Right Wing Donors Fund Recall Of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin
Two years ago, attorney Chesa Boudin was elected by the people of San Francisco to reform the criminal justice system in their city. He was specifically chosen to begin reversing the mass incarceration which has been happening since the 1970s. This mass incarceration was a reaction by right-wing forces to the Civil Rights movement. By the time Chesa Boudin was elected, 2.3 million US citizens were behind bars across the country and another 6 million were on probation or parole. The United States has the highest per capita number of people incarcerated and under governmental supervision than any country in the world.
Chesa promised to begin to reverse this outrage. As an opponent of mass incarceration, his campaign emphasized that 75% of the people arrested in San Francisco are either addicted to drugs or mentally ill or both. He developed diversion programs. He got people into drug rehabilitation and/or psychiatric counseling. He emphasized caring not only for those arrested for crimes but especially for their victims.
He sought to and succeeded in making San Francisco a safer city. Now, after two years of Chesas service, crime in San Francisco has largely decreased. As Chesa promised, his office has prosecuted police for misconduct and corporate criminals for white-collar crimes.
Right-wing big money forces from outside San Francisco are attempting to recall Chesa Boudin. The vote will take place on June 7 and early voting has already begun. Rich people who dont even live in San Francisco have played a big role in the campaign. The right-wing strategy for the recall is the use of fear: Fear of change. Fear of crime. Fear of minorities. Fear of unsheltered people living in the streets.
Chesa grew up while both of his parents, David Gilbert and Kathy Boudin (who died on May 1st), were in prison serving long terms. He was raised by friends of his parents, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, two professors who adopted him and welcomed him into their blended family. As a young boy, he would fly alone to visit his parents and go through the prison metal detector to have a few hours with them in the visiting room. Chesa is one of a number of progressive DAs in the United States. The right understands that toppling him is critical in their effort to stop and roll back the movement for criminal justice reform.
Guest – District Attorney Chesa Boudin was sworn in as San Francisco District Attorney in January 2020. He’s a Rhodes Scholar who graduated from Yale Law School. After obtaining his law degree, he worked as a law clerk to the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and later for the Honorable Charles Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Alternative Media Under Censorship And Oppression
PayPal, YouTube, and Facebook are quashing non-main stream reporting and opinion about the war in Ukraine. Alternative media is in danger of even more extensive suppression. Archival videos of Chris Hedges RT show On Contact were removed from YouTube after RT was banned. This included two interviews Hedges did with cohost of Law And Disorder Radio Michael Smith, another covered Law And Disorder Radio founder Michael Ratner’s memoir. Consortium News, founded by veteran journalist Robert Parry in 1995 and currently run by Joe Lauria, was banned by PayPal in May. This was also done to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks years ago after they revealed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Consortium News apparently offended the big tech company, possibly with US government connivance, by being critical of US policy in Ukraine. PayPal will not reveal its reasons for the ban. Specifically, Consortium News wrote about NATOs eastward expansion as well as the US role in the violence in the 2014 Maidan Square overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine and replacing it with one more friendly to US interests.
According to Lauria, Consortium News has about 10,000 listeners a day. Sometimes this spikes to 40,000. Their PayPal account had allowed listeners to click on a support button and thus conveniently give money to the organization. PayPal recently informed Joe Lauria that Consortium News has been permanently banned. It would not discuss why.
Are we facing a dystopian future of big tech and government suppression of alternative journalism? Journalist Matt Taibbi has written that going after cash is a big jump from simply deleting speech, with a much bigger chilling effect. This, he added, is especially true for the alternative media world, where money has been notoriously tight.
Guest – Joe Lauria, Consortium News editor-in-chief. He is a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for The Sunday Times of London and began his professional work as a 19-year-old stringer for The New York Times.