I came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be unrealistic to continue preaching peace and non-violence. This conclusion was not easily arrived at. It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle. I can only say that I felt morally obliged to do what I did.
Nelson Mandela, "An ideal for which I am prepared to die". Mandela made this statement from the dock at the opening of his trial on charges of sabotage, Supreme court of South Africa, Pretoria, April 20 1964
Hempstead Independent School District (ISD) in Texas has confirmed that a middle school principal has been placed on leave after Hispanic students said that she forbid the entire school from speaking Spanish.
A group of students told KHOU that Hempstead Middle School Principal Amy Lacey announced over the intercom on Nov. 12 that they were no longer to use their native language in order to “prevent disruptions.”
It was over two weeks later before the superintendent sent a letter home insisting that “neither the district or any campus has any policy prohibiting the speaking of Spanish.”
But the students said that the effect of the ban had been chilling.
“People don’t want to speak it no more, and they don’t want to get caught speaking it because they’re going to get in trouble,” sixth-grade student Kiara Lozano explained to KHOU.
Some students felt that the principal gave teachers permission to discriminate against them.
“She was like no speaking Spanish,” eighth-grader Yedhany Gallegos recalled. “I was like that’s my first language. She said, well you can get out.”
I grew up in a border town in Texas where almost half of the kids in my class lived in Mexico, & I had multiple grade school teachers who also banned speaking Spanish in the classroom. This discrimination happens all too often in many schools & it just absolutely cripples the student’s ability to learn.
While reading one of their emails, I’ve discovered that Strafor Vice-President Bartholomew Mongoven has some fairly strong feelings about me. In the leaked Wikileaks emails he describes me as “nuts. Like out there.”
Furthermore, he’s concerned that I’m inciting violence when calling for an escalation and nationalization of the anti-extraction movements. (Sorry Bart, as always, I call for a non-violent confrontation of the fossil fuel industry, unlike your bosses in those industries who actually do use violence against people and the planet.)
In another communication, Mongoven calls me “Nuts? Paranoid? Dramatic after reading a blog I’d written commenting on corporate surveillance of my employer. The irony of a private security firm calling me “paranoid” while spying on me at the same time is not lost on me.
Rising Tide & Rainforest Action Network organizer Scott Parkin, "Reflections on the Corporate Security State"
A sheet of talking points for employees of the National Security Agency and Central Security Services, was sent out ahead of Thanksgiving to help guide conversations with family and friends during the holiday season.
Firedoglake obtained a copy of a two-page document that was sent out on November 22. It was clearly put together for rebutting statements about the NSA from news stories on documents disclosed by former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, and it encouraged employees to “share the following points with family members and close friends.”
The “talking points” sheet suggests that employees make five key points: (1) NSA’s mission is of great value to the Nation”; (2) NSA performs its mission the right way—lawful, compliant and in a way that protects civil liberties and privacy; (3) NSA performs its mission exceptionally well. We strive to be the best that we can be, because that’s what America requires as part of its defense in a dangerous world; (4) The people who work for NSA are loyal Americans with expert skills who make sacrifices to help protect the freedoms we all cherish; (5) NSA is committed to increased transparency, public dialog and faithful implementation of any changes required by our overseers. (No emphasis added. Underlines appear in the document.)
Each key point includes sub-points that presumably an employee could additionally cite if a family member disputed their main point.
There’s a message being sent here that black transgender women’s lives have no value. That it’s OK for trans women of color in this country to be in particular danger. That we’ll just have more Lashai McLeans, Tonya Harrells, NaNa Boo Macks, Chloe Alexander Moores, CeCe McDonalds and Islan Nettles.
I’m stating the obvious here, but it needs to be said: This shit is wrong. And until we can get underneath the irrational fear that cis men (yeah, I said it: cis men) have of transgender women; until cis men quit using battery of trans women as an assertion of their own maleness; until they understand that battering, stabbing, shooting at and killing trans women of color will actually result in prison time, this violence isn’t going to stop.
Akiba Solomon, on the murder of Islan Nettles & prosecutors dropping charges against Paris Wilson, the man who beat her to death in Harlem this past August.
Thanks so much for the kind words :)
Tumblr is a great way to share ideas/theories that can be put into action & to connect with others already doing amazing social justice organizing. I’m in NYC, too, & I can suggest a few places you might want to consider to meet other radical folks!
- Free University: This mainly student organization is working against militarization campaigns within the CUNY system as well as fighting for the Morales/Shakur Center right now. Check out their March on the CUNY Machine rally/speak out on Nov. 25 at noon at 42nd & 3rd Ave. Find out what else they’re up to here.
- The NYC Anti-Eviction Network: This organization is just starting up, but it’s going to be a direct-action focused group with a lot of OWS organizers involved. I’ll make sure to post any upcoming news/events with them on our FB.
- Bluestockings: You need to visit you haven’t been already. Not only do they have a great selection of radical literature, zines, etc., they also host weekly bookclubs, speakers & a prison letter writing group!
- The Brecht Forum: Here you can find teach-ins, lectures, book readings, etc. you might be interested in! Richard Wolff frequents the Brecht Forum with his lectures on the economy & workers self-directed enterprises.
- Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NYC: I stumbled upon this place a few months ago when I went to a talk on racial justice post-MLK & how to move forward in light of events like Trayvon Martin’s murder. It’s an international non-profit, but the Harlem location often hosts a number of really good talks.
- DSGN AGNC: I’ve been to a few events recently centered around the commodification of space & how it feeds our current housing injustice crisis & DSGN AGNC has been a part of most of these discussions. It’s an interesting mix of activists & architects who explore politics through art & space.
- 596 Acres: This is an awesome interactive project that maps out various empty lots/private vacant spaces where people can organize to start neighborhood art venues, community gardens, etc. It’s a great way to see what people are currently working on & what the possibilities are for future projects.
These are just a few organizations/spaces I can think of in NYC where you may want to get involved or at least meet people who are organizing here!
People should also feel free to leave links/suggestions in the comments for other places to check out in the city.
(PS tinypancakegirl, I love your icon.)