On Saturday afternoon, Juilliard theater student Lee Edward Colston and Carver High School of Engineering and Science graduate Keith Wallace, among others, staged a silent Ferguson protest at iconic LOVE Park in Philadelphia, a popular destination with tourists for photo opportunities. And with Wallace — an MFA acting student at the University of California who is home on summer break — lying on the ground portraying Michael Brown, the unarmed teen shot dead by Ferguson police, the tourists continued snapping their smiley photos. Read more »
Except for the Dunkin Donuts in The Gallery — the greatest Dunkin Donuts in all of Philadelphia — fast food service is notoriously awful. But the more I think about it, the more I think that should be the case. It’s not that fast food has to be an especially demeaning or terrible job, though I’m sure it can be. But making minimum wage for years and dealing with obnoxious fast food customers? I don’t know.
Yesterday, fast food workers from the area joined others around the country in rallying for higher wages. Minimum wage in Pennsylvania is currently $7.25 an hour. KYW 1060′s Cherri Gregg reported from a rally in North Philly:
Javier Mulet says he’s not afraid to speak out. The four-year Dunkin’ Donuts veteran makes $7.45 an hour and says he stood up against management when they demanded that employees give up their tips after their store was robbed.
On Sunday, Philadelphians gathered throughout the course of the day at LOVE Park to voice their anger about the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. In a series of impassioned speeches by activists in the African American community (including Paula Peebles chair of the Philadelphia National Action Network, fifth photo, and radio host/political consultant Mannwell Glenn) , attendees were encouraged to fight for justice and to make an economic impact by boycotting products from Florida.
At one point, a second group chanting “Fired up, can’t take no more,” marched up to join the group already assembled, approximately doubling the head count.
Signs at the rally ranged from hopeful to outraged.
(All photos | Brian Howard)
There was a considerable amount of copy last week devoted to the story of First Lady Michelle Obama and the Heckler. Ellen Sturtz, the heckler, attended a private fundraiser on behalf of LGBT civil rights group Get Equal. Sturtz interrupted Obama, the invited guest for the $500-per-ticket event, throughout her remarks, demanding that President Obama sign the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on behalf of the LGBT community.
The First Lady handled the situation deftly, approaching Sturtz and replying, “One of the things I don’t do well is this, do you understand? Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have a choice.”
And in this impromptu game of political survivor, the crowd quickly sided with the First Lady, and Sturtz was voted off the island. Read more »
NBC Philadelphia reports: “Rae Stabosz, of Newark, who is pro-life, prays every week outside the Planned Parenthood. She was in the middle of a prayer last Wednesday when she pulled out her cell phone and began to record a patient being taken out of the [Wilmington] facility. As she started filming, Stabosz says someone who appeared to be a friend of the patient began to attack her.” Stabosz, who was documenting “yet another” ambulance transporting a patient out of the facility, says “the story is a public health issue.” [NBC 10]
If Tahrir Square isn’t humming already, it will be soon. Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, sentenced to life in prison last June for authorizing the killing of protestors in early 2011, had his conviction thrown out by a judge yesterday. Though it seems like an obvious setback for pro-democracy Egypt (Mubarak was one of only two ex-regime officials not acquitted for the Arab Spring killings two years ago), the prosecution was also calling for the verdict to be thrown out, in favor of a stronger ruling. [New York Times]
And the era of the Protest Sandwich has finally arrived. In case you’re wondering where you’re going to get a Chick-fil-A sandwich when you’re supposed to boycott Chick-fil-A, Northern Liberties-based restaurant PYT has introduced a more tolerant alternative. We’ll let PYT owner Tommy Up explain via his PYT Facebook post:
Introducing…the CHICK-PHIL-GAY! PYT has always been a friend to the LGBTQ community. Many of our staff and regulars are gay, bisexual or queer, and we have a zero tolerance policy for homophobia, racism, sexism, and any other kind of hatred. Recently, the CEO of another restaurant was outspoken in his opinions on gay marriage. Exercising his First Amendment rights, he repeated the same idiotic nonsense about gay marriage that PYT has been standing firmly against for these last three years, and we don’t “appreciate” it. We now exercise our First Amendment rights by saying: Everyone should have equal rights, including the right to marry and start a family. All are welcome at PYT, except the haters. To celebrate this statement, we invite you to come try the newest addition to our menu, the Chick-Phil-Gay. It’s a boneless breast of chicken seasoned to perfection, hand-breaded, cooked in peanut oil and served on a toasted, buttered bun with dill pickle chips. Served with waffle fries, it’s oddly familiar, but with 100% less hatred. For every Chick-Phil-Gay we sell, we’ll donate $1 to the Mazzoni Center, an organization that provides counseling and health services for LGBTQ Philadelphians. Oh, and while you’re here, try one of our famous hand-spun adultshakes. They’re the gayest shakes in town.
Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A is not having a good summer. President Dan Cathy’s ill-conceived public comments opposing same-sex marriage reflect the level of business acumen that one would expect from a man who was handed the keys to a company his father built. But no matter how distasteful, they’re rooted in a strongly ideological belief system, one that presumably transcends the need to make a buck. Read more »
If Facebook is any indicator, many if not most of my friends have signed on to the Chick-fil-A boycott because of that company’s charitable contributions and policies and CEO Dan Cathy’s recent statements about gay marriage. But there are plenty of corporations out there that won’t be sponsoring the pride parade anytime soon. Read more »
The last time (the only time?) a plastic bag was seen as hauntingly beautiful—as a stand-in, even, for exquisite moments we brush by in our rushed and frantic lives—was in a scene from American Beauty, in which a troubled kid practically cries his eyes out over a bag that “danced” with him for 15 minutes. Read more »