Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin killed in the USA


This video from Florida in the USA says about itself:

The Death of Trayvon Martin

A compilation and interpretation of concrete video and audio evidence from the shooting death of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, FL. Security camera footage from The Retreat at Twin Lakes clubhouse is synched to George Zimmerman’s 311 call, and to selections of the 911 calls reporting the shooting. After an introductory set-up, the video proceeds in real time. Animated maps are provided to illustrate the movement of George Zimmerman’s truck and the arrival of the police, as revealed by the “light events” in the security footage, and the comments of the 911 callers.

This evidence combines to establish that George Zimmerman was untruthful in a variety of his statements to the police regarding the shooting.

There is a long stretch of the video where not much happens. I have left it unedited to preserve real time both a) for evidenciary purposes – it establishes that traffic inside RATL was minimal that evening other than Zimmerman’s driving around, and I didn’t want to be accused of editing anything out :-), and b) I want to provide viewers the opportunity to feel just how long Trayvon Martin was standing under the mailbox awning before Zimmerman showed up, to understand just far fetched some of Zimmerman’s claims are in terms of the passage of time.

The research and analysis presented in this video is a collective project of contributors to BCClist.com.

Note: The little box on the right mis-identifies the music used on the soundtrack. It links to the correct artist and album — ‘Half Mute’ by Tuxedomoon — but the track in the video is “KM/Seeding the Clouds” not “Midnite Stroll.”

From the Jamaica Observer in Jamaica:

Trayvon Martin déjà vu in Ferguson

Thursday, November 27, 2014

ON Monday, a United States grand jury decided that police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted on any charge for the fatal August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Wilson was never arrested, charged or subjected to any disciplinary action.

The grand jury announcement further jangled nerves already frayed by police killing of a 12-year-old black boy holding a toy gun in a playground in Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday, and the unpunished killing, earlier, of Trayvon Martin who was armed only with candy and a soft drink. The widely expected verdict in this sordid affair reignites the unresolved debate about racism in policing in America.

The announcement came after the St Louis County Grand Jury met in secrecy 25 times and heard from 60 witnesses before deciding. In a CNN poll, 32 per cent of Americans thought Mr Wilson should be charged with murder and another 25 per cent that he should be charged with some kind of crime. It comes as no surprise that in the latest round of HuffPost/YouGov polling, 64 per cent of black Americans said Mr Wilson was at fault, compared with just 22 per cent of whites.

The whole process has been handled badly, starting with the mayor and the governor whose primary concern was to maintain law and order. Immediately after the Martin and Brown killings, the respective police departments started to supply the media with information suggesting that both youngsters were gang members and were so stupid that they attacked armed officers. Yet no weapons of any kind have been found.

Irrelevant and insensitive comments were made by people, including former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani who said that the shooting was an exception, because 95 per cent of African-Americans are killed by other blacks.

Some 74 per cent of black Americans saw the Brown shooting as part of a larger pattern and not as a freak accident. The number is probably higher in Ferguson, Missouri. The Attorney General’s Office, in a report on racial profiling, found that 86 per cent of traffic stops in Ferguson targeted African-Americans in 2013. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world with 707 per 100,000 and African-Americans make up 40 per cent of the almost 2.1 million male inmates in prison, although they account for 12 per cent of the American population.

Wilson has expressed no regret, claiming that his life was in danger and that he acted in accordance with his training. Some eyewitnesses have stated that Brown had his hands up at the time of the fatal shot. If the “no remorse, I have done nothing wrong, I was defending myself” justification seems familiar, it is because neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman used it to exculpate himself in the killing of Martin.

Racial profiling is not only in the former confederate states. In Oakland, California, it is reported that 37 out of 45 officer-involved shootings between 2004 and 2008 were of blacks. None was white. One-third of the shootings resulted in fatalities. Although weapons were not found in 40 per cent of cases no officers were charged. One report claims that there is an extrajudicial killing of African-Americans by police and security guards every 28 hours in the US.

Something has to be done about the killing of unarmed young African-Americans by white cops, and it must start by holding them accountable.

Ferguson Thanksgiving: A Former Slave Proposed the Holiday 55 Years Before Lincoln. Why His Version Matters Today: here.

More than 300 arrested in Los Angeles during Ferguson protests: here.

Cleveland police released a video Wednesday of the shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy killed by a police officer this past weekend. The video clearly shows that a police officer shot Rice within two seconds of pulling up to a park gazebo where he was sitting: here.

New conservation Internet site


This video from Jamaica says about itself:

Protecting Pedro – Building Conservation Capacity

24 July 2012

Starting in 2005, The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, has been working on the Pedro Bank to develop conservation solutions; including thorough environmental and social assessments, a management plan and the establishment of a fish sanctuary surrounding Southwest Cay (Bird Cay).

From BirdLife:

New online resource to help meet global conservation challenges

By Martin Fowlie, Tue, 30/09/2014 – 20:45

A new online resource, capacityforconservation.org has been launched that aims to support and strengthen conservation organisations and help them to achieve – and sustain – their conservation and organisational development goals.

The free online tool, created collaboratively by BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the Tropical Biology Association and the University of Cambridge, will help conservation organisations to build and expand on existing knowledge and skills, ultimately helping them to better accomplish their conservation goals.

Capacityforconservation.org already contains tools, resources and case studies gathered by the world’s leading conservation NGOs from around the world. It encourages users to upload their own practical tools, resources and case studies covering various aspects of strategic conservation planning, from finance management, fundraising and communications to organisational governance and project development. These tools allow users to learn from best practice, while sharing their own examples so conservationists around the world can learn from each other, ultimately helping to address the complex conservation challenges faced today.

Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson, BirdLife International’s Interim Chief Executive said, “many organisations within the BirdLife Partnership are seeking to become an even stronger force for nature conservation, both nationally and internationally. I believe that capacityforconservation.org is a fantastic platform to help BirdLife Partners to continue to develop and grow, and achieve their organisational goals.”

Two hundred and forty people have already registered on the website, logging on from 103 countries, from Antigua to Zimbabwe. Resources are available in 18 languages, with more being added by users, and work is underway to translate the site into Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

Capacityforconservation.org was created by with support from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focussed biodiversity conservation organisations clustered in and around Cambridge, UK.

Stop British government deporting bisexual refugee


This video from Britain is called State of Limbo – Short Documentary; about refugee Orashia Edwards.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Asylum seeker threatened with deportation before judicial review

Tuesday 24th June 2014

IMMIGRATION officials are attempting to deport a Leeds asylum-seeker a week before a judicial review of his case is held.

Campaigners in the city have rallied to support Orashia Edwards, 32, a Jamaican who fled his own country after being persecuted for being bisexual.

He settled in Leeds and applied for asylum. He has won many friends and carried out campaigning work in the city.

But asylum has been refused. He was arrested on June 12 and granted bail. The judicial review has been set for July 9 but Mr Edwards has been issued with “removal directions” for July 2.

Leeds No Borders group has mounted regular protests and demonstrations in his support and is urging campaigners to take action, including by protesting to British Airways. Details are available on the Leeds No Borders website.

The next protest against Mr Edwards’s deportation will be held outside Leeds town hall at 4.30pm on Thursday.

GAY, lesbian, bi and transsexual activists condemned “Ukipisation” of British politics yesterday as they kicked off a campaign against migrant discrimination: here.

Reggae message: We don’t need no more trouble. . . Bob Marley


Originally posted on JSC: Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba:

…Make love and not war!
‘Cause we don’t need no trouble.

What we need is love (love)
To guide and protect us on. (on)
Help the weak if you are strong now. (love)…
…we don’t need no more war, no more trouble
No more trouble – we don’t need no more – more trouble!

Bob Marley

No More Trouble

bob marley 30(We don’t need) No, we don’t need (no more trouble) no more trouble!
(We don’t need no more trouble)

Wo! Oh-oh-oh!
(We don’t need) We don’t need no (no more) trouble!
We don’t need no trouble!

(We don’t need no more trouble)
Make love and not war! ‘Cause we don’t need no trouble.
What we need is love (love)
To guide and protect us on. (on)
If you hope good down from above, (love)
Help the weak if you are strong now. (love)

View original 190 more words

Manatees’ ancestors discovery


A reconstruction of the early sirenian Pezosiren. Photo by Thesupermat, image from Wikipedia

From Smart News blog:

January 18, 2013 2:44 pm

Sea Cows Used To Walk on Land in Africa And Jamaica

Sea cows, also known as manatees, were not always the Florida-dwelling gentle giants of the sea that they are today. In fact, they once walked on land. Their 48-million-year-old ancestor, Pezosiren, ran all over prehistoric Jamaica and resembled a hippo at first glance. But sea cows also share ancestry with elephants, which first appeared in Africa around 66 million years ago. Paleontologists, however, have always drawn a blank on the evolutionary link between the manatee’s African and Jamaican relatives—until now. Researchers digging around in Tunisia found a skill fragment that fills the missing piece of the puzzle. National Geographic continues:

That might not seem like much to go on, yet the intricate, complicated features in this single bone allowed Benoit and coauthors to confirm that it belonged to a sirenian rather than an early elephant or hyrax. The researchers have wisely avoided naming the animal on the basis of such limited material. They simply call the mammal the Chambi sea cow.

The fact that the mammal lived in Africa confirms what zoologists and paleontologists suspected based upon genetics and anatomical traits shared with elephants and other paenungulates.

The bone is about 50 million years old. The researchers guess the animal it once belonged to resembled Pezosiren more than the modern sea cow, though the bone also hints that the Chambi manatee spent a lot of time in the water since the inner ear resembles that of whales.

The fossil, however, may raise more questions than provide answers. Like, if the Chambi manatee and the Jamaican one are about the same age, when did the dispersal event occur that first separated those animals? How did legged sea cows first make their way across the Atlantic? In the absence of other bones, what did the Chambi manatee look like? As NatGeo writes, paleontologists are slowly assembling the outline of how sea cows evolved, bone by bone.

See also here.