Sarah Lazare

The Untold Story of Memorial Day: Former Slaves Honoring and Mourning the Dead

Union General John Logan is often credited with founding Memorial Day. The commander-in-chief of a Union veterans’ organization called the Grand Army of the Republic, Logan issued a decree establishing what was then named “Decoration Day” on May 5, 1868, declaring it “designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

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Farmworkers Fight Back Against Sexual Violence Only to Be Accused by Wendy's of 'Exploiting' #MeToo

The fast food giant Wendy’s provoked outrage on Wednesday when its spokesperson accused the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)—a farmworker organization that has spent decades fighting sexual abuse and modern-day slavery—of “exploiting” the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

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This Is the Best Chance Yet to Stop the U.S. War on Yemen - Where Are the Major Human Rights Orgs?

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the most powerful human rights organizations in the world, are declining to endorse a political push to end U.S. participation in the catastrophic Saudi-led war on Yemen.

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#MeToo In the Fields: Farmworkers Show Us How To Organize Against Sexual Violence

Lupe Gonzalo works in the tomato fields of Immokalee, Fla., worlds apart from the Hollywood celebrities whose #MeToo testimony is exposing widespread sexual violence and toppling powerful men. Yet, Gonzalo says that it is women like her, “with no platform and no voice, invisible and vulnerable,” who bear the brunt of workplace sexual assault—and who offer lessons in how to band together to defeat it.

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Unbelievable: One Chicago Cop Accused of Framing 51 People for Murder

Horrific acts of Chicago Police Department brutality, from killings to racial profiling to harassment of youth, do not spring from a few bad apples alone. Mounting evidence from city residents, grassroots organizations like We Charge Genocide and even the Department of Justice shows that the problem is system-wide, extending from streets to courts to jail cells and condoned by the chain of command, all the way up to the mayor’s office. However, focusing on the bad behavior of individual cops, and examining how the system responds, can be instructive.

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Rahm Emanuel's Outrageous New Graduation Requirements Would Help the Military Recruit from the Very Schools He Guts

Mayor Rahm Emanuel provoked ire Wednesday when he announced a new requirement that Chicago Public School students must prove that they are enrolled in “postsecondary pathway like a university, community college, or an apprenticeship in order to graduate. A “military acceptance/enlistment letter” is included among the options for meeting the criteria, raising concerns that Emanuel is helping the Department of Defense recruit from one of the most impoverished and racially segregated school districts in the country.

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Look Beyond Caitlyn Jenner: Transgender Women of Color Are Fighting for Their Lives

Last Thursday marked the eighth annual International Transgender Day of Visibility, an occasion aimed at pushing back against the exclusion and isolation this community has been forced to endure.

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Social Justice Groups Unite Against Trump's Deadly, Bloated War Budget

Fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. denounced the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism, a coalition of racial, social, economic and gender justice groups is condemning Donald Trump’s proposal to dramatically increase funding for the greatest purveyor of violence in the world: the U.S. military.

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This Could Happen to You: Revenue-Hungry Cities Mess With Traffic Lights to Write More Tickets and Make Driving More Dangerous

As privately operated red-light cameras proliferate across the country, cities and towns shortening yellow lights spike the number of tickets, and thereby increase revenue. The profits come at a social cost, as shorter yellow light times have been associated with an increase in car accidents.

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Diverse Protest Groups Unite As 'The Majority,' Aiming for Large-Scale Demonstrations on May 1st

On April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “Beyond Vietnam” speech in which he denounced the scourges of “poverty, racism, and militarism.” Exactly one year later, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while organizing alongside black sanitation workers and preparing to launch the Poor People’s Campaign.

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You Might Be Surprised Where the Leading Areas of Drug Overdose Are in the U.S.

The number of premature deaths due to drug overdoses has skyrocketed in large suburban counties in the United States, which went from having the lowest to the highest rate over the past 10 years, according to a new study.

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What a Brutally Violent ICE Raid Can Tell Us About Trump's Creeping Police State

On March 27, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unleashed terror on residents of northwest Chicago when an agent shot and seriously wounded a man in a home where eight family members were present, including a child as young as one.

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Is Trump Waging a Stealth War of Retaliation Against Sanctuary Cities?

As Attorney General Jeff Sessions doubles down on President Donald Trump’s threats to crack down on sanctuary cities, evidence is mounting that the administration has already made them the target of retaliatory immigration raids as part of a backdoor effort to force compliance.

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Why a Staggering Number of White Working-Class Americans Are Succumbing to 'Deaths of Despair'

In 2015, Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton released a bombshell study that revealed a dramatic rise in mortality among non-Hispanic, middle-aged white people in the United States. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, their paper found that the increase in deaths among middle-aged white Americans between 1999 and 2013 is “comparable to lives lost in the U.S. AIDS epidemic through mid-2015.”

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Pro-Israel Group That Claims to Renounce 'Hate' Has Been Quietly Funding Islamophobia Industry

The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) advertises itself as an organization dedicated to giving “help and hope to the most vulnerable.” The large federation, which mobilizes U.S. support for the state of Israel, in February staged an “Interfaith Gathering Against Hate,” which ostensibly brought Chicago's Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities together under the banner of “love thy neighbor. Last September, the JUF organized an event featuring the opposition-aligned Karam Foundation and the Syrian American Medical Society, which it says was aimed at addressing the “Humanitarian crisis in Syria.”

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Big Strike Brewing Against Trump: Coalition of More Than 300,000 Food Workers to Join May Day Showdown

A network of more than 300,000 farmworkers, servers, cooks and food-manufacturers, including a large local chain of the Service Employees International Union, is joining a May 1 nationwide strike “to stop the relentless attacks of the Trump administration and its allies in corporate America.”

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Children as Young as Three Detained 500 Days and Counting in Disgraceful Immigrant Prisons

For more than 600 days and two Christmas holidays, Marlene and her seven-year-old son Antonio have languished in indefinite detention at Pennsylvania’s “Berks Family Residential Center,” a glorified term for an immigrant prison. Her child has been granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), which the U.S. government says is supposed to “help foreign children in the United States who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected.” But instead of sanctuary, or even a fair hearing, Marlene and her son face open-ended incarceration and “expedited removal” orders, compounding the trauma they endured when they were forced to flee their home in El Salvador under threat of gang violence.

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Trump Wants to Hand $54 Billion More to One of the World's Biggest Drivers of Climate Catastrophe

In his proposed budget unveiled Thursday, President Trump called for dramatic cuts to initiatives aimed at combatting climate change, as well as a wide swath of social programs, to make way for a $54 billion increase in military spending.

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This Year on Track to Be Deadliest for Transgender Women - But Activists Are Fighting Back

Responding to the call “give us our roses while we’re still here,” communities across the United States on Wednesday are staging vigils, rallies and speak-outs as part of a national day of action to "celebrate the lives of black trans women and protect all trans women and femmes.”

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GOP Rep. Steve King's Statements Are Outrageous, but His White Nationalist Policies Are Even More of a Threat

Iowa Representative Steve King provoked widespread outrage this week for making, and then defending, white-supremacist statements in support of Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch fascist Party for Freedom, in the leadup to the Netherlands' Wednesday election.

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Trump's Plan to Gut HUD Threatens the Very Survival of America's Poor

Rosemary Holmes has lived in Newark's Terrell Holmes for the better part of six decades. She, like many others in the building, has raised children in its courtyards and hallways, and forged a tight-knit community of friends and neighbors. At the age of 68, she has been forced to band with other tenants to fight local efforts to shutter the facility. Now, as the Trump administration weighs plans to gut the Department of Housing and Urban Development, she has a new battle on her hands.

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Women Across the World Walk Out and Unite Against Violence, in Spite of Police Arrests and Harassment

On March 8, people took to the streets, walked out of work, and wore red to show solidarity in cities and towns across the world, in an International Women’s Day protest against the gender-based violence inflicted by neoliberalism, war, and poverty.

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Private Prison Execs Are Gloating Over Soaring Profits from Trump's Mass Deportation Agenda

In a February 22 call with investors, the private prison corporation GEO Group openly boasted that the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants is boosting its bottom line and fueling its expansion.

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Labor and Women's Rights Movement Plan Ambitious Mass Protests to Fight Trumpism

Sectors of the U.S. labor movement are throwing their weight behind an International Women’s Day call for mass actions to protest the gendered violence wrought by neoliberalism, from workplace harassment to environmental destruction to the gutting of welfare systems.

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How the U.S. Created a Human Rights Disaster in Honduras - and How It Can Be Stopped

One year after indigenous Lenca social movement leader, Berta Cáceres, was assassinated, her family is calling on the U.S. government to stop bankrolling violent repression targeting human rights and environmental defenders who are following in her footsteps.

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Why the EU Is Deeply Responsible for Major Humanitarian Crisis

The European Union is using funding as leverage to pressure African states to crackdown on Eritrean migrants and refugees, thereby preventing them from reaching European shores, a new report from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) finds. This “externalization” of the EU’s borders is predicated on trapping Eritreans in conditions where they are subject to torture, rape, trafficking, killings and the trauma of watching others die before them.

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Here Comes the Police State: New Laws Aim for Brutal Crackdown on Protest

The rise of right-wing populism in the United States—from the White House to state legislatures—has been met with public resistance on a stunning scale. Millions have taken to the streets, staged direct actions and flooded airports to resist a flurry of presidential decrees targeting undocumented, black, refugee, LGBTQ and poor communities. And long before Trump took the White House, the Black Lives Matter movement and indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock were leading the way with sustained mobilizations in the face of staggering repression.

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Activism: Undocumented Communities Organized and Ready to Fight Trump's Mass Expulsion Orders

The Trump administration’s campaign of hate and mass expulsion targeting immigrants is being met with sustained resistance by the very communities caught in the crosshairs.

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Law Enforcement Using Facebook and Apple to Data-Mine Accounts of Trump Protest Arrestees

Law enforcement is compelling Apple and Facebook to hand over the personal information of users who were mass arrested at protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., AlterNet has confirmed. The tech giants appear to be complying with the data-mining requests, amid mounting concerns over the heavy-handed crackdown against the more than 200 people detained on January 20, among them journalists, legal observers and medics.

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Psychologists Say Stress Caused by Trump Administration Poses Threat to Public Health

Two-thirds of people in the United States say that concern over the future of the country is a “very or somewhat significant” source of stress, according to a new report from the American Psychological Association.

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