A new law, known as H.R. 347, expands the power of the Secret Service and police to arrest protesters near a “protected person” or at special public events like nominating conventions, a further intrusion on the right of Americans to assemble in protest, as Phil Rockstroh explains.
International agencies and global movements target human rights violators from small or isolated countries, but the idea of holding accountable the powerful and well-connected who cause much greater human suffering is considered unthinkable, a paradigm that Danny Schechter challenges.
When kids scramble to buy the latest Nike running shoe, they’re mocked for their consumerism; yet, when Mitt Romney mentions his wife’s Cadillacs and other one-percenters tool around in their luxury autos, they’re admired for their success — a commentary on America’s crisis, writes Phil Rockstroh.
The fact that the American Left lacks the media outreach to the public that the Right has is proving decisive as conservatives consolidate their influence in blue-collar communities that, ironically, are suffering from right-wing excesses of the past three decades, as Danny Schechter explains.
The Occupy movement is at a divide, with the initial encampments mostly disbanded but with new plans for marches and civil disobedience this spring. There are also schisms between non-violent activists and some anarchists who favor more aggressive action, a split that Stephanie Van Hook addresses.
The powers-that-be would prefer the common folk to accept their fate quietly, even as many are made surplus to the work force and all are facing global warming’s coming devastation of the planet. But more and more people are choosing to make noise through messy dissent, as Phil Rockstroh observes.
Police have cleared out most Occupy Wall Street encampments around America, but no one is stopping the ultra-rich from partying on with the trillions of dollars in bailout help from the feds and the Fed, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship observe.
Mitt Romney, who wants talk of income inequality confined to “quiet rooms,” admits he’s spent the last decade living mostly on investments and paying less than half the taxes that would apply to a salary, just one more example of why the rich keep getting richer, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship observe.
The Standard & Poor’s rating agency has downgraded European countries in a move that may force the governments to crack down more on their populations and divert more money to wealthy investors, thus helping the super-rich short-circuit what’s left of democracy, Danny Schechter reports.
For many people around the world, 2011 was a very tough year, as millions lost jobs, suffered foreclosures and faced austerity, while the rich did fine and corporations hoarded trillions of dollars in cash. But there were glimmers of hope in the emergence of resistance, writes Danny Schechter.