Archive | August 3, 2013

Dream Defenders Score Victory against ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

Dream Defenders Score Victory against ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

‘Stand Your Ground’ allows people in fear of serious injury to use deadly force to defend themselves rather than retreat.  Present in 20 other states besides Florida, nearly four-in-five killings of black people where ‘Stand Your Ground’ has been invoked resulted in the killer being freed.

When most so-called activists have been waiting for something to happen beyond the protests for jobs in a country that is effectively under martial law, the Zimmerman-Martin case was not a part of the equation.

George Zimmerman’s acquittal on July 13, left Martin’s grieving parents, backed by African-American civic leaders, celebrities, students and political figures, including Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rev. Jesse Jackson, MSNBC’s Politics Nation host Rev. Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte calling for a review of the laws.

Stevie Wonder announced that he would never perform in a state that upheld the ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws that led to the murder of Trayvon Martin, but most black artists valued a career not in their hands than the long battle for the average African American, a battle that has led to an upsurge of race-based violence by African-Americans and white Americans!

A group of student revolutionaries known as the Dream Defenders have occupied Florida’s Capitol building for the sixteenth day, refusing to leave until Gov. Rick Scott re-evaluates the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws according to USA today.

On July 18, the Dream Defenders met with Gov. Scott and demanded that he convene a special committee to re-evaluate the “Stand your Ground” law.

Scott refused!

With the help of Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Dream Defenders held a mock session of the Florida Legislature they discussed the proposal “Trayvon’s Law:

  • ethics training to reduce racial profiling by law enforcement
  • The repeal of the “Stand your Ground” law
  • The repeal of zero-tolerance in schools — which fuels a “school to prison” pipeline by expelling students for minor infractions

Will Weatherford, the speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives announced that Florida lawmakers will hold hearings this fall on the state’s “Stand Your Ground” Florida’s representatives have been inundated with calls, letters, visits and emails from constituents with diverse opinions, but Phillip Agnew, executive director of the Dream Defenders acknowledges this as a critical first step.

Jonel Edwards, a recent political science graduate and former president of the Dream Defenders chapter at the University of Florida, has spent every night but one inside the Capitol.

“Honestly, I came here thinking I was going to be here for one day,” she says, “and now it’s day 16. So I’m in it until we win.”

From their website:

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.

A dream you dream together is reality.” – John Lennon

 

Sources*

“Florida lawmakers to revisit ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws after Zimmerman protests” rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/02/florida-lawmakers-to-revisit-stand-your-ground-laws-after-zimmerman-protests/

Savali K. Dream Defenders Score Victory: Florida Lawmakers to Review ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws http://newsone.com/2653371/dream-defenders/

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Sweden: The Sámi Block Road Against Proposed Mine

Sweden: The Sámi Block Road Against Proposed

In Gállok, Kallak, west of Jokkmokk there is now a struggle going on to save a beautiful wilderness area from becoming an iron mine. There is a mining boom in Sweden now and it’s part of a long history of colonialism. Saamis whose land has been stolen have been joined by all kinds of people in the struggle for the future!
As stated by the blockade, there are many reasons to resist against an iron mine in Gállok.

  • Solidarity with a people that have, for centuries, been oppressed and colonized by the state. Law and regulations have for a long long time been bad for people living close to nature.
  • Defend the landscape, the animals, beings and the future! Gállok is a very beautiful place, with cloudberries, blueberries, reindeer and the small lake Gállokjávrre which is full of fish and so clean we drink the water from it. It’s surrounded by swamps and an old-growth forest with many of the species extinct in other places.

There is local resistance to the mine in Gállok, which is good so the resistance can be durable.

  • Exploitation of the country side. Civilization and economies have clearcut forests, built dams in the rivers and when nothing is left to live from the mining industry comes like “saviors”. They offer work opportunities that only lasts a couple of years and sacrifices the last sustainable livelihoods before they leave an even more devastated landscape behind. + mines always releases toxins in the water and air.

The Mining industry creates conflicts in the local communities. People that used to be friends get divided by differing opinions about the mines.

A mine in Gállok does not only afflict the closeby area but also risks Luleå river. There is a risk for damfailure and that the water quality decreases. A big wastewater dam is planned in the forest and in the lake GállokJávvre, where poisonous waste water would be stored for eternity. That no waste water would ever leak is only a dream.

Source*

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