Since the President’s State of the Union message where he announced his plan to push corporate trade agreements and seek Fast Track trade promotion authority, the movement against Fast Track, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and globalized trade has grown. Instead of the bump in support that Obama expected after the State of the Union,opposition has increased inside Congress and in the grass roots.
The corporate media is reporting that since the Republican leadership and President Obama support Fast Track trade authority, it is a done deal. And that message, also heard by countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is driving the race to finalize that agreement.
For decades healthcare advocates in the state of Maryland worked with state senator Paul Pinsky who introduced a state health bill each year calling for a universal healthcare system that is publicly financed, a single payer system. Even when advocates educated lawmakers, gathered co-sponsors and testified in committees about the dire need for a health system that would solve the current healthcare crisis, one based on solid evidence, the bill fell flat. The closest we came was one vote short of getting it passed in one committee. We had all of the facts on our side, but no political muscle to move the bill.
There is a growing movement for labeling of GMO crops, and many would go further and ban GMOs completely. Currently there is a close vote in Oregon on a GMO labeling initiative, with advocates for labeling 0.3% behind and raising money to check ballots (we urge your support). Those who profit from GMOs spent $20 million to prevent labeling in Oregon. Several states in the Northeast have put in place laws that will require labeling.
For five days in a row this week a federal agency was blockaded by protesters, delaying workers, sending a strong message of demands and resulting in scores of arrests. Did you hear about the blockades in the corporate, mass media? The blockades were just a driveway's distance from CNN, just around the corner from NPR and in a mass media center, Washington, DC. Do you wonder why they did not report that there were blockades outside of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)? The protests were because FERC has been rubber stamping fracked gas infrastructure permits without considering the environmental and health impacts, especially ignoring climate change, and ignoring the views of the communities. Gas companies are very big advertisers in the mass media.
The climate crisis is a crisis of democracy requiring a coordinated global grassroots mobilization to stop harmful policies and practices and build alternative systems that are effective and equitable. The climate crisis affects all of us and touches everything we care about. It will take a mass ‘movement of movements’ to counter the power of money and corruption that prevents the change we need.
For months now, a battle has been raging at Florida State University to stop what student and faculty say is "[a] hostile political takeover of the presidential search process at FSU."
Each week, the American people are confronted with new abusive anti-democratic actions by the corporate-run government. The underlying cause is the rule of money which is now documented to have a greater effect on policy than the desires and needs of the public.
On June 11th in Berlin, a new international organization was announced whose purpose is to (1) defend whistleblowers when they are facing prosecution; and (2) defend the public’s right to know.
Editor's Note: Cecily released this note on May 9. On May 19, she will be sentenced after being found guilty for assaulting a police officer. She faces anywhere from probabtion to seven years in prison. You can read more about the case here.