- Afropunk Army
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Keep New Orleans Water PublicPublic water systems are a cornerstone of democracy. Public water systems are a city’s most valuable infrastructure. Handing over New Orleanians’ most valuable asset to a private company is an appalling abdication of public service. There are more than 300 jobs at Seweragee and Water Board that need to be filled now. More than ever, it is clear New Orleans needs a real and urgent commitment to its public water system. We need true accountability for the management of our whole water system and our community needs jobs. Instead of focusing on solutions to strengthen and reform New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, Mayor Landrieu is selling out New Orleanians to the bottom line of private contractors and corporations. Mayor Landrieu’s privately-contracted “Interim Emergency Management and Support Team” released an RFP on October 23rd that would privatize operations, management and multiple levels of water system positions through a public private partnership with a corporation for “up to three years.” On October 27th at a pre-bid meeting, the contractors asking about the RFP asked if their employees had to have valid Louisiana Drivers Licenses and professional certifications – they don't plan to hire locally. New Orleanians need jobs, right now! New Orleans needs an accountable, transparent, high-functioning public water system and our community needs good, local jobs. We can work together on a win-win solution. A first step is stopping Mayor Landrieu’s takeover of Sewerage and Water Board—Don't take us back to 1898.
Tell Oakland Unified: Get the Lead OutAs Black families in Flint are still recovering from years of lead exposure, recent reports have revealed lead-tainted water in another Black community -- this time at McClymonds High School in West Oakland. After news broke in August, Oakland school officials took some immediate, short-term actions to protect Black students at McClymonds, including installing filters on water fountains. But this recent incident could be the tip of the iceberg for lead-tainted water at Oakland schools, leaving more Black kids at risk for lead exposure. No child should be exposed to lead while trying to learn in the classroom. Lead is highly toxic to kids, and even small exposures can cause permanent damage to their cognitive development. That's why pediatricians across the country stress that there is NO safe level of lead for our kids. And data increasingly shows that wherever there is lead in pipes and plumbing, there is risk for contamination. It's time for Oakland Unified to adopt a strong district-wide policy that will truly protect all kids from these lead threats.
Lower Climate Carbon Levels Now to Reduce/End/Reverse Climate Heating Baking Drowning on EarthClimate heating, baking, drowning caused by skyrocketing climate carbons of fossil fuel emissions (combustion) are causing our 6th Extinction now....but we have a rare opportunity to change the course of history....to stop causing hell on earth....and to grow heaven on earth instead if we act now....if we can count more than private rates of cash and value the invaluable uncountable flows of light, energy, air, water, topsoil, green productivity also....and act now to do good, to grow good, positive outcomes: Every living cell, seed, seedling, soil, self wants to reach up toward light of our sun to grow positives, to lift life up to light, to grow heaven, laughter, vision, wisdom on earth instead.... So let's garden....and harvest free flows, blessings to lift us up.
Take It Down Now: ALL confederate statues. Rename ALL confederate streets and buildingsUpdate: October 7th, 2017 CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia— “You will not replace us” “Russia is our friend” “the South will rise again.” CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia—White supremacist Richard Spencer suddenly reappeared on Saturday night with torch-bearing supporters, two months after he organized an infamous hate march here. Spencer and his 50 or so followers gathered around a statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park chanting white supremacist slogans. “They were shouting ‘You will not replace us,’ ‘Russia is our friend,’ ‘the South will rise again,’ ‘we'll be back,’” said a University of Virginia faculty member, who wished not to be named for fear of retribution. Via @thedailybeast On Saturday, August 12th, white supremacist, terrorists marched through Charlottesville, communities and the University of Virginia campus, rallying around a statue of the Confederacy and carrying torches evoking a history of violent racial terrorism. The next day in Charlottesville they murdered someone in the name of their white supremacist symbols. Protesters were rammed by a car killing someone in a terrorist attack. These symbols were not chosen randomly. Confederate monuments have been erected and remain as a direct rebuke to the recognition of the full humanity of Black people. Confederate monuments were built and given places of honor in public space as gains in this recognition have been made and it is the commitment to the reversal of this recognition of humanity that draws white nationalists to these symbols. These symbols of white supremacy have always been memorials to the cause of slavery and the denial of humanity to Black people. Now they are being weaponized to rally white supremacists. We have the power to diffuse these modern-day lynch mobs by removing these statues altogether, instead of giving white supremacists a rally point. Confederate statues and named institutions are more than mere symbols of a heritage but instead, they are an assertion of the continued imposition of white supremacy and its current political power. Terrorists in Charlottesville understood this and were willing to kill in the name of this, we must be determined to persist in the face of this white supremacist terror. Removing all Confederate statues would be one step among many in sending the message that we are no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level. We've already many communities take the step to address these monuments in cities like Tampa and New Orleans. Join with me today and pledge to work to remove all Confederate statues or names from our community. - [ ]
Justice for Ville Platte Pedestrians"A Ville Platte man and two teenagers are recovering after all three were hit by a truck. However, they are facing charges, and the driver isn't. Police have fined the three for not wearing reflective clothing at night and charged them with obstructing a public passage." From a story by Kendria LaFleu at KATC an ABC affiliate. Twenty-one-year-old Deonte Williams, 19-year-old Cody Mayes and 17-year-old Kevin Wilson need justice. If you're a victim of a crash, you shouldn't be the one charged with a crime. The fact that they are being charged with a crime after a crash is a gross miscarriage of justice. Charges need to be dropped on the two teenagers and young man, the laws and ordinances that is allowing for charges and fines need to be struck from the books, and Ville Platte needs to actively apply for Complete Streets funding, since clearly there are serious street design issues if people are being mandated to wear reflective gear for walking. My name is Teka-Lark Lo I am an alternative transportation advocate in New York City. My focus is Complete Streets for hypersegregated communities. The Black community has historically been and continues to be home to the most hypersegregated communities in the United States. We do not have equity in many areas, including areas of active transportation, such as walking and bicycling. I am joined with longtime Ville Platte Civil Rights Activist Arthur James Sampson Jr. and the NAACP Lafayette, La Branch # 6060. We all deserve the freedom to walk and bike in our communities without fear of being run over and charged with a crime. This situation is a clear example of transportation injustice. The Ville Platte, Louisiana, Police Department (VPPD) and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) was found by the Department of Justice in December of 2016 "to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution" and instead of its politicians condemning the police and sheriff for such behavior they support and encourage it and actively use the police and sheriff for punitively enforcing mobility limiting and Civil Right violating policies, such as the walking curfew and mandating reflective clothing when walking. Regardless of where you're Black, whether it be in the metropolitan cities of Los Angeles & New York or in rural Ville Platte, Louisiana, you deserve justice. You deserve #TransportationEquity #BicycleEquity. Give Transportation Equity to Ville Platte. Help the citizens of Ville Platte walk home without fear of being run over by a truck and charged with a crime. Tell Mayor Vidrine to drop the charges against Deonte Williams, Cody Mayes, and Kevin Wilson.
Acknowledge and Expose Black History in SchoolsSchools do not go very in depth to the things that actually affect the communities we live in. Without the proper education, our generations of children will loose intelligence over time. Increasing the level of exposure for big topics like Black History will open the minds of students, enhancing their positive skill sets and outcomes. For example, when I was in my World History class at Center High School in Kansas City, Missouri, my History teacher, Mr. Chambers showed the class articles and videos and books that exposed the truth and reality of Black History. When we witness what was shown, we became more mellow, respectful, and responsible than how we were in the beginning of the year. It is very important for our students, (children, and young adults), to know about the slavery, segregation, integration, Civil Rights, police brutality, White on Black crime, and Black on Black crime throughout Black History, and everything that made up the evilness with in the Black communities over time. Doing so will give students a better understanding of what the past was like for Black, (African American), people, and why Black people protest, retaliate, and die in our communities and nation. Students must be taught the truth about all of the things that Black people have gone through and accomplished to be equal citizens of this nation, and to be treated like equal citizens of this nation. Accomplishing these goals of acknowledging and exposing Black History in schools will make a better tomorrow for everyone.
#SaveDemitriusDemitrius Manderfield is being tortured in a Michigan jail and may potentially die if he does not receive help. Demitrius is 20-years-old and is suffering from the painful and chronic illness sickle beta thalassemia. He has not been convicted of any crime, yet has been caged behind bars for three months now. To make matters worse, he’s jailed at Midland Federal Correctional Facility and they have been denying him access to proper healthcare for three months now. His judge, Judith Levy, promised that she would release him for treatment if his medical needs weren’t being met in jail. But it’s been weeks and nothing has been done. His health is steadily declining and his family desperately needs your help. Jails in the United States are known to be danger zones for people with disabilities --especially Black folks. Sandra Bland, Darren Rainey, and Ralkina Jone have all died behind bars because jail workers and jail health practitioners have no empathy for Black people who are perceived as criminals. By refusing to provide chronically ill inmates with medical treatment, jails are literally sentencing people to the death penalty before a judge has even charged them with a crime. Demitirus’ court date is in 14 days, but his mother and family worry his illness may not even allow him to live long enough to stand before Judge Levy again.
Join the Fight to End Environmental Discrimination and Air Pollution in MarylandI grew up on a farm in a rural community in Prince George’s County, Md.,that is being overwhelmed with life-threatening pollution. My community, Brandywine, is 72 percent African American. We’re battling environmental discrimination and we need your help. We have two power plants in Brandywine that spew toxins, like nitrogen oxide and ammonia, linked to asthma, heart disease and stroke. The state of Maryland has permitted three more fossil-fuel power plants in our area, which means five of the state’s 13 large power plants would be in our community or close by. The most recently permitted plant, called the Mattawoman Plant, will pollute the air near the homes of senior citizens and just down the street from our elementary school. State officials have chosen our predominantly black community as a dumping ground for toxic air pollution. The state paid no attention to the racially biased impact of these plants. The Mattawoman plant will contribute to ground-level ozone, a very harmful form of pollution linked to asthma attacks. African Americans in Maryland are nearly 2.5 times as likely as white Maryland residents to die from asthma. As president of the Brandywine TB Southern Regional Coalition, I am committed to protecting the health and quality of life of our community. Brandywine should not be the dumping ground for the stuff no one wants. Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., sacrificed so much, so that we would not be marginalized based on skin color. But Maryland officials ignored the requirement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that any entity, public or private, that receives federal funds conduct a review before issuing a permit to pollute to ensure that the pollution will not have an unjustified, unequal impact on the basis of race. Last month, I joined with Earthjustice and the Patuxent Riverkeeper in filing a federal civil rights complaint about the Mattawoman Plant. It asks three federal government – the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – to investigate and remedy these civil rights violations. But state officials have the power to do the right thing now. Tell Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan that the state must reconsider its decision to permit the Mattwoman Plant and that it must protect the civil rights of all Maryland residents! The fight for racial equality—as the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted in recent years--is far from complete. Join us in calling on Maryland officials to ensure our civil rights are protected by ending environmental discrimination now!
STOP UCSF FROM CLOSING NEW GENERATION CLINICWe are asking that members of the San Francisco community and people nationwide to stand with us to save the last full-service reproductive health clinic serving poor Black and Latino youth in San Francisco. After 45 years of serving vulnerable youth, on March 1 the University of California San Francisco gave swift & abrupt notice to staff at New Generation Health Clinic that its doors will close in 30 days due to budget cuts. There was no plan to replace the New Generation clinic; instead the “solution” was to redirect the patients to existing hospitals and clinics. The thousands of young people who rely on the clinic's services were not consulted about this plan. Thanks to efforts lead by 3rd Street Youth Center & Clinic, concerned educators and parents, and most importantly, directly impacted young people from the city-- as of March 17th, USCF announced that they would delay the closure of the clinic to July 31st. After the 31st, they plan to work with the Department of Public Health to "ensure continuity of care for patients." They refuse to commit to keeping New Generation open, citing its " lack of financial sustainability." Meanwhile, UCSF has publicly announced plans to spend $600 million on building brand new facilities alone in the next 3 years, this plan included the new $240 million complex in Mission Bay-- the neighborhood where New Generation Health Clinic is located. Clearly, a lack of funds is not the issue here. The University of California San Francisco constantly emphasizes their commitment to addressing health disparities and making equity a priority. Now is their chance to stand by their word. New Generation is a safe haven in a city where navigating and accessing the health care system is nearly impossible. For young people who are victims of rape and unwanted pregnancy- San Francisco General Hospital is just not an option. Survivors of rape need a place where they feel safe and where youth are welcomed, not criminalized. If UCSF succeeds in their plans to close New Generation, there will be a much higher price to pay. The message the city of San Francisco and the University of California San Francisco are sending is blatant: money matters, not Black and Brown lives. Please sign and share the petition to help us keep New Generation Health Clinic open. For too many, this is a matter of life or death.
Tell Governor Snyder to put our Flint families first!Last summer I returned home from the hospital, having lost my twins in a miscarriage, to find a note from the city of Flint advising pregnant women not to drink the water. Now my 7-year-old son, Jaylon (pictured left), and 16-year-old daughter, Nashauna, test positive for lead poisoning. My children - all of our children - deserve a healthy and hopeful future. On Thursday, March 17th, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder stood before Congress and testified that he is working to repair Flint. Yet we know that he has presented a state budget to the state House and Senate that dramatically shortchanges the rebuilding of our community. Since taking office in 2010 Gov. Snyder has blatantly divested from our primarily poor, Black, and immigrant community. He stripped us of our democracy with the installment of an Emergency Manager, not elected by or accountable to our families. Then placing profit over people, our water source was switched and was not treated properly. Now, while Gov. Snyder waits, our children continue to be irreparably poisoned, our families grapple with skin rashes, hair falling out, missed days of school and work, and our mothers suffer heightened rates of miscarriages. My family deserves to be healthy. All of our families do. That's why I'm working with PICO federation, Michigan Faith in Action, the Flint Rising coalition, and hundreds of Flint community members to demand justice for our families today. Join us in telling Governor Snyder and our state legislators to craft a budget that puts rebuilding our infrastructure and protecting our health and our futures first.
Take Down ALL Symbols of White Supremacy in New OrleansSince 2015, we've organized to have four statues removed in New Orleans. And in May of this year, Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered a powerful speech that supported the notion that there space for reverence of the Confederacy in New Orleans. We must continue organizing until all property dedicated to people who fought to keep slavery is renamed and repurposed. Two weeks ago, white supremacists swarmed the streets in Charlottesville armed with lit torches and blunt objects to terrorize Black people. This modern-day lynching mob crowded around a Confederate statue, and in honor of the false idol, killed a peaceful protester and critically wounded dozens more. There is no doubt that white supremacists use these statues to validate their racism and violence. Now more than ever, we have to remove all Confederate symbols and emblems to white supremacy. Our local government has a responsibility to protect its Black communities from the kind of terrorism and bloodshed that rocked Charlottesville. The New Orleans family is defined by the diverse, inclusive nature of its culture in spaces both public and private. Public spaces are for everyone and should not be used to promote the abhorrent views of the white ruling class to uphold symbols of Black oppression. Not only that but our tax dollars should no longer be used to maintain these structures. We walk to the river, to work, to school, to visit a friend, and look up into the faces of men who traded human beings as property and fought to protect the ability to do so. There is no basis to support the continued littering of our public squares and buildings with monuments, street names and public schools named after white supremacists. These memorials only serve as constant reminders of the past and present domination of black people by the rich white ruling class. They are insulting to anyone with a sense of history and who supports progress and democracy. These symbols also represent present day reality where most decisions and government policy are determined by those who accept white supremacist notions that Black people and all non-white people are less and deserve less than white people. Some people believe that the struggle to remove white supremacist symbols is a deflection from the more meaningful struggle to end present day discrimination. They couldn’t be further from the truth. These monuments and signs are so much more than symbols of bygone days. They are active parts of an abusive system in which intentionally unequal distribution of power and resources goes unchecked. The white supremacist ideas represented by these symbols permeate USA society and result in actual discrimination and murder. That is why policemen with white supremacist conceptions of young Black people can murder them so easily. This is why the so-called criminal justice system can practice mass incarceration of Black people with the approval of most white people. This is why we have over 50% unemployment for Black men in New Orleans and there is no editorial outcry by the white ruling class press. If our New Orleans family is to have a chance at real racial reconciliation, we must remove all obvious symbols of white supremacy to show our collective will to address entrenched systemic oppression, which is wreaking havoc in the minds, homes, and neighborhoods of our families citywide. Now is our opportunity to be proactive. All over the USA, especially in the South, progressive Black people and their allies are leading struggles to rid the South of the symbols of treason, domestic terrorism and racist oppression. State governments in South Carolina and Alabama have removed the Rebel Flag. The Memphis city council has voted to remove the statue and the body of confederate General and founder of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Georgia NAACP has called for the removal of the Stone Mountain memorial to the confederacy.
Release data about the McKinney Police Department's engagement of Black youthThe videos from McKinney show Black youth clearly being targeted by police while white youth are left alone. We deserve to know from the City of McKinney if this is a longstanding police policy. This is important because this incident is one in a long line of incidents that continue to demonstrate that Black youth are routinely dehumanized in our society. Implicit bias and perceptions of Black youth directly impact they way that they are engaged. Because these youth were seen to not belong in the area, the officers did even attempt to engage them as residents or even guests but rather as intruders. This is evidenced by the fact that the teenager who filmed the incident was white and therefore was not engaged by the police at all - despite capturing the entire event on camera. We have seen in past, how these interactions can quickly turn deadly. The community can not begin to heal until these issues are exposed and confronted in a honest and transparent fashion.