This article titled “The Resistance Now: Senate Republicans feel force of protest … but pass tax bill anyway” was written by Adam Gabbatt, for theguardian.com on Saturday 2nd December 2017 20.30 Asia/Kolkata
Tax bill passes Senate … but only after activists make their voices heard
Senate Republicans finally managed to pass some legislation on Friday night, in the form of their much-criticized tax bill … but only after a remarkable effort from activists to thwart the bill.
In Arizona activists had protested through Thursday night outside John McCain’s office, while people did the same outside Susan Collins’ office in Bangor, Maine. Both had been seen as potential no votes before committing to the bill this week.
Even on Friday morning, progressive group Indivisible had been urging activists to spend the day making calls to senators, providing phone numbers and suggested scripts to urge elected officials to vote against the legislation.
It wasn’t just activists who launched desperate efforts. The DNC urged supporters to make calls, while the editorial board of the New York Times took over the @nytopinion Twitter feed on Wednesday “to urge the Senate to reject a tax bill that hurts the middle class & the nation’s fiscal health”.
On Monday thousands of activists across the country had launched sit-ins at senators’ offices. In the end all the effort wasn’t enough. But there will be more battles to come.
Verizon focus of last ditch net neutrality protest
Hundreds of protests are planned outside Verizon stores on Thursday 7 December, to demonstrate against the upcoming Federal Communications Commission vote on net neutrality.
Activists say they have chosen to target Verizon as the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, is a former lawyer for Verizon. The company has lobbied for current regulations – designed to protect an open internet – to be overturned.
The FCC is due to vote on defanging those regulations on 14 December – potentially allowing internet service providers like Verizon to charge for different levels of web access.
“We’ll demand that our members of Congress take action to stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from killing net neutrality,” said a message on the groups’ Verizon Protests website, which has a tool for people to find their nearest protests.
Broken musical instruments for children
Grammy award-winning composer David Lang is launching his Symphony for a Broken Orchestra in Philadelphia this weekend – a novel attempt to draw attention to the more than $1.2m that has been slashed from the city’s musical instrument repair fund.
Lang – who won a Grammy in 2010 for his composition The Little Match Girl Passion and the Pulitzer prize for music in 2008 – sourced 1,500 broken musical instruments the School District of Philadelphia for the performance.
“If there are 1,500 broken musical instruments, that’s 1,500 children who should be playing these instruments and whose lives could be changed,” said Lang. “There is something heartbreaking about it.”
Lang hopes people will donate to repair instruments through the Symphony for a Broken Orchestra website – those instruments will then be put “back into the hands of a child”.
• “I’m a multimillionaire so Trump’s tax plan is great for me,” writes Morris Pearl for Time. “It’s a disaster for everyone else.” Pearl is chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, a group of wealthy people who believe millionaires, billionaires and corporations should be taxed more. The idea that the Senate tax plan “is going to help anyone beside the ultra-rich is ludicrous”, Pearl says.
• More than 20,000 people have signed a petition urging the justice department to investigate “claims of sexual assault against Donald J Trump”. “We request that the Justice Department appoint a special counsel to open an investigation into the years of accusations against Donald Trump,” wrote Susan O’Connor, who started the petition. More than 20 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct – he has denied all the allegations. The Guardian has compiled a list of all the accusations against the president. Trump denies any wrongdoing.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010