HKR 07-17-2013: Yesterday we caught up with long time activist and artist Boots Riley of the Coup and had a great dialogue on Hard Knock Radio about the George Zimmerman verdict and the subsequent demonstrations that have kicked off all over the country in the aftermath.
Boots laid out his thoughts on this and connected it to larger pictures that are in play all over the planet.. We talked at length about the protests and the tone they have taken and how they compare to protest in other parts of the world. We also talked about what should be some possible end goals especially if one perceives the justice system to be beyond repair. Boots of course noted the importance of not seeing the issues around seeking justice for Trayvon Martin in isolation, but instead as something that is systemic requiring us to have deeper analysis and long-term goals for fundamental change.
We also talked about Boot’s new album ‘Sorry to Bother You’ and his upcoming shows in the Bay Area this weekend..
Here’s a quick update from Austin Texas where state senator Wendy Davis out of Forth Worth is now on her 10th hour of filibustering. Its been a grueling process with Lt Gov David Dewhurst going all out to bah on her as hundreds of people are in the rotunda bearing witness to this historical event. We talk to long time activist Carmen D Llanes who filled us in yesterday and is now updating us on the crucial details as they are unfolding now Click the link below
Hundreds flood state capital in Austin to Protest SB5 which will cripple Reproductive Rights
A lot of drama is jumping off in Texas around the issue of abortion..Late last week we saw hundreds of people come from as far away as 500 miles to Austin to protest new Draconian bills that would severely cripple Reproductive Rights in the Lone Star State.. A number of bills have been bundled under a bill Sb5..Here’s a break down of this via Think Progress.
SB 5 combines several attacks on women’s reproductive into one omnibus measure. It would impose unnecessary burdens on abortion providers, force most of the abortion clinics in the state to close their doors, and criminalize abortions after 20 weeks (although one Senate version of the legislation removed the 20-week ban). Anti-choice lawmakers hope that the special session will give them the opportunity to push through SB 5, since its separate provisions failed to advance during the regular legislative session this year.
But Texas voters don’t actually want any more restrictions on abortion in their state. After conducting a survey among a representative sample of state residents between June 17 and 19, the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) found that 63 percent of registered voters think the Lone Star State already has enough anti-abortion laws on the books. Seventy one percent think the legislature should be more focused on the economy and jobs instead of social policies to police women’s reproductive rights.
We caught up with long time activist Carmen D Llanes to get the full rundown of whats going on. Carmen who also sits on the local board of Planned Parenthood gave us the full 4-11 on the current fights. She noted that the state has defunded clinics which are the life blood for many who live in small towns and that the end result has been people having to drive more than 500 miles to get medical attention. She also spoke about the cut backs on women being able to get birth control.
She also explained the political landscape of Texas. She noted that most of the people living there are not far-right Red wingers.. but because of the way heavily populated centers with people of color and left leaning folks have been redrawn, its very difficult for a political sea change to happen. She noted how in some districts the lines are drawn so that they stretch in small slivers for more than 400 miles just to ensure a right leaning outcome in elections ..There are major fights about this in court and many Texans are not lying down allowing this to go unchallenged. In fact in many places you are seeing changes. I wont take up too much of your time.. You can peep the Hard Knock radio interview below w/ Carmen D Llanes