United States


October 18th marks the 151st anniversary of Alaska Day. The day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Alaska, observing the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States, which occurred on Friday, October 18, 1867. Few residents, however, say much about the colonization by the Russians and subsequent rule by the U.S. that ushered in generations of land loss and cultural genocide for the Native Tlingit people.


A recent pop-up museum in New York City illustrates the harmful effects that so-called broken windows policing has had on the African American and Latino communities in the city. The exhibit features paintings, installations, and photography drawing attention to the epidemic of police shootings of African-American youth and to racial disparities in policing and the criminal justice system.

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Yesterday, American National Security Adviser John Bolton called the International Criminal Court (ICC) illegitimate and threatened officials there with sanctions and criminal prosecution over an ICC investigation into alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan. He also announced the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, DC, because of its calls for an ICC inquiry into Israel.

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Indigenous activists in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are reviving the tradition of face tattoos as a form of healing from generations of systematic marginalization. Before the arrival of Europeans, people across the Pacific littoral and the arctic ocean used face tattoos to mark transitions in life and social status. After centuries of colonialism and cultural erasure indigenous tattoo artists are now re-learning some of the old traditions and re-interpreting them in an effort to carry their culture into the future.


Inmates in prisons in the United States and Canada who began a strike last week have released a list of demands including sentencing reforms, an end to racist over-policing, and payment for the labor many prisoners currently perform without compensation. Some prisoners have engaged in a hunger strike, others are refusing their commissary. Organizers say they expect this strike to be on the largest in American history.

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American President Donald Trump cut $200 million in development aid to the West Bank and Gaza. The decision will exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza where more than 2 million Palestinians live.  The announcement comes after the US announced in January it would withhold $65 million of the $125 million it had planned to send to the United Nations to ease the humanitarian situation in the disputed territory.


Earlier this week the United States (US) deported a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard back to Germany. Jakiw Palij was an armed guard at the Trawniki camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943, the same year 6,000 prisoners in the camps and tens of thousands of over prisoners held in occupied Poland were murdered.

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One hundred seventeen years after the United States military carted off three church bells as war trophies from a town in central Philippines, the U.S. government has announced it will return the bells. The bells were initially seized during American occupation of the islands when, after an ambush that claimed the lives of 48 American soldiers, an American commander ordered his forces to kill every male older than 10 years.


Indigenous peoples are still some of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities around the world. In a conflict, they are often some of the most affected as their resource-rich territories are coveted by powerful and violent groups, their identity and loyalty perceived with mistrust, and their basic humanity and rights questioned by warring parties. Outside conflict zones, indigenous groups have been forced to battle the slow erosion of their languages, cultures, and traditions while struggling against the effects of centuries of genocide, colonialism, and exclusion.


Last week, Robert Seth Hayes, a black revolutionary imprisoned for 45 years for the murder of a New York City transit officer in 1973, was released from a maximum security prison in the United States. Nineteen black liberationists remain in prison, 40 or more years after they were convicted of violent acts related to the black liberation struggle in the United States.