June 7, 2014 |
For the hour that Mike McMonagle and his allies stood in protest Thursday outside Gov. Corbett's office in Center City, they were spared from heat and rain. But little else went in their favor. Drivers paid no attention to the 30 people holding rosaries and signs railing against same-sex marriage. A man spat on the ground at their feet. Soon, they had to share the sidewalk with other protesters - a younger, louder, more organized group. While McMonagle's group spoke of the need to "defend our children" from nontraditional families, a group from Cook-Wissahickon School brought in actual children to make the case for increased state funding for arts and education.
May 29, 2014 |
MAYOR NUTTER'S plan to sell Philadelphia Gas Works to a private company brought protesters to City Hall yesterday. Twelve activists from the Pennsylvania office of Food & Water Watch, Philadelphia Neighbors of Tax Action and other groups took copies of a petition to the offices of each member of City Council. The activists said the petition had about 3,000 signatures. The proposal to sell the gas utility to Connecticut-based UIL Holdings Corp. for $1.86 billion was signed by Nutter in March and awaits Council approval.
May 24, 2014 |
A federal judge has dismissed claims that city police used excessive force and performed unreasonable searches when dismantling an Occupy Philadelphia encampment on Dilworth Plaza in 2011. But in the case brought by 26 of the demonstrators, U.S. District Judge Berle Schiller ruled this week that their attempts to secure damages for unlawful arrest, retaliation and other alleged civil rights violations could proceed to trial. In a November lawsuit, the protesters contended that police, under the direction of Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, violated their rights to free speech and assembly by arresting them without probable cause.
May 22, 2014 |
Several groups plan to protest the Comcast Corp. shareholders meeting Wednesday morning, saying that Comcast's deal to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. would be bad for consumers. About 100 people have indicated that they would participate in a demonstration outside the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on the 300 block of South Broad Street, organizers said Tuesday. The Comcast shareholders meeting is to begin at 9 a.m. in the Perelman Theater. Doors are to open at 8. Consumers Union, Free Press, and Common Cause are among the organizations sending officials, said Hannah Sassaman, policy director for the Media Mobilizing Project in Philadelphia.
May 16, 2014 |
DANIELLE WILSON can't afford to give her 3-year-old son gifts on holidays and birthdays. Munira Edens broke her phone three months ago and now goes without one because a repair is too costly. The eldest of six, James Moore tries to help his mother pay household expenses but often can't, because he makes just $150 a week. These three fast-food workers were among more than 100 minimum-wage laborers and activists who marched along Broad Street yesterday morning to demand an end to poverty pay and the right to form a union without retaliation.
May 16, 2014 |
When cellphones flashed "noon" in Ziaira Williams' history class, students shifted in their seats, exchanged glances, and then filed out into a hallway of purple and gold, launching a two-hour protest of Camden City School District layoffs. Williams' history teacher received a layoff notice Monday and said goodbye to his exiting pupils with silent pats on the back and nods of appreciation, Williams said. "They're glad we're doing this. They said, 'Go ahead,' and honestly, I don't care if I get in trouble - I want my teachers back," the 17-year-old junior said.
May 15, 2014 |
Haverford College's commencement controversy ended Tuesday when speaker Robert J. Birgeneau withdrew amid protest. The former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, had been scheduled to speak at Haverford on Sunday and receive an honorary degree. More than 40 Haverford students and three professors - all Cal alums - objected to his appearance. Birgeneau is known for his support of undocumented and minority students, but he became controversial in 2011 when university police used force on students who, as part of the Occupy movement, held nonviolent protests over college costs.
May 14, 2014 |
Workers returned to the job at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Monday morning as members of two fellow unions protested against being shut out from the sprawling complex. Police outnumbered the union protesters. During the morning, about 40 to 50 demonstrators - most, if not all, from Teamsters Local 107 - held positions around the sprawling complex, carrying signs saying "Locked Out" and shouting at workers entering the building. Some members of Carpenters Union Local 8 handed out literature to passersby.
May 13, 2014 |
A three-minute video for the 11th annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, which kicks off Monday at the Convention Center, boasts of potential networking opportunities, "robust break-out sessions," and exciting luncheons. But the big question hanging over the event Sunday seemed to be whether the 1,100 attendees paying $850 to $1,275 will get a robust introduction to Philadelphia labor activism. Two unions, Carpenters Local 8 and Teamsters Local 107, were locked out last week after failing to agree in a timely manner to new work rules and lost their convention jobs to other unions.
May 2, 2014 |
FOR A FEW hours yesterday, the ghost of Occupy Philadelphia returned to Center City. A passionate group of activists, some of whom camped out with Occupy two years ago, took up banners, signs and flags at 15th and Market, across from the now-closed Dilworth Plaza, to celebrate the May 1 International Workers Day, a national day of protest. Some wore masks - including one gentleman in a painted Guy Fawkes getup who declined to comment - while others looked as if they had just come from work.