By Natasha Lennard for Esquire – Alsip only knew one other person at the protest march that day. The political science graduate student from the University of Chicago had met her partner in November, when the two had joined the camps at Standing Rock opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. When they heard about calls to protest Donald J. Trump’s inauguration in D.C. on January 20th under the banner “Disrupt J20,” they felt they had to be there. “I identify as an anarchist, and I’ve been an activist for women’s and queer rights since the 8th grade,” Alsip told me over the phone from Chicago. Alsip is among 214 defendants facing felony riot charges, up to a decade in prison and a $25,000 fine for their participation in the anti-capitalist, anti-fascist march, which ended with a mass arrest on the morning of Inauguration Day. As far as the student understands, the evidence against her amounts to little more than proof of her presence at the unruly protest, as indicated by her arrest. Like the vast majority of her co-defendants, Alsip didn’t break or throw anything. Now she lives in shock over the steep price she and her fellow protesters might pay as the new administration and police forces set the tone for how they will deal with the spike in organized dissent.
By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Donald Trump’s appointees are busy diminishing or dismantling the agencies they were named to lead and the programs they are supposed to administer. That is why they were selected. Rex Tillerson at the State Department, Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department, Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education…
By Nancy Scola for Politico – Trump has yet to tweet a response to all the needling. But his team may be realizing months too late that it’s up against a foe it didn’t reckon with. Donald Trump may be a master of combat on Twitter, but he’s suddenly run into a growing digital uprising — anonymous federal workers who are using social media to tweak the president even as his agencies crack down on information-sharing. This Twitter rebellion, apparently centered at the National Park Service, is winning cheers from liberal activists who seize on every 140-character outburst for signs of anti-Trump resistance.
By Joel Connelly for Seattle PI – The state of Washington will not allow its aquatic lands along the Columbia River to be used in a major coal export terminal, a decision announced late Tuesday by outgoing State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. The decision by Goldmark deals a serious blow to the Millennium Bulk Terminals project, which has already experienced the bankruptcy filing of its parent firm Arch Coal. It is the latest of several blows to the fossil fuel industry in the Northwest. The lands commissioner turned down a request by Northwest Alloys, a subsidiary of Alcoa, to sublease state-owned aquatic lands to Millennium.
By Staff of It’s Going Down – 1,152. That’s the total amount of people that were killed by American law enforcement in 2016. Every day over the last several years, on average, over 3 people are being killed by the police in this country. Sadly enough, at the time of this writing, a total of 12 people have already been killed by police in 2017, continuing this deadly average. The amount of people actually physically harmed by police, to say nothing of the millions who are left with mental scars, extorted through fines and tickets, killed as bystanders in high speed chases, or who have been sexually assaulted, is of course much higher.
By Zoom in Korea. Seoul, South Korea – On December 9, lawmakers of the South Korean National Assembly passed a historical motion to impeach the current president Park Geun-hye. 234 out of 300 legislators in the National Assembly voted in favor of the impeachment motion. Now that the National Assembly has passed the motion to impeach Park, it is up to the Constitutional Court to decide whether to make the impeachment final in accordance with the constitution. Park will be suspended for the time being as the Constitutional Court deliberates. During this period, the current Prime Minister, Hwang Kyo-ahn, will serve as the acting president. In order for the impeachment to go officially in effect, six out of the nine judges of the Constitutional Court must agree to rule in favor of the motion within 180 days.
By Baxter Dmitry for YourNewsWire.com – Iceland has differed from the rest of Europe and the US by allowing bankers to be prosecuted as criminals. Now it seems the purge of the political class has begun. Iceland’s anti-establishment Pirate Party have been invited to form government and have been handed a mandate to begin instituting some of their progressive policies. Icelandic President Guðni Jóhannesson made the announcement on Friday, over one month after the general election, after meeting with head Pirate Birgitta Jónsdóttir. “I met with the leaders of all parties and asked their opinion on who should lead those talks.
By Terray Sylvester for Reuters – North Dakota’s governor ordered the expulsion of thousands of Native American and environmental activists camped on federal property near an oil pipeline project they are trying to halt, citing hazards posed by harsh weather as a blizzard bore down on the area. The “emergency evacuation” order from Governor Jack Dalrymple came days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the site, set a Dec. 5 deadline for the demonstrators to vacate their encampment, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Bismarck, the state capital.
By Hanna Kozlowska for Quartz – Critics have long denounced private prisons in the US as unsafe, inefficient and at times, inhumane. Those critics, who include inmates and activists, seemed to find a powerful ally earlier this year when the Department of Justice announced it would phase out its use of private prisons for federal prisoners. This wouldn’t mean the end of privately-run incarceration facilities (they’re also used by immigration authorities and states), but it was seen as a step forward.
Right now is the opportune time for people to say no to plutocracy and demand a people’s agenda. The rejection of the Democrats and the unexpected election of Donald Trump have caused confusion among the elites and have opened political space. The people’s defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a victory over the power of transnational corporations, confirms that when a movement of movements works together, we win. People across the country are rising up and will continue to do so. This is critical for social transformation. We encourage you to organize in your communities and to take the streets.We must also be clear in our demands. We are offering an outline for a People’s Agenda.
By Lucy Tiven for ATTN – The order, which was issued last Thursday by U.S. District Judge David Lawson, demanded the state deliver four cases of bottled water per person every week to Flint households that lack functional, properly installed water filters, and it went into effect immediately. Wednesday’s motion seeks a “stay” to prevent the order from going into effect, while attorneys for the state appeal the decision.
By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams – Telecommunications giant AT&T is spying on Americans for profit and helped law enforcement agencies investigate everything from the so-called war on drugs to Medicaid fraud—all at taxpayers’ expense, according to new reporting by The Daily Beast. The program, known as Project Hemisphere, allowed state and local agencies to conduct warrantless searches of trillions of call records and other cellular data—such as “where a target is located, with whom he speaks, and potentially why”
By Dahr Jamail for Truth Out – In 2008, Tim DeChristopher found himself bidding for parcels of public land around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks of Utah at an illegitimate Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction. A climate activist acting as a bidder at the auction, DeChristopher ended up successfully winning 22,500 acres of land by bidding a total of $1.8 million, which he never intended to pay one nickel of, hence effectively killing the auction.
By Collin Rees for Oil Change International – The Dakota Access Pipeline has faced strong resistance from Native Americans, farmers, and ranchers along the proposed pipeline route. It’s also energized the broader climate movement and raised critical questions of protecting clean water, respecting native sovereignty, and rethinking eminent domain for private gain.
By Matthew Teague for The Guardian – The cost of August’s historic flooding in Louisiana is surging into view now, and rising as fast as riverwater. It could hit $15bn, according to a new report, and state officials and residents have begun scrambling to find money as southern Louisiana slowly dries out. Flood insurance will cover only a fraction of the cost, because 80% of the homes affected – more than 110,000, and almost as many vehicles – had no such insurance. The region has never flooded in living memory, and in many areas flood insurance was not even available.