Friday, June 14, 2019

Our Bodies. Our Courts. Our Democracy. #KavanaughRevenge Center for Popular Democracy Action #KavanaughRevenge @nygovcuomo #passtheccpa

Reject the citizen question from the #2020census!!!!
Darius Khalil Gordon,  Bekah Bailey LA Kauffman, this writer and other heroes from the Center for Popular Democracy
This  writer and  LA Kauffman  by Catherine Snyder!

CALL @nygovcuomo 
@ 518-474-8390 today. Leave a message of love and support to #passtheccpa #Repost@sunrisekidsnyc

Thank you to all of the brave activists who showed up in Albany to fight for our future, and to @kenschles for documenting 🙏@nygovcuomo @andreascousins @cheastie delay is inexcusable. #PASSTHECCPA ☀️@nyrenews #climateactionnow

Ken Schles,  caption  and bottom  photo:
"PUSH Buffalo Sunrise NYC 350 Brooklyn Extinction Rebellion NYC Make the Road New York and the other 180 members orgs. of NY Renews @ New York State Capitol"
@nygovcuomo pass the climate and community protection act now!!!! We know u can talk the talk. Now it's time to walk the walk!!!!
Mick and Keith in Cocksucker Blues. 

Ken  and I talked and  talked on the way to DC,  
a bit about death, 
well death and life, the climate and art, words and  images, photography and social movements, and so on. 
The GPS said it was going to be a four-hour drive to DC.
He’d been up late the night before, going to bed a few hours earlier after spending the day in Albany, lobbying the governor to pass the #passtheccpa
(I would have joined him. But a certain someone I know had her birthday that day).
A caption for one of his pictures highlights:

“Can you envision tomorrow? What does it look like? The gun is loaded. A trajectory drawn. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere is at an anomalous historical record high, 50 to 100+% over the average norms of the last 400,000 years. Yet humans are arrogantly releasing CO2 sequestered in ancient petrochemical bonds into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate, transforming the chemical composition of the thin atmosphere blanketing the planet and wreaking havoc to sky, land and seas. .
We can destroy or nurture, blindly or with awareness. Knowledge is a burden conferred only on the living, and it brings with it a responsibility to act. Let’s be honest. Parts of this planet will no longer be habitable in the near future because of shifts in climate. The historic cultural legacy of our species embedded in cities is threatened by fire and rising seas. Already millions of people die each year prematurely from #fossilfuel particulate matter released into the atmosphere. Millions more suffer costly debilitating heart disease, stroke and asthma. Changing weather patterns, depletion and over abundance of water in places are disrupting agricultural production and leading to food insecurity. A trillion+ dollars of infrastructure has been destroyed and much more is threatened. Over 400 municipalities have declared a #climateemergency (Ben Kallos has introduced a New York City Council resolution [#864-2019] to do the same Council Member Laurie Cumbo Costa Constantinides ).
Governor Andrew Cuomo over 400 people came to Albany on June 11th demanding you #passtheccpa this legislative session to put into law a means and measurable methodology to transform New York’s economy to 100% renewable energy by 2050, something scientists say is the minimum we need to do to avert irreversible catastrophe. This is no time to horse-trade, weaken or put off until tomorrow. The door on our children’s future is closing. Time for all of us to make a stand. Call Governor Cuomo today and tell him to pass the Climate and Community Protection Act now 1-518-474-8390.”

Hopefully, these actions are compelling the governor to move.
The kids need it.
We all need it.
New York needs it.
The world needs it.
The majority of the people in the world live in cities.
If we can create a space for cities to be livable,
the world can be ok.
But I wonder if people  are learning.
Before we left, the New York City Council approved the destruction of Elizabeth Street Garden:
“City Council Committees Rubber-Stamp Approval of Garden Destruction
The development that will destroy Elizabeth Street Garden passed the City Council’s Sub-Committee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses and Committee on Land Use yesterday. The proposed plan will destroy 100% of the Garden, replace nearly 70% of it with a building, create a shadow-filled privately-owned space and subsidize 11,200 square feet of below-market office space for Habitat for Humanity.”

“Humans are the worst,” I say to Ken driving to DC,
lamenting the garbage, the pollution, the politicians.  
“You sound like Freud,” he replies as we make  our way to the CPD action.
"Beijing digs in as battle boils in Hong Kong," is the headline. 
We listen  to Exile on Mainstreet.
Gradually the conversation turns to Robert Frank’s documentary of the Cocksucker Blues, the sex and  excess  of it all.
Our conversations always meander back to stories about the East  Village, the  subject of much of Ken’s work  and  my affection. 
Kathy Acker  is our favorite chronicler of the era.
Ken tells me about his study groups with Martha Rosler in  the late 1970’s.
"Are we asserting the easy dominion of our civilization over all times and all places, as signs that we casually absorb as a form of loot?" wondered Martha Rosler.

And our conversation moves back to parents and kids,
Parenting and people passing from our lives.

Ken’s work considers this interplay between who we are and what we imagine, who was here and  who left, what is real and imagined in a “shadow play  of images.”
Over time it has moved from cities  to light to movements back  to  cities,
and the light which illuminates.

Making  our way through DC,

Arriving in  DC, we find LA Kauffman, my old Lower East Side Collective comrade. 

We make our way to the Supreme Court where supporters from the Center for Popular Democracy are speaking.

Ana Maria Archila Gualy  is there urging the court to Reject the citizen question from the #2020census!!!!

Before we arrive, members of CPD participate in a hearing on Medicare for All.
@IlhanMN: “We don’t suffer from scarcity in this country. There‘s no reason why in 2019 in people die because they cannot afford a doctor’s visit. History’s on our side & people are on our side. It’s time that we guarantee every single person the right to healthcare”

Outside the Supreme Court, it’s a  bit  of reunion.
Darius Khalil Gordon,  Bekah Bailey LA Kauffman, and David Freeman others from the Center for Popular Democracy chat.
I have not seen many of these folks since the Kavanaugh confirmation battle the previous fall.

Don’t  be afraid, fight back, be counted note the speakers:

Reject the citizen question from the #2020census!!!!
Take the citizenship question off the Census! 

And we make our way to the Hart Senate Office building to remind the world:

“We haven’t forgotten.  Our bodies, our courts, and our democracy are under attack.  

Inside the Hart office building people circle,  chanting:
“Our bodies, our choice!”

A banner declares:
“Our bodies, our courts, our democracy.”
 “Don't let Kavanaugh have the last word on Roe!
AnnaMariaArchila tweets:
 "Right now hundreds gathering at the Hart Senate office building to share their abortion stories & fight back against the bans that force women to carry out an unwanted pregnancy or health-threatening pregnancies.   I am so thankful for all their courage" 
the bans that force women to carry out unwanted or health-threatening pregnancies. I am so thankful for their courage. @CPDAction

Finishing the speak out, we make our way outside, down to 217 C Street,
the house of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

And continue telling stories.

This is the house of the  man who blocked Merrick Garland, Obama’s supreme nominee from even getting a vote.
He wants like five more Kavanaugh’s on  the court,
Jennifer Flynn reminds the crowd.
Mic Checking stories,
Abortion narratives around health care and poverty,
Self-determination and democracy.

It’s a long fight, Flynn reminds everyone.
People leave signs for McConnell.
And the message:
We’ll  be back.
And Ken and I drive back to NYC.

Scenes from the road trip with Ken.  
Ken  took  a few pictures.

Ken Schles photos from the big road trip to DC.  

TW Collins is attending Our Bodies Our Courts Our Democracy with Tiffany Moore Campbell and 4 others in Washington, District of Columbia.
After  we got back Ken Schles posted a story about a man he met outside  the Supreme Court. 
"Yesterday, in front of the #scotus activists were preparing to go to the Senate Hart Building to do an action against the recent abortion bans. A somewhat frail 86 year-old man walked up to me and asked what was going on. I told him. He thanked us for what we were about to do. He said his name was Bill Baird and that he stood on the steps of the Supreme Court in 1972 with a diaphragm in his hand and said, “Either make this legal or arrest me.” They made it legal. Some call him the #fatherofbirthcontrol"

From “Called by some the father of the abortion-rights movement, Bill Baird’s crusade began when he was thirty-one years old. In 1963 he was Clinical Director for EMKO, a birth control company, and was doing research at a NYC hospital. While there he heard screaming in the corridor and saw an African American single mother of nine covered in blood from the waist down with an eight-inch piece of wire coat hanger protruding from her uterus. She died in his arms.

That year, he distributed birth control foam to women at New York area drug stores and malls, and in 1964 established the nation’s first nonprofit birth control/abortion facility in Hempstead, NY, staffed by doctors providing free reproductive health care.
In 1971, two firebombs struck the Jewish Community Center in New Bedford, MA, just minutes before Bill was scheduled to speak. With his clinic under constant threat, he wrote and distributed the nation’s first clinic self-defense manual to combat terrorism (1978).

In 1979, Bill's clinic, with 50 people inside, was firebombed; in 1980 he sued the FBI, claiming it had failed to investigate anti-abortion terrorists. Later in 1985 he pioneered a 50-foot demilitarized zone and a 500- foot quiet zone to protect clinics.
Despite appeals for an end to violence, Bill's clinic was forced to close temporarily due to chemical bombs in 1992. In 1993, it was closed again because of flooding with fire hoses.
Anti-choice activists have shot at him, bombed his clinic—and even offered to pray for him. He was jailed eight times.” He’s the only non-lawyer to win three cases in the Supreme Court #leagueofheroes #ourbodiesourdemocracy Center for Popular Democracy CPD Action Jennifer Flynn Walker!

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