“It’s just like swimming through a dirty diaper.”

So there’s this thing in Brooklyn, New York, called the Gowanus Canal. 

It’s pretty gross. There are literally gas bubbles rising to the surface from decaying sewage at the bottom. 

Recognized as one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States, it’s labeled as a Superfund site. Which, despite the name, is NOT SUPER and basically means a place is really, really, really ridiculously polluted.

To raise awareness about how dirty the Gowanus is and how much more needs to be done to clean it up, Christopher Swain did the unthinkable and SWAM IT.

Covering his face in Vaseline to repel the toxic water and wearing a hazmat suit, he was accompanied by a kayaker who occasionally offered him hydrogen peroxide to gurgle. Performance-art activism for the environment right in our own backyard!

And it worked!

His stunt is all over the media now and people are being reminded about how polluted the canal is.


The New York Times has some choice quotes:

“I think I’m going to go in here,” Swain said soon after arriving at the canal.
“No, you’re not,” a burly guard said.
“This is not approved,” explained Captain Frank DiGiacomo. “Obviously, he comes out of the water, he’s contaminated. Obviously, the water he’s in is contaminated.
Obviously.”

Obviously. 

“The real revolution is thousands of people across America standing in solidarity against police brutality. The real revolution is youth activists using their voices and their fearlessness to fight for the future of their generation. The real revolution is people of different races walking through the streets of inner city Baltimore, arms locked, chanting ‘All night, all day, we will fight for Freddie Gray.’”

Death of Freddie Gray leads to breaking point in Baltimore

Source: Patrick Semansky/AP

By: Odus Evbagharu, Managing Editor

I feel sorry for the people of Baltimore. I feel sorrow for store owners who are losing their businesses because of addle-minded immaturity. I feel the rage of those who are asking why another black life was taken away by those who are supposed to “protect and serve.” Most importantly, I feel sadness for the family of Freddie Gray who are enduring hurt and a pain not leaving anytime soon.

Gray, who was 25 at the time of his arrest on April 12, died in Baltimore Police custody a week later after he was detained from a fatal spinal cord injury. The circumstances surrounding his death still remain unclear.

The 25-year-was arrested on a weapons charge after Baltimore Police Department Officer Garrett Miller found a switchblade in his pocket. Maryland law does make it illegal to “wear or carry a dangerous weapon of any kind concealed on or about the person.” However, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said it’s not clear simply having a knife is a crime and it’s not necessarily probable cause to chase someone.

There is video showing a screaming handcuffed Gray being dragged to van by officers.

“He was dragged a bit,” said Rawlings-Blake. “Then you see him using his legs to get into the van, so he was able-bodied when he was in the van. And we know that when he was finally taken out of the van, he was unresponsive.”

The six officers, who detained Gray, restrained him even more inside the van, while surveillance video recorded Gray talking and conscious at 8:54 a.m., the morning of the arrest.

Thirty-minutes later, the police called an ambulance for Gray. According to police, Gray requested medical attention, including an inhaler, and the ambulance took him to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center.

The Mayor of Baltimore thinks the arresting officers made “a mistake” by not getting Gray medical attention as soon as he requested it. Causing more tension and questions demanding to be answered by the family of Freddie Gray and the people of Baltimore.

Gray’s death has now ignited ongoing protests in Baltimore and elevated already high tensions between police and residents.

Residents have longed complained about the abuse of power demonstrated by the Baltimore Police Department from racial profiling to turning a blind eye to those who need help in their community. Gray’s death is the straw currently breaking the camel’s back.

Source: Patrick Semansky/AP

People are exercising their first amendment right to protest because their voices are being ignored. In no way is anyone advocating violence or people breaking the law doing demonstrative things to other people’s properties. It’s reckless and serves no purpose in the cause others are fighting for. The death of Gray should not be the reason of why the Black Guerilla Family, Bloods and Crips are entering a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement officers. That’s just senseless and only makes matters for those who are looking for answers and peace.

Destroying innocent people’s property is what the uncivilized do. We have come too far to start letting others call us names once again and draw parallels to people with no home training.  Black People should know better. Our voices will never be heard if we continually stoop down to the level of the ignorant and uneducated. Violence is not the answer in any circumstance even when the light at the end of the tunnel seems to become dimmer and dimmer the closer we try to obtain it.

However, I’m tired of scrolling through my Twitter timeline and seeing privileged white kids discuss how the protestors are thugs and every which name without calling them the obvious word that our SAE friends so eloquently chanted not too long ago. I’m here to tell some you shut the hell up and go kick rocks.

A man died while in cuffs for having a switchblade on him. If any of these privileged white people were arrested for carrying a switchblade on them 85% of them would be crying about their second amendment right to bear arms and how the police had no right to chase them with no probable cause. It is unfortunately laughable at the hypocrisy displayed in such matters.

It’s sad that most of the people on the Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites care less about fining justice for this young man who died and needs of his family but are quick to rush to put their 140-character misinformed, illiterate opinion out there. It’s justice we are looking for, not ignorant people burning down a KFC chicken bucket because protesters are burning the American Flag, which for those of you out there is legal. I’m not advocating burning any nation’s flag but it’s still a right we all have.

The whole situation is sad and I continually pray America finds a way to fix police brutality and their continual abuse of power.

If not, the days of dialing 9-1-1 for help will be coming to an end and rogue militia forces will rule. Let’s see if that’s a better solution to what has happened in Ferguson and now Baltimore.

My guess—no.

Source: Getty Images

Follow Odus Evbagharu on Twitter: @odus_Outputs

LGBTQA+ PETITION FOR SAME SEX COUPLES AT PROM

So, I don´t normally post stuff, I’m just here for the reblogs, Maybe you think that just because same-sex marriage is legal in a bunch of states in USA we have come a long way, but there’s  still plenty to do to achieve the equality deserved. 

The Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) is one of Mexico’s most renowned universities, having various campus across the country. The praise themselves for being an open-minded, value inducing, secular, entrepreneur, global school. However, this graduation season, students from ITESM Campus Laguna have been prohibited from taking same-sex couples to a catwalk being held at prom. We believe that it is absurd that an university that promotes open mindedness, forward thinking an multiculturalism could impose such a blatantly homophobic measure in an event whose purpose is for the students to be proud of themselves and the work they have done, and to have fun with their loved ones, regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender.

In addition, 20% of the students are openly homosexual, and they have been prohibited from forming a LGBTQA+ association, based on the fact that the institute does not support “political or religious” associations even if this campus is known for supporting catholic “misiones”groups.

I ask you to please sign this petition 

https://www.change.org/p/instituto-tecnologico-y-de-estudios-superiores-de-monterrey-campus-laguna-mart%C3%ADn-lópez-mart%C3%ADn-lópez-méndez-cristina-fuentes-de-whitty-permitir-a-los-estudiantes-homosexuales-pasar-en-la-presentación-de-la-graduacion-del-tec?recruiter=45067893&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-no_msg&fb_ref=Default

so LGBTQA+ students from ITESM Campus Laguna can take whomever they wish to their prom.

With words like “occupy” and “shut it down” and specific people only being regarded as “mattering”, when will the country wake up and realize these are not “protests” for equality, but insurgent actions for supremacy?

We are in the midst of a supremacist movement. What can be more entitled then looting, stopping traffic on a bridge, occupying a public space, and violently attacking other human beings?

Misbehavior is not an act of protest.

6

Tumblr, Hawai’i needs your support now more than ever.

Mauna Kea, one of our most sacred mountains, is under attack. Since the 70′s, telescopes have been built on its summit, destroying the ecosystem and sacred sites. Right now, there are 13 telescopes, and now, certain people want to build another one. Except this one will be 30 meters (98+ ft.) tall, and costing over $1.4 billion. Because of the mountain’s unstable surface, construction workers for the other telescopes have had to basically blow up certain areas and smooth it out to make it more stable. Mauna Kea is already over 40 feet (12 m) lower than before construction.

Even though many people were arrested after a series of peaceful protests, we are still fighting. Mauna Kea is sacred to our people, and it is not theirs to build on. This land is ancient and sacred, and it does not belong to the United States, or the State of Hawai’i.

So please, help and support our efforts to put an end to the construction by signing this petition - https://www.change.org/p/governor-david-y-ige-stop-tmt-construction-and-arrests-of-mauna-kea-protectors

2

This is Xiao La and her girlfriend, Maizi. Xiao La has been taking this photo all over China, photographing them “together” for her birthday. Maizi can’t actually be there because she’s in jail, and has been for a month as of this week. She was arrested for being a women’s rights and LGBT activist.

Her and 4 other women are in prison right now, but a huge global outcry could call attention to their situation and #FreeTheFive.

Add your name now: go.allout.org/en/a/freethefive

6

1 in 3 women will have an abortion — and these stickers are fighting the stigma 

This week, activists on 75 college campuses created a “pop-up” sticker project, in collaboration with the 1 in 3 campaign, campaign director Julia Reticker-Flynn told Mic. The stickers, which included women’s real stories of abortion in English and Spanish, were posted in high-traffic spaces on their campuses to spark personal dialogues about the role abortion plays in women’s lives. But not everyone was OK with the stickers.

Let’s talk about just how “unskilled” my minimum wage labor is.

At IHOP, I had to memorize a vast menu of possible breakfast combinations. Did you know the system contains more than thirty different choices for how an egg should be prepared? Then choices of pancakes or French toast, what kind of toppings, was this a custom order or was it one of our seasonal specials? Oh, yeah, the seasonal specials. Every three months, we had a four hour staff meeting to discuss the new food items that would be added to the menu. Most of us came in and spent this four hour meeting in addition to the nearly twelve hour shift we would work later that night or had already been working early that morning.

Better memorize the seasonal specials, too, or else you’ll be screwing up people’s food left and right. And screwed up food means screwed up tips, especially when it comes to breakfast. On that note, guess how similar all the dishes looked. When you work primarily in a breakfast diner with infinite combinations of specials, pre-designed plates, and custom orders, it is very easy to mistake your table’s food for someone else’s when it comes out. You definitely don’t want to make that mistake, though, since IHOP has a system where you might run another server’s food out to their table. You have to be able to see what a dish is by sight and be able to distribute it to a table whose order you did not take. Some of my coworkers who had been doing this for years could take an order completely by memorizing it at the table. When you are often expected to serve up to eight people at one table, often several tables at a time, this is a truly incredible feat.

Oh, and dishes come out hot. At my IHOP, the dress code dictated a short sleeved collared white shirt. The lack of sleeves meant that I had to balance a number of very hot dishes on my bare arms, then walk to the table and distribute them without dropping anything. If you’ve never had to successfully balance ten hot plates on your arms at a time, I suggest you pop some in the microwave right now and give walking across your living room a shot. (Might not want to try unless you have carpet or money to spare for new plates, though.)

During football season, IHOP was the only restaurant open late in my town with enough space for large parties. On these Friday and Saturday nights I worked until 5 or 6 in the morning, having started my shift at 4 or 5 that afternoon. I took orders for parties of ten, fifteen, and twenty, often at the same time, with smaller tables as well. I was expected to split checks and understand how to divide incredibly complex orders, and then take payment without losing credit cards, mixing up checks, or any other disastrous thing that can happen when you are holding fifteen forms of payment in your hands at once.

Even when the actual serving had ended, there were a number of meticulous shopkeeping duties that had to be done at the end of each shift. Sometimes that meant I’d be filling 200 tiny cups with salad dressing at four in the morning, and others it meant I’d be taking meticulous inventory in my short sleeves in the freezer, restocking from storage where necessary. Everyone had to roll silverware every night, and when you’ve been on your feet for eleven hours, you can imagine how it feels to have to roll two hundred forks and two hundred knives into two hundred napkin and put the sticky tab on each one, after you wash off all the water spots and polish the utensils.

Did I mention there’s a lot of lifting in a minimum wage service job? I’m sure that’s true in other areas as well, but even now that I’m working as a soda jerk and not a server, there’s tons of lifting heavy objects. I have to lift large boxes of supplies from the stock room in order to make sure everything is, well, stocked. I lift gallons of frozen ice cream. I carry bus trays full of solid glass dishes and half-finished drinks to the kitchen (you think this job is unskilled? You try scraping all those plates without actually touching someone’s half-eaten pancakes. It’s impossible).

Not to mention handling to-go orders without tips, people who come in with coupons that slash their order to nothing and then tip according to the adjusted total despite you delivering the same level of service, the fact that the prices were already low because it’s IHOP so tips were meager. I could complain to you for days about experiences with bad and ignorant customers that took all my control, all my people management skills, all my thickness of skin to get through, and I didn’t get paid any extra for putting up with that shit.

Remember, I only get paid the equivalent of a meal at McDonald’s for every hour of my work. I deserve better. We all do.