The Internationale (English)

CROCRACKS “The Internationale” (French: “L’Internationale”) is a left-wing anthem. It has been a standard of the socialist movement since the late nineteenth century, when the Second International adopted it as its official anthem.

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Song

The Internationale

Artist

Billy Bragg

Album

Billy Bragg, Vol. 1

Writers

Billy Bragg

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Urban farming activism a timely theme in ‘Occupy The Farm’

“Occupy The Farm,” premiering on PBS on April 20, details efforts of activist urban farmers in the East Bay. (Courtesy Kelly Johnson)

“Occupy The Farm,” premiering on PBS on April 20, details efforts of activist urban farmers in the East Bay. (Courtesy Kelly Johnson)

Issues in 2014 doc about contested UC Berkeley land relevant today

In 2012, director Todd Darling embarked on “Occupy The Farm,” a movie about activist urban farmers who took over a patch of East Bay land owned by University of California, Berkeley with a distinct goal about the task at hand.

“From the beginning, my feeling was, ‘I was not doing a news story, I was making a film,’” says Darling, whose 90-minute documentary about the long-contested land was released in 2014 to mostly positive reviews and success on the independent film circuit.

Now, with its broadcast television premiere on PBS next week, Darling says the movie’s themes are even more pressing than they were during the 2012 controversy, which started on Earth Day when activist farmers invaded and started planting seedlings on Gill Tract, a parcel of farmland in Albany with a long, complicated history that UC Berkeley planners were slating for commercial uses.

Though the trespassing activists and supportive community members brought police and scuffles to the gated area, the film ends with victory for the intrepid farmers, as least in part because Whole Foods grocery store dropped out of the university’s development scheme.

“It was jaw-dropping when that happened. No matter how they were going to spin it, having their anchor tenant leave, it had to be viewed as a bad turn of events,” says Darling, who adds that the farmland faces a new threat today, with the university announcing plans to build a large dorm for hundreds of students that would be operated by a Texas company that specializes in these types of privatization projects.

The proposed development on the Gill Tract, which is known as a wintering spot for the monarch butterfly, also leaves out plans for classrooms or anything that relates to land or the history of the land, even though UC Berkeley since the 1860s has been designated a land grant college.

“The charter requires them to teach agriculture, and that means they need a farm, and this is their last farm,” adds Darling, who succinctly sums up the problem: “You’ve got this situation where the University of California is taking scarce pieces of public-research, agricultural land, and turning it over to a private company that will design, own and operate a six-story, 800-person complex next to a habitat for endangered species.”

Equally important to fighting development is the need to focus on fighting dangerous effects of climate change, another message in “Occupy The Farm” that’s been amplified by COVID-19.

“Food insecurity during the pandemic has become a huge factor for hundreds of thousands of people. Seed companies are reporting difficulty with demand because people have realized they need to grow their own food – because you never know. And it’s cheaper,” Darling says.

“Occupy The Farm” documentarian Todd Darling says the issues raised in his 2014 film remain relevant today. (Courtesy photo)

“Occupy The Farm” documentarian Todd Darling says the issues raised in his 2014 film remain relevant today. (Courtesy photo)

And since the pandemic struck, the UC Gill Tract Community Farm has developed safety protocols to enable staff and volunteers to supply free food to dozens of local families in need.

While the world health crisis and continuing concerns about climate change have kept documentary relevant, the movie also offers a vivid illustration of contemporary political movements with new styles of protest, from Occupy to Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock Reservation.

“You are seeing more imaginative forms of action,” Darling says, “There’s a level of frustration. People want to do something that’s not merely symbolic.”

For Darling, the movie is an example of what average, everyday people can accomplish if they stick together. The “Occupy The Farm” activists had a winning combination, he says: “They were able go in there, plant the crops, embarrass the institution, physically get in the way, be persistent and have a vision.”

IF YOU WATCH

Occupy The Farm

8 p.m. April 20 on KRCB (Channel 22)

7 p.m. April 22 on KPJK (Channel 17)

Note: Following both broadcasts is a discussion with Darling, “Occupy The Farm” organizers Effie Rawlings and Ashoka Finley; Will Smith of Black Earth Farmers; and Charisma Acey, faculty director of the Berkeley Food Institute.

lkatz@sfexaminer.com

MIDDAY POSTER: Corporate Donors Are Rewarding Sinema And Manchin

New documents show corporations bankrolled the two senators as they killed a $15 minimum wage and pushed to preserve the filibuster.

Walker Bragman April 15, 2021 (The Daily Poster)

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, left, and Joe Manchin (Photo credit: Bill Clark and Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin have been generating attention for their refusal to support legislation and filibuster reforms that would further their party’s promised agenda, such as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, creating a public health insurance option and passing much-needed climate change measures. Now, newly disclosed campaign finance records reviewed by The Daily Poster reveal the two senators’ stances have been handsomely rewarded from corporate interests that stand to benefit from their actions.

Also:

• Progressives are demanding big thinking on Biden’s new infrastructure plans.

• Major world leaders say there’s an easy way to fast-track global COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

• Nancy Pelosi pours cold water on efforts to reform the Supreme Court.


This is an excerpt of our Midday Poster — which is exclusive for Daily Poster supporting subscribers. If you’d like to read the full report — which includes much more — click here to become an $8-a-month or $70-a-year supporting subscriber. When you become a supporting subscriber, you get this kind of exclusive content, you get access to our live events, and you are helping us hire more journalists.

Subscribe now

Washington state governor OKs bill banning for-profit jails

By RACHEL LA CORTE

April 14, 2021 (APNews.com)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — One of the country’s largest for-profit, privately run immigration jails would be shut down by 2025 under a bill signed Wednesday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

The measure approved by the Washington Legislature bans for-profit detention centers in the state. The only facility that meets that definition is the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, a 1,575-bed immigration jail operated by the GEO Group under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Washington has not supported use of private prisons, and this bill continues that policy by prohibiting private detention facilities from operating in the state,” Inslee said before signing the bill.

Washington joins several states, including California, Nevada, New York and Illinois, that have passed legislation aiming to reduce, limit or ban private prison companies from operating. But Washington is only the third — following Illinois and California — to include immigration facilities as part of that ban.

“Widespread civil immigration detention is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice that currently exists in our political system,” Matt Adams, legal director at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, said in an email. “The enactment of this bill is an important step towards rejecting the privatization and profiteering model of immigration detention centers that has pushed the massive expansion of immigration detention. ”

The new law in Washington state, which is likely to face a legal challenge, would allow GEO to continue operating the jail until its contract with ICE expires in 2025.

GEO sued over a similar 2019 measure in California, and that lawsuit was later consolidated with a Trump administration lawsuit that followed. A federal judge there largely sided with the state, but the case was appealed. It is now before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and is set for oral arguments in June. Last month, the Biden administration filed a brief with the court adopting the arguments of the previous administration, challenging California’s law on constitutional grounds.

In a emailed statement, Alexandra Wilkes, a spokeswoman for the Day 1 Alliance, a trade association of GEO and other private detention companies, wrote that the legislation is “a misguided, politically-motivated effort to ‘Abolish ICE’ by targeting longtime government contractors who have zero role in deciding federal immigration policy.”

She wrote that the consequences of the center closing could result in migrants being transferred to local jails or “moved far from family and friends.”

The Tacoma immigration lockup has long been a target of immigrant rights activists. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing to force GEO to pay the state minimum wage to detainees who perform janitorial and other tasks at the jail.

The Northwest Detention Center currently houses fewer than 200 detainees because of pandemic-related precautions. Supporters of the new law argued that the severe drop in immigration detention during the pandemic proved it’s not necessary to keep so many immigrants locked up, and they criticized minimum-bed quotas that are written into contracts with private detention facilities.

President Joe Biden has instructed the Justice Department not to renew contracts with private prisons, but that order doesn’t apply to the immigration detention system under the Department of Homeland Security.

___

Associated Press writer Gene Johnson contributed from Seattle and AP correspondent Rebecca Boone contributed from Boise, Idaho.

URGENT CALL TO ACTION: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL (AM8335) TO UNDERGO HEART SURGERY (from Adrienne Fong)

Youtube live stream link for today’s press conference, starting in 15 minutes. Free Mumia!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqmN3o8lZ6U

Prison Radio will record and archive this broadcast at www.prisonradio.org

Attachments area
Preview YouTube video Mumia to Undergo Heart Surgery: Emergency Press Conference


Mumia to Undergo Heart Surgery: Emergency Press Conference
 

Exploratory Procedures done-
arteries blocked further surgery scheduled. 

He is not Out of Danger

Call for his freedom.


Head of PA DOC, John Wetzel
717-728-2573 *** EMAIL:  J.Wetzel@state.pa.us , ra-crpadocsecretary@pa.gov
twitter: @johnewetzel, @DOCSecretary 
  
PA DOC, Deputy Secretary for Administration of Healthcare, Christopher Oppman 
717-728-4122 or 717-728-2573 Ext 5
 
SCI Mahanoy Superintendent, Bernadette Mason
570-773-2158 
 
Governor of PA, Tom Wolf
717-787-2500 ext. 3. *** FAX 717-772-8284 *** EMAIL:  Brunelle.Michael@gmail.com  

facebook: @governorwolf, @TomWolfPA  instagram: @governortomwolf

https://jamaljournal-movement.blogspot.com
https://bringmumiahome.com
http://www.freemumia.com
https://letmumiaout.com

http://mumiabujamal.com/v2/category/actualite/
https://www.prisonradio.org/

We could not save Malcolm X, but we can save Mumia.  We can save him, and we must save him, because we love our Brother, and we need our Brother to help us fight for our freedom.” Assata Shakur 

When We Fight, We Win. 

Noelle Hanrahan 
Prison Radio

Didn’t receive news of this happening till after I sent out “ announcements”. From what I understand from another email early this morning – people who usually hear from Mumia daily have not heard from him since Saturday.

His trusted doctor has also not had access to Mumia. Anyone that is hospitalized should have access to a trusted advocate for them…

Thank you Verbena for this. Sending this to a few of you.

https://jamaljournal-movement.blogspot.com/2021/04/urgent-call-to-action-mumia-abu-jamal.html

This call to action was put together by the international movement to free Mumia. 

URGENT CALL TO ACTION: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL (AM8335) TO UNDERGO HEART SURGERY
 
Mumia Abu-Jamal, the world renowned veteran Black Panther, political prisoner and radio journalist, had heart pain over the weekend. He was rushed to the hospital, and is expected to undergo heart surgery tomorrow, April 15, 2021.
 
We demand that:
1.Before surgery, Mumia be allowed to call his wife, Wadiya Jamal; his longtime supporter Pam Africa; his chosen doctor, Dr. Ricardo Alvarez; and his Spiritual Advisor, Mark Taylor.
2. Mumia not be shackled to his hospital bed, as is the rule in Pennsylvania and across the United States. 
3.Mumia, an innocent man, be immediately released from prison.
 
We need not look far to see the mortal danger that the shackling of a patient represents: our dear Ancestor, political prisoner Romaine ‘Chip’ Fitzgerald was chained and shackled to his hospital bed in his last days —while he was hardly conscious— and before making his final transition, just over 2 weeks ago on March 28, after 52 years in prison.
 
According to Dr. Ricardo Alvarez, Mumia’s chosen doctor, “Any evidence of shackling will be seen as a deliberate harm to Mumia and a perpetuation of the court documented trauma he has already suffered.” Loud and clear are the echoes of slavery, which —as Eric Williams shows in Capitalism and Slavery — for the first time in human history produced the global distribution and mass use of handcuffs, shackles and fetters to bring enslaved Africans to heel. 
 
Dr. Alvarez continues, “There is significant evidence, both legal and medical, that Mumia has suffered severe harm because medical, legal, law enforcement, and judicial professionals have not met proper standards. Mumia has been recently hospitalized for COVID and Congestive Heart Failure and he already suffers from hypertension as well as liver cirrhosis and diabetes, both induced by court documented medical neglect. Freedom is the only treatment.”  
 
Please call, tweet, email and fax the following offices to make these demands: that Mumia be immediately allowed to call his wife, Pam Africa, his doctor, and spiritual advisor; that he not be shackled to his hospital bed, and that he be immediately released.
 
Head of PA DOC, John Wetzel
717-728-2573 *** EMAIL:  J.Wetzel@state.pa.us , ra-crpadocsecretary@pa.gov
twitter: @johnewetzel, @DOCSecretary 
  
PA DOC, Deputy Secretary for Administration of Healthcare, Christopher Oppman 
717-728-4122 or 717-728-2573 Ext 5
 
SCI Mahanoy Superintendent, Bernadette Mason
570-773-2158 
 
Governor of PA, Tom Wolf
717-787-2500 ext. 3. *** FAX 717-772-8284 *** EMAIL:  Brunelle.Michael@gmail.com  

facebook: @governorwolf, @TomWolfPA  instagram: @governortomwolf

https://jamaljournal-movement.blogspot.com
https://bringmumiahome.com
http://www.freemumia.com
https://letmumiaout.com

http://mumiabujamal.com/v2/category/actualite/

Book: “Living My Life”

Living My Life

Living My Life

by Emma Goldman

Anarchist, journalist, drama critic, advocate of birth control and free love, Emma Goldman was the most famous—and notorious—woman in the early twentieth century. This abridged version of her two-volume autobiography takes her from her birthplace in czarist Russia to the socialist enclaves of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Against a dramatic backdrop of political argument, show trials, imprisonment, and tempestuous romances, Goldman chronicles the epoch that she helped shape: the reform movements of the Progressive Era, the early years of and later disillusionment with Lenin’s Bolshevik experiment, and more. Sounding a call still heard today, Living My Life is a riveting account of political ferment and ideological turbulence.
First time in Penguin Classics

Condensed to half the length of Goldman’s original work, this edition is accessible to those interested in the activist and her extraordinary era

(Goodreads.com)

On Unions, A Gap Between Biden’s Words And Actions

The president pledged two initiatives to halt Amazon-style union busting — but he has not tried to use executive authority to make them a reality.

Sam Mellins and Julia Rock April 14, 2021 (The Daily Poster)

This report was written by Sam Mellins and Julia Rock.

As Amazon executives were trying to crush a union drive among workers in Bessemer, Alabama, President Joe Biden released a video message declaring his general support for the rights of workers to decide whether to form unions. Biden, however, has so far stopped short of trying to use his executive authority to fulfill two campaign promises that could boost such unionization efforts. 

During the 2020 campaign, Biden’s platform included support for a pair of measures designed to deter the kind of union busting at play in Alabama. One is a Department of Labor measure known as the “persuader rule,” which would require employers to more thoroughly disclose their spending on anti-union consultants. The second is known as the “neutrality rule,” which would require federal contractors like Amazon to remain neutral during unionization campaigns. Both would signify major steps toward fulfilling Biden’s campaign pledge to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.”

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a major piece of labor legislation that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised will get a floor vote if it gets 50 co-sponsors, contains important provisions that would have changed the way the Amazon union election played out, including both the persuader and neutrality rules. But unless the Senate abolishes the filibuster — which isn’t a possibility as long as conservative Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are opposed to doing so — the PRO Act doesn’t have a shot of passing a 50-50 Senate.

Biden could instead try to fulfill his campaign promises by using his executive authority to put the rules in place. Such a unilateral move would come with risks; executive actions are more likely to be held up in a federal court system packed with conservative, anti-union judges. But short of passing the PRO Act, such executive actions, despite their legal vulnerabilities, might offer the best opportunity to deter Amazon and other employers’ efforts to block workers from unionizing. 

By jeopardizing Amazon and other union busters’ access to lucrative federal contracts, a neutrality law or executive order from Biden could prompt those companies to cease the sort of intense employee intimidation Amazon undertook during its workers’ most recent union drive. Similarly, a persuader rule could create a public-relations deterrent, by making more of a company’s anti-union spending public knowledge, therefore giving union organizers and supporters more information to try to shame companies into backing off.

“Great News For All Employers On The Union-Avoidance Front”

During the 2020 campaign, Biden promised to reverse President Donald Trump’s repeal of the Obama-era persuader rule, which had been designed to address a loophole in a 60-year-old labor statute requiring that any hires made by employers for the purpose of anti-union activities be reported to the Department of Labor within thirty days of the hire. The original law created an exemption if the purpose of the hire was merely to “give advice” rather than to actually engage in anti-union activity. 

Despite the law explicitly saying that the anti-union activity that triggers mandatory disclosure may be undertaken “directly or indirectly,” courts for years have generally interpreted the “advice exception” to mean that only anti-union personnel who interact with workers must disclose their efforts. 

In practice, if a union-busting firm gives the employer material to use in an anti-union presentation, but is not directly involved in presenting the material to employees, no disclosure is required.

Under the current act, Amazon was required to disclose its multiple hirings of anti-union consultants. But any law firms that may have been hired to advise on anti-union tactics but did not directly interact with employees remain shielded from public view.

This renders the disclosure requirement far less powerful, said Brandon Magner, a labor lawyer. 

“The vast majority of the anti-union ecosystem is inhabited by law firms who are advising employers and consulting with them,” Magner told The Daily Poster, rather than contractors directly interacting with workers, meaning the disclosure requirement often isn’t triggered.

In 2011, the Obama administration tried to change the dynamic by issuing a new rule expanding this disclosure requirement to require employers to disclose when they hired outside counsel to fight a unionization drive. The so-called persuader rule was enacted in 2016 against the opposition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called the measure a “travesty” that would “create a further drag on job creation” in a public comment. The National Federation of Independent Businesses likewise noted in a comment on the rule that it would leave businesses “defenseless against skilled and experienced union organizers.”

Marni von Wilpert, a former National Labor Relations Board attorney who is now on the San Diego City Council, told The Daily Poster, “The purpose of the rule is transparency.” She noted that workers might view union drives differently if they know their employers are paying large sums of money to anti-union firms at the same time they are saying they can’t afford to raise wages.

But the 2016 rule never went into effect.

After the rule was finalized, the National Federation of Independent Businesses sued the Labor Department in federal court, and won an injunction from Reagan-appointed Judge Sam Cummings, blocking the rule four days before it was scheduled to become effective. At the time, the National Retail Federation — which lists Amazon as a member and which recently lauded the defeat of Amazon workers’ union drive — was lobbying against the rule, according to federal records.

One of Cummings’s arguments was that requiring such disclosures would be a violation of attorney-client privilege, an argument echoed in the public comments submitted by trade associations.

Magner argued that the attorney-client privilege argument doesn’t hold water. 

“If the requirement was that I hand Amazon a 100-page notebook and said ‘I want you to fill this up with every word exchanged between you and Jackson Lewis law firm telling me what legal strategies they use, what cases they cite, that would run afoul of attorney client privilege,” he said. 

But in terms of the actual requirements of the persuader rule, “The ABA [American Bar Association] and state bars have never held that the duty of confidentiality extends to the identity of a client or to the fees paid by a client,” he said.

Two other federal district courts reviewed similar challenges to the rule and did not issue injunctions. 

In 2018, the Trump administration repealed the rule, removing any chance for a successful reversal of the injunction, despite objections from the AFL-CIO. At the time, an attorney at the anti-union law firm Barnes & Thornberg wrote that it was “great news for all employers on the union-avoidance front.” 

If Biden follows through on his campaign promise to reinstate the rule, and another suit is filed to stop it, it is possible that a judge would this time let it stand. An amicus brief submitted by 20 law professors argued that the rule was within the authority of the Department of Labor to issue and did not violate attorney-client privilege. 

If a resurrected persuader rule survived legal challenges, Magner said that it would help specifically in making unions aware of when employers were planning anti-union pushes. 

Employers “always have the first-strike capability,” he said. “They can call up these lawyers whenever they want, get all the advice they need, and then they’re prepared” for a future union drive, even if one is not currently on the horizon, Magner said. 

“Under the Department of Labor’s [persuader] rule, you are taking away the advantages provided under that system,” he said. “The union would have a little bit of a heads up if the employers are preparing a huge offensive.”

Knowing whether companies are employing anti-union law firms would also help unions shame union-busting employers, Magner added.

But that hasn’t happened, because so far Biden has not moved to reinstate the Obama-era rule.

Requiring Government Contractors To Stop Busting Unions

The White House has come closer to following through on Biden’s other campaign promise to implement a labor neutrality rule, which would require that companies with federal contracts remain neutral and refrain from actively combating union organizing among their employees. This measure was included in Biden’s sweeping infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan.

If conservative Democrats maintain their opposition to ending the filibuster, Democrats will likely try to pass Biden’s infrastructure plan using budget reconciliation, which allows legislation to pass under with a simple majority vote. Using the reconciliation process allows the Senate parliamentarian to advise tossing certain measures from legislation if she decides they aren’t specifically budget-related, and it’s easy to see that happening with the labor neutrality rule. 

Senate Democrats could overrule or replace the parliamentarian, but they refused to do so last month to keep a $15 minimum wage provision in their COVID-19 relief bill. 

As the ultimate overseer of federal procurement, Biden could also attempt to enact the neutrality rule through some form of executive order to fulfill his promise to “ensure federal contracts only go to employers who sign neutrality agreements committing not to run anti-union campaigns.” 

So far, he has not done that, and some labor law experts argue that such a rule would be struck down in court on the argument that it would be preempted by the National Labor Relations Act. 

Short of enacting the neutrality rule, Biden could also pass an executive order mandating that the federal government only enter into contracts with companies that have collective bargaining agreements, an idea proposed by labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan.

However Biden goes about doing so, if the administration adopts any neutrality rule, it could have major implications for major employers that work with the government — and that includes Amazon.

The federal government contracts with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud computing subsidiary, mostly through intelligence and national security agencies. AWS has been aggressively pursuing these federal contracts, which are sometimes worth billions of dollars — and a union neutrality rule for contractors could force companies like Amazon to choose between busting unions or getting those contracts. 

The neutrality rule is not a new idea. The March 2020 coronavirus-related stimulus bill that was signed by Trump included language aimed at requiring some corporate recipients of federal loans to remain neutral in union elections. Magner, however, said that such requirements were mostly symbolic, as the legislation did not contain any enforcement mechanism and made available numerous loans that did not include neutrality requirements

However a rule is framed in the American Jobs Plan, Magner cautioned that unless the bill contains an enforcement mechanism, a neutrality requirement could prove to be similarly ineffective. 


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Remembrances ~ Articles ~ Actions / Petitions ~ Events for Wed. April 14- Sun. April 18 (from Adrienne Fong)

Remembering with Love and Respect:

LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard, Leader of Standing Rock’s Fight Against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Passes On

LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard, Leader of Standing Rock’s Fight Against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Passes On | Currents (nativenewsonline.net)

  R.I.P.

♥ LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard ♥

Ramsey Clark, human rights fighter – 1927-2021

Ramsey Clark, human rights fighter – 1927-2021 (iacenter.org)

R.I.P.

♥ Ramsey Clark ♥   

In Memory and Celebration of Reese Erlich – April 9, 2020

In Memory and Celebration of Reese Erlich – Progressive.org

R.I.P.

♥ Reese Erlich ♥

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

Few events that might be of interest…Am NOT back posting on a regular basis

*** ASL interpretation – Let me know if your event needs this service .***

Please include Accessibility and ASL info in your events! And if your action is ‘child friendly’

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

 See Indybay  for many other listings of events.

Site for other Bay Area Events

ARTICLES

A. Minnesota Officer Who Killed Daunte Wright Will Be Charged With Manslaughter – April 14, 2021

Daunte Wright shooting charges: Second-degree manslaughter (ktvu.com)

  See events # 1  & # 5

NOTE: Kim Potter is / was also the president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officers Association

B. Afghanistan: Biden Vows to End Nation’s Longest War by 9/11 After Decades of Bloodshed & Destruction – April 14, 2021

Afghanistan: Biden Vows to End Nation’s Longest War by 9/11 After Decades of Bloodshed & Destruction | Democracy Now!

C. How America’s Official Secrets Act Ensnared Julian Assange – April 11, 2021

D. Maryland repeals police bill of rights, enacts historic accountability measures – April 10

Maryland repeals police bill of rights, enacts historic accountability measures – The Washington Post

E. More Than Two-Thirds of Students Want Police Out of Schools – April 9, 2021

More Than Two-Thirds of Students Want Police Out of Schools (truthout.org)

F. Moth-Eaten Eviction Moratorium Leaves Hundreds of Thousands Without a Roof  -April 7, 2021

Moth-Eaten Eviction Moratorium Leaves Hundreds of Thousands Without a Roof (mintpressnews.com)

G. New Mexico Is the Second State to Ban Qualified Immunity – April 7, 2021

New Mexico Is the Second State to Ban Qualified Immunity (innocenceproject.org)

H. States Should Make Schools Police-Free – April 5, 2021

States Should Make Schools Police-Free – The Appeal

I. How the Saami Indigenous People Fended Off Gates-funded Geoengineering Experiment – April 5, 2021

How the Saami Indigenous People Fended Off Gates-funded Geoengineering Experiment – CounterPunch.org 

ACTIONS / PETITIONS

1. Letter to President Biden: Reduce military spending!

  SIGN: Take action to tell Biden: Reduce military spending! (salsalabs.org)

2. Letter Condemning US Attacks on Syria and in the Middle East

  SIGN: Letter Supporting the Syrian People – Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad! (notowar.net)

3. Starbucks, Target and Coca-Cola: Don’t support police foundations

  SIGN: Starbucks, Target and Coca-Cola : Don’t support police foundations! (sumofus.org)

3.  Demand President Biden and Vice President Harris to allow entry to families denied by Trump’s Muslim and African Bans

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/sign-the-petition-demand-president-biden-and-vice-president-harris-stop-upholding-racist-immigration-bans-and-allow-entry-to-families-trump-denied?source=20210406_NoMuslimBan_MPC&referrer=group-mpower-change

4. Reject the wave of anti-LGBTQ bills in states

  SIGN: petition: Reject the wave of anti-LGBTQ bills in states! (thepetitionsite.com)

 Urge Congress to support the U.S. Postal Service

  SIGN: ADD YOUR NAME: Urge Congress to support the U.S. Postal Service! (signforgood.com)

FEW EVENTS

Wednesday, April 14 – Sunday, April 18

Wednesday, April 14 

1. Wednesday, 5:00pm, Call to Action: Justice for Roger Allen

In person – meet at:

700 Niantic St.
Daly City

Masks & social distancing

Vigil and March in Daly City

NOTE: Tomorrow in SF Rally & March. See event # 5

Today let’s show up in love to march and hold space with the family of Roger Allen. Meet on the 700 block of Niantic Ave. They demand transparency, accountability, and justice! Mask required and social distancing. Feel free to bring art, signs, flowers, candles, etc

On April 7th, Roger Allen was shot by a Daly City police officer. He later died at a hospital.

Info: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNn8KXYLSTR/

2. Wednesday, 7:00pm, Panel: Poor Magazine on How to Not Call the Po’Lice Ever

Online (FREE)

Register in Zoom: http://bit.ly/PoorMag4-19-21

Based off POOR Magazine’s revolutionary workshops of the same name and collected in print for the first time, this handbook takes readers through the Herstory/His-STORY of Po’Lice Terror of our bodies, lives, children and elders in this stolen land, and then shares the model of the Elephant Council at Homefulness—a poor, Indigenous people/traumatized people’s accountability circle, which includes a redefinition of the silently violent, western white supremacist notion of “security,” and enables us to hold each other through trauma and institute a true definition of interdependent safety.

Host: SF Public Library and POOR Magazine

Info: (3) Panel: Poor Magazine on How to Not Call the Po’Lice Ever | Facebook

3. Wednesday, 7:00pm, Stop The Hate-Asian & Pacific Islanders

Online

Register for the April City of Alameda Democratic Club meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZwkcu6oqDstGNCMKw8A73…

All are welcome
Alamedans, Serena Chen and retired pastor of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church, Michael Yoshi, lead a discussion on the startling increase in verbal and physical abuse of Asian and Pacific Americans. This alarming trend has made us all more conscious of the struggles our APA friends and family go through. Join us, as Serena Chen and Reverend Michael Yoshi present on the history of APA life in Alameda, give some context for the current #StopAAPIIHate movement, and offer ways you can be a true ally for the APA communities.

Info: (3) Stop The Hate-Asian & Pacific Islanders | Facebook

Thursday, April 15

4. Thursday, 12Noon – 1:00pm, April 15: All Eyes on BlackRock

400 Howard St.
SF

This spring is a key test of BlackRock. They’ve made big promises — now it is up to grassroots pressure to see if they will live up to their word. All Eyes on BlackRock means we are paying attention to them, we see their commitments and will only be satisfied when they ACT.

Join us  for presence outside of BlackRock’s San Francisco office. We need volunteers to wear eyeballs masks. To volunteer email: nancymancias@codepink.org

Host: Codepink San Francisco

Info: April 15: All Eyes on BlackRock | Facebook

5. Thursday, 6:30pm, In solidarity with Daunte Wright, victim of Brooklyn Center Police Department, and Roger Allen, victim of Daly City Police Department.

Meet at: Steps of Mission High School

18th Street & Dolores
SF

Vigil and March.

You are welcomed to bring your body, your loved ones, flowers, candles, things that represent your grief, anger and demands for abolition

What happened to Daunte Wright and Roger Allen proves that the criminal legal system can never bring us justice. The trial of Derek Chauvin is ongoing & the police continue to murder, They will always kill because the system of policing is NOT broken. It is functioning as intended.  The time for waiting is long over. We must defund, disband, and abolish the police.

Host Defund SFPD

Info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNoeyI8hpgO/

Friday, April 16

6. Friday, 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Shut Down the Police Officers Association

SF Police Officers Association
800 Bryant St. (at 6th St.)
SF

Wear masks; social distancing

RESIST with Mothers on the March, Black and Brown for Justice, Peace and Equality, Family’s who loved ones have been killed by SFPD, and Community

   – Demand the San Francisco Police Officers Association be Shut Down!

   – The SF Police Officers Association Be Declared a Non Grata Organization

   – Demand the Police Officers Bill of Rights be Abolished.

   – Jail Killer Cops – we want killer cops to be charged with murder.

   – Abolish the Police

7. Friday, 2:00pm (PT); 5:00pm (ET), Bystander Intervention to Stop Police Sponsored Violence and Anti-Black Racist Harassment training

Register: Webinar Registration – Zoom

In response to the continued police violence against black communities and the recent murders of Daunte Wright, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, we are offering this free, one-hour, interactive training to train people on how to safely intervene in the face of police violence and anti-black racism using Hollaback!’s 5D’s of bystander intervention.

Host: Hollaback

Saturday, April 17

8. Saturday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Stand Together SF – Campaign for Solidarity

Civic Center Plaza
SF

 join the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and Stand Together SF Initiative for the launch of the ‘Campaign for Solidarity’. This is a citywide cross-cultural, multi-generational event to bring together our AAPI, Black, Latinx, American Indian and multiracial communities to stand up against racist hate and violence.

This outdoor unity event will feature healing spaces, family-friendly activities and a volunteer opportunity to assemble and deliver 1,000 Solidarity Kits to inspire, inform and nourish our neighbors.

Host: SF Human Rights Commission

Info: (1) Stand Together SF – Campaign for Solidarity | Facebook

9. Saturday, 2:30pm – 4:30pm, Demand Care NOT Cops! Kayla Moore’s 50th birthday celebration ~ Rally & March!

Meet at:

Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park
2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley

Masks & social distancing

Join us in celebrating the life of Kayla Moore, who died at the hands of the Berkeley Police in 2013. Kayla was a Black trans loved one who was living with a mental health condition. She was killed by the BPD during a mental health wellness check. Kayla would have been 50 years old this year.

We believe that Kayla Moore would still be alive if there had been an appropriate response while she was experiencing mental health crisis. Join us in demanding CARE NOT COPS.

Let’s continue the fight for Justice 4 Kayla Moore! We need to make sure that what happened to her never happens again.

Follow: Rally & March ~ CARE NOT COPS, Justice 4 Kayla Moore! | Facebook  or  Celebrate Kayla Moore’s Birthday : Indybay

 Info from Berkeley Copwatch

Sunday, April 18

10. Sunday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, “The Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution” Film / Panel with Filmmaker

RSVP for Zoom here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_L3O0lLQeSSeOfzk5TGgr3w

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/californiappc/

This event will be Closed Captioned and ASL interpreted.

a powerful film chronicling this little know history from the 1960’s. There will be a panel discussion following the viewing of a 30 minute version of the film.

Panelists will include Barbara Berney, the filmmaker; a low waged health care worker; a representative from the Indigenous People’s Contingent; and the California Nurses Association will present info on CA AB1440 Guaranteed Healthcare for All.

Host: California Poor People’s Campaign

Info: “The Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution” Film & Panel w/ Filmmaker : Indybay

The Grassroots Battle To Change America’s Labor Laws

To fight for historic worker rights legislation, major unions and the socialist left are joining forces like never before.

April 13, 2021 (The Daily Poster)

This report was written by Sam Mellins.

For the first time ever, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is joining forces with major unions on a national campaign. On March 7, DSA, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Union of Painters and Associated Trades (IUPAT) launched an effort with an ambitious goal: getting Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. If signed into law, the legislation would be the most significant labor rights bill since the New Deal era. 

Over the past month, thousands of volunteers and organizers representing both DSA and the unions have made over 500,000 phone calls to voters in key legislators’ home states, asking voters to tell their representatives to support the PRO Act. This month, DSA and the unions plan on escalating the campaign with in-person rallies and town halls. 

The collaboration offers something new to both sides, organizers told The Daily Poster. Though individual DSA chapters have worked with IUPAT and CWA locals before, walking picket lines and providing strike support, collaborating with unions on the national level offers the organization the credibility of labor groups that are major representatives of the working class, something that has so far proved elusive for the socialist group. 

The unions, for their part, are able to access DSA’s passionate volunteer base. Both sides of the coalition told The Daily Poster that they hope that this campaign is just the beginning of a much closer working relationship between organized labor and the socialist left. 

Coming Together

Though DSA is officially a staunch supporter of organized labor, relations between DSA and major unions have not always been smooth. In 2019, DSA activists were kicked out of a New York City CWA meeting, after being accused of plotting to infiltrate the union

The mistrust may have come from DSA’s newness as a major political force, Philadelphia-based DSA organizer Mindy Isser suggested. “Unions may think, ‘We’ve been around forever, we’ve been representing our members’ interests forever, we’ve never heard of these people, and suddenly they want to call the shots,” she said. “It takes time for trust to be built, but we’re building it.” 

In the PRO Act, the groups have found something that they can both fully get behind. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives on March 9, would provide a dramatic boost to the U.S.’s beleaguered labor unions by weakening state right-to-work laws, allowing the National Labor Relations Board to fine companies $50,000 per violation of labor laws, and banning companies from holding mandatory anti-unionization meetings, among other provisions. 

“The PRO Act will revolutionize workers’ lives in this country. It will give millions of workers the right to form a union,” Isser said. “We’d be able to stop being so defensive, fighting rollbacks and attacks on working people. Having a much larger movement would mean that we’d be able to be on the attack.” 

From that new, stronger position, Isser believes the movement would be in a better position to fight for goals like universal healthcare and green jobs programs. 

One section of the PRO Act that has weathered some critique is its provision amending labor law to reclassify many non-salaried workers from being contractors to employees, which would make them eligible to unionize. Critics claim that this provision would have the same effect as AB5, a 2019 California law reclassifying contractors and limiting freelance work that is widely seen as having harmed freelancers.

But such a critique is either a misunderstanding or a bad-faith attack, Indianapolis-based labor lawyer Brandon Magner told The Daily Poster. All the PRO Act would do, Magner said, is amend labor laws to give unionization rights to contractors whose services are “essential” to the businesses they work for, such as rideshare drivers or many construction workers. In contrast to the California law, which affected all freelancers not specifically exempted from its provisions, the PRO Act would affect only contractors who actively seek out unionization. 

“Unless you and people in your workplace want to avail yourselves of those options, it’s not going to be an issue for you,” Magner said. “If you get past all the fearmongering, it’s giving workers a tool.”

Megan Romer, a freelance writer and DSA member who lives in southwest Louisiana, acknowledged that AB5 “did mess things up for freelancers” in California. But Romer said that the problems with AB5 don’t apply to the PRO Act. “The only thing that it would change is, if I wanted to form a union, I could. It wouldn’t be illegal,” she said. 

The Power of Phone Banks

So far, 45 Democratic Senators have signed on to the PRO Act, and Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has promised that if all 50 Senators in the Democratic caucus support the bill, it will get a floor vote in the Senate. But to reach that point, the five recalcitrant Democratic Senators — Angus King, Mark Kelly, Krysten Sinema, Mark Warner, and, of course, Joe Manchin — have to be persuaded to sign on. 

That’s where the DSA and union campaign comes in. 

In its phone banks, DSA volunteers haven’t been calling the senators directly. Rather, they’ve been calling into Arizona, Maine, Virginia, and West Virginia — the holdout Senators’ home states — and asking voters to tell their Senators to support the PRO Act. DSA’s phone-banking software enables callers to connect voters directly to the Senators’ offices. 

During the campaign’s first “week of action,” volunteers made 504,916 calls, said Gustavo Gordillo, a DSA member and one of the lead organizers of the campaign. Voters have left over 1,000 voicemails with Kelly and Sinema’s offices alone, the campaign claims. Recently, Bernie Sanders volunteers have also been using the senator’s network to recruit volunteers to make calls on behalf of the campaign.

“For the most part, the people that we’re talking to have not heard of the PRO Act, so it’s also an opportunity for a mass public education push,” Gordillo said.

“People are inspired when we’re saying, ‘One phone call to your senator isn’t going to move the needle, but that’s why we’re making thousands of calls in a coordinated way together,’” Gordillo said. 

For DSA, the campaign is also a chance to see if its highly organized regional chapters can translate their local power into an effective national campaign. 

“We haven’t really done this kind of fieldwork that’s nationally coordinated in DSA before,” Gordillo said, noting that while many chapters organized in support of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, those efforts were organized on the local rather than national level. The campaign for the PRO Act is “more unified” than DSA’s efforts on behalf of the Bernie campaign, Gordillo said: “Members from all over the country are meeting each other through this work.”

DSA’s previous issue campaigns have mostly focused on city- or state-level issues, rather than trying to move some of the most powerful politicians in the country. But Gordillo is hopeful that working on the national level, DSA’s hundreds of thousands of calls will move — or scare — their targets. 

As Gordillo put it, “If we can get their constituents to call them about a bill, we can get them to vote for somebody else.”

“We’re On The Same Team”

While DSA has taken the lead on phone banking, IUPAT has been planning public demonstrations leading up to the campaign’s May 1 day of action. 

The PRO Act is an issue that can unite the union’s otherwise politically divided membership, IUPAT communications director Ryan Kekeris said. While internal polling last year showed that nearly half of IUPAT’s membership supported Trump in the presidential election, the same polls also found that more than three quarters wanted to see the PRO Act passed.

The public-facing nature of the campaign is the product of a lesson learned from the failure of the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill also designed to strengthen unions, Ryan Kekeris said. 

Though Obama promised to pass the bill during the 2008 campaign, it sputtered early in his first term. IUPAT and other unions supported the bill, but didn’t launch a public facing campaign to push for it. “The downfall of the Employee Free Choice Act was a wait-and-see approach where we trusted in the Democratic Party to deliver on something they said they would,” Kekeris said. 

“In direct opposition to that now, we’re saying we’re not going to wait,” Kekeris continued. “We’re going to go out into the states and the districts, and organize.”

To prove their seriousness, IUPAT has also made a pledge: Any senator who doesn’t support the PRO Act won’t receive any support from IUPAT in future elections, whether in canvassing or contributions. “This really is our litmus test,” Kekeris said. “If they want our members’ money and time, then they have to be responsive to our members’ political demands.”

IUPAT and CWA members have also been joining the DSA-led phone banks. Even in a union with a large percentage of Trump supporters, Kekeris has found that many of his IUPAT colleagues have developed positive feelings towards DSA because of their shared work on the PRO Act. 

“We do all know that we’re on the same team. I haven’t heard anything remotely negative,” he said.

Kekeris, who is a DSA member, sees the organizations’ collaboration extending beyond the PRO Act campaign, to pushing for green infrastructure projects and other priorities. 

“We have a lot of shared priorities and values,” Kekeris said. “The closer we build relationships, the more that will benefit us, and the more political power our members will have.” 


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