Honour police brutality casualties, not slave traders

This 8 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

This couple joined a Black Lives Matter protest after their wedding ceremony.

In US news and current events today, Kerry-Anne & Michael Gordon joined a protest at Philadelphia’s City Hall, after their wedding ceremony. Watch the moving footage here.

Millions march in cities and towns in every part of the US to oppose racism and police violence. By Kevin Reed, 8 June 2020. The demonstrations over the weekend to protest the police murder of George Floyd, among the biggest nationwide mobilizations of workers and youth in US history, signaled a new stage in the movement of the American working class.

Trump, Barr continue threat to deploy military against nationwide protests. By Barry Grey, 8 June 2020. The political situation in the US remains on a knife-edge as Trump’s fascistic cabal continues to plot against the Constitution.

Buffalo, New York mayor protects police in attack on 75-year-old. By Jacob Crosse, 8 June 2020. The Democratic mayor’s comments follow another week of vicious police assaults against peaceful protesters across the country.

Hundreds of thousands join protests against police violence across Europe. By our reporters, 8 June 2020. The size and wide geographical spread of the protests over Floyd’s murder reflect broad-based opposition to racism and police violence around the world.

This 8 June 2020 video from England says about itself:

Who was slave trader Edward Colston and why was his statue pulled down?

Historic scenes were witnessed in Bristol over the weekend as Black Lives Matter protesters pulled down a controversial statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and rolled the memorial into the city’s harbour.

The divisive memorial has stood since 1895, with a plaque that read: “Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city.”

But who was Edward Colston and why did his presence anger so many?

Read the full story here.

By Peter Frost in Britain, 8 June 2020:

Edward Colston: a man for who black lives didn’t matter at all\

PETER FROST is delighted that Colston’s statue no longer stands in Bristol

IF BLACK lives really do matter then Edward Colston, a man who sold 84,000 young black children, women and men into slavery and also murdered another 18,000 men, women and children doing it doesn’t deserve to have a statue commemorating his evil life and trade in the city of Bristol.

I was delighted not just to see his statue pulled down but also thrown in the harbour that engineer William Jessop built for Bristol in 1802 using the money the slave trade had brought to the city. They threw the statue into the harbour by Pero’s Bridge — the only place in Bristol named after a slave.

If anybody wasn’t sure of the demolition team’s motives they had only to take note of the fact they pressed their knees on the neck of the statue rather as Minneapolis police did killing George Floyd.

Colston’s toppled statue links the anti-racist and anti-imperialist causes: here.

Lewis Hamilton: All racist statues should be torn down: here.

By Bethany Reilly in Britain, 8 June 2020:

Met ‘potentially acted unlawfully’ in policing of Black Lives Matter protests

HUMAN rights groups have accused the Metropolitan Police of “potentially unlawful” actions against Black Lives Matter protesters in London over the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday evening hundreds of protesters, who had been taking part in rallies against the police killing of George Floyd in the US, were held in the rain until about 2am by riot police.

Black Protest Legal Support (BPLS), a group of legal observers and lawyers, claimed that protesters were asked by officers for personal details in order to be released – an act which human rights group Liberty said could be illegal.

By Bethany Reilly in Britain, 8 June 2020:

Far-right goons plan to confront Black Lives Matter protesters in London next Saturday

HUNDREDS of football hooligans and far-right activists are planning to confront Black Lives Matter protesters on Saturday in London, campaigners warned today.

The Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), a network of hooligan groups, has called on supporters across the country to bus down to the capital this weekend and surround war memorials and statues.

Campaign group Hope not Hate warned that it “seems certain” the DFLA event will go ahead after prominent racist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (known as Tommy Robinson) pledged to attend in a video posted on Sunday night.

Defying government threats, thousands join Australian protests against police violence. By Oscar Grenfell, 8 June 2020. Over 100,000 people demonstrated across the country, despite threats of large fines and an attempted ban of the Sydney rally.

Australian anti-racist demonstrators, including Marsheela, right

Australian protesters speak out: “The class systems need to be abolished”. By our reporters, 8 June 2020. The demonstrations were “a great show of people power and it’s a great show of how the world should move forward.”

Female eaglet ringed in Oostvaardersplassen national park

This 8 June 2020 video shows the ringing of a female white-tailed eaglet in Oostvaardersplassen national park in the Netherlands.

Warden Tjibbe Hunink reports today that the young bird got two rings: one orange, one black. Her name is now WN21.

Her parents had provided her with food of at least these four species: carp, grey lag goose, teal and coot.

COVID-19 disaster, worldwide news

This 8 June 2020 video says about itself:

The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has passed 100,000.

Infections jumped after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ended and markets reopened.

Doctors and other health professionals wanted tougher lockdown measures, including the closure of mosques.

But the government rejected them.

More than 2,000 people in Pakistan have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak began.

Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder joins us live from Islamabad.

Bolsonaro government attempted to censor Brazil’s coronavirus case count and death toll. By Bryan Dyne, 8 June 2020. There are now more than 7 million officially confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, an increase of one million cases in nine days, and more than 400,000 dead.

Reopening of New York City threatens a new surge in transit worker deaths. By Sam Dalton and Daniel de Vries, 8 June 2020. Transit workers fear that 130 deaths in their ranks is just the beginning.

New Jersey health department whistleblowers’ letter highlights criminality of state’s pandemic response. By Erik Schreiber, 8 June 2020. A letter by anonymous officials makes clear that thousands of deaths were the result of deliberate policy decisions.

British government ‘repeatedly ignored warnings’ hostile environment policies are making migrants vulnerable to Covid-19: here.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain, 8 June 2020:

Labour calls on government to allow workers shielding from coronavirus to be furloughed

LABOUR called today for special provisions to be added to the government’s furlough scheme for people who need to shield themselves from coronavirus but cannot work from home.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said that many people faced a “double whammy” of health and financial concerns that would take an “unimaginable toll.”

Ms Dodds set out three demands for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to “shield those shielding” from the virus.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 8 June 2020:

Communists set upon by BJP ‘goons’ while delivering Covid-19 aid in India

COMMUNIST Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) Tripura state secretary Gautam Das warned on Saturday that goons and workers of the ruling [right-wing] Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are attacking camps treating patients with Covid-19.

He said the communist party’s leaders and supporters had been set upon while they were organising blood-donation camps and providing food and humanitarian aid to those affected by the virus.

“Despite the series of attacks, the [CPI-M] has so far given food items and relief materials to 91,156 distressed families in 2,147 places across the state. Our efforts to provide relief to the hapless people will continue,” Mr Das said.

Mantled howler monkeys in Panama

This 7 June 2020 video says about itself:

The Mantled Howler Monkey is the loudest animal of the rainforest

The Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata) is one of the most prominent species of monkeys in the beautiful country of Panama. It thrives in deep lush jungles along the Canal of Panama and spends most of the day in the canopy of large mature tropical trees. Its home is typically the hostile and busy rain forests of most of Central and South America.

Like most of its cousins, the Mantled Howler will likely eat anything smaller than its own size. On the other hand, its natural predators are mainly feline like the jaguar and puma among other big predatory cats. The infamous loud and threatening sounding call of the Mantled Howler Monkey resonates over the thick dramatic and stunning vegetation of the Gamboa region and can be heard far in the distance through the jungle.

Among 5 other relatives of monkey species present in Panama, the Mantled Howler also shares its beautiful natural habitat with dozens of other mammal species and hundreds of bird species. Footage in this two-hour continuous uninterrupted calm and relaxing compilation was filmed in 4K Ultra High Definition in the evergreen humid rain forest of the lush Pipeline Road hiking trail in Gamboa, Panama.

George Floyd police murder not forgotten

This 8 June 2020 video says about itself:

Statues built after the American Civil War to honour leaders who fought to defend slavery have often been a flashpoint, as they are now in cities such as Richmond in the US state of Virginia.

Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy – the 11 pro-slavery southern states which lost their bid to break away when they were defeated in the US Civil War.

Protesters in Richmond last week set fire to the home of the “Daughters of the Confederacy”, who are dedicated to preserving Confederate monuments.

The statue of Confederate General William Wickham was pulled down on Saturday, something his own descendants had called for years ago.

And Virginia’s governor announced plans to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee.

Maurice Jackson, associate professor of African American Studies at Georgetown University, talks to Al Jazeera.

MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: SCRAP THE POLICE DEPARTMENT Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council announced they will “begin the process of ending” the city’s police department following the death of George Floyd, which set off nationwide protests. “Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis Police Department cannot be reformed and will never be accountable for its action,” the city council said jointly at a rally. “We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new transformative model for cultivating safety in our city.” [HuffPost]

AMERICAN POLICE ARE AT WAR WITH DEMOCRACY ITSELF The protests that have swept U.S. cities began as a denouncement of police brutality. But what is happening in our streets has become a political power struggle over the legitimacy of democratic government itself. On one side are the police, asserting the right to ignore any command from democratically elected officials if they please. On the other side are the people, demanding democracy and respect. Police in city after city have made it very clear that they simply do not care if they are exposed as lawless brutes. [HuffPost]

How racist policing took over American cities, explained by a historian.

RUBBER BULLETS ARE STILL BULLETS Rubber bullets are formally known as “kinetic impact projectiles,” and are not always made of rubber. Some are wood, plastic or even have a metal core. Rubber bullets have been used for decades to subdue riots, and are now being aimed at protesters, journalists and bystanders as protests continue throughout the country over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other victims of police brutality. And while researchers have known for years that “less lethal” can still be deadly, police continue using them. [HuffPost]

I’m immunocompromised. Marching for George Floyd could kill me, but I’m doing it anyway.

Can you lose your job for participating in protests?

Teenage girls organize massive Black Lives Matter protest Nashville.

“It should call out to every Jew:” Crown Heights rallies for Black Lives Matter.

AIPAC hasn’t made a public statement about George Floyd. Activists are outraged.

NYT OPINION CHIEF JAMES BENNET OUT New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet has resigned after the paper published a widely excoriated op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (Republican-Ark.) that advocated for military action against the anti-racism protests. Bennet’s resignation is effective immediately, a spokesperson for the Times announced Sunday. “Both of us concluded that James would not be able to lead the team through the next leg of change that is required,” the paper’s publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, said. Trump meanwhile has praised Tom Cotton for the “send in the troops” op-ed. [HuffPost]

BARR DEFENDS FORCE AGAINST D.C. PROTESTERS Attorney General William Barr defended the use of force against peaceful anti-racism protesters outside the White House last week, saying the demonstrators “were not peaceful” and that their dispersal was unrelated to the president’s photo-op at a nearby church. In a sit-down interview with CBS News, Barr accused protesters gathered around Lafayette Square on June 1 of throwing projectiles at officers and ignoring three warnings to vacate the area before physical force was used on them. Protesters and journalists covering them said the crowd was largely peaceful. [HuffPost]

BEN CARSON ECHOES TRUMP’S IGNORANT RESPONSE TO KNEELING PROTESTERS Ben Carson, Trump’s secretary of housing and urban development, suggested that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest police violence should thank the military. Carson’s comments appear to miss the point of the protests and support his boss’ disdain for them at a time when kneeling ― a symbolic act of protest pioneered by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, teammate Eric Reid and former Green Beret Nate Boyer ― is becoming more widely accepted. [HuffPost]

Justice Smith comes out as queer, urges protests to include Black queer and Black trans lives.

K-Pop group donates $1 million to Black Lives Matter.

Birds and butterflies of Voorne island

This 4 June 2020 video is about birds and butterflies of Voorne island in the Netherlands. In this order: black-tailed godwit, shelduck ducklings, avocet, little ringed plover, avocet with chicks, young redshank, white-tailed eagle, marsh harrier, redshank, oystercatcher, goldfinch, brown argus, common blue butterfly, white wagtail and common whitethroat.

German nazi plot to murder Muslims

This 12 September 2018 German video is about an anti-racist demonstration in Hildesheim.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

German arrested for plotting attack on Muslims

German justice suspects a 21-year-old man from Hildesheim of threatening an attack that would kill people. In a chat message on the internet, he referred to the right-wing extremist perpetrator of the attack in Christchurch in New Zealand. …

According to the public prosecutor, he intended to kill Muslims. Weapons were found in his home. The police also found databases with radical right-wing content. …

According to the police, he was an “extreme risk”. …

During the attacks in two mosques in Christchurch, a terrorist opened fire on visitors last March. 51 people died.

Black Lives Matter, USA and Britain

This 8 June 2020 International Peace Bureau video says about itself:

Anti Racism Protest in the United States: No Justice, No Peace

George Floyd’s atrocious murder at the hand of the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 represents only the most recent incident of racism and police brutality in the United States. The resulting protests have spread not only across major US cities, but have gone global.

The International Peace Bureau (IPB), the Campaign For Peace, Disarmament & Common Security (CPDCS), and Peace Action have invited three racial justice and peace movement leaders to provide background about the institutional racism and structural violence that led to George Floyd’s murder, as well as the massive resistance to racism and police brutality. Speakers include:

Karlene Griffiths Sekou, Black Lives Matter
Lewis Webb, American Friends Service Committee
Jim Anderson, Peace Action

Moderated by and Joseph Gerson (AFSC) with concluding remarks by Philip Jennings (IPB).

The global protests and the fight against capitalism, 8 June 2020. The global wave of demonstrations against police violence is the response to decades of unending war, the destruction of basic democratic rights, and a massive concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny ruling elite: here.

Tens of thousands continue UK protests against racism and police brutality. By Robert Stevens, 8 June 2020. More than 100,000 people across Britain continued to protest the death of George Floyd over the weekend.

SIXTY THOUSAND youth and older workers joined the Black Lives Matter march in London on Saturday, from Parliament Square to the Home Office, then on to the American Embassy before heading back to Whitehall, following the Minnesota police’s brutal murder of George Floyd last month. There were also scores of other marches across Britain, including in Manchester, Leicester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow, Bristol, Luton, Cardiff, Bath and many of other towns and cities: here.

‘ONE SOLUTION – Revolution’ rang out through the 40,000-strong crowd outside the US embassy in Vauxhall, south-west London yesterday as a mass demonstration broke out in anger at the US police killing of George Floyd: here.

A protester in Manchester, England with placards referring to the police killing of US African-American woman Breonna Taylor and the preventable death of coronavirus of UK rail worker Belly Mujinga

This photo shows a protester in Manchester, England with placards referring to the police killing of US African-American woman and coronavirus emergency health care worker Breonna Taylor and the preventable death of coronavirus of African British rail worker Belly Mujinga. Ms Mujinga was killed by bosses exposing her to coronavirus danger.

Protesters hold up home-made placards at the Manchester protest

In Bristol, England where thousands of people gathered, protesters pulled down a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and dumped it into the harbour of the Avon river.

By Bethany Rielly and Niall Christie in Britain, 7 June 2020:

Protesters demand an end to entrenched racism

Demonstrators highlight Britain’s guilt in the repression of black and ethnic minorities across the world

BLACK LIVES MATTER (BLM) protests continued to erupt across Britain today, with tens of thousands demanding justice for George Floyd and an end to entrenched racism.

A massive crowd gathered outside the US embassy in south London, with anti-racist protesters taking a knee and chanting: “No justice, no peace.”

Demonstrators highlighted Britain’s guilt in the repression of black and ethnic minorities, demanding the closure of immigration detention centres and holding signs reading: “The UK is not innocent.”

People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Manchester, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 7 May 2020:

Editorial: This new anti-racist movement has our rulers worried

THE reason why hundreds of thousands of people in Britain have taken to the streets to affirm that Black Lives Matter is not simply in solidarity with the movement in the United States.

It is because racial discrimination generally and, in particular, the culture of impunity which isolates the coercive apparatus of the state from public accountability is an offence again humanity and reason in this country, as in many others.

When police officers visit unjustified violence upon the citizens whose rights they are supposed to protect, it contradicts the official myths which policing in class society necessarily entails.

The demonstrations taking place in recent days are a big worry for our rulers, and for the army of opinion-makers employed to explain these events to us, it presents a very considerable challenge to their conventional liberal thought.

Donald Trump’s subversion of the conventional niceties of US politics, his open encouragement of right-wing militias, his crudely constructed axis of opinion which puts evangelicals, white rural Southerners, arch-conservatives, racist cops and right-wing billionaire nutjobs against normal folk is alarming for the more thinking elements in a US ruling class that includes — in its arc of big business, bankers and state bureaucrats — the Democratic Party establishment.

With millions of North Americans now unemployed and thus without medical cover, the intensity of the political and economic crisis means that any event has the capacity to ignite a rebellion.

And with fissures in the fabric of conventional political thought and action another myth about the “Land of the Free” dissolves.

Some 59 per cent of black American men say that they have been unfairly stopped by the police because of their race or ethnicity.

In the US, as in Britain, these mass mobilisations mostly involve young people, including wide sections of working-class youth who have a different take on the police to older generations.

The people who today sang Oh, Jeremy Corbyn are joined on the streets by their younger siblings.

It is clear that despite the coronavirus crisis, they have made a calculated decision to demonstrate, wearing masks and gloves and where possible, maintaining social distancing, but demonstrate nevertheless.

The latest report which reveals that Theresa May’s “hostile environment”, now managed by Priti Patel, has blocked BAME and migrant people from accessing healthcare during the coronavirus, is just the latest indication that 21st-century capitalism reproduces the virus of racism with the same facility that Tory policies allow Covid-19 to spread.

It is time for us to see justice for BAME communities. The fight against racism is a class struggle – and the labour movement must step up, writes HOWARD BECKETT.