Friday, March 22, 2013

Vigil for justice for LGBT people this Monday!

On March 26th  and 27th , the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two cases that are fundamentally about whether same-sex couples, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans should have the same freedoms as everyone else.  The Supreme Court will make rulings on whether or not it is constitutional for the federal government to deny a minority of U.S. citizens’ rights and privileges with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and whether or not a majority of Californians can vote to take rights away from a targeted minority with Proposition 8 (which overturned the CA marriage equality law).  The two cases being heard have implications that reach beyond marriage equality, as the court will consider whether these laws violate the LGBT community's U.S. Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.

As members of Springfield’s Stop The Hate and Homophobia Coalition, we are not only seeking justice in the Supreme Court to relieve collective denial of rights to LGBT people, but also seeking justice in that very Springfield federal court house from persecution and the crimes against humanity committed in Uganda and worldwide by Springfield’s Scott Lively.  Here in the United States, housing and employment protections for LGBT people are just two of the rights Scott Lively actively campaigns against.  Internationally, he actively campaigns against all equal rights for LGBT people, including the basic freedoms of speech and assembly which Americans presume guaranteed.

The U.S. Constitution says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  President Obama said in his inaugural speech in January “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”   The LGBT community is not only seeking its chance to pursue happiness, but also full federal equality and justice.

On Monday March 25th, starting at 6pm on the steps of the federal court house at 300 State Street in Springfield, the Stop The Hate and Homophobia Coalition of Springfield will hold a candlelight vigil, standout and speakers.  Our gathering will be one of over 100 in a nationwide event being coordinated by the Light the Way to Justice Coalition (  Please JOIN us as we come together to fight for equality everywhere!

Cathy Kristofferson
GetEQUAL Massachusetts
Stop The Hate and Homophobia Coalition Springfield
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Activist ejected from House Hearing 5 Detained

Dump DeMarco’ housing activists ejected from House hearing

By Arturo Garcia
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 15:13 EDT

Protesters are ejected during Ed DeMarco testimony 031813

Housing activists staged a demonstration during a meeting of the House Committee on Housing Finance on Tuesday, disrupting testimony by Ed DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
According to C-SPAN, the protesters were members of several advocacy groups, including City Life/Vida Urbana, New Bottom Line, NEW ROAD, and Right to the City. At first, demonstrators stood up one at a time while DeMarco was testifying before the committee before being ordered out by chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).
After the second protester is ejected, one person can be heard saying, “I thought Barney Frank had retired,” a reference to the former Massachusetts congressman, who has accused the housing industry of fostering a climate that led to the country’s mortgage crisis.
Shortly after the second ejection, a third person holds up a sign saying, “Dump DeMarco,” leading Hensarling to ask Capitol police to escort a group of about 12 demonstrators out of the hearing.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re not gonna allow you to disturb this hearing as part of the people’s House,” he said as the demonstrators were led out.
Last year, protesters gathered outside DeMarco’s home in Silver Spring, Maryland criticizing his performance.
Watch video of DeMarco’s testimony being derailed by protesters, posted on Tuesday, below Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, March 11, 2013

HOMES FOR ALL- Launch Wed March 13, 2013

Springfield plans tour to focus on housing crisis

The Associated Press By The Associated Press
on March 11, 2013 at 7:22 AM

Call Arise for details on where when                                                          


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A coalition of housing advocates in Springfield will host a city-wide tour to call attention to the housing crisis in the city.
The tour is part of a national campaign to be launched Wednesday in at least a dozen cities around the country. The campaign, called "Homes For All: Defend, Reclaim, Rebuild Our Communities," seeks to focus attention on the housing crisis.
Springfield-area residents who have been directly affected by evictions, homelessness, public housing destruction and foreclosure will lead elected officials and community leaders on the tour. Stops will include vacant, foreclosed property, city neighborhoods that have been hard hit by foreclosures, a homeless shelter and tenant-owned cooperative housing.
The campaign will call on the federal government to invest new resources to created affordable, accessible and safe homes.
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

HOMES FOR ALL March 13, 2013 Launch

Ruben Santiago Vice President Arise for Social Justice
On March 13th, 2013 Arise for Social Justice and Springfield No One Leaves, working as the Springfield Right to the City Alliance will  be launching a New National Campaign. Homes For All, Defending, Reclaiming and Rebuilding our Communities.
 Springfield Massachusetts along with nine other cities across the United States will be holding various actions to bring attention to the crisis that has been paralyzing our country for far to long. HOUSING!  We will attempt to show our elected officials and concerned residents the reality of what our city has become and some ideas of what can be done about it.
If you are concerned about Homelessness, racial disparities, displaced families, shelter regulations, unfit living conditions, gentrification and Foreclosures come and join us on March 13th. Your voice is important. We can make a difference.
 You will be standing with thousands of other concerned folks across the country.
 We will get the attention of The White House, H.U.D, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, our City and our State. Letting them know that People need stable Homes that they can afford. Letting them know that our neighborhoods are disappearing. The fabric of our families and our diverse cultures are in jeopardy by the fracturing of our communities.
With all of the bickering in Washington over budget cuts and tax increases, we cannot let the urgent cry for housing get diluted and lost in the D.C. Shuffle.
We need you!
Join us.
Details of the day's schedule and locations will be released within the coming week.
For more information on the national actions visit
Please feel free to call Arise to volunteer to help with arrangements for March 13th.
The Homes For All campaign, can change the way we address Housing in Springfield. In Massachusetts. In The United States of America, for generations to come.

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