NYC Taxi Drivers Launch Hunger Strike

in New York City, where a group of taxi drivers are launching a hunger strike today, demanding the city enact debt relief for thousands of drivers who have been devastated by massive debt, accrued largely due to the artificially inflated cost of taxi medallions. This comes after taxi drivers held a 30-day, round-the-clock protest outside City Hall. Drivers have also been denouncing the mental health impacts triggered by the financial ruin. At least nine drivers have died by suicide.

it’s just been really devastating. I mean, we’ve had nine driver suicides. And at this point, where drivers have an average debt of $550,000, the city has basically no solution. They’ve come out with what’s really just a cash bailout to the banks, with no real relief for the drivers. Thousands and thousands of families are going to be left in a debt, that it will be beyond their lifetime, and they’ll be earning below minimum wage just to pay it off.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 20, 2021

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Black Socialist on Democratic Ticket for Buffalo Mayor

The chair of New York’s Democratic Party is facing calls to resign, after he compared Buffalo mayoral candidate India Walton to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Walton shocked the Democratic establishment in June when she defeated the Buffalo four-term Mayor Byron Brown in the Democratic primary. India Walton is a Black single mother. She’s a registered nurse, a longtime community activist and a self-described socialist. But many of the state’s top Democrats, including Governor Kathy Hochul and Senator Chuck Schumer, are refusing to endorse her in the general election. The Buffalo mayor, Byron Brown, is now running a write-in campaign in attempt to stay in office. But she already defeated him.

I am hyper-focused on the next week and a half, approximately, a little more than that, and in winning the general election convincingly enough to let people know that the voters of Buffalo is who was calling for a change in leadership. You know, I think what Jay Jacobs said about me is unfortunate and misguided, but I’m definitely not focused on that. I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the space in my heart for too much anger, because right now I am running for mayor of Buffalo as an expression of love.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 20, 2021

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Will 2021 Be Public Banking’s Watershed Moment?

Just over two months into the new year, 2021 has already seen a flurry of public banking activity. Sixteen new bills to form publicly-owned banks or facilitate their formation were introduced in eight U.S. states just in January and February. Two bills for a state-owned bank were introduced in New Mexico, two in Massachusetts, two in New York, one each in Oregon and Hawaii, and Washington State’s Public Bank Bill was re-introduced as a “Substitution.” Bills for city-owned banks were introduced in Philadelphia and San Francisco, and bills facilitating the formation of public banks or for a feasibility study were introduced in New York, Oregon (three bills), and Hawaii.

In addition, California is expected to introduce a bill for a state-owned bank later this year, and New Jersey is moving forward with a strong commitment from its governor to implement one. At the federal level, three bills for public banking were also introduced last year: the National Infrastructure Bank Bill (HR 6422), a new Postal Banking Act (S 4614), and the Public Banking Act (HR 8721). (For details on all these bills, see the Public Banking Institute website here.)

— source scheerpost.com | Ellen Brown | Mar 3, 2021

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Facebook ‘whistleblower’ Frances Haugen represented by US intelligence insiders

A former employee of Facebook named Frances Haugen earned national renown after appearing before Congress on October 5, 2021 to accuse the company where she once worked of everything from poisoning the minds of young American women to aiding and abetting global evildoers.

While Haugen has presented herself as a “whistleblower” who risked it all to expose the secrets of the powerful, she was cultivated and legally represented by an organization led by former intelligence insiders with close ties to the US national security state.

Called Whistleblower Aid, the outfit was founded by a national security lawyer, Mark Zaid, who has been accused of ratting out his client, CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, to his employers in Langley. Zaid is joined by a former State Department official and government-approved whistleblower, John Tye, ex-CIA and Pentagon official Andrew Bakaj, and veteran US government information warrior, Libby Liu, who has specialized in supporting color revolution-style operations against China.

— source thegrayzone.com | Alexander Rubinstein | Oct 21, 2021

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US Records Significant Increase in Prison Suicides

According to a new study, in the last two decades, the number of inmates who took their own lives in state and federal prisons increased by 83%, whereas in local prisoners, the figure rose 13%. Since 2000, according to U.S. Justice Department figures, over 10,000 inmates have committed suicide, the vast majority taking place in California (615), Texas (448), and Florida (333). Moreover, the vast majority of inmates at the time of suicide had not even been convicted of a crime, and 44% of those who committed suicide did so within the first week of their imprisonment.

— source telesurenglish.net | 13 Oct 2021

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Slaughter in Indonesia: Britain’s secret propaganda war

In early 1965 Ed Wynne, an official from the Foreign Office in London in his late 40s, arrived at the door of a two-storey villa set in the discreet calm of a genteel housing estate in colonial Singapore.

But Wynne was no ordinary official. A specialist from the Foreign Office’s cold war propaganda arm, the Information Research Department (IRD), he had been assigned to lead a small team. A junior official, four local people and two “IRD ladies”, seconded to the unit from London, would join him.

The arrival of Wynne and his colleagues in the Winchester Road cul-de-sac marked the beginning of what would later be claimed, by those who led it, as one of the most successful propaganda operations in postwar British history. A top secret operation that helped overthrow the leader of the fourth most populous country in the world and contributed to the mass murder of more than half a million of its citizens.

The proof of Britain’s role in inciting what the CIA later described as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century” lies in another leafy suburb. In declassified Foreign

— source theguardian.com | Paul Lashmar, Nicholas Gilby, James Oliver | 17 Oct 2021

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An Examination of Gen. Colin Powell’s Bloody Legacy

But the 2003 speech was not the first time General Powell had falsely alleged Iraq had WMDs. In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. bombed Iraq’s only baby formula factory. At the time, General Powell said, quote, “It is not an infant formula factory. … It was a biological weapons facility, of that we are sure,” he said. Well, U.N. investigators later confirmed the bombed factory was in fact making baby formula.

While many in Iraq consider Powell to be a war criminal, just like they consider George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Powell has long been celebrated at home. Colin Powell was born in Harlem in 1937. His parents had both immigrated from Jamaica. He was educated in public schools, including City College of New York, before he joined the military through ROTC. He served two tours in Vietnam. He was later accused of helping to whitewash the My Lai massacre, when U.S. soldiers slaughtered up to 500 villagers, most of them women and children and the elderly. While investigating an account of the massacre filed by a soldier, Powell wrote, quote, “In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent,” he said.

Powell spent 35 years in the military, rising to chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the 1980s, he helped shape U.S. military policy in Latin America at a time when U.S.-backed forces killed hundreds of thousands of people in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and other countries. Powell also helped oversee the U.S. invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 19, 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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