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In the South Carolina prison system, accessing Facebook is an offense on par with murder, rape, rioting, escape and hostage-taking. Back in 2012, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) made “Creating and/or Assisting With a Social Networking Site” a Level 1 offense, a category reserved for the most violent violations of prison conduct policies. It’s one of the most common Level 1 offense charges brought against inmates.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Americans of Spanish and Mexican descent remained concentrated in what had been the Spanish and Mexican colonial territories in the southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and California. During the Spanish and Mexican colonial regimes, these territorial possessions were only sparsely populated with missionaries, soldiers, a few ranchers and farmers, and very few persons of commerce and trade.
Juan Parras explains: “Today is the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12898 to address Environmental Justice in ‘Minority’ and Low Income Populations, issued by President Clinton. We came to Denver to celebrate our successes but, more importantly, we came because the work is far from done.” Mr. Parras and others are attending the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) meeting in Denver this week.
Solitary confinement does little or nothing to promote public safety or prison safety. It is not only harmful but unnecessary and incredibly costly. Violence levels plummeted by 70 percent of previous levels when the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections reduced the number of prisoners held in solitary confinement by 85 percent.
A bill opposing the shackling of pregnant prisoners, AB 2530, passed unanimously by the California State Legislature, is now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, with 30 days to either approve or veto it. Last year, a previous version of this bill was also passed unanimously by the legislature, but it was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Brown. AB 2530 supporters have created two webpages for the public to contact the governor.
On May 22, brave prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison began a hunger strike. A recently released prisoner discusses torture at Red Onion: “having your fingers broken, being bitten by dogs, being strapped to beds for days, being forced to defecate on yourself – I mean all of this has led to these men demanding to be treated as human beings.”
Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human will be leaving from unspecified ports in the Mediterranean in late June to break the siege on Gaza carrying about a thousand journalists, teachers, students, attorneys, human rights activists, members of parliament and others from 22 countries.
Over the past 10 years, any KPFA manager who attempted anything that did not meet the approval of a small core group of staff members – the foxes in the henhouse – met with so much hostility and non-cooperation that the job became nearly impossible to do.
Although on a very small scale (which by no means diminishes the deed), we, the people, have wrought a revolution – “a sudden and momentous change in a situation” – and accomplished in 12 days what the powers that be have repeatedly told us would never happen.
Three prisoners sentenced to death for their leadership of the 1993 Lucasville rebellion, now at Ohio State Penitentiary, have been on hunger strike since Jan. 3. An Open Letter that will be presented to prison officials at tomorrow's rally has collected more than 500 signatures from Ohio, many other states and all across the globe, among them many prominent citizens. Buses are bringing supporters from far and wide to the rally.
As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, America's first African America labor union, let us not forget that African American rail workers were instrumental in organizing not only the sleeping and chair car porters, but the dining car workers as well.
Childbirth is a painful and difficult experience for most women, but Toya Murray says for her, it was torture. Like many other incarcerated women across New York state, she was shackled immediately before and after giving birth. “When it was due for me to have my baby, they shackled my hands and feet when I went into labor to go to the hospital,” Murray said.