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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. This week, following the recent announcement of a new National Defense Strategy that focuses on conflicts with great powers and a new arms race, the Pentagon announced an escalation of nuclear weapons development. The United States’ military is spread across the world, including several dangerous conflict areas that could develop into an all-out war, possibly in conflict with China or Russia. This comes at a time when US empire is fading, something the Pentagon also recognizes and the US is falling behind China economically. -more-
By Ken Jones. We came to Honduras at the urgent request of SHARE El Salvador, a humanitarian aid organization with a long history of solidarity work in Central America. Police and military repression in Honduras since the overtly fraudulent elections in November 2017 has been getting worse, with over thirty people killed and more than one thousand in jails. Death threats aimed at those who are raising their voices the loudest are getting more overt and intense. We were reminded how remarkable the people of this country are. They continue in their courageous struggle with good humor, graciousness, and resilience, despite the grim repression they face. -more-
By Will Griffin. Hiroji Yamashiro has been a fierce leader of the anti-base movement on Okinawa Island in fighting back against the blanket of U.S. militarism that covers the island. Yamashiro, along with other anti-base activists, have been arrested and are being charged. 18.4 percent of the island belongs to the Pentagon in the form of 32 military bases, tens of thousands of troops, and constant military training exercises either near or just overhead of major civilian populations. I’ve met university students who told me they have no idea what life is like without helicopters constantly flying over them and interrupting their daily routines. The anti-base movement in Okinawa is leading the way in fighting base against the American Empire of Bases. Its time we support them in their fight. -more-
By Allan C. Brownfeld. The Middle East remains a subject of increasing examination and debate. The prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians seem to be receding. Early in 2018, Israel’s ruling Likud Party unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for the annexation of West Bank settlements. This decision marked the latest step by Likud to distance itself from the internationally backed idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state as part of a future peace agreement. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan declared: “We are telling the world that it doesn’t matter what the nations of the world say. The time has come to express our biblical right to the land.” -more-
By Urana McCauley. Rosa Parks — my Auntie Rosa — was not just a tired old lady who sat down on a bus one day. With February 4 being (what would have been) my great aunt’s 105th birthday, I’m going to Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit to pay her my respects. But I also pay her my respects by refusing to let her legacy be turned into a caricature. I believe her story is more relevant than ever because she and people like her laid a foundation so that women today can be more vocal, can run for office, can demand equal rights and equal pay, and say we don’t have to be harassed. -more-
By Lauren Weber. Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a groundbreaking policy statement highlighting the importance, and irreversibility, of the 1,000-day window. “Failure to provide key nutrients during this critical period of brain development may result in lifelong deficits in brain function despite subsequent nutrient repletion,” the AAP Committee on Nutrition said. In other words, no amount of catch-up can completely fix the lost time for brain formation. Malnourishing the brain can produce a lower IQ; lead to a lifetime of chronic medical problems; increase the risk of obesity, hypertension and diabetes; and cost that individual future academic achievement and job success. -more-
By Keisha N. Blain. Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the historical contributions of black people in the United States. Too often, however, this history focuses on black men, sidelining black women and diminishing their contributions. This is true in mainstream narratives of black nationalist movements in the United States. These narratives almost always highlight the experiences of a handful of black nationalist men, including Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan. Contrary to popular conceptions, women were also instrumental to the spread and articulation of black nationalism – the political view that people of African descent constitute a separate group on the basis of their distinct culture, shared history and experiences. -more-
By Michael Arria. The Tom Cat campaign can also serve as a blueprint for activists and workers fighting workplace raids around the country. “I want to demonstrate resistance to Trump’s immigrant-hating policies and Tom Cat’s complicity, and I want to give sympathizers something concrete to do that would actually make a difference,” she says. “If Tom Cat Bakery wakes up to the moral and economic imperative to find ways to publically stand by their immigrant workers, it will represent a model for business everywhere. If a few high-profile businesses get it, that’s leverage. That’s a movement. That’s resistance.” -more-
By Fight for 15. Thousands of fast-food cooks and cashiers announced Thursday they will walk off their jobs and protest nationwide Feb. 12 – the 50th anniversary of the historic Memphis sanitation strike – carrying on the fight for higher wages and union rights led by hundreds of black municipal workers whose 1968 walkout became a rallying cry of the Poor People’s Campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Workers in the Fight for $15 declared they will participate in six weeks of direct action and nonviolent civil disobedience beginning Mother’s Day as part of the new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, uniting two of the nation’s most powerful social movements in a common fight for strong unions to lift people of all races out of poverty. -more-
By Tony Cartalucci. The protest leaders vowed to gather weekly until their demands were met. This is a thinly veiled threat, with the protests taking place precisely where previous protests organized by the same interests carried out gun battles with government troops, mass murder against counter-protesters, and committed widespread and devastating arson in the surrounding areas. The protesters seek to overthrow Thailand’s independent institutions including its military and constitutional monarchy, and return US proxies to power, particularly billionaire and former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra and his Pheu Thai Party (PTP). Thaksin Shinawatra is a convicted criminal who fled Thailand to evade a two year jail sentence. -more-
By Jon Jeter. In the decade since he stepped onto the national stage, Barack Obama has inspired a coterie of black writers like Coates who have largely foregone reportage and robust interrogation for a kind of anger management, in an apparent attempt to lower the public’s expectations of the 44th president — and to reassure African-Americans especially that, despite losing more of their wealth than at any time in history, everything is swell. In his groundbreaking 1978 book, Orientalism, the late Palestinian intellectual Edward Said posited that the West has historically sought to qualify its imperialism by assigning men of science and letters the exercise of shifting the blame for colonialism from the colonizer to the colonized. -more-
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