News Releases

Picket Lines at Congressional Offices: “Looming Threat of Nuclear War”


Activists from around the country have begun a week of protests to demand that the U.S. government take steps now to address the looming threat of nuclear war. The picket lines, vigils and other demonstrations are calling for reinstatement of nuclear arms-control treaties that the U.S. has withdrawn from in this century, a shutdown of hair-trigger land-based ICBMs, and genuine diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine.

About 40 protests have been organized nationwide, with grassroots events including demonstrations in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Tucson, Fresno, Salt Lake City, pickets across Washington state, vigils in Hawaii and California, banner displays at a Lockheed Martin facility in Pennsylvania, an interfaith gathering at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York City and a march in Rhode Island. Today, picket lines and rallies are set to happen at a dozen congressional offices in the state of Washington, where many nuclear weapons facilities are located.

The week of action comes as the Doomsday Clock, a measure maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that tracks the world’s proximity to a possible nuclear war, was recently set at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest it has been since it was created in 1947.

Interviews available:

Arent is with Washington state’s chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, part of the Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition that is holding 12 events around the state today (Tuesday). He said: “Washington state is at the center of the atomic world, with more deployed nuclear weapons than anywhere else in the United States based out of the Kitsap-Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base. The plutonium for some of the very first bombs was made at the ongoing disaster site known as Hanford, still radioactive to this day. Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility and our Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition believe it is past time that our members of Congress recognize this legacy and lead our country away from nuclear weapons. We’re asking our members of Congress to support justice for communities impacted by these weapons like the Marshallese, support diplomatic negotiations towards arm reductions and to fight tooth and nail to phase out, not enhance our nuclear weapons arsenal in the impending National Defense Authorization Act. The world is at stake.”

Arent added: “We’re going to show every member of Congress that we won’t be silent on the path to nuclear Armageddon. We have activists in every congressional district in the state saying with a unified voice that the costs of a nuclear arms race are too high, and that justice for communities like the Marshallese people have been delayed too long. We won’t stop until every single member of Washington’s delegation recognizes our legacy as an atomic state, and joins the fight against a second nuclear arms race.”

Black is national organizer of the Defuse Nuclear War campaign. He said today: “The need for action to curtail the possibility of nuclear conflict could not be more urgent. The U.S. has allowed far too many weapons treaties to lapse in recent years, and the Ukraine War threatens daily to plunge the world into nuclear war. Our coalition of activists is demanding that the Biden administration seriously consider the consequences of their inaction in addressing this threat.”

These protests are scheduled for Tuesday:

Peace Vigil – Stand for Peace & Disarmament at Raytheon in Tucson, AZ

Interfaith Gathering with Pax Christi at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in NYC

Support the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Burnsville, MN

Also on Tuesday, activists are picketing political offices across Washington State; see full list:

Defuse Nuclear War Sept. 24-30, 2023 Week of Action –

Zelenskyy and Canadian Parliament Give Ovation to SS Nazi Veteran


Golinkin broke the story “Zelenskyy joins Canadian Parliament’s ovation to 98-year-old veteran who fought with Nazis” for the Jewish Forward — though there had been some information on X/Twitter before any outlet published the story. Golinkin is able to comment on this story as it develops. He is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, a memoir of Soviet Ukraine. He left Soviet Ukraine as a child refugee.

His recent piece notes: “The Canadian Parliament gave a standing ovation on Friday to a 98-year-old immigrant from Ukraine who fought in a Third Reich military formation accused of war crimes.

“The elderly veteran, Yaroslav Hunka was honored during a session in which President Volodomyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine addressed the lawmakers to thank them for their support since Russia invaded his country, saying Canada has always been on ‘the bright side of history.’ The  Speaker of the House of Commons, Anthony Rota — who had compared Zelenskyy to Winston Churchill — recognized a ‘veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians and continues to support the troops today even at his age of 98.’

“The assembly then rose to applaud a man in a khaki uniform standing on the balcony, who saluted. …

“The man was identified as Hunka by the Associated Press, which published a photograph showing Zelenskyy smiling and raising a fist during the ovation.

“The AP caption described Hunka as having ‘fought with the First Ukrainian Division in World War II before later immigrating to Canada.’ The First Ukrainian Division is another name for the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, the military wing of the Nazi Party; the unit was also called SS Galichina.

“This is the same unit that is honored by controversial monuments in Canada, Australia, and, as the Forward recently exposed, the suburbs of Philadelphia and Detroit. Jewish groups have called for their removal.”

Golinkin past pieces include “The Western Media Is Whitewashing the Azov Battalion.”

National Nurses United Calls on CDC to Hold Public Meetings


National Nurses United (NNU) put out a letter on Sept. 21 calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to hold public meetings before the agency votes on new infection control guidance updates. The union takes issue with some of the most recent updates to expected guidance for treating patients with respiratory viruses from CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). 

NNU is urging CDC to involve more experts and stakeholders in the development of these new guidelines, and calls upon the agency to “hold public meetings on the Isolation Precaution Guideline,” a precedent that was set in the 1990s when CDC held public meetings on multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. 

JANE THOMASON; for interviews, contact 
Thomason is an industrial hygienist with National Nurses United. 

In July, NNU told CDC that the new guidance weakens infection control and “fails to fully recognize the available evidence on aerosol transmission” of respiratory pathogens. Hundreds of experts in occupational safety and health, medicine, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, ventilation, aerosol science and public health signed on to the July letter.

Thomason told the Institute for Public Accuracy: The process to develop the guidelines “happens behind closed doors. [HICPAC] is largely composed of infection control and prevention [stakeholders] who run programs at large hospitals and healthcare systems. The committee doesn’t include unions and direct care workers. These updates are the infection control guidance. We call it the bible of infection control. It was last updated in 2007.” 

But CDC offers little opportunity for feedback on these guidelines. “CDC has communicated with [NNU] to come to public meetings and make public comments. But they gave only three minutes for public comment at the August meeting, and only allowed 14 people to speak. Many others weren’t given the opportunity. [HICPAC] isn’t oriented around public input and engagement.”

The new guidelines, which some experts call problematic, create two categories of pathogens––those that spread by touch and those that spread by air––and three tiers of response: routine air precautions (for pathogens like the seasonal coronavirus and seasonal flu), novel air precautions (for pathogens like MERS, “pandemic-phase” SARS-CoV-2) and extended air precautions (for pathogens like measles, tuberculosis, or varicella). 

Thomason argues that this structure “lays the groundwork for SARS-CoV-2 to be downgraded to a ‘routine’ pathogen.” (HICPAC has “not been explicit about when it would be downgraded from a novel pathogen to a routine pathogen.”) Once the virus is downgraded, healthcare workers will be advised to wear surgical masks to treat Covid patients, not N95 respirators. Hospitals will also not be required to set aside airborne infection isolation rooms for such patients. 

Thomason added: The new recommendations suggest that “although seasonal pathogens are transmitted through air, the recommendation is only for surgical masks––even though [surgical masks] don’t offer respiratory protection; they don’t protect you from breathing in infectious aerosols.” The guidance thus fails to “recognize the science on aerosols and fails to protect healthcare workers.”

HICPAC is currently attempting to “revamp” its guidance, condensing the current 200-plus page guidance to just 10–15 pages. The committee claims it wants to “introduce flexibility for employers by offering a minimum standard and instructing employers to conduct [individual] risk assessments. Risk assessments would be done by employers.” That orientation to infection control, Thomason said, “will undoubtedly lead to increased infections in patients and workers. It’s a way that employers can prioritize profits and say that they are compliant with CDC guidance––even while they are locking up N95 respirators. That’s what they’re trying to do for every pathogen.” The new guidance will potentially be cost-saving for hospitals and providers. “It’s about employers screening patients, not wanting to isolate patients, wanting to place patients anywhere to maximize their bed use rate to make money, not paying for fit testing, not paying for N95s, not paying for contact tracing or sick leave or the ventilation that we’ve learned is necessary.”  

Thomason added: “This is the opposite direction than they should be headed in.” 

Menendez Indictment and Egypt


The Hill is reporting: “A federal indictment against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) unsealed Friday could threaten his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The government alleges that Menendez ‘provided sensitive U.S. government information and took other steps that secretly aided the government of Egypt,’ the indictment reads. …

“At other points in the indictment, Menendez is described as skirting his committee, at one point asking the State Department for a breakdown of staffing at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, information ‘deemed highly sensitive because it could pose significant operational security concerns if disclosed to a foreign government or if made public.’ …

“Menendez, without alerting the State Department or any of his congressional staff, passed it along to his then-girlfriend, who passed it along to a friend also charged in the indictment, who passed it along to an Egyptian government official. …”


Professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, Zunes wrote the piece “One of the Democrats’ Biggest Hawks Is Now Senate Foreign Relations Chair,” which states: “Sen. Robert Menendez has opposed the Iran nuclear agreement and attacked Republicans from the right on foreign policy.”

He said today: “Menendez’s indictment for passing on sensitive government information to strengthen the Sisi regime underscores the often-overlooked bipartisan support for Egypt’s brutal dictatorship — one of the most repressive in the world. Despite holding over 60,000 political prisoners, a muzzled press, extrajudicial killings, torture on an administrative basis, and an absence of free elections, the Biden administration and key senators like Menendez have insisted the American taxpayer spend over $1 billion annually propping up Sisi’s autocratic rule, making Egypt the third highest recipient of U.S. military aid.”

Biden and Trump Both Treat U.S. Jews as “Appendages of Israel”


ABBA SOLOMON,, @abba.a.solomon
Solomon is author of two books on Zionism, The Miasma of Unity: Jews and Israel and The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein’s Speech “The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews.”

He said today: “This week, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden spoke to American Jews with a Zionist accent. In both cases, they cast American Jews as appendages to Israel, the Zionist project controlling Palestine.

“Trump did so with an ominous post on the Rosh Hashanah new year holiday: ‘Just a quick reminder for liberal Jews who voted to destroy America & Israel because you believed false narratives! Let’s hope you learned from your mistake & make better choices moving forward! Happy New Year!’

“President Biden greeted Prime Minister Netanyahu in New York with, ‘I think without Israel, there’s not a Jew in the world who’s secure.’ [See video.]

“President Biden’s Rosh Hashanah phone message from the White House to American rabbis included a pledge to ‘protect’ Israel.

“In the case of both American leaders, Jewish Americans are spoken to as having a second nationality, Israeli in spirit — confirming British cabinet member Edwin Montagu’s 1917 warning at the time of the Balfour Declaration promising UK support for a ‘Jewish Homeland’ in Palestine:

    “Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. … it seems to be inconceivable that Zionism should be officially recognised by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the ‘national home of the Jewish people’. … Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. … I would ask of a British Government sufficient tolerance to refuse a conclusion which makes aliens and foreigners by implication, if not at once by law, of all their Jewish fellow-citizens.”

On Israel and Saudi: Biden Admin “Normalizing Atrocities and Apartheid”


“This is not just a failure of American foreign policy; it’s an endorsement of oppression,” said Jarrar, Advocacy Director of DAWN, Democracy for the Arab World Now, the organization founded by the late Jamal Khashoggi. “While the Biden administration heralds a new era of ‘normalization’ with some of the most notorious human rights abusers in the region, such as [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and MBS [Mohammed bin Salman], what’s being normalized are ongoing atrocities and a state of apartheid. The U.S. is bending over backwards, offering security guarantees and blank-check policies, all at the expense of Palestinian rights and freedoms.”

The Times of Israel reports: “Colombian leader slams powers for backing Ukraine, but not Palestinians.” Colombian President Gustavo Petro Urrego commented on the need to “bring an end to hypocrisy as a political practice.”

Netanyahu met with Elon Musk this week.

Antony Loewenstein, the author of The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World wrote online Wednesday: “’I think without Israel, there’s not a Jew in the world who’s secure,’ President Joe Biden [said] just now when talking to #Netanyahu in NYC. This statement is simply untrue as Israel and its endless occupation of #Palestine has undeniably increased insecurity for Jews across the globe.”

Loewenstein was recently featured on the IPA news release “The Palestine Laboratory: X/Twitter Reportedly Working with Israeli Surveillance Firm.”


Silverstein writes at Tikun Olam. He said today: “The U.S. is attempting to broker an extremely complex deal with Israel and Saudi Arabia. It’s reported to involve a mutual defense pact by which the U.S. would guarantee military support in case the Kingdom is attacked. The Saudis also want a nuclear arrangement offering them a nuclear reactor.

“In return, the U.S.” gets the Saudis to “normalize relations with Israel. But they also need ‘cover’ in the Arab world. …

“Even though Israel is refusing to offer them anything meaningful, that has proven unacceptable to Netanyahu’s settler coalition partners, who have threatened to bolt if Netanyahu agrees to such a deal.

“Though the Biden administration has placed a huge premium on getting the deal done, it raises huge questions about the commitments it is making to an autocratic monarchy, whose ruler has murdered opponents like dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

Updated CDC Mask Guidance for Healthcare Workers


A draft of expected CDC guidance recommends that healthcare workers wear surgical masks when treating patients with endemic respiratory infections, like flu. This most recent draft “controversially concluded that N95 face masks are equivalent to looser, surgical face masks.” For now, the newest guidelines won’t apply to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Still, some health providers and workplace health and safety experts are concerned. 

JORDAN BARAB;, @jbarab
    Barab was the OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2009 to 2017. He writes Confined Space, a newsletter about workplace safety and labor. 

The newest recommendations hinge on studies that find “no difference in infection rates among health providers who wear N95 masks versus surgical masks in the clinic”––directly contradicting the CDC’s own 2022 report, which indicated that N95s do significantly cut the risk of transmission. 

Barab told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “I can’t understand what difference the endemicity [of a virus] makes. Endemicity has nothing to do with seriousness or the type of spread. Determining what type of respiratory protection [healthcare workers] wear should be determined by how the pathogen or virus is transmitted and the seriousness of it. 

“It’s very clear that Covid-19 is not just transmitted through droplets that fall to the ground, but [also] through aerosolized transmission, which persist in the air for longer and can travel further distances. In that case, a loose-fitting surgical [mask] isn’t as effective.”

If the CDC’s new draft goes into effect, it also may be in conflict with guidelines from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA “can mandate whatever it wants to mandate,” Barab said, “and that takes precedence over CDC recommendations. The trouble is that the two agencies shouldn’t really require different things, and they need to figure that out. The CDC is seen as the agency with more expertise, so they tend to win out.”

Many states also have their own OSHA offices. Those states “are able to issue their own standards as long as they are at least as effective as federal OSHA standards.” In California, for example, the state’s OSHA “can require N95s even if the CDC isn’t recommending them.” Though there is no legal issue there, the varying recommendations are problematic because they create further confusion for the public. 

There is an “industrial hierarchy of controls, which [defines] which types of controls are most effective and should be employed first,” Barab said. Engineering controls (such as improving ventilation) and administrative controls (such as implementing isolation rooms for infectious people) are high in the hierarchy. “At the bottom of the hierarchy is personal protective equipment like N95 respirators. Those are not as effective [as higher controls] because they require people to do something, rather than being passive controls. To the extent that you focus too much on the bottom of the hierarchy and are ignoring ventilation, it’s a distraction. And that’s a problem with HICPAC [the Healthcare Infection Control Advisory Committee, which released the newest guidelines]. They are ignoring the whole area of ventilation.” 

Did U.S. Ukraine Policy Help Crush Pakistani Democracy?


Ryan Grim of The Intercept reports: “U.S. helped Pakistan cancel elections with a controversial IMF bailout–funded by a secret Ukraine weapons program.” He writes: “Pakistani arms sales to the U.S. helped to facilitate a controversial bailout from the International Monetary Fund earlier this year, according to two sources with knowledge of the arrangement, with confirmation from internal Pakistani and American government documents. The arms sales were made for the purpose of supplying the Ukrainian military — marking Pakistani involvement in a conflict it had faced U.S. pressure to take sides on.    “The revelation is a window into the kind of behind-the-scenes maneuvering between financial and political elites that rarely is exposed to the public, even as the public pays the price. Harsh structural policy reforms demanded by the IMF as terms for its recent bailout kicked off an ongoing round of protests in the country. Major strikes have taken place throughout Pakistan in recent weeks in response to the measures.    “The protests are the latest chapter in a year-and-a-half-long political crisis roiling the country. In April 2022, the Pakistani military, with the encouragement of the U.S., helped organize a no-confidence vote to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan. Ahead of the ouster, State Department diplomats privately expressed anger to their Pakistani counterparts over what they called Pakistan’s ‘aggressively neutral’ stance on the Ukraine war under Khan. They warned of dire consequences if Khan remained in power and promised ‘all would be forgiven’ if he were removed.    “Since Khan’s ouster, Pakistan has emerged as a useful supporter of the U.S. and its allies in the war, assistance that has now been repaid with an IMF loan. The emergency loan allowed the new Pakistani government to put off a looming economic catastrophe and indefinitely postpone elections — time it used to launch a nationwide crackdown on civil society and jail Khan.”

Last month, Ryan Grim and Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept reported: “Secret Pakistan Cable Documents U.S. Pressure to Remove Imran Khan.”

The following are available for interviews on these reports and the wider context:
ABDUL JABBAR,    Jabbar is emeritus professor of interdisciplinary studies, City College of San Francisco, California.
Ahmad teaches law, religion, and world politics in Pakistan and is the director of the Center for the Study of Islam and Decoloniality.

Illinois Becomes First State to End Money Bail


On Tuesday, Illinois implements the Pretrial Fairness Act and becomes the first state in the country to completely end the use of money bail.

The Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice has been a major force in backing the Act. They released a statement: “The Pretrial Fairness Act provides Illinois communities with the opportunity to begin healing from the decades of damage caused by wealth-based incarceration. Every year, the money bond system extracted millions of dollars from our state’s most marginalized communities. For years, community members were forced to pool resources together to purchase their loved ones’ freedom while they awaited trial. Despite these efforts, tens of thousands of people lost their jobs, housing, and even custody of their children simply because they couldn’t afford to pay for their freedom. Tomorrow, Illinois begins the process of reducing pretrial jailing by taking the price tag off of one of our most fundamental rights: the presumption of innocence.

“As Illinois reduces the number of people incarcerated in county jails, it is essential that we work together to ensure that any economic benefits from these changes are passed on to the communities most harmed by pretrial jailing. Across Illinois, Black people have been disproportionately jailed by unaffordable money bonds. Communities most impacted by crime have also been those most impacted by wealth-based jailing; this has created a cycle of trauma that we have the opportunity to stop. As a state, we must ensure that the money once used to jail those who couldn’t buy their freedom is funneled into essential services like healthcare, community-based substance use and mental health treatment, affordable housing, and quality education.” See full statement

Matthew McLoughlin,,
    McLoughlin is with the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice and can coordinate interviews with members.

New Push to Reduce Injuries Among Warehouse Workers


A coalition of labor organizations, small businesses and community organizations in New York is pushing for the state to pass legislation that would help prevent occupational injuries for warehouse workers. The bill, the Warehouse Worker Injury Reduction Act, was introduced last year and passed in the state Senate. Similar legislation has been enacted in states like Minnesota and California. 

    Hayden is the campaign coordinator for the New Yorkers for a Fair Economy coalition. 

Hayden told the Institute for Public Accuracy: New York’s bill “follows a rising tide of warehouse interventions happening across the country.”

She said: “New York’s warehouse industry is the fastest-growing industry in [the] state and the most dangerous for workers. A May 2022 report from [the] New Yorkers for a Fair Economy coalition revealed that injury rates spiked 64 percent in Amazon’s New York warehouses while the company doubled its facilities in the state. And serious injury rates at Amazon facilities are 40 percent higher than at non-Amazon facilities statewide. Warehouse workers are also injured at three times the rate of other workers in New York.”

Warehouse workers are exposed to specific types of injuries, Hayden added. “Lifting and twisting with heavy boxes can cause muscle strains, sprains, and tendonitis. These injuries can be cumulative, so over time, the repeated motions make injuries worse and worse and can take individuals out of the workforce for long periods of time or force them to change jobs. Neither federal law nor New York State law currently require employers to design jobs in a manner that prevents worker injuries. 

“With the rise of e-commerce in the past few years, alongside skyrocketing injury rates, it’s past time that we begin those interventions to protect warehouse workers who handle a huge volume of packages every day on the job. Corporations like Amazon are putting profit over the well-being of workers, driving down the workplace standards for all warehouse workers. In the absence of federal or state ergonomics standards, the risk of injury abounds at these warehouses.

“The Warehouse Worker Injury Reduction Act would ensure warehouses protect workers first, requiring employers to implement injury reduction or ergonomics plans to identify and minimize hazards and undergo annual evaluations by certified safety experts known as ergonomists. Through better job design, safety standards, comprehensive worker training, and improved on-site medical care, the Warehouse Worker Injury Reduction Act will prevent worksite injuries and hold warehouse companies responsible for worker health and safety.

“If you turn on cable television whenever Prime Day or holiday seasons are coming up, it always focuses on the deals that you can get on the latest TV or microwave. What’s missing in the media coverage and general consciousness is how during these times, the risks of injuries for workers are the greatest. What’s missing is how Amazon workers are organizing across the country for better work conditions, especially during peak shopping seasons.”

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