[Three videos from Brazil, documenting the massive protests at the corruption and mis-use of State resources for the Pope’s visit. The videos are narrated in Portuguese, and the videos give visual testimony to the ongoing problems of credibility and legitimacy of the Brazilian state, in the face of massive protests of bus fares, World Cup extravagance and Pope extravagance. Sports and religion seem to have greatly declined in their ability to confuse, distract, and pacify the anger of the masses. — Frontlines ed.]
Scenes of confrontation between PMs and demonstrators during the visit of Pope John Paul II San Francisco to Rio de Janeiro
Jul 22, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people took to the streets of Sula River to protest against the exorbitant spending on the Pope’s visit to Brazil for World Catholic Youth Day. As on other occasions, demonstrators demanded the impeachment of the governor, Sergio Cabral, and the end of the annihilation of the poor in the slums — and the whereabouts of the worker/resident of the Rocinha slum, Amarildo de Souza Lima, who disappeared after being arrested by PMs of CPE. A barrier formed by 350 police officers of the Shock Battalion was jamming the access to Guanabara Palace, where there was a meeting between the Pope and the political managers of Dilma and Cabral e Paes, declared enemies of the masses. The demonstrators were not intimidated and, with courage and determination, faced the huge repressive apparatus of the old State.
Cenas do confronto entre PMs e manifestantes durante visita do papa Francisco ao Rio de Janeiro
Jul 22, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia — Na tarde de ontem, milhares de pessoas tomaram as ruas da zona Sula do Rio para protestar contra os gastos exorbitantes com a visita do papa ao Brasil para a Jornada Mundial da Juventude Católica. Como em outras ocasiões, manifestantes exigiram o impeachment do governador Sérgio Cabral, o fim do extermínio de pobres nas favelas e o paradeiro do operário e morador da favela da Rocinha, Amarildo Souza Lima, que desapareceu depois de ser detido por PMs da UPP. Um cordão de isolamento formado por 350 policiais do Batalhão de Choque bloqueava o acesso ao Palácio Guanabara, onde acontecia uma reunião entre o papa e os gerentes de turno Dilma, Cabral e Paes, declarados inimigos das massas. Os manifestantes não se intimidaram e, com coragem e determinação, enfrentaram o incrementado aparato repressor do velho Estado.
RJ: exclusive Footage of the courageous resistance of the masses to the violence of the PM in Leblon
July 18, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Last Wednesday night, thousands of people have protested in the street where the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral Filho, lives. The demonstrators denounced the corruption of Cabral, the theft and waste of public money, the displacement of poor neighborhoods for construction of mega-sports-events, the criminalization and elimination of the youth in the slums, and the attack on indigenous peoples. The demonstrators have walked the streets of Leblon, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world. A few meters from the house of Cabral, PMs did not hesitate to attack. But as has happened repeatedly, the masses resisted bravely and faced the repressive troops of the fascist State.
RJ: Cenas exclusivas da corajosa resistência das massas à violência da PM em ato no Leblon
Jul 18, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Na noite da última quarta-feira, milhares de pessoas fizeram um protesto no acesso à rua onde mora o governador do Rio de Janeiro,. Os manifestantes denunciaram a corrupção na gestão Cabral, o derrame do dinheiro público, as remoções de bairros pobres por conta dos megaeventos, o extermínio da juventude nas favelas e o ataque aos povos indígenas. Os manifestantes caminharam pelas ruas do Leblon, um dos bairros mais caros do mundo. A poucos metros da casa de Cabral, PMs não hesitarão em atacar. Mas como tem acontecido repetidas vezes, as massas resistiram bravamente e enfrentaram as tropas de repressão do Estado fascista.
Police arrest filmmaker from Media Ninja and shoot lethal ammunition at protesters during the Pope’s visit to Rio
July 23, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia — Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people have faced the police, denounced the exorbitant spending for the Pope’s visit to Brazil, and demanded the impeachment of governor Sergio Cabral. After the showdown, PMs chased demonstrators through the streets of the barrio de Laranjeira. A filmmaker of Media Ninja was arbitrarily arrested while transmitting live news of the protest to thousands of people. One protester identified as Leonardo Caruso was shot with live ammunition and cared for by the red cross, then taken to the hospital de Souza Aguiar, in the Center of the city.
Polícia prende Mídia Ninja e dispara munição letal durante visita do Papa ao Rio
Jul 23, 2013– Na tarde de ontem, milhares de pessoas enfrentaram a polícia em um ato que, entre outras bandeiras, questionava os gastos exorbitantes por conta da visita do papa ao Brasil e exigia o impeachment do governador Sérgio Cabral. Após o confronto, PMs perseguiram manifestantes aleatoriamente pelas ruas do. Um cinegrafista da Mídia Ninja foi preso arbitrariamente enquanto transmitia a manifestação ao vivo para milhares de pessoas.
Um manifestante identificado como Leonardo Caruso foi alvejado com um tiro de munição real e atendido por socorristas da cruz vermelha. Em seguida, o manifestante foi levado para o hospital Souza Aguiar, no Centro da cidade.
[The New York Times reports the Brazilian power elite’s attempts to attribute “blunders” — not mass resentment at religious and political arrogance, extravagance, and brutal repression — for the obvious breakdown of bourgeois authority and credibility in social and political life. — Frontlines ed.]
Pope Francis with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. Pope Francis, with a long history of support for repressive powers in Latin America, became an object of the ongoing mass protests against Dilma Rousseff’s corrupt and repressive regime — an unintended consequence of a visit planned to “fan the fervor of the faithful” and to distract the anger of the oppressed.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Pope Francis celebrated his first public Mass on Wednesday at one of Latin America’s largest shrines, asking Catholics to shun the “ephemeral idols” of material success, power and pleasure, but his visit to Brazil continued to be marked by tension over blunders by its Brazilian organizers.
The missteps began minutes after Francis arrived in Rio on Monday, when his small motorcade got stuck on a crowded thoroughfare, exposing the pope to a mob scene of people trying to touch him through the open window of his car. On Tuesday, Rio’s subway system broke down for two hours, leaving thousands gathered here for a conference of Catholic youth scrambling to reach a seaside Mass.
Rio’s political authorities have also faced scrutiny over their handling of street demonstrations around the pope’s visit. They acknowledged using undercover agents to infiltrate the protests but denied claims that their intelligence officers were to blame for violence, including the throwing of firebombs. Continue reading →
I would like to take this moment to possibly enlighten you to a situation we as Hispanic Mexican Nationals would like to share with all of you. Our hope is to create discussion and ultimately change this sad reality. Due to being such a small population in California prisons, the majority do not understand or even realize (much less consider). Hopefully with this essay I’m able to express correctly, sufficiently, and effectively these little known conditions and bring attention to this issue. We suffer and struggle daily in a foreign land, where many of us do not even write, understand, or speak English.
This struggle not only involves Mexican Nationals in California, but also all undocumented immigrants in prison around this nation. Some of us are here doing life terms with no family or friends support (mentally, emotionally, economically, physically, etc.), the most basic of human conditions to be social. Think about this for a minute. For family members to visit us from Mexico requires an incredible amount of patience and hard work, and huge obstacles at the US-MEXICO border. For example, on my situation I haven’t seen my father, brothers, and some of my sisters since 1996.
Why??-because my family couldn’t process the visas for them and couldn’t afford to pay the expenses to travel. In the past, I used to see my mother once a year. My family had to work and save money for my elderly mother to be able to come visit me just one time every year. Unfortunately, since 2007, my family couldn’t afford it anymore. So I haven’t seen the rest of my family since 1996, which is 14 years total and counting. This is just my example. Many more undocumented immigrants/Hispanics in prison suffer the same fate. Under life terms and some of us validated in the Security Housing Units (SHU), we may very well never see or hug our immediate family and friends. Imagine the suffering and heartache we endure??? Living life sentences inside ‘the grey box’ (SHU), under this daily struggle, under this psychological and physical torture 23 hours a day we wait to hear and receive news from our family back home.
Many of us came to the U.S. from very rural towns with little or no education and severely economically challenged areas in Mexico. As we can agree, many who come to the U.S. do so for the ‘American Dream’: Land of opportunity and a better way of life. A sacrifice for ourselves and our families back home. Due to having to put education on hold early in our youth to work and contribute to our family’s welfare, ultimately basic reading and writing much time is lost and thousands of us risk our lives and cross the border (breaking U.S. laws) and some of those thousands end up in prisons, detention centers, and jails across the nation. Fewer still get life terms that cuts off communication with family and limits it to phone calls (when rare monetary ability allows a phone call home) and letters (for those who can read and write). Continue reading →
[Increasingly, acts of protest and resistance are denounced or dismissed as “Maoist” by the the state. — Frontlines ed.]
When the ‘Maoists’ Took Over the Streets of Kolkata
Why did the Kamduni incident – the rape and murder of a young college student and the utterly insensitive handling of the issue by the West Bengal government and the ruling Trinamool Congress – spark off such a huge reaction to bring together a wide spectrum of civil society under one umbrella in Kolkata on 21 June?
Rajashri Dasgupta (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an independent Kolkata-based journalist specialising on issues related to gender, health, democratic rights and social movements.
It was a hot and muggy afternoon on 21 June, when in an incredible display of public solidarity and defiance, thousands of people marched through the streets of Kolkata in silent protest. There were no political parties to manage the swelling numbers, no brandishing of political flags to claim victory for any organisation. Led by respected intellectuals, people poured in from all corners of the city as well as its outskirts to show their support and solidarity – elderly people, some with sticks and crutches; homemakers, for many of whom it was their first rally; working people who spontaneously got off buses or skipped work. There were students in large numbers with banners and placards, teachers, villagers holding hands for safety in an unfamiliar place, rights activists distributing leaflets, feminists with colourful posters, non-governmental organisation workers, actors, academics and journalists – all came together to protest the spurt in crimes against women in the state.
The protest was triggered by the gang-rape and murder of a young college girl Sheila (not her real name) in Kamduni village, Barasat district on 7 June and the insensitive handling of the incident by the state government. It was for the first time that the city, famous for its processions, witnessed an outpouring from such a wide cross-section of society, about an issue generally left to women’s groups and feminists to battle: the safety and security of women.
The rally of more than 10,000 strong was also a political expression of indignation against the constant bogey of “the other” raised by the ruling party to gag dissent. Suddenly, from one section of the rally, young men and women raised slogans demanding azaadi (freedom), startling this reporter since the word is usually associated with the Kashmir issue. For the people of Bengal that afternoon, however, the rallying cry of azaadi snowballed to take on a larger significance. It not only meant freedom of women from violence, but also implied the freedom of citizens to live without fear, the freedom to speak up, to question, and the freedom to protest. Since 2011, with the promise of paribartan (change) that had swept Mamata Banerjee to power in West Bengal, defeating an almost invincible Left Front (LF) rule of 34 years, the chief minister has silenced every question, protest or any whiff of dissent, real or imaginary, by dismissing it as a conspiracy against her from her opponents, whom she dubbed the “Maoists”. Continue reading →
Professor Akinyele Umoja, chair, African American Studies at Georgia State University discusses his new book: We Will Shoot Back: Armed Self-defense in the Mississippi Freedom Movement. This program was sponsored by the Stone Center and the Bull’s Head Bookstore of UNC at Chapel Hill. This is part of the presentation Professor Umoja made at Chapel Hill, length: 30:38
Prof. Umoja discusses why he wrote We Will Shoot Back
The Book, by Akinyele Umoja
The notion that the civil rights movement in the southern United States was a nonviolent movement remains a dominant theme of civil rights memory and representation in popular culture. Yet in dozens of southern communities, Black people picked up arms to defend their leaders, communities, and lives. In particular, Black people relied on armed self-defense in communities where federal government officials failed to safeguard activists and supporters from the violence of racists and segregationists, who were often supported by local law enforcement.
In We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement, Akinyele Omowale Umoja argues that armed resistance was critical to the efficacy of the southern freedom struggle and the dismantling of segregation and Black disenfranchisement. Intimidation and fear were central to the system of oppression in Mississippi and most of the Deep South. To overcome the system of segregation, Black people had to overcome fear to present a significant challenge to White domination. Armed self-defense was a major tool of survival in allowing some Black southern communities to maintain their integrity and existence in the face of White supremacist terror. By 1965, armed resistance, particularly self-defense, was a significant factor in the challenge of the descendants of enslaved Africans to overturning fear and intimidation and developing different political and social relationships between Black and White Mississippians.
This riveting historical narrative relies upon oral history, archival material, and scholarly literature to reconstruct the use of armed resistance by Black activists and supporters in Mississippi to challenge racist terrorism, segregation, and fight for human rights and political empowerment from the early 1950s through the late 1970s. Continue reading →
(Não é pelos vinte centavos) — (We will arrive, but Not by twenty cents)
Cada um fazendo a sua parte, vamos construir um país melhor. Uma homenagem de Seu Jorge, Gabriel Moura e Pretinho da Serrinha a todos os Brasileiros……(Each one doing its part, we are going to build a better country.)
Brazil Summerfest opened in New York City this past weekend. This is the third summer that lovers of Brazilian music have organized the festival to celebrate it in New York. The annual festival is a treat for the tens of thousands of Brazilians who live in and near New York City, not to mention the millions of international tourists who come to New York every summer.
This year’s festival includes performances by Gaby Amarantos, Marcelo D2, Toninho Horta, Tulipa Ruiz, and others. They will perform at outdoor locations like Central Park’s SummerStage and the South Street Seaport, as well as clubs like Joe’s Pub.
Certainly the biggest name on the list of performers is Jorge Mário da Silva, the 43-year-old singer and songwriter known as Seu Jorge. When asked about this year’s festival and what makes it special, Seu Jorge was quick to point out that all the musicians and artists from Brazil have been affected by the mass demonstrations that have erupted recently in Brazil. The street protests have inspired him to write a song.
“If this thing had happened in Jamaica, certainly Bob Marley would do something, wouldn’t he? And if something like this were happening in Nigeria, wouldn’t Fela Kuti have written some song?” Seu Jorge remarked.“The idea was to write a song that would lead people to sing for their rights,” continued Seu Jorge, who is known in the US not only as an international ambassador of Brazilian music, but also as an actor in the Wes Anderson film, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Continue reading →
The legendary Pele got an earful from the hundreds of thousands of protestors on the streets of Brazil who refused to heed his appeal to “forget” the protests and support the national football team. Unthinkable as it is, does it indicate that popular protests have finally overcome their inability to challenge the sporting mega event, that the modern-day “circus” is now seen for what it is: a scam of massive proportions?
Sharda Ugra (Sharda.Ugra@espn.com) is senior editor, ESPNcricinfo.com and has been a sports journalist for almost 24 years.
This article was published last week in the Web Exclusives section of the EPW website. This article is the expanded and revised version of what appeared on the Quartz.com website, http://qz.com/98428/deceit-fraudand- fi rst-world-problems-brics-graduated-tothe- sports-big-leagues-and-now-regret-it/
On the night Brazil beat current world champions Spain to win the Confederations Cup football final, Brazilian coach Luis Felipe Scolari was asked a loaded question. About what it was like playing football at a time Brazil was shaken by street protests, some violent, against institutional corruption and lopsided public expenditure. Scolari responded with fury. “Not my area”, he said and, after asking the journalist if he was English (which he was) barked, “So what happened before the Olympics over there? Maybe you want to take a look at your own country before saying there’s something wrong with mine.”
The Confederations Cup victory aside, June 2013 will go down as the winter of Brazil’s discontent, sweeping along in the heart of its anger, football and the Rio Olympic Games of 2016, the two events expected to pitch-fork the country into global acclaim. These two Brazilian sporting showpieces, the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics have, however, turned into something else.
Putting Futebol in Its Place
A crowd of 5,000-odd that protested near the Maracana Stadium on the night of the Confederations Cup final, was drowned out by cheering fans and street parties that followed the victory. The days leading up to the final, though, had been different: 50,000 clashed with police a few miles from the stadium in Belo Horizonte where Brazil and Uruguay were playing their semi-final. In the capital Brasilia, there were peaceful yet more symbolic protests on the day, where the crowds kicked footballs over a police cordon towards the Brazilian parliament, the Congress.
Scolari’s churlish reply about the London Olympics and “not my area” was his instant retort following his team’s emphatic and impressive win. Until that, Brazil’s players had been far more sympathetic to the protestors with its rising star Neymar, saying in his Instagram microblog, “I want a Brazil that is fair and safe and healthier and more honest”. Once the flush of the Confederations Cup victory has died down (along with Scolari’s anger), the questions asked by Brazilians throughout June are bound to return. The first protest had centred around bus and metro fare hikes in Sao Paulo, but in the space of three weeks, the outcry around the country grew over failing social services, rampant corruption and misplaced expenditure. The crowds grew from tens of thousands to those totalling a million-strong on 20 June in many cities, with the World Cup and the Olympics turning into symbols of everything wrong with the government and the country’s elite. Continue reading →
[The following three articles, from the Nepali bourgeois press, describe new twists and turns in the politics of the former kingdom and nascent republic. The announcement of the move by the leadership of the CPN(M) may have some relation to Baidya’s recent trip to capitalist-imperialist China (countering the UCPN(M)’s embrace of relations with the aggressive-yet-comprador Indian bourgeoisie).
And the move also reflects the ongoing urban orientation of the CPN(M). The masses of peasantry in the countryside will undoubtedly view this with dismay, as a further CPN(M) downgrading of the struggle against feudal relations–a struggle which has been repeatedly downgraded, marginalized, neglected and suppressed since the end of the People’s War seven years ago.
On the other hand, there are feudal forces (landlords) who have indicated their love of this shift.
And Baburam Bhattarai, speaking for the revisionist-cum-bourgeois “republicanism,” jumped on it immediately, condemning the “collaboration” of Baidya and Biplav with the king. (see the third article, below).
With this, what has been characterized as the struggle of a revolutionary CPN(M) vs. a revisionist and neo-comprador UCPN(M) begins to reflect two competing forms of nationalism, one aligned with China, the other with India.
This turn poses a significant challenge to genuine revolutionaries in Nepal, and to all who support the revolutionary struggle in the Himalayas: May the revolutionary peasantry, youth and former PLA fighters keep their independence and revolutionary mass orientation! — Frontlines ed.]
Business Standard:“Nepal: CPN-Maoist may join ex-king to protect ‘nationalism'”
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of Nepal‘s Unified CPN-Maoist, today said that it could join hands with former monarch King Gyanendra for the sake of protecting “nationalism”.
CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Vaidya said that there could also be collaboration with the former king, “who carries true feelings of nationalism”.
66-year-old Gyanendra’s reign ended in 2008 when the Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a republic and abolished the monarchy.
At a function in Nuwakot district, Vaidya also said that there was no alternative to the formation of a greater front with all the nationalist forces including the former king on this issue. Continue reading →
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), a revolutionary organization based in the u.s. that fights to uphold the self-determination and the human rights of Black people in the world, has been working to free political prisoners for over three decades. The organization has actively worked on the cases of Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt, the San Francisco 8 (SF8), the MOVE 9, the Cuban 5, and more. Additionally, MXGM has worked with the founding Black August Organizing Committee of California to popularize Black August, a month of commemoration and action in support of political prisoners.
Through the heed of political prisoners Assata Shakur and Nehanda Abiodun, MXGM has also taken a lead in inspiring and mobilizing the Hip Hop generation to take action in support of political prisoners, particularly through the annual Black August Concert, which has featured artists such as Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Erykah Badu, Dead Prez, and others. MXGM works with other leading organizations that have championed action to free political prisoners, such as the National Black United Fund, the Prisoners of Consciousness Committee, the Nation of Islam, and numerous support committees around the world.
This article will describe the history and current context of political prisoners in the u.s., the conditions for them while incarcerated, and the organizing strategies employed by MXGM over the years to free them.
The Legacy of COINTELPRO
We cannot discuss the case of political prisoners in the u.s. without having an understanding of COINTELPRO. COINTELPRO, or the Counter Intelligence Program, was the federal government’s secret program during the 1950s-1970s used against many forces of the Black Liberation movement, leftists, and political dissidents in the u.s., including the Chicano Nationalist Movement and the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. It was secret because it was illegal.
Under COINTELPRO, the FBI and local police forces assassinated, arrested, tortured, and framed hundreds of leftists, particularly Black leftists, who were considered to pose the greatest threat to the racist status quo of u.s. society. The tactics of COINTELPRO can be categorized in four main areas: infiltration of organizations, psychological warfare from the outside, harassment through the legal system, and extralegal force and violence, including extrajudicial killing and outright murder. The FBI’s stated motivation for the program was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order. Continue reading →
Gil Scott-Heron — Jose Campos Torres, and a Visual Poem for Oscar Grant
Gil Scott Heron’s “Jose Campos Torres” (1978) and video by TripleTruth
Trayvon Martin (no justice, just us)
Inspired by Gil Scott Heron’s “Jose Campos Torres” Brooklyn born lyricist/poet/singer Glennjamin Bishop digs deep and touches real-life issues and emotions in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin tragedy.
Published on Apr 4, 2012
For more than a week, the California prison system has been gripped by the largest hunger strike in its history. Today, campaigners say that some 12,000 inmates continue to refuse food in roughly two-thirds of the state’s 32 facilities. That’s down from the 30,000 who kicked off the strike, but still more than twice the number who participated in a similar action two years earlier.
The strike – which began with a group of men held in isolation in Pelican Bay State Prison before spreading across the state – was principally motivated by California’s aggressive use of solitary confinement. In many cases, the strikers’ demands are simple: one photo a year, one phone call per week, permission to use wall calendars.
“The prisoners are not on a suicide mission,” says Roger White, campaign director of a Bay Area coalition called Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity. “If they didn’t have hope that things could change and that CDCR [the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] could actually implement the demands, they wouldn’t be striking.”
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Senator Rand Paul, Florida State Representative Dennis Baxley (also sponsor of his state’s Stand Your Ground law), along with a host of other Republicans, argued that had the teachers and administrators been armed, those twenty little kids whose lives Adam Lanza stole would be alive today. Of course, they were parroting the National Rifle Association’s talking points. The NRA and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative lobbying group responsible for drafting and pushing “Stand Your Ground” laws across the country, insist that an armed citizenry is the only effective defense against imminent threats, assailants, and predators.
But when George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, teenage pedestrian returning home one rainy February evening from a neighborhood convenience store, the NRA went mute. Neither NRA officials nor the pro-gun wing of the Republican Party argued that had Trayvon Martin been armed, he would be alive today. The basic facts are indisputable: Martin was on his way home when Zimmerman began to follow him—first in his SUV, and then on foot. Zimmerman told the police he had been following this “suspicious-looking” young man. Martin knew he was being followed and told his friend, Rachel Jeantel, that the man might be some kind of sexual predator. At some point, Martin and Zimmerman confronted each other, a fight ensued, and in the struggle Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.
Zimmerman pursued Martin. This is a fact. Martin could have run, I suppose, but every black man knows that unless you’re on a field, a track, or a basketball court, running is suspicious and could get you a bullet in the back. The other option was to ask this stranger what he was doing, but confrontations can also be dangerous—especially without witnesses and without a weapon besides a cel phone and his fists. Florida law did not require Martin to retreat, though it is not clear if he had tried to retreat. He did know he was in imminent danger.
Where was the NRA on Trayvon Martin’s right to stand his ground? What happened to their principled position? Let’s be clear: the Trayvon Martin’s of the world never had that right because the “ground” was never considered theirs to stand on. Unless black people could magically produce some official documentation proving that they are not burglars, rapists, drug dealers, pimps or prostitutes, intruders, they are assumed to be “up to no good.” (In the antebellum period, such documentation was called “freedom papers.”) As Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s executive vice president, succinctly explained their position, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Trayvon Martin was a bad guy or at least looked and acted like one. In our allegedly postracial moment, where simply talking about racism openly is considered an impolitic, if not racist, thing to do, we constantly learn and re-learn racial codes. The world knows black men are criminal, that they populate our jails and prisons, that they kill each other over trinkets, that even the celebrities among us are up to no good. Zimmerman’s racial profiling was therefore justified, and the defense consistently employed racial stereotypes and played on racial knowledge to turn the victim into the predator and the predator into the victim. In short, it was Trayvon Martin, not George Zimmerman, who was put on trial. He was tried for the crimes he may have committed and the ones he would have committed had he lived past 17. He was tried for using lethal force against Zimmerman in the form of a sidewalk and his natural athleticism. Continue reading →
The Zimmerman Verdict is a Reflection of the Times. WE CHARGE GENOCIDE!
The People Must ORGANIZE!
Statement by Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, July 13, 2013
Trayvon Martin was never going to get justice from a courtroom of the United States government. Justice for Trayvon and for the hundreds of other Black women, men, and children executed by someone employed or protected by the US government on a daily basis will only come from our people and the power we are able to wield through the strength of our organization and the resolve of our will. Zimmerman was only put on trial because millions of our people took to the streets in early 2012 and threatened to disrupt the system. The trial was a means to divert our energies and return things to the status quo.
Obama’s statement that a “a jury has spoken” encouraging what he called, “calm reflection”, is just another effort to lure Black people to sleep and keep us accepting the status quo. The status quo of white supremacy has never and will never work for Black people. As W.E.B. DuBois stated, “a system cannot fail those who it was never meant to protect.” White supremacy and the systems that support and reinforce it like capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy must be defeated and dismantled. We must always keep this in mind and be prepared in concrete, organized ways to ensure that there will be no peace if there is no justice. Now is the time for direct action in the form of organized Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns that disrupt the status quo systems of the US government through massive non-compliant resistance.
We must also be clear that the Zimmerman verdict is a reflection of the times. 17-year old Trayvon Martin was the 31st Black person executed by someone employed or protected by the state in 2012. As we demonstrated in Operation Ghetto Storm, 313 Black women, men, and children were executed without trials by the police, security guards or certified “neighborhood watchmen” in 2012. These extrajudicial killings have by no means stopped or slowed down, as witnessed by the execution of Kimani Gray and dozens more Black people in the first six months of 2013. With the Zimmerman verdict justifying and setting new precedent for the disposal of Black life, we should expect the number of extrajudicial killings to increase. It is now more imperative than ever for us to strengthen the organization of our communities and defend ourselves. Continue reading →
California prisoners started a hunger strike and work actions today for basic human rights. Support their demands – join us for a demonstration at Corcoran Saturday – July 13th! Check out this new video!
Edited by Lucas Guilkey & Nicole Deane
Music: Fatgums ‘Kill the Vultures” & The Coup ‘My Favorite Mutiny’ Published on Jul 8, 2013
JULY 13TH RALLY AT CORCORAN
SIGN THE PLEDGE OF RESISTANCE and become part of the EMERGENCY RESPONSE NETWORK
In 2011, over 12,000 prisoners and their family and community members participated in statewide hunger strikes protesting the inhumane conditions in California’s Security Housing Units (SHU or solitary confinement). California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation promised meaningful reform as a result of those protests, but nothing meaningful has reached the people living in these cages. Prisoners have announced another hunger strike will begin July 8th because of CDCR’s failure to fulfill that promise. Continue reading →