Feb 24 2015

Newsflash: Wisconsin to Make Union’s Mandatory Dues Illegal; UIC Student Accused of Rape while Reenacting Popular Film; Thousands of Undocumented Immigrants in Texas Transferred from ‘Ritmo’ after Riots

Daily News Flash | Published 24 Feb 2015, 10:45 am | Comments Off on Newsflash: Wisconsin to Make Union’s Mandatory Dues Illegal; UIC Student Accused of Rape while Reenacting Popular Film; Thousands of Undocumented Immigrants in Texas Transferred from ‘Ritmo’ after Riots -

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Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

Wisconsin lawmakers are taking up legislation to make it illegal for unions to have mandatory dues. As part of Gov. Scott Walker’s on-going attacks on organized labor, the bill, if it becomes law, would effectively strip unions of political and economic power. There will be a public hearing in Madison today, but Walker has planned a fast track for the bill and it could swiftly pass. Walker has promised to sign it as soon as it appears on his desk. Wisconsinites have planned protests against the bill, but Walker’s sights are set on the White House, and he appears to see passage of the anti-union bill as cementing his Presidential credentials with the Republican Party. Four years ago, when Walker introduced a similarly anti-labor law his actions sparked what is now called the Wisconsin Uprising. About half the states in the nation already have laws barring unions from collecting mandatory dues, euphemistically called “Right-to-work” laws. Click HERE for a NY Times article and HERE for a Washington Post article on this story.

A 19-year old college student at the University of Illinois in Chicago stands accused of raping a fellow student. Mr. Mohammad Hussein told school authorities that he knew he had done something wrong and that he was apparently trying to reenact scenes from the best-selling book 50 Shades of Grey, and the film based on the book which is currently in theaters. Fifty Shades of Grey, which has been very popular among younger readers and viewers, has been widely criticized for glorifying male dominance, domestic abuse, and rape. Meanwhile, two former football players at Vanderbilt University who were recently convicted of raping and assaulting an unconscious female student are awaiting sentencing. The sentencing hearing for Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey has been postponed to April. The two young men could face decades behind bars. Click HERE for a Washington Post article and HERE for a Tennessean article on this story.

And finally thousands of undocumented immigrants at a detention facility in Raymondville, Texas are being transferred days after a riot left the center unusable. About 3000 immigrants being held at the detention facility nicknamed “Ritmo” for its resemblance to conditions at the notorious US-run prison in Guantanamo, rioted on Friday. The Willacy County Correctional Center is a privately run prison whose rampant human rights abuses and appalling living conditions have been well documented by the ACLU and other groups. Prisoners are housed in large tents where they are exposed to weather conditions, insects, and constant sewage problems. The Friday riot was specifically aimed at the lack of medical care. It is the third time that a privately run prison housing immigrants has faced an uprising. Click HERE for an AlJazeera article and HERE for a BBC News article on this story.

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