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Photo by Bill Hughes.

On Sunday morning, July 14, 2013, a press conference was held in response to the “not guilty” verdict in the controversial George Zimmerman case. He was charged with the murder of an unarmed, seventeen-year-old, Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, which occurred on Feb. 26, 2012. McKeldin Square in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore was the site of the press conference. Representatives from the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC Baltimore) shared their views on the case and their plans for “future protests.” Speaking on camera are The Rev. Cortly C.D. Witherspoon, Sharon Black, Lee Patterson and Steven Ceci.

On July 11, 2013, CODEPINK activists and  allies demonstrate in front of U.S. Department of Justice, demanding an end to U.S. global surveillance and the hunt for Edward Snowden. Photo by Bill Hughes.

On Thursday afternoon, July 11, 2013, CODEPINK activists and their human rights allies staged a lively demonstration in front of the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C. They were there to protest the Justice Department’s “relentless campaign to hunt down and block whistleblower Edward Snowden’s attempt to seek [political] asylum.” They also repeated their demand that the Justice Department “stop the NSA from its [unlawful] surveillance of Americans and foreigners.”

Condom Man. Sketch By: Dale Cooper

Sara McClean interviews independent gay porn performers: Colby Keller and Dale Cooper --both of whom call Baltimore home. We sit down to talk with them about pornography as a career, its gender and feminist implications, the strengths and limitations of porn as a profession, sex worker organizing and workplace protections, and the role of porn in sexual health.

Dale Cooper Colby Keller Interview -- June 23, 2013

Image source: www.akpress.org

Summer. The time of year when it’s too hot to move. The perfect time for reading. In a world where billionaires control more than 90% of the media you see, reading can be a welcome respite, an opportunity to think for yourself. A chance to use your imagination, send yourself back in time, or explore another world. It also helps you learn how better to express yourself; the best writers are almost all prolific readers.

Photo by Bill Hughes.

One of Baltimore's best street journalists, Bill Hughes, covered two actions from last week. On Tuesday, July 2nd, a demonstration was held at the Social Security Headquarters in Woodlawn, where activists spoke out against proposed cuts to Social Security benefits. On Friday, July 5, hundreds of Baltimore males march against violence on North Avenue.

A detainee from Afghanistan is carried on a stretcher before being interrogated by military officials at Camp X-Ray at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Saturday, Feb. 2, 2002. Picture: AP

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, human rights activists staged a demonstration at noon in front of the White House. They demanded that president Obama close Guantanamo. Bill Hughes captured the arrest of human rights activist, Diane Wilson, who climbed over the White House fence. He also speaks with other activists who attended the action, including Medea Benjamin and Dr. Margaret Flowers.

Image source: http://blog.bolsolution.com/index.php/2009/12/20/970/giovanni_ribisi_in_avatar_wallpaper_4_1280/

As we extend our discussion of the provocative themes found in the blockbuster movie, Avatar, we turn to the role played by researchers and scientists. When it comes to getting to the root of the twin missions of American imperialism and colonization, it is incumbent to do what is true in other searches for truth: follow the money. For many scientists and researchers in the United States, the quest to gain new knowledge is financially supported by entrepreneurial academic institutions or the federal government that provides funding for much of scientific research.

416 East 31st Street in Baltimore. Photo by Kate Drabinski.

To walk around Charles Village and Greenmount today is to move through rapidly changing neighborhoods, those changes marked by steady decrease in trees and flowers and fancy cornices atop the ubiquitous brick homes as one travels east from St. Paul Street. There are layers and layers of stories here, of planned development, racial segregation, of bars and restaurants and the stuff of daily life. One of those layers is a distinctly gay history, one whose outlines and traces have to be pointed out as they fade behind the more visceral daily reminders of racism.

Image source: geographicalimaginations.com

I had the pleasure of watching the documentary, "Dirty Wars," by Jeremy Scahill. The film, in my view, affirms the conclusion that if the U.S. continues to fight this "war on terrorism" with its own acts of terrorism, then the security of the American public will remained threatened. As Scahill points out in the documentary, the Obama administration has generated a "targeted kill list" that grew from a few names to hundreds of names and now thousands of names. The more people killed the more people who will be willing to spare their lives for revenge. There is a vicious cycle that even if the "war on terror" ends today, the effects of the U.S. government's violent acts will be felt for a long time.

Image source: www.steinershow.org

On Friday, June 21, the Marc Steiner Show featured Lawrence Brown as he discussed his Indyreader essay entitled, "Avarice and Avatar in Charm City: Stepping Up the Fight Against Displacement and Dispossession." The discussion covered the historical antecedents of displacement and dispossession and turned to recent gentrification and displacement efforts in the Middle East and Greenmount West communities in Baltimore. The participants discussed strategies for confronting displacement and dispossession, including community organizing, anti-displacement as a fundamental principle, and changing the city charter from a strong mayor system to a council manager form of government to increase community voice and participation.

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