Breast cancer survivor handcuffed and thrown in jail over a mistaken $280 medical bill as ‘debtor’s prisons’ return to the U.S
How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn’t pay a medical bill — one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn’t owe.
“She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn’t have to pay it,” The Associated Press reports. “But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs.”
Although the U.S. abolished debtors’ prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don’t pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans. In parts of Illinois, debt collectors commonly use publicly funded courts, sheriff’s deputies, and country jails to pressure people who owe even small amounts to pay up, according to the AP.
A 2010 report by the American Civil Liberties Union that focused on only five states — Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington — found that people were being jailed at “increasingly alarming rates” over legal debts. Cases ranged from a woman who was arrested four separate times for failing to pay $251 in fines and court costs related to a fourth-degree misdemeanor conviction, to a mentally ill juvenile jailed by a judge over a previous conviction for stealing school supplies.
The Return of Debtors’ Prisons: THOUSANDS of Americans Jailed For Not Paying Bills (via ThinkProgress.org)
Whenever I see blog posts talking about how much women/nonwhite people are oppressed in America I laugh.
You are not oppressed, not really. Sure, not everything is perfectly equal, but we’re a lot better than 50-100 years ago, and I think that a lot of Tumblr Justice fucktards should put that in perspective.
So, I’d like you imagine an oppressive totalitarian state. You know, evil empire, stormtroopers, etc. Hitler by way of Kafka kind of thing.
Imagine in this state, there are a brutal secret police force empowered by the regime to basically do what the fuck ever they want. They can torture. They can murder. They can rape. They can stop and detain people at any time for any or no reason. They can suspend the basic protection of law. If they assault or kill someone during these stops, they are not answerable to the law as an ordinary citizen is.
This totalitarian police force will shoot unarmed school children in the back. They will unleash noxious chemical agents in the halls of a school. They will cover up the murder of a child by a political ally and informer. They will chase a child into his house and shoot him in front of his family. They will assault a twelve-year-old girl and then come to her school to arrest her later because she fought back. They will break into a house and shoot a little girl as she lies napping in her living room. They will shoot someone twenty-eight times and then charge them with attempted murder. They will shoot unarmed bystanders and then justify it by saying that someone in the crowd had a gun, whether it was true or not. They’ll torture and kill a chronically ill military veteran who annoys them by accidentally calling for help in the middle of the night, they’ll do it laughing and shouting insults.
They will go so far as to hog tie a man and torture him to death in front of his children, drowning him with a garden hose in response to his plea for water.
They fabricate evidence, fabricate crimes, cover-up their own crimes and those of their friends and supporters. Rarely are they forced to answer for their atrocities. Instead, the worst among them are praised for being “tough” and “getting the job done.” Their job, of course, is not to serve nor protect the citizens of this hypothetical state, but to keep them in line… to keep them scared, to keep them quiet, to keep them in their place.
Would you agree that the people living under this purely hypothetical regime are oppressed? I mean, that to me all sounds like textbook oppression. If anything, it sounds a bit over-the-top, right?
But of course, it’s not hypothetical. I’m talking about the United States of America. None of the examples I gave above are hypothetical. Most of them happened in the last 40 days. They all happened to people of color, most of them Black.
What do you want to call that, if not oppression?
what is this?
AE pwning silly heauxs again?
YES IT IS
IT’S SUPER:AE AND HER COMIC IS COMING SOON TO A COMIC STORE NEAR U
commentary is giving me chills
A year ago this month, Jordan Miles, an 18-year-old music student at Pittsburgh’s Creative and Performing Arts High School, was walking to his grandmother’s home in the city’s Homewood neighborhood when three undercover police officers in an unmarked white car decided he looked “suspicious.” Officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte, and David Sisak, all white, would later say in police reports that Miles, who is black, seemed to be “sneaking around” and had a bulky object protruding from his coat that appeared to be a gun. It turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew—which, curiously, was never taken into evidence…
The three officers severely beat the unarmed viola player, who is five feet, five inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. They hit him with multiple punches to the face and a knee to the head. They also tore off a large clump of his hair… . Once he was out of the hospital, Miles, an honors student with no prior criminal record, was arrested and charged with loitering, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest. The police claimed that earlier in the evening they had spoken with Monica Wooding, who lives in the neighborhood, and were responding to her complaint that Miles was loitering on her property without her permission. But Wooding later testified that she made no such complaint. In fact, she testified that she has known Miles, a friend of her son, for years…
Under its charter, Pittsburgh’s Citizen Police Review Board is not allowed to look into the incident until all criminal investigations are completed. So while it took just a few hours to falsely charge Jordan Miles with assaulting three police officers, more than a year later federal and local officials still can’t decide whether the officers who beat him should be charged, removed from the force, or, as the local police union recommends, praised for their heroism.—
A Beating In Pittsburgh (1/24/2011)
You want a verdict? Fuck this whole goddamned system.
Breaking: NYPD fatally shoots 18 year old in the bathroom of his home in front of 6-year-old brother.
Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said the shooting happened following a struggle with the suspect. He said an officer from the Special Narcotics Unit fired one time, striking 18-year-old Rahmarley Graham in the chest.
The shooting happened around 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon in the bathroom of the apartment house where Graham lived with his mother and grandmother.
The suspect’s mother also said that the teen’s grandmother and 6-year-old brother were inside the house at the time of the shooting.
“In the bathroom they shot him. My 6-year-old son was there and saw everything,” Malcolm said. “I’m going to get justice.”
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the details.
Update: The NYPD has admitted that there was no struggle and the police were undercover and in plain clothes.
It’s not clear whether the officers identified themselves before pursuing Rahmarley Graham.
This marks the third young black man killed by the NYPD in last week.
more literature from occupy oakland
some observations on the occupation movement and its implementation in oscar grant plaza by some of those involved
Occupation is nothing new. The land we stand on is already occupied territory. The United States was founded upon the extermination or indigenous peoples and the colonization of their land, not to mention centuries of slavery and exploitation. Oakland itself has been constructed on stolen Ohlone land. This process of colonization continues today through gentrification, aiming to further displace communities of color from their own neighborhoods.
For a counter-occupation to be meaningful, it has to take this history into account. Furthermore, it should embrace the history of resistance in Oakland extending from the 1946 general strike, the Black Panther Party, the militancy of the ILWU, student occupations, and the current struggles against foreclosure and austerity.
The 99% is not one social body, but many. Certain occupations in other parts of the country have presented a narrative in which the “99%” is characterized as a homogenous mass. The faces intended to represent “ordinary people” are often the same predominantly white, law-abiding middle-class citizens we’re used to seeing on television programs - even though such people make up a minority of the general population. It’s a mistake to whitewash over our diversity. Not everyone is juts now waking up to the injustices of capitalism; many have been targeted by the power structure for generations. Middle-class workers who are just now losing their social standing can learn a lot from those who have been on the receiving end of injustice for much longer.
Making demands towards maintaining class privilege - no matter your social standing - will not be able to solve the current crisis. The idea of redistributing wealth must not only be directed towards the “1%” but to all of us as well.
The problem isn’t just a few “bad apples.” The crisis is not the result of the selfishness of a few investment bankers; it is the inevitable consequence of an economic system that rewards cutthroat competition at every level of society. Capitalism is not a static way of life but a dynamic process that consumes everything, transforming the living, breathing world into objects and profit. Now that the economy has consumed every aspect of life, the system is collapsing, leaving even some of its former beneficiaries out in the cold. The answer is not to revert to some earlier stage of capitalism, such as the economic boom of the post-war years; not only is that impossible, those earlier stages didn’t benefit the “99%” either. To get out of this mess, we’ll have to rediscover other ways of relating to each other and the world around us.
Police can’t be trusted. They may be “workers,” but their job is to protect the interests if the ruling class.As long as they remain employed as police, we can’t count on them, however friendly they might act. Any confusion over where their allegiances lie will dissolve as soon as we pose a real threat to the imbalances of wealth and power our society is based on. These things have been self-evident for those of us who have lived without the privileges that wealth and the “right” skin color can afford. In order for the occupation movement to be relevant in Oakland it must take a position against cooperation with the police.
Don’t assume those who break the low or confront the police are “outside agitators.” A lot of people have good reason to be angry. Not everyone is resigned to legalistic pacifism; for some people self-defense is a necessary part of their everyday life. Police violence isn’t just meant to provoke us, it’s meant to hurt and scare us into inaction. In this context, resistance is crucial.
Assuming that those at the front of clashes with the authorities are somehow trying to instigate a violent situation is not only illogical - it delegitimizes the spirit it takes to challenge the status quo, and dismisses the courage of those who are prepared to do so. We all experience the effects of power differently under capitalism, and the ways in which we struggle against it will reflect that. The goal should not be to compel everyone to adopt one set of tactics, but to discover how different approaches can be mutually beneficial.
No government - that is to say, no centralized power - will ever willingly put the needs of the common people before the needs of the powerful. The center of gravity in this movement has to be our freedom and autonomy, and the solidarity that can sustain them - not the desire for an “accountable” government. That means the important thing is not to make demands upon out rulers, but to build up the power necessary to realize those demands ourselves. we shouldn’t invest in new leaders with new types of authority, we should find ways to defend and extend our own freedom, while abolishing the inequalities that have been forced on us.
The occupations will thrive on the actions we take. We’re not just here to “speak truth to power” - when we only speak, the powerful turn a deaf ear to us. Let’s make space for autonomous initiatives and organize direct action that confronts the source of social inequalities and injustices. An occupation of public space is not an effective political act in and of itself, it must move beyond this to become a staging grounds for actions that disrupt business as usual, and it’s up to all of us to take the initiative to see this through.
Occupy. Block. Strike. Take Over.
See you on the streets!
-The Oakland Commune
A Protester’s Account of the Occupy Wall Street Brooklyn Bridge March
I figured I should write down what happened today, before I forget or before too many stories get muddled together.
My friend, my partner, and I arrived at Zucotti Park around 3 for the march, which began quickly, after everyone shared various rules. (No violence, write the phone number for legal council on yr arm, etc, etc)
We marched through lower Manhattan, and no route was specified, but we were told to not pass the head of the crowd, which was carrying a banner. Cops stood by and kept us on the sidewalk.
Then I noticed we were approaching the Brooklyn Bridge.
Cops were ushering people onto the bridge, but as I noticed we were walking into the roadway, I started to get scared. We climbed over the fence onto the pedestrian bridge. The first half of the crowd continued on the road, while the second half continued on the pedestrian bridge. Cops were flanking both sides of the entrance to the bridge and there was no way to turn back. As we walked up the elevated pedestrian bridge, we heard cops call for backup and they drove 2 police vans backwards up the bridge to where the protesters were. They stopped traffic and then brought vans in from the other side as well and trapped the protesters.
We watched from above as people began climbing the cords and metal of the bridge to escape the cops. People on the pedestrian bridge were trying to pull people up out of the roadway.
We continued forward into Brooklyn as the cops brought a net onto the bridge from the Manhattan side.
By the time we gathered into the park in Brooklyn, only a few hundred of us were left.
Cops began surrounding the park, and we all disbanded.
One of my friends was in the area where cops had people corralled. According to her Facebook updates and tweets, and other updates from trapped protesters, a child was arrested, and busses were brought in to arrest every single person. All of the men were taken first, and then all of the women.
They were told they were being arrested for disorderly conduct.
The police led them there and trapped them.
Please reblog this. People need to know what happened, and cops need to be held accountable for their actions.
A 14-year-old boy got into a fight at a school bus stop and the school district’s police officer responded by shooting him to death
SAN ANTONIO (CN) - A 14-year-old boy got into a fight at a school bus stop and the school district’s police officer responded by shooting him to death, the boy’s mother says. She says the cop had been reprimanded 16 times in the previous 4 years, suspended without pay 5 times, and “recommended for termination for insubordination,” but the school kept him on the force “without remedial training.”
Denys Lopez Moreno sued the Northside Independent School District, of San Antonio, the district’s Chief of Police John Page and the alleged shooter, Daniel Alvarado, in Federal Court.
Lopez says her son, Derek, got into a fight with another boy at a school bus stop and punched the other boy once, in November 2010.
“Defendant, Alvarado, having responded to a call regarding a bus with a flat tire, witnessed Derek strike the other boy. He ordered Derek to ‘freeze.’ Derek hesitated and then ran from defendant Alvarado,” according to the complaint.
“In his patrol car, Alvarado began chasing Derek in the neighborhood across the street from the high school. Alvarado lost sight of the boy in the neighborhood and returned to the location of the school boy fight. At that time, he called dispatch. Dispatch recordings reflect that his supervisor directed Alvarado to stay with the other boy and to ‘not do any big search over there.’
“Ignoring his supervisor’s orders to ‘stay with the victim and get the information from him,’ Alvarado placed the second boy into the patrol car and sped into the neighborhood to search for Derek.”
Lopez says her son jumped over a fence and hid in a shed in the back yard of a house. The homeowner saw him, called 911, and alerted a neighbor, who pointed Alvarado in Derek’s direction. Lopez says her son never left the shed, never approached the house or threatened the homeowner or her daughters, and posed no threat to anyone.
Nonetheless, she says: “In violation of NISD police department procedures, Alvarado drew his weapon immediately after exiting the patrol car. With his gun drawn, he rushed through the gate and into the back yard. Within seconds from arriving at the residence, Alvarado shot and killed the unarmed boy hiding in the shed.”
What the fuck?
BART spokesperson Linton Johnson defending the decision to block cell phone service in subway stations. (via drzzl)
There is a thin line between protection and domination. -Allcity