Update from OccupyEquality Nebraska Community Meeting!
We met on January 3, 2012 at 7:30pm at Mcfoster’s Natural Kind Café. We discussed officially building a partnership with the LGBTQ civil rights group Forward Equality. That proposal was tabled until our next community meeting when we have a more diverse meeting. Instead, we took up working with Forward Equality on specific topics such as the LGBTQ Legal Protections rally at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. The community meeting agreed to work with Forward Equality on these specific topics.
The LGBTQ Legal Protections rally will be on January 24, 2012 from 12pm to 1:30pm in front of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Forward Equality decided to hold this rally at the Chamber of Commerce because last year with City Council member Ben Gray introduced the nondiscrimination ordinance they opposed it. Ben Gray is this year introducing his nondiscrimination ordinance on February 7, 2012. Forward Equality is working on creating a solidarity rally on February 7, 2012 for the actual introduction of the employment nondiscrimination ordinance.
The National Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day rally will be on January 25, 2012 near the Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge from 3:30pm to 5:00pm in Omaha Nebraska. GSA Day is a time to strengthen the bond between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and straight allies (LGBTQA) and in particular recognize and honor student organizations called Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). These student-led groups work to educate their peers to stop homophobia, biphobia, queerphobia, transphobia, and violence in schools and colleges throughout the country and world. This day will serve as a “day of action” for these student groups employ creative ways to be visible. Honor those who have shown dedication in ensuring all students feel safe and supported, and prepare for the future. GSA day in Omaha is particularly relevant because the city still does not protect persons based on actual or perceived gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Forward Equality and local schools will join the following groups in supporting and celebrating the event: One Colorado, Iowa Pride Network, Washington State GSA Network, GLSEN, Georgia Equality, PFLAG, Campus Pride, GSA Network, Mathew Shepard Foundation, etc.
A member of OccupyEquality Nebraska Ken Riter has organized a protest for Sunday January 8, 2012 at 9am at the UNO Alumni Center because the Dominion Covenant church meets there on Sundays. The Dominion Covenant church is an anti-LGBTQ hate group. He asked OccupyEquality Nebraska to endorse the protest. The community meeting agreed to endorse it. He is some talk from Ken’s event:
“We are protesting the Dominion Covenant Church being allowed to conduct business on or near the UNO campus. Meet on north side of Dodge st directing across Dodge from the UNO Thompson Center.
Signs expressing a distaste for the death penalty, bigotry, hate are welcome. Also, any signs supporting equal treatment for the LGBTQ community would also be greatly appreciated.”
The Community meeting agreed that OccupyEquality Nebraska should have at least two supporters at every Occupy Omaha General Assembly to help ensure the respect and enforcement of the nondiscrimination clause.
Direct Action against the Salvation Army! We consented on the creation of a comprehensive direct action campaign against the Salvation Army. It was discussed how the Salvation Army is a anti-LGBTQ hate group. The first phase of this comprehensive direct action campaign will be a direct action social media campaign against JCPenney for supporting the Salvation Army. It was agreed that we should cut off the Salvation Army’s supporters before we directly attack the Salvation Army for their anti-LGBTQ hateful views and actions.
Mika Covington is the organizer working on leading the campaign action JCPenney as a former JCP employee. Here are some words from Mika Covington:
“In 2011, JCPenney scored a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. During 2011, JCP formed a partnership with the Salvation Army that happens to b an Anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) hate group. Thus, HRC should reduce JCP’s score, nevertheless HRC has not taken any action against JCP, and even worse HRC has not raised any concerns about JCP’s actions!
I propose as an active member of OccupyEquality that we establish a direct action campaign against JCPenney for their support and partnership with the Salvation Army! I believe that this direct action campaign should include a boycott of JCP and a petition against JCP to pull their support and end their partnership with the Salvation Army.
I propose that in addition to the direct action campaign we should establish a social media campaign against JCPenney! I believe that this campaign should include but not be limited to posting on JCP’s Facebook page demanding that JCP remove their support of the Salvation Army and we should share their link while stating what JCP is doing.”
At the end of the meeting, we consented upon working on a Fuck the Police Demonstration and March in Solidarity with Occupy Oakland’s event. Here is the info from their event:
“Public event for Occupy Oakland Bridge Caucus. Saturday at 7pm until Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:30pm. FUCK THE POLICE and fuck failbook for not allowing it to be used as an event name!
*** This event is being called by the Occupy Oakland Tactical Action Committee. It will continue weekly. ***
The Oakland Police Department has harassed and brutalized Occupy Oakland and participants in the vigil. Camps and liberated foreclosed building have been raided and shut down. OOers at the vigil have been arrested for as little as standing nearby when the police decided to raid, all the way up to the ridiculous charge of lynching. People have been physically assaulted by those supposed to protect and serve, but only do so in the interest of the 1%.
With Dozen of our comrades having been arrested in the past couple of weeks, and culminating in the city’s revocation of the vigil’s permit and the immediate threat of another police raid to clear the plaza, the time has come to rise up and let them know what we think of them and that we will no longer meekly accept their violationsof our civil and human rights.
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612”