Chicago: Poverty = Violence

by David Samuels
No Community Party Hartford News column this week, due to a special edition of the newspaper. This week we’ll share a special report on urban gun violence in Chicago.

My reaction to the tragic news that a 2-year-old toddler is among the latest victims of gun violence in Chicago… Long before people on the outside looking in were parroting President Trump’s call to send “the feds” into the city (a pretext to increase police repression), Jill Stein visited Chicago while she was running for president as the Green Party candidate. She walked the streets and talked to the people who actually live there.

Residents told Dr. Stein that their communities are being deprived of jobs and resources, and that money should also be put into education.
They added that law enforcement efforts should be focused on the gun traffickers who are providing weapons to gang members. Poverty = violence


Zaida Berrios got a response from Chicago activist Ja’Mal Green, who commented on his Facebook post about the gang related shooting death of a two-year-old toddler. Activists are raising money to open a youth center, because urban areas like Chicago are deprived of jobs and resources. Black people in Chicago don’t need your hand wringing and judgmental social media posts. They need money for their communities. Put your money where your mouth is.


Jill Stein Visits Chicago and Connecticut (September 2016 column)
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein had honest conversations about police brutality and urban gun violence during her visit to Chicago, where she was born. The video of Black teen Laquan McDonald being murdered by police officer Jason Van Dyke, and the subsequent cover up by the police and corrupt mayor Rahm Emanuel, shocked the nation. The Chicago Police Department has a despicable track record of brutality. This is the department that teamed up with the FBI to assassinate Illinois Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton.…/the_assassination_of_fred_ham…
The city’s murder rate is horrific: 530 homicides this year. Dr. Stein talked to the local media about the root causes of urban gun violence, which also applies to Hartford and other cities.
The Shadow Proof website reported on Dr. Stein’s Chicago visit.…/jill-stein-green-party-campaign-…/ “Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wrapped up a day of campaigning in Chicago on September 8 with a rally that brought several hundred supporters to their feet multiple times. Earlier in the day, she was in the South Austin neighborhood to talk to residents.
Community activists and a few residents joined Stein for a ‘reality walk’ through the neighborhood. The community has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the city, but it also suffers from residential segregation, loss of industrial jobs, disinvestment, and exceptionally high unemployment.
Stein shared after her walk that South Austin residents had told her ‘they need jobs. They need an answer to the violence and the guns that they believe are being supplied to the community, that these guns are being made available through illegal means and that should be a highest priority for investigating.’
Residents in communities like South Austin also ‘need good schools. They need after school programs. They need youth programs. They need job training. They need housing and an end to the foreclosures. They need to reuse the housing that is just lying waste, empty now, to rehab that housing and create jobs.’
Elijah Sims, a young black teen who was about a day away from his 17th birthday, was shot and killed in South Austin on August 29. Stein was asked about the shooting and what she would recommend to white residents, who may be afraid to organize in the west side because they fear violence in the community.
‘We are a divided nation,’ Stein answered. ‘We are a nation that’s locked into fear, and we’re an armed nation because we’re afraid of each other.’
‘There is a living legacy of the institution of slavery because it kind of went from slavery to lynchings to Jim Crow to the red lining of communities to mass incarceration to the war on drugs, which is a war on black and brown communities, and then to police violence. We have this history of really entrenched racism and the flip side of that being white privilege and white supremacy.’
Stein said she believes people need to sit down in communities with each other and build trust and confidence and recognize, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Her campaign favors the formation of a truth and reconciliation commission to address the legacy of slavery and its role in fueling structural racism in present-day America.
‘If communities are struggling with poverty and closed schools and boarded up housing and violence in the streets, that injustice spills over into our economy, into our society, into our future, [and] into the violence that afflicts us all.’
During the rally, (vice presidential nominee Ajamu) Baraka had assertive words for those who ignore the poverty and only rail against the violence in communities, like west and south neighborhoods of Chicago. ‘People talk about [how] we need to deal with the issue of violence in the city. We understand that. But I say if you’re not talking about how we deal with these social and economic grinding conditions, I don’t want to talk about the violence,’ Baraka said.
The campaign has a plan focused on providing dignity, health care, a clean environment, and respect for human rights to poor and working class Americans, who desperately need it. It has developed what they call a Green New Deal, which links the climate crisis and the economic crisis together to simultaneously save families and the planet.”
Dr. Stein’s urban policy plan includes community control of the police, in the form of civilian review boards. Another component is utilizing independent investigators, who would probe every death and serious injury at the hands of police officers.
Dr. Stein talked about her plan to cancel student loan debt during her visits to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, and Eastern Connecticut State University in Windham. Courant reporter Russell Blair talked about Dr. Stein’s plan. “Stein says her plan to write off student loan debt would cost $1.3 trillion and could be achieved by a 0.5 percent sales tax on Wall Street transactions. Bailing out the Wall Street banks cost $16 trillion, she said.” Dr. Stein views her student debt cancellation plan as an economic stimulus, freeing individuals currently saddled with debt to spend their money on goods and services. Mary Sanders met Dr. Stein and had a productive conversation with her about the Community Party’s ranked choice voting bill. Mary has also discussed our legislation with Hartford City Council members, and Democratic Party Assemblyman Edwin Vargas. Stay tuned…
Chicago In The Crosshairs: All In Town Hall (Full Episode) | All In | MSNBC
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