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Updated: 3 hours 37 min ago

A Victory For Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

5 hours 55 min ago
By The Indigenous Americans. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe’s drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline. A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects. In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.”

Divest The Globe, Invest In The Future

6 hours 16 min ago
By Mazaska Talks. On October 23rd, ninety-two of the world's largest banks will meet in São Paolo, Brazil to discuss policies on the climate and Indigenous People's rights to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). These banks include Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) financiers such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and many more. Mazaska Talks is calling on indigenous people and allies everywhere to join us for 3 days of mass global action that make it clear to the banks: Financing climate disaster and the abuse of Indigenous Peoples will result in a massive global divestment movement.

Pursuit Of Inauguration-Day Protesters Threatens Dissent

Sat, 2017-10-21 09:29
By Chip Gibbons for The Nation - Late next month, the first mass trial will be held for some of the roughly 200 people facing years—or even decades—in prison after being arrested during an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist protest that took place on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The “J20” cases, as they are known, offer a glimpse at the treatment of dissent in this country, and the story they tell is one of overreach and criminalization. Defense lawyers have described the government’s approach as “unprecedented,” its indictments as “littered with fatal irremediable defects.” Sam Menefee-Libey of the DC Legal Posse, a group of activists who provide support to the defendants, was more blunt, criticizing the cases as “blatant political prosecutions” designed to “chill resistance.” The story of the J20 protesters should frighten anyone concerned about the future of both free assembly and dissent in the United States. The charges—which include felony rioting, inciting or urging others to riot, conspiracy to riot, and property destruction—all stem from the same mass arrest, during which police indiscriminately swept up protesters, journalists, and legal observers. What makes the charges all the more troubling is that prosecutors then failed to allege that the bulk of defendants did anything specifically unlawful; rather, merely being at the protest was a crime.

Ohio State Denies Request To Have Richard Spencer Speak On Campus

Sat, 2017-10-21 09:19
By Brandon Carter for The Hill - Ohio State University has denied a request to rent space for prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus, citing public safety concerns in the wake of Spencer's appearance at the University of Florida earlier this week. “The university has deemed that it is not presently able to accommodate Mr. [Cameron] Padgett’s request to rent space at the university due to substantial risk to public safety, as well as material and substantial disruption to the work and discipline of the university,” a lawyer representing Ohio State said in a letter to an attorney representing Spencer’s associates and obtained by The Guardian. Earlier Friday, a lawyer for Spencer said he would file a federal lawsuitagainst the university if it denied a request for Spencer to speak on campus. WOSU reports that Ohio State senior vice president Christopher Culley told Michigan attorney Kyle Bristow last week that the university could not accommodate a request to rent space, but the lawyer held off suing while the school looked into "other alternatives." Bristow told WOSU he is seeking an injunction to force the school to rent space for Spencer’s speech.

Activists Arrested Where Nuns Are Protesting A Pennsylvania Pipeline

Sat, 2017-10-21 09:15
By Julie Zauzmer for The Washington Post - In a dramatic showdown in a cornfield, owned by Catholic sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, 23 people stood holding hands and singing hymns until they were arrested and charged with defiant trespassing. “I feel really frustrated with our courts and our government,” Barbara Vanhorn, a local resident who came to the nuns’ cornfield to join the protest, said to NPR. The oldest of the 23 people arrested at 86, Vanhorn said she worries that the natural gas pipeline, which will carry the products of fracking in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation, will damage the environment. “They’re giving in to these big, paying, lying companies that are trying to destroy not only our country but the world.” According to the local Fox News station, 11 of the protesters who were arrested are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. NBC News reported that one protester, who suffered an apparent panic attack after his hands were zip-tied behind his back for more than an hour, was taken to a hospital. Most of the people arrested were local residents; one traveled from Massachusetts and another from West Virginia to join the protest. Mark Clutterbuck, who leads the group Lancaster Against Pipelines, said that almost 100 people participated in the demonstration. The nuns, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s, did not protest but did hold a prayer vigil in support. The sisters argue that allowing a fossil fuel pipeline on their land goes against the land ethic that members of their order sign, vowing to protect the earth.

Police Reportedly Claim A Brooklyn Teen Consented To Sex In Custody

Sat, 2017-10-21 09:06
By Natasha Lennard for The Intercept - ON SEPTEMBER 28, attorney Michael David filed notice of a claim against the New York Police Department, the City of New York, and two unnamed police officers, referred to as John and Jim Doe. These plainclothes cops, alleged the claim, “brutally sexually assaulted and raped” his 18-year-old female client. David told me that within a day, he needed to amend the claim: The officers had been identified by police in the press as Brooklyn South narcotics detectives Richard Hall and Edward Martins. “What was strange,” said David, “was that within only two or three hours of me filing, there was a story leaked to the New York Post saying that the detectives were claiming that the sex they had with my client in custody was consensual. They hadn’t even been named yet.” The attorney told me that he believes “the police were trying to get ahead of the story.” At a time of elevated public awareness about police violence and sexual assault, these detectives’ apparent defensive tack raises troubling questions about the way cops approach these national plagues. Let us be clear: Someone in police custody cannot give consent, in any meaningful sense of the word, to the officer holding them. Someone in police custody cannot give consent, in any meaningful sense of the word, to the officer holding them.

Solidarity In Action: Puerto Rico Relief Efforts Underway In New York

Sat, 2017-10-21 09:00
By Leninz Nadal for The Indypendent - I grew up in the Lower East Side as a Nuyorican, and this has been a really emotional experience. My extended family lives in the municipalities of Loíza and Carolina in the northeast of Puerto Rico. They do not have power. We spent a lot of time trying to find them. It’s hard to know that my family is in this urgent, desperate situation, and at the same time, I also feel disconnected. There is a lot of guilt and feeling like we can never really do enough. The Trump administration’s mistreatment and lack of knowledge is infuriating. It is so callous. I’ve been really inspired by the Nuyorican and Puerto Rican diaspora coming together. It makes me hopeful that we have a strong resilient foundation. We had a healing space at UPROSE where a lot of people came and were able to grieve and also plan our next steps together. We communicate regularly with folks on the island and are organizing to send sustainable supplies. The groups we are working with are asking about bicycles, quality soil, non-GMO seeds, water supplies and solar panels so Puerto Rico can move toward economic sovereignty. On Oct. 11 we held a rally at Union Square as a part of a national day of action for a just recovery. The following day we sent supplies down with bikes and generators. What we really want is a just recovery for Puerto Rico. We don’t want investment capitalists to further a plan that prioritizes their corporate interests. We want the communities that have been directly affected to determine what needs to be done for Puerto Rico.

Tearing Down Monuments Of Oppression Is First Step To Decolonization

Sat, 2017-10-21 08:52
By Ashoka Jegroo for Truthout - One of the most inspiring and audacious direct actions against a racist statue recently was in August in Durham, North Carolina. A group of more than 100 activists from leftist and anti-capitalist groups, such as the Workers World Party and the Industrial Workers of the World physically tore down the Confederate Soldiers Monument in front of the old Durham County Courthouse while chanting "No cops! No KKK! No fascist USA!" Multiple activists were later arrested and charged with felonies for tearing down the statue, the first of whom was 22-year-old student Takiyah Thompson. "I think it's important to think about the position of the Confederate statue in front of the old courthouse," Thompson told Truthout. "Even though that courthouse is no longer in use, it's still a government building, and the fact that it's on the courthouse steps makes a very clear statement to Black people, and people of color more generally, about what kind of justice they're going to receive when they enter that courtroom. People are talking about tearing down history, but it's not history. Not when the legacy is still very much alive." Thompson said that the action started as a response to an uninspiring post-Charlottesville vigil organized by the liberal, pro-Democratic Party group IndivisiblesNC on August 13.

Millions Of Americans May Need Passport To Board Domestic Flights In 2018

Sat, 2017-10-21 08:45
By Carey Wedler for Anti-Media - Come January 22, all states are required to be in compliance with the Real ID Act unless they have received extensions. DHS is currently reviewing extension requests from states like California, New York, and New Jersey. So far, 25 states are compliant with the act. According to the TSA, states that are not yet compliant “will have a grace period until January 22, 2018, meaning that Federal agencies (including TSA) will continue to accept driver’s license and identification cards issued by these states in accordance with each agency’s policies.” After that, travelers in states that have not yet met the requirements may be required to show their passports for interstate travel. DHS says that “Starting January 22, 2018, travelers who do not have a license from a compliant state or a state that has been granted an extension (a complete list of non-compliant states/ territories can be found here) will be asked to provide alternate acceptable identification. If the traveler cannot provide an acceptable form of identification, they will not be permitted through the security checkpoint.” By October 1, 2020, “every traveler will need to present a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel.”

Portuguese Children To Sue European Govs Over Climate Change

Sat, 2017-10-21 08:36
By Staff of The Herald - Seven children are to sue European governments in a landmark lawsuit over the impact that climate change is having on their lives. The Portuguese youngsters, some from the Leiria region which has been devastated by wildfires twice this year, are seeking a ruling to force 47 countries to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions. And they want the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to order nations to keep remaining fossil fuel reserves in the ground. One of the children spearheading the unprecedented case is 18-year-old Claudia from the Leiria district, who said older generations have a responsibility to stop releasing dangerous pollution. "What worries me the most about climate change is the rise in temperatures, which has contributed to the number of fires taking place in our country," she said. Claudia said she is taking the case "for the children and for the future generations who are not responsible for the current state of the environment". Three days of national mourning are being held in Portugal after scores of people died as deadly forest fires twice hit the country this year. Outbreaks in June claimed 64 lives and another 41 are believed to have been killed in the last week after winds associated with Storm Ophelia fanned flames sparked in drought-like conditions.

Texas City: No Harvey Relief If Applicants Boycott Israel

Sat, 2017-10-21 08:25
By Emma Fiala for Mint Press News - DICKINSON, TX — The town of Dickinson, Texas is home to just over 20,000 people, an annual crawfish festival, and one of the most absurd requirements for disaster relief imaginable. The town recently made non-support of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign a condition for receiving hurricane aid. How can a small town like Dickinson put forth such a gratuitous disaster relief requirement? In this case, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — Dickinson is simply following in the footsteps of the entire state of Texas. Recently, Texas banned any contractor who supports the BDS campaign from receiving state funds. In the opinion of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies. Despite the head-scratching nature of that claim, at least to many critics in- and out-of-state, House Bill 89 was signed into law in July. The bill specifies that the state may enter into a contract with a business only if that business does not boycott Israel. The bill also takes the extra step of specifying that businesses must “not boycott Israel during the term of the contract” either. The legislation also prohibits the state from entering into a contract with a business that refuses to buy products made in Israeli settlements — settlements that are illegally located on Palestinian land.

Catalans Are Protesting Against Banks That Have Moved Their HQ

Sat, 2017-10-21 08:15
By James Bissell for The Nation - Bank customers in Catalonia are withdrawing symbolic amounts of money from financial institutions that have moved their official headquarters to other locations in Spain amid a political crisis over the region's independence bid. Pro-independence umbrella group Crida Democracia called on consumers late on Thursday to put pressure on banks that made the decision. By Friday morning, dozens of people were lining up at a CaixaBank branch in central Barcelona, most of them withdrawing 150 or 160 euros from ATMs. The amounts were closest to 155, in reference to the Spanish constitutional article with which the central government plans to revoke some of Catalonia's autonomous powers to prevent regional politicians from pushing ahead with secession. CaixaBank and Banco Sabadell, the largest Catalan lenders, are among hundreds of financial institutions and businesses that have moved their official registration out of Catalonia. "These banks are traitors," said Oriol Mauri, 35, owner of a children's game business in central Barcelona. "They need to see that it's lots of us who are angry." Mauri, who withdrew 150 euros because the ATM would not allow him to take out 155, said he was not worried about businesses fleeing Catalonia. "I'm not afraid of economic repercussions," he said. "Our power as consumers is perhaps the only way to influence and have our voice heard in Europe."

Blueprint For The Most Radical City On The Planet

Fri, 2017-10-20 08:32
By Bill Quigley. A federation of local cooperatives and mutual aid networks, Cooperation Jackson, has many concrete forms including an urban farming coop, a food coop, a cooperative credit union, a hardware coop, and a cooperative insurance plan. They plan to be an incubator for more coop startups, a school, a training center, a cooperative credit union, a bank, a community land trust, community financial institutions like credit unions, housing cooperative, childcare cooperative, solar and retrofitting cooperative, tool lending and resource libraries, community energy production. They are also working to build an organizing institute and a workers union. Cooperation Jackson is an economic movement, a human rights movement and a movement insistent on environmentally sustainable progress. They work for clean air and water, zero waste, and against toxic industries.

#HandsOffCorey: Support #Charlottesville Defender Corey Long

Thu, 2017-10-19 08:22
By Solidarity Cville for Medium - Corey Long turned himself in this past Friday after the white supremacists who attacked Charlottesville swore out a warrant against Corey for disorderly conduct and assault and battery. Corey is beloved in his community, known for taking care of others. Now he is known nationwide for a photograph of him with an ignited spray can shielding an elderly man from a group of white nationalists swinging flags at them. This photo emerged as one of the most powerful images of community defense and guardianship against the intimidation, extreme force and brutality that neo-Nazis perpetrated as promised against Charlottesville residents. Shortly after that photo was taken, a Nazi fired a gun at Corey. Corey Long, a 23-year-old elder care worker, was arrested for answering the call to defend his community against the imminent siege of terror that both Mayor Mike Signer and UVA President Teresa Sullivan told the residents of Charlottesville to outright ignore.

The Collapse Of Trumpcare And The Rise Of Single Payer

Thu, 2017-10-19 08:11
By Adam Gaffney and Zackary D. Berger for The BMJ Opinion - Two major developments in September upended US healthcare politics. The month’s end saw the failure of a last-ditch blitz by Senate Republicans to dispatch the Affordable Care Act (ACA) via the Graham-Cassidy bill, a painful defeat for opponents of Obamacare, including President Trump. And on 13 September, Senator Bernie Sanders’ single-payer “Medicare-for-All” bill was released, galvanizing proponents of progressive healthcare reform. Among the notable aspects of Sanders’ bill was its co-sponsorship by 16 Senators (as opposed to zero for Sanders’ last bill), among whom were most of the potential Democratic 2020 presidential contenders. Rising support for single-payer in the Senate follows a similar shift in the House of Representatives, where a majority of Democratic lawmakers now support Representative John Conyers’ single-payer bill. The immediate impact of these single-payer bills—given that neither will pass in the current Congress—may seem modest. Yet in conjunction with the collapse of Republicans’ ACA repeal efforts, they could signal a new era in American healthcare politics.

US Withdrawal From UNESCO: Abandonment Of Principles

Thu, 2017-10-19 08:01
By Anuradha Mittal for IPS - OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, Oct 18 2017 (IPS) - A woman shopkeeper is standing on a plastic chair to avoid knee high swirling rainwater mixed with sewage. “I work with a women’s cooperative selling products made by Palestinian women in my shop. The sewage water has gone into the electric wires, so I have no electricity. Everything in the shop is destroyed. The metal door [that was] installed to protect the settlers prevents the water from flowing out into the main drain. . . . This means we suffer every time it rains. They [the settlers] want us to move from here. This is why they make our life hard,” she cries. The silent rain accompanies wails of those impacted. This is the Old City of Hebron – the largest city in the West Bank and the only city in the Occupied Palestinian Territory apart from Jerusalem, with illegal settlements inside the city. As the sewage water in the market rises, Palestinian shopkeepers and residents point out the holes in the gate to allow for water to go through. However, cement blocks and sand placed by the settlers have closed the water drainage. I am reminded of my time in Hebron, with last week’s announcement of US withdrawal from UNESCO, the Paris-based cultural, scientific, and educational organization of the United Nations, accusing it of “anti-Israel bias.”

Is FBI Setting Stage For Increased Surveillance Of Black Activists?

Thu, 2017-10-19 07:53
By Thaddeus Talbot, Hugh Handeyside, and Malkia Cyril for ACLU and Center for Media Justice - A recently leaked FBI “Intelligence Assessment” contains troubling signs that the FBI is scrutinizing and possibly surveilling Black activists in its search for potential “extremists.” The report, which the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division prepared, identifies what it calls “Black Identity Extremists” as security threats. Their “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans … will very likely serve as justification” for violence against law enforcement officers, the report claims. Today, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act requestwith the Center for Media Justice seeking other records regarding the FBI’s surveillance of Black people on the basis of a supposed shared ideology, including records using the term “Black Identity Extremists.” The report is disturbing on several levels, starting with the label “Black Identity Extremist.” Its definition of the term is so confusing as to be unintelligible: “The FBI defines black identity extremists as individuals who seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society and some do so in furtherance of establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities, or governing organizations within the United States.”

Only Nonviolent Resistance Will Destroy Corporate State

Thu, 2017-10-19 07:46
By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig - The encampments by Native Americans at Standing Rock, N.D., from April 2016 to February 2017 to block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline provided the template for future resistance movements. The action was nonviolent. It was sustained. It was highly organized. It was grounded in spiritual, intellectual and communal traditions. And it lit the conscience of the nation. Native American communities—more than 200 were represented at the Standing Rock encampments, which at times contained up to 10,000 people—called themselves “water protectors.” Day after day, week after week, month after month, the demonstrators endured assaults carried out with armored personnel carriers, rubber bullets, stun guns, tear gas, cannons that shot water laced with chemicals, and sound cannons that can cause permanent hearing loss. Drones hovered overhead. Attack dogs were unleashed on the crowds. Hundreds were arrested, roughed up and held in dank, overcrowded cells. Many were charged with felonies. The press, or at least the press that attempted to report honestly, was harassed and censored, and often reporters were detained or arrested. And mixed in with the water protectors was a small army of infiltrators, spies and agents provocateurs, who often initiated vandalism and rock throwing at law enforcement and singled out anti-pipeline leaders for arrest.

LAPD Commission Approves Drone Pilot Program Amid Protest

Thu, 2017-10-19 07:37
By Wes Woods and Brenda Gazzar for Los Angeles Daily News - The civilian Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday approved a one-year pilot program for the use of drones by police in certain situations, despite significant concerns voiced by the public. The program was approved by a 3-1 vote after commissioners considered guidelines and took public comment. Steve Soboroff, president of the commission, said before his vote the issue wasn’t about drones. “The issue is a universal distrust and categorical distrust of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department,” said Soboroff, shouting above the crowd. “And I have a general trust and respect for the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department, and I will vote for this policy.” Soboroff’s words came after commissioner Cynthia McClain-Hill said she was opposed to the “difficult” issue. “I am not satisfied that this department has done what it should do and needs to do in order to build the trust that is required to support the implementation of this technology,” McClain-Hill said. Meanwhile, commissioner Shane Murphy Goldsmith did not attend the meeting for reasons unclear. Many in attendance voiced their opposition to the program, and loud chants of “Shame on you!” broke out following the decision while four people were detained and issued citations. Afterward, some people in the audience briefly blocked Main Street and 1st Street outside of the meeting to protest of the decision.

As We Close Rikers, Essential State-Level Reforms Needed

Thu, 2017-10-19 07:22
By Glenn E. Martin for Gotham Gazette - Anyone following New York City politics knows about JustLeadershipUSA’s mission to close the jails at Rikers Island. In less than a year, the #CLOSErikers campaign successfully pressured Mayor Bill de Blasio to commit to shuttering the jail complex. It is no longer a question of if Rikers will close, but when. But the campaign has always known that closing Rikers would require reforms at the state level as well. An overhaul of our statewide bail, speedy trial, and discovery statutes is necessary to reduce the population at Rikers so that it can finally and expeditiously close its doors. Even if Rikers was closed tomorrow, these reforms would still be necessary. While New York City has successfully reduced its jail population over the past few years, county jail populations across the state are growing. Today, 63% of people held in jail in New York State are held in jails outside New York City. Of those 25,000 husbands, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and loved ones who are sitting in jails across our state, 70% have not been convicted but remain unjustifiably caged while they await the outcome of their cases. This reality is a consequence of punitive and discriminatory criminal justice policies that have decimated communities, primarily poor communities and communities of color, for decades.

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