Perspectives on social justice and change


By Daniel Jabbour

@bitgangsta / [email protected]

## Who is this guy anyway? * Founded the [Psychedelic Society of San Francisco](http://PsychedelicSF.org) [@PsychedelicSF](http://twitter.com/PsychedelicSF) to encourage honest open education about entheogens * Started a "Students for Sensible Drug Policy" ([@SSDP](http://twitter.com/ssdp)) chapter in college, served as a state director * Engaged in lobbying at the state and national level * Worked with Drug Policy Alliance, NORML, SAFER
* Been coding since grammar school * Former black-hat (and got suspended from middle and high school for it) * Learned I really like building things more than breaking them down * Started my first company out of High School, [iWebPress](http://iwebpress.com)

Presently, I Hack the Future (@KidsHtF)

... and I also started a company called Amoeba

@AmoebaSoft

## About SSDP * Largest grass-roots organization working to find alternatives to the failed “War on Drugs” * We empower young people to come up with alternatives to punitive drug war policies * Focus on policies that affect students
## US SSDP Chapters
## International Chapters * Canada * Mexico * Columbia * United Kingdom * Poland * Nigeria
## Drugs? Tech? What's the point? * The government is ill-equipped and slow to legislate on social justice issues * Whether we're talking about drugs, the DMCA, or the idea of [legislating 3d printers](http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/18/like-it-or-not-i-think-3d-printing-is-about-to-get-legislated/) * The government cannot stop the distribution of material it makes illegal through legislation, and making up new crimes only creates new criminals
## Why we fight: SSDP * Drug war is a war on youth * Over 50% of marijuana arrests in this country are people under 29 years old * HEA takes away financial aid for students with drug convictions in college * Office of national drug control policy spent more than $1.5 billion on its media campaign since 1998 * Those ads aren't just a waste of money: in 2006 a government study showed the ads weren't just ineffective but actually increased drug use in some populations. Response? Bury the research
## Empowerment * Seeing injustices every day, in drug policy or tech, be it Aaron, or [Weev](http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/21/ipad-hack-statement-of-responsibility/), or the kid we've never heard of, pisses me off and empowers me to seek change * When I was younger and living on the east coast, my first taste of activism was around [DeCSS](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCSS). Jon was lucky he was a minor at the time * Ilya, founder of [Diaspora*](http://diasporaproject.org/) died last year because of the weight of his quest... to slay the dragons
# Ilya Zhitomirskiy * I met Ilya when I first moved to SF and he happened to live in my apt building * His first question: "What are you passionate about?" * He, much like Aaron, much like many of us in this room, want to change the world * For Ilya, that meant slaying the "dragons," the political parties, the banks... * Many their memory live on in each of us, as we shall pick up the sword and slay the dragons in their honor

Importance of the Youth Movement

  • Youth movements promote and enact the most influential, positive, powerful changes in our society
  • No social justice reform movement ever succeeded without a youth movement
  • There’s a reason: training the leaders of tomorrow, who in turn engage their peers
  • SSDP is cross-political: conservatives, liberals, law students, doctors, scientists
  • Empowering students with skills beyond drug policy
## Timeline of a Movement * We all make the mistake of measuring movements in the brevity of our own lives. Movements don't work that way * Consider racial justice. When did that movement begin? The day the first slave was brought to America. * Took more than 150 years before there was an actual abolitionist movement in the mid-19th C
* “The ark of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice, ” said Theodore Parker in 1853 * ... and he went on, "my eyes are not good enough to see the end of that arc, but I know that it’s there" * Four years later, Dred Scott went to Supreme Court * In 1857 the only Supreme Court ruling on slavery - upholds it brutally * Chief Justice Tawny actually said blacks were insubordinate and inferior beings ... and would never have the rights that the white man was bound to respect
* Almost four years later the civil war broke out * In 1865 the 13th amendment was passed, ending slavery * Within 4-5 years “black codes” are passed * Jim Crow laws institutionalized * 100 more years of racial subjugations * And for another 100 years it was the worst system since slavery, and resulted in many deaths in a struggle that didn't seem possible to win
* In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed * 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed * 1968 Fair Housing Act was passed * Knocked out Jim Crow? * Just as Jim Crow had been a successor to slavery, the new creative oppression became the “War on Drugs” * In 1968 only a couple hundred thousand people in prison for all offenses in the US * Today there are over 2.4 million in prison, and we're the jailingest country in the world with 25% of the world's prisoners and only 5% of the world's population.
* That’s 300 years * Better in 1965 than 1865? * Sure. Better today? Of course * But, we aren’t finished yet * Movements are never over, they have victories and they have defeats and they go on longer than your lifetime * You never get to win, you just get to fight
The ark of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.