D.C. Mayor Bowser’s “Draft Racial Equity Action Plan ” (REAP) is a public relations document which reflects a continued commitment to the systemic foundations of racial inequities. As a follow-up to the empty gesture of painting the words “Black Lives Matter” on 800 16th Street Northwest, Washington, DC and declaring that space “Black Lives Matter Plaza ”, the REAP suggests that the state structures which maintain settler colonialism and capitalism can be a remedy for racial inequity. “It is our charge and our responsibility to put in place policies that are intentional about ending structural racism and reversing the legacies of policies that intentionally locked Black and brown Washingtonians out of opportunity and the ability to build wealth,” Bowser said when announcing the REAP on November 16, 2022 as a first for D.C. of such a plan.
Washington, DC - Most plastic simply cannot be recycled, a new Greenpeace USA report concludes. Circular Claims Fall Flat Again, released today, finds that U.S. households generated an estimated 51 million tons of plastic waste in 2021, only 2.4 million tons of which was recycled. The report also finds that no type of plastic packaging in the U.S. meets the definition of recyclable used by either the Federal Trade Commission or the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy (EMF NPE) Initiative. Plastic recycling was estimated to have declined to about 5–6% in 2021, down from a high of 9.5% in 2014 and 8.7% in 2018. At that time, the U.S. exported millions of tons of plastic waste to China and counted it as recycled even though much of it was burned or dumped.
The National Labor Relations Board determined Tuesday that a majority of Union Kitchen workers voted to unionize, according to the freshly-minted labor union’s collective bargaining agent, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400. The NLRB reviewed the results of the formal election, which took place three months ago, after CEO and founder Cullen Gilchrist challenged some ballots — including those of two vocally pro-union workers who cast ballots but were fired before their votes had been counted. NLRB press secretary Kayla Blado confirmed that a majority of valid votes cast had been in favor of the union, 20 to 11. Barring no new objections, Blado says certification will happen by June 29.
The DC government is deploying COINTELPRO like tactics against organizations and individuals fighting to protect and expand our rights. Of course, this is not news to those who have been engaged in political work here for any amount of time, but now, thanks to one local organizer, there is proof. Suspecting she was being surveilled by the Metro Police Department (MPD), April Goggans of Black Lives Matter DC (BLMDC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the documents the DC government had on her. After years of hiding, stalling and lying by MPD, April took the request to court. The most important hearing to date was scheduled for June 14, 2022 too determine if MPD is required to follow FOIA laws.
Staging a vice-presidential candidates debate in the runup to Colombia’s May 29 national elections was entirely appropriate. Nevertheless, the location of the event in Washington and its promotion by US-state functionaries requires some explanation. Because of its venue and sponsors, the affair had elements of an audition or a vetting process overseen by the US government. Along with the Washington consensus crowd, members of the Colombian diaspora attended the May 13th event, especially supporters of popular vice-presidential candidate Francia Márquez. Afro-descendent environmentalist Márquez is running with presidential candidate Gustavo Petro. Their frontrunning ticket could be the first administration on the left in Colombian history.
Washington DC - Groups opposed to war rallied outside the White House to condemn the Administration’s role in a military buildup in Europe and warned war between superpowers would come at great cost. Speakers questioned why the U.S. is involved in yet another conflict less than a year after the end of the Afghanistan War — its most recent and the longest war it ever fought — while many families can not afford adequate housing, food and healthcare, and communities buckle under crumbling infrastructure. Speakers from anti-war groups Answer Coalition, CODEPINK Women Against War, Caudia Jones School for Political Education, World Without War, and others hammered at the social and economic implications another war would bring.
On Nov. 18, in the library of Ballou Senior High school, an audience of students, parents, school faculty, journalists, and city officials gathered for a press conference held by the District of Columbia’s Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser and chief of police Robert Contee, who were at the high school to announce new legislation. Behind the podium where Contee and Bowser gave their address stood three rows of 10 teenagers in Metropolitan Police Department cadet uniforms, most of whom were not even 18 years old. Thirty children staged behind Contee and Bowser in police uniforms provided a perfect backdrop for the announcement of the relaunch of the High School Cadet Program (HSCP), one of MPD’s many programs aimed at conditioning, propagandizing and recruiting youth.
Washington DC — Community organizers and faith leaders from 33 States converged on the U.S. Capitol to demand passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) and the Build Back Better Bill (H.R. 5376), now pending Senate approval. They chastised West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin for his role in delaying passage of the legislation which would provide protection for voting rights and financial relief for millions of impoverished Americans. Reverend William Barber called out Senator Joe Manchin by name for playing a “trick” on his constituents by delaying a vote in the Senate on the voting rights bill. Barber said that by delaying the vote until March it would give State legislatures time to gerrymander districts and allow passage of more restrictive voting laws.
Washington, D.C. — Under a banner declaring “We did not vote for fossil fuels,” Indigenous and youth climate activists led a march to the Capitol today for a mass civil disobedience action, demanding Congress and the Biden Administration take urgent action to stop all new fossil fuel projects and launch a just renewable energy revolution. 90 people were arrested on the fifth and final day of the “People vs. Fossil Fuels” mobilization, bringing the total arrested during the week of action to 655. Throughout four days of action at the White House, the “People vs. Fossil Fuels” mobilization pressed President Biden to stop approving new fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency to equitably deploy clean, renewable energy solutions and deliver on his commitments to climate and environmental justice and Indigenous rights.
Washington - Dozens of Indigenous leaders held a sit-in Thursday at the Interior Department in Washington, D.C., in an effort to stop the extractive fossil fuel industries. Jennifer Falcon, Nakoda, Lakota and Dakota, with Indigenous Rising Media, was inside and said before Thursday’s sit-in at the Bureau of Indian Affairs that they warned President Joe Biden to “respect us or expect us” and he didn’t listen. “So we're going to keep showing up until we die,” Falcon said. There’s been a historic surge in Indigenous resistance in Washington since Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, where “expect us” was written on a Andrew Jackson’s statue. On Thursday, roughly 55 Indigenous leaders were at the federal agency for a sit-in in what is believed to be for the first time since the 1970s.
Amid a wave of climate protests in Washington, D.C. this week, some campaigners scaled the U.S. Chamber of Commerce office to call out the nation's largest lobbying group for fueling climate chaos and urge members to cut ties with the business association. Activists flanked the building's entrance with a pair of banners that said: "Welcome to the Chamber of Climate Chaos" and "Your Business Costs the Earth." Extinction Rebellion D.C. tweeted photos and videos of the action alongside a message for the group's members: "Do you want to go down in history as contributing to a climate catastrophe that will endanger the lives of millions of people around the world? Or will you stand up for the future, for hope and survival, and leave the Chamber of Commerce?"
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is holding its annual rally, March on the White House and conference on November 6 and 7, 2021. It is part of the continuous work to destroy the colonial stranglehold the U.S. has on African people. This is a call for you to join in this escalating struggle of the oppressed to overturn the colonial-capitalist system that thrust itself into existence 600 years ago with the 1415 Portuguese initiation of the European trade in black bodies that were colonized in Africa and dispersed throughout the world. The colonial enslavement of our people was the bridge between European feudalism and capitalism that wreaks havoc on the happiness, lives and resources of all the peoples of the world.
Washington, DC — “Where that McDonald’s is right now,” he says pointing across the street. “That used to be a news stand where I’d buy comics as a kid.” Dumah Muhammad stands in Adams Morgan Plaza in Washington, D.C., a light drizzle misting a small crowd of supporters and press. A few people wrangle a tarp over the PA system and there’s a tent where folks can grab snacks, pamphlets, water and shelter. Five Metropolitan Police cars are parked alongside the plaza and just behind the plaza there’s a staging area stacked with fencing and mingling cops. Despite literally being surrounded, the energy in the plaza is that familiar direct-action blend of defiance and celebration. Between speeches, music pumps out of the PA and folks dance alongside anti-gentrification artwork and handmade signs.
Washington, D.C. -- Thousands of people are expected to take part in a week of protests at the White House this October 11-15 to pressure President Biden to declare a climate emergency and end all new fossil fuel projects. Composed of hundreds of Indigenous, Black, environmental, climate justice, youth, and social justice organizations, the Build Back Fossil Free coalition will launch the People Vs. Fossil Fuels: Biden’s Test week of action in advance of the Glasgow COP26 Climate Summit. With that summit representing what many consider to be our “last, best chance” to avoid climate catastrophe, the week of action will urge the Administration to take action already within its authority to finally begin to fulfill its climate commitments. To announce the event, the coalition released a new video inviting communities from across the country to join them in solidarity in D.C as they demand President Biden and his administration pick a side: People Vs. Fossil Fuels.
Washington D.C. - Dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied near the White House on Thursday to denounce a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to Washington. Protesters rallied near the White House lawn to call for an end to US military and diplomatic support for Israel, citing Israel's human rights violations against Palestinians. US President Joe Biden was set to meet Bennett at 15:30 GMT, but the talks were moved to Friday following developments in Kabul where two suicide bombers killed and wounded scores of Afghans who had amassed outside Kabul airport. Shortly before departing Israel on Tuesday, Bennett told reporters that he would maintain Israel's seige on Gaza while Hamas remained in power there, and vowed there would be no independent Palestinian state under his leadership.