Last Friday, the Ninth Circuit published its opinion about our ongoing fight with the federal government over how secret its grand jury proceedings should be. The short version: They wanted automatic and almost total secrecy and opacity, we wanted transparency—or at least some clearly argued standards about why certain documents should be sealed and kept away from the public. On Friday, the court found in our favor. We won. Mostly.
As the event to raise funds for Ryan Ronquillo’s family drew to a close and the banner reading “Justice for Ryan Ronquillo” was lowered, the crowd seemed anxious. There were about 60 people left of the 250 who came through the door for the event that was co-organized with the family and their friends, along with local hip hop artists Brer Rabbit, Sole, Molina Speaks, Stay Tuned, Jonny 5, and Time. Maybe anxiety wasn’t really the feeling going around that night. People were on edge, sure. But mostly people. The District Attorney Mitch Morrissey had just made the decision to close the “investigation”—If you can call it that—of Ryan’s assassination at the Romero Funeral home on July 2nd of this year (2014).
Following the second major report this year about the failure of the Missouri football team and the athletic department to properly respond to a series of sexual assault allegations, perhaps someone should ask: Why does Mike Alden, athletic director at Missouri since 1998, still have a job?
Every winter, millions of microscopic plankton cloud the waters that stretch from Oman to India. Though they only began appearing in the early 2000s, these algae now carpet a Texas-sized swath of the Arabian Sea, forming emerald swirls so dense you can see them from space.
Even though they are beautiful, the plankton have a lethal effect on plants and animals in the depths below.
Volunteers from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s pilot whale defense campaign Operation GrindStop 2014 appeared before a court in the Faroe Islands on Monday following their recent arrest in conjunction with trying to prevent the murder of pilot whales. These volunteer crewmembers – many of whom are European citizens – have been found guilty of defending the whales, while Denmark has acted in blatant defiance of European Union regulations by defending the slaughter of whales. Sea Shepherd has issued a statement pertaining to the verdicts and supporter and actor Martin Sheen is speaking out.
In 1845, Frederick Douglass, a fugitive from slavery, joined dozens of white passengers on the British ship Cambria in New York harbor. Somewhere out on the Atlantic, the other passengers discovered that the African American activist in their midst had just published a sensational autobiography. They convinced the captain to host a sort of salon, wherein Douglass would tell them his life story. But when the young black man stood up to talk, a group of Southern slaveholders, on their way to Britain for vacation or business or both, confronted him.
Thanks to Jeff and Hien’s courage and all the support from so many of you it appears that Cynthia, the owner of La Lot, is now prepared to meet all of our demands. This means implementing a fair tip structure and restoring Hien to the schedule she was working before she was retaliated against for speaking up about stolen tips. Cynthia had already sent emails to staff implementing the new tip structure Jeff and Hien had asked for as a result of the strike, but until last night she was still holding fast that she would not return Hien to her old schedule.
Politics, if we take politics to mean the shaping and discussion of issues, concerns and laws that foster the common good, is no longer the business of our traditional political institutions. These institutions, including the two major political parties, the courts and the press, are not democratic. They are used to crush any vestiges of civic life that calls, as a traditional democracy does, on its citizens to share among all its members the benefits, sacrifices and risks of a nation.
For the customers, nothing has changed in the big, busy McDonald’s on Broadway at West 181st Street, in Washington Heights. Promotions come and go—during the World Cup, the French-fry package was suddenly not red but decorated with soccer-related “street art,” and, if you held your phone up to the box, it would download an Augmented Reality app that let you kick goals with the flick of a finger. New menu items appear—recently, the Jalapeño Double and the Bacon Clubhouse, or, a while back, the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. But a McDonald’s is a McDonald’s. This one is open twenty-four hours.
Two weeks ago the NRA's Cam Edwards show stupidly praised a racist armed white vigilante group called the Algiers Point Militia that killed black men and bragged with impunity about it after Katrina. Abby Martin of Breaking The Set and Media Roots has been the only journalist and the news program to cover the controversy outside of the pro/anti-gun lens.
On August 26th, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) both accepted a ceasefire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast landscapes of destruction behind. The agreement calls for an end to military action by both Israel and Hamas, as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.
There is a point at which everyone breaks, and Miranda has already exceeded it. Living on a limited income and with pets that she could never abandon, Miranda moved into her former apartment with some reservations. There was clear damage inside, all of which she was repeatedly reassured that it would be taken care of quickly. When she was given a pile of documents to sign no red flags came up from her new landlord, Kurt, telling her that she was signing in agreement with a walk-through that had never happened.
A bail and legal fund has been established to support the 43 or so people who have been arrested during the initial anti-police demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo. Please spread the word widely and help get some money together to get these people out.
Despite claims that we've entered a "post-racial" era, racism is alive and well, thriving even, and anti-black racism in particular continues to escalate. Layla AbdelRahim and I first discussed this topic several years ago after the Treyvon Martin murder. The recent modern-day lynching of eighteen year old Michael Brown by a Ferguson, MO police officer has once again raised familiar issues, including the mainstream media’s propensity to posthumously blame the victims of racist violence for their own deaths.
Starting on Friday, August 22nd, IWW workers at a UPS sorting facility in Minneapolis began organizing against their and their coworkers' labor supporting the ongoing police violence against the population of Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man. In a series of actions aimed at a local company shipping questionable shooting-range targets to law enforcement agencies nationwide, workers stood up to the idea that they should have to support racism, brutality, or murder in order to make ends meet. This action was organized in conjunction with, and under the banner of Screw Ups, a rank-and-file newsletter published by IWW workers at the facility for the past year.