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The United States Has Many Political Prisoners – Here’s A List

The United States constantly accuses its adversaries of holding political prisoners, while insisting it has none of its own. But for its entire history, the US government has used incarceration of its political opponents as a tool to crush dissent and advance the interests of economic elites. Well-known cases are those entrapped or framed in US national security state sting operations, or imprisoned with extreme sentences for a minor offense because of their political activism, such as Black revolutionary George Jackson. Each period of struggle by the working class and oppressed peoples against ruling-class control results in some activists locked up for their revolutionary work. “Political prisoner” has often meant those revolutionaries jailed for fighting their national oppression, as is the case with a great number of Black Panthers.

UN Security Council Holds Emergency Meeting On Gaza Amid Fragile Truce

On Monday, August 8, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held an emergency meeting on the situation in Gaza amid uncertainty around the fate of the truce reached the previous day after three days of Israeli aggression. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland reported during the meeting that in three days, Israel had carried out 147 airstrikes which killed 46 Palestinians, including 16 children, and injured 360 more. In retaliation, Palestinian groups fired over 1,100 rockets, in which a total of 70 Israelis were lightly injured. Wennesland also noted that increased border controls imposed by Israel before the actual bombings started caused a severe fuel shortage in Gaza, leading to power cuts of up to 20 hours a day in the densely populated territory.

America, Land Of The Dying?

With its economic and military might, America is hard to beat on technological wonders, space exploration, and top-notch universities. But when it comes to health, a fundamental prerequisite to a fulfilling life, the US isn’t delivering and hasn’t been for a long time. Researchers now find that the big picture of health failings is even graver than we already knew. Piles of studies have called attention to the fact that in the country ranking number one in healthcare spending per capita, people are living shorter lives, feeling more depressed, and are more likely to skip treatment due to cost than in many developed nations. In a performance ranking of 11 high-income countries compiled by the Commonwealth Fund in 2021, the American healthcare system came in dead last, with the worst outcomes of any of the nations studied.

Immigrant Detainees Strike Over $1 A Day Pay, Working Conditions

At two federal detention centers in California, more than 50 immigrant workers are on strike over unsafe working conditions and low wages. “We are being exploited for our labor and are being paid $1 per day to clean the dormitories,” said strikers at a central California detention center in a June statement received by public radio station KQED. Detained workers, known as “housing porters,” participate in a supposedly volunteer working program while locked up. They use their earnings to pay for the exorbitant cost of phone calls and commissary items like dental floss and tortillas. “They are compelled to do this,” says Alan Benjamin, a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council who heard directly from striking workers during a call with the labor council. “It's not voluntary; it's compulsory work, without proper sanitation and equipment.”

NPR Distorts History Of US Invasion Of Afghanistan

In the first part of a series of reports on Afghanistan, NPR host Steve Inskeep (Morning Edition, 8/5/22) interviewed current Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid. In introducing Yaqoob on air, Inskeep referenced Yaqoob’s father, the former head of the Taliban, Mullah Muhammad Omar: “He was the leader who refused to turn over Osama bin Laden in 2001, a refusal that led to the US attack.” In the online version of the article, NPR wrote: “Omar also sheltered Osama bin Laden, and refused to turn over the Al Qaeda leader when the United States demanded him after 9/11.” This line that the Taliban “refused to turn over Osama bin Laden,” and that this “led to the US attack,” though part of the commonly accepted chronology of the war, is a gross distortion of history.

Black Angelenos Face ‘Whiplash After Whiplash’ Of Losing Safe Housing

This morning, the Los Angeles City Council got an earful from protestors opposing an expansion of LA Municipal Code ordinance 41.18, the city’s controversial “anti-camping” law that has been maligned by activists for unfairly targeting unhoused people. The law will now include a ban on sitting, laying, or sleeping within 500 feet of schools or daycares. The council voted 11-3 to approve the expansion after a raucous meeting, which was temporarily put into recess when a member of the public climbed over the podium and was handcuffed. Reporter Adam Mahoney spoke to unhoused residents about what they thought of the law. He says he received mixed responses for his recent Capital B news investigation. “There are some folks who didn't even know that 41.18 existed, right?

Beneath The Concrete, The Forest

In Atlanta, Georgia, the city government intends to destroy large swaths of what remains of the South River Forest—also known by the Muskogee name for the river, Weelaunee. In place of one stretch of woods, they aim to build a police training compound; they have sold the neighboring part to Blackhall Studios executive Ryan Millsap, who intends to build a giant soundstage. Yet for more than a year now, activists have protected the forest against their plans. In a previous article, we chronicled how this campaign got started and the strategies that have driven it; in the following collection of narratives, participants in the movement describe their experiences and explain what makes this fight meaningful to them.

Black Women Will Face The Brunt Of Abortion Bans

On July 29, Louisiana reinstated a controversial abortion ban, which led to the immediate cancellation of procedures in the state. Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in late June, a number of states across the country have moved to outlaw abortion, and in Louisiana, women in poverty will bear the worst burdens of the newly reinstated ban. These women are the true experts regarding the fatal risks of taking away reproductive freedom in the state — not anti-abortion politicians. The politicians gutting abortion rights likely don’t understand the pain of holding a friend as she sobs on the bathroom floor, assuming it’s the worst menstrual cycle of her life, only to discover that she is experiencing a missed miscarriage and her life is at stake. But I do.

The Provocations Behind The ‘Unprovoked’ War

Back in 1949, the United States, Canada and 10 Western European countries formed a military alliance called the North Atlantic Treaty organization, or NATO. Washington had decided that the Soviet Union, its wartime ally — the one that had broken the back of the Nazi war machine — now was its peacetime enemy. By 1990, the Soviet Union and most of its socialist allies were collapsing, the result of internal contradictions and outside pressures. The U.S. was promoting the reunification of Germany — a move opposed by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who still remembered how his country had lost 20 million people to the Nazi invasion, and was not real excited about the prospect of a revitalized Germany. So U.S. Secretary of State James Baker offered a deal: If Gorbachev agreed to a united Germany, NATO, which by that time had grown from its original 12 members to 16, would promise not to advance one inch eastward. Gorbachev agreed.

Palestine Will Be Free!

Workers World Party members marched alongside Palestinian-led organizations, including Within Our Lifetime, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, the Palestinian Youth Movement and Existence is Resistance, who organized the demonstration in response to the three-day bombing campaign waged by Israel against occupied Gaza, in which 43 civilians were killed, including 15 children. As supporters marched through the streets waving Palestinian flags and chanting “resistance is justified, when people are occupied!” they were met with applause by pedestrians and enthusiastic honks by passing cars. There was a group of pro-Israeli Zionists who tried to disrupt the rally, but they were far outnumbered by the thousands of supporters of Palestine chanting “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea, within our lifetime!”

Chipotle To Pay $20 Million To Settle Case Alleging Workplace Violations

Chipotle Mexican Grill, the fast-casual Tex-Mex chain, has agreed to a $20 million settlement with the city in connection with city allegations it violated workplace protection laws around fair scheduling and paid sick leave. The payout, the result of a four-year investigation and complaint filed by the city Department of Consumer and Worker Protection in 2018 through the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, is the largest settlement of its kind, according to DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. Around 13,000 workers will receive restitution as part of the agreement, to be doled out in the coming weeks, according to DCWP officials. Under the deal, Chipotle also agreed to pay an additional $1 million in civil penalties to the city.

Pentagon Contractors In Afghanistan Pocketed $108 Billion Over 20 Years

Pentagon contractors operating in Afghanistan over the past two decades raked in nearly $108 billion—funds that "were distributed and spent with a significant lack of transparency," according to a report published Tuesday. "These contracts show the shadowy 'camo economy' at work in Afghanistan," said report author Heidi Peltier, director of programs for the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. "Military contracting obscures where and how taxpayer money flows, who profits, and how much is lost to waste, fraud, and abuse," she added. "It also makes it difficult to know how many people are employed, injured, and killed through military contracting."

A New Third Party Just Launched

We finally have a real third party in the United States that the mainstream media is willing to talk about. I bet they’ll give them ballot access and everything. And this new party has nothing to do with the Democrats or the Republicans, right? As Reuters reported - “Former Republicans and Democrats form new third U.S. political party”. Wait? Made up of Republicans and Democrats?? You can’t form a new party out of the rejects from the old parties. That’s like having a counseling group for trauma victims made up of former Seal Team Six members. Let’s keep reading. Maybe I’m being overly judgmental.

US Government Is World’s Worst Violator Of Freedom Of Press

The US government employs many strategies to try to justify its intervention in the internal affairs and violation of the sovereignty of foreign nations. Chief among these deceptive tactics is Washington’s weaponization of accusations that its adversaries violate the freedom of expression. This is quite ironic, given that the United States is the world’s leading violator of press freedoms, according to any consistent definition of the term. And unlike the countries that Washington claims supposedly repress the freedom of expression within their borders, US government censorship of independent media outlets and suppression of alternative voices is global, hurting people across the planet. The Joe Biden administration has in particular gone to great lengths to depict itself as a defender of civil liberties.

A Legislative Staff Unionization Wave Is Hitting Blue State Capitols

A white-collar unionization wave is hitting legislative chambers in Democratic-leaning states across the nation. Frustrated by low pay and long hours, state house staffers in Massachusetts, California, New York and Washington state are seeking to organize. They hope to join their counterparts in Oregon, who became the first in the nation to unionize in 2021. The organizing effort in state capitols mirrors a similar push in Congress. In May, the Democratically-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution giving congressional staffers the legal right to negotiate over salaries, schedules, pay disparities, promotion policies and other workplace issues without the threat of retaliation. Since then, aides to eight progressive lawmakers have unionized.
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