Views Roundup with IPS – Immigration Reform, Trayvon Martin, Inequality, Edward Snowden, more

IMMIGRATION REFORM

“I’ve been working with exploited and trafficked household workers for years, and I’m used to hearing people say that nannies, maids, and caregivers ‘aren’t like other workers.’ But they are. They are actually doing the skilled caregiving work that makes parents’ work outside the home possible. And they, as well as other temporary workers in the J-1 visa program, deserve equal protection. They toil in places like Hershey factories in Pennsylvania or behind counters at McDonald’s, where they work alongside U.S. workers doing the same jobs. Removing the entire J-1 visa program from the protections in the immigration bill will only perpetuate an underclass of workers in the United States who remain at risk of severe exploitation.
- Tiffany Williams, Advocacy Director with the Break the Chain Campaign at IPS, writing in OtherWords, an IPS editorial service.

TRAYVON MARTIN CASE AND MARIJUANA

“The most damage most pot smokers are likely to cause is to a bag of Doritos. If anything, it would have mellowed Trayvon. Trace amounts.”
- Sanho Tree, Director of the Drug Policy Project at IPS, responding on Twitter to comments by some legal analysts that trace amounts of marijuana in Trayvon Martin’s system may have made him more, not less, aggressive.

INEQUALITY AND WEALTH DISTRIBUTION

“Sometimes we need new words to grasp new ideas. Frances O’Grady, Britain’s highest-ranking labor leader, has coined one of these handy new words: predistribution. Why does O’Grady, the general secretary of the UK’s Trades Union Congress, want us talking ‘predistribution’? In our staggeringly unequal modern times, her union federation argues in a just-released research paper, redistribution has run its course… Markets, in short, don’t follow “natural” laws. They reflect existing power relationships. Those who hold power bend the rules, formal and informal, that determine how markets operate — and who profits the most from them.”
- Sam Pizzigati, editor of Inequality.org, an online resource supported by IPS, writing in OtherWords.

EDWARD SNOWDEN BEING GRANTED ASYLUM IN LATIN AMERICA

“The collusion some NATO countries are taking regarding Edward Snowden versus the stance of the Latin American countries is best understood by understanding the history of colonialism… In imperialist desperation to get Snowden, the United States and Europe take the opposite position of our sisters and brothers in Latin America, who recognize the human right for Snowden to seek asylum. Assuming an arrogant and condescending posture of colonialist, the United States is threatening countries that might aid Snowden. We hope that one day the outrage U.S. people feel about being spied on by their own government will meet the indignation of struggling people around the globe.”
- Netfa Freeman, IPS Events Coordinator, radio host, and anti-racism advocate, speaking at a Washington DC rally to support Edward Snowden and protest the NSA and Justice Department.

DRUG WAR AND DRUG “LABS”

“If you want more context on the futility of drug eradication & chasing drug ‘labs’, watch my video Shoveling Water.”
- Sanho Tree, Director of the Drug Policy Project at IPS, responding on Twitter to news stories of police breaking up drug ‘labs’ in Colombia.

WASHINGTON, THE REVOLVING DOOR, AND PUNDITS

“I wanted to show the revolving door here in Washington, how people go from the media world to the political world and then back again. And I also wanted to show how there were some very interesting similarities between the language and the activities of people in the punditry world and in the world of policy making – an almost symbiotic relationship between the two… There are some real world examples of pundits who are forced by circumstances to discuss things they don’t really know very much about… if you repeatedly appear on news shows, and you’re there as a political analyst, you’re expected to know about virtually everything under the sun. How on earth can a person know about all of these different issues?”
- John Feffer, Co-Director of Foreign Policy in Focus, discussing his upcoming play, “The Politician,” with Politico. His play is based on real life experience in the Washington DC think tank world, taking an often-humorous look at the policy world inside the Beltway.

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Looking for an interview? You can reach the personalities of IPS through Lacy MacAuley, IPS Media Manager, at (202) 445-4692 or [email protected].

The Institute for Policy Studies is a think tank celebrating its 50th year of turning ideas into action for peace, justice, and the environment.