To Prevent More ‘Catastrophic Derailments,’ Rail Workers Outline Plan for Immediate Reforms

Three weeks after the lives of East Palestine, Ohio residents were upended by a fiery wreck involving a Norfolk Southern-owned train overloaded with hazardous materials, rail union leaders on Friday implored federal regulators and lawmakers to “focus on the primary reasons for the derailment and take immediate action to prevent future disasters.”

In a statement, Railroad Workers United (RWU) pointed to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) newly published preliminary report on the February 3 crash and subsequent burnoff of vinyl chloride and other carcinogenic chemicals, which suggests that an overheated wheel bearing likely caused the train to derail. The inter-union alliance of rail workers also cited NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy, who said Thursday at a press conference: “This was 100% preventable. We call things accidents—there is no accident. Every single event that we investigate is preventable.”

RWU, which has previously highlighted how industry-led deregulation and Wall Street-backed policies such as “precision-scheduled railroading” have made the U.S. rail system more dangerous, said Friday that “Class 1 freight rail carriers, including Norfolk Southern, have prioritized profits over safety, cutting maintenance, equipment inspections, and personnel in all crafts while increasing the average train size to three miles or more.”

In the words of RWU co-chair Gabe Christenson: “Railroad workers experience firsthand every day the dangers inherent in this style of railroading. It has impacted their safety and health, state of mind, and lives on and off the job.”

“Limits on train lengths and weights are necessary to prevent catastrophic derailments.”

Jason Doering, general secretary of RWU, echoed Christenson’s message, saying: “Every day we go to work, we have serious concerns about preventing accidents like the one that occurred in Ohio. As locomotive engineers, conductors, signal maintainers, car inspectors, track workers, dispatchers, machinists, and electricians, we experience the reality that our jobs are becoming increasingly dangerous due to insufficient staffing, inadequate maintenance, and a lack of oversight and inspection.”

“We recognize,” Doering added, “that limits on train lengths and weights are necessary to prevent catastrophic derailments.”

One week ago, RWU made the case for nationalization, arguing that the U.S. “can no longer afford private ownership of the railroads; the general welfare demands that they be brought under public ownership.”


Wall Street Caused the East Palestine Crisis – Interview with RWU’s Matt Weaver

March 2, 2023: Long Distance Revolutionary – FREE Online Film Event, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!

March 2, 2023 / online / 7pm ET, 4pm PT   REGISTER to attend:

Excellent film! Cast includes Cornel West, Angela Davis, Dick Gregory, Alice Walker, Ruben ‘Hurricane’ Carter, and Amy Goodman. 
Please share the Facebook event page:

This film is a must-see, as we struggle to get Mumia out of prison and save his life. The more you learn about our brother and revolutionary elder, Mumia Abu-Jamal, the easier it will be to help get him released.  
Register hereto watch the film and meet our special guests, filmmaker Stephen Vittoria and (if possible) Mumia’s grandson, Jamal Jr. 

Hope you will attend this Thursday, March 2, 2023.41 years in prison — Free Mumia now! 


Opportunities for Travel to Cuba  – Wisconsin Information

Cuba is now open to foreign travel, including from the U.S. and most people there are vaccinated against covid-19. By far the best way to judge what Cuba and the people in Cuba are like today is to go and see for yourself, either booking your own visit or as part of a group. There probably is no better way to support the Cuban people than to go there yourself to show goodwill and respect for our Cuban neighbors — and to spend some money there as well.
You can follow changes to the rules and options for such travel on our website, The WI Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, as we will post updates to travel regulations, new tour and travel opportunities. (The latest was issued last May 9, 2022.) Based on prior positive experiences, we draw your attention to the upcoming trips listed below.
—–Lessons from Cuba: Exploring Art, Healthcare, Sustainability and Education — May 25- June 4, 2023. (Apply by March 10, 2023)
—–The 33rd Friendshipment Caravan — carrying humanitarian aid to the Cuban people since 1992 — is taking applications for the 2023 trip (July 15-29, 2023). Space is limited and applications are due April 1st.

Learn more at
Questions? Write to

National Network on Cuba

Madison to host the 20th Catholic Worker Midwest Faith and Resistance Gathering March 24-27, 2023

Wisconsin has been invited to host
the 20th Catholic Worker Midwest Faith and Resistance Gathering


It will be a weekend to learn, reflect and act to ground the F-35 and abolish war. All people who can commit to nonviolence are welcome. 
Registration is now open! Please fill out this form to rsvp:
Speakers on Saturday will include:
Vicki Berenson & Steven Klafka, Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin
Danaka Katovich, National Co-Director, CODEPINK Women for Peace

Brian Terrell, Strangers & Guests Catholic Worker, Maloy, IA and Nevada Desert Experience
In 2020, the Air Force decided to base a fleet of nuclear-capable F-35 warplanes in Madison.  Hundreds of people in Madison actively opposed the siting (for more information, see  )  Unfortunately, the planes are coming, and the decision to bring the planes is now being challenged in Federal Court. 

We have not given up! We are inspired by the history of Plowshares activists’ work against militarism and by Italian dock workers’ unions who in recent years have refused to load weapons shipments for wars.
In Madison since last April, we have held 24 war abolition walks to call for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine, and all wars.  And, we started a new Madison chapter of the international anti-war group World BEYOND War.
Learn more here. Contact: Janet Parker of the WNPJ member group Madison for a World BEYOND War.   And if you want to volunteer or offer Madison housing, contact

Did the U.S. Blow Up Nord Stream if There is No Media to Report It?

A respected investigative journalist explains how the U.S. sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines. But corporate media working in service to the state ignore the story and endanger the world.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The idea behind this old thought experiment should not be relegated to the realm of philosophy. Present day reality can be used in place of hypothetical falling trees. If the United States blows up the Nord Stream pipelines but the media ignores it, did the attack ever happen?

Seymour Hersh has all of the credentials that usually give one gravitas in the world of journalism. As a freelance reporter he exposed the U.S. army’s 1969 massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai and won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts. He later worked at the New York Times and reported on high profile stories such as the Watergate revelations, and the CIA coup against the government of Chile. In 2004 Hersh exposed torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison for The New Yorker.

None of these accomplishments helped Hersh when he recently provided evidence of what had long been obvious, that the Biden administration blew up the Nord Stream pipelines on September 26, 2022. In a 5,200 word article published on his Substack entitled How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline , Hersh utilized highly placed sources who presented as one might say the “receipts” of how the deed was done.

Joe Biden and his foreign policy team at the State Department, National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency first discussed the operation one year before carrying it out, and months before Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine began. The fear of deepening integration between Russia and Germany was the cause of alarm. They wanted to end Europe’s resource and financial connections to Russia, and decided that exploding the means of transporting natural gas was a good idea. According to Hersh’s source(s) the plot was carried out with help from Norway, a NATO member nation that made itself the sole source of natural gas in the region by helping in the attack. The current Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, was formerly a prime minister of Norway.

The U.S. had the motive, means, and opportunity and spent many months confessing to the plot and then to the crime after it took place. In February 2022 Biden pledged to stop the Nord Stream 2 project and added for good measure, “I promise you we’ll be able to do it.” After the explosion Secretary of State Antony Blinken said , “It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all end the dependence on Russian energy.” Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland smugly said at a Senate hearing, “Senator Cruz, like you I am and I think the administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea….”