A Chevron well in the preparation stages for hydraulic fracturing exploded last Tuesday 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, Penn., causing a fire that lasted for four days and left one Chevron contractor unaccounted for and another one injured.
The fire is now out, but Chevron’s damage control efforts may be far from over.
An image of a coupon from Chevron offering free pizza to residents near last week’s disaster was posted online Monday, prompting outrage, mockery and disbelief among activists and the Internet commentariat. They say the offer shows Chevron lacks awareness of the seriousness of its actions and indicates a larger problem of oil and gas companies buying support in communities where hydraulic fracturing — the practice in which thousands of gallons of water mixed with chemicals are pumped into deeply drilled wells to break up naturally occurring oil and gas formations — is on the rise.
(Photo: Guillaume Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)
Black students at University of Michigan demand action on campus diversity
January 22, 2014
Some members of the University of Michigan’s Black Student Union issued a list of seven demands to college administrators Monday calling for improved racial diversity and inclusion on campus. The participants gave the university seven days to meet their requests before they consider a ‘physical’ form of activism to spur reforms.
Demands include an increase in black representation to equal 10 percent of the university population and more affordable housing on campus for those of lower socioeconomic status.
The Black Student Union launched the ‘Being Black at University Michigan’ movement last fall to spark a dialogue about race on campus and gained national attention when their hashtag #BBUM trended on Twitter.
Students displayed their demands on the steps of Hill Auditorium where speakers like University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belefonte spoke at an event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Intensive Management Unit, or IMU, at Monroe Correctional Complex, is where the most high-risk and violent offenders are kept locked away. For 23 hours a day, they have no contact with other humans, save the occasional guard or the shouts of the inmates in neighboring cells. The new Reintegration and Progression Program at Monroe’s IMU uses group behavioral modification classes to transition offenders out of solitary confinement and back into general population. One study found about 45 percent of offenders in Washington’s IMU have serious mental illness or traumatic brain injuries.
Article [x]Finally I’ve been hoping for this kind of program to exist
Washington governor suspends death penalty in state
AP: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced he is suspending the use of the death penalty in Washington state.
According to a draft statement obtained by The Associated Press, Inslee said that the use of the death penalty is inconsistent and unequal.
"Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility," he said in the written statement. "And in death penalty cases, I’m not convinced equal justice is being served. The use of the death penalty in this state is unequally applied, sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred." …
Inslee’s moratorium means that if a death penalty case comes to his desk, he will issue a reprieve, which isn’t a pardon and doesn’t commute the sentences of those condemned to death.
Photo: Lethal injection execution chamber, Washington State Penitentiary. (AP via KING 5)
Just 33 of roughly 1,100 students at UCLA’s School of Law are Black. In a video released recently, some of those students spoke about how it affects their daily experience. They speak on what it feels like to sometimes be the only Black person in a classroom and to be extremely visible and yet so isolated. This is just some of what students had to say:
“I get here and I’m one of three Black students in my section and I’m told that’s impressive. I get here and I’m told I’m one of 11 Black students in my class and that that’s impressive. And I wasn’t impressed.”
“I feel my classmates’ eyes on me, particularly if we’re discussing something that brings race, and especially race and gender, into play. It’s so far from being a safe space that it almost feels like staying at home would be better for my mental health, for myself, than being in class.”
“I’ve never felt the burden before to have to represent my community until I came to law school, and it’s not a good feeling to have.”
Last fall, Black undergrads at UCLA made a video of their own decrying the racial demographics at the school.
Another showdown is brewing over ethnic studies, this time at California State University, Los Angeles, where students are demanding that the administration add an ethnic studies requirement to the school’s general education curriculum.
On Tuesday, 75 students showed up to an Academic Senate meeting to make their demands public, arguing that the courses are an important part of developing critical thinking skills in an increasingly multicultural society.
“College students who take an ethnic studies class can go out and uplift their community,” Jelani Hendrix, a 23-year-old Pan-African studies major, told the Los Angeles Times. “They can show that all of us are more alike than different.”
But ethnic studies programs throughout the California State University system, and the country, face tremendous hurdles as universities slash budgets and the programs suffer from dwindling enrollment. Cal State Long Beach recently moved to reduce the status of its Africana Studies program and a group of faculty from across the 23-campus Cal State system have advocated for a moratorium on proposed changes.
“General education requirements should be open to all departments and programs,” said Gretchen Peterson, chairwoman of the Cal State LA sociology department told the Times. “Ethnic studies should be integrated throughout the curriculum.”
The 55-member academic senate, which includes students and college deans, rejected a similar ethnic studies requirement last month. It’s expected to take up the issue again next week.
In the video below, students and faculty speak out at a press conference in Los Angeles.