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.

Murdered United States civil rights activists get Medal of Freedom


This video from the USA is called Angela Lewis On Her Father, James E. Chaney, & The Mississippi Burning Case. 8/4/2014.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Barack Obama presents Medal of Freedom to 19 activists including murdered civil rights campaigners

Tuesday 25th November 2014

US PRESIDENT Barack Obama presented the Medal of Freedom to 19 activists yesterday.

The group receiving the country’s highest civilian honour included actor Meryl Streep and singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder.

Posthumous medals were awarded to six individuals, among them civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered in 1964 in Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan.

However, the honour made their relatives uneasy.

They warned it could relegate the racial equality movement to history when it was still as relevant as ever.

“You know, the struggle in this country probably started with the first revolt on a slave ship and it continues now,” said Mr Schwerner’s widow Rita Bender.

And Mr Chaney’s sister, the Rev Julia Moss, said the award should be for all of those killed during the civil rights struggle.

“It’s really about all the families,” she said.

“It’s about the history of the pain of the African-American experience in Mississippi.”

BBC journalist hobnobbing with Britain First deputy fuehrer


Pictures from Japanese neo-Nazi Kazunari Yamada’s website show him posing with Shinzo Abe’s internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, and his party’s policy chief, Tomomi Inada. Photograph: Guardian

First, there were the Japanese Rightist government ministers posing for a photo-op with the fuehrer of the Japanese neo-nazi party, smiling happily.

UKIP ACTIVISTS POSE WITH BRITAIN FIRST CANDIDATE JAYDA FRANSEN

Then came the UKIP activists, posing for a photo-op with the deputy fuehrer of the Britain First neo-nazi party, smiling happily.

Britain First's deputy fuehrer and Nick Robinson

Now, a Right wing BBC journalist, posing for a photo-op with the same deputy fuehrer; again, smiling happily.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Robinson under fire for Britain First snap

Media: BBC reporter Nick Robinson came under fire yesterday after being snapped with Britain First’s deputy leader.

The political editor faced an angry backlash after he posed with Jayda Fransen, the far-right group’s candidate in the Rochester and Strood by-election, during the count.

Mr Robinson, who once grabbed an anti-war placard [and] stamped on it during a live broadcast, apologised — claiming he agreed to the snap without knowing who she was.

This video is about Nick Robinson, so angry that so many people opposed the Iraq war, that he vandalized an anti-war placard.

Ferguson, Missouri people interviewed


This video from the USA is called Moving: Ferguson Protesters Interrupt St. Louis Symphony With Michael Brown Requiem.

From Businessweek in the USA:

Four Voices from Ferguson, Mo., Where the Stress Is Unbearable

By Peter Coy November 21, 2014

The people of Ferguson, Mo., are under stress as they wait for a grand jury to announce whether it’s indicting the white police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager in August

The passage of time hasn’t eased the tension. If anything, it has given people more time to build anger and frustration. I spoke this week with four people—three black, one white—who have been watching the case closely. Here’s what they had to say.

Patricia Bynes, Democratic committeewoman of Ferguson Township

“Just knowing that a decision on the indictment is coming: Mike Brown’s body laid out for 4 1/2 hours. This feels like this is the 4 1/2 hours for the rest of us, the time period for the indictment [decision],” Bynes says. …

Michael McMillan, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis

McMillan specifies four steps involving police officers that would ease racial tension. First, he says, police “need to cease” racial profiling, both in traffic stops and stop-and-frisk operations. Second, majority-white police departments in majority-black towns should add black officers. Third, all officers should be equipped with cameras that record interactions with the public, and the images should be stored by a company or organization not connected with the police department. Fourth, Missouri should have a law requiring the appointment of an independent prosecutor in every shooting by a police officer. …

Jeffrey Smith, assistant professor of politics and advocacy at New School University’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Studies

Smith, who is white, served in the Missouri Senate from 2006 to 2009, representing inner-city St. Louis. …

“It’s incredibly tense, and the governor didn’t do anything to ease it over the past week [by declaring a state of emergency]. There’s just a complete dearth of empathy for the people and what they’re going through,” he says. Smith notes that the nearby city of St. Louis eased tensions by eliminating 220,000 warrants for non-violent municipal offenses, but says Ferguson has done little, aside from “some minor changes to its traffic court.” He says there have been stepped-up efforts to recruit black officers in various towns in northern St. Louis County, along with philanthropic efforts to ease tensions. But those things take time. “People on the ground haven’t seen any difference.”

John Gaskin III, community activist. Gaskin is a spokesman for the St. Louis County NAACP, but is speaking only for himself on Ferguson issues …

As for an indictment, Gaskin says, “there is enough evidence right now on the table to indict Darren Wilson and arrest him.” The grand jury’s job is to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant a trial, not to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but the grand jury process “has turned into a criminal trial,” Gaskin says. “The governor should have appointed a special prosecutor from the start,” he says, adding that the legal process has “allowed everyone in leadership to look ludicrous on a national stage.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has dispatched 100 agents to the St. Louis, Missouri area ahead of an expected grand jury decision over whether to bring charges against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August: here.

New York City police shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old black man Thursday night in a Brooklyn housing project, in what the city’s political establishment is referring to as an “unfortunate accident.” The news of this latest murder by the New York Police Department (NYPD) comes as the ruling elite prepares a crackdown in advance of a grand jury decision on whether to bring charges against the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who killed Michael Brown in August: here.

British nazis say vote UKIP


This video from London, England says about itself:

Neo-Nazi group Britain First ‘invade’ East London Mosque

19 May 2014

Sloppy Britain First members not only trampled all over our mosque’s prayer areas without removing their shoes, they also jumped a red light and parked illegally (before scarpering when a traffic officer arrived). Well, given the number of arrests Paul Golding is wracking up recently, perhaps no surprise there …

From the BBC in Britain today:

UKIP has its second elected MP at Westminster after Mark Reckless won the Rochester and Strood by-election.

Mr Reckless took 16,867 votes, 2,920 more than Conservative Kelly Tolhurst’s 13,947, with Labour’s Naushabah Khan on 6,713 – ahead of the Green Party.

The Lib Dems came fifth with their lowest vote total in a by-election.

Mr Reckless, whose defection from the Tories to UKIP triggered the contest in Kent, travelled soon after to London to take his seat in Parliament.

See also here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Racist Britain First tells supporters to vote Ukip today

Friday 21st November 2014

Fascists back Farage’s mob

Racist party Britain First urged its supporters yesterday to vote for Ukip candidate Mark Reckless in the Rochester and Strood by-election.

In a polling day post on its Facebook page, the far-right group ordered fellow racists to “vote Ukip today.”

The post went on to explain that Mr Reckless had the best chance of winning the election for the right and claimed credit for his expected victory.

Britain First activists attempted to stage a second divisive march through Rochester on Saturday – but were faced down by some 300 local people.

Mr Reckless won enthusiastic support from the street gang just a day after declaring that immigrant workers could be deported if Britain left the EU.