Monday, 04 May 2015 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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.

Dangerous worldwide environmental disasters put millions of people at risk every year. Events that can range from floods to tornadoes are known to devastate entire cities and landscapes, and often leave people to fend for themselves for days, or even weeks or longer. In particularly high-risk zones, many people have to cope with loss on a regular basis, and it can be even more difficult to establish long-term solutions for displacements that occur after natural disasters.

To learn more about the displacements due to natural disasters and possible solutions to the issue, checkout this infographic created by Eastern Kentucky University’s Online Master of Science Degree in Safety, Security & Emergency Management degree program.

March 12, 1930, Ahmedabad, India. Mahatma Gandhi and a company of nonviolent satyagrahi set out from the Sabarmati ashram and began his march to Dandi where, twenty-four days later, he would take hold in his hands salt made from the ocean water and declare, "Here I ruin the British empire."

It was an audacious faith in the power of nonviolence that carried Gandhi on that walk, and that powered him for another seventeen years before the miracle was realized and India was freed from British colonial rule.

With the 51 day Israeli attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014 that killed over 2,200, wounded 11,000, destroyed 20,000 homes and displaced 500,000, the closing to humanitarian organizations of the border with Gaza by the Egyptian government, continuing Israeli attacks on fishermen and others, and the lack of international aid through UNWRA for the rebuilding of Gaza, the international Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to again challenge Israel's naval blockade of Gaza in an effort to gain publicity for the critical necessity of ending the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the isolation of the people of Gaza.

UNRWA, the main U.N. aid agency in the Gaza Strip has stated that a lack of international funding forced it to suspend grants to tens of thousands of Palestinians for repairs to homes damaged in last summer's war.

Today, Thursday March 12 the Post 2015 Women's Coalition will launch their Vision Statement for feminist alternative approaches to sustainable development.  The Coalition made up of feminist, women's rights, women's development, grassroots, peace and social justice organizations from around the world have come to attend the 59th Annual Commission on the Status of Women to call in a collective voice for real progress in the lives of women.

The launch of the Vision Statement comes at a critical time in history, demanding a new development agenda that strengthens gender equality for all and is deeply concerned that 20 years after the Beijing Platform for Action, so many commitments on gender equality and women's human rights are not fulfilled.

A man who was tortured into a "confession" for manslaughter aged 14 has been handed a second execution warrant – just two months after his first warrant caused an international outcry that resulted in a stay.

Shafqat Hussain was charged with the kidnap and murder of another local child and convicted on the strength of one piece of evidence: a forced confession made after nine days of police torture. An execution warrant was issued for Shafqat in December, but after serious concerns over his age and the safety of his initial conviction were raised, the execution was stayed.

A group of prominent U.S. peace activists, civil rights attorneys and human rights activists have signed an Open Letter to the people and government of Iran. The Open Letter is being circulated online in the next days. Thousands of people, enraged by the unprecedented action of the 47 Senators to sabotage the negotiations with Iran, are expected to add their names. The campaign was initiated by the anti-war ANSWER Coalition. 

The letter states, "Their real aim in scuttling and sabotaging the current negotiations between the United States and Iran, perhaps unprecedented in the form they have chosen, is to create more conflict including the danger of military action against Iran."

This is not my geography teacher, or, more accurately it is not at all how I remember him. A series of APA images published by the British Daily Mail and other newspapers showed Hamad al-Hasanat lying dead in a mosque, surrounded by a group of Hamas fighters. On top of his lifeless body, as worshipers came to offer a final prayer before burial, rested an assault rifle.

Hasanat was buried among the refugees of the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, in the central Gaza Strip. He died on 2 March, at the age of 80. 

Mar 13

Pacifica Stands in for All Public Media

By Ernesto Aguilar, Truthout | News Analysis

Pacifica, the embattled progressive radio network, has been the recipient of bad press and suggestions that it should simply be allowed to go into bankruptcy. This first-ever internal look by a high-level insider puts Pacifica's troubles in the context of public media facing challenges from digital, funding cuts and declining revenue. Pacifica leaders contend the network is still important and must be supported.

The in-house bouts of Pacifica Radio spilled into the proverbial street recently, when the California Attorney General was asked to audit the oldest non-commercial independent radio network in the US. Truthout is one of many outlets that has featured Pacifica's arguments, recriminations and sordid dramas. One can't help but read with interest.

Mar 13

Trauma Center Now: Why We Shut Down Michigan Avenue

By Veronica Morris Moore and Victoria Crider, Transformative Spaces | Op-Ed

As I  try to compile a list of reasons why I was a part of the civil disobedience direct action that blocked northbound traffic on the Magnificent Mile on the night of Thursday, March 5, all I can immediately think of is "why not?" But for the purpose of this statement I'll try to stick to reasons that are unique and relative to my role in the Trauma Center Campaign.

The main reason I volunteered my body for the human chain that blocked northbound traffic on Michigan Avenue is because I am committed to pressuring the University of Chicago to reopen its level 1 trauma center at the UChicago's medical facility. Since Fearless Leading by the Youth began the fight to restore this vital service in our community, all our efforts have been met with is traditional racist excuses. UofC spokespeople say, "the service will be a significant burden that will undercut other services already provided to the community." For me, a black queer youth (under 25), this is unacceptable.

Mar 12

Expert Global Commission Responds to One-Sided Tax Debate

By Staff, Fact Coalition | Press Release

(New York) Responding to widespread anger about corporate tax avoidance, the impacts of such avoidance on inequality and poverty, and concerns that current tax reform processes are inadequate, a new nonpartisan body— the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT)—has been established to propose reforms from the perspective of the public interest.

The inaugural meeting of the Commission will take place in New York on March 18-19, 2015. The Commission's Chair, former UN Under-Secretary-General José Antonio Ocampo, says: "The world has changed but the international tax system has not. Corporations play governments against each other, for example, in encouraging race-to-the-bottom tax incentives, and the public loses out. There are billions of dollars at stake. This Commission will shed light on where the rules of the game, and the institutions that govern them, need to change."

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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.

Dangerous worldwide environmental disasters put millions of people at risk every year. Events that can range from floods to tornadoes are known to devastate entire cities and landscapes, and often leave people to fend for themselves for days, or even weeks or longer. In particularly high-risk zones, many people have to cope with loss on a regular basis, and it can be even more difficult to establish long-term solutions for displacements that occur after natural disasters.

To learn more about the displacements due to natural disasters and possible solutions to the issue, checkout this infographic created by Eastern Kentucky University’s Online Master of Science Degree in Safety, Security & Emergency Management degree program.

March 12, 1930, Ahmedabad, India. Mahatma Gandhi and a company of nonviolent satyagrahi set out from the Sabarmati ashram and began his march to Dandi where, twenty-four days later, he would take hold in his hands salt made from the ocean water and declare, "Here I ruin the British empire."

It was an audacious faith in the power of nonviolence that carried Gandhi on that walk, and that powered him for another seventeen years before the miracle was realized and India was freed from British colonial rule.

With the 51 day Israeli attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014 that killed over 2,200, wounded 11,000, destroyed 20,000 homes and displaced 500,000, the closing to humanitarian organizations of the border with Gaza by the Egyptian government, continuing Israeli attacks on fishermen and others, and the lack of international aid through UNWRA for the rebuilding of Gaza, the international Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to again challenge Israel's naval blockade of Gaza in an effort to gain publicity for the critical necessity of ending the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the isolation of the people of Gaza.

UNRWA, the main U.N. aid agency in the Gaza Strip has stated that a lack of international funding forced it to suspend grants to tens of thousands of Palestinians for repairs to homes damaged in last summer's war.

Today, Thursday March 12 the Post 2015 Women's Coalition will launch their Vision Statement for feminist alternative approaches to sustainable development.  The Coalition made up of feminist, women's rights, women's development, grassroots, peace and social justice organizations from around the world have come to attend the 59th Annual Commission on the Status of Women to call in a collective voice for real progress in the lives of women.

The launch of the Vision Statement comes at a critical time in history, demanding a new development agenda that strengthens gender equality for all and is deeply concerned that 20 years after the Beijing Platform for Action, so many commitments on gender equality and women's human rights are not fulfilled.

A man who was tortured into a "confession" for manslaughter aged 14 has been handed a second execution warrant – just two months after his first warrant caused an international outcry that resulted in a stay.

Shafqat Hussain was charged with the kidnap and murder of another local child and convicted on the strength of one piece of evidence: a forced confession made after nine days of police torture. An execution warrant was issued for Shafqat in December, but after serious concerns over his age and the safety of his initial conviction were raised, the execution was stayed.

A group of prominent U.S. peace activists, civil rights attorneys and human rights activists have signed an Open Letter to the people and government of Iran. The Open Letter is being circulated online in the next days. Thousands of people, enraged by the unprecedented action of the 47 Senators to sabotage the negotiations with Iran, are expected to add their names. The campaign was initiated by the anti-war ANSWER Coalition. 

The letter states, "Their real aim in scuttling and sabotaging the current negotiations between the United States and Iran, perhaps unprecedented in the form they have chosen, is to create more conflict including the danger of military action against Iran."

This is not my geography teacher, or, more accurately it is not at all how I remember him. A series of APA images published by the British Daily Mail and other newspapers showed Hamad al-Hasanat lying dead in a mosque, surrounded by a group of Hamas fighters. On top of his lifeless body, as worshipers came to offer a final prayer before burial, rested an assault rifle.

Hasanat was buried among the refugees of the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, in the central Gaza Strip. He died on 2 March, at the age of 80. 

Mar 13

Pacifica Stands in for All Public Media

By Ernesto Aguilar, Truthout | News Analysis

Pacifica, the embattled progressive radio network, has been the recipient of bad press and suggestions that it should simply be allowed to go into bankruptcy. This first-ever internal look by a high-level insider puts Pacifica's troubles in the context of public media facing challenges from digital, funding cuts and declining revenue. Pacifica leaders contend the network is still important and must be supported.

The in-house bouts of Pacifica Radio spilled into the proverbial street recently, when the California Attorney General was asked to audit the oldest non-commercial independent radio network in the US. Truthout is one of many outlets that has featured Pacifica's arguments, recriminations and sordid dramas. One can't help but read with interest.

Mar 13

Trauma Center Now: Why We Shut Down Michigan Avenue

By Veronica Morris Moore and Victoria Crider, Transformative Spaces | Op-Ed

As I  try to compile a list of reasons why I was a part of the civil disobedience direct action that blocked northbound traffic on the Magnificent Mile on the night of Thursday, March 5, all I can immediately think of is "why not?" But for the purpose of this statement I'll try to stick to reasons that are unique and relative to my role in the Trauma Center Campaign.

The main reason I volunteered my body for the human chain that blocked northbound traffic on Michigan Avenue is because I am committed to pressuring the University of Chicago to reopen its level 1 trauma center at the UChicago's medical facility. Since Fearless Leading by the Youth began the fight to restore this vital service in our community, all our efforts have been met with is traditional racist excuses. UofC spokespeople say, "the service will be a significant burden that will undercut other services already provided to the community." For me, a black queer youth (under 25), this is unacceptable.

Mar 12

Expert Global Commission Responds to One-Sided Tax Debate

By Staff, Fact Coalition | Press Release

(New York) Responding to widespread anger about corporate tax avoidance, the impacts of such avoidance on inequality and poverty, and concerns that current tax reform processes are inadequate, a new nonpartisan body— the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT)—has been established to propose reforms from the perspective of the public interest.

The inaugural meeting of the Commission will take place in New York on March 18-19, 2015. The Commission's Chair, former UN Under-Secretary-General José Antonio Ocampo, says: "The world has changed but the international tax system has not. Corporations play governments against each other, for example, in encouraging race-to-the-bottom tax incentives, and the public loses out. There are billions of dollars at stake. This Commission will shed light on where the rules of the game, and the institutions that govern them, need to change."