Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cesar DeLeon on Hunger Strike in Wisconsin Prison

As of December, Cesar DeLeon is the only  confirmed one out of an initial seven prisoners on a hunger strike that started in Wisconsin in June 2016.

Visitors have said he is delirious, underweight, and suffering hunger pains, as well as displaying signs of physical abuse. In letters, DeLeon has also reported on physical abuse he receives from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. He has been in non-compliance with guards who place him in handcuffs and force-feed him through the nose and into the throat.

Working Class Writers of the Northland

Below is a list in progress of progressive and working class bloggers, writers and poets who help make the Northland the culturally exciting place that it is.  Feel free to contact us with your favorite local writer!

Union Shopping Guide for the Northland

Grocery Stores
-Duluth Kenwood Super One
-Duluth Lakeside Super One
-Duluth Miller Hill Super One
-Duluth Plaza Super One
-Duluth West Super One
-Superior Harbor View Super One
-Superior Oakes Super One

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

War on Working People Continues as Trump Takes the Helm

The Republican Party takes primary charge of the U.S. government this month with Donald Trump sworn in as president, and both houses of Congress under Republican control by a slim majority.

The new administration is taking shape with announcements of key government cabinet posts. These include a combination of professional politicians, former military officers, and powerful captains of industry and finance.

As in past cabinets, leading billionaire capitalists will be well represented. They include Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a longtime Wall Street investor and speculator; Linda McMahon, Small Business Administrator, one of Trump’s biggest campaign donors; and Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary, who comes from a family of billionaires and plans to privatize public schools.

Monday, January 2, 2017

5 Ways Unions Can Defend Immigrant Members

As the reality of a Donald Trump presidency sets in, unions and workers centers are gearing up for a massive fight to defend immigrant members, building on lessons from the past decade.

Undocumented workers are at risk both from the government and from their employers. Sometimes employers are under government pressure themselves. Other times they’re using the threat of immigration enforcement to discourage organizing or keep workplace standards low.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Standing Rock: Battle Won, But War Continues

Native Americans and their allies won an important battle in their fight to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline to go through historic tribal lands of the Sioux, and under part of the Missouri River where the Sanding Rock Sioux reservation gets its drinking water.

The battle was joined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), when it issued an ultimatum that the protest at the site where the pipeline is scheduled to go under the river must be disbanded by December 4 or the participants would face arrest and prosecution.

In short, the ACE would instruct the state and local police units to attack the water protectors on Dec. 5 unless they left the site by then. That would mean a repeat of the brutal police attacks against the non-violent protest that have already occurred, with clubs, attack dogs, tear gas, rubber bullets, water spraying of protesters with fire hoses in temperatures lower than 10 degrees (-12 C.), stun grenades, and mass arrests.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Somali youth sentenced in ‘Minneapolis Terror Trial’

The show trial dubbed by our local capitalist media, “Minnesota’s Terror Trial,” ended in November with the sentencing of the nine young men (eight Somali and one Oromo) who pled to or were convicted of charges relating to alleged attempts to join the “designated foreign terrorist organization” ISIS (the Islamic State).

The pre-sentence period—which lasted for five and a half months—and sentencing were another roller coaster ride through the Criminal Injustice System for the young men, their families, and their communities. They have been on this roller coaster since the Countering Violent Extremism Program (“CVE”) came to town almost three years ago.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Standing With Standing Rock: Duluth Locals Tell Their Story

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a proposed 1,172-mile, multi-billion dollar oil pipeline that would start in North Dakota and end in Illinois, transferring 470,000 barrels of oil each day. However, one major issue with this plan is that it would cut directly through the sacred burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and cross the Missouri River, which is the Tribe’s main source of drinking water.

Months of protests have caught the attention and support of countless people worldwide. Actor Chris Hemsworth from Australia, for example, posted a picture to Instagram, holding a sign that reads, “We stand with Standing Rock #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL #MniWiconi.” Actress Shailene Woodley also went so far as to protest with those at Standing Rock this past summer, eventually leading to her arrest.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nationalize the Energy Industry!

We know that human activities are adversely affecting Earth’s climate. Scientists began to draw our attention to the link between fossil fuels, greenhouse gases, and climate in the 1980s. Since then, the evidence for anthropogenic climate change has become overwhelming. All that’s left to debate is what to do about it.

Under the current setup, energy conglomerates that owe their fortunes to fossil fuels have every incentive to dismiss global warming and to cast aspersions on climate change research. The top five oil companies (BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell) reported combined profits of $93 billion for 2013. That’s more than the U.S. budget that year for Education ($71.9 billion) or Housing ($46.3 billion.) It’s more than 10 times the federal budget for environmental protection ($8.9 billion). The more coal, oil, and natural gas that get burned, the more the climate is thrown out of whack, and the more these companies are rewarded financially.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Protests Denounce Trump's Hate-Mongering Agenda

On Jan. 20, Donald Trump will be sworn in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, and a new Republican administration will take control of the U.S. government’s executive branch. The election of this bigoted billionaire sent shock waves throughout the communities that were the targets of his racist, sexist, and anti-immigrant diatribes.

Angry demonstrations and student walk-outs took place in a number of U.S. cities immediately following the election. Shouting anti-racist and feminist slogans such as “My body, my choice!” thousands marched on Nov. 9 in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere. In the San Francisco Bay Area, students marched out of several high schools while chanting, “Not our president!”

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Women Strike Around the World

Image result for women strike argentinaIn October there were mass protests linked with strike activity by women in three countries. The feminist strike demands were unique to each country and an indication of increased militancy around demands that address issues women have been fighting for year after year.

Poland: Abortion

On Oct. 3, seven million women throughout Poland turned out to defend their basic reproductive rights. They were protesting a proposed law that will force women to give birth and includes a prison sentence of up to five years for any woman who terminates a pregnancy. There could be a formal investigation of any woman who has a miscarriage.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Unmasked: A Socialist Feminist History of Halloween

I love Halloween. I love the color orange and the imagery of bats, pumpkins, black cats, spiders, and creepy things. I love wearing costumes, carving pumpkins, going to corn mazes, the brilliant hues of fall, pumpkin spice everything, scarecrows, migrating birds, gray skies, and empty fields. But, I also love socialism and feminism. I love the empowerment of workers and the quest for social justice. I love to think about how gender shapes and limits our lives. Thus, this analysis is the marriage of two great loves: Halloween and social justice. While Halloween is viewed as a liminal time between seasons and life and death, it is usually quite estranged from social justice considerations. Like any good activist, I want to pierce the veil between the superficial fun of celebration and the hidden realities of oppression. Behind the mask of every holiday is a hidden world of inequities.  Read more . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Native Americans Are Being Killed by Police at a Higher Rate Than Any Other Group

Suquamish Tribe Descendant Jeanette Riley, a 34-year-old mother of four, lay facedown on a Sandpoint, Idaho street.  One minute earlier, three police officers had arrived, summoned by staff at a nearby hospital. Her husband had sought help there because Riley—homeless, pregnant and with a history of mental illness—was threatening suicide. Riley had a knife in her right hand and was sitting in the couple’s parked van.

Wearing body armor and armed with an assault rifle and Glock pistols, the officers quickly closed in on Riley—one moving down the sidewalk toward the van, the other two crossing the roadway. They shouted instructions at her—to walk toward them, show them her hands. Cursing them, she refused.

Drop the knife!” they yelled, advancing, then opened fire.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Geoengineering the Planet: An Act of Mad Desperation

As a last-ditch effort to curb runaway global warming, while avoiding a definitive halt to fossil-fuel combustion, scientists, governments, entrepreneurs, and even right-wing think tanks are advocating various highly dangerous technologies to block solar radiation or draw down atmospheric carbon to cool the planet. Touted as Plan B, these risky methods come under the label of either Solar Radiation Management (SRM) or Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR).

SRM techniques under consideration include placing space-based solar deflectors in orbit, spewing sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere, and seeding clouds to increase their brightness. CDR techniques include Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) of CO2 from power-plant flue gases, the iron fertilization of the oceans to stimulate phytoplankton blooms, and burning acres of trees for biochar burial in soils.

For any of these ruinously expensive, energy-intensive techno-fixes to work, they must be applied on a planetary-wide, mega-scale, at great risk to Earth’s natural systems and human societies. Their implementation could result in an array of disastrous unintended consequences due to reckless human interference.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Prison Uprisings, From Attica to Today

Since September 9, thousands of prisoners in at least twenty-four states across the country have joined a series of strikes and protests demanding “an end to prison slavery.” The wave of strikes, now entering its fifth week, was timed to coincide with the forty-fifth anniversary of the 1971 Attica Prison uprising, which left twenty-nine inmates and ten hostages dead after a brutal raid by state troopers.

Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy is the first comprehensive history of this pivotal civil rights struggle and the lengths to which the state went to repress it. Here, Thompson discusses how the story came to light, and what it means for prison organizing today. —Editors