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December 2019

Here Are Five Ways To Support Chelsea Manning In 2020

The year 2019 has been a nightmare for whistleblower Chelsea Manning and her supporters. While Donald Trump cleared three members of the United States Army who reportedly murdered Afghani civilians, Manning is, once again, confined for acting in accord with her own principles. In 2010, she was imprisoned for leaking classified military and diplomatic documents that exposed U.S. war crimes, including the murder of Iraqi and Afghani civilians.

A Monumentally Destructive US Decade — Symptomatic Of Imperial Decline

These are W.H. Auden’s lines, written as the 1930s drew to a close and six years of global conflagration commenced. Eighty years later, they are pitifully, painfully apt as the second decade of our new century gives way to the third. With 2019 staggering to its end, what do we see when we look back over the 2010s? What when we look forward to the 2020s? These are our questions, each to be answered without flinching, dissembling or deflecting. It requires a wide-eyed Boy Scout’s optimism to consider the decade now behind us and see anything other than a steady descent into global disorder...

Series Of Wikileaks Release On Fraudulent Report On Chemical Attack In Syria

Today WikiLeaks releases more internal documents from the OPCW regarding the investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018. One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation...

Washington’s Unmasked Imperialism Towards Europe And Russia

Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are. Its passing into law – signed by President Trump this week – of sanctions to halt the Nord Stream-2 and Turk Stream gas supply projects is a naked imperialist move to bludgeon the European energy market for its own economic advantage. US sanctions are planned to hit European companies involved with Russia’s Gazprom in the construction of the 1,225-kilometer pipeline under the Baltic Sea which will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany and elsewhere across the European Union.

Why We Persist: Activists Have Protested US Drone Base For Over A Decade

“All human beings possess the basic right under international law to engage in non-violent civil resistance activities for the purpose of preventing, impeding, or terminating the ongoing commission of [international crime].” — International law expert Francis Boyle. Nonviolent civil resistance against international crime is about effectiveness and persistence. Or as Dorothy Day might say, faithfulness. We sow seeds — awakening the cogs in the machine of imperial crime and informing those who, with their federal taxes, help finance that crime.

Nord Stream 2 – US Sanctions – Trump’s Economic Suicide?

Nord Stream 2 is an under-water pipeline crossing from Kingisepp in Russia to Greifswald in Germany, under the Baltic sea. Its cost is estimated at more than US$ 100 billion. It parallels Nord stream 1 (see map), and is supposed to make Germany energy secure, especially once Germany exits from nuclear energy. After the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Germany has already permanently shut down eight of its 17 reactors and pledged to close the rest by the end of 2022.

Media Elites To Assange: Fight For Your Own Hide

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange languishes in a British prison awaiting probable extradition to the United States to stand trial for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Ironically, he is serving jail time for jumping bail on trumped-up sex crime charges in Sweden that even the Swedish government has now abandoned. Most Western, especially American, mainstream journalists, though, have expressed at most tepid opposition to the persecution of Assange, even as reports mount that his health has deteriorated to an alarming extent. 

Torture Of Palestinian Detainees Prevails In Israeli Jails

In comments to Al Jazeera regarding Israel’s use of torture against Palestinian detainees, Qadura Faris, head of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, declared: “The Israeli security wants to leave a mark on the psyche of those it detains: resistance has a price, and it is hefty.” Torture methods used by Israel include stress positions, beatings which result in severe injuries, sleep deprivation, emotional blackmail, threats of torture against family members of the detainees and the transfer of detainees to secret prisons.

French Strike: Electricity Workers Light Poor Homes On Christmas, Cut-Off Power To Police And Big Business

Since the beginning of the strike on December 5, electricians and energy workers maintain power outages against Macron's pension reform. A method of struggle that exposes the strength of the workers and the strategic place they occupy, with the possibility of paralyzing government buildings and large companies with power outages. While the strike has had a greater impact among workers of the SNCF (railway), the RATP (metropolitan transport company in Paris), the National Education or even health, energy workers are not far behind.

Trump Signs Measure Enabling Establishment Of A U.S. Space Force

President Donald J. Trump looks as a flag is revealed during a ceremony to establish the U.S. Space Command in the Rose Garden in the Rose Garden at the White House on Thursday, Aug 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images). President Trump has signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2020 that establishes a U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces—despite the Outer Space Treaty designating space as a global commons to be used for peaceful purposes.

We’re Headed For An Uprising, But Are We Ready For It?

As 2019 comes to a close and we enter a new decade, we look back at the major events and issues that shaped the year with Chris Hedges. We discuss the rise of the Right, in part due to the weaknesses of the Left, what the Sanders campaign means for activism and achieving meaningful social change and whether or not the United States is ready for a massive uprising against neo-liberalism, as is happening around the world. The next decade will be a time when major crises such as the climate, wealth inequality and militarism are devastating. At some point, a spark will be lit in the US, but in the current environment, that is likely to result in greater movement to the right unless we prepare now to build power on the left.

The Northwest Turns Up The Heat On ICE

Yakima, Wash. — A man in handcuffs locked to a belt chain trudged up metal stairs, eyes fixed on the door of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement charter plane bound for El Paso. He turned and brightened when gusts carried the shrill tone of a whistle blown by one of a dozen activists 50 yards away. “No estas solo!” — You are not alone! — the activists yelled across the tarmac from behind chain-link and barbed-wire fencing. Awkwardly, the man with a goatee and glasses — one of 51 unidentified detainees dispatched on a recent Tuesday by ICE — twisted his right wrist to wave. Much of the focus on President Trump’s immigration crackdown has been at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has seen a surge of Central American asylum seekers hoping to cross into the United States.

Schools Are Using Facial Recognition To Try To Stop Shootings. Here’s Why They Should Think Twice.

For years, the Denver public school system worked with Video Insight, a Houston-based video management software company that centralized the storage of video footage used across its campuses. So when Panasonic acquired Video Insight, school officials simply transferred the job of updating and expanding their security system to the Japanese electronics giant. That meant new digital HD cameras and access to more powerful analytics software, including Panasonic’s facial recognition, a tool the public school system’s safety department is now exploring.

Know Their Names: Eight Activists Assassinated For Fighting Climate Change

Four people are killed every week over climate and land disputes at the hands of state forces and hired assassins who defend the interests of big corporations, large landowners, and the government. According to the 2019 Global Witness Report, which tracks such harassment, enforced disappearances and murders of activists across the world, 164 environmental activists were murdered in 2018. Although this is a drop from the previous year’s count of 207 deaths, the report details how violence and coercion has spiked as coalitions of private security forces, contract killers, and state forces have looked to systematically silence those who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and dare to take on bourgeois governments and capitalists. 

New Risks Scientists Warned About In The 2010s

The 2010s may go down in environmental history as the decade when the fingerprints of climate change became evident in extreme weather events, from heat waves to destructive storms, and climate tipping points once thought to be far off were found to be much closer. It was the decade when governments worldwide woke up to the risk and signed the Paris climate agreement, yet still failed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions at the pace and scale needed. And when climate scientists, seeing the evidence before them, cast away their reluctance to publicly advocate for action.
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