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October 2020

Deception 2020: The One Thing Democrats And Republicans Always Agree On

In this sixth installment of the Deception 2020 Series, we highlight the most vibrant common thread between both of our corporate parties: imperialism. We sit down with Leonardo Flores to discuss Venezuela in particular, placing the ongoing attack on this progressive nation in the broader context of US imperialism both away and at home.

Radical Neoliberalism Was Born And Will Die In Chile

A wave of Indigenous peoples supporting the Luis Arce-David Choquehuanca presidential ticket defeated the main right-wing candidate, Carlos Mesa by 20 points, restoring democracy to Bolivia. Just days later around 80% of Chilean voters decided by referendum to re-found their nation with a new constitution. These momentous events represent twin victories for Latin American independence, the rejection of radical neoliberalism, a desire for socio-economic reform, and the insistence on self-determination from the bottom-up.

How A Key Pentagon Official Turned China Policy Over To Arms Industry And Taiwan Supporters

When the United States finalized a set of seven arms sales packages to Taiwan in August, including 66 upgraded F-16 fighter planes and longer-range air-to-ground missiles that could hit sensitive targets on mainland China, it shifted U.S. policy sharply toward a much more aggressive stance on the geo-strategic island at the heart of military tensions between the United States and China. Branded “Fortress Taiwan” by the Pentagon, the ambitious arms deal was the engineered by Randall Schriver, a veteran pro-Taiwan activist and anti-China hardliner whose think tank had been financed by America’s biggest arms contractors and by the Taiwan government itself. 

The Knives Come Out As Greenwald Splits From The Intercept

Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of investigative news outlet The Intercept, very publicly resigned from his position yesterday. The immediate trigger for his decision was a refusal to publish his article exploring corruption in the Biden campaign by his editors, but, as the cult journalist explained on his Substack page, there were also long term and deeper underlying factors that forced him to move on. Greenwald created the Substack page for this purpose, posting his resignation letter, then the censored article followed by the email exchange with his editors that preceded his resignation.

Modern Piracy And US Sanctions

Washington announced in August that it had confiscated 1.1 million barrels of gasoline from four tankers en route between the two countries, which are both under illegal US sanctions. “We estimate that in excess of $40 million will be recouped by the United States related to the sale of petroleum from those four vessels,” Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, told reporters by telephone. He added that a “great portion” of it would be contributed to a US fund for victims of “state-sponsored terrorism,” without providing any details.

Biden And Trump Agree Far More Than They Disagree

With the U.S. presidential elections slated for next Tuesday November 3rd, unprecedented numbers of voters have already cast their ballot. Despite a polarized electorate deeply divided on issues from police brutality to COVID-19, for many voters commited to preventing four more years of Trump, the two major candidates prove far more similar than presented in mainstream media. To shed light on some of these dyanmics in this crucial election for the hemisphere, we spoke with Adrienne Pine, professor of medical anthropology at American University, member of the Embassy Protection Collective, and author of the recent book, "Asylum for Sale: Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry."

Sanctions, Elections And Tactical Opportunities

First, the very existence of the Venezuelan nation-state is at stake in the upcoming elections. Of course, all countries on the periphery struggle for their existence in the unequal power relationship that exists between the Global North and the Global South. This is a global class struggle, where the aggressor is the imperialist pole, represented by NATO. They aim to recolonize our continent. As such, the struggle in the upcoming elections is not with the Venezuelan opposition, which merely reflects the White House’s interests.

Judge Approves Extradition Of Kyle Rittenhouse

Waukegan, IL - An Illinois judge on Friday ordered a 17-year-old accused of killing two demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to be extradited across the border to stand trial on homicide charges. The ruling came several hours after a hearing at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, where defense lawyers sought to persuade Judge Paul Novak to block their Kyle Rittenhouse’s transfer to Wisconsin. At the hearing began, Rittenhouse’s lawyer said he’d had a change of heart since notifying the court that he planned to call witnesses, including Rittenhouse’s mother.

Kentucky Police Training Slideshow Quoted Hitler

A training slideshow used by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) — the second largest police force in the state — urges cadets to be “ruthless killer[s]” and quotes Adolf Hitler advocating violence. The slideshow was included in KSP documents obtained via an open records request by local attorney David Ward of Adams Landenwich Walton during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Ward requested KSP materials used to train a detective who shot and killed a man in Harlan County, and Ward shared the presentation with Manual RedEye. 

Helicopters Over DC Protesters Broke Regulations

Two D.C. National Guard helicopters that flew low over protesters in Washington, D.C., on the night of June 1 were not properly authorized to be there — and were directed by a lieutenant colonel who was far from the scene, driving home in his car, according to an initial investigation by the D.C. National Guard. The superior officer who authorized the deployment claimed he didn’t know that the regulations required him to have higher-level approval to use the helicopters at all, and that in any case, he in no way told the lieutenant colonel that the helicopters should be used for crowd dispersal.

Penguin Climate Activists Block Berlin Airport Opening

Berlin - The climate justice group 'Am Boden bleiben', a member of the international Stay Grounded network, today blocks the opening of the new airport in Berlin with protest actions. The opening of the BER had been delayed for nine years, after a series of expensive construction and corruption issues. Am Boden bleiben carries out an action of civil disobedience and says that there is no room for new airports in times of climate crisis. You can follow the action live on the Twitter accounts of Am Boden bleiben and Stay Grounded. 

Peace Organizations Win Fight For Records On Explosives At Naval Base

Washington - On August 31, 2020, Judge Ronald B. Leighton ordered the release of eleven records that the  Navy had provided to Plaintiffs in 2012 in the course of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) lawsuit that were sealed later in 2012 in a secret court hearing.  Judge Leighton also lifted a gag order imposed upon Plaintiffs over seven years ago.   Following the ruling by Judge Leighton, on October 23, 2020, Judge Thomas S. Zilly in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma ordered the Navy to pay legal fees incurred by two peace...

Why Canada Must Release Meng Wan Zhou

Few things are as dangerous as a poorly thought-out kidnapping.  Kidnappings are serious business, often with unintended consequences.  History is replete with dim-witted criminals who engaged in them on a whim, only to discover adverse outcomes far beyond their imagining. One dramatic example happened 90 years ago this week: On October 24th, a mother with young children is kidnapped.  She is the cherished wife of an important man whom the kidnapper’s group is in competition with.  The plan of the kidnapper is that by kidnapping her, this will create unbearable psychological pressure on her husband

Deception 2020: It’s Not The Most Important Election

In this fifth installment of the Deception 2020 Series, we dig into that trite line about “the most important election of our time!” You’ve likely heard it before – chances are you’ll hear it again. For some historic and political context, we sit down with Eugene Puryear to further highlight the fallacy of this claim, and discuss what really makes any year – regardless of elections – politically important.

Alice’s Nightmare In Drone Land

New York - On Thursday, 33 people from New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts organized by Upstate Drone Action blocked the gates at Hancock Air Field near Syracuse, NY. Prior to Thursday’s action, activists released this statement: “And why are we going to Hancock AFB on October 29? Our country has gone down the rabbit hole — racially, spiritually and economically. COVID 19 has exposed the Pentagon and the Federal government’s inability to do their job: to aid and protect our people. In fact the government has helped spread COVID, denying its severity and denying our people the PPE to combat that scourge.
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