn of the twentieth century. While this is a welcome initiative, it is long overdue and there is much more to be done to catch up with other museums much further down the path of decolonization. The groups have called for the immediate establishment of an independent Decolonization Commission to assess how the AMNH can transform the other halls, and for town hall meetings to be scheduled so that members of the public can testify openly about the impact of the racist stereotypes and demeaning representations on display.
Since hundreds of thousands of school children visit the museum annually, the letter highlights the harms perpetuated upon New York’s highly diverse youth. Currently, the AMNH, which receives $17m of taxpayer funding annually, and uses land and facilities managed by the city, is not held accountable for the damage done to these young minds.
According to Tlingit artist Jackson Polys: “Real decolonization--a repatriation of all objects and land to Indigenous peoples--may seem beyond the reach of an institution that to its core acts to reinforce settler colonial mentalities.” In his view, “there's real opportunity here to begin dialogue, but can our voices truly be heard when framed--contained --by these constant justifications for a foundational violence that permeate every representation of non-European peoples?”
On October 8th, the groups led an “Anti-Columbus Day Tour” at the American Museum of Natural History, beginning at 3pm.

3rd annual Anti-Columbus Day Tour

#Activism #AMNH #AntiColumbusDay #BlackLivesMatter #ChristopherColumbus #Colonialism #ColumbusDay #decolonizethisplace #DefendTheSacred #DirectAction #EndWhiteSupremacy #FirstNations #genocide #IndigenousDay #IndigenousLivesMatter #IndigenousRights #IndigenousRising #NaturalHistoryMuseum #NewYork #notmyhero #RemoveTheStatue #RenameTheDay #resistenciaindigena #SacredLand #TheodoreRoosevelt 

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

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Hundreds took to the street opposing Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court

PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING MY WORK

New York, NY - Hundreds of new Yorkers took to the streets on October 6, 2018 after the Senate voted on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, to express rage and refusal to consent to the rule of the illegitimate and undemocratic appointment to the Supreme Court. 
On Saturday, after the Senate confirmed a lying rapist in the face of this opposition, citizens organized to oppose this rulings. This unjust process has exposed what an undemocratic sham our so-called democracy actually is. We are angry, but we won’t go back. We will never be silent again. With this vote, these senators have betrayed survivors of sexual assault, women, LGBTQ people, poor people, and people of color for an entire generation. There is now another biased judge and sexual predator on the Supreme Court--one that lies as easily as the president.
While the Democrats asked us to trust the FBI, women and oppressed people took the streets around the country. Here in New York City, we marched on Monday and we walked out and marched on Thursday. In Washington, DC, thousands of protesters took over the Senate building. Survivors traveled from as far as Alaska to tell their stories, and protesters occupied Senators’ offices.
In Mitch McConnell’s words, Republicans intend to “plow through.” They’re putting their relentless pursuit of a Supreme Court controlled radical right-wingers ahead of the brave women who’ve spoken out against Kavanaugh and the mountain of evidence that proves he’s unfit to serve on the highest court in the land.
Kavanaugh clearly lied under oath. His lack of judicial temperament and sharp partisanship show us he isn’t fit to serve on the Supreme Court. The sham FBI investigation that the public can’t view was rushed and left out witnesses that could have further corroborated allegations against him.
This action was organized by the ad-hoc coalition of groups that planned Monday's "No Justice, No Seat" march to the Yale Club and Thursday's walkouts and "Cancel Kavanaugh" protest at Trump Tower. Activists with: Democratic Socialists of America, International Socialist Organization, International Women's Strike, Left Voice, Black Women's Blueprint, National Women's Liberation,Socialist Alternative NYC for Abortion Rights, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Red Bloom.


March opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court


#Activism #BelieveSurvivors #BlockKavanaugh #BrettKavanaugh #corruption #demonstration #DirectAction #GOP #KavaNope #MarchAgainstKavanaugh #NewYork #NewYorkCity #NYC #politics #Protest #rally #ReclaimSCOTUS #ResistTrump #SCOTUS #SCOTUSconfirmation #SCOTUSnominee #senate #SexualAbuse #SexualMisconduct #SexualViolence #StopKavanaugh #SupremeCourt #UnionSquare #USSenate

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

Friday, October 5, 2018

Rally to urge MTA to make subway stations accessible prior to settlement hearing with Judge Schlomo Hagler

>>CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS<<

PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING MY WORK

New York, NY - Rise and Resist's Elevator Action Group , Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled (BCID), Center for Independence of the Disabled New York (CIDNY), TransitCenter, Transportation Alternatives, and The People’s MTA called on the MTA to make a binding legal agreement to make New York City’s subway system fully accessible at a rally outside the New York State Supreme Court, on October 5, 2018 prior to settlement hearing with Judge Schlomo Hagler. 
At the rally calling on MTA to make the subways accessible for all New Yorkers, speakers talked about how elevators would allow them to use the city’s subways. It’s not public transit if only some people can ride. 
Afterward, rally-goers headed into the court house where Judge Schlomo Hagler held a settlement conference between Disability Rights Advocates and the MTA.  
Disability Rights Advocates represents several disability groups who have charged that the MTA violates New York City Human Rights law by denying access to the subways for people with disabilities and others who need elevators to ride freely throughout the city. New York City has the least accessible subway system of all major US cities.
On April 25, 2017, DRA filed a class action lawsuit against the New York City Transit Authority (“NYCTA”), Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA”), and New York City (“the City”) for their failure to make the subway system programmatically accessible for persons whose mobility and other disabilities restrict them from using stairs. The City’s subway system has long been City’s lifeline, enabling over 6 million people per day to participate in its economic, political, cultural and civic life. Indeed, an average resident of New York depends on subways to carry out a vast array of essential tasks every day of his/her life.
For people with disabilities, however, meaningful access to the subway system has remained all but illusory. The rare accessible stations tend to be spaced out by at least 30 blocks and constitute less than 20 percent of the total number of stations. In numerous parts of the City, residents with disabilities have no access whatsoever. As a result, they remain completely barred from a mode of transportation that has shaped City’s life in a way that is unparalleled elsewhere in the country.
DRA’s ultimate goal is to ensure that the Defendants institute a comprehensive remedial scheme that can meaningfully address this devastating exclusion of people with disabilities from one of the nation’s largest and most important public transportation systems.


MTA court settlement hearing on disability rights


#AccessDenied #Accessibility #Activism #AmericansWithDisabilitiesAct #BrokenElevators #CIDNY #CIDNYfightsback #CuomosMTA #Disability #DisabilityRightsAdvocates #discapacity #ElevatorFail #FixOurSubway #GovernorCuomo #JudgeSchlomoHagler #LetUsRide #mobility #MTA #NewYork #NoElevator #NYC #NYCSubway #NYCTransit #PeoplesMTA #PressConference #RiseAndResist #safety #settlement #StrandedByCuomo #straphangers #SubwayStation #SupremeCourt #TransitCenter #transportation #wheelchair

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