mlncn

anything i can't justify as a remotely connected to web development will go here instead of https://agaric.coop

In 2021, corona virus strains which developed in 'rich' countries will be devastating 'poor' countries as rich people travel and rich corporations hoard the vaccine.

So far, good public health measures (and undoubtedly some luck and geography) have given much of Africa, Oceana, and Asia orders of magnitude lower per-capita infection and deaths than Europe and the Americas.

With vaccines developed, billions of people should now be safe.

But instead, the US, UK, and EU (which chose, to varying degrees, to let millions get sick and hundreds of thousands die rather than aggressively test, contact trace, and pay people to stay home) are both denying the vaccine (through the WTO) and unleashing their rich to travel.

The system is completely corrupt and irredeemable. Cheer on every effort to pirate this vaccine. Ground every private jet for the multitude of crimes they represent, and the climate and health crimes they will commit if flown. Become ungovernable and build a new world.

Another old draft

Elaboration on https://twitter.com/mlncn/status/1325857315979923458 i never finished:

But more importantly we can and must isolate the hard-core racists and fascists from the millions that are supporting them. Yes these people are absorbing hours of racist media coverage a day, and if you support fascists, well, you're fascist— but still, they're

One conversation with an older wealthy white rural man with actually conservative centrist politics like you would never see on TV (allow mining but require billions of dollars to be pre-paid to address clean-up, mining companies get the money back if no water pollution)

Feel like i should shout out https://twitter.com/jrupprecht_mn and maybe ziibing as actual organizers in rural areas who might have had more than one conversation

Dear Christopher Golden, Regional MTW Coordinator, HUD,

cc: Senator Tina Smith, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar,

My name is benjamin melançon and I am writing because public housing residents are demanding and deserve transparency about the 2021 Moving to Work Plan. Please stop any approval of the 2021 MTW Annual Plan until MPHA holds a virtual public meeting to explain their plans answer people's questions. I am a constituent and actively supporting people who are currently houseless, and none of us want more people without housing. We would rather love expanded public housing— instead we find we must join the fight against loss of public housing!

MPHA's Board of Commissioners, Executive Director Abdi Warsame and Deputy Director Jennifer Keogh refuse to hold virtual public community meetings to answer questions and explain the 2021 MTW Annual Plan before they submitted the plan to the U.S Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for approval. The 2021 MTW Annual plan needs to be paused until MPHA holds at least 2 virtual public community meetings to explain and answer questions concerning the privatization and disinvestment of public housing outlined in “MPHA-2021-MTW-Annual-Plan-Submitted-to-HUD.pdf”.

Why did MPHA fail to meet with public housing residents and the public regarding the 2021 MTW Annual Plan planning process, despite the fact that virtual meetings are easily accessible? (For proof, see MPHA July 22 Board Meeting Packet, notice that there were no public meetings planned between the release of the draft plan and the final hearing and approval: https://mphaonline.org/about/policies-and-publications.)

In addition to explaining their plans to privatize more public housing properties, MPHA must clarify confusing new policies and practices they plan to adopt that will impact the housing stability of public housing residents. MPHA's response to public input on their Draft 2021 MTW Annual Plan is inadequate, as they did not provide the actual comments, they received from public housing residents and allies from Minneapolis to HUD, choosing instead to misrepresent and distort input from their own residents and not answer questions from residents. MPHA failed to submit our written comments and also rejected calls from residents, neighborhood organizations, and the broader public to hold public meetings to inform residents and the public about this important document. Here are some of many questions we have about this plan, MPHA refuses to answer: https://tinyurl.com/Questions-for-MPHA-2021-MTW

Therefore, i am joining many people in insisting that HUD's MTW Coordinator Christopher Golden, Senator Tina Smith and Congress Ilhan Omar must meet the following demands to hold MPHA and protect the rights of public housing residents and rights for the public to access public information:

  1. We are asking for The Department of Housing and Urban Development ( HUD) to pause the approval process for Minneapolis Public Housing Authority’s 2021 Moving to Work Plan, send it back to MPHA, and not approve the 2021 MTW Annual Plan until MPHA holds at least the required 2 virtual public meetings. MPHA submitted this plan to HUD without properly informing public housing residents and residents of Minneapolis. There is no record of 2021 MTW Annual Plan public meetings held at MPHA website, board minutes or meetings agendas.

  2. We are asking you to demand the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) to hold at least two public meetings to inform residents about the 2021 Moving to Work plan, answer questions, and extend the written comment period for the 2021 MTW.

  3. In September 2020, MPHA failed to submit these written comments as they were to HUD. MPHA needs to hold meetings to respond to these comments and answer questions.

  4. Interpreters and translators hired by MPHA need to be objective and interpret what is said and written accurately and effectively.

If MPHA and HUD try to push back and say they have met their legal requirements, how is that possible when public housing residents continue to be undermined and kept in dark about these massive plans that will impact their lives and housing stability for decades. Would you allow this to happen to your own home?

Public housing residents demand respect, transparency, and rights to access plans that impact their lives.

Stop any approval of the 2021 MTW Annual Plan until the most affected are heard and it keeps people safely housed!

Sincerely,

benjamin melançon

resident of North Minneapolis

Supporting housed and houseless neighbors with Minneapolis Northside Mutual Aid, https://opencollective.com/mpls-northside-mutual-aid

Sources:

MPHA 2021 MTW Annual Plan: https://mk0mphaonlineorajvvy.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/MPHA-2021-MTW-Annual-Plan-Submitted-to-HUD.pdf.

MPHA 2021 MTW Annual Plan Public Review and Comments https://tinyurl.com/2021MTW-Public-Review-Comments

Questions MPHA needs to answer regarding 2021 MTW in public meetings https://tinyurl.com/Questions-for-MPHA-2021-MTW

https://mndaily.com/262294/opinion/opinion-the-mpha-and-city-of-minneapolis-have-shown-a-lack-of-community-engagement/?f

(Lightly edited letter from Defend Glendale & Public Housing Coalition on ActionNetwork)

Defend Glendale & Public Housing Coalition website: https://www.dgphc.org/

[wrote this a while ago and can't figure out how to save drafts in write.as and and need to publish something else, so... here internet, have my unfinished thoughts!]

Both can be true at the same time:

  • Preventing people from voting is key to the reactionary rich having control of many elected positions in the USA. (The greater proportion of people who vote, the more poor people vote, the more Black, indigenous, and people of color vote, the more parties and policies that help people as a whole win out.)
  • There are 65 million people for whom white supremacy and fascism are fine, and are a positive motivator for a significant portion of them.

  • Making it very easy for people to vote is essential to democracy.

  • A secret ballot is still important. If it turns out that it does seem that white women voted for Trump at a higher percentage than before, is it possible—given the still-large gap in white men voting for Trump at much higher percentages—that

In downtown Minneapolis this evening, police say a man shot and killed another man and then shot and killed himself while police were pursuing. This may well be true. Police actions following this are unacceptable— again, and maybe will be noticed when not overshadowed by police murdering someone outright.

Minneapolis police, instead of heroically protecting a Target and another store that have reportedly gotten windows smashed (if their excuse for existing is protecting property), have:

  • kettled (cut off from leaving) parts of the crowds
  • maced people
  • fired rubber-tipped bullets (baton rounds, also known as kinetic impact projectiles, less lethal alternative to bullets)

And now they have declared “unlawful assembly”, after their violence has antagonized protesters and gawkers and people-who-just-happened-to-be-there alike, which is often a prelude to mass arrests.

This is police escalation and indiscriminate violence, not de-escalation, protecting of lives, or any reasonable thing they could be doing.

There are a lot of dumb takes on Twitter. But one of the dumbest lately was someone saying a Green New Deal wouldn't move unemployment because we're not a nation of laborers like we were in the 1930s.

He seemed to be arguing two things simultaneously— that public works need 'laborers', presumably manual laborers, and that “we” don't do that kind of work anymore so won't be put to work by the Green New Deal. If it were true that there were no manual labor jobs at all, maybe such jobs would be just what the 40% of people who are working age but do not have any job at all need and want. But of course there are lots of 'laborer' jobs, and lots of unemployed and unemployed laborers.

The main problem with that particular dumb take, though, was the sheer amount of ignorance embedded in it. Some correctives:

  1. The New Deal employed all sorts of people, including artists.
  2. The main problem with the New Deal employment programs is they didn't employ enough people and they ended too soon. World War II did more to put people to work, and we need a much larger effort than that. Saying a Green New Deal won't reduce unemployment because most people now are not laborers is like saying World War II won't reduce unemployment because most people in 1941 were not soldiers— people adapt to society's needs if given a chance, and any one role needs to be supplemented by work spread throughout the whole economy.
  3. If capitalism has encouraged people to develop skills that we have no need for (hint: it has), that's just one more thing we need to fix, even if that means teaching (we need more teachers and trainers too!) advertising executives how to blow insulation into old walls.
  4. But clearly, a Green New Deal at the scale needed to save both human civilization and the environment (hint the environment still has to come first) will need a huge number of technical non-manual work, and even marketers and communication people, if only to drown out dumb takes like that guy's.

Can you imagine an armed officer showing up at your home and handing you a notice that your home must be removed and police will return in 48 hours to dismantle it?

The Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board must dismantle their $6.5M/year police force.

#DefundThePolice now.

Don't want people in the parks? Use some of that money to join @mplssanctuary partner ZACAH in giving people hotel rooms.

Don't think that's feasible long-term? You're right! Join @DefendGlendale and organize to put pressure on @MPLSPubHousing to rise to the occasion and begin a massive expansion of public housing rather than privatizing it.

The evaporating pretensions of the @MplsParkBoard to stand for sanctuary shows that having a police force around will mean repression and violence, even violent eviction from living spaces, before doing the hard work for justice. #AbolishPolicing to remove a block on progress.

All the police budgets in the world won't solve poverty, the rigged economy, and lack of society-wide help and solidarity. But police are, by design, very effective at shielding power from accountability and disrupting efforts to build countervailing power, even mutual aid.

Police disperse, jail, and brutalize to stop movements. We see it suppressing encampments for housing justice and protests against police brutality itself.

We need to see this strategy and stop it from being applied. The one-third of us unable to pay for housing are up next.

Contact the Twin Cities Solidarity Network (at facebook.com/tcsolnet or through me) for eviction defense in Minneapolis / St. Paul and area (we'll connect you with other people in your neighborhood or who have the same landlord or property management company to increase your power).

And the Workers Defense Alliance can help connect you to copwatch groups forming throughout the cities. Get to know your neighbors and build capacity to reduce and resist police terror!

There's never been an easier time to be a hero. Stop the fascists before they start using guns on you. Defend your local post office.

Most great labor victories have been won when workers fight for more than themselves— fighting for and together with families and communities at the very least, and oftentimes for the people as a whole or workers as a class very much in mind. Well, now postal workers are called to fight for themselves, for their country, for democracy.

Help them.

Talk to letter carriers and to people at the post offices. Find out where the sorting machines are. Set up watches.

Do the same at mailboxes in targeted areas. Heck, help people there jump through the hoops to vote early and physically drop off their ballots. While there, ask people what they really want out of voting. Find out ways to show up for people when not asking for their vote, and then demand the same of our politicians.

Plan to bring the same attention and energy to every other way the vote is suppressed (that has already led to at least two stolen presidential elections out of the past five).

Especially now that the House of Representatives has started to interrogate the suited saboteurs in D.C., there's very little chance charges against anyone who surrounds or occupies a postal service facility to protect it will result in a conviction. There's never been an easier time to be a hero.

A few political hit men appointed by Trump can't finish destroying the quintessential United States institution, the post office, in the months it is needed to run the election— if we fight rather than passively being in the right.

Are you one of the many Democrats who thinks Trump is trying to start a civil war, just because he says or endorses stuff like “Leave the Democrat cities to rot” all the time? That thinks he's bringing fascism to the United States just because he basically says so, has concentration camps for immigrants (and people his loyal federal agents suspect of being immigrants), and is trying to sabotage the upcoming election?

Do you know who is going to be his explicit partner in all of this? Your local police force.

#DefundThePolice

Seriously, start abolishing the police in your city today.

The New York Police Department just endorsed Trump. The president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis campaigned with Trump. The Boston police violently attacked local residents counter-protesting the out-of-town fascist-organized “Straight Pride March” and then the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association strongly protested that anyone would pay bail for the victims of their on-duty violence. (Boston police may not have gotten around to formally declaring their alliance with the most openly racist and sexist President in a hundred years due to their former president being charged with raping a young girl.)

Lets take it as a given that you are clear on the danger of Trump and his wannabe fascist friends.

You may not agree with those of us who want a world “where nobody is in a position to oppress or exploit anyone else, and in which all the means to achieve maximum moral and material development are available to everyone” (to quote Errico Malatesta), but we are your essential allies in fighting off the reactionary, fascist, and white supremacist movement that has found a home in the Republican party and an unabashed booster in Trump.

And we need you to call off the cops.

The police who will do Trump's bidding and choose his side—and the side of his armed supporters—in a coup against democracy in the United States are mostly locally funded. Stop the local police from attacking the anti-fascist and other radicals in your town today, or else your police will be able to help Homeland Security maintain Trump's grip on this country in 2021.

I am thrilled to finally be with a credit union in Minneapolis, but my experience joining one illustrates the need for credit unions to rethink their approach and be ready to serve all people.

I've stopped waiting for Village Financial Credit Union to open in North Minneapolis. (As i went to link to villagefinancial.org i see that Google hosting took their site down). My pledge of membership is still good if the community pulls off a miracle and resurrects this essential project.

When Village looked like it was going to come to fruition, it was set to be the first credit union chartered in the United States in a decade. That is the first sign of a systemic crisis; there should be many new member-controlled organizations being formed to meet the banking, investing, and lending needs of diverse communities. North Minneapolis, and much of the United States, very much needs a Black-directed co-operative financial institution, as Village set out to be, for some of the reasons i experienced joining one of the credit unions we do have.

There was no problem with any particular person; the problems are on a level of policy and possibly procedures and implementation, which are undoubtedly common across credit unions.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union was the credit union that came up most often in recommendations from friends and in searches for nearby branches or ATMs— especially for credit unions that didn't appear to require me to get a job with city government or move across town to be eligible! Not that it means it was close. There's almost no credit union presence on the Northside, and not many banks either— we mostly have check-cashing and payday loan places here.

I applied online for Affinity. This was frustrating for technical reasons— their integration with Plaid was broken and that stymied the required step of paying for membership in an organization to ensure eligibility and making an initial deposit. Given my further experiences, i find it bad form to be asked for payment before being approved. But that's minor. The real problem was when the Paid integration was removed and i was able to apply a few days later.

Got through everything, and then later got this e-mail:

Dear Benjamin,

We’re sorry, but we can’t open your account and/or add your name as an owner/signer on an account. At least we can’t do it via the online account application process.

The Reason Why

We couldn’t verify sufficient details about your credit history.

This is all because i refused to get one of the hundreds of scammy credit card offers shoved at me when i was in college, and proceeded to live my entire life without borrowing or lending money outside of friends and family.

But it's also a damned stupid reason to be turned down for a savings account or a checking account, which involve me putting my own money in.

I have gotten multiple bank accounts without having a credit inquiry run on me. For Affinity, it was the only way to identify me when applying online— which is bad enough, but even in person with photo ID, my credit was checked again for no good reason (and found non-existent again, but in-person i was able to open the account).

Credit unions are in the habit of running a hard pull on your credit when you apply for membership. This practice has to stop, period.

For all that our Affinity representative who ultimately helped us with car-side service said it was to “get a birds eye, 360 degree view of you, know what you need” and that “credit is important to us”, it serves nothing so much as to exclude people who need the services of a credit union the most.

The other problems were not being clearly informed of the credit check while submitting the application online; not being immediately informed that i could continue with the online application if i made it to the credit union in person the next day; and being mis-informed that i would need my social security card.

But the main problem is reliance on the unaccountable, error-ridden, and hack-prone credit rating agencies.

If this was so much trouble for me, a middle-aged business owner (also cooperatively, of course) with multiple existing accounts at financial institutions and relatively plenty of money (compared to twenty percent having no or negative wealth) to move into a new account, how does this work for someone with less documentation? With no time or trust to try a second or third time for approval? With bad credit because one of the dozen parasitical monopoly corporations added fees equaling thousands of percent in interest to a returned payment on a water bill, with the big evil bank that credit unions should be replacing putting their own pile of fees for bouncing a check or falling below a minimum balance, sending people from scraping by to being cast out as financial lepers?

Whether Village rises again, Affinity comes to the Northside, or other credit unions step up, there is a vast need here and in neighborhoods throughout the United States that requires credit unions to do more than add physical locations. Credit unions need to design policies and practices for inclusion.

Then maybe with representation in democratic financial organizations, people who are currently excluded and marginalized will have a vehicle to help work towards equity, towards economic justice.

We need credit unions to support many creative and crucial correctives to the cruelty and brokenness of our current economy, including community currencies and other ways of connecting people to economic activity. Wealth as it is currently distributed, based on great crimes of the past and present, from slavery to redlining to discriminatory insurance rates to wage theft to the simple coercive exploitation of having to sell labor to capitalists who can hoard wealth without limit while we have to work to survive the next month, needs to be bypassed to the greatest extent possible.

Credit unions can be a huge part of a fair future, of building a solidarity economy, but first they need to become representative of the people with the greatest stake in this future.