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What we’re reading: Ferguson edition

protest

Today, BlogDH lends it platform to the coverage of the events in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

We start with the fundamentals: how was the decision reached? The Washington Post provides insight into the process of how grand juries in Missouri work. If you want to read any of the material that the Grand Jury looked at in the past months, the New York Times has an interactive feature containing the documents released by the county prosecutor.

For coverage of the protests taking place after the decision was announced, the Root does straight reporting on how the police force responded last night in their article “61 Arrested, 10 Businesses Destroyed, 150 Shots Fired.” On the other hand, Mic.com uses 20 photos to portray a much more civilian-centered account of the protests in Ferguson. Spoiler alert: the police force in St. Louis have a very different interpretation of the protests than the civilian protesters do.

police line

Much of the news coverage is centered around the resulting violent protests. Obama’s address to the nation asked for a peaceful response after the Grand Jury’s decision was released. The Huffington Post contrasts Ferguson with civil unrest around the nation that has nothing to do with politics, such as the scene of wreckage in San Francisco after the Giants won the World Series. In international coverage, Palestinians have been tweeting advice to protesters in the states on how to deal with tear gas.

Moving on from reporting, we look to analyses and media centered responses. FiveThirtyEight details why it is so unusual for a Grand Jury not to indict the accused, except in the case of police officers standing trial. The Root speaks to legal expert and attorney Eric Guster about the possibilities for bringing Darren Wilson up on civil charges, as the past few months have only held deliberations over criminal charges.

Some important opinions articles on the subject of race relations are being recycled due to continuing relevance. In August, Carol Anderson wrote an opinions piece in the Washington Post on why black rage against an unjust system is ruthlessly bashed in the media, while white rage against progress and equality is backed by the courts and the government. The Atlantic just bumped a powerful features piece called “The Case for Reparations: Two hundred and fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.”

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Final Divest Coal protest at 1 p.m. today

divestcoal

Brown Divest Coal will be holding their final rally of the school year at 1 p.m. They have been working all year to get the Corporation to actually vote on divesting from the so-called “filthy fifteen” coal companies, but President Paxson recently hinted that such a vote likely would not take place in May. Participants in this rally hope to change that. Brown Divest Coal has held a couple of rallies before, and their year-long efforts have yielded a 3,000-signature petition supporting divestment and endorsements from UCS and billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.

As it’s their last public event of the year, it’s your last chance to make your presence felt if you support the cause. If you don’t support it, well, go about your day as planned. With few classes still meeting during Reading Period, you can probably expect a big crowd on the Main Green (as of Thursday night, 117 were listed as attending). For more information, check out the rally’s Facebook event or Brown Divest Coal’s web site.

Image via.


WTF is happening on the Main Green? Students protesting Adidas labor practices

Adidas

Late this morning, students lay head to toe across the Main Green as part of Brown’s leg of the national movement to divest from sporting goods giant Adidas due to unfair labor practices. Otherwise known as “badidas” (get it?), this national movement, which has successfully led to divestment from Adidas at Oberlin and Cornell (with several more having agreed to cut contracts), was formed in response to Adidas’ refusal to pay $1.8 million in severance owed to workers in Indonesia, among other offenses.

According to the Brown Student Labor Alliance website, though University administrators have addressed Adidas about its violations of the University’s vendor code of conduct, Adidas has not made any changes, and no definitive action has been made to cut Brown’s contract.

Decked out in workout gear, students held up signs reading slogans protesting Adidas’ practices, and encouraging the University to take action and terminate its contract with the company. And while most students might have other things on their mind in this week of weeks, you can learn more about “Brown Cut Adidas” and take a look at its petition here.


Brown Divest Coal to hold rally in front of University Hall today

At noon, demonstrators from Brown Divest Coal will be taking their year-long campaign to the Main Green. Just a few days after hosting environmentalist Bill McKibben P’16 on campus, the organization will be taking its message directly to President Paxson as it hopes she will sign on to an effort to, according to the campaign’s Facebook page, “divest the Brown endowment from the 15 most environmentally destructive coal companies,” otherwise known as the “Filthy 15.” Coal “contributes to climate change and causes 13,000 preventable deaths each year,” says Emily Kirkland ’13, Brown Divest Coal’s Director of Media Relations. She expects anywhere from “50 to 75″ people to attend the rally, but there may be even more judging by the 126 who are “attending” the rally’s Facebook event.

Image via.


Students protest at White House over proposed pipeline

Jason Hu is a member of EmPower.

Brunonia went to Washington this past weekend, as students from the Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition (RISCC) participated in protests at the White House against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline is set to bring tar sands from Canada down to Texas, Hannah LeBourgeois ’15 said, and opponents have criticized it as a setback in environmental sustainability as well as independence from fossil fuels. Go here to learn more about the proposed pipeline.

RISCC—which includes schools throughout Rhode Island, and whose Brown chapter is a member of EmPower—had collected student signatures on a large canvas which it carried at Washington.

Images courtesy Lolly Lim ’12 and Jacqueline Ho ’14.


Occupy Providence Marched to Teach-In

At 4:30 yesterday afternoon, members of Occupy Providence met at Burnside Park to march up the hill to Brown’s Main Green. Protesters carried signs, played make-shift instruments, and chanted things like “we are the 99%, you are the 99%” and “banks got bailed out, we got sold out.” Passing drivers honked their horns and cheered out their windows in support. With Brown Police standing by, Occupy Providence paraded under Faunce Arch and filed into a packed Salomon DeCiccio Auditorium to attend the Teach-In for Occupy College Hill. Occupy Providence has since released its first mission statement to the public.[nggallery id=68]