Tag Archives: inauguration

Moving to the North Pole after Trump’s inauguration is easy — if you can cope

Cat Cooke, 31, owns an extremely cool business that books and handles logistics for bands on tour. And she runs it from one of the most extremely cool places on Earth, emigrating there in August with no more hassle than a tourist buying a plane ticket.

The United Kingdom native is an ideal example of what the masses threatening to flee the United States after Donald Trump’s inauguration might be in for if they move to Svalbard.

Dozens of articles are recommending the archipelago about 1,250 kilometers from the North Pole among about half a dozen options but, while it may be the easiest place to move to in terms of establishing residency, Cooke said people need to learn what they’re in for living in the isolation of the world’s northernmost community.

“Even if you have the skills with your business that’s not enough,” she said. “You need to live and breathe here because it’s such a special place.”

Cooke started her business six years ago, but after visiting Svalbard in February 2016 decided it was an ideal place where she should continue doing her work while embracing a new way of life.

“I instantly got ideas about being here,” she said. “I came here because I adore this place.”

Being in the main town of Longyearbyen, a 2,000-person community on an island halfway between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole, presents some challenges since goods and facilities are limited, Cooke said. It can be harder to get equipment such as displays boards and mobile printers, but she said that’s not a serious handicap.

“The only problematic factor might be if my flight out is canceled,” she said noting she often needs to accompany bands on tour.

People like Cooke who move here are a tiny minority of residents — most get jobs at established companies or enroll at the local university. But she is the type of person that city politicians and other leaders are hoping will move here due to the near-total collapse of coal mining – the city’s main industry since it was founded in 1906 — during the past couple of years.

Because the United States is among the more than 40 countries that have signed the Svalbard Treaty, citizens can become residents here essentially by buying a plane ticket and filling out a short form at that the tax office when they arrive.

But it isn’t just the harsh Arctic conditions newcomers will have to cope with — there are very cold and harsh government rules that exist in part because of how easy it is to live here.

The following are critical tips for those seriously considering moving:

  • Open borders: You can reside here, study here, work here and/or start a business here with virtually no official interference (obviously you’ll still have to deal with building, environmental and other permitting rules).
  • Self-sufficiency: The big trade-off for this is you must be able to support yourself financially. If you’ve got a job or profitable business, great. But if you go broke, the governor will exile you — and send you a bill for the ticket if you’re unable to afford one.
  • The right stuff: As mentioned, coal mining used to be the economic foundation of this town. Now folks are looking to tourism and science research. This is both good and bad for U.S. residents looking to move here. You might have a better chance of getting a job in those industries — but with vacancies extremely limited it may only be likely if you speak Norwegian (free online lessons everywhere) and at least one other language besides English. German, French, Russian and/or Chinese are particularly valuable.
  • Sobering reality: You also can’t have any health issues that keep you from being self-sufficient, including substance addiction. So if you are rich and decide to party Like It’s 1999, then what goes on in your private home is very much the government’s business.

Those restrictions may also apply (cruelly some argue) to the elderly and some disabled. There are healthy residents nearing 80, for example, and a young woman from Japan became the area’s first-known deaf resident a few years ago.

  • Isolation: This is a very modern society, not an indigenous village — but still a very isolated one. There is a supermarket (with vegan, gluten-free food, etc. food), a decent espresso cafe, a movie/performance theater and one of lots of other major things you’ll find in towns (indeed, maybe more than nearly any other town of 2,000 people).

The internet service is almost certainly far better than that of your evil megacorporate provider (contrary to many conservatives’ thoughts, government far outdid private industry here thanks to a worship-worthy subsea telecom cable provided by NASA). But if you’re into big-city comforts, it won’t be enough to offer fulfillment.

  • Coming out: Svalbard is a place where the population is in constant flux. The average resident stays less than six years — and that figure is skewed since there’s a lot of people who stay for a year or two and a lot of long-term residents.

As such, people tend to be more open and accepting of newcomers than you’d generally find in a small town. Nobody gives damn about same-sex couples, breast-feeding mothers and people toting guns here (the latter in particular being rather necessary for reasons about to be revealed).

But getting involved often means embracing leisure activities that includes snowmobile, ski, boating and other trips into a wilderness populated with polar bears and other unusual dangers.

And that means dealing with the oft-repeated myths of this place, like needing a rifle to fend off polar bears outside the main part of town. If you just want to work an office job and watch TV at home, life here will be a severely diminished experience.

  • Get smart: If you’re a university student in a field of science, especially related to climate change and related environmental and technical fields, you can study free at The University Centre in Svalbard — although you still have to pay housing and living expenses.

Also, be advised that Norway wants to reverse a trend toward an increasing ratio of foreign students, which might affect your chances of studying here for a year or two (as noted, you need to be a student already enrolled in a university to apply here).

On the other hand, booze is very cheap compared to the rest of Norway — but then you may have to walk a mile or 2 in a nighttime blizzard to make it back to your dorm when it’s well below zero (F or C, take your pick). 

Icepeople.net is the “world’s northernmost alternative newspaper.” This report is shared through the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore wants Trump to see her, front and center

Some members of Congress are boycotting the inauguration of Donald Trump on Jan. 20. U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., plans to attend the inauguration. The Milwaukee congresswoman explains:

I support my colleagues in their decision to boycott the Presidential Inauguration, but knowing how he operates, I suspect President-elect Donald Trump will use this expression of free speech as an excuse to bypass Democrats and to push his extreme agenda with utter impunity. With that in mind, I refuse to be a pawn in the president-elect’s efforts to rally support from congressional Republicans. As a proud Democrat, I want President-elect Trump to see me front and center as he’s sworn in. I want him to see exactly what his opposition looks like. When he sees me, I want him to see The Resistance.

I did not come to this decision lightly. I weighed my responsibility as an elected official against my disgust over the president-elect’s vile tactics employed to ascend to the presidency and the disrespectful treatment of revered civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis. I considered the multitude of supportive phone calls and tweets from my constituents in light of the embarrassing and ongoing petulance employed by the president-elect. I prayed on this and thought of First Lady Michelle Obama as she reminded us to refrain from abandoning decency in the face of intolerance and moral depravity.

It’s no secret that I find President-elect Trump and his policies repugnant and anathema to my efforts to pursue social justice, and I know a majority of my constituents feel the same. In November, Milwaukee sent a strong, clear message that Donald Trump was the wrong man to lead our country. I intend to deliver that message with my presence at the Presidential Inauguration and serve a symbol of opposition, not normalization.

Many motivations driving women to DC for inauguration protest

Call them rebels with a cause. Women from around the nation will converge on Washington for a march on the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. They will arrive driven by a multitude of motivations.

Gay rights, gun control, immigrant rights, equal pay, reproductive freedom, racial justice, worker rights, climate change, support for vaccinations: They all make the list of progressive causes that are attracting people to the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches across the country and the world this coming Saturday.

“We are not going to give the next president that much focus,” says Linda Sarsour, a national march organizer and executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. “What we want from him is to see us in focus.”

But while Trump’s name may not literally appear in the march’s “mission and vision” statement, the common denominator uniting the marchers appears to be a loathing for the president-elect and dismay that so much of the country voted for him.

“This march feels like a chance to be part of something that isn’t pity, isn’t powerlessness,” says Leslie Rutkowski, an American living in Norway who plans to fly back for the march. “I hope it is unifying. I hope it flies in the face of Trump’s platform of hate and divisiveness.”

Adds Kelsey Wadman, a new mom in California who’s helping to organize a parallel march in San Diego: “It’s not just about Donald Trump the person. It’s about what he evoked out of the country.”

The march in Washington is set to start with a program near the Capitol and then move toward the White House. It probably will be the largest of a number of inauguration-related protests.

Christopher Geldart, the District of Columbia’s homeland security director, said he expected the march to draw more than the 200,000 people organizers are planning for, based on bus registrations and train bookings.

The focus of the march has been a work in progress since the idea of a Washington mobilization first bubbled up from a number of women’s social media posts in the hours after Trump’s election.

The group’s November application for a march permit summed up its purpose as to “come together in solidarity to express to the new administration & Congress that women’s rights are human rights and our power cannot be ignored.”

That phrasing rankled some who thought it was tied too closely to Hillary Clinton, the defeated Democratic nominee, whose famous Beijing speech as first lady declared that “women’s rights are human rights.” The fact that the initial march organizers were mostly white women also generated grumbling, this time from minorities. Gradually, the march’s leadership and its mission statements have become more all-inclusive.

Recent releases from march organizers state the event “intends to send a bold message to the incoming presidential administration on their first day in office, to leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and to the world, that we stand together in solidarity and expect elected leaders to act to protect the rights of women, their families and their communities.”

America Ferrera, leading the celebrity contingent for the march, rolled out a long list of concerns in a statement announcing her role.

“Immigrant rights, worker rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, racial justice and environmental rights are not special interests, they affect us all and should be every American’s concerns,” she wrote.

Other prominent names involved with the march have put a spotlight on one concern — or another.

Actress Scarlett Johansson, who plans to participate, put her focus on the incoming administration’s intentions of “reducing the availability of women’s health care and attacking her reproductive rights.'”

Actress Debra Messing, listed as a supporter of the march, wrote of the need to protect Planned Parenthood.

Expect thousands of the marchers to turn up wearing hand-knitted pink “pussyhats” — sending a message of female empowerment and pushing back against Trump’s demeaning comments about women.

Scan #WhyIMarch posts on social media, and you’ll find a wide-ranging list of reasons. A sampling: equal pay for women veterans, fighting chauvinism, empowering daughters, renouncing racism, higher pay for women who are college presidents.

Wadman, the California mom, tweeted a (hash)WhyIMarch photo with her 4-month-old son and this note: “Because when my son asks me about this era of American history I don’t want to tell him that I did nothing.”

Rutkowski, the American living in Norway, emailed that she’s “not completely satisfied” with the mixed messages attached to the march.

“I also don’t like — from what I’ve seen in the news and on Facebook _ the proclivity for infighting,” she wrote. “But I believe that a quarter of a million female bodies — hopefully more, hopefully men, as well — will make the incoming administration and new Congress aware that we are watching, we are listening and we will resist.”

Carmen Perez, one of the march’s national organizers, sees beauty in the many messages attached to the march: “Women don’t live single-issue lives and we are thrilled to be joined by women who understand and reflect the intersecting issues for which we stand.”

Associated Press reporters Krysta Fauria and Ben Nuckols contributed to this report.

RESISTANCE: List of protests against inauguration of Donald Trump

The number of protests before, during and after the inauguration of Donald Trump continues to increase.

More than 30 groups have applied for permits to protest in Washington, D.C.

Protests also will be taking place in cities across the nation, including in multiple sites on multiple dates in Wisconsin.

A look at protest plans…

Women’s March on Washington

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department has issued a permit for the  Women’s March on Washington, which takes place Jan. 21 — the day after the inauguration.

Police expect 200,000 participants for the event, which will start near the Capitol. Marchers will walk along Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue — and more details are being worked out.

Roundtrip bus rides to and from the event are available, including from  Madison, Green Bay, Stevens Point and Eau Claire. Coaches from Milwaukee also were booked.

Here’s the statement from the march organizers:

On Jan. 21, we will unite in Washington, D.C., for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us — women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice.

For more information about the Women’s March on Washington, go to womensmarch.com.

Sister solidarity marches

Women’s marches on Jan. 21 also will take place in many other cities in the United States, including in Madison.

The Madison action will take place noon-5 p.m., with demonstrators gathering at Library Mall and marching to the state Capitol.

For more on the Women’s March on Madison, go to facebook.com/events/361478110866299

Women’s March on Chicago

In the Midwest, the largest women’s march will take place in Chicago on Jan. 21.

March organizer Liz Radford, in a release from the ACLU, said, “We are marching to voice protests and concerns because our rights, safety and values are at stake. The mission of this march is to connect, protect and activate in our communities. … We are varied races, ethnicities, ages, religions, sexual identities, economic situations, politics and countless other diversities, and we will share space on Jan. 21 to protect our rights and our humanity.”

The march is expected to begin at about 10 a.m. in Grant Park.

For more about the Women’s March on Chicago, go to womens121marchonchicago.org or facebook.com/womensmarchonchicago

Earth2Trump roadshow

TheEarth2Trump roadshow kicked off on the Pacific coast earlier this month and the two-route, 16-stop tour moved eastward, building a network of resistance againstTrump’s attacks on the environment and civil rights.

The shows feature live music, national and local speakers and a chance for participants to write personalized Earth2Trump messages that will be delivered to Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day.

The Center for Biological Diversity is organizing the shows in coordination with groups around the country.

For more on the tours, see a map at www.Earth2Trump.org or follow the tours on social media at #Earth2Trump.

Occupy the Inauguration!

At 2 p.m. Jan. 20, demonstrators in Madison will stage Resist Trump—Occupy the Inauguration! at Library Mall in the 700 block of State Street on the UW campus.

An announcement said demands include “No border wall. Stop the deportations of undocumented immigrants. Tax rich millionaires like Trump. Fund health care for all. Make college free. Black Lives Matter! End rape culture. Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline! Green jobs now!”

The demonstration is sponsored by the Madison Socialist Alternative.

For more details, email madison@socialistalternative.org.

Candlelight vigil

Activists are organizing a candlelight vigil for 7 p.m. Jan.  20 at the intersection of Lake and State streets in Madison. Plans include a march and a program. Organizers ask people to bring flashlights for the vigil, called to denounce “despicable acts of bigotry, hatred, prejudice and xenophobia.”

Immigration prayer vigil

An immigration prayer vigil will take place in Juneau on Jan. 20, which is Inauguration Day.

An announcement to WiG invited people to attend and “stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters.”

The vigil will take place at the Dodge County Detention Facility at 3 p.m. The facility is at 216 W. Center St. in Juneau.

Organizers expect more than 100 people to attend the rally coordinated by WISDOM, a faith-based organization and affiliate of Gamaliel, which also will be present.

For more information, including car pool opportunities, call contact organizer Bernie Gonzalez at 262-443-7831 or .

No Nukes! No Trump protest

A “Homes Not Bombs” anti-nuclear protest and concert are being organized in Washington, D.C, in advance of the inauguration.

John Penley of North Carolina and Bruce Wright of Florida are organizing the protest Jan. 19 in Washington’s Franklin Square. The organizers have secured a permit for the event in the park and hope to secure permission for overnight camping.

Speakers will include Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin, Col. Ann Wright, attorney Stanley Cohen and others.

Room Full of Strangers will perform.

Looking to spring

Organizing also is taking place for the People’s Climate Mobilization, a major march in Washington, D.C., set for April 29 — the week after Earth Day.

350.org holds a leadership post in organizing the march.

For more about the march, go here.

Editor’s note: This list will be updated as we collect additional information or as more details are provided. Please check back.

If you have details about a protest or other related event, please post a comment to this page or email Lisa Neff at lmneff@www.wisconsingazette.com.

Pro-pot activists to give away joints on Inauguration Day

Pro-pot activists are planning to give away 4,200 free joints during the inauguration, which is legal in the District of Columbia.

They’ve also pledged to light up during President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural address, which is not legal.

But Washington’s mayor says police won’t be looking to arrest people for smoking marijuana in public on Inauguration Day.

Speaking at a news conference, Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser said police and city leaders want to see people peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights. Bowser says arrests for smoking pot “wouldn’t be our first priority.”

Possession of up to 2 ounces of pot for recreational use has been legal in the District since 2015. Growing pot at home and giving it away are also legal.

Buying, selling and smoking pot in public are illegal.

 

RESISTANCE: List of protests against inauguration of Donald Trump

The number of protests before, during and after the inauguration of Donald Trump continues to increase.

More than 30 groups have applied for permits to protest in Washington, D.C.

Protests also will be taking place in cities across the nation, including in multiple sites on multiple dates in Wisconsin.

Civil rights attorneys in Washington on Jan. 5 declared victory after the National Park Service announced it would be issuing permits soon, particularly for the Ellipse near the White House.

The park service typically reserves space on and around the National Mall for use by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. But attorneys representing protesters said the agency went too far this time in blocking access to public space. And they had threatened to sue if permits weren’t granted.

Attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard called the park service announcement “a significant victory for free speech.”

A look at protest plans…

Women’s March on Washington

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department already has issued a permit for the  Women’s March on Washington, which takes place Jan. 21 — the day after the inauguration.

Police expect 200,000 participants for the event, which will start near the Capitol. Marchers will walk along Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue — and more details are being worked out.

Roundtrip bus rides to and from the event are available, including from  Madison, Green Bay, Stevens Point and Eau Claire. Coaches from Milwaukee also were booked.

Here’s the statement from the march organizers:

On Jan. 21, we will unite in Washington, D.C., for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us — women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice.

For more information about the Women’s March on Washington, go to womensmarch.com.

Sister solidarity marches

Women’s marches on Jan. 21 also will take place in many other cities in the United States, including in Madison.

The Madison action will take place noon-5 p.m., with demonstrators gathering at Library Mall and marching to the state Capitol.

For more on the Women’s March on Madison, go to facebook.com/events/361478110866299

Women’s March on Chicago

In the Midwest, the largest women’s march will take place in Chicago on Jan. 21.

March organizer Liz Radford, in a release from the ACLU, said, “We are marching to voice protests and concerns because our rights, safety and values are at stake. The mission of this march is to connect, protect and activate in our communities. … We are varied races, ethnicities, ages, religions, sexual identities, economic situations, politics and countless other diversities, and we will share space on Jan. 21 to protect our rights and our humanity.”

The march is expected to begin at about 10 a.m. in Grant Park.

For more about the Women’s March on Chicago, go to womens121marchonchicago.org or facebook.com/womensmarchonchicago.

#HereToStay immigrant rights actions

Nationwide rallies in support of immigrant rights will be staged in more than 20 states Jan. 14 in a show of resistance against Trump’s harsh rhetoric about Mexicans, Latin Americans, Muslims and others.

Organizers describe the rallies as “a mass mobilization of allies set to build community, celebrate our immigrant heritage and defiantly pledge to protect immigrants, Muslims and refugees from hateful attacks and policies.”

As many as 5,000 people are expected to participate in the Milwaukee action coordinated by Voces de la Frontera .

Protesters will gather at about 11 a.m. Voces de la Frontera, 1027 S. Fifth St., Milwaukee, and then march to the Milwaukee County Courthouse, where a rally will take place.

Buses will bring demonstrators from Madison and Racine.

Participating groups in Milwaukee include United We Dream, Center for Community Change, Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Service Employees International Union, America’s Voice Education Fund, American Federation of Teachers, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, Color of Change and National Domestic Workers Alliance.

For more about the march and the rally, go here.

Earth2Trump roadshow

Hundreds of people in Oakland and Seattle this week kicked off the cross-country Earth2Trump roadshow.

The two-route, 16-stop tour is building a network of resistance againstTrump’s attacks on the environment and civil rights.

The shows include live music, national and local speakers and a chance for participants to write personalized Earth2Trump messages that will be delivered to Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day.

The Center for Biological Diversity is organizing the shows in coordination with groups around the country.

The central tour travels by train. One stop, in Portland, Oregon, featured Portland singer Mic Crenshaw and American Indian storyteller Si Matta, who was part of the water-protector occupation at Standing Rock.

The southern tour that began in Oakland will be in Los Angeles on Thursday from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at Global Beat Multicultural Center. The show features Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez and musicians Casey Neill and Allyah.

For more on the tours, see a map at www.Earth2Trump.org or follow the tours on social media at #Earth2Trump.

Occupy the Inauguration!

At 2 p.m. Jan. 20, demonstrators in Madison will stage Resist Trump—Occupy the Inauguration! at Library Mall in the 700 block of State Street on the UW campus.

An announcement said demands include “No border wall. Stop the deportations of undocumented immigrants. Tax rich millionaires like Trump. Fund health care for all. Make college free. Black Lives Matter! End rape culture. Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline! Green jobs now!”

The demonstration is sponsored by the Madison Socialist Alternative.

For more details, email madison@socialistalternative.org.

Candlelight vigil

Activists are organizing a candlelight vigil for 7 p.m. Jan.  20 at the intersection of Lake and State streets in Madison. Plans include a march and a program. Organizers ask people to bring flashlights for the vigil, called to denounce “despicable acts of bigotry, hatred, prejudice and xenophobia.”

Day Against Denial Rally Milwaukee

On Jan. 9, demonstrators will gather at 5:30 p.m. the federal courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, for the Day Against Denial Rally.

Actions are taking place across the country to protest Donald Trump’s cabinet choices — specifically Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, Scott Pruitt for EPA administrator, Rick Perry for energy secretary and Ryan Zinke for the Interior Department.

An announcement for the Milwaukee protest said, “The climate is changing and anyone who denies it shouldn’t be in the White House cabinet. It’s up to the Senate to stop these nominations — and up to us to show up in person to tell our senators to fight Trump’s climate-denial cabinet.”

For more information, email organizer Mark Haag of 350 Milwaukee at marklhaag@yahoo.com.

Day Against Denial Rally and March Madison

In Madison, the rally and march to protest Trump’s cabinet choices will be at 4:30 p.m. beginning near the old MATC building, 200 Wisconsin Ave.

After the action, activists will gather for a potluck supper at the Friends Meetinghouse, 1704 Roberts Court.

For more, email Nick Berigan at nberigan@gmail.com.

Coast to Coast ‘OurFirst Stand’ protests.

UPDATED: More than a dozen rallies have been scheduled from coast to coast on Jan. 15 — and more are being planned — in a major show of grassroots support for critical health care programs under assault by Republicans in the new session of Congress.

The nationwide day of action — “Our First Stand: Save Health Care” — is being organized by Senate and House Democratic Leaders Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the leader of outreach efforts for Senate Democrats.

Schumer and Sanders will speak at a major event at a United Auto Workers hall in Warren, Michigan. Pelosi will speak at a rally in San Francisco. Other events are set for Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities nationwide. More rallies will be announced in the coming week. (To see the list, click here.)

“The American people will not allow Republicans to throw 30 million Americans off of health insurance, privatize Medicare, make massive cuts in Medicaid, raise the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and, at the same time, provide massive tax breaks to the top 1 percent,” Sanders said.

Despite campaign promises by  Trump not to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, Senate and House Republicans began in the opening days of the new Congress to take away health insurance for more than 30 million Americans, end Medicare as we know it, threaten nursing home care for seniors, choke off support for Planned Parenthood and jack up prescription drug prices.

“If Mr. Trump allows the Republican Party to go ahead with its plans, it will dismantle the health care system and jeopardize the economic security of millions of Americans,” Sanders said. “Our message to the Republicans is simple and straightforward. You are not going to get away with it. You are not going to punish the elderly, disabled veterans, the children, the sick and the poor while you reward your billionaire friends.”

Health care activists, trade unions, senior citizen groups and others are working to coordinate the rallies on Jan. 15.

No Nukes! No Trump protest

A “Homes Not Bombs” anti-nuclear protest and concert are being organized in Washington, D.C, in advance of the inauguration.

John Penley of North Carolina and Bruce Wright of Florida are organizing the protest Jan. 19 in Washington’s Franklin Square. The organizers have secured a permit for the event in the park and hope to secure permission for overnight camping.

Speakers will include Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin, Col. Ann Wright, attorney Stanley Cohen and others.

Room Full of Strangers will perform.

Looking to spring

Organizing also is taking place for the People’s Climate Mobilization, a major march in Washington, D.C., set for April 29 — the week after Earth Day.

350.org holds a leadership post in organizing the march.

For more about the march, go here.

Editor’s note: This list will be updated as we collect additional information or as more details are provided. Please check back.

If you have details about a protest or other related event, please post a comment to this page or email Lisa Neff at lmneff@www.wisconsingazette.com.

Earth to Trump: Environmentalists begin cross-country roadshow tour

Hundreds of people in Oakland and Seattle this week kicked off the cross-country Earth2Trump roadshow.

The two-route, 16-stop tour will build a network of resistance against President-elect Donald Trump’s attacks on the environment and civil rights.

The shows include live music, national and local speakers and a chance for participants to write personalized Earth2Trump messages that will be delivered to Washington, D.C., on inauguration day Jan. 20.

The Center for Biological Diversity is organizing the shows in coordination with groups around the country.

“This wave of resistance against Trump is only starting to build. What we saw in Oakland and Seattle will continue to grow bigger and stronger in the coming weeks,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the center.

He added, “And after Trump is in office, we’ll be there every day to oppose every policy that hurts wildlife, poisons our air and water, destroys our climate, promotes racism, misogyny or homophobia, or marginalizes entire segments of our society.”

The shows in Seattle and Oakland featured Hawaiian singer Makana, Brazilian funk band Namorados da Lua and singer/songwriters Dana Lyons and Casey Neill.

Attendees also signed a pledge of resistance and added their personal messages into large globes bound for D.C.

“I’m so inspired by the outpouring of empowerment and resistance we’re already seeing,” said Valerie Love, one of the Earth2Trump organizers who spoke at Oakland’s event. “When we come together and speak with a single voice, we become a force that can stand up and defend our environment, civil rights and democracy.”

Next stops
The central tour travels by train. One stop, in Portland, Oregon, featured Portland singer Mic Crenshaw and American Indian storyteller Si Matta, who was part of the water-protector occupation at Standing Rock.

The southern tour that began in Oakland will be in Los Angeles on Thursday from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at Global Beat Multicultural Center. The show features Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez and musicians Casey Neill and Allyah.

See a map of the tour and more details at www.Earth2Trump.org.

Follow the tour on social media with #Earth2Trump and on the Center’s Medium page.

Singer resigns over Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s decision to perform at Trump inauguration

A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir says she has resigned from the famed group over its decision to perform at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Jan Chamberlin posted her resignation letter to choir leaders on her Facebook page earlier this week.

In it, she writes that by performing at the Jan. 20 inaugural, the 360-member choir will appear to be “endorsing tyranny and fascism.”

She says she feels betrayed by the choir’s decision to take part.

The choir is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins tells The Salt Lake Tribune that participation in the choir and the inaugural performance is voluntary.

Hawkins said last week the choir’s tradition of presidential performances isn’t “implied support of party affiliations or politics.”

 

Permitting conflict for Women’s March on Washington

Activists planning a Women’s March on Washington want to send a message to the new administration on the day after the inauguration, but officials say they aren’t the only group seeking a National Mall gathering that day.

National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst says seven applications were submitted before organizers applied on Nov. 16 for a permit for the march, which aims to send the message “that women’s rights are human rights.”

Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and Litterst says organizers likely won’t get approval to march as many as 200,000 people from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House as they requested.

Litterst says another option is to hold the march at a different time and location.

Inaugural poet Richard Blanco returns to Miami in memoir

In Richard Blanco’s Miami, memories linger outside coffee windows and in Cuban grocery store aisles.

Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural poet grew up here, gathering experiences and stories as the son of Cuban exiles that would lay the foundation for his written work and inspire his new memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos.”

Since becoming both the first gay and Hispanic inaugural poet almost two years ago, Blanco has traveled the U.S., giving readings, writing poems and essays, and releasing two non-fiction books. He has become a literary spokesman of sorts, advocating for a more inclusive America and revealing his own struggles to come to terms with his identity as a gay man. He remains based in Maine, but like his parents before him who dreamed of Cuba, he dreams of another place.

He dreams of Miami.

“One of the things that fascinates me is how physical landscapes are intertwined with emotional landscapes,” he said. “Everything that happens in our lives happens in a place and Miami is certainly that place since I was 3 years old.”

“The Prince of Los Cocuyos” takes readers to Miami of the 1970s and `80s, where Blanco’s family was one of tens of thousands building new lives after fleeing Fidel Castro’s revolution. Loud and nostalgic, Blanco cringed at his parents’ salsa music and Thanksgiving carne puerco – roast pork. He wanted to be American – New Wave music, pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving turkey.

In a series of loosely intertwined stories, Blanco describes a childhood marked by loss, humor and hints of an exotic land called America. In “Losing the Farm,” he recounts his grandfather’s attempt to recreate the chicken coop he had in Cuba in the family’s suburban Westchester (or “Guescheste” as it is pronounced by many Cubans) backyard, much to the chagrin of Miami’s code enforcement police.

In “It Takes Un Pueblo,” he describes his weekends and summers working as a clerk in his great uncle’s small, family-run grocery store, El Cocuyito, or the little firefly. His sometimes abusive grandmother had insisted he take a job there, hoping working with Don Gustavo would “make him a man.”

In checkout counter conversations, the store’s patrons slowly reveal pieces of who they are to him: The daughter of a former general who once lived in Cuban mansions and now resides in a cramped apartment, where she makes dresses she’ll never be able to afford. The Havana street vendor who rebuilds the city he walked thousands of times with his wares in painted cardboard cuttings, the details of which he struggles to remember.

The book ends with Blanco at 17, a young man no longer ashamed of his family’s Thanksgiving roast pig.

“It’s a process of falling in love with your culture for the most part,” Blanco said.

Life has taken Blanco away from Miami in the years since. He went to Cuba with his mother, a visit that helped fill “a lot of the blanks” about his identity, but only the Cuban half, he said. He moved to Connecticut to teach creative writing, thinking, “Maybe I should try moving to America.” There, he thought he’d find the quintessential America that he’d grown up watching on TV. He didn’t.

He moved to Guatemala with his partner and then to Washington.

“All the while I missed Miami terribly, terribly, terribly,” he said.

When he returned, he found a changed Miami: David’s Cafe, a legendary Cuban restaurant off Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road, was renamed Abuela’s. Wolfie’s Jewish deli closed. El Cocuyito was sold. And those were just the cosmetic changes. His parents and grandparents’ generations were dying out. New waves of Cubans who grew up under the revolution were moving in. Venezuelans, Brazilians and other Latino immigrants were, too.

The Miami he describes in “The Prince of Los Cocuyos” is still there, but parts of it are gone.

“I realize now how my parents feel, my mother in particular, when she goes back to Cuba, this sense of ownership,” he said. “We all sort of are subject to change and we all lose things in our lives. We all have in some ways an immigrant exile experience.”