99% Spring Training Recap and Upcoming Events

What is the 99% Spring and what the heck are they talking about? Activism has become such a dirty word. Nowadays, activists are often portrayed in the news and movies as an angry mob. True, activism is a form of confrontation, but this confrontation usually occurs when communication between two opposing sides has broken down. Many successful reforms throughout history have come about through activism. These reforms, whether political or economical, took place because people came together to fight for the betterment of society. These folks peacefully, and at times, loudly, confronted large powers that, individually, they could not battle themselves. Yes, there have been demonstrations in the past in which things have gotten out of control and people used violence as a way to “solve” the problem. Inevitably, people got hurt (on both sides) and the chasm widened. This, along with several other reasons, is why we at PUSH believe wholeheartedly in having a plan. Fighting for the betterment of your community or town is great; but it’s completely pointless when you don’t have a plan. Confronting an issue without one is disastrous, especially when you lack the proper training or education. In the U.S., activism is a vehicle that people use to collectively attain what their big city governments cannot. And, sometimes you have to become the loudest person in the room to do this. For many of us, the power to get noticed, collectively, can mean the difference between life and death. Hence, the creation of the 99% Spring. The 99% Spring was conceived by members of NPA – National People’s Action – as a way to non-violently end the rise of the one percent. The first 99% Spring training was held in New York City. Members from community groups from across the country, such as PUSH Buffalo, Citizen Action of Western New York (CA), and the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ), attended this training to learn the right way to be an activist. Empowered by what we learned at the 99% Spring training, PUSH Buffalo, CA, and CEJ hosted a training of our own on April 10th. The turnout was beyond our expectations. In a packed room, people from all walks of life attentively took part. Everyone learned something new. As one of the local 99% Spring training facilitators, we are urging people who attended this training or may be attending similar trainings to use this knowledge to become noticed by those in power. We have to collectively speak up to keep and improve upon what we’ve worked so hard for. There are many struggles that affect us here locally. We ask that you find one that speaks to you and join in. Here are some upcoming 99% Spring Actions that you can get involved in locally: Fair Elections Public Hearing Campaign to get 1% $$$ out of Politics Thursday, May 3rd – 5:30-7pm SEIU 1199 Office — 2421 Main St, Buffalo NY 14214 Sign Up here Direct Action Planning Session Help Prepare the May 12th Action Tuesday, April 24th – 5:30-7pm PUSH Buffalo Office — 271 Grant St., Buffalo NY 14213 99% Spring Direct Action Confront National Fuel and Verizon Saturday, May 12th – 11am-1pm PUSH Buffalo Office — 271 Grant St., Buffalo NY 14213 Sign Up here Spring is here and we have a lot of cleaning to do!