“We are a diverse group of people who have come together against the Israeli occupation and against the massacre. However,” says Kash Nikazmrad, an organizer with Students for Justice in Palestine, “every massacre, every occupation, every act of colonialism always has a mechanism and a supporter. The supporter in this situation has been America.” Nikazmrad is one of the organizers behind the Los Angeles “Stop The Massacre in Gaza” events. Judging by the (in)action of Congress, it is hard to dispute Nikazmrad’s claims. When it comes to Israel and Gaza, there is unanimous agreement. As Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss sums up:
Badass Teacher Association (BAT): This association is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning… Join Us!! The BATs protested the devastating educational policies of the United States Department of Education and Arne Duncan today! The Rally lasted from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and drew over 550 teachers, parents, and educational activists from 38 states. BATs demanded such things as ending federal incentives to close and privatize schools, promote equity and adequate funding for all public schools, and ban all data sharing of children’s private information. BATs asked and were allowed to enter the USDOE at 3:30 to meet with the Civil Rights Department Senior Advisors. The BAT delegation included Tennessee BAT Larry Proffitt, Co-Founder of BAT Mark Naison, Connecticut BAT Yohuru Williams, New York BAT Marla Kilfoyle, Chicago parent activist Shoneice Reynolds, and Chicago student activist Asean Johnson.
Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee Goodman and two of his fellow Republican colleagues skewered Vice Chairwoman Ann Ravel — a Democrat — on Thursday because she didn’t vote to defend the agency last month against litigation from campaign finance reform-minded organizations. “Not only does this effort derail longstanding Commission practice, but more troublingly, it contravenes well-established legal precedents and evinces a flippant disregard for judicial review,” wrote Goodman, along with FEC commissioners Caroline Hunter and Matthew Petersen. “Commissioner Ravel has gone to extraordinary and unprecedented lengths to try to censor presentation of the agency’s rationale for its prosecutorial decision in the Crossroads GPS matter,” they continued. The blistering four-page statement came less than four months after Goodman and Ravel vowed to work together to improve the nation’s campaign finance watchdog and to overcome the bitter ideological divide that has for years plagued the agency. Whether abstaining from the vote draws “furor or not, I’m here to do what’s best for the public and to fulfill the purposes of the FEC,” Ravel told the Center for Public Integrity. “It’s about disclosure.”
Micum McIntire stood shoulder to shoulder with his employees inside the cafe at Market Basket in Biddeford just after noon Monday, his eyes glued to live TV coverage of his company imploding at an outdoor protest in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. “They’re calling for us to shut the stores down,” said McIntire, the Biddeford store director, as thousands of Market Basket workers and their supporters rallied for their recently fired CEO and against the company’s new leadership. “That’s what they’re saying: ‘Shut it down.’ ” Demonstrators display placards outside a Market Basket grocery store as a shopper pushes a grocery cart on Tuesday in Chelsea, Mass. Supporters and employees rallied at Market Basket locations calling for Arthur T. Demoulas to be reinstated as CEO. The Associated Press And where did that leave McIntire? “I have no idea,” he replied. Had he received any guidance from Demoulas Supermarkets Inc., the grocery chain’s Massachusetts-based parent company? “There’s nobody there,” replied McIntire, his face etched with anxiety. “They’ve all been fired.”
Palestinian supporters set up an ‘Occupy’ style protest camp on the lawn of the BBC in Bristol this week. The campaign group calling itself “Bristol Friends of Gaza” occupied the front lawn in front of the BBC headquarters on Whiteladies Road, unveiling a 50ft-long banner. The group declared they would occupy the area “until the BBC tells the real truth on Palestine”. Pro-Palestinian protesters have been out in force this week, as the Israeli army launch a new offensive in the Gaza Strip. On Saturday, hundreds of people marched through Bristol to highlight the cause. On Tuesday meanwhile, there were protests at City Hall at the same time as a protest against residents parking zones in the city, which was largely good-natured despite a scuffle on a tank used by the RPZ protesters to draw attention to their cause. Last night, at least two Palestinians were killed and 200 wounded in the West Bank during protests against Israel’s campaign in Gaza.
The Andalusian Workers’ Union (SAT) says it will attempt to cross the border with 1,000 members, flags and banners to protest in front of government buildings. An activist trade union in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia, the Andalusian Workers’ Union (SAT), has announced it intends to “occupy the Rock of Gibraltar” with 1,000 protestors, flags and banners on August 29 to demonstrate against tax havens, fishing rights, the British military base and sovereignty. Diego Cañamero, the spokesman for the SAT trade union, told The Spain Report by phone that: “Our action is about justice. There is an economic crisis, with 37% unemployment in Andalusia, and on the Rock there are 80,000 public companies, and millions and millions of euros from all the corruption on the Costa del Sol”. The SAT, which has members all over Andalusia, took the decision during its national assembly meeting on July 13 and would like the protest to take place in front of Gibraltar government buildings, once across the border.
A group of protesters are occupying part of the University of Birmingham today in response to the institution’s decision to ban two pupils last week. The protesters acting under the name of Defend Education Birmingham say the demonstration is needed to defend the “democratic right to dissent on campus”at all English universities. Last week, one month before they were due to graduate, Simon Furse and Kelly Rogers were suspended from their course until March next year for their part in an eight day protest at the ceremonial Senate Chamber in the Aston Webb building. The pair were demanding the living wage be paid to all staff at the Edgbaston-based facility. University chiefs also handed former guild vice president of education Hattie Craig a six-month suspended sentence after the completion of a lengthy nine month disciplinary procedure. Today’s activists have released a list of demands they want to see met before they will leave the grounds.
To the family of the one thousandth victim of Israel’s genocidal slaughter in Gaza: I do not know yet who your loved one was. She might have been a baby a few months old, or a young boy, a grandfather or one of your children or parents. I heard about your loved one’s death from Chico Menashe, a political commentator on Reshet Bet, Israel’s main radio station. He explained that the killing of your loved one, as well as turning Gaza neighborhoods to rubble and driving 150,000 people from their homes, is part of a well-calculated Israeli strategy: this carnage will destroy the impulse of Palestinians in Gaza to resist Israeli policies. I heard this while reading in the 25 July edition of the supposedly respectable Haaretz the words of the not so respectable historian Benny Morris that even this is not enough. He calls the genocidal policies so far “refisut” — feebleness of mind and spirit. He demands far more massive destruction in the future with the knowledge that this is how you behave if you want to defend your “villa in the jungle,” as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak described Israel.
Video from the extreme-right demonstrarion in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv. The demonstration was held across the square from a much bigger pro-peace demonstration that took place at the same time In her latest post, my colleague Rania Khalek makes reference to “a new racist chant mocking the more than two hundred children slaughtered by Israel’s merciless bombing campaign in Gaza: ‘Tomorrow there’s no school in Gaza, they don’t have any children left.’” This video shows an Israeli mob actually singing in celebration of children’s deaths in the style of a soccer fans’ song: “In Gaza there’s no studying, No children are left there, Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé.” The mob also incites directly against Ahmed Tibi and Haneen Zoabi, two prominent Palestinian citizens of Israel who are members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. The video of the 26 July event in Tel Aviv was published by Israeli journalist Haim Har-Zahav. The words of the repulsive song have been translated for The Electronic Intifada by Dena Shunra
Despite celebrations in the skyscrapers of Wall Street and the U.S. regarding Detroit bankruptcy active and retired employee votes announced July 21, allegedly in favor of huge pension and health care cuts, the sordid story is not over yet.Detroit remains far from a resolution of its state-imposed bankruptcy. Major banks and bondholders have rejected the plan, insisting that they be PAID IN FULL. According to figures released by Kurtzman Carson Consultants (KCC) of El Segundo, CA, Detroit police and fire workers and retirees voted to approve the 4th Amended Plan of Adjustment (POA) by 82 percent, general workers and retirees by 73 percent, and holders of Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) by 88 percent. (See chart above.) Meanwhile, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, claiming to represent the City of Detroit, filed a FIFTH AMENDED PLAN OF ADJUSTMENT July 25 subsequent to the vote, with no plans for a re-vote. (See link below story.)
In a continuing effort to build relations and stand with Indigenous peoples, CUPE sent a delegation to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) 35th Annual General Assembly from July 14 to 17. This year’s assembly in Halifax, Nova Scotia (the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq), drew more than 300 First Nations leaders, youth and elders. The chiefs in assembly discussed treaty implementation, ways to gain First Nations control of First Nations education, funding for post-secondary education, fracking on First Nation territory, reconciliation and justice for survivors of residential schools, among many other issues. The assembly delegates passed a resolution renewing their commitment in calling for a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The assembly held a special tribute, standing in a “Circle of Hope” in honour of over 1,100 murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls reported in Canada. CUPE fully supports the call for a national public inquiry.
Three residents of Anacortes and Seattle are currently blockading the oil train facility at Tesoro’s Anacortes Refinery by locking their bodies to barrels full of concrete. Supported by local residents, the three are demanding an immediate halt to the shipment of explosive Bakken oil through Northwest communities, the rejection of all new oil-by-rail terminals proposed for the Northwest, and an end to the refinery’s repeated violations of the Clean Air Act. “Thursday’s derailment was the last straw,” says Jan Woodruff, an Anacortes resident. “If Federal and State regulators won’t stand up to the fossil fuel companies endangering our communities, then we, the people of those communities, will do so.” Last Thursday, July 24th, an oil train bound for Tesoro’s Anacortes Refinery derailed in Seattle, highlighting the dangers posed to Northwest communities. Between nine and sixteen oil trains travel through Seattle and Mount Vernon every week – about five of which are bound for the Tesoro refinery. The day before Thursday’s frightening derailment, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and all nine City Council members sent a letter to the Department of Transportation asking for an immediate halt of oil-by-rail shipments through Seattle.
So, as I was saying, display was really inspired by your own personal experiences. Can you speak to that little bit? Yeah, yeah. I was after graduating from Juilliard, I was traveling around pursuing a career in regional theater, and I was in a relationship with someone who had a lot of medical needs. It of the course of time, I experienced, what it’s like to be with someone who has needs like that. And what the experience was like that I’ve never seen anyone talk about in the news or comment in the movies or on an episode of Gray’s Anatomy are the feelings of ambivalence and the darker feelings that people experience when a loved one is in a medical situation. And that medical situation, often you have to go up against the healthcare insurance industry. Is that part of it to? Well, yeah. I mean, and also she’s an artist. So she was on and off with insurance and trying to maintain a career in the arts and stuff like that. So that eventually led me to question whether that was a good system or not. And I also had a friend from school was homeless for a while, and he showed up at the stage door of the theater I was performing at and he had some medical problems.
Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too. The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially. The Russell Sage study also examined net worth at the 95th percentile. (For households at that level, 95 percent of the population had less wealth.) It found that for this well-do-do slice of the population, household net worth increased 14 percent over the same 10 years. Other research, by economists like Edward Wolff at New York University, has shown even greater gains in wealth for the richest 1 percent of households. For households at the median level of net worth, much of the damage has occurred since the start of the last recession in 2007. Until then, net worth had been rising for the typical household, although at a slower pace than for households in higher wealth brackets.
OPEN LETTER FROM THE BROOKLYN METROPOLITAN DETENTION CENTER from Sr. Megan Rice, on behalf of the Transform Now Plowshares July 28, 2014 Our Dear Sisters and Brothers, We send warm greetings and many thanks to all who actively engage in the transformation of weapons of mass destruction to sustainable life-giving alternatives. Gregory Boertje-Obed (U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas) Michael Walli (Federal Correctional Institution McKean, Bradford, Pennsylvania) and I are sending you some of our observations and concerns on the 2nd anniversary of our Transform Now Plowshares action. On July 28, 2012, after thorough study of nuclear issues, and because of our deepening commitment to nonviolence, we engaged in direct action by cutting through four fences at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where the U.S. continues to overhaul and upgrade thermonuclear warheads. On that day, two years ago, when we reached the building where all U.S. highly-enriched (bomb-grade) uranium is stored, we prayed and also wrote messages on the wall, such as “The Fruit of Justice is Peace”. (Realistically, the higher and stronger fences built as a result of our nonviolent incursion can never keep humans safe from inherently dangerous materials and weapons.) We acted humbly as “creative extremists for love”, to cite one of our most important and revered leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr.