Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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What Attacks on GN Saibaba and Arundhati Roy Show About India

[The writer Mannish Sethi relates the court order to the arbitrary and malevolent character of law in India today.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Blind to justice

Why the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court — refusing Professor Saibaba bail and issuing a notice of contempt to Arundhati Roy — takes one’s breath away.

 

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Social activists staged a protest in Nagpur Thursday, demanding Saibaba’s release on bail. (Source: Express Photo)

 Law is no stranger to prejudice or moral anxieties. Judicial pronouncements can sometimes cast aside constitutional values and defer to societal biases masquerading as righteousness. The recurrence of “collective conscience” in terror cases, where the threat of terrorism looms so large that it can overshadow the lack of evidence, is only too well known. Even so, the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court takes one’s breath away. It rejected the regular bail plea moved by the lawyers of Delhi University professor, Saibaba, cancelled his interim bail which allowed him to receive treatment till December 31, and ordered him to surrender within 48 hours. Besides, the court issued a notice of criminal contempt to Arundhati Roy for her article, ‘Professor, POW’, published in Outlook magazine. The order will be remembered for its naked display of contempt for civil rights, partisanship and renunciation of judicial independence.

Wheelchair bound, Saibaba spent over a year in jail before the division bench of the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail on the plea of a social activist in June 2015. (Illustration by C R  Sasikumar)

Wheelchair bound, Saibaba spent over a year in jail before the division bench of the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail on the plea of a social activist in June 2015. (Illustration by C R Sasikumar)

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The System Says: All 59 Police Bullets Were Justified, Every One

4 San Francisco cops cleared in Alex Nieto killing

Four San Francisco police officers will not face charges for shooting and killing Alejandro “Alex” Nieto last year in Bernal Heights Park, because Nieto pointed a Taser shock weapon that the officers reasonably mistook for a pistol, the district attorney’s office said Friday.

The officers fired a total of 59 shots, District Attorney George Gascón said in a letter to Police Chief Greg Suhr. Two later-arriving officers opened fire on Nieto after they heard the popping of their colleagues’ gun blasts and believed Nieto was firing back, the letter said.

But Gascón’s report said all four officers had “continued to believe their lives were in danger … until Mr. Nieto’s head and weapon went down.”

The four — Lt. Jason Sawyer and Officers Roger Morse, Richard Schiff and Nathan Chew — had responded to witness reports that Nieto, a 28-year-old Mission resident, had a gun and was acting erratically on March 21.

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Protesters demanding justice for Alex Nieto march from Bernal Heights Park to the Federal Building in San Francisco, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. The demonstrators are angry that the police shot and killed Nieto, who was holding a taser, in the park early on March 21. San Francisco police released the names of four officers involved in the shooting on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, following a court order. Photo: Paul Chinn / Paul Chinn / The Chronicle / ONLINE_YES

The Broken System: No consequence, no confidence. A response to the non-indictment of Alex Nieto’s killers. 

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Michael Brown jury: putting a value on a black life in the United States

Protestors hold signs in Ferguson

Protestors in Ferguson, Missouri. ‘When black kids fill the jails and the morgues so disproportionately we are in a state of extreme dysfunction.’ Photograph: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

Is there a price to pay for summarily killing a man, or is it just what happens in Ferguson when one man has a badge and the other too much melanin?

 

 

In September 1955, an all-white jury took just 67 minutes to acquit Emmett Till’s killers. Till, 14, said either “Bye, baby” or wolf-whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Mississippi. Three days later his body was fished out of the Tallahatchie river with a bullet in his skull, an eye gouged out and his forehead crushed on one side. “If we hadn’t stopped to drink pop,” said one juror, “it wouldn’t have taken that long.”

In 2014, racism is more sophisticated but no less deadly. The grand jury investigating the killing of Michael Brown is taking its time. Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, in August. Wilson has been suspended on full pay and has not been charged. The four-month period that a panel usually convenes for expired last month. The judge gave the grand jury 60 more days to make a decision, so it has until January 7 to decide whether to indict Wilson. That’s a lot of pop.
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Cowardly, Hypocritical, Subservient Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Israeli Apartheid and Current War Crimes in Gaza

http://blackagendareport.com/content/cowardly-hypocritical-subservient-congressional-black-caucus-endorses-israeli-apartheid-and

Israeli president Shmon Peres meets with Marcia Fudge, chair of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and a delegation of the Congressional Caucus at the president's residence in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Mark Neyman/GPO/FLASH90)

                                         Israeli President Shimon Peres hosts Marcia Fudge, chair of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and a delegation of the caucus at the president’s residence in Jerusalem.  (February, 2014)

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, July 30, 2014

Back in the 1970s, when the Congressional Black Caucus began calling itself “the conscience of the Congress,” that was almost literally true. CBC members could be relied upon not just to reliably vote for raising wages and expenditures on housing, health care and education, but to keep the issues of full employment and opposition to unjust war near thefront of their public agendas.

By the late 1980s, a gaggle of former CBC staffers had moved through the revolving doors of elite affirmative action to become corporate lobbyists, with the same ethics and table manners as their white colleagues, but with black faces. Thanks in large part to their efforts, by 2000 a tsunami of corporate cash began filling up the coffers of incumbent CBC members, their black replacements, or in the cases of Alabama’s Earl Hilliard and Georgia’s Cynthia McKinney, their black opponents.

Only a single member of the CBC, Rep. Barabra Lee opposed President Bush’s blank check for invading anywhere he pleased in Septermber of 2001, and by the 2003 invasion of Iraq, four CBC members, some of them swimming in donations from military contractors, raced down to the White House to have their pictures taken with Bush as the bombs were about to explode over Baghdad.

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Anti-COINTELPRO demonstration at Nebraska State Capitol for the Omaha Two

Banner in support of the Omaha 2 in front of Nebraska capitol

By Michael Richardson, COINTELPRO Examiner
http://www.examiner.com/cointelpro-in-national/anti-cointelpro-demonstration-at-nebraska-state-capitol-for-the-omaha-two


March 15, 2012 | Omaha — Several dozen demonstrators spread a 30 foot banner across the entrance to the Nebraska State Capitol on Tuesday in behalf of the Omaha Two.  Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) are serving life sentences at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln for the 1970 murder of an Omaha policeman.

FBI Director J Edgar Hoover organized the special COINTELPRO program to eliminate the movements against racism and imperialism. The targets were Black activists and other radical and revolutionary people's movements. The methods were frame-ups and imprisonment, cold-blooded murder, and campaigns of media malignment. Hoover was FBI director from 1924 to 1972.

The Omaha Two were convicted after a COINTELPRO-tainted trial where Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover had ordered evidence withheld from the jury.  Poindexter and Mondo were leaders of Omaha’s Black Panther affiliate chapter and targets of Hoover’s clandestine war of counterintelligence against domestic political activists.

Serving 41 years in prison, the Omaha Two are among America’s longest-held political prisoners.

The capitol steps demonstration was organized by Ben Jones of the Anti-Oppression Art project.  Jones used Facebook to help recruit people to help hold the giant banner.

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa continue to maintain their innocence for the murder of Larry MInard, Sr. on August 17, 1970.  Minard and seven other Omaha police officers were lured to a vacant house by an anonymous 911 call about a woman screaming.  Instead of a woman, police found a booby-trapped suitcase filled with dynamite which exploded in Minard’s face as examined it.-

J. Edgar Hoover ordered the FBI crime laboratory to withhold a report on its analysis of a recording of the 911 call.  Omaha police had sent the tape to Washington to determine the identity of the anonymous caller.  The unknown caller presented a problem in making a case against the two Black Panther leaders. Continue reading

Videotaping Philadelphia Police–legal rights and repressive reality

Even a top cop concedes a right to video arrests – but the street tells a different story

September 03, 2011|
BY JAN RANSOM, ransomj@phillynews.com

TAMERA MEDLEY begged the police officer to stop slamming her head – over and over – into the hood of a police cruiser.

Thinking they were helping, passers-by Shakir Riley and Melissa Hurling both turned their cellphone video cameras toward the melee that had erupted on Jefferson Street in Wynnefield, they said.

But then the cops turned on them.

Riley had started to walk away when at least five baton-wielding cops followed him, he said, and they beat him, poured a soda on his face and stomped on his phone, destroying the video he had just taken.

Meanwhile, two officers approached Hurling, urged her to leave and, after exchanging a few words, slammed her against a police cruiser, Hurling said. They pulled her by her hair before tossing her into the back of a cop car, she said. Continue reading

Albuquerque, New Mexico: 13 dead from police shootings in past year–no justice in New Mexico

[More evidence of police impunity and the collapse of government accountability and credibility. — Frontlines ed.]

Albuquerque to seek federal probe of police conduct

By  | August 3, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE — Responding to continued pressure from civil-rights
advocates and the families of some of the 13 people killed by
Albuquerque police in recent months, the city council has narrowly
agreed to seek a federal probe of police shootings.

After several attempts to put off the issue, the council just before
midnight Monday, Aug. 1, passed 5-4 a resolution that directs the city
to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether there is
a pattern of civil-rights violations in the department.

Mayor Richard Berry’s office declined to say whether he would sign or
veto the measure. Continue reading