Last night, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts held a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester at The Capitol Theatre with Christina Bianco, George Porter Jr., Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, and more. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a youth mentoring organization. By matching adult volunteers, “Bigs,” with children, “Littles,” facing adversity, they are able to accomplish their mission of “helping children reach and realize their potential.” Big Brothers Big Sisters of FSW provides at-risk children with strong, positive and enduring one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.As part of The Really Big Show, the musicians came together in this spirit of goodness. The beloved NOLA funk bassist joined forces with young musicians, guitarist Brandon Niederauer and drummer Jager Soss for two songs: “Be Careful Who You Idolize” by George Porter Jr & Runnin’ Pardners and “Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix. You can watch their first performance together below, courtesy of Jon Hammer:Tonight, The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY will host JAM THE VOTE, featuring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band & The Blind Boys of Alabama in a multi-act, classic New Orleans-style jam session. Thirty-six hours before Election Day, the once-in-a-lifetime house band will create a “Night for the Soul.” And the special guests include Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros), Amayo (Antibalas), Amy Helm, Andy Falco (Infamous Stringdusters), Craig Finn (The Hold Steady), DJ Logic, Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello), Eric Krasno, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Irma Thomas, Ivan Neville, Joe Russo (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), Lee Fields, Marc Brownstein (Disco Biscuits), Matisyahu, Nicole Atkins, Questlove, Robert Randolph, Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), Valerie June, Win Butler (Arcade Fire) and more! Free stream is available to those who pledge to vote. Find out more here.[Photo courtesy of Greg Horowitz]
By Dialogo April 14, 2009 Bogota, April 12 (EFE) – Today approximately 250 Colombian motorcyclists arrived in Bogota, finishing a cross-country journey nearly 4,000 kilometers long to demand the release of more than 2,800 hostages in that country. “We can say that today we managed to break through the country’s indifference over the forgotten hostages,” journalist Herbin Hoyos, head of the initiative, told Efe. The motorcyclists had as their goal the central Bolivar Plaza in Bogota, from which the “motor convoy for freedom of the hostages” had departed on March 26. The convoy was then led by the 35 motorcyclists, led by Hoyos, who departed accompanied by former Congressman Luis Eladio Perez, who had been held hostage by the FARC until his release in February 2008. The journey, during which the number of motorcycles in the convoy increased, led them through many cities in 17 of the country’s 32 departments, including the southern town of Narino, where they exchanged national flags between the bordering towns of Ipiales (Colombia) and Tulcan (Ecuador) as an act of brotherhood. “With this convoy, we have initiated a great crusade for the hostages that the country has ignored, who have not been remembered because they were not reported in the media and who are only claimed by their families,” said the journalist, himself a past captive of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The experience led him in 1994 to create the program “Voices of Kidnapping,” which is open to the families of victims of this crime and which airs each Sunday at dawn on the Caracol Radio network. “It’s a crusade to keep the hostages from being forgotten, and we will continue calling to all sectors of the country to bring every one back home,” he said Hoyos, who now plans to organize international convoys. One of them will take place in the United States, from Los Angeles to New York, and another one will travel from Madrid to Rome, with stops in Barcelona, Paris, Lyon (France), and the Italian cities of Genoa and Florence, said the journalist. During the journey, Hoyos and two other motorcyclists offered to deliver their equipment to three guerrilla members who, at a time coinciding with the end of the convoy, would defect from the FARC, each taking a hostage with them. Hoyos told Efe that he had not received reports on whether the offer would have encouraged some rebels to abandon their weapons and flee with a captive. Of the hostages in Colombia, just over 700 are in the hands of the FARC, which is holding 22 of them with the intention of trading them for half a thousand imprisoned rebels by negotiating a humanitarian exchange agreement with the government of President Álvaro Uribe. The rebels recently confirmed that they are ready to negotiate this agreement, for which they waived their demand to use a demilitarized territory as a venue for dialogue. In response, last week Uribe urged them to suspend hostilities as a condition for opening a dialogue for peace.
On Friday, nearly 200 people stood at the Von Kleinsmid Center in the pouring rain. They were there to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump, as they heard speeches from members of the Black Student Assembly, the Muslim Student Union, the Student Worker Action Group and the Price Student Organizations Coalition. Christina Gutierrez, a third-year graduate student majoring in public administration and urban planning, spoke about the importance of granting support to underrepresented communities, including black, Latino/a, LGBT and undocumented students.“It is students who have to fight for equity and justice,” Gutierrez said. “It’s appalling that [the University] doesn’t do so much to support undocumented students.”While both parties have support on campus, most of the protests and rallies have been visibly anti-Trump. From the night of the election to the days preceding Trump’s inauguration, members of the USC community have mirrored a series of protests occurring worldwide, making the campus a hub for student activism. This wave of resistance is relatively new for USC, which is not historically known for being politically active. The rallies and protests against Trump on campus have not only involved students and staff from USC, but also students from local high schools. Two days after the election, teens from South Los Angeles staged a walkout, joining some USC students who had organized a “human wall” along Trousdale Parkway.The protests have not solely concentrated on students’ dissatisfaction with the election results, but also on the inclusion of underrepresented students at USC.The proposal for USC to become a sanctuary campus, which would protect undocumented students, faculty members and their families from deportation under the new presidential administration, has ignited discussion on campus. The initiative was introduced by a faculty-driven petition, and supported by an Undergraduate Student Government resolution, that urged the USC administration to protect undocumented students.USG Director of Community Affairs Mai Mizuno said that after attending a talk by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti about Los Angeles’ status as a sanctuary city, she came to believe USC should declare itself a sanctuary as well as a symbolic gesture.“My hope moving forward is that USC adopts a similar tangible legal initiative [like Los Angeles] that really institutionalizes the idea of a sanctuary campus,” Mizuno said.Two days before Trump’s inauguration, faculty members organized the Rally for Inclusion and Tolerance, where professors shared speeches and book passages that encouraged those in attendance to know their rights and continue to be in solidarity with those who are underrepresented.Nadja Barlera, a senior majoring in English, attended the rally and said that it was a “good first step” for USC professors to creating a more inclusive campus.“It’s important for faculty to speak because they are part of our community too, and they are affected by policies,” Barlera said. “It’s also important for them to make these sorts of public statements so that students feel safe and supported.”While these rallies and protests have recently begun at USC after Trump’s election, in the past USC has not been known for political and social justice resistance. Campuses such as UC Berkeley, which saw the birth of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s, are viewed as more politically active, according to some students. “USC is known as the campus that is mild when it comes to political activism,” Collins said. “[But] it is part of our democracy to speak [our] grievances when [we] have them.”Beyond college campuses, USC students participated in worldwide Women’s March as an act of protest against the rhetoric of Trump. Maddie Hengst, assistant director of Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment, was one of the many in attendance.“The Women’s March was an important step in invigorating activists across campus, and the country, by restoring hope and purpose,” Hengst said. “But that being said, it’s important that the folks involved take further action steps, such as contacting representatives in Washington and donating or volunteering with organizations. SAGE recently has been advocating on behalf of Planned Parenthood.”Despite this perceived historical apathy, members of the USC community such as Billy Vela, the director of El Centro Chicano, have highlighted the importance of having students speak out in this way.“These demonstrations are important because I see our students engaged in meaningful issues of our time,” Vela said. “These issues are real, they impact lives and families. They are at the core of what higher education is all about at a local, state, country and global level.”Muhammad Yusuf Tarr contributed to this article.