On 27 July two court hearings took place – one in the UK, the other in Spain. Both concerned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. From their proceedings, it became clear that it’s not Assange who should be facing prosecution, but the current office holder of the US presidency and his associates. At the 27 July ‘administrative hearing’ at Westminster magistrates court, Judge Vanessa Baraitser stated that the prosecution had failed to present its latest ‘superseding indictment‘. That superseding indictment was first made public on 24 June, just prior to the last court hearing, though the prosecution failed to submit the document to that hearing too.
Liberty Park is one of the very few public green spaces left in Koreatown; the choice for ‘Ktown for Black Lives’ to meet here is intentional. Organized by the neighborhood’s activists and community members, the monthly gathering aims to mobilize residents against state-sanctioned violence that regularly takes the lives of Black and Brown people. Since its start in June, hundreds of ‘Ktown for Black Lives’ attendees have assembled on the 2.5 acres of land to participate in political education and mutual aid efforts such as the redistribution of meals and sanitary supplies. ‘Ktown for Black Lives’ points to the growing momentum among L.A.-based Korean and Asian American organizers standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and calling for Black liberation. The Korean response to today’s Black Lives Matter movement is rooted in deep personal education.
Every day, California farmworkers worry that the pandemic plowing through agricultural hubs will catch them and kill them. They also worry that not working will kill them. The collapse of food service demands when most businesses and institutions shut down has cut farm jobs statewide by 20 percent, or 100,000. Many farmworkers who are still working have had their hours or days reduced, sometimes without warning. Lockdowns have also cost workers second jobs they needed to make ends meet. They are juggling bills and going hungry. These are some of the findings in a new survey of 900 farmworkers in 21 farm counties, released on Tuesday. The survey was coordinated by the California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS), with a wide group of researchers, farmworker organizations and policy advocates. The Covid-19 Farmworker Study (COFS) reinforces the dire warnings that farmworker advocacy organizations made when the coronavirus lockdowns began: The least protected essential workers in the country
The U.S. economy shrunk at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 32.9 percent during the second quarter of 2020 as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic spurred an economic collapse of record-breaking speed and size, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Between April and June, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) shrunk at a pace that would have wiped out roughly a third of the value of the economy if extended over 12 months, according to the Commerce Department’s advance estimate of second-quarter growth. It is the largest one-quarter plunge in economic growth since the federal government began reporting quarterly GDP data. “This was the steepest decline since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008, when output shrank by 8.4%,” wrote Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at The Economist Intelligence Unit in a Wednesday preview of the report. “The scale of the fall in the first quarter will be dwarfed by that in the second.”
To defend the $600 unemployment payments as both morally and economically necessary is not to suggest that the CARES Act is a sufficient solution to our economic problems. Nor, says Pavlina Tcherneva, Associate Professor of Economics at Bard College and a Research Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute and advisor to Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign, is the Democratic-led HEROES Act, which would extend the payments through January 2021 if Senate Republicans and the Trump administration would support it. Dr. Tcherneva studies the impact of unemployment on growth, income inequality and public health, and saving people from the hardship that awaits Valerie is the focus of her work. In The Case for a Job Guarantee, which she published this summer, Tcherneva explains how the federal government could provide a living-wage job to anyone who wants one. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation about what the pandemic unemployment payments meant for the economy and how the United States could enact a Job Guarantee.
On July 24, 2020, Tesla’s Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that a second U.S. “government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people.” Someone responded to Musk soon after, “You know what wasn’t in the best interest of people? The U.S. government organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there.” Musk then wrote: We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it. Musk refers here to the coup against President Evo Morales Ayma, who was removed illegally from his office in November 2019. Morales had just won an election for a term that was to have begun in January 2020. Even if there was a challenge against that election, Morales’ term should rightfully have continued through November and December of 2019.
Apartheid Off Campus is a newly-formed student network fighting to sever the ties between UK universities and the Israeli occupation. “University students are in a powerful position to campaign in support of Palestinians and against the structures of racism by both challenging/exposing these links and forcing their universities to divest from complicit companies, as well as making their institutions commit to being APARTHEID FREE,” reads the group’s website. Research recently released by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign shows that UK universities continue to invest over $580 million in companies complicit in Israeli apartheid. Mondoweiss spoke with five of the network’s student activists about the state of BDS in the United Kingdom, the current political climate, and organizing in the time of COVID-19.
This episode we were joined by the editor of the Pan African Newswire, Abayomi Azikewe. Mr. Azikewe gave detailed critical analysis regarding the ongoing imperialist wars waged on Africa by way of Western nations like the US and France. This is an absolute must listen for anyone interested in humanity, peace, justice and an end to western aggression and imperialism on the Global South. This is a MUST LISTEN!
This July, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that President Trump, who does not have a uterus, was quite right to object to Obama-era rules under the Affordable Care Act that allowed Americans who do have uteri access to free birth control through their employer-provided health insurance plans. Specifically, NPR reports, the Supreme Court upheld a Trump administration rule that “would give broad exemptions from the birth control mandate to nonprofits and some for-profit companies that object to birth control on religious or moral grounds.”
It has been almost two months since a Los Angeles Police Department patrol car accelerated into Brooke Fortson during a protest over police violence. She still doesn’t know the name of the officer who hit her or whether that person is still policing the city’s streets. The officer did not stop after hitting Fortson and instead turned around, nearly hitting other demonstrators in the process, and sped off. The LAPD almost surely knows who the officer is. The squad car’s number is clearly visible in one of the multiple videos that captured the incident.
A masked man who was seen in a viral video smashing the windows of a south Minneapolis auto parts store during the George Floyd protests, earning him the moniker "Umbrella Man," is suspected of ties with a white supremacist group and sought to incite racial tension, police said. A Minneapolis police arson investigator said the act of vandalism at the AutoZone on E. Lake Street helped spark a chain reaction that led to days of looting and rioting. The store was among dozens of buildings across the city that burned to the ground in the days that followed.
Manhattan — With trial still months away, taxpayers have paid more than a quarter-million dollars to a private law firm deputized by a federal judge to convict an environmental attorney of misdemeanors. That is only one of the many oddities of United States v. Steven Donziger, a criminal contempt case against a lawyer defending a more than $9 billion verdict that he helped Ecuadorean villagers obtain against Chevron for oil contamination in the Amazon rainforest in 2011. “So — the punchline is: The government has spent $254,930 to date prosecuting a misdemeanor,” Donziger’s attorney Zoe Littlepage summarized in an email to her co-counsel and her client.
Hiroshima, Japan - Kunihiko Iida wants the world to know that the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago next month are still claiming lives and causing suffering. Iida was 3 years old in August 1945. His father had died in battle; he was living with his mother and her parents in a house 900 meters from Hiroshima’s hypocenter, the spot right beneath the detonation. The blast crumpled the house. The family fled the city, but Iida’s mother and older sister soon died from their injuries, a fact the little boy didn’t grasp.
Federal authorities are using a new tactic in their battle against protesters in Portland, Oregon: arrest them on offenses as minor as “failing to obey” an order to get off a sidewalk on federal property — and then tell them they can’t protest anymore as a condition for release from jail. Legal experts describe the move as a blatant violation of the constitutional right to free assembly, but at least 12 protesters arrested in recent weeks have been specifically barred from attending protests or demonstrations as they await trials on federal misdemeanor charges. “Defendant may not attend any other protests, rallies, assemblies or public gathering in the state of Oregon,” states one “Order Setting Conditions of Release” for an accused protester, alongside other conditions such as appearing for court dates. The orders are signed by federal magistrate judges.
The best defense against a raging pandemic that has already claimed over 152,000 American lives is simply to stay home. But even this could soon become impossible for millions, as the United States is facing an impending eviction crisis of “biblical proportions,” according to the Housing Rights Initiative. Earlier this week, the federal moratorium on evictions expired, meaning the nation’s 12 million renters are now at risk of losing their homes. Renters tend to be poorer, many of whom are among the 52 million that have filed for unemployment benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of extending the eviction ban, top Democrats, including California Sen. Kamala Harris and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), proposed their own solution to the crisis: new money for a fund to help renters faced with eviction access legal representation. “We must take bold, urgent action to affirm that right and protect the millions of families facing housing instability,” said Pressley, as the bill was introduced yesterday.