Community News Service Vol. I No. 1 March 20th, 2021


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continue to monitor the area afterwards and these actions will not take place when there is inclement weather.  Although the DC government has promised care, this is not the case as we see government officials throwing out items of unhoused people.

DC’s Office of Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services has been acting on reports of encampments around the city. When a location is determined to be an encampment, a 14-day notice of protocol engagement

will be posted and the encampment will then be cleared out after the notice is up. In addition, there will be increased engagement from MPD, the Department of Public Works, etc. Teams will

Upcoming Encampment Cleanups:

  • 3/22: Rescheduled_ 10th St, between Rhode Island Ave and P St NW, Full Cleanup. 10am
  • 3/23: NY Ave and Florida Ave NE, Trash-Only, 10am.
  • 3/25: No Scheduled Cleanup Engagement
  • 3/30: 9th St and Rock Creek Church Rd NW, 10am.

South Asia: 88 Rohingya refugees camped outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in New Delhi, India have been detained. According to one of the community leaders, the group had come from Jammu following the detention of 160 members of their community last week.


However, Myanmar has been persecuting these Muslims since the 1970s, and military actions have allowed for the genocide and therefore displacement of now 740,000+ Rohingya to Bangledesh. To make matters worse, aid deliveries have been suspended including food and healthcare, which is especially problematic during a pandemic. This is an example of ethnic cleansing, defined as

“a purposely policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove, by violent and terror-inspiring means, the civilian population of other ethnic or religious groups from certain geographic areas (Vox). This is a humanitarian crisis that deserves attention and has eerie similarities to other international relations.

The Caucasus and Central Asia:

Azerbaijan and Turkey holding joint military exercises near Armenia (RFE/RL)  while Uzbekistan and India’s joint military exercises end tomorrow, which were aimed at enhancing counter-terrorisms skills in urban/jungle warfare (The Print). In the future, there will be more background on the history between this group of countries.

East/SouthEast Asia: In Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, police/military  were ordered to shoot protestors. As of February 1st, 2021, the military seized control of the government and claimed a year-long state of emergency after claiming a fraudulent election in which Ms Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy Party had won by a landslide. Ms Suu Kyi and other members of the party have since been detained. Military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing has since taken power and says that there will be a “free and fair” election after the state of emergency is over. The military has

been accused of killing over 50 people during protests against the military rule, although this number may vary. Some members of the police force are taking refuge in India because of a fear of having to kill their own people at the command of the rogue military. Ms Suu Kyi has had her share of criticisms as well concerning her treatment of the

Rohingya ethnic group (BBC). Considered “illegal” immigrants and denied citizenship - the ethnic group experienced genocide and ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar government and military. Although there has been condemnation of the military coup, no serious actions are being taken by outside countries. Jakarta, an island off the coast of

Indonesia is sinking at rapid rates due to climate change, a lack of access to clean water, and a deep colonial history with the Dutch. The land is sinking at about 25 cm a year, destabilizing any structure on the island and destroying lives of the native people.

This is the result of aquifer systems where multiple wells

were drilled into the soil to reach the water. When the Dutch colonized Jakarta in the 1600s, they had built the city similar to that of Amsterdam, with canals running through the city with little to no bridges connecting the different sections. They did this strategically for economic purposes, but also to divide the different groups of people that inhabited the island. This went on for a century until the canals became stagnant and caused disease. The Dutch moved south and began to use piped water so that this issue wouldn’t happen again. Iron pipes were to distribute water to each home to provide clean water - but these were concentrated to Dutch areas. After Indonesia’s independence, the people of the island were left to deal with the mess the Dutch had created. As the population grows today, access to water is still a

privilege. Jakarta’s government along with a Dutch architect announced a plan to build a seawall to keep the water from flooding the island - this seawall has only sunk (Vox). The island continues to suffer with no real solutions in sight. In the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, had ruled over the country from 1965 to 1986. On September 21st, 1972, Marcos proclaimed a state of martial law in the Philippines. This led to the militarization of the state where Philippinos were killed, tortured, incarcerated, and disappeared. Former US President Ronald Reagan had provided millions of dollars in aid to the brutal regime. After many struggles, the 1986 EDSA Revolution forced Marcos into exile in Hawaii and Corazon Aquino became President. Following her term, the party in power went between progressives and nationalists. Since 2016,

Rodrigo Duterte is dictating the country and has followed Marcos’ footsteps in continuing martial law. His criticisms include enriching drug lords while killing citizens through anti-drug laws, mass arrests and murders especially of students protesting the regime in Southern Tagalog, and a countless number of other human rights violations. So what can we do? Donate (tinyurl.com/ichrpfund) and demand that the Biden administration and Congress stop backing imperialist rulers abroad by cutting military aid and ending agreements that train militants that are killing Phillipino citizens (Anakbayan USA). This story is extremely similar to what is happening in Haiti and other countries around the world; past, present, and future if we do not stand against imperialism.

contractors, women, and young employees have been worse than the 2008-09 financial crisis (Al Jazeera). Spain recently announced a 4 day work week to promote free time, allowing people to think and better their situations. Also, this measure would help with climate change, health, and the economy (NowThis).

In London, UK, a pig by the name of Wayne Couzens was charged with kidnapping and murdering Sarah Everard. According to End Violence Against Women, more than

500,000 women are sexually assaulted in Britain each year (NY Times). A vigil for Sarah was then broken up by pigs who grabbed women quite forcefully to arrest them - further showing that police do not keep women safe. On this same topic, over half of police officers abuse their family members and average about 45 sexual assaults per year on women in the US (CNN). This shows the broader context of how police do not keep us safe, and how women everywhere are not safe in general.

Europe: Unemployment rates are high since the pandemic began in 2020, over 6 million jobs have been lost within the European Union. According to the same study by Eurofound, the impact of the pandemic on temporary

Middle East and North Africa: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a deal with the United Arab Emirates to provide a $10 billion investment in Israel’s energy, manufacturing, water, space, healthcare, and agritech industries. The two countries normalized diplomatic ties after the Abraham Accords last September (The New Arab).

Latin America and the Carribean: Brazil recorded 2,286 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest number of deaths in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Late last year, another deadlier variant of the virus was discovered which has led to severe medical shortages including oxygen (Merco Press). Current President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro,

has continually downplayed the severity of the virus since the beginning. The Presidential election will be coming up in 2022 between Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Also in South America, Chile continues to battle a rising number of COVID-19 cases, over 900,000 cases and 21,000 deaths have been recorded so far (Al Jazeera).

Last week, former Bolivian president Jeanine Áñez was

arrested for her role in the coup to overthrow former President Evo Morales in 2019 (Telesur). Protests continue in Haiti, whose people are calling for the removal of dictator Jovenel Moise. Moise assumed power in 2017 after disputed elections and a cancelled result by the electoral council. To summarize, Moise does not have the consent of the majority of Haitians to be President. Under Moise, officials loyal to the dictator

have arrested multiple people including a Supreme Court judge. Further, military and police officials have used live ammunition, tear gas, and rubber bullets to harm protestors and citizens - many have been killed and disappeared especially in poor neighborhoods. Moise’s term is set to end on February 7, 2022 according to the dictator and the United States (Al Jazeera). Solidarity with Haiti as they fight to liberate themselves.

North America: Atlanta, Georgia

On Wednesday the 17th, a white supremacist by the name of Robert Aaron Long, 21, was charged with eight counts of murder and one count of assault after murdering eight people in a hate crime and fit of domestic terrorism, many of the victims were of Asian decent. The victims that have been identified thus far: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels,

Xiaojie Yan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Yong Ae Yue, and Suncha Kim. The group Stop AAPI Hate, against Asian American and Pacific Islander hate, has received over 3,800 reports of hateful incidents since the beginning of the pandemic last March (NPR). These incidents aren’t new to America, however. The history of Asian hate goes back to the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese concentration camps, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the illegal Vietnam War, the bombing of Laos and Cambodia, the support of mass massacres in Indonesia, and called the COVID-19 virus the “China Virus”. We must unlearn the stereotypes that US propaganda has shown us about Asia, and stand together in solidarity with people of color who are oppressed and struggling toward the same goal that Black, Brown, and Indigenous people have been fighting for.

The US Treasury Department last Wednesday announced that it was imposing sanctions (trade barriers, taxes, restrictions on trade with other countries - used as a form of punishment) on two children of Myanmar’s military general in response to the February coup (US Department of Treasury). In addition to an increased number of sanctions, President Biden has maintained Trump’s cruel immigration policies and continues to deport immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. As of March 15, 2021, the Biden/Harris administration has deported 127,457 people (United We Dream) and ‘migrant facilities’, concentration camps, are still up and running. What’s particularly troubling about the statistics of these deportations is that a majority of people being deported are Black, from Haiti. In February a two-month-old baby and 21 other children were deported along with 72 others. As previously discussed, the uprising in Haiti makes it especially difficult to return to. President Biden has supported Moise in staying in office for another year (The Guardian). Other countries that have seen a majority of their people forcefully sent back including Jamaica, Guatemala, and Honduras (Politifact). I’m sure there are other countries not listed, but it is difficult to find data on these statistics as the government and ICE do not report everything.

that it will require all trading parties to be registered and provide a “certificate of conformity” on aflatoxin levels, which have been linked with cancer. Tanzania and Uganda are struggling with concerns over high levels of mycotoxins (Africa Feeds).

In South Sudan, the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until March 15, 2022. UNMISS personnel are to provide a “three-year strategic vision to

prevent a return to civil war”. The team is to continue to “deter violence against civilians, especially through proactive deployment and active patrolling, with particular attention to internally displaced persons and refugees in UNMISS protection sites” The force is currently made up of 17,000 troops and 2,101 police (The East African). The UN is known for sticking its nose in places that it does not belong, and an increase in military personnel will certainly not deter from civil war.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister, Hamed Bakayoko, has recently passed away from cancer at the age of 56.

Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture has announced

Mutual Aid

Food resources:

  • “PULL UP FOR PRODUCE” with Kyanite Kitchen, every Tuesday in front of 4095 Minnesota Ave 20019 3-5 PM
  • Feed the City every other Saturday, next date is April 3rd, 2021; all 8 Wards 1-3 PM
  • Feed the People, hot meals every Saturday at Dupont Circle and Union and NOMA stations 3:30-5 PM
  • Total Liberation Collective, meals every Saturday NJ&O, 21st&E, Washington Circle/Watergate, and Mass&2nd NE

Shelters/Other Resources:

  • Casa Ruby, run and led by transgender women of color, provides housing services, social services, preventative healthcare, immigration services, and support services for victims of violence; 7530 Georgia Ave NW 202-355-5155
  • DC Government Shelter Hotline: 202-399-7093 or 311) transportation available, minors under 18 call Sasha Bruce Youthwork Hotline 202-547-7777
  • Men’s shelters; 801 East Shelter (801 Making Life Better Lane SE), Adams Place Shelter (2210 Adams Place NE#1), New York Ave Shelter (1355-57 New York Ave NE
  • Women’s shelters; Harriet Tubman (1910 Massachusetts Ave SE #27), St. Josephine (6010 Georgia Ave NW)

Prison Support/Legal Aid:

  • Life After Release, run by a formerly incarcerated Black woman, that provides resources for previously incarcerated folks; 4710 Auth Place 2nd floor Camp Springs, MD 240-200-4472
  • Law for Black Lives, legal support and bail reform, info@law4blacklivesdc.com
  • University Legal Services, specifically for people with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and substance use disorders; 220 I Street NE Suite 130 202-527-7033, to request jail/prison advocacy call 1-877-221-4638 or email tseltzer@uls-dc.org
  • Thrive DC, reentry services for previously incarcerated folks; 202-503-1531 or kimberly@thrivedc.org
  • Washington Legal Clinic, 202-328-5500
  • National Lawyers Guild; 202-888-1731 support@nlgdc.org 2000 P St. NW Suite 415 Washington, DC 20036

What is Transformative Justice?

Imagine a world without prisons, without the death penalty, without police. It’s hard to imagine but I’m here to explain how it’s possible piece by piece. I recently learned about transformative justice practices, growing up I wasn’t equipped to handle conflict nor did I know how to take accountability or how to work toward a solution when I caused harm to others. Transformative justice, rooted in indigenous practices, is an abolitionist framework for responding to harm, violence, and abuse without reproducing those very same things. This process is an understanding of the root causes and effects of crime, because crime is not random - it is caused by the inability to fully meet the needs of a human being. Transformative justice addresses the needs of the person who has been harmed and the person that harmed takes accountability and responsibility for their actions. The main goal is to create a meaningful solution for all parties that does not involve incarceration as a form of punishment. This is important to consider when we think about how there are over 2.5 million people in prisons in this country alone. Punishment in place of transformative justice causes children in schools to drop out and/or become part of the system (school-to-prison pipeline). Police brutality is a result of this nation’s “justice” system that targets Black and Brown folks. The Amerikkkan  justice system is working precisely how it was designed to, stemming from slavery - its only goal is to lock people away and exploit their bodies, forcing our loved ones to work for free to supply the outside world with commodities. This racist, capitalist, colonial institution is one that views punishment as a way to change

Transformative justice should be a guideline for how we deal with conflict in the future and how we handle it in our daily lives. It’s extremely important and revolutionary to simply take care of yourself. Solidarity with those who have experienced the pain of punishment in Amerikkka firsthand.

behavior, but this is  not the case - it only further disrupts the community and the relationships within it.

The process itself consists of the person harmed, Party 1, and their support then the perpetuator, Party 2, and their support system (in some cases there will be one person who has caused harm to multiple people or a group of people that caused harm to another group of people; in this case there could be individual sessions or group). The facilitators and circle keepers will be the people that communicate between both parties and will be present at the meeting to ensure the process is flowing smoothly. These people should work well in high pressured situations and trauma based care with conflict knowledge. They should also be upfront with their biases and experiences so that both parties get fair and equal treatment. Optional roles include the coordinator who does the logistics of the meetings, the vision keeper who keeps the main goal at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the note taker, deescalator, healers to provide additional trauma support, and resource support if anything is needed such as transportation, therapy, etc. There is a major emphasis on dialogue and communication without disruption or disrespect between the two parties. Along with transformative justice, there should be a focus on meeting the basic necessities within our community through mutual aid. Additionally, resources should be taken from the pigs who receive half a billion dollars per year and was recently raised by Mayor Bowser (Dear District) and given to education, mental health, drug/alcohol rehabilitation, etc.

African people for profit - which we see today in the prison system. Capitalism monopolizes everything, education, inventions, medicine, etc. Further, it allows for individualism instead of thinking about the community.

Capitalism also gives birth to liberalism and specifically, neoliberalism. Now all of these terms may start to seem useless but let me give some context. Coined by Friedrich Hayek, an Austrain born economist in the 1930s, neoliberalism protects private property and the freedom of the markets from interference - meaning that these major corporations were exempt from taxes, regulations, etc. This is a dense topic but it shows how the markets are run today and how the corporations continue to lie and cheat their way to the top while the rest of us suffer.

Capitalism, although a racist and patriarchal system, allows for Black and Brown people and women to advance within the hierarchy. This is not to be inclusive, this is to push Black and Brown folks to bring capitalism back to their people - but in the end this system is designed for one group of people, straight white men.

As briefly discussed earlier, the prison-industrial complex is a direct product

The Evils of Capitalism

“Under capitalism, a tree holds no value until it is cut down”  Under this system, humans are made to compete with one another and exploit other humans to gain material wealth to survive. As a capitalist society, we will continue to pillage the earth and exploit and oppress those within this system. The system of capitalism cannot be talked about without the systems of racism, colonialism, the patriarchy, and imperialism.[1] Capitalism has given birth to imperialism, poverty, and financial crises therefore causing the death of millions. 15 million people worldwide die each year from preventable poverty and about 1 in 3 deaths in the US is a result of income inequality. Under imperialism, one cannot formulate an accurate number of how many people have been murdered by this system. The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade is one example of the systems of capitalism, racism, and imperalism working together to uproot

of capitalism, profiting off of human bodies that provide cheap/free labor to create products that are in turn sold for a profit which those incarcerated will not see. Prisons have been privatized and companies oversee bail and funding for the prisons. Capitalism allows for prison services to be outsourced to all kinds of private corporations, more bodies in prison means more profits. Further, immigration detention centers are now creating profits for the elites in this country - under capitalism it is possible to profit off of separating and detaining parents and their children simply because they came from another country destroyed by these systems. This is a discussion for another time, but just to give some context.

Looking at this from an international point of view, this system only benefits the Western World and leaves “Third World'' countries behind only because they do not have the means or formal systems for capitalism, nor do they want to transition into this system that fails every few years. In oppressed countries, there are traps that come from all of these systems explained above that allow them not to succeed. Civil war is one example, studies show that civil war is more likely to break out in low-income countries with slow growth. If a state/nation has a weak government and economy, as a result of US capitalism, colonialism, and  imperialism, then the more likely it is to “fail” (The Bottom Billion). So, conflict in itself is a trap set up by these systems that causes the genocide of our people.

So what are the alternatives?

Socialism and communism often come to mind when thinking of systems opposite of

capitalism. Socialism is the idea that the working class, or the proletariat, owns and controls the means of production - therefore taking power away from establishments, institutions, big corporations, etc. The main difference between socialism and communism is that communism calls for the abolition of state, class, and money and does not rely on the government in any shape or form. Communism has a negative connotation attached to it, mainly because capitalists instilled fear in those who wished to believe that the people could have the power. Also, countries like China, Russia, and North Korea are viewed as “communist” countries but this is far from true. They might have begun with communist ideology but all three of these examples of what could have been a communist state were destroyed by certain individuals who let power get to their heads. For example, Lenin and Stalin in the USSR believed that the working class would rule - leaving out marginalized communities like unhoused people or those who were uneducated. They used fear to bring their ideas to life and when someone disagreed, even a socialist, they were subject to violence.  With socialism, there are examples of these countries today like Cuba, Vietnam, and Laos. However, there are issues within these systems and corruption ensues. There are different types of socialism and communism, like democratic socialism or Marxist-Lenist communists.

In my opinion, I think that both of these systems have their pros and cons - but I’m a dreamer and I think that we could come up with a better system that will work in practice.


Cuban Carnival by Magruder Murray

                          Joe Ruffin



[1] Colonialism:

the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people (the system or policy by which a nation maintains or advocates such control or influence).

Patriarchy: a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property

Imperialism: state policy, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas.