May 22nd, 2009
Our newsletter is a weekly review of popular resistance taking place across the U.S. It is important to know we are not alone so we can inspire each other, learn from each other and spread the courage to resist across the country. The newsletter covers people working on a wide range of issues including peace and justice, environmental protection, workers’ and students’ rights, and much more. We see all of these issues connected by our common goal of ending the rule of money, transforming the country and putting people and the planet before profits.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. It is graduation time and our youth are inheriting a dysfunctional economy while they are saddled with the highest debt ever. This situation creates a downward spiral in which new graduates delay meaningful participation in the economy, such as buying a house or starting a new business, while they try to pay off their debt. Chuck Collins advocates for one solution: higher taxes on the wealthy that are used to reduce the cost of education. This is being done in Washington State. The reality for most youth today is a very different situation than that experienced by the older generation; it is one of intergenerational injustice that must be confronted and corrected or the negative impacts will last a long time. Many people no longer believe the lies we are told to keep us from demanding solutions. A veil is being lifted as people understand how the system is rigged against them and how they need to work together to fight for a better future.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The climate crisis leads to the inevitable conclusion that our job is to turn the climate crisis into a political crisis that forces the corruption of the oil and gas industry into the open and shames governments for their failure to act on an urgent situation that threatens life on the planet as we know it. The failure of the political and economic systems to respond as quickly and strongly as needed puts the responsibility on people to resist oil and gas exploration, carbon infrastructure and continued reliance on dirty energy that is destroying the planet. The reality we face justifies resistance and disobedience to do all we can to slow or stop the use of carbon energy, heighten debate on the reality of the climate crisis and bring climate justice to the forefront of political thought.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The 2016 election has deepened the understanding of how out of step the establishment political parties are with the people of the United States. The parties have reinforced the rationale for the Occupy uprising, and the uprisings on racism, inequality, poverty wages, mistreatment of students and more that have occurred since 2011; and they have increased national consensus on the dysfunction and corruption of government, the unfairness and inequity of the economy and the lack of concern for the environment and climate change.Don’t Represent US In order to understand the election’s relationship to the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice, we need to understand that the roots of this election come from the uprising of 2011. As Paolo Gerbaudo wrote in ROAR Magazine: “The 2011 protest wave will forever be associated with the slogan ‘they don’t represent us’ — a clear indictment of the present form of representative politics and the existing political class.”
Newsletter Baltimore, climate crisis, COP21, Democracy, Democracy Spring, Divestment, Environmental racism, Fracking, Freddie Gray, Freedom of the Press, Gas, Incinerators, killed by police, Noam Chomsky, Nonviolence, Nuclear Energy, Nuit Debout, Police violence, Racism, Solar Energy, TPP, wealth inequality, Wind
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, www.PopularResistance
April 23rd, 2016
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This week, on Earth Day, representatives from 130 countries gathered at the United Nations in New York City to sign the climate treaty agreed upon in Paris last December. As they smiled for the camera and promised to do their best to hold the temperature down, climate activists posted an open letter stating that it is too late, the climate emergency is already here. Leading up to the signing of the Paris Treaty this week were actions to stop the advance of fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Many events to mark the one year anniversary are taking place this week and the next in Baltimore to remember the uprising. Erica Chenoweth, the author of “How Civil Resistance Works”, writes that elections both locally and globally are being shaped by nonviolent resistance. In the US, no matter who is elected president in the November election, it will be critical for those who have been activated to continue to organize and visibly protest.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. As tax day approaches, there will be numerous reports about how US oligarchs – wealthy individuals and major corporations – do not pay their fair share in taxes. A GAO report released this week found “at least two-thirds of active U.S. corporations paid zero federal income taxes between 2006 and 2012. The report also found that large, profitable corporations only paid 14% of their profits in federal income taxes on average from 2008 through 2012, while approximately one-fifth of them paid nothing at all.” This is not only due to tax laws that provide corporations with a wide array of loopholes to lower their taxes, but is also due to the intentional hiding of money off-shore. A 2015 report found that nearly 75% of Fortune 500 companies tucked away $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore to avoid paying US income taxes.
Newsletter Banking and Finance, Corporate crime, Democracy movement, Education, Farmworkers, Fight for 15, France, Living Wage, Minimum Wage, Neo-Liberalism, Nuit Debout, Opt-Out, Police violence, Prisoner rights, Privatization, Student Activism, Tax Evasion, Tax havens, Whistleblowers, Worker Rights
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, www.PopularResistance.org
April 9th, 2016
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Of course, we also know the Panama Papers leak is about just one tax evasion firm, and not a major one. This is a small tip of a massive tax evasion iceberg. Estimates are that $7.6 trillion in individual assets are in tax havens, about one-tenth of the global GPD. The use of tax havens has grown 25 percent from 2009 to 2015. Gabriel Zucman, author of The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens and assistant professor at UC Berkeley estimates that US citizens have at least $1.2 trillion stashed offshore, costing $200 billion a year worldwide in lost tax revenue and US transnational corporations are underpaying their taxes worldwide by $130 billion. The Panama Papers will escalate demands for transformation of the economy as well as of government; continue to increase pressure on capitalism and result in the growth of the people powered movement for economic justice.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. It’s impacts are all around us, but it is rarely mentioned. What is it? Empire, and it’s time to bring it out of the shadows. We take a peek at the history of US Empire and how it continues to grow and be all-consuming today. The Empire Economy plunders our national treasury and robs us of jobs, education, healthcare and a future while serving transnational corporations. The US military is the biggest single user of fossil fuels which pollutes the planet and worsens the climate crisis. Our ‘American Way of War’ targets the basic necessities of life like power stations, hospitals and water plants for destruction and turns peaceful people against each other causing chaos and creating a vacuum for extremism and aggression against the US. The Pentagon cannot be audited but demands more every year. The war culture pervades our society.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Latin America has been a key battleground in the conflict between neo-liberal capitalism and US hegemony against the growing people power that is demanding a more equitable economy that builds from the bottom up and is more democratic. Venezuela has been the focal point of the campaign against the progressive cycle. The amnesty bill shows the extreme actions the US and oligarchs are willing to take to wrest power from the people and return it to the wealthy business interests. The wealthy have made progress in some key countries leading to people ask whether the progressive cycle has come to an end and what lies ahead for the region.
Newsletter #BlackLivesMatter, Baltimore, Bernie Sanders, Chicago, Cleveland, Desegregation, Detroit, Donald Trump, Environmental Justice, Ferguson, Flint, Freddie Gray, Hillary Clinton, Incinerators, Inequality, Internet, Jeb Bush, Jim Crow, LAPD, Laquan McDonald, Los Angeles, Mass Incarceration, North Carolina, Prison Labor, Prisons, Privatization, Slavery, Student Activism, Tamir Rice, Wall Street, Water
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, www.PopularResistance.org
March 19th, 2016
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to grow its power and have notable victories, but 600 hundred years of racial oppression, older than the nation itself, will not be rooted out quickly. The movement had a series of electoral and other victories this week. These victories for #BLM and their supporters are notable but problems still persist and the movement must continue to grow and get stronger. There are no quick fixes to a country that is crippled by its history of racism. We must all recognize that the work we are doing for racial, economic and environmental justice requires us to be persistent and uncompromising. achieve the transformational justice we seek will last our lifetimes – a marathon and not a sprint.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Sometimes, when in the midst of transformational change, it is difficult to recognize that it is happening. We are in a transformational moment now. The new political culture that erupted with the occupy movement in 2011, but which has roots going back decades, and its evolution into activism on key fronts of struggle such as wages, racism, trade, militarism, capitalism and other issues, has grown to be so impactful that it is fracturing the two corporate political parties. A lot of change is occurring on many fronts. That should encourage all of us to keep building the movement of movements so we can create the transformation we need.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The worst crimes of US history have been protected by law – slavery, taking of Indigenous lands, attacks on unions, denying women the vote and money as speech in elections. As a result, when politicians say we are a nation of laws, it often means the courts will be used to protect corporate interests in making a profit even if doing so destroys communities, people and the environment. But, courts do not always side with the corporations and government. There are times when an enlightenment comes to the judiciary and some begin to rule for the people or their communities. This happens because even courts reflect the political moment – or zeitgeist – when the culture takes a turn thanks to people organizing to express their interests wherever they can. We may be at the beginning of such a moment, perhaps too soon to say and perhaps we are being optimistic. It shows the importance of the movement building national consensus because such consensus impacts everything.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Environmental injustice makes social justice impossible. To achieve environmental justice, we have to recognize the role that capitalism plays in exploiting communities for profit and driving wealth inequality, particularly in communities of color. The struggle of our time is people power versus corporate power. All over the world people are taking action for economic, racial, environmental and climate justice. We can, and we must, prevail by stopping harmful policies and practices and putting in place new systems that are rooted in solidarity, cooperation and sustainability.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The conflict between democracy and state repression, often claimed as necessary to protect our safety and security, has moved the United States consistently toward a greater national security state that has become inconsistent with people’s privacy and freedom; as well as their ability to exercise First Amendment protected political activities. The depth of surveillance – including infiltration of political movements, cameras to enforce traffic laws and monitor activities almost everywhere in populated areas, aerial surveillance of neighborhoods and protests by helicopters, drones and airplanes and digital spying, have created a pervasive surveillance apparatus that undermines privacy, political activity and communication. We cannot have a real democracy with this level of surveillance.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. This month is Black History Month, first celebrated as Black History Week in 1926 as a result of the efforts of African-American historian, Carter Godwin Woodson. Goodwin picked a week in February because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas were born on February 12 and 14, even though he believed that people needed to be educated about the multitude of African Americans who have contributed to history, as change comes from the bottom up. In recent years black history is being made by multitudes of people. Under the umbrella of Black Lives Matter multiple organizations have been created across the country and tens of thousands of people have taken action. Black history is alive as history is being created in our times. Let’s celebrate it together.
Newsletter Banking and Finance, Blockades, Climate Change, Extraction, Exxon, FERC, Flint, Fracking, Groundwater, Indigenous Peoples, Lead, Leonard Peltier, Pipelines, Police violence, Uranium
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers,
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. A key ingredient of previous successful campaigns to stop ‘free trade’ agreements is cross-border solidarity. Uniting struggles globally, as well as locally, is critical for other issues as well. Via Campesina, a movement started by peasants in 1993, has grown to become a global movement that recognizes the intersectionality between food security, land rights, the climate crisis and transnational corporate power. They work together to both resist harmful policies and to create necessary alternatives by organizing seed exchanges and impacting public policy. Similarly, global solidarity is increasing around the climate crisis.
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