A new book called Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence is newly released, and, in the shadow of ongoing outpourings of rage and demands for justice in Ferguson, it could not be more timely. For more details about the book, please read Ron Jacobs’ piece below.
A Sordid Mix of Murder and Racism
by Ron Jacobs, Dissident Voice. October 16th, 2014.
In 1771 in the North Carolina colony, Justice Martin Howard condemned a grand jury that refused to consider a murder charge after a white man was accused of the murder of his African slave. Apparently, the grand jury did not consider the killing by a white man of a Negro slave to be murder. In 2012, the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman followed by Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal of the crime took much of white United States by surprise. These Americans had convinced themselves that Black men were treated the same as every other resident of the United States and, if they were killed for no apparent reason other than a white person’s fear, then justice would be done in the name of the wrongly murdered African-American. However, the murder of a Black man in the US by a man considered white is apparently still not murder.
Although most US residents understood that racism exists among certain unenlightened segments of their society, most are also convinced that this racism is not systemic. Despite the best attempts of most of the mainstream media to tell the world otherwise, Trayvon Martin’s murder and George Zimmerman’s trial laid that myth to rest. The ugly wound of American racism was ripped and ruthlessly torn open for the world to see.
Naturally, millions of words were written about the situation. Many were racist and full of hate for the victim. I would like to believe that there were more that sympathized with the victim’s family and hoped for justice. Only a minority of the writers expressing themselves on the murder and subsequent trial of the killer examined the incident systemically. Of that group, even fewer saw the story as an example of the way the system works. Instead, those who did analyze it systemically saw it as a systemic failure.
Read the entire piece at Dissident Voice.
Filed under Racism, Youth
Glyphosate, the star player in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup, has been linked to lymphoma, according to a study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. While we certainly know that Roundup is used in fields and front yards across the world, the toxic effects of this use can be found in one of the most unassuming places – our children’s playgrounds. In her article “Study: New Yorkers Face Cancer Spike From Monsanto’s Roundup in City Parks,” Christina Sarich explains how cancer rates are rising, but the city maintains that its use of Roundup is perfectly safe.
How exactly does this sign convey safety? Photo: Natural Society
Let’s take a moment here to digest – NYC claims that its use of a toxic chemical in and near parks and playgrounds where children play is completely safe. Scientists and environmentalists have argued from day one that the use of Monsanto’s aggressive toxins could be dangerous. We don’t know to what extent, but that should be cause for alarm, not justification for its use. This is the very argument that Monsanto uses to support its continued production of Roundup, which has lately been engineered even stronger in order to combat plants that are building up a resistance (Go Nature!). Not knowing the long-term effects is exactly why these toxins should be banned and especially not used near playgrounds. Like usual, however, officials are only convinced with dollar signs, so instead of listening to scientific evidence, they put children’s lives at serious risk for developing cancer.
Study: New Yorkers Face Cancer Spike From Monsanto’s Roundup in City Parks
by Christina Sarich, Natural Society, August 22, 2014
The Parks Department in New York, which was responsible for spraying pesticides on greenspaces more than 1,300 times last year, is likely leading to more prevalent cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and breast cancer, according to the findings of recent studies. The pesticide they use most often (even where children are at play) in order to eliminate weeds that house rats in New York is Monsanto’s Roundup – full of glyphosate carcinogens.
Even though the city posts warning signs 24-hours prior to spraying, the toxic chemicals in RoundUp linger, and no one really knows for how long. They say they spray in ‘little-used’ areas in the park – but we all know that with a little rain, pesticide runoff travels into the park’s lakes and soil, contaminating larger areas.
Read the full article on Natural Society.
The following video was sent to us via a great friend and long-time volunteer for GJEP. Razeef Ziadah is also a friend of one of our board members.
Our friend and volunteer from VT said, “This poem made me think of your [GJEP’s] work.”
RAFEEF ZIADAH is a Canadian-Palestinian spoken word artist and activist. Her debut CD Hadeel is dedicated to Palestinian youth, who still fly kites in the face of F16 bombers, who still remember the names if their villages in Palestine and still hear the sound of Hadeel (cooing of doves) over Gaza.
By Jules, June 30, 2014. Source: Nigerian Bulletin
Youths in Eket and Esit Eket in Akwa Ibom on Monday staged peaceful protests against fresh oil spills in Nkpana community from a Mobil facility in Ibeno.
The youths numbering more than 500 protested on major streets in Eket, including the Marina and Terminal roads.
The protesters, under the ages of Core Youth Forum, carried placards with inscriptions: “Oil spill is killing our aquatic life’’, “No compensation for oil spill” and “Enough of this oil spillage,’’ among others.
Mr Godwin Peter, the spokesman of the protesters, said the spill occurred on Saturday and occupied communities along the spill line on Sunday. Continue reading
By Jeff Biggers, May 2, 2014. Source: Eco Watch
On the heels of an earlier arrest of a student at a growing divestment blockade at Harvard University, seven Washington University students were arrested today in St. Louis, as they sought to enter the quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Today’s action followed a historic 17-day sit-in at the St. Louis campus, where hundreds of Washington University students have joined in a campaign to remove Peabody Energy CEO Greg Boyce from the Board of Trustees, as part of other demands to cut university ties with the coal industry giant.
World renowned author Margaret Atwood, appearing yesterday to accept the Arts First award at Harvard, summed it up best at an open forum when asked about the protest: “Any society where arrest is preferable to open dialog is a scary place.”
According to Washington University student Caroline Burney, nearly 100 students rallied in front of the Knight Center, where the Board of Trustees meeting was being held, and then marched to the main doors of the building. Students were faced by a line of police, locked arms, and stated that they were not leaving until they were let into the building to speak with Greg Boyce about his role at the University and on the Board of Trustees. After about forty minutes of singing and chanting, seven students were arrested by St. Louis County Police. Continue reading
By Henia Belalia, April 19, 2014. Source: Waging Nonviolence
Memorial in Algeria commemorates the struggle for independence against France. However, today, the Algerian government has adopted many of the ways of its former French colonizers. (Flickr/Asian Media)
This week, thousands of youth boycotted the presidential elections in Algeria in protest of the likely success of an ailing president who is now in office for his fourth term. But ultimately, the roots of the protests ran much deeper: state institutions that uphold the status quo, an economy too reliant on oil exports, and the lack of economic and employment opportunities for the younger generations. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front, which won the election even amongst rumors of fraud and the president’s own poor health, was once a political party that claimed liberation. Now, it has adopted many of the ways of the colonialist empire.
For me, a woman of color whose family, native to Algeria, left for France and later for the United States, the political state of Algeria is a reality that is complicated to sit with — and one that reminds me of the nuances of building a truly liberatory multiracial movement.
Sometimes I think it’s a miracle that my people have survived long enough to birth me. For years, imperialism and capitalism have attempted to exterminate us through colonization, militarism and forced economic development. Even as Algeria forced out the European settlers, decolonized our lands, and gained independence in July 1962, the dominant culture attempted to do away with our traditional heritage. The media demonized our people, casting all Arabs as dirty and dangerous. Imperialist nations have benefited just as much from colonialism and the theft of our lands as they have from the indoctrination of our minds through the erasure of our ancient ways, memories, traditions and cultures. Continue reading
By Talia Buford, March 2, 2014. Source: Politico
The march makes its way through Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Photo: M.Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO
More than 300 anti-Keystone XL protesters were arrested Sunday afternoon outside the White House in the latest push by environmentalists to convince the Obama administration to reject the Canadian oil pipeline.
The student-led protest, organized by XL Dissent, started with a rally at Georgetown University. The students marched from there to the White House — with a stop at Secretary of State John Kerry’s house along the way.
Students from 80 colleges participated in Sunday’s event, and another protest will be held on Monday in San Francisco, said Aly Johnson-Kurts, a freshman at Smith College and one of the organizers of the event.
“The youth really understand the traditional methods of creating change are not sufficient … so we needed to escalate,” said Johnson, shortly before she was arrested at the White House. Continue reading