From the Derry Journal in Northern Ireland:
American civil rights campaigner to be main speaker at Bloody Sunday rally
by Greg Sharkey
The theme of this year’s annual Bloody Sunday march is ‘Resist’, to highlight what has been taking place in the U.S.A. Reverend Osagyefo Sekou, American civil rights campaigner, will be the main speaker after this year’s Bloody Sunday rally.
He will also be guest speaker at a number of events during this week, speaking about this upsurge in police violence against the black community, and why ‘Black Lives Matter’.
An impassioned gathering attended a vigil for Michael Brown‘s family and the people of Ferguson, Missouri at Free Derry Wall on Saturday November 30. Key speakers were Bloody Sunday family member, Kate Nash and veteran Civil Rights campaigner, Eamon Mc Cann.
Media images of several days protest on the streets of Ferguson were shown across the world, following the decision of the Grand Jury not to indict police officer, Darren Wilson, on any charges for shooting dead the American teenager on August 9.
There was much outrage throughout the world, with numerous demonstrations in solidarity with the Brown family, and on the wider issue of institutionalised racism.
Speaking to the Derry Journal before the Bloody Sunday March Committee held their vigil, Kate Nash said:
“As family members of the Bloody Sunday dead, we draw parallels with other unarmed and innocent victims killed by the forces of law and order.”
Regarding the judicial response, or lack of, in the Michael Brown case, Kate Nash drew similarities between their experiences and that of the Brown family, stating:
“You have a judicial system that’s meant to be independent and impartial, but in reality, is actually politically interfered with.”
Regarding similarities between Ferguson and what engulfed Derry, 42 years ago, Eamon Mc Cann said: “Distance and skin colour make no difference to the grief and anger that has erupted across the US since the decision not to prosecute the policeman who pumped six bullets into the teenager’s body.”
Eamon Mc Cann also warned of the dangers regarding the dramatic rise in the militarisation of policing in the US stating:
“We can recognise that scenario here too, and know that no good came of it for anyone involved.”
Over the course of the last two months, several killings by US police officers have occurred, along with countless instances of police brutality.
Twelve year old T[a]mir Rice was gunned down in Cleveland, Ohio, while playing with a pellet gun; and Jerame Reid was shot dead in New Jersey, as he got out of a car, with his hands up.
Shocking images of Eric Garner calling out, ‘I can’t breath’ as he was suffocated to death, while being violently restrained by several police officers; and, the failure to indict any police officer for this, has caused massive resentment.
Michael Brown’s family mulls lawsuit against Darren Wilson, Ferguson PD: here.
In Tamir Rice Case, Many Errors by Cleveland Police, Then a Fatal One: here.
From Watchdog.org in the USA:
Nebraska education board member’s blog has long been inflammatory
By Deena Winter / January 23, 2015
LINCOLN, Neb. — State Education Board member Pat McPherson has been under fire for a week after his blog called President Obama a “half-breed,” but that merely continues a long line of inflammatory posts.
McPherson founded and co-edited the blog, Objective Conservative, that called Obama the racist name last week, but said he didn’t write or vet the offending post. He has rebuffed calls for his resignation from the governor, two U.S. senators, two congressmen, the NAACP, the state teachers union, the Omaha school board, Omaha’s mayor, Omaha city council members and his colleagues on the State Board of Education. Most are Republicans, as is McPherson.
After Nebraska first reported the blog’s racist half-breed posts, controversy erupted and McPherson shuttered the blog, but some editions can still be found on an archiving website called the Wayback Machine. A review of about a dozen of those old archived blogs found other offensive posts saying Democrats don’t have brains, accusing a Republican lawmaker of acting like an “emotional child,” referring to “snapping gals’ bras” and posting a meme suggesting tacos are good bait to catch illegal immigrants.
The blog posts were rarely attributed to a specific author, but usually simply posted by “Objective Conservative.”
Archived editions of the blog show Obama to be a favorite topic. In addition to the half-dozen times the president was referred to as a half-breed, he’s often called an “empty suit,” and in December, the blog called Obama a “sexist, lecherous president” because he only asked women questions at a press conference.
After a Missouri grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the blog mocked the fires blazing in Ferguson, posting a meme that said, “Ferguson Fire Sale, everything must go.”
The blog also suggested the Brown case and chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York had nothing to do with race.
Nas: In the wake of Ferguson and Eric Garner deaths, rap is refocusing on law enforcement: here.
NYT COLUMNIST: MY SON HELD AT GUNPOINT, AT YALE ”This is the scenario I have always dreaded: my son at the wrong end of a gun barrel, face down on the concrete. I had always dreaded the moment that we would share stories about encounters with the police in which our lives hung in the balance, intergenerational stories of joining the inglorious ‘club.’ When that moment came, I was exceedingly happy I had talked to him about how to conduct himself if a situation like this ever occurred. Yet I was brewing with sadness and anger that he had to use that advice.” [NYT]
Dozens of people gathered with candle lights and protest signs in Denver after local police shot dead a 16-year-old girl on Monday: here.
Police in Longview, Texas released footage Wednesday of officers killing a 17-year-old girl in the lobby of a police station on January 22. Officers Glenn Derr and Grace Bagley shot and killed 17-year-old Kristiana Coignard last Thursday, after officer Gene Duffie fired a taser at her. The three officers have been on paid leave since the shooting: here.