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Victory

A Historic Ruling: NCAA Ordered To Pay Student Athletes

A historic working-class victory was achieved on May 23, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bosses agreed to settle three federal antitrust cases that were filed by three student athletes. The agreement will allow schools to directly pay student players for the first time in history. In what is known as the “amateurism model,” college athletes have traditionally been excluded from receiving any compensation for their athletic talent, name recognition and labor. The recent settlement is expected to change that super-exploitative practice. The NCAA Board of Governors, as well as the parasitic leaders of its five “power conferences” — the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Pac-12 — agreed to pay more than $2.8 billion in back pay and damages over the next 10 years to both past and current athletes.

Jury Finds Palestine Action Activists Not Guilty Over Elbit Occupation

Two activists from Palestine Action were unanimously acquitted of criminal damage against arms manufacturer Elbit by a jury in Leicester Crown Court after a deliberation of just one hour and 40 minutes. For six days from 19 May 2021, four people from Palestine Action occupied the roof of UAV Tactical Systems, an Elbit drone factory in Leicester. The action was taken urgently in response to the ongoing bombardment of Gaza at the time. Whilst on the roof, the activists spray painted messages including “Shut Elbit Down” and “Free Palestine”, damaged a skylight to reveal a military drone inside and sprayed the building in blood red paint.

Unicorn Riot Nets Resounding Win For Press Freedom Against Oil Corporation

Saint Paul, MN — The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a ruling favoring Unicorn Riot on Monday, May 6, rejecting the oil company Energy Transfer LP’s attempt to obtain newsgathering materials through a subpoena, blunting a three-year legal pressure campaign. In April 2021, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline started trying to force Unicorn Riot to give out sensitive and privileged materials developed in the process of covering the controversial fracked oil pipeline and the massive, historic organized resistance against it. (See our full-length documentary, Black Snake Killaz [2017], DAPL category, and Standing Rock and DAPL content tags for dozens of original stories.)

Portland State University Will ‘Pause’ Donations From Boeing

Portland State University (PSU) will temporarily halt donations from Boeing, responding to student calls to cut ties with the giant aerospace and missile manufacturer amidst Israel’s war on Gaza. President Ann Cudd stated in an open letter released Friday that PSU plans to organise a forum in May to address student concerns regarding their affiliations with the multibillion-dollar weapons manufacturer. She wrote: “PSU will pause seeking or accepting any further gifts or grants from the Boeing Company until we have had a chance to engage in this debate and come to conclusions about a reasonable course of action.”

Forest Defenders Declare Victory After 22-Day Tree Sit

Josephine County, OR – Environmentalists are declaring victory after occupying a stand of old growth forest for three weeks to prevent trees from being logged. Forest defenders launched a tree sit on April 1 to prevent Boise Cascade Wood Products, the timber company who bought the logging rights, from cutting a stand of mature trees which represents some of the last remaining intact old growth in the region. For 22 days, community members occupied a patch of old growth forest that sits inside the boundaries of the Poor Windy Forest Management Plan.

UAW’s Chattanooga Victory: Score One For The North In Our Endless Civil War

History—good history, if conditional history—was made last Friday in Chattanooga, as workers at Volkswagen’s factory there voted to join the United Auto Workers by an overwhelming margin of 2,628 to 985, a 73 percent to 27 percent landslide. The vote was historic on any number of counts. It marks the UAW’s first successful unionization of a foreign-owned auto factory after a number of failed attempts; it marks the first unionization in many decades of a major group of workers in the non-union South; it may even mark the rebirth of a powerful union movement, something the nation has lacked over the past 40 years.

Climate Activists In New England Celebrate ‘The End Of Coal’

On March 27, Granite Shore Power, or GSP, announced that it will “voluntarily” stop burning coal at its Merrimack and Schiller Stations in New Hampshire by 2028. Major news outlets have been hailing the news as the “end of coal in New England” and casting GSP as a leader in the transition to clean, renewable energy. Insofar as media have acknowledged the role of outside pressure on GSP at all, they have mainly cited a lawsuit by the Sierra Club and Conservation Law Foundation for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. But activists know better: Nonviolent direct action gets the goods.

First City-Wide Rent Reduction In The History Of New York Upheld

New York State’s Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 permits the regulation of residential rents (“rent stabilization”) on the declaration of a housing emergency in New York City when the vacancy rate falls below 5%, or by similar declarations in municipalities in the suburban New York City counties of Nassau, Westchester and Rockland. A “Rent Guidelines Board” then has the power to set guidelines for rent adjustments. Today about half of all apartments in New York City are rent stabilized.

Strike Threat Wins In Confrontation Over Remote Work

When “Reclaim your Momentum” was unveiled as the theme for Portland Community College’s 2023 in-service training, it struck a discordant note with members of my union, the PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals. We hadn’t lost our momentum so much as we’d been subjected to two years of organizational restructuring in the midst of a global pandemic. The reorganization had concentrated power at the top, and now the college president was rolling out her plan to end the flexible work arrangements developed for the pandemic.

UFCW Local Leads Fight To Win Strongest Tenant Protections

Grocery and retail workers helped win the strongest tenant protections in Washington state last November for the 100,000 renters in the city of Tacoma. First we had to beat the mayor’s and city council’s attempt to bring a competing watered-down ballot measure. And then we had to overcome a vicious and deceptive landlord opposition that smashed all previous political spending records in Tacoma. “We’ve created incredible goodwill in the community just as we gear up for a tough contract fight,” said Michael Whalen, who helped initiate the campaign as a dairy clerk and shop steward at Fred Meyer.

Arizona Court Cancels EPA’s Approval Of Dicamba Pesticide

In a win for farmers and endangered plants and wildlife, an Arizona district court has revoked the approval of the destructive pesticide dicamba, saying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law when it allowed it to be on the market. Dicamba-based weedkillers have been widely used on soybean and cotton crops genetically engineered by Bayer (formerly Monsanto), a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity — who brought the lawsuit — said. “This is a vital victory for farmers and the environment,” said George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety and counsel in the case, in the press release.

Michael Mann Wins $1 Million Verdict In Defamation Trial

In a victory for climate scientists, jurors in Michael Mann’s defamation case against Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn awarded Mann $1 million in punitive damages for defamatory comments made in 2012. In a unanimous decision, jurors agreed that both Simberg and Steyn defamed Mann in blog posts that compared Mann to convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State University. They announced that Simberg will pay $1,000 in punitive damages and Steyn will pay the larger $1 million. Standing in front of the courthouse smiling with his legal team after the verdict was read, Mann told DeSmog that he trusted the jury to see through the “smoke and mirrors” that the defense used during the trial.

Food Service Drivers Took Their Strike Nationwide And Won

While most Chicagoans were bracing for a major snowstorm, 130 truck drivers who deliver food from warehouses to cafeterias and kitchens spent the first weekend in January preparing for another kind of storm: a strike. US Foods had stalled negotiations over wages, health care, and safety provisions. At 12:01 a.m. on Monday, January 8, Teamsters Local 705 picket lines went up at the Bensenville, Illinois, facility. Over the next three weeks, Teamsters extended the Bensenville line nationwide. Rolling pickets hit more than two dozen US Foods distribution centers and drop yards from Los Angeles to Indiana to New Jersey, paralyzing its operations in some of the nation’s highest-volume markets.

The Palestinians Won In The Hague; So Did The Rest Of Us

There are many, many ways to look upon the ICJ’s ruling, many things worth saying. The very first of these is that the significance of the ICJ’s interim finding lies beyond dispute. Will the barbarities of a nation self-evidently suffering a collective psychosis now stop? No. What Dick Falk said six years ago still holds: Israel has already made clear it will ignore The Hague’s judgment. But what “the Jewish state” does this week or next is not for the moment our question. What are the enduring consequences of this ruling for the global order? How shall we situate the court’s judgment? Where does its importance lie? These are our questions.

This NGO Won A Climate Case Against Shell; Its Next Target? Dutch Bank ING

When Royal Dutch Shell lost a landmark climate lawsuit in The Netherlands, climate advocates said the Dutch court’s ruling put polluters and their financiers on notice. Now, the Dutch NGO that successfully sued Shell over its climate plans is taking those financial backers to court in a case that could help reverse the global banking sector’s support of fossil fuel firms and their activities. On January 19, Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) announced it is initiating legal action against ING, the Netherlands’ largest bank and a major funder of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG). In a letter addressed to ING CEO Steven van Rijswijk and the first step in litigation,  Milieudefensie says it believes the bank is in breach of its “duty of care” obligation under Dutch law.
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