Neo-Nazi Claims to Still Have A Job at Virginia Tech – & Asian Wife

It's Goin Down - 2 hours 3 min ago

The post Neo-Nazi Claims to Still Have A Job at Virginia Tech – & Asian Wife appeared first on It's Going Down.

Imagine paying money to attend a public university. Now imagine at that university, a teaching assistant, someone who grades your papers and teaches classes and who is paid with your tax dollars – is a literal neo-Nazi. Now imagine that through that same neo-Nazi’s social media account, it encourages his friends and followers to literally “destroy” people that bring to light his racist and white supremacist ideals, leading to a flood of harassment, death, and rape threats. This person would be fired, right? 

At Virginia Tech, the opposite has happened.

Over a week ago, IGD ran a short protest roundup article about a demonstration against Mark Daniel Neuhoff, a neo-Nazi working as a teaching assistant at Virginia Tech. In recent months, Neuhoff has been exposed for being a white supremacist, primarily through his posts on social media. In one online rank Mark wrote, “I want white supremacy. Not white nationalism, which is ethnic cleansing by its very nature, but white supremacy. Whites must be in control if we are to preserve western culture. Categorically, no other race can do it. We must be in charge or we will wander aimless in the badlands of aliens.” Mark also railed against “Jews” and glorified the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler.

However, after recent protests on campus, Neuhoff was quoted in the local media and The Washington Post as saying that he would not be returning for the coming semester, due to the demonstrations. Despite this, Neuhoff wrote in email to IGD several days after the publishing of our article to state that he was in fact not leaving the campus, and that he would continue to be employed by the University as a researcher for the chair of the English Department, and according to him, would be researching “free speech.”

Neuhoff also went on at length about his political views, the Nazi party, his associations with other neo-Nazis, and even ironically claimed that he was in fact married to an Asian woman, which he was apprehensive of others in the Alt-Right knowing about.

Several days after Neuhoff emailed IGD, an article appeared on The Tabdetailing how Neuhoff’s Facebook page had encouraged people to harass a student, (stating: “Fuck her up. Destroy her.”), who had exposed his neo-Nazi views. As the student stated in The Tab in a lengthy interview:

The Monday after the protest, Tori was on the bus home from class when she received a call from the woman identifying herself as Mark’s wife. She then proceeded to yell expletives at Tori, calling her a bitch and a coward and claiming that she would have to “protect her family” if Tori didn’t stop. Tori immediately hung up the phone. She then received twelve to fifteen texts from the woman before alsoreceiving calls from numbers she did not know, all sending the same message as the first call. Tori was left in confusion for half an hour before finally discovering that someone had doxxed her.

“About 30 minutes later, I was made aware that Mark posted on his Facebook page, ‘my wife found the bitch’s number.’ It listed my cell phone number. Then it said, ‘Fuck her up. Destroy her,’ with a link to the Roanoke Times article, pointing me out in the picture. It was terrifying. It’s still hard to talk about. I started receiving incessant phone calls from blocked numbers. My phone was essentially useless because every time I ignored a call, another one was already coming through. I mean, I must have received 70 calls at minimum that night alone. Honestly, probably more. It was deeply unsettling. It was a death threat. I don’t understand how anyone misconstrues ‘destroy her.’

One of Mark’s numerous social media posts promoting white supremacy and neo-Nazism.

According to Neuhoff, he did not write the call to “destroy” the student, and in fact someone else had posted from his own Facebook account. The student at the receiving end of these threats disputes these claims, however. From The Tab:

“In the comment section of the Facebook post, Mark is encouraging his friends who said that they would go after me. It is the scariest thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. I was also made aware that night that my number had been posted on an online sex chat website by someone impersonating me and telling people to call me for a good time. I started receiving sexually explicit text messages and phone calls.”

The response from the University?:

“Evidence gathered suggests that the October 2nd, 2017 Facebook post on Neuhoff’s Facebook page was not actually made by Mark Neuhoff.”

However, when IGD reached out to sources at Virginia Tech, we were told that Neuhoff when questioned by police simply blamed his wife for urging his followers, through his own Facebook page, to “destroy” the Virginia Tech student – and the police believed him. Furthermore, when the student went to the police about the threats of rape and violence, the authorities only further backed Neuhoff:

“I went to the Virginia Tech Police Department. They told me there was nothing they could do. I was in the wrong location and had to go to the Blacksburg Police. I went to the Blacksburg Police Department, spent two hours being questioned and was sent home with little recompense. Since then VTPD and BPD have been investigating. They have a warrant for Mark’s Facebook page and are investigating the post as a death threat. The only solace I have in this situation is that I’m not being harassed the way I was that first week, but you can’t undo the fact that my number is out there or that there’s been a call to violence against me. Nothing can undo that. I missed an entire week of classes and couldn’t come on campus.”

A post glorifying Adolf Hitler on Mark Neuhoff’s social media from the website, ‘National Vanguard,’ which is the predecessor to the group, the National Alliance. The leader of the National Alliance, William Piece, is famous for writing The Turner Diaries, the book that inspired the Oklahoma City bombing.

After death threats, the student ended up taking themselves out of classes at Virginia Tech:

“The death threat. I couldn’t go on campus knowing Mark was on campus, knowing that he had posted on Facebook about buying a gun to protect his family, knowing that his wife had said she was going to defend her family. There was no way for me to exist on campus.”

“I Haven’t Been “Driven Out” of Anything”

In Mark’s email exchange with IGD, entitled, “Fake News,” written from his email address, he started off by stating that he was not in fact leaving the university as a paid employee:

Those students did nothing but whine about nonexistent problems. I haven’t been “driven out” of anything, I’m still going to be here next semester, still working for the English department…I’ll still be working for the English department but just doing something else.

When asked what position he would be employed in during the next semester at Virginia Tech, Neuhoff ironically wrote that he would be paid to research free speech on university campuses:

I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to be doing next semester but it amounts to researching the issue of free speech on college campuses and specifically within the discipline of English, like banning books of literature because they’re offensive. 

Neuhoff went on to write that on top of being paid to do research under the chair of the English department, he would also be attending classes and graduating in May:

Yeah, I’ll still be paid, still a graduate assistant, just not a graduate teaching assistant. I will be attending the campus as a student and graduate in May. I’ll be working directly under Dr Hausman herself. 

When asked about his relationships to Alt-Right, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist groups he replied:

I’m familiar with Matt Parrott and Matt Heimbach and the TWP. It seems a lot of the people I had mutual friends with on Facebook think highly of that organization. I also learned that I was Facebook friends with what appeared to be an alias of Andrew Anglin…Most of the people I was friends with on Facebook probably consider themselves white nationalists…

This backs up the findings of local antifascists who wrote:

Who is Mark talking to? Well his 1,830 facebook friends. This list is composed of members of the Alt-Right and White Nationalists from around the globe. He is posting his hatred, disguised as speech to members of White Live Matter, Vanguard America, Traditional Workers Party, Neo-Nazis, and European Far-Right extremists.

Mark Neuhoff on social media shares memes denying the Holocaust. The icon image that Mark is using is that of the group, Anti-Communist Action, or AntiCom. Recently, online chat lots of the group have been released showing that the organization planned and shared information about how to carry out bombings, murder, and violence against antiracist activists.

Despite his earlier claims that he advocated white supremacy, Neuhoff in the emails attempted to portray himself as a paleoconservative (think the Alt-Right for your grandfather’s generation), and then claimed he had an Asian-American wife, before launching into a racist rant about non-white immigration:

I consider myself a paleoconservative and look up to Pat Buchanan. My wife is Asian and my children will be mixed. I don’t worship race…I think that America’s a country with a long legacy of having a white majority (a white “supremacy,” in other words) and that when this changes, around 2050, as everyone predicts, that change will be negative. For the most part, everyone who came to this country before, including my family who came here in the 1900s, assimilated. The recent immigrant aren’t assimilating. In 2050, when whites are no longer a majority, it doesn’t seem like the country will be a country anymore, in my opinion. I think there’s just going to be a bunch of diverse groups, proud of their cultures, competing for resources. The country will probably balkanize. That’s lamentable and preventable. 

Neuhoff then talked about the Nazi party: 

I think that without argument the NSDAP successfully rejuvenated German society: their removal of a private central bank, their replacing an anti-German largely Jewish intelligentsia with German folk, and their printing of state money etc incredibly boosted the German economy. I acknowledge this, but, unlike these people who are trying to recreate the Third Reich in America, I also acknowledge that America is completely different and requires different solutions. 

Ironically, Neuhoff also opened up about the fact that he was afraid to share to other people on the Alt-Right that his wife was in fact, not-white. He commented:

To answer your last email, just like my half-Jewish friend cannot share that she is Jewish, I cannot share that my wife is Asian. These [Alt-Right] people are intolerant, closed-minded bigots obsessed with racial purity. They’re right-wing SJWs and they practice “white identity politics.” 

My wife is the best woman I’ve met. I’m not ashamed that my wife is Asian, it’s just that I wanted to some people that I could talk to, even if I disagree with them on some fundamentals. 

I think that the “Asian girlfriend” phenomenon is actually a good thing…Since non-white women are often more traditional than white women…

Virginia Tech Confirms that Neuhoff Will Remain 

Through email, IGD reached out to Dr. Hausman, the chair of the English Department to verify that Neuhoff would remain on the payroll at Virginia Tech, despite media reports stating otherwise. Instead of responding directly, Mark Owczarski, listed as the Assistant Vice President of University Relations, responded with the following email:

As Mr. Neuhoff states in his public comments, he remains a student at Virginia Tech. As he also states, he will not be serving as a graduate teaching assistant next spring, and given the many issues this past fall involving his position in a classroom, the university supports the mutual decision for him to no longer be in the classroom.

To place into context, an assistantship (for teaching or other purpose) is a form of financial aid provided to graduate students. If a student remains in good academic standing and follows all university policies—then the student retains this support. The work performed by a graduate assistant for a faculty member is a matter of one’s educational record, and the university could not comment on

So in short, it has been confirmed by Virginia Tech itself that Mark Neuhoff, a vehement neo-Nazi suspected of and connected to threats of murder and rape against a Virginia Tech student, will not only be allowed to continue to attend the campus as a student, but will be paid as a researcher.

According to The Tabprotests are still being organized on the campus, however media outlets continue to state that Mark will not be returning next semester.

It is also clear that at Virginia Tech, itself the scene of a deadly mass shooting in 2007, the possibility of violence and harassment from Neuhoff and his followers remains a tangible threat to the students, especially as Neuhoff remains protected by both the University and the local police from any sort of accountability. Neuhoff’s continued presence at the university will also signal a green light for further action by neo-Nazi organizers, who have recently blanketed the campus with recruitment posters and dumped swastika flyers outside of the Jewish center.

In one of his last emails to IGD, he wrote this cryptic message:

I’m going to spend every single day next semester knowing that I’ve won against you people. I almost regret my decision not to teach, I should have clung on to it just to spite you idiots. 

If Mark Neuhoff has won, it’s because he’s been allowed to by the same State that Neuhoff claims is run by “Jews” and who carrying out “white genocide.” Now more than ever, students and community members must organize to solve their own problems while keeping each other safe, for surely the administrators making 6 figures off their tuition won’t.

Categories: News

Kite Line: Two Weeks Into the Hunger Strike at Wabash Valley

It's Goin Down - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 21:59

The post Kite Line: Two Weeks Into the Hunger Strike at Wabash Valley appeared first on It's Going Down.

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In Wabash Valley, Shaka Shakur is maintaining his hunger strike, demanding an end to guard abuses and the isolation of active prisoners in camera cells. We spoke with his wife, Akili Shakur, who provided context for the struggle undertaken by Shaka and other prisoners, along with background on his imprisonment and the role of guards in targeting prisoners and stoking conflict. She also explains the importance of the hunger strike as a tool for prisoners to fight for their dignity and survival.

Updates on the movement at Wabash Valley and Shaka’s hunger strike can be found at IDOC Watch reports that there is still a request to call in and support the prisoners’ protest.

Categories: News

The Tangled Paths of State Formation and Resistance

Anarchist News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 21:52

source: human iterations

The dearth of anarchist theory in print is sometimes pretty embarrassing. Our discourse is rich, but it can also be maddeningly ephemeral and inaccessible, lost to zines and interpersonal conversations. While illegibility can be a defensive weapon against outside authorities, it also frequently reinforces power relations by increasing barriers to access.

It’s painful to have to tell another bright-eyed and bushy-tailed new anarchist looking to read up on a subject that “You just have to talk to people or read around and fill in the gaps.” Anarchism is sadly filled to the brim with things we expect people to know but never write down. “Mainstream opinion” in anarchist circles is thus often something spread across piles of texts written by non-anarchists that we synthesize and share with our close friends, never bothering to write down a summary. Anthropology, gender studies, economics, at al… we remain parasitical on other discursive worlds, hashing out a shared analysis between close comrades but rarely providing a 101.

Peter Gelderloos has long been one of the rare exceptions — an anarchist committed to making anarchist theory accessible. It helps that Gelderloos is about as plumb-line of an anarchist as one could conceive, unassailably at the dead center of our myriad internal political spectra — or at least the center of mass. “Anarchy Works” and “How Nonviolence Protects The State” were agreeable and unoffensive to not only the mainstream of anarchism but to partisans of nearly every stripe. Within our movement Gelderloos is probably the least controversial anarchist writer alive — a truly stupendous accomplishment.

Worshiping Power: An Anarchist View of Early State Formation is a great book, the sort of text that should be part of the obligatory canon for all anarchists. An accessible summary and nuanced analysis of why and how states form. I’m delighted we now have it on hand. Gelderloos sets out a clear and potent anarchist analysis that knocks down primitivist, Marxist, and Hobbesian accounts while shellacking the academics that are too conservative to openly recognize what’s in front of their face.

Gelderloos’ central thesis is that while there are many paths and pressures societies face, we nevertheless have some agency in how we navigate them. No technology, no material condition, no social condition is a prison sentence. It is our common values that play a huge role in determining whether a society can handle something like agriculture, cities, writing, or markets without turning to tyranny. The fight between authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism is ultimately a fight over values far more than it is a fight over particular conditions or tools.

As in other regions we see a relatively stable stateless period persisting for a long time after the development of agriculture and sedentary living, and a relatively rapid increase in hierarchy stratification, and the centralization of power once an organized religious cult perfects the ability to shape the spiritual beliefs of the broader society. (p. 214)

Unfortunately, Worshiping Power has two1 minor problems: It focuses in on a definition of “states” far more pertinent to academics than anarchists, and at the same time, Gelderloos’ analysis leans into a hostility towards “worldview shapers” that builds some worrying momentum. Gelderloos is clearly chafing under academia and so he yin-yangs between a deferential, if tense, respect for it and outright heads-on-pikes insurrection against it.

The choice to stick with an established academic frame around “states” in technical and overly specific terms is useful in that it allows a more fine-grained analysis of the various hierarchical social systems at play in the last ten thousand years. But it’s also a deeply dangerous choice because it risks minimizing the full extent of what anarchists oppose. It’s clearly not enough to avoid having a centralized administrative hierarchy with at least three tiers of organization. Anarchists oppose rulership wholesale — from tribal chiefs to diffuse games of social capital and interpersonal abuse. There’s a noxious history of anthropologists collapsing ‘anarchism’ down to whatever mere anti-statism is necessary to valorize the society they’re currently taken with. This sort of shit is how we get people venerating warrior honor societies with literal slaves and calling them “anarchist” or thinking they’re anywhere near the vicinity of a liberated world. Gelderloos himself obviously knows better, but I’m not sure his few caveats are strong enough to correct errant readers.

This focus on a very specific subsection of power structures is interesting but it leads to a conclusion a little far afield from anarchism’s concerns. What’s the most critical element to starting multi-tier coercive administrations? The creation of values that enable universal centralization. This is certainly true as far as it goes, but the more interesting and anarchist question is what leads to domination at all, in any flavor or organizational structure? Such is of course less a question for anthropology or sociology and more one of game theory, philosophy, psychology, and the like. The danger with something as obtuse and macroscopic as the anthropological lens is that you’ll start viewing things in similarly sweeping terms.

What falls out of Gelderloos’ account is a enmity towards elite worldview-shapers that he repeatedly identifies in personal asides with scientists and modern academics. It’s a compelling argument and certainly no anarchist worth their salt would defend elites of any sort. Further — ever intellectually honest — Gelderloos does note the potential for such figures to be potent sources of anti-authoritarian rebellion.

Still this framing leads Gelderloos to paint a split between ‘pragmatic’ and ‘non-pragmatic,’ that he spins as the critical difference between the sort of invention, writing, engineering, trade, etc, that can be perfectly harmless and the sort that ends up feeding the state. This is a flavor of anarchist morality that would collapse all our values down to merely resistance to social authority. Casting the inquiry and creativity that underpins science and technology as only tolerable if they are made merely instrumental.

Learning is only worthwhile if it helps us fight, to live healthy, to live free. (p. 235)

What a terribly impoverished notion of “living free”! Surely inquiry and creativity are themselves part and parcel of freedom, not merely servants or tools. Is freedom just some passive state of being we’re trying to retreat to? Or is it an active, striving, reaching sort of thing, that necessarily includes learning for its own sake, exploring for its own sake, dreaming for its own sake?

To say that I recoil in horror at the prescription that science be enslaved to serve some kind of social order would be a severe understatement. A world where we must interrogate every flight of investigation and demand to know its pragmatic utility for the social order is a world far away from any notion of freedom I value. If anything I’d say the goal of anarchy is to finally unleash science from the shackles that social hierarchies have kept it in. Don’t hate academics for being “unpractical,” hate the system that gives them that privilege and denies the rest of us it.

While it’s certainly an occasionally valid lens to look at “science” from the outside, in sociological terms as an existing institution, community, and practice situated in a specific social and historical context, it’s at least as valid to view “science” from the inside, in cognitive or philosophical terms as an approach to pattern-finding, as diligent root-seeking or radicalism, an approach that is present in all conscious minds — yes even isolated ones — and certainly in all societies. “Science as radicalism” obviously in no remote way obliges a priest class. It can lead to universalizing values or perspectives, but when rooted in the people, emergent from the ground up rather than from an elite, actual truths ultimately aren’t easily manipulable to serve power, instead they provide greater agency to all. Our capacity for choice is dependent upon the accuracy of our maps of reality. And freedom would certainly be meaningless without the inclination to grapple with, to feel out, connect, and engage with our environments.

Yet it must be said that at points Gelderloos talks in ways that conflict with said enshrinement of pragmatism and instrumentalism, for instance characterizing a critical stage in the devolution to statism with, “Authoritarian orders within the network would unite, since their logic favored the accumulation of power over the unimpeded search for truth, meaning, and ecstasy.” I couldn’t have put it better.

This tension with his other framings is indicative of Worshiping Power’s greatest strength, its honest complexity. While I love rhetorically potent Gelderloos, and he certainly pokes his head out at points to call forth fire and brimstone, he is mostly at his best when he embraces nuance, tracing the complex and varied paths of state formation and resistance.

Gelderloos absolutely eviscerates Marxist and primitivist claims about state formation by simply bringing to the fore the immense contingency and differences in the record. The only reasonable takeaway is that a society’s internal meta-structures of culture, religion, ethics, etc. guide them at least as much as material conditions. Honest nuance comprises a vicious denial of any sort of simplistic deterministic prescriptions.

In particular Gelderloos is very honest about markets not obliging inequality, hierarchy or states:

States can organize trade networks, but trade networks do not generate states. The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, is an interesting example. At its height (between 2600 and 1900 BCE), the civilization had a population of some five million people living in half a dozen cities — such as Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro — and over a thousand towns and villages. It made up a world system together with its trading partners, ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Of these, the Indus Valley civilization was the largest. and in contrast to the other two, it was probably stateless. No solid evidence has been found of kings, priests, armies, temples, or palaces. Some of the largest buildings in the urban centers were public baths; the urban planning, sewage, and hygiene systems were the best in the ancient world; and the relative equality of housing size suggests an egalitarian, non-stratified society. …the lack of military structures suggests that the rural population traded their surplus more or less voluntarily with the artisans of the towns and cities. (p. 142)

Stateless societies also existed at the heart of one of the most intensive, high-value trade networks in world history, in the Banda islands of the Maluku archipelago. The islanders participated in the spice trade for centuries, occupying an essential productive niche, while preserving their statelessness. Social organization throughout the Maluku archipelago was localized and largely horizontal. (p. 144)

The Cucuteni-Trypillian culture existed from 4800 to 3000 BCE in the area that is now western Ukraine, Moldova and eastern Romania. They practiced agriculture … invented the oldest known proto-writing system in the world, manufactured and traded. … Contrary to assumptions about the state being a more advanced form of political organization, the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture was stateless, egalitarian, peaceful and non-patriarchal.

The Cretan civilization were in all probability a stateless people who organized an important trade network spanning the Mediterranean over more than a thousand years. They were a peaceful society with a minimum of defensive infrastructure and no record of involvement in offensive warfare. …there is no evidence of such rulers. The palaces served as warehouses, redistribution centers, collective housing for priestesses and administrators, archices and religious sites. … The Creten diet was too rich, too diversified, to suggest a hyper-exploited, enslaved lower class. … Nor is their evidence of a Cretan army or other mechanisms capable of imposing the sort of work-or-starve, blackmail economy so common in other city states. The very diversity of Cretan food production (spanning multicrop agriculture, apiculture, silvaculture, aquaculture, fishing, and hunting, a diversity that would be impossible for a weak state to surveil and control), paired with a lack of evidence of a police or military structure makes the proposal of a coerced or dependent peasant population ludicrous. In the worst case the merchant-priests controlling the palaces might have been able to impose an unfavorable exchange rate making it difficult or impossible for the peasants to aquire luxury goods, but the peasants would still have been more or less self-sufficient, autonomous, and healthy.

The Cretan civilization did have a written language, at the time a common sign of state authority, although nearly all the decoded fragments of Linear B are simple trade records and lists of resources, with a few religious references thrown in. Universally, early states with written languages used the written record to preserve laws, chronicles, and accounts of the power and grandeur of their supreme leaders.

In practice, the palace economy was probably a network of religious centers where farmers, artisans, and merchants bought their produce or their trade goods, sometimes in the spirit of a gift, an offering to the gods that would be redistributed, and sometimes in the spirit of exchange. Mask-wearing priestesses represented the gods in important ceremonies, anonymizing spiritual power rather than concentrating it in any individual or family. They also specialized in the occult knowledge, like math and writing, which allowed them to administer a large trade network. (p. 149)

There are numerous other examples throughout Worshiping Power as Gelderloos drags to light just how systematic the bias in the historical record is towards states, and how good of reasons we have to assume all the holes in the map were anarchistic or at the very least stateless.

Too often, historians and archaeologists fabricate cheap mysteries, “Why did this great civilization suddenly collapse?,” because they refuse to accept the obvious: that states are odious structures that their populations destroy whenever they get the opportunity, and sometimes even when they face impossible odds.

Words cannot do justice to the relief one feels at finally having a book that makes this longstanding anarchist argument in direct terms and extensive examples. I hope that Worshiping Power‘s longest lasting contribution will be to open our eyes not just to the complex trajectories that power structures can take but to the immensity of anti-authoritarian currents and forces throughout history that resist and suppress them.

This is the first major step in fleshing out and normalizing an anarchist narrative of world history where the giant gaping holes in the conventional histories are centered and given their rightful place as the real agents and heroes.

Gelderloos tries his hardest for a certain academic equanimity throughout Worshiping Power but you can sense the white knuckling going on until the end when he can finally let loose the anarchist howl, we are still here.

We have not disappeared. We are still here. …No matter what continent we are from, those who choose to align ourselves with an anti-authoritarian history can be proud: we are the ones who have killed kings.

Worshiping Power is an excellent and potent reminder of the expanse of the possible. All the possible ways we can shoot ourselves in the foot and allow the rot of domination to spread, but also all the ways we can resist, all those that have, and all those that have succeeded at living freer than we can sometimes imagine.

  1. Gelderloos does make one factual mistake or omission, he dates the earliest domesticated plant species to 10,500 years ago, but evidence in Palestine has revealed that humans domesticated first started farming grains 23,000 years ago. Who knows what else has been covered up, sunken around the edge of the Mediterranean?
Tags: anarchy 101the stateresistance
Categories: News

Brazil: Neoliberal drift and repression of popular movements

Anarchist News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 21:29


Brazil: Neoliberal drift and repression of popular movements

The social and political situation in Brazil is increasingly compromised. Since Michel Temer's ascent to power through an institutional and palatial coup the main BRICS representative in Latin America has seen a neoliberal economic drift and a fascistic shift in civil rights.

The emerging economic giant has initiated an increasingly authoritarian process of confronting social movements in the wake of the deployment of a whole host of adjustment measures and "flexibility reforms" of Brazil's labour and pension regulations. And the libertarian movement has also suffered in its claws.

The key man in the "tasks of government fear" is finance minister Henrique Meirelles who maintains an aggressive neoliberal policy. Without reform of the pensions, he says, one can not comply with the Constitutional Amendment 95 approved a year ago (which limits increases of public spending for 20 years). Without new privatisations and outsourcing (which would begin shortly with electric power utility Eletrobras) there will be no extended benefits for the elites. Without deregulation of extractive activities, investment will not increase (and hence regulations are in the making to enable mining in a strategic area of ​​the Amazon). Without labour reform the pipes of a labour market based on hyper-exploitation and flexibility will not be greased (a reform that even proposes to modify the legal meaning of slave labor). All part of a recipe book for hard neoliberal adjustment of the major economy of Latin America.

In addition, from a geostrategic point of view, the line of the new Brazilian government is also clear — subordination to the economic and military interests of the United States, and an express desire to become a military platform for the imperial North, with worrying effects on the political balance in neighbouring countries like Venezuela. In fact, from November 6th-12th, a joint military exercise sponsored by the Brazilian Armed Forces took place on the triple border between Brazil, Colombia and Peru with the participation of the United States. The exercise has been called "Operation United America" ​​or "Amazonlog 17."

For the first time in decades, a temporary international military base has been installed in the city of Tabatinga (Amazonas, Brazil) on the border with Colombia and Peru. The exercise has had the "official" objective of preparing for a situation of "humanitarian character."

The real background of the US military participation in these maneuvers is clearer however if we look at the words of US Southern Command chief Kurt Tidd, in his report to US Congress this year: " The growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could force a regional response."

A new wave of repression
All these measures have been accompanied by a drastic increase in the repression of social movements and an expansion of organisations and the public influence for the extreme right. Declarations by deputies, such as Bolsonaro, have attempted to vindicate the last military dictatorship and torture. Violent actions by hard right groups such as the Movimiento Livre Brasil (MBL) have prevented the development of artistic countercultures (as in the Santander Cultural of Porto Alegre). And then there is generalised criminalising, sexist, conservative, anti-popular and racist discourses being pushed by public figures or organisations such as Vem pra Rua, Aliança Brasil etc.

This process, of course, has been answered with determination by Brazilian social movements, through mass mobilisations and through increased activity by organisations of settlers, landless peasants, precarious workers, women and excluded peoples of all kinds. It is in this context that aggressions against the libertarian movement and the rest of the popular movements have been ramped up by a state power which is totally delegitimised and increasingly authoritarian.

Cases of this repression have precipitated at an enormous speed, such as the incrimination of 18 students and a teacher in the State of Goiás (which finally ended with an agreement before the court) for their participation in the occupation of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (Seduce) and at least 27 schools as part of a wave of student struggles against school closures between December 2015 and January 2016.

But the most serious aggression against the libertarian movement in Brazil took place on October 25th, when Rio Grande do Sul police began Operation Erebus, whose main objective was to criminalise the Gaucho Anarchist Federation (FAG), a popular organisation with a long history in the South of Brazil.

Within the framework of this operation the headquarters of the FAG was raided, along with the Parhesia cultural space and the Pandorga urban occupation. Computers, USB drives and hard drives were confiscated, as well as plastic bottles which the police claim were going to be used to make homemade explosives. Books and materials of anarchist theory and propaganda were also confiscated (illegal under Brazilian law). Thirty activists were accused in a gigantic criminalisation campaign in which the Rede Globo, the main Brazilian media group, in its flagship program "El Fantástico", presented a decontextualised parody of FAG militancy, while supposed experts debated about the criminal types that could theoretically be applied. The SBT television network also jumped on the bandwagon, describing a longstanding anarchist group to be "neo-Nazis." FAG has worked for decades with the most excluded and racially discriminated sectors of society.

Fascist upsurge
Meanwhile, the popular movements of Rio Grande do Sul we warning that fascist proto-militias and a broad increase of hate crimes have been developing with impunity. Meeting as "support groups" for deputy Bolsonaro, the militants of the extreme right have been highly active on social networks, teaching firearms and encouraging "good citizens" to attack the "leftists."

In fact, at a rally by municipal officials of Porto Alegre (capital of Rio Grande do Sul) a teacher was hit with a retractable bat by a thug known from youtube, supposedly linked to the MBL – an organisation which was received with great cordiality by the mayor the very next day. And in the nearby university, an academic whose work related to the centenary of the Russian Revolution was attacked, with the cry of "military intervention, now!"

We could continue indefinitely with this narrative of the growing fascist tint to the exercising of power by Brazil's ruling class, linked to the forces that sustain the government of Michel Temer. Social tensions are accumulating in Brazil and In the words of Emir Sader, Brazil today constitutes, due to the lack of legitimacy of the neoliberal government and growing activity of social movements, a weak link in the neoliberal chain in Latin America.

The process of "righting" the continent, after electoral victories such as that of Mauricio Macri in Argentina, or palace blows like that developed in Rio de Janeiro, can still be stopped and reversed by the mobilisation of popular organisations, which are therefore the object of an increased repression. Solidarity and mutual support are a virtuous circle, the chain of tenderness and friendship that runs and makes strong the red thread of rebellion that extends throughout the world. To pull that thread, to feed it, to support those who build tomorrow, is also to work for our most precious horizon.

This is an edited machine translation of an article from alasbarricadas.

Categories: News

Support Autonomous Media & IGD This Winter! New Shirts!

It's Goin Down - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 21:16

The post Support Autonomous Media & IGD This Winter! New Shirts! appeared first on It's Going Down.

IGD is growing, and everyday we are putting out new and original content, signal boosting news and analysis, and working to connect autonomous social movements and struggles which are organizing, fighting, and building for a different form of life.

With the holidays right around the corner, we are launching a winter fundraiser and presenting to the world brand new shirts. Stand with us this winter and give everyone the gift of autonomous revolutionary media by helping us continue into 2018 – and grab some new swag along the way!

New Shirts and Winter Fundraiser

Thanks to your donations, we now have new shirts! Our goal for our winter fundraiser, running now and up until New Years, is $5,000. There are several ways to donate:

Make A One Time Donation Make A Monthly Donation Buy Something From Our Store

As in the past, we know that with the support of the thousands of people that read and use IGD everyday, we can make our goal. With it being the holidays, we also are presenting band new items in our store for you to pick up! Sales from shirts as well as any extra donations will help us continue to put in the work that you have come to depend on.

We resurrected a classic 90’s Anti-Racist Action logo to bring something a little lighter to heavy times. Only available in silver-gray for the one-day-a-week you set down the black to sip some iced tea and kick back. Small – 3XL. $20. Order here.

Rock this fresh design from our dear friend N.o. Bonzo from the Pacific Northwest! $20. Small – 3XL. Order here.

Also check out buttons, books, stickers, other shirts, and more! All here in our store.

We’re Growing, But We Need Your Help to Sustain Ourselves

IGD is growing! Both in terms of social media reach, but moreover through our podcast, as well as the formation of the Channel Zero Network, which is a collection of anarchist podcasts that maintains an updated website of current shows as well as a 24/7 stream.

We’ve also making a concerted effort to produce more content, reach out to a variety of people and groups for the podcast, and also attempt to highlight and promote a wide variety of struggles and social movements on our platform.

Plans for the Future

Currently we have several plans:

  • To co-produce a regular podcast show with people on the ground at the J20 trial.
  • Create a interactive calendar for the site that would allow people to post up events. (If you know how to make one, let us know!)
  • Create a directory of anarchist infoshops, bookstores, and community centers along with active groups.
  • Create a directory of prisoners that are in need of support.
  • Create more items for the webstore, including zine packs and more stickers.
  • Produce more original content – daily.
IGD is What We Make It

Remember, It’s Going Down is just a platform. Without people organizing, fighting, and building, we have nothing to talk about. We are also a growing platform – so use it! Are you part of a local struggle and need media? Let us know! Want to come on the podcast and talk about everything from theory to your new book? Just ask us. Have an exciting idea for a column that you want to put on IGD? Get at us! Just in the last few months, we’ve added several new columns, including VANDALISMS and The Otherworlds Review. If you have an exciting idea, don’t hesitate to ask.

info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org

Categories: News

Long live anarchy: Hong Kong’s first Black Book Fair

Anarchist News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 20:21

ed. note: The Black Bookfair is underway this weekend. Find more information on their website here

by Karen Cheung, via Still/Loud

When Ahkok attended London’s anarchist book fair last year, he was stunned by the scale of it all: some 60 booths and 50 forums, from heated discussions—one was cut short by a fight—to emotional healing workshops for social activists. There was even a section for kids, because “Why can’t there be more play facilities for children at protest sites?”

Ahkok and his friends soon decided that Hong Kong, too, needs an anarchist book fair. This weekend—34 years after London held its first anarchist book fair—their plan will become a reality, in the form of Black Book Fair. (The facilitators chose “Black” instead of “Anarchist” for safety reasons.) The Fair promises artists and activists, zines and poetry, and a special appearance by radical thinker Stevphen Shukaitis. No restrictions on entry, no one to tell you what you can or cannot do—and, Ahkok confesses, “no idea how the police are gonna react.” Will it work? We interviewed Ahkok via email to find out.

Still / Loud: What is anarchy to you? And what does it mean for Hong Kong?

Ahkok: I guess it has to do with my experience in DIY/DIT (do it together) culture in Kwun Tong industrial zone—you know, self-organising, mutual-aiding. We were basically all non-governed autonomists, and we created the biggest indie scene in Hong Kong. In a way, there’s an anarchism revival in many countries, including Hong Kong, in which people are extremely disappointed towards centralised government bodies. While most Hong Kong people demand universal suffrage, I’d say it’s a good time to ask ourselves: why should we choose someone to govern us? Can we aim for something more liberating?

Why did you choose anarchy (as opposed to other ideologies) to gather people for an exchange of ideas?

It just makes sense to me. Like I said, I experienced it first-hand where I grew up. We created something beautiful because both the government and the super-rich had no idea what to do with those old factory buildings, so it was autonomous during that period of time, before the revitalisation shit struck the place.
black book fair poster
Photo courtesy of Ahkok.

And I’m not really “opposing” other ideologies; some of my good friends are social democrats, some are in the Legislative Council. I have massive respect for them, but it’s just not me, I don’t like to climb into a certain position in order to help others.

Should anarchy be “fun”?

This is a timely question. For me, I’m just happy to participate an event where I can meet my comrades, feel safe, have a laugh, take time off from all the suffocating bullshit. Radical thoughts and knowledge are important, I’m not downplaying that, but I would hope we can all treat each other better, create a better environment of solidarity.

There’s a massive fallout from London’s Anarchist Book Fair this year—quite an emotional one—and there might not be another book fair next year. I often remind myself, don’t pick your enemy, pick your fight, and fight it right. That’s pretty much the opposite of what happened to a few people this year. Some people like to pick on those who are supposed to be on their side, you know? I’m sick of that.

People in Hong Kong may lack reference points when it comes to anarchism. Do you think anarchy is a “western” ideology or concept?

Anarchism to me is about two things: first, being against nationalism. Nationalism is the ugliest shit ever invented. Maybe it’s that I grew up as a musician, and we identify ourselves as punks, metalheads, shoegazers so on and so forth—never “I’m Chinese” or “I’m a Hong Konger”. That’s just fucking lame. The only reason why I’m a Hong Konger is that my mum gave birth to me in Hong Kong, that’s not even my choice, why should I be proud of something I have no control over? And as a species just how much stupid shit have we done because of nationalism?
London Anarchist Book Fair 2016

More and more people are realising that nationalism only leads to conflicts and war, and elections only lead to disappointments. So, [anarchism] is not only enduring, it’s also reviving.

Secondly, I would say anarchism is about trusting humanity. If you think that we are all selfish and evil from birth, then fuck it, we have to be governed. But if you think not, if selfishness and evil are socially conditioned, then perhaps you are an anarchist too. I agree historically and philosophically it’s from the west, especially from Spanish and French history, but humanity existed long before we invented the idea of government. I think anarchism is a cosmopolitan ideology in which we all experience a pre-government era.

Would you say anarchism has not yet gained mainstream popularity in Hong Kong?

I have no idea what is the Hong Kong mainstream’s choice, to be honest. Fuck mainstream.

What about social movements in Hong Kong? Do any come close to expressing anarchic ideals, e.g. no overarching government, spontaneous organisation, and communal property?

I think [poet and narrator] Uncle Hung said it beautifully. He was walking around through the camps in Admiralty in 2014, and suddenly he realised: “Anarchism is possible! All these tents, how people lived here for 70 days, this is anarchy.”

I would say don’t look up to leaders, rather, look around you. I remember one day I was having late lunch in a 茶餐廳, and out of the blue, the boss shouted “抄牌”, and several people put down their chopsticks, ran out, drove their car around and came back after the traffic warden was gone. I was thinking, as an activist, this kind of grey area is far more interesting than say, legalising parking. I’m not saying 茶餐廳 is the anarchy utopia, but this kind of grassroots interaction always inspires me, that people can cooperate to work things out. We all have agency.

What is your perspective on whether anarchy can ever be realised?

I’m not a realist, I don’t really go around picking something that can be easily realised before my death to believe in. I believe everyone should be able to travel to wherever they want, I believe we should abandon borders. I don’t think it’ll be realised anytime soon, but that’s okay.

Black Book Fair will take place 17-19 November at Lecture Hall, VAC Centre on 7 Kennedy Road, Central, Hong Kong. The interview has been edited for length and flow.

Tags: hong kongAnarchist bookfairblack bookfaircategory: Essays
Categories: News

Students Mobilize to Counter Neo-Nazi Rally at University of North Florida

It's Goin Down - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 19:22

The post Students Mobilize to Counter Neo-Nazi Rally at University of North Florida appeared first on It's Going Down.

Neo-Nazis and KKK members are stating that they will rally at the University of North Florida in support of Ken Parker, a former Grand Dragon of the KKK and a current member of the National Socialist Movement (NSM). The NSM is currently one of the largest neo-Nazi organizations in the US, and was one of the groups that made up the Nationalist Front, which engaged in violence and murder at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on August 12th.

According to The Tab

Ken Parker, the former Grand Dragon of the KKK and a current Neo-Nazi, was exposed by The Tab as a UNF student last month.

He was suspended for threatening a student this week – he posed in topless in his bathroom mirror, holding a rifle as he talked about confronting his classmates.

Parker is appealing his suspension and meeting with UNF’s President this coming Monday. His Neo-Nazi supporters are organizing a rally for him at the same time.

Speaking to The Tab, Parker confirmed a protest was in the works, although he declined to comment further.

counter-protest is set to take place, as students are campaigning for Parker to be permanently kicked out.

A spokesperson for the organizers, Students for a Democratic Society, said: “SDS will be there in support to speak out against Nazis and let them know that they are not and will never be welcomed at UNF.”

According to the Facebook page of the counter-protest, students are angry at inaction by the school administration for not removing Parker from the campus. In the call to action, they stated:

Nazi’s are coming to UNF to back the grand wizard of the KKK. The KKK has been the most destructive terrorist group in US history, they destablized the southern United States to the point that we are still feeling their effects to this day. President Delaney has taken a weak stance on racism at UNF and now we have self proclaimed nazis coming to campus. Administration has failed to properly deal with racist students and racist actions. It is time for the Students of UNF to come together and show the world we oppose Nazism and hate, even when administration has failed.

All power to the students going on to confront the KKK and neo-Nazis on Monday! If you are in the area and can support them and write a report back for IGD, please do. Check out the event here.

Categories: News

Walter Bond Launches Hunger Strike

It's Goin Down - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:23

The post Walter Bond Launches Hunger Strike appeared first on It's Going Down.

Animal liberation prisoner Walter Bond has started a hunger strike. To listen to an audio statement go here.

Since my arrival in Greenville two-and-a-half years ago, my communications with the world have been made incredibly difficult and at times impossible. I have been repeatedly denied books, magazines, letters and pictures. It’s standard operating procedure that my mail – be it my email or snail mail — is habitually days, weeks and even months late. It is not at all uncommon for my mail, both incoming and outgoing, to simply never arrive.”

I’ve been…. I’ve even been denied copies of my own book, “Always Looking Forward,” which I wrote in prison and is approved for me to have.

It has also become impossible for me to adhere to my Vegan diet, because none of the so-called “meat options” offered at Greenville, Illinois are even close to Vegan. Because of this, I have been forced at great cost to my friends, family and supporters to pay outrageously for foods from the commissary that continue to be an inadequate version….

I have tried now for over a year to obtain a transfer from FCI Greenville, Illinois closer to New York City where I intend to live upon my release, but I have been denied this as well through petty and irrelevant disciplinary reports.

Despite all of this, I have maintained years of patience, quietly awaiting my freedom. But, my cooperation has got me nothing. So in the tradition of A.L.F. activists before me, such as Barry Horne, I am going on hunger strike. I will not eat anything and will starve until these issues are remedied.

I’m asking everybody in the Animal Rights and Anarchist communities to stand with me with your protests and actions of solidarity.

You can reach the institution concerning my health and my well-being at:
(618) 664-6200

Categories: News

Water Protectors Shut Down Wisconsin Line 3 Construction and Warn Enbridge to “Stay Out of Minnesota”

It's Goin Down - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 17:46

The post Water Protectors Shut Down Wisconsin Line 3 Construction and Warn Enbridge to “Stay Out of Minnesota” appeared first on It's Going Down.

Early Wednesday morning water protectors from Camp Makwa stormed an Enbridge construction site, and delayed progress on the last unfinished Wisconsin segment of their proposed line 3 pipeline project. One individual from the Diné Nation descended into the muddy trench, climbed onto the pipe, and locked himself to welding equipment. A Leech Lake Tribal member then climbed atop an excavator and attached himself to a hydraulic arm. Construction was halted for approximately six hours, costing the company thousands of dollars, as the individuals put their bodies on the line to protect the water and the futures of their children.

Later in the day two more water protectors were arrested, while standing on the side of the public road. They were both tackled to the ground by Sergeant Kirchhoff of the Superior Police Department. For one of the arrests, when asked on what grounds he was acting, officer Kirchhoff cited a warrant that he could not produce. Later investigation found that the warrant he cited was unsigned and improperly filed. Last Week Sergeant Kirchhoff received media attention for tackling a woman to the ground without warning at a similar protest. The woman’s charges were later dropped.

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Line 3 Construction Site 378 Shut Down

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:November 15th 2017Contact: Campmakwaline3frontlinecamp@gmail.comWater Protectors Shut Down Wisconsin Line 3 Construction and Warn Enbridge to “Stay Out of Minnesota” Early Wednesday morning water protectors from Camp Makwa stormed an Enbridge construction site, and delayed progress on the last unfinished Wisconsin segment of their proposed line 3 pipeline project. One individual from the Diné Nation descended into the muddy trench, climbed onto the pipe, and locked himself to welding equipment. A Leech Lake Tribal member then climbed atop an excavator and attached himself to a hydraulic arm. Construction was halted for approximately six hours, costing the company thousands of dollars, as the individuals put their bodies on the line to protect the water and the futures of their children. Later in the day two more water protectors were arrested, while standing on the side of the public road. They were both tackled to the ground by Sergeant Kirchhoff of the Superior Police Department. For one of the arrests, when asked on what grounds he was acting, officer Kirchhoff cited a warrant that he could not produce. Later investigation found that the warrant he cited was unsigned and improperly filed. Last Week Sergeant Kirchhoff received media attention for tackling a woman to the ground without warning at a similar protest. The woman's charges were later dropped. The Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project is estimated to carry almost one million barrels of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin; Enbridge has received approval in Wisconsin, but has not received approval in Minnesota, which would be the largest segment of the proposed project. The non-violent direct action came after a week of evidentiary hearings in Minnesota, where Enbridge revealed that it had already paid for 100% of the pipe for the project. The same day as the action it was discovered that before her time in public office Judge Ann C O’Reilly, the individual in charge of holding public hearings on the Line 3 Project, worked for a firm that represented oil companies on multiple occasions.One water protector stated “Enbridge doesn’t have their permits for Minnesota and they have already started chopping trees down for their easement and filling its pipe storage yards. We went to the public hearings and found them full to the brim with Enbridge employees who were paid to be there. We fought again and again just to have 3 minutes to speak. Now we watch as truck after truck come into our communities carrying pipes and out of state pipeline workers. We made our comments, but they didn’t listen. The project is already bringing violence to our land and our women and children. We know that with these man camps comes increased levels of drugs, rape, and missing and murdered indigenous women. Enbridge will not take no for an answer so we have to stop them. We want to make clear in no uncertain terms, Enbridge is not welcome in Minnesota.”*One of the water protectors is still in jail and $1200 is needed to get him out, please donate to*#waterislife #stopline3 #noline3 #wildriceislife #keepitintheground #lovewaternotoil #honorthetreaties #defendthesacred

Posted by Makwa Initiative – Line 3 Frontline Resistance on Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project is estimated to carry almost one million barrels of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin; Enbridge has received approval in Wisconsin, but has not received approval in Minnesota, which would be the largest segment of the proposed project. The non-violent direct action came after a week of evidentiary hearings in Minnesota, where Enbridge revealed that it had already paid for 100% of the pipe for the project. The same day as the action it was discovered that before her time in public office Judge Ann C O’Reilly, the individual in charge of holding public hearings on the Line 3 Project, worked for a firm that represented oil companies on multiple occasions.

One water protector stated “Enbridge doesn’t have their permits for Minnesota and they have already started chopping trees down for their easement and filling its pipe storage yards. We went to the public hearings and found them full to the brim with Enbridge employees who were paid to be there. We fought again and again just to have 3 minutes to speak. Now we watch as truck after truck come into our communities carrying pipes and out of state pipeline workers. We made our comments, but they didn’t listen. The project is already bringing violence to our land and our women and children. We know that with these man camps comes increased levels of drugs, rape, and missing and murdered indigenous women. Enbridge will not take no for an answer so we have to stop them. We want to make clear in no uncertain terms, Enbridge is not welcome in Minnesota.”

*One of the water protectors is still in jail and $1200 is needed to get him out, please donate to*

#waterislife #stopline3 #noline3 #wildriceislife #keepitintheground #lovewaternotoil#honorthetreaties #defendthesacred

Categories: News

Detroit's Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet

Grassroots Economic Survival - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 16:55
Link: Ignored By Big Telecom, Detroit's Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet

“When you kind of think about all the ways the internet affects your life and how 40 percent of people in Detroit don’t have that access you can start to see how Detroit has been stuck in this economic disparity for such a long time,” Diana Nucera, director of the Detroit Community Technology Project, told me at her office.

Nucera is part of a growing cohort of Detroiters who have started a grassroots movement to close that gap, by building the internet themselves. It’s a coalition of community members and multiple Detroit nonprofits. They’re starting with three underserved neighborhoods, installing high speed internet that beams shared gigabit connections from an antenna on top of the tallest building on the street, and into the homes of people who have long gone without. They call it the Equitable Internet Initiative.

Read the rest at Motherboard

Watch the video


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

A grass-roots approach to financing the clean energy movement

Grassroots Economic Survival - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 16:29
Link: A grass-roots approach to financing the clean energy movement.

Please join us in supporting the clean energy movement! Together, we can make a difference for our environment and our economy.


We’ve started a new financial and lending institution called Clean Energy Credit Union, focused solely on loans that help people afford solar electric systems, electric vehicles, home energy efficiency retrofits, electric-assist bicycles, net-zero energy homes, etc.  Clean Energy Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial services cooperative and a federally chartered credit union. As a cooperative, it’s democratically owned and controlled by its members on a one-vote-per-member basis.

Our short video (embedded at the top of this page) explains it best.

Still have questions? Learn more about Clean Energy Credit Union or contact us via

Support the Clean Energy Credit Union


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Error451 #2: Burner Phones

Anarchist News - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:58

Download This Episode

This is the first standalone episode of Error451, The Final Straw’s occasionally weekly podcast featuring a conversation between Bursts and William Budington about tech, security and safer practices. Upcoming episodes include how to avoid leaking info while using maps on your device and safer practices at borders. If you have other topics you’d like to see covered, drop us a line at

In this episode, we have a brief conversation about the idea of burner phones, mobile devices kept insulated from the users personal information and which can just be dumped when no longer useful. We talk about reasons one might use them, approaches to getting them and using them and how to dispose of them after usefulness has ceased.

Hopefully you’ll find this helpful in your endeavors!

Tags: The Final Strawpodcasttechsecurity#Error451category: Projects
Categories: News

Republicans Want to Pay for Tax Cuts by Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Truth Out - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:21

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski advanced a resolution this week that would open the pristine Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling to help pay for the Republican tax plan. However, Murkowski has something else her fellow Republicans want, and it's not oil revenues.

 Win McNamee / Getty Images)Activists attend a news conference on Republican sponsored legislation that would open the Alaskan wilderness to oil drilling outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images)

The fact that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski wants to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in her home state to oil and gas companies is news to no one in Congress.

Murkowski's father fought to open the refuge to drilling for years when he served in Congress during the 1980s and 1990s. Alaska's state budget depends on oil revenues and has suffered as fuel prices dropped in recent years. Geologists say billions of barrels could be found under the refuge if only oil companies were allowed to look.

The fact that environmentalists and most Democrats loathe the idea of setting up oil platforms and pipelines in a sanctuary for caribou and polar bears is also no surprise. The prospect of drilling in the "crown jewel" of the nation's wildlife refuge system has been a hot debate item in Congress for decades, and it flared up again at an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday, as Chairwoman Murkowski and ranking member Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) faced off over Murkowski's latest attempt to open the refuge to drilling.

"The fact that oil prices have fallen and a state is over-reliant on oil does not mean we should destroy a wildlife refuge today," said Cantwell, who added that the purpose of the refuge is to protect wildlife, not oil interests.

Unfortunately for Cantwell and environmentalists, Democrats are in the minority and a fossil fuel fiend lives in the White House. Murkowski was able to pass a resolution to open the refuge for drilling through her committee on Wednesday by a 13-10 vote, largely along party lines. The resolution is attached to the tax overhaul bill, which the GOP is attempting to pass under the budget reconciliation process to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

Whether Republicans are able to pass Murkowski's resolution along with their massive tax cut package -- and whether oil companies are willing to get on board -- may now determine the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's northern coastal plain, an area known as Section 1002.

Republicans have a slim majority in the Senate, and Murkowski already foiled the party's last legislative push by voting against the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Republicans now want to use the tax overhaul as a vehicle through which to repeal the ACA's individual health insurance mandate, a move that would leave 13 million people uninsured and raise premiums for millions more, including Alaskans.

With Republican Sen. Ron Johnson already coming out against the current tax plan and asking for deep revisions, the GOP cannot afford any additional defectors. Incorporating permission for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into the tax bill could ensure that Murkowski remains a "yes" vote, regardless of what the bill looks like after the House and Senate agree on a final version.

The GOP's recent budget resolution tasked Murkowski's committee with finding $1 billion in revenue to help pay for the tax cuts. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the two oilfield lease sales Murkowski has proposed for Section 1002 could provide the federal government with $1 billion over 10 years after proceeds are split with the Alaska state government.

However, the CBO warns that it cannot predict the whims of oil speculators. Analysts say oil companies may not be interested in drilling at such a remote and controversial location, especially with oil prices so low. Fracking has unlocked large oil and gas reserves in Texas and other states, and much of the land already available for drilling in Alaska remains undeveloped. A recent analysis by Bloomberg Business called the $1 billion figure into question, finding instead that federal revenues would probably top out at about $145 million.

The deal could still be a boon for Alaska, where the state's $2.8 billion budget deficit is looming large over its relatively small population. Anything helps in a fiscal crisis, and geologists estimate that there is enough oil under the refuge's coastal plain to fuel an oil rush like Alaska enjoyed at Prudhoe Bay from the mid-1970s until recently.

"Alaska has a big budget crisis and is reliant on oil to fund state government, and it's looking for ways to continue that reliance," said Erik Grafe, an attorney in Anchorage with the environmental group Earthjustice, in an interview. "And ultimately, it's not sustainable, but I think there is certain desperation about what to do in a low oil-price future."

On the national level, however, a hopeful $1 billion would hardly make a dent in the $1.5 trillion the Republican tax cuts would add to the national deficit, and lawmakers in Washington are not trying to balance Alaska's budget anyway. Republicans will be able to count the $1 billion as hypothetical income in their quest to offset the tax deficit, but Murkowski has something they may want more than oil revenues: the "yea" vote needed to secure their first big legislative victory.

Categories: News

Stacking the Bench

Truth Out - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:12



Brett Talley poses for a portrait at Holy Rood Cemetery on Tuesday December 02, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images)Brett Talley poses for a portrait at Holy Rood Cemetery on Tuesday December 02, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images)   In these troubling and surreal times, honest journalism is more important than ever. Help us keep real news flowing: Make a donation to Truthout today.

One of Trump's latest judicial nominees, Brett Talley, has caught the public spotlight for good reason. But the glare of his inexperience is obscuring an even more troubling story about what is at stake in Alabama's Middle District, where there are currently two vacancies on the bench.

Talley is only 36 -- and extraordinarily unqualified. He was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week for a lifetime position on the Alabama federal bench and will be voted on by the full Senate as early as this week. As The New York Times reported, Talley has never tried a case, has practiced law for just three years and was unanimously deemed "not qualified" by the American Bar Association -- a distinction given to only four nominees since 1989. Talley also provides plenty of media-distracting fodder: He's a horror novel writer, once belonged to a ghost-hunting group and is a right-wing blogger who has disparaged "Hillary Rotten Clinton." Talley also pledged his "financial, political and intellectual" support to the NRA after the Newtown shooting. Even so, he refused during questioning by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), to say he would recuse himself from cases involving guns. 

To see more stories like this, visit Moyers & Company at Truthout.

The subplot to this story, however, began to unfold Monday when The New York Times reported that Talley failed to disclose in his Senate questionnaire, or during his hearing, or when specifically discussing his contact with White House lawyers, that he happens to be married to Ann Donaldson, the chief of staff to White House counsel Donald McGahn. Talley told the senators in his testimony that he regularly advised judicial candidates in his current role as deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Policy. He should know better than most that he is expected to be transparent. This is not a small oversight.

The Times explains the conflict of interest here: 

District judges often provide the first ruling when laws are called into question, decisions that can put them at odds with the White House and its lawyers. Last month, for example, judges in Hawaii and Maryland temporarily blocked Mr. Trump's travel ban.

But it's not just that President Trump is trying to recreate the bench in his own image: white, male and conservative. Christopher Kang, a former deputy counsel to President Obama, who was in charge of the selection, vetting and confirmation of President Obama's judicial nominees for four years, explains in a piece on HuffPost why the Trump administration would not only nominate such an unqualified candidate but would also, presumably, advise him to downplay his ties to the White House counsel's office. 

Back in May, President Trump had announced a different, more qualified, candidate to fill this seat in Alabama's Middle District. His name is Judge Terry Moorer, and he has served in Alabama's Middle District for nearly 30 years -- most recently, as US Magistrate Judge for 10 years. Before that, he was an assistant US attorney for 17 years. Prior to those appointments, he led a legal task force that fought organized crime and drug trafficking for six years. He is a retired colonel in the Alabama National Guard and the primary architect of the Alabama Code of Military Justice. He is also Trump's only African-American judicial nominee. 

So what happened? Kang writes that in September, President Trump announced this "little-noticed bait-and-switch," and moved Judge Moorer's nomination to the Southern District of Alabama in order to nominate the ill-equipped Talley for a seat that by all appearances should have gone to Moorer. "At first blush, it seemed like the more qualified, African-American nominee was simply shoved aside for a less qualified white man," writes Kang. But there are two open seats on the district bench, and a woman, Emily Coody Marks, was nominated for the other seat. Marks has escaped media scrutiny, but the 44-year-old lawyer has spent her entire legal career at one Montgomery law firm, opposing claims of civil rights violations, employment discrimination and labor violations according to a well-sourced legal blog, The Vetting Room.

Moorer's answers to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, writes Kang, reveal a more likely motivation. When Sen. Feinstein asked Moorer about the differences between the cases considered by the Middle and Southern Districts, he responded: 

Montgomery is the capital city of Alabama; therefore, a few different types of cases may more likely be heard in the Middle District of Alabama, such as redistricting cases or public corruption cases involving statewide elected officials.

Kang adds that the Middle District is also where constitutional challenges to Alabama state laws are heard: "Just last month, a judge in the Middle District ruled that two Alabama laws that would have severely restricted abortion access are unconstitutional." This is why the Trump administration may aim to put the least-experienced candidates in the positions that will hear "the most political and consequential cases," writes Kang. "President Trump once again has prioritized an ideological rubber stamp over everything else, including his own initial pick."

Vox totals 145 federal court vacancies, including 137 in the US Courts of Appeals and the District of Courts. With 47 nominees already named, the Trump administration is moving quickly. Talley is not the first questionable nominee, and he won't be the last as reported last summer. Democrats won't be able to filibuster unqualified nominees because Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) moved to limit the filibuster for lower-court judicial picks in retaliation for partisan gridlock during the Obama years.

The federal judiciary is also aging. According to an analysis by Ballotpedia, by the end of 2020 just over half of the district and appeals court seats will be filled by Trump, vacant or held by a judge who is ready to retire. Any balance in the make up of our judiciary is eroding quickly. Call it a political horror story, but Brett Talley is by no means its main character.

Categories: News

Wisconsin Police Gun Down Young Teen on Reservation

Truth Out - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:11
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Another young teen of color is dead at the hands of police officers -- this time on a reservation in Wisconsin. Officials claim that 14-year-old Jason Pero was brandishing a butcher's knife and lunged at officers responding to a call about a dangerous male. Meanwhile, family and tribal witnesses say Jason was a gentle teen who wouldn't hurt anyone.

One cop is now on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues into why -- once again -- a police officer responded to a child with deadly force.

According to multiple news reports, Pero -- an 8th grader – was home from school with the flu when he left his house and encountered Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich. The Wisconsin Department of Justice stated that the Ashland County police department received a phone call just prior reporting that a male matching Pero's description was walking down the street with a knife -- a call that Department says that Pero made himself.

When Mrdjenovich confronted Pero, the boy allegedly refused to drop the knife and even lunged twice at Mrdjenovich, causing Mrdjenovich to eventually shoot Pero twice -- including at least once in the chest.

"DCI has determined Jason Pero was the same person that called 911 reporting a man with a knife, giving his own physical description," The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) released in a statement. "Initial information indicates that Pero had been despondent over the few days leading up to the incident and evidence from a search warrant executed on Pero's bedroom supports that information."

Was Pero depressed, and was he trying in some way to kill himself when he reportedly lunged at an officer with a sharp weapon? Even if that is in fact the true story, the question remains as to why police remain unable to disarm a suspect without killing him in the process, especially when that person has no gun -- and even more so when we are talking about a child.

"Be clear," writes The Root's Kirsten West Savali, "Even if this child were holding a knife—which has not been proved—he did not deserve a bullet through his heart. But that is the state's instinct when they see children of color as neither children nor human beings worthy of protection."

It's a view we saw all too clearly when 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down in Missouri, despite having no weapons on him. We saw it again in Ohio when 12 year old Tamir Rice was killed by police within seconds of their arrival at a Cleveland park. The officers couldn't even take the time to realize that the "weapon" Rice was playing with was only a toy gun.

It's clear that when police are confronting a person of color, their first instinct is no longer to disarm or de-escalate, but to jump quickly to lethal force to protect themselves from what they view as a threat on their lives. Yes, even if that "threat" is a teenage boy too young to shave.

Pero's community is reeling from the violence he faced at the hands of those who are supposed to be trusted to keep the peace, and it is not surprising that they appear so far to doubt the details released by the Department of Justice on Pero's motive, his alleged attack on an officer and the other actions leading to his murder. They aren't wrong to be dubious, either: This isn't an isolated incident, but a steady pattern of violence against communities of color.

If there is any justice to be found for Pero's family and community, it will be found only when police are trained to disarm, to de-escalate and to see some other way to respond to a child than to instinctively shoot him in the chest.

Categories: News

More than 100 universities and colleges included in Offshore Leaks Database

Global Muckracker - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:06

Hidden in the 25,000 offshore entities we added to the Offshore Leaks Database today are some of the world’s most prestigious universities and colleges.

ICIJ and its partners found more than 100 educational institutions in offshore law firm Appleby’s client database, which was part of the Paradise Papers leaks.

Some of these elite institutions hold tens of billions of dollars in their endowments, and in the eyes of the law, they are treated as charities: altruistic, mission-driven and tax-exempt.

The only time university endowments pay taxes is when they invest in debt-financed financial firms such as private equity funds and hedge funds. These investments are considered a business activity unrelated to their tax-exempt missions.

Related articles

As ICIJ’s partners at The New York Times reported, large numbers of universities have adopted an offshore scheme that allows them to avoid even those taxes. The universities assign entities called “blocker funds” legal responsibility of otherwise taxable investments. These entities are incorporated in zero-tax jurisdictions such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Consequently, wealthy universities have settled en masse on a strategy for reaping Wall Street-sized investment gains tax free.

American universities whose endowments appear in the Paradise Papers using blocker funds include Columbia, Dartmouth and Johns Hopkins.

Dozens of other U.S. colleges, as well as flagship universities in the United Kingdom and Canada, appear connected to blocker funds, as well as offshore investments in the oil and gas industry or other companies and financial firms based in tax havens.

Is your university or alma mater using offshore investments?

Take a look at the list below and see if your university is included:

To share news tips with ICIJ and the Paradise Papers journalists you can reach ICIJ on a number of platforms including SecureDrop, Signal, WhatsApp, Wire and more.

The post More than 100 universities and colleges included in Offshore Leaks Database appeared first on ICIJ.

Categories: News

Single-Payer: A Reproductive Justice Value

Truth Out - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 14:45

 Lauren Walker / Truthout)(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout)

Ensuring that everyone, regardless of income, background, gender or ZIP code has access to adequate health care is a reproductive justice priority. Only single-payer would specifically address the systemic inequalities faced by marginalized people -- a group of most concern to the reproductive justice movement -- who are most likely to fall through the cracks of any other system.

 Lauren Walker / Truthout)(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout)

This piece is part of Fighting for Our Lives: The Movement for Medicare for All, a Truthout original series.

The reproductive justice movement focuses on expanding the ability of all people to access the full spectrum of reproductive health care -- from contraception and cancer screenings to abortion and prenatal care. This priority is particularly urgent amid a recent onslaught of unconstitutional restrictive laws. However, reproductive justice activists know that availability means nothing if patients cannot afford to see their physicians. As Truthout has reported, a single-payer system is the only national health plan that would ensure no one falls through the cracks.

"Reproductive justice is focused on each and every person having the resources and tools to exercise agency over their sexual and reproductive lives," Alexis Cole, policy manager at youth-focused reproductive justice organization URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, told Truthout.

"What we are really talking about is families -- every single person must have the ability to determine what kind of family they choose to have and then be able to raise that family healthily," Cole said. "The only way we do that is through a comprehensive, universal health plan that includes the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion."

A single-payer system that explicitly covers abortion care would override the widespread problem of state laws prohibiting abortion coverage in insurance plans.

The Medicare for All Act of 2017, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, explicitly covers maternity, infant and abortion care -- all of which would be huge wins for the reproductive justice movement. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) took a few steps in the right direction -- requiring contraceptive coverage and zero copays for annual preventative visits -- but Americans are at the mercy of their ZIP code when it comes to access. Far too many are left without reproductive care providers, or live in areas where legislatures have passed abortion restrictionsTwenty-eight states now have at least two restrictions that conflict with proven science, and 338 measures restricting abortions have been passed by legislatures between 2010 and 2017.

For those who are able to leap through every legal hoop placed in their way, the problem of payment remains. Those in marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by the impediment of cost.

"Comprehensive, universal health care would be life-changing for young people, LGBTQ folks, Black and Brown communities, and others who currently face severe inequalities in health care, especially for reproductive care," said Cole. "A comprehensive single-payer approach would guarantee the full spectrum of reproductive health care -- including abortion care -- to each of these communities, instead of the current patchwork of care depending on which state you happen to live in."

A single-payer system that explicitly covers abortion care would override the widespread problem of state laws prohibiting abortion coverage in insurance plans. Currently, 25 states restrict abortion coverage in plans offered through the ACA exchanges, 21 states restrict abortion coverage for public employees, and 10 go so far as to restrict insurance coverage of abortion for all private insurance plans written in the state. In addition to these restrictions, the federal Hyde Amendment -- which has been annually attached to the federal budget since 1976 -- prevents 7.5 million low-income Americans from using their Medicaid coverage to obtain an abortion. In addition to Medicaid enrollees, Hyde affects federal civilian employees and their dependents, military personnel and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, incarcerated people, and those served by the Indian Health Service.

Universal health coverage that ends these insurance prohibitions would be an important step toward achieving reproductive justice and freedom, Erin Grant, co-chair of the Abortion Care Network's board of directors, told Truthout.

"Abortion coverage bans are a violation of human rights," Grant said. "Forcing people to search for and access medical care with limited options for paying for services complicates their ability to take care of themselves and families in a timely, dignified manner."

As Truthout has reported, support for true universal health care is growing, with 120 co-sponsors for Rep. John Conyers's single-payer bill in the House and 16 co-sponsors for Sanders's bill in the Senate. Similarly, despite loud detractors in the GOP and conservative wing of the Democratic Party, support for abortion access has risen as well. Rep. Barbara Lee's Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act of 2015 was co-sponsored by 127 members -- a full 30 percent  of the House.

Voter support for abortion coverage is also at an all-time high. According to a June 2015 poll by Hart Research Associates, 74 percent of voters -- which includes 62 percent of Republicans -- agree that "as long as abortion is legal, the amount of money a woman has or does not have should not prevent her from being able to have an abortion." When asked specifically about prohibitions on abortion coverage for Medicaid enrollees, 65 percent of voters agree with the statement: "[W]e do not always know a woman's circumstances -- we're not in her shoes. When Medicaid covers pregnancy care but withholds coverage for abortion, we're taking away a low-income woman's ability to make important, personal decisions based on her circumstances."

Local referenda and recent elections support this data.

"Election Day 2017 was a referendum on the regressive policies of Donald Trump, and we heard voters say in a resounding voice, 'enough is enough,'" Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health said in a statement on November 7. "Access to abortion care, health care for low-income people, and the rights of the LGBTQ community, people of color and immigrants were all on the ballot yesterday, and we saw voters ready to push back against the Trump agenda, and forward on a progressive vision for cities, states and this country."

New Jersey voters elected reproductive health supporter Phil Murphy to the governor's office over opponent Kim Guadagno, who campaigned on defunding Planned Parenthood. In Washington State, Manka Dhingra won her special election to the state Senate with a platform including reproductive freedom. And in Maine, voters struck back against conservative Gov. Paul LePage's refusal to expand Medicaid coverage. Through a referendum to grant Medicaid access to an estimated 70,000 low-income residents, the measure won by a nearly 20-point margin.

"We're seeing a nation that is angry about the path the federal government and many states are leading us down and motivated to reclaim our power and change the direction we are moving [in]," Miller said. "These victories mean that we have the opportunity to continue to advance policies that safeguard access to abortion, contraception and all reproductive health care."

"Economic and racial injustice are inextricably linked, and so we know that expanded health care access through single-payer would have a huge impact on communities of color."

As reproductive justice advocates seek to build on these victories, we are acutely aware of the systemic inequalities that single-payer specifically would address in a way that other reforms like the ACA and proposed "public option" efforts never could.

Nan Little Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, told Truthout that the reproductive justice movement is about more than contraception and abortion care.

"Single-payer would improve health care access overall, especially for the most underserved and under-resourced communities -- and this will impact people's reproductive decision making," said Little Kirkpatrick. "Here in Texas, we have the highest maternal mortality rate [35.8 deaths per 100,000 live births] in the US -- a nation that itself has an extremely high maternal mortality rate. Expanded access to health care could counteract this epidemic, which we see disproportionately impacting Black women in particular."

The US has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births overall -- nearly three times that of the next closest country (the UK at 9.2). That's approximately 700 deaths from pregnancy-related complications. As Little Kirkpatrick referenced, these overall numbers mask significant racial disparities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate for pregnancy-related deaths is 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births for white women and 43.5 deaths per 100,000 live births for Black women. Thanks to systemic, multigenerational inequalities, Black women are three and a half times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy.

"People of color are disproportionately impacted by barriers to health care access, leading to issues like high maternal mortality and a disproportionate lack of access to reproductive health services," said Little Kirkpatrick. "In the United States, economic and racial injustice are inextricably linked, and so we know that expanded health care access through single-payer would have a huge impact on communities of color. When we talk about reproductive justice, these disparities in access for communities of color [are] part of that conversation."

All of the reproductive justice leaders that spoke with Truthout referenced these disparities, and the need for truly equitable coverage, as well as access.

"Universal health care would be one step in addressing the inequality of health care resources across communities, giving each of us the basic health care needed to make personal, fundamental decisions about our health, sexuality and family lives," said Cole.

Grant also cited Abortion Care Network's efforts to support all people who want to become pregnant. Many people who want to parent don't have adequate health care coverage for assisted reproductive technology options.

"Inclusive and competent preventive health services are a human right, and reproductive justice and freedom depend on access to these services regardless of income, gender or zip code," she said.

Grant added that insurance expansion is not the only issue facing reproductive justice advocates.

"Even with the increased access that would come with universal coverage, we still need to make sure that there are enough providers to see patients and that services are provided respectfully and without bias, coercion or unnecessary delays. Affordability is not the only thing that keeps people from getting the care they need -- that's one reason it's so important to keep clinics open and to train the next generation of providers."

As Grant, Cole and Little Kirkpatrick point out, the list of needs may be long, but ensuring that every person, regardless of income, background, gender, or ZIP code can see a doctor when they need to would go a long way to accomplishing the goals of the reproductive justice movement.

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Categories: News

Workers repair hydrogen leak at Cooper Nuclear power plant

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:40

Workers repair hydrogen leak at Cooper Nuclear power plant | 15 Nov 2017 | A coolant leak in one of Cooper nuclear power plant's turbines in southeast Nebraska has been repaired. Nebraska Public Power District spokesman Mark Becker said the hydrogen leak was repaired before 6 p.m. Tuesday. The leak was discovered earlier that day by maintenance workers. The plant near Brownville, Nebraska, continued operating after the leak was found Tuesday morning.

Categories: News

Special Counsel Mueller Issued Subpoena for Russia-Related Documents From Trump Campaign Officials

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 07:45

Special Counsel Mueller Issued Subpoena for Russia-Related Documents From Trump Campaign Officials | 16 Nov 2017 | Special counsel Robert Mueller's team in mid-October issued a subpoena to President Donald Trump's campaign requesting Russia-related documents from more than a dozen top officials, according to a person familiar with the matter. The subpoena, which requested documents and emails from the listed campaign officials that reference a set of Russia-related keywords [LOL!], marked Mr. Mueller's first official order for information from the campaign, according to the person. The subpoena didn't compel any officials to testify before Mr. Mueller's grand jury, the person said.

Categories: News

Two prominent Minnesota Democrats call on Al Franken to resign

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 06:52

Two prominent Minnesota Democrats call on Al Franken to resign | 16 Nov 2017 | Two prominent members of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party are calling on Sen. Al Franken to resign his Senate seat following allegations of sexual misconduct. Although many other Democrats have called the former comedian's actions disturbing, state auditor Rebecca Otto and Megan Thomas, president of the party's official Feminist Caucus, say he should leave office.

Categories: News