White supremacist Rally Fizzles, Overtaken by Massive Anti-Racism March

Organizers of a self-described “free speech” rally in Boston Saturday were expecting to see a big turnout, with attendees from the same white supremacist groups that marched on Charlottesville last weekend. Massachusetts members of the Ku Klux Klan had announced their plans to participate.

But turnout on the white supremacist side was incredibly small. They were outnumbered, by the thousands, by counter-protestors, who flooded Boston Common and the surrounding streets to rally against neo-Nazis, the KKK, and racist violence.

The “free speech” rally was, by all measures, a resounding failure. According to the Washington Post, “By 1 p.m., the handful of rally attendees had left the Boston Common pavillion, concluding their event without the planned speeches. A victorious cheer went up among the counter-protesters, as many began to leave. Hundreds of others danced in circles and sang, ‘Hey hey, ho ho. White supremacy has got to go.’”

A number of “physical altercations between police and counter-protestors” and “skirmishes” between neo-Nazis and counter-protestors have been reported from the scene, where tensions are high. But so far, it does not appear that Boston’s rallies have experiened violence on the scale of what plagued Charlottesville last weekend. (Protestors were escorted in and out of the Common by Boston police, Buzzfeed reported.)

On Thursday, Tina Fey made a much-maligned appearance on a Weekend Update special edition of Saturday Night Live. She jokingly encouraged those who would oppose white supremacists to steer clear of the rallies where they might put their lives at risk and to instead scream into a sheet cake purchased from “a Jewish bakery, or an African-American bakery.”

Boston residents ignored that counsel, pouring into the streets on Saturday morning (the “free speech” protest began at 10:00 a.m.) and organizing online under the hashtag #fightsupremacy.


Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

The Big Drip

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

A rash of water main breaks in West Berkeley, Calif., and neighboring cities last month flooded streets and left at least 300 residents without water. Routine pressure adjustments in response to water demand likely caused more than a dozen pipes, some made of clay and more than 100 years old, to rupture.

West Berkeley’s brittle mains are not unique. Decades of neglect left aging pipes susceptible to breaks in communities across the U.S., wasting two trillion gallons of treated water each year as these systems near collapse.

Comprehensive upgrades to the nation’s crumbling water systems would stanch the flow and ensure all Americans have reliable access to clean water.

Nationwide, water main breaks increased 27 percent between 2012 and 2018, according to a Utah State University study.  

These breaks not only lead to service disruptions  but also flood out roads, topple trees and cause illness when drinking water becomes contaminated with bacteria.

The American Water Works Association estimated it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years to upgrade and expand water infrastructure.

Some local water utilities raised their rates to pay for system improvements, but that just hurts poor consumers who can’t pay the higher bills.

And while Congress allocates money for loans that utilities can use to fix portions of their deteriorating systems, that’s merely a drop in the bucket—a fraction of what agencies need for lasting improvements.

America can no longer afford a piecemeal approach to a systemic nationwide crisis. A major, sustained federal commitment to fixing aging pipes and treatment plants would create millions of construction-related jobs while ensuring all Americans have safe, affordable drinking water.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work