Harriet Tubman’s personal pistol
Calcutta born, Bay Area raised, currently in Humboldt
Asian Philosophy, Radical Global Politics
Peace to the Ancestors from Tibet, Myanmar, and India
Garment Workers In Bangladesh Burn Down Factory After Worker Is Killed, Causes $100 Million In Damage
Arson is being blamed for a huge fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh which makes clothes for Western brands, fire and police authorities say.
The fire gutted a 10-storey building at Gazipur, 40km (25 miles) from Dhaka.
No-one was reported injured in Friday’s fire.
Police say that the fire follows protests by garment workers to demand higher wages and better conditions. A garment factory collapse in April killed more than 1,100 people.
“We think it’s an act of arson committed by workers from both inside the factory complex and outside," Mosharraf Hossain, a senior officer in the Industrial Police force, told the AFP news agency.
Police and witnesses said tempers flared after a mosque loudspeaker announced that a garments worker had been killed when police opened fire and used tear gas to disperse a road blockade by workers who had clashed with police near the factory on Thursday morning.
The loss to the firm could run into more than $100 million, estimated another group official, who asked not to be identified, saying the final tally could exceed his figure.
Nur-e-Alam, a senior manager of Standard Group, said the factory had stored the next six months of its supplies for top global retailers, including Gap, Wal-Mart and American Eagle.
They began showing up at dusk last week, wandering the streets, slumped in wheelchairs and sitting on sidewalks, paper plates perched on their knees. By 6:30 p.m., more than 100 homeless people had lined up at a barren corner in Hollywood, drawn by free meals handed out from the back of a truck every night by volunteers.
But these days, 27 years after the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition began feeding people in a county that has one of the worst homeless problems in the nation, the charity is under fire, a flashpoint in the national debate over the homeless and the programs that serve them.
Facing an uproar from homeowners, two members of the Los Angeles City Council have called for the city to follow the lead of dozens of other communities and ban the feeding of homeless people in public spaces.
Should Los Angeles enact such an ordinance, it would join a roster of more than 30 cities, including Philadelphia, Raleigh, N.C., Seattle and Orlando, Fla., that have adopted or debated some form of legislation intended to restrict the public feeding of the homeless, according to the National Coalition of the Homeless.
There are now about 57,735 homeless people in Los Angeles County, according to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development last week, a 23.5 percent increase over last year. Only New York had a higher homeless population.
In similar news, the billionaire Mayor of New York City recently banned food donations to the homeless because the city cannot record the salt, fat and fiber content in the food.
Bloomberg, the 13th richest person in the world, also tried to implement a policy that require the homeless to prove they had no where else to go before being accepted into a shelter. Fortunately, a judge struck down the decision.
23 Petty Crimes That Have Landed People in Prison for Life Without Parole | Mother Jones
As of last year, according to a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 3,200 people were serving life in prison without parole for nonviolent crimes. A close examination of these cases by the ACLU reveals just how petty some of these offenses are. People got life for, among other things…
- Possessing a crack pipe
- Possessing a bottle cap containing a trace amount of heroin (too minute to be weighed)
- Having traces of cocaine in clothes pockets that were invisible to the naked eye but detected in lab tests
- Having a single crack rock at home
- Possessing 32 grams of marijuana (worth about $380 in California) with intent to distribute
- Passing out several grams of LSD at a Grateful Dead show
- Acting as a go-between in the sale of $10 worth of marijuana to an undercover cop
- Selling a single crack rock
- Verbally negotiating another man’s sale of two small pieces of fake crack to an undercover cop
- Having a stash of over-the-counter decongestant pillsthat could be used to make methamphetamine
- Attempting to cash a stolen check
- Possessing stolen scrap metal (the offender was a junk dealer)—10 valves and one elbow pipe
- Possessing stolen wrenches
- Siphoning gasoline from a truck
- Stealing tools from a shed and a welding machine from a front yard
- Shoplifting three belts from a department store
- Shoplifting several digital cameras
- Shoplifting two jerseys from an athletic store
- Taking a television, circular saw, and power converter from a vacant house
- Breaking into a closed liquor store in the middle of the night
- Making a drunken threat to a police officer while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car
- Being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm
- Taking an abusive stepfather’s gun from their shared home
These are not typically first offenses, but nor are they isolated cases. The vast majority (83 percent) of life sentences examined by the ACLU were mandatory, meaning that the presiding judge had no choice but to sentence the defendant to a life behind bars. Mandatory sentences often result from repeat offender laws and draconian sentencing rules such as these federal standards for drug convictions:
The data examined by the ACLU comes from the federal prison system and nine state penal systems that responded to open-records requests. This means the true number of nonviolent offenders serving life without parole is higher.
What’s clear, based on the ACLU’s data, is that many nonviolent criminals have been caught up in a dramatic spike in life-without-parole sentences.
Staff writer, Al Arabiya
Israel has agreed to return organs of dead Palestinians harvested by its forensic pathologists during autopsies, Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh told Ma’an news agency on Wednesday.
Head of Israel’s Abu Kabir forensic institute, Jehuda Hiss, had admitted harvesting organs from dead bodies without the permission of their families.
“We started to harvest corneas … Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family,” Hiss said in an interview with an American academic in 2000. The interview was released in 2010 and part of it was aired by Israel’s Channel 2 TV.
The Channel 2 report said forensic experts harvested bones, corneas, heart valves and skin from dead Israeli soldiers, citizens, Palestinians and even foreign workers.
The Israeli army admitted to organ harvesting but said the practice was no longer performed. “This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer,” the military told Channel 2.
In the interview, Hiss described how his doctors would mask the removal of corneas from bodies. “We’d glue the eyelid shut,” he said. “We wouldn’t take corneas from families we knew would open the eyelids,” Associated Press reported.
The Palestinian official said Israel will “soon be returning some of the organs,” Ma’an reported.
Oh the generosity.
See, Israel IS the most moral army in the world!So the Israelis even steal Palestinians’ organs? Gah! How low can you go?!
Day 19 of White History Month: Medical Racism
The United States (along with other countries in the Western world) has a history of medical racism. The general population is unaware of the history of medical racism, and white health professionals are as well. John M. Hoberman of UT-Austin says that medical schools do not teach students about the history of medical racism, nor do they give them proper diversity training. Many Americans of color have grown to distrust medical professionals, and many white Americans attribute this to paranoia rather than their knowledge of historical and contemporary medical mistreatment.
Medical racism has often benefitted white Americans disproportionately while simultaneously harming Americans of color, as well as people of color outside of the United States. White Americans benefit from medical advances, while individual people of color were harmed, and in some cases, large groups of people of color have been harmed. From trying to “better” the race, to making scientific advances, white people have used and disregarded the rights people of color for their own benefit. Medical racism shows the lack of value ascribed to the bodies and lives of people of color.
The eugenics movement in the United States became very popular and manifested itself in many different ways. Anti-miscegenation laws, birth control, sterilization, forced abortions, forced pregnancies (of white women), and the promotion of higher birth rates for neurotypical white women. Eugenics policies were first instituted in the United States. Laws that advocated the sterilization of those with mental illnesses were in effect in the early 1900s, and soon spread to other countries.
Eugenics movements advocated for the eradication of those with mental illness, those who were homosexual, “promiscuous”, and most of all, those who were outside of the “Nordic” or “Aryan” race. Eugenics was advocated for by many famous white Westerners, including world leaders such as Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, and Calvin Coolidge.
While eugenics was highly unpopular after the Holocaust, the eugenics tradition of the United States actually provided the background for Nazi Medicine. While most people are aware to some extent what the horrors of Nazi medicine entailed, few people are aware of the American eugenics tradition that inspired it. Eugenics societies promoted “fit families” and “better babies” through awards at contests, but they also promoted harmful legislation barring immigrants and sterilizing “undesirable” people.
Controlling Reproductive Rights of Women of Color
Due to the eugenics movement, thousands of Black women were sterilized. In North Carolina, 7600 people were sterilized between 1929 and 1974, 85% of them women and girls, and a disproportionate number of them people of color (39% in the 1940s, 60% in the 1960s while making up only 25% of the population). The program that allowed for their sterilization was not eliminated fully until 2003. Black women were also sterilized without their consent in other states.
Puerto Rican Women
The United States has held Puerto Rico as a territory since 1898. As a solution to Puerto Rican economic problems, the US government felt that reducing the population of the Puerto Rican government would help. The US sterilized over one-third of Puerto Rican women, many uneducated and working class, between the 1930s and 1970s. Most of these women did not understand the procedure and did not know that it would render them sterile.
Additionally, the US used Puerto Rican women to test out birth control pills in the 1950s. These women were not informed that the pills were experimental - only that they would prevent pregnancy. They were not informed of the possible side effects ranging from nausea to possible death - three women died during the birth control pill trials. Women who reported side effects had their concerns dismissed by researchers.
Native American Women
Native American women who used the Indian Health Services were subject to numerous violations of their rights, particularly their reproductive rights. Some women who underwent procedures such as appendectomies would also have hysterectomies performed on them without their consent. At least 25 percent (and as high as 50 percent) of Native American women of reproductive age who used Indian Health Services were sterilized without their consent or after coercion. Largely white male doctors would use Native American women as “practice” for performing gynecological procedures on white women.
Tuskegee Experiment and Guatemala STD Experiment
In 1932, the Tuskegee Institute worked with the United States government to perform a study on a group of Black men with syphillis. The men were recruited to the study with promises of free meals, transportation to the clinic, medical exams and even treatment for minor medical concerns. The study lasted 40 years and involved the participation of over 600 Black men. This sounded like a good arrangement in theory, but researchers did not hold up their end of the bargain. By 1947, penicillin was widely used as treatment for syphillis. The researchers neglected to inform the men involved in the study in addition to refusing to treat the men.
As a result of the Tuskegee Experiment, nearly a hundred men died, and hundreds of partners and children were infected with the disease as well. Not only was this a breach of research ethics, as the participants did not give informed consent and were not treated for their ailment. The men and their families won a $9 million class action lawsuit in 1973, but this of course was not enough to make up for the damage that was done.
Similarly, the same researcher who uncovered the Tuskegee Syphillis experiment, Susan Reverby, discovered that a similar situation occured in Guatemala. The US Public Health Service and Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with the Guatemalan government to do research on 1300 Guatemalans that involved intentionally exposing them to STDs.
The experiment involved many who are considered disposable in society - sex workers, mental patients, prisoners, and soldiers. Only 700 of these people were treated, and during the study 83 people died. Some of the most disturbing incidents during the study involved injecting epilepsy patients in the back of the head with syphillis, as well as the infection of a terminal illness patient with gonnorhea (she died six months later). The Guatemalans in the study also did not give informed consent.
Henrietta Lacks (1920 - 1951) was a Black woman who went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be examined for serious medical concerns. After a biopsy was performed, she was diagnosed with and subsequently treated for cancer. While she was being treated, healthy and cancerous cells were removed from her cervix without her consent. She died in 1951, but the cells stolen from her body continued to be used. Though she died poor and was buried without a gravestone, her cells were used for many medical tests. From routine tests for human sensitivity to substances to the development of the Polio vaccine, her cells were used for medical advances. Her family only learned about the removal of her cells in the 1970s, and she is largely unknown despite the contributions to science she had made.
Current medical racism
Distrust of medical health professionals, along with racist attitudes probably contribute to medical health disparities. Racially linked anxiety disorders have been linked to racism at the hands of white people. A significant number of Black women report racism and sexism contributing to their stress and to stress-linked overeating.
Stressful life circumstances are reasons for hypertension and many mental health ailments. Working and middle class Black women who report multiple forms of discrimination are more likely to have high blood pressure than those who report fewer incidents. Black Americans who are more confrontational about racism are less likely to have elevated blood pressure than those who stay silent, which can be attributed to the effects of suppressed hostility.
Today, doctors still exhibit subconscious racist attitudes. A study in the American Journal of Public Health (March 2012) showed that a full two-thirds of the doctors in the sample were racially biased. White and Asian health professionals showed anti-Black bias, but Black health professionals showed no bias.
Doctors are more likely to speak more slowly to Black patients, extend their visits, and to lecture and talk down to them. This shows that the doctors are paternalistic and don’t care about respecting their patients or asking for their input
Additionally, white doctors are prone to giving worse care to patients of color, regardless of their income. People of color are less likely to get the diagnoses and treatment that they need, for everything ranging from heart disease medication, HIV treatment, and dialysis. Black women are the least likely to receive the pain medication that they need. Mental health professionals are less likely to diagnose people of color with an appropriate diagnosis because of their race.
Undocumented transgender immigrants in the United States are among the most vulnerable to discrimination and violence in employment, housing, healthcare, and opportunities for citizenship under current U.S. immigration law, according to a new report being released Friday by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“It is more difficult to be an immigrant who is a trans person,” Johanna Vasquez, 32, told BuzzFeed, speaking through a translator. “They treat you differently when you are detained.”
Vasquez fled El Salvador at age 16, after she was beaten and raped by community members who tormented her for being transgender. She missed the one-year asylum filing deadline. After 12 years, she was detained by authorities and placed in a detention facility where she was beaten and sexually assaulted.
Without legal defense, she was deported back to El Salvador in 2009, then returned to the U.S. where she spent seven months in a detention facility, before she was deported again. After returning to the U.S., she obtained the help of a public defender, who obtained a withholding of her removal.
“You are put in a cell where you are by yourself and experience a lot of violence that straight people or cis[gender] people do not experience, but you experience when you are a trans woman,” she said of her time in detention.
Just days after House Democrats released new comprehensive immigration reform legislation, advocates at NCTE and dozens of partnering labor and immigration rights organizations involved in the report are calling on lawmakers to pass “common sense” reforms that they say would ensure the safety and security of an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 transgender immigrant adults living in the U.S. as non-citizens.
Undocumented transgender immigrants, many of whom have fled their countries to escape anti-LGBT violence and persecution, are sometimes at greater risk of danger and inequality living in what advocates call a “double minority status,” which creates barriers to their success in the United States, they said.
"Life is tough for white people in America. A few hundred years of presumed superiority have left many of them psychologically unable to deal with failure, trapped in a cycle of victimhood where their own shortcomings can only be understood as evidence of persecution against them."
welp. (via native-detroiter)
Yes! More framing of whiteness like this!
Detroit News photographer Harold Robinson attended a Klans meeting in Dearborn, Michigan. Mr Robinson wanted to prove that the Ku Klux Klan is not exclusive to the southern states. It was printed in Jet Magazine February 25, 1970
Freedom for all, with or without papers // El Centro, California