During his meeting with the Court, Arreaza exposed the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the U.S. government in its failed attempt to overthrow Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro. Currently, the economic, financial, and commercial sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump administration have prevented Venezuela from accessing international markets.
In December, the Department of Justice announced a new $71 million program, Operation Relentless Pursuit, that will increase policing and the involvement of federal agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency in seven cities, four of which are majority-black cities. Rather than addressing the root causes of crime, the program will result in greater repression and violence against these communities. We speak with Jacqueline Luqman about the program, what policies would be more effective and what people are doing to fight back. Kevin Zeese, who has worked for decades to end the war on drugs and mass incarceration, describes how similar programs have been tried in the past and have failed. We also provide current news and analysis.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne confirmed the change on Tuesday, with the department telling him that those officers will be getting reassigned to other units. Atlanta police officials suggested the move is not abandoning the drug fight but about reducing violent crime. “Absolutely, it’s a risky move,” a veteran APD narcotics officer told Winne, asking not to be identified. “I’m sure there was a lot of thought put into it. I don’t have all the numbers that the higher-ups in APD have, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Crime is an issue that gets a lot of attention on local corporate news media, and from politicians, particularly on election years. The declaration of the War on Drugs in the early 1970’s ushered in the use of rhetoric that deployed seemingly race neutral policy discourse to advance racist policy objectives. For instance, drug use and distribution was heavily criminalized and Black communities were targeted by law enforcement using the caricature of the violent Black drug dealer as the justification for disproportionate police presence in Black communities. Unfortunately, the War on Drugs agenda was supported by Democrats, including Black elected officials.
Puerto Rico is mired in the most momentous crisis in its history as a United States colony. Never before have converged so many edges that to follow the course imposed by imperialism, negatively impact their future as a culturally boricua nation that can be developed for the benefit of its people. Once again, the US wants to use Puerto Rico as a model against the Latin American and Caribbean region. Although in the fifties and sixties he injected resources to establish his "showcase of the Caribbean" giving the appearance that PR was the most developed and prosperous region, to hostilely contrast it with the development of the Cuban Revolution, now also tries to show how the American dominion can - simply because it can...
Over the years, the IPS Program on Inequality and the Common Good has examined the ways that extreme inequality effects philanthropy. In 2016, IPS published the report Gilded Giving: Top Heavy Philanthropy in an Age of Extreme Inequality, which looked at the rise of mega-donors and the decline of small-dollar donors, and the risks of both for a democratic society. In that report, IPS briefly examined the rise of donor-advised funds (DAFs) as a mechanism for holding funds for later donations. At that time, in 2015, the largest recipient of charitable donations in the U.S. was the United Way, an enormous public charity that had traded that top spot back and forth with the American Red Cross for decades.
On April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. Over the next 87 days, it gushed at least 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, creating the worst human-made environmental disaster in US history and afflicting the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Less than one year after the disaster began, I spoke with Fritzi Presley, a Gulf Coast resident in Long Beach, Mississippi, who was already very sick at the time. Her doctor was treating her for bronchitis, extreme headaches, memory loss and other symptoms which mirrored those of hundreds of other sick fishers and cleanup workers I had interviewed. Her blood tests revealed m-Xylene, p-Xylene, hexane and ethylbenzene in her body -- chemicals that MacArthur Award-winning toxicologist Wilma Subra had already shown to be present in BP's crude oil.
If mass incarceration were an effective way to fight crime, then one would expect to see a strong correlation between higher rates of incarceration and reduced crime. States have been running a live experiment of sorts on this over the past several years, reforming their criminal justice systems to, in short, punish people less punitively and incarcerate them for shorter periods of time for low-level offenses. Supporters of mass incarceration, such as the Trump administration and particularly Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have warned that these changes would lead to more crime. But over the past few years, we’ve actually seen the opposite. Take this chart from Adam Gelb at Pew Charitable Trusts, which advocates for criminal justice reform, that shows crime has continued to fall even as states have reduced their prison populations...
By Aaron Morrison for Mic - That’s been a common refrain of conservative, pro-police activists who believe black social justice movements are too occupied with officer-involved shootings. Some conservatives have argued that Black Lives Matter supporters are willfully ignoring an epidemic of same-race victimizations and killings in places like Chicago and New Orleans. But those conservatives can stop peddling black-on-black crime rhetoric — even the Justice Department, led by “law and order” proponent Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has debunked it. On Thursday, the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics released a new crime victimization report revealing that black-on-black violence has declined steadily over more than 20 years. Between 1994 and 2015, black-on-black violence dropped by 78%, from 66.6 to 14.5 victimizations per 1,000 black persons, according to the BJS’ report, “Race and Hispanic Origin of Victims and Offenders, 2012-15.” The decline happened at a similar rate of decline in white-on-white crimes, the report states. It’s long been true that the majority of violence victims are victimized by someone of the same race. But 41% of violent victimizations were interracial between 2012 and 2015, according to the BJS.
By John Steppling for Counter Punch - I cannot remember U.S. culture ever being quite so compromised by ruling class control. Hollywood turns out one jingoistic and militaristic and racist film and TV show after another. Corporate news is completely controlled by the same forces that run Hollywood. It is the complete capitulation of the liberal class to the interests of the increasingly fascistic U.S. elite. And this didn’t start with Donald Trump. Certainly in its current incarnation it goes back at least to Bill Clinton, and really it goes back to the end of World War Two. The ideological trajectory was formed under the Dulles brothers and military industrial complex — representing U.S. business interests and exhibiting a demand for global hegemony. But once the Soviet Union collapsed, the project was accelerated and intensified. Another starting point might well be the 1960 Bay of Pigs fiasco, or the 1961 CIA (and MI6) assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Or Kennedy’s 1962 speech at American University calling for the end of Pax Americana. We know what happened to Kennedy soon after that. Pick any of these incidents. But it was the fall of the U.S.S.R. that signaled to the governing class, the proprietor class, that the last real obstacle to global domination had been removed. In the interim, one finds the Iran/Contra affair, and the invasion of Iraq.
By W. E. Messamore for IVN - In a paper published by The Economic Journal last month, a study by the Norwegian School of Economics in partnership with the Pennsylvania State University Department of Sociology and Criminology, found that marijuana legalization has led to a decrease in violent crime in U.S. states that border Mexico. Over the past several years, sweeping reforms to marijuana policies have reached a tipping point with legal medical marijuana now in more states (currently 29) than those that continue to prohibit the sale and consumption of the plant for medical or recreational purposes. The paper‘s authors say that not only is there a strong reduction in violent crime related to illegal drug trafficking in states and counties that border Mexico, but that when an inland state legalizes medical marijuana, there is a measurable reduction in violent drug trafficking crimes in the nearest border state: “We show that the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) leads to a decrease in violent crime in states that border Mexico. The reduction in crime is strongest for counties close to the border (less than 350km), and for crimes that relate to drug trafficking. In addition, we find that MMLs in inland states lead to a reduction in crime in the nearest border state.”
By Staff of Tele Sur - The historic sentencing of 43 accused of grave human rights violations in the case known as La Perla comes after a "mega-trial" lasting nearly four years. An Argentine court sentenced former General Luciano Benjamin Menendez to life in prison Thursday for crimes against humanity committed at secret Dirty War-era detention centers in the late 1970s, making a landmark step in the struggle for justice for human rights abuses during one of the darkest chapters in the South American country’s history.
By Staff of Roots Action - Since the end of the Cold War, the United States of America has systematically violated the prohibition against the threat or use of force contained in the UN Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact. It has carved out a regime of impunity for its crimes based on its UN Security Council veto, non-recognition of international courts and sophisticated "information warfare" that undermines the rule of law with political justifications for otherwise illegal threats and uses of force.
By Marc Mauer for The Marshall Project - Bill Clinton’s recent confrontation with Black Lives Matter protesters in Philadelphia has rekindled debate about the wisdom and political realities of the massive 1994 federal crime bill. As someone who testified on the legislation in Congress that year, I can recall the heated crime politics of the day. But I’ve also followed the impact of the bill over time, and what strikes me is that both Clinton and protesters do not fully understand the history. The former president’s argument is that the legislation was necessary because of national concern about crime, particularly in the African-American community.
By Patrick Sheehan for Alternet. Detroit's public electric company, DTE Energy, that the local government was forced to decommission all streetlights on its residential streets. Not only did DTE cut the power to street lights in Highland Park, it sent out workers to physically dig up and remove nearly 1,000 light-poles from the neighborhood. Highland Parkers now live in permanent, debt-induced darkness. Six miles away, in Detroit’s rapidly gentrifying downtown area, DTE Energy runs a very different public policy. The same company that repossessed 1,000 streetlights from Highland Park, condemning its residents to permanent darkness, has recently launched a pro-bono security program in the increasingly white area. Safety is a privilege in Detroit. Like all privileges, it gravitates toward the white and wealthy. Decades of budget cuts to public safety services alongside concentrated investment downtown has created two Detroits: downtown, white and professional, bathed in state-of-the-art private security; and the “neighborhoods,” poor and black, where public safety has become a do-it-yourself endeavor.