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Thirteen Years After His Passing, Gary Webb’s Work Lives On

Mon, 2017-12-11 17:07
Thirteen years ago on December 9, the world lost one of the few remaining investigative truth tellers. Gary Webb, formerly of the San Jose Mercury News ,authored one of the most epic series outlining the cooperation of the CIA and cocaine traffickers from the US backed anti-communist CONTRA rebels. While the circumstances of his death are highly suspect of foul play, his series ‘Dark Alliance’ exposed in tremendous detail as to how the most destructive drug, crack cocaine, was introduced to black neighborhoods in America.

Prolonged US Military Presence In Syria?

Mon, 2017-12-11 11:33
Officially the U.S. strength in Syria stood at approximately 500 troops, including hundreds of additional Special Operations forces, forward air controllers, artillery crews and others. They basically lend support to militants and Kurdish militias. Besides, the Americans unlawfully set up a military base not far from Syrian-Jordan border in At-Tanf in April 2017. The military instructors from the U.S., Great Britain, and France train New Syrian Army’s radicals for fighting official Syrian government instead of eliminating ISIS there. By setting up the military garrison the U.S. military command created a 55 km buffer zone over it that allowed them to prevent a UN humanitarian convoy from being admitted to the area in early November. As a result, 50,000 refugees from Raqqa and Deir-Ezzor in Rukban camp were left without basic necessities. The refugees living in that desert camp in southeast Syria practically are being used by the United States to shield its military base. Today a number of mainstream media discuss a military future of the U.S. Command in Syria. In particular, British Reuters reported that the Pentagon is likely to announce in the coming days that there are about 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.

The Moral Obligation To Provide Sanctuary

Mon, 2017-12-11 11:21
Other unions and employers can take additional steps to provide protections. Companies and nonprofits should have a plan in place for how to respond in the case of a workplace raid. They should develop systems to keep worker documentation offsite. They should also consult with immigration attorneys to offer legal clinics for employees. When it comes to city and statewide policy efforts to advance sanctuary, California has made us proud. SB 54, the California Values Act, sponsored by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, passed in Sept. with a 27-11 vote along party lines, and was signed into law Oct. 5 by Gov. Brown. This legislation prevents state and local law enforcement from aiding federal immigration agents unless someone is convicted of a certain category of crimes. Other efforts in California that were recently passed and signed into law include two bills sponsored by Assemblymember David Chiu. AB 291, the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, and AB 450, the Employment regulation: Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions Act, mandate immigrant protections in rental housing and at work.

Organizations Call On FCC To Abandon Attack On Net Neutrality

Mon, 2017-12-11 11:11
WASHINGTON — On Thursday, more than 30 press freedom, civil liberties and open government groups submitted a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to cancel the scheduled Dec. 14 vote to undermine the open-internet protections put in place in 2015. “You must not abandon Net Neutrality,” the letter to Pai reads. “The open internet is today our main conduit for expression and information. It is our library, our printing press, our delivery truck and our town square. Journalists, academics, governments and local communities depend on it to connect, communicate and collaborate every day. And as old models for news and information evolve or decline, the internet presents opportunities for new and independent media outlets to emerge.” The letter was signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Center for Media Justice, Civic Hall, Color Of Change, Defending Rights and Dissent, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, Free Press, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Globalvision, Inc., Local Independent Online News Publishers, Media Alliance...

Declaration On Climate Finance

Mon, 2017-12-11 11:02
We the undersigned, call for an immediate end to investments in new fossil fuel production and infrastructure, and encourage a dramatic increase in investments in renewable energy. We are issuing this call to action in the lead up to the climate summit hosted by President Macron in Paris this December. President Macron and other world leaders, have already spoken out about the need for an increase in finance for climate solutions, but they have remained largely silent about the other, dirtier side of the equation: the ongoing finance of new coal, oil and gas production and infrastructure. Ongoing global climate change and environmental destructions are happening at an unprecedented scale, and it will take unprecedented actions to limit the worst consequences of our dependence on oil, coal, and gas. Equally as critical as drastically curbing the carbon intensity of our economic systems is the need for immediate and ambitious actions to stop exploration and expansion of fossil fuel projects and manage the decline of existing production in line with what is necessary to achieve the Paris climate goals.

J20 Officer Bizarrely Slanders Black Neighborhood In Testimony

Mon, 2017-12-11 10:54
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Officer Michael Howden was supposed to help federal prosecutors establish that the group of protesters they want jailed for decades were assaulting cops wantonly the day President Donald Trump took his oath. But on cross-examination, Howden quickly grew heated as defense attorneys showed him clips of himself saying things he claimed not to remember saying on Inauguration Day. In one of them, Howden said that herding anti-Trump marchers was nothing new for him. “I’m fairly accustomed to that sort of rioting,” Howden is heard saying to another officer in a clip from Howden’s own body-worn camera footage from January 20. “Herding people through Barry Farm when they’re rioting, when they’re out of control,” he continued in the clip. Barry Farm, anonymous to most anyone outside the Washington, D.C., area and even to many who live here, is a public housing development in the Anacostia area of the District. It lies in the Metropolitan Police Department’s 7th District, where Howden is typically assigned — and where MPD’s use of “jump-out” tactics and aggressive stop-and-frisk searches of civilians has drawn public scorn and official sanction in recent years.

Co-directors Of Popular Resistance On The New Phase

Mon, 2017-12-11 10:43
Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, co-directors of Popular Resistance, describe the next phase for Popular Resistance and how it fits into the current political environment. In addition to a new website, which is cleaner, easier to share and has more media capabilities, they are building a Popular Resistance Studio to be able to bring news analysis more rapidly and are starting a Popular Resistance School for political education and skills building.

Philando Castile’s Death Inspires Black Economic Movement

Mon, 2017-12-11 10:43
The death of Philando Castile was a turning point for many Minnesotans, who were once again forced to face Minnesota’s structural oppressions and deal with the aftermath of another death of a Black man by police hands. It was a turning point for Me’Lea Connelly, a former security firm manager and single mother who lives in Minneapolis. “We have to find another tool for resistance aside from the bodies of Black youth,” said Connelly, director of the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP), which formed after the death of Philando Castile. “What a lot of people don’t know, after the lights went down at the [4th Precinct] Occupation, those kids were psychologically, socially, and physically abused, they were traumatized. We were right in the middle of trying to recuperate from that when Philando was killed,” said Connelly. That trauma inspired Blexit—a Black independence movement conducted through economic boycott—and ABEP. In the Twin Cities, economic organizing has often taken the form of legislative policy or (successful) efforts to pass higher minimum wages or guaranteed earned sick & safe time. But in the last few years, there has been a shift.

America’s Farmers Killing Themselves In Record Numbers

Mon, 2017-12-11 10:01
Rosmann, an Iowa farmer, is a psychologist and one of the nation’s leading farmer behavioral health experts. He often answers phone calls from those in crisis. And for 40 years, he has worked to understand why farmers take their lives at such alarming rates – currently, higher rates than any other occupation in the United States. Once upon a time, I was a vegetable farmer in Arizona. And I, too, called Rosmann. I was depressed, unhappily married, a new mom, overwhelmed by the kind of large debt typical for a farm operation. We were growing food, but couldn’t afford to buy it. We worked 80 hours a week, but we couldn’t afford to see a dentist, let alone a therapist. I remember panic when a late freeze threatened our crop, the constant fights about money, the way light swept across the walls on the days I could not force myself to get out of bed. “Farming has always been a stressful occupation because many of the factors that affect agricultural production are largely beyond the control of the producers,” wrote Rosmann in the journal Behavioral Healthcare. “The emotional well-being of family farmers and ranchers is intimately intertwined with these changes.”

BlackRock Wields Its $6 Trillion Club To Combat Climate Risks

Mon, 2017-12-11 09:43
BlackRock, along with investors such as UBS Asset Management and JPMorgan Chase & Co., is a participant in the task force led by Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg. The group concluded in June that companies affected by climate change should conduct scenario analyses and include those results in their financial reports. BlackRock sees this framework as “a means to achieve the comparability and consistency of reporting that is important to us as investors,” it said in the letter. The move is the latest by BlackRock on climate change after casting its first votes this year in favor of shareholder proposals asking companies such as Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. to provide more detail on the topic. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said in his annual letter to CEOs earlier this year that the New York-based firm would not be “infinitely patient” with companies on environmental and social issues that carry long-term risks.

Colombia: Paramilitaries Kill Land Rights Activist

Mon, 2017-12-11 09:27
Hernan Bedoya was the second activist from the group, Communities Constructing Peace, Conpaz, to be killed in 10 days. Another land rights activists, Hernan Bedoya, was killed by hired paramilitary members in a rural sector of the Choco Department in Colombia. Bedoya was the second activist from the group, Communities Constructing Peace, Conpaz, to be killed in 10 days. The Gaitanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, AGC, took responsibility for shooting Bedoya 14 times as he was traveling home by horse. The Colombian human rights groups, The People’s Defense and the Intercelestial Commission for Justice and Peace in Colombia, announced the killing on their twitter accounts and called for authorities to “quickly investigate” the killing. The AGC continually threatened the Conpaz activist since 2015 for his work in trying to protect Conpaz members’ communal lands from the company, Association of Agroindustrial Campesinos, Agromar, an industrial African palm and banana producer and exporter. 

What! Slavery In Libya? You Weren’t Reading Black Agenda Report

Sun, 2017-12-10 21:04
If the news that black Libyans and black migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were being sold as slaves in Libya was a surprise to you, then you were not reading Black Agenda Report during the 2011-2012 NATO intervention in that country. We covered it. Almost everybody refused to question US foreign policy in Africa during the reign of our first black president. Many US news outlets, many otherwise reasonable people with access to foreign news, and countless others around the world averted their eyes and their ears to the anguish of hunted, lynched and massacred black Africans in Benghazi, in Tripoli, in Sirte and Bani Walid. But as the US Navy and US Air Force unleashed thousands of tons of bombs and missiles on innocent civilians and the military forces of the Libyan government, without which Uncle Sam’s and Barack Obama’s racist rebels could never have toppled Muammar Gadaffi, you heard and read about it each week in Black Agenda Report.

Day 2 Of Countdown To Launch: Anne Meador

Sun, 2017-12-10 20:55
Anne Meador is a journalist, photographer and activist in the Washington, DC metro area and a co-founder of DC Media Group. She recognized that while there are many protests in DC, they do not receive fair reporting by the large corporate media presence there. Anne has a particular focus on environmental issues and has done deep reporting on the fracked gas refinery and export terminal being built in southern Maryland (see WeAreCovePoint.org) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see BeyondExtremeEnergy.org). We appreciate her fearless questioning of interviewees and her persistence in reading through dry government documents to uncover corruption.

Widespread Protests To Tax Bill, Backlash Brewing

Sun, 2017-12-10 20:52
The tax reform moral abomination is already igniting a firestorm across the country. Over the past two weeks, protests have erupted at 50 universities and in least 100 cities, while nearly 50 people have been arrested on Capitol Hill. And whether or not President Trump achieves his goal of signing this tax deal into law by the end of the year, this fight is just beginning. On December 4, prominent faith leaders announced plans for one of the largest waves of civil disobedience in U.S. history. Dubbed the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival,” this effort will mark the 50th anniversary of a similar initiative in 1968 that was undercut by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Open Letter From William Barber To Mitch McConnell

Sun, 2017-12-10 20:36
We are writing to inform you that your faith is not in line with the Scriptures, nor with what your party’s first President called “the better angels of our nature.” This country’s most vulnerable will not remain silent as this immoral legislation moves through Congress. Tens of thousands of poor and disenfranchised people, clergy and moral leaders today announced that we are coming together to launch the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. We will combine direct action with grassroots organizing, voter registration, and power building in the largest wave of nonviolent civil disobedience in U.S. history. Fifty years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King and others called for the original Poor People’s Campaign, this legislation you are championing makes clear that we need this work now more than ever.

Gentrification Can’t Be the Theme of Rust Belt Recovery

Sun, 2017-12-10 20:20
Many municipalities feel stuck between the need to generate tax revenue through development and the fear of displacing residents when rents rise as a result of this increased development. But as Henry Louis Taylor Jr., a professor at the University of Buffalo, says, “If you play the long game in neighborhood revitalization, costs go down when equitable investments are made. Cities can be more creative around taxation and spending.” The question then becomes how creative can cities get — and groups like PUSH are leading the fight to figure that out, with a hopeful, collaborative and greener future at the core of its vision.

Food Should Be A Commons, Not Capitalism

Sun, 2017-12-10 20:04
No consumer, farmer, or activist participates in the food system without also participating in capitalism. To Eric Holt-Giménez, the director of Food First, this is a basic truth that’s too often overlooked in the struggle to change our broken food system. In his new book, A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism, Holt-Giménez delineates the basic truths of capitalism and how they are connected to the history of our food system. Part history book, part practical guide, the book links many of the injustices associated with food to other inequities, arguing that capitalism fuels and is fueled by oppression. If we better understand “the rudiments of how capitalism operates,” he explains, “we can better grasp why our food system is the way it is, and how we can change it.” Civil Eats spoke with Holt-Giménez recently about the book, the current food crisis, and the future of food activism.

Newsletter – Now’s The Time! Next Phase For Popular Resistance

Sun, 2017-12-10 19:18
Today, we are excited to announce the next phase of Popular Resistance. We are starting with a new website that is easier for you to use and to share, and then we'll bring you expanded media and the Popular Resistance School in the new year. Together, we are building the culture of resistance necessary at this point in human history. The countdown this past ten days has been like a walk down Memory Lane for us and an opportunity for you to meet some of the people who work with Popular Resistance. Before we describe the next phase in more detail, we would like to tell you about Popular Resistance’s origins.

Meet Some Of The People Behind Popular Resistance

Sat, 2017-12-09 20:53
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Popular Resistance is more than a daily movement news website. It is a reflection of many people - some are behind the scenes making the website function or organizing campaigns, others are taking action or creating alternative institutions and still others are right behind them documenting their actions. For the past ten days, as we have counted down to the launch of our next phase, we have introduced you to a few of the people behind the scenes. Here is a compilation of the posts about them. This is just a sample of the people behind Popular Resistance. We hope that you enjoy meeting them and learning about the work they do. Of course, as a reader, you are part of Popular Resistance too. We are very excited about the next phase. The culture of resistance is growing and together, we will stop the machine and create a new world.

Day 2 Of Countdown To Launch: John Zangas

Sat, 2017-12-09 17:10
By Popular Resistance. John Zangas is a journalist and photographer who is one of the co-founders of DCMediaGroup, an independent media platform. John is a dedicated documentarian of people's movements in and around the Washington, DC metro area. On top of his full time job, he gets up and out early to cover actions and stays up late to write and edit photos and videos about them. As a reporter in the field, John is fundamental to Popular Resistance's actions reaching the public in a real and dramatic way. John has the courage to get up close in the middle of protests to document the people who are taking action. DC Media Group and Popular Resistance provide platforms for activists to raise awareness of critical issues.

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