Archive for the 'Politics' Category

So often, we forget to mention the many men who strongly, and pro-actively, support a woman’s right to reproductive choice. Mark Ruffalo is one of those men who takes a stand, and is willing to risk losing a portion of his career fan base to do so. Ruffalo tells a compelling story as a father, and as a son.

Mark Rufflalo – Abortion Rights Rally – Aug 17, 2013 in Jackson, MS

I am a man. I could say this has nothing to do with me. Except I have two daughters and I have a mother who was forced to illegally have an abortion in her state where abortion was illegal when she was a very young woman. It cost $600 cash. It was a traumatizing thing for her. It was shameful and sleazy and demeaning. When I heard the story I was aghast by the lowliness of a society that would make a woman do that. I could not understand its lack of humanity; today is no different.

What happened to my mother was a relic of an America that was not free nor equal nor very kind. My mother’s illegal abortion marked a time in America that we have worked long and hard to leave behind. It was a time when women were seen as second rate citizens who were not smart enough, nor responsible enough, nor capable enough to make decisions about their lives. It was a time that deserved to be left behind, and leave it behind we did, or so it seemed. We made abortion and a woman’s ability to be her own master a Right. That Right was codified into law. That law was the law of the land for decades. My own mother fought to make herself more than a possession; she lived her life as a mother who chose when she would have children, and a wife who could earn a living if she so chose. I want my daughters to enjoy that same choice. I don’t want to turn back the hands of time to when women shuttled across state lines in the thick of night to resolve an unwanted pregnancy, in a cheap hotel room just south of the state line. Where a transaction of $600 cash becomes the worth of a young woman’s life. So that is why I am lending my voice to you and your movement today. Because I actually trust the women I know. I trust them with their choices, I trust them with their bodies and I trust them with their children. I trust that they are decent enough and wise enough and worthy enough to carry the right of Abortion and not be forced to criminally exercise that Right at the risk of death or jail time.

There was no mistake us making Abortion legal and available on demand. That was what we call progress. Just like it was no mistake that we abolished institutional racism in this country around the same time. The easy thing to do is lay low, but then are we who we say we are? Do we actually stand for anything, if what we do stand for is under attack and we say nothing? There is nothing to be ashamed of here except to allow a radical and recessive group of people to bully and intimidate our mothers and sisters and daughters for exercising their right of choice. Or use terrorism and fanaticism to block their legal rights or take the lives of their caregivers. Or design legislation that would chip away at those rights disguised as reinforcing a woman’s health. I invite you to find your voice and let it be known that you stand for abortion rights and the dignity of a woman to be the master of her own life and body. I invite you to search your soul and ask yourself if you actually stand for what you say you stand for. Thank you for being here today and thank you for standing up for the women in my life.”

Sincerely and humbly,
Mark Ruffalo

Source


Mark Ruffalo, the standout in last year’s biggest hit “The Avengers,” has been dividing his time of late between acting and advocacy: He’s worked with New Yorkers Against Fracking to raise awareness of the environmentally destructive drilling method.

On occasion of the release of “Promised Land,” Matt Damon’s anti-fracking drama (which opened softly at the box office and hasn’t won over critics), Ruffalo called from the set of Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” to discuss the challenges of merging art and politics.

Have you seen “Promised Land”?
I haven’t gotten to see it yet — I’ve been working a pretty grueling schedule here in Pittsburgh. But I know a good deal about it. I know Matt, and we corresponded about this — he didn’t want to make a polemic. I understand that. I’m pro-gay marriage. And when I read “The Kids Are All Right” [for which Ruffalo was nominated for an Oscar], I thought, This would be a great way to show the human side of that debate. I find myself interested in the human side of the story more than the sheer power structure and how that works, and lobbying. I wish I were a better writer and could create something that could do it. I haven’t come across anything yet that turned my head and made me feel it’s what I need to do.

Why are there so few political scripts these days? The 1970s, for instance, were a golden age by comparison.
A lot of it has to do with financing and accessibility. It’s harder to hit straight on like in “All the President’s Men,” or “Three Days of the Condor,” or these movies that came out in the ’70s that were politically charged. We still have them. If you’re going to show what happened in Iraq, you run into the problem of funding and accessibility and, those government agencies are really heavy about propaganda and what they want to see in the world. They’re like a corporation, they have trademarks on their insignias, on their weaponry. You have to get those things cleared. There should be a line between propaganda the country wants to give to its people, and the people who are making the art.

But “The Avengers” co-starred Chris Evans as Captain America, a U.S. supersoldier who represents the military might of the nation and is an unambiguous hero.
“The Avengers” isn’t saying: We’re going to make a journalistic style true story about a military operation. And even though a great deal of it is fictionalized, we’re going to tell it as a journalistic effort. You look at “The Avengers,” and Captain America, and one thing you see, he’s anachronistic. He’s no longer really part of the American culture, and it’s something they play on in jokes. His idea of weaponry is so primitive.

The character I’m playing is basically a pacifist. But he also has this giant green rage machine that’s part of his makeup. It’s kind of a good metaphor for us, for America. The difference between that movie and other movies is that that’s a fantasy, and when people go to ["The Avengers"], they’re very forgiving. They’re open to that experience. Culturally we work out a lot of things sitting watching “The Avengers,” thinking, This is so intense. It’s not my favorite genre, but people are willing, and the suspension of disbelief is so strong they’re going so wholeheartedly along with this ride. What’s the difference between this and the ancient gods? Mankind needs to have these kind of stories and have these characters to play with, and work out some need in their psyche. Maybe that kind of film has a positive place in our culture. [The villains] are aliens. They’re not people. You’re not seeing violent bloodshed. I see it as something totally different.

Read the rest of the interview


Filed under: Articles & Press, Politics

The push to tax Wall Street is getting some star power. Mark Ruffalo takes on Wall Street earthlings in a new video calling for a tax on financial transactions.

The video, financed by several advocacy groups, supports a proposed “Robin Hood tax,” a levy of less than half of 1 percent on every Wall Street trade, being billed as a way to raise hundreds of billions of dollars to help reduce the federal deficit. The video’s release on Tuesday coincides with a series of demonstrations in cities like New York and Washington.

Mark, who also is an advocate for environmental causes, opens the video by altering a dollar bill, drawing a Robin Hood cap and mask on the face of George Washington, as a symbol for the campaign. Chris Martin, the singer of Coldplay, and Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine, also make appearances.

(via NY Times)


Filed under: Campaigns, Politics

Last night, Mark was honored at the Global Green’s 15th Annual Millennium Awards for his involvement with the anti-fracking movement. Head over to the gallery for the latest additions.


Filed under: Gallery, News, Politics

Here’s an ad from New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness in which actor Mark Ruffalo calls on Gov. Cuomo to extend the so-called millionaires’ tax. It’s noticeable in that it’s one of the few ads still running in which Cuomo is criticized by name. Critics are not sure if it’s Cuomo’s high poll numbers of fears or one of his famous phone calls or a combination but millionaires’ tax supporters have been loathe to criticize the governor even though they are happy to take swipes at NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senate Republicans on the issue.

This is all happening as lawmakers and Cuomo creep toward closure of the 2011-12 budget. Dean Skelos just emerged from a meeting with the governor in which he said he thought the budget could be completed in the next 12 couple hours. Meanwhile, Assembly Democrats are heading into their conference — maybe Shelly Silver will be the next leader to have a one-on-one conference with the governor.


Filed under: Media, News, Politics

Academy Award–nominated actor Mark Ruffalo and his wife, Sunrise, appear in the latest video in the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality series from the Human Rights Campaign.

The couple talks about parenthood in the video, saying, “We’re raising our three kids to treat everyone with dignity and respect. We believe everyone should have the right and the chance to be with the person they love – straight or gay.”

Advocates in New York hope to see another vote by June on the marriage equality bill, which failed in the state senate in 2009. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vowed to push for a vote during this legislative session.


Filed under: Media, News, Politics

“Oh, it’s totally a different set of questions” you get in Hollywood than the ones in Washington, he says, raking his fingers through that mess of floppy, boyish curliness. “One is, ‘Who are you wearing?’ And the other is, ‘How are we going to save the planet?’”

He first learned about the fracking debate at his local farmers market, where he goes to buy the things that he and his wife, Sunrise Coigney, don’t grow in their own garden. That initiation was two years ago. Since then, he’s become the Natural Resource Defense Council’s most recognizable face, lobbying the state government in Albany to ban the practice in New York, and now working at the national level.

Mark. You spent the morning meeting with congressmen on Capitol Hill. What issues were you discussing?
“Fracking. Hydraulic fracking. They blast the mixture underground at such high levels that it fractures the bedrock, which allows the natural gas to escape. A real movement is starting to coalesce around water,” he says. “Our idea is to go from city to city [and unite] whatever water groups are fighting mountaintop removal, or water scarcity, or gas drilling – anywhere that water is under attack, we host a concert there. The ultimate goal is we need to start thinking about clean, publicly owned water as a constitutional right.”

That’s in the hazy future. First he must navigate the Oscars, which, “as an event, is fatally boring,” he insists. “They don’t let you get up and dance or anything.” (Source)


Filed under: Interview, News, Politics

Mark was in Washington February 17th for a “Safe Drinking Water Act” press conference at the country’s capitol. He was also in Washington for a screening of the documentary, Gasland. Head over to the gallery for the latest additions.

Gallery Links:
- Home > Public Events > Events From 2011 > “Gasland” Washington Screening
- Home > Public Events > Events From 2011 > Safe Drinking Water Act Press Conference


Filed under: Gallery, News, Personal, Politics

Mark was on hand at EZ Studios in New York for the DVD release party of Josh Fox’s documentary, “Gasland.” Head over to the gallery for the latest additions.

It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground-a hydraulic drilling process called “fracking”-and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower. 

Gallery Links:
- Home > Public Events > Events in 2010 > “Gasland” DVD Release Party


Filed under: Gallery, News, Politics

Actor Mark Ruffalo has been placed on a terror advisory list by U.S. officials after organizing screenings for a new documentary about natural gas drilling. The Zodiac actor arranged showings for GasLand earlier this year and voiced his concerns about the affects the practice is having on America’s water supplies.

But his efforts to raise awareness and demand a stop to natural gas drilling reportedly attracted the attention of officials from Pennsylvania’s Office of Homeland Security – and he recently discovered it had landed him on a terror alert watchlist.

But Ruffalo is taking it all in his stride and has laughed off the idea he could be a threat to security in his native U.S.

He tells GQ magazine, “(It’s) pretty fuckin’ funny.”

Source


Filed under: News, Personal, Politics
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