Picket Lines

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Jason Miller and Bite Club target Petland for mass-produced puppies

Posted By on Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 7:00 AM

Local activists will continue their two-year campaign against Petland this weekend
  • Local activists will continue their two-year campaign against Petland this weekend

This weekend, animal rights activist Jason Miller and Bite Club of KC are targeting another retailer they claim is linked to animal abuse. This time the deer defenders are teaming up with a local group that crusades against puppy mills to protest Petland.

It's not the first time KC Citizens for Canine Causes has picketed Petland, one of the nation's largest pet stores with more than 130 locations (four in Missouri and four in Kansas). They hoisted placards outside the big-box store in 2008 and 2009. They're not the only group that insists the pet retailer pedals cruelty.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Video of Sunday's Red-light 'scamera' protest

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Kansas City was one of 11 cities targeted in the "National Red Light Protest," a rally against the red-light "scameras" sprouting up across the country. Protesters from the Liberty Restoration Project held signs as it snowed at the intersection of 39th and Southwest Trafficway. Looks like local photographer Eric Bowers contributed to this video and local Tracy Ward helped organize the protest.

The protesters aren't alone. St. Louis Sen. Jim Lembke is sponsoring Missouri Senate Bill 637, which would outlaw red-light cameras.

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Kansas City cyclists brave the snow in three-day journey to Jeff City

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 6:00 AM

Corinna West
​It was fitting that Corinna West loaded her bicycle with camping gear and started her frigid 162-mile journey to from Kansas City to Missouri's capital on the first day of the winter Olympics.

After all, she's an Olympian herself -- and cycling helped her get to the Games.

While training at the U.S. Olympic Center in Colorado Springs as part of the American judo team in the 1990s, West commuted everywhere on two wheels. That cross-training, she says, gave her a leg up on her competition. She dreamed of a gold medal at the 1996 summer games in Atlanta; she was crushed when she placed 15th in the world.

Then, a few years later, in graduate school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, West was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a brain disorder that often includes auditory hallucinations and difficulty discerning what's real and imagined. "There came a place where I thought I couldn't have a career as scientist and I couldn't have a successful family," she says. "I gave up on my dreams and, being a really ambitious person, it was such a discouraging state that I was really sick for a long time."

Connecting with other cyclists and becoming an advocate for alternative transportation acted as stepping stones back to a healthy lifestyle. But on Saturday morning, she and her partner, Brian Gallmeyer, took a leap that some might call crazy: They started a three-day ride that ends today at the state capitol in Jefferson City.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Radical library on Troost closes shop

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 11:18 AM

The Infoshop crew at Troost Festival 2009
  • The Infoshop crew at Troost Festival 2009

The latest incarnation of the Crossroads Infoshop and Radical Library is officially closed.

First established in 2004 at 19th and Locust, the Infoshop was a distribution site for zines, a library for political literature and a gathering place for meetings, movie screenings and live music. The Crossroads' spot closed after just one year, but, in 2006, the shop reopened at 3109 Troost.

Now the books are all boxed up again and the radical library faces an uncertain future.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rally urges Ike Skelton to hold Don't Ask, Don't Tell hearing

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 1:47 PM


Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton might have shifted uncomfortably in his seat last night, as President Barack Obama neared the end of his State of the Union. "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," Obama said. "It's the right thing to do."

Skelton doesn't think so. At least, not according to a recent interview on C-SPAN.

In 1993, Skelton was a key player in drafting the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which asks gay and lesbian soldiers to stay closeted if they want to serve. The Missouri Democrat told "Newsmakers," earlier this month that he is "personally not in favor of changing the law." But more importantly, the chair of the House Armed Services Committee added, he won't hold a hearing on DADT.

To show their discontent, a handful of activists and government officials rallied in Barney Allis Plaza this morning, just outside a rotary club meeting where Skelton was a guest.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Angela Davis redefines the civil rights movement in UMKC keynote

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Angela Davis
  • Angela Davis

Speaking at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Friday night, Angela Davis strayed far from the official topic to zero in on her take-home message.

The speaker for the second annual Martin Luther King Keynote Address packed Swinney Recreation Center to near capacity, but Davis, a former Black Panther and professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, made the reverend a relatively minor character in her commentary. Instead, she spoke of Haitian revolutionaries, forgotten activists and the real motive behind the movement that made her an icon.

"We have a skewed historical memory," Davis said.

Yes, the Montgomery Bus Boycott elevated King to national prominence, but it was women like Jo Ann Robinson who created the movement, Davis said. When Rosa Parks was arrested, Robinson penned a flier calling for a boycott and stayed up all night mimeographing 35,000 handbills for distribution. "It was people whose names we don't know who organized that movement," Davis said of the civil rights era.

Not only do we overlook the true players, Davis suggested. We've also lost sight of Dr. King's real goal.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Animal rights activists want access to research labs at KU Med

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Now that the campaign to save the deer in Shawnee Mission Park has run its course, activists with Bite Club of KC are turning their outrage on the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Activists' sign from an October protest at KU Med
  • Activists' sign from an October protest at KU Med

Last month, PETA called attention to KU Med's track record with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates animal research. Between August 2008 and June 2009, the agency cited KU Med for more than 160 violations of federal animal protections laws. PETA blasted the institution for subjecting monkeys to painful surgeries and allowing them to suffer "extreme weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and neurological disorders that caused them to tremble constantly and lose control of their hands."

Activists from Bite Club of KC already had KU Med in their crosshairs. In October, they held a sidewalk protest outside the institution during National Primate Liberation Week. With the revelation about the USDA violations, they're protesting again. But this time, they want to get inside, too.

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