Mass Shooting in Boulder, Colorado & Global News

by Debra Brown

Mass Shooting

Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.

 

Mass Shooting in Boulder, Colorado

A gunman opened fire in a mass shooting in a Colorado supermarket, killing 10 people including a police officer, authorities said. One person was taken into custody at the scene in Boulder, where police said there was no ongoing threat to the public.

The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action denounced the Boulder shooting. Both are part of Everytown for Gun Safety, one of  the largest gun violence prevention organizations in the country.

The city of Boulder enacted bans on assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines in 2018 following the school mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. But a state district court judge ruled recently that Boulder could not enforce the bans.

Boulder’s ban is also being challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds.

A day after the seventh mass shooting in as many days in the United States, the Senate remains at an impasse over expanding background checks on gun sales.

 

Evanston, Illinois, Becomes First U.S. City to Pay Reparations to Black Residents  

Evanston, Illinois, on Monday became the first U.S. city to make reparations available to its Black residents for past discrimination and the lingering effects of slavery.

The Chicago suburb’s City Council voted 8-1 to distribute $400,000 to eligible black households. Each qualifying household would receive $25,000 for home repairs or down payments on property.

The program is being funded through donations and revenue from a 3% tax on the sale of recreational marijuana. The city has pledged to distribute $10 million over 10 years.

Qualifying residents must either have lived in or been a direct descendant of a Black person who lived in Evanston between 1919 to 1969 and who suffered discrimination in housing because of city ordinances, policies or practices.

Hundreds of communities and organizations across the country are considering providing reparations to Black people. They range from the state of California to cities like Amherst, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, Asheville, North Carolina, and Iowa City, Iowa; religious denominations like the Episcopal Church; and prominent colleges like Georgetown University in Washington.

 

Hundreds Missing In Aftermath of Fire at Rohingya Refugee Camp

Tens of thousands have been left homeless by the fire at the Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh that houses Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighboring Myanmar.

Reuters reports that Bangladeshi officials have confirmed at least 11 dead. Some 40,000 huts were burned down, Mohammad Mohsin, Bangladesh’s disaster management and relief secretary, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Louise Donovan, a spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said that at least 400 people were still missing since the fire, and that some 560 had been injured in the blaze. She said an estimated 45,000 people had been displaced.

In an emailed statement to NPR, the International Rescue Committee said the fire had also destroyed health clinics, mosques, community centers and an IRC safe space for women.

Most of the refugees at the camp arrived after fleeing a 2017 crackdown against them in Myanmar, which is predominately Buddhist. U.N. investigators say some 10,000 people were killed by soldiers in retaliation for an attack on the army by a Rohingya insurgent group.

 

Amazon Workers Go on Strike in Italy Over Labor Conditions

Amazon warehouse and delivery workers in Italy have gone on a 24-hour strike to call on the company to make changes to workloads, shifts and benefits.

The 24-hour strike is taking place at several Amazon warehouses in Italy, including in Tuscany, Florence and Pisa. Trade unions FILT-CGIL, FIT-CISL and Uiltrasporti said it’s the first national strike to affect Amazon’s entire logistics operations in Italy.

The strike comes as tensions have grown between Amazon and its front-line workforce in Europe and the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic. Warehouse workers in Italy and other parts of Europe went on strike last year to call on Amazon to implement greater coronavirus safety measures. Workers across the U.S. also participated in walkouts and protests last year to highlight similar concerns.

Workers and the unions are calling on Amazon and Assoespressi to engage in discussions around shifts, the pace of work, job security when contracts change, fewer working hours for drivers and more job stability for temporary workers, among other issues. They’re also calling for access to a “Covid allowance for operations in constant pandemic conditions.”

Additionally, warehouse workers at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, facility, known as BHM1, are currently voting on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Unions have a stronger foothold among some of Amazon’s European workforce, but Amazon has managed to head off organizing efforts in the U.S.

Amazon has fought off labor organizing at the company for decades, but workers in Baltimore, New Orleans, Portland, Denver and Southern California are now also reportedly considering union drives.

 

Jackson Mayor Demands Help After Month-Long Water Crisis Amid Pandemic

Residents in Jackson, Mississippi, have been facing a water crisis over the last five weeks, with many people lacking reliable access to clean drinking water after deadly February winter storms caused pipes and water mains to burst. While water delivery has largely been restored, “boil water” orders remain in effect for most people. The city estimates it could cost $2 billion to fix the city’s water system.

The crisis in Jackson, which is 82% Black, highlights how climate catastrophe threatens much of the nation’s aging infrastructure. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says while the city “contributes millions of dollars” in tax revenue to Mississippi each year, state leaders have refused to help and left the city to deal with the crisis by itself.

Here’s how racist infrastructure caused the Jackson, Mississippi water crisis.

 

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