NoDAPL Is Far From Over
Progressive Army – On February 1, 2017, seventy-six water protectors were arrested at a new camp named “Lost Child Camp.” This camp was set up on land owned by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company that is overseeing construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the town of Cannon Ball, ND. Former congressional candidate Chase Iron Eyes was also arrested.
The day before, on January 31, Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota released a statement stating in part that “I have received word the Department of Defense is granting the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and Congressional notification is imminent.” Senator John Hoeven also issued a statement on the same day, stating in part, “Today, the Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer informed us that he has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline.” On January 24, President Donald Trump signed memorandums to push forward construction on the pipeline. These orders allow ETP to go forward with the project, which had been halted since the Army Corps of Engineers halted the project back in December of last year.
San Francisco Temporarily Suspends Ties to FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force
The announcement comes amid growing concerns of spying on Muslim Americans by the new Trump Administration.
San Francisco may become a model as other cities more closely examine relationships with the feds. The concern is that local police departments could be used for surveillance that is broad and possibly unconstitutional.
The action comes amid growing concerns that local police could be used to spy on Muslims and people who disagree with the Trump administration.
Four Democratic Defectors Join GOP To Confirm Rex Tillerson
The Intercept – Four members of the Senate Democratic caucus broke ranks and joined Republicans to confirm former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. The vote was 56-43, with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., not voting.
Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, voted for Tillerson.
As secretary of state, Tillerson will have tremendous power to influence climate-related negotiations — and to help energy firms secure rights to pump fossil fuels overseas.
Uber CEO Bows Out Of Trumps Advisory Council After Users Boycott
The Guardian – Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is stepping down from Donald Trump’s economic advisory council following intense criticism and an online boycott of the company over its ties to the new administration, the company confirmed Thursday.
“Earlier today I spoke briefly with the president about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community,” Kalanick wrote in an email to Uber staff obtained by the Guardian. “I also let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council. Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.”
Trump Vows To Destroy Law Banning Churches From Political Activity
The New York Times – President Trump vowed Thursday to overturn a law restricting political speech by tax-exempt churches, a potentially huge victory for the religious right and a gesture to his political base.
Mr. Trump said his administration would “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from engaging in political activity at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status.
Repealing the law would require approval by Congress. Certain tax-exempt organizations — in this case, churches — are not allowed to openly endorse or campaign for political candidates. If they do, under existing law, they risk losing the benefits of their tax-exempt status.