Sign in or register
for additional privileges

The Knotted Line

Evan Bissell, Author

You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

1971: The Domestic Specter

1971: Nixon declares War on Drugs. The War is expanded significantly under President Reagan in the 1980's.

2014: #Ayotzinapa - On their way to a protest, 6 teachers are killed and 43 teachers are disappeared by local police in connection with a drug cartel in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. The mass killing is one of the most visible indications of the relationship between the War on Drugs, the drug cartels and the Mexican government. Mexico sees massive protests and demonstrations in response.

Actions for Self-Determination:
  • 1968-1976: A coalition group, led by the Young Lords and including Black Panthers, Think Lincoln, the Republic of New Afrika, Spirit of Logos and the Health Revolutionary Unity Movement organize to transform the South Bronx's Lincoln hospital, which "was dubbed 'the butcher shop'," due to frequent neglect and malpractice deaths as in the botched abortion and death of Carmen Rodriguez. Through two hospital takeovers in 1970, the groups emphasize the need for patient rights and community controlled healthcare while building successful relationships with hospital staff and administration. The groups create a "complaint table" for workers and patients, aid in interpretation and paperwork and establish the Lincoln Detox Program in the hospital auditorium that includes "political education [as] a central part of the therapeutic process..." and acupuncture as a detox alternative to pharmaceutical company produced methadone.  The program is the first detoxification program in the Bronx, leads to an acupuncture training program and was so successful that by 1979 the organizers were asked to create similar programs in eleven other city hospitals.* A new Lincoln hospital opens in 1976 due in part to sustained organizing.*
  • 2011: Tens of thousands of Mexicans march for peace in Mexico City, calling for an end to the drug war and the its violent impact. 
  • 2011: Global Commission on Drug Policy calls the War on Drugs a failure that will continue to fail.
Discussion Questions:
  • What do you think are the intentions of the drug war?
  • Reflect on addiction in your own community. What types of things are people addicted to besides drugs? How does society respond to these addictions?
  • Using the song "Peruvian Cocaine" as a template, chart the flow of different elements of the drug war into your community. How is it similar or different? What does the artist leave out or misrepresent? What had you not thought of that he mentions? Note: To view this video, click 'Remove this header.'
Additional Resources:
Comment on this page

Discussion of "1971: The Domestic Specter"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Timeline, page 28 of 69 Next page on path