Sunday Links: Chicago police accountability, the anniversary of Nakba, & more
Sunday Links is a weekly feature pairing recent news stories with related resources and ideas to take action.
by Abaki Beck
News (+ related resources) of the Week:
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel voiced his support of disbanding the Independent Police Review Authority to create a civilian authority to oversee the police force.Currently, the Police Review Authority is run by former police officers, who often lean on the side of their buddies. The vast majority of claims against police officers are left unaddressed, and in only 2% of all cases were complaints against police officers upheld. In a letter to the Chicago Sun Times, Mayor Emanuel said he will announce by June 22 what the structure of the new civilian authority will look like. This decision comes after the mayor’s own Police Accountability Task Force found they system is “badly broken.”
While the effectiveness of this civilian authority remain to be seen - how will members be selected? From what communities? How will their decisions have power? - for the time being, this seems like a step in the right direction.
Here, find a few more community-centered police accountability projects:
Citizens Police Data Project is an online, Chicago based platform to inform citizens on law enforcement misconduct and increase police accountability
A Visual Guide to the Police Misconduct Complaint Process (Chicago specific) by Jean Cochrane
Police Union Contract Project focuses on police union accountability across the nation.
For those who missed it, last Sunday (May 15) was the 67th anniversary of the Nakba, when Israel was created and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were left homeless and stateless. In 1948, Zionist militias forced over 750,000 Palestinians out of their homes and destroyed hundreds of villages. In the years that followed, thousands of Jewish people - many of whom were survivors of the Holocaust - began to live in the land where Palestinians formally did. Many more of the villages were covered in trees and turned into national parks by the Jewish National Fund, meaning even if Palestinians did return to their homes - many villages literally no longer exist. (By the way, the JNF is considered an environmental charity in many countries, including the United States.) The link above tells the story of a woman who was fourteen when her family was forced out of Palestine, and is an excellent read to gain a more personal perspective on this violent event and the trauma that followed.
For people from the United States, violence in Palestine feels disturbingly familiar. Many scholars recognize both the United States and Palestine as “settler colonies,” distinct from other forms of colonization in that the colonizers acquire land, not just resources, and seek to “replace” the indigenous people.
Below are several articles to learn more about settler-colonialism in Palestine:
Purchase by Other Means: The Palestinian Nakba and Zionism’s Conquest of Economics by Patrick Wolfe (Patrick Woolf is the premier scholar on settler colonialism; read his seminal text “Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native” here)
Both texts above are from “Past is Present: Settler Colonial Studies in Palestine,” a special edition of Settler Colonial Studies Journal (includes 10+ open access articles)
The Native American Model for Palestine’s Future by Steven Salaita
Israeli Palestinian conflict explained: an animated introduction Israel and Palestine by Jewish Voice for Peace
And before you head out, here are some more rad links to check out!
Reading of the Week:
Film of the Week:
Teen Pregnancy: The Untold Story by Wendy Gonzalez (this awesome video, made by a high school student, discusses health care access and disparities impacting people of color and immigrants)
Website of the Week:
Native News 2016: Across the Divide, an annual publication written by University of Montana students about each tribe in the state
Pop Culture of the Week:
“The Korean Lesbian Revenge Thriller That’s Captivated Cannes” from Vulture