Tuesday, October 29, 2019

ALEC inspired bill penalizes protest

Cross-posted from Sierra Club with updates

ALEC inspired bills penalize pipeline protest

The recent passage of Assembly Bill 426, which would provide felony penalties for protests near oil and gas pipelines and other "energy provider" sites is alarming. The bill now moves to the Wisconsin Senate as SB 386. A hearing on the Senate bill was held on October 22. This is one of many such attempts around the country to prop up the fossil fuel industry and tamp down protests. Unfortunately, some Wisconsin Democrats are co-sponsoring.

According to the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, under the ALEC-inspired legislation, "... trespass onto the property of any 'company that operates a gas, oil, petroleum, refined petroleum product, renewable fuel, water, or chemical generation, storage, transportation, or delivery system' would be a Class H felony, punishable by six years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Accordingly, protests in a range of locations could be covered, whether on land containing a pipeline or the corporate headquarters of an oil company."

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is suing to force Enbridge to remove its pipeline from tribal land (the easement expired in 2013), but this new law would potentially conflict with hunting and fishing treaty rights and criminalize treaty-guaranteed rights and tribal sovereignty. A diverse coalition of groups, including the Sierra Club and tribal governments oppose the legislation. Read their letter to Senators. Use it to make your own letter or phone call script.

A similar bill enacted in Sorth Dakota has been successfully challenged by the ACLU with the state agreeing to not enforce and to compensate plaintiffs' attorney fees.

Read about the bill and contact your state senator and Governor Evers.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Climate (again)

Wednesday, La Crosse's chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby is hosting a pizza potluck and an overview of what area orgs are doing to educate and activate our fellow citizens about increasingly dire consequences of unaddressed carbon emissions (climate crisis). The event starts at 6 p.m. and will be at 401 West Ave. S.

There is another climate action being planned for late November/early December. If you are interested in helping with planning, please email.

If you think being concerned and liking a FB page is enough, think again. We are headed for catastrophe and it's not good and you know it. Now, it's time to make sure your electeds know you know. They cannot make the good and, in some cases, hard changes needed if most of their constituents are not making a big deal out of it. We need to call and email and talk to them - all of them, not just the ones who probably agree with us. Ask them to read the Uninhabitable Earth (now two years old). Share your concerns and your strong desire for them to do the right climate thing. Challenge slow walkers and sweet talkers. We need action and we need it now. Show up to demand it in person:

10/23 - CCL meeting

10/24 - Wisconsin DOT, straight from 1975, planning to remove trees and bowling-alleyize La Crosse Street to make it more convenient to drive fast in your private vehicle. We need more trees (read this great Tribune letter), protected bike lanes, no left turns, safer crossing for pedestrians. Public event is 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cleary Alumni Center (take the #4 bus).

10/26 - Climate = politics. Sorry. Get political for climate. The La Crosse Dems are hosting progressive icon Matt Rothschild for a talk and lasagna dinner from 5 to 8 to raise funds to canvass, call, and GOTV in 2020. Reserve your spots online.

10/27 - Climate = politics II. Which candidates have the best climate policies and a track record of getting things done? What are you waiting for? Get active with a campaign. The La Crosse for Warren folks had a kick off last Wednesday. And the La Crosse for Bernie (@crossefor on Twitter) kick off will be on Sunday from noon to 2 p.m at the Myrick Park Center. Both candidates get it. Both have a track record of making things happen. Don't be sucked in by Twitter and FB mindf**kery

Keep up on the science and spread the word. Talk to people about this CRISIS and why we have to act now. (And, no, natural gas is not the answer.) (And, no, Xcel Energy is not going to save us, either.)

There are answers, though. Inside Climate News has a whole great section on "Middle America's Low Hanging Carbon," the quest for reducing GHG emissions and storing carbon in Midwest cities, towns, and on farms. Check this list of top ciimate crisis info sites, too.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Hate and Bias

This week we learned that the City of La Crosse's attorney considers the phrase HATE HAS NO HOME HERE to be "political" and therefore not appropriate to be displayed in a public park. At least that's what the Tribune article says. You could politely contact our city council and our Mayor to provide your opinion. Wisconsin has "hate crimes" definitions and statutes, so apparently there is legal precedent for preferring no hate, at least when crimes are committed. We need, I think, to stop the Owellian slide - black is white, crime is legal, war is peace, hate is good, etc.

[UPDATE: We've heard that the city strongly supports the message that hate has no home here and is working on updated displays to that effect that will be placed at various locations around the city by the end of the year.]

On Saturday, (from 10 to noon at English Lutheran Church), learn about unconscious bias at a program sponsored by Creating a Healthier Multicultural Community (CHMC), a program that responds to the desire of many residents of the predominantly white La Crosse region to widen their awareness, understanding, respect and empathy for the lived realities of people with a wide range of racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. For more information go to laxwakingupwhite.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Oct. 26 - Matt Rothschild speaks

The La Crosse Dems are holding a fundraiser dinner on Saturday, October 26 at the Concordia. Social hour starts at 5. Dinner is served at 6. Funds will be used to help pay for space, materials, and equipment to educate, canvass, and GOTV in 2020. The Coulee Region's Dem state electeds will be under attack as Rs have vowed to "win" a veto-proof majority. And, of course, consider *resident trump.

So, the catered lasagna dinner is for a good cause and worth your time even before you consider the great and wonderful speaker, Matt Rothschild.

Matt Rothschild was a leader (writer, editor, publisher) at The Progressive magazine for decades. In 2015, when Mike McCabe stepped away from the great public resource he founded, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Rothschild took over as its Executive Director. Both organizations have been instrumental in holding and protecting Wisconsin's progressive seeds as the Walker/Vos/Fitzgerald wildfire continues to burn decades' worth of people-centered policies and priorities.

The latest WisDC initiative has been educating about fair voting maps.

Their Five Things You Can Do list includes:

Join fellow progressives on October 26 to plan, listen, and learn how we can be more effective in 2020. You need not be a party member to participate. If cost is an issue, email treasurer@laxdems.com.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Truth vs. the machine

I am reading Franklin Foer's book, World Without Mind: the existential threat of big tech. I highly recommend this book. We are letting corporations powered by money=god technology steer our thoughts and emotions.

What is true and real? Don't let paid talking heads, hacks, and trolls interpret for you. Know for yourself.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Citizen action smorgasbord

On Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m., Citizen Action of Wisconsin will kick off its Driftless Organizing Co-op with an announcement about a new resource to help people tighten up their homes, save energy, and save money. The event will be held at 401 West Avenue South. RSVP on FB or through their EveryAction page.

Did you know Rep. Ron Kind still hasn't made up his mind whether the Trump administration is corrupt enough to impeach? What is he waiting for?? Your call, of course. His La Crosse office number is 608-782-2558. In fact, Indivisible, MoveOn, and others are urging constituents to hold impeachment town halls so the reluctant-to- do-their-constitutional-duty holdouts can explain their lack of action to the voters who have read the Constitution and do understand who is supposed to be protecting the country from "a criminal enerprise" president (and not the establishment haves from the majority have-nots). Nothing's scheduled yet for La Crosse. Anyone?

On Friday, October 4, and every Friday, join the students of Fridays for Future, La Crosse chapter, striking for immediate, real, meaningful action on the climate crisis. Students strike every Friday from 10:10 to 10:45 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of Central High on Losey. Bring your signs.

Also on Friday, October 4, La Crosse Area SURJ will host a Bystander Intervention Training from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Old Towne Strings, 1218 Caledonia St. Have you ever witnessed or heard something so unbelievably cruel, racist, or ignorant that you were frozen in place wondering if you really just saw or heard it? Have you ever not acted because you weren't sure what to do? Have you ever spent days chewing on an experience you had wishing you'd done or said something or something different? We have to break out of our Midwest nice and our 'this can't really be happening' to be effective and supportive fellow humans when members of our community are being disrespected, denigrated, threatened, and attacked. Training helps. Get some training.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, October 10 the *resident will be at the Target Center in Minneapolis. You may join one of several groups planning demonstrations against his class warfare, racist, anti-democratic reign including a Resist the Trump rally and a Dump Trump rally.
I don't believe it's possible to be neutral. The world is already moving in certain directions, and to be neutral, to be passive in a situation like that, is to collaborate with whatever is going on. And I, as a teacher, do not want to be a collaborator with whatever is happening in the world. I want myself, as a teacher, and I want you, as students, to intercede with whatever is happening in the world. - Howard Zinn: You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004) documentary film