Dutch police chokehold death in The Hague

This video from New York City in the USA is called RIP Eric Garner VIDEO 2 – Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold.

The last words of New York City African American Eric Garner, while in an (illegal) police chokehold, were ‘I can’t breathe‘. Then, he died.

Unfortunately, it looks like The Hague city in the Netherlands now has its own Eric Garner-like lethal police violence case.

Mitch Henriquez, 42 years old, from Aruba island in the Caribbean, visited a music festival in The Hague as a tourist. As he left, four policemen grabbed him, and practiced a chokehold on him, until he did not move any more. A day later, on 28 June 2015, Mitch Henriquez was dead.

Mitch Henriquez and his son

Mitch Henriquez, before being arrested; and just before his death

At first, the public prosecutor claimed that Mr Henriquez had become ill while on his way in a police car to a police station.

This video, recorded on 27 June 2015, shows that Mr Henriquez was already not moving any more before being dragged into the police car.

This video is the sequel.

The blog of the The Hague anti-fascists writes about this:

Arubian man beaten to death by The Hague police

Yesterday (Saturday June 27, 2015), Hague police officers beat 42 year old Arubian Mitch Henriquez to death after the “Night in the Park” Festival in Zuiderpark in The Hague, the Netherlands. In a statement, the Prosecutor’s Officer (OM) stated that Henriquez began to feel unwell on the way to the police station. However, it is apparent from video footage that he was already unconscious or in a coma before he was thrown into the police bus without receiving any medical attention.

Witnesses said that Henriquez was making jokes with friends after the festival, when a group of officers tackled him. Henriquez fell into a coma, and died today at the hospital. According to bystanders and his family, police officers used a lot of force to arrest him. According to the “official” statement from the OM, Henriquez supposedly yelled that he had a weapon and then resisted arrest, leading to the use of force. Henriquez only began to feel unwell on the way to the police station. Eyewitnesses and a newly released video tell a completely different story. Henriquez was joking around with his friends, and was warned by the police and walked further. Lila also says that he was possibly being a bit loud and boisterous, but not toward the police.

The doctors from intensive care said that Henriquez clearly did not die from natural causes. His sister Lila said in an interview: “his head was completely swollen, he was mainly beaten on his head. How could someone be handcuffed, thrown in the car and then arrive black and blue and unable to breathe?” Henriquez’s sister wonders.

The The Hague police department has for years been at the center of many scandals because of (racist) police brutality. On November 24, 2012, 17 year old Rishi Chandrikasing was shot dead at Holland Spoor [railway] station as he ran away from the police. Racist police brutality is also a daily reality in the Schilderswijk and Transvaal neighborhoods in The Hague. In these neighborhoods, seemingly everybody knows somebody who has been a victim of police brutality, or even have even been victims themselves. Victims stated earlier to the local media: “I am often asked to show ID, for no reason. If I ask why, I get taken away and getting beaten up and abused in the police car. It continues at the station. They threw me into the cell and beat me while I was still handcuffed. Afterwards, they sprayed me with the fire hose and left me for the whole night soaking wet in the cell.” Even ex-officers speak of a culture of violence and racism in the police unit. These are only a few examples of the racist and violent culture of the police in The Hague, which has always been denied and covered up by police top brass and Hague mayor Jozias van Aartsen.

Man dies in hospital following brutal arrest by Dutch police: here.

Mitch Henriquez was a member of the Aruban opposition political party MEP. Arubans, both in Aruba and in the Netherlands, are deeply shocked.

This 29 June video from The Hague shows a big demonstration, including bikers, protesting against the death of Mitch Henriquez.

Dutch Socialist Party members of parliament Nine Kooiman and Michiel van Nispen suspect that the public prosecutor lied; and they have asked the government questions about this today.

This punk rock music video from England says about itself:

Angelic Upstarts – The Murder of Liddle Towers

Classic debut single from the Upstarts, championing the cause of the Birtley boxer who died after a night in a police cell.

Charleston, USA massacre, Confederate flag, animated cartoon

This animated cartoon video by Mark Fiore from the USA says about itself:

Last week’s horrific shooting at the “Mother Emanuel” church in South Carolina underscored America’s terrible racist past, not to mention present. While it’s all well and good the Confederate flags are starting to come down, that is the easiest choice imaginable from the toxic menu of racism, hatred and guns.

If only racism and gun-toting white supremacists would disappear with the removal of the Stars and Bars from government grounds and major retailers. I’m happy to see the bandwagon of politicians who used to support the display of the Confederate flag getting bigger every day.  Some of these guys were using the “heritage” defense of the flag just last week, then calling for its removal this week.

Thanks to the none-too-brave Nikki Haley, Republicans are tripping over themselves to defuse this potentially damaging campaign issue.  (Never mind that the current Majority Whip in the United States House of Representatives has his own history of hanging out with white supremacists and he seems to be doing just fine.)  Unfortunately, the racist past and present of the United States will be haunting us for a long time to come, but at least we won’t be able to buy a Confederate flag at Walmart.  (These are still on sale, however.)  Enjoy the cartoon, feel free to help the victims and the community most impacted by this tragedy.  And, as usual, be sure to check out the news behind the cartoon.

USA: Store owner who says Confederate flag doesn’t represent racism, revealed to have family ties to Ku Klux Klan: here.

This sudden rush to take down symbols of racism and slavery that the American political establishment has kept in place for decades is a defensive response to an outpouring of public horror over the Charleston killings and popular hostility to racism. This powerful reaction has taken the political establishment and both parties by surprise, forcing them to reckon with vast changes in popular consciousness of a broadly democratic character, particularly in the South: here.

ANOTHER BLACK CHURCH CATCHES FIRE South Carolina’s Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church is the seventh predominantly black church to catch fire since the Charleston shooting. Investigators have yet to label the fire an act of arson. [Andrew Hart, HuffPost]

Dutch royal family anti-Semitism?

This video says about itself:

Amsterdam “The City That Remembers”

22 May 2013

This DVD is digitally converted from the original broadcast tape master of a 30 minute documentary which I produced in Holland in 1997. This is a very personal project with one simple objective: to pass along to future generations awareness of the horrors of Nazi Germany’s systematic genocide in WWII … knowledge so easily lost and forgotten unless we keep it alive. After you have viewed this DVD, I hope you will place it in a school, library, church, synagogue, or other permanent place where it will be shown and viewed again and again for decades to come.

The idea for producing this documentary grew from my many trips to Amsterdam and the urging from a close friend there, Harry Moinat, that I interview Jewish survivors of the Dutch Holocaust before they all died. The more I learned the more I had to tell inspiring Amsterdam’s story of resistance and determination.

Harry introduced me to a contemporary of Anne Frank, Jaap van Velzen, who was just 12 years old when he escaped from his Nazi captors by brazenly slipping away from a kindergarten where he and other children were being held awaiting shipment to the death camps. After his escape he hid in the south of the Netherlands till war’s end. He was the only member of his family to survive. Jaap later became a successful businessman and noted scholar regarding the Dutch Holocaust.

His childhood recollections are woven into this portrait of the systematic roundup of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally impaired and their shipment out of Amsterdam using the city’s own streetcars to deliver them at night to waiting Nazi freight cars at Amsterdam’s central train station. From there they were shipped to Westerbork concentration camp before being sent on to their deaths at Auschwitz and other German death camps.

I wrote, shot, edited and narrated this documentary to share with you an understanding of why Amsterdam is truly “The City That Remembers.”

Larry M. Ray

Translated from the Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad (NIW) in the Netherlands:

June 26, 2015

Press Release: Jewish students removed in 1951 from the princesses’ school classes

With knowledge of Queen Juliana in 1951, Jewish students were preventively removed from classes at the Nieuwe Baarnsche School where the princesses Margriet and Irene were placed. This emerges from an article by historian Bart Wallet in the Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad published today.

The initiative to remove Jewish students came from “a certain circle of [elite] Baarn town residents’, with the knowledge of Queen Juliana. The parents of the removed Jewish students approached the royal court. After that, Juliana in response stated that “the royal dynasty of Orange are not anti-Semitic.” Ultimately, the issue disappeared under the carpet.

The article was written by prominent historian Bart Wallet. He is research leader in religious history at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He got exclusive access to archives, including the Royal Archives, the archives of the Dutch Jewish Congregation and various private archives.

NIW editor Maurice Swirc declares: “This is a potentially explosive history, especially since it took place six years after the Shoah. Further research will have to establish the exact chain of events. But for Jewish people in the Netherlands the attitude of Juliana – at least – causes questioning.”

The Jewish community has always been very pro-royal dynasty. Until today in the synagogue services there are standard prayers for the royal family.

Questions by the NIW to the Nieuwe Baarnsche School – to which the article had been made available beforehand – did not get any answers.

#BlackLivesMatter and street art in Baltimore, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

29 April. 2015

SHOCKING VIDEO: Joseph Kent, a 21-year-old Morgan State student and civil rights activist, was telling demonstrators to disperse Tuesday night after the 10 p.m. curfew as a line of police officers stood by in riot gear.

Baltimore protester’s creepy arrest on live TV prompts concerns of ‘blackbag kidnapping’. CNN was broadcasting live when a National Guard armored car drove directly toward Kent and some of the officers pushed him behind the Humvee, which drove off.

Protester with his hands up arrested by police in Baltimore

The camera followed the armored vehicle, leaving many to conclude Kent had been shoved inside.

Shocking Video broadcast live by CNN shows a prominent Baltimore activist being kidnapped off the street by five National Guard troops as an armored vehicle shields the scene from cameras.

“They ran out and grabbed him … and then arrested him,” reported CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Kent gained attention during protests in Baltimore over the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The music student was credited in some reports as helping to keep protests peaceful and organized.

Baltimore police could not be reached for comment on Kent’s arrest.

A local attorney said Kent had apparently been booked into jail but was not among those who will be presented for bail on Wednesday.

By Priscilla Frank in the USA, with photos there:

Baltimore Students Team Up For #BlackLivesMatter Street Art Takeover

06/25/2015 11:59 am EDT

In 2011, street artist JR made a call to art and a call to action — a call he hoped would reach people around the world. “I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project,” he said. “And together, we’ll turn the world inside out.”

“Inside Out” is the name of the project, which challenges people around the globe to share their portrait and a message they believe in. Thus far, the project has attracted over 200,000 people from 112 countries, from Ecuador to Nepal to Palestine. Issues addressed range from climate change to gender-based violence, all communicated through the simple yet striking image of a large, black-and-white pasted portrait.

Now, the students of Morgan State University’s Visual Arts Department are taking a hint from JR and collaborating, along with Computer Graphics II and Computers in Art Design professor Chris Metzger, on an “Inside Out” Group Action project, a visual response to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.

For me, Black Lives Matter — way before it became this social media movement, before it became a hashtag — it’s always been a part of my work,” artist Sheldon Scott explained in a previous interview with The Huffington Post. “We’ve been saying these things for years about … mistreatment and injustices.”

From June 17 to June 19, students teamed up to take on the facade of the future home of Open Works in Baltimore City, a space meant to serve as an incubator for Baltimore‘s creative economy.

“Research shows that Baltimore City ranks 100th out of 100 cities nationally in terms of income mobility,” program manager Will Holman explained in a statement. “We view Open Works as a ladder for youth, unemployed, and underemployed workers looking for better opportunities.” The facility will offer advanced tools and technologies for ordinary citizens, transforming Baltimore into a grounds for burgeoning tech and art scenes.

“These facilities, such as TechShop, FabLab and other homegrown maker spaces, are emerging as a new kind of civic institution, similar to schools or libraries,” BARCO Managing Director, Mac MacLure added. “Maker communities are springing up around the world as places that inspire and teach, provide access to tools and mentorship, and connect individuals with financing and customers.”

Given its potential for the creative and economic future of Baltimore, Open Works is an ideal canvas for the young faces of Baltimore’s artists and activists. The project comes at as an apt a time as ever, following the horrific events of last week’s shooting in Charleston, in which 21-year-old white gunman Dylann Roof murdered nine individuals at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a Bible study meeting.

The only reason someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said at a news conference following the massacre. “It is the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine.”

In the wake of such tragedy, projects like “Inside Out” restore some sense of hope. The strong faces of the men and women of Baltimore’s “Inside Out” installation emanate a sense of strength, togetherness and peaceful defiance.

Confederate flag scandal in Glastonbury, England

This video from the USA says about itself:

Whoopi Goldberg on The View Compares Confederate Flag to Nazi Swastika – ABC – June 22, 2015

In the events following the Charleston shooting, the discussion on racism has merged with a discussion of whether it is appropriate for the South Carolina Statehouse to continue flying the Confederate flag. Jeb Bush gave his opinion on the issue when he said that despite being a symbol of Southern heritage, the flag’s context is outdated and belongs only in Florida museums. While other GOP politicians have touched on the issue with varying conviction, Mike Huckabee called it a state matter that was not an issue for 2016 candidates, while Rick Santorum refused to take a side on the debate.

On Monday’s episode of The View, the side-stepping of the discussion did not sit well with the panelists. Whoopi Goldberg condemned the flying of the flag, saying that with how long the flag has been glorified in the South amid decades of controversy, the only way to argue against the flag’s defenders is to compare it to the flag of Nazi Germany.

“It would be like having the swastika flag flying on your next-door neighbor,” said Goldberg. “That is a part of history in Germany that they are struggling desperately to get away from.”

“If it continues to fly, the statement that’s being made … is that ‘We miss this really crappy part of history,’ and that is where the conversation has to begin.”

Goldberg also said that even though she acknowledged the flag’s historical relevance and status as a symbol of pride, placing the flag in a museum was the only way to take the “stink” out of the flag’s reputation. “None of us want the connotations that that flag gave to people. I think that America’s biggest human beings [should] at least have the conversation, and call racism racism when they see it.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Confederate flag flying at Glastonbury

Friday 26th June 2015

THE CONFEDERATE flag has been snapped flying over the fence at Glastonbury Festival — just days after major retailers and institutions in the US banned selling and displaying it.

This comes a week after white supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof, 21, had opened fire in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people.

Mr Roof, who is in custody, is seen in photographs posing with the Confederate flag, which is a divisive symbol due to its links with the American civil war.

He was reported to have told friends that by shooting black people he had wanted to start another similar conflict.

Commentators on social media have stated that taking the Confederate flag to a major music event is insensitive, while others said it may have been done in “irony.”

Donald Trump, today’s Benjamin Tillman, Dylann Roof with money?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Dylann Roof’s Burger King Meal Proves A Devastating Point

23 June 2015

“The man accused of gunning down nine people inside a historic black church in South Carolina was “polite” and “quiet” while he was in police custody in North Carolina, according to a police chief who spoke with the Charlotte Observer.

Dylann Roof, 21, was apprehended by Shelby police on Thursday. He has been charged with nine counts of murder in a mass shooting inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last Wednesday.

Police arrested him without incident.

Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford told the Charlotte Observer that when Roof complained he was hungry, cops went to a nearby Burger King and bought the accused mass murderer a meal while he was in custody.”

Read more here.

Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

Let us stay in Charleston, South Carolina, in the USA, where Roof committed his massacre, for a comparison.

On 4 April 2015, in Charleston, African American Walter Scott was stopped by police. Was Walter Scott a suspect of murdering nine people? No, Mr Scott was ‘suspect’ of a malfunctioning brake light of his car. Did police buy Walter Scott a Burger King meal? No, Police Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager murdered Walter Scott.

Weeks later, at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, racist Dylann Roof said: ‘You rape our women and you’re taking over the country. You have to go.’

And then, Dylann Roof proceeded to murder three men and six women; not one of them had ever harmed him. Not one of them had ever committed rape. These nine people were in South Carolina because their ancestors had been kidnaped from Africa and transported in chains on trans-Atlantic slave ships.

Is Dylann Roof an isolated phenomenon? No. Roof stands in a long tradition of racism and violent crime in South Carolina. A racist and violent heritage which is often not rejected, but honoured in South Carolina today, where Dylann Roof grew up.

Benjamin Tillman (1847-1918) played a big role in South Carolina’s political history. He was proud that he had murdered black people. Like his fellow Confederate flag waver Roof today, Tillman ‘justified’ his crimes by saying that black people (‘black fiends’ according to Tillman) were supposedly rapists. And were supposedly ‘taking over the country’, by having the right to vote. As governor of South Carolina, Tillman abolished African Americans’ voting rights in 1895.

This video from South Carolina says about itself:

Clemson Quotes Tillman at Tillman

8 March 2015

“People from Clemson University read quotes from founding trustee and former governor of South Carolina—racist, white supremacist, murderer, Benjamin Tillman—whose name adorns the University’s Main Building.

In 1962, the Main Building on the campus of Winthrop College in South Carolina was renamed Tillman Hall in the late politician and self-confessed murderer’s honour.

Tillman is not only still honoured at Deep South universities. There is a bronze statue honouring the memory of the late Governor and U.S. Senator Benjamin Ryan Tillman in front of the Statehouse in Columbia. Columbia is the capital of South Carolina; and it is also where Dylann Roof was born and lived.

So, now to millionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Daily Kos blog in the USA wrote:

Thu Jun 18, 2015 at 09:22 AM PDT

Donald Trump Said Much The Same Thing That Dylann Storm Roof Said Before He Pulled The Trigger

This is what happens when you stoke the fires of racism, bigotry, stupidity, hatred and fear.

“I have to do it,” the gunman was quoted as saying. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” Dylann Storm Roof

“They (Mexico) are not our friend, believe me…The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems…When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs and they are bringing crime, and they’re rapists.” Donald J Trump

In which way is Trump similar to, and in which way is he different from, Dylann Roof and Benjamin Tillman?

Well, Tillman was a Democrat. Trump is a Republican. In the wake of Barry Goldwater’s and Richard Nixon’s ‘southern strategy‘ for the Republican party, which drove away most southern African Americans (traditionally mainly Republican voters, at least the minority who had any voting rights) and attracted many white southern racists.

Donald Trump has a lot more money than Dylann Roof. And probably also more than Benjamin Tillman, though Tillman was rich.

Donald Trump‘s quote differs from Dylann Roof’s in making Mexicans and other Latin Americans scapegoats of his racism. But Trump’s racist accusations of rape are rather similar to Roof’s and Tillman’s. Tillman supported the 1898 neo-colonial war with Spain; but was against taking over the Spanish colony Puerto Rico because non-white people lived there.

And, of course, contrary to Tillman and Roof, Trump did not kill anyone. However, if Trump would become president of the USA, he would get the power to kill lots of people. Not a comforting idea.

Many political pundits say that is very unlikely that Trump will become president of the USA. However, a recent poll in New Hamphire says that Trump is second of the many Republican candidates. Trump got just three percent less intended votes than Jeb Bush, the vulnerable front runner, who has only 14% of the intended Republican New Hampshire vote.

Also, many political pundits today don’t look whether a candidate is an honest person. Whether a candidate has good ideas. Whether a candidate is racist or not. Not even whether a candidate is good-looking. Or whether his wife is good-looking. They look at how much money a candidate’s campaign has. And Trump does have that money.

From Blue Nation Review in the USA today:

Univision Dumps Trump, Miss USA Pageant Over Remarks On Immigrants

The Donald may largely be considered a joke here in the United States, but across Latin America, especially in Mexico, the sting of Trump’s remarks on Mexican immigrants has left many incensed.

So much so that Univision, a broadcast television network with the largest Spanish-speaking audience in the world, has severed ties with Trump and the Miss USA Pageant, which the Republican presidential candidate partially owns, the Associated Press reports.

Donald Trump to sue Spanish-language TV network for dropping coverage of Miss USA pageant over his comments about Mexicans: here.