Tag: Rally

Society Notebook: Recovery Month rally goes to the movies

After seven years of annual Recovery Month rallies at Deering Oaks park, Portland Recovery Community Center moved this year’s celebration of sobriety to the big screen at Saco Drive-In, followed by a screening of the 1985 treasure-hunting classic “The Goonies.”

“We were trying to see how we can safely gather and remember that we’re all connected, even if it is from the safety of our cars,” said Executive Director Leslie Clark. “We celebrate being free from addiction. And what can be more fun for the family than ‘The Goonies?’ ”

More than 130 carloads pre-registered for the free event, including vanloads of residents from some Portland-area sober homes, for a 45-minute program followed by the feature film.

“I’m so glad we can celebrate this year,” said Liz Holder, a peer support specialist. “Look at how happy people are to see each other after so many months.”

The program was streamed on Facebook, too, and included musical performances by Myles Bullen, the Worst and Lake Over Fire; instructions on how to make an origami fish for a community art project; and stretch breaks by Sea Change Yoga.

During the Recovery Countdown, adapted for the drive-in, carloads honked their horns and flashed their lights as the livestream counted down from decades of sobriety all the way to 1 day.

“I’m so Zoom’ed out, so this is like a meeting for me and sort of in person,” said Nancy Wolach of Old Orchard Beach.

“This is seeing a movie in comfort,” said Paul Gross of Portland, cozied up in the back of pickup with Tatia Tyler of Westbrook.

“I just pulled these cushions off my couch,” she said.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Indonesia students, workers rally against new labor law

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Thousands of enraged students and workers staged rallies across Indonesia on Thursday in opposition to a new law they say will cripple labor rights and harm the environment.

The Job Creation Law approved by Parliament on Monday is expected to substantially change Indonesia’s labor system and natural resources management. It amended 79 previous laws and was intended to improve bureaucratic efficiency as part of efforts by President Joko Widodo’s administration to attract more investment to the country.

The demonstrators say the law will hurt workers by reducing severance pay, removing restrictions on manual labor by foreign workers, increasing the use of outsourcing, and converting monthly wages to hourly.

Police in the capital, Jakarta, prevented labor groups from holding a mass rally in front of Parliament, and they have held at least 200 high school students who were attempted to reach the parliament compound for protests, Jakarta police said Yusri Yunus said Thursday.

“They have been provoked by invitation on social media to create a riot in Jakarta,” Yunus said.

However, thousands of university students and workers have committed to take part in mass rallies in front of the Parliament building and the presidential palace on Thursday, leading authorities to block streets leading to both compounds in downtown Jakarta.

Similar rallies were also held in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, where clashes between rock-throwing students and riot police broke out since Tuesday when police tried to disperse the protesters by firing tear gas and water cannons.

Protests also occurred in other Indonesian cities on Thursday, including in Yogyakarta, Medan, Palembang and Makassar.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, is eagerly courting foreign investors as key drivers of economic growth in a nation where nearly half the population of 270 million are younger than 30.

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Essential workers rally for state law mandating workplace safety

A bodega

The law’s standards would include providing workers with personal protective equipment, implementing testing protocols, supplying hand sanitizer, following social distancing, and disinfecting areas in the workplace. | Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Essential workers, union leaders and elected officials are pushing for legislation that would mandate workplace safety standards for Covid-19 and establish industry-specific worker committees to determine what those standards will be.

Though not yet introduced, the NY HERO Act, sponsored by Assemblywoman Karines Reyes, and State Sen. Michael Gianaris, would include fines for businesses that rack up violations and encourage workers to monitor and report them, along with guarantees the workers would be protected from retaliation.


“We’re still working on the benchmarks and the language,” Reyes said during a rally in front of Northwell Health’s Greenwich Village location Wednesday. She highlighted the importance of worker input into what the bill’s protocols will entail.

“We believe worker committees are the most important concept here,” Reyes said.

Fines, which have not yet been set, would function as additional revenue for the Department of Labor. The standards include providing workers with personal protective equipment, implementing testing protocols, supplying hand sanitizer, following social distancing, and disinfecting areas in the workplace.

UPS worker Lennox James said the company was not proactive enough in supplying worker protections back in April, more than a month into the pandemic. He said his union, Teamsters Local 804, pushed his employers to do so and directed them to masks available at wholesale prices.

“They did not do their due diligence until the heart of this pandemic,” James said, noting that adequate protections have since been maintained for himself and his colleagues.

Others had to take time off because of a lack of protections that exacerbated fears of contracting Covid-19.

“I had to leave my job for one month because I didn’t have access to [personal protective] equipment,” said Maria Parra, a restaurant worker, in Spanish.

Beena Martinez, a member of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union and trainer for the Retail Action Project, lost her mother, a retired nurse who spent most of her career at Flushing Hospital, to Covid-19 this May after a two week battle with the virus.

Martinez, who moved to New York from India in 1991 and has been in the retail industry for more than 20 years, noted additional concern for her brother, who works in a nursing home.

“It was scary [for them] but they had to take care of patients,” said United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 2013 union field director Francine Streich, carrying a folder stuffed with letters from union members relaying their on-the-job experiences. Streich works with many immigrant workers on Long Island, including those in the home care field.

“We don’t depend on drivers of their cars to keep to a certain speed; we have rules and regulations. Without enforceable standards, many people would die on the highway. That’s what happened to essential workers during the last pandemic,” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, president of the New York State

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Indonesia’s Labor Law Sees Stocks Rally as Workers Protest

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia’s new law, aimed to simplify labor and investment rules, has been met with a rally in local markets and concern from global investors as well as labor unions.

a group of people walking down the street: Workers transport carts loaded with boxes at Tanah Abang market in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Indonesia is scheduled to announce its second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Aug. 5.

© Bloomberg
Workers transport carts loaded with boxes at Tanah Abang market in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Indonesia is scheduled to announce its second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Aug. 5.

Parliament agreed to pass the omnibus bill on jobs creation in a plenary session Monday, sending the rupiah and stocks to gain as much as 1.3% the next day. The vote was brought forward from Oct. 8, preempting a three-day strike by about 2 million workers who sought to reject it. The strike will still happen from Tuesday.


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Indonesian Workers Rally Against New Job Bill, Massive Layoffs

The law, which revises more than 70 existing regulations, has aroused controversy since President Joko Widodo announced it last year. While it cuts red tape and simplifies overlapping rules, labor unions and activists said the revisions would erode workers’ rights and environmental protection.

Global investors with $4.1 trillion of combined assets under management have also warned that the law could have a negative impact on deforestation and climate change.

Environmental Protection

“Economic development and protection of the environment need not be mutually exclusive,” the investors wrote in an open letter, while requesting a video call with the government to discuss the matter.

The bill’s passage could help Jokowi shore up an economy that’s set to slip into another contraction in the third quarter as the continued spread of the coronavirus damped household spending and investments. The government has sought to speed up state spending, while warning that growth can’t come from the public sector alone.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the law as it’s able to answer and resolve various issues hampering investments that would create jobs, said Chairman Rosan Roeslani in a statement.

Centralized Decisions

The law also sets out a more centralized decision-making process, which could simplify layered and conflicting requirements from central and local governments, and so reduce investment uncertainty, economists at PT Bahana Sekuritas in Jakarta wrote in a note.

The government is setting up an unemployment fund to allay workers’ concern over the reduction in severance pay and the introduction of indefinite labor contracts. The fund will give cash payments, provide access to the job market and pay for training, with the premiums paid for by the state budget.

Other changes included in the jobs creation omnibus law:

Government to set up one-map policy to solve the issue of overlapping land claims and conflicts, which would ensure legal certainty for businessesThose who hire foreign workers are required to submit a plan for how the employee will work, while banning foreigners from holding roles that oversee personnelSimplified process for registering intellectual property and getting halal certificationLaw to speed up the construction of low-cost homesLaw maintains workers’ rights to maternity and menstruation leave

(Updates throughout with statements from unions

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Rally against Communist China’s government by Southern Mongolian, tibetan, Uyghur and Hong Konger in Tokyo

About 100 participants of Southern Mongolian march while shouting slogans during a rally against the government of Chinese Communist Party in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan on Saturday, October 3, 2020. China’s government ahead of the start of the new school year on September 2020, requires schools to use new national textbooks in Chinese, replacing Mongolian-language textbooks in Inner Mongolia. Since 1966, Cultural Revolution, the wave of repressions was initiated against the Mongol population of the autonomous region. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI

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