By Nikita Vladimirov for The Hill – Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department clashed with anti-Donald Trump protestors Thursday night outside of the National Press Club building. A reporter for NBC4 said protesters also set off smoke devices, contributing to the atmosphere of chaos ahead of Friday’s ceremonies. Police spokesman Hugh Carew said he could not confirm whether officers had used tear gas. A Hill reporter on the scene said people were dancing with music blaring amid the large police presence. The group was projecting images onto buildings, yelling “f— Trump” and taking photos with a large inflatable elephant with “racist” written on it. At one point, protesters set a small fire, according to social media reports. Police have reportedly made several arrests.
By Bonnie Darves. Washington, DC – On the Washington, D.C., streets this week, it’s already looking like Pick-Your-Protest-Land, and even Trump can’t tweet fast enough to respond to the torrent of backlash that’s broadening with each new insult he issues. I’m here from Seattle to participate in the Refuse Fascism movement, which seeks to stop the Trump-Pence regime from taking power. It’s a long shot, but anything that might stop this disaster in the making or potentially mitigate its damage is worth the effort. The Trump Defense Camp claims that the resistance organizations that have formed since the election represent only jargon-spouting leftists on the fringe. That’s not what I’ve seen. The protesters I’ve encountered are schoolteachers, IT workers, scientists, paralegals, health care professionals, business owners, film makers and restaurant managers.
By Steven M Singer for GAD FLY ON THE WALL BLOG – Every single referendum held on school choice in the United States has been defeated despite billions of dollars in spending to convince people to vote for it. But advocates aren’t discouraged that the public isn’t on their side. They have money, and in America that translates to speech. The Donald Trump administration is dedicated to making our public schools accept this policy whether people want it or not. But don’t think that’s some huge change in policy. The previous administration championed a lighter version of these market-driven plans. The main difference goes like this: Democrats are for charter schools and tax credits for private and parochial schools.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. A total of 26 protesters were arrested today in opposition to Jeff Sessions, including members of Refuse Fascism, the NAACP, Democracy Spring, Code Pink, and Howard University, according to Refuse Fascism. The group is calling for millions to pour into the streets of DC to prevent Trump and Pence from assuming power. The protests began even before confirmation hearings officially began. Two CODE PINK members dressed in KKK costumes stood up before the hearing was gaveled to express their support for Sessions. They praised “Jefferson Beauregard” and as they were taken from the room they yelled mockingly “you can’t arrest me, I am white!” and “white people own this government.” In the hall as they were being detained they explained that Sessions history on racism, immigration, LGBTQ rights and sexism made him inappropriate to serve as attorney general.
By Clint Rainey for Grub Street – Despite him using the word “freely to describe black people,” police told Ford it wasn’t a criminal act, so there wasn’t much they could do. Ford took to Facebook instead, where her post quickly exploded. While she says the site deleted the original for some reason, her updates have received plenty of attention: It didn’t take long for Dairy Queen’s headquarters to take action. It released a statement Thursday that called Crichton’s behavior “inexcusable, reprehensible, and unacceptable,” and then, on Friday, the chain announced that Crichton’s restaurant would close, effective immediately, and “not reopen as a Dairy Queen unless ownership changes at that location.”
By Simon Moya-Smith for Indian Country Media Network. The number of Native Americans killed by police nearly doubled in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to reports. Last year, an estimated 21 Native Americans were killed by law enforcement. In 2015, police killed 13 Native Americans, The Counted, a tabulation of all police killings in the U.S., revealed. A 2014 study by The Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice reported that, per capita, Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police than any other demographic in the U.S.
By Movement for Black Lives. As we enter 2017 , under an administration motivated by hate and greed, we renew our commitment to you, and to our fight for justice. We know that Black people have always made a way, even when the odds were against us – as they are now. An administration full of racist, sexist, fear mongers are moving into the White House – and we should all be concerned about their potential impact on our lives. We are just beginning to see the effects of the fear and violence they support. In the last 30 days, we’ve seen an increase in hate crimes and hate speech against Black people, the vandalizing of Black churches, and vigilantes taking up arms in our communities to incite violence and fear. In the face of all this, millions of Black folks across the country are asking, “What can we do?”
By Paul Kirk Haeder for Dissident Voice. Constitutional checks and balances were put in place to prevent citizens from succumbing to undue and unfair prosecution, and the courts have upheld many times the right of individuals who have served their time in prison to move on, move ahead. However, times have changed, and there has been a huge push to privatize prisons, and to place filing fees, court costs and even the daily maintenance, upkeep and staffing of these halls of justice on the financial backs of the accused. It’s sometimes called a punishment society, and on top of that, when we start looking at African-Americans and Latinos in this snapshot of Mass Incarceration, we have the respective stats – black men are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white men, and Latinos 2.5 times more. The cost of their crimes also increases with the color of their skin.
By Tianna Paschel for SSRC – The concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands has been at the center of increased political contestation and media attention in recent years. In this period, massive protests have erupted in the global North and South against neoliberal reforms, the solidification of flexible labor regimes, and austerity policies. The current moment, in the global North and South, is also one where these new forms and sentiments of precariousness in economic life have come alongside a reconfiguration of the relationship between the state and the economy…
By Staff of American Friends Service Committee – Is the person engaging with the harasser or not? You can make suggestions, “Would you like to walk with me over here? Move to another train car? For him to leave you alone?,” and then follow their lead. Notice if the person being harassed is resisting in their own way, and honor that. (Especially white folks, don’t police tone of the person being harassed) Follow up with the individual being harassed after the incident is over, see if they need anything else. Do keep both of you safe. Assess your surroundings—are there others nearby you can pull in to support? Working in a team is a good idea, if it is possible.
By Panagiotis Sotiris for Spectrezine – The refugee crisis has demonstrated the deep crisis of the European Union. For the past years not only it has not been able to deal with the arrival of a large number of refugees and migrants, but has resorted to the deadly, murderous policies of “Fortress Europe”. The result has been thousands of dead refugees and migrants in the waters of the Mediterranean. Some people say “there are too many refugees in the world”. Is this true? Well, numbers don’t add up. In 2015 the total number of migrants was 232 million, in a global population of 7.4 billion. Regarding refugees in particular, the numbers are indeed increasing.
By Padraig Reidy for Bill Moyers Journal. It is difficult to argue against people who are sincere but not necessarily serious, and whose aims seem to lie entirely in the gesture — the great big NO to the world. But that is the task at hand. The first thing to do is to reinforce the idea that actions have consequences. If you refuse to help Syrian civilians in Syria, you will end up with refugees in your own country. If you vote to leave a stable trading community, your economy will suffer. The second thing is to treat people like grown-ups, in a way populist leaders refuse to do: The world has changed, and continues to change radically. Promising to turn back the tide, as the new right does, is idiotic and insulting. Countering populism involves a genuine appraisal of what a future for working-class people looks like — too often this is simply ignored, or dealt with on grounds dictated by the right — as if, for example, tighter controls on immigration are somehow the answer to the huge challenges of automation and globalization.
By Staff of Science Blog – After years of progress, the median earnings gap between black and white men has returned to what it was in 1950, according to new research by economists from Duke University and the University of Chicago. The experience of African-American men is not uniform, though: The earnings gap between black men with a college education and those with less education is at an all-time high, the authors say. The research appears online this week in the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper series.