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International Call to Action:Support the General Motors-Colombia Hunger StrikersThirteen members of ASOTRECOL, the Association of Injured and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia, launched a hunger strike on Wednesday, August 1st outside the U.S. embassy to demand that GM justly compensate, provide medical care, and reintegrate over 200 workers who were fired after suffering work-related injuries. As proof of their commitment, the workers have sewn their mouths shut and plan to carry out the hunger strike to the death. August 24th marks the 24th day of their to-the-death hunger strike and 387 days of a tent occupation in front of the U.S. embassy in Bogotá. General Motors walked out of negotiations on August 6th and has since refused to return to the table. A few days ago Colombian authorities shut off the electrical supply to the hunger strikers' camp, leaving them without light and necessary medical equipment.Protests organized for August 24thDetroit: GM Headquarters, 300 Renaissance Center --- 12pmWashington D.C.: Capitol Hill --- 12pmNew York: Colombian Consulate --- 12pmBogotá: U.S. Embassy, 24/7São Paulo: Colombian EmbassyHanover: Colombian EmbassySPONSORS (as of 8/22): Witness for Peace; United Steel Workers; São José Metal Workers Union, Brazil (Sindicato dos Metalurgicos de São José dos Campos e Região); International Automotive Workers Council (Internationaler
Automobilarbeiterratschlag); Service Employees International Union 32 BJ; Occupy Wall Street Labor Outreach Committee; South East Michigan Jobs with Justice; Washtenaw Community Action Team; Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT-Michigan, Local 3550; Lecturer Employees' Organization, AFT-Michigan, Local 6244; Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice; Moratorium Now!; U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange; Autoworkers Caravan; Organization for a Free Society; Solidarity; International Action CenterASOTRECOL website: www.asotrecol.com
Tell the City of Charlotte and the Democratic National Convention: Support the City Workers’ Demands for Basic Workers’ Rights!
Click HERE to sign
Click HERE to sign and send a message to the Charlotte City Council, the Obama administration, the Democratic National Convention Committee and others, telling them you support the City of Charlotte workers' demands for a city ordinance enacting a City Workers Bill of Rights.
Support the City of Charlotte Workers' Demands for a city ordinance inacting a City Workers Bill of Rights calling for:
An End to unfair disciplines
Payroll union dues deduction
Meet-and-confer with union representatives
Collective bargaining rights
Click HERE to sign!
By Dave Lindorff
If you want to know how moribund the Democratic Party is, how completely owned by Wall Street the president is, and how sick our national politics have become, just consider Social Security.
By Dave Lindorff
We’ve all heard it said by our teachers when we were in school, we’ve all heard it said by politicians, including presidents: “Democracies don’t start wars.”
By Dave Lindorff
This article originally appeared on the website of PressTV
Never mind these facts, we must spend more more MORE on the military or we'll all die of something other than the military!
By Linn Washington, Jr.
One year after riots rocked 66 areas across England for five days in some of the worst disturbances in that nation’s history, the issue that initially ignited those disturbances – police abuse – remains an unresolved problem.
By Dave Lindorff
This article was originally written forPressTV
We Americans are taught it in school. The propaganda put out by Voice of America repeats the idea ad nauseum around the globe. Politicians refer to it in every campaign speech with the same fervor that they claim to be running for office in response to God’s call: America is a model of democracy for the whole world.
But what kind of democracy is it really that we have here?
By Dave Lindorff
Imagine for a moment what would happen if former President George W. Bush were to give an interview on television and declare that his invasion of Iraq, and the ensuing nine years of death and mayhem that resulted from that war, had been the wrong thing to do. Imagine if he were to say of that decision, “Mistakes were made.”
Demanding that Chipotle’s ‘Food With Integrity’ Include Farmworkers, Calling on the Restaurant Chain to Commit to the Fair Food Program
Florida Farmworkers and Allies from Around the Country Announce National Day of Action
Immokalee, FL (July 25th, 2012):
This Wednesday, July 25th, conscientious consumers and fair food advocates in 25 cities around the nation will call on Chipotle Mexican Grill in a National Day of Action, demanding that the restaurant chain live up to its marketing image as a socially responsible corporation and join the Fair Food Program, an innovative program pioneered by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an organization of Florida farmworkers.
The Fair Food Program is a unique partnership among farmworkers, tomato growers, and ten leading food retailers – including major fast food corporations Subway, McDonald’s and Burger King – that advances both the human rights of farmworkers and the long-term interests of the Florida tomato industry. It is the first large scale program for real, lasting social accountability in the domestic produce industry. The program improves the wages and working conditions of Florida farmworkers by committing major buyers of tomatoes to pay a premium of a “penny per pound” of tomatoes to be passed through to farmworkers by the growers for whom they work, and to target their purchases to growers willing to implement the Fair Food Code of Conduct developed together by farmworkers, growers and buyers.
Poverty in the United States is surrounded by myths and misunderstanding. Poverty is expanding, and extreme poverty is expanding. The social safety net is retracting. Congress has just slashed food stamps. But corporate media coverage that misleads us on the nature and causes of poverty is neither expanding nor improving. Karen Dolan is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and coordinator of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. She discusses this project, which is producing reporting on poverty while providing work to unemployed and under-employed journalists. Learn more at http://economichardship.org
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Chris Hedges' and Joe Sacco's new book, "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt," is a treasure. Hedges wrote the plain text. Sacco produced the text-heavy cartoon sections and other illustrations, which even I -- not a big fan of cartoon books -- found to enrich this book enormously.
By Charles M. Young
Between college and graduate school, I worked for a year in a factory in Verona, Wisconsin, which is a few miles and a paradigm shift outside of Madison. It wasn’t the worst place to work. We had a union. We had benefits. We chopped, folded and riveted large sheets of metal and turned them into the air diffusers that you can see in the ceilings of theaters and other large buildings.
By Michael Collins
So, now it's an imperative to "promote growth."
The joint statement (full text after the jump) from the G-8 meeting in Chicago documents the utter failure of the very leaders who issued it. Were they capable leaders with the least knowledge of economic downturns, the statement would not be necessary. Nevertheless, they deserve some credit for admitting their deficiencies. Unfortunately, they have no serious solutions. (Image Banksy)
The joint statement has some weasel words like "We commit to fiscal responsibility" to balance the urgent words about growth and jobs". That reflects the atavistic positions of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Merkel suffered a huge set back in the Westphalia state elections with her Christian Democratic Party losing 25% to 50%. Corporate media maintains that her popularity as a leader is higher than ever.
Her Scrooge faction comrade, PM Cameron is also pushing austerity. Nobody can pretend that his polling is any better than his party. The Conservatives were wiped out in local elections and Cameron is going down without a life jacket.
The TPP Opening Bash
Global Activist Reception & Teach-in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Reception at 6:00pm * Teach-in at 7:00pm
Community Center for Cooperation
2900 Live Oak St * Dallas, TX
Free and open to the public
As trade negotiators from throughout the Pacific Rim continue to meet in Addison to hammer out final details on the secretive new Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement, it is worth exploring what trade policy has meant and could mean for the economy, the environment and democracy itself.
The TPP is poised to become the largest trade deal of its kind ever. It is likely to influence the types of jobs available in our communities; the wages and benefits that many jobs pay; tax revenues available for public services; greenhouse gas emissions and the environment; access to affordable, generic medications; consumer safety standards; financial regulations; the health of family farms; global migration patterns; and more.
Corporate lobbyists are advocating for a business-as-usual vision for international trade - but veteran "trade justice" campaigners from around the country and around the world are offering alternative visions on what trade policy could mean to communities at home and abroad.
Rub elbows, ask questions and scheme with long-time trade justice champions from the U.S. and beyond during a free, public reception from 6:00 to 7:00pm, followed immediately by a panel discussion featuring:
Sponsored by the Dallas Peace Center, Texas Fair Trade Coalition and Citizens Trade Campaign. This is one of several events taking place will the TPP negotiations occur at the Intercontinental Dallas Hotel from May 8 to 16. Learn more at TPPDallas.org. For more info, please contact the Texas Fair Trade Coalition at (512) 912-6630.
First-of-its-kind "Refrain From Political Spending" Resolution to Be Voted on Today at Bank of America Shareholder Meeting
Resolution would ask the corporation to opt out of the unlimited, often secret spending ability afforded to it by the Supreme Court in Citizens United
*UPDATE:* On Tuesday, May 8, at 3M Corp.’s shareholder meeting, investors urged the board to adopt the resolution to refrain from spending the company’s general treasury funds on influencing elections. Despite evidence that political spending can lower stock performance, the board voted down the measure.
By Dave Lindorff
The Senate is currently deadlocked on taking action to prevent the interest on new Stafford guaranteed student loans from rising on July 1 from 3.4% to 6.8%, with Democrats saying they want to “pay for” keeping the current “lower” 3.4% rate by closing a loophole that allows some wealthy people to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, while Republicans want to “pay for” keeping the lower rate by eliminating a fund for preventative health care in the 2010 health care reform law.
But what is all this nonsense about “paying for” a supposedly “lower” interest rate of 3.4%?
Bank of America has hired G4S for its shareholder meeting. According to Wikipedia:
"G4S plc (formerly Group 4 Securicor) (LSE: GFS, OMX: G4S) is a global security services company headquartered in Crawley, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest security company measured by revenues and has operations in more than 125 countries. With over 630,000 employees, it is the world's second-largest private sector employer (after Wal-Mart Stores)."
G4S and its subsidiary Wackenhut have a lengthy criminal record:
"In March of 2006, whistle-blowers employed at Wackenhut released information to the press revealing that the company cheated on an anti-terrorism drill at a US nuclear site.
"... In 2009, an Aboriginal man from Western Australia died of heat stroke after being transported in a G4S (then GSL) van without air conditioning or water.
"... On June 13, 2010, a video posted on YouTube by documentary filmmaker James Fox showed Wackenhut guards preventing reporters from covering the BP oil spill.
"... In October 2010, three G4S-guards heavily restrained and held down 46-year old Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga on departing British Airways flight 77, at Heathrow Airport. Security guards kept him restrained in his seat as he began shouting and seeking to resist his deportation. Police and paramedics were called when Mubenga lost consciousness. The aircraft, which had been due to lift off, then returned to the terminal. Mubenga was pronounced dead later that evening at Hillingdon hospital."
The kind souls from G4S, being housed in two downtown hotels by B of A, will be joined by off-duty police hired by B of A, wearing their police uniforms, and empowered to arrest on B of A's behalf and at the order of B of A security.
What is this militarized, privatized emergency preparation for?
Are foreign armies descending upon the shareholders meeting of the Bank of America?
Actually citizens of the Country of America. Newspaper headlines explain:
"In Charlotte, protesters are expected to demand a complete halt to foreclosures, forgiveness of student loan debt, a stop to financing coal projects, an end to political spending and an end to seven-figure compensation packages."
Uh oh. More cops! More guns! Quick! What would Bloomberg do?
The protesters' plans, of course, are for a nonviolent march and rally.
B of A billionaires aren't afraid for their physical safety. They're afraid their shareholders may side with their victims.
By Dave Lindorff
There are two truths about the US that come clearly to the fore in the current diplomatic blow-up between the US and China over the case of people’s lawyer Chen Guangcheng, though neither is really getting stated in the corporate media coverage of the story.
The first is that the US does not, and has not really ever, cared about the issue of human rights abuses in China, and the second is that the Obama administration, including the supposedly “tough” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, doesn’t know squat about how to negotiate -- not when it comes to dealing with Republicans in Congress, and certainly not when it comes to China.
By Charles M. Young
I got home at 10:00 pm on the nose, and the first thing I did was take off my shoes after 14 hours of May Day marching with 30-40,000 other conscientious objectors to capitalism. My feet hurt, okay? My second priority was turning on the local news, which happened to be Fox Five New York. According to my watch, it was 10:02. I didn’t see the first few seconds of the story, but it must have have been the lead. There was Ray Kelly, the chief of police, talking about...not Occupy Wall Street?...no, it was a video of him on some talk show, warning of the apparently imminent threat of Arab terrorists “implanting” bombs in their bodies and blowing up airplanes and buildings.
by Stephen Lendman
Since 2009, an ocean of easy money saved American, EU, and Japanese economies from collapse.
I'll tell you when you get a little older.
But I want to know.
Well, I'll tell you where taxes come from in other countries, OK? They come from the idea that if we all pool our resources we can better acquire things like schools, hospitals, parks, trains, you know, things that belong to everybody.
But what about our country?
Well, in our country we pay for private schools if we want good schools, and we all buy something called health insurance to take care of us if we get sick, and a teeny bit of our taxes goes to parks and trains, but we don't have very many of those, and we pay for some of them with local taxes. We pay local taxes, state taxes, and national taxes, and lots of other fees. We pay as much in taxes as people in those other countries, but our taxes are different. They come from a different place, and we'll talk about it when you're a little bit bigger.
Why? Why can't I know now?
America's Fiscal Cliff
by Stephen Lendman
America's weak economy shows further deterioration. According to former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh, "(t)he fiscal cliff in early 2013 - when the government stimulus spending and tax relief are set to fall - is not misfortune. It is the inevitable result of policies that kick the can down the road."
By Dave Lindorff
(This article originally appeared in The Nation online, where it can be read in full)