April 2016

House committee proposes draft registration for women

On the 28th of April, the House Armed Services Committee attached a provision permitting the President to order women to register for the draft to a $602M Pentagon budget bill. Men-only draft registration faces the possiblity of being overturned in court now that women can participate in combat positions in the military. An alternative bill to abolish draft registration entirely is scheduled for later consideration.Nobody has been prosecuted for refusing to register for the draft since 1987, and during Vietnam refusing to register was the safest and most effective way of defying the draft.

Dissent limited at Offshore oil/gas Drilling "open house"

On the 26th of April, members of a number of environmental organizations held a rally outside the Marriot on 12th st near Metro Center denouncing the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Afterwards they sought to enter the "Open House" being held inside for a draft version of the environmental impact statment. The person in a polar bear costume was denied entry to the building, security guards collected people's signs on the way in-and they moved to interfere with anyone shooting photos or videos in the lobby.

Video showing an Alaska Native speaker followed by what happened when the polar bear and then an Indymedia photographer tried to participate in this "public event"

The scene at the rally outside the Marriot

Public Open House on offshore drilling doesn't like dissent

People of faith disrupt FERC meeting over gas fracking

On the 25th of April, members of a number of churches and religious groups answered a call by Interfaith Moral Action on Climate to speak out and disrupt the April monthly meeting of FERC, infamous as the fracked gas industry's rubber stamp. FERC is also the agency that gives the builders of gas and oil pipelines the power to resort to eminent domain.

Video combining both clips published by Beyond Extreme Energy

Disrupting FERC over gas fracking-AGAIN!

Vigil demands release of Purvi Patel, jailed for self-induced abortion

Purvi Patel is serving 20 years of a 46 year "feticide" sentence in Indiana over a use of pills ordered online for a self-induced abortion that left her in the hospital. Donald Trump has called for, then tried to retract his call for imprisoning women like Purvi for illegal abortions. The Susan B Anthony List and other antichoice groups have been attempting to distance themselves from Trump's call for prison terms. On the 21st of April the Susan B Anthony List held a high-profile dinner at the Andrew Mellon Auditoriam on Constitution Ave. Outside, protesters held a vigil demanding the "walk the walk" by issuing a statement calling for Purvi Patel's release.

Developers' gentrifying, "space finding" bus tour blocked in Anacostia

On the 19th of April, some of DC's gentrifying developers held a "space finding" bus tour of Anacostia looking for convenient places to displace local people and build new settlements for the wealthy. Like the settlers who came before them, they found they were not welcomed by those they seek to evict from their homes. Protesters from Empower DC and Black Lives Matter blocked the streets and forced them to turn back. The Washington Business Journal. Cops ordered the bus driver to reverse out of the trap, then arrested one of the activists to retaliate for driving off the condo builders and their bus. This was the second time this same bus tour was attempted and blocked.

Very intense 3 min video cut from Empower DC's half hour video

Blockading developer bus tour in Anacostia

NAACP, Greenpeace presidents among 300 arrested at Democracy Awakens sit-in

On the 18th of April,Democracy Awakening marched to the US Capitol for the culminating sit-in of a series begun a week ago by Democracy Spring. At the head of the march were NAACP and CASA contingents, including familes with small children. There appeared to be considerable overlap with the immigration rights protest at the Supreme Court. The march took over a good part of the Capitol Plaza upon arrival. During the sit-in, the presidents of the NAACP and of Greenpeace were among those arrested.

Video of the march and sit-in (3 min)

Leading the march

Democracy Awakening march and civil disobedience

Huge protest for immigrant rights as Supreme Court hears US vs Texas

On the 18th of April, pro-migrant protesters took over much of the area in front of the US Supreme Court as the court heard Texas's challenge to Obama's deportation relief program. Texas and other GOP controlled states are trying to block implementation of Obama's DAPA/extended DAPA programs, which "defer" deportation for those whose children were born on US soil and are thus considered citizens even by the flatly illegal settler regime that controls the part of Turtle Island called the "United States." The GOP gains votes on racism and hate, thus is trotting out every possible excuse to attack Latino families.

Video-immigration protesters hold the street after Democracy Awakinging passes through

Holding the street for migrant rights

Thousands march in Democracy Awakening march against money in politics

On the 17th of April, thousands participated in a massive march against corporate and other cash in politics. With this march, Democracy Spring transitioned into Democracy Awakening.The march wound past the House Office Buildings and the US Capitol before passing the US Supreme Court and finally ending at a faith rally in front of Union Station. There a "Golden Bull" evoking the Biblical Golden Calf and the Wall St Bull was placed on a stage symbolizing what Congress and the Supreme Court worship.Chants included a demand to overturn Citizens United-and Occupy's famous "we are the 99%" in contrast to the 1% who buy and control politics.

Video of the march

The march turns on Independence Ave

Democracy Awaking march on Capitol Hill

DCMJ activists give out pot seeds near White House

On the 16th if April, DCMJ's full cannabis legalization activists returned to the White House, only to find Penn Ave closed, no doubt in fear of a return of the famous "51 foot joint." Undeterred, they headed to the H st side of Lafayette Park and give away cannabis seeds for free. The demand on the White House was simple: take cannabis off the DEA's "Schedule 1" total ban list.

Video of the cannabis seed giveaway near H st by the White House

Giving out cannabis seeds by the White House

Climate Activists sit-in for Democracy Spring on Day 6, arrests reach 1,000

On the 16th of April, Friends of the Earth and other climate activists participated in the Democracy Spring sit-ins, bringing the arrest total for the week to over 1,000. Police attempted and failed to block the route into the Capitol plaza area used for the sit-in

Photo by Democracy Spring