Community Activism

2nd in the series that provided unprecedented on-the-ground coverage of the protests – as they happened – at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000.
Today’s Topic: Healthcare crisis (Tuesday)

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3rd in the series that provided unprecedented on-the-ground coverage of the protests – as they happened – at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000.
Today’s Topic:  A satirical look at the protests (Wednesday)


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4th in the series that provided unprecedented on-the-ground coverage of the protests – as they happened – at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000.
Today’s Topic: Direct Action (Thursday)

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5th in the series that provided unprecedented on-the-ground coverage of the protests – as they happened – at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000.
Today’s Topic: The Week in Askew (Friday)

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BACKSTORY of the Protests at the Republican National Convention, Philadelphia 2000

FROM: The Ten Year Anniversary of the Protests

RNC face puppet 2


2010 marks 10 years since Philadelphia was the site of the 2000 Republican National Convention. The week of August 1, 2000, thousands of activists took to the streets of Center City Philadelphia for direct action against police brutality and the prison industrial complex and so very much more.

We were riding an exciting wave of mass direct actions against global capitalism following the previous November’s actions which shut down the meetings of the World Trade Organization in Seattle and large scale street actions against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in DC. This summer, we celebrate our fighting spirit 10 years ago, and celebrate our resilience in surviving R2K!

While activists from Philadelphia and afar were organizing to shut down the city in August 2000 and simultaneously helping with vast logistical needs for the multitude of other protests and actions that week in Philly, the Philadelphia Police Department (in tandem with the District Attorney’s office and judges) were planning repression on a scale we hadn’t anticipated.

In the months leading up to the RNC, organizers were spied on, picked off the street, infiltrated and harassed.


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Red All Over 
There’s a wealth of FREE information available, & I’m not talkin’ about the Internet. Get to know about your community and a myriad of other topics by reading free newspapers.

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BiG TeA PaRtY Member Volunteers
at Local Park Cleanup & Plant Tending Day

(and learns about sustainable approaches to storm water management)
by Valerie Keller


Here I am with some of the organizers standing in the ‘retention basin’ – I’m 2nd from right

I live near a few city parks, but this one is something special.

Last year this public playground was transformed from what had been a cement playground with outdated equipment, very little grass or other vegetation, and a traditional cement basketball court in the Pennsport section of South Philadelphia.

The old playground and pool was converted to a state-of-the-art green project, now called Herron Playground, that is a model site to demonstrate the broader plans for the greening of Philadelphia. It employs porous paving for sidewalks and basketball court, recycled material as playground surface, drainage beds and pipes to carry excess water into a retention basin full of native plant species, and islands of vegetation for retaining water and slowing runoff.

Herron Playground is a fantastic example of trying to mimic nature’s methods of dealing with excessive storm water in an urban environment where for generations most land has been paved over with impervious surfaces (cement or asphalt or other paving materials which water cannot penetrate), causing major problems when there is a heavy rainfall and water has nowhere to go, so it just sheets off into the street and rushes into the nearest storm drain, overloading the city’s sewer system often just from the first inch of rain of a typical rainstorm. 


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Turn out your lights for Earth Hour tomorrow night!  [posted by VaLerie K]

Earth Hour commemorative poster© Shepard Fairey

That’s right, tomorrow night – Saturday March 28th.

Grab a flashlight or some candles and take a stand with people from all over the planet:

On March 28, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time, millions of people across the globe will turn out their lights to raise awareness and take action to fight climate change.  Will you vote for Earth with your light switch?


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Community Activism: Silence Youth Violence, an afterschool audio arts program  by VaLerie K

Multicultural Youth Exchange [MYX] is a Philadelphia-based youth art program with a mission “to increase tolerance among young people worldwide by using art-based projects to explore diverse cultures and social issues relevant to all youth.”

MYX sends teens abroad to do community service and learn about other cultures first-hand.  Then there is Y Philly, a yearly art exchange between area youth and young people from other countries – right now they are working on an art project with the Bal Bharati Public School in New Delhi.

More recently, to add to this rich history of cross-cultural work, MYX is taking the adage ‘think globally, act locally’ to heart.  A new project calld “Silence Youth Violence” launches in March, and it’s part of an exciting new direction for MYX, using creativity to combat inner-city violence that affects so many kids.


For more info, check out the MYX website.

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Sure Valentines Day is swell. But now-a-days chocolate and flowers come with a price. A price to the environment (pesticides) and the horrible price paid by the young children who basically work as slaves on the chocolate ‘farms.’

The wonderful people at the Organic Consumers Association have made a list (and I’m sure they’ve checked it twice) of sound places to purchase flowers and chocolates for your sweetie. Or maybe buy some flowers for yourself, you deserve it!

But why don’t you consider a truly sustainable Valentines gift? How about making a donation to the Organic Consumers Association in lieu of flowers or chocolates? Your loved one will know you’re a most caring person after all. Love, Elizabeth Fiend

Valentine’s Day  Break the Chains of Toxic Pesticides and Farm Worker Exploitation

Source: Organic Consumer Association

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association

Valentines Day marks the biggest shopping day of the year, when it comes to chocolate and flowers. But did you know that by purchasing organic and Fair Trade chocolate and flowers (see our buying guide below), your consumer dollars will no longer be going towards toxic pesticides, child slavery, and farm worker exploitation?

Over 40 percent of the world’s conventional chocolate (i.e. non-organic and non-Fair Trade) comes from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), where the International Labor Organization (ILO) and US State Department have reported widespread instances of child slavery. Exploitation of cacao farmers and farm workers is the global norm in the chocolate industry, rather than the exception.

Meanwhile, organizations such as the Pesticide Action Network point out that commercial flowers, produced in countries such as Colombia, are the most toxic and heavily sprayed agricultural crops on Earth. Fortunately, since OCA first launched it’s Valentines alerts several years ago, half of Colombia’s flower acreage has become Florverde Certified (which requires better treatment of workers and more sustainable farming practices). Taking a step beyond that, there are an increasing number of retailers across the U.S. who are providing organic flowers.

This Valentine’s Day, join with the Organic Consumers Association and our allies around the world to put your money where your values lie and to show your loved ones that you truly care. Please break the chains of industrial agriculture and corporate globalization by choosing Fair Trade and organic flowers and chocolate for your Valentine’s Day gifts.

Check out the Green Valentines Buying Guide…


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