Thursday, January 14, 2010

Raleigh march for jobs Friday

"Date:Friday, January 15, 2010
Time:3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location:"Walnut Terrace Community Center (opening rally) then march to City Hall"
Street:111 West Lee Street
City/Town:Raleigh, NC

The Peoples' Empowerment Movement is organizing a MARCH FOR JOBS on Dr. MLK's birthday. At this march, we are fighting for a real jobs program and real solutions to the problems which plague our communities. We are demanding that the Federal government provide funding for a public jobs program which provides jobs for all at a living wage, benefits, and training for our futures. The challenges facing single mothers, including but not limited to: unemployment, lack of affordable childcare, and lack of transportation must be addressed.

Our communities are also being constantly harassed by police and our people are incarcerated en masse. Nearly a whole generation is locked up. As the banks are getting bailed out and billions of dollars are going to corporations and wars, we are struggling to meet even our most basic needs. 10.7% of the North Carolina population is "officially" unemployed, and over 15% of African Americans are "officially" unemployed. However, these numbers only account for those who are actively searching for jobs, and do not take into account those who are not actively seeking for jobs or are underemployed. The real unemployment rate is about 30% and the real unemployment rate for people of color is much higher. The unemployment rate for urban youth of color is as high as above 50%!

In order to address these issues and other issues of racism and injustice in our community, we must unify and fight back. We are also calling a march for jobs on Friday, January 15, 2009, the Friday before Martin Luther King Day. Join Us! The March will start with a rally at the Walnut Terrace community center at 3pm.

Then we will march to Raleigh City Hall (corner of Dawson St and Hargett, downtown) around 4:30pm, or so. We then hope to deliver resumes from youth from all over Raleigh who are demanding jobs, as a symbolic act. Join us and bring your resumes too! We NEED and are READY for jobs! The government is the only roadblock!

We will then march to the state office that oversees the Federal stimulus money, the Office of Economic Recovery and Investment at 221 East Lane Street.

Sponsors include:
Peoples' Empowerment Movement
Raleigh F.I.S.T.
Workforce Empowerment Alliance Community Team (W.E.A.C.T.)
Black Workers for Justice youth
Raleigh City Workers Union, UE150
Black Workers for Justice, Raleigh chapter
Fruit of Labor singing ensemble

For more information or to endorse call 919-701-9871"

The lynch mob mentality lives in North Carolina

Apparently a number of people in the Triangle prefer lynching to the judicial system, and say it loud. Shortly after Demario Atwater and Laurence Lovette were accused of killing UNC Student Body President Eve Carson, a student on a non-political UNC listserve I'm on said the suspects should basically be lynched in The Pit, and he left that listserve rather than stop bringing up political issues. That could be understandable if the student had a personal connection to Carson, but now the defense is asking to move the trial out of state because the accused won't get a fair hearing, in part based on online comments. There doesn't seem to be very much public outrage about Abhijit Mahato, the Duke graduate student who also might have been killed by Atwater and Lovette, and what about murders of NCCU students and others in North Carolina? Some online comments say Atwater and Lovette should be charged with hate crimes, but it seems to me that race and class of the most popular victim and the alleged perpetrators is the reason some people would prefer to dispense with the justice system. I don't recall anyone saying that Michael Peterson should be lynched for murdering his wife. Maybe it isn't surprising, when people have also openly advocated [in letters to the editor] nuclear genocide against Somalia because of a few pirates and said different races can't be trusting neighbors, though the Triangle does not usually appear that racially divided.

Meanwhile, Governor Bev Perdue is cynically using the prison system to improve her poll numbers. At one point the General Assembly passed a law that reduced the amount of time in a life sentence and the prison system gave credits for good behavior, so some prisoners who are pretty old were about to be released last year. Then Perdue and the News & Observer focused on this, and Perdue said she will not allow the prisoners to be released, even defying the courts, if they rule against her, and saying she would go to jail instead. Any demogragraphic can commit a crime, but Perdue acts like these rather old people are scary criminals who will certainly commit violent crimes again. If rehabilitation isn't the goal of the prison system, the government might as well use the death penalty for most crimes, since imprisonment and rehabilitation won't work [as Perdue seems to believe].

This demagoguery is more of the same from a rightist Democrat like Perdue, who also supports paying companies to locate in North Carolina and wants the state to be more of a base from which Obama can launch wars of aggression and CIA torture flights. The News & Observer generally supports the Democratic line and often riles the public up against prisoners and "illegals."

[ I might not have been fair to the N&O, which has published good articles on prison issues and the treatment of undocumented immigrants. But I've noticed that some recent articles from national sources published in both the N&O and the Herald-Sun have titles that tilt to the right in the N&O. ]