Category Archives: Staying in power – Struggle for control

A key problem that those that control productive + exploitative societies have is staying in power, which often means avoiding overthrow.  This is emphasized in societies where exploitation is important as the government is both a major source of income from harmful/unproductive activities and a major source of control of the society.  Also see the three important subcategories Conflict, Harming People – Keeping People Oppressed, and Opposing oppression and injustice.

Oppression and Exploitation News March 26 – April 1

Harming people – keeping people oppressed 2020

Amazon fires New York worker who led strike over coronavirus concerns Kenya Evelyn The Guardian March 31, 2020

After exposing corruption in Russian courts, he’s now in jail himself Ivan Nechepurenko New York Times March 27, 2020
Pretending to be a senior official, Sergei Davydov induced judges to fix cases, then revealed the conversations. Then the system struck back.

Discrimination 2020

Asian Americans report over 650 racist acts over last week, new data says Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil NBC News March 26, 2020
“The deliberate use of terms like ‘Chinese virus’ has definitely fanned the flames of racism toward Asian Americans in this country,” one nonprofit leader said

Struggle for control – staying in power 2020

Trump to Governors: I’d like you to do us a favor, though Michelle Goldberg New York Times March 30, 2020 (opinion)
Once again, the president is using aid to extort re-election help.

Harm through government 2020

Iran says U.S. sanctions are taking lives. U.S. officials disagree. Farnaz Fassihi New York Times April 1, 2020
Iran, devastated by the coronavirus, is asking the U.S. to lift sanctions on humanitarian grounds. U.S. officials say sanctions aren’t to blame; Iran is.

Harm through the market 2020

Trump calls new fuel economy rule a boon. Some experts see steep costs. Coral Davenport New York Times March 31, 2020

Oppression and Exploitation News March 19 – 25

Control of land and natural resources 2020

Conflicts over indigenous land grow more violent in Central America Alexander Villegas and Frances Robles New York Times March 9, 2020
Faced with government inaction, some activists try to reclaim ancestral lands on their own. Often, they pay a high price.

Conflict 2020

USA and France dramatically increase major arms exports; Saudi Arabia is largest arms importer SIPRI March 9, 2020

Opposing oppression and injustice 2020

Darius Swann, lead plaintiff in Supreme Court busing case, dies at 95 Harrison Smith Washington Post March 23, 2020
He and his wife sued the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district in 1965 to send their son to an integrated N.C. school.

Betty Williams, Nobel laureate and leader of peace movement in Northern Ireland, dies at 76 Emily Langer Washington Post March 23, 2020
After witnessing the deaths of three children during the Troubles, she co-founded a campaign that drew thousands of protesters to the cause of peace.

Catherine Hamlin, OB/GYN who healed injured and ostracized mothers, dies at 96 Harrison Smith Washington Post March 22, 2020
She and her husband perfected surgical techniques to treat obstetric fistulas, a debilitating childbirth injury common in Ethiopia.

Charles Trimble, advocate for Native American rights, dies at 84 Katharine Q. Seelye New York Times March 20, 2020
He dedicated his life to advancing the tribal causes of self-determination, sovereignty and human rights.

Tex’ Harris, U.S. diplomat who exposed human rights abuses in Argentina, dies at 81 Matt Schudel Washington Post February 29, 2020
Sending reports through a special ‘dissent channel,’ he brought worldwide attention to the military junta’s ‘dirty war.’

José Zalaquett, champion of human rights in Pinochet’s Chile and around the world, dies at 77 Emily Langer Washington Post February 20, 2020
A Chilean lawyer, he was jailed and ultimately expelled from his country for his efforts on behalf of political prisoners and “disappeared” people.



Image: The U.S. has fallen below its traditional democratic peers.

Freedom in the World 2020 finds established democracies are in decline

Freedom House March 4, 2020. Despite mass protests in every region, world suffers 14th consecutive year of deterioration in political rights and civil liberties.

Democracy is under assault around the globe, and the effects are evident not just in authoritarian states like China, Russia, and Iran, but also in countries with a long track record of upholding basic rights and freedoms. While protest movements in every region have illustrated widespread popular demand for better governance, they have yet to reverse the overall pattern of declining freedom, according to Freedom in the World 2020, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment of political rights and civil liberties, released today by Freedom House.

Countries that suffered setbacks in 2019 outnumbered those making gains by nearly two to one, marking the 14th consecutive year of deterioration in global freedom. During this period, 25 of the world’s 41 established democracies experienced net losses.

The report also found an alarming global erosion in governments’ commitment to pluralism, a defining feature of liberal democracy. Ethnic, religious, and other minority groups have borne the brunt of recent state abuses in both democracies and authoritarian countries. Left unchecked, such violations threaten the freedom of entire societies.

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Opposing oppression and injustice 2020

Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, civil rights leader and King aide, dies at 98 Douglas Martin New York Times March 28, 2020
Mr. Lowery helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and gave the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Darius Swann, lead plaintiff in Supreme Court busing case, dies at 95 Harrison Smith Washington Post March 23, 2020
He and his wife sued the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district in 1965 to send their son to an integrated N.C. school.

Betty Williams, Nobel laureate and leader of peace movement in Northern Ireland, dies at 76 Emily Langer Washington Post March 23, 2020
After witnessing the deaths of three children during the Troubles, she co-founded a campaign that drew thousands of protesters to the cause of peace.

Catherine Hamlin, OB/GYN who healed injured and ostracized mothers, dies at 96 Harrison Smith Washington Post March 22, 2020
She and her husband perfected surgical techniques to treat obstetric fistulas, a debilitating childbirth injury common in Ethiopia.

Charles Trimble, advocate for Native American rights, dies at 84 Katharine Q. Seelye New York Times March 20, 2020
He dedicated his life to advancing the tribal causes of self-determination, sovereignty and human rights.

Tex’ Harris, U.S. diplomat who exposed human rights abuses in Argentina, dies at 81 Matt Schudel Washington Post February 29, 2020
Sending reports through a special ‘dissent channel,’ he brought worldwide attention to the military junta’s ‘dirty war.’

José Zalaquett, champion of human rights in Pinochet’s Chile and around the world, dies at 77 Emily Langer Washington Post February 20, 2020
A Chilean lawyer, he was jailed and ultimately expelled from his country for his efforts on behalf of political prisoners and “disappeared” people.

Thich Quang Do, defiant rights champion in Vietnam, dies at 91 Seth Mydans New York Times February 24, 2020
As the patriarch of a banned Buddhist church, he endured prison, house arrest and internal exile but refused to bend to the Communist authorities.

Fernando Cardenal, Nicaraguan priest who defied Pope, dies at 82 Sam Roberts New York Times February 23, 2020

José Zalaquett, leader in Chile’s search for truth, dies at 77 Neil Genzlinger New York Times February 22, 2020
He incurred the wrath of the dictator Augusto Pinochet, was exiled, and became an expert in how to heal traumatized countries.

Oppression and Exploitation News February 27 – March 4

Harming people – Keeping people oppressed 2020

Journalist’s murder puts a tycoon, and a nation, on trial Miroslava German Sirotnikova and Marc Santora New York Times February 28, 2020
The killing of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée shocked Slovakia. The trial of the businessman accused of ordering it promises to expose corruption in high places.

China sentences Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai to 10 years in prison Austin Ramzey New York Times February 25, 2020
Mr. Gui, a Chinese-born Swedish citizen, ran a publishing house that appeared to anger the Communist Party. The bookseller disappeared under mysterious circumstances from his home in Thailand in 2015 only to emerge as a target in a campaign by China’s Communist Party to silence dissent even beyond the mainland.

Harm through the government 2020

A Mexican oil chief’s hide-out: sea views and 2 golf courses Raphael Minder New York Times February 22, 2020
Before he was arrested this month, the former head of Pemex lay low in one of the world’s most discreet and exclusive locations on Spain’s sunny southern coast.