In a step that brings relief for millions of low-income families across the United States, the Supreme Court decided against a stay on a federally-imposed eviction moratorium. On Tuesday, June 29, the Supreme Court decided by a split vote (5-4) to deny a request by a group of landlords seeking to impose a federal district court’s ruling to block a residential eviction moratorium put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The justices decided to not allow the stay as the federal judge’s ruling is being appealed by the federal government. In May this year, a group of corporate landlords and realtors’ association secured a judgement to block the Joe Biden administration’s decision to extend the CDC eviction moratorium until July 31.
My gut was tight as a knot. The oral arguments began before the Supreme Court on April 19, 1972. I fidgeted in my seat in the audience in the first row with my wife and two young kids. I could see our legal team sitting in front of me: Robert Reinstein and Chuck Fishman. A young Alan Dershowitz sat next to them, representing Beacon. Twenty-four Ionic columns of Italian marble surrounded us below white friezes encircling the chamber. I gazed up at the Justices arrayed in black high before me on their imposing, mahogany bench, under a 44-foot ceiling. Behind them were red satin curtains and four marble columns. A huge black and white clock hung from above. Two new Justices had joined the Court since the New York Times ruling: Hugo Black and John Harlan left in September 1971.
When Indigenous Peoples and organizers are kicked out of the UNFCCC COP 25, the people rise up and find a vehicle for expression shown in this 15-minute documentary. The UNFCCC COP 25 in Madrid aimed to finalize the rules for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, a set of guidelines under which global carbon pricing systems will operate. The film demonstrates the stark contrast between the privileged corporate and government elites and those of Indigenous Peoples and organizers resisting Article 6 and other false solutions. Depicted through a diversity of Indigenous and international voices, the film warns us of the rebranding tactics used by corporations to commodify life and proliferate carbon pricing systems for the purpose of continuing business as usual.
The Giniw Collective has tweeted: “Hubbard County has escalated their repression — this is the roadway to our private property and our driveway. We’ve now constructed a barricade in front of our private land, police are everywhere. Police paid by Enbridge.” The Intercept further explains: “A Minnesota Sheriff’s office blocked access Monday morning to one of the protest encampments set up to resist the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.” “In a notice delivered at 6 a.m. to pipeline opponents, who own the property, the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office stated that it would no longer be allowing vehicular traffic on the small strip of county-owned land between the driveway and the road.” “Water protectors see the road blockade as another example of local sheriff’s offices working to protect the interests of Enbridge, the Canadian tar sands pipeline company.”
Nor is Nicaragua news for being the country with the highest level of direct ownership of the means of production by the working class in the Western Hemisphere (more than 50% of GDP and nearly 80% of economic units); nor for being one of the countries in the world that has most reduced illiteracy in the same period of time (from 35% to 3%); or for being one of the countries with the largest increase in per capita investment in health (from U$32 to U$70) and with the largest reduction in infant mortality (from 29 to 11.4 per 1,000 live births). Nicaragua is not news for being the country in the world that has most reduced the gender gap (from 90th to 12th), the country with the highest presence of women in its cabinet (58.82%), as well as having the fourth highest presence of women in the legislative branch (48.4%) and being the country that most radically applies the criterion of gender equity across its social policies.
How did Benjamin Netanyahu manage to serve as Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister? With a total of 15 years in office, Netanyahu surpassed the 12-year leadership of Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. The answer to this question will become particularly critical for future Israeli leaders who hope to emulate Netanyahu’s legacy, now that his historic leadership is likely to end. Netanyahu’s ‘achievements’ for Israel cannot be judged according to the same criteria as that of Ben Gurion. Both were staunch Zionist ideologues and savvy politicians. Unlike Ben Gurion, though, Netanyahu did not lead a so-called ‘war of independence’, merging militias into an army and carefully constructing a ‘national narrative’ that helped Israel justify its numerous crimes against the indigenous Palestinians, at least in the eyes of Israel and its supporters.
This Thursday will mark one year since Canada was defeated in its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. The Trudeau government’s loss marked a rejection of its pro-Washington, militaristic and anti-Palestinian policies. In the months before the vote, a half-dozen activists launched #NoUNSC4Canada. The social media campaign criticized Canada’s climate, nuclear and mining policies as well as its destructive role across the Global South in countries like Bolivia, Haiti and Venezuela. The campaign also included a widely circulated public letter focused on Canada’s anti-Palestinian policies as well as letters sent to African and Caribbean ambassadors critical of Canada’s role in those regions.
Logging has begun in Jackson State Demonstration Forest, 48,000 acres of state owned redwood forestland in Mendocino County in Northern California. The forest consists mostly of heavily cut over land – probably logged several times since logging in the County began in the 1860s. This continued when the state acquired the land in 1947 – the hypothesis then was to acquire forestland to apply science to commerce with goal of demonstrating best practices. Today, seventy five years later, it’s not easy to find much that’s “best” in this highly disturbed forest land. Still there are numerous groves of second-growth redwood to be found – remnants of what was once one of the wonders of the natural world.
‘Gay Liberation is for the homosexual who stands up, and fights back.’ In 1970, the year after the Stonewall riots, fliers for the first Christopher Street Liberation Day captured the theory, practice and spirit of a new generation driven to action. The origins of this new movement and its principles of popular mobilisation, however, can be found as much in the struggles for freedom fought in Cuba, Algeria, Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine as Manhattan’s West Village or Islington’s Highbury Fields. Stonewall wasn’t the first time queer people in the US had revolted against police repression, but its importance reflects a revolutionary moment in the history of LGBTQ+ struggle.
The U.S. movement for climate justice continued a series of actions planned for the nation's capital this week with a Tuesday morning rally focused on ending fossil fuel subsidies. As high temperatures persisted in both the Northeast and Pacific Northwest—which experts and activists have connected to the climate emergency—campaigners with hundreds of progressive and green groups joined Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for the rally in Washington, D.C. "I can't believe we're still talking about this," declared Lukas Ross, Climate & Energy Program manager at Friends of the Earth U.S., one of more than 500 groups behind the live-streamed event and a related letter (pdf) to Democratic leadership.
When Kamala Harris finally traveled to the U.S./Mexico border last week, she met several young women asylum seekers. The vice president likely saw Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans who were fleeing from violence and extreme poverty. But she probably did not see any Nicaraguan asylum seekers, who are few and far between. Nicaragua and Honduras are considered the two poorest nations in Latin America. Honduras is a corrupt, failed, violent country, whose government is backed by the U.S. Nicaragua has free healthcare and education, and is considered the safest country in Central America. Since Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista Front won the Nicaraguan election in 2006, they have made remarkable gains, dramatically reducing poverty and extreme poverty.
A small town in northern British Columbia was recently the backdrop for a chilling display of how Emirati influence and power can be used to attempt to suppress popular support for Palestine. On June 14, Prince Rupert was the scene of a Block The Boat community picket against the Israeli Zim Volans ship that had been chased away from Oakland. For a day and a half, members of ILWU 505 had respected the picket line and the Volans had sat idle. Eventually, an emergency injunction was granted, and the Volans was finally unloaded and left for Shanghai, China. A week later, DP World, the company that handles the specific terminal in Prince Rupert Port where the Volans docked, sent out notices delivering a 3-day suspension to 94 port workers who had respected the picket.
While many Western media outlets (e.g., NBC, 5/4/20; BBC, 4/26/20) reported on the evidence-free speculations surrounding a potential lab leak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China’s Hubei province last year (FAIR.org, 4/17/20), it has never enjoyed as much mainstream credibility as it has in recent months. Although several reports in 2020 uncritically parroted US officials like Sen. Tom Cotton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and discredited defectors like Yan Li-Meng, there were also many reports at the time disputing and dismissing their claims of a lab leak as a “conspiracy theory” (e.g., Vox, 3/12/20; AP, 12/17/20; Business Insider, 6/2/21). Nowadays, an abundance of Western media reports purport to explain how the once-dismissed theory that SARS-CoV-2 came out of a Chinese lab in Wuhan has gained more credibility among journalists and the US public.
Before the recent wave of organizing among media workers, adjunct professors and nonprofit workers set the world talking about the promise of white collar unions, there had already been decades of quiet organizing among the white collar creative underclass. A surprising amount of that organizing has been done by a single local union: UAW Local 2110 in New York City, which with little fanfare helped to pioneer the sort of unionizing that routinely draws headlines today. Beginning in the 1980s, the union organized workers at a list of cultural institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Village Voice and HarperCollins Publishers. More recently, Local 2110 has been organizing the museum and culture industry at a furious pace, at places like the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the New York City Tenement Museum and the Children’s Museum of the Arts.