Category Archives: US

Breonna protesters outrage grows, Trump vigilantes and cops lash out

An explosion of outrage over the Breonna Taylor murder at the hands of police continues. Anger has spread out in a shockwave of protests from Louisville following the failure of Kentucky state prosecutors to bring murder charges against a police officer.

In a statement on Wednesday Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron read out mealy mouthed excuses for yet another police murder of a black woman.

Breonna’s mother Tamika Palmer speaks out

Breonna’s mother, Tamika Palmer, wrote a letter that was read out a press conference today, where there were calls for the release of the transcript of the grand jury’s deliberations.

The letter was read out loud by Palmer’s sister Bianca Austin:

“I was reassured Wednesday of why I have no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the law — that are not made to protect us Black and Brown people.

“When I speak on it, I’m considered an angry Black woman. But know this: I am an angry Black woman. I am not angry for the reasons that you would like me to be. But angry because our Black women keep dying at the hands of police officers.”

Black attorney general won’t deliver justice but the mass movement can

The fact that a black man – Kentucky’s attorney general – delivered the statement that amounts to a heinous travesty of justice, says a lot about the situation in the US, and rubs salt into the wounds. Cameron is a Republican appointee.

Despite the presence of many black faces in high places, the police kill black people with impunity. Already this year alone they have killed 1,010 people.

As always a hugely disproportionate number of the dead are black people – averaging around 35% of the annual total from a African-American population that accounts for only 12% of the population.

Protesters in their thousands from Chicago to Los Angeles and New York and all across America are increasingly asking where this will all end.

The systemic nature of racism in the US means it is deeply embedded in police departments, courts and the prison system.

A reality is dawning that uprooting centuries-old oppression will take something akin to another revolution in America.

Trump stokes racist backlash

And as the struggle for black liberation has advanced it has always been met with a racist backlash.

Today is no different it may seem, but the breakthrough that has seen milions of white people passsively or actively participate support BLM is our new strength.

Trump is whipping up racist vigilantee violence against peaceful protesters – revelling in it as he proclaims his intention to rule for another four years, regardless of how citizens vote in the presidential election, and ram through a conservative supreme court judge that could setback civil rights and womens’ basic human rights.

Two cops were shot this week and a suspect has been arrested.

The stakes are high and getting higher and the movement is meeting the challenge. It grows stronger with every outrage as the movement fuses with wider questions about the real nature of American democracy and freedom.

Justice for Breonna Taylor and all the dead! No Justice No Peace!

Derek Chauvin and other cops in George Floyd murder appear in court

Derek Chauvin and the other three ex Minneapolis police officers involved in the murder of George Floyd appeared in court on Friday.

Chauvin has been charged with first degree murder.

The other three accomplices to the murder of George Floyd – Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao – are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter and are free on bail.

Police defence claims that Floyd died from an overdose although the world saw him die because a policeman had his knee pressed on his neck for 8 minutes and 45 seconds.

As civil rights lawyer Ben Crump put it: ‘The only overdose was an overdose of police force.

The world saw what happened.  ‘Who are you going to believe? Your eyes, or these killer cops?’

The ex cops were greeted with jeers and abuse from protesters when they left the court.

Solidarity with George Floyd

In the UK there were solidarity protests to demand justice for George Floyd on Friday.

Sheffield -“Say his name – George Floyd”

Vigilante guns down Jacob Blake protesters, Trump sides with racist cops

Kyle Rittenhouse shot three protesters, killing two in Kenosha Wisconsin.

If the teenager had had a Muslim name what just happened may very well have been treated as a terrorist attack, but not in America.

Instead Trump and Republicans have the audacity and gall to talk of ‘law and order’ while police departments are at war against the communities they are meant to serve.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said that Rusten Sheskey was the name of the police officer responsible for shooting Blake.

Neither Sheskey or any other officers at the scene have been disciplined.

Justice for Jacob Blake!

Shockingly, there has still not been a word from Trump directly on the murder of Jacob Blake by police, or even an attempt to reach out to the family. But protesters are determined to fight for justice whatever repression the police throw at their movement .

Meanwhile, white militia and racist groups colluded with police according to reports.

The latest outrage by racist cops has sparked rebellion across pro-sports in the US and world tennis, with fixtures being postponed.

After his murdering spree Rittenhouse is filmed walking down the road towards police with his hands up and an automatic weapon slung by his side. The police do nothing, they just roll on by. The killer went home only giving himself the following day.

Also below see a moment when the police openly fraternise with the far right militia:

And much of the organising by the white militia types and vigilantes has been on Facebook, as this disturbing report from the Guardian shows:

Hours before a 17-year-old white man allegedly killed two people and injured a third at protests over a police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a local militia group posted a call on Facebook: “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight from evil thugs?”

It’s not yet clear if Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager arrested on suspicion of murder after last night’s shootings in Kenosha, was among the people who responded to the call the militia group had posted, which was later featured on the conspiracy theory site InfoWars.

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Facebook on Wednesday removed the page of the Kenosha Guard.

Cop fired after tasering of black woman in Georgia

A police officer in Georgia was fired as of Friday after videos on TikTok that drew millions of views showed him using a Taser in the arrest of a Black woman, the authorities said.

The Police Department in Gwinnett County, which is about 20 miles northeast of Atlanta, said it had begun its investigation into the officer, Michael Oxford, before the video spread widely on TikTok.

Investigators examined whether Officer Oxford, who is white, used de-escalation techniques and whether he violated departmental policy on Aug. 18 when he arrested the woman, Kyndesia Smith. more

Wisconsin cops shoot black man in back 7 times as gets into car with kids

Protests have broken out in Wisconsin after police shot a black man many seven times in the back in. what police describe as a domestic incident.

Victim Jacob Blake was taken to hospital for surgery and is now fighting for his life in intensive care.

The video below posted by an attorney who appeared on the scene, online shows Mr Blake being shot as gets into a car in Kenosha. His young children are in the car.

Authorities in the city declared an emergency overnight curfew after unrest broke out following the shooting.

Hundreds marched on police headquarters on Sunday night to demand justice.

Wisconsin cops still free

As of writing, no Kenosha Police Department officers have been disciplined.

Reactions to the video were swift. Within hours, protesters gathered.

The short video, shot Sunday afternoon, shows members of the Kenosha Police Department (KPD) pointing a gun at Jacob Blake while he walks toward a vehicle. While Blake opens the door, an officer grabs his shirt and shoots him at close range, in the back, seven times. Blake slumps against the car horn while onlookers react in horror.

(Video may be disturbing to some viewers.)

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Free 15-year-old black girl Grace – sent to jail for not doing her homework

Only in America can a black kid get sent to jail for not doing her homework. It’s unbelievable but true.

Your help is urgently required. We reproduce below the email we received from US civil rights organisation The Color of Change.


Have you heard the story about Grace?

15-year-old Grace, a Black girl from Michigan, was sent to jail during the height of the pandemic because she didn’t complete her homework.1 Rather than implementing a humane plan to get her back on track, Judge Mary Ellen Brennan decided to punish her with months in a cage.

How did we get here? And why was jail time the only remedy for a 15-year-old girl?

Simply put, the school to prison pipeline is real

Far too often, schools, prosecutors, and elected officials take a “zero tolerance” approach when dealing with behavioral problems in schools. Minor infractions like cursing, not completing homework, fighting with classmates, and missing class are seen as “criminal offenses” in the eyes of the court. And because Black communities and schools are overpoliced, Black children are disproportionately arrested and sent to juvenile detention for these minor issues.

We shouldn’t have to say this, but here we are: Kids. Do. Not. Belong. In. Cages.

#FreeGrace: Demand Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper drop all charges against Grace immediately.

At a May probation hearing for Grace, Judge Brennan, the presiding judge of the Oakland County Family Court Division, sentenced her to juvenile detention for violating her probation. Judge Brennan argued that Grace was “guilty on failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school.”

Our criminal legal system is hellbent on doling out punishment to Black kids in court — their safety and wellbeing be damned. Even in the height of a deadly pandemic, Grace was separated from her family and sent to a jail facility where she’s now at a higher risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19. And that decision was upheld last week when Judge Brennan denied Grace’s tragic pleas to be released from jail.2

Thousands of Graces across the US

As shocking as her story is, there are thousands of Graces across the country — young Black girls who’ve been arrested, caged, and punished instead of receiving the counseling, mental health treatment, and academic support they need.

Tell Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper: Free Grace Now!

Too often, Black and Brown kids are funneled from their schools to juvenile detention centers for matters that should be handled at school — minor offenses like disciplinary issues, tardiness, and truancy. What Black students actually need are trained professionals who can support them through high-stress environments. That means more counselors, therapists, and mediation experts. 

Judge Brennan and the Oakland County court would rather invest in criminalizing a young Black girl than in her academic success and mental health. 

Add your name now: Stand with us to #FreeGrace. 

The criminal legal system should not have a role in disciplining our children. But because of the lack of investment in schools, teachers, and counselors, overfunded police departments, correctional systems, and jails are used as an intervention for Black kids. And the numbers speak for themselves. Black girls are six times more likely to be suspended than their white counterparts. And in Michigan, Black youth are incarcerated more than four times as often as white youth.3

Elected leaders invest hundreds of millions of dollars into policing our communities — but what would it look like if this money were given to counselors and teachers? What would it look like if resources were spent on investing in the mental health of our kids? We have to stop the systemic criminalization of Black youth starting with releases those who are needlessly incarcerated.

Grace must be released.

Until justice is real, 

Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Erika, Malachi, Marybeth, Madison, Leonard, Ernie, McKayla and the rest of the Color Of Change team


References:

1. “A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.” ProPublica. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/255754?t=10&akid=44229%2E6328536%2EpC0Xn5

2. “Michigan judge denies release of teenage girl who was jailed after not doing homework.” NBC News. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/256134?t=12&akid=44229%2E6328536%2EpC0Xn5

3. “A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.” ProPublica. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/255754?t=14&akid=44229%2E6328536%2EpC0Xn5

4. “Cops and No Counselors.” ACLU. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/134841?t=16&akid=44229%2E6328536%2EpC0Xn5

NFAC militia Louisville march for Breonna set to brush aside far-right

Latest – 18:58 EST 25th July 2020:

Three people were injured in accidental fire before the NFAC march took place.

In a speech to thousands of militia members and protesters Grandmaster Jay gave the city authorities four weeks to charge the officers who killed Breonna Taylor.

The fascist Three Percenters militia were heavily outnumbered on the day.

Latest – live feed from Courier Journal 25th July 2020:

On Friday 76 people were arrested in Louisville, Kentucky, in a police clampdown on peaceful protests in the city.

Protesters had blocked an intersection and the police responded with mass arrests.

The move comes before a threatened clash between black militia group the NFAC (Not Fucking Around Coalition) and fascist Kentucky Three Percenters militia.

The NFAC which came to prominence on 4 July with an armed march in Georgia at a location at which KKK white supremacist terror group supporters regularly gather to pay homage.

That paramilitary parade was entirely peaceful but there is a danger of clashes today, assuming the Facebook posts from the far-right are not just so much hot air.

From their actions on Friday the police seem to be making a statement about whose side they will be on.

Given the long traditions of racism in the force, the black militia can expect little in the way of facilitation as they exercise their constitutional rights.

NFAC Louisville march to press justice for Breonna Taylor

No police officers has been charged for the cold bloodied killing of Breonna.

The avowed aim of today’s NFAC formation is to press for justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician who was brutally murdered in her home by Louisville police.

The NFAC led by grandmaster Jay had originally intended to form-up at Central High School, where legendary boxer and activists Mohammed Ali went to school.

Those plans have since changed.

A police spokesperson says the NFAC militia will instead be assembling at Baxter Square Park at Jefferson Street and 11th and 12th streets at 12 noon and then march to Jefferson Square Park.

NFAC’s Grandmaster Jay speaks before Louisville militia march

Feds repression in Portland faces growing resistance

For two months there have been daily protests against racial inequality and police brutality in Portland, Oregon.

Police repression has not been enough to stop the protests and so Trump has upped the ante, as he makes a bid to turn law and order into an election issue from which he can benefit, such is his cynicism.

But last night saw thousands of citizens on the streets as the movement widens not just as a protest for black lives but against the violent repression of the Fed forces, in the shape of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Border Patrol agencies.

Both agencies have become heavily militarised over the years and are now being used against ordinary US citizens, in action lawmakers condemn as illegal.

Federal units have been operating as if in a war zone and using the tactics and operational procedures befitting of a full-blown dictatorship.

Protesters have been snatched and arrested by individuals dressed in unmarked camouflage suits. Eighteen now face serious Federal charges, raising the stakes further.

Portland citizens shot, gassed and clubbed by Trump stormtroopers

Peaceful citizens, including the city’s major, armed services veterans and a peaceful contingent of all-women protesters, have been tear-gassed and/or clubbed by the Feds.

As seen elsewhere in the US, the press has also been a frequent target of law enforcement bodies.

So-called non-lethal weapons that can in fact be lethal depending on how they are used, have been deployed with wild abandon by Federal forces acting as an out of control occupying force in the city.

Attempts to get judges to rule the deployment of the violent Fed troops illegal have failed so far.

The protest movement is overwhelmingly white, and that’s what probably riles Trump and his stormtroopers more than anything else.

Activists are attempting to organise for strikes in the city to drive out the Feds.

Cutting off all services to the Fed buildings in the city and the associated troops that were brought in under the pretence of protecting that property, could be a highly effective approach.

The people of Portland urgently need solidarity of the BLM movement and others from around the US and abroad.

Watch this space for further developments.

NFAC says 5,000-strong militia formation headed to Louisville in show of force for Breonna Taylor

Latest – live feed from Courier Journal 25th July 2020:

NFAC – the Not Fucking Around Coalition – which came to prominence after an armed march and rally at Stone Mountain Park, Georgia, on 4 July, says it will be marching in Louisville, Kentucky this Saturday (25th July) as part of the fight for justice for Breonna Taylor.

Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own home by Louisville police serving a so-called “no-knock” warrant in a raid supposedly looking for drugs.

No drugs were found but none of the officers have been charged with any wrongdoing.

Daily protests have taken place in the city since Breonna’s killing on 13 March.

Leader of the black militia, Grandmaster Jay, real name John Fitzgerald Johnson, says the militia will be forming up this Saturday 25th July in Louisville when the exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.

Attendees have been instructed to dress in “black boots, black button down shirts, black mask, shotgun, semi-automatic or rifle, pistols… thigh holsters or under your arm”.

The self-styled leader of the group said: “If you are not in that uniform, you won’t be in the formation.”

“No fake guns this time. I’m not playing with you all, I’m trying to keep you safe.”

NFAC throws down gauntlet to KKK terrorists

At the Stone Mountain gathering early this month, the NFAC threw down the gauntlet to white supremacist groups who had threatened to attack Black Lives Matter protesters.

The KKK terror group was “reformed” at the park in the early 20th century.

There was no confrontation at that time, but on Saturday there are noises indicating that far-right groups may mobilise to confront the NFAC.

Louisville’s mayor, Greg Fischer, says the city is ready “to make sure everybody is safe”.

NFAC meets with attorney general

In a surprising development, the NFAC leader is reported to have had a phone conversation with the attorney general in which he criticised the lack of action to date regarding the police who killed Breonna.

In a statement, shown in the second video below, Jay shares some more information:

“12 pm we are meeting at central high school – the school that the great Mohammed Ali came from.

“Show up at 12pm. Get everyone set in the stadium. Then we go see some people…

“Bring body armour”

“Bring body armour, if you have it, make sure you have plates. In this situation get your hands on some, get some level-three body armour…

Don’t bring a weapon you have never fired before…

“I have had some conversations with the attorney general of Louisville. The state does not want any trouble. I have been made privy to some information. They are not going to try and antagonise the NFAC.

“The people in Georgia told them they [the NFAC] don’t fuck around.. There’s going to be five times more of us than last time.”

As can be seen in the videos below, the NFAC has certainly captured the public imagination, with reports of people organising car pools for the formation.

Statement from Jay at 2:20 in the video below:

While nothing has happened to the cops who killed Breonna, the city police force has managed to rake in $3 million in overtime payments from local taxpayers for the policing of protests.