Posts tagged with "protest"

Farmers Protest illustration created by Rumnik Ghuman from 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

India’s Food Soldiers

By: Rumnik K Ghuman

Exactly a year ago, Narendra Modi’s government with little public or parliamentary debate, passed three farmer bills. According to them, these bills are a gift to the farmers, but in reality, the bills are a gift for the rich agribusinesses in India. The majority of the population in Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan are farmers, they make their entire income based on their produce. Some call the farmers ‘India’s Food Soldiers’ and many people have shown support to the farmers. 

The first bill that was released was The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce(Promotion and Facilitation) Act. This act allows the farmers to produce and have free trade outside the physical premises of the specific markets under the APMC Act (Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee law). Under this act, the specific markets that the government has listed are agribusiness typhoons. These businesses are only going to set the price at a low rate so it’s cheaper for them. This act is in their favor because the farmers will not be able to go somewhere else to sell so they have to agree to the price the agribusiness sets. This puts the farmers in a low position to control their own products. 

The second bill that was passed was the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act that made the decision to remove some items such as cereals and pulses from the list of essential commodities. This act was passed to attract foreign direct investment to the sector. This bill is limiting the number of items farmers can produce and sell. Certain states can only produce certain items based on the weather and the field the farmers have. This puts the farmers at a disadvantage when producing and won’t make as much money as they would normally. 

The third bill was regarding the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act. This bill states to have a nationwide price limitation on all produces. This act doesn’t give farmers any empowerment over their produces which is putting them at a disadvantage. Combining all of these acts together, puts all farmers at a disadvantage, to not have a free trade market for them, price points that are lower than normal, and limited items to sell. The agribusinesses have connections in the government which is why the agribusinesses have more control over the price and are the only buyers that the farmers can sell to. 

In August 2020, many farmers from the States of Punjab and Haryana gather to protest in the capital, Delhi. The farmers had seen that one bill was passed and they needed to stop for more to be released as in Haryana, these laws were issued as of August. September was when the government passed the Farmers Produce Trade and Commission Act, which put more fire into the farmers to get justice by removing these bills. Many farmers across the country were angry and had to show it somehow as the news was not covering the farmers’ protest in the capital because the news channels were owned by the agribusinesses or the government. So some farmers set their own fields on fire, marched to government offices, or protested at the capital. 

At first, the crowd of farmers was much smaller, so the government brushed it aside. It wasn’t until on November 23, 2020, when protesters march from around India toward Delhi. Once they reached the edge of the city on November 26, the protesters met a large group of police officers who used tear gas, water cannons, and physical force to keep them from entering the city. Over the entire year, over 1000 deaths have happened whether that be by the cold weather or by protestors hanging themselves. A majority of the population were elder men that have been farming for all of their life and don’t know another way to provide an income for their families. In Punjab, farmers have always had a hard time making an income as they don’t have much money to afford the necessities to run the field correctly. They take big loans to buy a tractor, but later can pay it off and then hang themselves. 

There have been big protests, but 360 Magazine feels the number of people from different religions, states, ages, and genders who came out to support the frontlines of the capital is unbelievable. The men were already fighting for their rights, but the women have been standing like hard rock with them. The women at the border are providing food and protesting as well. It’s amazing to see all come together to roll back new agricultural laws. Multiple women and kids have been injured during the violent behavior of the police but they still come back or stay to support. 

As many people from Punjab and Haryana reside in England, the United States, and Canada, the protestors sitting in the cold, were getting worldwide support. Even though these supporters are not in India to help physically, they showed their support by organizing protests in their cities, doing marches to bring more awareness, sharing on social media about what’s going on, and donating or sending money to their families back home to go provide food for the protestors as it was freezing at the start of the protest. Many other industry workers in India went on strike as well to show they are with the farmers. 

Punjab is known for its music and their music really reaches a higher population. It was the only way to show to the world this is the reality of the protest which the news channels were not recording nor reporting to the world. So many Punjabi singers came together to make a ‘Kisaan Anthem’(Kisaan means farmers in Punjabi) that tells and shows every detail of the protest with live footage. Multiple Punjabi singers personally came and served the protestors, sat with the protesters, and tried their hardest to talk to official officers to get these laws rolled away. 

As we are speaking about the Farmers’ Protest, it is still going on and it’s been exactly a year since it started. The government has been pressured to speak about the bills in the parliament and hopefully will take the bills back. No Farmers No Food.

Rita Azar illustrates March on Washington for 360 MAGAZINE

Al B. Sure! and Joe Madison co-MC March on For Voting Rights

The organizers for the March On For Voting Rights announced legendary R&B singer and radio host Al B. Sure! and national radio host and activist Joe Madison will serve as co-MC’s for the August 28 event in Washington, DC. The two hosts will lead a day-long march through Washington, DC and the speaker’s program which will include human and civil rights leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, and many others who will issue a call to action to pass federal voting rights legislation. 

Al B. Sure! is a singer, songwriter, record producer, radio host and former record executive who exploded onto the scene from Boston in 1988 with the best-selling single Nite and Day, and has been a force within the music industry since. As a writer and producer, he introduced to the music industry such multi-platinum acts as Jodeci and teen R&B performer Tevin Campbell, as well as Faith Evans, Dave Hollister, Case and Usher. Al B. Sure!’s work as a change agent finds him intersecting his role as the host of a leading nationally syndicated radio program, Love and R&B, to becoming a mouthpiece for the amplification of social justice and civil rights issues. In  the current climate, he utilizes his platforms to highlight the needs for racial justice, education equity, voter education, criminal justice reform, mentorship and much more. 

Al B. Sure! commented, “It is an honor to help mark this urgent moment by sending a message to the country that our votes will not be suppressed! Our voting rights are under attack all over America, and the people of D.C. are still being denied the full representation they deserve in Congress. I am looking forward to a great day of peaceful collective action and a clear message that the time is now for Congress to act in defense of our rights.” 

Joe Madison is a groundbreaking radio personality and civil rights activist who has devoted his career to raising awareness about issues around the world, encouraging dialogue among people of different backgrounds, and raising money to support multicultural education and institutions. Known as “The Black Eagle,” Joe can be heard weekday mornings on SiriusXM’s Urban View.

Joe Madison added, “My radio audience cares deeply about the issue of voting rights, so I look forward to using this opportunity to give voices to the millions of Americans who demand action from Congress to protect our voting rights, and seek full representation for the 700,000 residents of Washington D.C., most of whom are Black and Brown. This march will bring together leading civil rights advocates and every day people fighting the good fight at the grassroots level. We will put democracy into action.”

About March On For Voting Rights

March On for Washington and Voting Rights is a mass mobilization to demand that elected officials protect democracy, denounce voter suppression, make D.C. a state, and ensure fair, easy access to the vote. On August 28, the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, we will march on cities across America to demand that the vision of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech be deferred no longer. That means passing the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. The march is led by Drum Major Institute, March On, the National Action Network, Future Coalition, SEIU, and 51 for 51, and is joined by over 140 other partners. The march is funded through the #ForJohn campaign, a grassroots effort co-founded by Martin Luther King III and Arndrea King to fight voter suppression. 

About March On

March On is a political organization composed of women-led political activist groups that grew out of the women’s marches of January 21, 2017. They have come together as a united force to take concrete, coordinated actions at the federal, state and local levels to impact elections and move the country in a progressive direction. For more information, click HERE.

About the Drum Major Institute

The Drum Major Institute advances the core mission of our founder, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to assure that the arc of the moral universe continues to bend toward justice. Dr. King’s legacy and voice are as important today as they were upon our founding 60 years ago. To meet this historic moment, we are lending our unique ability to facilitate dialogue and collaboration to support the countless courageous acts of individuals and organizations across the nation and the world to ensure that the vital conversations that are now starting will sustain and advance far beyond this moment in time—and lead to tangible lasting outcomes. We encourage all people to embrace their role in the King legacy, take action in their community and strive to build the Beloved Community. Learn more HERE.

About SEIU

Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide, and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. For more information, click HERE.

About National Action Network

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, citizenship, criminal record, economic status, gender, gender expression, or sexuality. For more information, click HERE

About Future Coalition

Founded by youth activists for youth activists, Future Coalition is a network and community for youth-led organizations and Gen Z and young millennial leaders from across the country that came into being as a project of March On in the fall of 2018. Future Coalition works collaboratively to provide young people with the resources, tools, and support they need to create the change they want to see in their communities and in this country. For more information, click HERE.

About 51 for 51 

51 for 51 is a coalition of D.C.-based and national groups committed to equal representation for the over 700,000 D.C. residents who remain locked out of our democracy. The coalition of 20 progressive groups believe American citizens living in the District deserve a voice in Congress and control over their own local laws. Already, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Senators Warren, Markey, Gillibrand and Hickenlooper have endorsed 51 for 51’s proposed path to statehood.

Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

GWEN BERRY PROTESTS ANTHEM ON OLYMPIC STAGE

By: Clara Guthrie

On Saturday June 26, hammer thrower Gwen Berry turned her back on the American flag while the national anthem played as she stood on the podium during the track and field Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, saying she felt “set-up” by the timing of the song. Berry had just placed third in her respective event, meaning she had secured her spot at the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The opening ceremony will take place on July 23, and the rest of the Olympics schedule can be found HERE.

According to the Associated Press, the national anthem had played once every night of the track and field qualifying events, meaning “The Star-Spangled Banner” had played consecutively for eight nights before Berry stepped onto the podium. USA Track and Field spokeswoman Susan Hazzard said in a statement, “We didn’t wait until the athletes were on the podium for the Hammer Throw awards, the national anthem is played every day according to a previously published schedule.”

Berry, however, claimed that she was told the national anthem would play before the athletes walked back onto the field to receive their medals. “They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” Berry said. “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”

Berry’s behavior on the podium reflected her immediate surprise and discomfort when the anthem began to play. The Associated Press described the moment:

“While the music played, Berry placed her left hand on her hip and shuffled her feet. She took a quarter turn, so she was facing the stands, not the flag. Toward the end, she plucked up her black T-shirt with the words ‘Activist Athlete’ emblazoned on the front, and draped it over her head.”

Berry is no stranger to merging activism with top-tier athletics. At the 2019 Pan-American Games held in Peru, Berry raised her fist in protest as the national anthem played; she was, again, on the podium, this time receiving a gold medal. The backlash Berry faced for this action was swift and aggressive. According to ESPN, one Twitter user simply said, “Love our country or move out!!”

In defense of her silent and yet impactful protest at the 2019 Pan-American Games was her father, Michael Berry. He said, “For her to do that on the podium is more American than anything, if you ask me. Because that’s what our country is founded on: freedom of expression, freedom of speech.” It is important to note that Michael Berry is an Iraq War veteran—a member of a group that is often brought up as one that is disrespected by any form of protest during the playing of the national anthem.

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee however, clearly disagreed with Berry’s father’s statement, instead sentencing Berry to a one-year probation for breaking the Olympic code of conduct. At the time, this set of rules forbade any form of demonstration while at Olympic-affiliated venues. According to NBC News, the committee has since apologized to Berry for this punishment. Race Imboden, an American fencer, took a knee while on the podium at his respective medal ceremony at the same Pan-American Games and was also put on probation for one year. While these sorts of demonstrations are still illegal according to the International Olympic Committee, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee has since changed their rules to allow for some kinds of political demonstrations.

But after her most recent act of protest at the Olympic trials on Saturday, Berry is only renewed in her commitment to social justice, specifically in dismantling systemic racism. In the aforementioned conversation with the Associated Press, Berry said, “My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. I’m here to represent those […] who died due to systemic racism. That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today.”

In the wake of Berry’s actions, #gwenberry was trending on Twitter, triggering a storm of passionate comments voicing both praise and pride, as well as disappointment and downright hatred—with many users on the latter side calling for her outright removal from the Olympic team. Republican politician Tom Basile took to Twitter to say, “She’s a disgrace and should not be allowed to represent this country. Period.” Another user added, “When your [sic] supposed to rep your country in the Olympics and turn your back on the flag, you should be stripped of that chance at the Olympics. […] Rooting against her in Tokyo.”

The hashtag has also been flooded with support of Berry’s protest. One user said, “Storming the Capitol and enslaving Americans are NOT acts of patriotism but you don’t want to talk about that. Protesting is patriotic.” Columnist Carron J. Phillips agreed, saying, “She’s a patriot. And if you’re mad at a 2-time Olympian but not the terrorists who stormed the Capitol, you’re part of the problem.”

Other Twitter users astutely observed that Gwen Berry is among many famous and celebrated athletes who have used their high-publicity roles to engage in and push forward different social movements, specifically dismantling systemic racism in America. Former-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the center of a heated debate in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem before his games to send a message about police brutality and discrimination against Black Americans. And at the 1968 Mexico City summer Olympic games, track and field athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos made waves when they both raised a fist in the black power salute during the national anthem as they received gold and bronze medals, respectively.

All four of these athletes—Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Colin Kaepernick and now, Gwen Berry—are paragons of protest and serve as resonant reminders that protest is inherently meant to make us uncomfortable and catalyze change. Berry may be a newer member of this long-standing tradition of Black athletes pushing for political change, but she most certainly will not be the last.

Victoria Selbach for UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art

A Group Show Curated by Indira Cesarine

OPENING RECEPTION: April 17, 2021

VIP Preview 1pm – 3pm // Opening Reception 3pm – 8pm

EXHIBITION ON VIEW: April 17 – May 28, 2021

45 Lispenard Street, NYC 10013

The Untitled Space is pleased to present “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” group show opening on April 17 and on view through May 28, 2021. Curated by Indira Cesarine, the exhibition will feature textile and fiber-based artworks by 40 contemporary women artists. “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” explores in depth the themes and techniques of the medium through the works of female-identifying artists working with natural and synthetic fiber, fabric, and yarn. The exhibition presents figurative and abstract works that address our lived experience and history through the lens of women weaving, knotting, twining, plaiting, coiling, pleating, lashing, and interlacing. Narratives of self-identification, race, religion, gen­­der, sexuality, our shared experience, as well as protest and the patriarchy are literally “unraveled” through embroidery, felt, woven and hooked rugs, braided and sewn hair, sewn fabrics, discarded clothing, cross-stitching, repurposed materials and more.

Exhibiting Artists: Amber Doe, Carol Scavotto, Caroline Wayne, Christy O’Connor, Daniela Puliti, Delaney Conner, Dominique Vitali, Elise Drake, Elizabeth Miller, Hera Haesoo Kim, Indira Cesarine, Jamia Weir, Jody MacDonald, Julia Brandão, Kathy Sirico, Katie Cercone, Katie Commodore, Katrina Majkut, Katy Itter, Kelly Boehmer, Linda Friedman Schmidt, Lisa Federici, Marianne Fairbanks, Mary Tooley Parker, Melanie Fischer, Melissa Zexter, Mychaelyn Michalec, Mz Icar, Orly Cogan, Robin Kang, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Ruta Naujalyte, Sally Hewett, Sarah Blanchette, Sooo-z Mastopietro, Sophie Boggis-Rolfe, Stacy Isenbarger, Stephanie Eche, Victoria Selbach, and Winnie van der Rijn.

Curatorial Statement:

unravel [ uhn-rav-uhl ] to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.). to free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve: to unravel a situation; to unravel a mystery.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” investigates the narratives of contemporary fiber artists. The exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists who each address through their own personal vision, materials, and methods, works that are deeply rooted in the history of feminism, in the intersection of art and craft, addressing our living experiences and personal languages. We live in a world of extremes – on one hand, the pandemic has brought forth an intensity on digital and online programming peaking with the emergence of NFT art, and on the opposite end of the spectrum we are seeing a return to the comforts of the home and along with it a renaissance of organic and handmade artworks that embody that spirit. The laborious and repetitive methods required to create one work of fiber art can take hundreds of hours, yet equally the creation process is often referred to as a mediative act of healing, allowing for an expressive personal and cultural interrogation.

Fibers have been an integral part of human civilization for thousands of years. Textile art is one of the oldest art forms, dating back to prehistoric times. Despite early works of textiles such as embroideries and tapestries having been made by both men and women, the tradition of textiles and needlework evolved into that of “women’s work” and was not only dismissed as not “important” but was literally banned from the high art world by the Royal Academy in the 18th century (circa 1769). With the rise of the women’s movement as well as technological advances, women reclaimed the medium, subverted its history as a lesser art form, and transformed it into a tool of expression, of protest, of personality. From early suffrage movement embroidered banners to the groundbreaking exhibitions and works of female pioneers such as Bauhaus weaver Anni Alber’s momentous solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1949, Lenore Tawney’s exhibition at the Staten Island Museum in 1961 to Judy Chicago’s groundbreaking 1979 work “The Dinner Party”, we have seen the medium evolve and inspire new generations of fiber artists.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” explores this new wave of female-identifying artists who are using materials ranging from thread and yarn to human hair, fabrics, and discarded clothing, among a range of other components to unravel the “language of thread” with works that provoke and interrogate. Whether drawn from a deeply personal narrative, or rooted in political motivation, each artist weaves, spins, sews, and hooks the viewer with their detailed and intricate textures that communicate and empower. The exhibition presents two and three-dimensional pieces that explore with gravity and humor our contemporary culture, its beauty, flaws, and idiosyncrasies through murals, assemblages, fragile and gestural threads, meditative, and metaphorical fibers. “UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” pushes the boundaries, investigates ancient as well as new materials and techniques, and presents a contemporary universe of the language of women and their interwoven, progressive vocabulary.”– Curator Indira Cesarine

“To know the history of embroidery is to know the history of women.” – Rozsika Parker author of “The Subversive Stitch” (1984)

“I am a multimedia artist who uses sculpture and performance to bear witness to the experiences of black women even as American society aims to render us and our lives as invisible and meaningless. Despite the prevalent “urban black” narrative, my experience is tied to the natural world, and I use materials that reference my desert environment and my lived experience as a black woman with Indigenous roots.” – Artist Amber Doe

“I mix subversion with flirtation, humor with power, and intimacy with frivolity. My subject matter is frank and provocative, dealing with issues of fertility, sexuality, self-image, isolation, vulnerability, indulgence, and beauty in the mundane, which are designed to challenge social stereotypes embedded within childhood fairytales. My work explores the many flavors of feminism.” – Artist Orly Cogan

“I pull from my autobiography to illustrate stories of trauma, sexuality, intimacy, and growth. Detailed beading and cyclical patterning emphasize the consistent labor in the repetitive motion of handsewing, that which mirrors the emotional and psychic labor expended in order to manage the suffering a body can accumulate over time. My sculptures translate the life experience of a survivor of complex trauma through the lens of glittering beadwork in order to recount deeply traumatic stories for the same cultural collective that due to repression, denial, censorship and deliberate silencing…” –Artist Caroline Wayne

“This body of work scrutinizes the amalgamation of victim shaming tropes that men and women are taught throughout their lives, both passively and actively, through social norms, pop culture, our educational and legal systems, religious establishments, and familial influences and upbringing.” – Artist Christy O’Connor

“My work focuses on my personal experience living within the confines of a female body, exploring sexuality, religion, and body image. The shared narratives of childbirth, menstruation, dysmorphia, sexual violation, and societal scrutiny all come into play and find connections with the viewers in their shared commonality.” – Artist Dominique Vitali

“My textile works are hand-sewn, fabric based sculptural pieces made from recycled materials that have multiple uses as ritual talismans, wearables, ecstatic birth blankets, dreamcatchers and traveling altars”. – Artist Katie Cercone

“Discarded clothing is my paint. I give second chances to the worn, the damaged, the mistreated, the abandoned, the unwanted, and to myself. My emotional narrative portraits and figurative artworks examine the human condition through my own lived experience. The violence of cutting and deconstruction make way for the reconstruction and refashioning of a broken past.” – Artist Linda Friedman Schmidt

“We are drawn to the grand gesture, the loud assured voice, the bold move, the aggressive brush stroke. I celebrate the opposite: the small moments in our lives – the unremarkable… as Covid-19 took over, some of the things I was celebrating became even more pertinent; toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer. These objects became signs of hope, of safety, of comfort.” – Artist Melanie Fischer

ABOUT THE UNTITLED SPACE

The Untitled Space is an art gallery located in Tribeca, New York in a landmark building on Lispenard Street. Founded in 2015 by artist Indira Cesarine, the gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary-pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of women in art. Since launching The Untitled Space gallery, Cesarine has curated over 40 exhibitions and has exhibited artwork by more than 450 artists. Her curatorial for The Untitled Space includes solo shows for artists Sarah Maple, Rebecca Leveille, Alison Jackson, Fahren Feingold, Jessica Lichtenstein, Tom Smith, Loren Erdrich, Kat Toronto aka Miss Meatface, Katie Commodore, and Jeanette Hayes among many others. Notable group shows include “Art4Equality x Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness” public art exhibition and group show presented in collaboration with Save Art Space, “IRL: Investigating Reality,” “BODY BEAUTIFUL,” “SHE INSPIRES,” Special Projects “EDEN” and “(HOTEL) XX” at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and internationally celebrated group shows “UPRISE/ANGRY WOMEN,” and “ONE YEAR OF RESISTANCE” responding to the political climate in America, as well as numerous other critically-acclaimed exhibitions. Recent press on Indira Cesarine & The Untitled Space includes Vogue (US), Vogue Italia, CNN, Forbes, Newsweek, W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, i-D Magazine, Dazed and Confused, and The New York Times among many others.

*Featured image artwork by Victoria Selbach for UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. 

artwork by  Elise Drake, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

Artwork by Elise Drake, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.

artwork by Indira Cesarine, for UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

Artwork by Mary Tooley Parker, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.

Trans Rights illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Gov Noem × Anti-Trans Sports Bills

South Dakota Gov. Noem Exposes Vulnerabilities for All States Considering Anti-Trans Sports Bills

On Friday, March 19th, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued a style-and-form veto of HB 1217, the anti-transgender sports ban bill that she had previously expressed excitement about signing. Having made several substantive changes to the legislation, including striking collegiate-level provisions from the bill, it will now be sent back to the legislature. This backtrack, by even an extreme governor with national political aspirations, exposes the economic, legal, and reputational threats these bills pose to states considering anti-transgender legislation and has sparked an uproar amongst conservative groups who see Governor Noem playing politics and trying to have it both ways. 

Gov. Noem’s winding path from “excited to sign” to a veto

Today, Noem held a press conference standing alongside known anti-LGBTQ extremists to justify her veto

  • Today in a press conference, Governor Noem announced the creation of a coalition to “Defend Title IX Now” which appears to be a national list-building exercise by Noem, with a website created yesterday by someone in Ohio (coincidentally, Governor Noem’s campaign website was created by Ohio political consultants The Aventine Group). This website’s “paid for by” disclaimer refers to a committee that is not yet registered with the Federal Election Commission or the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office.
  • When asked in today’s press conference why she was pressing a ban on transgender student athletes when there are no transgender players currently competing in secondary school sports in South Dakota, Gov. Noem replied “it’s an issue because people are talking about it and for the future.”
  • Among the speakers in today’s press conference was former NFL player Jack Brewer who, in March of 2020, said that he opposed President Barack Obama for “normaliz[ing] the black gay culture.”
  • Noem said of HB 1217, that it was a “trial lawyer’s dream” that would open the state to litigation in its current form and expressed concern for NCAA repercussions, saying “if we’re going beyond [K-12] to the collegiate level…just know that we could face retaliation — it’s more than likely, and at that point, we would have to sue, which is a cost to the taxpayers.” 

From praise to condemnation from anti-equality extremist groups

  • When announcing her support for signing the legislation, Noem quote-tweeted the American Principles Project.
  • But only weeks later, American Principles Project shared their condemnation of Governor Noem’s style-and-form veto of HB 1217, saying that she “[broke] her word,” “[froze] out advocates of HB 1217 and instead [took] advice from the bill’s most vocal critics,” and that “[b]y standing with Joe Biden and the radical left against protecting women’s sports, Noem has irreparably damaged her standing with both her own constituents as well as Americans nationally… This betrayal will have political consequences.”
  • The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group, went from support to condemnation as well, saying in a statement that Governor Noem “abuse[d]” her veto power to “cave to ‘woke’ corporate ideology.” They similarly called Noem’s actions a “betrayal” and characterized today’s press conference as damage control to rehabilitate her “credibility and political image.”
  • In reaction to today’s press conference, Sean Davis, co-founder of the conservative publication The Federalist tweeted: “Stop making excuses and insulting everyone’s intelligence and sign the bill already. This is embarrassing.”
Face mask illustration by maria soloman for 360 MAGAZINE article.

Anti-Mask Protest Sparked in Utah

By Payton Saso

On August 21, 2020, a protest was held in St. George, Utah that was organized in objection to wearing face masks. The debate about whether or not face masks help has been going since COVID-19 was declared a national pandemic, but one group decided to go a little further than online debates and hold a protest.

The protest came after the state governor, Gary Herbert, declared that masks would be mandated at school, USA Today reported. The marchers gathered at the Washington County School District where hundreds opposed forcing kids to wear masks saying, “safety is not as important as our freedom and liberty.”

The protest came under fire after a the news broadcast that covered the protest went viral. “A white woman earnestly attempts to explain the alleged injustice: of her situation by drawing a comparison to the killing of George Floyd,” The Cut recapped. Clearly the woman here is comparing the final words and pain of George Floyd to the minor inconvenience of getting slightly out of breath from wearing a mask, which is disturbing on many levels.

The original broadcast was covered by ABC 4 where they reported, “Up to a thousand people showed up in St. George, stating children being forced to wear masks in classrooms is illegal and unconstitutional.” Which without a Supreme Court trial, these unconstitutional claims just remain an uneducated opinion.

This protest came just a few months after a similar protest in Jacksonville, Florida where anti-maskers met at the Duval County Courthouse to oppose the mask mandate there, The Florida Times recapped.

St. George News stated that, “…rally attendee Dustin Cox, who also spoke over the megaphone, encouraged district students in attendance Friday to not wear a mask when they return to school Monday, even if it means getting expelled.”

Where if protestors make the claim that if masks are getting in the way of learning, wouldn’t getting expelled be a greater obstacle to learning?

There is not really any science accepted that masks cause more harm than good, even though that is often what anti-maskers claim. The World Health Organization has repeatedly set out initiatives for the public to wear masks. Protests like this have been seen across the world even in some of the countries where COVID has hit hard.

While it is every Americans right to free speech and that will be protected under the constitution, the timing and subject just seem to be a bit insensitive. With over 195,000 deaths and 6.5 million confirmed cases in the United States, doing anything we can to slow the spread doesn’t seem unconstitutional — especially if it is as simple as wearing a face covering.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Basketball Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Jaylen Brown x George Floyd Bill

by Justin Lyons

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics wing, in a press conference Sunday said he would like to see the city of Boston pass the George Floyd bill.

Brown, who has been one of the more active players in social justice conversations throughout the NBA, was asked about the Celtics’ commitment to spend $25 million over the next ten years to fight social injustice.

He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.

“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”

Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”

The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.

First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.

Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.

Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.

It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.

It passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-181, and it will move to the Senate.

Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.

A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.

“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.

While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.

Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.

The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.

Rita Azar illustrates NBA basketball story for 360 MAGAZINE.

NBA Protests

by Justin Lyons

The clock struck 4:05 p.m. on Aug 26 in Orlando, and neither the Magic nor the Bucks were on the court for the tip-off of the fifth game of their playoff series.

Playing their home games just 40 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin, it’s safe to say that the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police literally hit close to home for the Bucks players.

The Orlando Magic originally took the court for their game, but they decided to leave when it appeared the Bucks weren’t coming. That court was now empty aside from the NBA logos, the regulation markings and “Black Lives Matter” in bold text across the side closest to the scorer’s table.

Then, the tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski came at 4:13 p.m. Orlando time saying that the Bucks officially decided to boycott the fifth game of the series.

News broke later that the Rockets, Thunder, Trail Blazers and Lakers all decided to boycott their games, as well, in a show of unity.

It was the spark that started the fire, as basketball wouldn’t be played again until Aug. 29.

Bucks guard George Hill was one of the most outspoken players on the team regarding the shooting of Jacob Blake, making it very clear that he couldn’t continue to play basketball to distract from the reality of what’s happening in the United States.

The Brewers, the Milwaukee baseball team that plays its home games just a short drive from where the Bucks play, also decided to cancel their Aug. 26 game against the Reds.

Brewers star Christian Yelich said it was a unanimous decision from the team to not play.

“I think the Bucks spearheaded it for us,” Yelich said. “They started the discussion. It gave us a conversation to have. It was eye-opening for us, and we felt like it was the right thing to do.”

The NHL also joined in the protests, postponing games Aug. 27 and Aug. 28.

Later on the night of Aug. 26, Shams Charania reported via Twitter that the Lakers and Clippers, both of which are still contenders for the title, voted to boycott the rest of the season. LeBron James reportedly led the movement to cancel the season, which is no surprise given his history of fighting for social justice.

Giannis Antetokounmpo said the Bucks were able to get in contact with Blake’s father very quickly. Blake’s father was moved to tears by the gesture.

According to an article from ESPN, Antetokounmpo said, “Obviously, it’s gonna be games that you come in and score 30, 35, 50 or whatever the case might be, but that you’re going to remember. The way we felt, we’re going to remember the way we felt for the rest of our lives.”

The Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday, which begs the question of how they will respond. Hill expressed disappointment that he had to be in the Orlando bubble instead of fighting for justice, so it should be interesting to see where the Bucks go from here.

Eyes are also shifting to the NFL, which starts Thursday. The entire nation will have its eyes on protests and social justice initiatives from a league that has been just as outspoken as the NBA.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak for 360 MAGAZINE.

360 Magazine Marches on Washington

By Cassandra Yany × Armon Hayes, Vaughn Lowery

Recently, our team journeyed to Washington, D.C. for the National Action Network’s Commitment March. The August 28 march marked 57 years since the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have A Dream” speech. According to the National Action Network’s website, the goal of the march was to advocate for comprehensive police accountability reform, promote participation in the Census and motivate voters to cast their ballots in the upcoming Presidential election.

The National Action Network was founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991. With nearly 100 chapters nationwide, the civil rights organization works in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. to achieve “one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, criminal record, economic status, gender, gender expression or sexuality.”

The trip from New York to Washington, D.C. was made easy by taking Amtrak’s Acela service. Despite the higher price point, the Acela is newer and less crowded than regional trains. The express train eliminated the burden of tolls and stopped in only a few cities, arriving in D.C. after about three and a half hours. It can be stressful to travel right now, so it was a relief to see how clean the train was. The quiet car, basic free wifi and outlets on board provided the perfect environment to research and write articles on our tablets. We utilized our extra time to discuss with one another and prepare for our coverage of the march and our days in D.C.

The café offered coffee and various snack options, and the sliding glass doors made it easy for us to walk through the cars. The reclining seats were comfortable and allowed us to rest before our trip. There were also sections of four seats for those traveling in a larger group. Each passenger could bring two personal items weighing up to 25 pounds, and two carry-on bags weighing up to 50 pounds at no additional cost. Amtrak is currently offering reduced fares for two to six tickets purchased together where riders can save eight to 45 percent.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

Luckily, we were able to call Amtrak in advance to ensure we could carry on our folding bicycles. With limited parking available in the city, electric bikes served as a great mode of transportation for many protesters. E-bikes such as the DYU Smart Bike and a custom scooter from Good Vibe Gliders were an affordable alternative to renting a car, and made covering and participating in the march much easier.

The Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks started early Friday morning. Participants marched through the National Mall, many carrying signs remembering those whose lives have been lost in acts of police violence. Others displayed “Black Lives Matter” on flags, shirts and masks.

Some participants created street art during the event, voicing their support through their work. At one point, a number of demonstrators stood together in the Reflecting Pool in front of the Washington Monument. Marchers reached the section of 16 Street NW that has become known as “Black Lives Matter Plaza” around 3:30 PM before dispersing for the day.

Organizers of the march upheld COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. The National Action Network placed multiple signs throughout the National Mall encouraging social distancing, and took marchers’ temperatures as they entered the area. Face masks were distributed to people who did not have one, and visitors from high-risk areas were urged to join virtually from their homes. There was also a testing booth on site, as reported by WUSA 9.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

The march was co-convened by Sharpton and Martin Luther King III. Among the thousands of attendees who gathered on the National Mall were the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Jacob Blake. Many members of these families gave speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, along with lawmakers from across the country. These congressmen and women pushed for legislation that would address cases of racial injustice.

Though she was not present, Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris shared her message to marchers via Twitter. In her speech, which was played at the event, she said, “…if we work together, to challenge every instinct our nation has to return to the status quo, and combine the wisdom of long time warriors for justice, with the creative energy of the young leaders today, we have an opportunity to make history, right here and right now.”

Yolanda Renee King took the stage to address the crowd, standing where her grandfather had led March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In a video posted by CNN she said, “We stand and march for love and we will fulfill my grandfather’s dream.” She then led a chant of “Show me what democracy looks like; This is what democracy looks like!”

Friday was also the 65th anniversary of Emmett Till’s murder. The 14-year-old was lynched and thrown off a bridge while visiting family in Mississippi. He was abducted after “allegedly whistling at a white woman,” according to ABC 7 Chicago, and his body was found mutilated in the Tallahatchie River. Till’s family never received justice, as the two men responsible for his death were both acquitted. Till’s murder helped to spark the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. Civil rights leader and former congressman John Lewis wrote that “Emmett Till was [his] George Floyd” in a New York Times essay that was published on the day of Lewis’ funeral.

The trip provided a meaningful experience to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as time to see local relatives. 360 President Vaughn Lowery visited his uncle Leroy Lowery, the former executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, who raised over $120 million for the Stone of Hope.

Leroy Lowery is the son of the late Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights leader who helped Martin Luther King, Jr. establish the Southern Christina Leadership Conference, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Leroy Lowery attended the march with his father in 1963 and stated on Friday, “to see that we have to march [again] 57 years later is deflating.”

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

Jacob Blake Shot by Wisconsin Police

In the most recent incident to incite protests against injustices across the nation this summer, a Black man has been shot in Wisconsin. Jacob Blake, witnesses said, was attempting to break up an argument between two women. Following this, he walked back towards his silver SUV this past Sunday, August 23rd while being trailed by a police officer involved in the confrontation. As three of his children watched from their vehicle, the police officer proceeded to fire seven times at Blake’s back and close range. One can only imagine the trauma for his sons. As of today, Blake remains hospitalized in serious condition, but is expected to survive.

The incident, caught on video, has gone similarly viral to other violent misconducts by the police over the course of spring and summer 2020. The officers involved in Blake’s shooting have been placed on administrative leave and have shocked the small city of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Protests across the city have motivated Governor Evers to call in the National Guard, though he attempted to assure constituents it was not in an effort to mimic clashes between protesters and servicemen in places like Seattle, Minneapolis, or New York. Minor confrontations have occurred over the past two days despite this.

Following George Floyd’s murder this past May, protests against the police and in favor of the movement Black Lives Matter have exploded across the country. Blake’s shooting has added fuel to the fire, inspiring renewed protests and calls to action all across the nation. The incident in Kenosha has furthered the call for cities to cut funding to police departments, restructure their legal practices, amongst other changes.

Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers tweeted in support of Jacob Blake and in condemnation of the actions of police officers involved: “I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and country for far too long. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.” The Governor also signed an executive order into Wisconsin’s state legislature for a special session to pass legislation and police reforms for August 31st. The reforms are expected to be fought by the state’s Republican leadership.

Calls from the countries Democratic leadership have come again for immediate reform, including the voice of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as he “wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force.” President Trump has not commented directly on the shooting, but Vice President Pence made a statement yesterday emphasizing the administration’s loyalty to their men and women in blue.

The situation involving the shooting of Jacob Blake and ensuing actions in Kenosha, Wisconsin continues to develop.