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Sunday, 1 March 2015

New Blog from PP Jalil Muntaqim: Blog #33: Future Focus


Blog #33: Future Focus

In seven years, by 2023, the U.S. will be 40 percent minority, and 50 percent of the entire population will be under 40 years old. These are the demographics that cannot be ignored as progressives move forward building opposition to institutional racism and plutocratic governing.
In my thinking, it is incumbent on today’s activists to take into account what America will look like in ten years, so we will be better positioned to ensure the future will not be governed by deniers of change. In this regard, I am raising dialogue toward building a National Coalition for a Changed America (NCCA) comprised of social, economic and political activists who are prepared to build a future-focused America based on equitable distribution of wealth. It is important that progressives seek the means to organize greater unity and uniformity in ideological and political objectives toward the construction of a mass and popular movement. It is well established that the most pressing issues confronting the poor and oppressed peoples are wage inequities, housing displacement, dysfunctional public schools and student debt, climate change, the criminalization of the poor, mass incarceration, and the militarization of the police. In each are negative racial and economic implications creating social conflicts and confrontations.
However, the most pervasive and devastating cause for all of these issues is the unequal distribution of wealth. It is well researched and recorded that the wealth disparity, income gap between whites and blacks is 40% greater today than in 1967, with the average black household’s net worth at $6,314 and the average white household’s at $110,500 (New York Times, “When Whites Just Don’t Get It,” by Nicholas Kistof). When we account for how such economic disparity impacts educational opportunities or criminal behavior in the black community, we are better able to identify the overall pernicious problem. The Brookings Institute reported last July that: “As poverty increased and spread during the 2000s, the number of distressed neighborhoods in the United States—defined as census tracts with poverty rates of 40% or more—climbed by nearly three-quarters.” The report continued: “The population living in such neighborhoods grew by similar margins (76%, or 5 million people) to reach 11.6 million by 2008-2012.” (New York Times, “Crime and Punishment,” by Charles M. Blow).
Obviously, America is in increasing economic crisis, especially when considering … “According to a recent paper by the economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics, almost all of the increase in American inequality over the last 30 years is attributable to the “rise of the share of wealth owned by the 0.1% richest families.” And much of that rise is driven by the top 0.01%. “The wealth of the top 1% grew an average of 3.9% a year from 1986 to 2012, though the top one-hundredth of that 1% saw its wealth grow about twice as fast. The 16,000 families in the tiptop category—those with fortunes of at least $111 million—have seen their share of national wealth nearly double since 2002, to 11.2%.” (New York Times, “Another Widening Gap: The Haves vs. the Have-Mores,” by Robert Frank).
Can there by any serious disputing the reality that this so-called democracy is actually a plutocracy, and the governing plutocrats have us all hustling and scraping for the crumbs, demanding a minimum wage increase, when we should be demanding control of production? Hence, it is necessary for progressives to realize the future of our struggle must be based on participatory democracy, direct-action engagement. It is important for the more educated and experienced activists to teach the younger activists, and young people in general need to know the future belongs to them, and we are concerned about what that future will look like and how to make it productive. It is essential we figure ways to bridge differences between the evolving demographics and growing minority population.
For instance, I am heartened to see young people taking to the streets challenging the common impunity of police repression and violence. Indeed, Black Lives Matter! However, I am not confident these protests will result in anything substantial in terms of institutional changes or build a sustainable movement. We remember Occupy Wall Street (OWS) had created similar national attention, but void a national organization, leadership or agenda (demands), it was a matter of time before OWS would dissipate and disappear after police removed the public nuisances.
In this regard, I am asking activists to post on their Facebook pages and other online sites these musings, for open discussion and dialogue. Specifically, I suggest that young people across the country enter open debate about the future of specific issues that have captured national attention. Obviously, it is necessary to build a mass and popular movement to effectuate real institutional change in this country. This was a vital lesson from the civil rights movement challenging the institution of Jim Crow. Therefore, I am urging young activists to consider organizing toward a “Million Youth Independence Day March” (MY-ID March) for July 4, 2016, in Washington, D.C., making the following demands:
  1. De-Militarization and De-Centralization of the Police, Demand Community Control of Police;
  2. Debt Relief for College Students, Lower Tuition Cost for College Education;
  3. Support the Manifestation of the Dreamers Act—Stop Deportations and the Splitting of Families.
These three issues, as they become part of the national dialogue and challenge to the plutocratic government, are able to unite a universal national determination. A one-issue protest/campaign is not sustainable when confronting an oppressive/repressive government policy supported by right-wing corporate interests. However, these interwoven issues reach three demographics of young people, each directly challenging institutions of government. Again, it is important to use the current unrest to forge a unified and uniform national youth movement.
Secondly, politically, we need to consider how best to ensure these issues become a major factor in the national debate, possibly imposing them into the national election of 2016. In this way, inspiring and encouraging a mass and popular youth movement organized during the election year of 2016, we empower the youth to be future focused. It is well established that it was the youth who were instrumental in getting Obama elected as President. Despite our collective disappointment with his presidency, the lesson learned is the power of the youth when united and determined to accomplish a task. Again, recognizing that in 7 years the electoral demographics will be drastically changed, it is time to prepare for that eventuality, even if some do not believe in the electoral process. Therefore, during the election year of 2016, not a single candidate will be permitted to conduct a public forum without being challenged by these issues. These would be acts of participatory democracy and direct-action engagement. Obviously, to hold a national rally and march in Washington, D.C. during the July 4, 2016 weekend tells the entire country that young people will divorce themselves from the status quo, becoming independent of the Republican/Democratic party politics.
In closing, it is anticipated this proposal will raise questions concerning the potential for the development of a National Coalition for a Changed America (NCCA). Permit me to say that this proposed organization is only a suggestion. I firmly believe that building a national coalition is necessary to establish a mass and popular movement capable of forcing institutional changes, including the ultimate goal of redistribution of America’s wealth. I request this paper be widely distributed and discussed. I am prepared to enter discussion with anyone interested in the potential development of a National Coalition for a Changed America. Lastly, I humbly request activists to review what I wrote in “Toward a New American Revolution.”
“Our First Line of Defense IS Power to the People!”
Remember: We Are Our Own Liberators!
In fierce struggle,
Jalil A. Muntaqim
Attica, February 2015
Write to Jalil:
Anthony J. Bottom #77A4283
Attica Correctional FacilityP.O. Box 149
AtticaNY 14011-0149

Saturday, 28 February 2015

People For Schapelle Corby #Icare4innocentSchapelle

1. Schapelle Corby's boogie-board bag was the only one not scanned at Sydney Airport: it was diverted past the scanner by baggage staff. Customs Minister Ellison withheld this life critical information, even when Schapelle Corby’s lawyer asked directly about scanning. [Transit Report]
2. This information was also hidden from Parliament, when direct questions were asked, and critically, it was withheld from the Bali court. John Howard, and his long term colleague, Head of Sydney Airport Corporation Ltd, Max Moore-Wilton, were also aware, but remained silent. [Transit Report]
3. The AFP never investigated the reason for this missing screening data, and AFP Commissioner Keelty, who was also informed, never commented upon it. Keelty was also aware, via Operation Mocha, that the same baggage handlers were simultaneously engaging in other drug related activities. [Transit Report]
4. Schapelle Corby checked her bags in underweight, but they were subsequently found to be 5kg overweight on the Qantas system (which would have carried an excess charge of $175). This clearly indicated the addition of a significant weight factor, after the bags left her hands. [Transit Report]
5. Again, neither Schapelle Corby, nor the Bali court, were ever provided with this critical information. [Supplementary Report]
6. Two weeks before the verdict, AFP Commissioner Keelty told the media that there was no evidence of airport drug syndicates using innocent passengers, when this was clearly, demonstrably, and utterly, false. The AFP had held the Kessing Reports for months, and it withheld a host of other vital support evidence, which proved the long term and systemic nature of such syndication at Sydney Airport. [Transit Report]
7. The AFP and DFAT demonstrably evaded and frustrated the forensic and DNA tests which Schapelle Corby begged for in court. [Mutual Evasion Report]
8. The AFP told Parliament that it couldn't perform marijuana pollen tests, when it had the capacity to do so, and indeed, had originally offered to perform them for the INP. It also refused the services of a forensics expert, who had volunteered to perform them. [Mutual Evasion Report]
9. Ellison subsequently told a clearly false story about marijuana testing, in a written letter to a constituent. [Mutual Evasion Report]
10. DFAT did not invoke the MACMA treaty to obtain the sample of marijuana (for DNA testing) which Schapelle Corby begged for, when it could have done so within the provisions of the treaty itself. [Mutual Evasion Report]
11. The AFP and Qantas provided wholly contradictory stories about the missing CCTV footage, which Schapelle Corby pleaded for. No footage was ever provided, from any airport, despite over 800 cameras being in situ. [Transit Report]
12. Foreign Minister Downer, and Prime Minister Howard, publicly endorsed the original Bali trial, when they were well aware that a multitude of legal and human rights abuses had been committed throughout. [Bali Trial Report]
13. Ellison publicly endorsed the burning of the physical evidence, whilst Schapelle Corby pleaded desperately for it to be preserved and tested. [Mutual Evasion Report]
14. DFAT have, de facto, endorsed and suppressed the ongoing and documented abuses of a mentally ill Australian citizen for more than nine years. [Health Report]
15. ACLEI, when forced to examine the AFP's role in the affair, was directly and demonstrably complicit with an AFP officer, in producing a report which was an utter embarrassment to all parties. A functionary, who was at the heart of the Howard regime when the AFP abuses occurred, was allowed to rubber stamp ACLEI's complicit rubber stamp. [Whitewash Report]
16. The government pressed and forced an Australian QC, Mark Trowell, on to Schapelle Corby for her appeal. He then decimated the appeal by attacking her defence team to the media. When he subsequently admitted that he was working for the government, and not for Schapelle Corby, the government refused to comment. The precise role of Justice & Customs Minister Ellison in this affair, Trowell’s long term friend, has never been explained. [Insider Report]
17. Downer and Howard publicly described a standard flour hoax at the Indonesian embassy as a “murderous attack”, using a “biological agent”, when there was no evidence whatsoever to suggest that it wasn’t benign. Neither of them revealed that the note included with the flour didn't refer to Schapelle Corby at all, and was written in Bahasa, when they promptly blamed it on her supporters. [PowderGate Report]
18. Ellison did not alert any of the parties necessary to prevent the false, but support-wrecking, story from circulating around the world. Yet, he was informed of the benign nature of the flour, by email, at 6:35pm on the same day. [PowderGate Report]
19. The government seized Schapelle Corby's book royalties under proceeds of crime legislation, whilst she was still in legal process in Indonesia, sending a clear signal to Jakarta. It further brought the judiciary into disrepute, by illegally extending its jurisdiction outside Australian borders, and holding secret trials, at which Schapelle Corby was not even represented. [Political Seizure Report]
20. The government thus denied her the funds for a further appeal, and for on-going medication, despite full knowledge of the nature of the original trial, and of the vital primary evidence which had been wilfully withheld. [Political Seizure Report]
21. Dozens of breaches of the Freedom of Information Act, with respect to requests made on behalf of Schapelle Corby, have been recorded. The AFP alone has spent in the region of $1 million in frustrating efforts to obtain further evidential information. [FOI Abuse Report]
22. The AFP suppressed a secret recording of two known criminals discussing the collection of marijuana from Sydney Airport on the same day that Schapelle Corby flew to Bali. [Candidate Sources Report]
23. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has supported the government with respect to every complaint ever lodged relating to Schapelle Corby by members of the public. The same applies to the ACMA, the OAIC, and every other quango presented to the public as a ‘watchdog’. [Quango Report]
24. . Serious media abuses, including direct criminal matters, such as phone hacking and illegal recording, were submitted to the Finkelstein media inquiry in 2011, but were excluded. Compelling evidence of political interference with respect to the ABC, and of subsequent editorial and reporting abuses, continues to be ignored. [Media Reports]
25. The Attorney-General refused to accept a formal Crime Report, including a 450 page evidential Addendum, which documented serious breaches of the law by politicians and the AFP. [Crime Report].
26. When Schapelle Corby was released on parole, in February 2014, the AFP dealt with the looming threat that she may expose the above information on television via a series of intimidatory raids, by dozens of armed officers, on the offices of Seven Network. The AFP similarly raided the offices of Mercedes Corby's lawyers, seizing everything in sight, including confidential material on potential legal action against the AFP itself. [Report].
27. Subsequent to the AFP raids, Schapelle Corby was illegally gagged. If she speaks to the media she will be re-imprisoned. If her sister speaks to the media, again, Schapelle Corby will be re-imprisoned. This flagrant breach of human rights was fully endorsed by her own government in Canberra. [Report].

Child Protective Services Kids Found in Human Trafficking

Child Protective Services agencies are intended to take care of children with nowhere else to go, but corruption has infiltrated the government custodial system - putting kids at great risk. National Safe Child founder Tammi Stefano takes a look at the problem and reveals cases of CPS children who ended up working in the growing human sex trafficking trade in this short clip from the full length Buzzsaw interview with Sean Stone.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Defense attorneys file "sentencing memorandum" calling for judge NOT to imprison Rasmea Odeh

Rasmea Defense Committee
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Supporters mobilize for March 12 sentencing in Detroit

Today, defense attorneys for Rasmea Odeh, Chicago’s 67-year-old Palestinian community leader, filed a “sentencing memorandum” in a Detroit federal court, arguing that Odeh “should not be sentenced to further imprisonment” following her conviction in November 2014 on a single charge of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization.  Included in the memorandum were “over 70 letters from religious leaders, university professors, human rights attorneys, community activists and people who have worked with her, attesting to her extraordinary and original work with Arab immigrant women.”

Maysoon Gharbieh, a member of the 600-strong Arab Women’s Committee that Rasmea built in Chicago, wrote, “Rasmea is a valuable and lovely icon for us and for the entire community. She works without reward or personal profit. All she cares about is supporting and protecting us and our families. Her ultimate goal is to help develop families that are educated, active and effective in contributing to keeping the community and the country safe for all who live here.”

In support of Odeh, Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit wrote, “I am asking for compassion in her sentencing. Rasmea has much to offer her community...keeping her out of prison would allow her to continue as a contributing and productive person, doing the work that is so critical to hundreds of refugee women.”

Odeh’s attorneys are asking Judge Gershwin Drain to take her age, poor health, chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and “exemplary history in the United States” into consideration when deciding on her sentence, adding that “there is no reasonable justification for sending Ms. Odeh to federal prison.”

Despite the fact that 98% of all sentences for this offense are at or below sentencing guidelines, the prosecution has called for a heavier, enhanced one of 5 to 7 years, based on allegations that Odeh obstructed justice in her trial and on this ridiculous comparison: “A light sentence in this case would be a signal to anyone who has fought overseas for ISIS or a similar organization that there is not much risk in coming to the United States, hiding one’s past, and seeking citizenship."

Odeh’s attorneys challenge this linkage, writing, “The Government, for its part, insists that the defendant be branded a terrorist, and sentenced accordingly, based on a conviction for bombings obtained in an illegitimate military trial, conducted by war criminals, 45 years ago.  Their position is that only the bombing matters: Not the illegal 1967 massacres and occupation - let alone the military ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from the land and their homes when Palestine was partitioned in 1948 - not the midnight sweeps and kidnapping by the invading Army after the 1967 war, not the torture, not the kangaroo court and false confessions, not the prison time.”

Odeh plans to appeal her conviction, and will request the granting of an appellate bond no matter the sentence, which could be the prison time, heavy fines, and deportation.

“Hundreds of people will be in Detroit for the sentencing hearing on March 12th,” says Tampa’s Marisol Marquez of the national Rasmea Defense Committee, “and there have been, and will continue to be, events and fundraisers to support Rasmea all across the country. She’s a beloved leader of the Palestinian community, and we will not stop organizing until she’s exonerated.”

For more information and background on Rasmea Odeh’s case, go to http://justice4rasmea.org.

Freedom Archives 522 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

NAACP Statement on DOJ’s Decision Not to File Civil Rights Charges Against George Zimmerman:

NAACP Statement on DOJ’s Decision Not to File Civil Rights Charges Against George Zimmerman:
The NAACP will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed. The NAACP continues to remain committed to justice no matter how long or how difficult. No one should be protected by the law when committing senseless crimes or any act of violence. Our deepest prayers and support continue to be with the family of Trayvon Martin. - Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

NASIHA (For Muslims in America): On The Challenges of this Age

11006 Veirs Mill Rd, STE L-15, PMB 298
Silver Spring, MD. 20902
The Challenges of this Age

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):

The imminent Muslim leader and grassroots intellectual El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) was
known to say, “The media is very powerful. The media has the power to make a guilty person look innocent, and the innocent person look guilty.”
Our “Black Shining Prince,” as the socially committed artist extraodinaire Ossie Davis referred to Malcolm after his death, was not the first independent thinker to publicly upbraid the media apparatus in the West for the periodic misuse of its power, and its ability to distort the truth. Listen to what George Orwell had to say in his celebrated work titled, ‘Homage to Catalonia.’
“Early in life I noticed that no event is correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship that is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed…and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies, and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened, but of whatought to have happened according to various party lines.”

The noble Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “One of the best jihads is to speak truth to a [governing authority] that has deviated from the right way.” Properly understood, this moral mandate encompasses both the governing authority and the powerful (behind the scenes) opinion shaping apparatus that assists, sometimes encourages, the governing authority in its deviation from the moral dictates of truth and justice.
One of the biggest failings of Muslim leaders (and other faith-based leaders) in the present age is the failure to lead – the failure to be that desperately needed moral compass in today’s world! Muslim leaders today are content with being well polished, well spoken, good looking reactionaries (more politician than faith leader) – within an empire acceptable framework! One of the most glaring examples of this unsavory reality is the fiasco that just took place at the White House in Washington, DC.
At the three-day, highly touted CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) Conference, Muslim leaders appeared to serve as little more than attractive window dressing - a visual showcase that offered the illusion of inclusion – while the issues that shouldhave been prominently on the table for discussion were either absent or peripheral to the conversation at best.
Meanwhile, the overall premise for the three-day synod was blatantly false (i.e. that elements within the Muslim community represent the greatest violent threat to the US and western civilization). As such, this agreed upon framework, and its proposed outcomes, ended up presenting a greater threat to the very interests (i.e. constituency) that these “Muslim leaders” were ostensibly there to represent! One is left with the painful impression that the leaders who attended the synod, generally speaking, were just damn happy to be there!
The bottom line is: We – Muslims in America and our embarrassingly fractured and faith-deficient “leadership” - have got to do better than this! We cannot afford to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, again and again. There is too much at stake. Toward this end we, in partnership with (not led by, but in partnership with) sincere non-Muslim friends and activists, must set our own independent agenda.

That agenda must include the following:
1.      A willingness to aggressively and consistently challenge offending media (individuals and organizations) andoffending politicians, along with their respective supporters and handlers, on the false narrative represented by the so-called violent/extremist/Muslim threat!
2.      The FACTS on who is committing the bulk of extreme violence (aka, domestic terrorism) in America, and demand that the media report the facts as they are – and not as they would like for them to be “according to various party lines.”
3.      The FACTS on which community has been bearing the brunt of hate crimes in America. The recent murders of Deah, Yusor and Razan in Chapel Hill, North Carolina should prominently remain front and center in this ongoing fact-based public debate!
4.      An aggressive, community-wide campaign for the freedom of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. (March 2015 will mark 12 years of unjust, torturous imprisonment for this innocent Muslim woman. Meanwhile, Muslims leaders in America,generally speaking, have continued to shamefully fail to measure up to the challenge and danger that this precedent-setting political imprisonment has come to represent!)
5.      An aggressive campaign to draw attention to the [predominantly young male] Muslims who have been given sentences involving DECADES of imprisonment for aspirational offenses, which more often than not involved a government paid informant/agent-provocateur leading and encouraging the so-called “conspiracy” that never materialized! These cases must be re-visited for redress sooner rather than later. For in any truly just society THE PUNISHMENT MUST FIT THE CRIME!
6.      A willingness (through faith) to muster the courage to CHALLENGE OPPRESSION and NOT SIMPLY BE A RUBBER STAMP for what the government wants to do – or say; nor to be silent when that silence constitutes betrayal!
7.      In short, we must demonstrate with our actions the willingness and loving capacity to HAVE FAITH IN OUR FAITH!
(This is especially important for the most impressionable and vulnerable among us, who need to see and be inspired by such examples the most!)

On a final note, I am forwarding a well written piece of commentary (below) by one of our young sisters in South Africa. It was forwarded to me after a recent interview that I did with one of South Africa’s Muslim owned and operated broadcast networks (CII); it provides some valuable insight into how we in America are being viewed abroad.

May ALLAH guide and fortify us in the struggle ahead. Ameen!
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
Jumada Al-Awwal 1436 A.H.


Wrong time to be Muslims in America

Posted On 17 Feb 2015
On February the 11, 3 US Muslims were gunned down in cold, Islamophobic outrage by a white terrorist. Where was the mainstream media coverage? It is an absolute shame that the same media houses who were fervently reporting the Charlie Hebdo attacks just a couple of weeks ago, claiming to be heroes of all kinds of freedoms and democracy, were absolutely silent when Muslims were on the other end of the gun.
An outspoken white atheist, Craig Stephen Hicks, murdered three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. More than 10 hours after the murders, when some news outlets decided to cover the story, it was reported that police had said the crime may have grown out of a dispute over “parking”. Yusor Mohammad, Deah Barakat and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were not killed execution style over a parking lot. Their father, Abu-Salha, reports what his daughter Yusor (who wears a headscarf) had said regarding Hicks just a week before he put a bullet in each of their heads: “Honest to God, he hates us for what we are and how we look.” The youngsters had told their families that they had a “hateful neighbour” who would talk to them with “his gun in his belt”. We do know, without a doubt, that had Hicks been a Muslim and his victims atheists, none would be waiting for all the facts to come in before declaring him a terrorist. There would be the usual calls for other Muslims to condemn the killings. Violence perpetrated by Muslims is always seen as part of a global terrorism, whereas white men like Hicks are usually seen as isolated psychopaths.
But how true is this? Hicks fits the profile of the most common type of American terrorist- a white man with a weapon and a grudge. How many of us know that more than 90% of mass shootings in the US are committed by white men between the ages of 15 and 46. According to the latest FBI statistics, there were more than 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2013. Mosques and Islamic centers have been firebombed and vandalized; seven mosques were attacked during Ramadan alone in 2012.
Alia Ansari, a 37 year old mother of 6, was shot point blank in the head in what was revealed to have religious hate behind the motive of her killing. Another young victim of Islamophobia, 15 year old Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein was killed by a deliberate hit and run for being Muslim in December last year. These, just like the murders of Yusor, her husband, Deah, and her sister, Razan will never make our headlines, nor will we see world leaders mobilise themselves within hours to safeguard the freedom to religion and life.
Loss of life is always regrettable. But there are no separate standards for different people. When 3 Muslim students who, evident from their social networking sites were committed to humanitarian work and only ever having a good word to say, are murdered in cold blood the very least I’d like to see is some news coverage. Ideally, I want to see protests. I want to see marches. I want to see the same outrage expressed in France. Because Muslim lives matter too.
To quote Stephen Lendman: “Post 9/11, Muslims were targeted for political advantage. Post-Boston Bombings, America’s war on Islam continues. Muslims are ‘war on terror’ scapegoats. It is the wrong time to be Muslims in America. They are persecuted for their faith and ethnicity. At times it is for the activism, prominence, and/or charity”.
About the Author
Aayesha J. Soni is a medical student at Wits University and the Vice Chairperson of MRN. She is committed to fighting injustice across a broad spectrum. Aayesha’s pieces have been published in leading newspapers, including The Star, Natal Witness, News24 and Palestine Chronicle.


Hello friends,

I have great news from the State of Georgia! The link below is the Georgia Executive Order to BAN THE BOX signed yesterday (02/23/15) by Governor Nathan Deal (R). RIHD's Executive Director, Lillie Branch-Kennedy and I were at the Georgia State House last month to support the incredible effort on the ground to ban the odious box of employment discrimination in Georgia. We salute the courage of the Governor of Georgia and our friends and colleagues in Georgia who fought gallantly for this change. NOW WE NEED OUR OWN GOVERNOR TERRY MCAULIFFE TO SHOW LEADERSHIP AND COURAGE BY SIGNING A SIMILAR ORDER TO BAN THE BOX IN VIRGINIA.