On the morning of Friday, July 29th, the FBI conducted raids at multiple locations, including the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida, the private residence of Omali Yeshitela in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as the Uhuru Solidarity Center, also in St. Louis. The FBI employed flashbang grenades and handcuffed Yeshitela and his wife while the house was raided. The FBI says that the raids are connected to the federal indictment of a Russian man, Aleksandr Ionov, alleging that he has been working to spread "Russian propaganda" in the United States. The Committee to Stop FBI Repression and the National Alliance Against Racist and Pollical Repression unequivocally condemn these raids. We oppose all efforts by the U.S. government to target activists in any progressive movement in this country.
Very few people in the United States trust the mainstream corporate media. This is confirmed by a July survey from the major polling firm Gallup, which found that just 11% of North Americans trust television news, and a mere 16% have confidence in newspapers. It’s quite easy to understand why. The US media apparatus has repeatedly shown itself over decades to be completely unreliable and highly politicized. The corporate media’s treachery has been especially clear in the demonstrably false stories it disseminated to try to justify the US wars on Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. This disgraceful legacy continues today, in the proxy war that Washington is waging on Russia via Ukraine. Fake news echoed by the press has served as a powerful form of US information warfare.
In an interview with British journalist Matt Kennard at his home in El Trópico, a small town four hours from Cochabamba in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, former Bolivian president Evo Morales (2006-2019) called for an international campaign to eliminate NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization]. According to Morales, this campaign should explain to people worldwide that “NATO is—ultimately—the United States. It is not a guarantee for humanity or for life. I do not accept—in fact, I condemn—how they can exclude Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. When the U.S. has intervened in Iraq, in Libya, in so many countries in recent years, why have they not been expelled from the Human Rights Council? Why was that never questioned?”
In the run-up to August’s United Nation’s 10th Annual Review of the landmark Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a review undertaken every five years, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s State Department issued a surprising reaffirmation of the U.S. commitment to this treaty and the “ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” The NPT, designed to “further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament,” entered into force in 1970 and was extended indefinitely in 1995. It has now been signed by 191 nations, including the U.S. and Russia. If only Blinken’s verbal support for the NPT was U.S. policy, as opposed to wishful thinking or trickery. As treaty signatories and civil society representatives from around the world gather for a month in New York to evaluate the treaty’s implementation, the White House, Congress and military contractors will move ahead on a near $2 trillion nuclear rearmament program euphemistically termed “nuclear modernization.”
Venezuelan authorities have blasted the latest court ruling in the struggle for control over 31 tonnes of gold stored in the Bank of England (BoE). On Friday, the High Court of England and Wales decided in favor of opposition politician Juan Guaidó and dismissed a new effort by the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) to regain control over the reserves worth an estimated US $1.7 billion. Caracas had brought to court the Venezuelan Supreme Court decrees stating that the parallel BCV board appointed by the US-backed opposition was illegal. However, judge Sara Cockerill decreed that the British Court could not recognize the rulings made by Venezuela’s highest judicial instance. Since late 2018, the Bank of England has refused BCV requests to repatriate the gold reserves.
On Monday, about 3,700 Central American migrants left the border state of Chiapas for the United States. According to reports from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the caravan is made up of people from countries including Venezuela, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Ecuador, Cuba, Panama, and also from Asia. Members of this new caravan reported that this mobilization is taking place after two weeks of unsuccessful waiting for a response from authorities of the National Migration Institute (NMI) for the issuance of temporary permits to travel through the territory and thus alleviate some of the institutional violence that afflicts migrants during transit. For their part, activists are denouncing the sale of migration cards at prices of almost $2,000, and sting operations involving not only the NMI, police, National Guard, and Mexican Armed Forces, but also federal agents from the United States, and Central and South America.
California - A federal district court in California on Friday denied Google's motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the Silicon Valley giant is violating federal antitrust laws by preventing fair competition against its YouTube video platform. The lawsuit against Google, which has owned YouTube since its 2006 purchase for $1.65 billion, was brought in early 2021 by Rumble, the free speech competitor to YouTube. Its central claim is that Google's abuse of its monopolistic stranglehold on search engines to destroy all competitors to its various other platforms is illegal under the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which makes it unlawful to “monopolize, or attempt to monopolize…any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations.”
California - The COVID pandemic has thrown a harsh light on long-running medical neglect of incarcerated people and exposed the hold that the prison-industrial complex has on California politics. But even as it has done so, it has made openings for activism by and on behalf of the nearly 100,000 people in the state’s prisons, among whom people of color are dramatically overrepresented. California’s state prisons are once again in the midst of a COVID-19 crisis. In Winter 2020, cumulative infections among the incarcerated population topped 45,000, and cases reached over 10,000 in a single day. One year later, the highly contagious omicron variant swept through all the institutions, with cases topping 6,000 in a single day. No sooner had that outbreak subsided than a new wave of cases hit.
Massachusetts - Workers at a Massachusetts Trader Joe's on Thursday voted to become the first of the supermarket chain's more than 500 locations to unionize, a historic development that comes amid a nationwide labor organizing wave. Employees at the Trader Joe's in Hadley, a suburb of Springfield, voted 45-31 to form a union, according to the National Labor Relations Board. "WE WON!!! Today, Trader Joe's Hadley became the first unionized Trader Joe's location, ever," the new union, Trader Joe's United, tweeted. "This victory is historic, but not a surprise. Since the moment we announced our campaign, a majority of the crew have enthusiastically supported our union, and despite the company's best efforts to bust us, our majority has never wavered."
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, is among America’s greatest novels. It is a prescient portrait of the American character and our ultimate fate as a nation and perhaps a species. Melville makes our murderous obsessions, our hubris, violent impulses, moral weakness, and inevitable self-destruction visible in his chronicle of a whaling voyage. Melville’s description of the ship’s captain, Ahab, is a description of the bankers, corporate boards, politicians, television personalities, and generals who through the power of propaganda fill our heads with seductive images of glory and lust for wealth and power. We are consumed with self-induced obsessions that spur us toward self-annihilation. Melville is our foremost oracle. He is to us what William Shakespeare was to Elizabethan England, or Fyodor Dostoyevsky to czarist Russia.
In the past two decades, the U.S. grip on global power has been slipping, and new nations and organizations have begun to emerge that challenge American dominance. One of these is the BRICS, an economic and increasingly political bloc of emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Argentina, Iran and others have expressed an interest in joining this alliance, which has now laid out plans for its own bank and international currency, two moves strike at the heart of American economic hegemony.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Biden held a two-hour call on Thursday that came amid simmering tensions over Taiwan as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to visit the island next month. According to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Xi told Biden that China was committed to resisting “interference by external forces” on Taiwan. “Those who play with fire will perish by it,” he said. “It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this.”
Washington - A proposed climate and energy package would require massive oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, reinstate an illegal 2021 Gulf lease sale and mandate that millions more acres of public lands be offered for leasing before any new solar or wind energy projects could be built on public lands or waters. The provisions, in sections 50264 and 50265, are buried near the end of the 725-page Inflation Reduction Act. The bill was released Wednesday after Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced they had agreed to the $370 billion package. “This is a climate suicide pact,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s self-defeating to handcuff renewable energy development to massive new oil and gas extraction.