Justice For Aaron Campbell
Thursday, Dec. 31, 11:30 AM, Portland City Hall, SW 4th and Madison

Justice For Aaron Campbell
Thursday, Dec. 31, 11:30 AM, Portland City Hall, SW 4th and Madison

bc1Thursday December 31, the Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA) Coalition for Justice and Police Reform will hold a picket line and news conference to protest the Oregon Court of Appeals’ ruling that the City must reinstate Officer Ron Frashour to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Frashour shot the unarmed Aaron Campbell in the back in January, 2010 and was fired later that year. The action will take place at 11:30 AM on the 4th Avenue side of City Hall, between Madison and Jefferson Sts. The Coalition demands that Frashour be assigned to a job or shift at the Bureau that requires the least contact with the public as possible, because of the potential that he may do harm to community members.

poem-truth-casino-inconvenient-truth2Editors note: Frashour was in direct violation of state and federal laws as well as the guidelines delineated in the PDX Police Bureau Manuel of Policy and Procedure.  He is a criminal and should be fired, charged with manslaughter, and never again be allowed to serve.
~Tim Flanagan

There has been a history of officers with problems being assigned to desk jobs and other areas of the Bureau to minimize their interactions with the public.

fightbackThe Coalition protested the Arbitrator’s decision in April, 2012, and applauded the City’s decision to file an appeal, asserting their right to make such personnel decisions.

The reinstatement of Frashour continues a long line of arbitration overturning firings of officers who wrongfully use deadly force, or otherwise take actions often targeted at communities of color.

–Officer Scott McCollister, who was suspended for six months after shooting and killing African American Kendra James in 2003, was reinstated with back pay;

–Officer Douglas Erickson, who shot and wounded African American Gerald Gratton in the back in 1993, was reinstated;

Aaron-Campbell-Dad–Officers Richard Montee and Paul Wickersham, fired for selling T-Shirts reading “Don’t Choke ‘Em, Smoke ‘Em” after an officer choked African American security guard Lloyd “Tony” Stevenson in 1985, were reinstated;

–Officers Craig Ward and Jim Galloway, fired for tossing dead opossums on the porch of a black-owned business in 1981, were reinstated;

resist–In one case where the victim, Dennis Young, was white, Lt. Jeffrey Kaer was reinstated after being fired for shooting and killing Young in 2006.

The apparent racial bias of the arbitration system comes in the midst of a national debate on racial profiling, sparked by the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Like Keaton Otis, an African American man shot and killed by Portland Police less than four months after Campbell, Martin was deemed suspicious for wearing a hoodie. Other cases that have prompted protests have included those of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice in Ohio, the death in custody of Sandra Bland in Texas, and too many others to count.

For more information visit the AMA Coalition website at .


Tuesday, January 12, 2015 at 6:00 PM 


NE 6th and Halsey Portland, Oregon

Event Information:

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Blues with a feeling…

Writing, poetry, creative expression and the blues have everything to do with good, evil and the difference between.

langsWriting, poetry, creative expression and the blues have everything to do with good, evil and the difference between.

I may not be “religious,” in a traditional sense, but my dad was a preacher.  In one of his sermons, Dad liked to say “It’s later than the man who says it’s later than you think thinks it is!”  But my father taught me it’s never too late to embrace the good in life and discover many roads to joy.

Langston Hughes was a spiritual man and when he said life is fine he meant exactly that. Sometimes a hug, smile or a wink at the right time can be more important than prayer and more powerful than worship.  His poetry is transformative and uplifting…

and here is a longer version: more Langston..theguardian…

And BB King was sending a message with “The Thrill is Gone”  It was blues steeped in joy.

more and longer with BB:…

And while I miss BB now that he’s gone, I will not forget the secrets revealed in Coltrane’s A Love Supreme

more and longer:

All of this, for me, is proof there is decency in this world…

And I think that everyday people, since before both of us were born,
have been transported by the blues

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in
words and song,willie inspiration, feeling, and understanding.

~Willie Dixon 

“A recent cover story of Time magazine called it a grass-roots revolution of the spirit. The article, `The New Age of Angels,’
states: 69 per cent of Americans believe they [angels] exist. …”

Happy Holidays… Be well, and above all remember to be kind.

“I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers…


roi“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it.  To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.
Arundhati Roy

“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” ― Langston Hughes


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Time to shut down wars on people who have not attacked us and begin to secure the peace, rebuild the nation ;and heal the planet.

We can shut down wars of choice and reinvest those funds in infrastructure, alternative energy, education, health care, housing and peace. We have solutions.81-kpqrfqzl-_sl1500_


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The Panthers had many little-known sides to their work, organizing dozens of community programs like free breakfasts, health clinics and shoes for children.


Formed in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was the largest Black revolutionary organization that has ever existed.

fightbackFamous for taking up guns in defense against police brutality, the Panthers had many other little-known sides to their work. They organized dozens of community programs such as free breakfast for children, health clinics and shoes for children.

Such was their success that they rapidly grew to a size of 5,000 full time party workers, organized in 45 chapters (branches) across America. At their peak, they sold 250,000 papers every week. Opinion polls of the day showed the Panthers to have 90% support amongst Blacks in the major blmcities. Their impact on Black America can be measured by the response of the state. J. Edgar Hoover, then head of the FBI described them as “the number one threat to the internal security of the United States”.

In this chapter, we will be looking at the formation of the Panthers, their program and activities, but more importantly, what marked the Panthers out to be different from all other organizations, what led them to be the inspiration to generations around the world to join the struggle against oppression.”…/the-black…/

Published on May 20, 2014

HueyHuey Percy Newton (February 17, 1942 — August 22, 1989) was an African-American political and urban activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966. Newton had a long series of confrontations with law enforcement, including several convictions, while he participated in political activism. He continued to pursue an education, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Social Science. Newton spent time in prison for manslaughter and was involved in a shooting that killed a police officer. In 1989 he was shot and killed in Oakland, California by a member of the Black Guerilla Family.

41UdubY3VzL._SL500_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Black Panther Party or BPP (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was a black revolutionary socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982. The Black Panther Party achieved national and international notoriety through its involvement in the Black Power movement and U.S. politics of the 1960s and 1970s.

Founded in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale on October 15, 1966, the organization initially set forth a doctrine calling primarily for the protection of black neighborhoods from police brutality. The leaders of the organization espoused socialist and Marxist doctrines; however, the Party’s early black nationalist reputation attracted a diverse membership. The Black Panther Party’s objectives and philosophy expanded and evolved rapidly during the party’s existence, making ideological consensus within the party difficult to achieve, and causing some prominent members to openly disagree with the views of the leaders.

maxresdefaultThe organization’s official newspaper, The Black Panther, was first circulated in 1967. Also that year, the Black Panther Party marched on the California State Capitol in Sacramento in protest of a selective ban on weapons. By 1968, the party had expanded into many cities throughout the United States, among them, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, New York City, Omaha, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.. Peak membership was near 10,000 by 1969, and their newspaper, under the editorial leadership of Eldridge Cleaver, had a circulation of 250,000. The group created a Ten-Point Program, a document that called for “Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace”, as well as exemption from conscription for black men, among other demands. With the Ten-Point program, “What We Want, What We Believe”, the Black Panther Party expressed its economic and political grievances.

Angela Davis speaks about the Panthers

“If we do not topple the corporate elites the ecosystem will be destroyed and massive numbers of human beings will die in vain

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Think About It!

“”our President claims the “right of kings,” to murder anyone, anywhere, anytime for any reason or without providing any reason at all. “

mynzahosiris.wordpress.comObama has ordered our military into 23 nations where nobody attacked us without consulting congress and he claims the right to kill anyone, anywhere, anytime, for any reason or without providing any reason at all. And he has killed Americans overseas based on this notion, without the approval of congress. While this is wrong, he does it.

“Bush only invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has invaded, attacked or occupied and exploited 27 nations. Obama enlarged and expanded the neo-con agenda. He is one of the most dangerous presidents in US history. He calls himself a progressive and governs like a right wing war hawk on steroids.”…/war-is-not…/

www.doomsteaddiner.netAnd according to the powers he is given by the U. S. congress and the constitution… Obama can basically do whatever he chooses… by issuing an executive order. And since he has established the precedent of not enforcing the law on past administrations, it seems unlikely he will be held accountable.

“We are at war in at least 27 nations … so far.

Afghanistan, Algeria, Burkina Faso,
Central African Republic, Chad,
Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gaza, Gulf of Guinea,no6
Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria,
Tunesia, Uganda, Ukraine,
West Bank, & Yemen.

Since taking office Obama has bombed TEN Sovereign NATIONS, more than any of his predecessors since World War Two. These bombings violate International Treaties, U. S. Civil Law, The War Powers Act and Constitutional Mandates. We have deployed troops, attacked, bombed, or used illegal drones against these nations. We were not attacked.”…/revolutionary…/


Also, the legal department at
Cornell says the president
DOES have the right to issue
executive orders without the
approval of congress and even to contradict congress with those orders. And he has done so.

Congress and the court have tacitly agreed to his overreaching… by refusing to confront him. You do know that he suspended habeas corpus. (we no longer have a right to know charges against us) And Americans have been extra-judicially tortured, raped and murdered during the past eight years by this administration. Rendering continues.

puppet“~ When Obama is too candid, he scares me a bit. And his record is not good. He sold us out on health care, peace, economic reform, capital punishment, wars of choice, civil rights and constitutional mandates against wiretapping, torture, rape, and murder.”…/corpora…/

“As it turns out, the government really is spying on all your phone calls, emails and other records. The NSA routinely records everything you do even though such actions are blatantly illegal under federal law. Every time the NSA taps your mobile phone (which happens every day, we now know), they are committing a felony crime. But no one is stopping them. And why? Because the government itself has become a lawless criminal operation that answers to no one.”…/obama-wants…/

revoluiton1“our President claims the “right of kings,” to murder anyone, anywhere, anytime for any reason or without providing any reason at all. Cosmetic change will not help. We must secure the peace, rebuild the nation and repair some of the damage. We band together and join the revolution or hang together as tools and fools.”…/its…/

We are in a heap of trouble.

War not the answer, but Obama has an agenda…

We are understood to be the primary exporter of munitions and terror on the planet. We are now defined, globally, as a nation whose economy is based on destabilization, attacks, invasion, occupation, exploitation and avoidable wars for profit.  And we have allowed this to happen.”…/torture-rape…/

“If we do not topple the corporate elites the ecosystem will be destroyed and massive numbers of human beings will die in vain

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And before you vote for more war…. THINK!

www.elle.comThe Republicans have spent billions to convince you not to vote. And the Democrats have spent billions trying to convince you they are different from the Republicans.
Do not drink the Kool-Aid.

Jill 2016

“In both Paris and Moscow, it was amazing to see the international community welcoming our campaign as the voice of reason from the US on the most critical issues of the day – climate, security, peace, terrorism, refugees and more.”

Dear Friend —

www.elle.comAfter last week’s whirlwind visit to Paris for the COP21 UN Climate Summit, I headed straight to Moscow (where they’re experiencing winter temperatures about 30 degrees warmer than usual) on a mission for international diplomacy and peace.

My mission was to discuss our Green foreign policy ideas with leading peace and civil liberties advocates, as well as sitting leaders of a major power – and the outcome was very encouraging indeed!

quote-if-we-don-t-end-war-war-will-end-us-h-g-wells-195757I was invited to the 10th anniversary gala of the TV news network RT, where I spoke on a panel of politicians including Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, and Willy Wimmer, former Vice President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

I spoke about the need for a “peace offensive” as a badly needed alternative to another US military intervention, this time in Syria, as part of the catastrophic “war on terror”. We can do this by enacting an no4arms embargo on the Middle East, freezing funds of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other countries funding terrorist groups, and asking our NATO ally Turkey to close its border to jihadi militias and stop buying oil from ISIS on the black market, for starters.

I also called on both the US and Russia to stop wasting enormous sums on weapons while critical human needs go unmet. For example, the US is now embarking on a program to spend $1 trillion updating its nuclear weaponry, while slashing programs to fight hunger, address homelessness, and provide economic security for our people.

You can read more of my remarks from the RT forum here.

ph06_JS_Putin_Moscow.pngAt dinner the evening of the gala, I sat at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin, who gave a short talk after dinner. While he mostly focused on commemorating RT’s 10th anniversary, one thing he said jumped right out at me:

“Something very unexpected… When I was listening to politicians from other countries, you know what I caught myself thinking? I agree with them on many issues.”

I should note that my panel was the only one with politicians from other countries – and I was the only active politician in the group!

solvingtheclimatecrisis.comThat moment – and many others like it – perfectly illustrated why we came to Moscow, and Paris, in the first place: to demonstrate that Green foreign policy is not only realistic, but urgently needed in today’s world.

In both Paris and Moscow, it was amazing to see the international community welcoming our campaign as the voice of reason from the US on the most critical issues of the day – climate, security, peace, terrorism, refugees and more.

On that note, I’d like to quickly mention a couple more highlights from Moscow. I met with Aleksei Pushkov, head of foreign affairs for the Russian parliament, who was very receptive to our ideas for greater US-Russia collaboration to bring peace to the Middle East and to resume a nuclear disarmament process, including an end to the provocative placement of US missiles and nuclear weapons near Russia’s borders.

JillSteinI also spoke with a number of ex-CIA security experts at the RT gala, including legendary ex-CIA activist Ray McGovern; they all agreed that my Green approach to the current crisis in the Middle East made far more sense than the saber-rattling coming from Washington.

Everywhere we went, it seemed that everyone agreed about the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of US politics as usual, and there was enormous support for our campaign as the change that our world truly needs.

I returned to the US this week more determined than ever to work together with you building the movement for people, planet and peace like our lives depend on it.

It’s in our hands!




PS. Jill’s foreign policy leadership needs YOUR support. Please donate today to help her raise the bar for the transformative, peaceful solutions we urgently need!

It is time to make a change. Avoidable and unnecessary wars must not continue.


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(or more!)  to help keep our resources online.

Big minimum-wage hikes not new

Cox is right to point out the need for rent control. However, experience has shown that we can’t depend on our legislators by themselves for anything adequate towards affordable housing or minimum wage. It will take a movement to effectively counter corporate interests and opposition to any humane housing policy or decent minimum wage increase that takes away from their profits.

Big minimum-wage hikes are nothing new in Oregon (OPINION)

Activists pushing for a $15-an-hour minimum wage attend a Senate hearing Nov. 16 at the Capitol in Salem.
(Picture: Ian Kullgren/Staff)

on December 18, 2015
at 3:10 PM

from The Oregonian

By Mark Vorpahl

The headline of Garrison Cox’s Nov. 28 guest column may proclaim “‘Fight for Fifteen’ movement has its math wrong”, but his incomplete research and unsubstantiated conclusions fail to add up.

markv Mark-Vorpahl.jpg

For instance, the article claims “…there is no research that recommends a $15 minimum wage.” What about economic research heavyweights like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s article “Why the minimum wage should really be raised to $15 an hour,” or the Oregon Center for Public Policy’s “$15 minimum wage means real gains for workers“?

Unfortunately, it seems Cox slacked off with his homework by ignoring Oregon’s own history of large minimum wage hikes. Otherwise his worries about $15 being too “drastic” would likely be calmed.

From 1972-1976 Oregon’s minimum wage increased 84 percent over four years, an average of 21 percent each year. From 1989-1991 it increased 42 percent over two years, again a 21 percent average annual increase. Oregon’s economy and small businesses did well after each substantial raise.

Minimum wageThe proposed increase to $15 phases in over three years, with an average annual increase of 20.6 percent. We are hardly wandering into unexplored territory. Hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers benefited from those proportionally larger minimum wage increases, and the corporate economists’ dire warnings and predictions came to nothing. There is no reason to expect a different outcome this time, despite Cox’s warnings.

The notion that Cox attributes to 15 Now PDX that “workers should not live in poverty if they work full-time” was actually the intent of the first federal minimum wage law. F.D.R. said: “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country,” and, “By living wages, I mean more than a bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of a decent living.”

fightbackA $15 minimum wage is barely, if even, enough to provide Oregonians a decent living, according to MIT, Alliance for a Just Society, National Low Income Housing Coalition and others. It would help 740,000 Oregonians who currently make under $15 to rise above “a bare subsistence level.”

Cox is right to point out the need for rent control. However, experience has shown that we can’t depend on our legislators by themselves for anything adequate towards affordable housing or minimum wage. It will take a movement to effectively counter corporate interests and opposition to any humane housing policy or decent minimum wage increase that takes away from their profits.
Edvard Munch-886497A movement like this is developing in Oregon demanding a $15 minimum wage. If Cox is serious about his support for rent control, he should consider that winning $15 will not only help people afford rent more easily, but the developing movement for $15 also creates opportunities to win other demands such as a housing policy that really benefits our working class communities. Cox should consider what is needed to build unity and win support for rent control, rather than falling into an ill-considered approach of dividing the grassroots.


Mark Vorpahl is an union steward, social justice activist, and writer for Workers’ Action –  Mark is a member of the 15 Now PDX Steering Committee and can be reached at:

or on Facebook:

is a member of the 15 Now PDX steering committee


More  of Mark Vorpahls’ writing:

Why Hillary Clinton’s policies are not good for women… or anyone else.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize why Hillary Clinton’s hawkish policies are not good for women’s rights. She has been one of the most warmongering US politicians of recent times and is proud about her record.”

rainy4WASHINGTONNo matter how much Hillary Rodham Clinton may have seemed to be a shoo-in for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2016, her hawkish war stance kept voters away. In a climate in which war-weary Americans are making their opposition to U.S. intervention and war-profiteering heard, Clinton, who served in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009 and as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, has supported every recent unprovoked U.S. war and military intervention.  She doesn’t get it. Instead she depends on Henry Kissinger for advice.

At the launch of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, Estelle Cooch argued that
Hillary’s pretense of “feminist family values” will not lead to a breakthrough for the vast majority of women.


Standing on a pavement in a generic looking suburb of America, Hillary Clinton launched her candidacy for the 2016 US presidency.
“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favour of those at the top”, she announced. The deck certainly is still stacked in favur of the infamous 1 percent, but with Clinton’s own personal wealth lying somewhere between 5 million and 25 million dollars it is hard to take her seriously.

In the preceding year, issues of race dominated the American political arena. The series of shootings of unarmed black men revealed the myth of a “post-racial America” with Barack Obama at its helm. With the announcement of Clinton’s bid, the spotlight is about to shine on another murky aspect of American society – gender.

Clinton’s espousal of her “feminist family values” looks likely to be a key part of her campaign, but here are five reasons why president Clinton may not lead to the breakthrough some expect:


1- Equal pay

Much has been made of Clinton’s apparent disgust at the ongoing wage gap in America. She chaired numerous hearings on equal pay in the senate and her campaign was consciously launched two days before National Equal Pay Day.

But one of Clinton’s first high-profile positions was on the board of America’s biggest retailer, Walmart, between 1986 and 1992. During this time Walmart embarked on a vicious anti-union campaign, firing union supporters and spying on employees that continues to this day. Clinton remained silent on this and in 2011 a sex-discrimination lawsuit brought the claims of 1.5 million current and former female employees of Walmart to the Supreme Court.

Workers strike at Walmart stores nationwide in November 2014

The court case highlighted the company’s policy of paying women less than men in every job category and promoting women less.  Despite the Supreme Court ruling that Walmart would not have to face a collective lawsuit, they look set to face these cases individually for years. In 2013 Clinton received a donation of $25,000 from Alice Walton for the “Ready for Hillary” campaign. Two thirds of Walmart employees are women. While Clinton may feel she is smashing the glass ceiling she seems little interested in those left on the floor.

2- Foreign Policy

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize why Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy might be a problem when it comes to women’s rights. Unless you believe that the lives of women elsewhere don’t matter, or that the president of the USA doesn’t affect them, if Clinton  wins the next election her foreign policy will affect millions around the globe. Clinton has been one of the most warmongering US politicians of recent times and is proud about her record.

Her support for the Iraq war was a key factor in alienating liberal democrats from supporting her candidacy in 2007. Her lack of remorse for this decision remains solid. In the State Department she has always preferred bellicose language to negotiation. On at least three crucial issues—Afghanistan, Libya, and the bin Laden raid—Clinton took a more aggressive line than Robert Gates, a Bush-appointed Republican.

Hillary "urged" her husband to support the Nato bombing of Yugoslavia

When it came to discussions with her husband about the NATO assault on Yugoslavia in 1999 she boasts “I urged him to bomb.” After the 2014 attack on Gaza Clinton issued a staunch defense of Netanyahu sounding incredulous that “We see this enormous international reaction against Israel. This reaction is uncalled for and unfair”, leading Ha’aretz to describe her as “Israel’s new lawyer”.

Under the Obama administration she has presided over the expansion of illegal drone attacks killing hundreds of women while bolstering US alliances with various dictatorships. She remains a keen proponent of sanctions on Iran and says the US is wrong to call for a halt on Israeli settlement-building. Call me cynical, but it is difficult to marry women’s rights at home, while blowing them up abroad.

(For more detailed accounts of how Clinton’s foreign policy will damage women’s rights across the globe see here, here, here and here. The list goes on…)

3- Reproductive rights

Like equal pay and support for same-sex marriage, it seems Hillary Clinton’s rebranding of herself as socially liberal was a key part of her campaign. Since 2011 efforts to limit access to abortion in America have been gradually gaining steam, particularly in the south. In 2011-13 state politicians enacted over 200 restrictions (more than in the entire previous decade) in an attempt to hollow out Roe vs Wade – the Supreme Court judgement giving women the right to abortion.

A pro-choice protest in Boston

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton continues to promote her now oft-repeated mantra that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare” – what Obama has reiterated as “the right formulation”. Many US feminists suggest that in the midst of such limits to abortion Clinton’s support for it should be enough, but there is a problem here. Use of the word “rare” suggests that abortion is happening more than it should, separating the decision into “good abortions” and “bad abortions” and  downgrading a woman’s right to choose.

This implies that abortion is somehow different from other parts of the healthcare system. When was the last time a politician announced their support for “safe, legal and rare” kidney transplants?

Furthermore if Clinton was actually intent on cutting the number of abortions while keeping them “safe” and “legal” surely she would attack the astronomic fees charged for maternity healthcare in the US. Having skyrocketted in recent years, the average price for a vaginal delivery is now $30,000. If you happen to need a hillstycaesarean this jumps to a jaw-dropping $50,000. While Obamacare has now made it compulsory for employers to at least include maternity care in their health insurance (they didn’t have to previously) it does not specify which maternity services ought to be covered.

Last, but certainly not least, Clinton has a very narrow view of reproductive health – including only abortion and contraception. For migrant women and poor women in the US they face other problems – being put in detention camps while pregnant or having no paid maternity leave. America is the only developed country to still guarantee no paid leave for workers.

If Clinton was really serious about reproductive rights she would take on the health insurance industry, and an American president doing that, really is “rare”.

4- Cuts to welfare

It’s been a hard life for Hillary. On leaving the White House in 2001 she says the Clinton family were not only “dead broke, but in debt” (can you imagine?!). To avoid the imminent prospect of a Dickensian lifestyle of poverty and destitution she was forced to give speeches for only $200,000 a time and accept a book deal of only $8 million. But without complaint, Hillary got on with it. She didn’t apply for benefits or food stamps. She worked hard, and look at her now.

Hillary only got $8 million as an advance for her book after leaving the White House.

Seriously though, it’s good she didn’t apply for welfare, because after the demolition of much of the federal welfare system under Bill’s presidency there wasn’t much left.

In 1996 government payments to poor families amounted to $15.8 billion. By 2011 this was $5.2 billion. In other words the first Clinton administration put in motion a series of cuts that have led to $10 billion being cut to welfare budgets. Some welfare cheques also became linked to “good parenting”, ardently supported by Hillary herself. On the one hand the Clintons wanted to stop what they called a “dependency culture” , instead forcing parents to go to work. On the other hand if they missed a parent’s evening due to working two, three or more, different jobs the welfare payment they required to top up their low wage was withheld.

There has been a huge increase in food banks since the 1990s


By 2014, according to a major study, one in three American women (42 million) either live in poverty or are right on the brink of it. Two thirds of American women are either the primary or co-breadwinner in their families. Hillary’s commitment to raise the minimum wage which stands at ($2.13 per hour for tipped workers) will not be enough to support those struggling to make ends meet. In fact, she boasts in her book Living History that “by the time Bill and I had left the White House, welfare rolls had dropped 60 percent”.

The attacks on welfare that Hillary pioneered throughout the 1990s also helped to stigmatise women who do accept welfare. In analyses of the 1990s media, the use of “welfare queen” as a pejorative (and often racist) term increased dramatically.

There are some women in America who survive purely because others are forced to go to work, but these tend to be the Alice Walton’s of the world, born into a $38 billion fortune rather than those queuing for food stamps.

5 – Racism and migration

Although Clinton makes much of her support for Obama’s immigration reforms that have given amnesty to some undocumented migrants, it seems she will continue the traditional Democrat stance of promising more tolerant policies on asylum on the one hand, while massively increasing border enforcement on the other. Twenty one million immigrant women currently reside in the US, and half of undocumented migrants are now women as well – this number has risen considerably in recent years.

Women await their fate at the US-Mexico border

In a shocking report released in 2015, it was found that 80 percent of women crossing through Mexico to the US border experienced rape or sexual assault. This is a huge increase on Amnesty International’s 2013 study that found 60 percent of women were raped on their way to the border. Many of these women, on reaching the border will not even manage to get in to the US, or should they be able to, may be deported at a later date.

Since 2004, 6,000 migrants have died at the US-Mexico border and 40,000 have died at other borders trying to get to the US. But we will not hear Clinton speak about this. Increasing militarisation at the Mexico border and preventing migrant women from entering the US will be, as in 2008, a key election pledge.

Should migrant women get into the US they are likely to face a life of extreme poverty and racism. Women continue to be at the forefront of campaigns for justice for Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner, but Clinton has been (bar some comments on Ferguson) largely silent.

Final thoughts

hillaryattacksClinton’s two minute campaign video, which was launched on Sunday 12th April 2016, could not have been more different to her bid of 2007. The video was posted on Twitter and other social media, quickly ratcheting up well over a million views, but not even sent out to her supporters until much later on in the day.

In the 2007 bid we saw Clinton sitting in her opulent living room adorned with flowers and photos of her family. By 2015 we don’t even see Clinton until 90 seconds in after cameos by half a dozen people – including black, Hispanic and same sex couples.  In 2007 while addressing the camera for the whole two minutes she used the word “I” thirty one times. In 2015, it is all about “we” and “I” is heard only four times.

The video closes with her talking from a pavement in suburban America. Of course, this could well be outside the lavish front room she sat within in 2007, but visually the message has changed. Clinton is claiming, not to be isolated in her mansion, but instead part of a neighbourhood.

Clinton is a clever and astute member of the American ruling class. She has watched the Obama campaign and learnt from it. The slogan of “Yes We Can” is yet to be rivaled in its ingenuity and ability to harness the feeling that true change must be collective.

She did face numerous sexist attacks during the campaign. But on this question, the last word should go to Young and Becerra in Jacobin:

“A more robust vision of feminism doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t defend women like Hillary Clinton against sexist attacks: we should, just as we defend Barack Obama against racist ones. But it does mean that we must listen to the voices of the most marginalized women and gender and sexual minorities — many of whom are extremely critical of Clintonite feminism — and act in solidarity with movements that seek equity in all realms of life and ttdfor all people.  These are the feminists not invited to the Hillary Clinton party, except perhaps to serve and clean up.”

Hillary and Bernie support murders in Gaza and avoidable American wars-of-choice…


The Republican sheepdog was Trump and the Democratic sheepdog was Sanders. We do not need a dog and pony show, we need a leader committed to securing the peace and shutting down corporate wars of choice which cost trillions to kill millions while creating new enemies and undermining jobs and infrastructure at home.

We can shine with Stein. 

“If you are tired of wage theft, slave labor and working poverty… abandon the corporate cons and war-profiteers who have brought us twenty seven
necessary wars, joblessness, and recession while sacrificing the peace to please munitions contractors. It is time to stand firm.”…/shine…/

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