27
April , 2017
Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) condemned the governor’s decision ...
(Letters to Editors) The former art director for www.Maxim.com and contributing editor for Playboy’s www.thesmokingjacket.com Artist ...
More than 200 women from around the country will prepare for bold, faith-based ...
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Monday regarding the conclusion ...
Cost Should Not be a Factor     Washington DC - The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a ...
“It’s time for new leadership in Washington – time to clean House of do-nothing legislators; those who are ...
Brooklyn, NY (BlackNews.com) -- The World Academy For Total Community Health High School and Concerned ...
  Nationwide (BlackNews.com) - Federal government research has confirmed that African American women are the ...
“Sunshine-on-TIFs” will also shine a light on the state’s 1,000 TIF Districts. Dolton, IL – State Representative David Miller, nominee ...
Mission Unstoppable: Extraordinary Stories of Failure's Blessings Cleveland, OH (BlackNews.com) -- Mission Unstoppable: Extraordinary ...

Archive for the ‘Letters to Editors’ Category

Known Thieves, Who Outright Stole and then Secretly Sold Afro-American Family’s Property Three Years Ago, Yet To Be Arrested for Their Wrongdoings

Posted by Admin On April - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to Editors

 

News from the I(E)rving Family

Thelma Joyce Irving Taylor

 

SALUDA, S.C. – Had Attorney Billy C. Coleman (Saluda, SC) along with his cohorts [including Attorney Kathy O. Rushton (Saluda, SC); Attorney Christian G. Spradley (Moore Taylor Law Firm, PA, Saluda, SC); Attorney Henrietta Gill (Leesburg, SC); the late Richard “Dick” Clark (friend of Coleman, Leesville, SC); and Bobbie Jo Clark (wife of Clark, Leesville, SC)], not been involved in the outright taking and then secret selling on March 28, 2014 of the I(E)rvings’ heirs property in Saluda, SC, then the 185+ U.S. residing descendants of David and Sallie Mae (Williams) Irving (Saluda, SC), would be, today, in the midst of the final preparations for what was to be their grand celebration in 2017 of their 100th year of ownership of their property.

“It was Coleman and Clark who became the masterminds in plotting to take my family’s farmland,” says Bennie Warren Butler, a second generation I(E)rving family heir who resides in Saluda, SC.  “These two men, together, in befriending the I(E)rving family for years, got to know my grandfather’s children and their children very well.  My grandfather’s sons (my uncles) hunted and fished lots of times with both Coleman and Clark on the I(E)rvings’ property which was purchased by David and Sallie Mae on November 28, 1917 for $2,750.00 in cash from Mrs. Eva Lou Mitchell (Saluda, SC).  Coleman was, at one time, even the legal counselor for the entire I(E)rving family.”

According to court records, Coleman and Clark made their first sneaky attack upon the I(E)rvings in December 2003.  When they were confronted on December 24, 2003 (Christmas Eve) by the late Rev. Thelma Joyce Irving Taylor, the youngest daughter of David and Sallie Mae and the I(E)rving family’s matriarch, Coleman and Clark were immediately angered because she had found out about this attack.  It was then that they made the threat that they would, indeed, take the I(E)rvings’ property from them.

“My family (the I(E)rvings) was unwillingly forced by Coleman and Clark into a decade-long court battle where they, along with their cohorts, continuously attacked and fiercely tormented us, especially targeting and then taking advantage of some of our weak, sick and mentally incompetent I(E)rving family members ,” recalls Diethric Langford (Indianapolis, IN), youngest daughter of the late Rev. Irving Taylor.  “In their effort to destroy the original deed acquired by my grandparents in 1917, Coleman and Clark filed in the Saluda Court House records, a number of erroneous court documents along with nine falsified and/or questionable deeds they made up from 17 transactions that they executed.  Hearings were held on short notice.  Court reporters were dismissed.  Our lawyer’s motions and appeals were regularly overruled or thrown out.  We [the I(E)rvings] even had to contend not only with Coleman and Clark posting untruthful documents on the Saluda Courthouse door and publicly publishing untruths about the I(E)rving family, but also with their installing gates and hanging “No Trespassing” signs on the I(E)rvings’ property.”

After Clark’s death and Coleman’s retirement, it was actually Attorneys Rushton, Spradley, and Gill who continued to harass and torment the I(E)rving family as they dutifully carried out this most devious plot.  Without one of the 185+ I(E)rving family members knowing, Rushton, serving as the Judge/Special Referee, eventually used a 2008 untruthful complaint written and filed by Spradley, to quiet title and then sell, on March 28, 2014, the I(E)rvings 110 acres of Saluda farmland to Randy A. Barnes and Adam T. Barnes (Barnes Oil and Propane, Batesburg, SC) for supposedly $201,000.00.  No notification or paperwork regarding this sale of their property was received by the I(E)rvings until nearly a month after it’s occurrence.  To this day, the I(E)rvings have no idea who cut down and took the timber (having grown for over twenty years) and the 14 pecan trees (planted between 1917-1929) that were on their property [Note: During litigation, I(E)rvings were told that it would be against the law for them to cut down their own timber].

It was on April 22, 2014, at a so-called “supplemental hearing” held in a backroom of the Saluda Courthouse, that Spradley presented the I(E)rving family with his Disbursement Explanations (Exhibits A & B) that included his made up monetary distribution amounts, incorrect mathematical calculation, misspellings, I(E)rving family name omissions as well as other errors.  According to this document, $100,464.67 was to be given to a plaintiff with no name and $57, 312.12 to the lawyers/law firm where he worked (Moore, Taylor & Thomas, P.A., Saluda, SC).  Even Gill, serving as the Guardian ad litem (GAL) who couldn’t even tell the I(E)rvings the name of one I(E)rving family member she had been an advocate for during this decade-long case, was included to be paid for services rendered.  Spradley picked out only three living members of the I(E)rving family and assigned them a total of $27,813.88.  Three deceased members of the I(E)rving family were assigned $15,449.33.  Note: Spradley intentionally assigned to an ex-inlaw (husband to one of the deceased members) a second payment for his agreement to lies told earlier by Coleman and Clark).  I(E)rving family members were told that money not picked up would go to the State.  It was Rushton, again serving as Judge/Special Referee, who concluded, without even examining or questioning anything that Spradley had presented, that Exhibit A was proper.  Overlooking every complaint and protest that the I(E)rving family then had, Rushton immediately signed Exhibit B and had Spradley quickly go, even before the hearing was over, to file this document in the Saluda Court records.   The I(E)rving family, to this day, has no final document(s) or clear idea as to what these lawyers exactly did with all of the money from the sale of their property.

“These Saluda County area lawyers (and their cohorts) are known thieves. They should have been arrested long ago for their wrongdoings,” says some of the third generation I(E)rving family heirs.  “It’s plain to see that they schemed and plotted, manipulated the law, and then outright took and then sold our family’s 110 acres of Saluda farmland for their own self-profit.  We’ve filed enough complaints and reports about them to federal, state, and local authorities.  The question now is “Why are these lawyers and their cohorts, three years after committing this most atrocious criminal act upon the I(E)rving family, still walking around free?”

For more information, contact: Debrah J. Taylor-Greene @ 773-259-4293

Email: victoryforthelma@gmail.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the (E)erving Family and not those of www.copylinemagazine.com

 

 

Revolutionary Communist Party Responds to Trump’s Threat to Bring Feds to Chicago

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to Editors

From: The Revolutionary Communist Party

Trump/Pence regime means a reign of TERROR on top of 400 years of hell for Black people!

The Revolutionary Communist Party has a plan to STOP this!

 

The Trump-Pence regime has seized on the horror of young Black people killing each other to make Chicago ground zero for an overall offensive against Black people. Trump issued a naked threat, “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible carnage going on, I will send in the Feds.”

In response the Central Committee of the RCP has issued a statement  that is being distributed in the 10’s of thousands especially on the south and west sides of Chicago; the Revolution Club is opening an organizing center in South Shore with another office to open soon on the west side; Carl Dix* a founding member of the RCP has come to Chicago as a spokesperson for the RCP’s plan.

 

 The RCP statement calls out Trump’s stone cold racist plan. “He promises jobs.  In reality, his agents will dole out a few jobs… to buy people as his enforcers.  Trump will pull more Black people into the oppressor army to kill other oppressed people. …But the sharp edge of Trump’s program is sending in the feds to restore ‘law and order.’  In reality this means that the masses of Black people will have no rights whatsoever.”

 When Trump says “Make America Great Again” he means fascism, crimes against humanity including reinstating open white supremacy within America.

 As Carl Dix points out, “What’s driving this is the system’s FEAR that Black people will stand up and resist, influencing others to open their eyes and begin to question the whole system.  We have seen this historically and in the last couple of years.   I have been part of the powerful upsurges against police murder of Black and Latino people that have rocked this country from Ferguson, Baltimore, to Baton Rouge and most recently in Mt Greenwood in Chicago.”

Bob Avakian of the RCP, the leader of the revolution, has charted a different plan: REVOLUTION.  We have the leadership and strategy to see this through to victory and a blueprint for a new society, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

As the RCP statement says, “Right now, the revolution must join with all different kinds of people of many viewpoints to drive out the Trump-Pence fascist regime before it’s too late.  We fight this now, urgently, as part of getting ready for revolution.”

The launch of the center in South Shore, 1857 E. 71st St., will be held on Sunday, February 26th at 3pm. The community is invited.  For the press, Carl Dix is available for interviews. This center will be a place where those who are tired of seeing young Black people killed by other young people, who hate the way police unleash terror in our neighborhoods, who want to drive out the Trump-Pence regime and to see an end to all the horrors of this system can get connected with a plan and an organization that’s about doing all that.


* Carl Dix is a representative of the RCP.  In 1970 he was part of the Fort Lewis 6, the largest mass refusal by US soldiers of orders to go to Vietnam, and he has spent decades struggling to end the exploitation and oppression this system enforces on humanity.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the Revolutionary Communist Party and not those of www.copylinemagazine.com.

Millions for Prisoners March for Human Rights

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to Editors

The Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows:
Section 1. Slavery prohibited. “Neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have
been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place
subject to their jurisdiction.”

Salamu! Greetings of solidarity from behind enemy lines. Thank you for
giving me the opportunity to publish this communication. I am a new
Afrikan freedom fighter from the ranks of JLS (Jailhouse Lawyers Speak).
A collective of Jailhouse lawyers organized to educate and fight for
prisoners human rights, against a system that is designed to dehumanize
its captives. I am also the National Secretary for Amend the 13th, an
inclusive coalition based national campaign and community based
organizing effort to address the legal and social basis for
dehumanization in Amerika.

The purpose of this press release is to notify prisoners, community
organizers, and all those who care of the upcoming Millions for
Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington D.C. scheduled for August 19,
2017. This is a national effort to bring world attention to the 13th
amendment enslavement clause, its ramifications, and to solidify
organizing efforts to amend it.

MILLIONS FOR PRISONERS HUMAN RIGHTS CORE DEMANDS OF ACTION:
1). We DEMAND the 13th amendment EXCEPTION CLAUSE of the United States
Constitution be amended to abolish LEGALIZED slavery in America.
2). We DEMAND a Congressional hearing on the 13th Amendment EXCEPTION
CLAUSE being recognized in violation of international law, the general
principles of human rights, and its direct links to:
a). Private entities exploiting prison labor
b). Companies overcharging prisoners for goods and services
c). Private entities contracted by states/federal government to
build and operate prisons. This would also include  immigration
detentions
d). Racial disparities in America’s prison population and
sentencing
e). Policing: the disproportionate (unaccountable) killings by
police in the black and brown communities
f). Felony Disenfranchisement  laws
g). Immigration and Customs Enforcement 34,000 detention quotas
h). Producing the world largest prison population

In essence this is an abolitionist movement to abolish legalized
enslavement. A practice that is not solely limited to prisoners making
products, but extends to a prisoners mere body in an isolation cell,
being profitable.

“U.S. Supreme Court in its long standing precedent in Ruffin v.
Commonwealth, 62, Va (21 Gratt.) 790, 796 (1871):“A convicted felon,
whom the law in its humanity punishes by confinement in penitentiary(s)
instead of death, is subject while undergoing punishment, to all the
laws which the legislature in its wisdom may enact for the government of
that institution and control of its inmates. For the time being, during
his term of service in the penitentiary, he is in a state of penal
servitude to the state. He has, as a consequence of his crime, not only
forfeited his liberty, but all of his personal rights except those which
the law in its humanity accords him. He is for the time being a slave of
the State. … They are slaves of the State undergoing punishment for
heinous crimes committed against the laws of the land. …”

In other words, prisoners themselves are the commodity. Which explains
why law enforcements entire appartus is geared towards capturing and
bottling humans for the highest bidder, dead or alive. It should not be
of any surprise that the black and brown communities are prime targets
for extractions. We cannot over emphasize the connection between slavery
and the Prison Industrial Enslavement Complex.  Prison slavery is a
direct outgrowth of the thirteenth amendment and the thirteenth
amendment enslavement exception clause is a direct outgrowth of the  pre
1865 chattle enslavement period. You can analyze the different periods
of transitions from convict leasing, black codes,  Jim crow,  Nixon’s
war on drugs, to the Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill to see the
connections and the architectural  designs developed, to maximize
profits through the INjustice systems criminalization of generations.
All across Amerika people are becoming more aware of the thirteenth
enslavement exception clause. Particularly prisoners around the nation,
who have been strategizing and directly challenging the thirteenth as
witnessed by the September 9, 2016 prison strikes. Jailhouse Lawyers
Speak has been planning its challenge to the thirteenth in collaboration
with iamWE Prison Advocacy Network since mid 2015. This challenge is the
Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March, hosted by iamWE Prison
Advocacy Network. Presently coalitions are being formed that we envision
will become a recognizable force for change beyond the March. Just as we
envision every August 19th afterwards being a day of solidarity and
demonstrations in recognition of Prisoners Human Rights and highlighting
the violations of such for collective action.

“Black August is a month of divine meaning, of repression and radical
resistance, of injustice and divine justice; of repression and righteous
rebellion; of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and
break the chains that bind us.” -Mumia Abu-Jamal

Black August was selected by JLS prisoners, due to it’s significance as
being a historical month of commemoration of fallen new Afrikan freedom
fighters and resistance. This is a month in which the spirit of
liberation is encouraged amongst prisoners and within our communities.
Black August is a special month to many of us confined. Comrade George
L. Jackson is a light to many of us struggling to maintain our sanity
and dignity within these concentration camps. It is only fitting that
this event be scheduled during this month, in hopes of connecting more
people to the prison resistance movement history, challenges, and needs.
Today as I write, confirmation is coming in that prisoners are in
collective discussion around the country to be in solidarity with the
Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March.

For those prisoners that would like to participate, it is asked that
you:
– Fast from sun rise to sun set
– Participate in intense political studies with emphasis on the 13th
amendment.
– Daily prayer or meditation
– Daily exercise regimen
– Refrain from purchasing any and all prison products to that require
spending of money during this month
– Refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages
– If possible, wear a black arm band or wrist band (i.e.shoelace) around
left wrist.

Around the Nation and across the world, August 19, 2017 will be
remembered as a day of collective action, strategizing, and execution of
the national objective to abolish legalized enslavement in Amerika.
People from all walks of life from both sides of the walls have answered
the call. Many are organizing their areas to be at the march, others
will be hosting local solidarity demonstrations in their state or
country, others are distributing info and many others are sharing
resources and time.

To learn more about this event and how you can get involved  visit
www.iamweubuntu.com or write iamWE Prison Advocacy Network P.O. Box
58201 Raleigh NC 27658

The Prison Resistance Movement
New Abolitionist
In Solidarity,

JLS

Contact: iamWE Prison Advocacy Network P.O. Box 58201 Raleigh NC 27658

Contact: Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a committee
of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 816-866-3808,
iwoc@riseup.net

Learn more at www.iamweubuntu.com

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and not those of Copylinemagazine.com.

 

Shooter of Unarmed Anti-Racist Walks Free; Authorities Silent

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to Editors

 

From: The Twin Cities GDC

 Victim still in Harborview Hospital

Shooter is well-known right wing gun activist

 

SEATTLE, WA – Social media activists claim to have identified the person who shot an anti-racist organizer on the University of Washington’s Seattle (UW-Seattle) campus on Friday, January 20, 2017, as a well-known right-wing gun activist attending white nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos’ event with his wife, also a gun activist.

 

Although the shooter shot a person in a protest situation, University of Washington Police have refused to make an arrest, and released the shooter and the person who accompanied them to turn themselves into the police early Saturday morning. King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg has not indicated any plan to pursue prosecution. Local politicians have remained ominously quiet.

The victim is an anti-racist and anti-fascist activist, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and the IWW General Defense Committee (GDC). His lawyer has confirmed that he was there to protest Milo Yiannopoulos’ hateful speech and violent incitement. He had been seen de-escalating conflicts between protesters and counter-protesters before he was shot. He remains in Harborview Hospital.

 

Social media activists allege the shooter is a well-known local right-wing gun activist who sent Yiannopoulous multiple Facebook messages that evening. This person claimed in those messages that a protester had stolen a beloved “Make America Great Again” hat, and requested a new, autographed one from Yiannopoulos. In these messages he claimed a protester had ‘sucker punched’ them. Multiple witnesses have reported that this person appeared drunk that evening, and had aggressively and repeatedly sought confrontations with protesters. This behavior can be seen on videos released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and others.

 

Media sources have reported that the suspect has claimed they shot in self-defense and that they originally thought that the person they shot was a ‘white supremacist,’ but UWPD deny these reports. The reporting of these sorts of unsubstantiated claims has clouded the facts, and allowed undue credence for the right-wing narrative of fear. People have questioned the University of Washington administration’s handling of this situation. UW administrators justified the event on the basis of the principle of freedom of speech; it is unclear however, that the administration would permit self-proclaimed nazis to speak on campus and encourage the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the United States.

 

We question why the administration permits people who have merely rebranded themselves as members of the alt-right to encourage similar violence against our fellow humans. UW President Cauce’s statement denied administration responsibility, and offered no support, condemning ‘violence’ in general and reaffirming support for the event’s approval, as well as the police handling of the situation. Multiple press accounts from witnesses indicate that the police made no serious attempts at crowd control that evening, and were unprepared for the event. At the same time, observers have questioned the prosecutor’s unwillingness to charge the shooter, even after they turned themselves in. Our comrade has expressed his empathy for the shooter and his desire to engage in a restorative justice process rather than cooperating with a criminal prosecution. This indicates his deep opposition to the violence of the police and the state.

The police’s complicity with the shooter indicates their willingness to protect those who create violence. There is a double-standard for violence in America: right-wing activists may shoot protesters with impunity. We appear to be in a period when the right wing can murder unarmed protesters and claim self-defense. This was the supposed defense of the white supremacists who shot five people in Minneapolis at a protest against police murder. These violent right wing activists will even call us the ‘nazis.’ As they have done in this case, the media will collaborate unintentionally.

Finally, we are disturbed by the total silence from Seattle’s political establishment. We expect conservatives to ignore or even celebrate violence against us. However, the silence and lack of support from liberal, progressive, and radical members of the city council – especially socialist Kshama Sawant – is damning. Our comrade continues to recover, and we are deeply grateful for the support shown him by generous people all over the world. His pain and sacrifice should not be in vain: we call on all people opposed to fascism and racism to demand accountability from the UW, the police, and the politicians. While we hold them accountable, we must also take responsibility for our own collective safety. It is clear that the police and the politicians have no interest in our safety. Americans often like to say ‘there is no room for racism.’ It is past time to move beyond statements, and make it a truth. ### Those who wish to financial support this member’s recovery may donate at this link.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Twin Cities GDC and not those of CopyLine Magazine (www.copylinemagazine.com.

 

 

Early Voting Hours Extended to 7:00 P.M.

Posted by Admin On October - 31 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A message from Alderman Joe Moore (49th)

Chairman, City Council Committee on Housing & Real Estate

 

The Chicago Board of Elections this week extended Early Voting hours to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

This means  you can vote early at any one of 51 locations Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You can also vote early this Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Lock in your vote early and avoid any unforeseen events on Election Day that might prevent you from voting, such as bad weather, a sick child or a crisis at work.

Early voting locations

Here are the Early Voting locations most convenient to 49th Ward residents:

Pottawattomie Park
7340 N. Rogers (just west of the Metra tracks)

Edgewater Library
6000 N. Broadway (at Elmdale)

Warren Park
6601 N. Western (2 blocks south of Pratt)

Chicago Board of Elections Annex
15 W. Washington (between State and Dearborn)

If you need a ride to an early voting site, please reply to this e-mail or call 773-973-4900.

If you are registered to vote at your current address, an ID is not required. Out of an abundance of caution, however, I advise you to bring an ID, such as a driver’s license or state ID, in the event there is a question about your registration.

Beating the lines

Lines for early voting are shortest on Sunday. As I note above, all Early Voting Sites will be open this Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition, the Board of Elections opened a new “Downtown Super Site” at 15 W. Washington with more than 100 touch screens.

You can still register to vote 

If you missed the standard October 11th voter registration deadline, there’s a safety net. From now until Election Day, you may register to vote, update your address or file your name change at any early voting location or at your polling place on Election Day. After you register, you must vote immediately during that same visit. Please bring two forms of identification, at least one of which shows your current address.

Vote by mail

You can also vote by mail!  Illinois law now permits you to vote by mail for any reason whatsoever.  To obtain an application to vote by mail, CLICK HERE.  Complete the application and either mail it or deliver it personally to the Chicago Board of Elections, 69 W. Washington. Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60602.

You will then receive your ballot in the mail.  Follow all the enclosed instructions and make sure to vote in secret.  The ballot may be returned to the Board of Elections by U.S. mail or a state licensed motor carrier or it may be delivered personally by you or an immediate relative.

Whatever method you choose, please vote. The stakes in this election are simply too high for you to stay home.

Sincerely,

Joe Moore

An Open Letter to the “Progressive Caucus” of the City Council of Chicago

Posted by Admin On June - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Some of you were at the City Council Finance Committee meeting where a vote on one of the city’s most notorious TIF projects was taken — the funneling of $16 million in taxpayer money to subsidize two luxury hi-rise towers in the Uptown neighborhood.

 

Even by Chicago standards, the project is outlandish thievery of taxpayers:

 

** While the rich would have their housing subsidized, many dozens of people forced out of affordable housing would continue to live underneath Lake Shore Drive viaducts just yards away, as Uptown has lost over 1000 SRO units in recent years.

 

** The politically-connected developer gave $5000 to Mayor Emanuel’s reelection campaign, despite Emanuel’s pledge to stop such pay-to-play.

 

** The property is the last large piece of undeveloped lakefront property on the much-gentrified North Side — hardly a property that needs taxpayer help.

 

** The project pledges only 5% of its units will be affordable, even though the 2015 Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) will require that at least 20% of housing developments getting TIF taxpayer aid be affordable.

 

In a cynical move to beat the ARO that he opposed, Alderman James Cappleman is trying to rush through the ordinance for his luxury hi-rise development to beat the July 23rd implementation of the new 20% requirement.

 

This is where you come in, Progressive Caucus.

 

With our City Council stuffed to the gills with aldermen who have signed off on some of the very worst of Mayor 1%’s measures against working class, black and brown people in this city, we didn’t seriously expect to win yesterday’s vote in the Finance Committee. We don’t expect to win a vote in today’s City Council meeting either, if it comes to that.

 

However, we DO know that all it takes to delay a vote until after the July 23rd implementation of the more rigorous ARO ordinance — requiring 20% affordable housing, as opposed to just 5% — is a parliamentary procedure known as a request to “publish” the proposed ordinance. While we find the notion of taxpayer subsidies to luxury housing on any level to be offensive, 20% is a far cry better than 5%. And all it takes is just TWO alderman to request to publish for it to take effect.

 

So here’s the pitch:  If the term “progressive” is to have any meaning at all, are there at least TWO of your members who will live up to that term? Or are you going to confirm most Chicagoans’ deeply cynical view of politicians, and Chicago politicians in particular?

 

The choice is yours.

 

We don’t need any shadow-boxing “no” votes today that are only of symbolic value. What we need are at least two of you to step forward and show that the word “progressive” actually means something when said through the vocal chords of our representatives.

 

Don’t disappoint the many thousands of Chicagoans who overcame big money and big business to get you into office, or the next time you need their help for reelection, I and others will remind them of today.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Andy Thayer, Uptown Tent City Organizers

 

532 Chicago journalists bcc’d, shared on social media

 

 

New Report by the Sentencing Project, “The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons”, Finds That African Americans are Incarcerated in State Prisons Across the Country at More Than Five Times the Rate of Whites

Posted by Admin On June - 16 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

From: Marc Mauer, The Sentencing Project

The Sentencing Project logo
Dear Friends,

I’m pleased to share with you a new study on race and incarceration by The Sentencing Project. The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons, authored by Ashley Nellis, finds that African Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at more than five times the rate of whites.

 

New Jersey tops the nation in terms of disparity in its incarceration rates, with a black/white ratio of more than 12 to 1. Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Vermont follow closely behind, incarcerating African Americans at more than 10 times the rate of whites. Even states with the lowest black incarceration rates report higher figures than states with the highest white incarceration rates.

 

Hispanics are incarcerated nationally in state facilities at a rate that is 1.4 times the rate for non-Hispanic white­s, but at a much higher rate in Massachusetts (4.3), Connecticut (3.9), Pennsylvania (3.3), and New York (3.1). In raw numbers, Hispanic incarceration is highest in border and southwestern states.

 

The report identifies three contributors to racial and ethnic disparities in imprisonment: criminal justice policies and practices, implicit bias, and structural disadvantages. Combined or separately, these pervade the criminal justice system and undermine support for law enforcement in neighborhoods where it often is most needed, tarnishing the credibility of the legal system across the country.

Regards,

Marc Mauer

 

 

An Open Letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
­­­­


From: Frank Chapman, Field Organizer CAARPR 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Because you have declared that you will be introducing legislation to the City Council on June 22, 2016 we, who have been fighting for community control of the police here in Chicago, would like to inform you that we totally reject your attempts to hoodwink us into thinking your proclaimed concerns for police accountability are genuine. We will be at City Hall on June 22nd, making sure that our voices will be heard, demanding that our proposed ordinance creating an all elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) be enacted.
Here are two statements you made that we would like to address:
  1. On May 13, 2016 you stated that: “While much work still remains, we will continue to make significant strides on the road to reform. To fully fix Chicago’s police accountability system, we must be thoughtful and bold and have the courage to call out and address the root causes that have eroded trust between police and Chicago’s communities and some of Chicago’s residents.”

Before we have that discussion, Mayor Emanuel, you need to deal with your own malfeasance while in office, for example, your complicity in the murder of Laquan McDonald and your refusal to intervene in the name of justice in the cases of Flint Farmer, Ronald Ronnieman Johnson, and numerous other cases where murders by Chicago police officers were video recorded. You could have used your executive authority long ago to move the Police Board to fire Dante Servin, the murderer of Rekia Boyd. You could presently use your executive authority to fire and press for charges against all those CPD officers who lied on their reports in the Laquan McDonald case. You could use the evidence from the over 100 videos about to be released to seek immediate prosecution of police crimes. Then you could do the most honorable of all things and resign as Mayor of Chicago. That’s the kind of courage you need to have in this precise moment of history.

2.   Also on May 13, 2016 you said: “We will be judged by whether our actions truly measure up to the demands of the moment. I am confident  that by creating this new structure and committing to this comprehensive plan, Chicago will be better off because we are facing up to these difficult challenges and we are doing so together.”

 
You, Mr. Mayor, have already been judged by your actions, and the people want you to cease using your executive authority to cover up and excuse police crimes and to hand in your resignation. This is the only honorable thing you can do after 16 shots and a cover up. You should be a co-defendant of Jason Vandyke, the killer of Laquan McDonald. You are not a social reformer advancing the cause of justice for the people. You are a crime partner to all the police criminals at large in this city and we, the people, sooner or later, will bring you and your partners in crime to justice.
No Justice, No Peace!
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression 
 Stop Police Crimes Campaign
 

Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression: Our Attitude Toward the Mayor’s Proposal to Abolish IPRA and Restore Trust

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Frank Chapman, Field Organizer CAARPR 
 
Last week the Mayor announced the following:

 

“Today I can announce that in the coming weeks, we will have the final details worked out on a comprehensive plan to fundamentally reshape our system of police accountability and it will be introduced at the following meeting of the full City Council on June 22. It will be based on the thoughtful suggestions made by my Police Accountability Task Force. It will also be informed by the conversations my administration is having with aldermen, community leaders, the U.S. Department of Justice and experts in the field. We want to make sure the police accountability system is trusted by the members of the Chicago Police Department and the residents of Chicago.”

I have received many calls about this statement and have seen and heard many reactions. The reaction of some of our friends and supporters is that the Mayor has opened a window of opportunity for CPAC advocates to walk right in and take a seat at the negotiating table. Then there are some who feel that the Mayor is stealing the thunder of our movement by getting rid of IPRA and replacing it with a civilian version with the same authority. And finally there is the vast majority of the people in our movement (Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Teachers Union, Trinity United Church of Christ and others) who clearly see that the people in our communities have been left out while the experts (from legal think tanks), political deal makers on the City Council, orchestrated community leaders, and whoever else the Mayor knows he can manipulate, is invited to the negotiating table. People who have been fighting for community control of the police, who represent tens of thousands in our communities as well as victims/survivors of police crimes and torture, have not been invited to the table.

But don’t get it twisted. We are not lamenting because we have not been invited or because we are vying to replace IPRA with yet another appointed body that can only make recommendations. Another appointed body that:

  • STILL has no one elected or chosen by the people.
  • STILL gives Mayor Rahm Emanuel decisive appointment power.
  • STILL can be overruled by an Appointed, police board.
  • STILL can be overruled by the present Mayor Appointed, Superintendent.

And where, if police crimes perpetrated against victims like Howard Morgan, Flint Farmer, Rekia Boyd, Ronnieman Johnson, George Anderson, and countless others happened tomorrow… the appointed “civilians” of this appointed body would STILL HAVE NO VOTE.

We want and we demand that the powers of IPRA, the Police Board and the Internal Affairs Dept be put squarely in the hands of the people through an all elected, all Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). We are fighting for our inalienable democratic right as a people to determine who polices our communities and how our communities are policed.

By their actions the Mayor and the existing City Council have been complicit in the murder of Laquan McDonald and should be co-defendants of Jason Van Dyke, and his fellow officers who perjured themselves. However, here they are devising yet another scheme to make sure the people are forced to trust a police force over which they have no power or control.

ON JUNE 22, 2016 WE THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS WHO ARE DEMANDING COMMUNITY CONTROL OF THE POLICE MUST BE AT THIS FULL CITY COUNCIL MEETING AND IN THE STREETS AROUND CITY HALL DEMANDING CPAC.

HOLD THE DATE JOIN OUR UPCOMING CALL FOR ACTION.

See also Op-Ed:
We Don’t Need Another Mayor Controlled Chicago Police Review Board

Stop Police Crimes Campaign

 

www.StopPoliceCrimes.com

 

Growing Inspiration—17 Farming Heroes!

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

From: Foodtank

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that there are more than 570 million farms in the world. Behind each farm – at least 90 percent of which are considered family farms – is a farmer, or team of farmers, collectively responsible for growing the world’s food. Food Tank is highlighting farmer heroes who go beyond cultivating the land, acting as employers, experimenters, keepers of tradition, and contributors to healthy lifestyles.SHARE this list with your social network: http://foodtank.com/news/2016/05/seventeen-farmer-heroes-for-sustainability-equality-and-defense-of-traditio

Family farmers are key players in job creation and healthy economies, supplying jobs to millions and boosting local markets, and are vulnerable to difficult climate and financial hardship, particularly because of the disproportionate amount of work required given the financial returns in farming. Farmers aren’t just food producers–they’re business women and men, they’re teachers in their communities, they’re innovators and inventors, and they’re stewards of the land who deserve to be recognized for the ecosystem services they provide that benefit us all.

Meet seventeen farmer heroes from around the world, working for innovation, sustainability, the environment, and local economy, all doing more than putting food on our plates. And don’t forget to SHARE this list: http://foodtank.com/news/2016/05/seventeen-farmer-heroes-for-sustainability-equality-and-defense-of-traditio

Janki Bai (Madhya Pradesh, India): In the Madhya Pradesh state of India, Janki Bai sacrificed an acre of her semi-arid land for the digging of a watershed pond in 2013 – a significant economic project for the community. Not only could she begin to grow rice on her land, but the pond, built with the help of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) quickly began to benefit farms within a half a kilometer of hers. Today, her family has increased financial stability and her community has a more reliable water source.

Mary Seton Corboy (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.): Founder of Greensgrow, a Philadelphia urban agriculture non-profit, in 1998 on the former site of a galvanized steel plant. Greensgrow has since become a model for sustainable food systems in Philadelphia and beyond. With CSAs, farmers markets, and more, Corboy is heralded for not only growing vegetables, but changing attitudes around food.

Ibrahima Coulibaly (Mali): Chosen as one of six Special Ambassadors for the International Year of Family Farming in 2014, Ibrahima Coulibaly is the President of theNational Coordination of Farmers’ Organizations of Mali (CNOP). Under Coulibaly, CNOP has contributed to the first agricultural policy in Mali focused on family farming. CNOP has projects for food security, natural resource management, and for strengthening farmers’ organizational and financial capacity.

Jess & Matt Fealy (Mareeba, Queensland, Australia): In 2012, the Fealys moved across Australia to begin lives as family farmers. In Australia, 99 percent of farms are family farms. Their farm, Blue Sky Produce, makes them proud to contribute to their rural community. They are grateful for the opportunity to use a variety of skills: “one day you’re repairing a wiring harness on the tractor, the next you’re stripping down a chainsaw, the day after that you’re pouring over soil and leaf analysis,” the Fealys say.

Bryan Gilvesy (Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada): Originally a tobacco farmer, Bryan Gilvesy has become an ecological agriculture champion throughout Ontario with his sustainable cattle ranching operation, Y U Ranch. He works with Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS), which supports farmers in restoring and preserving natural resources throughout Canada.

Thomas Harttung (Jutland, Denmark): Thomas Harttung is the Co-Founder of Aarstiderne an organic produce and meal box delivery program that now supplies over 45,000 customers across Denmark and Sweden with fresh, nutritious food. He serves as the Chair of the Trustees for the Sustainable Food Trust, a nonprofit committed to building a food system that causes the least possible harm to humans and the environment. Harttung is also on the board of the Nordic Food Lab which is dedicated to exploring food diversity and potential in the Nordic region. He has an 1,8000 acre biodynamic estate in Jutland.

Larry Jacobs (California, U.S.):  Larry Jacobs suffered illness from pesticide exposure as a young farmer and dedicated his work to pesticide-free farming. Jacobs Farm, now 35 years old and the largest organic culinary herb provider in the United States, won a notable lawsuit over a pesticide applicator whose application on a nearby field found its way to Jacobs’s dill crop. Jacobs and his wife, Sandra Belin, have also helped a cooperative of family farmers in Baja California, Mexico, form an organic growers association called Del Cabo, which now imports millions of pounds of organic produce into U.S. markets.

Rahab Kithumbi (Ng’arua Division, Laikipia West, Kenya): Rahab Kithumbi began her research with observation of poultry in a farmer-to-farmer exchange visit. After the visit, Kithumbi experimented with rearing chickens and turkeys and found an increased hatching rate when reared together. Turkeys also provide food for her family and more manure than chickens, useful as fertilizer. She displayed her innovation in 2013, becoming one of the first participants in Prolinnova’s Farmer Innovation Fair in Nairobi and earning the name “Mama Turkey” in her village.

Robert Morris & Gigi Pontejos-Morris (Padre Garcia, Batangas, Philippines): In 2005, Robert and Gigi Morris bought a traditional mango orchard in the Philippines and named it MoCa Family Farm. Certified for agri-tourism, MoCa is a “blueprint for family farming,” lending insight into the business of farming. With “several small-scale business operations running at the same time,” MoCa has incorporated specialty crops, niche market and branded farm products, farm accessory item sales, and hospitality services. The Morris family promotes farm-to-fork and local food.

Edward Mukiibi (Uganda): Edward Mukiibi is the current Vice President of Slow Food International. Living in Uganda, Mukiibi has experience developing community and school gardens in Africa through his Developing Innovations in School and Community Gardens project and sees great potential in Slow Food International’s 10,000 Gardens in Africa goal. Mukiibi is working “to promote our own food gastronomy, to strengthen traditional food systems and communities, and to defend African biodiversity.”

Kathy Ozer (Washington, D.C., U.S.): Kathy Ozer is the Executive Director of the National Family Farm Coalition, where she has worked in farm policy for more than two decades. Ozer dedicates her work to ensuring that “family farmers and fishers can not only survivebut thrive in order to support themselves, their families, and their communities.” She has expertise in the global credit and food crisis and the dairy farmer crisis.

Denise O’Brien (Ames, Iowa, U.S.): An Iowa native, Denise O’Brien founded the Women Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) in 1997 to coordinate information and networking for women as supporters of sustainable agriculture and healthy food systems. WFAN provides women with agricultural educational opportunities, an apprenticeship program, as well as tools for serving as political advocates for agriculture. O’Brien farms and raises organic chickens and turkeys with her husband on their farm in southwest Iowa.

Bernie Prince (Washington, D.C., U.S.): Bernie Prince is the Co-Founder of FRESHFARM Markets, an operator of producer-only farmers markets in the Chesapeake Bay region. Since 1997, FRESHFARM has been helping to provide opportunities for local farmers and has branched into other areas, like the FoodPrints nutrition and healthy eating education program for elementary school children. After retiring as Co-Executive Director of FRESHFARM in 2015, Prince now spends more time on her 10-acre farm in Georgetown, Delaware, where she and her husband grow organic fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

Flora Cañete de Sanabria & Edita de Jesús Franco de Sanabria (Caaguazú District, Paraguay): Once the only women members of the Paraguayan Ministry of Agriculture’s Sustainable Rural Development Project committee of rural producers, Flora Cañete de Sanabria and Edita de Jesús Franco de Sanabria have influenced rural development and agriculture decisions in Paraguay and increased the involvement and voice of women in local grass-roots projects.

Lindsey Lusher Shute (Hudson, New York, U.S.): National Young Farmers Coalition(NYFC) Executive Director Lindsey Lusher Shute is a young farmer with a background in policy. NYFC believes in affordable land for farmers, sustainable practices, fair labor, farmer-to-farmer training, diversity among farmers, and independent family farms for sustaining young farmers in the future. Its awareness campaigns include topics like student loans, land access, water conservation, and federal policy. The White House named Shute a Champion of Change in 2014. She has a particular interest in structural issues in family farming.

Mike & Gayle Thorpe (East Aurora, New York, U.S.): The Thorpes run two organic family farms – one in New York and the other in Florida – with an over 540-member CSA. The Thorpe family began farming in 2001, supporting a 42-member CSA, always with a “[belief] in nurturing the soil” by using well-composted material for the healthiest nutrient balance. The Thorpe farms are successful examples of true family farm CSA.

Arkhiben Vankar (Gujarat, India): Arkhiben Vankar is known as The Pesticide Lady in her community in the Indian state of Gujarat. She developed a toxin-free pesticide from herbal plants that has shown to be as effective as chemicals on pests like mealy bugs, white flies, and aphids. Not only is this pesticide safer for farmers, but Vankar’s pesticide is cost-effective too.

What farmer heroes inspire you? Share them with us at Danielle@foodtank.com and SHARE this list with your social network: http://foodtank.com/news/2016/05/seventeen-farmer-heroes-for-sustainability-equality-and-defense-of-traditio

Sincerely,

 

Danielle Nierenberg
President, Food Tank
foodtank.com

 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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