My first attempt at a gif…
History… learn from it, or repeat it. I suggest the former.
Nancy is taking action today in solidarity with residents of neighboring Mayflower, Arkansas who have been forced from their homes and are suffering the health impacts from tar sands toxins.
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New poster for Dirty Wars. Opens June 7th in select cities, and wider on June 14th. All info at dirtywars.org.
Bangladeshi garment factory collapses, killing 96, and the media once again reports half of the story
April 24, 2013
Ninety-six people died (and over a thousand were injured) making our clothes in Bangladesh today when the factory in which they were working collapsed. The tragedy is the latest in a troubling series of Bangladeshi factory fires, including a January fire that killed several teenagers, a November fire that killed 112, and a December 2010 fire that injured over 100 and killed 27 in a factory supplying Gap clothes.
The factory owners apparently detected a dangerous crack in the building yesterday, but ignored the warning and allowed workers to enter the building for work today.
One fireman told Reuters about 2,000 people were in the building when the upper floors slammed down onto those below.
The world’s biggest garment producers and retailers, including Wal-Mart, Sears, and Disney, have succeeded in limiting their legal liability as well as public scorn by constructing elaborate supply chains that make the Western corporations appear only distantly connected to these third-world tragedies. Businesses in the building that collapsed today had names like Phantom Apparels Ltd., New Wave Style Ltd., New Wave Bottoms Ltd. and New Wave Brothers Ltd., (Ltd. meaning limited liability), but sell to major retailers including Benetton, The Children’s Place and Dress Barn, according to CBS.
The reality is that virtually all of the clothes we buy in America and Europe come from countries like Bangladesh (which is now the second largest exporter of garments due to its extremely low wages and dangerous working conditions). According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between five and fifteen million 10- to 14- year-old children work in garment factories in Bangladesh. Seventy-five to ninety percent of garment workers are women.
There is no paid leave for holidays, and salary is deducted if the child is absent, or for unproductive periods when the electricity in the factory temporarily goes out. Girls under 15 years of age are preferred in these factories, as they work for less, are more likely to be unmarried with no children or domestic responsibilities, and cause no labor problems.
Media coverage of workplace disasters abroad rarely make connections to these aspects of the average worker’s experience, nor do they interrogate connections to American and European companies that ultimately enjoy the profit margin on the goods produced. When those companies are mentioned, they typically decline to comment, as Wal-Mart did today, or deny that they have any official contracts with the local businesses, which is made easier by generally shoddy paperwork and little international enforcement of labor and trade regulations.
Every few months we see news of Bangladeshi factory fires and deaths. What are those in power doing to prevent the next catastrophe? And how often do we base our own consumption choices on the working conditions of people who actually sewed the clothes, cleaned the smartphone screens, picked the tomatoes, mined the minerals? As Americans, must we continue to live in perpetual guilt about the consequences of our daily behavior?
(Photo from Reuters)
Another great post from the-lone-pamphleteer.
It’s deplorable, if something this tragic happened in the U.S., it would be the top story for a week.
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I was one of the people that thought Obama was just setting a ruse to ensure reelection last year, THEN he would come out and do all the “Hope” and “Change” stuff promised back in 2008…
It’s time to get pissed. The U.S. law that would turn Google, Facebook, and Twitter into legally immune government spies just passed the House.
We expected CISPA to pass; that’s why this spring, we’re going to organize the largest online privacy protest in history to make sure CISPA is gone for good.
And, in response to Rep. Mike Rogers’ accusation that CISPA opponents are just “14 year-old tweeter[s] in the basement”, we thought we’d also challenge Rep. Rogers to get on live national television and debate a 14 year-old in a basement on CISPA. The search for the 14 year-old begins. Are you or do you know a 14 year-old who could totally school a congressman on this issue?
This bill affects everyone — not just U.S. citizens. Anyone with a Facebook account could now have their data shipped directly to the U.S. government. That’s why Internet users overwhelmingly oppose this bill. Over 1.5 million people signed petitions against it. But Congress didn’t listen.
Does this remind you of something? Yep, this is the exact position we were in with SOPA last year. Then the Internet rose up and we made history with the SOPA strike.
Join the largest online privacy protest in history to make sure CISPA goes the same route as SOPA and doesn’t become the law that breaks the 4th Amendment. Are you in?
CISPA threatens our most basic rights. Privacy is important not just for our security but for our rights to freedom of expression. The giant tech companies that stood with Internet users against SOPA are not going to help us this time (but some of the large sites like Mozilla, Imgur, and Reddit are all against CISPA and we love them).
Only a massive grassroots outcry will stop this bill. We’re starting to build the tools. But we need your help.
Can you share the flyer below on social media? And tell everyone you know to sign up to join the protest?
Go yell at your Senators. Now.
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GOLD - Guess who’s in control… hint: it’s not “we the people.”
Since the economy tanked, there has been a crazy push to buy or invest in gold. Millions of people jumped on the bandwagon and simple economics dictates that as demand goes up for a product that exists in finite quantities, so does the price of said product. So, we watched as the price of gold rose from $650 an ounce in June of 2007 to over $1900 an ounce in September of 2011.
Everything was fine, because the wealthiest, including Wall Street and the Federal Reserve already had their wealth and if they invested in gold, it was long before this spike in price. BUT, the red flags began to pop up when state governments began considering moving back to a gold-backed currency. At the beginning of April, I saw a couple different stories on this topic, including this one from Bloomberg. When this happens, then the value of the Federal Reserve’s fiat currency begins to truly be threatened, and those who wield the power, know something must be done.
Time for devaluation. Today saw a significant drop in gold prices, but also in silver prices too. This is how the privately held Federal Reserve Bank and Wall Street keep the value of the dollar afloat, despite it’s complete lack of any real value whatsoever.
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