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Global IMC Network

Redlining to Riots

July 4, 2015 by imc-editor

This is a great article from the Washington Spectator, a news and analysis newsletter. Read and subscribe!

A pattern has emerged—in Oakland, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, and beyond. Police claiming to feel threatened kill unarmed black men. Protests follow, sometimes including violence. The Department of Justice finds a pattern and practice of racially-biased policing. The city agrees to train officers not to use excessive force, encourage sensitivity, prohibit racial profiling. These reforms are all necessary and important, but ignore an obvious reality that the protests are not really (or primarily) about policing.

In racially isolated neighborhoods where jobs are few and transportation to job-rich areas is absent, where poverty rates are high and educational levels are low, where petty misbehavior and more serious crime abound, young men and cops develop the worst expectations of each other, leading to predictable confrontations.

In 1968, following more than 100 urban riots nationwide, almost all in response to police brutality or killing by police, a presidential commission concluded that “[o]ur nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal” and that “[s]egregation and poverty have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white Americans.” The Kerner Commission added that “[w]hat white Americans have never fully understood—but what the Negro can never forget—is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”

Read more:

Photo by Robert C. Johnston

5 radically conservative fast food companies

June 24, 2015 by imc-editor

These food chains are owned by far right-wingers who've funded conservative super-PACs.
For all the Oreo Cookies out there – companies that support gay rights, if only because doing so is good for business – there are plenty of food companies that have not come around on progressive social issues. In fact, a number of food companies are owned by far right-wingers who’ve spent significant money opposing gay rights, abortion rights, and other important causes and funding attack ads against left-leaning politicians.
The companies in question include many popular chain restaurants that you may eat at occasionally, or even all the time. It’s wise to know where your dining dollars are going.

To that end, here are five food chains that are helmed by owners who support right-wing politics.

Listed are Chick-Fil-A, Carl's Jr., Domino's Pizza, White Castle, and Waffle House

Peacemaker Award Winners

June 23, 2015 by Ralph McGrew

Kristen Igo of Chenango Valley High School and Melissa Boekker of Chenango Forks High School won the fourth annual Stu Naismith Memorial Peacemaker Awards. The two $350 scholarships were given on June 8 and 12, jointly by the Stu Naismith Chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Binghamton Community Friends Meeting (Quaker), in memory of Stuart Naismith (1927-2011), a World War II veteran and tireless campaigner for peace, who taught in both school districts.

Peacemaker Award Winners


June 17, 2015 by imc-editor

Broome-Tioga NAACP, Urban League of Broome County, and Broome County YWCA call for passage of the Police Modernization law

June 17, 2015 – Binghamton, NY – Tonight at the Binghamton City Council Business meeting representatives from the Broome Tioga NAACP, the Urban League of Broome County and the Broome County YWCA will read statements during the public comment session endorsing the Police Modernization Law currently being discussed in the Municipal and Public Affairs Committee.

The legislation, drafted by the Binghamton Human Rights Commission, which has been in committee since February, has four objectives: (1) to affirm that racial profiling by law enforcement is illegal in the City of Binghamton; (2) mandate the tracking, analysis and reporting of all traffic and pedestrian stops by the police; (3) mandate comprehensive annual in-service cultural competency, implicit bias, and procedural justice training of local law enforcement; and (4) require the police administration to develop and present a plan to diversify the department.  Once moved to the floor, a series of public hearings will be scheduled.

The right of the Binghamton City Council to pass legislation related to police conduct, such as the Police Modernization Law, is supported by New York State law.  This was confirmed by the New York Civil Liberties Union in a conversation with the Binghamton Human Rights Commission.  They stated “the home rule provision of the New York State Constitution confers broad police power on local governments to legislate to address local affairs and government issues as long as it does not conflict with the Constitution or a state law” and pointed to New York City’s Community Safety Act (a law banning racial profiling by the NYPD) as a precedent.  The Community Safety Act, which was signed into law in January 2014, goes beyond the reforms being proposed by the Police Modernization Law and was endorsed by over 100 human services and civil rights organizations (many of them state-wide and national).

Binghamton City Council’s business meeting starts at 6:30pm in City Council Chambers at Binghamton City Hall.  

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Other Resources

Several organizations have issued statements or guidelines for drafting and passage of laws related to bias-based policing and racial profiling.  For example:

The NAACP and Amnesty International have suggested that such a law should include:

1.    A comprehensive effective ban on racial profiling.
2.    Bans on pre-textual stops (those instances in which police use minor/common traffic violations to inquire about drugs, guns, or other breaches of the law) of pedestrians and motorists.
3.    Criminalizes violations of the racial profiling ban and specify penalties for officers who repeatedly engage in racial profiling.
4.    Mandatory data collection for all stops and all searches (traffic and pedestrian)
5.    Data analysis and publication of the data collected to complaints of racial profiling and regularly publish results of racial profiling investigations.
6.    An independent commission to review and respond to complaints of racial profiling and regularly publish results of racial profiling investigations.
7.    Allows for individuals to seek court orders to stop individual departments from continuing to engage in racial profiling.
8.    Provide funds for periodically retraining officers and installing in-car video cameras for monitoring traffic stops.

The National Urban League has called for:

1.    Widespread use of body cameras and dashboard cameras
2.    Broken windows reform and implementation of 21st century community policing model
3.     Review and revision of police use of deadly force policies
4.     Comprehensive retraining of all police officers
5.    Comprehensive review and strengthening of police hiring standards
6.    Appointment of special prosecutors to investigate police misconduct
7.    Mandatory, uniform FBI reporting and audit of lethal force incidents involving all law enforcement
8.    Creation and audit of national citizen database of complaints against police
9.    Adoption of national police accreditation system for mandatory use by law enforcement to be eligible for federal funds
10.    National comprehensive anti-racial profiling law

 “A diverse law enforcement agency can better develop relationships with the community it serves, promote trust in the fairness of law enforcement, and facilitate effective policing by encouraging citizen support and cooperation. Law enforcement agencies should seek to hire a diverse workforce.”
-U.S. Department of Justice

“Ban racial profiling by the police… [and] mandate that all police departments collect and report data on a quarterly basis on police shootings, and other deaths in custody, as well as stops, frisks, searches, citations, arrests, and uses of force.”

- American Civil Liberties Union

 “The NBPA also support legislation that holds the governmental entity, its police department and offending officers liable for violating the civil rights of our citizenry. The NBPA also supports mandated and uniform data collection and analysis to research and abate adverse impact; educate the police and the public and to develop policy and procedures designed to correct and discipline deviance.”

-National Black Police Association

A Safe & Sexy Art Show: Calling all Artists!

June 16, 2015 by pegjohnston

Family Planning of South Central New York is looking for pieces of art, sculpture, or wearable fashion made with condoms or themed broadly around reproductive health for our upcoming 75th Anniversary Celebration Art Show and fundraiser.  Family Planning will provide expired condoms if you choose to use them in your work of art.  Don’t miss this fun opportunity to support your local reproductive health care and education nonprofit.  All proceeds from a silent auction of donated artwork will go to our programs that provide health care and education to women, men, and teens in need.

Application, Sketch and Concept due Aug. 15th.

75th Anniversary Celebration and Art Show October, 1st. For complete details and application packet, please email Mary Robinson at

Yoga at Metro Center Plaza

June 15, 2015 by pegjohnston

Come and take part in one of the many Yoga celebrations happening all over the globe in recognition of International Yoga Day! Join us for a day of Yoga and community in the heart of Downtown Binghamton! We are excited for the opportunity to bring people together in a way that allows them to interact with the downtown landscape. All classes will be held outside on the walk-able portion of the courtyard in front of the Metro Center (between Sip of Seattle and Visions Credit Union). All events are FREE to the public and we encourage everyone to participate. Come to as little or as much of the event as you like. Kids and families are welcome! Please email for more information.

Schedule of Events -

12:00PM: Opening Remarks

12:30PM: Bikram Yoga Class (taught by Roxanne Janecki). Come take class with the 2015 USA Yoga Bronze Medal Champion! Bikram Yoga is a sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises designed to heal the body and leave you feeling rejuvenated! Move your spine, sweat, make friends, and feel good. Accessible to practitioners of all ages, abilities, and experience. Bring a Yoga mat and sunscreen!

2:30PM: Vinyasa Yoga Class (taught by Bryce Farrell). Join us for a 75 minute sequence that brings together an awareness of both the breath and body. Explore a variety of postures that will encourage finding strength and length and improve physical and mental stamina. This class is suitable for beginners and advanced yogis alike. Expect to leave feeling focused and refreshed!

Binghamton Food Conspiracy: Have you Heard of It?

June 14, 2015 by imc-editor

Have you heard of the Binghamton Food Conspiracy?  Wholeshare?

If you appreciate good organic food and products, you should!  The Binghamton Food Conspiracy is a local buying group that has access to 4 large distributors. According to their website, "This group is coordinated by a small group of locals who believe in access to fresh local / organic foods. This is mostly a volunteer effort, with the coordinators receiving a small group charge for helping out. " Many items are large or in bulk, but the group offers "splits" where several members can share an order. Pickups are on Friday from 4:30-6:30pm when there is an order placed. The site is organized by products, by vendors, and is easy to search.  To sign up go to

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