How to you define Human Rights?

I have over 1,600 followers and I assume you all care about human rights or you wouldn’t be following my blog. But now I want to ask something of you. Please comment and tell me what the term human rights means to you.

In my next blog, I will examine and Analyze deeply what human rights means to me. But first, I want to hear from you. Don’t be shy. Open up. Share your thoughts, beliefs and experiences. You will make my day by sharing with me!

UC Endorses Calls on Harvard to Condemn Alleged Human Rights Violations During Protests in India | News | The Harvard Crimson

UC Endorses Calls on Harvard to Condemn Alleged Human Rights Violations During Protests in India | News | The Harvard Crimson
— Read on www.thecrimson.com/article/2021/3/8/uc-condemns-indian-protest-crackdown/

Myanmar: UN human rights expert issues report and urges decisive, unified action to put an end to brutality – YubaNet

The total erosion of human rights has been an issue for years in Myanmar, beginning with the military’s torturing and killing of the Rohingya’s while denying them citizenship. The Rohingya’s fled the nation in droves to save their lives after experiencing horrors that we can’t even imagine. They fled to Bangladesh which set up a refugee camp called Cox’s Bazaar, now the largest refugee camp the world has ever seen. They live in abysmal conditions with no hope in sight of a better life.

Now, the military’s coup in Myanmar is blatantly disregarding even the most basic of human rights. They are torturing and openly killing peaceful protesters. Yesterday, 38 peaceful protesters were murdered by their own military. The UN is urging nations all around the world to get involved and help stop the atrocities occurring there on a daily basis. First they targeted the Rohingya’s, now ALL citizens are targets. Are we going to ignore this and allow nations to continue to sell their brutal and illegal military arms that we know will be used to kill innocent civilians?There needs to be an international response as this article covering a report by the UN recommends. The horror must stop.

Jennifer Riaz

Myanmar: UN human rights expert issues report and urges decisive, unified action to put an end to brutality – YubaNet
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/yubanet.com/world/myanmar-un-human-rights-expert-issues-report-and-urges-decisive-unified-action-to-put-an-end-to-brutality/

The government is hell-bent on diluting the Human Rights Act. We must protect it | Human Rights Act | The Guardian

During the pandemic we have seen countries around the world trample on human rights that literally has cost hundreds of thousands lives. That is unacceptable and the public on an international scale needs to be educated about this issue in their own country and others. This article pertains to The Human Rights Act but is important for all of us to read. The protection of human rights is vital in every nation always but ESPECIALLY during a global pandemic. Please read and share this important article.

Jennifer Riaz

The government is hell-bent on diluting the Human Rights Act. We must protect it | Human Rights Act | The Guardian
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/03/government-hell-bent-diluting-human-rights-act

2020 marked 15th straight year of declining world freedom: Report | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera

This is a great article detailing how many countries have had a marked decline in Human Rights and freedom. While the world was consumed with the pandemic, nations took advantage that the population was distracted and passed legislation that eroded human rights and freedom. Very important article that I recommend all people read.

2020 marked 15th straight year of declining world freedom: Report | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2021/3/3/2020-15th-straight-year-declining-global-freedom-report

MEDIA STATEMENT – UN Human Rights Office urges military to halt violence against peaceful protestors across Myanmar – OHCHR

Geneva, 28 February 2021

 “We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protestors.

Throughout the day, in several locations throughout the country, police and military forces have confronted peaceful demonstrations, using lethal force and less-than-lethal force that – according to credible information received by the UN Human Rights Office – has left at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded. Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku. Tear gas was also reportedly used in various locations as well as flash-bang and stun grenades.

The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy. These fundamental rights must be respected by the military and police, not met with violent and bloody repression.

Use of lethal force against non-violent demonstrators is never justifiable under international human rights norms.
— Read on bangkok.ohchr.org/6109-2/

United States: Pandemic Impact on People in Poverty | Human Rights Watch

Since the start of the pandemic, 74.7 million people have lost work, with the majority of jobs lost in industries that pay below average wages. Many of those who lost work and income are running out of money and savings. In January, some 24 million adults reported experiencing hunger and more than six million said they fear being evicted or foreclosed on in the next two months due to their inability to make housing payments. By contrast, higher-income people have been relatively unscathed economically. Despite the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression, the collective wealth of the US’ 651 billionaires has jumped by over $1 trillion since the beginning of the pandemic, a 36 percent leap.
— Read on www.hrw.org/news/2021/03/02/united-states-pandemic-impact-people-poverty

WHO | Mental health, human rights & legislation

A global human rights emergency in mental health

We are facing a global human rights emergency in mental health. All over the world people with mental disabilities experience a wide range of human rights violations.

Harrie Timmermans/Global Initiative on Psychiatry
Photo essay – Denied citizens, mental health and human rights
In many countries people do not have access to basic mental health care and treatment they require. In others, the absence of community based mental health care means the only care available is in psychiatric institutions which are associated with gross human rights violations including inhuman and degrading treatment and living conditions.

Even outside the health care context, they are excluded from community life and denied basic rights such as shelter, food and clothing, and are discriminated against in the fields of employment, education and housing due to their mental disability. Many are denied the right to vote, marry and have children. As a consequence, many people with mental disabilities are living in extreme poverty which in turn, affects their ability to gain access to appropriate care, integrate into society and recover from their illness.
— Read on www.who.int/mental_health/policy/legislation/en/

Rohingya Human Rights Activist Speaks On Situation In Myanmar : NPR

For years, my minority Muslims in Myanmar called Rohingya’s were tortured, raped, killed and had their entire villages set to flames. They had no choice but to flee. Most of the men had been killed so women and children had to make the long dangerous trip to Bangladesh where their dwelling place quickly became the largest refugee camp and the largest that they modern day has ever seen.

The refugees who have already lived through hell now live in deplorable conditions that are filthy, overcrowded and overall a completely miserable place to live. It’s important to note that NO COUNTRY HAS AGREED TO HELP THEM OR LET SOME IMMEDIATE TO THEIR NATION. The Rohingya’s dismal situation with no light at the end of the tunnel is one of the most disgusting abuses of human rights that is currently going on today. They need help. Desperately, yet they are treated as expendable animals with little value and just a burden on society rather then the HUMAN BEING’s they are.

If this is new information for you, please Google the Rohingya’s and you almost won’t believe what they have already been through and face daily. The Rohingya’s need a global response! They desperately need people to treat them with the very basics of human rights. What they have been through and continue to face are crimes against humanity.

Thank you for your time,

Jennifer Riaz

NFI talks with Rohingya human rights activist Wai Wai Nu about what the military coup and ongoing protests in Myanmar mean for the Rohingya people.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

We’re going to look now at what the military coup in Myanmar means for Rohingya people. They are a persecuted ethnic and religious minority. A violent military campaign a few years ago forced hundreds of thousands of them out of their homes and into Bangladesh, and the coup has made their already desperate situation even worse. We’re joined now by Rohingya human rights activist Wai Wai Nu, who is currently in the U.S.

Welcome to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

WAI WAI NU: Thank you for having me.
— Read on www.npr.org/2021/02/17/968760656/rohingya-human-rights-activist-speaks-on-situation-in-myanmar

Cuba Must Finally Answer for Decades of Human Rights Violations | Opinion

A quarter-century ago today, on February 24, 1996, four Cuban-American volunteers were murdered in the sky, and the ruins of their two Cessna Skymasters were left sprawled across Caribbean waters. The civilian aircraft were downed by a Cuban-flown Soviet MiG. This was no accident. The fighter pilot and his wingman, as revealed by their radio transmissions, congratulated each other as they soared back to Havana.

Cuba Must Finally Answer for Decades of Human Rights Violations | Opinion
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.newsweek.com/cuba-must-finally-answer-decades-human-rights-violations-opinion-1571691?amp=1

Relentless Torture Of The Rohingya’s

Decades of persecution culminated in a statewide campaign of organized, systematic, and violent eviction of the Rohingya people by the Myanmar government beginning in August 2017. These attacks included the burning of homes and farms, beatings, shootings, sexual violence, summary executions, burying the dead in mass graves, and other atrocities. The Myanmar government has denied any responsibility. To document evidence of reported atrocities and identify patterns, we interviewed survivors, documented physical injuries, and assessed for consistency in their reports.

forhumanrightsactivism.wordpress.com/2021/02/28/documentation-of-human-rights-abuses-among-rohingya-refugees-from-myanmar-conflict-and-health-full-text/

UN Human Rights Council starts work to address a ‘pandemic of human rights abuses’ | The World from PRX

UN Human Rights Council starts work to address a ‘pandemic of human rights abuses’ | The World from PRX
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.pri.org/stories/2021-02-23/un-human-rights-council-starts-work-address-pandemic-human-rights-abuses?amp

UN Should Speak Up on Covid-19 “Pandemic of Human Rights Abuses” | Human Rights Watch

At least 99 protesters killed and injured in Uganda and 132 arrested in Russia. Nine medics detained and charged in Egypt for “spreading fake news,” “misusing social media,” and “joining an unlawful organization.” In China, 17,000 people investigated for “fabricating and spreading false information online.” And at least 84 prevented from joining protests in Cuba.

These are just a handful of the hundreds of examples of abuse over the past year that Human Rights Watch documented in a recent report on how at least 83 governments and their security forces used the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to crack down on free speech and peaceful protest.

Forming part of what the United Nations Secretary General calls a “pandemic of human rights abuse,” the free speech clampdown includes physically assaulting journalists, bloggers, and protesters; arbitrary arrests, detentions, and prosecutions of critics of government responses to the coronavirus, including medics risking their lives on the frontline; broad censorship through new laws and threats; and arbitrarily banning or breaking up protests against government responses.
— Read on www.hrw.org/news/2021/02/24/un-should-speak-covid-19-pandemic-human-rights-abuses

Documentation of human rights abuses among Rohingya refugees from Myanmar | Conflict and Health | Full Text

Background
Decades of persecution culminated in a statewide campaign of organized, systematic, and violent eviction of the Rohingya people by the Myanmar government beginning in August 2017. These attacks included the burning of homes and farms, beatings, shootings, sexual violence, summary executions, burying the dead in mass graves, and other atrocities. The Myanmar government has denied any responsibility. To document evidence of reported atrocities and identify patterns, we interviewed survivors, documented physical injuries, and assessed for consistency in their reports.

Methods
We use purposive and snowball sampling to identify survivors residing in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Interviews and examinations were conducted by trained investigators with the assistance of interpreters based on the Istanbul Protocol – the international standard to investigate and document instances of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. The goal was to assess whether the clinical findings corroborate survivors’ narratives and to identify emblematic patterns.

Results
During four separate field visits between December 2017 and July 2018, we interviewed and where relevant, conducted physical examinations on a total of 114 refugees. The participants came from 36 villages in Northern Rakhine state; 36 (32%) were female, 26 (23%) were children. Testimonies described several patterns in the violence prior to their flight, including the organization of the attacks, the involvement of non-Rohingya civilians, the targeted and purposeful destruction of homes and eviction of Rohingya residents, and the denial of medical care. Physical findings included injuries from gunshots, blunt trauma, penetrating trauma such as slashings and mutilations, burns, and explosives and from sexual and gender-based violence.
— Read on conflictandhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13031-019-0226-9

Rohingya | Human Rights Watch

The Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination and repression under successive Myanmar governments. Effectively denied citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law, they are one of the largest stateless populations in the world. 

About 900,000 Rohingya are currently living in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh, most of whom fled Myanmar since August 2017 to escape the military’s crimes against humanity and possible genocide. 

The estimated 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State are subject to government persecution and violence, confined to camps and villages without freedom of movement, and cut off from access to adequate food, health care, education, and livelihoods.
— Read on www.hrw.org/tag/rohingya

As pandemic rages out of control, Canada’s governments insist on keeping economy “open” to protect corporate profits – World Socialist Web Site

Flouting the scientific and medical evidence, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought at his press conference last Friday to blame the population for triggering the resurgence of the pandemic due by failing to follow social distancing regulations. Describing the situation as “frustrating,” Trudeau declared, “I know we’ve all heard stories of people who’ve thrown up their hands and are not doing their part anymore. People who have stopped wearing masks or people who are going out more than they should. And it’s tempting for all of us to say, okay, well, maybe I can loosen up a bit more, too. But the reality is we need to go in the opposite direction.”

If there is anyone who has “thrown up their hands” and given up on combatting the pandemic, it is Canada’s federal and provincial governments. They have enforced a reckless policy of reopening the economy and returning to in-person learning in schools, ignoring the warnings of public health experts and the concerns of workers and families. Motivating this homicidal agenda is their determination to make working people pay for the more than C$650 billion bailout of investors and big business that the Trudeau government and Bank of Canada orchestrated last March.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/11/25/caco-n25.html

As pandemic rages out of control, Canada’s governments insist on keeping economy “open” to protect corporate profits – World Socialist Web Site

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly accelerating across Canada, as a direct result of the ruling elite’s reckless and criminal reopening of the economy and schools.

There were 5,707 new coronavirus infections on Monday, setting a new daily record for the second time in three days.

Daily new infections are now averaging well over 5,000 per day, more than twice as high as at the peak of the pandemic’s first wave last spring. Deaths are also rising sharply. COVID-19 killed more than 507 people last week, the highest number of fatalities since early June.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/11/25/caco-n25.html

As virus surges in North Dakota, Fargo food distribution workers strike over lack of COVID-19 protections – World Socialist Web Site

The walkout by workers at Cash-Wa articulates the growing anger of workers over the abandonment by all levels of the corporate and political establishment of any measures to contain the virus and their de facto embrace of the homicidal policy of “herd immunity.” This includes so-called essential workers in food processing and food distribution who are being forced to stay on the job without any serious heath safeguards.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/11/25/farg-n25.html

Trump administration detained over 500,000 immigrant children in three years – World Socialist Web Site

Data recently obtained from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by the Marshall Project shows that the Trump administration has detained of over half a million immigrant children since 2017, peaking with 300,000 children detained during 2019 alone.

The figures show that in at least 40 percent of all cases, the US government violated the 72-hour limit in which children can be held in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. A 1997 settlement, known as Flores, set the 3-day parameters. Yet these have long been circumvented as the mandate can be extended with an influx of minors—defined as over 130 detained.

— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/11/04/immi-n04.html

French police assault students demanding school shutdowns to stop coronavirus spread – World Socialist Web Site

Yesterday, French riot police tear gassed and broke up protests by high school students calling for the closure of their schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Protests and blockades of school entrances were reported in over a dozen schools. They were organized the day after a wave of teacher strikes that began Monday with the resumption of classes after the holiday break. Teachers at dozens of schools held local meetings shortly before 9 a.m. and voted not to enter classrooms under conditions where there were no protocols to realistically prevent the spread of the virus.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/11/04/fran-n04.html

Nigerian government unleashes massacre against police brutality protesters – World Socialist Web Site

In every country, an end to police brutality requires a struggle against capitalism that can be waged successfully only by uniting the working class across racial, ethnic and gender lines, as well as across national borders in a common fight for socialism.

A powerful revolutionary movement of the working class is emerging not only in Nigeria but across Africa and the entire planet. The immense task of providing this movement with political and programmatic direction requires the building of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in every country.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/21/pers-o21.html

San Diego educators launch rank-and-file safety committee to halt school reopenings and save lives – World Socialist Web Site

The San Diego Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee has been established in direct opposition to the dangerous reopening of schools to in-person instruction throughout San Diego County in Southern California.

Our efforts are part of a growing network of safety committees built by rank-and-file teachers, schools workers, parents and students throughout the US and internationally. These committees answer directly to the interests of the working class, not to major corporations, Wall Street, or their political representatives in the Democratic and Republican parties. Nor do we answer to the teachers unions which have facilitated school reopenings, allowing tens of thousands of students and educators to become infected and dozens of educators to die in the past three months.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/16/sdrf-o16.html

San Diego educators force delay in school reopenings as COVID-19 spreads in the region – World Socialist Web Site

Across the United States, the federal and state governments have accelerated the deadly reopening of schools in order to compel parents to return to work. As a result of these homicidal policies, over 53,000 students and teachers have become infected with COVID-19 and dozens of educators have already died since late July.

In Southern California, as in many parts of the country, haphazard state guidelines have allowed for variability and flexibility between districts as they transition back to in-person instruction. San Diego Unified School District, the largest school district in San Diego County, has opened its doors to special education students and small groups. Meanwhile, smaller districts, like Santee School District, plan to welcome all students and staff to their campus simultaneously by the end of October.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/17/sand-o16.html

US border police attack Native American protest against Arizona border wall – World Socialist Web Site

“For months, the O’odham people have pleaded with DHS to protect Quitobaquito Springs and other sacred sites along the border while the Trump Administration has continued to bulldoze their ancestral lands to build his useless vanity wall,” said Grijalva. “Now, law enforcement officials are using tear gas and excessive force against Native Americans exercising their constitutional rights in an abhorrent attempt to silence their voices. Americans are keenly aware of the historical mistreatment of this nation’s Indigenous peoples, and the public will be rightfully incensed by this action. This treatment will not stand.”
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/17/trib-o17.html

State and federal governments conceal COVID-19 outbreaks in US schools – World Socialist Web Site

Across the US, the location of coronavirus outbreaks in schools are being deliberately hidden from the public, in order to prevent teachers and parents from drawing the conclusion that face-to-face instruction should stop.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/12/scho-o12.html

COVID-19 outbreaks erupt in Florida public schools as state demands further reopenings – World Socialist Web Site

Educators, students and parents must not let their lives be sacrificed for the sake of the profit interests of Florida’s corporate elite. As the FEA court case bitterly proved, the only way teachers can defend their rights and safety is not through appeals to the corporate-controlled court system and trade unions, but through the establishment of independent organizations led by teachers themselves that fight for their interests.

Educators must form a network of rank-and-file safety committees independent of the unions and both big business parties, to prepare for a nationwide general strike to halt the campaign to reopen schools and to eradicate the pandemic. We urge all those who wish to take up this struggle to join the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee and contact us today .
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/14/flor-o14.html

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee meets as COVID-19 sweeps through student campuses – World Socialist Web Site

Last Saturday, the UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee heard contributions from educators, students, and parents in the early years, primary, secondary, and university sectors hit by the spread of COVID-19.

Tania Kent, an SEP member and special needs teacher, said in her opening remarks, “Some 10 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, every major news outlet has called attention to the sobering figure of 1 million deaths worldwide.

“These deaths are the direct result of the discredited and reactionary programme of ‘herd immunity’ adopted in country after country. It means that the ruling elite are participating in mass killings of innocent people in pursuit of personal wealth… Millions more will be allowed to die unless there is an independent, internationally coordinated opposition. This is the aim of the Educator’s Rank-and-File Safety Committee, to provide the leadership and programme to direct the opposition which exists but finds no outlet in the current political set-up.”
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/14/eduk-o14.html

Tennessee educators form rank-and-file safety committee to close schools and save lives – World Socialist Web Site

Educators across Tennessee have launched the Tennessee Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee to unite teachers and education workers with the broader working class against the unsafe reopening of schools and workplaces. Our aim is to mobilize the largest section of workers in a collective action to halt in-person instruction, stop the spread of the pandemic and save lives.

According to official data from the Tennessee Department of Health, there have already been nearly 214,000 COVID-19 cases and over 2,700 deaths in the state, with hundreds of new cases every day. However, these figures underestimate the real spread of the virus since they are unable to take into account individuals who did not receive a COVID-19 test.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/13/tenn-o13.html

The objective roots of social inequality – World Socialist Web Site

There is a growing nervousness in US and international political circles about the explosive consequences of ever-widening social inequality, now accelerating as a result of the trillions of dollars being handed out to the ruling financial and corporate elites to ensure their wealth accumulation can continue unabated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/08/ineq-o08.html

Partial closures in New York City as infections spread throughout US schools – World Socialist Web Site

“I support building rank-and-file safety committees. The unions are not only not doing anything to protect us, most teachers don’t even trust them because they’ve sold us out for so many years. We feel vulnerable because they keep us isolated. I think teachers need new organizations to defend our common interests.”
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/05/scho-o05.html

A wave of teacher protests spark staffing shortages and school closures across the US – World Socialist Web Site

Critical article for those interested in the opening or closing of schools. I have no doubt in mind that online learning is our only safe option. This is an international problem and requires an international solution: online schools.

In addition to protests and work actions, states across the US are facing severe teacher and substitute shortages.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/01/teac–s30.html

Nearly 20,000 US Amazon and Whole Foods workers have been infected with COVID-19 – World Socialist Web Site

The increase in Amazon’s market capitalization since the start of the year amounts to $34 million for each worker who got sick.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/03/amaz-o03.html

Opinion: In the shadow of a pandemic, Rohingya challenge our ideas about refugees – CNN

Opinion: In the shadow of a pandemic, Rohingya challenge our ideas about refugees – CNN
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/08/27/opinions/pandemic-rohingya-refugees-hosseini/index.html

Catmandala by Jennifer Riaz

I drew and designed and decorated with ink this large mandala on 11 x 17 inch paper. It took days to finish because it is so detailed. And now it’s available in over 10 available products in #homedecor and a #clothingappearel line plus some misc itesms such as make up bags and phone cases.
— Read on 1-jennifer-riaz.pixels.com/featured/catmandala-jennifer-riaz.html

Toronto police culpable in class action lawsuit over their brutal suppression of 2010 G20 protests – World Socialist Web Site

More than 10 years after the brutal police state suppression of demonstrators during the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto, a settlement has been reached in a citizens’ class-action lawsuit against the Police Services Board. Lawyers for 1,100 plaintiffs who were detained and/or arrested during the protests and the Board agreed on a $16.5 million payout ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 in compensation for each individual listed in the complaint.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/08/20/toro-a20.html

“A poor man’s virus:” COVID-19 reveals the class chasm in America – World Socialist Web Site

A massive social and economic catastrophe is unfolding in the United States. More than 170,000 people—predominantly workers and the elderly—are dead from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty million have lost their jobs. One fifth of mothers with young children say their families do not have enough to eat. In July, half of Americans said they felt depressed or hopeless.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/08/18/pers-a18.html

Beirut disaster highlights dangerous ammonium nitrate stockpiles in regional Australian city – World Socialist Web Site

Last week’s catastrophic explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate at Beirut port has drawn fresh attention to the storage of up to four times this amount at Orica’s Kooragang plant in New South Wales (NSW). The facility is 800 metres from residential areas in the Newcastle suburb of Stockton and just three kilometres from the regional port city’s central business district.
— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/08/13/oric-a13.html

Form independent rank-and-file safety committees of educators, parents and students! – World Socialist Web Site

Lie #1: Children are less susceptible to infection and don’t develop serious symptoms from COVID-19
Nearly 180,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported in children between July 9 to August 6. This is a 90 percent increase in total cases among children in just four weeks. Nearly 100,000 children in the US tested positive for COVID-19 in just the last two weeks of July, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children were 0.5 to 5.3 percent of total reported hospitalizations, depending on the state and age.
When children are hospitalized, one in three need the ICU, which is as often as adults. Six percent of these need ventilators. Since May, at least 90 children have died from COVID-19 across the US, many with no preexisting conditions.
Lie #2: Children rarely transmit COVID-19
Recent, comprehensive studies with large sample sizes conducted in the US, Italy and South Korea each concluded that children transmit COVID-19 more readily than adults. One of the studies, from Chicago, found that babies and young children infected with the virus can carry viral loads in their throats and airways up to 100 times greater than adults. The spread of the deadly disease in Israel has been largely attributed to the reopening of schools.
Lie #3: Schools can be reopened “safely”
A recent study from the University of Florida confirmed that an infective aerosolized form of minute COVID-19 particles can become airborne and travel 16 feet or more, well beyond the recommended six feet for social distancing. These aerosols can also remain suspended in the air for hours in poorly ventilated spaces.
As a result, every school bus and classroom will become a dangerous confined setting even with temperature screenings, masks and efforts to social distance. The Government Accountability Office recently found that 41 percent of school districts need to update or replace the ventilation systems in at least half of their schools, involving a total of 36,000 school buildings.
All of the latest science makes clear that reopening schools will be an unmitigated catastrophe. Last month, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany succinctly presented the outlook of the ruling class toward the pandemic when she declared that “science should not stand in the way” of the drive to reopen schools.
Obsessed solely with the impact of the pandemic on the stock market, Trump and state Democrats and Republicans did nothing as the deadly virus spread in early March. Only the collective action of workers, including a series of wildcat strikes in defiance of the unions launched by autoworkers, meatpackers, logistics workers and others, along with demands by New York City teachers to close the schools, led to the official statewide lockdowns. It has been proven that this saved tens of thousands of lives.
Once again, it is up to the working class to take emergency action. The Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee is fighting to unite all workers—educators, school bus drivers, janitors, maintenance workers and other support staff, with manufacturing, health care, logistics, grocery and food processing, retail and restaurant workers—to carry out a nationwide general strike to prevent the reopening of schools and save lives.
In waging this struggle, we adopt the following demands which we urge all workers to fight for:
For the immediate closure of all public, private and charter schools! This is non-negotiable. It is impossible to “safely” open schools during a raging pandemic. The loss of life and the permanent physical and emotional damage to children who spread the disease to teachers, parents and grandparents dwarfs any disruption caused by online learning.

Full funding for public education, internet access and online instruction! The trillions handed over to the rich must be redistributed to provide universal access to high-speed internet, food security, mental health care, special education support and all other resources needed to provide the best quality remote learning for every student and educator. These programs must be expedited in rural areas, Native American reservations and the most impoverished working-class neighborhoods, which the ruling class has left to rot for decades.

Full income protection to all parents and caregivers who stay home with their children! Educators are not oblivious to the needs of parents, as the corporate-controlled politicians are. That is why the money handed over to the rich must be used to provide full income to those who cannot work because they must stay home with their children. At the same time, full unemployment benefits must be restored and funding increased to protect families, and a permanent moratorium put in place to stop all evictions and home foreclosures.

No loss of income for educators who choose to stay home! Teachers and education workers who refuse to work in unsafe conditions must be provided with full income and benefits for the duration of the pandemic, not fined and penalized. Nearly 1.5 million teachers, or one in four, have a condition that puts them at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

For free speech and the protection of whistleblowers! All those who speak out against unsafe working conditions—whether in schools, factories, warehouses, hospitals or offices—must be defended against any victimization by employers or state officials. All workers who have been victimized must be rehired with back pay.

Halt all nonessential production! Until the pandemic is contained, only key industries such as food production, medical care and logistics should remain open. Workers in those industries must be provided with the most advanced safety measures to prevent infection. All nonessential workers and laid-off workers must be provided with full unemployment benefits and access to free health care.

— Read on www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/08/15/rank-a15.html

Political Prisoners in Iran Contracting COVID-19 at Alarming Rate – Center for Human Rights in Iran

August 11, 2020—Political prisoners in Iran—including prominent labor leaders Esmail Abdi and Jafar Azimzadeh, the human rights attorney Amirsalar Davouudi, the journalist Majid Azarpey and others—are contracting the COVID-19 virus at alarming rates.

Twelve prisoners in Evin Prison’s Ward 8 have contracted COVID-19, Monir Abdi, the wife of the teachers’ rights activist Esmail Abdi, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on August 10, 2020.

“By keeping political prisoners in overcrowded and unsanitary prisons where they are denied medical care and are not separated from ill prisoners, the Iranian authorities are condemning these individuals to COVID-19 and possible death,” said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI executive director.

CHRI calls on the authorities in Iran to immediately release all prisoners testing positive for COVID-19, all those displaying any symptoms, and all those who have come into contact with any ill individuals, for immediate medical care.
— Read on iranhumanrights.org/2020/08/political-prisoners-in-iran-contracting-covid-19-at-alarming-rate/

Ontario Human Rights Commission issues damning report on profiling in Toronto – RCI | English

The report found that Black people are more likely to be “arrested, charged, over-charged, struck, shot or killed by Toronto police.”

It also found that despite the fact that Black people represent only about 8.8 per cent of the city’s population, they represented almost a third of all charges in the data.

The findings are part of the commission’s second interim report into anti-Black racial profiling and discrimination by the Toronto Police Service. 

Titled “A Disparate Impact,” it analyzed Toronto police data from 2013 to 2017.

It found that only a fifth of all charges laid in that time frame resulted in a conviction, but charges against Black people were more likely to be withdrawn and less likely to result in a conviction, which the commission says “raises systemic concerns about charging practices.”

The data analyzed by the OHRC also shows that Black people represent 38 per cent of people charged with marijuana offences, despite conviction rates and studies showing they use cannabis at similar rates to white people.
— Read on www.rcinet.ca/en/2020/08/11/ontario-human-rights-commission-issues-damning-report-on-profiling-in-toronto/