Word from within is that California’s prison hunger strikers have been studying the Irish hunger strike of 1981 led by Bobby Sands, in which ten Irish republicans died because of the stubborn refusal of Margaret Thatcher to recognize them as human.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
The ruling by federal judge Shira A. Scheindlin against New York’s stop-and-frisk policing is the equivalent of Brown v. Board of Education applied to unconstitutional policing. Coupled with Attorney General Eric Holder’s order to end mandatory minimum sentencing for minor drug offenders, the new policies are a huge victory for critics of the mass incarceration resulting from decades of politically inspired wars on gangs and drugs.
Will California Governor Jerry Brown, a lifetime opponent of capital punishment, take responsibility for the death of hunger strikers in solitary confinement in state prisons? That is a looming question as the hunger strike enters its fourth week and the governor and top legislators return from their summer vacations.
Concerned citizens need to crack open the covers of C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite as the curtains are being ripped back from the new surveillance state by whistleblowers, investigative reporters and civil liberties lawyers.
Senate immigration bill SB 744 may be a savvy way to divide the Republican Party in the coming elections, or a small step forward at the cost of massive militarization of the border. Already many immigrant rights activists are in revolt against the now advancing compromise.
For Trayvon Martin and his family I feel a sadness that will not lift. For America, I feel a dread that certain horrors repeat again and again, chief among them the murder of young men of color, not only with impunity for their killers but under the cover of judicial sanction. A re-armed George Zimmerman walks free, after a trial in which references to racism were forbidden by the judge. The unarmed Trayvon Martin, under the interpretation of the law, had no right to stand his ground against an armed vigilante. The “incident” considered by the jury, according to the instructions given by the judge, began with a physical confrontation between Trayvon and Zimmerman, not when Zimmerman launched his armed pursuit, muttering, “Fucking punks. These assholes, they always get away.”
Anthony Ingrafea is a Cornell professor who has been immersed in the science, politics and resistance to the development of oil and gas from shale in New York State for five years. After a long grassroots battle, New Yorkers have succeeded in achieving a five-year moratorium, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised he will make a decision on permitting based on studies yet to be completed. Over 100,000 Californians already have signed a petition against such fracking.
Pressure is building on Congress to avoid a further US escalation in Syria by sending weapons to strengthen the anti-Assad rebel forces. The evolving US escalation is opposed because it would lead to a spiral of further escalation while there is neither an endgame nor an exit strategy in sight. The expedient nature of the US proposal was revealed in a recent statement by one of its leading advocates, former President Bill Clinton, who recently called President Barack Obama “lame,” said, “Sometimes it’s best to get caught trying, as long as you don’t overcommit.”
It seemed weird, offhanded, President Barack Obama’s comment that he was “not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker,” just two days before the US forced down a Bolivian plane carrying Evo Morales on the suspicion that Edward Snowden was smuggled aboard. Diplomatic hell broke loose, with Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and others all accusing the US of violating their sovereignty.