Athena is Dead

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For many years, I had a very specific image of those who “cared” about the environment. They were always white and always foreign to me… When I was in the “world of environmentalists,” I always felt uncomfortable. My brownness stood out and none of my interests aligned. With my deep love of cities, I found beauty in the one place they often wished to escape. However, like many of the people I encountered in what seemed like a very niche culture, I, too, had become caught up with the fabricated idea of nature… [that] Nature was not my block in the city or my house in the suburbs.

I had been thoroughly convinced that sunset horizons on large expanses of safari, tall snow-peaked mountains, and boreal forests in northern lands epitomized what qualified as nature worthy of notice. I had wrongly come to believe that to care about nature, I had to feel romantic energy toward these often legislatively conquered, dominated spaces.

Domination and neo-colonialism aside, none of these spaces are inherently bad; they are extraordinary features of our world, worthy of notice and definitely worthy of maintaining. The problem is these spaces live within a hierarchical structure. These dominated spaces are often mostly accessible to those of more means and are seen as more deserving of awe than the overgrown block in the middle of inner-city Baltimore. We have come to be numb to the ecosystems that exist around us. We are numb to the raccoon that makes its way through the trash for food and label it a pest. We are numb to the trail of ants that make their way from the outside, and we set death traps around the perimeters of our home.

We trap ourselves in an idea of nature that all too often divorces us from the nature in our day-to day-lives, a notion that sets up our urban jungles or suburban islands as places devoid of thriving ecosystems… Ultimately, we embody the toxic narratives that leave us blind to the beautiful and magnificent things we should be connecting with every day.

Jasmine Kumalah | A Path To Environmentalism (via america-wakiewakie)

(via america-wakiewakie)

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america-wakiewakie:

Oakland Spent $74 Million Settling 417 Police Brutality Lawsuits | Oakland Police Beat

A Catholic priest who said an officer put him in a chokehold and slammed his head into a glass door. A woman who said she shouldn’t have been handcuffed when officers arrested her.
A father who claimed officers beat him in the hallway outside of his child’s hospital room until his head was bloody. A bank robber who was shot by officers after a high-speed chase. A man whose head was slammed into something so hard that the bones in his face broke.
In each situation the Oakland Police Department was sued. And in each one, the City of Oakland chose to settle out of court rather than take the case to trial.
A review of Oakland City Attorney lawsuit data and hundreds of federal and state court cases has found that since 1990, Oakland has spent $74 million dollars to settle at least 417 lawsuits accusing its police officers of brutality, misconduct and other civil rights violations.


Oakland spends more on civil-rights police lawsuits than nearly any other California law enforcement agency, with multimillion-dollar settlements coming directly out of funds that could go to libraries, police and fire services or road repair.
Supporters of the Oakland Police Department say that high number is a reflection of the city’s willingness to settle at any cost. But Oakland Police Beat’s analysis found that the City of Oakland has successfully defended itself against many lawsuits it considers to be unfounded.
Our investigation found that more than 500 officers were named in those lawsuits. At least 72 of those officers were named in three or more of the suits. Settlement amounts per lawsuits range from $100 to the nearly $11 million paid out following the so-called Riders scandal, where more than 100 plaintiffs accused officers of beating, kidnapping and planting evidence on suspects.
Historically, the number of OPD-related lawsuits filed against the city varies from year to year. But over the last three years the number of cases settled dropped, leaving some — like Oakland civil rights attorney Jim Chanin — cautiously hopeful that long-sought-after reforms are beginning to impact the Oakland Police Department.
(Pictured: An Occupy Oakland protester is arrested in the early morning hours of Thurs, November 3, 2011 in Frank Ogawa Plaza. Lawsuits alleging excessive force by OPD officers during the demonstrations have cost the city more than $6 million in settlements. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage)
(Read Full Text)

america-wakiewakie:

Oakland Spent $74 Million Settling 417 Police Brutality Lawsuits | Oakland Police Beat

A Catholic priest who said an officer put him in a chokehold and slammed his head into a glass door. A woman who said she shouldn’t have been handcuffed when officers arrested her.

A father who claimed officers beat him in the hallway outside of his child’s hospital room until his head was bloody. A bank robber who was shot by officers after a high-speed chase. A man whose head was slammed into something so hard that the bones in his face broke.

In each situation the Oakland Police Department was sued. And in each one, the City of Oakland chose to settle out of court rather than take the case to trial.

A review of Oakland City Attorney lawsuit data and hundreds of federal and state court cases has found that since 1990, Oakland has spent $74 million dollars to settle at least 417 lawsuits accusing its police officers of brutality, misconduct and other civil rights violations.

Oakland spends more on civil-rights police lawsuits than nearly any other California law enforcement agency, with multimillion-dollar settlements coming directly out of funds that could go to libraries, police and fire services or road repair.

Supporters of the Oakland Police Department say that high number is a reflection of the city’s willingness to settle at any cost. But Oakland Police Beat’s analysis found that the City of Oakland has successfully defended itself against many lawsuits it considers to be unfounded.

Our investigation found that more than 500 officers were named in those lawsuits. At least 72 of those officers were named in three or more of the suits. Settlement amounts per lawsuits range from $100 to the nearly $11 million paid out following the so-called Riders scandal, where more than 100 plaintiffs accused officers of beating, kidnapping and planting evidence on suspects.

Historically, the number of OPD-related lawsuits filed against the city varies from year to year. But over the last three years the number of cases settled dropped, leaving some — like Oakland civil rights attorney Jim Chanin — cautiously hopeful that long-sought-after reforms are beginning to impact the Oakland Police Department.

(Pictured: An Occupy Oakland protester is arrested in the early morning hours of Thurs, November 3, 2011 in Frank Ogawa Plaza. Lawsuits alleging excessive force by OPD officers during the demonstrations have cost the city more than $6 million in settlements. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage)

(Read Full Text)

(via america-wakiewakie)

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rtamerica:

Use of excessive force by Albuquerque police ‘pretty disturbing,’ report finds (VIDEO)
Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico have fallen into a pattern of using force more often than necessary which, consequently, caused a number of unjustified fatal shootings by officers in recent years, according to a new federal oversight report.
The US Department of Justice conducted a 16 month review into the police department in the southwestern state and, in the final document published Thursday, recommended a “systematic change.”
Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels addressed Albuquerque Mayor Richard Barry in a 46-page letter, which discussed the circumstances around 20 fatal shootings by the APD between 2009 and 2013. Federal officials determined that in the majority of those cases where police killed citizens, the amount of force was unnecessary because the individual killed did present an immediate threat to anyone around them.

rtamerica:

Use of excessive force by Albuquerque police ‘pretty disturbing,’ report finds (VIDEO)

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico have fallen into a pattern of using force more often than necessary which, consequently, caused a number of unjustified fatal shootings by officers in recent years, according to a new federal oversight report.

The US Department of Justice conducted a 16 month review into the police department in the southwestern state and, in the final document published Thursday, recommended a “systematic change.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels addressed Albuquerque Mayor Richard Barry in a 46-page letter, which discussed the circumstances around 20 fatal shootings by the APD between 2009 and 2013. Federal officials determined that in the majority of those cases where police killed citizens, the amount of force was unnecessary because the individual killed did present an immediate threat to anyone around them.

506 notes

sinidentidades:

Gentrification Report: Black and Latin@ Displacement Is Remaking the Bay Area
A new report from San Francisco-based community advocacy group Causa Justa::Just Cause released a report on how deeply gentrification is reshaping San Francisco and Oakland. In a sweeping report detailing the economic, social and even public health impacts of gentrification, Causa Justa::Just Cause hits back at the narrative of the seeming inevitability about gentrification. Rather, the authors of “Development Without Displacement” argue, gentrification is the outgrowth of public disinvestment in marginalized communities and years of unjust economic development policies.
In 2011, median rental prices in Oakland neighborhoods in late stages of gentrification surpassed rental housing prices in even Oakland’s historically affluent neighborhoods like the Oakland Hills. Between 1990 and 2011, median rental housing prices in San Francisco neighborhoods in the late stages of gentrification increased 40%. What’s more, the rental price increases and housing crisis have fueled the displacement of Black people and Latin@s from both cities.
Between 1990 and 2011, the proportion of Black residents in all Oakland neighborhoods fell by nearly 40%. Perhaps more stunning, Black homeowners were about half of north Oakland’s homeowners in 1990. By 2011, they were just 25% of the neighborhood’s homeowners. In San Francisco’s Mission district, the historically Latin@ neighborhood has lost over 1,000 Latin@ families and seen an influx of 2,900 white households, the report authors write.
“The Mission right now is in chaos with evictions,” Causa Justa member Cecilia Alvarado says in the report. “There is also nowhere to go. The units available are for people who earn $6,000 to $7,000 more than I do per month—not for middle-class or working-class families, which had always been the status of the Mission—families with kids.” Indeed, to longtime residents of the historically Latin@ neighborhood in San Francisco, the Mission is a new and strange place these days. 

The report also includes policy recommendations to slow and reverse gentrification, ranging from housing protections to equitable economic development in all communities. The underlying message is that displacement is a choice not an inevitability. 

sinidentidades:

Gentrification Report: Black and Latin@ Displacement Is Remaking the Bay Area

A new report from San Francisco-based community advocacy group Causa Justa::Just Cause released a report on how deeply gentrification is reshaping San Francisco and Oakland. In a sweeping report detailing the economic, social and even public health impacts of gentrification, Causa Justa::Just Cause hits back at the narrative of the seeming inevitability about gentrification. Rather, the authors of “Development Without Displacement” argue, gentrification is the outgrowth of public disinvestment in marginalized communities and years of unjust economic development policies.

In 2011, median rental prices in Oakland neighborhoods in late stages of gentrification surpassed rental housing prices in even Oakland’s historically affluent neighborhoods like the Oakland Hills. Between 1990 and 2011, median rental housing prices in San Francisco neighborhoods in the late stages of gentrification increased 40%. What’s more, the rental price increases and housing crisis have fueled the displacement of Black people and Latin@s from both cities.

Between 1990 and 2011, the proportion of Black residents in all Oakland neighborhoods fell by nearly 40%. Perhaps more stunning, Black homeowners were about half of north Oakland’s homeowners in 1990. By 2011, they were just 25% of the neighborhood’s homeowners. In San Francisco’s Mission district, the historically Latin@ neighborhood has lost over 1,000 Latin@ families and seen an influx of 2,900 white households, the report authors write.

“The Mission right now is in chaos with evictions,” Causa Justa member Cecilia Alvarado says in the report. “There is also nowhere to go. The units available are for people who earn $6,000 to $7,000 more than I do per month—not for middle-class or working-class families, which had always been the status of the Mission—families with kids.” Indeed, to longtime residents of the historically Latin@ neighborhood in San Francisco, the Mission is a new and strange place these days. 

The report also includes policy recommendations to slow and reverse gentrification, ranging from housing protections to equitable economic development in all communities. The underlying message is that displacement is a choice not an inevitability. 

(via punkpedagogy)