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by Kevin Gosztola
During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House spokesperson Jay Carney mechanically repeated a line when asked about the Justice Department’s seizure of the Associated Press’ phone records, suggesting President Barack Obama supports a “balance” between freedom of the press and national security.
“The president feels strongly that we need a—the press to be able to be unfettered in its pursuit of investigative journalism, and you saw, when he was a senator, the president co-sponsor legislation that would have provided further protections for journalists in this regard,” Carney said. “And he is also mindful of the need for secret and classified information to remain secret and classified in order to protect our national security interests. So there are — there is a careful balance here that must be attained.”
by Jamilah King
Assata Shakur has been given many names over the past four decades. Her political allies in the 1970s struggle for black liberation knew her as a comrade and freedom fighter. Ever since her escape from a New Jersey prison and exile in Cuba, she’s become an icon to many on the radical left. Some, mostly critics, still call her by her birth name, Joanna Chesimard. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a new name for her: terrorist.
On April 17th, as audience members and consultant Dr. Al Kalmanoff talked about criminal justice in Champaign County and the needs assessment Kalmanoff's ILPP is carrying out, ...
Chris drew out this beautiful summary of the meeting on the fly, on page by easel page:
by Glenn Greenwald
There's not much to say about Monday's Boston Marathon attack because there is virtually no known evidence regarding who did it or why. There are, however, several points to be made about some of the widespread reactions to this incident. Much of that reaction is all-too-familiar and quite revealing in important ways:
Immigration. Yes. Chicago Youth Violence. Yes. Education. Yes.
On this spoken word project titled ILL POETS SOCIETY, six (6) poets from across the great state of Illinois were brought together to expound on the modern day issues facing America. The crown jewel of this project is a spoken word piece titled "Chi City Youth" by Jazmine McKinney. From the outset, she captivates audiences with her wordplay as she expresses the grief in her soul for her family, friends and community. To download the album for free, visit www.TheShow1045.com.
The film is available for checkout at local public libraries and cultural centers within the Champaign-Urbana community. This project was funded by SORF and supported in part by a City of Urbana Arts Grant.
Democracy Now! reports this morning:
by Terry Franklin
Dr. Michelle Alexander has won the 2013 Stowe Prize for her book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”
The Award is for “writing that advances social justice.” It is named for Harriet Beecher Stowe, the 19th Century author who wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in response to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, an oppressive federal imposition on freedom supporting states, with obvious parallels to the present.
Alexander’s book has galvanized the African American community on the issue of drug policy reform.
Try to remain calm -- even as you begin to feel your chest tighten and your heart race. Try not to panic as water starts flowing into your nose and mouth, while you attempt to constrict your throat and slow your breathing and keep some air in your lungs and fight that growing feeling of suffocation. Try not to think about dying, because there’s nothing you can do about it, because you’re tied down, because someone is pouring that water over your face, forcing it into you, drowning you slowly and deliberately. You’re helpless. You’re in agony.
“I wouldn’t want to end up like Bradley Manning.” Those words were the beginning of an outpouring this week by an associate of mine who claimed to have experienced government and corporate corruption that many only read about in alternative media reports. I sat for hours listening to stories of unbridled corruption on the taxpayer’s dime, conspiratorial advances of arms industries into consumer markets, sexually predatory behaviors deemed an acceptable part of institutional culture, and a resulting pessimistic world perspective that would make a seasoned peace activist cringe.
With stricken budgets, many states have been cutting prison populations. But vested interests are resisting prison closures
by Sadhbh Walshe
The US department of justice released a report this week (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/2012/ojppr121712_2.pdf) showing that 26 states have recorded decreases in their prison populations during 2011. California boasted the biggest decline of over 15,000 prisoners and several other states including New York and Michigan reported drops of around 1,000 prisoners each. This is the third consecutive year that the population has declined, and as a result, at least six states have closed or are attempting to close approximately 20 prisons.