Sunday, January 20, 2019

GM robs public treasury while workers suffer (People Tribune) Editorial

In the face of record profits, General Motors (GM) announced on November 26, during the start of the Christmas Holiday, plans to end production at five plants in the U.S. and Canada, cutting almost 15.000 jobs . GM blamed the cuts on declining sales of small cars, the need to stay ahead of the curve, and an anticipated economic crisis, Ford recently said it was also cutting its salaried workforce for roughly the same reasons. GM,CEO Barra said she wanted to act now to sustain profits when the economic crisis comes , and so GM can keep investing in new technology.

With the advent of the Trump initiated tariffs, and the 2019 auto negotiations fast approaching , GM will use this announcement as a battering ram against the unions, governments tariffs, and state and local government that are affected by this action. These layoffs and plant closings will be used to further drive down GM's cost of production and will devastate communities across the country. But this is nothing new.One of the plants to be closed, the Pole Town assembly plant in Detroit home of UAW local 22, came into existence as a result of the whole neighborhoods and people being uprooted and destroyed. At one point in that 1981 struggle, SWAT teams were called out against a church to carry out the decision. Implicit in that decision was the understanding that this plant would not close. GM's 2018 third -quarter profit rose 37%. And yet we are.

As advanced technology transforms the global economy with labor-less means of production , markets everywhere of all types are glutted . giving rise to a global crisis of overproduction and permanent unemployment. In auto, the number of people working today is hundreds of thousands less than 2000. More job cuts, plant closings, deprivations, and dis possessions are on the way. By cutting jobs and closing plants , GM will save 10 billion by 2021, supposedly to invest in electric and autonomous vehicles.GM already received subsidies and tax breaks , in addition to a $7500 income credit for the purchase of its electric cars. The taxpayer bailout of GM during 2008-09 helped GM boost its production in China. The permanent corporate tax cuts championed by Trump that Congress enacted last year saved GM $157 million in federal taxes just in the first nine months of 2018. GM also got a one - time tax break, that will likely amount to hundreds of millions , on profit it had held off- shores. In 2018, GM spent at least $ 100 million of its tax cut windfall buying back its own shares a move that enriches the shareholders, not the workers. In fact, without tax breaks, subsidies, grants and credits along with out and out thievery and exploitation, all of which is perfectly legit, these private corporations couldn't exist.

Public property in the form of government help is used to enrich the billionaires and prop up the corporations and the failing capitalist system. They get away with it because they have political power to do it. Government is in their hands. The only way out of this is a new society of , by and for the people , and where the production of everything ,  we the people need to survive and thrive is run and owned society , and not corporations like GM.            

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Cop who killed security Guard Jemel Roberson ( People Tribune)

Jemel Roberson was 26 year - old father. He was a talented musician who belong to a gospel
 singing group and played organ in Chicago area churches. He was an armed security guard at Manny's Blue Lounge in suburban Robbins and his ambition was to become a police officer.

In November after Jemel heroically captured a gunman who shot three people at Manny's a policeman arrived on the scene and shot him to death. That officer was from another suburb, Midlothian. Across the country , people reacted to the news with anger and suspicion. Jemel
 was African American and the officer is white.

The People 's Tribune went to Robbins and spoke to two of the gunman victims and to other
witnesses at Manny's as well as to a longtime customer and nearby neighbors.

We learned that around 4am on Sunday , November 11, there was a disturbance at Manny's.  Jemel intervened and removed two men from the premises. One of the men soon came back with a gun and began shooting. A bullet grazed a female bartender's neck and the DJ was hit in his left hand and arm.
A third customer also was hit.

In the parking lot, Jemel shot the gunman in the him on the ground, put his knee on his back and pointed his gun at him. Robbins police soon arrived.

What happen next when the Midlothian cop shot and killed Jemel? The Illinois State Police (ISP) said on November 13 that the Midlothian cop who came to Manny's was responding to gun fire there and arrived while the action was still underway.

ISP said Jemel had a gun and was not wearing clothes "readily" identifying him as a security guard. The ISP said the cop repeatedly command him to drop his gun and get on the ground.

However , the ISP did not say the cop saw Jemel committing a crime.

Two gunshot victims and other witnesses told the people's Tribune something very different.

They said the Midlothian cop came after the situation was under control, and than the cop had an automatic rifle. Jemel wore a guard's black uniform with the word security in large white letters on his shirt, vest and cap, they said. They also said other police officers and by standers shouted that Jemel was a security guard.

Most importantly , they said Jemel had no time to comply. Some said the cop only shouted Freeze and than fired. Others said the cop said nothing and fired.

Also witnesses said the cop jumped onto the bar and pointed his rifle at several people in the club. The wounded bartender said he pointed the barrel at her face.

Who is he? Midlothian police would not identify him by name. A federal judge in Chicago refused to let the cop's name be disclosed. Midlothian police did say he belonged to the South Suburban Emergency Response Team, a SWAT group of cops from several departments.

A recent study found that police in the U.S. kill an average of three adult men a day. As capitalism sinks deeper into crisis. the ruling elite unleashes systemic police murder to keep control. No one is safe.      

Friday, December 28, 2018

Contaminated water in Benton Harbor destroys families. People Tribune by Rev Edward Pinkney

Let the truth be told. This was a very bad year for the residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Whirlpool Corporation has completely taken over the city of Benton Harbor, which includes the elected officials and the city manager, who cannot make any decisions without the approval of Whirlpool. The elected officials are working with ,Whirlpool against the people to remove the Black reseidents, completely out of the city.

First , on the water crisis. We have tested 40 homes in Benton Harbor and 33 of those homes had leads levels extremely high above 25 ppb. The normal is less than 15ppb. We even had two homes with over 100ppb. One school tested 640ppb, over 40 times above the normal level.

Elevated levels of lead cause serious health problems especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in the drinking water is primarily from materials that have been dumped in the water by factories and the industrial waste water run off. Also lead can enter drinking water when pipes solder , or fixtures containing lead corrode, releasing the lead into the water.

The water testing included testing for Microbial contaminants such as salt and metal which was found in the water Pesticide and Herbicides, which come from a variety of sources, such as agriculture and other uses was also in the water. The number one cause of contaminats in the water are products of factories or industrial processes.

We must teach our community all about water and how important clean water really is. Water is a human right. Clean water is a moral issue, you can not live without clean water. Lead in your water, Microbial, Inorganic, Pesticides, Herbicides, Radioactive and organic Chemical in your water will shorten your life.

We must stand up to Whirlpool Corporation and city elected official to demand clean water for our children, our families and our community. We must confront the enemy or the enemy will continue to destroy us. No more bad water. Tell your elected official and Whirlpool Corporation. You are not going to kill me....

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Rash Spreads at women's prison part 3

Gautz said the prison paints the restrooms as needed , but it is simply not true that prisoners were told to paint over black mold with white paint.

He said bleach was taken away as a cleaning agent in the last year, because it was considered a possible source of the rash, but it is still used in the prison laundry.

He said officials have ruled out a number of possible causes, including black mold, after testing the water and air and searching for signs of mold. Scabies was also suspected early on and ruled out, he said.

He said Corizon , the correction Department's health care contractor, recently agreed to provide a doctor who would focus almost exclusively on addressing the rash problem.The prison has also asked for volunteers who have the rash to move into the health care unit, where they can be closely monitored and treated with topical creams, he said.

We 're definitively doing our best to get this to a conclusion, Gautz said.

It's all hands on deck.

Brooke Taylor, a traverse City resident whose mother. Carolyn Taylor, is an inmate at Women's Huron Valley, said her mother has the painful rash from head to toe and volunteered to move to the infirmary eight days ago. Taylor said she spoke to her mother Tuesday and she told her the rash has not improved and may have worsened since she moved to the infirmary.

Carolyn Taylor lives in the filmore unity , her daughter said. She doesn't work as a porter and sends all her garments to the prison laundry, she said. She too, believes the rash is is the result of mold , which she said was cleaned from the prison restrooms not long ago and has already come back.

Gautz said he doesn't intend to blame prisoners for the rash, but after eliminating many others possibilities, the improper use of cleaning agents is our best working theory.

Gautz said that when 115 prisoners had been diagnosed with the rash, 55 percent of them were porters. but he said he doesn't have an update porter number to go with the current number for rash cases which is 190.

He said officials also noticed a high proportion of rash incidents among prisoners who were mixing dental tablets, prison soap and shampoo to launder their own bras and underwear, rather than send it to the prison laundry, but he couldn't say what percentage of prisoners experiencing the rash had not done that.     

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Rash spreads at Women's Prison part 2

It is obscene to blame the women for the horrible rash that has now spread throughout the women's prison. Jacobsen said It is the fault of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Jacobsen said she and others have complained for years that the prison was unsafe, toxic and filthy with feces on the walls and urine in the vents. When the department removed men from the facility in 2009, she said female inmates have begged for proper cleaning materials, but been refused and unhealthy black mold has spread throughout the prison.

The Free Press has reported on a history of leaking roofs at the prison, confirmed by inmates , correctional officers , and prison officials, and prison officials. Prisoners brought a class -action suit , alleging inhumane conditions, in 2016 but a federal judge in Detroit declined to certify the suit this year.

Gaulz denied there is black mold at the prison. He said what have happened at the prison. He said what might have happened at the prison a decade ago couldn't possibly have a causal relationship with rashes happening today. Gautz providing the Free Press with copies of recent inspections by Corrections Department employees that say the institution continues to be maintained in excellent sanitary condition.

But Machelle Pearson 52, who served more than 30 years behind bars, after her conviction for a 1983 homicide when she was a juvenile, said she saw black mold in the Galdwin unit, where the rash began , when she worked as a porter who cleaned the restrooms prior to her August parole.

In the shower area , an entire corner of the tile ceiling was eaten away by mold , and because of lack of a ventilation, condensation would drip on the prisoners and their clothes while they showered , Pearson said.

The prison stopped allowing the porters to use bleach to clean, and instead provided diluted cleaning agents that don't clean properly , she said

During the brief period early this year, when the Galdwin housing unit was under quarantine because of the rash, inmate were to directed paint over the black mold with white paint. Pearson told Free Press.

Pearson said she contracted the rash and still has scars around her ankles and feet, which she said an outside doctor told her , after her release , was because of  exposure to fungus and mold.

Part.3 next     

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Rash spreads at women's prison black mold.

Officials say they don't know the cause though prisoners blame black mold on leaky roofs

A painful and itchy rash continues to spread through Michigan's women's prison, and officials said Tuesday they still don't know what is causing the rash or how best to treat it.

Free press first reported the problem in March, when officials said there were close to 50 cases confined to one of the Ypsilanti area prisons 15 units.

Now , there are nearly 200 cases of the itchy rash, which features little red bumps on inner thighs, buttocks, arms, backs and chest in eight of the units Corrections Department  spokesman Chris Gautz said.

Prisoners blame conditions such as leaky roofs and inadequate ventilation they say have resulted in excess mildew and black mold.

Prison officials ,who insist the rash is not contagious , deny there is a mold problem and say they suspect the rash is the fault of the inmates.

But Gautz admitted prison officials have little more than theories, despite a problem that has persisted for more than a year.

Officials believe the rash is the result of improper mixing of prison issued cleaning fluids by inmates porters who are charged with cleaning the prison, along with an inmate practice of using homemade laundry detergent to hand wash their brassieres and underwear, rather than sending them to the prison laundry, Gautz told The Free Press.

That's ridiculous, said U.M professor Carol Jacobson , who works with the inmates and parolees at the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility as director of the Michigan Women's Justice Clemency Project.  

It is obscene to blame the women for the Horrible rash that has now spread throughout the women's prison Jacobsen said , It is the fault of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Jacobsen said she and others have complained for years that the prison was unsafe , toxic and filthy with feces on the walls and urine in the vents when the department removed men from the facility in 2009. She said female inmates have begged for proper cleaning materials, but been refused and unhealthy black mold has spread throughout the prison.

I am not surprised the Michigan Department of Corrections is blaming the inmates only because they will never except the responsibility of the major health problem. The people in the state of Michigan must step up....

Part 1

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Why are caravans heading to the United States

Members of the caravan of migrants and asylum seekers from Central America are revealing why people are getting up and walking out of their countries, and heading for the United States. They are starving in Guatemala. They are leaving Honduras because they have been run out of business, lost their jobs or land and seek a better life.

They are leaving because there is mass violence and it is no longer safe for women or for raising children. They are coming up here because United States corporations have been down there wreaking havoc.

Each year, improved technologies make it possible for U.S.companies to produce more goods and service with fewer workers. How do corporations solve the problem of selling more, when there are fewer buyers? They transfer that problem to Latin America by dumping their cheap , subsidized commodities on Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador Tariff free, wiping out their local producers and ruining their economies. The corporate need for maximum profits stands in stark opposition to democracy and human rights. To enhance one is to diminish the other.

Corporations can sue whole governments under CAFTA,  the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and recover billions of dollars in lost profits even if the corporations illegally stole land, polluted the environment and cause injury or death. To guarantee rulings in favor of corporations, these Investor State Settlement Dispute, suit take place in secret tribunals hosted by the World Bank, unaccountable to any democratic institution. Thus corporate private property rights Central Americans have to life or liberty.

If legal measures like CAFTA aren't enough, extralegal ones are used. According to a study by Global Witness. Nowhere are you more likely to be killed for standing up to companies that grab land and trashed the environment than in Honduras. Anyone opposing corporations is assassinated or disappeared. If democratically elected government governments attempt to intervene on behalf of their, they are overthrow with a coup. Life has become so unbearable for human beings that they have no choice, but to in mass get up and leave for fear of losing their lives. While human life attempting to survive encounters borders every step of the way, there are no borders that U.S. corporate profits is bound to respect.

When this caravan made up of women, children, and families reaches our southern border, will they again be in fear for their lives, met by bayonets and machine guns? or shall we as Americans , remember that it is the corporations who have lowered our wages here , foreclosed on our homes, 
closed our schools, denied us heath care, polluted our water, made us homeless , suppressed our votes, and backed it all up with police terror.

In case any of us have forgotten , let this caravan of humanity be our reminder that all human beings, as a birthright, must have access to the tree of life and any corporation or corporate run government, who denies access must be replace. said Joseph Peery of the People Tribune.            

Friday, November 30, 2018

Celebrants at Rev Pinkney's birthday pledge to fight on

A spirited birthday celebration for Rev Edward Pinkney, on October 27 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, drew family, friends, and activists from Michigan , Illinois, Ohio, California and even Denmark. Rev Pinkney's daughter Latoya Williams sang for the gathering , commenting that she loved everything about the party. Marvin Haywood thanked the reverend for his support for Benton Harbor community and concern for justice for those who have no voice. Dorothy Pinkney said her husband's "70 " celebration was very successful with an amazing turn out.

The highlight of the evening was actress and activist Jane Fonda. "You are a brave man Rev Pinkney" said the actress , who spoke about low wages women and One Fair Wage proposal on the ballot in Michigan, and the need to get out the vote. It's unconscionable what they are doing to black voters across the country. They do not want you to vote. We need to get people into office that do not think that Whirlpool and Senior PGA is more important that the rights of people in Benton Harbor, said Fonda. She is just a beautiful person on the inside and out side.

Patrissa Cullors co- founder of Black Lives Matter, said the One Fair Wage is about " who is deserving to feed their children, have shelter and live a life of dignity, She honored the victims and survivors a government and vigilantes that see us as part of their sacrifice.

Benton Harbor resident Emma Kinnard said " It was an honor that Jane Fonda took the time out to come to a little town like Benton Harbor, Claire McClinton after wishing Rev Pinkney a very happy birthday said 'Flint is the face of abandonment and man made disaster foisted upon the people , compromising our health and lives , and you, Rev Pinkney, are the face of resistance to the dismantle of democracy in the state.

We must fight to keep legislator from choosing corporate interest over the interests of workers , said Rev Pinkney. We must confront legislators , along with the corporations , who stand behind them, and keep up the fight after the elections.