USA/Canada

Killer cops are charged

Author: 

Gemma Short

­Michael Slager, the cop who killed unarmed black man, Walter Scott, on 5 April in North Charleston, South Carolina, has been charged with murder.

The murder charge was brought only after an eye witness handed over to police mobile phone footage of the event showing Walter being shot eight times in the back as he ran away from Slager. The witness also said there was a struggle in which Slager used his taser on Walter before Walter got away and ran.

­Michael Slager, the cop who killed unarmed black man, Walter Scott, on 5 April in North Charleston, South Carolina, has been charged with murder.

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A union which belongs to its members

Author: 

Gemma Short

Uetricht begins his account of the transformation of the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) and their 2012 strike by counterposing two incidents representing the opposite faces of teacher trade unionism.

A review of Strike for America: Chicago teachers against austerity by Micah Uetricht.

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“Bottom rail on top this time”

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

9 April was the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the South in the American Civil War. In this speech given at recent AWL public meetings, Sacha Ismail explains why that war and what came after are so important.


The American Civil War is not dry, dusty history. It is relevant to the inspiring protests against racism going on in the United States now. The US of today — a capitalist democracy, but one deeply racist and unequal even by the standards of capitalism — was created by revolution, but also the betrayal of that revolution.

9 April was the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the South in the American Civil War. Sacha Ismail explains why that war and what came after are so important.

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Shareholders scoop $10,000 from each household

Author: 

Martin Thomas
From the new wealth produced by the labours of the average household in the USA, the shareholders of US big business will scoop around $10,000 in the coming year.

From the new wealth produced by the labours of the average household in the USA, the shareholders of US big business will scoop around $10,000 in the coming year.

The figure was about $8,000 in 2014, and is expected to rise. It doesn't include the gains from higher share prices which shareholders may or may not cash in. It counts only the hard cash they get in dividends and operations in which businesses buy back their own shares.

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Cops shoot two more

Author: 

Gemma Short

19 year old Tony Robinson was shot dead by a police officer in Madison, Wisconsin, on Monday 9 March.

Tony, a biracial man, was unarmed. Police had been called to an incident involving an “African-American man” jumping in and out of traffic and a reported assault. The lone responding officer broke into an apartment and shot Tony after what the police say was a scuffle.

While US police continue to routinely carry guns, and racial targeting of petty crime, and harassment of black communities continues, black people will end up dead.

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Election upset in Chicago

On 7 April, Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor, and Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, will face a run-off election against challenger Jesús “Chuy” García.

Chicago’s city elections are officially non-partisan, and mostly the contests in the first round were between leftish Democrats like Garcia and stridently pro-business ones like Emanuel. Nevertheless, the run-off — forced because Rahm Emanuel failed to get 50% in the first round of voting, on 24 February — signals a real revolt.

On 7 April, Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor, and Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, will face a run-off election against challenger Jesús “Chuy” García.

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Gains for union-backed left candidates in Chicago

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From Labor Notes

Three rank-and-file trade unionists running for Chicago city council seats made it into the April 7 runoff. Re-posted from Labor Notes.


On election night the Chicago Teachers Union and its new independent political organization didn’t knock out Mayor Rahm Emanuel—but they did take him down a notch, forcing him into a runoff with the union’s preferred candidate, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

It’s the first runoff in a Chicago mayoral election in 20 years.

Three rank-and-file trade unionists running for Chicago city council seats made it into the April 7 runoff.

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Just two seconds

Author: 

Gemma Short

In the first week of January, the full video footage of the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was released.

It reveals for the first time the treatment Tamir’s 14 year old sister Tajai received. Tajai was in a nearby playground when she heard a shot. She was told by someone that Tamir had been shot. She rushed to his aid. The video shows one of the officers tackling her, handcuffing her and stuffing her into the back of the police car. She was denied the ability to comfort him in his last moments and treated like a criminal.

The full video footage of the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice has now been released.

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Juror makes challenge

Author: 

Gemma Short

Under the banner of “Black lives matter”, protests against police racism and violence have continued across America over Christmas and in the New Year.

On Monday 5 January, protesters gathered for a 24 hour vigil in New York’s Grand Central Station, with placards carrying the names of those killed by police in the last decade. A rally outside Washington’s Capitol Hill with families of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others attracted over 25,000 protestors on 13 December.

Under the banner of “Black lives matter”, protests against police racism and violence have continued across America over Christmas and in the New Year.

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US protests spread

Author: 

Gemma Short

The news that police officers involved in the death of black man Eric Garner will not face criminal charges has sparked protests across the US.

In a situation similar to that of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, a New York Grand Jury decided not to indict the officers who choked Eric to death using a stranglehold.

The news that police officers involved in the death of black man Eric Garner will not face criminal charges has sparked protests across the US.

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