Independent News
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Earthships  -  The Ultimate Green Homes
Earthship is a concept of over 40 years and yet the first one ever built in Europe was in 2000. The idea is a trademark of Michael Reynolds — a US architect. In the 70s, Reynolds envisioned a home which would have three exciting traits — self sustainability, construction...
We Are Bernie Sanders
If Bernie Sanders becomes the next President of the United States, it will be more than an upset. It will be an American Revolution. Bernie Sanders can’t win the election himself. Only we the people can win the election. We, the people, by declaring Bernie Sanders our...
10 Prominent Advocates of Socialism
“Socialism” is considered a dirty word in the United States. Being a hard-working, “free market” capitalist is a part of our national mythology. But it wasn’t always this way. The socialist movement used to be quite strong in the early 20th century. There was even a socialist...
You Have to See These Pictures of Seattle's Kayaking Climate protesters
  An estimated 500 climate activists took to kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and even a solar-powered party barge on Saturday to tell Shell to get the hell out of Seattle. Rallying cry: #sHellNo! The oil giant brought a huge drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, to the city’s port...
'I'd Rather Die at Sea than Stay There' - Migrants on Crossing the Med
After a terrifying journey across the Mediterranean, thousands of migrants arrive in Sicily every week. These are their stories. Emmanuel, 24, Ivory Coast
Early Men and Women Were Equal, Say scientists
Study shows that modern hunter-gatherer tribes operate on egalitarian basis, suggesting inequality was an aberration that came with the advent of agriculture Our prehistoric forebears are often portrayed as spear-wielding savages, but the earliest human societies are likely...
One Magical Politician Won't Stop Climate Change. It's up to All of Us
Lots of people eagerly study all the polls and reports on how many people believe that climate change is real and urgent. They seem to think there is some critical mass that, through the weight of belief alone, will get us where we want to go. As if when the numbers aren’t...
The Abolition of Work
No one should ever work. Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost all the evil you'd care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working. That doesn't mean we have to stop...
Occupy The White House
The Revolution Bernie Sanders is a socialist who has somehow managed to land a spot in the US Senate, the most deliberative, prestigious body of government in a nation that is at the helm of a globe and space-spanning capitalist empire. It is an act of political genius for...
The Woman Who Chose to Plant Corn
Not long ago, a Diné (Navajo) friend of mine, Lyla June Johnston, sent me a one-line email: “I am not going to Harvard… I am going to plant corn.” Her statement signals a profound divergence from the path she’d set out on when she was an undergraduate at Stanford University...
The Feudalism of Facebook: New Pay-to-Play News Feed as Indy Media Killer
The Facebook empire of 1.4 billion users just conquered new territory, unrolling a "partnership" to host articles from some of the most well-known news publications in the world, in a venture that critics warn poses a direct threat to independent media outlets—and the...
Make the Rich Panic
It does not matter to the corporate rich who wins the presidential election. It does not matter who is elected to Congress. The rich have the power. They throw money at their favorites the way a gambler puts cash on his favorite horse. Money has replaced the vote. The...
Migration Is an Act of Desperation, Not a Crime
A father from Ivory Coast wanted to reunite his son with the rest of his family living in Spain. But the Spanish government denied him a family reunification visa. Desperate, he paid a Moroccan woman to smuggle his 8-year-old onto Spanish soil. On May 7, 2015, she...
Militarizing Ourselves Toward a New Dark Age
“What struck me” journalist Christian Parenti said in a recent Truthout interview, referring to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, “was the fact that these local towns and states around the region were sending the only resources they had to New Orleans: weapons and...
Sanders Has Already Won
Bernie Sanders does not have to become president in order to win. Just by getting in the ring, he has already scored a major victory for the American working class. His campaign is blazing a new trail to the left in the American political system. In the coming years, we will...
How Worker Co-ops Are Moving Beyond Capitalism
The explosion of worker cooperatives in recent years has social justice organizers talking. Transitioning to a people-powered economy will require the work of many different social movements and worker co-ops have come to the center of the conversation due to their ability to...
Riots Work: Wolf Blitzer and the Washington Post Completely Missed the Real Lesson from Baltimore
The police—not to mention capitalism—have done far more to damage Baltimore than any riot could When Oscar Grant was shot by transit cop Johannes Mehserle in Oakland in the early hours of January 1, 2009, a week passed with no institutional response, while videos of Grant’s...
The US-Saudi War with OPEC to Prolong Oil's Dying Empire
Whoever controls the price of oil can play god with the global economy - that’s why the US and Saudi Arabia are leading the way to smash OPEC and re-create a new global oil cartel “No one can set the price of oil,” said Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi earlier this...
Ecocide: The Psychology of Environmental Destruction
Recent scientific reports about climate change make grim reading. A paper published in The Economic Journal by the respected UK economist Lord Stern states that the models previously used to calculate the economic effects of climate change have been ‘woefully inadequate.’...
From Graduation to Garbage Job (literally): One Twentysomething's struggle
 
How Values Work
Following decades of research and hundreds of cross-cultural studies, psychologists have identified a number of consistently-occurring human values. Early researchers into human motivations discovered a surprising consistency in the things people said they valued in life...
Don't Give In: an Angry Population Is Hard to Govern; a Depressed Population Is easy
Hours after the Conservatives were re-elected, the government looked at cutting access to work schemes for the disabled. You'd think they'd at least have the decency to bring some flowers before shafting the vulnerable, but no. Not these guys. Not today. Today is not...
A Practical Guide to Campaign Planning
Projects and campaigns usually start because we feel inspired about an idea or passionate about a particular issue. Our first impulse is to throw ourselves into action straightaway. But if we take a little time to analyse the situation and to develop a plan of action we can...
20 Principles for Successful Community Organizing
1. Most people are motivated primarily by self-interest. As a creative community organizer, you are always trying to figure out people’s common self-interest, the glue that binds political organizations and movements. 2. Institutions and people that hold power over others...
Democracy Is for Life, Not Just Elections
A mate who I trust said to me; “You know what this election boils down to? Who do you want to be protesting against on May 8th? Or whenever they finish counting, negotiating and posturing? David Cameron and a Tory coalition or Ed Miliband and one led by Labour?” I suppose...
Seven Sins of Our System of Forced Education
Sometimes I find, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me and others feel, I have to speak the truth. We can use all the euphemisms we want, but the literal truth is that schools, as they generally exist in the United States and other modern countries, are prisons. Human...
Nonviolence for Whom? If Violence Isn't the Answer, Somebody Should Tell the Police
Ferguson. New York. Baltimore. As cities erupt after decades of oppression and violence at the hands of police, calls for nonviolence can be deafening. “Violence isn’t the answer,” the moralists chide when protesters throw rocks and clash with police. They’re right. But...
What If Our Theories Are Horribly Wrong?
Miasma Theory was universally held and horribly wrong. What else might we be wrong about? In 19th century London, everyone was certain that bad air caused disease. From cholera to the plague: if you were sick, everyone thought it was because of bad air. It was called the...
Top 10 Grassroots Movements That Are Taking on the World
Waiting for political change to come about once every few years at election time is not only frustrating, but is an almost sure-fire way of ensuring that the changes you really want don’t get delivered within the time frames that are necessary. If we really want to see...
Why Not Voting Is Such a Pitifully Ineffective Form of Protest
Of the most commonly recurring themes that keeps popping up in the comments sections beneath my work is the "if only everyone stopped voting ..." type is probably the most infuriating. The reason that I find these appeals for people to "just stop voting" so infuriating is...
Recognizing Legacy of Police Torture, Chicago Passes Landmark Reparations
Advocates say that resolution in Chicago must be placed in the 'broader context of ongoing and endemic police violence.' Recognizing the horrific legacy of the Chicago Police Department and the widespread use of torture under former police commander Jon Burge, the Chicago...
Tractors, Ritual Baths, and Dismantling Racism: Welcome to Black and Latino Farmers Immersion
"Land is the only real wealth in this country and if we don't own any we'll be out of the picture." — Ralph Paige, Federation of Southern Cooperatives We have been uprooted from our land. As African-Americans, many of our ancestors were stolen from West Africa to be sold...
To Vote or Not to Vote, Is That the Question?
Thanks largely to Russell Brand, the question of whether to vote or not has been raised at national level this election. Yet the only argument made against voting has been that they’re all, kind of, the same – is this really all that anti voters think? The challenges we...
How Easily The Fickle Rich Are Swayed, Russell Brand Puts Down His Pitchfork
It’s hardly surprising that Eddie Izzard, Alan Partridge and now even Russell Brand all want us to vote Labour.  They are the people the modern Labour Party represents after all.  Millionaires who feel a bit guilty about poverty and stuff but don’t want to change things too...
Why We Don't Make Demands
From Occupy to Ferguson, whenever a new grassroots movement arises, pundits charge that it lacks clear demands. Why won’t protesters summarize their goals as a coherent program? Why aren’t there representatives who can negotiate with the authorities to advance a concrete...
My Home, My Land - An Illustrated Overview of Land Grabbing
My Home, My Land is a graphic representation of much of the Oakland Institute's work on land grabs. Illustrated by the Institute's Intern Scholar, Abner Hauge, this publication dismantles the many myths promoted by so-called donor countries, development agencies, and...
The Wars Come Home: A Five-Step Guide to the Police Repression of Protest from Ferguson to Baltimore and Beyond
Last week, as Baltimore braced for renewed protests over the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) prepared for battle. With state-of-the-art surveillance of local teenagers’ Twitter feeds, law enforcement had learned that a group of high school...
Facebook's Internet.org Isn't the Internet, It's Facebooknet
This week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Internet.org, its marquee project to “connect two-thirds of the world that don’t have internet access,” is now inviting any website or service to join the program. According to Zuckerberg, this change—which follows...
Countries around World Are Revoking Freedom of Assembly
On March 26, without much fanfare or attention from U.S. media, the Spanish government ended freedom of assembly. In the face of popular opposition (80 percent of Spaniards oppose it), the upper house passed the Citizens’ Security Law. Under the provision, which goes into...
The Oceans Are Not Worth $24 trillion
Some things are beyond measure and beyond price. No amount of money is enough to compensate for the loss of the sacred. In case you were wondering whether the oceans are worth protecting, the World Wildlife Fund has helpfully put a monetary value on them: $24 trillion. No...
The Asshole Factory
My good friend Mara has not one but two graduate degrees. From fine, storied universities. Surprise, surprise: the only “job” she was able to find was at a retail store. Hey—it’s only minimum wage, but at least she’s working, right? And at a major-league, blue-chip company...
Why the Planet Is Happy That Bernie Sanders Is Running for President
After lunch, right about the time that Bernie Sanders was actually announcing his run for president, I went for a walk in the woods, and polled three chickadees, two wild turkeys, one vernal pool of chirping wood frogs and a random sample of several tree species. You have...
How Companies Make Us Forget We Need to Consume Less to Stop Climate Change
We will have to consume less, not more, if we are serious about tackling climate change. So how do businesses like Coca-Cola lure us into forgetting that inconvenient truth? Recycle more, opt for “sustainable” products, offset your flights. In short, do anything, just please...
Give 'Em Hell, Bernie
Many years ago I pitched a magazine editor on a story about Bernie Sanders, then a congressman from Vermont, who'd agreed to something extraordinary – he agreed to let me, a reporter, stick next to him without restrictions over the course of a month in congress. "People...
Dear White America: Toya Graham Is Not Your Hero
When I told my grandma that I was among a crowd of protesters pepper-sprayed while covering the demonstration-turned-riot at Baltimore’s Mondawmin Mall on Monday, her response was blunt. “Well, that should've been your answer to take yo' ass home,” she said. Had she been...
Beyond Capitalism and Socialism: Could a New Economic Approach Save the Planet?
To avoid social, environmental and economic collapse, the world needs to move beyond the standard choices of capitalism or socialism. That’s the conclusion of a new report released Wednesday by US think tank Capital Institute. The non-partisan think tank argues that both...
Great Moments in Peaceful Protest History
The revolution WILL be given permission. "Great moments in protest history: The appropriate way to get what you want!"
Neoliberalism Is Not an Institution, But Rather a Paranormal Activity (Completely Normalized and Legally Ratified)
Believe you me, neoliberalism is not an institution, but rather a paranormal activity (completely normalized and legally ratified) which operates both in and outside ourselves. This is how it directs our behaviors, those we impose upon ourselves and those we project onto...
Before the Zombie Apocalypse — These 4 Trade Deals Were Ravaging the World!
Zombies can always be relied on to offer easy thrills, but what really keeps us up at night are the international trade agreements constantly being negotiated by the United States and its partners—each one more terrifying than the last. How can something as pleasant-sounding...
The Battle to Control the 3D Printing Revolution: DIY or CIA?
Scientific and technological innovations have the power to fundamentally transform human civilization as new possibilities previously deemed impossible are made realities. However, it is not the technologies themselves that dictate the nature of the political, economic or...