Thursday, 26 May 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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Speakout

Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Feb 19

Colombian University Students Look at the US Election

By Michael Meurer, Mariana Martínez Gómez, Juan Esteban Uribe Vasquez, Santiago Franco Cardona and Valentina Chanci Arrubla, Speakout | Op-Ed

In October 2015, I had the privilege of teaching an intensive one week seminar on US politics and campaigns at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) in Medellín, Colombia. UPB is one of the largest Catholic universities in the Andean region with an enrollment of over 26,000 and a strong outreach program to students from Colombia's many indigenous groups.

As Bernie Sanders builds up support among African-American voters, he is putting a dent in the perception that Hillary Clinton has a lock on the vote of the people of color. Clinton still has the lead in states with a high percentage of African Americans, but Sanders is chipping away into that lead, making the final outcome of thevote in these states anything but certain.

Now that Bernie Sanders has brought forward his progressive agenda, including real health care reform through a single-payer universal Medicare for all program, the knives are out from the Republicans as well as Hillary Clinton to distort and discredit this option with false information. Going forward, we have three basic alternatives to further reform our health care system.

After a breakdown in mediation between the State of Israel and the Palestinian villages of Massafer Yatta, Israeli authorities destroyed 24 homes in the South Hebron Hills. The homes lie within an area which Israel claims as Firing Zone 918, in which approximately 1000 Palestinian civilians live in eight villages.

Feb 16

Grandma Drone Resister's Letter From Jail

By Mary Anne Grady Flores, Speakout | Op-Ed

That evening some of the fifty-nine women in our Pod rushed up and knocked on my cell door. They reported the six o'clock news had shown twelve drone resisters handcuffed, sitting on a roadside curb, waiting to be taken into custody. I just started my six-month sentence on January 19, for photographing protestors of the drone warfare directed out of Hancock Air Base in nearby Syracuse, New York. These eight protestors, many of whom are Catholic Workers, were later acquitted. 

The "pharma-bro," Martin Shkreli, who founded the company that purchased the rights to the AIDS drug Daraprim and dramatically increased the price, has disgusted Americans with his arrogant and self-righteous behavior while showing no remorse or accountability for his actions. However, when looking at US foreign policy, it is easy to find similarities between the perception of his actions and attitudes and international views of the US as a whole.

The world has become increasingly urbanized due to the demands of capital. Capital has at once made place incredibly important for accumulation purposes, while at the same time, creating a perpetual sense of insecurity among inhabitants of cities. Due to this compression of time and space, cities around the world are left competing for capital, which has been termed the "race to the bottom."

On February 8, 2016, HBO produced and released a 90-minute documentary called Homegrown: The Counter Terror Dilemma. The film follows several families affected by the "war on terror" and includes interviews with CIA, FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents who question the role of the US government in the surveillance and incarceration of "potential terrorist threats." My family is one of the stories documented.

The imminent pilgrimage to Mexico between February 12 and 18 of Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope, will highlight some of the most painful dimensions of the country's deepening human rights crisis. Liberation theology is a global phenomenon with unique roots and expressions in Latin America, which are reflected in the pope's trajectory before being elected to the position in 2013, and in his overall leadership since then.

Jessica Reznicek, 34, an Iowa peace activist, was arraigned and charged with two felonies for breaking three windows with a sledgehammer at the Northrup Grumman facility outside the Omaha Nebraska Strategic Air Command at Offut Air Force base. After her court appearance, she was returned to the Sarpy County Jail, where she has remained on $100,000 bond since her action on December 27, 2015. Reznicek, who has no plans to post a cash bond, is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted on both counts. Her trial is set for May 24.

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Speakout

Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Feb 19

Colombian University Students Look at the US Election

By Michael Meurer, Mariana Martínez Gómez, Juan Esteban Uribe Vasquez, Santiago Franco Cardona and Valentina Chanci Arrubla, Speakout | Op-Ed

In October 2015, I had the privilege of teaching an intensive one week seminar on US politics and campaigns at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) in Medellín, Colombia. UPB is one of the largest Catholic universities in the Andean region with an enrollment of over 26,000 and a strong outreach program to students from Colombia's many indigenous groups.

As Bernie Sanders builds up support among African-American voters, he is putting a dent in the perception that Hillary Clinton has a lock on the vote of the people of color. Clinton still has the lead in states with a high percentage of African Americans, but Sanders is chipping away into that lead, making the final outcome of thevote in these states anything but certain.

Now that Bernie Sanders has brought forward his progressive agenda, including real health care reform through a single-payer universal Medicare for all program, the knives are out from the Republicans as well as Hillary Clinton to distort and discredit this option with false information. Going forward, we have three basic alternatives to further reform our health care system.

After a breakdown in mediation between the State of Israel and the Palestinian villages of Massafer Yatta, Israeli authorities destroyed 24 homes in the South Hebron Hills. The homes lie within an area which Israel claims as Firing Zone 918, in which approximately 1000 Palestinian civilians live in eight villages.

Feb 16

Grandma Drone Resister's Letter From Jail

By Mary Anne Grady Flores, Speakout | Op-Ed

That evening some of the fifty-nine women in our Pod rushed up and knocked on my cell door. They reported the six o'clock news had shown twelve drone resisters handcuffed, sitting on a roadside curb, waiting to be taken into custody. I just started my six-month sentence on January 19, for photographing protestors of the drone warfare directed out of Hancock Air Base in nearby Syracuse, New York. These eight protestors, many of whom are Catholic Workers, were later acquitted. 

The "pharma-bro," Martin Shkreli, who founded the company that purchased the rights to the AIDS drug Daraprim and dramatically increased the price, has disgusted Americans with his arrogant and self-righteous behavior while showing no remorse or accountability for his actions. However, when looking at US foreign policy, it is easy to find similarities between the perception of his actions and attitudes and international views of the US as a whole.

The world has become increasingly urbanized due to the demands of capital. Capital has at once made place incredibly important for accumulation purposes, while at the same time, creating a perpetual sense of insecurity among inhabitants of cities. Due to this compression of time and space, cities around the world are left competing for capital, which has been termed the "race to the bottom."

On February 8, 2016, HBO produced and released a 90-minute documentary called Homegrown: The Counter Terror Dilemma. The film follows several families affected by the "war on terror" and includes interviews with CIA, FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents who question the role of the US government in the surveillance and incarceration of "potential terrorist threats." My family is one of the stories documented.

The imminent pilgrimage to Mexico between February 12 and 18 of Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope, will highlight some of the most painful dimensions of the country's deepening human rights crisis. Liberation theology is a global phenomenon with unique roots and expressions in Latin America, which are reflected in the pope's trajectory before being elected to the position in 2013, and in his overall leadership since then.

Jessica Reznicek, 34, an Iowa peace activist, was arraigned and charged with two felonies for breaking three windows with a sledgehammer at the Northrup Grumman facility outside the Omaha Nebraska Strategic Air Command at Offut Air Force base. After her court appearance, she was returned to the Sarpy County Jail, where she has remained on $100,000 bond since her action on December 27, 2015. Reznicek, who has no plans to post a cash bond, is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted on both counts. Her trial is set for May 24.