"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

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Thursday, October 02 2014 @ 05:26 AM CDT

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Notes from the US: July

North America

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.

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Marcos is Gone! Between the light and the shadow.

North AmericaCompañera, compañeroa, compañero: Good evening, afternoon, or morning, whichever it may be in your geography, time, and way of being.Good very early morning. I would like to ask the compañeras, compañeros and compañeroas of the Sixth who came from other places, especially the compañeros from the independent media, for your patience, tolerance, and understanding for what I am about to say, because these will be the final words that I speak in public before I cease to exist. I am speaking to you and to those who listen to and look at us through you.
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Mexican Teachers’ Massive Strikes Crescendo to a Showdown

North AmericaMexican teachers from the dissident caucus la CNTE are camped out in Mexico City's main square, demanding repeal of an "education reform" law. Never have teacher protests been so widespread, in at least 12 states. Photo: CNTE Michoacán. Teachers—whose unprecedented strikes and massive, militant protests by the tens of thousands have shaken Mexico over the past week—may be headed for a violent confrontation with the government as they call for a general strike tomorrow.
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The Seeds of Rebellion Are Taking Root, and Protests Against Injustices Are Blooming

North America

Stephen Shapiro describes Occupy as a “dandelion moment” in which the movement successfully dispersed seeds to float and root, thereby growing into a bigger movement. We would not limit the seeds to the US Occupy, but include the Arab Spring, the Indignados, the current revolts in Brazil and Turkey and the new phase of revolt in Egypt. All of these mass actions spread around the globe like seeds spurring more mass actions. In the US we certainly see ongoing activism around many issues and flowers of resistance growing.

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Inside the Filibuster, an anarchist account of the fight for the right to choose in Texas

North America

Q. How easy is to get an abortion in Texas?

Depends on what you mean by “easy.” To begin with, there is a very conservative culture that shames and silences women about sex and opts for abstinence-only sex education, which contributes to abortion being inaccessible. Texas is almost ten times the size of Ireland and has the nation’s largest rural population, which is yet another obstacle to access, given the limited options in health care. Additionally, with a price tag of $450 to $3,000 (depending on how advanced the pregnancy is), the cost alone makes access to abortion a huge challenge.

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North Carolina: After Two Months, 'Moral Monday' Protests Swell to Largest Yet

Thousands of people rally outside the North Carolina State Legislative Building on Halifax Mall Monday, June 24, 2013, prior to an act of civil disobedience opposing the Republican legislature's agenda. About 120 activists were arrested.

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Sparrows Don’t Buy Condos

North America

Quite often, my walk to Astoria Park -- a green urban sanctuary on the banks of the mighty East River (which is not really a river, but a tidal strait that connects Upper New York Bay to the Long Island Sound, but don’t get me started) -- involves me passing gaudy condos called “Pistilli Riverview East” in what used to be the yellowish-tan Eagle Electric plant. Last week, as I strolled past this eyesore, I took notice of several sparrows nesting in the letter of the condo sign (see accompanying photo). This seemingly benign event set me off on fanciful flight of reflection and recollection.

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Hundreds strong Mayday march wrestles cops and Nazis, 4 reported arrests

North America

On May 1, 2013, activists at the Mayday parade intended to march from Malcolm X Park to Lafayette Park, with a surprise protest at the GAP and a Maypole ceremony at Lafayette Park. Cops and even Neo-Nazis had other ideas.

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Self-Determination and Self-Defense

North America

On December 11, 2012, the US Justice Department announced that banking giant HSBC was immune from prosecution despite overwhelming evidence that they consistently failed to implement controls against money-laundering. Assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer said: “Had the US authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the US, the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized.”

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The Nuclear Waste Dump Formerly Known as San Onofre?

North America

Southern California Edison, the operator of the (non-operating) San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station, is running out of options. Even the federal regulators are coming down hard on them. The public remains deeply skeptical, while local elected officials continue to press for further investigations into the problems at the plant. It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but yesterday SCE took a couple of hard blows.

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