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Tag: Inequality

Environmental Justice Report: 81% Of Products Tested At U.S. Dollar Stores Are Unsafe

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

On July 1, activists gathered at dollar stores nationally to declare their “independence” from toxic chemicals, after a report earlier this year suggested products sold by these discount chains could be hurting consumers.

To produce the report, issued in February by Environmental Justice for All’s Campaign for Healthier Solutions, researchers tested 164 products from multiple discount chain stores nationwide and found that 133 contained “at least one hazardous chemical above levels of concern,” meaning that 81% of tested products were hazardous. These include chemicals identified to be carcinogenic, capable of causing developmental disabilities in children, or were otherwise found at levels considered toxic. Unlike major chains like Wal-Mart and Target, no major dollar store chain has a formal policy on selling or disclosing toxic ingredients in products.

In Austin, Texas, the campaign partnered with local activists from Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) and Texas Campaign for the Environment. Dressed in white hazardous material-handling suits, they gathered in front of a Family Dollar store on the south side of the city to chant and hold protest signs and banners.

The Obama Legacy: Inequality, Corporate Trade Deals, Worldwide War

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

An undocumented transgender woman interrupted the White House LGBT Pride celebrations last week, highlighting a rift between those who praise President Barack Obama’s accomplishments after two terms in office, and those who see a decline in freedoms and a rise in inequality as the real legacy he’ll be leaving behind.

The division between the perception of Obama’s achievements and the reality extends far beyond immigration and the LGBT community. Obama’s presidency has seen destructive Bush-era policies grow more entrenched, and new forms of repression have been added to American life.

With the Supreme Court legalizing marriage for all regardless of gender, many perceive an increase in equality for LGBT people as one of the main legacies of Obama’s presidency. But last Wednesday, Jennicet Gutiérrez interrupted Obama at one of the White House’s annual Pride Month festivities to demand better treatment for an overlooked portion of the community.

“President Obama, stop the torture and abuse of trans women in detention centers!” shouted Gutiérrez, who is an undocumented transgender Latina immigrant, before continuing: “President Obama, I am a trans woman. I’m tired of the abuse.”