NYCHA’s Public Housing Fosters Crime, Poverty and Dreadful Living Conditions

NYCHA’s Public Housing Fosters Crime, Poverty and Dreadful Living Conditions

By Staff Writer Emily Ekshian   GRANT HOUSES, MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS - Is the government truly concerned, or are they simply clustering low income communities together to keep them immobile, and in one space?  The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), has a profound legacy as the country’s first government - sponsored public housing agency. Established in 1935, the 334 housing developments provided by NYCHA include apartment units, houses and shared small building units across New York City’s five boroughs. And the agency’s core mission is to provide decent, safe, and affordable housing primarily for low income New Yorkers, though tenants at the Grant Houses would disagree.   Casually leaning on an NYPD smart car on the collapsed curbside area facing 50 La Salle St, Officer Kang guards the Grant Public housing apartment park, where a shooting occurred down the street just about a week ago. “We’re close to the bottom here,” he says. “Bad living conditions, it tends to get crowded often, and most people are...
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The Rittenhouse Verdict Explained

The Rittenhouse Verdict Explained

By Staff Writer Susanne Prochazka On November 19th, 2021, a jury returned from 27 hours of deliberation and declared 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges he faced after fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during a 2020 night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum (36) an unarmed man who had chased Rittenhouse, and Anthony Huber (26), a demonstrator who had struck him with a skateboard and then lunged for his rifle, and severely wounded a third, Gaige Grosskreutz (now 28) a demonstrator and paramedic who was armed with a Glock pistol. Prosecutors had charged Rittenhouse with five felonies: first degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon; first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon; first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon; first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon; and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. A sixth charge, possession of a dangerous weapon by a...
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Deaf Gain: From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to New York Public Schools

Deaf Gain: From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to New York Public Schools

By Carina Goebelbecker, staff writer  Marvel made history by debuting its first Deaf Superhero, Makkari, into its cinematic universe in the movie Eternals. Makkari, played by Deaf Brooklynite Lauren Ridloff, is a character who has super strength and speed. Representation in cinema is incredibly important, for it can lead to the empowerment and agency of the represented communities and their culture. The representation of American Sign Language (ASL) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe should extend to institutions that serve Deaf people, such as public schools. Federal funding should be allocated towards funding for ASL as second language classes in public schools. ASL is referred to as “the third most-used non-English language in the U.S.”, yet ASL classes are extremely difficult to come across in public schools. According to Newsweek, despite the fact that one million people use ASL as their primary language, “98% of Deaf people do not receive education in sign language, 72% of families do not sign with their Deaf children, and 70% of...
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#CUonStrike: A Discussion with the Student Workers of Columbia Bargaining Committee

#CUonStrike: A Discussion with the Student Workers of Columbia Bargaining Committee

By Noah Smith, RightsViews Co-Editor and a graduate student in the human rights MA program. The opinions expressed in this article are Noah’s own and are not representative of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) or Columbia University.       As of November 3, 2021, the Student Workers (SWC-UAW Local 2110) of Columbia University went on an indefinite strike, prolonged by the unwillingness of Columbia University’s administration to offer a fair contract to student workers. With the end of the John Deere strike earlier this week, the Columbia student workers strike is now the largest strike action in the country. The SWC-UAW Local 2110 has been legally recognized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) since 2017, and there are over 3,000 members in the unit, making it one of the largest student worker unions in the country.  Columbia’s student workers are demanding a fair contract that includes a living wage, better healthcare, union recognition for all student workers, and protections from...
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The Direct Challenge to Roe v. Wade Coming before the Conservative Supreme Court

The Direct Challenge to Roe v. Wade Coming before the Conservative Supreme Court

By: Susanne Prochazka,  RightsViews staff writer.   While the contentious Texas 6-week abortion ban, S.B.6, has caught the national spotlight, on December 1st, 2021 the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of a pre-viability abortion prohibition for the first time since 1973’s seminal ruling in Roe v. Wade. In this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court will be hearing the state of Mississippi’s appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down a Mississippi law banning abortions following 15 weeks of pregnancy. Since 2010, over 300 laws limiting the right to abortion have been enacted by various state legislatures. Many of these laws remain on the books, even where legal challenges have delayed or halted implementation of the laws going into effect. Twelve states have passed restrictions regarding “admitting privileges” laws, laws that require any doctor who performs abortions to hold active admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, similar to laws overturned in Texas and Louisiana. In 2019 and...
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Extraterritorial Corporate Accountability for Transnational Human Rights Violations: SCOTUS Ruling in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe et al

Extraterritorial Corporate Accountability for Transnational Human Rights Violations: SCOTUS Ruling in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe et al

By guest contributors, Priya Garg* and Krati Gupta**   Consequent to an arduous legal battle spanning over more than fifteen years, the Supreme Court of the United States of America (“SCOTUS/Supreme Court”) on June 17, 2021, reversed the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe et al. (together with Cargill, Inc. v. Doe) (“Nestle”) that allowed the respondents, a group of Mali citizens to implicate U.S.-based multinational food corporations, Nestle USA and Cargill for child slavery allegations under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”).  Enacted as a part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, the ATS confers jurisdiction upon the federal courts of U.S. to hear lawsuits filed by non-U.S. citizens for tortious violations of customary international law or a treaty of the United States. The claimants in Nestle were a group of Malian citizens who brought about claims under the ATS that they were trafficked to the Ivory Coast and tortured to work as child slaves...
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Catastrophe in Colombia: Examining the Police Brutality in Cali

Catastrophe in Colombia: Examining the Police Brutality in Cali

By guest contributors Dhanshitha Ravi* and Rishabh Guha** “...because here it’s easier to rain bullets than put food on tables.” - A Colombian protestor INTRODUCTION In April of 2021, Colombian conservative President Ivan Duque Marquez introduced tax reforms to bridge the fiscal deficit exacerbated by the pandemic which sparked the Paro Nacional 28A protests fueled by rampant corruption and inequality in healthcare across the country, the epicenter of which is traced to Cali. The President, an anathema to the netizens, deployed military personnel, the infamous mobile anti-riot squad (ESMAD) and labelled the peaceful protestors as 'terrorists.' Instances of police brutality were recorded leading to deaths, disappearances, and injuries using unrestrained force - violating human rights, contravening the Colombian Constitution and a multitude of international human rights conventions. BACKGROUND Firstly, in Operation Siloe, the guards used venom-system grenade launchers to fire directly into a candlelight vigil. The Popayan Court had previously ordered that such launchers firing non-lethal armaments like teargas must not be fired directly into...
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Examining the Legal Implications and Ramifications of the New Bounty-Hunting Texas Abortion Law

Examining the Legal Implications and Ramifications of the New Bounty-Hunting Texas Abortion Law

By guest contributor Astha Bhattacharya*   Despite a new era of pro-choice feminism overtaking the globe, Texas has passed Senate Bill No. 8, instituting one of the world's most stringent abortion bans. The bill, dubbed the "fetal heartbeat bill," outlaws all abortions after the "first detectable heartbeat." In this piece, I'll take a two-pronged approach to the legislation. First, I'll go over the scientific and medical challenges that the law presents. Then I'll show how the law infringes on women and their globally recognized human and reproductive rights, primarily targeting certain groups of women. SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE Science can't say with certainty when an embryo becomes a "human being." Researchers have recognized up to five distinct developmental stages, any of which could be a viable starting place for human life. The fourth step, which is viability, is clearly ascertainable. The point at which a fetus can successfully survive outside of the uterus with medical assistance is known as viability. This is the stage that the...
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The U.S.-EU Summit: Next Steps for Human Rights

The U.S.-EU Summit: Next Steps for Human Rights

By Ali Cain, RightsViews staff writer. President Biden’s summit with European leaders on June 15, 2021, was an important step in rebuilding the United States-European alliance. Contrary to former President Trump’s belief that the European Union (EU) is a ‘foe,’ Europe remains one of the United States most important allies, especially in promoting human rights and democratization. Biden’s statement that “Europe is our natural partner…we are committed to the same democratic norms and institutions, and they are increasingly under attack” summarizes why the U.S. and Europe must persist in using their shared values as a platform for cooperation. Despite the summit’s optimism, many challenges lie ahead in a renewed transatlantic relationship, especially in promoting human rights.  The COVID-19 pandemic remains the most pressing issue for all countries. However, geopolitical concerns present the largest obstacle to an effective transatlantic response to human rights abuses. The U.S. and EU face a combative China that utilizes investments, technology, and trade as successful foreign policy carrots...
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In a Win For Trans Rights, Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal Challenging Landmark Ruling

In a Win For Trans Rights, Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal Challenging Landmark Ruling

By Susy Prochazka, RightsViews staff writer.  On the 52nd anniversary of the start of the Stonewall uprising, advocates of LGBTQ rights scored a major victory when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal challenging a landmark trans rights ruling. On Monday, June 28th, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal to a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that required a Virginia public high school to let a transgender student use the bathroom corresponding with his gender identity. The Supreme Court’s decision represents a major victory for trans rights advocates amidst the flurry of anti-trans policies targeting trans youth that have emerged across the U.S. this past year.  This case began in 2015 when Gavin Grimm, a then-16 year old transgender high school student, sued his public high school over a policy that prevented him from using the boys restroom. Beginning in his freshman year in high school, Grimm identified as male and started taking hormones. But...
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