Monday, June 29, 2020

Workers in the U.S. Died to Produce Meat for China

 When Corona Virus deaths rose, meat packing companies declared that there was an impending shortage of meat.  They got the Trump Administration to declare meat packing as an essential industry and to (force) the companies to stay open. 

It turns out, there was plenty of meat.  So much, that the corporations were selling  129,000 tons of processed meat to China and an inflated price.  Yes, to China, during the crisis.  It seems China, not the U.S., had a meat shortage.  At this time China was imposing strict limits on the export of protective equipment like masks.  The U.S. had become dependent upon Chinese suppliers, and when we needed the supplies they were not there. 

Meanwhile, workers in the U.S. died to produce this meat.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The families of three workers who died after contracting the coronavirus in an Iowa meat plant outbreak sued Tyson Foods and its top executives Thursday, saying the company knowingly put employees at risk and lied to keep them on the job.
The lawsuit alleges that Tyson officials were aware the virus was spreading at the Waterloo pork processing plant by late March or early April but kept that information from employees and the public.
As the outbreak grew, the company failed to implement safety measures, allowed some sick and exposed employees to remain on the production line, and falsely assured workers and the public that the plant was safe, the suit alleges. 
“Tyson intended by these false representations to deceive workers in the Waterloo facility ... and to induce them to continue working despite the uncontrolled COVID-19 outbreak at the plant and the health risks associated with working,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Black Hawk County district court.
So, the companies got their way. They made their profits.  Workers died. All with the cooperation of the Trump administration. 

Oh well. they were immigrant workers. 

Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey sent a letter late Monday to the chief executives of Smithfield, Tyson, Cargill and JBS, criticizing them for exporting to China at the same time they were lobbying the Trump administration to keep their plants open during the pandemic because they wanted to keep feeding Americans.
The senators said the companies were putting their workers’ lives in danger while also raising food prices for American consumers.
“This pattern of behavior raises questions about whether you are living up to your commitments to the workers who produce your pork and beef, the communities in which you operate and the nation’s consumers that rely on your products to feed their families,” Ms. Warren and Mr. Booker wrote.
The letter was prompted by an article in The New York Times last week detailing how pork exports to China totaled a record 129,000 tons in April, when the profitable demand in that country surged.
Representatives for Tyson and Cargill declined to comment on the letter. Smithfield, which is owned by a Chinese company, and JBS did not return requests for comment.

By David Bacon
Stansbury Forum, 6/29/20

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Revolt of the Cities—Again.

The Revolt of the Cities—Again.: New York’s primaries confirm a major new reality of American politics: Our cities are turning overwhelmingly left.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


The Reality Check: "LET'S HAVE OUR VOICES COUNT!": "LET'S HAVE OUR VOICES COUNT!" Black education unionists call for an avalanche of protests for racial justice By David Bacon C...

Saturday, June 20, 2020

"Rise" | June 20th Poor People's Campaign Promo

JOIN THE MOVEMENT ON JUNE 21: The Mass Poor People's Assembly and Moral March on Washington is a 2.5 hour program that will be broadcast on Sunday June 21 at 6PM EST/ 3PM PST, right here at Join us!!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

PEW: 75% of Americans Support Permanent Status Pathway for Undocumented Population

PEW: 75% of Americans Support Permanent Status Pathway for Undocumented Population

new Pew poll released on Wednesday said that 75 percent of American favored a pathway to permanent status for the country’s undocumented population, with Democrats and Latinos showing the highest levels of support.
Pew asked the following question in the poll: “Which comes closer to your view about how to handle undocumented immigrants who are now living in the U.S.?”
Respondents were given three choices:
1.     “They should not be allowed to stay in the country legally.”
2.     “There should be a way for them to stay in the country legally, if certain requirements are met.”
3.     “No answer.”
According to Pew’s poll, 75 percent of Americans chose answer 2. Among Democrats or those who lean Democrat, that number increased to 89 percent. Among Latinos, the overall support was at 87 percent, with foreign-born Latino support at 94 percent and U.S.-born Latino support at 82 percent.
Pew also noted that Republican support was at 57 percent, a number that didn’t really change much from August 2019. In addition support was at 81 percent among Black Americans, 76 percent among Asian Americans and 70 percent among White Americans.
“The number of undocumented, or unauthorized, immigrants living in the U.S. stood at 10.5 million in 2017, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007, according to Pew Research Center estimates. Just under half of the nation’s unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico,” Pew noted.
Similar Support for DREAMers
The same poll said that 74 percent of Americans favor granting permanent status to DREAMers. According to Pew, 91 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of Latinos favored taking such action.
The Pew poll also showed support from 54 percent of Republicans with 43 percent opposing.
Besides Latinos, Black Americans favored passing a law for DREAMers by 82 percent. Asian Americans showed 72 percent and White Americans showed 69 percent support.
The Supreme Court is currently deciding on the future Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Defend DACA And All The Undocumented

antiracismdsa: Defend DACA And All Undocumented: Editor’s Note: On Monday morning, Latino Rebels received the following open letter for publication. It has  since been published on Me...

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Defund, Dismantel, Sacramento County Jail system

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Defund, Dismantel, Sacramento County Jail system: For months now our County Board of Supervisors have failed to implement any way for our community to be heard in th...

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

AB 1835 Passes Assembly. Assists English Language Learners

AB 1835 Passed the California Assembly yesterday, and is sent to the Senate.
this would resolve our long standing conflict with Sacramento City Unified on funding of English Language Learners.

 AB 1835 would require districts and other local educational agencies to identify any unspent supplemental and concentration funds by annually reconciling the estimated amounts of these funds they include in their LCAPs with the actual amounts of funding the State reports apportioning to them. This bill would also specify that unspent supplemental and concentration funds at year-end must retain their designation to increase and improve services for the intended student groups. AB 1835 will also require districts and other local educational agencies to identify in their LCAPs the total amounts of any unspent supplemental and concentration funds from the previous year. 
The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was enacted in 2013. The LCFF was designed to be a more equitable system of funding, with the goal of providing additional funding for the highest needs students. These subgroups of students include English learners, low-income students, and foster. If the student groups targeted for assistance make larger than a majority of enrollment, districts receive additional concentration money.

What is the conflict we have been having.  Explained in the testimony below.

Testimony given to SCUSD Board, and sent to SCUSD LCAP Advisory Committee.

League of United Latin

American Citizens



Lorenzo Patiño Council
#2862 of Sacramento

         June 10,2020.

 Re: LCAP Update-  2020.

In your planning to review progress under LCAP,  we offer the following comments.  We also addressed our concerns to the SCUSD School Board and to Superintendent Aguilar. We request that our comments be shared with all members of the LCAP Committee and that the comments be included as public comment in your public report.

On behalf of the Lorenzo Patiño  Council of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) we urge you to respond to our  four year long request to provide transparency in budgeting for English Language Learners.  We have received budget  documents from the district in response to our public records request. 

LULAC is a long-standing national and local civic organization dedicated to the advancement of civil rights, including the achievement of excellent educational opportunities for every child. 

For four  consecutive  years we have asked that you  “Promote school success of English learners by adding instructional time in English through direct instruction in small groups by skilled credential teachers.”   From 2017 and 2018 we urged the board to accomplish this by instructing the District to include in your budget the addition of at least 10 bilingual instructors designated to serve English Learners.  These recommendations have not been adopted in your LCAP plans. They have not been responded to. They have not been included in district  LCAP reports. 

 The Board is now charged with submitting a written report explaining to the community the changes to program offerings the district has made in response to school closures to address the COVID-19 emergency and the major impacts of such closures on students and families, including low-income students, English Learners and foster youth

 Note, for the last three years  the district has  received some $6 million per year to improve the educational opportunities of English Learners as a supplemental allocation under LCFF.   In spite of  our repeated requests, the district has not described how you have used this money to serve this targeted population. 

In your now required report for June, 2020, we charge you to  track English Learner Funds and ensure your accountability documents clearly show how the authorized funds are being used primarily for those students.  We further request that our public comments on the failure to track funding in prior years be recorded as public comment in required reports. 

In your June 19,2020,  report the district should explain how the District provided the specific services required in law to English learners. How will you be ensuring that English Learners are progressing with their English language proficiency and have equal access to the curriculum? What are you doing specifically to address the needs of English Learners ? 

We believe that your June 19, 2020 report should promise  that a new  supplement to your accountability system will  be established  to provide  appropriate tracking of monies received from the state under LCFF supplementary and concentration funds.   

Note, in response to the district’s prior refusal to provide clear accounting of funds used for English learners,  the Sacramento LULAC, and the California State LULAC  has taken a position of support for AB 1834 and  AB 1835 ( Webber- 2020)  which , if adopted, will require you by law to track these funds and will prohibit the use of funds considered  “ surplus” for one year to be transferred to the district general fund in subsequent years.  

Dr. Duane E. Campbell
Education Committee.  LULAC 

Sacramento LULAC, PO Box 162790, Sacramento, Ca. 95816. 

Sunday, June 07, 2020

California Racial Profiling Deaths - 2019

San Francisco Chronicle Photo. Ruby Rodriguez kisses her son, Noah, while lighting candles during a vigil Tuesday for Angel Ramos, a 21-year-old Latino male who was shot and killed one year earlier by Vallejo police responding to a fight at a home. Angel Ramos, who was shot and killed by Vallejo Police in 2017.  Latino Family Questions Unanswered A Year After Shooting of Angel Ramos
The 2019 California Annual Report on Racial profiling reported that nearly half (47%) of 172 persons killed by police were Latino, and African Americans account for another 15 % of the police killings. The great majority of police killings are Latino and African American
Deceased Civilians by Race/Ethnicity
Race/Ethnicity Deceased Civilians
American Indian or Alaskan Native 2 (1.2%)
Asian 3 (1.7%)
Asian Indian 1 (0.6%)
Black 26 (15.1%)
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander/Samoan 1 (0.6%)
Hispanic 81 (47.1 %)
Other 2 (1.2%)
White 55 (32.0%)
Multiple Race/Ethnicity 1 (0.6%)
Total 172 (100.0%)

Monday, June 01, 2020

Rev. William Barber on Protests and Riots

Only if the screams and tears and protests shake the very conscience of this nation can we hope for a better society on the other side of this

The systemic racism that killed George Floyd has taken untold souls from us for over 400 years.’, Christian Monterrosa/AP

Nproo one wants to see their community burn. But the fires burning in Minneapolis, just like the fire burning in the spirits of so many marginalized Americans today, are a natural response to the trauma black communities have experienced, generation after generation.
No one wants the fires – even activists on the ground have said this. But they have also shared how their non-violent pleas and protests have gone unnoticed for years as the situation has gotten out of hand. No one knows who and what is behind the violence, but we do know that countless activists, grassroots leaders and preachers were screaming non-violently long before now: “Change, America! Change, Minneapolis!” Rather than listen, many of those in power saw even their non-violent protest as an unwelcome development.
This is so often the case because many Americans struggle to imagine that our government’s policies and its long train of abuses demand radical transformation. Too many want to believe racism is merely caused by a few bad actors. We often turn racism into a spectacle, only considering the cruel legacy of racism when an egregious action escalates outrage to this level. 
Black Americans have rarely been able to sustain such illusions. Deadly racism is always with us, and not only through police brutality. In the midst of the current pandemic we are painfully aware that our families bear a disproportionate burden of Covid-19 deaths. In some cities where racial data is available, we know that black people are six times as likely to die from the virus as their white counterparts. Even before Covid, large numbers of black Americans died because of the racial disparities in healthcare, which are systemic and not unintentional.
African Americans are three times more likely to die from particulate air pollution than our fellow Americans. The percentage of black children suffering from asthma is nearly double that of white people, and the death rate is 10 times higher. This is but a reflection of the fissures of inequality that run through every institution in our public life, where the black wealth gap, education gap and healthcare gap have persisted despite the civil rights movement, legal desegregation and symbolic affirmative action. We understand that the same mentality that will accept and defend the violence of armed officers against unarmed black people will also send black, brown and poor people into harm’s way during a pandemic in the name of “liberty” and “the economy”. 
Many have cited Dr King to remind Americans that a riot is the language of the unheard. But I have been reflecting on the eulogy he offered when another man – a white man who came to Selma, Alabama, to work for voting rights – was brutally murdered by racist violence in 1965. At the funeral for James Reed, Dr King said it is not enough to ask who killed the victim in a case like the murder of George Floyd. Weak and unacceptable charges have been brought against the officer whose knee choked George Floyd, staying on his neck for three minutes after he went unconscious, but no charges have been filed against the other officers who stood by and watched. Even still, dealing with who did the killing is not all that justice demands. Dr King said the question is not only who killed him, but also what killed him? 
Those of us who have faced the lethal force of systemic racism have also learned something else in the American story. We can be wounded healers
The systemic racism that killed George Floyd has taken untold souls from us for over 400 years. And it is killing the very possibility of American democracy today. I join those screaming that this is all screwed up, and it’s been screwed up far too long. But we are not screwed as long we have the consciousness and humanity to know what is right and wrong.
Those of us who have faced the lethal force of systemic racism have also learned something else in the American story. We can be wounded healers. We don’t have to be arbitrarily destructive. We can be determined to never accept the destruction of our bodies and dreams by any police, person or policy. We have learned that there is a force more powerful. When hands that once picked cotton have joined together with white hands and Native hands, brown hands and Asian hands, we have been able to fundamentally reconstruct this democracy. Slavery was abolished. Women did gain the right to vote. Labor did win a 40-hour work week and a minimum wage. The civil rights movement in the face of lynching and shooting did expand voting rights to African Americans. 
If we take time to listen to this nation’s wounds, they tell us where to look for hope. The hope is in the mourning and the screams, which make us want to rush from this place. There is a sense in which right now we must refuse to be comforted too quickly. Only if these screams and tears and protests shake the very conscience of this nation –and until there is real political and judicial repentance – can we hope for a better society on the other side of this. 
William J Barber II is co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, which is mobilizing poor people and their allies for a mass assembly and march on Washington in June 2020

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