Success Story

Across the nation, towns reject anti-immigrant laws

The Houston suburb of Tomball, Texas became the latest community to reject anti-immigrant ordinances, turning down proposals to make English the town's official language and to prohibit undocumented immigrants from renting property or owning businesses. Local lawmakers in Nebraska, Idaho, and Ohio have recently pulled back from efforts to enact harsh anti-immigrant measures after the towns of  Farmers Branch, Texas and  Hazleton, Pennsylvania racked up millions in legal costs defending their own anti-immigrant ordinances against legal challenges. The public backlash against Arizona's anti-immigrant SB1070 has also raised worries among residents about potential damage to their town's reputation. "Why put this wonderful city on the national map of racism and hatred?" asked Tomball resident David Smith.

Osseo-Fairchild School District ordered to drop "Chieftains" nickname and logo

In the first test case for a new law giving the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction the power to review schools use of race-based mascots, the DPI has ordered the Osseo-Fairchild School District to drop its Chieftains nickname and logo after the determining the nickname and logo were race-based and promoted discrimination and harassment. "This is a wonderful decision. The DPI got it exactly right," said Barb Munson, of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association Mascot and Logo Task Force.
The DPI decision was in response to a complaint filed by Carol and Harvey Gunderson, residents of the Osseo-Fairchild School District.

UW activists played key role in forcing Nike to pay lost wages to Honduran workers

Student activists at UW-Madison are celebrating a victory after playing key role in winning restitution for 1200 Honduran workers who had been employed manufacturing Nike merchandise and then were fired without being paid millions in back wages. In April, after a months-long campaign by the Student-Labor Action Coalition, the UW became the first university in the U.S. to cancel its apparel contract with Nike over the issue of back pay for the fired workers. Cornell University then threatened to cancel its Nike contract as well and officials at other universities warned Nike that it would face larger student protests once the fall semester began, ultimately forcing Nike to agree to pay back wages to the Honduran workers.

Celebrating 30 years of nonviolent nuclear resistance

Two hundred anti-nuclear activists from across the country gathered in early July in Oak Ridge, TN for a powerful celebration of nonviolent resistance marking the 30th anniversaries of Nukewatch, (a WNPJ member group),  the Nuclear Resister, and the first Plowshares disarmament action.

There was music, there was talking, there were puppets and Fourth-of-July burgers and watermelon -- and a birthday cake, pictured.

Food Co-op in Rachel Corrie's hometown joins boycott of Israeli goods

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement took another small step forward last week with a vote by the Olympia, Washington Food Co-Op to boycott all Israeli goods, with the lone exception of "Peace Oil"  - an olive oil produced by Palestinian farmers. Olympia is the hometown of peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was murdered by an Israeli bulldozer as she was attempting to protect Palestinian homes from demolition. Co-op board member Rob Richards hopes to see other co-ops follow Olympia's example, saying, "I am trying to be realistic - the Olympia Food Co-Op boycott is not going to change the Israeli policy, but I believe that these small drops will eventually have an effect. I would like to see more co-ops joining the boycott and more voices involved." Read more...

Madison Fruits & Nuts wins city approval

A plan to put "edible landscaping" in Madison city parks won the approval of the Madison city Parks Commission last week, over an earlier proposal to require volunteer groups planting fruit and nut trees to buy $1 million of liability insurance for each public park site where the trees would be planted. More than three dozen people came to the Parks Commission hearing to speak out in favor of fruit and nut trees in city parks, and in the end, all but one of the commissioners voted in favor of permitting the trees to be planted without the liability insurance requirement. 

Milwaukee School Board votes to join Arizona boycott

WNPJ member group Voces de la Frontera reports on the Milwaukee School Board's vote to join the growing Boycott Arizona movment:

 

As MPS parents and children held signs reading, "Wisconsin is Not Arizona" the Milwaukee Public School Board, representing 82,500 students, the largest and most ethnically diverse public school system in Wisconsin, voted 5-2  with one abstention to condemn Arizona's racial profiling legislation, SB1070, and HB2281 which bans ethnic studies. The Board also voted to support a national boycott of Arizona until these laws are repealed.

Monona resident Joy First among 24 protesters acquitted after anti-torture protest at Capitol

Activists with the organization Witness Against Torture are celebrating a courtroom victory today, after a Federal Judge acquitted 24 protesters who had been charged with “unlawful entry with disorderly conduct” in connection with demonstrations atthe US Capitol on January 21,2010 - the date by which President Obama had promised the closure of the Guantanamo detention camp. Monona resident and WNPJ member Joy First, of Madison Pledge of Resistance (left, with Cindy Sheehan) was among those who took part in the protest.

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