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.
Property Seizures by Local and State Police Often Conducted Under Pretext that Property Is Connected to Illegal Drugs
Advocates Applaud Holder for New Policy, Urge Congress to Make Reforms Permanent
Today, Attorney General Eric Holder issued an order establishing a new policy prohibiting federal agencies from accepting civil asset forfeiture assets seized by state and local law enforcement agencies unless the owner is convicted of a crime. The US Treasury Department, which has its own forfeiture program, is issuing a similar policy. The Department of Justice becomes involved after a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant to state law and requests that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law.
The world is changing. And, unfortunately, it is changing for the worse. The worsening geopolitical situation calls on us to support the nations and peoples who oppose the dictate a unipolar world and seek to propose an alternative agenda. Progressive part of mankind stands for the development of international cooperation and solidarity, respectful of other peoples, their sovereignty, values and lifestyles as opposed to the current destructive manifestations of the "new world order": the barbaric exploitation of the majority of the world population, the destruction of national sovereignty and spiritual foundations of society, suppression of sovereignty of personality through the illegal collection of information.
Organizations participating in the international panel discussion urge people worldwide to unite and establish a united front against discrimination, violation of human rights, religious and racial intolerance. We condemn the crimes and murders perpetrated against the people of Novorossia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the innocent victims in Odessa, Lugansk and Donetsk. We strongly condemn political repression, particularly in countries that have positioned themselves as democratic nations.
Last night, over 600 people marched behind some of Chicago's brightest and most politically conscious elementary school students as they rallied to reclaim the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speakers touched on a spectrum of issues, reflecting numerous intersections of struggle, but the words that may have best summarized the night came from a powerful young organizer named Kaleb Autman, when he told the crowd, "I am willing to live for my people."
Kaleb is a powerful speaker, organizer, and leader in his community. He's also twelve years old.
The yoga class was near maximum capacity. There was a spot up front but it usually belonged to D, a teacher who practices yoga with us plebes when not teaching.
So I moved to the crowded second row. My new neighbor, however, was clearly annoyed at having to rearrange her mat. "You're a paying customer," she said. "D's late. He should move, not you."
"He's a teacher," I offered meekly as she scowled and turned away.
Neoliberal policies promoting charter schools have not created healthy competition promoting improved educational outcomes benefiting all students. The market-based approach to education has actually accomplished the opposite, precipitating segregation, unequal class structure and the disenfranchisement of certain ethnic groups and children from families earning low incomes. As funding is being pumped into charter schools, public schools are receiving reduced funding - negatively impacting the educational experiences of some Latino and African-American students precipitating class hegemony gearing these students for working class jobs, rather than professional positions. (Saltman, The Politics of Education, 2013, P. 19)
The recent article in the New York Times, "Racial Isolation in Public Schools", discusses the lack of resources and funding in public schools negatively impacting minority children, especially children in Buffalo. The so-called, "criteria schools" are known to be schools offering better education for students. However, increasing the cap limits into these schools will not benefit the population as a whole. Rather than funneling funding into alternative educational institutions, funding should be allocated toward public schooling. Privatization has not demonstrated improved outcomes beneficial for all students, especially minority students.
It is still not about Islam, even if the media and militants attacking western targets say so. Actually, it never was. But it was important for many to conflate politics with religion; partly because it is convenient and self-validating.
First, let’s be clear on some points. Islam has set in motion a system to abolish slavery over 1,200 years before the slave trade reached its peak in the western world.
Sacramento— California oil regulators today released a draft environmental review of fracking that fails to adequately analyze many major risks from fracking, including air and water pollution and risks to public health. Th review by California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources was released even though state scientists are still six months away from completing their analysis of the risks and harms of the controversial form of oil and gas extraction.
The California Council on Science and Technology today released the first volume of a state-commissioned, three-part fracking study. The other two volumes aren’t out until July, and the first volume addresses only the extent of fracking in California and does not assess risks.
Please accept this New Year's Greeting, along with my sincerest condolences for your suffering since those deplorable terrorist atrocities last week. Everyone here in The Homeland understands what it means to be scarred by synchronized attacks in your largest city and government seat. Even though you didn't have to deal with anthrax, and even though there was no evidence that your own government tweaked the attacks, we Americans will cast no blame if you devote the coming decades to spasms of hypocrisy and self-destruction.
Yoav Hattab, 21, student and tireless worker in social movements, was one of the victims of the attack on a kosher market in Paris on 9 January 2015. I knew of him through our mutual involvement in the 2013 World Social Forum in Tunisia, the country in which he was born. Two years before that, he was a member of the Tunisian Human Rights Committee that went to the European Commission in Brussels. Yoav was in Paris to study marketing and was finishing up his shopping before Shabbat. He tried to use a cast-off weapon to subdue the heavily-armed gunman that Friday and save the lives of the other hostages, only to find the weapon jammed and to be killed in turn.
Reverend Dr. Allan Boesak, a South African civil rights leader who worked with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela to end apartheid and promote reconciliation in South Africa, calls the Israeli treatment of Palestinians “much more violent than the South African government treatment of blacks.”
In a discussion at the Harris Methodist Church on January 11, 2015 with social justice leaders in the Honolulu, Hawaii community, Dr. Boesak said that black South Africans faced violence from the apartheid white government and that he went to funerals each week of those killed in the struggle, but never on the scale that the Palestinians face from the Israeli government. The South African government killing of blacks was small compared to numbers of Palestinians the Israeli government has killed.