Death Data Shows Protest Not of Big Farmers

Newsclick reached out to Lakhwinder Singh, Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Khalsa College, Patiala, to discuss the study he and Shergill undertook. Singh explains what their data suggest, the emergence of inter-class alliances in rural India, and why the protest movement has become a battle for their very survival.

In the joint study you and Baldev Singh Shergill undertook, “Separating Wheat from the Chaff: Farm Laws, Farmers’ Protest and Outcomes”, there is a rich vein of data on farmers who died during the ongoing protest movement. How did you all collect the data?

We have been following farmers’ protest ever since they began to amass on the outskirts of New Delhi on 26 November 2020. After a month or so, we read media reports on the death of some protestors. From these reports, we gathered the names of the deceased and the villages to which they belonged. We secured their telephone numbers, talked to their families, and gathered details such as their age and the size of their landholdings.

— source newsclick.in | 17 Nov 2021

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#farmersprotest

US drug overdose deaths surged to 100,000

More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021, according to new provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This staggering number, a dismal record for human misery, coincides roughly with the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 killed about 509,000 people during that same timeframe, from May 2020 to April 2021. The drug overdose death toll jumped 29.5 percent from the same period a year earlier and has nearly doubled over the past five years. Synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl, caused 64 percent of these overdose deaths, up nearly 50 percent from the year before, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

— source wsws.org | 17 Nov 2021

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1,000+ Environmental Defenders Killed Since Paris Accord — 1 in 3 Indigenous

Activists held a memorial in Glasgow for those unable to attend this year’s U.N. climate summit: 1,005 land and environmental defenders who have been murdered since the 2015 Paris Agreement. One in three of those defenders killed was an Indigenous person. This comes as 2020 was the most dangerous year on record for environmental and land defenders. We speak with Andrea Ixchíu, a Maya K’iche’ leader, journalist and human rights defender based in Guatemala. Ixchíu says that the Guatemalan government, influenced by transnational corporate interests, has launched an assault on Indigenous land defenders: “They [Indigenous leaders] are not allowed to be in their communities defending their land and their territory because of the militizariation.” Speaking on COP26, Ixchíu says, “We do not just want to be observers,” and “If you want to create more solutions to the climate crisis, it’s really important to give land back to Indigenous communities.”

I would like to start honoring the existence, the lives of these people that are taking care of forests, land, water, air, that are facing the effects of the climate crisis but also facing the violence that in countries like Guatemala is imposed by the Guatemalan government, by the extractive industries, that are not just causing the climate crisis but also perpetrating colonialist behavior in our territories and in our lands.

I am here also to say that there has been a lot of Indigenous people that has been put into prison, that is not allowed to be in their communities defending their land and their territory because of the militarization.

— source democracynow.org | Nov 08, 2021

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UAW member hit, killed by car near John Deere picket line

A vehicle struck and killed a United Auto Workers member Wednesday as he was walking to a picket line to join striking workers outside a John Deere distribution plant in northwest Illinois, the union and police said. The man, identified as 56-year-old Richard Rich, was struck at about 6 a.m. CDT at an intersection near a road that leads to the John Deere Parts Distribution Center in Milan, Illinois, Police Chief Shawn Johnson said. More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike this month at 14 Deere factories in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia.

— source apnews.com | Oct 28, 2021

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Up to 180,000 health care workers have died from COVID-19

In the latest in a series of statistics showing the disastrous social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that as many as 180,000 health care workers have died from the ongoing pandemic worldwide. “Between 80,000 to 180,000 health and care workers could have died from Covid-19 in the period between January 2020 to May 2021,” the WHO stated. These workers are among the approximately 15 million people worldwide who have died from the pandemic, according to “excess death” statistics published by the Economist. Health care workers, who have been battling the pandemic for close to two years, are approaching exhaustion.

— source wsws.org | 22 Oct 2021

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12th Prisoner Dies at NYC’s Rikers Island

humanitarian crisis unfolding in the world’s largest jail complex, which is located right here in New York City, one of the world’s richest cities. It’s on an island in the middle of the East River between Queens and the Bronx. Most of the 5,700 people in the city’s jails are held at Rikers Island. Most of them are awaiting trial. Amid skyrocketing violence, staffing shortages, chronic medical neglect, some are calling Rikers a “death trap.” So far this year, 12 people have died at Rikers and the city’s jails — the most since 2016 — including five suicides: Wilson Diaz-Guzman, Javier Velasco, Tomas Carlo Camacho, Brandon Rodriguez, Segundo Guallpa, Thomas Braunson III, Richard Blake, Jose Mejia Martinez, Robert Jackson, Esias Johnson, Karim Isaabdul and Stephen Khadu. Last month, more than a dozen elected officials visited Rikers Island following reports of worsening conditions. This is New York Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas speaking after touring Rikers.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 15, 2021

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Under Cover of Mass Death, Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia

For a few fleeting moments during New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile.

“We are ready, we’re all-in,” the governor gushed. “We are New Yorkers, so we’re aggressive about it, we’re ambitious about it. … We realize that change is not only imminent, but it can actually be a friend if done the right way.”

The inspiration for these uncharacteristically good vibes was a video visit from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who joined the governor’s briefing to announce that he will be heading up a blue-ribbon commission to reimagine New York state’s post-Covid reality, with an emphasis on permanently integrating technology into every aspect of civic life.

“The first priorities of what we’re trying to do,” Schmidt said, “are focused on telehealth, remote learning, and broadband. … We need to look for solutions that can be presented

— source theintercept.com | Naomi Klein | May 8 2020

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The tiniest bit of air pollution makes COVID-19 more deadly

Dirty air in the United States is linked to higher death rates from COVID-19, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard’s school of public health. Scientists found that people who lived in counties in with elevated levels of fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5 in the air were more likely to die from the virus.

PM 2.5 is one of the world’s most dangerous invisible pollutants. It’s made up of tiny particles (smaller than 2.5 micrometers across) that can seep into human lungs and bloodstreams. It comes from automobile exhaust and dirty power plants, as well as from burning wood and coal. Many studies have linked high levels of PM 2.5 to heart disease, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, and other respiratory illnesses. Researchers have estimated that PM 2.5 contributed to 4.2 million deaths worldwide in 2015 alone.

According to the Harvard analysis, which has yet to be peer reviewed, just a small increase in long-term levels of PM 2.5 — even one microgram per cubic meter of air — could increase COVID-19 death rates by 15

— source grist.org | Shannon Osaka | Apr 9, 2020

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Texas School District Cancels Classes After 2 Teachers Die of COVID-19

In Arizona, more than 1,000 healthcare workers have signed an open letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, pleading with them to mandate masks in K-12 schools. This week, schools in and around Phoenix reported 227 active outbreaks, with nearly 1,700 students and 450 school employees infected.

In Central Texas, the Connally Independent School District near Waco has canceled classes after two teachers died of COVID-19 in the same week. Sixth-grade social studies teacher Natalia Chansler was just 41 years old. She died Saturday just days after her colleague, 59-year-old Andy McCormick, succumbed to the disease. Their school does not require that students or teachers wear masks.

— source democracynow.org | Sep 02, 2021

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