[Reformists like Al Sharpton and Van Jones have continually appealed to activists to appeal to the Obama Administration and to Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, to get justice and relief and an end to routine police abuses and unending bloody killings (against black and brown people in large part ) from coast to coast. But this article reveals that such reformist appeals are deceptive and mis-directive. As people learn more about the systemic cause of ongoing police terror, many turn away from electoral solutions, and toward community-based self-defense organizing. — Frontlines ed.]
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at a cabinet meeting at the White House in February. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Teresa Sheehan, shown in 2013, was shot and wounded by San Francisco police officers at a mental health center in 2008. Ms. Sheehan’s civil rights lawsuit was argued at the Supreme Court in March. Credit Patricia C. Sheehan, via Associated Press
At Supreme Court, Eric Holder’s Justice Dept. Routinely Backs Officers’ Use of Force
New York Times, APRIL 21, 2015WASHINGTON — Teresa Sheehan was alone in her apartment at a mental health center, clutching what her lawyers said was a small bread knife and demanding to be left alone. San Francisco police officers, responding to a call from a social worker, forced open the door, blinded her with pepper spray and shot her.
It was the kind of violent police confrontation that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has frequently criticized in Cleveland, Albuquerque, Ferguson, Mo., and beyond. But last month, when Ms. Sheehan’s civil rights lawsuit reached the Supreme Court, the Justice Department backed the police, saying that a lower court should have given more weight to the risks that the officers faced.
[We are not accustomed to quoting the Bible, but sometimes the biblical words have become part of common culture, as in this: “Matthew 7:15-20, ‘You Will Know Them by Their Fruits’ — ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.Therefore by their fruits you will know them.'” Which is appropriate warned, when perusing the shifting claims and tides of Obama-ists like Angela Davis, whose latest statement (read down to her Guardian article) reaches into more radical territory to restore credibility. Davis, who partially broke with the path of the revisionist CPUSA many years ago, and who has made contributions to the growing prison abolitionist movement, still has promoted electoral-democratic-reform illusions about the imperialist system against revolutionary strategies. (our highlights, for emphasis). — Frontlines ed.]
From Black Agenda Report, by Glen Ford — March 27, 2012 — “Angela Davis Lost Her Mind Over Obama” — The “delusional effect” that swept Black America with the advent of the First Black President has warped and weakened the mental powers of some of our most revered icons – and it has been painful to behold. Earlier this month, Angela Davis diminished herself as a scholar and thinker in a gush of nonsense about the corporate executive in the White House. The occasion was a conference on Empowering Women of Color, in Berkeley, California. Davis shared the stage with Grace Lee Boggs, the 96-year-old activist from Detroit. The subject was social transformation, but Davis suddenly launched into how wonderful it felt to see people “dancing in the streets” when Barack Obama was elected. She called that campaign a “victory, not of an individual, but of…people who refused to believe that it was impossible to elect a person, a Black person, who identified with the Black radical tradition.”……There was a hush in the room, as if in mourning of the death of brain cells. Angela Davis was saying that Barack Obama is a man who identifies with the Black radical tradition. She said it casually, as if Black radicalism and Obama were not antithetical terms; as if everything he has written, said and done in national politics has not been a repudiation of the Black radical tradition; as if his rejection of his former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was not a thorough disavowal of the Black radical tradition. In his famous 2008 campaign speech in Philadelphia, Obama blamed such radicals for compounding the nation’s problems.
From Democracy Now, January 21, 2013 — Addressing the Peace Ball in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, the renowned author, educator and political activist Angela Davis urges those content with President Obama’s re-election to continue pushing him for social change. “This time around we cannot subordinate our aspirations and our hopes to presidential agendas,” Davis says. “Our passionate support for President Barack Obama … should also be expressed in our determination to raise issues that have been largely ignored or not appropriately addressed by the administration.”
And Angela today, adjusting her tone, more accurately and radical, to the shifting tides, as anger and defiance grow…………
“From Michael Brown to Assata Shakur, the racist state of America persists”
Although racist state violence has been a consistent theme in the history of people of African descent in North America, it has become especially noteworthy during the administration of the first African-American president, whose very election was widely interpreted as heralding the advent of a new, postracial era.
Hundreds Rally at Obama Campaign Offices for PFC Bradley Manning, Vets Arrested
Saturday, August 18, 2012
On August 16th, six veterans and activists in Oakland, CA, and six more in Portland, OR, were arrested at Obama campaign offices for occupying the spaces in solidarity with accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning. Dozens of veterans and anti-war demonstrators coordinated a West Coast set of actions that also included protests in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle.
Among the approximately 100 Oakland protesters was Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, who participated in the sit-in. He said, “We need more of this type of action if Bradley’s going to get the attention he deserves. We demonstrate for Bradley because he sacrificed for us, doing what was right despite potentially spending the rest of his life in jail.”
Protesters delivered a letter to campaign staff members, which they requested be sent to President Obama at the main campaign headquarters in Chicago. The letter demanded that President Obama pardon PFC Bradley Manning, accounting for both his abusive treatment in a Quantico prison cell and the president’s own unlawfully prejudicial remarks that Bradley “broke the law.”
Since President Obama was inaugurated, there have been over two thousand six hundred arrests of activists protesting in the US. Research shows over 670 people have been arrested in protests inside the US already in 2011, over 1290 were arrested in 2010, and 665 arrested in 2009. These figures certainly underestimate the number actually arrested as arrests in US protests are rarely covered by the mainstream media outlets which focus so intently on arrests of protestors in other countries.
Arrests at protest have been increasing each year since 2009. Those arrested include people protesting US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo, strip mining, home foreclosures, nuclear weapons, immigration policies, police brutality, mistreatment of hotel workers, budget cutbacks, Blackwater, the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, and right wing efforts to cut back collective bargaining.
These arrests illustrate that resistance to the injustices in and committed by the US is alive and well. Certainly there could and should be more, but it is important to recognize that people are fighting back against injustice. Continue reading →
A victory for the government in a federal court in New York City Monday marks another slide deeper into Dick Cheney’s “dark side” for the Obama Administration.
In a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been seeking to force the Pentagon to provide information about all captives it is holding at its huge prison facility at Bagram Airbase outside Kabul in Afghanistan, Federal District Judge Barbara Jones of the Southern District of New York has issued a summary judgement saying that the government may keep that information secret.
The lingering question is: Why does the US government so adamantly want to hide information about where captives were first taken into military custody, their citizenship, the length of their captivity, and the circumstances under which they were captured?
Says Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, “The military says that they can’t release the information because it would be a threat to national security, but they provided that information for the prisoners at Guantanamo.” Continue reading →