News

Is stress keeping you up at night? Here’s what you can do about insomnia

The Organic Prepper - 46 min 3 sec ago
by Lily Dane Originally Published at The Daily Sheeple

How often do you climb into bed after a long exhausting day, ready to catch some Zzzs…only to find that your … Read the rest

The post Is stress keeping you up at night? Here’s what you can do about insomnia appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Categories: News

ISIS given 'breathing space' in parts of Syria under US-backed forces' control

Citizens for Legitimate Government - 6 hours 16 min ago

ISIS given 'breathing space' in parts of Syria under US-backed forces' control | 18 Aug 2018 | Islamic State managed to regain access to Syrian oil fields and make profits from selling oil, a new UN report reveals. While the UN did not point fingers, the IS reemergence seems to occur in areas held by the US-backed forces. “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS (but still I-CIA-SIS)], having been defeated militarily in Iraq and most of the Syrian Arab Republic during 2017, rallied in early 2018. This was the result of a loss of momentum by forces fighting it in the east of the Syrian Arab Republic," the July 27 report from the UN Security Council's Sanctions Monitoring Team reads. The slow-down gave ISIS "breathing space to prepare for the next phase of its evolution into a global covert network."

Categories: News

Mueller recommends Papadopoulos be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison

Citizens for Legitimate Government - 6 hours 31 min ago

Mueller recommends Papadopoulos be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison | 17 Aug 2018 | Special counsel Robert Mueller has recommended that former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos be sentenced to zero to six months in prison and face a fine of $9,500. Mueller stated in a court filing Friday that those penalties "are warranted and appropriate" for Papadopoulos's conduct in lying to federal investigators. Mueller wrote in the filing that Papadopoulos chose to lie to federal investigators during a voluntary interview and that he "was expressly warned that it is a crime to lie to federal investigators."

Categories: News

Bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen was supplied by the US

Citizens for Legitimate Government - 6 hours 38 min ago

Bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen was supplied by the US | 17 Aug 2018 | The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was sold as part of a US State Department-sanctioned arms deal with Saudi Arabia, munitions experts told CNN. Working with local Yemeni journalists and munitions experts, CNN has established that the weapon that left dozens of children dead on August 9 was a 500-pound (227 kilogram) laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of the top US defense contractors.The bomb is very similar to the one that wreaked devastation in an attack on a funeral hall in Yemen in October 2016 [Another Saudi-US war crime?] in which 155 people were killed and hundreds more wounded.

Categories: News

Bruce Ohr Texts, Emails Reveal Steele's Deep Ties to Obama DOJ, FBI

Citizens for Legitimate Government - 7 hours 25 min ago

Bruce Ohr Texts, Emails Reveal Steele's Deep Ties to Obama DOJ, FBI | 16 Aug 2018 | A trove of emails and handwritten notes from Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr exposes the continuous contact and communication between the DOJ attorney and anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele, according to notes and documents obtained by SaraACarter.com. The emails and notes were written between 2016 and 2017. The notes and emails also reveal that Ohr was in communication with Glenn Simpson, the founder of the embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to hire Steele. In one of Ohr's that Steele is "very concerned about Comey's firing, afraid they will be exposed."

Categories: News

Leaked Emails Show ‘Resist Marxism’ Implosion, As San Jose, Boston, Austin, Seattle, & Tucson Counter Mobilize

It's Goin Down - 8 hours 36 min ago

The post Leaked Emails Show ‘Resist Marxism’ Implosion, As San Jose, Boston, Austin, Seattle, & Tucson Counter Mobilize appeared first on It's Going Down.

It’s been a bad month for the various sections of the Alt-Right. In Portland and Berkeley, Alt-Lite, Patriot, neo-Nazis, and neo-Confederates were badly out numbered and were coddled and protected by the police. The blow back to the police attack on anti-racist and antifascist demonstrators has completely obliterated the police narrative of the day’s events, leading to disruptions of Portland City Council meetings, and even calls for Mayor Ted Wheeler to be fired. Mass mobilizations in Washington DC and in Charlottesville, Virginia have shown that the explicitly white nationalist section of the Alt-Right is in shambles, the direct result of broad and mass, antifascist mobilization, education, and organization.

Say it ain’t so goys. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Far-Right cadres hoped instead to overwhelm anti-racist and antifascist organizers with a series of big events and large numbers, and also paint – say it with me: ANTIFA, as violent attackers. This is why before the first Alt-Right events in August had started, people in Boston associated with the group, ‘Resist Marxism’ were calling for rallies against “Far-Left Wing Violence.”

Ironically their window dressing for the event was the events in Portland on June 30th, where antifacists prevented Patriot Prayer from marching, and InfoWars and other “conservative” outlets grew collective erections while playing over and over again footage of members of the Proud Boys splitting people’s heads open and sending them to the hospital, all with the backup of the local police who shot antifascists with pepper ball guns.

Stamp out the fascists in Austin this Saturday—1 PM at the Capitol. MOOOO! #TexasFight #HookEm #AllOutATX #AllOut pic.twitter.com/5Yx0L2iRR7

— Bevo MCCCXII (@Bevo1312) August 17, 2018

Resist Marxism hoped to have this weekend upwards of 10 events across the US, all building off the far-Right energy that they hoped would be growing since the events in Portland. But due to a series of setbacks, event cancellations, infighting, self-doxxing, and as we will present, the leaking of the groups internal emails, the group’s plans quickly fell apart in some cities.

Free Speech Boston, Resist Marxism, Unite the Right, and the Big Fascist Tent

Inspired by figures such as Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman and the success of violent “free speech” rallies organized in Berkeley, a group in 2017 came together entitled “Free Speech Boston.” The group then morphed into, “Resist Marxism,” and on the surface presented itself as open to both “Conservatives” and “Libertarians,” but from the outset was comprised of people across the far-Right, and brought together militants from the militia movement, the Patriot movement, the Alt-Right, and even hardcore neo-Nazi organizations.

Patriot Front member and former Proud Boy Christopher Raymond Hood poses with Kyle Chapman.

But as Think Progress showed with a collection of released internal communications, Resist Marxism was also tied closely with members of violent white nationalist organizations, such as the American Guard and Patriot Front. Above all, the group sought to create a “safe space” for far-Right and white nationalist ideas, while cloaking them in “free speech” rhetoric.

From the article:

Further evidence of Resist Marxism’s real nature can be seen in their private group messages. Behind their free speech-supporting front, when they think no one is watching, the group regularly traffics in racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism — all in the same “ironic” voice seen in far-right corners of the web like Gab or 4chan’s politically incorrect board.

The group chat is swamped with antisemitic jokes, discussion of the war in Syria, criticisms of how Trump was being manipulated (namely by Israel) into abandoning his “America First” agenda, as well as references to RM and their various events around Boston. Group chat members speak optimistically about RM potentially becoming a “true non optics Nazi organisation.”

But the crossover between Boston Free Speech and Resist Marxism and the Alt-Right and neo-Nazi groups doesn’t stop there. Local antifascists have documented Resist Marxism members with fascist and white nationalist tattoospassing out racist flyers, and using neo-Nazi skinhead members from groups like the Vinlanders at security.

Gabriel Brown stands next to Chris “Crying Nazi” Cantwell, holding a shirt promoting the neo-Nazi group Anti-Communist Action which was exposed by Unicorn Riot for planning bomb attacks.

One Resist Marxism organizer, Gabriel Brown, also attended the neo-Nazi Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August of 2017, and can even been seen clearly on the Resist Marxism homepage banner. Another Resist Marxism fellow traveler Jovi Val, was also involved in organizing and attending the disastrous, Unite the Right #2 rally in DC.

Unite the Right attendee and Resist Marxism organizer Gabriel Brown seen in center with goatee.

A Few Resist Marxism Events Fall Apart While Seattle, Boston, Tucson, Austin, and San Jose Remain

On August 4th, Resist Marxism activists in Providence, Rhode Island called for a rally, on the same day at the Portland demonstration, however the demonstration was shut down in less than 30 minutes. Members of American Guard were seen on hand at the rally, along with other white nationalists, fascists, and members of the Alt-Right.

August 18, 12:30pm
San Jose Convention Center pic.twitter.com/9swEScSvvQ

— Berkeley Antifa (@berkeleyantifa) August 14, 2018

As Resist Marxism quickly fell in Providence and the month of August wore on, Resist Marxism events that were called quickly were cancelled, either due to lack of interest, or infighting between organizers. In Los Angeles, Buffalo, Springfield, and in rural West Virginia, events were announced and then like a union organizer under Pinochet, disappeared. For some reason, Resist Marxism is also not promoting Joey Gibson’s event in Seattle although it is happening on the same day.

Somebody really started promoting this counter-demo during the past couple days pic.twitter.com/miJ2rf5NB7

— Data Skank (@spacedeath2) August 16, 2018

Regardless, other rallies are set to take place in Boston, Austin, Tucson, and San Jose – with opposition marches and demonstrations also being called. More info here.

Let’s Give Em Something To Doxx About

But soon Resist Marxism had more problems than connections to neo-Nazis that hurt their “optics” and declining interest in the “Far-Left Violence” rallies. A few days ago, people became aware that a website that has been associated with the rallies for weeks now was starting to publish the names and addresses of people who had not yet paid for Resist Marxism t-shirts.

When this became public, the people in charge of the Resist Marxism Facebook page claimed that the website was a fake and set up without their knowledge. As commenters quickly pointed out, the URL had been linked from the Facebook account since last month, making such claims very “fake news.”

Lol. Jen Loh and the March Against Far Left Violence are now claiming that their homepage where they doxed their own nazi followers is Fake News, despite this being an obvious lie.

Obvious lies are a Texans United For America specialty. #AllOutATX pic.twitter.com/OOuR7dlOz2

— Kit O'Connell (@KitOConnell) August 15, 2018

Writing for The Daily Beast, Kelly Weill wrote that soon Resist Marxism organizers were changing their tune:

Hours later, the Facebook page changed its story, editing its status to clarify that yes, they had promoted the site with the fake t-shirts, but only because a stranger had asked them to.

“This ‘patriot’ came out of no where with an already built web page saying it was built to donate to the cause,” the Facebook moderators wrote. “A gift to this cause. Turns out it’s not and it was a fake website made to lure people into it. We are sorry about that.”

“JFC, Mark,” one person wrote on the official march page, linking to the ThinkProgress article, “this is the second time you’ve gotten infiltrated and gotten everyone around you doxxed in less than three months.”

But the humiliation didn’t stop there, in a collection of emails that was forwarded to It’s Going Down, it includes a slew angry messages (we’ve deleted any personal names or phone numbers) that attack personally the Resist Marxism organizers:

[Person 1] I don’t know what the hell is going but this is completely insane. It is beyond me how you people can expect to organize a national march if you cannot even handle freaking t shirt orders! You are all idiots, this would be pathetic if it didn’t have honeypot written all over it…. consider my order canceled! I guess we can’t even have one event thats drama free… SMH!

[Person 2]I was the organizer of the Buffalo March Against Far-Left Violence, but I backed out of this days ago when the FBI came to visit me at my office and ask about the March.I had no clue why they were interested in a peaceable assembly, but now it looks like the organizers of this were doing some shady business behind all of our backs. I just cancelled my march.Please take me OFF this list. I disavow this organization in all its forms.

[Person 3] Everyone alert!! Something is very fishy about today’s emails.

1) I never signed up for a shirt, especially since the LA event has been cancelled due to a reason I have NOT been told – the Facebook page for the event is down. Could be Antifa or someone tampering, who knows? Truly cowardly if that’s the case. 2) I don’t appreciate my email being CCd publicly. Unless members of an interest group specifically agree to their email info being published, the professional procedure is to use BCC when sending a bulk email. 3) MOST inappropriate is the publishing of people’s ADDRESSES. Thank God my address listed is out of date, but I am shocked that we are being called “deadbeats” and having our info published. I didn’t sign up for a shirt.

So, until there is a formal addressing of this issue from **** or ***, I encourage anyone on this list to contact the organizers directly through the Facebook page and report what is going on.

[Person 4] But what is clear to me is that this particular protest isn’t worth the risk. Personally, I’m going to sit this one out. They can’t silence us forever. There’ll be another event soon enough, one that won’t have clouds of suspicion hanging over it. 

[Person 5] If there ever was any doubt that this event was an ANTIFA psy-op, this is it.PATRIOTS, DON’T ATTEND THIS MARCH. The ANTIFA secret agents, *** and ****, will report you to the FBI and the DemoRATS if you show up…… DONT GO!!! They ALREADY posted our phone numbers and addresses publicly, and now ANTIFA is making fun of us on twitter!! Jen Loh and Mark Sahady played RIGHT into ANTIFA’s hands!! Probably funded by SOROSI REPEAT: DON’T ATTEND THIS MARCH!!

[Person 6] If there are any Antifa members here, I want you to see this. My phone number is ### ###-####, if these other patriots are going to be doxd so will I. But I want you to know, I am always carrying, if you come to my house or job and attempt to cause any type of harm or damage you will be shot dead. 

Without any evidence the (former) attendees of Resist Marxism seem dead set on the idea that due to a very intricate “antifa phys-ops,” their information was collected against their will and then released when they didn’t pay for a t-shirt. They seem unwilling to believe that their “friends” on the Alt-Right would be capable of doing this all on their own, despite all the evidence to the contrary. In many ways, it really doesn’t matter.

Communities across the US are gearing up tomorrow to demonstrate against Resist Marxism, which is a smokescreen for Alt-Right and white nationalist ideas and violence – at least, what’s left of it.

Categories: News

Unstoppable: The Night Charlottesville Took Its Power Back

It's Goin Down - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 21:56

The post Unstoppable: The Night Charlottesville Took Its Power Back appeared first on It's Going Down.

Report from last Saturday’s mobilization in Charlottesville on the one year anniversary of Unite the Right.

The evening of Saturday, August 11th, 2018 marked the first event in a weekend of memorial events and counter protests on the one-year anniversary of the first Unite the Right (UTR) rally. The reverent memorial event planned on Saturday was hosted and organized by Students Act Against White Supremacy on UVA’s campus. After approximately 25 minutes of starting the event police in full riot gear formed a semi-phalanx formation, interlocking their elbows as if they weren’t facing an unarmed crowd with shields, guns, and clubs. Their aim was clear – to intimidate a mourning community into submission.

Chants of “Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see no riot here!” began to swell as the crowd formed their own line of defense against the police. City councilmember Wes Bellamy was present and plainly stated that he thought the actions of the police were unreasonable, although he did little to interfere. Eventually, it became clear that the police weren’t going to leave the crowd alone, leading this stationary speaking event to evolve into a massive march of 500 – 1000 people.

The march began with an almost eerie silence, with many in the crowd seeming uncertain of the action but acting in solidarity despite threats of violence from the police. This quickly developed into a movement of determined and invigorated people who had spent the last year living in fear and under intense media exploitation only to be attacked by their own police force at this moment of mourning and healing. The people of Charlottesville had clearly had enough and were ready to tell the world.

As night fell, chants of “We are unstoppable, a new world is possible,” “Avenge Heather Heyer,” and “Corey Long did nothing wrong,” echoed across the city. As the march winded through different areas in and around downtown, other residents came out of their homes and the nearby bars and restaurants to thank those in attendance, with many joining the march. As the march continued late into the evening, approaching the downtown mall area where Heather was murdered and dozens of our friends and fellow workers were badly injured, the police decided to make another attack on the peaceful crowd.

One last raucous chant of “What goes up must come down; take these fucking statues down!” roared as the police charged the march with shields and weapons – some with standard issue batons and others with blunt instruments that didn’t seem to be any sort of police equipment. It became clear that the police were not only intent on doing severe harm to the crowd, but that the only part of Charlottesville worth protecting to them was this luxury store front shopping area. As those in the front of the march attempted to turn the crowd away from the police, they set upon the crowd driving a wedge between several smaller clusters of people, leading to the rest of the crowd disbanding under threat of harm.

While this behavior on the end of the police may have been entirely predictable, the power reclaimed by the people of Charlottesville was a thing of awe. Not only did they successfully defy the arbitrary confines set up by police, but not a single (citizen) fascist dared to show their face, leaving those in attendance to shout into the night sky as a thunderous unified voice that their city was done being known only as the poor victim of organized fascist violence.

The people of Charlottesville unequivocally demonstrated that they mean business when it comes to opposing fascism, whether they are wearing hoods, polo shirts, or badges.

Despite the best efforts of politically motivated news media personalities to demonize the march and its participants, there was no property damage, no arrests made, and no major injuries to speak of. The fearful contingent of police who lashed out in spats of violence against the peaceful and unarmed crowd were the only violent incidents of note, a few brief seconds that pale in comparison to the beautiful and powerful moment that was the night of 8/11/18 – the night Charlottesville took its power back.

Categories: News

Child Abuse, the Catholic Church and the Justice of Real Consequences

Truth Out - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 21:50

I was born Boston Irish Catholic, did First Communion and Confession (but balked at Confirmation, I am pleased to note), went to a Catholic junior high and a Jesuit college, and taught at a Catholic high school. The first and only CCD (think “Sunday School”) teacher I ever had was the now-notorious rapist of children, Father Paul Shanley. Suffice it to say, I know the Church, and can still recite the “Our Father” prayer in Latin. Pater noster, qui est en chaelis, etc. etc. etc.

I abandoned the Church years before the pedophilia scandals erupted into public consciousness, but when the pedophilia scandals exploded two blocks from my house on the doorstep of the cardinal’s residence in Boston, I realized who Shanley was, and how close I had come to danger (I very specifically remember him looking like an animated cadaver as he stood in the light from the window, so I skipped all but the first CCD classes because he creeped me out so much). Behind all the incense and the soaring cathedral walls was an edifice built on hiding the tears of children that were shed because of the actions of trusted priests and the church leadership who protected them.

My relationship with the Church began with fear, then morphed over the years into fearful respect, then respect in disagreement, then disdain, until I finally landed in a cold puddle of perfect horror … and that was all before the Pennsylvania report this week:

A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she’d had her tonsils removed. Another priest forced a 9-year-old boy into having oral sex, then rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water. One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him.

Those children are among the victims of roughly 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania who molested more than 1,000 children — and possibly many more — since the 1940s, according to a sweeping state grand jury report released Tuesday that accused senior church officials, including a clergyman who is now the archbishop of Washington, DC, of systematically covering up complaints.

Top church officials have mostly been protected and many, including some named in the report, have been promoted, the grand jury said, concluding that “it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal.”

One of the more insidious aspects of the Church is the manner in which it has boll-weeviled its way into areas involving the most vulnerable among us (besides children). San Francisco in the mid-1990s wanted to give LGBTQ city workers equal benefits, but the Church said no, and threatened to stop performing hospice work for the city’s AIDS patients if the city went through with the plan. Because the Church performed the vast majority of the city’s AIDS hospice work at the time, the city was forced to back down. The same goes for Catholic Charities, which is hugely into adoptions.

In other words, mess with the Church and you risk blowing up the chance for kids to find a good home. I am just cynical enough today to see all this as deliberate. Make yourself indispensable and no one can touch you … which is why what I am proposing will hurt a lot of good people in the short term.

This entire nightmare is the end result of an existence without genuine consequences. The Catholic church has enjoyed that existence long enough.

My proposal: Padlock every Catholic church in the country. Strip them of any tax-exempt status they enjoy and any tax breaks they may get from state and local governments, shut the whole damned thing down, until this unfathomable crime spree is fully and completely adjudicated.

A criminal organization running an illegal operation of such length and breadth would face RICO charges the likes of which no Mafiosi has ever seen. Instead, we get another Pope making another apology.

“Victims should know that the Pope is on their side,” read the Vatican statement of August 16. “Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent. Regarding the report made public in Pennsylvania this week, there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame and sorrow.”

Not enough. Not anymore.

At the end of the day, religious institutions are mostly subservient to the state on matters of criminal law. Even the priest-penitent veil is not absolute if a judge so decides. If Catholic priests were planning and executing murders in the churches themselves, and the bishops were conspiring to cover it up, those churches would be deemed crimes scenes and shuttered for the collection of evidence.

Priests have been conspiring to harm children under the roofs of churches for generations, and church authorities have been covering it up. The problem is systemic, from Boston to Pittsburgh to California and who knows where else. Until the whole and absolute truth of this is determined in broad daylight, every Catholic church must be considered a possible crime scene and sealed accordingly. The victims deserve nothing less.

In order to properly pursue these investigations, laws regarding the statute of limitations — the window of time in which a crime can be prosecuted — must be altered to reflect the circumstances. In Pennsylvania, the window for legal action can be as short as two years. The abuse report sternly noted that thousands more victims exist beyond those noted. Some died in the intervening years, others refused to come forward, and virtually all of them have no legal recompense because the statute of limitations expired. When the last large abuse scandal was exposed by the Boston Globe, the church lobbied fiercely against lifting or changing those statutes. That must not happen again.

I do not believe the government should commonly be the in business of shutting down religious institutions, nor do I hold some cruel desire to see Catholic parishioners permanently cut off from their houses of worship. These are grimly uncommon times, and I offer this proposal from a place of desperation. Every other strategy for confronting the systemic, institutionally enabled mass abuse of children — from concerted activism from within the Catholic church, to public shaming, to financial penalties — has failed for decades. The dilemma is as simple as it is horrific: Rapists within the church continue to maintain their access to children, and have not been punished for previous crimes. It must be stopped.

I see this as a very small, weak and unjust proposal because it does not in any way measure up to the unfathomable crimes that have been committed. It is, however, a beginning. The shortfalls that will arise in the absence of church services — and they will be legion — can be made up by individuals and organizations that have not spent decades covering up the serial rape and abuse of thousands upon thousands of children.

Because of the priests who have committed these crimes and the church authorities who collaborated to cover it up, Catholic churches in the United States have surrendered their moral right to remain open and in operation until this matter is resolved down to the last abuser, the last victim and the last collaborator. The churches are all potential crime scenes and must be treated as such. Statutes of limitations must be lifted to free the victims from legal constraint. At long last, it is enough.

The post Child Abuse, the Catholic Church and the Justice of Real Consequences appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Training in Durango, CO

It's Goin Down - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 21:21

The post Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Training in Durango, CO appeared first on It's Going Down.

From Saturday September 1st to Sunday, September 2nd, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief will be holding a free training in Durango, Colorado. Don’t miss out if you are in the area!

The Mutual Aid Disaster Relief (MADRelief) Training Team is visiting our community. Currently MADRelief is on a national capacity-building and educational tour. They will explain how natural storms turn into unnatural disasters through dangerous new forms of “disaster capitalism” and “extreme resource extraction,” and train diverse affinity groups on principles of grassroots direct action humanitarian aid and crisis response, covering a wide range of topics such as “Principles of ‘Solidarity, Not Charity,’” “Scouting, Mapping, and Understanding Your Community’s Resources,” “Building Power in Collaboration,” “Overcoming Trauma Together,” and “The Logic of Logistics.”

The reality of the climate chaos which is already redefining our future, coupled with rapidly escalating inequality and the civil political unrest that follows, is only worsened by a failing model of crisis management and aid programs centered around political opportunism and disaster capitalism. The time is right for developing a trained and empowered standing network of organizers and volunteers who can help communities rebuild with a vision centered on local community control, collaboration and innovation, and political, economic and social sustainability. MADRelief is developing a community of grassroots crisis responders, continually growing in size and efficacy, which will be at-the-ready to assist and empower communities to overcome natural and unnatural disasters – from hurricanes to hate rallies, from mudslides to mine waste spills – and to transform these tragedies into opportunities for collective liberation.

MADRelief envisions a new form of humanitarian aid, one that is participatory and empowering. One that exemplifies the principle of “Solidarity, Not Charity.” Founded by an already very active network of radical humanitarian aid workers experienced via Common Ground Relief, Occupy Sandy, the Standing Rock Water Protectors, and the long history of diverse movements seeking to make a better world possible, MADRelief is organizing a new network to facilitate inter-community disaster preparation and grassroots direct action humanitarian aid and crisis response . This tour is the first step in a “training campaign” that will strategically and progressively build necessary skills and shared knowledge in local groups that are a part of the rapidly-growing MADRelief network.

September 1st, 2018 – 1PM-3PM, September 2nd, 2018 – 1PM-5PM, Windom Room, Durango Rec Center, 2700 Main Ave., Durango, CO

MutualAidDisasterRelief.org
facebook.com/MutualAidDisasterRelief
twitter.com/MutualAidRelief
instagram.com/MutualAidDisasterRelief

Further reading:

The Need for Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief as Antidote to Corporate Colonialism

Resistance is Disaster Relief

Dreaming With Our Hands: On Autonomy, In(ter)dependence, and the Regaining of the Commons

The Disaster is the Colony

Categories: News

Comrade Malik Speaks: Retaliation & Repression in a South Texas Prison

It's Goin Down - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 20:30

The post Comrade Malik Speaks: Retaliation & Repression in a South Texas Prison appeared first on It's Going Down.

Comrade Malik speaks on ongoing horrific conditions inside South Texas Prisons.

“Any kind of act that’s designed to delay or deprive you and me, right now, of getting full rights, that’s the government that’s responsible. And any time you find the government involved in a conspiracy to violate the citizenship or civil rights of a people in 1964 [or 2018!–Malik] then you are wasting your time going to that government expecting redress. Instead you have to take that government to the World Court and accuse it of genocide and all of the other crimes that it is guilty of today.” –Malcolm X, excerpt from “The Ballot or the Bullet,” King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit Michigan, April 12, 1964

Revolutionary Greetings, Sisters and Brothers!

Well, it is Black August, and the white supremacists and fascists at the FBI have collaborated with all the white supremacists and fascists inside the Texas prisons, and have tried to bury my ass in a cement slab death-trap in Beeville, Texas. Don’t be fooled or tricked – this is a well-coordinated retaliation and repression campaign.

I don’t need to be long-winded to actually describe to you what is happening and what I would like some of y’all to do in order to aid me to overcome this.

I should be headed to general population, but the Central Texas Fusion Center which works in concert with the FBI and the DHS decided to label me a National Security Threat!! So they got slick. Made it “look like” I was getting out of Ad-Seg. Even went as far as transferring me Ramsey I Unit in Rosharon, Texas. They took all the shackles and chains off, let me walk to chow, get some hugs and some ‘dap’ from brothers who know me and love me, and then the next morning at 4:30 AM, they came and got me!!

I was re-shackled and re-chained, and then I was sent to the worst Ad-Seg unit I have ever been to — McConnell Unit Administrative Segregation located in Beeville, Texas! Now the game done got dirty, y’all — I need some legal help, ’cause this ain’t right!

The oppressors have been treating me like I am Osama bin Laden! For some reason, I can only be pulled out of my cell with a video camera on me. So the officers here use that as a reason to deny me showers and recreation! The in-cell temperatures here reach 110˚F! But it’s just this specific section — allow me to elaborate.

I’ve been placed in an Ad-Seg cell on 2-Row on F-Pod, F-Section. My cell is F-82. It is covered with black soot from a previous fire. The ventilation (HVAC system) is “broken,” so they say. One officer however said, “They had it shut off when they brought you here, Malik.” Yeah, just about everybody here, even the pigs, know me as Malik or Comrade Malik.

This entire section is exposed to deadly heat extremes – right now! On 1 Row, we have seven cells F-71 through F-77; on 2-Row, it’s F-78 through F-84. There is absolutely no ventilation inside these cells. There are tiny holes in our cell doors; they are covered with Plexi-Glass! No oxygen, folks! Just a small crevice at the bottom of the door – it is a formula for disaster.

These cells are made of concrete slabs, which absorb extreme heat during the day and then release it at night! The senior warden here is Phillip Sifuentes and the Assistant Warden over Ad-Seg is G. Miller. They know all about the inhuman conditions inside these cells, but when I try to discuss the problem with them, they say something slick like, “Tell the taxpayers; I don’t give a damn, I work with what they give me!” Pretty professional, huh?

The Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice has a multi-billion dollar budget. They have over 110 prison facilities. They don’t have to force human beings to live like this, but they do it! What is very unsettling to me in this particular section F-Pod (F-Section), the living conditions are horrible.

I’ve noticed that a disproportionate number of the prisoners in this section are Black males! There are appearances of a type of unwritten racial profiling program which targets Blacks specifically for placement in the Hot Box – the racist oppressors did this in South during slavery!

Something illegal, unethical, and unjust is happening right here in the McConnell Unit. And what is happening is being promoted, condoned, and sanctioned by the Federal government! That’s right, the Feds!!

You see, I have become a target because I say #BlackLivesMatter! Because I say, #EndPrisonSlavery! because I say, let Our People Go! Because I say #AbolishICE! I have become a target because I say that we are not so much facing a RACE WAR but we are engaged in a CLASS WAR!

Listen to these names: Abe Martinez (US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas). Miguel Martinez (TDCJ Region IV Director). Phillip Sifuentes (Senior Warden, McConnell Unit). These ‘sound like’ names of individuals who should be comrades in the struggle! But like so many Brown and Black people, they have sold their soul for a jelly roll, and do the bidding of the fascist imperialist oppressors! In fact, sisters and brothers, they ARE the oppressor!!

For sure, racism in Amerika is alive and well, but there is something more sinister going on. Sean Swain is a white male prisoner in Ohio who has a big ol’ beard like me; he served in the US Army just like me; he is a member of the IWW like me and he is an abolitionist just like me! Even though he’s a white man and I am Black! And like me, the US government has conspired with the Ohio Department of Corrections to place Sean in a position where perhaps death seems to be the only option. I say to Sean Swain – Stay strong, comrade! Help is on the way! We will expose this Federal repression program together!

What I really need down here in Texas is media exposure, legal aid, and I really need y’all to contact state and federal legislators! Remember, the best antiseptic for injustice is sunlight!

Dare to Struggle — dare to win!

All Power to the People!

Keith “Comrade Malik” Washington

Malik is a leader of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter) and of the movement to Abolish the 13th Amendment, which legalizes slavery in prisons.

Categories: News

Toronto: Report from August 11th Anti-Fascist Mobilization

It's Goin Down - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 20:00

The post Toronto: Report from August 11th Anti-Fascist Mobilization appeared first on It's Going Down.

This report back from a very successful #AllOutAugust mobilization in Toronto first was published on Northshore Counter-Info.

This is a report on the anti-fascist mobilization against the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam (WCAI) in Toronto on August 11, 2018. It’s written by an individual and is not intended to be comprehensive – for a fuller picture, see reports from Anti-Racist Canada here and here, the Toronto General Defence Committee, No Borders Media (source for the photos), and the video from THREAT.

The story began when the WCAI, which is based in Alberta, called for an “epic rally” in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. WCAI prides itself on putting “political correctness in the trash where it belongs,” and by that they mean embracing the racist label, openly referring to Muslims and immigrants as ‘sewage,’ and calling for extreme violence against anti-fascists. Several racist rallies have been unable to take the streets of Ontario in recent months due to anti-fascist mobilizing, so the WCAI claimed they were flying in from Alberta to lead a coalition of the most violence-prone groups (Proud Boys, Soldiers of Odin, Northern Guard, the Canadian Nationalist Front and the Canadian Combat Coalition) and “take back Toronto.” It was called for August 11th, one year after Charlottesville.

Given the increased potential for violence, organizers in Toronto reached out to anti-fascists across Ontario and Quebec. The IWW General Defence Committee and Toronto Against Fascism (RCP) called for a militant demo. The folks at Anti-Racist Canada got hold of an interview between white nationalist Ronny Cameron and WCAI leader Joey DeLuca and published an expose of their machinations, including an idea for a torch-lit march. Whoops. ARC also dug into their archives to find various screenshots exposing the WCAI crew for their explicitly white supremacist and Neo-Nazi leanings. It had the desired effect. Journalists published stories about the WCAI’s plans and intentions. A coalition of anti-racist orgs and labour unions called for another counter-demo in the square (mostly the “love not hate” variety). Click-tivism successfully targeted the WCAI’s crowdfunding campaign, their webpage and their social media accounts.

The pressure was on, and racist groups started dropping out. Joey DeLuca wrote a now-infamous piece called “Why we can’t cuck out August 11th” basically pleading for turnout at his rally. Then, the leader of the Jewish Defence League, a far-right zionist organization in Toronto with funding and muscle that often supports ‘patriot’ rallies, publicly denounced the WCAI for being anti-Semitic and for choosing the anniversary of Charlottesville for their rally. This would prove to be the death blow for Joey’s rally, who canceled his flight and called it off the next day – wait sorry, “postponed.” He publicly claimed he was canceling it because of a conflicting event in the square – a Bollywood Festival that was also canceled. Seriously, we couldn’t make this shit up. And the infighting has only escalated from there.

Plans for a counter-demonstration were transformed into plans for a victory rally. Then, Sandra Solomon, a Toronto-based Islamophobic Youtuber Catholic supremacist, stepped forward and declared that the rally would continue and that she would run it. This was no longer looking like “Charlottesville North,” just regular old wingnut Toronto.

On August 11, hundreds of anti-fascists and anti-racists converged in Nathan Phillips Square, and were met by a large and aggressive police presence. Cops attempted to erect metal barricades around the counter-demo, but militants were smart to fight back for control of the entrances into the square. It worked. This led to a standoff with police in the hot sun, while antifa was provided a steady supply of freezies by the “Snack Bloc.” Every so often, a lone white supremacist who didn’t get the memo about the canceled rally would show up, provoke the crowd by saying something like “White Power!”, and then get punched several times before being run out of the square. A couple far-Right photographers were spotted and also dealt with fairly efficiently. A photographer with the Toronto Sun, a right-wing trash paper, had his hat scooped and some journalists are trying to make a scandal out of it.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v3.1'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

WCAI Fails to Rally in Toronto – 08/11/18

The Saturday August 11, Shut Down WCAI: no fascists on our streets! rally was a complete, total and stunning success of anti-fascist mobilization. A handful of haters fled from Toronto's public square, even as police held space for their ideas. The forces of hatred and division were left in total disarray. Everyone who was part of this victory deserves to kick back with a beverage of their choice, celebrate the victories of the present and prepare for the struggles of the future.Special thanks to Montréal Antifasciste for making the trek to support activists in Toronto, to Toronto IWW General Defence Committee Local 28 for its stellar organizing efforts and to the folks at http://antiracistcanada.blogspot.com for their incredible work in aggregating and archiving the many facets of this complex and fast-moving story.

Posted by Threat on Sunday, August 12, 2018

Finally, Sandra Solomon was spotted by scouts a few blocks away, several hours late to her own party. Several crews departed the square and surrounded her. Turns out her rally was a whopping 3 people. A large contingent of police escorted her to the building adjacent to Nathan Philips Square. Interestingly, by watching Sandra’s own livestream, we see that the cops escorting Sandra are very unhappy with having to protect this small ass group against hundreds of fired up anti-fascists, tell Sandra she’s not allowed to use her megaphone, and ask Sandra’s friend to refrain from singing an out-of-tune O Canada (“You’re making our jobs harder.”) The cops tell Sandra that they can negotiate with her, whereas provoking the anti-fascists is like “poking a hornet’s nest.” They are genuinely afraid of us in numbers. So let’s continue to be hornets.

After being escorted into the building, Sandra insisted that she be allowed to rally. The cops reluctantly let her into the square, where her and her minions lasted literally 10 seconds before running full speed back inside, providing us with this very enjoyable video. Sandra then told her livestream viewers that they were cowards and traitors for not showing up, and declared this would be her last rally. One can only hope.

After declaring victory, antifa marched to 52 division to demand that police release the 2 arrested comrades. En route we got word that Sandra was spotted going into the Eaton Centre Mall, so we made a stop. This resulted in a fine spectacle of several dozen masked hooligans leaning over the railing at the mall and taunting the Islamophobes with various profanities, as shoppers looked on in confusion. We then proceeded to the police station only to find out that the arrested had already been released.

Overall, this pathetic WCAI attempt to “take back Toronto” galvanized anti-fascist networks across southern Ontario and Quebec, earning us important tactical experience holding space together and facing off against the police, and providing a huge morale boost for future organizing. Thanks, Joey! At the same time we see a substantial portion of the anglophone far-right destroying itself over the usual questions of white supremacy and anti-Semitism. While we should remain vigilant against the rise of the far right, as anarchists we should also continue to engage critically with anti-fascism and not lose sight of our goals – but these are questions for another article. Tonight, we allow ourselves to enjoy a victory.

Categories: News

For anarchy, not anarchism

Anarchist News - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 19:51

via ediciones ineditos

Why for anarchy and not for anarchism? This may seem like a small point to split hairs over but it is a point which is important to us. It is important because we are interested in a vital anarchist (anti-state communist) milieu. For us anarchism points to the notion that there could be a special set of practices (forms) which can be found out to be complentary for a free life for all. We feel this is foolish and assumes human life could ever take on a singular form. Life should take on the form necessary for its free reproduction, unlike its current state which only serves those who rule/control us.

Classical anarchism (i.e. European anarchism) was in many ways a pursuit of the best practices for/of anarchy: whether the mutualism of Proudhon, the collectivism of Bakunin, the individualism of the Bonnot gang or the communism of Kropotkin. As we want to distance ourselves from Eurocentric anarchy, we feel that there should be some leeway when it comes to all this; though it should be a tempered leeway. For us the emphasis should be on content over form. Let us explain.

The communization current often writes about this. For them it is not a question of radical democracy, equitable distribution, popular power, council-decision making, local self-management…but whether the set of relations are communist or not. Communism becomes the basis for judgment. Why? Because communism constitutes set of relations which are free, without measure, (and consequently) without exchange and without needless hierarchy. And this is something which most anarchists also aspire to. We want to wander away from anarchism because we feel it is more about defining how we should live than allowing us to live as we see fit, from time to time.

For instance, if some of us were to enter into a life or death battle then a consensus-based decision makes sense. We are all entering a situation where I lives may likely end. We should be able to decide our participation over own life or death. Now, if we are deciding whose house will hold the seasonal party do we really need a consensus? Do we even really need to come to a vote? Do we need democracy among friends? Do we put to a vote who will make the enchiladas or who will serve their homebrew? Probably not because this is not how daily life is generally decided. We rely on other factors to decide and other links of kinship/comradeship/friendship. This demonstrates the limitation of the fetishization of democracy (or consensus).

Also many speak of anarchism as though there is only one.i Recently one of us attended a free school gathering where a Classical Left-Anarchist presented their anarchism as the anarchism. Fortunately the attendees generally revolted against this conception, this insidious authority. We despise authority as much as we despise work and having to pay the rent. Instead of propping up our anarchism we prefer to gauge our forms against what is communist and what is not. We are anarchists that agree with the communization current when they say that the revolution is communization: or rather

“communisation will be the moment when [revolutionary] struggle will make possible, as a means for its continuation, the immediate production of communism. By communism we mean a collective organisation that has got rid of all the mediations which, at present, serve society by linking individuals among them : money, the state, value, classes, etc….Communism will thus be the moment when individuals will link together directly, without their inter-individual relations being superimposed by categories to which everyone owes obedience.”ii

This is briefly to state that the institution of communism and anarchy is not a pre-revolutionary possibility but a possibility that arises out of revolutionary struggle. This is why we prefer to speak of communism instead of anarchism. Communism becomes a revolutionary verb, whereas anarchism becomes a pre-revolutionary dead weight (noun) that some try to impose on the present (or future). This is why we say we are for anarchy (a condition) and for communism (a verb).

iThough truly, anarchism has never been pro-capitalist. Anarcho-capitalism is but an online abberration.

iide Mattis, Léon. “What Is Communisation.” Libcom, 16 Nov. 2011, libcom.org/library/what-communisation.

Tags: definitionsanarchy and anarchismcommunismcategory: Essays
Categories: News

Seward Workers Bring Concerns to Administrators

Grassroots Economic Survival - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 18:03
Link: Seward Workers Bring Concerns to Administrators

A group of Seward Community Co-op workers and allies went to the Creamery administrative offices to draw attention to what they allege are inconsistencies in the application of the attendance policy leading to the unfair firing of Calista Adedoye.

 

Watch more from Workday Minnesota

 

Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Sizing Up Trump’s Dirty Replacement for the Clean Power Plan

deSmog - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 17:55
Read time: 3 minsTrump digs coal

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Thirteen months ago, we made some guesses about what a replacement for the Clean Power Plan might look like. We speculated the new rule would be the sort of “inside the fenceline” policy preferred by the industry–one where coal plants are only required to make marginal improvements, basically just upgrading existing plants to run more efficiently.

Such an approach, which makes coal plants more profitable to run and would keep them running for longer, would ultimately lead to even higher levels of pollution than if there was no policy at all.

Tags: Clean Power PlanCoal Power PlantsTrump AdministrationU.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Categories: News

Angela Davis: Aretha Franklin Offered to Post Bail for Me

Truth Out - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:14

In 1970, Aretha Franklin offered to post bail for Angela Davis, who was jailed on trumped-up charges. Aretha Franklin told Jet magazine in 1970, “My daddy says I don’t know what I’m doing. Well, I respect him, of course, but I’m going to stick by my beliefs. Angela Davis must go free. Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace. Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she’s a Black woman and she wants freedom for Black people. I have the money; I got it from Black people—they’ve made me financially able to have it—and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.” We speak with activist and scholar Angela Davis about what Aretha Franklin meant to her.

Please check back later for full transcript.

The post Angela Davis: Aretha Franklin Offered to Post Bail for Me appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

Aretha Franklin Was an Icon of the Civil Rights and Feminist Movements

Truth Out - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:14

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died Thursday at her home in Detroit at the age of 76. For decades, Aretha Franklin has been celebrated as one of the greatest American singers of any genre, who helped give birth to soul and redefined the American musical tradition. In 1987, Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She held the record for the most songs on the Billboard Top 100 for 40 years. Rolling Stone ranked her the greatest singer of all time on its top 100 list, calling her “a gift from God.” Her hit single “Respect” became part of the soundtrack to the civil rights movement, which she also supported behind the scenes. We speak with professors Mark Anthony Neal of Duke University and Farah Jasmine Griffin of Columbia University.

The post Aretha Franklin Was an Icon of the Civil Rights and Feminist Movements appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

The Self-Reliant Lifestyle Is Not Cute and Trendy…It’s A Lot of Work

The Organic Prepper - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:01
by Erica Nygaard Originally Published at Living Life in Rural Iowa

Editor’s Note: Has prepping got you overwhelmed? Erica has a brand new book to help you. It’s called The

Read the rest

The post The Self-Reliant Lifestyle Is Not Cute and Trendy…It’s A Lot of Work appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Categories: News

Unimpeachable Logic

Truth Out - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:54

The post Unimpeachable Logic appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

Dutch Memorial Day: Erasing People After Death

Truth Out - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:50

As the anniversary of Indonesian independence from the Netherlands approaches, a close look reveals a Dutch narrative that erases people along racial lines.

Indonesia declared independence from the Netherlands on Aug. 17, 1945. This followed 350 years of Dutch East India Company control and Dutch state rule, as well as Japanese occupation during WWII.

After the declaration, the Netherlands waged a war to re-establish colonial control over Indonesia. The war, whose dead included Indonesians killed by summary execution, cost an estimated 300,000 Indonesian lives compared with around 6,000 casualties on the Dutch side.

In Indonesia, national identity has been built around anti-colonial sentiment, and the history of Dutch violence is taught and discussed. There was much Indonesian attention for a court-ordered Dutch apology in 2011 for the 1947 massacres in Rawagede and for execution pictures that surfaced in 2012. Indonesian violence toward the Dutch is emphasized less, but not ignored.

How does the Netherlands deal with this history?

As a social scientist and director of Dutch and Flemish studies at the University of Michigan, I ask this question in my writing and teaching about issues of inclusion in the Dutch-language area.

The answer to that question: The Netherlands ignores the sacrifices of Indonesians. Here’s how and why.

Paid Independence

The Indonesian War of Independence of 1945-1949 ended with the signing of an internationally mediated independence agreement requiring Indonesia to take over the Dutch East India government’s debt, effectively paying the Netherlands 4.3 billion guilders for its independence. Payments continued until 2002.

A Western European nation thus rebuilt itself after World War II with Marshall Plan loansfrom the United States, plus a comparable amount of money from Indonesia, which was itself recovering from the war.

The struggle for historic justice for Indonesia continues today. One expression of that struggle unfolds on Dutch Memorial Day, May 4, the day when the Netherlands remembers its dead from World War II and after. The day involves a ceremony with two minutes of national silence and the laying of wreaths by the Dutch king and queen.

The Indonesians who fought against the Dutch and were killed in the ‘45-’49 war are not commemorated in this ceremony, despite the Dutch officially considering them Dutch at the time.

An Exclusive Memorial Day

Dutch Memorial Day is no stranger to protests against exclusion, and the Indonesian victims of the war are not the only ones who have been ignored on this day.

It took decades, for example, for Dutch Holocaust victims to be remembered.

Today a Dutch movement called “No May 4 For Me” protests the exclusion of Indonesian casualties from remembrance while their killers are remembered. Among the killers were former Dutch Nazis, who were sent to Indonesia after World War II to fight for Holland in the War for Independence.

Recognizing Indonesian Independence

So who is, and who is not, commemorated on Dutch Memorial Day?

The key to the answer is this: The Netherlands does not officially recognize Indonesia’s 1945 independence – it recognizes the 1949 date of the sovereignty agreement instead.

Here’s why the Netherlands cannot recognize Indonesia’s 1945 independence: If the Netherlands recognized that date, that would mean that the country had attacked a sovereign nation after World War II with the purpose of recolonizing it. And then the massacres, euphemistically referred to in the Netherlands as the “police actions,” would not be “police actions” but war crimes, as explained in an upcoming book by Ady Setyawan and Marjolein Van Pagee.

Military Action

According to the official Dutch story, however, Indonesia was “Dutch” during the “police actions”, and thus killing your own people is not a war crime but, rather, law enforcement gone wrong.

Except that law enforcement in the “police actions” were not police officers but soldiers serving in the Dutch army.

The publication “De Doden Tellen” (“Counting the Dead”), issued by the government-appointed national Memorial Day committee, betrays the inconsistencies of the official story. It cites the conflict as “police actions” while simultaneously using language of military “conquest.”

“During the so called police actions, the Netherlands conquers areas and declares them as Dutch territory once again,” the publication says.

Apartheid

The Netherlands wants to count the people it has killed as its own, so as not to have committed war crimes, while at the same time not commemorating their deaths.

What lies beneath the surface of the exclusion is segregation on the basis of race.

Dutch colonialism did not grant citizenship to indigenous Indonesians. Now, 70 years later, colonial apartheid policies that separate, disadvantage and denigrate one race in favor of another are applied after death, on Dutch Memorial Day. On a day that commemorates civilian casualties of war, Indonesian civilian casualties are not commemorated because they had no citizenship under colonial rule.

The chair of the official government national Memorial Day Committee, Gerdi Verbeet, admits as much when she says that “those who had no Dutch passport are not remembered at the moment.”

There is further evidence of a racial exclusion policy on Dutch Memorial Day: Indonesian victims of World War II are also not commemorated.

Although the number is not verified, civilian casualties from World War II in Indonesia are commonly estimated at 4 million. The official document that counts the dead to be commemorated on Dutch Memorial Day lists around 20,000, a stunning discrepancy. The way that the Dutch come up with such a wildly different number is because they exclude all indigenous people. Millions of people are thus erased on Dutch Memorial Day.

Counting the Dead

Dutch Memorial Day is then a story about the value of human life, about who counts, who doesn’t and who gets to decide.

Four million brown civilian casualties of World War II don’t count; 300,000 brown victims of the “police actions” don’t count.

And in a sad twist in this tale, exactly one group of brown people does count: the fallen Indonesian soldiers, most of them Moluccans, who fought on the side of the Netherlands during the recolonization war. They are the victims-made-perpetrators by a colonial oppressor after a centuries-long history of exploitation.

Colonial thinking as a form of racial supremacy is never far away in the Netherlands. In Indonesia, it took the form of an assumed right to enslave people, kill them and take their land for profit. Afro-Surinamese Dutch educator and writer Gloria Wekker, in her groundbreaking book “White Innocence,” analyzes it as the racial exceptionalism that paved the way for white Dutch culture’s blindness to the many forms of racism today.

Dutch racism is evident in the fact that the country has the worst employment outcomes for people of color in Europe other than Sweden. In another example, the second-largest political party, the Party for Freedom, puts out dehumanizing campaign ads in both Dutch and English that target the country’s Muslims, saying their religion equals “discrimination,” “injustice” and “honor killing,” among other attributes. A legislator warns of the dangers of mixing Dutch and non-Dutch blood. Just this past year, Surinamese- and Antillean-Dutch were barred from attending a May 4 memorial if they spoke publicly of the history of Dutch slavery in the Dutch slave colonies of their heritage.

The most widely known throwback to colonialism and Dutch slavery comes each year in the form of “Black Petes,” the caricatured black helpers of St. Nicholas on the nation’s most important tradition.

Shared Memory

Elizabeth Eckford, one of the first African-American students in a desegregated school, said that “true reconciliation can occur only when we honestly acknowledge our painful but shared past.”

In the Netherlands, this message is reflected in the voices of the “No May 4 For Me” protesters, who want their dead counted but instead find a culture blind to its own guilt and unwilling to create a shared memory.

Building a shared memory could start today, with the Dutch recognition of Indonesian Independence Day and the commemoration of Indonesian casualties of war.

The post Dutch Memorial Day: Erasing People After Death appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

Trusted Health Sites Spread Myths About a Deadly Pregnancy Complication

Truth Out - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:48

Preeclampsia, a dangerous form of hypertension that can develop during pregnancy or in the days and weeks after childbirth, is one of the most common causes of maternal death and severe complications in the US The large majority of deaths occur after delivery, often from strokes.

But you’d never know it from the incomplete, imprecise, outdated and sometimes misleading information published by some of the most trusted consumer health sites in the country.

Instead, you might come away with the impression that, as Harvard Health Publishing says, preeclampsia “occurs only during pregnancy.”

From an article on the government-affiliated site MedlinePlus, you might conclude that the “cure” for preeclampsia is delivering the baby. Until this weekend, the Mayo Clinic’s site said the same thing. In reality, said Eleni Tsigas, executive director of the Preeclampsia Foundation, even after delivery, “it can still take a while for the mother to get better, and some mothers get worse before they get better.” If treatment is delayed because people believe the danger is in the past, mothers can die.

Preeclampsia has been back in the news, thanks to Beyoncé’s Vogue interview discussing her recent experience with the condition. That’s led to a spike in Google searches of symptoms, preventive measures and treatments. Many of those readers are going to health websites that regularly make Top 10 lists for trustworthiness, and journalists are linking to the same highly regarded sites in their stories. Yet the information on some of those sites — especially about the risks of preeclampsia in the postpartum period — has been “bad or misleading,” Tsigas said, something she called “really disturbing.”

“It can mean the difference between life and death,” she added.

Preeclampsia affects 3 to 5 percent of expectant and new mothers in the US, up to 200,000 women a year, and it is responsible for 15 percent of premature births. No one knows what causes it, although the placenta is believed to play a role. As in Beyoncé’s case, the risk factors include having twins, being black and being over 35. But it can strike any woman, usually after the 20th week of pregnancy, and it can quickly become a crisis. Around the world, preeclampsia kills about five women every hour. At least 60 percent of preeclampsia deaths are preventable, and patient education is an important part of the solution, experts say.

In affluent countries, the condition is highly treatable. Yet in the US, preeclampsia accounts for 7.4 percent of maternal deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, killing more than 50 mothers a year — one reason the US has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world. One of those women was Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal intensive care nurse in New Jersey, whose 2011 death some 20 hours after giving birth was chronicled by ProPublica and NPR as part of our Lost Mothers project.

The greatest risk is to black mothers, who are more likely to enter pregnancy with chronic high blood pressure and to develop preeclampsia. They are more than twice as likely to die from the condition than white women, the CDC Foundation reported this year. Preeclampsia-related complications are the third-leading cause of maternal deaths among African-American women.

After reading reports about Beyoncé, ProPublica took a look at how top health sites discuss preeclampsia. We sent screenshots and links to Tsigas, one of the leading experts on the condition in the US, for review last week.

Virtually every site we asked her to look at contained some problematic language, Tsigas noted in her written comments. Her biggest area of concern: A number of sites flubbed how they explained postpartum preeclampsia — sometimes mentioning it only in passing, or sometimes failing to mention it entirely. In the case of the Mayo Clinic, the main overview article that had long been on the site had “no mention of postpartum anywhere,” Tsigas wrote. The Mayo Clinic site did discuss post-birth preeclampsia in a separate article, but it didn’t link to that information in its main overview, so it was easy to overlook.

Postpartum preeclampsia can be especially dangerous because the symptoms, including swelling, gastric problems and headaches, often mirror the discomforts of normal birth. Meanwhile, new moms are often too tired and overwhelmed to go to the doctor or the emergency room unless they are sure something is wrong. Accurate information about post-birth complications is essential, said Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and co-director of the Columbia University Preterm Birth Prevention Center in New York, “because in that period, women might not have access to a provider, and they will look up their symptoms online.”

Tsigas also took issue with sites, including MedlinePlus and (until this weekend) the Mayo Clinic, for using a variation of this language: “The only cure for preeclampsia is delivery of your baby.” This idea that the condition goes away after delivery is long-outdated, but — as ProPublica and NPR’s reporting has shown — it continues to be all-too-prevalent among providers, including ER staff. The language may also reflect the concern among some medical professionals that if women don’t believe their condition is serious, they will resist delivering before their due date or by cesarean section — and put themselves and their babies at risk.

“There’s no question that delivery is often indicated, and sometimes quite urgently, to save the life of mother and/or baby,” Tsigas wrote. But, she added, “No provider should tell a patient that ‘the cure for preeclampsia is delivery.’’’ Instead, she said, delivery should be seen as a “critical treatment” along with other measures, such as medication to reduce blood pressure and magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures and strokes. Describing delivery as a cure “lets everybody off the hook. Moms, their partners and even the providers all stop paying attention to mom’s health concerns after she delivers her baby. … We need to continue to monitor mom until her blood pressure and other vital signs return to normal.”

The Mayo Clinic updated its language over the weekend, saying it had “self-identified the need to refine its preeclampsia content” before ProPublica reached out last Thursday. “All content is reviewed by Mayo Clinic’s subject matter experts for medical accuracy, relevance and to ensure a Mayo Clinic-wide interpretation of the best-available evidence from sources such as US federal agencies and guidelines,” Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, the Mayo Clinic website’s chief medical editor, wrote to us on Friday. “All health information is reviewed on a scheduled, rolling basis, and any critical developments (e.g., FDA pulls drug from market) are processed swiftly to ensure that the content is accurate and relevant.”

Before and After: Old Mayo Clinic Language

Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both you and your baby. If you have preeclampsia, the only cure is delivery of your baby.

Updated Mayo Clinic language:

If you have preeclampsia, the only cure is delivery of your baby. Even after delivering the baby, it can still take a while for you to get better … Rarely, preeclampsia develops after delivery of a baby, a condition known as postpartum preeclampsia.

The Mayo Clinic also updated its language to note that black women have a higher risk of developing the condition. Two other respected sites, of the Cleveland Clinic and MedlinePlus, continue to omit this important fact. That doesn’t surprise Monica McLemore, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies racial disparities in infant and maternal outcomes. “A lot of the sites are designed by people who don’t understand the importance of informing a variety of women about what their risks are,” she said.

Victoria Vinci, a Cleveland Clinic spokesperson, said its site would add the risk for black mothers in the next regular update. “Our standard for updating our page articles is every three to four years. This one is coming up on that mark.”

Incorrect information on MedlinePlus, which is published by the US National Library of Medicine, is especially problematic because it carries the government’s seal of approval. “Medline should be the gold standard,” McLemore said.

Yet the site’s main preeclampsia article “does not reflect the latest information,” Tsigas wrote. In addition to the already-noted problems, she cited the article’s suggestion that protein must be present in the urine for a preeclampsia diagnosis to be made. One of the mistakes providers often make is discounting spiking blood pressure and other symptoms because a protein test is inconclusive.

Nor, Tsigas said, is the information about treatment in line with current recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other leading maternal health organizations. “The recommendations for bedrest and salt reduction aren’t really evidence-based,” Tsigas pointed out.

Medline Plus’ Language

Treatment

The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby.

Most often, at 37 weeks, your baby is developed enough to be healthy outside the womb.

As a result your provider may want your baby to be delivered so the preeclampsia does not get worse. You may get medicines to help trigger labor, or you may need a C-section.

If your baby is not fully developed and you have mild preeclampsia, the disease can often be managed at home until your baby has matured. The provider will recommend:

  • Bed rest, and lying on your left side most or all of the time
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Eating less salt
  • Frequent doctor visits to make sure you and your baby are doing well
  • Medicines to lower your blood pressure (sometimes)

Medline’s article comes from a company called A.D.A.M., part of the Georgia-based health care services conglomerate Ebix Inc., which also provides content to other health sites. “You raise some important points, in particular about postpartum preeclampsia,” A.D.A.M.’s editorial director, Brenda Conaway, wrote in an email on Monday. “As it happens, this article” — last reviewed in May 2016 — “is currently in review as part of our editorial review process. I will be talking with the senior medical editor and our medical director about the article today, and we will update it to reflect any needed changes.”

When reached by ProPublica, Harvard Health Publishing also agreed to make revisions. The problems with its preeclampsia write-up extend beyond the initial assertion that preeclampsia only occurs in pregnancy, Tsigas said. By focusing on eclampsia — seizures — as the main danger to mothers, it ignores the immediate risk of strokes caused by high blood pressure. Women with preeclampsia also have a much higher risk of heart attacks and strokes later in life.

The site’s chief medical editor, Dr. Howard LeWine, said the current language that the condition “occurs only during pregnancy” would be quickly revised. He said the wording is “technically correct” — preeclampsia only occurs in women who’ve recently been pregnant, and even postpartum preeclampsia is believed to originate during pregnancy. But, he acknowledged, “it gives the wrong impression. It’s misguiding people and will get changed.”

The post Trusted Health Sites Spread Myths About a Deadly Pregnancy Complication appeared first on Truthout.

Categories: News

Pages