Millennial Review – Daily Review Tuesday, August 16th 

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Tuesday, August 16th 

1. Former and hopefully future president of Brazil Lula da Silva is found innocent of 26th fabricated charge. 

Former, and hopefully future, president of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (known by all as simply Lula) was recently found innocent of the 26th charge in a series of politically motivated prosecutions that eventually led to his imprisonment. After intense public outcry and political pressure, Lula was released after spending nearly two years behind bars. Since then, he has been slowly vindicated as the charges prove to be politically manufactured. Since his release, new findings show that Lula was illegally wiretapped, his words were twisted to make it seem as though he and his successor Dillma Roussef were attempting to help him avoid corruption prosecution by appointing him in government, and the corruption charges were fabricated to begin with. The U.S. and Bolsonaro backed the Lava Jato prosecutor who ran with these trumped up charges and put on the sham trial. Judge Sergio Moro, who oversaw the proceedings, was shown in released text messages to have helped fabricate the evidence for multiple charges. Moro then went on to work for Bolsonaro directly where they continued to prosecute Lula. Ultimately, one by one, these charges are being dropped and today the 26th of them was dropped as unsubstantiated. Lula Livre. Here is a complete run down of the politically motivated prosecutions of Lula from TeleSur. 

2. Labor update: Amazon workers walk off the job after their request for a modest pay increase is ignored, and Starbucks and nurses on strike. 

Amazon employees enduring over 95 degree heat in the air freight facility where they work in San Bernardino, CA walked off the job after management denied their request for a $5 pay increase to $22/hour. The petition was signed by over 800 workers. In response, management went so far as to tell employees whose work is essential for the company to function, that they should use GasBuddy to save money. Many have praised the workers for their bravery. Next, two more Starbucks locations have gone on strike, joining their fellows in Santa Cruz on the picket line. The Santa Cruz store was the first to unionize in CA, and was also the first to strike in the state. Also, in Minnesota, 15,000 nurses across 7 hospitals voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. The vote on Monday means the union can call a strike at any time – though it must give employers at least a 10-day notice ahead of time because of the additional requirements for healthcare workers. The nurses have been outspoken about the hospital management’s failure to address a severe healthcare worker shortage, that has led to dangerous conditions for nurses and patience across the system. Management has chosen to increase executives’ salaries instead of providing adequate compensation, benefits, and safe and manageable working conditions for nurses. Links below to support all of these workers’ actions. Solidarity forever comrades. 

Support the Inland Empire Amazon Workers United: 

Minnesota Nurses Take Action resources 

Starbucks United Pledge Once you sign it gives you options to get involved including adopting a store in your area that needs support by visiting when you can.  

3. Reactionary recall of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón fails 

A few months ago San Francisco voted to recall progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin. The runup to the recall saw months of relentless campaigning against Boudin, disingenuously tying his DAship with higher crime, and particularly violent crime. A similar campaign was recently waged against Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón who has been implementing a bevy of reforms similar to those Boudin sought in San Francisco. Policy changes include not seeking gang and gun enhancements, not charging juveniles as adults, allowing clemency in a much wider variety of circumstances, and others aimed at easing the harshest aspects of the criminal legal system. The petition to recall Gascón needed 750,000 signatures and only received just over 200,000 despite the best efforts of Fox News host Tucker Carlson who airead a three hour documentary series dedicated to drumming up support for the recall. The petition was an utter failure and that’s a victory for people who want a more humane criminal legal system.

4. 11 million people in the US don’t have driving privileges because they didn’t pay a traffic ticket. 

In many states, driving without privileges or driving without a license or with a suspended license is a criminal misdemeanor charge. Meaning, depending on the state, you could be looking at up to a year in jail and years of probation plus costly fines. There are currently 11 million people in the United States who don’t have driving privileges because they didn’t pay a traffic ticket or other court costs. All these people risk jail if they drive, many won’t even know they are suspended. This is happening in a country where we have essentially no public support, including public transportation. It’s taking away someone’s livelihood in states that increasingly rely on court payments and debts to fund their police’s pensions when all they do is harass working people. Alec Karakatsanis has a very good thread on this.  

5. Retail earnings up significantly as inflation proves profitable for the biggest corporations. 

Wall Street was happy to see earnings reports from Wal-Mart and Home Depot up significantly, driving much of the rest of the stock market up with them. This comes after months of record inflation which the likes of Wall Street have feigned concern for the working class all the while extracting significant profits from them. Ultimately charging them much more for far less. Inflation is a concern because it provides yet another opportunity for the wealthy and powerful in our economy to exploit working people. It provides a justification to extract more profits, raise prices, and despite what misplaced concerns of a “wage price spiral” might have you believe, inflation provides an opportunity to stagnate wages for many workers in the economy as well. So it should come as no surprise that retail giants and Wall Street as a whole continue to do well even in the face of increased interest rates from the Fed and a promise of a slowing economy. All of this disproportionately impacts workers and record profits from retail to fossil fuels proves it. 

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