By Sarah Jaffe for In These Times. It is hard, because all of us have lost people, I will say that. I have lost people that I love to this and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. When we are talking about it, it is deeply personal for people because we are literally watching our communities die and that is really rough. To be in a moment where people are dying from using drugs and we are also shrinking whatever public safety net has been left, to me it is so ridiculous to live in a place where people don’t see that this is a public health crisis that has its roots in poverty. Also, I would say, in the white denial. People not wanting to believe that this could be such a big problem with white people. I would say that it is not just the Republican folks who have been pushing law enforcement over increasing access to care. Here in Portland, we have an all-Democratic City Council that chose to shut down one of the premier, in the country, clinics that had a needle exchange, that had an HIV positive program and did STD testing and counselling, that was serving folks on the street, really low income people, had incredible relationships to their providers.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The colonial history, enslavement, segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the U.S. remained a serious challenge,” the report noted. On Thursday, China’s State Council Information Office released a human rights report on the U.S., noting that while that country continues to act as “the judge of human rights” it continues to ignore its own “terrible problems.” The report, called “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2016,” cites both international and U.S. academic and NGO sources focussed on that country’s domestic and international human rights record. “Wielding ‘the baton of human rights,’ (the U.S.)
By Valentina Stackl for Earth Rights – EarthRights International (ERI) filed a federal lawsuit today on behalf of Honduran farmers charging two World Bank Group members with aiding and abetting gross violations of human rights. The suit arises out of the substantial financial support two World Bank entities, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the IFC Asset Management Corporation (IFC-AMC), invested in Honduran palm-oil companies owned by the late Miguel Facussé. His companies – which exist today as Dinant – have been at the center of a decades-long and bloody land-grabbing campaign in the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras.
By Ajamu Baraka for Popular Resistance. For those of us who operate within context of the Black Radical Tradition, Malcolm’s political life and philosophy connected three streams of the Black Radical Tradition: nationalism, anti-colonialism and internationalism. For many, the way in which Malcolm approached those elements account for his appeal. Yet, I think there is something else. Something not reducible to the language of political struggle and opposition that I hear when I encounter people in the U.S. and in other parts of the world when they talk about Malcolm. I suspect it is his defiance, his dignity, his courage and his selflessness. For me, it is all of that, but it is also how those elements were reflected in his politics, in particular his approach to the concept of human rights. Malcolm showed us how to deal with Trumpism, and the People Centered Human Rights movement that we must build will move us to that place where collective humanity must arrive if we are to survive and build a new world. And we will – “by any means necessary.”
By Barbara With and Rebecca Kemble for Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative. According to Angela Bibens, an attorney from Colorado and a member of the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC), the conditions of North Dakota’s legal system at present are making it impossible for fair trials to take place due to several factors. The Morton County Sheriff’s department made the decision to take a hard-line, militarized position in its response to the nonviolent activities of unarmed water protectors. This includes the use of water cannons, flash bang canisters, rubber bullets, and mace, which resulted in hundreds of water protectors being injured at the front lines. As of August 19, 2016, there were just 28 DAPL-related arrests. By mid-December, 500 more people have been arrested and charged. This was a crisis of their own making, which has cost the state over $17 million in law enforcement fees.
By West Papua Action Network. Indonesia came to absorb the region known as West Papua in 1969 following the withdrawal of the Dutch colonial administration. This occupation resulted in a protracted conflict over freedom and autonomy between the Indonesian government and the indigenous people of West Papua. For more than five decades, the West Papuans have organized many protests and ceremonies aimed at attaining self-determination or joining Papua New Guinea as part of a federation of independence states. This interview was conducted with Herman Wainggai, a leader of a nonviolent movement in West Papua to discuss their fight for self determination and prospects for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
By S. Brian Willson for Popular Resistance. As we again plan to celebrate what US “Americans” call Thanksgiving, let us pause for a moment of reflection. Let us recognize that accounts of the first Thanksgiving are mythological, and that the holiday is actually a grotesque celebration of our arrogant ethnocentrism built on genocide. Native Americans in the Caribbean greeted their 1492 European invaders with warm hospitality. They were so innocent that Genoan Cristoforo Colombo wrote in his log, They willingly traded everything they owned . . . They do not bear arms . . . They would make fine servants . . . They could easily be made Christians . . . With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. This meeting set in motion a 500+-year plunder of the Western Hemisphere, which then spread to the remainder of the globe. And it has not stopped! Native Americans in the Caribbean greeted their 1492 European invaders with warm hospitality. They were so innocent that Genoan Cristoforo Colombo wrote in his log, They willingly traded everything they owned . . . They do not bear arms . . . They would make fine servants . . . They could easily be made Christians . . . With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. This meeting set in motion a 500+-year plunder of the Western Hemisphere, which then spread to the remainder of the globe. And it has not stopped! Historian Hans Köning concludes that what sets the West apart is its persistence, its capacity to stop at nothing. Cultural historian Lewis Mumford declared, Wherever Western man went, slavery, land robbery, lawlessness, culture-wrecking, and the outright extermination of both wild beasts and tame men went with him.
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 Vicki Needham for the Hill. The Obama administration’s won’t pursue passage of its signature Pacific Rim trade deal, dealing a major blow to President Obama’s legacy. Any hope of passing the sweeping 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) quickly faded after Donald Trump’s surprise victory on Tuesday and pronouncements by congressional leaders that the pact would not be considered during the lame-duck session. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton each opposed the agreement during their campaigns, endangering the already slim chances that Congress would cobble together enough support to pass the historic agreement before the end of Obama’s presidency. The long-shot trade agreement faced widespread Democratic opposition on Capitol Hill and the environment for passing the deal only grew more toxic during the presidential campaigns.
By Sam Levin for The Guardian – A United Nations group is investigating allegations of human rights abuses by North Dakota law enforcement against Native American protesters, with indigenous leaders testifying about “acts of war” they observed during mass arrests at an oil pipeline protest. A representative of the UN’s permanent forum on indigenous issues, an advisory group, has been collecting testimony from Dakota Access pipeline protesters who have raised concerns about excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where some activists have been held in cages.
By Nathan Wellman for US Uncut. Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) has sent a team of human rights observers to monitor law enforcement response to those protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The decision to send the team came in response to reports of militarized police deploying pepper spray, bean bags, and strip searches, as well as a case where improperly trained mercenaries allowed guard dogs to bite multiple protesters. The protesters – who prefer to be referred to as water protectors – have so far emphasized the importance of peaceful protesting tactics. Members of the media have also been arrested for covering the confrontations. “Our observers are here to ensure that everyone’s human rights are protected,” said Eric Ferrero, director of communications for AIUSA.
By KiMi Robinson for Truthdig. The Democratic Republic of Congo is paying the price for being the world’s largest producer of raw cobalt, a vital ingredient in lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, smartphones, laptops and other rechargeable devices. As Congolese search for the valuable mineral—cobalt is the most expensive part of lithium-ion batteries—they are suffering a surge in child labor, poverty, pollution and rare birth defects. An investigation by The Washington Post unravels the complicated cobalt supply chain from mines in Congo to the world’s largest cobalt producers in China to the products that dominate Americans’ everyday lives. Reporter Todd Frankel found that companies such as Samsung, BMW and Apple buy batteries containing cobalt mined in Congo but declare that their products are free from materials related to human rights abuse.