All posts by Gary McFarlane

Don Lemon fights back, Terry Crews blames the victim

America’s Got Talent host, actor Terry Crews, has been taken down by CNN anchor Don Lemon for his politically naive and dangerous attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Crews in a series of tweets implied that the movement was taken over by “militant-type forces” , which he seemed to infer was about promoting anti-white sentiment.

But Crew gave no concrete example to illustrate his worries on that score.

The BLM protests have been notable for their huge involvement of white people, so the charge is way off mark, to put it mildly.

Crews went on to talk about “dangerous self-righteousness” , concluding that some people “really viewed themselves as better.”

BLM “supremist”?

He even likened the supposed presence of anti-white attitudes to white supremacy.

“It was almost a supremist move … where their (sic) Black lives mattered a lot more than mine,” he claimed.

“Militant-types”: Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi

To be fair to Crews he did say he was talking more about the leaders than he was the movement.

“Black lives do matter. But when you’re talking about an organization, you’re talking about the leaders.”

In Crews tweet on 4 July he points out that there’s good and bad in all races, which is of course true. But who was disagreeing with him?

The founders of BLM in the US are all women – Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi  – and the organisation does take on the concerns of women and makes reference to the role of the family in perpetuating women’s oppression, which is a fair point.

From the US BLM website “what we believe” page:

We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

Not done with comparing BLM to white supremacy, Crews then went on to say BLM was in danger of becoming the new oppressor. We knew there were some problems with the Black upper middle class but Crews has certainly put it all out there.

“I don’t want to move from one oppressor to the next,” he railed.

To Don Lemon’s credit he didn’t give Crews a pass on his dangerous nonsense.

They called MLK Jr a commie too

“Terry, you realize that even during the civil rights movement, that Dr. [Martin Luther] King was seen as extreme,” the anchor said. “That movement was seen as extreme. To people who don’t want to make change, movements are seen as an extreme. You can paint them easily as an extreme when they are not.”

And again…

As Don Lemon asked him quickly, “Who’s the next oppressor?,” Crews moved on to talk about gun violence within the Black community in Chicago, the number of young victims it has claimed, and BLM’s silence on the matter.

“But what does that have to do with equality, though, Terry?,” Lemon asked. “I don’t understand what that has to do with equality. Listen, there’s crime. There are people in those communities, those people aren’t just being nonchalant about gun violence.” The anchor then detailed what he had seen from gun-violence activists when he worked at a local Chicago TV station from 2003 to 2006.

more

Crews should stick to talent shows. He should get some education. Or maybe he was getting BLM mixed up with these guys – NFAC?

Here’s the Don Lemon interview in all its gory detail.

Terry Crews is misguided. Worse, he echoes criticisms from those who are no friends of Black people

You can find the BLMM statement of what we believe here, but it is not a definitive statement and applies to no one but ourselves.

23 arrested as police weaponise Covid laws in failed attempt to intimidate Black Lives Matter protesters

London photo credits: Asmeret

At least 23 peaceful protesters were arrested at the London Black Lives Matter protest, part of wave of solidarity gatherings that swept the country on Sunday.

The cop who murdered George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has only been charged with third degree murder and none of his three accomplices have been arrested.

Organisers estimate the march at 10,000, with more joining to swell the numbers at different points throughout the day.

Hundreds also marched in Manchester after assembling at St Peter’s Square in the centre of the city.

Protests also took place in Liverpool at St George’s Hall in addition to other cities such as Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham and Oxford. There is now a day of action planned on Wednesday as well as further protests this coming weekend.

Vigil in Oxford for George Floyd

Alarmingly, the police arrested peaceful protesters by using Section 7 of the Covid Act, which provides them with powers to arrest people who are social distancing.

March approaches US embassy – white van drivers shows his support

But where was the rest of government adviser, racist Eugenicist Dominic Cummings?

The arrests mostly took place outside the moated US embassy.

Police moved into the crowd a little after 3pm and began to antagonise people. Two of those arrested under Section 7 were Olha Korovina and Raffaello Donnaloia, one of whom was a minor friends told BLMM.

The police refused to say which police station the two would be detained at.

But despite the intimidation of the police, marchers were not deterred.

The day had begun at Trafalgar square at 1pm where thousands congregated, answering the call from a number of BLM organisations.

The chant “Say his name: George Floyd” rang out from the crowd, alongside the passionate insistent shouting of “black lives matter”.

Following the example of NFL star Colin Kaepernick – who “took a knee” in peaceful protest in support of BLM and was ostracised for doing so by the League bosses and abused by Trump who called him a “son of a bitch” in a vicious speech to his rabid supporters – protesters kneeled in unison.

The UK is not innocent

Chanting “I can’t breathe” and the name of Breonna Taylor, killed by US police in March, the marchers moved off down Whitehall to Downing Street.There, marchers continued to chant George Floyd’s name, interspersed with “Fuck Boris” and “The UK is not innocent”.

Arriving at Downing Street

At least three black men have been tasered by police in the UK over the past few weeks. The most recent in Manchester where Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara was tasered while holding his five-year-old child and a Tottenham youth who was tasered and fell from a wall as a result and now will never walk again.

All this comes on the top of the disproportionate death toll impacting black and minority ethnic communities in both the UK and US.

The UK and US both have among the highest per capita death rates in the world.

At the US embassy protesters chanted “No Trump – No KKK – No fascist USA”, as they called out Trump for urging police to shoot demonstrators.

Speeches from organisers accused the US of being a “failed state, a terrorist state, a racist state” and urged unconditional support for the US rebellion.

Trump was so scared of the protesters in America that he was rushed into a bunker on Friday night as protesters converged on the White House. The Washington DC protests against Trump continue to grow following more incendiary statements by him.

Joining the dots of this rebellion

One speaker reminded the protesters of a speech by Malcolm X when he said: “If they can’t fix their house they shouldn’t have a house. The house should burn down.”

Racist US society is today reaping what it has sowed for so many generations.

At Downing Street: “No justice no peace! The UK is not innocent!”

But a new generation has risen up to again confront America’s systemic racism and social inequality.

With mass unemployment now stalking America, people are starting to connect the dots.

As one demonstrator in New York city who gave his name as Sam B said: “Unemployment is gasoline and then abuse of power is the match,”

Another who was looting said: “If a guy can get away with murdering a guy, I’m pretty sure I can get away with stealing an iPhone, is the attitude.”

The truth is the biggest looters are the rich and the biggest gang of violent criminals are the police whose job it is to maintain racist rule and keep working people in their place. Enough!

London underground driver joins the protests – we have the power!

Some marchers move on to Grenfell Tower in west London where 89 died in a fire because of the poor building standards and fire regulations this government allowed to be introduced to increase the profits of developers.

At the US embassy for a socially distanced protest on Saturday 30 May in the lead up to Sunday’s action

Slovakia faces backlash after police beat and threaten to shoot children as anti-Roma violence escalates

By Zdeněk Ryšavý29 April 2020

In the Romani settlement of Krompachy, which is currently under quarantine because of COVID-19, a police officer is said to have beaten five young children with a truncheon on Monday. According to the children’s testimony, he even threatened to shoot them.

The entire incident is said to have been observed by a soldier in the Slovak Army. The children’s mother, Anna Holubová, posted the information to Facebook and it is being reported on by two Romani media outlets in Slovakia, Gipsy Television and Press TV.

A boy age 10 and four girls, two age 7, one age 9 and one age 11, went to collect wood and play near a stream in a location where soldiers had previously allowed them to go. “We went for wood and the cop began to chase us and shouted at us that if we didn’t stop he would shoot us. We stopped and he took us into a tunnel and beat us there,” one of the little girls described to Press TV while crying.

According to Gipsy Television, military physicians treated the children. They did not, however, immediately give medical reports about the injuries to the children’s parents.

They say the parents will receive the reports from the Defence Ministry. News service Romea.cz also wanted to find out what the Slovak Police have to say about the incident.

The Krompachy Police refused to make a statement about the case and referred Romea.cz to the police spokesperson for Košice, who did not answer her telephone for an entire afternoon. The case should begin to be investigated by the Slovak Interior Ministry’s Office of Inspection Services.
“The police inspection knows about the case and will take action once the necessary documentation is delivered,” Silvia Keratová of the press department of the Interior Ministry told Gipsy Television.

Slovak MP Jarmila Vaňová, a Romani community member with the governing OĽANO party, commented on the case on social media by posting “Children are not for beating”.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Update: 1 May 2020
There have been conflicting statements from the authorities. The interior ministry of Slovakia has issued a statement that the children’s families say is false. In the statement, released earlier this week, a doctor claims that the children received the injuries before contact with the police officer.

Violence against the Roma by both the police and fascists is endemic in Slovakia and many other parts of Europe, with the European Union refusing to intervene effectively to protect Roma rights.

Daniela Abraham, founder of the Sinti Roma Holocaust Memorial Trust, says the government is worried by the response from the Roma community to this latest racist outrage, and so are the fascists. “I have received threats from the far right since I started sharing about this on social media. I have written protests to the Slovak prime minister Igor Matovič and the president, Zuzana Čaputová. I urge everyone else to do so too.”

“It is bad enough when they beat and torture Roma people – I’ve just watched disturbing footage from Romania in which a Roma man is being tortured by the police – and nothing is done about it. But these were just little children. We are all united to get justice for our children and need the help of all anti-racists in Europe to stop the terrorising of our community,” Abraham continued.

“The authorities are using the virus as an excuse to spread even more hatred and violence against the Roma.”

Daniela Abraham

But with the testing, all is not what it seems on the face of it either.

In the Krompacy area, according to the government, there are 40 cases of Covid-19. The 4,000 Roma who live in the area reside in four slum settlements. The one in which the children are resident is called Stara Masa and has no cases of infection. This means that the 40 infections are in the other three settlements.

However, all the settlements have been placed under “quarantine” after a government “hygienist” inspected the slums and the testing began.
This is despite the government’s own guidance which says that such quarantine measures should only be introduced when infection rates are 10% of more in a given community.

Roma representatives say the quarantine is being used to control the Roma and not to stop the spread of the Covid-19 disease.

Testing in Roma communities in Slovakia began on 3 April, with initially 33 communities tested as part of a pilot, which the authorities say focused on those returning from abroad or those “who wanted to be tested voluntarily” according to Slovak news site DNES 24. A total of 793 were tested over four days to 6 April, including Krompachy where the children were assaulted by police

Andrea Bučková, the government Plenipotentiary for the Roma Community, reporting on tests conducted on Sunday 5 April, said: “The results for the first day of testing confirmed that in the village of Jarovnice, where there is the highest concentration of Roma, no one has tested positive for COVID-19 to date”. [Google Translates].

Discriminatory quarantine against Roma

The head of the local government in and around Krompachy, Iveta Rušinová, has not hidden this, say local Roma. She is on record as saying the Roma will stay under quarantine even after the virus has gone, according to locals.

Both Rušinová and local police have sought to blame the victims themselves.

“No one has the right to raise their hand on a child. But where were their parents, who are responsible for them? They were on the third-class road and alone, unattended,” she said.

A spokesperson for police force special operations, Mário Pažický, claimed “we support any investigation”, but it should not be used to undermine the “legitimacy of our ongoing operations. We can say with certainty that the minors escaped from the quarantined settlement.”

But the police and authorities have not addressed the fact that there is no Covid-19 infection in the settlement the girls live in, and why there is a quarantine imposed there and on the other Roma settlements in Kompachy.

There are no quarantines in Slovakia, except for those imposed on Roma communities.

Many Roma refuse to provide their names or the settlements they come from when making accusations of blatant racism by Rušinová, for fear of retribution.

Despite years of empty promises, the authorities have not connected Roma communities to water services and are holding the threat of never doing so over the heads of the population.

Yet the same authorities say they want to eradicate the Covid-19 outbreak, such as it is, in the settlements where they claim their tests show the virus is present.

Roma representatives are demanding urgent international intervention.
The Romani Union of Slovakia has called for a full independent inquiry into the beating of the young children in Krompachy and the threats to shoot them, in addition to the circumstances surrounding the discriminatory “quarantines”.

Also, the Slovak Republic embassy in London was contacted for a response to the allegations, but they have provided no comment.


Additional reporting by Gary McFarlane (Media Workers CV19 Crisis Group)

Send protests to:

President of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputováirst

zuzana.caputovairst@prezident.sk

President on Twitter

Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič

igor_matovic@nrsr.sk

Slovak UK embassy

emb.london@mzv.sk

Slovak UK Embassy on Twitter

Send messages of support to Slovakia’s Roma community via the Sinti Roma Memorial Holocaust Memorial Trust on Facebook.

Roma Holocaust – Lessons For Today, with Daniela Abraham

Daniela Abraham, founder of the SInti Roma Holocaust Memorial Trust, on the mass murder of Roma in the Holocaust and how racists are trying to use the Covid-19 pandemic to exacerbate hatred and division against the Roma. Threre's an urgent need to combat the current wave of racist violence from police and fascists across Europe. More to follow…

Posted by Haringey Stand up to Racism on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Thanks to romea.cz for granting permission to reproduce their report from 29 April. ( http://www.romea.cz/en/news/world/slovak-police-officer-said-to-have-beaten-five-romani-children-in-krompachy-settlement-and-threatened-to-shoot-them )

Police case collapses as IPCC reveals no drugs swallowed in Rash Charles killing

 

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has admitted that there was ‘no controlled substance’ in Rashan Charles’s throat.

In a statement last night the IPCC states: ‘The object did not contain a controlled substance.’

This confirms the suspicions of family and campaigners that the police made up the initial story.

Nevertheless, the IPCC still repeats the police claim that there was something in Rashan’s throat but the package has now turned into an ‘object’.

The IPCC state that they have ‘received results of forensic analysis’ of an ‘object’ but, in another alarming and distressing lack of transparency, fail to disclose what it is.

Weyman Bennett, co-convenor of Stand Up To Racism, said: ‘This is totally outrageous and deepens the anger in the community. All the police officers involved must be suspended immediately. The IPCC statement throws up more questions than it answers and the family and community will want urgent clarification.

‘Why has the IPCC failed to reveal the nature of the claimed object in Rashan’s airways? Why are the police officers involved in his death still on duty?

‘We demand that the IPCC holds an immediate press conference and provide full disclosure of what they know. The reality is that far from “helping” Rashan as the police account claimed, the officers’ forceful arrest resulted in his death.

‘Are the IPCC failing to disclose the nature of the object in order to help the police sustain their line that by putting Rashan in a headlock and another kneeling on his back they were somehow trying to clear his airways?

‘As was said by family and campaigners from the beginning, and as everyone can see for themselves in the video, the police were doing no such thing. Their actions killed Rashan.

‘There must be accountability now. Three black men have been killed by police in the space of a month. Are the police trying to start a community uprising?’

The IPCC statement drives a coach and horses through the attempted justifications for his death.

Of course whether Rashan had been swallowing drugs or not his death would never have been justified but now attempts to explain police actions look even flimsier.

In recent weeks three young black men, Edson Da Costa, Darren Cumberbatch and Rashan Charles have died while in contact with the police.

In Birmingham one black man is in a comma after being shot by police while plain clothes officers were filmed kicking a young Asian man.

All this happens almost to the day of the sixth anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan.

Recently published figures show that while BME people are 13 percent of Londons population they were 36 percent of those he faced the use of force by police.

Bennett added: ‘What we are seeing is institutionalised racism working its violent way though police operations with the end result more dead young black men’.