Archive for the ‘Protest’ Category

PA September Protests to “Out” Local Abusers

August 24, 2011

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Pittsburgh, PA – August 16, 2011 – Well-known local activist Mike Ference will stage a series of protests beginning September 11, the 10th anniversary of 911 and targeting local institutions and individuals associated with the abuse of children and young adults.

“For two decades I have called on certain institutions and individuals to come forward and take responsibility for their roles — active or passive — in child sex abuse,” Ference explains. “This is the last call — if they don’t do the right thing in the next couple weeks, then I will ‘out’ them at a series of protests where I will publicize incriminating details from my 22-year investigation of such cases. Abusers who have harmed children and individuals who knowingly covered up the crimes will be named — I want everyone in our community to know who the bad guys are.”

Ference began his investigation in 1989 after his son was shot on a school bus by a boy who then committed suicide. Although grateful that his son survived, Ference was disturbed that an investigation into the shooting was quashed or botched at every turn. Agreeing that the case had been prematurely closed by the McKeesport police, William Scully, then Public Safety Director in Clairton, gave Ference notes on the case and encouraged him to continue investigating on his own. A central starting point was the possibility that the shooter had been sexually abused by a local Catholic priest.

Ference’s initial investigation has inspired a lifetime of activism against child sexual abuse and cover-ups. He has written extensively on the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic church, amd has consistently emphasized that such abuse can’t happen without a lot of other community stakeholders “looking the other way.”

The first protest is scheduled for noon, September 9, on the steps of St. Paul ’s Cathedral in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Ference believes that Oakland , Shadyside and the surrounding areas have been prominent spots for Pittsburgh Catholic clergy to abuse children and teenagers.

Additional protests are in the planning stage. Ference says UPMC Hospital in Oakland is a likely site because of its handling of a clerical abuse case involving Greg Witkowski. He is also considering the police departments and municipal buildings of McKeesport , Clairton, and West Mifflin , which were all central in his initial investigation. District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette were also mentioned as stakeholders who have been more interested in protecting the church hierarchy than punishing abusers and defending children.

For more information on the September 11 protest or other upcoming events, call Mike Ference at 412-233-5491, or email mike@ferencemarketing.com.

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DC Protest

August 19, 2009

"Disruption of Congress"

June 20, 2009
2005 – Activist Elena Sassower annoyed congress, her trial judge, and defenders of free speech—all the way to jail

Two days before Christmas, Elena Sassower walked out of the Washington, D.C., jail where she’d just finished serving a sentence that should frighten anyone inclined to protest in the halls of power.

For reading a 24-word request to testify at a judicial appointment hearing on Capitol Hill, an act that qualified as “disruption of Congress,” Sassower was hit with six months’ incarceration—the maximum allowed by law. Despite the grave constitutional implications of her case, not one of the dozen civil rights organizations she’d asked for help came to her assistance: not the ACLU, not Public Citizen, not People for the American Way, not Common Cause.

Her real crime, it seems, was her penchant for being a pest. Reached by the Voice, attorneys from three such organizations refused to comment or spoke only off the record. One attorney privately told the Voice that his group’s unwillingness to lend Sassower a hand had “nothing to do with the merits of her claims” and “everything to do with her being a very difficult person.” Sassower ended up acting as her own lawyer, doing herself no favors in the trial.

Full Article and Source:
The Scourge of Her Conviction

>"Disruption of Congress"

June 20, 2009

>

2005 – Activist Elena Sassower annoyed congress, her trial judge, and defenders of free speech—all the way to jail

Two days before Christmas, Elena Sassower walked out of the Washington, D.C., jail where she’d just finished serving a sentence that should frighten anyone inclined to protest in the halls of power.

For reading a 24-word request to testify at a judicial appointment hearing on Capitol Hill, an act that qualified as “disruption of Congress,” Sassower was hit with six months’ incarceration—the maximum allowed by law. Despite the grave constitutional implications of her case, not one of the dozen civil rights organizations she’d asked for help came to her assistance: not the ACLU, not Public Citizen, not People for the American Way, not Common Cause.

Her real crime, it seems, was her penchant for being a pest. Reached by the Voice, attorneys from three such organizations refused to comment or spoke only off the record. One attorney privately told the Voice that his group’s unwillingness to lend Sassower a hand had “nothing to do with the merits of her claims” and “everything to do with her being a very difficult person.” Sassower ended up acting as her own lawyer, doing herself no favors in the trial.

Full Article and Source:
The Scourge of Her Conviction

Senior Protest Against Gov. Cuts

May 29, 2009
With Gov. Pat Quinn threatening to cut millions from agencies and services across Illinois, area seniors are worried that at-home care will be slashed beyond repair.

About 100 seniors gathered at the Thompson Center this morning to protest the cuts, which would slice the Community Care program by half, eliminating home care service for about 25,000 seniors. Standing in front of a mock “Wheel of Fortune” wheel, members of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus railed against Quinn’s plan, and poked fun at Illinois House Speaker Rep. Michael Madigan.

Mimi Harris, 77, of Edgewater: “The cuts are going to be really bad for seniors. I understand we’re in a financial crisis, but this is not the time.”

The protesters are worried that many seniors would lose their caregivers and be forced to move into nursing homes.

Full Article and Source:
Seniors rally to keep at-home care funding

Senior Protest Against Gov. Cuts

May 29, 2009
With Gov. Pat Quinn threatening to cut millions from agencies and services across Illinois, area seniors are worried that at-home care will be slashed beyond repair.

About 100 seniors gathered at the Thompson Center this morning to protest the cuts, which would slice the Community Care program by half, eliminating home care service for about 25,000 seniors. Standing in front of a mock “Wheel of Fortune” wheel, members of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus railed against Quinn’s plan, and poked fun at Illinois House Speaker Rep. Michael Madigan.

Mimi Harris, 77, of Edgewater: “The cuts are going to be really bad for seniors. I understand we’re in a financial crisis, but this is not the time.”

The protesters are worried that many seniors would lose their caregivers and be forced to move into nursing homes.

Full Article and Source:
Seniors rally to keep at-home care funding

>Senior Protest Against Gov. Cuts

May 29, 2009

>

With Gov. Pat Quinn threatening to cut millions from agencies and services across Illinois, area seniors are worried that at-home care will be slashed beyond repair.

About 100 seniors gathered at the Thompson Center this morning to protest the cuts, which would slice the Community Care program by half, eliminating home care service for about 25,000 seniors. Standing in front of a mock “Wheel of Fortune” wheel, members of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus railed against Quinn’s plan, and poked fun at Illinois House Speaker Rep. Michael Madigan.

Mimi Harris, 77, of Edgewater: “The cuts are going to be really bad for seniors. I understand we’re in a financial crisis, but this is not the time.”

The protesters are worried that many seniors would lose their caregivers and be forced to move into nursing homes.

Full Article and Source:
Seniors rally to keep at-home care funding

>D.A. Resigns in Protest

May 17, 2009

>

Assistant District Attorney Lynn Peach, whose allegations of fraud against another prosecutor and a San Marcos police detective set off a firestorm, has resigned from her position.

Peach told The Mercury, “I have found that the profound philosophical differences that exist between office policy and myself is unworkable. Regardless of the circumstances or what happens in the future, I know that I did the right thing and will continue to do so.”

Mark Kennedy, the district attorney’s civil division chief, confirmed that Peach had resigned but declined further comment.

Full Article and Source:
Assistant district attorney resigns her post in protest

D.A. Resigns in Protest

May 17, 2009
Assistant District Attorney Lynn Peach, whose allegations of fraud against another prosecutor and a San Marcos police detective set off a firestorm, has resigned from her position.

Peach told The Mercury, “I have found that the profound philosophical differences that exist between office policy and myself is unworkable. Regardless of the circumstances or what happens in the future, I know that I did the right thing and will continue to do so.”

Mark Kennedy, the district attorney’s civil division chief, confirmed that Peach had resigned but declined further comment.

Full Article and Source:
Assistant district attorney resigns her post in protest

Protest Against Budget Cuts

March 25, 2009


250 petitions demand state restore funds for kin caregivers

Grandparents and other family members raising children took to the streets to protest state budget cuts they say are hurting their kids.

Participants chanted as they marched: “Fight, fight, fight for grandparents’ rights.”

Carrying signs that read, Not on the backs of children,” “No more budget cuts” and “Old people rock,” dozens marched the seven blocks from Armory Park, where they held a rally, to the State of Arizona Administration Building, 400 W. Congress St.

About 100 caregivers and children delivered 250 petitions, demanding that legislators restore 20 percent cuts in aid to families caring for the children of relatives. The cuts, made by state legislators last month, impact more than 10,000 Arizona children, according to organizers.

Full Article and Source:
Grandparents, family members protest cuts to state assistance