Starbucks Union Organizer Says He Was Fired for Wearing Suicide Awareness Pin

A Starbucks union organizer in Buffalo says that he was fired by the company for refusing to remove a mental health awareness pin that he was wearing to honor a coworker who died earlier this year. As reported by Bloomberg, Starbucks fired prominent union organizer and barista Will Westlake on Tuesday. Westlake worked at one of the stores that had originally petitioned to unionize last year, kicking off what would become a historic union drive. The company said that he was being fired for “refusal to abide by the dress-code policy” and attendance issues. Westlake says that he has been…

House GOP Unites Against Condemning White Supremacy Behind Buffalo Shooting

Every Republican in the House voted against a measure passed on Wednesday that condemns the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, and denounces the white supremacist theory that supposedly motivated the shooter. Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s (D-New York) measure, which passed 218 to 205 largely by party lines, explicitly condemns the “Great Replacement” theory — a bunk white supremacist and far right conspiracy theory that global elites are implementing a plan to saturate traditionally white countries with a majority of people of color. The conspiracy theory, which has taken hold among right-wingers across the world, was allegedly the inspiration behind…

“This Is About Blood Money”: AOC Slams GOP for Compliance With Gun Lobby

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) ripped into Republicans and the massively profitable gun industry for their roles in the gun violence epidemic that’s running rampant across the U.S. in a fiery speech on Wednesday. During a House Oversight Committee hearing that featured testimony from survivors of recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, Ocasio-Cortez highlighted that gun manufacturers and lobbyists from organizations like the National Rifle Association (NRA) spend millions lobbying to keep the gun industry profitable — lobbying efforts that are highly successful in coaxing right-wing lawmakers to keep gun laws lax. Gun violence isn’t just…

Thanks to Republicans and Manchin, We May Get Only “Prayers” as Children Die

Entropy (noun): “A process of degradation or running down; a trend to disorder; the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity.” –Merriam-Webster Dictionary On April 20, 1999, two students entered Columbine High School in Colorado dressed and armed for war. When they were finished, 12 fellow students and 1 teacher were dead, and scores more were injured. While not the first actual mass shooting in a U.S. school, the Columbine massacre is widely viewed as the beginning of an age of in-school gun violence that has accelerated in accumulated horror with…

“Innocent” White People Are Also Complicit in the Anti-Black Murders in Buffalo

Pundits and politicos are busy running their mouths full-time in the wake of Saturday’s white supremacist attack in Buffalo. They are saying such hate crimes must end, warning us about the growing threat of domestic terrorism and raising the issue of restrictive gun control yet again. But within this stew of mainstream commentary and politicking, not a damn thing is happening to end anti-Black racism, and the weight of so much suffering again makes me want to scream, to bellow out all the cruelty that I continue to bear witness to within the United States and globally. The only question…

Racist Attack in Buffalo Was Crafted to Terrorize Us. Here’s How We Fight Back.

Every detail of Payton Gendron’s white supremacist attack in Buffalo reeks of the murderer’s clear aim of terrorizing not only the Black shoppers he killed on Saturday but also the rest of us, who are left in fear of the copycat attacks that he explicitly sought to inspire. The murderer shot Black people with a rifle with the N-word scrawled on it. His decision to livestream his racist attack added to the attack’s dehumanizing and dystopian nature by displaying the deaths of his victims as if the massacre were a video game. And the 180-page manifesto that he left behind…

White Supremacist Massacre in Buffalo Shows Alt-Right Ideology Leads to Murder

On Saturday, a white supremacist walked into a supermarket in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, and opened fire. He killed ten people and wounded three others; eleven of his victims were Black. The horrific attack showed the influence of other massacres by the terrorist wing of the “alt-right” that took place during the Trump presidency. The conspiratorial ideology of these attacks, once fringe, now can be found in the mainstream right wing. They also fit within the much longer history of anti-Black lynchings and white supremacist violence that have been occurring for centuries. Six similar far right attacks…

Starbucks Broke the Law More than 200 Times in Campaign to Bust Buffalo Union

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board filed a sweeping complaint Friday alleging that Starbucks violated federal law more than 200 times in its campaign to prevent employees in Buffalo, New York from forming a union. The complaint accuses Starbucks of trampling on the National Labor Relations Act by singling out union organizers for discipline, surveillance, and termination; shuttering entire stores in the Buffalo area amid the union push; and threatening workers with inferior benefits if they voted to unionize. HuffPost published the NLRB complaint in full. “Starbucks has been saying that no union-busting ever occurred in Buffalo.…

Starbucks Is Swarming Buffalo-Area Shops With Top Execs to Quash Union Drive

In June of 2018, just weeks before stepping down, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz issued a farewell address with a few words of wisdom for the company he’d leave behind. In it, he encouraged Starbucks workers of all stripes to “never embrace the status quo,” advising them to approach the world with a sense of “empathy” and “kindness.” But in recent months, as dozens of Starbucks employees organize a first-of-its-kind union drive — an effort that would ostensibly upend the company’s status quo — critics argue that Starbucks has plainly jettisoned its ethos of empathy and kindness to stamp out…

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