A school poster assignment in which I chose to focus on Canada’s epidemic levels of violence towards Aboriginal women. If you’re interested in learning more, the page for Amnesty Canada’s No More Stolen Sisters provides some basic information. The #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) tag on Twitter will give you more of a personal idea of how this effects Aboriginal communities across the country.
Our government refuses to even acknowledge that this is a legitimate societal issue, and I think it’s something that deserves a lot more international attention than it has received.
Help! Venezuela has Become a war zone. The government and its armed groups, the army and national police are killing the Venezuelan people right now. The situation is becoming more critical. We just want justice and our freedom!.
This weekend, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that prohibits “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses from being used to escape murder charges.
All over the country, murder charges can sometimes be downgraded to manslaughter when a person claims they acted out of panic after finding out a person was gay or trans. (It’s especially common around the murders of trans women.) It perpetuates the idea that LGBT people are “lying” about who they are if they aren’t out to everyone, it attempts to justify murder, and it says that LGBT lives aren’t as important as others.
The American Bar Association has urged governments to end panic defenses, but with this legislation, California becomes the first state ever to outlaw them.
Current state law allows murder charges to be reduced to manslaughter if the killings happened in a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.
But under the bill, approved by the Assembly last month, defendants would be barred from using their victims’ sexual orientation or gender identityto support such a defense.
Read that again: California is the first state ever to say that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is no excuse for murdering them. The first state ever. Wow, have we got a ton of work to do.
Unarmed black man, Ezell Ford, killed by LAPD August 13, 2014
On the heels of the Mike Brown tragedy, another Black man has been shot and killed by the police. The 24-year-old man succumbed to gun injuries after an encounter with police in South LA.
The incident happened Monday evening, shortly after a shooting was reported at the intersection of West 65th Street and South Broadway. The LAPD stopped a man 200 blocks north of the 65th block when things took a dangerous turn. According to a police statement, officers opened fire after “a struggle ensued.”
The man, who was later identified as Ezell Ford, was then transported to the nearest hospital where he underwent surgery but later died. Ford is one of countless victims who have recently died at the hands of police- who are to protect and serve the community.
Was Ford killed for simply being a young, African-American male – the very same characteristics that claimed the lives of John Crawford and Mike Brown?
The mother of the victim, Tritobia Ford, said her son was lying on the ground and obeying the officers’ commands when he was shot. Multiple reports indicate he was unarmed.
Further details on the shooting is underway and will be investigated by LAPD’s Force Investigation Division. The LAPD is currently being sued by Marlene Pinnock, a homeless woman whose vicious beating at the hands of a still unidentified officer was caught on tape. Her lawsuit alleges excessive force, assault, battery.
Indigenous Canadian Women Are Suffering a Murder Epidemic
Last week’s discovery of the body of Loretta Saunders, an Inuit student who disappeared while working on a thesis about missing and murdered Native Canadian women, sparked calls across the country for action. NGOs say violence against Aboriginal women and girls is reaching epidemic levels — and around half of the murder cases remain unsolved.
Cop who killed sleeping 7-year-old Aiyana Jones will not face charges January 29, 2015
The Detroit police officer who fatally shot a sleeping 7-year-old girl will not be retried, officials said Wednesday.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement that her office was moving to dismiss the case against Officer Joseph Weekley. He was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter and careless discharge of a firearm causing death, a misdemeanor, after Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed in 2010 during a botched police raid at her home.
Weekley’s first trial in 2013 ended in a mistrial. In a second trial last year, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway dismissed the manslaughter charge after a motion by the defense. The jury again deadlocked while deliberating whether to convict Weekley of the lesser charge, causing a second mistrial.
“Today we personally informed the family of Aiyana Stanley–Jones that we have made a decision that we would not be going to trial for a third time in the Joseph Weekley case,” Worthy said, calling Hathaway’s decision to dismiss the manslaughter charge “unfortunate.”
Shortly after midnight on May 16, 2010, members of the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team initiated a raid on the Stanley-Jones home in search of a murder suspect. Weekley was first through the door and allegedly had difficulty seeing when another officer threw a a flash-bang grenade. Weekley fired his gun, killing Aiyana, who had been asleep on the couch with her grandmother.
Weekley maintained that he only shot because the grandmother, Mertilla Jones, struck his gun. She denied touching his weapon, and at trial the prosecution questioned why Weekley had his finger on the trigger.
As activists around the country have widely protested the police killings of unarmed black individuals, including Eric Garner in New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Detroiters have added Aiyana’s name to the list of victims. In October, Roland Lawrence, chairman of the Justice for Aiyana Committee, condemned the judge’s decision to dismiss the manslaughter charge against Weekley.
“Surely, the death of a baby by a well-trained police force must be deemed unacceptable in a civilized society,” Lawrence said in a statement at the time.
The prosecution will move to dismiss the case against Weekley Friday morning.
Palestinians express solidarity with the people of Ferguson August 17, 2014
We the undersigned Palestinian individuals and groups express our solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, a young unarmed black man gunned down by police on August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri. We wish to express our support and solidarity with the people of Ferguson who have taken their struggle to the street, facing a militarized police occupation.
From all factions and sectors of our dislocated society, we send you our commitment to stand with you in your hour of pain and time of struggle against the oppression that continues to target our black brothers and sisters in nearly every aspect of their lives.
We understand your moral outrage. We empathize with your hurt and anger. We understand the impulse to rebel against the infrastructure of a racist capitalist system that systematically pushes you to the margins of humanity.
And we stand with you.
We recognize the disregard and disrespect for black bodies and black life endemic to the supremacist system that rules the land with wanton brutality. Your struggles through the ages have been an inspiration to us as we fight our own battles for basic human dignities. We continue to find inspiration and strength from your struggles through the ages and your revolutionary leaders, like Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Kwame Ture, Angela Davis, Fred Hampton, Bobby Seale and others.
We honor the life of Michael Brown, cut short less than a week before he was due to begin university. And we honor the far too many more killed in similar circumstances, motivated by racism and contempt for black life: Ezell Ford, John Crawford, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tarika Wilson, Malcolm Ferguson, Renisha McBride, Amadou Diallo, Yvette Smith, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Kathryn Johnston, Rekia Boyd and too many others to count.
With a Black Power fist in the air, we salute the people of Ferguson and join in your demands for justice.
Susan Abulhawa, novelist and activist
Linah Alsaafin, graduate student, SOAS
Rinad Abdulla, Professor, Birzeit University
Ramzy Baroud, Managing Editor, Middle East Eye
Diana Buttu, Lawyer, Palestine
Rana Baker, graduate student, SOAS
Abbas Hamideh, activist and organizer
Ahlam Muhtaseb, Professor, CSU
Alaa Milbes, Ramallah, Palestine
Alaa Marwan, Ramallah, Palestine
Nour Joudah, Washington DC
Ali Zbeidat, Sakhnin, Palestine
Areej Alragabi , Jerusalem, Palestine
Areej Saeb, student, Jerusalem
Beesan Ramadan, Nablus
Dina Zbidat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dr Jess Ghannam, UCSF
Huwaida Arraf, Attorney, New York
Nejma Awad, Tetra Tech DPK
Monadel Herzallah, USPCN, San Francisco Bay Area
Randa C. Issa
Amal Khoury, MD MPH, Washington, DC
Amani Barakat Moorpark, California
Falastine Dwikat, PCACBI
Osama Ahmad, AMP Bay Area director
Halla Shoaibi, Birzeit University
Dima Eleiwa, Shujaiyah, Gaza, Palestine
Jamil Salem, Birzeit University
Karam Saleem, International Solidarity Movement, Palestine
Khuzama Hanoon, Palestine
Laila Awartani, Ramallah, Palestine
Lana Habash, Let’s Go There Collective
Lana Khoury, Washington DC
Yousef Aljamal, University of Malaysia
Lema Nazeeh, lawyer
Yara Kayyali Abbas, Palestine
Mariam Barghouti, Birzeit University
Mohammad Ayyad, graduate student, SOAS
Nancy Mansour, Existence is Resistance, New York/Palestine
Mohammed Alkhader, Birzeit University
Nazik Hassan, attorney, Riverside, California
Sherene Seikaly, UCSB
Tamara Reem, Washington DC
Ahmad Nimer, Palestine
Riya Al’sanah, journalist, London
Alaa Milbes, Ramallah
Belal Dabour, Gaza doctor
Huda Asfour, PhD, Durham NC
Iyad Afalqa, Irvine, CA
Ruba Leech, Portland, OR
Rashad Al-Dabbagh, Network of Arab American Professionals
Maysoon Suleiman-Khatib, Civil Rights Specialist
Diana Alzeer, Ramallah, Palestine
Mona Kadah, Boston MA
Lucy Garbett, Jerusalem, Palestine
Hadeel Assali, Columbia University, NYC
Magid Shihade, Oakland, CA
Tamara Tamimi, Palestine
Hammam Farah, psychotherapist and editor
Dina Elmuti, Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture
Laila Hamdan, Portland OR
Bushra Shamma, VA, USA
Rev. Fahed Abuakel, Presbyterian minister , Atlanta, GA
Rehab Nazzal, artist, Canada
Ezees Silwady, Palestine
Dua’ Nakhala, freelance researcher, Belgium
Amal Oweis, Palestine
Shaheen Nassar, UCR
Amin Dallal, youth counselor
Dr. Tariq Shadid, surgeon
Zaha Hassan, Esq
Randa Issa, PhD
Murad Saleh, GED
Lila Sharif, Ph.D
Sa’ed Atshan, Ph.D
Rasha Khoury, MD Jerusalem
Hadeel Assali, Columbia University, NYC
Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Associate Professor of Race and Resistance Studies, San Francisco University
American Muslims for Palestine
Free Amer Jubran Campaign
International Solidarity Movement, Palestine
Let’s Go There Collective
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Students for Justice in Palestine, University of New Mexico
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
Bay Area Intifada, Bay Area
PAWA, Palestinian American Women Association
NSJP, National Students for Justice in Palestine
Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
Mashjar Juthour, Palestine
Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee
Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Stop the Wall
The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Source Photo: Hamde Abu expresses solidarity with Ferguson.
There was a lynch mob. There was a death without a trial, without a jury, without a sentence. There was an execution — that’s lynching.
Eddie Conway, former leader of the Baltimore Black Panthers, talked to Democracy Now! about the murder of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody. The head of the police union in Baltimore called protests against the police killing a “lynch mob.”
and let me explain why that’s wrong and misleading.
I’m going to reframe this post from the pro-life perspective.
I’m holding a baby in one hand, and behind me in a locked, soundproof room is another baby. I’m going to kill one. You choose which. You’ll have to watch me kill the baby that I’m holding, but not the baby in the soundproof room. Which do you choose? If you truly believe the baby in the room is the same as the baby I’m holding, it should be impossible for you to decide. You should have to flip a coin, that’s how impossible the decision should be.
Shot in the dark, you saved the baby I’m holding (because you don’t have to hear its screams and shouts as it slowly dies). Because you’re aware there’s a difference. Now admit it.
See how silly that sounds? I hope you understand what this argument sounds like from the pro-life side now.
Results are in: An open letter from Ferguson protesters on Nov. 24
In Ferguson, a wound bleeds.
For 108 days, we have been in a state of prolonged and protracted grief. In that time, we have found community with one another, bonding together as family around the simple notion that our love for our community compels us to fight for our community. We have had no choice but to cling together in hope, faith, love, and indomitable determination to capture that ever-escaping reality of justice.
After 108 days, that bleeding wound has been reopened, salt poured in, insult added to the deepest of injury. On August 9th, we found ourselves pushed into unknown territory, learning day by day, minute by minute, to lead and support a movement bigger than ourselves, the most important of our lifetime.We were indeed unprepared to begin with, and even in our maturation through these 108 days, we findourselves reinjured, continually heartbroken, and robbed of even the remote possibility of judicialresolution. A life has been violently taken before it could barely begin. In this moment, we know,beyond any doubt, that no one will be held accountable within the confines of a system to which wewere taught to pledge allegiance. The very hands with which we pledged that allegiance were not enough to save Mike in surrender.
Once again, in our community, in our country, that pledge has returned to us void.
For 108 days, we have continuously been admonished that we should “let the system work,” and wait to see what the results are.
The results are in.
And we still don’t have justice.
This fight for the dignity of our people, for the importance of our lives, for the protection of our children, is one that did not begin Michael’s murder and will not end with this announcement. The ‘system’ you
have told us to rely on has kept us on the margins of society. This system has housed us in her worsthomes, educated our children in her worst schools, locked up our men at disproportionate rates andshamed our women for receiving the support they need to be our mothers. This system you have admonished us to believe in has consistently, unfailingly, and unabashedly let us down and kicked us out, time and time again.
This same system in which you’ve told us to trust–this same system meant to serve and protect citizens-- has once again killed two more of our unarmed brothers: Walking up a staircase and shot down in cold blood, we fight for Akai Gurley; Playing with a toy after police had been warned that he held a bb gun and not a real gun at only
twelve years old, we fight for Tamir Rice.
So you will likely ask yourself, now that the announcement has been made, why we will still take to the streets? Why we will still raise our voices to protect our community? Why will still cry tears of heartbreak and sing songs of determination?
We will continue to struggle because without struggle, there is no progress.
We will continue to disrupt life, because without disruption we fear for our lives.
We will continue because Assata reminds us daily that “it is our duty to fight for freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Those chains have bound us-all of us- up for too long. And do not be mistaken- if one of us is bound, we all are. We are, altogether, bound up in a system that continues to treat some men better than others.A system that preserves some and disregards others. A system that protects the rights of some and does not guard the rights of all.
And until this system is dismantled, until the status quo that deems us less valuable than others is no longer acceptable or profitable, we will struggle. We will fight. We will protest.
Grief, even in its most righteous state, cannot last forever. No community can sustain itself this way.
So we still continue to stand for progress, and stand alongside anyone who will make a personal investment in ending our grief and will take a personal stake in achieving justice.
We march on with purpose. The work continues. This is not a moment but a movement. The movement lives.
This letter was written and signed by numerous protestors and supporters, too many to list. Permission is granted in advance for reproduction by all outlets.
Jennifer Jorgensen was pregnant in her third trimester when she decided to get drunk and the get behind the wheel of a car. She crashed that car and had to have an emergency C-section to deliver the baby. Six days later, the baby died from complications resulting from the crash. A New York court has decided that Jorgensen is not guilty of manslaughter because the 6-day-old was “not a person” at the time of the crash. The court’s decision is completely absurd and completely heinous.