What Would Malcolm X Think?

An Opinion column in the New York Times, February 21, 2015


Malcolm X — Credit: Associated Press

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — FIFTY years ago today my father, Malcolm X, was assassinated while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City. I think about him every day, but even more in the last year, with the renewed spirit of civil rights activism after the tragic events in Ferguson, Mo., on Staten Island and in countless other parts of the country. What would he have to say about it?

People still look to Malcolm as a model for strident activism. They lament the lack of such a prominent, resonant voice in the modern dialogue about race. But they might not like some of the critical things he would have to say about the strategies of today’s activists.

Of course, my father would be heartened by the youth-led movement taking place across the nation, and abroad, in response to institutional brutality. And he would appreciate the protesters’ fervor and skillful use of social media to rapidly organize, galvanize and educate. In a sense, his ability to boil down hard truths into strong statements and catchy phrases presaged our era of hashtag activism. Continue reading

Philippines: Peasants Shut Down Trial of Political Prisoners

Tiamzon couple hearing suspended as Quezon City Courthouse Shuts Down

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court suspended work today, as peasants and activists protested on its grounds and called for the release of political prisoners Wilma and Benito Tiamzon.




MANILA – The pre-trial hearing of political prisoners Wilma and Benito Tiamzon was deferred today, Oct. 21, as the Quezon City Hall of Justice suspended work for the day at around 8:30 a.m., prompted by a protest of more than 1,000 peasants outside the court.

Detained Tiamzons cheering with peasant protesters (Photo by DEE AYROSO / bulatlat.com)

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India: Protesters “demanded water, but they gave us bullets”

Video grabs Policemen firing on farmers on the Pune Expressway

Aug 11, 2011 — Video grabs show policemen firing at the protestors on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Amnesty International issued a statement, “The Government of Maharashtra must ensure a thorough and fair inquiry into deaths during a protest by farmers, Amnesty International said today, after at least three people were killed when police fired on the demonstration on a highway in western India….Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that initially more than 200 police officials baton-charged and used teargas to clear the demonstrators from the expressway, after some of the protesters started stone-pelting the police officials and their vehicles….The police then used lethal force against the protesters….In all, about 80 protesters and 20 police officials sustained injuries and more than 250 protesters were arrested on various charges….The demonstrations are the latest in a series of protests in India by farmers and adivasis (Indigenous communities) over attempts to acquire land for industry or infrastructure development…”
Mihir Tanksale, TNN | Aug 11, 2011
PUNE: Villagers of Maval taluka initially refused to claim bodies but later gave up seeing the plight of the relatives of the three victims who died in the police firing on Tuesday. “We demanded water, but the police and the politicians gave us bullets,” said Macchindra Tile, who reached the Sassoon hospital on Wednesday to claim the body of his brother-in-law, Moreshwar Sathe, who died during the police firing on the Pune-Mumbai expressway on Tuesday.

Tile alleged that his brother-in-law was standing by the road side, but the police dragged him from the crowd and shot him at a point blank range. The post-mortem of all the three victims, Moreshwar Sathe, Kantabai Ankush Thakar and Sham Raghu Tupe, was conducted at the Sassoon hospital. According to the report, the cause of death of all the three victims was ‘death due to traumatic shock caused due to firearm.’ Relatives and villagers gathered outside the Sassoon hospital since Tuesday evening but refused to claim the bodies till action against police officers responsible for the incident was taken by the government. Continue reading

Minnesota: Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Stemming from 2008 RNC

[See the additional story of a second RNC 2008 case settlement, below. — Frontlines ed.]

Protesters at the Republican National Convention (2008) faced brutal police attacks, mass arrests, FBI infiltration and provocation, raids, serious injuries and imprisonment

June 1, 2011

by Scott Theisen

An anti-war protester wounded by a police projectile during the 2008 Republican National Convention has settled his excessive force lawsuit against the officer and cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Mick Kelly reached a settlement Wednesday. The dollar amount is confidential.

But Kelly says he’ll give $5,000 from the settlement to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, and he’ll donate to other progressive causes too.

Kelly was protesting Sept. 4, 2008, when authorities say he harassed a police horse with a banner, then lunged at an officer. Kelly denies those claims and says he did nothing wrong when he was shot in the abdomen with a marking round.

Kelly was bruised, but had no internal injuries.

An insurance policy is covering the city’s claims over alleged convention-related police misconduct.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.) Continue reading