New York City

Calabria connection broken in NYC-Italy cocaine sting?

Posted on February 11th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

ItalyA 15-count indictment was unsealed Feb. 11 in a Brooklyn federal court, charging seven defendants with narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and firearms offenses based on what an FBI press release calls their participation in a "transnational heroin and cocaine trafficking conspiracy involving the ‘Ndrangheta, one of Italy's most powerful organized crime syndicates." Italy's Polizia di Stato simultaneously announced the arrest of another 17 in the southern province of Reggio di Calabria by troops of the elite Central Anti-Crime Directorate. The coordinated international operation for two years monitored narco-trafficking networks between Latin America, Italy, Canada and the US. The Italian hub of the ring was identified as the port of Gioia Tauro in Reggio di Calabria. 

NYC: police slaying survivors protest return of Bill Bratton

Posted on December 28th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

New York CitySome hundred New Yorkers gathered in the bitter cold Dec. 27 in front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem to protest mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's appointment of Bill Bratton as police commissioner. Nicholas Heyward is leading the effort to remind New York City of Bill Bratton's record the last time he ran the NYPD, from 1994 to 1996. During that time period, an officer of the Housing Police shot and killed Heyward's 13-year-old son, Nicholas Jr, as he held a toy rifle while playing cops-and-robbers in the  stairwell of his apartment building in Brooklyn's Gowanus Houses in September 1994. Said  Heyward: "It was painful for me to hear [de Blasio] chose William Bratton, who was police commissioner when my son was murdered. I cannot accept that he will be police commissioner again... Under William Bratton there was over 30 innocent unarmed people that were killed from 1994 to 1996 in New York City. And Bill Bratton failed to hold any of those officers accountable."

Will New Amsterdam be the new Amsterdam?

Posted on August 14th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

New York cannabisCannabis is a $1.65 billion industry in New York City, according to a report released Aug. 14 by comptroller and mayoral hopeful John Liu, with the potential to become a $1.7 billion industry if it were made legal in the Big Apple. The report is the first official estimate of the city's cannabis market, and the first study to consider the idea of legalization at the municipal level in the nation's biggest city.

Judge rules NYPD 'stop-and-frisk' policy unconstitutional

Posted on August 12th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

New York CityA judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Aug. 12 that the New York Police Department (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policy violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Over the past decade, the city has conducted about 5 million stop-and-frisks, with more than 80% of those targeted Black or Latino. Judge Shira Scheindlin noted: "A lot of people are being frisked or searched on suspicion of having a gun and nobody has a gun. Only 0.14 percent of stops have led to police finding guns. So the point is suspicion turns out to be wrong in most cases." Scheindlin said she was not putting an end to the policy, but would name an independent monitor to help develop reforms to the practice. She also ordered that officers test out body-worn cameras in precincts where most stops occurred. 

Mexican Peace Caravan Occupies Wall Street

Posted on September 10th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

caravanMexican poet and author Javier Sicilia spoke on the steps of New York’s Federal Hall, across Wall Street from the Stock Exchange, in a Sept. 7 rally by the Caravan for Peace With Justice and Dignity that culminated a tour of 27 US cities. About 20 of the caravan's 120 members have lost children, siblings or other relatives to the drug war, which Sicilia denounces as "false," "ignoble," and, above all, "lost." The caravaneros joined with local supporters in New York City to oppose the "war on drugs," and point to Wall Street's role in laundering narco-profits—while low-level traffickers, personal users and just ordinary people caught in the cross-fire pay with their lives and freedom both sides of the US-Mexico border. (World War 4 Report, Sept. 10)

Judge Gustin Reichbach, medical cannabis advocate, dead at 65

Posted on July 18th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

New York CityBrooklyn judge Gustin Reichbach, who won notoriety two months ago when he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times expressing his support for medical marijuana, died July 14 after a nearly three-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. In his May 16 op-ed, he wrote: "My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery... Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep." 

Three books reveal underground press roots of counterculture

Posted on July 4th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Three recent books each provide a prism on the matrix of the American counterculture in the 1960s underground press movement—with a particular focus on the germinal scene on New York's Lower East Side. Following the interlocking characters that passed through such institutions as the East Village Other bi-weekly and affiliated Underground Press Syndicate opens a window on a moment whose influence and significance have never received the recognition that the parallel scene across the continent in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury won.

Steve Ben Israel, NYC counter-culture legend, dead at 74

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Steve Ben Israel, legendary thespian, veteran of the ground-breaking Living Theatre troupe, and pioneer of what he called "performance life" (as opposed to performance art), died June 4 of lung cancer at his home in New York's Greenwich Village. He was 74.

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