Charles Kernaghan, an anti-sweatshop activist noted for his confrontation with television hostess Kathie Lee Gifford, has vividly described conditions in Third World sweatshops.
He describes the factories as uniformly austere concrete buildings topped by razor wire and with armed guards who search the employees on entering and leaving. Employees are often teenage girls made to work as fast as possible by brutal foremen. These foremen verbally abuse or beat the girls to enforce compliance or sometimes use the threat of firing for sexual favors. The workers are allowed only two bathroom breaks a day. Hours are very long and forced overtime occurs with violations costing a day’s pay or termination. If a girl gets pregnant, she is fired. If workers attempt to form a union, they are fired and blacklisted, or even become the victims of death squads. There is presently a case in a US court brought by the United Steelworkers of America on behalf of workers in Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia, who have had several of their union leaders assassinated by death squads. Toxic chemicals are used in these sweatshops with no precautions. and the air in garment factories is filled with dust and lint.
Peace proponent Cindy Sheehan calls all peace leaders to come sail with her aboard ‘SS Camp Casey’ anchored in Martha’s Vineyard for a shipboard peace summit.
MARTHA’S VINEYARD—Peace proponent Cindy Sheehan is calling for peace movement leaders, international news ‘anchors’ and pro-peace members of the public to sail around Martha’s Vineyard, from August 27 to 29. The meetings will be aboard the grand sailing vessel dubbed the SS Camp Casey anchored in Martha’s Vineyard. Sheehan will co-captain daily excursions as she holds this seaside peace summit.
Here is what people say, “The flag represents freedoms that countless Americans have fought and died to defend”. My question is, really? I thought they were fighting for the rich elite and just didn’t know it. If you look at history, in most cases all you will see are freedoms being taken away. So when people say, “Americans have fought and died to defend freedom” does that make much sense, or am I missing something?
From August 17-20 the annual U.S. Space and Missile Defense Conference was conducted in Huntsville, Alabama, which hosts the headquarters of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
Among the over 2,000 participants were the Missile Defense Agency’s new director, Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. James Cartwright, commander of the Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Army Lt. Gen. Kevin Campbell and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Administrator Charles Bolden Jr.
There were also 230 exhibitors present, among them the nation’s major arms manufacturers with an emphasis on those weapons companies specializing in global missile shield and space war projects. The presence of the head of NASA indicated that the distinction between the military and civilian uses of space is rapidly disappearing. As the Bloomberg news agency reported on the second day of this year, “President-elect Barack Obama will probably tear down long-standing barriers between the U.S.’s civilian and military space programs to speed up a mission to the moon amid the prospect of a new space race with China” and “Obama’s transition team is considering a collaboration between the Defense Department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration….”  The recently appointed NASA chief, Bolden, is a retired Marine Corps general.
Host Per Fagering talks with Rick Rozoff about how NATO continues to expand despite hopes of the “peace dividend,” how the United Nations is being subverted in conjunction with NATO expansion, and how wars such as in Afghanistan are carried out under the notion of “protecting global resources.”
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If you’re looking for an introduction to the extra-legal horrors of Guantánamo, and the casual, almost mundane manner in which randomly-seized prisoners, who were not even screened according to the Geneva Conventions, found themselves the victims of a torture policy designed to make them reveal their mostly non-existent secrets, then you may like this article, which I wrote for the Future of Freedom Foundation, for whom I write a weekly column.
The mesh-wire cages, suitable only for animals, are empty now and overgrown, but they will stand forever as a symbol of the Bush administration’s inept, brutal and destructive “War on Terror” policies, implemented in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the US mainland on September 11, 2001.