Systemic Racism & Police Violence Against People of Color

Catholic Committee of Appalachia

The Catholic Committee of Appalachia joins with myriad voices being raised in protest of the refusal to indict the white police officers involved in the recent violent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others. The homicides of these two unarmed men and the failure of the grand jury system to provide for the possibility of justice reveal that we are not living in a “post-racial” society. These recent events, and increased visibility of widespread harassment of people of color, have, for the first time for many Americans, shined a light on the reality of systemic, racist police violence, a reality that communities of people of color, including Hispanic, Asian, and Native peoples, know all too well. Continue reading Systemic Racism & Police Violence Against People of Color

Can technology help combat the modern slavery business?

BBC

Tim Bowler Business reporter, BBC News Khai Socheung
traf7Growing up in rural Cambodia, Khai Socheung knew that life was tough, and that she might have to leave her homeland to find work.

So, when she was offered a job in China paying up to $1,000 (£590) a month – more than she could earn at home – she decided to go.

It would help her family pay off their debts, and she thought, would be “a good opportunity for me to leave the country for a better life”. Continue reading Can technology help combat the modern slavery business?

Thirty houses razed in Kibera fire

Daily Nation

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Thirty houses were Thursday burnt down in Kibera area of Nairobi in a blaze that took more than two hours to put out.

The blaze which was concentrated in Gatwekera area of the slum left no casualties its wake.

Kilimani OCPD Peter Katam said fire engines were unable to put out the fire due to extremely narrow feeder roads that provide the sole access to that area of the slum.

“I appeal to area residents to widen the roads to enable easy passage of fire engines in case of incidences such as this one,” he said.

He attributed the fire to an electrical fault.

Kibera residents has over the years borne the brunt of heavy fires that fire officials have been unable to assist due to overcrowded housing.

Several people have lost their lives in one of the biggest slums in Africa.

Pope Francis’s Ecology Encyclical – What Can We Expect?

The Jesuit Post

Henry Longbottom, SJ

By Peer / Flickr Creative Commons
By Peer / Flickr Creative Commons

The word emanating from Vatican corridors is that we can expect to see the long awaited environment-themed encyclical at some point during 2015.

The exact date has not been disclosed, but it could coincide with Francis’ apostolic visit to the Philippines in January, a country where the Catholic Church has been something of a trailblazer on environmental issues.  Alternative possibilities are April 22 (World Earth Day) or October 4, the Feast of St. Francis (patron saint of ecology). Continue reading Pope Francis’s Ecology Encyclical – What Can We Expect?

200 farmers evicted to make way for Mugabe park

Mail & Guardian

Armed police evicted more than 200 families from a farm in eastern Zimbabwe to create space for a game park proposed by first lady Grace Mugabe.

More than 200 farmers have been evicted in Zimbabwe to make way for a new park project for the Mugabes. (Reuters)
More than 200 farmers have been evicted in Zimbabwe to make way for a new park project for the Mugabes. (Reuters)

Police officers and members of Zimbabwe’s secret service turned up at Anold Farm in Mazowe district, about 50km east of the capital Harare, forcing the residents to leave without notice.

“They … ordered us to leave, but the government did not provide us with alternative land,” said one of the farmers, Aspinas Makufa. “We have nowhere to go and all our belongings will be damaged as the rains keep pounding.” Continue reading 200 farmers evicted to make way for Mugabe park

Nigeria’s elections will be a test of peace vs. power

Washington Post

Vendors sell their wares near an election poster of former Nigerian military ruler Muhammadu Buhari before the start of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party convention in Lagos in this December 10, 2014 file photo. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)
Vendors sell their wares near an election poster of former Nigerian military ruler Muhammadu Buhari before the start of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party convention in Lagos in this December 10, 2014 file photo. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

AFRICA’S MOST populous nation may be careening toward trouble. While Nigeria has recently captured international headlines for its battle against the murderous terrorist group Boko Haram, the most immediate threats to the country’s stability are not bullets from Islamist militants, but ballots. Continue reading Nigeria’s elections will be a test of peace vs. power

New Year’s Resolutions: 10 Ways to Combat Upward Redistribution of Income

Huffington Post 

Dean Baker
Dean Baker

The big gainers in the last three decades (aka the 1 percent) like to pretend that their good fortune was simply the result of the natural workings of the market. This backdrop largely limits political debate in Washington. The main difference is that the conservatives want to keep all the money for themselves, while the liberals are willing to toss a few crumbs to the rest of the country in the form of food stamps, healthcare insurance, and other transfers.

While the crumbs are helpful, the serious among us have to be thinking about the UN-rigging of the economy so that all the money doesn’t flow upward in the first place. Here are 10 ways in which we should be looking to change the structure of the market in 2015 so that all the money doesn’t flow to the 1 percent. Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions: 10 Ways to Combat Upward Redistribution of Income

The Birth of a New Civil Rights Movement

Politico

2014 was an epochal year for social justice. 2015 could be even more dramatic.

By GENE DEMBY
By GENE DEMBY

The shattering events of 2014, beginning with Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, did more than touch off a national debate about police behavior, criminal justice and widening inequality in America. They also gave a new birth of passion and energy to a civil rights movement that had almost faded into history, and which had been in the throes of a slow comeback since the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012. That the nation became riveted to the meta-story of Ferguson—and later the videotaped killing of Eric Garner in New York—was due in large part to the work of a loose but increasingly coordinated network of millennial activists who had been beating the drum for the past few years. In 2014, the new social justice movement became a force that the political mainstream had to reckon with. Continue reading The Birth of a New Civil Rights Movement

Shell agrees $84m deal over Niger Delta oil spill

BBC

A villager shows a bucket of of crude oil spill at the banks of a river, after a Shell pipeline leaked, in the Oloma community in Nigeria's delta region on 27 November 2014. The local fishing community in Nigeria's delta region have been hardest hit by recent oil spills
A villager shows a bucket of of crude oil spill at the banks of a river, after a Shell pipeline leaked, in the Oloma community in Nigeria’s delta region on 27 November 2014. The local fishing community in Nigeria’s delta region have been hardest hit by recent oil spills

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to a $84m (£55m) settlement with residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta for two oil spills.

Lawyers for 15,600 Nigerian fishermen say their clients will receive $3,300 each for losses caused by the spills.

The remaining $30m will be left for the community, which law firm Leigh Day says was “devastated by the two massive oil spills in 2008 and 2009”. Continue reading Shell agrees $84m deal over Niger Delta oil spill

Fighting Court Secrecy, Ferguson Juror Sues to Break Gag-Order

Common Dreams

Suit alleges that evidence presented to grand jury ‘with the insinuation that Brown, not Wilson, was the wrongdoer’

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Outraged demonstrators gather in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury had decided to not indict St. Louis police officer Darren Wilson. (Photo: Light Brigading/cc/flickr)
Outraged demonstrators gather in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury had decided to not indict St. Louis police officer Darren Wilson. (Photo: Light Brigading/cc/flickr

A member of the St. Louis grand jury that did not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging the court gag order, arguing that prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch has not accurately portrayed the grand jury trial and that his experience could “help inform a way forward.” Continue reading Fighting Court Secrecy, Ferguson Juror Sues to Break Gag-Order