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Category: Video

A Message From Texas: When The Left Fights Together, We Win!

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

With all the leftist bickering, in-fighting, both-siding, my anti-war prayers are bigger than yours bullshit, it seemed like a good time to highlight a leftist success story — particularly as it takes place in a bastion of right wingdom and frequent contributor and gonzo journalist Kit O’Connell was there to document it.

So yes — the Lone Star State is perhaps the last place where many of us would expect to see a broad coalition of left leaning groups successfully fight off the hateful Republican agenda. But that’s what just happened during a recent “special session” of the Texas legislature.

Special sessions are a loophole written into the Texas Constitution to allow the state government to conduct emergency business, but in this case the only emergency was that Gov. Greg Abbott had failed to oppress transgender people by passing a version of the so-called “bathroom bill” during the first part of the year. The Governor drew up a 20-point plan of hate for his month-long session, ranging from an attack on public workers’ unions, a pile of new restrictions on abortion, the bathroom bill, and even a bill that undermined the ability of cities to collect taxes to fund social services.

Then, to the surprise of even the people involved in the organizing to resist Abbott, activists working together across issues managed to fight off all but a handful of Abbott’s proposals, in an extraordinary display of the effectiveness of intersectional activism against seemingly insurmountable odds. At a time when some of our fundamental rights are under attack, the success of activists in one of the most politically conservative of states should give us all renewed faith in the power of movement building.

Sorry Chris Hedges, Antifascists Are Building A Better World With Mutual Aid (Act Out!)

Posted in Act Out!, Journalism, and Video

In a recent episode of Act Out! inspired by Hurricane Harvey, Eleanor Goldfield looks back at disaster relief and disaster capitalism after Hurricane Katrina. From there, she pivots to a critique of Chris Hedges recent garbage take on antifa, using my recent article on antifascist disaster relief as evidence that antifascists are building a more just world through mutual aid in addition to fighting nazis in the streets.

‘An Unjust Law Is No Law At All’: Philadelphia Councilperson Helen Gym On Immigration & Texas Bill SB4

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

Helen Gym, vice-chair of Local Progress, a nonprofit representing progressive elected officials from around the United States, and a member of the Philadelphia City Council, spoke to a crowd of activists and other elected officials at the Texas Legislature on July 28, 2017. The rally gathered in opposition to SB4, the recently signed law which would overrule local protections on undocumented immigrants and force law enforcement officials to actively participate in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions. It’s been compared to a “supercharged” version of Arizona’s infamous “Show Us Your Papers” law.

Over 150 elected officials signed off on a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott opposing the law.  In her speech, Gym compared SB4 to similar bills that have been introduced in other parts of the country.

Jose Garza Of Workers Defense Project: Immigrants Rights Movement A ‘Powder Keg’ With A Burning Fuse (VIDEO)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

On July 28, 2017, activists rallied at the Texas Capitol in opposition to SB4, the “Show Us Your Papers” / anti-sanctuary cities bill passed during the recently completed legislative session, and currently facing a lawsuit backed by the majority of Texas’ major municipalities. The event was organized by Local Progress, a nonprofit representing progressive elected officials from around the United States, and over 150 elected officials have now signed off on a letter opposing the anti-immigrant law. Many of these officials were present during the rally.

In this video, Jose P. Garza, executive director at Workers’ Defense Project, explains how his organization encouraged Austin City Council members and other local officials to come out in opposition to the law, and he issues a warning to Gov. Greg Abbott:

VIDEO: Why Public Education Matters For Disabled Students In Texas

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

In this short video, recorded July 18 2017, Lisa Flores explains why public education matters for disabled students in Texas.

Resistance is ongoing down at the Texas Capitol, and the donations of my patrons are helping me to cover it. Look for more soon!

Using Able-Bodied Privilege To Defend Healthcare & Human Rights

Posted in Act Out!, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

They’re loud, they’re fierce, and they’d rather risk death than see their — and your — health care get cut.

You’ve probably seen stories about protesters torn from their wheelchairs as they shut down Senators’ offices, resisting the devastating new Republican “health care” plan that would push even more people into ill health, bankruptcy and death.

To give you a rough idea of how many — there are currently about 29 million people uninsured under the ACA — although many who are insured still suffer from the economic burdens of trying to stay alive. That number may drop a bit by 2026 but under the proposed AHCA, revised or not, more than 50 million people would be uninsured. And we’ll get to what third option would leave no one insured but first, let’s circle back to these protests.

Organized under the hashtag #ADAPTandResist, they have spread across the U.S., from Capitol Hill to legislator’s offices around the country. We’ve all been justifiably horrified to see people defending their right to health care literally dragged to jail, and sometimes bloodied in the process. But as with anyone who places their body squarely in the path of the powers that be, these protesters don’t want our pity, they want our solidarity — because this is a struggle we should all take part in.

They also aren’t new to this struggle either — actually, disability rights advocates from groups like ADAPT are some of the fiercest, and most effective activists around, and they’ve literally transformed the world you live in, to everyone’s benefit.

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