The Stand

Protest is patriotic ● Boeing lays off talent ● Pay the Yakima strikers!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

 


COMBATING RACISM

 

► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Mayor to meet with protest leaders today as demonstrators prepare for sixth day of action after George Floyd’s death — Protests in the Seattle area over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after his neck was pressed under the knee of a white police officer for around eight minutes, are planned to continue for a sixth day Wednesday. Protesters throughout the state Tuesday urged each other to stay peaceful as they marched through downtown areas and met police barricades with chants and calls for action. In Seattle, one group of demonstrators — a group that stretched several blocks — made their way to the city’s emergency management center and called for Mayor Jenny Durkan to come out. When she did, she promised the crowd she’d meet them there Wednesday afternoon to start discussing specific plans for change.

► From the Seattle Times — Seattle police continue to use ‘flash-bang’ grenades during protests, despite recommendations — Deployment of flash-bang grenades, blast balls and other devices to control and disperse crowds have become a hallmark of the mayhem that has marred recent demonstrations in Seattle and other U.S. cities in the wake of Floyd’s death. The Seattle Police Department’s use of the crowd-control tool date back at least several years and has drawn past scrutiny and concern from civilian watchdogs.

► From the News Tribune — After vandalism, Tacoma business owners say there are bigger issues than broken glass — “Our black community has been enduring so much pain for so long,” said UrbanXchange owner Nick Casanova. “Brooke and I are more concerned about bringing justice to the black community than worried about windows on Pac Ave.”

MORE LOCAL COVERAGE of Tuesday’s peaceful protests from the Bellingham Herald, Columbia Basin Herald (Moses Lake), Ellensburg Daily Record, (Longview) Daily News, The Olympian, (Spokane) Spokesman-Review, and the Yakima Herald-Republic.

ALSO TODAY at The StandLabor decries Floyd’s murder, urges action

► From the Washington Post — Protesters defy curfews, but violent clashes with police subside — After a week of increasingly violent unrest in the United States, peace largely prevailed on Tuesday night. Brutal clashes between police and the public seemed to subside, and there were only sporadic reports of looting and other mayhem across the nation. Still, the night was filled with tension in major cities where tens of thousands of protesters defied curfews to express outrage over racism and police brutality following the death of yet another a Black man in police custody.

► From KARE TV — AFL-CIO joins call for Minneapolis Police Union’s Bob Kroll to resign — Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy is asking Minneapolis Police Union President Bob Krol to hand in his resignation immediately, saying he has failed the labor movement and Minneapolis residents.

► From the Seattle Times — Crisis demands Congress check Trump’s leadership failure (editorial) — At a time America urgently needs a great president to unite the people, its president is intent on driving them apart. Congress must fill the leadership void and prevent President Donald Trump from worsening the current unrest, trampling the Constitution and irreparably harming the nation.

► From the Washington Post — Trump’s use of the Bible was obscene. He should try reading the words inside it. (by the Rev. William Barber and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove) — As preachers in the South, one black and one white, we are painfully aware of the ways Christian faith has been used to justify slavery, white supremacy, legal segregation, corporate exploitation, the dominance of women and the dehumanization of LGBTQ people. As Frederick Douglass put it, “Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference.” The Bible as a talisman has real political power. But we believe the words inside the book are more powerful. If we unite across lines of race, creed and culture to stand together on the moral vision of love, justice and truth that was proclaimed by Jesus and the prophets, we have the capacity to reclaim the heart of this democracy and work together for a more perfect union. To do that, we need to read the Bible and live it, not wave it for the cameras.

► From the Washington Post — Barr personally ordered removal of protesters near White House, leading to use of force against largely peaceful crowd — Attorney General William Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials to clear the streets around Lafayette Square just before Trump spoke Monday, a Justice Department official said, a directive that prompted a show of aggression against a crowd of largely peaceful protesters, drawing widespread condemnation.

► From the Washington Post — Trump’s threats to deploy troops move America closer to anarchy (editorial) — There has been vandalism and some looting in the District — often carried out, as The Post reported, by mostly white extremists and criminals who have nothing to do with the thousands who have peacefully and justifiably demonstrated for racial justice. But calling the smashing of shop windows “domestic terror” is cynical hyperbole designed to cast Trump as a “president of law and order,” as he put it. D.C. police are capable of containing the disturbances without interference by “heavily armed soldiers.”

► From The Hill — Poll: Majority ‘sympathetic’ to protesters, disapprove of Trump’s response

► From The Hill — McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump over treatment of protesters

► From the NY Times — In America, protest is patriotic (editorial) — When George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, the scourge of police violence, festering for generations, became a rallying point for Americans yearning for the fulfillment of this country’s founding aspiration to promote life, liberty and happiness. Yet as they turned out to exercise their most basic rights as citizens, these Americans have often encountered only more contempt for those rights from the people who are supposed to protect them. Some protesters crossed the line into violence. Some people took advantage of the chaos to loot. But all too often, facing peaceful demonstrations against police violence, the police responded with more violence — against protesters, journalists and bystanders… It is not enough, right now, for officials to focus on protecting private property. It is not enough even for them to think only of protecting life, though that is critical. They need to also protect the freedoms of assembly and expression, and then to hear what’s being said. That’s where the healing may begin.

 


BOEING

 

► From KUOW — This is how the Boeing layoffs are going down — Machinists and SPEEA unions have posted layoff lists on their websites. A total of 1,239 engineers and technical employees represented by SPEEA are losing workers. But the Machinists are losing the most: 3,792 workers. Their list shows the company shedding hundreds of assembly jobs — jobs it had continued to hire through the 737 MAX crisis, which began in March 2019… These workers are entering a job market in manufacturing and aerospace that is being pummeled by the impacts of the pandemic. There’s a lot of uncertainty about where the opportunities will be. Both the Machinists and SPEEA have jointly applied for a federal Trade Act program that would give workers money for training, job search and relocation help: no word yet on whether these benefits are approved.

 


LOCAL

 

► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, June 3 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 22,157 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 282) and 1,129 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 7)

► From the Yakima H-R — Workers at two Yakima County fruit packing plants say compensation is the key to resolving strikes — These days, the grass area in front of Matson Fruit feels like a safe space for Gema. Gema, who has declined to share her last name for fear of retaliation, said negotiations with the Selah-based fruit company continue, but the two sides remain at an impasse over compensation. Negotiations are also ongoing between striking workers and Columbia Reach Fruit in Yakima, where the main issue is also money. Gema and her co-workers, who started their strike May 12, said they would not return to work until the company agrees to their demands. On Monday, the company said it would respond to the workers’ pay demands by mid-July. That is too long to wait, said Gema, who is part of a committee representing striking workers. Workers also take issue with the contract’s wording — specifically, that the company will “consider” a pay raise. That provides no guarantee, they say.

ALSO TODAY at The StandYakima striker from Allan Bros. dies from COVID-19

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the Washington Post — Trump, Congress face huge economic decisions over aid as country is rocked by protests — The escalating protests across the United States could intensify a political standoff between the White House and Congress over whether to continue emergency economic assistance for millions of Americans. Policymakers must decide in the coming weeks whether to extend emergency unemployment benefits for more than 25 million Americans. They face growing calls to provide billions of dollars in assistance for states and cities, even as President Trump increasingly feuds with governors and mayors. If lawmakers do not act, about $1 trillion in emergency federal aid used to stabilize the economy will disappear in the next quarter.

► From The Hill — Republicans turning against new round of $1,200 rebate checks — Republican lawmakers are voicing deep skepticism about passing another round of $1,200 rebate checks as they contemplate the next and possibly final stage of coronavirus relief legislation.

► From Politico — Trump administration has yet to pay out billions in emergency health aid — Months after Congress approved $175 billion in emergency aid to health providers, the Trump administration has yet to pay out the majority of the funds — nearly $100 billion — amid a series of setbacks and internal uncertainty over how best to distribute the money.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, health care workers are now being furloughed at hospitals in Washington state and across the nation.

The Alcoa Intalco Works aluminum smelter in Ferndale will curtail operations in late July because of unfavorable market conditions created by this tariff program.

► From Roll Call — Want to help essential U.S. manufacturing? Reform the aluminum tariff program (by Tom Dobbins) — Instead of bolstering the U.S. aluminum industry, the Trump administration’s implementation (of aluminum tariffs) is directly harming domestic aluminum workers while benefiting foreign metal producers, including China. The system is forcing U.S. aluminum companies into conflict with customers and suppliers, adding layers of bureaucratic burden and providing a price advantage to foreign aluminum manufacturers.

The Stand (May 21) — IAM, WSLC seek federal help for Alcoa’s Intalco workers

► From Politico — Labor Department inspector general retires after warning of fraud — Labor Department Inspector General Scott Dahl announced Tuesday he was retiring from his post just a day after warning lawmakers of massive fraud in the unemployment insurance system, becoming the latest watchdog to exit the Trump administration.

 


ELECTIONS

 

► From the NY Times — Steve King, House Republican with a history of racist remarks, loses primary — Rep. Steve King (R0Iowa), one of the nation’s most divisive elected officials, saw his power in Congress curtailed last year after he questioned why white supremacy was considered offensive.

► From Politico — Ella Jones elected as first Black mayor of Ferguson, Missouri

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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