Guatemalans Continue Anti-Government Protests

Guatemala City, Guatemala – Guatemalans have returned to protest across the country for the second Saturday in a row, as discontent with President Alejandro Giammattei and his government continues.

More than 2,000 people gathered in Guatemala City’s central plaza to demand the resignation of Giammattei and congressional representatives who had approved the country’s controversial 2021 budget.

“We are demanding that they respect our rights and that all those corrupt politicians in Congress leave,” Maria Fernanda Saldana, a 22-year-old university student…

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Massive Protests In Guatemala Against President And The Congress

At least 10,000 people rallied in the central square of the country’s capital, in front of the seat of government, to express their dissatisfaction after 10 months of President Alejandro Giammattei’s administration and the approval of the 2021 budget — the largest budget in the country’s history. These latest events are part of rising discontent in the country in response to the policies of Giammeattei’s government and the right-wing party he represents, Vamos, as well as the deteriorating economic situation in Guatemala, which has been devastated by the pandemic and back-to-back hurricanes this fall.

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Guatemala’s Congress Burns Amid Mass Protest

Guatemalans have taken to the streets for a national protest in rejection of President Alejandro Giammattei, and to demand that he veto the controversial general budget for 2021, approved by lawmakers on November 18.

A fire broke out at the Congress in the capital city, though the main protest groups maintain that the people have continued to demonstrate peacefully in the central square which is surrounded by riot police. They warn that infiltrated groups have burned down the Congress, serving as a distraction from the popular calls in rejection of corruption.

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Are We About To Lose The US Postal Service?

The Postal Service is under an unprecedented strain from the Coronavirus pandemic and we all need to act.  The crisis is straining every part of the Postal Service. It is putting new obligations on the USPS, while postal revenue falls. For millions of Americans, the Postal Service is their only contact with the outside world right now. Its network is keeping our prescriptions filled and food on our shelves.

But when the Congress passed its huge two-trillion dollar stimulus, they left the Postal Service out in the cold!

There are credible reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin lobbied hard to stop Congress from including financial support for the USPS in the stimulus bill. His department is in charge of the White House’s attempt to sell off the Postal Service to private corporations.

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Pentagon Asks To Keep Future Spending Secret

The Department of Defense is quietly asking Congress to rescind the requirement to produce an unclassified version of the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) database.

Preparation of the unclassified FYDP, which provides estimates of defense spending for the next five years, has been required by law since 1989 (10 USC 221) and has become an integral part of the defense budget process.

But the Pentagon said that it should no longer have to offer such information in an unclassified format, according to a DoD legislative proposal for the pending FY 2021 national defense authorization act.

“The Department is concerned that attempting publication of unclassified FYDP data might inadvertently reveal sensitive information,” the Pentagon said in its March 6, 2020 proposal.

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The People’s Memorial Day

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. War culture runs deep in the United States. You can see the glorification of war consistently once you are aware of it – it is expressed in entertainment, the war memorials that are in every town, and the deference we are expected to show to people in the military, e.g. special treatment at airports. This war culture equates patriotism with worship of the military. And it is on broad display every Memorial Day.

Now that we are sixteen years into the “war on terror”, even though a war against a tactic is nonsense – especially given that terrorism grows as the US bombs more countries and kills more civilians – this Memorial Day is a good time to question who benefits from war and who pays the price. Highly decorated Marine, Smedley Butler, answered these questions this way:

“War is a racket. It always has been.”

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Budget Proposals Highlight Priorities Of Rich And Shameless

The Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal was a genuine masterpiece of cruelty. “President Trump’s 2018 budget contains the largest dollar cuts to programs for low- and moderate-income people proposed by any President’s budget in the modern era,” wrote The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities at the time. “The plan would cut these programs by an estimated $2.5 trillion over the next decade. About two-thirds (66 percent) of the budget’s cuts would come from these programs, which help low- and moderate-income families afford the basics or improve their upward mobility.”

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‘The Pentagon Has Steadfastly Stonewalled Against Making Its Budget Auditable’

For those of us who remember the $640 toilet seat, the unbelievable absurdity of Pentagon spending has long been—while unbelievably absurd—taken for granted: The Department of Defense spends billions and billions on we know not what, year after year, tra-la.  Elite media reported that Congress passed a $700 billion Pentagon bill—more than Trump even asked for—and that was a blip, unchallenged, although the same press corps, faced with a proposal for healthcare, see themselves in the business of grilling proponents on how on Earth they would pay for it. Pentagon spending is untethered, unaccountable.

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ICE Asking Congress For More Money; What You Can Do

For months, headlines have been dominated by the devastating impacts of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and the growing movement against them. Loved ones have been torn apart at the border, thousands have been funneled into a cruel and inhumane detention and deportation system, and there are almost 500 children who still remain separated from their families.  

This devastation is only possible because our elected officials continue to fund it. And now they may be trying to increase just how much they are paying through a loophole in the budget process.  

Though the appropriations process can feel complicated and abstract, these budget bills have immense power to shape the world we live in. Here’s what you need to know: 

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$717 Billion Defense Bill That Just Breezed Through The Senate Should Be A National Scandal

With little debate or public attention, the Senate just followed the House in approving $717 billion for the nation’s military, meaning the bill is headed for the president’s signature. The passage is no surprise. The National Defense Authorization Act is one of the few pieces of federal budget legislation that sails through every year, without fail, on a bipartisan basis. Yet, the bill deserves fierce debate—and dissent. At $717 billion, the package provides a historically high military budget. By my calculations based on numbers from the Office of Management and Budget, in 1997, after Cold War spending was ratcheted down from its Reagan-era peak, military spending was $386 billion after adjusting for inflation. By the height of spending during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, it had more than doubled to $799 billion.

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Hundreds of Thousands To Protest President Trump’s Military Parade If It Occurs

Washington, DC – Leaders of major peace and anti-war organizations met on February 28, 2018 to collaborate on actions to bring hundreds of thousands of people to Washington, DC in November to protest President Trump’s military parade and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

Participants at the meeting are united in opposition to the military parade because it glorifies war and militarism and wastes taxpayer dollars that could be used to fund people’s necessities and protection of the planet.

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The Shocking Truth: How Our Empire Rips You Off

And what if we told you right now, that just as the mountains of cash spent on militarism are even higher than you likely feared, that the alternative is a more beautifully satisfying, fulfilling, and secure future — for all of us living in the heart of the empire — than you would even dare hope for? What if I told you that once we redirect those ‘mountains’ away from wars and empire, then everyone, yes everyone, from that point on, could be made, with these savings alone, a virtually guaranteed millionaire? Impossible? Can’t be true? Too outlandish a claim? Yet it is true, as we will prove in the sections below.

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#TheseCutsHurt Day Of Action

By Staff of Witnesses to Hunger – On October 30th, 2017, people from around the country will be speaking out to raise awareness about how proposed budget cuts will hurt their families, children, communities, and this country as a whole. By sharing their personal experiences and ideas for change, Americans can stand up together and say that THESE CUTS HURT and that they have had enough of the government refusing to prioritize our children and our families. Programs that feed millions, that house people, that provide health care – among so many others – are on the chopping block. Our country can and must do better to support families – the majority of whom are working or want to work – to make ends meet.

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Rahm’s Police Academy Plan Met With Youth-Led Backlash

By Maya Dukmasova for Chicago Reader. Chicago, IL – As rain pelted the Fullerton el platform on Tuesday night, two dozen young people boarded a southbound Red Line train with printed and hand-drawn signs. “#NoCopAcademy” one read. “$95 million for schools, mental health care, and affordable housing!” declared another.

The activists organized in protest of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to build a $95 million police and fire training academy in West Garfield Park. The training compound would occupy a 30.4-acre site along Chicago Avenue between Pulaski and Kilbourn and include a swimming and diving pool, driving course, shooting range, labs, classrooms, and auditorium, and a mock CTA station and apartment building.

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Early Estimate For Hurricanes, Wildfires At $300 Billion

By Sabrina Shankman for Inside Climate News. The devastation from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria—plus dozens of wildfires that raged across the West in early August—could result in the costliest string of weather events in U.S. history, according to a new report.

Over the course of a few weeks, the hurricanes and wildfires left a trail of damage that could add up to nearly $300 billion, according to early estimates from the authors of “The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States,” a report released on Wednesday by the nonprofit Universal Ecological Fund. If they’re right, the cost of the damage would be equivalent to nearly half the president’s proposed 2018 budget for the Department of Defense.

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