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Ferguson Protesters Call for Boycott of Black Friday

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Isha Aran writes at Jezebel:

In the wake of the grand jury decision not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, activists are encouraging black consumers to turn to economic activism and boycott the busiest shopping day of the year.

Under the title “No Justice, No Profit,” the boycott aims to capitalize on the purchasing power of the black community, which Al Jazeera points out is about $1 trillion, and prove, in a language businesses will understand—money—that injustice doesn’t come without consequence.

Dacia Polk of the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition explained the boycott to St. Louis Public Radio, saying:

“There will be no business as usual while those who are supposed to protect and serve us,” she said. “Until this nation begins to place value on black lives, there will be no value placed on this business because black lives matter.”

Of course, activists are not boycotting all businesses—they are encouraging shoppers to spend their money and support local, black-owned businesses in lieu of retail giants.

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Anonymous Warns Ferguson Police and KKK in New Video: ‘We Are the Law Now’


Arturo Garcia writes at Raw Story:

A video reportedly released by the hacker collective Anonymous on Thursday warned both police in Ferguson, Missouri and the Ku Klux Klan against hurting local demonstrators, The Free Thought Project reported.

“To the KKK and police: be peaceful or you will feel the consequences,” the video stated. “To the protesters: do not be afraid. We are here for you and will protect and serve you. We are the law now.”

The video came in response to a message attributed to Frank Ancona, the leader of the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK, threatening to “hunt down” Anonymous members.

“You’ll be strung up next to the chimps,” the KKK’s message stated. “On display for the whole world to see. The Klan is to be feared, not threatened. Turn away, or face the consequences.”

The exchange of threats is the latest round in the dispute between the two groups.

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Violence Against U.S. Homeless on the Rise

David Blackwell. (CC BY 2.0)

David Blackwell. (CC BY 2.0)

Ehab Zahriyeh writes at Al Jazeera America:

Despite a decrease in the U.S. homeless population, new research by an advocacy group for the homeless indicates an alarming increase in violent crimes targeting those living on the streets.

In 2013, homeless Americans experienced a 23 percent increase in violence compared with the year before, according to preliminary figures by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). The U.S. homeless population declined over the same period, with 610,000 people going without shelter on any given day in 2013 — 20,000 fewer than in 2012.

The homeless “are targeted solely because of their circumstances,” coalition director Jerry Jones told Al Jazeera. “People who are in shelters and marginalized are often preyed upon.”

Because the NCH bases its research on reported crimes covered in news media, the actual number of violent attacks targeting the homeless may be much higher, since many go unreported.

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Down With Sustainable Development! Long Live Convivial Degrowth!

Demonstration at the end of the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in the German city of Leipzig from September 2-6, 2014. (Creative Commons http://leipzig.degrowth.org)

Demonstration at the end of the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in the German city of Leipzig from September 2-6, 2014. (Creative Commons http://leipzig.degrowth.org)

Justin Hyatt writes at Common Dreams:

For anyone who recently attended the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in Leipzig, Germany, listening in on conference talk, surrounded by the ecologically savvy, one quickly noticed that no one was singing the praises of sustainable development.

Nonetheless, development per se and all that this entails did take center stage, as a crowd of three thousand participants and speakers debated ongoing trends in the fields of environment, politics, economics and social justice.

Given that it may not be immediately clear why a rallying cry anchored to ecological principles would call for the demise of sustainable development – which in generic terms could be described as the environmentalist program dating back several decades – it seems that a clarification or two would be in order.

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Americans Sorting Themselves into Politically Similar Counties

Eric Fischer (CC BY 2.0)

Eric Fischer (CC BY 2.0)

Via ScienceDaily:

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island have analyzed almost 40 years of election data and relocation patterns around the United States and found that Americans are increasingly sorting themselves into politically homogeneous communities. But it hasn’t happened in the way they expected. Their research was published online last week in the journal Political Geography.

Corey Lang, assistant professor of environmental economics, and Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz, associate professor of political science, sought evidence for claims made in the 2008 book The Big Sort that suggested that people were choosing to live in politically segregated communities where Republicans and Democrats had little interaction with each other. Many academics disagreed with author Bill Bishop’s hypothesis, so Lang and Pearson-Merkowitz decided to test it.

They examined data from presidential elections for every county in the country from 1976 to 2012, scrutinizing how voter support for political parties changed from one election to another.

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Is Obama Covering Up the Scope of CIA Torture?

Central_Intelligence_Agency_logoJon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

“The public has to know about it. They don’t want the public to know about it.”

That’s what Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told the Huffington Post on Thursday night regarding continued White House stalling over release of a report that catalogs the internal investigation of CIA torture during the Bush years. The comments followed a close-door meeting between Senate Democrats and Obama administration officials that took place just hours before the president gave a much-anticipated speech on another subject, immigration reform.

Rockefeller said the torture report is “being slow-walked to death” by the administration and told the HuffPost, “They’re doing everything they can not to release it.”

“[The report] makes a lot of people who did really bad things look really bad,” Rockefeller continued, “which is the only way not to repeat those mistakes in the future.”

Though the report has been completed for many months, the members of the Senate Intelligence committee have been fighting with the White House, which allowed CIA officials to review its findings, over the scope of redactions to the report’s summary before it’s made public.

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‘Aquatic Osteoporosis’ Jellifying Lakes

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A handful of Holopedium capsules which are replacing the water flea Daphnia due to declining calcium levels in many lakes. Credit: Image courtesy of Queen’s University

Via ScienceDaily:

A plague of “aquatic osteoporosis” is spreading throughout many North American soft-water lakes due to declining calcium levels in the water and hindering the survival of some organisms, says new research from Queen’s University.

Researchers from Queen’s, working with colleagues from York University and the University of Cambridge, as well as other collaborators, have identified a biological shift in many temperate, soft-water lakes in response to declining calcium levels after prolonged periods of acid rain and timber harvesting. The reduced calcium availability is hindering the survival of aquatic organisms with high calcium requirements and promoting the growth of nutrient-poor, jelly-clad animals.

In the study, researchers looked at the microscopic organisms (~1 mm) Daphnia and Holopedium — the latter whose size is greatly increased by its jelly capsule.

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‘Tactics as Dirty as Their Oil': Leaked Docs Reveal TransCanada’s Propaganda Plan

Keystone XL demonstration, White House, 8-23-2011 Josh Lopez, CC BY 2.0

Keystone XL demonstration, White House, 8-23-2011
Josh Lopez, CC BY 2.0

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Internal strategy documents prepared by a public relations firm on behalf of Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada reveal details of an enormous and well-organized effort by the oil industry to neutralize the transnational grassroots movement which has grown up around the industry’s effort to expand tar sands mining and the building of huge infrastructure projects designed to get “the world’s dirtest fuel” to market.

Obtained by Greenpeace and given to The Guardian newspaper, the documents show that TransCanada—which has proposed building a pipeline called Energy East to bring tar sands from Alberta to New Brusnwick through the largest such pipeline ever built—is aligned with other oil and gas companies placing serious resources of time, money, and personnel into countering the growing climate justice movement which has so far successfully delayed building the Keystone XL pipelein and affirmed its commitment to stopping similar projects in the name of fighting global warming and the resulting threat of climate change.

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