Tag Archives: National Mall

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.

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.

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.

Hottest ticket in Washington is pope’s Sept. appearance at the Capitol

Rep. Peter Welch’s sister, Maureen, had better intelligence than the five-term Vermont congressman about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to the United States and his historic address to Congress.

“She called before the announcement and said, ‘The pope is coming, can I have your ticket?”” recalled the Democratic lawmaker.

He eagerly said yes to Maureen — Sister Maureen, an Ursuline nun who has been a member of the order for 50 years.

While Welch’s decision was somewhat easy, other lawmakers are struggling with an extraordinary demand — from spouses, family, friends, constituents — for the one ticket they get for guests to sit in the upper galleries of the House chamber when the pontiff addresses Congress on Sept. 24. A chance to see and hear the 78-year-old Argentinian famed for making the comfortable uncomfortable is the hottest ticket in Washington.

“We have more requests for this appearance than anything anybody can ever recall around here,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky., said weeks ahead of the event.

The first time a pontiff will be addressing Congress rivals a presidential inauguration and State of the Union wrapped into one.

The president’s Cabinet, the diplomatic corps and members of the Supreme Court, six of whom are Catholic, are expected to join senators and House members in the seats on the floor of the chamber. The House recently took the unusual step of voting to limit the people who can sit in those prime seats, essentially barring former members.

That leaves the current 434 House members and 100 senators figuring out who to please with a gallery ticket and who they might upset. Whether a freshman on the job less than a year or a committee chairman with decades in office, lawmakers face the same rules as a State of the Union speech — one guest ticket per lawmaker.

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about that,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinoiw, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “Turns out I know a couple of Catholics,” he said, laughing. “And this is a hard call.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is giving her ticket to her mother, Pat, who headed Catholic Charities of Maine. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, said his choice “starts with family,” but he hasn’t decided yet.

Republican Rep. Leonard Lance, R-New Jersey, faces a nearly Solomonic choice straight out of the Old Testament.

“Either my wife (Heidi) or my twin brother (James), but I’m a very popular fellow these days because of that one ticket that I get,” Lance said.

Several spouses have already claimed the seats.

“My wife is getting my ticket,” Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Illinois., said of his wife Judy. “Even before I knew that the official announcement was made that the pope was coming to speak to a joint session of Congress, I received the email from my wife saying, ‘Don’t give my ticket away.””

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, said simply: “It’s not my seat, it’s my spouse’s seat,” a reference to his wife, Myrna.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, avoided picking one family member and disappointing several others.

“I gave it to a nun who I love — Sister Simone. She’s the nun on the bus,” Boxer said. “She fights for social justice and she’s so happy.”

Sister Simone Campbell is the executive director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby, and is no stranger to Capitol Hill, lobbying on the 2010 law overhauling health care and immigration. In 2012, she organized the “Nuns on the Bus” tour of nine states to oppose Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which the group criticized as detrimental to the poor.

Ryan was the Republican vice presidential nominee that year.

The presence of nuns will be a reminder of the changes at the Vatican from Pope Francis’ predecessor, Benedict, to the current pontiff. Under Benedict, the main umbrella group of U.S. nuns had come under scrutiny, accused of straying from church teaching. The nuns oversee much of the church’s work at hospitals and schools, and the issue roiled the church in the United States.

Earlier this year, under Francis, the Vatican said that it was ending its overhaul of the group, a quick resolution widely seen as an effort to quiet a dispute ahead of the pope’s visit.

While lawmakers are limited to one gallery ticket, there is a consolation prize of sorts. Members of Congress can promise a few dozen more family, friends or associates a chance to see the Pontiff, just not in the House chamber.

Each congressional office can request one ticket for seats on the lower West Terrace of the Capitol. Jumbotrons will be set up on the West Front of the Capitol, facing the National Mall, so thousands can watch the broadcast of the pope’s speech. Francis is also expected to appear on the Capitol balcony after his speech.

Each lawmaker also can request 50 standing-room-only tickets for the West Lawn, plus one ticket for guests who can sit in the cavernous Cannon Caucus Room and watch the pontiff on TV.

Thousands march in D.C. to protest Keystone XL Pipeline

Thousands of people joined the farmers, ranchers, and tribal leaders of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance for a ceremonial procession along the National Mall to protest the Keystone XL pipeline on April 26. The procession was the largest event of the five-day “Reject and Protect” encampment.

“Boots and moccasins showed President Obama an unlikely alliance has his back to reject Keystone XL to protect our land and water,” said Jane Kleeb, executive director of Bold Nebraska, one of the key organizers of Reject and Protect.

Neil Young and actress Daryl Hannah were among the crowd of thousands who rallied on the National Mall and then marched past the Capitol building. “We need to end the age of fossil fuels and move on to something better,” Young told the crowd.

The day’s procession included the presentation of a hand-painted tipi to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian as a gift to Barack Obama.

The tipi represented the Cowboy and Indian Alliance’s hopes for protected land and clean water. The formal name of the tipi is “Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuuxshish” and “Oyate Wookiye,” two names given to Obama by the Lakota and the Crow Nations upon his visit to those Nations in 2008. The title translates from the Lakota and Crow languages, respectively, as “Man Who Helps the People” and “One Who Helps People throughout the Land.”

“Keystone XL is a death warrant for our people,” said Oglala Sioux Tribal president Bryan Brewer, who helped lead the presentation of the tipi to the Smithsonian. “President Obama must reject this pipeline and protect our sacred land and water. The United States needs to respect our treaty rights and say no to Keystone XL.”

Reject and Protect has helped shine a spotlight on the strengthening opposition to Keystone XL among ranchers, farmers and Native American tribes along the pipeline route.

Buoyed by the U.S. State Department’s recent delay of the project, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance has pledged to intensify their efforts to convince President Obama to “reject” the pipeline and “protect” their families, land, water, treaty rights and climate.

“Every time Keystone XL gets delayed it just gives us more time to speak up and tell the truth about this dangerous pipeline,” Meghan Hammond, a sixth-generation Nebraska rancher told the crowd of thousands. Ms. Hammond worked with her family to build a crowd-funded, clean-energy powered barn on her property, directly on the proposed route of Keystone XL.

The five-day Reject and Protect encampment began with a march and opening ceremony on Earth Day on April 22.

On April 23, members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance met with the White House to voice their concerns about Keystone XL and tar sands expansion.

On April 24, the Alliance hosted a protest at the Lincoln Memorial where Rosebud Sioux member Wizipan Little Elk and Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup risked arrest by walking into the reflecting pool with a sign that read, “Standing in the water could get me arrested, TransCanada pollutes drinking water and nothing happens.”

On April 25, the Alliance hosted an interfaith prayer ceremony outside Secretary of State John Kerry’s house, before marching through Georgetown and holding a round dance in the middle of the M St. and Wisconsin Ave. intersection. “The proposed pipeline is going to be coming through our backyard,” said Robert Allpress, a rancher from North-Central Nebraska. “We live in an area that is very slide-prone and TransCanada has never checked that out. They’re in the wrong place at the wrong time and we don’t need them because they’re not beneficial for the United States.”

Reject and Protect also included representatives from First Nations communities living in Alberta, Canada, where tar sands production is devastating tribal land, water and health. First Nations are fighting back by demanding the Canadian government honor their treaty rights.

“We have come to a point where we have no choice left but to lift up our inherent treaty rights — our birthrights,” said Crystal Lameman, a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Treaty No. 6. “The Crown and this Government do not get to pick the pieces of their law it likes and which ones it does not. They made their laws thus they have to abide by them. As First Nations people, we abide by natural law, and there is nothing natural about a people dying from cancer and suffering from respiratory illnesses caused by tar sands production.”

On April 25, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer offered her support for the encampment, “I commend all of the ranchers, farmers and indigenous leaders from throughout our nation’s heartland who have come to Washington, D.C. this week. Although I cannot be with you in person, I want you to know that your presence sends a strong signal to Congress and the administration about the need to protect our communities and families from the impacts of dirty tar sands oil.”

“This is just the beginning. The Cowboy and Indian Alliance will ride again,” said Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb.

 

Chelsea Clinton headlining inaugural service event

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has signed on to help promote President Barack Obama’s inaugural kick-off event to get Americans across the country engaged in serving their communities.

Inaugural planners announced that Clinton will be honorary chair of the National Day of Service, the president’s call for Americans to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday weekend celebrating his birthday. They said Clinton would headline a service summit on the National Mall on Saturday, with other participants including actresses Eva Longoria and Angela Basset, singers Ben Folds and Yolanda Adams, television personality Star Jones and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the vice president’s son.

It’s a new inaugural role for the 32-year-old Clinton who participated in the festivities as an adolescent, standing next to her father, Bill Clinton, as he was sworn into office in 1993 and 1997.

Clinton was often seen but not heard as a youth growing up in the White House, but increasingly has made her public voice heard in recent years. She campaigned for her mom, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the 2008 presidential primary campaign against Obama and now is an NBC News special correspondent. Last fall she traveled to Nigeria on behalf of her father’s charitable foundation, meeting with the country’s president and promoting the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s efforts to reduce child mortality there.

A week after Election Day, she appeared at the Glamour Women of the Year awards in New York with a stage full of women who had been involved in races across the country, noting that gender progress was made in 2012 although there still is a long way to go. She has promoted efforts to allow gay marriage and assisted in raising money for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

“When I was growing up, both my parents and grandparents instilled a commitment to service in me,” Clinton said in a statement provided to The Associated Press by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. “They taught me that helping our neighbors and serving our community were essential parts of being a good citizen and a good person.”

Inauguration planners are asking people across the country to sign up for the effort and have staff in all 50 states to coordinate activities across the nation. Obama, a one-time community organizer, began the tradition four years ago, expanded it this time and hopes to make it an inaugural tradition, planners say.

“I wanted service to be a big part of my inauguration because it’s played a huge role in my life,” Obama said in an email sent to supporters Tuesday, encouraging them to sign up for the National Day of Service. “As a young community organizer starting out in Chicago, I learned that the best ideas, the ones that succeed, take hold at the grassroots. No one needs to wait on politicians or Washington: Change happens when individuals take responsibility for one another and their communities.”

The fair that Clinton will be headlining will feature nearly 100 organizations with service opportunities in seven areas – community resilience, economic development, education, environment, faith, health and veterans and military families. Clinton said in her statement that Saturday is just the beginning – Obama is asking people to pledge to keep volunteering regularly help their neighbors in the long term.

“Think about how much good we can all do if everyone who pitches in this weekend keeps up that commitment throughout the year,” she said. She added that she’ll be thinking of her late grandmothers when she takes part because they always found time to volunteer for their churches, communities and kids’ schools no matter what else was going on in their lives.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and members of their families plan to take part in service events Saturday in the Washington area.

AIDS Quilt unfolded in shadow of conference

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is many things: It is the world’s largest memorial. It is the largest public art project in history. It is a testament to the lives of more than 600,000 Americans who’ve died of HIV-related causes, and it is a lasting document of the AIDS pandemic for future generations.

Last month, the AIDS Quilt returned to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where it was first shown in 1987. The exhibit will coincide with the 19th International AIDS Conference, which opens in D.C. on July 22 and continues through July 27. Each event marks a milestone in AIDS history. This is the first time that the entire quilt has been displayed in one location since 1996, and it’s the first time that the AIDS conference has been held on American soil since 1990.

San Francisco activist Cleve Jones first conceived of the memorial in 1985. His original idea was to inscribe the names of people lost to AIDS on placards. Installed together, the placards were reminiscent of a quilt, which sparked the idea for the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The project began in the summer of 1987 and continues to this day. About 94,000 individuals are commemorated in The Quilt through panels created by their survivors and loved ones. The compositions include everything from photographs to poems, embroidered designs and appliqués, wedding rings and ashes.

The Quilt is monumental and profound, its size alone a stark reminder of the many lives lost. Yet it’s intensely personal, with each panel a lasting and loving commemoration of a unique individual.

The panels measure three feet by six feet, and eight panels are sewn together to create blocks that are 12-feet square. Always growing, The Quilt currently consists of more than 42,000 panels and weighs about 54 tons. As a whole, it would cover 29 acres of land. If the panels were laid end to end, they would extend longer than 50 miles. Spending one minute viewing each panel would take more than 33 days.

In past decades, The Quilt has been shown in various arrangements, with excerpts touring cities around the country (the Milwaukee Art Museum hung select panels in June 2010). In honor of the project’s 25th anniversary, it is being shown in Washington in its entirety. But given the scale, a viewing in one single session is all but impossible. To accommodate its size, The Quilt is being shown through a series of 60 changing displays in more than 50 locations over the span of 31 days.

The making of quilts as commemorative objects has quite a long history. They are multi-purpose, functioning as bed coverings and hangings on windows and doors to block drafty passages. Other types of quilts were made as showpieces and items of decorative beauty in their own right. In America, they have long been associated with comfort and memory, in addition to functionality.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is of a type known as a “signature quilt.” These are commemorative objects used to mark significant events in the lives of family and friends, and they traditionally bear names, written or embroidered on the quilt blocks. Signature quilts date to the mid-19th century, but they continued to be made in the 20th century as well. During World War II, signature quilts were used as charity raffle items for organizations such as the Red Cross.

One of the unique aspects of The Quilt is its iconic status as both a historical and contemporary memorial that brings together the work of many individuals and communities. And while it builds on traditions of quilt making, new technology is enhancing the ways it can be seen.

The Washington display, for instance, has an interactive timeline about AIDS and The Quilt project. There’s also a searchable database, which helps to locate individual names and panels. A mobile app is available at www.aidsquilttouch.org.

The 25th anniversary of The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a time to pause and reflect on the history of the epidemic and the countless lives it has affected in so many ways. The Quilt’s presence in Washing- ton will be particularly poignant to the world’s most important AIDS researchers meeting nearby – a reminder of the significance of their work and a symbol of the pressure on them to stop The Quilt from growing.

AIDS Memorial Quilt to return to D.C.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt will return to the nation’s capital this summer.

Deemed by an act of Congress to be a National Treasure, The Quilt now consists of more than 47,000 panels representing the lives of 94,000 individuals taken by AIDS, sewn by more than 100,000 friends and family members.

The Names Project Foundation, caretaker of the memorial, is calling on the public to join its efforts as it prepares to bring all 54 tons of The Quilt to Washington in June and July.

“Science has begun to articulate a new AIDS narrative that says if we test and treat enough people globally, the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic will change and we will see the beginning of the end of AIDS,” said Julie Rhoad, president and CEO of The NAMES Project. “It’s time to re-double our efforts – join us as volunteers and sponsors and, together, let us call on The Quilt to do what it does best: affirm our humanity, make clear our connections to and responsibility for one another, and garner a new era of support and advocacy for the AIDS cause.”

As Washington hosts the XIX International AIDS Conference this summer, The Quilt will blanket the national capital region – with sections displayed on part of the National Mall, in 40-plus additional venues throughout Washington area. Also, prior to AIDS 2012, panels will be displayed at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

“The Quilt is a connector and catalyst, an ambassador and educator. Bringing every panel of The Quilt back to Washington, D.C., provides an amazing opportunity to share its power with a largely new audience and in doing so place HIV/AIDS squarely back into the public conscience,” said Rhoad.

The Quilt began with a single 3’ x 6’ foot panel created in San Francisco in 1987.

Today, The Quilt is the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world. Its personally sewn panels come from every state in the nation and around the globe.

Sections are continuously on display across the country in schools, churches, community centers, businesses, corporations and a variety of other institutional settings.

To date, more than 15 million people have seen The Quilt at tens of thousands of displays throughout the world.

The Names Project is seeking volunteers for the D.C. display. For more information, go to www.Quilt2012.org.

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