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Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is denying Texas prisoners the ability to send or receive mail in light of Tropical Storm Harvey. Although Houston is a major mail hub for Texas, this does not explain why prisoners in areas of the state unaffected by the flooding – for example, Clements Unit in Amarillo – would be denied access to mail. In a press release, TDCJ stated that five Texas prisons have been evacuated.
I am recovering from a huge blow – my computer was taken along with other personal irreplaceable items. We stopped by Loon Point to visit the shore before driving back to the San Francisco Bay Area Jan. 30. It was early, we’d just finished our first session of the Winter Quarter. We left our luggage in view in our cohort’s car. In Oakland, we’d not have done that, but somehow the seashore, mountains and quiet terrain deceptively seduced us.
Tracy Rosenberg is the executive director of Media Alliance, an action and resource organization in Oakland advocating just, accountable and diverse media. She has been a listener representative on the KPFA Local Station Board since 2007 and a member of the Pacifica National Board of Directors since 2010. We asked her to comment on the situation from her perch as an insider. Here’s what we talked about.
Pacifica invented public radio; since the beginning, Pacifica stations have been sponsored by listeners, with no corporate sponsorship or underwriting and thus no censorship. But the network faces many dire issues that its listeners need to know and that WBAI programmer Don Debar can knowledgeably talk about. Check out what Pacifica has not been telling its listener supporters ...
On Jan. 31 CITGO Petroleum Corp. President and CEO Alejandro Granado and Citizens Energy Corp. Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II launched the eighth annual CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program with the first heating oil delivery of this winter’s initiative. The program has become a humanitarian symbol of unity between the people of Venezuela and those in need in the United States.
On Jan. 9, MASSIVE demonstrations throughout Haiti supported former President Aristide after he was summoned to court on frivolous charges seen as political persecution. People say that putting Aristide on trial is the same as putting the Haitian masses on trial and that the charges are meant to divert attention from the third earthquake anniversary and the theft of billions in aid. Speak out against the Red Cross for building a luxury hotel with aid funds. Rally Friday, Jan. 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m., outside Red Cross headquarters, 3901 Broadway, near MacArthur BART, Oakland.
Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating in Haiti for months. Three years after the earthquake, despite billions donated by a generous public, hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling to survive in tent cities, surrounded by rubble. They are still without clean water or food security or income, still fighting the cholera imported by U.N. troops.
In what is clearly a continuation of the Feb. 29, 2004, U.S. instigated coup d’etat against Haiti, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been called before Martelly’s handpicked government prosecutor Lucmane Delile in what is widely believed to be an attempt by Martelly, the U.S. and France to wage a campaign of political persecution against Aristide, Fanmi Lavalas, and the democratic process and progress in Haiti.
Haitian President Michel Martelly has managed to inspire popular opposition to his regime almost since his election in May 2011. Martelly, who came to office in a grossly unrepresentative process which excluded Lavalas, the country’s most popular party, has been closely linked with figures around former dictator Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
Welcome to the climate crisis. There’s nothing abstract about it. It isn’t some apocalypse decades away or an event that comes down like one big hurricane to wipe us all out. It’s Hurricane Sandy. It’s all the economic, political and social conditions that were already in place. And it’s the opportunity for forces of profit and repression to push their agenda forward in the aftermath. But guess what: The climate justice movement isn’t so abstract either. This is it. It’s dedicated organizers recognizing how their work can be aligned across issues. It’s relief providers and hard-working volunteers transforming into activists and community leaders.
The situation in public housing projects in Coney Island, Brooklyn remains a “humanitarian crisis” in which the government and the Red Cross have been nearly completely absent, according to Eric Moed, a volunteer aid worker with Occupy Sandy. The projects in Coney Island remain without power and often without water and necessities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Ask anyone living in Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens or Park Slope earlier this week, and they would tell you that they have power, hot water and wi-fi. In fact, most of the $1 million-plus townhouses and local businesses in Brooklyn’s wealthier neighborhoods never lost any basic necessities, even during the worst of the storm. But the Gowanus Houses, a low-income public housing complex owned and operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which falls almost at the intersection of those three neighborhoods, is an exception.
Sandy wreaked havoc in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. More than 60 people have been killed in those neighboring countries. Haiti has lost her crops. Over 200,000 are left homeless with far fewer resources than New York City to rescue and restore what was lost.
From Philly to New Jersey, from the South Bronx to Haiti, us po’ folks don’t need Hurricane Sandy to have a crisis, ‘cause we already in Hurricane Survival. Between gentriFUKation, removal, violence, poverty and struggle just to be housed and clothed and fed and safe, the crisis called Sandy is just one more thing to deal with in an already impossible situation.