Alternative News

Articles from non-mainstream as opposed to corporate for profit sources.

You're invited to Radical Reels March 14


Read more: You're invited to Radical Reels March 14

VICTORIA EVENT - full video - Venezuelan demo on Blanshard St.


This is the final edited version of the solidarity demonstration in support of the Bolivarian Revolution last Saturday in Victoria. The Venezuelan fascist elites and the international corporations are trying to overthrow the first and only workers friendly government in the history of Venezuela………….thanks for your solidarity,

Please circulate as you see fit

Read more: VICTORIA EVENT - full video - Venezuelan demo on Blanshard St.

Ahhh that's... awful? That's Tetley

Tetley tea workers on Indian plantations are paid less than $3 a day to work in squalid conditions, according to a new report.

Tell the Tetley tea empire to comply with labour laws and upgrade the working and living conditions at its plantations immediately.

Sign the Petition

Recent reports disclose the horrific reality behind the Tetley tea empire -- workers on plantations in northern India, including children, are paid less than $3 a day to pick our tea.

They toil from dawn until dusk, often spraying industrial pesticides with little protection, and going back to run-down homes that are open to rain and wind -- their only option. Researchers say that overflowing latrines have created “a network of cesspools” within the living area for employees and their families.

But the massive corporation that owns Tetley, Tata Global Beverages, is refusing to take serious action. Instead, it’s only committed to a weak, 15 year plan to boost the industry’s “sustainability” -- failing to acknowledge how bad conditions really are. We need to speak out and tell Tetley that the plan isn’t good enough, and 15 years is too long.

Tell Tetley to comply with labour laws and upgrade the working and living conditions at its plantations now.

In response to reports, the World Bank is launching a full investigation into what it calls the “potentially significant adverse” environmental and social impacts on plantations owned by Tata, an Indian conglomerate that also owns Jaguar Land Rover, operating in more than 80 countries across six continents.

Read more: Ahhh that's... awful? That's Tetley

Why AIPAC is afraid of you?

Action Alert

Thought AIPAC was just targeting Iran? Now they're after you and me.

Don't let AIPAC set the agenda. Click here to sign our equality, justice, and peace platform.

Take Action!

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AIPAC's annual Policy Conference begins today, and they've finally told us what they're going to be talking about: They're talking about us!

Read more: Why AIPAC is afraid of you?

This week @ Stop the Fair Elections Act

s17 r18. - News for the rest of us

28 Feb 2014

Hey rabble readers,

The Conservatives' latest attack on democracy is the so-called "Fair Elections Act," which would suppress voting and weaken Canada's democratic electoral system. Find out why Bill C-23 is scary and why we need a national campaign to stop it.

It's Israeli Apartheid Week and on rabble we're presenting a series of articles explaining why it is important. To inspire more actions this week in support of Palestinian human rights, we also reflected on the top five successes of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. You can see all of our Israeli Apartheid Week coverage here.

There's a brand-new Indie Inside out! This month, our artist spotlight is on Charlie Angus & Grievous Angels and features their video, "Four Horses." For a chance to win the...

Read more: This week @ Stop the Fair Elections Act

Conservatives & Conservation: A wild week in Canadian environmental politics

Conservatives & Conservation - This Weeks Dose of Common Sense
Damien Gillis
It's been a wild week in Canadian environmental politics. While on a US book tour, former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark made waves by slamming Stephen Harper's "adolescent" foreign policy and attacks on environmentalists - blaming the current PM for the logjam over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. "The Government of Canada deliberately went out of his way to be seen as an adversary of environmentalists," quipped the party's elder statesman.

Yet, the day before, Harper surprised many by rejecting - for the second time - Taseko's controversial Prosperity Mine project, west of Williams Lake, BC. The Tsilhqot'in First Nation and supporters in the environmental community rejoiced in a victory that took four years to achieve, through multiple environmental assessments and battles in the courts.

Meanwhile, the BC Liberal Party continues to promote its grand LNG vision, which involves freezing gas into liquid so it can be shipped to new customers in Asia. But, as Common Sense Canadiancontributor Anna C. Novacek explains, it's global investors who may be cooling to the business case for LNG, in spite of the heated rhetoric surrounding the proposed industry.


Damien Gillis

Read more: Conservatives & Conservation: A wild week in Canadian environmental politics

Kshama Sawant Responds to Obama's State of the Union Address

Response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative, Seattle City Council
Tuesday January 28, 2014

Tonight, President Obama talked about the deepening inequality.

But that is a testament of his own presidency. A presidency that has betrayed the hopes of tens of millions of people who voted for him out of a genuine desire for fundamental change away from corporate politics and war mongering.

Poverty is at record-high numbers - 95% of the gains in productivity during the so-called recovery have gone to the top 1%.

The president’s focus on income inequality was an admission of the failure of his policies.

An admission forced by rallies, demonstrations, and strikes by fast food and low wage workers demanding a minimum wage of $15. It has been forced by the outrage over the widening gulf between the super-rich and those of us working to create this wealth in society.

While the criminals on Wall Street are bailed out, courageous whistleblowers like Edward Snowden are hunted down and the unconstitutional acts he exposed are allowed to continue.

Read more: Kshama Sawant Responds to Obama's State of the Union Address

Outrageous Corporate Bullying

Mining companies are destroying the rainforest. Chip in just $1 to stop them.

Costa Rica's rainforests are some of the most amazing places on earth. So when a Canadian mining company wanted to put an open pit, cyanide-leach gold mine in the middle of its most pristine forest, Costa Rica didn't just say no. They said hell, no.

So what did the mining company do? They sued Costa Rica for $100 million lost profits.

It's the latest strategy in corporate bullying: If a country won't let you do whatever you want, then sue them for violating "free trade."

But Costa Rica is the tip of the iceberg. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly sued Canada to increase drug prices. Philip Morris has sued Australia over cigarette warning labels. The list goes on and on -- and under proposed trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we'll see an explostion of these kinds of lawsuits.

But fighting corporate bullies is exactly what SumOfUs was set up to do. Using the Internet to organize, our worldwide membership has the collective power to stand up to big corporations, so countries like Costa Rica don't have to face these corporate bullies alone. Can you donate $1 to help us take on these giant corporations and win?

Read more: Outrageous Corporate Bullying

Stop Israeli PM Netanyahu's push for war (again).

Action Alert

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is keynoting AIPAC's Policy Conference next week. And it's up to us to counter his push for war and occupation.

Netanyahu never misses a chance to push for war with Iran - or deflect attention from real paths to peace.

There is an alternative: Sign JVP's platform for peace, equality, and justice

Take Action!

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Dear Friend,

I wanted to make sure you saw the news: Israeli PM Netanyahu will give a keynote address at AIPAC's Policy Convention next week.

This says it all: AIPAC and Netanayhu's pro-war, pro-occupation agendas are one and the same.

Read more: Stop Israeli PM Netanyahu's push for war (again).

RAVEN wants to know! How can we deepen our relationship with YOU?

Dear RAVENer:

We would like to thank you for being part of our expanding network of supporters. We want to hear from you! How is RAVEN doing? How connected do you feel to our work? We are going to use the responses of this quick 5-minute survey to evaluate our campaigns and particularly our website. And your answers will help us to send you the information, action, and volunteer opportunities that are most exciting and relevant to you! We will only use this information internally, and will not share it with anyone outside of the organization.

Here is the link to the survey:

Thank you for your time. We look forward to reading your replies.

Read more: RAVEN wants to know! How can we deepen our relationship with YOU?

Standing up to Monsanto & Co

Website | Facebook | Twitter Pesticide Action Network Updates

People power, from coast to coast

Stand up.

Real change

People across the country are standing up to Monsanto & Co., taking a stand for the future of food and farming. Your donation today will help continue building powerful momentum!

Take Action

Dear PAOV,

Change is happening. Community by community — from Hawaii to California to the Midwest — we are shifting control of food and farming out of the hands of the "Big 6" pesticide and biotech corporations. It's a tough uphill battle, with plenty of pushback from Monsanto, Dow and their allies. But with your help, we're making progress.

You make this work possible » For too long, the Big 6 have wielded unprecedented power over our food system, aggressively pushing genetically engineered (GE) seeds and driving up use of harmful pesticides. Your gift to PAN today will help us keep building momentum for healthy food, farms and communities across the country. Together, we can do this.

Read more: Standing up to Monsanto & Co

Survival's director on conservation crimes - live!

What do they have in common?
Email not displaying properly? r18. Survival Survival Tribes News Act Now Donate

How has conservation been responsible for the destruction of tribal peoples?

Survival's director explains... live on YouTube!

'First we were dispossessed in the name of kings and emperors,
later in the name of state development,
and now in the name of conservation.'

Indigenous Peoples' Forum

Date: Friday, February 28
Time: 5pm Pacific Standard Time
(1am GMT on Saturday, March 1)

Watch the talk →

Read more: Survival's director on conservation crimes - live!

Help Leadnow Make PR a Priority in 2015

Dear ,Connect logo

With the 2015 election fast approaching, you’re helping our Make Every Vote Count campaign grow at an amazing pace! Our Declaration of Voters’ Rights has just passed 31,000 signers on its way to 100,000 in 2015. Last month, 430 of you from coast to coast to coast signed up to visit your MP about proportional representation (you can still sign up here!) and these visits have been game-changing: The NDP have now made their strongest commitment ever to implement PR if elected, the Green Party continues to be a vocal ally, and this past weekend, thanks to the hard work of our grassroots activists, the Liberal Party passed a resolution for an evidence-based process to look at all options, including proportional representation., Canada’s biggest democracy group and a key ally of Fair Vote Canada, stood with us at our Make Every Vote Count campaign launch in September on Parliament Hill, sending a clear message to the parties that proportional representation is a foundational issue Canadians support candidates who will make our votes count.

Read more: Help Leadnow Make PR a Priority in 2015

Are Tiny Houses the Key to Fighting Homelessness?

February 24, 2014by Erika Lundahl

This post first appeared in Yes! Magazine.

An architect's rendering of Quixote Village in Olympia, Wash. Image courtesy of Panza.

An architect's rendering of Quixote Village in Olympia, Wash. Image courtesy of Panza.

On a Saturday in September, more than 125 volunteers showed up with tools in hand and built six new 16-by-20-foot houses for a group of formerly homeless men. It was the beginning of Second Wind Cottages, a tiny-house village for the chronically homeless in the town of Newfield, NY, outside of Ithaca.

On January 29, the village officially opened, and its first residents settled in. Each house had cost about $10,000 to build, a fraction of what it would have cost to house the men in a new apartment building.

The project is part of a national movement of tiny-house villages, an alternative approach to housing the homeless that’s beginning to catch the interest of national advocates and government housing officials alike.

“It’s certainly something that we would encourage other communities to take a look at,” says Lee Jones at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.For many years, it has been tough to find a way to house the homeless. More than 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Shortages of low-income housing continue to be a major challenge. For every 100 households of renters in the United States that earn “extremely low income” (30 percent of the median or less), there are only 30 affordable apartments available, according to a 2013 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

But Second Wind is truly affordable, built by volunteers on seven acres of land donated by Carmen Guidi, the main coordinator of the project and a longtime friend of several of the men who now live there. The retail cost of the materials to build the first six houses was somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per house, says Guidi. But many of the building materials were donated, and all of the labor was done in a massive volunteer effort.

“We’ve raised nearly $100,000 in 100 days,” he says, and the number of volunteers has been “in the hundreds, maybe even thousands now.”

The village will ultimately include a common house, garden beds, a chicken coop, and 18 single-unit cottages.

Read more: Are Tiny Houses the Key to Fighting Homelessness?

PAOV, the thing is…

This is your last chance to be a part of launching our viral video to fight back against dragnet government surveillance. Check out this exclusive preview of the video’s soundtrack and take this final chance to chip in with other Canadians now.

The Internet is in danger of becoming something it was never intended to be: a tool of mass, warrantless surveillance.

We almost have enough donors to make the video launch a success, but PAOV, the thing is we’ll only get there if you help out.

We learned during our successful fight to stop the government’s previous online spying bill that viral videos can be really effective at amplifying our voices.

It’s because people like yourself chipped in and helped out, that your team was able to win that fight.

Read more: PAOV, the thing is…

we're taking on AIPAC Mic - and we need you with us

Action Alert

After a string of unprecedented defeats, AIPAC is struggling to define an agenda for its lobbying blitz next week. Luckily, JVP has a few ideas...

Let's make sure AIPAC can hear us loud and clear.

It's time for a new agenda: Peace, justice, and equality.

Take Action!

FacebookTwitter iconForward

Read more: we're taking on AIPAC Mic - and we need you with us

Harper's disaster

Stephen Harper's trade minister is about to sign off on the world's biggest corporate power grab, the TPP.

This treaty would hand power to secret courts to overturn Canadian laws that big business didn't like.

Can you tell Stephen Harper and his minister to stand up for Canadian democracy and to reject the TPP?

Sign the Petition

Stephen Harper's trade minister is about to sign a secret, global pact to allow corporations to sue the Canadian government for billions -- just for passing laws to protect our health or the environment.

The secret meeting in Singapore is happening right now. Harper wants us to believe the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is all about getting a better deal for Canada. But the truth is that it could end up being one of the biggest corporate power grabs in a generation.

This deal is like the disastrous Canada-China FIPA trade pact on steroids. Harper and his trade minister are refusing to make the deal public (although corporate lobbyists seem to be getting the inside track) -- making it hard to know just what's in the TPP. But leaks so far indicate this is bad news. That’s why Harper wants it to stay confidential -- he’d prefer to quietly sign away our rights without a big fuss.

This deal is too important to leave to the politicians: it could affect the lives of Canadians for generations to come.

Can you tell Stephen Harper to reject the TPP and protect our democratic rights?

The TPP is being negotiated by 12 countries from around the Pacific. They’re discussing everything from restricting internet freedoms to weakening environmental protections. But that’s not the worst of it. One of the key parts of the deal is a system that will allow the world’s biggest companies to overturn our democratically decided laws.

Right now, Eli Lilly is suing the Canadian government under the rules of NAFTA for $500 million dollars. Eli Lilly claims that the Canadian courts were wrong when they allowed other companies to make generic cheaper versions of two of its drugs after their patents had expired.

If the TPP goes ahead, this will be an everyday reality. Canada will be at risk every time a profit-seeking corporation with a grudge comes looking, and it will be taxpaying Canadians that pay the bill.

Sign the petition to Stephen Harper and tell him not to open Canada up to corporate lawsuits.

Read more: Harper's disaster

This week @ Observing Black History Month

s17 r18. - News for the rest of us

21 Feb 2014

Hey rabble readers!

Thank you! Thank you to the 300+ readers who chipped in a little or a lot during our winter donation drive. With your help we surpassed our $20,000 goal! These are tough times for media organizations and we truly appreciate the support we get. If you haven't yet contributed, it is never too late to chip in.

How do we defend our rights at work? Unifor is organizing a series of leadership meetings across the country on this question, for the Rights at Work tour. Can't make it to any of the stops on the tour? Tune in to rabbletv for a livestream of the next meeting in Halifax, on February 26 at noon EST!

Toronto, get your tickets to support World Literacy Canada. The second Kama Reading Series on February 26 features the theme "To Serve and Protect," with authors David M. Tanovich, Dr. Alvin Curling and John Sewell.

February is Black History Month, and on rabble, we've had lots of great pieces exploring what it means and where it comes from. As the month winds down, catch up on all of our content right here.

This week's top news

Mexico accused of blacklisting seasonal workers who unionize in Canada
UFCW is in court, alleging that the Mexican government is blacklisting workers who unionize.
By H.G. Watson

Why we need to rethink Black History Month
Before an entire generation of Canadians grow tired or apathetic towards a month that so many people fought for, it's time to rethink Black History Month.
By Cheryl Thompson

Read more: This week @ Observing Black History Month

OFFICIAL REPORT-BACK: November 2013 - February 2014

This, just in the last 3 months:

  • The “world’s least sustainable corporation” has committed to stop destroying the rainforest
  • Three huge clothing manufacturers have stopped torturing rabbits for their fur
  • The biggest corporate power grab in a generation has stalled in the US Congress, and is facing growing opposition around the world
  • The UK government has put plans to sell citizens’ private medical data to corporations on hold

Our growing community of more than 3 million people played a crucial role in every one of these victories -- and many, many more! It’s been an exciting few months.

Meanwhile, we’re pushing forward in other areas, too. A massive US garden store has confirmed to us that it's developing a policy on neonics, the pesticides that are killing the bees. We’ve filed a legal request to fight back in the courts against Bayer’s attempt to overturn Europe’s ban on these poisons. And more and more companies are making strong commitments to remove conflict palm oil from their products. Things are happening fast.

But let’s be clear: The fight against corporate power is a big one. In almost every country, and on almost every issue, big corporations are fighting against the issues we care most about. From environmental protection to human rights to economic justice, corporate power is a huge part of the problem. And until we name it and fight it, we can’t win.

And that’s why there is huge hope in the SumOfUs community. Together, we’re 3 million people strong -- and we hold tremendous collective power over the corporations that increasingly control our democracies.

Thanks for being a part of it. Towards the next 3 months,

-- Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Executive Director

PS: Get ready for some groundbreaking campaigning in the months ahead to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership and challenge giant corporations like Monsanto, as well as the launch of SumOfUs in German, French and Spanish (with more to come). Chip in to make it happen here.

Campaign updates

Read more: OFFICIAL REPORT-BACK: November 2013 - February 2014

Sierra Life: Whales Win Big in Federal Court

Sierra Life: Whales Win Big in Federal Court r33

A Whale of a Celebration

Species-at-risk won big last week in a court case between enviros and the feds. (Spoiler alert: the judge ruled the federal government broke the law.) Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

Open Your Mouth and Say Plastic-Free!

It won’t hurt a bit! Our guest blogger, Carol-Lynne Michaels, negotiates going to the dentist in month two of her year living plastic-free. Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

British Columbians Pipe Up

If the National Energy Board was trying to discourage public participation in the Kinder Morgan review process, it didn’t work. Despite the short window of opportunity to apply, the NEB received over 2,000 applications. Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

Read more: Sierra Life: Whales Win Big in Federal Court

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