Sunday, July 20, 2014

Protesters call for peace after man dies while being detained by NYPD.

Protesters call for peace after man dies while being detained by NYPD.

Protesters call for peace after man dies while being detained by NYPD.

Posted: 20 Jul 2014 04:59 AM PDT

Family members, clergy and community leaders called for peace and restraint today after Eric Garner, 43, suffered a fatal heart attack after being detained by the New York Police Department last Thursday. Garner was put in a chokehold and knocked to the ground and handcuffed after allegedly selling untaxed "loosie" single cigarettes in the Tompkinsville neighborhood on Staten Island. It remains unclear why the situation escalated to that level and the officer involved has been place on administrative leave.


Rev. Al Sharpton met with family members at the New Brighton Church before marching to the location of Thursday's incident on Bay Street. Various impassioned speakers addressed a crowd of several hundred in front of the church. They reminded everyone that Garner was loved in the community and was known to be a "gentle giant" who would not have condoned a violent response to his passing.


The NYPD appeared genuinely sympathetic to the marchers, giving everyone wide latitude to voice their frustrations and march on the streets. Protestors chanted "No justice. No peace." At other times they yelled, "I can't breathe!" Videotape evidence appears to show Garner pleading with police after being taken down and saying that he was having difficulty breathing. The father of six had an asthma condition and he reportedly went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital after the altercation.


Sharpton made a few comments to those around him during the march and protest but did not speak publicly. He had addressed the media earlier in the day. He departed after a moment of silence for Garner in front of the store where the altercation took place. Protestors moved on to the 120th Precinct station and took command of the steps where Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, thanked the crowd and described the overwhelming sadness that she was experiencing over her son's death.


New York's highest ranking uniformed officer, Chief Phillip Banks, made an appearance and conferred with those involved in the protest. He stated that everyone felt a sense of loss and sadness over Garner's death and the the overall situation was having an impact on everyone including the police department. No one from the NYPD or the mayor's office addressed the crowd directly.


Speakers renewed their call for justice from the steps of the precinct but implored the community to remain peaceful. Their concern was that a violent reaction would take the focus off of what had happened and that the situation could be misrepresented and manipulated by the media if protestors became unruly. One speaker earlier in the afternoon told people to "raise an eyebrow" at anyone talking about violence. "Attacking the police has never solved anything," she said. "We are going to do this right and demand justice for Eric." The crowd dispersed at 4:30 in the afternoon.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Memorial at the Dutch Embassy in Berlin, Germany

Posted: 20 Jul 2014 03:13 AM PDT

Memorial at the Dutch Embassy in Berlin, Germany

Markku Rainer Peltonen

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Sandcastle Competition

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 06:42 PM PDT

Check out the photos from the Sandcastle competition in Imperial Beach. It was held over the today in Southern California.


Winner image 3 - IB POSSE


Previous Sandcastle CNN iReports

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now


Posted: 19 Jul 2014 02:44 AM PDT

Bread and Butter is a popular fashion trade exhibition at every Fashion Week in Berlin. Politically conscious fashionistas took to the streets of Berlin to present their own "Butt x Better" parody version to demonstrate against the commercial hype behind Fashion Week and especially to underscore the exploitation of poor garment workers in Third World countries where western fashion is produced. Demonstrators used recycled materials to improvise and create costumes and fashion designs which they paraded to the electronic sounds of a mobile disco.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

A lifelong journey

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 08:59 PM PDT

When I learned about my daughter's diagnosis of Down Syndrome, like many parents, I felt overwhelmed. Too many questions started flooding my mind: what is the future going to be like? How will this diagnosis change our family's life? Will my child be able to care for herself when her parents are not around anymore? For a long time, I wished I could "fix" my daughter's condition. It was a pure fantasy since I perfectly knew there is no cure for her condition. Nevertheless, I kept chasing that fantasy for months to relieve my anxiety and deal with the unknown. Raising a child with special needs is a lifelong learning experience that no class or teacher can prepare you for. It forces you to unveil your most inner fears and learn to deal with them every single day. It urges you to constantly challenge your assumptions and encourage others to do the same. It pushes you to the limits of your creativity to address your child's challenges. I have learnt to come to terms with my fears and to let love lay the path of this unique journey. I have come up with new hopes and new dreams. I have developed a new, fresh perspective on the meaning of life and the uniqueness of each human being.

Raising a child with special needs is challenging and rewarding at the same time. Emotionally, I often feel like on a roller coaster: going from the highest peaks of excitement to the lowest dips of discouragement. Helping my daughter meet her milestones is hard at times. It takes time, patience and persistence. But the reward largely exceeds the efforts. The most exciting milestone my daughter has reached so far has been starting to talk. It seemed it would never happen. I cannot describe the joy I felt when I heard her first word. It was like I had been able to enter the Guinness World Book. Nevertheless, I believe that my daughter has taught me much more than I will ever be able to teach her. In today's fast-paced world, where almost everything happens hand over fist, learning to slow down and be patient is hard. Acquiring this skill has been my greatest challenge. My daughter has helped me along the way teaching me to be patient and persistent. But this is not the only skill she has taught me. She has also taught me to take pride in every single small achievement, to not give anything for granted and to be grateful for everything. She has taught me that every life is precious and unique, and that disabilities cannot limit an individual's happiness and willingness to chase his own dreams. Indeed, she is a very happy and cheerful kid. She brings smiles and joy to every life she touches. She has brought so many unexpected, invaluable gifts in my life. The only way I can show my gratitude is to offer her my unconditional love and endless support.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Yellow-Billed Stork in Flight (Kruger National Park, South Africa)

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 08:18 PM PDT

I took these photos of a Yellow-Billed Stork on a trip to Kruger National Park, near Johannesburg, South Africa.


All photos by Lulis Leal

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now


Post a Comment