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The National Women's Studies Association Backs Israeli Boycott

Natioanl Women's Studies AssociationThe National Women’s Studies Association is the newest scholarly group to back the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

In a vote that involved 35 percent of the association’s total membership, 88.4 percent, or 653 individuals, voted in favor of a boycott measure. Members of the NWSA’s executive committee then took their own vote on Friday to approve the membership’s recommendation that the association support BDS.


How history got the Rosa Parks story wrong

Rosa ParksSixty years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. Her courageous act is now American legend. She is a staple of elementary school curricula and was the second-most popular historical figure named by American students in a survey. When Republican presidential contenders were asked to pick a woman they wanted pictured on the $10 bill, the largest number of votes went to Parks.

Americans are convinced they know this civil rights hero. In textbooks and documentaries, she is the meek seamstress gazing quietly out of a bus window — a symbol of progress and how far we’ve come. When she died in 2005, the word “quiet” was used in most of her obituaries and eulogies. We have grown comfortable with the Parks who is often seen but rarely heard.


Chicago police head fired after officer charged with murder

Garry McCarthy firedChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired his police superintendent on Tuesday after it took 13 months to charge a white police officer with the shooting death of a black teenager, a media report said on Tuesday.

The Chicago Sun-Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that Emanuel had called Superintendent Garry McCarthy overnight to tell him he was out. The report could not immediately be confirmed by the mayor's office or Chicago police.

McCarthy appeared “shell-shocked” by the news, sources said.


Kern County, CA: the story of America's deadliest police

Kern County, CASeventy-five years after Kern County’s leaders banned The Grapes of Wrath from their schools and libraries, complaining that John Steinbeck’s new book portrayed their policemen as “divested of sympathy or human decency or understanding”, officer Aaron Stringer placed his hands on the body of James De La Rosa without permission.

De La Rosa had just been shot dead by police officers in Bakersfield, the biggest city in this central California county, after crashing his car when they tried to pull him over. He was unarmed. Now the 22-year-old oilfield worker lay on a gurney in the successor to the coroner’s office where Tom Joad’s granma awaited a pauper’s funeral in the 1939 novel.


Texas Seeks to Ban Refugee Aid Groups From Using Pro-Refugee Speech

AbbottTexas has a message for refugee aid organizations: Stop providing aid or we’ll sue.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced in November that he would not support the resettlement of Syrian refugees in his state. In a Wednesday letter to aid group International Rescue Committee, Texas health commissioner Chris Traylor took the state’s anti-immigrant rhetoric further.

According to Traylor, the IRC’s vocal support for resettling Syrian refugees in Texas is a violation of federal law.


Former NYS Assemblyman Sheldon Silver found guilty on all counts in corruption case

Sheldon Silver convictedSheldon Silver has gone from one of Albany’s famed “three men in a room” to one of 198,000 people in federal lockup.

A jury found the 71-year-old former Assembly Speaker guilty on all seven corruption charges on Monday afternoon, sending a powerful message to politicians in New York’s capital.

Judge Valerie Caproni will set the date of his surrender. He faces a maximum of 130 years behind bars, though he is expected to face a sentence more in the range of 20 years.


Trials of officers in Freddie Gray case begin amid skepticism over process

Freddy GrayHarold Perry, a blind 72-year-old-man, still can’t shake what he heard through his window on the morning of 12 April.

“I still hear the young man crying, screaming at certain points,” said Perry, standing on his porch in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore, across the street from the court in Gilmor Homes where Freddie Gray was arrested.

Perry, who was wearing dark glasses and holding a cane in one hand as he smoked a cigarette in the sun while a group of young men stood on the corner joking, remembered that morning all too well. He was still asleep when the cries of the 25-year-old Gray awoke him.


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