Election 2014: Big night for weed, while Minnesota languishes

As you must have seen somewhere, a number of marijuana initiatives passed, including legalization for non-medical use in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.

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Candles for Peshawar

I lit a few candles yesterday. Reading the gruesome report of the events in Peshawar had me rattled. Two days prior I was hanging little ornaments on my tree in memory of each person killed in Newtown, MA and now 148 lives were gone at the hands of the Taliban. Children and teachers were shamelessly killed.

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Bloomington threatens to arrest Black Lives Matter organizers, not protesters

(Photo by Anna Min) 2,400 people have RSVP’d on Facebook to attend the Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America on Dec. 20. More than a thousand protesters rallied last week in downtown Minneapolis.

A Black Lives Matter protest planned for Dec. 20 at the Mall of America hit a snag this week when Mall of America officials threatened to remove any protesters and potentially have them arrested. The protest is part of a national movement aimed at raising awareness about police violence against people of color.

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Local filmmaker's video tackles police brutality

(Photo courtesy Cathy Kostova) L to R, Mark Wojahn, producer; Cathy Kostova, editor; Jeff Schell, art department; Jon Jon Scott, producer; Deanna Johnson, make up; Muja Messiah, artist; and David Schnack, director of photography.

In the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., filmmaker Mark Wojahn wanted to bring more attention to racial profiling and police brutality on a local level so he teamed up with rapper Muja Messiah to direct a video for Messiah’s song “It Goes Down,” off his new album, “God Kissed It, the Devil Missed It.”

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Angela Brown case: Patient advocate to bring petition for dismissal to LQP Co attorney

The case of Madison mom Angela Brown, who gave medical cannabis to her brain-injured son in advance to the implementation of Minnesota's law legalizing its use under tightly regulated circumstances, has received statewide and national attention.

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Michelle Gross: Police-community relations, body cams and the cooptation of the community agenda

(Photo by Ken Hawkins published under Creative Commons License)

These are interesting times.

For nearly 25 years, I’ve been trying to get people to pay attention to and act on the very serious issue of police brutality, 14 of those years as part of Communities United Against Police Brutality. Mostly it’s been an uphill battle. White folks largely have responded with disbelief and the idea that the victims “must have done something to deserve it.” People of color have been much more aware of the issue but often resigned to the idea that little could be done to effectively take it on.

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Ending racism in policing begins with the Red Tent

I was talking to Jose at work the other day about the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the lack of indictments on the police officers who killed them. We both are appalled how it went down. While I’ve experience abuse of power at the hands of the police just a few times, Jose has had many negative, unprovoked, experiences in which the prejudice of the officer was the cause for the encounter and the tone of the exchange. As we talked I tried to make the point that while the officers are responsible for their actions the blame also is also on our culture and the police system that trained them. In part, they only did what they were raised to believe and trained to do.

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[PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter momentum continues, protesters march on downtown Minneapolis

(Photos by Kristoffer Tigue)

Over a thousand artists and activists gathered in downtown Minneapolis on Dec. 13 to rally and march in solidarity with the national #BlackLivesMatter movement that aims to highlight the lack of equality and accountability in police dealings with the black community in the United States.

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Reflections of New Minnesotans: Torture and the CIA

On this week's episode, Julia Nekessa Opoti and guest Ahmed Tharwat discuss the recently released CIA torture report. Ahmed Tharwat also discusses his personal experience as someone who has been tortured.

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Ahmed Tharwat: My 800-words torture report

The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee torture report has brought back painful memories. Now everyone knows that our government has “tortured some folks,” as President Obama has put it when he wanted to be homey and cute. As someone who was tortured himself in an Egyptian jail, such charm is wasted on me. And contrary to what CIA director confusing knowable and unknowable thing, nothing is unknowable about Torture; The emotional and physical details remain vivid in my memory even after more than 40 years.

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