Terrorists and money junkies: Who are the bigger threats?

May 3rd, 2013

Published on Intrepid Report, by Reid Mukai, May 2, 2013.

… The corporate-security state won’t hesitate to exploit tragedies and disasters to further their agenda, including the militarization of police and public policy with an accelerated roll-out of domestic drones and other surveillance measures. Also, such events, as tragic and disturbing as they might be, distract from other potentially more important current events.  

Just two days after the Boston Marathon bombing, a devastating blast at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant killed 15 people, injured more than 200 others and damaged or destroyed more than 150 surrounding buildings. Federal investigators still haven’t determined the cause of the explosion, but it has since come to light that the plant’s last Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection was in 1985. The most recent regulation legislation bill introduced by Congress earlier this year was endorsed by the Fertilizer Institute and actually reduced the EPA’s regulatory authority over fertilizer plants. According to an article from Reason.com, in the decade between September 12, 2001 and September 2011, 30 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks. According to an OSHA report, between 2001 and 2011 there were 59,167 reported work related deaths in the U.S.

On April 23, a forum was held at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus called “End Death Trap Factories” sponsored by the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, United Students Against Sweatshops, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, OUR Walmart, and UFCW Local 21. One of the speakers was Kalpona Akter, a former child garment worker and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, a group which played a vital role in documenting labor violations in the apparel industry in Bangladesh (which has 3.6 million garment workers, most of whom are women). Kalpona was interviewed extensively following the horrific fire at Tazreen Fashions in November 2012 which killed 112 people.

Also speaking was Sumi Abedin, a garment worker and survivor of the Tazreen fire. Sponsors of the forum held a special ceremony the following day to commemorate Worker Memorial Day (officially recognized on April 28) in honor of the thousands of workers killed and millions more injured because of their jobs each year.

On the same day, April 24, a massive eight story garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh due to substandard construction and lack of oversight. As of April 28, 377 people have been reported killed, over a thousand injured and at least 900 remain unaccounted for, making it the country’s worst tragedy related to the global garment industry. As searches continued for the missing, public outrage led to violent protests around the site of the collapse. Two engineers and two owners of the building have been arrested so far, but nothing has been done to overhaul the dysfunctional systems at the root of such tragedies.

In an interview with Russia Today, Trades Journal publisher Gerald Celente stated:
–“It’s an international trend that we see growing more and more as profits are put before people. People are more expendable. So it’s just a lot of talk that you hear from these companies in the West, for example, that say they watch the standards going on in the sweat factories around the world. They’re just show. There’s really no security, really no hard institutions in place that are monitoring these kind of factories.”

(full text and links to related articles resp. sources).

Part 2: Despite Tougher Rules, Little Has Changed.

US: How the FBI’s Network of Informants Actually Created Most of the Terrorist Plots “Foiled” in the US Since 9/11, on AlterNet, Oct. 9, 2011: The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots—or leading them? …;

US: Number of fatal work injuries, 1992–2011.

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