Note from Insurrection News: The following text is a translation of a leaflet that is being distributed by the comrades at Contra Madriz along with a series of posters, pamphlets and stickers that denounce all expressions of nationalism. The material will be distributed throughout the territories currently ruled by the Spanish State. You can read the original text in Spanish and download PDFs of the material HERE.
NO STATE WILL MAKE US FREE
No State, Spanish or Catalan, will give us any kind of freedom. Because the reason of being for every State is to subject the exploited and to guarantee the privileges of the ruling classes. The state regulates exploitation via the law and is responsible for ensuring that the oppressed never rise up against an order that exploits, humiliates, evicts, steals, murders and creates misery throughout the length and breadth of the planet.
No police, Mossos (Catalan police), Civil or National Guard protects us. They are the shock force of the state that protects private property and are responsible for repressing and persecuting those who do not kneel and decide to fight against their rotten world. There are no good police or bad police, all repressive bodies obey a very specific logic: maintain order. Let’s not forget the actions of all police forces in general strikes, demonstrations, neighborhood raids, racist controls, surveillance of prisons, evictions and even as a force of foreign occupation (remember the number of police officers deployed for international missions). They obey and serve their masters.
Democracy, parliamentary institutions and politicians do not look after our interests, but their own interests. No one but ourselves should look after our interests. Electing our masters, voting, submitting to majorities and / or minorities, acting within democratic frameworks…makes us complicit in our own domination and establishes in us the spirit of delegation in officials. We put our lives in their hands. Relying on politicians who only seek (as they all do) to profit from our struggles and our feelings, while submitting us or aspiring to submit us, makes us become a servile mass ready to mobilize or demobilize according to their electoral interests and their struggles for power.
No nationalism or flag should represent us. As the oppressed and exploited we should understand that we have more in common with the other oppressed and exploited than with an entrepreneur or politician who was born in the same place as us. Nationalism and patriotism are tools of power which infect and manipulate the oppressed and make them dance to the tune of the oppressors and bond with our class enemies and their constantly changing projects and needs. The affection for the land in which we live or our language are taken away to justify the creation of new states. Obviously, culture should be something living, in constant evolution and free development between individuals and communities. The state is the death of all free development, building borders and sowing the seeds of racism and xenophobia.
Under capitalism, the state and any form of authority, we will never be free. Let us build a new world on the ruins of authoritarian and state society. Let us build and fight for anarchy, as a constant struggle against all forms of oppression and exploitation, in solidarity and mutual support with our equals, no matter where they come from.
NO NATIONS! NO BORDERS!
(via Contra Madriz, translated by PDF)Tags: spainCatalunyacategory: Essays
5 Facts About Mike Pence's Close Ties to the Koch Brothers Not Included in Jane Mayer’s New Yorker Article
This is a guest post by Scott Peterson from Checks and Balances Project.
If you’ve read Jane Mayer’s deep dive into the ties between the Koch Bros. and the Vice President, “The Danger of President Pence,” you’ll understand why it’s the high-water mark of reporting about their relationship.
Yet there are several facts that aren’t included in the New Yorker article. Here are five facts worth knowing in addition to her excellent work.var icx_publication_id = 14813; var icx_content_id = '12225'; Click here for reuse options! Tags: Mike PenceCharles KochDavid KochChecks and Balances Project
For Months, the Trump Administration Has Illegally Stopped Undocumented Women From Obtaining Abortions
The US Constitution grants all women -- including prisoners and undocumented immigrants -- the right to an abortion, no matter what obstacles fundamentalist Christians may create in certain states. But since Trump's inauguration, the administration has blocked young pregnant women who cross the border without papers from seeking abortions.
The San Francisco ACLU has now taken on one such case on behalf of Jane Doe, a pregnant 17-year-old who is being held in a federal immigration shelter in Texas. The shelter won't allow her to visit the doctor who has agreed to perform her abortion.
"The government may not want to facilitate abortion, but it cannot block it," US Magistrate Laurel Beeler told SFGate. "It is doing that here."
Several hundred undocumented pregnant women cross the border alone each year, but shelters do not allow minors to leave to get abortions without permission from the US Office of Refugee Resettlement. Instead, these women are forced to attend Christian-sponsored "crisis pregnancy centers" where they are falsely warned that abortions are dangerous, forced to look at sonograms of the fetus and pressured into carrying their pregnancies to term.
Jane Doe missed her first scheduled abortion on September 28 because the shelter forbade it, and she is now attending mandatory anti-abortion counseling.
"Jane Doe is a brave and persistent young woman who has already been forced by the Trump administration to delay her abortion for weeks," ACLU attorney Brigitte Amiri told SFGate. "The government is holding her hostage so that she will be forced to carry to term against her will."
According to SFGate, Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, told a shelter staff person, "My priority is unborn children, and there will be no more abortions."
Plenty of others are on his side. In response to the ACLU's claim in court, seven states, including Texas, filed arguments stating that undocumented immigrants in American custody have no right to an abortion.
31 Hanford workers test positive for radioactive contamination | 18 Oct 2017 | Thirty-one Hanford nuclear reservation workers inhaled very small amounts of radioactive material after a take-cover order for a contamination spread June 8. An alarm sounded that morning at the Plutonium Finishing Plant when airborne radioactive contamination was detected as open-air demolition using heavy equipment was being done. Work was underway at the most contaminated part of the plant.
Cal Fire incident commander: Investigations are 'confidential' --Death toll rises to 42; 53 are missing | 19 Oct 2017 | A Santa Rosa couple filed the first lawsuit against PG&E in connection with the deadly Northern California wildfires and alleges negligence and violations of various utility and safety codes. At the same time, the death toll from the disaster grew to 42 after the remains of a man were found in a residence late Tuesday, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office confirmed Wednesday morning. As of Wednesday, 53 people remained missing in Sonoma County alone although there are also wildfires in Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Butte and several other Northern California counties...As for the investigation into the wildfires, Cal Fire incident commander Bret Gouvea said the probes "are still ongoing." He added that the investigations are "confidential" at this point.
Lawsuit Claims Three U.S. Companies Funded Terror in Iraq | 17 Oct 2017 | A lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday contends that major American corporations doing business with the Iraqi government during the Iraq War also provided it with free drugs and medical devices that became an important source of funding for a Shiite militia that targeted United States troops. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of members of the American military who were injured or killed by attacks between 2005 and 2009, at the height of the Iraq War. It accuses five companies -- American firms General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer and European drugmakers AstraZeneca and Roche Holding A.G. -- of winning contracts to sell their products to the Iraqi Ministry of Health with the understanding that they also provide additional medical supplies and medicines for free...After the 2003 [illegal] overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the procurement budget for Iraq's health [sic] ministry soared to more than $1 billion in 2004 from about $16 million, in part because of an infusion of aid from the United States. A State Department cable from 2006 quoted a top Iraqi politician as describing the health ministry as "The Ministry of Weapons Transportation."
US troops met with 'overwhelming force' in Niger ambush, official says | 19 Oct 2017 | Confusion over what happened during an ambush of U.S. Special Forces in Niger earlier this month apparently sparked a full Pentagon probe of the incident announced Thursday, which some officials say could have had even worse casualties than four American soldiers killed from the small, "out-matched" team. Officials have described a harrowing burst of violence in or near a village close to Niger's border with Mali on Oct. 4, which led to the first U.S. combat deaths in the small African nation battling Islamist extremists.
Taliban attacks kill 58, nearly wipe out Afghan army camp | 19 Oct 2017 | The Taliban have killed at least 58 Afghan security forces in a wave of attacks across the country overnight, including an assault that nearly wiped out an army camp in southern Kandahar province, officials said Thursday. The attack on the army camp took place late on Wednesday and involved two suicide car bombs, said spokesman Dawlat Wazir. It set of hours of fighting, killing at least 43 soldiers. Nine other soldiers were wounded and six have gone missing, Wazir said, adding that 10 attackers were killed.
The Polite (Canadian Way) to Get Rid of Bears | 19 Oct 2017 | The most Canadian wayto get rid of bears (video).
Immigrants Fleeing California Wildfires Find No Sanctuary, Fearing Deportation and Avoiding Shelters
As catastrophic wildfires in California kill at least 42 people and leave thousands of homes and businesses in ruins, many of the area's 20,000 undocumented immigrants have had no sanctuary from the flames, with some sleeping on beaches in order to avoid federal agents at shelters. This comes as far-right media outlets like Breitbart are falsely reporting that an undocumented immigrant was arrested in connection to the fires. Police said there is no indication the man had anything to do with the wildfires. We speak with Alegría De La Cruz, deputy county lawyer of Sonoma County, and Juan Hernandez, executive director of the La Luz Center in Sonoma, California.
Please check back later for full transcript.
Major Victories for Climate Movement, but Global Chaos Grows: Roundtable With Leaders on What’s Next
After a summer of extreme weather around the world, we host a roundtable discussion with environmental leaders on next steps: Lindsey Allen, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network; Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network; and May Boeve, executive director of 350 Action, the political arm of the climate organization 350.org.
Please check back later for full transcript.
Agricultural pollution is contaminating drinking water supplies for millions of Americans with potentially dangerous chemicals, says a new report. Environmental groups blame the meat industry, which requires massive supplies of industrially grown corn and soy to raise cattle, and are putting pressure on large-scale meat producers to get their supply chains to clean up their acts.
Scientists recently announced that the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, an area the size of New Jersey where oxygen levels are too low to sustain most forms of life, is larger than ever. For years, environmentalists have used annual surveys of the dead zone to bring attention to large amounts of agricultural pollution from the nation's breadbasket that flows down the Mississippi River and fuels oxygen-depleting algae blooms in the Gulf.
This year, the message is hitting much closer to home, especially for those living near farmlands.
A new report from the Environmental Working Group shows that the agricultural pollution causing the dead zone is also contaminating drinking water supplies for millions of Americans with potentially dangerous chemicals. Environmental groups particularly blame large-scale meat production, which require huge supplies of industrially grown corn and soy to raise animals to satisfy the nation's appetite for cheap meat.
The US leads the world in meat production. One-third of all land in the continental US is used to grow feed and provide pasture for animals that will be killed for meat, according to the environmental group Mighty Earth. Now that agricultural pollution's impact on drinking water is coming into focus, meat producers such as Tyson Foods are coming under mounting pressure to set standards that would require large farms in their supply chains to clean up their acts.
"People just naturally pay more attention to the pollution issue in their own backyard than they do [to] pollution issues thousands of miles away," said Matt Rota, senior policy director at the Gulf Restoration Network, a group that works to reduce pollution in the Gulf South.
Chemicals called nitrates and other pollutants can contaminate drinking water sources when fertilizer and manure drain from poorly protected agricultural fields. Drinking water supplies for roughly 200 million Americans in 49 states have some level of nitrate contamination, but the highest levels are found in rural towns surrounded by industrial farms, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Runoff from farm fields finds its way from rural watersheds to the Gulf, providing nutrients for summertime algae blooms that force fish to migrate and kill off smaller creatures at the bottom of the food chain. The dead zone spanned 8,777 square miles off the coast of Louisiana and Texas when marine scientists measured it over the past summer.
Agricultural Pollution Is a Threat to Public Health
Nitrates are naturally found in soil and water, but high levels of exposure have been linked to birth defects, cancer and a dangerous condition known as blue baby syndrome in infants, which results from low levels of oxygen in the blood. Few water supplies in the US have levels of nitrates above the federal limit of 10 parts per million, which was set 25 years ago to prevent blue baby syndrome, but studies have found that the risk of cancer increases at levels as low as 5 parts per million.
Treating polluted water is expensive, and drinking water utilities often use chlorine and other disinfecting treatments when agricultural pollution contaminates sources of drinking water with manure and other pollutants. When these treatment chemicals interact with plant and animal waste, they create potentially dangerous byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THMs), a group of chemicals linked to liver, kidney and intestinal tumors in animals, according to the Environmental Working Group.
The EPA sets limits on the amount of THMs allowed in drinking water, but environmentalists say those limits were based on the technical feasibility of removing the chemicals, not concerns over their long-term toxicity. In 2010, state scientists in California estimated that levels 100 times lower the legal limit would pose a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer.
Nationwide, water supplies in 1,647 communities, serving 4.4 million people, are contaminated with THMs in amounts at least 75 times higher than California's one-in-a-million cancer risk level. In 2014 and 2015, 411 of those communities had levels of THMs at or above the EPA's limits, and two-thirds were found in five states with high levels of agricultural pollution -- Louisiana, California, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas. (You can find out if THMs and other pollutants are in your water supply using this database.)
Craig Cox, the Environmental Working Group's vice president for agriculture and natural resources, said farmers can take simple steps to reduce agricultural runoff, but too few farmers are taking action. Agricultural trade groups have considerable political clout in Washington, and farmers are exempt from many state and federal environmental regulations. A federal program pays billions of dollars a year to farmers that adopt conservation practices; however, that money does not always support the best pollution control methods.
"Decades of ill-conceived federal farm policy has been a driving factor in this situation we have today that puts millions of American families at risk of drinking tap water contaminated with these dangerous pollutants," Cox said in a statement.
Activists Target Meat Mega-Producers
Environmentalists in the Gulf spent years fighting for tougher regulation of industrial farming to protect waterways from runoff and ultimately reduce the size of the dead zone, even filing an unsuccessful lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to act during the Obama administration. The EPA did introduce eight policy guidelines to help states reduce fertilizer pollution in 2011, but no states have implemented more than two of them because the program is largely voluntarily, according to the Mississippi River Collaborative.
Now that the Trump administration is in charge, prospects for establishing tougher standards are slim at best.
"I don't have a whole lot of confidence that the feds will be taking stronger steps to make sure that nitrogen pollution isn't getting into our drinking [water] supply," Rota told Truthout.
Unable to change farming practices with regulation, activists are now focusing on brand-name companies that buy from industrial farms. Mighty Earth recently mapped high levels of nitrates in Midwestern waterways and found that supply chains for major meat companies were responsible for much of the fertilizer pollution. Tyson Foods, which produces roughly 20 percent of the country's meat supply through brands, such as Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farms, Ball Park and Sara Lee, stood out from the rest, with major processing facilities in all five states that are top contributors to pollution in the Gulf.
Activists across the country are now calling on Tyson directly, demanding that the company pressure its subsidiaries and suppliers to clean up their acts. Audrey Beeble, a community organizer with the Clean It Up Tyson campaign in Louisiana, said that Tyson's new CEO has shown interest in sustainability, and activists see an opening to hold the company to task. Unlike individual farmers, large companies like Tyson are more responsive to pressure from consumers.
"They are a household name; everybody knows Tyson," Beeble said in an interview. "People want to know what's in their food. They are sick of unchecked corporations."
Activists say there are several methods farms can use to prevent agricultural runoff, including rotating crops with small grains, planting cover crops, optimizing fertilizer applications to prevent runoff and using conservation tillage practices. They are also calling for a moratorium on the further clearing of native prairie ecosystems for industrial farming.
Tyson, which runs meat packaging and processing plants, not farms, claims it's "misleading" to single out one company when water pollution is a problem across the agriculture industry. Nearly 40 percent of corn, for example, is grown to produce ethanol, not meat. In a statement to Truthout, Tyson said that real change on this issue requires "a broad coalition of stakeholders," and the company is working with trade associations and researchers to "promote continuous improvement in how we and our suppliers operate."
Rota said individual farmers generally don't want to cause problems in their own communities or downstream. He thinks they will do the right thing if they are provided with the right solutions and held accountable.
"Farmers aren't bad people, and I don't know of any farmer who goes out to say, 'I'm going to pollute other people's drinking water,'" Rota said. "But they are business people, and they need to be responsible for their businesses."Support from readers provides Truthout with vital funds to keep investigating what mainstream media won't cover. Fund more stories like this by donating now!
This week's episode discusses the passage of California Disclose Act; the untrustworthiness of Equifax, Yahoo and Johnson & Johnson; Washington sueing big pharma for contributing to the opioid crisis; and socially destructive corporate behavior. This episode also includes an interview with Emma Yorra, a specialist in the development of worker co-ops.
Visit Professor Wolff's social movement project, democracyatwork.info.
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51 GOP Senators Just Voted to Cut $1.5 Trillion From Medicare and Medicaid to Give Super-Rich and Corporations a Tax Cut
Along strict party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday night voted to pass a sweeping budget measure -- one criticized as both "despicable" and "horrific" for providing massive giveaways to corporations and the super-rich while eviscerating funding for social programs, healthcare, education, and affordable housing.
The measure passed by 51-49 vote, with only one Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, joining every Democrat and the chamber's two Independents who voted against it. Its approval now paves that way for massive tax giveaways to the wealthy and corporations envisioned by President Donald Trump and the GOP in both the House and the Senate.
"51 Republican Senators just voted to cut Medicaid by $1 trillion and Medicare by $500 billion so that millionaires and corporations can get a tax cut. It's immoral and despicable," said TJ Helmstetter, a spokesperson for Americans for Tax Fairness, in a statement immediately following the vote.
51 GOP Sens. voted to slash Medicaid by $1T, Medicare by $500B, & other working family priorities just so the 1% can get BIG tax cuts. SHAME pic.twitter.com/diqckrg9JT— For Tax Fairness (@4TaxFairness) October 20, 2017
Though the budget resolution itself is nonbinding, MoveOn.org's Ben Wikler notes how the Senate passage on Thursday represents the "starting gun for what might be the most consequential legislative fight of the Trump era: the looting of the US treasury to reward billionaire GOP donors and mega-corporations, at the expense of the rest of us." And with the Senate resolution now in place, a reconciliation process can begin with Republicans in the House, meaning the GOP can "shoot for a tax bill without a single Democratic vote."
In the wake of its passage, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) -- who earlier this week called the proposal "Robin Hood in reverse" for taking from the poor to give to the rich -- said the "Republicans' budget is not a bad bill. It's a horrific bill."
Republicans’ budget is not a bad bill. It’s a horrific bill.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 20, 2017
Sanders was far from alone in his outrage.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) called the vote a "dark deed" and urged people nationwide to stand up and fight back against what the budget represents:
Another dark deed done: GOP passes obscene budget to slash Medicare/Medicaid & explode the deficit – all in the name of tax cuts for the 1%.— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) October 20, 2017
Just think of the possibilities if instead of padding millionaires' bank accounts, we invested this $$ in education and infrastructure jobs.— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) October 20, 2017
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), also vocal in her warnings ahead of the vote, condemned the budget put forth by her Republican colleagues as "garbage".Thanks to reader support, Truthout can deliver the news seven days a week, 365 days a year. Keep independent journalism going strong: Make a tax-deductible donation right now.
The campaign to take down symbols of racism and colonization has only grown and intensified since right-wingers, emboldened by Trump, started to push back. With so much of the US's landscape built in the name of slave owners, conquistadors and génocidaires, white supremacists correctly see the removal of racist symbols as a slippery slope, as decolonizers attempt to remake the here and now.The Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt, in New York City. (Photo: MacLachlan; Edited: LW / TO) Choose journalism that empowers movements for social, environmental and economic justice: Support the independent media at Truthout!
Hundreds of activists from various groups crowded into the American Museum of Natural History in New York City this past Columbus Day to take part in activist group Decolonize This Place's unofficial tour of the museum. As the activists stopped at each of the sections of the museum displaying the culture and history of various non-European peoples, a small group of organizers exposed the colonial perspective embedded in these displays and explained how the displays "otherized," exoticized, dehumanized and/or exploited these peoples along with their history and culture.
"It's really simple," said Natasha S.*, an organizer with Decolonize This Place. "The American Museum of Natural History is the most visited museum in this country. It is also the museum that gets the most funding from the city, and on top of that, it is a hall of white supremacy. So, what we're really doing is thinking about the museum as a representation of settler-colonization and basically highlighting our struggles and movements in that space."
After the tour inside the museum was done, the activists began unfurling banners denouncing white supremacy, colonialism and patriarchy and then raised up three very large, connected banners in front of the Theodore Roosevelt statue outside the museum, blocking the statue from being seen. The 10-foot statue, entitled "Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt," was sculpted by James Earle Fraser in 1939 and portrays a muscular Roosevelt on horseback with an African and a Native American walking on either side and seemingly being led by him. Roosevelt's left hand even rests on the head of the African to his side. The white supremacist symbolism is clear.
"The statue echoes those old 'races of mankind' posters that used to decorate college classrooms of physical anthropology, with whites highest on the evolutionary tree, furthest from the ape," historian and sociologist James W. Loewen wrote in his book Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong. "Inside its doors, the American Museum of Natural History still takes the same stance, putting American Indians and Africans closer to animals, whites furthest removed."
The activists then demanded that the Roosevelt statue be taken down and the exhibits be "reviewed and reconceived by representatives of the 'exhibited' populations." They also called for New York City to follow the lead of other municipalities to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day.
The action that day was one of many recent moves by activists against symbols and monuments to white supremacy and colonialism. After the murder of nine Black people in Charleston, South Carolina, by a Confederate-flag-waving white supremacist in July 2015 Americans were galvanized to start taking down Confederate flags, as well as statues and monuments dedicated to white supremacists. The campaigns have received much backlash from right-wingers and white supremacists which has, in turn, only intensified and expanded these campaigns. With so much of the US's landscape built in the name of slave owners, conquistadors, colonizers and génocidaires, today's white supremacists correctly see these calls to remove racist statues as a slippery slope ultimately leading to a questioning of the American project itself. And unfortunately for them, anti-racist and anti-colonial activists know this as well and plan on going beyond these initial steps, moving toward decolonization and the dismantling of white supremacy.Statues Toppling Around the Country
For the past two years, all across the US, statues dedicated to white supremacy and colonialism have been targeted by activists in various ways. In October 2015, someone planted an axe in the head of a Columbus statue near Detroit's City Hall. Confederate statues at the University of Texas at Austin were tagged with "Black Lives Matter" in February 2016. An anarchist group in New Orleans calling themselves the Real Meow Meow Liberation Front-Professional Party Planning Committee spray-painted a circle-A on a Confederate monument in May 2017 -- even leaving a hammer and chisel at the base of the monument and a note encouraging people to "take a few whacks" at it. A month later, the same group chiseled the nose off a nearby Confederate soldier statue, spray-painted a circle-A on it, and even created a parody Twitter account for the missing nose. Decolonize This Place's recent protest at the American Museum of Natural History was a repeat of the anti-Columbus Day protest the group did last year, in which activists covered the Roosevelt statue with a tarp.People are talking about tearing down history, but it's not history. Not when the legacy is still very much alive." -- Takiyah Thompson
One of the most inspiring and audacious direct actions against a racist statue recently was in August in Durham, North Carolina. A group of more than 100 activists from leftist and anti-capitalist groups, such as the Workers World Party and the Industrial Workers of the World physically tore down the Confederate Soldiers Monument in front of the old Durham County Courthouse while chanting "No cops! No KKK! No fascist USA!" Multiple activists were later arrested and charged with felonies for tearing down the statue, the first of whom was 22-year-old student Takiyah Thompson.
"I think it's important to think about the position of the Confederate statue in front of the old courthouse," Thompson told Truthout. "Even though that courthouse is no longer in use, it's still a government building, and the fact that it's on the courthouse steps makes a very clear statement to Black people, and people of color more generally, about what kind of justice they're going to receive when they enter that courtroom. People are talking about tearing down history, but it's not history. Not when the legacy is still very much alive."
Thompson said that the action started as a response to an uninspiring post-Charlottesville vigil organized by the liberal, pro-Democratic Party group IndivisiblesNC on August 13. According to Q. Wideman -- a Black, queer woman and friend of Thompson's who went to Charlottesville -- when she attempted to speak and criticize the liberal, pacifist rhetoric at that vigil, the Indivisibles organizers stopped her, threatened to call the police and cut the livestream. Right before the livestream was cut, a white man can be seen telling Wideman "You're not going to sabotage this!" and that she "can have another rally" if she wanted to speak. When Wideman was finally given time to speak, it wasn't included on the livestream.
IndivisiblesNC told Truthout that there "were a number of individuals involved in organizing the event who are active with Durham-area Indivisible groups" and that the IndivisiblesNC "network's involvement with this event was mainly around offering a public Facebook page from which to host a public event."
"We share the community's sadness that not every voice could be heard," the vigil's organizers wrote in a statement issued shortly after the event. "The organizations involved in planning this rally remain committed to peaceful, non-violent protest that provides safety for everyone present and is in compliance with the law. To that end, the police were notified of the event via press release. The organizers had no further direct interaction with them."
IndivisiblesNC also told Truthout that the livestream "was interrupted (stopped and restarted) due to personal circumstances and choices of the individual using their own device to do the livestream" and "was not due to any direction or decision of the vigil organizers."
The next day, the Workers World Party organized its own rally which ended with the Confederate statue being torn down and history being made.
"I think it's important that the people struggle to remove the statues themselves because when people struggle for their own liberation, they won't allow others to come in and claim themselves as liberators," Thompson told me. "It's important that this movement be taken up by regular-ass people."
Not long afterwards, with Columbus Day in sight, people began taking direct action against statues of Columbus. On August 21, a Columbus monument in Baltimore was smashed with a sledgehammer "in protest of white supremacy," with the anonymous activists even posting a video of them doing it. Later that month in New York, Columbus statues in Buffalo, Yonkers and Queens were vandalized within days of each other. On September 12, a Columbus statue in New York City's Central Park had red paint splashed on its hands with the message "Hate Will Not Be Tolerated" spray-painted on the base. On the holiday itself, Columbus statues all over the country were vandalized. As all this happened, the calls for the statue in New York City's Columbus Circle to be taken down grew louder and louder.
"I think it's really important that we examine why this man gets a statue, what did he actually do, and break down that gross history filled with violence, rape, slavery and land dispossession. All those things together are really what that statue represents," said Shawnee Rice, a volunteer organizer with the American Indian Community House. "And what kind of message does keeping that statue there send to Indigenous children growing up, seeing this statue, and finding out that he raped our women and fed our children to dogs?"White Supremacist Backlash
But all these actions have not gone unnoticed by the forces of white supremacy.
The infamous #UniteTheRight rally in Charlottesville was ostensibly in opposition to the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. For the torch-wielding fascists there, the removal of these monuments represents not only a threat to white supremacy, but a threat to the existence of white people. The chants of "You will not replace us" and "white lives matter" illustrated this. And in the name of these symbols of white supremacy, fascists have shown themselves to be more than willing to engage in material, concrete violence.Activists see the destruction of these statues as one of the initial steps to the destruction of the forces that constructed them.
On August 15, months before Decolonize This Place conducted this year's anti-Columbus Day tour, right-wing online media outlet The Daily Wire published a fearmongering article making it seem as if last year's tour had happened that month rather than last year. They even used one of my tweets from last year, despite it being clearly dated October 11, 2016. The article was so dishonest yet so widespread that Snopes felt the need to debunk it.
The fascists running the state apparatus correctly recognize that white supremacy is under threat if the vandalizing and removal of these statues and monuments are allowed to continue.
President Donald Trump himself apparently saw the misleading Daily Wire article and commented on the Roosevelt statue during his rally in Phoenix on August 22.
"I see they want to take Teddy Roosevelt's [statue] down, too," the US's head white supremacist told the crowd. "They're trying to figure out why. They don't know. They're trying to take away our culture. They are trying to take away our history."
And even before Decolonize This Place showed up at the American Museum of Natural History for this year's anti-Columbus Day tour, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) made sure to be visibly present with barricades surrounding the Roosevelt statue, preventing any activist from getting too close.
"We expected that [the NYPD] would do that, but at the same time, these monuments are meant to reflect the values of the people," Amin Hussein of Decolonize This Place told Truthout. "And when you live in a city where it actually barricades those monuments against the people, something's off."
Right-wing politicians in New York City also rallied in front of City Hall on August 24 in support of keeping the Columbus Circle statue. And even Black and Brown Democrats like Public Advocate Tish James and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. (who supported taking down Confederate statues) voiced their support for keeping the statue. Even for the city's liberal Black and Brown politicians, the fight against white supremacy and colonialism can only be allowed to go so far.
In Durham, the day after the Confederate statue was torn down, the local sheriff Mike Andrews made sure to send a clear message to the perpetrators.
"Let me be clear, no one is getting away with what happened," he told reporters. "We can all agree yesterday went too far.""Creating a world where cultural racism is not okay is an important first step to tearing down more structural forms of racism." -- Takiyah Thompson
On August 17, days after Thompson and other activists were arrested, more than 100 people dressed in black lined up outside the Durham County Sheriff's office to turn themselves in to show solidarity with their arrested comrades. Most of them were turned away, but as of today, 14 people in total have been arrested for the action and are currently facing felony and misdemeanor charges.
Activists see the destruction of these statues as one of the initial steps to the destruction of the forces that constructed them. The agents of white supremacy and colonialism, both state and non-state, know this -- and they are willing to do whatever it takes to stop it.
As Frantz Fanon wrote in his anti-colonial magnum opus The Wretched of the Earth: "The colonial regime owes its legitimacy to force and at no time tries to hide this aspect of things. Every statue, whether of Faidherbe or of Lyautey, of Bugeaud or of Sergent Blandan -- all these conquistadors perched on colonial soil do not cease from proclaiming one and the same thing: 'We are here by the force of bayonets....'"
Anti-racist and anti-colonial activists know this truth, too, and are prepared to keep pushing further. When people witness open defiance of white supremacy and colonialism -- when they see these statues being vandalized and torn down -- it can shake them into consciousness. These actions symbolize the fact that oppressive institutions can be overturned. The police, the prisons, the politicians -- all of these manifestations of white supremacy can be torn down much like the statue of the conquistador or the Confederate general. And as Hussein told me after the anti-Columbus Day action, these activists "are not going away." They intend on growing and building movements to further decolonize this country and abolish white supremacy. Like the brave folks in Durham, they're willing to face the violence of the state to do it.
"Creating a world where cultural racism is not okay is an important first step to tearing down more structural forms of racism. It's an act of the oppressed reclaiming their agency," Thompson told Truthout. "So even though it was just a statue and people have made the criticism of 'Oh well, let me know when you tear down a prison,' well obviously, that's the next step. That would be the end goal, but it's important for oppressed people to have these small victories in the long road to liberating themselves."
*Natasha asked to be identified by her first name only.
Trump took the podium at last weekend's Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit. His comments reflected the fearful, nationalist worldview that holds his base together, as he undoes the legacy of the US's first black president. Conference speakers lauded attendees as the keepers of "Judeo-Christian values," which were described as being under threat.
Donald Trump speaks during the annual Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shorham Hotel on October 13, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump is the first sitting president to address Values Voter Summit. (Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)In times of great injustice, independent media is crucial to fighting back against misinformation. Support grassroots journalism: Make a donation to Truthout.
As the first sitting president to take the podium at Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit, President Trump may have offered history a footnote with his Oct. 13 speech, but by the following day his remarks were all but forgotten, as Steve Bannon's stemwinder, a steaming stew of vitriol, splashed across mainstream media. On the Sunday shows, Bannon was the focus.
The former White House strategist, ousted from the West Wing in the days following the president's mixed-messaging on the violence perpetrated by neo-Nazis and other white supremacists in Charlottesville, remains unrepentant.
Before he joined the Trump campaign, Bannon courted some of those very same people at Breitbart to expand the reach of the site beyond more traditional conservative circles, according to a report by Joseph Bernstein of BuzzFeed. Now back at Breitbart, Bannon has free rein to push the dark worldview he's peddled for years in the over-the-top, fear-mongering propaganda movies he's produced, and the Christian right is lapping it up, all in the service of Bannon's power-grab for control of the Republican Party.
Beginning with Trump, conference speakers lauded attendees at last weekend's gathering as the keepers of "Judeo-Christian values," which were described as being under threat. Several, including former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) described Europe as having been lost to Islam, warning that the United States could be next. Despite the fact that the US takes in few refugees from Syria and other Muslim-majority countries, Frank Gaffney, a titan of the right's anti-Islam cottage industry, dragged out a far-right hashtag for those few who make it in: "refujihadis." Author Brigitte Gabriel, a Christian born in Lebanon, also railed against refugees from the war-torn nations of Africa and the Middle East, claiming they carried disease to the US and raped American women. They "hate America," she said, and she gave a shout-out to Bannon, echoing his call for an end to Senate filibuster rules, which she said were stalling the implementation of Trump's agenda.
While the purported threat posed by Islam has been preached to the "values voters" in years past, gone this year was the veneration of so-called "free-market" capitalism as a core notion of right-wing Christian ideology, leaving Bannon's rallying cry for economic nationalism to flood the zone. And in Bannon ally Sebastian Gorka, another former White House adviser to Trump, the Values Voter Summit for the first time featured a speaker known to proudly wear the emblem of a group sympathetic to the Nazi cause in Europe. Neither Bannon nor Gorka are regarded as being particularly religious.
Neither is Trump. Just before the 2016 election, Christian pollster George Barna surveyed a group he calls "SAGE cons" -- spiritually active, governance-engaged conservatives -- and said found that a mere 1 percent described Trump as an exemplar of "Godly character." Barna said his polling also found that 77 percent described Trump as "arrogant," 61 percent as "rude," 52 percent as "a bully." Yet 91 of them percent voted for him anyway, Barna said in a breakout session. And at the summit, the assembled SAGE cons gave Trump gave a hero's welcome.
Trump, after all, represents the ultimate smack-down of the cultural changes wrought by civil rights and feminism, the forces the Christian right organized to oppose over 40 years ago. The applause lines in his speech told the tale of a people motivated not by such traditionally Christian values as charity and acceptance, but by talismans of identity laced with tacit prejudices, such as the implicit anti-Semitism of the so-called "war on Christmas" theme revived by Trump. Speaking of department-store workers, Trump claimed, "They don't use the word 'Christmas' because it's not politically correct…Well, guess what? We're saying 'Merry Christmas' again."
"We stand united behind the customs, beliefs and traditions that define who we are as a nation and as a people," he added.
The president suggested that "faith and prayer" could replace "federal regulation," without specifying regulation of what.
Trump didn't need to spell out too much; he never specifically mentioned the NFL players whose firing he urged just weeks ago. He never mentioned the words "abortion" or "birth control." He had learned the SAGE-con code: "America's heritage," "sanctity of life," "religious freedom." (Just in case anyone should miss his greater point, he did, however, boldly state that he would protect the world from "radical Islamic terrorism.") As president, he could leave to others the specifics of the fearful, nationalist worldview that holds his base together.
For that base, Trump is delivering, and he reminded them of all he has done -- especially his naming of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Plus, he's undoing the legacy of the nation's first black president. To sweeten the pot just ahead of his speech, he revoked the subsidies to low-income subscribers to Obamacare, and when he noted this, the crowd roared its approval. And from the looks of the audience in the room, I'd venture to say that a plurality, if not a majority, were on Medicare.
At every Values Voter Summit since the first held in 2006, there is usually an overarching narrative theme, an action theme, and several threads that serve as a glimmering subtext. This year's big, sprawling narrative was the threat to Western civilization posed by Islam in particular, and non-Western and nonwhite nations in general. The action theme was "war" on the Republican establishment in general, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in particular. The decorative threads included the supposed threat posed by transgender people, various descriptions of feminism as either a "criminalization of masculinity" (Todd Starnes of Fox News) or a dead movement(Dana Loesch of the National Rifle Association), and a sustained attack by several speakers on the Southern Poverty Law Center, the civil-rights organization which, in 2010, famously added FRC to its list of hate groups "for knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people," according to SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok.
Preceding a panel led by retired Gen. Jerry Boykin of FRC, conference-goers were treated to an anti-SPLC video produced by Prager University. Throughout the conference, different narrative strands were often woven together, as when Gaffney accused SPLC of working with the Muslim Brotherhood, presenting a slide featuring the two organizations' logos side by side and naming it the "red-green axis" (after the colors of the respective logos).
Gorka urged conference-goers not to fret over his and Bannon's ouster from the White House. "The left has no idea how much more damage we can do to them as private citizens," he said with a cartoon-villain inflection.
And indeed, it was Bannon who brought the fire. He opened with a famous quotation from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. "To everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven… A time of war and a time of peace." He then declared the present moment to be a time of war -- "against the Republican establishment."
"This is not my war," he added. "This is our war."
That establishment, he said, is "personified by Mitch McConnell." But the Senate majority leader, who was bashed by speakers throughout the conference, wasn't the only one on Bannon's enemies list, which includes Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), despite Corker's announcement that he will not run again. Corker's crime, according to Bannon, is the fact that he dared to criticize "the commander-in-chief of the armed forces" while "we have young men and women in harm's way." Meta-message: Criticize Trump and Bannon will force you from office with the threat of a primary challenge.
Bannon rattled off the names of sitting senators currently in his sights: Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Dean Heller of Nevada and John Barrasso of Wyoming. The problem with them, by Bannon's lights, isn't that they don't vote with for the president's priorities -- they do. It's that they haven't come to the microphones to defend the commander-in-chief.
One of the Summit's star speakers was Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who, with Bannon's support, unseated incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in the Sept. 26 Republican primary.
Moore, of course, is famous for having placed a monument to the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, refusing to stand down when the religious display was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court. When the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage a legal right, Moore instructed county clerks not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He was ultimately ousted from the bench for refusing to uphold the US Constitution -- but not until years after he led the charge, according to Talking Points Memo, against the removal of a mandate for racial segregation in public education from Alabama's state constitution. Moore's speech at Values Voter was a hash of misused literary citations, a barnyard joke and a poem he wrote about his vengeful deity: "You think that God's not angry that our land's a moral slum? How much longer will it be before his judgment comes?" (Well, it almost rhymes.)
The incoherence of Moore's speech mattered not, as he is the walking, talking embodiment of Bannon's formula for seizing power within the GOP: A dark, hypernationalist, racialized identitarian ideology dressed in the language of Christianity, contempt for the US Constitution and the promise of violence to come.
Moore is also the gauntlet thrown by Bannon at Trump's feet. The president endorsed Strange in the primary matchup, enduring an embarrassing loss. Soon after Moore won the primary, Trump deleted his tweeted endorsements of Strange. For Trump, few epithets pack more punch than "loser." Bannon likely thinks he's found the formula to keep Trump doing his bidding. And perhaps he has.
From Freedom News UK
Below is a statement released by KAF, a Kurdish-speaking anarchist group, in the wake of the recent Iraqi government assault on Kirkuk and other Kurdish-held positions — and against the destructive policies of Marsoud Barzani’s government.
Immediate call to all our comrades Anarchists and Libertarians wherever they are
A direct and special call to our comrades Anarchists and Libertarians Arabic-speaking
No to State, No to war. Yes for self-administration and the Social revolution
For years and years we, anarchists and libertarian in Iraqi “Kurdistan”, Europe and other countries all our publicities and our slogan have been about Yes for self-administration in everywhere and for all the communities , but No to State.
We raised our voice against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and its very recent scenario of referendum on “independent Kurdish State”. We are very sure the other anarchists among Arab, Turkish, Assyrian and others had the same attitude. We also believe the same attitude from our anarchist comrades throughout the world to say no to State, authority, nationalism and to be against the nationalist and against pro-fascist war.
Iraqi “Kurdistan” has been going through a very difficult time since Oct 2015. The wages of public sector employees have been reduced to less than a half, the number of unemployment has increased sharply, the price of everything has gone up, business and the government services have dramatically been cut off. This all happened in addition to the war with Isis and disputes between (KRG) and the central government over the budget and the disputed lands and city like Kirkuk and the others.
So many strikes, demonstrations and boycotting work during this couple of years took place. Some of them lasted for few weeks even months. KRG instead of resolving all these problems tried to divert the attention of people from the real problems by announcing in July the referendum of independent Kurdistan, state of Kurdistan, on 25th of Sep.
Masoud Barzani the head of KRG set up the day of referendum without consulting Iraqi, neighbourhood countries, US and European countries. Once he called for referendum, all of them rejected it and told him that he will not get any support.
After the referendum of 25th of September Iraq, Iran and Turkey governments came together against it and threaten KRG with economic sanction. Iraqi government asked KRG to withdraw the decisions of the referendum and get back to the Iraqi constitution in taking any decision. Haider al-Abadi , the Prime Minster of Iraq gave Barzani warning that if he does not back down, the Iraqi government will take over control of Kirkuk province’s oil wells that are at the moment under the control of KRG.
Three days ago the Iraqi government sent a huge numbers of Police, military and Hishdi Shaibe [ the Siha paramilitary group] with various of heavy weapons to take positions on the city’s approaches.
The civil war now very imminent between Peshmarga, KRG forces, and the above forces of central government.
We are asking for support and solidarity from our comrades anarchists to protest, making a statement against this war, show their anger against the war and solidarity to Iraqi people.
We are anti State because we are against the current political system. We are anti-political party and anti-authoritarian ideology from left to the right, because we are anti class superiority, and anti-private ownership and exploitation of the labour. All the wars in history happened due to protecting class superiority, private ownership and labour exploitation.
We are against war, weapons and hatters between the different cultures and between different ethnic minorities. War in general produces death and slavery. The outcome of any war does not support starting the social revolution, in fact it damages and weakening the revolution climate. In the meantime, war opening a very big market for selling/ buying weapons and destroying the environment. War makes the poor people poorer and class superiority lasts longer.
While we are against war, we are very much in favour of people self-administration wherever they are living communally and working collectively. We are also aware wherever the state exist there is no freedom, wherever political party is, there is no self-thinking and individual independency. Wherever the businessmen and money are, there are slavery wages and exploited people.
In Iraqi “Kurdistan” there has been a strong authority for the last 26 years, there has been the bourgeois in power. For the last 26 years people deprived from the real freedom and from making the decision by themselves. For the long time the ruler has done very little for the people in “Kurdistan” in term of providing services. They encouraged people to move from the rural area to the towns and cities, making so many business contracts with the foreign oil company and corporations for their own profit, sold all the public lands and many more. In short “Kurdistan” became the home of many multinational companies, the financial institutions and the spies network of the neighbourhood countries and others. Since then they acted like a proper state in whatever they wanted to do. So why should we expect different when they set up their own “independent state” and think it will be better than what the people have it now?
We ask all our anarchist comrades to support and have solidarity with us to prevent this war. It is true that your opposition to the military and nationalist war in Iraq, if happens, may not as effective as our opposition, however, your solidarity will be crucial and greatly appreciated.
We again are calling our whole comrade anarchists especially Arab, Persian, Turkish and Assyrian speakers to raise their voices and act to stop this viscous war that is not in the interest of working class and poor people in Iraq and “Kurdistan”. Being silent and not be serious about it, is directly or indirectly serves the politicians, the big corporations and the capitalist system. We therefore have no choice but fighting back the system, its action and its war. We also expect the other anarchists wherever they are to stand with us, firm and to support the children, elderly and the disable people in Iraq.
No to war
No to State
No to nationalism and patriotism
No to capitalism system
Yes to solidarity and unite against the war
Yes to self-organise
Yes to the social struggle
Yes to social revolution
Yes to social uprising
Yes to self-administration
Kurdish-Speaking Anarchist Forum (KAF)
15th Oct 2017
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: USASyriairaqdemocracyterrorismisisRojavaKurdistanpkkYPGKAFcategory: International
Concerning the juridical situation of our comrade Marcelo Villaroel Sepulveda… or How state’s revenge perpetuates itself in silence
Translated by Tormentas de Fogo
Last September, at the 4th Military Prosecutor’s Office in Santiago, the refusal of the petition to prescribe the sentences made by our comrade Marcelo several months ago was notified.
Immediately, Marcelo appealed to this refusal, leaving the resolution of the appeal in the hands of the Martial Court, where it was reaffirmed in the first days of October.
These condemnations correspond to some causes originated by actions framed in his old militancy at the “Mapu-lautaro”, organization in which our comrade was an active fighter since a very young age and of which, while imprisoned, in 1995, he was expelled because of “anarchist deviations”.
Marcelo served his sentence without interruption for 11 years, two months and fifteen days from October 13, 1992 until December 28, 2003, remaining only his night prison until March 2005, when he granted the so-called “probation”, which obliges him to sign a document every week until completing 20 years of penitentiary control.
The first days of November 2007 for Marcelo are marked for him by his participation on the Bank Security robbery, along with other other comrades, action in which a cop died and that caused an answer from the State without precedents. Marcelo decides to assume clandestinity, and in February 2008, in his absence, he has his “probation” revoked.
In March 2008, he is detained in Argentina and in September 2014, he is sentenced to 14 years for 2 bank robberies.
In that same period, as penalties related to old causes emanated from the always sinister “Military Justice” were revised, the condemnation remained as it follows:
– Illicit terrorist association: 10 years and 1 day.
– Damage to a cop car with serious injuries to carabineers: 3 years + 541 days.
– Co-author murder qualified as terrorist: 15 years and 1 day.
– Theft with intimidation, Law 18.314: 10 years and 1 day.
– Explosive attack against the embassy of spain: 8 years.
In total, these old convictions compute 46 years, establishing its end on February, 2056.
There are a number of irregularities in this math, and although the legal issue is not our focus it never was, we believe that it becomes urgent and necessary to face this situation that at all lights represents a clear revenge against a comrade who holds high subversive autonomous and libertarian convictions, a comrade who has never abandoned the direct confrontation for total liberation, nor has it ever renounced its combatant history — leaving it as a commodity for books or prizes of borrowed stories, where hundreds of renegades hides while roaming around different pseudo radical spaces.
Our call is to get rid of the verbiage and the false gestures of solidarity to face this and each of the revenge that come from the State (as a constant policy against all those who do not deny their ties and convictions).
It’s time to act, to realize that no comrade in prison is alone.
FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF ALL PRISONS!!!
AS MISERY EXISTS, THERE WILL BE REBELLION!!!
People near Marcelo
October, 2017Tags: ChileArgentinaanarchists in troublelong term prisoner supportcategory: Prisoners
Dead woman billed on 100th birthday by Hollywood Hills nursing home [that killed her] | 19 Oct 2017 | Even though Albertina Vega is dead and the sweltering nursing home where she died is shut down, the facility still billed her on what would have been her 100th birthday. Vega, 99, was one of 14 deceased residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills where the central air conditioning failed during Hurricane Irma. Carmen Fernandez, the wife of Vega's cousin, said she went to the bank to close Vega's account only to learn there was no money in it. Instead, there was an automatic payment of $958 to Hollywood Hills that resulted in an overdraft fee. The shock of it was magnified by the fact that the payment was posted on Oct. 10, the day Vega would have become a centenarian had she not perished in the stifling nursing home..."I was enraged. They let her die and then they bill her," she said.