Showing posts with label Protest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Protest. Show all posts

July 21, 2019

What is The Scandal in Puerto Rico All About? 5 Main Reasons}

Image result for Gov Rossello corrupt

 Nicole Acevedo

Puerto Ricans from all walks of life mobilized in Old San Juan on Wednesday night for one of the largest protests in the island's history — 100,000 to 500,000 people shouting "Ricky, Renuncia!" ("Ricky, Resign!") at the island's governor, Ricardo Rosselló.
People have been protesting every day in San Juan and other parts of the island for a week, demanding Rosselló's ouster. So far, there's no indication they will stop anytime soon. 
This is a historic moment for an island that is not largely known for mass mobilization or protests — even after it was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in 2017, the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. After a storm that resulted in the deaths of at least 2,975 people and no electricity for months — even a year for some parts of the island — there were no protests in the streets.
So what got Puerto Ricans to this point? Here are five things to know.

It started with leaked private chats

On July 8, local media outlets published excerpts of profanity-laced and derogatory private chat messages between Rosselló and some administration officials and some close associates, including lobbyists.
A few days later, the island's Center for Investigative Journalism(known as CPI for their name in Spanish) published 889 pages of the chats — and that's when public anger ignited, leading to the protests.

What’s in the chats?

The chats, on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, shocked islanders for their vulgarity and crassness and raised questions about possible conflicts of interest and violations of the law.
There were insults: The group made fun of an obese man the governor had posed within a photo; called former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito a “whore”; made homophobic remarks about pop star Ricky Martin; and said that Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan who had announced her intent to run for governor against Rosselló in 2020, was “off her meds ... either that or she’s a tremendous HP,” the governor said, using the Spanish initials for “son/daughter of a b----.”

Image: Embattled Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Faces Growing Calls For Resignation
Daryana Rivera (R) joins other demonstrators near a street leading to the governor's mansion to protest against Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 18, 2019.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The group also made jokes about the corpses that piled up after Hurricane Maria, something that struck a chord among many Puerto Ricans and is repeatedly mentioned during the protests.
Puerto Ricans also got a window into the administration's efforts to steer the media narrative and smear political opponents. In the chat, politicians also shared confidential government information with people who were not public officials.
Beyond the insults, island and federal authorities are investigating whether the chats point to wrongdoing such as corruption or conflicts of interest.

Who’s in the chat?

The members of the chat group were Luis Rivera Marín, Rosselló’s secretary of state; Christian Sobrino, who held a series of economic posts; Alfonso Orona, Rosselló’s former chief legal officer; Ramón Rosario, former public affairs secretary; Raúl Maldonado, former chief financial officer; Carlos Bermúdez, a one-time communications aide; Edwin Miranda, a communications consultant; Interior Secretary Ricardo Llerandi; Public Affairs Secretary Anthony Maceira; and Elías Sánchez, a lobbyist and Rosselló’s former campaign director. 
The Center for Investigative Journalism published an investigation alleging that the messages show glimpses of a multibillion-dollar corruption network as well as the use of public resources to do partisan work.
According to CPI's investigation, Rosselló was aware that Sánchez, Miranda, and Bermudez were giving preference to companies that Sánchez lobbies for and granting them government contracts — some of which were funded with federal money.

Why the calls for Rosselló's resignation?

Many see the leaked chats as the last straw for an island still struggling to recover from a devastating hurricane, all amid a decade-long financial crisis. 
The messages were also leaked on the same week Puerto Rico's former secretary of education, Julia Keleher; former Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration head Ángela Ávila-Marrero; and four others with government contracts under Rosselló’s administration were arrested and charged with 32 counts of money laundering, fraud and other related charges for allegedly embezzling $15.5 million in federal funding from 2017 to 2019.
The Rosselló administration has been rocked by various other corruption investigations since June. Rosselló ousted Maldonado as a chief financial officer after Maldonado said on a radio show that Puerto Rico’s Department of Treasury is run by "an institutional mafia of many years.”

Image: Embattled Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Faces Growing Calls For Resignation
Policeman a barricade along a street leading to the governor's mansion as protesters continue to demand the resignation of Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 18, 2019.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The FBI is also investigating the finances and donation requests of Unidos por Puerto Rico, the nonprofit organization created by Rosselló's wife, Beatriz Rosselló, to handle Hurricane Maria-related donations.
Unidos por Puerto Rico, which received $41 million in donations, was run for a time by Jorge del Pino, the brother-in-law of lobbyist and group chat member Elías Sánchez.
Well over 45 public officials have either resigned or been fired since Rosselló became governor in 2017.

Will Rosselló resign or be impeached?

In the wake of the revelations, Puerto Rico’s Department of Justice and the Office of Government Ethics has launched investigations into what has been dubbed #TelegramGate or #RickyLeaks to determine whether the leaked conversations — showing public officials, lobbyists and others discussing public policy issues and party politics — point to possible law violations.
The president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, Carlos Méndez Núñez, appointed three lawyers to investigate the contents of the leaked chats to see if there's reason to start an impeachment process. 
Puerto Rico House Rep. Dennis Márquez already introduced a resolution to initiate impeachment proceedings against Rosselló, outlining 18 possible crimes that stem from the leaked chats.
Rosselló has doubled down multiple times on his plans to remain as governor, amid dozens of calls from people inside his pro-statehood party and other sectors to step down.
Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro, who made Puerto Rico his first campaign stop after announcing his candidacy, became the first presidential hopeful to call for Rosselló's resignation at a press conference with reporters. Sen. Elizabeth Warren did too, tweeting that "the people have spoken, loud and clear" and Rosselló should resign. Other Democratic candidates including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand as well as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson have also said publicly they stand with the people of the island.
According to Puerto Rico’s constitution, if the governor’s seat is vacant, the secretary of state is next in line. But Rosselló’s secretary of state, Luis Rivera Marín, resigned in the wake of the leaked chats.

May 6, 2019

Some Hating Texans Come After Peter Buttigieg For Being Gay

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke came to the defense of fellow 2020 rival Pete Buttigieg after anti-gay protesters heckled Buttigieg at an event in Texas on Friday.

"Texans don't stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred. Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and Chasten back again soon," O'Rourke, a former Texas congressman, wrote on Twitter.

Beto O'Rourke
 Texans don’t stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred. Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and Chasten back again soon.
DJ Judd
Replying to @DJJudd
Pete Buttigieg has been interrupted four times here in Dallas by protesters. One yelled “Marriage is between a man and a woman!” Another yelled “Repent!” After the 4th, Buttigieg continued, “The moment I packed my bags for Afghanistan, to defend that man’s freedom of speech...”
O'Rourke elaborated on his decision to come to Buttigieg's defense while campaigning Saturday in Iowa.
"I'm a proud American, I'm a proud Texan, and the hatred directed towards Pete Buttigieg last night was not reflective or representative of my state or of this country, so I wanted to call it out immediately, first and foremost," he told reporters.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was addressing the Dallas County Democratic Dinner on Friday when his speech was interrupted at least four times by a group of protesters.
One yelled, "Marriage is between a man and a woman." Another yelled, "Repent."

The audience applauded over the protests and chanted "Pete" to drown out the protesters, who were eventually escorted from the room by security.

"I'm just thinking of that scripture that says bless and do not curse," Buttigieg, who has been open about his Episcopalian faith, said after one of the interruptions.

He also said his service in Afghanistan was "for the purpose of defending that gentleman's freedom of speech," referring to one of the protesters who interrupted him.

This is not the first time Buttigieg has come up against anti-gay protesters -- he was also heckled by anti-gay chants during two campaign events in Iowa last month.

What America can learn from Pete Buttigieg's coming out experience

Buttigieg came out in 2015, months before he was re-elected as South Bend's mayor. If elected, he would be the first married gay US president.

"We are so lucky to have somebody like Mayor Pete running for president right now," O'Rourke said campaigning in Iowa Saturday. "I think we have to set the example. We can't just call out intolerance and hatred, we have to show that we don't just tolerate one another, we embrace one another."

CNN's Christian Sierra, Annie Grayer and Aishvarya Kavi contributed to this report.

November 27, 2018

Jury Selection Begins For The Supremacist Trump Man That Drove Car Into Crowd Killing Heather Heyer

Jury selection begins today in the trial of the man accused of ramming his car through a crowd of people protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. James Alex Fields, Jr. is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer, and faces additional charges of malicious wounding.
One of those wounded was Star Peterson. When the August 12, 2017 "Unite the Right" rally erupted in violence, Peterson was with a multi-racial group of counter-protesters marching downtown. She didn't see the gray Dodge Challenger coming from behind, accelerating down a hill on a narrow one-way street.
"I just heard three bumps," she recalls. "Two of them were his left tires going over my leg."
Star Peterson was injured when a car rammed into a crowd in August, 2017, during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Debbie Elliott/NPR
Sporting neon-pink pigtails and a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, 38-year-old Peterson now uses a cane for walking. She's had five surgeries and has not been able to go back to work due to the severity of her injuries.
"He broke both of my legs, two parts of my spine, and one rib and then [I] also had a pretty big laceration that had to be sewn up," she says.
Peterson plans to testify at the trial.
"I need to do something for Heather other than just lay flowers at her grave and if I can be part of prosecuting the person who killed her then that's something I can do for her memory," says Peterson.  
Authorities say Fields, a 21-year old white man from Ohio, deliberately plowed his car into the anti-racist demonstration and say he had earlier participated in the rally with chants promoting white supremacy.Image result for Fields, a 21-year old white man from Ohio,
Fields have pleaded not guilty. His court-appointed defense attorney, Denise Lunsford, declined to comment on the case.
Lunsford has sought to have the trial moved outside of Charlottesville, arguing the impact of the event on local residents and widespread publicity will prevent Fields from getting a fair and reasonable trial.
Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Richard E. Moore has taken the defense motion for a change of venue under advisement. He says if an impartial jury cannot be found from the large jury pool of 360 people, he will revisit the matter.
Key evidence from prosecutors will include graphic videos shared on social media by witnesses.
"I feel like the court's going to be watching my daughter die again, over and over and over," says Susan Bro, Heather Heyer's mother.
She's ready to get the trial over with and hopes selecting a jury won't prove to be an issue.
"I want them to have a completely fair and impartial trial," she says. "I don't want to have to redo this 15 times."
She says she feels like the process could go on for years if there are appeals. But no matter what happens, she wants to see the case through.
"I have never hated Mr. Fields because I felt like he's in the hands of justice now," says Bro. "But I do pray that justice prevails here."
The broader community is also looking for justice as it seeks to reconcile the forces that made Charlottesville shorthand for racial strife.
"Where we go from here I don't I don't know," says Don Gathers, co-founder of the local chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Don Gathers, a deacon at historic First Baptist Church and co-founder of the Charlottesville chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Debbie Elliott/NPR
"We've got to figure out how to make Charlottesville more than just a hash tag again, and more than just a blip on the racist history of this country," he says.
Gathers has served on several citizen advisory panels — including the city's Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials, and Public Spaces.
He says there's been an awakening that this is the focus of a new civil rights battle.
"We've reached a point now that we've got to stop having the conversations about race and start talking about the real elephant in the room which is racism."
Addressing systemic racism is a goal of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. It's raised over a million dollars for the Heal Charlottesville Fund.
"Part of what we heard from our community that was needed for the healing was opportunities to act, opportunities to really be good and honest about our collective history," says Foundation President Brennan Gould. "And also to start to act in ways that that will help address the impacts of that history."
The foundation has funded an initiative to increase teacher diversity for instance and to improve security in the Jewish Community. Gould says the ongoing focus is helping injured survivors with myriad needs including rent, utilities, medical bills, and counseling.
"It seemed like the world had moved on in a way," she says. "And yet people were still very much living and dealing with the consequence of that tragedy."
One way the fund helps survivors is through a grant to social worker Matthew Christensen at Partner for Mental Health. He serves as a navigator, helping people deal with things like filling out disability applications or finding accessible housing.
"It's a lot of whatever they need," says Christensen.
Right now they need help coping with the trial, which he says could be re-traumatizing. But Christensen says the trial itself is an opportunity for accountability.
"For the perpetrator to face real consequences because that's something that people struggle with — not seeing the organizers like Jason Kessler or Richard Spencer face real consequences legally for organizing this rally."
Four rally participants have been convicted related to the violence, but rally organizers have not been charged with any crime. The organizers face a civil lawsuit, however, brought by Charlottesville residents who sued under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.
Survivor Star Peterson is bracing for her testimony in Fields' trial. But she thinks justice will be elusive.
"There can't really be justice," Peterson says. "We can't undo what's been done. We can't bring Heather back."
If convicted on the Virginia charges, Fields could be sentenced up to life in prison.
He's also been indicted on federal hate crime charges, which allow for the death penalty.

November 10, 2016

Many Thousands Protest Trump Across the US


 This was NYC but there were similar mass protest in other major cities

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Manhattan on Wednesday night and converged on Trump Tower in Midtown to protest the election of Donald J. Trump as president.

Similar protests happened in several cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, and at college campuses in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

In New York, the protests started in separate waves from Union Square and Columbus Circle and snaked their way through Midtown.

The protesters chanted “Not our president” and “New York hates Trump” and carried signs that said, among other things, “Dump Trump.” Restaurant workers in their uniforms briefly left their posts to cheer on the demonstrators.

The demonstrations, which appeared to be largely peaceful, forced streets to be closed, snarled traffic and drew a large police presence.

Protesters gathered outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue near 56th Street, where the president-elect lives. Loaded dump trucks lined Fifth Avenue for two blocks outside the tower as a form of protection.

Emanuel Perez, 25, of the Bronx, who works at a restaurant in Manhattan and grew up in Guerrero, Mexico, was among the many Latinos in the crowd.

“I came here because people came out to protest the racism that he’s promoting,” he said in Spanish, referring to Mr. Trump. “I’m not scared for myself personally. What I’m worried about is how many children are going to be separated from their families. It will not be just one. It will be thousands of families.”

Protesters with umbrellas beat a piñata of Mr. Trump, which quickly lost a leg, outside the building.

The Police Department said on Wednesday night that 15 protesters had been arrested.

Bianca Rivera, 25, of East Harlem, described Mr. Trump’s election as something that was “not supposed to happen.”

“We’re living in a country that’s supposed to be united, a melting pot,” she said. “It’s exposing all these underground racists and sexists.”

After Mr. Trump’s victory speech, more than 2,000 students at the University of California, Los Angeles, marched through the streets of the campus’s Westwood neighborhood.

There were similar protests at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles; University of California campuses in Berkeley, San Diego and Santa Barbara; Temple University, in Philadelphia; and the University of Massachusetts.

High school students also walked out of classes in protest in several cities.

As U.C.L.A. students made their way to classes on Wednesday, they talked about how to make sense of an outcome that had seemed impossible a day earlier.

“I’m more than a little nervous about the future,” said Blanca Torres, a sophomore anthropology major. “We all want to have conversations with each other, to figure out how to move forward. There’s a whole new reality out there for us now.”

Chuy Fernandez, a fifth-year economics student, said he was eager to air his unease with his peers.

“I’m feeling sad with this huge sense of uncertainty,” Mr. Fernandez said. The son of a Mexican immigrant, he said it was difficult not to take the outcome personally.

“We’re all just kind of waiting for a ticking time bomb, like looking around and thinking who will be deported,” he said. “That’s the exact opposite of what most of us thought would happen.”

Jennifer Medina and Stephanie Saul contributed reporting.

November 9, 2016

Two Women Showed UpTopless at Polling Place to Protest Trump

Two women were arrested at a midtown New York City polling location Tuesday morning after taking their shirts off and chanting anti-Trump slogans. (I can't exactly make out what they're saying—something about polls? Or balls?) One of the women had something about Trump written on her bare chest, the other had “Femen USA,” a feminist activism group, written on her back. 

Although they were at Donald Trump's designated polling station, it doesn't seem like Trump was present at the time. But this is not the first time nude women have showed up to protest Trump.
Update 11/8, 11:15 a.m.: The New York Daily News reports that the two women are in custody at NYC's 17th precinct pending charges. Getty photos show more clearly what was written on the women’s bodies:

March 20, 2016

In NYC Protesters March Vs.Trump at Some of his Blgs.

NEW YORK -- Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of one of Donald Trump's signature Manhattan buildings Saturday to protest the GOP front-runner, CBS New York reports.
The protesters gathered Saturday in Manhattan's Columbus Circle, across from Central Park, with a heavy police presence. Demonstrators chanted: "Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay."
They marched across south Central Park to Trump Tower, the Fifth Avenue skyscraper where Trump lives. Then they marched back to Columbus Circle for a rally.
At least two protesters were arrested for walking in the street. A group of demonstrators that tried to break through a police barricade was pushed back by officers, who used pepper spray.
People rally as they take part in a protest against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016.
Some protesters at the event told CBS New York station WINS-AM that they couldn't believe Trump has come this far in the election and that they believe his rhetoric is divisive and racist.
"We're here because Donald Trump is the antithesis of what America stands for," one Westchester man said.
"We gotta make sure we get out and vote and make sure our voices are heard," another protester from Manhattan said.
One sign read "Love Trumps Hate." Another read, "Will trade 1 Donald Trump for 25,000 refugees."
There were some Trump supporters at the rally that were heckled, but the protest remained peaceful, WINS-AM reported.
The protest was organized by political group Cosmopolitan Antifascists.
A man dressed up as Donald Trump holds a banner during a protest rally against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016.
"Trump's policies threaten many of us in the Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, and other communities," the group said in a Facebook post for the planned protest. "These policies and type of speech has no place in this country and certainly does not have a place in the city that Trump grew his empire in - a city known as a melting pot and home for many of the same people Trump continues to wage war on."
The protest was backed by several activism groups, including ICE-FREE NYC, International Women's Day Coalition, Millions March NYC, Queer DEtainee Empowerment Project, Revolutionaries Against Gendered Oppression Everywhere [RAGE], among others.
Meanwhile, hundreds of immigrant rights advocates also protested in Arizona, where Trump was campaigning ahead of their upcoming primary.
A week ago, protesters forced Trump to cancel a campaign event in Chicago after they and supporters of the Republican front-runner faced off in several violent altercations.

September 5, 2015

Trump Security Guard Hits Protester on the Head (video)Trump Bring Charges Vs. Protester

A still from NY1's footage of Galicia being hit in the face. 
One of Donald Trump's security guards punched a protester in the face outside of Trump Plaza yesterday—in front of a large crowd of reporters—during a protest coinciding with Trump's official pledge of loyalty to the Republican Party. Many of the protesters were Latino, demonstrating against Trump's track record of racist anti-immigration comments.  Video first published by NY1 Noticias shows the guard, identified by the Daily Caller as Trump's director of security Keith Schiller, grabbing a large blue sign that reads "Trump: Make America Racist Again" from several protesters. One of the protesters, identified by NY1 as Efraín Galicia, proceeds to run after Schiller and grab him from behind near the entrance to the building. Schiller then spins around and hits Galicia in the face with his right hand. 
Galicia stumbles back and a second security guard grabs onto him, appearing, as the News points out, to briefly put him in a chokehold. "This man thinks he can do whatever he wants in this country, and we're going to stop him," Galicia told reporters in Spanish. 
Galicia compared his attack to Trump's security team kicking Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of an Iowa news conference last week. Trump had his security team remove Ramos when the anchor asked a question without first being called on (he was eventually allowed to return). 
Following yesterday’s incident, the Trump campaign told the NYTimes that Schiller had been "jumped from behind" and that they would "likely be pressing charges."


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