Disabled people have explained why they joined thousands of other activists on a march through the streets of Birmingham to protest about the failure of Tory austerity policies.The march took place as the Conservatives held their annual conference in the city, almost six years to the day since huge anti-austerity protests greeted the party when it held a conference just months after winning power in 2010.Among speakers at a rally at the end of the march was Bob Williams-Findlay, one of the founders of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), which was formed after that 2010 march.He welcomed protesters on Sunday to “the birthplace of DPAC” and described how the grassroots organisation had “grown in strength and in numbers” since 2010.He said: “We have taken the fight to the very heart of government… and we are still here.”Williams-Findlay described the impact on disabled people who lose their Motability vehicles after being assessed for their eligibility for the government’s new personal independence payment (PIP).He said having a Motability vehicle “gives you freedom to work, shop and have a life.“Then one day you get a letter saying you are going to be reassessed for PIP – the new god that cures us – and suddenly the whole world is turned upside down because PIP is designed to fail us.“It’s designed to reduce the number of disabled people on benefits.”He told the rally that the government was no better than the Nazi government of the 1930s in Germany and while “they have not killed thousands yet… they have killed, let’s not forget it”.Williams-Findlay said that disabled people who fail their PIP assessment can be “trapped in your home, you might lose your job, you might not be able to take the family out, you might not be able to have a social life”.He added: “Comrades, in my opinion up and down the country there are political prisoners, disabled people trapped in their homes like political prisoners. We have to unite to set them free.”The mass demonstration was organised by the TUC and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, which was launched in 2013 to provide a national forum for anti-austerity views.Other disabled people who attended the march told Disability News Service their reasons for taking part.Rob Davy-Cripwell, from Birmingham, said it was his first protest.He said the government’s austerity cuts had left him and others feeling isolated, so the protest had allowed him to speak to other people who shared his views.Although he had been “quite lucky” himself, he knew other disabled people who had been affected by PIP assessments and cuts to tax credits.He said: “I have not been affected directly but I don’t think that matters because we are all in it together. A cut to one disabled person is a cut to all of us.”He said he hoped the protest showed the Tory conference “that the decisions they make affect a lot of people.“I really just hope there is some compassion in there somewhere and they really think about their decisions, because it affects everybody, not just the richest one per cent.”Erika Garratt, from Swindon, brought her family to the march.She claims employment and support allowance and says she feels “very vulnerable” because of the stress of waiting to be reassessed.She said: “I am really concerned about the cuts they are making.“They seem to want to demonise people on benefits. It’s not my fault I am ill and it’s not my children’s fault that I am ill, and yet they are suffering.”She said she believed the Conservative party “don’t care about people who are ill or disabled”.She added: “It’s about time that they showed that they cared about all the people in the country and not just the top few per cent, because we are going to end up in the workhouse.“I feel we are almost going down to the Victorian era, with families on the street.“This is all about raising awareness that we need people to come out in force. We have a voice and we deserve to be listened to.”Emma Atkins, a student from Birmingham, said the Tories were “killing people like me in the thousands”.She said: “The cuts are hurting us more disproportionately than anybody else. It’s time they went.”She said she was “angry” about the Conservatives holding their conference in her home town, and added: “I hope they will get the message about how many angry people there are in the country and how badly they are treating everyone.”Paula Bonarius, from Milton Keynes, said she was at the march because she supported re-elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.She said: “He’s got our values. We believe socialism is needed in this country.“It’s not only myself, there is a load of disabled people and elderly people who are being left out.“As soon as there are cuts it is going to be disabled people and [so-called] ‘scroungers’ [who are targeted].”Mark Lynes (pictured), from Edgbaston, another Corbyn supporter, said he was “fighting to stop the elimination of disabled people from society”.He said the protest would “show that there is an alternative vision for society”.He said: “Whatever happens to Jeremy Corbyn, there will always be alternative movements.“Also I hope disabled people are able to get back their independence, which they have lost over the last few years.”
0% Since mid-adolescence, food has been Gabriela Guerrero’s passion. She watched cooking shows on television, scribbled down the recipes and then cooked for her family and asked, “Is it good or is it very good?” Then, she would keep working at the recipe until they told her it was delicious. In November of 2015, that passion became Delicioso Creperie, a brick-and-mortar business in the lobby of Hamm’s building at 1550 Bryant that specializes in crepes with Mexican fillings.While the words “crepe” and “Mexican” are not often paired, international cuisine is second nature to Guerrero, who grew up in a small town in Mexico with parents who travelled often for pleasure and sometimes for business to countries like France, Lebanon and Germany. About 20 years ago, Guerrero, now in her 40s, spent time in Germany, Spain, Belgium, and France. The first crepe she tasted, at a restaurant called Cluny’s in her hometown, had Mexican fillings. During her travels through Europe, she had her first traditional crepe with nutella in Paris. “And I loved it,” she said.Five years later in 1999, Guerrero resolved to move in with family in the East Bay and study culinary arts. But her path to Delicioso Creperie was long and difficult.The future business owner began her career at the Pasta Shop in Berkeley, but it wasn’t until managing and waitressing at Sconehenge Cafe in Berkeley that she met a co-worker who connected her to La Cocina, a food business incubator that primarily serves low-income immigrant women of color. Tags: Business • food • immigrants • la cocina Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The program has rigorous standards for whom they accept, but Guerrero’s entrepreneurial spirit, immigrant and low-income status, and a viable product made her an excellent candidate. As Jessica Mataka, the development and communications associate for La Cocina, noted, Guerrero came to the United States with the dream of starting her own food business and La Cocina decided Mexican crepes would be a wonderful and unique product.But still, unique was not enough. Her first application to La Cocina was rejected because her business plan was only one page long. She packed her schedule for the next year with financial classes and on her second try, La Cocina accepted her business plan. At that point, Guerrero said, her dream became “more real.” She began planning menus, marketing strategies, and finance, but three years later, Guerrero was still dividing her time between a job as a waitress and her own business.But a friend advised her to stop splitting her time, take a loan, and fully commit to her business. Guerrero decided to take her friend’s suggestion and focused on catering. Then, last June, La Cocina notified her that a space was opening up in Hamm’s Building at 1550 Bryant where La Salumeria once was. With La Cocina by her side, Guerrero said she was “never alone” during negotiations with the landlords.Finally, the week of Thanksgiving 2015, Delicioso Creperie opened. Demand for vegan and gluten-free crepes led Guerrero to contact her sister, a private chef in the Nice region of France. In that region, her sister told her, chefs use chickpea rather than buckwheat flour to make socca crepes. It is this naturally vegan and gluten-free crepe that the owner deems her signature dish, although offerings also include standard buckwheat and egg crepes, salads, and bagels. “Listen, listen, listen,” Guerrero deemed essential to her business at this stage, so due to customer feedback, the menu is expanding to include more sandwiches, bagels, Mexican tortas, burritos, and pastries.“It’s been very hard,” she said of her path from a dream to a brick-and-mortar business. And the challenge is not over. “I know it’s difficult to get here, but it’s another challenge to maintain the business… It’s like seven job titles… But at the end of the day… you realize how strong you can be.” After fifteen years of struggle, “It’s very satisfying for me,” Guerrero pronounced. “Professionally, I feel very proud of me.”
In her somber speech today, Breed remembered meeting Adachi when she was a 15-year-old checking up on a friend in trouble, and Adachi was the friend’s young public defender, seated at the friend’s great-grandma’s table and doing his life’s work. “Jeff understood making a difference in people’s lives wasn’t just about fighting for them in the courtroom,” the mayor noted. “He knew the work started in the community.”Adachi’s community work, his countless hours spent at countless great-grandmas’ tables, was, the mayor emphasized, the key to his greatness. Whenever Breed needed help or someone she knew needed help, she’d call Adachi. And he returned the calls. In short: He showed up. He did the constituent service. “Jeff was my friend and it’s always hard to lose a friend,” continued Breed. “But even more than that, Jeff was a champion for my community. Through all the years I knew him, he never lost the spirit of the man I met when I was 15, walking through the roughest neighborhoods, going where he needed to go. Because that was where the people were who needed him the most.”Adachi was a Japanese American who loved movies and directed several of his own. And, perhaps fittingly, it did today feel as if there was something of a Rashomon situation embedded into his memorial, with speakers retelling their own versions of Adachi — and, ultimately, describing their desires for how this office may continue to function in his absence. Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose advocacy for his department during budget season was legendary, pleads his case to the Board of Supervisors.If Mayor Breed, who will name Adachi’s successor, chose to emphasize his stalwart community service, Adachi’s own hand-picked No. 2 and would-be successor, Matt Gonzalez, emphasized other aspects of Adachi’s philosophy — regarding not just how a public defender’s office should function, but society itself. “To understand Jeff, you have to understand he was a storyteller. Not just at trials. He also wanted to tell the story of what public defenders do,” said Gonzalez, who was received with several noticeable ovations from the crowd. “There is a romantic notion that we represent innocent poor people who cannot afford an attorney. And that’s part of it. But Jeff represented the hard cases: People who caused serious injury or even loss of life. … The cases where people say, ‘How could you represent those people?’ To answer this question, Jeff believed you had to understand the context. You had to think about the lack of opportunity the accused might have experienced, the adversity and trauma they had to deal with. You do that analysis and your opinion starts to shift.” Adachi, Gonzalez continued, “would ask, ‘Where was society when this young person needed help? Where were we when they didn’t have lunch money or their family was breaking up?’” As such, “You and I bear responsibility as we live our lives of comfort, and it’s about our collective failure to protect the victims and the accused.” Well, that took everyone to an interesting place. But a goodly portion of those present were already there. “The public defenders in this room,” Gonzalez went on, “know what I’m talking about.” They did. There were quite a few of them present, with many wearing Adachi funereal T-shirts over their suits or dresses. They nodded throughout Gonzalez’s speech — they did know what he was talking about. “You go to jail to meet someone accused of a crime. You physically touch them, breathe the same air, get to a point of empathy. … Jeff believed that having empathy for the accused did not betray victims, for whom we must also grieve. And Jeff walked into court as certain as his opponents were not that our system needs to change. It always bothered me that the system is premised on the entry of a not-guilty plea. I think more pleas should be available. A plea for shared blame. Or, how about, ‘Your Honor, the defense pleads systematic failure.’” And that line — that concept, that vision — went over very, very well.City Hall was already starting to fill up half an hour or so before Jeff Adachi’s memorial. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.Matt Gonzalez knew Adachi for 28 years. London Breed knew him for 29. Adachi was a complex man who packed several lifetimes of accomplishment into a truncated 59 years; his two grieving friends may have simply chosen to accentuate different elements of the same man. Or, considering the power dynamics at play here, perhaps something else was at play as well. Because, while Gonzalez has many admirers and supporters, my reporting indicates that the mayor is not exactly one of them.Gonzalez was, from 2000 to 2004, the supervisor for District 5. Breed, a lifelong D5 resident, was his constituent. The mayor today emphasized community outreach and responsiveness as Adachi’s paramount characteristic; he returned her calls and he returned everyone’s calls. And yet, as a supervisor, Gonzalez was not known as being overly responsive to constituents. He didn’t always return those calls. He has never been Breed’s personal friend nor her political ally. And yet he was Adachi’s handpicked No. 2 and has had a huge hand in running the office for years — which, when you think about it, is also part of Adachi’s legacy. Gonzalez’s speech today was not only a tribute to his friend and departed boss, it also demonstrated a deep fluency with Adachi’s worldview. The fervency with which his speech was received by the public defenders in the crowd made made it clear that Gonzalez has the backing to continue fighting for this worldview — insofar as one can put faith in an emotionally charged plebiscite, he clearly has buy-in from the office. On the backs of the shirts worn today by Adachi’s former lieutenants, a sentence is printed: “His fight lives on through us.” That’s true. It was laid bare today, once again, just how broad and all-encompassing “his fight” was. And whomever next leads this office will need to know this — and live this. And fight. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter The public turned up in droves today at City Hall. They overflowed the main chamber and packed the upper tiers two or three deep; thank God the sound system was top-notch, because it was very hard to see. There were suits and t-shirts and wingtips and Jordans worn by the powerful and powerless: The only element that matched was grief. They were all on hand to offer one final salutation to Jeff Adachi. Adachi, the city’s elected public defender since 2002 and a seemingly indefatigable presence in city life, died suddenly on Feb. 22 at just 59 years of age. Today’s public memorial, in addition to being a catharsis and a tribute to a man who had a transformative effect on this city’s public defender’s office and the scores of thousands of lives it touches each year, served as a political milestone. If it was described as gauche to begin delving into who will be handed the reins in Adachi’s absence prior to the memorial.Well, now that’s come and gone.Messages for Mayor London Breed’s office regarding a timeline for her to name a successor have not yet been returned.
SAINTS have announced the signing of Shannon McDonnell until the end of next season.The 27-year-old full back joins from Wests Tigers where he has been since he last played for the champions.Shannon joined Saints at the latter part of the 2014 campaign and played in three games before fracturing his jaw.“It’s clear with Jonny Lomax out for the season and Paul Wellens currently sidelined that we need cover at full back as well as in the backs,” Saints Chief Executive Mike Rush said. “Shannon can cover a number of positions and we’d like to thank Phil Moss at Wests Tigers and his agent Steve Gillis for making it happen.“He did a great job last season and we look forward to welcoming him to St Helens once again.”Shannon started his career at the Tigers and also played for Newcastle Knights in the NRL.He represented New South Wales at Under 19s and was an Australian Junior Kangaroo.In 2011, he moved to Hull KR and two years later joined their rivals at the KC Stadium.As well as making more than 100 career appearances, he played for the Exiles in 2012.He will wear squad number 34.
The 27-year-old won the NRL Dally M award in 2012, a Grand Final with Cronulla Sharks in 2016 and this year has been with French Rugby Union side Toulon.Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook stated: “I’ve known Ben for some time and am confident that he will add a new dimension to the Saints and is a great capture for Super League. He is a multi-talented and world class rugby league player.“Everyone in the team will benefit from him joining us and are really looking forward to his arrival. The fans also have a lot to look forward to.“Given Ben’s abilities and reputation, his signing was extremely competitive and the Club have done exceptionally well to secure him.“It is not often that players of his calibre become available and the Club has pulled out all the stops to fight off competition from both rugby codes around the world.“I am also grateful for their support to me for my first signing as the new Head Coach.”Ben Barba said: “I feel very privileged to be joining such a historic rugby league club as St.Helens. I was able to meet up with some of the players and key people from the Club at the Magic Weekend and know they are a great set of people. The fans also showed me just how passionate they are.“I wanted to make an early decision so that I can get my family settled in England and kids enrolled at school. I have certainly enjoyed my time in France at Toulon, but I am a rugby league player and St.Helens, especially with Justin Holbrook as head coach, have made me very comfortable with the decision.“I look forward to pulling the Saints’ jersey on and playing besides my new teammates as soon as possible.”Barba is currently the subject of a twelve match ban in the NRL. The initial stance of the RFL is that this also applies to Super League. However, St.Helens will be seeking further and final clarification of this position.Ben played 168 games, scoring 99 tries, in the NRL.He started his career at the North Devils, Mackay, in Queensland before signing with the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2007.He made his representative debut for the Indigenous All Stars in the 2011 All Stars Match – his first of five appearances – and moved to Brisbane on 2014, scoring eight tries in 25 gamesBarba then joined Cronulla and 2016 won the Grand Final after an outstanding season.Ben Barba’s manager, Chris Orr from PSM added: “This is the perfect fit for Ben to reconnect to his rugby league roots. He has had a long affiliation with Justin Holbrook, the new St Helens coach, from their days at the Bulldogs.“The Magic Weekend gave Ben the opportunity to experience the passionate fans of Super League and he loved it and wanted to be part of it immediately.”Image courtesy of Grant Trouville/NRL.COM
Four unanswered tries from James McDonnell and a hat-trick from Cian Tyrer allowed the hosts to open an 18 point lead before Saints responded on the half hour mark with a Jack Welsby special.John Hutchings had diffused a high bomb deep in this own 10 metres area then won a penalty allowing the Saints to clear their lines against a stiff breeze.Drives from Josh Simm and Tom Nisbett took the Saints into enemy territory on the last. From the play the ball Welsby dummied then went blind setting Simm free down the right edge. He played the ball back to Welsby on the inside who finished a move he started 40 metres earlier.The Saints had shown their ability to stay in the contest, but Wigan grabbed a decisive try on the hooter. A full set was conjured up out of nowhere and on the last Amir Bourouh went in from close range to open up a four score gap.Playing into the teeth of a strong breeze that had changed ends with the teams at the break, Saints crucially were the first to score.A neat grubber from Lewis Dodd gave the Saints a repeat set and put their hosts under pressure. Again it was Welsby showing his class stepping back off his left foot, but was stopped close to the line. From the play the ball a fabulous miss pass from Paul Nash found captain Sam Royle to go in untouched under the posts.This galvanised the Saints and a big defensive effort on 53 minutes from Hutchings and Nico Rizzelli forced the winger into touch gaining the Saints possession.But on the hour mark the Saints conceded a scrum on our own 30 metre line and from it Aiden Roden went over from dummy half.The game went into its final 10 minutes and the Saints came to life scoring twice in a five minute period.The first came after a delightful bit of inter passing on the fourth tackle down the right from Nisbett and Simm. From the play the ball Nash ran it giving it to Ryan Horne whose overhead pass was taken by Nisbett who stepped inside the cover to score. The tricky conversion against the wind was missed, but the Saints had belief.Five minutes later the Saints were in again. A penalty, for a late tackle on Dodd again saw Nash catch the defence out by going blind down the right. He again found Horne who put Simm away and the speedy centre stepped back inside to go under the sticks.Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as the hosts sealed victory in the third minute of second half injury time through Roden again.Match Summary Wigan U19’s Team: Umyla Hanley; Ben Holcroft, Corey Hall, Jake Sculthorpe, Cian Tyrer; Harry Smith, Ryan Forshaw; Ethan Havard, Aiden Roden, Oscar Stone, James McDonnell, Harry Rushton, Joe Shorrocks (C).Interchanges: Jack Bibby, Brad O’Neill, Nathan Wilde, Amir Bourouh.Tries: James McDonnell (8), Cian Tyrer (15, 21 & 23), Amir Bourouh (40), Aiden Roden (63 & 79).Goals: Harry Smith 3 from 7.Saints U19’s Team: Jack Welsby; Tom Nisbett, Josh Simm, Nico Rizzelli, John Hutchings; Ryan Horne, Lewis Dodd; Harry Brooks, Jake Wingfield, Kye Siyani, Matty Foster, Sam Royle (C), Joe Sharratt.Interchanges: Paul Nash, Warren Smith, Jamie Pye, Lewis Baxter.Tries: Jack Welsby (29), Sam Royle (46), Tom Nisbett (69), Josh Simm (74).Goals: Lewis Dodd 2 from 4.HT: 24-4FT: 36-20
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department wants to know if your house of worship is safe? They will be holding a church security seminar next month.The seminar will be presenting the department of homeland security’s active shooter safety guidelines, developing safety protocols and more.- Advertisement – WPD spokeswoman Linda Thompson says this is a timely event due to recent incidents nationwide.She is hopeful this will help better prepare community members if something ever is to happen inside a house of worship.“This is critical because the more we become prepared, cautious and ready,” Thompson said. When and if and certainly we don’t want to say when, but if it does happen we want to at least be able to say we’ve done everything in our power to prepare ourselves.” Thompson said.Related Article: Weekend checkpoint nets 4 arrests, more than 100 citationsWPD is asking ministries to send one or two representatives from your church to train them, so they can go back and teach what they have learned to others in the church.The seminar is free you just need to register. To register call 910-341-4608 or email Linda.Rawley@wilmingtonnc.gov.It will be Saturday morning January 20th from 8:30 a.m. – 11: 30 a.m. at City Hall Council Chambers.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The streets all around downtown Wilmington are clean right in time for the big festival this week. The Azalea Sweep takes place every year right before the Azalea Festival.Volunteers are split up into groups to clean the streets and pick up trash all over downtown.- Advertisement – The Azalea Queen will visit the areas that were tidied up during her time in the Port City.One volunteer said she was excited to be a part of the pre-festival fun.“I love Wilmington, and I love this area and I was more than happy to come and beautify and, you know, do away with some of the pollution. And make it pretty for the Azalea Festival,” volunteer Brittany Olson said.After the clean up, the volunteers celebrated their hard work with an after party and lunch.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Immigration and Customs Enforcement is reviewing the arrest of former UNC-Wilmington basketball player Chuck Ogbodo.Wilmington Police arrested Ogbodo last month after searching his home and finding marijuana, cocaine and other items.- Advertisement – In a statement, ICE said “nonimmigrant students in the United States who fail to maintain their nonimmigrant status are subject to removal in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act. However, an arrest alone is not sufficient to pursue removal proceedings when a nonimmigrant student has otherwise maintained their status. In cases where a student is facing criminal charges, ICE coordinates with the investigating law enforcement agency and school officials. If the school terminates the student’s enrollment, the student would then be out of status and subject to immigration enforcement. ICE is reviewing the facts of this particular case and will work with the appropriate officials to determine next steps.”ICE is reviewing the facts of the case and working to determine the next steps.UNCW says Ogbodo does not have an active student status and under federal law the university can not provide information regarding the student and exchange visitor program.Related Article: Police release identity of Wilmington mom, baby killed by fallen treeOgbodo came to the United States in 2009 from Nigeria.
On Wednesday, thousands of teachers will be in Raleigh to lobby lawmakers for better pay and working conditions. As a result, kids won’t be in school in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties. And many parents say they support the teachers efforts.“Teachers teach their students that they should fight for their rights and speak what they believe in, so they should have that right as well. They should be able to go, speak for their rights in Raleigh if they want to and fight for what’s right,” parent Melinda Finch said.Some parents believe it’s good teachers are doing what they can to fight for things like more money for the schools, but are just upset it got to this point.Related Article: North Carolina pecan season to be short, but sweet“I hate that they even have to go through this and we have to explain to our kids why they’re not going to school on Wednesday, because the teachers- what they have to do and I totally have their backs 100%. I full back them up. I feel like this is something they should do,” Messick said.As for what to do about childcare, many said parents will have to find a way to accommodate them.“That means parents are probably going to have to take off from work so then they’re going to miss out on a day of pay and the situation of the world today, we just need to come together, talk more, listen. a lot of these things that are going on now can be prevented,” grandparent Jacqueline Delts said.Many of the parents and grandparents said if students are able to exercise their rights, then teachers should be able to do the same thing. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Thousands of teachers from around the state, including hundreds from the Cape Fear, will rally in Raleigh. Parents in the area are expressing their thoughts on the decisions.“These teachers are the people that are educating our youth, our kids and they’re building our community up and it’s really a bummer that they have to go rally for themselves,” parent Courtney Messick said.- Advertisement –