Wednesday, May 29, 2013

14-city protest against the Kochs today

Protesters rallied against the Benedict Arnold Koch brothers in 14 cities today, mostly to oppose their rumored purchase of 10 major newspapers but also to demand they clean up their mountain of petroleum coke next to the Detroit River.

Nearly half a million people signed petitions opposing the brothers' takeover of the Tribune newspaper chain, which includes the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The protests are backed by a coalition of union, good-government and environmental groups.

They gathered in midtown Manhattan in front of the offices of an investment firm that owns 9.4 percent of the chain.  Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal spoke; they directed of the 2013 documentary about the Wisconsin uprising called "Citizen Koch." The film was intended for PBS, but lost its funding over fears it would anger the David Koch.

Today marked the biggest protest yet against the sale of the newspapers to the billionaire brothers. Hundreds have protested the sale of the Los Angeles Times in downtown LA and Beverly Hills, while smaller rallies were held previously in Chicago and Orlando.

In Detroit, protesters wore masks and held signs demanding they remove the huge uncovered pile of petroleum coke blowing into the Detroit River. Good Jobs Now has photos on its Facebook page, with the message:
The Koch Brothers are busy trying to buy up many of the nation's newspapers, but they should be more concerned with cleaning up their mess! The are the owners of many 3 story high mounds of petroluem coke, which is blowing into the Detroit River.
In Philadelphia, a community organizing group sent an email:
The Koch brothers’ political agenda includes de-funding education, privatizing Social Security, overturning the new healthcare law, eliminating the minimum wage, attacking evidence of global warming, and destroying unions. Now, they are trying to purchase media properties in the hope of influencing public opinion.
Protests were also held in Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Baltimore, St. Louis, Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., Houston, Boston and Denver.