This afternoon, Leggio, and her fellow MICATS members Barbara Carter and Vicci Hamlin were sentenced to 13 months probation and $47,656.50 in restitution to the police. Over 100 supporters packed the tension filled courtroom where Judge William Collette of Ingham County presides. Though the defendants were surrounded by the love of their families and friends throughout the trial and sentencing, we recognize that this is not the case for most people who are forced by circumstance to interact with the justice system.
Five people, including three members of the clergy, and two veterans/one from World War II, were arrested during an Ash Wednesday service around 8 a.m. today at the gates of Beale Air Force Base, site of the surveillance drone Global Hawk. Participants, who were charged with trespassing, said they were risked arrested to “memorialize” the children killed by the U.S. government’s fleet of killer drones. Beale’s drones perform reconnaissance work for U.S. Predator Drones.
Cheri Honkala of the Poor Peoples Economic Campaign and Vice President of the Green Shadow Cabinet joins the host Dennis Trainor, Jr. and the Resistance Report panel (Nicole Carty (The Other 98%), Julianna Forlano (Absurdity Today) and Joel Northam (Acronym TV Contributor) – to discuss the jobs crisis in the United States, the perpetually underemployed, and the impact of a raise in the minimum wage versus a policy that guaranteed an income for all.
More than a thousand climate youth leaders and allies converged on Washington, DC this weekend for the largest student-led civil resistance action at the White House in a generation. They came to register their dissent against extreme fossil fuel exploitation and to demand that President Obama reject the northern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The scene outside the White House on Sunday was remarkable. After marching through the streets, the students rallied at Lafayette Square, chanting: “Obama, come out! We’ve got some shit to talk about!” and “The people are rising! No more compromising!”
Those of us engaged in protesting the current failing system sometimes forget to remember the good things happening in our society, such as solar technology, local economies, and small-scale, organic agriculture. As a result, we can become plagued with a sense of hopelessness and despair as we engage in boycotts, strikes, blockades, and protests.
The Estonian FM has described the whole sniper issue as “disturbing” and added, “it already discredits from the very beginning” the new Ukrainian power. His overall impressions of what he saw during his one-day trip to Kiev are “sad,” Paet said during the conversation. He stressed that the Ukrainian people don’t trust the Maidan leaders, with all the opposition politicians slated to join the new government “having dirty past.” The file was reportedly uploaded to the web by officers of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to ousted President Viktor Yanukovich who hacked Paet’s and Ashton’s phones. 94 people were killed and another 900 injured during the standoff between police and protesters at Maidan Saquare in Kiev last month.
Listening to the US media, even the most diligent news junkie would find it difficult to know that the U.S. State Department played not only a vital role in the violence and chaosunderway in Ukraine but was also complicit in creating the coup that ousted democratically elected President Viktor Yanuyovch. Given the Russian Parliament’s approval of Putin’s request for military troops to be moved into Crimea, Americans uninformed about the historyof that region might also be persuaded that Russia is the aggressor and the sole perpetrator of the violence. Let’s be clear about what is at stake here: NATO missiles on the adjacent Ukraine border aimed directly at Russia would make that country extremely vulnerable to Western goals and destabilization efforts while threatening Russia’s only water access to its naval fleet in Crimean peninsula, the Balkans, the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East – and not the least of which would allow world economic dominance by the US, the European Union, the IMF, World Bank and international financiers all of whom had already brought staggering suffering to millions around the globe.
…as Chevron dragged the case out — stalling tactics are par for the course with oil companies, as also exemplified in the Exxon Valdez litigation — Ecuadoreans elected a more populist president, Rafael Correa, who was sympathetic to the plight of the residents of Lago Agrio — and less receptive to the alleged bribes and financial clout of Big Oil. Suddenly, Chevron was pleading its case in a court system that now had less of a built in bias toward US corporations. The Ecuadorean legal process had tilted unexpectedly toward justice for the impoverished with demonstrable grievances. As a result, Chevron gambled with the venue of the case and lost. In the end though, for global corporations that is not the end, it just necessitates kicking the case down the field and moving to another venue. As happens in the vast majority of such corporate manipulations of the law, it worked.
It’s often said by those on the left, somewhat glibly, that capitalism is a cancer on the earth, or that capitalism follows the mindset of the cancer cell– infinite growth. But is that really the case? Perhaps it’s that cancer is a form of capitalism instead? From an article in Harper’s Magazine about facial tumors in Tasmanian Devils: “…uncontrolled reproduction begins when a single cell accumulates enough mutations to activate certain growth-promoting genes (scientists call them oncogenes) and to inactivate certain protections (tumor suppressor genes) that are built into the genetic program of every animal and plant. The cell ignores instructions to limit its self-replication, and soon it becomes many cells, all of them similarly demented, all bent on self-replication, all heedless of duty and proportion and the larger weal of the organism. That first cell is (almost always) a cell of the victim’s own body.”
The evidence is in: if the Keystone XL pipeline proceeds it will be “game over for the climate” as NASA scientist James Hansen says. If we want a livable climate, an ‘all of the above’ strategy is not an option. The notion of Occupy The Pipeline has never been more important. The Occupy Network is standing in solidarity with our friends at 350.org and all those who are now engaged in the middle of the last official public comment period for the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL. This is one of the very last steps before President Obama makes his decision on the pipeline, and the final opportunity to give your input in an official way.
It’s fair to say that the complex anti-government protest movements in both Venezuela and Ukraine were boiled down by US corporate media to send a clear message to their domestic audience: These are the good guys. In Ukraine, the takeaway was that there are two sides, and the people seeking to topple the government (successfully, as it turned out) wanted to be more like us. On NBC Nightly News (2/18/14), correspondent Richard Engel explained: “The Ukrainian government is backed by Moscow. The protesters want closer ties with Europe and the United States.” ABC World News correspondent Terry Moran (2/19/14) framed it this way:
“There are lots of ultra-wealthy conservatives and libertarians around and maybe I can get one of them to fund the campaign,” he said. “Late last week, when I was getting desperate, I pointed out to the union leaders how bad it would look if some right-winger raised the wages of California workers by $15 billion while the unions were just too cheap and selfish and sat on their hands….I was trying to really light a fire under those union leaders last week, but I never heard anything back from them.” The silence from unions and liberals has been truly mystifying, Unz said. “I’d very much hoped to be able to raise the money from wealthy liberals and have been surprised it’s been so extremely difficult,” he said. “I can’t figure out why someone wouldn’t want to take national credit for such an important project. Even if they tell me the unions will surely pay for it, why wouldn’t they want the credit for themselves? But I just haven’t had any luck and I’m really getting desperate, which is why I’ll be running that public newspaper ad starting tomorrow, which is pretty much a last resort.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today launched a frontal assault on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. “One movement that’s definitely on the wrong side of the moral divide is the movement to boycott Israel, the so-called BDS,” Netanyahu told the cheering delegates, in his keynote speech to the annual gathering of the powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC in Washington, DC. “That movement will fail,” Netanyahu predicted. While claiming that people were “flocking to Israel” for its technology from all over the world, Netanyahu warned, “I don’t want you to get complacent – because the fact that they’re going to fail doesn’t mean that the BDS movement shouldn’t be vigorously opposed.”
On February 12th, (Venezuelan Youth Day and the commemoration of the independence battle of La Victoria) some university students and traditional conservative opposition groups took to the streets in Venezuela. In Caracas students and others attacked a government building, burned cars and damaged the entrance to a metro station. The demonstrations extended for several days, as it quickly became obvious that the principal purpose of the protests was to destabilize the government and seek the ouster of the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro faced a hotly contested presidential election shortly after the death of Hugo Chávez, in which he narrowly defeated Henrique Capriles. To gain support, Capriles promised to continue social programs initiated by the late president becoming what some called a “Chávez lite” candidate. The hard line elements of the opposition, including Capriles refused to accept the results of the elections and street violence generated by conservative forces left close to a dozen people dead.
Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. Wednesday, March 5, is the death anniversary of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. As the founder of the United Socialist Party, Chávez’s legacy has now continued on with Venezuela’s current president, Nicolás Maduro. But with thousands still protesting in the streets of Caracas, it begs to ask the question, what kind of country did Cházez leave behind? And ultimately what is his legacy? Now joining us by phone from Venezuela are our two guests. Miguel Tinker Salas is a professor of Latin American history at Pomona College. His forthcoming book is titled Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know. Also joining us by phone is Ewan Robertson. He is a staff writer with the news websiteVenezuelanalysis.com. He has written in-depth on labor issues, health policy, and foreign policy in Venezuela.