I have driven probably 10,000 miles on I-35 in my lifetime and it’s inspired a lot of my blog posts. A lot of people find the long stretches of highway in red states across flat prairie really boring, but I confront my own fears nowhere better. Lately when driving I’ve just felt an intense pride in the people who work and live here despite what coasties and other misguided/wrong folk might say about us. So I figured this was as good an opportunity as any to highlight a couple of TOTALLY AMAZING things that people are doing in red states along this highway (even if the city they’re in isn’t).
Let’s start with the southern point: Texas! The Keystone XL Pipeline, a system of pipelines carrying crude oil from tar sands in Canada to multiple US cities, is a pretty awful, environment-tribal sovereignty-water supply-destroying endeavor. Have you heard about the fantastic Texas folks opposing its construction? Activists have staged an indefinite tree-sit (today is day 28!) to halt crews working in their state. Even in spite of bullying by law enforcement and TransCanada surveying crews, the blockaders are not budging. You can assist from them from afar! Fill out their action form to see how you can lend support.
I’m sure y’all have heard about Walmart employees striking in multiple cities with the organization OUR Walmart for better working conditions and union recognition. It’s gross that the world’s largest private employer is STILL actively discouraging workers from organizing even though they get paid awful wages, work in unsafe conditions, and experience sexual harassment nation-wide. A few workers in Sapulpa, OK also went on strike (without the help of any organizations) for more hours and better wages. YES.
Our awesome friends at Trust Women are working hard to open a clinic in Wichita that will provide, among a million other things, abortion services. You know what you could totally do to help them out? Not write a really patronizing blog post about their work but donate money to help them renovate the space!
The Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City, Iowa is currently doing awesome things during an incredibly gross 40 Days for Life protest. They are using their twitter to let folks know how to support them during a time when people creepily hang around outside the clinic and harass people accessing medical care; every day someone is shaming your neighbors and friends from getting health care is also a day you can show material support. You could network with them on social media, donate, or volunteer if you’re in their area!
Hats off to red states this month, y’all. We get shit done with a little money and a few dedicated volunteers. If you’ve got more to add about folks doing great things right now in red states that need support, let us know in the comments!
Jen might dress up for Halloween at work; look for the sober, gender-bent Little Red Riding Hood at a restaurant near you!