By Margaret Flowers. Philadelphia, PA – Thousands of people marched in the March for a Clean Energy Revolution on the day prior to the Democratic National Convention. Popular Resistance and members of the Flush the TPP campaign created a bold, bright and spirited “Stop the TPP” contingent to raise awareness of the threats posed by the TPP, put the Democrats on notice that the people oppose rigged corporate deals and to recruit more people to join the No Lame Duck Uprising. The TPP is a large international treaty that was negotiated over the past 7 years by the Obama administration. It was negotiated in secret with the help of hundreds of ‘corporate advisers’ from companies like Walmart, Monsanto, Pfizer, Exxon and more. Members of Congress were largely left out of the process.
By Staff for People’s Revolution. Hundreds gathered in Philadelphia on Saturday, July 23rd, at The People’s Convention to kick off a week of people-powered grassroots alternatives to the 2016 DNC convention. The event included the ratification of a political platform, workshops, and a movement building World Cafe. It was held at the Arch Street Quaker Meeting House, at 320 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA. The day’s events ended with Green party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and former state senator Nina Turner giving impassioned speeches to attendees. Participants were encouraged to keep the spirit of democracy alive by engaging with the political process beyond the campaign. Stein and Turner showed the omnipartisan nature of the convention. Turner was one of Senator Bernie Sanders key surrogates. As she spoke to the crowd about the accomplishments of the Sanders campaign people applauded regularly. Turner said she was a proud Democrat and did not have any intention of leaving the party, uring Sanders supporters to work inside the party to change it. Stein, will be nominated by the Green Party at the August 4th to 7th Green Party presidential nominating convention in Houston, gave a rousing speech that covered a wide range of issues calling for the political revolution to be continued outside of the Democratic Party.
By Steve Horn for DeSmog Blog. Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) — the controversial horizontal drilling technique used to extract oil and gas in shale basins around the U.S. and the world — has sat at the center of the debate over the Democratic Party’s draft platform set for a vote at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) convention in Philadelphia July 25-28. That platform was drafted and debated by a 15-member committee, with four members chosen by DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, five by Bernie Sanders and six by presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. After a fracking moratorium clause failed in a 7-6 vote at the DNC Platform Committee meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri from June 24-25, an amendment calling for President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan not to incentivize fracked gas power plants also did not pass at the July 8-9 DNC Platform Committee meeting held in Orlando, Florida.
By Staff of United Electrical Workers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reaffirmed its dismissal an unfair labor practice charge brought by an Israeli law firm against a U.S. union, the United Electrical Workers, over its support of protests against Israeli policies including the union’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) movement. At its national convention in Baltimore August 16-20, 2015, the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) adopted a resolution endorsing the BDS movement to pressure Israel to negotiate peace with the Palestinians and end the occupation. UE is the first national U.S. union to endorse BDS. Read the resolution here. On October 23, the Israeli law firm Shurat Hadin filed a charge with the NLRB alleging that UE’s resolution violated the prohibition in U.S. labor law against “secondary boycotts.” The union disputed the charge, arguing that Shurat Hadin’s action was an attempt to interfere with the First Amendment rights of the union and its members to express opinions on political and international issues, and also that the Israeli firm’s allegation were factually untrue. On January 12, Region 6 of the NLRB dismissed the charge.
By Adam Vaughn for The Guardian. The variety of animals and plants has fallen to dangerous levels across more than half of the world’s landmass due to humanity destroying habitats to use as farmland, scientists have estimated. The unchecked loss of biodiversity is akin to playing ecological roulette and will set back efforts to bring people out of poverty in the long term, they warned. Analysing 1.8m records from 39,123 sites across Earth, the international study found that a measure of the intactness of biodiversity at sites has fallen below a safety limit across 58.1% of the world’s land. Under a proposal put forward by experts last year, a site losing more than 10% of its biodiversity is considered to have passed a precautionary threshold, beyond which the ecosystem’s ability to function could be compromised.
By Resist the Pipeline. West Roxbury, MA, July 23, 2016 – Six people locked themselves together at 9:50 AM this morning to block two construction sites of Spectra Energy’s West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline (WRL), which would bring fracked gas into Boston. Bound at the waist and ankles using chains and superglue, they aim to stop the project from endangering the community and disrupting the climate. They are demanding that Spectra Energy keep fracked gas in the ground and stop forcing the project through a community that overwhelmingly opposes the pipeline. Trevor Culhane said, “This pipeline would irresponsibly lock us into decades of climate pollution and community disruption. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition to a just and renewable economy without fracked-gas.”
By Conn M. Hallinan for Dispatches from the Edge. What has made today’s world more dangerous, however, is not just advances in the destructive power of nuclear weapons, but a series of actions by the last three U.S. administrations. First was the decision by President Bill Clinton to abrogate a 1990 agreement with the Soviet Union not to push NATO further east after the reunification of Germany or to recruit former members of the defunct Warsaw Pact. NATO has also reneged on a 1997 pledge not to install “permanent” and “significant” military forces in former Warsaw Pact countries. This month NATO decided to deploy four battalions on, or near, the Russian border, arguing that since the units will be rotated they are not “permanent” and are not large enough to be “significant.” It is a linguistic slight of hand that does not amuse Moscow. Second was the 1999 U.S.-NATO intervention in the Yugoslav civil war and the forcible dismemberment of Serbia. It is somewhat ironic that Russia is currently accused of using force to “redraw borders in Europe” by annexing the Crimea, which is exactly what NATO did to create Kosovo. The U.S. subsequently built Camp Bond Steel, Washington’s largest base in the Balkans. Third was President George W, Bush’s unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the decision by the Obama administration to deploy anti-missile systems in Romania and Poland, as well as Japan and South Korea.
By Sue Sturgis for Facing South, Month in which Equal Justice Under Law, a civil rights group involved in the Jennings case, filed a federal class-action lawsuit alleging systemic violations of basic human and civil rights in the New Orleans legal system resulting in a modern-day debtors’ prison: 9/2015 Percent of government agencies involved in the New Orleans criminal justice system that rely on criminal convictions and high money bonds for funding:100 Under the part of the system in New Orleans that’s drawn the most public outrage, amount per felony charge a judge can assess on individual defendants to fund a judicial expense account that can pay for everything from court staff salaries to coffee: $2,000 Month in which Equal Justice Under Law and the MacArthur Justice Centerat the University of Mississippi School of Law filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Jackson, Mississippi, over a forced-labor camp and debtors’ prison used by the city: 10/2015 Amount impoverished Jackson residents are able to work off their debt per day at the Hinds County Penal Farm near Jackson: $58
By Myrna Santiago for The Stansbury Forum – Not all violence is equal. The difference matters. A civilian killing another civilian is a crime. A member of the police killing a civilian is an entirely different question, legally and morally. The police and other similarly armed bodies are direct representatives of the power of the state. Their duties and obligations toward civilians are qualitatively different from those of civilians. So are their actions, especially the violent ones. The armed forces of the state (police, FBI, SWAT team, National Guard, on-duty member of the armed forces, and the rest) are legally (and morally) obligated to protect the people of the country. That is their sworn duty: to protect the civilian population.
By Valerie Volcovici for Reuters – The United States will miss its emission-reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement if 19 pending natural gas pipelines are built across eastern states, a report published on Friday by environmental groups said. Oil Change International and 11 other organizations found that 19 proposed pipelines due to move natural gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to states from Louisiana to New York would unlock at least 15.2 billion cubic feet per day of new natural gas production.
By Senka Huskic for Occupy – Many people are responsible for the financial disaster of 2008, and the economic hardship that has continued to unravel since. We still have not seen one criminal prosecution among the CEOs who were – and many still are – at the frontlines where everything started to crumble. Those people are hiding behind corporate protection, always blaming the next in line behind them, never accepting responsibility, and very often putting the blame on the very people they have ruined with their fraudulent dealings.
By Staff of We Charge Genocide – On June 8, 2016, three members of a We Charge Genocide working group, Real Community Accountability for People’s Safety (RCAPS) met with the Department of Justice. As part of their investigation into police use of deadly force in Chicago, the DOJ wanted to discuss The Counter-CAPS Report: The Community Engagement Arm of the Police State. Community policing is currently an important plank in proposals for criminal justice reform. Through our independent, collaborative and grassroots research, we found that community policing mobilizes a self-selecting group to work with police and insulate them from scrutiny.
By William C. Anderson for Praxis Center – The last few years have been rough. President Obama’s last term in the White House has given many of us some of the most polarizing times we have ever experienced. It goes without saying that many have felt hopeless after being promised a change. Political disillusionment has clouded the air in a country struggling to find its true identity. In the midst of all this, unrelenting police violence has been in the spotlight driven by organized resistance to police brutality and renewed media interest.
By Konstantine Paradias for Occupy – Privatization is one of those ideas that seems great on paper: by selling off public services, a government can be rid of a drain on its resources. This allows the private sector to take over, rejuvenate those assets and turn them into profitable ventures that will provide new, better paying jobs to larger numbers of people who will in turn support all the necessary tax hikes that will account for the loss of those resources.