Community Articles from 2014
With The People’s Climate March Behind Us, What Do We Do Now?
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted October 1, 2014
The climate action weekend built around the People’s Climate March proved that the climate movement has broad popular support and millions are ready to mobilize. These are two ingredients necessary to achieve climate justice, but also needed is a strategy that is widely understood so people recognize their work is connected to a larger movement and their actions are more effective.
Governments are sold out to big corporate interests who profit from dirty energy and false market-based climate change “solutions.” Climate justice advocates must stop the government from doing more damage while creating new systems that allow us to stop participating in the dirty energy economy. A great power of social justice movements is noncompliance, but to not comply we need to be able to live in ways that are consistent with climate justice. More…
Toll roads: ‘Surveillance state’ purveyors and enforcers
By Teri Webster
Posted September 7, 2014
Impounded cars. Blocked vehicle registrations. Fines and penalties. Jail time. Unpaid highway tolls can have heavy consequences. And the punishments hardly fit the crime.
For years, privacy advocates across the nation have warned about the surveillance powers of toll roads and toll tag systems. Now, their warnings have evolved into a disturbing new trend. Toll road systems are becoming purveyors and enforcers of an invasive and punitive surveillance grid that has the ability to track us everywhere we go. More…
A Former Marine Explains All the Weapons of War Being Used by Police in Ferguson
by Lyle Jeremy Rubin
Posted August 23, 2014
There’s at least one line every Marine knows: “Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.” The St. Louis County Police Department apparently never received that memo.
As smoke hangs over the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, it’s important to understand its source. Some of this understanding will require us to reassess the history of police militarization in the United States. This will mean acknowledging its origins in the aftermath of the Watts Riots (1965) and the birth of the SWAT team shortly thereafter. It will mean noting the conservative reaction to the Warren Court’s civil libertarian protections in the 1950s and 60s to President Nixon’s launching of the drug war at the end of that same tumultuous decade.
It will mean harping on President Reagan’s wholehearted embrace of racial policing and mass incarceration in the 1980s. It will mean interrogating the devastating effects of the 1208 Program (1990), which became the 1033 Program (1996), both of which authorized the transfer of military hardware to domestic precincts, a practice that has only accelerated in the wake of the Battle of Seattle (1999) and the attacks of September 11, 2001. More…
Ferguson arrests include at least 10 journalists
By Hillel Italie
Posted August 21, 2014
A photographer for the Getty agency and two German reporters were among the latest journalists arrested while covering protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.
At least 10 journalists have been arrested or detained since Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was killed Aug. 9 by officer Darren Wilson. Reporters for CNN, Al Jazeera America and other outlets say they have been harassed or physically threatened.
The arrests and detainments, which have ranged from several minutes to several hours, have been widely criticized: President Obama said last week that police “should not be bullying or arresting” reporters for merely doing their jobs. Last Friday, 48 American media organizations, including The Associated Press, sent a letter to law enforcement officials in Ferguson, criticizing the treatment of reporters. More…
Outrage! FCC Official Says a million people commenting will not make much difference
By Kevin Zeese
Posted July 27, 2014
More than a million people have spoken out in favor of real Net Neutrality. More than 3.4 million took some kind of action before the rulemaking began urging Net Neutrality. This has been the biggest public response the FCC has ever gotten on a policy matter ” but is the FCC listening? Will the voices of millions of people make a difference?
Sadly, a top official at the FCC, Gigi Sohn, told NPR: “A lot of these comments are one paragraph, two paragraphs, they don’t have much substance beyond, ‘we want strong Net Neutrality.” So, 1,067,779 people commenting will not make much difference. It is a very sad commentary on democracy in the United States. More…
Make it clear to the FCC, the only thing that will protect “the people” instead of the “the corporations” is to make the Internet a public utility. Nothing less!
Stopping Foreclosure – New Lamps For Old
by David Petrovich
Posted July 25, 2014
For millions, the manufactured American Dream of homeownership has metastasized into the nightmare reality of Zombie Foreclosures.
The sorcerer returns and is able to get his hands on the lamp by tricking Aladdin’s wife, who is unaware of the lamp’s importance, by offering to exchange “new lamps for old.”
The entire mortgage retirement or mortgage loan replacement program, which utilizes Eminent Domain, can best be accomplished by local non-profit agencies using public money without Wall Street bed partners and their private agenda. Instead of embracing schemes by the very foxes who guard the henhouse while munching on a steady diet of chicken legs, we’ll need to create and task 100’s of independent community agencies who will be responsible to their own community. More…
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