The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And they Pre-emptively lock up the Left as Terrorists?

Celebrate the International Observation of the Anniversary of
the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade:


These Tea Partiers and legislators that take such pride in their "right" to be obstructing millions of poor, working, and middle class families from accessing health care are pitiful representations of what I grew up believing were the best qualities of "Americans" - perceptions passed on to me by my Republican elders, ironically. It is the myth that drives young men and women to their deaths or worse in war all around the world. It goes like this:

Americans are champions of the oppressed, always cheering on the underdog; the revolutionary and rebel dominate our folklore - Robin Hood is one of our most legendary European heroes. My great-grandfather, an Iowa farmer who endured the Depression, was named after the outlaw Jesse James. The vast majority of us aspire to build a more just and sustainable world together, beginning with how we resolve conflict or crisis in our homes, schools, and communities so that we aren't just feeding our most vulnerable, troubled kids and naive citizens through the pipeline to prisons. We just can’t see that far past our fear or what may be our family’s economic dependence on perpetuating the cycle of crime and punishment – which only churns out more victims, incapacitating more communities, and destroying more lives...

We need to take responsibility for each other before it gets that far. Most child abusers are never caught because they are, by and large, white men in power - usually a member or close friend of their victim's family. A child reporting a crime like that has about as good a chance of being protected and getting justice (forget mercy) in America as a prisoner does suing his incarcerators. The kids just end up in foster care or detention and get brutalized more. How are we going to improve their odds so they don’t end up enraged and “violent” as adults, or self-destructing rapidly with drugs and dying as a petty offender in jail of Hepatitis.

All our sentencing mandates didn't do a damn thing to protect the most vulnerable women in the state from violence, either: migrants and women in prison and detention. In fact, recent legislation has criminalized them further and made it all the more likely they will be victimized and murdered in silence by legal residents and non-citizens alike: Pearce declared open season on those women with his assault on Sanctuary Cities.

You will no doubt try to hide their bodies as "John and Jane Does" in county morgues until it is time to cremate and bury them. We'll have to dig to get the names, numbers, and causes of death, but we'll try to include everyone in our May 20 memorial for those who have died in the custody of the state.

The preceding day, May 19, we may have a vigil for the 4 hours Marcia Powell was left in the sun, asking for help - perhaps film a guerilla theater piece on it someplace appropriate. That day is also World Hepatitis Day, so we may do a special service for Hep C survivors and victims.

We may spend a good part of our lives striving for financial and material security, but most of us would sacrifice it in a minute if it meant we could really affect something we believed needed to change. The images of nationalism and patriotism and Christian faith that are so readily exploited to snap us all in line are things I take really very seriously. I'm descended directly from the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, founded by the Pilgrims, William Bradford. My direct ancestor who fought as a revolutionary war soldier was Brigham Young's dad. My father spent his life in Military Intelligence in service to his country - to save the world for democracy and freedom.

I can draw on that heritage. It comes from a well deep within me - images of my father, the gentlest man I knew, leaving for the war in uniform when all I could associate soldiers with were Dad, parades and candy. He came home grievously wounded, to a family that was there for him no more. I know what people have sacrificed for the defense of our liberties and privileges as Americans, and I know that it comes from a place of good intention.

I also know that sometimes the greater harm is done to the one who conducts torture than the subject of their violence, simply by virtue of being so consumed with self-righteousness, sadistic glee, or an entitled vindictiveness on behalf of a prisoner's imagined victims. That twists a person's soul, being so brutal and justified on a routine basis.

Anyway, these people (our republican legislators and the tea partiers) haven't been dying like flies the way our people are, and don't have a thing to bitch about - much less to threaten violence to others for. They're whiny, spoiled, selfish, privileged, mostly-white racists all coming out of the closet now because they think Obama's election is "proof" that people of color are no longer disadvantaged in this country - which naturally means that all the white and moneyed people are the real victims, here.

That's them. Poor Tea Partiers. Boo hoo.

I think they would be more comfortable in white hoods, burning crosses on Democrats' lawns.


Hoyer decries talk of reprisals against lawmakers over health care vote

By The Associated Press

Published: March 25, 2010 at 7:55 am

WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer voiced concern today (March 25) over warnings of violent reprisals against members of Congress who voted for landmark health care legislation, saying the threats are being taken “very seriously.”

The bottom line is, we need to be very careful in public life that our rhetoric doesn’t incite to violent acts,” the Maryland Democrat said on a network morning news show. He said dealing with difficult issues in a civil and peaceful manner is “at the core of our democracy.”

The FBI is working with lawmakers subjected to menacing obscenity-laced phone messages. In some instances, bricks were hurled through congressional offices, including Rep. Louise Slaughter’s district headquarters in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

At least four Democratic offices in New York, Arizona and Kansas were struck and at least 10 members of Congress have reported some sort of threats, congressional leaders have said. No arrests had been made as of late March 24, but the FBI is still investigating.

Hoyer had said March 24 that lawmakers who felt at risk were to get attention “from the proper authorities.” He declined to say whether any were receiving extra security. Normally only those in leadership positions have personal security guards.

Slaughter, a Democrat, is chairwoman of an influential House committee. She said someone had left her a voice mail that used the word “snipers.”

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said “it’s an effort to kind of hijack the debate by coercive elements. I’m glad the Republican leadership colleagues denounce it. But they were very late to do that.”

Hoyer did not single out any member of Congress or political party as having made statements that could encourage such acts. But he did say he thought some of the rhetoric “has been far beyond legitimate debate.”

“In our democracy,” he said, “we resolve things, not through violence, not at the point of a gun. If we don’t do that, we will devolve into a society that we’re not going to like.” (a good case for abolishing the police state - peg)

“It is unacceptable in America,” said Sen. John McCain. The Arizona Republican said angry citizens should channel their rage into voter registration for the next election and efforts to repeal the health care law.

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said in a statement that while many Americans are angry over the bill’s passage, “violence and threats are unacceptable.”

Some of the anger spilled over in a flood of threat-filled phone and fax messages to the office of Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. Stupak vowed to oppose the health care package unless given greater assurance that it would not allow federal funding of elective abortions. He voted in favor after the administration agreed.

Stupak’s office released some of the messages, declining further comment.

“I hope you bleed … (get) cancer and die,” one male caller told the congressman between curses.

A fax with the title “Defecating on Stupak” carried a picture of a gallows with “Bart (SS) Stupak” on it and a noose attached. It was captioned, “All Baby Killers come to unseemly ends Either by the hand of man or by the hand of God.”

The vandalism and threats surprised a researcher at a think tank that monitors extremist groups.

“I think it is astounding that we are seeing this wave of vigilantism,” said Mark Potok of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

Hoyer said earlier that people have yelled that Democratic lawmakers should be put on firing lines and posters have appeared with the faces of lawmakers in the cross hairs of a target.

While not directly criticizing Republicans directly, he said “any show of appreciation for such actions encourages such action.”

Gun imagery was used in a posting on the Facebook page of Sarah Palin urging people to organize against 20 House Democrats who voted for the health care bill and whose districts went for the John McCain-Palin ticket two years ago. Palin’s post featured a U.S. map with circles and cross hairs over the 20 districts.

McCain defended Palin, saying it was commonplace practice and “part of the lexicon” to refer to “targeted” congressional districts.

In Virginia, someone cut a propane line leading to a grill at the Charlottesville home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother after the address was posted online by activists angry about the health care overhaul. Perriello also said a threatening letter was sent to his brother’s house. The FBI and local authorities were investigating.

Tea party activists had posted the brother’s address online thinking it was the congressman’s home. The post urged opponents to drop by and “express their thanks” for the Democrat’s vote in favor of the sweeping health care reform.

Nigel Coleman, chairman of the Danville Tea Party, said he re-posted the comment that originated on another conservative blog, including the address, Monday on his Facebook page. The posts were taken down after the mistake was discovered.

“We’ve never been associated with any violence or any vandalism,” he said. “We’re definitely sorry that we posted the incorrect address.”

1 comment:

Montana said...

Since their inception the Teaparty crowd (not a movement since they do have the numbers or clout) have been “haters not debaters”. In my opinion this is what the small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. They are good at “Follow the Leader” of their dullard leaders, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think? The world is complicated and most republicans (Hamiliton, Lincoln, Roosevelt) believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although some republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe most of them are just going along and fanning the flames.

As for the window. This was staged by one of Cantor’s gun buddy, good try at being a victim but I don’t buy it, next.