Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Undercurrent Benefit Show at Tokyo Garden

Benefit for the Undercurrent Wednesday Nov 24th at Tokyo Garden
Show starts at around 9.30pm with - 
College Kids, aka Malcolm Sosa from Rademacher and Kim Haden of Yellow Alex and the Feelings - formerly of Light FM, will be playing their first show in Fresno. 
High Winds, aka Nii Lo performing solo
and Brian Kenney Fresno

Friday will be a Hip Hop show with Aesop from Living Legends, Somos One from BRWN BFLO, and Destructo Bunny from the city of mercy.  Saturday will be Brother Luke and the Comrades, Archaeology, and the Fresno debut of Rademacher's new fifth member...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 2010 Vol. 5, Issue 3

California Prison Moratorium Project Supports the Statewide Fast 4 Freedom

When: August 6, 2010 the event in Fresno will begin at 11 a.m. with fasting all day.

Where: Governor Schwarzenegger’s office at 2550 Mariposa Mall #3013 in downtown Fresno

Fast 4 Freedom – Families and Friends of the incarcerated, along with prisoners within prison walls and several Prison Reform/Abolition groups will fast for one day to shed light and spread awareness of the pervasive injustices within the State of California.

Thousands will fast on August 6th within prisons and in cities and towns across the state. We fast to honor those most affected by the devastating impacts of mass incarceration on our state and local economies and communities. While our state is floundering in budget crisis, millions of dollars are thrown away each year incarcerating Californians for increasingly lengthy sentences, most often fornon-violent, non-serious offenses and even simple parole violations. This past year, the California Department of Corrections has already surpassed its $8.5 billion budget and has begun construction on a $7.7 billion prison expansion project authorized in 2007 under AB900.

There is an easy fix to the budget crisis: change our state's policy of mass incarceration for petty offenses or the non-offense of nonviolent drug use and stop building more prisons. Alternatives to incarceration are far more effective while saving the state money. Thousands of dollars per individual per year could be saved with a policy of prevention and intervention, i.e. funding public schools, mental health care, and drug treatment. Millions could be saved by releasing elderly and disabled inmates who have served their time and pose no threat to society. Reexamining the policy of life without parole, especially for youth who deserve rehabilitation and a second chance, would dramatically reduce overcrowding in a prison system already under federal receivership for overzealous sentencing policies. While our prisons overflow with drug offenders and parole violators, local jails such as the Fresno County Jail fill up with petty offenders who are held in custody sometimes months before they ever go to trial, according to a 2006 audit of the jail. As generation after generation is raised with our state's dismantled public school system and tax dollars redistributed from community services such as parks and libraries to police departments and cages we undermine our youth's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, a fact addressed in the June 30, 2010 Fresno Bee article "Study sees health risks for black, Latino boys."

It is time to leave the failed 'tough on crime' mentality behind. It has failed to deter crime and in fact backfires as lengthy sentences without rehabilitation or re-entry services isolates and institutionalizes otherwise average people. 'Tough on crime' laws such as Three Strikes and mandatory minimums rips members of our communities away from their lives, families, and jobs. These are our neighbors and relatives who upon release find themselves barred from all public assistance and any possibility of a decent job. 'Tough on crime' sentencing CREATES repeat offenders and compounds the trauma that leads to drug use and/or crime. California is #1 in prison spending while closing schools and firing teachers; shelters, clinics, treatment programs, and public services such as libraries have lost funding; public workers are furloughed and their pay cut; and there appears to be no end in sight to either the financial crisis or California's prison expansion. Mass incarceration is financial famine, and Californians are starving for freedom!



MEXICO CITY (Aug. 5th) - Hunger is palpable in Mexico.  Beggars line the streets of the cities with their bowls and their children, pleading for coins: "Para comer, Senor, para comer?" ("To eat, Mister?") Whole families rifle through the trash bins in front of the fast food franchises hunting for discarded scraps.  At La Merced market, women like Juana Cortez glean the rotting produce thrown out on the patio.  "Para comer, Senor…"

According to National Nutrition Institute (INN) studies, 42% of all Mexicans have experienced some degree of malnutrition in their lives.  Millions of children living in extreme poverty go to bed hungry every night.  Although tortillas are universally utilized to wrap food or scoop up what's on your plate, for 13 million kids affirms the INN, the tortilla is the whole meal.

With hunger so rooted in Mexican demographics, it seems a jarring anomaly that deliberately starving oneself should be so popular a tactic of achieving redress for social grievances but activists here seem to reflexively go into hunger strike mode when they have exhausted all other remedies to reverse perceived injustices.

Indigenous Zapatista prisoners in Chiapas jails stop eating to protest inequities.  So does their emeritus bishop Samuel Ruiz who once hunkered down in a freezing cathedral and refused food for weeks until the government made room for his peace group at the negotiating table.  91 year-old Luis H. Alvarez, once a right-wing PAN party presidential candidate, sat on the steps of the Chihuahua legislature and refused to eat for 41 days to protest electoral flimflam as did his successor as PAN presidential hopeful Manuel Clouthier after the 1988 election was stolen. Rodolfo Macias, a self-proclaimed president of Mexico, went 50 days in the Zocalo to protest the government's refusal to recognize his exalted stature.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Scientists Deeply Concerned About BP Disaster’s Long-Term Impact

by Dahr Jamail
August 2nd, 2010 | Inter Press Service

Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

GULFPORT, United States – Contrary to recent media reports of a quick recovery in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists and biologists are “deeply concerned” about impacts that will likely span “several decades.”

“My prediction is that we will be dealing with the impacts of this spill for several decades to come and it will outlive me,” Dr. Ed Cake, a Biological Oceanographer, as well as a Marine and Oyster Biologist, told IPS, “I won’t be here to see the recovery.”

Dr. Cake’s grim assessment stems partially from a comparison he made to the Exxon Valdez oil disaster and the second largest oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (BP’s being the largest), that of the Ixtoc-1 blowout well in the Bay of Campeche in 1979.

“The impacts of the Exxon Valdez are still being felt 21 years later,” Dr. Cake said, “The impacts of the Ixtoc-1 are still being felt and known, 31 years later. I know folks who study oysters in bays in the Yucatan Peninsula, and oysters there have still not returned, 31 years later. So as an oyster biologist I’m concerned about that. Those things are still affected 31 years later, and that was a smaller spill by comparison.”

Thursday, July 29, 2010

August issue will be out shortly

Hello all,
The August issue of The Undercurrent will be out shortly. We are putting finishing touches on the issue. We hope to use this site more for updates, post, reviews, and other exciting news. Come back often and help us build it into something exciting.