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Labour members launch Green New Deal inspired by US activists

Labour members have launched a grassroots campaign to push the party to adopt a radical Green New Deal to transform the UK economy, tackle inequality and address the escalating climate crisis. The group, inspired by the success of the Sunrise Movement and the Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the US, is calling on Labour to commit to radical action to decarbonise the UK economy within a decade. A spokesperson for the group, called Labour for a Green New Deal, said: “Climate change is fundamentally about class, because it means chaos for the many while the few profit. “We’re starting a campaign to put the labour movement at the forefront of a green transformation in Britain, and to build grassroots support for a Green New Deal within the Labour party.” The campaign is calling for a region-specific green jobs guarantee, a significant expansion of public ownership and democratic control of industry, as well as mass investment in public infrastructure. The group intends to put pressure on the party to fulfil those pledges in the run-up to the Labourconference in September. Leading members of the group recently met Zack Exley, an adviser to Ocasio-Cortez and a co-founder of the progressive group the Justice Democrats, to learn from the success of the Green New Deal campaign in the US. They are also in discussions with founding members of the Sunrise Movement, the youth-led group linked with Ocasio-Cortez that has been at the forefront of the US campaign for a Green New Deal. The spokesperson said: “As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement have argued in the US, a Green New Deal shouldn’t just be about decarbonising our economy; it should be a radical vision for a healthier, happier and more prosperous society. “According to the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], we may only have 11 years left to limit the worst of the climate crisis. But that’s 11 years in which we could change everything.”

Columbia students join global climate strike’s call for urgent political action

Nearly 200 students, community members, and political activists flocked to Low Steps Friday morning as part of a global movement to call for urgent political action on climate change. “We want our leaders to be taking action: leaders within a college setting, within a governmental setting, within a national setting. We want all of our leaders to have the power to enact this change,” Hollard said at the event. “This is a moment of great peril, but it is also a moment of great promise,” Inslee said. Bastida Patrick advocated for the Green New Deal, a set of proposed economic programs that aim to address climate change and inequality, and highlighted the role of indigenous peoples and youth in the fight against climate change. “The climate catastrophe is our present, but we cannot let it be our future,” Bastida Patrick said. “Climate change impacts marginalized communities and communities of color the most, which is why we need the Green New Deal, because it addresses both climate change and social justice.” Other outside speakers included two students from Manhattan Country School, a private K-8 school, many of whose students participated in the climate strike. “Even though they’re not old enough to vote, they still have a lot at stake for them, and they really realized that,” Grattan said. “They were really excited about participating today, so we as a school decided we wanted to facilitate that for the students who wanted to take part.” Staff writer Teddy Ajluni can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

Gabel says marijuana movement motivated her political activism

Krystal Gabel planned to have a doctorate by the time she was 25, so she focused on education. “I really pushed myself. She graduated magna cum laude from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, with a writing degree, the last writing degree the school offered. But her $80,000 student debt and an evolving life philosophy changed her goals. After college and after surviving the recession on a series of low-paying jobs, Gabel bought a house in Omaha, landed a job as a technical writer with a decent salary and began paying off her student debt. She got involved in the Omaha community gardens, where people grow free food for the community and where she began questioning the role of government in our lives. Growing food is revolutionary, she said. In Omaha residents need a permit to sell food or even give it to other people. Gabel believes she is part of a generation of people, many saddled with student debt, who are looking at things differently. Gabel said she is part of the micro living movement, for people who don’t really want or need more than 200 square feet of living space.

‘We can’t let fear consume us’: why Parkland activists won’t give up

“One of my goals in the next two years is to get 71% youth voter turnout in 2020,” Hogg told the Guardian in a recent phone interview. I think there’s a lot of people that, quite frankly, really, really, really hate our president David Hogg Working with young gun violence prevention activists from across the country, the Parkland made a bet this past spring that local organizing – and more local news coverage – could make a difference in the 2018 midterm elections. Over the summer, the March for Our Lives activists traveled on a bus tour to dozens of states to host rallies and voter registration drives, all with the goal of increasing youth voter turnout in the midterm elections. March for Our Lives is still focused on gun policy. The group is hoping to play a stronger lobbying role to pass gun control bills in state houses this year, as well as pressuring the senate, which is still controlled by Republican allies of the National Rifle Association, to pass a historic bill expanding background checks on gun sales. It’s possible to measure the influence of March for Our Lives so far by tallying up their year of wins and losses. These laws are already being used to prevent shootings, Hogg said. A national movement While the media spotlight still focuses most often on a handful of the most famous Parkland students, the teenage survivors a have spent the past year connecting with young activists who have long advocated for gun violence prevention in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. This was the answer that Hogg, among others, gave , in a phone interview that had been scheduled for 9pm. “Does March for Our Lives still exist in four years?

All-star panel examines race, politics and activism in sports

ESPN anchor and UCLA alumna Cari Champion, left, and the panelists agreed that sports and politics have never been separate. The one-hour discussion about athletes and activism was part of a series of events recognizing the 100th birthday of Jackie Robinson, the UCLA alumnus who broke the Major League Baseball color barrier in 1947. The panelists were Pat Turner, vice provost of UCLA undergraduate education and professor of African American studies; Chris Kluwe, a former punter for UCLA and the Minnesota Vikings and now a writer and LGBT equality activist; Damion Thomas, museum curator of sports for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture who earned a doctorate in history from UCLA; and Kaiya McCullough, a current UCLA women’s soccer player. “And it’s hard to not feel sadness for people who are going through things that you couldn’t possibly imagine. “I am very privileged just because of the fact I am white,” Kluwe said. He noted that when James Naismith invented basketball in 1919, it was to help the YMCA — founded as the Young Men’s Christian Association — instill moral and character education at a time when church attendance was declining. Basketball [became] a vehicle to teach young men and boys, at that point, Christian values.” Champion pointedly asked the panel what might have happened if Kaepernick had said he was kneeling to support breast cancer research, rather than to bring attention to racial injustice. “I can think of other things you can do that are genuinely disrespectful,” she said. “But quietly getting on a knee, not vocalizing anything — that’s interpreted as disrespectful?” Toward the end of the discussion, Thomas reminded the audience of Jackie Robinson’s legacy — and the toll that his activism took on him. “Jackie Robinson always said, ‘Well, we still haven’t done enough,’” Thomas said.
Kamala Harris Calls On Americans To Step Up, Cites 'Inflection Moment' | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Kamala Harris Calls On Americans To Step Up, Cites ‘Inflection Moment’ | Rachel Maddow...

Senator Kamala Harris, newly declared candidate for president in 2020, talks with Rachel Maddow about the American call to public service, and lessons from controversies in her political past. » Subscribe to MSNBC: About: MSNBC is the premier destination…

The digital activist taking politicians out of Madrid politics

Once, he faced down major music industry giants over the file-sharing software he created. Now, as Madrid's head of open government, Mr Soto has launched a platform where citizens dictate policies to city hall and choose what to spend taxes on. "I don't think of myself as a politician," the councillor says. "We challenged a whole system of representation in which a few people have 100% power of decision for years, without having to explain or allow citizens to participate." From street protest to digital democracy Mr Soto turned to technology to open up the decision-making process. The politicians cannot block it," Mr Soto says. In Madrid's process, citizens can vote online or in person to decide how to allocate €100 million in spending - a significant part of the council's total investments every year. But Mr Soto believes people can be trusted with political decisions. "The idea is as old as democracy itself," he says. Mr Soto does not plan to stop at Madrid, and notes that his platform could now be used to connect people across the globe in joint decision-making.

Labour activists and MPs call for emergency Brexit conference

Labour for a People’s Vote, the group that was instrumental in ensuring Brexit was discussed at Labour’s annual conference in September, is calling for a half-day recall for members to endorse a policy of backing a second referendum. It has the support of Labour MPs including Alex Sobel, Paul Williams and Anna McMorrin. Labour for a People’s Vote, which helped organise more than 100 local constituency Labour parties (CLPs) to submit motions to conference calling for a referendum, is now encouraging them to adopt a statement demanding a special conference. “Whether or not a vote of no confidence is tabled and a general election called for, Labour needs to move quickly to clarify our position on a public vote,” the motion says. “When the opportunity to lead presents itself, we believe the Labour party must be seen to take the initiative. Anti-Brexit campaigners are concerned that Labour backed away from tabling a full-blown motion of no confidence in the government on Monday in part to avoid being trapped into supporting a referendum. Instead, Corbyn tabled a vote of no confidence in the prime minister, which has no formal status under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. That means the government is not obliged to set aside time to debate it, and even if it lost it would not bring down the government. Corbyn’s spokesman has insisted the confidence motion does not imply automatic support for a referendum, even if a vote of no confidence is lost. Other opposition parties, including the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, have tabled a full-blown no confidence motion, challenging Corbyn to add his signature – without which it will not be discussed until the new year.

Bring Back our Girls activist Oby Ezekwesili vows to disrupt ‘Nigeria’s politics of failure’

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Bring Back our Girls activist and former Nigerian minister Oby Ezekwesili has thrown her hat into the election ring for Nigeria's upcoming 2019 elections and says her candidacy will "disrupt the politics of failure" in Africa's most populous nation. "It's totally unacceptable. Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also running for a second term, vowed to tackle corruption in his first term, a promise many Nigerians say he has not fulfilled. You prevent opportunities for corruption; you reduce corruption. "What my agenda is to deregulate the economy in the kind of way that public officials don't have too much presence in the economy to be able to utilize it for personal gain," she said in the interview. Her record of fighting corruption and plugging financial leaks in Nigeria's public sector, when she served as a minister proves she will deliver on her campaign promises, she said. "I believe I am the candidate of the Nigerian people as I am not running alone. We are all running together. All of us that want a new direction for our country are running together," Ezekwesili said. I'm simply a candidate who is providing a direction for the rest of society to take on these folks."
Sensing Donald Trump Threat, Widespread Protests Call To #ProtectMueller | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Sensing Donald Trump Threat, Widespread Protests Call To #ProtectMueller | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Rachel Maddow reports on protests in cities large and small across the United States calling for Donald Trump's hand-picked acting attorney general to recuse himself and for Robert Mueller's Trump Russia investigation to continue unimpeded. » Subscribe to MSNBC:…