8/30/2020

Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, August 30, 2020


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Right-Winger Attacks Socialists in Stamford


Join in solidarity with Socialist Resurgence on Sept. 4 at our next

 pop-up revolutionary bookstore 

in Stamford, Conn., at 4 p.m. Help defend our right to free 

speech. An injury to one is an injury to 

all!


By ERWIN FREED, August 29, 2020

https://socialistresurgence.org/2020/08/29/right-winger-attacks-socialists-in-stamford/
Socialist Resurgence table immediately after attack.

On Friday, Aug. 28, Socialist Resurgence’s weekly “Pop Up Revolutionary Bookstore” in Stamford, Conn., was attacked by a man shouting, “Not in my country!”

 

The man flipped over the book table and began tearing down banners and flags. Fortunately no one was hurt. For several weeks prior to the attack, members of Socialist Resurgence have been selling books, buttons, and pamphlets in Stamford, and have had a great response from the community. Kim, walking with her grandchild, donated $20 and pinned a trans liberation Socialist Resurgence button on her grandson. David, a veteran of the struggle for Black liberation, bought a book on Malcolm X and Leon Trotsky’s “Fascism: What it is and how to fight it.”

 

Lupe Agrado, a furloughed hotel banquet server and member of Local 217 Unite Here, said after hearing news of the attack, “I’m really angry that this person fears the truth and felt the need to try and silence it by destroying a book table.” She continued, “I’ll be there at the bookstore next week standing in solidarity. I hope others join me.”

 

The attack in Stamford is a reflection of the broader violence done to Black, Latinx, immigrant, and women workers and youth in the city by police, big business, and vigilantes. Recently, on Aug. 8, police brutally assaulted activists who were marching for justice for Steven Barrier, a 23 year old who died at the hands of police in October 2019. The police attack took place in the same location as the SR pop-up bookstore.

 

This reflects a nationwide wave of attacks on activists by far-right vigilantes. The latest incidents include the actions of an armed militia group in Kenosha, Wis., which included in its ranks Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two activists and severely wounded another. Armed groups of vigilantes have harassed, and sometimes violently attacked, BLM demonstrators in Portland, Philadelphia, New York City, and many other cities and towns. At least 60 incidents have taken place in which people have used cars to slam into protesters at Black Lives Matter rallies.

 

Overall, this is a reflection of the violence perpetrated by the federal government, in actions ranging from bombing workers in foreign countries to sending in federal agents to U.S. cities to repress and kidnap protesters. In some areas, local police have given support and expressed their “thanks” to the armed rightists, and elected politicians have sometimes appeared at their events. Representatives of both major capitalist parties have unleashed the police on protesters standing for racial justice. The attack on Socialist Resurgence is part of a national attack on all workers’ rights to organize.

 

We call for an end to police terror, vigilante violence, and state repression. We refuse to give an inch to right-wing vigilantism; we immediately set up a new book table. Friday’s incident shows that the workers’ movement needs to defend itself, through large solidarity contingents and by making sure to spread the message of workers’ power.

 

Donating to Socialist Resurgence’s summer fund drive helps send a message and will help recover the costs of damaged materials.  See:

 https://socialistresurgence.org/2020/06/02/please-contribute-to-the-socialist-resurgence-fund-drive/


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Bayview Hunters Point Says: We Can't Breathe

This action was postponed until Tuesday, 

September 1, 2020 due to the bad air quality.

bvhpwecantbreathesf.jpg



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The six remaining Kings Bay Plowshares defendants have had their sentencing dates moved from September to October 15 and 16. They had requested a continuance because they want to appear in open court in Georgia and the virus situation there is still too out of control to safely allow it. 

Steve Kelly has now served almost 29 months in county jails since the action in April, 2018 so has already met the guidelines for his likely sentence. The court may not want to grant him further extensions. (You can send a postcard to Steve to let him know you're thinking of him. Directions on writing here.

The other defendants are not sure if they would prefer to seek more continuances or choose virtual appearances for sentencing in solidarity with Steve on those dates in October if it appears unsafe to travel to Georgia at that time. Check the website for updates.

September 9 will be the 40thanniversary of the first plowshares action in King of Prussia, PA. Eight activists, known as the Plowshares Eight, entered the GE plant where nosecones for nuclear missile warheads were manufactured. They hammered on several and poured blood on the nosecones and documents.  


There will be a virtual Commemoration of the Plowshares 8 on September 9 at 7 pm ET sponsored by Stop Banking on the Bomb and other Pittsburgh based organizations. Molly Rush, Dean Hammer and John Schuchardt (three of the four living members of the group) will participate in a discussion and reflect on the action which sparked 100 similar acts of disarmament over the years. A summary of the history can be found here: https://kingsbayplowshares7.org/plowshares-history 


Email Joyce Rothermel at <rothermeljoyce@gmail.com> to get the Zoom link for Sept 9.

Emile de Antonio’s 1983 film, In the King of Prussia, is about the trial of the Plowshares Eight. The judge is played by Martin Sheen and the defendants are played by themselves. It’s available for viewing on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUph8GWFupE


The Plowshares 8: Fr. Carl Kabat, O.M.I., Elmer Mass, Phil Berrigan, Molly Rush, Fr. Dan Berrigan, S.J., Sr. Anne Montgomery, R.S.C.J., John Schuchardt, and Dean Hammer

You can read Fr. Daniel Berrigan’s reflections on the Plowshares Eight action from the book Swords Into Plowshares: Nonviolent Direct Action for Disarmament (1987), edited by Art Laffin and Anne Montgomery: http://www.nukeresister.org/2015/09/08/swords-into-plowshares-fr-daniel-berrigans-reflections-on-the-plowshares-8-nuclear-disarmament-action/

Here’s an article written by Anna Brown and Mary Anne Muller ten years ago, for the 30th anniversary: https://wagingnonviolence.org/2010/09/the-plowshares-8-thirty-years-on/

And here is a 1990 New York Times article about the Plowshares Eight: https://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/11/us/eight-sentenced-in-1980-protest-at-nuclear-unit.html

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares; their spears into pruning hooks. One nation shall not lift sword against another. Nor shall they train for war anymore.” (Is. 2:4) 






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Love is in the air." The Heart over the Golden Gate Bridge, a photo by Bruce Forrester from the celebration for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Produced by Antenna Theater.

MEDIA ADVISORY

  

Let’s Give the People of the Bay Area Something to Smile About!

  

THE HEART OF SAN FRANCISCO!

LABOR DAY, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2020

A free public event for the entire Bay Area presented 

by Antenna Theater

antenna-theater.org

Sponsored by

Sausalito Art Festival

  

Contact: Annette Rose, arose@antenna-theater.org 415 578 2435 Day of event, 415 342 3985

Why:

The Heart of San Francisco is a COVID-19 safe spectacular. Knowing we are all yearning for shared experiences, whether in a symphonic hall or a sports arena, Antenna decided to use that great asset, the San Francisco Bay, as an amphitheater to create such an experience!

  

What / Where:

A skywriting plane will draw four hearts over the Bay Area. Each Heart will be a mile high, and visible from yards, decks, buildings, marinas, and shorelines.* The first Heart will be drawn over the Golden Gate Bridge, then the plane will fly to Angel Island, Treasure Island and mid-Market Street.

Vessels of all kinds will sail and motor the Bay to watch the Hearts being created. The flotilla will be proudly headed by the tall ship, Matthew Turner

*If you leave your property, remember to wear a mask and practice safe social distancing

  

When:

2 pm: On Labor Day, vessels will begin to gather near the Golden Gate Bridge.

2:30 pm: A livestream audio and video show, available via our YouTube channel, will begin. SEE ANTENNA THEATER WEB SITE FOR DETAILS. http://antenna-theater.org/ Live commentary broadcast from near the GGB will present both pre-recorded and live views of this day around the Bay. Music and performance pieces are included.

3 pm: The sky plane will begin drawing the Heart of San Francisco above the Golden Gate, followed by subsequent hearts. 

4:30 pm: The fourth heart is drawn above mid-Market Street to assure that folks in the Mission, Castro and surrounding neighborhoods may join in the fun. Live stream ends.

  

ANTENNA THEATER HOPES SMILES ARE MANY AND HEARTS SOAR!

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cubanobel.org
Do Trump and coronavirus have you down? Then join us on September 26 to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of one of the world’s most beautiful projects: Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade!

Dear carole,

The Henry Reeve Brigade will celebrate its 15th anniversary next month! Yes, it will have been 15 years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and prompted then-Cuban president Fidel Castro to offer to send doctors to help treat patients in the storm’s aftermath. The US government refused this offer, but Cuba was not deterred from wanting to show the world some much needed solidarity. 

Since its founding, the brave women and men of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade have given emergency medical assistance to more than 3.5 million people in over 50 countries. To honor their compassion and commitment, we will hear directly from Cuban doctors working on the frontlines of the pandemic. 

What: Cuban Doctors Speak: 15 years of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade

When: Saturday, September 26 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT

Where: Online via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook. 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

There’s even more good news: Danny Glover will be on with us to offer his commentary, and journalist/author Vijay Prashad will host this fascinating conversation! Please join Danny, Vijay, and the Cuban medical personnel for this celebratory event. We promise it will nurture your soul.

In solidarity,
Alicia Jrakpo and Medea Benjamin

P.S. The attacks on Cuba’s medical internationalism are not stopping! Even Human Rights Watch (HRW), a liberal NGO, has joined in on the Trump administration’s campaign to slander this amazing example of solidarity. If you have not already, please read the rebuttal to the HRW report  then sign and share the petition asking HRW to retract their flawed report!

Also, Vijay Prashad has just published a lovely article about why Cuban doctors deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Check it out!

P.P.S. 1980 Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel just made a video endorsing the Nobel for Cuban Doctors campaign! Click here to watch it!

Want to make your own short video explaining why you support the Henry Reeve Brigade? Upload it to Twitter and tag @CubaNobel. Then we’ll be happy to like and retweet it! It’s a great way of spreading the word about the campaign.

We look forward to working with you to continue the aspirations of the Nobel Peace Prize for the Cuban Doctors campaign.  Watch for our upcoming webinars and film series.


Remember to follow us in social media: 

  instagram-cuba_nobel.png
  

In friendship,
Alicia Jrapko and Medea Benjamin 
Co-Chairs of the Cuba Nobel Prize Committee

Donate Now!


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To update your email subscription, contact contact@cubanobel.org.

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SHUT DOWN CREECH in the age of COVID-19


Creech Anti-drone Resistance, Fall Action:   


Sept. 27 - Oct. 3, 2020

Co-sponsored by CODEPINK & Veterans For Peace

Now that the online Veterans For Peace National Convention is coming to a close, many of you hopefully are re-invigorated to pump up your activism and peacemaking efforts. The many informative workshops and discussions at the convention underlined U.S. militarism and it’s multifaceted disastrous impact on the world.  "Now what can I do," you ask?

Please join us for all or part of this fall’s week of convergence at Creech Killer Drone Base in Nevada, north of Las Vegas.  Though the pandemic is in full force, we are committed to be at Creech for a full week of drone resistance.  What better way to work against U.S. Empire than to stand strong against the racist weapons that terrorize communities and brutally murder people remotely?

We will be sending out a detailed update around August 20, but at this point we plan to 100% camp outside to insure the safety of all of us during the Covid pandemic.  We will provide meals throughout the week.

Please go to www.ShutDownCreech.blogspot.com for more details.

Are you planning to join us?

Please register HERE, asap, to help us prepare ahead.

Contact us for any questions.  We hope to see you there!

In peace and justice,
Toby, Maggie, and Eleanor

CODEPINK, Women for Peace






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Urgent Action: Garifuna leader and 3 community members kidnapped and disappeared in Honduras

Share This 
On the morning of Saturday, July 18, Garifuna leader Snider Centeno and other three members of the Triunfo de la Cruz community where kidnapped and disappeared by a group of men wearing bullet proof vests with the initials of the Honduran National Police (DPI in Spanish). The DPI is the Investigative Police Directorate and when it was formed years ago, was trained by the United States. As of this Monday Morning, there is still no word on the whereabouts of Mr. Centeno, Milton Joel Marínez, Suami Aparicio Mejía and El Pri (nickname).
Snider was the president of the elected community council in Triunfo de la Cruz and his community received a favorable sentence from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2015. However, the Honduran state has still not respected it. The kidnapping and disappearance of Snider and the 3 other men is another attack against the Garifuna community and their struggle to protect their ancestral lands and the rights of afro-indigenous and indigenous people to live.
National and international pressure forced the Honduran Ministry of Human Rights to put out a statement urging authorities to investigate and act. Your support can make the difference!
For more information and updated on what is happening in Honduras, please follow the Honduras Solidarity Network

Contact Us

Alliance for Global Justice
225 E 26th St Ste 1

Tucson, Arizona 85713-2925
202-540-8336
afgj@afgj.org
Follow Us 
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Party for Socialism and Liberation

Gloria La Riva nominated by Peace and Freedom Party in California

Now on the ballot in California, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and New Mexico!
Longtime San Francisco labor and anti-war activist Gloria La Riva was chosen today as the Peace and Freedom Party nominee for U. S. President. The party's state central committee cast 62 votes for La Riva and 3 votes for Howie Hawkins, with three abstentions. Anti-racist and disability rights advocate Sunil Freeman of Washington DC was then chosen without opposition as the party's nominee for Vice President.
La Riva received over 2/3 of the vote for the nomination in the March primary, but the State Central Committee's action Saturday will officially place the La Riva / Freeman ticket on California's November general election ballot. They will appear in a number of other states on the ballot lines of the Vermont Liberty Union Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Gloria La Riva said "We are honored to be the nominees of the Peace and Freedom Party. We are running not just to represent voters, but to represent the millions without the right to vote: undocumented immigrants, permanent residents, prisoners and parolees who are unable to cast a ballot. This is their country too."
Kevin Akin of Riverside, the new California State Chair of the party, reports that the ticket expects to get more votes in California than in any other state. "It's a clear way for a voter to show support for peace, socialism, and the immediate needs of the working class."

Read our Campaign Statements

Gloria La Riva Condemns Israeli Annexation Plan Calls for Solidarity with Palestinian People and End to U.S. Aid to Israel

Upcoming Events


Follow the campaign on twitter
Questions? Comments? Contact us.
You can also keep up with the PSL on Twitter or Facebook.
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https://www.nlg.org/federalrepressionresources/

Resources for Resisting Federal Repression

Since June of 2020, activists have been subjected to an increasingly aggressive crackdown on protests by federal law enforcement. The federal response to the movement for Black Lives has included federal criminal charges for activists, door knocks by federal law enforcement agents, and increased use of federal troops to violently police protests. 

The NLG National Office is releasing this resource page for activists who are resisting federal repression. It includes a link to our emergency hotline numbers, as well as our library of Know-Your-Rights materials, our recent federal repression webinar, and a list of some of our recommended resources for activists. We will continue to update this page. 

Please visit the NLG Mass Defense Program page for general protest-related legal support hotlines run by NLG chapters.

Emergency Hotlines

If you are contacted by federal law enforcement you should exercise all of your rights. It is always advisable to speak to an attorney before responding to federal authorities. 

State and Local Hotlines

If you have been contacted by the FBI or other federal law enforcement, in one of the following areas, you may be able to get help or information from one of these local NLG hotlines for: 

National Hotline

If you are located in an area with no hotline, you can call the following number:

Know Your Rights Materials

The NLG maintains a library of basic Know-Your-Rights guides. 

WEBINAR: Federal Repression of Activists & Their Lawyers: Legal & Ethical Strategies to Defend Our Movements: presented by NLG-NYC and NLG National Office

We also recommend the following resources: 

Center for Constitutional Rights

Civil Liberties Defense Center

Grand Jury Resistance Project

Katya Komisaruk

Movement for Black Lives Legal Resources

Tilted Scales Collective

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 Reality Winner Tests Positive for COVID, Still Imprisoned
With great anguish, I’m writing to share the news that NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, still in federal prison, has tested positive for COVID-19. Winner, despite her vulnerable health conditions, was denied home release in April – the judge’s reasoning being that the Federal Medical Center, Carswell is “presumably better equipped than most to deal with the onset of COVID-19 in its inmates”. 
Since that ruling, COVID infections at Carswell have exploded, ranking it now as second highest in the nation for the number of cases, and substantially increasing the likelihood that its medical capacity will be overwhelmed.
This news comes one week after Trump’s commutation of convicted felon Roger Stone, and two months after the home release of Trump’s convicted campaign manager, Paul Manafort:

Roger Stone’s Freedom Is All the More Outrageous While Reality Winner Languishes in Prison

Donald Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s prison sentence is galling on numerous levels. It’s a brazen act of corruption and an egregious obstruction of an ongoing investigation of the President and his enablers. There are few figures less worthy of clemency than a Nixonian dirty trickster like Stone. But the final twist of the knife is that Reality Winner, the honest, earnest, anti-Stone of the Russian meddling saga, remains in federal prison.

Continue Reading
Please share this with your networks, and stand with us in support of Reality Winner and her family during this critical time.
Thank you,
 
Jesselyn Radack
Director
Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR)
ExposeFacts
Twitter: @JesselynRadack

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WHISPeR Project at ExposeFacts 1627 Eye Street, NW Suite 600 Washington, DC 20006 

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 JUSTICE INITIATIVE
Note: Below are comments from Ambassador Andrew Young, who is also the former Mayor of Atlanta. The Ambassador notes that Imam Jamil Al-Amin was wrongfully convicted and that it's time to 'rejudge'.

Below is also a correction in the title of the previous posting about Otis Jackson, who admitted to the killing of which Imam Jamil Al-Amin was falsely accused of committing. The article is included below with the title correction being, "There are demands for a new trial"

And again, please sign the petition for a new trial and ask your friends to do so as well.

August 10, 2020
Justice Initiative


"(There's one case) that weighs heavy on my heart because I really think he was wrongfully convicted."
 
This Man, a Muslim, helped "clean up" Atlanta's West End.
 
"I'm talking about Jamil Al-Amin," he said, "H. Rap Brown."
 
"I think it's time to rejudge. He's been dying of cancer and has been suffering away from his family in the worst prisons of this nation." 
 
Ambassador Andrew Young Jr. 
___

Otis Jackson Speaks - 
The Man Who Committed 
The Crime Imam Jamil Is Serving Life For
There are demands for a new trial for 
Imam Jamil Al-Amin
Please sign the petition for a new trial

The Confession - My Name Is James Santos aka Otis Jackson (We Demand A Retrial For Imam Jamil)
The Confession - My Name Is James Santos aka OtisJackson (We Demand A Retrial For Imam Jamil)


Otis Jackson is a self-proclaimed leader of the Almighty Vice Lord Nation (AVLN). Founded in the late 1950s, the AVLN is one of the oldest street gangs in Chicago.
According to Jackson, the group under his leadership was focused on rebuilding communities by pushing out drug dealers and violence.
In a never-before published sworn deposition, Jackson recalls the events of the night of Thursday, March 16, 2000, in vivid detail.
It was a cool night as Jackson remembers. He wore a knee-high black Islamic robe with black pants, a black kufi-Muslim head covering-underneath a tan hat, and a tan leather jacket. His silver sunglasses with yellow tint sat above his full beard and mustache.
He arrived at Mick's around 7PM, when he realized his schedule had changed. He was no longer the food expediter in the kitchen; his title was now dishwasher/cook, which meant he would wash dishes and then help close the kitchen at night.
Since his title changed, he wasn't required to work that Thursday night. It immediately dawned on him that he had a 10-hour window to do whatever he wanted. As a parolee under house arrest, the opportunity to have truly free time was rare if even existent. Jackson decided to fill his new found freedom like most people fill their free time-he ran a few errands.
His first stop was the West End Mall where he got a bite to eat, did some shopping and then headed toward the West End community mosque, led by Al-Amin. He knew it was a regular building off of Oak Street, but wasn't sure which one exactly.
He parked his black Cadillac in an open field and walked down toward a house that turned out to be the mosque. He passed a black Mercedes before he got to the mosque, where he met a man named Lamar "Mustapha" Tanner. They talked for a while during which Jackson explained to Tanner that he was looking for Al-Amin to talk about how the AVLN could help Al-Amin's community.
Tanner told Jackson to check the grocery store, since Al-Amin could usually be found there. Tanner then gave Jackson his phone number and hurried away to go pick up his wife. Jackson proceeded to the grocery store. He wanted to discuss with Al-Amin how his AVLN organization could help further clean the streets of drug dealers in the West End community.
By the time Jackson made his way to Al-Amin's store, it was already late. He was afraid the store would be closed since he didn't see anyone else on the street. His fear was affirmed; the store wasn't open.
Hoping that maybe the owner would be in the back closing up, he knocked on the door a few more times. No answer. As he turned to leave, Jackson saw a patrol car pull up. By the time Jackson walked by the black Mercedes, the patrol car was parked in front of it, nose-to-nose. The driver of the patrol car got out and asked Jackson to put his hands up.
Immediately, this scenario flashed through Jackson's head: Here he was, violating his parole by not being at work, with a 9mm handgun in his waist. Jackson was afraid the cops would think he was breaking into the store. That meant they would probably frisk him and find the gun. The gun would be a direct violation of his parole; he'd be sent back to prison in Nevada.
Jackson ignored the order to put his hands up and instead began to explain that he was not trying to break into the store. He stated that he wasn't trying to steal the Mercedes either; his car was parked down the street. Both officers were out of the car with guns drawn and demanding Jackson put his hands up. The cops were closing in and there was little space between them. Jackson made a quick decision. He backed up against the Mercedes, pulled out his gun and began to fire.
He fired off two shots. The officers, while retreating, returned fire. Jackson wasn't hit and bolted toward his car, where in the trunk he had an arsenal of other weapons. As Jackson explains, "the organization I was about to form, the Almighty Vice Lord Nation, we're anti-oppression, and we fight, you know, drug dealers and what not, so...we need artillery."
He quickly opened the trunk - the lock was broken and held together with shoe string-and grabbed a lightweight, semiautomatic carbine Ruger Mini-14 with an extended clip housing 40 .223 caliber rounds. Jackson then headed back toward the cops; one was moving for cover behind the Mercedes, the other was on the police radio screaming for backup.
Jackson approached the officer he thought was the most aggressive, who was using the Mercedes for cover and resumed firing his rifle. The officer returned fire, hitting Jackson in the upper left arm twice.
Jackson, now angered and fearful for his life, shot back, downing the officer. Jackson stood over him and shot him in the groin up to four times. The fallen officer, Deputy Kinchen, in a last attempt to plead with his killer, described his family, mother, and children to Jackson, hoping for mercy.
But Jackson admits that by this time, "my mind was gone, so I really wasn't paying attention." Jackson fired again at the officer on the ground. Dripping his own blood on the concrete where he stood, Jackson then turned his attention to Deputy English who was running toward the open field. Jackson believed English was flagging down another officer; he couldn't let him get away.
Jackson hit English four times. One shot hit him in the leg; he soon fell, screaming, thereby confirming Jackson's shot. After English went down, Jackson, in a state of shock, walked down pass the mosque.
Nursing his bleeding wounds, he tried to stop three passing cars on the road; no one dared pull over. He then walked back down the street and knocked on three different doors for assistance. Only one even turned the light on, but no one opened the door for Jackson. He then made his way back to his car and drove to his mother's home.
As he walked in the door, the phone rang. His mother was asleep, so Jackson hurriedly answered it in the other room. It was a representative from the Sentinel Company that provided the monitoring service for Jackson's ankle bracelet. The man on the phone asked where Jackson was; he responded that he was at work. The Sentinel representative explained that his unaccounted for absence would have to be marked down as a violation. Jackson agreed and quickly ended the conversation.
Although one bullet exited through the back of his arm, the other was still lodged in his upper left arm. Jackson called a couple of female friends, who were registered nurses. The women, who were informed by Jackson that he was robbed in the middle of the night, arrived at his house and worked for three hours to remove the bullet from his arm. Jackson then called Mustapha Tanner, whom he just met earlier in the evening, and asked him to come by his house.
Tanner arrived before 10am. Jackson explained what had happened the previous night and said he needed to get rid of the guns and the car. Jackson's car trunk contained enough artillery for a mini-militia: three Ruger Mini-14 rifles, an M16 assault rifle, a .45 handgun, three 9mm handguns and a couple of shotguns. Once Tanner left, Jackson called his parole officer Sarah Bacon and let her know that he "had been involved in a situation," but left out the details.
In the following days, Jackson was asked to report to the Sentinel Company. He checked in with the monitoring company and his parole officer, and was then given a ride back home. As they pulled onto his street, Jackson noticed many unmarked police cars. After entering his driveway, multiple police officers emerged. The police searched Jackson's house and found rounds of Mini-14, .223, 9mm, and M16 ammunition. Jackson's bloody clothes and boots from the shootout with the deputies the night before were left untouched in his closet.
On March 28, 2000, Jackson's parole was revoked and he was sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in Nevada. Upon his detainment in Florida and later transfer to Nevada, Jackson confessed the crime to anyone who would listen. Jackson claims that when he reached the Clark County Jail in Las Vegas, Nevada, he made numerous phone calls to the F.B.I., after which an agent arrived to discuss the incident with him. Jackson recalls telling his story to "Special Agent Mahoney."
Special Agent Devon Mahoney recalls documenting the confession, but not much beyond that. Mahoney remembers getting a call from a superior to "talk to someone" in a Las Vegas jail and then to "document it and file it up the chain of command." The confession was documented and filed on June 29, 2000.

Gray & Associates, PO Box 8291, ATLANTA, GA 31106
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Subject: Shut Down Fort Hood! Justice for Vanessa Guillén. Sign the petition!


 

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Timeless words of wisdom from Friedrich Engels:



This legacy belongs to all of us:

“Let us not, however, flatter ourselves overmuch on account of our human victories over nature. For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which only too often cancel the first. The people who, in Mesopotamia, Greece, Asia Minor and elsewhere, destroyed the forest to obtain cultivable land, never dreamed that by removing along with the forests the collecting centres and reservoirs of moisture they were laying the basis for the present forlorn state of those countries. . . Thus at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature–but that we, with flesh, blood and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly.” The Part played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man 1876. —Friedrich Engels




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Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (Official Video 2019)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5TmORitlKk



Because once is not enough. Because sometimes music is my only solace. Because sometimes it hurts too much too care but to be human is to hurt. Because I feel lucky to have grown up with great music. Because that music was harmonic and melodious. Because that music had soul. Because I grew up with Blues and Motown and Jazz. Because I grew up with Black friends and we played ball everyday and we had fun and we were winners. Because they taught me about music and soul and acceptance. Because they didn't hate me for being white. Because I was brought up with Irish Catholics who taught me that fighting and arguing for justice kept depression in its place. Because they taught me that if you never quit fighting you haven't lost so never quit fighting for justice. Because I was in a union and learned that solidarity is the original religion. Because without solidarity you are alone. And alone is hell and because I have never been in hell. Because I am part of the human race. Because the human race is the only race on earth. Because I am grateful for Marvin Gaye, and John Coltrane, and Sam Cooke and because you know what I am talking about. Because we are going to win and we are going to have fun. Because that's the truth. Because no lie can defeat truth. Because you are there to hear me. Because I know I am not alone.  —Gregg Shotwell

https://www.greggshotwell.com



(Gregg Shotwell is a retired autoworker, writer and poet.)

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CODEPINK.ORG


Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers that police have used to kill thousands of Americans!

BlackRock loves to make a killing on killing: Over a thousand Americans have been killed by Tasers — 32 percent of them are Black Americans. Tasers are made by the colossal law enforcement supplier Axon Enterprise, based in Arizona.
One of their top shareholders happens to be Blackrock. Recently Blackrock has been trying to be sympathetic to the atrocities of murders waged on Black Americans and communities of color. If we ramp up massive pressure and blow the whistle on their deadly stocks, we can highlight that divesting from Tasers and the war in our streets will be a step in the right direction in building a fair and just society.
This issue is important to having peace in our streets. But this will only work if people participate. Send an email to Blackrock to divest from the Taser manufacturer Axon Enterprise which is responsible for the killing of thousands of Americans, and CODEPINK will pull out all the stops to make sure Blackrock execs hear our call:

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

Blackrock could do this. They recently announced that they were divesting from fossil fuels — signaling a shift in their policies. If CEO Larry Fink cares about “diversity, fairness, and justice” and building a “stronger, more equal, and safer society” — he should divest from Tasers.
Plus, compared to Blackrock’s other holdings, Taser stocks aren’t even that significant!

But if Blackrock does this, it could be the first domino we need to get other investment companies on board too. Send an email to BlackRock and share this widely! 

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

If there’s one thing our community stands for, it’s peace and social justice. And one way we can help achieve that is by cutting off the flow of cash into the manufacturing of Tasers. So, let’s come together to make that happen, and help prevent more innocent Americans from being killed with these senseless tools.

With hope,
Nancy, Carley, Jodie, Paki, Cody, Kelsey, and Yousef

Donate Now!

This email was sent to giobon@comcast.net. To unsubscribe,  click here
To update your email subscription, contact info@codepink.org.
© 2020 CODEPINK.ORG | Created with NationBuilder
    
 

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Rayshard Brooks, 27 years old, was shot to death while running away from police in Atlanta Friday, June 12, 2020.

SAY HIS NAME!


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/us/videos-rayshard-brooks-shooting-atlanta-police.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage


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Kimberly Jones

If you haven't seen this, you're missing something spectacular:

On Saturday May 30th filmmaker and photographer David Jones of David Jones Media felt compelled to go out and serve the community in some way. He decided to use his art to try and explain the events that were currently impacting our lives. On day two, Sunday the 31st, he activated his dear friend author Kimberly Jones to tag along and conduct interviews. During a moment of downtime he captured these powerful words from her and felt the world couldn’t wait for the full length documentary, they needed to hear them now.


Kimberly Jones on YouTube 


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BLACK LIVES MATTER


Ultimately, the majority of human suffering is caused by a system that places the value of material wealth over the value of
human life. To end the suffering, we must end the profit motive—the very foundation of capitalism itself.
—BAUAW
(Bay Area United Against War Newsletter)


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George Floyd's Last Words
"It's my face man
I didn't do nothing serious man
please
please
please I can't breathe
please man
please somebody
please man
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please
(inaudible)
man can't breathe, my face
just get up
I can't breathe
please (inaudible)
I can't breathe sh*t
I will
I can't move
mama
mama
I can't
my knee
my nuts
I'm through
I'm through
I'm claustrophobic
my stomach hurt
my neck hurts
everything hurts
some water or something
please
please
I can't breathe officer
don't kill me
they gon' kill me man
come on man
I cannot breathe
I cannot breathe
they gon' kill me
they gon' kill me
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please sir
please
please
please I can't breathe"

Then his eyes shut and the pleas stop. George Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after.



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Credit...

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Trump Comic Satire—A Proposal
          By Shakaboona

PRES. TRUMP HIDES IN WHITE HOUSE BUNKER IN FEAR OF PROTESTORS
Hello everyone, it's Shakaboona here, on May 29, 2020, Friday, it was reported by NPR and other news agencies that when protestors marched on the White House, the Secret Service (SS) rushed Pres. Trump to a protective bunker in the basement of the White House for his safety. When I heard that news I instantly visualized 3 scenes - (Scene 1) a pic of Pres. Saddam Hussein hiding in an underground cave in fear of the U.S. Army, (Scene 2) a pic of Pres. Donald Trump hiding in an underground bunker shaking in fear beneath a desk from U.S. Protestors as Secret Service guards (with 2 Lightning bolts on their collars) in hyper security around him with big guns drawn out, and (Scene 3) a pic of Pres. Trump later stood in front of the church across from the White House with a Bible in hand & chest puffed out & threatened to activate the U.S. Army against American citizen protestors.
 ~ I think this would be an underground iconic image of the power of the People & the cowardice/fear of Pres. Trump, not to mention that I think such a creative comic satire of Trump would demolish his self image (haha). I ask for anyone's help to turn my above visual satire of Trump into an actual comic satire strip & for us to distribute the finished comic satire strip worldwide, esp. to the news media. Maybe we can get Trump to see it and watch him blow a gasket (lol).
 ~ Please everyone, stay safe out there, b/c Trump is pushing this country to the verge of Civil War. Be prepared in every way imaginable. Peace. - Ur Brother, Shakaboona

Write to Shakaboona:
Smart Communications/PA DOC
Kerry Shakaboona Marshall #BE7826
SCI Rockview
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733

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Still photo from Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove"released January 29, 1964

Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons 


Spending 2020

  In its report "Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2020" the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has produced the first estimate in nearly a decade of global nuclear weapon spending, taking into account costs to maintain and build new nuclear weapons. ICAN estimates that the nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.9 billion on their 13,000-plus nuclear weapons in 2019, equaling $138,699 every minute of 2019 on nuclear weapons, and a $7.1 billion increase from 2018.
These estimates (rounded to one decimal point) include nuclear warhead and nuclear-capable delivery systems operating costs and development where these expenditures are publicly available and are based on a reasonable percentage of total military spending on nuclear weapons when more detailed budget data is not available. ICAN urges all nuclear-armed states to be transparent about nuclear weapons expenditures to allow for more accurate reporting on global nuclear expenditures and better government accountability.
ICAN, May 2020
https://www.icanw.org/global_nuclear_weapons_spending_2020

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Shooting and looting started: 400 years ago

Shooting, looting, scalping, lynching,
Raping, torturing their way across
the continent—400 years ago—
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide rolling down on
Today…
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide leaving in-
visible yellow crime
scene tape crisscrossing Tallahassee
to Seattle; San Diego to Bangor… 
Shooting Seneca, Seminole, Creek,
Choctaw, Mohawk, Cayuga, Blackfeet,
Shooting Sioux, Shawnee, Chickasaw,
Chippewa before
Looting Lakota land; Looting Ohlone
Land—
Looting Ashanti, Fulani, Huasa, Wolof,
Yoruba, Ibo, Kongo, Mongo, Hutu, Zulu…
Labor.
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide—hot lead storms—
Shooting, looting Mexico for half of New
Mexico; a quarter of Colorado; some of
Wyoming and most of Arizona; Looting
Mexico for Utah, Nevada and California
So, next time Orange Mobutu, Boss Tweet,
is dirty like Duterte—howling for shooting;
Next time demented minions raise rifles to
shoot; Remind them that
Real looters wear Brooks Brothers suits;
Or gold braid and junk medals ‘cross their
chests. Real looters—with Capitalist Hill
Accomplices—
Steal trillions
Not FOX-boxes, silly sneakers, cheap clothes…
© 2020. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.       



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Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire, The Lasting Effects of War Book Discussion, Sir, No Sir Viewing, VFP's Online Convention, Workshop Proposals, Convention FAQ, No More COVID-19 Money For the Pentagon, Repeal the AUMF, Community Conversation on Hybrid Warfare, St Louis VFP Delivers VA Lunch, In the News and Calendar




Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire 


Veterans For Peace, as a United Nations Department of Global Communication affiliated NGO, is most gratified to see UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres make his plea for a worldwide ceasefire during this global pandemic. 

The first line of the Preamble of the UN's Charter says that they originated to save “succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. But sadly, because the UN was created by the victors of WW2 who remain the powers of the world, and because the UN depends for funding on those same militarily and economically dominant nation-states, primarily the U.S., much more often than not the UN is very quiet on war. 

Please join Veterans For Peace in appealing to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft to support the Secretary General's call for a GLOBAL CEASEFIRE! 


For more information about events go to:

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=fa5082af-9325-47a7-901c-710e85091ee1




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Courage to Resist
COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
www.couragetoresist.org ~ 510.488.3559 ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist

484 Lake Park Ave # 41
OaklandCA 94610-2730
United States
Unsubscribe from couragetoresist.org 

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From Business Insider 2018

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"The biggest block from having society in harmony with the universe is the belief in a lie that says it’s not realistic or humanly possible." 

"If Obama taught me anything it’s that it don’t matter who you vote for in this system. There’s nothing a politician can do that the next one can’t undo. You can’t vote away the ills of society people have to put our differences aside ban together and fight for the greater good, not vote for the lesser evil."

—Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)

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When faced with the opportunity to do good, I really think it’s the instinct of humanity to do so. It’s in our genetic memory from our earliest ancestors. It’s the altered perception of the reality of what being human truly is that’s been indoctrinated in to every generation for the last 2000 years or more that makes us believe that we are born sinners. I can’t get behind that one. We all struggle with certain things, but I really think that all the “sinful” behavior is learned and wisdom and goodwill is innate at birth.  —Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)



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Support Major Tillery, Friend of Mumia, Innocent, Framed, Now Ill




Major Tillery (with hat) and family


Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

Major Tillery, a prisoner at SCI Chester and a friend of Mumia, may have caught the coronavirus. Major is currently under lockdown at SCI Chester, where a coronavirus outbreak is currently taking place. Along with the other prisoners at SCI Chester, he urgently needs your help.

Major was framed by the Pennsylvania District Attorney and police for a murder which took place in 1976. He has maintained his innocence throughout the 37 years he has been incarcerated, of which approximately 20 were spent in solitary confinement. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture has said that 15 days of solitary confinement constitutes torture.

When Mumia had Hepatitis C and was left to die by the prison administration at SCI Mahanoy, Major Tillery was the prisoner who confronted the prison superintendent and demanded that they treat Mumia. (see https://www.justiceformajortillery.org/messing-with-major.html). Although Mumia received medical treatment, the prison retaliated against Major for standing up to the prison administration. He was transferred to another facility, his cell was searched and turned inside out repeatedly, and he lost his job in the prison as a Peer Facilitator.

SCI Chester, where Major is currently incarcerated, has been closed to visitors since mid-March. Fourteen guards and one prisoner are currently reported to be infected with the coronavirus. Because the prison has not tested all the inmates, there is no way to know how many more inmates have coronavirus. Major has had a fever, chills and a sore throat for several nights. Although Major has demanded testing for himself and all prisoners, the prison administration has not complied.

For the past ten days, there has been no cleaning of the cell block. It has been weeks since prisoners have been allowed into the yard to exercise. The food trays are simply being left on the floor. There have been no walk-throughs by prison administrators. The prisoners are not allowed to have showers; they are not allowed to have phone calls; and they are not permitted any computer access. 

This coronavirus outbreak at SCI Chester is the same situation which is playing out in California prisons right now, about which the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia, along with other groups, organized a car caravan protest at San Quentin last week. Prisons are enclosed indoor spaces and are already an epicenter of the coronavirus, like meatpacking plants and cruise ships. If large numbers of prisoners are not released, the coronavirus will infect the prisons, as well as surrounding communities, and many prisoners will die. Failing to release large numbers of prisoners at this point is the same as executing them. We call for "No Execution by COVID-19"!

Major is close to 70 years old, and has a compromised liver and immune system, as well as heart problems. He desperately needs your help. 

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

Kenneth Eason, Acting Superintendent
SCI Chester
500 E. 4th St.
Chester, PA 19013

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

Email: keason@pa.gov (Prison Superintendent). maquinn@pa.gov (Superintendent's Assistant)
Please also call the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at:Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Telephone: (717) 737-4531
This telephone number is for SCI Camp Hill, which is the current number for DOC.
Reference Major's inmate number: AM 9786

Email: ra-contactdoc@pa.gov
Demand that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections immediately:

1) Provide testing for all inmates and staff at SCI Chester;
2) Disinfect all cells and common areas at SCI Chester, including sinks, toilets, eating areas and showers;
3) Provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for all inmates at SCI Chester;
4) Provide access to showers for all prisoners at SCI Chester, as a basic hygiene measure;
5) Provide yard access to all prisoners at SCI Chester;
6) Provide phone and internet access to all prisoners at SCI Chester;
7) Immediately release prisoners from SCI Chester, including Major Tillery, who already suffers from a compromised immune system, in order to save their lives from execution by COVID-19.

It has been reported that prisoners are now receiving shower access. However, please insist that prisoners be given shower access and that all common areas are disinfected.


In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal




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Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. 😓

We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).

We can’t relax in the comfort of our own homes (#BothemJean and #AtatianaJefferson).

We can't ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).

We can't have a cellphone (#StephonClark).

We can't leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).

We can't play loud music (#JordanDavis).

We can’t sell CD's (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

We can’t walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).

We can’t play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

We can’t walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).

We can’t hold a hair brush while leaving our own bachelor party (#SeanBell).

We can’t party on New Years (#OscarGrant).

We can’t get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).

We can’t lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).

We can't break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).

We can’t shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)p^p.

We can’t have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).

We can’t read a book in our own car (#KeithScott).

We can’t be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).

We can’t decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).

We can’t ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).

We can’t cash our check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).

We can’t take out our wallet (#AmadouDiallo).

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).

We’re tired.

Tired of making hashtags.

Tired of trying to convince you that our #BlackLivesMatter too.

Tired of dying.

Tired.

Tired.

Tired.

So very tired.

(I don’t know who created this. I just know there are so many more names to be added and names we may never hear of.)

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1) Two Killed and One Injured on Third Night of Unrest in Kenosha, Wis.

The violence occurred early Wednesday during a confrontation between demonstrators and a group of men armed with guns as protests continued over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

By Julie Bosman, Aug. 26, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/26/us/kenosha-shooting-protests-jacob-blake.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Kenosha County sheriff’s deputies moved to clear a park of protesters.

Kenosha County sheriff’s deputies moved to clear a park of protesters. Credit...Tannen Maury/EPA, via Shutterstock


KENOSHA, Wis. — Three people were shot early Wednesday, two fatally, law enforcement officials said, during a chaotic night of demonstrations over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black resident whose children were nearby as their father was shot this week by a white police officer.

 

In Kenosha, a third night of protests over the shooting of Mr. Blake stretched into the early morning hours of Wednesday, after demonstrators clashed with law enforcement officials near the county courthouse downtown.

 

Tuesday evening was spent in a shifting, hourslong standoff between the police and protesters. Protesters assembled outside a newly erected metal barrier protecting the courthouse and threw water bottles, rocks and fireworks at the police.

 

The police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, repeatedly warning the crowd through a bullhorn that they were violating the city curfew of 8 p.m. and risking arrest. The crowd was eventually forced out of the park with tear gas and onto city streets, where the standoff continued.

 

Many protesters left the area, but others lingered and walked to a gas station several blocks away. There, a group of men with guns stood outside, promising to protect the property and verbally sparring with the arriving protesters. As the night stretched on, the gas station became a tense gathering spot, with bystanders watching from parked cars and people milling around in the street, arguing and occasionally shoving each other.

 

Police officers had crept closer to the gas station in armored trucks, urging the people who were still there to go home.

 

After midnight, shots were fired outside the gas station. Three people were struck, Sheriff David Beth said in an interview. The Kenosha Police Department said in a statement that there were two fatalities, and that one person had been taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

 

Sheriff Beth said that the investigation was focused on the group of men with guns outside the gas station, and that investigators were scouring video taken just before the shooting.

 

In one video, the men are shouting at each other, clutching their guns and occasionally pulling each other away to defuse the conflict.

 

“I’ve had people saying, ‘Why don’t you deputize citizens?’” he said. “This is why you don’t deputize citizens with guns to protect Kenosha.”

 

On Tuesday, Mr. Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, had told reporters that she opposed the sort of destruction that had been left by protests spurred by her son’s shooting. On earlier nights, buildings and trucks had been burned down in Kenosha, a city of 100,000 people, where more than 100 members of the Wisconsin National Guard have been deployed amid the unrest.

 

Ms. Jackson told reporters that she had been praying for the country to heal.

 

“I’ve noticed a lot of damage,” she said. “It doesn’t reflect my son or my family.”

 

Mr. Blake, she and other family members said, is conscious in a hospital after being shot seven times. Family members and lawyers said that he was partially paralyzed from a bullet that severed his spinal cord and unaware of the protests that have spread across the country in his name.

 

Mr. Blake’s parents and siblings denounced the police and pleaded for justice.

 

It was a “senseless attempted murder,” Mr. Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., said as he broke down and wept. “They shot my son seven times, like he didn’t matter.”

 

He said he had no confidence that the shooting of a Black man by a white officer would be fairly investigated.

 

That investigation is in the hands of the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, which has not released basic information about the shooting, including the name of the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave.

 

The Kenosha Police Department, which has also declined to provide details of what happened, has been at the center of criticism from demonstrators, who protested for a third night on Tuesday.

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2) Professional Athletes Are Showing America Just How Powerful Labor Really Is

By striking, the players in the NBA, MLB, and beyond have brought their bosses to the table and launched a national conversation.

By Dave Zirin, August 27, 2020

https://www.thenation.com/article/society/mets-marlins-strike/
Citi Field
Citi Field after the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins walk off the field prior to the start of the game on August 27, 2020.

The wave of strikes by athletes against racist police violence is not ebbing. On Thursday night, the New York Mets and Miami Marlins took the field, held a 42-second moment of silence (in honor of Jackie Robinson), and then walked off. They left behind a shirt that read “Black Lives Matter” on home plate.

 

Numerous NFL teams have canceled their practices, with the Baltimore Ravens, after a four-hour team meeting, putting out a remarkable action statement. NBA referees even organized a march in the Orlando Bubble, wearing T-shirts that read, “Everyone Against Racism.” Even the National Hockey League, after first ignoring what was happening, to the chagrin of many players, canceled a slate of games in solidarity with the events swirling around the sports world.

 

Pro athletes have shown themselves willing to fight and be heard. Black athletes are saying that they no longer will be a repository of adulation with their uniforms on but a risk to be killed by police when the uniform comes off. It is a historic moment by any measure, and one without a blueprint. We don’t know where this is going, or how long it will last. But folks are already asking what this can actually accomplish beyond raising awareness about the shooting of Jacob Blake.

 

For now, it’s centering the conversation in this country on racist police violence and not the gaslighting “law and order” bombast coming out of the RNC, and inspiring people to violence during a time of relentless darkness. Frankly, if nothing else came out of it, it would still be important. But the players want more. Supporters want more. Everyone strangled by the absence of political oxygen in this broken country want more.

 

NBA player leaders want the franchise owners to put some “skin in the game.” They want the billionaire owners—who are not only wealthy but politically connected to every municipality where they have a publicly funded stadium—to push for legislation and using their influence to fight back. As NBA insider Shams Charania from The Athletic reported on Twitter from a meeting between players and owners, “Players challenged owners to be proactive, not reactive, to social justice changes; create actions, not simply financial commitments.”

 

I’m all for extracting concessions from billionaires. But there is another avenue the movement can take. What these players are doing is nothing less than striking for Black lives. They are using their power as workers to protest not only the police shooting of Blake and the white supremacist terrorism in Kenosha, but also the fact that, as one player put it, “nothing is changing.” After a summer of marches, uprisings, and occupations, scant legislation has moved and police still act with impunity.

 

 

By exercising their power as workers, the players are inspiring an incredibly dormant part of the resistance to racism and Trumpism: the labor movement. If the NBA can shut down in protest of racist police violence, why not other industries? Why not cities? Why not entire sectors of the country’s economy? Strikes do not have to be about wages and benefits. There is a long, hidden history in this country of striking for human rights—“not just bread but roses.” It’s a history the players could help revive.

 

That may sound far-fetched, but I can say that I received half a dozen calls from unionists or union officials last night telling me that they and their members felt like they had been hit with an electric prod. The idea that everyone in the country was talking about this “strike” taking place was making so many of these workers feel like they also had power.

 

This isn’t just about solidarity. This is about results. If the players want the results they crave, and if the country is as broken as they believe it to be, this is an actual solution: to strike against racist police violence. to strike against Trumpism, to strike for Black lives. Nothing else has worked. But by withdrawing their labor, the players in the NBA have immediately brought their bosses to the table and launched a national conversation. If that message blares across the land—and if labor leaders rise to the occasion and respond with equal courage—we could finally see solutions and not feel like we are all poised with bated breath, just waiting for the next hashtag.

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3) Jacob Blake handcuffed to hospital bed, father says

“He can’t go anywhere,” the 29-year-old’s dad said, speaking of his son’s paralysis. “Why do you have him cuffed to the bed?”

By Clare Proctor, Aug 27, 2020

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/8/27/21404463/jacob-blake-father-kenosha-police-shooting-hospital-bed-handcuffs

Jacob Blake Sr., the father of Jacob Blake, speaks during a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 25, 2020. Police shot Blake at least seven times in the back Sunday as he was breaking up a fight, according to his attorneys. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Jacob Blake’s father, also named Jacob Blake, speaks at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday, Blake’s father said his son has been handcuffed to his hospital bed. Pat Nabong/Sun-Times


When Jacob Blake’s father visited him in the hospital Wednesday, he said his son — who was shot in the back by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer over the weekend — was handcuffed to the bed.

 

“I hate it that he was laying in that bed with the handcuff onto the bed,” his father, also named Jacob Blake, said Thursday. “He can’t go anywhere. Why do you have him cuffed to the bed?”

 

Asked why his son was handcuffed, Blake’s father replied “he’s under arrest.” The father also said it was unclear what charge or charges his son might be facing, explaining “right now, we don’t know. We’re playing it by ear.”

 

The younger Blake, 29, was shot more than a half-dozen times on Sunday and is paralyzed from the waist down.

 

In the hospital, the younger Blake told his father he thought he could feel pain in his legs, but his father isn’t sure if the pain is actually coming from his legs.

 

The Kenosha Police Department, Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office and Wisconsin Department of Justice all did not immediately respond to requests for information on his arrest or charges.

 

Jacob Blake’s father said he hasn’t heard from the police department or Mayor John Antaramian, though Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has reached out, he said. The mayor’s office didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

 

At a news conference later Thursday, Evers was asked if he’s concerned about Blake being handcuffed.

 

“Hell yes,” Evers said.

 

“I would have no personal understanding why that would be necessary,” the governor added. “I can’t imagine why that’s happening and I would hope that we would be able to find a . . . better way to have him get better and recover.”

 

The family’s attorney is working to ensure Jacob Blake can go home once he’s released from the hospital, his father said.

 

When Blake saw his father in the hospital Wednesday, he thought he was hallucinating because he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, according to his father.

 

“I told him, ‘You thought Daddy wasn’t going to see my son?’” his father said. “He grabbed my hand, held it real tight and started weeping, telling me how much he loved me.”

 

Though his son’s eyes were swollen, the elder Jacob Blake said he “looked and sounded like” his son, and he’s alive. Seeing him in the hospital was like walking across a desert to find someone waiting with a glass of water, his father said.

 

“It was way more than fulfilling,” his father said. “It was a feeling I can’t describe.”

 

Demonstrators have swarmed Kenosha in the days since Jacob Blake’s shooting. The unrest turned violent Tuesday night when three people were shot, two of them fatally. Authorities arrested 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide.

 

Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, and Joseph “Jojo” Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, were fatally shot Tuesday. Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, of West Allis, was shot in the arm and is expected to recover.

 

Jacob Blake’s father declined to comment on the violence, saying he will fully address the matter when he speaks at the March on Washington in the nation’s capitol Friday. At a press conference with relatives on Tuesday, his mother, Julia Jackson, called for an end to looting and destruction in the city.

 

“We need healing,” Jackson said. “I also have been praying, even before this, for the healing of our country.”

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4) Kenosha shooter was photographed sitting in front row of Trump rally in January

By Aldous J Pennyfarthing, August 26, 2020

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/26/1972595/-Kenosha-shooter-was-photographed-sitting-in-front-row-of-Trump-rally?detail=emaildkre

Se-puede-ver-a-Kyle-Rittenhouse-en-un-circulo-con-un-sombrero-blanco-en-la-primera-fila-de-un-mitin-de-Trump-en-Des-Moines-Iowa-el-30-de-enero.-580x304.jpg

Kyle Rittenhouse (in a circle) can be seen wearing a white hat in the front row of a Trump rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 30. Photo: CSPAN


The law enforcement–obsessed 17-year-old who was charged with shooting and killing two people and injuring another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests for Jacob Blake appeared in the front row at a Donald Trump rally in January.

 

Kyle Howard Rittenhouse’s social media presence is filled with him posing with weapons, posting “Blue Lives Matter,” and supporting Trump for president. Footage from the Des Moines, Iowa, rally on Jan. 30 shows Rittenhouse feet away from the president, in the front row, to the left of the podium. He posted a TikTok video from the event.

 

Seven months later, Rittenhouse went with his rifle to the third night of Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha after police shot Blake, a Black man who is now paralyzed as a result, according to his family. Rittenhouse attended as an armed vigilante, supposedly assisting police and protecting property in an unofficial capacity but instead he prowled the protest with a gun.




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5) Kenosha Tells Us More About Where the Right Is Headed Than the R.N.C. Did

The conservative media’s embrace of Kyle Rittenhouse speaks volumes about its priorities.

By Jamelle Bouie, Opinion Columnist, Aug. 28, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/28/opinion/kenosha-kyle-rittenhouse-trump.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Police let Kyle Rittenhouse leave the scene in Kenosha, Wis., despite his having an assault rifle and bystanders identifying him as the alleged shooter.

Police let Kyle Rittenhouse leave the scene in Kenosha, Wis., despite his having an assault rifle and bystanders identifying him as the alleged shooter. Credit...Illustration by The New York Times, video still image by Brendan Gutenschwage, via Reuters


The most revealing thing to happen in conservative politics this week did not involve the Republican National Convention, at least not directly. Instead, it took place in Kenosha, Wis., in the aftermath of a shooting on Tuesday night that killed two people and wounded a third.

 

The suspected shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from nearby Antioch, Ill., was in Kenosha with a group of armed counterprotesters. After several days of rioting — sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who appears to have been paralyzed after police shot him seven times in the back — so-called militia groups arrived on the scene to defend businesses and other properties from protesters. Rittenhouse was with one of those groups when, according to a visual analysis by The New York Times, he was seen running away from several people.

 

Eyewitness testimony fills the gap. Rittenhouse was approached by Joseph Rosenbaum, who threw a plastic bag in his direction. He ran, and turned to face Rosenbaum with his AR-15 in the ready position. Nearby, an unknown gunman shot into the air. It’s at this point that Rosenbaum reached for the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle. Rittenhouse then fired four rounds, one of which struck Rosenbaum in the head. Rittenhouse then fled the scene. Several people chased him, some shouting to identify him as the shooter.

 

As Rittenhouse is running, he trips and falls to the ground. He fires again — four more shots — as several people run toward him. One of the people in that group is hit in the chest and falls to the ground. Another, who is carrying a handgun, is struck in the arm. Rittenhouse then gets up and walks toward several police vehicles with his hands raised. Although bystanders identify him as the shooter, police pass him by. Rittenhouse is arrested the next day, in Illinois. Authorities charged him with first-degree murder.

 

This is a complicated situation, but a few things are clear. Wisconsin isn’t a “Stand Your Ground” state, and Rittenhouse was in illegal possession of a weapon — under Wisconsin law, it is a Class A misdemeanor for a minor to carry a deadly weapon in the open. There is also no legal right in the state to use deadly force for the protection of property you do not own. And in any case the “Castle Doctrine” only applies to the use of deadly force in one’s home, vehicle or business.

 

To the conservative media, however, what happened in Kenosha was eminently justifiable and even cause for celebration. “Are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder?” Tucker Carlson said on the Wednesday broadcast of his Fox News show. “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?” Carlson, who has an average nightly audience of more than 4 million viewers, blamed local political leaders for the killings. “Kenosha has devolved into anarchy because the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it. People in charge in Wisconsin from the governor on down refused to enforce the law,” he said. “They stood back and watched Kenosha burn.”

 

Ann Coulter, a conservative author and provocateur, said that she wanted Rittenhouse “as my president.” Graham Allen, a contributor to Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA, called the Kenosha killings a “justified shooting” in a video that has garnered more than 150,000 views. Katie Pavlich, another Fox News host, declared that, “When you have no police around to defend businesses, and people who are being attacked, then there is a void that is filled.” According to The Guardian, “fund-raisers, messages of support and celebratory memes” for Rittenhouse are being “shared widely” on social media platforms. And Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican congressman for Arizona’s 4th District, said it was “100% justified self-defense. Do not try to take a weapon away from a man or bear the consequences.”

 

What happened in Kenosha was a tragedy. Rittenhouse should not have been there, and we should agree — all of us — that the shooting should not have happened. We should also be troubled by police action, or the lack thereof, against armed militias. Tacit support from Kenosha police (at one point, an officer thanks the group for being there) almost certainly contributed to the permissive environment that led to the shooting. It is reminiscent, in that way, of the events in Charlottesville in 2017, where an official review found that law enforcement failed to “maintain order” and “protect public safety” leading to fights, skirmishes and the vehicular murder of a protester.

 

We should be appalled. But it appears only some of us are. Others are prepared to elevate Rittenhouse as a symbol of self-defense. It’s an ominous reaction, not the least because it might inspire other Rittenhouses to do the same, to travel to protests ready for the use of lethal force against protesters. Put differently, the extent to which Carlson and Coulter and Turning Point are representative of conservative thought on violence against protesters is the extent to which we may have to prepare for further Kenoshas.

 

I said, at the start, that these events lack a direct link to the Republican National Convention, the headline event for conservative politics this week. They do, however, have an indirect link. The night before the killings in Kenosha, Mark and Patricia McCloskey delivered a prime-time address from their St. Louis home as part of the convention’s opening program. The McCloskeys aren’t politicians or activists, they’re trial lawyers, famous for just one reason: brandishing firearms (Mark an AR-15, Patricia a pistol) at passing Black Lives Matter protesters. Their celebrity in conservative circles has everything to do with their threat of violence against people the president has denounced as a threat to the country itself. However ridiculous the McCloskeys may have looked in the media, the fact of the matter is their actions led to a reward. For threatening protesters with death, they were given a chance to speak to the entire nation.

 

One other thing. Earlier this summer, as the first protests against the death of George Floyd unfolded, President Trump took to Twitter to warn of consequences for those who damaged property. “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted on a Friday morning in May. “Any difficulty and we will assume control, but when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

 

Although Trump backpedaled in the face of criticism — claiming, implausibly, that he was making a descriptive statement of what would happen if looting began — his meaning was clear enough: that “looters,” however defined, would and should be shot.

 

The bully pulpit matters. Presidential rhetoric matters. Rittenhouse was a fan of the president — he took a front-row seat at a January rally in Des Moines — but that connection is less important than the atmosphere created by Trump’s words. A president who speaks of shooting people in the street — who elevates those who threaten to shoot people in the street — cannot be separated from the individual who does, eventually, shoot people in the street.

 

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com.

 

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

 

Jamelle Bouie became a New York Times Opinion columnist in 2019. Before that he was the chief political correspondent for Slate magazine. He is based in Charlottesville, Va., and Washington. @jbouie

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6) Athletes Are Finished Playing America’s Rigged Game

Individuals like Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and Colin Kaepernick changed society. Can this generation do it by banding together?

"It is still early. The N.B.A. players’ message may not have reached everyone yet, nor has the economic impact been assessed. But it’s clear that while these athletes may be ready to return to basketball, they are finished playing America’s rigged game. And they have delivered a message that the entire country needs to hear: When it comes to social justice, it’s better to think and act like a team.

"By Michael P. Jeffries, Professor of American studies and an author, Aug. 28, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/28/opinion/NBA-boycott-history.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
LeBron James, center, and teammates during the national anthem before an N.B.A. game last month.

LeBron James, center, and teammates during the national anthem before an N.B.A. game last month. Credit...Pool photo by Mike Ehrmann


Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos during the playing of the national anthem after they won medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos during the playing of the national anthem after they won medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Credit...Associated Press


Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx.

Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx. Credit...David Sherman/NBAE, via Getty Images


Colin Kaepernick, center, Eli Harold, left, and Eric Reid taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016.

Colin Kaepernick, center, Eli Harold, left, and Eric Reid taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016. Credit...John G Mabanglo/EPA, via Shutterstock


Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X in 1964.

Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X in 1964. Credit...Bob Gomel/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images


In June, as the National Basketball Association prepared to restart its season amid the twin crises of the pandemic and the nationwide protests against racial injustice, the general manager of one team told the sportswriter Sam Amick, “You know and I know why we are playing — for the money.”

 

Players knew this, too, but trudged forward. Some, like Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets, questioned their role in distracting the country from protests. But the players ultimately decided to play, in no small part because the league agreed to let them use the games as a platform. Their jerseys were emblazoned with messages of social justice: “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Say Their Names” and “Enough.” LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers spearheaded a voting rights initiative with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In interviews, James and other players at times made statements about racism in response to questions about basketball. But it soon became clear that neither those actions nor the money was enough.

 

On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks set off a fast-moving wave of protest in professional sports when they refused to play their scheduled playoff game against the Orlando Magic. They did so to demand justice for Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man who was shot in the back several times by the police in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday. The rest of the league quickly joined the strike. By Thursday, less than 24 hours after the Bucks’ action, discussions among N.B.A. players, coaches and owners had reportedly led to an informal agreement to resume play, but not before a ripple effect, including postponements of games in the W.N.B.A., Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer, had swept across professional sports.

 

By Friday, the strike had produced results. The N.B.A. and its players’ union made its return to play official. The playoffs would resume on Saturday with an agreement from the league to create “a social justice coalition” to be “focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.” Part of that initiative will include converting some N.B.A. arenas into polling stations in the upcoming election.

 

At the height of his career as an N.B.A. superstar, Michael Jordan once infamously defended his choice not to engage in politics, joking with teammates that “Republicans buy shoes, too.” James and his contemporaries are in another place altogether, withholding labor and taking reputational and financial risks that may have a lasting impact on professional sports and their role in society. Jordan, too, has evolved into a new role: As the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and the N.B.A. Labor Relations Committee chairman, he helped broker Thursday’s agreement to return to play.

 

To many, the walkout and its impact amounts to a watershed moment, and in some ways, it is. But it is one that was made possible by the Black athletes of past decades taking risks and making sacrifices for social justice.

 

Most Americans are familiar with Colin Kaepernick, who began his protest of racial injustice on Aug. 26, 2016, exactly four years before the Bucks’ strike. He lost his job and won a settlement from the National Football League, joining athletes like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali who became global icons after taking a stand.

 

Kaepernick’s use of the national anthem evoked Tommie Smith and John Carlos holding up their fists in a Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics, but few sports fans of this generation know their names. The N.B.A. has its own legacy. In 1959, Elgin Baylor of the Lakers chose not to play in his team’s game against the Cincinnati Royals after he and other Black teammates were denied lodging at multiple hotels. Two years later, the same thing happened to Black players on the Boston Celtics. This time, those players, led by Bill Russell, and the Black players on the opposing team, the St. Louis Hawks, chose to sit out. In 1995, the Denver Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf decided he would not stand for the national anthem because doing so violated his religious beliefs. After a one-game suspension, Abdul-Rauf adjusted, bowing his head to “pray for those who are oppressed” as the music played. He faced death threats, was viewed as a pariah across the league and found himself without work just three seasons later.

 

Black women’s contributions to this history cannot be ignored. In July 2016, W.N.B.A. players on three teams took to the court with “#BlackLives Matter” printed on their warm-up shirts. They were fined for wearing attire that was not approved by the league. Days later, the Indiana Fever defiantly wore the shirts again on television, and the fines were rescinded. In September that same year, the Fever became the first entire professional team to kneel during the national anthem as they demonstrated their solidarity with Kaepernick.

 

One of W.N.B.A.’s best players, Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx, has spent the past two seasons fighting for racial justice away from basketball. Her activism contributed to the 2020 release of Jonathan Irons, wrongly imprisoned in Missouri for over 20 years. Multiple players are following Moore’s lead and skipping the current season in pursuit of justice. Those who chose to play have continued their activism with a protest of one of the league’s owners, Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who tried to suppress their voices.

 

In 2014, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors nearly refused to play a playoff game in order to protest the Clippers’ owner, Donald Sterling, a notorious racist. But there was little time to plan, build trust or consider the ramifications, and that action was called off. In 2020, players had months to thoughtfully consider whether they could play without trivializing their message.

 

This is not the same league that shut down in March. The players now have proof that they are more powerful together than any one-man brand. Many marched with their neighbors over the summer. They tearfully and publicly grieved the loss of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others. They saw that constitutional rights don’t exist unless we practice them, that economic disruption gets results. They saw protesters of all backgrounds undaunted by tear gas and white supremacist militias. They saw again that Black life, dignity and sanity hang in the balance, and democracy hangs with them.

 

Some will argue that protest in sports is nothing new, and neither is racism, so nothing will change. On this we agree: The walkout will not end racism. But it would be wrong to underestimate this moment. Those who downplay the walkout have an interest in doing so and speak from a place of fear and denial. They fear that it will ripple beyond the professional sports leagues where it has already taken hold into more leagues, cities and partner industries that stand to profit from the silence of Black athletes. They deny the truth about the state of the country, the grievous harm caused by racial oppression and the inevitability of continued unrest in response to it.

 

It is still early. The N.B.A. players’ message may not have reached everyone yet, nor has the economic impact been assessed. But it’s clear that while these athletes may be ready to return to basketball, they are finished playing America’s rigged game. And they have delivered a message that the entire country needs to hear: When it comes to social justice, it’s better to think and act like a team.

 

Michael P. Jeffries is the dean of academic affairs and a professor of American studies at Wellesley College. He is the author of three books on race and American culture.

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7) With Walkouts, a New High Bar for Protests in Sports Is Set

The deafening silence of not having sports provided a powerful message from athletes demanding racial justice, after kneeling and slogans on jerseys seemed to have lost potency.

By Kurt Streeter, Aug. 27, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/27/sports/basketball/kenosha-nba-protests-players-boycott.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Credit...Dave Murray

It was the silence that spoke loudest.

 

No basketballs pounding on hardwood. All games canceled. No baseballs cracking off bats. Three games canceled. No soccer balls ricocheting down the field. Five games canceled. No booming aces. The Western & Southern Open tennis tournament halted for a day.

 

This is what the silence said: No more Jacob Blakes. No more George Floyds. No more Breonna Taylors. No more Natasha McKennas. No more Philando Castiles. No more Michael Browns. No more Tamir Rices. No more Eric Garners. No more Alton Sterlings.

 

No more pain.

 

Never before has the world of sports spoken so emphatically. The timing was unmistakably significant. The athlete walkouts were set starkly against a frightened Trumpian vision presented at the Republican National Convention.

 

We watched this week as two Americas clashed in front of us, separated by generations and by oceans-apart views of race, justice and what it means to be a patriot.

 

No longer was sports offering gentrified protest, with league-endorsed slogans on basketball jerseys. Calm collapsed in the face of the inevitably growing power of players to make more than a statement. They took action. It shattered the bubble of normalcy that had settled upon the N.B.A. and its fans, who watched happily from home as a pandemic and protests raged.

 

“We are scared as Black people in America,” LeBron James said, downcast as he spoke at a news conference inside the N.B.A.’s so-called bubble at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla.

 

“Because you don’t know, you have no idea, how that cop that day left the house,” he added. “You don’t know if he woke up on a good side of the bed, if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. … Or maybe he just left the house saying, ‘Today is going to be the end for one of these Black people.’ That is what it feels like.”

 

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics spoke with equally raw emotion: “Are we not human beings? Is Jacob Blake not a human being? He deserved to be treated like a human being and did not deserve to be shot.”

 

Sterling Brown, the Milwaukee forward who in 2018 was tackled by police officers and shocked with a Taser gun after a parking violation, read a statement for his team that concluded, “Despite the overwhelming plea for change there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”

 

Jaylen Brown is 23. Sterling Brown is 25. LeBron James, one of the older players in the league, is only 35. All three, like so many of their N.B.A. compatriots, are part of an emboldened generation of Black athletes, a vanguard challenging America’s norms in numbers never seen before.

 

At the very same time, the Republican National Convention represented and embraced an entirely different vision — one nostalgic for the past, wary of change and angry for an entirely different reason. Sports personalities from an era when player protests were rarer figured prominently. Lou Holtz, the renowned 83-year-old college football coach who last led a team 16 years ago, proclaimed steadfast devotion to President Trump and spoke triumphantly of a mythical America where anyone can succeed by just working hard enough.

 

Herschel Walker and Jack Brewer, both Black former N.F.L. players out of the league for well over a decade, struck the same tone, hailing Trump as a heaven-sent crusader against racism and a proponent of social justice, ignoring a reality that says the opposite.

 

Two visions. Two Americas.

 

2020 vs. years gone by.

 

The N.B.A. is hardly alone. Walkouts rippled this week through the W.N.B.A., and through predominantly white sports like professional tennis and soccer. Games were postponed because of protesting players in conservative, tradition-bound Major League Baseball. At first the National Hockey League continued with its playoff schedule, before bending to pressure and taking a pause.

 

This was the logical next step in the fervent activism inspired this year by the killing of George Floyd. As the nation grappled with 401 years of racial trauma, it searched for ways to break apart systemic injustice and violence against Black Americans.

 

Players as prominent as Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets declared that holding a season now, resuming amid the pandemic, was a mistake and a distraction — and called for athletes to stay home and work within their communities for change.

 

But the N.B.A. and the W.N.B.A got back to work. The players chose to use nationally televised games as a platform for their grievances. They draped their courts and jerseys with slogans and calls for change. They knelt during the national anthem.

 

Yet those protests had lost their power. Slogans and refusing to stand for the anthem seemed less edgy when everyone — even corporate sponsors and team owners — glommed onto the movement like a fad.

 

Indeed, violence against Black people escalated. And that brought on this week’s refusal by the N.B.A. and others to play sports. It was a swift jolt to leagues, owners and networks that live off televised broadcast games.

 

Sports have long been a platform capable of providing shocks to the status quo. More than 50 years ago, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their black-gloved fists at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

 

Muhammad Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam War. Billie Jean King, the W.N.B.A. star Maya Moore and a long line of female athletes fought for justice and equal pay. And, of course, four years ago this week, Colin Kaepernick was spotted for the first time in his protest of police brutality, refusing to stand during the national anthem.

 

The current refusal to play, however, is not simply a shock. This is an earthquake. Walkouts like this have never happened before in pro sports. Though this appears to be a temporary work stoppage — N.B.A. players have voted to return, probably this weekend, and other sports seemed to be following suit — a new high bar of protest has been established.

 

Black athletes and their allies will not hesitate to effectively strike again. Next time, the stoppage may well last longer than a few days. Maybe players will sit out an entire season. Maybe they will be from the N.F.L. Maybe Black college football players and their teammates at schools like Alabama, Florida and Oklahoma will walk.

 

Perhaps the other America will stiffen in tried-and-true backlash and persist in harkening to days of old.

 

But the silence will speak to us all.

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8) One Person Dead in Portland After Clashes Between Trump Supporters and Protesters

A person wearing a hat with the insignia of a right-wing group was shot and killed Saturday night. A caravan of supporters of President Trump had driven into downtown Portland.

By Mike Baker, Aug. 30, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/us/portland-trump-rally-shooting.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Police officers and emergency workers near a man who was shot and killed at a protest in Portland, Ore., on Saturday.

Police officers and emergency workers near a man who was shot and killed at a protest in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times


PORTLAND, Ore. — A man wearing the apparel of a right-wing group was shot and killed Saturday as a large group of supporters of President Trump traveled in a caravan through downtown Portland, Ore., which has seen nightly protests for three consecutive months.

 

The pro-Trump rally drew hundreds of trucks full of supporters into the city. At times, Trump supporters and counterprotesters clashed on the streets, with people shooting paintball guns from the beds of pickup trucks and protesters throwing objects back at them.

 

A video that purports to be of the shooting, taken from the far side of the street, showed a small group of people in the road outside what appears to be a parking garage. Gunfire erupts, and a man collapses in the street.

 

The man who was shot and killed was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in the Portland area that has clashed with protesters in the past.

 

The Portland Police Bureau said that officers heard reports of gunfire shortly before 9 p.m. and found a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. It was determined that the victim had died. They did not release any information about a possible gunman.

 

“This violence is completely unacceptable, and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said early Sunday.

 

Mr. Trump reiterated his call that the National Guard should be brought in to Portland, saying people want law and order.

 

“They want Safety & Security, and do NOT want to Defund our Police!” Mr. Trump tweeted on Sunday.

 

Chad Wolf, the acting secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said on the program “This Week” that all options were on the table in determining how the federal government might respond to the events in Portland.

 

At the scene Saturday night, police officers blocked off the road and medics attended to a person who appeared to have a chest wound.

 

The shooting capped a volatile week in the United States that began when the police in Kenosha, Wis., repeatedly shot a Black man, Jacob Blake, prompting new protests against racism and police brutality that included the cancellation of professional sports games.

 

During the unrest after the shooting of Mr. Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Illinois resident, was charged in connection with the fatal shootings of two protesters.

 

Portland has seen nightly demonstrations since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May. In recent days, right-wing demonstrations have also sprung up in the city, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly highlighted the unrest in Portland as evidence of the need for a tougher law-and-order response to the chaotic protests over police violence and racial injustice that have swept through many American cities.

 

The Trump supporters gathered earlier Saturday in the suburbs and plotted a route for the several hundred vehicles involved in the event that would have kept them on the highways outside the city center. But some of the ralliers headed directly downtown, where counterprotesters confronted some of the vehicles. Some of the conflicts led to fistfights. In one encounter, someone drove over a bike, drawing police to the scene.

 

While protests in Portland have persisted, their numbers have changed over time. The nightly events began with mass demonstrations after Mr. Floyd’s death, then shrank to smaller numbers of people who repeatedly clashed with the police. In July, when the federal government sent camouflaged agents into the city, the protest numbers grew dramatically once again.

 

In more recent days, the protest crowd has typically numbered just a few hundred people. On Friday, after a peaceful demonstration in front of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s residence, a crowd went out to a police association building, where some of the protesters set fire to the front of the building before the police dispersed the crowd.

 

The police have made dozens of arrests in recent days as they have chased protesters through the streets, at times knocking them to the ground. The police said they made 10 arrests Saturday night, although it was not immediately clear how many were participants in the pro-Trump rally and how many were countering the event.

 

Mr. Trump retweeted a video showing his supporters shooting paintballs and using pepper spray on crowds in Portland before the fatal shooting. He seemed to condone it, saying the “big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected.”

 

“The people of Portland won’t put up with no safety any longer,” Mr. Trump wrote.

 

Mr. Trump has repeatedly focused on the unrest in Portland, including during the Republican National Convention last week, challenging the city’s leaders to end the chaos. Mr. Trump said in a tweet on Friday that the federal government would go into the city if the mayor were unable to maintain control.

 

Mr. Wheeler in a letter on Friday asked Mr. Trump to stay away, saying the earlier federal presence had made things worse. “Your offer to repeat that disaster is a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city,” he wrote.

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9) [Excerpt...BW] (This article is very long and could not be posted in its entirety here. But I encourage you to watch the video of the police stopping a 19-year-old young Black man for "making a wide right turn," which is included in the video itself. It's no "wide right turn." You have to see it to believe it. The arrogance and extreme racism of the cops is...there are no words to describe it. This young man did NOTHING AT ALL and the cops said and did everything they could to provoke him! He kept his cool or he probably would have been killed by the cops. Every person should see this video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=LtQG0JlCORI&feature=emb_logo
. —Bonnie Weinstein)

Breonna Taylor’s Life Was Changing. Then the Police Came to Her Door. 
An ex-boyfriend’s run-ins with the law entangled her even as she tried to move on. Interviews, documents and jailhouse recordings help explain how she landed in the middle of a deadly drug raid.

By Rukmini Callimachi, August 30, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/us/breonna-taylor-police-killing.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Breonna Taylor had just done four overnight shifts at the hospital where she worked as an emergency room technician. To let off some steam, she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, planned a date night: dinner at a steakhouse, followed by a movie in bed.

 

Usually, they headed to his apartment, where he lived alone and she had left a toothbrush and a flat iron. But that night, they went to the small unit she shared with her younger sister, who was away on a trip. It was dark when the couple pulled into the parking lot, then closed the door to Apartment 4 behind them.

 

This was the year of big plans for the 26-year-old: Her home was brimming with the Post-it notes and envelopes on which she wrote her goals. She had just bought a new car. Next on the list: buying her own home. And trying to have a baby with Mr. Walker. They had already chosen a name.

 

She fell asleep next to him just after midnight on March 13, the movie still playing. “The last thing she said was, ‘Turn off the TV,’” he said in an interview.

 

From the parking lot, undercover officers surveilling Ms. Taylor’s apartment before a drug raid saw only the blue glow of the television.

 

When they punched in the door with a battering ram, Mr. Walker, fearing an intruder, reached for his gun and let off one shot, wounding an officer. He and another officer returned fire, while a third began blindly shooting through Ms. Taylor’s window and patio door. Bullets ripped through nearly every room in her apartment, then into two adjoining ones. They sliced through a soap dish, a chair and a table and shattered a sliding-glass door.

 

Ms. Taylor, struck five times, bled out on the floor.

 

Breonna Taylor has since become an icon, her silhouette a symbol of police violence and racial injustice. Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris spoke her name during their speeches at the Democratic convention. Oprah Winfrey ceded the cover of her magazine for the first time to feature the young Black woman, and paid for billboards with her image across Louisville. Beyoncé called for the three white officers who opened fire to be criminally charged. N.B.A. stars including LeBron James devoted postgame interviews to keeping her name in the news.

 

In Louisville, demonstrators have led nightly protests downtown, where most government buildings and many businesses are now boarded up. As outrage mounted, the city fired one of the officers, pushed out the police chief and passed “Breonna’s Law,” banning “no-knock” warrants, which allow the police to burst into people’s homes without warning. Protesters say that is not enough.

 

Nearly six months after Ms. Taylor’s killing, the story of what happened that night — and what came before and after — remains largely untold. Unlike the death of George Floyd, which was captured on video as a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck, Ms. Taylor’s final moments remain in shadow because no such footage exists.

 

But a clearer picture of Ms. Taylor’s death and life, of the person behind the cause, emerged from dozens of interviews with public officials and people who knew her, as well as a review of over 1,500 pages of police records, including evidence logs, transcripts of jailhouse recordings and surveillance photos. The Louisville Metro Police Department, citing a pending investigation, declined to answer simple questions about the case or make anyone available for interviews.

 

The daughter of a teenage mother and a man who has been incarcerated since she was a child, Ms. Taylor attended college, trained as an E.M.T. and hoped to become a nurse. But along the way, she developed a yearslong relationship with a twice-convicted drug dealer whose trail led the police to her door that fateful night.

 

Sloppy surveillance outside her apartment in the hours before the raid failed to detect that Mr. Walker was there, so the officers expected to find an unarmed woman alone. A failure to follow their own rules of engagement and a lack of routine safeguards, like stationing an ambulance outside, compounded the risks that night.

 

While the department had gotten court approval for a “no-knock” entry to search for evidence of drugs or cash from drug trafficking, the orders were changed before the raid to “knock and announce,” meaning that the police had to identify themselves.

 

The officers have said that they did; Mr. Walker says he did not hear anything. In interviews with nearly a dozen neighbors, only one person said he heard the officers shout “Police!” a single time.

 

Sam Aguiar, a lawyer representing Ms. Taylor’s family, blames “catastrophic failures” by the police department for the young woman’s death. “Breonna Taylor,” he said, “gets shot in her own home, with her boyfriend doing what’s as American as apple pie, in defending himself and his woman.”

 

Ms. Taylor had been focused on her future with Mr. Walker. But her history with 30-year-old Jamarcus Glover, an on-again off-again boyfriend who had spent years in prison, was hard to escape, even after she cut ties with him a month before the raid. When the officers rammed the door of the apartment, Mr. Walker later explained, he fired his gun because he feared it was her ex-boyfriend forcing his way in.

 

Although Ms. Taylor had no criminal record and was never the target of an inquiry, Mr. Glover’s frequent run-ins with the police entangled her. She had been interviewed in a murder inquiry, and paid or arranged bail for him and his associates.

 

When Mr. Glover called from jail after an earlier arrest in January, she told him that his brushes with the law worried her, according to a recording; each said “I love you” before hanging up. A GPS tracker the police placed on his car later showed him making regular trips to her apartment complex, and surveillance photos showed her outside a drug house.

 

In a series of calls hours after her death, as Mr. Glover tried to make bail, he told another woman that he had left about $14,000 with Ms. Taylor. “Bre been having all my money,” he claimed. The same afternoon, he also told an associate he had left money at Ms. Taylor’s home.

 

Mr. Aguiar, the lawyer for her family, said that no drugs or cash were found at her apartment after the raid. Thomas B. Wine, the Jefferson County prosecutor, countered that the search was called off once the shooting occurred.

 

With three investigations underway, including a federal civil rights inquiry, a full public accounting of the botched raid is not yet possible. A city on the defensive has withheld some of the most basic information about the case, roiling public anger. Still, as journalists in recent days have reported about Ms. Taylor’s ties to the drug dealer, city officials have made a point of not excusing the outcome of the raid. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement: “Breonna Taylor’s death was a tragedy. Period.”

 

Christopher 2X, a longtime community organizer whom Ms. Taylor’s family turned to after her death, said her relationship with Mr. Glover had to be acknowledged. “You can’t just look away from it and act like it’s not there,” he said. “My hope is courageous people will say: ‘There it is — it’s what it is — but was this shooting justified? She should be alive today.’”

 

‘This Agency Isn’t Really Built for Us’

 

The fumbled raid that resulted in the young woman’s death was paradoxically set in motion by an attempt at police reform.

 

The impetus came in spring 2019, when a video went viral showing a Black teenager being pulled over and handcuffed. He was his high school’s homecoming king. His offense was making a wide turn.

 

The department would be sued at least three times that year for racial bias by Black motorists. They included the teenager, who had borrowed his mother’s car to get a slushy; a father and his 9-year-old son, who were boxed in by police cars for failing to signal; and a man and his caregiver who were stopped for an obstructed windshield, then told to stand barefoot on the asphalt as the car was searched.

 

In each instance, the police looked for drugs and found none.

 

The week that the video of the teenager was uploaded to YouTube coincided with a visit to the department by Robin Engel, the director of the University of Cincinnati Center for Police Research and Policy. Her research helped shape a model of policing credited with cutting violent crime in Cincinnati and Las Vegas.

 

She recalled that the police chief at the time, Steve Conrad, asked her: How can we do better?

 

Tensions between the Louisville department and the city’s Black residents had accrued over decades of heavy-handed policing and discriminatory practices. A federal consent decree in the 1980s required the department to hire one Black officer for every two white recruits, with the goal of raising Black representation on the force to 15 percent. Nearly 40 years later, in a city that is almost one-quarter African-American, only 10 percent of the force’s 1,154 officers are Black, according to a spokeswoman.

 

“The trauma of it, the reality of it, just set in for so many of us that this agency isn’t really built for us,” said Charles Booker, a state representative in Kentucky who is Black.

 

What Ms. Engel proposed was a departure from traditional practices in Louisville and other cities. Instead of targeting a large area for frequent traffic stops or going after specific criminals who are quickly replaced, focus on micro-locations: a storefront, a parking lot, a city block. The idea was to identify spots conducive to crime and adopt remedies, like cutting tall grass in a neighborhood where felons hide guns, or putting “No Parking” signs along a street where drug dealers idle in cars.

 

In December 2019, the Louisville Police created its Place-Based Investigations unit, and after analyzing crime statistics, decided to focus on Elliott Avenue, a street of dilapidated and abandoned houses, according to city records.

 

Nearly every year since 2014, a timeline provided by the city shows that at least one killing occurred there, most of them on the 2400 block. In 2014, a teenage girl was shot multiple times; in 2015, a 49-year-old man was doused in lighter fluid and set on fire; in 2016, a man was fatally shot; in 2018, a homicide victim was found in his home; and in 2019, a bystander died in a shootout, according to city records.

Read more at watch videos:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/us/breonna-taylor-police-killing.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

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10) The Rent Eats First, Even During a Pandemic

Threatening to turn families out of their homes during the coronavirus fight isn’t just morally suspect; it’s dangerous.

By Matthew Desmond, Author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” Aug. 29, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-evictions-superspreader.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Illustration by Rachel Willey; photograph by Getty Images

A year and a half ago, Jhon Loaiza and his wife, Sugey Bedoya, moved with their three daughters — now 12, 5 and 3 — from a two-bedroom apartment in New York City to a compact brick ranch house in San Antonio. They loved that house — its fenced-in backyard and four whole bedrooms, each with soft tan carpet — and their new city. They would walk by the river with ice cream or ride bikes after Sunday church. At night, Mr. Loaiza would put on salsa or reggaeton, twirling his girls around the living room and laughing. His broad smile forced his dimples to crease in.

 

That was in the before time — before Mr. Loaiza lost his income because of business closures, before he and his family left their home because they were threatened with eviction and before he contracted Covid-19 likely as a result of that move.

 

Forty-five, with a trim athlete’s body, Mr. Loaiza worked as a physical trainer for the San Antonio Athenians, a semipro women’s soccer team. During the off-season, he joined construction crews, cutting tile and stone, and waited tables. In November, having found better work opportunities in New York, Mr. Loaiza temporarily moved back, sending money to his family, who had remained in Texas.

 

In March, as New York City became an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, Mr. Loaiza returned to San Antonio and quarantined at home. But the virus was not far behind him, and when it arrived in full force in Texas, the jobs dried up. Mr. Loaiza and Ms. Bedoya had enough savings to cover April’s rent, $1,595, but they had to skimp on other bills. They began relying on food boxes from their church. As I’ve noted before, the rent eats first.

 

Sensing that his family wouldn’t be able to make the next month’s rent, Mr. Loaiza applied for emergency assistance and called the city’s Neighborhood and Housing Services Department so frequently that the operators got to know him by name. But it seemed as if all of San Antonio was calling, and Mr. Loaiza learned it could be a full month before help would arrive, if it arrived at all. When Houston approved $15 million in additional rental assistance, it ran out in less than two hours.

 

May arrived, and the family fell behind. Their landlord, Ricardo Acosta, delivered their eviction notice on June 2, handing it to Mr. Loaiza and Ms. Bedoya’s 12-year-old daughter, who had answered the door. The eviction notice read: “Landlord demands that Tenant vacate the Property not later than the date stated in Paragraph B,” which was June 6. Mr. Loaiza had never been through anything like this. He was confused and intimidated by language meant to have that effect. Did he really have just four days? Reading the notice, Mr. Loaiza wept.

 

Many tenants understandably move at this stage, but Mr. Loaiza reached out to the Center for Legal and Social Justice at the St. Mary’s University School of Law, learning that his eviction notice was just the first step in the process. If he wasn’t out by June 6, a lawyer explained, an official eviction citation would most likely arrive.

 

A week later, however, Mr. Loaiza learned that he had been approved for $3,000 in emergency assistance, 44 days after submitting his application, with payments to be sent directly to the landlord. But the landlord did not cancel the eviction proceedings; the aid hadn’t yet arrived. Two days later, the court issued the eviction citation. The first sentence read: “You have been sued.” A court date was set for July 10. Mr. Loaiza didn’t think there was any way he could earn $3,190 — rent for May and June — by then. He prayed that his landlord would receive the rental assistance in time.

 

Many evictions during the pandemic have been for far less. According to data just released by the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, which I direct, last month the median family faced eviction for $1,172 in Hamilton County, Ohio (greater Cincinnati) and $1,706 in Maricopa County, Ariz. (the Phoenix metropolitan area). But roughly one in 14 evictions filed in Hamilton County and one in six in Maricopa County were for $500 or less. In an average week in July, Maricopa County processed roughly 43 eviction cases involving a family that owed less than $100.

 

A week passed, then another, and Mr. Loaiza still did not know if the aid had arrived. On June 23, the landlord texted him. “Jhon, u said u were vacating the home last weekend. Is the home vacant now?”

 

Mr. Loaiza felt emptied out and powerless; “impotent,” he told me. He began to lose sleep, and the stress snaked through his body like poison. Mr. Loaiza thought seriously about killing himself. He had never before entertained that obliterating thought, but the sheer hopelessness of the situation was suffocating. Marshals that carry out evictions are full of suicide stories: the early morning rap on the door followed by a single gunshot from inside the apartment, the blunt sound of giving up. From 2005 to 2010, years when housing costs were soaring across the country, suicides attributed to eviction and foreclosure doubled.

 

Mr. Loaiza pushed through it, the pull to sleep, to bury himself, and with the rent assistance seemingly stalled, he began calling friends in San Antonio, asking if they would consider taking his family in. No one had room. Finally, friends in Florida offered two rooms in their home and storage space in their garage. Mr. Loaiza and Ms. Bedoya began packing and scrubbing the apartment, hoping to receive their security deposit back. To afford the U-Haul, Mr. Loaiza jumped at the first job opportunity he found, joining a construction crew working inside a large building.

 

“Jhon, Is the home now vacant?” Mr. Acosta again texted on July 1. It was. At dawn, the family had begun their trek east. Mr. Loaiza drove the U-Haul, while Ms. Bedoya and the girls followed in the family car. A few hours in, Mr. Loaiza began to feel sick, feverish. It got so bad that Ms. Bedoya took to keeping her husband on the phone to make sure he was lucid.

 

A legal aid lawyer from St. Mary’s volunteered to represent Mr. Loaiza and Ms. Bedoya’s case in their absence. The day before the eviction court hearing, the lawyer called the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department to inquire about the family’s stalled rental assistance payment. She learned that $3,000 had in fact been issued to the landlord, and that he had cashed the check weeks earlier, on June 19, days before he texted Jhon about vacating the house. (Mr. Acosta did not consent to an interview, despite multiple requests, but he did tell me by text that “the tenant vacated the home in order to find work elsewhere. The court records will show that.” Mr. Loaiza told me that he moved because he felt forced from his home and that he had never told Mr. Acosta that he was moving for job opportunities.)

 

All this pain — the stress so crippling that suicide begins to appear as relief, the severing of church and school ties, friendships; uprooting a family from community and work — it wasn’t for $3,190. If it was for anything, it was for $190. The lawyer tried calling Mr. Loaiza, over and over, but she couldn’t reach him. By that time, he was already in Florida, lying in a hospital bed with Covid-19.

 

Rent — it’s the greediest of bills. For many families, it grows every year, arbitrarily, almost magically, not because of any home improvements; just because. “Demand,” they say, when they hand you a new lease with a stiff rent hike. Or “costs are rising.” What they mean is: “Because I can.” And unlike defaulting on other bills, missing a rent payment can result in immediate and devastating consequences, casting families into poverty and homelessness. If you can’t afford enough food, you can usually qualify for food stamps. If you miss a mortgage payment, you typically have 120 days before your bank can initiate the foreclosure process. But if you can’t pay your rent, you can lose your home in a matter of weeks. During the first half of July, landlords collected 37 percent of total rent from families living in Class C properties — typically older stock, home to low- and moderate-income workers — compared with 80 percent during the first three months of the year.

 

Media coverage of the housing crisis typically focuses on large coastal cities, where rent for a one-bedroom apartment can run north of $3,000. But this is not just New York’s problem or San Francisco’s; it’s the nation’s problem. Places with some of the highest eviction rates include Tulsa, Okla.; Albuquerque; Indianapolis; Toledo, Ohio; and Baton Rouge, La., not to mention many suburban communities and small towns across the country.

 

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 800,000 people around the nation were threatened with eviction each month. Today, with unemployment levels unseen since the Great Depression and the expiration of federal benefits along with national and several state eviction moratoriums, millions of renters are at risk of losing their homes by the end of the year. This process is already underway. Tucson usually sees 10 to 30 eviction cases a day. In June it handled roughly 50 cases a day. That same month, eviction cases were up 70 percent in Alabama, compared with last June. In the last week of July, eviction filings were 109 percent above average levels in Milwaukee.

 

During a pandemic that forcefully links our health to our homes, eviction will help spread the virus, as displaced families crowd into shelters, double up with relatives and friends, or risk their health in unsafe jobs to make rent or pay for moving expenses. I also spoke with Margie Hernandez, a 63-year-old widow in San Antonio who had moved her family into a Best Western after they were evicted in June. The Hernandez family had followed health guidelines before their eviction — staying home as much as possible, social distancing — but in the hotel lobby, they were “packed in like sardines,” Mrs. Hernandez told me. She and her children wore masks, but many guests didn’t. Several days after checking into the hotel, Mrs. Hernandez and one of her adult sons lost their sense of taste. It was Covid-19. Mrs. Hernandez spent five days in intensive care and is still on oxygen. Her 27-year-old son remains in the hospital, on dialysis.

 

Mr. Loaiza recovered from Covid-19 and found work painting houses in Florida; his family recently moved into its own place. But he hasn’t fully recovered from his eviction trial. “I’m jumpy and have trouble concentrating,” he told me. “I don’t sleep well.” Mr. Loaiza believes he contracted the virus during the construction job he took to afford the U-Haul. A health nut, he had tried to maintain social distance, but it was impossible. If emergency assistance had come sooner or if his landlord had worked with his family, Mr. Loaiza wouldn’t have put himself in harm’s way. “If I had the opportunity to work from home and avoid the virus, I would have,” he told me. “But I had to go.” In all likelihood, Mr. Loaiza, like Mrs. Hernandez and her son, got Covid-19 because of what happened in the aftermath of their eviction cases.

 

Medical professionals have sounded the alarm about how the eviction crisis will exacerbate our public health emergency. At the beginning of August, 26 medical associations signed a letter urging Congress to provide housing resources to renting families, recognizing the housing crisis to be a health crisis.

 

Our efforts to defeat Covid-19 and recover from the economic damage it has wrought will be deeply compromised if we fail to help families keep their homes. Besides pushing up coronavirus infection rates, the eviction crisis will also aggravate our unemployment crisis, as workers get displaced far from their jobs, and it will further complicate school reopenings, as evicted children, themselves at heightened risk of infection, shuffle from one school to the next.

 

Eviction solves nothing. Landlords don’t need to resort to the threat of eviction to get paid. If they did, we would expect to see higher rent collection rates in states where eviction moratoriums have expired and lower rates where landlords are still barred from evicting families. But that’s not what industry data show. There is no discernible difference in rent collection rates between states with eviction moratoriums still in place and those whose moratoriums have expired. Eviction is not a solution to landlords’ fundamental problem of maintaining rental income. Rent relief is.

 

This is where I’m supposed to offer solutions, the more original the better, perhaps even share an example of a city “doing it right.” But the truth is, there is only one entity able to prevent untold numbers of renting families across America from experiencing in the coming weeks and months what Mr. Loaiza’s and Mrs. Hernandez’s families went through — and that’s Congress. Calling for swift action from the federal government may read like a cop-out, I know, but in this moment anything less is woefully inadequate.

 

Congress must do its job: protecting the security and health of American families. We need a nationwide eviction stoppage and bold assistance to renters. Experts estimate that we need between $7 and $12 billion a month to help workers who rent to remain safe and secure in their homes. But instead of passing a relief bill based on legislation that the House passed two months ago, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, dithered before recessing the Senate until after Labor Day, allowing the nation to career full-tilt toward an eviction crisis. This wait-and-see approach is not only cruel; it’s penny-wise and pound-foolish. It will be far costlier, in both lives and money, to reactively respond to the looming eviction crisis than to act now and prevent the problem from becoming far worse. Too many Americans have already lost their lives and jobs. There will be no excuse if too many needlessly lose their homes too.

 

It’s a familiar pattern: congressional negligence when it comes to protecting families’ basic housing needs. Over the last several years, as many workers watched their incomes stagnate or fall while their rents and utility costs rose, Congress refused to deepen its investment in affordable housing. Today, most renting families who qualify for housing assistance don’t receive it — there’s simply not enough to go around — and most below the poverty line spend more than half of their income on housing costs. This must change. Any comprehensive plan to promote social mobility, address racial disparities and stabilize communities must be grounded in our fundamental need for safe and affordable housing. “Building back better” begins at home.

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11) Phoenix Settles With Black Family After Police Drew Guns Over Reported Doll Theft

The settlement, which is for more than $470,000, comes after an episode last year in which officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at a Family Dollar store.

By Christina Morales, Aug. 29, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/us/phoenix-police-settlement.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
Dravon Ames, second from left, and Iesha Harper at a community meeting in Phoenix last year.
Dravon Ames, second from left, and Iesha Harper at a community meeting in Phoenix last year. Credit...Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The city of Phoenix has reached a settlement with a Black family for more than $470,000 after a widely viewed video last year showed police officers drawing their weapons and shouting expletives at the family while responding to a shoplifting complaint.

 

No charges were filed in connection with the episode and at least one officer was fired.

 

Members of the City Council voted 6 to 2 on Wednesday to approve the settlement for the two people involved in the episode, Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper.

 

A notice of claim that their lawyer sent to the city said the officers violated their civil rights and engaged in brutality during the episode.

 

“I just want to say, I’m glad we got justice,” Ms. Harper said at a news conference, The Associated Press reported. “It’s been hell dealing with my kids and everything that happened.”

 

Their lawyer, Thomas C. Horne, a former Arizona state attorney general, said last year that the officers’ actions had been “traumatic and utterly unjustified.”

 

Although Mr. Horne said the overall settlement was for $500,000, the city said in a statement on Saturday that the award was for $475,000.

 

“The settlement is to compensate Ms. Harper and her two children for injuries they may have suffered as a result of a Police Department call for service,” the statement said. A majority of the payment will go into a structured settlement for the children, it said.

 

The episode drew widespread attention as police encounters with civilians have faced heightened scrutiny, which is increasingly augmented by videos captured by bystanders on cellphones or by officers’ body cameras.

 

The settlement comes as racial unrest has been amplified nationwide after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It’s one of the latest settlements in claims of excessive-force or wrongful death that have cost the city millions, The Arizona Republic reported.

 

The Phoenix Police Department has said the episode, which happened in May 2019, began after a Family Dollar store manager alerted an officer to a possible shoplifting and said that those being sought were getting into a car.

 

The notice of claim said that Mr. Ames and Ms. Harper had not realized until they were back at their car that their 4-year-old daughter had walked out of the store with a doll.

 

Carlos Garcia, a City Council member, apologized to the family at the meeting on Wednesday and criticized the city and the news media for how the events were covered.

 

“The money won’t take away the trauma or the harm that’s been caused, but I hope that the children will have a better life for it,” he said.

 

The Police Department said in June that it would make concrete changes to improve public trust, including “a fast-tracked rollout of more than 2,000 body-worn cameras,” among other changes.

 

The police academy was also working to modernize training, emphasizing communication skills, empathy and stress management.

 

“We can’t function as a department without the trust of our community, and there are adjustments we can make to strengthen that trust,” Police Chief Jeri Williams said about the changes. “We pride ourselves on being an organization willing to learn and evolve, to listen to our community and become better. I am confident this moves us closer to that goal.”



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12) Right-winger attacks socialists in Stamford

By ERWIN FREED, August 29, 2020

https://socialistresurgence.org/2020/08/29/right-winger-attacks-socialists-in-stamford/
Socialist Resurgence table immediately after attack.

On Friday, Aug. 28, Socialist Resurgence’s weekly “Pop Up Revolutionary Bookstore” in Stamford, Conn., was attacked by a man shouting, “Not in my country!”

 

The man flipped over the book table and began tearing down banners and flags. Fortunately no one was hurt. For several weeks prior to the attack, members of Socialist Resurgence have been selling books, buttons, and pamphlets in Stamford, and have had a great response from the community. Kim, walking with her grandchild, donated $20 and pinned a trans liberation Socialist Resurgence button on her grandson. David, a veteran of the struggle for Black liberation, bought a book on Malcolm X and Leon Trotsky’s “Fascism: What it is and how to fight it.”

 

Lupe Agrado, a furloughed hotel banquet server and member of Local 217 Unite Here, said after hearing news of the attack, “I’m really angry that this person fears the truth and felt the need to try and silence it by destroying a book table.” She continued, “I’ll be there at the bookstore next week standing in solidarity. I hope others join me.”

 

The attack in Stamford is a reflection of the broader violence done to Black, Latinx, immigrant, and women workers and youth in the city by police, big business, and vigilantes. Recently, on Aug. 8, police brutally assaulted activists who were marching for justice for Steven Barrier, a 23 year old who died at the hands of police in October 2019. The police attack took place in the same location as the SR pop-up bookstore.

 

This reflects a nationwide wave of attacks on activists by far-right vigilantes. The latest incidents include the actions of an armed militia group in Kenosha, Wis., which included in its ranks Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two activists and severely wounded another. Armed groups of vigilantes have harassed, and sometimes violently attacked, BLM demonstrators in Portland, Philadelphia, New York City, and many other cities and towns. At least 60 incidents have taken place in which people have used cars to slam into protesters at Black Lives Matter rallies.

 

Overall, this is a reflection of the violence perpetrated by the federal government, in actions ranging from bombing workers in foreign countries to sending in federal agents to U.S. cities to repress and kidnap protesters. In some areas, local police have given support and expressed their “thanks” to the armed rightists, and elected politicians have sometimes appeared at their events. Representatives of both major capitalist parties have unleashed the police on protesters standing for racial justice. The attack on Socialist Resurgence is part of a national attack on all workers’ rights to organize.

 

We call for an end to police terror, vigilante violence, and state repression. We refuse to give an inch to right-wing vigilantism; we immediately set up a new book table. Friday’s incident shows that the workers’ movement needs to defend itself, through large solidarity contingents and by making sure to spread the message of workers’ power.

 

Join in solidarity with Socialist Resurgence on Sept. 4 at our next pop-up revolutionary bookstore in Stamford, Conn., at 4 p.m. Help defend our right to free speech. An injury to one is an injury to all!

 

Donating to Socialist Resurgence’s summer fund drive helps send a message and will help recover the costs of damaged materials.  See:

 https://socialistresurgence.org/2020/06/02/please-contribute-to-the-socialist-resurgence-fund-drive/

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13) Trump, Vicar of Fear and Violence

He continues the old practice of stoking white victimhood for votes.

By Charles M. Blow, Opinion Columnist, Aug. 30, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/opinion/trump-white-fear-2020.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

President Trump speaking at the White House during the final night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday. Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times


The use of white fear and white victimhood as potent political weapons is as old as the country itself. Donald Trump is just the latest practitioner of this trade.

 

As Robert G. Parkinson wrote in “The Common Cause,” his book about patriot leaders during the American Revolution, politicians used fears of insurrectionist enslaved people, Indian “massacres” and foreign mercenaries to unite the disparate colonies in a common fight.

 

Does this sound similar to Trump’s rhetoric on Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, Black Lives Matter and supposed anarchists?

 

Even the founding fathers used white fear of the “other” for political benefit. And when they didn’t have the facts, they were not above fabrication.

 

In 1782, before the peace treaty that officially ended the Revolutionary War had been negotiated, Benjamin Franklin, fearing some form of reconciliation between Britain and the colonies, sought to inflame passions of the colonists and embarrass the British by concocting a report of packages including “8 large ones containing SCALPS of our unhappy Country-folks, taken in the three last Years by the Senneka Indians from the Inhabitants of the Frontiers of New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia,” purportedly sent to the governor of Canada for him to transmit to England.

 

Among the scalps were supposedly 88 women’s scalps, 193 boys’ scalps, 211 girls’ scalps and “29 little infants’ scalps of various sizes.”

 

None of this was true. Franklin may be a progenitor of fake news.

 

White fear of rebellions by the enslaved marked American life before the Civil War and informed the legal code. As the National Park Service explained:

 

“Slaveholding elites also regulated white behavior in attempts to increase security. One example among many occurred in 1739, when the South Carolina legislature passed the Security Act. A response to white fear of insurrection, the act required that all white men carry firearms to church on Sundays.”

 

This white fear also pervaded Reconstruction. As the Cornell University history professor Lawrence Glickman wrote in The Atlantic in May:

 

“During Reconstruction, opponents of the black-freedom struggle deployed pre-emptive, apocalyptic, slippery-slope arguments that have remained enduring features of backlash politics up to the present. They treated federal support for African-American civil rights, economic and social equality — however delayed, reluctant, underfunded, and incomplete it may have been — as a cataclysmic overreaction and framed it as a far more dangerous threat to liberty than the injustice it was designed to address.”

 

This white fear of Black violence was part of what gave birth to the Black Codes and Jim Crow, and it pervaded pop culture. It was a central theme in “The Birth of a Nation,” which helped revive the Ku Klux Klan and was the first movie ever screened at the White House by President Woodrow Wilson, a racist who once wrote:

 

“The white men of the South were aroused by the mere instinct of self-preservation to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant Negroes and conducted in the interest of adventurers.”

 

More recently, white fear of Black violence and Black dominance has led to misguided urban policies, white flight from urban areas, the rise of the suburbs, difficulties enacting common-sense gun measures and the militarization of policing.

 

One could argue that Trump’s law and order mantra has its roots in Richard Nixon’s success with it in the 1968 presidential campaign. As Time magazine reported at the time, to some it was “a shorthand message promising repression of the black community”— and to that community, it was “a bleak warning that worse times may be coming.”

 

This sentiment, if not the phrase itself, has been part of presidential politics ever since. George Bush used it in 1988 with his Willie Horton campaign ad. Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill was an effort to demonstrate that Democrats could be tough on crime. George W. Bush ran his campaign for governor of Texas using a Willie Horton-style ad, promising to be tough on crime and asserting that his opponent, Ann Richards, was soft on it.

 

The 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, may have tapped into it a bit when she claimed that Barack Obama was “palling around with terrorists.”

 

And now Trump has brought it raging back. He knows, as politicians have known before him, how white fear of violence can be exploited and used as a political tool. He has done it before, and he will do it again.

 

White people still, for now, are the majority of the population in this country and hold the lion’s share of the country’s power. Trump knows that if he can convince enough of them that they are under threat — that their personal safety, their way of life, their heritage, and their hold on power are in danger — they will act to protect what they have.

 

Trump believes what his departing counsel Kellyanne Conway told “Fox and Friends” last week: that “the more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”

 

But Trump isn’t the originator of law and order demagogy, he’s just its latest vicar.

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