A friend writes, "Attacking people with mental health issues after a shooting is the public health equivalent of attacking Iraq after 9/11."
This Wednesday, Ivan Lopez killed four people and then himself at the Fort Hood army base in Texas. The very next day, Pennsylvania Republican Representative Tim Murphy held a hearing on a bill which would take $60 million from community mental health treatment to pay for forced drugging programs. H.R. 3717 would strip our rights and protections against abuse. It would increase treatment that is traumatizing, criminalizing and scares people from seeking help.
Shanesha Taylor was arrested on March 20th by the Scottsdale Police for leaving her children ages 2 and 6 months in her car while she interviewed for a job. Ms. Taylor was homeless and could not access any child care. Her desperation to provide for herself and her children and her lack of options led her to take drastic measures in search of employment. Ms. Taylor needs support & help rather than incarceration and a criminal record that will surely decrease her chances to provide for her children in the future. We ask that Maricopa County use common-sense and provide support for Ms. Taylor and her children rather than punishment.
Shanesha Taylor is still in jail pending a $9,000 bond.
A United Nations Human Rights Committee finds the US human rights record seriously wanting, with abuses including extrajudicial killings, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, police brutality, and criminalization of the homeless.
Local Artists to Question “Boston Strong” Slogan with Marathon Bombing Anniversary Exhibition
Three artists - Darrell Ann Gane-McCalla, Shea Justice, and Jason Pramas - will be holding an art show called Boston Strong? from April 15-22, 2014 at the Community Church of Boston Lothrop Auditorium, 565 Boylston St., 2nd Flr. - one block from the Boston Marathon finish line in Copley Square. An opening with speakers - including Mel King, Tina Chéry of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, and hip-hop poet Ant Thomas - will be held on April 15 from 7-9 p.m., and a traditional art opening will be held on April 18 from 6-10 p.m. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the Community Church of Boston, and is free and open to the public.
The purpose of the show is to spark public discussion and debate about the meaning of the popular “Boston Strong” slogan. The artists contend that there is a disparity between media coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing victims, many of whom are white and live outside Boston, and media coverage of the victims of ongoing criminal assaults around Boston, many of whom are people of color and live in the city. Over 40 people have been killed in Boston, mostly by guns, since the Marathon Bombings. But there is no One Fund for those victims, and little serious talk of ameliorating the poverty that causes crime in Boston’s working class neighborhoods of color. - See more at: http://www.questionbostonstrong.com/#sthash.giKUrTxY.dpuf
Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated on this day in 1968 by a racist American citizen.
In 1968 King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. He had gone to Memphis to support sanitation workers on strike for union recognition—the very kind of struggle he felt was central to “Phase Two” of the civil rights struggle.
Author Brian Jones writes, “In the final pages of [King’s last published work, titled] ‘Where Do We Go from Here?’ (1967), King calls on a bit of Biblical poetry to urge his readers to build the kind of determined movement that could make their dreams a reality:
“‘Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal opposition to poverty, racism and militarism. With this powerful commitment, we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when “every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain.’”
Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems… palsy is just one | TEDTalks
"I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time," Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it’s hilarious.) "I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali." With grace and wit, the Palestinian-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.
In the United States, a White person is almost six times more likely to be killed by another White person than by a Black person, according to FBI homicide data. In 2011, there were more cases of Whites killing Whites than there were Blacks killing Blacks. However, the mainstream media obsesses over Black on Black violence and rarely mentions the problem of White on White violence.
Executives at General Motors have answered the age-old question of how much is a life worth. A life is worth 57 cents.
… The United States used to give corporations the death penalty: They were dissolved, their assets sold off at auction, and their stockholders and managers left out in the cold. It’s an idea worth bringing back, says Thom Hartmann.
One day after 20 undergraduate students were arrested at the University of California Santa Cruz during a strike, two more protesters were arrested as marches continued Thursday.
… The strike is being held for the university’s graduate student employees, who are represented by the United Auto Workers union. The union informed UCSC last week that it was going to hold a 2-day strike at four University of California campuses to protest unfair labor practices and intimidation of workers April 2-3.
Strikes are also happening at UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and UC Davis. Union spokeswoman Caroline McKusick described the four strikes as peaceful and legal.
In Phoenix, Arizona, you can be arrested for repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation. This may, under Phoenix law, be evidence that you are “manifesting” an intent to engage in prostitution. Of course, this could also be evidence that you are lost or canvassing for a political group or simply talking about the weather. The difference between “innocent” and “criminal” behavior often comes down to how a person looks. Transgender women of color are often profiled by police as engaging in sex work for simply being outside and going about their daily routines. Amnesty International documented this disproportionate targeting by police of transgender women as sex workers in a 2005 report. “[S]ubjective and prejudiced perceptions of transgender women as sex workers often play a signiﬁcant role in ofﬁcers’ decisions to stop and arrest transgender women,” the report concluded. One woman told Amnesty, “‘No tenemos el derecho a vivir.’ (We don’t have the right to live.).”
Black transgender activist Monica Jones knows this all too well.
Last May, Monica was arrested under the disturbingly vague and overbroad manifestation ordinance. “I believe I was profiled as a sex worker because I am a transgender woman of color, and an activist.” Monica explained.
By now, it should be obvious that women are drastically underrepresented in the news media. But a new study by the Women’s Media Center shows just how pervasive the media’s gender gap is across all kinds of news outlets. The center issued an updat…
… When one survivor, a woman of color, attempted to report her assault, the complaint says, a college official responded, “It’s in your culture that men are gropey.”
Punishments imposed by the administration also proved to be a problem for some student victims.
One sexual assault survivor succeeded in obtaining a no-contact order against her assailant, only to have him take a job as building manager of the house where both students lived. The position gave him access to all of the residents’ information as well as keys to their rooms. In the event that the survivor ever got locked out, she would need to call the building manager — her assailant — to get in. When the survivor raised this concern with the university, according to the complaint, a resident dean allegedly told her it wouldn’t be a problem, and that no-contact orders were not an obstacle “when contact is legitimately needed.”