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.
Despite stringent regulations meant to protect US consumers and the nation's food supply, con men still show up and take advantage of loopholes in the law. Those loopholes may be closing, and there's at least one perpetrator who spent time behind bars wishing he hadn't heard of "organic produce." Corrupt politicos have fostered relationships with the nation's "big food" interests to serve themselves at the organic industry buffet by allowing products to be marketed openly while violating the organic criteria set in place by the US Department of Agriculture.
Today, of all days, no one needs to remind feminists, and humanists more generally, that there is no greater moral and political imperative than to ensure the equality of nearly half of the global population -- it is fundamental to a just and more tolerant world. Moreover, equality is a human right, and over the past two decades, the world has affirmed that women's rights are human rights.
Friends, it has long been my privilege to work with courageous men and women resisting dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and military colonialism and who work for a nuclear weapons-free world. After our election, influenced by the FBI director, the Kremlin and Hillary Clinton's uninspiring campaign, millions of Americans understood our need to resist a fascist, white supremacist, lying, militarist, misogynist, corrupt, ignorant, Crusader Christian regime of billionaires, generals and their apologists.
On February 24, the Editor-in-Chief of Sierra Club Magazine, Jason Mark, published a long-winded excuse for meat consumption and the "moral" case for it. By the second sentence, Mark admits, "I had no problem with killing animals," in opening with how he "experimented" with being a vegetarian for environmental reasons. For any environmental organization, these reasons should debunk all arguments in favor of meat consumption.
Tremors from the upheaval surrounding the Trump presidency have been felt all over the globe. Citizens from the United Kingdom have pushed for legislation to bar Trump from entering their country. In cities from Sydney to Nairobi, millions marched in solidarity with women against Trump's discriminatory policies. And scientists, national leaders and citizens from around the world worry about the deleterious potential of Trump's denial of climate change. While in the United States, dissent is in the streets to a degree that has not been seen for generations.
Despite his obvious ignorance of the complexities, President Trump's line -- stated as Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu chuckled loudly at their February 15, 2017, press conference -- that he would support one state or two, whatever "both parties like," is a break from politics-as-usual when it comes to US views on the issue. The problem Trump and most of the bipartisan US establishment fail to acknowledge is that an authentic, lasting agreement requires "parties" more or less equally empowered to ensure their people's rights are recognized, respected and obtained to an acceptable degree.
Numerous groups within Jewish communities are working together to challenge Islamophobia -- from the Muslim ban to attacks on mosques and in the streets. Community efforts abound. For many Jews, standing in solidarity with Muslims is new. Some Jews and Jewish groups have been building partnerships for years with Muslim and other targeted groups, which have been tirelessly leading efforts against Islamophobia and racism. At the same time, many Jewish organizations -- including those speaking out against Islamophobia -- have also participated in furthering Islamophobia and racism.
Once again, President Donald Trump has declared that the media is "the enemy of the American people," most recently in a speech at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference. "It is more Nixonian than Nixon," exclaimed former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean while speaking with Amy Goodman to discuss Trump's relationship with the press. The big difference was that President Nixon only "did those things behind closed doors."
On May 19, 1992, I shot and killed Tecle Ghebremichaele and injured Efrem Isak. I was 14 years old. As I awaited trial, Anthony Powers sat in a juvenile detention center hundreds of miles away for committing a misdemeanor assault. A counselor showed him an article written about me and told Anthony, "You're going to end up just like this guy if you keep doing what you're doing." The 15 year-old just smiled, rolled his eyes, then read the article out of curiosity. In it, he learned that I might never be released.
The rules for building a successful movement are simple: mobilize your supporters, and neutralize your opposition. The challenge lies in making that happen. Fortunately, Donald Trump has helped tremendously with the first step. His "Muslim ban," his targeting of Latinos for deportation, his attacks on women and the environment, to pick a few, have brought millions out into the streets. Those predisposed to dislike Trump are digging trenches for the long battles to come. But it is not enough to mobilize one's base. A successful movement must also divide and demobilize the opposition.