Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) visits striking United Auto Workers union members as they picket at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant on September 25, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Taking aim at the vast inequities produced by America’s business-dominated economic system, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday unveiled a far-reaching proposal that would roll back President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and transfer more power to U.S. workers by giving them seats on corporate boards and ownership shares in their companies.
“This is the most ambitious plan on corporate ownership ever put out by a presidential candidate.” —Peter Gowan, Democracy Collaborative
“The establishment tells us there is no alternative to unfettered capitalism, that this is how the system and globalization work and there’s no turning back. They are dead wrong,” Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, writes on his website. “The truth is that we can and we must develop new economic models to create jobs and increase wages and productivity across America.”
“Instead of giving huge tax breaks to large corporations that ship our jobs to China and other low-wage countries, we need to give workers an ownership stake in the companies they work for, a say in the decision-making process that impacts their lives, and a fair share of the profits that their work makes possible in the first place,” said the Vermont senator.
Giving workers the power to directly elect at least 45 percent of their firm’s board of directors;
Requiring large corporations and all publicly traded companies “to provide at least two percent of stock to their workers every year until the company is at least 20 percent owned by employees”;
Rolling back “all of the disastrous corporate tax breaks enacted under Trump, closing corporate tax loopholes, and demanding that large corporations pay their fair share of taxes”;
Halting corporate mega-mergers and retroactively undoing mergers that have taken place under Trump; and
Eliminating corporations’ use of offshore tax havens.
Peter Gowan, senior policy associate at the Democracy Collaborative, a left-wing think tank, toldVox that “this is the most ambitious plan on corporate ownership ever put out by a presidential candidate.”
“[This is] giving real bones to Sanders’s vision of democratic socialism,” said Gowan.
“In America today, corporate greed is destroying the social and economic fabric of our society and rapidly moving our nation into an oligarchy, in which a small handful of multi-billionaires increasingly determine our economic, environmental, and political future,” said Sanders. “By giving workers seats on corporate boards and a stake in their companies, we can create an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent.”
The Sanders campaign estimated the proposal would raise $3 trillion in revenue over ten years, $2 trillion of which would be used to fund the senator’s Green New Deal plan.
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From Black & Brown For Justice Peace and Equality / Mothers On The March Against Police Murders.
Why Are We Boycotting Manny’s?
The owner of Manny’s is occupying a place that the Latino community fought for! Residents of the Mission community have fought for many years to make sure that community organizations create venues/space that would benefit the black and brown community. We believe that this should be a cultural center for the youth of this area, especially at a time when so many are being displaced.
The owner of Manny’s also supports the occupation of Palestine by a so-called Zionist state of Israel that is committing genocide of the Palestinian People. Zionist also are involved with training police in the US and in other countries – like the Philippines
Support the BDS movement!
All are welcome to join us, Stop the Displacement of Black and Brown People from the Mission, help us denounce Zionism and help raise awareness and STOP the GENOCIDE of the Palestinian People by the state of Israel.
Sponsors: Mothers on the March Against Police Murders and Black and Brown for Justice and Equality
3. Tuesday, 7:30pm, Debate: Candidates for SF District Attorney – Protest Suzy Loftus’s appointment as interim DA of San Francisco
Manny’s – Outside 3092 16th St. (@ Valencia St.) SF
7:30pm: Protest Suzy Loftus’s un-democratic appointment as SF Interim district attorney, by San Francisco’s Mayor.– Expose the TRUTH!
8:00pm: Manny’s – Debate Night: San Francisco’s District Attorney
In 2016, then President of the SF Police Commission, Suzy Loftus, by her silence allowed and participated in the murders of Alex Nieto, Luis Gongora Pat, Amilcar Perez-Lopez. Mario Woods, and Jessica Nelson. To this day none of the cops have been charged with murder.
When SFPD was exposed for sharing racist, sexist, and homophobic texts, Loftus once again did nothing to hold SFPD accountable.
Host: Mothers on the March Against Police Murders! And Black & Brown For Justice Peace And Equality
Please remember that there’s a boycott of Manny’s –
There will be two other opportunities to hear the candidates at different venues.
4. Tuesday, 7:30pm – 9:30pm, For the Record: Eyewitness Testimonies of a Police Killing – Luis Góngora Pat
Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics
518 Valencia St. SF
Spanish interpretation provided with headphones
Luis Gongora Pat, a Mayan indigenous man, was murdered by San Francisco police officers on April 7, 2016 on Shotwell near 19th Street in the Mission. His killing came in the wake of other homicides by police of Black and Brown communities members.
His family pursued every legal avenue available, including a civil case which was settled in January 2019. Three and a half years later, the story at risk of being buried because the primary eyewitnesses never got their day in court. But Luís’s story must be told.
Two primary eyewitnesses—Christine Pepin and S. Smith Patrick—will present their testimony in an open setting, getting the facts onto a public record even if they couldn’t provide it in court. Adante Pointer—the family’s civil rights lawyer—will attend to support the narrative with facts on the record.
Hosts: Shaping San Francisco, San Francisco Public Library, MAYAN WAR ROOM: In honor of Luis Góngora Pat
SING: songs of Rebellion and Climate justice, taught and sung, led by María Xiomára Dorsey and Masumi Hayashi-Smith of Thrive Street Choir.
SOLIDARITY GROUP PHOTO: : This is your chance to take part in a group photo – to be taken as we sing together – which we will share with Extinction Rebellion International. Show solidarity with the global rebellion!
NEXT DAY: Please invite everyone to join the action in SF the next day. We will be ringing in our upcoming Swarming and a Die-In action in in SF on the following day, Wed Oct 16, at 12 Noon sharp. See event link for details: https://www.facebook.com/events/595833234293964/
Hosts: Extinction Rebellion SF, SF Projection Dept. Extinction Rebellion US
Join Extinction Rebellion SF Bay Area as we participate in the Global October Rebellion for a Fossil Fuel Free California with Swarming and a Die-In. This is an open action, anyone moved to participate is welcome to join us as we illustrate the catastrophic consequences of inaction on the climate catastrophe.
SWARMING: Meet @ Civic Center BART Station UN Plaza entrance. Groups of rebels will venture into the streets to spread the message about climate action.
First shift meets at 7,
Second shift @ 8, and so on every hour until noon. On site training offered.
TO PARTICIPATE IN the DIE-IN: – Arrive at 11:30 am – Look for the Climate Anxiety Tent near the SF Library at Larkin St. More instructions will be given there. – Wear everyday, comfortable clothes. – Be extremely respectful of the farmer’s market and surrounding community activity.
Hosts: Extinction Rebellion SF Bay Area, 350 Bay Area, Fossil Free CA, Extinction Rebellion USA
7. Wednesday, 4:10pm – 6:00pm, Berkeley Graduate Lecture: Prison abolition, and a mule
Bancroft Hotel 2680 Bancroft Way Berkeley
Free & Open to public
The Bancroft hotel is wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510.643.7413 ten days in advance.
Paul Butler, Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University Law Center, will discuss what would replace prisons, how people who cause harm could be dealt with in the absence of incarceration, and why abolition would make everyone safer and our society more just. He’s a legal analyst on MSNBC. He frequently consults on issues of race and criminal justice. His work has been profiled on 60 Minutes, Nightline, and The ABC, CBS and NBC Evening News. Butler lectures regularly for the American Bar Association and the NAACP, and at colleges, law schools, and community organizations throughout the United States.
This lecture is also part of UC Berkeley’s commemorative events spotlighting African American history after the passage of the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act.
8. Wednesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Oakland Privacy: Fighting Against the Surveillance State in the Age of Trump
Omni Commons 4799 Shattuck Ave. Oakland
Join Oakland Privacy to organize against the surveillance state, police militarization and ICE, and to advocate for surveillance regulation around the Bay and nationwide.
We fight against “pre-crime” and “thought-crime,” spy drones, facial recognition, police body camera secrecy, anti-transparency laws and requirements for “backdoors” to cellphones, to list just a few invasions of our privacy by all levels of Government, and attempts to hide what government officials, employees and agencies are doing.
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists’ Hall
1924 Cedar (@ Bonita) Berkeley
Suggested donation: $10 – $20 – no one turned away.
Join us to hear from three of the Embassy Protection Collective. Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese from Washington DC and David Paul from San Francisco will be touring Northern California to speak about the latest on Venezuela and what local activists can do to oppose the US blockade against the South American country. After 37 days of struggle to protect the Venezuelan Embassy, Kevin Zeese, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Dr. Adrienne Pine, and David Paul were arrested by federal agents and are currently fighting the charges against them.
Co-sponsored by the BFUU Social Justice Committee (SJC), the International Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity, and Task Force on the Americas
11. Wednesday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Townhall: Community Input on Independent Oversight of OPD
East Side Arts Alliance 2277 International Blvd. Oakland
In September, APTP released a paper on best practices for independent police oversight based on our legal research, impacted families input, and lessons learned from the Oakland Police Commission, with areas to improve.
Join with us to learn more about the Oakland Police Commission and participate in a community conversation on APTP’s findings. Hear Police Commission Vice Chair and community representative Ginale Harris. We need to help inform the City Council as they draft a ballot measure which can make sure Oakland’s Police Commission has effective oversight.
Please also complete our online survey, for additional community input:http
13. Thursday, 6:30pm – 9:30pm, The Black Panther Party of 1966 and the New United Panthers
The Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics 518 Valencia St. SF
The New Afrikan Black Panther Party developed first from within the prisons of Amerika and is now building programs and organizations in communities across the country. Their concept of a United Panther Movement embraces all peoples and seeks to build a movement that can thoroughly transform society. We seek to open a discussion about the ongoing possibilities and challenges of the continuing quest for liberation and justice.
Shaka Zulu, chair of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party, was recently released from prison and is on a national tour from his base in Newark, New Jersey. Since Shaka Zulu’s release, the NABPP has been organizing “No Prison Fridays” protests in Newark. These mass rallies, which quickly grew from a few dozen to several hundred protesters from local communities, began in opposition to official plans to build a youth prison in Newark
George Katsiaficas graduated from MIT in 1970 while in solitary confinement after being convicted of “disturbing a school” for organizing anti-war protests. He moved to California, where he was part of a deep network of counter-cultural counter-institutions during the 1970s. He was long active against the CIA and for Palestinian self-determination.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) shares a laugh as he warms up before his baseball game against the Leaders Believers Achievers Foundation at the Field of Dreams Baseball field on August 19, 2019 in Dyersville, Iowa. (Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
If the emerging corporate media narrative is to be believed, Sen. Bernie Sanders’s minor heart attack last week dealt a devastating, and possibly insurmountable, blow to the Vermont senator’s bid for the White House.
“I actually feel like Bernie’s hospitalization is a sign that we have to do more to get him elected. He is the most effective possible weapon we have against Trump, and his presidency would be an opportunity for an unprecedented transformation of the political system.” —Nathan J. Robinson, Current AffairsBut prominent campaign surrogates, advisers, and supporters in recent days have forcefully pushed back against that notion and argued Sanders—with his grassroots army as enthusiastic and motivated as ever—is well-positioned to compete for and ultimately win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
In a video statement released on Thursday, Sanders himself spoke to supporters and the American public directly about his recent heart attack and said that he’s “feeling really good and getting stronger every day.”
Thanking supporters for their well-wishes, Sanders said his recovery and rest time has allowed him to reflect on the kinds of adversity that tens of millions of Americans face each and every day.
“But at the end of the day, if you’re going to look at yourself in the mirror and you’re going to say, ‘Look, I go around once. I have one life to live, what role do I want to play?'” Sanders says in the video. “It speaks to the need to create the kind of country that we can become, where people are working hard to serve each other—to understand each other. That is the country we can become—we really can. But we have to have the courage to take on some enormously powerful special interests.”
James Zogby, a committed Sanders backer and president of the Arab American Institute, said that when the senator returns to the campaign trail after fully recovering from his heart stent procedure, he will be greeted by “an invigorated campaign with a staff and a support base that has doubled down in their efforts to make this happen.”
“We are going to have an active campaign. Instead of a breakneck series of events that lap the field, we are going to keep a marathoner’s pace that still manages to outrun everyone else.” —Faiz Shakir, Sanders campaign manager
“Because they realize that for them—and for me—he’s the critical choice,” Zogby toldHuffPost.
Speaking to reporters outside of his Vermont home Tuesday, Sanders said he plans to make adjustments to his schedule—which, before his health scare, frequently included three or four rallies per day on top of other campaign activity—to ensure he can sustain his presidential bid over the long haul.
“We’re gonna probably not do three or four rallies a day,” Sanders said, adding that he will likely attend two rallies a day.
Pundits and major media outlets quickly seized upon the senator’s remarks as evidence that he is dramatically dialing back his campaign activity or even, in the words of FiveThirtyEight‘s Nate Silver, “entering a phase where his goal is to pull the nominee to the left and/or to build a movement rather than to actually win.”
The campaign, and Sanders himself, quickly and aggressively disputed both claims.
“As Bernie said, we are going to have an active campaign,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s campaign manager, told Common Dreams. “Instead of a breakneck series of events that lap the field, we are going to keep a marathoner’s pace that still manages to outrun everyone else.”
In an interview with NBCNews Wednesday, Sanders said he plans to “start off slower” once he hits the trail again “and build up and build up and build up.”
“We’re going to get back into the groove of a very vigorous campaign,” Sanders said. “I love doing rallies and I love doing town meetings.”
The senator also dismissed the notion that his campaign was not sufficiently transparent about his health, a line some political reporters pushed after the campaign announced last Friday that Sanders had a heart attack.
“That’s nonsense. I don’t know what people think campaigns are, you know we’re dealing with all kinds of doctors and we wanted to have a sense of what the hell was going on really,” Sanders told NBC. “So the first thing that we’re trying to do is understand what’s going on and not run to the New York Times and have to report every 15 minutes. You know, this is not a baseball game. So I think we acted absolutely appropriately.”
David Welch, a recently retired cardio rehab nurse in California who supports Sanders for president but has no affiliation with the campaign, wrote in a Common Dreams op-ed Thursday that the senator’s heart attack is not a concern for him.
Based on his 36 years as a health professional working with cardiac patients, Welch said that given what is known about Sanders’ heart attack and the stent procedure which followed, there’s no reason to be worried about his ability to return to full health and the campaign.
“Remember, those arteries had been narrowed for a long time,” writes Welch. “Even with narrowed arteries the senator has been keeping up a pace that most younger people couldn’t hope to match. Now, they are wide open and he’s probably had no significant heart damage… Honestly, the people who should be most worried right now are the campaign staff who will have to keep up with him now that the arteries are fully open.”
In an op-ed for CNN Wednesday, Adam Kassam and Ben Eschenheimer wrote that “of course” Sanders could still serve as president following his heart attack.
“The suggestion that Sanders should stand down and endorse another candidate because of a health condition that many Americans live and work with is not only callous, but carries a bitter flavor of discrimination,” wrote Kassam and Eschenheimer. “Indeed it scans as ableism, a shameful undercurrent that has pervaded discussions of the 2020 election, along with ageism.”
While Sanders has been off the trail for several days to rest after his procedure, his grassroots campaign operation does not appear to have lost any momentum. Last week, just hours after news of Sanders’ heart stent procedure, the campaign worked the senator’s health scare into the case for Medicare for All.
“As you see the headlines about Bernie today, send him your good vibes—and remember how important the fight for Medicare for All really is,” said Sanders speechwriter David Sirota.
“It was like a rallying cry. It was incredible. That’s the difference between having a movement as opposed to just a campaign.” —RoseAnn DeMoro
On Tuesday, the campaign announced that volunteers made 1.3 million calls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, California, Colorado, and Oklahoma, easily hitting their goal of a million calls over a 10-day period.
The campaign said the senator also received 8,000 donations on Wednesday, just a week after team Sanders announced it raised $25.3 million from an average donation of $18 in the third quarter of 2019—the largest haul in the Democratic field, fueled by contributions from teachers and employees of Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart.
“It was like a rallying cry. It was incredible,” RoseAnn DeMoro, former executive director of National Nurses United and prominent Sanders backer, told HuffPost of the flood of support for Sanders following his procedure. “That’s the difference between having a movement as opposed to just a campaign.”
Speaking to the Associated Press, DeMoro stressed that Sanders’s heart attack was “minor” and that the “stents will be extremely helpful in terms of blood flow.”
“I assume he’ll be far more vigorous,” DeMoro said. “Heaven help the opposition.”
For Nathan Robinson, editor of Current Affairs magazine and unabashed Sanders supporter, the senator’s health scare brought into sharp relief the urgency of nominating Sanders to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.
In an article titled “Why Bernie Has to Win,” published just days after Sanders’s hospitalization, Robinson echoed a prescient argument he made in the midst of the 2016 Democratic primary: Sanders represents the best chance to both defeat Trump and enact a transformational progressive agenda.
“I actually feel like Bernie’s hospitalization is a sign that we have to do more to get him elected,” Robinson wrote. “He is the most effective possible weapon we have against Trump, and his presidency would be an opportunity for an unprecedented transformation of the political system.”
To be honest, Bernie shouldn’t have to be exerting himself in the way he has been. Because this campaign isn’t about him. In fact, if Bernie is elected, he shouldn’t have to be doing the bulk of the work. He is a vehicle for the creation of a people’s presidency. We are not nominating him because he is a messianic leader who will solve our problems and personally guide us to the promised land. We are nominating him because his is the name we put on the ballot in order to achieve power. This campaign isn’t about Bernie Sanders, it’s about getting the Bernie Sanders agenda passed: Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, free college, workplace democracy.
“We have one last shot,” Robinson concluded. “Are we going to sit and Raise Questions from the stands or are we going to commit ourselves to making sure that this time, we do not let Donald Trump win the presidential election? Bernie will fight until his very last breath to make this a humane country that cares for its people… That’s what he will do. So what will you and I do to help?”
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We chose indigenous peoples day to start occupy Oakland/decolonize oakland cuz it only seemed appropriate to free the land on this day, connect the dots and have our ohlone brothers and sisters start the day.
Oakland had been waiting. we were watching it coming. some folks said thats some white shit. and they were right. some people said thats some middle class shit. they were right. some people said lets make it our shit. and thats what we did. and over the next several months the entire nation talked about shit you never heard of in the news. words like “racism”, “classism”, “capitalism” were being said on the news, radio, tv, social media. the violence, corruption, lack of a moral compass of the United States was revealed to more people. the illusion was being seen for what it was. Cairo and Oakland stood as one. Palestine and Oakland stood as one. and occupy/decolonize spaces popped up around the country.
hundreds and hundreds of oaklanders came out in the rain 8 years ago today (it hasn’t rained for a few Octobers now). Occupy/decolonize oakland was in effect. The take over was seamless. Under the blanket of a rally those who took over city hall property got their tents up. There was free food for anyone who is hungry. People kept coming and spilling into the street. We had an open mic till the breaka breaka dawn. Everyday rallies/teach ins or open mic at noon, 330,530. Open mic 7pm every nite.
By the end of the week we had a full kitchen, a full media tent, a silk screening area, a Children’s Village, workshops and skill sharing throughout the day, and several committees for people to join.
Kahlid was still alive, documenting it all. Bam bam was still alive. I was the MC who kicked it off. Rich Ejire and @Ras Terms still lived in Oakland and were holding it down too. it was raining like a mo fo. Problematic gentrifuckers who should never been allowed to claim they were anarchists arrived in oakland to infiltrate our movement and housing. this is how i remember the day we started occupy/decolonize oakland.
She’s talked tough on protecting tenants in The City’s rental crisis, but now Supervisor Vallie Brown is taking heat for evicting tenants herself.
Brown is running in this November’s election to keep her appointed job representing Japantown, the Haight, Inner Sunset, and Western Addition, among other District 5 neighborhoods.
But those supporting her chief opponent, tenants advocate Dean Preston, alleged Thursday that no one in those neighborhoods, which are filled with vulnerable renters, should vote for someone who themselves evicted tenants — and they brought the documentation to show Brown once kicked folks to the curb.
Those court documents, first reported by our sister paper SF Weekly, show Brown conducted an owner-move-in eviction when she purchased a Fillmore Street building for $275,000 in 1994.
Brown moved in, and apparently after fraught negotiations over how much rent the tenants could pay to help renovate the building with needed repairs, she and her co-owners gave ‘em the boot.
One of those tenants, Thomas L. Cotton, was 56 and paid $206 per month for his apartment there for 20 years. While San Francisco’s rental market in 1994 was far from the boiling, bubbling cauldron of awful it is today, he likely experienced a sticker shock after that.
Brown maintains, however, that Cotton neverlived there — he only ever used the space for storage, her campaign spokesperson said.
Still, three of the evicted tenants petitioned the rent board for wrongful eviction against Brown and lost, records show.
After living at the Fillmore Street property for 20 years herself, Brown sold the property for $2.3 million following the death of her partner.
San Francisco tenants advocates, who are noted Preston supporters, held a press conference outside the building on 152 Fillmore to scorch the supervisor for her eviction history.
Gloria Berry, a San Francisco native and former supervisor candidate, said that three times in her life she has been evicted.
“Fillmore was a historically black neighborhood, which was beautiful and thriving when I grew up. It’s personal, you know? It hurts,” Berry said. “There were black seniors living here in this building that were evicted.”
Randy Shaw, director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic and editor of Beyond Chron, has long espoused on San Francisco housing.
He told me that just how much hardship Brown’s tenants faced after an eviction in San Francisco circa 1994 depends on how low their rent was in the first place — though he did say 1994 was a “slow” period in San Francisco real estate. This wasn’t the tech boom, yet.
“It’s always the case in San Francisco if you’ve been in a place for a long period of time anything on the market will be significantly more,” Shaw said. “It makes an incredible difference.”
We don’t know much about how the tenants fared besides Cotton and his roommate, who moved to Florida. Another tenant eventually moved into public housing.
Brown’s campaign spokespeople said the occupants weren’t paying rent at all. None of them.
When I asked the long-time San Francisco observer how he thinks voters will react, Shaw said “It’s really hard to know. I think when you do a fraudulent eviction, as Amos Brown did in his supervisors race and lost to Gerardo Sandoval because of that” in the year 2000.
In this case, “it will really depend on how Vallie explains what occurred,” Shaw said.
Brown told SF Weekly that she and her co-owners needed to renovate the place, which was beset by mold, and negotiated with the tenants to adjust the rent to do so. Brown and her co-owners only moved to evict them only after negotiations came to a standstill.
“Tenants felt, for paying rent, the place was too much of a wreck,” Brown told SF Weekly. “We wanted to keep people there and we didn’t have help.”
Preston’s supporters think it should be a flashpoint for voters in the neighborhoods Brown or Preston would represent.
“It was just as wrong to evict tenants 25 years ago as it would be today,” tenants advocate Jennifer Fieber said in a press release. “The last person we need in City Hall is someone who would personally evict, displace and profit off the misery of long-term tenants forced from their homes.”
Cody McFarland contributed to this report.
On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.
The School Strike for Climate featured students from around the world on nearly every continent marching in the streets and calling on world leaders to increase their efforts to combat climate change, carbon emissions and even address local issues respective to their communities.
This event was indeed remarkable. Unfortunately, like most of the environmentalist movement, the largest demonstrations occurred in some of the richest, most industrialized countries. Some poorer countries had turn out, but often it was minuscule compared to more affluent countries. Other regions that have repressive governments saw little to no public protest as well.
To tackle climate change, as a primarily youth-led movement, the burden cannot rest mostly on young people in the richest countries or those countries that have liberal policies on public protest. The current movement provides an opportunity for young activists to address the repression children their age face in other countries, but the reality is that many young people around the world live in politically repressive environments that prohibit the ability to organize collectively.
Russia, the largest country in the world by land mass, remained absent during the strike. Although rallies took place in 16 Russian cities, none of them featured more than 100 individuals. In Moscow only a small group showed up. Despite the fact that the Russian state weather service, Roshydromet, reported that the average temperature in Russia is rising faster than the worldwide average, the government prohibits any large protests in the capital. Only solo picketers are allowed. In addition, climate groups that receive donations from outside Russia must register as “foreign agents,” making it difficult for them to work with lawmakers. Such draconian policies led a small group of 30 to 40 people to hold a sign one at a time.
China is another industrialized society that contributes enormously to climate change, but has restrictive policies on public protest. Despite being the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, the Chinese government notably did not authorize any protest during the worldwide strikes. Nonetheless, Chinese youth remain determined to press their leaders to address climate change, even as they face general apathy from the population due to the country’s restrictive laws. Although young people in China are becoming more concerned with the crisis, the average public attitude is one of indifference compared with the rest of the world.
These are just two countries, but Russia and China both have significant global influence. Both have actively sought to shape global affairs and China in particular is a rising superpower. But this superpower, aside from making large scale investments in renewable energy, has failed to lead the public charge in tackling climate change. Stifling the voices of young people in both countries does a disservice to any kind of public debate. But both countries are certainly not alone in their absence of public protests.
Numerous countries in the Middle East did not participate largely because of repressive policies instituted by their governments or because they are experiencing civil unrest that gives citizens little incentive to participate. Several countries, such as Iran and Oman, reported zero demonstrations. Other countries are currently experiencing political upheaval and therefore it is nearly impossible for young people to show up in the streets.
This is all the more devastating as climate change has already exacerbated civil conflicts in some Middle Eastern countries. Some predictions state that the Middle East and North Africa will become uninhabitable as the region suffers from prolonged heat waves, desertification and droughts. To this day, governments in the region have done little to address the problem.
Africa, for its part, is already extremely vulnerable to climate change as extreme droughts, flooding and famine continue to cripple many areas where populations are meanwhile growing fast. Although protests occurred in places such as Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, other countries were notably absent from the climate strikes for similar reasons of poverty, repression and civil unrest.
It is important to note that global youth activism has always had its limitations. Young people in industrialized societies have come under scrutiny from their respective governments, with some countries such as the United States, Canada, England and New Zealanddeploying government agencies to spy on student activists.
Teenagers in some countries have also been the victims of violence by agents of the state. High school students protesting apartheid policies in South Africa in June 1976, known famously as the Soweto Youth Uprising, were shot by police officers. This isn’t only an occurrence of the recent past, but remains a present-day reality. Just this year, students in Sudan protested the military killings of four teenagers and one adult demonstrator who were protesting bread and fuel shortages. The consequences for dissent have always varied based on geographic location.
The Climate Strike is a propitious effort among young people to persuade leaders of foreign countries to find solutions to climate change. But unless world leaders find consensus on the issue, meaningful change will be hard to come by. As young people like Greta Thunberg hold the world’s attention, they could address the plight of their various counterparts around the globe.
Absent all the hardware bearing Made in America stickers sitting in Turkish military bases, we would probably not be fretting about what Turkey’s government was doing to the Syrian Democratic Forces. (Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)
Turkey, a U.S. ally in Syria, attacks another U.S. ally in Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led group of militias whose very existence is anathema to the Turkish government—and the Trump Administration does nothing to prevent it. Trump’s indifference is appropriately denounced by the leadership of both political parties—Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes the planned “precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces” from Syria, and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls upon the president to “reverse this dangerous decision.” But is this bipartisan leadership consensus that American troops must remain in Syria really the only alternative? Is there no way to stop Turkey, other by interposing American troops? Well, at the least, there is one other obvious path as yet untread upon: Want to stop Turkey from attacking another ally? Take away their guns, and their tanks, and their planes, and their…
According to GlobalSecurity.org, Turkey has about 2550 armored personnel carriers, of which 99% are America made, as are all but two of its 170 fixed wing aircraft. Less than 1% of Turkey’s 760 “towed” artillery are homemade; the rest, again, are manufactured here. 80% of its 990 “self-propelled” artillery pieces are made in the U.S.A. Less than 2% of Turkey’s 3,250 “Main Battle Tanks” are manufactured there; 53% are American made; another 24% are joint U.S./Israel products. (The rest come from Germany.) In short, the Turkish military doesn’t function without the U.S. weapons industry—and the approval of the U.S. government. Absent all the hardware bearing Made in America stickers sitting in Turkish military bases, we would probably not be fretting about what Turkey’s government was doing to the Syrian Democratic Forces.
It would appear that the course of pulling the plug on the Turkish war machine is just unthinkable to them.
So, what if the U.S. government were to simply tell Turkey to desist? Yes, it’s true that theoretically the Turkish government could opt to break with Washington and proceed with their attack using the equipment already on hand. But realistically, if it was told that there would be no replacements in the pipeline unless it called off this attack, it seems highly likely that we would see some serious behavior modification—pdq.
How does it not occur to our national leaders to at least promote such a commonsensical step? Trump we need not discuss, immersed as he is in the “alternative facts” that reign in his White House. But Pelosi and McConnell? It would appear that the course of pulling the plug on the Turkish war machine is just unthinkable to them. At this point, the idea of sending and maintaining American troops 6000 miles away to prevent an ally from carrying out an attack apparently seems the more reasonable and familiar option to them.
And, to be fair, we can see how they got to this point, since Congress annually appropriates funding for over 800 foreign military bases. Adding to the militarization of a situation and sending in the Marines is standard operating procedure for them. On the other hand, the interruption of the militarization of the situation by threatening to cut off the transfer of military equipment is so far out of the Capitol playbook that it no doubt now seems the more radical direction there—one with the potential to cause a genuine international crisis.
And there could, after all, also be serious implications for the “defense” industry, which would not be confined to the nation’s capital, given that the industry has been carefully constructed to involve every region of the country. And it would certainly have grave implications for the current nameless, permanent state of war formerly known as the “War on Terror.”
In short, placing American military personnel in harm’s way apparently carries less political risk than endangering the profits of munitions manufacturers, or the careers of foreign policy experts. This is the mindset of war without end; war so ubiquitous that it remains largely unnoticed most of the time. It is but another example of why the bi-partisan Washington foreign policy consensus has got to go—along with the people who purvey it.
American activist and actress Jane Fonda was arrested for civil disobedience on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on Friday. (Photo: ABC News/screenshot)
Jane Fonda was arrested on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building Friday as the 81-year-old activist and actress launched a new weekly civil disobedience campaign called #FireDrillFriday to pressure American policymakers to tackle the climate crisis.
“We make personal choices like driving an electric car or going vegan, recycling, and we think that that’s enough. And it’s great. And we have to keep doing it. But this is a collective crisis that demands collective action now.” —Jane Fonda
“Inspired by the Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, the student strikers, and Naomi Klein’s new book On Fire: The Burning Case for the Green New Deal, I have decided to upend my life, leave my comfort zone, and move to Washington, D.C. for four months to focus on climate change,” Fonda wrote in a letter circulated by the group CodePink announcing the campaign.
Fire Drill Friday actions are planned for every Friday at 11 am through mid-January.
“Each Friday we will focus on a different aspect of the climate crisis and what needs to be done moving forward,” Fonda explained in her letter, inviting celebrities, experts, and people from impacted communities to participate. “This is a once-in-a-century opportunity to address the greatest threat to the future of our planet. I will be on the East Lawn of the Capitol every single Friday, rain or shine, and would be honored to have you join me.”
Fonda also promoted the actions she is organizing in a short video shared on Twitter:
Climate activists cheered on Fonda—famous for her decades of activism promoting peace, racial justice, feminism, and environmental action—as photos and videos of her arrest began circulating online Friday.
Before Fonda was arrested, she delivered a short speech, during which she said that “we make personal choices like driving an electric car or going vegan, recycling, and we think that that’s enough. And it’s great. And we have to keep doing it. But this is a collective crisis that demands collective action now.”
Along with Fonda, speakers at Friday’s launch event preceding the civil disobedience included Keya Chatterjee, executive director of U.S. Climate Action Network; high school senior and climate striker Jerome Foster; author and activist Naomi Klein; Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA; biologist and author Sandra Steingraber; and Kerene N. Tayloe, director of federal legislative affairs at WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
According to The Washington Post, which interviewed Fonda ahead of the launch event on Friday, “she has invited some of her celebrity friends: Actor Ted Danson of ‘Cheers’ fame, who has become involved in ocean conservation; ‘The Vagina Monologues’ playwright Eve Ensler; and actresses Kyra Sedgwick and Catherine Keener. She’s reached out to leaders of Black Lives Matter and the Sunrise Movement. Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, will join the demonstrations.”
In addition to the Friday actions organized by Fonda, beginning on Oct. 17 live-streamed teach-ins will be held each Thursday night featuring “interviews with experts who will discuss and answer questions about each different aspect of climate change that is the focus of the next day’s action,” according to a statement published on the Fire Drill Fridays website.
The website details the focuses of upcoming Friday actions as well as the campaign’s five demands: a Green New Deal, respect of Indigenous land and sovereignty, environmental justice, protection and restoration of biodiversity, and implementation of sustainable agriculture.
Fonda’s planned climate actions come as students across the globe continue to particpate in the #FridaysForFuture movement inspired by Thunberg, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who began striking from school last year to stand alone outside the Swedish Parliament to urge her country’s lawmakers to take bolder steps to battle the climate emergency.
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The Young Turks Advocate, organizer, lawyer and DJ, Shahid Buttar is challenging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her U.S. CA-12 seat. We spent a day with him in San Francisco, the city Speaker Pelosi represents in congress. Is it just us, or does Shahid seem more in tune with the San Francisco vibe than Pelosi?
http://tyt.com/r2r#ShahidButtar#RoadToRevolution #2020 Road to Revolution— 2020 is everything. If Trump wins this election, the United States is on its way to a full-blown dictatorship. http://tyt.com/r2r All hope is not lost! There is a massive progressive movement rising up across our country. People are jumping into action; revolutionaries who won’t standby while a kleptocrat gives their country to corporations. Road to Revolution gives you an inside view into the heroes and sheroes fighting on the front lines for the future of our country. http://tyt.com/r2r
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OH – Phone Banks, Our Revolution Ohio for Nina Virtual Phone Bank Time Sundays and Wednesdays6:30 – 8:30pm EST Location Virtual event Join from anywhere About this event Join us as we make calls to Congressional District 11 to help send Senator Nina Turner to Washington! Available times Sun, Jan 24, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Jan 27, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Jan 31, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Feb 3, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Feb 7, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Feb 10, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Feb 14, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Feb 17, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Feb 21, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Feb 24, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Feb… Continue reading →
Next Labor Organizer Training Series Begins Wednesday, March 3rd The next semester of EWOC Organizer Training will begin on Wednesday, March 3rd at 5 pm PT and run for six weekly sessions, with alternate sessions on Sundays at 2 pm PT. Session 1 – Leader Identification Session 2 – Mapping and Charting a Workplace Session 3 – The Organizing Conversation Session 4 – Escalating Campaigns Session 5 – Public Action and Engaging with the Boss Session 6 – Inoculation and the Boss Campaign If you want to learn more about how to organize at your own workplace or support others in doing so through EWOC, sign up for the… Continue reading →
We wanted to let you know that our next members-only raffle will be Wednesday, March 3 @ 8 PM Eastern/ 5 PM Pacific. In addition to giving away free merchandise, we’re expanding the meeting to be an opportunity for members to give feedback and ask questions, so please join the discussion on Wednesday! We already have you entered into the raffle to win free Wolf-PAC merchandise. We hope to see you on Wednesday, but if you can’t attend the live raffle we will let you know if you win! Thank you for supporting Wolf-PAC and the fight to end the corrupting influence of big money in American… Continue reading →
Intro to DSA Recurring March 3, 2021 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Come learn what Democratic Socialists of America is doing to build the socialist movement in San Francisco. There will an introduction to the mission of DSA, the socialist project, and what our organizers are doing locally. Bring your questions and a friend! RSVP at dsasf.org/intro-mtg-registration
Intro to DSA Posted by LaborSolidarityCommittee WHEN: March 3, 2021 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm WORKSHOP The membership of DSA, the largest socialist organization in the United States, is rapidly growing by the thousands. Democratic Socialist politicians like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush are raising the expectations of millions of people across the United States and bringing them into a political awakening. Millions of working-class Americans are calling for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, universal rent control, and more. But what is democratic socialism? What does it mean to be a member of DSA?… Continue reading →
Our Next Membership Meeting Please register for our next membership meeting, which is Wednesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. We’ll recap the ADEM election, and we will also have the honor and pleasure of hearing from San Francisco Board of Education President Gabriela López! San Francisco Berniecrats is proud to have endorsed President López during her 2018 run for school board. In solidarity, Claire Lau and Brandee Marckmann Co-Chairs, San Francisco Berniecrats San Francisco Berniecrats, FPPC # 1391193. Financial Disclosures at SFethics.org. Click here if you’d like to receive only activist alerts (fewer emails).
California 2021 Kickoff! Virtual Meeting Time Thursdays7:30 – 8:30pm PST Location Virtual event Join from anywhere Hosted in Los Angeles, CA 90001 About this event Join Our Revolution for the California 2021 Organize to Win Kickoff! This gathering will be focused on the upcoming ADEM elections; where California Democrats elect grassroots leaders and activists to party leadership. There are 14 spots for each one of California’s 80 Assembly Districts and hundreds of progressives are running for these seats. It’s a bit of a complicated process but we can continue to transform the California Democratic Party by winning these elections this month.… Continue reading →
ISF State and Local Working Group meeting: Friday, March 5, 7:30–8:30 PM. Register here to help us plan to propose legislation to our state legislators and support progressive initiatives on the state and local level.
California Progressive Alliance 3rd Annual Convention Posted by LaborSolidarityCommittee WHEN: March 6, 2021 all-day WHERE: Online CONTACT: Event website EVENT California Progressive Alliance 3rd Annual Convention RSVP link Save the Date, March 6th, and RSVP now for California Progressive Alliances 3rd Annual Convention: Acknowledge, Analyze and Act; Paving the Way for Progressive Change! Join California Progressive Alliance members and organizers from around the state, country and world as we pave the way for real progressive change in 2021! Gather, build community and organize together! We’ve got some incredible breakout sessions planned- Solidarity Economy- Putting People and the Planet over Profit! Transforming our Economy… Continue reading →
The Institute for the Critical Study of Society at the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library OUR CURRENT SCHEDULE (NOTE: These are all tentative and may be changed. Please check back the week before, or sign up for our weekly reminders/updates at firstname.lastname@example.org) Sun, Dec 27, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm CONFIRMED: The Three Concepts of Freedom Synopsis: In this session we will compare and contrast the Liberal, Democratic, and the communist concepts of freedom. We will discuss that the Liberal freedom consists of the legal guarantees against outside intrusions. Democratic freedom emphasizes the right to participate in the… Continue reading →