Amazon Watch: Brazil’s Political Chaos

Brazil’s Political Chaos Paves the Way for Environmental Plunder

As Brazil’s President Michel Temer weathers a new storm of corruption allegations that threaten to topple his administration, the rightwing ruralista (elite agribusiness) congressional bloc is cynically leveraging this political chaos to ram through its regressive and malicious agenda. From slashing forest protections to dismantling Brazil’s indigenous agency to undoing the the country’s environmental licensing standards, ruralista lawmakers and their industry backers are waging an all-out war on hard-fought and fundamental environmental and human rights safeguards enshrined in Brazil’s Constitution and legislation.

While an illegitimate president with a 4% approval rating battles for political survival before a population weathering economic recession and weary with rampant and ingrained corruption, powerful political actors and their big-business backers are brazenly attempting to rewrite Brazil’s social and environmental contract. And the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Amazon and its peoples, where the impacts of these changes would disproportionately fall.


how do you mark a four-year anniversary

Four years ago this Monday, fast food workers with Working Washington walked out on strike for $15/hour. A year later we walked into history when the Seattle City Council passed the nation’s first citywide $15 minimum wage law.

From minimum wage and sick days to secure scheduling and paid family leave, when workers organize, speak out, and take action, we can change what’s possible. Invest in the next big breakthrough wins for workers — contribute to Working Washington today.

Working Washington



Happy almost-anniversary!
Working Washington

on this day 5/26 1868 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson was acquitted, by one vote, of ALL charges in his impeachment trial.

0017 – Germanicus of Rome celebrated his victory over the Germans.

1328 – William of Ockham was forced to flee from Avignon by Pope John XXII.

1521 – Martin Luther was banned by the Edict of Worms because of his religious beliefs and writings.

1647 – A new law banned Catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts. The penalty was banishment or death for a second offense.

1660 – King Charles II of England landed at Dover after being exiled for nine years.

1670 – A treaty was signed in secret in Dover, England, between Charles II and Louis XIV ending the hostilities between them.

1691 – Jacob Leiser, leader of the popular uprising in support of William and Mary’s accession to the English throne, was executed for treason.

1736 – The British and Chickasaw Indians defeated the French at the Battle of Ackia.

1791 – The French Assembly forced King Louis XVI to hand over the crown and state assets.

1805 – Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy in Milan Cathedral.

1831 – Russians defeated the Poles at battle of Ostrolenska.

1835 – A resolution was passed in the U.S. Congress stating that Congress has no authority over state slavery laws.

1836 – The U.S. House of Representatives adopted what has been called the Gag Rule.

1864 – The Territory of Montana was organized.

1865 – Arrangements were made in New Orleans for the surrender of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi.

1868 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson was acquitted, by one vote, of all charges in his impeachment trial.

1896 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average appeared for the first time in the “Wall Street Journal.”

1896 – The last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, was crowned.

1908 – In Persia, the first oil strike was made in the Middle East.

1913 – Actors’ Equity Association was organized in New York City.

1926 – In Morocco, rebel leader Abd el Krim surrendered.

1938 – The House Committee on Un-American Activities began its work of searching for subversives in the United States.

1940 – The evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, began during World War II.

1946 – A patent was filed in the United States for an H-bomb.

1946 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed a military pact with Russian leader Joseph Stalin. Stalin promised a “close collaboration after the war.”

1948 – The U.S. Congress passed Public Law 557 which permanently established the Civil Air Patrol as the Auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force.

1956 – The first trailer bank opened for business in Locust Grove, Long Island, NY. The 46-foot-long trailer took in $100,000 in deposits its first day.

1958 – Union Square, San Francisco became a state historical landmark.

1959 – The word “Frisbee” became a registered trademark of Wham-O.

1961 – Civil rights activist group Freedom Ride Coordinating Committee was established in Atlanta, GA.

1961 – A U.S. Air Force bomber flew across the Atlantic in a record time of just over three hours.

1969 – The Apollo 10 astronauts returned to Earth after a successful eight-day dress rehearsal for the first manned moon landing.

1972 – The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) was signed by the U.S. and USSR. The short-term agreement put a freeze on the testing and deployment of intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles for a 5-year period.

1973 – Kathy Schmidt set an American women’s javelin record with a throw of 207 feet, 10 inches.


1978 – The first legal casino in the Eastern U.S. opened in Atlantic City, NJ.

1987 – Sri Lanka launched Operation Liberation. It was an offensive against the Tamil rebellion in Jaffra.

1994 – U.S. President Clinton renewed trade privileges for China, and announced that his administration would no longer link China’s trade status with its human rights record.

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Ellis Island was mainly in New Jersey, not New York.

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police officers in high-speed chases are liable for bystander injuries only if their “actions shock the conscience.”

1998 – The Grand Princess cruise ship made its inaugural cruise. The ship measured 109,000 tons and cost approximately $450 million, making it the largest and most expensive cruise ship ever built.

1998 – The United States Senate approved legislation that allowed the U.S. Mint flexibility on how the mandatory inscriptions on the Washington quarter could be placed. H.R. 3301 allowed the mandatory inscriptions to be moved to the front of the quarter for the 50 States Circulating Commemorative Coin Program.

Why aren’t we talking about this? GEO Group … Private Prison and trump

Brave New Films
We’ve got a story to tell you . . .
Once upon a time (August 2016), Obama announced that the Federal Bureau of Prisons would phase out the use of private prisons. GEO Group, a multibillion-dollar for-profit prison company, saw their stock plummet 40 percent.

The very next day, GEO Correction Holding Inc. gave $100,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC. And when Trump won, GEO Group shelled out $250,000 to support his inaugural festivities.
Now, guess what? The Trump administration just awarded the GEO Group $110 million of our federal tax dollars and a 10-year contract to develop and operate a new immigrant detention center in Conroe, Texas. What is going on?

Your donation of $25 today will help us begin production on this piece.

The private prisons that bankrolled Trump are controlling policy to collect the returns on their investment; anti-immigrant policies mean big payoffs for private detention. It’s sickening. But we will not be silent. We will tell this story.

Earlier this month we launched our immigration campaign with the release of The Call to Sanctuary. We want to continue our immigration campaign with an investigation into immigrant detention, but we need resources to keep telling these stories.

Right now, the Trump administration is serving the interests of private prison pushers over the interests and safety of our communities. We will not be silent as immigrants are rounded up, removed from their communities, forced to detention centers and criminalized for profit.

Thank you for your support.
Jim Miller, Executive Director
P.S. Would you like to screen our current films about immigration? To kick-off our immigration campaign we just released a curated collection of shorts and new discussion guide, Home is a Human Right: A Series on Immigration. To sign up to screen this with your friends or in your community click here.
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