Grover Wehman-Brown

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Protesters Gather in Newton to Condemn Massachusetts Family Institute

“I work in schools, and the idea that students’ access to information about their bodies and their sexuality being limited … I don’t think it has a place in schools,” said Rachel Adams, a rally participant and member of Boston’s branch of Showing Up for Racial Justice—a group that organizes white people to fight for racial and economic justice, according to its website. “I don’t think censorship is ever something you wanna encourage.”

A member of the Mass Feminist Struggle Committee—a Massachusetts-based group that focuses on fighting for reproductive rights, according to its Facebook page—spoke out against the MFI. The member, named Bert, stressed the need for unity among oppressed groups and said the MFI was not only an enemy of the LGBTQ+ community, but also an enemy of women.

“Our enemies are united and they scorn us in the streets, in our doctors offices, in our schools, and online,” Bert said. “I look around and see that we, too, are united and we, too, are ready to fight.”

Bert said the MFI and its audience fear social progress and in turn pass laws that hurt the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and women.

By Maria Stefanoudakis and Aidan Gravina, The Heights

Protesters Gather in Newton to Condemn Massachusetts Family Institute Read More »

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Community organizer talks about ongoing Israel-Hamas war

By Spectrum News Staff New York City

PUBLISHED 8:30 PM ET Oct. 17, 2023

The war in Israel continues to escalate after terror attacks from Hamas on Oct. 7 caught the country by surprise. Israel’s military has retaliated by pounding Gaza with a barrage of air strikes ahead of an expected ground offensive.

Hundreds of people were killed in a hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Israeli officials are denying responsibility for the attack, saying it was a failed rocket launch by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

This comes as calls are growing for Israel to stop its aerial attack on Gaza. A group of Jewish protesters gathered outside the White House Monday calling for a ceasefire. Another demonstration is planned for Wednesday outside Congress.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, a longtime community organizer and former executive director of the nonprofit group Jewish Voice for Peace, joined political reporter Bobby Cuza on “Inside City Hall” Tuesday night to talk more about the Israel-Hamas war.

Vilkomerson currently serves as a board member for the organization Showing Up for Racial Justice.

Community organizer talks about ongoing Israel-Hamas war Read More »

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Group Organizes around Rental Housing Issues in Northeast Kentucky

The Appalachian People’s Union wants to bring people together around shared concerns. That’s the first step in creating change, says one of its organizers.

“When community organizers started knocking on doors in Boyd County, Kentucky, they were ready to listen to what people had to say about the biggest issues in their lives. What surprised the canvassers was how ready residents were to talk.

“It was just house after house after house of people talking to me for 20 or 30 minutes,” said Beth Howard of organizing efforts in the northeastern Kentucky county of 48,000 residents.

“It was just very clear from the beginning that they wanted to talk about what was going on in their lives.”

About two-thirds of residences in Boyd County are owner-occupied. But most of the people Howard and others talked to were renters. Since housing issues were at the top of their list of their concerns, the Appalachian People’s Union, the organization that grew out of the door-to-door canvassing, will start with working on those issues. The hope is to add more issues later.”….

By Liz Carey at the Daily Yonder

Group Organizes around Rental Housing Issues in Northeast Kentucky Read More »

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Democrats Need to Have an Honest Talk About White People

The party needs a sober, empirically grounded analysis of what we really know—and don’t know—about how best to expand support among white voters.

“The stakes next year are too high for our standards to be so low. That’s why I have joined with the Working Families Party and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) to start a candid conversation among progressives about what the data really shows about how best to attract and retain the maximum amount of white support possible. We are calling this effort the White Stripe Project (broadening our nation’s multiracial rainbow). We will be inviting all sectors of the progressive movement—including Democratic Party and super PAC leaders—to share the data they rely on and encourage a transparent and constructive conversation about 2024 strategy and spending.

This conversation is long overdue and vital as we gear up for an election taking place at a time when the country is more racially polarized than at any point since Martin Luther King’s assassination and the subsequent urban rebellions in 1968.”

Democrats Need to Have an Honest Talk About White People Read More »

Image of white protesters standing on grass in front of a blue sky holding pro-LGBT, pro-democracy signs.

Progressive Groups Protest Durango GOP Meeting Featuring Anti-Govt Extremist Group Leader

“Over 60 parents and other community members gathered outside the Durango VFW hall last night to voice their opposition to a far-right extremist group leader the La Plata County Republicans invited to speak at their monthly meeting.

Darcy Schoening leads the El Paso County chapter of Moms For Liberty (M4L), a national group that advocates for conservative Christian policies in public schools. They focus largely on removing books, curriculum, and district health care policies they consider inappropriate for students, nearly all of which involves LGBTQ-related issues. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently designated M4L an anti-government extremist group. Schoening is also a conspiracy theorist who believes the COVID pandemic was intentionally manufactured and the 2020 election was stolen.

Five groups helped organize last night’s protest. They were: La Plata Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Southwest Movement for Black Lives, LGBTQ+ advocates Four Corners Alliance for Diversity, Affiliated Members of the Durango Education Association, and Indivisible Durango.

Rodman also noted that M4L has called for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Education and the public education system generally, and that it has close ties with the Proud Boys and other groups and individuals responsible for the Jan. 6th insurrection.”

Progressive Groups Protest Durango GOP Meeting Featuring Anti-Govt Extremist Group Leader Read More »

Image of Reporter Tia Mitchell on the left half of the screen and Erin Heaney on the right, talking in a video with the pause icon in the middle.

Erin Heaney and Steve Phillips on Working Class Voters and the Democratic Party

Erin Heaney and Steve Phillips on Working Class Voters and the Democratic Party Read More »

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Pine Mountain fracas shows rural Kentuckians must fight for each other, not against | Opinion by Beth Howard

“I am a proud working class Appalachian woman raised on a small tobacco farm in rural Eastern Kentucky. I come from a community where we had each other’s backs. If someone was sick, or if there was a death in the family, we made each other casseroles, or offered to watch each other’s kids to lighten the load. We took turns working in each other’s tobacco fields or vegetable gardens. We never knew a stranger and no one went hungry if we could help it. It’s these kinds of values that informs my work as the Director of Appalachian People’s Union at Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) — to bring our Appalachian communities together to fight for a better future where everyone, no matter our skin tone, our zip code, or if we have any money in our pocket — can live a decent life. Unfortunately, there are some in our state who don’t share these values and actively oppose them. I was upset to learn that last week, a gathering of The Appalachian Waymakers Collective, a democratically controlled, multiracial, multicultural locally based grantmaker supporting artists and art makers throughout Appalachia, was attacked by a group of white men and women who told them they were not welcome in Harlan County and wanted them to remove their items, items they deemed “non-Christian”, from a chapel where the land stewards had given them permission to be. Unfortunately, this act of intimidation of people who aren’t white or heterosexual has been increasingly visible across our state. A few months ago, members of the Klu Klux Klan left recruitment flyers in multiple rural Kentucky towns. The Kentucky state legislature has passed some of the harshest anti-LGBTQ legislation in the country. These three events are attempts to intimidate people of color, LGBTQ people, and people of conscience. They are sowing divisions around race and gender, so a small few can feel powerful and get richer while the rest of us shrink, hide, or try to leave. But I know these hateful people are the minority in this beautiful state.”

Read the full opinion by Beth Howard in the Kentucky Herald Leader here.

Pine Mountain fracas shows rural Kentuckians must fight for each other, not against | Opinion by Beth Howard Read More »

Old Time Screamin’ and a Shoutin’ w/Alex Flood

“There are 68 days until Nov. 7th – This week Kimberly and Doug weigh in on a fairly frightening confrontation in Eastern Kentucky as well as updates on Kentucky cannabis news. Then we chat with Alex Flood with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) in the Campaign Corner to hear what SURJ is all about, and why they’re prioritizing sending Andy Beshear back to the Governor’s mansion on Nov. 7th. Finally, we close with a call to ACT NOW and KEEP ACTING until NOVEMBER 7TH!”

Old Time Screamin’ and a Shoutin’ w/Alex Flood Read More »

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What it is like to be a blue governor in a deep red state

“Kentucky’s Democratic governor is leading in the polls, despite the majority Republican state political scene. Crossover governors have become an increasingly rare phenomenon outside of Kentucky.


We often talk about how polarized national politics has become, but what people may not focus on is just how partisan state politics has gotten with one party controlling all branches of government. There are a few notable exceptions to that – for instance, Kentucky, where a popular Democratic governor running for reelection this year has consistently ranked high in the polls despite Republicans sweeping other state and national races. But as Louisville Public Media’s Sylvia Goodman reports, popularity does not always equate to power.

SYLVIA GOODMAN: Kathi Johnson, a Democrat, spends her time knocking on doors in her part of far-northeastern, deep-red Kentucky, talking about divisive issues like abortion and inflation.

KATHI JOHNSON: I’ve had people talk to me about – that this country has just gone to hell in a handbasket. They want to blame President Biden for everything that’s gone wrong.

GOODMAN: But even her neighbors who support Trump are willing to consider reelecting a Democrat, Andy Beshear, for governor.”

Kentucky People’s Union Member, Kathy Johnson, Reported by Sylvia Goodman, Louisville Public Media.

What it is like to be a blue governor in a deep red state Read More »

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A new group will represent progressive Kentuckians from every corner of the state | Opinion


“We are Kentuckians who believe that everyone in our Commonwealth should be treated with dignity and respect. We reject oppressive policies like Senate Bill 150. TOP VIDEOS Progressive Kentuckians have long been on defense, especially as harmful bills like SB 150 moved through the legislature. That’s why building a unified progressive movement, across causes and across the state, is so important to the Bluegrass State. It is time for us to move from defense to offense, to build an agenda and streamline our goals.

For this to happen, however, we need to build our collective power and synthesize our stories, dreams, and skills. To do this, the Kentucky Movement Assembly (KMA) was born. Supporters from across organizations in our Commonwealth have joined together to bring the Kentucky Movement Assembly to northern Kentucky from Sept. 15-17.”

A new group will represent progressive Kentuckians from every corner of the state | Opinion Read More »

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