- Afropunk Army
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- Economic Justice
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- End The War on Black People
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#FreeMichaelDuvall: My Brother Is InnocentThe wrongful yet systematic incarceration of Black people in this country has weakened our community for decades; it’s slavery by another name. This system is causing Michael and others like him, to be jailed while waiting for their case to come to trial. Sometimes, that takes years to happen. Michael has already refused to plea to anything because he is not guilty. The scary thing is; this is the same thing that happened to Kalief Browder. He didn’t want to plead guilty to a crime that he didn’t commit, so this system took his life away in so many ways. I don’t want that to be the case for my brother or anyone. My heart is broken and a part of me is being held in the Upper Marlboro Detention Center with my brother. It is important that we take a stand against this type of abuse from the criminal injustice system so that others in our community do not fall victim to this type of pain and torture.
Bring Dameon Brome and David Lahoz homeDavid Lahoz and Dameon Brome were incarcerated as children and have spent 26 and 30 years in prison, respectively. Each of them has demonstrated rehabilitation, redemption, and remorse. Despite exemplary disciplinary records while incarcerated and plans to continue helping people when they were paroled, both men were recently denied parole on the same day by the same parole hearing examiners. Any review of these men's files will reveal that this is horrible mistake. Dameon and David are rehabilitated and should have been paroled. We call on Board of Probation and Parole Chairman Leo Dunn to correct this error. David and Dameon were juvenile lifers. Montgomery v. Louisiana was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared Dameon and David’s sentence unconstitutional. The ruling in that case stated that juvenile lifers needed to be treated as individuals and, if they were not permanently incorrigible, given a chance to come home. After their resentencings last year, both David and Dameon were made immediately parole eligible; but unfortunately Leslie Grey and Mark Koch denied them parole and told them they would need to wait five years before the board would hear their cases again. David and Dameon have appealed and Leo Dunn, the Chairman of the PA Board of Probation and Parole, can overrule their parole denial and allow them to come home to their families and communities. David was once a lost soul running around in the streets of North Philly living a life that was very disruptive. He believed he was destined to die or get locked up; he was sentenced to life without parole as 17 year-old. After a rocky start to his incarceration, he has been active in a lot of programming: playing sports and learning multiple trades. His passion is being a mentor to young people through softball and basketball. David has worked for years to better himself and to help those around him. He has been misconduct free for 15 years and he had institutional support for his parole. Dameon has spent the greater portion of his life incarcerated but refused to accept that it was what would define him. He decided that he would find a way to grow even within the confines of prison. He acquired his GED and worked briefly tutoring others. He's worked in various positions within the institution from the Cook for Specialized Diets to the Law Clerk in the library helping others with legal problems. He has founded, been part of, and facilitated numerous groups to change the hopeless, lost, or disenfranchised perspectives of other incarcerated people, while simultaneously trying to advance his own education and understanding of what it means to be human. He took to Mechanical Drafting and CAD and studied Print Media. Dameon has written books and stories not just to "fill a void I saw that existed" but also to try to show other incarcerated people that there was another way and more possibilities for them even behind bars. Both Dameon and David have loving and supportive families and both plan to continue helping people and bettering the world if released. Their parole denials each listed multiple errors. For example, Dameon’s denial states that he lacked a home plan but he submitted an 11-page home plan. He planned to be paroled to a halfway house in Philadelphia, something the Department of Corrections has encouraged for juvenile lifers but he was questioned about this decision and believes this plan was held against him. They went on to say that Dameon was denied due to misconducts and poor institutional adjustment. Dameon hasn’t had a misconduct in over 9 years and hasn’t had a misconduct relating to fighting in over 23 years. David’s denial stated that he needed to get a GED but he received a GED in the Department of Corrections. His denial went on to say that he had a misconduct at his minimum which was one year ago. He hasn’t had a misconduct in 15 years. A modern professional parole board shouldn’t be making these mistakes. We call on you, Chairman Dunn, to correct them and do the right thing. We believe that Dameon and David should be with their families and communities on the outside. They are rehabilitated. We call on you to grant parole for Dameon Brome and David Lahoz and grant them relief after decades of incarceration.
Get the Corrupt Bail Industry Out Of Maryland PoliticsEveryday, thousands of people who haven't been convicted of a crime are separated from their families as they languish in jails just because they can't afford to pay bail. The commercial bail industry will go to any length to undermine reform and now they being implicated in an FBI bribery investigation. The news about bail-bonds industry lobbyists offering illegal bribes to Sen. Oaks and at least one other target in the state legislature underlines the corrupting influence that the industry’s money has had on the legislative process. These illegal bribes are in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the industry has spent in Maryland on campaign contributions, as detailed last year in a report by Common Cause report. All of this money - reported and under the table - is intended to reverse the progress Maryland can make under a new Judicial Rule intended to have more people released without subjecting them to the debt-trap set up by the bail industry. Maryland is one of the top states for campaign donations by the bail industry coming in behind only California and Florida. In order to get this corrupt industry out of our lives and communities, we must disrupt the dangerous relationship between the bail industry and elected officials.
Stop Racist AdvertisingThis is important because this contributes to racial stereotypes and racial bias found throughout the world. This continues to spread the false message that black men are dangerous due to their inherent nature, and says that black men are inferior to other races, especially to white people. This advertisement sends the message that black men are a danger to society and that they must control themselves in order to be “normal”. Historically, this has been said of black men-that they are violent predators (especially of white women), and because of this, people tend to have more fear when walking down the street and encountering a black man. This is why people are more defensive and and tend to react more violently when they believe, falsely or not, that a black man is a threat to themselves. This was seen in the George Zimmerman case, and has been seen in many cases of police brutality across the country. I saw this sign in Hong Kong just last week, but have not seen it where I live in the US, and this may be because they do not think people in Hong Kong would care about something like this or notice. While Adidas is a German company, they still have a lot of influence here in the US and, I am assuming, around the world. While historically this has been the portrayal of African American men in the US specifically, this same racial stereotyping and bias occurs throughout the world, and this kind of advertising needs to stop.
#OurVoiceOurChief: Demand transparency and inclusion in Police Chief searchA fair, open and transparent selection process that is guided by the needs, concerns and experiences of a broad spectrum of residents – particularly youth and people of color – will ensure that the City of San Diego hires a police chief who is equally committed to upholding the dignity of all San Diegans as s/he is with upholding the law. A 2016 SDSU study* on racial profiling determined that Black and Latino drivers were twice as likely to be stopped and searched by San Diego police officers, but less likely to have contraband than White drivers. SDPD is currently facing litigation** for illegally stopping a Black minor and obtaining his DNA without a warrant. These and other troubling issues of over-policing and unfairly biased policing are among the challenges our next Chief of Police must address. Building the necessary public trust to meet these challenges starts with how impacted communities are engaged in the selection process. Decades of secret back room deals and broken promises have eroded public trust and confidence in our elected representatives. If Mayor Faulconer is truly committed to the vision and values of “one San Diego,” he will ensure that members of impacted communities have a real voice and consequential role in this selection process. He will be transparent and inclusive by allowing concerned San Diegans, especially youth and people of color, to hear from the final candidates before a hiring decision is made. Mayor Faulconer: provide full transparency in the search for San Diego’s next Chief of Police and include the public from start to finish. * https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/sdpdvehiclestopsfinal.pdf ** https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/public-safety/teenager-sued-sdpd-documented-gang-member-soon/
#OurVoiceOurChief: Demand transparency in the Police Chief searchA fair, open and transparent selection process that is guided by the needs, concerns and experiences of a broad spectrum of residents – particularly youth and people of color – will ensure that the City of San Diego hires a police chief who is equally concerned with the dignity of all San Diegans as s/he is with upholding the law. A 2016 SDSU study [link to study] on racial profiling determined that Black and Latino drivers were twice as likely to be stopped and searched by San Diego police officers, but less likely to have contraband than White drivers. SDPD is currently facing litigation [link to VOSD coverage] for illegally stopping a Black minor and obtaining his DNA without a warrant. These and other troubling issues of over-policing and unfairly biased policing will be among the challenges our next Chief of Police must address. Building the necessary public trust to meet these challenges starts with how impacted communities are engaged in the selection process. Decades of secret back room deals and broken promises have served to erode public trust and confidence in our elected representatives. If Mayor Faulconer is truly committed to the vision and values of “one San Diego,” he will ensure that members of impacted communities have a real voice and consequential role in this selection process. He will be transparent by identifying the selection panelists; he will be inclusive by adding community members and youth to the currently exclusive panel of mayoral staff and unidentified law enforcement experts; and he will be fair by allowing the community and youth to meet with the final three candidates before a final decision is made. Mayor Faulconer, keep your promise: include the community in this important process.
Stop Locking Up Our Children: Shut Down Lincoln Hill and Copper Lake Now!Our children deserve more than what these prison facilities are serving them. Over the last two years, several lawsuits have been filed against Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prison facilities documenting severe abuse. Some of the lawsuits filed include; a young person whose toes had to be amputated after a guard smashed his toes in a door; a guard who actually assisted a young woman as she attempted to hurt herself; and allegations of suffocation, strangulation, and sexual assault. Locking up youth in these facilities is the most expensive option with the worst results, guaranteeing that every young person sent there will be put in harm’s way. It's time to leave behind the old outdated ways of criminalizing and punishing young people without holistic support. Theses youth prisons continue to perpetuate extreme racial and ethnic disparities. This is another key reason why Milwaukee County needs to undertake comprehensive juvenile justice reform. They need to address and tackle the persistent racial and ethnic inequities in Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system. Wisconsin still ranks in the top five least equitable states, with disparities that far exceed the national average. The vast majority of youth committed to Wisconsin state facilities are Black children. In 2014, young Black people made up almost 70% of youth committed to juvenile prison facilities in the state, but only about 10% of Wisconsin’s total youth population. Most of these young people are coming from Milwaukee County, where the majority of Black folks live in Wisconsin. Milwaukee County spends over $100,000 a year to send one youth from Milwaukee to Lincoln Hills or Copper Lake. Milwaukee should abandon the youth prison model and replace it with less costly and more effective non-residential, community-based alternatives to incarceration. Locking up young people in cages does not ensure public safety in any way. Over 60% of the young people who go to Lincoln Hills or Copper Lake re-offend within three years of release, largely due to the intense trauma young people experience while incarcerated. To have a safer community, it is critical that Milwaukee County stops sending youth to Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake and instead invest in a range of effective community programs that offer targeted supervision and services. Programs that include restorative justice, intensive mentoring, mental health treatment, family therapy and other interventions that are proven to lower risk and sustain long-term behavior change among adjudicated youth. WI and Milwaukee County should invest in community-based solutions that work for young people, their familiies and the communities they come from.
FIRE Paul Hagan!Paul Hagan recently threatned the life of one of his african american male students in his class on video. In the video he tells the student..."thats why yall get shot..I bet by the time you are 21 you will have a bullet in your brain and I may be the one to do it". This is unacceptable from anyone but especially from the educators we trust to teach our children and help them grow. I am demanding he be released from his postion immediately.
Support people of color in the cannabis industry & support People's Dispensary OaklandThe People's Dispensary has a vision of healing, freedom, and empowerment for our beloved community of Oakland. We are in a unique moment, that comes along once in a generation, to build a marketplace that fundamentally serves the good of the community in which it exists. With that vision in mind, The People's Dispensary has applied for one of the four Oakland general dispensary licenses! Here is a little bit about us: ► We are collectively owned ► We are 100% owned by Bay Area residents (Oakland & San Leandro) ► We are 75% owned by people of color ► We are 75% owned by women of color ► We are 100% owned by LGBTQ people Our co-founders are Chaney Turner, Charleen Caabay, Christine De La Rosa and Michael Schlieker. Each of them has a different lived experience that brought them to cannabis. But the common thread they all share is the belief that a dispensary can do more than sell cannabis products, it can heal, uplift and transform entire communities using the profits of cannabis. The People's Dispensary has developed a three prong Equity Plan specifically for Oakland and the Bay Area. ► We have created an opportunity for small and non-accredited investors to legally invest in the cannabis industry. ► We have plans to refurbish existing dilapidated multi-unit residential complexes in Oakland to provide affordable housing for employees, enabling them to live in the community they serve. ► We are creating an Impact Fund that allows our dispensary and our investors to reinvest a portion of future profits into Bay Area initiatives focused on ending criminalization and supporting disenfranchised and vulnerable communities. As one of the general applicants, The Peoples Dispensary is committed to providing monetary, material and mentorship support to equity businesses. In our quest to find values-aligned equity partners we chose three equity cannabis start-ups to incubate. LIV Dispensary and LIV Manufactoring owned by Jennifer Johns and Ajayi Jackson and Coastal Cannabis Delivery owned by Karissa Lewis and Audrey Smith. These equity cannabis businesses are: ► 100% owned by Oakland residents ► 100% owned by Black and Indigenous people ► Committed to creating jobs for the Oakland community We love Oakland and have been investing in its present and its future for decades. The co-founders of The People's Dispensary collectively own Benefit Health Collective Dispensary delivery service, Town Biz retail shop and Craft & Spoon restaurant. These businesses employ 20 people of which 95% of our employees are people of color, 70% are women, 65% are part of the LGBTQ community. We believe in Oakland and Oakland has believed in us. Built into our business model is our commitment to: ► Providing no cost health services for its clients in the form of on staff nursing, mental health professionals and holistic healers ► Hiring formerly incarcerated people and family members of incarcerated people ► Creating jobs and opportunities for advancement for our communities ► Investing in the future of Oakland We believe that we deserve to have a stake in the cannabis market in Oakland as a dispensary. Through granting a license to the Peoples Dispensary, Oakland can help us fulfill our dreams to create and shape a marketplace where everyone wins. Signing this petition is a vote for Oakland, for communities of color, for marginalized communities and for reversing the trends of criminalization and disinvestment. Please sign this petition, post and share this petition. WE BELIEVE WE WILL WIN. We are The People's Dispensary
Tell The FBI: Preserving Black Lives is NOT Terrorism! White Nationalism Is Terrorism.http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/06/the-fbi-has-identified-a-new-domestic-terrorist-threat-and-its-black-identity-extremists/ In August of 2017, the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Division report entitled, “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement.”, obtained and released released by "Foreign Policy", stated: “The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.” Incidents of “alleged police abuse” have “continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement”. This issue proliferates as racial tensions have increased and become more mainstream during the Trump Administration. This would be an optimal time for the President to utilize his platform and leadership to condone racism while utilizing the FBI to dismantle actual domestic terrorists and their racist and detrimental practices. Instead, efforts are spent deflecting the legitimate criticism of policing and labeling citizens exercising their 1st amendment right to protest as domestic terrorists- an organized faction that now pose threat to police officers. The Black Lives Matter movement is not a domestic terrorist movement. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a communist. But if we do not hold our government and its agencies accountable, history will repeat itself. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a history of implementing Draconian and often illegal and/or immoral practices within the black community. Similar to the use of COINTELPRO in the 1960's, the actions of black activists are criminalized and, consequently, the narrative focuses on isolated violent responses instead of the organized peaceful tact of official movements. With intrusive surveillance legislation such as CISPA and The Patriot Act, it is imperative for the black community to protect itself from political persecution by galvanizing lawmakers and applying political pressure on government agencies and officials.
Betty Price Is Unfit To Serve & Should ResignOn Friday, October 20th at a Study Committee Meeting on Health Policy in Georgia, you made comments recommending people with HIV be quarantined, essentially turning back the clock on years of progress we have made in the treatment and care of individuals living with HIV. And on behalf of the 47,000 Georgians and the nearly 1.2 million Americans living with HIV, we demand that you resign your seat in the Georgia State House of Representatives immediately. Your statement calling for more government resources to quarantine Georgians living with the virus is not the first time you have used your position to slam the HIV community. In fact, on February 28, 2017, in a Health and Human Services Committee Hearing, you joined other Republicans to block a vote on a bipartisan bill that would have made information about PrEP and PEP, both proven methods of preventing new HIV infections, more readily available. Furthermore, we know that you are not alone in your disturbing perspective on HIV, as your husband Tom Price, disgraced former Health and Human Services Secretary under Donald Trump, proposed $202 million in cuts to various federal HIV programs. While at the same time mismanaging taxpayer money on private jets and elaborate travels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both Metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia ranks no. 5 in the U.S. for new cases of HIV. The CDC also estimates that 1 in 51 Georgians will become HIV positive over their lifetimes. And despite HIV being a serious public health challenge for all Georgians, the virus has a particularly heavy impact on marginalized communities of color. In fact, Emory University determined that young Black gay men in Atlanta have a 60 percent chance of becoming HIV positive before their 30th birthday. While constituents expect their leaders to work to reduce these statistics, offering quarantine as a possible solution in a state that already criminalizes people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is a dangerous proposal that could have significant consequences. Your behavior as a legislator towards the community of PLWHA, in the face of disturbing statistics that indicate that Georgia is leading the nation in new cases of the virus, illustrates that you are unfit for public office. And the fact that you are a physician just adds insult to injury. As a lawmaker you should be looking to develop solutions in concert with PLWHA to help reduce new cases of the virus. As a physician, you should be rooted in stigma-free healthcare that encourages people to seek the care they need to live healthy lives. Your behavior thus far has illustrated that you are unable to serve our community in either capacity. As a community of PLWHA, advocates, public health professionals, and concerned constituents we will not tolerate public officials using their platform to spread stigma and hatred. Rather than using your position to make reckless public policy suggestions that can negatively impact PLWHA, you and other elected officials should use your platforms in Georgia and across the nation to uplift and support policies like the expansion of Medicaid which can reduce stigma, increase access to care, and ensure optimal health outcomes, particularly in marginalized populations hit hard by the epidemic. Finally, we are looking for leaders who support expanding access to PrEP and PEP, increasing resources to help PLWHA stay in care and achieve viral suppression, ending HIV criminalization, and fighting the stigma. Representative Betty Price, you are not one of those leaders and thus why we can no longer afford for you to hold elected office anymore.
Say No to Richard SpencerNeville Pinto and Mayor John Cranley, We will not tolerate racism, hatred and violence on our campus! I can’t understand for the life of me why you would allow a person such as Richard Spencer to speak at the University of Cincinnati knowing his background and the destruction and death he caused with his rallies. You all keep bringing up this whole freedom of speech B.S., but not allowing him to book a facility is not denying him freedom of speech. He shouldn’t be allowed to book a facility at the University and use it to incite violence and hate! You have majority of the students and faculty saying they do not want him there, but yet you are still allowing this. What about the voices of those who make the University of Cincinnati what it is today? If it weren’t for those students you would not have the position you call “president”. I am a concerned parent and when I attended UC’s orientation I was assured that safety was top priority when it came to students and staff. But clearly this was a lie or a tactic in order to get your student population up or flat out just about money! I am absolutely sure that freedom of speech does not include the right to incite actions that would harm others, and if your lawyers didn’t know that, then you need to get new lawyers! I would like for the University of Cincinnati to change it’s decision and not allow Richard Spencer to book a facility to speak at the University. If you allow this man to speak, then you are aiding in the harassment of your students and staff along with placing everyone there in a hostile environment. You will be destroying the integrity of the school should you allow this event to take place! Keep in mind that Richard Spencer is taking full advantage of your lack of strength and unity you have with the school and all of its occupants! This is not about the freedom of speech that everyone has, but about inciting violence and hate by threats of fake lawsuits that you are buying into! Again no one is denying freedom of speech but you do not have to facilitate any speech! We all know Richard Spencers background, why would we want to host someone who want to cause a criminal disturbance? You have to know that violence is inevitable if you’re in preparation of extra safety and security measures! Do not facilitate Richard Spencer, stand by your University and choose love! Thank you Parents, Family, Friends, and Supporters