Posts tagged economic violence
Posts tagged economic violence
From US Uncut:
Happening NOW! Walmart workers are getting arrested for striking outside the company’s NYC headquarters as part of a nationwide action.
I stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in NYC — and everywhere else — placing their livelihood and lives at risk by standing up for the rights of workers. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.
Every human being enjoys a basic right to be respected, not because of any title, position, prestige, or accomplishment but first of all because we are created in the image and likeness of God. From an ethical and moral perspective we embrace the exhortation of St. Paul “to anticipate one another in showing honor” (Rom 12:10). Today’s competitive culture challenges us to strive for victory and advantage, but for St. Paul the challenge is to build each other up and honor one another’s innate dignity.
Labor Day is an opportunity to take stock of the ways workers are honored and respected. Earlier this year, Pope Francis pointed out, “Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person… . It gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation.” Unfortunately, millions of workers today are denied this honor and respect as a result of unemployment, underemployment, unjust wages, wage theft, abuse, and exploitation.
Even with new indicators of some modest progress in recovery, the economy still has not improved the standard of living for many people, especially for the poor and the working poor, many of whom are unemployed or underemployed. More than four million people have been jobless for over six months, and that does not include the millions more who have simply lost hope. For every available job, there are often five unemployed and underemployed people actively vying for it. This jobs gap pushes wages down. Half of the jobs in this country pay less than $27,000 per year. More than 46 million people live in poverty, including 16 million children. The economy is not creating an adequate number of jobs that allow workers to provide for themselves and their families. Jobs, wages, and poverty are interrelated. The only way to reduce the widening gap between the affluent and the poorest people in our nation is by creating quality jobs that provide a just compensation that enables workers to live in the dignity appropriate for themselves and their families.
Right on. It’s not often I praise the Catholic Church for anything, but it’s lovely to see the Catholic Bishops moving back towards a message of social justice, versus one of exclusion. Not that I think this speaks for the church as a whole, but praise when it’s due, y’know? Pope Frank ain’t perfect, but he’s better than
Emperor Palpatine Pope Benedict.
Sickening. From ThinkProgress:
John Horner had no record of drug-dealing when he was sentenced to a 25-year mandatory minimum prison term for selling some of his own pain pillsto an undercover informant who befriended him and told him he could not afford both his rent and his prescription medication. Horner, a fast-food restaurant worker and a father, had been prescribed the pain medication because of an injury in which he lost an eye, according to a BBC report.
If, as expected, he serves all 25 years, Horner will be 72 when he is released, and he will have spent more time in prison than the former Enron CEO who was convicted in one of the largest corporate fraud schemes in modern history. Last week, the Department of Justice said it is considering a deal to shorten Jeffrey Skilling’s sentence. But even if he serves every year, Skilling will still have fared better than Horner with a sentence of 24 years.
This is what the “War on Drugs” hath wrought. People selling small amounts of drugs to pay for food and rent are facing longer mandatory minimum sentences than banksters who defraud people for millions — sometimes billions — of dollars.
White collar crime has very few to none mandatory minimum sentences, while blue collar crime, particularly drug crimes, have a plethora of mandatory minimum sentences, and disproportionately send low-income people of color off to prison.
If we’re going to have mandatory minimums for drugs, which I absolutely abhor, at least consider a mandatory minimum for financial crimes — say, one year for every hundred thousand stolen and/or defrauded? Remember, Bernie Madoff is the exception in sentencing and not the rule.
This isn’t capitalism. This is predation.
Up until this announcement, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been unwieldy and somewhat lacking in a coherent voice, but that’s all about the change. New York City labor unions have decided to descend upon the streets of Lower Manhattan on Friday.
The leadership of the Transit Workers Union Local 100—comprised of subway and bus workers—voted unanimously to support the protestors. With a membership of 38,000, 5 Oct. will easily be the largest day yet in the protest. On 12 Oct., SEIU 32BJ, representing doormen, security guards, and maintenance workers around the city, is also staging a rally in support of the cause.
It’s unclear for now whether the transit system will be completely shut down while the 38,000 workers are participating in the protest. If it is, the Occupy Wall Street movement will definitely make its mark in history. And either way, it now has a substantial footing to make a real statement about American economy policy.
Jackie DiSalvo, an #OccupyWallStreet organizer, summarized the movement’s policy as such: "Occupy Wall Street will not negotiate watering down its own message."
You have no idea how excited I am to see this.
Update: Conflicting reports online have this set for Wednesday or next Friday. Tell you what - join Occupy Wall Street in NYC or a nearby city both days!
A senior New York police officer accused of pepper-spraying young women on the “Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations is the subject of a pending legal action over his conduct at another protest in the city.
The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.
Then, 1,800 people were arrested during protests against the Iraq war and the policies of president George W Bush.
Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing Post A Posr, a protester at the 2004 event, told the Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer, Tulio Camejo, in 2007. The case, filed at the New York Southern District Court, is expected to be heard next year.
Shock, gasp, clutch the pearls. An officer accused of violating the civil rights of protesters is accused more than once. Interesting that it’s directed at protesters supporting progressive causes. Maybe Officer Bologna takes after the stock that created Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
A word of advice to the NYPD: Remember Rodney King. Remember what happened after the LAPD beat him to an inch of his life and the officers responsible were not punished. Remember and learn.