Imprisonment in this country means “systematic torture, endemic corruption, pervasive racial and class bias, the failure of the war on drugs, and the massive economic and social devastation it wreaks upon entire communities,” in the words of Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, writing on July 20.
Imprisonment can be a collection of abstractions to someone who hasn’t spent time incarcerated, but a new memoir describes the day-to-day, and sometimes minute-by-minute, existence of the incarcerated: Marshall “Eddie” Conway and Dominique Stevenson, Marshall Law: The Life and Times of a Baltimore Black Panther (Oakland: AK Press, 2011).
Indiana Prisoner Solidarity
Editor's note: This statement was submitted and "written collaboratively between citizens on the inside and outside of Indiana prisons. The goal is to contribute to opposition and active resistance to all forms of domination, be they imposed directly by the state or manifested through structural inequalities and prejudices."
On the morning of July 16, an alleged white supremacist was stabbed and killed by two alleged Latin Disciples. The attack took place at Pendleton Correctional Facility in the maximum security area of the prison. The murder, coming on the heels of inmate murders at Miami Correctional Facility and Pendleton Correctional Facility earlier in the year, was the stated pretense for putting all institutions in the state on lockdown and conducting thorough, far-reaching searches.
A new study of California twins with autism strengthens the case that the epidemic that has swept the nation in the past three decades is related to environmental pollution. The damage, its authors suggest, occurs in the womb and during the earliest days of life.
"Increasingly, evidence is accumulating that overt symptoms of autism emerge around the end of the first year of life," say the authors of the study, which was released online July 4 in the Archives of General Psychiatry. "Because the prenatal environment and early postnatal environment are shared between twin individuals, we hypothesize that at least some of the environmental factors impacting susceptibility to autism exert their effect during this critical period of life."
Teresa Chambers is the luckiest whistleblower in the United States. She lost her job as the first woman chief of the U.S. Park Police after she told the media in 2004 that the department was below the number required to perform the job adequately. She sued, and in January 2011 won her case.
But her victory is a rarity in the 21st century as President Barack Obama, who as an Illinois senator was instrumental in passing legislation to protect government whistleblowers, has effectively criminalized public servants who risk their jobs to speak out and expose waste, corruption and unethical behavior among their colleagues.
After an involuntary hiatus, it's always invigorating to re-engage with the "real work" (Beat poet Gary Snyder's words), especially when the initial reconnect is celebratory in nature. Especially when the celebration involves an institution at the heart of the mission, in this case journalism.
And so, with a bow to journalist Robert MacNeil, I begin this summer's phase of my investigation into the twin epidemics of autism and developmental disabilities. His investigative report Autism Now, which aired on the PBS NewsHour in April, reacquainted me with the issues I'm exploring in the Ohio River Valley, where the rain is toxic and data show the kids just aren't quite right, developmentally speaking. Three years' into this project, I've not found a more honest or enlightened media report.
"Justice delayed is justice denied." -- William E. Gladstone, British statesman and prime minister, 1809-1898
About 1 million women, according to the Cancer Prevention Coalition (preventcancer.com), work in industries that expose them to more than 50 carcinogens linked to breast cancer.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In a large number of cases, cancer is preventable. This fact applies especially to carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals in the workplace.
“At least one in every 10 cancers – and probably many more – is the result of preventable, predictable workplace exposures,” according to Occupational Cancer/Zero Cancer: Union Guide to Prevention.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS - Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) and its network of supporters are outraged the Indiana State Senate has voted to put the health care of 22,000 Hoosiers at risk and vowed to immediately file for injunctive relief if HB 1210 becomes law, which could be costly for the State of Indiana.
The bill’s intent is to immediately shut off nearly $3 million in federal family planning and Medicaid funding that passes through the state to Planned Parenthood of Indiana. The funding pays for preventive health care for low-income Hoosiers – Pap tests, birth control, breast exams and STD testing and treatment. “It’s unconstitutional, on its face,” said PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum.
After seven years of struggling with Monroe County officials over polling places that violate federal laws governing access for citizens with disabilities, Randy Paul filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., to force action.
In an e-mail, Paul said he did not file the complaint specifically against Monroe County after meeting with the County Commissioners.
"I agreed not to file a complaint against them if they agreed to never again approve a polling site that violated HAVA when an alternate is available that complies with HAVA," he wrote, referring to the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
This year’s Midwest Peace and Justice Summit, the seventh annual, bristled with ideas for social justice activists. It took place March 26 on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis and was sponsored by the IUPUI chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.
The all-day, free summit began with a plenary session on grassroots organizing: from the Middle East to the Midwest, by two state activists, Omar Atia, president of Bridge, and Allison Luthe, community activist with Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, with Carl Davidson, a long-time activist and writer from western Pennsylvania, moderating.
Jean Smith holds one end of a 7-feet-long poster that first entered the protesting scene five years ago. It should be a third longer, she said.
“It’s the cost of I-69 expressed in millions,” the longtime opponent of the Interstate 69 extension from Evansville to Indianapolis via Bloomington said, looking down at the small numbers. “When I printed this, the state said it cost $1.8 billion, but we estimated that it cost $3 billion. The state now admits that it’s $3 billion."
Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR) has calculated the cost to be $4 billion, so the poster should be longer.