Charlotte, USA police video contradicts police version of Keith Scott’s death


This video from the USA says about itself:

24 September 2016

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released bodycam and dashcam video four days after a shooting incident that left 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott dead.

By Tom Carter in the USA:

Charlotte police release videos showing Keith Scott with arms down as he was shot

26 September 2016

In an effort to quell ongoing unrest, officials in Charlotte, North Carolina released multiple videos Saturday that show portions of Keith Scott’s fatal encounter with police officers on September 20.

The fierce protests that erupted over Scott’s death were met by an immediate official “state of emergency,” the imposition of a curfew, and the activation of the National Guard. Protests continued for the sixth day on Sunday. On Saturday, hundreds demonstrated in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters in defiance of the midnight curfew. Heavily armed police units also prevented protesters from blocking traffic on a nearby freeway.

The Charlotte police originally refused to release videos of the Scott shooting on the grounds that it would only incite more anger. Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney directly opposed the release of the videos: “It will inflame the situation and make it even worse. It will exacerbate the backlash. It will increase the distrust.” In other words, the more criminal the behavior of the state and its agents, the more reason for those crimes to be kept secret.

After angry protests continued unabated throughout the week, the Charlotte officials reversed themselves and released the videos Saturday. In one video, taken from a dashcam, Scott is shown calmly walking backwards. His arms are at his sides. His demeanor is not threatening or aggressive, and he appears to be listening to and complying with the officers’ commands. It clearly shows that nothing is in his right hand, though it is not clear if anything is in his left hand (Scott was right-handed).

Another video, taken from a body camera, provides a shaky perspective of another officer present at the shooting, but with the audio preceding the shooting missing. Scott is mostly not visible in this video, except for one glimpse where his right hand is empty and relaxed at his side. Before cutting off, the video shows Scott being handcuffed as he lies on the ground moaning, while an officer asks for a bag from the back of his car.

Before the videos were released, Putney had claimed that they showed Scott had “something in the hand and that he pointed it at an officer.” The video, however, shows nothing of the sort.

“It does not make sense to us how this incident resulted in the loss of life…and it’s not clear in the videos that were released,” Ray Dotch, Scott’s brother-in-law, said in a statement.

Only part of the video evidence has been released, but police also released a photo purporting to show a gun by the feet of Scott’s corpse. However, in cellphone video taken by Rakeyia Scott, Keith Scott’s wife, no object appears in that area, leading to questions as to whether the police tampered with or planted evidence. While her view is partially obstructed by nearby vehicles, her voice can clearly be heard begging the police not to kill her husband.

“Don’t shoot him. Don’t shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don’t shoot him. He didn’t do anything,” Rakeyia Scott tells the officers. “He doesn’t have a gun. He has a TBI [traumatic brain injury]. He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.” After a sudden burst of four gunshots can be heard, she screams, “Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him?”

A witness who saw the shooting, Taheshia Williams, told reporters that Scott was complying with the officers’ instructions. “Obviously, complying still gets you murdered,” she said, “because that’s what happened.” Williams also heard Scott’s last words, which were, “What is the problem? What did I do? What’s wrong?”

Another video has surfaced on Facebook of Scott’s daughter staggering hysterically around the area of the shooting, screaming, “My daddy is dead!” On that video, police can be seen swarming the streets while local residents angrily confront them.

The Charlotte demonstrations, developing spontaneously and fueled by mass popular anger over social inequality and the ongoing epidemic of police brutality, provide some indication of the explosive tensions in America. Hundreds of youth blocked local roads on the night of the shooting, facing down phalanxes of heavily armed riot police who fired tear gas grenades into the crowds and charged, tackled and handcuffed demonstrators.

Justin Carr, 26, was killed during the protests. During a chaotic melee with riot police, Carr was discovered with a gunshot wound to his head. Minister Steve Knight of Mission Gathering Christian Church in Charlotte declared via Twitter that Carr was killed by the police: “It was an ambush. The victim was shot while he stood between two ministers, and we believe he was shot by police.” The authorities, meanwhile, have charged Rayquan Borum, 21, with his murder, and the motive is unclear. Carr’s mother told reporters Friday that her son “died for a cause.”

By now, the American population has had a long experience with police departments providing utterly fictional accounts of shootings that take place, only to shamelessly revise their stories later after video evidence contradicts the original story.

The police also routinely plant or tamper with evidence at the scenes of shootings. On September 22, St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was charged with murder after a video emerged showing him executing Anthony Lamar Smith with an AK-47 and then planting a gun on him. A dashcam recorded Stockley during the pursuit boasting, “I’m going to kill this motherf—–! Don’t you know it!”

The official media accounts have presented Keith Scott’s death in purely racial terms, while presenting police brutality as a merely a pattern of crimes perpetrated by white police officers against unarmed black men. While racism is indisputably a factor in many police shootings, Brentley Vinson, the police officer who shot Keith Scott, together with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief, who opposed the release of the videos, are black.

According to the web site killedbypolice.net, police have killed 849 people so far in the year 2016. In the five days since the death of Keith Scott, who was number 840, nine more people have been killed. Data aggregated and analyzed by the Washington Post reveals that black men represent about a quarter of the total number of deaths, while white victims account for approximately half.

Both widely despised presidential candidates for the 2016 US elections, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, have sought to exploit the events in Charlotte for their own ends.

Trump, who presents himself as the “law and order” candidate, addressed his sympathies to the police. “Hopefully the violence & unrest in Charlotte will come to an immediate end,” Trump tweeted. “To those injured, get well soon. We need unity & leadership.”

Hillary Clinton, for her part, attempted to adapt herself to the enormous popular anger over police brutality. “Charlotte should release police video of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting without delay,” she tweeted on Friday, “We must ensure justice & work to bridge divides. –H” This missive was issued after three days of protests, and only the day before the Charlotte authorities released the videos.

While Charlotte authorities released two videos over the weekend, a new North Carolina law goes into effect on October 1 that will bar the release to the public of any future recordings from police body cameras or dashboard cameras. The new law has the full support of the state’s police organizations.

Donald Trump parody song


This 6 March 2016 parody music video from Britain is called Donald Trump – “Another 10ft on the Wall”.

It is a parody of the song Another brick in the wall by British band Pink Floyd.

The lyrics are:

We don’t need no state protection
We don’t need no border control
No dark-skinned children in our classrooms
Keep those kids in Mexico

Hey, America! I’ll even make ’em pay for it
If they don’t play ball, I’ll just put another ten feet on the wall
All in all, it’s just another ten feet on the wall

We don’t need no anchor babies
We don’t need no burritos
We don’t want no Muslims either
Send ’em all to Mexico

Hey, America! Watch me make ’em pay for it
If they don’t play ball, I’ll just put another ten feet on the wall
All in all, I’m just a loud-mouthed prick called Donald

Last week, Twitter retrieved the comic strip above — a 1999 Doonesbury classic in which Garry Trudeau, the strip’s creator, saw Trump-the-candidate coming a mile away. Trudeau has been drawing the racist presidential nominee since 1987. The strip is one of many collected in an anthology of cartoons called “Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump,” which came out in July. Trudeau responded to questions about the viral strip, his career and the book by email on Friday.: here

Bloody Afghan warlord gets United States taxpayers’ money


This video says about itself:

Hands Dripping with the Blood of the Afghan People‘: US Agrees to Pardon and Reward Warlord

24 September 2016

The peace deal amounts to a bribe for warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to not commit crimes and terrorism, says Sonali Kolhatkar, host of “Rising Up With Sonali” on KPFA

Syrian no-fly zone may mean nuclear war, United States general warns


This 2014 video is called VERY GRAPHIC – Jabhat al-Nusra executing and brutally beheading 3 Syrian civilians.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Top US general warns Syrian “no-fly” zone means war with Russia

24 September 2016

The enforcement of a “no-fly” zone in Syria would mean a US war with both Syria and Russia, the top US uniformed commander told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spelled out the grave implications of the policy advocated by both predominant sections within the Republican Party as well as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton amid rising violence in Syria and increasing pressure by Washington on the Russian government to unilaterally agree to grounding its own aircraft as well as those of the Syrian government.

Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly demanded that Russia adhere to what would essentially be a one-sided “no-fly” zone under conditions in which US warplanes would continue carrying out airstrikes.

Kerry presented his proposal as a means of reviving and restoring “credibility” to a ceasefire agreement that he and the Russian Foreign Minister negotiated on September 9. This cessation of hostilities collapsed less than a week after its implementation in the face of hundreds of violations by US-backed Islamist “rebels” who have refuse to accept its terms, as well as two major back-to-back attacks.

The first was carried out by US and allied warplanes one week ago against a Syrian army position, killing as many as 90 Syrian soldiers and wounding another 100. Washington claimed that the bombing was a mistake, but Syrian officials have pointed to what appeared to be a coordination of the airstrike with a ground offensive by Islamic State (also known as ISIS) fighters who briefly overran the bombed position.

This was followed on September 19 by an attack on a humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo that killed at least 20 and destroyed 18 trucks. The US immediately blamed Russia for the attack, without providing any evidence to support the charge. Russia and the Syrian government have denied responsibility and suggested that the so-called “rebels” shelled the convoy.

The US position was reflected in the testimony of both Dunford and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter before the Senate panel Thursday. The general admitted to the committee, “I don’t have the facts,” as to what planes carried out the attack, but quickly added, “There is no doubt in my mind that the Russians are responsible.” Similarly, Carter declared, “The Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not.”

The collapse of the ceasefire under the weight of these incidents abrogated an agreement that had been bitterly opposed by both Carter and the Pentagon’s uniformed command. The latter have publicly declared their opposition—in terms bordering on insubordination—to the deal’s provision for coordinated actions and intelligence sharing with Russia, which America’s top generals see as the main enemy.

This view was reiterated Thursday by General Dunford, who declared that based on the “combination of their behavior and their military capability, Russia is the most significant threat to our national interests.” Asked if he supported the proposal for intelligence sharing, Dunford responded, “We don’t have any intention of having an intelligence-sharing arrangement with the Russians.”

Speaking in New York Thursday night after the so-called International Syria Support Group ended a meeting with no progress toward restoring the US-Russian ceasefire agreement, Secretary of State Kerry declared: “The only way to achieve that [cessation of hostilities and violence] is if the ones who have the air power in this part of the conflict simply stop using it—not for one day or two, but for as long as possible so that everyone can see that they are serious.”

After leaving the same meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rejected the demand that the Syrian government take “unilateral steps” under conditions in which the US-backed “rebels” reject the ceasefire. “We insist and find support for steps being taken by the opposition as well, so as not to let Jabhat al-Nusra take advantage of this situation,” he said.

This, however, is precisely the aim of Washington. The US military and intelligence complex is increasingly concerned that with the backing of Russia and Iran, the Syrian government is on the brink of breaking the five-year-old siege waged by the Islamist militias armed and paid by the CIA and Washington’s principal US allies, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. Syrian and Russian planes began intense bombardment of “rebel”-held eastern Aleppo Friday in what has been reported as preparation for a major ground offensive to retake this area of the city. If the offensive proves successful, the US war for regime change will have suffered a strategic reversal.

Al Nusra, the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda, which is formally designated by both the US and the UN as a terrorist organization, constitutes the backbone of the proxy forces employed by US imperialism to effect regime change in Syria. One of the major controversies surrounding the US-Russian truce agreement was its call for the US to persuade the “rebels” on its payroll to separate themselves from Al Nusra. This Washington was unable and unwilling to do, both because they are so closely integrated with the Al Qaeda elements and because they could not survive as a fighting force without them.

The imposition of a no-fly zone over Aleppo and other Al Nusra-controlled areas is increasingly seen as a life and death matter for the US-backed Islamists. As Thursday’s Senate hearing indicated, while Kerry is appealing to Russia to voluntarily stand down, there are significant elements within the US state that are calling for the imposition of the no-fly zone by force.

Gen. Dunford was asked by Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker if the US could take “decisive action” in imposing a no-fly zone. Wicker indicated that he had discussed the matter with Democrats, who indicated that they would support such a venture if the US intervention were given another name.

“For now, for us to control all the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war with Syria and Russia,” Dunford replied to the Senator. “That’s a pretty fundamental decision that certainly I’m not going to make.”

Dunford’s remark provoked an intervention by the committee chairman, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, who pushed him to clarify that total control of the Syrian airspace would require war with Russia and Syria, while a no-fly zone could potentially be imposed short of that.

The hearing provided a chilling exposure of the discussions going on within the US state and its military over actions that could quickly spiral into an all-out confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia, bringing humanity to the brink of catastrophe.

In separate remarks the day before the Senate hearing, both Carter and Dunford stressed that the US will maintain its military deployment in the Middle East long after the defeat of ISIS, the pretext for the current interventions in Iraq and Syria.

Speaking to the Air Force Association conference, Dunford declared, “If you assume, like I do, that we’re going to be in that region, if not Iraq, for many, many years to come,” decisions would have to be taken on the establishment of permanent military headquarters and command-and-control infrastructure.

“What is obvious and very clear is that we’re going to be in that region for a while,” Carter declared in a “troop talk” streamed live on social media. He added: “ISIL is a big problem, but one we’re going to take care of through defeat. But we have Iran over there, we have other issues in the Middle East.”

In other words, Washington is planning the continuation of its unending wars in the Middle East, including military action directed against Iran, with the aim of imposing American hegemony over the region’s vast energy resources and strategically weakening the principal targets of US imperialist aggression, Russia and China.

Big Irish women’s rights demonstration


This video from Ireland says about itself:

Protest at death of [Dr] Savita [Halappanavar], denied an abortion in Irish hospital

2,000 protested over death of Savita, denied a termination in Irish hospital. The protest took place at parliament buildings where legislators have failed for 20 years to legislate for abortion, Dublin 14th November 2012.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Dublin demo demands end to ban on abortions

Sunday 25th September 2015

TENS of thousands marched through Dublin yesterday calling for abortion rights.

Marchers carried banners calling on the Irish government to “repeal the 8th,” the amendment to the Irish constitution which gives foetuses a “right to life” deemed equal with that of pregnant women, rendering almost all abortions illegal.

The Abortion Rights Campaign said it the march was about demanding “free, safe and legal” abortion rights in Ireland.

Spokeswoman Linda Kavanagh said: “100 years on from the Easter Rising, the equality promised in the 1916 proclamation hasn’t been realised.”

Her colleague Janet O’Sullivan accused governments of “burying their heads in the sand, ignoring the urgent need and desire for change.”

Solidarity marches by pro-choice campaigners also took place across the world, including in Berlin, London and New York.

This video from Ireland says about itself:

10,000 March for Abortion Rights in Ireland, September 2015

29 September 2015

Over 10,000 march for a woman’s right to bodily autonomy in Dublin on Saturday 26th 2015. Organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign, activists from all over Ireland and across Europe came out to demand that a referendum be held to Repeal the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution which equates the foetus with the pregnant person carrying the foetus.

Video © Paula Geraghty

Ugandan police stops Gay Pride march


Ugandan Gay Pride marchers in 2015, AFP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Ugandan police stops Gay Pride

Today, 16:16

The Ugandan police has stopped a Gay Pride planned for today. According to a government spokesman, the Gay Pride is illegal.

At two places in Uganda celebrations were planned. A hundred gay, lesbian and transgender people came to a beach at Lake Victoria. They were all arrested, but were released later. According to a gay rights activist the arrests “traumatized” the people.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda. In 2013, the Ugandan parliament passed a law which introduced life imprisonment for homosexuality. The Supreme Court declared the law null and void.