Amazon’s Bezos worsens Washington Post workers’ healthcare


This 26 October 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

EXPOSED: Jeff Bezos Shows Why Private Health Insurance is No “Choice” At All

Status Coup’s Jordan Chariton reports on The Washington Post [owned now by Amazon.com boss Jeff Bezos]’s changing its healthcare plan—for the worse for its employees.

Jane Fonda arrested for opposing global warming


This 12 October 2019 Los Angeles Times video from the USA says about itself:

Jane Fonda is arrested in [Washington] D.C. during climate change protest

[81-year-old] Jane Fonda was arrested Friday in front of the U.S. Capitol as part of her efforts to join the fight against climate change.

This 11 October 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Jane Fonda on climate change | FULL INTERVIEW

The actress is no stranger to civil disobedience, with five arrests in the ’70s. She told our Bruce Johnson that she’d spend her birthday behind bars if needed.

302 people arrested for protesting Trump’s rape scandal nominee Kavanaugh


This 4 October 2018 video from Washington, D.C. in the USA says about itself:

Kavanaugh Protest: 300 Activists Arrested Including Amy Schumer

A total of 302 activists including Amy Schumer were arrested today in the US Capitol’s Hart Atrium after protesting against Brett Kavanaugh. Filmed by Ford Fischer.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

US Supreme Court ruling guts ban on “cruel and unusual punishment”

2 April 2019

In a decision that sets a new standard for legalistic sophistry in the service of barbarism, the US Supreme Court has approved the execution of a Missouri inmate using methods that are tantamount to torture.

Despite evidence that the death row prisoner, Russell Bucklew, has a rare medical condition involving the formation of tumors in his bloodstream, which renders execution by lethal injection excruciatingly painful, the court issued a 5–4 ruling Monday that the execution should proceed as planned.

The decision was the first in which the replacement of conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy by ultra-conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh clearly paid dividends for the most right-wing factions in Washington. Kennedy was the fifth vote to approve a stay of execution for Bucklew last year in an earlier, unrelated appeal. Kavanaugh supplied the fifth vote to send Bucklew to the death chamber.

SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS PROTEST KAVANAUGH HIRING Sexual assault survivors and student activists at George Mason University are protesting the school’s hiring of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a visiting professor. News of Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Antonin Scalia Law School surfaced in late March in George Mason’s undergraduate newspaper, the Fourth Estate, sparking swift outcry. [HuffPost]

GRAHAM ‘PROMISES’ KAVANAUGH WON’T BE IMPEACHED Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) “promised” that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh won’t be impeached following the revelation of another sexual misconduct allegation. [HuffPost]

Many more anti-nazis than nazis in Washington, USA


United States Alt-Right protesters arrive with police escort in Washington

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

On anniversary of fascist killing in Charlottesville

Washington police mobilize to protect handful of neo-Nazis

13 August 2018

Only a few dozen neo-Nazis turned out Sunday afternoon for a rally in Lafayette Square park adjacent to the White House, as hundreds of Washington D.C. police were mobilized to protect them from anti-fascist protesters who turned out in far greater numbers.

The rally, called under the title “Unite the Right 2”, was held on the first anniversary of the fascist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist counter-demonstrators, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

After days of publicity in the national media, portraying the event as a major demonstration of the strength of the white racist forces to which President Donald Trump openly appeals, the actual turnout was not enough to fill a single subway car when the fascists first assembled at the Metro station in suburban Vienna, Virginia.

There they had to run a gauntlet of anti-fascist protesters, protected by local police, as they took the subway train into downtown Washington D.C. Police were on board each car of the train, and walked the platform at stations along the Orange Line from Vienna to Foggy Bottom, the first stop in the city, where the neo-Nazis disembarked and left the station through a private entrance.

Police told subway riders at the Clarendon station in Arlington that the right-wing group was on the train, and told riders to stay out of the last car, which had apparently been reserved for the neo-Nazis.

Press accounts said that as the neo-Nazis emerged from the Foggy Bottom station and began to walk towards Lafayette Park, they were greeted with shouts of “Go home!” and “You’re not welcome here!”

The fascists arrived more than two hours before the time for their rally, as specified in the permit, but police made no objection. Instead, they escorted the racists into Lafayette Park and set up metal fences to separate them from counter-protesters, who were chanting, “Nazis go home!” and “Shame! Shame!”

Counter-protesters outside Vienna metro station near Washington

Some of the neo-Nazis carried American flags and some wore Trump’s signature red “Make America Great Again” baseball caps. Rally organizer Jason Kessler, who also headed the first “Unite the Right” rally the previous year in Charlottesville, was reportedly the only speaker at the rally, and for the most part he was drowned out by the shouts and taunts of counter-demonstrators.

Rain then began to fall, and the neo-Nazis left the park before 5:30 p.m., the time when their permit called for the rally to start. They found their route blocked by groups of anti-fascists who ignored the wet weather and continued chanting and taunting them.

Eventually the police and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority extricated the fascists, bringing up a number of white vans which collected the neo-Nazis and took them across the Potomac to the Rosslyn station, where they again boarded the subway to return to Vienna.

All told, several thousand people took part in anti-fascist rallies held in different parts of downtown Washington, and then marched toward the fascist group outside the White House, only to find their way blocked by the police.

Nearly a thousand more people gathered in Charlottesville, 90 miles away, to honor the memory of Heather Heyer and pay tribute to the ideals of tolerance and anti-racism for which she died. Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, laid a wreath at the spot where her daughter was murdered, and also took note of the death of two state police troopers whose helicopter crashed while they were monitoring the 2017 protest.

Police blocking counter-protesters from entering the metro station

The tiny scale of the fascist mobilization in Washington is in sharp contrast to the official attention paid to protecting the neo-Nazis and the free media publicity given to their racist, anti-Semitic and anti-communist ranting.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser activated the city’s emergency operations center on Thursday to coordinate the response to the anti-fascist protesters. Five police agencies were involved: the Washington Metropolitan Police, US Park Police, US Secret Service, Federal Protective Service and the US Marshal Service. Police barricades were set up throughout the downtown area to divert counter-demonstrators and prevent them from massing in Lafayette Park within reach of the fascists.

The elaborate police operation to bring the neo-Nazis to the park across the street from the White House, protect them there, then escort them to safety, was in sharp contrast to the police rampage against thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators last year during the inauguration, to say nothing of the military-style violence regularly employed against protests in opposition to police killings.

Police presence at northern Virginia metro station

There was massive media coverage, first in the days before the rally, when the looming confrontation between “hundreds” of neo-Nazis and their anti-fascist opponents was portrayed as a political Armageddon, and then in day-long virtually wall-to-wall coverage on cable television. The Washington Post described how, at the Foggy Bottom station, “Kessler emerged from the car, surrounded by a swarm of photographers and TV cameras.”

In perhaps the foulest media response to the planned racist protest, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” program interviewed Jason Kessler for seven minutes on Friday, asking him polite questions about his views, in the course of which he ranked races by innate intelligence, rating blacks the lowest, with barely a murmur from his interviewer.

President Trump also weighed in on the event, using the occasion, as after Charlottesville a year before, to put an equals sign between neo-Nazi thugs and those protesting against them. After the Charlottesville killing, he said there were “good people” in the ranks of the neo-Nazis. In a tweet Saturday, he said, “I condemn all types of racism”, as though white supremacists and those who oppose them were equally bigoted.

HANDFUL OF NAZIS DISRUPT D.C. Fewer than two dozen white supremacists turned up for rally in Washington Sunday — one year on from the clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended in the death of Heather Heyer. Yet they still managed to hijack D.C.’s public infrastructure, receiving a private train car and a police escort as they traveled into the nation’s capital. [HuffPost]

Anti-fascists dwarf tiny Unite the Right demo on anniversary of Heather Heyer’s death: here.

The turnout at the Washington neo-Nazi rally Sunday gave a glimpse of the real character of the fascist and white supremacist forces in the United States. Amid a blare of media publicity, grossly exaggerating the popular support for the ultra-right, less than two dozen people turned up for the “Unite the Right 2” rally in Lafayette Park, across from the White House: here.

Washington demonstrates against neonazis, videos


This 12 August 2018 video from Washington D.C. in the USA says about itself:

Crowds of counterprotesters march in DC to protest “Unite the Right”

In Washington, D.C., the principal organizer of last year’s “Unite the Right” event is scheduled to hold a so-called white civil rights rally, and police were preparing for crowds of counterprotesters. CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from outside the White House.

This 12 August 2018 video from Washington D.C. in the USA says about itself:

“WE ARE HERE TO CONFRONT THE WHITE SUPREMACY!” United Against Hate

This video from Washington D.C. in the USA says about itself:

“United Against Hate” Counter Protest Rally In Washington DC

DC United Against Hate held a counter-protest prior to a “Unite the Right” white nationalists‘ rally marking the anniversary of their first rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

United States President Theodore Roosevelt and birdwatching


This 2014 video from the USA says about itself:

Birds Native to Washington, DC II

Filmed at the Smithsonian Natural History museum in Washington, DC

From Cornell Lab eNews in the USA, January 2018:

Teddy Roosevelt, Top eBirder for 1901? The 26th president listed the birds he saw around the White House, and someone has entered them into eBird, along with sightings Roosevelt made elsewhere. The list is fascinating.

‘Demonstrating against Trump is not a crime’


This video from the USA says about itself:

Stoked! Journalist Alexei Wood & First J20 Defendants Found “Not Guilty” as 188 Still Face Trial

22 December 2017

In a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to silence dissent, the first trial of people arrested at Inauguration Day “Disrupt J20” protests ended Thursday with all of the defendants found not guilty of all charges. Six people faced multiple felonies and 50 years in prison for just being in the area where anti-fascist and anti-capitalist protesters were marching. During the protest, police blockaded more than 200 people into a corner in a process known as “kettling” and carried out mass arrests of everyone nearby, including medics, legal observers and some journalists.

This first case was closely watched as a bellwether for free speech, because one of the six people on trial was Alexei Wood, an independent photojournalist from San Antonio, Texas, whose work focuses on resistance movements. He came to document protests during the inauguration on January 20 and live-streamed the street detentions by police and even his own arrest. Alexei Wood joins us from Washington, D.C., and we speak with Jude Ortiz, a member of the organizing crew of Defend J20 and the Mass Defense Committee chair for the National Lawyers Guild.

FELONY CHARGES HAVE BEEN DROPPED AGAINST 129 PROTESTERS Who were swept up in mass arrests on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration last year. Another 59 will still face trial. [HuffPost]

Anti-Trump demonstrators acquitted in Washington


This 21 December 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

In this Majority Report clip, we discuss how six defendants were found not guilty of all charges after being arrested for protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration.

All six defendants in a crucial trial involving demonstrators arrested during President Donald Trump’s inauguration were found not guilty of all charges on Thursday.

The trial of the six defendants ― Jennifer Armento, Oliver Harris, Brittne Lawson, Michelle Macchio, Christina Simmons and Alexei Wood ― began in mid-November. It raised major First Amendment issues and was seen as a bellwether that could determine whether the government will proceed with the prosecutions of many of the nearly 200 other defendants who have trials scheduled throughout the next year.

Despite Thursday’s verdict, Justice Department prosecutors appeared ready to take all of the remaining defendants to trial.

Read more here.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Jury acquits all six defendants in first trial of Inauguration Day protesters

22 December 2017

A Washington DC jury has acquitted all six defendants of all charges against them, in the first trial of the victims of mass arrests by police during the inauguration of President Trump last January 20.

The so-called J20 defendants faced sentences of as long as 50 years in prison if they had been convicted on the seven counts each one faced, including two of rioting and five of destruction of property. Instead, the jury delivered not-guilty verdicts on all 42 separate counts. Judge Lynn Leibovitz previously dismissed one of the most serious charges, felony inciting to riot, for all six defendants.

The six included Jennifer Armento, 38, of Philadelphia; Oliver Harris, 28, of Philadelphia; Brittne Lawson, 27, of Aspinwall, Pennsylvania; Michelle Machio, 26, of Asheville, North Carolina; Christina Simmons, 20, of Cockeysville, Maryland; and Alexei Wood, 27, of San Antonio, Texas, a freelance journalist who was live-blogging the inauguration protests.

The verdict was a shattering setback for the government’s case, which was an antidemocratic frame-up from beginning to end. Prosecutors readily conceded in statements to the jury that there was no evidence that any of the six defendants had committed acts of violence or property destruction. They nonetheless insisted that merely by remaining in the demonstration while scattered acts of violence took place, all six were guilty.

Outside the courtroom, the defendants hugged each other and their attorneys and supporters, many of them in tears. Defendant Jennifer Armento said the verdict “shows the country that the jury was unwilling to do what the government wanted them to do, which was criminalize dissent.”

“People won’t be afraid to show up and go protest and get in the streets and not be worried that they’ll get mass arrested like we did”, said Michelle Machio, one of the six acquitted defendants. “This sets a really strong precedent that that’s not ok and you can’t criminalize dissent.”

The prosecution case was prepared exhaustively, using the defendants’ cellphones, confiscated by the police during the arrests, as well as the video record of Alexei Wood’s contemporaneous live-blog, which allowed prosecutors to track his movements throughout Inauguration Day (but showed Wood doing nothing more than recording and commenting on the actions of both the police and protesters).

The prosecution was aided by Judge Leibovitz, who allowed the questioning of jurors about their political views on President Trump during jury selection. Multiple potential jurors were removed when they voiced sympathy for the anti-Trump protests, or said they would not “give greater weight” to police testimony than to the testimony of the defendants.

The judge is notorious as a hard-line sentencer, but also for pushing for speedier processing of cases, which apparently worked against the prosecution strategy. Prosecutors initially divided the nearly 200 defendants into four categories, with a handful of those linked to specific acts of violence in the top category and targeted for the first trial.

When procedural obstacles threatened to delay any trials until next year, Leibovitz insisted on a trial starting in late November with six defendants whose attorneys volunteered to go first. The result was a group of six defendants drawn from the fourth category, those most distant from any individual act of violence, and including two volunteer medics.

The US Attorney’s office issued a statement reiterating the claim that a riot occurred on Inauguration Day and that the remaining defendants would be held collectively responsible, based on a “rigorous review for each defendant.” This strongly implies that the remaining 166 defendants could still face trial.

The trial as a whole was a milestone in the attempt to destroy the constitutional rights to free assembly and free speech. The mass arrest of more than 200 people was itself unconstitutional, and was ordered by the Obama Justice Department, not Trump, who was not yet exercising presidential authority when police surrounded protesters, in a tactic known as “kettling”, grabbing all who could not escape.

Under the Trump Justice Department, prosecution was conducted with aggressive attacks on constitutional rights, including demands for the email, Facebook and cellphone records of the groups coordinating the J20 protests. Prosecutors also made use of an undercover video made by the ultra-right Project Veritas group, which has infiltrated liberal and antigovernment groups, using heavily edited and even doctored videos to cause scandal.

Defense attorneys introduced evidence from the Twitter accounts of several of the arresting officers showing anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic remarks, as well as political attacks on groups the police characterized as “anarchists”.

Sara Kropf, the attorney for Brittne Lawson, the cancer nurse, said in her closing argument, “This is about politics. This is about police and local prosecutors who work for the Department of Justice. And we know who they report to”, she said, referring to President Trump. “All the government proved was that these individuals showed up and walked as protesters”, she said. “And that is not a crime.”

Brett E. Cohen, the defense attorney for Alexei Wood, told the World Socialist Web Site that the verdict was a “major victory for journalists and people trying to exercise their First Amendment rights. Mr. Wood came to the demonstration intending to cover it, and he leaves Washington eleven months later the same way he came, innocent of any crime.”

Cohen explained that the prosecution was based on “guilt by association”, and that the judge had denied any challenge to that theory on constitutional grounds, although she did agree that the prosecution had failed to prove that any of the six defendants had engaged in inciting to riot, dismissing this charge.

The decision to prosecute more than 200 people on multiple felony charges carrying up to 60 years in prison was grossly over-charging, he indicated. “The whole thing was ridiculous”, he said. Normal practice for most of the defendants would have been “restitution, community service, get out of town. That would have made sense.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia, which supported the defense, issued a statement calling for dismissal of charges against all the remaining defendants. The organization has filed a civil suit against the unlawful mass roundup, pepper spraying and detention of hundreds of nonviolent demonstrators.

“Today’s verdict reaffirms two central constitutional principles of our democracy: first, that dissent is not a crime, and second, that our justice system does not permit guilt by association,” the ACLU spokesman, Scott Michelman, said.

“For nearly a year, these people have been under the cloud of felony charges that have turned their lives upside down, subjecting them to the anxiety and expense of defending themselves against charges that should never have been brought. No one should have to fear arrest or prosecution for coming to the nation’s capital to express opinions peacefully, no matter what those opinions may be.”

Ten-year-old child among the victims. American Civil Liberties Union sues DC police for attacking inauguration protests: here.

US police kill 29 during first week of 2018: here.

Pro-slavery generals out of United States National Cathedral


This video from the USA says about itself:

Church Doesn’t Take Kindly To Pastor Saying Black Lives Matter

5 September 2017

Rev. Robert E. Lee IV was pushed out of his church. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“Last week, Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV gave an impassioned speech at the MTV VMA’s in which he voiced support for Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March, Heather Heyer and racial equality.

Aligning with the politics of the evening, Lee’s speech was particularly resonant given that the reverend is a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general and icon whose statue was the nominal focus of the deadly white-supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this summer.

Now, Lee has announced that he is stepping down from his pulpit at Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.”

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Controversial generals also disappear from church windows in the USA

Today, 09:56

The National Cathedral in the United States capital Washington will remove two stained-glass windows showing generals who fought to maintain slavery. Symbols of the South [secessionist Confederate southern slavery states] have recently come under fire after racist violence.

In the second largest church in the country, services of national importance, such as presidential funerals, commemorations after 9/11 and post-presidential inauguration, are held regularly. In addition to Christian symbolism, the church also features scenes from American history, such as the moon landing and D-Day.

The windows of 60 by 180 centimeters were donated in 1953 by inhabitants of the southern states [the United Daughters of the Confederacy] to “reassemble a nation torn by the Civil War.” With scenes from their lives, Confederate commanding General [and slave owner and slave flogger] Robert Lee and General [and slave owner] Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson are represented as exemplary Christians.

Bloodbath

Discussion about the images originated after the massacre in a church in Charleston, where the shooter wanted to unleash a race war. Flags of the South were then removed from the stained glass windows and the church promised to reflect on more changes.

After new violence in Charlottesville, the church council decided to completely remove the windows because they showed a one-sided image and were distractions. “The Confederate flag and the Old South narrative have been lively symbols today for white supremacists”, says a spokeswoman for the church in the US media. “We’d be made of stone ourselves if we weren’t paying attention to that.”

The church does not know what will happen to the windows. They may be exhibited in an historical context.

TRUMP CHIEF OF STAFF JOHN KELLY DEFENDED CONFEDERATE STATUES Saying a “lack of ability to compromise led to the Civil War.” That phrasing did not go over well. [HuffPost]

Ken Burns had some thoughts on John Kelly’s Civil War remarks.