Archive | December 9th, 2019

Black Friday Protests Across Europe Demand Amazon ‘Start Treating Workers Like Humans—Not Robots’

“Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances.”

by: Jake Johnson,

Attac movement activists hold signs during an anti-Black Friday action in front of the Amazon France headquarters in Clichy, north of Paris, early on November 29, 2019. (Photo: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images)

Labor rights activists and climate campaigners across Europe used the occasion of Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, to call attention to and protest Amazon’s “appalling” working conditions, paltry benefits, and destructive environmental practices.

“Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances,” said Mick Rix, national officer with the GMB Union, which organized demonstrations at Amazon warehouses across the United Kingdom on Friday.

“Amazon has spent a fortune on fluffy adverts saying what a great place it is to work,” Rix added. “Why not spend the money making their warehouses less dangerous places to work? Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people—not robots.”

GMB said Amazon employees at locations throughout the U.K. have reported being denied restroom breaks, penalized for taking sick days, and forced to work at a dangerous pace to meet the retail behemoth’s productivity goals.

“GMB members report targets being so horrific they have to use plastic bottles to urinate in instead of going to the toilet, and pregnant women have been forced to stand for hours on end,” the union said in a statement.

GMB UNION@GMB_union

Time for Amazon to listen and start treating workers like humans – not robots.#BlackFriday #BlackFriday2019

Sue Wood@SueWood09373512

GMB organising at Amazon in Sheffield this morning. Hundreds of drivers taking leaflets and joining the union ⁦@GMB_union⁩ ⁦@GMBCampaigns⁩ ⁦@RixyieOrganiser⁩ ⁦@leeparkinson14

View image on Twitter

GMB UNION@GMB_union

To mark #BlackFriday, we’ve been protesting outside Amazon sites across the country to highlight the appalling conditions workers face.

Time for Amazon to listen. And start treating workers like humans – not robots.#BlackFriday2019

View image on Twitter
Image
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

In France, demonstrators held sit-ins at Amazon’s Clichy headquarters to condemn the retail giant’s contributions to the climate crisis.

“We criticize Amazon for having a destructive policy for the planet, for social conditions, and Black Friday allows this company to achieve exponential revenue,” said activist Sandy Olivar Calvo.

Bloomberg@business

While shoppers in the U.S. line up to take advantage of Black Friday discounts, activists in France have staged sit-ins outside Amazon’s French headquarters to denounce the occasion imported from America https://bloom.bg/2DrQM9X

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is OX5bn041

At an Amazon distribution center near Lyon, France, police assaulted and forcibly removed demonstrators who staged a sit-in to condemn the corporation’s climate practices:

QuickTake by Bloomberg@QuickTakeReplying to @QuickTake @ExtinctionR

WATCH: French police forcibly remove “Block Friday” protesters at a sit-in against consumerism near an Amazon distribution center in Lyon #BlackFriday

Posted in USAComments Off on Black Friday Protests Across Europe Demand Amazon ‘Start Treating Workers Like Humans—Not Robots’

Ukraine Testimony Spurs New Sign-Ups for ‘Nobody is Above the Law’ Actions Now Planned in 323 Cities


For Immediate Release

State rallies in support of impeachment grow after public hearings.

WASHINGTON – As the U.S. House of Representatives drafts its report on its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, more activists throughout the country are planning rallies in support of impeachment.

Actions for the “Nobody Is Above the Law” mobilizations are planned for more than 323 cities in 46 states and Washington, D.C. On the night before the House votes on whether to impeach Trump, hundreds of thousands of grassroots activists plan to rally in support of impeachment.

On the eve of the House vote, protesters will gather in front of the district offices of House members as the lawmakers finalize their positions and at U.S. Senate offices as senators prepare for a likely trial. Activists will call on lawmakers to uphold the U.S. Constitution and their oaths of office by supporting Trump’s impeachment.

We now know Trump pushed Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 elections, using U.S. military aid to pressure Ukraine officials to dig up dirt on Trump’s political opponent, and then engaged in a criminal cover-up. While Congress continues its work on health care, the economy and other important issues, it also needs to continue these impeachment proceedings, because nobody – especially Trump – is above the law.

Last week, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a Trump appointee, testified that the president was aware of and directed a pay-to-play bribery scheme involving Ukraine. Trump solicited an official Ukraine investigation to benefit himself in exchange for official U.S. actions.

Americans from Los Angeles, Calif., to Beckley, W.Va., are ready to amplify the need to impeach, hold their representatives accountable and declare that not even the president is above the law.

Activists who want to get involved can RSVP for a “Nobody is Above the Law” event or participate in a town hall or rally in their district.

The Nobody Is Above the Law actions are organized by ACRONYM, act.tv, Action Group Network, Blue Future, By The People, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Common Defense, CREDO Action, Daily Kos, Defend American Democracy, Demand Justice, DemCastUSA, Democracy 21, Democracy for America, Equal Justice Society, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, Free Speech for People, Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, Greenpeace, Impeachment March – Worldwide, Indivisible, Lewis-Clark 4 Democracy, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, March For Truth, MAYDAY America, MomsRising, Mountain Dems of Colorado, MoveOn.org, National Action Network, LGBTQ & Veteran’s Committee, National Organization of Women, Need To Impeach, NextGen America, OWS Special Projects Affinity Group, People For the American Way, People’s Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Progressive Turnout Project, Public Citizen, Resistbot, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), SOSAmerica2019, STAND Central New Jersey, Stand Up America, Strong Economy for All Coalition, United We Dream and Women’s March.

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WTO Shutdown: How the Food Sovereignty Movement Helped Bring Down the World Trade Organization (WTO)

Twenty years on, the “Spirit of Seattle” continues to inform and inspire many activists today, and clearly points the way to another world being possible.

by: John E. Peck

The fundamental demand of protesters in Seattle was a moratorium to WTO negotiations. (Photo: 1999 Dang Ngo/ZUMA Press)

The fundamental demand of protesters in Seattle was a moratorium to WTO negotiations. (Photo: 1999 Dang Ngo/ZUMA Press)

WTO Shutdown 20-Year Anniversary Series: The Shutdown WTO Organizers History Project and Common Dreams have produced this series of ten people’s history accounts and forward-looking lessons from organizers who were in the streets of Seattle in 1999—at the very end of last century. Articles in the series—including archival photos and videos—will be published over ten days to commemorate and reflect on the events that happened 20 years ago this month. Read all the articles in the series here.


“This is what democracy looks like!”—that was but one of the many chants heard on the streets of numerous cities during the recent Global Climate Change Strike—a slogan that originated on the streets of Seattle almost two decades ago. When the images and voices of 50,000+ people shutting down a global convergence of wealthy elites rippled across media outlets in late Nov. 1999, the “Battle of Seattle” caught many by surprise. Corporate free trade apologists were quick to disparage the protesters as part of a misguided “anti-globalization” movement, apparently unaware that the forces behind the direct action had been cultivating north-south solidarity for quite awhile—a new more powerful form of globalized resistance from below. Family farmers/fishers, migrant farm/food workers, and indigenous communities were critical to this grassroots victory—in particular, La Via Campesina (LVC) and its many U.S. allies such as Family Farm Defenders (FFD) and the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC). It was in such epic struggle that the seeds of food sovereignty found fertile ground. 

I was but one of many who helped organize this historic encounter that brought together a vast array of radical environmentalists, labor unions, anarchists, global justice advocates, and—of course, family farmers, farm/food workers, and other supporters of global food sovereignty. In fact, my very first night in Seattle—Mon. Nov. 29th—I was able to link arms with Vandana Shiva outside the corporate-sponsored WTO welcome celebration. This action was in part organized by Jubilee 2000, a largely faith-based grassroots campaign to expose and eliminate odious debts that had come onto the scene at the huge protest surrounding the G8 Summit in Birmingham, Scotland in 1998. In Seattle, the citizen blockade meant many elites were not able to get to the kick-off “cocktail party”, and all those uneaten hors d’ouevres were later dumpster dived to feed hungry protesters at the convergence space.

Earlier in the day I had caught up with John Kinsman and Francis Goodman of Family Farm Defenders, Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange, Ronnie Cummins of the Pure Food Campaign (later the Organic Consumers Association), Dr. Ridgely A. Mumin Muhammed of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, and other food sovereignty activists outside the downtown McDonalds for a slow food protest picnic. This was the first time I met José Bové, the iconic farmer activist with Confédération Paysanne who had recently used his tractor to “dismantle” another McDonalds in France.   Bové had somehow managed to smuggle several blocks of his own Rocquefort cheese through U.S. Customs and shared it with the crowd—a wholesome alternative to the junk food or “la malbouffe” as Bové described what was being served inside. Activists with LVC and NFFC had met earlier to plant trees in a Seattle park, and farmer delegates from over 30 countries would continue to build cross border solidarity at various teach-ins and protest actions throughout the rest of the week. At each such event the pungent smell of smuggled Rocquefort was detectable—some folks had saved their souvenir cheese!  Within an hour of the protest picnic, the Black Bloc came through, and this McDonalds was also promptly “dismantled.”  The Black Bloc would take out many other corporate targets—Bank of America, Starbucks, Warner Bros, Niketown, Gap, Old Navy to name but a few—over the course of the next few days. 

Long before many of us arrived in Seattle, backdoor deals had already been made.  Most notably, the AFL-CIO had promised government officials that their Tues. Nov. 30th post labor rally parade through Seattle’s downtown would be used to siphon off protesters from participating in the actions to physically shutdown the WTO meeting that were already planned by the Direct Action Network (DAN).  But this co-optation strategy soon unraveled as labor activists broke through the “peace police” to join their comrades that had been clogging the streets around the Convention Center since 6:00 am that morning. Among the many militant unions that defied the “labor bosses” in Seattle were the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the Steelworkers, and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). By 10:00 am Seattle police had already launched their first unprovoked attacks against peaceful protesters occupying 6th Avenue, including myself. Word quickly spread through indymedia that the “Battle for Seattle” had begun. 

The mutual enemy that brought so many family farmers, farm/food workers, fisher folk, and indigenous activists to the Battle of Seattle was industrial agribusiness and neoliberal capitalism.

Judi Bari was not in Seattle (she had passed away in 1997 from a long struggle with cancer), but the fruits of her organizing work with the Redwoods Summer Campaign was evident among many of the Earth First! and the IWW activists who did show up for the protest.  I was lucky enough to have met Judi Bari while I was a student organizer at Reed College in Portland, OR back in the late 1980s, along with another inspiration ecofeminist, Starhawk, who was in the streets of Seattle.  Many of the young activists who traveled with me from the Midwest to Seattle had been inspired by EF! direct action protests against the Crandon Mine in northern WI in 1997, as well as the Minnehaha Free State resistance to the Highway 55 bypass in Minneapolis, MN in 1998. The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)—with lots of heavy lifting from Tom Goldtooth—convened a whole series of solidarity events between native activists and their allies in Seattle. Among the indigenous participants were members of the U’Wa from Colombia, resisting ecocide at the hands of Occdental Petroleum and the rest of the violent fossil fuel industrial complex. 

The mutual enemy that brought so many family farmers, farm/food workers, fisher folk, and indigenous activists to the Battle of Seattle was industrial agribusiness and neoliberal capitalism. Thankfully, the grassroots resistance inheritance we brought with us had even deeper historic roots, like the tallgrass prairies and old growth forests that pre-dated settler colonialism. The 1970s farm crisis that swept across the Heartland had convinced many rural folks to “raise less corn and more hell”—as did their populist ancestors a century before—and prompted the American Agriculture Movement (AAM) to organize a massive tractorcade demanding an end to farm foreclosures and a return to parity pricing that shut down Washington DC for weeks. In MN in the 1980s the “Bolt Weevils” inflicted millions of dollars in damage to unwanted high voltage powerlines, inspiring Dana Lyons’ EF! folksong classic, “Turn of the Wrench.”  Flagrant price rigging and anti-trust violations by the dairy giants in the 1990s prompted WI farmers to again dump milk—as their grandparents did back in 1933—and stomp on blocks of Kraft Velveeta outside Gov. Tommy Thompson’s office in the State Capitol. 

Back on the streets of Seattle the tide had already turned by noon on Tues. Nov. 29th with official cancellation of the WTO’s opening session—not enough delegates could reach the venue. Authorities had exhausted their cache of pepper spray and tear gas and scrambled to dispatch a captain by plane to a military weapons depot in Casper, WY to resupply. Seattle firefighters had refused to turn fire hoses on their union brothers and sisters.  Hundreds of protesters and bystanders had been arrested and soon clogged detention centers (often for absurd reasons such as speaking to media or driving a taxi), but more activists simply took their place in blockading streets and impeding WTO delegates. Radical cheerleaders kept morale high, while Food Not Bombs delivered sustenance. Hip Hop artists from South Central LA were among those reclaiming public space, blasting “TKO the WTO” from a mobile sound vehicle courtesy of Alli Chaggi-Starr with Art and Revolution. By 3 pm Seattle’s mayor had thrown in the towel, declaring a state of emergency, a blanket curfew, as well as a fifty block wide “no protest” zone.  Pres. Clinton’s arrival on Wed. Dec. 1st to address the WTO meeting, along with a couple hundred National Guard troops, could hardly extinguish the raging dumpster fire.

More importantly, this “street heat” was being acutely felt inside the residual WTO negotiations. Delegates from the Global South looked outside the convention center windows and could see for themselves that public opinion in the U.S. was not as monolithic in favor of the “free market” as they had been told by corporate apologists. Thinly veiled threats of economic retaliation from US Sec. of State, Madeline Albright, and US Trade Rep., Charlene Barshefsky, hardly helped, and ultimately many delegates simply walked out. As a post WTO collapse press release from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) stated, they were fed up with “being marginalized and generally excluded on issues of vital importance for our peoples and their future.”

On Thurs. Dec. 2nd food sovereignty and anti-biotech groups took to the streets again in one of the more tranquil marches of the “Battle of Seattle” with nary a police officer in sight. Protesters gathered at a farmers market to distribute organic apples and then marched to a rally outside the Seattle headquarters of Cargill. A new “solidarity in struggle” identity was emerging, and I will never forget being with John Kinsman as he proudly proclaimed he was a peasant, too, as we marched together with LVC colleagues from Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, and India. 

The fundamental demand of protesters in Seattle was a moratorium to WTO negotiations. Some went further, calling for abolition of the WTO itself, along with the other two post WWII  “Horsemen of the Apocalypse”—the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  Premised upon neoliberal capitalism, they were beyond any reform. Their mere existence violates food sovereignty in so many ways—from forcing countries to trade food against their will, privatizing the commons (water, seeds, land), and denying people the right to know where their food came from and how it was produced, as well as weaponizing hunger as a tool of state terrorism. As one LVC protester in Seattle remarked, “you cannot put sugar coating on a rotten pie.” After the meeting collapse, LVC sent a tongue and cheek “thank you” to the WTO for helping to unify small farmers worldwide: “During the weeklong work in Seattle, we have now succeeded in globalizing the struggle and globalizing our hopes.” Thanks to the “Spirit of Seattle” the concept of food sovereignty was also popularized among grassroots activists and has now “trickled up” to radically transform future U.S. debates about food/farm issues.

Speaking before the American Sociological Society Meeting in DC in 2016, Filipino academic and activist, Walden Bello, reflected back on those historic days in late 1999: “In Seattle, ordinary women and men made truth real with collective action that discredited an intellectual paradigm that had served as the ideological warden of corporate control.” The Battle of Seattle was a critical inflection point in a growing global grassroots movement, bridging generations of seasoned activists and weaving together diverse resistance struggles. When West Coast longshore workers arrived in Madison, WI in March 2011 to support the “Cheddar Revolution” against Gov. Walker’s union busting austerity budget this was no accident—such solidarity was crafted in Seattle back in Nov. 1999. When Midwestern family farmers traveled to Standing Rock, ND in 2016 to support indigenous water protectors in their struggle against tar sands pipelines and extreme fossil fuel extraction this was no accident– such solidarity was nurtured in Seattle back in Nov. 1999. Twenty years on, the “Spirit of Seattle” continues to inform and inspire many activists today, and clearly points the way to another world being possible.

Posted in USAComments Off on WTO Shutdown: How the Food Sovereignty Movement Helped Bring Down the World Trade Organization (WTO)

‘Only Did the Right Thing When He Got Caught’: Trump Reportedly Knew of Whistleblower Complaint When He Unfroze Ukraine Aid

“It was only until he felt that he was being exposed that he actually stepped up and actually released the funds.”

by: Jake Johnson,

President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on November 26, 2019. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was reportedly aware of the whistleblower complaint against him when he released $390 million in frozen military aid to Ukraine in early September, prompting allegations that Trump only released the funds because his actions came under serious scrutiny.

“The timeline is clear,” said Sean Eldridge, founder of progressive advocacy group Stand Up America. “Trump only released the aid because he got caught.”

The New York Times, citing two anonymous officials familiar with the matter, reported late Tuesday that “Trump had already been briefed on a whistleblower’s complaint about his dealings with Ukraine when he unfroze military aid for the country.”

“Mr. Trump faced bipartisan pressure from Congress when he released the aid,” the Times noted. “But the new timing detail shows that he was also aware at the time that the whistleblower had accused him of wrongdoing in withholding the aid and in his broader campaign to pressure Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to conduct investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump’s re-election chances.”

Swing Left@swingleft

Trump knew about the whistleblower complaint against him, his Attorney General and his Office of Management and Budget when he decided to release the aid he ILLEGALLY withheld from Ukraine.

He only did the right thing when he got caught https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/us/politics/trump-whistle-blower-complaint-ukraine.html …12612:33 AM – Nov 27, 2019

If the Times reporting is accurate, it means Trump was also aware of the whistleblower complaint when he told U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in September that there was no “quid pro quo” with Ukraine.

According to House Budget Committee documents, Trump officially froze the aid to Ukraine on July 25, the same day as the president’s phone call with Zelensky. Democrats have accused the president of unlawfully withholding the aid, which was appropriated by Congress.

“It was only until he felt that he was being exposed that he actually stepped up and actually released the funds,” Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) told CNN Tuesday night.

The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that two officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget resigned in part over concerns about Trump’s order to withhold the Ukraine funds.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, offered a simplified timeline of events on Twitter in response to the Times reporting, which was later confirmed by the Wall Street Journal.

“One more time for those playing along at home,” tweeted Cicilline. “1) He tried to bribe Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election. 2) He got caught. 3) He confessed. 4) We will hold him accountable.”

Posted in USA, C.I.A, UkraineComments Off on ‘Only Did the Right Thing When He Got Caught’: Trump Reportedly Knew of Whistleblower Complaint When He Unfroze Ukraine Aid

‘The Bloodshed Must Stop’: Sanders, Khanna, and Schumer Demand Passage of Measure to End US Complicity in Yemen Slaughter

“Without U.S. support, the Saudi bombings on innocent civilians could not continue,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

by: Jake Johnson,

 A young Yemeni boy covered with fake blood takes part in a protest against the Saudi-led war in front of the United Nations Office on World Children’s Day on November 20, 2019 in Sana’a, Yemen. (Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

With Congress set to vote as early as next week on the annual military spending bill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joined Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna in calling for the inclusion of an amendment that would end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s years-long assault on Yemen.

“The humanitarian crisis in Yemen must end,” tweeted Schumer, a Democrat from New York. “A bipartisan majority in Congress has repeatedly supported ending President [Donald] Trump’s support of the Saudi war in Yemen.”

“Progressives will not support the National Defense Authorization bill if we do not have this amendment that brings the war in Yemen to an end.”
—Rep. Ro Khanna

Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, quickly echoed Schumer Wednesday.

“Senator Schumer is right,” tweeted Sanders. “Congress has got to stand up for the Constitution and tell this lawless president: We are not giving you a Pentagon bill that allows you to partner with the despotic Saudi regime in its horrific war in Yemen.”

Earlier this year, as Common Dreams reported, the Senate and House passed a War Powers resolution led by Sanders and Khanna that would have ended U.S. support for the Saudi war on Yemen, which has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. But Trump vetoed the historic measure in April, and the House and Senate lacked the votes to override the president’s move.

Now Sanders, Khanna, and Schumer are leading an effort to include a Yemen amendment in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which will set next year’s military budget.

“Progressives will not support the National Defense Authorization bill if we do not have this amendment that brings the war in Yemen to an end,” Khanna said Wednesday in a video produced in partnership with Sanders. “The bloodshed must stop.”

As journalist Sam Adler-Bell reported for The Intercept on Wednesday, progressive anti-war groups are pressuring Democrats to use their leverage in the House and Senate to push for inclusion of the Yemen amendment, which is sponsored by Reps. Khanna, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Adam Smith (D-Calif.).

“Democrats increasingly purport to support putting an end to the country’s many endless wars,” David Segal, executive director of progressive advocacy group Demand Progress, told The Intercept. “But anything less than using the NDAA to ensure an end to our involvement in the Yemen war would belie these claims.”

Adler-Bell reported that some progressive staffers on Capitol Hill are worried “that Democratic leadership would trade away some of the Yemen language, which is precisely tailored to cut funding for forms of U.S. assistance that are essential to the Saudi aerial bombardment.”

“The Democrats have moral authority, procedural power, and bipartisan majorities on their side,” said Segal. “If they let the NDAA go through without these provisions intact it will amount to a demonstration of cynicism or learned helplessness that could cost hundreds of thousands more lives.”

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Middle East, YemenComments Off on ‘The Bloodshed Must Stop’: Sanders, Khanna, and Schumer Demand Passage of Measure to End US Complicity in Yemen Slaughter

Why Are Drug Prices Rising So Much? Pharma Exec Admits ‘No Other Rationale’ But Profit-Making

“The industry executive said the quiet part out loud,” said one outside expert in response. “Price-gouging is central to the industry business model.”

by: Andrea Germanos,

Medical professionals, medical students, ACTUP New York, and their supporters held a rousing protest rally outside Pfizer World Headquarters in New York. At the beginning of this year, the corporate giant announced price increases for 40 of its drugs.

Medical professionals, medical students, ACTUP New York, and their supporters held a rousing protest rally outside Pfizer World Headquarters in New York. At the beginning of this year, the corporate giant announced price increases for 40 of its drugs. (Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Corporations’ quest for profits is what “is driving up drug prices and nothing more.”

That’s according to Dennis Bourdette, M.D., chair of neurology in the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine, who co-authored a study published Monday that sought to find out companies’ rationale for the escalating prices on medications for patients with multiple sclerosis.

Prices for those drugs, an accompanying press release notes, have jumped up by 10% to 15% every year for the past decade.

The study by a team of researchers at OHSU and the OHSU/Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, which appears in the journal Neurology this month, was based on interviews with four current and former pharmaceutical industry executives who had direct involvement in the pricing or marketing of MS drugs.

The executives, who were not named, laid bare the motivating factor for the surges.

“I would say the rationales for the price increases are purely what can maximize profit,” sad one executive. “There’s no other rationale for it, because costs [of producing the drug] have not gone up by 10% or 15%; you know, the costs have probably gone down.”

Such statements, said the researchers, counter the industry’s narrative that the high drug prices are an effort to recoup their research and development costs.

“The industry executive said the quiet part out loud,” said Zain Rizvi, law and policy researcher with Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines project, in a statement to Common Dreams. “Price-gouging is central to the industry business model.”

One executive inteviewed for the study pointed out that the U.S. is a global outlier when it comes to the price hikes. They said that “it is only in the United States, really, that you can take price increases. You can’t do it in the rest of the world. In the rest of the world, prices decline with duration in the marketplace.”

Maintaining or lowering the prices would give a negative impression about the medication, said one executive. “We can’t come in at less,” they said. “That would mean we’re less effective, we think less of our product, so we have to go more.”

The responses, said Bourdette, who also directs the OHSU Multiple Sclerosis Center, speak volumes.

“The frank information provided by these executives pulls back the curtain of secrecy on how drug price decisions are made,” he said.

While the new study focused on MS medications, the issue of skyrocketing prices is more widespread. As economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research noted last year: “The government gives drug companies patent monopolies that make it illegal for competitors to sell the same drug. These patent monopolies allow companies to charge prices that are a hundred or even a thousand times the free market price.”

And other recent research backs up the case that drugmakers are relying on price hikes to drive their growth.

Thus, the need for fundamental change is clear, said Rizvi.

“This is not the case of just one bad actor. This is the case of an entirely bad system,” he added. “The study underscores that we need a sea change in our drug pricing system to put public health over private wealth.”

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Nazi Occupation: Arrest of four journalists and captive prisoners in occupied Jerusalem

By: Sammi Ibrahem,SR

Saipia

Illegally Nazi Occupied Palestine:  The Nazi occupation forces escalated their continuous attack on the Palestinian media in occupied Jerusalem, and this morning, they arrested four journalists from the Palestine TV crew, and a captive editor who was the guest of one of the programs.

The Nazi occupation forces arrested the journalist Dana Abu Shamsieh and the photojournalist Amir Abed Rabbo while filming the “Good Morning Jerusalem” program, which is shown on Palestine TV, in addition to the host of the released captive editor, Mohamed Al Abbasi, in the Mount of Olives in Al-Tor.

In continuation of the attack on the Palestinian media in the occupied capital, the Israeli occupation forces arrested journalist Christine Renawi and photojournalist Ali Yassin from the Bab Al-Amoud area this morning.

In turn, the General Authority for Radio and Television held the occupation government fully responsible for the safety of its crews, and affirmed that it is following this matter at various levels.

The commission called on the United Nations and the European Union to quickly intervene to stop the Nazi crime against the Palestinian media and freedom of opinion and expression.Occupation# Arrest

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A father was killed and his son was injured after an Nazi bulldozer rammed a vehicle in the West Hebron area

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Photo and video The resistance reveals the secrets exposed for the first time about the operation, east of Khan Yunis

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Occupation: Arrest of four journalists and captive prisoners in occupied Jerusalem

Nazi Occupation arrests 13 Palestinians, including journalists

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

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Illegally Nazi Occupied Palestine:  The Nazi occupation forces arrested at dawn and morning today, Friday, 13 Palestinians during a campaign of raids carried out by the occupation soldiers in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, including four journalists and an released prisoner.

In the Nazi occupied West Bank, the occupation forces arrested at dawn today Malik Nayef, a 27-year-old client, and Saddam Aqil Dar Al-Hajj, aged 29, after they raided the homes of their families in Aida camp, north of Bethlehem.

The Nazi occupation soldiers also handed over a young man, Ibrahim Yassin Abu Surur, to review, their intelligence in the “Gush Asiun” illegal Jewish settlement compound, south of Bethlehem, after they stormed and searched his father’s house.

The Nazi Gestapo also killed dawn, Estefan Shahrour and Tareq Ziyad Shahrour, after raiding their homes, searching them and tampering with their contents, in the town of Balaa, east of Tulkarm.

In Nazi occupied Jerusalem, the occupation forces arrested journalist Dana Abu Shamsieh and photojournalist Amir Abed Rabbo during the filming of the program “Good Morning Ya Quds”, which is shown on Palestine TV, in addition to the host of the captive editor, Muhammad Al Abbasi, in the Mount of Olives in Al-Tor.

In continuation of the attack on the Palestinian media in the occupied capital, the Nazi occupation forces arrested journalist Christine Renawi and photojournalist Ali Yassin from the Bab Al-Amoud area this morning.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Occupation arrests 13 Palestinians, including journalists

Prisoner Zahran continues his hunger strike


By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 9.26.34 AM

Illegally Nazi Occupied Palestine: Prisoner Ahmed Zahran (42 years old) is continuing his hunger strike for the 78th day in a row against his administrative detention.

Maj. Gen. Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Prisoners and Editors Affairs Authority, warned of his deteriorating condition, as he suffers from difficult health conditions.

Abu Bakr indicated that the prisoner Zahran is being held in difficult conditions in the Zionist “Kaplan” hospital, and he is subjected to continuous violations around the clock, such as continuous transport, and denying him access to his family with the aim of breaking his strike and his will.

It is noteworthy that the prisoner Zahran, from the town of Deir Abu Mishaal, Ramallah district, is a former prisoner who spent 15 years in the detention camps of the occupation, and is the father of four children, where he was last arrested in the month of March 2019.

This strike is the second he is going through this year, as he went on a strike against his administrative detention that lasted for 39 days, and the strike ended after promises to release him, but the Nazi occupation authorities re-renewed his administrative detention for a period of four months and fixed it for the entire period.

Nazi Settlers pierce the tires of forty vehicles north of Jerusalem 

The Nazi occupation arrests nine Palestinians, including a journalist

Weather: Cold and rainy weather

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Prisoner Zahran continues his hunger strike

Tory candidate Darren Henry heckled after saying food bank users struggle managing their budget

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The Conservative Party have been branded as “out of touch” after one of their parliamentary candidates suggested people using food banks struggle with being able to manage their budget.

Darren Henry, who is running to be the MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, made the comments during a hustings event in Beeston.

It comes after Tory candidate Sally-Ann Hart also came under fire for saying some people with learning disabilities “don’t understand money”.

Mr Henry told voters on Friday night: “When they go down to the food bank, what they struggle with is maybe being able to manage their budget.

“A thing that can help them is how we can offer them some advice and support.

“When people are really, really down, and when people haven’t got the money, one of the things they can look to do is to get a payday loan or something like that.

Darren Henry, who is running to be the MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, has come under fire (Twitter)

“If I’m in Parliament, as a private member’s bill, if I ever get the opportunity, one of the things I’d like to do is to try and stop payday loan advertising because that just makes the whole problem worse.

“What we need to do is to be able to support these people and helping them understand budgets and money is a really useful thing and it’s something we can bring into schools as well.”

People can be heard heckling him in a video recording of his comments – labelling them “a disgrace”.

Former Tory minister Anna Soubry, who is seeking re-election as an Independent Group for Change candidate in the seat she has held since 2010, told the PA news agency: “He’s utterly clueless and lacks the understanding and compassion to be an MP.ADVERTISING

“Broxtowe’s food banks (we have one in Beeston and two in Stapleford) work with our excellent Citizens Advice Centre and help struggling families with debt and welfare claims.”

Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery criticised the remarks, saying: “The Conservatives have no answers to the poverty they have caused in our communities.

“It shows how out of touch the Tories are that they think the way to tackle the surge in food bank use is to stop adverts for payday loan companies.

“There is a clear choice at this election: five more years of poverty, inequality and homelessness under the Tories, or a Labour government that will end food bank Britain and bring about real change.”More about: 

MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire hustings Conservatives

Posted in Campaigns, UKComments Off on Tory candidate Darren Henry heckled after saying food bank users struggle managing their budget

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