Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

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Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

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‘Anonymous’ Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US

Business Insider Mar. 2, 2012 By Michael Kelley Anonymous is front and center these days: the amorphous hacktivist group has been publishing internal data of U.S. banks while prominent members are prosecuted More »

Tag Archives: exploitation

Fossil-Fuel Subsidies of Rich Nations Five Times Climate Aid

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Bloomberg
Dec. 3, 2012
By Alex Morales

Rich countries spend five times more on fossil-fuel subsidies than on aid to help developing nations cut their emissions and protect against the effects of climate change, the Oil Change International campaign group said.

In 2011, 22 industrialized nations paid $58.7 billion in subsidies to the oil, coal and gas industries and to consumers of the fuels, compared with climate-aid flows of $11.2 billion, according to calculations by the Washington-based group.

The data underline the steps developed nations may be able to take to cut their emissions as ministers from 190 nations meet in Doha to discuss measures to curb global warming. Eliminating the subsidies would reduce incentives to pollute and help rich nations meet their pledge to provide $100 billion a year in climate aid by 2020, said Stephen Kretzmann, the founder of Oil Change International.

Bangladesh workers protest ‘deathtraps’

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AFP
Nov. 26, 2012
By Shafiq Alam

Garment workers staged mass protests on Monday to demand an end to “deathtrap” labour conditions after Bangladesh’s worst-ever textile factory fire, as a new blaze sparked fresh panic and terror.

Ahead of the first of a series of mass funerals for the 110 victims, survivors of Saturday night’s blaze joined several thousand colleagues to block a highway and march in the manufacturing hub of Ashulia.

“Workers from several factories have left work and joined the protest. They want exemplary punishment for Tazreen’s owners,” said Dhaka police chief Habibur Rahman, referring to a plant near the capital where the blaze broke out late Saturday.

Police said Ashulia’s more than 500 factories who make apparel for top global retailers such as Walmart, H&M and Tesco declared a wild-cat “holiday”, fearing that the protests could worsen and turn into large-scale unrest.

Walmart Strike Spreads to Texas as Organizers Promise Massive Black Friday Protest

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The Nation
Nov. 16, 2012
By Josh Eidelson

This morning, at 10 am local time, Dallas Walmart store workers are headed back to the picket line. Theirs is the latest in a string of strikes that hit a California warehouse Wednesday and Seattle stores on Thursday. There’s more where that came from: On a Thursday call with reporters, union-backed Walmart worker groups said to expect a thousand strikes or demonstrations spread over nine days, culminating in an unprecedented array of “Black Friday” disruptions. That news follows a major legal settlement by a Walmart contractor that organizers credited to a 2011 sit-in at Hershey’s Chocolate.

Dallas striker Colby Harris emphasized that despite issues with low pay and repeated retaliation, he’s committed to remaining a Walmart worker. “If you leave this job, you’re going to face retaliation in some form somewhere else…,” he said last night. “If you change Walmart, and you change corporate America, it can really better a lot of people’s lives.”

Harris told The Nation that the main purpose of today’s picketing outside his Dallas store is to send a message to the workers inside: that “you can speak up and not get punished.” What if Walmart retaliates? “We’ll just take more actions…,” said Harris. “It will not be accepted or tolerated.” He said that going on strike last month heightened his confidence: “I’m not as nervous to take actions now. I know I’ve done it before…I can do it again.”

Workers Across Europe Synchronize Protests

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New York Times
Nov. 14, 2012
By

MADRID — Workers across Europe mounted coordinated protests on Wednesday against government austerity policies in a time of economic malaise.

In Spain and Portugal, workers staged general strikes. Unions in Greece, Italy, France and Belgium joined in protests and work stoppages to show solidarity with striking workers elsewhere.

The breadth of the demonstrations, which affected scores of cities, reflected widespread unhappiness with high unemployment, slowing growth and worsening economic prospects in Europe, and the resistance that European governments confront as they push plans for more belt tightening. Occasional clashes with the police were reported in some cities.

Lawyer says judge embargoes Chevron assets in Argentina over Ecuadorean oil spill

Texaco pollution case

Associated Press
Nov. 7, 2012

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — An Argentine judge embargoed Chevron Corp.’s assets in Argentina to carry out an Ecuadorean court order that awarded $19 billion to plaintiffs in an environmental damage lawsuit in the Amazon, a lawyer said Wednesday.

Judge Adrian Elcuj Miranda ordered the freezing of Chevron’s assets in Argentina as plaintiffs try to collect the judgment won in Ecuador last year, Argentine lawyer Enrique Bruchou told reporters in a conference call.

The order states that all the cash flows from sales and bank deposits be frozen until the $19 billion is collected, Bruchou said. The order applies to 100 percent of Chevron’s capital stock in Argentina, 100 percent of its dividends and its entire minority stake in Oleoductos del Valle. It also includes 40 percent of any current or future money that Chevron Argentina holds as well as 40 percent of all its crude sales.

Bruchou said the decision in the largest environmental suit in the world should send a strong message to foreign investors that they must apply the same environmental standards wherever they do business. Similar lawsuits have been filed this year in Canada and Brazil.

Inequality ‘highest for 20 years’ – Save The Children

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BBC News
Oct. 31, 2012

Global inequalities in wealth are at their highest level for 20 years and are growing, according to a new report by Save The Children.

While the charity acknowledges progress has been made in goals such as reducing child mortality, the report says this has been uneven across income groups.

Continuing inequality could hinder further progress in improving living standards, the charity says.

The report comes ahead of a meeting of a high-level UN panel on poverty.

“In recent decades the world has made dramatic progress in cutting child deaths and improving opportunities for children; we are now reaching a tipping point where preventable child deaths could be eradicated in our lifetime,” Save the Children’s chief executive, Justin Forsyth, said.

A roll call of corporate rogues who are milking the country

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Guardian
Oct. 30, 2012
By

‘Only the little people pay taxes,” the late American corporate tax evader Leona Helmsley famously declared. That’s certainly the spirit of David Cameron and George Osborne’s Britain. Five years into the crisis, the British economy has just edged out of its third downturn, but construction is still reeling from government cuts and most people’s living standards are falling.

Those at the sharp end are being hit hardest: from cuts to disability and housing benefits, tax credits and the educational maintenance allowance and now increases in council tax while NHS waiting lists are lengthening, food banks are mushrooming across the country and charities report sharp increases in the number of children going hungry. All this to pay for the collapse in corporate investment and tax revenues triggered by the greatest crash since the 30s.

At the other end of the spectrum though, things are going swimmingly. The richest 1,000 people in Britain have seen their wealth increase by £155bn since the crisis began – more than enough to pay off the whole government deficit of £119bn at a stroke. Anyone earning over £1m a year can look forward to a £42,000 tax cut in the spring, while firms have been rewarded with a 2% cut in corporation tax to 24%.

Bank of England official: Occupy Movement right about global recession

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Guardian
Oct. 29, 2012
By

The Occupy Movement has found an unlikely ally in a senior Bank of England official, Andrew Haldane, who has praised protesters for their role in triggering an overhaul of the financial services sector.

Haldane, who oversees the City for the central bank, said Occupy acted as a lever on policymakers despite criticism that its aims were too vague. He said the protest movement was right to focus on inequality as the chief reason for the 2008 crash, following studies that showed the accumulation of huge wealth funded by debt was directly responsible for the domino-like collapse of the banking sector in 2008.

Speaking at a debate held by the Occupy Movement in central London, Haldane said regulations limiting credit use would undermine attempts by individuals to accumulate huge property and financial wealth at the expense of other members of society. Allowing banks to lend on a massive scale also drained funding from other industries, adding to the negative impact that unregulated banks had on the economy, he said.

Court Orders First Handover of Chevron’s Ecuador Assets

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ENS
Oct. 17, 2012

QUITO, Ecuador, October 17, 2012 (ENS) – An Ecuadorian court has frozen are all bank accounts owned by Chevron, Texaco, and their subsidiaries in partial payment of a $19 billion pollution damages judgment against Chevron.

Indigenous people and villagers living in the Ecuadorian Amazon were granted a court order this week that allows them to collect $200 million of Chevron’s assets in the country.

“This is a huge first step for the rainforest villagers on the road to collecting the entire $19 billion judgment,” said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Fajardo said the assets would be used to begin a cleanup of the ecological disaster left by Texaco, consistent with the mandates laid out by the Ecuador trial court.

A Colombian Tribe Fights Mining Multinationals With Bows And Arrows

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CLARIN/Worldcrunch
Oct. 14, 2012
By John Harold Giraldo Herrera

TAMAQUITO II – When a new baby is born in Tamaquito II, a Wayúu indigenous settlement in La Guajira, in northern Colombia, the child’s family digs a hole near its pichi (hut) and buries the umbilical cord. The Wayúu practice this ancestral ritual as a way to connect to the land, to remind themselves where they come from.

About 150 umbilical cords are now buried in Tamaquito II. The most recent belonged to Geovanni Camilo Fuentes, born two months ago to Sandra Paola Bravo Epieyuu. His may also be the last. Right now there are two pregnant women in the settlement, but it is unlikely they will have a chance to follow the age-old tradition. Tamaquito II is scheduled to be relocated.

In 1965, when José Alfonso Epieyuu first came to Tamaquito, he never imagined that either the settlement or its rituals would one day be in danger. He came from Alta Guajira, by way of Lagunita, Descanso and Serranía de Perijá. All of those towns were part of a large territory that belonged to the Wayúu people. There were no fences, no boundaries.

For the Wayúu, Colombia’s largest indigenous group with an estimated population of 400,000, land belongs to those work it. Historically they have moved about as they please, worked where they wanted. José Alfonso reached Tamaquito on foot, following the nomadic tradition of the Wayúu. This was his land. Now he is not so sure.