Alabama, USA cheerleading coach sacked for reporting Ku Klux Klan propaganda


Ku Klux Klan and White Pride T-shirts, worn by cheerleading coach Brian McCracken, and Brian McDowell, respectively

By Justin Block in the USA:

Alabama Cheerleading Coach Dismissed After Reporting Racist T-Shirt Worn By Fellow Coach

08/26/2015 01:38 PM EDT

An Alabama cheerleading squad has lost two of its coaches after a pair of racist T-shirts appeared at an August practice.

Brian McCracken, the assistant vice president of a Boaz, Alabama cheerleading team, resigned from his post late last week after wearing a Ku Klux Klan shirt to a North Alabama Youth Football & Cheerleading League practice, reports local Alabama affiliate, WAFF. The shirt’s text reads, “The Original Boys In The Hood,” and offensively makes a comparison to the 1991 film “Boyz N The Hood,” which focuses on gangs South Central Los Angeles.

“We have zero tolerance for any kind of discriminatory apparel or anything,” said Jones to WAFF.

Jones responded to the incident by contacting McCracken and banning him from wearing racially inflammatory shirts to cheer practice — something that shouldn’t really have to be said — but nonetheless, it was Tipton who was ultimately punished, not McCracken.

According to WAFF, the next time Tipton showed up at practice, Boaz’s cheerleading vice president and Brian’s wife, Melynnda McCracken, asked her to not come back.

“I’m just disgusted because I feel like I didn’t do anything wrong besides make a complaint that should have been kept private to begin with,” Tipton said. “I asked why and she could not give me any reason.”

Both Brian and Melynnda have since resigned, reports WAFF, but the Tipton family iterated that the damage has already been done — not to the parents, who completely fumbled the situation, but to the kids, who had to witness this racially-inflamed drama first-hand.

“It’s hard for a biracial child that is 4 and 5 to understand what racism is,” Kayleigh’s husband, Cody Tipton, said. “It just outrages me and a lot of other parents but no one will stand up to it because of the consequences their children will get.”

German neo-nazis, the political establishment and anti-refugee violence


This video says about itself:

Germany: Protesters march for refugee rights as Interior Minister arrives in Magdeburg

25 August 2015

Refugees and pro-refugee activists took part in a “March against racist asylum laws” in Magdeburg, Tuesday, marching from the city centre to the Regiocom GmbH headquarters where German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere made an appearance.

By Christoph Dreier in Germany:

Attacks on refugee camp encouraged by German government’s right-wing policies

26 August 2015

Right-wing extremists attacked refugee accommodations over the weekend in the small town of Heidenau near Dresden. Over three successive nights they repeatedly attacked police and left-wing counter-demonstrators with fireworks and stones, all while chanting Nazi slogans.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats, CDU) Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democrats, SPD) and other politicians released official statements in which they condemned the violence against refugees. But the crocodile tears being shed cannot disguise the fact that the state apparatus and the German government’s right-wing policies contributed considerably to the violence.

The attacks came as no surprise; the fascist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) registered a demonstration to pass through Heidenau on Friday. On social media and in forums, right-wing extremists urged “blockades” and “civil war” to stop the plan to open the housing for refugees over the weekend.

Despite this, only 135 police officers were present. Encouraged by this balance of forces, between 600 and 1,000 right-wing extremist demonstrators entered the empty warehouse, which was due to begin accommodating asylum seekers on Saturday. They attacked police with stones and fireworks, injuring 31 officers. Nazi and anti-immigrant slogans were repeatedly chanted, such as “We are the people,” “Foreigners Out!” and “national resistance.” “Sieg Heil!” calls were also heard.

Even after this experience, the contingent of police was strengthened by 40 to 175 officers for the opening of the accommodation on Saturday. In addition, 150 people gathered in front of the building to demonstrate their solidarity with the refugees.

After right-wing extremists once again gathered at the warehouse on Saturday evening, throwing stones and fireworks, the police called on the supporters of the refugees to end their demonstration on the grounds that their security could not be guaranteed. In subsequent clashes, more police were injured. The first refugees were brought into the accommodation under police escort.

On Sunday, a large contingent of officers was deployed, two water cannons were set up and a so-called control zone was established in a 500-metre radius around the camp, within which police could search individuals merely on suspicion, issue expulsions, and ban people from the area.

But the state power was ultimately deployed more against counter-demonstrators who had travelled to the town from Leipzig and Dresden, rather than the right-wing vandals. As the protesters clashed with right-wing extremists at a petrol station, the police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets, and according to eyewitnesses forced the left-wing demonstrators to the train station and onto trains. There were no further attacks on the refugee centre on Sunday.

Confronted with this chronology of events, the question is posed: to what extent were the attacks encouraged by the Saxony state government, or at least tolerated by it? Shaghayegh, a 30-year-old activist from the Asylum Seekers Movement who was in the area on Friday and Saturday, said in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung that even the choice of accommodation had been dubious.

“The question we are asking ourselves is why accommodate refugees in a town like this,” Shaghayegh said. Heidenau has a strong right-wing scene. At the most recent town council elections, the NPD secured 7.5 percent of the vote. In addition, the warehouse, left unoccupied for two years, is not a fit place for people to live in. A total of 600 refugees are to be housed in one large room.

Similar scenes played out 15 kilometres away in the state capital, Dresden. According to doctors, at a tent camp for 800 refugees that was established earlier this year, human rights were trampled underfoot. There were insufficient sanitary facilities and inadequate medical care.

The NPD organised demonstrations in July against the refugees in Dresden. Left-wing counter-demonstrators were attacked by right-wing extremists, and several counter-demonstrators were seriously injured.

These are not isolated cases. According to official government figures, there were 200 attacks on refugee centres during the first six months of the year. Remarkably, 42 of them took place in Saxony. However, the state takes in only around 5 percent of all refugees.

The reason for this is that the connections between the government and the right-wing extremist milieu are particularly close in Saxony. The judiciary, police and domestic intelligence agency have been targeting Nazi elements for years, while the right-wing extremists continue with their activities unhindered.

Last year, the right-wing Pegida movement was systematically built up. The anti-Islamic group, which had its centre in Dresden, immediately won the support of the state office for political education. Along with SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel, several members of the state government spoke out in favour of a “dialogue” with the right-wing radicals.

In addition, the government of Saxony has adopted the programme of the far right in recent years. Two weeks ago, Saxony CDU General Secretary Michael Kretschmer welcomed the Hungarian plan to build a 175-kilometre long fence along its border with Serbia.

The state spokesman for interior affairs in the CDU, Christian Hartmann, even called for the reintroduction of border controls within the European Union. Last year, Saxony’s interior minister Markus Ulbig urged the creation of a special police unit to target asylum seekers committing criminal offences.

The ability of the neo-Nazi mob to run riot again in Germany is the direct product of these right-wing politics, not only at state level but also throughout the country. Right-wing extremist forces have been encouraged by a refugee policy that is openly based on deterrence.

The unrest involving ultra right-wing elements has in turn been exploited by politicians and the media to justify renewed attacks on refugees. Even as the violence in Heidenau continued, Peter Karstens published a comment in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung headlined “The downside of the open culture.” In it he criticised the fact that, “in a climate of misunderstood tolerance and laziness,” politicians for years had avoided “deporting rejected asylum seekers.”

Then he cited the interior spokesman for the CDU/Christian Social Union parliamentary faction, Stefan Mayer, who said, “The inadequate level of deportations of rejected asylum seekers is one of the main problems in overcoming the tense asylum seeker situation.”

The foul propaganda against refugees and immigrants can only be understood in a broader political context. A policy is being carried out against refugees, in collaboration with right-wing forces, which is in reality aimed against all workers. The basic social and democratic rights denied to refugees today will be called into question in general tomorrow. A policy like that being imposed by the German government in Greece, and the preparation of new wars, are not compatible with democratic rights for the working class.

It is thus all the more cynical when representatives of all the establishment political parties respond to attacks on refugees by calling for the further strengthening of the state apparatus, which is itself responsible for organising the misery faced by refugees.

Saxony’s representative for external affairs, Geert Mackenroth (CDU), has already announced the deployment of “professional security services”, as well as video surveillance and bans on demonstrations. Such security services have been in the headlines many times over the past year for torturing and severely abusing refugees.

FOLLOWING THE SEA OF EUROPEAN MIGRANTS Documenting the mass exodus from the Middle East and Afghanistan. [NYT]

Around 50 refugees and asylum seekers were found dead in the hold of a boat off the coast of Libya Wednesday morning. While rescuers were able to save 439 other people on board, the latest reports indicated that 51 people had died: here.

Up To 50 Refugees Suffocate In Back Of Truck In Austria, Local Media Says: here.

AUSTRIAN MIGRANT TRUCK HORROR WORSENS Investigators say more than 70 bodies have been found in an truck abandoned on the Austrian autobahn. The refugees most likely suffocated to death. [Reuters]

Deport Ferguson demonstrators from the USA, Donald Trump says


Donald Trump's anti-Mexican racism, cartoon

By Nick Gass in the USA:

Ferguson mayor taunts Trump over gang comments

8/26/15 11:34 AM EDT

Updated 8/26/15 11:43 AM EDT

The mayor of Ferguson, Missouri on Wednesday mocked Donald Trump’s assertion that the north St. Louis County suburb and the city of St. Louis have gangs with immigrants in the country illegally.

“I’m assuming that Donald Trump is saying that from his extensive experience in St. Louis and in Ferguson. He has never been here as far as I know.

Republican party presidential candidate Trump has that in common with a ‘witness’ who played a major role in the impunity for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. In her Grand Jury testimony, self-confessed racist Sandra McElroy lied that she had been in Ferguson, and had supposedly seen Michael Brown charge ‘like a football player’ policeman Darren Wilson who killed him. Ms McElroy’s lies helped prejudiced prosecuting attorney Robert P. McCulloch to get a non-indictment of Darren Wilson. Ms McElroy’s lies were repeated as gospel truth again and again in the Rupert Murdoch media and by extreme right conspiracy theorists on the Internet.

I’ve never seen any roving bands of illegal immigrants or gangs in Ferguson,” James Knowles said in an interview Wednesday morning with the Fox affiliate in St. Louis. “I think he’s just trying to find headlines and we just gave him one.”

Trump made the remark in response to a question at a press availability in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday night, naming Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis and its northern suburb as places that have numerous incidents of unrest in the past year.

“You know a lot of the gangs that you see in Baltimore and in St. Louis and in Ferguson and Chicago. You know, they’re illegal immigrants,” Trump said. “They’re here illegally. And they’re rough dudes, rough people. They’re going to be gone so fast if I win, that your head will spin. They’re going to be gone so fast, OK?”

Sandra Bland gets street name in Texas, USA


Students at Sandra Bland's alma mater, Prairie View A & M University, organized a march in her honour

From ABC in the USA:

Texas street renamed for Sandra Bland

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 11:36PM

A Texas city is renaming a street in memory of Sandra Bland, a Naperville woman found dead in her jail cell last month.

The street is located on the campus of Bland’s alma mater, Prairie View A& M University, and will be called Sandra Bland Parkway.

Earlier Tuesday, students at Prairie View A& M University marked Tuesday night in her honor.

Bland, who was in a Texas jail for three days after being arrested during a traffic stop, is an alum of Prairie View.

Texas officials said the woman committed suicide, but her family disputes that.

From KHOU.com in Texas:

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — Sandra Bland’s mother applauded the decision on Tuesday to rename “University Drive” to “Sandra Bland Parkway” in honor of her daughter.

“I am excited,” Geneva Reed-Veal said. “I am overwhelmed, and I am just truly thankful.”

Another resident said it was just a small start.

“This is something that in the very least should happen so that her name remains as a symbol of the greater good,” David Palmer said.

To many people, Sandra Bland’s name will forever be synonymous with a struggle on the side of the road that sparked a movement.

“If that starts dialogue to say what it means for police accountability, for jail accountability, for community accountability to speak up, then it’s a great thing, and I support that,” said resident Sylvia Cedillo.

Also from KHOU.com:

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — City council members hope renaming the stretch of road after Sandra Bland serves as a constant reminder of the injustices they say she suffered in Waller County.

They also hope it’s a reminder for law enforcement to always follow best practices when making stops on University Drive.

Her mother Geneva Reed-Veal says she could not have imagined Prairie View City Council passing the resolution it did.

“I am overwhelmed, and I am just truly thankful to the city of Prairie View,” Reed-Veal said in a press conference after the decision.

Bland’s name will be seen from the entrance of Prairie View A&M to US-Business 290. Bland was stopped on this very road nearly six weeks ago by a trooper for making an illegal lane change. She was eventually taken to jail and found days later hanging in her cell.

“This is the first step, the very first step,” Reed-Veal said. “There’s still so much more that needs to be done.”

Some felt this debate should have been pushed back.

“You have very few citizens that actually live here that are actually here today to see what’s going on,” said Paulette Matthews-Barnett, a city council member. “Maybe it should’ve been called ‘Memorial Parkway,’ that way, we’d include everybody and not just one.”

Still family members say this vote has meaning.

“We feel the big hug from Prairie View from the citizens that say we stand in solidarity with you,” said Sharon Cooper, Sandra’s sister.

The new name for this road will last three to five years before it’s taken up for a vote again.

There will also be a park dedicated in Bland’s honor not far from the college, and the mayor has asked Prairie View A&M students to come up with an architectural plan for it.

Police violence against African American women


This video from the USA says about itself:

Say Her Name: Families Seek Justice in Overlooked Police Killings of African-American Women

20 May 2015

As the Black Lives Matter movement grows across the country, the names of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Freddie Gray have become well known. All died at the hands of local police, sparking waves of protest.

During this time, far less attention has been paid to women who have been killed by law enforcement. Today, a vigil under the banner of Say Her Name is being organized in New York to remember them. We are joined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University, founder of the African American Policy Forum and co-author of the new report, “Police Brutality Against Black Women.”

From the Daily Tar Heel, student newspaper of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the USA:

#SayHerName highlights police violence against black women

Sofia Edelman

25 August 2015

Stories of rape, murder and discrimination against black women were told at the #SayHerName vigil in front of Wilson Library Monday night. The vigil sought to remember transgender and cisgender black women who were killed by police or died in police custody in recent years. “If anyone asks why we are here, we are here to heal so later we can act,” senior June Beshea, who organized the event, said at the beginning of the vigil. “We are here to say her name because so many have not.”

This vigil comes less than a week after the Silent Sam monument was spray-painted with the words “Who is Sandra Bland?” Bland was a black woman who was found dead in her Texas jail cell in July after being arrested during a traffic stop. Her death was ruled a suicide by officials in Waller County, Texas. During the vigil, the stories of the deaths of 10 black women from around the country were told, highlighting whether or not the police officers involved in the event were indicted. Poets and speakers also took the microphone to tell their personal struggles of feeling unsafe because of their skin color.

“I wasn’t trying to educate as much in this event as more give a space to heal,” Beshea said. “But I guess people will come away from it knowing just the scope of black women that are killed by police in this country.” Beyond holding vigils and offering spaces to grieve, Beshea said she plans to use this semester to showcase plays, display art and hold Pit takeovers under the umbrella of “Black Heals” to celebrate blackness. Reverend Robert Campbell, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People which co-sponsored the vigil with on-campus groups, said he was happy to see college students taking up social justice issues. “All this feeds into why we should focus on what is the value of a life,” Campbell said. “What is the value of a female’s life? What is her worth? Not just as a mother, not just as a sister, but as a human being that should have the same rights as a male.”

Destinee Grove, president of the UNC chapter of the NAACP, which also co-sponsored the vigil, said she hoped the vigil created allies and informed attendees on what they can do as students to become involved in events like the #SayHerName vigil. “I think (Say Her Name) means ‘don’t forget, don’t move on, don’t be undone by the initial murdering of a person and then forget them. Remember these people,’” Grove said. “It’s a catalyst to keep the movement going. If you just take away anything, I think that’s a positive.” Junior Charity Lackey, who spoke at the vigil, said it’s important that individuals inside and outside the black community learn more about violence against women of color. “I get emotionally drained just trying to see all of the women’s lives that are lost,” she said. “You just have to keep your eyes open and your ears open, and listen more than you speak sometimes.”

Neo-nazis attack pro-refugee Germans


Pro-refugee demonstrators in Heidenau, Germany, with 'Stop nazis' sign, photo by Florian Boillot

Translated from daily Junge Welt in Germany today, about yesterday evening 23 August 2015, in Heidenau town near Dresden, where neo-nazis had earlier violently attacked refugees from the war in Syria and police:

Again, only 170 police officers were deployed. With little preparation there were about 250 anti-fascists in the town to demonstrate against the right-wing violence. Every now and then, refugees dared to come out of the shelter and to thank the demonstrators for their solidarity. Police concentrated their attention on the leftist demonstrators while meanwhile in the background violent hooligans and neo-Nazis prepared a new attack.

Repeated shouting of “Sieg Heil” [Third Reich slogan, illegal in Germany] and other provocations were not punished by police. Instead, the police announced they were no longer able to guarantee security. By nightfall, the situation had become more threatening, said photojournalist Christian Ditsch against jW. … Shortly before 23 o’clock up to 150 neo-Nazis attacked in a coordinated way anti-fascists and police. Stones, bottles and dangerous fireworks flew. “The police took no action against that, they were afraid”, Ditsch continued. At least this time one violent perpetrator was arrested [which had not happened during earlier nazi anti-refugee violence in Heidenau].

Pro-refugee demonstrators in Heidenau