MR Daily Review
Monday, August 22nd
1. New York and Florida primaries tomorrow – Vote for your DSA endorsed candidates!
In New York’s 10th Congressional District, vote for assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, can’t let AIPAC funded slimeball Dan Goldman win. Kristen Gonzalez in the 59th New York State Senate district is definitely also worth supporting to defeat hack Elizabeth Crowley, who is looking to continue Joe Crowley’s political dynasty that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated. The Democratic Party is spending big money to back Crowley and it’s worth supporting Gonzalez for that reason alone, not to mention her great politics and DSA endorsement. There are 9 more candidates in New York City alone endorsed by the DSA and you can check them out here. If anyone has Florida voting resources, let us know and we will add them.
2. Two PA judges who accepted cash in exchange for sending children to prison were ordered to pay $200 million, but it is doubtful the victims will receive any compensation.
These judges accepted bribes from a private prison to throw children as young as 8 year old in jail for no reason, some without time to say goodbye to their families. This is being reported as one of the worst judicial scandals in history – but this is how jails work across this country. Our criminal injustice system incentivizes police to brutalize and criminalize people, and then our judges keep them in jail because it funds their counties, pensions, and power. And helps the real estate industry and their other class buddies. This is a feature, not a bug – the only difference is the deal was more explicit in this case. As abolitionists, we can say that the only just thing would be for these ex judges to die in jail. While it looks like one of them actually is serving a sentence, the other was released with an ankle monitor because of COVID. Compassion is important, but not for these ghouls who clearly treated their victims as less than human without any regard to the lifelong trauma they inflicted. Moreover, since the county was removed as a defendant, the attorney of the victims has said its unlikely the once-children victims will be able to collect any money on the judgment.
3. US Citizenship & Immigration Services has collected $20 million from 66,000 Afghan allies seeking humanitarian parole visas, and has only approved 123 this year.
While we’ve known about the unacceptably low approval rate for Afghan visa applicants for months, we did not know how much total money USCIS has received to not even bother to process them. Unlike Ukranians who do not pay a fee to file their humanitarian parole (HP) application, the US charges Afghans trying to flee a country facing famine $525/application. As RevealNews reports this has amounted to a total of $20 million dollars. USCIS has continually claimed it doesn’t have the resources to process visas for Afghans, going so far as to ask a federal court to release them from their legal obligations to do so. Moreover, USCIS has managed to approve 76,000 HP visas for Ukrainian refugees – though that is welcome, it shows us that it is blatant racism that stops the same agency from processing the same visa for a different population. This racist administration is all the more unacceptable since the HP visa was made available as an alternative to the already decades-long delayed SIV visa program, that has left thousands of Afghan and Iraqi allies waiting for promised visas for years. We’ve discussed the racist administration of US visas on the MR Daily before, a fact that becomes even more bald faced with every unearthed facet of the programs. We talked about it on the Sunday Stream – you can listen here.
4. Israel has raided and shut down Palestinian civil organizations who record Israel’s crimes against humanity.
On August 18, Israel raided seven leading Palestinian human rights organizations. They have also summoned directors of two of the groups for interrogation by the Israeli Occupying Forces. This is just one week after Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza that killed over 50 Palestinians, including 17 children. Others are left to suffer brutal wounds, including an 11-year-old girl who lost both of her legs and one of her arms. With no basis or evidence, Israel recently changed its designation of six of the groups to “terrorist organizations” under its 2016 Counter Terrorism Law. Clearly, this is a way to further terrorize the already war torn population. The US response was predictably gross – carefully confirmed that it has not changed its designation of the civil organizations, but utterly failed to call out Israel’s bombings, and further escalations with these armed raids. For example, among the organizations raided was was Health Work Committees, (HWC), that runs hospitals and clinics in the occupied territories.
5. Saudi Arabia has sentenced woman rights activist Salma al-Shehab to 34 years in prison for reposting feminist messages on Twitter, Biden remains silent.
In response to Saudi Arabia’s judgment that will send a woman’s rights activist to jail for decades, the White House assured everyone they are “studying” the case. Salma al-Shehab is a Leeds University student, and was charged with retweeting dissidents and activists. During her sentencing, al-Shehab asked for the court to take into account that she is a mother of two children and the caretaker of her sick mother. She now faces 34 years in prison. The Biden administration recently visited Saudi Arabia, backing down on what had been a somewhat critical public posture toward the country. Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses are out in the open, take Yemen for example where the United States is complicit in Saudi genocide. These kind of cases would become the basis of war cries against Iran if it happened there, but because it was in Saudi Arabia look for U.S. officials to stay silent lest they offend the potential for cheaper oil.