Archive | Truth-out

Senior Democrat Caught on Tape Pressuring Progressive Congressional Candidate to Drop Out of Race

A new exposé by The Intercept confirms how powerful Democratic officials have worked to crush competitive progressive candidates in primaries around the country, choosing instead to back moderate, business-friendly candidates. This comes after President Obama used his farewell address to encourage Americans upset about the outcome of the 2016 election to take action by running for office themselves. We speak with Levi Tillemann, a Colorado man who heeded Obama’s call and found himself disappointed by the process, after he was repeatedly pressured by powerful Democrats not to run. In fact, he recorded a conversation in which he was directly told to drop out of the Democratic primary for Colorado’s sixth Congressional district by none other than the second-ranking House Democrat, Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland. We go to Denver to speak with Levi Tillemann, a candidate in Colorado’s Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District, which includes Denver. He is featured in the new exposé by Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept, “Secretly Taped Audio Reveals Democratic Official Pressuring Progressive to Bow Out of Election.”

Please check back later for full transcript.

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Supreme Court Appears Set to Uphold Trump's Travel Ban Targeting Muslim Nations

The US Supreme Court looks poised to uphold President Trump’s travel ban, which blocks most people from seven countries — including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — from entering the United States. During oral arguments on Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often seen as a swing vote, appeared to side with the conservative wing of the court. US solicitor general Noel Francisco argued the travel restrictions were not a “so-called Muslim ban” and that the order fell within the president’s executive authority. Francisco made the claim even though Trump campaigned for president calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Lower courts have repeatedly ruled against versions of Trump’s travel ban, saying they were unconstitutional and in violation of federal immigration law. We are joined by Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project, who presented the first challenge to President Trump’s travel ban order last year, and Diala Shamas, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She was in Djibouti last month speaking to Yemeni relatives of US citizens attempting to come to the United States under Trump’s travel ban.

Please check back later for full transcript.

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Arizona Educators Stage First Statewide Walkout as Teacher Revolt Grows

Strikers listen to a speaker during the #RedForEd strike in Arizona, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Arizona Education Association)

Strikers listen to a speaker during the #RedForEd strike in Arizona, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Arizona Education Association)

Unlike West Virginia and Oklahoma, today’s teacher walkout in Arizona is the first statewide strike ever held by educators in the Grand Canyon State. But the state still resembles others revolting this spring because educators there also lack collective bargaining rights under so-called “right-to-work” provisions, and their decision walk out over decades of low pay and cuts to education is technically illegal.

Strikers listen to a speaker during the #RedForEd strike in Arizona, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Arizona Education Association)Strikers listen to a speaker during the #RedForEd strike in Arizona, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Arizona Education Association)

Unlike West Virginia and Oklahoma, today’s teacher walkout in Arizona is the first statewide strike ever held by educators in the Grand Canyon State. But the state still resembles others revolting this spring because educators there also lack collective bargaining rights under so-called “right-to-work” provisions, and their decision walk out over decades of low pay and cuts to education is technically illegal.

As of now, Arizona teachers may be risking a bit more than teachers elsewhere due to a 1971 opinion from the state attorney general spelling out that those who engage in a strike could be terminated or lose their teaching credentials. Despite this, 78 percent of the approximately 57,000 Arizona teachers who cast ballots last Thursday voted in favor of today’s action. Between 30,000 to 50,000 are expected to …read more

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White Supremacy and Capitalism Are Deeply Entangled With the Colonial Slave Trade

Marchers protest during the March Against Slavery to raise international awareness of migrants being abused and exploited, held in Los Angeles, California on January 27, 2018. (Photo: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)

The United States may have declared its independence from Britain in 1776, but it was from England and other European powers that the breakaway colonies inherited an evil that was of fundamental significance to its future: slavery. In this excerpt of The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism, Gerald Horne describes how we are still experiencing that ruinous legacy.

Marchers protest during the March Against Slavery to raise international awareness of migrants being abused and exploited, held in Los Angeles, California on January 27, 2018. (Photo: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)

By detailing the growth of the slave trade in the 17th century, Gerald Horne reveals how white supremacy, capitalism and the original sin of slavery in the Western Hemisphere became intertwined. Get The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism by clicking here now.

The United States may have declared its independence from Britain in 1776, but it was from England and other European powers that the breakaway colonies inherited an evil that was of fundamental significance to its future: slavery. By the time of the Revolutionary War, slavery, settler colonialism, white supremacy and capitalism were essential features of what would become the United States. We are still experiencing the ruinous legacy of that heritage today.

The following are excerpts from the introduction to The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism:

The years between 1603 and 1714 were perhaps the most decisive in English history. At the onset of the seventeenth century, the sceptered isle was a second-class power but the Great Britain that emerged by the beginning of the eighteenth century was, in many ways, the planet’s reigning superpower. It then passed the baton to its revolting spawn, the United States, which has carried global dominance into the present century.

There are many reasons for this stunning turnabout. …read more

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Scott Pruitt Is Killing Us

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to the press at a news conference at the Environmental Protection Agency on April 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Jason Andrew / Getty Images)

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to the press at a news conference at the Environmental Protection Agency on April 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Jason Andrew / Getty Images)

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, who first gained Donald Trump’s attention by devoting his life to the utter destruction of the EPA for the benefit of his friends in the fossil fuel industry, has turned that agency into a three-letter wrecking ball. He wholeheartedly believes that his agency’s role is to serve polluters and big business, but he is also in service to Trump, who titters with glee every time some Obama-era protection is erased.

You have to see it all in order to really encompass it, and this isn’t even all of it. What began with a headline in November of 2016 — “Trump Wins” — quickly accelerated into a headlong windsprint toward our collective doom:

Scott Pruitt Confirmed as EPA Chief, Washington Post, 02/17/2017

“Science” Scrubbed From EPA’s Mission Statement, New Republic, 03/07/2017

EPA Chief Downplays Role Played by Carbon Dioxide in Climate Change, CNBC, 03/09/2017

Dakota Access Pipeline Prepared for Use, Indianz.com, 03/27/2017

Obama Administration Climate Actions Undone by Executive Order, White House, 03/28/2017

Keystone XL Pipeline Approved, Truthout, 03/31/2017

Pruitt Calls for Exit From Paris Agreement, ThinkProgress, 4/14/2017

Trump Signs Order to Vastly Expand Offshore Oil Drilling, Facing South, 04/19/2017

EPA Scrubs Climate Change Website, EPA, 04/28/2017

EPA Dismisses Science Advisors, The Atlantic, 05/05/2017

US Pulls Out of Paris Climate Agreement, Truthout, 06/01/2017

Report: EPA Enforcement Lags Under Trump, Environmental Integrity Project, 08/10/2017

Trump Revokes Flood Standards Accounting for Sea-Level Rise, White House, 08/15/2017

<a class="colorbox" rel="nofollow" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/how-trump-is-changing-science-environment/" …read more

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Meet the Music Teacher Who Helped Organize the Arizona Teacher Strike

Noah Karvelis speaks during the #RedForEd strike in Arizona, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Arizona Education Association)

“What we really have is an education crisis,” says Noah Karvelis, an Arizona elementary school teacher who started the group behind today’s statewide teachers’ walkout. Karvelis explains why teachers are still striking despite promises from the governor for better wages, and how the struggle in Arizona advances the nationwide movement for justly paid teachers and fully funded public schools.

Noah Karvelis speaks during the #RedForEd strike in Arizona, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Arizona Education Association)

Also See: Arizona Educators Stage First Statewide Walkout as Teacher Revolt Grows

Welcome to Interviews for Resistance. We’re now more than a year into the Trump administration, and activists have scored some important victories in those months. Yet there is always more to be done, and for many people, the question of where to focus and how to help remains. In this series, we talk with organizers, agitators and educators not only about how to resist but also about how to build a better world. Today’s interview is the 119th in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.

Today we bring you a conversation with Noah Karvelis, a music teacher in Phoenix and an organizer with Arizona Educators United. Karvelis discusses how teachers in Arizona came to vote on a strike and why educators are rejecting empty promises from the governor about raises and instead pushing forward for their students and colleagues.

Sarah Jaffe: The strike deadline is for Thursday. Let’s go back a little bit. …read more

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Twenty-Five Years After the Lucasville Uprising, Its Survivors Are Leading a New Prison Resistance Movement

Police officers patrol the outer perimeter of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility April 12, 1993, after a prisoner uprising on April 11, 1993. (Photo: Eugene Garcia / AFP / Getty Images)

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising, the longest prison revolt involving fatalities to occur in the history of the United States. Survivors of this 11-day prison takeover are still fighting for basic human rights behind bars — and still meeting state repression, now that prison strikes are regularly coordinated beyond any individual prison’s walls.

Police officers patrol the outer perimeter of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility April 12, 1993, after a prisoner uprising on April 11, 1993. (Photo: Eugene Garcia / AFP / Getty Images)

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising, the longest prison revolt involving fatalities to occur in the history of the United States. Survivors of this 11-day prisoner takeover of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) have been active and inspiring participants in the present movement for prisoners’ rights, gaining attention that was unavailable to them in 1993. In light of the growing momentum in prisoner uprisings, including the recent South Carolina prison riot that was the deadliest in the past 25 years, the Lucasville Uprising offers timely lessons on the interplay between repressive state forces and prisoner-led movements.

The Lucasville Uprising often gets lost in the retelling of prison rebellions because it occurred during the prison boom, a period of accelerating mass incarceration during which the widespread use of “three strikes” policies began, long-term solitary confinement grew into Supermax prisons, and prison construction and expansion skyrocketed.

Dan Berger and Toussaint Losier describe these years, from 1980 to 1998, in their new book Rethinking the American Prison Movement as a “largely bleak period for the prison movement … splintering the elements that had made [it] a potent force,” while prison rebels “found it more difficult to …read more

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Two Court Cases Will Determine if the Judicial System Will Enforce the Constitution in the Face of Trump

Protesters display signs during a march against Donald Trump's proposed Muslim ban on January 31, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue)

Today, two courts will have to decide whether to uphold our country’s system of checks and balances, limiting the damage the Trump administration has done and will do to the thousands of people facing deportation, in detention or being refused entry to the US. Will the courts uphold the Constitution even in the face of an executive branch determined to ignore it?

Protesters display signs during a march against Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim ban on January 31, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue)

Today is a big day for Sam Hamama, a Chaldean Christian who has lived in Michigan for 40 years with his wife and four children, and whom the Trump administration wants to deport to Iraq where he likely would be persecuted, tortured or killed. The federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is hearing arguments in our case to decide whether the administration can deport Hamama — as well as some 1,400 other Iraqi Americans — without giving them a chance for an immigration judge to consider the danger they face in Iraq. Today is also a big day for Hilal Alkateeb, a fellow Michigan resident and US citizen, whose Yemeni wife was barred from joining him in the US under the administration’s Muslim ban, the constitutionality of which is before the US Supreme Court this morning.

Hamama and Alkateeb’s lives, and their legal cases, are inextricably linked. Hamama faces danger in Iraq because he is Christian. But his life hangs in the balance in a …read more

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The Only Work the Farm Bill Will Create Is Paperwork

This article was published by TalkPoverty.org.

Last week, perhaps in an effort to mentally pull out of Montana’s long winter months, I organized my home office, working my way through a decade’s worth of various files, folders, and scraps of paper I’d saved for whatever reason. Some, like quotes or story ideas, I’d saved because I am a writer and writers do things like keep journals they wrote in when they were 10. Others, like pay stubs, taxes, utility bills, and child support documents, I’d held onto out of an old habit.

For several years, when I worked a scattered schedule of hours cleaning houses while putting myself through college and raising my young daughter on my own, I always carried around three months’ worth of income and expenses in a purple folder. Because of my irregular schedule, and the hand-written personal checks I received instead of pay stubs, it seemed as if I constantly needed to prove to someone that I was, in fact, in need. That I was verifiably poor.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, otherwise known as food stamps) was the one program we could rely on back then, even though it was difficult to sign up for it sometimes. It was, by all accounts, predictable, and something I could budget for. Most importantly, by checking the “SNAP” box on other paperwork, like my daughter’s free school lunches, our utility assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and both of my daughters’ Medicaid, I automatically qualified for benefits. No questions, no long phone conversations, no missing work to spend an afternoon waiting to talk to a caseworker. This …read more

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Toronto and Tennessee: Two White Suspects, no Trump Tweets

Continuing a pattern that traces back to the early days of his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump himself has yet to openly acknowledge a series of attacks in which the perpetrators were white.

“The United States stands with the Canadian people in the aftermath of today’s tragic event in Toronto, where a van drove into a crowd of people killing several and injuring many more,” the White House’s Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement about an incident where a 25-year-old man ran pedestrians over in a van on Monday. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those affected, and we wish a full recovery to those injured. The United States Government pledges to provide any support Canada may need.”

During a press briefing earlier Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the hero of the Waffle House shooting — a man named James Shaw Jr., who wrestled the gun away from the shooter — but focused on other matters.

“I also want to commend the heroic actions of James Shaw Jr. early Sunday morning at a Waffle House in Tennessee,” Sanders told reporters at the press conference. “Mr. Shaw saved lives when he wrestled a gun from an active shooter who had opened fire. The President offers his condolences to the victims and their families. He is monitoring the ongoing situation and the White House is in regular contact with state and local officials.”

Since the Nashville Waffle House shooting early on Sunday morning, Trump has tweeted about former FBI Director James Comey, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, North Korea, praise he received from political consultant Mary Matalin, the ongoing probe into his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia, his visit with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, sanctuary cities, the …read more

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