Mexico (GV) – For many Mexicans, 2017 has got off to a shaky start. This is due primarily to increasing fuel costs for cars, which spiked by around 20% overnight (it now takes 20% of the minimum daily wage to buy 1 liter of gasoline) thanks to…
For the last few months, the Dakota Access Pipeline has captured the nation’s attention. After Energy Transfer Partners started construction on a pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation, local Native American tribes protested the pipeline on the grounds that it could pollute their water supplies. Word of the protests spread and thousands of protesters flocked to Standing Rock. After months of confrontations between protesters and militarized police, the Army Corps of Engineers paused the project pending an environmental impact assessment.
The Native American tribes and environmentalists hailed this development as a victory, albeit a temporary one. Donald Trump, who will soon be taking office, has vowed to complete the DAPL and has signaled a willingness to carry out this campaign promise by filling his administration with oil executives and people who have invested heavily in the project. As a result, anti-DAPL protesters are gearing up for a long protest season.
After over a month of protests, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has announced she is “willing to resign.”
As protests in Seoul entered their fifth week and Park’s approval rating hit an all time low around four percent she has finally been forced to consider resigning from office.
The protests started due to a scandal exposed in a 2007 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks that raised concerns that Park was being almost completely influenced by her wealthy religious confidant Choi Soon-sil who is being referred to by many as the “Korean Rasputin.” Park has denied these rumors, but South Korean media claims they have uncovered further evidence that proves illegal activity.
For 7 straight days now, major cities across the US have seen protests on a massive scale. The social unrest we’re seeing unfold over this last week is unprecedented, rivaled only by the civil right’s movement of the 1960’s. Low and behold, nothing major happens in this country without some outlandish conspiracy theory far behind it.
Hundreds of activists have faced arrest since nonviolent demonstrations against the North Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL, began last spring. While clashes with law enforcement frequently coincide with public protest, the arrests of numerous independent journalists, including Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, have raised serious questions about state suppression, free speech and the blurring of lines between activism and journalism.
Goodman was arrested after she posted footage of contractors using physical force and guard dogs to repel unarmed protesters at the pipeline’s construction site. Her video was shot on September 3, before the protests had received significant coverage from major news outlets, and quickly went viral. Five days later, Goodman was informed that Morton County, North Dakota had issued a warrant for her arrest, charging her with “rioting.”
From the Force Science Institute in Mankato, Minnesota to the ecological reserve outside Rio de Janeiro that houses Condor Non-Lethal Technologies’ police training center, the “use of force” industry has grown into a worldwide marketplace. Beginning on October 9, Hoffman Estates will host the five-day conference of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association, or ITOA. To greet them, a coalition of community groups and organizations from the Chicago area are assembling under the banner #StopITOA. These diverse groups, including AFSC-Chicago, CAIR-Chicago, Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter-Chicago, the Arab American Action Network and War Resisters League, argue that government officials should prioritize spending for human needs not for militarization and violence.
Over the weekend, while much of the country was preoccupied with the scandal-plagued state of electoral politics, hundreds of activists gathered at the U.S.-Mexico border for a demonstration of multilateral unity. Headed by the organization School of the Americas Watch, or SOA Watch, this convergence brought attention to the human rights dimension of immigration and foreign policy, taking aim at U.S. practices that contribute to displacement and violence in Latin America and beyond.
A murmur began in May around Berkeley and the surrounding Bay Area as posters appeared overnight on the sides of buildings and wrapped on poles. Adorned with images of statues of antiquity, these classical images of European men depicted as gods were intended to light a spark of memory in the mostly white faces that passed by them. With lines like “Let’s become great again” printed on them, the posters were blatant in their calls for European “pride,” clearly connecting romanticized European empires of the past to the populism of Donald Trump today.
The posters were put up by Identity Europa, one of the lesser-known organizations amid that esoteric constellation of reactionary groups and figures known as the “Alt Right.” They were part of a campaign around the country enticing college-age white people to join a new kind of white nationalist movement. While similar posters emerged elsewhere on the West Coast and Midwest, in central California they pointed toward a public event — one directed specifically toward the tradition of free speech at the University of California at Berkeley.
As I weep over the death of America’s black men, I remember my brother’s struggle for his freedom against unnecessary police searches.
This summer brought too many new videos of black men — Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Phillando Castile in a St. Paul suburb, Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma — losing their lives at the hands of police officers.
As these videos circulated, I found myself crying new tears. Yet these new tears are filled with old memories.
As three football players from Syracuse’s Nottingham High School varsity team knelt for the national anthem before a football game, people took notice. The reports were written. This specific action taken against police brutality, spreading through the pro and college ranks of multiple sports, has also begun to show on the fields of high school sports in moving displays of conscience.
Across Guatemala, indigenous communities are organizing to challenge logging in the country’s vast forests. These communities are concerned with the impact that both legal and illegal logging will have on their watersheds and on the environment.
On June 15, concerned residents from the highland Ixil Maya municipality of Nebaj, Quiche staged a protest outside the municipal building to express their concern with the steady increase in trucks leaving town loaded with lumber. The action was organized by residents and members of the Indigenous Authority of Nebaj in order to pressure the state authorities to strip the nine companies of their licenses to exploit timber on private lands. Residents raise concern over the fact that the deforestation affects everyone in the area.
After a curfew is set in place by Mayor Libby Schaaf, Say Her Name protesters stand in solidarity against police oppression.