Category Archives: US

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 rally in downtown Louisville

The group will march to Jefferson Square.

Posted by Courier Journal on Saturday, July 25, 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.

Twitter helping US authorities with BLM mass surveillance

Twitter is in the news for all the wrong reasons at the moment. But beyond the hack of the accounts of the great and the good, behind the scenes the microblogging site has been helping US law enforcement to track and surveil BLM protests.

Dataminr, a company that works closely with the social media platform has been using its privileged access to Twitter realtime data to inform law enforcement agencies about the latest posts of people they identify as BLM demonstrators and activists.

Both Twitter and Dataminr have previously made statements that neither would take part or assist in domestic surveillance, but according to a report by The Intercept this is clearly not the case.

Dataminr’s core business is aimed at providing corporations with a heads up on looming reputational risk issues by scanning social media to pick up signals.

Excerpt from The Intercept:

Dataminr’s Black Lives Matter protest surveillance included persistent monitoring of social media to tip off police to the locations and activities of protests, developments within specific rallies, as well as instances of alleged “looting” and other property damage. According to the source with direct knowledge of Dataminr’s protest monitoring, the company and Twitter’s past claims that they don’t condone or enable surveillance are “bullshit,” relying on a deliberately narrowed definition. “It’s true Dataminr doesn’t specifically track protesters and activists individually, but at the request of the police they are tracking protests, and therefore protesters,” this source explained.

The Intercept

Thanks Twitter: US mass surveillance… just like China?

In another report from The Intercept, journalists have uncovered how the police have ignored the real and present threat of right-wing terrorism around the BLM protests in the US, and instead preferred to pursue fictitious claims, trumpeted by Trump and others, about antifa.

The so-called Blueleaks hack has exposed the details of 700,000 cops in the US.

After the hack, Twitter shutdown the DDoSecrets site that had disseminated information about the Blueleaks hack. The Reddit sub – r/blueleaks has also been banned.

The leaked data dates from 2007 to June 14, 2020, so include much of the protests that took place following the murder of George Floyd by police.

Much of the information in the leaks has come from so-called Fusion centres set up post 9/11 with the purpose of enabling different state and Federal law enforcement agencies to share information.

Some of the hacked websites also included those where law enforcement collaborates with corporations in various guises, such as the Energy Security Council.

Many hacked sites also included data from the high-intensity drug trafficking area program (HIDTA).

And finally another bunch of websites were membership-only police officer associations of one type or another.

Of particular interest were the many instances of SAR reports uncovered – Suspicious Activity Reports.

One such SAR concerned a student seeking pro bono legal aid assistance from a law firm.

A racist lawyer saw it and contacted law enforcement.

“PLEASE SEE THE ATTACHED SOLICITATION I RECEIVED FROM AN ANTIFA TERRORIST WANTING MY HELP TO BAIL HER AND HER FRIENDS OUT OF JAIL, IF ARRESTED FOR RIOTING,” he typed into an unhinged letter, in all-caps, that he mailed to the Marin County District Attorney’s office, just north of San Francisco.

He explained that he was remaining anonymous because he “CANNOT RISK THIS PIECE OF SHIT ANTIFA […] FILING A BAR COMPLAINT AGAINST ME,” and warned that “THE SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC DEFENDERS WILL VIGOROUSLY DEFEND THESE TERRORISTS.” He ended his letter, “HAPPY HUNTING.”

Instead of throwing the lawyer’s communication in the garbage, it was uploaded to the local fusion centre as useful intelligence.

This is one example of an estimated 1,200 commmunity-submitted SARs.

Other SARs were similarly racist.

Again, the full story at The Intercept.

Please consider donating to The Intercept so they keep up with their brilliant investigative journalism.

BLM “terrorists” scream conservatives as movement grows

Trump’s lawyer Rudi Guiliani has been ranting again about fictitious foes. This time it is the “terroristic” Black Lives Matter movement.

Guiliani is fond of making stuff up, which is why he works for Trump as his personal lawyer.

In a sign of the success of BLM in the US and elsewhere, conservatives of various stripes are doing their best to foment a backlash.

Police killing black people with impunity doesn’t worry them, and neither does the systemic racism that hobbles the US.

They are fine with all that but just wish things could get back to the way they were in the 1950s – or even further back in the days when the slaveocracy ruled in the Southern states.

So what did Guiliani, the son of immigrants – and of course all white people in America are descended from immigrants – have to say?

BLM “terrorist organization” – but real far-right terrorists get free pass from Giuliani and Trump

“Black Lives Matter is an organisation run by three Marxists and financed by a convicted terrorist – who I happened to have convicted, who got 58 years in jail and got a corrupt pardon from Bill Clinton,” he bellowed on Hannity last Friday.

The three Marxists he presumably has in mind are presumably the women founders of BLM – Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi.

He continued: “This is not a benign organization. I can’t say yet that we can prove it’s a terrorist organization. It’s certainly a violent organization and I believe in the course of time it will be shown to be a terrorist organization.”

Giuliani omits to mention the non-fictitious terrorism of the right, which is well documented by Southern Poverty Law Center here.

The New York lawyer wasn’t too keen on the paint job outside Trump Tower either.

Guiliani is not a very good lawyer… and an anti-Semite too

It should be said that Giuliani is not a very good lawyer.

Over the weekend he tried to defend Trump hiding his tax returns from US voters but in doing so blew out of the water Trump’s main “defence” for not making them public, that they had to be audited.

Guiliani let slip that the returns had in fact had already been audited:

“They have no reason to believe that there is anything wrong with his tax returns. All these tax returns have by and large—maybe not the last one—but all of them have been audited, all of them have either been passed on or settled.”

He wasn’t done there. In common with other conservatives and out-and-out fascists he pedalled tried old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about philanthropist and hedge fund manager George Soros.

“I mean, why would Soros pay for DAs, other than to undermine our government?”

Giuliani was not the only one getting all worked up about the fight for racial equality.

The peculiar racism-enablement of Ginni Thomas

Ginni Thomas, wife of US Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas, was furious that a banner supporting black lives matter went up in the small, nearly all-white town, Clifton Virginia.

Courtesy Salwan Georges/Washington Post

She could see reds under the bed too.

“BLM is a bit of a dangerous Trojan Horse and they are catching well-meaning people into dangerous posturing that can invite mob rule and property looting… Let’s not be tricked into joining cause with radical extremists seeking to foment a cultural revolution because they hate America.”

This is all getting a bit like the 1960s.

Back then, anyone who fought for civil rights was a red, MLK was seen as a communist fellow traveller and the actual Marxists of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense were so dangerous they had to be disrupted and liquidated by the FBI through Hoover’s COINTELPRO.

You would have thought the right could come up with a different story by now instead of the same old red-baiting instead of engaging with the issues at hand.

Sprucing up Trump Tower BLM-style

Great to see the BLM paint job outside the obscene low-class Trump Tower in New York City.

Unfortunately Trump is unlikely to see it in person as he doesn’t visit his hometown anymore, because he is so universally hated there.

Hopefully the paint job will put off people spending their money at the hotel and hasten the demise of Trump Inc.

The shine was taken off the whole affair somewhat though, after the sighting of Mayor Bill de Blasio joining in with the roadworks.

This is the same Bill de Blasio who was singing the praises of the New York cops when they were brutalising peaceful protesters.

The same mayor that imposed curfews in a dangerous attack on the freedom of assembly that is meant to be guaranteed in the US constitution.

The same Bill de Blasio who got elected – as did some other Democrat politicians – on the promise of addressing police racist violence, militarisation and general corruption, but then after getting into office doing nothing.

But de Blasio aside, it’s still good to see some irritant being rubbed into the eyes of the man in the high castle.

There’s more on thumbing it to Trump Tower at the New York Times:

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio grabbed a roller Thursday to paint “Black Lives Matter” in front of the namesake Manhattan tower of President Donald Trump, who tweeted last week that the street mural would be “a symbol of hate.”

De Blasio was flanked by his wife, Chirlane McCray, and the Rev. Al Sharpton as he helped paint the racial justice rallying cry in giant yellow letters on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower. Activists watching chanted, “Whose streets? Our streets!”

“When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ there is no more American statement, there is no more patriotic statement because there is no America without Black America,” de Blasio said. “We are acknowledging the truth of ourselves as Americans by saying ‘Black Lives Matter.’ We are righting a wrong.”

The mayor announced the plan to paint “Black Lives Matter” in front of Trump Tower last month after earlier saying the slogan would be painted on streets at several locations around the city. Trump responded via Twitter that the mural would denigrate “this luxury Avenue” and “further antagonize New York’s Finest.” De Blasio tweeted back that Black Lives Matter is “a movement to recognize and protect the lives of Black people.”

Rahima Torrence, 20, who was among the people slapping yellow paint onto Fifth Avenue, said that even though the mural might be a symbol, “it’s the beginning of something more.” She said the location in front of Trump’s own skyscraper “shows that we matter and it shows to him that you can’t ignore us.”

US workers to strike for Black Lives in major breakthrough

Reproduced with kind permission of Socialist Worker:

by Nick Clark

A coalition of trade unions and campaign groups in the US is organising a “strike for black lives,” set for Monday 20 July.

Tens of thousands of fast food, ride-share, nursing home and airport workers in more than 25 cities are set to strike for a full day. Others will stage a walkout for eight minutes—the amount of time police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck during the arrest that killed him.

The national strike will also involve marches led by workers.

Strike organisers are demanding action by bosses and the government against systematic racism that fuels poverty for black people. Organisers say black people make up a disproportionate number of those who earn less than a living wage.

They are also demanding guaranteed sick pay, affordable health care and better safety measures for workers forced to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Movement for Black Lives—a coalition of organisations involved in the Black Lives Matter movement—is also involved.

Unions involved in the strike include the SEIU, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the American Federation of Teamsters and United Farm Workers.

Organiser Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson said corporations “claim to support black lives. But their business model functions by exploiting black labour—passing off pennies as ‘living wages’ and pretending to be shocked when Covid-19 sickens those black people who make up their essential workers.

“Corporate power is a threat to racial justice, and the only way to usher in a new economy is by tackling those forces that aren’t fully committed to dismantling racism.”

Racism

Nursing home worker Trece Andrews said she felt racism was to blame for why she has spent years being passed over for promotions.

“I’ve got 20 years in the game and I’m only at $15.81 (£12.50) per hour,” she said. “We’ve got the coronavirus going on, plus we’ve got this thing with racism going on. They’re tied together, like some type of segregation.”

The call for a strike came as evidence submitted to the trial for the murder of Floyd revealed horrifying new details about his final moments.

Audio recorded on a police officer’s body camera reveals that Floyd pleaded, “They’ll kill me, they’ll kill me” and cried out for his mother and children.

The transcript of the recording covers the moments before and during Floyd’s arrest. It includes the time he is pinned to the ground with officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck.

In the transcript, a frightened Floyd pleads, “Please don’t shoot me,” and “I’m sorry” as police officer Thomas Lane approaches him with a gun in his hand.

Later, officers try to force Floyd into the back of a police car, as he panics and tells them, “I’m claustrophobic,” and, “I’m not resisting.”

On the ground Floyd tells Chauvin, “You’re going to kill me.”

Chauvin replies, “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

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.

Wow! NFAC Black nationalist armed militia challenges far-right


Update: NFAC marches to downtown Louisville:

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

NFAC rally in downtown Louisville

The group will march to Jefferson Square.

Posted by Courier Journal on Saturday, July 25, 2020

What is the NFAC?

The founder and leader of the NFAC – the Not Fucking Around Coalition – is Grandmaster Jay. His real name has not been confirmed at the time of writing.

The NFAC is thought to be an offshoot in part of the Black Hebrew Israelites.

There may also be some overlap with the New Black Panther Party. The NBP has no connection with the original Black Panthers, which was a revolutionary socialist organisation.

According to some information circulating online he has made antisemitic statements and ascribes to the “Illuminati” conspiracy theory.

[update – 10 July] However, in a video (see below) interview with Roland Martin Grandmaster Jay denies the group is anti-Semitic.

The groups aims are to create a black nation in Texas, following in the footsteps of the Black separatist tradition in the US in which similar demands have previously been made.

The economic foundation of the new state would be based on reparation payments from the US government.

NFAC says it is not affiliated with the US Black Lives Matter organisation or the wider movement.

Some reports suggest that the organisation has a number of white members. However, this is not readily apparent from the video footage seen by BLMM correspondents. Word from the avowed leader of the militia also contradicts those reports, given that Jay describes the militia as “100% Black”.

It is not known how homogenous the militia is beyond the vague black separatist impulses.

Roots of Black Separatism

Separatist politics dates back to African-American abolitionist and physician Martin Delany in the first half of the nineteenth century, and most successfully with the Garveyite movement of the 1920s, which created the first mass political organisation of black people in the US.

The strongest organisational footprint of the separatist tradition is represented by the Nation of Islam (NoI).

There are no known links between the politically conservative NoI and the NFAC.

Black separatism has developed as a reaction against white racism but the “Back to Africa” slogan – or the independent state idea (it was the Black Belt before the NFAC came up with Texas) on the territory of the US – was more an ideological crutch than a serious realisable goal; it was a way of signalling a rejection of white America and the systemic and violent racism American society perpetuated.

The Black Hebrew Israelites have been blamed for inspiring the racist attacks on Jewish people that have taken place in New Jersey and New York.

Reports from the interactions of NFAC militia members with regular BLM protesters in the park to which the militia marched, suggest that the Black Hebrew Israelites are not influential, among the rank and file at any rate.

NFAC (Not Fucking Around Coalition) militia formed up at Stone Mountain, Georgia, the site of the reformation of the terrorist KKK in 1915.

The site is hallowed ground for America’s white supremacists and their cheerleader Donald Trump.

At 1,000 strong, the NFAC threw down the gauntlet to the far-right militia groups, but they were in Gettysburg to stop a flag-burning that turned out to be a hoax but they were too stupid to realise.

From Newsweek:

NFAC Founder Grand Master Jay told Newsweek via phone Sunday that the militia members at Stone Mountain on Saturday were “100 percent black” and they are not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. “We are a black militia. We aren’t protesters, we aren’t demonstrators. We don’t come to sing, we don’t come to chant. That’s not what we do,” he said.

The emergence of this Black militia group has certainly got people talking. None more so perhaps than Terry Crews.

Judging by his recent tweets and an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Crews seems to have mistakenly decided that the Black separatist world view of the NFAC leadership, such as it is, is dominant in the BLM movement.

NFAC leader denies group is anti-Semitic or that it wants Texas.

Latest developments – NFAC headed to Louisville Kentucky, 25th July

BLM activist Summer Taylor murdered by Trump-empowered vigilante

BLM activist Summer Taylor was 24 years old, an animal lover who worked full time at a veterinary clinic in Seattle.

Summer was a trusted ally of Black Lives Matter in Seattle and was brutally killed last night when a man literally barreled over people with his car on an empty road that police had blocked off for protestors. ⁣

Protestors were literally joyfully dancing to the Cupid Shuffle when a man driving a white Jaguar sped right through the crowd, sending Summer and others flying into the air. ⁣

He then drove for miles, having just killed Summer, and injured others, until he was finally stopped. ⁣-Shaun King. RIP Summer. ?? #whitelivesthatstandwithblacklivesmatter#blacklivesmatter #blm #summertaylor

updated 7 July 2020 11:28 BST

Details of the driver have been released. He is named Dawit Kelete and his motive is not established at this time.

Dawit Kelete