Archive for the 'justice' Category

At the Returning Citizens Forum

D.C. Mayoral Candidates Make Cases at Returning Citizens’ Forum

While there are 60,000 returning citizens in D.C. who have pressing concerns and are politically motivated, only three of the eight mayoral candidates showed up at a recent candidates’ forum to hear and address those concerns.

D.C. Council members Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Vincent Orange (D-At Large) joined District entrepreneur Andy Shallal as the Democratic mayoral candidates who participated in the Returning Citizens United forum at the Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church in Northeast on Friday.

Considering that the vast majority of returning citizens are black, it really stinks that only one of the three black candidates, Vincent Orange, could be bothered to show up. Considering how lop sided the arrests are for drug offenses, it really shows what a failure the current leadership is. Shame on Muriel Bowser and Mayor Gray for not even showing up. Shame on them.

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Paul Zuckerberg

Washington City Paper

Zukerberg has staked his campaign on one main issue: decriminalizing marijuana. (A large share of Zukerberg’s legal practice is representing accused pot smokers.) The Wilson Building has been in no rush to even ponder relaxing the laws on pot, and no one’s talked much about it in other recent local races. Decriminalization is different than legalization; Zukerberg says the city should assess civil fines to people caught with small amounts of pot, not criminal penalties. He says the only reason the idea hasn’t gotten much attention is because D.C. politicians are afraid to talk about the toll unfair drug laws have on District residents.

“It’s the largest civil rights issue we have in the District of Columbia,” Zukerberg says during a recent interview. He cites statistics showing that D.C. leads the country in per capita marijuana arrests and the fact that black residents are eight times more likely to be arrested for lighting up than white residents. “We’re saddling a lot of African Americans, mostly young black males, with criminal records.”

I don’t know if I will vote for Zuckerberg or not. I will certainly not vote for any incumbent. And Zuckerberg is certainly correct about the racist nature of our current enforcement of drug laws.

Globalizing Torture

CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition

More than 10 years after the 2001 attacks, Globalizing Torture makes it unequivocally clear that the time has come for the United States and its partners to definitively repudiate these illegal practices and secure accountability for the associated human rights abuses.

The hideous David Catania

Jonetta Rose Barras

D.C. Councilman David Catania is right: More parents should be pushed to get their children to school. It’s hard to dispute the fact that a child who is not in the classroom can’t receive any academic benefits. Still, his recently introduced legislative proposal, which would impose a series of sanctions — from written warnings to jail time or a $100 fine — on parents whose children have 10 or more unexcused absences, is no panacea for poor test scores and low graduation rates. In fact, his approach appears to ignore the reality of life in some low-income communities where truancy is highest.

Catania has spent his entire sorry career beating up on poor people that I would normally assume that this is more of the same. But I do wonder if his employer’s interests don’t include for profit prisons that are looking for additional inmates.

DC is using this

Pre-crime isn’t just science fiction anymore

Jobs not Jails

The following flier was given to me the other day:

Jobs Not Jails Coalition Community Forum

There will be a discussion and educational forum the DC Jail, CTF, and Hope Valley halfway house. Come and speak-out about your experiences, and learn about those of others! In addition to YOUR voices the panel will include William Ridley, former Director of the Department of Corrections, Rev. Kelly Wilkins, Covenant Baptist Church, Willie “Rabbit” Williams, advocate for Returning Citizens, Doshen Martin El, social justice advocate, Phillip Fornacci, DC Prisoners Project, Moderated by Debra Rowe, Returning Citizens United.

Community Forum

July 26, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Benning Road Library, 3935 Benning Road, NE

(Blue Line to Benning Road Station)

Sponsored by : Jobs Not Jails Coaltion

for more information: jobsnotjails@gmail.com

War is not inevitable


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