Freddie Gray killed in the USA, no justice


This video from the USA says about itself:

23 May 2016

Thom rants on Freddie Gray, Timothy Foster, and the injustice of our justice system for black men.

This video from the USA says about itself:

What Would Happen If The Freddie Gray Case Had Happened In Reverse?

23 May 2016

Thom asks what it would have looked like if the Freddie Gray case involved six black men trying to perform a citizens’ arrest on a police officer? Would those men be convicted? Would they still be alive?

This video from the USA says about itself:

A Black Man Reacts to Freddie Gray Ruling – Take Their Badge!

24 May 2016

Caller Charles shares his feelings about the Freddie Gray ruling and says that cops involved in these incidents should lose their badge.

Freddie Gray killed, policeman not convicted


This video from Maryland in the USA says about itself:

23 May 2016

On Monday May 23, 2016 the verdict is expected in the case of a Baltimore police officer charged in the arrest and death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Officer Edward Nero is accused of assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Prosecutors say the 30-year-old arrested Gray without cause and was negligent in that he didn’t buckle the handcuffed Gray.

Gray passed on April 19, 2015, a week after his neck was broken while sitting in the back of a police van while he was handcuffed while not buckled in. Critics believe that Officer Nero deliberately left Gray unbuckled to subject him to a form of police brutality known as a “rough ride”, in which the handcuffed and unbuckled victim is thrown around in the back of the car due to aggressive driving.

From Julia Craven in the USA:

Judge Finds Baltimore Police Officer Not Guilty In Death Of Freddie Gray

Edward Nero was one of six officers involved in the arrest of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died in police custody last year.

05/23/2016 11:03 am ET | Updated 40 minutes ago

Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty on Monday for his alleged role in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray a year ago.

Nero, 30, was facing misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault and two counts of misconduct in office for his part in Gray’s arrest. He was also charged with reckless endangerment for shackling Gray and placing him in a police van without buckling his seatbelt. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Nero is the second of six officers to stand trial in connection to the death of Gray, a black man who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury in police custody on April 12, 2015. Gray died from his injuries a week later, on April 19, sparking citywide protests against police brutality. …

Baltimore Police Officer William Porter was the first to stand trial, in December, but the jury could not reach a verdict. Unlike Porter, Nero opted for a bench trial.

The verdict in Nero’s case could trickle down to the remaining trials, according to Barry Slotnick, a criminal defense attorney.

USA: Supreme Court Rules Prosecutors Violated The Constitution When Excluding Black Jurors. Selection of an all-white jury in a Georgia capital case was “motivated in substantial part” by race: here.

USA: ‘MACHINE BIAS’ “There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.” [Pro Publica]

School segregation in Mississippi, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Mississippi District Ordered to Desegregate Its Schools

22 May 2016

Though segregation was officially ended in America decades ago, unofficially the problem persists. A US Circuit Judge recently had to step in to combat segregation in Mississippi. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

San Francisco, USA police kill unarmed woman


This video from the USA says about itself:

18 May 2016

About 200 protesters gathered at City Hall on May 9 for a peaceful demonstration to call for Mayor Ed Lee to fire SFPD Chief Greg Suhr, and for a boycott of San Francisco corporate restaurants until Suhr is gone. Video by Alejandro Galicia Diaz

By David Brown in the USA:

San Francisco police chief resigns after cops kill unarmed woman

21 May 2016

On Thursday morning, San Francisco police officers shot and killed an unarmed woman who had been driving a car that police suspected was stolen. Within hours of announcing the death, Police Chief Greg Suhr announced his resignation at the request of Mayor Ed Lee. This purely cosmetic gesture will do nothing to address the class roots of police violence in San Francisco.

The woman, who has not yet been identified, was sitting in a parked car in the Bayview neighborhood of the city and allegedly drove off when police approached her, immediately crashing into a truck and becoming stuck. Two unidentified officers claimed that she was not responding to commands and one of them shot her once in the chest as she tried [to] separate the two vehicles. She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she died.

No weapon was found on the woman and the officers have not claimed that she presented a danger to anyone. This was the third fatal shooting of a suspect in San Francisco in the past six months and comes shortly after new revelations of widespread racism and criminality in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). Protesters have been demanding Suhr’s resignation for several months, including a 17-day hunger strike that ended earlier this month.

Suhr, who was appointed chief by Lee in 2011, had always refused to resign, claiming he was carrying out important reforms to the department.

In a press conference at City Hall Thursday afternoon, Mayor Lee told reporters: “I have previously expressed confidence in Chief Suhr because I know he agrees with and understands the need for reform, but following this morning’s officer-involved shooting…I have arrived at a different conclusion to the question of how best to move forward.” Later, Suhr announced his resignation, saying of the shooting, “This is exactly the kind of thing, with ongoing reforms, that we are trying to avoid.”

These ostensible reforms included $17.5 million proposed by Lee to train officers in de-escalation techniques after police shot and killed 45-year-old Luis Gongora in April. Police claimed that Gongora, a homeless man, had lunged at them with a knife, but surveillance footage near the shooting showed police rapidly approaching Gongora with guns drawn and firing within 30 seconds of getting out of their cars.

That killing followed the slaying of 26-year-old Mario Woods in December 2015. Woods had been suspected of assaulting a man earlier in the day, and had a knife when he was surrounded by police. Again police claimed Woods presented an immediate threat, but video taken by bystanders showed Woods completely surrounded and walking slowly when police shot him 20 times.

These are just the most recent cases of police killings in San Francisco in recent years which include Amilcar Perez-Lopez, who was shot in the back by plainclothes officers who claimed he was lunging at them with a knife; and Alex Nieto, a City College student who was killed when police mistook a Taser he had for a gun. No officers have been prosecuted in these cases.

In addition to these killings, nearly 20 officers have been directly implicated in two different exposures of racist and homophobic text messages. In April this year, text messages of Officer Jason Lai to at least four other officers were released showing regular use of racial slurs and disparaging remarks against African-Americans, Indians, Hispanics, and Asians. Lai is himself of Chinese descent. One of the more extreme texts referred to black people protesting the Baltimore police killing of Freddie Gray as “a pack [of] wild animals.”

Far from being an aberration, a similar set of texts with Sgt. Ian Furminger at their center, were revealed in February 2014, implicating at least 14 officers. These texts talked about burning crosses and encouraged the killing of “half-breeds.” Captain Jason Fox was the highest-ranking officer identified in this scandal.

In both cases, the racist texts were only brought to light in the process of unrelated investigations into the officers’ criminal activity. Lai was under investigation for sexual assault. Although prosecutors declined to press charges on that accusation, he was eventually convicted of illegally accessing Department of Motor Vehicle records for personal reasons. Furminger’s texts were discovered in an investigation of his theft of drugs and money from residents in the city’s impoverished Tenderloin district. Furminger was convicted on four felony counts in February 2015.

More broadly in law enforcement, three San Francisco County sheriffs were charged in March of this year with forcing prisoners in the county jail to fight and betting on the results.

The racist views of individual cops are the manifestation of a more fundamental antipathy of the police force towards the working class as a whole. In the more impoverished parts of San Francisco, law enforcement exists as a particularly well-armed and financed gang that kills and robs with impunity.

According The Guardian there have been a total of 390 people killed by police so far this year, nearly three a day.

Racism, anti-racism in Canada


This video says about itself:

20 May 2016

Broadcasting from Toronto, Canada, we look at how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized this week for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident in which Canada turned away a Japanese steamship in order to prevent more than 370 Indians, including Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus, from immigrating to the country. The move was widely acknowledged to be aimed at keeping Indians out of Canada.

Then premier of British Columbia, Sir Richard McBride, said at the time, “And we always have in mind the necessity of keeping this a white man’s country.” We feature excerpts from the award-winning documentary on the Komagata Maru incident, “Continuous Journey,” and speak with its director, Ali Kazimi, who is also author of the book, “Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru.” Kazimi also discusses Canada’s current practice of detaining asylum seekers after a string of deaths inside detention centers.

This video from Canada says about itself:

Part 1: Canada’s Indigenous & Black Lives Matter Activists Unite to Protest Violence & Neglect

20 May 2016

We host a roundtable discussion in Toronto about how indigenous and Black Lives Matter activists in Canada are working together to address state violence and neglect, and media coverage of their efforts. Last month, First Nations people occupied the offices of Canada’s indigenous affairs department to demand action over suicides as well as water and housing crises in their communities.

The protests came after the Cree community of Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency over attempted suicides. Protesters set up occupations inside and outside the offices of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in Toronto, Regina, Winnipeg and Gatineau, Quebec. Among those who took part in the occupation of the office here in Toronto were local Black Lives Matter activists who just weeks earlier had launched a 15-day encampment outside police headquarters following news there would be no criminal charges for the police officer who fatally shot a South Sudanese refugee named Andrew Loku last July. Among those who turned out in force at the encampment outside Toronto police headquarters were First Nations activists.

We are joined by Erica Violet Lee, an indigenous rights activist with the Idle No More movement and a student at the University of Saskatchewan; Hayden King, an indigenous writer and lecturer at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy in Ottawa; LeRoi Newbold, a member of the steering committee for Black Lives Matter Toronto and director of the Black Lives Matter Toronto Freedom School Project; and Desmond Cole, a journalist and columnist for the Toronto Star and radio host on Newstalk 1010.

This video is the sequel.

Holocaust jewelry discovery in Auschwitz


Auschwitz coffee mug and hidden jewelry, AFP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hidden jewelry discovered in Auschwitz Museum

Today, 11:49

In a museum piece at the Auschwitz Museum in Poland jewelry has been found hidden in the Second World War by Jewish prisoners of the concentration camp. It is a ring and a necklace that had been hidden under the false bottom of a coffee mug.

Curators found the jewelry when they were doing maintenance work on the utensils. The mug’s double bottom was rusting, leading to the discovery of the hiding place.

Under the mug were a woman’s gold ring and a necklace wrapped in canvas. Research has shown that the jewels were made in Poland between 1921 and 1931.

Many Jews hid valuables in their luggage as they were deported. According to museum director Piotr Cywinski because they were cheated by the Nazis. The deported Jews had been told that they would be housed elsewhere and that they were allowed to take a small amount of luggage. In reality, the Nazis were after their valuables.

The museum in Poland has about 12,000 cups, pots, bowls, kettles and jugs taken away by the Nazis during the war.

No traces

The probability that the legal owners of the jewelry will be found is very small according to the museum. In the mug there are no traces which might help to identify them. The jewelry will be documented in any case and will be stored in a safe place.

In Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp in Poland during WWII 1.1 million Jews and 100,000 other inmates were killed.

Ring found in Auschwitz Museum coffee mug

One should hope that this heart-breaking discovery will give pause to present day politicians in Denmark, Germany and elsewhere who want to steal the jewelry of refugees fleeing NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ wars.

Trump-advising general advocates banning Muslims, torture


This video from the USA says about itself:

Explosive Story About Trump’s Racism In The Eighties

7 September 2015

“Black employees at the Trump Casino in Atlantic City were routinely kept out of sight whenever the real estate mogul entered the building, says one former employee.

A New Yorker magazine article about Atlantic City contained the story of a former Trump Casino worker about the way he and other employees of color were treated on the job when “the boss” was around…

Brown said, “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor. It was the eighties, I was a teen-ager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back.””

Read more here.

By Daniel Marans in the USA:

Trump-Advising General Defends Muslim Ban

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is also open to waterboarding and killing suspected terrorists’ families.

05/19/2016 01:15 pm ET

Former Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn expressed his support for Donald Trump’s extreme national security positions in an interview released Thursday — including a ban on Muslim entry.

But the informal advisor to Trump’s campaign, who headed the Pentagon intelligence agency under the Obama administration until 2014, strained to define those proposals more liberally than the presumptive GOP presidential candidate ever has.

Asked by Mehdi Hasan, host of Al Jazeera English’s “UpFront,”  if he supports the Muslim entry ban, Flynn responded, “Yes.”

He then went on, however, to describe a far narrower policy than the blanket prohibition Trump has proposed.

“I support the vetting of individuals and the proper screening of individuals who are coming from certain parts of the world like Syria,” Flynn told Hasan.

He did not mention that the U.S. refugee resettlement program, the way many Syrians now arrive in the United States, is already among the strictest and most intensive parts of the immigration system.

Flynn also declined to rule out reviving waterboarding, an illegal torture technique Trump has promised to bring back.

“I am a believer in leaving as many options on the table right up until the last possible minute,” Flynn said.

Nor would Flynn categorically reject the notion of deliberately killing the families of accused terrorists, a practice that constitutes a war crime. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has said that U.S. troops could legally “refuse to act” on such an order.

“I would have to see the circumstances of that situation,” Flynn said of the practice.

His blessing for Trump’s most controversial national security proposals is notable because it lends credibility to some of the statements that even many foreign policy hawks regard as beyond the pale.

Yet it is not altogether surprising that Flynn is backing Trump. The general, now retired from active duty, has a reputation for his controversial views about Islam and U.S. anti-terrorism efforts.

Flynn was forced out as DIA chief for vocally opposing the Obama administration’s more optimistic assessments of progress against militant groups including Al Qaeda.

He has argued that “political correctness” is limiting the U.S. in the fight against ISIS, according to the Daily Beast.

Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL,” he tweeted in February, linking to a video with the same name that lists dozens of terror attacks committed by Muslims in the past decades.