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Mississippi

As Mississippi Loses Black Farmers Fast, This Couple Sows Solidarity

Louisville, Mississippi - Until five years ago, Teresa Springs was always in heels and perfectly manicured. As a child growing up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, she'd never even walked barefoot in the grass. Today, Teresa goes shoeless in rows of crops on her farm, grounding with the Mississippi earth as a part of her daily healing, connecting to the land at sundown before heading back with soil-covered hands and feet to her husband, Kevin, and their old farm house. Now five years into stewarding their farm—dubbed TKO Farming, an acronym for Teresa and Kevin's Oasis—they're still just as awe-struck by what they've built by hand. As self-described city folks who met in July 2013 while working on criminal-justice reform in Miami, the couple never envisioned living on, much less operating, a farm.

Democratizing Mississippi’s Electric Cooperatives

In 1932, only about 10% of rural America was electrified, as big energy companies had long avoided investing in rural areas for fear it wasn't profitable. New Deal legislation offering federal assistance to Americans living without electricity led to the formation of electric cooperatives. Thanks to their efforts, 90% of homes, businesses and farms in rural America were electrified by 1936. Co-ops are not-for-profit and made up of member-owners — community members who share collective ownership of the company from which they also receive electricity, and nowadays sometimes internet service as well. Co-ops are governed by a board of directors who are elected by member-owners to make policy decisions. Today there are more than 900 electric co-ops across the U.S. powering more than 20 million businesses, homes, schools, and farms.

Activists In Mississippi Challenge Constitutionality Of Anti-Strike Law

A political time bomb is ticking in Greenville, and the explosion could transform the state’s public education environment for decades to come. Last Monday and Tuesday, between 13-20 bus drivers for the Greenville Public School District — some of the lowest paid employees in one of the most under-resourced school districts in one of the most under-resourced regions of America — skipped work to protest reduced pay and what they called poor work conditions. As far as anyone knows, this was the first organized work stoppage in Mississippi public schools since 9,429 teachers walked out in a 1985 strike, after which lawmakers passed the demanded pay increases but also enacted one of the nation’s most stringent strike laws. Lawmakers that year made it explicitly illegal for school employees to strike in Mississippi.

Jackson’s Water Crisis: How You Can Help

"This is the first time that we've ever had record-breaking, five to six straight days of below-freezing temperatures," Ronnie Crudup Jr., Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives and Executive Director of ‎New Horizon Ministries told WURD radio in an interview on Wednesday. "Our infrastructure just could not handle that." The ice on the ground didn't help the speed of government aid either once Jackson's water treatment plant went down. "The local guys are doing the best they can," Crudup said. State leaders have done little to help with on-the-ground needs or longer-term efforts to replace the sewer and water treatment system, estimated to cost $2 billion—six times the city's annual budget. "We haven't seen the federal government at all." "Just that 'landmass' in between, right? It's just like that. We're always last.

Jackson Water Crisis: Collective Effort Is Critical To Community Sustainability

While the Mississippi city of Jackson works to fully restore water, various community organizations have been filling in the gaps with relief. Mutual aid is a new term for some, but providing it is an old practice in many Black communities. “As a southern Black girl, who grew up in rural Mississippi, mutual aid has always existed in my life,” Calandra Davis, an organizer with the Jackson chapter of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100), told NewsOne. Davis said community institutions have always provided aid in times of need. “The churches [and families] in my community always provided mutual aid,” she added. Providing support to communities in Jackson and across the state, the Mississippi Rapid Response & Relief Coalition is a statewide coalition, including rural partners. Member organizations include the Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign, the People’s Advocacy Institute, the Milestone Cooperative, Mississippi M.O.V.E., Mississippi Prison Reform Coalition, BYP 100 and Sarah’s Touch.

Snowstorm + Capitalism = Disaster For More Than 100,000 In Mississippi

This week, Mississippi is experiencing unprecedented freezing conditions resulting from ice storms that blasted through the U.S. South. In addition to being unaccustomed to the freezing rain, ice, and snow, thousands of Mississippians suffering rolling blackouts and power outages, unheated homes and water shutoffs, have been left to fend for themselves. Starting Feb 15, at least 250,000 Mississippians have lost power at some point during the week; counties in the southwest to east central Mississippi are primarily impacted. About 110,000 people were still without power on Feb. 19 in the morning. Almost all of the residents of the state’s capital city, Jackson, are without water. City officials have reported lacking the necessary chemicals to treat the water, and that the distribution system is overwhelmed.

Police Will Pilot A Program To Live-Stream Amazon Ring Cameras

This is not a drill. Red alert: The police surveillance center in Jackson, Mississippi, will be conducting a 45-day pilot program to live stream the Amazon Ring cameras of participating residents.  Since Ring first made a splash in the private security camera market, we’ve been warning of its potential to undermine the civil liberties of its users and their communities. We’ve been especially concerned with Ring’s 1,000+ partnerships with local police departments, which facilitate bulk footage requests directly from users without oversight or having to acquire a warrant. 

‘It’s A Beautiful Thing To Be Able To Feed Your Community’

A little over a year ago Abrianni Perry, a 28-year-old transplant from Houston, came to Cooperation Jackson to learn about cooperatives from people who’ve been doing it for decades. She’s been happily plunging her hands into the rich West Jackson, Mississippi ever since.  “It’s a beautiful thing to be able to feed your community, especially in a food desert,” she says as she works the seven acres of the Fannie Lou Hamer Community Land Trust’s Freedom Farm in anticipation of the fall growing season. “The dirt is soft, and when it’s wet I feel like a little kid making mud pies.

Defund The University Of Mississippi Police Department

In the fall of 2019, the governing board over Mississippi’s eight public higher education institutions, the state’s Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), appointed a new chancellor at the University of Mississippi (UMiss) in Oxford. The new chancellor, Glenn Boyce, had previously worked at three predominantly white private schools known as “segregation academies” and was paid by the IHL’s Board of Trustees to be a consultant for the chancellor search process, in which he was ultimately selected. To announce the appointment, Boyce was set to speak at a news conference held by the Board. In response, a coalition of faculty and students organized a protest to call for more democratic university leadership. Hundreds of people, including students, faculty, and alumni, showed up in support.

Chaos Erupts At Infamous Prison As Legislature Fails To Provide Funding

One prisoner strangled another to death while other inmates cheered the killing. Two convicts escaped a dilapidated building by walking out an open door. Maximum-security detainees freely roamed hallways, beating and threatening others. Violence has roiled the Mississippi prison system for more than a week, with state corrections officials imposing a statewide lockdown and a county coroner declaring that gangs in the prisons have launched an all-out war against one another.

Groundbreaking MUMI Conference: Making & Unmaking Mass Incarceration In Mississippi’s Prison Origin

This past week organizers, activists, students, professors, reformists and abolitionists from across the spectrum convened at the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus to discuss the status of America’s outcomes of deadly sin at the Making and UnMaking Mass Incarceration (MUMI) Conference. With a diverse panel of inspirational and highly qualified speakers over a series of agenda packed days, the event united great minds and aspiring revolutionaries alike in order to tackle the plethora of complexities that exist within America’s criminal legal system.

When ICE Hit Mississippi, Its Citizens Showed Up For Immigrant Families

The Mississippi immigration raid detained hundreds and left children stranded on the first day of school. It also evoked a massive humanitarian response in a state not traditionally friendly to immigrants. When federal agents engineered the nation’s largest single-state immigration raid at multiple chicken processing plants in Mississippi, a scrappy network of immigrant activists knew their work was about to get much harder. Mississippi has never been a hotbed for immigration advocacy, despite a growing immigrant population working in its food processing and hospitality industries.

‘Let Them Go!’: Tears, Shock Over ICE Raids At Mississippi Food Processing Plants

MORTON — U.S. immigration officials raided numerous Mississippi food processing plants Wednesday, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers in what marked the largest workplace sting in at least a decade. The raids, planned months ago, happened just hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to visit El Paso, Texas, the majority-Latino city where a man linked to an online screed about a "Hispanic invasion" was charged in a shooting that left 22 people dead in the border city.

Water Protectors Protest At Enbridge Drill Site On Mississippi River

(Ball Bluff, MN) On March 22nd, members of the Ginew Collective supported by Northfield Against Line 3 exposed an Enbridge drilling worksite on the eastern shore of the Mississippi River on the proposed Line 3 route. Construction workers in Enbridge vests were engaged in what appeared to be core sampling for a Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) to bore Line 3 under the Mississippi River. No work permits were posted or produced upon repeated inquiry of onsite workers.

Man Sentenced To Eight Years For Legally-Purchased Medical Marijuana

Patrick Beadle, a 46-year-old father and musician, received an eight-year prison sentence in Mississippi for possessing 2.89 pounds of marijuana. If his sentence stands, he would spend nearly a decade behind bars for possessing a substance that is legal in nine states and now all of Canada. Such a severe, inhumane sentence speaks volumes about the inanity and heartlessness of our criminal justice system. But this story gets worse. Mr. Beadle says he bought the marijuana legally in Oregon, where he is a resident and a medical marijuana patient.
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