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

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Vote for Jeff Mackler and Karen Schraufnagel!

Be sure to check out these two upcoming events featuring Socialist Action's vice presidential candidate, Karen Schraufnagel, who will be touring the Twin Ports on October 7th and 8th. On Oct. 7 Karen will be speaking on Why You Should Vote Socialist at 6:30pm in the basement of the Duluth Building for Women. And on Oct. 8 there will be a Meet and Greet social for Karen at Solidarity House (1506 N. 19th St. in Superior). Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Thousands of Prisoners Strike Across the Country

Sept. 9 saw thousands of incarcerated men and women go on strike to take a stand against civil and environmental injustice in their respective prisons. The multi-state strike was organized both inside and outside of the prisons.

Some unions have begun addressing the twin issues of racial justice and economic justice with all their members. These discussions have moved from mere individual solutions to the need to end “institutional racism.” There is no clearer example of institutional racism than the prison system.

Jay Cooke, Labor Day, and Crazy Train Capitalism


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Striking Twin Cities Nurses Challenge Allina Board

The 16 members of Allina Health’s board of directors have remained mostly above the fray since a contentious round of negotiations with nearly 5,000 union nurses began in February.

But that changed last week, when Allina nurses at five Twin Cities facilities began an open-ended strike and, at the same time, rolled out a campaign to hold their not-for-profit employer’s governing body accountable.


The Minnesota Nurses Association (link is external), which represents striking nurses, is publicly questioning whether Allina’s negotiating team, led by CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler, has provided board members with accurate information, particularly when it comes to the cost of prolonging the work stoppage after the two sides came so close to an agreement in their most recent talks.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Reckless Security Firm Guarding Dakota Pipeline Has Dark Past in Palestine

When the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe mobilized thousands to protect their land and water in Cannon Ball, North Dakota from a proposed $3.8 billion crude-oil pipeline, they were met with national guard deployments, police crackdowns, an FBI investigation and private security forces that attacked them with dogs. A key firm hired during this time to provide security for the pipeline company, Dakota Access LLC, is the British multinational G4S—one of the largest private security corporations in the world targeted by a years-long global boycott campaign for profiting from the inhumane treatment of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including the torture of children.

G4S announced in March that it plans to halt all of its business with Israel in the next 12 to 24 months, in what was hailed as a significant human rights victory, with international campaigners vowing to hold the company to its word. However, the corporation’s role in protecting the Dakota access pipeline indicates that G4S is profiting from a different colonial context, this time in North Dakota's Indian country.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Standing Up at Standing Rock


Some 1,000 Native American activists from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and across the country faced off against police and security forces protecting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline project. Dozens of people have been arrested and assaulted by police while attempting to stop the project, and many more continue to risk arrest to protest the pipeline.

The Dakota Access pipeline, which is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, is planned to stretch 1,172 miles from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa, before ending in Illinois.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Hiatus

The Northern Worker is on a break while the editor gets a new computer to replace the old one, which has died.  We hope to be back up and running soon.  Thanks for your patience.