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Adrienne Lawrence

Legal analyst, law professor & award-winning author

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5 most memorable moments from 2023

Dec 27, 2023

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From 91 felony charges against a former U.S. president to the sudden and dramatic escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 2023 has been a year filled with surprises. Amidst the chaos, it can be difficult to keep track of all the changes that unfold in just one year.

Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence reflects on 2023 and highlights the top five things that stand out to her as the most uniquely important. She includes the good, the bad, and the ugly, from the advancement of labor rights in America to the horrific suffering of civilians trapped in wars around the globe.

In just a matter of days, we’ll be welcoming in 2024. And as far as I’m concerned, if this new year is any guarantee of newness, it could not come faster. I am done with 2023. But before we bid it adieu, let’s reflect on five of the most memorable moments from 2023 — at least, memorable for me.

So, in no particular order of importance, number one: Donald Trump facing consequences. This time last year, I did not think it was going to happen, but boy was I wrong, and wrong to the tune of 91 felony counts. That is definitely a record. From the 44 federal charges to the 47 at the state level, Donald Trump is a trailblazer. The man’s “criming” has created a body of case law that was scarce or non-existent before he took office. And I’m not sure what 2024 holds for the former president, but I am praying it involves a cellblock.

Number two: The labor union activity. 2023 was the year of the strike for so many industries, from Hollywood writers and actors to national railroad operators. Folks are uniting to fight. Cornell’s ILR School Labor Action Tracker said, as of October 31, that there has been 354 strikes in 2023, nearly half a million workers. That’s nearly eight times the number of workers that had striked in the same period in 2021, and four times as many as in 2022. And the winds that these unified workers have had, they have been favorable. And I hope that this is just the beginning.

In just a matter of days, we’ll be welcoming in 2024. And as far as I’m concerned, if this new year is any guarantee of newness, it could not come faster. I am done with 2023. But before we bid it ado, let’s reflect on five of the most memorable moments from 2023 – at least, memorable for me. So, in no particular order of importance, number one: Donald Trump facing consequences.

 

This time last year, I did not think it was going to happen, but boy was I wrong, and wrong to the tune of 91 felony counts. That is definitely a record. From the 44 federal charges to the 47 at the state level, Donald Trump is a trailblazer. The man’s criming has created a body of case law that was scarce or non-existent before he took office. And I’m not sure what 2024 holds for the former president, but I am praying it involves a cellblock.

 

Number two: The labor union activity. 2023 with the year of the strike for so many industries, from Hollywood writers and actors to national railroad operators. Folks are uniting to fight. Cornell’s ILR School Labor Action Tracker said, as of October 31, that there has been 354 strikes in 2023, nearly half a million workers. That’s nearly eight times the number of workers that had striked in the same period in 2021, and four times as many as in 2022. And the winds that these unified workers have had, they have been favorable. And I hope that this is just the beginning.

 

And the third most memorable thing and 2023 was the GOP infighting. The year opened with Kevin McCarthy having to ensure what, 15 ballots, to become Speaker of the House, only to get bounced by his own party by early October. And let’s not forget the GOP’s willingness to push out a now-former congressperson, George Santos. Yeah, sure he’s facing 23 federal fraud charges. But it was kind of unexpected that the GOP would buck tradition of waiting until a party member has faced trial, especially since they are compromising their paltry majority in the House. But I guess it just says that there are certain things that the Right is not alright with. I really hope this infighting carries over to 2014.

 

Also, for number four, I would love to see Fox News continue to face consequences. That $787 million settlement with Dominion voting was huge. It was also the largest publicly-known defamation settlement in U.S. history involving a media company. And it is something I will remember from 2023. You know that voting tech company lying on them will have you facing consequences. Just ask Tucker Carlson, the former face of Fox News that was bounced just a few days after the settlement. Never would have thought that the network would have dropped their primetime pony, but hey, 2023 had its ups.

 

It also had its downs. And that brings me to the fifth and final: The Israeli-Hamas war. And yeah, I did say memorable, but not necessarily good. And there’s nothing good about what Hamas did to those in Israel, or what leaders in Israel have been doing to those in Palestine. It’s been devastating to watch the unrestrained and unmitigated murder of somewhat 20,000 innocent lives. On the Palestinian side, some 70% of those murdered have been women and children. The inhumanity has been disgusting. It’s also been disgusting to see so many people, particularly on social media, try to justify Israel’s brutality, or that of Hamas in October. As I’ve said before, this isn’t sports. We should not be cheering for sides. We should be doing all that is in our power to preserve human life, to protect humanity. So may this brutality end here, not making it into the new year.

 

And lastly, I truly hope that your new year is filled with peace, abundance and prosperity.

 

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