Connecticut’s Democratic Governor Ned Lamont is deploying National Guard troops across the state, on the eve of a strike by thousands of nursing home workers on Friday for decent wages and safe staffing levels. The strikebreaking move coincides with the governor’s release of his “best and final offer,” which does nothing to address the pitifully low wages and dangerous conditions in Connecticut’s nursing homes, where more than 60 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred.
More than 5,000 nurses, receptionists, dietary aides, house keepers and laundry staff, members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 New England, have been working without a contract since March 15. Some 3,400 workers at 33 facilities were set to walk out Friday, May 14, at 6 a.m., with workers at another six homes voting to join them on May 28.
In a climbdown Wednesday, the SEIU said that it would postpone plans to strike at seven of the 33 facilities targeted for strike action on Friday because the operators of those nursing homes had not made sufficient preparations to replace strikers with temporary staff. “We are not there yet, although we remain in dialogue with all parties and hope that we can achieve the funding standards that are necessary to move people up,” SEIU 1199 NE President Rob Baril said.
Lamont and the state Democrats are working with the SEIU to come up with a last-minute deal to prevent a strike. If the union cannot contain the militancy of its members, however, the governor is holding the military forces in reserve.
With a wave of strikes in the US being further fueled by the sharpest rise in consumer prices in 13 years, Lamont, with the full backing of the Biden administration, has threatened to follow the same path as Republican President Reagan and Democratic governors in Arizona and Minnesota, who used military force to smash strikes by air traffic controllers, copper miners and meatpackers during the 1980s.
How disgusting of Governor Lamont. He really is considering something shameful and disgusting. In 2006, Mr. Lamont ran in the Democratic Party primary for US senator and defeated Joe Lieberman. I have to wonder, would even Mr. Lieberman consider what Mr. Lamont currently is? I would hope not. Not a fan of Mr. Lieberman but I would hope even he would show more solidarity with workers -- especially with nurses in the midst of a pandemic.
Mr. Lamont should grasp that re-election is not a given and his term will expire shortly.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Thursday, May 13, 2021. Finally an Iraqi activist's assassination over the weekend gets attention from a US newspaper, protests continue in Iraq, and much more.
Over the weekend, Ihab Jawad al-Wazni was assassinated in Iraq, one of many assassinated since the October Revolution began in the fall of 2019. Yesterday, THE WASHINGTON POST became the first US paper to note this assassination. Louisa Loveluck and Mustafa Salim report:
Mass street demonstrations were crushed last year with deadly force, often by paramilitary groups that the protesters have denounced. Now as some activists prepare to run in elections, prominent figures in the protest movement are being picked off while they walk the streets or drive home at the end of the day.
The assassinations, officials and human rights monitors say, underscore the reach of Iraq’s militia network — to punish citizens who dare to criticize it and control a political system meant to hold it accountable.
Not a fan of the outlet OPEN DEMOCRACY but I've complained repeatedly about the lack of coverage of Ihab so we'll note that Nabil Salih covered this issue yesterday afternoon:
Nightfall is also the time that militiamen and terrorists come out to play, their bullets and rockets punctuating the grim silence.
The latest victims include Ihab al-Wazni, an activist shot dead outside his home in Karbala in the early hours of Sunday 9 May. Just 24 hours later, journalist Ahmed Hassan survived an assassination attempt in al-Diwaniyah.
The state never runs out of promises that it will punish and hold accountable the perpetrators, but ordinary Iraqis continue to die so easily. All in all, Iraq Body Count recorded 235 violent civilian deaths in the first four months of 2021 alone.
The assassinations, says a statement from the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, are proof that the security system is failing to protect activists.
[. . .]
In today’s Iraq, the bar for success is so low that the government carrying out even the simplest of its obligations is touted as an achievement.
The faces of fallen protesters graffitied on the streets of Baghdad are a reminder of a bloodbath whose architects are still unpunished.
In October 2019, Iraq’s youth took to the streets, to demand a dignified life akin to that enjoyed by many of their rulers’ families abroad. They were slaughtered like sheep by unidentified gunmen, under the former government of Adel Abdul Mahdi.
That year, the usual chaos, corruption and death was a part of everyday life for most Iraqis.
One activist assassinated is appalling and news. A wave of assassinations -- an ongoing wave of assassination -- should be a huge topic. Rasha al-Aqeedi notes:
For perspective, everyone in this video collage was killed by Iraqi security forces or assassinated by militias. They were activists, journalists, protesters, community leaders.
And she's referring to this Tweet by Herak:
For all the pretense of being 'woke,' the US continues to stick its head in the sand when it comes to the suffering in other countries. The activists in Iraq are living in the destruction that the US government created. So it is appalling that the US press can't cover this, doesn't want to cover this. Maybe its their guilt over selling the Iraq War? Probably not because guilt really isn't an emotion journalists are known to have.
Ihab died, in part, because of journalistic silence. He wasn't the first killed or the tenth or the fiftieth or the hundredth or . . . There was a lot of time for the press to run with this story and amplify what has been going on. The culture of silence allows these murders to continue.
The press too often silences the deaths and it also silences the reactions to the death. Suadad al-Salhy (MEE) notes that the response to Ihab's murder was to call for more protests. And the protests continue and the protesters continue to be attacked. This morning, Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:
Security forces in central Iraq’s Babil early Thursday arrested large
numbers of protestors who were part of reinvigorated demonstrations in
the city following the assassination of a prominent activist, a local
activist confirmed to Rudaw English.
Masses of protestors, who have taken to the streets since the assassination of Karbala activist Ihab al-Wazni on Sunday calling for accountability, were arrested overnight, according to Babil activist Ammar al-Ghazali.
Videos on social media show clashes between riot police and demonstrators near al-Thawra Bridge in the center of the city. Protesters set tires on fire on the streets, while security forces fired Molotov cocktails to disperse the protesters.
"The protesters agreed to declare a truce for three days during Eid al-Fitr, after which the escalation will resume in the case Wazni’s killers are not revealed, and the arrest campaign against protesters and activists continues," Ghazali told Rudaw English.
Let's note this.
1) GOW-an -- like OW with a G. This is always a pet peever of mine. I applauded Bruce Willis when he interrupted Johnny Carson on THE TONIGHT SHOW to say, "It's Demi." Demi Moore's first name does not rhyme with Emmy. People need to know basic facts. You decide to do a full segment on Rose McGowan know the person's name. It was repeatedly mispronounced.
2) Stop b.s.-ing. Know your s**t. I'm just not in the mood. When Rose is calling out Alyssa and CAA, she's not, as THE VANGUARD says, implying that her agent told her it was a good publicity move.[Clarifiaction added for those who did not stream the video, Alyssa's agent did not tell her that faux pretense abotu #MeToow was a good publicity move. Rose is referring to CAA's well known history of exploitation of women.]
I do not expect you to know the history of CAA. How long before anyone wanted to give two s**ts, Debra Winger was seriously calling it out and had to go back there because it was where the work was. It was a hideous place. And it used actresses. There's a French actress they pimped out to Harvey. We all know this story, in the industry, and many more stories. I don't expect THE VANGUARD to know it. I do expect them to grasp that Alysaa's CAA connection -- the only thing that has gotten her jobs in recent years -- is her husband who was a CAA agent until recently (unless he's still with CAA but I'm told he departed weeks ago, that may be incorrect). CAA would be no more if the #MeTooMovement was for real.
I know Rose, I support Rose. But get her name right and don't distort what she's saying because you didn't do the homework.
The following sites updated: