This week, Prism continued our ongoing coverage of the Black Lives Matter uprisings around the country, the fight for electoral justice in the South, and more. In case you missed it, here are a few of this week’s key stories.
‘This was avoidable’: Georgians face challenges when trying to vote in Tuesday’s election
(by Anoa Changa)
It seems like Georgia’s top election officials learned little to nothing from Wisconsin’s spring primary. As Georgians voted Tuesday in the consolidated and rescheduled presidential and state primaries, many reported long lines, polling locations delayed in opening, and varying issues with the new voting machines. Coupled with poll closures, challenges with scaling up absentee ballot use across the state have resulted in delays and frustration for many voters across the Atlanta metro area. Polling locations opened Tuesday morning at 7 AM—or at least were supposed to—and reports of voting problems streamed in across social media.
Immigrants stage a hunger strike for Black lives inside ICE detention facility
(by Jack Herrera)
On June 4, Asif Qazi—one of the men who had been in detention since February—handed a piece of paper to one of the guards in the privately operated Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center. It contained a statement he had written announcing the immigrants’ hunger strike:
“We, the detained people of dormitories A, B, and C at Mesa Verde ICE Detention Facility, are protesting and on hunger strike in solidarity with the detained people at Otay Mesa Detention Center. We begin our protest in memory of our comrades George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, and Tony McDade. Almost all of us have also suffered through our country’s corrupt and racist criminal justice system before being pushed into the hands of ICE,” the statement read in part. The mass protests against police violence had officially reached ICE detention.
Prison officers haven’t been held accountable for violence, but a New York bill could change that
(by Tamar Sarai Davis)
Tuesday evening, New York state repealed 50-A, a long ignored but deeply powerful police secrecy law that allowed police departments to seal the disciplinary records of their officers. “Repeal 50-A” became one of the many demands made by New York protestors and advocates who have been denouncing longstanding police violence on Black communities, and the specific incidents of violence that have occurred during Black Lives Matter protests over the past two weeks.
Law enforcement should not have journalists’ ‘utmost respect.’ It’s our job to hold them accountable
(by Tina Vasquez)
“First, you have our utmost respect,” begins the letter to law enforcement from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Association for Black Journalists (NABJ), and the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, among others. The letter goes on to say: “When you silence the press with rubber bullets, you silence the voice of the public.”
But the public has made its voice very clear since the uprising began two weeks ago after the murder of George Floyd. Also, as Cotton’s op-ed illustrated, the editorial decisions made by mainstream media outlets regularly normalize state violence and rarely reflect the voice of the people.
To reduce the impact of climate change, society must focus on post-pandemic recovery
(by David Love)
Just as the death and dislocation brought on by the coronavirus scream for economic and racial justice and an overhaul of our systems and institutions, so too does climate change call for a comprehensive Green New Deal that prioritizes vulnerable communities and connects the dots among economic, environmental, and social stability…Nothing less than a justice-oriented, holistic approach to climate change and COVID-19 is warranted, lest we find ourselves living under a “new normal” with all the familiar forms of oppression amplified.
See you next week.