What to Read This Weekend

Reading fuels resistance.

Reading fuels resistance. So, if you are looking to put some fuel in your tank this weekend, here are some articles that I found alarming, clarifying, and helpful this week.

  • The Southern Arrest Crisis by Zane McNeill: “Almost 80 percent of all pregnancy-related arrests occurred in just five southern states (Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Mississippi), with Alabama leading the charge in pregnancy-related criminalization. Alabama, which accounts for nearly half of all pregnancy criminalization cases in the report, also has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the country.”
  • Debt, Jail, and Car Culture by Jack McCordick: “‘The story of modern American criminal justice is also in large part a story of the car,’ sociologist Spencer Headworth announces in his new book, Rules of the Road. That story begins in the early twentieth century, when the rise of the automobile wreaked havoc in American cities.”
  • Todo Para Todos by Nisha Atalie, Gerardo Marciano, Rachel Cohen “The City of Chicago yesterday announced a $29 million contract with a company known as ‘Canada’s Blackwater’ to run tent camps for newly arrived asylum seekers. Meanwhile, a prominent and effective alternative based in dignity and care had to shut down for lack of city support. This is their story.”
  • Medicaid Unwinding by Mike Ludwig: “After the uninsured rate fell to an all-time low of 8 percent in 2022, nearly 6.8 million people have lost their Medicaid health coverage since the so-called unwinding of federal pandemic protections began earlier this year. Observers say it’s the largest simultaneous loss of health coverage in United States history, with impacts threatening to reverberate through the already struggling health care system for years.”
  • Abortion Funds Running Dry by Carter Sherman: “The Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund isn’t the only abortion fund that’s had [temporarily] to turn its lights off recently. In mid-June, just three days before the anniversary of Roe’s overturning, Indigenous Women Rising announced that its abortion fund had hit its monthly budget and would cease operations until July. The Mountain Access Brigade, which serves people in Appalachia, closed its support hotline for 10 days in July to save money. By mid-July, the Utah Abortion Fund announced that it had already exceeded its monthly budget and would close until late August.
  • Confessions of a Viral AI Writer by Vauhini Vara: “Some research even suggests that if later AI models are trained using AI-produced text—which would be hard to avoid—the sameness of the material could trigger a scenario called model collapse, in which AI loses its grasp on how real human language functions and is no longer able to form coherent sentences. One wonders whether, at that point, humans will still have the ability themselves.”
  • RICO and the Struggle by Dan Berger: “When it comes to the left, the state uses RICO to criminalize radicals as thieves and separate them from a broader base of support. Whatever the outcome, the use of RICO is damaging. Already, 42 of the 61 Stop Cop City activists facing RICO charges have had their lives upended by ‘domestic terrorism’ charges. Ranging in age from 19 to 49, the accused have lost jobs, faced housing insecurity, been prevented from attending school, and experienced mental distress.”

If you’re looking for something to listen to this weekend, be sure to get caught up on Movement Memos. Our most recent episode — a conversation with author Patty Krawec about her book Becoming Kin — is very dear to my heart and has received as much praise as anything we’ve put out this year.

If you’re looking for a book to read, I highly recommend checking out Becoming Kin by Patty Krawec, The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation by Cory Doctorow, and The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World by Antony Loewenstein.

Have a great weekend!