Alyssa Figueroa

Morning Joe Says Rap Music Responsible for Racist Frat Chant - And Twitter Responds Brilliantly

In a cringe-inducing news segment, five white people sat around a table on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the recently released video of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity’s racist chant.

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What To Do About Your Jerk of a Boss Before You Get PTSD

Editor's note: The following is the latest in a new series of articles on AlterNet called Fear in America that launched this March. Read the introduction to the series.

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Guess Which "Liberal" State Has 500 Laws Aimed at Oppressing the Homeless?

Cities in the United States have a long history of criminalizing the public presence of people they consider undesirable. In the late 1800s, Southern cities established “sundown towns,” laws that restricted black people from being outside after sunset. Throughout the 19th century, cities ratified “ugly laws,” banning people who were diseased or deformed from being outside. During the Great Depression, California cities passed an “anti-Okie” law, making it illegal to assist poor people entering the state. 

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Meet the Badass Activist Collective Bringing Direct Action Back to Black Communities

In October, organizers in Ferguson put out a call for people nationwide to come to the city to participate in four days of resistance to demand justice for Michael Brown, who was killed in August by police officer Darren Wilson.

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9 Revolting Videos of Cops Abusing People (Just From Last Month)

Give a person a gun, tell them they can kill anyone they perceive as a threat to their safety, and what are you left with? An unsurprisingly toxic police culture in which some officers feel free to abuse their power. In January alone, cell phone videos, police dash cams and surveillance video managed to capture at least nine headline-making incidents of cop-on-citizen brutality. Some of these videos include footage released in January, though the incidents occurred prior to January. 

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The Ugly Walmart Truth: Some Managers Treat Workers Like Dirt

Low wages, no benefits, irregular schedules, and unreliable hours are just some of the horrible working conditions most Walmart workers have to endure. Yet when I asked some of the workers what they consider the worst part about working for the corporation, they didn’t mention any of these wretched labor practices. Instead, they all gave the same answer: disrespectful managers.

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Watch: Men Accidentally Catcall their Mothers In Genius Video on Street Harassment

“You wouldn’t want someone to speak to your daughter that way.”

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4 Things You Need to Know About the Assault on Women's Rights on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

On the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, the anti-abortion movement has geared up its ongoing fight to control women’s bodies. With a Congress that is openly hostile to reproductive rights, and state legislatures showing no signs of stopping their own attacks on womens’ right to choose, the future certainly seems grim.

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Why You Should Pay Attention to this Activist’s Attendance at the State of the Union

Politicians often invite guests to the State of the Union who are the face of a campaign they are championing. But at least one invitee this year stands out for championing a movement herself: Emma Sulkowicz.

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What You Can Do to Highlight MLK's Radical Legacy

Across the country, cities often celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a Day of Service, in which people are encouraged to volunteer for their communities. But this year, organizers coast-to-coast are pushing for a more radical approach to honoring the true legacy of the civil rights leader.

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Homelessness Isn't Inevitable But Rather A Manifestation of a Society that Is Sorely Lacking in Justice

When you first meet Paul Boden, the executive director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) that's working to end homelessness, his initial shyness leaves you unprepared for what’s about to come. Just start chatting with Boden about homelessness, and his energy surfaces as if he’s explaining the crisis for the first time. Within minutes, he’s waving his hands and dropping f-bombs, which oddly makes you warm up to him quickly. It's probably because the best part about talking to Boden is you know he’s the real deal. While homeless himself in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood in the '80s, Boden started organizing to eliminate homelessness and he's continued ever since.

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Officials Ban Die-Ins at Grand Central Station

On Tuesday, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority announced it would no longer permit die-ins at Grand Central Terminal. Since the failure to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner, protesters have been participating in die-ins at the Terminal nearly every night. This sort of demonstration has become an increasingly popular tactic of the Black Lives Matter movement, in which protesters raise awareness of racist police violence by lying down to symbolize its end result: the death of people of color.

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10 Worst Things Walmart Did in 2014

From mistreating pregnant workers to illegally disciplining workers fighting for change, Walmart has stooped to dismal lows in 2014. In its hunt for endless profit, the world’s largest private employer continues to do everything in its power to squeeze workers and silence those who speak out. Fortunately, a growing number of workers are standing up through OUR Walmart, a community of former and current workers pushing for better labor conditions. Worker power is scaring Walmart into taking some of the most ruthless and chilling actions we've witnessed to date. Here are the top 10 of 2014.

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Top 5 Groundbreaking Movements That Rocked the Boat in 2014

2014 was an unjust year to say the least. From corporations pursuing control of the Internet to cops getting away with murder, the last 12 months were certainly filled with oppression. But that doesn’t mean people didn’t fight back. There was plenty of resistance from activists across the country pushing for change.

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Activists Plan March to Demand Firing of Officer Who Tweeted #CopsLivesMatter, Death Threats Against Protesters

On Thursday, activists plan to march to the San Jose police headquarters to demand the firing of Officer Phillip White for his recent threatening tweets, according to Inside Bay Area News

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8 Developments of the Black Lives Matter Movement Most People Don't Know About

This weekend, tens of thousands of people took to the streets nationwide to demand justice for victims of police brutality and unify around the message that black lives matter. While most Americans may have heard about the protests that drew large crowds in New York City, Washington, DC and the Bay Area, unconventional actions that received less attention in the press are also propelling the movement forward. In their struggle to dismantle the systemic violence communities of color face, activists are experimenting with new tactics and ideas to advance the fight.

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Walmart Manager Allegedly Wanted to 'Shoot Everyone' Organizing for Better Working Conditions at Store

Raymond Bravo, a former Walmart employee in Richmond, CA, decided to go on strike with his co-workers back in November 2012 because they were tired of being disrespected. After their white manager made a racially charged comment, enough was enough.

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Protestors Lie on Train Tracks, Stop Interstate Traffic in Berkeley

At 5pm on Monday evening, University of California Berkeley students and their supporters began crowding the campus entrance. Students handed out protest kits in case the Berkeley Police Department decided to use tear gas, as they did Saturday night. The kit also included a list of people's legal rights in case of police confrontations:

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Exploding Protest Movement Goes National as Citizens Demand an End to Era of Brutal, Racist Policing

Late Saturday, hours into a protest march over police brutality in Berkeley, Calif., police were looking to make arrests and spotted Kyle McCoy. 

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How Workers in One City Won the Fight Against Too Few Hours on Too Short Notice

The careers of workers in the retail industry are often at the mercy of their employers. Workers, especially those in part-time positions, often don’t receive their schedules far enough in advance to plan their lives, nor do they get enough hours to make ends meet.

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Fast Food Workers and Other Low-Wage Employees Strike In 190 Cities Today

Fast food workers along with other low-wage employees in trades like the airline and home care industries went on strike Thursday in nearly 200 cities nationwide. Workers are calling for $15 an hour and a union. Today's strikes may be the largest work stoppage in the industry's history. 

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Personnel File Reveals Cleveland Officer Who Shot and Killed 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice Had a Troubling History

The personnel file of Tim Loehmann, the officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, reveals some troubling details about his performance as an officer for the Independence Police Department in Ohio.

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Will NYC Follow Ferguson After Grand Jury Fails to Indict Cop Who Killed Eric Garner?

When I asked local organizer Josmar Trujillo on Tuesday if he thought there would be an indictment for Daniel Pantaleo, the New York City police officer who killed Eric Garner after putting him in a choke hold, he said he wasn’t sure.

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Surveillance Video Shows Police Waited 4 Minutes to Deliver First-Aid to 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice

An analysis of a surveillance video that captured the Cleveland police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice found that the officers waited four minutes to deliver first aid to the boy. 

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Activists Are Eating an Organic Thanksgiving Dinner on Monsanto Headquarters’ Lawn Today

Performance activists Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir will have an organic, non-GMO, local Thanksgiving feast in a very unlikely place this year: the lawn of Monsanto—the world’s largest biotechnology seed company.

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Working for Walmart Is Even Worse Than You Think

When I met Victoria Alvarez, 50, at a café after her shift at Walmart, I didn’t notice her knee brace. Instead I noticed her dark eyes and glittery nail polish, which in some ways is a great metaphor for Alvarez. She’s hurting, but her bold personality still dominates.

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NYPD Commissioner Bratton Splattered with Fake Blood During Protests for Michael Brown

Protests took place across the country last night after the grand jury in Ferguson failed to indict officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. In NYC, thousands of protesters swarmed Times Square and eventually shut down the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Triborough bridges.

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Marissa Alexander Accepts Plea Deal, Forced to Return to Prison

Marissa Alexander, the domestic violence victim facing trial in Florida for firing a warning shot, accepted a plea deal on Monday. The deal required Alexander to plead guilty to aggravated assault in exchange for three years in prison. The 1,030 days she already spent in prison will be counted. Alexander, who was out on bail, will return to Duval County Jail after Monday’s hearing and has 65 days left to serve. She will be released on Jan. 27, and placed under house arrest for two years.

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14 Greedy Companies That Are Forcing Employees to Work on Thanksgiving

To open or close your store on a national holiday? Apparently, that is the question for some corporations again this year.

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Walmart Is Holding Food Drives Again to Urge Workers to Help Feed Their Co-Workers

Last year, when Walmart workers in Ohio released a photo (below) of food donation bins in their break room, the corporation was faced with fierce backlash. A sign on the bins read: “Please donate food items here so Associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.” The hypocrisy of such a large and profitable corporation asking its low-wage workers to help feed its other low-wage workers rightfully sparked outrage. 

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Walmart's Bottomless Greed: Dodging Billions in Taxes, Scheming to Avoid Billions More

There’s another reason Walmart is known as one of America’s greediest corporations: it won’t pay its fair share of taxes.

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