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Accountability

Philadelphia Youth React When Charges Are Dropped Against Killer Cop

Reminiscent of the mass reaction in the aftermath of the George Floyd lynching in May 2020, angry youth reacted in a similar situation in Philadelphia in the wake of a Sept. 26 decision by Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Wendy L. Pew to dismiss all charges against Philadelphia police officer Mark Dial, who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry, Jr on Aug. 14.   As the evening developed, large groups of youth were taking to the streets across the city. Reports are coming in of youth expropriating expensive items from high priced Center City stores and in multiple shopping corridors — beyond what the cops can control.

Terror Attacks On Cuba’s Embassy Fueled By Aggressive US Policy

Cuba’s embassy in Washington, DC was attacked with two Molotov cocktails on the night of September 24. This was the second terrorist attack against the embassy in the past three years. The US Secret Service responded at around 8pm, but did not apprehend any perpetrators. The explosives hit the front side of the embassy, which is already scarred with AK-47 bullet holes from a shooting attack in April 2020 — an emblem of the deadly risk it takes to be a Cuban diplomat in the United States, and of the long history of US-backed terrorism against the country. The Molotov cocktail attack occurred the same day that a Cuban delegation led by President Miguel Díaz-Canel returned to Havana.

I Was The Only US Official Imprisoned Over The Torture Program

I was the only person associated with the CIA’s torture program who was prosecuted and imprisoned.  I never tortured anybody. But I was charged with five felonies, including three counts of espionage, for telling ABC News and the New York Times that the CIA was torturing its prisoners, that torture was official U.S.  government policy, and that the policy had been approved by the president himself.  I served 23 months in a federal prison.  It was worth every minute. There is certainly no easy fix to this situation.  The New York Times reported in March 2022 that prosecutors had opened talks with attorneys representing Khalid Shaikh Muhammad and four co-defendants to negotiate a plea agreement that would drop the death penalty in exchange for sentences of life without parole and promises that the men would be allowed to remain in Guantanamo.

What We Must Ask About Surveillance State Failures

Americans have repeatedly been told to keep the United States safe they must surrender their core civil liberties to a vast national security apparatus. Yet when this apparatus fails at this supposed objective, the response is to further expand its surveillance powers. Rarely is the exercise of these powers seriously explored. Instead, the national discussion centers on a baseless notion that a shortage of surveillance powers is the root cause of intelligence failures. Last week, in a post for The Dissenter’s paid subscribers, I discussed FBI counterterrorism files I obtained from a still ongoing lawsuit against the FBI.

Parents Of Disappeared Ayotzinapa Students Begin Indefinite Sit-In

On Thursday, September 21, parents of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College, who disappeared in September 2014, demonstrated in front of the Military Camp No. 1 in the capital Mexico City. Carrying large banners that read “Where are our children?”, “We are missing 43”, and “Because they were taken alive, we want them back alive,” among others, the parents demanded that the Mexican Armed Forces hand over all available information about the mass kidnapping and disappearance of their loved ones. The parents and relatives of the students, with the help of students from different rural colleges, set up a camp outside the camp and began an indefinite sit-in protest.

Corporate Criminal Behavior Is Almost Exposé Proof

Corporate law firms have taught their wayward corporate clients how to use accretions of privileges and immunities to ward off or wait out the most devastating books, documentaries and media exposés. Corporate P.R. firms know that the media doesn’t follow the efforts of civic advocacy groups as a regular beat. Feature exposés are prime candidates for big journalistic awards like the Pulitzer Prizes. Reporters usually do not get awards for covering ongoing reform efforts, which require consistent media coverage to put heat on hesitant lawmakers or prosecutors – say on the push to make Congress increase corporate accountability.

Chesa Boudin On Decarceration In Our Lifetimes

San Francisco joined the short list of cities with reform-oriented prosecutors in 2019 with the election of Chesa Boudin, a rising star in the progressive prosecutor movement. The child of two parents incarcerated for their involvement with the leftist group Weather Underground, Boudin campaigned on ending cash bail, decarceration, and police accountability. The city saw many real results as he followed through on several of these promises his first year in the role. Boudin forbade his staff from requesting money bail under any circumstances, San Francisco’s jail population dropped by 25%, and law enforcement officers were charged in three different police brutality cases.5591

127,000 New York Workers Have Been Victims Of Wage Theft

For Marcelino Zapoteco, the final straw came on a quiet night in 2018 at the restaurant Brioso on Staten Island. He was working alongside one of the managers who had been pulled in by the restaurant’s co-owner Pietro “Peter” DiMaggio to help as a waiter. At one point during the shift, Zapoteco watched the manager slip tip money into his pocket, when he was supposed to pool it to be shared with others. Zapoteco, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, said he knew that the restaurant was grossly underpaying him during the more than seven years he worked there. When he served as a runner, bringing food to customers’ tables, he received as little as $10 for lunch and dinner shifts.

Cities And States Don’t Track Police Misconduct Payouts

Five days after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the Minneapolis Police Department’s SWAT unit drove down Lake Street, the corridor at the heart of the civil unrest that followed. “The first f***ers we see, we’re just hammering ‘em with 40s,” Sgt. Andrew Bittell ordered his team, referring to the 40mm plastic projectiles otherwise known as rubber bullets. Around 11 p.m., that’s exactly what the squad did to a group of people in a Lake Street parking lot. Some of the plastic rounds they fired hit Jaleel Stallings. Stallings, an army veteran, returned fire with a permitted pistol at the unmarked van he thought was dispensing real bullets.

What Should We Do With The Perpetrators Of The Climate Crisis?

Chuck Collins’ new book “Altar to an Erupting Sun” may be fiction, but it poses a very topical, real-world challenge for readers: What’s the right way to act when facing an existential challenge like climate change? Right off the bat, in the first chapter, we learn that the novel’s central character, Rae, is a climate activist who has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Having done her research to know the “carbon barons” responsible for so much destruction, she decides to “take one with her” by wearing a suicide vest. It works as intended, taking the life of a fossil fuel company CEO.

A Wasted Opportunity To Hold Oil Executives To Account

A chummy interview of Chevron CEO Mike Wirth by CNBC‘s Andrew Ross Sorkin saw the goal of mitigating the devastating harms of climate disruption pitted against the evidently equally important goal of making Wirth more money. Conceding that many people around the world are desperate for an end to the fossil fuels driving the catastrophe, including supposedly Wirth himself, Sorkin added, “At the same time, I think it would be impossible for you not to want your business to grow.” So there’s your frame: the life and health of people and the planet on the one hand, endless corporate profiteering on the other. Only question is, how do we balance them?

Tesla: The Cars That Racism Built?

Complaint after complaint alleging anti-Black racism at Tesla’s factory in Fremont has not stopped such abuse and discrimination, with Black workers segregated into the hardest, most dangerous, lowest-paid jobs and subjected to a barrage of racist treatment, language and images, according to claims in recent court filings and employee interviews. Black workers at the plant — Tesla’s biggest California facility, which employs thousands to build its four electric car models — alleged such abuse often began soon after they started, excited at landing a job at the famed automotive pioneer.

Communications Workers Seek Answers And Accountability From Top Leaders

When your union doesn’t permit direct election of national officers, hasn’t had a contested convention vote for union president since the 1950s, and has never had a presidential debate, how should an activist respond to an unprecedented three-way race for the top spot? AT&T call center worker Kieran Knutson, who is president of Communications Workers Local 7250 in Minneapolis, had two choices. He could treat the race as a matter of concern only to executive board members going to the convention in St. Louis where a new president will be picked—or as “an important opportunity for CWA members to take stock of where we are and where we need to go,” he said.

How Some Amazon Shareholders Allied With The Labour Movement

During Amazon’s annual general meeting on May 24, a proposal for an independent audit on working conditions in Amazon warehouses did not pass. This was unsurprising after Amazon’s Board of Directors advised their shareholders to vote against the proposal ahead of the meeting. The Board of Directors recommended against passing the proposal because they claim that the company regularly enhances safety processes and programs, they have shared workforce incident rates, they are transparent about their commitment to improve workplace safety and because there are already “independent directors” who review workplace incidents.

Chicago: Grassroots Organizing Wins Decisive Police Accountability Victory

In July of 2021, after decades of grassroots organizing and pressure, the city of Chicago passed the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance. As designated by the ordinance, 66 people were elected to represent 22 police districts in the council elections this year. They were inaugurated on May 2. The new council will oversee the police in Chicago. Clearing the FOG speaks with Frank Chapman, executive director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, about how they built the grassroots power to win the ordinance, what it will do and the police response to it. Chapman said NAARPR was formed after the murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark and that Hampton's vision is finally beginning to be realized more than 50 years later.
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