Category Archive : Updates from the Field

ACORN Farm News

On the ACORN Farm
Nearly 50 Xavier pre-medical students descended on The ACORN Farm equipped with shovels, energy and good will towards the mission of The ACORN FARM.  Master Gardener R.C. Brock, a long-time ACV ACORN member greeted with them with an arm-long list of farm jobs, in the favorable autumn weather. 

As the group planted greens and squash, weeded, dug out fence lines, mowed the grassy areas, pruned trees, harvested squash, and cleared away nature’s debris, the day fell away to good cheer and joy as it came to a finish.
Three of the students, including two young women had mastered the chain saw and removed a dead tree.  

Please LIKE The ACORN Farm on Facebook.  Come volunteer or have a picnic.  

Actions in Cameroon

In Douala, Cameroon, ACORN International members staged an action to push the electricity company Eneo to negotiate and solve issues of dangerous infrastructures and overcharging in bills. Members blocked the entrance to Eneo headquarters, using an empty chair to symbolize the removal of their interlocutor, and the communication interruptions.

Local 100: OSHA Actions

In September, United Labor Unions Local 100 leaders and members in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas launched a campaign to pressure employers to create and enact health safety plans in accordance with OSHA regulations. Many of our union members shared that they had no personal protective equipment provided by their employer and no guidelines around workplace safety – even while working with patients or students and unable to socially distance on the job.

On Thursday, September 10, workers went to management offices in-person to demand copies of their worker safety plans, after email requests for these plans the week before mostly went un-answered. Most sites were unresponsive or did not have the plans. The week after, union leaders went to the OSHA offices in person to submit formal complaints about the lack of plans. We continue to follow up on the complaints and pressure workplaces to put plans and resources in places to protect their workers during this pandemic.

Voter Purge Project

On October 1, the Voter Purge Project released “Unnecessary Disenfranchisement: Voter Purges Across the Country.” The report details our work to monitor, report on, and organize against wrongful voter purging.

Read the full report for background on the project, our methods, and what we are doing to ensure eligible voters are informed of their voter status as November’s elections draw near.

Union Busting in France: Alliance Citoyenne Report

In 2018, the anti-union repressive tactics of the Gennevilliers Mayor and elected officials finally defeated the ACORN citizens’ alliance in that city. After months of deprivation of communal public rooms, banishment, intimidation of individuals, discrimination in accessing City services public defamation, SLAPP lawsuits, an organizer went into depression and the leaders decided to put the organization on hold. Along with discourses on local democracy and citizen participation, these practices show the reality of local power and its tendency to repress dissident voices.

Following this defeat, Alliance Citoyenne (ACORN France) initiated an observatory of repression of community associations. The goal is to better understand the phenomenon and to show the reality of union busting tactics by public authorities, similar to union busting in the companies. The research was carried out by Alinsky Institute, the ACORN France research and training center, and chaired by researcher Julien Talpin and a team of nationally known social sciences researchers.

Read the full English summary of the report here.

Nonprofit Hospitals Accountability Project Releases Report

After extensive research into nonprofit hospitals the Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, the Nonprofit Accountability Project has released our findings and recommendations in a paper, “Charity for Whom?

Our research indicates that the non-profit tax exemption system enables hospitals to be non-profit in name only, thereby reaping the benefits of tax exemption without sharing these gains with low income families. We argue this is due to the vagueness of relevant laws and leniency of the IRS. 

This paper is the product of cooperation between Local 100 United Labor Unions, the Labor Neighbor Research & Training Center (LNRTC), and ACORN International, plus our tireless team of volunteers.

The post-pandemic future: Affordable Internet will become a universal human right

Alejandra Ruiz Vargas, national leadership representative for ACORN Canada, says that internet will become a universal human right in a post-pandemic world.

“People need connectivity for practical reasons, like finding jobs, getting government benefits and doing homework, as well as accessing entertainment and keeping in touch with loved ones,” she writes. “In 2016, the United Nations declared Internet access a human right, but even in Canada, around half of low-income families don’t have access to high-speed Internet at home. Of course, during Covid, this crisis only got worse.”

Read the full article here.

ACORN UK No Evictions! Day of Action

On August 22, 2020, ACORN chapters across the United Kingdom held a No Evictions! Day of Action.

From ACORN UK:

Hundreds of ACORN members took action in 17 towns & cities across England & Wales saying no to rent debt, eviction & homelessness during the pandemic.

Members held socially distanced actions outside of courts where eviction proceedings will be heard, visited the offices of landlords and letting agents to deliver ‘notices of eviction resistance’ to let them know that we won’t stand for immoral COVID evictions, and held outdoor Community Protection Training sessions! ACORN demands that the 1 month eviction ban extension announced last week is followed by serious legislation to protect renters from homelessness and rent debt in the fall out of COVID-19.

We need rent debt accrued as a result of COVID wiped and an immediate end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.Over the last couple of months hundreds of people have attended Community Protection Training sessions meaning whenever evictions restart, ACORN members will be ready to resist them.

Watch the full video >>

Supporting Tenants of Wiseview Montreal

ACORN Quebec was there! In front of the media to defend the tenants of Jean Brillon street tenants against their outbreak problems. Cockroaches, mice, bed bugs. It’s time for this to stop! Today’s action against the company Wiseview Montreal which does nothing against its infected housing has made some noise. Support the movement.

How Asia’s biggest slum contained the coronavirus

Soutik Biswas June 23rd, 2020 from BBC News

In one of the world’s most congested shanty towns, social distancing is not a luxury people can afford. And density is a friend of the coronavirus.

Imagine more than 500,000 people spread over 2.5 grubby sq km, less than a square mile. That’s a population larger than Manchester living in an area smaller than Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

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