Archive for the ‘protests’ tag
Tell a feminist thank you, LAPD hunts anyone who resembles (and doesn’t resemble) Chris Dorner, Fracking Hell
Allison and Jamie discuss the #TellAFeministThankYou hashtag on Twitter, the Violence Against Women Act passing the Senate with no help from Republican men, the LAPD continues to hunt anyone who resembles (and doesn’t resemble), another black ex-LAPD officer talks about racism within the force, Chris Dorner, fracking hell, and the MSM still epically fails at covering protests.
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Allison and Jamie discuss the recent Koran burnings by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, NYPD spying on Muslim children, Bill Clinton backing the Keystone XL pipeline, and Wyoming being clinically insane.
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Journalist Johann Hari talks UK Uncut, US Uncut, and decides who he’d rather fight: David Cameron or Nick Clegg. Also, Godless Maniac Joseph Thoennes reports from Madison, Wisconsin about the protests and spirit of solidarity in the Capitol.
Beforehand, Allison and Jamie dispell some myths about the Wisconsin protests and unions, and offer some advice about how to stick to your Progressive ideals when your friends are being little assholes about it.
Much like Tunisia’s influence on Egypt, the spirit of Wisconsin appears to be spreading with the murmurs of uprising in Indiana due to some deceptively named “right to work” legsilation.
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Have I recently stated my emphatic love for young protesters? They have the best energy and creative thinking when it comes to the kinds of protests that closed Topshop’s flagship branch on London’s Oxford Street.
A UK Uncut spokesman said they targeted the shop because it was part of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail group.
Campaigner Stephen Trevelian, 26, from Brighton, said: “Philip Green is a multi-billionaire tax avoider, and yet is regarded by David Cameron as an appropriate man to advise the Government on austerity.”
Philip Green is the ninth richest man in Britain, and he is indeed a tax cheater.
While Green lives and works in the UK, the Arcadia Group is registered in the name of his wife, Tina, who is resident in Monaco and so enjoys a 0% income-tax rate. In 2005 this arrangement allowed the Greens to bank £1.2bn, the biggest paycheck in British corporate history, without paying a penny in tax. This completely legal dodge cost the British taxpayer £285m, enough to pay the salaries of 9,000 NHS nurses or the £9,000 fees of close to 32,000 students. In an age of austerity, the link between tax avoidance and public sector cuts becomes crystal clear.
Here is the excellent Johann Hari on the tax avoidance stuff, in this case by Vodafone:
For years now, Vodafone has been claiming that a major chunk of its business should not be subject to British taxes – that could run to billions of pounds – because the deal was routed through a company in ultra low tax Luxembourg. The company – which has doubled its profits during this recession – engaged in all kinds of accounting twists and turns; they looked set to pay a sum Private Eye calculates to be more than £6bn.
Then, suddenly, the exchequer – run by George Osborne – cancelled almost all of the outstanding tax bill, in a move a senior figure in Revenues and Customs says is “an unbelievable cave-in.” A few days after the decision, Osborne was promoting Vodafone on a tax-payer funded trip to India. He then appointed Andy Halford, the finance director of Vodafone, to the government’s Advisory Board on Business Tax Rates, apparently because he thinks this is a model of how the Tories think it should be done.
The Indian government and Vodafone are fighting in the courts over the billions in tax it is claiming from the company. Yes, the British state is less functional than the Indian state when it comes to collecting revenues from the wealthy. This is not an isolated incident. Richard Murphy, of Tax Research UK, calculates that UK corporations fail to pay a further £12bn a year in taxes they legally owe, while the rich avoid or evade up to £120bn.
Middle class students in the UK are literally being priced out of an education right now, and yet multi-billion dollar companies are permitted to cheat Britain out of tax money simply because they’re managed to bribe the correct leaders into doing their bidding.
It’s enough to make one want to don masks and chase shoppers around a store.
Here’s another story about political bias against dangerous activist hippies.
One bulletin from Harrisburg warned that a protest over use of carriage horses in Philadelphia could turn into “a fertile recruiting or meeting ground” for militant animal-rights activists.
Another said convicted police killer Mumia Abu-Jamal’s supporters might turn desperate and “attack perceived enemies” after a prosecutor vowed to seek his execution.
And Halloween might bring “rowdy behavior” from eco-activists in masks and costumes at a lunchtime rally outside the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Philadelphia office.
Those and other warnings about domestic political groups – ranging from antinuclear protesters to tea-party activists – can be found all through 137 state-issued intelligence bulletins that Gov. Rendell’s office released Friday amid continuing criticism of the program that produced the bulletins.
Make no mistake, the real threat to America isn’t an overblown Pentagon budget, and endless wars largely staffed by private mercenaries. The One True Threat is animal-rights activists who don’t think wild animals should be chained to carts and paraded around crowded cities.
The establishment media is usually fairly dismissive of protests unless those “activists” are funded by a multi-million dollar astroturf organization like FreedomWorks. Millions of people can turn out to protest a war, but such a tremendously popular cultural movement isn’t seen as “authentic” until its participants represent the “correct” agenda.
For example the authoritarian, bigoted, right-wing Tea Party agenda. Only when a movement adopts the pre-approved, right-wing message will the media turn out in droves to cover a few hundred octogenarians caked in teabags, buzzing around the Mall on their Rascals.
Otherwise, the media covers protest as a bizarre spectacle waged by shrill, usually left-wing, extremists. The latest example is how MSNBC has thus far covered the Pope protests in London. Thousands came out to join the protests, and their list of grievances seems very reasonable. They criticize the Vatican for:
Pittsburgh police demonstrated the latest in crowd control techniques on protesters when they used “sound cannons” to blast the ears of citizens near the G-20 meeting of world economic leaders. City officials said this was the first time such sound blasters, also known as “sound weapons,” were used publicly.
Lavonnie Bickerstaff of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police uses benign language like “sound amplifiers,” and “long-range acoustic device” to explain the new weapons in an attempt to sanitize what is essentially a painful weapon that leaves no visible marks on its victims. The mob utilized a similar tactic on snitches when they would beat everywhere except the face. If victims have no outward bruises to show, the world is less likely to believe their stories of assault and harassment.
Unlike aerosol hand-grenades, pepper spray, and rubber bullets (all traditional methods of protest suppression also used at the G-20 protests,) the damage from sound cannons is entirely internal, and can only be preserved on video, but even then, the deafening noise cannot be fully appreciated unless one hears it in person.