September 7, 2021

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The Edge

For Afghan Women, Again

“The US government has manipulated and mobilized anti-Taliban feelings for their own ends but have done so in the name of women’s rights. This means that the recognition of women’s rights is over-identified with the US and the West and manipulated by the US for its own purposes. And yet, Afghan women have their own history and resistance to the Taliban.”

Zillah Eisenstein, professor emerita of politics at Ithaca College, writes on the new struggles faced by Afghan women and the potential for a new, global feminist movement.

Read Eisenstein’s analysis on The Edge.

Labor Day Headlines Dodge Workers’ Rights as Pandemic Aid Ends

Unemployment benefits that were implemented to aid workers during the pandemic ended September 6, coinciding with Labor Day. The Department of Labor’s weekly unemployment insurance report shows that about 35 million people, 10% of the U.S. population, are affected by the cuts.

Media broadly covered this, and some outlets mentioned the upcoming Democratic bill to expand the social safety net, but many should have considered deeper examinations of the state of workers’ rights and unions across the U.S.

Read the full report on The Edge.

2021 PCIM Interns Celebrate Summer Accomplishments

After months of research, writing, and broadcasting at a range of independent media outlets, PCIM’s summer interns share the wealth of experience they gained this summer.

From reports at FAIR and the Ithaca Voice to production at Status Coup and The Laura Flanders Show, read these young journalists’ accounts of their recent work.

Upcoming Events

Plastics: The Other Pandemic 

After more than 150 years of plastic production, the material has invaded every living corner of the Earth. As humans and animals ingest up to 52,000 particles of microplastics per year, giant vortexes of trash swirl in the Pacific Ocean.

For System Change Not Climate Change, PCIM intern Alex Hartzog examines the smothering ubiquity of plastic pollution and advice from experts on how to combat it locally, in Ithaca, New York, and elsewhere. Stay tuned as Hartzog delves into broader global impacts on health and the Earth in the coming weeks.

Hartzog and Maura Stephens, independent journalist and former associate director of PCIM, are hosting a webinar concerning further research on plastic waste and how to mitigate it. Join on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

More from The Edge

Media Bash Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal, Ignore Supporters

After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden recently made the decision to fully withdraw U.S. forces from the country. The U.S.-backed Afghan government quickly collapsed and the Taliban, which harbored Al Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks, regained control, posing dangerous consequences for innocent Afghans.

In the wake of the withdrawal, mainstream coverage has centered criticism on Biden, building arguments on perspectives from people responsible for two decades of failure in Afghanistan. Ignoring the misdeeds of officials from past administrations to blame Biden, particularly after lauding his administration consistently so far, is leading to a distorted narrative on America’s wars. 

Further, the absence of pro-withdrawal voices may be an intentional media strategy to support renewed U.S. military involvement. 

Read the full report on The Edge.

Substantiative Coverage of Pipeline Protests Missing from Mainstream Media

The eight-year sentencing of Jessica Reznicek, an Iowan Water Protector arrested for her part in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, has once again spotlighted the criminalization that environmental and climate activists face in the United States. 

Yet, as the negative ecological effects of these pipeline projects become more apparent, and the attacks on water protectors become more brutal, the mainstream media continues to treat the construction of these destructive pipelines and matters of protester criminalization as non-issues. 

Though the Biden administration shut down the high-profile Keystone XL pipeline, it has since continued to back several other damaging pipeline projects. Those protesting these pipelines, like Enbridge’s Line 3, have faced felony charges and excessive police violence. Still, it seems, mainstream media is uninterested in covering them.

 Read the full report on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Protests in Brazil as Bolsonaro critics accuse him of attempting coup (The Independent)

2. Another Extremist Law That Americans Have to Live With (The Atlantic)

3. Inaction On Climate Change Is Greatest Threat To Health, 220 Medical Journals Warn (HuffPost)

4. Taliban announce new government for Afghanistan (BBC)

5. Texas governor Greg Abbott signs restrictive voting bill into law (The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.