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March 2018

Role Of Youth In The Coming Transformation

The eruption of youth protests over gun violence in schools and other issues is another indicator that the 2020s could be a decade of transformation where people demand economic, racial and environmental justice as well as peace. Students who are in their teens now will be in their twenties then. They will have experience in how protests can change political culture. Some view the youth awakening in these protests as reminiscent of youth movements in previous generations, others are less optimistic. We cannot predict the role this generation will play, but throughout the history of mass movements, youth have been a key factor by pushing boundaries and demanding change.

Violence Continues in Palestine, Israel Denounced

On Saturday, 49 more people were wounded in the ongoing demonstrations.  Palestinian rights group Adalah said the Israeli army on Saturday "accidentally" took responsibility for the attacks on Palestinian protesters, before deleting a post from their official Twitter page. "Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed," a screenshot of the post, shared by Adalah, read. In the aftermath of the protests, leaders in several countries denounced Israel's actions.

Howard University Students In Third Day Of Occupation

Hundreds of Howard University students are in their third day of an occupation of four floors of the administration building. They are planning Easter services on Sunday at 9:30. The occupation was ignited by the recent revelation that over a million dollars were stolen via tuition reimbursements from 2007 to 2016 but the students demands were broader. The students issued a statement of demands. The students are also calling for “the immediate resignation of President Wayne A.I. Frederick and the Executive Committee of the Board of the Trustees”

Protests Erupt After Stephon Clark Autopsy Contradicts Police

About 200 demonstrators squared off with police in riot gear overnight in California’s capital and more protests are planned for Saturday, after an autopsy on Stephon Clark contradicted the police account of the shooting of the unarmed black man. Waving signs and chanting the 22-year-old’s name in unison, the protesters gathered at city hall before marching into the Old Sacramento part of the city, filled with bars, restaurants and tourists. Protesters, some with megaphones and black masks covering their faces, shouted “Shoot us down, we shut you down.”

Tasaheel Burnat, A Palestinian Activist On Palestinian Land Day

The events of the 1976 Palestinian Land Day came after the confiscation of thousands of acres of Arab land within the boundaries of populated areas under the cover of a Galilee Development Project.  The main goal was the Judaization of Galilee and the triangle areas particularly (the villages of Arrabeh, Deir Hanna, and Skhnin), as well as the Negev desert.  This led the Palestinians to declare a comprehensive strike.  Large Israeli army forces were ready inside the Palestinian villages attacking and injuring many Palestinians. 

County Denies Compressor Station Zoning Permit, State Seeks To Overrule

Bryans Road, Maryland - Over the course of three-and-a-half hours Wednesday evening, more than 60 people lined up to speak in opposition to the granting of a draft air quality permit to Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG, a necessary step for the construction of a controversial [fracked] natural gas compressor station in Bryans Road. The hearing follows a recent decision by the Charles County Board of Appeals not to grant Dominion a special exception to build the compressor station on a 50-acre parcel of land along Barrys Road.

Precarious Communications: Julian Assange, Internet Access And Ecuador

Being a netizen, to use that popular term of sociological derivation, can be a difficult business. It presumes digital engagement, often of the sharper sort.  To become a fully-fledged member of such citizenry, however, presumes access, a degree of Internet speed and appropriate platforms. Absent those, then different forms of activism must be sought. Governments and authorities the world over have come to appreciate that either the activity itself is controlled (limiting internet access, for one), or the content made available on the Internet (the Great Firewall of China).  The resonant cliché there is that the one who controls the narrative controls history, or can, at the very least, blind it. Out of such tensions and tussles comes Julian Assange, a member of that unique breed of cyber insurrectionists, ducking and weaving through the information channels with varying degrees of success.

How Local Governments Can Provide Network Neutrality, Privacy, And Access For All

As the Federal Communications Commission in the Trump era dismantles vital rules protecting net neutrality and users’ privacy, Americans need an internet provider that they can trust and is accountable to the public, not profits. Municipal governments can provide this by offering broadband service themselves and implementing the net neutrality and privacy protections that are no longer required of private companies by federal policies. The internet has become a crucial utility, yet unlike water and electricity, quality broadband service in the U.S. is far from universal. Twenty-four million Americans don’t have access to high-speed internet at home, either because it’s not available or too expensive.

‘No Cop Academy’: Activists Stage Day-Long Demonstration Against Police Academy To Be Built In Chicago

The protest was the latest in a series of actions organized by a coalition of more than 50 community groups dubbed “No Cop Academy.” Youth of color in Chicago staged a day-long demonstration at City Hall on Wednesday to voice their opposition to the planned construction of a new $95 million police academy to be built on the city’s West Side. The protest was the latest in a series of actions organized by a coalition of more than 50 community groups dubbed “No Cop Academy.” “If you’re going to make a decision so-called ‘for our community,’ then you should ask the community, you shouldn’t just make the decision for us,” said Sumaria Howell, a 16 year-old student at Simeon Career Academy and member of the group Simeon Young Activists, who are part of the coalition. “We know what we want because we’re here. You guys aren’t in our community, you don’t know what it’s like for us to be out here.”

What Is The Necessity Defense, And What Are Its Limits?

In the early morning hours of September 2, 2014, five climate activists made their way into Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s Delta Railyard in Everett, Washington, and erected an 18-foot tripod out of steel poles. One member of the group, Abby Brockway, climbed onto a perch at the top while the remaining four chained themselves to the legs. The tripod was positioned on the tracks in front of a freight train that was waiting to depart with tanker cars loaded with crude oil.  After approximately eight hours of peaceful protest, the five were removed by the Everett Fire Department, arrested by local police, and taken to jail. Often referred to as the Delta 5, they were eventually charged with trespass along with the very specific crime of obstructing or delaying a train.

Change Is Coming

The cries of loss and anguish become public, at last. A million young people seize the truth: “Half of my seventh grade class was affected by gun violence. My own brother was shot in the head. I am tired of being asked to calm down and be quiet.” The stories went on and on, speaker after speaker. We marched for our lives this past Saturday. I was one of the thousands of people who endured a bitter cold morning in Chicago to be part of this emerging movement, this burst of anger, hope and healing. Violence in the United States of America is out of control. It has its claws around the lives of its own children. It’s a terrifying symptom . . . of a society built around fear, of a political structure devoted to war. Something has to change. The Chicago march was one of more than 800 marches throughout the U.S. and all across the world.

Latin American Indigenous People Fight New Plunder Of Their Resources

(IPS) – Indigenous communities in Latin America, who have suffered the plunder of their natural resources since colonial times, are reliving that phenomenon again as mega infrastructure are jeopardising their habitat and their very survival. On the island of Assunção in Northeast Brazil, the village of the Truká indigenous people was split in two when the flow of the São Francisco River was diverted. “The Truká people have always been from this region. We are an ancient people in this territory. We have always lived on the riverbank fishing, hunting, planting crops. We did not need a canal,” lamented Claudia Truká, leader of the village in the municipality of Cabrobó, in the state of Pernambuco. The transfer, officially called the São Francisco River Integration Project, seeks to capture the river’s water through 713 km of canals, aqueducts, reservoirs, tunnels and pumping systems.

Israeli Army Kills 15 Palestinians In Gaza Protests

The Palestinian Authority has declared Saturday a day of national mourning after 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces as thousands marched near Gaza's border with Israel in a major demonstration marking the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.  "Schools, universities as well as all government institutions across the country will be off on Saturday, as per President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to declare a day of national mourning for the souls of the martyrs," a statement issued on Friday said. More than 1,400 others were wounded after Israeli forces fired live ammunition at protesters and used tear gas to push them back from a heavily fortified fence, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.  Friday's demonstration commemorated Land Day, which took place on March 30, 1976, when six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces during protests against the Israeli government's decision to expropriate massive tracts of Palestinian-owned land.

Cooperatives And The Future Of Work

‘A lot of resources are going to be spent in our city. Therefore the questions is: who is going to get them? Who is going to benefit?’ says Kali Akuno, of Cooperation Jackson. The question of the future of work is above all a question of power and ownership. It is a question the cooperative movement seeks practical answers for, every day, in neighbourhoods, cities and regions. An international survey among 10,000 members of the general population by the consulting firm PwC found that 53% believe technological innovations will be the most transformative factor in shaping the future world of work – more than resource scarcity and climate change, shifts in global economic power, migrations and urbanisation. This is also the dominant narrative in the mainstream media. Yet, co-operators understand that technology follows social and economic power, not the other way round.

Autopsy: Clark Shot Seven Times In The Back

The killing of Stephon Clark continues to result in mass protests before and after his funeral. Anger increased as an independent autopsy showed that Clark was never facing the police when he was shot. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy and said Clark’s name will not be forgotten until “we get justice.” Sharpton said  “This is not a local matter,” responding to a statement made by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about President Trump's silence on Clark’s death. The coroner found that Clark was never looking at the police when they shot at him 20 times. Dr. Bennet Omalu conducted an independent autopsy days after Clark was killed. He reported that Clark was hit by eight bullets, and all but one entered while his back was turned toward police. One bullet entered Clark's left thigh from the front and was probably fired while he was on the ground and had already been shot multiple times. Omalu said the claim "That he was assailing the officers, meaning he was facing the officers, is inconsistent with the prevailing forensic evidence."
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