Hans Bennett: Abu-Jamal has asked for supporters to not just call for his release from the hole, but to challenge the very practice of solitary confinement and what are called in Pennsylvania “Restricted Housing Units.”
Andy Love: California’s death penalty is incredibly costly, and the money would be far better spent keeping kids in school, keeping teachers and counselors in their schools and giving the juvenile justice system the resources it needs.
Julie Gutman: As the international community prepares to mark the 61st annual Human Rights Day on December 10, here is a short list of some of the best human rights developments of 2011 outside the Middle East.
Julie Gutman: On Labor Day, Let’s Celebrate L.A.’s Status as a Bastion of Human, Immigrant and Workers’ Rights
Brent Budowsky: One of the great sources of outrage in our age is that again and again, crime pays. The victims, from young girls who die while vermin eat their corpse to embezzled investors who lose their money, from tortured prisoners to jobless workers to homeless victims of mortgage fraud, pay the price.
Julie Gutman: One of the most profound contributions we can make to the cause of freedom, democracy and human dignity is to rebuild the lives of those who have sacrificed so much in the defense of these ideals — the very principles upon which our country was founded.
Brent Budowsky: Now Rick Santorum attacks John McCain on the issue of torture. It is amazing — a major party has a pro-torture wing.
Lydia Howell: Now is the time for Americans to re-set our moral compass and demand an end to and accountability for torture of prisoners in the “war on terrorism” — at Guantanamo or at the remaining “black sites” in allied countries.
Sherwood Ross: Whatever Manning has done, if anything, the Pentagon has no right to reduce him to a vegetative state. Yet that is what it is doing, using methods similar to those for punishing dissidents under Stalin.
Sherwood Ross: Those supporting Manning need to recognize he is an icon for the bizarre, systemic destruction of tens of thousands of other human beings locked away in perpetual silence by their tormentors, often for mere infractions of prison rules, without the review of any judge or jury.
Steve Hendricks: I derive immense comfort, for example, from the similarity between the pro-torture 70 percent and the 68 percent of Americans who believe “angels and demons are active in the world.” Surely many of my pro-torture countrymen just need a little more education about torture. Well, a lot more.
An event you shouldn’t miss. The book, “The Blessing Next to the Wound”, was selected by the Amnesty International group in Pasadena as their November reading selection. No wonder. It is the story of Hector Aristizábal surviving poverty, torture by the US-trained military, cocaine cartels, and civil war in Colombia, as well as facing the challenges of exile. Co-written by Diane Lefer. Hector and Diane will be at Vroman’s Books in Pasadena TONIGHT, Friday Nov 12th at 7:00pm