Atlanta, Georgia: “Don’t Forget the Blanket and Coat Drive at the @Atlanta Task Force Force for the Homeless in Downtown Atlanta. Stop the Ethnic Cleansing, No Bailouts for Billionaires! Take care of people in need!”
Via Cynthia McKinney
As the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County continues to rise, the City Council is weighing a ban on feeding homeless people in public areas.
City Council members Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell, both Democrats, introduced the resolution after complaints from Los Angeles residents. Arguing that meal lines should be moved indoors, the legislators said the proposal would benefit both the homeless and residential neighborhoods.
But advocates for the homeless say public officials are attempting to legislate the poor into invisibility instead of helping those in need.
"It’s a common but misguided tactic to drive homeless people out of downtown areas," Jerry Jones, the executive director of the National Coalition of the Homeless, said to The New York Times.
"This is an attempt to make difficult problems disappear," said Jones. "It’s both callous and ineffective."
While homelessness in the U.S. has dropped for the fourth straight year, falling 4% in the past year, some cities, including Los Angeles, have seen a spike in homelessness. The homeless population in Los Angeles is the second highest in the country, following New York City. Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose 15% from 2011 to 2013, to nearly 53,800 individuals, according to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development released last week.
Los Angeles would join “dozens of cities in recent years” including Philadelphia, Raleigh, N.C., and Orlando, Fla. that have either enacted or at least debated legislation aimed at regulating the public feeding of the homeless. Over 50 cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
Workers are suspected of causing a fire that engulfed one of Bangladesh’s biggest garment factories which produces clothing for well-known retailers including the Gap and Walmart.
Firefighters were still battling flames on Friday after the 10-story building in the industrial district of Gazipur was set ablaze around midnight on Thursday.
Fifteen trucks carrying garments were also reportedly set ablaze.
"We were the biggest supplier of Gap in Bangladesh," Nur-e-Alam, a senior manager of factory owner Standard Group, told Reuters. “Our cargoes were ready for shipment and all that was burnt up.”
News agencies are reporting no injuries at this time.
The nation’s $20-billion industry has come under increasing scrutiny since the Rana Plaza factory fire in 2012 that killed over 1,100 people who toiled for poverty wages. Workers have mobilized on the streets, calling for better wages and working conditions, and an end to the corporate indifference that allows the exploitation of human capital.
Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of industry body the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, warned that this week’s fire meant all 18,000 workers at the factory were at risk of losing their jobs.
But Bangladeshi labor activist Kalpona Akter recently told author and radio host Sonali Kolhatkar, “We need these [factory] jobs. But we want these jobs with dignity… with safe working conditions, decent wages, and a voice in the workplace, and a unionized work place.”
People over profit! Junk WTO! Bubarkan WTO!”
These were a few of the many slogans that around 150 students and youth under the banner of the Indonesian People’s Alliance were chanting when they trooped to the United States Consulate in Bali, Indonesia today.
Various youth organizations affiliated with the Front Mahasiswa Nasional (FMN), the leading youth organization in Indonesia, gathered at Renon and marched towards the US Consulate calling for the upholding of people’s interests over corporate greed.
The protest action was the first in a series of activities and events against the World Trade Organization (WTO) that will hold its 9th Ministerial Meeting at Nusa Dua, Bali on December 3-6.
“We are joining the growing people’s resistance against the WTO as we demand that the youth and the people’s interests, not neoliberal policies, be made priority by national governments like the Indonesian government,” said Sandy Ame, general secretary of the FMN.
According to Ame, education in Indonesia is slowly being privatized and corporatized at the expense of the school-age youth. School fees continue to increase and more students are dropping out of schools because their families cannot afford the high price of education in the country.
“The youth deserve the right to a free and people-centered education that will contribute to genuine nation-building and not to imperialist interests. Because of the WTO, education has become commercialized and youth and students have become commodities for the so-called “free market”,” Ame said.
FMN is part of the IPA, an alliance of national and international organizations in and outside Indonesia calling for the junking of the WTO. It will organize a youth solidarity festival as part of the week-long People’s Global Camp organized by the IPA at the Ngurah Rai Sports Center, Denpasar, Bali on December 3-6, 2013.
"Walmart associates cannot pay their bills. It’s an injustice." - Doricia, South Florida
Via Occupy Miami
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the Department of Trade and Industry’s “Diskwento Caravan,” which sells food and other basic necessities to survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda at discounted prices, saying the Aquino government should provide relief, not discounts, to survivors.
KMU said the caravan – which sells coffee, bread, rice, milk and canned goods and has attracted a lot of buyers – is proof that many Yolanda survivors still have not received sufficient relief goods from the government almost three weeks after the supertyphoon hit the country.
“It is utterly revolting that the Aquino government is selling food and other basic necessities to the Yolanda survivors. It should simply release the enormous donations given by Filipinos and the international community to our kababayans,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
The labor leader said the Aquino government is not only guilty of refusing to undertake massive evacuation before Yolanda hit the country and of failing to give emergency relief to the supertyphoon’s survivors, but also of trying to earn money from selling goods to the survivors.