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Speakout

Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Jul 29

Justice and the Beloved Community

By Grace Gámez, Speakout | Op-Ed

I spent 13 years in Arizona's punishment system. Though I completed all of the terms of my sentence and earned a master's degree and Ph.D., I remain unable to fully contribute to or participate in society. I have struggled to find employment, housing, I am unable to vote and I live under the constant threat of social rejection, all of which impacts my two children. The reality is that the impact of a conviction history cannot be neutralized -- at least not without amending our collective moral imagination that equates justice with punishment.   

Jul 29

Striking a Deadly Blow Against ISIS

By Edward Hunt, Speakout | News Analysis

The United States and its allies are striking a deadly blow against ISIS (also known as Daesh). While much of the press coverage in the United States focuses on the horrors inflicted by ISIS throughout Iraq, Syria and the rest of the world, the United States and its allies are waging a massive military assault that has left tens of thousands of people dead.

In 2011, the United States led a NATO military intervention in Libya, overthrowing the regime of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. "We came, we saw, he died," Hillary Clinton boasted in an interview with "60 Minutes." The decision for the United States to overthrow another government while currently tangled in costly wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan was a marginal decision within the Obama administration. Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon opposed it, while Hillary Clinton tipped the balance in favor of going forward with the intervention.

Jul 28

With the Clinton Coronation Underway, Did Sanders Actually Win the Primary?

By Jessica Bernstein and Hanna J. Hoffman, Speakout | News Analysis

Accusations of election fraud have been rampant throughout the 2016 primary. Recent WikiLeaks revelations about collusion by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) against Bernie Sanders have reignited cries of foul play. As the Democratic National Convention heads to its climax, the question remains, "Did Hillary win fair and square?" When contesting an election, many want absolute proof of fraud. But unequivocal evidence is hard to find. It often requires painstaking work of many teams and substantial resources. Questions about fraud often begin with just a hunch, but only the dedicated few follow it up with an investigation.

Jul 27

Breaking Ground at Cinema Hebron

By Brant Rosen, Shalom Rav | Op-Ed

Virtually every Palestinian shop in H2 has been closed and their doors welded shut by the army. Because the Palestinian residents of Shuhadah St. are not allowed to walk on the road, they must enter and exit through the rear of homes because they cannot leave their own front doors. Because of these measures -- and the ongoing harassment and violence at the hands of Jewish settlers -- what was once the busting commercial center of Hebron has become a ghost town. 42% of its Palestinian homes are empty and 70% of its Palestinian business have been shut down.

I woke up yesterday hungry. Since my last shopping trip four days before, I'd not eaten much, saving most of the food for my younger daughter, who is two. I also woke up with a bank account that was overdrawn, and was waiting on a paycheck that was a week overdue. My diet is small and not varied compared to what my daughters eat. While I subsist off of eggs, chicken, frozen veggies, hummus, and apples with nut butters, they eat an assortment of fresh fruit. I love waking up and making them pancakes and bacon, cutting up strawberries and plums, and setting the table to watch them eat.

In the aftermath of the ISIS-claimed attack in Nice, France, that killed more than 80 people and wounded over 200 more, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich proposed a solution: "We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported." By Sharia, Gingrich is apparently referring to a diverse body of Islamic prescriptions that cover personal, group and state behavior which vary according to region and scholar.

Stories are a powerful mechanism for social change; entire nations are built and maintained by stories and sharing stories is a way of building community, of shaping identity and constructing meaning. However, the stories and voices of people directly impacted by the criminal punishment system, are routinely excluded from policy and reform efforts. This exclusion is the opening to create alternative sites to bridge understanding, knowledge production and impact public and penal policy.

Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are yet another set of names we won't forget. The consequent polarity of media representation regarding isolated events threatens to intercept an honest conversation about the institutional bias of law enforcement. The pattern is at once endemic and global. Here is a list of 14 movies that have sought to illuminate the deeper problem with police, racism and systemic abuse -- on a global scale.

Two former Guantánamo prisoners were convicted in Belgium by the Brussels Criminal Court on Monday, July 18, 2016, one on terrorism-related charges. The two men, Moussa Zemmouri, 38, a Belgian national, and Soufiane Abbar Huwari, 46, an Algerian national, were arrested on July 23, 2015. Huwari was arrested with three other men during an attempted armed burglary in Hoboken, near the city of Antwerp, where Zemmouri lives.

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Speakout

Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Jul 29

Justice and the Beloved Community

By Grace Gámez, Speakout | Op-Ed

I spent 13 years in Arizona's punishment system. Though I completed all of the terms of my sentence and earned a master's degree and Ph.D., I remain unable to fully contribute to or participate in society. I have struggled to find employment, housing, I am unable to vote and I live under the constant threat of social rejection, all of which impacts my two children. The reality is that the impact of a conviction history cannot be neutralized -- at least not without amending our collective moral imagination that equates justice with punishment.   

Jul 29

Striking a Deadly Blow Against ISIS

By Edward Hunt, Speakout | News Analysis

The United States and its allies are striking a deadly blow against ISIS (also known as Daesh). While much of the press coverage in the United States focuses on the horrors inflicted by ISIS throughout Iraq, Syria and the rest of the world, the United States and its allies are waging a massive military assault that has left tens of thousands of people dead.

In 2011, the United States led a NATO military intervention in Libya, overthrowing the regime of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. "We came, we saw, he died," Hillary Clinton boasted in an interview with "60 Minutes." The decision for the United States to overthrow another government while currently tangled in costly wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan was a marginal decision within the Obama administration. Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon opposed it, while Hillary Clinton tipped the balance in favor of going forward with the intervention.

Jul 28

With the Clinton Coronation Underway, Did Sanders Actually Win the Primary?

By Jessica Bernstein and Hanna J. Hoffman, Speakout | News Analysis

Accusations of election fraud have been rampant throughout the 2016 primary. Recent WikiLeaks revelations about collusion by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) against Bernie Sanders have reignited cries of foul play. As the Democratic National Convention heads to its climax, the question remains, "Did Hillary win fair and square?" When contesting an election, many want absolute proof of fraud. But unequivocal evidence is hard to find. It often requires painstaking work of many teams and substantial resources. Questions about fraud often begin with just a hunch, but only the dedicated few follow it up with an investigation.

Jul 27

Breaking Ground at Cinema Hebron

By Brant Rosen, Shalom Rav | Op-Ed

Virtually every Palestinian shop in H2 has been closed and their doors welded shut by the army. Because the Palestinian residents of Shuhadah St. are not allowed to walk on the road, they must enter and exit through the rear of homes because they cannot leave their own front doors. Because of these measures -- and the ongoing harassment and violence at the hands of Jewish settlers -- what was once the busting commercial center of Hebron has become a ghost town. 42% of its Palestinian homes are empty and 70% of its Palestinian business have been shut down.

I woke up yesterday hungry. Since my last shopping trip four days before, I'd not eaten much, saving most of the food for my younger daughter, who is two. I also woke up with a bank account that was overdrawn, and was waiting on a paycheck that was a week overdue. My diet is small and not varied compared to what my daughters eat. While I subsist off of eggs, chicken, frozen veggies, hummus, and apples with nut butters, they eat an assortment of fresh fruit. I love waking up and making them pancakes and bacon, cutting up strawberries and plums, and setting the table to watch them eat.

In the aftermath of the ISIS-claimed attack in Nice, France, that killed more than 80 people and wounded over 200 more, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich proposed a solution: "We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported." By Sharia, Gingrich is apparently referring to a diverse body of Islamic prescriptions that cover personal, group and state behavior which vary according to region and scholar.

Stories are a powerful mechanism for social change; entire nations are built and maintained by stories and sharing stories is a way of building community, of shaping identity and constructing meaning. However, the stories and voices of people directly impacted by the criminal punishment system, are routinely excluded from policy and reform efforts. This exclusion is the opening to create alternative sites to bridge understanding, knowledge production and impact public and penal policy.

Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are yet another set of names we won't forget. The consequent polarity of media representation regarding isolated events threatens to intercept an honest conversation about the institutional bias of law enforcement. The pattern is at once endemic and global. Here is a list of 14 movies that have sought to illuminate the deeper problem with police, racism and systemic abuse -- on a global scale.

Two former Guantánamo prisoners were convicted in Belgium by the Brussels Criminal Court on Monday, July 18, 2016, one on terrorism-related charges. The two men, Moussa Zemmouri, 38, a Belgian national, and Soufiane Abbar Huwari, 46, an Algerian national, were arrested on July 23, 2015. Huwari was arrested with three other men during an attempted armed burglary in Hoboken, near the city of Antwerp, where Zemmouri lives.