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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.

Nov 19

Peace Boats on the Seas of Okinawa

By Dr. Hakim, #Enough | Op-Ed

I picked some sea shells at Henoko in Okinawa. Henoko is where the US is relocating their military base against the wishes of 76.1% of Okinawans.

I gave the sea shells as gifts to some of the Afghan Peace Volunteers to help them remember Okinawa's story. 

Every first Tuesday of the month since 2010 a handful of us have been protesting the weaponized Reaper drone atHancock Air Base. In milder weather - from April to November - we also protest on third Tuesdays. We call this work, "street heat."

Why such persistence? Hancock AFB, near Syracuse, our home town, hosts the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard.

The recent killing of Corey Jones by a plain clothes police officer is another tragic indication of Florida's violent landscape against blacks. Indeed, Jones, a Black public-housing inspector and part-time musician, was waiting for a tow truck when he was shot multiple times by Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja. The incident turned deadly when Rjaa, an untrained officer still on probation conducting "surveillance" operations, approached Jones and fatally shot him to death.

President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on November 9 in the White House and is considering the Israeli request to give a 50 percent increase of nearly $1.5 billion in US military funding bringing the US donation to the killing of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to $4.5 billion a year.

Nov 17

Lessons From the Ebola Epidemic

By Christine Ngaruiya, Speakout | News Analysis

Ebola has scarred our minds with frightening images of death, destruction and dire challenges for the countries that have been affected. While the disease effects may be dissipating, with reported cases dwindling into the single digits, the repercussions on the healthcare system are crippling and will persist for a long time to come, as highlighted by the CNN piece, "Here's where we are 1 year later."

When I arrived at the Kabul International Airport on November 4, I was unaware that the same day the New York Times published an article, "Life Pulls Back in Afghan Capital, as Danger Rises and Troops Recede." My friends Abdulhai and Ali, 17 years old, young men I have known since my first visit five years ago, greeted me with smiles and hugs and took my bags. Disregarded by soldiers and police armed with automatic weapons, we caught up on old times as we walked past concrete blast walls, sand bag fortifications, check points and razor wire to the public road and hailed a cab.

Nestled neatly between the neighborhoods of Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy lies the Pratt Institute, a school where aspiring creative minds go tounleash themselves upon the art world. Pratt has always prided itself on famed Alumni like Betsey Johnson and pristine lawns. It prides itself on keeping its students safe - it's not like those other universities.

"Not later. Not someday. Right here, right now," said President Barack Obama last week, speaking on climate change and asserting the global leadership role of the United States. Obama's long-awaited announcement to reject theKeystone XL oil pipeline deal - a project that deeply divided American political parties and citizens on energy and the environment - was peppered with references to US leadership and a commitment to clean-energy innovation ahead of his attendance at COP21 in Paris.

Shortly after midnight on April 2, 2015, Donald "Dontay" Ivy died after being unconstitutionally stopped, violently assaulted and Tasered by Albany, New York, police officers.

On October 28, 2015, Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict anyone in Ivy's death. Given that district attorneys are almost always able to obtain indictments from grand juries, it seems likely that Soares did not try seriously (if at all) to obtain this indictment.

The state of Ohio is trying to kill my friend. On October 21st, Keith LaMar, who I know as Bomani Shakur, lost his final appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He's got ninety days from the 21st to convince The US Supreme Court that his case should be part of the one percent of cases they will hear. After that, the State of Ohio is free to give him an execution date. While few of us are optimistic about finding justice within the US Prison System, Bomani's friends and family were actually struck by the Circuit Court's rejection of Bomani's appeal.

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Featured On Speakout

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.

Nov 19

Peace Boats on the Seas of Okinawa

By Dr. Hakim, #Enough | Op-Ed

I picked some sea shells at Henoko in Okinawa. Henoko is where the US is relocating their military base against the wishes of 76.1% of Okinawans.

I gave the sea shells as gifts to some of the Afghan Peace Volunteers to help them remember Okinawa's story. 

Every first Tuesday of the month since 2010 a handful of us have been protesting the weaponized Reaper drone atHancock Air Base. In milder weather - from April to November - we also protest on third Tuesdays. We call this work, "street heat."

Why such persistence? Hancock AFB, near Syracuse, our home town, hosts the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard.

The recent killing of Corey Jones by a plain clothes police officer is another tragic indication of Florida's violent landscape against blacks. Indeed, Jones, a Black public-housing inspector and part-time musician, was waiting for a tow truck when he was shot multiple times by Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja. The incident turned deadly when Rjaa, an untrained officer still on probation conducting "surveillance" operations, approached Jones and fatally shot him to death.

President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on November 9 in the White House and is considering the Israeli request to give a 50 percent increase of nearly $1.5 billion in US military funding bringing the US donation to the killing of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to $4.5 billion a year.

Nov 17

Lessons From the Ebola Epidemic

By Christine Ngaruiya, Speakout | News Analysis

Ebola has scarred our minds with frightening images of death, destruction and dire challenges for the countries that have been affected. While the disease effects may be dissipating, with reported cases dwindling into the single digits, the repercussions on the healthcare system are crippling and will persist for a long time to come, as highlighted by the CNN piece, "Here's where we are 1 year later."

When I arrived at the Kabul International Airport on November 4, I was unaware that the same day the New York Times published an article, "Life Pulls Back in Afghan Capital, as Danger Rises and Troops Recede." My friends Abdulhai and Ali, 17 years old, young men I have known since my first visit five years ago, greeted me with smiles and hugs and took my bags. Disregarded by soldiers and police armed with automatic weapons, we caught up on old times as we walked past concrete blast walls, sand bag fortifications, check points and razor wire to the public road and hailed a cab.

Nestled neatly between the neighborhoods of Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy lies the Pratt Institute, a school where aspiring creative minds go tounleash themselves upon the art world. Pratt has always prided itself on famed Alumni like Betsey Johnson and pristine lawns. It prides itself on keeping its students safe - it's not like those other universities.

"Not later. Not someday. Right here, right now," said President Barack Obama last week, speaking on climate change and asserting the global leadership role of the United States. Obama's long-awaited announcement to reject theKeystone XL oil pipeline deal - a project that deeply divided American political parties and citizens on energy and the environment - was peppered with references to US leadership and a commitment to clean-energy innovation ahead of his attendance at COP21 in Paris.

Shortly after midnight on April 2, 2015, Donald "Dontay" Ivy died after being unconstitutionally stopped, violently assaulted and Tasered by Albany, New York, police officers.

On October 28, 2015, Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict anyone in Ivy's death. Given that district attorneys are almost always able to obtain indictments from grand juries, it seems likely that Soares did not try seriously (if at all) to obtain this indictment.

The state of Ohio is trying to kill my friend. On October 21st, Keith LaMar, who I know as Bomani Shakur, lost his final appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He's got ninety days from the 21st to convince The US Supreme Court that his case should be part of the one percent of cases they will hear. After that, the State of Ohio is free to give him an execution date. While few of us are optimistic about finding justice within the US Prison System, Bomani's friends and family were actually struck by the Circuit Court's rejection of Bomani's appeal.