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March 2016

Cesar Chavez Day: His Legacy Lights A New Leader’s Path

By Emma Torres for Equal Voice. I was only 15 years old when my family became involved in the huelga (strike) in California. My parents, aunts and uncles provided meals to hundreds of Chavistas who stopped at our town of Soledad, Calif. during their marches. My siblings and I had no idea how witnessing those historical moments would change our lives. We did not yet understand that we were inheriting the legacy of our humble and hard-working parents. But the idea of being in la lucha – the struggle to achieve social justice – stuck in our minds as we listened to a man who looked like us shout that we were worthy human beings who deserved better wages, better working conditions, portable toilets, clean drinking water and respect. That was something I had not heard before and have never since forgotten.

Investigation Of Exxon Draws Attention Of 18 Attorneys General

By David Hasemyer And Sabrina Shankman for Inside Climate News - A new coalition of state attorneys general gave vocal notice to fossil fuel companies on Tuesday that obfuscating the realities of climate change has put ExxonMobil and its peers under the searchlight of a broadening multistate investigation. Announcing an alliance of top state law enforcement officers to press for urgent climate action on multiple legal fronts, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was joined by six of his counterparts, their ranks bolstered by aides from 10 additional states and the District of Columbia.

War On Drugs Harmed Public Health: Report

By Vik Adhopia for CBC News - The war on drugs has failed, fuelling higher rates of infection and harming public health and human rights to such a degree that it's time to decriminalize non-violent minor drug offences, according to a new global report. The authors of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy call for minor use, possession and petty use to be decriminalized following measurably worsened human health.

After Friedrichs Victory, Labor Has A Lot Of Work To Build Their Movement

By Cedric de Leon for Truthout - The US labor movement should celebrate narrowly escaping a US Supreme Court ruling that would have enforced "right to work" rules across the entire public sector and badly weakened unions financially. But come April, organized labor should end their victory lap and work to fill the political vacuum left by the American two-party system. Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced a 4-4 tie in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.

Thousands Protest As Japanese Gov Ushers In New Age Of Militarism

By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams - Thousands of anti-war protesters rallied outside the parliament building in Tokyo on Tuesday, railing against the Japanese government's new so-called security law which marks a historic departure from the country's decades-long pacifism. The controversial "war legislation," a package of bills that passed parliament in September and took effect on Tuesday, reinterprets Article 9 of the country's Constitution, which renounced war as a means to settle international disputes following World War II.

Day #2: Caravan For Peace, Life And Justice

By Mackenzie McDonald Wilkins. Honduras -Today (March 29, 2016), the Caravan for Peace, Life, and Justice visited La Ceiba, on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. We met with leaders from Garifuna and indigenous communities that are being forced from their lands by US and Honduran military forces who claim the communities are trafficking drugs. There have been multiple assassinations and massacres, including of innocent women and children, in Garifuna, Tolupan, and Miskito communities. The news says that cartel members were killed. The military forces want to instill fear in these communities and force them to leave their coastal communities, leaving the land open for plantations and the beaches open to hotel and resort companies. The communities are fighting back though.

Protestors Takes To Trees As Pipeline’s Chainsaws Approach

By Reid Frazier for The Allegheny Front - As the chain saws revved nearby, Elise Gerhart was literally up a tree Tuesday protesting a pipeline slated to course through her family’s wooded property. Gerhart, 29, of Huntingdon, and about 20 protesters coalesced around the Gerhart property as a work crew—chaperoned by local sheriff’s officers—took down trees along the property. Two protesters were arrested as the work crews cleared land for Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas liquids from Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area.

D.O.J. Resurrects Policing For Profit Program

By Sam Sacks for The District Sentinel - A suspended policy that allowed local police to keep much of the assets they confiscate from fellow suspects—even those who have not been convicted or charged with any crime—was reinstated on Monday evening by the Department of Justice. The notorious “equitable sharing” program permits local cops to use federal law to seize property, possessions, and cash from individuals they suspect of wrongdoing. It was temporarily halted in December.

Mothers Of Plaza De Mayo Reject Obama’s Visit To Argentina

By Staff of Tele Sur - The head of Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Hebe de Bonafini, described the visit of President Obama to Argentina as "a mockery of the historical memory of the Argentine people." The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Association called misplaced the visit of US President, Barack Obama, to Argentina during the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the 1976 coup. "I started thinking what country represents Obama and I immediately jumped to mind the Condor Plan...

How Supreme Court Made Economic Inequality Worse

By Michele Gilman for The Conversation - Economic inequality is now firmly on the public agenda as candidates and voters alike look for someone to blame for stagnant wages, entrenched poverty and a widening gap between rich and poor. Bernie Sanders blames Wall Street. Donald Trump points his finger at companies moving overseas. Hillary Clinton identifies middle-class families who are working harder but staying in place as the root cause. While all these factors and others helped increase inequality, they overlook the role of a key American institution that has also helped widen the gap between rich and poor: the Supreme Court.

Witness To A War Crimes Trial: My Heart Is Sepur Zarco

By Lawrence Reichard for Counter Punch - A frail, elderly woman, covered from head to toe in bright, colorful clothing approaches the witness chair. Her face is almost entirely covered. She is no more than five feet tall, and under all that clothing she can’t weigh more than 100 pounds. She sits next to her translator. She speaks only Q’eqchi, one of Guatemala’s 24 officially recognized languages – no Spanish. The witness speaks quietly into a microphone, and her testimony is harrowing.

Last Hurrah? Chevron’s Attack On Democracy In Richmond

By Steve Early. Richmond, California’s next municipal voting is less than seven months away. But memories of our last election—one of the most expensive in local history-- remain fresh in the minds of many participants. For Richmond residents whose recollections are fading, we now have a fascinating 90-minute video history of that campaign. Entitled Nate Bates for Mayor, it provides a timely reminder of the stakes involved in a key Left Coast battle against big money in politics that resonated nationally. To watch the trailer or the whole film, go to: Most political videography (like The War Room) is about winners, rather than losers. So how does the business-backed runner-up in Richmond’s 2014 mayoral race get top billing in this movie?

Protesters Flood Streets As Discrimination Law Backlash Grows

By Nika Knight for Common Dreams - "If we don't get no justice, then they don't get no peace!" was the rallying cry echoing in the streets of downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for hours on Tuesday. Hundreds of anti-discrimination activists flooded the streets and stopped traffic through the afternoon and evening in a planned protest against the state's sweeping, unprecedented anti-LGBTQ legislation signed into law last week.

Protesters Disown Obama’s Visit To Argentina

By Staff of La Tercera - Protesters marched today against the visit of President Barack Obama to Argentina and burned American flags near the US Embassy in Buenos Aires and place of accommodation of the president and his family. Between 1,500 and 2,000 demonstrators staged a protest outside the convention center La Rural in Palermo, where one organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Argentina business meeting was held.

What Will Lesser Evilism Look Like In 2016?

By Staff for Socialist Worker - BERNIE SANDERS' campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination has had a huge impact on national politics. With his message about the need for a "political revolution" and his forthright identification as a democratic socialist, he injected a surge of energy into the 2016 election. Sanders won far more support than most observers, Socialist Worker included, guessed at the start. For a time after the first few primary contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Hillary Clinton campaign--and the ranks of the Democratic Party leadership that stand behind it--was running scared.
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