Newsletter – Five Years Later

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This will be a brief newsletter this week because we are both on the road. Margaret is running for US Senate for Maryland, Green Party, and she is touring the state to spread the word about her and meet voters. Kevin has taken a temporary leave of absence from Popular Resistance to work for the Jill Stein campaign as a senior adviser. Five years ago we organized the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC with a goal of raising awareness that the problems we face in the US are systemic and that we must build a social movement and the culture of resistance if we are to solve them. We didn’t expect to get involved in electoral politics, but the time has come when majorities of people in the US are sick of the corporate parties and are ready for a change. We believe that there needs to be a political party that reflects the values of the movement and so we are working to build it.

Texas Defied Court’s Voting Rights Order And The Court Is Angry

Voting African Americans

By Ian Millhiser for Think Progress. Earlier this month, the Justice Department informed a federal court that Texas is violating a recent court order that sought to keep the state from disenfranchising voters. After an appeals court struck down the state’s voter ID law, a common form of voter suppression favored by conservative lawmakers, the state agreed to be bound by an order that would permit voters to cast a ballot in the 2016 election if they “cannot reasonably obtain” photo ID. Despite this order, Texas published press releases, voter education materials, and training manuals for poll workers that effectively stated that a voter without ID cannot vote unless it is literally impossible for that voter to obtain a photo ID. Thus, for example, a voter who had to make multiple day long trips to a government office and make burdensome document requests to obtain an ID would not be able to vote, under Texas’ standard, unless that voter was willing to jump through all of these considerable hoops. On Tuesday, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, the judge overseeing this case, weighed in on Texas’ defiance of the court order. And, if the order she issued on Tuesday is any indication, she’s pissed.

Jobs, Justice, and the Clean-Energy Future

“There’s room for improvement in solar policies across all 50 states, but it’s especially shameful to see the sunniest states fail to lead the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.” Photo credit: U.S. Department of Energy

By Jeremy Brecher for Dollars & Sense. A series of reports by the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS), and partners provides good news: The U.S. can meet the targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction that climate scientists say are necessary while also creating half-a-million jobs annually and reducing the cost of energy to consumers. The reports, gathered in the LNS Climate, Jobs, and Justice Project, also show that protecting the climate in a way that maximizes the benefit for working people and discriminated-against groups will take deliberate public policies and action by unions and their social movement allies. The Clean Energy Future will create a substantial number of new jobs. The increase in jobs created, compared to the business-as-usual scenario, will start around 200,000 per year in 2016–2020 and rise to 800,000 a year in 2046–2050. The average job gain compared to business-as-usual scenario is 550,000 per year for the entire period.

The Heavy Price of Chile’s Privatized Water

Protesters in Santiago last month, who called for an end to privatised water in Chile. Photograph: Miguel Hechenleitner/Movimiento por la Recuperación del Agua y la Vida

By Daniel Gallagher for the Guardian. When it comes to water, Chile is failing its citizens. In Santiago, the nation’s capital, millions of people are regularly left without running water for days at a time and experts are warning of water scarcity to come across the country astemperatures rise and glaciers retreat. “What we need is a transformation away from the private model of water ownership and to recognise water as a human right,” says Francisca Fernández, spokeswoman for the Movimiento por la Recuperación del Agua y la Vida which campaigns for public ownership of water. The organisation emerged four years ago at a time of mounting climatic stress in Santiago. A recent protest saw at least 2,000 people take to the capital’s streets to demand the repeal of laws that privatised Chile’s water supply. At the heart of the protest and others like it in recent years lies frustration that the privatisation of water has kept prices unnecessarily high, delivered poor service and done little to address concerns over insufficient supply in the future.

Opponents Slam Atlantic Coat Pipeline Plans

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By Lindell John Kay for Rocky Mountain News. In the same week utility companies selected a project contractor, local residents gathered to oppose the proposed natural gas pipeline that will run through Nash County. Around two dozen opponents of the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline gathered Thursday night at the Red Oak Community Buildingt to hold a people’s hearing, calling on officials with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject the pipeline proposal. While local opposition is building, Duke Progress Energy, Dominion Transmission and other utilities are moving forward with their plans. Spring Ridge Constructors have been tapped to lead construction. The firm is a joint venture of four leading U.S. natural gas pipeline construction companies. Thousands of workers are expected to be hired to build the pipeline running from West Virginia to North Carolina, utility representatives said. The interstate pipeline has struck a nerve with local landowners.

First Nations In Canada And US Sign Treaty Opposing Pipelines

First Nation Tribes

By Derrick Broze for Activist Post. Indigenous nations from Canada and the United States have signed a treaty agreeing to oppose future proposals for pipeline, rail, and tanker projects that attempt to carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands. On Thursday, tribes from Canada and the northern United States signed a treating declaring their opposition to future proposals for pipelines that would carry crude oil from Alberta to other locations across Canada and the United States. The tribal nations are opposed to the pipelines based on potential threats to the environment. The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion was signed by 50 aboriginal groups in North America, who also plan to oppose tanker and rail projects in both countries, they said in a statement. Targets include projects proposed by Kinder Morgan Inc, TransCanada Corp and Enbridge Inc.

Hawaiians Reject President Obama’s Rule To Federalize Hawaiian Tribe

2012 King Kamehameha Parade in Honolulu, Hawaii; King Kamehameha Warriors: photo by Daniel Ramirez on Flickr (use permitted with attribution).

By Malu ‘Aina for Center for non-violent education and action. As President Obama announces his plans to federalize Hawaiians as a tribe, Hawaiian community leaders and groups who have for many years protested attempts to turn Hawaiians into Native Americans (the Akaka Bill), will hold a press conference Friday, September 23rd at 12 noon in front of‘Iolani Palace. They will restate their opposition to the Obama Administration’s Department of Interior (DOI) rule change. “This change is intended to circumvent legal, congressional processes, and Hawaiian community input,” said Healani-Sonoda Pale, founding member of the group, Protest Na‘i Aupuni and one of the organizers of the press conference. “President Obama tasked his DOI to come up with a process that will allow him to use his Executive Order privilege and designate federally chosen groups of Hawaiians as recognized. Without any congressional oversight or congressional vetting, President Obama and his successor will confer immense power on a pseudo native government,” Sonoda-Pale said. “And this will allow the DOI to move forward with a process of creating land and resource settlements that typically follow legitimate, congressionally conferred federal recognition.”

EPA Plan For Unlimited Dumping of Fracking Wastewater In The Gulf

An offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Under current Environmental Protection Agency standards, offshore platform operators can dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals mixed with water from undersea wells directly into the ocean. (Photo: Jonathan Henderson / Vanishing Earth)

By Mike Ludwig for Truthout. Environmentalists are warning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that its draft plan to continue allowing oil and gas companies to dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals and wastewater directly into the Gulf of Mexico is in violation of federal law. In a letter sent to EPA officials on Monday, attorneys for the Center for Biological Diversity warned that the agency’s draft permit for water pollution discharges in the Gulf fails to properly consider how dumping wastewater containing chemicals from fracking and acidizing operations would impact water quality and marine wildlife. The attorneys claim that regulators do not fully understand how the chemicals used in offshore fracking and other well treatments — some of which are toxic and dangerous to human and marine life — can impact marine environments, and crucial parts of the draft permit are based on severely outdated data. Finalizing the draft permit as it stands would be a violation of the Clean Water Act, they argue.

Syria Solidarity Movement Statement On US Attack Against Syrian Army

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By Syria Solidarity Movement for Dissident Voice. The Syria Solidarity Movement unequivocally condemns and denounces the vicious US bombing attack on the Syrian army defending Deir ez-Zour. We find the US explanation of “unintended” targets, and especially the belligerent performance of Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations Security Council, to be false, disingenuous and counterproductive. The only credible explanation is that the US attack on Deir ez-Zour was intentional. The US has never seriously tried to fight ISIS other than to defend Kurdish fighters, with rare and largely ineffectual attacks against ISIS fighters in their strongholds, and none during the ISIS campaign against Palmyra, when they were very vulnerable by air. We believe that the US intention is to dismember the sovereign Syrian state, and that the Syrian army base at Deir ez-Zour constitutes an obstacle to this plan, and is therefore a US target. We are doubtful that the US intends to honor its agreement with Russia, and implicitly with Syria. US strategists are seeking to weaken and threaten Russia and not to form cooperative and mutually beneficial agreements.

USAID or US CIA?

USAID

By Thomas C Mountain for Telesur. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) was created by Pax Americana to provide a cover for CIA agents under the pretext of helping the 3rd World. US Imperialism has to do some good or its potential targets would not open their doors to intelligence agents posing as do gooders, so USAID was created. Today the USAID is headed by Gayle Smith, formerly the “Special Advisor” to President Barack Obama and Senior Director of the National Security Council. To put it simply, Gayle Smith is one of the top “spooks” in the USA, someone who told the CIA what to do. Today this former “spook” is running a multibillion dollar “aid agency” with thousands of employees or “contractors” operating world wide. Who knows who is an agent and who is a real aid worker when it comes to USAID.

With Attention on Dakota, Obama Quietly Approves Two New Pipelines

UNCOVERED PIPELINE PHOTO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

By Tom Cahill for US Uncut. While the U.S. Department of Justice temporarily halted construction of a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, two other pipelines are moving forward. In May, the Obama administration granted the permits for both the Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail pipelines, and while construction has not yet begun on the pipelines, implementation plans for the building of the pipelines is well underway. Earlier this week, DeSmogBlog investigative reporter Steve Horn highlighted the approval and pending construction of both pipelines, as well as their significant impact on local water supplies and indigenous territory. As Horn wrote, the Trans-Pecos pipeline will carry natural gas extracted from the Permian Basin in West Texas, and transport it across international borders to Mexico.

Jeremy Corbyn Wins Convincing Victory Over Owen Smith

Socialist Appeal

By Heather Stewart and Rowena Mason for The Guardian – Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to “wipe the slate clean” after winning a convincing victory in Labour’s bitter leadership battle, securing 62% of the vote. Speaking after the result was declared in Liverpool, Corbyn thanked his rival, Owen Smith, and urged the “Labour family” to unite after the summer-long contest. “We have much more in common than that which divides us. Let’s wipe that slate clean from today and get on with the work we’ve got to do as a party together,” he said.

The Riots Will Continue

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By Vincent Emanuele for Counter Punch – In 1917, white supremacists, the National Guard and the St. Louis Police killed an estimated 150-200 blacks in what is commonly referred to as the “East St. Louis Massacre.” Much like St. Louis, Chicago was an up-and-coming industrial city that was experiencing massive demographic shifts as a result of the “Great Migration” north at the beginning of the 20th century. Similarly, Chicago experienced its own race riots in 1919, where 38 people were killed and 500 injured.

Dakota Access Blackout Continues On ABC, NBC News

Neil Young’s song about the Dakota Access pipeline fight is 5 minutes, 39 seconds longer than the combined coverage of the controversy on the ABC and NBC networks. (screenshot: Slate)

By Jim Naureckas for FAIR – The Sacred Stone Camp established by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota has brought together thousands of demonstrators in opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172-mile conduit designed to carry some 200 million barrels of crude oil per year from fracking fields in North Dakota to Southern Illinois. An unprecedented coalition of hundreds of Native American tribes has faced down attack dogs and pepper spray in defense of sacred and historic sites, irreplaceable water resources and the planet’s climate.

Shattering Charlotte’s Myth Of Racial Harmony

Jason Miczek / Reuters

By David A. Graham for The Atlantic – This is clear in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week, where intense demonstrations and riots have followed the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a police officer on Wednesday. The banking mecca—the Southeast’s second-largest city—has tended to see itself as an avatar of modernity and moderation in a state where both are uneven. Although Uptown’s gleaming skyscrapers and chain restaurants seem to suggest a city that is both without, and untethered from, history, the Queen City was built on slavery and its racial politics remain fraught