Progressive Briefing for Monday, September 3

Labor Day: When workers are recognized as human, $30 trillion to the richest white Americans, Los Angeles educators vote to strike, and more.

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Image Credit: Bettman /Getty Images

Labor Day: 24 hours when workers are recognized as human

The California State Assembly unanimously approved a bill on Thursday that phases out the use drift gillnets in the state by January 2023.

The controversial fishing gear, which can stretch a mile long and suspend 100 feet underwater, is used by fishers to target sharks and swordfish, but the nets inadvertently entangle and kill scores of other marine animals, including endangered species.

The Assembly voted 78 to 0 on Senate Bill 1017, sponsored by state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica). It passed 36 to 1 in the Senate in June. It now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has until Sept. 30 to sign it into law.

What just happened? $30 trillion to the richest white Americans since 2008

That’s nearly a third of ALL our current wealth, newly created and distributed to the richest 10%, who are mostly white millionaires. These fortunate takers profited mainly from the stock market, which has more than tripled in value since the end of 2008.

Wealth statistics since the recession are provided in the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook. A summary of relevant data can be found here.

Injecting wastewater underground can cause earthquakes up to 10 kilometers away

Earthquakes in the central and eastern United States have increased dramatically in the last decade as a result of human activities. Enhanced oil recovery techniques, including dewatering and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have made accessible large quantities of oil and gas previously trapped underground, but often result in a glut of contaminated wastewater as a byproduct.

Energy companies frequently inject wastewater deep underground to avoid polluting drinking water sources. This process is responsible for a surge of earthquakes in Oklahoma and other regions.

In a historic move, Los Angeles educators vote to strike

Today teachers and education workers in Los Angeles, the second largest school district in the country (after New York), voted 98 percent to 2 percent to authorize their first strike in nearly 30 years.

Last spring’s strikes and school walkouts by educators from West Virginia to Oklahoma, Arizona and more, took place in so-called red states. This school year, the strikes have moved to blue states, with teachers in Washington state school districts already on strike and Seattle teachers approving a strike vote earlier this week. The L.A. educators will likely go on strike, if they can’t negotiate a settlement through mediation, in mid-to-late October.

California moves to ban fishing nets blamed for killing numerous species

The California State Assembly unanimously approved a bill on Thursday that phases out the use drift gillnets in the state by January 2023.

The controversial fishing gear, which can stretch a mile long and suspend 100 feet underwater, is used by fishers to target sharks and swordfish, but the nets inadvertently entangle and kill scores of other marine animals, including endangered species.

The Assembly voted 78 to 0 on Senate Bill 1017, sponsored by state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica). It passed 36 to 1 in the Senate in June. It now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has until Sept. 30 to sign it into law.

As nationwide prison strike reaches second week, inmates accuse officials of retaliating with solitary confinement

As a nationwide prison strike demanding an end to brutal conditions and slave labor continues into its second week, inmates and advocates are accusing prison officials of retaliating against participants in the non-violent action by revoking communication privileges and subjecting demonstrators to solitary confinement.

“The retaliation and repression was instantaneous and constant,” Brooke Terpstra, a spokesperson for the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee – a coalition of groups that is helping to publicize the strike – told the Guardian. “Leaders were picked off, one by one, and thrown into solitary in anticipation of the strike that was coming.”

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