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Itochu quietly assembled a gigantic home battery network in Japan

Grist - Sat, 03/25/2023 - 06:00

This story was originally published by Canary Media and is reproduced with permission.

Small-scale renewables and batteries could team up to replace large fossil-fueled plants — it just takes a whole lot of little devices to match what big, old power plants can do.

For now, truly massive fleets of decentralized clean-energy devices, also known as virtual power plants, remain a rarity. The clean energy industry needs to deliver more proof that decentralized energy can provide reliable, clean energy on a large scale.

One company is on its way to achieving this — not an electric utility or a Silicon Valley startup, but the decades-old Japanese trading house Itochu. The company manufactures a home-battery product through subsidiary NF, then sells it with the Gridshare software developed by British startup Moixa (which was acquired by Lunar Energy last year — see Canary Media’s recent deep dive on what makes that software special). Since 2017, Itochu has quietly built up a fleet across Japan of 36,000 home batteries under its control, and that’s just the beginning.

“We want to expand to 100,000 units,” said Maiko Mori, team leader at Itochu’s Energy Storage Business Section, when Canary Media met with her on a recent visit to Tokyo.

The current contingent totals 352 megawatt-hours of storage. That aggregated storage capacity rivals some of the largest grid-scale battery plants in existence, suggesting that thousands of tiny batteries really can add up to the scale of big central power plants. At the same time, the home-battery collection runs up against the limits of the decentralized format, at least as it currently exists in Japan.

The regulations aren’t yet in place to enable all those little batteries to participate in the broader workings of the grid. So the virtual power plant is doing what it can, helping each household until the pieces fall into place for the batteries to take on a more robust role in Japan’s energy system.

The challenges Itochu has overcome offer lessons for anyone trying to build up localized clean energy portfolios. In Japan, just like any other region trudging toward a cleaner, more decentralized energy system, the progress thus far only illustrates how much more is possible.

The limits of the virtual power plant today

Itochu’s world-class virtual power plant remains limited in scope because, as Isshu Kikuma, Japan analyst at energy research firm BloombergNEF explained, ​“the government doesn’t allow power sources connecting at a low-voltage grid to export power to the grid under the current regulation.”

That leaves Itochu’s battery fleet caught at an intermediate stage of evolution.

“It’s a massive fleet of batteries,” said Chris Wright, who co-founded Moixa and now serves as SVP of software tech at Lunar Energy. But, he added, ​“We’re not dispatching them in aggregate as a virtual power plant right now. […] This is all behind-the-meter optimization.”

That means that Itochu’s fleet can’t deliver some of the most lucrative and valuable services for the broader power grid, such as maintaining the right frequency for the wires to operate properly or delivering electricity at moments of high demand. Granted, not many places around the world have figured out how to incorporate small, local batteries into macro-level grid operations. But Germany and parts of the U.S., for instance, have shown it can be done effectively.

In place of paying customers for their services to the grid, Itochu has made do with saving them money by smartly managing their solar production and arbitraging power by storing it at times when it costs less and dispatching it at times when it costs more.

“Right now, Gridshare is working for the customer’s economical benefits, but it could work for the power company as well,” Mori said.

Lunar Energy’s Head of Software Product Sam Wevers put a number on those benefits: ​“We add 14 percent additional savings beyond the battery’s default mode,” he said. Batteries come from the factory with settings to maximize consumption of a household’s solar production or optimize around time-varying rates, which apply to most battery customers in Japan. But Gridshare internalizes each home’s consumption patterns and anticipates 48 hours into the future; the AI calculations figure out strategies that a default setting isn’t capable of, Wevers said.

That’s enough savings for Itochu to market a competitive edge in the battery-vendor landscape. But more roles for the fleet could be forthcoming. The latest word from the government is that rules for distributed-energy participation in large-scale grid services will go live in 2024, Wright said. ​“It’ll come online soon enough,” he said; once that happens, Itochu’s fleet can play a ​“nationally important” role in Japan’s grid-decarbonization efforts.

Why does Japan need a virtual power plant?

For a virtual power plant to amount to more than confusingly worded grid jargon, it needs to solve a tangible problem for someone. In Japan, like elsewhere, the looming challenge is how to decarbonize the grid without sacrificing reliability, and virtual power plants can help.

Japan’s isolated island grid relies on imported fossil fuels for all the electricity it can’t generate with nuclear or renewables. But Japan cut back on nuclear production after the Fukushima disaster. And renewables are more expensive to build there than in many other countries because of limited available land and rugged, mountainous terrain, said Kikuma, the BNEF energy analyst.

“Rooftop solar has a huge potential due to Japan’s land constraint,” Kikuma noted.

Starting in 2009, households in Japan that installed rooftop solar could get paid for the power the system exported to the grid via a generous feed-in tariff. But that payment scheme only lasts for 10 years from the date of enrollment, so the first wave of adopters began rolling off the program in 2019, after which they started earning much less for sending power to the grid.

Annual residential solar installations have declined slightly since the 2019 peak of 1,165 megawatts, but the sector still added 1,000 megawatts or more in both 2021 and 2022, according to BNEF data. That’s a robust market, but every year, more households with rooftop solar find themselves losing the feed-in tariff and needing a new plan to make the most of their power production.

Japanese customers had already been interested in batteries as a backup power source in case of outages from the various disasters that periodically strike the country — most acutely, earthquakes and typhoons. But the loss of the feed-in tariff makes batteries attractive for economic reasons too, to enable using more rooftop solar generation outside of the sunny hours.

Residential battery installations have risen steadily over the last five years, according to BNEF data. In 2022, Japanese households added 313 megawatts and 877 megawatt-hours, making this one of the most active home-battery markets in the world. In fact, BNEF’s numbers show that Japan installed far more home-battery capacity annually than all of the U.S. from 2017 through 2020; the U.S. market finally overtook Japan in 2021.

Itochu has capitalized on this trend. Its subsidiary NF manufactures models of the Smart Star battery pack with 9.8 kilowatt-hours or 13.1 kilowatt-hours of storage capacity. It comes AC-coupled, which makes it easier to attach to Japan’s many existing rooftop solar installations. Smart Star has sold 55,000 units in Japan, mostly going to Itochu’s fleet.

A virtual power plant, then, provides economic justification for the small-scale clean energy that Japan desperately needs, given how tricky it is to build large-scale clean energy there. If batteries eventually start taking over roles currently served by fossil-fueled plants, they will further reduce the need for carbon-emitting imported fuels. That looks all the more attractive given the global scramble for fossil gas imports in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The energy-security argument in Japan is very powerful, for various geopolitical reasons,” Wevers noted.

Lessons from Itochu’s massive virtual power plant

Still, it takes thousands of houses with batteries to add up to the capacity delivered by a typical gas-fired power plant. For virtual power plants to live up to their name and their promise, they need to operate on a massive scale.

Few initiatives have come close to that. One of the longest-running American VPPs, controlled by Vermont utility Green Mountain Power, had more than 4,000 home batteries participating as of last summer. The unexpectedly prolific, utility-led Wattsmart program in Utah enlisted 3,000 homes in just a couple of years. A new virtual power plant pilot program in Texas could end up with far more than that across the state, but it’s still getting started.

German home storage company sonnen has gotten further, with 120,000 battery units installed around the world; the bulk of that is in Germany, where the company operates its fleet like a decentralized utility, performing grid services and supplying customers with power at cheaper rates.

Virtual power plants, then, are still in a nascent stage globally, and the constitutionally conservative utility industry tends to resist new concepts and technologies until there’s no way to ignore them any longer. What Itochu learned early on is that it couldn’t wait for other power industry players to sign on; it had to go build the thing on its own.

“At first, nobody was interested in this,” Mori said. ​“But we scaled to 36,000 [units]. We have deployed these batteries — [power companies] can use them at their convenience.”

In other words, now that Itochu has the capability built and ready to use, more traditional providers are taking notice. Itochu is working with electricity retailers, including Tepco, Chubu, Kyushu, and Tohoku, to prove that its battery fleet can respond predictably and reliably enough to save those companies money.

It’s those companies’ job to source enough power for their customers at all times. But at some times of day, it’s simply more expensive to buy or produce power. Using batteries to arbitrage between expensive and cheap hours reduces the cost of keeping customers’ lights on, and that’s attracting attention from Japan’s power providers, especially as electricity costs have risen.

These power companies could eventually buy the batteries themselves and lease them to households; this would give customers the benefits they want without the big upfront expense, while giving the companies more direct control of the equipment for their own uses.

“We want to change the energy business,” Mori said. ​“The virtual power plant could make the Japanese energy business more resilient and bring benefits to all the parties.”

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline Itochu quietly assembled a gigantic home battery network in Japan on Mar 25, 2023.

Categories: H. Green News

REV Webinars: Solar Recycling and Thermal Network

Green Energy Times - Sat, 03/25/2023 - 00:46

REV is hosting two upcoming webinars on solar panel recycling and thermal networks. See the webinar descriptions below for more information and to register to attend. Both webinars will be recorded so contact Jonathan Dowds ( if you are unable to attend but would like to view the recording when it is available.

1) Solar PV & Battery Recycling – Current Options & Future Potential

Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) are collaborating to host a discussion series among stakeholders in the renewable sector, waste management, and state government to explore end-of-life disposal issues for solar power and battery storage equipment in Vermont.

In the second of our three-part conversation, we will be joined by representatives from leading recycling companies as well as governmental and NGO stakeholders working on these issues. Presentations and discussion will cover topics including, toxicity characteristic leaching procedures, minimum volumes, transportation costs, and pricing.

Time & Location: March 29th from 1:00 – 2:30 pm via Zoom

Register here

2) The Benefits and Business of Thermal Energy Networks

As we strive for 100% clean energy in Vermont, we need a holistic vision that includes multiple, synergistic technologies. Geothermal and other kinds of thermal energy networks can be one part of the solution. Known as electrification’s best friend, these systems can help to balance electric loads and shave peaks year-round. Thermal networks are a great complement to other renewable resources and are close to net zero when paired with solar.

Join us to learn more about thermal networks as an electrification strategy and get a preview of a new case study on Colorado Mesa University’s 12-year-old system that has never once used its gas backup. Speakers will identify key opportunities, IRA incentives, and the kinds of businesses needed to help Vermont take advantage of the many benefits of thermal energy networks.

Time & Location: April 4th at noon via Zoom

Register here

24,000 Families to Receive Food Boxes to Combat Food Insecurity During Ramadan

Food Tank - Sat, 03/25/2023 - 00:00

ICNA Relief recently launched a Ramadan Food Box distribution program to serve 24,000 families across the United States during the month of Ramadan. The initiative aims to address food insecurity and provide culturally fulfilling foods to members of the Muslim community and beyond. 

ICNA Relief is a national domestic relief and faith-based organization that is part of the Islamic Circle of North America. The organization is committed to addressing gaps in food access and meeting various community needs by raising awareness of food and nutrition insecurity. 

The Ramadan Food Box initiative comes as a response to the surge in food prices. These restrictions have also been heightened by the expiration of pandemic-era boosts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. According to ICNA Relief, this lack of access is amplified for individuals observing Halal because they face challenges in finding culturally important foods to meet their faith-based dietary guidelines. 

ICNA Relief is determined to fill this gap, helping to increase food security across the nation through a community-based framework. 

“Sitting with them, discussing their needs with them, we came to know about their cultural significance and what they want,” Zahid Hussain, Director of Hunger Prevention for ICNA Relief tells Food Tank. 

According to a study by the Arab-American Family Support Center, only 38 percent of 75 food pantries surveyed in New York City supplied halal food options. Through programs like the Ramadan Food Boxes, ICNA Relief is working to increase the accessibility to Halal and other culturally significant options in food pantries. 

Ammar Ahmed, Government Affairs and Public Relations Coordinator for ICNA Relief, tells Food Tank that inclusion is at the heart of ICNA Relief. They hope to ground their commitment to foster and support communities through food. 

“We want to have them feel that this is their new home, whether they’re a new arrival, a refugee, a recent immigrant, or just someone who is struggling with food insecurity, that we care about them and that they’re part of our community,” Ahmed tells Food Tank. 

The Ramadan Food Box program is serving low-income, refugee, and other families in need during the month of fasting. The boxes include staple pantry items such as rice, flour, oil, and other foods traditionally eaten during Ramadan. With the help of food and monetary donations from local communities and volunteers across the country, ICNA Relief is distributing the boxes to its network of over 50 food pantries in 24 different states. 

“The local community has been supporting our programs the past several years, in fact some of the community members and their families anticipate this because the local community considers ICNA Relief as a platform for good,” Hussain says. 

The program has distributed 9,200 food boxes to individuals and families in 138 cities across the nation. Hussain predicts these numbers will continue to steadily increase in the days and weeks to come.

Articles like the one you just read are made possible through the generosity of Food Tank members. Can we please count on you to be part of our growing movement? Become a member today by clicking here.

Photo courtesy of ICNA Relief

The post 24,000 Families to Receive Food Boxes to Combat Food Insecurity During Ramadan appeared first on Food Tank.

Categories: A3. Agroecology

Canadian Tire Fire #56: International Day Against Police Brutality, Protesting Grocery Store Price Gouging, Mining Convention Disrupted

It's Going Down - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 23:48

This week we cover news from the International Day Against Police Brutality, and actions disrupting business as usual at a grocery store and a mining conference.

In Montreal, a banner was dropped in solidarity with those arrested for fighting Cop City in Atlanta, and in remembrance of Tortuguita. “At the edge of Weelaunee forest, every cop pushed back with fireworks and every piece of construction equipment set ablaze is welcomed with cheer from companions all over turtle island and beyond.”

Now let’s get to the news!

International Day Against Police Brutality

Every March 15th, anarchists, police abolitionists, and the family and friends of those killed by police observe the International Day Against Police Brutality. This year, events took place in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Montreal. As always, send us reports if events happened in your city!

In Vancouver, an art and memorial event took place to remember the victims of police killings in the city.

Honour Their Names at Gallery Gachet presented by #JusticeforJared and Laura Holland, come stop by before the exhibit’s closing on the 24th ♥️🦅🖤

Last day of programming is tmo, which is a policing-free schools zine-making workshop! Join us!

— hailey yasmeen (@haildash) March 18, 2023

In Winnipeg, a march and rally took place outside the Millennium Library. The library has recently had an increase in police and security, having the effect of preventing people from using it. City budget deliberations were taking place at the same time as the march, so the rally aimed to ask people how they could imagine their city being different if the police budget went elsewhere.

Big, beautiful crowd out for international day against police brutality today on Treaty 1 🫶

Thanks @WpgPoliceHarm @Millennium4All @mbenergyjustice @SolWinnipeg @SEEDwinnipeg @SWWACwpg & the organizers and speakers for making space to talk about real solns for community safety

— Laura Cameron (@laurapcameron) March 16, 2023

In Montreal, the annual rowdy March 15th demo took place in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood. This year’s theme was “In the streets or in jails, police brutality prevails.” The NDG neighbourhood was home to Nicous Spring, who died in December while being held in Bordeaux jail.

Demonstrators protest police brutality in Montreal

— NowMyNews (@NowMyNews) March 17, 2023

As per usual, the demo began with speeches from community organizers. Once the demo took the street, chants of  “Justice for Nicous” could be heard. Along the route, the SPVM attemped to control the crowd by flanking it with bike and riot cops. Nonetheless, there were fireworks, colourful smoke and graffiti all along the route. Reports online indicate at least one bank, an RBC, was smashed up along the route. No arrests have been reported.

Protesting Price Gouging at the Grocery Store

In Montreal, a crew disrupted business as usual at a grocery store that was preparing to host a special visit from investors and bankers. The disruption was part of the Ben Trop Cher campaign fighting the rising cost of living. A report back read:

At least 20 anti-poverty protesters, affiliated with the local Ben Trop Cher campaign against the cost of living, entered and disrupted the Maxi Superstore in Parc-Extension in Montreal earlier this morning. Protesters unveiled a banner reading “Things are too expensive! Our lives before your profits!” (original French: C’est ben trop cher; Nos vies avant vos profits), as well as chanting, singing, distributing flyers with the title “Food Is Way Too Expensive! Bring Down the Prices. Stop Exploiting Us!, and stickering merchandise with the slogan “Ben Trop Cher.”

The Parc-Extension Maxi store was preparing to welcome a visit of investors and bankers affiliated with Loblaw Companies Limited, and has previously hosted visits from senior executives across Canada, including Loblaw CEO Galen Weston Junior. The protesters kept their disruption going for roughly 20 minutes before leaving the store. At least five police cars arrived after the protesters left, responding to a 911 call from panicked Maxi managers, and the cops futilely searched the store, the nearby metro station and the underground garage for the protest perpetrators.

Mining Convention Disrupted

Source: Mining Injustice Solidarity Network

In early March, people in Toronto maintained an annual tradition of disrupting the world’s largest mining convention, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canda convention (PDAC). The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) – has described Toronto as “the belly of the beast” – a global hub for the offices of mining companies and investors who are responsible for environmental destruction both in Canada and abroad. While PDAC offers an opportunity for mining company executives and government representatives to push rhetoric about ‘clean energy’ or ‘environmental practices’, protesters were there to ensure that the voices of those whose communities are destroyed by resource extraction are not forgotten.

Breaking: Activists Disrupt the Flow of the World’s Largest Mining Convention to Say ‘Water is Life!’ —
Unfurling long rivers of fabric, activists blocked several sections of #PDAC2023 to call attention to the industry’s record of harming key watersheds globally. #DisruptPDAC

— Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) (@mininginjustice) March 6, 2023

In a report back from the day, MISN stated:

While capital flows back to Toronto, Canadian mining operations, and the governments that support and enable them, are shifting the flow of the world’s waterways, polluting rivers that flow into the oceans, our planet’s life support system and one of our most important natural solutions to mitigate climate change.

In response, MISN disrupted the flow of people at PDAC and business as usual. Organizers and allies used long swathes of blue fabric painted with fish to temporarily block the entrances to the trade show, exhibitor booths, and access to escalators. We held blue fabric, to represent a river, in front of Ontario’s booth which promotes critical minerals and proposed mineral exploration and development projects in the so-called Ring of Fire region. We brought the importance of water back into the spaces where it is so often excluded.

Extractive projects create “sacrifice zones” – places that extractors poison and destroy for the greater good of economic progress because to the extractors, they “don’t count.” A true just transition will not create sacrifice zones and will include Indigenous communities exercising sovereignty over their territories and economic development, workers in fossil-fuel producing and reliant industries, such as oil and gas workers and auto workers, and rural communities without access to critical infrastructure like Internet connection and public transportation.

Follow Canadian Tire Fire on Mastodon here.

Categories: D1. Anarchism

March 25 Green Energy News

Green Energy Times - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 23:44

Headline News:

  • “Want Electric School Buses? Been Waitlisted? Consider A Repower” • Many school districts are having trouble complying with laws requiring them to electrify because the wait for new electric buses is so long. There are alternatives. Complete Coach Works has converted 65 buses to electric since 2015, logging over 3 million repowered miles. [CleanTechnica]

Electrifying a school bus (Courtesy of Midwest Transit Equipment)

  • “Commercially Operated Wärtsilä Engine Runs On 25% Hydrogen Blend” • Wärtsilä and WEC Energy Group successfully tested a Wärtsilä engine running on 25% hydrogen-blended fuel. The tests were conducted at WEC Energy Group’s 55 MW AJ Mihm power plant in Michigan, and they were completed in October 2022. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • “Researchers Suggest Prosecuting Fossil Fuel Companies For Climate Homicide” • Two researchers are suggesting that fossil fuel companies could be prosecuted for climate homicide. They have laid out their case in an article that has been accepted for publication in the Harvard Environmental Law Review. The paper is titled “Climate Homicide.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “California Govermor Newsom Rolls Back Some Drought Restrictions, Keeps Others, As Recent Storms Ease Dry Spell” • California Gov Gavin Newsom announced the removal of some drought restrictions, while keeping others to bolster water supply for vulnerable communities and develop water resilience after a parade of atmospheric river storms. [CNN]
  • “Ford Teases Second Electric Truck, Shows BlueOval City Progress” • Ford’s EV and battery manufacturing campus in West Tennessee is to begin production in 2025. It should produce up to 500,000 electric trucks each year at full capacity. The facility will be home to Ford’s second-generation electric truck, code named Project T3. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Federal agency issues advisory calling for shippers to stop using DOT-111 tank cars

DOT-111 READER - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 18:49

March 23, 2023 | | WASHINGTON – A federal agency has issued a safety advisory recommending that shippers and tank car owners stop using DOT-111 tank cars in the wake of the February derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio.

[Read the entire article here.]


Actualización para miembr@s de la Alianza de Trabajadores Migrantes por un Cambio: 19 de Marzo – ¿Qué sigue? –

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 17:33

El fin de semana pasado, migrantes y simpatizantes en todo Canadá tomaron acción  para obtener el estatus de Residencia Permanente para  Tod@s. Miembr@s de la Alianza de Trabajadores Migrantes por un Cambio (MWAC) se manifestaron en todas partes de Canadá. 

En Toronto, l@s miembr@s encabezaron una marcha de más de 1,200 personas y casi 100 personas asistieron a la acción que organizamos en las Cataratas de Niágara. En Montreal, miembr@s de MWAC se unieron a un campamento nocturno; también miembr@s de MWAC organizaron, hablaron y se unieron a acciones en Vancouver y Sudbury.

 En Ottawa, miembr@s de nuestra Alianza colocaron carteles el día 19 de marzo y en los días previos a la acción, también colocaron carteles en 8 oficinas del Miembr@s del Parlamento (MP) en Ontario.

 El pasado viernes, miembros y algun@s organizador@s de la Alianza de Trabajadores Migrantes por un Cambio (MWAC) se presentaron en una rueda de prensa que convoco el Ministro de Inmigración Sean Fraser e insistieron en que necesitamos Residencia Permanente  para Tod@s.

Mira este video de 50 segundos de nuestras acciones en todo el país.

 La oficina del Ministro de Immigracion respondió diciendo: “A medida que avancemos en nuestro trabajo en otros programas, continuaremos escuchando a expertos, así como a l@s trabajador@s indocumentad@s”. ¡Pero lo que necesitamos es acción! y depende de nosotr@s asegurarnos de que el gobierno actúe

En el 2023, trabajadores estudiantes migrantes ganaron otra extensión de permisos de trabajo para graduados de posgrado (Más información en ingles), si no hubiéramos ganado esta extensión  cientos de miles de estudiantes migrantes hubieran sido deportados. Migrantes que trabajan en el cuido de personas ganaron una reducción del tiempo de experiencia a la mitad para aplicar para Residencia Permanente: ahora solo necesitan 12 meses de experiencia en lugar de 24 meses (Más información en ingles) para solicitar Residencia Permanente. 

Cuando luchamos, y luchamos inteligentemente, ganamos. y lo que ganemos depende de cuánto poder tengamos. Hoy, usted es uno de los 264 miembr@s portadores de tarjetas de la Alianza de Trabajadores Migrantes por un Cambio. Imagínese lo que podemos hacer cuando seamos 2.000 o 20.000. 

Nuestra lucha en este momento es por la dignidad y derechos en el trabajo, la escuela, la vivienda y la atención médica; y sólo habremos ganado cuando ganemos  el Estatus de Residente Permanente para Tod@s . Esto significa cosas diferentes para  miembr@s en diferentes sectores:

Tenemos solo unas pocas semanas hasta que el Parlamento se vaya de vacaciones el 30 de mayo, así que por favor sigan enviando correos electrónicos (Envíe un correo ahora) y haciendo llamadas telefónicas (Haga una llamada ahora puede dejar un mensaje en español) para mantener la presión.

Trabajador@s agrícolas: Estamos luchando por protecciones más fuertes de salud y seguridad en las granjas, invernaderos y viviendas dignas. Estamos recopilando fotos y videos para compartir nuestras historias y luchas en las redes sociales para educar a l@s canadienses. Los trabajadores agrícolas que decidieron quedarse y su permiso de trabajo esta vencido se estan centrando principalmente en la regularización para que tod@s podamos estar protegid@s y junto a nuestras familias. Envía un mensaje de texto al WhatsApp: 647-807-4722.

Trabajador@s en la industria de Mariscos: Estamos pidiendo a los migrantes en la industria de marisco que llenen esta encuesta para saber sobre sus prioridades y así para que junt@s podamos lanzar una campaña y solucionar los problemas que nos aquejan ¡Si trabajas en la industria del marisco llena esta encuesta ahora! WhatsApp 506-251-7467

Trabajador@s de la salud que están indocumentad@s: La regularización es nuestra lucha para obtener el estatus de residente permanente para las personas indocumentadas. Las personas indocumentadas somos l@s que no tenemos permisos válidos de estudio o trabajo; y/o que se enfrentan deportación. La mayor parte de nuestro trabajo en este momento se centra en esta campaña. 

Cuidador@s de personas: Estamos luchando para poner fin a la lista de espera; y eliminar los requisitos de cuota, educación e idioma para cuidador@s de personas y niñ@s. Pronto lanzaremos una encuesta para saber más sobre los problemas a los que se está enfrentado en su día a día y  luchar juntos en la búsqueda de  soluciones a estos problemas. Mientras tanto, nuestra próxima reunión de miembros en línea es el 28 de marzo a las 8 p.m., hora de Toronto. 

Equidad para estudiantes migrantes: Nos estamos uniendo con personas en nuestros campus, lugares de trabajo y comunidades en una campaña para ganar derechos y estatus para tod@s l@s estudiantes internacionales actuales y anteriores. Estamos reuniendo el apoyo de organizaciones para una agenda con demandas y pronto lanzaremos una encuesta:  En ingles

¡Unid@s somos más fuertes!
Diana, Kit, Jhoey, Luisa, Sarom and Niger (MWAC  Equipo de Organizador@s)

Estuvimos en las noticias en todo el país.

Edmonton: CTV News

Vancouver: CTV News, Fairchild TV, Radio Canada

Toronto: City News, CBC News, Omni News, The Hoser, Ricochet, Canada info

Niagara: St Catharines Standard, Hamilton Spectator

Sudbury: CBC News, Timmins Times, Pipa News

Montréal: Le Devoir, Journal Métro, Canadian Press, Montreal Gazette, CTV News, La Presse  

The post Actualización para miembr@s de la Alianza de Trabajadores Migrantes por un Cambio: 19 de Marzo – ¿Qué sigue? – appeared first on Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

Categories: C4. Radical Labor

France in flames: Anger grows against Macron

Socialist Resurgence - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 16:34
By PdAC, ITALY As we write, the March 23 strike is coming to an end in France. Despite Macron’s attempt to impose pension reform by force, bypassing parliamentary discussion—a mechanism provided for by the French Constitution, similar to what is called “porre la fiducia” [to place trust] in Italy—protests have not ceased. Rather, they have […]
Categories: D2. Socialism

Episode for March 24, 2023

Allegheny Front - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 15:45

A former EPA administrator is calling the agency's response to the train derailment in East Palestine too weak. Questions are being asked about the cleanup and testing of the creeks polluted by the derailment. Some researchers say Ohio EPA isn't testing surface water for enough chemicals. Also, trout season is nearly here, with opening day on April 1. We catch up with officials stocking a local lake with some of the 3 million trout that will be released throughout Pennsylvania this year.   

The post Episode for March 24, 2023 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Former EPA official calls agency’s response in East Palestine too weak

Allegheny Front - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 15:13

Judith Enck says U.S. EPA is deferring too much to Ohio agencies, which don't have enough expertise and experience in dealing with chemical emergencies.

The post Former EPA official calls agency’s response in East Palestine too weak appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Questions about the testing and cleanup of streams after the train derailment

Allegheny Front - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 14:46

While officials say cleanup of the creeks in East Palestine will take time, some researchers say regulators aren't testing the water for enough chemicals.

The post Questions about the testing and cleanup of streams after the train derailment appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Migrant Care Workers: What is your main concern right now?

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 14:17

Are you a migrant care worker in Canada? We want to know what your current struggle is. We are gathering information to determine  what care worker issues to voice out to the government.

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (Formerly Caregivers Action Centre) is an organization that is led by current and former migrant care workers like you  and other migrants workers in farms, healthcare, fisheries and migrant students. We will use this information to learn how to better support migrant care workers in their demands . Personal details  you share is private and confidential and will not be shared to the government or employers.

This survey is only complete when you click “submit” at the bottom of the page. Please share this survey with your friends and other care workers. Call, text, or Whatsapp us if you have any questions at 416- 897-4388! 

The post Migrant Care Workers: What is your main concern right now? appeared first on Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

Categories: C4. Radical Labor

Far-Rightists Take Control of Kitsap County, Washington GOP

An insurrectionist, an “active member” of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), and a staffer for the State Policy Network walking into a party might sound like the opening of a joke, but the punchline is not remotely funny. Following a growing national trend of far-right activists seizing the local GOP apparatus, these and other far-rightists captured leadership positions in the Kitsap County Republican Party in Western Washington State.

The ascendance of this coalition was announced on December 10, 2022, in the Facebook group of the South Kitsap Republican Party (SKRP). SKRP declared, “Congratulations to the 2023-2025 Executive Board of the Kitsap County Republican Party,” boasting that “South Kitsap came into town with a plan and a purpose. With hard work and persistence we won all the elections our slate of Conservative Candidates ran for.”[1]

But this was not conservatism.

The SKRP announced that John Cameron had been elected Vice Chair of the county party, Jessica Rice Secretary and Rick Kuss had been named a Central Kitsap School District member of the party’s Executive Board.[2] And it announced that Juliana McMahan was the new Chair of the local party.

John Cameron: From January 6 to Unrepentant Insurrectionist to Kitsap GOP Vice-Chair

John Cameron of Port Orchard gained brief national attention in 2022 when he was hit with four criminal charges relating to his participation in the January 6th insurrection. For this, Cameron, an administrator of the SKRP Facebook group, was sentenced to 36 months of probation, 30 days intermittent confinement, a $1000 fine, and $500 restitution.[3]

After receiving a tip that Cameron had been at the U.S. Capitol that day, the FBI confirmed in footage from Close Caption TV that Cameron had entered the building in a white t-shirt emblazoned with “COUNT ALL LEGAL VOTES.” Cameron aided the cause of his arrest by posting a photo of himself in the same shirt on Facebook and describing plans to attend the Stop the Steal rally that preceded the insurrection. Cameron described the riot as a “fun, exciting, interesting, and historic event,” as detailed in a federal affidavit filed in the case.[4]

John Cameron, January 6, 2021

Before entering the building, Cameron posted a video of himself saying,

“Civil disobedience has kicked in. … You can judge, we all can judge, whether this is illegal or not. But if this is what it takes to be heard, because our votes aren’t, then this is what happens.”[5]

Cameron pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.”[6]

On and after January 6, Cameron repeatedly spun conspiracy theories falsely placing anti-fascists behind the far-right insurrection. He also continued championing the mob of far-rightists who attempted to overturn the 2020 election.

On January 6, 2021, Cameron posted a photo from the insurrection, writing, “Interesting than (sic) Antifa was the first one in the door.”[7] That same day he declared, “Peaceful non violent. But Antifa just showed up.”[8]

In early 2022, Cameron elaborated on his conspiracist “thoughts” on the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection:

“Trump did not incite the violence. This wasnt (sic) ‘insurrection.’ This was the Democratic party (sic) refusal to look into, and main stream media denying of, voting transparency that caused the protest. The election regularities are not lies, unless you believe the narrative of propaganda media…It’s not conspiracy theory, its (sic) not tin foil hat wearing idiots, its (sic) smart, kind educated American citizens. It wasnt (sic) hate groups or militia, just average citizens just heard that on CNN….On CNN. Narrccistic (sic), psychopath, egotistical…incompetent, lies and lies…

America is in turmoil and its (sic) not because Orange Man Bad. Its (sic) because bloated, news, tech, CCP [Chinese Communist Party – ed] special interest money controlling politicians, voting, and even yes radical left wing extremists groups like Antifa BLM which led the charge into the Capitol building…Next spins…because Trump supporters were white the police weren’t as aggressive with them…Change is needed. Unfortunately, usually before true change can occur, the pain of remaining the same has to be greater than that of change. That is the path we are on.”[9]

In February 2023, almost a year after being sentenced, Cameron posted on Facebook, “I am released, and sleeping in my own bed for the first time in a month. God Bless the J6ers!”[10]


Cameron’s path to January 6 had traversed the COVID denial mobilization that accompanied policy attempts to address the pandemic, far-right activism around school curriculum and the myth of “critical race theory,” and conspiracism about the 2020 election. Before his arrest, Cameron had been an administrator for the Informed Parents of Washington South Kitsap SD (IPWSK) Facebook group and a member of the Facebook groups Central Kitsap Parents for Freedom, Moms for Liberty – Kitsap County, WA, ReopenWA and Call to Action against Washington masking and school closures.[11]

The Informed Parents of Washington South Kitsap SD centered on addressing “Critical Race Theory” and Comprehensive Sexual Education. Cameron embraced such politics.[12] In a September 2021 post, Cameron declared that Informed Parents of Washington South Kitsap SD could “help you Moms.” He announced, “I am Rallying South Kitsap School District Parents to help Advocate for Medical Freedom and Against CRT to our local School Board.”[13]

The fight for “medical freedom” had become a rallying cry for both anti-vaxxer and COVID denial politics, while being “Against CRT” signaled fealty to the reactionary attack on quality education about racism in America’s past and present behind the banner of fighting “critical race theory.”  Cameron had written, “Stop thinking of CRT as a curriculum or subject. The goal is to change our world view.”[14]

Cameron also embraced anti-immigrant politics, misrepresenting the fact that undocumented immigrants pay taxes by posting a meme in late January 2021 declaring, “I JUST SAVED A BUNCH OF MONEY ON MY TAXES BY SWITCHING MY CITIZENSHIP STATUS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT.”[15]

In December 2021, Cameron boasted that “Legendary WA State Activist Glen Morgan” is “Mentoring me on how to write powerful effective records requests…Fighting Marxism and Communism one school board at a time.”[16]

John Cameron (left) and Glen Morgan (right)

Glen Morgan was also among those endorsing the far right effort in the Kitsap GOP, as was Sara Garriot of the Informed Parents of Washington, according to John Cameron. And, Cameron explained, the “slate” was “aligned with and in direct communication with” former state representative and failed candidate for state senate, Jesse Young, Marcus Carter, President of the Puget Sound Patriots (formerly Kitsap Patriots Tea Party), and Joy Gjersvold of the far right school-centered group, Mom’s for Liberty.[17]

Morgan has his own far right history. At a May 2020 “Hazardous Liberty Rally” in Olympia, Washington, Morgan shared lead billing with CSPOA-affiliated former police officer Loren Culp and Matt Marshall, the leader of the Washington State Three Percenters.[18]

In June 2020, the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR), of which Morgan is Executive Director, featured Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer on its webinar, addressing the “What is the Constitutional role of a Sheriff in Protecting our Lives, Liberty and Properties?” Opening by describing Songer’s 2019 “Constitutional Sheriff of the Year” award from CSPOA, Morgan concluded, “I know that probably a number of our listeners and people who see this show wish that you were their sheriff too.”[19] Bob Songer has also allied with far rightist Ammon Bundy’s insurrectionist People’s Rights network.

Bob Songer with CAPR and CSPOA


Glen Morgan, who has pressed anti-tribal politics and allied with the anti-Indian Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, also has a history in Kitsap County, appearing at a 2018 meeting of the Kitsap Patriots Tea Party, now the Puget Sound Patriots.

And Morgan is a former leader in the Freedom Foundation, the organization that had birthed the political career of now Kitsap County Republican Party Chair Juliana McMahan.

Juliana McMahan, the Freedom Foundation, and the State Policy Network

If John Cameron represents the insurrectionist impulse in the coalition that overtook the Kitsap GOP, Juliana McMahan highlights the ability of far-rightists to ally their cause with activists in broader conservative and libertarian organizations alongside the movement of these larger organizations in the direction of politicized bigotry and the far right during the period of the Trump Administration.

Kitsap County GOP Chair Juliana McMahan

Juliana McMahan was a longtime staffer at the anti-labor Freedom Foundation and is currently listed as an Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Strategy at the State Policy Network, a Virginia-based group that supports a national network of state-level conservative, libertarian, and far-right “think tanks.”

McMahan reports taking a job with the Freedom Foundation in December 1996. Her State Policy Network biography says, “She spent almost 19 years with the Freedom Foundation in Washington state, starting as an intern during the organization’s start-up years and eventually serving as Development Director, managing over 5,000 donors.”[20]

Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) records indicate that, over the years, McMahan listed her position with the Freedom Foundation as Coordinator, Staff, Project Director, and, beginning in 2012, Outreach Director.[21] McMahan posted on Facebook that she left a job with the Freedom Foundation in 2014. However, as late as June 2021, the Olalla-based activist described her occupation as Freedom Foundation Outreach Director in PDC documents.[22]

Befitting a background with the Freedom Foundation, an organization centered on the business politics of attacking trade unions, privatization, and gutting environmental regulations, an apparent factor in McMahan’s rise in the Kitsap GOP is the path of generous donations.

Between 2007 and 2023, McMahan made at least 43 separate donations totaling more than $6500 to the Kitsap County Republican Party, according to PDC records. In addition, McMahan donated another $1774.88 to local and state candidates.[23]

In her time with the Freedom Foundation, McMahan promoted the group’s work on gun rights and, long before election denial became far-right vogue, promoted the group’s 2013 tour to address “how special interests work to rig elections here in Washington State.”[24]

Juliana McMahan is currently listed as an Executive Assistant to Lynn Harsh, the Vice President of Strategy for the Arlington, Virginia-based State Policy Network (SPN).[25] The SPN took in between $10.3 and $16.9 million each year between 2016 and 2020, ending 2020 with some $12.9 million in assets.[26] The Freedom Foundation is an official affiliate of the State Policy Center, as is the Seattle, Washington-based Washington Policy Center. [27]

The State Policy Network and its Washington affiliates have mainly focused on the politics of unfettering “free market” capitalism, attacking trade unions and gutting environmental regulations. SPN’s issue profile includes pushing school vouchers and privatization, fighting efforts to repeal right-to-work laws, deregulating healthcare, tax cuts, and generally deregulating economic institutions.[28] The Freedom Foundation has relentlessly campaigned to deploy the Supreme Court’s anti-labor Janus v. AFSCME decision as a battering ram against public sector unions.

In keeping with its property rights focus, the Freedom Foundation has also been known for anti-tribal politics. For example, in 2007, the Freedom Foundation hosted Skagit County anti-Indian activist John Fleming at its Leadership Conference. Fleming is notorious in the state for having led the passage of a tribal termination resolution at the 2000 Washington State Republican Party convention. During his time with the Freedom Foundation, Glen Morgan continued this anti-Indian tradition, opposing the exemption of the sovereign Chehalis Tribe from county taxation during the construction of the Great Wolf Lodge on tribal lands.

McMahan’s movement into this far right coalition came as such groups also engaged with the politics of bigotry. In recent years the SPN has taken up the far right cause against the myth of “critical race theory.” SPN also boasts far right affiliates such as the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a group that participated in COVID Denial mobilizations, including at least one involving paramilitary activists; and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an anti-immigrant organization currently working on a national coalition with the notoriously racist Federation for American Immigration Reform.[29]

Likewise the Freedom Foundation, whose  Pennsylvania Outreach Director Joe Mandrusiak is an ardent supporter of anti-gay bigot Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council (FRC). In 2019, the Freedom Foundation played host to anti-gay bigot Mike Huckabee.

Also that year Oregon State Representative Mike Nearman assumed the position of Oregon state director for the organization.[30] While a state legislator, the one-time board member for the anti-immigrant Oregonians for Immigration Reform, pleaded guilty to first-degree official misconduct for allowing members of a far-right and armed mob into the locked Oregon state Capital during a riot. Nearman would resign from the Freedom Foundation in 2021.[31] However, as of this writing, Nearman remains listed as a “Senior Fellow,” and his articles remain available, on the Freedom Foundation website.[32]

McMahan’s political donations also hint at an interest in the politics of bigotry and the far right. In June 2009, McMahan donated $100 to Protect Marriage Washington (PMW).[33] In that year, Protect Marriage Washington mobilized to place Referendum 71 on the ballot in an attempt to derail a recently passed law recognizing domestic partner status for same-sex couples – that is, PMW sought to overturn the established right of such couples to visit their loved one in the hospital, take medical leave, pass down inheritances, and the like.[34]

Given the bigotry and discrimination inherent in such a position, it is entirely unsurprising that one leader of Protect Marriage Washington in 2009 was Matt Shea, the former state legislator,  Christian nationalist paramilitary advocate, anti-Muslim bigot, and anti-LGBTQIA leader who was removed from the GOP House caucus and his committees after a report commissioned by the state house concluded that Shea had promoted “three armed conflicts of political violence against the United States” from 2014 to 2016.

Also indicating an attraction to the far right, in November 2022, McMahan donated $100 to a candidate for sheriff, Rick Scott Kuss, running openly as an “active member” of the far-right Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.[35]

Rick Kuss, CSPOA, and the Kitsap GOP

If Tea Party precursors, COVID denial, conspiracism, election denial, a school-centered far right, and alliances with the likes of the State Policy Network and Freedom Foundation had paved the way for the growth of the far right in Kitsap county, the immediate push for a local GOP takeover was aided by Rick Kuss’ failed bid for the office of sheriff. Kuss lost to sitting Sheriff John Gese, who took 58.5% of the vote  (70,628 votes) compared to the CSPOA-affiliated candidate’s 41.4 (50,875 votes).[36]

While speaking at a meeting of the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners (KAPO) during his campaign, Rick Kuss downplayed his relationship with CSPOA, claiming that it was just one of several groups he joined “to learn the most I can about the role of the sheriff.” Members of the far-right property rights group booed and tried to talk down a community member who raised concerns about Kuss’ involvement in a group tied to racism and paramilitarism.[37]

A cursory look at Kuss’ engagement with CSPOA and the far right demonstrates that his spin was just that – spin. Rick Kuss is a local leader in a far-right, anti-democratic political movement.

John Cameron (left) with Rick Kuss (right)

Kuss’ initial campaign website announced he was an “Active Member of the Constitutional Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association.”[38] In September, an updated version of Kuss’ campaign website elaborated:

“Rick stands for carrying out the oath elected officials swear to – Supporting and Defending the Constitution of the United States of America…That is why Rick is a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.”[39]

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association is a profoundly anti-democratic organization with well-documented ties to racism, anti-semitism, and the Oath Keepers—the far-right paramilitary group whose leaders were recently convicted of seditious conspiracy.

Rick Kuss’ notion that someone who supports the Constitution might reflect that by joining CSPOA is patently absurd. Richard Mack and CSPOA trainers espouse far-right ideas about the U.S. Constitution, policing, and federal civil and voting rights that are incompatible with a democratic society. For example, CSPOA falsely claims that sheriffs can unilaterally decide the law and intervene to block federal authority – including, as Mack indicates, through the use of armed paramilitaries. Mack has made clear that his “interpretation” would overturn decades of duly-passed national legislation, including laws related to civil rights enforcement, workplace safety, and environmental protection.

Kuss also attended a CSPOA event in mid-July of 2022. On July 14, Kuss wrote on his campaign Facebook account that he “had the privilege of attending a conference with sheriffs from all across the country.” Describing that he “gained many personal contacts” at the event, he said, “The role of the Sheriff is way more important than most people think. Contact me to host a fundraiser event…and I can talk as long as you want me to about crime in your area and what the role of the sheriff should be.” Kuss confirmed that this was a CSPOA event.[40]

On July 12, CSPOA held a press conference in Las Vegas to kick off a national campaign to organize far-right sheriffs to intervene in upcoming elections based on false ideas about voter fraud. CSPOA rescheduled its conference to coincide with the July 13-16 “Freedom Fest” in Las Vegas, where Mack again promoted CSPOA’s far-right “election fraud” campaign.[41]

And Rick Kuss has displayed his affinity for KrisAnne Hall, the CSPOA trainer whose  “legal” thinking has influenced Ammon Bundy’s insurrectionist People’s Rights network. Hall has also spuriously declared that the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution – cornerstones of American civil and voting rights – are “unlawful.”

KrisAnne Hall with Rick Kuss

In early December, Kuss announced he was “excited to attend the world premiere of NC2: The Sheriff in Tampa with KrisAnne Hall, JD.” In a comment on KrisAnne Hall’s Facebook page, Kuss wrote, “Registered for the event and purchased my plane tickets from Seattle to Tampa! Can’t wait!”[42] Kuss has also circulated material from KrisAnne Hall inside Moms for Liberty – Kitsap County, WA, the local chapter of the national far-right school-centered group.[43]

On December 14, Kuss posted a photograph on Facebook showing him standing with KrisAnne Hall, the far right candidate for sheriff adorned in a t-shirt declaring “Sheriffs America’s Last Hope” – a slogan similar to the title of Richard Mack’s 2009 book County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope.[44]  Upon his return, Kuss circulated links to KrisAnne Hall’s work on social media.[45]

Jessica Rice, COVID Denial, and the Posse

While Kuss gained the endorsement of the Kitsap County Republican Party, his Campaign Manager, Jessica Rice, is a Port Orchard-based activist with a firm foot in the far right.[46]

Kitsap GOP Secretary Jessica Rice

Like Kuss, Rice is a fan of KrisAnne Hall, posting multiple links to material from the Florida-based far-rightist. For example, one video posted to Facebook by Jessica Rice features Hall and her husband, J.C., discussing the idea of the “constitutional sheriff,” tracing it to the Medieval European “shire reef” and making crystal clear that this is the view espoused by the virulently racist, antisemitic and violent Posse Comitatus:

“Your sheriff. This is not KrisAnne Hall’s opinion; this is actual legal fact. Your sheriff is the top legal authority in your county. Your sheriff is above the governor, above your county commission, he’s above the state police, he’s above the president, he’s above the FBI, he’s above the military in your county. There is no higher authority, legally speaking, in your county than the sheriff.”[47]

In October 2022, Jessica Rice repeated this Posse-derived idea that the sheriff is “the highest law enforcement authority in our county.”[48]

This Posse Comitatus conception of sheriff’s power is included in the definition of “extremist organization” in Washington Administrative Codes (WAC) addressing officer certification and hiring: “Extremist organization means an organization or persons that…Espouses or advocates that the powers held by local law enforcement executives, and their interpretation of the law, supersedes those of any other federal, state, or local authority” (WAC 139-01-310).[49] A background check into “whether the applicant has any past or present affiliations with extremist organizations,” is required under state law for “all Washington peace officers and corrections officers” (RCW 43.101.095).[50]

Jessica Rice’s road to radicalization was paved by her reaction to measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic – something that reverberated across the far right. But it was not self-evident at the beginning. In April 2020, for instance, Rice posted a meme appearing to endorse the idea of wearing a mask to protect one another from the pandemic.[51]

Rice’s move toward COVID denial activism came in response to school shutdowns and the use of remote learning to address the pandemic. In June 2020, Rice posted a video featuring long-time anti-tax activist Tim Eyeman declaring that “we need to let our governor know that we want our kids back in school.”[52] By that same month, Rice had joined Reopen WA state schools and was sponsoring an online petition to “Allow families and staff in LOW-RISK groups that choose to do so return to full-time IN-CLASS instruction WITHOUT MANDATORY MASKS.”[53]

In October 2020, Rice promoted an event to press school athletic directors to reopen sports activities and other COVID denial-related events.[54] Despite later boosting the work of KrisAnne Hall, a far-right activist that would advise a Trump administration official on immigration, Rice also posted an article about the Trump administration’s family separation policies targeting immigrants that would include the comment, “The Kidnapper-in-Chief does not give a shit.”[55]

Rice’s involvement in local COVID-related activism grew across 2021 and 2022. By 2021 Rice joined Moms for Liberty – Kitsap County, WA, and the Central Kitsap Parents for Freedom.[56] Also that year, Rice became an administrator for the Parents of Washington South Kitsap SD.[57]  In 2022, Rice joined ReOpen Kitsap.[58]

In November, John Cameron posted photos of himself, Rick Kuss, and Jessica Rice working together on campaign activities. Cameron described, “Patriots are rising up to help. Calling voters is our final action item. And we need YOUR help! We can set you up wherever in the country you are.”[59]

John Cameron, Rick Kuss, Jessica Rice and others campaign together

Akin to Kuss and Rice’s affinities, in 2020 Bremerton Representative for the Kitsap GOP, Adrian Wright, posted a photograph of himself with a CSPOA-affiliated former law officer and failed candidate for governor, Loren Culp. Culp received CSPOA’s “Chief of Police of the Decade” award at the group’s 2019 conference. Wright wrote of Culp, “I like his strong identity with the WA St Constitution!”[60]

Adrian Wright with Loren Culp

From Failed Election to Hand Counts to the Kitsap GOP

Rick Kuss’ post-election mobilizations also aided the far-right ascendance in the Kitsap GOP. In November, Kuss organized an event to counter County Commission discussions of a potential restriction on “open and concealed carry in Kitsap County Admin Building” and plans to potentially “restrict possession, sale, purchase, or trade firearms at Faigrounds (sic).” Putting his star first, he billed the event as “COME JOIN RICK KUSS TO FIGHT FOR 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.”[61] And Kuss took to assailing the Kitsap County prosecutor as soft on crime.[62]

His most visible action came when five individuals submitted a letter to the Kitsap County Auditor’s office and paid a $31,000 cash deposit for a hand recount of “all votes cast in the 2022 General Election for Kitsap County Sheriff.”[63]

Kuss and the group downplayed the relationship of their effort to the broader election denial organizing taking place across the country. And Kuss downplayed his own role in the hand recount campaign.

Queried by The Kitsap Sun as to whether people might view the recount as a denying the election results, Kuss responded that he hoped not, “Because that’s not what it is…This is me on the sidelines watching concerned citizens verify the results…My expectation is the hand recount will match the tabulation count…I would expect that to match perfectly.”[64]

Contradicting himself, Kuss informed the paper that he was involved in fundraising for the project, something never on the sidelines of political activism. Kuss’ efforts included promoting a GiveSendGo fundraising effort for the recount and showing the Breitbart movie “My Son Hunter” as a fundraiser for the “Kitsap Voter Integrity Project.”[65]

The Kitsap “hand count” effort also mimicked other efforts, such as those ongoing in Arizona and the actions of CSPOA-affiliated Michigan Sheriff Dar Leaf, by focusing their “concerns” on voting machines. The fundraiser says, “We want to look closely at whether the results of the machine will match 100% with the hand count. If it doesn’t, it will mean your vote does not matter and this voting system needs to be put into question.”[66]

Pressing for hand recounts has also been a strategy of election deniers in Arizona, even in the face of at least two studies finding hand recounts less accurate than machine recounts.[67]

Others with more open election denial politics also joined the effort. This includes Chuck DeCosta, listed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Puget Sound Patriots—an organization that donated $1000 to Kuss’ campaign and supported the far right “slate” for the Kitsap GOP, according to John Cameron. The Puget Sound Patriots had hosted a showing of the widely debunked election denial video, 2000 Mules, declaring it a “Great documentary to watch and see one of the many ways to steal your vote… Where are the Indictments??? Very good question.”[68]

Chuck DeCosta of Puget Sound Patriots, formerly Kitsap Patriots Tea Party

Chuck DeCosta posted memes, with zero backing evidence, stating that Jill Biden had “ordered the count to stop in 2020 because Trump was too far ahead!” and defending Donald Trump’s statement that 2020 election fraud justified the “termination” of “rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” DeCosta also promoted the Kitsap Voter Integrity Project fundraiser pushed by Kuss.[69]

And the Kitsap County Republican Party wholeheartedly endorsed the hand recount.[70]

John Cameron is now Vice Chair of the Kitsap County Republican Party. He shares a place on the party’s Executive Board with Rick Kuss and Jessica Rice, both ensconced in the activism shaped by the ideology of the Posse Comitatus. And they have gained a friend in the State Policy Network.

As this article goes to press, the Kitsap County Republican Party and John Cameron are engaged in a mobilization to counter an upcoming Drag Show Story Hour in Port Orchard, a political target seen across the far right from Tea Party-style and MAGA activists to white nationalists and neo-Nazis.[71]

All who care about democracy should take heed.





[1] South Kitsap Republican Party. Facebook. December 10, 2022.

[2] South Kitsap Republican Party. Facebook. December 10, 2022.

[3] KING 5 Staff. Port Orchard man sentenced to 36 months of probation, fined for involvement in Capitol riot. KING 5. August 15, 2022.; Associated Press. Man sentenced to probation for involvement in Capitol riot. Associated Press. August 16, 2022.; South Kitsap Republican Party. Members. Accessed December 15, 2022.

[4] U.S. v John M. Cameron. United States District Court. December 12, 2021. Case 1:21-mj-00690.;; Kamb, Lewis. Port Orchard man becomes 12th Washington resident charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Seattle Times. January 6, 2022.; Binion, Andrew. Port Orchard man pleads guilty to misdemeanor from Jan. 6 riots. Kitsap Sun.

[5] Binion, Andrew. Port Orchard man pleads guilty to misdemeanor from Jan. 6 riots. Kitsap Sun.

[6] Kamb, Lewis. Port Orchard man becomes 12th Washington resident charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Seattle Times. January 6, 2022.; Binion, Andrew. Port Orchard man pleads guilty to misdemeanor from Jan. 6 riots. Kitsap Sun.

[7] Cameron, John. Facebook. January 6, 2021.

[8] Cameron, John. Faceook. January 6, 2021.

[9] Cameron, John. Facebook. January 6, 2022.

[10] Cameron, John. Facebook. February 24, 2023.

[11] Informed Parents of Washington South Kitsap SD. Facebook. Members.; Central Kitsap Parents for Freedom. Facebook.; Moms for Liberty – Kitsap County, WA. Facebook. Members.; Cameron, John. Facebook. Accessed January 6, 2022.


[12] Informed Parents of Washington South Kitsap SD. About. Accessed January 1, 2022.

[13] Cameron, John. Facebook. September 2, 2021.

[14] Cameron, John. Facebook. Posted in Informed Parents of Washington South Kitsap SD. November 9, 2021.

[15] Cameron, John. Facebook. January 25, 2021.

[16] Cameron, John. Facebook. December 4, 2021.

[17] Cameron, John. Facebook. Posted in South Kitsap Republican Party. December 10, 2022.; Cameron, John. Facebook. Posted in South Kitsap Republican Party. November 5, 2022.; Ballotpedia. Emily Randall. Accessed December 16, 2022; Puget Sound Patriots. About/Contact. Accessed March 15, 2023.

[18] Culp, Loren. Facebook. May 6, 2020.

[19] Citizens Alliance for Property Rights. Webinars. June 4, 2020. Opening the show,  Morgan said to Songer, “And you were also given an award recently as the 2019 Constitutional Sheriff of the Year Award by the Constitutional Sheriff (sic) and Police (sic) Officers Association.” Songer answered, “Yeah, by Sheriff Richard Mack.” Morgan responded, “By Sheriff Mack, ok, great…So, you are the kind of sheriff we all like to discuss these some of these topics with. And as an organization dedicated to Constitutional principles, especially around, uh, a focus on property rights.” Morgan wrapped up the show by telling Songer, “I know that probably a number of our listeners and people who see this show wish that you were their sheriff too.”

[20] State Policy Network. SPN Staff. Juliana McMahan. Accessed March 10, 2023. ; McMahan, Juliana. Facebook. December 2, 1996.

[21] Public Disclosure Commission. Contributions. Search for Juliana McMahan. Search conducted March 10, 2023.

[22] Kitsap County Republican Party. Cash Receipts Monetary Contributions. Public Disclosure Commission. March 30, 2019; McMahan, Juliana. Facebook. January 21, 2014.; Kitsap County Republican Party. Cash Receipts Monetary Contributions. Public Disclosure Commission. June 17, 2021.

[23] Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. Contributions. Search on “Juliana McMahan” conducted March 13, 2023.

[24] McMahan, Juliana. Facebook. October 28, 2013.; McMahan, Juliana. Facebook. June 4, 2013.

[25] State Policy Network. Staff. Juliana McMahan. Accessed March 13, 2023.

[26] ProPublica. Nonprofit Explorer. State Policy Network. Tax Filings by Year. Accessed March 15, 2023.

[27] State Policy Network. The Network. Washington. Accessed March 13, 2023.

[28] State Policy Network. 12 WAYS THE PRO ACT WILL HURT AMERICAN WORKERS. March 3, 2021.; State Policy Network. Solutions for States: Education Reform.; State Policy Network. Solutions for States: Healthcare Reforms. March 13, 2023; State Policy Network. Reform Opportunities for States: Growing Jobs and Economies. Accessed March 13, 2023.

[29] State Policy Network. The Network. Accessed March 15, 2023; Federation for American Immigration Reform. Strongest-Ever Assembled Coalition Calls for Immediate Consideration of a Flagship Border Security Bill in the 118th Congress. May 11, 2022.

[30] Freedom Foundation. Press Release. MIKE NEARMAN TO DIRECT FREEDOM FOUNDATION IN OREGON. August 7, 2019.

[31] VanderHart, Dirk. Former Rep. Mike Nearman pleads guilty to official misconduct in Oregon Capitol incursion. Oregon Public Broadcasting. July 27, 2021.

[32] Freedom Foundation. Mike Nearman. Accessed March 14, 2023;  Mapes, Jeff. Oregon State Representative Takes Job With Anti-Union Group. Oregon Public Broadcasting. August 7, 2019.

[33] Public Disclosure Commission. Cast Receipts Monetary Contributions. Protect Marriage Washington. June 26, 2009.

[34] Sledd, James. Washington Politics: Support domestic partnership, R-71. Whitman Wire. September 27, 2009.; Capital Hill Seattle Blog Staff. The Fight for Referendum 71. Capital Hill Seattle Blog. Octobe 27, 2009.

[35] Richard S. Kuss (Rick Kuss). Cash Receives Monetary Contributions. November 4, 2022.

[36] Binion, Andrew. Group backing GOP candidate pays $31K for hand recount of loss in Kitsap sheriff’s race. Kitsap Sun. December 2, 2022.; Kitsap Sun. Kitsap County Local Election Results. November 18, 2022.

[37] Candidate for Sheriff Rick Kuss at KAPO debate, Bremerton WA. YouTube. 1 month ago. Accessed December 15, 2022.

[38] Rick Kuss for Kitsap County Sheriff. Accessed July 15, 2022

[39] Election Rick Kuss Sheriff (R) Kitsap County. Accessed September 7, 2022

[40] Rick Kuss for Kitsap County Sheriff. Facebook. July 14, 2022.

[41] Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. CSPOA Strongly Encourages Sheriffs and Local Law Enforcement to Investigate Alleged Election Fraud in Their Jurisdictions. Accessed September 16, 2022; Stone, Peter. Rightwing sheriffs’ groups ramp up drives to monitor US midterm elections. The Guardian. August 17, 2022.

[42] Kuss, Rick. Facebook. December 5, 2022.; KrisAnne Hall, JD. Facebook. December 4, 2022.

[43] Kuss, Rick Scott. Facebook. Posted in Moms for Liberty – Kitsap County. August 22, 2022.

[44] Kuss, Rick. Facebook. December 14, 2022.

[45] Rick Scott Kuss. Facebook. January 6, 2023.

[46] Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. Committee to Elect Rick Kuss for Sheriff. Summary, Full Report Receipts and Expenditures. September 1, 2022 to October 17, 202l2.

[47] Kris Ann Hall Who is your Sheriff – Protector of Your Rights. 4 months ago. Accessed December 12, 2022.; Rice, Jessica. Facebook. September 23, 2022.

[48] Rice, Jessica. Facebook. October 26, 2022.

[49] Washington Administrative Codes. WAC 139-01-310.; [50] Revised Code of Washington. RCW 43.101.095.

[51] Rice, Jessica. Facebook. April 30, 2020.

[52] Rice, Jessica. Facebook. June 5, 2020.

[53] Rice, Jessica. Facebook. June 5, 2020.; Rice, Jessica. Central Kitsap School District: let kids return to school in the fall. Accessed March 9, 2023; Rice, Jessica. Facebook. June 11, 2020.

[54] Rice, Jessica. Facebook. October 6, 2020.

[55] Rice, Jessica. October 20, 2020.

[56] Rice, Jessica. Facebook. Posted in Moms for Liberty – Kitsap County, WA. January 4, 2023.; Rice, Jessica. Facebook.

[57] Rice, Jessica. Facebook.

[58] ReOpen Kitsap. Facebook. Members.  Accessed March 9, 2023

[59] Cameron, John. Facebook. Posted in South Kitsap Republican Party. November 5, 2022.; Cameron, John. Facebook. November 6, 2022.

[60] Wright, Adrian. Facebook. September 2020.; Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. CSPOA 2019 Conference Report. Newsletter. September 2019.; Wright, Adrian. Facebook. January 18, 2018.

[61] Kuss, Rick. Facebook. November 14, 2022.

[62] Kuss, Rick. Facebook. December 15, 2022.; Kuss, Rick. Facebook. December 14, 2022.

[63] Binion, Andrew. Group backing GOP candidate pays $31K for hand recount of loss in Kitsap sheriff’s race. Kitsap Sun. December 2, 2022.; Application for Hand Recount submitted to Kitsap County Auditor’s Office. November 30, 2022.

[64] Binion, Andrew. Group backing GOP candidate pays $31K for hand recount of loss in Kitsap sheriff’s race. Kitsap Sun. December 2, 2022.

[65] Kuss, Rick. Facebook. December 7, 2022.; Kuss, Rick. Facebook. November 30, 2022.

[66] Supporting Hand Recount for Election Integrity. GiveSendGo. December 5, 2022 Update. Accessed December 9, 2022. William Campbell, the Bremerton-based designated chair of the group provided a written statement to the Kitsap Sun and stated,

“I don’t think the county can provide a copy of the software that can be analyzed by software engineers, so a hand recount is one check we can commission to verify that the tabulating machines did in fact tally the votes correctly.” Binion, Andrew. Group backing GOP candidate pays $31K for hand recount of loss in Kitsap sheriff’s race. Kitsap Sun. December 2, 2022.; Application for Hand Recount submitted to Kitsap County Auditor’s Office. November 30, 2022.

[67] Ansolabehere, Stephen, Burden, Barry C., Mayer, Kenneth R. and Charles Stewart III. 2018. Learning from Recounts. Election Law Journal. Vol 12 (2), p.100-116; Ansolabehere, Stephen and Andrew Reeves. Using Recounts to Measure the Accuracy of Vote Tabulations: Evidence from New Hampshire Elections 1946-2002. CALTECH/MIT VOTING TECHNOLOGY PROJECT.

[68] Puget Sound Patriots. About/Contact. Accessed December 16, 2022; Puget Sound Patriots. Latest News. Accessed December 16, 2022.; Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. Committee to Elect Rick Kuss for Sheriff. Cash Receipts Monetary  Contributions. Accessed December 16, 2022.

[69] DeCosta, Chuck. December 7, 2022.; DeCosta, Chuck. Facebook. December 6, 2022.; DeCosta, Chuck. Facebook. December 4, 2022.

[70] Kitsap County Republican Party. Facebook. December 7, 2022.

[71] Kitsap County Republican Party. Events. Accessed March 23, 2023; Cameron, John. Facebook. Posted in South Kitsap Republican Party. March 21, 2023.;



The post Far-Rightists Take Control of Kitsap County, Washington GOP appeared first on Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.

Categories: D2. Socialism

Survival International: Tribal peoples across India join forces to denounce Protected Areas on their lands.

Global Justice Ecology Project - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 13:38

Survival International: Tribal peoples across India join forces to denounce Protected Areas on their lands.   We encourage you to read Survival International’s press release, published March 24, 2023 and included below:   Hundreds of Indigenous (Adivasi) people from Protected Areas across India joined forces in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in southwest India for an unprecedented […]

The post Survival International: Tribal peoples across India join forces to denounce Protected Areas on their lands. appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Let’s get these ACE candidates on the bus!

Pittsburghers for Public Transit - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 12:39
PPT is inviting all of the candidates running for Allegheny County Executive for a ride-along with transit riders and workers.

The Allegheny County Executive is the most powerful person in Southwestern PA when it comes to public transit. So it is CRITICAL that this person understands what it’s like to ride the bus and be a champion for public transit.

To ensure these candidates begin to understand the importance of public transit, PPT has invited every candidate running for Allegheny County Executive to join us for a ride-along with transit riders and transit workers (we’ll see which candidates accept the invite). During these ride-alongs we’re going to spend two hours with them on the bus speaking about the transit challenges and opportunities that we see for our system. We are also going to walk them through the list of demands that riders are making for our next ACE.

Each candidate has also received PPT’s Transit Justice Questionnaire that they need to return to us by the beginning of April. We’ll be releasing the candidates’ answers to these questionnaires and recapping what they said on the ridealongs at PPT’s April Monthly Meeting.

We want to bring your questions and stories along with us. Take a minute to share and we’ll make sure your messages make it along to all the candidates running to be the next Allegheny County Executive



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Categories: Z. Transportation

UCP denies it wants to privatize health care

Rabble - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 11:05

If it is truly an axiom of practical politics that you can you can never believe anything until it’s been officially denied, we now have confirmation Danielle Smith’s United Conservative Party (UCP) government is bent on privatizing health care in Alberta. 

We knew this already, of course, so it doesn’t exactly qualify as news. 

Smith herself has said many things that clearly indicate she drank the Kool-aide back in the 1990s, when she was an intern at the Fraser Institute, and believes firmly that health care fully belongs in the private sector.

The most persuasive recent example was her June 2021 (non) academic paper for the University of Calgary’s public-private-propaganda partnership (P4?), the so-called School of Public Policy, wherein she asserted we can no longer afford universal social programs that are 100 per cent paid by taxpayers,” and that includes public health care.

“Once people get used to the concept of paying out of pocket for more things themselves then we can change the conversation on health care,” she confidently wrote. 

“But we could take it one step further,” Smith continued. “If we establish the principle of Health Spending Accounts, then we can also establish co-payments.”

Naturally, many Alberta voters will refuse to believe that Smith meant what she said, the traditional response to politicians who advocate really dangerous stuff. 

This may change, though, now that Health Minister Jason Copping has firmly denied there’s anything to the idea that privatizing delivery of health care means we’re privatizing health care. After all, folks, we’re all mavericks out here in the New West, and if there’s one thing mavericks don’t trust, it’s official denials!

All kidding aside, Copping’s rather lengthy statement about “chartered surgical facilities” denying that these privately run, publicly subsidized surgical mini-hospitals are evidence that the UCP Government is privatizing our public health care system a piece at a time suggests that government has been doing some polling and is getting back a message that Albertans don’t exactly trust them on this file. 

“Chartered surgical facilities are part of our public health care system,” Copping insisted. “These are surgeries paid for by the province, just like surgeries that happen in a hospital …”

“It is all one publicly funded system,” he said – sounding to me through the lines of his press release just a little plaintive. 

“The benefits of chartered surgical facilities are many, including allowing the system to increase capacity overall,” Copping stated. “With these facilities set up to handle more routine surgeries, they can complete a larger number than at hospitals alone. This also allows hospitals to handle more complex and urgent surgeries, which is exactly what they should be doing.”

Alas, this is the stuff of the fantasies purveyed by the Fraser Institute, the Vancouver-based propaganda factory financed by the corporate sector to persuade us the private sector is the answer to all our problems, even long surgical wait times. The Fraser Institute’s corporate funders, needless to say, are always looking for an opportunity to shove their boots in the door, so they can force it open a little wider until Smith’s dream of fully privatized health care is realized. 

You’re not going to increase capacity, of course, when there are limited numbers of health care professionals – say, orthopedic surgeons – to go around. You’re just going to move the capacity from public hospitals to for-profit private hospitals staffed by surgeons who will lobby for more profitable opportunities. 

Somehow privatization advocates like Copping always forget to remind their listeners that even when they’re theoretically part of the public system, surgeries in private hospitals seem to end up costing more than the same surgeries did in public facilities – a decade ago it was about $500 more per surgery for hip and knee operations, and it’s certainly more now.

And when people like Premier Smith wax poetic about the topic – “maybe moms would even be able to opt for longer stays to get used to the new life they are going to have with their baby, the way they used to at the Grace Hospital,” she rhapsodized in her SPP essay – she didn’t mention what happens when a private clinic goes broke, as the one Ralph Klein’s government allowed to set up in the Grace Hospital did. 

The public has to pay to clean up the mess is what happens – rather like Smith’s solution to oil industry pollution, come to think of it – and public hospitals have to pick up the slack … delaying other surgeries. 

As for dumping more complex and urgent surgeries on the public sector, that allows privatization advocates to falsely claim private hospitals are more efficient and better run than they are. 

Well, at least the UCP isn’t talking about letting surgeons do their own booking – yet.

You can count on it, though, that this will soon be being talked up as a “cost saving” measure, and surgeons will be yakking righteously about the right of patients to choose their own doctors. 

Research shows that’s when the system really goes to hell in a handbasket – when there’s actually an incentive for double-dipping doctors in private practice to prolong waits for their public-sector patients.

But I’ve said enough. We can now say with confidence that privatization is on the UCP’s agenda. After all, it’s been officially denied. 

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Categories: F. Left News

March 24, 2023: International Day Of Action:  Hold the Forestry Industry in Chile to Account

Global Justice Ecology Project - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 10:49

March 24, 2023: International Day Of Action:  Hold the Forestry Industry in Chile to Account Please take a minute to support the following initiative being run by the Environmental Paper Network International member groups Take action to hold accountable, confront and stop the actors responsible for the climate and ecological crisis! Learn more about the […]

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Ford’s baloney budget

Rabble - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 10:18

Ford’s budget is brought to you today by the letters B and S. Ford is calling his budget “a serious budget for serious times”, still clinging to austerity to eliminate the deficit and bring in a balanced budget. It certainly is seriously flawed. Questions need to be asked about Ford’s budget spending of over $15 billion per year of your tax dollars. 

It is hard to believe Harris era hydro deregulation legislation and an Enron designed electricity market is still costing us a fortune. The Conservative promise on hydro deregulation was “lower rates and nothing will go wrong”.

Hydro deregulation is best described by one word, profitization.  

After the entire at-cost hydro system was changed into for profit corporations and the opening of the electricity market in June of 2002, rates soared and by 2018 rates hit all-time highs. It’s important to note that since June 2002, every single government including the Liberals, has artificially lowered hydro rates with subsidies. Ford has taken rate subsidies to new stratospheric levels, indefinitely. Obviously, something went very wrong. People are not complaining about hydro rates anymore because Ford has successfully hidden the problem. ere are the troubling facts:

A big part of high hydro rates is artificially created by our phony electricity market. Phony, because it is impossible to have a market for something you can’t store or stockpile. As we have seen in California, Montana, Alberta, India and elsewhere, Enron Electricity markets are notoriously easy to manipulate.

READ MORE: Ford is protecting high hydro rates

Ford is spending a massive amount pretending to lower hydro rates. For the second year in a row this year’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO) report shows that over the next five years Ford will spend over $33.7 billion an average of over $6.75 billion per year on hydro rate subsidies. 

The February, 2022 FAO report showed that Ford had been spending $6.9 billion a year subsidizing hydro rates and was projected to spend another $118 billion on subsidies in the future. This year’s FAO report shows that Ford is well on his way to that vast amount of spending. 

The 2022 report also stated that Ford would not be able to keep his election promise to lower rates by 12 percent. Rate subsidies lower bills but have not lowered hydro rates one bit.   

Hard to say, but Ford is partly right, The Liberals did make hydro rates much worse. Bringing in Bill 100, smart meters, Bill 91 and their sale of Hydro One. On February 14 of this year, Hydro One reported revenue of $7.78 Billion. This is money that used to go into government coffers to pay for things like healthcare and education. Now going to private profits.

This is the main reason why voters sent the Liberals to the political penalty box for two elections in a row.

On top of that, on January 26 the Toronto Star reported that Ford is also squandering billions on tax cuts, giving up $8.2 billion in revenue annually in tax cuts since 2018.

Let’s not forget that Ford just got $9 billion and multiple billions more for healthcare in his 10-year deal with Trudeau, and Ford is also still appealing his court decision loss on Bill 124, which denied nurses and healthcare workers a raise.

On hydro rates, we now have a situation where artificially high hydro rates are artificially being lowered by a multibillion-dollar subsidy year after year, indefinitely, never dealing with the cause of high hydro rates.

Ford is constantly repeating in the media on healthcare, “we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over”, which is exactly what Ford is doing with both tax cuts and subsidies.

Obviously, there is enough money to give nurses and healthcare workers a much needed and much deserved raise! So cut the BS and give them a raise!

The post Ford’s baloney budget appeared first on

Categories: F. Left News

Unite to Win: A groundbreaking coalition of groups to join ‘The Big One’

Extinction Rebellion - Fri, 03/24/2023 - 10:06

On the day that the IPCC issued its “survival guide for humanity” Extinction Rebellion revealed the first tranche of organisations that have committed to joining us outside parliament in April. The groups include trades unions as well as national organisations campaining on the environment, international development, peace, social justice and the defence of our public services.

This monumental occasion is expected to draw an estimated 100,000 participants, aims to unite people across the UK in demanding systemic changes to politics to tackle the intertwined crises of climate, cost of living, and politics. 

The full list of organisations is: PCS Union, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Global Justice Now, NHS Workers Say No, BLM Merseyside, Viva, Earth Day, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Compass, Right to Roam, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), Don’t Pay UK,  Global Women’s Strike, Mothers Rise Up, Greener Practice, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Women of Colour Global Strike, Fossil Free London, M.P. Watch, Parents For Future, NEU Climate Change Network, PAN UK, Winvisible, Women Against Rape, Fuel Poverty Action, Stop Rosebank, Withdraw Consent, Women’s Climate Action, Women’s Climate Strike, Campaign Against Climate Change, Climate Justice Coalition.

At this turbulent moment in UK political history people are joining the dots between the many crises we face and recognising that we need to come together to win.

John Moloney, Assistant General Secretary of the PCS Union said: “PCS members understand the need to coordinate across our movements to win our demands for better pay and to safeguard jobs. The climate and nature emergency requires the same to win the future we desperately need in the face of multiple crises.”

Mel Evans of Greenpeace said: “We believe that we will win as a movement. The more people that come, the louder our message will be.”

Zoë Howard from Don’t Pay UK said: “The energy and climate crises are inextricably linked. The extortionate energy prices we pay line the pockets of fossil fuel company shareholders and fund the breakdown of our climate.”

NHS Say No co-founder Holly Blackler said: “We have experienced a pandemic and a heatwave that has taken us to the limit of our endurance. These two issues are intertwined. The climate crisis is unfolding in front of us and we are deeply concerned about our patients.”

With public trust in government at an all time low and corruption in plain sight, democracy in the UK is under threat. The climate crisis and the crisis in society share the same root cause, with the majority of people being forced to pay for crises not of our making while a tiny minority make vast profits. In April thousands will come together to demand that change happens with us, not to us.

By taking place over multiple days, The Big One seeks to create a positive social tipping point, because history clearly demonstrates that mass, sustained protest works. The Big One will last for four days from the 21st to the 24th April – including Earth Day on the 22nd – with people returning day after day to keep up the pressure. We will transform the streets with a diverse programme of speakers, performers, and interactive workshops. People’s Pickets will be staged at at least seven key government department locations, addressing crucial issues in the environment, education, health, housing and work.

XR Local Groups have also been building connections with community groups and unions, such as Norwich Trade Union Council and Unite Grassroots Climate Justice Caucus. Exeter Community Alliance, representing 30 local community groups said: “We have been counting down the days until we all go to London together to draw attention to the fact that the government is failing in its duty in not tackling the climate and environmental crises. Opening coal mines and licensing new oil fields having declared a climate emergency is incoherent. They have succumbed to pressure to give NHS workers a much deserved pay rise, they now need to realise that there is a need for similar support for serious efforts to ensure our children and future generations can enjoy a planet not ruined by a lack of political willpower.”

We’re made to believe that our struggles are independent of one another and that each needs tackling before the other. But they aren’t. Those who profit from destroying our world want us to believe that. And they win time and time again by dividing the rest of us, pushing us to fight each other. But what Power is most afraid of is people setting aside their differences to stand together. We can overcome our fear and mistrust of each other and rediscover our power. This is survival solidarity – for us all. 

Because despite the corruption deep in the heart of our politics, ordinary people are ready to create a fairer, safer, better world. If politicians refuse to listen to the needs of the general public, refuse to listen to millions striking for better pay, refuse to tackle the climate and ecological crisis, refuse to prioritise people suffering during the cost of living crisis over energy company profits, then it’s up to us to turn things around.

It is possible to change society in a way that is just and fair, to put care for people and nature at the forefront. It is possible to rediscover our collective power and change the course of history together. To make this a reality, this moment calls for a mass movement to stand together and become impossible to ignore.

Have you signed up for The Big One yet? If not, sign up here! 

The post Unite to Win: A groundbreaking coalition of groups to join ‘The Big One’ appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

IREHR in the Independent: “Far-right support for Trump protests looks disorganised on social media. Others think it’s a trap” – March 24, 2023

IREHR’s Executive Director, Devin Burghart, was quoted in The Independent;

Author Alex Woodward writes, “The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights has reviewed three distinct “waves” of online far-right activity in the wake of Mr Trump’s call for protests, starting with the amplification of his demands, followed by claims that they are a “trap” set by law enforcement, according to the institute’s executive director Devin Burghart.”

Read more here

The post IREHR in the Independent: “Far-right support for Trump protests looks disorganised on social media. Others think it’s a trap” – March 24, 2023 appeared first on Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.

Categories: D2. Socialism


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