Hello! It’s been another week. And yet another week approaches! I bought five avocados. Whew.
This Police State
+ Protests have continued in Baltimore despite (and in protest of) a citywide curfew imposed on its citizens. The curfew includes what is essentially a round-the-clock 24-hour curfew on minors unless they are accompanied by an adult and headed to a sanctioned activity, as well as a specific article forbidding protesting or marching.
(b) Prohibited Conduct. Except as specifically provided by subparagraphs (i) – (vii) above:
(i) no person located within the City of Baltimore may be in a public place during the Curfew Period, whether in a vehicle or on foot;
(ii) no person within the City of Baltimore may engage in a march, parade, assembly or demonstration on a public place, whether during the Curfew Period or during Other Hours unless the event has a previously issued permit;
(iii) Additional Curfew for Minors. in addition to the restrictions imposed in subsections (b)(i) and (ii), during Other Hours, minors may not be in a public place except: when accompanied by the minor’s parent; when strictly necessary to travel to and from school when required to be at school; and when going to or returning from an official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City of Baltimore, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor.
(iv) no operator of an establishment or his agents or employees may knowingly permit any minor to remain on the premises of that establishment if that minor’s presence would violate subsection (iii) above.
Protests have also continued in other US cities in solidarity with Baltimore, including massive protests in NYC, some of which shut down the Holland Tunnel and West Side Highway.
+ Joseph Kent, a Baltimore protester, was taken into custody by police in an alarming video captured by CNN cameras that had many worried for his safety. Kent’s lawyer has since confirmed that he is alive, in good health, and is being processed after his arrest.
+ Over at the Concourse, Puja Patel talked to two Baltimore police officers.
+ Hillary Clinton gave a speech that was about a bunch of things, like general inequality but also addressed the current crisis of police violence and failure of justice specifically. Here’s the transcript. It says a lot of things that are so universal to political speeches that they are a bit meaningless, as is the nature of the beast, but also says some things which are pretty unequivocally true and are a pretty strong statement to make right out of the gate of a campaign, like “It’s time to end the era of mass incarceration” and that federal funds shouldn’t be used to buy military equipment for police departments. She also talks about supporting body cameras and mental health treatment and facilities. Obama also made statements about Baltimore this week alongside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.
+ There has been discussion about an alliance between gangs local to the Baltimore area; here is a video in which members of the Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods and Crips explain their role in what’s happening in Baltimore; it’s very worth watching.
+ Also worth watching is Ferguson community organizer and activisty DeRay McKesson on CNN, whose conversation with Wolf Blitzer on live TV is resonating with many.
Elsewhere in the US
+ 19-year-old Terrence Kellum was shot and killed by ICE agents as they served a warrant to him inside his home; it does not appear that Kellum was armed, and that he allowed them into his home without forced entry. As of Tuesday, the report was that “one agent may have been threatened, and that’s when he opened fire.” Kellum’s family, also inside the house, insist that he had nothing in his hands, contrary to police reports that Kellum held a hammer. Protests were planned in Detroit following his death.
+ Sadaisha Shimmers, a black trans woman, was violently apprehended by the police, strip-searched and jailed as a man after she indicated an interest in talking to Hillary Clinton about rights for trans people.
Shimmers posted on youtube that on the 1st of April she requested to speak to Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Ellen Degeneres show. That request was followed up by a violent assault by police the next day.
Shimmers said on Facebook that she lives in a transphobic boarding house and called 911 so she could leave safely. The police said they couldn’t respond and she was told to come to the station to fill out a complaint. As she was leaving to do this she was slammed to the ground and detained without charges for 24 hours…
Shimmers said she wanted to talk to Clinton “about the 20 transgender deaths in our country, the lack of military inclusion and the segregation that is being lobbied for jails and bathrooms in our country” She said “I was leaving my place of residence where I was thrown on the ground by two male officers. She says that she was subsequently held and detained in a downtown San Francisco jail for 24 hours, without food or critical medication.”
Politics, Politicians and Those Who Vote for Them
+ In a now-familiar story, North Dakota state representative Randy Boehning, gifted/cursed with an extraordinary entendre of a surname, has been caught voting against legal protections for gay people (twice) and also looking for hookups on Grindr.
+ You may recall that we have previously discussed in this news roundup Kansas’ extreme new law that outlaws pregnancy termination procedures usually used after a miscarriage or in the second trimester of pregnancy. Now the state attorney general is asking the state to pony up its money to pay for defending the law against legal challenges. (Kansas is already in a budget crisis and has already spent $1 million defending anti-abortion laws in court.)
+ The Harvard University Institute of Politics did a giant poll of 18-29 year olds, and found out a bunch of stuff that is sort of wild. Some of the more notable findings:
- Only 37% of young white voters support the #BlackLivesMatter movement as compared to 81% of young Black voters and 59% of Latin@ voters.
- On the whole, a majority of young voters (55%) want to see the White House stay Democrat.
- There doesn’t seem to be a particular frontrunner among the Republican candidates for young Republican voters.
- Young voters appear to be very supportive of the military, indicating that they trust military decisions more than they trust the decisions of the Supreme Court; 57% indicated they wanted to “send ground troops back to Iraq to fight Islamic State.”
+ Eliel Cruz reports on Kelly Bardier and Jaci Pfeiffer, a lesbian couple fired from a Christian daycare after their relationship to one another was revealed.
“We were called into the director’s office and told that if we chose to continue living a life of sin, we would be terminated but if we decided not to be gay anymore, we could keep our jobs,“ Bardier told me in an email. They had no prior marks against them.
Florida has no discrimination protections that would make their firing illegal; however, the county does have a human rights ordinance, which could be applicable to the couple’s situation depending on how their employment was categorized.
+ Tiffany Franklin and her girlfriend Jazmine Lewis say they were kicked out of a Mississippi bowling alley for kissing each other. Mississippi has no legal protections in place for LGBT discrimination, and on top of that also has a religious freedom law which would protect the owner’s actions if he claims they were religiously motivated.
“It was just a small peck on the lips. He said, ‘I want to be as discreet as possible. I would like you to refrain from doing that,’ and we said, ‘From doing what?’” Franklin added.
The women say they were forced to leave the bowling alley, but an attorney for the business denied that the women were kicked out. The owner of the bowling alley said he didn’t want kids to be exposed to women kissing.
+ After a two-way mirror was discovered in the women’s restroom of a Chicago bar, police visited the establishment and …decided it was fine. Chief James Ritz says that while he understands why people might be concerned about a two-way mirror that allows anyone inside the adjacent supply closet to see patrons while they’re on the toilet, it isn’t a privacy violation, and also it’s useful because during Halloween the bar rigs up skulls behind the mirror to scare people.
+ The New York State Assembly has voted to ban conversion therapy for minors; now the bill moves on to the state senate.
+ Pope Francis is not a fan of the gender wage gap.
+ Hundreds of Nigerian women and girls were rescued from Boko Haram this week.