Activist, Author Will Potter To Speak At Chattanooga Public Library On Jan. 16

Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Award-winning author, journalist and activist Will Potter will be speaking at the Chattanooga Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 16, addressing the expected introduction of “ag gag” legislation in the upcoming Tennessee General Assembly, associated First Amendment and free speech issues, and the broader trend of criminalizing dissent and how that impacts social justice activism.
 
Mr. Potter’s presentation begins at 6 p.m. and will be on the Fourth Floor at the library.
The event is free and open to the public.
 
Mercy Junction ministry is sponsoring the event in conjunction with Occupy Chattanooga, Animals Vote Tennessee, Move to Amend Chattanooga, Chattanoogans Against Monsanto and Dixie Day Spay.
 
Mr. Potter, based in Washington, D.C., is author of "Green Is The New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege.”
 
During his talk next week, Mr. Potter will follow the history of how animal rights and environmental activists come to be targeted as "eco-terrorists" and labeled as the top domestic terrorist threat by the FBI. He will make the connection between the criminalization of animal rights/environmental activism and the potential threat to corporate profits, and talk about the consequences for those working in the animal rights/environmental movements, and the risks for social justice activists in general.
 
More specifically, Mr. Potter will address “ag gag” legislation, which will likely be re-introduced into the Tennessee General Assembly in 2014.
 
"Ag gag" legislation was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2013, but Gov. Haslam vetoed the bill after the state attorney general warned that the bill was “constitutionally suspect.” The bill’s sponsors, Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville and Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, pledged to re-write the bill and re-introduce it in 2014.
 
"Ag gag" laws attempt to "censor whistleblowers, investigators, and journalists who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms and slaughterhouses," Mr. Potter writes on his blog. "Investigations by groups like the Humane Society, Mercy for Animals, and Compassion Over Killing have exposed shocking animal cruelty and consumer health dangers in the food industry. They have led to the largest meat recall in US history, criminal charges, and international media exposure. Rather than put a stop to these abuses, corporations are trying to criminalize the whistleblowers who expose them."
 
Mr. Potter blogs at www.greenisthenewred.com. His work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones and the Vermont Law Review. He has also testified before Congress.
 
Mr. Potter is also one of the 2014 TED Fellows.
 
This event will be an important overview and discussion for anyone working on issues surrounding animal rights, the environment, food labeling, and social justice in general, as well as anyone concerned about corporate power, free speech restrictions and First Amendment issues. 

Chili, Sweets, Auction, And Raffle Help Whitfield County Employees Raise $1,720 For United Way

The weather was clear and chilly, setting the perfect mood for Whitfield County’s United Way Chili/Soup Cook-Off. The annual event, held on Nov. 14, in the vending area at the Whitfield County Courthouse, raised $572.45 and a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle at the same time netted another $354.50 and $216.50, respectively, for United Way. Coupled with money from a bake sale ... (click for more)

STEM Students Inspire Themes For EPB Holiday Windows

The imagination and talents of Hamilton County STEM School students will be on display when EPB reveals its downtown holiday windows on Thanksgiving eve. This year’s theme, “Holiday Showcase: Bringing it to Life,” was inspired by some friendly competition between four STEM School teams. They combined light arrays and acrylics to tell time-honored holiday stories with a snow man ... (click for more)

Ladaquis D. Southers, 29, Arrested In Connection With Murder Of Terrence Bivens

Ladaquis D. Southers, 29, has been arrested in connection with the homicide of 28-year-old Terrence Lebron Bivens. Southers was arrested in Atlanta by the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Task Force on Friday.  He is awaiting extradition back to Hamilton County.  He will be charged with criminal homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm. The victim ... (click for more)

Grote Hall At UTC To Reopen Tuesday After Sinkhole Is Deemed To Pose No Danger

Grote Hall at UTC will reopen on Tuesday after a thorough inspection determined that a sinkhole posed no danger. The campus building was closed on Monday with all classes cancelled. But classes are back on for Tuesday and employees are to report. Officials said the sinkhole was caused by a broken section of stormwater piping that serves the nearby Holt Hall. It was found ... (click for more)

When Black Friday Comes

So it’s Thanksgiving morning. You stumble out of bed and head to the bathroom to pee. Push the handle and away it goes (where does it go, anyway?) Better head to the kitchen and get the coffee on. While it’s brewing maybe a hot shower – love that gas water heater, I mean, it heats the water, and lots of it. Now time to enjoy a cup o’ joe and some breakfast while catching up with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UVa --Time For Change

The University of Virginia is, by any measure, one of the finest universities in the world. I have long admired it, whether covering dozens of sports events, cavorting with countless friends, or benefitting repeatedly from the surgical skills of the late world-class humanitarian Frank McCue. But today there is a terrible pall over “Mr. Jefferson’s university” – no, make that a ... (click for more)