Outside of coffee shops and bookstores, crowded Whole Foods stores and worker-run co-ops nationwide, you‘re bound to find canvassers asking for donations or signatures in support of a host of causes. They’re often young people shaking the can for high-profile nonprofits. But as we get deeper into the post-crash precarious economy, the image of canvassers as idealistic college students making a few extra bucks on summer break quickly disintegrates. People are turning to this occupation as their primary source of income, according to many active campaigners. They are hired by independently contracted companies to canvas for nonprofits. The quotas are demanding, making the work one of the most difficult low-wage jobs to hold on to.
Yesterday, I scrolled through my Instagram feed and instead of the usual IG fare of selfies, food, weekend scenery, art, and fashion, I spied a plethora of videos in which people dumped ice water on their heads to raise money for ALS. Now if you don’t know about the ice water bucket challenge, it has gripped social media like crazy, garnering popularity and 15.6 million in donations in less than a month, all in the name of ALS research and awareness. Celebrities have really taken to this challenge, with powerhouses like LeBron James, Oprah, and even Joseline Hernandez and Stevie J participating.
The Ice Bucket Challenge, however, is different, because it’s not going away. The challenge started in July, at least in its present incarnation, but it wasn’t until Aug. 13 that the ALS Association put out its first press release about the phenomenon. The charity tallied $5.7 million in donations in the two weeks between July 29 (when my friend John Carney took the challenge) and Aug. 13; it boasted that “everyone from Ethel Kennedy to Justin Timberlake” had participated.
The war Israel started with the Hamas was intended to keep it weaker but independent of the west bank authority. A month and a half and Israel cannot stop the Hamas firing of rockets on Israel. The Hamas raised its demand about the lifting of the siege (closer) and the Israeli prime minister failed go get the support of his coalition for the needed compromise. To diminish the losses and to save face Israel with US backing are passing the decision to the UN security council the Israeli ruling elite evaded successfully so many years. The mounting economic pressures create cracks in the Israeli ruling elite and even the populist coalition party head - the foreign minister, start to promote the end of the 1967 occupation. And the joint popular grass root struggle continue - within Israel at the Arkib Bedouins as focus, Bil'in, Ma'asara, Neby Saleh, Ni'ilin, Qaddum, Sheikh Jarrah, South Hebron Hills.
This year’s RDTW is coming up fast and we need you to organize a run of your own. If you have sandals or better, than you can, at the very least walk down the walls with us on Sunday September 7th at 10A.M. To organize a Running Down The Walls, you should get as many comrades as you can, find a nice cool area, get people to sponsor you for a couple bucks, hydrate, then run!
What began as a protest movement after 10 days of sustained defiance, has taken a couple shaky steps towards revolt. The situation here is still fluid and ripe with potential. Locally, people are surprised that similar unrest hasn’t sparked off in other cities. If it were to spread, the scope here would likely widen. It’s difficult to get a sense of how people outside the metro area interpret what’s happening here. What follows are some observations from St Louis residents and participants in the struggle who might give a clearer picture of this strange new reality.
Exclusive interview with Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry, Part III of report back from Cannes Film Festival by professor and critic Dennis Broe of Long Island University, Exclusive interview with Homeless Liasion for Allentown Schools Rooster Valentini, Fair Food Rally for Imokalee Workers against Wendy’s, Canada’s Grassy Narrows First Nation demands government action after 50 years of mercury poisoning, and a fast food workers labor struggle update with New School University economist Richard Wolff.
The story of Pandora’s Box (which was really a jar) -- much like the Biblical tale of “forbidden fruit” -- is meant as a warning that once the evils of the world are released, it’s virtually impossible for them to be recalled. Sticking with the Greek mythology vibe, I guess you could say Adam Weissman has been playing the role of Cassandra in the struggle to inform others about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The New York Times published an article today August 17th titled "Lack of Leadership and Generational Split Hinder Protest," which argues that the two points of contention are possibly related. Of course as usual with the NY Times, dry reporting is the default instead of an obvious position that may scare regular readers. With that said, it doesn’t take reading between the lines to notice that Ferguson and the rejection of formal leadership is a trend increasing in frequency worldwide.
On the 11th of Novermber 2008 ten young people were subjected to early morning raids in the French village of Tanac, garnering widespread media attention. They were investigated under suspicion of sabotaging French railway lines and the Minister of the Interior at the time deemed it necessary to inform the country of a, “anarcho-autonomous clandestine structure,” that was,” focussed on committing violent acts.”
San Francisco Bay Area Palestine activists have declared their first victory in attempting to prevent the offloading of an Israeli cargo vessel at the Oakland Port. Originally planning to show up at 5:00 am Saturday morning to block the ship, activists sent word out late last night that the meeting time had been moved up to 3:00pm, as the ship had delayed its arrival at Oakland in an apparent attempt to avoid the protest.
Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan, on whose imprisonment Freedom has reported recently, was freed from Rikers Island jail in New York City in July. A short time afterwards a report by the ‘New York Times’ exposed the extent of brutal attacks by prison officers there. New York city’s health department carried out a secret study and found that abuse was widespread and routine.
At the time of writing (12th August 2014), Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, has come to the conclusion that much of the country had come to months ago- that Tory policy on prisons is dehumanising, that being imprisoned makes you ‘uniquely vulnerable’, and that our current public discourse in regards to prisons is myth-laden and exasperatingly underdeveloped. Mr. Hardwick has a decent attitude toward the purpose of the prison system: ‘you’re sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment’, but he’s also hardly an anarchist. Nevertheless, I believe that any reform of the prison system ought to consider what Peter Kropotkin had to say on the matter, in his work ‘Prisons: Universities of Crime‘, originally read to the British Medical Association in 1913.
What happened to Mike Brown is a tragedy that can’t be put into words. A less spoken tragedy is that it’s the day to day reality for so many of us–especially those of us who are young, who are people of color, who don’t fit the cops’ idea of an acceptable, law abiding citizen. How often do the police kill someone? In St. Louis, it seems like almost every month. We often don’t do anything about it, or feel like we can. The last few days have been different.
This is not a call to storm the hospitals and switch off people's life support systems, burn down pharmacies, or dismantle all wheelchairs. While this article is part of a growing call to view technology’s ubiquitous presence with a much more critical eye, it does not mean we're arguing for rounding up people at gun point and forcing them to hand over their smart phones; nor are we on a crusade to deny people access to hormone therapies, [modern] abortions or other tech advances used to sustain and improve quality of life.