Occupiers creating “facts” on the ground with IDF assistance – Israeli settlers on Thursday leveled Palestinian land in the village of Kafr ad-Dik west of Salfit, local Palestinian officials said.
Settlers from Alei Zahav and the Bruchin outpost used
bulldozers to level land in an area known locally as Thair Subih.
Witnesses say the settlers were escorted by Israeli military forces.
A day earlier, settlers from Ariel used bulldozers to raze agricultural lands belonging to Palestinian farmers from the Salfit town of Kifl Haris.
A local activist who monitors settlement activities told Ma’an that Ariel settlement is expanding to the West and South and construction work has increased dramatically during the 9-month period of peace negotiations.
Ariel settlement is located 16.5 kilometers east of the green line in the center of the Salfit district, blocking Palestinian development in the area.
via Settlers use bulldozers to level Palestinian land near Salfit | Maan News Agency.
Going to Guinness World record for number of coups! Thaksin Shinawatra, the brother of the now-deposed prime minister, had been removed from office in a previous coup that took place eight years ago. But the family has maintained power, and protests started up late last year when Yingluck Shinawatra, prime minister at the time, dismantled the lower house of parliament. She was ordered removed from office by a Thai court earlier this month for allegedly abusing power, the BBC reports.
This is the country’s 12th coup since 1932.
via Military Goes Full Coup d’Etat In Thailand – The Wire.
Uber-Throwback Thursday – in 1930’s style union busting move – McDonald’s employees were among the over 100 people arrested for criminal trespass during a protest against the company’s wages.
Anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people showed up to the protest outside the fast food giant’s Hamburger University campus in Illinois, including 325 employees in uniform. They “stormed through the company’s campus entrance,” Bloomberg reports. About 110 of them were arrested, including several employees, by police wearing riot gear. Also arrested was Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which has underwritten the employees’ efforts.
The protest was for increased wages, an issue employees have been trying to organize around (at McDonald’s and other chains) since at least 2012. One employee told Bloomberg that she wanted to earn $15 an hour and be able to join a union. She currently makes $7.50 and is on food stamps (something McDonald’s recommends its employees sign up for). Full-time fast food employees earn a wage of $9.08 an hour and $18,880 a year on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson earned a base salary of nearly $1 million in 2013. His total compensation was worth $13.8 million.
via McDonald’s Has Its Own Employees Arrested In Hamburger University Wage Increase Rally – The Wire.
Nigel Farage continues to insist that we should be worried if Romanians move in next door (Farage remarks branded racist by three senior Labour figures, 20 May), while YouGov finds that 51% of Ukip voters think immigrants and their families (including those born here) should be encouraged to leave Britain. This merely confirms what was already obvious, yet apparently needs to be spelled out: Ukip is a party that spreads and feeds off racism and xenophobia.
For many years the rightwing tabloids have waged a campaign of hysteria about asylum and immigration, while both main political parties have either contributed or pandered to an increasingly fact-free discourse based on the prejudiced assumption that foreigners are a burden on society. The emboldening of Ukip’s bigoted populism is just one of the entirely predictable consequences of this trend.
The class represented by Ukip’s millionaire backers and personified by its leader – a public-school-educated former City trader and professional politician – has a vested interest in diverting social and economic anxieties away from the rich and powerful and towards our friends and neighbours.
via Nigel Farage and Ukip’s bigoted populism | @guardianletters | Politics | The Guardian.