Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Against hate

Dear Friends,

After they had beaten Luis Ramirez to death, the white teenagers who attacked him sent an ominous message to Luis' friends:

“Tell your f**king Mexican friends to get the f**k out of Shenandoah or you’ll be f**king laying next to him."[1]

Just over a week ago, two of Ramirez’s killers were acquitted of all serious charges by an all white jury[2], with the jury foreman making it clear that justice for Ramirez had no chance in the town of Shenandoah, PA:

“I believe strongly that some of the people on the jury were racist. I believe strongly that some of the people on the jury had their minds made up maybe before the first day of trial…And I believe the four boys that were involved the most are racist. I absolutely do…”[3]

Thanks to the hard work of MALDEF and others, the Department of Justice is now looking into Ramirez’ death.[4] But that’s only part of what’s needed. Where are the leaders in the State of Pennsylvania? Why has the governor had nothing to say? His silence is shameful.

Until elected leaders speak up, we can expect more stories like Luis’—not just in Shenandoah, but across the country. Pennsylvania Governor Rendell owes it to the people of his state and to Latinos everywhere to speak out and condemn what’s happened. I've joined Presente.org in demanding that he does. Please click the link below to add your voice and ask your friends and family to do the same. It takes only a moment.


If Luis Ramirez’s death were an isolated event it would be outrageous enough. Sadly, it’s part of a growing trend of racially motivated violence against Latinos, particularly in rural communities. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Latinos rose 35% between 2003 and 2006.[5] And as author David Niewert writes, the target of hate crimes goes beyond their immediate victims: “The purpose is to terrorize the target community, to drive them out, eliminate them."[6]

That kind of intimidation only works only if the people who are targeted remain silent, and if officials in positions of power remain unaccountable. That’s why we need to speak out and let folks across the country know we won’t tolerate hate and violence towards our communities. It starts with demanding that the Governor of Pennsylvania make clear that anti-immigrant hate has no place in Pennsylvania. It’s time for him to show leadership now.

Join me in calling for Governor Rendell to speak out:




1. http://tinyurl.com/64u2sk

2. http://tinyurl.com/p8gusl

3. http://tinyurl.com/da6mcg

4. http://tinyurl.com/c24jvb

5. http://tinyurl.com/r6ldef

6. http://crooksandliars.com/node/27858/

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Reflection about the cicle of consumerism

Educators, activists and everybody else interested in alternatives to a better life style is talking about this short documentary: The Story of Stuff, with Annie Leonard. Watch it!

Procure por Versão em português no link Another language?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Um bilhão de árvores para salvar a Mata Atlântica

The Nature Conservancy tem uma campanha que busca reflorestar a Mata Atlântica. Cada dollar paga pelo replantio de uma árvore. O problema é complicado, mas o caminho para uma solução pode estar mais próximo do que se pensava. Conheça este projeto
Veja o video