All Aboard Florida's Gain VS Environmental Justice

Publish Date: 
Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 12:00pm

Social justice is defined by Matthew Robinson* as "... promoting a just society by challenging injustice and valuing diversity."

According to John Rawls* social justice is about assuring the protection of equal access to liberties, rights, and opportunities, as well as taking care of the least advantaged members of society. Rawls' conception of social justice is developed around the idea of a social contract, whereby people freely enter into an agreement to follow certain rules for the betterment of everyone, without considering the implications of these rules for their own selfish gain.

On May 20, 2013, Edduard Prince began walking from his home on 17th Street in Overtown to his job at a legal processing company at 15th and Biscayne, just as he does every day. He crossed the railroad tracks that bisect his street between NW First and North Miami avenues, just like everybody else does.

And then a few minutes later, he was arrested for trespassing, just like hundreds of others have been -- all for walking through their own neighborhood. Prince was arrested around 10 in the morning. He was wearing a hoodie with his hands in his pockets, he says, when the officers converged on him from behind the cars. One pointed a gun. Prince had already heard from friends about the arrests and quickly steeled himself.

"You going to arrest me for walking over the railroad tracks?" he quipped. He told the officers that he worked for an attorney's office and that his was a nonarrestable offense. "OK, smart-ass," he claims one said. "You're going to jail."