• Des lois anti-avortements empêchent de soigner les fausses couches aux États-Unis Violette Cantin - Le Devoir
    https://www.ledevoir.com/monde/etats-unis/736167/des-lois-anti-avortements-empechent-de-soigner-les-fausses-couches

    Les ravages d’un fléau prévisible, mais terrible, commencent à peine à se faire sentir aux États-Unis, alors que des médecins se montrent réticents à soigner adéquatement des femmes qui font une fausse couche, de peur de se faire accuser d’avoir pratiqué un avortement.

    Le New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/17/health/abortion-miscarriage-treatment.html rapportait dimanche l’histoire d’une femme s’étant fait refuser des soins d’urgence après une fausse couche au Texas. L’hôpital lui a demandé de revenir uniquement si « elle saignait tellement qu’elle remplirait plus d’une couche en une heure ». Le cas de cette femme est loin d’être isolé, au vu des lois punitives visant les médecins qui pratiquent des avortements.


    Ted Jackson Associated Press Le flou juridique entourant les procédures médicales liées aux fausses couches met des femmes en danger.

    Au Texas, la loi prévoit un « dédommagement » pouvant atteindre jusqu’à 10 000 $ aux personnes entamant une procédure judiciaire contre quelqu’un qui aurait pratiqué un avortement. Au Missouri, quiconque pratique une interruption de grossesse s’expose à de la prison pour une durée qui varie entre 5 et 15 ans. Et en mai dernier, en Louisiane, un comité de la Chambre des représentants a approuvé un projet de loi qui aurait permis de considérer l’avortement comme un homicide et de poursuivre les femmes y ayant recours en conséquence. Le projet de loi a finalement été abandonné après qu’une majorité de la Chambre s’y est opposée.

    Mais si les femmes ne sont pas encore considérées comme des criminelles pour avoir recours à un avortement, les médecins qui les pratiquent le sont dans plusieurs États et craignent la prison. Plusieurs hésitent désormais à fournir des soins médicaux adéquats à des femmes qui font une fausse couche.

    « Il n’y a pas de différence entre les soins médicaux pour une fausse couche et ceux pour un avortement », confirme la Dre Geneviève Bois, qui est professeure adjointe de clinique en médecine à l’Université de Montréal et qui pratique des avortements. « Par exemple, si la grossesse cesse de se développer, mais que la fausse couche n’arrive pas, ça se traite exactement comme un avortement par médicaments, précise-t-elle. Ou alors, on peut y aller par aspiration, comme un avortement médical. »

    Détresse psychologique et mortalité  
    La Dre Monica Saxena, urgentologue qui pratique en Californie, constate de près les effets désastreux des nouvelles restrictions des lois antiavortement. « Même si la grossesse n’est pas viable, certains États avec des lois restrictives concernant l’avortement interdisent une intervention chirurgicale à moins que l’activité cardiaque du foetus soit indétectable », explique-t-elle. Jointe par le Devoir, elle précise que les délais qui découlent de cette interdiction peuvent entraîner « des hémorragies, des infections ou des sepsis qui peuvent causer la mort » de la personne enceinte.

    Bien qu’elle n’ait pas à négocier avec cette ingérence politique dans le domaine médical, la Dre Saxena précise que l’Université de Californie à Los Angeles estime qu’entre 8000 et 16 000 femmes vont se rendre chaque année dans l’État pour obtenir un avortement https://law.ucla.edu/sites/default/files/PDFs/Center_on_Reproductive_Health/California_Abortion_Estimates.pdf . Cela augmentera donc le nombre de patientes à traiter sur son territoire.

    « Les lois antiavortement n’ont pas été créées en utilisant des preuves médicales et elles s’immiscent dans la relation médecin-patient. La conséquence est qu’elles augmentent la morbidité et la mortalité des personnes enceintes », condamne-t-elle.

    La Dre Bois rappelle pour sa part les effets psychologiques que peut avoir l’absence de soins obstétricaux appropriés. « Ça crée beaucoup de détresse psychologique. Les personnes avec un utérus sont placées dans un état de constante incertitude », relève-t-elle.

    L’existence de ce flou juridique aux États-Unis allonge les délais pour des personnes qui pourraient avoir besoin de soins d’urgence tout en créant un climat de suspicion et de retenue parmi les professionnels de la santé.

    « Finalement, être enceinte, c’est 10 à 100 fois plus dangereux que d’obtenir un avortement, rappelle la Dre Bois. En étant enceinte, on est toujours en danger. »

    #Femmes #religion #avortement #ivg #santé #viol #droits_des_femmes #usa #texas #pologne #catholicisme #fausses_couches

  • Will The Reckoning Over Racist Names Include These Prisons?

    Many prisons, especially in the South, are named after racist officials and former plantations.

    Not long after an #Alabama lawyer named #John_Darrington began buying up land in Southeast #Texas, he sent enslaved people to work the soil. They harvested cotton and sugarcane, reaping profits for their absentee owner until he sold the place in 1848.

    More than a century and a half later, men—mostly Black and brown—are still forced to work in the fields. They still harvest cotton. They still don’t get paid. And they still face punishment if they refuse to work.

    They are prisoners at the #Darrington Unit, one of Texas’s 104 prisons. And not the only one in the South named after slaveholders.

    While the killing of George Floyd has galvanized support for tearing down statues, renaming sports teams and otherwise removing markers of a (more) racist past, the renewed push for change hasn’t really touched the nation’s prison system. But some say it should. Across the country, dozens of prisons take their names from racists, Confederates, plantations, segregationists, and owners of slaves.

    “Symbols of hate encourage hate, so it has been time to remove the celebration of figures whose fame is predicated on the pain and torture of Black people,” said DeRay McKesson, a civil rights activist and podcast host.

    Some candidates for new names might be prisons on former plantations. In #Arkansas, the #Cummins Unit—now home to the state’s death chamber—was once known as the #Cummins_plantation (though it’s not clear if the namesake owned slaves). In North Carolina, Caledonia Correctional Institution is on the site of #Caledonia_Plantation, so named as a nostalgic homage to the Roman word for Scotland. Over the years, the land changed hands and eventually the state bought that and other nearby parcels.

    “But the state opted to actually keep that name in what I would say is a kind of intentional choice,” said Elijah Gaddis, an assistant professor of history at Auburn University. “It’s so damning.”

    Among several state prison systems contacted by The Marshall Project, only North Carolina’s said it’s in the early stages of historical research to see what name changes might be appropriate. Spokesman John Bull said the department is “sensitive to the cultural legacy issues sweeping the country,” but its priority now is responding to the COVID pandemic.

    Two of the most infamous and brutal plantations-turned-prisons are #Angola in #Louisiana and #Parchman in #Mississippi—but those are their colloquial names; neither prison formally bears the name of the plantation that preceded it. Officially, they’re called Louisiana State Penitentiary and the Mississippi State Penitentiary.

    In some parts of the South, many prisons are former plantations. Unlike Darrington or Cummins, the vast majority at least bothered to change the name—but that isn’t always much of an improvement.

    In Texas, for example, most of the state’s lock-ups are named after ex-prison officials and erstwhile state politicians, a group that predictably includes problematic figures. Arguably one of the worst is Thomas J. Goree, the former slave owner and Confederate captain who became one of the first superintendents of the state’s penitentiaries in the 1870s, when prison meant torture in stocks and dark cells.

    “Goree was a central figure in the convict leasing system that killed thousands of people and he presided over the formal segregation of the prison system,” said Robert Perkinson, a University of Hawaii associate professor who studies crime and punishment. “Even though he thought of himself as a kind of benevolent master, he doesn’t age well at all.”

    In his book “Texas Tough,” Perkinson describes some of the horrors of the convict leasing practices of Goree’s era. Because the plantation owners and corporations that rented prisoners did not own them, they had no incentive to keep them alive. If you killed an enslaved person, it was a financial loss; if you killed a leased convict, the state would just replace him. For decades, Texas prison laborers were routinely whipped and beaten, and the leasing system in Goree’s day sparked several scandals, including one involving torture so terrible it was known as the “Mineola Horror.” Goree defended the system: “There are, of course, many men in the penitentiary who will not be managed by kindness.” Plus, he explained, prisoners in the South needed to be treated differently because they were different from those in the north: “There, the majority of men are white.”

    The present-day Goree Unit is in Huntsville, an hour’s drive north of Houston, but his family’s former plantation in Lovelady—about 20 miles further north—has been turned into another prison: The Eastham Unit, named for the later landowners who used it for convict leasing.

    James E. #Ferguson—namesake of the notoriously violent Ferguson Unit, also near Huntsville—was a governor in the 1910s who was also an anti-Semite and at one point told the Texas Rangers he would use his pardoning power if any of them were ever charged with murder for their bloody campaigns against Mexicans, according to Monica Muñoz Martinez, historian and author of “The Injustice Never Leaves You.”

    Ferguson got forced out of office early when he was indicted and then impeached. Afterward, he was replaced by William P. Hobby, a staunch segregationist who opposed labor rights and once defended the beating of an NAACP official visiting the state to discuss anti-lynching legislation.

    #Hobby, too, has a prison named after him.

    “In public he tried to condemn lynchings, but then when you look at his role in suppressing anti-lynching organizing he was trying to suppress those efforts,” Martinez said of Hobby. “It’s horrific to name a prison after a person like him. It’s an act of intimidation and it’s a reminder that the state is proud of that racist tradition.”

    Northwest of Abilene, the Daniel Unit takes its name from #Price_Daniel, a mid-20th-century governor who opposed integration, like most Texas politicians of the era. As attorney general he fought desegregating the University of Texas Law School, and later he signed the Southern Manifesto condemning the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

    The namesakes of the #Billy_Moore Unit and the frequently-sued Wallace Pack Unit were a pair of prison officials—a major and a warden—who died in 1981 while trying to murder a Black prisoner. According to Michael Berryhill, a Texas Southern University journalism professor who wrote a book on the case, it was such a clear case of self-defense that three Texas juries decided to let the prisoner off.

    “They should not have prisons named after them,” Berryhill said. He called it “a stain” on the Texas prison system’s reputation.

    In Alabama, the #Draper Correctional Center is named after #Hamp_Draper, a state prison director who also served as an interim leader—or “imperial representative”—in the #Ku_Klux_Klan, as former University of Alabama professor Glenn Feldman noted in his 1999 book on the state’s Klan history. The prison closed for a time in 2018 then re-opened earlier this year as a quarantine site for new intakes.

    In New York City, the scandal-prone #Rikers Island jail is one of a few that’s actually generated calls for a name change, based on the namesake family’s ties to slavery. One member of the Dutch immigrant clan, #Richard_Riker, served as a criminal court judge in the early 1800s and was known as part of the “#Kidnapping_Club” because he so often abused the Fugitive Slave Act to send free Blacks into slavery.

    To be sure, most prisons are not named for plantations, slave owners or other sundry racists and bigots—at least not directly. Most states name their prisons geographically, using cardinal directions or nearby cities.

    But some of those geographic names can be problematic. In Florida, Jackson Correctional Institution shares a name with its home county. But Jackson County is named after the nation’s seventh president, #Andrew_Jackson, who was a slave owner obsessed with removing Native people to make room for more plantations. Less than an hour to the south, #Calhoun Correctional Institution also bears the name of its county, which is in turn named after John C. Calhoun—Jackson’s rabidly pro-slavery vice president. The same is true of Georgia’s Calhoun State Prison.

    Also in #Georgia, Lee State Prison is in Lee County, which is named in honor of #Henry_Lee_III, the patriarch of a slave-owning family and the father of Robert E. Lee. A little further northeast, Lee County in South Carolina—home to violence-plagued Lee Correctional Institution—is named after the Confederate general himself.

    In #Arkansas, the namesake of #Forrest City—home to two eponymous federal prisons—is #Nathan_Bedford_Forrest, a Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan who also controlled leased convicts in the entire state of Mississippi at one point.

    To many experts, the idea of changing prison names feels a bit like putting lipstick on a pig: No matter what you call it, a prison is still a prison. It still holds people who are not free. They are still disproportionately Black and brown.

    “If you are talking about the inhumanity, the daily violence these prisons perform, then who these prisons are named after is useful in understanding that,” Martinez said. “But what would it do to name it after somebody inspiring? It’s still a symbol of oppression.”

    But to Anthony Graves, a Texas man who spent 12 years on death row after he was wrongfully convicted of capital murder, the racist names are a “slap in the face of the justice system itself.” New names could be a powerful signal of new priorities.

    “At the end of the day the mentality in these prisons is still, ‘This is my plantation and you are my slaves,’” he said. “To change that we have to start somewhere and maybe if we change the name we can start to change the culture.”

    https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/07/29/will-the-reckoning-over-racist-names-include-these-prisons

    #prisons #USA #Etats-Unis #toponymie #toponymie_politique #esclavage #Thomas_Goree #Goree #James_Ferguson #William_Hobby #John_Calhoun

  • Au Texas, la plus grande usine à #bitcoins des Etats-Unis consommera l’équivalent d’un demi-réacteur nucléaire

    Avec ses 38 300 ordinateurs tournant à plein régime, l’usine de Whinstone, sortie de terre début 2020, « bat » la cybermonnaie.

    Enfin, il a été possible de pénétrer dans le Saint des Saints : sur vingt rangées, et près de 300 mètres de long, dans un bruit assourdissant, 23 000 ordinateurs tournent à plein régime. Tous les mêmes, tous avec le même programme, branchés les uns aux autres, avec deux ventilateurs chacun. L’effet masse est tel que les ordinateurs provoquent un courant d’air, qui arrive frais de l’extérieur à travers des alvéoles et est expulsé chaud dans une salle de refroidissement et s’échappe par le toit.

    Nous voici chez Whinstone, dans la plus grande usine de minage de bitcoins des Etats-Unis, à Rockdale, petite cité rurale au cœur du Texas, entre Houston et Austin. Le minage, c’est le travail qui consiste à faire tourner l’immense système de transaction décentralisé des bitcoins. En rémunération, les mineurs obtiennent des bitcoins gratuits, ce qui fait leur fortune : 16 bitcoins par jour au mois de février, avec un total de 38 300 ordinateurs. Au total, l’entreprise a accumulé 5 783 jetons, soit un pactole d’environ 230 millions de dollars (208 millions d’euros), avec un cours du bitcoin de 40 000 dollars.

    L’artisan de cette usine sortie de terre début 2020, c’est Chad Harris, le PDG de Whinstone, qui fait faire le tour du propriétaire. Il y a sept hangars comme celui que nous visitons, dont trois en construction. Dans l’un d’entre eux, un système expérimental : les ordinateurs ont été plongés par milliers dans une huile spéciale, ce qui réduit leur réchauffement et augmente leur efficacité. Curieux contraste que de voir ces ordinateurs plongés dans du liquide tourner silencieusement. Cela ne les empêche pas de consommer de l’énergie. A terme, Whinstone va passer d’une capacité électrique de 300 mégawatts à 700 mégawatts, presque autant qu’un demi-réacteur atomique. « Ce n’est pas une centrale nucléaire, mais c’est beaucoup d’énergie », concède Chad Harris. En cette période de réchauffement climatique, tout le monde s’en moque au Texas. Le gaz est là, abondant, qui sert à produire l’électricité, et Chad Harris transforme l’énergie en bitcoins.

    Son parcours ressemble à celui des entrepreneurs aventuriers américains, où la vérité semble plus belle que toute légende. Chad Harris vendait des sapins de Noël prédécorés à La Nouvelle-Orléans, en Louisiane, mais, dans ses affaires, il s’est fâché avec sa banque, qui lui a gelé ses comptes en 2014. « Je n’ai jamais manqué un paiement. Je n’ai pas aimé qu’on me bloque mes comptes », nous explique-t-il dans un préfabriqué surnommé « la Maison Banche », qui lui sert de bureau. Il appelle son fils, un adolescent fan de bitcoins, et les voilà qui se lancent dans l’aventure du minage de bitcoins, des cryptodevises censées échapper à l’emprise de toute autorité. Ils commencent leur entreprise à La Nouvelle-Orléans, mais l’affaire ne décolle pas. Pas assez d’énergie, trop d’impôts, trop de bureaucratie en Louisiane. Il lorgne alors le Texas voisin et découvre, mi-2019, dans la presse, la mésaventure d’un concurrent.

    Il s’agit du chinois Bitdeer, qui a cherché à s’installer à Rockdale sur une ancienne usine d’aluminium d’Alcoa. Celle-ci a longtemps été la plus grande usine au monde, alimentée en bauxite par une voie de chemin de fer privée venant du golfe du Mexique et qui tournait grâce à une centrale électrique au lignite, du charbon ultra-polluant présent dans la région. Tout cela s’est arrêté, mais le site a un avantage majeur : un échangeur d’électricité, qui servait naguère à exporter le surplus de la centrale au lignite. Il suffit de l’utiliser dans l’autre sens pour pomper l’électricité produite à profusion au Texas par le gaz, le solaire et l’éolien.

    « Ils prennent le surplus d’électricité, sinon personne ne l’utilise et elle disparaît. Cela ne dégrade rien du tout. » John King, maire de Rockdale
    Las, à cette époque, Bitdeer a dû reporter ses projets en raison de la chute du bitcoin, et les autorités locales, qui espéraient un investissement, sont fort marries. Cette mésaventure donne l’idée à Chad Harris de s’installer sur le site pour y faire la même chose. En six mois, une première tranche de minage de bitcoins est mise en place, qui entre en fonction en mai 2020. Aujourd’hui, Whinstone et Bitdeer, deux géants des bitcoins, font tourner leurs ordinateurs à 500 mètres de distance

    On se trouve dans une situation paradoxale : Alcoa avait fermé son usine, car l’électricité était trop chère. Whinstone et Bitdeer ont ouvert les leurs, car elle était bon marché. L’avantage de Whinstone, c’est qu’il a pu sécuriser des contrats en raison de sa capacité à éteindre en une minute ses ordinateurs. Prudemment, il avait coupé les siens quand la grande vague de froid de février 2021 est arrivée et a fait s’effondrer tout le réseau électrique texan. Cette précaution a permis aux mineurs de bitcoins de ne pas être montrés du doigt.

    « Les mineurs sont une pression sur le réseau, pas une aide »

    Au contraire, ils sont vantés pour leur rôle dans l’équilibrage du réseau texan. Ils absorbent l’énergie lorsqu’elle a des prix négatifs, en période de surproduction. « Ils prennent le surplus d’électricité, sinon personne ne l’utilise et elle disparaît. Cela ne dégrade rien du tout », assure le maire de Rockdale, John King, qui fait tourner dans son garage deux ordinateurs pour miner lui aussi des bitcoins. « D’ici cinq ans, je m’attends à voir un paysage radicalement différent, et l’exploitation de bitcoins jouera un rôle important dans l’équilibrage et le renforcement du réseau », a déclaré le sénateur républicain du Texas Ted Cruz.

    La réalité est que les bitcoins augmentent la consommation d’énergie. « Les mineurs sont une pression sur le réseau, pas une aide », a répliqué sur CNBC Ben Hertz-Shargel, consultant de Wood Mackenzie, spécialiste de la transition énergétique. Mais les Etats-Unis sont devenus le nouvel eldorado des mineurs de bitcoins depuis que la Chine les a chassés de l’empire du Milieu, en mai 2021, en raison des centrales à charbon polluantes qu’ils faisaient tourner. En septembre 2019, la Chine représentait les trois quarts du minage de bitcoins dans le monde, selon l’université britannique de Cambridge ; la part des Américains était, elle, de 4 %. Celle-ci s’était envolée à 35 % dès l’été 2021, devant le Kazakhstan (18 %), la Russie (11 %) et le Canada (10 %).

    L’installation de Whinstone fonctionne à l’aide de l’électricité fournie par la centrale électrique Oncor, située à proximité. Près de Rockdale, au Texas, le 9 mars 2022. MATTHEW BUSCH POUR « LE MONDE »
    Toutefois, la guerre en Ukraine pourrait saper la rentabilité de l’industrie si elle provoque une envolée durable des coûts de l’électricité. « Cela finira par toucher le plus durement les mineurs les moins efficaces, a déclaré à l’agence Bloomberg Josh Olszewicz, responsable de la recherche chez Valkyrie Funds, une société d’investissement dans les actifs numériques. Si le coût de l’électricité continue d’augmenter, cela les empêcherait d’exploiter avec autant de rentabilité. »
    https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2022/03/22/au-texas-la-plus-grande-usine-a-bitcoins-des-etats-unis-consommera-l-equival

  • Missing in #Brooks_County: A tragic outcome of U.S. border and migration policy

    Since the 1990s, tens of thousands of migrants have died painful deaths, usually of dehydration and exposure, on U.S. soil. Their remains are only occasionally found. The migrants began taking ever more hazardous routes after the Clinton and subsequent administrations started building up border-security infrastructure and #Border_Patrol presence in more populated areas.

    The crisis is particularly acute in a sparsely populated county in south #Texas, about 70 miles north of the border, where migrants’ smugglers encourage them to walk around a longstanding Border Patrol highway checkpoint. Many of them get lost in the hot, dry surrounding ranchland and go missing.

    The WOLA Podcast discussed the emergency in Brooks County, Texas in October 2020, when we heard from Eddie Canales of the South Texas Human Rights Center.

    Eddie features prominently in “Missing in Brooks County,” a new documentary co-directed and produced by Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss. Molomot and Bemiss visited the county 15 times over 4 years, and their film shows the crisis from the perspective of migrants, family members, Border Patrol agents, ranchers, humanitarian workers like Eddie, and experts trying to help identify remains and help loved ones achieve closure.

    One of those experts, featured in some of the most haunting scenes in “Missing in Brooks County,” is anthropologist Kate Spradley of Texas State University, who has sought to bring order to a chaotic process of recovering, handling, and identifying migrants’ remains.

    In this episode of the podcast, Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss, and Kate Spradley join WOLA’s Adam Isacson to discuss the causes of the tragedy in Brooks County and elsewhere along the border; why it has been so difficult to resolve the crisis; how they made the film; how U.S. federal and local government policies need to change, and much more.

    https://www.wola.org/analysis/missing-in-brooks-county-a-tragic-outcome-of-u-s-border-and-migration-policy
    #USA #Etats-Unis #décès #morts #mourir_aux_frontières #Mexique #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #contrôles_migratoires #désert #déshydratation #weaponization #frontières_mobiles #zones_frontalières #checkpoints #chiens #statistiques #chiffres #chasse #propriété_privée #prevention_through_deterrence #mortalité
    #podcast #audio

  • Einfach weil es immer wieder so schön ist. Mit diesem iKube F150 ha...
    https://diasp.eu/p/12475130

    Einfach weil es immer wieder so schön ist.

    Mit diesem iKube F150 habe ich im #Libanon eine Villa mit 5 Personen 24h Tag und Nacht ohne Unterbrechungen mit Strom versorgen können. Sommer wie Winter.

    Zugegeben: Ich musste erst alle Lampen auf LED umrüsten, Kühlschrank mit A+++ kaufen und einen FlatTV kaufen, weil vorher noch alles Steinzeitlich war und massiv Strom verbraucht hatte.

    Aber DANN war es jede Nacht ein geiles Gefühl zu sehen wie im ganzen #Bekaa-Tal der Strom ausfiel und die die es sich leisten konnten, auf Dieselgeneratoren umschalteten. Deren monatliche Kosten lagen im Schnitt bei 200-400 US$.

    Der iKube kostete mich damals dort Vorort 9.900 US$ (damals rund 7.800€).

    #texas #texasfreezing #Photovoltaik #Solarpower #Energiewende #Klimawandel #Lebanon (...)

  • [l] (https://blog.fefe.de/?ts=9ed38222) Texas sammelt ja im Moment ...
    https://diasp.eu/p/12473494

    [l] Texas sammelt ja im Moment ein bisschen praktische Erfahrungen mit den Auswirkungen des Klimawandels, den sie mit ihren SUVs und ihrer Ölförderung vorangetrieben haben.

    Da gab es einen plötzlichen Kälteeinbruch, auf den Texas überhaupt nicht vorbereitet war. Auf den Autobahnen gab es Massenkarambolagen von biblischen Ausmaßen, und dann brach denen erst die Strom- und dann die Wasserversorgung weg. Hier gibt es einen deutschen Twitter-Thread dazu.Das ist bemerkenswert, weil es da selbstverstärkende Effekte gab. Der erste Effekt war, dass die Leute keine Heizungen hatten. Als es kalt wurde, haben die also ihre strombetriebenen Heizlüfter angeschaltet, und innerhalb von Stunden ist der Strombedarf explodiert.Texas generiert ihren Strom mit Erdgas und Windkraft. Weder die Erdgas-Infrastruktur (...)

  • ’This is literally an industry’: drone images give rare look at for-profit #Ice detention centers

    Art project combines interviews with ex-detainees on their trauma during Covid-19, and imagery of the growth of private-run detention in the US

    “Imagine how it feels there, locked up, the whole day without catching the air, without … seeing the light, because that is a cave there, in there you go crazy; without being able to see my family, just being able to listen to them on a phone and be able to say, ‘OK, bye,’ because the calls are expensive.”

    That’s how Alejandro, an asylum seeker from Cuba, described his time in an #Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement (Ice) detention center.

    His account is one of dozens captured in a collection of audio recordings as part of a project aiming to show how the US immigration detention system, the world’s largest, has commodified people as part of a for-profit industry.

    “We’ve commodified human displacement,” said artist David Taylor, who has used drones to take aerial photography and video of 28 privately run Ice detention centers near the US southern border, in California, #Arizona and #Texas.

    While accounts of abuse and exploitation from inside facilities appear in the news media, the detention centers are usually in isolated, underpopulated areas with access to photographers or film crews tightly controlled.

    This new image collection, taken from near the perimeters of the facilities, gives a rare look at just how many of these centers occupy the landscape. “What I want to show through the accumulation of imagery is that this is literally an industry,” Taylor said, “that it’s expansive, that it occupies a significant amount of territory in our national landscape – and I’m only showing a fraction of it.

    “That, to me, is an important realization. The scale is shocking; how it is changing the United States,” said Taylor, a professor of art at the University of Arizona.

    The imagery will ultimately be shown in an exhibition incorporating the stories of some of the people captured inside this system. These audio recordings come from a collaboration with Taylor and a group which provides free legal service to detained migrants in Arizona, the Florence Project, and writer Francisco Cantú.

    When the project is eventually presented in a gallery, it will also include data on the costs, profits and revenue of corporations involved. Late in the the Obama era, the Department of Justice (DoJ) discontinued all use of private prison corporations to house detainees, but the DoJ during the Trump administration reversed this policy.

    Between 2015 and 2018, as the administration began to ramp up its crackdown on immigrants, the targeted average daily population of detained immigrants grew 50%. Corporations won contracts from Ice worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Taylor said the project was fraught because he was taking artistic photos and video of sites where traumas have occurred, but hopes the final work will help people understand how those inside are being used to support an industry. The detainees’ vulnerability during the Covid-19 pandemic added to an urgency to spotlight the facilities, he said.

    Excerpts from some of the interviews follow. Each of the interviewees was given a pseudonym because their asylum cases are pending. Alejandro and Alonzo’s interviews were translated from Spanish.

    All three were held at facilities operated by CoreCivic, which disputes allegations about conditions and said it was committed to health and safety.
    ‘They are not interested in our lives’

    Alonzo – La Palma correctional center in Eloy, Arizona

    When Covid first struck the detention center, Alonzo said he helped organize strikes to protest the conditions inside which were exposing everyone, including the guards, to the illness.

    The 34-year-old said he was refused access to a Covid test even though he was feeling unwell. A month later, he said he was taken to the hospital because he was having such trouble breathing and his skin was turning black. “The truth is that you need to be dying there so that they can take care of you, what they do with you there is lousy, lousy, lousy. They are not interested in our lives in the least.”

    In a hospital emergency room, a doctor told Alonzo he had blood clots and probably had cancer because they found tumors in his lungs and kidneys.

    “When they give me this news, they tell me that they have to return me to La Palma correctional center and put me in a cell. I spent a day and a half locked up without being able to get out at all. On that day they gave me half an hour to bathe, let my family know what was happening to me, and locked me up again.

    “During this time that I was there, there were many people. We stood up to be treated, there were colleagues who collapsed inside the tank, people who convulsed. We prayed because the nurses who treated us, the nurses came and told us, ‘You have nothing, it’s a simple flu,’ and nothing happens.”

    Alonzo described witnessing many suicide attempts. He said he found strength in his wish to see his daughters again and his belief in God. “I always had something in my mind and in my heart, that God did not save me from Mexico to come to die in a forgotten cell. I knew within myself that I was not going to die there.”

    He said the strikes came about as conditions worsened. “One day we all got organized and got together to talk. ‘You know what, brother? There is no Cuban here, there is no Mexican here, there is no Indian here, there is no Venezuelan here, there is no Nicaraguan here, there is nothing. Here we are all here. Because we are all infected, because we are all dying. This is fighting for our existence, it is no longer fighting for a residence, it is no longer fighting for a parole, it is no longer fighting for bail, it is all fighting to get out of here alive.’”
    ‘They told me I had Covid-19. They never gave me treatment’

    Alejandro – Central Arizona Florence correctional center

    Alejandro approached a border checkpoint to seek asylum after three months of waiting in Mexico, seeking refuge from political persecution in his native Cuba. At the border, his pregnant wife was allowed to stay with a relative in the US, while Alejandro, 19, was detained.

    During his three months in detention, he was told he tested positive for Covid-19, which he was skeptical of because he didn’t have symptoms and was asthmatic. He said he was put in solitary confinement because of the test result, then transferred to a civil jail, where he said conditions were worse.

    The most painful part of all, however, was missing the birth of his son after his wife underwent a difficult pregnancy.
    Joe Biden reverses anti-immigrant Trump policies hours after swearing-in
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    “Imagine, it broke my heart, I could hardly speak. Every time I spoke to my wife, or listened to the child, a lump would form in my throat that I could not swallow. It was a thing that does not let you swallow, that makes your chest constrict from so much suffering, from so much pain … If you are a parent, you know what I am telling you … The words did not come out from so much suffering … I spoke a few words and cried. She could hardly speak. Sometimes it was better not to call, because if I called I would feel worse than not calling.”

    Alejandro said he cried every day in detention and was treated by a psychologist in a five-minute “speed date” appointment. “She asked me, ‘Hi, I understand you have a boy, how are you feeling?’ I told her I felt bad, how else was I going to feel? She said, ‘you need to read, to relax,’ just that. Nonsense, something quick. They told me I had Covid-19 and they never gave me any treatment, just water. They told me, ‘Drink water, lots of water.’”
    Responses from #CoreCivic and Ice

    A CoreCivic company spokesman, Ryan Gustin, denied the allegations Alejandro and Alonzo made about conditions in their facilities. “We have responded to this unprecedented situation appropriately, thoroughly and with care for the safety and wellbeing of those entrusted to us and our communities,” Gustin said. “We don’t cut corners on care, staff or training, which meets, and in many cases exceeds, our government partners’ standards.”

    CoreCivic said all detainees were supplied with face masks and denied any allegations that detainees were refused Covid tests. “Initially, detainees were asked to sign an acknowledgment form related to the use of the masks.” The spokesman said detainees were not placed in solitary confinement because of a positive test; he said there were “cohorting procedures … which are intended to prevent the spread of infection” which involve no loss of privileges or activities. CoreCivic denied claims of multiple suicide attempts saying “any such incident would be reported to our government partner”.

    Ice, which oversees the facilities, said the agency was “firmly dedicated to the health and safety of all individuals in our custody”.

    “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Ice has taken extensive steps to safeguard all detainees, staff and contractors, including: reducing the number of detainees in custody by placing individuals on alternatives to detention programs, suspending social visitation, incorporating social distancing practices with staggered meals and recreation times, and through the use of testing, cohorting and medical isolation.”
    ‘Let me go back home and face my death’

    Mary – in Central Arizona Florence correctional complex one night, then Eloy detention center

    Mary was first detained in Mexico, where she arrived after traveling from her home in Uganda. She was eventually released, sought asylum in the US at a border checkpoint and was detained for five and a half months.

    Detention conditions were similar in the two countries, she said, except Mexican guards occasionally held days where people could socialize with family or friends who were also detained.

    The isolation Mary experienced in the US was intense. She didn’t speak to her young children in Africa the whole time because she couldn’t afford the costs of the calls and relied on a volunteer to relay messages between the mother and her children.

    Also, because she doesn’t speak Spanish, it was more difficult for her to make relationships with immigrants inside from mostly Spanish-speaking countries, and the schedules in the prison made it difficult to develop relationships with others.

    “The Cameroonians were there, but again, everybody used to feel sad, everybody used not to talk. It was like that, since you were sad all the time, you could not communicate, you could not joke.”

    She, like many others, described how many people just wanted to be deported instead of waiting out their time in detention.

    “One day I thought that if the judge denies me, I’ll just tell her or him, ‘Let me go back home and face my death, because I never wanted to stay in detention more. I was thinking about that, but I could not again decide since I was afraid of getting back home.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/29/ice-immigration-detention-centers-drone-photography-rare-look-arizona
    #privatisation #complexe-militaro-industriel #business #asile #migrations #réfugiés #centres #centres_de_détention #détention_administrative #rétention #industrie #photographie #USA #Etats-Unis #enfermement #Californie

    ping @isskein

  • America’s Salad Bowl Becomes Fertile Ground for Covid-19 - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/us/coronavirus-arizona-yuma-covid.html

    Because Yuma County produces the lettuce, broccoli and other leafy greens that Americans consume during the cold months, it is known as “America’s salad bowl.” Now it has become a winter hothouse for Covid-19.
    Over the course of the pandemic, the Yuma area has identified coronavirus cases at a higher rate than any other U.S. region. One out of every six residents has come down with the virus.Each winter, the county’s population swells by 100,000 people, to more than 300,000, as field workers descend on the farms and snowbirds from the Midwest pull into R.V. parks. This seasonal ritual brings jobs, local spending and high tax revenue. But this year, the influx has turned deadly.Father Chapa’s parish is weathering the full spectrum of the pandemic’s surge. In Spanish and English, he ministers to Mexican-American families who have been rooted here for generations as well as the seasonal residents, all of them afflicted. The church is handling three times the number of funerals it usually does.
    While coronavirus cases are starting to flatten across the country, the virus is still raging in many border communities. Three of the six metro areas with the highest rates of known cases since the outbreak began are small cities straddling Mexico: Yuma; Eagle Pass, Texas; and El Centro, Calif.
    Seasonal migration, the daily flow of people back and forth and lax measures to contain the virus’s spread have created a combustible constellation. Arizona has seen among the highest increases in newly reported deaths of any state over the past two weeks — and it is not clear when this troubling trend will abate.Halfway between San Diego and Phoenix, but geographically isolated from both, Yuma has only one hospital. Understaffed and overwhelmed with cases, it has been airlifting critically ill patients to other cities. And the fallout from Christmas and New Year festivities is not over.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#mexique#frontiere#circulation#sante#famille#migrationsaisonniere#communauté#texas#arizona#californie

  • A El Paso, ville calme et bien tenue, les hôpitaux débordent de malades du Covid-19
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/11/13/a-el-paso-ville-calme-et-bien-tenue-les-hopitaux-debordent-de-malades-du-cov

    Dans le centre, les restaurants sont fermés, les salons de beauté aussi et, en périphérie, les trois centres commerciaux sont devenus inaccessibles. Mais dans le quartier populaire de Chihuahuita, en bordure du Mexique, la règle est floue. Sur Stanton, la rue commerçante qui se termine par un poste frontière, Yong tient un magasin de vêtements, couvertures, couettes, draps et tapis, sur la devanture duquel elle a inscrit en lettres rouges : « Masques en soldes. » Le confinement ? Elle feint d’abord de ne jamais en avoir entendu parler. « Je parle mal l’anglais », se justifie la sexagénaire d’origine coréenne, qui s’exprime avec difficulté. La conversation continue et l’on finit par comprendre qu’elle a bien connaissance du « shutdown », mais pas pour elle : « Regardez : je suis essentielle, puisque je vends des masques. »
    Yong, 65, est d’origine coréenne, le 11 novembre. Elle possède un commerce de vêtements et vend des masques de protection pour le virus. Elle a trois employés et s’inquiète que son commerce soit obligé de fermer à cause des réglementations de lutte contre la propagation du Covid-19.
    Yong, 65, est d’origine coréenne, le 11 novembre. Elle possède un commerce de vêtements et vend des masques de protection pour le virus. Elle a trois employés et s’inquiète que son commerce soit obligé de fermer à cause des réglementations de lutte contre la propagation du Covid-19.
    Et d’ailleurs, dit-elle, « je ne suis pas la seule à être ouverte ». Autour de sa boutique, en effet, la plupart des commerces sont encore en activité. Seuls les duty free ont baissé leurs rideaux de fer, mais depuis longtemps pour certains. « Beaucoup d’entre eux avaient déjà fermé avant le confinement, explique Hugo, qui tient une minuscule échoppe de vêtements. Plus personne n’a le droit de venir du Mexique depuis le mois de mars, à part les Américains qui font des allers-retours entre les pays. »

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#texas#frontiere#mexique#sante#cluster#circulation

  • Texas border county had ’model’ Covid-19 response – then the governor stepped in | US news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/10/texas-starr-county-covid-19-model-greg-abbott
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/2a71d61f03cb17b43b16f6b3fcb3d162ed2f3295/0_166_3000_1800/master/3000.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Five residents from Starr county on Texas’s southern border died on a single day last week after contracting Covid-19. New infections in the rural border community of around 65,000 people have soared in recent weeks, and two intubated patients had to be airlifted to Dallas and San Antonio when overwhelmed local hospitals couldn’t care for them.Texas has become one of the US’s new coronavirus hotspots, with new confirmed cases surging to around 14% of the country’s total, when measured by a seven-day average. Elective surgeries were paused this week as the state tries to free up hospital beds for increasing numbers of Covid-19 patients.
    But Starr county’s public officials knew months ago that is was especially vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic: roughly one in three residents lives in poverty, a sizable slice of the population doesn’t have health insurance, and risk factors such as diabetes and obesity prevail. To protect their constituents, who are more than 99% Latino, they acted fast to curtail the contagion.

    #Covid-19#migration#migrant#etatsunis#texas#mexique#latino#sante#minorite#comorbidite#mesuresanitaire#frontiere

  • Texas’ lieutenant governor suggests grandparents are willing to die for US economy

    The lieutenant governor of Texas argued in an interview on Fox News Monday night that the United States should go back to work, saying grandparents like him don’t want to sacrifice the country’s economy during the coronavirus crisis.

    COVID-19: Texas official suggests elderly willing to die for economy

  • Texas and Ohio Include Abortion as Medical Procedures That Must Be Delayed - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/us/coronavirus-texas-ohio-abortion.html

    Texas and Ohio have included abortions among the nonessential surgeries and medical procedures that they are requiring to be delayed, setting off a new front in the fight over abortion rights in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

    Both states said they were trying to preserve extremely precious protective equipment for health care workers and to make space for a potential flood of coronavirus patients.

    But abortion rights activists said that abortions should be counted as essential and that people could not wait for the procedure until the pandemic was over.

    On Monday, Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, clarified that the postponement of surgeries and medical procedures announced by Gov. Greg Abbott over the weekend included “any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”

    Failure to do so, he said, could result in penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time. It was not immediately clear if that included medication abortion, which involves providers administering pills in the earlier stages of pregnancy.

    #Coronavirus #Avortement #Texas

  • Le ruissellement des engrais crée la plus grande zone morte jamais observée aux États-Unis
    https://www.nationalgeographic.fr/sciences/2019/06/le-ruissellement-des-engrais-cree-la-plus-grande-zone-morte-jamai

    Au large des côtes de la #Louisiane et du #Texas, à l’endroit même où le #Mississippi finit sa course à travers les États-Unis, l’#océan meurt à petit feu. Ce phénomène cyclique est connu sous le nom de #zone_morte et il se produit tous les ans mais selon les scientifiques, la zone atteindra cette année sa superficie maximale depuis le début des relevés.

    #engrais #pollution #agro-industrie

  • Texas Is Executing a Man Tonight for a Murder and Rape Experts Say He Didn’t Commit – Reason.com
    https://reason.com/2019/08/21/tonight-texas-is-executing-a-man-for-a-murder-and-rape-experts-say-he-didnt-

    [UPDATE, August 22: After the Supreme Court rejected his last-minute appeal, Larry Swearingen was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital last night at 6:35 p.m. He took his final breath at 6:47.]
    ...A little after 6 p.m., the state of Texas will execute Larry Swearingen for a crime experts believe he was unable to commit.

    Journalist Andrew Purcell detailed the events leading to Swearingen’s impending death in a thorough investigation.
    https://www.andrewpurcell.net/?p=1609

    #USA #Texas #peine_de_mort

  • The Spark: Editorial
    We Are All One Class – the Working Class, All One Race – the Human Race https://the-spark.net (Aug 5, 2019)

    Twenty people are dead, massacred in an El Paso, #Texas_Walmart; twenty-six more were wounded. (These were the casualty figures Sunday noon, August 4. They will get worse.)

    The people killed weren’t all #Mexican_Americans or #Mexicans who crossed the border to do their weekly shopping – but they were all victims of a young man angered by what he called the “Hispanic invasion of #Texas.”

    A so-called “manifesto” was posted on an extreme-right on-line forum just before the gunman struck, apparently by the gunman or someone close to him.

    It described the weapon and ammunition which was about to be used in the Walmart shooting. And it analyzed their capacity to cause maximum damage to human flesh – in cold, technical terms, as though the shooting were simply a “test” to see which gun and which ammunition could produce the most terrifying result.

    With the same cold, technical language, the killer discussed the purpose of his carnage: he intended to “provide” Hispanic people with “the right incentive ... to return to their home countries.”

    That’s #terrorism, outright terrorism: inflict horrifying casualties to “give them an incentive to leave.” It’s the moral ethic of the gangster.

    It’s also the moral ethic with which #Trump approached the migrant crisis. On the 3rd of July he said it: “If illegal immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the detention centers, just tell them not to come.”

    The location of the massacre in #El_Paso was not an accident. El Paso is the port of entry which the Trump administration has turned into a hell-hole for #migrants, fleeing desperate situations in their own countries.

    But El Paso is also the place where Americans of Mexican descent have lived for generations. It is connected by the “Bridge of the Americas” with the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez. Dozens, hundreds, even thousands of people go back and forth every day. It’s an area where families have lived on both sides of the border for generations, with a grandparent in El Paso, parents in Ciudad Juárez, and adult children in both places. It’s a place where Americans of Mexican descent have married Americans whose ancestors came from someplace else – which finally is the issue that most outraged the man who killed those 20 people.

    In internet posts, he denounced “race-mixing,” which, according to him, foretells the “replacement of the white race.”

    These are not the ideas of just one crazy guy. They are the unscientific ideas that float every day on extreme-right, on-line forums around the world. The white man who killed 50 Muslims in New Zealand repeated them. So did the white man who killed 77 teenagers in Norway – as well as the white man who killed six Muslims in Quebec, and the white man who killed nine black people in a church in South Carolina.

    These men may all be white, but that’s not what links them. What they have in common is their commitment to terrorism and to racist ideology. Today, they may seem to be a few crazy people, but behind them there is money making sure these ideas circulate around the world.

    Trump sits in the White House today. The #racism didn’t start with him. Nor did the violence. But occupying the presidency, he gives legitimacy to these vile ideas.

    Behind Trump is the capitalist class. If they were really horrified by him, they would have dumped him long ago. No, the poison he spews can be useful in the future for dividing the working class. It’s why they keep him.

    The violence these “crazy” guys have created should be a warning to us. We’re going to face it in the future, carried out by more than a few crazies. We need to begin organizing ourselves today, figuring out how to deal with it.

    The #working_class – no matter where we come from, no matter what our nationality is – we are one class. We have the capacity to deal with the problems we will face. No matter what our “race” is, we are all one race: the human race. That is OUR manifesto.

  • #BNP_Paribas financera jusqu’en 2024 un groupe américain spécialisé dans la détention des migrants

    En Europe, BNP Paribas s’enorgueillit d’aider les réfugiés. Aux États-Unis, la première banque française finance pourtant depuis 2003 le groupe GEO, numéro un des prisons privées spécialisé dans la détention des migrants, au cœur de nombreux scandales. Elle a annoncé son désengagement financier… en 2024.

    BNP Paribas, première banque française et une des plus grandes du monde, se targue d’être « la banque qui aide les réfugiés » en Europe. « Depuis 2015, BNP Paribas soutient une vingtaine d’entrepreneurs sociaux et associations engagés dans l’accueil des réfugiés, expliquait l’an dernier Le Journal du dimanche. Au total, près de 12 millions d’euros seront déboursés d’ici à 2021. »

    Sur son site, la célèbre banque au logo vert s’engage même à doubler les dons versés par ses clients à son propre fonds d’aide aux réfugiés, créé en 2012. « Le drame des réfugiés est une catastrophe humanitaire majeure, qui mobilise de nombreuses associations et bénévoles, explique le PDG de la banque, Jean-Laurent Bonafé. […] BNP Paribas est à leurs côtés. »

    Aux États-Unis, la banque est plutôt du côté de ceux qui les enferment. Selon In The Public Interest, un centre de recherche sur les privatisations situé en Californie, elle participe en effet depuis seize ans, et de manière active, au financement du groupe GEO, le géant américain des prisons privées.

    GEO, dont le siège social est en Floride, incarne l’incroyable essor du secteur du complexe pénitentiaire depuis trente ans aux États-Unis, qui comptent 2,3 millions de prisonniers – 655 pour 100 000 habitants, un record mondial.

    Un cinquième du chiffre d’affaires annuel de GEO (2,3 milliards de dollars, 2 milliards d’euros) provient de la détention des migrants au #Texas, en #Louisiane ou en #Californie, pour le compte de l’agence gouvernementale #ICE (#Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement).

    Depuis 2003, cette activité de crédit, dont la banque ne s’est jamais trop vantée, lui a fait gagner beaucoup d’argent. « Sans doute des dizaines de millions de dollars », évalue pour Mediapart Kevin Connor, chercheur au Public Accountability Initiative de Buffalo (New York), qui a épluché les contrats souscrits par les banques avec les mastodontes de la détention privée aux États-Unis. Une estimation prudente, car les clauses des contrats de financement entre GEO et BNP Paribas restent secrètes.

    L’administration Trump, qui a criminalisé l’immigration, cherche à terroriser les migrants et à tarir les demandes d’asile. Elle enferme en continu environ 50 000 migrants, pour beaucoup originaires d’Amérique latine, un record historique.

    En 2018, 400 000 migrants au total ont été détenus par les gardes-frontières et l’agence ICE. Environ 70 % des migrants détenus par ICE le sont par des groupes privés comme GEO, #CoreCivic ou #Caliburn. Depuis deux décennies, l’industrie des prisons privées, en perte de vitesse à la fin des années 1990, a profité à plein de la criminalisation des migrants.

    « La détention des migrants aux États-Unis a été quasiment sous-traitée au privé, nous explique Lauren-Brooke Eisen, chercheuse au Brennan Center for Justice de l’université de New York, auteure de Inside Private Prisons (Columbia University Press, non traduit). En aggravant la crise à la frontière, les politiques de l’administration Trump ont soutenu cette industrie. » Sitôt élu, Trump a d’ailleurs annulé un ordre de l’administration Obama limitant le recours aux prisons privées.

    Pour ces groupes privés dépendant des contrats publics, cajoler les politiques est une nécessité. Pour la seule année 2018, GEO a dépensé 2,8 millions de dollars de #lobbying et de dons à des politiques, la plupart des républicains.

    Le groupe a également versé 250 000 dollars pour la cérémonie d’investiture de Trump, et fait un don de 225 000 dollars au comité d’action politique ayant financé la campagne de l’actuel président, un geste qualifié d’« illégal » par l’ONG Campaign Legal Center, #GEO étant un sous-traitant du gouvernement.

    L’industrie est coutumière des allers-retours entre public et privé : le groupe Caliburn, récemment épinglé par Amnesty International pour sa gestion de la prison géante pour mineurs migrants de #Homestead (Floride), a même embauché l’ancien secrétaire à la sécurité nationale #John_Kelly, qui fut directement en charge de la politique migratoire au début de la présidence Trump – et continua à la superviser lorsqu’il devint chef de cabinet du président…

    D’après un rapport publié en novembre 2016 par In The Public Interest, BNP Paribas, de concert avec de grandes banques américaines, a joué un rôle actif depuis seize ans auprès de GEO :

    « Risques immédiats » pour les migrants

    BNP a en effet participé depuis 2003 à plusieurs tours de table permettant de dégager, via des crédits renouvelables (« #revolving_credits »), des prêts à terme (« #term_loans ») ou la souscription d’obligations (« #bonds »), d’énormes lignes de crédit pour GEO – des centaines de millions de dollars à chaque fois –, ensuite utilisées par le groupe pour acheter des sociétés, accaparer de nouvelles prisons, ou financer ses activités courantes.

    À la suite d’un nouvel accord passé l’an dernier, GEO dispose désormais d’un crédit renouvelable de 900 millions de dollars avec six banques (BNP Paribas, #Bank_of_America, #Barclays, #JPMorgan_Chase, #SunTrust, #Wells_Fargo). Il a souscrit avec les mêmes établissements un prêt à terme de 800 millions de dollars.

    « Pour les prisons privées, ces prêts massifs sont un peu des cartes de crédit, explique Shahrzad Habibi, directrice de la recherche de In The Public Interest. Pour éviter de payer l’impôt sur les sociétés, les groupes comme GEO ont un statut de trust d’investissement immobilier (REIT) qui leur impose de distribuer une grande partie de leurs profits à leurs actionnaires. » Faute de cash disponible, ils dépendent donc largement des crédits extérieurs.

    Pour ce service, les établissements bancaires sont grassement rémunérés : selon des documents transmis au régulateur américain, GEO a payé l’an dernier 150 millions de dollars d’intérêts à ses différents créditeurs.

    Une partie, non connue, de cette somme est allée à #BNP, qui touche aussi des #redevances substantielles en tant qu’« agent administratif » pour certaines de ses opérations. « Ces redevances, dont on ne connaît pas les détails, se chiffrent en centaines de milliers, potentiellement en millions de dollars », explique le chercheur Kevin Connor.

    Contacté, BNP Paribas assure ne pas « communiqu[er] les informations relatives aux crédits de [ses] clients ». Mais les prêts de la banque ne constituent, selon une porte-parole, que « 3 % du total » des financements du groupe GEO, et « une part négligeable » des revenus de BNP.

    Ces derniers mois, les images de migrants entassés dans des centres de détention surpeuplés et sordides ont ému le monde entier. Pour éviter de voir leur image de marque entachée, des géants de Wall Street (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, SunTrust, etc.), pressés depuis des années de se désengager du secteur par des activistes, ont annoncé les uns après les autres qu’ils cessaient de financer le secteur des prisons privées.
    BNP Paribas a récemment suivi leur exemple. « BNP Paribas a pris la décision, comme plusieurs banques américaines, de ne plus intervenir sur le marché du financement des #prisons_privées. Désormais la banque n’engagera plus de financement dans ce secteur », nous a confirmé la banque, à la suite d’un article paru début juillet dans le quotidien belge L’Écho.

    Elle « honorera » toutefois « son engagement contractuel vis-à-vis de GEO », c’est-à-dire les crédits en cours, qui prennent fin en 2024.

    Pendant cinq ans, BNP Paribas continuera donc de financer les investissements et les dépenses courantes d’un groupe contesté, dont le nom est entaché par de multiples scandales.

    Comme le rappelle le Miami Herald, GEO a été « poursuivi à de multiples reprises pour avoir supposément forcé des détenus à travailler pour de la nourriture », a été accusé de « torturer des détenus dans l’Arizona », est épinglé depuis des années pour le taux alarmant de décès dans certains de ses centres gérés pour le compte d’ICE, des conditions sanitaires déplorables, l’abus du recours à l’isolement, le mépris des droits élémentaires des prisonniers. Il détient aussi des familles avec enfants dans son centre texan de #Karnes, une activité décriée depuis les années Obama par les défenseurs des migrants.

    Un rapport de l’inspection générale du Département de la sécurité nationale datant de juin 2019 fait état de « risques immédiats et de violations scandaleuses des standards de détention » dans certains des centres pour migrants de GEO, notamment dans le camp d’#Adelanto (#Californie), qui accueille 2 000 migrants, tristement connu pour ses abus répétés.

    Plusieurs candidats démocrates, comme Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke ou Kamala Harris, ont indiqué souhaiter interdire les prisons privées s’ils étaient élus.

    Mais si Trump est réélu en novembre 2020, BNP Paribas, Bank of America et les autres, qui ne comptent se retirer qu’à partir de 2024, continueront de prêter à GEO de quoi fonctionner et prospérer tout au long de son deuxième mandat, au cours duquel les humiliations contre les migrants ne manqueront pas de continuer, voire de s’amplifier.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/220719/bnp-paribas-financera-jusqu-en-2024-un-groupe-americain-specialise-dans-la
    #privatisation #business #détention_administrative #rétention #asile #migrations #réfugiés #USA #Etats-Unis #sous-traitance #hypocrisie

  • Encore une loi anti-BDS casée par une cour fédérale, ici au Texas :

    US judge strikes down Texas anti-BDS law
    Middle East Eye, le 26 avril 2019
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-judge-strikes-down-texas-anti-bds-law

    A US federal judge has struck down a controversial Texas anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) law, saying it violates freedom of speech under the country’s first amendment of the constitution.

    A mettre avec l’évolution de la situation aux États-Unis vis à vis de la Palestine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/752002

    #Palestine #USA #BDS #Texas

  • A Brief Numerical Overview of the #texas #startup Ecosystem
    https://hackernoon.com/a-brief-numerical-overview-of-the-texas-startup-ecosystem-7ae90e12a149?s

    © AltalogyAt Altalogy, we deliver software development services for two Houston-based clients. A few weeks ago, I was discussing the pros and cons of Houston startup ecosystem with Dommonic Nelson, Clever Box Company Founder.The following point was made“When it comes to startups and tech in Texas, Austin outperforms Houston by order of magnitude”.I was a bit surprised by that fact and decided to see how other cities in Texas compare. As a source of information, I selected Angel List. I’m fully aware of the bias that some companies may not be present there though.The comparison includes 4 Largest Cities — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin.Disclaimer: I live in Central Europe 7 hours time zone away from Texas, and the only time I’ve seen the Lone Star State myself was from an aircraft (...)

    #texas-startup-ecosystem #texas-startup #startup-life

  • Who writes history? The fight to commemorate a massacre by the Texas #rangers

    In 1918, a state-sanctioned vigilante force killed 15 unarmed Mexicans in #Porvenir. When their descendants applied for a historical marker a century later, they learned that not everyone wants to remember one of Texas’ darkest days.

    The name of the town was Porvenir, or “future.” In the early morning hours of January 28, 1918, 15 unarmed Mexicans and Mexican Americans were awakened by a state-sanctioned vigilante force of Texas Rangers, U.S. Army cavalry and local ranchers. The men and boys ranged in age from 16 to 72. They were taken from their homes, led to a bluff over the Rio Grande and shot from 3 feet away by a firing squad. The remaining residents of the isolated farm and ranch community fled across the river to Mexico, where they buried the dead in a mass grave. Days later, the cavalry returned to burn the abandoned village to the ground.

    These, historians broadly agree, are the facts of what happened at Porvenir. But 100 years later, the meaning of those facts remains fiercely contested. In 2015, as the centennial of the massacre approached, a group of historians and Porvenir descendants applied for and was granted a Texas Historical Commission (THC) marker. After a three-year review process, the THC approved the final text in July. A rush order was sent to the foundry so that the marker would be ready in time for a Labor Day weekend dedication ceremony planned by descendants. Then, on August 3, Presidio County Historical Commission Chair Mona Blocker Garcia sent an email to the THC that upended everything. Though THC records show that the Presidio commission had been consulted throughout the marker approval process, Garcia claimed to be “shocked” that the text was approved. She further asserted, without basis, that “the militant Hispanics have turned this marker request into a political rally and want reparations from the federal government for a 100-year-old-plus tragic event.”

    Four days later, Presidio County Attorney Rod Ponton sent a follow-up letter. Without identifying specific errors in the marker text, he demanded that the dedication ceremony be canceled and the marker’s production halted until new language could be agreed upon. Ponton speculated, falsely, that the event was planned as a “major political rally” for Beto O’Rourke with the participation of La Raza Unida founding member José Ángel Gutiérrez, neither of whom was involved. Nonetheless, THC History Programs Director Charles Sadnick sent an email to agency staff the same day: “After getting some more context about where the marker sponsor may be coming from, we’re halting production on the marker.”

    The American Historical Association quickly condemned the THC’s decision, as did the office of state Senator José Rodríguez, a Democrat whose district includes both Presidio County and El Paso, where the ceremony was to be held. Historians across the country also spoke out against the decision. Sarah Zenaida Gould, director of the Museo del Westside in San Antonio and cofounder of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, responded in an email to the agency that encapsulates the views of many of the historians I interviewed: “Halting the marker process to address this statement as though it were a valid concern instead of a dog whistle is insulting to all people of color who have personally or through family history experienced state violence.”

    How did a last-gasp effort, characterized by factual errors and inflammatory language, manage to convince the state agency for historic preservation to reverse course on a marker three years in the making and sponsored by a young Latina historian with an Ivy League pedigree and Texas-Mexico border roots? An Observer investigation, involving dozens of interviews and hundreds of emails obtained through an open records request, reveals a county still struggling to move on from a racist and violent past, far-right amateur historians sowing disinformation and a state agency that acted against its own best judgment.

    The Porvenir massacre controversy is about more than just the fate of a single marker destined for a lonely part of West Texas. It’s about who gets to tell history, and the continuing relevance of the border’s contested, violent and racist past to events today.

    Several rooms in Benita Albarado’s home in Uvalde are almost overwhelmed by filing cabinets and stacks of clipboards, the ever-growing archive of her research into what happened at Porvenir. For most of her life, Benita, 74, knew nothing about the massacre. What she did know was that her father, Juan Flores, had terrible nightmares, and that in 1950 he checked himself in to a state mental hospital for symptoms that today would be recognized as PTSD. When she asked her mother what was wrong with him, she always received the same vague response: “You don’t understand what he’s been through.”

    In 1998, Benita and her husband, Buddy, began tracing their family trees. Benita was perplexed that she couldn’t find any documentation about her grandfather, Longino Flores. Then she came across the archival papers of Harry Warren, a schoolteacher, lawyer and son-in-law of Tiburcio Jáquez, one of the men who was murdered. Warren had made a list of the victims, and Longino’s name was among them. Warren also described how one of his students from Porvenir had come to his house the next morning to tell him what happened, and then traveled with him to the massacre site to identify the bodies, many of which were so mutilated as to be virtually unrecognizable. Benita immediately saw the possible connection. Her father, 12 at the time, matched Warren’s description of the student.

    Benita and Buddy drove from Uvalde to Odessa, where her father lived, with her photocopied papers. “Is that you?” she asked. He said yes. Then, for the first time in 80 years, he began to tell the story of how he was kidnapped with the men, but then sent home because of his age; he was told that the others were only going to be questioned. To Benita and Buddy’s amazement, he remembered the names of 12 of the men who had been murdered. They were the same as those in Harry Warren’s papers. He also remembered the names of the ranchers who had shown up at his door. Some of those, including the ancestors of prominent families still in Presidio County, had never been found in any document.

    Talking about the massacre proved healing for Flores. His nightmares stopped. In 2000, at age 96, he decided that he wanted to return to Porvenir. Buddy drove them down an old mine road in a four-wheel-drive truck. Flores pointed out where his old neighbors used to live, even though the buildings were gone. He guided Buddy to the bluff where the men were killed — a different location than the one commonly believed by local ranchers to be the massacre site. His memory proved to be uncanny: At the bluff, the family discovered a pre-1918 military bullet casing, still lying on the Chihuahuan desert ground.

    Benita and Buddy began advocating for a historical marker in 2000, soon after their trip to Porvenir. “A lot of people say that this was a lie,” Buddy told me. “But if you’ve got a historical marker, the state has to acknowledge what happened.” Their efforts were met by resistance from powerful ranching families, who held sway over the local historical commission. The Albarados had already given up when they met Monica Muñoz Martinez, a Yale graduate student from Uvalde, who interviewed them for her dissertation. In 2013, Martinez, by then an assistant professor at Brown University, co-founded Refusing to Forget, a group of historians aiming to create broader public awareness of border violence, including Porvenir and other extrajudicial killings of Mexicans by Texas Rangers during the same period. The most horrific of these was La Matanza, in which dozens of Mexicans and Mexican Americans were murdered in the Rio Grande Valley in 1915.

    In 2006, the THC created the Undertold Markers program, which seemed tailor-made for Porvenir. According to its website, the program is designed to “address historical gaps, promote diversity of topics, and proactively document significant underrepresented subjects or untold stories.” Unlike the agency’s other marker programs, anyone can apply for an undertold marker, not just county historical commissions. Martinez’s application for a Porvenir massacre marker was accepted in 2015.

    Though the approval process for the Porvenir marker took longer than usual, by the summer of 2018 everything appeared to be falling into place. On June 1, Presidio County Historical Commission chair Garcia approved the final text. (Garcia told me that she thought she was approving a different text. Her confusion is difficult to understand, since the text was attached to the digital form she submitted approving it.) Martinez began coordinating with the THC and Arlinda Valencia, a descendant of one of the victims, to organize a dedication ceremony in El Paso.
    “They weren’t just simple farmers. I seriously doubt that they were just killed for no reason.”

    In mid-June, Valencia invited other descendants to the event and posted it on Facebook. She began planning a program to include a priest’s benediction, a mariachi performance and brief remarks by Martinez, Senator Rodríguez and a representative from the THC. The event’s climax would be the unveiling of the plaque with the names of the 15 victims.

    Then the backlash began.

    “Why do you call it a massacre?” is the first thing Jim White III said over the phone when I told him I was researching the Porvenir massacre. White is the trustee of the Brite Ranch, the site of a cross-border raid by Mexicans on Christmas Day 1917, about a month before the Porvenir massacre. When I explained that the state-sanctioned extrajudicial execution of 15 men and boys met all the criteria I could think of for a massacre, he shot back, “It sounds like you already have your opinion.”

    For generations, ranching families like the Brites have dominated the social, economic and political life of Presidio County. In a visit to the Marfa & Presidio County Museum, I was told that there were almost no Hispanic surnames in any of the exhibits, though 84 percent of the county is Hispanic. The Brite family name, however, was everywhere.

    White and others in Presidio County subscribe to an alternative history of the Porvenir massacre, centering on the notion that the Porvenir residents were involved in the bloody Christmas Day raid.

    “They weren’t just simple farmers,” White told me, referring to the victims. “I seriously doubt that they were just killed for no reason.” Once he’d heard about the historical marker, he said, he’d talked to everyone he knew about it, including former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Mona Blocker Garcia.

    I visited Garcia at her Marfa home, an 1886 adobe that’s the same age as the venerable Marfa County Courthouse down the street. Garcia, 82, is Anglo, and married to a former oil executive whose ancestry, she explained, is Spanish and French Basque. A Houston native, she retired in the 1990s to Marfa, where she befriended the Brite family and became involved in local history. She told me that she had shared a draft text of the marker with the Brites, and they had agreed that it was factually inaccurate.

    Garcia cited a story a Brite descendant had told her about a young goat herder from Porvenir who purportedly witnessed the Christmas Day raid, told authorities about the perpetrators from his community and then disappeared without a trace into a witness protection program in Oklahoma. When I asked if there was any evidence that the boy actually existed, she acknowledged the story was “folklore.” Still, she said, “the story has lasted 100 years. Why would anybody make something like that up?”

    The actual history is quite clear. In the days after the massacre, the Texas Rangers commander, Captain J.M. Fox, initially reported that Porvenir residents had fired on the Rangers. Later, he claimed that residents had participated in the Christmas Day raid. Subsequent investigations by the Mexican consulate, the U.S. Army and state Representative J.T. Canales concluded that the murdered men were unarmed and innocent, targeted solely because of their ethnicity by a vigilante force organized at the Brite Ranch. As a result, in June 1918, five Rangers were dismissed, Fox was forced to resign and Company B of the Texas Rangers was disbanded.

    But justice remained elusive. In the coming years, Fox re-enlisted as captain of Company A, while three of the dismissed lawmen found new employment. One re-enlisted as a Ranger, a second became a U.S. customs inspector and the third was hired by the Brite Ranch. No one was ever prosecuted. As time passed, the historical records of the massacre, including Harry Warren’s papers, affidavits from widows and other relatives and witness testimony from the various investigations, were largely forgotten. In their place came texts like Walter Prescott Webb’s The Texas Rangers: A Century of Frontier Defense, which played an outsize role in the creation of the heroic myth of the Texas Rangers. Relying entirely on interviews with the murderers themselves, Webb accepted at face value Fox’s discredited version of events. For more than 50 years, Webb’s account was considered the definitive one of the massacre — though, unsurprisingly, he didn’t use that word.

    An Observer review of hundreds of emails shows that the state commission was aware of potential controversy over the marker from the very beginning. In an email from 2015, Executive Director Mark Wolfe gave John Nau, the chair of the THC’s executive committee, a heads-up that while the marker was supported by historical scholarship, “the [Presidio County Historical Commission] opposes the marker.” The emails also demonstrate that the agency viewed the claims of historical inaccuracies in the marker text made by Mona Blocker Garcia and the county commission as minor issues of wording.

    On August 6, the day before the decision to halt the marker, Charles Sadnick, the history programs director, wrote Wolfe to say that the “bigger problem” was the ceremony, where he worried there might be disagreements among Presidio County residents, and which he described as “involving some politics which we don’t want a part of.”

    What were the politics that the commission was worried about, and where were these concerns coming from? Garcia’s last-minute letter may have been a factor, but it wasn’t the only one. For the entire summer, Glenn Justice, a right-wing amateur historian who lives in a rural gated community an hour outside San Angelo, had been the driving force behind a whisper campaign to discredit Martinez and scuttle the dedication ceremony.

    “There are radicals in the ‘brown power’ movement that only want the story told of Rangers and [the] Army and gringos killing innocent Mexicans,” Justice told me when we met in his garage, which doubles as the office for Rimrock Press, a publishing company whose catalog consists entirely of Justice’s own work. He was referring to Refusing to Forget and in particular Martinez, the marker’s sponsor.

    Justice has been researching the Porvenir massacre for more than 30 years, starting when he first visited the Big Bend as a graduate student. He claims to be, and probably is, the first person since schoolteacher Harry Warren to call Porvenir a “massacre” in print, in a master’s thesis published by the University of Texas at El Paso in 1991. Unlike White and Garcia, Justice doesn’t question the innocence of the Porvenir victims. But he believes that additional “context” is necessary to understand the reasons for the massacre, which he views as an aberration, rather than a representatively violent part of a long history of racism. “There have never been any problems between the races to speak of [in Presidio County],” he told me.

    In 2015, Justice teamed up with former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Sul Ross State University archaeologist David Keller on a privately funded excavation at the massacre site. He is working on a new book about the bullets and bullet casings they found — which he believes implicate the U.S. Army cavalry in the shooting — and also partnered with Patterson to produce a documentary. But they’d run out of money, and the film was taken over by noted Austin filmmaker Andrew Shapter, who pitched the project to PBS and Netflix. In the transition, Justice was demoted to the role of one of 12 consulting historians. Meanwhile, Martinez was given a prominent role on camera.

    Justice was disgruntled when he learned that the dedication ceremony would take place in El Paso. He complained to organizer Arlinda Valencia and local historical commission members before contacting Ponton, the county attorney, and Amanda Shields, a descendant of massacre victim Manuel Moralez.

    “I didn’t want to take my father to a mob scene,” Shields told me over the phone, by way of explaining her opposition to the dedication ceremony. She believed the rumor that O’Rourke and Gutiérrez would be involved.

    In August, Shields called Valencia to demand details about the program for the ceremony. At the time, she expressed particular concern about a potential Q&A event with Martinez that would focus on parallels between border politics and violence in 1918 and today.

    “This is not a political issue,” Shields told me. “It’s a historical issue. With everything that was going on, we didn’t want the ugliness of politics involved in it.” By “everything,” she explained, she was referring primarily to the issue of family separation. Benita and Buddy Albarado told me that Shields’ views represent a small minority of descendants.

    Martinez said that the idea of ignoring the connections between past and present went against her reasons for fighting to get a marker in the first place. “I’m a historian,” she said. “It’s hard to commemorate such a period of violence, in the midst of another ongoing humanitarian crisis, when this period of violence shaped the institutions of policing that we have today. And that cannot be relegated to the past.”

    After communicating with Justice and Shields, Ponton phoned THC Commissioner Gilbert “Pete” Peterson, who is a bank investment officer in Alpine. That call set in motion the sequence of events that would ultimately derail the marker. Peterson immediately emailed Wolfe, the state commission’s executive director, to say that the marker was becoming “a major political issue.” Initially, though, Wolfe defended the agency’s handling of the marker. “Frankly,” Wolfe wrote in his reply, “this might just be one where the [Presidio County Historical Commission] isn’t going to be happy, and that’s why these stories have been untold for so long.” Peterson wrote back to say that he had been in touch with members of the THC executive committee, which consists of 15 members appointed by either former Governor Rick Perry or Governor Greg Abbott, and that an email about the controversy had been forwarded to THC chair John Nau. Two days later, Peterson added, “This whole thing is a burning football that will be thrown to the media.”

    At a meeting of the Presidio County Historical Commission on August 17, Peterson suggested that the executive board played a major role in the decision to pause production of the marker. “I stopped the marker after talking to Rod [Ponton],” Peterson said. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking with the chairman and vice-chairman [of the THC]. What we have said, fairly emphatically, is that there will not be a dedication in El Paso.” Through a spokesperson, Wolfe said that the executive committee is routinely consulted and the decision was ultimately his.

    The spokesperson said, “The big reason that the marker was delayed was to be certain about its accuracy. We want these markers to stand for generations and to be as accurate as possible.”

    With no marker to unveil, Valencia still organized a small commemoration. Many descendants, including Benita and Buddy Albarado, chose not to attend. Still, the event was described by Jeff Davis, a THC representative in attendance, as “a near perfect event” whose tone was “somber and respectful but hopeful.”

    Most of THC’s executive committee members are not historians. The chair, John Nau, is CEO of the nation’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributor and a major Republican party donor. His involvement in the Porvenir controversy was not limited to temporarily halting the marker. In August, he also instructed THC staff to ask the Presidio historical commission to submit applications for markers commemorating raids by Mexicans on white ranches during the Mexican Revolution, which Nau described as “a significant but largely forgotten incident in the state’s history.”

    Garcia confirmed that she had been approached by THC staff. She added that the THC had suggested two specific topics: the Christmas Day raid and a subsequent raid at the Neville Ranch.

    The idea of additional plaques to provide so-called context that could be interpreted as justifying the massacre — or at the very least setting up a false moral equivalence — appears to have mollified critics like White, Garcia and Justice. The work on a revised Porvenir massacre text proceeded quickly, with few points of contention, once it began in mid-September. The marker was sent to the foundry on September 18.
    “It’s hard to commemorate such a period of violence, in the midst of another ongoing humanitarian crisis, when this period of violence shaped the institutions of policing that we have today.”

    In the end, the Porvenir descendants will get their marker — but it may come at a cost. Martinez called the idea of multiple markers “deeply unsettling” and not appropriate for the Undertold Marker program. “Events like the Brite Ranch raid and the Neville raid have been documented by historians for over a century,” she said. “These are not undertold histories. My concern with having a series of markers is that, again, it casts suspicion on the victims of these historical events. It creates the logic that these raids caused this massacre, that it was retribution for these men and boys participating.”

    In early November, the THC unexpectedly announced a dedication ceremony for Friday, November 30. The date was one of just a few on which Martinez, who was still planning on organizing several public history events in conjunction with the unveiling, had told the agency months prior that she had a schedule conflict. In an email to Martinez, Sadnick said that it was the only date Nau could attend this year, and that it was impossible for agency officials to make “secure travel plans” once the legislative session began in January.

    A handful of descendants, including Shields and the Albarados, still plan to attend. “This is about families having closure,” Shields told me. “Now, this can finally be put to rest.”

    The Albarados are livid that the THC chose a date that, in their view, prioritized the convenience of state and county officials over the attendance of descendants — including their own daughters, who feared they wouldn’t be able to get off work. They also hope to organize a second, unofficial gathering at the marker site next year, with the participation of more descendants and the Refusing to Forget historians. “We want people to know the truth of what really happened [at Porvenir],” Buddy told me, “and to know who it was that got this historical marker put there.”

    Others, like Arlinda Valencia, planned to stay home. “Over 100 years ago, our ancestors were massacred, and the reason they were massacred was because of lies that people were stating as facts,” she told me in El Paso. “They called them ‘bandits,’ when all they were doing was working and trying to make a living. And now, it’s happening again.”

    #mémoire #histoire #Texas #USA #massacre #assassinat #méxicains #violence #migrations #commémoration #historicisation #frontières #violence_aux_frontières #violent_borders #Mexique

  • New Satellite Imagery Shows Growth in Detention Camps for Children

    A satellite image taken on September 13, 2018, shows substantial growth in the tent city the US government is using to detain migrant children located in the desert in #Tornillo, #Texas.

    The tent city was originally used to house children separated from parents this summer, when the Trump administration was aggressively prosecuting parents traveling with children for illegal entry to the US. The US Department of Health and Human Services has stated that the new growth in the number of tents is necessary in order to house children who may cross the border on their own, unaccompanied by family members.

    The image from September 13, 2018 shows that since June 19th, the date of a previous satellite image, the number of tent shelters has nearly quadrupled, from 28 to 101 tents. At a reported capacity of 20 children per tent, the tent city can currently house 2,020 children, which is only half of the government’s stated goal of 3,800 beds at the Tornillo facility. In addition to the completed tents, there are numerous tents that can be seen currently under construction as well as several larger buildings that have recently been built.

    “Children should not be detained, since locking up kids harms their health and development,” said Alison Parker, US managing director of Human Rights Watch. “There are safe and viable alternatives to detaining children that the US government should put to use immediately.”


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/03/new-satellite-imagery-shows-growth-detention-camps-children
    #rétention #détention #camps #asile #migrations #réfugiés #enfants #enfance #images_satellitaires #USA #frontières #Etats-Unis

    • *The Ongoing, Avoidable Horror of the Trump

      Administration’s Texas Tent Camp for Migrant Kids*
      The detention camp for migrant kids in Tornillo, Texas, was supposed to be gone by now. Set up as a temporary “emergency influx shelter” in June, when the government was running out of places to put the kids it was tearing from parents at the border, the camp, located in the desert forty miles southeast of El Paso, was originally scheduled to close on July 13th. But the government kept pushing back the deadline, in thirty-day increments, until recently disclosing that the facility will remain open at least through the end of the year.

      The Times put the camp back in the news this week, reporting that the facility’s capacity was also recently increased, so that it could accommodate up to thirty-eight hundred kids—some ten times as many kids as it was housing in June. “[T]he intent is to use these temporary facilities only as long as needed,” Evelyn Stauffer, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the facility, told the Times. From the start at Tornillo, though, “as needed” has been less about outside forces than about the Administration’s own decisions and goals. The government has discussed Tornillo as if it’s a necessary response to a crisis “when it’s not a crisis,” Bob Carey, a former H.H.S. official, told me on Monday. Carey ran the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the branch of H.H.S. responsible for the care of migrant kids, during the final two years of the Obama Administration. Tornillo was, and is, “a consequence of the actions of the Administration,” he said.

      President Trump put a halt to family separations in June, in response to the enormous public outcry and the humanitarian disaster that the policy produced. Yet, while public attention moved on, the number of kids in government custody has only gone up. As the Times reported, there are now more than thirteen thousand migrant kids in government facilities, five times more than a year ago, and those kids are spending an average of fifty-nine days in custody, twice as long as a year ago. While Tornillo was set up to make room for kids who had been taken from parents, most of the kids there now crossed the border alone. This isn’t a new problem—large numbers of kids crossed the borders by themselves in the last years of the Obama Administration. In response, O.R.R. used “emergency influx shelters,” with the idea to dismantle them as soon as demand waned. The goal was to place the kids with relatives or other sponsors around the country. “These facilities, none of them were intended as long-term care facilities,” Carey said. The Tornillo camp, for instance, doesn’t offer any systemized schooling to the kids there.

      Recently, this work of processing kids out of government custody has begun to slow significantly. That’s reflected in the longer amount of time that the kids are spending in government facilities. “They’re treating these kids like criminals,” another Obama-era H.H.S. official told me. “That comes at a significant cost to the kids, to their mental health.” Part of the issue is that the government has given potential sponsors, who are often undocumented themselves, a real reason to fear coming forward to claim the kids. In June, as the Times reported, “federal authorities announced that potential sponsors and other adult members of their households would have to submit fingerprints, and that the data would be shared with immigration authorities.” Immigration and Customs Enforcement has acknowledged arresting dozens of people who came forward to be sponsors. With the way the numbers are trending, it’s hard to see how the need for the tent camp at Tornillo will end.


      https://www.newyorker.com/news/current/the-ongoing-avoidable-horror-of-the-trump-administrations-texas-tent-camp
      #tentes

  • La recherche sur le site de Gault repousse la date des premiers nord-américains : La datation par luminescence confirme la présence humaine en Amérique du Nord avant 16 000 ans.
    20/07/2018

    Pendant des décennies, les chercheurs ont cru que l’Hémisphère occidental [le continent américain] avait été colonisé par les humains il y a environ 13500 ans, une théorie basée largement sur la distribution répandue des artéfacts de Clovis datés à cette époque. Les artefacts de Clovis sont des outils de pierre préhistoriques distinctifs ainsi nommés parce qu’ils ont d’abord été trouvés près de Clovis, au Nouveau-Mexique, dans les années 1920, mais ont été identifiés depuis dans toute l’Amérique du Nord et du Sud.

    Cependant, au cours des dernières années, les preuves archéologiques ont de plus en plus remis en question l’idée de « Clovis First ».

    [Cette étude] a daté un important assemblage d’artefacts de pierre âgés de 16 à 20 000 ans, repoussant la chronologie des premiers habitants humains de l’Amérique du Nord avant Clovisby, d’au moins 2 500 années.

    Significativement, cette recherche identifie une technologie de point de projectile précoce inconnue auparavant non liée à Clovis, qui suggère que la technologie de Clovis s’est propagée à travers une population indigène déjà bien établie.
    (...)
    L’équipe de recherche a identifié les artefacts au site de Gault au Texas central, un site archéologique étendu avec des preuves d’occupation humaine continue. La présence de la technologie de Clovis sur le site est bien documentée, mais des fouilles en dessous des dépôts contenant des artefacts de Clovis ont révélé des sédiments bien stratifiés contenant des artefacts distinctement différents de Clovis.

    Gault site research pushes back date of earliest North Americans : Luminescence dating confirms human presence in North America prior to 16 thousand years ago, earlier than previously thought

    L’étude originale : http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/7/eaar5954


    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180723142950.htm
    /images/2018/07/180723142950_1_540x360.jpg

    DOI : https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aar5954

    #préhistoire #paléolithique #Amérique #clovis #peuplement #16000BP #Thomas_J._Williams # Michael_B._Collins #Kathleen_Rodrigues #William_Jack_Rink #Texas_State_University #Desert_Research_Institute #University_of_Nevada #McMaster_University

  • The next local control fight? Like Uber before, city regulations for AirBnB and HomeAway are in the crosshairs | The Texas Tribune
    https://www.texastribune.org/2018/04/19/unresolved-legislature-short-term-rentals-become-local-control-fight-c

    This time, the fight is happening in the courts after attempts to overturn short-term rental ordinances failed in the Legislature.

    by Emma Platoff April 19, 2018 12 AM

    When the Zaataris moved to Texas from Lebanon, part of the draw was the American Dream. In Austin, they’re working toward that dream in the real estate business.

    The young couple wants to grow their family — “I’m negotiating for three,” Ahmad Zaatari joked — but they rely on the income from their short-term rental property to support the one child they already have. But with overburdensome regulation, some argue, “the City of Austin wants to shut them down.”

    That claim appears in glossy detail in a promotional video compiled recently by one of Texas’ most influential conservative think tanks. The video closes: “The Zaatari family believed in the American Dream. The Center for the American Future is fighting to keep it alive.”

    The Zataaris are two in a small group of plaintiffs represented by the Center for the American Future, a legal arm of the Texas Public Policy Foundation that filed a suit against the city of Austin in 2016 calling the city’s short-term rental ordinance unconstitutional. That case, which is now winding its way through state appeals courts, has emerged as a likely candidate for review at the state’s highest civil court. And it’s been bolstered by Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas’ top lawyer, who has sided several times with the homeowners, most recently in a 102-page brief.

    Short-term rentals, a longtime local reality especially widespread in vacation destinations like Austin and Galveston, have become astronomically more popular in the last decade with the rise of web platforms like AirBnB and Austin-based HomeAway. That ubiquity has ripened them for regulation — and for litigation, including more than one case pending before the Texas Supreme Court. In Texas, it’s a new frontier for the simmering state-city fight over local control. Left unresolved last session by the Legislature, short-term rental ordinances have become an issue for the courts.
    From the state house to the courthouse

    More than a dozen Texas cities have some sort of ordinance regulating short-term rental policies, according to a list compiled by the Texas Municipal League. Among the most prominent are Galveston and Fort Worth; San Antonio is bickering over its own. They range widely in scope and severity: Some regulate the number of people who can stay in a short-term rental and what activities they may do while there, while others require little more than a licensing permit.

    The rental services allow people to offer up houses or apartments to travelers for short-term stays. Some landlords are city residents just hoping to make some money off their spare bedrooms. But investors are also known to buy homes for the sole purpose of renting them on AirBnB or HomeAway.

    As short-term rentals grew more popular, cities began to worry that their quiet residential neighborhoods would be overrun with thrill-seeking vacationers or that the investment properties would drive up the cost of housing. Local officials say that short-term renters too often create disruptive party environments that agitate nearby families. But critics of the local regulations say there are already laws in place to regulate that kind of public nuisance.

    Austin’s ordinance, which aims to phase out certain types of short-term rentals entirely and limits how many can exist in any particular area, is one of the state’s oldest and strictest — and it’s situated, of course, in a red state’s blue capital city, making it the perfect backdrop for a familiar fight.

    Rob Henneke, the TPPF lawyer representing the Zaataris, says Austin’s ordinance violates fundamental rights like equal protection — why should short-term renters be treated any different from long-term renters? — and property rights — why should owners be kept from leasing their homes however they choose?

    “It is a fundamental right to lease your property,” Henneke said. “It makes no sense — and is inconsistent with that — to try to bracket that right in some way.”

    The city counters that it has the right to regulate commercial activity within its boundaries and that its ordinance is important for city planning purposes. The ordinance addresses critical issues in the city like rising real estate prices and noise complaints from obnoxious “party houses,” said Austin City Council member Kathie Tovo.

    Beyond the question of whether short-term rentals should be regulated is the question of who should regulate them. For Tovo, it recalls the recent fight over Uber and Lyft, which ended when the Legislature overturned Austin’s safety regulations for the ride-hailing apps. City officials sit closer to their constituents, she said, so they are better positioned to write rules that benefit their communities.

    “It is an example of what we regard as state overreach," she said. “And those of us on the ground who represent our communities are in the best position to know what ordinance and regulations are responses to their needs.”

    Henneke, meanwhile, advocates for uniformity statewide — if there are to be restrictions at all.

    “If short-term rentals are going to be regulated, it should be at the state level to ensure statewide consistency and to protect property owners from a patchwork quilt of overly burdensome regulations at the local level,” Henneke said.

    The current fight, said Texas Municipal League Executive Director Bennett Sandlin, fits into a disturbing pattern of state lawmakers trying to consolidate power at the Capitol by taking it away from the cities.

    “It’s absolutely a recent … concerted effort to say that — the allegation that cities are against liberty, and you should have the liberty to do anything you want to do with your house including turn it into a party barn,” he said. “We support liberty but we also support liberty of the neighbors to keep their property values up and keep their yards free of beer cans.”

    The Legislature did try to tackle the short-term issue last year. The effort that went furthest was a bill by state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, that passed the upper chamber but died in the House in the waning days of the regular session. A similar bill championed by state Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, never even got a committee vote. Neither Hancock nor Parker returned requests for comment.

    Those measures struggled to find sufficient support even in a session rife with local control issues. All told, by the end of August, the 85th Legislature had passed state laws overriding city rule on issues ranging from tree maintenance to ride-hailing regulations. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, even expressed support for a “broad-based law” to pre-empt local regulations, but no such bill passed.

    Short-term rental ordinances, some say, share all the hallmarks of the memorable fight over ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. A new technology platform makes an age-old practice simpler; a liberal-leaning city council moves to regulate it. Eventually, the state steps in and opposes that local ordinance to protect “freedom and free enterprise.”

    But while local control battles have raged in Texas since Abbott took office decrying a “patchwork of local regulations,” they have mostly been fought on the floors of the Legislature. (One notable exception is an ongoing legal fight over the city of Laredo’s ban on plastic bags, a case the Texas Supreme Court is expected to resolve in the next few months.) This court fight is a comparatively new playbook for opponents of local control.

    “Opponents of local government are happy to challenge these ordinances either in the state House or in the courthouse,” Sandlin said. “They will absolutely take any avenue they can to go after it.”
    “Business” or “residential”?

    The Zaatari case isn’t the only lawsuit that has challenged a local short-term rental ordinance, but it is the most prominent. A Houston appeals court ruled in 2015 that in certain circumstances short-term rental ordinances can violate property rights; in Travis County, another pending case asks whether Austin’s ordinance is unconstitutionally vague.

    “Part of it seems to be that local government takes unusual positions when suddenly the internet becomes involved. ... Here in Austin, it’s been documented that short-term rentals have been an encouraged practice for over 100 years, and yet suddenly when the internet provides a way of efficiently connecting buyer and seller, everybody just has to go crazy and adopt a bunch of rules,” Henneke said. “I think it’s a need for control and a need for regulation for the sake of regulation.”

    In the meantime, the issue is being litigated on other fronts.

    A Texas Supreme Court case argued in February asks whether, for the purposes of homeowners’ associations’ hyperlocal deed restrictions, short-term rentals should be considered primarily “business” or “residential.” That case won’t have direct legal bearing on local ordinances, but the fact that it’s ascended to the state’s highest civil court signals that the issue is set for a legal reckoning.

    About a decade after the industry grew popular, “a lot of issues are coming to a head,” said Patrick Sutton, a lawyer arguing that Texas Supreme Court case and many other short-term rental lawsuits.

    Short-term rental companies like HomeAway say they agree that their industry should be regulated — they say they’re eager, in fact, to collaborate on regulations. But many involved in the issue think those restrictions are best established democratically.

    “Sharing presents a new set of public policy challenges,” Sutton said. “What upsets me is that these issues should be worked out politically. They should be worked out in the state house, and they should be worked out in the voting hall at subdivisions… But that didn’t happen.”

    Disclosure: The Texas Public Policy Foundation, HomeAway, the Texas Municipal League, Uber and Lyft have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism.

    #Airbnb #tourisme #logement #USA #Texas #Austin

  • #NRA : Une fusillade est en cours dans un lycée au #Texas, « plusieurs blessés » mais la situation est « sous contrôle » - Des coups de feu ont été tirés vendredi matin au T. National Doral #Golf Club, #Floride - Le blondinet n’a rien...
    https://www.20minutes.fr/monde/2273735-20180518-video-etats-unis-plusieurs-morts-lors-fusillade-lycee-tex
    https://fr.sputniknews.com/international/201805181036425381-fusillade-terrain-golf-trump