Category Archives: Government

Global Tribunal Issues ‘Historic’ Ruling for Oceans and Small Island Nations

“Protecting the global commons of the oceans and atmosphere is a matter of life and death,” said one expert who praised the decision.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-21-2024 by Common Dreams

Fighting against climate change in Tuvalu: reclaimed land, Photo: UNDP Climate/flickr/CC

An international tribunal on Tuesday delivered a decision that green groups and leaders of small island nations celebrated as a “groundbreaking victory for ocean and climate protection.”

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) announced in an advisory opinion that greenhouse gas emissions are marine pollution under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and parties to the treaty “have the specific obligation to adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce, and control” them.

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‘We Must Fight Against Fascists’: Protests Greet Far-Right Summit in Spain

“We are not going to allow them to take even one step back,” one protester said as far-right political leaders set their sights on the European Union elections.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Dozens of people protest during a rally against the “Viva 24” event in Madrid, Spain on May 19, 2024. Photo: EFE Noticias/X

As European Union voters prepare for June elections, far-right leaders gathered in Madrid for a weekend rally hosted by Spain’s Vox party—a gathering at the Palacio de Vistalegre that drew protests and warnings about their plans for the continent.

Rally speakers delivered “strong messages against illegal migration and the bloc’s climate policy while declaring their support for Israel in its war against Hamas,” according to The Associated Press.

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Solidarity Marches Held Across Globe to Demand Cease-Fire in Gaza

Organizers held rallies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to mark Nakba Day and condemn Israel’s bombing and starvation of Palestinian civilians.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-19-2024 by Common Dreams

The London march. Photo:: PSC/X

As one United Nations official on Saturday said that “brand new words” are needed to adequately describe the devastation Israel has wrought across Gaza in its U.S.-backed military assault, tens of thousands of people across the globe marched in solidarity with Palestinians to demand an end to the “ongoing Nakba.”

The marches were held to honor Nakba Day, which was marked on May 15—the 76th anniversary of the mass displacement of 700,000 Palestinians who were forced from their homes when Israel declared statehood in 1948. The protesters demanded a cease-fire in Gaza, where Israeli forces have killed at least 35,456 people since October, the majority of them women and children.

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In ‘Abandonment of Public Education,’ Louisiana to Allow Tax Dollars to Pay for Private Schools

“We must build and maintain a public education system that serves all children,” said one Democratic lawmaker.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-18-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry testifies during a hearing in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call)

After an aggressive push by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, the Louisiana Senate advanced a bill this week that would allow public funds to be used for private school tuition—sending what one Democrat called an “abandonment” of the state’s public schools to the state House, where it is expected to pass.

The state Senate approved the Louisiana Giving All True Opportunity to Rise (LA GATOR) Scholarship Program in a vote of 25-15 on Thursday, with just four Republicans joining the Democratic Party in opposing the bill.

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‘Alliance With White Nationalists’: Texas Gov Rebuked for Pardoning Shooter of BLM Protester

“This pardon not only undermines the justice system but also sends a chilling message that politically motivated violence is acceptable,” said Democratic Texas state Rep. Ron Reynolds.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-17-2024 by Common Dreams

Garrett Foster and his fiancée. Photo: Anna Mayo

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a pardon on Thursday for Daniel Perry, who was convicted of fatally shooting Black Lives Matter protester Garrett Foster in 2020.

Abbott’s pardon came less than an hour after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended it, Austin-based investigative journalist Tony Plohetski noted on social media. In addition to releasing him from prison, the pardon grants Perry “restoration of full civil rights of citizenship,” including the right to own a gun.

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200+ Groups to Congress: Stop ‘Zombie’ Funding for Fossil Fuels on Public Lands

“It’s past time our leaders take this simple step and stop funding activities that are completely at odds with protecting our climate,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Oil drilling platforms have been placed in Alaska after the approval of the Willow Project, which has caused an uproar of controversy and opposition all over the nation. Environmentalists are strongly opposed to the project. Photo courtesy of KarmaActive

More than 200 environmental and climate advocacy groups sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday demanding that lawmakers stop funding the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and waters.

The letter argues that Congress’ annual approval of taxpayer funds to subsidize oil and gas drilling and coal mining “undermine” the international agreement reached at the United Nations COP28 climate conference last year on the need for “transitioning away from fossil fuels.”

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‘Families’ Needs Over Corporate Greed’: US Childcare Providers, Parents Hold Day of Action

“If our leaders don’t step up and legislate a solution to this crisis, we all will pay the price of an underfunded system,” said organizers.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Renee Edwards conducts early literacy outreach at a childcare center in Fairfax County, VA. Photo: Fairfax Library Foundation/flickr/CC

Flanked by her fellow childcare providers from Minnesota’s Iron Range region at a press conference in St. Paul, Shawntel Gruba on Monday explained that the childcare center she runs had shut its doors for the day to “demonstrate how vitally important childcare is to our community.”

“We are the workforce behind the workforce,” said Gruba, CEO of Iron Range Tykes in Mountain Iron. “Without us, no one goes to work.”

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Israel’s war on Gaza could spark protests that shape entire region

While media focus is on pro-Palestine protests in the US, anger in North Africa and Western Asia could boil over

By Paul Rogers. Published 5-8-2024 by openDemocracy

Iraqi cleric Sadr mobilizes thousands at Baghdad pro-Palestinian rally. Screenshot: YouTube

Though many analysts feared an uncontrolled military escalation between Israel and Iran last month, this seems to have been avoided for now at least. Many states across the world are, however, witnessing a political escalation – not least those in North Africa and West Asia, which are often overlooked in conversations about protest.

The United States is the most obvious example of state-level controversy. Pro-Palestine protests and occupations are taking place at university campuses across the country – many of which have been met by violent police-led actions – as people take issue with Joe Biden’s enabling Israel in its horrific seven-month assault on Gaza.

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‘Sad What We Are Doing’: Global CO2 Increase Sets New All-Time Record

“I’d make this the lead story in every paper and newscast on the planet,” said Bill McKibben. “If we don’t understand the depth of the climate crisis, we will not act in time.”

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: rawpixel

The average monthly concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere jumped by a record 4.7 parts per million between March 2023 and March 2024, according to new data from NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

The spike, reported by the University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography on Wednesday, reveals “the increasing pace of CO2 addition to the atmosphere by human activities,” the university said.

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‘Argentina Stopped’: Unions Hold Second General Strike Over Milei Austerity

“It is a day of resistance and demand,” said trade groups that organized the action “in defense of democracy, labor rights, and the living wage.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: vijay banga/X

Argentina’s primary trade union federation on Thursday held another nationwide general strike, the second called since President Javier Milei, a far-right economist, took office in December and began pursuing sweeping austerity and deregulation.

The South American nation’s unions organized the strike “in defense of democracy, labor rights, and the living wage,” according to a statement from the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the Argentine Workers’ Central Union (CTA), and the Autonomous CTA.

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