Barry Sheppard

As the plight of child asylum seekers separated from their parents fades from the news, hundreds of children remain incarcerated and separated from their families, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

Prisoners in many states in the US began a coordinated national strike on August 21, the anniversary of the 1971 killing of Black Panther member and prison activist George Jackson by guards in an escape attempt at San Quentin prison in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the context a mass radicalisation led by Blacks and youth, the incident became a cause célèbre in its day.

With overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the new 2019 budget for the military is 13% larger than in 2017. It is even bigger than what Donald Trump had proposed, writes Barry Sheppard.

The US spends more on its armed forces than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Britain, France and Japan combined, according to the United Nations. About 17% of the nation’s entire US$4 trillion budget goes to the military.

It is now abundantly clear that the Donald Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy towards parents with children seeking asylum in the US involves separating children from their parents, keeping the children in the US and deporting the parents, writes Barry Sheppard in San Francisco.

Democratic Party politicians and media outlets that reflect their positions have attacked President Donald Trump on certain issues with arguments to the right of him.

One example is United States policy on North Korea. Trump has been taken to task for meeting with Kim Jong-un and initiating discussions with North Korea over its possession of nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them.

The charge is that even meeting with Kim was wrong because it allegedly legitimises and “prettifies” him.

More than 100,000 people took to the streets on June 30, in about 750 cities and towns in every state across the country, to protest the separation of immigrant children from their parents seeking asylum and denounce President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that made this cruel practice possible, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

In response to huge public outcry against his policy of forcibly separating children from immigrant parents seeking asylum, United States President Donald Trump issued an executive order on July 20 to halt the separations.

A victory? Not so fast, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

Washington has a long history of using deportations to strike fear among undocumented workers. In recent years, deportations have multiplied — previous president Barack Obama became known as “Deporter in Chief”.

But President Donald Trump has greatly stepped up the drive, mainly against Latinos without papers. He has unleashed Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) to carry out indiscriminate raids where Latinos congregate, deporting the undocumented. These include those without criminal records or who are guilty of only minor offensives, often separating families.

While the May 14 massacre of protesters by Israeli snipers was occurring in Gaza, United States President Donald Trump was symbolically opening the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was there, heaping praise on Trump.

There were also two pastors present, one to give the opening prayer, the other the closing one. Both pastors were from the extreme rightist, white Christian evangelical community and are well known for their outspoken anti-Semitism and support for Israel.

The world saw two starkly opposed moral cultures on May 14, writes Barry Sheppard.

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