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Social Banditry For The 21st Century

At least as early as the first century A.D., shiftas of the Horn of Africa renounced their allegiance to emperors, government and law, and took to the wild where — through their disruptions of the usual business and trade — they would manage to survive as outlaws. For centuries, the Balkan haiduks roamed their lands, stealing from their Ottoman occupiers. Yi brigands and others from across the Chinese frontier sustained their economies in large part through raiding during the early 20th century. From 1917-1937, Peruvian women led bands of sharpshooters by horseback to rob the rich and give to the poor. Despite limited research and the folkloric fictionalization of the Robin Hoods of our past, social banditry seems to be present wherever even the most primordial forms of civilization have offered class inequalities.

Crowdfunding A ‘Band-Aid’ For Rising Healthcare Costs?

Millions of Americans are contributing to crowdfunding platforms to help pay for rising healthcare expenses, researchers found. One in five people reported contributing to crowdfunding campaigns to cover medical bills and treatments, according to a survey of just over 1,000 people released by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

More Funders Hide Their Campaign Donations

By Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams - Campaign finance reform advocates have rallied against super PACs' ability to influence elections since their creation in 2010, and new reporting by the Washington Post puts a spotlight on how "ghost corporations" are pumping money into these committees, with their big money contributors hiding behind a veil of secrecy. As the Center for Responsive Politics explains: "super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates,"...

Call For Proposals: Kosmos 2015 Seed Grants

Kosmos is pleased to announce a new grant-giving initiative. Two Kosmos Seed Grants of $2500 each will be awarded in early 2015 to individuals or organizations that are working to advance ‘transformation in harmony with all Life’. The microgrants program, intended to be ongoing, is being developed in recognition that social change often begins with small acts in out-of-the-way places, by people working at the edge of transformation. We will favor proposals aligned with our stated mission: “to inform, inspire and engage individual and collective participation in local and global transformation in harmony with all life.” The most compelling proposals will be those that set forth a sound plan with a strong potential for success.

Earthaleujia, Rev. Billy Given Message For Monsanto

Will you make a donation to help Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir go to Monsanto Headquarters in Saint Louis? Our hot show will be so dramatic that people will shout out, "How will the bees get back to their hive?" and "And how will I survive?" Freakstorm is directed by Laura Newman. Music by Richard Padron. Reverend Billy Talen is the Earthalujah! preacher, an author, artist and father. He has been jailed more than 50 times for his dramatic advocacy for the Earth, justice and democracy. His work has been featured in the New Yorker, Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera America, MSNBC, Fox, and many other international media outlets.

Free Cooper Union To Take Board To Court

The Committee to Save Cooper Union is pursuing legal action as a last resort after Cooper Union’s Board of Trustees and administration proceeded with their plans to abolish a 150 year tradition of free tuition enshrined in the Charter of the school, refusing alternatives that would preserve free tuition. A Working Group of faculty, students and alumni elected by their respective constituencies had developed a sustainable plan for preserving free tuition that was supported by the Faculty Union, the alumni association and students. The President and Board refused to accept this plan and chose to press on with their plan to charge tuition. After carefully evaluating all of the legal options for both legal and cost-effectiveness, the Committee to Save Cooper Union decided that the best approach is to seek an injunction against charging tuition in New York Supreme Court. This option also allows us to petition the court for formation of “The Associates of Cooper Union” as required by the Cooper Union charter. The Associates would serve as a check on the Board of Trustees since the Associates' elected Council can remove Trustees by majority vote. This route also allows us to petition the court for an audit, as provided for in the charter, to help provide more detail on the fiscal mismanagement happening at Cooper Union.

U.S. Subsidizing Defense Of Alleged Killers Of Palestinian Teen

A controversial Israeli organization that's representing the six men recently arrested in the recent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager is receiving thousands of dollars in tax-deductible support from Americans. The group, called Honenu (which roughly translates to "pardon"), supports Israelis charged with or convicted of violence against Palestinians. Honenu's work goes well goes beyond legal aid. The group says it also provides "spiritual" and "financial" assistance to prisoners and their families. Among those Honenu has helped: Yigal Amir, assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; an Israeli convicted of murdering seven Palestinians at a bus stop; and an Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter and obstruction of justice after shooting a British photographer in Gaza.

Documentary On CA Prisoner Hunger Strikes

This campaign is raising funds on behalf of California Prison Focus, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal association with it. All contributions are considered unrestricted gifts and can't be specified for any particular purpose. What? On July 8th 2013, California prisoners launched the largest prison hunger strike in United States history. Thirty thousand men—one quarter of all CA state prisoners—refused food in a united message against the use of indefinite solitary confinement. Many were willing to starve themselves to death and refused food for 60 consecutive days in defense of their basic human rights, such as access to sunlight and being able to hug their family. "We prisoners of all races have united to force these changes for future generations," Arturo Castellanos wrote from the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit. The U.N. Special Rapporteur defines solitary confinement for more than two weeks as a form of psychological torture, yet California routinely isolates its citizens for 10, 20, even 40 years—not for acts of violence but for possessing cultural symbols and political literature.
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