By Daniel Cooper Bermudez for Popular Resistance. This month, the Trump adminsitration sent out an eight-page draft letter to the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees outlining the administration’s objectives for NAFTA renegotiations. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has expressed wanting to send out the official letter to Congress, which upon approval would initiate the 90-day consultation period required before beginning negotations. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto already began Mexico’s own 90-day consultation period in early February. That means the NAFTA negotiations could start in early July.
By Staff of United for Peace & Justice – 50 years ago, on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church, in NYC, Martin Luther King delivered his powerful and most controversial speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”. No longer willing to keep silent about the immorality of the Vietnam War, knowing the intense criticism he would receive for speaking out, he nevertheless was compelled to speak, “I am here tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice”. King spoke against war and its crippling effects on social progress. He denounced the death and destruction in Vietnam and the waste of billions on an immoral war. All this at the expense of the poor and those serving in the military.
By Staff for UNAC. A National Conference: “Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad: Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression!” – Hosted by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC – unacpeace.org). Join activists from the many domestic and international struggles as we build unity against the Trump Regime and the underlying system responsible for imperialist wars, poverty, racism, sexism, the oppression of LGBTQ people, attacks on Muslims and undocumented immigrants, environmental destruction and all forms of injustice. A conference website will be up and running soon. Meanwhile, hold the dates and plan to join us June 16-18 in Richmond, Virginia!
By David Solnit and George Lakey for Common Dreams – George Lakey: Point 2 of the ten-point plan suggests that activists strengthen connections of civic institutions with targeted populations so those institutions can leap to the defense. Some parts of our body politic are geared to defense—they are the white blood cells whose job is to resist infection—and if they are slow to act it’s a good idea for activists to stimulate them. On the other hand, we may not be needed for that! In my town, Philly, a city councilwoman, Helen Gym, led 4- to 6,000 people to the airport yesterday to protest Trump’s order only two days previous to prevent migrants from seven Muslim countries from entering even if they had visas or green cards.
By George Lakey for Waging Nonviolence – Three times more people participated in the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., than were present at the inauguration the day before. He lost the popular vote in the election. Many of his own voters admitted in exit polls that they consider him unqualified to be president. Furthermore, Trump plans to target progressive policies that polls find to be supported by solid majorities of Americans. Trump does have strengths in addition to his brilliance in manipulating mainstream media. Key parts of the economic elite have decided that they can use him for their own goals. So, they will support him — as long as he can deliver acceleration of school privatization, for example, or the fossil fuel pipelining of America.
By Beverly Bell for Other Worlds – Gustavo started Otros Mundos / Friends of the Earth Mexico in 2007. Under his leadership, Otros Mundos has become a focal point for environmental defense throughout Mexico and Mesoamerica. The group organizes impacted peoples and their allies for campaigns around water, energy, and climate crisis, amongst other issues. It also educates, connects, and mobilizes activists and advocates around the world for effective action toward economic and environmental alternatives. Gustavo is an electric light switch – solar electric – sparking and connecting currents across the region.
By Brian Bienkowski for Environmental Health News – A historic year for environmental justice saw government failures in Flint, a resurgent Native voice, and a merging of movements. We’re watching where it’s headed in the new year. There I was in a mid-March snowstorm riding shotgun in a truck heading south through the Crow reservation in Montana. I made a stupid comment to break the silence: “Man, there is nothing out there.” Crow member and my guide for the day, Emery Three Irons, politely corrected me: “There’s a lot out there.” I saw an empty vastness. Three Irons saw a landscape of history and culture, and all of the splendor and pain attached to both.
By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan for Truth Dig – Grass-roots organizing, the hard work of building movements, can be grueling. Pay is often low or nonexistent. Success is never assured. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But it doesn’t bend itself. Right now, under some of the most repressive circumstances that exist in the United States, a national movement is growing for prisoners’ rights.
By Allen Barra for Truth Dig – C. Robert “Bob” Paul Jr. was one of the most interesting sports figures you probably never heard of. He was born in 1918 and died near his home on Long Island in 2011. For much of his life, he was a publicist, first for his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and later for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). In an obit for Paul released by the USOC, longtime spokesman Mike Moran wrote: “With his death goes an important cornerstone of a long ago USOC and its remarkable history.” Mr. Moran was right. There was a book in Paul, and it’s a terrible shame that he never got around to writing it.
By John Kiriakou for Truth Dig – Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer, in the immediate aftermath of FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the bureau would not seek an indictment against Hillary Clinton for her misuse of and failure to secure classified information, asked me to write about the decision. I said that I would but found that I was so angry about the Justice Department’s hypocrisy that I just couldn’t put pen to paper until I had cooled off for a few days.
By Glenn Greenwald for the Intercept. This extreme, unforgiving, unreasonable, excessive posture toward classified information came to an instant halt in Washington today – just in time to save Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. FBI Director James Comey, an Obama appointee who served in the Bush DOJ, held a press conference earlier this afternoon in which he condemned Clinton on the ground that she and her colleagues were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” including Top Secret material. Comey also detailed that her key public statements defending her conduct –i.e., she never sent classified information over her personal email account and that she had turned over all “work-related” emails to the State Department – were utterly false; insisted “that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position . . . should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation”; and argued that she endangered national security because of the possibility “that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.” Comey also noted that others who have done what Clinton did “are often subject to security or administrative sanctions” . . . .
By Crystal Lameman for The Globe and Mail – You might find that strange if you’ve read the media reports calling its authors latte-sipping Toronto elites. I’m not exactly part of that class: I’m an indigenous mother of two from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, in the heart of Alberta’s oil industry. From where I stand, the Leap Manifesto isn’t an attack on Albertans or its workers. It’s a gift, offering us a pathway to a more humane, healthy and livable province, one that honours the treaty rights of indigenous peoples and meets the needs of all its inhabitants.
By Staff of CUPE – The North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade agreements protect the rights of multinational corporations to export and use Canadian water for profit. Multinational water companies such as Suez have contracts in Canada and around the world, privatizing water services and delivery. CUPE has built awareness with indigenous communities around the dangers of using public private partnerships to build or restore access to water services in their communities.
By Subir for Daily Kos – Well, you can’t say Bernie’s candidacy has had no impact. Phil Angelides was state treasurer of California for a number of years*, and in 2006 he ran for governor against Arnold Schwarznegger. In 2009, he was named chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The commission produced a report outlining the causes of the crisis. It has sometimes been compared to the Pecora Commission.