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Migrants and police clash in Spain after death of Senegalese man

The Guardian | Protest -

Man’s death during raid on apartment sparks protests by more than 100 migrants in seaside resort

More than a dozen people have been arrested after migrants and police clashed in the Spanish seaside resort of Salou in protests sparked by the death of a Senegalese man during a police raid.

Catalan regional police said a 50-year-old man from Senegal died on Tuesday after police entered an apartment as part of an operation to crack down on the sale of fake DVDs and other counterfeit goods.

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When the next crisis comes, which movements will seize the opportunity?

Waging Nonviolence -

by George Lakey

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You, too, could be caught in a situation where people are ready for an alternative, yet your group has none to offer.

It’s understandable. We who work for change seem years away from convincing a critical mass of people that it is both stupid and wrong to have a school-to-prison pipeline, or a rate of carbon emissions killing hundreds of thousands of people, or a “national security strategy” that mainly breeds insecurity.

Historic change does not always have the gradual-then-accelerating curve shown by the LGBTQ movement. At times, a system goes into crisis. In 2007-2008 financial sectors in many countries skidded toward the cliff; Iceland’s even went over the cliff. Crisis equals opportunity, for those who are ready to use it.

I asked a Washington, D.C., friend who works among progressive Democrats what he heard after the Wall Street disaster. Did people in his circle discuss organizing the strong, grassroots anger into a push for major reform? He knew of none. As it turned out, that anger was organized by the right and became the Tea Party. Polls show that even today many people identifying as Tea Party members express hostility to Wall Street.

All this missed opportunity should be seen in the context of Barack Obama’s presidency, since it was he who said, during his candidacy, that the Swedish solution to its own banking crisis had been correct: Seize the banks rather than bail them out. (In a recent New Yorker article on Greece, former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said President Obama told him that the U.S. bailout was against his personal politics.)

Presidents do what they do, given the existing power realities they face. The lesson for us in the United States is: In 2009 we lacked a powerful movement that had a vision, and was willing to mobilize direct action on behalf of that vision.

The crisis might come around again. According to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “The biggest banks are collectively much larger than they were before the crisis, and they continue to engage in dangerous practices that could once again crash our economy.”

Even Republican Sen. John McCain wants to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act because of what he calls “a culture of dangerous greed and excessive risk-taking.” Glass-Steagall was passed after the Great Depression to separate banking functions, but repealed by President Bill Clinton, setting the stage for more mischief. Bringing back the Glass-Steagall Act has no chance of passing Congress. After all, since 2008 even more U.S. wealth has shifted to the super-rich. The role of housing in the crisis has also meant shifting more wealth from black people to white people. For those who own the political parties, the prospect of another crash is not so bad.

Individual senators like Elizabeth Warren cannot express the fuller vision of economic justice that they may hold privately, given the constrictions of U.S. electoral politics, just as the young Sen. Obama who believed in the Swedish banking solution could not implement that policy once he became president. Politicians in our system are limited.

Social movements have far more freedom, although they may not use it. The labor movement has had the most experience standing up to the economic elite. By 2009, however, labor had lost so often, and was so habituated to being on the defensive, that it had lost its capacity for vision.

Unlike the working class, middle class people are generally not in the trenches of the class war. Even so, they often fail to use their schooled-up brains to generate visions that can be fought for when a crisis arrives. It’s easier for them to root for the Elizabeth Warrens than to think for themselves and imagine alternatives that are more fundamental than those a politician can advocate.

One example of our vision failure was the General Motors crisis, an opportunity for environmentalists to push for the motor company to convert to making windmills, solar, geothermal and other hardware for renewable energy. The entire auto industry massively converted for World War II, rolling out tanks instead of cars. Large-scale conversions can be done. People also knew that General Motors was a corporation in decline. Why weren’t we ready with a vision for GM’s crisis so we could fight for it? Had we been ready, our ally in the White House, clearly blocked on major climate change legislation, would have an alternative to the GM bailout he duly executed.

This same question exists for the gun control movement, for Black Lives Matters, and for all the groups that know that a crisis will come related to their issue.

When crisis comes, who is ready with what vision?

Occupy Wall Street meets the 1968 Paris Spring

The U.S. finally generated a left-wing direct action movement against Wall Street’s “dangerous greed,” in 2011. In a recent interview about his book “The End of Protest,” Micah White argues that the Occupy Wall Street’s protest model should not be repeated. While I agree with that point, I disagree with several others — especially White’s assumption that the Occupy movement represented the best that mass protest can do.

The Occupy movement showed little sign of having learned from careful analysis of previous movements’ experience. One source the Occupy initiators could have learned from to increase their power is the student-initiated campaign that sparked a 10-million-strong mass insurgency in President Charles de Gaulle’s France.

I did interviews to bolster my study of the 1968 French movement, which challenged the economic elite far more than Occupy did. De Gaulle reportedly doubted that his army in France would carry out sufficient repression to maintain his and the 1 percent’s power. He checked with generals of the French army of occupation in Germany to see whether the French troops there would be reliable if they returned to France to repress the movement. I shared several key lessons from France relevant to Occupy in earlier editions of my book, “Toward a Living Revolution.” The campaign is also in the Global Nonviolent Action Database. For this article, the most important lesson is the French movement’s lack of a coherent picture of a just society.

Because the students and workers were largely united against the unjust status quo, the sector in play was the large French middle class. A reasonable question for small business, middle managers and professional people was: “What will be our role in the new society that this movement wants to create?” Students held all-night assemblies in theaters to come up with a vision that could answer that, and many other, questions. Understandably, they failed to unite on an instant vision.

At the same time, the movement added to its occupations, strikes and other nonviolent tactics the unnecessary ornaments of revolutionary tradition: street-fighting with police, barricades aflame with cars seized at random from the streets. Without a vision for reassurance, the middle classes were left to make their judgments based on the incendiary evidence. Of course, they sided with de Gaulle.

Contrast May-June of 1968 with that of the Swedes and Norwegians who created their vision over years through wide discussion including study groups, often led by university students and experiments like coops. With the crisis of the Great Depression, the movement took the opportunity for maximum disruption. When workers and farmers with middle class allies made those societies ungovernable by the economic elite, everyone knew the movement’s vision.

Nonviolent mass action opened the space for democracy. Democratic socialists could then implement what we now envy as the Nordic model, which facilitates more equality and individual freedom than most of us have in the United States or any other country I know.

Dancing with history

The Occupy movement was visionless and often resistant to making, or sticking to, positive demands. It also remained small, considering the size of the United States. The movement was unready for the heavy lifting of forcing structural change.

Still, the movement did respond to a crisis and people brought their passion to the streets. The good news is that we can relate to history with more than one dance. When vision-led mass insurgency is not available, we can in the meantime get ready by breaking off a specific piece of vision and wage a campaign to win that piece.

Such a campaign doesn’t often result in a power shift, true, but if waged well the campaign builds skills and may result in a meaningful victory. Further, if campaigners are willing to invest in community, they can build a culture of resistance and the solidarity that supports courage. Micah White calls for a diminishing of fear among activists. Healthy campaigns help participants learn how to handle fear.

However, in addition to campaigning, I would add another building block: Try empowering the visionaries you know to do homework. We’ll need their vision work — in concert with wide discussion — for the next crisis.

Why Bernie Sanders' run-in with Black Lives Matter activists made me squirm | Heather Barmore

The Guardian | Protest -

Grassroots activists are pushing their way through spaces and forcing conversation. That makes us all a little tense but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

On Saturday, Black Lives Matter organizers Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford got on stage and took the microphone away from from presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders to remind him that the Black Lives Matter movement is the grassroots movement of the 2016 race. As a black woman, a part of me felt like I should have stood up and cheered when I watched the video, but I also felt downright uncomfortable. I cringed at the sight of women who look like me storming a stage and making themselves heard. I couldn’t put my finger on why.

Related: Bernie Sanders assures Black Lives Matter protesters: I'm your guy

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Kurdish City Declares Autonomy in Turkey

Revolution News -

Talk of autonomy as a reaction to Turkey’s aggressive handling of Kurdish policies has long been heard. Every now and then some newspapers would appear with the headlights of a possible autonomy-declaration. On the morning of August 11th, Cumhuriyet Daily has published a piece of news which states that the Şırnak People’s Assembly of the Read More

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London: Bailiffs sent away! Mostafa still at Sweets Way!

House Occupation News -

On Monday, people kept a family from being evicted and pushed a council to reverse the decision that would have left them homeless. But we need to keep up the pressure to keep Mostafa and the family safe.

On Sunday night, many of us didn’t go to sleep. Bailiffs were due at 46 Sweets Way and because we had seen what Mostafa and his family had gone through, and we had seen them failed over and over again by the various systems that are meant to protect them, we knew we needed to prepare with them to stay in their home.

We were prepared to do everything peaceful within our power to stop High Court bailiffs from entering the home of the last family at Sweets Way and making them homeless. Some of us planned to take photos and document the experience, others were prepared to take civil disobedience and face arrest.

But whatever kind of action we spent the night before preparing to do, we prepared to do it because it was right.

As it turned out, there were enough of us there that sending away the bailiffs proved to only require a very passive form of resistance: being there! Enough of us, even, that they didn’t show their faces or even make an attempt to breach the gauntlet of more than 60 people (including allies from Our West Hendon, Barnet Housing Action, Haringey Housing Action Group, Barnet Alliance for Public Services and Black Dissidents) and an extensive array of amateur barricading.

In fact, we only even found out that the bailiffs had come and gone when we called Barnet Council’s lawyers. We asked if the bailiffs were still scheduled to arrive and were told that the two of them that had been dispatched knew immediately they were no match for our collective power, and left. (They didn’t use exactly those words…).

You could feel the sense of collective power in the air – we knew what we had achieved, and the energy was electric! A group of regular people had sent away the bailiffs and kept a family in their home! And we knew we would be able to do it again.

Better yet, as Barnet had been punishing the family over the a small amount of rent arrears accrued since the Council unexpectedly cut their housing benefit, they received a message this afternoon informing them that their housing benefit had been reinstated, retroactive a month ago. This will address their arrears and allow Barnet to once again own up to their responsibility to house the family appropriately.

This is a clear victory spurred by our collective action to highlight the Council’s many failures to Mostafa, and the number of media requests that came off the back of our action. Once again, Barnet need to find the family somewhere to go. And it’s up to us to make sure they have a home until the point where they have an alternative that truly meets their needs.

This will require a lot of work from all of us, preparing to fight off the bailiff threat whenever it rears its ugly head. High Court bailiffs don’t normally offer a time or date when they are coming, and are entitled to use physical force to enter and remove families from a house. Because of this, Mostafa and the family remain barricaded in and ready for an attack.

We need to be there with them.

We have a strong contingent of occupiers staying around Sweets Way at the moment, but we need more people who can stay there (or who live very locally) in the coming days, to ensure an initial line of defence when bailiffs do return. It would be tragic if all our hard work yesterday was lost because a few of us slept late one day.

Get in touch if you live within in a few minutes of the estate, or can come stay over during the coming days. sweetswayresists [at] gmail [dot] com / 07812 372 298

We are all inspired by what we were able to do yesterday – let’s be sure it continues to grow!

PS – having made it through many months of intense campaigning without any way of receiving cash donations beyond the bits of cash visitors would sometimes pass along, we have set-up a PayPal account and would appreciate any help in covering some of the extra costs that several of us incurred, personally, during the People’s Regeneration Show Home project. Thank you so much!

PPS – We are lucky to have a whole bunch of pics from yesterday that have been shared with us by Hannah Nicklin!

National Gallery staff launch indefinite strike

The Guardian | Protest -

Picket lines mounted outside central London gallery in long-running dispute over privatisation

Workers at the National Gallery are going on indefinite strike in a long-running dispute over privatisation.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union at the gallery, in London, have staged a series of walkouts in recent months in protest at visitor services, including security, being privatised. The dispute worsened when a union rep, Candy Udwin, was sacked.

Related: Support the National Gallery strikes while they’re still legal | Polly Toynbee

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Ferguson: dozens of arrests as police and demonstrators clash – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Violence escalates in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday night, the first anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown. Police use pepper spray to keep demonstrators back and dozens are arrested, prompting a face off between police lines and the protesters. St Louis County has issued a state of emergency in response to the unrest

Read more here: more arrests as police and protesters clash for second night

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Ferguson protests: state of emergency declared after violent night

The Guardian | Protest -

St Louis County police to take over operations in Ferguson a day after 18-year-old black man was shot by police after firing on unmarked vehicle

St Louis County has issued a state of emergency following Sunday night’s escalation in violence during a demonstration marking the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

“In light of last night’s violence and unrest in the city of Ferguson, and the potential for harm to persons and property, I am exercising my authority as county executive to issue a state of emergency, effective immediately,” St Louis County executive Steve Stenger said in a statement.

Should be noted peaceful protesters at fed courthouse in downtown St Louis are being arrested by officers from the Dept of Homeland Security

.@Nettaaaaaaaa in custody

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Black Lives Matter protesters commemorate Michael Brown in New York City

Waging Nonviolence -

by Ashoka Jegroo

Black Lives Matter protesters marching in the Bronx on August 9, the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. (WNV / Ashoka Jegroo)

Hundreds of protesters hit the streets of New York City, along with cities across the United States and overseas, for multiple actions on August 9 in memory of Michael Brown, who was killed one year ago in Ferguson, Missouri by police Officer Darren Wilson.

Brown’s death at the hands of Wilson last year sparked riots, protests and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

To commemorate the death of Brown, multiple U.S. cities, including the town of Ferguson itself, held rallies and marches. Activists in New York City held three separate actions, ensuring that streets from downtown Brooklyn up to the Bronx would see protesters taking them over. And in addition to remembering Brown and the town of Ferguson, the protesters used the occasion to draw attention to the city’s police problems and other incidents of police violence against people of color since Brown’s death.

“This protest will not only remember Michael Brown, but will demand an end to the racist police terror that the black and brown communities face each day, as well as salute the brave uprising that moved many into action,” the Peoples Power Assemblies, one of the groups that helped organize an action in Brooklyn, said in a statement. “The demand to an end of police terror will include an immediate stop to the daily brutality and deaths at the hands of police — whether at traffic stops, during broken windows harassment or in jail cells.”

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New York City’s first action, put together by multiple activist groups collectively known as the Black Summer Coalition, was held in Brooklyn at 12 p.m. in front of the Barclays Center. Two large banners reading “Stop Killing Black People” and “Black Lives Matter” were held as various speakers addressed the crowd.

Anita Neal, the mother of Kyam Livingston who died in a Brooklyn jail cell in 2013, held a sign with Sandra Bland’s face on it and addressed the crowd about women of color who have died in police custody. Other speakers spoke about Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton’s policing policies and the major news outlets’ reluctance to cover many other protests that have happened in New York City. After a die-in and a 4.5 minute moment of silence, hundreds of protesters took over the streets of Brooklyn chanting and marching towards a nearby courthouse, while shutting down traffic along the way. Two people were arrested during the Brooklyn action (including the writer of this piece).

After arriving at the Brooklyn courthouse, many of the protesters then hopped on the subway and made their way to Harlem for the second action of the day. The Harlem march was organized by copwatcher Jose LaSalle and the Copwatch Patrol Unit, or CPU, along with other groups that emphasized the importance of people filming the police and documenting any brutality they witness.

“Some of these stop-and-frisks that [the NYPD] is still doing, the only documentation that exists is the one that CPU has, and we send it to everybody,” LaSalle said to the crowd in Harlem. “We send it to whoever, everybody and their mother, so they can see what we see. And that’s what we have to continue to do.”

Protesters linked arms while taking the streets of Harlem on Sunday. (WNV / Ashoka Jegroo)

Other speakers, like Shannon Jones of Why Accountability, echoed the need for filming the police and emphasized that superficial attempts at placating communities of color are not the kind of change they want.

“Remember the NYPD is not a social justice group. They are not a social service provider. I don’t care how many times you see the NYPD doing the Nae-Nae with your children,” Jones said, referring to a recent viral video showing an NYPD officer doing the popular dance with some kids. “They will lock up your child. They will arrest your child. They will criminalize your child. They will disrespect your child and come out here and do the Nae-Nae on you.”

After the speakers were done, the protesters then took the streets of Harlem and marched uptown towards the Bronx. The NYPD had a heavy presence, but had little luck keeping protesters on the sidewalk. Once they reached the Bronx, the marchers held a speakout at 149th Street and Third Avenue. The NYPD continued trying to keep protesters on the sidewalk, which led to the protesters continuing their march, while being cheered and joined by onlooking Bronxites at various points. They passed by the Horizon Juvenile Center, where many young people who are arrested get detained, and then made their way to the front of the NYPD’s 42nd Precinct building. Once there, police called in NYPD Captain Andrew Lombardo — known for his brutal tactics against Occupy Wall Street — and the infamous “Strategic Response Group,” who then brutally began repressing the march. There was even an NYPD helicopter hovering above the marchers.

More arrests were made, including LaSalle himself, with the seemingly-obvious goal of arresting organizers and crowd leaders in order to strike fear into other protesters. Some marchers left and made their way to Union Square for the final action of the day. Many others kept marching in the Bronx despite the Strategic Response Group’s tough tactics.

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The rally in Union Square, organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, was smaller and quieter than the two other marches, with only about 100 people in attendance. Various speakers, many of them parents who had lost children to police violence, talked about the need to drastically change the criminal justice system and hold police accountable for their violence.

Meanwhile, the protests in Ferguson were well-attended, with doves released and a silent march through the town led by Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., that began at the spot where Brown was killed and ended with a church service. Violence broke out later in the night with arrests being made and gunshots being fired by police and protesters. Protests in other cities were peaceful with activists using the occasion to remember the incident that started a new movement, as well as to re-state to the public and to the authorities that the protests will not cease until there is justice for Brown and all victims of police violence.

“We’ve been doing this for 13 months and we will not stop. That’s our message to the mayor,” Jones said before the march in Brooklyn. “And as we celebrate and commemorate the ending of the complacency, the ending of the ignorance, the ending of the get-down, we’re standing up and rising up. And it will not stop.”

Jackass star arrested for anti-SeaWorld stunt in Hollywood

The Guardian | Protest -

Police say Steve-O climbed a crane and when he reached the top, inflated a whale balloon with the words ‘Seaworld Sucks’ on it and lit fireworks

Jackass star Steve-O was arrested for climbing a crane in Hollywood in a protest against Seaworld.

Related: SeaWorld sees profits plunge 84% as customers desert controversial park

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Ferguson anniversary rally: man critically injured in police shooting

The Guardian | Protest -

Young black man shot at by plainclothes police after allegedly firing on their unmarked vehicle

A young black man is in a critical and unstable condition after being shot by police in Ferguson on the edges of a demonstration marking the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, which was once again dispersed by police firing teargas.

Related: Violence at Ferguson anniversary rally – in pictures

Related: 'Things will never be the same': the oral history of a new civil rights movement

Related: Ferguson marks Michael Brown anniversary with silence and protest

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Milk price row: UK farming unions hold emergency summit

The Guardian | Protest -

Four farming unions to discuss growing crisis at London meeting as protests across the UK escalate

Four farming unions are due to meet for an emergency summit amid a “crisis” over milk prices.

There have been protests across the UK as farmers make clear their frustrations at what they have described as the “unfair” milk price, which loses them almost 10p a litre in some cases.

Related: Dairy farmers target Morrisons in protest at milk prices

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Ferguson marks Michael Brown anniversary with silence and protest

The Guardian | Protest -

  • Crowd holds four-and-half-minute silence at spot where 18-year-old died
  • Speakers include daughter of New York chokehold victim Eric Garner

The birthplace of the new civil rights movement that has brought sound and fury to the streets of America fell silent on Sunday, as protesters reunited to mark the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Related: 'Things will never be the same': the oral history of a new civil rights movement

Related: Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won't end | DeRay McKesson

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'Things will never be the same': the oral history of a new civil rights movement

The Guardian | Protest -

One year ago, the world turned to Ferguson. Black lives do matter and from mourning emerged a coalition of activists fighting for life and love. The Guardian spoke to 18 leaders about what has changed and what has not ... yet

Saturday 9 August 2014: ‘Oh my God, they left him in the street’

PATRICIA BYNES, Democratic committeewoman of Ferguson Township: At first I did not even know his name. It was actually the committee woman of the seventh ward that sent me a text that day. I was out running errands, on my way to the barbershop. And she said, “Tricia, what’s going on in your city?” And I said, “What are you talking about? Which city?” And she said: “In Ferguson.”

Fuckfuck fuck

Related: 'We do this for Mike Brown': a year on, Ferguson is a wound that won't heal

Ferguson police just executed an unarmed 17 yr old boy that was walking to the store. Shot him 10 times smh.

RT @MichaelSkolnik: They used soap to clean Mike Brown's blood from the street. #Ferguson (photo via @TammieHolland)

Someone said to come back the next day. Because we were going to do a march.

That's not smart. We right by here. RT @MichaelSkolnik: The QuickTrip is now burning. #Ferguson (photo: @PDPJ)

That broke whatever patience so many black people in the country have been holding on to – or maybe more than that

Related: 5 ways to never forget Ferguson – and deliver real justice for Michael Brown | Darnell L Moore and Patrisse Cullors

Related: Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won't end | DeRay McKesson

This is not a professional class. This is not the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons.

Related: Black Lives Matter has showed us: the oppression of black people is borderless | Steven W Thrasher

Solidarity is something beautiful that’s come out of this. But every day there’s another one that becomes a hashtag.

‘The best part of Ferguson is that they broke the rules’

I don’t need my mind to be changed. I need this country to respond.

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Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won't end | DeRay McKesson

The Guardian | Protest -

We did not discover injustice, nor did we invent resistance last August. But the terror of police violence continues. So, too, does the work of protest

Mike Brown should be alive today. He should be home from his first year at college, visiting friends and enjoying summer as he prepares to return to campus.

The movement began one year ago as Brown’s body lay in the street of Canfield Drive here in Ferguson, Missouri, for four and a half hours. It began as the people of St Louis came out of their homes to mourn and to question, as the people were greeted by armed and aggressive officers. And the movement was sustained by a spirit of resistance that refused to be silent, that refused to cower, that refused to bow to continued hostility from the state.

SWAT vehicle pulls up. Officer emerges. Points gun at us. America. #Ferguson

Related: 'We do this for Mike Brown': a year on, Ferguson is a wound that won't heal

Accountability is important, but accountability is not our ultimate goal. Accountability is not justice.

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Obama’s climate plan won’t save the planet, but it’s the result of a movement that will

Waging Nonviolence -

by Kate Aronoff

Greenpeace activists formed a human net below Portland’s St. Johns Bridge to stop the Shell Oil icebreaker Fennica from leaving to support drilling operations in the Arctic. (Flickr / Twelvizm)

In Thursday’s marathon prime-time Republican debates, climate change was not at the top of the agenda. Aside from a few mentions of “the energy revolution,” a buried and affirmative reference to the Keystone XL pipeline, and some broad-strokes jabs at regulation, the GOP’s candidates for president — with the help from the Fox News moderators — stuck to more familiar conservative talking points like ISIS, Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood.

For climate activists, this might have come as a surprise given how keenly Republicans focused their energies on carbon this past week. After President Obama unveiled his Clean Power Plan on Tuesday, conservative pundits and candidates worked themselves into a frenzy. Rush Limbaugh, a man not known for his subtlety, chided the administration for “destroying the planet, folks. You are worse that Al Qaeda.” One Wall Street Journal op-ed named the plan a “Climate Change Putsch,” referencing a German word that means to violently overthrow the government. Marco Rubio called it “catastrophic,” while Jeb Bush said it was “irresponsible and over-reaching.” The plan also came with renewed calls to gut the Environmental Protection Agency and is expected to face myriad legal challenges. In a phenomenon organizers and policy-wonks alike refer to as polarization, the Clean Power Plan is clearly making the right people angry.

So what exactly is it? Taking their job to its logical extreme, news explainer site Vox distilled the 1,560-page report down to one paragraph. “The EPA will give each state an individual goal for cutting power-plant emissions. States can decide for themselves how to get there,” writes Brad Plumer. “They can switch from coal to natural gas, expand renewables, boost energy efficiency, enact carbon pricing…it’s all up to them.”

The goal of all this is to reduce power plant emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. As Plumer explains, the EPA is embarking on an exhaustive process to calculate 47 states’ power-plant emissions and then set goals around them, exempting Washington, D.C., and Vermont, where they don’t have fossil fuel-fired power plants, along with Alaska and Hawaii, where grids — unsurprisingly — work a little differently. States will have until 2016 (or 2018, if they’re special) to submit proposals on how to meet those goals.

Ruffling conservative feathers, the EPA holds final authority on whether or not the plans states arrive at are likely to make the designated cuts, and can send drafters back to the drawing board. David Roberts did a great job laying out the various stumbling blocks which could keep the Clean Power Plan from implementation, including lawsuits, state-level boycotts, the climate negotiations in Paris this December and the results of the 2016 election — a stumbling block of special concern given the plan’s reliance on federal oversight. But there are a few pieces of the Clean Power Plan that should catch the eye of climate organizers.

Certainly, this should be celebrated as a serious victory for the environmental movement. It’s hard to imagine the plan would exist without the confrontational urging of green groups here in the United States and the world over. Still, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, power plant emissions account for 38 percent of the country’s carbon emissions — a sizable chunk, to be sure. But the plan holds only indirect bearing on continued fossil fuel extraction from the demand side of the equation.

Theoretically, under the Clean Power Plan, every state could transition its power generation to renewables and away from coal, oil and natural gas, leaving those industries free to keep digging fuel sources out of the ground and polluting into the low-income communities and communities of color that are generally adjacent to sites of extraction. They can keep selling their wares to other sectors and parts of the world — so long as they aren’t being used to turn on our lights. As Michael Levi noted, the plan’s “building blocks” model means that plants don’t even necessarily need to switch over to renewables, so long as they’re promoting clean energy somewhere in the state. “If a state wants to use only solar to meet its targets, it can do that,” he explained. “If it wants to use only natural gas or nuclear, it can do that too.”

Creating more renewable energy does not keep carbon in the ground, and certainly neither does fracking. There’s a dangerous amount of flexibility built into the carbon plan around this point, and a central trouble with it is in treating solar and wind generation as a direct means through which to bring down emissions. Another is its reliance on the market.

Under the EPA’s charmingly-worded model of “cooperative federalism,” states take a choose-your-own-adventure style approach to meeting the EPA’s goals. One alluring options allows them to join or set up carbon markets, whereby plants can earn pollution allowances, or “credits,” by driving down emissions. These “credits” can then be traded on an open market to utilities who weren’t able to do the same, thus giving plants a financial incentive to become at least marginally more sustainable. So, if a given plant doesn’t bring down emissions at all, it can buy credits off its higher-achieving colleagues and the EPA will call it even. If states fail to comply altogether, the EPA will place them into a mandatory cap-and-trade system similar to the one proposed by the ill-fated Waxman-Markey Bill. In its market-creating function, the Daily Beast aptly dubbed an earlier version of the Clean Power Plan “Obamacare for the Air.”

Obamacare hasn’t fixed America’s healthcare system, and the Clean Power Plan won’t fix the planet. The U.K.-based Tyndall Center, one of the world’s leading research centers on climate change, estimates that overall emissions in mostly Global North (“Annex 1”) nations need to be cut by 8 to 10 percent each year to avert a 2-degree celsius rise in temperatures and, with it, catastrophic global warming. Tyndall Center Deputy Director Kevin Anderson also points out that such a reduction is “incompatible with economic growth,” meaning that market-based quick fixes like carbon trading and clean energy subsidies won’t exactly do the trick. Intertwined with the science, too, is a broader concern about leaving the future of the planet to the whims of the market. Matt Taibbi warned about the dangers of cap-and-trade back during the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill debates of 2010, saying, “Goldman wants this bill. The plan is 1) to get in on the ground floor of paradigm-shifting legislation, 2) make sure that they’re the profit-making slice of that paradigm and 3) make sure the slice is a big slice.”

Simply put, this is exactly the kind of government action that big banks and republicans love: the kind that helps them make money. “Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make,” Taibbi added, “cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax collection scheme.”

The comparison between cap-and-trade circa 2010 and today’s Clean Power Plan is hardly a one-to-one. That said, the takeaway for activists should be similar: Don’t let up.

Combined with the collapse of climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009, Waxman-Markey’s defeat triggered a crisis of confidence within the environmental movement. It proved that the inside game wasn’t working, and neither were individualized efforts to eat less meat or villainize bottled water. One year later, Occupy Wall Street and two weeks of sit-ins against the Keystone XL pipeline provided an answer: collective, anti-corporate action. They illuminated for many the connection between the financial crisis and the one facing the planet. From bridge-sitters stopping Shell in Portland, Oregon to college students urging their schools to divest from fossil fuels, organizers around the country have already taken this lesson to heart. The fact that Obama sees his own legacy as tied to the fate of the climate is a truly remarkable testament to their success. Now, the movement is at a stage where it needs to start defining what meaningful “climate action” really means — and if the last few years are any sign, that definition will include steering clear of Wall Street and its priorities.

Witnesses: Kansas City PD Choke/Arrest Black Man for Existing

Revolution News -

One Struggle KC – On the afternoon of Friday July 31st, a young black male was apprehended by four white police officers of the Kansas City, Missouri Police department in front of the “Westport Landing” strip mall in Kansas City (intersection of Mill Street and Westport Road). We do not know why the police arrested Read More

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London: All out for Sweets Way!

House Occupation News -

In the last 48 hours, everything has ramped up at Sweets Way for what is likely to be a major confrontation between those who believe in the right to housing and community, and those who would see London cleansed of all but the wealthiest.

Annington has sent in contractors, Cuddy, to prepare the estate for demolition. Fences have begun to be erected around large swathes of the estate and contractors and security guards have begun to more actively intimidate us.

Yesterday two bailiffs, with two policemen in tow, attempted to deliver court orders to occupiers. However, through a strong showing of people power, we sent them away, peacefully preventing the delivery of the notices.

Meanwhile, Mostafa and his family – the last remaining household on Sweets Way – have been told by Barnet Council’s solicitors that High Court bailiffs will be coming to evict the family on Monday morning.

We will do all that we can do to keep Mostafa in his home. He has been through such mistreatment already, with Barnet repeatedly failing to take on their duty of care for him, due to his disability, and we need a very strong presence on Monday morning to send away the highest level of bailiffs the courts can send.

Can you join us to stand up to the bailiffs on Monday morning, 8am at 46 Sweets Way?

In the meantime, we are opening up the estate this weekend to show off the People’s Regeneration Show Home, the independent nation of Sweetstopia and the state of the estate as a whole.

Join us Saturday, 2-5pm for show home tours, and stick around if you can to help prepare for eviction resistance!

This is truly crunch time for the campaign to save our estate. We are up against giants, but we’ve managed to win some crucial victories, in spite of the odds.

That said, we need your help. The days ahead may decide if Sweets Way will continue to exist as more than a memory of its former residents and those it sparked the imagination of, through our refusal to go quietly into the pages of a future history book.

So come down! If our fight has inspired you, come join us this weekend and Monday morning!

We can still win! But it’s up to all of us to prove it!

Morrisons to meet dairy farmers as milk price protests continue

The Guardian | Protest -

Supermarket also threatens legal action as farmers blockade distribution centres in fight to be paid enough to cover production costs

Morrisons has agreed to meet dairy farmers to discuss the price it pays for milk after a week of protests that included a blockade of two of the supermarket’s distribution centres. The chain has come under fire along with Asda, Aldi and Lidl for failing to guarantee that farmers will be paid at least enough to cover the cost of production for milk.

Related: Dairy farmers call for supermarket boycott as milk price falls

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2.899 Libraries Closed Down in Turkey in 2014

Revolution News -

Turkish Statistics Institute has declared numbers on reading materials and libraries for the year 2014, and the numbers do not look bright. According to the statistics, 2.899 in Turkey have been closed down in the year 2014 and number of books available in the country has seen a decrease of 10.9% in the same year. Read More

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