Author: digital

ACORN International’s global response to the COVID-19 Pandemic – Mumbai to British Columbia

At the outset of the now-ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, over a dozen chapters, branches, and affiliate organizations of ACORN International issued a global call for the social protection of low-income families and individuals. The collective call urged a global response and for a guarantee of social justice from every national state by cancelling rent debt, protecting renters from eviction, and guaranteeing a minimum crisis income for all families in need.

ACORN continues to call upon us to imagine forms of global social protection. In this time when the costs of the next pandemics and the climate crisis accumulate on a global scale, social protection should be thought globally as well.

Across the globe, ACORN International chapters, branches, and affiliate organizations mobilized members for mutual support, health and safety, and member defense.

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New Report – The Voter Purge Project Looks at Trends in Battleground States ahead of November General Election

The Voter Purge Project Identifies Major Issues, Key Trends in Battleground States

New Orleans, LA — On October 18, the Voter Purge Project (VPP) released its second major report identifying significant issues and key trends in battleground states prior to the November 2022 General Election. Following their 2020 report, Unnecessary Disenfranchisement, the VPP team tasked their unique database management system to compare year-over changes in voter registration data for the report The Voter Purge Project: A Look at Trends in Battleground States

As the November General Election nears the question of wrongful voter purges maintains urgency. Looking at eight battleground states, the Voter Purge Project finds that states are still quick to purge voters, the number of new undeclared voters is growing at a faster rate than new registrations with either party, growth in the number of young voters lags behind the growth in the 18-24 y.o. population, and known voter suppression efforts appear to be effective in some states. 

Since its convening, the Voter Purge Project has been analyzing changes in voter lists from nearly 30 states with an increasing understanding of how voters get removed from state voter rolls. “Our unique knowledge of the way voter files are kept and maintained by states allows a level of precision in comparing change in voter rolls over time,” says Wade Rathke. “This analysis helped identify over 60,000 newly registered ‘inactive’ voters in battleground states that are in jeopardy of being unfairly removed from the rolls.”

Given the availability of data from different states, the new VPP report highlights trends in the types of voters experiencing unnecessary disenfranchisement and the continued need for state election authorities to address issues with their voter rolls. 

The Voter Purge Project protects eligible voters against disenfranchisement by monitoring, reporting on, and organizing against wrongful voter purging.

Read the full report from the Voter Purge Project

New Documentary on the work of ACORN in India

Produced by ACORN Foundation India September 2022

Hanumanti Ramchandra Chalwadi has worked in the waste recycling sector in Dharavi, Mumbai, for over 40 years. She started out as a waste collector and separated recyclables from the city’s garbage. Later, she set up and ran her own waste sorting business for many years, which has a cumulative worth of Rs. 1 crore (0.12 million USD). A single mother, she raised her children on her own, and in this short documentary, she talks about her life and the challenges of being a woman waste entrepreneur.

ACORN and Alliance Citoyenne Win the Debate

Grenoble approves wearing the burkini in public swimming pools

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Reforestation in Choloma, Honduras

En la zona de los Laures Choloma Cortes Las imagenes se refieren a la zona de los Laureles en Choloma.. donde Ellos tienen una salida de agua natural que consumen para todo uso…Que deberia estar protegida con arboles para conservarla se esta haciendo estudios de poblacion para poder extender y llevar tuberias hasta sus casas pero aun no se ha hecho. Esta zona tiene un aproximado de 43 kilometros para un pulmon de aire natural en la  que pueden sembrar aguacates, naranjas, limones, guayabas, lichas, etc., y puede la comunidad crear un pequeño comercio de esos frutos. Y en la zona del pozo de agua unos 15 kilometros aproximadamente.

The images refer to the area of Los Laureles in Choloma where there is a natural water outlet that they consume for all uses…which should be protected with trees to conserve it, population studies are being carried out to be able to extend and bring pipes to their houses but it has not yet been done. This zone has approximately 43 kilometers for a lung of natural air in which they can plant avocados, oranges, lemons, guavas, lychas, etc., and the community can create a small trade in these fruits. And in the area of the water well about 15 kilometers approximately.

ACORN Leeds updates

In Leeds, ACORN welcomed the newest local group, with the launch of ACORN Armley local group.

Also in Leeds, there were many trainings, stalls, and door knocking sessions through April 2022. Additionally, members spoke at a Social Housing Action Campaign rally, Communication Workers Union conference, and National Education Union conference.

Victorious Mobilization of Souscam Seasonal Workers

Faced with the lack of protective equipment, agricultural workers go on strike again

On April 8, 2022, 300 SOSUCAM planters dropped their tools and stopped work at the Mbandjock plantation to claim PPE. Two days later, 700 workers from the Nkoteng plantation went on strike. Management immediately gives in to their demands under pressure.

In the end, around 1,200 planters received gloves, coats, boots and leggings!

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IN THE NEWS: Victory of the Hijabeuses

The New York Times

April 18, 2022

The Female Soccer Players Challenging France’s Hijab Ban By Constant Méheut

Photographs by Monique Jaques

ACORN New Brunswick wins Rent Cap, Eviction Protections

NB Tenants win year-long rent cap and eviction protection

The announcement of temporary 3.8% rent cap and eviction protections for New Brunswick tenants is a result of relentless campaigning by NB ACORN and our allies to end the NB Housing Crisis.  

Through organizing tenant power and taking action, NB ACORN has succeeded in forcing the Conservative government to provide a break for tenants from massive rent hikes and a constant fear of losing their home.  

Due to ACORN’s efforts, New Brunswick tenants will not receive massive rent increases they cannot afford for at least a year.  The new eviction protections mean that it will be far less common for tenants to be forced from their homes for no reason other than the landlord wants them out. 

While the rent cap is temporary, and the eviction protections do not appear to be as strong as they should be, both are certainly better than having no protections at all.

Moving forward ACORN will do what it always has done: continue to build tenant power and fight for tenant law reform in NB. Tenants need affordable and healthy housing. Tenants need to be secure in their housing. ACORN will not stop organizing tenant power and fighting for housing justice until we achieve those goals.

Historic Cutters Strike in SOSUCAM Sugar Cane Plantations

FARM WORKERS BLOCK WORK IN PLANTATIONS AND FACTORIES FOR TWO WEEKS TO PROTEST AGAINST UNWORTHY WORKING CONDITIONS

On February 23, 2022, nearly 2,000 agricultural laborers (cutters) from the Société sucrière du Cameroun (SOSUCAM) went on strike in Nkoteng to protest against the deterioration of their already precarious working conditions. The police and gendarmerie forces immediately came to disperse the crowd, using tear gas canisters. Shots were also fired and two workers were injured, in the forearm and in the thigh.  After three days on strike, the agricultural laborers at the Mbandjock plantation joined the strike in the face of management’s refusal to dialogue, paralyzing work in all the plantations and factories. From 26 February to 8 March, nearly 8,000 people were suspended from work by the strike.[1]

The strike was triggered by requests for explanations issued the day before to 180 workers by their supervisors. These workers had used their right to refuse a task, deemed too difficult. The sanction imposed, while the supervisor is supposed to adjust the tasks to the density of canes to cut, was the last straw. Indeed, the conditions of agricultural laborers are much less advantageous than those of permanent workers (lower salary scale, lower premiums, no health coverage, etc.), and their status is very precarious (seasonal contracts), even though the work is technical and physical. An investigation report, attesting to the difficult conditions of workers at Sosucam, a subsidiary of the French group Castel, has just been published. [2]

Despite a large-scale strike, management did not respond to the workers’ demands: on 24 February, a press release from Sosucam announced discussions with staff representatives and stated that measures would be taken, without specifying their content, and urged the workers to return to work. The workers remained united and the strike gained momentum. New promises were made by management representatives in the following days, but the general manager remained silent and absent. The strikers refused to return to work. They demanded in particular: a significant salary increase (with a base salary of 250,000 CFA francs – €380), step increases with seniority, an increase in the performance bonus, and a reduction in task objectives.

On 1 March, Sosucam management issued a press release announcing resolutions taken in consultation with union representatives (CSAC, CSTC, USLC, CSIC, CTUC). However, no representatives of the seasonal workers, who represent nearly 90% of the workers, and 100% of the agricultural laborers, are present. The strikers, meeting every day in assemblies gathering several hundred workers, demanded a public meeting with the General Manager. He agreed and finally met with the strikers at the municipal stadium on March 3 but declared that “on issues related to wage increases and the harmonization of performance bonuses, [he] could not take a decision. The strikers refuse. “What really matters is fixed pay. The cutting bonuses, for example, are issued arbitrarily by the supervisors, we get between 1000 and 3000f for that only at the end of the month”, testifies one of the leaders of the strike. So The strike has been renewed.

On March 6, a new official statement from management was issued, announcing in particular:

  • The cancellation of the 180 requests for explanations issued to agricultural laborers
  • The improvement of the reception of workers in the medical centers
  • The suspension of the new controversial cutting technique among agricultural laborers and the transparency (posting) of tasks and objectives
  • The increase of the cutting premium from 175fcfa to 250fcfa
  • The introduction of an end-of-campaign bonus of 15,000 CFA francs for all employees who have worked throughout the campaign
  • The recruitment of a social mediator by the labor delegate among the agricultural laborers.

Despite measures deemed insufficient by striking workers, under pressure from traditional chiefs called upon by management, and with police and gendarmerie commando teams patrolling alongside Sosucam agents with megaphones in the neighborhoods, workers gradually returned to work on March 7 and 8. On March 9, the company was operating normally again.

The mobilization and tenacity of the agricultural laborers made it possible to obtain concrete progress, but they decided to organize themselves solidly in order to significantly improve their working conditions, and that their demands could be carried by legitimate and democratically elected representatives, thanks to the creation of a union of seasonal workers of Sosucam.


[1] The injured workers were taken to hospital in Yaoundé and the costs covered by Sosucam

[2] Castel: to the health of Africa – ReAct Transnational, February 2022 – https://www.projet-react.org/fr/elementor-10135/


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