Indigenous People’s Day Reminds Us To Acknowledge And Support Indigenous Struggles

Today is Indigenous Peoples Day. Across the country, a growing number of cities and states are recognizing this day in place of the traditional Columbus Day. This change reflects the growing awareness that holidays like Columbus Day are used to rewrite the past and uphold institutions of white supremacy, racism and settler colonialism. As Justin Teba writes, in Albuquerque, they issued a proclamation to recognize this as a day ” to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples on this land.”

I can only write from the perspective of a settler, but I do want to highlight a few of the current struggles. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves about the history of the founding of the United States, to join in struggle with those who are oppressed and to transform our society to end these devastating institutions.

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Ten Years Later: Lessons For Today From The Occupy Movement

To mark the tenth anniversary, I spoke with Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign (click here for that interview) and Chris Hedges, a noted author and host of On Contact (click here for that interview), about the political and economic environment in 2011 that gave rise to the Occupy Movement, the lessons learned and what is happening now. The Occupy Movement had a tremendous impact that is still being felt today but we continue to face many serious crises.

This is a good time to reflect upon what Occupy/October2011 did right and how that could inform our current organizing. Here are a few of the lessons.

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Stop US Sanctions: ‘You Don’t Feel Them, But They Are Killing Our People’

This month, the Sanctions Kill coalition (Popular Resistance is a member) released its report: “The Impact and Consequences of US Sanctions.” The 35-page report was written in response to the Biden administration’s January call for a review of the US sanctions to determine if they ‘unduly hinder’ the ability of targeted nations to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, there is no word on whether that review has been conducted, but given that the State Department and Treasury are tasked with conducting it, the same institutions that impose sanctions, the Sanctions Kill coalition had no confidence their report would challenge the US’ current foreign policy path of escalating economic war on 39 countries, or a third of the world population.

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Nicaragua: Building The Good Life (Buen Vivir) Through Popular Revolution

As I traveled in Nicaragua on the recent Sanctions Kill delegation, one thing was clear, social transformation (revolution) requires both political power and participation by the people. Without political power, revolutionary programs will not have the material resources they require. Without the participation of the people, revolutionary programs, even with resources, cannot be put into practice and defended.

Right now, Nicaraguans have both and they are making great progress in building a new society or as it is often referred to in Latin America, ‘Buen Vivir,’ (the good life). They are demonstrating what we mean when we say “transforming society to put people and the planet over profits.”

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Peace Delegation Visits Nicaragua To Explore Impact Of US Sanctions

For the next two weeks, I am in Nicaragua on the first delegation organized by the Sanctions Kill coalition and the Friends of the ATC (Asociacion de Trabajadores del Campo – Association of Rural Workers) to study the impact of sanctions imposed by the United States on Nicaragua and learn about the Sandinista Revolution. The ATC is a member of the global movement of peasant workers, Via Campesina, that was born in Nicaragua. The NICA Act, passed by the US Congress in 2018, is the beginning of the US’ economic war on Nicaragua after the US-backed coup attempt against the democratically-elected President Danial Ortega failed earlier that year.

Learn more about the sanctions being imposed by the United States on 39 countries representing a third of the world’s population using the new Sanctions Kill toolkit.

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Attacks On The Rights Of Transgender People Are Rising; Fight Back

A growing and coordinated attack on the rights of transgender people is taking place through state legislation and sadly it is receiving support from people across the political spectrum. The attack is successful because its proponents are using myths about transgender people to cloak their efforts under a veneer of feminism and concerns about children’s health. In reality, this attack is anti-feminist and threatens the well-being and lives of not only the transgender community, particularly the youth, which is one of the most vulnerable communities in our society, but also of all of us.

It is necessary to understand where this attack is coming from and the facts that dispel these myths so we can all take action to protect the rights of transgender people. The media is largely silent about what is happening. We need to raise awareness and halt these bills.

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Small Acts Can Become A Power No Government Can Suppress

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was passed in the House this past week and now heads to the Senate, where it will no doubt be changed before it becomes law some time in mid-March. The current unemployment benefits expire on March 14.

While we don’t know what the final bill will look like, at least now we can get an idea of what is in it. Overall, as expected, the provisions in the bill will help to provide some financial assistance to some people, but they won’t solve the crises we face. And the Biden administration is backtracking on promises made on the campaign trail.

As Alan Macleod writes, Biden has abandoned raising the minimum wage, ending student debt and the promised $2,000 checks. His focus is on forcing people back to work and school even as new, more infectious and more lethal variants of the virus causing COVID-19 threaten another surge in cases and deaths.

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Global Solidarity Is Needed During The Pandemic To End Medical Apartheid

Some of the truths the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing about the United States are its racial disparities in health and access to health care. Black and Indigenous people are more likely to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 than white people. They are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized and two to two and a half times more likely to die than white people. There are a number of factors that contribute to this.

Another related truth that is being exposed by the pandemic is the relative failure of capitalist countries to contain the virus and limit deaths when compared to socialist countries. Even some relatively poor countries, many of which are targeted by the US’ illegal economic warfare, are outperforming wealthy countries because they have socialized systems.

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Urgent Solidarity With Haiti Is Needed

A long-brewing crisis in Haiti, created through intervention by the United States, United Nations and allied western imperialist countries, has now come to a head. The Biden administration is openly backing a violent, corrupt and fraudulent leader, Jovenel Moïse, and maintaining the policies of previous presidents, including Donald Trump, in Haiti.

Activists in Haiti have reached out to the Haitian diaspora in the United States and to organizations that support respect for self-determination and human rights for their solidarity. Listen to my interview with filmmaker and political activist Wilkenson Bruna on Clearing the FOG this week (available on Monday).

The crisis in Haiti will not end until sufficient pressure is placed on the United States to change its positions.

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The Antiwar Movement Must Not Go Back To Sleep During The Biden Presidency

On Saturday, members of the administrative committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), on which I serve, spoke on a webinar about the importance of building and strengthening the antiwar, anti-imperialist movement during Biden’s presidency. UNAC was founded during the summer of 2010 as it became clear that the antiwar movement in the US was faltering under the nation’s first black president. Peace groups allied with the Democrats were reluctant to criticize the president and donations declined as people wrongly assumed the new Nobel Peace Prize winner was pro-peace.

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Take Action To End The Economic War At Home And Abroad

It is the same neoliberal economic system, white supremacy and disregard for human life that underlie sanctions abroad and at home. The current recession and pandemic have exposed this in a brutal way in the United States. The populations that are harmed the most are Indigenous peoples and communities of color. The United States government could have taken the effective steps of cancelling rent and debt, providing a monthly income and nationalizing healthcare that other countries took but instead passed laws that funneled wealth to the top while providing minimal relief to the majority.

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Announcing The Finalists For The Kevin Zeese Emerging Activists Fund

The Zeese Family is excited to announce the finalists for this years Kevin Zeese Emerging Activists Fund grant. This fund was put together quickly after the unexpected death of Kevin Zeese last September as a way to honor him and carry on his legacy. We thank all of you who donated to it.

The response to the fund was overwhelming with over 110 applicants from across the United States and around the world. This included both individual activists and front line organizations doing work for racial, economic and environmental justice and peace. The decision was difficult to make, but the family was able to narrow it down to five applicants.

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Critical Lessons From Dr. Martin Luther King For These Times

This week, we celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and witness the inauguration of our next president, Joe Biden. This inauguration will be unique, first, for being held during a pandemic and, second, for its heightened security in fear of another attack by Trump supporters. Downtown Washington, DC is normally secured during an inauguration and people must pass through checkpoints to get into the Mall and parade route, but this time is different.

There are 25,000 members of the National Guard on duty in the city to protect the President and Members of Congress. But even this does not guarantee security.

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Violent Right Wing Forces Have Been Activated, It Requires Strategic Action To Stop Them

Since the assault on the US Capitol on January 6 by right-wing Trump supporters, the fallout has been rapid. The Democrats, both elected officials and voters, were quick to jump on the impeachment train. Some elected officials are calling for Members of Congress who supported the events to resign and to refuse to seat them in the new Congress. Employers are firing employees who participated or supported the events. And, people on the Left are cheering on social media censorship and calling for stronger laws to go after domestic terrorists.

It is important in times of crisis like this to pause, take a deep breath and think about the ramifications of our responses given the present makeup of the US political structure.

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Assange’s Extradition Case Is Our Struggle For Popular Power

Monday, January 4, 2021, will be a seminal day for press freedom and our right to know what our governments and corporations are doing around the world. Judge Vanessa Baraitser will announce her decision on the United States’ request to extradite Julian Assange to the US for trial on 18 charges for his work to publish leaked documents that expose US war crimes and other wrongdoing in Wikileaks.

If Assange is extradited, this will have a chilling effect on any journalist or publisher anywhere in the world who dares to expose the truth about what the United States and its transnational corporations are doing. Already, Assange has endured what would break the will of many people…

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