Each year, in the last weeks of September, the world’s leaders gather in New York City to speak at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly. The speeches can usually be forecasted well in advance, either tired articulations of values that do not get acted upon or belligerent voices that threaten war in an institution built to prevent war. However, every once in a while, a speech shines through, a voice emanates from the chamber and echoes around the world for its clarity and sincerity. This year, that voice belongs to Colombia’s recently inaugurated president, Gustavo Petro, whose brief remarks distilled with poetic precision the problems in our world and the cascading crises of social distress, the addiction to money and power, the climate catastrophe and environmental destruction.
Our dear brother, leader, confidant, mentor and model servant of our people, Saladin Muhammad, joined our revolutionary ancestors on September 19, 2022 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Saladin was 76 and had been battling illness for a while. When our revolutionary elders leave this material world, we often say another giant has fallen as a testament to their contribution and the love that we have for them. But sometimes, that characterization is just not enough. This is one of those times. Brother Saladin occupied a category that only a few have occupied. As one of only a handful of strategic thinkers and organizers of our movement that had not retired (how does a member of an oppressed nation and class retire from revolution?) Saladin continued to provide the leadership that he had given for well over five decades.
Volunteers demanding the freedom of Leonard Peltier have trekked 500 miles over the last four weeks in a protest walk organized by the American Indian Movement (AIM) Grand Governing Council. Peltier (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians), 78, was convicted of aiding and abetting in the murder of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on June 26, 1975. He has spent the last 46 years in federal prison. AIM hopes the walk will raise awareness for Peltier’s plight and apply some pressure on President Joe Biden to grant executive clemency to Peltier. “The walk and prayer for Elder Peltier has been heartfelt, heavy and healing,” Walk to Justice organizer Rachel Thunder told Native News Online.
Whether you’re working in a warehouse or piano factory, processing insurance claims, or taking care of patients, the use of worker productivity monitoring continues to expand. Workplaces where jobs are monitored and measured—and workers required to meet certain performance metrics—pose a particular set of challenges for stewards. Most historians recognize Fredrick Winslow Taylor and his 1911 book The Principles of Scientific Management as the genesis of these schemes. Taylor’s technology was basic by today’s standards: clipboards and stopwatches. Frank and Lillian Gilbreth (of Cheaper by the Dozen fame) expanded on this by using frame-by-frame film study of workers performing tasks with a specially calibrated “microchronometer,” documenting worker micro-motions and the time they took.
It was a dark, cold Saturday morning in late February 2020, and pandemic lockdowns were less than a month away. Leanna Young was lying in bed, still sleepy. On days like this, her husband would get picked up by her brother, Daren, who worked security at a Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’ (Cayuga) community center on Cayuga territory. Her husband worked there, too. Most of the adults in her family did—it provided them with jobs, with financial stability. But by 6:05AM on Feb. 22, Leanna could still hear her husband in the kitchen. “Jesus, why is he still here?” she wondered. “He’s supposed to be clocked in by now.” Many of the kids in the community had spent the night at Grandma Wanda’s. For Leanna’s eight-year-old daughter, Evee, it was her first sleepover.
The prowar mentality among the progressive Dem pols is not limited to Biden’s cruel proxy war to the last Ukrainian. It extends to a second proxy war now being ginned up in Taiwan. When Nancy Pelosi recently visited the island to stir up secessionist sentiment, not a single progressive Democrat in Congress made so much as a peep of protest. In fact Rep. Ro Khanna, Co-chair of Bernie Sanders’s 2020 Presidential campaign boosted it in rants on CNN and Twitter. Both of these proxy wars bring the US into conflict with two other major global nuclear powers. If the progressive pols cannot be against military escalation in cases like this, it is hard to see that they have any claim to be for peace. And yet all too many activists in the progressive antiwar movement are loyal to them.
For many 2020 voters of Presidential candidate Joe Biden and Vice-Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, their historic electoral win would symbolize a drastic change from the vituperative language and callous policies that came to define the chaotic and destructive Trump years. Whether it was the Trump administration’s criminalization of asylum seekers, separation of mother and child at the border through their cruel “zero tolerance” strategy, reduction in refugee resettlement, or use of xenophobic rhetoric before racializing a viral disease like COVID-19 that would stoke rampant Sinophobia, a more “compassionate” approach was promised by his would-be successors. However, as the late journalist Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report astutely coined to describe the Obama administration, in many facets the Democratic Party represented not a “lesser evil” to the Republicans, but a more “effective evil.”
It is an exhilarating time for the “leftists” of the Americas. This past week, at the 77th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, leader after Latin American leader made grand statements against U.S. and Western imperialism, the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy, the violations of human rights, and the West’s assault on the sovereignty of smaller nations. Colombia’s brand-new president, Gustavo Petro, made an impassioned plea against the genocidal “War on Drugs.” Cuba’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla, rejected the attacks on the sovereignty of China and Russia. Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Faría railed against the Western sanctions against Nicaragua, Cuba, Iran, and Russia.
Saratoga Springs, New York - In a major milestone for an organizing effort that began in 2018, full-time and part-time, non-tenure-track faculty and other Skidmore College staff voted this month in favor of unionizing. The National Labor Relations Board conducted two separate mail-in elections – one for full-time staff and one for part-time staff – and 65% of full-time staff voted to join with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 200United, while 67% of part-time employees voted in favor of joining the union, according to an SEIU news release. The votes, announced Sept. 27, affects approximately 215 full-time and part-time non-tenure-track faculty, librarians and accompanists who make up nearly half of Skidmore’s total faculty, according to SEIU.
Honolulu - Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Hawaii through the week and plans to meet Rear Admiral John Wade, the commander in charge of defueling the Red Hill underground fuel tanks. So far, there are no scheduled plans to meet with families. Families who were sickened by the spill are demanding immediate help. The protest over Red Hill goes beyond defueling the tanks. Ten months after the spills, families who were sickened after drinking fuel-contaminated water say their physical and neurological illnesses aren’t going away. “Real people are experiencing real symptoms,” said Army Major Amanda Feindt during a protest last week in the nation’s capital. Ariana Wyatt fears for her daughter, Indy. “I would love to tell you sheʻs doing a lot better, but thatʻs just not the truth,” said Wyatt.
Boston, MA - According to Jean-Luc Pierite, President of the Board of the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), “We want to show our solidarity today with all those internationally observing Orange Shirt Day. We must honor the thousands of children who were forced into residential schools where they suffered and too often died. The governments of Canada and the United States continue to take a disproportionate number of Indigenous children into foster care. These governments further fail to address access to clean water on tribal lands. Canada and the US continue to boost pipelines and other extractive projects. Meanwhile the crisis of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women goes underreported and under-investigated.”
Ambassador Alex Saab, a victim of the US economic war to achieve regime change in Venezuela, has been under arrest for over two years. This article recounts the developments in the diplomat’s court case. Saab is fighting against his illegal detention and extradition before the 8th District Court in Miami. As Venezuela’s special envoy and a deputy ambassador to the African Union, Saab has diplomatic immunity from arrest and detention under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Although a party to the convention, the US has flouted this principle of international law. Alex Saab was targeted by the US because of his role in helping circumvent their sanctions imposed on Venezuela. These measures, a form of collective punishment, are intended to make conditions so onerous that the people would renounce their elected government. Such unilateral coercive measures constitute hybrid warfare and are illegal under international law.
President Joe Biden, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz by his side, promised a White House press conference in early February that the U.S. was “able” to shut down the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea if Russia invaded Ukraine. A reporter asked Biden, “But how will you do that, exactly, since…the project is in Germany’s control?” Biden said: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.” When Russia indeed invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Washington was able to get Berlin to suspend the pipeline project that was about to go online, even though it wasn’t in Germany’s interests. The pipeline has remained closed ever since. Why then did someone attack the pipeline on Monday, releasing the gas it contained into the Baltic Sea?
For decades the U.S. opposed European projects to receive energy from Russia. It wants Europe to buy more expensive U.S. oil and gas. Europe's, and especially Germany's industry, depends on cheap energy from Russia. Without it Europe will be de-industrialized and go broke. The U.S. had threatened to disable the pipelines connecting Europe to Russia. Currently the U.S. is winning its war on Europe's, mainly Germany's, industries and people. Yesterday's sabotage attack on the Nord Stream I and II pipelines, which are supposed to bring Russian natural gas to Germany, mean that the the war on Germany has entered its hot phase. A question remains: Whodunnit? Russia has no motive to destroy the pipelines it owns. These are valuable, long term assets and the gas that escaped from them yesterday was on its own worth some $600 to $800 million.
The Haitian people in struggle were greatly surprised and stunned, when they learned that you have broadcast, on channel France 24, with regard to their current just and legitimate protest movement, a set of false information that is prone to confusion, criminalization, discredit their struggle for a sovereign Haiti, just, livable. Contrary to your assertions, these popular protests are part of a struggle for a Haiti free from suffocating foreign interference, gangsterization, this extreme manufactured misery and an anti-national, illegitimate, criminal political regime established by the Core Group of which the UN is a member. This puppet political regime, operating under the dictation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has just stabbed the people by the decision to increase by more than one hundred percent (128%) the price of petroleum products, which have already suffered, in less than a year, a vertiginous increase that has led to the doubling and tripling in some cases of the prices of basic necessities and others.