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CI: #Ferguson/#Everywhere

October 29, 2014 at 6:29 pm by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Copyleft/Free Culture, Corrupt Judiciary, Corrupt Legislature, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

 

#Ferguson/#Everywhere
by nancy a heitzeg

As the world continues to watch events unfold in Ferguson and awaits word on what will most likely be the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, some thoughts. It is crucial to honor the specifics of the Ferguson Struggle and the names of the fallen, Mike Brown, Kajieme Powell and VonDerrit Myers. It is essential to support the activists on the ground there.

But remember too, that Ferguson is Everywhere.  The City of Ferguson, surrounding St. Louis, the State of Missouri and all elected /appointed officials aren’t particularly  exceptional with extra “bad apples”, more perverse laws, or more corrupt political figures. They operate under a national umbrella that routinizes racialized police violence. The names and details may change, but the structural white supremacy that allows for unchecked police/state violence permeate the U. S. legal system – no, it is foundational.

It is normative. it is the bedrock. Everywhere.

What We Know (And Have Known Forever).

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Revelations: Riot Dog

October 26, 2014 at 9:54 am by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Economic Terrorism, Government for Good, Intersectionality, Poverty, What People are Doing to Change the World

riot dog

Meet Loukanikos, Athens’ Protest Dog, TIME

Greece’s riot dog Loukanikos dies, The Guardian

A Farewell to Paws, Al Jazeera America

Art of the Obituary: Loukanikos, The New Inquiry

“The pressure needed to keep politicians in line is absent. There is no one barking threateningly at their feet; there is no one bounding alongside protesters, supporting them and lifting their spirits through the tear gas and noise and upheaval….. you must be able to sense that today the world is a little less bright than it was just a few years ago, when everything seemed possible….”

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Wellstone! (July 21, 1944 – October 25, 2002)

October 25, 2014 at 9:11 am by: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2014 Mid-term Elections, Civil Rights, Corrupt Judiciary, Corrupt Legislature, Education, Government for Good, Military Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

20101025_wellstonegreenbus_33

On this day in 2002,  Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife Sheila, daughter Marcia and five others died in that fateful plane crash. His legacy and his words speak for themselves, and remind us, always, of what government for good can do.  He was The Conscience of the Senate, the First and Last of a kind. Thank you Paul.

If there is history left to be written, it will noted that his death changed the trajectory of U.S. politics in tragic and perhaps irreparable ways. The people are left without a stanch and fearless defender; we are on our own.

And We Will Never Park the Bus.

Steve Heitzeg has put together a bench memorial to Paul Wellstone. On the bench is a photograph of a smiling Wellstone, along with a Wellstone quote about social justice. (MPR Photo/ Mark Zdechlik)

Steve Heitzeg has put together a bench memorial to Paul Wellstone. On the bench is a photograph of a smiling Wellstone, along with a Wellstone quote about social justice. (MPR Photo/ Mark Zdechlik)

Wellstone’s Revenge: How Minnesota Democrats Took Their State Back

MPR, Memorials Keep Paul Wellstone’s Memory Alive

Al Franken, Paul Wellstone’s Legacy, 10 Years Later

Wellstone Action

Wellstone!

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“Politics is not about power. Politics is not about money. Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the improvement of people’s lives.”

~ Senator Paul Wellstone ((July 21, 1944 – October 25, 2002)

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CI: #Oct22/Stolen Lives

October 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Prison Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

 

#Oct22/Stolen Lives
by nancy a heitzeg

Today marks the 19th Anniversary of the National Day of Protest on October 22, organized by  The October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. The October 22 Coalition also coordinates The Stolen Lives Project, which documents/honors those killed by police violence.

Hopefully you found an event wherever you are. Say the Names. Honor the Dead. Commit to Fighting like Hell for the Living. This has always been so, but especially now. From the full statement of The October 22 Coalition:

In the United States, this year has seen a litany of state violence, with increasing documentation and coverage making these ongoing atrocities more difficult to deny. Over 800 people have been killed by law enforcement nationwide, at least 200 since Mike Brown, and at least 23 people in one week. Although police criminalization of and violence against women and transgender people is nothing new, they have become more newsworthy of late. There seems to be no level too low for law enforcement to stoop in their violence, whether it is against children and young teens, the elderly, the deaf, or those who are emotionally or mentally distressed.

It is unsurprising that death by police has a racial dynamic. We have long been alerted to this by experience and many sources, including the tireless work of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and their reports — see Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killings of 313 Black People by Police, Security Guards, and Vigilantes. Recently, an analysis of federally collected data on 1,217 fatal police shootings by Propublica  verified what long time observers already knew: young black men are 21 times as likely as their white peers to be killed by police .

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As with all matters related to the criminal injustice system, any efforts to redress police killings must openly confront the white supremacist underpinnings of the entire endeavor. There is no other way.

To that end, please also support the National Week of Action from #BlackLivesMatter. And, every day, as always, Let Your Motto Be Resistance.

 

 

Revelations: Goddess of the Taiga

October 19, 2014 at 9:51 am by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Amur Tiger. Photograph: Toshiji Fukada

Amur Tiger. Photograph: Toshiji Fukada

Struggle Against Extinction

This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will again document the planet’s rarest animals and focus on the twists of fate that decide survival

Toshiji Fukuda went to extraordinary lengths to photograph an Amur tiger, one of the world’s rarest mammals, in 2011. He built a tiny wooden hut overlooking a beach in Russia’s remote Lazovsky nature reserve, on the Sea of Japan, and spent the winter there. Fukuda was 63 at the time. “Older people have one advantage: time passes more quickly for us than the young,” he said later.

Possession of such resilience was fortunate because Fukuda had to wait seven weeks for his only glimpse of an Amur tiger, which resulted in a single stunning image of the animal strolling imperiously along the beach below his hide. “It was as if the goddess of the Taiga had appeared before me,” he recalled…

50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year – in pictures

CI: On Birmingham, #Ferguson and the Meaning of Movement

October 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Media Conglomeration, Voting Rights, What People are Doing to Change the World

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

 

On Birmingham, #Ferguson and the Meaning of Movement
by nancy a heitzeg

From the earliest days of unrest after the murder of Mike Brown, comparisons have been made to the Civil Rights Movement. Certainly Mike Brown himself evoked thoughts again of Emmett Till, as for 4 and one half hours, the whole watched as his body lay in the street. We saw what they had done to Leslie McSpadden’s boy. Then came the Ferguson Police Department with the dogs, reminiscent of Birmingham, the Bloody Sunday-like excesses of official response to non-violent protesters. And, in the 68 days since Mike Brown’s death from August 9th through #FergusonOctober, there have been unrelenting marches, protests, sit-ins, shut-downs, flash mobs,  and more.

The comparisons to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s have been furthered by both activists and media. 1964 = 2014. Ferguson = Birmingham. But does it ?

Although there are many points of comparison there are questions too. What has changed? What does that mean for movement vision and tactics today? There are many questions to consider– no concrete answers to had. Movements of course are organic – by their very nature , they evolve to address the issues of the time, and past movements are never a perfect template for present or future. Movements emerge and take on a life of their own that no amount of planning  or calculated questions can ever fully account for. But ask we must. And since History is a Weapon, Eyes on the Prize can serve as one of our guides.*

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National Wildlife Refuge Week #seerefuges

October 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm by: seeta Category: Eco-Justice, Science/Technology, Spirituality

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Dear Esteemed CMP Readers and Treehuggers:

I am excited to finally announce the launch of my Nature & Wildlife Photography website: http://www.spersaud.com. My hope is to inspire reverence for our natural heritage and, in so doing, raise consciousness about the necessity of environmental/wilderness conservation.

This week is also National Wildlife Refuge Week:

National wildlife refuges play a critical role in conserving America’s wildlife legacy. They also play an important role in human communities; by providing healthy habitats for wildlife, refuges improve the air we breathe, the water we drink, and improve soil quality and give protection against flooding in flood-prone areas. Local economies also rely on refuges. Refuge return an average of almost $5 for every $1 appropriated. They offer wonderful opportunities to hunt, fish, hike, and share the outdoors with friends and family. [National Wildlife Refuge Association]

October is a great time to take the kids (little and grown) out to visit a refuge near you. Find a refuge http://1.usa.gov/1odKdvm or an event by you http://1.usa.gov/1bwexLv.

Thanks for visiting. Feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

Sincerely,

Seeta Persaud

Revelations: Rattling the Cage

October 12, 2014 at 9:20 am by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, Prison Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

Chimps 2
Photograph by Alamy

The Rise of the planet of the Legal Persons formerly known as Apes

Animal rights group will argue a claim of wrongful imprisonment of Tommy, a chimpanzee held in a trailer park shed in New York

Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals

Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner?

Animals Are Persons Too

Nonhuman Rights Project

 Commodities and Cages

LSP Angola Prison Rodeo: At the Intersections of Abuse

Animal Rights, Human Wrongs, and  of the Limits of the Law

 ARZone (Animal Rights Zone) Interview with Steven Wise