Ferguson: Thug Illusion in a Media Revolution

[In the US in recent years, the prominence of the repressive arm of the state has grown to a larger scope than ever before.  The occupation of Black and Brown communities, migrant communities, of increasingly and permanently vulnerable communities of occasional and unstable work, of displaced and homeless communities, youth castaways from schools and jobs, from broken families and internally abusive communities, have all suffered from repeated rounds of criminalization, police violence and mass incarceration.  Such attacks have been endorsed, promoted and justified in daily hysterical media accounts, in political and religious and cultural campaigns for ever-enlarging police forces, for overt and covert racist profiling, for militarization of police, and for multiplying the surveillance and snitch networks.  Opposition to these measures has also grown, and protest movements have also become major targets for political suppression and for beatings, arrests, and killings by cops, all reaching epidemic levels.

Not only does this repression hit at the increasingly re-proletarianized sections of the so-called “middle class” but many from the most oppressed peoples have joined the new and recurrent protest movements, at great personal risk.  Those who have histories of arrests and imprisonment and participation in many illegal and semi-legal pursuits have along with other sectors become politicized and have joined together to change the system.  In a number of cities, gang members have pointedly and significantly stood together, in de facto truces with each other, to defend their communities from attack – a pattern rarely, if ever, reported.  If anything, the twisted reports which occur in the media, are always of the horrifying and frightening “thuggishness” of protest movements.  This is a central ingredient of the media assault on all militant protest movements which now terms such protests as “terrorist.” 

The following article from revolution-news.com, describes these features as they have been seen in Ferguson, Missouri, and in the protest movements that have grown nationwide in recent months.  A largely untold story, we appreciate the courage of revolution-news in bringing it to light.  —  Frontlines ed.]

2/16/2015, Revolution News

“The revolution won’t be televised ya’ll know that.
And if it does get televised they gonna make it look as bad as possible.” – Shoota

The nationwide protests after the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson have brought much needed attention to issues of institutional racism, police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men across the US. The #BlackLivesMatter protests have also brought people together and created unity in black communities throughout the country.

Mainstream media (MSM) broadcast images from Ferguson of stores being looted and buildings up in flames. The images shown in MSM succeeded in creating a massive media spectacle. MSM combined with some elements in social media also managed to push false narratives into the public discourse regarding who exactly was in the Ferguson streets and what they were doing there. The narrative that “thugs” were causing destruction and mayhem in Ferguson was amplified in MSM in attempts to smear and discredit the #BlackLivesMatter protests. But who are these so-called “thugs” running amok in Missouri? Continue reading

United States: Young Black males 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police

Monday, November 3, 2014

Young black males are at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police in the United States than their white counterparts, a new study has found.

The killing of Michael Brown in Missouri prompted this Chicago protest against police violence.

Salon.com said on October 13 that Black youths were 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police, according to a ProPublica analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings between 2010 and 2012.
The 1217 deadly police shootings over that time captured in the federal data show that Blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million. The study found just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.

Continue reading

The People–Not the System–will solve the Problem of White Supremacist Murders

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 todos con una misma direcciónmillions 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

Niger: US considering new drone base in Africa

[Other reports have said that the US is already utilizing numerous remote airstrips throughout Africa for drone surveillance, and are actively preparing them for armed drone deployments. As this article points out, the utilization of drones is accompanying the AFRICOM deployment of military trainers to nearly every African Union country, to enable the US and EU’s intensified “scramble for Africa” against competing imperial countries whose efforts have been largely confined (so far) to the economic seizure of African resources. — Frontlines ed.]

30 January, 2013

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a small US-made drone drone that the Ugandan military uses in Somalia to fight al-Qaida linked militants (AFP Photo / Pool / Jacquelyn Martin)

[Photo:  US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a small US-made drone drone that the Ugandan military uses in Somalia to fight al-Qaida linked militants (AFP Photo / Pool / Jacquelyn Martin)]

The US is planning to consolidate its position in Africa with a new drone outpost in Niger, with the stated purpose of providing unarmed surveillance support to French efforts in Mali and keeping tabs on al-Qaeda elements on the continent.

The robotic unmanned aircraft would likely be based in Niger, on the eastern border of Mali, where French forces are currently waging a campaign against Al-Qaeda, AFP reported, quoting an anonymous official.

If the plan is approved, up to 300 US military servicemembers and contractors could be sent to the base to operate the drone aircraft, the New York Times reported. US Africa Command is also considering another location as an alternative to the base in Burkina Faso, the official said.

However, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland reiterated that there are no plans to commit US troops to any fighting on the ground.

In the future, the US command does not rule out using the base to conduct military strikes if the situation deteriorates or the extremist threat increases, military officials told The New York Times. Continue reading

Update on Tracking Police Murders: Every 36 Hours a Black Person is Murdered by the Law Enforcement

This episode of  Critical Insight we were joined by Kali Akuno of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement to discuss their 2012 report detailing the fact that every 36 hours (at least) a Black person is extra-judiciously executed by “Law Enforcement” within the United States. Please watch this episode to to hear Mr. Akuno discuss the more recent developments regarding this report, how the corporate media has tried to marginalize it, and what you can do to help make a positive impact. Your support is needed.

Sources:  Critical Insight, Navigating the Storm

Afghanistan: False promise of withdrawal, is now long term US troop plan

AFP Photo / Shah Marai
[Obama’s election promises notwithstanding, the Afghan troops trained by US and NATO forces cannot be trusted by imperialism to be loyal and effective gendarmes of the post-occupation neo-colonial system.  So, it is now announced, the US will carry on its training and counterinsurgency operations, indefinitely.  — Frontlines ed.]
————————————–

10k US troops to stay in Afghanistan past 2014 deadline

26 November, 2012

Ten thousand US troops will stay in Afghanistan past 2014, senior officials say, despite earlier demands from President Barack Obama to end the war during the second year of his upcoming term.

Most of the 66,000 or so troops currently positioned in Afghanistan will be removed by Pres. Obama’s predetermined deadline, the sources say, but a substantial amount of Americans will be asked to remain indefinitely to conduct training and counterterrorism operations after allied North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops are expunged in late 2014.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Gen. John Allen, the top US commander overseeing the war in Afghanistan, proposed that anywhere from 6,000 to 15,000 troops remain overseas following the end of the current NATO operation occurring there. A number closer to 10,000 was established after top Obama administration officials reached a compromise with the Pentagon, the paper reports. Continue reading

Is the US Olympic System as Abusive as China’s?

[In war times, xenophobia reaches new levels in distorting and fueling hatred toward successful challengers of US domination.  And xenophobia displays an especially prominent role in the media coverage in Olympic years, belittling and denouncing any strong competitors of the US in sports.  David Zirin describes how this played out, this week.  — Frontlines ed.]
———–

The spectacle of the 2012 London Olympics should be subtitled: “the bashing of the Chinese Athlete.” Yesterday, Andrew Jacobs of the New York Times published a much discussed piece called “Heavy Burden on Athletes Takes Joy Away From China’s Olympic Success.” In it, all kinds of “concerns” are raised about the toll “the nation’s draconian sports system” is taking on the country’s athletes. It tells tales of poverty, loneliness, and despair amongst China’s sports stars once the cheering has stopped. Their athletes are described as being exploited by an unfeeling government monolith that acted as a surrogate family until they were no longer of any use. Parents of China’s Olympians are quoted saying, “We accepted a long time ago that she doesn’t belong to us. I don’t even dare think about things like enjoying family happiness.” Other parents tell of not being able to recognize their own children after years apart.

The other dominant story about China are the continuing unfounded allegations that 16 year old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen took performance enhancing drugs to win gold. Executive director of the American Swim Coaches Association John Leonard called Shiwen’s world record 400-meter individual medley swim “disturbing.” He is also continuing to describe her closing freestyle leg of 58.68 seconds, as “impossible.”

There have been a series of ugly articles about Shiwen, none uglier perhaps than a piece by UK’s Daily Mail’s David Jones titled, Forging of the Mandarin Mermaid: How Chinese children are taken away from their home and brutalized into future Olympians. Not “trained” but “brutalized.” Continue reading

Memorial Day: While the system glorifies imperialist war, the people remember the victims of their war crimes — Hiroshima/Nagasaki

USA Terrorism: HIROSHIMA / NAGASAKI Atomic Bomb

This video is a clip from a BBC Documentary called “BBC History of World War II: Hiroshima (2005)”. It is available on DVD
The US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the largest international terrorist attack in history.  This attack was the only time that atomic or nuclear weapons have been used.

“Terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation against civilians in the pursuit of political aims.
In the Geneva and Hague Conventions, which in turn are based upon the basic principle that the deliberate harming of
soldiers during wartime is a necessary evil, and thus permissible, whereas the deliberate targeting of civilians is absolutely forbidden.

These Conventions thus differentiate between soldiers who attack a military adversary, and war criminals who deliberately
attack civilians.”

Trayvon Martin and the Need for an Independent Human Rights Movement

[The author calls for a “National Alliance for Racial Justice and Human Rights” to escape the constraining web of “liberal” cause funders that lack “any connection to grassroots organizations or popular social change networks, alliances or coalitions.” Genuine human rights defenders realize that comprehensive demands can “only be realized when there is a shift in power away from the capitalist state and the white supremacist Republican and Democratic parties.” — intro by Black Agenda Report]

Trayvon Martin and the Need for an Independent Human Rights Movement

byAjamu Baraka

Mainstream formations dominated by middle-class lawyers seem to be unable to see or understand the major impact that Trayvon Martin’s case is having in the Black community.”

The irrelevant, disconnected, abstract chatter that we see on the “mainstream” human rights listserves as it relates to issues that Black and oppressed communities are concerned with – and concomitant complete lack of substantive discussion about the Trayvon Martin case – demonstrates once again the need for a formation that centers the perspectives, interests and political objectives of human rights defenders from oppressed communities who are grounded in a radical understanding of human rights.

Mainstream formations dominated by middle-class lawyers seem to be unable to see or understand the major impact that Trayvon Martin’s case is having in the Black community, and the progressive social change movement in general. Limited by their race and class perspectives (including “people of color” who have not dealt with their internalized white supremacist influences), and lacking any connection to grassroots organizations or popular social change networks, alliances or coalitions, they are unable to grasp when conditions are created that could allow for the advancement of a human rights understanding and framing that could influence the national discourse. Continue reading

Trayvon Martin is All of US!

Demand Obama institute a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice to end the epidemic of Black murders 

http://www.ushrnetwork.org/content/actionalert/trayvon-martin-petition-learn-and-sign-now

The murder of Trayvon Martin is no isolated tragedy. The murder of Black men and women by police and other state officials and by self-appointed “keepers of the peace” is standard practice in the United States, and essential to the very fabric of the society. Since the European colonization of North America, Black life has been disposable. Despite the many proclamations that the society is color blind and moving into a post-racial phase, the summary execution of Trayvon Martin and at least 29[1] other Black women and men murdered by the Police, Security Guards or vigilantes in 2012 alone demonstrates that Black life continues to be regarded with short worth.

State sanctioned or justified murder of Black people in theUnited Statesis systemic, and more than just a set of random and isolated incidents. The solution to this pervasive crime against humanity cannot rely on local district attorneys for justice. We have to demand more than just investigations and individual prosecutions. We have to demand that the federal government take action and uphold its obligations under International Human Rights Law to protect historically discriminated groups such as Blacks. Continue reading

Greece Joins Israel-USA Military Exercise in Southern Mediterranean

[Some say the bankruptcy of the Greek economy is pulling its puppet government into compliance with — and service to — the geo-strategic, military and hegemonic energy needs of the US, EU, and Israel.  But the people of Greece and Cyprus have not been considered as these arrangements have been made. — Frontlines ed.]
By on March 28, 2012 in News, Greek Reporter

At the same time the tripartite energy agreement will be signed between Greece, Israel and Cyprus on Thursday at Kavouri of Vouliagmeni, Athens, in the presence of Richard Morningstar, the special envoy of the US Foreign Affairs Ministry, a large-scale aeronautical military exercise will be taking place in the Southern Mediterranean.

According to defencenet.gr, Greece, Israel and USA will launch their joint military exercise from Crete to Haifa against “virtual enemy forces” that bear great resemblance to the Turkish aeronautical forces in this particular military operation scenario.

“Noble Dina” was initially planned to take place in April just like in 2011. However, it was decided that the military exercise should coincide with the date of the energy agreement signing between the three countries of the Southeastern Mediterranean. Thus, it would underline that the cooperation between Israel, Greece and the US does not only concern energy but military affairs as well.

Defencenet.gr reported that the implied “message” goes to Ankara, which for the time is a barrier to the common interests of Israel and USA in the broader region. The exercise is taking place only a few days after Turkey had claimed that the same thing that happened in Imia would also happen to the Eastern Mediterranean. Continue reading

All the pharoahs must fall

(click this link) [all the pharoahs must fall]

by Hossam El-Hamalawy

Mohamed Bouazizi didn’t have a permit to sell fruit

didn’t have government permission to earn a living
to live.
the police took his fruit and slapped his face
he went to the governor’s office. they refused to see him
he poured paint thinner on his body
and lit the match

all the pharaohs must fall

we needed inspiration, to be awakened
in our bodies, our lives made present
here we are
the world is not right, just or fair
the most have the least
the least have the most

all the pharaohs must fall

all the kings of jordan
all the queens of england
all the bridges crumbling
dictators like dominos
israel is a pharaoh
and must fall. all the leaders
with colonial control
who ransack resources
in Africa, who steal
lives in east oakland
who protect jon burge

all the pharaohs must fall

all the pharaohs who reign
over fruitsellers and farmers
the world over
the world is over

all the pharaohs must fall

the tycoons and filthy rich
heads of state on the chopping block
chairmen ousted from their seats.
there are many ways to do this
the giant is waking, it is the body
of the people who have little
to fall back on. no doctor or bank
account. the people who hand to mouth
who check to check. all this
scrounging kept us occupied.
all the gathering of crumbs
left us looking at the ground
but the bodies ablaze have given
us literal whitman’s, at wits end
they sing the body electrocuted
incinerated, sparks to wake us in the war machine
wake us in the mineshaft stuffing richmen’s pockets
wake us in our second job, our second mortgage, our second marriage
wake us in the routinized mechanics of our own labor
wake us cleaning gold toilet bowls, searing foie gras
all security guards, fast food line cooks and cashiers
all barbers and teachers, basket weavers and tea makers
all field hands and construction workers
all women with needles and men with hammers
all bodies who drive or lift, who sweep or cook
every body who takes away, who takes orders
every body whose body needs a break or bus pass
who needs an eye exam or job or a better job
every body whose body is uninsured, under fed
unaccounted for by governments and corporations
who bureaucratize their love

wake in this new day
look around
neighbors are allies
we don’t have to compete with
we can ally and fight with them
there are more of us
who don’t drill or bomb or legislate
more of us who 3rd shift and wash dishes
more of us who forge papers and sneak over fences
more of us worried about unlawful arrests
and whose worry arrests in the night without sleep

wake in this new day
we will all die soon
let us live while we have the chance
while we have this day
to build and plot and devise
to create and make the world
just
this time for us
this time for all
this time the pharaohs must fall

“Kevin Coval – All the pharoahs must fall” by Hossam El-Hamalawy is licensed under a Creative Commons License

Obama’s Guantanamo failure

10-year anniversary highlights Obama’s Guantanamo failure

EuroNews, 11/01/12

It has been 10 years since the first prisoners arrived at the Guantanamo detention centre in Cuba.

A total of 779 prisoners have passed through the naval base since it started holding prisoners suspected of having links to al-Qaeda after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2002. Today 171 detainees are still kept there.

According to Hina Shamsi, Director of the National Security Project at the ACLU, the milestone is nothing to celebrate: “On the 10-year anniversary of Guantanamo, it could not be more clear that the place is a catastrophic failure legally, ethically, morally, and in terms of our national security. It is a place that was a laboratory for torture and represents the principle of indefinite military detention without charge or trial by the United States. It is a failure of our democratic values and the time has come to close it.”

The US Congress has blocked the transfer of Guantanamo inmates to custody in other countries, making a mockery of President Barack Obama’s promise when he stated: “Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now.” Continue reading

Abusive, Xenophobic Detentions, Inc.: A Lucrative Global Growth Industry

September 28, 2011

Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit

By , New York Times

The men showed up in a small town in Australia’s outback early last year, offering top dollar for all available lodgings. Within days, their company, Serco, was flying in recruits from as far away as London, and busing them from trailers to work 12-hour shifts as guards in a remote camp where immigrants seeking asylum are indefinitely detained.

It was just a small part of a pattern on three continents where a handful of multinational security companies have been turning crackdowns on immigration into a growing global industry.

Especially in Britain, the United States and Australia, governments of different stripes have increasingly looked to such companies to expand detention and show voters they are enforcing tougher immigration laws.

Some of the companies are huge — one is among the largest private employers in the world — and they say they are meeting demand faster and less expensively than the public sector could.

Resistance to abusive detention is growing. Here, The Woomera Detention Center, in Australia, was the scene of a detainee breakout in 2002.

But the ballooning of privatized detention has been accompanied by scathing inspection reports, lawsuits and the documentation of widespread abuse and neglect, sometimes lethal. Human rights groups say detention has neither worked as a deterrent nor speeded deportation, as governments contend, and some worry about the creation of a “detention-industrial complex” with a momentum of its own.

“They’re very good at the glossy brochure,” said Kaye Bernard, general secretary of the union of detention workers on the Australian territory of Christmas Island, where riots erupted this year between asylum seekers and guards. “On the ground, it’s almost laughable, the chaos and the inability to function.” Continue reading