We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, May 25, 2012

Living in Two Cities: Tarif and Evelyn Warren

Click here to access article by Susie Day from MRZine. 

Read the powerful story of two attorneys and their encounter with NY police five years ago which began with this incident:
Early in the evening of June 21, 2007, the Warrens were driving in Brooklyn, when they saw police chasing a young man into a McDonald's parking lot.  The cops tackled the youth, handcuffed him, threw him to the ground, and began kicking him in the head.  The Warrens pulled over, got out of their car, and respectfully asked one Sergeant Steven Talvy of the NYPD Street Narcotic Enforcement Unit why he and his officers were battering someone who was obviously helpless.
Another brief article describes what it is like living in Black and Latino neighborhoods in New York City:
The heavy police presence in New York City communities of color with police bombarding the residents with summonses for petty offenses such as, jaywalking, urinating in public, noise pollution, opened alcohol beverage containers, tinted car windows, and the possession of small amounts of marijuana is creating a sense of distrust among many law abiding, tax-paying New York City residents.

Some elected officials predict an explosion.

When one visits predominately Black and Latino neighborhoods in New York City such as, Harlem, East New York, Bedford Stuyvesant, the South Bronx, and Jamaica Queens, you see military-style New York Police Department vehicles and swarms of foot patrol officers conducting illegal searches and issue summonses for the most petty offenses everyday.

...Many residents in communities of color feel imprisoned in their very own neighborhoods.