At Campbell Soup, Heirs Hold the Key as Activist Tries to Remake Board

Activist Daniel Loeb’s campaign to replace Campbell Soup’s board needs backing from descendants of the man who invented condensed soup. They hold at least 45% of the company’s stock.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Activist Investor Questions Perry Ellis Acquisition Deal

The battle for Perry Ellis International might be heating up again.
On Thursday, Water Island Capital disclosed a 5.5 percent ownership stake in the company and in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing said it “does not believe that the merger consideration” by Feldenkreis Holdings LLC “represents fair value to the Issuer’s shareholders.” It went on to say that it is “considering various options and remedies to maximize the value of its shares in connection with the merger.”
As reported, in mid-August, the Perry Ellis Special Committee ended discussions with Randa Accessories which had submitted a higher $ 444 million offer for the company and reiterated a commitment to a $ 437 million transaction it inked with former chief executive officer George Feldenkreis to take the company private. Randa had offered $ 28.90 a share to Feldenkreis’ $ 27.50.
The special committee said the decision was a response to news that an inbound licensor would not approve a change in control of the license to Randa should it buy the company. It said the inbound licensor was the company’s largest, leaving speculation that it was Nike Inc., which has a business with Perry Ellis valued at more than $ 100 million.
Randa’s expertise is in accessories while Perry Ellis manufactures

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Here’s What 11-Year-Old Activist Naomi Wadler Wants Adults To Know

“I hope by the time I’m your age, we would have educated our children … on today’s issues and we wouldn’t have kept them in a bubble.”
Culture and Arts
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With … Tim Robbins: ‘Hollywood Is Changing,’ Says Its Veteran Activist, Tim Robbins

The actor, now 59, muses on Trump, Weinstein and the perhaps overenthusiastic flaying of Matt Damon.
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Activist William Ackman Loses Bid for ADP Board Seats

William Ackman lost his bid for three seats on the board of Automatic Data Processing, the latest blow to the struggling activist investor as shareholders sided instead with management.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Avon CEO to Step Down Amid Activist Investor Pressure

Avon said that Chief Executive Sheri McCoy will resign in March, as the company faces pressure from activist investors to make faster progress on its corporate turnaround plan.
WSJ.com: US Business

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Has Apparently Turned Elisabeth Moss Into An Activist

The book and show made her wonder, “What happens if I don’t speak up?”
Arts
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Clariant, Huntsman Deal Under Threat From Activist Investors

Clariant’s bid to create a $ 14 billion chemicals giant through a merger with U.S.-based Huntsman has come under attack from a group of the Swiss company’s largest shareholders who are pushing to derail the transaction.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Arconic Ousts CEO Kleinfeld After Pressure From Activist Investor

Arconic said Klaus Kleinfeld has been replaced as chairman and chief executive officer of the company, an abrupt departure following heavy pressure from activist investor Elliott Management.
WSJ.com: US Business

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BHP Billiton Urged by Activist Investor to Shed U.S. Oil Operations

Activist investor Elliott Management urged BHP Billiton to spin off its large U.S. petroleum assets and outlined a significant restructuring plan for the world’s largest listed miner.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Anti-Uber activist banned from harassing drivers

A man who carried out citizen’s arrests on Uber drivers in Australia has been permanently banned from making similar arrests.
BBC News – Technology

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Meet Emily Bador: Model, Activist, And Body-Positive Instagram Queen

British model Emily Bador uses Instagram to call out unrealistic beauty standards, promote body-positivity, and inspire self-love.
Allure
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Outgoing Canadian Pacific CEO and Activist Investor to Target CSX

Hunter Harrison, the railroad veteran who announced his early departure from Canadian Pacific Railway, is joining with an activist investor in an attempt to shake up management at rival railroad CSX.
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How Tiffany Dufu, Author and Activist, Spends Her Sundays

Ms. Dufu stays close to her Harlem apartment, puts in some time at the gym and prepares for a busy week.
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Activist Elliott Management Calls for Change at Cognizant

Activist investor Elliott Management called for change at Cognizant, saying the IT outsourcing firm should boost profitability and return more of its cash to shareholders.
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Jeffrey Marsh, Vine Star, Discusses Their Work As An Activist

Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Marsh is open to the use of any pronoun but for the purposes of this profile, we are using “they/them/their.”

You may not know who they are — but you’ve no doubt heard their message.

Jeffrey Marsh is a social media star who utilizes Vine to spread messages of positivity and awareness on a massive digital platform. Their Vines have collectively received more than 90 million views, ultimately providing Marsh with the opportunity to take their message outside of social media and speak and perform all over New York City.

Marsh is most notably known for spearheading the viral hashtags #DontSayThatsSoGay and #NoTimetoHateMyself.

In the technological age, the face of activism has evolved along with the way in which we communicate. Marsh is part of a generation of LGBTQ activists who, through social media, are changing minds and perceptions in parts of the world where people may not encounter a queer person in their day to day lives.

The Huffington Post chatted with Marsh this week about their work as an activist, the way in which they utilize social media and what they have planned for the future.

The Huffington Post: How did you become a Vine star?
Jeffrey Marsh: By accident! I’m doing what I always did: dress up like Julie Andrews, dance around, tell people they’re awesome as heck, sing them songs and (literally) kick up my heels to some catchy Katy Perry.

The only difference now is the camera, the chance to post those moments for gay kids in Arkansas and Canadian moms. No other form of social media I’ve tried allows me to immediately connect like Vine does. It is very much like a face-to-face social experience. Each day I’m shocked and excited to find messages from people who feel like my videos help them to be themselves. I guess I became a “star” by being myself.

When did you realize that things were really heating up and people were starting to take notice?
That’s the funny thing, it was so gradual — so natural. There are plenty of people in social media who burn brightly and fast, who go viral and get (almost) instant fame. For whatever reason, my journey so far has been consistent and incremental. I picture one friend telling another; a grass roots approach to fame.

It would be hard to argue that my message isn’t popular. But is it the most popular? Not by a long shot. I’m reminded of Joan Rivers talking about some advice she once got: if 0.1% of America thinks you’re funny, you’ll fill stadiums for the rest of your life. I’m not sure I will ever fill a stadium, but I think Joan and I are both talking about quality over quantity. This is most true when it comes to cultivating a relationship with the like-minded people who call themselves fans. And I’m happy to say that those fans are all over the figurative (and literal) map: old, young, black, white, trans, bi — you name it! Everybody is welcome and can hopefully connect with my inclusive message.

jeffrey marsh

Did you have a strategy or a plan in the beginning or were you just creating Vines that felt right to you and putting them out in the world?
Did I have a plan? Definitely not! I always knew I wanted to tell as many people (in as many ways as I could) that there is nothing wrong with them. I just started posting things that brought a smile to my face, that helped me feel excited to post again — to connect again.

I don’t like dwelling on the “larger” implications of what I’m doing. There have been hundreds of messages from people who decided not to commit suicide because of my channel, for instance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that’s happening! It’s just that all I did was look into my iPhone camera and tell a friend they’re beautiful for being alive. I don’t ever want to lose that connection. Is that simple direct approach a strategy? Maybe it is…

Do you approach your vines differently now than you did at the beginning? What has changed for you?
Maybe part of my success, and the success of Vine overall, is the relatability factor. People can see me; they can look into my eyes, which never happens on Twitter. I’ve shied away from making more polished, “produced” vines because I’m concerned they will lose a personal touch — a humanity that is so essential to one of my missions: showing that LGBTQ folks are just folks. We are all human.

One thing that has changed for me is the recognition of the responsibility I have. I say it in a grandiose way because I don’t think I’m representing just LGBTQ folks. I’ve realized recently that my gender identity is a metaphor. I have the chance to be a voice for many of the voiceless outsiders in the world — the heartbroken people who have felt left out. If my interactions on Vine are any indication, there are a lot of us out there!

What’s it like to see a hashtag campaign you’ve created take off and touch so many people?
It’s ultra-fulfilling and fun. To know that people benefit, to know that people get it and are changed by what I do is a reason to get up in the morning. It’s also a reason to glue on false lashes when I’m a little tired and skim through hate e-mail to answer my followers. #DontSayThatsSoGay and #NoTimetoHateMyself brought out so many different kinds of people; people who would never be in front of a camera, never would be that visible on social media. They felt the message, their participation was that important. And everyone’s participation is that important! It really excites me to see that. Being in front of the camera feels natural for me, but when someone else who might be nervous or shy puts their truth on Vine, it is very inspirational.

If I ever start to have worries about my numbers or how many “likes” I’m getting, I go through those videos from everybody. That’s what’s important: the connection, the changed lives. I often feel like my life has been changed most of all.

When it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation, how would you describe yourself?
I never want anyone to feel bad. Ever. So, I decided a while ago that there is no “wrong way” to refer to me. I know that words and pronouns are really important to a lot of people. I respect that deeply. Several times a week, people ask “what’s your preferred pronoun?” which is nice of them, but I have no idea!

For me, connecting is most important. If someone is being respectful, I don’t care what they use. I’d love to have an interaction with someone who says a pronoun that doesn’t seem true for me at that moment, and we talk about it — we connect over it. Excluded from all this is, of course, is hate speech. I just don’t engage that.

I don’t want to deflect the heart of the question though! Personally, I don’t walk around thinking of myself as “her,” “man,” “they” or any other word we’ve currently got going. I guess that’s part of why I love hearing everybody’s stories on Vine — I can relate to men and women and everyone. When we’re talking about being human and having feelings, there is so much that we have in common.

What’s the one thing you hope people take away from what you’re doing? If you could boil everything down into one message, what would it be?
Always, always, always the message is the same: There Is Nothing Wrong With You. With varying degrees of success I’m sure, I keep it all hovering around that theme. Tweets, Instagram and, of course, my Vines are all an effort to help people ditch the self-hate and self-judgement. What could be more important?

What do you want to accomplish in 2015?
Let’s take over the world! I would be very happy if The Message (see above) could reach more people and bring more of us together. Helping one person is a cause for celebration to me, and I plan to keep celebrating that one-at-a-time connection by Vining my heart out.

Want to see more from Jeffrey Marsh? Check out their Vine, Twitter, Instagram or website.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Activist Comics: Constitutional Amendment

The Supreme Court doesn’t seem to care about much besides the very richest when it comes to campaign finance law. In the 2010 decision Citizens United vs. FEC, the court ruled that no amount of money can corrupt a politician, hence there shouldn’t be any limits to spending in elections, because having spending limits is basically just like muzzling some poor corporation’s political speech with an unconstitutional ball gag. There have been concerns over a conflict of interest in the Citizens Untied decision, after revelations that Chief Justice John Roberts had in fact been discovered as an infant and raised in the woods by a pack of corporations.

To some, going through the process of passing a new amendment is too daunting to find it viable. But given the widespread support for overturning Citizens United, this is necessary to stop the Supreme Court from continuing to eviscerate common sense anti-corruption laws. In the recent decisions Hobby Lobby vs. Sebelius and McCutcheon vs. FEC, the Supreme Court doubled down on the dubious precedent of Citizens United: that corporations have constitutional rights just like people, and that letting a rich person spend as much as they want in elections was what the founders intended when they wrote the First Amendment.

It might seem radical to have a Constitutional Convention over something like Super PACs, the unenforceable slush funds that have flourished as the latest billionaire accessory. But you know what is even crazier? Passing a Constitutional Amendment BANNING ALCOHOL. Can you imagine a tougher sell than banning cocktails? Doesn’t leveling the playing field in elections seem pretty reasonable now?

In this edition of Activist Comics, the need for an amendment is visualized through adapting a Superman comic book cover where the Man of Steel is being made into a monkey by a mutant gorilla.

2014-11-22-AMENDMENTComic.jpg

What would this amendment look like? There have already been different versions introduced to Congress, and even the Senate debate about an amendment to overturn Citizens United fell short of including the tenets that Money≠Speech and Corporations≠People.

Below is what that amendment could read like, as proposed by Move to Amend, which was introduced into Congress with love on Valentine’s Day, 2013. And to make it feel as important as possible, here is the amendment presented as the opening scrawl from Star Wars.


STAR WARS 28th Amendment from John Wellington Ennis on Vimeo.

A new CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT is one of the Fix Six solutions featured in PAY 2 PLAY: Democracy’s High Stakes, a new documentary about standing up to money in politics. Out 12/2 on DVD, available now in iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo, and Disinfo.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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