Tag Archives: US police state

Free Lynne Stewart: Save Her Life – Release Her Now! (petition)

www.change.org

Petition to Free Lynne Stewart: Save Her Life - Release Her Now!

Petitioning Charles E. Samuels, Jr. 

This petition will be delivered to:

Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Charles E. Samuels, Jr.


Warden, Federal Medical Center, Carswell
Joe Keffer



Petition to Free Lynne Stewart: Save Her Life – Release Her Now!

Lynne Stewart has devoted her life to the oppressed – a constant advocate for the countless many deprived in the United States of their freedom and their rights.

Unjustly charged and convicted for the “crime” of providing her client with a fearless defense, the prosecution of Lynne Stewart is an assault upon the basic freedoms of us all.

After years of post-conviction freedom, her bail was revoked arbitrarily and her imprisonment ordered, precluding surgery she had scheduled in a major New York hospital.

The sinister meaning of the relentless persecution of Lynne Stewart is unmistakably clear. Given her age and precarious health, the ten-year sentence she is serving is a virtual death sentence.

Since her imprisonment in the Federal Prison in Carswell, Texas her urgent need for surgery was delayed 18 months – so long, that the operating physician pronounced the condition as “the worst he had seen.”

Now, breast cancer, which had been in remission prior to her imprisonment, has reached Stage Four. It has appeared in her lymph nodes, on her shoulder, in her bones and her lungs.

Her daughter, a physician, has sounded the alarm: “Under the best of circumstances, Lynne would be in a battle of the most serious consequences with dangerous odds. With cancer and cancer treatment, the complications can be as debilitating and as dangerous as the cancer itself.”

In her current setting, where trips to physicians involve attempting to walk with 10 pounds of shackles on her wrists and ankles, with connecting chains, Lynne Stewart has lacked ready access to physicians and specialists under conditions compatible with medical success.

It can take weeks to see a medical provider in prison conditions. It can take weeks to report physical changes and learn the results of treatment; and when held in the hospital, Lynne has been shackled wrist and ankle to the bed.

This medieval “shackling” has little to do with any appropriate prison control. She is obviously not an escape risk.

We demand abolition of this practice for all prisoners, let alone those facing surgery and the urgent necessity of care and recovery.

It amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of human rights.

There is immediate remedy available for Lynne Stewart. Under the 1984 Sentencing Act, after a prisoner request, the Bureau of Prisons can file a motion with the Court to reduce sentences “for extraordinary and compelling reasons.” Life threatening illness is foremost among these and Lynne Stewart meets every rational and humane criterion for compassionate release.

To misconstrue the gravamen of this compassionate release by conditioning such upon being at death’s door – released, if at all, solely to die – is a cruel mockery converting a prison sentence, wholly undeserved, into a death sentence.

The New York Times, in an editorial (2/12), has excoriated the Bureau of Prisons for their restrictive crippling of this program. In a 20-year period, the Bureau released a scant 492 persons – an average of 24 a year out of a population that exceeds 220,000.

We cry out against the bureaucratic murder of Lynne Stewart.

We demand Lynne Stewart’s immediate release to receive urgent medical care in a supportive environment indispensable to the prospect of her survival and call upon the Bureau of Prisons to act immediately.

If Lynne’s original sentence of 28 months had not been unreasonably, punitively increased to 10 years, she would be home now — where her medical care would be by her choice and where those who love her best would care for her. Her isolation from this loving care would end.

Prevent this cruelty to Lynne Stewart whose lifelong commitment to justice is now a struggle for her life.

Free Lynne Stewart Now!

Ralph Poynter and Family

For more information, go to http://www.lynnestewart.org

Write to Lynne Stewart at:
Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
PO Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127

To:
Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Joe Keffer, Warden, Federal Medical Center, Carswell


I urge the Bureau of Prisons to file the appropriate motion for Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart #53504-054.

Lynne Stewart has devoted her life to the oppressed – a constant advocate for the countless many deprived in the United States of their freedom and their rights.

Unjustly charged and convicted for the “crime” of providing her client with a fearless defense, the prosecution of Lynne Stewart is an assault upon the basic freedoms of us all.

After years of post-conviction freedom, her bail was revoked arbitrarily and her imprisonment ordered, precluding surgery she had scheduled in a major New York hospital.

The sinister meaning of the relentless persecution of Lynne Stewart is unmistakably clear. Given her age and precarious health, the ten-year sentence she is serving is a virtual death sentence.

Since her imprisonment in the Federal Prison in Carswell, Texas her urgent need for surgery was delayed 18 months – so long, that the operating physician pronounced the condition as “the worst he had seen.”

Now, breast cancer, which had been in remission prior to her imprisonment, has reached Stage Four. It has appeared in her lymph nodes, on her shoulder, in her bones and her lungs.

Her daughter, a physician, has sounded the alarm: “Under the best of circumstances, Lynne would be in a battle of the most serious consequences with dangerous odds. With cancer and cancer treatment, the complications can be as debilitating and as dangerous as the cancer itself.”

In her current setting, where trips to physicians involve attempting to walk with 10 pounds of shackles on her wrists and ankles, with connecting chains, Lynne Stewart has lacked ready access to physicians and specialists under conditions compatible with medical success.

It can take weeks to see a medical provider in prison conditions. It can take weeks to report physical changes and learn the results of treatment; and when held in the hospital, Lynne has been shackled wrist and ankle to the bed.

This medieval “shackling” has little to do with any appropriate prison control. She is obviously not an escape risk.

I join with others to demand abolition of this practice for all prisoners, let alone those facing surgery and the urgent necessity of care and recovery.

It amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of human rights.

There is immediate remedy available for Lynne Stewart. Under the 1984 Sentencing Act, after a prisoner request, the Bureau of Prisons can file a motion with the Court to reduce sentences “for extraordinary and compelling reasons.” Life threatening illness is foremost among these and Lynne Stewart meets every rational and humane criterion for compassionate release.

To misconstrue the gravamen of this compassionate release by conditioning such upon being at death’s door – released, if at all, solely to die – is a cruel mockery converting a prison sentence, wholly undeserved, into a death sentence.

The New York Times, in an editorial (2/12), has excoriated the Bureau of Prisons for their restrictive crippling of this program. In a 20-year period, the Bureau released a scant 492 persons – an average of 24 a year out of a population that exceeds 220,000.

I join with others to cry out against the bureaucratic murder of Lynne Stewart.

I join with others to demand Lynne Stewart’s immediate release to receive urgent medical care in a supportive environment indispensable to the prospect of her survival and call upon the Bureau of Prisons to act immediately.

If Lynne’s original sentence of 28 months had not been unreasonably, punitively increased to 10 years, she would be home now — where her medical care would be by her choice and where those who love her best would care for her. Her isolation from this loving care would end.

Prevent this cruelty to Lynne Stewart whose lifelong commitment to justice is now a struggle for her life.

I urge you to take action and call upon the Bureau of Prisons to act immediately for Lynne Stewart’s Compassionate Release.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Sign the petition here!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under open letters, manifestos, appeals, political repression

Pepper Spray as a Means of Advancing the Human Condition (UC Davis)

http://vision.ucdavis.edu/

A Message from Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

As we begin our second century, UC Davis is poised to become one of the world’s great universities as it stays true to its mission to advance the human condition through improving the quality of life for all. We are already regarded as an institution with an extraordinary foundation of academic excellence and global impact. And in the coming years, we have enormous potential to build on these strengths and rise to even greater heights of distinction, scholarship and service.

[…]

As we begin this journey, we must acknowledge the difficult economic circumstances of the present, even as we aspire to embrace the extraordinary opportunities of the future. I realize that achieving and maintaining this balance will be a challenge. But we cannot and must not neglect our responsibilities for today as a land-grant institution, or compromise our dreams for tomorrow — our dreams for our students, who deserve nothing less than access to a world-class education, and our dreams for a thriving California populace, whose well-being is so intricately woven with our own.

To all members of the extended UC Davis community, I ask you join me in this spirit of optimism. Embrace this ambitious vision for our university. Working together, we are certain to achieve a truly extraordinary, second century of excellence.

Linda P.B. Katehi,
Chancellor

_____

Published on Saturday, November 19, 2011 by MSNBC

Video Spreads of UC Davis Cops Pepper Spraying Occupy Students

Demonstrators were protesting dismantling of encampment

DAVIS, California — A video of police in riot gear pepper spraying demonstrators is spreading after 10 Occupy protesters were arrested on the University of California, Davis campus Friday, Sacramento NBC station KCRA reported.

The demonstrators were protesting the dismantling of the “Occupy UC Davis” encampment that was set up in the school’s quad area.

“Police came and brutalized them and tore their tents down and all that stuff. It was really scary. It felt like there was anarchy everywhere,” said student Hisham Alihbob.

Police told Sacramento’s KTXL TV station that the students were given until 3 p.m. Friday to remove their tents from the campus. When students refused, police arrived at the given time. Students sat down cross-legged and locked arms when cops showed up and the pepper spraying began.

UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said it would not be safe or sustainable for demonstrators to camp in the quad.

“It’s not safe for multiple reasons,” Spicuzza said.

At least one woman left by ambulance for treatment of chemical burns.

“We just successfully booted the police off campus in a non-violent way,” Chris Wong, a student protester who said he was speaking for himself, not the Occupy group, told the Sacramento Bee.

Wong said he was one of the students sprayed, but he looked down and didn’t get a full dose. He said students then circled the police and tried to hold their ground. The police eventually left.

Leave a comment

Filed under activism, film and video, political repression, protests, student movements

New York, New York

Casey Neistat, “The Raid on Zuccotti Park”:

 

Via Common Dreams

2 Comments

Filed under activism, film and video, political repression, protests

A Few Notes on the Eviction

Derrick O’Keefe
An open letter to 1 per cent: you cannot evict an idea whose time has come

To the 1 per cent (you know who you are),

I write to you, as a lowly ninety-nine percenter, to offer both my congratulations and my condolences.

First, my congratulations on sending in the NYPD to clear out Zuccotti Park in the wee hours of the morning today. Congratulations for demonstrating, with this cynically timed manoeuvre, that when push comes to shove the police exist to serve and protect your vested interests. Congratulations on teaching a new generation this painful but necessary lesson about the true function of the police in a capitalist society. You deserve thanks for proving that when consent falters you’ll resort to force to maintain your hegemony — liberal democracy, when it is by and for the 1 per cent, must have its limits.

Congratulations are also in order for the seamless way you have deployed your media and your legal system against the Occupy encampments around North America. From Oakland up to Vancouver, all the way over to Halifax and many places in between, injunctions and smear campaigns have paved the way for evictions. Congrats all around on the super job you’ve done reminding us of the ultimate purpose of our society’s superstructure.

I also write, however, to offer my condolences. Because, for you, the sad truth is that you can evict an encampment, but you cannot evict ideas whose time has come.

As it was with Cairo’s Tahrir Square, I know that we, the 99 per cent, will be back in New York’s Liberty (Zuccotti) Park. And even if that takes some time, I’m still sorry for you and your tiny minority, because you cannot evict these ideas: they are simply too important, too long overdue, and too big to fail.

You cannot evict the idea — at long last expressed in no uncertain terms — that you, the 1 per cent super-rich, have been getting away with crimes against the people for far too long.

You cannot evict the idea that the rich and the powerful are responsible for the social and economic crisis we face.

You cannot evict the idea that money must cease to dominate and corrupt politics.

You cannot evict the idea that everybody, all 100 per cent of us, deserves a home, a permanent, safe and comfortable roof over their heads; this is an idea that you cannot evict no matter in how many places you try to evict the homeless who have joined our encampments. You cannot evict from sight and from mind the social problems that your 1 per cent centric system has created and perpetuated.

You cannot evict the idea that the environmental crisis is driven by the insatiable and irrational system of capital accumulation that you sit atop.

You cannot evict the idea that the war machine is paid for with the blood and treasure of the 99 per cent, and yet serves only your 1 per cent interests.

You cannot evict the bonds of international solidarity that have already been forged, with actions like the Egyptians’ sharing lessons of struggle in New York or the Boston Occupation of the Israeli consulate in solidarity with the Freedom Waves flotilla to Gaza.

You cannot evict this rebellion because it has become global, beginning in Tunisia and spreading from there and picking up People Power and indignation along the way.

You cannot evict the joy we have all felt in joining a movement that has finally spoken to class injustice, and to the exclusion of the 99 per cent from power at all levels.

You can clear out a park in the middle of the night, but you cannot evict Occupy Wall Street, and you cannot evict this political moment and these movements that have emerged.

My condolences, again, to you the 1 per cent. Now that we’ve finally got these ideas in our hearts and in our minds, you can never again evict the 99 per cent from political life and from the struggle to create a better society and a better world.

_____

_____

Glenn Greenwald
A police raid suffused with symbolism
November 15, 2011
Salon.Com

Following similar raids in St. Louis and Oakland, hordes of NYPD officers this morning forcibly cleared Zuccotti Park in Manhattan of all protesters; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took “credit” for this decision. That led to this description of today’s events from an Occupy Wall Street media spokesman, as reported by Salon‘s Justin Elliott:

A military style raid on peaceful protesters camped out in the shadow of Wall Street, ordered by a cold ruthless billionaire who bought his way into the mayor’s office.

If you think about it, that short sentence is a perfect description of both the essence of America’s political culture and the fuel that gave rise to the #OWS movement in the first place.

* * * * *

Jesse LaGreca, who justifiably received substantial attention as an insightful and articulate spokesperson for OWS’s grievances, here condemns what he describes as the “1-party bankster owned oligarchy” (for more on what he means, see here). Meanwhile, here’s a photo of the police earlier this week clearing out Occupy Chapel Hill in North Carolina; the Baghdad-like scene is but a small taste of how para-militarized America’s domestic police forces have become and what we’re likely to see much more of if (more accurately: when) protests, disruptions and other forms of unrest continue to emerge in the face of a disappearing middle class and exploding inequality:

UPDATE: A New York state judge this morning temporarily enjoined the city from keeping the protesters out of Zuccotti Park, but Mayor Bloomberg is simply ignoring the Order and deliberately breaking the law by refusing to allow them back in. Put another way, Bloomberg this morning has broken more laws than the hundreds of protesters who were arrested. But as we know, the law does not apply to the Michael Bloombergs of the nation; the law, instead, has simply been exploited into a weapon used by the politically and financially powerful to prevent challenges to their standing.

Could #OWS have scripted a more apt antagonist than this living, breathing personification of oligarchy: a Wall Street billionaire who so brazenly purchased his political office, engineered the overturning of a term-limits referendum and then spent more than $100 million of his personal fortune to stay in power, and now resides well above the law?

UPDATE II: To justify his raid, Mayor Bloomberg said: ”We must never be afraid to insist on compliance with our laws.” Leaving aside the fact that torturers, illegal eavesdroppers, wagers of aggressive war, Wall Streets defrauders, and mortgage thieves are some of his best friends who thrive and profit rather than sit in a jail cell, this is the same Mayor Bloomberg who, now beyond all dispute, is knowingly and deliberately breaking the law by violating a Court Order of which he is well aware. He’d be arrested for that if he weren’t a billionaire Mayor (and indeed, having seen that bevvy of political and financial elites break the law in the most egregious ways with total impunity over the last decade, why would Bloomberg be afraid of simply ignoring the law?). Today really is the most vivid expression seen in quite some time of the two-tiered justice system I wrote my new book to highlight; the real criminals are not only shielded from the law’s mandates, but affirmatively use it as an instrument to entrench themselves in power and protect their ill-gotten gains.

_____

Stephanie Luce: One of the amazing things about OWS in New York has been the degree to which organized labor has come on in support, and been able to intersect some of its own organizing with that of OWS. There is a long way to go, but this level of interaction seems remarkable to me in this city where unions have been known to be insular and not good at working with others. Unions have already contributed support in a variety of ways: offering money, food, medical training, supplies, meeting space, storage space, and publicity.

And OWS has participated in ongoing labor activities, from the campaign to get a contract at Verizon, to supporting locked-out Teamsters at Sothebys. Public sector unions have been fighting to extend the millionaire’s tax in New York, and on October 11, 2011, the 99 percent and unions joined together for a march against the millionaires and billionaires.

The general assembly, consensus model has drawbacks. It can be used poorly in ways that allow a small minority to block consensus, and control decisions. With large groups of people, it can be possible for small cliques to develop and function in non-transparent ways. But the same can be said for our other models of functioning—notably, traditional union structures.

Despite its weaknesses, the Occupy model can provide tremendous inspiration for rank-and-file unionists. It has worked so far to allow “ordinary people” to feel they are participating in democratic decision-making for the first time in their lives. They have seen how it’s possible to develop an idea and run with it, working to organize with others to make their vision a reality. The horizontalist model is new for many union members, and will take some work to learn and develop, but is a tool that can strengthen movements.

OWS provides another important lesson for unions, which I think expands on the UE fight at Republic Windows and Doors, and the fight back in Wisconsin. The lesson is that we should not be afraid of “the public.” Unions have been spending millions of dollars on consultants, polls and focus groups to craft a careful message that will play with the public. But the messages that come out of these tend to be ones that people have been hearing in the media and from politicians. They tend to be conservative, backward looking messages, and not ones that push people to new ideas and greater possibilities.

No focus group would have come up with the “message” of a plant takeover in Chicago. And no poll would have predicted that a mass teacher walkout and citizen take-over of the Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin was a wise public relations strategy.

Instead, the labor movement has been trying to frame itself as “reasonable.” Top union leaders in Wisconsin stated emphatically that they were “only asking for the right to collective bargaining.” The same is true with the Verizon strike in August, where union leaders said they were on strike “for the right to bargain.” Unions and labor coalitions declare that they are just trying to save the middle class, or reclaim the American Dream: nothing radical, nothing confrontational.

OWS turns that idea on its head, and within a few weeks, with no consultants and no polling, asserts a very bold and expansive “message”: we are the 99 percent, we are in a class war against the 1 percent, we demand public space, we demand the right to protest, we want another world. OWS uses images that link its fight with the Arab Spring, suggesting that our fight is a fundamental struggle for democracy and basic human rights. These are bold, visionary demands, and ones that ignite the public imagination.

Farooque Chowdhury and Michael D. Yates, “The Occupy Wall Street Uprising and the U.S. Labor Movement: An Interview with Steve Early, Jon Flanders, Stephanie Luce, and Jim Straub”

Thanks to Louis Proyect and Marxmail for keeping the flame and the heads-up.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under activism, film and video, interviews, leftist movements, political repression, protests, trade unions, urban movements (right to the city)

The News from Occupy Wall Street

(Via the eternally invaluable Louis Proyect)

John Halle:

Under the Giuliani and Bloomberg regimes the cold precision of the choreography imposed by the NYPD on protests rivals that of the Ballet Russe under Balanchine: since the Feb 15th, 2003 and Republican National Convention protest, the authorities have made use of a highly effective combination of carrots and sticks. Quiet and non-violent-by which is meant non-disruptive protests under the terms set by the authorities are tolerated.  However, those stepping out of line, those who insist that protests do what they are supposed to do, i.e. disrupt business as usual and impose a cost on those primarily benefitting from its operation, are dealt with considerable harshness.

The response of demonstrators over the past few years has been to capitulate to these imposed conditions and thereby, often under the rubric of “non-violence”, allowing protest to become empty rituals. What is necessary now is that demonstrations reclaim their roots as a demonstrations of power, specifically, their ability to disrupt. And while the disruptions effected today, in the larger scheme of things were quite minimal, what a critical mass of the participants seem to implicitly understand is that disruption-the ability to inflict real costs on entrenched capital through unpredictable and spontaneous (i.e unchoreographed) direct action is a necessary condition for the success of any protest. If these protests succeed in growing with this assumption at their core, they have real potential to become truly meaningful. It remains to be seen whether they will do so.

[…]

A description of the remainder of the march requires the trite but, in this context, altogether accurate phrase, “violently dispersed by the police”, though this is, of course, usually applied to various third world dictatorships. One block south the police began to erect a second set of barriers with the purpose of dividing the march into smaller groups, separated by a block or so, arresting those who refused to get out of the street, and who resisted. The arrests were undertaken with considerable brutality which I was a direct witness to, and almost a victim of. The worst which happened to me was to have receive the full brunt of a body which had been slammed with remarkable force by a particularly violent and thuggish cop. Another encounter which I witnessed was worse and somewhat disturbing. A protester who had, I would imagine, prevented the erection of the crowd control barrier, was tackled and set upon by at least seven or eight cops administering a series of blows to all parts of the man’s head and abdomen. I had never seen a display of violence of such intensity and it was quite unnerving. The fact that the target of this display of brutality was black will probably not come as a surprise.

These are some of the events which seem worth reporting here. There were others which a more journalistically inclined (and trained) observer would no doubt relate. Rather than itemizing these I’ll close by mentioning a third reason for why I am somewhat optimistic.  This is personal and even a bit sentimental so those who don’t know me might do well to skip the remainder of this paragraph. At the intersection of West 4th my friend Judd Greenstein who I had called earlier darted in the the crowd next to me. Judd, in addition to being probably the most gifted, passionate and communicative of the younger composers I know, is also one of the finest people-in the most simple and meaningful sense of the term. Pretty much unique in my circle of acquaintances, he is a reliable presence at these sorts of protests, having met up with me a year ago or so at a Wall Street protest following the bank bail outs. More significantly for me, this seemingly random encounter brought back for me one of my most treasured memories. At the Iraq war protest in Feb 2003, I was within a sea of bodies walking southward on the corner of 79th and Amsterdam,  when I spotted within the crowd heading west my father Morris who was then eighty and my mother Rosamond who was now walking slowly having begun to be affected by the Parkinsons disease which would take her life this year. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised.  While they are not political activists (certainly less so than my father’s long time friend and colleague Chomsky) their investment in politics is real, though almost exclusively moral-dictated by a simple code which required them to actively protest when their government is enacting atrocities in their name, as it did in Vietnam during my childhood, and as it was about to do in Iraq.  Protest is what every decent person did back then-it was not limited to an activist clique.  There were lots like my parents back then.

Judd attended this demonstration for exactly the same reasons which my parents did nearly half a century ago, and which were defining events of my childhood.  Protest is what decent people do when they are confronted with evil.  Having both witnessed the thuggish crackdown south of Union Square, I was grateful to be able to be able take stock of the situation with him. His presence today was for me a validation of the possibility that there maybe some ultimate hope to be squeezed out of what now appears to be a fairly desperate trajectory into something approximating a police state-at least for those who do what is necessary to make protest meaningful.

Finally, a post-script: I’m writing this as the police prepare for what may be a final-and likely, if today’s events were any guide, intensely brutal assault on the encampment in Zuccati Park. As I have been posting on Facebook, this appears to me to be a Martin Niemoller moment for us-one where they are coming for a marginal clique, one which is the butt of jokes (including my own above) and regarded as absurd and insignificant by all but a few.  Today’s NYT’s coverage of the protestors, predictably contemptuous and dismissive, sets the stage perfectly for this crackdown-and provides grounds for all the right thinking people who are the Times’ primary demographic to avert their eyes.  The few decent people who find out about this may get on the subway and head to Wall Street to bear witness, and maybe even act.  But I can’t say I’m in the least optimistic that anything like this is in the cards-certainly nothing approximating the display of force which we must martial to make a difference. All this is only further confirmation of Niemoller’s dictum: when they come for us there may very well be very few left to speak up.

_____

_____

Chris Hedges:

_____

Keith Olbermann:

1 Comment

Filed under activism, film and video, political repression, protests, urban movements (right to the city)

Pen Them Up, Mace Them, and Then Just Walk Away

www.commondreams.org

Identified: NYPD Officer Who Maced Peaceful Protesters

A photographer has identified the cruel and cowardly NYPD Supervisor who point blank maced a penned in group of young women and then slinked away Saturday at the Occupy Wall Street protests:

Deputy Inspector Anthony V. Bologna of the NYPD Patrol Borough Manhattan South.

TAKE ACTION
If you think Deputy Inspector Bologna should be fired and prosecuted for his abuse of power, file an on-line complaint:


Photo:http://davidscameracraft.blogspot.com

Photo: http://www.thevillager.com/villager_113/afteryearsoftrouble.html

James Fallows at The Atlantic writes:

According to the NYT, the chief police spokesman, Paul Browne, said that the policeman used pepper spray “appropriately.” Great. On the video we can’t hear what either side is saying. But at face value, the casualness of the officer who saunters over, sprays right in the women’s eyes, and then slinks away without a backward glance, as if he’d just put down an animal, does not match my sense of “appropriate” behavior by officers of the law in a free society.

Leave a comment

Filed under activism, film and video, political repression, protests

America (the Beautiful?)

Georgia:

www.DemocracyNow.org — Troy Anthony Davis was killed by lethal injection by the state of Georgia at 11:08 p.m. EDT [on Wednesday] despite widespread doubts about his guilt. The execution occurred shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stop the execution. Democracy Now! was the only news outlet to continuously broadcast live from the prison grounds last night where hundreds of supporters Troy Davis held an all-day vigil in Jackson, Ga. Today we hear the voices of Troy Davis’ sister Martina Correia, hip-hop artist Big Boi, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, Ed DuBose of the Georgia chapter of the NAACP, two members of the Troy Davis legal team, and more. We also hear from journalist Jon Lewis, a witness to the execution: “[Davis] said to the family [of slain police officer Mark MacPhail] that he was sorry for their loss, but also said that he did not take their son, father, brother. He said to them to dig deeper into this case, to find out the truth. And then he said to the prison staff — the ones he said, ‘who are going to take my life,’ — he said to them, ‘may God have mercy on your souls,’ and his last words were to them, ‘may God bless your souls.'”

_____

UC Berkeley:

One of our valued comrades and partner of a UC graduate was severely beaten by police inside Tolman Hall last night, while he cried out repeatedly, “please stop hurting me.” As a matter of course, he was issued severe charges; the more the police injure someone, the worse the charges must be so as to justify their violence.

There is little doubt that he will not be convicted, should this go to trial. However, because his injuries were severe and he had been denied medical attention at the UCPD building nor at Santa Rita, his partner felt it was imperative to get him out as swiftly as possible. This meant posting bond rather than the $15,000 bail, and forfeiting the $1,500.

The good news is that his partner just started a community care job this week that provides medical insurance; she told me this, tearfully but wryly, last night. The bad news is that she is currently broke. She managed to get the necessary amount from her family, but they themselves are quite poor. As a result, we are taking up a collection to help repay them some or all of the amount, and asking for your support. Please understand: because this was bond and not bail, any donations will be exactly that; it won’t be returned at trial. We are grateful for contributions of any amount.

Please contact Joshua Clover (jclover@ucdavis.edu) if you are able to help with this, and we’ll make arrangements about gathering what we can — and we’ll repeat our thanks, both in specific and for the strength of our shared friendships.

_____

Wall Street:

We want to share insights into the formation of a new social movement as it is still taking shape in real time. The video was shot during the 5th and 6th day of the occupation. This idea to occupy the financial district in New York City was inspired by recent uprisings in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia which most of us were following online. Despite the corporate media’s effort to silence the protests, and Yahoo’s attempt to to censor it in e-mail communication, the occupation is growing in numbers and spreading to other cities in the US and abroad. Please forward our video to likeminded people via email, facebook, twitter – and make the voices of dissent circulate. Find the latest news, learn how to participate and support: https://occupywallst.org/

Leave a comment

Filed under activism, film and video, political repression, protests, racism, nationalism, fascism, student movements