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CI: #Ferguson/#Everywhere

October 29, 2014 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.


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).


Unequal Internet Access “Widening the Gap” Between Rich and Poor Students

March 01, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture, Economic Development, Education, Intersectionality, Poverty

From Common Dreams:

As many schools are racing to adopt the latest technologies—tablets, e-readers, cell phones—in their classrooms, low income students and poorly funded school districts are being left in the dust. A survey of middle and high school teachers released Thursday found that the growing gap in internet access between rich and poor students is leading to increasingly troubling disparities in education.

Published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the survey found that only 3 percent of students in low income families have access to the internet at home through a computer or mobile device; the number rises to 20 percent for middle income children and half for those in higher income families.

According to the report, teachers in urban areas are the least likely to say their students have sufficient access to digital tools in school, compared to rural teachers who are least likely to say their students have sufficient access at home.

The respondents admitted that this growing disparity in access is leading to a gap in performance, with over half saying that “today’s digital technologies are widening the gap between the most and least academically successful students.”

Twitter’s New Transparency Report: Governments Still Want Your Data

January 29, 2013 By: seeta Category: Civil Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture, Science/Technology

From Slashdot:

Twitter’s second transparency report reinforces what many already know: governments want online user data, and to yank select content from the Internet.

“It is vital for us (and other Internet services) to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the Internet,” Jeremy Kessel, Twitter’s manager of Legal Policy, wrote in a January 28 posting on the official Twitter Blog. “These growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression—and real privacy implications.”

Twitter’s first two transparency reports cover the entirety of 2012, so there’s not a deep historical record to mine for insight. Nonetheless, that year’s worth of data shows all types of government inquiry—information requests, removal requests, and copyright notices—either on the increase or holding relatively steady.

Governments requested user information from Twitter some 1,009 times in the second half of 2012, up slightly from 849 requests in the first half of that year. Content-removal requests spiked from 6 in the first half of 2012 to 42 in the second. Meanwhile, copyright notices declined a bit, from 3378 in the first half of 2012 to 3268 in the second.

The United States was responsible for 815 of those 1,009 requests in the second half of the year. Japan came in second with 62 requests, followed by Brazil with 34.

Why Tweeting MLK’s “I Have a Dream” Speech Now Constitutes Civil Disobedience

January 25, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Consumer Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture, Science/Technology

From Slate:

As part of [Monday’s] festivities, a site called was launched. One of the several organizations behind the effort, Fight for the Future, tried to make a point about copyright law by posting a video that included footage of Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. Why? Because, as Fight for the Future’s video explained, King’s speech is still under copyright—and therefore sharing it is an act of civil disobedience that honors both Internet Freedom Day and Martin Luther King Day this Monday. Fight for the Future’s video also explained that SOPA would have made streaming the film a criminal offense—a crime like kidnapping, bank fraud, and downloading too many JSTOR articles in violation of terms of service.

Yet just after 1 p.m. on Friday, the video had been removed from the video sharing site Vimeo, presumably at the request of EMI, which, with the King estate, holds the rights to the speech. You may not realize it, but, as Vice’s Motherboard explained, “You’d be hard pressed to find a good complete video version on the web, and it’s not even to be found in the new digital archive of the King Center’s website. If you want to watch the whole thing, legally, you’ll need to get the $20 DVD.”

Google’s New Privacy Policy Effective March 1, Delete Your Web History Now

February 23, 2012 By: seeta Category: Consumer Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture

Google’s new privacy policy will consolidate all your data at — unless you erase it first. And Feb. 29 is your last day to do it. Follow the instructions from the Electronic Frontier Foundation on how to delete your web history at Google:

  1. Sign into your Google account.
  2. Go to
  3. Click “remove all Web History.”
  4. Click “ok.”

Note that removing your Web History also pauses it. Web History will remain off until you enable it again.

If you have several Google accounts, you will need to do this for each of them.

See also: White House unveils plan to protect online privacy

Watch Film: The Arab Awakening – Tweets from Tahrir

February 19, 2012 By: seeta Category: Civil Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture, Imperialism

UK Plans More Spying On Internet Users Under ‘Terrorism’ Pretext

February 19, 2012 By: seeta Category: Civil Rights, Consumer Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture

From The Telegraph:

Details of every phone call and text message, email traffic and websites visited online are to be stored in a series of vast databases under new Government anti-terror plans.

Landline and mobile phone companies and broadband providers will be ordered to store the data for a year and make it available to the security services under the scheme.

The databases would not record the contents of calls, texts or emails but the numbers or email addresses of who they are sent and received by.

For the first time, the security services will have widespread access to information about who has been communicating with each other on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Arizona Law Would Make It Illegal to Teach Law, History, Lit

February 11, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture, Corrupt Judiciary, Corrupt Legislature, Education, White Privilege

From The Nation:

Just when you thought the Arizona legislature was out of bad ideas.

SB 1467, newly introduced in the Arizona State Senate, would force schools and universities to suspend, fine, and ultimately fire any teacher or professor who “engage[d] in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the federal communications commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech or conduct were broadcast on television or radio.”

For the first offense, you’d get a one-week suspension without pay. For the second offense, two weeks. For the third, a pink slip.

As Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes, this law would not only block the teaching of such classics as Ulysses, The Canterbury Tales, and Catcher in the Rye, it’d prohibit historians and law professors from competently discussing campus free speech regulations, since the most important Supreme Court case in that field hinged on a jacket with the slogan “Fuck The Draft” written on it.

It’s also worth noting, as Lukianoff does, that the bill would regulate professors’ actions outside the classroom, which means that merely writing the paragraph above — in a blogpost, a scholarly article, even a private email — would get you suspended.