South Side Weekly: On the Ground A national activist group’s local chapter aspires to connect new and old organizers

When we fight, we win. So, let’s go and fight!” said Doug Bishop, opening an October meeting of Indivisible South Side at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago. He was followed by a presentation by Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) on the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) for the Obama Presidential Center, reports from Indivisible’s working groups, and pitches by four candidates running for office: Rich Eichols, for U.S. Congress in the 8th district of Michigan; Joshua Grey, for Cook County Commissioner in the 3rd District; Fritz Kaegi, for Cook County Assessor; and Sharon Fairley, for Illinois Attorney General.

As candidates spoke about their connections to the Hyde Park community and their plans for defending progressive values once elected, strains of Nutcracker music emanating from a dance rehearsal elsewhere in the church filtered into the room, drowning out some of the speakers’ remarks. More than one candidate ventured over to the rehearsal to try their hand at negotiating with the dance group to turn the music down, a fitting display for those seeking to work with community members and leaders to compromise on much higher-stakes issues. “This is the price of activism, I guess,” said Bishop, joking about the space’s double-booking.

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Jason Rieger
Gizmodo: Even a Novice Hacker Could Breach the Network Hosting Kris Kobach's Bogus Voter Fraud Program

A program overseen by the head of President Trump’s so-called “election integrity” commission—which is now largely a tool for driving conspiracy theories about “massive voter fraud” in the United States—is placing the personal data of millions of American voters at risk, according to internal records and security experts who examined the program at Gizmodo’s request.

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Jason Rieger
ProPublica: PROPUBLICA: THE VOTER FRAUD COMMISSION WANTS YOUR DATA — BUT EXPERTS SAY THEY CAN’T KEEP IT SAFE

NEWLY REVEALED RECORDS SHOW SLOPPY PRACTICES THAT COULD PUT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE’S INFORMATION AT RISK.

The voter-fraud-checking program championed by the head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity suffers from data security flaws that could imperil the safety of millions of peoples’ records, according to experts.

Indivisible Chicago, a progressive advocacy group in Illinois, filed a public-records request with Illinois and Florida for information on the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program...

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Jason Rieger
Hyde Park Herald: CBA Coalition confronts Ald. Hairston at 5th Ward meeting

Tensions came to a head Tuesday night, as residents in communities surrounding the future Barack Obama Presidential Center (OPC) asked Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) to back them in their quest for a community benefits agreement (CBA) for the OPC in Jackson Park.

“I would like to ask if you are planning on talking about the Obama Center,” said Doug Bishop, a Hyde Park resident, to Hairston. “Are you planning to talk about the community benefits agreement? We would very much like to ask you to reconsider your opinions on this subject.”

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Jason Rieger
Suntimes: Hate graffiti met with love in Lincoln Square

After a Lincoln Square couple woke up last week to find white nationalist graffiti on their sidewalk and black spray paint blotting out a yard sign calling for human rights and love, an upset neighbor had an idea of how the community should respond.

The concept was simple: a mass marketing campaign of love.

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Jason Rieger
Chicagoist: 'Handmaid's Tale'-Dressed Protesters Will Urge Rauner To Pass Abortion Protection

"More than a dozen women dressed in red-robes and white-bonnets, plus their supporters, will gather at the Thompson Center on Thursday afternoon to rally in support of reproductive rights, The Handmaid's Tale-style. 

Protesters around the country have been drawing inspiration from Margaret Atwood's acclaimed novel—and its recent Hulu television adaptation—about an authoritarian near-future in which women are viciously subjugated and robbed of personal agency.

The demonstration in Chicago channels the dystopian classic, and its iconic costume scheme, to bring a potent visual punctuation as protesters urge Gov. Bruce Rauner to pass the women's-health bill HB40.

The rally will feature a coalition of women from the activist group Indivisible, in partnership with Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations."

Photo: Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth

Full article here. 

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
NPR: Americans Don't Want Senate's Health Care Plan, But It's Unclear What They Do Want

"Americans really, really don't like the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Only 17 percent of U.S. adults approve of the health care bill, according to a recent NPR/Marist/PBS NewsHour poll. In fact, a majority of Americans now approve of the ACA, also known as Obamacare — but just nine months ago, that wasn't true.

So what do they want?

Maybe they want single-payer health care — a slight majority of Americans now say they would like that kind of system, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But then, they don't like it once they hear about the trade-offs. So maybe they simply want Obamacare to go further — that's what a plurality of respondents told NPR. Or to be more specific, they favor most Obamacare provisions...but not the individual mandate (which is needed to make the ACA work). Or they want to keep the Affordable Care Act but scrap Obamacare (or vice versa)."

Full article here.

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
News One Now: Roland Martin Interviews Clare Duggan of Indivisible 123Go [VIDEO]

"Critics are going after Republicans over the Senate Health Care bill despite the bill being pulled from the schedule this week. Many say the Senate GOP bill is dead, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning to revise the health care bill when the Senate returns after the July 4th recess.

Protesters like Clare Duggan of Indivisible 123Go say they are ready for a fight and they are not waiting until after the recess. They have already started rallying against the Senate Republican health care bill."

Full article here. 

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
WGN TV: Group protests health care bill proposal in downtown Chicago [VIDEO] 

"Republicans and Democrats are got their first look today at the GOP Senate leadership's plan to overhaul Obamacare. It will end the medicaid expansion under Obamacare and remove the mandate requiring all Americans to have health insurance or face a penalty. The Senate plan would also roll back many of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes on businesses and wealthier Americans. A group called Indivisible Chicago held a protest at Federal Plaza downtown this afternoon."

Full article here.

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
Chicago Reporter: Illinois Republicans try to lay low on repealing Obamacare

"While a handful of U.S. senators were huddling in secret this week in Washington to draft legislation repealing Obamacare, grassroots activists across the Chicago region and Illinois were working hard to bring as much public attention – and public outrage – to the issue as possible.

“They have been dodging us, avoiding town halls, avoiding constituent meetings,” said Clare Duggan of Indivisible Chicago.  “So we’ve opened up the discussion.”"

Full article here. 

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
DNA Info: Downtown Protest to Slam Trump for Pulling out of Paris Climate Accord

"Environmental activists upset at President Donald Trump's exit from the Paris climate accord will protest the controversial withdrawal Friday afternoon. 

Activist groups including the Sierra Club and Indivisible Chicago will lead the march beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The march will start at Michigan and Wacker drives and proceed to the James R. Thompson Center, where protesters will publicly call on Gov. Bruce Rauner to implement a plan to lower Illinois' carbon emissions."

Full article here.

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
People's World: Trump Resistance Movement Takes Aim at McDonald's Today

"On the heels of mass demonstrations against President Trump’s policies that have drawn hundreds of thousands of Americans into the streets, leaders of the Trump resistance movement will converge in Chicago May 23 with thousands of workers in the Fight for $15 for a “March on McDonald’s” that is expected to be the biggest-ever protest to hit the fast-food giant.

Organizations leading the March on McDonald’s include: Fight for $15, the Women’s March, MoveOn.org, Movement for Black Lives, Our Revolution, Next Gen, Color of Change, Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Repairers of the Breach, Indivisible Chicago, Women’s March-Chicago, Center for Community Change, 350.org and Patriotic Millionaires."

Full article here.

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
Chicago Reader: Protest Paul Ryan by Drinking Beer

"We explained to [the bar owner] that Constellation Brands are fueling the Ryan machine and that we don't support them and want to get at them through signature brands. He said they agreed with us, but they have beer and a contract," says Indivisible Chicago organizer Jason Reiger.  

And so a compromise was reached: Protesters would drink Big Onion's supply of Ballast Point, and Big Onion would give the proceeds to Social Works. And Big Onion agreed not to restock Ballast Point in the future, Taylor says."

Full article here.

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
Chicago Tribune: Activists Create Websites to Track Anti-Trump Events in Chicago

"Indivisible Chicago was founded nearly a month after Trump was elected president as a grass-roots organization committed to resisting the new administration's agenda. The group's website features a daily list of events.

Founder Jason Rieger said the group models its efforts after the Indivisible Guide, an online manual drafted by former Democratic staffers to help people appeal to elected officials and create change in their communities."

Full article here.

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
In These Times: Indivisible - The Left Group Shaking up Congress From the Grassroots

"Can progressives have their own Tea Party? Many have floated the idea over the last several years, hoping to recreate the electoral success of that movement. But an upstart new organization called Indivisible is pulling another lesson from insurgent Republicans: how to obstruct a president’s agenda and change the debate in Congress from the grassroots up—starting with a 24-page Google Doc."

Full article here.

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox
WTTW Chicago Tonight: Left Wing "Tea Party" Growing in Chicago [VIDEO]

"It's being dubbed the tea party of the left. A new movement has bubbled up in Chicago and around the nation in response to the election of Donald Trump. It has resulted in a record volume of phone calls to Congress, and heavy pressure on local elected officials. The movement is called Indivisible. The Chicago chapter is, according to organizers, one of 5,000 that have sprung up around the country since the election of Trump."

Full article here.

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Newsroom 1Josh B. Fox