A famous quote by Franz Kafka says, “Every thing you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way.” The same principle, I believe, applies to any other powerful feeling, including resentment, hate, anger, even rage. American officials should know this well as they continue to support Israel with billions of dollars of military and economic aid and anything and everything that would allow Israel to continue with its genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza. The Arabs, the Muslims – in fact, the whole world – are watching, listening, reading, and are getting angrier by the day at the direct American role in facilitating the Gaza bloodbath.
I board the transport in an orange jumpsuit, shackled and cuffed at the waist, one of many prisoners in exodus from the Washington State Reformatory. The rattling of our chains fills the cabin as we find places to sit. I slide into a seat with a small window high on the wall next to me—the coveted seat with a “view.” Nervous chatter ensues as we wait to be shipped to the next prison. In 2021, during the pandemic, the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC), experienced a steep decrease in prison admissions (and therefore a great loss of revenue). In response, the department announced it would close the Washington State Reformatory (WSR), the oldest unit in the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, Washington.
About 100 protesters arrived at the Port of Tacoma at 5 a.m. on Monday determined to block any efforts to load cargo onto the Cape Orlando, a ship the activists thought could be transporting weapons to Israel. They chanted “Free, free Palestine!” and by 6 a.m. the group had grown by hundreds more. “We are here today because we are blocking a military vessel that has come from the Oakland dock up to Tacoma,” said Bissan Barghouti of the group Samidoun Seattle, according to The Seattle Times. Guy Oron, a reporter with Real Change News, tweeted that “Protesters split up into four pickets in an effort to prevent longshoremen from starting their shift.” “Heavy police presence; U.S. Coast Guard has reportedly planned for the protest.
Under dark skies and steady rain, hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied at the Port of Tacoma, in Washington state, to block a military supply vessel they believe will carry weapons from the United States to Israel. There, they fear any weaponry on board will be used in Israel’s ongoing campaign against the Gaza Strip, where more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed. “We want a ceasefire now. We want people to stop getting murdered now. We want a real examination and action on US foreign policy and US funding to Israel,” said Wassim Hage, one of the protesters at the Tacoma rally.
Venezuelan Vice Minister for Anti-Blockade Policies William Castillo explained that as a consequence of the decisions announced by the United States Department of the Treasury regarding sanctions against Venezuelan Oil, the auction of the Venezuelan company CITGO planned for 2024 has been prevented. Castillo said to Últimas Noticias this Thursday, October 19, that the decision extends the prohibition on the sale of PDVSA bonds that are tied to CITGO. “That is very important because it has implications for the auction. While it is in force, and is extended until January, the CITGO auction cannot be held,” he added.
Morale is low, and some staffers are preparing to formally express their opposition to President Joe Biden's approach, officials told HuffPost.
There have been many, very many singular moments among America’s purported leaders and assorted officials and commentators since Hamas staged its daring assault on southern Israel on the morning of Oct. 7. Let us consider a few of these moments and draw some conclusions. Let us look closely at what is being said and what the American public is now urged to think and accept as Israeli forces prosecute a campaign against Gaza’s 2.1 million people so extreme as to suggest ethnic cleansing is, as many have long argued, the ultimate Israeli project. “Well, there have been some members of Congress who have called for a ceasefire, and they have not gone as far as backing the administration’s call for support for Israel.”
On October 4, 75,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente facilities in several US states are set to go on strike for three days following the breakdown of contract negotiations last week. A coalition of several unions representing health workers in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington, DC is battling the nonprofit health giant for safe staffing levels, cost of living pay increases, and against a two-tier pay system that Kaiser is trying to introduce. The largest union in the coalition is Service Employees International Union (SEIU)-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) with 57,443 members, but the coalition also includes Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 30, SEIU Local 49, OPEIU Local 2 and others.
A huge picket line stretched nearly a half mile around the Washington State Evergreen Public Schools headquarters on Sept. 1. It was the first day of school, and 1,500 educators from Evergreen County, on the third day of their strike, were joined by 450 Camas County educators who had been out since Aug 28. Evergreen School District No. 114 is a public school district in the state’s Clark County, and serves the city of Vancouver, Washington. Passing cars honked, and chants rose from a sea of red Tee-shirt-wearing teachers, all carrying strike signs reading “Evergreen Education Association: ON STRIKE!” Numerous local area businesses put up signs in their windows supporting the educators’ strike.
Camas, Washington - Hundreds of teachers in the Camas School District officially went on strike around 9 a.m. Monday morning, cancelling what would have otherwise been the first day of the school year. The union representing Camas School District teachers announced Sunday evening that it would follow through on plans to strike and confirmed there would be no classes on Monday. The announcement came after a last-ditch round of bargaining on Sunday, which the Camas Education Association said ended when "the district refused to make commitments to reasonable class sizes or equitable funding for music, PE, and libraries."
The grief hits Scott Campbell like a ton of bricks every time he walks into the union hall and sees the memorial to the fallen workers. Seven members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union reported for their shifts at the former Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington, on April 2, 2010, and never drove back out. They perished when a decades-old, structurally deficient piece of equipment called a heat exchanger exploded and caught fire in one of the worst industrial incidents in state history. Campbell and other members of USW Local 12-591 pay tribute to the seven with a laser focus on safety at the refinery, currently owned by Marathon.
Unions representing more than 85,000 healthcare workers have held pickets at 50 facilities across California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado amid new contract negotiations as their current union contracts are set to expire on 30 September. The negotiations at Kaiser Permanente are the third largest set of contract negotiations in the US in 2023, behind the 340,000 workers at UPS who will be voting on a tentative agreement this month that was reached days before planned strike action, and 150,000 autoworkers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis whose contracts are set to expire on 14 September.
The day we refinanced our first student loan, four debt cooperative members met for coffee and eggs at a greasy spoon at 8 a.m. to prepare the paperwork. Together, we all went to the bank, got the cashier’s check, printed the letter, and put it in the mail, and it was elating. So elating, in fact, that residents of downtown Seattle looked concerned as four grown adults let out shouts of joy outside a perfectly average post office after doing a seemingly simple task. But the task was anything but simple—and we had done it together. Like an untold number of ideas throughout human history, the nuts and bolts of what would become Salish Sea Cooperative Finance (SSCoFi)—a cooperative built to address the student debt crisis—were hammered out over nachos and beer.
On April 23, 2023, the Washington state legislature passed the Covenants Homeownership Act (CHA), pioneering legislation that will provide compensation to victims of the racist restrictive covenants that destroyed opportunities for generations of Black, Asian, Latinx, and Indigenous families. Historians have been working in dozens of locations to document the extent and impact of racial restrictive covenants, finding them in thousands of neighborhoods and showing that they have a close connection to today’s disparate rates of homeownership and wealth. Now the state of Washington is taking action to compensate the victims, and doing so with a law designed to survive court challenges that might scuttle reparations or programs that are overtly race based.
Despite increasing recognition that prison education is a key tool for reducing crime, Washington State prisoners were recently forced to gather in a janitor’s closet to organize and facilitate college education for people incarcerated in several prisons across the state. They took this dramatic step because new official restrictions are jeopardizing a liberating, prisoner-led program known as Taking Education And Creating History, or TEACH. Organized by a handful of incarcerated people — including me — over a decade ago, TEACH’s goal is to democratize education for people with long sentences.