Open letter from U.S. legal academics to DHS on the release of immigrant detainees

[Priya Gupta] Wednesday, April 15, 2020

This is an unprecedented time in our nation’s history, filled with uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. But in the time of a crisis, our response to those at particularly high risk must be with compassion and not apathy. The Government cannot act with a callous disregard for the safety of our fellow human beings.

– Judge Hatter, District Court Judge in California

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Necessity; Or: The Tyranny of Goals

[Alexander Somek] Tuesday, April 14, 2020

1.

Two days ago, I watched a documentary on how China and South Korea have dealt quite effectively with the Corona Crisis. Seeing what has happened in these societies, one realizes that the imaginary of dystopian films no longer remains fictional. The whereabouts of people suspected to be carriers of the virus is monitored via their smartphones. The police immediately rush out to check private residences if the surveillance system indicates that a telephone might be used outside. Disinfection in special cabins is mandatory before entering buildings. Upon entering, sensors are checking the body temperature. If the temperature is raised, people are taken away for testing. The few people who are permitted to move around encounter medical personnel in protective gear that take every earthly appearance from their wearers. They look like astronauts or aliens.

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Agency

[Simon Archer] Monday, 13 April 2020

Statistics.

It is Easter Sunday in Toronto; in our COVID timeline, we’re about four weeks into the “lockdown”. The last time I posted was April 1, about two weeks ago. The experience of time has slowed down considerably as the lockdown conditions continue, now into week five.

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Corona’s Distinctions – Numbers, Echo Chambers and Geographies

[Peer Zumbansen] Saturday/Sunday 11-12 April 2020

Understanding.

Maybe it begins with numbers. But, which? Which are relevant, important, more so than others? And what is one to do with them? Numbers don’t lie.

Not an hour, not a minute passes without more unsettling news, each time again from yet another corner of the world. Each time more eye opening and more devastating. The numbers are striking as they continue to ceaselessly and frantically add on and atop previous numbers before being chased away by yet newer, more recent numbers, all together moving as to a metronome on hyper drive. The numbers are overwhelming and unbearable. But, because we see them as signifiers, as indicators, as pointers, as truths, we try to slow them down, process them, unpack them. As we hear and read the numbers, we hope to be able to hold on to them in an effort to make sense of them and of what they stand for. But, how shall we retain them in an effective, let alone doable way in these accelerated, all-and-everything derailing moments of exploding information?

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Movement building

[Roxanne Dubois] Saturday, April 11, 2020

Reflections on the parallels of physical training and the required practice, endurance and effort needed to build a better world.

I am not one of those people who enjoys running. I get why some love the activity; it’s freeing, accessible and mobile. I just hate it.

I am running because of the pandemic. Because the gyms and pools are closed and because I live near a park. I am running because it is spring and because I have to do something. I am running with plenty of distance from other walkers, runners or cyclists – I mean a good 10 metres.

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Quarantine-Bodies: An Auto-Psychogeography of Law

[Joshua Shaw] Friday, April 10, 2020

After twenty-eight days in isolation, I have concluded my anti-depressants have stopped working. It seems obvious to me now as I pace my apartment, flitting between couch, armchair, bed and, even more briefly, my desk, searching desperately for a place that can conjure a sense of determination, an excitable rush that characterised my experience of Toronto before quarantine. Now I cannot reliably distinguish between my movements and rest, abbreviated and laid atop each other by the smallness of the apartment—a smallness becoming one with my body—leaving me unsure of whether I am sleeping-while-awake or waking-while-asleep.

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