Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ignore Us At Your Peril

Lawyer Mama writes We Won't Be Ignored:
I just want to remind the media and all of the Presidential candidates not to dismiss us. We "Mommy bloggers" are a force that can't be denied. We are well educated and vocal. We are doctors and lawyers and journalists and political followers. We care deeply about the future of our children and this country. We have checkbooks and blogs and we aren't afraid to use them.

Take heed, candidates. We may be mothers and we may be women, but we will not be ignored.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Planning a Protest

Well, I'm back from the Applebee's protest. I'm exhausted! We had 30 adults (moms, dads, and grandparents) and over 50 babies and children. But no press :( despite all my efforts at sending out press releases this week. One station (NBC5) did carry a blurb on the six o'clock news, just using the information we provided, but did not have the personnel to send a crew out to the protest itself. Numbers are still coming in, but looks like nationwide we had nearly 2000 people at 101 events in 43 states.

Oh, but the really exciting news (at least to me) is that I finally bought the shirt I have wanted for at least two years. Mine looks just like the photo and has "I Make Milk. What's Your Super Power" embroidered on it. I bought it at Granola Threads, and the owner, Keri, was most helpful in making sure I received it in time for today's event. You can buy shirts with the same slogan at Cafe Press and the like, but they are about as expensive and not nearly such good quality. Plus, it was on sale.

One interesting thing about planning this protest is that I learned a bit more about First Amendment law. Perhaps I should say "re-learned" - I'm pretty sure it was on the bar exam. I interfaced with an assistant city attorney, a police lieutenant, and a patrol officer. I discussed easements. I read through the Arlington Municipal Code and now know how to apply for a parade permit, should I ever wish to organize a parade. I didn't speak to the press, but I learned how to write and send out a press release. And I sharpened my skills at organizing people, by doing it and by watching others do it. I took the lead when no one else was willing. I'm looking at this big picture. I'm adding tools to my toolbox.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood?

Applebee's restaurants are the target of a nationwide protest to take place this Saturday, September 8, 2007, at 12:00 noon (local time), in a response to an incident that took place last June in Kentucky. While discreetly feeding her baby at an Applebee's restaurant, Brooke Ryan was asked to either leave or cover her baby's head with a blanket, in violation of 2006 Ky. Acts, Chap. 80 , which reads in part:
No person shall interfere with a mother breastfeeding her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.
You can read all the details at Birth Without Boundaries, which is sponsoring the national event. However, I will summarize by saying that Lactivists do not call for nation-wide protests unless the response from corporate representatives has been less than adequate:
Shortly following the incident, Ms. Ryan retained the services of a lawyer who contacted Thomas and King, the company that owns and operates the Lexington Applebee's location. Nearly 2 months later, the company responded with a letter stating "we are considering keeping blankets in the restaurants for use by breastfeeding mothers that may not have them readily available,"...
Here's a list of bloggers covering the event (so far):

Our Applebee's is not nursing friendly... (Azuroo)
Breastfeeding Advocates Sending Nationwide Message to Applebee's (Breastfeeding 123)
Applebees Hates Babies, Try Hooters Instead (Breeders are Eaters Too!)
Applebee's accuses nursing mother of having "an agenda" (Human Lactation Information)
Applebee’s Nurse-In, Nurse-Out (The International Breastfeeding Symbol)
Breastfeeding nurse-out Saturday (Journal of a North American Celtic Bobtail)
August is World Breast-feeding Awareness Month (Kentucky Women)
Applebee's Ticks off Nursing Moms or "I Won't Be Eating Good at THAT Neighboorhood" (The Lactivist)
Applebee's Nurse In (Mama Knows Breast)
Eating not-so-good in the neighborhood (The Mother Tounge)
Nationwide nurse-ins at Applebee's (Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog)
Eatin’ Good In The Neighborhood? (My Little Tribe)
Applebee's Nurse-in (Nursing Your Kids)
Wear Your Burka if You Want to Nurse at Applebees (The Twinkies)
Eatin’ Stupid in the Neighborhood (Women's Health News)

If I missed anything good, leave me a comment.