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create-iconAlong with direct action and other forms of resistance, a transformational movement must also have a constructive program that builds new institutions based on the values that the movement aspires to achieve. These may eventually replace the old systems. From small, worker-owned cooperatives to national advocacy groups, hundreds of thousands of people around the country are working to create democratic and sustainable systems that meet the basic needs of all people.

Reparations Are Being Discussed But Will Direct Payments Follow?

According to ABC News, during the colonial era the wealth of universities, in the form of endowments and benefactors, was inextricably tied to the slave trade, numerous university presidents owned enslaved people and famous alumni such as John C. Calhoun championed the cause of slavery. Enslaved people were owned by universities and worked on campuses until the abolition of slavery. Now, students at those institutions are organizing efforts to focus on erecting monuments, taxing endowments, PILOT programs, creating divestment campaigns and offering alternative campus tours that highlight the university’s history of slavery. Students are also pushing schools to identify and support descendants of people enslaved by the universities.

Nicaragua’s Remarks At Reparations International Conference

The Transatlantic Trade of Enslaved Africans was a perverse industry fueled by the cruel ambitions of governments, companies and individuals, who for the most part, still refuse to make reparations for the terrible damage inflicted upon the African Continent, on more than 20 million human beings, who for more than 400 years were victims of this scourge, as well as upon all of us, the more than 200 million Afrodescendants, who currently live in the Americas. This blatant crime against humanity was an industry, given its motivation were supply and demand, profit maximization and cost efficiency. Slavery constitutes the most brutal version of capitalism, dehumanizing human beings, legally modifying the status of an individual, to categorize him or her as an object and property of another individual or group of individuals.

On The Hudson River, A New Model Of Environmental Stewardship

New York City - Adjacent to the Hudson River, along the west side of Manhattan, are some of the world’s most valuable commercial and residential properties: townhouses and mixed-use developments like Hudson Yards and much-loved public spaces like Hudson River Park and the Hudson River Greenway, which unite city residents and visitors with the river. But those civic and private investments often end at the water’s edge. Just offshore lie neglected and largely dysfunctional shallow water habitats. The Hudson River Foundation, where I serve as president, has long sought to address the myriad problems plaguing this vital waterway. Despite substantial progress over the past 40 years, the river continues to carry the burden of polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, or PCBs, that were frequently dumped into it during the 20th century and are likely carcinogenic to humans.

As Mississippi Loses Black Farmers Fast, This Couple Sows Solidarity

Louisville, Mississippi - Until five years ago, Teresa Springs was always in heels and perfectly manicured. As a child growing up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, she'd never even walked barefoot in the grass. Today, Teresa goes shoeless in rows of crops on her farm, grounding with the Mississippi earth as a part of her daily healing, connecting to the land at sundown before heading back with soil-covered hands and feet to her husband, Kevin, and their old farm house. Now five years into stewarding their farm—dubbed TKO Farming, an acronym for Teresa and Kevin's Oasis—they're still just as awe-struck by what they've built by hand. As self-described city folks who met in July 2013 while working on criminal-justice reform in Miami, the couple never envisioned living on, much less operating, a farm.

The History Of African American Cooperative Eco-Systems

This session is the fourth installment of the Black Labor, Solidarity Economy, and Movement Lawyering Series, Co-organized by the Workers' Rights institute and Julian Hill and hosted in collaboration with Coalition for Racial Equity and Democratic Economies (CREDE), the Georgetown Law Socialist Students Union, ONE DC, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), and Claudia Jones School for Political Education. In this session, Jessica Gordon-Nembhard will discuss the history of African American mutual aid and cooperative economics, Black cooperative economic thought, the most prolific periods in the US African American Cooperative movement, and contemporary and previous examples of worker-owned cooperatives, lessons learned, and the way forward.

Mapping The Police: Citizen Control Of The Security Forces In Buenos Aires

Last week, Ofelia Fernández, a member of the Buenos Aires legislature, announced on her social media the launch of a Map of the City’s Police, a collaborative webpage whose objective is to highlight, identify, and denounce situations of police violence within the territory of Buenos Aires; consequently allowing citizens to hold local security forces to account. This tool of citizen participation was designed in conjunction with a network of individuals and organizations. Those behind the initiative include Fernández, the representative from Frente Patria Grande alliance of the ruling Frente de Todos coalition, the Center for Legal and Social Studies, the Association Against Institutional Violence, The Shout from the South, and the magazine Crisis, who are all looking to construct novel strategies in the fight for human rights.

Rebuilding Collective Intelligence

Economists, think tanks and journalists have spent billions of words trying to convince everyone that economic growth comes primarily from technological ‘disruption’ and investment by individuals in their own education and training, rather than from exploitation, imperialism and financial speculation. This belief, a key tenet of neoliberalism, continues to shape education policy in England. The Tories hope that by turning education into a market, young people will begin to think of themselves as education consumers, making savvy choices about what degrees will get them the best paid jobs in the future. Meanwhile, universities will supposedly ‘incubate’ new technologies, create the UK’s own Google, Apple or Facebook and kickstart the ailing British economy.

Why The Climate Justice Movement Should Put Decoloniality At Its Core

We live in a world that is on track for a global temperature rise of 3.2 degrees celsius, at least.  We know that rich countries bear the biggest responsibility for the carbon in the atmosphere that is leading to this ecological catastrophe. We also know that the burden of the crisis is falling disproportionately on people living in the poorest countries in the global south who contributed least to the problem. Grappling with this reality, climate movements across the global North are increasingly putting justice at the heart of their fight for a sustainable world. This narrative, reflected in a term like ‘ecological debt’ has amongst others made climate movements to call for climate adaptation and reparations programs in the south paid primarily by the north.

Chicago Mandated Contracts For Domestic Workers

Chicago, Illinois - As of Jan. 1, 2022, a new ordinance took effect in Chicago aimed at bringing much-needed accountability to an industry that has been, by and large, treated as part of the informal economy: domestic work. Domestic work covers a range of jobs, from nannies and home-caregivers to home cleaners, but domestic workers themselves—the majority of whom are people of color and the vast majority of whom are women—are not protected by most labor laws and are frequently subjected to rampant wage theft and harassment. The Chicago ordinance requires employers to provide workers, regardless of their immigration status, with written contracts codifying mutually agreed terms of employment, including wages, work schedule, and scope of responsibilities.

The Supreme Court Is Gutting the Regulatory State

At the end of June, the conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court issued an explosive series of politically and ideologically motivated decisions designed to fundamentally reshape society. Over the course of just a few days, the Court struck down federal abortion rights, trampled on indigenous people’s rights, further eroded the separation between church and state, aided the proliferation of gun violence, and kneecapped the federal government’s ability to address climate change. While shocking, these rulings are not surprising. In fact, they are part of a decades-long, highly successful war by the political Right to dismantle the mild regulatory and social democratic state that developed following the New Deal and World War II, and revive and reinvigorate private, elite (i.e. wealthy and white) control of society and the economy.

The Grassroots Groups Shifting Ground On Land Justice

It’s another example of the small-scale farming movement holding the advantage over global mainstream agriculture. Market gardens and community farms are small enough to look inwards, responsive enough to look outwards, and nimble enough to pivot and reflect back what they see. The first stage is the reckoning. A growing public debate around inequality and inclusion in the UK is driving a lot of discourse and the first breath of real change. Industrial agriculture and the traditional institutions of rural Britain often appear willing to ignore their own unjust foundations and oppressive dynamics. Whereas the arguably white, middle-class domain of the sustainable food movement seems increasingly unafraid to ruffle its own feathers.

Ecological Economics: An Introduction

Does it make economic sense to cut down a rainforest? What influence should trade have on social policy? How much is the future worth? Is all value equivalent? These are all questions common to ecological economics, a cross-disciplinary science that is attempting to reclaim the field of economics from flawed models and unscientific assumptions. An important act within itself, but one made integral as mainstream economics is driving the planet’s sixth mass extinction (Wagler). Economics is often defined as ‘the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy infinite desires’, but this seemingly impossible aim itself belies many unfounded assumptions. Why should we assume everyone’s desires are infinite, or why should we believe all economic ‘resources’ to be inherently scarce when it is often their economic allocation that creates scarcity?

Venezuelan Cooperatives

Dario Azzellini tells Theresa Alt about Venezuelan cooperatives. The Chavez government supported the formation of cooperatives. Many formed; few really succeeded in operating cooperatively. Liberation theology also had been encouraging cooperatives. Other cooperatives arose when entrepreneurs and landowners left Venezuela and the workers took over. Later initiating cooperatives was given to the local-government communes. Local communes have played a more constructive role than central government. Recorded June 8, 2022.

Hawaii Law Could Break Years-Long Astronomy Impasse

The state of Hawaii has set up a new way to manage the mountain Maunakea, the summit of which is home to many world-class astronomical observatories. A law signed by Hawaii’s governor on 7 July removes the University of Hawaii from its role as the main authority overseeing the land on which the telescopes sit, and gives that responsibility to a newly established group with much broader representation of the community, including Native Hawaiians. Many hope that the shift will mark a path forwards for astronomy in Hawaii, after a years-long impasse over the future of telescopes on Maunakea. Since 2015, some Native Hawaiians have intermittently blocked the road to the summit, primarily to prevent the start of construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) — a next-generation observatory that will have a huge light-gathering mirror to make astronomical discoveries.

The Radical Roots Of Community Supported Agriculture

The success of community-supported farming has coincided with rising demand for organic food since the late 1970s. But the model’s popularization has meant that, sometimes, CSAs can be misrepresented as ‘just another way’ for consumers to purchase fresh, seasonal food. Important elements embedded into the CSA model, such as that of shared risk among members, make the arrangement more than merely transactional. In fact, the origins of the CSA movement in America have radical roots, drawn from the prominent environmental movement and a subculture dissatisfied with the prevailing economic system. A 1985 paper newly digitized from the Schumacher Center archive, “Community Supported Food Systems”, clarifies the deeper motivations which brought CSAs to the US in their present form.
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