Former Chicago Police Commander Begins Prison Term
Former Chicago police commander Jon Burge has reported to a North Carolina prison to begin serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence for obstruction of justice and lying about torturing prisoners into making confessions. Burge was convicted in June following longtime accusations of overseeing the systematic torture of more than a hundred African American men. His trial was criticized as being too lenient by focusing not on the torture itself, but for lying about it. As Burge’s sentence begins, one of those prisoners allegedly tortured under his watch is being released after 25 years behind bars. The prisoner, Eric Caine, confessed to a murder after what he calls torture by Burge’s officers.
Wisconsin Sees Largest Protests Ever Following Passage of Anti-Union Bill
In Wisconsin, more than 100,000 people filled the streets of Madison Saturday in what what has been described as the state’s largest protest ever. The massive rally was held one day after Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill to strip most workers of their right to collectively bargain. The AFL-CIO put the size of the crowd on Saturday at 185,000. Speakers at the rally included many of the 14 Democratic senators who had fled the state three weeks ago in an attempt to stall the legislation. State Senator Fred Risser, 83, has represented his district for nearly five decades.
As part of continued efforts to close the chapter on allegations that discrimination occurred at USDA in past decades, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Assistant Attorney General Tony West announced the establishment of a process to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans.
“The Obama Administration has made it a priority to resolve all claims of past discrimination at USDA, and we are committed to closing this sad chapter in USDA’s history,” said Vilsack. “Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege past discrimination can now come forward to participate in a claims process in which they have the opportunity to receive compensation.”
“Under the resolution, USDA and Hispanic and women farmers will be able to move forward and focus on the future,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “The administrative process being established will give Hispanic and women farmers who believe they suffered discrimination the chance to have their claims heard.”
"Small-scale farmers can double food production within 10 years in critical regions by using ecological methods, a new UN report shows. Based on an extensive review of the recent scientific literature, the study calls for a fundamental shift towards agroecology as a way to boost food production and improve the situation of the poorest." - Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
“We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from us, the love of Black women for each other. But we can practice being gentle with each other by being gentle with that piece of ourselves that is hardest to hold, by giving more to the brave bruised girlchild within each of us, by expecting a little less from her gargantuan efforts to excel. We can love her in the light as well as in the darkness, quiet her frenzy toward perfection and encourage her attentions toward fulfillment…As we arm ourselves with ourselves and each other, we can stand toe to toe inside the rigorous loving and begin to speak the impossible-or what has always seemed like the impossible-to one another. The first step toward genuine change. Eventually, if we speak the truth to each other, it will become unavoidable to ourselves”—Audre Lorde, “Eye to Eye: Black Women, Hatred, and Anger,” Sister Outsider (via ohhsequin)