ICE detainees in Boston go on hunger strike
Dozens of people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are on hunger strike inside a Boston jail this week, activist groups say. The hunger strike, which began last Friday, is a protest against inhumane conditions inside the jail. The group of strikers are still drinking fluids, though they are refusing set meals. They are challenging both the conditions in the jail and ICE’s authority to detain them indefinitely in the Suffolk County location on suspicion of having come to this country illegally. In previous instances of hunger strikes by ICE detainees, such as one that occurred in El Paso, Texas, prison guards have force fed the hunger strikers. This tactic, however, was condemned by the United Nations, who have recently issued a warning to the United States to desist in using it.
Group at MIT wants celebration for new computing center cancelled due to Blackstone connections and Kissinger invitation
A group of students, faculty and alumni at MIT published an open letter pressing for the cancellation of an opening ceremony for the school’s new Schwarzman Computing Center. Among other things, former Secretary of State and famed war criminal Henry Kissinger is slated to speak at the ceremony. Schwarzman, founder of the investment firm Blackstone, has a net personal worth of over $12 billion and invested $350 million in the initiative. Schwarzman, an advisor to President Donald Trump, has been criticized for his massive spending against an affordable housing bill in California, as well as his personal ties with the Saudi royal family, whom he has supported after they contributed money to Blackstone. Kissinger, invited by the university, is known for his role in toppling the democratically elected leadership of Salvador Allende in Chile and establishing the Pinochet dictatorship. In addition, he prolonged the Vietnam War and orchestrated secret bombings of civilians in Cambodia and Laos. In view of the ethical issues with both Schwarzman and Kissinger, the MIT community members have released a statement saying they feel the school should not celebrate this new building, and are asking students to instead attend an alternate event imagining what an ethical MIT could look like.
Area veterinarians seeing increase in pot ingestion by pets
Veterinarians are saying that more cats and dogs are ending up in emergency rooms after accidentally ingesting marijuana edibles. According to Tufts University small animal hospital vet Liz Rozanski, clinics like hers are often seeing multiple cases per day of animals who have ingested the drug per day (especially on the weekends). A national pet poison hotline has seen a jump in marijuana-related calls over the last six years, skyrocketing to more than 400 percent. Rozanski says that dogs tend to be the most susceptible, as they are non selective about what they eat.
Satanic Temple accuses Boston of discrimination
The Satanic Temple has filed a discrimination complaint against the Boston City Council after being denied the chance to say the opening prayer at the panel’s public meetings. The City Council traditionally only allows ordained clergy to perform the opening prayer, and as the Satanic Temple does not have ordained clergy, their request to say that prayer was denied. The group has a history of going to court over discrimination issues, among other things (they also sued the Netflix show ‘Sabrina’ over its use of a goat-headed deity statue of theirs in late 2018). The Tzßemple, which was founded in 2013, describes itself as a non-theistic, religious organization that sees Satan as “representative of the eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom, rather than a supernatural deity or being,” it said in a statement. “The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.”