A track from the A|O|A album, release date not yet announced. This song resonates with my soul and everything that comes to mind with the word love.
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“He (the officer) shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air” said Dorian Johnson, a friend of 18-year old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri who was scheduled to begin college classes Monday was murdered on Saturday August 9th, 2014.
Dorian Johnson tells News 4 he was walking with Brown when the officer confronted them and drew his weapon. St. Louis County NAACP President Esther Haywood told News 4 that Brown was shot once by the officer and then an additional nine times as he lay in the street. “We are hurt to hear that yet another teenaged boy has been slaughtered by law enforcement especially in light of the recent death of Eric Garner in New York who was killed for selling cigarettes. We plan to do everything within our power to ensure that the Ferguson Police Department as well as the St. Louis County Police Department releases all details pertinent to the shooting.”
By early Saturday night, dozens of police cars remained parked near the shooting scene as mourners left votive candles, rose petals, a large stuffed animal and other remembrances at a makeshift memorial in the middle of the street. At the height of the post-shooting tensions, police at the scene called for about 60 other police units to respond to the area in Ferguson, a city of about 21,000 residents, about two-thirds of whom are black.
So, the officers left this young man’s body laying there for hours and hours, not covered to show respect to one who has passed at the hands of violence. This shows how law enforcement have no regard at all for black lives.
EVERY 28 HOURS A BLACK MAN OR WOMAN IS SHOT BY AN OFFICER OF THE LAW.
These people are not here to protect all, they’re out to kill at the mercy of this unjust system. This angers me. This makes it all clear regarding the agenda of this system – to get rid of as many niggas & non-white faces as possible.
I scroll down my Facebook & Instagram newsfeed to see my fellow black people saying R.I.P. to Robin Williams who as 63 years old and just committed suicide. Who the fck cares…?! – He was ready to go. But, were all the innocent black men and women who were gunned down by police officers ready to go….? NO!
Another young black man shot by officers:
22-year old John Crawford and his girlfriend went their separate ways to shop for personal items while in the Walmart store. At some point, Crawford picked up a toy BB gun and played video games while talking to his girlfriend on his cellphone.
A suspicious couple, April and Ronald Ritchie, began following Crawford. They eventually called police and told them that Crawford was walking around the store with a gun.
When police arrived at the store, they approached him from behind and told him to put the weapon down. Crawford turned and told them it was just a toy. The police officers opened fire on Crawford. He later died from his wounds.
Racist assumptions with violent acts on behalf of police officers and/or citizens of this country seem to continue after slavery. New day, same stories. We are not free from this racial caste system and whoever thinks we are has the mind of a deaf and blind person.
It saddens me to see a dumbed down black society – not all, but a large number. Wake Up Black People! Speak for our communities, speak for your brothers & sisters.
At least 111 people were arrested on Black Friday in a series of protests and acts of civil disobedience targeting Wal-Mart and other big box retailers. In St. Paul, Minnesota, 26 protesters were arrested when they blocked traffic while demanding better wages for janitors and retail employees. In Illinois, 10 people were issued citations at a protest near a Wal-Mart in Chicago. Video posted online showed nine people being arrested at a protest outside a Wal-Mart store in Alexandria, Virginia. At Wal-Mart protests in California, 15 people were arrested in Roseville, 10 arrested in Ontario, and five arrested in San Leandro. Organizers said actions took place at 1,500 Walmart locations across the country, up from about 400 locations last year. Meanwhile, fast-food workers have announced plans to hold a one-day strike in 100 cities on Thursday as part of a campaign to win a $15-an-hour wage. We discuss the labor protests with Josh Eidelson, staff reporter at Salon.com.
Walmart CEO Mike Duke’s retirement package of more than $113 million is nearly 6,200 times bigger than the average 401(k) balance of a non-executive Walmart worker, which was $18,303, according to a new analysis by Dana Lime at NerdWallet, a personal finance site.
That dwarfs Walmart’s infamous CEO-to-worker pay ratio, a source of controversy for the company in the past. Duke, who pulled in $20.7 million last year, made 305 times more than the typical Walmart manager and 836 times more than the median Walmart worker’s salary, according to the NerdWallet study.
In addition to the outrage over the low wages paid for the giant discount retailer, the company has been battling negative press for their poor working conditions and inadequate health insurance for employees.
Past research has shown how Walmart spends an average of $3,500 per employee for health care, 27% less than the retail-industry average of $4,800.
The Institute for Policy Studies recently released a report stating that a generation ago, typical big-time corporate CEOs seldom made more than 30 or 40 times what their workers took home. In 2008, the IPS report shows, top executives averaged 319 times more than average U.S. worker pay.
The bulk of the debate over executive pay reform has revolved around questions of corporate governance, such as the independence of compensation committees and the role of shareholders.
MAKE A LOUD STATEMENT THIS BLACK FRIDAY AND DAYS AFTER, DO NOT SHOP AT WALMART!
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
If President Obama and his party didn’t even try to deliver on their 2008 campaign promise of a minimum wage hike when they had the White House and both houses of Congress on lockdown in 2010 and 2011, what does their sudden rediscovery of the minimum wage mean now, when they know they can move nothing through Congress? Are they and their sheepdogs, the so-called “progressive Democrats” just yanking our chain again?
Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
As a presidential candidate back in 2007 and 2008, Barack Obama promised to ram a hike in the minimum wage through Congress by 2011. Like the president’s promises to renegotiate NAFTA and enact labor law reforms to make union organizing possible again, it wasn’t one of those high profile pledges he repeated at every opportunity in front of every audience. He didn’t have to, that’s not the way it works.
If you’re a right-leaning Democrat nowadays, here’s how it works: you make those kinds of promises before small audiences of labor and poor folks. From that point, it’s the job of your sheepdogs, the Democrat “progressives” campaigning for you to keep the herd of your base voters in line by putting those words in your mouth a lot more often, and with a lot more emphasis than you actually place upon them. Promises are promises, after all, and promises made by the wealthy and powerful to the poor and powerless are worth exactly nothing.
Inevitably, once in office the corporate Democrat (is there any other kind?) breaks his or her promise to his poor and apart from their votes which they’ve already given away, powerless constituents. At this point, his other sheepdogs, the “pragmatic” Democrats wisely bark at the herd about how naïve and foolish they are, that they don’t really understand how politics works, that this one president or mayor or whatever can’t save them or change the world, or do much anything really.
With President Obama’s popularity at an all time low, the president has rediscovered that something like 80% of the US favor not just a significantly higher minimum wage, but a minimum wage indexed to some kind of cost of living formula. Even a big majority of Republican voters are in favor of this. So the president has muttered his traditional few words about the minimum wage, and from MSNBC to Huffington Post to labor and the nonprofits, the chorus of presidential sheepdogs are baying – the president cares, the Democrats care, they want to raise the minimum wage, but the evil Republicans will want to thwart them….
The problem with this of course, is that whenever Democrats are in charge of Congress, they never try to raise the minimum wage. It’s a promise they make to get elected, and something you never hear about again until they’re safely in the minority again and need something to blame the evil Republicans for blocking. Let’s be clear, evil Republicans did not block efforts by President Obama or Congressional Democrats to raise the minimum wage in 2010 and 2011, when they controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. During that time, there were no bills introduced to raise the minimum wage. There were no presidential speeches or off the cuff presidential remarks mentioning raising the minimum wage. There was no pressure from the White House or Democrat leadership in the House or Senate to raise the minimum wage, despite the importance placed upon the president’s promise by his sheepdogs, the “progressive” wing of the Democratic party.
Leading Democrats have always known that overwhelming majorities of Democrat voters want an increase in the minimum wage. But it’s a campaign issue, and Democrats only campaign differently than Republicans, not govern differently.
It’s worth noting that the first lady, Michelle Obama has devoted lots of time to shilling for Wal-Mart, the largest and most ruthless low-wage employer in the country. Even Fortune magazine claims Wal-Mart could substantially raise wages and benefits across the board without its shareholders taking much of a hit. But Democrat sheepdogs at MSNBC and labor won’t touch the First Lady. They bark only at the evil Republicans who won’t pass a “jobs bill” or a minimum wage hike or stop questioning the president’s birth certificate.
Under the people-proof and democracy-proof matrix we call politics in these United States of America, the fact that Democrats overwhelmingly support jacking the minimum wage doesn’t mean that elected Democrats will really even try, like the O’Jays said, to Give the People What They Want. It’s just a signal for the progressive sheepdogs to start barking again, a chain with which to herd us back into line, to circle the wagons again around the White House.
It’s just more progressive white noise from our black president.
A Michigan man says he was fired from his job at Wal-Mart after he tried to help a woman being assaulted in the parking lot of one of the retail giant’s stores and ended up fighting with her attacker.
Kristopher Oswald told WXYZ-TV in Detroit ( http://bit.ly/18qGyBh ) that Wal-Mart has policies against workplace violence to prevent employees from assaulting co-workers or tackling a shoplifter, but that it appears that nothing allows for them to assist in situations of imminent danger and self-defense.
A spokeswoman for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told The Associated Press on Thursday that while the company understood Oswald’s intentions, his actions violated company policy.
“We had to make a tough decision, one that we don’t take lightly, and he’s no longer with the company,” company spokeswoman Ashley Hardie said.
Oswald, 30, said he was in his car on his break about 2:30 a.m. Sunday when he saw a man grabbing a woman. He said he asked her if she needed help and the man started punching him in the head and yelling that he was going to kill him. Oswald said he was able to get on top of the man, but then two other men jumped him from behind.
Livingston County sheriff’s deputies arrived and halted the fight.
Oswald said the Hartland Township store’s management gave him paperwork saying that “after a violation of company policy on his lunch break, it was determined to end his temporary assignment.” Oswald had worked for Wal-Mart for about seven weeks and said he would not have been considered a permanent employee until after his 180-day probation.
“The last thing I expected was to not have a job,” Oswald said.
This is how much the Walmart capitalist corporation values it’s employees. They’re low pay, warehouse issues that included blocked emergency exits, non-functioning forklift brakes and a lack of sufficient ventilation and water under intense heat, overseas factory in Bangladesh hundreds killed and over 1,000 injured due to cracks found in building and employees forced to work. I would go on, but there are so many atrocities that the wretched corporation has practiced, this would end up being a book.
May see more Walmart corporation crimes @
When will our government, our law makers, our so-called officers of the people stand up and be for the people? Not for the CEO’s of corporations….
By Sonali Kolhatkar Published in Commondreams.org.
The soft-spoken, 5 foot tall, brown-skinned woman I met this week did not in any way appear to be a dangerous criminal. Yet, Kalpona Akter, the now-famous Bangladeshi labor activist, spent a month in prison last year, facing criminal charges brought by a subcontractor for Walmart. While serving her sentence, she was interrogated for hours on end, while her colleagues were beaten. Her crime: organizing garment workers. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world where nearly 4 million garment workers, mostly poor young women, toil in about 4,000 factories to make clothes for brands like Gap, Sears, Disney, and Benetton. Bangladesh’s factories export more garments than any other country in the world, second only to China. In the past year, thousands of women have died in Bangladesh in a series of deadly factory accidents. Last November, a fire at Tazreen factory in Dhaka killed hundreds of mostly female workers.
And this April, the multi-story Rana Plaza factory collapsed, killing more than 1,200 and injuring 2,500, again, mostly women workers. The world was shocked at the deaths, but the corporations whose clothes the women died making have done little to nothing in response. I asked Kalpona to describe a typical day in the life of a female garment worker in Bangladesh: she told me of the burdens of balancing family and work that most women endure, waking up at 5 am to cook meals for their husbands and children, clean, and keep house. At 7 am they head to work on foot or by bus.
At 8 in the morning they start their shift, breaking only once at 1 pm for lunch. The work is mindless and repetitive with unhygienic bathroom facilities and no clean drinking water. Although the work-day officially ends at 5 pm, workers are required to put in overtime until about 7 or 8 pm. By the time they return home, cook dinner, care for their children, keep house, and make their way to bed, it is usually midnight. For all this, a typical garment worker earns a minimum wage of about $38 a month, plus a few more dollars for overtime. When I remarked that many Americans would not think twice about spending that entire amount on a single piece of clothing, she agreed, unsurprised.
At only 36 years of age, Kalpona Akter has lived a life few of us can imagine. She began working in a garment factory at the age of 12, taking her 10 year old brother with her. Her parents had no choice: “we were the breadwinners of the family,” she told me. Akter would go to school one day and then to the factory across the street the next day. She recalls being able to see her school playground from a window in the factory and wistfully watching her classmates play while she worked. She calculated that for about 450 hours of work she was paid the shockingly paltry amount of $6 each month. “I didn’t have any idea about the law and my rights. All I understood was that the factory owner was so kind as to give us jobs. But I never knew that we were being cheated. We were being deprived of our legal rights!” Once she understood that she had rights, Kalpona began organizing her fellow workers at the young age of 15. She was immediately fired and blacklisted from working in other factories. She continued working and organizing and today she is the Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity where she continues her activism on behalf of factory workers, demanding better working conditions and better pay.
Kalpona’s activism comes at a heavy price. In addition to her imprisonment and the on-going criminal charges she is fighting, she risks her life. One of her close allies, Aminul Islam, well known around the world and even in the US for his labor activism in Bangladesh, was found dead a year ago. Islam’s death brought global embarrassment to Bangladesh after numerous governments and international bodies denounced his murder and demanded an investigation. It is a testament to the work of Aminul Islam, Kalpona Akter, and other labor activists that Bangladesh’s garment factories are the subject of international debate today. But it was the deaths of thousands over the past year that has really galvanized the promise of any meaningful action.
While it made just a few headlines in the US, the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory this April took Bangladesh by storm. Akter described to me how ordinary people in Bangladesh watched their television screens with bated breath as the death toll was constantly reported, climbing each hour to everyone’s horror. “The whole nation cried together… people couldn’t eat.” The accidents and their unimaginable death toll brought to mind the famous Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City more than a century ago, where 146 immigrant women and girls perished, locked in a sweatshop and unable to escape. It was one of the worst industrial accidents in the history of New York. From the ashes of that fire came labor victories fought with the blood, sweat and tears of the survivors and their allies. What could arise from the ashes of Tazreen and Rana Plaza?
A meeting just this week in Geneva has brought together corporate heads, labor unions, and worker advocates under the umbrella of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to determine compensation for the families of those killed. Even though the factory workers in Tazreen and Rana Plaza were producing clothes for several American brands such as Walmart, most companies have remained shockingly indifferent to demands for compensation. Many, including Walmart, have refused to attend meetings like this week’s Geneva meeting or a similar meeting held earlier this year. Kalpona Akter tells me that over 80 fashion and apparel companies, mostly from Europe, have signed onto a binding accord to protect factory workers in Bangladesh but American companies like Walmart and Gap refuse to sign on. Instead they have proposed voluntary codes of conduct, and signed onto agreements that do not allow union activity. They have invoked the standard argument: that it is the factory owners, not them, who are responsible for the poor conditions and the resulting deaths. Kalpona told me, “The corporations now say that the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ tag has become dirty. But I say to them, don’t dare say that because if it has become dirty, you have made it so… you didn’t do anything to correct these working conditions… or follow your so-called codes of conduct.” But Akter has a message for American consumers too – especially the ones who might spend $38 on a single piece of clothing – equivalent to the monthly base salary of a garment worker in Bangladesh – without necessarily thinking about where it was made or under what conditions: “We need these [factory] jobs. But we want these jobs with dignity… with safe working conditions, decent wages, and a voice in the workplace, and a unionized work place.” But how could ordinary Americans make that happen? “As a consumer, you have the power to ensure that,” retorted Kalpona defiantly. “You may think, ‘as one person, how can I do that?’ …But if you go to the internet, there are many groups in the US, across the country, raising their voices to make [Bangladesh’s] workplaces better…
Please join them and support them so that they become stronger. As a consumer you will see that you are not alone – there are many people raising their voices.” Here is a partial list of groups Kalpona Akter recommended that Americans can join: International Labor Right Forum: http://www.laborrights.org Solidarity center: http://www.solidaritycenter.org Workers Rights Consortium: http://www.workersrights.org Sweatfree Communities: http://www.sweatfree.org – See more at: http://uprisingradio.org/home/2013/09/12/from-the-ashes-of-garment-factory-disaster-a-demand-for-jobs-with-dignity/#sthash.TetAowpe.dpuf