Uber is steadily paddling through a rocky PR shitstorm. Over the weekend, following news of the Muslim Travel Ban issued by the Trump administration, thousands of angry citizens turned up at JFK airport in NY to stage an open protest. The NY Taxi Workers Alliance additionally called for an hour-long halt in services to further protest the ban.
And that's right about where Uber issued a tweet saying they'd halt surge prices, and continue providing rides to and fro the airport. Some folks took this as an insensitive ploy to swoop in and capitalize on profits otherwise being willingly forfeited by taxi workers, eager to put on a display of outrage and unrest over the Muslim Travel Ban. Hundreds, if not thousands of people went on to delete the Uber app from their phones, and these are some of the more colorful reasons for why:
As the numbers continue to pour in, and it becomes clear that more people in America wanted Hillary Clinton to be president than wanted Donald Trump to be, those who voted with a majority of America are trying to expedite the president elect’s removal. But they aren’t turning law books, they’re turning to Google. Not Bing. Not Ask Jeeves. Google. Because when you need to find out how to impeach a president, accept no substitutes.
According to Metro, searches for “how to impeach a president” have surged by almost 5,000 percent (4,850 percent, to be exact). Meanwhile, online petitions to impeach Trump have begun to spring up and have received thousands of signatures, including one that has collected 13,322 names.
So it’s clear, this is a subject of major public interest, but what do the experts say? Well, thanks to Trump University, the public might have a case.
“University of Utah Law professor Christopher Peterson said he found evidence to charge Trump with fraud and racketeering — felonies within state and federal law.
“'In the United States, it is illegal for businesses to use false statements to convince consumers to purchase their services,' Mr Peterson said. 'The evidence indicates that Trump University used a systemic pattern of fraudulent representations to trick thousands of families into investing in a program that can be argued was a sham.’
'Fraud and racketeering are serious crimes that legally rise to the level of impeachable acts.’”
Can you impeach a president before they take the oath? I'm asking for a friend.— deray mckesson (@deray) November 9, 2016
Tell your friend: Maybe.
Just a quick update on all those Facebook check-ins in North Dakota yesterday. As it turns out, the Morton County Sheriff's Department says that it is not looking at check-ins to verify protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Morton County Sheriff's Department took to Facebook and said:
Yesterday, thousands of Facebook users "checked in" at Standing Rock Indian reservation in Cannon Ball, ND in hopes of confusing police and showing support for the activists.
Despite the validity of the original post, The LA Times says, "Some Native American activists still welcomed the check-ins as another form of showing support for the months-long protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline, proposed to run past tribal land on its route between North Dakota and Illinois."
Does this look familiar to you? Are you one of the 130,000 people at Standing Rock Reservaton in Cannon Ball, ND?
By most estimates, probably not, but that hasn’t stopped possibly you and a good chunk of your Facebook friends from checking-in at Standing Rock today.
If you’re one of the countless people who were wondering why all of your friends were suddenly in North Dakota, they're not. The check-in is part of a viral social media campaign to confuse the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, who is allegedly using Facebook geotags to round up protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline or DAPL. In addition to the check-ins, a handy explainer has been going around Facebook as well. Most of them read something like this:
This is all done in service of standing in solidarity with the protestors of the controversial pipeline, which cost billions of dollars and aims to connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil pipelines, which, altogether, could transport nearly 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day. However, among other things, DAPL will cut through Sioux Native American reservations.
“The Standing Rock Sioux opposes the pipeline's construction near the Sioux reservation on the grounds that it threatens their public health and welfare, water supply and cultural resources,” writes Aaron Sidder of Smithsonian. “What began as a small protest camp in April on the Standing Rock reservation has since morphed into an encampment with over 1,000 people. Over the past few months, the Sacred Stone Camp, as it is now called, has been the site of a number of antagonistic face offs between protesters and the oil company.”
"The Standing Rock Sioux maintains that the government did not properly consult with them prior to shifting the pipeline’s route, and that the new crossing would entail destruction of sacred spots and old burial grounds."
There is still speculation, however, as to the validity of the Facebook campaign. According to Snopes, the Facebook post is still “Unproven,” so its affiliation to actual police activity is still unconfirmed.
We’ll have to wait and see if this form of protest is effective or not, or even if the Morton County Sheriff’s Department is using these Facebook check-ins to smoke out protesters. Until then, you’ll likely see more check-ins over the next day or so.
More than 11,000 people were marching against gay marriage in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico on Sept. 10th. Queue our hero, a 12-year-old Mexican boy, who stood against the crowd as a solitary voice of reason against the tide of oppression.
Afterwards, the child said, "I have an uncle who is gay and I hate the hatred."
Same-sex marriage has been legalized in Mexico City and 9 of the nation's 31 states. There are challenges currently underway in the 22 other states.
See the people marching here.
His moment was reminiscent of the Tiananmen Square "Tank Man" in Beijing in 1989:
We won't stop saying it, because it's the truth no matter where you live:
Support Human Rights Campaign Here, or Freedom to Marry here.
Taxi drivers are blocking traffic in Toronto in protest of Uber taking away profits from taxi companies. It's not a secret that taxi companies don't like dealing with Uber which gets around many of the regulations that taxis have to follow by labeling their service as "ride sharing".
Does that mean it's okay to try to break a stranger's window because you suspect them of being an Uber driver? No.
At least some people have a sense of humor about the incident.
Many people on Twitter think the taxi driver protest is just making people hate the taxi industry more.
Others are making the point that the taxi industry's real problem isn't Uber, it's that they need to adapt and get better at service and technology.
You dildon't want to miss out on this protest.
In response to a new law passed in Texas that allows students to carry concealed guns on campus, some students at The University of Texas at Austin are planning a very unique way to speak out.
A Facebook event using the hashtag #CocksNotGlocks is encouraging students to strap sex toys onto their backpacks August 2016 to protest.
Event organizer Jessica Jin had this to say about the protest:
"'You're carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I'm carrying a HUGE D*LDO,'" she said in the group's description. "Just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play."
If you say so, Jessica.
These high school students gave themselves an 'A', a scarlet one.
Frustrated by the Charleston County School of the Arts' dress code, finding it demeaning and sexist, students decided to take matters into their own hands.
Post and Courier gives the details:
Reese Fischer, a junior creative writing student at the school who helped organize the protest, said she doesn't oppose the dress code. But, based on her experience, faculty members enforce the dress code more strictly against girls than boys, and against heavy-set girls than smaller girls, she said.
"Especially in the summer, you see guys walking around in muscle tank tops with half their sides hanging out and their pants hanging down, and they don't get called out for that," Fischer said. "They don't get called out for wearing a hat, but a girl will get called out for a short skirt in a second."
...School of the Arts' dress code states that "appropriate, decent and non-distracting attire must be worn" and prohibits hats indoors, exposed underwear, bare skin "between upper chest and mid thigh," shoulder straps less than two fingers wide, and clothing that features inflammatory or profane messages. Students who break the dress code can be sent to an administrator's office and told to change into a school-owned T-shirt and sweatpants.
So Fischer put out a call to action on Instagram last week.
Her post read:
Hi! As many of you heard, there's a new dress code policy being enforced as of tomorrow that will require students to leave class and sit in the office until their dress code violation is 'dealt with'. Also, for a teacher to send you to the office they do not have to dictate whether or not you're in dress code, [they just have to] simply question it. Many students find it incredibly offensive that their outfits are being held at a higher importance than their education. ...
Tomorrow, Sept. 24, it would be awesome if we could get as many people as possible to incorporate a red 'A' into their outfits, as the red 'A' is a famous symbol for 'sin.' We'll keep this page updated as frequently as possible so that the movement is cohesive and effective. Thank you for standing up for what's fair (that everyone should be treated with equal respect).
Post and Courier said the protest went very well.
Fischer said that on the first day of the protest last Thursday, about 100 students — as well as some faculty — wore a homemade red A on their clothing, sometimes as part of a slogan, "Not A Distraction." The red letter A is a reference to the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel "The Scarlet Letter," in which 17th-century Puritans force a young woman to wear the letter after finding her guilty of adultery.
A week in, and students are still adding the letter to their clothes.
Way to find a civil way to stand up for yourself and get your point across!
Tens of thousands rallied to the Sol Square in Madrid to protest Sept. 15's Toro de la Vega festival, wherein local men chase down a bull and hurl spears at it until its dead. Why would anyone have a problem with that?
If you can believe it, the festival is said to have begun in 1534. Without Internet, television and probably a largely illiterate population, chasing down a bull would probably seem like some pretty stellar entertainment.
The BBC describes the proceedings even futher:
The Toro de la Vega festival is unique in that after the bull is run through the town, chasing daredevil participants through the streets in a similar fashion to Pamplona's famous San Fermin event, the beast is not fought by professional matadors in a ring.
Instead, all comers battle for the honour of killing the animal out in the open plain, some on horseback, others on foot. The winner of the tournament trophy is the one who lands the mortal wound on the bull, bringing it to its knees before an accredited expert deals a coup de grace to the animal's neck.
Supporters of the nearly 500-year-old tradition say it is the purest of battles between man and bull, pointing to strict rules against wounding the animal from the side or attacking in numbers rather than one by one.
But of course, this festival is seen as an act of barbarism by many in Spain and abroad. It sparked large protests last year with accusations of assault on both sides of the issue — not including those four injured by the chased bull.
And then this year, the protests swelled and erupted on social media as well:
Don't kill animals just for fun! We're not troglodytes Help us! "Rompesuelas needs your help! NO Toro de la Vega pic.twitter.com/5g5yfUsOPg— Jesusf. (@Jesusf_Malaka) September 15, 2015
If you don't know "The Toro de la Vega" it's were a bunch of cretins with spears stab a toro over and over again until it finally dies.— Ooh no you didn't.. (@VKateMitchell) September 15, 2015
Despite thousands protesting against abuse, the next victim of the Toro de la Vega is set to be killed tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Spt2fectXX— jc.....55! (@jczv) September 14, 2015
It could be a sign of ever-more divisive political sides, raising ethical consciousness or the outrage over Cecil the Lion has found a new target.
Whatever it is, there won't be a happy ending for that bull this year.
A prisoner in a maximum security Manchester prison climbed up to the roof sometime on Sunday demanding better prison conditions and heckling prison guards.
Convicted murderer Stuart Horner has been on the roof of the jail, also known as HM Prison Manchester, since about 2pm on Sunday, defying efforts to talk him down and shouting to fellow prisoners, who are on lockdown in their cells.
...Pictures from the scene show a man perched on the gable roof of the 19th-century, panopticon-style prison, which was slick with early morning rain. On Sunday night, according to the Manchester Evening News (MEN), he was seen climbing poles on the roof, removing his jogging bottoms and shouting remarks such as: "100% reoffender".
Horner, who is visible and audible from the rooftop above the walls of the jail, has complained about prison conditions and shouted he wants to change prison history.
Here's a video showing Horner letting out his aggression on the prison:
Steve-O, from Jackass and stuntman fame, introduced Facebook to 'Sammy' Aug. 8 and hinted he would do something stupid with the inflatable whale.
More than 80 firefighters were called to the 6000 block of West Selma Avenue about 8 p.m. on reports of a possible suicide attempt after an unidentified person was spotted on the crane, Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.
LAPD Lt. Michael Ling confirmed that Steve-O, whose real name is Stephen Glover, was arrested and is expected to be booked on suspicion of trespassing, setting a firework without a permit, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Investigators are still determining what charges apply, Ling said.
The apparent stunt prompted annoyance and frustration among public safety officials. More than 30 LAPD officers were called to the scene, and Selma Avenue was shut down.
Glover, 41, brought an inflatable Orca with him to the top of the crane and wore a "Blackfish" T-shirt, making the stunt another of his public demonstrations against SeaWorld.
Last year, he was charged with a traffic infraction for an anti-SeaWorld stunt in which he defaced a freeway sign in San Diego. He posted a YouTube video in August 2014 showing him climbing up the freeway sign to attach the word "sucks'' after the words "Sea World."
Steve-O, the true showman that he is, video recorded a great deal of it for you on his Facebook page.
Be warned, there is explicit language. Like you would expect.
Anyone wanna bail me out of jail?Posted by Steve-O on Sunday, August 9, 2015
Every activist probably wishes they could accomplish as much sitting in a hammock.
The Washington Post reports that 13 protestors took to the sky (sorta) July 29 as they lowered themselves down from a bridge to try and stop Shell moving on to drill for oil in the arctic.
The protesters took to the St. Johns Bridge over the Willamette River early Wednesday to block the icebreaker, named the Fennica, from heading north to protect Shell's fleet from ice and respond to an oil spill, should one occur.
"They are creating a human barricade so that the Shell icebreaker cannot get through," Annie Leonard, the executive director of Greenpeace USA, told KATU in Portland. "They are prepared to stay up there for days because that's what it is going to take to save the Arctic."
The Portland Mercury said the tactic apparently worked because the tanker, named the Fennica, had to retreat.
The activism springs from both growing concerns over an oil spill and a local feeling of duty.
As the Mercury says:
The U.S. Department of Interior says there is a 75 percent chance of an oil spill in the Arctic once drilling commences, a spill which experts say would be virtually impossible to clean up, posing unacceptable risks to indigenous peoples and the marine environment. Shell is proposing to commence drilling in this untouched region—thanks to rapidly melting ice in the Arctic due to climate change— at a time when NASA's former top climate scientist says we may see at least 10 feet of sea level rise by 2050.
"In Portland and across the Northwest, we have the unique opportunity and responsibility to act as a chokepoint in the transport of dirty coal, oil, and gas. For years, Portland has demonstrated powerful resistance to the shipping of coal and oil by rail, as well as tar sands mining equipment by road," says Meredith Cocks of Portland Rising Tide. "We view the arrival of Shell's icebreaker in Portland as another chance to disrupt new oil development and demonstrate that any and all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction is an unacceptable risk to our climate and future."
There were 3.7 million people at this weekend's anti-terrorism rally in Paris – the largest in French history.
One of those people was Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who wore this simple, yet powerful symbol of solidarity in his jacket pocket.
Rama used to teach at the Academy of Arts of Albania and was an artist himself for years. As mayor of Tirana, he organized a mural project to transform Soviet-era ruins into colorful works of art.
A local Fox news affiliate in Baltimore has apologized for erroneously using a video clip of a protest to illustrate anti-police sentiment calling it an "honest misunderstanding."
In the video above, from a WBFF Fox45 news segment, a woman is heard chanting "kill a cop," which would indeed be startling if it were true, especially in light of the recent shootings in New York. But it's not.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, this is taken completely out of context, as many pointed out.
The original clip is from a "Justice For All" March in Washington, D.C., and the woman featured in the video, Tawanda Jones, is not asking for anyone to be killed.
"We won't stop! We can't stop! Till killer cops are in cell blocks!" she says as you can hear below (at 0:42).
A few players on the St. Louis Rams decided to hold a little protest of their own on Sunday, prior to their game against the Oakland Raiders, by entering the field with their arms up to show support for the protesters in Ferguson.
Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens all participated in the stunt before pregame introductions, with the coach denying any advance knowledge of it.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association is not amused. They are asking the NFL to issue an apology calling it "tasteless, offensive and inflammatory."
But the Rams are standing by their actions.
"I just think there has be to a change," said Cook. "There has to be change that starts with the people that are most influential around the world."