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Fri Mar 23 2018 (Updated 04/01/18)
March For Our Lives
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives took to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that gun violence comes to an end. Northern California is marched in solidarity. The national mission statement declared: March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.
Black people, especially women, are more likely to have been unarmed when killed by police than non-blacks, according to a new study of nationwide data. This risk also appears to increase in police departments with a greater presence of non-white officers, report the researchers. A key finding of the study is that nearly 60 percent of black women killed by police were unarmed at the time of the interaction.  While the odds of being killed by police when unarmed were about the same for black and white males, the high percentage of unarmed black women killed by police significantly increased the overall odds for unarmed blacks.
On March 8, protesters gathered in front of Visa headquarters in Foster City. They called on the credit card company to block sales of assault weapons. Shortly after they delivered 150,000 signatures on a petition to company representatives, VISA issued a statement to the press saying “We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods and services." Protestors returned to renew their demands one week later.
On February 5, writer and scholar Adolph Reed, Jr. gave a public lecture on Black Politics in New Orleans and Beyond to close out Sites of Resistance: An Exhibit Exploring the Geographies + Histories of Social Change in New Orleans. Reed's work on American politics is notable for its critique of identity politics and antiracism, particularly of their role in Black politics. A native New Orleanian, his career has included more than seven books, countless articles and regular columns in magazines like the Nation, the Progressive, and the Village Voice.
After a decline during the Great Recession, bottled water sales are back and bigger than ever — even eclipsing soda sales for the first time in 2016. But people buying bottled water might not be aware that it’s nearly 2,000 times more expensive than tap water and four times more expensive than regular-grade gasoline. In its latest report on the impacts of the bottled water industry, Food & Water Watch looks at the industry’s predatory marketing, the extraction of communities’ water resources, and the powerhouse lobbying of bottled water corporations.
Bob M writes: In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, the high school students at that school and across the country are calling for a walkout on March 24 and again on April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting in 1999. The students are calling for national leaders to listen to them, but as of yet they do not have demands other than getting AR-15s "out of the hands of people who should not have them." Many radicals still hold strong to the important point that de-arming must start with the cops and military, and not take away self-defense from oppressed communities.
The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty released a report, Tent City USA: The Growth of America’s Homeless Encampments and How Communities are Responding, reviewing the rapid growth of homeless people living in tents across the United States over the past decade, as measured by documentation in media reports. Research showed a 1,342 percent increase in homeless encampments reported between 2007 and 2017, with at least one encampment reported in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. As encampments become increasingly common, local governments have enacted laws to prohibit living in tents.
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