TNR Brief: Gardner Subpoenaed, Immokalee Workers, Honduras Post-Election State-sponsored Murders

Grindelwald, Switzerland (photo: The Nation Report)

Breaking: Senator Cory Gardner Subpoenaed about July Healthcare Protests at His Office

Pending full US Senate Approval of the Subpoena, Senator Cory Gardner will be ordered to appear in Colorado Springs Municipal Court to produce appointment documents regarding the July 18, 2017 direct action by those who appeared to his Colorado Springs office to protest his involvement in the Affordable Care Act repeal legislation.

Prior attempts have been made to subpoena the senator for other court cases regarding healthcare protests, however because of the complicated nature of the process to subpoena a legislator, Gardner was not ordered to appear.

Most of those who were charged with trespassing to Gardner’s office in Denver on multiple occasions have had their charges dropped including activists with the group ADAPT, who protested the proposed healthcare bill across the country last summer.

Colorado Springs resident Debra Willenberg, member of the Indivisible Group Colorado Springs Action Network highly opposed the work of Gardner due to the health of her son Marek who has multiple sclerosis.  Marek receives treatment through the Medicaid program including stabilizing testing, blood work, and the monitoring of brain lesions.  The resulting threats to the services that Gardner was proposing moved Willenberg to approach her representative on behalf of her son because Gardner’s proposal would have either severely limited or eliminated Medicaid services.  Willenberg appeared in person to Gardner’s office on July 18, but said Garner’s staffers “escalated their approach” towards her and other citizen petitioners because of political differences.

Ms. Willenberg said that her First Amendment rights to petition her representative were violated when the Colorado Springs Police Department was called and she and others were charged with trespassing, even though the office has remained open as late as 7 pm, according to Willenberg.  “My son is disabled by multiple sclerosis. I do what I can to support him but treatment costs can run over $100,000 a year” said Ms. Willenberg when asked about her arrest.  “Medicaid allows him to get critical care so he can live a reasonable life on his own.”

The evidentiary hearing is set for May 22.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers Begins Five-day Fast Outside of Wendy’s Manhattan Office.

After years of asking for restaurant chain Wendy’s to sign onto its Fair Food Agreement, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has begun a direct action outside of the office of Wendy’s Board Chairman Nelson Petlz.

The action included a surprise appearance by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students who were in New York from Florida to mobilize themselves in a campaign to end violence following the February 14 massacre of their classmates.

The CIW is highlighting a 2012 Human Rights Watch report that touches on the violence in packing houses, fields, and other agricultural outlets against women and girls.

The CIW has been targeting Wendy’s for several years after successful campaigns of support from Taco Bell, Trader Joes, Burger King, and other major food establishments.  Instead of cooperating with the CIW, Wendy’s dropped its relationship with Florida tomato growers and began importing tomatoes from Mexico.  The CIW found this practice problematic as well because of the even fewer protections that workers experience in Mexico.

“The Fair Food Program, born in Florida’s tomato fields, has put an end to sexual assault for tens of thousands of farmworker women under its protections, and has created a proven complaint and investigation mechanism for women to report, and stop, sexual harassment without fear of retaliation.”

United Nations Releases Report on State-sponsored Murders of Those Calling Honduran Election Fraud

The United Nations has issued a statement of admonition against the Honduran government for excessive force against those who questioned the presidential election results as announced by the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal in December of 2017, weeks after the November 26 election.

Dozens were shot by police or military forces during street protests following the election including two children.  Dozens of reports were also taken by human rights groups of death squad-like activity, police illegally entering homes at all hours, and mass arrests of people, some who were reported by family members to be simply walking home from school.

Human rights groups fear for the safety of political prisoners, and fear that extrajudicial armed forces activity could escalate as a result of the failure of the Honduran government to prosecute those responsible for the murders.

See The Nation Report for on the ground coverage of the November 26 elections.

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