Disability Rights Nation

June 25 -
July 5
From Ragged Edge's
D. R. Nation department July/August, 1998

By July 15, the FCC needs to hear from you on new Telecommunications Rules

Is Janet Reno telling Justice to use the ADA to get folks out of nursing homes?

Report on Not Dead Yet in Ann Arbor Protest



A protester reports on Not Dead Yet at the Hemlock Convention in Ann Arbor
"A spectacularly successful action'

On Friday, some of us crashed Hemlock's press conference, unfurling the large NDY banner across our knees while we waited for the police (whom the manager had called almost immediately). - who informed us that we would have to leave or be arrested. ....Then, bless them, the reporters came out to us.

We got outside under a canopy and stayed there, chanting and passing out literature until evening. It was cold. At 6, we left and met at the Marriott across the street. They were good enough to give us a meeting room where we discussed strategy, watched videotapes and some took peacemaking training....

Saturday, in our designated "protest area," we held a "Seminar on Dignity." That afternoon, we stormed the lobby, chaining ourselves to one another and anything that would be difficult to move (I got a table).It took nearly two hours before the police found bolt-cutters that would go through the chains and our $1.85 Oriental Trading Company handcuffs and started moving us out. Once out, we zipped around the building to take the other doors. ....

The police took our pictures and IDs and gave us business cards with a case number on them and fire department tickets and let us go! Cheesiest arrests ever!

At night that evening, we held a candlelight vigil for our dead: we sang quietly, chanted and told stories of people who were important to us among the dead and why their lives touched ours. It was a moving, bonding time for us all. The Sheraton, however, didn't see it that way and called the police almost immediately. At 10, we left quietly as promised. Singing "We are a gentle, angry people and we are singing for our lives," with the Hemlock people hiding their badges in shame as they walked by us, was really quite powerful.

Sunday we got up to find our picture on the front page of the Ann Arbor Times. Not very big, but above the fold. They mostly got the story straight. All in all, it was a spectacularly successful action, although it would have been more than twice as good if we'd had twice the people.

- Carol Cleigh


Telecommunications Rules Need Your Comment




BART settles class-action suit; agrees to damages


© Copyright 1998
Disability News Service, Inc.
Bay Area Rapid Transit has agreed to make extensive improvements throughout its system to ensure that riders with mobility disabilities have safe and reliable access to the BART transit system and are not be routinely subjected to "noxious" conditions. BART also agreed to pay damages equalling $750,000 - $100,000 to independent living centers in the Bay area and $650,000 in free fares to disabled riders. In the May 19 settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, BART agreed, among other things, to fix broken elevators and keep them clean and in working order and provide accessible parking, accessible "paths of travel" through the stations and to the trains, as well as accessible phones and restrooms in over 30 stations.

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