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Updated: 10 hours 32 min ago

Thousands Of Boston Counter-Protesters Swarm Right Wing Rally

Sat, 2017-08-19 15:23
By Popular Resistance. Boston, MA - Today's rally, organized by the Boston Free Speech Coalition, in Boston Commons was overwhelmed by counter protesters opposed to racism and bigotry. About a dozen free speech rally participants held their event in a heavily barricaded gazebo in the commons and left early under police escort as they were surrounded by thousands of counter protesters. Happening just a week after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which one counter protester, Heather Heyer, was killed and dozens were injured, the response to the right wing rally was markedly different this time. For starters, organizers of the free speech rally tried to distance themselves from white supremacy and violence this time around, issuing a warning to attendees. And the response by counter protesters has been swift and massive.

Rumors Of KKK March Lead To Rapid Mobilization In Durham

Sat, 2017-08-19 11:38
By WRAL. Durham, NC - 11:25 a.m.: In a recorded message to employees, Durham County closed office buildings and sent workers home early on Friday. All employees were instructed to leave for the day, take their belongings and avoid downtown. 11:35 a.m.: Several downtown Durham businesses, including Scratch Bakery and SunTrust bank, have closed early or not opened as rumors swirl of a planned white supremacist rally. 11:40 a.m.: Police have blocked the road in front of the old Durham County Courthouse at 201 E. Main St. ahead of a rumored white supremacist protest. 12:07 p.m.: Crowds of people could be seen holding signs on Main Street in downtown Durham. A banner read "We will no longer be intimidated," and people were seen holding "Black Lives Matter" signs.

Is Ryan Kelly’s Iconic Photograph An American ‘Guernica’

Sat, 2017-08-19 09:30
By Jennifer Wenzel for The Conversation - On August 12, Charlottesville Daily Progress photographer Ryan M. Kelly captured the exact moment that Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields, Jr. drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters, injuring 19 and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. It’s probably the most enduring image to emerge from the weekend of “Unite the Right” rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia. At first glance, Kelly’s photograph is nearly impossible to make sense of visually or politically. Cars are not supposed to drive into pedestrians; fellow citizens are not supposed to kill each other over political differences. And there’s so much in the frame of the image – so many figures and forms crowded together, most only partially visible – that you can’t take it in all at once. Pablo Picasso’s 1937 iconic mural “Guernica” might teach us how to interpret this image more closely, and why it is important to do so. Like Kelly’s photograph, “Guernica” conveys a moment of terror through a jumble of forms and fragments that seem to make no sense. In April 1937, a different sort of “Unite the Right” moment took place in fascist Europe during the destruction of Guernica.

Electricity Cooperatives Paving The Way For A Renewable Future

Sat, 2017-08-19 09:23
By Kevin Stark for Shareable - That's exactly how the cooperative system is supposed to work, he added. It's an example of a core tenant of electricity cooperatives: sharing ideas. "It's a mission. It's time for us to learn from them and do what they are doing." Woolery said. Wynn signs on to this philosophy too. In 2017, he wrote an open invitation for any other co-op to copy the program. "It is really hard to argue against energy efficiency," Woolery says, adding that it's all about economic development. "We want to create jobs and opportunity and wealth that stays in Appalachia, because so much has been extracted from it." So far, How$martKY has funneled $2.5 million to local contractors for performing efficiency upgrades on homes, but the program hasn't reached the same scale as in Roanoke. Still, he's worked with organizations from California to Arkansas to develop similar programs. He testified on behalf of the program at the Kentucky state legislature in the city of Frankfort. Most recently, Woolery went to the Lausitz region of Eastern Germany for a summit on how coal communities can transition to renewable energy.

Korean Americans Denounce US War Threats In Coordinated Protests

Sat, 2017-08-19 09:19
By Staff of Zoom In Korea - On August 14–ahead of the 72nd anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule–Korean Americans across the United States rallied to demand the U.S. government stop war provocations against North Korea and start talks towards peace. Korean Americans and other anti-war peace activists in New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles held coordinated protest actions in their respective regions. Following the impeachment of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the election of liberal Moon Jae-in, Korean people around the world had high hopes for the resumption of North-South engagement. Many had expected North, South, and overseas Koreans to come together for a joint conference in Pyongyang or Seoul on August 15 in commemoration of Korea’s liberation. Just as Korea’s liberation was cut short by the arrival of U.S. occupying troops in 1945, however, the prospect of peace on the peninsula is once again thwarted, this time by Trump’s threats of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Guatemala’s Indigenous Campesinos Occupy Capitol Over Land Conflicts

Sat, 2017-08-19 09:12
By Jeff Abbott for Toward Freedom. On August 8, one hundred Q’eqchi Maya families from the Department of Alta Verapaz arrived to the historic center of Guatemala City, the nation’s capital, to establish a permanent presence in an encampment near the Presidential Palace. They have announced that they will remain there until the administration fulfills the agreement between the campesino communities and the government established in April 2015 to end agrarian conflicts within the department. “We are here in front of the National Palace because of the failure of the state to comply with the accords that came after many dialogues with state officials on the land conflicts in Alta Verapaz,” said Carlos Choc, a member of a Q’eqchi community within the Municipality of Coban, Alta Verapaz, and a representative from the Comité Campesino de Altiplano(CCDA), the organization that coordinated the occupation.

Inside America’s Largest Worker-Run Business

Sat, 2017-08-19 09:06
By Jay Cassano for Fast Company - Fifteen years ago, Clara Calvo had just left her husband and her job. Both were abusive in their own ways. Her husband beat her, while her job at a beauty salon required long, unpredictable hours for little pay. Before that, she worked in a clothing factory in midtown Manhattan, earning a pittance for each hat she sewed, having immigrated from the Dominican Republic in 1995. Today, Calvo is able to support her three children as a single mother and sits on the board of company with over 2,000 employees that does $60 million in business per year. Solving Inequality: This is part of Co.Exist’s collection of stories about rising income inequality and big and bold ideas for how society can reverse this trend. See the whole list here. But Calvo also works as home health care worker, making just $10 an hour. Her company, Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA), is not like most other companies. It is a worker cooperative, an ownership structure that is somewhat rare in the U.S. but much more common in Spain, Italy, and parts of Latin America. In a worker cooperative, every worker can own an equal share of the company (and its profits) and get a say in company decisions.

Joy Is The Perfect Resistance To Politics Of Fear

Sat, 2017-08-19 09:00
By Janey Stephenson for Open Democracy - When you hear the words ‘anti fascist rally,’ what do you visualize? An angry crowd with placards, old hippies holding banners with clichés about love, or maybe those rowdy anarchists in black balaclavas? What about young women and non-binary people gleefully dancing to grime music that’s blasting out of portable speakers? Well, that’s precisely what a recent anti-fascist rally in south London looked like. It’s a perfect example of how collective joy can become powerfully subversive. When the far-right “pro-British” South East Alliance came to Croydon in south London to hold an “anti-immigrant, anti-Islam” rally, they were interrupted with an unexpected weapon: joy. A big crowd of young activists, predominantly from direct action groups like Sisters Uncut and Black Lives Matter UK, danced joyfully right in front of them, guarded by a line of police. It might seem like an unexpected tactic, but logically it makes perfect sense, both to the individuals involved and to the political goals of these groups. Where fascism aims to instill fear, joy is the perfect resistance. To laugh in the face of fear is possibly the bravest act, which is why Saffiyah Khan became an instant hero in the United Kingdom when she smiled at fascist thugs from the far-right, racist movement English Defence League — who began harassing Muslim women in her hometown.

The Work Lives Of Uber Drivers: Worse Than You Think

Sat, 2017-08-19 08:55
By Katie Wells, Kafui Attoh, and Declan Cullen for Working Class Perspectives - To be an Uber driver is to work when you want. Or so Uber likes to say in recruitment materials, advertisements, and sponsored research papers: “Be your own boss.” “Earn money on your schedule.” “With Uber, you’re in charge.” The language of freedom, flexibility, and autonomy abounds, and can seem like a win for workers. But the reality of our research shows something very different. The price of flexibility in the gig economy is substantial. Last year we conducted 40 in-person interviews and online surveys with Uber drivers in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Our project—which creates one of the first independent, qualitative datasets about the rideshare industry—found that the economic realities of precarious work are a far cry from the rosy promises of the gig economy. In exchange for flexible schedules, Uber retains near total control over what really matters for drivers, namely the compensation and costs of work. Aman bought a Lincoln Town Car in 2012 after he been approved to drive for Uber Black, the brand-new private car service. As an Ethiopian immigrant in Washington, D.C., he had supported himself by driving a taxi so he already had the chauffeur license that was then required. In 5 or 6 hours of driving, he earned what would have taken him 8 hours in a taxi.

Roger Taney Statue Removed From State House Overnight

Sat, 2017-08-19 08:48
By Pamela Wood and Erin Cox for The Baltimore Sun - Under the cover of night, a work crew removed the statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, taking down the author of the infamous Dred Scott decision from his 145-year prominent perch in Annapolis. Cheers erupted from a few dozen onlookers as the hulking bronze statute of Taney was lifted from its pedestal on the State House front lawn just before 2 a.m., clipping tree branches on its path to a waiting truck bed. It’s the latest monument linked to the Confederate era to be removed from a public square since white nationalists rallied in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. State officials have been under mounting pressure to take down the Taney statue. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan reversed his stance on the matter this week. His shift provided enough votes for the four-member State House Trust on Wednesday to approve removing the monument. Hogan’s spokesman, Doug Mayer, said the state decided to quietly and swiftly remove Taney’s statue overnight “as a matter of public safety.” The granite pedestal that supported the Taney statue since 1872 temporarily remains in place, surrounded by green plywood and guarded around the clock by two officers.

How Cities Can Save Small Shops

Sat, 2017-08-19 08:11
By Karen Loew for Citylab - Over its two decades in business, Jane’s Exchange, a secondhand children’s and maternity clothing shop in Manhattan’s East Village, has clothed generations of diverse New Yorkers and served as a de facto resource center, water cooler, and play spot. When she’s not running Jane’s Exchange, the co-owner Gayle Raskin, who also lives nearby, is usually active elsewhere in the community. Especially on this island of the empty storefront, her shop is a textbook example of why shopping local matters: The store fills a need, employs local residents, re-invests locally, supplies warmth and personality to a city block, and supports neighborhood connections and institutions, which support it back. Shops like this one are disappearing fast from city streets, particularly in Manhattan, where they're often left empty—leading to so-called high-rent blight—or else replaced by chain stores. According to the Small Business Congress, at least 1,200 small businesses close every month in New York City. Even if that number is correct, some are replaced by new small businesses. But the immense scale of the problem is clear: “This is the number one issue in Manhattan,” Borough President Gale Brewer told the City Council at a hearing last September.

Trump And America’s Fascist Forefathers

Sat, 2017-08-19 08:01
By Glen Ford for Black Agenda Report - Donald Trump was even more agitated and combative than usual at Tuesday’s press conference. How could he draw a line to separate the “neo-Nazis” and assorted “white supremacists” that had descended on Charlottesville, Virginia -- one of whom used his car to crush the life out of a young woman -- and the “very fine people” that favored keeping Robert E. Lee’s statue on its pedestal in (recently renamed) Emancipation Park? And, where would the racist-removal project end? The answer, as somebody once said, was blowing in the wind. “So this week, it is Robert E. Lee,” warned Trump . “I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” There is nothing wrong with Trump’s logic. If the legacy of slavery is to be excised root and branch, then nothing less than the most profound social transformation is in order. Why stop with statues of long dead men? If you rightly condemn Washington and Jefferson as loathsome oppressors of humanity, you are then obligated to purge the nation and world of the poisoned fruit of their racist perversion. What these forefathers “brought forth on this continent” was “a new nation, conceived” NOT in liberty, nor was it dedicated to the proposition that all men were created equal.

Millions For Prisoners’ Human Rights March In DC

Fri, 2017-08-18 09:16
By Kyle Fraser for Black Agenda Report. Prisoner rights advocates will converge for what aims to be the largest abolitionist demonstration in U.S. history, Saturday, August 9, in Washington D.C. The Millions for Prisoners' Human Rights March is centered around the demand that the exceptions clause, which allows for slavery to continue in United States prisons, be removed from the Constitution's 13th Amendment. With over 1,100 lives claimed last year by today's slave-catchers in law enforcement, a Black imprisoned population that comprises 1/9 of the prisoners on earth and a manufactured “war on drugs” that rages on despite untold evidence of its foul origins, the fact of prison slavery should not exceed the imagination's limits -- and yet mass mobilization for its abolition has thus far not reflected the brutally severe implications of its ongoing practice. On August 19th, IAmWeUbuntu and the other march organizers both in and outside the walls seek to change that, as they bring family members, friends and supporters of the incarcerated from across the country together under the banner of abolitionism. The growing modern-day abolitionist movement calls on all people of conscience to join in on the mass denunciation of this country's original sin in D.C.'s Lafayette Park this Saturday, August 19th, to finally achieve the goal of ending slavery once and for all and without exception.

Dilemmas Of The Radical Left In A Dying Capitalist System

Fri, 2017-08-18 08:56
By Immanuel Wallerstein for Toward Freedom - In what I call the pan-European world (North America; western, northern, and southern Europe; and Australasia), the basic electoral choice for the last century or so has been between two centrist parties, center-right versus center-left. There have been other parties further left and further right but they were essentially marginal. In the last decade however, these so-called extreme parties have been gaining in strength. Both the radical left and the radical right have emerged as a strong force in a large number of countries. They have needed either to replace the centrist party or to take it over. The first spectacular achievement of the radical left was the ability of the Greek radical left, Syriza, to replace the center-left party, Pasok, which actually disappeared entirely. Syriza came to power in Greece. Commentators talk these days of “pasoksation” to describe this. Syriza came to power but was incapable of carrying out its promised program. For many, Syriza was therefore a great disappointment. The most unhappy faction argued that the error had been to seek electoral power. They said that power had to be achieved in the streets and then it would be meaningful.

Protesters Illuminate Charlottesville During Candlelight Vigil At UVA

Fri, 2017-08-18 08:50
By Carla Herreria and Ryan J. Reilly for The Huffington - CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ― A new light illuminated Charlottesville on Wednesday, when thousands of people assembled on the University of Virginia campus for a candlelight vigil. The peaceful gathering was in protest of the weekend violence that broke out after white supremacists stormed the campus with Tiki torches. Demonstrators on Wednesday swayed with their candles as they sang, “This Little Light of Mine” and the American classic “This Land Is Your Land.” At one point, people chanted, “Love wins!” After the vigil ended, a group chanted, “Black Lives Matter.” Brandy Mokhtar, a Richmond resident who graduated from UVA in 1996, said she felt “compelled” to be a part of the candlelight vigil. She said she wanted to help “cleanse and wash away all the hatred that was spread across the grounds.” Mokhtar said UVA is “a very safe place,” where violence is out of place. Mokhtar, who is black, said the school had its share of controversies during her time, but UVA responded well and she had a wonderful college experience.

Condemning Trump Not Enough, People Must Condemn Racist Laws

Fri, 2017-08-18 08:27
By Peter Certo for Other Words - Our president has no trouble naming his enemies — CNN, Rosie O’Donnell, Nordstrom, immigrants, Muslims, the all-women version of Ghostbusters, etc. etc. But when it comes to violent white supremacists, his passive streak is impossible to miss. When neo-Nazis and Klansmen incited a riot in Charlottesville, Trump famously blamed “many sides.” Even after a belated statement finally condemning the racist perpetrators, Trump immediately backtracked. The very next day, he blamed the fictitious “alt-left” for the violence and insisted there were “many fine people” among the torch-bearing Confederates. This was far too much even for many Republicans. Senator Jeff Flake accused the president of “making excuses” for “acts of domestic terrorism.” John McCain insisted “there’s no moral equivalency between racists” and their opponents. Marco Rubio worried the president was resurrecting an “old evil,” while Texas Rep. Will Hurd called on Trump to apologize. These Republicans (and many others) deserve credit for speaking out. But condemning Nazis is the lowest bar in the broader fight against white supremacy.

Historic Settlement In ACLU Case On Behalf Of Three Torture Victims

Fri, 2017-08-18 08:22
By Staff of ACLU - NEW YORK — In a first for a case involving CIA torture, the American Civil Liberties Union announced a settlement today in the lawsuit against the two psychologists who designed and implemented the agency’s brutal program. A jury trial was scheduled to begin on September 5, after the plaintiffs successfully overcame every attempt by the psychologists to have the case dismissed. The lawsuit was brought by the ACLU on behalf of Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and the family of Gul Rahman, who froze to death in a secret CIA prison. The three men were tortured and experimented on using methods developed by the CIA-contracted psychologists, James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen. “This is a historic victory for our clients and the rule of law,” said ACLU attorney Dror Ladin. “This outcome shows that there are consequences for torture and that survivors can and will hold those responsible for torture accountable. It is a clear warning for anyone who thinks they can torture with impunity.” The full terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.

Black-Led Credit Union: ‘Most Important Work’ To Drive Economic Vitality

Fri, 2017-08-18 08:15
By Camille Erickson for TC Daily Planet - “We can’t keep using the bodies of youth as the only tool for resistance,” Me’Lea Connelly, executive director of the Association of Black Economic Power (ABEP) said, “we need something else.” In the wake of the killing of Jamar Clark on Nov. 15, 2015 and the ensuing Fourth Precinct occupation, followed less than a year later by the killing of Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, Connelly recalled a drive for a concerted effort with movement organizers to diversify tactics of resistance against police brutality. A meeting was called, and after hours of conversation with a cross section of community, the group voted to create Minnesota’s only Black-led financial institution in North Minneapolis. A symbiotic relationship exists between ABEP and Blexit. Connelly described Blexit as the incubator and nest where ideas put forth by the community are percolated. ABEP puts them into action. The ABEP Executive Committee composed of – Connelly, Brett Grant, Ron Harris, Amber Jones, Danielle Mkali, Felicia Perry and Y. Elaine Rasmussen – are leading the effort to build the foundations of the credit union while still remaining deeply grounded in the conceptions of resistance movement.

100-Plus Immigrants Detained In Tacoma On Hunger Strike

Fri, 2017-08-18 08:05
By Kenny Ocker for The News Tribune - More than 100 immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center on Tacoma’s Tideflats started a hunger strike Monday to protest conditions at the facility, according to an immigrant rights group. The three-day strike, which started at noon, is intended to get concessions in terms of food, care and legal access, according to a letter from detainees released by the NWDC Resistance. The immigrant rights group held a protest outside the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement site, during which the letter was read aloud. About 30 people attended. The detention center holds more than 1,500 immigrants whose deportation proceedings are ongoing. Geo Group, a private for-profit prison corporation, runs the facility. “It is very likely that ICE and Geo will try to retaliate by switching them (the striking detainees) to other pods or sending them to solitary,” NWDC Resistance leader Maru Mora Villalpando told the crowd. ICE regional spokeswoman Rose Richeson said the office will not retaliate against participants in the “purported ‘hunger strike.’” “ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference and does not retaliate in any way against hunger strikers,” Richeson said.

From Charlottesville With Resolve + Indigenous Youth Paddle To Protect

Fri, 2017-08-18 07:58
By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy - This week on Act Out!, a special episode to discuss what happened last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. Note: we will not show the video. Next, we take a look at an old decaying pipeline, a brand new one and the company that craves more land and water for the sake of black gold. We talk with two indigenous youth activists standing up to the company and taking to the water to raise awareness and build resistance: Stop Line 3 and Paddle to Protect. From tweets to marching in the streets, this is Act Out!

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