Carey Holzman is a Tech Expert who streams live on Youtube with over 230,000 subscribers and 25 million views of his videos. His videos are mostly about computers and some stuff on the music he listens to. With titles such as “How to Build a Computer”, “How to Shut Down Your Computer Faster” and “Music I am Listening to”. So imagine his surprise when, he was recently swatted while he was live streaming and the police terrorized Carey and his family to make sure we were not terrorists. He attempted to explain it to them, but they remained locked and loaded and endangered the community while violating his rights when they forcefully invaded his home with weapons drawn to ‘check on “their safety” while they were already safe waiting outside with other officers who knew who they were. Join us today for a cautionary tale that shows just how fast every right you think you have can be tossed out the window. How your life can be place in jeopardy with a phone call and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.
At any given time, the United States holds almost two million people in prison for felony convictions. Often overlooked, however, are more than 11 million people who cycle in and out of American jails every year for misdemeanor offenses.
Despite composing the largest part of our criminal system, misdemeanors don’t usually garner the same policy attention as more overtly draconian features of the system — such as decades-long mandatory minimum prison sentences — because they are viewed as “minor offenses.” However, the overall punitive effect of misdemeanors, particularly on poor people and people of color, far exceeds what should be imposed for supposedly minor crimes.
In her recent book, Punishment without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal, Professor Alexandra Natapoff explains how our police, courts, and jails create a machinery of injustice that doles out unfair punishments and extracts wealth from those who can least afford it. She writes that the American criminal system “moonlight[s] as a regressive tax system and anti-welfare machine” that criminalizes the impoverished and further adds to their burdens. Natapoff’s research shows that the American petty crimes enforcement apparatus undermines the most important functions of criminal law by corroding the constitutional processes meant to provide justice to all.
Join us Tuesday, May 7, as Professor Natapoff discusses her important and revealing book with the Cato Institute’s Jonathan Blanks.
Historian Donna Murch traces the racial divide between the opioid crisis and the drug war – as the pharmaceutical industry aggressively pushed opioids to a ‘new class’ of White consumers in a deregulated market, the logic of racial capitalism presided over a segregated system of licit and illicit narcotics that swallowed generations of lives while profiting corporations and the political elite.
Donna wrote the article How Race Made the Opioid Crisis for Boston Review.
Latina/o Studies scholar Marisol LeBrón explores the rise of punitive governance in Puerto Rico – as social and material inequality deepen under the colonial burden, the hobbled client state turns to imposing order on a disorded society through increased surveillance and police violence, the only tools it has left to solve problems.
There’s a lot of attention on China – and there should be because they’re on the cutting edge of a lot of overlapping surveillance technologies – but the public should also obviously pay attention to the numerous surveillance technologies created through American counter-terrorism and military operations, which then eventually seep back through the private sector to surveillance operations on the US public. And in some cases, as in the case of this IBM technology, start through development in the US and go abroad. Journalist George Joseph explores the surveillance machine IBM built for Rodrigo Duterte – as the Philippine president builds power and support through a bloody, often extra-judicial drug war aimed at the lower class, IBM supplied an authoritarian government with a surveillance program that expanded the state’s ability to track citizens in real time. George wrote the article Inside the Surveillance Program IBM Built for Rodrigo Duterte for The Intercept.