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Grand Jury Decision on Murder of Mike Brown November 25, 2014

Yesterday, the jury decision was released on whether or not to indict Darren Wilson. Indictment is the bringing of a criminal or suspect into trial. This does not mean arrest or incarceration- all it is, is a trial.

Before I deliver to you the verdict, I’d like to tell you a few things about America.

There’s this law called, oh I don’t know, something like, “If you murder someone, you go to jail.”

There’s also a law regarding manslaughter, the unintentional murder of another human being. You can be tried for manslaughter for something as simple as building a house in which someone died (and they have reasonable doubt that the house was involved, such as: they died of a collapse or toxic building materials).

If you shoot an unarmed person, even if you (untruthfully) claim self-defense, you should, at the very least, be tried in court. 

I think you can all see where this is going: Darren Wilson will not be indicted for the murder of Mike Brown.

It is purely common sense  to try a man in court for the murder of an unarmed man.

However, this decision is not final: the Double Jeopardy terms do not apply to indictment. (Double Jeopardy prevents a suspected criminal, or in Wilson’s case, a known criminal, from being tried twice for the same crime. However, as Darren Wilson has not been tried, there may be another discussion as to whether or not he should be indicted.)  So there is still a chance to try and capture the criminal.

You can help

This petition calls to hold Darren Wilson accountable for murder.// <![CDATA[
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Anytime you hear someone claim that Darren Wilson or the Grand Jury was justified, call them out on their misinformation and educate them. You can find some information and evidence here.
Please remember:
Do not share photos of Michael Brown’s dead body: It is disrespectful and his parents have asked everyone not to.
Do not make this about “but not all white people are racist”. We know, please focus on the ones that are and how to stop them.
Please do not change “Black Lives Matter” to “All Lives Matter” on websites or posters. Of course all lives matter, again: We know. Black lives are the ones in danger here, so it’s important to tell the world they do matter. Saying “All Lives Matter” takes away from the real danger of the issue and how black people are oppressed in this world.
Do not call this an issue for “people of color.” This is specifically about the police force being anti-black.
Please do not spread misinformation. If you are unsure, you can look something up on Google or at least tell people you’re not certain.
Remind everyone who tries to support Darren Wilson that the Ku Klux Klan is on his side. If they side with him, they side with the KKK.
I’m sorry for the angry post. Mostly, I’m just so sad that this is happening.
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How You Can Help the People of Ferguson September 21, 2014

Donate to Keep the Children Fed

Schools closing in Ferguson due to rioting and violence means many children go without lunch, which may be their only meal of the day.

Donate here.

Donate to the Family of Mike Brown

Mike Brown, the young man whose murder prompted the protests, is a victim of police brutality. Donating to his family will help pay for his funeral and burial expenses, as well as the legal and travel costs of the family’s search to bring justice to their son and punishment to his killer, Darren Wilson.

Donate here.

Sign the petition for the Mike Brown Law.

This law will require all state, county, and local police to wear a camera. In a Californian city, this law has been enacted (this happened before Mike Brown was killed.). Crime has dropped by 60% and complaints have dropped by 80%.

If you can’t sign this petition, get your parents or family members to. Don’t just promote it online- take someone to the computer, sit them down, and show them how important this is.

Sign the petition here.

Advocate for the removal of the Pentagon’s “1033 Program.”

This provides local police departments with ‘billions of dollars worth of surplus military weapons at no charge’ (quoted from The Huffington Post). Without such military weapons as tear gas, tanks, and rubber bullets, police wouldn’t have been able to inflict the incredible amounts of violence upon the people of Ferguson as they did. By lobbying for its program’s removal, we can ensure that police brutality the likes of which went on in Ferguson will not happen again.

Sign a petition asking for its removal here.

Sign the Amnesty International Petition requiring federal law officials to be held accountable for violence here.

Send messages of support to Mike Brown’s family here.

Donate to the Ferguson Municipal Public Library and their efforts to support peaceful learning. Learn more here.

Donate to looted businesses in Ferguson. Donations can be made to North County Regional Development Association, 350B Village Square Drive, Hazelwood, MO 63042.

Support Wellspring Church, who are giving Ferguson’s children a safe place to learn, here.

Get involved with the St. Louis Food Bank here.

Get involved with the Ferguson Fund, counseling for affected residents of Ferguson, here and here.

Tweet @STLCountyPD to demand #JusticeforMikeBrown.

Public pressure needs to be put on the Ferguson Police Department to bring Officer Darren Wilson to punishment. If you don’t feel safe directly tweeting them, you can join in with the hashtag.

Donate to the Legal Support Fund for Ferguson here. Contact them at join@organizemo.org.

Sign the petition to protect citizens and communities from police brutality here.

Read these Tips to Remember When Planning An Action here.

And finally, don’t forget about Ferguson. Remind people that Mike Brown did not deserve to die. Remind them that racism and police brutality are still very relevant and very terrifying, and they must be stopped. Share the news everywhere you can. Remember Mike Brown, and remember Ferguson.

 

Canada’s Wildlife Area Safe- For Now May 4, 2013

Filed under: Air Purifying,Going Green,Government — mochi @ 4:03 pm
Tags: , , ,

TRTL Breaking Ground - David Hassan, Cenovus E...

 

Cenovus Energy, an energy company in Canada, suggested to the government a plan of drilling 1,275 gas wells in a national wildlife area, which would double the number that was there before, and of course double the environmental impact. Thankfully, the environment minister of Alberta vetoed the proposal, saying that the impact would be too negative to proceed with the plan. The Minister, Peter Kent, declared that the government was strengthening environmental protection and working on plans for wildlife recovery. He also said, “There would be significant disruption, I think, even with a new proposal.”

 

He said this in response to Cenovus’ new plea for a revised suggestion, and made the eco-lovers proud when he did so. Opposing people were not impressed, but he didn’t waver under their criticism. He also announced new plans for reduced C02 emission from vehicles, which wasn’t a popular idea with environmental critics. The Alberta Wilderness association and various environmentalists around the country- and the neighboring countries- are very proud of him for sticking with the welfare of flora and fauna and not only worrying about reputation or economy and production. However, government tends to think about government more than the environment- which is what’s really important. Canada’s wildlife area is safe for now, but when plans like the oil drilling one by Cenovus rest in the hands of politicians, the environment is always in jeopardy.

 

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/environment-minister-says-no-cenovus-energy-gas-project-141202533.html

 

 

Ceej

 

 

Chapter 11 of NAFTA: Giving Companies the Right to Destroy the Environment May 1, 2013

Filed under: Awareness,Government — Mary @ 11:26 pm
Tags: , , ,

Disclaimer: This post contains the views of the author, Mary, and by no means is the opinion of every member of the staff at Bonsai.  Your opinions would be appreciated down in the comments section, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I repeat, this is not the view of the entire blog, but only one member of the staff.

Chapter 11 of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) basically lets companies sue the government of another country (within NAFTA’s boundaries, of course, which are, if you didn’t know, Canada, Mexico, and the US) if they feel that the country in question is hindering their ability to make a profit.

Say, for instance, (this is only for example purposes) that there is a company called MegaStorm from Canada that sells an additive to the salt that we use to melt snow and ice. The state of Oregon readily purchases MegaStorm’s additive. However, it was recently found to cause cancer in animals, and the long-term of this additive on humans is unknown. Since the salt melts the snow, it is getting into the water, and therefore, the additive is in the water. Oregon doesn’t want to have to put up with this, because it wants to keep its citizens healthy and happy. When they try to ban it, however, MegaStorm gets upset and is allowed to sue the United States. It can say, “Either you don’t ban our salt additive or you pay us a billion dollars in lost profits.” (And I’m not exaggerating with the billion number — that really is what some companies demand.) Now, MegaStorm isn’t going to come and say, “Oh yeah. It does show some cancer rates. Huh. You can ban it. We care about people.” No. They want money, and Chapter 11 gives them the right to sue the government. Either the government pays them a lot of money, or MegaStorm’s salt additive isn’t banned after all.

This isn’t good because that means a company can sue another country’s government for doing anything that effects their profits, even if they’re super rich already and the thing they do actually helps people, animals, and the environment. And the thing is, companies don’t do this in the most dire situations. No, they do it all the time. States and laws are now become more lenient than other because if they do try to protect the people and the animals and the environment, they’ll have to pay a huge sum of money.

And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that the people have no say in the matter. The trials between the companies and the government? The people aren’t allowed in. The protests? The people aren’t listened to. Was Chapter 11 really ever explained before they were trying to pass NAFTA? Does Chapter 11 benefit anyone excepting the rich companies who only get richer? The people never knew, even though it is shown that the people who wrote Chapter 11 knew the entire time what exactly they were doing.

Nothing good will come to us for having Chapter 11 — so what if a company can’t sell anything in a certain state? Instead of enforcing Chapter 11, maybe they should find a way to make it more healthy for the people and the animals and the environment. Maybe they should make their product better, and therefore sell things more.

I’m making this post so you can be aware of what is going on. We need to stop Chapter 11, we need to protest it, we need to have our voices be heard. We need to protect the world we were given because, hey, it’s the only one we’ve got.

-Mary, Author at Bonsai

 

Pros of Immigration April 15, 2013

Disclaimer: these are the views of one Bonsai staff member, not all of them, and not the blog. They are not expected or required to share the views of other members. If they do, fantastic, if they don’t, fantastic. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I wrote this for a Social Studies debate. 🙂

Without immigration, America would not have come as far as it has today, for America is a country of immigrants, and each has a culture to share, a story to tell. Native Americans first owned the land, but when immigrants came, cultural exchange flourished. America would not carry such a rich ‘melting pot’ culture if not for immigrants.

Furthermore, it can help with population distribution. Immigrants may move to an area of the country that is small and lacking in economic growth. Their cultural experience from their former country can add new and innovative ways to build economic growth and add culture to the small place.

the Border

The Border

There are more people to pay for goods and services when one lives in an immigrant country. Something sold to Americans may be seen as ‘old’, but in a different country, it could be the coolest thing, and so sellers may still make a profit out of it. Immigration also provides a larger workforce, which can fill the necessary jobs others find undesirable. More people are paying taxes, which gives the government a larger budget for their projects.

Legal immigration has a very good impact on the receiving society, as well as the people coming from their old country to start a new life.

Ceej

 

Mining in Northern Wisconsin: Stop it Now! March 28, 2013

Wisconsin has been the home of many strong mining laws, but now, the governor Scott Walker wants to weaken these and begin mining in Northern Wisconsin. We will get some important metals, but we will also hurt the environment in a terrible way. The company that wants to mine there is one that recently mined in Illinois, and still isn’t complying to picking up its waste that it left behind. Sign a petition to stop this here:

http://org.credoaction.com/petitions/stop-the-wisconsin-open-pit-mining-bill

We just need close to 300 more!

Look at the beauty that could be ruined in northern Wisconsin:

 

Outlawing Capital Punishment March 10, 2013

(Disclaimer: This post is not made because all of Bonsai is opposed to the death penalty. This post is merely pointing out the cons of the death penalty, and was originally a persuasive piece for Mary’s class. Not all of the staff at Bonsai is necessarily opposed to the death penalty, and I do not expect them to be, and if you do not want to be, you shouldn’t either.)

States without the death penalty have had consistently lower homicide rates than states that do in the past 20 years. This shows that the death penalty does not have as large of an effect on rates of crime as it is supposed to, Overall National Murder Rates of Death Penalty and Non-Death Penalty Statesand therefore is unnecessary. The death penalty should be outlawed in the United States of America for this and many other reasons.

First of all, it is very easy to put innocent people on death row. Since 1973, over 130 people have been released from death row because they were proven innocent. At any time, any of these 130 people could have been executed even though they committed no crime. Wrongful accusations are often made just because of bad legal representation, since people who are put on death row usually cannot pay to have a good lawyer to represent them in court. Some other reasons for innocents to be accused are police misconduct, prejudice, wrongful discriminating testimonies, misinterpretation of evidence, and the pressure on officers to solve a case quickly.

Secondly, the death penalty costs a lot more than life in prison. At a median price, executions cost $1.26 million dollars, while life in prison costs $740,000, which is considerably less. In Maryland, capital punishment costs three times more than life in prison, and in California, the law system would cost $11.5 million dollars instead of the $137 million it does if there was no death penalty.

Another thing to consider is that the death row system is highly prejudiced. The victims of murder resulting in executions/death row are overwhelmingly white (77% percent) and over half the time, the people put on death row for these murders are African-American. A study made by the US General Accounting Office found that a defendant was several times more likely to be found guilty if the victim was white. Another report sponsored by the American Bar Association found that one-third of the inmates on death row who were African-American would not have been found guilty if they were white. African-Americans are also treated more harshly during court and are valued less than white inmates during death row.

Furthermore, executing people with mental problems goes against the constitution. However, several people have been put on death row even if they are known to have mental illness. James Colbourn was accused of  murder and found guilty even though he had extreme schizophrenia and was extremely sedated during his trial. He was executed a few years later. Several other people have had similar cases, such as Charles Singleton and Kelsey Patterson. Both men both had known mental illness but were executed anyway.

Lastly, the court accusing people of death penalty can be highly random. Co-defendants on trial for the same crime may receive very different punishments. One might get several years in prison while the other is put on death row. Also, only two percent of people who commit crimes eligible of death penalty actually receive it. Overall, it doesn’t matter what you did — what really matters is where you are, who is prosecuting you, bargaining, and chance.

The death penalty does nothing to help the United States run smoothly, and should be outlawed. The United States will be a much better place to live in if we didn’t kill a person for a person, and we should abolish it for all of these reasons.

 

 

 
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