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Citizen Revolt: December 31 

Decriminalizing Drugs, Emancipation Day Ritual, How Women Won the Vote, Year in Review

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Decriminalizing Drugs
On Nov. 3, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize all drug. Does this sound radical? It actually could be a solution to an otherwise insoluble problem. It's well known that the "war on drugs" has been a dismal failure. Criminologists find that sanctions aren't the best deterrents to drug use, and the money spent on enforcement could be put to better use. Of course, criminalization effects people of color disproportionately. This Free Thought Forum offers a Public Debate: Should All Drug Use Be Decriminalized? followed by a public discussion on the pros and cons of decriminalization, which has taken place in many European countries. Virtual, Sunday, Jan, 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m., free. http://bit.ly/3hbRoUg

Emancipation Day Ritual
You might not know it from all the racism and voter suppression in the country, but it has been nearly 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on Jan. 1, 1863. Also called Freedom's Eve, many African American churches and other Christian churches celebrate with a service to remember the freed slaves in the Confederate states during the American Civil War. You can experience the ritual and hear reflections from Pastor Matthew Southall Brown Sr. and National Book Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes in the documentary screening Watch Night: An Extended Public Service Announcement. Virtual, Thursday, Dec. 31, 10 a.m., free. http://bit.ly/3rCbrQC

How Women Won the Vote
Experience the tactics of the suffragists as they struggled to win the right to vote. This live event begins in the 1840s, tracing the roots of the women's rights movement and the ultimate decision to pursue voting rights. Large-scale parades, picketing at the White House and the risks taken will be highlighted in How Women Won the Vote, a presentation from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. "The story culminates with the ratification of the 19th Amendment where you will be able to view Pennsylvania's own copy of the amendment and trace its impact, including the push for equal rights that followed ratification in 1920," organizers say. If you are not a member of the League of Women Voters, please email jrblwv@gmail.com for the link. Virtual, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, 1 p.m., free. http://bit.ly/3piKhMy

Year in Review
Hard to believe, but 2020 will soon be in the rearview mirror. Watch this Hinckley Report with Damon Cann, Utah State University professor of political science and North Logan City mayor; the Deseret News' Doug Wilks; and political commentator Michelle Quist as they look back on the effects of COVID-19 and the first round of vaccines. They'll talk about how the Electoral College played out in Utah and around the country, and the Biden transition in Year in Review 2020. Virtual, any time. http://bit.ly/3nPyUeD

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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