Friday, November 11, 2016
Naomi Klein Delivers Sydney Peace Prize Lecture Against Backdrop of Trump Win
In Australia this week, Klein blasted Trump's dangerous climate policies as 'immoral and atrocious'
"Economic pain is real and not going anywhere—four decades of corporate, neoliberal policies and privatization, deregulation, free trade, and austerity have made sure of that," said Naomi Klein upon accepting the Sydney Peace Prize. (Photo: AAP)
Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein accepted the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize in Australia on Friday, delivering a searing speech that reflected on Donald Trump's presidential victory in the United States and the factors that allowed it to happen.
"If there is a single overarching lesson in the Trump victory, perhaps it is this: Never, ever underestimate the power of hate, of direct appeals to power over the 'other'...especially during times of economic hardship," said Klein, whose books include The Shock Doctrineand This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.
Calling Trump the "demagogue of the moment," Klein went on to identify other lessons to "take from our barely three-day-old reality."
One, she said, is that "economic pain is real and not going anywhere—four decades of corporate, neoliberal policies and privatization, deregulation, free trade, and austerity have made sure of that."
Another, she continued, is that "only a bold and genuinely re-distributive agenda has a hope of speaking to that pain and directing it where it belongs—the politician-purchasing elites who benefited so extravagantly from the auctioning off of public wealth, the looting of our land, water, and air, and the deregulation of our financial system."
But to create such an agenda requires the learning of an even "deeper lesson," Klein said.
"If we want to defend against the likes of Donald Trump—and every country has their own Trump—we must urgently confront and battle racism and misogyny in our culture, in our movements, and in ourselves. This cannot be an afterthought, it cannot be an add-on. It is central to how someone like Trump can rise to power."
"Neither can we tell ourselves that when we fight for peace and economic justice, it will benefit black people and Indigenous people the most because they are the most victimized in our current system of economic inequality, state repression, and climate change," she said. "There is too long and too painful a track record of left and liberal movements leaving workers of color and Indigenous people and women and their labor out in the cold. To build a truly inclusive movement, there needs to be a truly inclusive vision that starts with, and is led by, the most brutalized and excluded."
In separate interviews given while she was in Australia to accept the prize, and in an op-ed published Thursday, Klein specifically lambasted Trump's dangerous climate policies—including his vow to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris Agreement aimed at limiting global warming.
"Outside the U.S., we need to start demanding economic sanctions in the face of this treaty-shredding lawlessness," Klein wrote.
Indeed, she described Trump's plans to double-down on domestic fossil fuel production while cutting aid to poor nations impacted by rising sea levels as "immoral and atrocious."
"And I believe there has to be an international response that's very, very swift," she said. "You have to send a signal that you cannot trash these hard won, hard negotiated international treaties and face no consequences."
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Published on Portside (https://portside.org)
D.C. Votes to Become the 51st State, But It Likely Won’t
November 11, 2016
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Washingtonians took another step toward statehood, but they’re likely to be tripped up again.
An overwhelming 79 percent of District of Columbia residents voted  Tuesday to become the 51st state , with the mayor vowing to send the petition to Congress for approval by Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
“Their votes confirmed what we all knew is that Washingtonians are tired of being treated like second-class citizens,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
”There will be many twists and turns ahead ― just like there have been good days and not so good days in DC’s history,” she said in an accompanying statement, “but we take this monumental step forward together, we can be sure that DC’s best days are ahead of us.”
One twist is that, should the District become a state, two more seats would be added to the Senate. According to The Washington Post, this has drawn resistance from Republicans, as those seats would likely be held by Democrats, who have an overwhelming majority in the District.
That means Tuesday’s big win for the Republicans, in both the presidency and the U.S. House, will likely make the petition’s final approval by Congress a dead issue.
As part of the draft constitution  voted on Tuesday, residents would elect a governor rather than a mayor, as well as a 21-seat state legislature instead of a city council. State lines would have to be drawn, with the White House, the Capitol and the National Mall remaining in a federal district, CBS Washington reported. A final state constitution would be reviewed by residents before approval, Bowser stated.
The draft constitution listed the new state’s name as New Columbia, but the name isn’t final, DCist reported in October.
D.C. residents have long petitioned for statehood. Since 2000, the district’s standard license plates have included the phrase: “Taxation without representation.”
This phrase refers to D.C. residents’ lack of a voting representative in the U.S. House, as well as the city not having representation in the U.S. Senate. Congress maintains authority over the city, including the power of final approval over legislation from the city council.
Then-President Bill Clinton placed the statement license plates on his presidential motorcade during his last few weeks in office. In 2001, his successor, George W. Bush, was sworn in and had the plates removed soon after. They were not reattached again until 2013, during President Barack Obama’s second term in office, The Washington Post reported.
“President Obama has lived in the District now for four years, and has seen first-hand how patently unfair it is for working families in D.C. to work hard, raise children and pay taxes, without having a vote in Congress,” the White House said in a statement at the time.
President-elect Donald Trump was asked during his campaign last year  for his response to D.C.’s bid for statehood on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He said that he would do “whatever’s best” for the people of D.C. and that “something would be done that everybody would be happy,” NPR reported.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs