Devastation in Haiti

The UN has described the hurricane as Haiti’s worst humanitarian crisis since the devastating earthquake six years ago. The rains and flooding have prompted fears of a surge in the cholera epidemic that has killed almost 10,000 people since the disease was accidentally introduced to Haiti by UN peacekeepers.

“I think there are going to be serious, serious health concerns that will lead to communicable diseases related to water and sanitation,” she said. “I’m very worried about that and obviously we still have cholera and this will have an effect on our ability to control that.”

Read the full article here.

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Rebecca Solnit: questioning the “media blackout”

Any time you read something that says there’s a media blackout or there’s media silence, do me a favor and do a quick search before you share it. It’s become a very popular framework this year, and every time I’ve checked it’s rampant bullshit. As with this case. It would be good if the DAPL got bigger and more stories, but it has been covered in the NYT, Washington Post, Guardian, Los Angeles Times, and much more extensively in the Des Moines Register going all the way back, and the Bismarck paper, and CNN and NBC/MSNBC appear to have done a number of things on it, for starters.

These inaccuracies do two things. One is increasing a sense of disaffection and marginalization, which increases the sense of hopelessness, the impossibility of realizing goals or finding common ground with mainstream people. The other is to pretend that the site is the heroic loner doing the only coverage: “Since the corporate media has repeatedly shown it is unwilling to cover the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, stay up to date by checking out Anti-Media’s coverage.”

Social media from participants in the Dakota Access protests, Bold Iowa, the Sacred Stone Camp, Indigenous Environmental Network and Dallas Goldtooth, Carolyn Raffensperger and some other first-hand witnesses like that in North Dakota and Iowa have been my best sources. Most of the groups active against the pipeline are putting out really good video and reports on FB. [See comment by Carolyn below for a thorough overview of media coverage over the past 2.5 years.]

While I’m at it, let me mention that many websites are just regurgitating stuff that a newspaper spent a lot of money to research and write, so when you give your clicks to the aggregator site and not the original researcher, you’re rewarding the wrong entity. I posted a piece yesterday on how white supremacists are overjoyed and encouraged by Trump; it was from the L.A. Times but I found it completely recycled on an online site that had done nothing but rephrase the research and reuse the quotes. (I made sure to post the L.A. Times version.)

Special bonus point: the story below both claims a media blackout and includes links to media stories, like this from the Des Moines Register.…/dakota-access-…/89607366/

Posted in Capitalism, Earth Democracy, Human Rights, Indigenous rights, Media, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s hold them accountable – DOJ to close all private prisons!

“The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.”

Read the full article here –

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Elle India interviews activist Arundhati Roy

Oh, this was wonderful to read! I found myself rushing through it, and my heart racing. Because I relate to her in some ways, and because I admire her tremendously. And because there’s so much joy in her words, which is one of the things I love about her rage: it’s a kind of joyful rage that comes from her imagination and from reality, and like she says, how can you really tell the difference all the time? And she says, “I believe that everything, even inanimate things, have a spirit.” And she believes, “everything is possible”. I’m thankful that Arundhati Roy is on the cover of a mainstream fashion magazine–the young girl inside me that will never, ever die says, I loooooove you, Arundhati Roy. And I think about the children who see this woman and think, maybe someday I’ll read all about the world and fight against oppression. And the person I am today is thankful that I have so much to learn and so many beautiful people to learn from, and that our hearts are coming together in new ways, everyday.

Read the full interview here –

Posted in Capitalism, Earth Democracy, Economic Justice, Environment, Feminism, Women, Writing | Leave a comment

Fight for Jasmine Richards : Black Power Matters

“Jasmine is a political prisoner, and represents probably the hugest threat to the state, in that the folks at the bottom can recognize their own oppression and rise up against it.”

Jasmine’s activism is hugely significant, because she comes out of an area of northwest Pasadena where it’s deprived of resources. And what her activism really means and really signals is that people who are deprived of resources have the capacity to look up and recognize that it’s the system that creates these conditions. And that system, the system that creates state-sanctioned violence, also deprives communities of resources. So, when Jasmine was awakened, she did a phenomenal job of also awakening all of the folks in her community.” – Melina Abdullah

Read the full article here –

Posted in Economic Justice, Human Rights, Race, Women | Leave a comment

Why I think it’s important to keep calling out corruption.

I think the “quit bitching” attitude of this opinion piece is just one way to make people with legitimate concerns look (and feel) like they’re wrong to have them. There’s nothing wrong with thinking twice about your beliefs, but there is something wrong with being silenced. 

We should keep listening when people say they’ve been wronged. And it’s ok if it’s based on intuition, because personal truth and historical truth aren’t mutually exclusive. We expose histories through personal interactions that show how and why we’re different from each other. Embracing differences can stimulate ages old understanding. We’re all part stardust after all.

As long as our sense of justice isn’t a disguise to marginalize “the other”, then we can and should continue to speak out. Light stuff on fire if it means you have a say in public policy. Join the revolution anyway you can. Hold people accountable as best you can.

And, if you think someone’s silently destroying your autonomy, and funding the murder and exploitation of people and ecosystems all over the planet, then you know it’s not only about calling out the individual, it’s about choosing to expose the connections between systemic pain and universal love. As Cornell West says, “justice is what love looks like in public, and democratic revolution is what justice looks like in practice”.

Response was written to the following article –

Posted in Capitalism, Earth Democracy, Environment, Feminism, Opinion, Women, Writing | Leave a comment

Activist Berta Cáceres murdered

“…migrating is a right. It is a human right. All of our countries emerged from migration, the United States itself from European migration. Yet it must be regulated. It must have a legal framework. Instead, you see soldiers simply stopping children who are looking for their mothers in the United States, or young people who are looking for a job, because this capitalist, neoliberal, exclusionary and highly exploitive society doesn’t offer them opportunities. Recall that these societies are run by large transnational corporations: large transnational banks, large transnational commercial concerns, large transnational oil companies. These are governments of the transnationals. Here, the state is very small, corrupt, and doesn’t provide the people with any responses. Rather, it creates problems for the neighboring states, at the borders, such as we are seeing. The government today, rather, has increased poverty and corruption, and has been unable to control the very high levels of violence, due to the mistaken policies being implemented in our countries.” – MANUEL ZELAYA

Video and transcript here –

And, an interview with Berta here –

Posted in Activism, Capitalism, Economic Justice, Environment, Feminism, Human Rights, Indigenous rights, Women | Leave a comment

Former prisoners issued debit cards rather than cash, charged with fees that profit corporations

Instead of cash, persons leaving correctional facilities (nearly all of them in California) are given debit cards that issue fees/charges, making money for corporations. “Unlike consumer debit cards, prison-issued cards are completely unregulated when it comes to the fees that can be charged. The result is high transaction and maintenance fees that bear little relation to the actual costs of the services provided.”

To read the full article, click here.

Posted in Capitalism, Human Rights, Journalism, News, Prison Industrial Complex, Race, Social Implications | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resistance Update: “Free Speech Zones” Questioned, Civil Disobedience Found Necessary, Climate Change Recognized as Demanding Action

“‘By ordering protesters to leave the entire Wall Street area, police violated protesters’ First Amendment right to carry their message directly to its intended recipients: the Wall Street bankers who bankroll climate change,’ Judge Mandelbaum said in his decision.”

To read the full article, click here.

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Noam Chomsky on the root of racism in the US

“There is also a common variant of what has sometimes been called ‘intentional ignorance’ of what it is inconvenient to know: ‘Yes, bad things happened in the past, but let us put all of that behind us and march on to a glorious future, all sharing equally in the rights and opportunities of citizenry.’ The appalling statistics of today’s circumstances of African-American life can be confronted by other bitter residues of a shameful past, laments about black cultural inferiority, or worse, forgetting how our wealth and privilege was created in no small part by the centuries of torture and degradation of which we are the beneficiaries and they remain the victims.”

To read the full article, click here.

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