Over 400 Michael Brown protesters arrested


This video from England is called Londoners rally outside US embassy for ‘justice for Mike Brown‘.

By Jerry White in the USA:

Hundreds arrested in US protests against Ferguson whitewash

27 November 2014

Police arrested more than 400 protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, Los Angeles and other cities over the last few nights during demonstrations against the exoneration of the policeman who murdered unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

On Wednesday night, 2,200 Missouri National Guard troops, along with hundreds of police and FBI agents maintained their occupation of the St. Louis suburb of 21,000 residents. The police and soldiers, using tear gas, “responded swiftly” to protests, according to local news reports, which showed Humvees and other military vehicles in the streets and protesters being thrown to the ground and dragged off by police.

More than 100 protesters have been arrested in Ferguson—61 Monday and 45 Tuesday—since the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that there would be no charges against officer Darren Wilson, the policeman who fired twelve shots at Brown, hitting him at least six times.

One protest organizer told the media that police arbitrarily stopped his car and threatened the occupants with guns pointed at their heads. After he spent hours in custody, a police officer acknowledged that his car had been under observation for days since he was known as a leader of the protests.

In nearby St. Louis on Wednesday, police arrested at least five protesters at City Hall. Hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the municipal building, shouting “Shame! Shame!” When some allegedly entered the building, police carrying riot shields quickly arrested them.

Denouncing protesters for “lawlessness” and “destruction,” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, more than tripled the number of National Guard soldiers in the city Tuesday. Last week, Nixon announced a preemptive “state of emergency,” activating the National Guard to suppress protests.

Police and soldiers basically stood down Monday night as several stores were burned and looted, allowing the media to gather the video footage necessary to slander the protests as violent rioting incited by “criminal elements,” before the authorities launched a full-scale crackdown.

Public officials, from President Obama on down, have denounced the “destructive violence,” and the media is baying for more troops and repression in Ferguson. But tens of thousands of university and high school students and working people of all races participated in demonstrations across the US to express their solidarity with the residents of the besieged city and to denounce the rigged grand jury decision.

On Tuesday and Wednesday protests erupted in at least 130 cities across the United States, with the largest demonstrations in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. A massive mobilization of state forces was carried out in response, and there were mass arrests in several cities.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), notorious for its own brutality and criminality, arrested nearly 200 protesters late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning. LA police chief Charlie Beck said, “When you see folks looting and fires and police cars being vandalized and the extreme degree of tension that we all saw, it does remind me of 1992,” referring to the riots that erupted after the exoneration of the cops that beat black motorist Rodney King.

On Tuesday, riot-equipped policemen outside of the LAPD headquarters used crowd-control methods to box in protesters and carry out mass arrests in the downtown area. Others were arrested by California Highway Patrol officers when they attempted to block traffic on the Hollywood Freeway (US 101).

The LAPD said 167 arrests were for disturbing the peace, one for felony assault on a police officer and 15 for curfew violations. Those arrested have been jailed in the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Police in Boston said on Wednesday that 45 people were arrested in protests overnight that drew more than a thousand demonstrators, according to the Reuters news agency. In Dallas, seven were arrested for blocking traffic on Interstate 35, a major north-south US roadway.

In New York City police used pepper spray against protesters and arrested at least ten people after they tried to block the Lincoln Tunnel and Triborough Bridge.

The police repression took place as new information emerged about the whitewash of the police murder of Michael Brown. A day after ABC News broadcast an uncritical interview with Wilson, with anchorman George Stephanopoulos allowing the well-coached cop’s claims that he killed Brown in self-defense to go unchallenged, it was revealed that police who arrived on the scene of the August 9 murder immediately began a cover-up.

According to transcripts of the grand jury proceedings, Wilson was allowed to keep his gun and wash the blood off his hands before any testing, and only later in the day did he turn in his police pistol as evidence. The policeman who took Wilson’s initial statement at the shooting scene did not take notes or use a recorder, and investigators from the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s Office never took photos or any distance measurements at the scene.

The grand jury proceedings were no more legitimate than the “investigation” by the police and medical examiner. According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, of the more than 162,500 cases presented by US prosecutors from 2009 to 2010, grand juries voted not to return an indictment in only 11—i.e., one in 14,759 cases, or 0.0068 percent.

The grand jury in the Michael Brown murder brought back no charges precisely because St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch and the political forces behind him did not want a prosecution.

The police have been given a license to kill and unleash military repression against the American people by the entire political establishment, from the Obama administration and the Justice Department, down to the state and local level. Determined to impose deeply unpopular policies of austerity, poverty-level wages and war, the American ruling elite is increasingly resorting to authoritarian methods: militarized police, mass arrests, domestic spying and state-sanctioned murder.

The United States regularly denounces regimes for suppressing “their own people” and violating human rights if these governments happen to come into conflict with US foreign policy. Endless imperialist-backed “color revolutions,” including in Iran and Ukraine, have employed this method to destabilize and overturn regimes in pursuit of US geopolitical interests. Meanwhile, the capitalist state in the US employs violent repression in an effort to terrorize and suppress social opposition to unprecedented levels of social inequality.

Angela Davis: From Michael Brown to Assata Shakur, the racist state of America persists. Those who resist are treated like terrorists – as in Ferguson this year, and as I and other black activists were in the 60s and 70s: here.

FBI data released over the past month reveals that so-called “justifiable homicides” reached a record high last year, while the number of officers killed in the line of duty fell to its lowest level in decades. According to the data, which appeared in a Monday article on the Washington Post web site, 461 American civilians were killed by on-the-job police officers in 2013, while 27 police officers were killed by civilians. The article notes the correlation between the record killings and the militarization of American police over the same period, “fueled by a glut of surplus military equipment heading home from Iraq and Afghanistan”: here.

Michael Brown’s parents join with families of black men killed by police. Families of Eric Garner and Akai Gurley appear in New York alongside Al Sharpton to mourn deaths on day before Thanksgiving: here.

Michael Brown solidarity demonstration in London


This video says about itself:

US Embassy, London

26 November 2014

Relatives of black Britons who died as a rest of controversial police actions rally with supporters at the US embassy in London in support of the family of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ferguson: protest at US embassy in London over killing of Michael Brown

Relatives of young black Britons who died at the hands of police stage rally in support of Brown’s family

Ben Quinn

Wednesday 26 November 2014 19.32 GMT

Relatives of young black Britons who died as a result of controversial police actions have staged a rally outside the US embassy in London to protest against the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Wielding placards condemning the failure of a grand jury in St Louis County to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing Brown in August, several hundred people joined in the protest outside the embassy and held their hands aloft while chanting the slogan of campaigners in the US: “Hands up, don’t shoot”.

Among them was Carole Duggan, aunt of Mark Duggan, whose shooting by police was a trigger for the 2011 riots across England.

“We want to send out condolences to Mike Brown’s family. We feel the pain and know the pain of losing somebody at the hands of the police,” she told the crowd. “We know what it feels like to know that a member of your family has been murdered in cold blood. That is why we stand in solidarity with the community in Ferguson, who are very, very brave people.”

Other speakers included Marcia Rigg, sister of Sean Rigg, a musician who died in 2008 after being arrested and restrained by police in south London.

“People across the world understand the frustration and anger that people in Ferguson are feeling when their loved ones are murdered,” she said. “What are they supposed to do? We try to go peacefully, just ask for the truth, but all we keep getting is lies.”

Demonstrators hold candles and placards during a protest outside the US embassy in London over the US court decision not to charge the policeman who killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in the town of Ferguson, Missouri. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty

The demonstration was supported by Labour MP Diane Abbott, who said in a statement that the family of Michael Brown had not just lost a loved one but, following the grand jury’s decision, “they no doubt feel the strongest sense of injustice, which can only make their pain worse”.

“Just as in Britain, the black community in the US has a fraught history with the police. It is one of the reasons I have always been against the arming of police,” Abbott said.

“And just this weekend a 12-year-old boy has been shot dead by police in the US as he played with a fake gun in a park. And time and time again, no one is held accountable. When yet another unarmed young black man is killed and it is ‘lawful’, it can be no surprise that black people are questioning how much value these same laws place on their lives,” she added.

Ms McSpadden said that it had been a “sleepless, very hard, heartbreaking and unbelievable” time for her since the grand jury announcement that police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing her son. She also felt that Mr Wilson’s description of her son as looking demonic during their August 9 confrontation was disrespectful and “added insult to injury.” Lawyers for her family vowed to push for federal civil rights charges against the white officer, insisting that the grand jury process had been rigged from the start to clear him: here.

Police teargas, rubber bullets for Ferguson unconscious woman


This video from Ferguson, Missouri, USA says about itself:

Police fire tear gas, rubber bullets at group carrying unconscious woman in Ferguson

24 November 2014

Fusion’s Tim Pool witnessed an unconscious woman getting tear gassed by police in Ferguson last night.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ferguson riots: Police ‘fire tear gas and rubber bullets’ into crowd carrying unconscious woman following Michael Brown grand jury verdict

James Rush

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Footage has emerged of the moment police seemingly fired tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowd of protesters carrying an apparently unconscious woman in Ferguson.

The group can be seen advancing towards a line of police officers carrying the woman and shouting: “She’s having a heart attack! She needs help!”

A member of the crowd can then be heard to say “don’t shoot” moments before tear gas and rubber bullets appear to be fired into the crowd. As the bullets are fired an officer can be heard to say: “Back up. We will get her.”

The crowd then begins to disperse, covering their mouths as smoke fills the air.

The incident, witnessed by Fusion journalist Tim Pool, occurred on the first night of protests in Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson who killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

Protests were held in cities across the US on Tuesday during a second night of demonstrations following the grand jury verdict.

Hitler’s concentration camps, new film


This video from Britain says about itself:

Night Will Fall (2014) – André Singer (Trailer) | BFI release

3 September 2014

André Singer’s extraordinary new documentary about the filming of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps is released on 19 September 2014 at BFI Southbank and cinemas nationwide.

By Paul Mitchell:

Night Will Fall: A powerful depiction of Nazi atrocities

26 November 2014

A British Film Institute release, directed by André Singer, written by Lynette Singer and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter

Night Will Fall is a timely film, given the climate of militarism and the deliberate encouragement of right-wing reaction in the aftermath of the economic crash of 2008. It details the Nazi atrocities that were the product of the crisis of German imperialism out of which Hitler’s regime arose.

The work is a film about a lost film, “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey” (GCCFS), the official British record of the camps, which was shelved unfinished, for political reasons, at the end of the Second World War.

The survey has now been completed, 70 years later, by Imperial War Museum (IWM) experts sifting through some 100 reels of unedited footage shot by specially trained ex-combat soldiers to recreate the sixth and final reel following the instructions laid down by the original production team in 1945.

The GCCFS is a remarkable work that succeeds in depicting the terrible crimes of the Holocaust in a ground-breaking and accurate manner. It begins in April 1945 with British troops approaching Belsen-Bergen concentration camp. The first indications of the horrors that awaited them was the overwhelming smell, which they discovered emanated from heaps of emaciated corpses piled between groups of starving, expressionless survivors.

Cameraman Sgt. Mike Lewis describes how, “We were there for about two weeks filming all these sights. No film I’ve seen since really conveys the feeling of despair and horror that can be done to people who were Europeans of another faith … I thought as time passed by it might leave me, to forget, but it never does leave you”.

Similar feelings were expressed by legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock, who provided advice on shooting the GCCFS, particularly ways to avoid accusations of fakery. In the 1970s, Hitchcock recounted, “At the end of the war, I made a film to show the reality of the concentration camps, you know. Horrible. It was more horrible than any fantasy horror. Then, nobody wanted to see it. It was too unbearable. But it has stayed in my mind all of these years”.

The GCCFS includes footage from July 1944, when Soviet troops advancing from the East made the first contact with the system of camps at Majdanek, where warehouses were discovered littered with boxes of human hair, teeth, children’s’ toys, spectacles and other possessions.

Footage is shown of Auschwitz, which unlike Bergen-Belsen and Majdanek was a slave labour and extermination camp. More than a million people died in the gas chambers, their fates decided within minutes of arrival.

One of the few survivors, Eva Mozes, describes how, “The cattle car doors slid open. Thousands of people poured out of the cattle car. My father and two older sisters disappeared in the crowd. Never, ever did I see them again … A woman came up to my mother, took the little suitcase and asked, ‘Are these two twins?’ My mother said ‘Yes’, and the woman said, ‘Why don’t you say they are twins? It’s a good thing to have twins here”.

Eva and her sister Miriam were amongst the few sets of twins to survive from the 1,500 who underwent cruel medical experimentation at the hands of Dr Josef Mengele.

Smiling children through barbed wire

Amongst the unrelenting horror and despair, there are still signs of humanity. One sequence shows smiling children, glad at being rescued and another reveals how quickly the starving inmates could recover physically once they received food, medicines and attention.

The GCCFS was commissioned in April 1945 by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) under the command of US General Dwight D. Eisenhower for use as evidence in war crime trials and the “re-education” of the “vanquished Germans”. It shows local inhabitants being marched into the camps to watch former SS officers burying the dead in mass graves. The smiles and good humour of the onlookers rapidly disappear.

Sidney Bernstein, who headed the film section at Britain’s Ministry of Information was appointed as producer and assembled a small team including the “best known editor in London”, Stewart McAllister. Richard Crossman, the Assistant Chief of SHAEF’s Psychological Warfare Division, an offshoot of the intelligence organisation, the Special Operations Executive, was employed as scriptwriter. Crossman became a Labour Party MP in 1945, cabinet minister in the Harold Wilson government and editor of the New Statesman.

According to Dr Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the IWM in charge of the restoration and completion of the GCCFS, the project confronted difficulties from the start. Some British officials wanted to censor the material, while others were opposed to showing it all—concerned about public reaction to the atrocities, especially the close-ups of dead women and children.

Haggith indicates there was “fierce rivalry” between Britain and the US over the direction the film should take. Bernstein wanted his meticulous “systematic record” to be educational and “to improve the world”, but US officials wanted “a hard-hitting film—and they wanted it immediately”.

The US withdrew its support from the GCCFS in July 1945, instead appointing filmmaker Billy Wilder to make a shorter film, Death Mills, from the same material, which was shown in the American sector.

Night Will Fall also discusses other pressures preventing the completion of the GCCFS. Bernstein later revealed, “The military command, our Foreign Office and the US State Department, decided that the Germans were in a state of apathy and had to be stimulated to get the machine of Germany working again. They didn’t want to rub their noses in the atrocities”.

The US and Britain were also embroiled in a controversy over what to do with Jewish refugees. Both governments wanted to prevent or limit the numbers travelling to their countries and Palestine and were concerned about the sympathy the documentary would arouse about their plight.

The development of the Cold War was a major factor. The uncompleted sixth reel intended to show the liberation of the camps in the East by the Soviet army, but their revelations about the atrocities were dismissed by the US and Britain as propaganda.

While Night Will Fall acknowledges that the beginning of the Cold War contributed to the demise of the GCCFS, it downplays the fact that thousands of Nazi war criminals became valuable assets for the US. They helped create the post-war German intelligence agency BND, or became spies, researchers and scientists for US military and intelligence agencies. At least five top associates of Holocaust organiser Adolf Eichmann were employed by the CIA after the war.

Night Will Fall ends with a plea that such terrible things not happen again. However, moral outrage cannot substitute for a historical and materialist understanding of the roots of such barbarity in the crisis of capitalism.

Historical developments meant that German imperialism had to turn to the Nazi movement in order to destroy the powerful German workers’ movement and pursue its project, started in World War I, of an empire in the East (Lebensraum). The stability of the fascist regime required the removal and extermination of the “Jew-Bolsheviks”, who were seen as a threat above all because of their profound connection with the workers ’ movement and Marxism. Moreover, as imperialist rivalry increases, Germany is once again seeking to reassert its geostrategic interests and expand to the East–in Ukraine–through the coup assisted by the fascists in Svoboda and the Right Sector.

Michael Brown solidarity demonstrators interviewed


This video from the USA says about itself:

24 November 2014

Just hours after the Grand Jury announcement of no indictment of Darren Wilson, Run The Jewels performed at the The Ready Room in STL where Killer Mike spoke in solidarity with Ferguson and the family of Michael Brown. Emotional and powerful moment tucked away in a corner of a poignant night in Saint Louis.

From the World Socialist Web Site in the USA:

Protesters condemn exoneration of cop who killed Michael Brown

26 November 2014

In interviews with WSWS reporters, workers and youth in a number of cities expressed anger over the grand jury exoneration of the police officer who murdered Michael Brown.

In New York City, thousands of protesters assembled for a second night in Manhattan’s Union Square and carried signs that condemned the failure to indict Daren Wilson. They chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “No justice, no peace.”

One group of several hundred marched to Times Square where they chanted, “Send the racist cop to jail,” knocked over police barricades, and blocked traffic for fifteen minutes. Police helicopters followed the march while other police followed on motorcycles.

Those who protested were mostly young people, including many students from local universities.

“It is crazy. I see videos of this stuff on Facebook all the time and they are pretty gruesome,” said Luis, a high school student, speaking about police brutality. “Police take out batons or guns after the person gave up.

“Some people are saying we are going to have martial law and I sort of agree. People should protest peacefully but the way the police are reacting is way out of hand. The police are acting like people have AK-47s or M4s. In August, I saw police pulling guns on completely peaceful protests.”

Oscar Rivera

Oscar Rivera, a senior at the New School, said, “Every level of government messed up and I just hope everything wasn’t in vain. People need to mobilize and fight for a change. These issues have a long history. We were founded on certain people being unequal, with slavery and exploitation. Now police oppression is institutionalized in a way that it was not before.”

Jasmine, a student from New York University, told us, “I wasn’t surprised at the verdict at all. There is an epidemic of police violence, and it’s not just in the United States. It happens in Venezuela and in Mexico with the murder of the student teachers. The police feel that they have authority and that they can use it however they want. The Ferguson police brought in weapons of war against peaceful demonstrators. It’s nothing but intimidation. I think they are drunk with power.”

In Detroit, Darryl Clay, a law student, told the WSWS, “I feel that with the decision last night they are saying it is legal to execute black people.

“It was evident Michael Brown did not have a weapon,” he continued. “All of a sudden he is mowed down. It is happening across the country. It is just lucky we have cell phones to capture these incidents.”

Andre, a railroad worker, said, “I came down today in support of Michael Brown. I was not surprised by the grand jury decision. These police shootings have been happening for a long time.

“I feel that it is fundamentally about class. However, the news media is trying to present it as black against white. The media is really fueling that perception. Obama is basically a puppet. He does what he is told.”

“The decision was wrong,” said Sandy, a retired Detroit Public Schools worker. “You shoot a person six times and it’s self-explanatory that the cop should be indicted. I remember what it was like being chased by the cops in the 1970s because I was a teenager with a big Afro. It’s happening all over.”

Marsalis

A car designer said, “This is happening all over. In New York, the police killed Eric Garner; he had no weapons and he told them he couldn’t breathe. But they chocked him to death. What if that was your son, brother or father?”

Marsalis, a student at Oakland Community College, said, “This is very wrong. They left his body outside on the ground for four hours. The police are enforcing the law unevenly. They are repressing people.

“This is about inequality. It seems like black youth are being targeted. I read that a black youth is killed by the police every 28 hours. But this is not just about race. It is the ruling class against the working class. American democracy does not exist.”

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a crowd of 400 to 500 people assembled on the central campus of the University of Michigan. It was one of the largest demonstrations at the university since the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003. The rally was followed by a march to the city hall building, where a vigil was held for Aura Rosser, a woman shot dead by police in Ann Arbor two weeks ago.

“The Ferguson grand jury decision adds insult to injury,” said William Royster, a senior in engineering from Kalamazoo. “We know the status of the black community. The grand jury decision shows that the problem is systemic; if there ever was a case that we had them against the wall, it was this one. People go to trial for stealing cookies. In this case, we had a man who was shot six times. It should have gone to trial.”

William

William said protests were understandable but not enough. “There are no consequences, nothing truly inconvenient to the system comes from demonstrating. We can riot, we can march, but we are aware that this won’t change things.”

Asia, a senior majoring in neuroscience, said she was disgusted, “but not surprised” by the grand jury decision or police response. “It’s happened before and it is happening again. It took so long for them to announce a ruling, as if they were dragging it out, getting people’s hopes up and trying to present it as a legitimate process.”

In Portland, Oregon, Christian, 25, joined a demonstration at Portland State University. “Before this happened in Ferguson, I didn’t want armed police on campus,” he said. “Now I really don’t want it. It would be a step toward militarizing the university.

“It’s unfair that Wilson was set free without charges. It seemed like it wasn’t even an issue of if they would charge him but what they would tell people when they didn’t.”

Riley, 21, also at the Portland State demonstration, said, “It’s pretty upsetting that he’s not paying. He should be in jail.”

A young man who preferred not to be identified told the WSWS that he had earlier studied to be a police officer, and that many officers are hired directly out of the military. “Of course they have military equipment; they are the military, that’s what they want,” he said, adding that many suffer from the trauma of combat overseas and have not been reacclimatized to civilian life.

Rally in Madison, Wisconsin

Four to five hundred demonstrators gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Tuesday to voice their opposition to the grand jury decision. While demonstrators gathered at the University of Minnesota in the midafternoon, a larger group met in front of a police station on the corner of Minnehaha Avenue and Lake Street. Police responded to the demonstrations by cordoning off surface streets in the surrounding area. One woman was injured as a car drove through a group of protesters who had gathered in the intersection.

In the aftermath of the Brown decision, the Minneapolis Police Department warned demonstrators that they were prepared to crack down. While hypocritically announcing that the police would intervene “to keep demonstrators and the general public safe,” Police Chief Janee Harteau also said the department would maintain “a safe and secure city while respecting private property.”

A group of students from South High School told the WSWS that students at their school had staged a walkout and had received wide support from teachers and fellow students.

“We were going to hold a sit-in for four hours to symbolize the time Michael Brown’s body was in the street,” said Brigie, who explained that students then agreed to join the afternoon’s scheduled demonstration.

“We walked out to unite the youth and to be peaceful, and to come together for democratic rights. We want to be in solidarity with the people of Ferguson,” Brigie added.

High school Michael Brown demonstrators

Jacob, another South High student, said they were demonstrating in Minneapolis because “injustice somewhere affects the rights of people everywhere.”

Another student said, “It has become legal in this country for police to kill.”

Tyler, a custodian, said Darren Wilson was “an agent of the state.” The police and the state, he said, “have a symbiotic relationship, and that’s why they protected him. While race was probably an element, the main thing is that poor people are being oppressed equally.”

A food truck driver named Van said the police killing in Ferguson was “a brick in the wall,” implying these types of killings take place on a regular basis.

Two to three hundred people, including many students from the University of Wisconsin, rallied in Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, which saw major protests against attacks on workers’ rights in 2011.

Protesters chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter.” Signs read “Jobs not jails,” Surplus tanks, no thanks,” and “Stop the racist killer cops.”

One student speaker said, “The Democrats have not done anything for us, both the Democrats and the Republicans.”

Claire, an unemployed young woman, told the WSWS, “I came to be part of an important moment in history. It is affecting lots of people. There is a general sentiment of injustice.”

Harry Richardson

Harry Richardson is a mail clerk at the University of Wisconsin. “Three years ago the state took away our right to a contract. The killing of Michael Brown and the grand jury decision are a gross injustice. It gives the lie to any meaningful change since Obama. Domestically things are not improved and foreign policy is a copy of the Bush administration. Speaking of militarization of the police, the police in Madison got a tank.”

Roughly 200 people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania attended a rally Tuesday evening at the University of Pittsburgh. Students and youth made up the majority of those in attendance, joined by a smaller number of workers and professionals. After an hour and a half of rallying, protesters briefly blocked a traffic intersection before police intervened.

Protesters in Pittsburgh

Melanie told the WSWS, “My thoughts are that the system is really broken. It is designed to do exactly what it’s been doing. It’s actually successful at oppressing the people and creating a lot of cynicism. We have to change the whole society and start all over again. It is totally impenetrable now. They’ve even passed laws making it impossible to sue law enforcement.”

Joey said, “Whenever someone is killed like this, there is always some hate behind it. People are being killed, they’re being put down and being put into slums—here and all over the world. America always talks about adverse issues around the world when in fact it is creating those conditions.

“We have to organize politically, get the word out, and disturb the system. For example, the media is talking about all of the looters in Ferguson. Well, the system isn’t working for them, so they’re going to break it. They’re being killed there and it’s being ignored by the media. Not by us, though.”

In Washington, DC, on Monday, hundreds gathered in front of the White House to protest the decision not to charge Wilson. On Tuesday, over a thousand protesters marched in the downtown area.

Reporters from the WSWS spoke to Devon, a young writer with family in St. Louis. “There is a culture of segregation in my city that I’m not sure some people understand. When I was ten or eleven years old cops broke into my house attempting to find incriminating evidence on my older brother. When my mom asked [the officers] why they were in our house, they lied to her, saying they had been chasing a suspect who had ran into our house.”

Devon expressed anger over the Obama administration’s sanctioning of Wilson’s exoneration. “It’s not a white and black thing,” he added.

Muhammad, an unemployed worker, also expressed his disgust with the Obama administration. “Why’d he have to send more troops to Iraq?” he asked. “I’ve got friends that have to fight in that war.”

Nearby, in Baltimore, hundreds of protesting students at Morgan State University blocked traffic at a number of intersections. Students at the Maryland College of Art drew murals declaring “R.I.P. Michael Brown” on the street.

The Cleveland police department is defending the murder of a 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed over the weekend while playing with a toy gun in a city park: here.

Following two fatal police shootings within two days in the state of Queensland there is mounting evidence of an officially-sanctioned “shoot to kill” policy in working-class areas. The two killings brought the number to four in suburbs around Brisbane, the state capital, since late September. Another man was shot in the head at close range, but survived: here.

Many Michael Brown solidarity demonstrations


This video from the USA says about itself:

Crowds gathered outside the White House in Washington on Monday evening (August 25) in a candlelit vigil for murdered black teenager Michael Brown.

By Tom Eley in the USA:

Demonstrations across the US against Michael Brown decision

26 November 2014

In defiance of a nationwide police mobilization, demonstrations against the grand jury exoneration of the policeman who murdered Michael Brown took place across the United States on Monday and Tuesday.

Protests, involving youth, students and working people of all races, took place in scores of cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Dallas, Detroit, Seattle, Boston, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Oakland, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Orleans. Demonstrations were also held in small towns, among them Duluth, Minnesota; Burlington, Vermont; Superior, Wisconsin; and Asheville, North Carolina.

Dozens of campus protests, some counting hundreds of protesters, took place at a wide variety of schools— public and private, elite schools and community colleges, and colleges both predominantly black and majority white. A small sample of these include protests at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Princeton University, the University of Washington in Seattle, the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, the University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University in Michigan, Virginia Commonwealth University, Ohio University and Kent State in Ohio, Xavier University in Chicago, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, the University of Kentucky, Stanford University and Tulane and Loyola Universities in New Orleans.

High school walkouts and sit-ins also took place in major cities, including Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis, and in smaller cities and towns, including White Plains, New York and Norman, Oklahoma.

The demonstrations took place in spite of an unprecedented mobilization of the police and other security forces. With the clear intention of intimidating workers and youth in advance of the ruling, the Obama administration, mayors and police chiefs across the country had warned that security would be on “high alert” to handle “disturbances”—pronouncements that also implicitly threatened the possibility of police infiltration and provocation. There were few reports, however, of violence.

In St. Louis, along miles from the site where Ferguson cop Darren Wilson murdered 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, hundreds of protesters blocked downtown intersections and a bridge over the Mississippi River linking the city to Illinois. Police used pepper spray to disperse the peaceful protests on Interstate 44 near the Edward Jones Dome.

In Seattle, thousands of students walked out of their high schools. Some converged on the University of Washington campus, while other protesters blocked roads. There were at least five arrests after police attacked demonstrators.

“Out of nowhere, the cops started pushing us back with their bikes, started pepper spraying us in the face,” said young protester Todd Peralta. “I got sprayed. He got sprayed. A group of people got sprayed that were right there in front. We were just protesting. Simply protesting.”

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles was placed on “lockdown” on Monday night after “a large contingent of protesters” gathered on campus after the ruling, according to a local news report.

In Oakland police arrested 43 protesters Monday night. A crowd that gathered at an intersection near city hall grew to over 500. Protesters lay in the middle of an intersection in silent protest, then marched down Broadway shouting, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “Black lives matter—all lives matter.”

Oakland was the site of the 2009 police murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, which was captured on videotape. Nevertheless, the killer, officer Johannes Mehserle, was not convicted of murder.

Ferguson shooting: Protests spread across US: here.

AS FERGUSON SMOLDERS, NATIONWIDE PROTESTS CONTINUE “The sparks of outrage that started in Ferguson, Missouri, have ignited a firestorm of protests across the country … More than 170 protests sprouted up … Tuesday. Some demonstrations blocked bridges, tunnels and major highways. But unlike the violence that erupted in Ferguson on Monday night, most of the crowds were peaceful.” HuffPost has mapped out where protests are happening in your area.

MORE THAN MICHAEL BROWN “It’s important to note that this case has never been about just one police officer. The spotlight on Ferguson has revealed with a renewed, sharper focus a deep divide in our society highlighting persistent systemic inequalities.” [HuffPost]

Michael Brown solidarity camp in London, England


This video is called Justice for Michael Brown; protest at the US Embassy, London 27/08/14.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Michael Brown solidarity camp to be set up

Wednesday 26th November 2014

PROTESTERS vowed to camp outside the US embassy in London this evening in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, shot dead by a police officer in the US.

They will assemble in Grosvenor Square from 5.30pm to call for justice after a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, deemed Darren Wilson innocent of illegally killing Mr Brown.

“It is really important for us to show solidarity globally when there is injustice and racism,” Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts (Barac) co-chair Zita Holbourne told the Star.

“People are relating to it because there are similar cases going on here.”

Barac will host a vigil in the square along with the National Union of Students black students’ campaign, London Black Revs and Defend the Right to Protest.

Thousands are expected to attend with almost 1,500 people confirming their support on Facebook alone.

“There are families concerned every day that this could be their family, this could be happening to them, not to mention the institutional racism we experience here from the police and other institutions which is very similar to the USA,” added Ms Holbourne.

“It’s important for the families and the people in Ferguson to see that there are people who do care, that understand what they are going through and are showing solidarity.

“I think it helps to give strength to those who are going through it right now to see other people standing up with them.”

Meanwhile, an online funding campaign to secure legal representation for people arrested during the disturbances [in Ferguson] approached the $50,000 (£32,000) mark, double the original target: here.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered an additional 1,500 National Guard troops to Ferguson Tuesday, bringing the total to 2,200, as part of a crackdown on protests in the St. Louis suburb over the exoneration of the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last August: here.