From moment to movement

“While this convergence should be celebrated, it is a moment, not a movement. A movement happens when we keep it going, when we build community, when we build culture, when we have consistent action... If we all go home and feel like we’ve all done our part, then this was nothing than a pep rally. And I don’t believe it has to be that way.”

Kelly Hayes at Chicago Women's March, January 21, 2017

So, you went to the Women's March in DC, Chicago, NY, New Orleans, LA, San Francisco, Oakland, Boston, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Seattle, Marfa, New Delhi, London, Miami, Houston, or elsewhere (those are just a few of the places I saw friends of mine at)?

Wonderful... now what's next? 

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For those of us who have been in this fight, we will continue our struggles with more resolve than ever before. For those who are joining us, welcome. We need you right now, so very much. Get involved in your local community organizations or chapters for the causes you believe in. Organize a potluck to get to know your neighbors and build community. Learn more about the issues we weren't taught in school - decolonize your mind.

Here are just a few online resources for those wanting to get involved in various causes directly related in resistance to the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy to vision and manifest a just and sustainable future:

.... Create, make, dream, play, heal, organize, advocate, mobilize, feminize, decolonize, dismantle, learn, feel, build, LOVE... Just do something after you get home today. Our future depends on us.

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

Let's go out there and build us a better tomorrow for the generations to come.

With love for all y'all,

Jayeesha Dutta, New Orleans, LA

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Dear President Obama, Love The Gulf

Dear (Still) President Obama,

You know us and you know our stories. You know our tragedies, our disasters, and our peril – Katrina, Rita, the BP oil disaster, daily oil spills and all-too-regular fossil fuel related accidents. Not to mention, we’re losing a football field of wetlands an hour in Louisiana, caused by the combined impact of oil and gas infrastructure along with sea level rise due to climate change, eroding our first line of defense from increasingly strong storms. We are the frontline, grassroots communities of the Gulf Coast resisting the continued extraction of our land and our waters. And, we refuse to be a sacrifice zone for this country any longer.

Your administration had the prescience to take the Arctic and the Atlantic off the table for oil and gas lease sales through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Are we not worth the same consideration?

We believe our waters, our people, our cultures and our communities are worthy of these same protections.

We, the people of the Gulf South, no longer stand for being the sacrificial zone for industry, for oil and gas exploration and drilling, coal extraction, deep-well injection, fracking and all other extractive activities that harm our environment, our communities and our cultures.

We have spoken. No New Leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Hear us.

We have a moral and ethical responsibility to change the trajectory we are on for the survival of our people and our planet.

We do not know what the next years will bring us with a new climate-change denying administration. Right now, you could provide the Gulf South with a window of opportunity for a just transition to an environmentally sustainable and economically vibrant future.

We need you, President Obama, in your last 100 days to stand with us and protect our precious Gulf Of Mexico and its people.

We live at the front lines of climate change impacts and ground zero for extractive industry.

Standing with us is standing for the future of our planet and generations to come.

Water Is Life.

Please, President Obama, declare No New Leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Sincerely,

Barbara Albrecht, Panhandle Watershed Alliance, Pensacola, FL

Maria Aguiar, Bradenton, FL

Marta Badon, New Orleans, LA

Liz Barry, Public Lab, New Orleans, LA

Stephen Bradberry, Alliance Institute, New Orleans, LA

Imani Jacqueline Brown, Blights Out, New Orleans, LA

Alicia Cooke, 350 Louisiana, New Orleans, LA

Catherine Coleman Flowers, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise, Montgomery, AL

Jennifer Crosslin, Steps Coalition, Biloxi, MS

Shannon Dosemagen, New Orleans, LA

Sandra Doney, Slidell, LA

Jayeesha Dutta, Radical Arts and Healing Collective, New Orleans, LA

Scott Eustis, New Orleans, LA

Leah Fishbein, Radical Arts and Healing Collective, New Orleans, LA

Cherri Foytlin, BOLD Louisiana, Rayne, LA

Benjamin Franklin Craft-Rendon, Solidarity Houston, Houston, TX

Sarah Fritz, Metairie, LA

Shana griffin, New Orleans, LA

Mary Gutierrez, Earth Action, Inc., Pensacola, FL

Renate Heurich, 350 Louisiana, New Orleans, LA

Rebekah Hinojosa,Save RGV from LNG, Weslaco, TX

Raleigh Hoke, Gulf Restoration Network, New Orleans, LA

Sarah Howard, New Orleans, LA

Frances Kelley, 350 Shreveport, Shreveport, LA

Klie Kleibert, Public Lab, New Orleans, LA

Danny Le, Boat People SOS Gulf Coast, Biloxi, MS

Kandice Legleu, Alliance Institute, New Orleans, LA

Ellen Lewis, Public Lab, New Orleans, LA

Rebeccah Lloyd, Louisiana Master Naturalist Program of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Jaclyn Lopez, Center for Biological Diversity, St. Petersburg, FL

LeAnn Magee, Voices of St. Tammany, Abita Springs, LA

Saren McAllister, Biloxi, MS

Tim McLean, New Orleans, LA

Luke Metzger, Environment Texas, Austin, TX

Stephanie Montalvo, Brighter Future Foundation, Hallandale, FL

Diana Morgan, Sierra Club, Slidell, LA

Yudith Nieto, The Community of Manchester, Houston, TX

Eric Nost, New Orleans, LA

Bryan Parras, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, Houston, TX

Adrienne Petrosini, New Orleans, LA

Ben Quimby, New Orleans, LA

Kathy Randels, ArtSpot Productions, New Orleans, LA

Cyrus Reed, Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club, Austin, TX

Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, New Orleans, LA

Joanna Russo, Mondo Bizarro, New Orleans, LA

Bonny Schumaker, On Wings of Care, Inc., New Orleans, LA

Steve Shepard, Gulf Coast Group MS Sierra Club, Gautier, MS

Ruth Story, Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO), Gulfport, MS

Jessica R.Z. Simms, Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA

Nick Slie, Mondo Bizarro, New Orleans, LA

Ramsey Sprague, Mobile, AL

Aly Tharp, ATXEJ and Tar Sands Blockade, Austin, TX

David Underhill, Mobile, AL

Monique Verdin, United Houma Nation, St. Bernard, LA

Margie Vicknair-Pray, Sierra Club, Lacombe, LA

Jeff Warren, Public Lab, New Orleans, LA

Ann-Meredith Wootton, Radical Arts and Healing Collective, New Orleans, LA

Cross-posted from:

https://anothergulf.com/2016/11/18/dear-president-obama-love-the-gulf/

 

One family's nightmare with Baton Rouge police & prison supporting Black Lives Matter

On July 10, 2016, five days after Alton Sterling was murdered by a Baton Rouge Police Officer, Tammy Cheney and her 17 year old daughter Alexus were two of the over 100 people arrested after attending a youth-led March For Justice organized by the Baton Rouge community in response to Sterling's death.

Alexus Cheney marching, Baton Rouge Sunday, July 10, 2016

Alexus Cheney marching, Baton Rouge

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tammy and Alexus attended the peaceful march to the capitol as a family with their five year old son and dog by their side to show their support for equal rights and Black Lives Matter, while traveling on a summer road trip across the country. After the march, they returned to their car, where adjacent roads were blocked by police officers in riot gear preventing peaceful protesters from accessing the highway and returning home, escalating a peaceful march and creating a confrontation between civilians and police.

they tell us if we are on the sidewalk we’ll be arrested
— Alexus Cheney

Alexus stepped out of the car to understand what was happening. She explains, “and [the police told us] to get on the sidewalk, so we get on the sidewalk. Then they tell us if we are on the sidewalk we'll be arrested.” She was conflicted, wondering what to do, when a homeowner “told us we could go into her yard since it was private property, so we all cram into the fenced in yard and continue to protest. At this point a lot more people had shown up and were spilling into the streets. A huge other line of police in complete riot gear begin walking down the other side of the road and attempt to block us all into the narrow road between houses. They announce over the loudspeaker that if we don't disperse we will be arrested and break out in a run towards us.” Officers threw tear gas into the fenced yard to disperse the crowd, drawing them into the street to make arrests; she saw people getting tackled and arrested by the police.

Alexus Cheney, prior to arrest, Baton Rouge Sunday, July 10, 2016

Alexus Cheney, prior to arrest, Baton Rouge

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Alexus ran back to her car where her mother, brother, and dog waited. Three officers approached and began to arrest her. Trying to alert her mother, Alexus asked people to scream Tammy’s name to notify her to was happening. Tammy turned and ran to the car with her phone camera on. Seeing her daughter arrested and unable to do anything, she tried turning around to get back to her car; she was physically restrained by officers, who prevented her from returning to her 5 year old son and dog, who remained in the family’s car. Tammy was immediately arrested along with her daughter. Neither Tammy nor Alexus were read their Miranda rights. Meanwhile, another officer took a video of Tammy leaving her child and dog in the car alone. Tammy was told she was being charged with child abandonment, resisting arrest, and obstruction of the freeway. She learned that her 5 year-old would be taken to Louisiana's Department of Children and Family, and her dog would be surrendered to animal control.

You give up your bra and underwear to these women. They need it more than us.
— Tammy Cheney

Upon arriving at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, Alexus and Tammy were distraught not only by their own circumstances, but by the prison’s conditions. Alexus said they were stuck in “two small holding cells that were already full; [they] packed us all in. There were about 20 people in the cell next to mine, me and my mom’s had 17. We were literally wall to wall; And stuck like that for 8 hours.” Officers trained pepper spray into the concentrated cells and tased a man for clapping upon hearing that another protester was released. Witnessing the long-term conditions of prisoners who were held on minor charges for months in the same cell they were desperate to leave, Tammy gave other prisoners her undergarments; it was very clear to her that the women she was being detained with had no access to feminine products, undergarments, or clean and safe conditions. In the brief moment she was able to see Alexus in passing, Tammy told her daughter, “You give up your bra and underwear to these women. They need it more than us.”

Alexus Cheney (seen toward end of line) waiting outside of East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for her mother Monday, July 11, 2016

Alexus Cheney (seen toward end of line) waiting outside of East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for her mother

Monday, July 11, 2016

After spending a day in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, where they were forced to sleep anywhere with an open cot with no sheets and huddling under one thin, hole-ridden blanket, Tammy and Alexus were told they were being released at 6 pm on Monday, July 11th. They believed they would finally be united, thinking they would leave together until an officer asked Tammy to return to her cell to get her ID. Tammy returned to her cell to retrieve it and officers closed the door, trapping her inside. She reminded them Alexus was only 17 and could not be left outside the prison alone. Despite knowing this, East Baton Rouge Parish Prison released Alexus at approximately 6  pm without supervision. Tammy was released around 12 am on Tuesday, July 12th,, six hours after her daughter.

(they) share in this community’s pain and passion, such that they would take the time to stop by Baton Rouge as they pass through to protest and speak up for what they believe is right.
— Adrian Ross, National Lawyers Guild attorney

At 9 am on Wednesday, July 13th, Tammy was due to appear at the Juvenile Court for her felony charge of child abandonment. Upon seeing the video Tammy recorded of her own arrest, the judge immediately dropped her charges, and she was able to reunite with her five year old son, who was being held in foster care. The video of Tammy’s arrest clearly shows she was initially in her car until her daughter was arrested, whereupon she left the car and was blocked from returning to her child and dog by several police. Her attorney, Adrian Ross, who is part of the National Lawyer's Guild, commented: “I must say, that I am grateful that there are citizens, like my clients, Tammy and Alexus, who were watching what is going on here in Louisiana and can share in this community's pain and passion, such that they would take the time to stop by Baton Rouge as they pass through to protest and speak up for what they believe is right. When I was approached to take the matter, I jumped at the chance to stand up for someone who has stood up for others while so many others have been silent about what is going on. I believe she was wrongfully arrested, and I am glad that I could be helpful during such a difficult time. It was truly my pleasure to be involved at all.”

Alexus, AJ and Tammy Cheney with their attorney, Adrian Ross from National Lawyers Guild upon being reunited.  Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Alexus, AJ and Tammy Cheney with their attorney, Adrian Ross from National Lawyers Guild upon being reunited. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Currently, Tammy  has safely been reunited with her daughter, Alexus, her 5 year old child, and was able to retrieve their dog from the pound. The family continues to stand up for Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality, and demands justice for Alton Sterling and other victims of police violence, most recently Philando Castile.

They still face charges for resisting arrest and obstructing the highway.