fresh voices from the front lines of change








Leo Gerard

Victims of Workplace Safety Abandoned by OSHA

Last year, on Halloween just before midnight, Frank Leasure - Army veteran, husband, father and grandfather -left work at American Standard in Salem, Ohio. To get to his car in the employee lot, he had to walk across two sets of Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. He waited in frigid, driving rain for a westbound train to pass, then began to cross, only to be struck by an eastbound train that he apparently did not see or hear. In 2017, an average of 14 workers like Frank died on the job every day. At the same time, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reduced its workplace safety inspectors to the lowest level in its 48-year history, diminishing its capacity to investigate workplace deaths, illnesses and injuries. The Frank Leasure case illustrates how this decision endangers workers. OSHA must step up to its responsibility to protect workers, and the union I lead, the United Steelworkers (USW), is working to ensure that Frank Leasure did not die in vain.

Barr Testifies To Senate Committee

Barr to testify about Mueller's Russia interference report. CBS: "Attorney General William Barr will testify about special counsel Robert Mueller's report before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday following the revelation that Mueller confronted Barr about his four-page characterization of the report. The Justice Department said Mueller sent a letter to Barr in late March to express frustrations with the public rollout of his report. The revelation drew immediate rebukes from Democrats, with the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee demanding the letter from the Justice Department ahead of Barr's testimony in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee is controlled by Republicans and chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of President Trump. The hearing is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. ET."

Barr Misrepresented Russia Report, Mueller Says

Mueller complained that Barr’s letter did not capture ‘context’ of Trump probe. WaPo: "Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post. The letter and a subsequent phone call between the two men reveal the degree to which the longtime colleagues and friends disagreed as they handled the legally and politically fraught task of investigating the president. Democrats in Congress are likely to scrutinize Mueller’s complaints to Barr as they contemplate the prospect of opening impeachment proceedings and mull how hard to press for Mueller himself to testify publicly. At the time Mueller’s letter was sent to Barr on March 27, Barr had days prior announced that Mueller did not find a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials seeking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In his memo to Congress, Barr also said that Mueller had not reached a conclusion about whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice, but that Barr reviewed the evidence and found it insufficient to support such a charge."

People's Wave Advances Bold Agenda For Dems

Progressive activists working to create agenda they want Democratic Party to embrace. Washington Times: "Progressive activists gathered in Washington this week to adopt an agenda they want the Democratic Party to embrace heading into the 2020 elections, such as a federal jobs guarantee and erasing drug convictions from criminal records. They dubbed their agenda the People’s Platform. 'We’re not going to settle for the lesser of two evils anymore, y’all,' said Bryce Fields, a board member of One People’s Campaign. 'In November 2019, we are going to decide if there is a candidate bold enough on our platform that has a plan to win through a movement politics campaign that makes us proud. And a plan to actually co-govern with us to enact our shared agenda.' 'These aren’t just words on paper. This will determine if people get real justice and liberation in their lives,' Ryan Greenwood, director of Movement Politics for People’s Action, told The Washington Times."

ICE Targets Immigration Activists

ICE Is Monitoring and Targeting Immigration Activists. Truthout: "Internal documents made public on Monday reveal that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) monitored hundreds of local protests against the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy as public anger over family separation reached a boiling point last summer. The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis circulated a detailed list of more than 600 planned protests against family separation during a national day of action in June 2018, according to agency records released to immigration and refugee rights groups under the Freedom of Information Act. Under the now-defunct family separation policy, all adult asylum seekers apprehended at the border were automatically jailed and their children placed in a jumbled web of detention facilities and federal bureaucracy. Designed by administration hardliners as a supposed immigration 'deterrent,' the policy provoked widespread outrage and protests across the country. Activists say the surveillance of the national day of action is just the latest evidence that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and others in law enforcement are using federal resources to monitor dissent and target undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers who challenge the administration’s harsh detention and deportation policies."

Justice Is Global

Movement building towards an economy of global solidarity. "If you collect any sampling of news headlines since 2016, it’s hard not to feel like the world is hurtling at light speed towards catastrophe. Amid the chaos, people across the political spectrum have turned inward, looking towards national programs to stem the crises. But most of the biggest problems we face— everything from a race to the bottom in wages and surging far-right nationalism to climate change — have no borders. A strategy that tackles them at the source, a new movement contends, must transcend borders, too. Justice is Global is ready to do just that, by building towards an economy centered on international solidarity rather than competition. A special project from the People’s Action Institute, they’re offering up a bold agenda to end the inequality at the heart of the global economy. Justice is Global was borne out of a task force from the Chicago-based People’s Lobby that advocated for a global minimum wage. Tobita Chow, the director, says it quickly became clear that pushing for an international wage floor couldn’t be done in isolation. 'The transition from that single campaign concept to Justice is Global as a more all-encompassing project just came out of seeing how the issue of the race to the bottom in wages is connected to a whole range of other issues that are global in scope.'"

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