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Tag: Labor

Juneteenth Prison Protest Targets Prison Slave Labor In Austin, Texas

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, and Journalism

Last week, Austin anarchists marked Juneteenth a day early with a protest against modern-day slavery.

Juneteenth, honored on June 19 each year, marks the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached slaves in Texas. However, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution legalizes unpaid or shockingly underpaid slave labor by those behind bars. The Juneteenth prison protest in Austin targeted two offices operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Around dawn, activists scaled flag poles at the Austin offices of the TDCJ parole board to replace the U.S. and Texas flags with an anti-prison slavery banner. Later, more anarchists (and this reporter) gathered to protest at a showroom where corporations come to hire prison labor.

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Texas is one of the few states where prisoners receive no paid compensation for their labor, yet are expected to afford commissary items, $100 medical copays, and post-release expenses,” a representative of the group told me.

Jose Garza Of Workers Defense Project: Immigrants Rights Movement A ‘Powder Keg’ With A Burning Fuse (VIDEO)

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

On July 28, 2017, activists rallied at the Texas Capitol in opposition to SB4, the “Show Us Your Papers” / anti-sanctuary cities bill passed during the recently completed legislative session, and currently facing a lawsuit backed by the majority of Texas’ major municipalities. The event was organized by Local Progress, a nonprofit representing progressive elected officials from around the United States, and over 150 elected officials have now signed off on a letter opposing the anti-immigrant law. Many of these officials were present during the rally.

In this video, Jose P. Garza, executive director at Workers’ Defense Project, explains how his organization encouraged Austin City Council members and other local officials to come out in opposition to the law, and he issues a warning to Gov. Greg Abbott:

Containers: Global Capitalism At Sea & Transforming The Planet

Posted in Creative Commons, Occupy Wall Street, and Radical Media

The objects around you right now, from your phone to the clothes you wear to the coffee in your mug, most likely traveled to America in a shipping container on a massive cargo ship.

This simple fact, both obvious and mostly overlooked, has radically transformed virtually every aspect of global capitalism over the past several decades. That prosaic shipping container, and the process called “containerization,” are the subject of a recent 8-part audio podcast documentary called “Containers.”

The podcast is sponsored by a shipping company, which stirred some controversy, but the show usually reads as if it’s most sympathetic toward the rank and file workers of the docks, and the people who live nearby, than toward the industry as a whole.. While “Containers” is hardly anti-capitalist, the series and its creator Alexis Madrigal are openly critical of the consequences of unchecked growth.

The Green Party Is Failing Sex Workers

Posted in Journalism, Sex & Relationships, and The Establishment

At a time when our country’s two major political parties are increasingly alienating, many politically engaged voters are turning in exasperated hope to third party candidates, like the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

It’s no wonder the party attracts the attention of progressives, independents, seasoned voters, and newly mobilized Bernie Sanders supporters alike: the Green Party bases its platform on 10 key values, ranging from social justice and equal opportunity to nonviolence and ecological wisdom. Stein has called for a 50% cut to military spending, proposes a “Green New Deal” that would invest in renewable energy infrastructure, has called for an immediate forgiveness to all student loans, and has been a very vocal critic of the corruption in the DNC.

While Stein’s positions are often controversial, the desire for an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans isn’t hard to understand in this election cycle. Especially for left-wing voters looking for a candidate who will stand up for the rights of workers and our society’s most marginalized, the Green Party is, at least ideologically, an ideal choice.

But the party has a major, hypocritical flaw.

Mainstream Media Ignores Mass Hunger & Work Strikes By Prisoners Nationwide

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

As hunger strikes and sporadic work stoppages continue at prisons across the country, the historic prison movement and the brutal retaliation inmates have faced because of it remain largely unreported in the mainstream media.

The media blackout continues even though tens of thousands of inmates are believed to have taken part in the ongoing strike, and a shift of guards at Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama also refused to work on Sept. 24.

“It’s interesting that the foreign press has been better to us,” said Azzurra Crispino, media co-chair of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, part of the Industrial Workers of the World union, which is supporting the strike. Inmates can join the IWW for free, regardless of their prison work status.

Prison Strike Organizer Melvin Ray: ‘International Human Rights Issues’ In Prisons Would Embarrass The US

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Inmates around the country are demanding an end to inhumane conditions behind bars by participating in a growing wave of work stoppages, strikes, and other forms of activism.

A major nationwide strike began on Friday to mark the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison riots. Prisoners in 24 states and 40 facilities were expected to participate.

Although many of the prisons or units involved in the strike are on lockdown and not allowing communication with the outside, on Sunday, MintPress News obtained an exclusive interview with Melvin Ray, an organizer in the Free Alabama movement, who is incarcerated at William E Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama, about 30 miles west of Birmingham.

“This is something we have to do on the inside, regardless of what people think on the outside, but we would like people to know and understand what we’re doing here even if they don’t agree and support it,” Ray told MintPress.