Donald Trump, Murdoch and anti-#BlackLivesMatter violence in Minnesota, USA

Jamine Robinson points to the name of his brother, Jamar Clark, on an upside-down flag bearing names of people killed at the hands of police. A shooting erupted last night at that Black Lives Matter encampment.(Photo credit: AP)

From in the USA:

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 08:11 PM +0100

This is on Donald Trump and Fox News’ hands: Now their war on #blacklivesmatter draws real blood

Minneapolis shooting is no surprise. Trump, O’Reilly and others have ratcheted rhetoric toward violence for months

Chauncey DeVega

The Associated Press is reporting that five people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis were shot by a group of white supremacists on Monday evening.

This is not a surprise.

The appeal and power of old-fashioned, overt and transparent white racism is growing in the United States. The prime example of this phenomenon is the rise of Donald Trump, but the GOP front-runner is but one data point in a longer trend. Since the election of Barack Obama, white supremacists have increased their enrollment of new members. To that end, they have infiltrated Tea Party organizations to recruit racially resentful and angry white people who are beginning to think about politics in terms of “white group interests.”

While anxiety about ISIS dominates the American news, the FBI has in fact identified domestic terrorism from white, right-wing Christians as the greatest domestic terrorism threat to the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The right-wing news-entertainment media complex routinely uses eliminationist and violent rhetoric to describe liberals and progressives. There, the implicit (and often explicit) narrative is that those people who are not members of the American right-wing are “traitors,” “un-American” and deserving of whatever violence comes to them. This is not empty talk, hyperbole or “playful” rhetoric designed to cheer on Republicans and build up morale before a presidential election. The right-wing media has actually weaponized its followers. The results are those black folks killed by Dylann Roof in Charleston, the women’s reproductive health doctor George Tiller, and the other victims of right-wing domestic terrorists shot dead at Sikh Temples, Jewish Community Centers, and elsewhere in the United States.

And as I wrote in an earlier essay here at Salon, Republican 2016 presidential primary candidates, as well as Fox News personalities such as Bill O’Reilly, have referred to members of the human rights advocacy group Black Lives Matter as “terrorists” or the new “Ku Klux Klan.”

On Monday, I wrote a piece about how a Black Lives Matter protester was beaten upon by Donald Trump supporters at a Birmingham, Alabama, rally over the weekend. Trump endorsed that thuggery and was proud that his supporters were so spirited. Adding to the grotesqueness of Donald Trump’s embrace of political violence, Robert Kiger, a fundraiser aligned with a group backing Trump, made the bizarre suggestion that he, as a white man, would be beaten up if he went into a black church. Therefore, the violent attack on a Black Lives Matter protester at Trump’s rally was expected, understood and reasonable in Kiger’s twisted, demented and profoundly racist imagination.

Ultimately, when Black Lives Matter’s basic claim for equal human rights and dignity is met by racist slogans such as “All Lives Matter” — what is just a new and more polite version of “White Power!” — the question is no longer “if” white on black and brown racially motivated violence will take place, but rather when, and to what extent?

The 2016 presidential primary season has seen Republican candidates endorse internment camps for Syrian refugees, an enemies list for Muslims, making Christianity the official state religion of the United States, establishing a Gestapo-like force to eject “illegal immigrants” from the United States, and other actions that are unworthy of what is supposed to be the world’s greatest democracy.

Those men and women who seek the office of the president of the United States should be responsible, reflective, and intelligent individuals. While they are members of a political party, these individuals should also be ambassadors of the Common Good who first and foremost want to advance and protect the General Welfare of the United States and its citizens. To this point in the campaign, the Republican 2016 primary presidential candidates, as a group, have not shown that they are capable of honoring that obligation.

The presidential primary season is not over. There is still time for the Republican Party to rise to the occasion.

To that end, will the 2016 Republican primary presidential candidates denounce Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the violence of his supporters or condemn last evening’s shootings of the Black Lives Matter protesters by white supremacists?

Will this crop of potential GOP presidential nominees demand that their peers, as well as the right-wing Fox News propaganda machine, tone down their collective racist, nativist, xenophobic and violence-inducing rhetoric?

The answer is likely to be “no.” Instead, the Republican 2016 presidential candidates will ignore the violence and bigotry they have encouraged or instead play the “victim” of the “liberal media.” The right-wing Fox News echo chamber will also likely spin fictions of “liberal infiltrators” or “agent provocateurs” that are actually committing violence at Donald Trump rallies or shooting Black Lives Matter activists in Minneapolis.

As they have repeatedly done in recent American history, movement conservatives and their media will continue to strike a match in a room full of gasoline vapor and act surprised when it explodes.

This is their version of the American Way. It is an agenda that retreats from normal politics, consensus-building, and an embrace of conservatism not as a reasonable respect for traditions and standing norms, but, rather as an embrace of a radical, destructive, and reactionary behavior that leaves the United States less safe, less secure, less prosperous and weaker than it was before.

City Releases ‘Chilling’ Video Of Cop Shooting Chicago Teen 16 Times. The Cook County state’s attorney said the officer “was on the scene less than 30 seconds before shooting”: here.

Stop cooperation with Bahraini, Saudi dictatorships

This video from Sweden says about itself:

Human Rights Defender Maryam Alkhawaja Talks about Scandinavian Prisoners in Bahrain
12 November 2013

I filmed Maryam Alkhawaja being interviewed by Gothenburg Post newspaper last week, as part of Maryam’s participation in a talk done later by Amnesty International – Gothenburg office.

According to the Rupert Murdoch empire, phone hacking of murdered schoolgirls and of thousands of others is journalism. And war is peace. And the absolute monarchy Bahrain is a free country.

Well … Bahrain is so obviously unfree, that even some parts of the Murdoch empire have trouble conforming to propaganda lies all the time.

From The Times in London, England, part of the Murdoch empire:

Exam board attacked for making deal with Bahrain

Billy Briggs

Published at 12:01AM, September 21 2015

A human rights activist from the Middle East has condemned the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for entering into contracts with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain despite their record on human rights.

Maryam Al-Khawaja, the director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, also criticised the UK government saying “Britain is the largest obstacle to human rights being upheld in Bahrain.”

Before a visit to Scotland this week for the human rights film festival Take One Action, she told The Times that the human rights situation was deteriorating in Bahrain and that teachers who spoke out against the government had been detained.

Bahrain’s public prosecutor has charged a high school student and two teachers with insulting Islam in connection with a video showing the student reciting verses from the Koran to musical accompaniment, state news agency BNA reported on Wednesday: here.

Australia’s rightist Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s downfall

This 25 August 2013 video from Australia says about itself:

Tony Abbott and gay marriage satire

Today: Malcolm Turnbull ousts Tony Abbott to become Australia’s 29th prime minister – politics live: here.

Warmonger, promoter of racism, phone hacking and burglary Rupert Murdoch said on Twitter today:

Sad to see such a decent man as Abbott toppled.

From Huffington Post Australia, with video there:

Tony Abbott‘s Gaffes, Mistakes And Slip-Ups

It was on — and now we have a new Prime Minister.

Malcolm Turnbull toppled Tony Abbott on Monday.

In two short years Abbott compiled a long list of achievements as Prime Minister, and much of what he said made significant headlines.

This video from Australia says about itself:

31 March 2013

Tony Abbott – Biggest Blunders

The ousting of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his replacement by Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership spill within the ruling Liberal Party, was all over on Monday in a matter of hours. For the third time in five years, the Australian population awoke yesterday to find the government changed, behind their backs, as a result of sordid scheming and manoeuvres by small cabals of powerbrokers operating on behalf of powerful corporate interests: here.

United States ‘security’ spying on Ferguson demonstrators

This video from the USA says about itself:

Ferguson Activists Ashley Yates & Tory Russell: The System Wasn’t Made To Protect Us

15 October 2014

Ferguson activists Ashley Yates of Millennial Activists United and Tory Russell of Hands Up United stop by GlobalGrind to discuss how the youth are leading the movement to end police violence and how politicians working with a broken system that doesn’t value black lives aren’t the ones effecting change.

By Jason Leopold in the USA:

The DHS Planned to ‘Plug’ Federal Officers Into the Ferguson Protests, Documents Show

July 21, 2015 | 9:15 pm

As the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri considered whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death last August of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was working on a plan to “plug” federal officers into protests to “perform surveillance” and “collect intelligence in the crowd.”

The disclosure is contained in more than 700 pages of documents VICE News obtained from DHS in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and comes just a couple of weeks before the one-year anniversary of Brown’s death, which helped spark national debate about the targeting of African Americans by police.

It’s unclear, however, whether DHS executed the plan. Some information in the documents was withheld on grounds that it would reveal law enforcement techniques, procedures, and trade secrets, or potentially endanger the life of an individual, DHS said.

Kade Crockford, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union‘s Technology for Liberty project, told VICE News that sending officers into protests “to spy on dissidents is both relatively routine and extremely problematic.”

“The First Amendment protects our right to criticize the government and agitate for social and political change, and this kind of law enforcement activity directly threatens that right,” she said. “DHS’s choice to spend taxpayer dollars spying on today’s black civil rights activists shows that federal law enforcement continues to view black people’s demands for basic rights and equality as somehow threatening.

“Congress or inspectors general of the FBI and DHS should investigate how federal law enforcement agencies have been spending precious government resources keeping track of activists. The results of such investigations should be made public so we have a more complete picture of how and where the Feds are dedicating funds and staff to monitoring black dissidents in the wake of Ferguson.”

Protesters raised concerns at the time on social media about the presence of DHS vehicles at the protests. It is not uncommon for DHS and other federal law enforcement agencies to keep tabs on protests, particularly in cities where federal buildings and parks are located (St. Louis has both). But it has become increasingly clear over the years, internal government documents show, that federal law enforcement also views such high-profile protests as a possible breeding ground for domestic terrorist activity and a good source of intelligence.

The deployment of DHS officers to Ferguson and St. Louis was a reunion of sorts. “Looks like we are working together again,” one officer remarked to another in an email. “Long time since [Hurricane] Katrina. LOL.”

The cache of documents, although heavily redacted, reveal that DHS had stocked up on batons and shields due to concerns that protests could quickly turn violent in the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision. Officers who were being deployed to Missouri were required to go through new “training” to learn how to handle themselves if riots broke out. The documents also reveal that DHS suspected that its operational plans for confronting the protests would attract negative attention from the public and the media.

The fears of riots were so heightened that DHS officials barred officers from scheduling vacation and taking time off in order to make certain personnel could be present and on call in Ferguson.

In an attempt to thwart the release of information, an employee with DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate distributed an email on November 11, 2014 reminding personnel to mark all electronic communications “for official use only” because of “recent events and FOIA requests.” (Though “for official use only” is not an official security classification, government agencies use it as a protective marking to exempt documents from public disclosure.) DHS personnel were also instructed to be mindful of their own social media posts about the protests and Brown’s death, as they could be a “hindrance or burden if the wrong thing is said/typed.”

The emails also reveal that in anticipation of a grand jury decision, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Security Division made a decision to deploy dozens of “FBI police officers” to St. Louis to “enhance the protection of the FBI St. Louis Field Office.”

FBI police officers are different than FBI agents. The police officers are uniformed members of the bureau who are tasked with protecting FBI facilities; they have limited law enforcement powers.

“The deployed FBI police will only be responsible for the protection of their facility,” said a November 6, 2014 email whose sender’s name was redacted. But DHS also provided the FBI with a “short-term (30-day) Delegation of Law Enforcement Authority to provide the deployed FBI Police Officers with legal authority should they become involved in a law enforcement action.”

The documents reveal that DHS received “intelligence” — largely based on a Fox News report — and subsequently investigated claims that Muslims had “co-opted” the protests in Ferguson.

“Have you seen this line of reporting before?” a Federal Protective Service employee wrote in a November 18, 2014 email. “Do you think Ferguson is becoming attractive to [redacted, though likely a reference to a terrorist group]? Any insight would be appreciated.”

The Fox News report focused on how the Council of American and Islamic Relations (CAIR) was trying to raise awareness about the 2009 shooting death of Luqman Ameen Abdullah, an imam at a Detroit mosque. The right-wing think tank Center for Security Policy alleged in a report, which Fox News cited, that Muslim groups like CAIR had “ulterior motives” for joining in the protests.

The documents do not reveal how DHS followed up on the claim.

The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request: here.

USA: Members of the National Bar Association called on black lawyers to advocate for victims and protesters of police brutality by representing them in civil cases and pushing for reforms of the criminal justice system: here.