PHOTO JOURNALISM FROM THE TRENCHES: GAS STATION PAPARAZZI

Originally posted on Eléctrica in the Desert:

NIGHT STATIONS 6-12 (17)

        THE ARRIVAL OF DAWN FORCED DIEGO TO FACE HIS INEXPLICABLE STATUS  AS THE ONLY PERSON IN SIERRA COUNTY TO HAVE BEEN SNUBBED BY THE TRIO OF GHOSTS KNOWN AS THE RED POLES.     

CLAIRE O’BRIEN 2013

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 CLAIRE O'BRIEN 2012

                                     THE CAR INSISTED THAT THEIR RELATIONSHP REMAIN  CONFIDENTIAL

CLAIRE O’BRIEN 2013

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THE OLD GAS PUMPS WEREN’T SURPRISED WHEN V-POWER DIDN’T SLEEP A WINK DURING HIS FIRST NIGHT AT THE STATION/O’BRIEN 2013

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NOBODY KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN ON THAT FATEFUL FRIDAY NIGHT, BUT EVERYONE HAD A PERSISTENT FEELING THAT THE FOOD MART WOULD PLAY A KEY ROLE IN THE PIVITOL EVENT / CLAIRE O’BRIEN 2014

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 IT WAS GENERALLY AGREED THAT THE SMALL FAMILY OF BADGERS COULD HARDLY BE BLAMED FOR MISTAKING THE BACK DIESEL PUMP FOR A CHURCH.

CLAIRE O’BRIEN 2014

                  SORRY, NO LITERATURE / CLAIRE O’BRIEN  2013

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 JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND…

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Protesters Shut Down Campaign Speeches


Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter founder Patriss Cullors lead a protest at Netroots Nation in Phoenix, Arizona, effectively shutting down the speeches of presidential hopefuls former Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders,MSNBC.com reports.

“It’s not like we like shutting sh*t down, but we have to,” Cullors said. “We are tired of being interrupted.”

With shouts of “Black lives matter!” and “Say her name!” two hashtags that have been used to raise awareness about state-sanctioned violence against Black people in the United States, protesters refused to be silenced even as O’Malley and Sanders tried to stick to their talking points.

MSNBC reports:

Both candidates – former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – struggled to appease the angry protesters while sticking to their talking points and both ultimately failed to capitalize on the unexpected interruption, which comes amid a national conversation on racial tensions and police brutality. Just last week, a black woman named Sandra Bland died in police custody after being arrested for a traffic violation in Texas. Meanwhile, Friday marked the first anniversary of Eric Garner’s chokehold death at the hands of NYPD officers in Staten Island.

“Every single day folks are dying. Not being able to take another breath. We are in a state of emergency,” Cullors continued, hoarse from chanting. “If you don’t feel that emergency, you are not human.”

After much chanting – and pleas from event organizers to give O’Malley a chance to respond to their questions – the former Maryland governor began to speak about criminal justice reform, promising a detailed policy proposal soon and saying he supported forcing police districts to report brutality complaints. Protesters interrupted him, chanting, “Black lives matter!”

“I know, I know … Let me talk a little bit … Black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter,” O’Malley answered earning boos and shouts from the protesters and gasps from the rest of the audience.

He left the stage shortly thereafter.

Sanders – who was widely expected to be the favorite candidate this weekend – took the stage to chants from protesters, who made it clear they wanted answers from him as well.

“Black lives of course matter but I have spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and if you don’t want me to be here, that’s OK,” Sanders said with visible exasperation. “I will answer your question, but I’d like to speak for a couple of minutes, I was told …”

Sanders left the stage, abbreviating his appearance significantly. Netroots Nation released a statement in solidarity with the protesters:

“Although we wish the candidates had more time to respond to the issues, what happened today is reflective of an urgent moment America is facing today,” the group said in a statement, highlighting next year’s conference location – St. Louis – which aims to put a direct focus on race issues in the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of police nearby in Ferguson, Missouri.

Moderator Jose Vargas refused to silence the protesters, later tweeting:

“To folks who ask me why I didn’t stop protestors: We cannot silence people of color and women of color”

In an interview http://daviddayen.tumblr.com/post/124440944821/interview-with-ashley-yeats-black-lives-matter )  with journalist David Dayen, protest organizer Ashley Yeats echoed those same ideas. When asked how a candidate can bridge the divide between racial and economic justice when speaking to the progressive community, she said:
“When you talk about economic justice, who’s the poorest of the poor? Talk about gentrification, talk about mass displacement. Talk about the things that actually lead to poverty. Who is affected by that? Talk about whose neighborhoods are flooded with really harmful drugs. Talk about who’s denied access to resources. Talk about who [isn’t]? that is all in black and brown neighborhoods. So if you’re doing economic justice but you’re not talking to black and brown people, you’re not actually doing economic justice. So that’s the challenge I pose and that’s how you bridge the gap, get people to realize that if you’re talking about economic issues, black people are part of every category.”

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By NewsOne Staff

THE LAND TELLS WHO WE ARE: Conquest, Identity and Place in the San Luis Valley

Originally posted on Eléctrica in the Desert:

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There are some American places where  history overlaps and  becomes so condensed,  so close and nearly visible,  that each layer is almost like its own separate lens

Lorraine Gomez grew up in such a place

Colorado’s San Luis Valley is  the world’s highest alpine basin, and one of its oldest, created by the great river that formed it thousands of years ago in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Valley follows the Rio Grande south to New Mexico, where the river tumbles over the border  and the two join the Camino Real in its long journey to Mexico City.

DSCF0351 Lorraine Gomez / Claire O’Brien 2013

Gomez’s connection to the  120-by-75 mile valley stretches  back to the Spanish farmers who settled the land before the Mexican Revolution. The communities they established have retained a strong and continuous Hispanic identity for generations (the term “Hispanic” refers specifically to Spanish-Americans in this region.)

Gomez is so deeply rooted in this valley that it defines the heart of her own  identity as well,  remaining her central reference point, regardless of whether or not she happens to be living there.

“It’s…

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I Left my Heart in San Francisco

Originally posted on Eléctrica in the Desert:

003Long ago, in the city of exile and joy: back row from left, Wei Phanh, Claire O’Brien, Jesse G. Front, Judith L. / C.O’Brien 2014

This is a story about three of the best friends I ever had. We met long ago in a job training program run by the Salvation Army  in San Francisco.  Wei Phanh was a Vietnamese immigrant, Jesse was a middle-aged Chicano man who’d fallen off the wagon after 15 years of sobriety, and Judith L. was recently sober, a Jewish artist  from Brooklyn, New York.  My own qualifications were simply Low Income Uneducated Youth.  I don’t know if those are still qualifications, but they were enough to get me in the door – long ago.

Long ago,  San Francisco was far away. It was not always a white, gentrified, compound with the highest real estate prices in the nation.

It was first a city of conquest and thus had a huge Latino neighborhood, the Mission…

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Homophobia, racism, and his own badge

NYPD Officer Accused Of Calling Woman A ‘Fucking Dyke’ Before Assaulting Her

 

 
STEPHANIE DARCEANT

An NYPD officer is under investigation for a possible hate crime after a Brooklyn woman accused him of assaulting her and calling her homophobic slurs, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office told The Huffington Post Thursday.

Stephanie Dorceant, 29, was arrested in the early morning hours of July 11 in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn after allegedly assaulting NYPD Officer Salvator Aquino. She’s facing felony charges of assault as well as charges for menacing, resisting arrest and harassment.

But according to Dorceant, it was Aquino who attacked her. Through her attorneys, she supplied the following statement Thursday:

On July 11th I was in Brooklyn, where I live and work, heading from a concert with my girlfriend when, out of nowhere a large man bumped me from behind. I asked him if he was ok. He then barked at me, and I will quote: “mind your own business you fucking dyke.”

He then attacked me, punched me in the face a number of times, choked me and called me several more anti-gay slurs. When he had his hands around my neck I truly thought I was going to die. I could not breathe. The only way I could get him to stop attacking me and my girlfriend was to bite him.

When other police officers showed up I thought we were saved. That was not the case. It turned out that this man was an off-duty police officer. Instead of helping me and my girlfriend and arresting our attacker, more officers piled on top of me, slamming me onto the pavement and putting their knees on my neck, shoulders, and back. They then put us both into handcuffs and threw us into a holding cell in the precinct. After being processed at the precinct I was taken to the hospital, and then to central bookings.

At my arraignment, they said that I had assaulted the cop and that I had used racial slurs. Even though I have no record, and their story was a complete lie, bail was set and I ended up at Riker’s Island.

My attacker has still not been charged or arrested.

Even though I am well aware of the many stories about police brutality, especially against blacks, Hispanics, and the LGBT community, I never really thought that this could happen to me. I want to share my story and say that police brutality is a real thing. Hate crimes are a real thing. Both of these things happened to me. Enough is enough.

 The criminal complaint against Dorceant — which is embedded below — alleges that Aquino saw Dorceant and her girlfriend, Nandi Allman, “arguing” as he was walking to his personal car that had “a police parking plaque displayed on the dashboard and in area marked for police vehicles only.” When Dorceant and Aquino bumped into each other, the complaint alleges, Dorceant attacked Aquino and “punched him in the face.” When he tried to arrest Dorceant she resisted and “proceeded to bite [Aquino] repeatedly about the arms, chest, finger, and torso, breaking [Aquino’s] skin.”

At a press conference Thursday, Dorceant said the criminal complaint was nothing but lies as she held Allman’s hand and occasionally choked back tears. The couple weren’t arguing on Saturday, she said, but were “talking and laughing” coming back from a performance at the AfroPunk Battle of the Bands in Brooklyn.

When Allman saw Aquino throw her girlfriend’s head to the ground she thought Dorceant was “going to die,” Allman said.

Both women are small and would have posed no threat to the officer, said Dorceant’s lawyer, Benjamin Zeman.

From the Huffington Post/17 July 2015

 

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