Pipeline protesters seized a key construction site and carried out numerous acts of civil disobedience on Monday in an attempt to slow down the construction of the Line 3 pipeline route across Minnesota.
Meanwhile, Kamala Harris gets back in touch with her roots as a cop, delivering a staunch warning in Guatemala to any people there who would dare to try to make a better life for themselves in the United States.
And lastly a new report from Motherboard shows that Amazon’s furniture delivery service is causing chaos for the company’s already under-paid and over-worked drivers.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A new major pipeline protest is underway in Minnesota, where native-led activists are trying to halt the construction of the Line 3 project between that state and Canada.
The project is owned by a Canadian oil company called Enbridge. On Monday, the Washington Post reports that dozens of cars filled with activists had descended on a construction site operated by the company.
They were led by a group of native american activists, and were joined by celebrities like Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener, who rallied the crowd as some protesters strapped themselves to bulldozers and other equipment.
Fonda said quote: “Biden has taken a very clear and very beautiful position on the climate crisis. But we are really facing a potential catastrophe, and the science is very clear: it’s not enough to do something good here ——like shutdown Keystone XL, shut down drilling on the Arctic national refuge ——and then allow Line 3 to go through.” endquote.
And in practice, the Biden administration’s point was a whole lot less beautiful. Reporters on the ground caught video of a Department of Homeland Security Helicopter dangerously buzzing another group of protesters on the ground at a pumping station, trying to use the backwash from its rotors to scare off activists.
According to the Post, the indigenous activists leading the campaign see two threats from the pipeline: the existential risk of climate change, and the direct risk of the pipeline polluting tribal lands in the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
If Monday’s demonstrations are any indication, they’re willing to fight to keep it from happening.
Kamala the Cop Goes Abroad
Kamala the cop is back. The Vice President is down on her first international trip, playing enforcer for Joe Biden’s new immigration policies in Guatemala.
She came with a carrot before the stick, of course. Harris was acting as the ambassador of a four year plan to send more than $4 billion dollars to Central America and Mexico in an attempt to improve the economic hardships that drive mass immigration to the U.S.
According to the New York Times, this money will go toward things like investing in young women entrepreneurs and creating an anti-corruption task force for the region.
That’s all well and good, but Kamala was equally clear when she laid out what will happen to those people who don’t place their faith in nebulous U.S. aid, and instead seek refuge in the country by any means necessary.
Harris said: "Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.” Later, she added quote: “I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
While there are some differences between how that kind of policy will play out under Biden, the core message that VP Harris is delivering sounds pretty familiar: it’s the same one we’ve been hearing for the past four years.
Amazon Forces Drivers to Build Furniture
Another day, another scoop by Motherboard on the dystopian Amazon beat. Today, the website reports that Amazon has made an unexpected foray into furniture assembly in order to crowd out other retailers that offer similar services.
Motherboard reports that as a result, untrained delivery drivers are being made to lug bulky items into customers houses and then assemble them, all on a timeframe that they say is wildly unrealistic for what’s expected.
To make matters all the more absurd, Motherboard also obtained the training video for this service, which is a strange cartoon narrated by a monotonous robot featuring robotic workers who deliver lines like quote: “Thanks so much for choosing us! Could you confirm you are satisfied with this delivery and service?” endquote.
Meanwhile, here’s what an actual human driver told Motherboard QUOTE:
"It has been an [EFFING] challenge. It always takes much longer than they allow for. The times they give feel completely random and way off. And there's been absolutely no training whatsoever. They just said you're going to do this."
And as we well know by now, it’s almost impossible to argue with Amazon.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
While his workers are suffering, Jeff Bezos announced that he’s going to space. The billionaire plans to be one of the crew on the first manned flight of a Blue Origin spacecraft in mid July. Good luck up there, Jeff! We’ll all be very interested to see how that flight goes.
Scientists from Scripps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Monday that atmospheric CO2 levels peaked in May, despite the slowdown in fossil fuel use during the pandemic. Not even that respite was enough to stem the constant buildup of CO2.
Something to watch later this week: the New York Times reports that the Senate is preparing to pass a massive package of industrial policy legislation with bipartisan support, aimed at keeping the U.S. competitive with China. It’s amazing what handouts to corporate interests and xenophobic jingoism can do to break the Washington gridlock!
The United Mine Workers say that the bosses at Warrior Met Coal have stepped up their physical attacks on striking workers at coal mines in Alabama, on three separate instances hitting picketers with vehicles, in a shocking display of aggression against organized labor.
AM QUICKIE - JUNE 8, 2021
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn