Friday, December 26, 2014

#NewsBham - Protest Announcement #BhamDec26 4pm- Walmart on Lakeshore Drive, for #BlackLivesMatter- Bham

Black Lives Matter has announced plans for a protest today at Walmart on Lakeshore Drive, 4pm.  

In a statement earlier this week, Black Lives Matter Birmingham announced their intention to keep the location of the protest secret until 2pm today, citing need for privacy. 

According to the official BLMB Facebook page, the creation of a fake website and Facebook page for Black Lives Matter Birmingham disrupted organization of protests from last week, prompting the need for secrecy. A press release was also issued from an unknown source claiming the protest was called off  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

#NewsBham #BlackLivesMatter - Who was #ShenequeProctor and Why the Hell Am I Just Now Asking?

by Lee Waites

On December 2, 2014, WELD for Birmingham, a local community news source published a story about the death of Sheneque Proctor, an 18 year old Brighton woman who was arrested in early November by the Bessemer Police Department. 

Sheneque was arrested, Saturday night, November 1, and according to officials, found dead in her cell Sunday morning, November 2.

In the story by WELD, Sheneque's aunt, Tracy Rodda, stated that Proctor informed her that she, Sheneque, was being arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. 

Also, according to WELD, their reporter asked to see the arrest report but was denied.       
Bessemer City Attorney Shan Paden said, “I know the case. I know we had a death in the jail. Erring on a conservative side, not to protect the city but to protect the rights of an 18-year-old, the city of Bessemer will not disclose any information.”
In an attempt to confirm this report by WELD I searched the website and found only this: Sheneque Proctor - Obituary

An Internet search provided links to numerous other sources (most of which were actually slightly modified "reprints" of the original WELD story).  

I don't intend to state any conclusions about this story, other than I don't have enough to go on. In fact, I think that's the point. 

The reporter for WELD did an excellent job attempting to shed light on this. And I am confused and bemused that I could find absolutely no mention of it in other local news outlets. 

Following the trail of "shares" "likes" and hashtags I found that the local response and awareness of this story was, in my opinion, disappointing. 

Hopefully this story will continue to spread, and more people will demand some kind of information. As the most capable, well connected, longest running newspaper (whatever that means these days) should be my first source to find some report, other than an obituary, on the death of an inmate with obvious questions so relevant to other news of the day. 

According to her aunt, Sheneque Proctor had problems with asthma. There is absolutely no need for drawing the obvious comparisons to the death of Eric Garner, who was recently killed in a botched arrest in New York City for this story to be newsworthy. Although, at the very least that is reason for some coverage. 

There is plenty of reason for this incident to at least have a small story in the pages of, given the questions surrounding it.  

There has been a petition created to urge further investigation into the death of Sheneque Proctor.

(See Petition Here)
Petition recipients:
State Senator
Quinton Ross
State Representative
Alvin Holmes
State Representative
John Knight
State Representative
Louise Alexander
Terri Sewell


Sheneque Proctor


Sheneque Proctor


@alabamarivers -New map pinpoints over forty sites in Alabama where coal ash threatens waterways

New map pinpoints over forty sites in Alabama where coal ash waste threatens Alabama waterways

Conservation groups urge EPA to enact strict safeguards to protect waterways and communities from  disposal of toxic waste


Just days in advance of the announcement of new national
regulations governing toxic coal ash waste, groups in Alabama are releasing new data depicting the problems and threats facing Alabama’s rivers from this massive stream of industrial waste.

"When you consider Arrowhead landfill in Uniontown, AL, it is clear that Alabama has not taken the problem of coal ash seriously," said Mitch Reid, program director of the Alabama Rivers Alliance. "We need clear guidance and strong enforcement to ensure the protection of public health and the waters of the state."

There are nine coal-burning power plants in Alabama that generate a staggering amount of coal ash waste – 3.2 million tons a year.  This waste contains high levels of toxic chemicals such as mercury, arsenic, selenium, lead and other heavy metals and is typically dumped into  giant sludge lagoons for disposal. Few, if any, of these waste dumps have protective liners that would keep contamination from seeping into surrounding groundwater and nearby streams and rivers.

As documented in the Map of Alabama Drinking Water Supplies Downstream from Coal Ash Impoundments, which depicts data compiled jointly by concerned conservation groups, there are many places in Alabama that face the threat of water being contaminated by coal ash.

The Gadsden Steam Plant's coal ash pond is a prime example. It discharges waste water less than a mile upstream of the Gadsden Water Works drinking water intake for the Greater Gadsden area. Similarly, the Gaston Steam Plant in Wilsonville discharges waste water from its coal ash pond approximately 5 miles upstream of a major drinking water intake for Shelby County Water Services.

“Having such a toxic waste source so close to surface waters truly is a threat to  safe public drinking water supplies,” said Frank Chitwood, the Coosa Riverkeeper.

Despite its documented toxicity,  coal ash waste is currently unregulated at the federal level. That will change on Dec. 19, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled  to unveil  the first-ever federal protocols on how coal ash must be handled and treated.

Because of the high levels of dangerous chemicals in coal-ash waste and the risk of water contamination, conservation groups are urging the EPA to adopt strict guidelines that would treat coal ash as a hazardous waste and require wet surface ponds, where contamination risks are substantial, to be replaced with safer dry storage in lined landfills that are located away from water bodies and adequately monitored to protect against groundwater contamination.

“Alabama is home to at 44 coal ash dumps across the state and most of them sit adjacent to rivers and creeks, a number of which serve as drinking water sources for communities,” stated Ulla Reeves, high risk program director for Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “As the clock counts down the final days for EPA to issue a coal ash rule, we are ever mindful that Alabama is one of the states in the nation that will benefit most from strong national protections.” 

In the Southeast, there is a history of coal ash spilling from impoundments and contaminating our waterways. Nearly six years ago, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash dam failed,  causing the biggest toxic coal ash waste catastrophe in U.S. history, spilling  1.1 billion gallons of sludge into the Emory River. Around the same time, a wet storage coal ash pond spilled approximately 10,000 gallons of coal ash waste into Widows Creek, which feeds into the Tennessee River, near Stevenson, AL.

These spills and the more recent spill of more than  24 million gallons of wastewater into North Carolina’s Dan River in January 2014 show just how  susceptible coal ash lagoons are  to leaks and spills and the immediate threat to  both public health and the environment.

“Storing coal ash waste in unlined waste lagoons that sit right next to rivers makes absolutely no sense,” said Nelson Brooke, the Black Warrior Riverkeeper. “People shouldn’t have to worry about pollutants like lead and arsenic seeping  into streams, rivers, lakes, and aquifers that provide our water.”

Facebook Fight Club: We've Turned into Complete Jackasses

Repost: Sunvarmint Ethereal

Disclaimer: I will not say I've been completely innocent in these matters. I can remember a few times where my first inclination was to jump on the "beat-up the other guy" bandwagon. But I do try to control my negative, snarky side.  

The other day I posted something (Yes, I do that). It happened to be some Sunvarmint stuff. It was genius. Or, well, at least inside the NarCisstaVarmint's head, my narcissistic moment here and there. But that is beside the point. 

The stuff I posted wasn't in any way offensive, at least in no way I could tell. But apparently I had posted something similar very recently, in a group. Oh my! So, breaking it down, I posted some flickering light images on a screen that can be easily avoided, but since social media is all about grasping hold of other people's thoughts I guess this guy couldn't let go of it. He made some snarky little comment about my "advertising outside blogs." 

I need to qualify that I VERY rarely post anything in said group. So it isn't like there was any straw on that camel's back.

As far as "outside blogs" goes, I guess he has a point. But the comment was about "advertising outside blogs." I admit I was unaware that there were "inside" blogs. And further, that we were not supposed to share things on Facebook, or that, perhaps sharing your own original content was offensive, as opposed to sharing someone else's. Ahh! I still don't get it! 

I immediately went into stalker mode. I did it. I clicked on his name to see his profile. I was expecting to see some total ass, posting stuff about how Obama was actually the Anti-Christ, about America love it or leave it, or y'know, the complete opposite of what the polarized aspects of my opinions are. Well, surprise. The guy seemed decent enough. He posted some photography, some links to things I actually liked. He didn't seem all that obnoxious. 

But, here's the deal. It got me curious. So I started to observe the patterns of comments in the Facebook group where I had encountered him. Most people are only active in a few selective groups, or at least that's what I've found to be the case. And this was his group, or at least one of them, where he felt cozy enough to just let it all hang out.

And then I started to notice a certain little pattern. He, and a few other people seemed to comment very regularly in this group. And there were a few gang fights that cropped up. One group of three, four, five or so people, who always seemed to comment on similar posts, would sort of meet each other there, and bolster the others. While an opposing group would coalesce around the same issue. It was quite interesting. The arguments were always very close in nature. And the same people would tag each other and say a basic "hoorah" for their buddies. 

Now this isn't to say that at times I didn't like the positions either of these groups would take (smile), except that the Facebook gang mentality seemed to create a certain ignorant rigidity that almost invariably led to bickering. And it became painful to watch. Especially because I grew up in a small Alabama town, where I had observed many such ignorant conflicts such as, what in my day was called "punks vs hicks." Kids in my school began to divide into little teams and actually had verbal and physical conflicts based on nothing more than people and their inherent, primal need to gang.  

Just a random, happy Sunarmnt
 These Facebook brawls were very similar to those primitive conflicts from high school. It reached the point where these group comment brawls, which were allowed to continue, I assume due to the moderators hopes of philosophically adhering to the concept of freedom of speech, would go on for hundreds of comments and an orgy of clicks and likes and tags.. Until, finally contentious posts would, more often than not, need to be removed and the members of the group would be very unprofessionally rebuked by the moderator. 

Oh my fellow Facebookers, why do we fail to follow the wisdom espoused in meme... "Your obnoxious comments in ALL CAPS have completely changed my mind...said no one ever." Well, admittedly it sounds way better when it looks like Will Farrell is saying it.      

Though anonymity is lessened when a profile and name are available, it seems there is still a sense of security and hubris which comes from sitting behind the keyboard. It's not unlike the pre-road-rage moments, I'm sure, when one driver, safe in his/her box, rudely cuts off another driver, safe in the other box. But then worlds collide when driver two forgot to take their meds and all hell breaks loose. 

It's that ease and false sense of detachment from actual contact that allows people to become so bold. But it never really plays well to our needs as a civil society. We pump up the little balloon full of stress hormones and then eventually it will pop. Somewhere, somehow, it will pop. And I wish I could claim that this was sort of an extremist event, that people were moderately civil for the most part. But we're all rolling around in it. Occasionally some soft little voice will comment "can't we please stop all the fighting?" But that voice is quickly stomped out by some one sided, unconstructive, diplomatically vacuous comment.  

It saddens me really, to see people behaving so rudely and uncaring. But it's becoming more and more prevalent. Perhaps it's my old Southern gentility creeping back through. Perhaps my notions of respect don't mesh with where the world is headed, and I need to just die off and leave it to the rude folks. I hope not. But there are a few things from my Southern heritage that I want to keep intact. Polite manners is one of them.         

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

#NewsBham Crowd Source Sharing - info, news, decide

Use the hashtag #NewsBham to share news, information, opinions, etc to and about the Birmingham area. 

You may use this hashtag in any social media outlet. Our widget will currently only share Twitter hashtags automatically. But we will search daily for this hashtag in other social media.

Underbelly Ham will follow this hashtag, share the information, but not control it. 

This is a free and simple crowd sourcing method. 

Be Free People!

We will host this widget on our blog forever. So you can contribute just with a hashtag.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Video of #BlackLivesMatter- Bham - Interviews with #Protestors

Video from Dec 19 in front of The Summit shopping center in Birmingham Alabama.

Black Lives Matter, Birmingham protest w/ several short interviews. 

#BlackLivesMatter- B'ham Announces Another Protest for Friday - #BhamDec26, Location TBA

On their Facebook page tonight, Black Lives Matter Birmingham announced their intention to proceed with another protest, Friday, December 26th, 4pm.

No location for the protest was given in the announcement, citing need for secrecy.

"We Won't Stop"
Non Violent Protest This Friday
December 26, 2014
''This is Not a Moment, This is a Movement"

Due to the multiple attempts to sabotage our last efforts, the location of this Friday's protest will not be revealed until 2:00pm Friday.

Be Ready to Move Out!

The ONLY OFFICIAL Information from this movement will be through  (BLM - Bham Facebook) or The National Lawyer's Guild

"No Justice, No Peace"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

#BlackLivesMatter- Birmingham Releases Statement on Killing of NYC Police - #‎policelivesmatter‬

The haters, and those whose aim is to separate, will continue to post negative propaganda.


We do not support murdering police! We stand with the families of these officers because THEIR LIVES MATTER!!! 

As we understand, the responsible person killed himself. If that had not been the case, we would have wanted the responsible party charged and prosecuted to the FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW! As should ANYONE who murders should be. 

We will not foolishly attempt to justify these murders by alleging, claiming, or even suggesting police misconduct. Anyone who does such does not speak on our behalf.
Murder is unjustifiable.

‪#‎policelivesmatter‬ "