This seems like a great protest to contrast the harsh non-compassionate conservative agenda/policies. Perhaps the Diva can contact the organizer?
I am with you. I've left a message on Sarah's machine.
I will be out the door on April 17th at 10 a.m. Long Beach Time, 1 p.m. Eastern Time. I will braid my hair with three different colors of ribbon. I will also pin a tricolor cockade to my clothes using the leftover ribbon. I may even drive over to the University of Southern California, Long Beach, and walk out with the disabled student there.
And I will post this alert to the BBBR, along with resources for Resistance Fighters to act.
One Diva Salute to CosmicDot.
Students band together to push change
By Nicole Bondi iCan News Service, staff writer
March 23, 2001
When the Supreme Court handed down its decision in University of Alabama vs. Garrett, Sarah Triano was not happy.
"A lot of people were saying 'It's bad, but it could have been worst.' That infuriated me," said Triano, a student in disability studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. "We need to have some kind of concerted response that puts the Supreme Court on notice that we are not going to tolerate this."
Halfway across the country, Daniel Davis, a senior at the University of California-Berkeley, was just as angry. A mutual contact put the two students in touch with each other and soon after, the National Disabled Students Union was born.
The group is planning its first activity, a nationwide "leave out," on April 17. They encourage students -- and everyone else -- around the country to leave their schools, jobs or even their houses at 1 p.m. EST April 17.
"It's a walk out. But that term doesn't sit well with our community, so we're calling it a leave out," Triano said. "Everybody is going to be doing something at the same time. Even if you're just an individual at home and you're walking out to your front yard … you know you're connected to a nationwide effort."
The National Disabled Students Union is a network of students -- and they have a loose definition of "student" -- with disabilities across the country. Several college campuses, including the University of Chicago-Illinois, have Disabled Student Unions that work to provide services and accommodations to students with disabilities on the campus. The groups are also a focal point for campus advocacy.
The national group was formed shortly after the Garrett decision was handed down in late February. In the Garrett case, the Supreme Court limited the power of the Americans with Disabilities Act by ruling that states could not be sued for money by employees who were discriminated against.
"We felt it was necessary to let folks know that we as students are aware of what's going on and want to do what we can to stop the erosion" of civil rights, Davis said. "Traditionally it's important for students to be among the leaders in civil rights movements."
The date of the Leave Out was chosen with that in mind. On April 17, 1960, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, was formed. That student-run group was a radical force during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
In less than two weeks, the National Disabled Students Union has more than 130 people on its e-mail listserv and about 65 college campuses across the country have pledged to participate on April 17.
Beyond this initial event, Davis said he wants to see the group work toward pressuring individual states to pass disability rights laws on par with the ADA. This would ensure protection if the Supreme Court continues to whittle away at the federal law.
"If the Supreme Court is not going to do this, then we have to go to someone who will honor the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If that requires going state by state and legislator by legislator, that's what we're going to do," Davis said.
Already, the group has a symbol and a Web site on the way. The symbol is a three-colored braid, to represent grassroots, pride and perseverance. Triano said anyone who wants to participate on April 17 can wear a braid, preferably in three different textures or three different colors. The group has not begun national fund-raising effort yet, focusing for now on April 17.
"The real thing we're trying to emphasize is participation by everyone," Triano said.
For more information: If you would like to participate in the Leave Out, contact Sarah Triano (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (773) 463-4776.