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Violence

Black Communities Vow To Ban School Paddling

On a Tuesday morning three years ago, Julia Ringo discovered her daughter was in terrible pain. Examining her, Ringo looked in shock at a mass of bruises and swelling on her daughter Kiorey's buttocks, a day after the 8-year-old Black girl had been paddled with a wooden board at an elementary school in Grenada, Mississippi. Ringo rushed her daughter to the emergency room and told the attending doctor what had transpired. "As soon as he looked at her behind, it was like he couldn't even look at it," she says, breaking down in tears. "He just took a deep breath, felt on her butt to see was it swollen. She was screaming." Kiorey's injuries were so severe, Ringo said, that she had to stay home the rest of the week.

May 2: International Solidarity With The People Of Odessa

Now more than ever, in light of the escalating military and political confrontation between Western powers and the Russian Federation and its allies, we must remember what has led to the current crisis. On May 2, 2014, an event happened in Odessa, Ukraine, that has been called one of the worst civil disturbances in Europe since World War II. A right-wing mob led by openly neo-Nazi organizations chased a much smaller group of progressives into the city’s House of Trade Unions and then set the building on fire. At least 42 people died from the flames and smoke inhalation or by being beaten to death as they tried to escape the burning building. To this day, not one of the perpetrators has been punished, even though the attack was documented by scores of people who posted videos of the event online.

There Still Is No Hierarchy Of Oppression

In 1983, Poet and philosopher Audrey Lorde published a short essay  called “There is no hierarchy of oppression.” In it, she lays out a maxim that is elegant in its simplicity and profound in its meaning. She asserted that people experience various oppressions simultaneously, so we are obligated to fight all oppression wherever it exists. She wrote, “I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot afford to believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the fronts upon which I must battle these forces of discrimination, wherever they appear to destroy me. And when they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.”

Deterioration Of Rights Sparks Month-Long Actions Among Health Workers

Health workers in major public hospitals in Haiti have reasserted their intention to continue striking on 28 March, citing lack of action by the Ministry of Health (MoH) on their earlier demands. Nurses, physicians, lab workers and other health professionals at the Haitian State University Hospital and Justinien Hospital among other places, began to strike near the end of February. They intend to continue the action until demands are met. The workers are asking for salary adjustments, improvements to working conditions, and payment of arrears in the form of debit cards, but remain dissatisfied by the approach taken by the Ministry since they first stopped working. While emergency care services have remained operational throughout the duration of the strike, delivery of other forms of care has significantly slowed down, increasing pressure on the MoH.

An HBCU Roundtable On Violence And Accountability

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, most of which are concentrated in the South, hold contrasting legacies as both safe havens for Black students and frequent targets of violence. Last week, Scalawag hosted a live Twitter conversation with journalists who are both current and former students of HBCUs to discuss the broader contexts they have experienced and written about around student safety. This is a conversation with renewed urgency: As panelist Adam Harris, a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of The State Must Provide, pointed out, there hasn't been a week in February this year without a bomb threat at an HBCU. The latest string of threats began in January at some schools, with at least 14 HBCUs reporting bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month. Two weeks ago, the FBI identified as many as six suspects—all juveniles—but no one has yet been publicly charged in connection with the threats, and no explosives found.

SWAT Officers Involved In Locke Killing Have Violent, Checkered Past

Amir Locke was a 22-year-old registered gun owner with no criminal record. He was killed before 7 a.m. on February 2, 2020, when SWAT officers with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) executed a no-knock search warrant for the St. Paul Police who were doing a homicide investigation. Body camera footage showing the killing was released the next day. It showed a SWAT unit of police enter a downtown Minneapolis apartment with a key, shout “police search warrant,” kick a couch that Locke was sleeping in a blanket on, and kill him within two seconds. Locke had a handgun next to him as he was sleeping and rolled over to grab it after being startled awake. Locke never fully raised the gun and his finger never reached the trigger.

Forced Displacements In Colombia Increase By Over 169% During 2021

The Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES), on December 22, warned of an alarming increase in massive and multiple forced displacement events in Colombia during 2021. The CODHES reported that between January and November, 2021, 82,846 people were forcibly displaced from their homes and territories, a figure that represents an increase of 169.3% as compared to the same period in 2020. The CODHES further reported that a total number of 167 displacement events were recorded in these eleven months, which represents an increase of 65.3% in relation to the same period in 2020. CODHES also reported that this year’s increase in displacement incidents had been marked by an increase in displacement of Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities.

How To Counter The Growing Threat Of Agent Provocateurs

As awareness of racial injustice, climate crises and sexist violence grow in multiple countries, activists are responding in greater and greater numbers. We have this in common with earlier periods in history that birthed large social movements: activists “upping the ante,” increasing the power of their action. One-off protests become sustained campaigns, short actions like parades become long marches, a union’s token stay-at-home becomes a prolonged strike, law-abiding demonstrators turn to civil disobedience. It’s easy, however, to overlook a key activist vulnerability that accompanies these moments of increased passion and determination — namely, the increased chance that our opponents will try to lure us into violence by secretly using “agent provocateurs.” Such individuals are planted among us to masquerade as activists, but are actually paid to coax us into using violence. This is a good time to be wary of that possibility.

The Right-Wing Story About Human Nature Is False

One common view of human beings is that we are “by nature” selfish, violent, cruel, and untrustworthy, and that, to the extent we manage to restrain these base instincts, it is because we are taught to be generous, and punished if we go around hurting others. Sometimes this view is accompanied by a story about human development: once upon a time, life was nasty, brutish, and short, a war of all against all. Prehistoric human beings were violent barbarians. Fortunately, civilization has gradually brought out the better angels of our nature. Free markets can actually direct humans’ natural selfishness toward socially beneficial ends, and laws backed by the threat of violence are able to ensure that a semblance of order is maintained.

Death Squads Threaten Human Rights Defender Darnelly Rodriguez

Darnelly Rodriguez is the Centro Pazífico coordinator and the coordinator for the Francisco Isaías Cifuentes Human Rights Network (REDDHFIC)’s Valle Del Cauca chapter. On November 19 2021, she received the second of two death threats in two weeks. This threat came from the AGC paramilitary group. She was listed along with several other social movement and union leaders in a pamphlet that was left under the door of Cali’s largest labor federation.

The Criminal ‘Justice’ System Protects Kyle Rittenhouse

On August 25, 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse drove across state lines with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and killed two people. He then, carrying the murder weapon, walked past a police line as witnesses screamed that he was getting away, got back in his car, and drove home. All in a day’s work for the young Rittenhouse, a vocal member of the Blue Lives Matter “movement” who came to Kenosha, Wisconsin (a town and a state that he didn’t live in) with the express intention of using violence against Black Lives Matter protesters — framed, of course, as a “defense” of property. Rittenhouse’s trial began on November 1 and it has quickly become clear that the worst assumptions of many activists are correct: the fix is in and the criminal “justice” system is clearly working to protect Rittenhouse.

Why Is The US Fueling The November 15 Cuba Protests?

On September 20, letters began to arrive at eight Cuban municipal or provincial government headquarters announcing the holding of “peaceful” marches on November 15 by a group called Archipiélago. The motivation for these marches was a call for change. The letter was not a formal request to occupy the busiest streets of some cities in Cuba, but rather a notification by the group that they would do so and they also demanded that the authorities provide them with security for these marches. By virtue of Cuban laws and obsessive American support for the marches, the Cuban government denied permission for holding the protests. Almost two months have passed since these letters were sent, but there are few indications that the march will take place in Cuba.

WWF Accused Of Deceit, Cover-Ups And Dishonesty

An unprecedented hearing by the US House Natural Resources Committee has seen WWF’s reputation shredded by Representatives from both parties, and independent experts, and a denunciation of the “fortress conservation” model that leads to human rights atrocities. The organization was subjected to unprecedented attack for its involvement in human rights abuses, and refusal to take responsibility for them. Survival International’s Fiore Longo called it “the conservation industry’s equivalent of the Abu Ghraib scandal – a moment from which it will never recover.” The hearing was prompted by exposés by Buzzfeed News and many other investigations, including testimonies from Indigenous people collected by Survival International over many years, that laid bare WWF’s involvement in human rights abuses, particularly in Africa and Asia.

Controversy Mounts Over The Use Of Gunshot Detection Sensors

On a humid afternoon in late August, dozens of activists gathered at an intersection in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood to protest the Police Department’s use of ShotSpotter, the gunshot detection system. Days before, news broke that the city had quietly extended its multimillion-dollar contract with the company, outraging residents and some councilmembers. Alyx Goodwin, one of the event’s organizers, pointed to a light pole bristling with what looked like microphones. They were acoustic sensors used by ShotSpotter to pick up the sound of gunfire and alert police.  “Once you see one, you start to notice them more,” said Goodwin, who works as a deputy campaign director for the Action Center on Race and the Economy, an advocacy group.

Protest Rally To Commemorate 2018 Dahyan School Bus Massacre

Yemeni and other Arab and international community organisations have on Tuesday held a protest rally denouncing the crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition against the Yemeni people. The rally, which was held in in front of the United Nations building in New York City, came to mark the anniversary of the Dahyan student bus massacre that was committed by the US-backed Saudi aggression’s airstrikes in 2018, killing 40 children in Saada province. The participants called the rally of “For the grievances of the children of Yemen”, and said they considered the Dahyan student bus crime in Saada and other massacres by the aggression coalition in various Yemeni province as contradicting international humanitarian norms, charters and laws that criminalise targeting civilians.
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