Education is the foundation of political change. In this section we provide news and information from organizations and independent media outlets free of corporate and government propaganda. In particular, these groups focus on the fifteen core issues that define today’s national and global crises. We also provide some tools and resources for you to become part of the growing movement of citizens’ media.

Featured Video: The Documentary Film, ‘Sacred Spirit of Water’ provides insight on how the Omnibus Bills, Privatization of Water, Hydraulic Fracking will impact us, and most significantly, create awareness into what our children and grandchildren will be dealt as a result of the aftermath.

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Recent Articles in Educate!

Did Industry Ties Lead Democrats To Nix Fracking Ban?

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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.

Biodiversity Below Safe Levels Across More Than Half Of World

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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.

Are Nuclear Weapons A Greater Risk Now Then During The Cold War?

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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.

Debtors Prison Costs Cities Millions

Often considered relics of the past, debtors' prisons still exist in the U.S., but lawsuits by civil rights groups are making progress toward shutting them down. (Nineteenth century painting of "A Debtor in Fleet Street Prison" by the English artist Thomas Hosmer Shepherd via Wikimedia.)

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

It Is Human Rights.

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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.

New Gas Pipelines Would Make U.S. Miss Climate Target: Report

A service truck drives past an oil well in North Dakota, November 2014.
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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.

Community Policing Part Of The Problem Of Abusive Policing

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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.

The Truth About The 28 Pages & The Enduring Cover-Up

President George W. Bush meets with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States.

By Barry Kissin for Popular Resistance. The lead sponsors of the legislation to uncover the 28 pages of the Congressional report on the attacks of 9-11 were Representative Walter Jones and Senator Rand Paul, two Republicans in fact, both practically unique in their unabashed opposition to our constant wars of intervention. The release of the 28 pages is a victory for Americans who yearn for peace. It comes at a desperate moment in human history. It is imperative and urgent that peace activists take full advantage of the released 28 pages. The essential truth about the 28 pages is that our own government, (Bush administrations followed by Obama administrations), ever since 9-11, has covered up Saudi Government complicity in 9-11. All the while, our government has continued to maintain very close relations, especially with the Saudi Intelligence Agency and the Saudi military. The New York Times says the pages were “kept secret for nearly 14 years out of concern that it might fray diplomatic relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”

Chill In US-Turkish Relations May Signal Ankara’s Shift Toward Moscow

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By Staff of Sputnik – Due to its unique geostrategic position, Turkey has long been important to the US as a NATO ally and a “bridge” between the West and the Arab world. However, clouds are gathering on the horizon of US-Turkish relations after Friday’s coup attempt. “US Secretary of State [John] Kerry has not been able to take a firm stance against the failed Gulenist coup attempt, drawing heavy criticism in Turkey.

Water Shut Off – A Story Of Control And Profit

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By Arno Agman for Popular Resistance. Baltimore, MD – No, it’s not a line from a B-series Italian mafia movie from the 80s. It’s straight from the entrails of the city of Baltimore. Most people living along the North East corridor don’t really ponder on the necessity of water…until it suddenly stops flowing. Then everything changes. Today started well with an early short trip to the gym. At home, we refilled all 8 five-gallon water bottles at the store in the morning, poured water in the four buckets spread around the house for periodic necessities and various cleaning tasks, installed a cut-out, slow dripped, refillable 3 gallon container above the kitchen sink for our dishes, and finally hung our 5 gallon portable camping shower bag in the bathroom. We were then ready to attack the daily events everyone takes for granted. Drinking, cleaning dishes, going to the bathroom… Showering had now entered the line of a luxury items.

Turkish Coup: Excuse For Hunt To Suppress Dissent

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By Isil Sariyuce and Angela Dewan for CNN – Istanbul (CNN)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the nation is imposing a three-month state of emergency in the aftermath of last week’s bloody coup attempt. Erdogan met Wednesday with his national security council and council of ministers, the latter of which approved the state of emergency recommendation “The purpose of the declaration of the state of emergency is, in fact, to be able to take the most efficient steps in order to remove this threat as soon as possible, which is a threat to democracy…

Wetiko: The Pathology Of Greed

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By Staff of The Rules – Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit or thought-form driven by greed, excess and selfish consumption. It deludes it host into believing that consuming the life force of others for self-aggrandizement or profit is a logical and morally upright way to live. Wetiko hides in darkness. Conscious awareness brings it into the light. Once we see it, in ourselves and the world around us we can know it, and tame it. Here, artists, writers, film makers, poets and performers from around the world are seeing wetiko in their lives. Join us – see it for yourself.

Greenpeace: 'Extremely High' Jump In Post-Fukushima Radioactive Chemicals

Waterways in the Fukushima district have hundreds of times more radiation now than before 2011, Greenpeace reports. (Photo: Matthias Lambrecht/flickr/cc)

By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams – Greenpeace Japan reported Thursday that waterways in the Fukushima district have hundreds of times more radiation now than before 2011, when the nuclear disaster that forced the evacuation of at least 160,000 people occurred. Looking back at the past five years, the environmental group’s new report, Atomic Depths: An assessment of freshwater and marine sediment contamination: The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster—Five years later (pdf), finds that the hazardous chemical cesium-137 was present in the soil on the banks of the Abukuma, Niida, and Ota rivers.

Bookchin’s “The Spanish Civil War” — An Excerpt

Rather than justice, Spain elected for collective amnesia to deal with the crimes of General Francisco Franco, seen here during the nationalist victory parade celebrating the end of the Spanish civil war on 20 May 1939. Public Domain.

By Staff of ROAR Magazine – Between myth and reality there lies a precarious zone of transition that occasionally captures the truth of each. Spain, caught in a world-historic revolution fifty years ago, was exactly such an occasion — a rare moment when the most generous, almost mythic dreams of freedom seemed suddenly to become real for millions of Spanish workers, peasants, and intellectuals. For this brief period of time, this shimmering moment, as it were, the world stood breathlessly still, while the red banners of revolutionary socialism and the red-and-black banners of revolutionary anarchosyndicalism…

Black Lives Matter Is Not A Hate Group

Barbara Davidson—LA Times via Getty Images All Lives Matter protesters come together for a group hug with join Black Lives Matter activists in Dallas at Park Ln & Fair Oaks Ave. July 10th.

By Richard Cohen for Time – Each year, the Southern Poverty Law Center, of which I am the president, compiles and publishes a census of domestic hate groups. Our list, which is cited extensively by journalists, academics and government officials alike, provides an important barometer—not the only one, of course—to help us understand the state of hate and extremism in America.