Titans’ Casey to protest despite anthem policy

Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey is planning to protest social injustice and police brutality this season, despite the NFL’s new anthem policy.
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Women protest on the red carpet at Cannes

Hollywood stars took over the red carpet at the Cannes film festival in a call for equality among men and women.
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Cate Blanchett Leads Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet Protest in Honor of Gender Equality

Cate Blanchett, Cannes Film Festival 2018, ProtestThey’re taking a red carpet stand!
Cannes Film Festival Jury head Cate Blanchet led a women’s march, alongside Ava Duvernay, Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayek, Patty Jenkins and many…

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Cosby Trial Opens With a Juror Dispute and a Protest

Bill Cosby’s entrance to the courthouse was also briefly delayed by a topless protester who turned out to be a former actress from his hit show.
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Emma Gonzalez Cries While Leading Powerful Moment of Silence During March for Our Lives Protest

After saying a few words at Saturday’s March for Our Lives protest in Washington D.C., Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre last month, began an unannounced moment of silence.

“Six minutes and about 20 seconds,” she began. “In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered.”

“Everyone who was there understands. Everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands,” she added, before naming the victims of the school shooting.

Afterwards, Gonzalez stood silently in front of the microphone for several minutes with tears streaming down her face as the crowd was at turns silent and filled with scattered applause and calls of encouragement for the 18-year-old.

At one point, the crowd even began chanting, “Never again.”

RELATED: Thousands of Students Rally Against Gun Violence in March for Our Lives Demonstrations Across the World

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After Gonzalez had been onstage for 6 minutes and 20 seconds, a timer went off and she resumed speaking.

“Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job,” she remarked before concluding her speech.

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The March for Our Lives protest in Washington D.C. was planned by Gonzalez and fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Jaclyn Corin, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, and Alex Wind within days of the Feb. 14 mass shooting. The event went on to inspire hundreds of “sibling marches” worldwide.

In addition to the student speakers in D.C., a group of celebrities joined them, including George and Amal ClooneyMiley Cyrus, Common, Jennifer Hudson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

RELATED: Jennifer Hudson Closes March for Our Lives with Emotional Performance After Losing Family to Gun Violence

But the March for Our Lives was not about star power.

As Stoneman Douglas Student Ryan Deitsch said in his D.C. speech, “Movie stars in the crowd, we might have videos on these screens but this is not the Oscars. This is real life, this is reality, this is what’s happening in our country and around the world today.”

“We’re done hiding, we’re done being afraid,” he said. “Though I know we March today, this isn’t the end. This is the beginning. It’s time to fight for our lives.”


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Parks and Recreation Cast Has Reunion at March for Our Lives Protest

Parks and Recreation, Reunion, March for Our Lives 2018Pawnee, Indiana came to march.
Many members of the cast of Parks and Recreation reunited on Saturday at the main March for Our Lives protest to end gun violence.
Natalie Morales,…

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Celebs back white rose protest at Grammy Awards

New York City is reportedly running out of white roses as celebrities attending Sunday night’s Grammy Awards move to support the Time’s Up movement.
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U.K. Judge Says Antifur Lobby Can Protest Outside Canada Goose Store

PETA POWER: Attention all Regent Street shoppers: Get out your earmuffs, as PETA plans to protest loudly outside the new Canada Goose flagship in London.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Sunday that a U.K. High Court judge quadrupled the number of protesters allowed within the outer exclusion zone detailed in an injunction obtained by Canada Goose when it opened the store last month.
The judge also ruled that activists should be permitted to use “loud hailers” between 2 and 8 p.m. The new provisions are effective beginning Tuesday, PETA said.
The High Court ruled that the injunction was obtained by Canada Goose without notice, and unreasonably restricted people’s right to freedom of assembly and expression.
PETA said its lawyer Andrew Locke had argued the injunction severely restricted activists’ ability to inform British shoppers, “95 percent of whom oppose the use of fur, about the company’s continued sale of fur from coyotes,” which PETA argues are treated with cruelty.
A Canada Goose spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.
The Regent Street victory for PETA comes just days after Michael Kors said it would stop using fur as of December 2018. It said the ban would also apply to Jimmy Choo, which Michael Kors Holdings

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Jenkins won’t protest after NFL’s $89M pledge

Malcolm Jenkins says he will not raise his fist during the national anthem this Sunday after the NFL and the Players Coalition joined in a partnership that calls for the league to contribute $ 89 million to projects dealing with social issues.
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Umps wearing wristbands to protest ‘verbal attacks’ (Yahoo Sports)

Ian Kinsler

Ian Kinsler's confrontation with and criticism of veteran umpire Angel Hernandez is fueling a protest by the umpire's union.



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Woman Uses 150 Unsolicited Dick Pics To Protest Online Harassment

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Hollywood actor jailed over power plant protest

Veteran Hollywood actor James Cromwell has been sentenced to a week in a New York jail following a protest at a power plant.
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Online Protest Planned Over Rollback of Net Neutrality Rules

Major internet companies are preparing to launch online protests Wednesday over Republican efforts to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules. It’s worked in the past, but will it now?
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Amazon, Netflix to join in internet protest

Some of the world’s largest internet companies are preparing to join in a day of protest against the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
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Minnesota Museum To Remove Gallows Exhibit After Native American Protest

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has agreed to remove a controversial outdoor “gallows” sculpture following protests by local Native Americans. The large work includes design elements of seven different historical U.S. gallows, including one used to hang 38 Dakota Indians in the state in 1862.

“I regret the pain that this artwork has brought to the Dakota community and others,” museum executive director Olga Viso said in a statement announcing the decision that was posted on Facebook Saturday. “This is the first step in a long process of healing.”

The two-story structure entitled “Scaffold,” created in 2012 by Los Angeles artist Sam Durant and inspired by a dark history of American hangings, was intended as a criticism of capital punishment. But many in the local community considered it insensitive. The hanging of the “Dakota 38” after the U.S.-Dakota War in Minnesota was the largest state-sanctioned mass execution in U.S. history.

The artist now supports dismantling his exhibit, Viso’s statement said, and has told the museum’s executive director: “It’s just wood and metal ― nothing compared to the lives and histories of the Dakota people.”

“I am in agreement with the artist that the best way to move forward is to have Scaffold dismantled in some manner and to listen and learn from the elders,” she added.

Viso said she had hoped the choice of the work would trigger a valuable dialogue and increased awareness about capital punishment and violence. “I regret that I did not better anticipate how the work would be received in Minnesota, especially by Native audiences. I should have engaged leaders in the Dakota and broader Native communities in advance of the work’s siting,” she wrote in an open letter last week.

The details of how the work will be dismantled will be determined in meetings this week with tribal elders.

The large work ― with steps for visitors to climb to the gallows ― was to be one of 18 new works in a renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center to be unveiled June 3.

Protesters on the scene applauded the decision when it was announced, but many plan to camp out at the space until the exhibit is removed. And anger has still been running high, with some on the scene brandishing signs reading: “This isn’t art; this is murder.”

James Cross, who identifies as Anishinaabe and Dakota, told the Pioneer Press that the decision to erect the scaffold without any input from the Native American community was a “slap in the face.” 

“Scaffold” was praised by critics when it was shown in 2012 in Germany and in Scotland.

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Black College Student Group Stages Successful Three-Day Protest

Black students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, held a three-day protest to speak out against what they described as a “hostile climate” on the school’s campus.

The protest, which was held in one of the administrative buildings and stirred up national news, was put together by the school’s Afrikan Black Student Alliance. Their demands included four-year housing for black students to live in the school’s Rosa Parks African American Themed House and for the facility be painted the Pan-Afrikan colors of red, green and black, among others. By the end of the third day of protest, the school’s chancellor George Blumenthal agreed to all of the demands. 

The school’s Rosa Parks African American Themed House is currently open “to all students whose interests span historical, present-day, and future experiences of predominately Black/African American peoples” but the school agreed it will extend up to a four-year housing guarantee to “all students from underrepresented communities” who applied to and currently live in the Rosa Parks African American Theme House, according to The Santa Cruz Sentinel.

“We’re not asking for only black students,” Imari Reynolds of the A/BSA told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last week, clarifying why the group’s demands don’t amount to segregation. “We’re asking for black students to have a guarantee to live in a house that the university advertises as a house that’s meant for black students.”

“We don’t speak for the white students, the Samoan students or the Korean students,” she added. “Right now we speak for the African or black-Caribbean students who are struggling on this campus and need housing while they’re in the house that is meant to protect them and live as a safe space that is currently only being occupied by five black bodies.” 

The group’s full demands are listed on their website and shown in full below:

Similar to EOP students and International students’ housing guarantees, we demand that ALL African Black Caribbean identified students have a 4 year housing guarantee to live in the Rosa Parks African American Themed House. Guaranteeing this would provide a viable living option to all ABC identified students regardless of housing status and college affiliation. We demand a written agreement by the opening of housing applications in April 2017.

We demand the university remove the beds and release the Rosa Parks African Themed House lounge so it can serve its original purpose. We demand the lounge be returned by Fall 2017.

We demand that the university fund the ENTIRE exterior of the Rosa Parks African American Themed House being painted Pan-Afrikan colors (Red, green, and black) by the start of Spring quarter 2017. These Pan Afrikan colors represent Black liberation, and represent our diaspora, and the goals of our people.

We demand that all new incoming students from 2017-2018 school year forward (first years and transfers) go through a mandatory in-person diversity competency training in the event that the online module is not implemented by JUNE 2017. We demand that the training be reviewed and approved by A/BSA board every two years. We demand that every incoming student complete this training by their first day of class.

“Having that red, black and green house in the middle of Stevenson College, which is a predominantly white-serving college, is a matter of symbolism and visibility,” Reynolds told Carlson. Stevenson College is part of the university’s several internal institutions. “Black students are on this campus. We do exist and we do pay to go here, just like our counterparts and we do deserve to be seen here on this campus.” 

On Thursday, the school’s director of News and Media Relations Scott Hernandez-Jason announced that the university agreed to their demands. Later that same day, Blumenthal also issued a written statement to confirm his commitment to the campus and its students. 

“Though we have been working with underrepresented communities, including A/BSA, we acknowledge that we have not done enough to engage with them successfully,” he wrote in a statement obtained by HuffPost. “The student demonstrators raised a number of issues with campus leaders, issues we fundamentally agree upon. Students from historically underrepresented communities deal with real challenges on campus and in the community. These difficulties include things that many people take for granted, such as finding housing or even just a sense of community.”

“We see these new measures as ways to meaningfully improve the ABC student experience here on campus,” he added, “and in doing so improve our campus climate.” 

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Pepsi pulls Kendall Jenner protest advert

Pepsi has pulled an advert after it was criticised for appearing to trivialise protests for social justice causes.
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Shailene Woodley reaches deal to avoid jail over pipeline protest

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‘Black Models Matter’ Protest Blasts Paris Fashion Week For Lack Of Diversity

Looks like Paris Fashion Week’s most importent moment happened off the runway. 

Indi Irvin, a U.K.-based model signed with MSA Models, protested outside the Balenciaga show on Saturday, holding up a sign that read “Les Modèles Noirs Importent,” or as it’s translated, “Black Models Matter.” The signage spoke to the brand’s historical lack of diversity on the runway.

MODELS SPEAK UP

A post shared by Indi (@eyeoccupy2k17) on

The arena was fitting ― Refinery29 reports there were only four models of color of the 47 models who walked in the Balenciaga show (which was actually an improvement over past seasons) ― but her protest speaks to the event as a whole. As New York Fashion Week has made slow but sure strides to be more inclusive, Paris, Milan and London have continued to come up short.

Irvin explained on Instagram that she was planning to protest Lanvin or Celine, or any show that “was big enough to grab the attention back to the cause,” and it “just worked out best at Balenciaga.” She also explained why she felt like now was the right time to speak out.

Outside Balenciaga. Les Modèles Noirs Importent // Black Models Matter. (according to google translate)

A post shared by Phil Oh (@mrstreetpeeper) on

“2017 was a big year not only politically but also for my modeling career as it was my first season in the European market,” she wrote. “It is very different here compared to the NYC I’m used too [sic]. February was black history and march is women’s so it just felt right.”

#blackmodelsmatter #indi #pfw #eyeoccupy2k17 ❤

A post shared by Melodie Jeng (@melodiejeng) on

A few days prior, Irvin pointed out that Gucci, which showed at Milan Fashion Week on Feb. 22, featured just 17 models of color out of 119 total models. “It’s 2017,” she wrote. 

17 … it's 2017 #17 #RP @moremodelsofcolor #gucci #blackmodelsmatter

A post shared by Indi (@eyeoccupy2k17) on

The protest caught the attention of many news outlets and street style photographers, including Phil Oh (Mr. Street Peeper) and Melodie Jeng, and with good reason. While Balenciaga did not return a request by The Huffington Post for comment at the time of publication, we applaud Irvin for taking matters into her own hands in the name of inclusivity.

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NHS protest: Tens of thousands march against ‘hospital cuts’

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Jodie Foster and Michael J Fox lead anti-Trump protest

“It’s time to show up”, Hollywood star says at impassioned pre-Oscars rally in LA.
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Impeachable: A New Kind Of Protest Song

People have been wondering what folksinger/activists, some of them septuagenarians like Noel Paul Stookey and me, might be doing in the face of the current cataclysmic challenges to our democracy and our nation.

The answer is simple: we are going to keep on keeping on. We inherited a legacy from Woody, Pete Seeger and the Weavers and many others who inspired us. They never quit, never stopped and never stopped advocating. Doing so is “in our blood” and it’s a great gift to both Noel and me, as it would be to Mary – were she still to be with us. She would join, even (or maybe especially) at our advanced age, the current advocacies that “hammer out a warning”, “ring out danger” and “sing about the love between our brothers and our sisters”.  No, we’ve not “gone away”. We, and others who also come from the folk music/activist tradition, are solidly committed to using our music to generate community and consensus at our concerts and at gatherings and demonstrations to confront the most dangerous of challenges now threatening our country.

I have written, and currently perform, two songs that have come out of the presidential campaign and its results, one being The Children Are Listening and the other being, Lift Us Up.  I am grateful that, in a limited context (for sure) both of these songs have become rallying points for efforts to assert what is good in ourselves and what is reprehensible and frightening in the face of the recent election. 

By far the most important effort yet, by either Noel Paul or me – in terms of its reach and, in my opinion, its brilliance – is Impeachable, a parody Noel wrote of the song Unforgettable, which was a huge hit by Nat King Cole from the early 1950s.  Impeachable was just released on the internet and went viral with, currently, over 800,000 hits.  (Please share this link with your buddies and help us spread the message.)

Impeachable is an example of Noel’s extraordinary ability to write a super-funny, very surprising yet also, highly nuanced, lyric. He is, and has always been, an amazing songwriter. In its first public performance last weekend Impeachable brought the audience at our concert in Thousand Oaks, CA to its feet with a prolonged standing ovation. There were screeches of delight the likes of which I have never before heard at a Peter Paul and Mary concert.

Noel has clearly struck a hugely resonant chord amongst those who heard the hammer strokes warning of a grave danger to our nation, our democracy and, in fact, the whole earth.

Impeachable is a new twist on the kinds of songs that Peter Paul and Mary were singing that helped to mobilize Americans at the time of the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement.   Blowing In the Wind and If I Had a Hammer written by Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger & Lee Hays, respectively, were anthems that brought folks together in ways that let them recognize, in very personal ways, their collective strength as well as reassert a commonly held ethical/political perspective. Such was also the case with Where Have All the Flowers Gone and a myriad of other songs. With their repetition at rallies, marches and on the radio, these songs inspired many newcomers to the world of activism who asserted to us that our music, and that of our fellow folk musicians, became the “sound track of their political awakening”.  (In our view, this is one of the greatest compliments we ever received.)

Today, of course, the dominant transmission of such advocacies comes through social media, though in-person efforts such as The Women’s March on Washington, and the demonstrations at Standing Rock that electrified the nation are still, I believe, the most powerful tools for social/political mobilization.

Also, there is another new aspect to a musician’s, or an actor’s, or any artist’s efforts in the realm of advocacy. In this time, humor, as offered by the likes of John Oliver, the gifted cast and guests, such as the amazing Alec Baldwin, on Saturday Night Live, Samantha Bee, Melissa McCarthy, Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah, to name just a few, has played a huge role in inspiring and activating the spirit of our nation. It cuts through the extreme “noise” in tweets, frightening pronouncement and actions emanating from the current administration,

Please take heart my friends. From my travels, I have found that there has been a huge call to action heeded, even (and emphatically) in my and Noel’s elder demographic. Be assured that a large body of former artist-activists is mobilizing now with their songs, their poetry, their heart-rending videos, their humor and their visual work on signs and memes that spread across the internet with ever more amazing directness, humor, and determination.  As long as this continues to build, we’re walking together and gaining strength.  Let’s carry it on, my friends.

In solidarity and love,
Peter

Impeachable
By Noel Paul Stookey

Impeachable, that’s what you are…
Impeachable, and yet so far…
You’ve avoided closer scrutiny
And even though Vlad-i-mer Putin, he
Opens many doors, it only makes you more…

Impeachable, and when, some day
We can say ‘you’re fired’ and you go away
You may have thought you were unreachable (but) history makes some moments teachable:
Someday Pence may be impeachable too

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Transformers star Shia LaBeouf charged during anti-Trump protest

Actor Shia LaBeouf is charged with assault after a dispute during his anti-Donald Trump protest.
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Shia LaBeouf arrested at his anti-Trump protest

Actor Shia LaBeouf has been arrested after an alleged altercation with a man at the site of his anti-Donald Trump live art protest.
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�Raza S�! �Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era

�Raza S�! �Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era


This incisive and elegantly written examination of Chicano antiwar mobilization demonstrates how the pivotal experience of activism during the Viet Nam War era played itself out among Mexican Americans. �Raza S�! �Guerra No! presents an engaging portrait of Chicano protest and patriotism. On a deeper level, the book considers larger themes of American nationalism and citizenship and the role of minorities in the military service, themes that remain pertinent today. Lorena Oropeza’s exploration of the evolution, political trajectory, and eventual implosion of the Chicano campaign against the war in Viet Nam encompasses a fascinating meditation on Mexican Americans’ political and cultural orientations, loyalties, and sense of status and place in American society.
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Dave Grohl explains Westboro Baptist Church protest

Yesterday, we reported on the Foo Fighter’s interrupting the protest by the Westboro Baptist Church prior to their Friday night show in Kansas City.
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5 Cooper Union Trustees Resign In Protest

Five the 23 members of the Cooper Union board of trustees resigned Tuesday.

Chairman Emeritus Mark Epstein, board vice chairman Francois de Menil, Daniel Libeskind, Monica Vachher and Vassar College president Catharine Bond Hill each called it quits Tuesday from the governing body of the New York City college. Epstein, Libeskind and Vachher released letters of resignation, and all three cited frustrations over their attempt to make Cooper Union more financially stable.

Their resignations come as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigates the financial practices of the board, the Wall Street Journal notes, and leaves the fate of the unpopular school president up in the air. The board had recently offered to let Bharucha go if Schneiderman would call off the inquiry. 

Students and faculty have protested the board and Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha for the past few years over a decision to start charging tuition, which the trustees said was needed to address a mounting deficit. The college had never actually charged tuition, instead offering full scholarships to all students. As many as half of the undergraduates starting in fall 2014 were only given scholarships to cover 50 percent of the tuition costs.

Cooper Union was long known as an esteemed arts, architecture and engineering that was one of the last remaining higher education institutions to waive tuition for all students. 

According to a copy of the resignation letters posted on the Committee to Save Cooper Union’s website, Epstein wrote:

As a donor, I am withdrawing my financial support for the college. Although I respect the rights of those of the faculty, alumni, and students, to act as they see fit, I no longer want to support them.

If the schools fail in the future, it will not be due to the change in the scholarship policy (a major part of the sustainability plan) as some will claim. It will be due to the organized opposition to it.

I’ve spent a good part of the last 30 years being pretty active for the benefit of The Cooper Union. These were not easy decisions to make.

Vachher stated in her letter of resignation:

Regrettably, it has become clear that these fiduciary goals are not shared by many on the board, and that the board is unwilling to make or support often difficult decisions that would be in the long-term best interests of the institution.

Adding his take, Libeskind wrote:

As an alumnus of the school who had joined the Board recently, I expected that in this difficult time of change, there would be a meaningful and open discussion – one which would assure Cooper Union’s stability and future.  My experience was far from that.

I do not support the leadership and direction of this Board.  I believe that decisions being taken are not in the best interest of Cooper Union.

Cooper Union alumna and activist Victoria Sobel told Hyperallergic, “What these people have in common is that not only were they tuition supporters, but they were also the staunchest Jamshed Bharucha administration supporters.”

The college regrets that the trustees resigned, board chairman Richard Lincer told the Journal, but each of the “difficult decisions facing the board has been discussed openly and thoroughly with all viewpoints heard from.”

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Illustrators Protest Qatar’s Alleged World Cup Labor Abuses With Redesigned Logos

adidas

Preparations for the 2022 World Cup, to be held in Qatar, may have already cost at least 1,200 people their lives, even though the event itself is still seven years away. If current trends continue, nearly 4,000 people will die constructing stadiums by the time the World Cup actually begins — a shocking 62 people per game played, according to a report by the International Trade Union Confederation.

Migrant workers building World Cup infrastructure have allegedly been forced to work up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week in blistering summer temperatures of 110 degrees Fahrenheit or more, according to an Amnesty International report. Many workers are said to be living in “squalid” conditions, with employers holding on to their identification cards and exit visas and treating the workers themselves “like animals.”

The competition and its sponsor, FIFA, have already come under intense scrutiny due to allegations of bribery and human rights abuses. Fourteen senior FIFA officials were indicted on Wednesday for racketeering conspiracy and corruption, and although Qatar was cleared of corruption allegations last year, Swiss authorities have announced investigations into both Qatar’s and Russia’s World Cup bids. FIFA has said that neither hosting invitation will be rescinded.

Qatar has promised reforms amid the damning reports, but the government has thus far mostly failed to deliver. Meanwhile, four of FIFA’s primary sponsors — Sony, Adidas, Visa and Coca-Cola — have called for investigations into the allegations, but none have pulled out of the World Cup.

As the controversy continues to grow, dozens of illustrators have come together to shed light on the issue. Many of them posted “anti-logos” on Reddit to protest the major sponsors still attached to the World Cup. The art and design blog Bored Panda has compiled some of the best of these images.

Take a look.

View post on imgur.com

Proud sponsor of human rights abuses in Qatar.

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View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

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Protest Music and the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution

These days, I watch the news feeds from Hong Kong. I only half-listen to the announcers, the people on the barricades or the experts. Instead, I listen to what’s going on behind the live shots of the talking heads in front of the action. I’m listening for music.

Hong Kong’s courageous Umbrella Revolution already has a soundtrack of its own. One song is “Under a Vast Sky” by Beyond, Hong Kong’s greatest rock band, with lines that still resonate many years after the song’s first release: “Forgive me for embracing freedom in my life.”
 
The other is “Do You Hear the People Sing,” the anthem at the heart of the musical Les Miserables: “It is the music of the people/Who will not be slaves again.”
 
But I’m actually listening for another song, or songs — songs that have inspired captive peoples for hundreds of years. I’m listening for “We Shall Overcome,” “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Turn Me ‘Round,” “We Shall Not be Moved,” “This Little Light of Mine.” At some point, a microphone will capture a protest spiritual or a freedom song in Hong Kong.

I know this because those songs have been sung in the Arab Spring and on Tiananmen Square and at a thousand thousand rallies, protests, mass meetings and jails around the world, just as they were sung in Montgomery, Albany, Birmingham, Selma, Chicago and Memphis.

According to Zora Neale Hurston, these songs were first spread by High John de Conquer, the African American mythic spirit of survival and defiance. From slavery to the civil rights era, High John sped along the mystic grapevine of black America, spreading courage and hope. Today High John is spread by social media.

In early September, a man named Bob Kraft — who I do not know — posted on his Facebook page a call for pro-democracy forces to gather at the Hong Kong Wall at Hong Kong’s Central Government office where all assembled would hear the stories and learn the freedom songs of the American civil rights movement. I don’t know how many people showed up — if any. But if not then or there, then High John de Conquer took the message somewhere else, again and again and again.

People sing freedom songs because they have power. Christian people, Islamic people, Jewish people and people with no religious faith at all sing them. They have been orally transmitted from generation to generation in an almost apostolic succession, waiting only for the need to arise. Like ancient stories of King Arthur, said sleeping dreamlessly under some hill in Wales, waiting to be summoned in the time of England’s greatest need, the protest spirituals and freedom songs are always there. Waiting. Waiting to be called upon again.

I have spent the last eight years tracking these songs, from the fragmentary records of the Antebellum South to the singing of “We Shall Overcome” at the funeral of every great African American freedom fighter for the last fifty years. I have immersed myself in them. When I hear them sung on a scratchy recording of a nameless mass meeting near Greenwood, Mississippi, the hairs rise on my forearms. Brother, there is power here.

One of the great heroes of the civil rights movement, Bernice Johnson Reagon, once said, “When you get together at a mass meeting, you sing the songs which symbolize
transformation, which make that revolution of courage inside you. You raise a freedom song.”

So, each night, I flip among ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera or PBS and listen for the sounds of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution. I’m listening to history being made, to history being sung. I’m listening for the digital footsteps of High John de Conquer.

Robert Darden is an Associate Professor of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media at Baylor University. His book Nothing But Love in God’s Water: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement will be released this month from Penn State University Press.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki And 2 Congressmen Plan Protest Of ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ At Metropolitan Opera

NEW YORK (AP) — Some big-name politicians are joining Jewish protesters in a growing firestorm against an opera they say glorifies Palestinian terrorists.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Gov. George Pataki and two U.S. congressmen are among hundreds expected outside the Metropolitan Opera on Monday to protest the Met premiere of “The Death of Klinghoffer.” It’s based on the 1985 murder of a disabled Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, on the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship hijacked by four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front. The 69-year-old New York retiree was shot in his wheelchair and pushed overboard.

Organizers plan to bring 100 symbolic wheelchairs to the rally at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan.

The Met already has canceled its planned November movie theater and radio broadcasts of American composer John Adams’ 1991 work amid pressure from Jewish groups — especially the Anti-Defamation League — whose members say the music romanticizes Klinghoffer’s killers, along with the opening “Chorus of Exiled Palestinians.”

Met General Manager Peter Gelb warned the broadcasts could trigger anti-Semitism overseas.

But opera expert Fred Plotkin says the work depicts the Klinghoffers as the moral backbone.

“Does this opera present the killers in a favorable light? No,” he says. “Are the Klinghoffers far and away the most sympathetic characters in the opera, the ones we care about most? I believe so.”

The opera has been a lightning rod since February, when it was first scheduled for this season.

The opposition is now reaching fever pitch, with word spreading that protesters may try to disrupt Monday’s performance.

It’s the second large New York demonstration against the work since the Met’s Sept. 22 season opening night, when protesters carried signs that read “Klinghoffer Opera/Propaganda Masquerading as Art” and jeered at arriving spectators.

Plotkin notes that many “Klinghoffer” opponents have never seen the work.

The Met is advertising it with the slogan: “See it. Then decide.”

“The Death of Klinghoffer” was first premiered in Brussels in 1991, with little controversy, then in various European cities as well as at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where it was greeted with both praise and anger — especially from Klinghoffer’s two daughters.

“The Death of Klinghoffer” runs through Nov. 15 at the Met.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Is ‘Let It Go’ a Protest Song for the Toddler Set?

At any given moment in America right now, thousands, perhaps millions of children are belting out the platinum hit from Frozen, “Let It Go.” Some of their moms are singing along, mainly because it’s impossible to get this tune out of your head.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great song. I liked the movie. Idina Menzel has some serious pipes, as she will prove once again when she performs “Let It Go” at the Oscars on Sunday. But I worry that I’ll have a hard time sitting through her big number, because if I hear that song one more time I might stick my head in the oven. My daughters sing it, my niece sings it, my friend’s two sons sing it. A kid on the subway sang it at the top of her lungs on my 3 train the other day, all the way from Clark Street in Brooklyn to Times Square. Her father looked stricken and glassy-eyed. The song has been streamed 25 million times; the sheet music is sold out and on a three month backorder. It’s the show-stopping climax of the sing-along version of Frozen, in theaters now.

You have to ask yourself why “Let it Go” has imprinted so strongly on kids. Why is this hit bigger than other good ditties, like “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid or “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast? Here’s my theory: It’s a protest song for the under-12 set. They’ve had it up to here with our modern parenting methods in general, and our approach to discipline in particular. They don’t want to sit under the “peace tree” or earn another good-behavior sticker on yet another chart, and they especially don’t want to take a freaking time out. Just look at the lyrics of “Let It Go” and tell me Elsa isn’t in a time out (aka a “kingdom of isolation”), enraged and defiant and subverting the dynamic by embracing her exile.

“Let it go, let it go,
Can’t hold you back anymore.
Let it go, let it go,
Turn my back and slam the door.
Here I stand, and here I’ll stay.
Let it go, let it go…
The cold never bothered me anyway.”

Like so many parents of my generation, I practiced the time-out as a sensitive, well-reasoned response to naughtiness. So much better than spanking, right? My dad used to spank me when I was really, really bad. It always went like this: He would get home from work, hear about my crime, set me up at the end of a hallway that ran the length of our apartment, and give me a good swat. Then I was free to run down what I always thought of as The Spanking Hall, screaming at the top of my lungs. But after that, it was over. I’d come back and everyone would sit together, a little red in the face, eating dinner. We all felt bad, but no one was banished.

Just so we’re clear, I’m not advocating a return to corporal punishment. But perhaps we’re overusing the disciplinary alternatives in our quest to make sure our kids share, behave in restaurants, sit still at circle time and never go bonkers with a Sharpie. Should we give our kids a little more slack, before this songfest becomes a full-on revolt? Next time one of my daughters legitimately screws up, you know what I’m planning to do: [Sing it with me] Let it go.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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