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A week of unionising at Tesla, toxic chemical spills in Ohio and debates around the criminalisation of doctors who provide abortions

A re-reading of the news through an anarchist lens

Design by Naomi Gennery @nn.aa.ii

Hi, I’m Marcela: I’m a comedian, I live Brooklyn, and I really like to tell people how to feel about the news. After wowing zoomers all over on TikTok by giving them news with a sense of humour and anarchy, I decided to start a weekly Sunday newsletter to share my feelings about more news. 

My weekly newsletter has evolved into this beautiful Tuesday weekly news column for shado which also covers international news. I hope the newsletter keeps you informed and makes you laugh a little. We live in hell and I believe humour helps keep this place a little bit cooler.

Today I’ll be sharing my feelings on the governor of so-called Ohio gaslighting his constituents in East Palestine, Tennessee debating whether doctors should not be criminalised for using abortions to save lives, Tesla workers in the place called Buffalo, New York planning to unionise, and 59 people dying on Italy’s shores. 

Onto the news…

News that made me call a governor the gaslighter-in-chief

On 3rd February a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, a small town in so-called Ohio, releasing toxic chemicals into the water and air. 

Instead of declaring a disaster in the area to release federal government funds to clean up the disaster, Mike DeWine, the governor of so-called Ohio, a man whose last name implies that he ‘might’ be fun at parties, has decided to gaslight his constituents.

You can call DeWine the gaslighter-in-chief of Ohio because he has been complaining on Twitter about the lack of support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when in actual fact the reason why FEMA hasn’t released funds to support East Palestine is because DeWine has not declared it a disaster. 

Why has DeWine not declared a disaster? Is he too busy being fun at parties? I can’t answer the second question, but I can answer the first. DeWine is not declaring a disaster because he is a Norfolk Southern employee, cosplaying as the governor of Ohio. Why does this matter? Because Northfolk Southern is the train company responsible for the derailment.

DeWine, like all politicians, pretends he works for the people when in reality he works for corporations. 

DeWine has not only received campaign contributions from Norfolk Southern; his daughter also received campaign contributions from the railroad company. Looks like gaslighting the public is the DeWine family business!

Declaring a disaster in East Palestine would release the necessary federal funds to help with the disaster cleanup. This would be good for the residents of East Palestine but bad for Norfolk Southern, the train company whose trains derail so often that you’d think the trains have been programmed to run away from the tracks. Once federal funds are released to support East Palestine, Norfolk Southern might be forced to pay back some funds.

This is totally unacceptable for Norfolk Southern and by extension DeWine, a Norfolk Southern employee, who I’m sure is hoping he can be named employee of the month for being the best gaslighter-in-chief.

News that made me come up with a new motto for Tennessee

The place called Tennessee, which banned abortions last August, is currently debating whether abortions should be carried out to save the lives of pregnant people

Currently in Tennessee, it is illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion to save the parent’s life. I was under the impression that the main part of a doctor’s job is to save lives, but I guess that’s not the case in Tennessee. 

Tennessee’s new motto should be: In Tennessee you go to prison for doing your job.

If you are a doctor who chooses to save a life through the medical procedure of abortion, i.e. doing your job, you can be arrested and fined. Ironically enough, this penalty for saving a life is being defended by people who claim to be “pro-life.” 

That’s the equivalent of me claiming to be anti-high after getting high at work. Actually, it’s not. Getting high at work is fun for everyone and preventing people from accessing a life-saving procedure is undeniably not fun. It’s cruel and inhumane and a reminder to everyone who can get pregnant that people who write these laws view them as nothing more than vessels for childbirth.

One of the people who is opposing the right for doctors to conduct abortions to save lives is a lobbyist named Will Brewer who works for anti-abortion organisation Tennessee Right to Life. 

No, the irony of calling your organisation that is actively fighting against people’s right to live, Right to Life, has not been lost on me, but it’s definitely lost on Brewer. According to Propublica, Will Brewer told legislators that “when faced with a patient’s high-risk condition, doctors should be required to pause and wait this out and see how it goes.”

Wait this out and see how it goes is what you say when you’ve taken an edible, not when someone’s life is in danger. You’d only say this if you think said person is not a human, which is exactly what Will Brewer and any of the legislators who have banned abortions in Tennessee view people who can get pregnant.

💌

News that made me smile at the thought of Elon Musk crying

On 18th February, Tesla workers in the place called Buffalo, New York announced their intention to form the first Tesla Union. 

I celebrated this news by imagining Elon Musk crying in his Twitter office. Yes, imagining Elon Musk crying is one of the many ways I celebrate good news. No you are not allowed to judge me for this, but you are allowed to celebrate people unionising by imagining Elon crying.

The plan to unionise is something to be joyful about not just because it will make Elon cry, but because it’s another example of more workers realising that their working conditions can only improve through solidarity. 

The plan to unionise was sparked when Tesla workers in Buffalo were forced to take unpaid time off after a snowstorm and a channel where the workers were complaining about the decision to not pay them was shut down by management.

Instead of crying in the bathroom at work like I used to do when work was terrible, these workers came together to start a process that will lead to better working conditions and more job security. There’s nothing wrong with crying in the bathroom at work; it can be very refreshing. However, crying in the bathroom will not prevent your employer from tracking your keystrokes.

Yes, working for Tesla is a dystopian hell-hole where a worker was denied a promotion because her keystrokes weren’t fast enough. I’m not surprised by this at all because this is exactly what I would expect from a company that belongs to a man who views human rights as a personal insult.

News that made me say colonisers colonise

This week, 59 people died on Italy’s coast as they attempted to reach Italy from Türkiye

When I first read this news the only thing I could think about is that people are being killed because of a made up thing called a border. If borders didn’t exist, these 59 people would have most likely made it to their destination because they would have been able to travel through safe and legal routes. 

However, if borders didn’t exist, it would be much harder to maintain imperialism and colonialism, the evil twins that capitalism depends on. It’s much harder to exploit people’s labour and natural resources if they can leave.

Put differently: If imperialism and colonialism didn’t exist, these 59 people would most likely not have had to run away from home to seek a better life in Europe, a region whose existence is dependent on their exploitation. 

If Italy and the rest of Europe want to stop the tragic deaths caused by unsafe border crossing, Europe and the US need to stop being colonisers.

Obviously colonisers don’t want to stop by being colonisers. Hence instead of calling for the end of colonisation to save lives, Italy’s Minister of Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, said this tragedy only reinforces the need to curb “irregular migration channels”.

Matteo, irregular migration channels is what I call Italy colonising Somalia in the 20th century. Coming to take what’s rightfully ours is what I call people crossing the water to come to Europe in 2023. If you don’t want people to come and claim what is theirs, then stop stealing their right to a life free from persecution.

See ya next week,

Marcela

What can you do?

Design by Naomi Gennery @nn.aa.ii
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