Anti-Trump protesters banned at US Republican convention?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Johnetta ‘Netta’ Elzie Talks #BlackGirlMagic, Activism and Motivation | ESSENCE

15 January 2016

Go behind the scenes of our special cover shoot with Black Lives Matter activist Johnetta ‘Netta’ Elzie as she opens up about the Black women that inspire her, being an activist and how her mother’s death helped her push forward.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Black Lives Matter activists say FBI told them not to protest GOP Convention

Samuel Sinyangwe and Johnetta Elzie of Campaign Zero both say agents attempted to visit them in the past week

Feliks Garcia, New York

Prominent civil rights activists closely associated with the Black Lives Matter movement say members of the FBI have attempted to contact them in the days leading up to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Samuel Sinyangwe and Johnetta Elzie, co-founders of Campaign Zero, an organisation that aims to end police violence through policy change, both told The Independent that FBI agents made attempts to contact them in recent days.

Mr Sinyangwe, 25, said that he received a phone call on Friday from an unknown number. The caller identified himself as an FBI task force officer.

“He was interested to hear my plans related to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland,” he said. “I told him I don’t have any plans to go to the convention.”

The agent told Mr Sinyangwe, according to his account, that the Bureau had received threats that posed a potential risk and “they are discouraging activists from going to the convention, and he told me not to go.”

Delegates are expected to cast their votes in favour of Donald Trump at the convention, which begins 18 July. Mr Trump‘s campaign has galvanised the enthusiasm of white supremacist groups – such as California Neo-Nazis, who plan on attending the convention. Mr Trump’s outspoken contempt for undocumented immigrants, Muslims, and the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked protests at his rallies across the country.

“I think the FBI should be more concerned with investigating and dissuading the known white supremacists and people with ties to known terrorist organisations from attending the convention, versus trying to intimidate people who are speaking out against injustice,” Mr Sinyangwe said.

In their phone conversation, the agent told Mr Sinyangwe that he attempted to contact him at his San Francisco apartment, where he slid a business card underneath the door – an effort that the activist found disconcerting – and asked for a good time to meet in person.

“He got to my door, which is scary because you have to use a keycard to buzz in through two gates, you have to go up four flights of stairs to get to the door,” he explained. “And somehow [the agent] managed to do that. I’m not sure how.”

The Independent received photo evidence of the business card, but has chosen not to publish it over privacy concerns.

Ms Elzie, too, just missed agents who she said were trying to contact her at her grandparents’ home in St Louis. She was en route from demonstrations in Baton Rouge over the weekend.

“I can’t help but think they were trying to intimidate my grandparents, my family. People who have nothing to do with the protests at all,” Ms Elzie, 26, said. She has been a highly visible figure in the police reform movement since protests erupted in Ferguson, after a police officer shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August 2014.

When the agents showed up at her grandparents’ door, they asked where Ms Elzie was and when they expected her to return to the house.

“You know she’s in Baton Rouge, and you know when she’ll be back,” Ms Elzie said her grandmother told the agents, who identified themselves as FBI.

The agents said they had seen an exchange between Ms Elzie, DeRay McKesson, and Mr Sinyangwe on Twitter – although the accounts were apparently impostors. They said they were simply trying to figure out Ms Elzie’s involvement in protest activity surrounding the political conventions this summer.

Her grandmother “started talking to them about open carry laws and how they don’t apply to black people, [and] the cases in Minnesota and Louisiana,” where black men Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were shot and killed by police officers.

Ms Elzie said that the agents did not have cards to pass along to her, but one wrote down their contact information on a piece of paper.

“I’m not giving that to my baby,” her grandmother said, before throwing the paper in the garbage.

Mr Sinyangwe expressed his concern about why he and Ms Elzie would be the focus of FBI surveillance.

“[Campaign Zero] is an organisation that is focused on policy change,” he said. “I’m not sure why the FBI was threatened by that. But it certainly is consistent with a long line of tactics that the FBI has used against black activists in the past.”

The subject of the FBI’s apparent surveillance of activists involved in Black Lives Matter activities came up during President Barack Obama’s “White House Convening on Building Community Trust”, the Washington Post reported. The White House meeting was attended by activists including DeRay McKesson, who co-founded Campaign Zero with Ms Elzie, Mr Sinyangwe, and Brittany Packnett.

Mr McKesson reportedly asked the President to instruct the FBI to stop visiting activists at their homes.

The Intercept reported last year the extent of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s involvement in monitoring of activists involved in the Black Lives Matter movement since it gained national momentum after Ferguson.

Documents obtained from the DHS by the news outlet confirmed that federal authorities had been surveilling protest movement on social media. The report also showed that FBI and DHS officials acknowledged that the protests they were monitoring were “peaceful in nature”.

“I’ve made peace with [the idea that] everything I’ve been doing has been watched since 2014,” Ms Elzie said. “Never have they shown up to my or my grandma’s house.”

Mr Sinyangwe echoed these concerns.

“This is certainly another step in terms of actively trying to dissuade protesters and activists from protesting or attending political events,” he said.

11 thoughts on “Anti-Trump protesters banned at US Republican convention?

  1. SIGN to Defend Right to Protest at RNC and DNC

    Sign HERE: Defend People’s Right to Protest at the RNC and DNC!

    The 2016 election features the most unpopular candidates in recent history. Donald Trump’s candidacy represents an attack on immigrants, Muslims, people of color, women, LGBTQ people and the entire working class. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s pro-Wall St, pro-war candidacy offers nothing to working class and oppressed people, just pandering and a “lesser evil.”

    The people of the US and the world deserve a space to express their outrage against the two parties of racism, capitalism, and war. Organizers of the Shut Down Trump & the RNC action on July 17 as well as the Shut Down the DNC action on July 26, along with dozens of other organizations, are planning major demonstrations in Cleveland and Philadelphia. We are outraged by the attack on our rights to organize. Cleveland and Philadelphia, with the support of Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Secret Service, have made it clear that they do not plan to allow the people to express their outrage during the most unpopular election in recent history.

    We expect tens of thousands of people to be in Cleveland to express outrage at Trump’s invasion, with his army of immigrant-bashers, Islamophobes, misogynists, anti-LGBTQ haters and right-wing racists. (See facebook event page) They will also express outrage at the audacity of holding a convention of bigots in a city that, since the murder of Tamir Rice and others, is so closely identified with Black Lives Matter. The week of protests will be a magnet for courageous activists around the country who have been militantly confronting Trump.

    In Philadelphia, thousands more will be demonstrating against Hillary Clinton’s coronation as the leader of the Democratic Party, a party which continually defends racist police brutality, endless wars, and deepening austerity. Demonstrators are planning to confront the Democrats on the issues of racist police terror with a Black Resistance March, poverty , the environment, the Bernie Sanders movement, and more. You can find a list of events for the RNC HERE.

    While the right-wing racists who defend Donald Trump have the right to carry firearms in Cleveland, working class and oppressed people have not been afforded the right to voice their concerns. With the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the escalating war against Black people and Black Lives Matter, the Peoples’ right to protest, resist and fight back has never been more important.

    SIGN HERE to send petition to the Mayors of Cleveland and Philadelphia, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, the RNC, the DNC, President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Secret Service.

    We Demand

    • Guarantee Our Right to March! In Cleveland and Philadelphia, protesters are denied the right to march within sight and sound of the Convention sites. Both cities have placed heavy restrictions in the time and place of demonstrations, while planning extra space in local prisons to detain demonstrators. Mass arrests are common during the RNC and DNC, such as in 2004 and 2008 when thousands of protesters were rounded up by police, only later to win major lawsuits based on the denial of protected First Amendment activity. The agreement between the city of Cleveland and the ACLU still contains far too many restrictions on the right to protest.

    • Stop Repression of Activists! At least a dozen Cleveland activists report that they or their families got a knock on the door by the FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service and Cleveland cops. When the RNC was in Philadelphia in 2000, the major organizing hub was raided by police just days before the convention. Other times key activists have been detained days before major demonstrations. Government repression of activists, whether through spying, raiding, or intimidation, must end immediately. No to excessive fines against people engaged in protests that are protected under the First Amendment.

    • Money for Communities, not Repression! Millions are being spent for state repression against protests, which will be part of city and state arsenals far into the future. We are worried about the long term effects of an increasingly militarized, anti-Free Speech police force which is empowered by these laws. Meanwhile Labor, LGBTQ, impoverished, immigrant and Black and Brown communities – those who have the most reasons to protest in the streets – will be denied their rights long after the RNC and DNC leaves town.

    • Stop Militarizing the Police! Through a $50 million Homeland Security grant, Cleveland police have acquired riot gear, retractable steel batons, fencing to pen in protestors, plastic cuffs and Long Range Acoustic Devices, which disperse crowds by emitting loud, painful noise. The city also purchased state-of-the-art surveillance tools including cameras, laptops, Pointer Illuminating Aiming Lasers and Stingray cell phone tracking devices. After the RNC the African-American community will have even more reason to fear the cops, who get to keep their new instruments of terror. Philadelphia has received a similar grant.


  2. >
    > Donald Trump Files Legal Action Against Former Aide for Allegedly Leaking Campaign Info
    > Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has accused a former aide of violating a nondisclosure agreement by spilling to reporters stories of internal strife within the campaign, and the Trump campaign is demanding $10 million from the former aide, Sam Nunberg. Nondisclosure agreements are becoming increasingly common in the political world, but this is the first time one has led to a high-profile legal battle, and news of this legal action—which is pushing campaign dirty laundry into public view—comes just days before Trump is to be crowned the GOP’s presidential nominee at its convention in Cleveland. Meanwhile, Nunberg, who was fired last August for supposedly publishing a racist Facebook post years earlier, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump campaign that seeks to shut down the arbitration case Trump initiated and that asks for $10 million from the campaign for breach of contract.
    > The dispute has apparently been going on behind the scenes since May but was made public when Nunberg filed his lawsuit in New York. The Associated Press reports that Nunberg says he was targeted by the campaign because Trump’s inner circle believes he was the source for a New York Post article that reported that former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks had a noisy and emotional fight on the street outside of Trump’s New York City headquarters. Nunberg denies that he was the source, but in the court filings his attorneys threw fuel on the fire by referring “to the quarrel as being part of an ‘apparent affair.'”
    > The AP reports that Nunberg’s filing claims the campaign is stifling his First Amendment right to free speech to talk about the campaign, and he asserts that his contract was with a Trump exploratory committee that is not officially or legally connected to Trump’s current presidential campaign.
    > The fact that Trump has forced his advisers to sign nondisclosure agreements became an issue recently when CNN hired Lewandowski as a paid commentator. Critics of that move questioned whether Lewandowski was bound by the agreement to say nothing negative about his former employer.


  3. Friday 15th July 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    Civil liberties group says peaceful rally was met with ‘military-grade assault’

    THE American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the Baton Rouge police on Wednesday over their alleged mistreatment of demonstrators protesting at police brutality last weekend.

    The lawsuit details a shocking litany of abuse of participants in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations against last week’s shooting of local black man and father Alton Sterling by two white police officers.

    Authorities arrested about 200 protesters over a three-day period, with officers often taking to the streets in riot gear or riding in military-style vehicles.

    More than 100 of those arrests were made at a demonstration that blocked an interstate highway, a new tactic that is spreading across the country.

    “Plaintiffs have engaged in this peaceful speech, association and protest on the streets, sidewalks and medians of Baton Rouge,” the ACLU lawsuit reads.

    “Unfortunately, this exercise of constitutional rights has been met with a military-grade assault on protesters’ bodies and rights.”

    The lawsuit accuses the police and city authorities of various abuses.

    DeRay Mckesson, who was among those arrested in Baton Rouge on Saturday, attended a meeting between President Barack Obama, BLM leaders, police organisations, mayors and state governors.

    Mr Obama said he would like to see such “respectful conversations” repeated across the country, but admitted: “We’re not even close to being there yet, where we want to be.”

    Meanwhile, 41 more BLM demonstrators were arrested at a similar roadblock demonstration in Minneapolis, near where school canteen supervisor and Teamsters’ Union member Philando Castile was shot dead by police last week.

    Mr Castile’s funeral was scheduled for today at the Roman Catholic cathedral of St Paul.

    On Wednesday evening, a candlelight vigil was held to mark the anniversary of the death of Sandra Bland, a black woman who apparently hanged herself in a Texas jail cell after being subjected to violence during her arrest.

    Among the lawsuit’s allegations:

    Police gave protesters contradictory and confusing
    orders and arrested them when they failed to comply.
    Demonstrators were arrested for obstruction for setting foot on any paved surface adjacent to the road, even if they did not obstruct anything.
    Authorities used “unconstitutional levels of force, including physically tackling non-violent demonstrators and using Mace, Taser charges, and/or pepper spray on non-violent protesters.”
    People in jail said they were Maced or pepper-sprayed for making comments or singing protest songs.


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