By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance - The weekly newsletter: The forces that work to maintain the status quo, to protect the oppressors and the profiteers, are powerful, but everywhere there are people chipping away at the pillars that prop up the current systems, exposing truths and forcing changes. This week, we highlight some of these struggles with the hope that we will learn from them. Issues covered include (1) The tide is shifting on mass incarceration; (2) Fighting back when public services under attack; (3) The climate crisis will not be solved by corporate lobbyists and (3) New Video Tools: Acronym TV, Empire Files and Act Out! It is essential that we use the tools we have - our own media, the legal system and organized and mobilized resistance - to continue to expose truth, fight injustice and create new systems that build the world we need. Together, can build a powerful force.
The People's Climate March had at least 310,000 people attending. The following is an Acronym TV dispatch by Dennis Trainer featuring interviews with Immortal Technique (Hip Hop legend), Kshama Sawant (Socialist City Council member, Jill Stein (for Green Party Presidential candidate), Pat Scanlon (Vets for Peace), Art, Shegonee (Federation of United Tribes), and other artists, activist, children, and street revelers. Could this be the beginning of a new chapter for the Climate movement?
“Corruption, greed and economic inequality have reached a peak tipping point,” writes David Degraw. “Due to the consolidation of wealth, the majority of the population cannot generate enough income to keep up with the cost of living. In the present economy, under current government policy, 70% of the population is now sentenced to an impoverished existence.” In this special 3rd anniversary of Occupy Wall St. edition of Acronym TV, David DeGraw sits down with Dennis Trainor, Jr.
Atpeace Makita, a single mother of five children who turned to activism after her water was shut off by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, talks with Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the Detroit Water Brigade and what it is like to living during the current push for the privatization of the water supply. Only the Polar Ice Caps contain more fresh water that The Great Lakes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, The Great Lakes are the largest surface fresh water system on the Earth, providing 84% of North America's surface fresh water and 21% of the world’s supply.
This is an excerpt from American Autumn: an Occudoc. Get the full movie for FREE by emailing at AcronymTV@gmail.com with American Autumn in the subject line. Text, Animation & graphics by AJ Russo: Original; music by Goldi: Written, produced, and Directed by Dennis Trainor, Jr. “The Labor Movement has been kicked around now for quite a while and they have to fight. They see people fighting, and they see they are fighting the same enemy. This (Occupy) movement has show such an eagerness to reach out to the mainstream of the American public- and the Unions represent the organized part of that… The focus on the 1% and the first time in an American movement (I don’t think even in the 1930’s that the communist party did this in their mass work. I don’t think even they identified the enemy as the ruling class.” – Jackie DiSalvo | Occupy Wall Street Organizer
On Acronym TV this week, two individuals working to fix our Democracy in crisis. Christina Tobin is the founder and chair of Free & Equal. She has a long history of supporting ballot access, having gathered and defended over 1 million signatures for the Green Party, Constitution Party, Republican Party, Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, Socialist Equality Party and independents. Free & Equal Elections Foundation is a non-partisan grassroots organization, whose mission is to shift the power back to the individual voter through education. Their motto, “More Voices, More Choices.” Daniel Lee is a lifelong activist. He serves on the national leadership team for the group Move to Amend, which is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy; Move To Amend is calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in McCutcheon V. FEC, the court struck down a limit on how much cash an individual could give to all federal candidates during an election cycle. In the 5-4 decision, the majority of justices on the Roberts court ruled that individuals could buy elections. Or, in the words of Chief Justice Roberts, “government regulation may not target the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford.” In the dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Bryer, did not hold back in voicing the disgust felt by an overwhelming majority of Americans (if not by a majority of Supreme Court Justices) in writing that the majority’s “legal analysis is faulty: It misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake. It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institutions. It creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign.”
Several activists who were early initiators behind the Occupy movement have formed a new political party, The After Party. Carl Gibson and Radio Raheem are among them and they join Dennis to discuss the launch and future plans. In the second half of the show, comedian Lee Camp, who performed at several Occupy encampments, talks about his new weekly comedy show, Redacted Tonight, now airing on RT every Friday night at 8:30 and 11PM EST.
Lee Camp sits down for an interview with Dennis Trainor, Jr. to discuss his new 30-munite weekly comedy show on RT, Redacted Tonight. “In my opinion, (Redacted Tonight) is The Daily Show with sharper teeth,” says Camp. “The Daily Show is incredibly funny, and I don’t deny that, and I’m a huge fan of The Daily Show, but,” Camp notes, “as Chris Hedges has said, ‘Colbert and Stewart are allowed to go after the foibles of out leaders but they can’t go after the deeper concerns. (Such as) the deeper idea that the two main political parties are completely bought by these corporations and aren’t speaking for the people.” Lee also talks about his new stand up video special, We Are Nothing, the Liz Wahl, Abby Martin kerfuffle, and what it is like to have Vladimir Putin have editorial control over a comedy show. Ok, the thing about Putin is a joke, but Trainor forces the issue not once, but twice. Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp airs on the RT network every Friday night at 8PM & 11:30PM EST and is published inline at RT.com.
Amber Lyon, 3-time Emmy award winning journalist, describes how her work as a journalist covering social justice issues lead to her suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and how experience with Ayahuasca cured her of the disorder and led to a radical spiritual and career shift. “I’ve never taken the traditional route in my journalism,” says Lyon “I spent a decade on the street covering some of the worst humanity has to offer whether it be war, slavery, drug trafficking, and I realized after a certain amount of time that I was just covering the symptoms of the greater problem which is our collective madness. We need healing at the individual level before anything is going to change when it comes to all of the destruction that we are seeing in this world. (…) I’ve decided that for the rest of my career I am going to attack the core which is this collective Insanity and collective need for healing; whether that is physical healing or healing when it comes to mental health disorders.
For decades, a movement which calls itself “pro-life” has unleashed violence against abortion providers, shamed and humiliated women, and relentlessly restricted access to abortion, especially for poor women. Over 80% of abortion clinics have experienced violence, threats, or harassment; eight doctors and staff have been murdered. Today, 97% of rural counties have no abortion provider. One in four poor women who seeks an abortion cannot afford it and is forced to have a child she does not want. Five states have only one abortion clinic left.” Two women who came out of the “Abortion closet” – Katie Klabusich and Kelly Carlin, join host Dennis Trainor, Jr. to discuss what the world would look like if women were not forced to apologize for abortions.
In this episode clip from Acronym TV’s full program on the Catholic War on Women, Katie Klabusich relates her harrowing experience as a target of a “Wanted Poster” campaign from the Pro-Life Action League. “They decided for Lent this year to put together an Internet meme asking people to pray for (three people): me, (and also) an abortion doctor, and a pro-choice journalist. They put the three of us, with our names, cities, where we work, etc., (and published) it in the blog post and told people to ‘pray’ for us.” This was a major concern because, as Katie says,” the anti-choice movement has used wanted posters to kill people. It has lead to assassinations.” As Katie wrote on her blog when this story first broke (read more)
In the United Sates, one out of every three women has had an abortion. If you are a women living in Texas, and a growing number of states, access to this basis, simple and safe procedure has been severely restricted with the passage of Hundreds of new laws in the last several years that strip a women's right to privacy, limit access to abortion and shame women into thinking that their choice about what to do with their bodies is wrong. It’s been over 40 years since the Supreme Court decided, in Roe v. Wade, that women had a constitutional right to abortion. The legal argument was based around the concept that women had a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, and that right extended to their right to have an abortion. Perhaps no time in the 40 years since Roe v Wade have female reproductive rights been so under attack. From Texas to Alabama to Congressmen saying that women can’t get pregnant when raped because their bodies have a way of shutting that down, men, usually white conservative men with ties to patriarchal religious institutions are working their balls off trying to control women; specifically a woman access to birth control and abortion.