Stand with Walmart workers this Black Friday

Walmart workers on strike in the Dallas area. (Photo courtesy Making Change at Walmart)

 

Walmart workers are fighting back against intimidation and disrespect like this:

In an interview, she spoke of her struggle to make ends meet even while working fulltime at Walmart. She earns $11.65 an hour and is her family’s only source of income since her husband was laid off. They and their five children rely on state assistance for housing, food and healthcare.

Walmart spokespeople have said that workers in Washington earn an average wage of $13 an hour. Gilbert said she knew of only a few people who earn that much, and they’ve worked for the company for decades.

Beyond a better wage, Gilbert said she wants to be treated with respect. She decided to speak out about work conditions after her manager came up behind her while she was bent, restocking shelves, and adjusted Gilbert’s pants to cover some exposed skin.

Gilbert said the manager tried to turn it into a laughing matter. Gilbert complained, but she said no action was taken.

“They treat it like it’s a joke, but it’s not a joke to me,” she said.

It’s a simple proposition: people deserve to work with dignity and treated fairly. Walmart is one of the largest and most profitable corporations on the planet, and their workers deserve better.

Netroots Nation is helping OUR Walmart get the word out about workers taking actions across the country between now and Black Friday. The workers are causing a stur, getting a bit of coverage, and they’ve got lots of tools that allow everyone to take part. Here are a few things you can do:

Wherever you are spending this holiday, stand with Walmart workers!

Emerging Movements: The Face of New Progressive Online Communities

There are new emerging movements online that differ from their identity-based or multi-issue predecessors, ones that bring new people into the progressive movement and represent an exciting evolution of our organizing theories and practices. The offline-to-online engagement of Occupy, the emergence of a banking and housing crisis constituency online, laser-focused corporate accountability campaigns, new approaches to organizing women and the emergence of a global LGBT movement all represent huge interconnected communities dealing with major structural issues that have the potential to build global long-term progressive power. But how did this happen? What are the opportunities that emerged to make room for new movements? And how are the organizers capitalizing on those opportunities?

Emerging Movements: The Face of New Progressive Online Communities

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 17:51:19

Panelists discussed the creation of new online communities and organizations.
fascinating discussion on nimble, interconnected online movement building w/ @andre_banks @SLThomas @jrucker @nataliefoster @tarensk #nn12timothy karl rusch
The panel on emerging online movements, feat. @nataliefoster, @slthomas, @jr @ Netroots Nation 2012 (#nn12) http://instagr.am/p/Llmgg1jUSf/Greg Greene
Natalie Foster spoke about some of the challenges that spur them to innovate.
@nataliefoster talks about the reality of list oversaturation + that there are so many people out there that haven’t been reached yet #NN12christiegeorge
.@nataliefoster: Email is killer app, but is dying. Means we need to innovate new practices in the online space. #nn12Nathan Henderson-Jam
Love this. @nataliefoster on start-up, member driven orgs: "We’ll exist as long as we’re useful, and then we won’t. And that’s okay." #nn12Rachel Perrone
Shaunna Thomas talked about starting up a community because of a hole she perceived in the movement.
.@slthomas launched @ultraviolet in wake of too many legislative battles in which women’s rights were thrown under the bus. #nn12Rachel Perrone
Attendees responded well to Andre Banks’ upbeat presentation.
Andre Banks’ company Purpose, which helps instill prog values in campaigns & clients sounds like a lot of fun. #nn12Nathan Henderson-Jam
Andre Banks:it’s not so much about LGBT rights, but about love. #nn12 #NN12RI #NN12LGBTHeidi Hall
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman spoke about nonpolitical folks who still want to make a change.
Yes! @TarenSK at @SumofUs: lot of ppl out there jaded at politics but want to be responsible consumers, hold corps accountable #nn12Nicole Flatow

Saving Public Transportation: A Matter of Social Justice

In Rhode Island, public transit service is under perennial threat of service cuts and fare increases due to a flawed funding mechanism, the gas tax. Transit systems around the country—from Oakland to Detroit—face similar service cuts at a time when public transportation is more necessary than ever for both our economic and environmental sustainability. This panel will relate how workers, riders and even transit systems are forming coalitions in the fight to save and expand public transportation. We’ll explore the campaign in Rhode Island to Save RIPTA, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, and discuss how the successes of this local campaign can be translated to other communities nationwide.

Watch live streaming video from fstvnewswire at livestream.com

Saving Public Transportation: A Matter of Social Justice

Storified by Netroots Nation · Fri, Jun 08 2012 17:44:53

Transit systems nationwide are facing service cuts and fare increases, which disproportionately affect low income communities. The campaign in Rhode Island to Save RIPTA, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, was examined as a case study for other cities and communities as to how to be effective transit advocates.
Transit organizing #rockstars @electabel @electlibby Paul Harrington and Larry Hanley of ATU #saveripta #nn12 http://pic.twitter.com/a6TqaiDCCleanWaterAction RI
The transit battles tie into the larger fight for workers’ rights.
RT @sara_h: Very coordinated attack on #transit workers in Pittsburgh. Symptom of war on workers, not transit. ~ Hanley @atucomm #nn12 #nn12transitKenya Wheeler
"#Transit is a crutch for any struggling economy, and a backbone for a thriving economy." ~ Abel Collins, @risierraclub #nn12 #nn12transitSara
The need to organize is key. The opposition can be large and well funded. New solutions needs to be examined.
Greg LeRoy: You help organize riders, our policy wonks will navigate the shell game of transit funding. #nn12 #nn12transitTom Torres
Nearly three-fourths of transit riders use it to commute to work. Where are the employers to step up and protect #masstransit? #nn12Matt McDermott
Great Q/As re: public perception of "second class citizens," lower-income #transit ridership. Auto lobby doesn’t help. #nn12 #nn12transitSara
RT @MarkJGray: Transit advocates need to get big employers on their side #nn12 #masstransit #saveripta #1uATU, Transit Union
Attendees brainstormed some new ideas for policy and emphasized the importance of elected officials understanding the needs of their communities.
Interesting Idea! RT @lucasoconnor: What if there was an enterprise zone-type deal for locating jobs on transit lines? #NN12 #NN12transitKenya Wheeler
True, need to elect transit riders ;) MT @kenyaw Libby Kimzey agrees many lawmakers aren’t transit users & are out of touch w/riders #nn12Rebecca Saltzman

Occupy Goes Home: The Occupy Movement and the Foreclosure Crisis

The Occupy movement has been taking homes throughout the year and plans to continue throughout the summer. What does this campaign contribute to larger progressive goals? Should the progressive movement support this work?

Watch live streaming video from fstvnewswire at livestream.com

Occupy Goes Home: The Occupy Movement and the Foreclosure Crisis

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 16:17:44

The panelists described out the scope of the crisis.
.@sarahljaffe doing a good job of moderating foreclosure and occupy homes panel #NN12 http://pic.twitter.com/i6fEkEPHBill
Study in San Francisco showed 84% of #foreclosure claims fraudulent – @CGoHome; 90% in NYC says @sarahljaffe. #occupyourhomes #nn12 #owsJoe Macare
They also discussed the response from banks…
The banks are breaking hundreds of years of property law- paraphrasing @mbrownerhamlin #occupyhomes #NN12Elana_Brooklyn
Excellent point from @sarahljaffe – bankers took bailouts without shame, but homeowners are supposed to feel ashamed of getting help?Robert Cruickshank
.@CGoHome: "Banks will modify a loan to sell a house at what it’s worth at a short sale, but not to keep a family in its home." #nn12Travis Waldron
…from the legal community…
Says @mbrownerhamlin Fraudulent foreclosures: where are Bar Assocs holding lawyers accountable who allow & draft robosigned documents? #NN12paulhogarth
…and from policy makers.
.@mbrownerhamlin: In face of massive human & legal crisis that is foreclosure response from lawmakers & regulators "has been nothing" #nn12Travis Waldron
.@mbrownerhamlin: In every situation where policymakers had choice between helping homeowners & the banks, they chose the banks. #nn12Travis Waldron
Says @mbrownerhamlin Instead of bailing out banks, we could have used that money to pay off every subprime mortgage in America. #NN12paulhogarth
The panelists talked about what we can do in the face of this massive crisis.
RT @exileinflyville: .@mbrownerhamlin talks about importance of promoting writing that explains terminology used by banks to obfuscate, e.g. @rortybomb. #nn12Vincent Vecchione
@mbrownerhamlin on #ffraud task force: not pressuring is not going to work #nn12David Dayen
If a bank can steal a home w/o consequence then they will do it again. Not speaking out won’t change it @mbrownerhamlin #nn12Elana_Brooklyn
Online community needs to keep driving convo about florclosures bc it’s not even a subject in politics right now. @mbrownerhamlin #nn12Rania Khalek
.@CGoHome talking collaboration w. labor & community groups in Minnesota. This really is 1 big conversation today! #occupyhomesMN #nn12 #owsJoe Macare
"We need to create our own media and educate people about our relationship to land", says @humanright2home #nn12 #occupyhomesRania Khalek
we have to avoid issue silos. We have to talk about how issues like jobs, housing, etc, are connected. @humanright2home #nn12 #occupyhomesRania Khalek
Attendees responded to the panel with strong emotions.
@sarahljaffe wearing carre rouge (red sq) for Quebec at #NN12 panel on #occupy homes. Pretty awesome.Samuel G. Howard
Nick and Colleen’s video from @Occupyhomesmn has my whole row in tears. Link please?#nn12 @sarahljaffe @mbrownerhamlin #occupyhomesDoug Foote
This #occupyhomes panel is absolutely incredible. I’m emotionally fried just listening. #nn12 @sarahljaffe @mbrownerhamlinDoug Foote

Pushing Back: How Labor Groups are Fighting Concessions and Workplace Abuses in the Down Economy

Leveraging a weak economy and a diminished union base, corporations are now expecting more and more out of their workers while offering less and less in return. This panel will take a look at the concessions companies are demanding from their workforces—from rising health-care payments and pension takeaways to wage freezes and lost hours—and how labor groups and organizers are pushing back at both the bargaining table and the grassroots level. We’ll explore some of the ways both middle-class and low-wage workers are struggling to hold on to the gains they’ve made as employees.

Pushing Back: How Labor Groups are Fighting Concessions and Workplace Abuses in the Down Economy

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Sat, Jun 09 2012 17:02:33

RT @RaniaKhalek: #Labor panel includes Courtney Smith, Eddie Blackburn, @AlisonOmens, @MikeElk & @dave_jamieson #nn12Penny
RT @aterkel: Labor panel at #nn12 with @AlisonOmens @MikeElk and moderated by @dave_jamieson (Ballroom E) http://pic.twitter.com/pdapNl26UNITE HERE
.@Dave_Jamieson: What will change trend of blaming unions 4 economy? @MikeElk: "Part of the answer is that we do need more labor journalism"Josh Eidelson
.@dave_jamieson asks how to get around companies using contracted workers to circumvent unionized workforce. #nn12Rania Khalek
Panelists gave examples of labor successes and failures, some of them local.
after training their replacements, #hyatt laid off 100 Housekeepers in Boston – @Dave_jamieson @huffpo #nn12Leigh Shelton
Courtney Smith and @dave_jamieson talking about Westin Hotel Workers win in Providence #nn12valentinasweet

The Heart of the Beast: How the Grassroots is Taking on Big Banking

Wall Street crashed our economy, perpetrated widespread fraud on millions of homeowners, bankrupted our communities and continues to inject unfettered corporate money into our democracy. That’s the bad news. The good news: In an extraordinary example of progressive power, a group of organizations and individuals built a dynamic movement to challenge big bank power and rebuild our economy. People have occupied their homes, moved millions of dollars out of big banks, taken over big bank offices and annual shareholders meetings, won a federal investigation into big bank fraud and made big bank power the pariah in media coverage. In this session, participants will dive into specific strategies—from grassroots organizing to online mobilization to popular education—that led to this groundswell. We’ll also have a lively discussion on taking lessons back into your own community to and how to make this a central issue this election cycle.

Watch live streaming video from freespeechtv at livestream.com

The Heart of the Beast: How the Grassroots is Taking on Big Banking

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 12:17:32

The panelists talked about the opposition.
"We’re going up against the most powerful people in the world; they’re willing to do anything to win. We need to be too." – @maxberger #nn12Joe Macare
And who’s getting involved.
.@maxberger says successes he’s seen are a result of people taking it on themselves not waiting for politicians OR orgs to save them. #nn12Joe Macare
They also discussed the focus of the conversation.
.@maxberger – this conversation is not just abt homeowners, but abt totality of control banks have over economy. #nn12 #owsHomeDefenders League
"It’s right we’re focusing on homes in this discussion, but banks have taken over everything." @maxberger also mentions student debt. #nn12Joe Macare
And what it will take to win.
"We can bring the crisis to them…That’s what will take this from the win on a individual level to fundamental change." -@MaxBerger #nn12The 99% Power
"I think the next step 4 the mvmnt is 4 folks to go back & organize in their communities. It’s not abt whats next 4 ‘us’." -@MaxBerger #nn12The 99% Power
"Our ability 2 pressure politicians 4 principle reductions & other reforms is dependent on #OWS changing the narrative." -@MoveOn Rep #nn12The 99% Power

Why Can’t Apple Make Your iPhone in America?

Building on investigative reporting in WIRED Magazine and the New York Times, this session will explore why a company so good at design is so lousy at high-tech manufacturing, particularly in the United States. Nearly every blogger uses a piece of hardware made overseas, sometimes in deplorable conditions. Does it matter? Does it have to be this way? Do we have an obligation to help change this? Panelists will explore the obstacles and opportunities for rebuilding a high-tech supply chain in America. The panelists will also explore what public policies are needed to recapture high-tech production jobs: trade, innovation, training and taxes. No issue crystallizes the challenges facing the American economy like Apple: great products for the creative class, but few jobs for American workers.

Your Phone Is Political

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Sat, Jun 09 2012 15:10:32

Your Phone is Political – @levjoy @Garlin @joaquinhguerra @beingbrina #nn12 http://yfrog.com/mnvxazejNet Victories

Foreclosure Fraud: How the Banks Broke the Housing Market and How We are Fighting Back

Despite the fact that we’ve been in a foreclosure crisis for more than four years, precious little attention has been paid to how banks have used faked documents to steal homes from American borrowers. This panel will break down just how the banks have defrauded homeowners, local governments and the state judicial system, and why meager settlements or more promises for loan modifications are completely inadequate to hold the guilty parties responsible for the crime. This panel brings together foreclosure fraud experts, along with the people actually working on the front lines to stop illegal evictions and bring forward justice. We will also take a look at citizen-led efforts to protect people’s homes and hold banks accountable—and how you can join those efforts.

Foreclosure Fraud: How the Banks Broke the Housing Market and How We are Fighting Back

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Fri, Jun 08 2012 17:00:14

During this panel, Neil Barofsky spoke about the financial fraud settlement.
At #ffraud #nn12 @neilbarofsky explaining why the $25bil financial faud settlement is such a joke. Much of money diverted to other uses…bmaz
.@neilbarofsky explaining how mortgage settlement largely just pays banks to do what they do anyway w no accountability #nn12Miles Kampf-Lassin
@neilbarofsky laying out how the mortgage settlement will actually make profits for banks through HAMP incentives. Epic FAIL #nn12Matt Browner Hamlin
Additional information about this session is available in emptywheel’s live blog.
Foreclosure Fraud: The Most Dangerous Panel in the World | emptywheelThey’ve scheduled DDay’s Netroots Nation foreclosure fraud panel-with Lynn Szymoniak, Malcom Chu, and Neil Barofsky-in a room with no str…

Why the Fed is the Most Important Economic Issue You Know Nothing About

Years worth of bailouts and bank regulation debates have placed a new level of political focus on the Federal Reserve. It has been a topic for the Occupy movement and those concerned with out-of-control financial institutions and the weak recovery. And in the next year, the Federal Reserve, without political pressure, could dismantle financial regulation and stop an economy about to take off. How does the left engage the Federal Reserve? This panel will dive into potential answers.

Watch live streaming video from fstvnewswire at livestream.com

Beyond Occupy: What Does a New Economic System Look Like?

The Occupy movement created a major opportunity and an imperative for progressives: Figure out what a new system, one that isn’t based solely on individual greed and a race to the bottom, might look like. In this session, we will explore how Occupy has changed the game in the fight for economic justice and how progressives might start to invest in earnest in building a real alternative economic and political system that works for us—one that is designed as a tool to help us achieve a set of societal goals including human rights and fulfillment.

Watch live streaming video from fstvnewswire at livestream.com

Beyond Occupy: What Does a New Economic System Look Like?

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 15:19:58

Panelists just got intro’d by their Twitter handles: @jenancona @activefree @jwjnational @baselinescene @EricaPayneAP #nn12 #99PowerThe 99% Power
I love the way @jenancona is leading this panel. Getting everyone to talk about the big issues, encouraging real discussionRobert Cruickshank
"The economy needs to provide an opening for less traditional forms of work as equal valued.l" @EricaPayneAP #NN12 #carexgensCaringAcrossGen
Talking principles at #nn12newsystem now. (@JenAncona just gave my work on this a shout out, woah!)Dan Ancona
Panelists introduced the topic of capitalism…
Important not to mistake that markets can be effective, they dont always work @EricaPayneAP #NN12Joseph Phelan
Progressive capitalism is entirely achievable @activefree #NN12Joseph Phelan
Strategy is knowing which door to open first so you get momentum to open the next door and the next door @EricaPayneAP #NN12Joseph Phelan