Submitted by Enough Is Enough! on Sat, 2014-05-17 16:29
On May 6, 2014, Rev. Lewis Stewart from the United Christian Leadership Ministry presented on the history of the struggle to get an independent civilian review board, UCLM's strategy for how to get one now, and how Enough Is Enough, allies, and people who have used the current civilian review process can act for real independent change. Below is the video of the teach-in and the conversation that followed.
A few days ago, you asked the internet, “does my janitor who is a male like me and im a male (gay)?” And the internet took you to my blog, in the hopes it would help you find your answer. (Yes, the internet does have its own hopes and dreams!) I highly doubt you found what you were looking for, so I decided to fill in the blanks, in case you try again in the future. I will be taking some liberties and making some assumptions, in order to create a concise response. If I am off base, please, call me out!
I’m sorry to let you know, the internet cannot answer questions that are this specific to your personal experience. You can glean a whole lot of information that might help you put words to your feelings, which is super helpful. But the internet does not know your situation, does not know your janitor, and does not know anything beyond whatever it is that people write on it. Is there a chance that your janitor wrote about you on the internet? Yes, maybe. But you will not be coming upon that writing by asking in that way.
We, the New York City local of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, are deeply saddened and outraged by the conviction of our comrade and friend Cecily McMillan. While we are disappointed by the jury’s ultimate verdict, we are not surprised given the anti-democratic nature of Cecily’s trial, and the initial sexual assault and arrest on the night of March 17, 2012. Judge Zweibel’s refusal to allow the jury to consider Grantley Bovell’s violent and illegal past behavior while on the job, total gag order placed on Cecily’s lawyers, and the dismissal of multiple people of color during the jury selection because of their admittance of personally experiencing police brutality, are only some examples of how the guilty verdict was a certainty from day one. It is clear to us that the brutal police repression on the night of M17 (which many of us witnessed first hand and are still shaken up from to this day), the trial, and the ultimate incarceration of Cecily are all examples of how the capitalist state suppresses dissent and punishes those who dare to challenge it. We respect the efforts of Cecily’s legal defense team, but affirm that judge Zweibel, the prosecution, and the court system as a whole are simply extensions of the same state that physically assaulted our friend to the point of seizure, and will likely keep her in a cage for the next two to seven years after turning the blame around on her.
Thanks to efforts organized largely-in-part by the YWCA, today is “Stand against racism" day in Rochester. I’m looking around, and I’m not sure who I’m standing alongside.
No matter how you identify, please ask yourself the following question:
"What is my personal investment in whiteness?"
"Standing against racism" involves more than intervention. It’s sad that interrupting racism is often perceived to be more inappropriate than racism itself - so intervening whenever and whenever you can is vital, and takes great courage. However, these are responsive measures. Hyper-segregation has, and continues to take a toll on this community, and elsewhere. We need to be thinking about prevention. Thus, we need to question our personal and institutional investment in whiteness. We can’t have it both ways.
Emma Goldman was born in 1869 in present day Lithuania to an Orthodox Jewish family. The first of four children born to Taube Bienowitch and Abraham Goldman, she often suffered corporal punishment by whip from her father for being a rebellious spirit. Deeply interested in education, she began to attend school at the age of 7 in Königsberg, Prussia, where she was subject to additional punishment for her disobedient nature, frequently receiving beatings with a ruler. She made friends with a german teacher who introduced her to the arts. Later, she moved with her family to St. Petersburg, Russia. Her father opened several unsucessful businesses and she was forced to leave school and take up seamstressing.
Syracuse, NY (Indigenous Onondaga Nation Territory): On Monday, May 5 at Westcott Community Center, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) hosted an educational event about the Nation's filing with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights of the Organization of American States. Tadodaho Sid Hill, other Onondaga leaders and General Counsel Joe Heath shared information about the petition and how people can support it.
Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, once said the break-up of the old Soviet Union was a geopolitical catastrophe. Now laws are being enacted that will make it easier to put the pieces back together.
The Russian Federation has changed its citizenship procedures so that speakers of Russian, who have lived for three years in any of the former Soviet republics, can obtain citizenship in as little as three months.
Precedence will be given to highly-trained professionals and Prime Minister Medvedev said the law is intended to bolster the economy of Russia. But it obviously applies to the many Russian speakers not only in Ukraine, but Kazakhstan and other former Soviet republics.
Last week we looked at some photos of the Beebee Station power plant at High Falls. That post drew some comments about another interesting facility nearby which is sometimes confused with Beebee; the City’s old garbage incinerator plant on Falls Street .
The original incinerator plant was built in 1911 by Decarie Incinerator Company of Minneapolis. The photo above shows the older facility which was demolished around 2012. The taller brick building and smoke stack that remain today (shown below) were built in the 1940s.
Sitting in the driveway in my car, early autumn, W in the passenger seat, engine off:
Me: “I think [having kids] is going to be a super interesting project. Like, probably the most interesting project I ever take on.”
W: “Uh, K…you can’t call kids a ‘project.’ It’s weird.”
Me: “But it is going to be a cool project. I mean, really. Because, you know…I’m not necessarily excited about having a kid. I mean, about actually HAVING a kid. That part sounds kind of horrible. I’m interested in, like, how we would raise a kid together and being openly queer parents and how to raise a kid through a feminist lens without being ridiculous and supporting you in being a primary parent as a dad in a mommy-centric world. So it will be an interesting project–a really interesting project.”
W: “OK. I get that, but if you say it that way to other people, you’d better be prepared. They’re going to look at you funny if you talk about kids like a ‘project’.”
Me: “Yeah, I know. People are going to want me to say, ‘OMG, I can’t wait to be pregnant!’ or, ‘I’ve always dreamed of having a baby!’ or, ‘I’ve always wanted to be a mommy!’ But none of that is true for me. I’m not going to lie.”
W: “Well, you don’t have to lie. Just…try not to be weird.”
Submitted by SusanGalloway on Thu, 2014-05-08 02:32
In an attempt to educate and increase support Workers’ Center of CNY and immigrant workers are traveling throughout NYS speaking about the injustices that the immigrant dairy farmworker are faced with. NYS dairy farmworkers are facing issues like wage theft, hazardous working conditions, long hour shifts, no days off and substandard living conditions. José Cañas shared his experiences of being a farmworker and the abhorrent conditions he has had to work and live under.
Submitted by SusanGalloway, Anna Sears and New Yorkers Against Fracking on Fri, 2014-04-18 02:10
In January the Cuomo administration released a draft of its New York State Energy Plan. Despite words about “clean” energy and colorful pictures of solar panels and wind farms, the document fails to lead New York to a sustainable future built on renewables.
Although the draft plan claims to support a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, it lacks any strategy for accomplishing this.
Last week, we were watching TV, and a commercial about “shift work disorder” came on. A rugged older gentleman in a flannel shirt was explaining about how he hadn’t realized how his job might be affecting his sleep patterns and quality of life, until his doctor asked him what hours he works. I laughed out loud. Then the commercial (which was for Nuvigil – used to improve wakefulness) went on to tell you to talk to your doctor, and then it went through the lengthy list of side effects, you know – the usual drill.
I think it is awesome to have dialogues about what’s going on in people’s lives and what might be improved, whether it’s with a prescription or other changes in lifestyle. And if having an official diagnosis helps more people figure out what’s going on and what they can do about it, more power to them. Just… personally, I find it absurd that this wouldn’t be a natural line of thinking. I think about this kind of stuff all the time.
On Tuesday February 18th, I went to Attica to visit Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony L. Bottom or Prisoner #77A4283) along with other activists. This was my first time at a maximum security prison. With its impossibly high walls and multiple turrets, it looked like a castle, albeit an ugly gray one, and I half expected to be intercepted by a moat.
The inside of the prison is coldly institutional, regulated, bland. The visiting room is large, furnished with tables and chairs, and an entire wall of vending machines. The walls are painted with dolphins and miscellaneous underwater scenes. I soon understood why. Many families visit with young children in tow and soon their noisy chatter began to reverberate throughout the carefully reinforced and supervised space we were in.
Jalil joined us after 15-20 minutes. Tall, affable, with a warm smile on his face and a taqiyah (Muslim skullcap) on his head, it was easy to fall into conversation with him. Jalil is interested in everything. He asked Diane about her work as a Rochester city high school teacher and discussed my films with me, including issues related to Islam and feminism and the Partition of India. His charm and lively intelligence make it hard to imagine that he’s spent more than 40 years of his life in prison. He was a young Black Panther when he was arrested in 1971. Since COINTELPRO, a secret FBI program aimed at sabotaging dissent and disrupting movements for self-determination within the US (from the 1950s to the 1970s) has now been exposed for its illegal activities, it’s incredible that political prisoners like Jalil continue to be locked up.
Naomi Klein, in her book, The Shock Doctrine, told how the global banking system took advantage of crises, and sometimes created crises, in order to force national leaders to accept policies against their will. This seems to be what is going on in Ukraine.
Ukraine has beem in gave financial difficulties. Last fall the International Monetary Fund offered Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich a bailout, under conditions that reportedly included a doubling of prices for gas and electricity to industry and homes, the lifting of a ban on private sale of Ukraine’s rich agricultural lands, a sale of state assets, a devaluation of the currency and cuts in funding for schools and pensions to balance the budget. In return, Ukraine would have got a $4 billion loan, a small fraction of what was needed.
On February 1st, 2014, the “Struggling to Win: Anarchists Building Popular Power” nationwide speaking tour came to Rochester. The tour was organized by the Black Rose Anarchist Federation and will ultimately stop in 25 cities around the United States. Watch the video of their stop in Rochester here!
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for New York governor, addressed a crowd at the Flying Squirrel Community Space on April 10. Topics included environmental and energy issues, education, labor, minimum wage and health care.