Guerrero State Police Injure Ayotzinapa Students in Attack Reminiscent of Sept. 26 in Iguala

In an incident reminiscent of the September 26 Igual attack that disappeared 43 students, at least 3 normalistas from the Rural Teachers’ College of Ayotzinapa were injured Saturday from beatings received by Guerrero state police. A reported 50 students were traveling on a bus when it was stopped and they were forcibly removed.

The confrontation began soon after 12 noon near the town of Tierras Prietas, reports teleSUR.

In response, normalistas and supporters set fire to 2 Tixtla municipal police vehicles. 2 students arrested by state police were later released.

Stay tuned for more information.

Video via Bernardo Torres 

5 things I came to understand hiking an Arizona Migrant Trail

Written by Amanda Beyer. March 27, 2015.

I FELT INCREDIBLY LUCKY that I had the opportunity to hike a trail used by migrants illegally crossing into the United States. I knew it would be an emotional and eye opening experience. It was part of a day long U.S./Mexico Border Delegation trip arranged by the Arizona nonprofit, Border Links and was the finale of a week long conference for refugee and immigrant service providers and advocates working in the US. Up until this point, I considered myself pretty well informed on the crisis happening just north of the US-Mexico border. I followed all of the statistics and could hold an informed conversation about illegal migration. Actually being on the trail, however, made me almost ashamed of how little I really understood.

1. There is no actual trail. From the second we left our vans, it was clear that we did not want to lose our guide. We hiked for two hours through rocky desert terrain, thick and spiky brush, wide open spaces, and massive patches of Jumping Cholla cacti, at no point in time was there a visible path. Migrants walk for days in these conditions, often wearing through the soles of their shoes, sometimes without shoes at all. We had sunscreen and water bottles and a good night sleep to support us. Migrants typically have none of these. It is the last leg of a very hard and traumatic journey and it has been weeks or months since they have had the chance to sleep in a real bed.

2. People make this trip with barely anything. They carry very few things with them, maybe a notebook with important English phrases and phone numbers of people they know in the US, a container for water that has been carefully camouflaged so that it has no reflective qualities, a toothbrush, a rosary, a bible, and a change of clothes for when they are about to come in contact with Americans. This is all they carry to start a new life.

3. People die out there. Lots of people die out there actually. In the past 13 years, the remains of more than 2,000 people have been found in the desert. Most of the found are young men in their late teens and early twenties. There are no doubt many, many more lives lost out there. The brutal desert sun and the thick brush makes it difficult for aid workers to find remains before they completely decompose.

4. Policy makers knew people would die. When the US began militarizing the border, crossing into the states went from being dangerous to extremely dangerous. They knew people would inevitably die attempting to make the journey. They counted on this to be a deterrent. The idea was that if enough people died then others considering the journey would chose to stay where they are instead of facing the possibility of death. It has not deterred them, their situations are so desperate that they make the trip knowing that death is a very real possibility.

5. The journey is about hope. Everyone making this journey is filled with hope that they will survive and be able to make a better life for themselves and their families. Many are hoping to be reunited with their parents. Many are hoping that they will find work to send money back home to support the families they left behind. If they are caught and deported, they will make the dangerous journey again, because this hope is all they have.

This story was produced by the travel journalism program at MatadorU. Learn more about the program here.

Hey y’all, followers and otherwise. This is very important to me, as I’ve always wanted to take direct action to help my country (Palestine), and I believe that this project will allow me to start doing that, if I win this contest and get the funding to get it off the ground! Of course I’ll try to do other things if I don’t win, but this would help me bypass the financial element that’s holding me down.

So, the OZY Genius awards funds to whatever project campaign gains the most votes. My project idea is a book called The Palestine Story: A Narrative of Occupation, Diaspora, and Hope. From my entry description:

Through a decades-long struggle for self-determination, freedom, and peace, the story of the Palestinian people has been buried beneath politics and media. I see my people reduced to the rambling tirades of extremists played endlessly on the news. Beneath our unfair and ruthless representation, a story breathes beneath the rubble. The Palestine Story is a project of elucidation, a book that will give a voice to the void where the true spirit of the Palestinian people should be represented.

Basically, if I win, I’ll travel to Palestine to interview people of all ages and backgrounds, from people in refugee camps, to activists, to farmers and shopkeepers, to business leaders and politicians in the West Bank and the Israeli territories. With these interviews I’ll weave together the past, present, and future hopes of the Palestinian people, through their voices. I’m going to focus mostly on the voices you REALLY don’t hear, like women, afro palestinians, poor people, people who’ve been imprisoned, etc. I have the connections with locals of all kinds to make it happen, I just need the funding for travel, equipment, putting the novel together (editing and other professional things), etc. 

So vote here or at the title link! Help me out. Please reblog and share on other social networking sites!

For people who are fans of context, here’s a story from nine days before the Judiciary Committee hearing in which Senator Ernie Chambers made his now-infamous comparison between Omaha police and ISIS:

A grand jury has found no criminal wrongdoing by four Omaha police officers who were involved in the fatal shootings of three people.
Grand jurors returned no charges Wednesday against Officer Alvin Lugod, who fired the shots that killed 39-year-old Danny Elrod. Authorities later determined Elrod was unarmed.
The grand jury also cleared the three officers who killed a robbery suspect and a crewman of the long-running TV show `Cops’ at a fast-food restaurant in August.

The shooting death of Danny Elrod was actually the second officer-involved-shooting in 30 months for Alvin Lugod, who resigned from the Omaha Police Department this past week.

With that in mind, and before I ask you to read a whole bunch of quotes from the transcript of the hearing, I should note a few things:

1. It’s pretty likely that Senator Chambers had the Lugod case in mind when he came to the hearing;

2. I don’t agree with Chambers’ comments, as my experiences with the police have been different from what he describes in every respect, and as I can’t imagine even hypothetically suggesting that, even out of fear, I or anyone else should shoot anyone;

3. My life has been very different from Chambers’ life and my circumstances are very different from the majority of his constituents. To say that I’m not fearful of interacting with the police is not to dismiss the very real concerns of Senator Chambers and the people he represents.

Now here’s the very beginning of the hearing in which Senator Chambers made his remarks:

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But they keep telling us it’s all in our heads. We are making it up. (Source)

Two Media Matters for America studies of crime coverage in 2014 uncovered a disturbing pattern—every major network affiliate station in New York is consistently over-representing Black people as perpetrators of crime. They are unfairly and disproportionately focusing their crime reporting on Black suspects, and inaccurately exaggerating the proportion of Black people involved in crime—on average, exaggerating by 24 percentage points.

Read the report (HERE).

Is the media gonna talk about these white dudes brawling in the street or not?

I told y’all I don’t even entertain the notion of St. Patrick’s Day.

A violent St. Patrick’s day brawl among white adult men in the middle of Manhattan — which was caught on video — has resulted in no arrests, and only one news report of the incident.

That’s compared to the reams of articles and the five arrests resulting from a video last week of a fight among a group of black teenage girls in a Brooklyn McDonald’s.


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When Ethel Payne stood to ask President Dwight Eisenhower a question at a White House press conference in July 1954, women and African-Americans were rarities in the press corps. Payne was both, and wrote for The Chicago Defender, the legendary black newspaper that in the 40s and 50s, was read in black American households the way The New York Times was in white ones.

In Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, First Lady of the Black Press, author James McGrath Morris, examines her life and legacy.

From Selma To Eisenhower, Trailblazing Black Reporter Was Always Probing

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center/Harper Collins

Caption: Ethel Payne interviews a soldier from Chesapeake, Va., in Vietnam in 1967.

Mexico’s Most Prominent Journalist, Carmen Aristegui, Fired After Exposing Government Corruption

Carmen Aristegui, largely regarding as Mexico’s most prominent journalist, was fired Sunday by MVS Radio.

An official statement by the radio network stated Aristegui was fired because they would not accept the reporter’s ultimatum to rehire her investigative team, the same team responsible for exposing government corruption involving contractor kickbacks and prostitution.

Owners of the radio network claimed members of this investigative team were unauthorized to use the company’s name and logo for MexicoLeaks, a whistleblower initiative which launched last Tuesday, and therefore violated the company’s “breach of trust.”

Mexican civil society expressed their outrage online, and in the streets.

Image via Monero Rapé

Follow the link above to see new Storify. 

I think there’s so many times when girls and young women are told, “It’s just not gonna work out.” And if I could give anyone advice, it would be this idea that the doing it or not doing it is up to you. And you have to run around and exploit all the resources around you. Pick people’s brains, bring them lunch, buy them coffee — and just get in there to see how people who are doing what you want to do are doing it. Learn by watching and osmosis. There’s so much of life that is being book smart, but there’s a big chunk that’s just understanding how stuff works.

I think women are often talked out of things. I remember when I had just had my twins, I had four kids under four years old. And the tsunami happened in 2004. I got a call from someone at CNN, and they said “well, we’re supposed to try to send someone to Thailand, but I know you won’t want to go, because moms don’t want to travel.” And I said to her, “Well, I have four kids under four, so Thailand sounds amazing!” And they sent me to Thailand. But it reminded me that you constantly have to challenge people’s expectations. [The caller] wasn’t trying to be mean, she just had expectations about what a new mom would do and she was foisting those expectations on to me. I said “Listen, here’s what I want to do.” You have to restate it, sometimes firmly, sometimes gently, sometimes with a smile, and just constantly write your path — and try to figure out how to get there. Hitting people up for information, help, guidance, advice, but staying on that path of “here’s what I want to do.” We’re just constantly, as women, talked out of it. “You can’t do this and that” — but you can. You really can. If it’s something you really want to do, you can. And I think that’s a message that a lot of young women need to hear. You have to set the parameters of the experience and the success that you want to have.


I hit up the Titus Kaphar showing of  “Asphalt and Chalk’ at Jack Sheiman Gallery with the homie elliottbrownjr. He took all of these awesome photos of some of the pieces. Writing a piece on the works and the experience. If it doesn’t get published, I’ll post it on here.

Here’s an excerpt from my draft:

The Unfit Description collection features pieces penciled faces etched on white parchment. Each face is overlapping the next. One feature, be it beard or lazy eye, that is distinguishable is drawn on a separate sheet, overlapping the others. Each work seems representative of how police forces wrongfully and fatally profile black men.
The Jerome Project is similar to Unfit Description. The layered illustrations are presented, this time in chalk. The faces are drawn similar, but not the same. Each piece seems to feature men of different age groups, some younger, others older. One of the faces in the younger portrait is noticably Mike Brown (youth killed unlawfully by police in Ferguson , Missouri). The portrayal of Mike Brown and the use chalk implies the idea that all of the men depicted may have been killed by police. The eyes on each piece are haunting in that they don’t perfectly line up, but all share a single glare.
While the works have similar approaches, they tell seperate stories and deliver different messages. Unfit Description tells the viewer” it can be anybody” while The Jerome Project  tells the viewer “it is everyone”.