‘Disgrace we needed global pandemic’: UK govt requests ALL homeless people be housed by weekend

27 Mar, 2020 / (rt.com/uk)

‘Disgrace we needed global pandemic’: UK govt requests ALL homeless people be housed by weekend

FILE PHOTO: Homeless people inside Westminster underground station display a sign © REUTERS /Hannah McKay / File Photo

RT

The UK government has urged all local authorities in England to house all rough sleepers, those in hostels and night shelters by the weekend – leading many to ask why it takes a worldwide Covid-19 crisis to end homelessness.

According to Crisis – a charity for homeless people – a letter was sent to councils in England on Thursday night saying due to the “public health emergency,” the government was redoubling efforts to ensure “everybody is inside and safe by this weekend.” 

***BREAKING NEWS ****
The Government has written to local authorities asking them to house everyone sleeping rough or in hostels and night shelters, by the weekend. But we must make sure people aren’t back on the street when this is all over
More info: https://www.crisis.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/government-aims-to-house-all-rough-sleepers-by-the-weekend/ …9582:45 AM – Mar 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy494 people are talking about this

The government has yet to confirm the announcement, but Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham confirmed the existence of such a letter via social media on Friday morning.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, welcomed the “unprecedented” move, insisting that it proves ending homelessness can be achieved by 2020, if PM Boris Johnson’s administration prioritise the issue. However, Sparkes revealed that it was not clear at present what funds the government would be funnelling to councils – if any – to carry out such an undertaking.

The seismic intervention by the British state to effectively end all homelessness in the country has led many to ask why it hasn’t happened until now –  perfectly crystalised by one person who angrily tweeted“It’s an utter disgrace that we needed a global pandemic to do it.”

There were countless people suggesting that homelessness has been a political choice, if as it would appear it really is that easy to solve. 

Jack Duncan@JackDunc1

🤔
🤔

Oh so it really is that easy after all is it… almost like letting people suffer and sleep on the streets is a political choice

View image on Twitter

8062:19 AM – Mar 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy283 people are talking about this

Adam Pegg@adamastralnoize

So it CAN be done.

There are no longer any excuses.

Our political elite choose to keep the homeless that way.

Remember this.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-councils-in-england-asked-to-house-all-rough-sleepers-by-the-weekend-11964380 …Coronavirus: Councils in England asked to house all rough sleepers by the weekendLocal authorities in England have been asked to house all rough sleepers – and those in hostels and night shelters – by the weekend.news.sky.com3553:34 AM – Mar 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy180 people are talking about this

Others claimed that coronavirus was “exposing capitalist greed and lies like the ‘there’s no magic money tree’” to address long-term societal issues. 

Audrey@AudreyAurus1

Coronavirus exposing capitalist greed and lies like the “there’s no magic money tree” “We can’t house everyone before 2027” etc etc…
Will it be enough for ppl to wake up and realise that they suffered needlessly for the last 10 yrs at least?https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-councils-in-england-asked-to-house-all-rough-sleepers-by-the-weekend-11964380 …Coronavirus: Councils in England asked to house all rough sleepers by the weekendLocal authorities in England have been asked to house all rough sleepers – and those in hostels and night shelters – by the weekend.news.sky.com2183:51 AM – Mar 27, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy146 people are talking about this

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed on social media that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was experiencing mild symptoms. The 55-year-old will self-isolate in Downing Street, but will remain in charge of the government.

The latest official figures show that the UK has over 11,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus which has, so far, resulted in the deaths of 578 people.

(Contributed by Richard Burns, H.W., M.)

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The coronavirus shows Bernie Sanders won

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs up while arriving at the Senate chamber at Capitol Hill in Washington on March 25.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs up while arriving at the Senate chamber at Capitol Hill in Washington on March 25. (Erik S Lesser/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

By Gary Abernathy Contributing columnist

March 25, 2020 at 1:25 p.m. PDT (WashingtonPost.com)

HILLSBORO, Ohio — Pundits are speculating on what impact the novel coronavirus pandemic will have on the presidential race, but we know the answer. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), or at least his philosophy, has won.

Our march toward socialism began incrementally decades ago. But our response to the coronavirus will lead to its permanent implementation after elected officials of both parties shuttered businesses, ordered citizens not to go to work and made clear that there would be more draconian measures to come. The delicate balance between freedom and risk was less than an afterthought as our economy was gutted in a matter of days.

More at: WashingtonPost.com

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Phonebank for Bernie!

Right now the Senate is fighting over a stimulus package that could help ease the economic crisis brought to us by the COVID-19 pandemic. As Republicans add sweetheart deals for giant corporations they aim to strip away benefits for some of our most vulnerable workers.
Not on Bernie’s watch they won’t.

Bernie is standing up to the Republicans as the fiercest opposition. That’s because Bernie will fight for someone he doesn’t know and why we need to continue fighting for Bernie.

As the primary continues alongside this outbreak the glaring flaws of our economy and healthcare system are brought to the forefront of the American life.

This primary isn’t over. Far from it. And we need all hands on deck to remind the American people that Bernie will fight for themJoin us for a virtual phonebook this Saturday from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM and help fight for Bernie as he fights for us.

This is something you can do at home on your own computer.

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You, The People | Bernie 2020

Legacy Zero It’s up to us. Bernie Sanders needs US to push forward in the fight for a better world. A better America. These brutes, these copies, these pretenders will never bring us, the people what they promise or what they need. Only Bernie 2020 will do that.

Voice Over: Charlie Chaplin from “The Great Dictator” Music: The Real Hero from Avengers Endgame. Editing: Myself Footage from around the Youtubes.

Help Support the channel with a Tip! This helps me to grow, get better equipment, and stream more content. https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=…

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How coronavirus might save us all

If it takes a global pandemic to show us how broken our system is, so be it

How are you? Are you staying healthy? Are you staying sane? I can’t believe how much has happened since the last time I wrote this column. Two weeks ago, I was talking about how important it was to be a big tipper when you went out to eat and how to dine out responsibly in the age of coronavirus. I wrote about ways the virus was threatening to disrupt our lives, and I worried about all the GoFundMe campaigns we were likely to see.

Since then, California, along with 15 other states, has been ordered to shelter-in-place. We’ve seen all bars close, most restaurants shutter or just offer take/out delivery, and witnessed the wholesale destruction of the livelihoods of artists, performers, service industry folks, hourly wage earners and anyone else not getting paid to work from home. Personally, my income has been eviscerated.

BrokeAssStuart.com makes almost all of its revenue by getting people out to do things, which is hard to do when no one can go out. Last week I wept as I had to inform my team that I could no longer pay them. The little money coming in from the Broke-Ass Stuart Patreon is just enough to barely pay rent and bills for my business partner and myself.

What seemed like a potentially dangerous storm on the horizon two weeks ago has proven to be a thoroughly devastating disaster today. Things that we thought were so solid and secure instantly crumbled beneath us, showing the fragility of the system we live in. The only thing holding us together has been the community taking care of each other.

Yeats keeps echoing in every update I read: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

If the federal government’s job is to protect us, it’s failed miserably. It has spent the past 50 years giving tax breaks to corporations while making it harder for working people to survive. It has allowed the systematic destruction of the unions, while chipping away at worker protections. It has given a blessing to the privatization of health care, prisons and education.

And the last time we faced a major emergency like this, it bailed out the banks instead of the people. The saddest part is that those in power have used our fear and trepidation to fool half the country into thinking this is the way it’s supposed to be.

But there may be a silver lining to all of this. People might just be waking up to the fact that everything they’ve been fed is bullshit.

People we’ve been told don’t deserve to make a $15 minimum wage — like grocery store workers, delivery people and janitors — are literal lifelines right now. The immigrants we’ve been told are coming to rape and kill us, and somehow also take our jobs, are making sure that the food supply chain runs as if things were normal.

The people who say Medicare for All couldn’t work are hoping and praying that coronavirus testing becomes free and accessible for all Americans. These same people are noticing that even though we’re repeatedly told the U.S. can’t afford Medicare for All, the Fed is dumping a trillion dollars a day into the economy.

Progressive ideas of people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang are suddenly becoming a necessity, and Americans are clamoring for them. When we start receiving our stimulus checks, we’ll realize the government could’ve been doing Universal Basic Income all along. Now that we’re seeing so many of our friends and families losing their livelihoods, we’re wondering why the government hasn’t provided a system of paid sick leave for everyone, regardless of job type. Since we’re stuck at home with our kids indefinitely, we’re starting to see the importance of Universal Child Care.

The longer the quarantine lasts, the more it’s going to fundamentally change the way things are done in the United States. I mean, with all these people working from home, just think about what’s gonna happen when CEOs realize that they don’t need to rent office space. These greedy commercial landlords are about to get their comeuppance.

This is a crazy, terrifying, inspiring and heart-wrenching time. It’s probably the most important moment any of us have ever lived through. But I’m optimistic. If it takes a global pandemic to show us how broken our system is, so be it. If this level of destruction is necessary to make people realize that our culture is a failure, I welcome it. If the economy must be ruined to get the government to step up and protect all of us from here on out, I say bring it on.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of fighting against other working people just for the privilege of rich people allowing us to survive. When we come out of this, we must remember the lessons we learned and demand our government starts putting the welfare of its people before the profits of corporations.

Stay well. Stay healthy. Stay sane. And wash your damn hands.

P.S. Shout out to all of the health care workers out there saving lives. You all are the real heroes.

Stuart Schuffman is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com and join his mailing list at http://bit.ly/BrokeAssList. His column appears every other Thursday. He is a guest columnist and his point of view is not necessarily that of the Examine

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Articles ~ Actions ~ Events – Thursday, 3/26 – Saturday, 3/28 (from Adrienne Fong)

Please hold  Clark Sullivan ♥ in your thoughts. No visitors are allowed at the facility at this time Info below if you would like to send him a note

 Clark remains hospitalized at:

 Kindred Hospital San Francisco Bay Area
 2800 Benedict Dr., Room 415-2
 San Leandro, CA 94577

Clark’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/clark.sullivan

NOT back posting on a regular basis

– Please post events on Indybay: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

    Thank you to all who are – See Indybay for other events.

ACCESSIBILITY: Please include Accessibility Information on events

At this time am not posting events that are being held indoors, unless the event is made available on the internet.

ARTICLES:

A. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Prevails As Federal Judge Strikes Down DAPL Permits – March 25, 2020

https://earthjustice.org/news/press/2020/standing-rock-sioux-tribe-prevails-as-federal-judge-strikes-down-dapl-permits

B. Its coronavirus response provides more evidence of Israel’s racism – March 25, 2020

  See Action # 6

C. Bay Area school closures to be extended through May 1

D. Blocking medical aid to Iran isn’t just immoral, it’s stupid – March 24, 2020

   See event # 4

E. Disability Groups File Federal Complaint About COVID-19 Care Rationing Plans  – March 23, 2020

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/23/820303309/disability-groups-file-federal-complaint-about-covid-19-care-rationing-plans?fbclid=IwAR2SCQbzyzyE1eyn3_t8-ScgJ5wjkQt5Q5Dye93o4JxbmoKKfvitPpfD7t0

F. How Cuba is Leading the World in the Fight Against Coronavirus – March 16, 2020

ACTIONS:

1. G20: Forgive the debt of the world’s poorest to fight coronavirus

  SIGN: https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/coronavirus_debt_relief_142/?bTzxaab&v=124200&cl=16874305341&_checksum=9c5dc3860a7d424b270fe1fe974317a93fd2ac415be521d10bb138503be4b0ff

2. Drop charges against Chris Kearney. (Info about Chris’s case and petition)

   SIGN: https://www.freechriskearney.com/?akid=127.1460114.sRQ3Ro&rd=1&source=ema20200324-127&t=2

3. Protect Incarcerated Loved Ones from COVID-19

  SIGN: https://action.momsrising.org/sign/Protect_Incarcerated_LovedOnes_COVID19/?t=6&akid=13581%2E8086%2EdFbxAB

  Tell governors, the Department of Homeland Security, ICE, mayors, and sheriffs not to leave anyone behind and take immediate COVID-19 action at prisons, jails, and immigrant detention centers.

4. To Colombian authorities denouncing the March 21, 2020 massacre at La Modelo Prison by Colombian authorities that left 23 dead and over 90 wounded.

  SIGN: https://afgj.salsalabs.org/nomoremassacresnomorecoronavirusincolombianprisons/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=3992c9c7-fe03-46de-bfff-a77a185f83ed

5. Salvadorans Need Clean Water

  SIGN: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6099/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=27010

6. Israel must release all Palestinian child detainees amid COVID-19 pandemic

  SIGN: https://nwttac.dci-palestine.org/petition_israel_must_release_all_palestinian_child_detainees_amid_covid_19_pandemic?utm_campaign=covid_19_action&utm_medium=email&utm_source=dcipalestine

7. Tell all NBA team owners to pay all laid-off arena workers!

  SIGN: https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/nba-coronavirus_copy/?t=7&akid=41709%2E797581%2EOkacnt

8. Housing Action Needed in California

  SIGN: https://actnow.io/pArRkf8

EVENTS

Thursday, 3/26 – Saturday 3/28

New SF Muni Service Changes – Starting Monday, March 30

https://www.sfmta.com/blog/starting-march-30-new-muni-service-changes?fbclid=IwAR0SdYRz02effPruRcpUu8Y06-iV-e94DmtColTs_SbjSDqgj2yFppyDXsg

Thursday, March 26

1. Thursday, 2:00pm PDT, How to Beat Coronavirus Capitalism

Register via Evitebrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-beat-coronavirus-capitalism-tickets-100840167656

An online teach-in with Naomi Klein, Astra Taylor, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

About this Event

Please join an online teach-in with Naomi Klein, Astra Taylor, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, with a musical performance by Lia Rose

The current crisis is laying bare the extreme injustices and inequalities of our economic and social system.

We are in a battle of visions for how we’re going to respond to this crisis. We will either be catapulted backward to an even more brutal winner-takes-all system — or this will be a wake-up call.

Ideas that were dismissed as too radical just a week ago are starting to seem like the only reasonable path to get out of this crisis and prevent future ones.

We need to use every tool that we have that allows us to hear each other’s voices, to read each other’s words, to see each other’s faces, even if it’s just on screens, to stay organized and stay connected. We have to create spaces where we’re able to deliberate and strategize about what it means to protect our neighbors, our rights, and our planet.

We have to have the confidence to say this is the moment when we change everything.

sponsored by Haymarket Books, The Leap, and Debt Collective

2. Thursday, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Online: Powerful Lessons from the Extraordinary Women of Rawanda (UN)

Online via Zoom (FREE, register below) https://zoom.us/j/3613960435

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/una-atlanta-international-womens-day-2020-webinar-tickets-100590705508

Robbin Jorgensen, UNA-Atlanta SDG Advocate, Founder and CEO of Women Igniting Change will share the powerful lessons learned from working with the extraordinary women of Rwanda. She is currently in the process of establishing an Economic Empowerment Center for Women in Rwanda, the CORA Women’s Center. Ms. Jorgensen is a status quo disruptor, women’s leadership strategist and local leader with a global impact. She’s an advocate for the economic empowerment, rights, and well being of women and girls around the world and is the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda’s AVEGA Agahozo, an organization comprised of 20,000 widows of the Rwanda Genocide against the Tutsi. She was also honored as United Nations Association of Atlanta’s Human Rights Champion in 2018.

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/25/18831810.php

3. Thursday, 4:00pm – 5:30pm PDT; 7:00pm EDT, Capitalism Is Killing Us!

Via Webinar

Registration:

REGISTER to watch via Zoom:
https://us04web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sC3bvF2-RI6q2IusLs0oHg

OR
Stream on WWP FB page:
facebook.com/WorkersWorldParty

Join Workers World Party this Thursday, March 26 at 7pm Eastern for a webinar on the COVID-19 crisis, crashing markets and their twin cause: the crumbling capitalist system.

Speakers will include:

Larry Holmes, First Secretary, Workers World Party
Monica Moorehead, Managing Editor, Workers World Newspaper
Sara Flounders, Co-Director, International Action Center
Makasi Motema, Organizer, Peoples Power Assemblies NYC
Taryn Fivek, Solidarity Coordinator, International Action Center
Nathaniel Chase, Organizer, Workers World Party

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1842962709170717/  or  https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/25/18831825.php

4. Thursday, 4:00pm (PDT); 7:00pm (EDT) Coronavirus: Time to End US Sanctions on Iran

Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0UlJ79EUTsKz_tGDrKnN5Q?fbclid=IwAR0gWFuEWSYYm60jmCovOEJANNV4kWthWk-I0VBc6KvnksdwKAuz27e4VSY

FREE

Please join 15 minutes early to make sure your equipment is working.

As the US tightens sanctions on Iran, the nation’s ability to fight off the coronavirus pandemic is impacted. We will hear from Dr. Shahin Tabatabaei, an Iranian-American urologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and from a representative of National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

Speakers:

Shahin Tabatabaei

Urologic Oncologist @Massachusetts General Hospital

Born in Tehran, Iran, Shahin Tabatabaei now serves as the director of the Prostate Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital where he performs Urologic Oncologic surgery. He is also an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. 

Jamal Abdi

Executive Director @National Iranian American Council (NIAC) Action

NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization committed to advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community.  NIAC Action works to maximize the political influence of Iranian Americans and the pro-peace community to ensure we have a powerful voice on the issues that matter to us most, using direct lobbying efforts in Washington, grassroots advocacy led by NIAC Action Chapters nationwide, and organized engagement with political candidates by NIAC Action members. 

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/25/18831820.php

Friday, March 27

5. Friday, 12Noon – 1:00pm, Friday Regenerative Activism

From Extinction Rebellion

Join us: Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/643718376?pwd=THJDUlUvazBSYnpRVmltUHRtanB5Zz09

Meeting ID: 643 718 376
Password: 007554

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,643718376# US (San Jose)

Call Agenda (high level):
– 10m check-in & land acknowledgement
– 10m calm the limbic system (Guided meditation, poems, qigong, laughter yoga)
– 15-20m digital activism in breakout rooms
– 15-20m mutual aid (Sharing what you need with the group, in breakout rooms & sheet)
– 10m calm the limbic system (Exercise, meditation, gratitudes)

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/841139763048149/

Saturday, March 28

6. Saturday, 5:00pm – 6:30pm, Decarceration in the time of COVID-19 with Ivette Ale from JusticeLA (Webinar)

Register at link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tZckde6pqDMoQgXfOqYk9khvzHcWdG26_A?link_id=0&can_id=ec9256c3067f0937226a86552c2f98e4&source=email-free-them-all&email_referrer=email_755226&email_subject=free-them-all

Join this interactive webinar to learn about the inspiring work of JusticeLA getting hundreds of people released from the LA Jails in response to the threat of the spread of COVID-19. While the right is well practiced in disaster capitalism and taking advantage of moments like this to push systemic far reaching changes that will have lasting impacts, we have a chance and responsibility to push for both the immediate needs of people most impacted to be met, and also to push our own transformative long-term demands forward.

Host: San Jose Peace Center

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/25/18831822.php

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Coronavirus a ‘Clear Warning Shot’ From Nature to Humanity, Top Scientists Say

March 25, 2020 by Common Dreams

“We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves.”

by Julia Conley, staff writer

 62 Comments

A fire burns trees next to grazing land in the Amazon basin in Ze Doca, Brazil. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While healthcare providers and government officials around the world work to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and mitigate the effects of a resulting economic crisis, scientists urged authorities to also seriously consider a long-term strategy for preventing another infectious disease outbreak—calling the coronavirus a “clear warning shot” from nature.

Previous warnings—taking the form of the Ebola epidemic of 2014, the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003, and MERS in 2012—have gone unheeded, U.N. Environmental Program director Inger Andersen said Wednesday

“Never before have so many opportunities existed for pathogens to pass from wild and domestic animals to people,” she told The Guardian, thanks to widespread habitat destruction through deforestation, mining, exploitation of animals for profit, and the climate crisis.

“Our long-term response must tackle habitat and biodiversity loss,” Andersen said.

Wildfires throughout Australia and Brazil—with the latter linked to President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration in the interest of ranching and agribusiness interests—rising global temperatures brought on by fossil fuel extraction, and other extreme weather caused by the climate crisis are all to blame for a loss of “wild spaces,” Andersen said.

This “continued erosion,” she told the outlet, “has brought us uncomfortably close to animals and plants that harbor diseases that can jump to humans.”

“We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves.”
—Inger Andersen, U.N. Environment Program

With 75% of infectious diseases originating from wildlife, Andersen and other experts said, increased demand for animal products around the world could be putting humans at risk for outbreaks like the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus, officially known at SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, is thought to have spread from a species of horseshoe bat to another animal in a live animal market in Wuhan, China, allowing it to spread to humans. 

“The origin and pathway of the coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t surprise us,” World Bank environmental specialist Daniel Mira-Salama wrote last week. “The SARS epidemic in 2003 jumped to humans from civet cats, sold in markets as pets and as a delicacy. MERS was transmitted to humans from camels in 2012. Avian influenza, Nipah virus, Ebola, HIV… all of these and many other Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) originated in animals and were transmitted to humans—a phenomenon called zoonosis.”

Ending illegal animal trades would help cut down on the spread of infectious diseases in markets, which the experts called an “ideal mixing bowl,” according to The Guardian.

“We should be taking this as a clear warning shot,” Professor Andrew Cunningham of the Zoological Society of London told The Guardian. “It’s almost always a human behavior that causes it and there will be more in the future unless we change.”

A global governmental effort similar to the concrete, far-reaching government reforms to stop the climate crisis demanded by Greta Thunberg and other campaigners around the world is needed to face “the deadly impacts of collapsing ecosystems,” Irish Wildlife Trust campaign officer Pádraic Fogarty tweeted.

While President Donald Trump has claimed numerous times that COVID-19 “came out of nowhere” and is a crisis that “nobody expected,” its emergence and spread was “not only predictable, it was predicted,” Cunningham told The Guardian.

Scientists have warned for years that “there would be another viral emergence from wildlife that would be a public health threat.”

Humans, particularly those in positions of power, the experts said, must now face the consequences of their appetite for illegal animal trades, extractive industry profits, and other profit-driven activities which lead to the destruction of animals’ habitats around the world. Once the coronavirus pandemic is over, there must be a new focus on protecting biodiversity and wildlife.

“We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not,” Andersen said. “If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.”

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

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Bernie Sanders will stay in 2020 race until New York primary

By Ebony Bowden

March 24, 2020 | 12:46pm | (NYPost.com)

Bernie Sanders

Bernie SandersAP/Patrick Semansky

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders’ sputtering campaign will participate in the New York primary on April 28, despite no clear path to the nomination and growing calls for him to swiftly exit the race.

In a Tuesday morning email, the Vermont senator’s campaign said they were ramping up for the next round of primaries with thousands of volunteers phone-banking and organizing in the Empire State.

“In the ramp up to the New York primary, Bernie 2020 today announced full-time state staff and a broadscale digital organizing program throughout the state,” the email read.

The email signals that the self-described socialist will remain in the Democratic primary race despite being repeatedly thumped by former veep Joe Biden, who is now the presumptive nominee with a large delegate lead.

The Bernie 2020 campaign vowed to fight on, ignoring repeated pleas that he exit the race or risk the health of American voters by unnecessarily sending them to the polls amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Many primaries have been canceled or rescheduled due to the outbreak — leaving the future of the race uncertain.

“At a time of so much uncertainty and struggle, we have been blown away by the huge grassroots support for Bernie in New York, and the eagerness of people across the state to rally around an agenda that works for working people,” campaign New York state director Rafael Navar said.

Sanders, 78, blew up last week when pressed by a reporter on when he would pull the plug on his campaign and on Sunday skipped an important vote on a coronavirus stimulus package to host a campaign event.

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OP-ED: What is Fear doing to us now with this “pandemic”?

The Coronavirus Pandemic

Fear often overwhelms clear thinking. It did on 9/11. We were told that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction, that he was involved in 9/11, he was bosom buddies with Osama bin Laden, and……he was developing a nuclear bomb that we couldn’t wait for it to appear in the form of a mushroom cloud. That all turned out to be a “pack of lies”.

The Coronovirus, Donald Trump tells us, it originated in Wuhan, China. The Chinese say we brought it there. Who’s right about that? How many of us even know there is this rather serious disagreement?

What is the proof of either side? Does anybody know?

Very few of us are even aware of this. Why? We’re too busy following our government’s directives to stay sheltered inside and not to talk to anyone outside, always maintaining six feet from our fellow citizens when we go to the grocery store. Mmm! Those who do talk to others, what are they talking about through their masks? COVID 19. Nothing more. What are our TV news talking heads talking about? COVID 19. Be afraid, be very afraid. Be terrified and lock step behind the directives of our government.

Is there any questioning going on beyond the exigencies of Fear? You answer that question.

Allow me to digress for a moment. In 2003, the world was terrorized by a virus called SARS. Do you know how many people died from SARS worldwide? A little more than 800. After being told by our Authoritarian Experts that there would be millions of cases, WORLDWIDE, it turned out there were only a little more than 800. How could that be?

And those Experts told us that the virus originated in China around cities like Foshan near Quandong in southern China. Did they tell us that those cities were the centers for the world where all the electronic trash was sent to be disassembled and recycled by poor Chinese workers who did so for $1.50 an hour? Did they tell us that these workers labored around huge vats of acid, breathing in a cacophany of chemicals daily in the pursuit of feeding and caring for their families? Did they tell us that the corporations who profited from this exploitation dumped what they couldn’t salvage into their waterways, so much so that they poisoned the drinking water for the people that lived there? Their local governments ended up having to ship in clean drinking water.

And what did the corporations tell us? These people were the carriers of SARS. That was their “Cover Story” to the world, their covering up of their corporate criminal behavior. And it took our eyes off the ball, didn’t it?

Those Chinese Workers didn’t have a viral infection that caused fear and terror in the world. Their respiratory health problems, etc. were the result of Corporate Crime and the corporations covered it up by directing our attentions away from the Truth.

So in confronting this pandemic, are we asking the right questions or are we, once again, being directed away from deeper questioning? FEAR is a tremendous manipulator and controller. It DIVERTED our eyes and minds after 9/11, didn’t it?

What is FEAR doing to us now?

–Bob of Occupy

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Joe Biden: Survival of the Unfittest

MARCH 23, 2020 (counterpunch.org)

by JENNIFER MATSUI

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

Since becoming his party’s frontrunner and presumed nominee, Joe Biden has been hard at work, providing more fodder for future Trump campaign attack ads against himself. No need for ‘deep fakes’ when your opponent willingly offers up his Blooper reels for the benefit of your own re-election campaign. There was something more viral than COVID-19 going around last week – recent footage of the former VP losing his marbles on Livestream and then wandering offscreen to retrieve them – or was he sleepwalking into traffic after hearing about his own car crash performance as it happened? Let’s just say his latest attempt at self-immolation just added more fuel to the rumors that he’s firing blanks instead of neurons.

Some will consider this open acknowledgment of Biden’s obvious and worsening dementia as belittling to all aging sufferers of this disease, but they would be missing an important point: Ordinary people in his position relinquish their driver’s licenses, give power-of-attorney to responsible relatives or caregivers, and voluntarily cede their autonomy for their own well-being – and for the safety of others. They perform these grim, end-of-life rituals with dignity and above all, integrity. By clinging to denial and ignoring medical advice, (as Biden seems to be doing) he risks being manipulated and exploited by those who will eventually exert absolute control over him, and by extension, us.

It’s not just dementia behind his decision to make another failed bid for the presidency, but the still active reptile part of his part that has always been its guiding force. ‘Survival of the unfittest’ is the evolutionary principle of the political class and the law of the Swamp. Biden has always been a primordial, slime dweller with a keen cockroach-like ability to adapt to his surroundings. He can do the bidding of a pro-segregation Senator, taking the opposite stance of his party on the issue of bussing, while using Black Panther talking points to make the case for institutional racism. He can serve at the behest of the first black president as his official court jester without ever having taken an honest inventory of his past, except to fill in the blanks between writing and passing atrocious Republican bills with fabricated stories of civil rights heroism. Today, Biden sees his role as the DNC’s black vote magnet as a natural extension of his previous incarnation as a “tough love” foreman on Strom Thurmond’s cotton plantation. There, he sharpened the implements Master Thurmond used to keep the slaves in line.

As Vice-President, he put a drunk handyman spin on the murderous policies for the two parties he serves, making drone programs and regime change seem as harmless as pretend-pissing in a punchbowl. You might even say that pretend pissing in a punchbowl has been Biden’s stock in trade for his entire political career. Degenerative brain disease has eroded the buffoonery down to a husk, and made visible the incontinent serial killer behind Pogo the Senator. The brightly colored cords that the infamous clown killer used to publicly entertain children with sleight of hand magic tricks was the same ligature used in private to incapacitate his victims. On both occasions, his targets were willingly duped into entrusting their safety to a clown with handcuffs. Now the DNC is asking voters to do the same. Biden’s bland, the average guy next door appeal has always masked a homicidal predator, now reduced to a math-addled playground flasher.

Neither time nor cognitive decline has, however, has calmed his blood lust or a lifelong commitment to planetary collapse. Violence has never been far from the surface of Biden’s carefully crafted persona of an affable, gaffe-prone uncle whose wandering hands always “accidentally” settle on a pre-pubescent girl. Nor has his tongue ever resisted the urge to turn a plagiarized platitude into a bellicose non sequitur. Gone is the deceptive veneer of unfiltered naivete, and in its place, open declarations of violent intent. At this onset stage of his senility, he is only able to articulate the hate speech underlying every bill he helped write in the Senate, including the Patriot Act which he insists was pushed through by leprechauns who had stolen his identity.

Girls over the age of eleven are “dog-faced pony soldiers”, a pro-gun union leader at his campaign events, a street gang rival to be taken outside and thrashed. Black voters remain on the receiving end of badly told anecdotes involving of all Freudian things, “thugs” with switchblades – not to mention fabricated stories about being arrested in apartheid-era South Africa. Was it there that he wrapped a bicycle chain around the skull of President Corn Pop after he was caught in the White-Only swimming pool? “I’d better ask my sister/wife who has a birthday next year in 2018 while I was serving pizza in the Senate as its grease monkey on my back”. Biden seems to fare better when just telling bald-faced lies as he did recently during his debate with Bernie Sanders. Not reviving Corn Pop or mangling the Declaration of Independence was evidence provided by the establishment media of their preferred candidate’s triumphant return to lucidity.

Perhaps his fellow swamp denizens see the opportunity the ascension of another unqualified halfwit to the presidency. The opportunity, that is, to keep another Imbecile-in-Chief pre-occupied with crayons, just as they kept Bush Jr entertained with finger paints, and Trump pre-occupied with Twitter. Where most people see a Biden presidency as a climactic finish to a decades-long race to the bottom, the mostly unseen Beltway bottom feeders perhaps relish the prospect of coalescing around a compliant invertebrate that will do their bidding. This can be easily achieved if the Democrats can convince those much-coveted and largely imaginary swing voters that Joe Biden is the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan. “America, we present to you another doddering, red-baiting crypto-fascist with word soup all over his bib”. Somewhere Donald Trump is scratching his hair plugs in wonder over his latest victory.

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More articles by:JENNIFER MATSUI

Jennifer Matsui is a writer living in Tokyo and a columnist for the print edition of CounterPunch magazine.

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