5 Ways You Can Help Ferguson, Its Protesters, and Mike Brown’s Family

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been more or less glued to your computer or tablet device over the last nine days, trying to keep on top of what’s going down in Ferguson, Missouri. Since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, the city has descended into a cycle of upheaval. So what can you do to support Ferguson?

The unfolding situation has led to a deep sense of helplessness for many people — sympathetic observers of the plight of the Ferguson protesters, unsure what they can do to help. And indeed, it’s hard to know exactly how to lend your support — is there some place to donate? Some cause to get behind? A hashtag to Tweet? 

At the end of the day, if the St. Louis-area forces descending on Ferguson aren’t proactive in addressing the outcry for justice, tensions are likely to remain high. Luckily, there are some things you can lend your name to, or some ways to contribute a little cash that can make a difference. Here are a handful of examples.

The Change.org Petition on Police Misconduct

This has been swirling around since pretty early in the Ferguson fracas, launched by Los Angeles-based Shaun King, who’s been a tireless presence on social media throughout the protests. It currently has over 200,000 signatures, which is a healthy total, but far short of its goal of one million. 

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether the petition’s call is worth supporting, I’ll say this much: The ideas contained make a lot of sense to me, and I think it’s worth the consideration of anyone concerned with police violence and misconduct, especially against minority populations. Its provisions are stated as follows:

1. The shooting and killing of an unarmed citizen who does not have an outstanding warrant for a violent crime should be a federal offense.

2. Choke holds and chest compressions by police (what the coroner lists as the official cause of death for Eric Garner) should be federally banned.

3. All police officers must wear forward-facing body cameras while on duty. They cost just $99 and are having a significant, positive impact in several cities around the United States and the world.

4. Suspensions for violations of any of the above offenses should be UNPAID.

5. Convictions for the above offenses should have their own set of mandatory minimum penalties. The men who killed Diallo, Bell, Grant, Carter, Garner, and others all walk free while over 1,000,000 non violent offenders are currently incarcerated in American prisons.

Not too bad, huh?

 Feeding the Children of Ferguson

The children of Ferguson haven’t been shielded from the destabilizing impacts of the protests and police response. That was laid especially bare on Sunday, by images of a teargas-stricken child that lit up social media — in his post-curfew press conference, Capt. Ron Johnson wholly sidestepped a question on underage teargas victims.

While you may not be able to help as much as you’d like, there’s one easy way to make your dollars felt — donate to help keep the kids fed. As the effort’s creator Julianna Mendelsohn explains, the upheaval has resulted in public school cancellations, which leaves those kids who rely on their school lunches high and dry.

When I found out school had been canceled for several days as a result of the civil unrest, I immediately became worried for the students in households with food instability. Many children in the US eat their only meals of the day, breakfast and lunch, at school. With school out, kids are undoubtedly going hungry. ALL OF THIS MONEY WILL GO TO FEED KIDS IN FERGUSON. … Regardless of your opinion on the civil unrest in Ferguson, there is no need for innocent children to go hungry because of it.

The campaign has generated greater than $50,000 in donations to the Greater St. Louis Area Food Bank so far.

Donate Directly to the Brown Family

You can also decide to give some dollars directly to the grieving family that Michael Brown left behind. A GoFundMe page has been launched by the family’s legal representation, from the office of attorney Benjamin Crump, whose name you may recognize — he also represented the family of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin last year. What will the money go towards?

The funds collected here will be used by the Brown family to cover funeral and burial expenses, travel and living expenses of the parents as they seek justice for their son, Michael Brown, Jr. 

Becoming embroiled in a full-time, high-profile controversial incident like this isn’t easy on its own, much less when you’ve also had your son taken from you. The page has already netted greater than $67,000 for the Brown family in just four days, rapidly approaching its total goal of $80,000.

 Support On-The-Ground Legal Observers

The folks with the National Lawyer’s Guild (NLG) have been maintaining a presence on the ground, offering legal support and oversight, but such a job is neither safe nor free — they’re accepting donations to keep a presence in Ferguson. 

Having legal observers on the ground is pretty important in the interests of justice, as chaotic as the nights in Ferguson have routinely become. Any violations of protesters’ rights could easily go overlooked if there aren’t dedicated people following the action.

Support Independent Media Reporting

Some news junkies across the country have been dubious, to say the least, of some of the reporting coming out of the Ferguson area. This is understandable, given the tack the police have taken with journalists and protesters, and the manner in which they released troubling surveillance footage of Brown while withholding almost all information about his actual shooting.

Supporting independent media is a worthy cause in this regard, if you have any concerns about establishment bias in reporting from major outlets. You may not, to be fair, but many people (myself included, in the interests of full disclosure) do. 

Berkeley-based independent black media outlet This Week in Blackness is a prominent example — founder Elon James White and company reported from Ferguson late last week, and the situation has remained so severe that they’re headed back out there Monday. 

*This article was published last month. Please reblog with tips and updates.

The NFL continues to only talk about Ray and Janay Rice as a couple, with no indication that they understand the danger that she, as an individual, may now be in. It is well recognized by researchers and domestic violence advocates that the most dangerous time for victims of intimate partner violence is when they try to leave, which is something my mother knew instinctively. The most dangerous time for Janay Rice may be right now, as she is living with a man whose mindset may well be that his career has just been cut short because of his wife.

It’s as disturbing as it sounds.

The new arcade game Sailor Zombie is another iteration of the ubiquitous transmedia empire known as AKB48, a group of 48 young women singing pop songs in schoolgirl outfits. Its members are ubiquitous in Japanese advertising, appear on television programs every day of the week, and star in their own videogames. AKB48 games traditionally have been dating simulators marketed toward male fans or music games aimed at children, but Sailor Zombie is a shooter in which the girls are your targets.

MORESailor Zombie Lets You Shoot Undead Japanese Pop Stars

Joseph Oberhansley is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, then eating her brains and other organs

Will Oberhansley’s abuse of his ex-girlfriend and the subsequent feasting on her body lead to people who classify themselves as “white” to have a national conversation on white male violence?  Oberhansley did jail time for murdering another girfriend as a teen, shot his mother and was accused of strangling another man. Maybe his arrest will spark a nationwide dialogue on why we are not spending enough time targeting white male offenders? Maybe with this diaglogue, white women may start using naselly white boy tones when describing sexual harrassment, male aggression, and misogyny as they’ve consistently done with “AAVE”. It would be interesting see some real attention turned to the ubiquitous white male aggression we’re being programmed to celebrate, excuse, or ignore.

So…
My sister’s ex boyfriend went crazy and tried to kill her and my 3 year old nephew.
He shot at her multiple times.
She had to tell her son to run and get help.
And neighbor came after hearing gunshots and fought off the ex.
In self-defense, the neighbor shot the ex boyfriend in the chest.
My sister (because she’s not a hateful person) tried to save her ex’s life… he died in her arms.

I do t know how to feel because I can’t fully fathom how she feels. I’m glad they’re safe and not hurt but, I wish they didn’t have to go through that.
And even though I know it’s not about me, I too am angry and upset.
I have no one to vent to.

This is why I don’t like guns… they always seem to make their way into the hands of the wrong person.
And yes, the ex did have a licence to carry one.

Okay I worried that there is little speculation of the ISIS crisis in the Middle East here on tumblr. So I have decided that I’m going to make a post about. This may be a bit biased, and Aussie-centric but I think it’s important to know how my country is affected from this as well.

Warning: violence, death, blood, and gruesome stuff will be mentioned.

So, What is ISIS?

ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is a group of extremists, created by Al-Qaeda. The group has been around for about 10 years, but only recently they have proven to be a real threat, due to the atrocities they are committing. This group has grabbed attention of governments and superpowers, such as the US, however it was only very recent the people in power have come to a realisation that something must be done.

Okay, but what has ISIS exactly done to grab attention?

For the past couple of years, ISIS has taken over Iraqi and Syrian land, in attempt to establish a caliphate within these nations, but predominantly Iraq. In recent months, ISIS has been taking over Yazidi villages in Iraq, and demanding the people to convert or face execution, which is often public. ISIS has publicly executed Yazidi men, women, and even children - only to then post such brutal crimes onto social media for the world to see. ISIS has also been taking Yazidi women and turning them into Jihadi brides. They have also beheaded westerner’s, including an American journalist and a British aid worker. With the be-heading of Westerner’s, Obama and other political figures have declared ISIS as a global threat.

We can just send in some troops, right?

It’s not so simple to send in troops. Though, the US and Australia have been working together to aid the Yazidi population who have fled from the genocide, Obama doesn’t want to send in troops into Iraq, as they have dispatched the last of the men in 2011. Australia is sending 600 aid troops to the country, but so far it is believed that there will be no official military action, only humanitarian and protection. The US have been airstriking territories ISIS have occupied, but it has only slowed the group down. Iraq also don’t want the US in the country. Iran is taking military action, but it will take more than Iran to bring the group to an official stop.

How does this group affect my country?

Many Westerner’s, particularly in Australia, have been leaving their countries to join ISIS. Others have been funding the group and some are even planning on committing terrorist acts in countries outside of the Middle East. Most of you may not be aware, but Australia is (for the first time) on a terrorist high level. This means that a terrorist act is likely to occur. Why is this important to know? With the G20 Summit being held in Australia in November, police and ASIO have been very cautious about this. We have at least 150 Australian’s currently in the Middle East, fighting alongside ISIS. Not only this, but we have at least 60 jihads and terrorists who are connected to ISIS in Australia. Today (18.9.14) we had anti-terrorist raids throughout Sydney and Brisbane. At least 15 arrests have been made, and one of the men is facing charges for planning terrorists acts; with plans to kidnap a random person down the streets of Sydney, be-head them in a busy public center, and wrap their remains in an ISIS flag - while recording to post on social media. They had actually found a sword during these raids, and this plan was to happen at any given moment.

Why is this important to know?

To put it simply, people are dying. An extremist group is trying to rise to power, with intentions to convert anyone to Islam, or face execution. This is a disgrace to Muslims across the world, as their religion is being an excuse to commit genocide. It is real and happening right now, and it needs attention.

I’d love for this to be reblogged and spread around, and if I have any misinformation, I deeply apologise and feel free to correct me. This is a serious and major threat that needs to be spoken about. I hope this post was useful and you may have learnt something new.

Sources:

http://www.pennlive.com/nation-world/2014/08/what_is_isis_and_why_should_we.html

http://www.vox.com/cards/things-about-isis-you-need-to-know/isis-goal-theocracy

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/friend-flees-horror-isis

http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_09_17/Iraq-Obama-doesn-t-want-a-ground-war-in-the-Middle-East-1058/

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/police-swoop-on-sydney-brisbane-homes-in-terror-raids/story-e6frg6nf-1227062160671?nk=5b2fe09fa0b7682d619cd52592fa423c

https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/25037909/arrests-made-in-counterterror-raids-in-sydneys-northwest/

More articles:

http://news.oneindia.in/feature/what-does-islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis-want-in-iraq-1468356.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/middle-east-live/2014/jun/30/isis-declares-caliphate-in-iraq-and-syria-live-updates

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/the-iraq-isis-conflict-in-maps-photos-and-video.html?_r=0

Raising Non-Violent Kids

Your child’s environment – whether at home, at school or socially – can greatly influence how they may behave in the future.

FindYouthInfo.gov, a government website focused on youth issues, found that in 2012, more than 630,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 were admitted to the hospital due to violence-related injuries.

If you’re worried that your child is at risk for violent behavior, there are some factors that may indicate a problem.

Risk factors for violent youth

During their teen years, some kids may behave violently because of some risk factors found in their environment.

Note: Some of these risk factors may be out of your control. However, it is recommended that you keep them under consideration.

At home

From an early age, young people could be exposed to:

  • Violent behavior between parents
  • Severe punishments
  • Parents who are frequently absent or don’t pay attention to their children
  • Rejection or emotional distance from parents
  • A broken home

At school

Youth may exhibit behavioral problems such as:

  • Teasing or bullying other students
  • Skipping class
  • Exhibiting either aggressive or introverted behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating or exhibiting hyperactive behavior
  • Developing learning issues or failing classes

In society

Young people could be considered violent if they:

  • Harass or provoke kids that are their same age or younger
  • Have been arrested before age 14 for committing a crime
  • Belong to a gang or other violent group
  • Take drugs or drink alcohol
  • Have been treated for psychological or emotional issues

Tips to prevent youth violence

You can help prevent violent behavior in your child by following these recommendations:

  • Spend more time with your child and include everyone in family activities.
  • Don’t argue with your spouse in front of your child.
  • Form a bond with your son or daughter. Communicate with your children if they have any problems or issues.
  • Make respect and open communication a priority in your home.
  • Do not give out severe or violent punishment.
  • Be aware of your child’s friends, but do not be overprotective.

Resources

STRYVE is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national initiative helping families and communities prevent youth violence.

FindYouthInfo.gov is a collaboration among 18 government agencies that supports programs and services for the prevention of youth violence.

Read this note in Spanish.
A Lifetime - Prologue

Title: A Lifetime

Author: darkhiddles11

Chapter: Prologue

Rating: M

Genre: Drama/Romance

Character: Loki

Summary: Thor comes back to Asgard and falls into a deep Odin sleep. Everyone in Asgard fears he will not wake up. Except for Sif who has stood by his side since he succumbed to his sleep. She tries everything from healers to casting spells herself to bring Thor back. After failed attempts Sif becomes desperate. She resorts to her last attempt and contacts Loki for his help. Loki agrees unless Sif gives him her hand in marriage… even if he has to wait an eternity.

Authors Notes/Warnings: Some Violence.

Sif POV:

He was so cold. His face was pale and the stars outside Asgard were dim. Thor was slipping away. My friend was dying right in front of me. There was nothing I could do.

“Sif.” I turned my head around to see Fandral walking towards me.

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