Michael Brown, Eric Garner solidarity, trade unions and students

This video says about itself:

Michael Brown, Eric Garner protests again hit NYC, DC, Oakland

9 December 2014

Protests in support of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are continuing across the US, with multiple cities on both coasts still seeing large demonstrations.

By Jacob Fischler in the USA:

Police Union Expresses Frustration Over Labor’s Response To Ferguson, Eric Garner

The AFL-CIO’s sole police union sent a letter to the federation’s president about the issue.

posted on Dec. 10, 2014, at 5:50 p.m.

WASHINGTON — As labor unions continue to rally in a call for justice over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the AFL-CIO’s police union has sent a letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka addressing their concerns over the rhetoric, hoping to bring it to heel.

The AFL-CIO confirmed it received a letter this week from Sam Cabral, the president of the International Union of Police Associations. The letter comes as other unions have condemned grand juries for not indicting the killers of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City, and called for sweeping police reforms. …

Cabral and Trumka’s difference of opinion on policing first came to a head this summer, when Cabral penned a couple of open letters defending the program that provides military-grade equipment to local police. Trumka, meanwhile, was calling for that program to be reigned in and signed on to a letter calling for a “federal czar” to oversee police departments.

In a statement sent after the grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson in connection with the death of Brown, Trumka said the “justice system is biased against communities of color” and called for more “fairness in policing.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the AFL-CIO affiliated American Federation of Teachers, was arrested while protesting the Eric Garner grand jury decision.

“Coming after the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, Mo., this decision causes many in New York and around the country to question their faith in our criminal justice system,” Weingarten said in a statement. “Make no mistake, we respect the difficult job our police do in keeping our communities safe, but the issue of excessive force must be addressed.”

But some of the largest unions calling for police reform no longer fall under the AFL-CIO’s umbrella, most notably the Service Employees International Union.

SEIU 1199 and SEIU 32BJ recently signed a letter calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto a bill that would make it more difficult for local governments to discipline police officers.

“The long and growing list of unarmed people of color killed by the police stands in stark contrast to our ideals as a nation,” said George Gresham, president of SEIU 1199. “This is not a black issue or a brown issue or a white issue, this is a human rights issue.”

This video is called Richmond Stands with Ferguson: peaceful protest in Richmond, California.

Police chief protests Michael Brown, Eric Garner deaths

Protesters in Richmond included the local police chief.

Some 100 Harvard Medical School students on Wednesday protested the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police as well as racial inequality in medical treatment. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

From WBUR in the USA:

Harvard Medical Students Protest Ferguson, NYC Cases

By WBUR Newsroom

December 10, 2014

BOSTON — Harvard Medical School students joined students from some 40 other medical schools across the country Wednesday in protesting the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police and racial inequality in medical treatment.

The protests followed two grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the separate deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City.

The protesters, who participated in a 15-minute “die-in” in the lobby of a building on Harvard’s Longwood campus in Boston, said minority patients have worse access to medical care than white patients and those who do have access may be treated differently.

“Who you are in terms of are you white, are you black, are you Hispanic really oftentimes determines the quality of care that you receive and your health outcomes,” said first-year med student Rumbi Mushavi. “As medical students who will become future physicians and who will later on inherit health care systems with great injustice, we’re trying to say we need to fight this.”

Some 100 students and faculty participated in the protest. Similar protests have been staged around Boston and the nation since the grand jury decisions.

From BuzzFeed News in the USA, 10 December 2014:

The owners of a bar and restaurant near Ferguson, Missouri, said they lost thousands of dollars when they were forced to close to make way for a law enforcement command center.

Corey and Chantelle Nickson-Clark, owners of Swiish Bar and Grill in Jennings, Missouri, filed a lawsuit last month against Gov. Jay Nixon, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and local authorities seeking at least $25,000. In a civil complaint, the couple said they were ordered to close for 17 days in August as law enforcement turned their parking lot into its command center. …

Swiish didn’t see physical damage to their business; instead, the couple said they lost income as their doors were blocked and food stocks were left to rot.

Authorities did not have permission to use the lot and did not offer compensation, according to the complaint.

At one point, Corey Nickson-Clark attempted to access his business and was threatened with arrest, the complaint continued. Ultimately, the command center was moved, and the business reopened in late August.

In an interview with Fox 2 on Aug. 31, the couple announced their doors were again open. They had only been open for two and a half months before the command center took over, they said, and losses caused by the temporary closure were “financially tragic.”

“We really didn’t know what to think,” Corey Nickson-Clark said. “I thought it would only be a day or two, but it ended up being 17 days.”

9 thoughts on “Michael Brown, Eric Garner solidarity, trade unions and students

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