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Member since: 2002
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Police Harassment In Louisiana May Be Increasing The Number Of People Dying From AIDS


According to a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW), aggressive police harassment in New Orleans is directly undermining the city’s efforts to prevent and treat HIV infections. Despite the fact that Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the nation — in fact, the number of people dying from AIDS in the state is more than double the national average — the report claims that it “has chosen punishment over public health” for the marginalized communities at risk for infection, such as sex workers and drug users.

Specifically, law enforcement officials are cracking down on prostitution in a way that HRW believes is actually encouraging the spread of HIV. New Orleans is so intent on identifying potential sex workers that it allows cops to prosecute “loitering for prostitution,” an incredibly vague statute that results in arbitrarily targeting people in public. Officers randomly stop people who they deem suspicious and search them for evidence of prostitution — and, if they find condoms, that can be enough for an arrest.

That’s created a culture where some New Orleans residents are risking HIV transmission rather than risking getting caught with condoms. “Sex workers, transgender women and others at high risk of HIV infection told us that they were afraid to carry condoms and that they sometimes had to engage in sex without protection out of fear of police harassment,” the report notes.

New Orleans isn’t the only place where this is happening. It’s not uncommon for law enforcement officials to use condoms as evidence of prostitution. Studies have documented the harmful effects of this approach in New York City, where police tend to confiscate condoms from LGBT

 and lower-income 
 Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC also all have high rates of HIV infection among sex workers who say they’re afraid to carry condoms.


Baby Blue...

Finally, an honest question...

Asked by A.C. towards the end of this exchange.


The Peddlers - Girlie

The Peddlers - Southern Woman

Think About It This Way

Apocalypse, New Jersey: A Dispatch From America's Most Desperate Town

By Matt Taibbi
December 11, 2013 10:10 AM ET
The first thing you notice about Camden, New Jersey, is that pretty much everyone you talk to has just gotten his or her ass kicked.

Instead of shaking hands, people here are always lifting hats, sleeves, pant legs and shirttails to show you wounds or scars, then pointing in the direction of where the bad thing just happened.

"I been shot six times," says Raymond, a self-described gangster I meet standing on a downtown corner. He pulls up his pant leg. "The last time I got shot was three years ago, twice in the femur." He gives an intellectual nod. "The femur, you know, that's the largest bone in the leg."

"First they hit me in the head," says Dwayne "The Wiz" Charbonneau, a junkie who had been robbed the night before. He lifts his wool cap to expose a still-oozing red strawberry and pulls his sweatpants down at the waist, drawing a few passing glances. "After that, they ripped my pockets out. You can see right here. . . ."

Even the cops have their stories: "You can see right here, that's where he bit me," says one police officer, lifting his pant leg. "And I'm thinking to myself, 'I'm going to have to shoot this dog.'"

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/apocalypse-new-jersey-a-dispatch-from-americas-most-desperate-town-20131211#ixzz2nb0AwE6a

Power to the Proletariat

Christmas Warning...

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