April 2016

Kayaktivists deploy anti-Dominion banner at Solomons opening of Tiki Bar

On the 15th of April, the "Tiki Bar" in Solomons, MD opened for the year, drawing a huge crowd to tiny Solomons, MD. As the partying began, activists opposing Dominion's under-construction LNG/fracked gas export plant at nearby Cove Point paddled in from seaward and deployed a banner reading "Dominion=Disaster." This is the literal truth due to the extreme size of explosions resulting from accidents at other LNG plants, none of them in populated areas like Lusby and Cove Point.

Video shot from another kayak showing the banner deployment, both HD 1080p and half HD 540x960 available

Kayaktivism at Solomons against Dominion's LNG export dreams

Things start gettting a bit rough at Democracy Spring

On the 15th of April, the Democracy Spring protests included the DC Statehood issue and the count for civil disobedience arrests rose to nearly 1,000 for the week. In a few cases police have been getting out of line. On April 15, one of the last protesters to be arrested was tackled and pinned to the ground after dancing a bit just before arrest. Also, there is a report that at least ten spurious charges of "assaulting a police officer" were filed by police, only to be immediatly dismissed in court. Usually police file that charge when they are the ones using violence e.g hitting a cop on the club with your head can draw an ASPO charge.

RT'syoutube video including rough arrest for dancing in the street

Black Lives Matter and Anacostia organizers lead 3rd march on Capitol by Democracy Spring

On the 13th of April, Black Lives Matter and other Ward 8 organizers led Democracy Spring's 3rd march on the US Capitol. The lead banner was from the Save Barry Farms organizers advising people to refuse to move, blocking displacement. When the march arrived at the Capitol, the third sit-in in as many days followed. As police arrested the folks in the sit-in, they also put police lines around the support people after moving them back behind the first police line. At one point they were told they too were subject to arrest,unknown if any arrests other than voluntary ones resulted from this. The final arrest total for the three days so far has now climbed to in excess of 700.

Update Day 4, April 14: Support protesters becoming more determined in holding ground when police threaten arrests demanding they move, unknown if this was part of the April 14th arrest totalDay 4 video by Cassandra Fairbanks originally uploaded to Twitter

Video of Democracy Spring march led by Anacostia and Black Lives Matter activists, and Sit-In #3

Black Lives Matter and Barry Farms at lead of Democracy Spring

Tipped workers demand $15 an hour at National Restaurant Association

On the 12th of April, restaurant workers protested first at the DC Council, then at the Ronald Reagan Building demanding that the minimum wage for tipped workers be raised from $2.77 an hour to $15 an hour. The National Restaurant Association ("other NRA") was meeting at the Reagan building. Outside, protesters offered a stack of bags of ice as the "Frozen Wages Award" for former NRA CEO Herman Cain for his role in blocking prior increases in the mimimum wage for restaurant workers, who at "tipped employees" can make next to nothing if the restaurant is empty on a bad night.

Video from the protest for $15 an hour for tipped workers

Fighting for $15 against the National Restaurant Association

Hundreds arrested at Capitol in first day of Democracy Spring

On the 11th of April, a solid week of civil disobedience protests began with a massive sit-in on the Capitol East Steps and in front of them. Democracy Spring is demandng that the campaign cash and bribery used by the wealthy and corporations to effectively own and operate Congress, regulatory agencies, etc be shut down entirely. Bus after bus had to be brought up to handle arrestees, and a little after 3PM police ran out of space and had to temporarily stop arresting people according to one report.

Update Day 2: hundreds of elders sit-in at the US Capitol, more arrests

Video of the first Democracy Spring sit-in on the Capitol East Steps

Democracy Spring civil disobedience Day 1

Disablity protest at White House draws 49 citations, cops don't want to handle wheelchairs

On the 11th of April, police cited 49 disability activists with ADAPT but declined to arrest anyone after the activists occupied the area outside the waist-high pen fence used as a secondary barrier at the White House. Activists were chanting "our homes, not nursing homes" at several points in the protest.

Democracy Spring arrives in DC

On the 10th of April, the Democracy Spring march arrived in DC, many of the participants having marched all the way from Philidelphia. They are here to demand a total end to corporate and "one percenter" cash and bribery in US elections. Beginning on April 11 there will be daily sit-ins on Capitol Hill for this demand.

Stirring video with music of Democracy Spring's entry into DC

Democracy Spring enters DC

First DC bike Party of the year takes to the streets

On the 8th of April, the first DC Bike Party of the year headed out at a special date and time. The ride had been scheduled to go to the cherry blossoms, but they opened and were gone early this year, ahead of the ride. The DC Bike Parties are large social bike rides that can attact up to 600 riders. Most are on the second Wednesdays of the warmer months but some are on specially chosen days. All depart from Dupont Circle shortly after 8PM.

Video highlights of the first portion of the ride

DC Bike Party April 8 2016

March from World Bank to IACHR remembers Berta Cáceres

On the 5th of April, supporters of Indigenous rights in Honduras marched from the World Bank to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights(IACHR) to remember Berta Cáceres. She was an Indigenous activist murdered by yet to be found killers for destructive projects on Indigenous land, some of them funded by the World Bank. At the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Berta's daughter spoke to the marchers after her meeting with the commission.

Video including Berta Cáceres's daughter's complete speech and translation at the IACHR (11 min 33 sec)

Marching from the World Bank, financer of the kinds of mega-projects people are murdered over

Remembering Berta Cáceres

Anti-vivisection activists begin campaign against Skanska's business partners

On the 4th of April, anti-vivisection activists showed up in front of the offices of BlackRock, which holds over 7 million shares of stock in Skanska USA construction. Skanska is building what is essentially a buried fortress vivisection laboratory for University of Washington. There were protests against BlackRock and other Skanska investors all over the continent on April 4. Here in DC activists began by fliering people going into BlackRock's building, following up on polite letters which have been ignored. This is the opening round of the DC portion of the "fracture their finances" campaign

Downloadable copy of No New Animal Lab campaign flier distributed outside BlackRock

Preparing to flier BlackRock's staffers and those in other offices in the same building