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“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone

# 16 Annual Survey on Trade Union Rights

International Trade Union Confederation website, September 2007
Title: “2007 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights”

Student Researchers: Carmela Rocha and Elizabeth Allen

Faculty Evaluator: Robert Girling, PhD

The first Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights to be published by the year-old International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) documents enormous challenges to workers rights around the world. The 2007 edition of the survey, covering 138 countries, shows an alarming rise in the number of people killed as a result of their trade union activities, from 115 in 2005 to 144 in 2006. Many more trade unionists around the world were abducted or “disappeared.” Thousands were arrested during the year for their parts in strike action and protests, while thousands of others were fired in retaliation for organizing. Growing numbers of trade union activists in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific are facing police brutality and murder as unions are viewed as opponents of corporatist governments.

Colombia is still the deadliest country in the world for trade unionists. In 2006, seventy-eight people were murdered because of their union activities, an increase of eight from the previous year. There is strong and disturbing evidence of government involvement in these killings. Of 1,165 recorded crimes against trade unionists in Colombia, just fifty-six went before the courts, and only ten resulted in sentences.

In Mexico, two miners died and forty-one were injured when 800 police officers were sent to confront 500 striking miners and began a brutal evacuation of the mining company’s premises. Violent scenes erupted in Ecuador when police and the army aggressively repressed a union-organized protest against the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the US, leaving fifteen seriously injured.

Employers in the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) of Central America have managed thus far to thwart workers’ efforts to organize.

In the United States, a National Labor Relations Board ruling deprived millions of the right to organize by expanding the definition of the term “supervisor.”

Across Africa, the use of disproportionate force and mass dismissals in retaliation for strike action were a frequent occurrence in 2007. In Kenya, over 1,000 workers on a flower plantation were dismissed after going on strike over workplace injuries and discrimination. Mass dismissals were also reported at a diamond mine in Botswana and at a road-construction site in Cameroon. In Egypt, Libya, and Sudan, the single trade union system prohibits effective bargaining or representation, while in Equatorial Guinea the dictatorship is too absolute to allow organizing.

In the Middle East, some governments took steps towards the recognition of trade union rights, but overall, workers in the region still have fewer rights than anywhere in the world. For example, in Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, and Syria, laws impose an ineffective single trade union system. In Palestine, hostilities with Israel have made the organizing of trade unions virtually impossible. Migrant workers still make up the most vulnerable group in the region. At least twenty migrant workers at two factories in Jordan were arrested and deported for demanding improved wages and working conditions. In Saudi Arabia, the total lack of workers’ rights and protection means that migrant workers, particularly women, are frequently subjected to blatant abuse, such as nonpayment of wages, forced confinement, rape, and other physical violence.

There were more mass dismissals and arrests in response to collective action in Asia than in any other region in the world in 2007. In Bangladesh, the phased introduction of (limited) trade union rights in EPZs got off to a poor start, as employers routinely harassed, suspended, and fired leaders of Workers’ Representation and Welfare Committees during the year. In one incident, police opened fire on strikers at an EPZ garment factory, killing one worker and injuring others. In Malaysia police used batons, dogs, and water cannons to disperse a workers’ protest. The Philippines stand out as the most violent country in the region. In an attempt to crush popular protests against the president’s rule, labor leaders were among those targeted as “enemies of the state.”

There was no change in China where the law does not allow for any independent trade union activity. Over one hundred workers were arrested and detained for involvement in collective protest, while the official “trade union” did nothing to protect them.

A recent report published by the social audit company Vigeo, based on a study of 511 enterprises in seventeen European countries, shows that less then 10 percent of European companies are committed to freedom of association and the promotion of collective bargaining. Changes in labor legislation in several countries added to existing restrictions on trade union rights. The most serious change was announced in Belarus, where a draft trade union law would make it virtually impossible to establish trade unions outside the state-controlled Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus.

Despite all these difficulties, millions of women and men remain firm in their commitment to, or are discovering the benefits of, trade union action.

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