Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 07 Jun 2023
The World for People who Think

Society's Child

Heart - Black

America's official child abuse: Kids in jail routinely subjected to solitary confinement

jail cell bars
© Vincent O'Byrne/Alamy
One teen who participated in the Human Rights watch report wrote that being in isolation felt like 'a slow death from the inside out'.
Thousands of teenagers, some as young as 14 or 15, are routinely subjected by US prisons to this psychological torture

Molly J said of her time in solitary confinement:
"[I felt] doomed, like I was being banished ... Like you have the plague or that you are the worst thing on earth. Like you are set apart [from] everything else. I guess [I wanted to] feel like I was part of the human race - not like some animal."
Molly was just 16 years old when she was placed in isolation in an adult jail in Michigan. She described her cell as being "a box":
"There was a bed - the slab. It was concrete ... There was a stainless steel toilet/sink combo ... The door was solid, without a food slot or window ... There was no window at all."
Molly remained in solitary for several months, locked down alone in her cell for at least 22 hours a day.

No other nation in the developed world routinely tortures its children in this manner. And torture is indeed the word brought to mind by a shocking report released today by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. Growing Up Locked Down documents, for the first time, the widespread use of solitary confinement on youth under the age of 18 in prisons and jails across the country, and the deep and permanent harm it causes to kids caught up in the adult criminal justice system.

Comment: Yet nothing will happen - polls show that a majority of the American public now accept and support the use of torture. A society dehumanized to such a point, cheered on by authoritarians and their followers, will willingly accept measures that inflict pain and suffering on the 'others' without giving it a second thought.

Murder by drone without trail or the need to produce any evidence, routine killing of civilians as 'acceptable losses', isolation and torture of children at home, and the highest prison population anywhere on the planet. All are accepted without a word of protest from the majority in the U.S.


Study: 41% of Americans have been arrested by the time they're 23

"Those are alarmingly high numbers. There are social, economic, educational and family risks associated with arrests. And we all have to be worried about that."
~Dr. Eugene Beresin, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor at Harvard Medical School.


Police Brutality: Police beat Puerto Rican woman in Philadelphia

© Workers World/Joseph Piette
With only two days of organizing, close to 100 people rallied in front of the Philadelphia City Hall on Oct. 5 to protest police brutality against the Puerto Rican community.

The attack occurred on Sept. 30, during a celebration in the community at the end of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The parade itself was held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, in an area near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, far from North Philadelphia's Puerto Rican community, but close to a community where gentrification displaced hundreds of Puerto Rican families in the early 1980s.

In a video that went viral, taken by Gisela Valentín, a cop is shown hitting Aida Guzmán in the face and in the back of her head, so hard that she fell to the ground. Several other police were surrounding the area while she was being hit, preventing anyone from getting through and allowing the attack to continue. Adding insult to injury, Guzmán, bleeding from the injury, was then handcuffed and arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. The case against her was eventually dropped.

This act of police brutality against a woman has outraged many in the city and particularly Puerto Rican women, who complained about the silence from city public figures and elected officials. Only one, Puerto Rican Councilperson María Quiñones, complained about the attack and demanded an investigation. It took several days and several views of the video, which showed that Guzmán did nothing to provoke the attack, for the police commissioner and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to issue a statement. Had it not been for the video, the attack would have been ignored completely. It wasn't until Oct.5 that Nutter offered an apology to Guzmán.


Father whose daughter died at Narconon shocked by Scientology belief

Stacy Murphy
© Russell Mills
Tulsa, Oklahoma - An Owasso man whose daughter died of an apparent drug overdose while at a drug treatment facility says he wants the place fixed or shut down and he wants the world to know about its roots in the Church of Scientology and what that organization's beliefs entail.

Robert Murphy's daughter, Stacy Dawn Murphy, died at Narconon Arrowhead July 19.

The facility claims it has medical personnel "on staff" 24 hours a day but what they don't say is that "on staff" does not mean "on site," Murphy says.

"You believe they have a 24-hour physician in the building and all these nurses in the building, (that's) what you hear when they say they have a 24-hour staff. Well in actuality they have'em on staff, but they're not in the premises," he says.

Murphy's death is listed as "unattended," which would back up Robert Murphy's contention that his daughter was left in a room alone where she passed away from what appears to have been a drug overdose.

The "on staff" medical personnel were apparently never notified.

"They had her for ten-plus hours where they knew she was in an OD (overdose) situation and nobody did anything. No monitoring of her, no physician was called, no 911, didn't call her parents, nothing. Just put her in a room and left her to die," he told KRMG.

Prior to Stacy's admission to Narconon Arrowhead, the family had been desperate for help and Narconon boasts an incredible 76 percent success rate, roughly three times the success rate of traditional treatment programs.

"It sounds so appealing, a 76 percent success rate," Murphy told KRMG. "But in reality there's no clinical study to back it up."

But they didn't know that at the time and they decided on Narconon despite the extremely high cost.

"You're drawn to this '76 percent' and you're willing to believe it. You think you're getting more by paying more...what parent wouldn't pay whatever it takes to get results that work?" Murphy asks, rhetorically.

Then, even as the shock of her death set in, Robert began taking a closer look at Narconon's underlying roots in the Church of Scientology.

Arrow Up

Forced evictions on the rise in China

© Agence France-Presse
Huang Sufang (C) attempts to protect her home as workers move in for demolition orders in Yangji village, Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province on March 21, 2012.
Beijing- Land seizures in China are becoming the greatest source of public dissent spurring social unrest in many parts of the country, according to rights watchdog Amnesty International.

Amnesty International says acceleration in forced evictions and land grabbing is largely due to growing pressure on provincial and city governments to stimulate the economy.

"Forced evictions are currently the biggest source of public discontent in China today," said Nicola Duckworth, who authored the Amnesty report.

Stock Up

Rising food prices 'disaster for public health'

Economists expect a four per cent rise in the cost of the UK's weekly shop this year, and food prices are already rising more quickly than those in the rest of Europe.

According to a survey of its members, the National Farmers' Union has forecast a bleak picture of this year's harvest, and wheat in particular has been badly hit.

Bad conditions in the US and Russia, both big exporters of grain, are also contributing to food prices rising globally.

Professor Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University, told Today presenter Sarah Montague that the rising price of fruit and vegetables "is a disaster for public health".

Lord Haskins of Skidby, a farmer and former chairman of Northern Foods, said the current rise is due to a "temporary blip because of the weather... one must distinguish between the short term problems of ugly looking potatoes in the shops and long term problems of climate change."


Baltimore fire kills 4 kids and a woman, injures 2 firefighters

© Patrick Semansky
Officials stand in front of a fire-damaged house in Baltimore, where an early morning fire claimed the lives of an adult and four children on Oct. 11, 2012.
An intense fire that ripped through a row house in northeast Baltimore early Thursday killed an adult and four children, a fire official said.

Fire department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright says firefighters were called around 2 a.m. and arrived to find heavy fire and smoke coming from the first and second floors of the home.

Cartwright said there were "intense flames coming out of every window and door in this structure."

Baltimore City Fire Chief James Clack told NBC affiliate WBALTV that 10 people were in home, and five escaped before the fire crews arrived.

One man jumped from a second-floor window to escape the blaze, he said. The man was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for treatment, where he was in stable condition. Others, including a woman who handed a baby out of the home, escaped before firefighters arrived at the scene. Cartwright said he believes the baby is in good condition.

Arrow Down

Three dead after Florida parking garage collapse; 1 still missing

A badly injured construction worker pulled from the rubble of a collapsed parking garage at Miami-Dade College early Thursday has died, police said, raising the death toll to three.
© J Pat Carter/AP
Firefighters remove a victim from the rubble early morning Oct. 11 in Doral, Fla, after a section of a parking garage under construction at Miami-Dade College campus collapsed.

Miami fire and rescue crews rescued the construction worker around 1 a.m. Thursday at the Miami-Dade College in Doral, Fla.,Miami fire officials said. But in order to get the man out, medics had to amputate both of his legs above the knees, authorities said. Another trapped worker who had been freed was in critical condition.

Rescue workers continued Thursday to search for the last person believed to have been in the structure when it collapsed.

Eight people were hospitalized at Miami-area hospitals after the Wednesday collapse, which killed three workers, according to a statement from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.


Red Cross urges Spanish to donate money for food parcels to give to their own countrymen, as 2.3 million are deemed 'extremely vulnerable'

Spaniards are being called on to supply food parcels to their poverty-stricken counterparts as the nation's economic crisis continues to bite.

Spain's Red Cross today launches a drastic appeal for €30 million - a move which in recent years has been reserved for helping famine-hit African nations and earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

It is the first time the agency's annual campaign has focused solely on aiding people in its own country and will see essential food supplies handed out to
2.3 million 'extremely vulnerable' citizens over the next two years.

Recession: Unemployed men and women queue up at a job center in Madrid as the Spanish Red Cross announces its first drive for donations to aid the country's own population

Light Saber

People Power! Incredible! Spanish protesters win!

Given the horrific images we've all seen of Spanish police goons violently beating up innocent men and women, this refreshing clip shows the tide has changed --- and non-violently!

What the crowds are chanting:

"The people united will never be defeated!"