Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
The Bah-Humbug Story of the Year

Chase Bank Says F-You to Students at Holiday Time

by ANTHONY PAPA

As reported by the New York Times, Chase Bank asked millions of Facebook users to "decide what matters" by casting votes for their favorite organizations. Participation comes with a chance to win $25K and a shot at $1 million. Chase ultimately rigged their own contest in hiding the voting information during the last few days of the contest, and soon after revoked the winnings of several organizations without providing a reason.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) was one of the organizations that should have won because it appeared that they were in the top 100 of the vote getters. SSDP competed in Round 1 of the Chase Community Giving Challenge on Facebook (Nov 23 – Dec 11). Despite receiving more than 2,500 votes, which placed us well within the top 100 according to all known vote counts, Chase revoked their winnings without explanation. Chase has refused to release the final vote count to the media or the public.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is a grassroots organization of high school and college students who work to educate the public about the failures of the War on Drugs. They believe that drug abuse is a serious health issue that is only made worse by punishment and discrimination. SSDP promotes education over incarceration.

Now SSDP has struck back asking customers to boycott Chase Bank and cancel their Chase credit cards, close checking and bank accounts. From SSDP "Chase used this "contest" to promote their brand while misleading the public into thinking that it was a democratic voting process. If Chase can’t be trusted to treat nonprofits fairly in a charity competition, then they can’t be trusted to handle our money."

Students are on the front lines of the war on drugs. Whether it be random, suspicionless students drug testing, or having police dogs sniffing around school lockers for drugs, students are now feeling the heavy-handedness of the government’s efforts to keep them "drug-free."

Now it seems that Chase Bank, who by the way had received a $25 billion bail out from the government, has joined the heavy-handedness of those against students and denied this group the opportunity to be awarded for their fine work in the field of drug reform policy in the United States. Join the boycott and just say "No" to Chase Bank! http://chaseboycott.com/

ANTHONY PAPA is the author of 15 Years to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom and Communications Specialist for Drug Policy Alliance. He can be reached at: anthonypapa123@yahoo.com