Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy Hits Wisconsin State Capitol

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Madison, WI - The Overpass Light Brigade brought the “Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy” to the Wisconsin State Capitol Monday night. The Holders of the Light held an “END PAY FOR PLAY” message in front of the Capitol while several different projections were beamed up behind creating quite the spectacle. The Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy is part of a nationwide series of creative actions against money in politics happening now through July 12th across the country. Here is an excerpt from the campaign website:

From corporations claiming unalienable rights as “corporate persons” to billionaires manipulating elections with their wealth – our federal democracy is corrupt to the core. It is time to tap into the United States’ revolutionary roots and in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence instigate a second American Revolution against oligarchic rule.

Check to see if an action is taking place near you this week.

 

Photo collage courtesy of Overpass Light Brigade.

Photo collage courtesy of Overpass Light Brigade.

Rolling Rebellion Hits Madison Capitol from Occupy Riverwest on Vimeo.

Over Three Hundred Picket Hobby Lobby in Wisconsin

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Monona, WI - Over 300 protestors came out to voice their displeasure with this week’s Supreme Court decision picketing a Hobby Lobby just outside the state’s capitol of Madison, Saturday. The large group lined Broadway Street on both sides of the Hobby Lobby entrance holding placards, chanting, and singing.

The protest, organized by the Wisconsin branch of the National Organization for Women, included passing out coupons to customers entering and leaving the parking lot for Hobby Lobby’s biggest competitor Michael’s.

After about 45 minutes, the group left their spot on the sidewalk and marched toward the Hobby Lobby entrance to make sure they were seen and heard.

Once in front of the Hobby Lobby protestors lined both sides of the entrance where they remained for about 20 minutes.

Protestors returned to the sidewalk, where several spoke on why they were outraged with the Supreme Court decision and Hobby Lobby’s employment practices.

Protestors vowed to come back again and again until the company changes how it treats its workers. Until then they can expect more pickets and a growing call to boycott the company and others like it.

More photos from the action can be found here.

A Bright Response to This Week’s Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision

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Franklin, WI - It was exactly what members of the Overpass Light Brigade (OLB) had hoped for. A completely empty Hobby Lobby store. Not a customer inside or parked on the lot. A total boycott of the store for its treatment of employees.

Only this Hobby Lobby location isn’t open yet. It is brand new and about to open. But when it does open its doors, it will be part of a nationwide Hobby Lobby boycott.

Monday’s Supreme Court decision allows private for-profit employers with “sincerely held religious beliefs” like Hobby Lobby to opt out of providing certain contraceptive coverage – and counseling from doctors – for their female employees. It is interesting to note that before the Affordable Care Act made comprehensive contraceptive coverage mandatory for insurance policies, Hobby Lobby was happy to provide the now-objectionable coverage in its insurance plans. Only after the mandate was these same contraceptive methods somehow objectionable.

This dangerous precedent has opened the door for corporations and the wealthy to rationalize other political moves against their employees under the guise of holding a religious belief. it’s time to fight back! Coming soon to a Hobby Lobby near you: BOYCOTT!

 

Jefferson County Residents Seize Control of Enbridge Line 61 Hearing

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Jefferson, WI - Enbridge knew that the residents of Jefferson County, Wisconsin, were starting to catch on to the dangers of their proposed Line 61 tar sands pipeline expansion. So, in an attempt to create positive PR, Enbridge called for an event Tuesday night at the local Fort Community Credit Union called “Coffee and Conversation” in order to answer questions about the project. Enbridge set the agenda as well as the scope of the hearing, so nobody knew what to expect from the meeting. Nobody knew, that is, until the people of Jefferson County seized control of the event and turned it into a real public hearing.

Two Jefferson Police Officers greeted people as they entered the venue where the hearing was taking place. It was later determined the officers’ time was paid for by Enbridge officials. Some of us wondered why Enbridge felt that police presence was necessary at a friendly PR event. An Enbridge sign-in table awaited attendees and several company representatives stood in front of three large cardboard promotional placards and talked with residents as they arrived. It became apparent that the company plan was to field questions from individual residents instead of holding a full group hearing. Enbridge clearly wanted to avoid a group encounter with concerned citizens. That’s when the people of Jefferson decided to take democracy into their own hands.

Several of those frustrated by the company’s format for the evening started setting up chairs that were stacked on a wall in the room. Enbridge officials seemed perplexed as people started grabbing chairs and setting them into the room. At one point the lead Enbridge spokeswoman tried to tell those setting up chairs to move them to the back of the room, but by this point almost everyone in the room was helping with the impromptu action. Enbridge wanted people alone and isolated. The people in attendance, many of them strangers to each other, wanted a real public hearing.

Once the chairs were all placed everyone sat down and started asking tough questions of Enbridge officials. Most of the residents’ questions were answered with canned company talking points, not taken seriously, or in some cases completely ignored, as was the case when a representative of Enbridge was asked to explain the chemical make-up of the diluent used by the company to help transport thick tar sands. The company officials never gave a straight answer to this question. Finally another woman, despite attempts by an Enbridge official to halt her, revealed the toxic ingredients in the diluent to a horrified room.

Residents brought up many valid reasons to oppose or question the pipeline expansion, but one thing was for certain; the entire room, with one visible exception, was opposed to the pipeline’s expansion or needed more questions answered. Not surprising for a project that would expand Line 61 to carry a far bigger tar sands payload than the Keystone XL, which itself has been delayed multiple times due to fierce resistance. Why then has there only been one public hearing in Superior, Wisconsin on Line 61? Because Enbridge doesn’t want this pipeline to be delayed the same way as Keystone XL so they’ve stealthily moved the pipeline forward in hopes of avoiding the same scrutiny. As the standing room only crowd at this hearing can attest, the people of Wisconsin are not happy about such corporate trickery, and are not about to back down. As Enbridge officials were wrapping up the event, a chant rose from the back of the room:

“Put the people before the profits!”

Grilling Enbridge on Line 61 Expansion from Occupy Riverwest on Vimeo.

Meme courtesy of the Overpass Light Brigade.

Meme courtesy of the Overpass Light Brigade.

To continue to follow this story LIKE “Stop the Expansion of Enbridge’s Line 61 Tar Sands Pipeline in Wisconsin” on Facebook.

The entire “Coffee and Conversation” with Enbridge Hearing was captured on Ustream and can be watched here. The broadcast was started about 30 minutes into the hearing.