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.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The October 22 killing here of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by a hail of bullets from sheriff’s deputy Erick Gelhaus has resulted in daily peaceful marches, prayer vigils and speaking events honoring Lopez and calling for justice, as thousands in the northern California community continue to mourn and express outrage.
The killing has also this week led to a federal civil rights lawsuit being filed on behalf of the Lopez family. “There is a practice of using deadly force and covering it up by investigations that are superficial,” attorney Arnoldo Casillas said at a November 4 press conference in San Francisco, according to the daily Press Democrat. Casillas, who filed the suit, contends that the killing was unconstitutional because it violated the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limits police authority.
A report cam over the AP wire last night that, if this were any other country in the world, would have been the top news story for days: "Multiple shots were fired inside a northern New Jersey mall shortly before closing time Monday night," read the opening line of the report and Americans, having been through this drill before, found a cable TV talking head or pieced together facts from the ever reliable twitter and were able to learn, in short order, that a man, described by eyewitnesses as wearing body amour, black leather pants and a motorcycle helmet, was seen walking by Talbots in the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus shooting his riffle into the air. A huge local and state police presence responded the mall went into lockdown and the incident ended when the gunman apparently took his own life in a Footlocker store. No other deaths or injuries were reported. In our post Columbine, post Sandy Hook world, we are so anesthetized to situations such as these that most people barely missed a beat before clicking back to Monday night football, the food network or whatever other implements of temporary distraction you have selected to dull your brain from the pain of the cruel world you inhabit, but enough about me- we are here to talk about Guns in capitol A America!
Couldn't We Learn from the GDR? The New York Times Describes an East German Model City - and Is Fair!By Victor Grossman, SpeakOut | News Analysis
The New York Times printed a long article about a small city in East Germany, Eisenhüttenstadt (Iron Mill City), which was founded around a new iron and steel strip mill in 1950 and originally called Stalinstadt. As with my own avenue in Berlin, Stalinallee, now Karl Marx Allee, the name was finally changed in 1961. I had visited Eisenhüttenstadt a number of times, and had read more than a few articles in the New York Times about life in the one-time German Democratic Republic, or GDR, so, when I started to read the article, I expected to get angry, bitter, sad - or all three.
Occupy Cal Infiltrated by Police-Sympathetic-Unions; How Lt Pike Recently Got Another $38k Reward for Pepper-Spraying Student ActivistsBy Ergoat, SpeakOut | News Analysis
Due to conflicting accounts of the events relayed in this posting that Truthout cannot verify, we have removed the post.
We’ve been warned. Over and over again. By the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). By the John Hopkins' Center for a Livable Future (CLF). Industrial agriculture is killing the planet and making us sick.
So how has the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) responded to these warnings? By trying to make it tougher, not easier, for small, local, sustainable food growers and producers to survive.
Unless changes are made to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), your local farms, farmers markets and food hubs could be in trouble.
Climate Leaders Gather Outside White House to Demand President Stop Construction of Keystone XL's Southern LegBy Tom Weis, Ride For Renewables | Press Release
November 7, 2013 (Washington, DC) - Today, climate justice leaders peaceably assembled outside the White House to demand that the Obama administration intervene to stop the construction of the nearly completed 485-mile southern leg of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Texas and Oklahoma.
There were there to deliver to the White House a petition signed by more than 7,000 people from all 50 states calling on the tar sands pipeline to be stopped in its entirety. The petition is endorsed by Daryl Hannah; Ed Begley, Jr.; Mariel Hemingway; Lester Brown; Julia Butterfly Hill; Paul Hawken; James Hansen; Tim DeChristopher; Debra White Plume; and many others.
According to recently discovered court documents, a Deming, NM man was subjected to a nightmarish 14-hour anal cavity search for drugs after allegedly running a stop sign. No drugs were found and now David Eckert is suing police officers and the doctors who conducted the horrendous search, which occurred on January 2, 2013.
After searches of his car and his person revealed no drugs, officers held Eckert until a judge issued a warrant because officers alleged Eckert appeared to be “clenching his buttocks.” Officers then took Eckert to Gila Regional Medical Center in a neighboring county after doctors at Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming refused to conduct the search on ethical grounds, according to the court documents.
Challenging the falsehoods and simplifications that surrounded the so-called Arab Spring from the very start doesn’t necessarily mean that one is in doubt of the very notion that genuine revolutions have indeed gripped various Arab countries for nearly three years.
In fact, the revolutionary influx is still underway, and it will take many years before the achievements of these popular mobilizations be truly felt. One can understand the frustration and deep sense of disappointment resulting from the state of chaos in Libya, the political wrangling in Yemen and Tunisia, the brutal civil war in Syria, and of course, the collective heartbreak felt throughout the Arab world following the bloody events in Egypt.
Early on Thursday, 7 November 2013, Greek riot police stormed the offices of Greece’s main public broadcaster, which had been under a five-month occupation by workers who opposed the government’s decision to shutdown the broadcaster, firing thousands and destroying a major cultural institution. The broadcast seems to have come to an end.
The long and painful Greek tragedy continues, where society and culture are gutted, people impoverished, driven into a deep depression, with growing political and social conflicts, the rise of fascism, detention camps filled with immigrants from Africa and the Middle East, trying to escape the dictators we arm, or the wars we support, with suicide rates spiking, health and well-being deteriorate, services and support vanish, and all the people are left to be punished, humiliated, oppressed and destroyed… These are called “solutions” to an economic crisis, on the road to “economic recovery”… think about that for a moment.
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Posts Billboard Slamming US Air Force Academy Usage of Religious OathBy Mikey Weinstein, AlterNet | Report
COLORADO SPRINGS — On Wednesday, November 6, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) made a bold gesture in its fight to keep church and state separate in the United States military. Protesting the continued usage of unconstitutional religious tests at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), MRFF posted a billboard at the northwest corner of North Nevada Ave. and Garden of the Gods Road (facing east), one of the busiest thoroughfares in Colorado Springs, CO.
MRFF’s latest salvo comes less than a month after USAFA admitted that its honor oath has contained the phrase “So help me God” since 1984. Under fierce MRFF pressure last month, the Academy finally relented and made the unconstitutional religious phrase “optional.” MRFF currently has 435 cadets, staff and clients at USAFA, 372 of whom self-identify as practicing Christians, both Protestant and Roman Catholic.