Police against anti-racist marchers at Trump Tower

Police officers guard the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, as they hold back protesters during a rally and march over the death of George Floyd

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 2 August 2020:

BLM protesters blocked from Trump Tower

US PROTESTERS were blocked as they marched towards Trump Tower in New York City on Friday demanding an end to police brutality.

The Take Your Knee Off Our Necks demonstration was halted by police barricades as marchers reached Fifth Avenue, where speeches took place.

The families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and others killed at the hands of police took part in the rally.

Policeman killer of Michael Brown scot free

This 1 August 2020 video says about itself:

Prosecutor Will Not Charge The Police Officer Who Shot And Killed Michael Brown In Ferguson

St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell announced that he will not charge former police officer Darren Wilson with the murder of Michael Brown. Wilson, a white officer, shot and killed Brown on Aug. 9, 2014.

Bell reasoned that after an independent and in-depth review of the evidence they could not prove that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law.

By Ceren Sagir, 31 July 2020:

US police officer who shot a black US teenager will not have charges brought against him

A FORMER police officer who shot dead a black teenager will not have charges brought against him, prosecutors in St Louis, Missouri, said on Thursday evening.

The killing of Michael Brown in 2014 in the city’s Ferguson district triggered weeks of protests and led to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Police, eyewitness and family members continue to dispute what happened to the 18-year-old, who was shot at 12 times while walking down a street with a friend.

By Isaac Finn in the USA, 1 August 2020:

New prosecutor refuses to press charges against cop that killed Michael Brown

1 August 2020

On July 30, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Wesley Bell announced that no charges would be filed against Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in 2014. The murder of Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, and earlier failure to indict Wilson, who is white, six years ago sparked massive nationwide protests against racist police violence.

In justifying his decision Bell, elected St. Louis County’s first African-American prosecuting attorney in 2018, stated, “Although this case represents one of the most significant moments in St. Louis’ history, the question for this office was a simple one: Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law?”

Bell claimed that a review of the evidence could not prove Wilson’s guilt, continuing the whitewash carried out by his predecessor, Bob McCulloch.

In fact, there is a substantial body of evidence showing Wilson gunned down the 18-year-old, despite the youth not posing any threat to the cop. Most witnesses to the event cited in a federal government report described that Wilson initially tried to force Brown into his police car and shot the youth after he attempted to flee. Brown, who was injured by the initial volley of gunfire and some distance away, then tried to surrender putting his hands up and turning around. Wilson then resumed shooting, with one bullet fatally hitting Brown in the head.

An independent autopsy of Brown’s body was also conducted in 2014 by long-time medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden and forensic pathologist Shawn Parcells. The autopsy disproved claims by Ferguson police that the death was caused by a physical altercation between Brown and Wilson.

Bell, in an attempt to distance himself from his own decision to not file against the former cop, also stated, “There are so many points at which Darren Wilson could have handled the situation differently, and if he had, Michael Brown might still be alive.”

One of Wilson’s lawyers, Jim Tower, told the New York Times that neither he nor Wilson was aware of the investigation.

Bell’s failure to bring any charges against the former cop are a travesty of justice and indicative of the entire political establishment’s defense of police violence. Bell became prosecuting attorney last year after beating incumbent McCulloch on a platform of reforms to reduce jailing for non-violent crimes and transparent investigations. Both Bell and McCulloch are Democrats.

McCulloch was known to have close ties to the police. As prosecutor, he utilized a grand jury process that lasted three months to clear Wilson and claimed that “physical evidence” contradicted the accounts of witnesses. The decision by the grand jury not to indict was suspicious given the amount of evidence and witnesses involved in the case. An indictment does not have the same legal standard as a guilty verdict in a trial.

Mass anger over Brown’s killing and the decision not to indict Wilson, resulted in protests across the US. Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon deployed National Guard troops to disperse the peaceful demonstrations in Ferguson.

The Obama administration throughout the protests feigned sympathy for Brown’s family, while accepting the grand jury decision and decrying “mistrust of the police.”

Following Bell’s victory over McCulloch in the 2018 Democratic primary, there was a growing demand for Bell to reinvestigate the killing of Brown. Brown’s family also made a public plea to the attorney to reopen the case.

A number of liberal publications including the Times also hailed the election of Bell and Ella Jones, the first African-American mayor of Ferguson, claiming that they would be more sympathetic to peaceful protests and open to reforms.

On the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder, the WSWS noted:

…The military/police occupation of Ferguson revealed to the whole world that behind the outward trappings of democracy in the US, the groundwork for a police state has been created. This is one expression of the deep decay and crisis of American capitalism.

The last two months have completely confirmed the perspective of the WSWS. The promotion of politicians like Bell with the claim that due to his race he will implement policies that benefit the poor or “black community” has proven to be a complete failure.

In fact, in the US roughly 1,000 people are killed by police every year. While a disproportionate number of people killed by police are black and the plurality are white, the shared aspect of those killed by police is that they are poor. According to the data gathered by killedbypolice.net, which has tracked police killings in the US since 2015, the number of police killings has remained relatively constant under both the Obama and Trump administration.

The ongoing wave of police killings is reflective of the continued lurching of the political establishment toward authoritarianism. The Trump administration’s deployment of federal agents to disperse protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in cities throughout the US is only the most recent and overt expression of the ruling elite’s moves toward dictatorship.

Racism and police in Trump´s USA

This 28 July 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Fox Host: Why Not Arrest Trump’s Opponents?

This “Conservative” wants to arrest local politicians in Portland. Emma Vigeland and Ana Kasparian discuss on The Young Turks.

Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo spoke with acting DHS Sec. Chad Wolf Sunday morning about the federal officers deployed to Portland. Wolf said that they are there because things are “completely out of control” and “city leadership there fostered an environment that allows these criminals to do this throughout the night untouched.”

“We need Portland to step up to the plate, do their responsibility, and work with us to address violent criminal activity occurring every night,” he said.

Bartiromo remarked that Portland “looks like Baghdad” and asked, “These people can go all the way up to the fence and the perimeter and throw bricks at officers. What are you going to do about it?”

Read more here.

‘EXCESSIVE FORCE’ USED ON PROTESTERS A National Guard commander was “deeply disturbed” as he witnessed federal police use “excessive force” to violently clear peaceful protesters near the White House to make way for Trump to pose for photos outside a church last month, he will testify Tuesday. The account by D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam DeMarco, a combat veteran who was the senior National Guard officer on the scene, contradicts Attorney General William Barr, who has insisted that anti-racism protesters were violent and deserved gassing and physical assault by law enforcement that evening. [HuffPost]

TRUMP WON’T PAY HIS RESPECTS TO JOHN LEWIS ON CAPITOL HILL Thousands of people are expected to visit Capitol Hill to pay respects to congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, but Trump won’t be one of them. “No, I won’t be going,” the president told reporters without elaborating. “No.” The president made his comment as he was leaving the White House for North Carolina just as Lewis’ American flag-draped casket was arriving at the Capitol carried by a military honor guard into the rotunda. Trump has a well-marked history as a racist. [HuffPost]

THE NYPD CAN SEE MILLIONS OF ARREST RECORDS THAT WERE MEANT TO BE SEALED For over 40 years, it has been illegal for police in New York state to access a person’s sealed arrest records. Details of arrests of people who were charged but not convicted or whose cases were dismissed ― as well as juveniles or people who completed drug treatment programs or committed noncriminal offenses ― aren’t supposed to influence law enforcement should police encounter those people again. But new court documents obtained by HuffPost show that the New York City Police Department has been breaking that law for years. [HuffPost]

VIDEO SHOWS NYPD COP PULLING PROTESTER INTO UNMARKED VAN The New York City Police Department has come under scrutiny after videos showed officers pulling a protester into an unmarked van during a demonstration Tuesday in Manhattan against racism and police brutality. Gothamist, citing the protester’s friends, identified her as an 18-year-old transgender woman. Videos shared on social media show the demonstrator being restrained by several NYPD officers before being pulled into the van. “They grabbed [her] like she was rag doll,” a witness said. “They had her arms on her neck and then they drove off.” [HuffPost]

Two months after Black Lives Matter march, police confiscate cars of peaceful protesters.

Couple wearing swastika masks at Walmart confronted by other shoppers.

LEADER OF NEO-NAZI GROUP UNDER INVESTIGATION A prominent white supremacist propagandist who once claimed to have influenced the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter is under investigation by authorities in California, a law enforcement official said on Monday. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department told HuffPost that Andrew Richard Casarez has been under investigation for several weeks and that his home has been searched. “Detectives obtained a Gun Violence Restraining Order against him and served a search warrant at a residence … where they seized a firearm,” the department said. [HuffPost]

Republican senator deletes ad that made Jewish opponent’s nose bigger.

Florida man to be charged with vandalism of 2 synagogues.

New York City cuts funding for hate crime prevention initiative.

Racism, police brutality, resistance in the USA

This 26 July 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Republican Senator Tom Cotton Calls Slavery a “Necessary Evil”

Earlier today, in outlining why he wants to prevent public schools from teaching material from The New York Times 1619 project, Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton called slavery necessary and suggested that the roots of American society are not based on racial inequality: “As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built”.

This is ugly thinking, and it is false. But he is also showing hypocrisy because trying to silence material in schools is exactly what Cotton would attack left-wing cancel culture for.

TOM COTTON CALLS SLAVERY ‘A NECESSARY EVIL’ Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called slavery the nation’s “necessary evil” while discussing how it should be taught in schools. “We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country,” Cotton said. “As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built.” Instead of portraying America as “an irredeemably corrupt, rotten and racist country,” the nation should be viewed as “imperfect and flawed,” but the “greatest and noblest country in the history of mankind,” he added. [HuffPost]

Teachers are creating anti-racist curriculums that challenge the status quo.

SUSPECT IN CUSTODY AFTER AUSTIN PROTESTER SHOT DEAD A suspect is in custody following the fatal shooting of an anti-racism demonstrator in Austin, Texas, police said. The victim’s mother identified him as Garrett Foster. Witnesses said Foster was killed shortly before 10 p.m. by a motorist who had threatened protesters with his car. Police said they believe Foster was armed and had approached the car before being shot. [HuffPost]

Woman lists the microaggressions she and her Black husband encounter daily.

TRUMP’S FEDERAL COPS STEAL LEAF BLOWER IDEA FROM PORTLAND PROTESTERS Protesters calling themselves “Fathers Against Fascism” joined the “Wall of Moms” last week with garden leaf blowers to blast tear gas back at federal forces. Days later, the federal agents assailing the protesters appeared with their own leaf blowers, sparking a war of the noisy yard appliances. [HuffPost]

This 26 July 2020 video from the USA is called “Wall Of Veterans” Joins “Portland Moms” To Help Protect Protesters In Portland!

Donald Trump’s USA, racism and police state

This 25 July 2020 video says about itself:

US federal agents sent to Portland by President Donald Trump have again fired tear gas at protesters and made arrests.

Demonstrators have rallied every night for eight weeks demanding racial equality and police reforms.

Leaders in Oregon state say the agents are only making things worse.

Al Jazeera’s Leah Harding reports.

TRUMP AND BARR EXPAND SURGE IN FEDERAL OFFICERS President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr said federal agents will surge into Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, expanding the administration’s intervention in local enforcement as Trump tries to disguise himself as a reelection “law-and-order” warrior. Hundreds of federal agents already have been sent to Kansas City, Missouri. The mayor of Portland, Oregon, was tear-gassed by federal agents late Wednesday. [AP]

Illinois Democratic lawmakers have made public statements aimed at assuaging public fears that the federal forces will crack down on anti-police violence protesters in Chicago, just as they have in Portland: here.

BIDEN CLAIMS TRUMP IS THE FIRST RACIST PRESIDENT Joe Biden made the claim that Trump is the first racist president at a virtual town hall on Wednesday. Biden was asked about Trump’s decision to call the coronavirus the “China virus” or “Wuhan virus” whenever he speaks publicly about the pandemic, which places a stigma on Asian people. “The way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening,” Biden said. “No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.” [HuffPost]

Dear Joe Biden: unfortunately, Trump is not the first racist United States president. I know at least three Democratic presidents and one Republican president who at least arguably were racist. First, the three Democrats. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) was a slave owner and committed genocide against Native Americans of the southeastern USA; the infamous Trail of Tears. James Buchanan (1857-1861) threw the United States into civil war by siding with slave owners in the southern states. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) praised the Ku Klux Klan propaganda movie Birth of a Nation. Republican Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), one of four presidents depicted in Mount Rushmore gigantic sculpture, whitewashed British German anti-Semitic author Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the founder of the ideology of Hitler’s nazi party.

TRUMP DISTRACTS FROM REAL GUN VIOLENCE CRISIS Trump’s orders to send hundreds of federal law enforcement officers to Chicago and Albuquerque is overtly political. He noted that the cities are run by Democratic lawmakers, accused police brutality protesters of promoting violence and has repeatedly ― and dishonestly ― said that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has called to defund the police. The narrative that cities are out of control helps him argue that Democrats cannot be trusted with the presidency. But it’s hard to see how his show of force will help the millions of people in cities where gun crime is reaching record highs, particularly in largely nonwhite neighborhoods badly hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. [HuffPost]

GENERATIONS OF BLACK AMERICANS HAVE FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE Just like in the past, photos and video footage have shown what the Black Lives Matter movement is saying ― from the May 5 cellphone video of armed white men in a suburban neighborhood in Georgia chasing and gunning down Ahmaud Arbery to the footage of the last breathless minutes of Floyd’s life. Though Americans have long known about systemic racism and have seen instances of police brutality before, these latest images have forced a mainstream conversation. “We are still in the middle of this moment,” said Charles McKinney, a professor of African American history at Rhodes College. [HuffPost]

We Can’t Breathe, English footballers against racism

Black Lives matter slogan on English football shoe

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 24 July 2020:

Men’s Football: SRtRC launch “We Can’t Breathe” new anti-racism campaign

LIVERPOOL’S Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are helping spearhead a new anti-racism campaign.

The Premier League-winning duo have linked up with Show Racism the Red Card for the charity’s video “We Can’t Breathe.”

This 24 July 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

We Can’t Breathe: A Show Racism the Red Card original film

Two months after the murder of George Floyd the world is still reeling from watching yet another unarmed Black person’s life be taken away from them.

Show Racism the Red Card’s latest original film: ‘We Can’t Breathe: How Eight Horrifying Minutes Lead to a Global Reckoning” explores Black Lives Matter in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and highlights the importance of education in eradicating racism and discrimination from our society.

In the United States, Black Americans are two-and-a-half times more likely to be shot and killed by police. Whilst in the UK, one-in-eight young black men were the subjects of stop in searches in London during the lockdown.

Systemic barriers still stand in the way of BAME people in Britain, and whilst George Floyd made people sit up and pay attention, there is still an awfully long way to go.

The Morning Star article continues:

The video also includes former Wales rugby player Colin Charvis and ex-England cricketer Monty Panesar and aims to teach people about the impact of George Floyd’s death.

Floyd died while being restrained by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25 and it sparked protests across the world, with Premier League players taking a knee before games in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Members of Parliament and Black Lives Matter activists are involved.

Former West Ham and Newcastle goalkeeper Shaka Hislop is the charity’s honorary president and has joined protest marches himself in the United States.

He said: “The experiences [in the video] live out in real time and they weigh heavy. We took the decision, despite the pandemic, to go into battle in the nearest city where we live and join the Black Lives Matter march.”

Labour MP David Lammy contributes to the video.

Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby said: “We are dedicated to tackling racism and promoting change in society through education. With this short film, we’re hoping we can again contribute to a discussion around combatting rife racism in society.

“However more still needs to be done. As the recent events over the past couple of months show, racism is still very much alive around the world, and we stand alongside all those who are protesting against it.”

Torturing slave owner, a ‘hero’ no more

Contractors in Cardiff, Wales encase a statue of slave trader Sir Thomas Picton (left) and (right) a portrait of the slaver

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 24 July 2020:

Statue of ‘sadistic’ slaver who tortured a 14-year-old girl removed from Cardiff city hall

A CARDIFF statue of a “sadistic” slaver who had a teenage girl tortured was boarded up today following a vote to have it removed from in front of the city hall.

The marble memorial to Sir Thomas Picton has stood there since 1916, when it was unveiled by future prime minister David Lloyd George as part of a series depicting “heroes of Wales.”

Picton was the most senior British officer killed at the Battle of Waterloo but was also known for having used the slave trade to amass a considerable fortune.

He was the colonial governor of Trinidad from 1797 to 1803, during which “highly brutal” time he had a dozen slaves executed, and in 1806, Picton was found guilty of having ordered the torture of a 14-year-old mixed-race girl.

The torture of Louisa Calderon, which involved her being suspended with rope by one arm above a spike in the floor, was an attempt to get her to confess to stealing from a businessman she lived with as his mistress.

Picton was never sentenced and the verdict was overturned following a retrial two years later.

Cardiff’s Lord Mayor Dan De’Ath, the first black person to hold the post, called for the statue of the “sadistic 19th-century slave-owner” to be taken down.

The council voted to remove the statue from the Marble Hall of Heroes on Thursday night with 57 in favour, five against and nine abstentions.

Mr De’Ath said: “I’m delighted. I think the way Cardiff has gone about the whole thing has been the right way. We’ve used democratic means to take it down.

“Most people were incredibly supportive. They recognise the significance of the statue and what an affront it is to black people. Black lives do matter.”

Bezos sacks Black Lives Matter facemask-wearing worker

A protester wears a protective mask during a Black Lives Matter march through a residential neighbourhood in the United States calling for racial justice, last Monday

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 22 July 2020:

Amazon-owned supermarket embroiled in race row after alleged discrimination over BLM masks

AMAZON-OWNED supermarket Whole Foods is embroiled in a race row following its alleged sacking of a US worker for wearing a Black Lives Matter (BLM) face mask.

The company denied that it had fired staff member Savannah Kinzer over the issue, stating: “No team members have been terminated for wearing BLM face masks or apparel.”

It insisted that Ms Kinzer was sacked for allegedly “repeatedly violating our time and attendance policy by not working her assigned shifts, reporting late for work multiple times in the past nine days and choosing to leave during her scheduled shifts.”

But more than 40 Whole Foods workers are part of a lawsuit claiming discrimination against black staff members by selectively enforcing its dress code.

According to the claim, staff wearing clothing with other messages, such as LGBTQ pins or sports team logos, had not been disciplined in the past.

A statement said: “Whole Foods’s selective enforcement of its dress code in disciplining employees who wear apparel expressing support for the BLM movement constitutes unlawful discrimination.”

Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer representing the workers, said Whole Foods was “falsely attacking” Ms Kinzer.

“[Its] decision to retaliate against employees expressing support for this racial justice movement was bad enough, but their efforts to disparage an amazing activist and leader are beyond the pale,” she said. “We look forward to making our argument in federal court.”

Workers are angry over hypocrisy after Whole Foods and Amazon expressed public support for BLM.

“So many companies today are doing everything they can to profess how progressive they are … but when it actually comes to letting their employees express these same sentiments they get muzzled,” she said.

English racists attack George Floyd mural

The George Floyd mural in Manchester, England

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 22 July 2020:

George Floyd mural in Manchester defaced with racist slur

Graffiti artist and the mural‘s creator Akse fixes the damage within hours

THE defacing of a George Floyd mural with racist graffiti in Manchester has underlined the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, anti-racists declared today.

The mural of Mr Floyd, the African-American killed in Minnesota when police knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, was found today morning with a racist slur spray-painted over it.

Manchester City Council condemned the defacing of the mural in Stevenson Square as an “abhorrent crime.”

Deputy leader Nigel Murphy said the council was reviewing CCTV footage to find the perpetrator.

“It is utterly sickening that this type of behaviour exists in our society,” he continued. “Manchester is a place that celebrates our diversity and we will not tolerate hate in our city.”

A police investigation has also been launched into the incident.

The mural was restored by its creator, graffiti artist Akse, within hours of the damage being discovered.

Anti-racist campaigners in Manchester said they were “disgusted” to hear of the racist attack.

Stand up to Racism Manchester co-chair Nahella Ashraf told the Morning Star: “‘This demonstrates the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the continuing campaign needed to rid society of racism.”

The group has called for a protest in Stephenson Square tonight at 6pm to “show that we are the majority in the city.”

Donald Trump’s United States stormtrooper violence

Donald Trump's stormtroopers attack in Portland, USA

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 21 July 2020:

Oregon clashes with Trump over ‘secret police’ abducting citizens

DEMONSTRATORS against US President Donald Trump’s deployment of camouflaged federal agents to crack down on Black Lives Matter protests were driven away from the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, on Monday night with flash-bang grenades.

State and local authorities have filed a lawsuit against the president’s action in sending out the unidentified enforcers without local consent.

State attorney-general Ellen Rosenblum has submitted to the court that masked federal officers are arresting people on the street with “no probable cause” and whisking them away in unmarked cars.

But Mr Trump says he will extend the programme to other cities. “We’re going to have more federal law enforcement, I can tell you,” he declared on Monday.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said: “We cannot have secret police abducting people in unmarked vehicles. I can’t believe I have to say that to the president of the United States.”

But the Department of Homeland Security tweeted that “Portland is rife with violent anarchists assaulting federal officers and federal buildings … these are federal crimes.”

Even for corporate ‘centrist‘ Democrat politician Nancy Pelosi this is too much. She speaks about ‘stormtroopers’:

Stormtroopers, in a narrow sense, is the English name for Adolf Hitler’s nazi paramilitary force, the Sturmabteilung (SA).

Trump’s ‘anti-anarchist’ new stormtrooper force was founded in June 2020 by presidential decree. It is called PACT: Protecting American Communities Taskforce. Trump originally intended it to protect statues of pro-slavery Confederate generals of the 19th century United States civil war, and then expanded it to more tasks.