By Sarah Jaffe for Truth Out - Across the country last week, immigrants went on strike to demonstrate what the country would be like if Donald Trump actually followed through on his promised deportations. The Day Without Immigrants actions kicked off in Wisconsin on Monday, February 13, where Voces De La Frontera and partner organizations held a Day Without Latinos, Immigrants and Refugees to protest Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke's plans to collaborate with the Trump administration to deport people. We spoke with German Sanchez, one of the workers who went on strike that day. In addition to being a farmworker, Sanchez also volunteers with Voces De La Frontera Milwaukee, United for a Better Future from Fox Cities, and ESTHER (an interfaith social justice group in Wisconsin).
By Jihan Hafiz for The Intercept - IT WAS AN EMOTIONAL closing prayer in front of the sacred fire at Oceti Sakowin camp, near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, ground zero of the movement to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline. For hundreds of people who lived here, Oceti Sakowin had become home. Equipped with medical facilities, kitchens, security posts, prayer lodges, a building supply depot, a school, and a town hall, Oceti was a Native-led community built by the NoDAPL movement. On Wednesday, as many walked out of Oceti for the last time, smoke filled the air. Spiritual leaders chose to burn Native religious structures instead of allowing the police to bulldoze them. The North Dakota police had given water protectors a 2 p.m. deadline to leave the camp. But more than 100 stayed behind, refusing to leave land they consider theirs. At 4 p.m., the police advanced, targeting both water protectors and journalists.
By Staff of NAACP - RALEIGH, NC—The NAACP Board of Directors announced a resolution calling for the discussion of the first steps of an international economic boycott of the state of North Carolina in response to actions of an all-white legislative caucus, which unconstitutionally designed racially-discriminatory gerrymandered districts, enacted a monster voter suppression law, passed Senate Bill 4 stripping the incoming Governor of power and passed House Bill 2. HB 2 is anti-transgender, anti-worker and anti-access to the state court for employment discrimination. NAACP National President/CEO Cornell William Brooks and North Carolina State President and National Board Member Rev. Dr. William Barber II, will hold a press conference today (Friday, Feb. 24th @ 11:00 am) at the NC General Assembly to discuss the economic boycott and rally supporters for direct actions against the legislators.
By Staff of We Are Cove Point - After being invited by We Are Cove Point, a team from Earthworks traveled to Cove Point in early February, bringing a FLIR camera operator all the way from Colorado. FLIR cameras are designed to pick up heat and gaseous emissions invisible to the naked eye. Click here for more details on Earthworks’ FLIR camera program. FLIR cameras can show that emissions are occurring, but not the volume or type of emissions. In the words of the FLIR operator who came to Cove Point, the resulting footage shows “a noticeable non-heat plume above the point source, and it went quite high into the air. There is a possibility that this emissions plume contains toxic volatile organic compounds, and it definitely contains greenhouse gasses. It is usually understood that between 92 and 97 percent of combusted point sources are actually burned. The rest, particularly methane in the context of gas-fired compressor turbine exhaust, emits without being burned off fully.
By Paul Mason for The Guardian - The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the forced destruction of the market from above. For much of the 20th century this was how the left conceived the first stage of an economy beyond capitalism. The force would be applied by the working class, either at the ballot box or on the barricades. The lever would be the state. The opportunity would come through frequent episodes of economic collapse. Instead over the past 25 years it has been the left’s project that has collapsed. The market destroyed the plan; individualism replaced collectivism and solidarity; the hugely expanded workforce of the world looks like a “proletariat”, but no longer thinks or behaves as it once did. If you lived through all this, and disliked capitalism, it was traumatic.
By Kyung Lah, Alberto Moya and Mallory Simon for CNN - Los Angeles (CNN)A hammer pounds away in the living room of a middle class home. A sanding machine smoothes the grain of the wood floor in the dining room. But this home Pastor Ada Valiente is showing off in Los Angeles, with its refurbished floors, is no ordinary home. "It would be three families we host here," Valiente says. By "host," she means provide refuge to people who may be sought by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE. The families staying here would be undocumented immigrants, fearing an ICE raid and possible deportation. The purchase of this home is part of a network formed by Los Angeles religious leaders across faiths in the wake of Donald Trump's election.
By David Swanson for World Beyond War - Trump proposes to increase U.S. military spending by $54 billion, and to take that $54 billion out of the other portions of the above budget, including in particular, he says, foreign aid. If you can’t find foreign aid on the chart above, that’s because it is a portion of that little dark green slice called International Affairs. To take $54 billion out of foreign aid, you would have to cut foreign aid by approximately 200 percent. Alternative math! But let’s not focus on the $54 billion. The blue section above (in the 2015 budget) is already 54% of discretionary spending (that is, 54% of all the money that the U.S. government chooses what to do with every year). It’s already 60% if you add in Veterans’ Benefits. (We should take care of everyone, of course, but we wouldn’t have to take care of amputations and brain injuries from wars if we stopped having the wars.) Trump wants to shift another 5% to the military, boosting that total to 65%...
By Staff of Society of Environmental Journalists - Dear Chairman LaFleur and Commissioner Honorable: As a professional news media organization, we are writing to express our concern about the procedures your agency uses to gather public comment. The Society of Environmental Journalists is a 26-year-old professional organization dedicated to excellence in environmental journalism. Many of our 1,274 members are journalists who cover FERC actions, whether locally or nationally. It’s critical to our members’ reporting on FERC actions to explain factors you weigh in your decision making and the public feedback you receive. At a February 14 public comment meeting in Wilson, N.C., on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Docket Nos. CP15-554-000 and CP15-554-001), we understand that rather than following the traditional “town hall” procedure, where people who wished to comment could speak in front of others in attendance, FERC switched to what its spokesperson later described as a “listening session."
By Christopher Ingraham for Washington Post - Since the election of President Trump, Republican lawmakers in at least 18 states have introduced or voted on legislation to curb mass protests in what civil liberties experts are calling “an attack on protest rights throughout the states.” From Virginia to Washington state, legislators have introduced bills that would increase punishments for blocking highways, ban the use of masks during protests, indemnify drivers who strike protesters with their cars and, in at least once case, seize the assets of people involved in protests that later turn violent. The proposals come after a string of mass protest movements in the past few years, covering everything from police shootings of unarmed black men to the Dakota Access Pipeline to the inauguration of Trump. Some are introducing bills because they say they're necessary to counter the actions of “paid” or “professional” protesters who set out to intimidate or disrupt, a common accusation that experts agree is largely overstated...
By Staff of ACLU - LOS ANGELES - The ACLU Foundation of Southern California and a coalition of advocacy groups today sent a letter to Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, Mayor Eric Garcetti and city council members, demanding that they take steps to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from impersonating police officers to gain access to homes and businesses in Los Angeles. The deception critically endangers LAPD policies that seek to assure immigrant community members they can report crimes and assist police investigations without fear of deportation. These policies have been vital in furthering public safety. ICE permits its agents to misrepresent themselves as police officers, probation officers, religious workers and other officials to gain community members’ permission to enter homes without warrants. The ruse has also been used to get individuals to volunteer information they might not otherwise divulge.
By Staff of WashingtonsBlog - The U.S. Carried Out Regime Change In Syria In 1949 … and Tried Again In 1957, 1986, 1991 and 2011-Today. The CIA backed a right-wing coup in Syria in 1949. Douglas Little, Professor, Department of Clark University History professor Douglas Little notes: Recently declassified records… confirm that beginning on November 30, 1948, [CIA operative Stephen] Meade met secretly with Colonel Zaim at least six times to discuss the “possibility [of an] army supported dictatorship.” [“Cold War and Covert Action: The United States and Syria, 1945-1958,” Middle East Journal, Winter 1990, p. 55]
By Colin Beavan for Yes! Magazine - Some years ago, the communications psychologist John Marshall Roberts said at a talk I attended that there are three ways of converting people to a cause: by threat of force, by intellectual argument, and by inspiration. The most effective of these methods, Roberts said, is aligning communication about your cause with the most deeply-held values and aspirations of your friends, relatives, neighbors, and fellow citizens. To get people’s total, lasting, and unwavering support, in other words, we should try neither to cajole them judgmentally nor convince them forcefully. We should inspire them toward a vision that they—not we—can really care about. Which points to the potential problem of blindly using facts and science—be it climate science or demographic science—to “prove” the righteousness of our causes. Research shows that people tend to embrace data that support their life views and reject data that refute them. Whether we like this or not, it is a truth about how humans evaluate and make decisions.
Staff for #RememberTrayvon. The murder of Trayvon Martin was the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement that accelerated with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and has grown with the deaths of so many other blacks at the hands of police. Here are several campaigns to remember Trayvon: #TrayvonTaughtMe digital toolkit and campaign:The #TrayvonTaughtMe digital campaign highlights the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement, and how Trayvon’s extrajudicial murder and his family’s commitment to ending gun violence and strengthening communities catalyzed a generation of organizers and activists to take action for Black lives. #OurSonTrayvon campaign: In collaboration with Gbenga Akkinagbe, founder of Liberated People, and activist-writer Michaela Angela Davis, BLM is supporting the launch of the #OurSonTrayvon campaign, whose goal is to create a sustainable movement humanizing Black children in the collective imagination. #DearTrayvonsMom letter writing campaign: is soliciting love letters to Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother and #TalkAboutTrayvon digital toolkit and campaign: seeks to launch a conversation among white people about the conditions that led to the extrajudicial murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman.