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Beyond Vengence (11/00)


"When we abolished the punishment for treason that you should be hanged and then cut down while still alive, then disemboweled while still alive, and then quartered, we did not abolish that punishment because we sympathized with traitors, but because we took the view that this was a punishment no longer consistent with our self-respect."

These words, spoken by Lord Chancellor Gardiner during the 1965 death penalty abolition debates in the British Parliament, illustrate the view of most people opposed to capital punishment. It’s not sympathy for the murderer that we feel. Indeed, most of us feel a great deal of anger and revulsion toward murderers and their actions. Our objection is that the death penalty is a renunciation of all that’s embodied in our concept of humanity. Or, more simply put, executions degrade us all. read more

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Panama’s Toxic Legacy (9/00)

When the US officially handed over the Panama Canal to the Republic of Panama last December, the historic transfer was praised as the beginning a new bilateral relationship between the two countries. But in at least one important area – the environment – nothing has changed. The US no longer controls the canal, but its imperial legacy is evident in Panama in the unexploded shells, grenades, and other munitions left by the military after decades of training and arms testing. More than 110,000 pieces of undetected ordinance may be laying on the ground, or buried under the jungle canapŽ covering 7000 hectares of land, according to figures released by the US. read more

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Columbia: Legalizing Drugs (9/00)


With the unfolding of capitalism to its ultimate consequences in its imperialist stage, this phase of globalization that is sinking the majority of the world’s population into misery, many peoples with an important agrarian economy opt for the cultivation of coca, opium poppies and marijuana as the only way to survive.

The profits realized by these peasants are minimal. Rather, those who really enrich themselves are the middlemen who turn these crops into mind altering substances and those who transport and commercialize them in the developed countries, especially the United States. The authorities designated to combat this process are easy prey for corruption, since their ethical principles succumb to any bribe larger than $50. read more

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Black Buffers & Environmental Justice (9/00)

Today, when there is an assault launched against the interests and aspirations of Black people, there is a high probability that the power structure will use a Black person, a black face to be the point person for the attack. I have termed this phenomenon the new Black on Black crime, Black buffers who block progress. This certainly appears to be the case with the Environmental Justice Movement, which is facing a growing assault spearheaded by the "Black" Chamber of Commerce and the "Black" Mayor of Detroit, Michigan, Dennis Archer. read more

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The Punishing Decade (3/00)

America’s imprisoned population grew at a faster rate during the 1990s than during any decade in recorded history, according to new data released by the Justice Policy Institute. The US entered the 1990s with 1,145,300 inmates in its jails and prisons, and on December 31, 1999, there will be an estimated 1,983,084 adults behind bars. The Institute estimates that America’s incarcerated population will top 2 million on approximately February 15, 2000.

The prison growth during the 1990s dwarfed the growth of any previous decade; it exceeded the prison growth of the 1980s by 61 percent, and is nearly 30 times the average prison population growth of any decade prior to the 1970s. read more

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Lenora Fulani (3/00)

Dr. Lenora Fulani, former presidential candidate of the now defunct New Alliance Party (NAP), and "critic" of the two party monopoly on politics in the US, recently stunned many observers by endorsing Pat Buchanan’s campaign to become the Reform Party’s candidate for President in the 2000 election. In rationalizing her decision to endorse one of the most rabid, racist, sexist, homophobic, right wing political figures on the political scene today, Fulani suggested that Buchanan’s candidacy would be good for "independent" politics and the political fortunes of Black people. read more