This week we are in Mexico for the “Moving Beyond Capitalism” conference organized by the Center for Global Justice. Activists primarily from the US and Mexico, but including people from as far away as China and Israel, are discussing what the new economy will look like and how to make the transition. What is striking are our common experiences – the neoliberal economic agenda being forced upon our communities, the lack of democracy and the need for resistance and creating alternatives. We will report on the conference when we return.
Let’s add to the lack of democracy, a lack of following the rule of law. A White House staffer ‘accidentally’ emailed talking points about the CIA Torture Report to a journalist with the Associated Press. The document reveals that information about torture was intentionally kept secret from the State Department. Add to that a CIA internal report which proves the CIA broke into Senate Intelligence Committee Staff emails and that John Brennan lied about it. Spying on Congress is a serious breach of law: It is time for Brennan to resign or be fired. We add James Clapper to that list for also lying to Congress and the American people falsely testifying that the NSA was not spying on the American people.
Today marks the 25th day of Israel’s assault on Gaza. Protests against the attack, which has targeted civilians,especially children, in an unprecedented way, have been happening steadily across the US and worldwide. Today, hundreds marched in Washington, DC. Jewish Americans have played a strong role in denouncing the attack, including this young group called ‘If Not Now, When?’. On Wednesday, Norman Finkelstein was joined by more than a hundred people on short notice to protest at the Israeli Mission in New York City.
Social movements in Latin American countries pushed their governments to withdraw their envoys from Israel in protest and five countries agreed to do that. Individuals can take action too. Artist Patricia Sarrafian Ward sculpted her own son into a war scene in Gaza to bring the suffering and tremendous losses home. You can also support the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions campaign. Recently when one of our favorite grocers started carrying a banned product, SodaStream, we contacted them and they agreed to withdraw it.
Medicare turned 49 years old this week and single payer supporters in Kentucky celebrated its birthday with a concert. They expressed the wish that by Medicare’s 50th birthday, we can finally have Medicare for all and end our current health system that denies care to tens of millions and puts millions into bankruptcy each year trying to pay for needed care. Michael Milligan wrote and performs a very powerful play that illustrates the anguish families go through when a loved one needs care. You can see a portion here and we recommend that you invite Michael to your community. Each performance is followed by a discussion.
And finally, although the Obama Administration is failing to take appropriate action on climate change, the people are doing great work. This new report by Greenpeace reveals that Obama is pushing coal exports. Seattle activists chained themselves to cement barrels on a train track and stopped an oil train from passing for four hours. And activists in Massachusetts have a partial victory. After marching across the state and holding a large rally at the State House to protest a Kinder-Morgan pipeline, the state announced that it would delay imposing a tariff on state residents to finance the pipeline in order to allow more public input.
Mark your calendars for the New York Climate Convergence on the Friday and Saturday preceding the People’s Climate March scheduled for September 21st. The conference will include workshops and opportunities to network so that we can build a stronger and more connected movement for social, economic and environmental justice.
This is just a taste of the week’s news. To stay up to date, sign up for the Daily Digest by clicking here.