Fragments from the streets
East Haven Mayor Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. is eating his words. And tacos. Credit: The DLC
Fragments from the streets: Jan. 21-28

Looking for the ultimate cheap, oppressive date? How about a taco dinner with the Mayor of East Haven, Conn., followed by racist propaganda movie night with the NYPD? We've got that news and more in this week's Fragment's from the streets:

 

It was all-you-can-eat taco time at East Haven, Conn.'s City Hall on Thursday. Activists sent hundreds of tacos to Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr., after he said he would combat accusations he is anti-Latino by eating tacos. The city is home to a large Latino community. Maturo since has apologized for his remarks. 

 

Community and religious leaders demanded the resignation of New York's police commissioner Thursday, after more evidence he's pushing for department-wide discrimination against Muslim residents. The New York Times reported this week that almost 1,500 NYPD officers were shown a film called “The Third Jihad.” The movie portrayed Muslim Americans as a nefarious power bent on destroying the United States. Commissioner Raymond Kelly also is accused of helping to make the movie, which critics call propaganda. 

 

A busy week for Anonymous

Hackers with Anonymous leaked documents showing private security and intelligence firm Stratfor and Texas law enforcement spied on Occupy protestors and environmental activists. Anonymous collected the information by hacking into Stratfor's computer network. According to the documents, Stratfor employees were watching members of Occupy Austin and the Deep Green Resistance, with help from members of the Texas Department of Public Safety. 

 

Anonymous also attacked the factory farming giant Monsanto this week. The group took down the company's website and posted a message demanding that Monsanto stop its environmentally destructive practices.

 

Is that what Jesus would do?

A 16-year-old atheist faces death threats from residents of her largely Catholic Rhode Island town, after leading a successful lawsuit to have a prayer removed from a public school gym. A federal judge this month ruled that the prayer, which has been on display for 75 years, is unconstitutional. Jessica Ahlquist must be escorted to school by police and has been called an “evil little thing” by one local politician. 

 

Out in the cold

Hundreds of Detroit activists clogged utility company DTE's lobby on Thursday to protest electricity and heat shutoffs for residents who can't afford energy bills. 

 

Occupy clashes in Bay Area

At Occupy San Francisco this week, one group of protestors vandalized a car dealership and others clashed with cops, injuring at least two officers. 

 

Nobody's home

Lexington, Ky. police cleared an Occupy protest site on Tuesday, after they found it unoccupied.

Fighting for their homes

Tuareg rebels attacked the northwest Mali town of Lere on Wednesday. The National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad is fighting for greater autonomy of Azawad, a northern district of Mali that is the Tuareg's traditional homeland. Lere is the fifth front in the NMLA's battle for liberation. 

 

The conflict around mass evictions from a Brazilian squat grew this week. Brazilian police are trying to remove roughly 6,000 people from the Sao Paulo state settlement, where poor families have squatted since 2002. The eviction comes as property owners are trying to develop the land. International human rights agencies are decrying Brazil's handling of the eviction, which will leave many homeless.

 

More than 200 aboriginal protestors burnt an Australian flag in front of that country's capital on Friday. The group called for sovereignty and greater rights for indigenous people the day after Australia Day, which marks the anniversary of British colonization.

 

Chinese up attacks on Tibetan activists

Chinese security forces shot and killed at least one Tibetan protestor and injured 32 others on Monday. The shootings happened during a demonstration in the Western China town of Luhuo, which is known as Draggo among Tibetans. It is the second shooting of Tibetan activists this month. 

 

A painful fallout from revolution

A medical aid group stopped its operations in Libya, because it was asked to treat prisoners mid-torture sessions. Medecins Sans Frontieres came to Misrata to treat detainees from the recent civil war, but instead treated fresh injuries from torture. Many of the patients were sub-Saharan Africans who are accused of fighting for ousted leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

 

Prisoners sew lips shut, demand mobility

Prisoners around Kyrgyzstan are using a hunger strike and self-mutilation to protest authorities closing the last cells in which prisoners could move around together. More than 700 prisoners have stopped eating and sewn their lips together as part of the protest. Authorities have dismissed the prisoners concerns. 

 

Slain activist honored

Gay rights activist in Uganda memorialized David Kato on the one-year anniversary of his death Thursday. Kato, known as the godfather of the gay rights movement in Uganda, was found beaten to death in his home last year. Homophobia in Uganda is both commonplace and severe. It's also condoned by the government; homosexuality is considered a crime punishable by life in prison. 

 

Be a doll, don't protest

In Russia, police don't even want dolls to protest. Authorities in the Siberian city of Barnaul are investigating a miniature protest scene, in which Legos, South Park figurines and dolls hold signs demanding fair elections. Activists set up the display after their requests for demonstration permits were denied repeatedly. 

 

At least the Euro's worth something

An unemployed Irish artist used shredded Euro notes to build an apartment inside a vacant Dublin office building. The home – crafted from shredded Euro bricks – is so warm that its architect and resident Frank Buckley can sleep inside without a blanket.

 

We want to know what oppression is enraging you and what fights are encouraging you. Let us know by commenting below, e-mailing [email protected] or contacting us via Facebook or Twitter.

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About author

Leslie's picture

Leslie Wilber is a journalist who has covered police misconduct, courts, high school sports and other disasterous things. She lives in Denver and is an editor at The Precarious.

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