Category Archives: Holidays

Christmas Plea to World From Father of Drowned Syrian Child: Open Your Doors

‘Hopefully next year the war will end in Syria and peace will reign all over the world.’

Written by Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-24-15.
Abdullah Kurdi, a Syrian refugee whose son drowned off Turkey this year, recorded a holiday message for Britain's Channel 4. (Image: Channel 4)

Abdullah Kurdi, a Syrian refugee whose son drowned off Turkey this year, recorded a holiday message for Britain’s Channel 4. (Image: Channel 4)

The father of the three-year-old Syrian boy whose lifeless body washed up on a beach in Turkey—the powerful photo of which captured the human tragedy of the refugee crisis—will deliver a Christmas message in which he urges the world to have sympathy for those fleeing the ravages of war.

Abdullah Kurdi, who, in addition to losing three-year-old Alan, also lost his wife, Rehanna and five-year-old son Ghalib when the boat bound for Greece they were on capsized, will deliver the remarks in this year’s alternative Christmas message on the UK’s Channel 4. An excerpt of the message and transcript have already been released. Continue reading

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Striking Fear Into Corporate Hearts, Labor Board Hands Big Win to Workers

‘Employers will no longer be able to shift responsibility for their workers and hide behind loopholes to prevent workers from organizing,’ say Teamsters

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-27-2015

Why is Thursday’s ruling bad news for McDonald’s? “If a fast-food brand or a hotel chain can be deemed a ‘joint employer’ along with the smaller company, it can be dragged into labor disputes and negotiations that it conveniently wouldn’t have to worry about otherwise,” one journalist explained. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/cc)

In what is being described as “one of the biggest labor decisions of the Obama administration,” the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Thursday expanded its “joint-employer” standard, paving the way for unions to organize on a much broader scale—and striking fear into the hearts of corporations that have used previous labor laws to shift workplace responsibilities elsewhere.

While the ruling dealt specifically with a California waste-management company, observers said its implications could go much further. “McDonald’s, Burger King and every other company that relies on a franchise business model just suffered the legal setback they’ve been fearing for years,” wrote Huffington Post labor reporter Dave Jamieson on Thursday afternoon.

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Has Memorial Day become only a Memory?

A sea of graves spreads across the Fort Snelling National Cemetery landscape. (Photo author's own work.)

A sea of graves spreads across the Fort Snelling National Cemetery landscape. (Photo author’s own work.)

Across this country, today will see services at cemeteries as we observe Memorial Day. Most people will drive by a cemetery on their way to their recreation spot for the weekend, and that is about as much thought as they will give to the real reason the unofficial beginning of summer arrives with this day every year.

It all started in 1865 when black residents of Charleston, SC, decorated the unmarked graves of 257 buried soldiers, improved the landscape around the graves and brought honor to those who had been forgotten. Within a few years, nearly every state had their own observations during the same time of year, and by 1967 it became a federal holiday with the current name.

But there are some who remember. Some who actually memorialize the day by going to a cemetery. Some take their children, and begin teaching that this is important. To remember and honor brings respect to a family and to the next generation. Continue reading

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As Patriot Act Expiration Looms, Critics Hope for Sunset on Mass Surveillance

‘Together we will end the Patriot Act, and the sun can rise on a new day filled with freedom and privacy for all.’

Written by Nadia Prupis and Deirdre Fulton, staff writers for CommonDreams. Published 5-22-15.

With a deadline for the USA Patriot Act fast approaching, Congress has little time to decide how to proceed—but the call to 'sunset' the law is growing. (Photo: Dan Cook/flickr/cc/with overlay)

With a deadline for the USA Patriot Act fast approaching, Congress has little time to decide how to proceed—but the call to ‘sunset’ the law is growing. (Photo: Dan Cook/flickr/cc/with overlay)

With the fate of the USA Patriot Act still hanging in the balance late afternoon Friday—and lawmakers eager to leave Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day barbecues and campaign stops in their home states—the chance to see the sun go down on the controversial spying bill is still on the table.

The debate over the Patriot Act is centered around one of its key provisions, Section 215, which is set to expire on June 1 absent congressional action. The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) previously relied on Section 215 to justify its mass phone data collection operation, but its expiration would force an end to that program. Continue reading

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HARD BARGAINING: Corporate America’s NEW PLAYBOOK

By Gretschman for Occupy World Writes

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When the Great Recession struck with full force in 2008, many companies demanded deep concessions.

Workers across North America, including thousands of IBEW members, made numerous sacrifices to help their employers make it through those tough times.

Since then the economy has made a major turnaround — but most of its benefits are going to the top 1 percent of earners.

Profits have hit an all-time high. At the same time, wages as a percent of the economy have hit an all-time low.

Even at unionized companies, IBEW negotiators are confronting cash-rich employers who have replaced mutually beneficial collective bargaining with a winner-take-all, adversarial relationship — an approach some union activists are calling “hard bargaining.” Continue reading

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To Honor Women on February 14

On the day known for love, the world will come together for the biggest event in world history to call attention to violence against women.

One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history.  The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.

There is time for you to join this world action. Women and men who support their cause in every country, in major cities and places unheard of are joining together. Find the one nearest you and join the revolution.

We plan on attending with signs already made that state WHY WE RISE. Connect with others involved through social media. Send us your photos from your event and we will put them on our Facebook Page.

In case you still can’t get enough, here is the video from the previous year. At the end, there is a link that directs you to a video that teaches all the simple dance steps. It can’t get any easier to make a big impression.

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Kurdish Kids Get Gifts From Peshmerga

Some of us resolved to begin the year by doing more than just “slactivism” about our passions. If you are one of these people, this might be just what you are looking for.

On January 2, 2015, the Peshmerga Forces of Kurdistan delivered packages and gifts to the Kurdish children at a refugees camp in Iraq. In the video, attention is drawn to the feet of the children. Many are is sandals or other open-style footwear while clad in coats. Continue reading

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What We Learned Our First Year

Image By Andrikkos (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Image By Andrikkos (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

We envisioned this post to be a year recapped in pictures from our posts. Sometimes we are led in different directions without the ability to explain why – and this is a prime example of what that looks like.

On December 31, 2013, I sat at my computer desk and scanned a preview of the website one last time before pushing the “Launch” button. Ready or not, here we go.

One year later, we review the insights and activity logs, the posts that were read the most, the comments that have been made, countries you are from and what you liked the most. Continue reading

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Peace to All

Image from http://www.lynnegolodner.com/the-world-around-me/truth-peace-middle-east/

Image from http://www.lynnegolodner.com/the-world-around-me/truth-peace-middle-east/

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Lights That Share, Lives That Care

Driving around to look at lights over the holiday season has been a tradition across America since we started stringing the outdoor ornaments in the 1930s.

The first electric Christmas lights were invented by Thomas Edison in 1880, when he hung strings outside his laboratory. Edward Johnson, a close friend of Edison, rigged up lights on his Christmas tree in 1882. In 1884, the New York Times covered his lights in a feature story, and Americans became fascinated with all that twinkles and shines. Continue reading

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