In the days following Superstorm Sandy the Occupy Wall Street movement quickly mobilized their network bringing thousands of volunteers, donations, hot meals, and medical aide to the hardest hit areas. Working under the name 'Occupy Sandy' the group is comprised of both activists and new members who are simply looking to volunteer their time for a good cause. While the Occupy movement is excited to be playing a more direct role in community engagement, they are not losing sight of their political agenda.
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- Affordable Care Act
- Detroit Public Schools
- Emergency Manager
- Family Planning
- Global Warming
- Gov. Rick Snyder
- HIV screening
- Occupy Denver
- Occupy Sandy
- Occupy Wall Street
- Red Cross
- STI counseling
- US Sec.of Education Arne Dunan
- breastfeeding support
- cell phones
- diabetes screening
- emergency planning
- gestational diabetes
- health care
- hot meals
- pap tests
- school closures
- senior citizens
Occupy Sandy in action: Church full of volunteers preparing meals, sorting donations to distribute throughout NYC.
The New Yorker's News Desk:
At the St. Francis de Sales church on B-129th Street, the church hall has been taken over by Occupy Sandy—an offshoot of the still-active networks of Occupy Wall Street. Supplies have been driven here from all over Brooklyn: back there are piles of blankets; on the tables here are diapers, baby food, and cleaning supplies; over there, clothes (grownup, child, baby); more than a hundred pairs of shoes lined up neatly on the bleachers. Residents of the neighborhood wander around the hall, filling bags. In the front entranceway Occupy volunteers are unloading cases of bottled water from a truck, handing the heavy cases one to the next, a bucket brigade to the back of the church. The volunteers move fast but the job lasts more than half an hour—it’s a big truck. In front of the church, long tables have been set up on the sidewalk, where volunteers are serving hot food and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
The Red Cross doesn’t accept individual donations of household goods—these things, it says, need to be cleaned, sorted, and repackaged, and all that takes up more time than they’re worth. It asks for financial donations only. New York Cares requires its volunteers to go through orientation sessions, all of which are full till late November. But Occupy, as you would expect, has a different style.
Be sure to read the entire article at the New Yorker, and not just because it portrays the occupy movement in a positive light, it's because this is what occupy is doing when they aren't protesting in the streets. They're holding educational sessions, planning and organizing sessions...and when there is a need in the community -- as there is most certainly after the devastation left by Sandy (Mayor Bloomberg says as many as 40k NYers may need to relocate!) -- occupiers are able to step up and get the ball rolling with amazing speed.
Ladies, this video from the Guttmacher Institute explains how contraception can make all the difference in the world for us to control our own bodies, our own reproduction, and our own lives. And in case you haven't yet heard, something amazing happened this week:
Beginning today, up to 47 million women may be eligible to get free access to preventive health care services as that provision of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act goes into effect.
Even after all the right-wing snarling and gnashing of teeth, we have real women's health care, basic, preventive, life-saving health care.
- Well-woman visits, including an annual check-up for adult women to get recommended preventive services, and additional visits if women and their doctors determine them necessary.
- Contraception and contraceptive counseling: Women will have free access to all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling without a co-pay. Most workers in employer-sponsored plans are currently covered for contraceptives.
- Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes. Women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future and the children of women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of being overweight and insulin-resistant during childhood.
- HPV DNA testing every three years for women who are 30 or older, regardless of Pap smear results. HPV screening has been shown to help reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer.
- Annual sexually transmitted infections (STI) counseling for sexually-active women. Such sessions have been shown to reduce risky behavior in patients; only 28 percent of women aged 18-44 years reported that they had discussed STIs with a doctor or nurse, according to HHS.
- HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women. From 1999 to 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 15 percent increase in AIDS cases among women, and a 1 percent increase among men, suggesting an increased risk for women.
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling for pregnant and postpartum women, including access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment.
- Interpersonal and domestic violence screening and counseling for all adolescent and adult women. An estimated 25 percent of U.S. women report being targets of intimate partner violence during their lifetimes and screening will lead to interventions to increase their safety.
Already covered under the law are other free preventive services for women recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, including mammograms every 1-2 years for women over 40, cervical cancer screenings and prenatal care.
There are still many women out there who need affordable access to health care, but 47 million is one heck of a start.
This is such big news for women that it seems one Republican congressman wants to make August 1st a national holiday!
Here's what Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R) had to say:
"I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack," Kelly said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."
Wildfires in Colorado continue to rage. As of Wednesday morning, the 6,200-acre blaze had been only 5 percent contained, and 65 mph winds blew the fire through containment lines into northwest Colorado Springs on Tuesday. Officials say it is exhibiting “extreme fire behavior.” Roughly 32,000 residents have been evacuated from the area so far. Colorado Springs reached a record 101 degrees on Tuesday, and conditions are expected to be hot and dry until early next week. Gov. John Hickenlooper said, “It’s as serious as it gets,” while the Colorado Springs fire chief labeled it “a firestorm of epic proportions.”
Support Firefighters on the Frontline and Displaced Families of Colorado Springs
Wednesday, June 26th
Donations Accepted from 8:30-2:00 pm
Location: Walmart Parking Lot in Castle Rock...
Just east of I-25 off Front Street
What is Needed?
Gatorade or Similar Drinks
Blankets and Hand Sanitizer
Help support our neighbors to the south and those actively engaged
in supressing the blaze by donating much needed items.
All Donations will be delivered directly to Red Cross in Colorado Springs.
Other ways to help Firefighters and Families of the Waldo Canyon Fire: Bring Donations to Wal-mart in Castle Rock, to Volunteer contact 719-955-0742, to make a Cash Donation to the Red Cross contact Adriana Watson at 719-884-1047 or Pat Sisterson at 719-884-1047.
[Editor's note: This post has been edited to correct mention of an organizer who was mistakenly identified as a member of Occupy Denver. Apologies for the error.]
After walking out of school to protest school closures and conditions, nearly 200 Detroit Public School students were suspended for as much as two weeks, their cell phones confiscated and gone through with phone contacts deleted by police.
A DPS spokesman later blasted the community for encouraging and participating in the protest.
An estimated 200 students walked out of school midday Wednesday to protest the upcoming closure of Southwestern High School and demand improved conditions across the district. Students explained their reasons for walking out in a minute-long video posted on YouTube.
"We don't have the necessary supplies we need to learn," a student said in the clip viewed some 1,150 times. "Teachers should motivate us more to learn and succeed. … Some only care about their paychecks and not enough about our education. We want our voices heard in any decision-making process that will affect us as students."
Freddie Burse, another student in the video who helped organize the protest, said he learned he was being suspended after being pulled from the lunchroom Thursday.
After students identified as having walked out Wednesday gathered near the auditorium, school employees handed them suspension slips, Burse said. Students were not given details about why they were suspended, but the notices implied it was for being part of "a student demonstration."
In March, students at Denby High School in Detroit marched to protest plans to have the state take over the school as part of a plan initiated by Gov. Rick Snyder. Students were also suspended after they staged a walked out in March at an all boys school in Detroit to demand an education.
A student from the only all boys school in Detroit, the Douglass Academy spoke with the Detroit Free Press about their walkout:
"We've been wronged and disrespected and lied to and cheated," said senior Tevin Hill, who made the announcement to start the walkout. "They didn't listen to us when we complained to the administration. They didn't listen to the parents when they complained to the administration, so I guess this is the only way to get things solved."
Hill said he was accepted to Bowling Green State University but left the college's math placement exam recently.
"I'm generally good in math, but I was embarrassed. I didn't know any of it."
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in 2009 branded Detroit "ground zero" for education reform, however the district is still hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and faces dwindling enrollment, the first day of academic year 2011-2012 saw a 55 percent attendance rate.