Archive for February, 2015

 

Rev. Cornell Lewis over at his blog DCF Plantation has an excellent article about the recent Moral Monday march and what is happening here in Hartford Ct. Community and Police Cohesion As Illusion, Lie, Betrayal has these lines:

“There is war being waged in Hartford’s black community by black moderate leaders and militant activists about how to engage police. However this mantra of community police cohesion is nothing but illusion, foisted on the rabble in order to remove any hope of galvanizing real dissent against HPD. Those ruling forces in the City of Hartford handpicked willing leadership for promotion of the greatest illusion since Houdini escaped handcuffed / upside down while immersed in some large glass enclosed water tank. The ruling elite desperately want people to believe there are themes of commonality between Hartford residents and police. Let me be clear. HPD along with city leaders are using certain Negro and white activists  [ the latter flown in from out of town for this specific purpose ]  to make it seem as if dialogue is happening to iron out any difference existing with angry residents over insensitive cops who oppress the common people.”

Along with this blog article by Rev. Lewis there is a statement as an eyewitness account of what happened here on Moral Monday, Reflections on Moral Monday CT. From a White Female. She begins her story of the day this way:

“Today was a turning point for me. I acted on what I’ve been saying I respect for a long time while watching from a distance. I know that many people whose opinions and approval are important to me may disagree with what I did. The best I can hope for is their understanding of my need to act on what my gut tells me is right. Here’s the story…”

Police Storm Christ Church Cathedral Hartford Ct. During Moral Monday.

Another account of the day

Account  from Osagyefo Seko one of the organizers of Moral Monday.

“In a bizarre turn of events, nearly a dozen police officers stormed Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford, CT after the first Moral Monday CT event–which included a die-in at City Hall and an unpermitted march in downtown. As we marched back to the church, officers blocked the street in front of the church, came in and demanded to speak to me. Bishop John Selders–leader of Moral Mondays CT and my elder brother–intervened. The Vicar of the church stood next to me and said, “If you take him you have to take me.” As police attempted to isolate Bishop Selders clergy gathered around him. The Assistant Chief of Police of Hartford was dispatched. As the Dean of the Catherdal and Vicar along with Bishop Selders and Pamela Moore Seldersmet with the Assistant Chief, I lead a crowd of about 50 folks gathered in the hall in freedom songs. Linda E Kelly and Gretchen Honnold of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Lizzy Jean of Deep Abiding Love Project were on hand as support saw it all. We are all stunned by the fact that they came into a church and at the fact that I seemed to be targeted. But to be sure the Hartford Police know now, they have not authority in the House of God! It is just not a slogan: Ferguson is Everywhere.”

Statement of Leslie Butler Mac Fadyen

“Something is wrong with today. These police officers were dispatched & came specifically to take Rev Osagyefo Sekou away from this church. Just HIM. In America. In THE NORTH. In 2015.”

an excellent idea was brought up:

After watching HPD storm into a church yesterday to pursue demonstrators after they had blocked traffic in downtown Hartford I’m convinced that what we need, more than anything else, is an active branch of the NLG. After charging into a private building, one that is historically honored as a sanctuary in cultures all over the world, they sequestered demonstration leaders in a separate room for 20 minutes and guarded the door so no one else could enter. Even just trained legal observers would have been all over them for that kind of behavior. HPD just does what they want, and we need to work on building the infrastructure and capacity to stop them. ( check out this link as there is a discussion going on.)
Hopefully this idea will be expanded on as there is interest in legal observers. We also would have to call for a real citizen review board that would look at cases of police brutality in Hartford.
HARTFORD — About 60 activists marched down Main Street and into city hall Monday afternoon, chanting, “If we don’t get no justice, then they don’t get no peace!” before laying on the atrium floor in what organizers described as a broad…
COURANT.COM|BY HARTFORD COURANT
‪#‎MoralMondayCT‬ – An un-permitted march from Christ Church Cathedral to City Hall in Hartford, CT. We read the names of the people murdered by police and did a 4.5 min die in. As we marched back to the church, the police became very aggressive, with one officer entering before the protesters and 6-9 more entering afterwards saying they were looking for the organizers. They targeted Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou and other protest leaders. Church leaders turned them out eventually, with Brother Cornell drumming and Sekou leading people in song. Happy to be there in support as Deep Abiding Love Project ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬… Lizzy Jean
Lizzy Jean's photo.
We also would like to bring our readers attention to a recent published article by Rev. Lewis, White Allies Comment on So Called Black Community and Police Rapprochement.   As white allies we can only say, “We don’t trust them never have and never will. Nice and all smiley one second and the next second they go off. It is too soon to start a kiss kiss festival with the police. They have a lot of proving to do.” My grandma use to say treat those kind of folks with a long handle spoon. We agree.

 

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Solidarity group did much to expose Israeli pinkwashing of abuses against Palestinians.

Group fought back against censorship efforts and helped expose Israel’s “pinkwashing.”
ELECTRONICINTIFADA.NET

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In from the Gay Liberation Network of Chicago.

 Secretive Chicago Police Facility

Abuses Rights of the Accused

SHUT DOWN HOMAN SQUARE

Activists Demand Shut Down of “Black Site” in Chicago

CHICAGO – After a recent ground-breaking report in The Guardiannewspaper exposed an apparent “black site” on the city’s West Side where police beat and hold arrestees incommunicado from attorneys, family and friends, area police accountability activists are demanding that the site be shut down. 

The activists will reinforce their demands with a protest dubbed “Shut Down Homan Square,” at 3 PM, this Saturday, February 28 at the facility located at 3379 W. Fillmore Street.

According to The Guardian,

“The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site… Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

·    Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
·    Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
·    Shackling for prolonged periods.
·    Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
·    Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square ‘interview room’ and later pronounced dead.” (more…)

Netanyahu 2
Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before both Houses of Congress on March 3 is a complete outrage – and opposition is growing all across the country.
Will you join us in D.C. for the demonstration that starts at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 3 at the Capitol Building (Upper Senate Park)? Bring a sign or banner, and take a stand.
Netanyahu, the butcher of Gaza and a man who is under criminal investigation in Israel for personal corruption connected to his lavish lifestyle, is coming to Congress in an explicit effort to sabotage a peace agreement between the United States and Iran.
Even the Obama White House labeled Netanyahu’s speech “destructive.”
Netanyahu’s Tea Party buddies are gloating about his and their maneuver to make Netanyahu appear in Congress as a great visionary leader, but recent polls show that 63 percent of the American people think that Netanyahu should cancel this speech.
Netanyahu has presided over many massacres of Palestinians, the latest in Gaza last summer that killed more than 2,100 women, men and children, wounded more than 10,000, and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The massive theft of and settlement on Palestinian land in the West Bank continues every day. Much of this death, destruction and dispossession is paid for by U.S. Aid, billions of which flow to Israel every year.

(more…)

Banksy in Gaza

Posted: February 26, 2015 in art, Call to Action, Fight Back, Solidarity

We first saw this over at the Hyperallergic site this morning which we provide a link to the article.

Powerful messages are emerging to counter Netanyahu’s GOP-sponsored speech to Congress.

Street artist Banksy uses bold images to make a political statement on Gaza.
Patrisse Cullors, one of three founders of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, explains how queer and trans people of color are core to the movement.
MSNBC.COM

Next week members of FANG are going on a three day, 28 mile march from a fracked-gas compressor station in Burrillville, RI to downtown Providence.

The compressor station would nearly double in capacity as part of a billion dollar proposed pipeline expansion proposed by Spectra Energy. Construction could begin as early as April.

We’re doing this march to bring the stories of those that would be most impacted by the Spectra pipeline expansion to Rhode Island’s elected leaders.

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'Next week members of FANG are going on a three day, 28 mile march from a fracked-gas compressor station in Burrillville, RI to downtown Providence.

The compressor station would nearly double in capacity as part of a billion dollar proposed pipeline expansion proposed by Spectra Energy. Construction could begin as early as April.

We're doing this march to bring the stories of those that would be most impacted by the Spectra pipeline expansion to Rhode Island's elected leaders. The voices of those at the frontlines of fossil fuel infrastructure and climate change have been ignored for too long.

But we need your help to make this march a success. There are plenty of roles to be filled, including marchers, drivers and medics. We're also planning events and nonviolent actions for when the march enters Providence next Friday.

Sign up to participate here: http://www.fangtogether.org/the-march

Together we can #StopSpectra'