Working people across the globe are gearing up celebrate International Worker’s Day this May 1. Workers have been participating in monumental struggles since the previous year’s May Day, making this year’s celebration well-deserved. Peoples Dispatch looks back on some of the most important labor struggles of this past year: In Colombia, the National Strike Committee (CNP), which brought together diverse groups of social movements, organizations and trade unions, presented ten bills in Congress, which included measures to alleviate the worsening socio-economic conditions, protection and security for social leaders, actions against gender-based violence and violence against LGBTQ+ people, financial support to the agricultural sector, and strengthening of education and healthcare.
According to the daily reports of Russia's Ministry of Defense the Ukraine is losing several hundred soldiers and some 30 armored vehicles per day, most of them to artillery. A flood of gruel pictures posted on Telegram by both sides confirm this. Several Ukrainian attempts to counterattack Russian forces have failed. 'Western' propagandists are noting that their side is losing. The typical U.S. reaction to losing is to double down. As Michael Hudson explains (vid), the economic consequences of this war will be catastrophic for many countries and people. But the neocons who are running the war do not care about those. They have a plan to profit from it. They want to stay the unipolar power of the globe. To them it is a game and their main motives include an ingrained hatred towards Russia.
On April 21, 2022 former president Barack Obama gave a speech at Stanford University on the subject of social media. In typical Obamaesque fashion, he didn’t state his point plainly. He used a lot of time, more than an hour, to advocate for social media censorship. He only used that word once, in order to deny that it was in fact what he meant, but the weasel words and obfuscation couldn’t hide what Obama was talking about. In 2016 when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump, the candidate she thought easiest to beat, Obama first presented his lament about “disinformation” and “fake news.” His real concern was that Trump’s victory proved that millions of people paid no attention to or even scorned, corporate media.
A comedic actor who rose to the country’s highest office in 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was virtually unknown to the average American, except perhaps as a bit player in the Trump impeachment theater. But when Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Zelensky was suddenly transformed to an A-list celebrity in US media. American news consumers were bombarded with images of a man who appeared overcome by the tragic events, possibly in over his head, but ultimately sympathetic. It didn’t take long for that image to evolve into the khaki-clad, tireless hero governing over a scrappy little democracy and single-handedly staving off the barbarians of autocracy from the east.
Everyone’s anti-war until the war propaganda starts. Nobody thinks of themselves as a warmonger, but then the spin machine gets going and before you know it, they’re spouting the slogans they’ve been programmed to spout and waving the flags they’ve been programmed to wave and consenting to whatever the imperial war machine wants in that moment. Virtually everyone will tell you they love peace and hate war when asked; war is the very worst thing in the world, and no healthy person relishes the thought of it. But when the rubber meets the road and it’s time to oppose war and push for peace, those who’d previously proclaimed themselves “anti-war” are on the other side screaming for more weapons to be poured into a proxy war that their government deliberately provoked.
Sanchez and McGlawn are two of the seven workers, known as the “Memphis Seven,” who were fired by Starbucks in February, just weeks after they announced their plans to form a union there. In a blatantly illegal move, the company terminated the workers (about a third of the entire staff) for supposedly violating company policy after they met with reporters in the store to talk about unionization efforts. But almost all of the workers who were fired were involved in organizing for the union, and it is clear that the terminations were a direct act of retaliation designed to crush these workers’ efforts to form a union and put an end to the unionization wave spreading throughout the company. The National Labor Relations Board has called the firings illegal, and has already filed complaints against the company.
Transition Berkeley has cultivated a community of practice that hits close to ground zero – a “culture of repair,” that demonstrates a way to live with more humility, making do with what we have by sharing knowledge and skills, one repair at a time. Repair Cafes harness a library-system supported methodology that touches a diversity of people and interests. The bells that ring on the repair grounds throughout an event celebrates the completion of each repair – and total up to 100 in any four-hour event. Repair Cafes and fix-it clinics produce an excitement not unlike a dopamine-pumped day at the derby with your besties. This elegantly simple community-based solution draws support from people across all cultural, gender, age and socioeconomic lines and provides a unique opportunity for them to gather, connect, and build relationships.
At the world’s largest gathering of Indigenous leaders, women are talking about how to hold financial institutions accountable for fueling climate catastrophe through investments in the extractive industry. Michelle Cook, Navajo, was among those who offered powerful testimonies focused on the women at the frontlines of extractive projects, the boardrooms of financial institutions, and the halls of governments. Speaking at a side event hosted by Women's Earth and Climate Action Network at the 21st session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, Cook described the work as being part of a sacred obligation. “That’s what we’re doing, fulfilling a prayer for the world – for nature – with love, compassion, and with courage.
Almost everyone on Earth breathes unhealthy air. That’s the alarming conclusion from the latest update of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality database, which drew on data from more than 6,000 cities in 117 countries. The organization argued that the figures were another argument in favor of phasing out the use of fossil fuels. “Current energy concerns highlight the importance of speeding up the transition to cleaner, healthier energy systems,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press release. “High fossil fuel prices, energy security, and the urgency of addressing the twin health challenges of air pollution and climate change, underscore the pressing need to move faster towards a world that is much less dependent on fossil fuels.”
On April 19, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its annual World Economic Outlook, which forecasted a severe slowdown in global growth along with soaring prices. ‘For 2022, inflation is projected at 5.7 percent in advanced economies and 8.7 percent in emerging market and developing economies – 1.8 and 2.8 percentage points higher than projected in … January’, the report noted. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva offered a sobering reflection on the data: ‘Inflation is reaching the highest levels seen in decades. Sharply higher prices for food and fertilizers put pressure on households worldwide – especially for the poorest. And we know that food crises can unleash social unrest’.
It is no secret that the United States is an organized death cult. The U.S. is the unquestionable leader in total COVID-19 deaths. Life expectancy has been trending downward for the past several years. Mass shootings are a common occurrence. And U.S. foreign policy is marked by an obsession with violent and destructive interventions for hegemony and corporate profit. What often isn’t discussed is how this organized death cult is driven by the U.S.’s racist roots which have yet to be discarded. Premature death is organized by the ruling class into worthy and unworthy victims. The U.S.’s corporate media coverage of Ukraine during Russia’s military operation is a case in point. Ukrainian casualties in the Russia-Ukraine conflict are worthy victims and have been repeatedly referred to in the Western media as “Europeans” with “blonde hair and blue eyes.”
Nicaragua’s Sandinista government expelled the US-dominated Organization of American States (OAS) on April 24. Nicaragua’s Foreign Ministry denounced the Washington-based organization as a “deceitful agency of the State Department of yankee imperialism,” calling it the US “Ministry of the Colonies,” which exists to support “interventions and invasions, legitimizing coups d’etat in various forms and modes.” On April 26, the Sandinista government further announced that it had expropriated the building where the OAS had offices in the Nicaraguan capital Managua. This office was declared public property, and will now be used to build a “Museum of Shame” that documents imperialist crimes committed against Nicaragua and Latin America.
It took the Department of Defense (DOD) 3 years to begin work on shutting down the tanks after the decision was made. The decision to close and remove the original 33 underground fuel storage tanks and construct six new above-ground tanks was made in 2018 but work did not begin to close down the facility until July 2021. Each of the six new, above ground tanks will be able to contain 5.2 million gallons of JP-5 carrier jet fuel or F-76 marine diesel fuel in 64-foot-tall, 140-foot-wide tanks constructed of welded steel columns with supported fixed cone roofs. Approximately 75 million gallons are stored at Manchester Fuel Depot now. At that rate, it would take eighteen+ years to defuel and close Red Hill, assuming it holds 180 million gallons of fuel.
2014 saw two pivotal events that led to the current conflict in Ukraine. The first, familiar to all, was the coup in Ukraine in which a democratically elected government was overthrown at the direction of the United States and with the assistance of neo-Nazi elements which Ukraine has long harbored. Shortly thereafter the first shots in the present war were fired on the Russian-sympathetic Donbass region by the newly installed Ukrainian government. The shelling of the Donbass which claimed 14,000 lives has continued for 8 years, despite attempts at a cease-fire under the Minsk accords which Russia, France and Germany agreed upon but Ukraine backed by the US refused to implement. On February 24, 2022, Russia finally responded to the slaughter in Donbass and the threat of NATO on its doorstep.