“If you must know, no I don’t, madam.” Daniels’ voice was tight with frustration, “I would suggest you put that knife down, young man before you injure yourself.” This time period was seriously starting to get on his nerves; aside from the itchy fabric, he had seen a dozen things about the social aspects were horrendous.
The young man still held the knife at him and the woman behind him, he could not have been older than seventeen, and his eyes betrayed his fear. Daniels’ face softened, “It’s ok. Just put down the knife, We’ll get you some food or water, ok?” The boy gulped, still shaking but his knife lowered and he kneeled on the ground.
“We’ll be right back, alright?” at the boys’ nod, he turned to face the strange woman, “Now who might you be and what are you doing out so late?”
Ron [Scott] has since become a leading figure in the Coalition against Police Brutality, which is devoted to the creation of Peace Zones for Life. After repeatedly mobilization demonstrations and filing lawsuits against authorities, the organization launched this project after finding that many instances of police violence occurred in response to calls regarding domestic conflicts. Thus, to get at the root cause of police abuse, the organization seeks to reduce and eliminate the need for citizens to call the police in the first place. It promotes ‘community-based conflict resolution and mediation initiatives,’ using 'methods that will allow the citizens options to submit their grievances for resolution by their neighbors or persons whom they trust; thereby, remaining outside the police / criminal justice system and eliminating conflict within our communities.’
Moreover, the organization seeks to involve neighborhood youth themselves, many of whom had once been sucked into gangs or drug dealing, into conflict resolution practices and community-oriented, small business development. Above all, Peace Zones for Life is a grassroots initiative driven by people who are taking responsibility for the social, economic, and physical health of their community. It does not assume that inner-city residents themselves are solely responsible for the deterioration of neighborhoods ravaged by decades of race, class, and gender oppression, but it does insist that they are the necessary change agents to remedy our crisis situation.
The idea of Peace Zones is a transformative one that builds on the concept of restorative justice. In response to the cancerous growth of the prison industry and the now widely recognized problem of overcrowded prisons siphoning away scarce resources, the restorative justice movement offers methods to heal both ex-offenders and their communities. Our present criminal justice system is based on the concept of punitive or retributive justice. Punitive justice views antisocial behavior as an offense against the state, which therefore has the right and responsibility to punish offenders and which does so primarily by isolating them. But now that prisons clearly serve as warehouses for the millions whom capitalism has made expendable, now that our families and communities are being devastated by the incarceration (often for nonviolent offenses) of millions of brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers, our survival depends on our making a paradigm shift in our own approach to justice. We need to take it upon ourselves to practice a concept of justice that will empower offenders and the community to work together and build a healthy community.
Grace Lee Boggs, “”Let’s Talk About Malcolm and Martin,” The Next American Revolution (2012)
I got a chance to visit the Church Historical and Archival Institute of the Bulgarian Patriarchate and take a look at their great collections of Slavonic Manuscripts. These are true examples of Balkan bookbinding. Sadly most of them are in a bad state and the queue for restoration is a long one.
The two manuscripts in the picture are Psalters from 16th and 17th century.