June 12, 2023

Youth Are Suing Montana for Failing to Protect Their Future From Climate Chaos

The lawsuit is based on Montana’s state constitution, which enshrines the right to a clean and healthful environment.

In a case that could have far-reaching implications for the struggle against the climate crisis, the trial in a lawsuit brought by a group of youth plaintiffs will begin in Montana on June 12. Besides being the first such case about climate change to go to trial, Held v. Montana involves the specific impacts the climate crisis has on young people.

This trial is a bellwether for other cases throughout the United States. Mat dos Santos, general counsel for Our Children’s Trust, which represents the youth plaintiffs, said that the lawsuit “is not just about Montana. It’s really about the climate here in the United States and around the world.” If this suit is successful, it would be a “watershed moment” that could lead to a “cascade of legal victories around the country,” dos Santos added, and would likely have global implications.

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June 7, 2023

Supreme Court Weakened Legal Protections for Striking. Only Jackson Dissented.

Unions still have the right to strike, but eight Supreme Court members erected barriers to that fundamental right.

In a shameful decision last week, eight members of the U.S. Supreme Court weakened the right to strike. Only Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson stood up for the workers. In her 27-page dissent in Glacier Northwest, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Jackson wrote, “The right to strike is fundamental to American labor law.” Indeed, it is the threat of a strike that gives workers leverage during contract negotiations with an employer. Jackson continued:

Workers are not indentured servants, bound to continue laboring until any planned work stoppage would be as painless as possible for their masters. They are employees whose collective and peaceful decision to withhold their labor is protected by the [National Labor Relations Act] even if economic injury results.

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May 25, 2023

“There Is No Safe Place in Gaza”: Palestinians Speak Out During Israeli Assault

In a vicious five-day assault, Israeli occupying forces killed 33 Palestinians in Gaza.

On May 18, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza joined the “Palestine Flag March” to protest Israel’s “Flag March” happening the same day. On “Flag Day,” tens of thousands of ultraright-wing Israeli settlers, who illegally live on stolen land, attacked Palestinians and journalists, chanting “Death to Arabs” and “Your village will be burned.”

“The Israeli Flag March means nothing, they walk in our streets, and the land denies their existence,” Gaza resident Amna al-Banna told Mondoweiss. “Raising the Israeli flag in Jerusalem will not make people ignore that it’s Palestinian land, and that Israel occupies it.”

On May 13, Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad had reached an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement following a five-day Israeli military onslaught against the people of Gaza. Although Palestinians fired some rockets into Israel, the death toll was lopsided.

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May 14, 2023

SCOTUS Case May Slash Regulation of Everything From Workers’ Rights to Clean Air

Overruling “Chevron deference” could imperil our health, safety, labor, air, water, food and environmental protections.

In an ominous but unsurprising development, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that may well imperil our health, safety, labor, clean air and water, food and environmental protections. On May 1, the court decided to reconsider its 40-year-old precedent in the current case of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo.

This right-wing court, which demonstrated its disregard for legal precedent when it overruled Roe v. Wade, may now overturn the well-settled “Chevron deference.” Doing so would be consistent with the conservative fealty to deregulation in order to protect corporate profits.

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May 6, 2023

Israel Is Using a Vast Network of Biometric Cameras to Terrorize Palestinians

The facial recognition surveillance system violates Palestinians’ human rights to freedom of movement and privacy.

Israel is deepening its system of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories by using artificial intelligence-powered biometric facial recognition technology to track and restrict the movements of Palestinian people. Facial recognition technology identifies and categorizes people on the basis of their physical features, including race, ethnicity, gender, age and disability status.

Facial recognition technology was first introduced into Israeli apartheid in 1999.

But a new report from Amnesty International has examined the use of a novel facial recognition technology system known as Red Wolf, which has been deployed at military checkpoints in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron since 2022. It scans the faces of Palestinians, often denies them entry and adds them to massive Israeli government databases without their consent.

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May 2, 2023

Biden Hypocritically Slams Arrest of US Journalist in Russia But Pursues Assange

The double standards of the U.S. government are on full display in the lead-up to World Press Freedom Day.

May 3, 2023, will mark the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, which the United Nations established to remind governments about the need to respect their commitment to freedom of the press. But as the Biden administration proclaims the centrality of press freedom globally, its hypocrisy in pursuing journalist and publisher Julian Assange is stunning.

The Biden administration recently expressed outrage that Russia arrested journalist Evan Gershkovich of The Wall Street Journal, a United States citizen based in Moscow, for practicing journalism. Gershkovich is now incarcerated in Russia, facing espionage charges that could garner him 20 years in prison. His appeal to lift his pretrial detention was just denied and he was refused a consular visit.

Meanwhile, however, the Biden administration continues to demand the extradition of Australian national Assange for obtaining and publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes.

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April 14, 2023

Tennessee Lawmakers Aren’t the First Progressives Expelled for Their Activism

John Wilkes, Adam Clayton Powell, and Julian Bond were elected, excluded and returned to the legislature.

On March 30, three days after a man armed with two legally purchased assault weapons killed six people at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, more than 1,000 high school and college students marched to the State Capitol and demanded gun reform. They shouted, “Ban assault weapons” and “We don’t want your thoughts and prayers.”

Three Democratic representatives — Justin Jones, Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson — joined the peaceful protest when it entered the chamber of the Tennessee State House of Representatives. On April 6, a Republican supermajority in the House voted to expel Jones and Pearson, both of whom are Black, from their seats. Johnson, who is white, kept her seat by one vote.

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April 8, 2023

New York Indictment Is Just the Beginning of Trump’s Mounting Legal Woes

The New York district attorney’s case against Trump is a strong one.

On March 30, Donald J. Trump was charged in New York with 34 felony counts of “Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree,” for attempting to hide hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. In the historic Indictment and accompanying Statement of Facts, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has amassed a strong case against Trump. Statements of Facts, which provide a road map of the case, are frequently used in complex white-collar crime cases.

This is the first sentence of the Statement of Facts:

The defendant DONALD J. TRUMP repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.

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March 27, 2023

ICC Charges Putin With War Crimes While US and Israeli Leaders Enjoy Impunity

The U.S. celebrates the charges against Putin, but pressures the ICC to refrain from prosecuting Israelis and Americans.

On March 17, a little more than one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced that the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) had issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for the commission of war crimes in Ukraine. The PTC also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, for the same war crimes.

While the U.S. celebrates the arrest warrant against Putin, it has pressured the ICC to refrain from prosecuting Israelis and Americans. There is a double standard in the ICC’s treatment of the situations in Ukraine and Palestine. This is largely due to political coercion by the United States, which isn’t even a party to the ICC’s Rome Statute.

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March 21, 2023

For 20 Years, Team Bush Has Escaped Prosecution for Their War Crimes in Iraq

One year after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Criminal Court charged him with war crimes.

On March 20, Iraqis mark the 20th anniversary of the horrific U.S.-U.K. bombing of Baghdad, dubbed “Shock and Awe.” In rapid succession, “coalition forces” dropped 3,000 bombs, including many that weighed 2,000 pounds, on Baghdad in what The New York Times called “almost biblical power.”

Although they launched an illegal war of aggression and committed war crimes in Iraq, 20 years later the leaders of the U.S. and the U.K. have never faced criminal accountability. By contrast, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has already charged Russian President Vladimir Putin with war crimes just one year after his unlawful invasion of Ukraine. He is the first non-African leader to be charged by the ICC, which frequently succumbs to pressure from the United States.

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