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“The degree of the racism is insane”: Johann Hari on the ‘war on drugs’

“African Americans are no more likely to buy or sell drugs than any other group, but they make up the overwhelming majority of the people who go to prison for it.” (27:42 minutes)

Johann Hari
16 March 2016
wfd

Johann Hari, journalist and author of “Chasing the Scream”, speaks on video about how he began rethinking drug addiction. He reflects on the hounding of Billie Holiday by the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the heavy toll that the ‘war on drugs’ takes on some groups, and brighter prospects ahead: the shattering of consensus at the United Nations, and the US liberalisation of drug policy. Watch the video and let us know what you think in our comments space, below the line.

This video is published as part of an editorial partnership between openDemocracy and CELS, an Argentine human rights organisation with a broad agenda that includes advocating for drug policies respectful of human rights. The partnership coincides with the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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