United States

On April 25, the three cops who murdered African American Sean Bell in a hail of 50 bullets in New York were acquitted of all charges.

Coordinated acts of nonviolent civil disobedience took place at six different locations across the city May 7 in a protest against the not-guilty verdict for three police officers who shot and killed unarmed African American man Sean Bell with 50 bullets — on the night before his wedding.

According to the May 2 New York Times, ports on the US west coast were shut down on May 1 by dockworkers calling for an end to the US-led occupation of Iraq.

In an unannounced visit to Baghdad on April 20, US Secretary Condoleezza Rice praised Nuri al Maliki, Iraq’s Shiite prime minister, for “ordering” a military offensive last month in the Iraqi seaport city of Basra against anti-occupation Shiite cleric Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia.

Union members and labour activists attending the Labor Notes conference dinner on April 12 were attacked by bus loads of staff and members of the Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU) — wearing purple SEIU t-shirts — who forced their way into the conference venue in Dearborn, Michigan. In the ensuing melee a number of people were injured.

Even from my bed on the opposite side of the room it was possible to see the gruesome surgical-steel staples bisecting Miguel’s head.

As the full severity of the mortgage crisis emerged over the past year, there were still defenders of the free-market system ready to counter every criticism of sub-prime mortgage peddlers and profit-hungry banks by pinning the blame on the real culprits.

Kathy Black recently took part in a speaking tour of Australia at the invitation of Sydney’s Stop the War Coalition. Black is one of six national conveners of US Labor Against the War and is also the Philadelphia president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), a group affiliated to the AFL-CIO union federation. She spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Margarita Windisch about some of the gender and race issues that US unions have to tackle.

On March 19, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon joined Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz to face a group of 400 stunned Bear executives. Five days earlier, Bear Stearns, one of Wall Street’s five largest investment banks, had lost $17 billion of wealth, triggering the biggest financial panic since the Great Depression.

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