Peter Rugh

How the Gig Economy Is Changing the Way We Work and Live

This article was originally published on The Indypendent

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Hard to Believe: Police are Treating Protest Movements Like They are Terrorists

The New York Police Department has reportedly been giving young adults free tickets to screenings of “Selma,” and last month, on Martin Luther King Day, officers with the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood even drove a group of local teens to see the film, which depicts the historic march for voting rights. At the same time, however, the NYPD has sought to thwart, criminalize and defame the current incarnation of civil rights activism underway in New York, treating the Black Lives Matter movement as a threat on par with terrorism.

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The CUNY Wars: How David Petraeus Turned America's Most Diverse University Into a War Zone

Want to turn a university into a war zone? Invite General David Petraeus onto campus.

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How the Obama Administration Is Making Fracking on Public Lands Easier

The Obama Administration has proposed new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on 756 million acres of public and tribal lands. The rules were written by the drilling industry and will be streamlined into effect by a new intergovernmental task force, established by the president, to promote fracking — a practice that has been linked to water poisoning, air pollution, methane emissions and, most recently, earthquakes. Environmentalists, many of whom are highly skeptical that fracking can even be regulated, hope to use a brief window for citizen participation in the rule approval process to leverage the growing anti-fracking movement.

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Big Brother is Watching...Our Kids' Test Scores

Last week, students across New York finished a set of tests taken over a two-week period designed to measure their proficiency at reading and math against new federal college readiness standards known as Common Core.

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Fracking Comes to NYC in New Pipeline: Activists in New York and Across the Country Protest Fossil Fuel Escalation

A hard rain was falling on Monday night as Occupy the Pipeline activists spread out along New York’s Hudson River Park, in front of the site where workers in orange day-glow vests have been laboring around the clock on the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project. Known colloquially by the name of its builder, Spectra Energy, the Spectra Pipeline will pump fuel hydraulically-fracked from Pennsylvania’s gas fields into New York City. The very real risk of explosion along the densely populated regions through which the pipeline passes have made local residents want nothing to do with the project, as evidenced by letters submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during the pipeline’s approval process, when only 22 of the 5,000 letters were in the project’s favor. Nor are even those thousands of opponents alone; Monday’s action was part of a nationwide day of actions against fossil fuel infrastructure.

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Occupy's 'Bat Signal': Working to Keep the Movement in the Spotlight

In the back of a large white van parked on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, across from the mansion that houses the Russian consulate, Lucky Tran sits hunched over a laptop. Two members of Tran’s team are positioned nearby, ready to document what comes next in photo and video. “I’ve scouted the area,” Tran says, his face swathed in LCD light. “It should be fine, but we don’t want to overstay our welcome.” Tran stands up and adjusts the cranks protruding from the vehicle’s roof. Soon, the image of three heads in balaclavas, accompanied by the words “Free Pussy Riot” written in ransom lettering, appear emblazoned on the consulate’s limestone facade.

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