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100,000,000 workers grind India to a halt in one of world's biggest strikes ever

From Occupy Wall St. (FB)
On Feb. 28th, 100 million workers in India went on Strike! http://bit.ly/zvPlp7

100,000,000 workers grind India to a halt in one of world's biggest strikes ever

One of the world's largest ever strikes began at midnight on Monday 27th Feb and will end at midnight tonight. Up to 100,000,000 Indian workers from different sectors and industries are calling for a national minimum wage, permanent jobs, and much more.

As reported by libcom blogger working class self organisation in January:


Over a dozen of India’s largest trade unions have called for and signed up to the strike. The strike will affect many sectors, including public sector banks, ports and docks, railways, insurance, road transport, energy workers, miners, and aviation workers.
“Recent months have seen a mounting wave of militant worker struggles in India, strikes for union recognition in India’s expanding auto sector, including a two-day occupation of a Hyundai plant, a wildcat strike by Air India personnel, and walkouts by telecom workers and coal miners against the central government’s privatization plans.”

The different unions have a variety of different demands, they include gaining the same rights and protection for temporary and contract workers that permanent workers have, raising and extending the minimum wage, resisting the attacks on trade unions, stopping price rises, the creation of a national social security fund, increase in pensions, and combating corruption.


and, Massive Student Protests and Occupations in Spain: http://bit.ly/yhPGhl

Student protests erupt across Spain

By Jas Chohan

29-F as it has already being termed saw mass student protests around the Spanish peninsula. The latest marches took place in the almost immediate aftermath of those against the passing of new Labour Reform Laws, which have made it easier and cheaper for companies to sack their employees with little forewarning.

The student strikes were focused on cuts in education but also in the public sector among other areas that face austerity measures. The Spanish student movement has made it clear it very much sees itself as part of the globally ‘lost’ generation, doomed to earn little if anything. Barcelona made the biggest headlines yesterday, with estimates of some 70,000 students having taken to the streets. Seven public Catalan universities and the ‘United Platform in Defence of Public Universities’ called the strike there, which shut down the centre of the city for hours. Large banners reading ‘We Will not Pay for their Fraud’ and ‘We Will Save Public Universities’ led the demonstration. Strong police aggression faced protestors in Barcelona though, the city whose riot police are famed nationally for their frequently heavy handed policing tactics.

In the whole region of Valencia some 134,000 secondary students alone supported the education strikes, which comparatively were more peaceful. However, only last week student protestors there faced strong police repression in protests against austerity measures in education. The events of the past week undoubtedly spurred on and strengthened yesterdays marches around the country, which took place in solidarity with those in Valencia and against police forces that increasingly seem to enforce law through brute force.
The momentum of protest looks to continue in many of the cities, with the students of the Autonomous University of Barcelona having called another day of strikes for Thursday. All across the country, demonstrations have taken place within the context of cuts facing the nation as a whole. Yesterday once again calls for another general strike reverberated on the streets, with students and workers uniting against the criminal measures being proposed by the conservative Popular Party (PP). The protests have been carried out with strength in numbers and with a spirit of societal solidarity before a cutting government, which faces mounting pressure on all fronts

Today, a National Right to Education Day of Action in the US: http://bit.ly/z7FT9s


Smears on Dennis go to a New Low


We got some disturbing news this morning that Dennis Kucinich's opponent, Congresswoman Kaptur, has gone to a new low in attacking Dennis. Her latest misleading ad tries to tie Dennis to Jimmy Dimora's corruption trial -- a false smear attack that's straight out of the Republican, Karl Rove playbook. It is character assassination and pure GOP Swift-boating.

Anyone who knows Dennis or his record knows he has the absolutely highest level of honesty and integrity. This is an attack not just on Dennis but on our entire movement and what we stand for -- a politics that boldly attacks the issues we face, not each other.

We will respond honestly and forcefully set the record straight. We urgently need to raise $50,000 to get an ad up and push back.

Click here to donate , https://donate.kucinich.us/page/contribute/120228 and let's defend our campaign and movement, and help keep Dennis' voice in Congress.

For decades the Republicans and special interests have tried to get Dennis out of Congress -- to silence his leadership in forging peace, supporting unions and industry, protecting our most in need, and defending our liberties and Constitution. It's disgraceful that our opponent, a fellow Democrat, would use thousands in defense industry campaign money trying the same smears and false attacks the Republicans have used.

On the issues, Dennis wins hands down -- we know that. Dennis has fought against the Patriot Act, the Keystone Pipeline, the expansion of nuclear power, and funding for the Iraq War -- every single time. He's led on the Dream Act, marriage equality, and a woman's right to choose. Congresswoman Kaptur was on the wrong side of every one of these issues.

It's a shame she's trying to distract from her record by sinking to the Republican playbook and smearing Dennis -- one of the most bold, honest, and thoughtful leaders we have. Please join me and let's not let her get away with this.

One week to go! Let's win this race, and let's keep Dennis voice in Congress.

With respect,

Dave Kelley
Re-elect Congressman Kucinich Committee

I'm still upset that they killed off the "Golden Compass"

whatever the reason, it's a shame, I thought the Golden Compass was a wonderful film.
I also enjoyed the book "The Last Temptation of Christ" and although the movie wasn't great in my opinion, many people were deprived the possibilty to see it for themselves, because of church pressure.


Who killed off The Golden Compass?

Sam Elliot believes the Catholic church killed off any chances of a sequel to The Golden Compass, but the truth may be far simpler

After the success of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy looked a dead cert for epic fantasy book franchise success. In 2007, when first installment The Golden Compass was released, it looked to have all the right ingredients: moppet actors, spectacular battles, a sexy baddie, Ian McKellen, snow. But no sequels were made. Why?

Actor Sam Elliot thinks he knows. According to an interview in the Evening Standard, Elliot – who basically played himself in The Golden Compass – is pinning the failure of the series directly on the Pope, saying: "The Catholic church happened to The Golden Compass, as far as I'm concerned. It did incredible at the box office. Incredible. It took $85m (£52m) in the States. The Catholic church … lambasted them, and I think it scared New Line off."

He could have a point. The Golden Compass was the subject of a prolonged attack from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, who proclaimed it to be "atheism for kids", and Fox News's Bill O'Reilly who, with typical restraint, apparently called the film a "war on Christmas". The attacks shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone. Pullman has always been impressively vocal in his atheism, plus writing a book about some children literally murdering God is probably as overt an anti-Catholic statement as you can get – but there's something about Elliot's argument that doesn't quite ring true.


Cop Identified in Scott Olsen Incident?


Cop Identified in Scott Olsen Incident?

Video and police records indicate that Oakland Police Officer Robert Roche threw a stun grenade at protesters trying to help the injured Iraq War vet.

By Ali Winston

One of the most indelible images of the Occupy movement to date is that of Marine veteran Scott Olsen being carried away from a skirmish line of riot police at 14th Street and Broadway on October 25 in Oakland. Stunned and bleeding from an ugly gash on his forehead, the 24-year-old Wisconsin native had been struck in the head by an unknown projectile during the first salvo of tear gas, flash-bang grenades, and less-than-lethal munitions fired at hundreds of Occupy Oakland supporters facing off against Oakland police and several other Bay Area law enforcement agencies called in on mutual aid.

Video from the tear gas-soaked night of the 25th shows a prone Olsen lying in front of metal barricades and police in riot gear. As several protesters ran to Olsen's aid, someone from the cluster of police appears to lob a flash-bang grenade into the crowd gathered around the young veteran. The stun grenade explodes amid a cloud of tear gas and deafening noise, scattering Olsen's rescuers.

The footage of the flash-bang grenade exploding practically on top of Olsen and his rescuers, as well as dramatic video of a stunned and bloody Olsen being carried away from the intersection, went viral within hours, propelling Occupy Oakland to international attention and setting the stage for the November 2nd General Strike.

In the weeks and months afterward, rumors and accusations flew about the identity of the officer who fired the projectile that wounded Olsen, and the one who threw the concussion grenade on top of him. Rumors circulated on the Internet that either a San Francisco sheriff's deputy or an officer from the Palo Alto Police Department was responsible. Members of Anonymous even went so far as to publish pictures and the personal information of a San Francisco sheriff's deputy they believe tossed the stun grenade at Olsen.


Punishing Protest


Punishing Protest: Patrick Shea and
Heidi Boghosian Discuss Law and Civil Disobedience

February 23, 2012

Summary: What is the justice system for? Activists from the Occupy movement to climate justice camps are regularly made examples of by courts while bank and oil company executives avoid prosecution for real crimes. During Orion's latest live web event, Patrick Shea, a lawyer who defended climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher (see "What Love Looks Like" in the January/February 2012 issue of Orion), and Heidi Boghosian, director of the National Lawyers Guild, discussed what activists engaging in nonviolent protest can expect from the justice system.

Orion is a bimonthly, advertising-free magazine devoted to creating a stronger bond between people and nature.

Punishing Protest, Policing Dissent: What Is the Justice System for?

Monday 20 February 2012
by: Erik Hoffner, Truthout | News Analysis


This year promises to be another historic year of people calling for change worldwide. Citizens took to the streets for a wide variety of reasons, from the Wisconsin Capitol to DC, which hosted many actions last year, including the highly visible civil disobedience of activists seeking to halt the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The resulting mass arrests, totaling over 1,200 by early September, surely played a large role in President Obama's decision to delay approval of that climate- and water-supply-threatening project.

The climate justice movement also experienced a low point this year, though, when its most visible young leader, Tim DeChristopher, was sentenced to two years in prison for disrupting a federal oil and gas lease auction by peaceful means. Even though the auction was later shown to be illegal, DeChristopher's case proceeded in a manner that made it clear that the government's prosecutor sought to make an example of an activist who showed no remorse.

For his part, Tim saw it as a necessary action to protect his future from runaway climate change, and seemed ready to prove that his movement is unafraid of such retribution when he refused to apologize or take a plea deal. As he told Terry Tempest Williams in Orion recently, "... it's important to make sure that the government doesn't win in their quest to intimidate people ... They're trying to make an example out of me to scare other people into obedience." The punishing protest is not unusual, and can result in long-term victories for those targeted, but that didn't comfort Patrick Shea, DeChristopher's lawyer, who said in a recent post that he'd witnessed "a miscarriage of justice, fairness, and what I believed America stood for."

Occupiers, though, have racked up many more detentions, with 6,526 arrested in 110 US cities so far, according to OccupyArrests.com. This wave of action and reaction has kept National Lawyers Guild (NLG) chapters and members very busy working to protect demonstrators' constitutional rights. Founded 75 years ago to use the law to advance social justice and support progressive social movements, NLG coordinates attorneys, legal workers and law students, and provides legal briefing, case law research, legal strategy and tactical advice to activists. Over the past several months, its members have filed constitutional rights challenges, represented protesters in criminal court, trained and acted as Legal Observers®, and often provided 'round-the-clock legal advice to Occupy encampments.


How the New Mexico Anti–Nuclear Campaign Achieved A Major Victory!


Published on Thursday, February 23, 2012 by Climate Story Tellers

How the New Mexico Anti–Nuclear Campaign Achieved A Major Victory
by Subhankar Banerjee

On February 17, as I was stepping out the door for an exhibition opening of my arctic photographs and to participate in an environmental panel at Fordham University with former New York State assistant attorney general Robert Emmet Hernan, I received an email news update from Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, a Santa Fe, New Mexico based NGO that began with these words, “We have reason to celebrate with the ‘abandonment’ of the proposed Nuclear Facility as part of the Chemistry & Metallurgy Research Replacement Project (CMRR) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) by President Obama and the Department of Energy.”

On February 13, the President released his proposed fiscal year 2013 budget. On page 26 of the document “Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings: Budget of the U.S. Government” we find, “The Administration proposes deferring the construction of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility... for at least five years.” Then on February 17 the Albuquerque Journal reported, “Chu [U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu] told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the Department of Energy decided to abandon—at least for now—a planned LANL plutonium lab because of budget constraints.”

Abandoned or postponed—either way, this is a major victory for the New Mexico anti–nuclear activists and community members who have been fighting this issue since 2003. So far the news has mostly escaped the radars of the national mainstream and progressive media—I found one Associated Press article, and few articles in the New Mexico newspapers. But this story has local, regional and national significance, so I’ll share a bit more with you.

In New Mexico, the two national labs—Los Alamos and Sandia wield a lot of power as they bring in a lot of money into the state—to develop among other things weapons of mass destruction. These projects are usually justified with a simple argument—in the interest of National Security—the U.S. sacred cow. It isn’t easy for an elected official—state or federal to oppose a major weapons project at one of these labs. The Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board was quick to express their displeasure with President’s decision and blamed it on the mismanagement at the lab, “New Mexico’s Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who chairs the committee, noted that ‘for years we have been told the CMRR nuclear facility was necessary...’ although he stopped short of condemning the DOE for essentially pulling the plug and shifting the money to the Uranium Processing Facility at Oak Ridge, Tenn. ...But if it wants to get ahead in the funding game—and regain value in the eyes of the administration—mistrust between the labs and with the NNSA [National Nuclear Security Administration], operational inefficiencies and a draconian management culture must be fixed.” Let’s take a closer look.


Ex-Playboy playmate gets $1.2 million payout after suing the cops for manhandling her


Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

An ex-Playboy playmate stripped the city of a $1.2 million payout Tuesday after suing the cops for manhandling her.

A Manhattan jury of four women and two men took 81/2 hours deliberating before tossing fistfuls of money at Miss November 1992, Stephanie Adams, 41, for the injuries she suffered in a 2006 scuffle with police.

The former Bunny’s tale was so compelling that jurors doled awarded her $385,000 more than her lawyer asked for.

Adams, the first openly lesbian Playmate, said cops threw her to the ground at gunpoint after a bizarre confrontation with a cabbie who falsely told them she “flashed vampire teeth” and was going to shoot him.

“I was praying for justice and waited six years to speak my truth in court and I’m very grateful for the closure and the healing,” Adams said, holding her son, Vincent, on her hip.

“This jury verdict demonstrates that there is a serious problem in this city regarding excessive use of force of our police against ordinary citizens. This must be addressed by the appropriate city officials,” said Adams’

Climate denial in the classroom


Climate denial in the classroom

It's bad enough that we're doing so little to fight climate change; let's not ask teachers to lie about it too.

February 20, 2012

The culture wars have been fought in the classroom for decades, waged over such issues as school prayer, the teaching of evolution and whether the Pledge of Allegiance should include the phrase "under God." But the conflict usually pits backers of religious instruction against secularists. The latest skirmish, by contrast, is centered on a scientific issue that has nothing to do with religious teaching: climate change.

Leaked documents from the Heartland Institute in Chicago, one of many nonprofits that spread disinformation about climate science in hopes of stalling government action to combat global warming, reveal that the organization is working on a curriculum for public schools that casts doubt on the work of climatologists worldwide. Heartland officials say one of the documents was a fake, but the curriculum plans were reportedly discussed in more than one. According to the New York Times, the curriculum would claim, among other things, that "whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy."

That is a lie so big that, to quote from "Mein Kampf," it would be hard for most people to believe that anyone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously." On one side of the "controversy" are credentialed climatologists around the globe who publish in reputable, peer-reviewed scientific journals and agree that the planet is warming and that humans are to blame; on the other are fossil-fuel-industry-funded "experts" who tend to have little background in climatology and who publish non-peer-reviewed papers in junk magazines disputing established truths. These are quickly debunked, but not before their findings have been reported by conservative blogs and news outlets, which somehow never get around to mentioning it when these studies are proved to be badly flawed.

Fortunately, if we're about to enter a battle over classroom instruction on climate change, it won't go on for decades, because the impacts of global warming are already patently obvious. Seven of the 10 warmest years since global record-keeping began in 1880 have occurred in the 21st century. Despite an intense campaign to discredit his work, Pennsylvania State University professor Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph, which shows that temperatures in the latter half of the 20th century soared to their highest level in 1,000 years, has been validated repeatedly. Last year set a record for the most climate-related disasters in the United States costing more than $1 billion in damage each — drought-fueled wildfires in Texas, Hurricane Irene, and Mississippi River flooding were among the 14 cases.


What Would Jesus Buy? - Shopocalypse Song

From producer Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and director Rob VanAlkemade, "What Would Jesus Buy?" examines the commercialization of Christmas in America while following Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse (the end of humankind from consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt.) The film also delves into issues such as the role sweatshops play in America's mass consumerism and Big-Box Culture. From the humble beginnings of preaching at his portable pulpit on New York City subways, to having a congregation of thousands -- Bill Talen (aka Rev. Billy) has become the leader of not just a church, but a national movement.

Honduran president pardons murderer who saved hundreds from jail inferno

Honduran president pardons murderer who saved hundreds from jail inferno

Marco Antonio Bonilla used keys to open locks and a bench to smash down doors as fire raged and prison guards panicked

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 February 2012 08.49 EST

The Honduran government has pardoned a convicted murderer who helped save hundreds of inmates during a fire that killed 360 people last week.

President Porfirio Lobo announced he would pardon Marco Antonio Bonilla, also known as Shorty, for releasing trapped prisoners from the horrific blaze that destroyed Comayagua jail.

While guards panicked and left screaming men to die, Bonilla – who had been outside his cell when the fire began – used a set of keys to unlock several barracks, each housing about 100 men. He also used a bench to smash open other locks.

"He put himself at incredible risk trying to save lives during the tragedy," Lobo said during a televised meeting with ministers


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