That Labor Day Spirit

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This Monday was a Labor Day holiday, to have off and perhaps reflect on the one thing people spend much of their lives on…laboring.

Labor Day is the last extended weekend for about the next two months. I think the privilege depends on how good your job is, for giving that time off (and paid) or gaining a higher wage if that day must be worked. For others, the struggle continues, as part of a long tradition of the fight to be treated humanely, with dignity, and have rights against unfair treatment. Otherwise, it’s a day we honor the working human.

But here in downtown Seattle and other cities, this becomes the day to strike and bring attention to concerns among the employees of the Marriott hotel chain. They circle outside some popular hotel entrances, making themselves visible and heard with a message, “One Job Should be Enough.”

From what I gathered from recent news, a recent development in contract negotiations for low-tier workers (housekeepers, workers, receptionists, bellhops, etc.) was not favorable among the over 8,000 involved, with wage increases not benefiting from reported profits, and forced reductions in hours for many among them.

On a small corner of 5th and Stewart for some hours, the Westin hotel (part of the Marriott chain), passing pedestrians can hear the raised voices of the hotel strikers. Drivers in that direction had to reroute, as a line protesters blocked the street, with law enforcement officials allowing that time.

The organized effort will hopefully turn the work negotiations in the favor for the striking workers, as they are a shining example of many on the bottom of the modern corporate structure, often ignored and worn down after giving so much to help those on the top to succeed and live out the best of there lives.

The further on positive direction our labor movements go, I think the more Labor Day will be a better day to celebrate, with less struggle.

March for our Lives 2018

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Yesterday on March 24th, millions took to the streets in the first “March for our Lives” national event. This one, very different from recent marches from the last two years, as the focus this time was mostly on gun policy change, stricter background checks, banning ARs, resistance to the NRA lobbying campaign and propaganda, safer schools, and many related issues. The event, led by survivors of the Parkland, Florida high school mass shooting with other young prolific speakers on stage in Washington D.C.

The Seattle city took part with its own impressive numbers on this beautiful sunny day. I joined among them, in support of sensible changes and sane thinking to the troubling counterpoint of arming more civilians and looser restrictions.  Seeing the many passionate marching people wanting a safer future with no mass shootings fill me with great hope for these tough times, as I expect them to heighten the debate on the complexities of the issue, then drive toward improvements on current gun policy.

Here are some picture snaps of the day from me…

– Orion T

A Present Day for Martin Luther King Jr.

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“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…
This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Today is the 32nd third Monday of January, known as Martin Luther King Day, in celebration of the greatest civil rights activist leader of our lifetimes. We spend it as a day off for many, and in remembrance of King’s message and strive for justice, liberty, and peace for all.

Here in Seattle, there was a march and a rally held, of which I sadly missed. But the message remained on signs and shirts later on in the day. The current vibe focused on the road ahead toward the full accomplishment of Dr. King’s dream, with sentiments on social movements on civil rights for immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ persons, and others marginalized by oppressive systems.

A general theme can be seen throughout brought on by organizers to “Take a Knee for Justice” referring to the prayer actions of Martin Luther King and company during his famous march in Selma, Alabama, then recently brought back by modern civil rights activist/ NFL star Colin Kaepernick and company, overall in solidarity for wrongs in the system against people of color. Signs throughout are a reminder, there is still much to do, and more unity needed to achieve a nation where persons will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

– Orion T

 

Earth Day, March for Science in Seattle

This Earth Day on April 22nd in 2017, hundreds of thousands of persons (at least) worldwide participated in the first March for Science. I was part of that, for.

I was part of this, for which I am proud. My stake is the desire for cleaner air and water, renewable clean energy, wildlife and nature conservation, end to reliance on oil, more funding in public education and access to educational public resources, a stronger pull with the science community in politics than corporate lobbyists, more critical thinking in public policy towards the cause/effect on environment and those living in affected areas, climate change monitoring and reports, an overall emphasis towards the betterment of humanity through science and the continued pursuit of knowledge from our world leaders. Also, I feel troubled with the current Commander in Chief’s statements and actions in Congress on the many science-related issues that concern me.

For Seattle, there was rain and a gloomy sky, for which was nothing yet notable for the chill atmosphere provided. Many showed up at Cal Anderson Park in the Capitol Hill district, where the Science March began. The journey continued through the Downtown area, through Belltown, and by the Space Needle in the Seattle Center. Such was a much shorter march, compared to the record-breaking Woman’s March back in January; yet notable and attention-getting in current headlines.

Here below, are some unedited pictures from the March of Science in Seattle, giving a small portion of the overall grandness, for which I hope will have lasting effects in the years to come for our ever troubled planet.


– Orion T

Among the many, at The Women’s March on Seattle…

 

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Yesterday, nearly 4,000,000 people stood up and marched in solidarity for the collective resistance and concerns of the recent massive change within the current US federal government political landscape. Many affected and off-put by what will likely lead towards an anti-progressive agenda, are women. Also, our newly sworn-in 45th U.S President, Donald Trump, noted for multiple offensive remarks towards women, in general and of specific targets.

So, to “send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” was originally for the prime Women’s March on Washington, then setting the template for various other marches of a similar name, different locations.

I, living in the Pacific Northwest, attended the Women’s March on Seattle (also known as the Womxn’s March on Seattle, for reasons I remain unclear about on LGBTQ matters). From Judkins Park, through the International District and Downtown, ending at the Space Needle, over 150,000 persons took part in that very dense slow three-mile stretch.

And within, were many other concerns on issues hard-pressed by activists; all affected by developments in the new Trump administration and GOP dominance in other government branches. Such included but not limited to; climate change, universal health care, LGBTQ rights, foreign policy, war rhetoric, immigration policy, religious exclusion, net neutrality, press freedom, environmental protections, and much more. Also raising concern, are the shaming attitudes of Trump towards specific targets, leading to further discourse. Many organizations and large groups feel threatened, of the new government power and its formal reality show/entertainment celebrity turned leader of the free world still known as Donald Trump.

So forth, comes the best way in dealing with a system no longer in favor of the collective American people. Such are the protests, where ones can freely gather and express their grievances in a wildly visual display. For the Women’s Marches are many adorned pink hats, in light of Trump’s offensive remarks to “grab them by the pussy.”  Notable are the many Leia Organa signs, perhaps inspired by Carrie Fisher’s recent passing who portrayed the Rebel Princess of the Star Wars. I noticed many signs reminding of us real-life icons; including Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Davis, Frida Kahlo, Angela Davis. Also, in plenty sight were the three colorful prints of women representation, by Shepard Fairey (whose first well-known work was the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster). And overall, lots of feline imagery and wordplay referring to a particular popular euphemism.

That being said, I enjoyed my good walk for nearly the entire way (from Judkins Park to the Westlake Park area, then needing a long rest at home). Much of me was in exhaustion from the previous night walk, where I ended up with a little pepper spray on my lips and eye. That story, I leave for another article.

Overall, a worthwhile time for the history books, of which I am proud of and cheering towards all who participated, especially the friends I know who traveled as far as Washington DC to take part in this historic, and record-breaking event. I also, feel much hope for these worrisome times, that it will be the people and not our government, that will decide our future.

Below, are my personal pictures shared of the Seattle Women’s March. Enjoy and be inspired!

– Orion T

Pictures and notes by Traveling Orion, (Orion Tippens). For external and public use, please contact and obtain permission first.

Picture of Today 9/24/2016, Running Wild in the Concrete Jungle…

Here is a small part of the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions. 

Not too far away for the local Seattle portion, was also a crowd gathering and a mini parade of activists and musicians. Their goal was clear, to prevent the extinction of large animals, especially elephants, rhinos and lions for their furs, horns, and whatever else humans could live without. Such the threat to wildlife still happens through the the world today, where these animals are endangered and vulnerable to extinction. 

– Orion T