Tag Archive: Dow Chemical Company


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The DuPont and Dow Chemical Merger: Bad Deal for People and the Planet

Groups are calling on the Department of Justice to reject the deal to protect food supply

"Just a handful of large chemical companies including Dow and DuPont already control most of the seed supply used to grow crops like corn and soybeans, as well as the herbicides that genetically engineered seeds are designed to be grown with," said Wenonah Hauter of Food & Water Watch. (Photo: Desmanthus4food/Wikimedia/cc)

“Just a handful of large chemical companies including Dow and DuPont already control most of the seed supply used to grow crops like corn and soybeans, as well as the herbicides that genetically engineered seeds are designed to be grown with,” said Wenonah Hauter of Food & Water Watch. (Photo: Desmanthus4food/Wikimedia/cc)

 

Watchdog groups are sounding the alarm after two of the oldest and largest corporations in the United States—DuPont and Dow Chemical—announced Friday plans to merge into a $130 billion giant, thereby establishing the world’s biggest seed and pesticide conglomerate.

The new behemoth, named DowDuPont, would then be split into “three independent, publicly traded companies through tax-free spin-offs,” according to a joint corporate statement marking one of the the largest deals of 2015.

These companies would focus on agriculture, material science, and “technology and innovation-driven Specialty Products company,” the statement continues. Together, they would form the second-largest chemical company world-wide.

The merger, if it goes through, is expected to slash numerous jobs.

And it would expand the influence of two Big Ag players, with the combined venture retaining control over “17 percent of global pesticide sales and about 40 percent of America’s corn-seed and soybean markets,” according to the calculations of Washington Post analysts.

Rights groups warn that this large share would be very bad for people and the planet—and called on the Department of Justice to block the merger.

“The Department of Justice needs to block this merger to prevent the further corporate control of the basic building blocks of the food supply.”
—Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch

“Just a handful of large chemical companies including Dow and DuPont already control most of the seed supply used to grow crops like corn and soybeans, as well as the herbicides that genetically engineered seeds are designed to be grown with,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, in a statement released Friday.

“Any merger that consolidates this market into fewer hands will give farmers fewer choices and put them at even more economic disadvantage,” Hauter continued. “And it will make it harder for agriculture to get off the GMO-chemical treadmill that just keeps increasing in speed. The Department of Justice needs to block this merger to prevent the further corporate control of the basic building blocks of the food supply.”

According to the New York Times, “Despite the eventual breakup, the deal would undergo rigorous antitrust scrutiny for all three companies, particularly the agricultural chemicals company.”

Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute, confirmed Friday that “any merger on the agricultural inputs side of DuPont and Dow will get antitrust scrutiny.”

Nonetheless, watchdog groups warn that the merger announcement is a bad sign, in an industry that has already undergone dramatic consolidation.

“Some of the markets for biotech and seeds are highly concentrated, which has been driven by Monsanto having made so many acquisitions in the past. If you put a new merger in the this mix, it’s going to raise concerns about leaving only two or maybe three firms,” Moss explained. “Farmers could be squeezed even more and consumers could pay higher prices.”

Robert Reich, University of California at Berkeley professor and former Secretary of Labor, took to social media to warn that the merger would result in greater political power for the corporation, as well as “higher prices for you for food and a variety of other products.”

“Crop prices continue to drop, so the only way these giant companies can increase earnings is by increasing their market power to raise prices (Monsanto is also on the prowl to buy a Big Ag or chemical company),” Reich continued. “That means more of your paycheck will be going to them, directly or indirectly.”

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The Center for Food Safety is warning the public that the EPA is set to approve the direct spraying of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on Dow Chemical’s genetically engineered corn and soybeans. That chemical is one-half of the compound called “Agent Orange” used in Vietnam to destroy foliage; it caused cancer among Vietnam veterans. EPA will render a decision after a 30 day comment period. Dow developed the GE crops, known as “Enlist”, to withstand high doses of 2,4-D (which it also sells) after its disastrous Roundup Ready crops created glyphosate-resistant superweeds.

Crop DustingYou can sign a petition opposing this action at CFS web site called “Dow Watch”. CFS opposes this move by the EPA because they state, “wide scale use of herbicides in tandem with GE crops has led to an epidemic of herbicide resistant weeds, and the next step in the chemical arms race is Dow Chemical’s 2,4-D, a chemical linked to major health problems including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems.”

 

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​EPA advances approval of powerful weed killer for Dow’s ‘Agent Orange’ GMO crops

Published time: May 02, 2014 00:56
Edited time: May 03, 2014 14:35

Reuters / Doug Wilson / USDA
Photo / Handout

Reuters / Doug Wilson / USDA Photo / Handout

The US Environmental Protection Agency has revealed a proposal for mass use of Dow Chemical’s herbicide 2,4-D on the company’s genetically-engineered corn and soybeans. The GE crops were developed to withstand several herbicides, including 2,4-D.

Dow would be allowed to sell the herbicide if the EPA approves it following a 30-day public comment period.

The 2,4-D chemical, combined with glyphosate, makes up the herbicide Enlist Duo. 2,4-D also makes up half of the toxic mix in the now infamous ‘Agent Orange,’ used by the United States during the Vietnam War, which is thought to have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 400,000 people and birth defects in 500,000 others.

Dow’s genetically-engineered corn and soybeans – known as Enlist – have received preliminary approval from the US Department of Agriculture. Should Enlist crops win ultimate authorization, the USDA said that would increase the annual use of 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) in the United States from 26 million pounds per year to possibly 176 million pounds.

The crops are designed to withstand high doses of glyphosate – brought to market by biotech giant Monsanto as their Roundup weed killer – and 2,4-D. Dow’s corn and soybeans thus earned the derogatory name ‘Agent Orange’ crops by opponents of both the highly-toxic chemical mix and the controversial use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in large-scale agriculture.

 

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22.12.2012 Explosion USA State of Texas, Freeport [Dow Chemical Co, 2301 North Brazosport Boulevard] Damage level
Details

Explosion in USA on Saturday, 22 December, 2012 at 11:43 (11:43 AM) UTC.

Description
Fire crews rushed to the scene of a reported explosion at a chemical plant in Freeport. It happened around 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Dow plant at the intersection of Highway 332 and FM 523. Freeport City Manager Jeff Pynes said the explosion was small, and no one was injured. Pynes said there’s no threat to the community, and no shelter in place has been called. A spokesperson for Dow said Emergency responders were on scene of what they described as an incident at the plant. Officials with Dow later said there was no explosion at all. Instead, they said a safety device was responsible for making the loud noise. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Olympics: Bhopal victims organize protest Games

by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP)

Terra Daily

 

photo

clean up Bhopal now
unauthorized rally for Bhopal (Mumbai, India - 2002)

Disabled children suffering the effects of the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India are to take part in a “Special Olympics” on Thursday to protest against London 2012 sponsor Dow Chemical.

The event is aimed at raising awareness about the legacy of birth defects and pollution from the accident at a factory owned by US chemical company Union Carbide, which was bought by Dow in 1999, organizers said Tuesday.

The plant leaked poisonous gas into neighboring slums in Bhopal, killing thousands instantly and tens of thousands more over the following years in the world’s worst industrial accident.

The “Bhopal Special Olympics” will see at least 100 physically and mentally disabled children compete on a sports field in the shadow of the defunct factory, which still contains toxic waste left untreated by local authorities.

The contests in Bhopal — the day before the London Games officially open — will include football, an “assisted walk” and a “crab walk”, in which participants unable to stand on two feet race on their hands.

“We are doing this mostly due to Dow’s attempt to greenwash its crimes,” Rachna Dhingra, a spokeswoman for the five survivors’ groups behind the initiative, told AFP.

“We all find it ironic that a corporation that has disabled people in Bhopal is sponsoring the Olympic Games.”

Organisers are also targeting Britain and its colonial crimes, particularly in India. The Bhopal Olympics “will open with songs and dances focusing on matters that British people could be ashamed of,” Dhingra said.

The decision by London 2012 organizers to stick by Dow Chemical has caused anger in Bhopal and led to complaints from the Indian government, which asked for the company to be dropped as a sponsor.

“Our biggest qualm with (British Prime Minister) David Cameron and (chief Olympics organizer) Lord Sebastian Coe is the simple reason that they never gave the survivors of Bhopal the chance to express themselves,” Dhingra said.

Dow bought Union Carbide more than a decade and half after the disaster and insists all liabilities were settled in a 1989 compensation deal that saw Union Carbide pay the Indian government $470 million.

The local and federal governments have also faced criticism in India for failing to clear the site and prevent further contamination of groundwater more than 25 years after the disaster.

Dhingra said the children in the Bhopal event were all willing participants.

“I would say 60 percent (of the children) have had training. This is part of their rehabilitation,” she said.

“This is what Dow has done. There is no better way to show their crimes.”

The organizers of the London Olympics and the International Olympic Committee have faced consistent questions over their choice of sponsors, including fast-food giant McDonalds and soft drink maker Coca-Cola.

After an outcry in India and speculation about a boycott by Indian athletes, London organizing officials said Dow’s branding would not appear on a giant fabric wrap around the main stadium in the east of the British capital.

 

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Olympic organisers should consider the ethical, environmental and human rights records of multinational companies before awarding them lucrative sponsorship deals, according to London’s elected politicians.

The London Assembly today passed a motion criticising the International Olympic Committee’s selection of Dow Chemical Company as a worldwide partner, in a deal said to be worth $100m over 10 years.

The Assembly said that the decision to do business with Dow, which is the 100 per cent shareholder of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), whose Indian subsidiary was responsible for the world’s worst ever industrial disaster in Bhopal, had damaged the reputation of London 2012.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympics and Paralympics Games (Locog) was also criticised today for doing a ‘local deal’ with Dow, to provide decorative wrap for the main stadium which was described by one assembly member as a an “architectural nicety, but totally unnecessary.”

Dow, which denies that it has any responsibility for the Bhopal disaster or outstanding contamination of water and soil in the Indian city, bought UCC in 2001 – 17 years after the gas disaster claimed as many as 25,000 lives.

Several members of the London Assembly said Dow could not absolve legal or moral responsibilities with regards to Bhopal.

Darren Johnson, Green Party member, said: “Dow was not involved at the time and did not own the Union Carbide plant at the time. But it now owns the company wholly, including those subsidiaries involved the water contamination today, and so it cannot absolve those liabilities because of a take-over a deal.”

Labour’s Navin Shah, who proposed the motion, said: “The issues around Dow’s on-going court cases are complex but they are on-going and very real. The Olympics have become a big business, and money talks in the end. The IOC remains a faceless and shameless organisation, colluding with organisation involved in environmental and human rights abuses.”

Tory member Andrew Boff, whose Party members opposed the motion, accused his Assembly colleagues of relying on media reports rather than the facts. “The idea that Dow Chemicals has a responsibility for the tragedy does not meet the test for natural justice,” said Boff.

Concerns about other major sponsors and Olympic partner such as McDonalds, criticised on the basis of the obesity epidemic, were also raised during the debate. The world biggest McDonalds has been built in the London Olympic park.

Mr Shah said it was too late for London but that the IOC should act for future Games and “[have] criteria for partners that conform to their own priorities and keep out the likes of Dow Chemicals.”

Lib Dem Stephen Knight said the IOC was good at protecting the commercial brand of the Olympics, but not the ethical brand – which should be kept “sacrosanct”.

The following motion was passed with a majority of 16 to seven:

 

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Health

Millions Against Monsanto: The Food Fight of Our Lives

Finally, public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back.
 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Zvonimir Atletic

“If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” — Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994

“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.” — Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications, quoted in the New York Times, October 25, 1998

For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture, aided and abetted by indentured politicians and regulatory agencies, supermarket chains, giant food processors, and the so-called “natural” products industry.

Finally, public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back.

Read Full Article Here

Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizers and Cleaners Fueling Resistant Superbugs

By Anthony Gucciardi

Drug-resistant superbugs, such as the heavily defiant strain of tiberculosis that is now popping up across the globe, are causing serious shockwaves throughout the medical community. Rampant use of antibiotics for unnecessary conditions and pumping livestock up with an exorbant amount (around 80% of the entire United States antibiotic supply) of drugs is a leading factor, but research shows that anti-bacterial hand sanitizers and cleaners are also contributing to the problem.

Anti-bacterial products have become commonplace in many households and classrooms across the nation, though they are especially prevalent in India — where scientists say the overall use of antibiotics in drug and cleaning form alike are way overused. In addition to containing the problematic ingredient triclosan, these anti-bacterial hand washes and disinfectants are also contributing to the rapid growth of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that pose a serious risk to human health. At least when trying to ‘treat’ them with the same pharmaceutical interventions that spawned them in the first place.

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Just One of Monsanto’s Crimes, or Why We Can’t Trust the EPA

By Alexis Baden-Mayer

2,4-D and the dioxin pollution it creates are too dangerous to allow, period, but in the hands of bad actors like Monsanto and Dow Chemical the dangers increase exponentially. What’s the Environmental Protection Agency doing? Helping cover-up the chemical companies’ crimes!
In February, Monsanto agreed to pay up to $93 million in a class-action lawsuit brought by the residents of Nitro, West Virginia, for dioxin exposure from accidents and pollution at an herbicide plant that operated in their town from 1929 to 2004.

That may seem like justice, but it is actually the result of Monsanto’s extraordinary efforts to hide the truth, evade criminal prosecution and avoid legal responsibility.

A brief criminal fraud investigation conducted (and quickly aborted) by the EPA revealed that Monsanto used a disaster at their Nitro, WV, plant to manufacture “evidence” that dioxin exposure produced a skin condition called chloracne, but was not responsible for neurological health effects or cancers such as Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

These conclusions were repeatedly utilized by EPA and the Veterans Administration to deny help to citizens exposed to dioxin, if these persons did not exhibit chloracne.

The EPA knew the truth about Monsanto’s dioxin crimes, but it decided to hide it. Why? It would have affected us all. EPA’s brief criminal investigation of Monsanto included evidence that Monsanto knowingly contaminated Lysol with dioxin, even as the product was being marketed for cleaning babies’ toys.

Here are the details of this jaw-dropping and heart-breaking case of corporate criminality and EPA collusion.

According to Natural News:

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Fluoride Toothpaste Poison for your Brain Reducing Kids IQ’s!

Published on Apr 11, 2012 by

Links at http://experimentalvaccines.org/2012/04/11/fluoride-toothpaste-poison-for-you…

 

 

Mike Barrett
NaturalSociety
cosmeticsnails 220x137 Nail Polish Found to Contain Toxic Gasoline ChemicalLooking pretty often comes with a price, as exemplified by a newly released 21-page report showing that the nail polish applied in many nail salons could be and often is made up of toxic chemicals. It isn’t completely surprising news, as many consumer products like lipstick have been found to contain lead. The information will unlikely result in a decline in nail salon visits, though serious health activism may come about.The report was released by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), which conducted a study on 25 nail polishes which were claimed to be non-toxic. Charlotte Fadipe , a spokesperson with the California DTSC, revealed that the research found a whopping 10 out of 12 products contained toluene. Toluene is a hydorcarbon used as an industrial solvent for the manufacturing of paints, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and rubber. Toluene can be found in gasoline, paint thinners, rubber cement, and glue, with toxicity sparking from inhalation of fumes or ingestion.

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Holistic Health

Home Remedies for Acne

Naomi Woods
NaturalSociety

acneremedies 220x137 Home Remedies for AcneAcne can be a serious hamper on anyone’s self-esteem, and also be the root cause of health-crushing stress. Thankfully, a number of home remedies for acne do exist that have been widely used for many years by those looking for alternatives to risky and ineffective acne drugs. Apple cider vinegar is one such alternative option, which is known for its ability to effectively combat acne. The benefits of apple cider vinegar are many — it can be used not only as a disinfectant around the house, but also as an overall health liquid.

The reason why apple cider vinegar is popular for acne prevention and treatment is because of its natural yet powerful disinfecting properties. According many natural health practitioners, it has natural anti-bacterial properties that help prevent acne, bumps and boils.

The Feldenkrais Method – Alleviate pain and tension through somatic education

By Kiva Bottero,

(NaturalNews) Just as we develop social habits such as smoking or arguing, our body develops habits such as poor posture and tension. Feldenkrais is a method of somatic education that uses simple movements to experience the body within and undo these bodily habits through enhanced self-awareness. The Feldenkrais Method leads to improved posture, flexibility, coordination and a reduction in tension and pain. It’s a safe, simple, and effective practice that anyone can do. Awareness through movement
…

Apricot seed cyanide controversy foolishly obscures an effective alternative cancer cure

By Paul Fassa, 

(NaturalNews) The mere mention of consuming apple seeds, cherry pits, apricot seeds, or bitter almonds tends to cause almost panic attacks or angry reactions in some. Why? Cyanide is in them. So they’re justified in freaking out, right? As a rumor based on too little knowledge, their concern is understandable. All you have to do is Google cyanide alongside any of the foods mentioned above and you’ll get a plethora of articles that all support the cyanide dangers from those seeds and nuts. Some…

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Pet Health

Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Dogs are known for eating things when they are not supposed to. This is especially true of puppies. Also, dogs have an excellent sense of smell, making it fairly easy to find any secret hiding spots for the chocolate. This can be a dangerous combination when there is chocolate around the house.

Chocolate is derived from the roasted seeds of Theobroma cacao, which contains certain properties that can be toxic to animals: caffeine and theobromine. If ingested, these two ingredients can also lead to various medical complications and may even prove fatal for your dog.

Symptoms and Types

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased reflex responses
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma)

Read Full Article Here

Chocolate Poisoning in Cats

Chocolate Toxicity in Cats

Cats, and especially kittens, are known for eating things they are not supposed to. This can be a dangerous combination when there is chocolate around. Also, cats have an excellent sense of smell, making it fairly easy for them to find secret hiding spots for the chocolate.

Chocolate is derived from the roasted seeds of Theobroma cacao, which contains certain properties that can be toxic to cats: caffeine and theobromine. When ingested, these two ingredients can lead to various medical complications and may even prove fatal for your cat.

Symptoms and Types

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased reflex responses
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma)

Read Full Article Here

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Wildlife

Dolphins are ‘people’ say scientists

By John von Radowitz in Vancouver

Dolphins deserve to be treated as non-human “persons” whose rights to life and liberty should be respected, scientists meeting in Canada have been told.

A small group of experts in philosophy, conservation and dolphin behaviour were canvassing support for a “Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans”.

They believe dolphins – and their whale cousins – are sufficiently intelligent and self-aware to justify the same ethical considerations given to humans.

Recognising cetaceans’ rights would mean an end to whaling and the captivity of dolphins and whales, or their use in entertainment.

The move is based on years of research that has shown dolphins and whales to have large, complex brains and a human-like level of self-awareness.

This has led the experts to conclude that although non-human, dolphins and whales are “people” in a philosophical sense, which has far-reaching implications.

Ethics expert Professor Tom White, from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, author of In Defence of Dolphins: The New Moral Frontier, said: “Dolphins are non-human persons. A person needs to be an individual. If individuals count, then the deliberate killing of individuals of this sort is ethically the equivalent of deliberately killing a human being.

“The captivity of beings of this sort, particularly in conditions that would not allow for a decent life, is ethically unacceptable; commercial whaling is ethically unacceptable.

“We’re saying the science has shown that individuality, consciousness, self awareness, is no longer a unique human property. That poses all kinds of challenges.”

The declaration, originally agreed in May 2010, contains the statements “every individual cetacean has the right to life”, “no cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude, be subject to cruel treatment, or be removed from their natural environment”, and “no cetacean is the property of any state, corporation, human group or individual”.

It adds: “The rights, freedoms and norms set forth in this declaration should be protected under international and domestic law.”

The US authors brought their message to the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, Canada, the world’s biggest science conference.

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Positivity Mind and Body

Motivate Yourself

 

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Articles of Interest

Firewall can stop medical device ‘hacking’

by Staff Writers
West Lafayette, Ind. (UPI)


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

U.S. researchers say a prototype firewall can keep hackers from interfering with wireless medical devices such as pacemakers and insulin-delivery systems.

A team of scientists from Purdue and Princeton universities had previously demonstrated how medical devices could be hacked, potentially leading to catastrophic consequences.

“You could imagine all sorts of scary possibilities,” Anand Raghunathan, a Purdue professor of electrical and computer engineering, said. “What motivated us to work on this problem was the ease with which we were able to break into wireless medical systems.”

The potentially vulnerable devices include pacemakers and continuous glucose monitoring and insulin delivery systems for patients with diabetes, now in use by hundreds of thousands of people, a Purdue release said Thursday.

Brain implants under development to control epilepsy and “smart prosthetics” operated using electronic chips also could be hacked, Princeton researcher Niraj K. Jha said.

While risk of devices being hacked may be low, he said, security measures are merited before “attacks” in the lab are replicated on real systems.

The researchers have created a prototype system called MedMon, for medical monitor, which acts as a firewall to prevent hackers from hijacking the devices.

“It’s an additional device that you could wear, so you wouldn’t need to change any of the existing implantable devices,” Raghunathan said. “This could be worn as a necklace, or it could be integrated into your cellphone, for example.”

Ai-jen Poo: Caring Across Generations

Published on Apr 12, 2012 by

Given that one American turns 65 every eight seconds, it should come as no surprise that homecare is among the nation’s fastest growing industries. However, says Caring Across Generations Co-Director Ai-jen Poo, we don’t yet have a system in place to care for these people. Her organization aims to create two million homecare jobs and, in the process, “transform long-term care in a way that recognizes everyone’s dignity.”

In this week’s issue of The Nation, Laura Flanders explains how the campaign has begun to make major progress.

For more videos, visit TheNation.com.

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