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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Fear Coalition Press Release: Stop the War on Women

Date: Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 3:41 PM
Subject: No Fear Coalition Press Release: Stop the War on Women

Press Advisory
No Fear Coalition
Network for Women's Equality
Occupy Washington, DC

For Immediate Release

President Obama: Stop the War on Women

The No FEAR Coalition, Network for Women's Equality (Net-WE) and Occupy Washington, DC applaud the courage of twelve women at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) who have filed a class complaint against USDA Secretary TomVilsack that included President Barack Obama because their protests of being sexually harassed and retaliated against have been ignored by the administration. 

At the USDA Forest Service, Alicia Dabney, a Native American female firefighter, endured humiliation at the hands of her supervisor and male peers that included sexually explicit comments.  A year ago, the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees had a rally outside the USDA headquarters to protest this case and others in the Forest Service.  "We met with representatives of the White House, Secretary Vilsack and his staff to discuss widespread civil rights violations, after which Secretary Vilsack personally apologized for the failure to address these issues.  But, in spite of his apology, Ms. Dabney was fired and the perpetrators are still employed," said Lawrence Lucas, President of the Coalition.  The No FEAR Coalition has posted a youtube of Ms. Dabney's supervisor's call ordering her to his bedroom at: www.marshacoleman-adebayo, look under the women whistle tab. Please go to
http://beforeitsnews.com/womens-issues/2012/10/breaking-12-women-file-class-action-against-usda-and-president-obama-2440466.html to read the press release from the USDA women. Also, please sign a petition in support of Alicia Dabney at:

Lesa Donnelly, representing the USDA women in their class action asked, "What kind of message does this send to other women in the Department of Agriculture?  We have tried to get the administration to address these issues and take positive corrective actions on behalf of the victims.  We have written letters, we have marched, we have protested, all to no avail. Instead, the response has been, "We hear your words and take them seriously."  Donnelly continued, "How seriously are these incidents being taken, when sexual assaults, attempted rapes, and workplace violence are ignored and the women are further victimized. Nothing seems to get the attention of the people in this administration."
In response to the announcement of the USDA class action, Susan Morris, President of Net-WE and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) whistleblower, said "There is a war on women currently going on in the Federal government and it is not only at USDA."  After a lengthy investigation by the Office of Special Counsel, Morris was found to have been retaliated against by senior leaders at EPA for exposing violations of civil rights laws and regulations, but the agency has failed to take corrective action.  "Many EPA female employees have contacted me to talk about EPA management's institutionalized and abusive methods of destroying their personal and professional lives.  They are using performance improvement plans, unnecessary investigations, false accusations and even attempt to have employees criminally prosecuted.  It's really an evil and disgraceful environment that has no place in our government or democracy," said Morris. "The President needs to step up and tell his political appointees to stop the war on women that is taking place on his watch."  

The War on women has moved from simply crushing the careers of women at the Agency to pressing criminal charges. A young woman was recently taken out of EPA in handcuffs to spend the night in jail.  Other whistleblowers have met a similar fate. Including incarceration in federal prison. The whistleblower to prison pipeline must end, said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, president of the No FEAR Coalition.

"Occupy Washington DC stands in solidarity with the twelve women whistleblowers who are being retaliated against for standing up for their rights to be treated with respect in the workplace and who's request for protection are being ignored" stated Dr. Margaret Flowers. "We call on President Obama to intercede in the USDA to protect the rights of these women who work under his administration and see that those who break the law are held accountable. All workers should feel safe from harassment in the United States."
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