No more, please…

Mar 8, 2021

International Women’s Day –
Avaaz:  What does it mean to be woman during Covid-19?

A 2 minute inspiring video on the struggle of women for equality. “History tells us that a global crisis can put the concerns of women on the backburner. Let this video show leaders — we won’t let that happen. Not this time. We will fight for gender equality — today, tomorrow, and forever!”  (Related videos also at the link)  Related article: UN International Women’s Day – March 8:  Related article: Globe and Mail – Emma Knight  This International Women’s Day, read a book written by a woman

Globe and Mail – Rinaldo Walcott
The police shouldn’t be involved with mental-health calls

Walcott is a U of T professor who has some pointed stats about crisis interaction with the mentally ill:  “The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recently reported that it restrains Black patients 44 per cent more often than it does white patients, and 22 per cent more often than all others. A CBC investigation found that between 2000 to 2017, there were 461 deadly police interactions, and that 70 per cent of the victims suffered from mental-health issues. And as terrible as these statistics are, things get even worse when police are added to scenarios in which Black Canadians are enduring a mental-health crisis; in that 17-year period, Black people accounted for 37 per cent of the victims.”  Further says the professor, “Police continue to be deployed on mental-health calls when they involve Black, Indigenous and people of colour because it has always been thus: such people are always understood as a possible threat, especially when they are “acting out of the ordinary.”

 Ottawa Citizen – Aaron Doyle and Justin Piché
Eastern Ontario should say no to prison expansion in 2021

The two professors – Doyle from Carleton and Piche from U of Ottawa – have been tireless in speaking out against prison expansion of all kinds but especially building new prisons at the expense of full financing for community support programs for alternatives to prison.   As for a new prison in Eastern Ontario, “Supporters of this plan should ask how history will view expanding a failing system when so many others are demanding we build a world where Indigenous and Black lives matter. This is a time to pick sides and act to fight systemic racism and injustice. It’s time to say no on prison expansion.”   Related article: CTV (London) – Brent Lale  London, Ont. youth detention centre among 26 closed by province  

CBC News (US) – Jason Silverstein
Kentucky bill would make it a crime to insult a police officer

The move by the Kentucky Senate Bill 211 says that you can serve up to three months in jail if one “accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words,” or makes “gestures or other physical contact that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response from the perspective of a reasonable and prudent person.”  The Bill was prompted by civic response and unrest to the police killing of Breana Taylor.  “The ACLU of Kentucky called the legislation “an extreme bill to stifle dissent” and said it would criminalize free speech.”  Related article: – Blogger Jeff Shantz Canadian police have a long record of lying to the public  

ABC News (US) – Jodie Clark
Initiative to provide healthier food options for prison inmates

What a novel idea about to be passed into law! (Maryland Bill 1071)  Food service is inevitably one of the causes for prison riots / disturbances / hunger fasts and now the thinking is about to turn to providing healthy food since the prison system has to spend the money anyway.  Why not spend the money on keeping prisoners healthy and less needful of medical care, returning healthier as well?  “According to advocates for this bill, through research they found that tax payers are paying more for inmates to have hospitals stays, instead of investing in preventative care such as healthier diets. “We’re spending too much and that money needs to go somewhere else to do thing to keep people out of prison,” says (Jo) Saint-George (HBCU Chair of the College of Plant-Based, the organization leading this initiative).”  Perhaps we also need to recognize the genuine medical and psychological care as legitimate expense still rather than robbing Peter to pay Paul.   Related article: The Marshall Project – Beth Schwartzapfel   They’re Going Back to prison.  But They Didn’t Commit New Crimes.

The Harvard Crimson – Emmy M. Cho
Three Prominent Harvard Law Professors Found New Journal Focusing On American Law and Equality

Usually, university law journals are edited and written by law students.  In this case, three professors have founded a new journal – “The American Journal of Law and Equality, a publication committed to investigating equality — and the lack thereof — in American society.”  The professors – Randall L. Kennedy, Martha L. Minow, and Cass R. Sunstein – will begin publishing this summer.  “People knew about various inequities in American life, but it certainly put the spotlight in an especially poignant way on various inequities in our society,” Kennedy said. “You had the pandemic, you had the continuing and highly publicized episodes of police malfeasance, often racist police malfeasance, the reaction to that in the eruption of protests all over the country. And all of this is going on in the shadow of the impending election.”    Related article: – George Yancy   Cornel West: The Whiteness of Harvard and Wall Street Is “Jim Crow, New Style”