Entries in Protest (13)


Sierra Club President Arrested During Keystone XL Protest

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Sierra Club President Allison Chin was arrested Wednesday outside the White House while leading members of her organization in protest for the first time in the group’s history.

Chin wrote on her blog Wednesday that protesters hoped to pressure President Obama to back up the lip-service he gave to take action on climate change Tuesday night in his State of the Union address and oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, which Chin claimed, “would enable extraction of some of the dirtiest oil on the planet.”

The move to protest was a historic one for members of the environmental advocacy group.

“This call for climate action is important enough that, for the first time in our 120-year history, we have suspended the Sierra Club’s long-standing policy that prohibits civil disobedience,” Chin wrote. “Today is a one-time event to face arrest in order to elevate discussion about a critical issue.”

Members of the Sierra Club and other anti-Keystone activists handcuffed themselves to the fence outside the White House and held a banner that read “Lead on Climate Change Reject KXL Pipeline” under a logo similar to President Obama’s. They cheered the names of each protester and thanked them as they were led away from the group by police.

Many environmental groups oppose the pipeline  that would bring crude oil from Canada to Texas, saying the product it conducts will contribute to pollution and climate change. But conservatives argue it will bring much-needed jobs to America and safely transport oil for fuel.

During his State of the Union address last night, President Obama called for Americans to combat climate change, "for the sake of our children and our future."

“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” the president said. “I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

But Obama’s message on methods like the pipeline was mixed. On the one hand, he vowed to support clean energy initiatives. Yet he also promised to, "keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits," which would imply the deregulation of energy production.

Also arrested as part of the protest Wednesday were actress Daryl Hannah, Bobby Kennedy, Jr. and his son, Connor, famous for his short-lived relationship with pop princess Taylor Swift.

Hannah, famous for her roles in Splash, Blade Runner, and the Kill Bill movies, has been arrested on several occasions for protesting the pipeline -- most recently just a month before the 2012 presidential election.

President Obama's opponents claim his opposition to the pipeline -- which would transport oil from Canada into Texas -- not only costs the country hundreds of thousands of potential jobs, but makes the U.S. more dependent on oil from the unstable Middle East.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Protest to Be Held at Connecticut Gun Show

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(STAMFORD, Conn.) -- Occupy the NRA, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, will be holding a protest against a gun show held on Saturday in Stamford, Conn.

The gun show is only 40 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of the fatal shootings of students and teachers.

Amid gun show cancellations across the country, and despite the mayor’s plea, the East Coast Fine Arms Show will go on as scheduled this weekend.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Opponents Protest in Face of NRA Silence on Conn. School Shooting

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Faced with the National Rifle Association's silence in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., opponents of the group are taking to Washington, D.C., to protest.

Chanting "Shame on the NRA," a couple hundred activists marched on Monday from a park on Capitol Hill to the NRA's office.

A nonprofit group called CREDO Mobile organized the "emergency march" in the wake of the killing of 20 children and six adults last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School and suggested that the NRA contributed to the gruesome murder through the policies it promotes.

Holding a sign reading, "I'm a victim of gun violence," Eddie Weingart, a massage therapist from Silver Spring, Md., recounted how his mother was shot and murdered by her ex-husband, who also tried to shoot him when he was just 2 years old.

"My mother was slain by her estranged ex-husband with a 12-gauge shotgun.  He then turned that gun on me, and it malfunctioned, the fortunate reason is why I'm here today," Weingart told ABC News.  "I refuse to be silent.  That's why I come to these protests.  I choose to be a voice to let the NRA and other supporters of the Second Amendment and gun advocacy rights know that this affects me, this affects my family, it affects many families throughout our country."

The National Rifle Association has kept for the most part silent for the days following the attack, which was carried out with legally-purchased guns.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Green Party Candidates Arrested at Presidential Debate

Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Green Party candidate Jill Stein and her vice presidential running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested at the Hofstra University debate site Tuesday as they protested their exclusion from the second presidential debate.

Stein and Honkala were jailed for disorderly conduct around 3 p.m.  when they were blocked by police officers as they attempted to enter the debate hall, according to Stein’s campaign manager, Ben Manski.

Manski and the Nassau County Police Department both said that it was unclear when Stein and Honkala would be released, but Manski added they could remain jailed until midnight.

“The arrest was outrageous and shouldn’t be tolerated in a country that is a leading proponent of democracy,” Manski told ABC News. “They knew that there was the possibility that they would be arrested. Their intention was to enter the premises and bear witness to the mockery of democracy that is tonight’s debate,” he said.

The Green Party has long complained that the Commission on Presidential Debates attempts to “rig elections” in favor of the two major political parties by excluding third-party candidates from debates. Stein and Honkala also planned protests at the first presidential debate in Denver.

Stein, a licensed physician, is on the presidential ballot in 38 states or 85 percent of the ballots, her campaign says.

The Commission on Presidential Debates was formed in 1987 to administer general election debates.

In addition to the constitutional criteria to be eligible for the presidency, the Presidential Debate Commission requires that candidates have a mathematical possibility of achieving the 270 electoral college votes necessary to be elected, and the candidates must have at least 15-percent support in public opinion based on the average of five national polls in order to participate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NATO Summit: Anarchists Clash with Cops, Vets Return Medals

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Protesters clad in black clashed with police on Sunday at the end of what had been a peaceful march and rally by thousands of demonstrators, led by disenchanted veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars protesting the opening of the two-day NATO summit in Chicago.

The demonstration was the largest the city has seen in years.

The battle between protesters believed to be members of the anarchist group Black Bloc and police left several demonstrators bloodied, and marred what had been a solemn and orderly march.

At the end of the march, the vets threw their NATO medals over the fence set up by the Secret Service around McCormick Place.

Some of the veterans told ABC News affiliate WLS-TV in Chicago that they had hoped a NATO representative would meet the group and take the medals back as a symbol of recognition.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis criticized the black-clad demonstrators who clashed with police for undermining the emotional power of the veterans' act.

"You have classic Black Bloc ideology, peaceful ceremony, moving ceremony and these individuals use this as an occasion to disrupt, engage the police, engage in criminal activity," Weis told WLS-TV.  "Once they crossed that behind and are throwing bribes at the police officers and hitting them with sticks and weapons, then they have no option but to maintain control.  It is classic Black Bloc ideology.  It ruins ceremonies and ruins a ceremony of veterans turning in their valor medals."

The demonstrators had a wide range of agendas; there were anti-war activists, people concerned about inaction on climate change, and people protesting the handling of the global economy.

But the activists on the street weren't the only ones aiming to disrupt the summit.  A hacking group affiliated with Anonymous took responsibility for temporarily crippling the Chicago Police and NATO websites earlier on Sunday.

Chicago police are working with federal authorities to investigate the attack and the extent of it, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three Men Charged with Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism, Held on $1.5 Million Bail

Medioimages/Photodisc/ThinkStock(CHICAGO) -- Three men who were arrested in a Bridgeport, Il. apartment raid days before the NATO summit have been charged with conspiring to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or indendiary device, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Prosecutors have accused 20-year-old Brian Church, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 24-year-old Jared Chase, of Keene, N.H. and 24-year-old Brent Vincent Betterly, of Oakland Park, Fla., of plotting to use "indendiary devices" to hit President Obama's headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house and police stations, the paper says.

The National Lawyers Guild is representing the trio, and says that they are mere NATO protesters who had beer-brewing equipment when the apartment they were staying at was raided Wednesday night.

The men were also stopped in a car last week by Chicago Police. A YouTube video, which captured audio of the incident, has led protesters to accuse the officers of harassment.

All three men are being held on $1.5 million bail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paterno Out: Penn State Students Hit the Streets in Protest

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- Thousands of angry Penn State students took to the streets of State College, Pa., Wednesday night in protest of the school's decision to fire head football coach Joe Paterno amid allegations that one of his former assistants abused children and school officials didn't report what they knew.

Students were seen shaking light posts, throwing toilet tissue, setting off fireworks and yelling out sentiments such as, "We want JoePa" -- referring to one of Paterno's nicknames -- and "One more game."  Lines of police were out in riot gear, but they were far outnumbered by students.

Several students also directed their rage at the media, flipping over a satellite truck, breaking its windows and threatening to burn it amid chants of "F*** the media."

Others gathered at Paterno's house, where some were seen crying.

The 84-year-old head coach of nearly five decades eventually came out to suggest the students go home and study, and thanked them for their continued support.

"I am disappointed with the board of trustees' decision, but I have to accept it," Paterno said in a written statement.  "A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed.  I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value."

Along with Paterno, Penn State's board of trustees decided on Wednesday to remove university president Graham Spanier from his position.  The turmoil follows the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who's charged with abusing at least eight boys over 15 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


At Least 130 Arrested in Occupy Chicago Demonstration

Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- At least 130 anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested early Sunday in Chicago after refusing to leave a downtown park, authorities report.

Chicago police told the estimated crowd of 1,000 to vacate the city’s Grant Park after hours. Those who refused to cooperate were arrested and taken to the police’s First District Headquarters.

The Occupy Wall Street movement began on Sept. 17 and has since spread globally, with thousands of people joining the protests against corporate greed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Westboro Church Announces Steve Jobs Funeral Protest, Uses iPhone

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(TOPEKA, Kan.) -- The Westboro Baptist Church took to an iPhone when they heard about Steve Jobs’ death Wednesday night, sending out a message saying the Apple founder would be going to hell and calling for a protest of his funeral.

“Westboro will picket his funeral. He had a huge platform; gave God no glory and taught sin,” wrote Margie Phelps, daughter of the church’s founder.

The controversial group often pickets outside of soldiers’ funerals to draw media attention to their cause, often brandishing posters with anti-gay messages. Phelps tweeted the messages from her account, with an automatic note appearing at the bottom of the Tweet saying “via Twitter for iPhone.”

“No peace for man who served self, not God,” she wrote with the hashtag, #hellgreetedhim. “Westboro must picket.”

Thursday morning, Phelps responded to widespread criticism of her using the iPhone to Tweet the messages, saying that the phone was created by God -- not Jobs -- for that purpose.

“Rebels mad cuz I used iPhone to tell you Steve Jobs is in hell.God created iPhone for that purpose! :)” she wrote.

Arrangements for Jobs’ funeral haven’t been announced.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Americans Gather In Washington to Support Egyptian Protesters

Photo Courtesy - Arlette Saenz/ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly 300 protesters gathered outside the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to show their support for the protesters in Egypt and to express their discontent with Egypt's government, particularly Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The crowd, consisting mostly of young people, continued to grow into the early afternoon. More than 800 people RSVP’d to the event on Facebook.

The passionate demonstrators were waving Egyptian flags and carrying signs, alternating chants between Arabic and English. One common chant was, "Hey, Obama! Listen up. ‘Cause Mubarak's time is up."

Signs read, "Mubarak - game over," "Mubarak out," and "End U.S. support for the Mubarak dictatorship."

Tears streamed down one woman's face as she chanted in Arabic.

Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, an Egyptian dissident jailed three times for speaking out against Mubarak, spoke briefly to reporters at the rally, praising the protesters in Cairo and urging the Egyptian president to step down before the situation deteriorates further.

Police blocked off the streets as protesters planned to demonstrate until early Saturday evening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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