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Thursday Watercooler

 

A group of wild boars of various sizes

“And we glow in the dark!”

Tonight, the Firedoglake Watercooler is in solidarity with Emma Sulkowicz and her protest / final art project “Carry That Weight.”

For her visual arts senior thesis, Emma Sulkowicz, CC ’15, will carry a dorm room mattress with her everywhere that she goes for as long as she and her alleged rapist go to the same school.

Sulkowicz—who has been active in protesting Columbia’s sexual assault policy and who filed a police report against her alleged rapist in May—said the performance art piece, titled ‘Mattress Performance’ or ‘Carry That Weight,’ contains elements of protest.

NYMag is one of several outlets to cover Sulkowicz’s protest.

Emma Sulkowicz says she was raped in her own dorm bed by a classmate on the first day of her sophomore year of college. Since then, a substantial amount of her time at Columbia University has been spent trying to convince college administrators, police, and even friends that what happened to her really happened, that it was rape, and that her rapist deserves to be punished for what he did.

Sulkowicz is one of 23 students who are part of a federal Title IX complaint filed against Columbia in April for mishandling sexual-assault cases. Though she and two other students reported that the same student had assaulted them, all of their claims were swept under the rug, and the male student was not expelled from campus.

They also interviewed her about the project.

The Telegraph reports that much of Germany’s wild boar population is radioactive, a side effect of lingering Chernobyl radiation.

Wild boars still roam the forests of Germany, where they are hunted for their meat, which is sold as a delicacy.

But in recent tests by the state government of Saxony, more than one in three boars were found to give off such high levels of radiation that they are unfit for human consumption.

Outside the hunting community, wild boar are seen as a menace by much of Germany society. Autobahns have to be closed when boar wander onto them, they sometimes enter towns and, in a famous case in 2010, a pack attacked a man in a wheelchair in Berlin. But radioactive wild boars stir even darker fears.

They are believed to be a legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, when a reactor at a nuclear power plant in then Soviet-ruled Ukraine exploded, releasing a massive quantity of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

Even though Saxony lies some 700 miles from Chernobyl, wind and rain carried the radioactivity across western Europe, and soil contamination was found even further away, in France.

Wild boar are thought to be particularly affected because they root through the soil for food, and feed on mushrooms and underground truffles that store radiation. Many mushrooms from the affected areas are also believed to be unfit for human consumption.

Since 2012, it has been compulsory for hunters to have wild boar they kill in Saxony tested for radiation. Carcasses that exceed the safe limit of 600 becquerels per kg have to be destroyed. In a single year, 297 out of 752 boar tested in Saxony have been over the limit, and there have been cases in Germany of boar testing dozens of times over the limit.

Bonus: Mo Costandi offers “The Secret History of Psychedelic Psychiatry.”

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Photo by jhecking released under a Creative Commons license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and Occupy.com.

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